Archives for May 2003

California Here We Come

Posted on 5/23/2003 to In General

We (me, wife, and son) are headed to the bay area tomorrow (or is it today already?), for a long weekend. The purpose is to celebrate my Grandmother's 80th birthday and to attend her side of the family's annual reunion. To my knowledge, I've never been to this thing, but it should be fun. We'll be seeing some folks that I haven't seen in several years to never.

All the family stuff takes place on Saturday, the rest of the trip is to show my son the sites and just relax -- which shouldn't be hard, as we are staying with family in Marin county (Tiburon to be exact).

As might be expected, my son won't stop talking about all that he is going to see...sea lions, cable cars, boats, the ocean, big bridges, etc. He even has it in his mind that we are going to see a shark. Too much time spent watching Animal Planet, I suspect -- though when I was at Stinson Beach back in '99, they had recently had a shark sighting, so you never know. Oh, and he wants some pizza.

We'll spend a fare amount of time in San Francisco, and thought about North Beach Pizza, as it is a place I've tried before, and liked, but I am looking for alternatives. Viable locations include San Francisco, Marin, and all the way up to St. Helena, or over in the East Bay, say Berkley area.

Cool SQL Tool

Posted on 5/17/2003 to Developer Stuff

I just came across SQLBuddy via a post at Harry Pierson's weblog.

At first glance, it seems to be a fairly usable replacement for Query Analyzer. I will try to use it exclusively over the next couple of weeks and see how it goes.

Community Starter Kit

Posted on 5/16/2003 to Developer Stuff

I've finally taken some time to look through one of the ASP.NET Starter Kits, specifically the Community Starter Kit (CSK). I needed to put together a fairly robust, dynamic site in a short amount of time, and thought that this kit might give me some ideas. As it turned out, I decided to just use the Community framework.

A design had already been done for this particular site, so all I needed to do was create a theme out of the design and assign it to the site -- simple enough. Then I plugged in the controls that are included with the CSK, tweaking a few along the way, and of course adding a couple of my own. A few days later, what do you know, I've nearly got a fully funtional, dynamically generated site that is going to be super easy for the site owner to CRUD content.

There are still a couple of bits of fuctionality to modify, but this is way better than having to do all of it from scratch. I'll put up a link to the site once it is complete.

Connectivity Problems

Posted on 5/10/2003 to Site Information

This morning, I noticed that things were taking forever to load -- I blamed it on the low quality wireless link I was using at the time. Several hours later, and now with a much better wireless link, pages were still loading slowly.

Move to the desktop, and a wired connection. No change, still very, very slow.

On to running some speed tests... < 3 kbps down!!! (Upstream speeds seemed normal.)

Call in to tech support. D/FW customers are experiencing extremely slow connections, estimated fix time 5:30 PM.

So that's the story. If you try hitting this site, or any of the others I host, and they seem slow, now you know.

[Listening to: It's Been Awhile - Staind - Break the Cycle (04:26)]


Posted on 5/8/2003 to Weblog Applications

For those of you with weblogs of your own, I am sure you are already well familiar with BlogShares, so I won't spend any time explaining it here. If you aren't familiar with it, click the link and check it out.

What I really want to tell you about is that my weblog is finally trading on BlogShares.

[Listening to: Dead Man Blues - Jelly Roll Morton - The Best Of Ken Burns Jazz (03:15)]

I've Been Discovered!

Posted on 5/6/2003 to Day Job

No, I am not talking about some talent I've been hiding away, or anything like that.

I think it is time to add one of those "I speak for myself and not my company" disclaimer thingies.

Server Migration Complete

Posted on 5/5/2003 to Site Information

Finally, the server migration is complete. That was relatively painless. If you notice anything odd, let me know.

Server Migration, Part 2

Posted on 5/4/2003 to Site Information

Server migration is nearly complete (everything is running on a temporary server at the moment). It looks like there has been an issue with permissions on my RSS feed. I am fixing that now (thanks to Brad for pointing it out).

Migrating to Windows Server 2003

Posted on 5/3/2003 to Technology

I'm preparing to migrate my webserver to Windows Server 2003. Seen as how I am going to do a clean install, I needed an easy way to move all the various websites off of the server and over onto a temporary sever. At first, this seemed like a daunting task, but I remembered bookmarking Tools and Documentation for Upgrading to Windows Server 2003. I wish I could remember where I first saw a link to this, so that I could give proper credit, but it escapes me at the moment. Anyway, included in the tools is the very handy IIS 6.0 Migration Tool. This tool automates many of the steps required in moving web sites from IIS 4, IIS 5, or IIS 6 to a clean installation of IIS 6 running on Windows Server 2003.

So far, so good. The only downside that I have seen so far, is that you must run this tool once for each site that you want to migrate. Naturally, I retrieved a list of the sites to migrate from IIS 5 and have now put together a nice little batch files to take care of all of the sites.

Let's see...mail server has been migrated, so all that's left is the database. Fun.

[Listening to: Daylight - Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head (05:28)]

I'm A Spatial Thinker

Posted on 5/2/2003 to Cool Stuff

You are a Spatial Thinker

Spatial Thinkers: Tend to think in pictures, and can develop good mental models of the physical world. Think well in three dimensions Have a flair for working with objects

Like other spatial thinkers, Leonardo had a talent for designing buildings and machinery. He also invented a new style of map making

Other Spatial Thinkers include Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo, Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Careers which suit Spatial Thinkers include Mechanic, Photographer, Artist, Architect, Engineer, Builder, Set designer

The results of this quiz (link courtesy of Brad Wilson) pretty much validates the results from a series of tests that my parents had me take in 1993, after I dropped out of college.

[Listening to: Somebody - Depeche Mode - 101 (04:36)]

Absolutely Shocking...

Posted on 5/1/2003 to In General

White only prom returns to Georgia

I was firing up my browser a little while ago and came across the above headline on the front page of MSN. I was shocked into clicking. I can't believe that in this country, in this day and age, that there would be a segregated dance at a public school (or any school). The fact that the school isn't actually sponsoring this segregated prom is of little consequence, as school officials are partly to blame for the way it is being done -- they wanted to avoid the problems arising from interracial dating. And what about the parents? And the kids? This is an outrage. I only wish that some of these young racists had been interviewed so that we could gain some insight into their warped minds. The people of Taylor County, Georgia, who are responsible for this, should be ashamed.

[Listening to: We Shall Be Free - Garth Brooks - The Chase (03:49)]

Nice Logo...

Posted on 5/1/2003 to In General

Hey Brad, how long have you had the new logo up? It looks real nice.

Safari Bookshelf

Posted on 5/1/2003 to Technology

In case I haven't mentioned this before, if you work with technology for a living, take a look at O'Reilly's Safari Bookshelf. At a minimum, sign up for a free 30-day trial. If you can swing it, buy a subscription, or get your company to buy one for you. It is well worth it.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Safari, it is an online library of more than 1,400 (currently -- they add more all the time) of the best technology books. The books are from familiar publishers like Addison Wesley, SAMS, QUE, New Riders, Microsoft Press, O'Reilly, and several others. The features include advanced search capabilities, a list of recent searches, recent pages views, notes, and bookmarks. There is a search to locate specific titles (by Author, ISBN, TItle, or Publisher, as well as a tree view for drilling down by category and for browsing the contents of a title itself.

My company bought subscriptions for us over a year ago. I didn't use it for the first couple of months, but it has become an indispensable resource since then. Sure, the content isn't quite as portable as a real book, but you can print out individual pages. Besides, when you are sitting at your desk, it probably doesn't matter if you physically have the book in hand or not -- the most important thing for me is to be able to find what I need quickly. Oh, it's also allowed me to stop lugging so many books back and forth between work and home.

To give you an idea of the quality of titles available, here is what is currently on my Safari Bookshelf:

[Listening to: Tin Pan Alley - Stevie Ray Vaughan - In the Beginning (07:41)]

Dire Days For The Dallas Sport Fan

Posted on 5/1/2003 to Sports

I should have known better than to clear my Wednesday evening schedule to watch these two teams play.

At least the Rangers have been winning lately.

[Listening to: Clocks - Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head (05:08)]