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Houston, Texas, United States
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Current Posts
Monday, October 31, 2005
Little bit of Cent progress
Posted: 10:14:00 PM 0 comments
Been hacking away at the control dialogs for Cent and nearly have them done. It's a pretty slick system, you can configure each control to have up to three different controls, and you can bind them to an axis to save time in creating controls. All I have left to do is finish off the control velocities and allow a one-way axis (like a foot pedal) to be entered.

The thing is, these procedures are becoming huge because of this. Two classes related to this are nearly 8,000 lines of code, most of it dedicated to the custom controls. It's worth it though, this section of the code is going to be pretty sweet.

I figure at this pace, I'll be out of the controls section by the end of the month and into working on something really cool - the game itself.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005
Astros Swept in 4
Posted: 12:20:00 AM 0 comments
Now playing: The Cranberries - Ridiculous Thoughts (4:31)

What a terrible series for the Astros, particularly for Morgan Ensberg, who arguably had more opportunities to change the tone of the series than any of the other offensive players on his time, and failed to come up big nearly every time.

But still, kudos needs to be given to the White Sox. They had the clutch hitting that we didn't and, with the exception of Game 2, a remarkable bullpen that made Brad Lidge look like a AA player.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Elbow Update
Posted: 12:06:00 AM 0 comments
The NLCS and the World Series has had most of my free time's attention lately. It's helped my arm heal, but something odd's happened. Instead of my elbow being the cause of great pain, the pain has moved further down my arm and now causes bad movements of the wrist or lifting fairly light loads to result in throbbing pain. Not sure why my forearm's getting the brunt of it now. My elbow's not even 100% yet, I still can't get it to straighten out, maybe 80% of the way or so. I may have to have someone take another look at this soon if it doesn't start to clear up.

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Monday, October 24, 2005
ASP.Net Templates and the Designer
Posted: 11:59:00 PM 0 comments
After a lot of frustration, I finally managed to get the ASP.Net templates I've been working on to allow you to edit the contents of the page in the designer. It was rather annoying having to edit in complete HTML, then go to the designer to drag and drop the necessary components onto the page, only to have to go back to the HTML to format everything.

It's not that I don't mind writing in a non-WYSIWYG editor. OSMusic.Net was done like that, no designer - or development environment for that matter - involved. I wanted to get out of that habit when using ASP.Net, but until I was able to get a designer template actually working the way I wanted to, I had no way of doing that.

How's this done? Well, if you're using Joe Agster's sample, in the PageBody class (Or the PageBodyBase class if you are designing multiple templates), instead of <ParseChildren(False)>, put <ParseChildren(False), System.ComponentModel.Designer(GetType(System.ComponentModel.Design.ComponentDesigner))> there. That will allow you to be able to design your forms through the designer instead of having to rely solely on the HTML editor.

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Of UPS's and Procrastination
Posted: 11:49:00 PM 0 comments
A letter I wrote to Kim today, pretty much sums up my day.

At about 11 AM this morning, Reborn (, the new DNS cache for the ModPlug box as of... what was it, Saturday?... and my entire network, failed. It was clearly due to a power blink that the UPS that it was on couldn't handle. I've been meaning to replace it and... well, this moved my hand so to speak.

I got home at 12 to reboot the servers. I noticed Reborn acting a bit weird, the power supply started and stopped. I didn't have time to look into though as I was on my lunch, and just figured everything was fine.

About 2:30, I got bored at work and started working on OSMusic. I couldn't, though, because it kept erroring out. Apparently, I was using an old server name for the SQL Server. No biggie, just replaced the names with good ol'

Turns out it was able to resolve that old name on Reborn - while it was up. I came home to it powered off. Pressed the power button, nothing. Replaced the power supply a couple times, nothing.

So, I reluctantly (yeah right) drove down to Micro Center and picked up a mobo and Athlon processor along with a gig of memory and a new power supply. Got home, replaced all the parts, and after messing up the floppy drive connector (I always do that), I got it working again.

Another thing I picked up while at Micro Center was a bigger, badder UPS. This thing now handles all 3 servers, both the hub and the router, the external hard drive for OSMusic.Net, and my monitor, all without overloading (we'll see about that when my 22" comes in Thursday), while my personal UPS handles just my computer and my MAME external. The one that used to be on the servers? It's now doing something it's own speed - it's on a lone switch by itself next to the wall jack to the outside world. I think it can handle that, at least.

What does this mean? More power continuity. Power blinks should not do anything to this network anymore, which has been a real problem here where I live. Now that I have paid the price for not doing this before, more stability should finally be in the future for the network.

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Saturday, October 15, 2005
ASP.Net Sinks In
Posted: 3:10:00 AM 0 comments
Now playing: roncli, The Nightstalker - Turtle's Ghost (1:29)

On request of a friend, I finally took the plunge full on into ASP.Net.

It's been years since I did my first ASP.Net application, Outpost Music, and pretty much vowed never to go back to it for a long time. Since then, I've learned much about .Net and how things work. I also know how things don't work. For instance, templating pages is nearly impossible, and doing multiple forms on one page is nearly impossible.

Today, I managed to conquer both of those problems with a little help from some articles across the web. The templating is particularly nasty - it's pointless to use the editor once you go that route. But who needs the editor when you can whip out exactly what you want in HTML anyway?

Aside from that, I've thrown in some of my favorite classes, including my SQLCall class and my high-resolution timer class, and suddenly I have the makings of a really professional web page that I can start developing in as little time as possible. With Outpost, I wasn't even close to this level of templatedness, and what I did get standardized was a pain to bring in from page to page.

So it's not turning out as bad as I had feared. I really love the .Net framework as far as ease of development goes, but hate ASP.Net because it seems like such a big step backwards to me. Hopefully with getting these tools in I can start to change the way I feel about ASP.Net and get some real web development done.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005
Dropping the Ball... or the Box
Posted: 1:21:00 PM 0 comments
So I was all set to receive my new 22" monitor yesterday that I won on an eBay auction. I went to track it online, and noticed its status: "Exception".

Uh oh.

Turns out UPS dropped the box. It's now, in its damaged state, on its way back to Phoenix. I'll be getting my money back, thankfully, but man oh man... I was going to get a $600 monitor for just over $130. The deal was too good to be true. Actually, the deal was true, just UPS messed it up.

Back to searching again...

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Back to Two Hands - For Now
Posted: 12:34:00 AM 0 comments
My elbow is better today than yesterday. I can put it comfortably into a typing position with little soreness. I can't maintain it for terribly long, however, only lasting a couple hours before I have to call it quits. The medication seems to be helping with the swelling, not that I've noticed any. Hopefully just a few more days, maybe a bit into next week, and I'll be close to normal again. Until then, the pain has been tolerable.

But man, doing things left handed has turned me into a clumsy fool. I can't do ANYTHING left handed without doing it wrong. It was funny when I couldn't eat my soup at Chic-Fil-A without spilling half of it on my shirt. It got old when I couldn't make my iced tea, or cook my rice without getting something everywhere.

Most of the pain right now seems to be just soreness. I try to stretch it a little bit every so often so that my arm actually has some movement and so my shoulder doesn't cramp up, but it's been a challenge all day. Sleeping was okay, but I slept very lightly. Hopefully tonight will be a little better.

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Google's Boggle
Posted: 12:30:00 AM 0 comments
I'm rather annoyed.

I've been using the latest Google Desktop Search with the sidebar for a while, now. I really like the simplistic interface where I can have quick access to email, news, weather, and of course Google itself. But I don't like the way that Google makes 2 to 3 lines or more for each item. I also can think of little tweaks that I'd want to do to the existing news and web clips (RSS feeds) panels.

I also run Trillian, which has a "sidebar" of it's own that people have written some neat plugins for. The problem is, the interface for Trillian is too flashy. But it does things I like, especially with the RSS feeds plugin I have.

But, even on a 2048 pixel-wide screen, I find myself horizontally challenged, and can't justify giving the space to two sidebars. My solution, therefore, has been to attempt to pick up Google's plugin interface and try to code something in VB.Net. There are no VB.Net examples, but I've had success in the past porting C# to VB.Net. I gave it a try.

I have it mostly working. The COM registers. The panel displays. I can even click on a line item to see its details. The problem? The line item is absolutely blank. The only way I know it is there is if I move my mouse over it to see it highlight.

I tried posting to their developer groups to no avail, it seems the VB.Net code scared everyone away. I've been trying every now and again to get it working, and have learned loads about how Google processes information back and forth. I am going to be able to write some great stuff for this sidebar...

As soon as I can figure out how to get a damn content item to display.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Posted: 8:40:00 AM 0 comments
So I took the bike out for a spin to work yesterday. Nearly fell off it at a narrow part, but managed to stay up by thrashing my right arm against a street post, the big round metal thing found here in the Galleria area.

Turns out that wasn't my best option. I don't know what I did, but I hurt something pretty badly in my elbow in the process. X-rays say it's not broken, but man it hurts.

I timed myself typing, and am down to 38 WPM from my normal 108. Oh well, maybe my error rate will drop, too.

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Monday, October 10, 2005
Migration to GMail
Posted: 12:28:00 PM 0 comments
I finally bit the bullet last night and got my email forwarded from to GMail. The ability to be able to send mail through my mail account there sealed the deal. GMail organizes email better than anything I've ever seen, and it's free. I doubt I'll hit the 2.5 GB barrier anytime soon.

I probably wouldn't have never had used it if my network hadn't had the problems it has had over the past several months. I moved to it to work with Kim on a project, and realized it was so good, I could probably do all my email through it. I guess the phrase "don't knock it till you try it" applies here.

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Sunday, October 09, 2005
How 'Bout Them Astros?
Posted: 6:38:00 PM 0 comments
Can you believe it? Down 6-1 in the 8th, two swings of the bat tie it up 6-6 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and then the game goes... well, another game. Roger Clemens relieving in the 16th? Burke with the game winning homer in the 18th? Just about the best game I've ever watched. I only wanted to see how it was going to end. Wound up spending half the afternoon doing so.

Now let's get them red birds!

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Slowly Learning Linux
Posted: 4:21:00 AM 0 comments
After finally getting fed up with my ISP's DNS server, I decided that I was going to just do it myself. Unfortunately, that meant having to learn a bit of Linux. But after some work, going through error messages, and relentlessly searching Google, I have commanded just enough knowledge to get daemontools svscan working, a copy of djbdns installed with dnscache, and dhcp configured to use it. All without breaking the ftp backup. In fact, it works better. Now ftpd doesn't have to choke when the DNS server chokes.

Slowly but surely, I'm finding enough uses for FreeBSD to make running it worth it. I don't plan on moving my web sites over there anytime soon, but all the back end stuff is really starting to fall in place.

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