Writing for my Mom

Now that my Mom has started reading my blog, I need to start adding more content.  Unfortunately, most of my life revolves around Technology, so I tend to write about that.  I’ve always used my blog to keep random bits of information so that I can remember what the heck was happening at a given time.  It is cool to be able to go back and read old blog entries, because I can usually remember what was happening around me.  I will try to add more ‘non-tech’ content to make for broader reading appeal. 

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I did my part for MacHeist!

For anyone looking for some cool, cheap Mac software, check out MacHeist.  It only last for a bit longer.  There has been a some controversy about the concept, but it reminds me of Programmer’s Paradise’s system.  Jason, from Unsanity (makers of ShapeShifter in the bundle) sumed the whole ‘debate’ rather nicely with this article.  Well put Jason!  His thoughts put me over the edge to buy the darned thing.  Now, just looking forward to getting my Mac Pro!

Congratulations Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) on having Windows Vista Driver ready!

<Warning, the following is NOT an advertisement, just some words of encouragement to an industry I deal with />

Congratulations to MOTU on being one of the first (if not *THE* first) audio hardware vendor to have Vista drivers.  There must be a LOT going on behind the scenes at MOTU, as they traditionally have lagged the field with Windows Drivers.  MOTU has really stepped up to the plate on having drivers.  Another prominent audio device company (whose FireWire audio device *I* own), who used be the first for drivers, doesn’t even admit Vista is RTM’ ed.  The customer service mis-representative said ‘We don’t support betas and release candidates’.  Funny, before they were bought out by a very prominante audio company, they did just that with Windows x64.

My how times are changing.

Good luck MOTU!

Wait a second, I thought Expression Web is not a developer’s tool!?!

In my previous post, I had shown links from the Expression team about why Expression Web was not going to be included with MSDN.  Ok, after seeing Sharepoint Designer, I can understand why.  But, this post by Omar, the Group Program Manager, WebDevTools Team at Microsoft, makes me scratch my head…  The first comment expresses my thought’s eloquently…  Sounds like the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

I just realized why I hate cubicles…

<rant>

Cubicles are the most evil thing on the face of the earth.  Not only are they completely noisy, no privacy, focus losers, but there is an extra subliminal part of their evilness….

There is no way to have an ‘even’ conversation with someone.  What do I mean by an ‘even’ conversation?  If you sit down and talk to someone in an office, you are at eye level with that person.  You can read the face.  Both parties are reasonably comfortable.  With a cubicle, that doesn’t exist.  Anyone walking up to talk to a cube dweller is forced to look down on that person.  If the two people need to converse for any length of time, usually the interloper will sit on the desk.  Not comfortable.  And still that person looks down on the cube’s occupant.

Ok, I’m griping, but I’m incredibly tired of cubes, and am not looking forward to sitting 3 people to a cube.  I had an office for 2 years, and my productive and creativity was at an all time high.  Now that I’m back in a cube, I’m miserable.  I have no desire to work, as it is near impossible *to* work.  Ever sat a good programmer in the middle of a helpdesk?  Can we say, crash and burn?  It is just a waste of the company’s money… ‘Here is lot’s of money, but we don’t expect you to actually work, as we are too cheap to think about what is required *to* work’.

Grrr…

</rant>

And Microsoft screws up naming ANOTHER product

Microsoft launched their new Expression Web Designer last week.  This had been in beta, as is a great tool for editing web sites.  Except, there’s one problem.  It’s not part of the MSDN subscriptions!  Where did I hear this?  From the Business Manager for Visual Studio Express and Expression Tools, Chris Treadway.  First off, why would one manager handle one tool for developers and another for designers?  Uh, shouldn’t THAT little fact make it obvious that it’s a piece of Developer’s software?

Ok, I’ll end the rant about the Expression tools not being included in MSDN.  I think it is the wrong move, and I’ll bet that the decision will be changed soon.

Now, for the real reason of this post… Part of what Chris has said is that instead of Expression, developers should use the Sharepoint Designer 2007 software.  "Uh, what if I don’t want to work with Sharepoint?", you ask.  Well…. it turns out that Sharepoint Designer is the replacement for FrontPage.  You don’t HAVE to use it with Sharepoint.  It works very well in working with Sharepoint, but it is equally happy working on regular web sites that have NOTHING to do with Sharepoint.

Maybe if that had been explained, most developers wouldn’t have even cared about Expression….

Crystal Reports and the Class Not Registered – DTSConnection error

Recently I started migrating our reporting solution from Crystal Reports 10 to Crystal Reports XI Release 2.  We had switched from .NET 1.1 to .NET 2.0, and had been running CR 10 fairly well.  Unfortunately, one of our other vendors doesn’t support using anything except CR XI.  To install CR XI with Visual Studio 2005, Crystal Reports recommends using Release 2.  For the most part, converting from CR 10 to CR XI Release 2 has gone smoothly.  Except for one small, insignificant little problem…  when running on the production web server, I would get a Class Not Registered – DTSConnection error.

Here’s the setup.  Windows 2003 Server, IIS 6.0, ASP.NET 2.0, Crystal 10 Server components install and Crystal XI R2 server install.  I have the web applications setup under the main site.  Some of the apps use the CR 10 components and the new apps use the CR XI R2 components.

Fortunately, after talking with Crystal’s Tech Support, we figured out the answer.  I was using the same Application Pool in IIS for both Crystal 10 web sites and Crystal XI R2 web sites.  Once I created a second application pool for the applications that used Crystal XI R2, and assigned that pool to those applications, everything worked perfectly.

Wow, I’ve been blogging for 2 years now!

Today is my 2 year blogging anniversary!  I actually like reading my old blogs, even though I wince every time I see a spelling error.  There is a lot going on in my life (as usual), most of it I can’t talk about… I have been putting together some ideas about development teams and good processes, but those will have to wait.  Tonight is more script testing for xhead software, a company run by a friend of mine, Shoaib.  I’m kind of a side employee at the moment, doing testing and hopefully moving up to developing, once my Mac Pro shows up!