software


I’ve been stuck in .NET 1.1 hell for several months now. After working with VS2005 for a while this version is a major step backwards. Part of my problem is that the IDE is buggy and I don’t really trust it 100%. It does flaky things, randomly crashes, and closes toolbars and windows when it feels like it. Unfortunately that means I sometimes jump the gun and blame VS when the code really is the problem. Can you tell what’s next?

Yep, I spent much of this week tracking down an issue with the debugger. Code that worked just fine last week is now dead with no changes made. Stepping though it line by line, it would hang on the same line every time:

PICImagXpress imagXpress = new PICImagXpress();

That’s an imaging component from Pegasus. Once the highlight left that line, the debugger would cease functioning and eventually the caller would receive a timeout error. Interestingly the debugger remained attached to the web process and would resume functioning on the next client call.

After days of trying to track down corrupt assemblies, bad references, and anything else I could think of, I finally created a standalone WinForms app to test the imaging component in isolation. As soon as this line was processed, up pops a dialog box: “Invalid license, please contact Pegasus support at…”

Yep – they included a modal dialog error box in a standalone class library. This box, incapable of being displayed in a Visual Studio class library project, was hanging the app and leaving no way to track it down.

So if you experience a similar hangup problem with VS in the future and have no idea how to fix it, put your components in a separate UI project and test them to make sure they aren’t trying to get your attention.

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Download it on April 29.

Believe it or not, there’s a common yet useless dialog in Windows XP:

I’ve never seen it work, and I don’t know anyone who has. If you want to get rid of this annoyance, a quick and easy registry hack exists to make your life easier. Using regedit or your favorite registry editor, navigate to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Create a new DWORD value, name it NoInternetOpenWith, and make its value 1. Done, no reboot necessary!

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Sure, you’re thinking, they’ve been saying that for years.  This time it’s real, even though it may not be much – ICANN announced that on February 4 they will be adding IPv6 records for the addresses of four root servers.  With that change it becomes possible for the first time for two IPv6 hosts to communicate without using any of the IPv4 infrastructure.  Not exactly a revolution but sometimes big changes happen slowly and incrementally.  In a decade every electronic component you own – cell phone, iPod, even your car – will have its own unique IP address, courtesy of this new system. What could possibly go wrong?

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A thousand of ’em.  Great quality.  Free to use.  All you have to do is credit the source.

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Just saw this on Worse Than Failure:

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When I found GSpace last week, I was hunting for ways to synchronize a set of folders across multiple machines. I eventually found and began using NetDrive, a freeware application that allows you to map an FTP site as a drive letter in Windows Explorer. The thing is, all I really wanted to do was synchronize my Firefox bookmarks between my work and home machines. The last time I looked for Firefox bookmark extensions the selection was lacking; not so this time. Foxmarks is a free website and plugin that syncs Firefox bookmarks between multiple machines. Tomorrow I’ll be installing the plugin on my work machine and, barring unforeseen troubles, the days of emailing links to myself will be over.

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