Archive for August, 2004

Welcome the New Macintosh G5

August 31, 04 by kenrich

Hey! I just saw the new iMac G5 is out. The whole computer is built into a flat panel display much like a tablet PC sitting on your desk. That’s pretty darn cool if you ask me. It should eliminate a lot of the wires that are running from your computer to your monitor. But it still won’t eliminate all of the cables like to your printer or external drives.

I’m not a huge Mac fan and I don’t have much money so I won’t be seeing one of these puppies on my desktop anytime soon. Besides, I am kind of established on the PC (clone) architecture and it would be a pain to find the same software that I use on my PC available for the Mac. For those of you that just need the basic functionality of a computer, this is a great computer, but a little too overpriced if you ask me.

ASP Nut Script Archive

August 31, 04 by kenrich

I have just opened up a brand new script archive for ASP Nut that will allow users to find useful code for Active Server Pages. In one day, I built the administration and the front-end and although it is not complete, it does have the following features:

  • title, meta keywords and meta description
    information
  • Syntax highlighting for ASP code
    snippets
  • Dynamic categories allowing one script to be placed in 1 or multiple categories
  • Author information coming from an admin
    user or site member

At some point in the future I will be adding a search facility to make locating scripts easier and also a way for site members to submit code samples. This is not too high a priority since I haven’t received any contributions to the site to date.

I will gradually be adding scripts to this repository with the goal of providing a valuable resource to the ASP development community. If you would like to check it out, you can go to ASP Nut Scripts now to view the script archive.

Olympics Are About to Come to a Close

August 30, 04 by kenrich

Thank God the Olympics are finally over. It was occupying way too much of my time and keeping me up late at night. Even with my digital recorder (Replay TV) removing all of the commercials, it still took most (if not all) of my evening watching TV. It was okay though since I wasn’t feeling too well and just wanted to lie down in bed anyways.

It will be less than 18 months before the next Olympics hit our screens for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino Italy. That doesn’t seem like a long enough break to me. That must mean that we have to wait 2 1/2 years after that until the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. I can’t wait to see Olympic curling in action again.

Was it just me or did the closing ceremony seem a little cheap. It was just like a poor ripoff of the opening ceremony with a lot of people running around trampling wheat. And don’t get me started on that long rectangular stage. I guess the giant disco ball and the tons of confetti and balloons were supposed to make up for it. I found the Chinese performance much more interesting and spectacular. Despite all the scandals and controversy, I thought the summer olympics were a big success. After all, it’s the athletes and events that make the Olympics so fun to watch.

ASP Nuke Web Portal Software

August 29, 04 by kenrich

Currently, I am making some minor changes to a web portal software I have developed called: ASP Nuke. It has been at least a year since my last update to this software and despite my best efforts it still has some major flaws. I hope to rectify all of these problems with the next release.

One of the features that I am most proud of is switching from supporting only Microsoft SQL Server to supporting both MySQL and SQL Server. This will allow people to use my software who don’t have access to SQL Server or can’t afford it. It should enhance the popularity and support of my open source software.

When I first built the project, I asked for donations from people who
found the software useful. Well I guess that nobody found it useful
because I received no contributions from others. I guess I will just have to be content with the traffice I receive and the advertising benefits. I will post a message on here when the next release is made to this powerful web portal.

Orvado DNS Error Handling Script

August 28, 04 by kenrich

Today I fixed a few bugs in my site (Orvado DNS) with the help of my fancy error handling script. I have a custom URL defined (in IIS) that is loaded whenever an IIS server error occurs (error code: 500). From this script I can enumerate all of the Request.ServerVariables and place these in an e-mail that gets sent to myself. Along with this, I send the error information that includes the line number and error message that occurred.

Although this doesn’t catch every single error that can possibly be thrown by the server, it does track down some particularly nasty errors that I otherwise would have been oblivious to. It basically makes it so that all the users that come to your site act like testers and debuggers and will help get your site running smooth in no time.

If you are ambitious, you can setup your ASP error handling script to send an e-mail to a paging service that will page you the instance a script error occurs. This will allow you to provide immediate customer support to your web visitors and it might even help you learn when your site has been taken down by a malicious hacker. Trust me, I’ve been running a script like this for two years and it is invaluable for tracking down and fixing bugs.

It’s Not Nice to Nuke the Database

August 27, 04 by kenrich

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. I submitted a database script to be launched and nuked a large part of the functionality of our web application. Seems I forgot to put a WHERE clause on an update query. While doing so, I nuked a general purpose table that is used for all of the applications on our site effectively taking the site down for about 40 minutes.

This used to happen a lot more often back when most of the
developers had full-time access to the production database. Now, we don’t have any access at all. In fact, there are only two people in my company who have access to the production database. Unfortunately, they don’t always review the scripts we send to them and launch them unconditionally trusting that we have done all of the necessary testing before-hand.

Well I had done the testing but only to make sure that the script ran and seemed to update the fields that I wanted. My mistake was in setting nocount on so I didn’t see how many rows were affected. To compound that mistake: in verifying that the updated occurred properly, I only checked the rows that I knew would be affected without testing the web site or looking at any other data. I guess I should be lucky to still have a job here. Ah well, such is life.

Orvado DNS Dynamic IP Hosting

August 26, 04 by kenrich

After thinking about it for a while, I finally figured out how to
implement the dynamic DNS hosting for Orvado DNS. I even wrote a little article about this and posted it on my site at: http://dns.orvado.com/reference/dynamicdns.asp

In order to offer this service to my customers, I will have to create
little services or cron jobs in Unix that will detect the IP address
assigned to the computer and notify Orvado DNS when the IP address
changes. For most people this will be the time when their server restarts (reboots.) I will probably write the Unix code as a PHP executable since that’s what most people like to use under Unix and then write the windows service as a VB command-line app.

Hopefully, after I get this finished, I can do some serious marketing for my Orvado DNS web site. We definitely need to get some money rolling into this business to help plan for the future. I will keep you updated in the near future fearless readers. Until then, Hasta La Vista!

It’s Easy to Work With No Supervision

August 26, 04 by kenrich

Today is a really light day just like yesterday. Things have kind of
calmed down around here and I had some time to catch up on some old tasks that I needed to take care of. More people are looking to quit and find a “real job” which is probably what I should be doing. Oh well, having little-to-no supervision definitely has it’s benefits.

Today I re-worked a content management application for our clients. I re-arranged the form elements and consolidated two scripts into one. Maybe it wasn’t the most productive use of my time, but since my boss told me to do it, nobody should blame me. It’s nice to go back and clean up old code that doesn’t integrate well with the rest of the site or may have some minor flaws in it. The more robust and reliable our web application, the easier it will be for my company to make money (notice I didn’t say me!)

E-Mail Blasting, Not Just a Job

August 25, 04 by kenrich

Today, I was blessed with a new job role from my current employer. That job is the wonderful and exciting world of e-mail blasting. No, don’t worry faithful readers, I’m not talking about spamming the entire world. I’m talking about building and testing mail messages for an opt-in mailing list. Previously this job was handled by a lower-ranking employee who has recently quit and then given to another lower-ranking employee who has also recently quit.

Basically, I was the next man up on the totem pole and I am sooooooooooo happy to be stuck with this new role. Basically, I have been stuck in the dark ages of programming condemned to using classic ASP on IIS for the past 8 years or so. On the positive side, I did learn how to use Visual Studio .NET (of course I only use it for classic ASP also known as VBScript.) If this keeps up, my skills will get so out of date that I won’t be able to find a job anywhere.

And to top it all off, this means I’ll have to deal with another entire division of the company here (operations) with unlimited opportunity to make a big mistake and attract the anger of our fearless executives. Don’t be surprised if you see a job opening soon for a “e-mail blast operator” around the San Diego area in the near future.

It Sure is Quiet Around Here…

August 23, 04 by kenrich

Today I did some work on a message template, which is pretty much par for the course for the work that I do around here. My work could be classified as operations support programming which is not quite up to the level of where I should be at right now. I can’t complain too much though since every programmer here has to do this kind of work.

The office is a lot emptier now with the recent departure of another one of my cube-mates. Now there are two empty cubes to the right of me and one empty cube to the left. So out of the six cubes on either side of me, there is only one other person occupying those cubes. Shows you how much attrition has been affecting my work place here.

It won’t be long before the situation here reaches a critical mass and we encounter a serious problem. The management here really has their thumbs up their asses. Maybe a down-sizing will be coming not too far in the future. Oh wait… they don’t need to downsize since everyone is quitting on their own.