Showing posts from June, 2008

Opera – The Browser, Not the Loud Wailing Thing..

The more I delve into all the glory that is web development, the better appreciation I seem to get for different browsers. My once-flawless image of FireFox has been shattered, lack of standards across ALL (yes boys and girls they are all breaking rules somewhere along the line) the majors ( IE , Safari , FireFox) and generally just the mess that is support for “basic” features as well as usability. Following a Facebook discussion the other day with a friend, Opera came up. Now, I have known for a while that Opera has excellent standards support, but I never really used it. I don’t know why that is, maybe its because no-one else I know uses it. Maybe it’s just because I am an idiot. So, it popped in my head today because the guys at Opera have just released version 9.5 , so I dived on the download. All I can say is Opera, I am so very sorry. Why the hell did it take me so long? Yes, I am still VERY fresh to it, but my initial impression is pretty much “wow”. Here’s the mai

Adrian Sudbury – A Humble Plug For An Exemplary Brit

I try to keep a lot of personal things out of this blog, but I have to give Adrian Sudbury a mention in the hope that more people can feel how I feel right now. I am sat in the office, trying my best not to get too emotional about this, and I will be honest, I am finding it hard (yes my eyes are a little damp). I am not an emotional guy. I think the only other person who could ever make me feel like this is my mother, who is everything to me. I often sit there and rant about how this country (England) is falling apart at the seams. No one seems to give a damn about each other, what this country used to stand for (both individually and as Great Britain), or where its headed. Then someone like Adrian pops out of the woodwork and blows me away with an awesome display of courage, selflessness, bravery and a hell of a personality to boot. He has recently had a huge success in his campaign and got a personal mention at the house of commons by Prime Minister, Gordon Brown who refers t

New Live Writer CTP Released

Just a quick update, this CTP has actually been available since the 2nd June, however, I wanted to do a few posts with it before blogging it myself. I have now done that and have had no problems. Check out!D85741BB5E0BE8AA!1508.entry for a list of the features in this release, as well as of course download.

Problem: ASP.NET Custom Controls, Custom Types and Web Services

OK, so I am sat here at work doing the usual keyboard smashing when I come across a problem, any/all help would be greatly appreciated as a lot of this is new to me… The Scenario I need to create a custom control to present data based on the properties of a custom type. This type contains some summary properties, and a couple of internal collections of items. The presentation logic of this is to be encapsulated in its own ASP.NET control. I have a ASP.NET web page, which will be the container for the control. This page will fetch the data for the control within the Page_Load event, when it receives the object back from the Web Service is should then pass the object to the control, which will render it. 1: // The Custom ASP.NET Control Definition 2: public class ListItemGridView : WebControl 3: { 4: public SerializableList List 5: { 6: get { return _list; } 7: set { _list = value ; }

Work and Instant Messaging

I cam across this article on LifeHacker showing that IM Can Reduce Workplace Interruptions, Study Shows . Finally, people are starting to realise that you don’t have to be a 14 year old teenager that uses IM to talk to all their little school friends and laugh at the custom emoticons to actually use instant messaging. I am always on Live Messenger when at work (or just on the computer for that fact) and I never have too many interruptions from my work.I can honestly say it has helped my work much more than hindered, maybe not always DIRECTLY , but it has helped with my own learning and development a lot, therefore improving my work. Having the ability to quickly fire off a short sharp question to other geek's can be very helpful, I have several contacts on my list that have proved invaluable for my work projects, and they do not even work for my employer. Similar positives could also be said for Twitter , the micro-blogging service. I have also managed to give somet

Migrated to Blogger from Live Spaces

So, here I am. I have finally taken the plunge to move from My Live Spaces ( ) to here. I outlined me reasoning on this post , and I think the positives far outweighed the negatives. I know need to go through the long and painful process of updating links on the numerous profiles scattered here-there-and-everywhere. This is going to take a while, so for this reason, my Live blog will remain intact at the moment, with notices slapped all over it to tell you to come here. Note, I have imported most of my recent posts, and a few popular posts, but older items have not been migrated because, well, they’re old. :P So, update your RSS Reader! Share:   digg it! | |  Live |  Technorati |  Facebook

Privacy Online – How Much Would a “I’ll Google You” Get About You?

Even though online privacy has been a subject that everyone has known about for a long time, I still cant help but feel that with the explosion in social networking, a lot of the basic principles seem to have been lost somewhere. By “principles” I mean: Make yourself as hard to personally identify as possible. People on the Internet should not be able to find where you live (unless you want them to). You need to protect your friends and family as well as yourself, don’t put their information on display without permission. In short, people should only ever know what you would be happy with someone shouting from a top of the building, with everyone stood around it, and pointing at you. Not sharing information from one source with another (e.g. automatic “I’ll email your friends for you, just give me your ID and password for [service]”. Some of the Problems There have been numerous issues with private information being found on the Int

Great GTD Post on RememberTheMilk (Thanks to Doug Ireton)

I have recently started trying to invest a little more time in GTD (Getting Things Done). Part of this investment has also meant me signing up to RememberTheMilk ( RTM ) which is a great, simple-yet-effective “ToDo” list site. Prior to reading this post from Doug Ireton (which RTM posted on their blog) I hadn’t really customised RTM a great deal. This was perhaps a mixture of me not really knowing what I am doing with GTD and lack of time to “play” (expect it was more the former). I found the article clear, concise and damn useful! I spent a good chunk of this morning getting all my work, personal and study items nicely organised within RTM. I feel I perhaps have a little way to go before getting the system refined to my taste, but it’s certainly a hell of a lot closer than it was! It sounds silly but I feel much more confident in the system and can happily “forget” about items and concentrate on actually getting the things done I am supposed t

Its Been a While… Study, Exams, Thoughts and WoW

Hi All! Sorry its been so long since my last post, been crazy busy of late! Here’s a run down of the things that have been chewing up my time: New project at work in ASP.NET , which is all new to me! So its been hard on the brain (trying to remain productive yet needed to consume a lot of info to *try* and make sure I do things right. Study study study. Same old. Was studying extra hard since wanted to sit the 70-316 exam. General thoughts (both personal and professional) that needed ironing out in my mind. World of Warcraft is far too addictive, making my allotted “chill time” overrun. However, I think this is probably a good thing as I have been kinda needing it lately. Good news is, the study and the work seems to be paying off! I passed the 70-316 exam with a score of 906 (700 was pass mark)! Making me a happy geek! I am now studying towards 70-315 which coincides nicely with my current work project(s). This is one of the main reasons I was pushing h

The Ultimate Pro-Vista Argument EVER!

While the usual thoughts were flying around between us geek's on Twitter , Windows Vista came up. Basically the general theme was "we don't know why the haters hate it so much, we have no problems and enjoy working with it". I replied to a tweet from Jeff Atwood @ CodingHorror with this, which did make me chuckle to myself after sending: Top that haters! :D Share:   digg it! | |  furl |  Live |  Technorati |  Facebook

Finally The Truth About "using" and Dispose()

The Problem During the good chat with some fellow students last night, the top of whether or not " using " should be used over an explicit Dispose() method call when using objects like Graphics came up. Now, this one has been bugging me for some time, and I have never actually sat down to investigate it, so I thought I should. I have been told on several occasions that I should use "using", but when questioning why, I get no real answer that makes any sense. Seems like a classic "every knows the best practice but doesn't understand the practice or why its best" scenario! So, I made some very small code samples, one using "using" the other using Dispose(). Here are the samples FYI: "using" Code 1: private void Form1_Load( object sender, EventArgs e) 2: { 3: using (Graphics g = Graphics.FromHwnd( this .Handle)) 4: { 5: MessageBox.Show( "this is b

YouTube Upgrade Quality of Videos

Got a Tweet from Loic Le Meur saying that YouTube have upgraded the quality of their videos/videio player. Great stuff, there is nothing worse than watching an awesome video of big squares flying around. Here are some screen shots from Loic's HQ video posted, in Low (on the left) and High (on the right) quality for comparison (click to enlarge): Great improvement! You can switch to High Quality (where available) by clicking "View in High Quality" under the player. Links: YouTube Loic Le Meur's Blog Loic Le Meur's Coverage of the World Economic Forum Share:   digg it! | |  furl |  Live |  Technorati |  Facebook

James Buck - Demonstrating the Power of the "Tweet"

This story came through in the Twitter newsletter: Bucking The System Last weekend CNN lead with a big story about James Buck, a graduate student in journalism from the University of California-Berkeley who was arrested last month in Mahalla, Egypt while covering an anti-government protest. Thinking quickly, James was able to send a one-word Twitter update: "Arrested." His followers in Egypt and back in the US reacted by contacting the university and the consulate on his behalf. Before long, James was updating Twitter with another one-word message, "Free." The CNN coverage can be found here: I know a lot of people still think Twitter is lame, and I guess there is a part of me that is yet to be convinced, but I think this is an awesome display of the power of short, sharp updates. I think the main part of my problem is that I don't have enough UK/EU contacts on my friends list. Most of my contacts are in the US, and du

MSDN RampUp - Helping Developers on Older/Other Technologies to.. well "Ramp Up" to .NET

This came through on the MSDN Flash newsletter. Microsoft have launched a section on MSDN called " RampUp ". Offering materials to help assist developers/aspiring developers that are used to working with VS 2003/2005 or VB6 to get up to speed on .NET 2.0. It also has a track/route for Java developers  for those that are interested. Each route offers insights into fundamental areas of .NET 2.0, geared towards your previous knowledge, there is also access to free Microsoft E-Learning Courses, which is pretty cool. I will definitely look this over since I am studying for the (now outdated) MCAD certification, so there may be a few things I can learn in here to help with work. If there are any Java developers reading this that want to get all pissy and suggest that " .NET from Java would be ramping down lol ha :P " then don't, its a free offering from Microsoft, if you want it, take it, if not, shut up and keep developing your Java applications (as you may hav