Tuesday, August 23, 2005



I was having a browse through the Feedster Top 500 blog list and found PostSecret.

The site is described as:

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail-in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.

It truly is fascinating.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Feedster (Test)

Just trying to figure out how Feedster works.

No Need to Click Here - I'm just claiming my feed at Feedster

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Splogs - how I hate thee

I decided to click "Next Blog" a couple of times to flag the obvious splogs (spam blogs).

I was astounded that about three quarters are obviously spam!

I just hope that this new feature at blooger.com doesn't just lead to an arms race with the spammers :(

[Updated] Obviously a sample size of twenty or so is too small. The next twenty or thirty were an even split.


VS 2005 disabled Dr. Watson for Windows?

I thought that I had disabled Dr Watson manually, but it appears that the VS 2005 debugger actually gets in instead of the old Dr Watson (based on this).

I don't remember whether I elected to send data to Microsoft during the install?

I re-enabled Dr Watson using the information at
How to disable Dr. Watson for Windows, so hopefully I haven't buggered things up :)

Monday, August 08, 2005


The mouse and the three year old

A couple of months ago, I set up an old original iMac in the lounge room for the my three year old son to use. It has been absolutedly facsinating watching my son interact.

Previously when he used my Powerbook I had noticed that that first thing he learnt were the keys that always had the same effect. He knew that if he pushed a DVD into the slot, then soon enough he would get to watch a movie. He would like to listen to his Play School music or whatever in iTunes, and soon learnt that F4 and F5 controlled the volume and that F11 exposed the background picture of himself and his younger brother. He would use the right arrow key to skip any songs he didn't like, but this only worked if iTunes was in the foreground. The most bizarre thing is that I learnt this keyboard shortcut from him, so I have no idea how he learnt it :)

Now that he has the iMac to play with, he has become an expert with the mouse. He knows how to click (although not to double click) and he even knows how to click and drag (although he does this with two hands!).

Recently I noticed that he leap up to the table when he noticed my Powerbook was not being used, used the trackpad to select iTunes from the dock and then clicked play to start the song playing.

I think that I was almost eighteen before I first touched a mouse and it only had one button and even had a wire!

Saturday, August 06, 2005


VS2005 Beta 2 Crashes

In my two weeks using VS 2005 Beta 2 (Microsoft Visual Studio .Net 2005 Beta 2) I have had the IDE crash twice.

The first time I restarted VS2005 I was pleasantly surprised that a dialog sprung up apologising for the inconvenience and offering to restore the unsaved changes to the files that I had open during the crash. Very flash, I was impressed!

After the second crash, there was no offer to restore files. I am assuming that I had only recently manually saved, so it hadn’t done an auto-save yet perhaps?

Unfortunately Microsoft hasn’t learn anything from my crash experiences because I forgot that I had disabled the Error Reporting Service. I had disabled all services that I deemed non-crucial because I was trying to bring my memory requirements down to the absolute minimum. I had better remember to re-enable it next Monday just in case:)

Friday, August 05, 2005


Porting VB6 to VB.NET

I recently started to breathe life back into some old VB6 (Microsoft Visual Basic 6) code that hasn't been touched for a couple of years. The binaries have been used continous since then, but no-one had touched the code since the original developer left the organisation. Because it is a administration tool that is only used internally we have been putting up with the list of well known annoyances.

Against the advice of our other wise minds, I decided to attempt to port the application from VB6 to VB.NET (Visual Basic .Net) so that I could take advantage of a couple of the updated features. There are a few places where multi threading will be invaluable - currently the application performs some long tasks that make the user wait for it.

The application is far from trivial - the project involves 43 classes, 26 forms and 4 module files that total up about 1100kB. It also takes advantage of some of the companies old VB5 libraries which had been ported from VB4 themselves. The project depended on four of our COM servers and about six Microsoft COM servers.

Oh yes, and I have never coded with .Net before.

Apparently yes, I am crazy :)

Anyway I started the porting using Visual Studio .Net 2003 the start of last week. I would sift through the errors messages after the vb6 import wizard had done its magic and then go back to clean up the VB6 code where appropriate. Unfortunately more than half of the forms simply failed to convert with no clear indication of what was wrong (it did seem to correlate with forms that used comdlg32 or tabctl32, but that may have been a red herring?)

I decided to try the vb6 import wizard in Visual Studio .Net 2005 Beta. Thankfully this appears to be much improved as every file got converted! There was still something like 250 conversion errors and warnings, but this also appeared to be better than VS2003 managed.

In the last week, I have managed to refactor most of the backend classes. I am not sure whether the front end forms is going to be the easier or harder part. I will comment on this in a later post.

Anyway, the take home story is that VS2005 appears to have greatly improved the VB6 import wizard.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Apple Multibutton Mouse?

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