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Monday, December 15, 2008 - 11:57

Well.... Almost....

So... It's been a bit of a hectic time of late. After the disappointment of not being able to go back to Uni, I've now been made a full time employee in the job I've been doing as a temp since May. So life is now hopefully going to be a lot less stressful knowing that I actually have a salary coming in, and I'm not in a situation where they could just say 'Oh... Don't bother coming in tomorrow... We don't need you any more...' That possibility has been giving me nightmares for months.

Over the last week I've resurrected an old laptop, bunged a few different distros of linux on it before settling on PCLinuxOS (the list was: Ubuntu 8.10, DSL 4.4.1 and Puppy 4.1.2) for no other reason than I couldn't be bothered trying out a new one. The main purpose of this was to use the laptop as a kind of...

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Monday, November 3, 2008 - 14:27

Halloween is once again done and gone. It was, as always, immense fun. We had a big party round at ours with loads of people getting dressed up (the prevailing theme of the year appears to be Zombie Pirates) and having a laugh. There was much bobbing for apples and eating of treacle tart, along with the customary imbibing of alchohol.

I actually had a whole week off from work too, which was definitely needed. I took my daughter to both the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum in London and I have to say that I enjoyed the Science museum a lot more. Aside from the myriad old computery gadgets lying around there seemed to be a lot more to actually get your hands on and do. The Listening Post is a particularly good exhibit and well worth a look if you're in the museum.

Back at work as of today and I've applied for my job on a permanent basis now, so fingers crosssed!

Friday, October 17, 2008 - 10:06

After about six weeks off the road due to an unfortunate incident with a patch of oil on the road I am on to my second motorbike.

It's a very nice 2001 Sym Husky. Still a 125cc but a whole lot faster and heavier and, hell, nicer than my old SR. As of yesterday it's all taxed and MOT's and insured. And away I go! :D

Been a bit ill this week. Got another bloody ear infection. I guess I only have myself to blame for not finishing the course of antibiotics last time. At least I had several days in bed to catch up on lost sleep over the last few weeks.

Reading an amazing book at the moment: The Book Of Lost Things by John Connolly it's really, really, really good. I'd describe it as a cross between Neil Gaiman's Wolves in the Walls and Pan's Labyrinth. Very weird and very fantastical.

Friday, October 3, 2008 - 11:28

I've been busily learning all manner of new exciting and geeky things of late.

What with all the stuff I've been learning I though it would be a good idea to start a wiki to document each of the problems I've been running into and allow easy, searchable access to them for when I inevitably run into the same problem again. The wiki can be found here.

I've finally got myself a UNIX shell account from the lovely people over at the SDF and I've managed to get access to it using my Blackberry. Hehe.... Fun.

Real life has gotten slightly better. My better half has got a new job which is great news, even though it is in London. This means that she's got a very long day indeed and I'm on school run every day! Not that I'm complaining, I actually really enjoy it.

Looking forward to the weekend!


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Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 18:09

It's all been a bit hairy in real life of late. What with redundancies and financial woes I'm no longer starting Uni this year and have deferred my entry until next year. *sigh*

At least my facebook app is coming along nicely. I've got the full application framework up and running with full directx support. Just starting to put together the meshes and then we'll get this thing rolling.

Also, my ONS application is nearing completion too.

Hopefully I'll have some more positive news soon.

Saturday, August 23, 2008 - 08:54

Okay, so I've been trying all sorts of different bits of software to get a working development environment using open-source tools.

I've finally settled on a mix of a few tools. If you're going to do this, then I suggest you install them in this order:

This results in a nice stable C++ development environment which is extensible with other plugins. Code::Blocks does require a little bit of tinkering with to get all the include libraries to link in, but once it's done you can develop cross platform applications.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 15:36

My continuing struggle to get as close to the pro version of Visual using only the Express Editions and legitimate downloads... Well... It continues....

I've just managed to get SQL Server Express working pretty well with support for SQL Server Compact and Reporting Services.

You need to get hold of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with advanced services from here. Install that with all options selected to be installed. Once you've got that in, then you can download and install Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Toolkit. Again just install the whole thing. Once that's done you can download...

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Monday, July 14, 2008 - 11:28

After a week or so of shouting, screaming and hair pulling I've finally managed to get my prototype app to connect to the new NeSS Data Exchange beta program using C# 2008 Express Edition.

It's been a huge pain in the arse because it uses SOAP and security token extensions that aren't supported natively in the Express editions. To make it work properly I had to download and install Microsoft's Web Services Enhancements 3.0. Once installed I had to use the configuration tool to create a wse3policyCache.config file to use a Username token with my application.

Once configured the following code worked a treat:

//Set up Credentials
const String UserName = "username";
const String PassWord = "password";

//Create new token
UsernameToken tkn = new UsernameToken(UserName, PassWord, PasswordOption.SendPlainText);


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Wednesday, July 9, 2008 - 20:40

No techie blag on this one despite the amount of web service blah I've been doing recently.

I've just had one of the scariest moments of my life. My daughter was up stairs watching High School Musical 2 and all of a sudden I heard a huge crash and then she screamed. I've heard her cry before, but this was real screaming. I bolted upstairs and found her hanging upside down by her leg on the ladders at the end of her cabin bed. There really is no way to describe the feeling that hit me in the stomach. I ran over and picked her up and carried her downstairs really not knowing what to do despite all my training in first aid and dealing with injuries. I immediately began checking her legs for signs of breaks and was on the brink of calling for an ambulance. It seemed like there was no way she couldn't have broken her leg given the weird angle her leg was in when I found her and the fact she was hanging upside down by it.

After much...

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 14:11

I have been over-indulging a lot of late. Not only did Firefox 3 come out, but also OpenSuSE 11! In general it's very cool, although I did have a couple of problems with the compiz-fusion desktop, so I just got rid of it for now. I'll give it a try again later when it's had a bit more time. Likewise KDE 4.

I've been spending a lot of time with .NET recently too. I'm developing a prototype application to store an evidence base for the whole county. It's pretty cool so far, although I did run in to some weird problems with maintaining the state of checkboxes within a gridview control. No matter what I tried, it just wouldn't remember the states. After much investigation I discovered that it was maintaining the state, but something else was unchecking the boxes in a later event. So instead of setting the value of the checkboxes in the onpageindexchanging event I put it in the ondatabound event and hey presto! it worked fine.

It's looking increasingly more likely...

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