Showing posts from December, 2007

Syntax Highlighting

[Edit: The slowdown caused by parsing the main chunk of javascript function was getting out of hand so i temporarily removed formatting from this block. It will now look terribly ugly but i plan to update the formatting mechanism at the weekend to allow collapsed text to be formatted on expansion rather than page-load.

I was recently asked about the code syntax highlighting on my blog. I can't take any credit for it (except for the little time it took me to mash somebody else's code into a single page. The code itself is courtesy of Alex Gorbatchev and is available in it's entirety at under the terms o the GNU Lesser General Public License.

Please beware (if you haven't noticed already) that highlighting big blocks of code requires a relatively large amount of client-side processing, thus slowing the page when loading and causing a little havoc. This, alas, is the nature of the beast. This syntax highlighter allows for a col…

Merry Christmas To All

Merry Christmas Everybody - including but not limited to those in Wisconsin and everyone back home!

Best wishes for 2008

Vista Media Center Two Cents

I mentioned in a previous (less happy) post that I had switched to media center having formerly used media portal. Frankly, I hadn't used my PC as a media center in quite some time, so when I purchased a new PC and got a copy of Vista Ultimate x64, I decided to brush off my old dual tuner and give Vista Media Center a test drive. I only have basic cable as I tend to watch TV series and movies in bulk a la Netflix, but for newer series, sports events, etc., I've gotten into a routine of recording it using media center, removing the commercials and watching it on my 19 inch monitor.

Media center is a beautifully polished application that has become part of my daily life. Its search features are awesome and everything just feels like a real DVR - not an application running on a Windows box. Personally, I would have liked a fully fledged Picture-in-Picture mode, otherwise very little is missing from the setup. I do not own, nor have I ever owned, a TiVo, so I can't compare the …

Tuner Issues...

A while back I decided to go for the whole Media Center experience, and while I didn't have a copy of Windows MCE at the time, I used and open source alternative - MediaPortal ( I bought a dual tuner - specifically a Hauppauge PVR 500 MCE, which worked a treat and allowed me to watch one show while recording another - perfect!
Lately I've bought a new PC - Quad Core, 4GB ram, dual monitors, Vista Ultimate x64...a pretty nice machine for my purposes! Similarly to most computer folks out there, I relish the painstaking labor of a fresh install - loading all my apps and my settings and configuring my new box just right. All went well and in a matter of hours I was able to run Vista's in-built media center - a beautifully designed piece of software (though PiP would have been a nice addition…). Watching tv shows wasn't an issue, and all was well…or so I thought.
Days went by before I decided to watch my first scheduled recording - but to my horror…

Free LINQ Ebook from Microsoft

For anyone who hasn’t already caught this, MSDN is offering a free LINQ ebook as well as sample chapters from AJAX and Silverlight books. Follow the link (no pun intended):

Powershell Password Tool

In the dark days before Windows Authentication was so embedded in (non-microsoft) mainstream applications, Windows users had to remember a myriad of passwords for a plethora of applications. Application development has changed - but relics from previous software eras remain. On desktops all over the world lay applications that were not developed to plug into any external authorization system. Passwords must still be remembered.
At work, I have access to a decent number of passwords that, due to the intermittent nature of their use or their necessary complexity, I just cannot remember. The ideal way to store these would be in a secure repository to which only I have access. An issue remains - sometimes it is necessary to input a password when another user is present - a user with lesser privileges in the given system. The tendency is to ask the user to turn around while I sneak the password from the repository and paste it into the login form…an effective solution but not very elegant.

Free Visual Studio 2008 Training???

A colleague of mine sent me a link for some free Visual Studio 2008 Training. Neither he nor I have ever used innerworkings content, nor do we have any affiliation or experience with the organization, so i can in no way endorse this software. However, if you are adventurous like me, and are interested in learning a little more about 2008, this may be interesting.

The promotion is split into 3 optional components:

* New Features in C# 3.0 (1 hour)
* New Features in VB 9.0 (1 hour)
* LINQ to SQL (1 hour)

Once I have taken the training i will blog my opinions/comments. However, if you are interested in doing so before then (and apparently this is a limited time offer) go ahead and take a look at the link below:


Visual Studio, SQL Server and Windows 2008 Release Events Scheduled

In case you didn't know, Microsoft has revealed their dates for the VS, SQL and Server 2008 release events. Los Angeles is first on February 27th, but chicago is waaaaaaaay down the list on April 29th....Check out the link for more details!