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April 2007 Blog Posts
ASP.NET: DropDownList SelectedIndexChanged Not Firing in User Controls

There are many different causees for why SelectedIndexChanged doesn't fire, but one to check is whether or not the User Control has a form tag in it.  If it does, get rid of it.

posted @ Saturday, April 28, 2007 5:13 PM | Feedback (0)
If you want to have a blog, have a blog, PT.1 (On the 'Ethics' of Blogging)

Okay, so as I mentioned previously, this blog got its inception and name because of a post written by Scott Bellware, noted Fragile Agile fascist.

And I was going to write something about that, but, well, I got kinda busy.  And no one cares what I think about Scott.  *I* don't care about what I think about it. 

And I had this idea about combining it with a long rumination about Usenet and Babylon 5, and why Scott Bellware was David Stinson (more on this later), but by the time I got the URL and the SubText stuff installed, and so on and so forth...I just dropped it.  It was all mostly personal nostalgia anyway, and if I wasn't interested in my own Nostalgia, then really, no point to it.

But with the current cut-over at CodeBetter to the new design, Scott's latest hilarious inanity, and my noticing that Sam Gentile, noted producer of 'New and Notable' has gotten into the comment deleting game (though for completely different reasons), it got me thinking back to those good ol' Usenet days again, and so, what the hell.  Here's goes.

There's a moral to the story, and I'll put it right here up front:

 

If you are going to create a blog, there are rules

The rules are not 100% hard and fast, but there's a real basic one: not counting the obvious exceptions (which we'll get to, but include spam, porn, and death threats), if you are going to have an interactive, conversive blog, you *don't* delete comments.  Ever.  If you want to have a blog-lite, where you spout off about whatever interests you (like Babylon 5, for instance), you can have a monologue, call it a 'mono-blog', and if that's what you want, fine.

But if you want to have an actual blog, one that plays by the rules of the blogosphere and produces the kind of rich content that only comes from letting readers interact with the blogger and themselves, you can't decide to police the comments based on whether you like them or not.

Is this an ethical obligation?  Are there practical reasons for why one needs to follow the rules?  Is this just my opinion?  (The answers to these are: 'maybe', 'absolutely' and 'no', respectively).

And what the hell does this have to do with the Narn, anyway?  Time for a trip in the wayback machine of personal nostalgia, circa 1996 (or 1997, I forget), and the television show Babylon5.....

 

AOL sucks, Usenet is weird, and jms is online

At some point around 1996, I was graduated from the Ph.D. program in Philosophy at the University of Miami, FL, broke, and running the computer network for a company I was hired to create a Education and Training program for (and was their HR manager....I have no idea how any of this happened).  I had always been a computer nut, but now was being paid for it.  So I dived into Windows NT, Slackware, BeOS (god rest its soul), OS/2 Warp (god help us all), and a whole host of things.

And I'm not too proud to say that I created an AOL account to get connected to this 'internet thing.'  Of course, we all know now that AOL was the Internet shackled and crapped up through their flashy proprietary stuff, but that is what the Internet looked like.  And all was well.

Until it became clear that if you actually liked the stuff, you very quickly surpassed the monthly hour limit, and ended up paying by the hour, and the monthly bill came and blew away the budget of a recently graduated poor slob.

So AOL had to go.  I ended up getting a 'real' internet account through Netcom, and after moving to them, logged onto the Internet and noticed....wow, it seemed empty.  Where was all the flashy proprietary stuff?  What was this surfing thing you needed to do to find content?

At the same time, I was really enjoying this science fiction show called Babylon 5.  Great characters, great stories, a long story-arc, a whole lot to love.  So, when surfing for content, I looked for stuff about that.  And found Usenet.

I'm not going to go into an explanation of what Usenet is.  Look it up. Suffice to say, it was....noisy.  A wild combination of great conversation, angry invective, juvenile insulting, etc.  And I found a group of people that loved Babylon5 as much as I did.

It became clear after a while that the creator of Babylon5, J. Michael Straczynski, was an online presence.  But not on the unmoderated Usenet group.  At first, I didn't know why, but it became pretty clear why shortly, as I discovered this thing called 'moderated' newsgroups.  And that's when it became interesting.

More to come...................

posted @ Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:07 PM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree ROCKS

 

Their new release, “Fear of a Blank Planet”,  came out on Monday.  Previously, I bought tickets to their two shows in May (well, one’s June 1st), and it occurred to me that if the new release sucked, the concerts would be depressing.

I needn’t have worried.    Awesome.  Featured song is about 18 minutes long (they don’t even get to the chorus till about minute 8).  Epic, baby.  Pick it up if you have some spare change.

posted @ Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:02 PM | Feedback (0)
Things I'm Thankful For (A Recurring Series)....Not Having a 'Behind the Music' Episode

There are always things to be thankful for.  Family, friends, good health, etc.

Then there are things like this.  Obscure things.  This is one of them.

As a (mostly former) guitarist and songwriter, when I was younger, I tried and failed to get a band together.  I didn't have the insane drive often required, the other band members were lame, etc.

I used to joke with my classes that I could have been Pearl Jam.  I wrote the same sort of angry, disaffected music, etc. that they did.  I didn't have the seemingly (from what I've read) horrible family life that Vedder did, so I imagine the angry, disaffected music came from my naturally cheery (sarcasm) genetic disposition. 

And I wrote a lot, a *lot* of music.  Wrote a rock opera about the Tiananmen Square massacre (which, I might say, wasn't bad, considering what an 18-19 year old could write), enough material for 3-4 releases (mapped out the track lists and everything), etc.  And in a certain respect, I regret that I never had that opportunity.

But it also occurred to me....if I had gone down that road, I would have a VH1 'Behind the Music' episode dedicated to me at this point.  I can hear the intro at about minute 15..."And then, as time went on, jdn spiralled down into depression and substance abuse, as rigors on the road took their toll...."

Or something like that.  Whether I would have done the 'after rehab, he took on a whole new life' road or the 'as his bandmates remember him, it was inevitable' road is unclear.

Still, some good songs would have come out.

posted @ Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:51 PM | Feedback (0)
Adobe Creative Suite 3 - Internal Error 2739

From here:

When on Vista, you need to:

1) open a cmd prompt in admin mode

2) regsvr32 jscript.dll

Then, you can run as administrator the Setup.exe from the Adobe CS3 folder, and you are good to go.

posted @ Friday, April 20, 2007 7:32 PM | Feedback (4)
T-SQL: Null in views

If you define a null in a view for a column (so, you always want to pass null for whatever reason), if you don't cast it, it will default to an int data type.

To get around it, do something like:

cast(isnull(columnName, 0) as varchar(8)) as columnName

posted @ Monday, April 09, 2007 3:01 PM | Feedback (0)
Debugging Local Web Services

From http://visualbasic.about.com/od/usingvbnet/a/WSDebug.htm, there are basically two steps:

1) Set up the web service project as one of the Startup Projects (Visual Studio only loads debug symbols for startup projects).  Right-click, Set Startup Projects, Multiple Startup Projects, set start as the action for all startup projects.

2) For the web service, for its start options, select “Don't open a page.  Wait for a request from an external application.”

posted @ Monday, April 02, 2007 10:34 AM | Feedback (0)
Weird Vista Mozilla Thunderbird Thing

I use Mozilla Thunderbird as my RSS Reader and Usenet Reader (I don't like using Outlook for RSS feeds, because in my mind, it clutters things up).

I was using version 1.5.0.9 and periodically it would tell me there was an update and that I needed to restart for the update to take place.  At which point, I would click on the 'Restart' button, it would restart, and I'd go on my way.

Except it was never updating.  I don't know if or how Vista was causing the issue (seems like a good guess), but the only way I could get the update to install was to download the full installer from Mozilla and run it as administrator.

posted @ Monday, April 02, 2007 5:39 AM | Feedback (0)
Testing posting using Windows Live Writer Beta

Why?  Why not?  It couldn't find the 'style' just giving it the home page, but it did accept the MetaWebLog API URL.

posted @ Monday, April 02, 2007 3:28 AM | Feedback (0)
Testing Blogging with Microsoft Word 2007

Using the instructions found here

posted @ Monday, April 02, 2007 3:08 AM | Feedback (0)