CodePrairie .NET

South Dakota .NET User Group

I Hate Linux

September 2007 - Posts

  • Fight Finished

    I purchased my copy of Halo 3 yesterday... began playing it today ~3pm and just got done now.

    Subtract ~2.5 hours for dinner and a phone call and that gives me a ~9 hour play time... god my hands hurt, but now it is over and I can sleep.

    Damn pretty game, I'll write more after I'm rested and and can see straight.

  • Voting against the Constitution

    I'm sad to say that two of my elected officials, people I have cast votes for in past have voted against the United States Constitution.

    Despite being a noble attempt to give full congressional representation to the residents of the District of Columbia, H.R. 1905: District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007 (cloture in Senate) is an piece of legislation that if passed would be unconstitutional... or have Representative Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin and Senator Tim Johnson forgotten that Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution says:

    The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second year by the people of the several states.

    Or worse yet, has the District of Columbia become a state and nobody told me yet?

    If you are hell bent on granting representation to DC residents... that's fine, however those supporting it should act within the law by either amending the Constitution, making DC a full state, or having it be annexed by a neighboring state.

    Pick one.

  • Bone scan and blood test results

    ... all normal.

    Damn it.

    Despite what I and the technician saw in terms of brighter spots on the back of my hands... "blood flow to hands is normal and symmetric" and my thyroid, CPK and Adolase tests all came back normal.

    Damn it.

    And this on the day I find out that my insurance costs are going up by 10%.

    Damn it.

    Next step will be seeing if the neurologist wants me to do anything before I go back to HD#4 to likely be referred elsewhere.

    Damn it.

    Posted Sep 18 2007, 01:02 PM by I Hate Linux
    Filed under:
  • Windows Home Server Controls Documentation

    I've got a little problem... I tend to do weird things when I'm bored (which isn't a common state) and given the amount of free time I've had over the last number of months my level of boredom has steadily increased and avenues for productive release decreased.

    What is my latest weird act? Documenting a publicly visible API on Windows Home Server that Microsoft has yet to release public info for.

    I love Windows Home Server and am thrilled to be able to program against it... only from time to time I run into a little thing which makes me yell a bit, shake my fist angrily in the general direction of Redmond, and then get back to coding. One of those items has been the complete lack of intellisense support and other in-depth documentation other than what limited info is available on the official documentation site.

    So as to fix this... I started using reflection to look through the public interfaces of some of the classes within the HomeServerControls assembly, do some general testing to figure out how they work and take what I learn to create XML comments for a new project (also named HomeServerControls) and output the XML comments separately.

    There's a lot in there and some pretty crazy things being done and I've only been able to document significant parts of a few classes which are:

    • Microsoft.HomeServer.Controls.ClientCommunicator
    • Microsoft.HomeServer.Controls.ConsoleServices
    • Microsoft.HomeServer.Controls.ConsoleSubForm
    • Microsoft.HomeServer.Controls.ITabExtender
    • Microsoft.HomeServer.Controls.QMessageBox

    Know more about something in there than I do? I'd love to hear about it.

    The XML file is available here:

    Wanting to make the documentation a little more useable... I've also use built a compiled HTML file (which takes a full 3.5 minutes to build) and just as soon as I get SandCastle to like me better and build a web site that I can successfully deploy and run on my sever this same info will be available in an online web form as well.

    Download the CHM file here:

    If you think this is a pretty weird and crazy thing... wait until you see the other little WHS project I'm working on so as to make developers job a little easier. That though I think I'll delay until I get my hands on the RTM bits where it will be a little more useful.

  • Bone Scan

    In past whenever the vampires from the blood bank would show up at my school or work I'd make it a point to go out and give a pint or two (I've got more than enough) and never had any problem... until ~18 months ago when I felt unbelievably light headed and broke into a light cold sweat during one particular blood letting.

    A similar thing happened two months ago when I gave six vials for some rheumatological tests... and today the same thing happened for only three. This time though it was far worse than before and after commenting on it to the nurse it only got worse, so bad that I could hardly see and was on the verge of passing out. In response they rushed me a drink of ice water and had me lay down on a bed that was wheeled up and then wheeled into the scan room not moments later.

    I actually suspect (but never asked) that I did pass out as the amount of time between me mentioning how bad I was feeling and the bed and water showing up was very short.

    After the blood tests and about 3 minutes of laying down I was fine and so we began the bone scan.

    To begin they injected me with a radio active isotope with a half-life of ~55 hours and watched on the scanner as it passed through my blood stream into my hands. Next, so as to give it a chance to bond with the bones, they told me to come back in an hour when they'd do the hand ones again as well as a full body scan:

    Shroud of Brendan

    (note the trauma visible on my head suffered at an early age due to years of being dropped on my head (I am 6'4" and the machine is designed for people up to 6'2"))

    This body scan was only slightly better (and less boring) than the MRI as it required me laying perfectly still in a cramped area (at least when it was scanning my head and chest) and was unable to even listen to my iPod.

    While the body scan wasn't very telling (at least as far as the technician was concerned), the hand and wrist scans (which I didn't get a copy of) did something that no previous test has done... shown something not quite ordinary, a brighter patch on the back of both of my palms.

    Unfortunately the regular Nuclear Medicine doctor was on vacation for two weeks, so instead of getting a verdict from him 10 minutes after the scan, the shots were going to be sent off to Minneapolis where it would likely take a day or two for them to get back to neurologist #3 who then would have to get back to me.

    So the waiting begins again. Here's hoping that what the technician and I saw is something real, relevant and diagnosable.

    Posted Sep 12 2007, 09:58 PM by I Hate Linux
    Filed under:
  • Bone scan and blood tests scheduled

    When neurologist #3 suggested a bone scan I asked to delay it for a month or so so that I could re-aggravate my hands with a month or so of 'normal use' and am now ready to go in for the tests at 7:30 on Wednesday morning in Sioux Falls.

    Yea for getting up nice and early!

    I am quite happy that they can get me in so quick as I'm currently at the point where I really don't want to use my hands (think about a sprained ankle, you can still walk and even run on it... you just really don't want to) but will keep pushing them until at least Wednesday after the test so as to keep them in this state and increase the likelihood of them picking something up.

    Posted Sep 10 2007, 12:35 PM by I Hate Linux
    Filed under:
  • WiFi Doorbell

    Why isn't there such a thing?

    This evening my neighbor came by to borrow my power drill and despite sitting less than 10 feet away from my front door, I hardly heard her knock and once again reminded myself that I should look into some sort of wireless doorbell, but being a geek I asked myself "Why just go with straight wireless? Why not something more PC accessible?"

    I suddenly find myself wondering why (as far as I can Google) there's isn't an inexpensive off the shelf system that I could put at my front door and plug into a PC and notify me when the door bell button is pressed. Why waste time with a stand alone module alone when I could also have a toast pop up?

    Yet another time when I wish I had some electronics skills, otherwise this would be a useful and interesting thing to try to DIY.

  • Code2Fame Entry

    To quickly add to my previous post on the subject of DHCP4WHS... last week I came up with a new build of DHCP4WHS (0.8.4) which doesn't change much from the first build (0.8.2) and offers a few cosmetic and stability improvements (more cosmetic) for it's submission to the Code2Fame Challenge.

    Also for your viewing pleasure (if you've got 4:52 to kill) I've also uploaded the video I recorded for it which is available for download here or on SoapBox:

    Video: DHCP4WHS Demo

    I must say though that I am rather regretting my capture mechanism as it looks quite poor when compared to the other other entry video I've seen, that from Andrew Grant (no relation) and his excellent add-in Whiist which gives users users a quick and easy way to add custom web sites to their Windows Home Server.

  • Windows Home Server: Too rich for my blood

    When I first heard about Windows Home Server I fell in love and berated Charlie Kindel (General Manager of WHS) with countless questions on the original Channel 9 thread and after some begging of someone else on the team got let into the beta and eventually into the Insiders Program and I knew well before I ever got my grubby hands on the beta that this was a product I wanted in my house and set a limit as to how much I'd pay, it seems though that the asking price for an OEM copy is higher than I was willing to pay ($150 max shipped) so I guess I'll be going without (unless by some miracle I win something in the Code2Fame Challenge) for the time being.

    Being a poor and largely unemployed geek, the box I used for beta testing Windows Home Server was one ugly frankenpc and had planned to upgrade that up to the final release just as soon as I got a copy, despite this though, I still plan on doing more development for Windows Home Server and eventually release a 1.0 version of DHCP4WHS (as well as a couple of other ideas) and likely later improvements so just as soon as the demo comes out I may just relegate it to a virtual PC for testing.

    It's probably a good thing considering I have no money and I never really trusted the hardware I was going to throw it on so at this point I've got a couple of options... go strictly VM for a time, try to get a job on the WHS team and help build V2 (and get an employee discount), go without, or pirate it.

    Me thinks I'm going to go with #1 and #2 (just as soon as my hands are working).

    Funny thing about #2 though... back when this thing first was first announced I'd honestly given serious thought to taking a few days off from work, driving out to Redmond, finding the WHS offices and walk in my knees with my hat in one hand and a resume in the other. That idea was eventually scrapped when it became clear that my hands weren't getting any better.

  • Windows Home Server Tab Test Loader

    One big problem with any kind of add-in tab development for the Windows Home Server Console is that testing is a #&*%. Even if you don't build a full installer every time, you've still got close the console, copy the DLL over to the server and re-launch the client... even if just to see if a label is in the right position.

    And that all assumes that you've laid things out right internally.

    The Home Server Console is pretty explicit on how a tab should look and how it can be loaded and is unforgiving if you are wrong and will fail pretty silently.

    So as to avoid such problems I built this quick and dirty tool to check for those same things... as well as give me a quick and easy way to test some aspects of my add-in without having to deploy it.

    Unfortunately due to the way some of the Window Home Server Controls (from HomeServerControls.dll) and dependant components do logging and loading of resources, add-ins loaded in this tool will not look as they do in the real thing (color wise) and may require being run as Administrator.

    Windows Home Server Form discussion

  • Normal sized clothing stores

    For as long as I can remember I've always been shopping at stores like Casual Male XL as they were the only ones who had my ridiculously large sizes (4xlt & 5xlt) and now that I've come down significantly I'm slowly looking into other options as it is becoming more and more clear just how expensive the clothing is there... even when it's not a larger size and this problem is made doubly worse when one finds that it is getting harder and harder to find my size as my size decreases.

    While in Sioux Falls the other day I stopped into the local store to see if there was anything on the clearance rack that I couldn't pass up, and had the salesman mention that there was a deal on the jeans that normally they run $45 a piece but if you buy 2 you can get them for $40 each. I was shocked.

    I pointed down and said "I paid $20 for these jeans and even with a 10 inch larger waist it was they were just $24 a pop."

    He admitted that if it wasn't for his employee discount (30% normally, 50% 4 special times per year) he wouldn't be shopping there.

    Since my last trip to a normal sized clothing store (21.8 lbs ago) I've done a bit of looking around and am not liking what I'm seeing as very few places carry tall shirts, and those that do the selection is horribly limited and not always very long... I stand 6'4" and I need height, lots of it, none of this "we'll add an extra 1/2-1" to the bottom of the shirt and call it tall" stuff.

    After finding nothing at the Casual Male XL store I decided to stop by the local Kohl's (at the suggestion of the CM XL clerk) and take a look around. After about 5 min of casual looking I asked a clerk: "Would I be correct in thinking that it's pretty much a crap shoot as to you having tall sizes?"

    According to her they *maybe* get one or two per shipment.

    Perhaps it's time for a new store in Sioux Falls... "Just XLT"

    Lucky for me though it's not important just yet as I still am a hair too big for straight XLT's and am only keeping my eye out for cheap things to add to the closet for when I'm ready to make the step down.

  • 150

    This morning my daily weigh in put me at 265 even, a full 150.2lbs down since I started my weight loss campaign back in May 2006 when I started at 415.2.


    Before - Front

    This morning:

    150 down

    Bo ya! *Only* 69.8 lbs to go.

  • Dotfuscator Community Edition Enhanced

    Why didn't anyone tell me about the release of that beauty?

    At my old development job I used the free Dotfuscator Community Edition to protect a project that I lead the building of and because the company was rather cheap, I was stuck using the free version which meant a very complicated and round about build process that involved launching multiple different applications.

    It seems at at least some of that can be over now as PreEmptive Solutions has released Dotfuscator Community Edition Enhanced, an updated and free version of Dotufscator that includes Visual Studio integration, enabling the user to easily integrate it into their build process so that they can automatically obfuscate binaries and send that project output to an installer project.

    On the down side there's no obvious way to (delay/re)sign an assembly in that process as is required for some users.

  • John Edwards: "A Continuum of Care"

    What could be worse than Hillarycare where employers would be forced to provide health insurance for their employees?

    Why John Edwards' new plan that would require every citizen to be covered AND seek preventative care.

    This all begs the question.. what happens if someone refuses to go in for an annual checkup?

    Do you drop their coverage? No... everyone is required to be covered.

    Raise their rates or fine then? Sounds like a regressive system that would only hurt the poor to me.

    Haul them into the doctors office? I can see it now... SWAT teams compromised of MD's and nurses armed with stethoscopes, thermometers and gauze breaking down doors and swinging through windows yelling:

    Doctors FREEZE! Mr Johnson, you are late for your annual checkup and we have a warrant for your prostate exam... now drop your pants and get your hands where I can see them! <snap>


    Come to think about it... I rather like the sound of that.. just so long as we have some doctors who act like Jack Bauer I'll be happy with this plan that was described as:

    The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death

    On second thought no... being the fan of liberty I am I rather like the idea of self determination and having the choice to NOT seek medical attention for myself and NOT burden the tax payers with my treatment.

  • Where's the next Republican convention?

    With all of the coverage of the Larry Craig arrest, guilty plea and resignation this week a common joke has been "Where is the next republican convention going to be? The Minneapolis airport bathroom?"

    Has no one bothered to actually check?

    For those who don't know, the 2008 Republican National Convention is being held less than 10 miles away, across the river in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild.

    That's right... the Democratic People's Republic of Minnesota... the state where nothing is allowed, the state that has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation, a state that shuns the rights of private property owners will be playing host to the convention of a party that stands against most things the DPRM believes.

    This is the very city also plans to work hard to welcome protestors and protect their right to protest.

    I wonder if they'd do the same if the roles were reversed.

    Like Joe Soucheray, I wonder why they picked that place. Do they really think they'll be able to swing it back to being a swing state? After all, this is a state that hasn't gone to a Republican since 1972... even when they were the only state going to a Democrat in 1984.

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