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Monday, June 26, 2006
roncli Productions is live
Posted: 9:51:00 PM 0 comments
It's finally done! roncli Productions is complete and live. Backup and Due Process, two pieces of software I've been talking about for many months, are now available for download. I'm quite excited about it, and look forward to see how people use the software and what kind of suggestions they will come up with.

I've yet to submit the software to various download sites, but hopefully I'll be able to wrap that up tonight, so I can concentrate on other things, like providing a blow-by-blow account of Melbourne and Surfers, quote, "Paradise", unquote.

Enjoy the site.

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Monday, June 19, 2006
Melbourne, Australia: Day 1
Posted: 1:57:00 AM 0 comments
What a day. Or two.

It all started back on Saturday morning when Kathy and I had begun our fixing up the old laptop, Sparky Jr., preparing it for service in Australia with us. Perhaps the fact that it rebooted several times while trying to install Windows was a sign of things to come.

We started running late, and in the process forgot our jackets and the US to Australian power convertor for our powered things. Oh well, too late. We walked into the terminal at 6:10pm, 55 minutes shy of our flight time, and paniced when the kiosks didn't recognize that I had reservations to Melbourne, Australia.

No worries, the attendant was wonderful in figuring us out. So helpful was she that she discovered an earlier flight that had been delayed that we could get on to! We thought we had a great deal.

Instead, we just been had.

The flight continued to be delayed, and did not take off until about 4 hours after it was scheduled to, leaving us in Los Angeles at 11pm, rushing around an airport neither of us have ever been to before to get to a 11:40pm flight. We were in terminal 6, and found out we had to go to terminal 4. When we got to terminal 4, we were told it was for Sydney only, so we had to go to terminal 3.

Terminal 3 was, in short, hell on earth. It was quite simply a sea of people, and I have never been pushed around by people I've never met before. They were just rude, brash, and unapologetic. The lines were all nightmares, and Qantas was over in the far corner of the terminal, causing us to go through this sea of people.

The lines there were not long, but they were slow in serving us. When we got to the desk, we were assured we'd make our flight, and sure enough, after "expedited security" (really, just a shorter line, you still have to do the routine, and getting through it took about 15 minutes), we got to the gate at midnight, just in time to hear our row being called.

Surprisingly, the 15 hour flight was not only event free, but the most pleasant part of the journey so far. Two nice meals, great service, and lots of sleep for me.

Kathy and I finally make it to Melbourne, make it through customs in uneventful fashion, and get to the baggage claim, where we waited.

...and waited...

...and waited...

Finally the baggage collection area shut off, and we were told nothing else was coming. Hmph. We filed a claim, and was told one of the bags never left Houston!!!

So here we were, in the middle of a city we're unfamiliar with, with only a laptop, IDs and passports, and some check cards. No clothing, no extra necesseties, nothing. We left the airport via shuttle for the hotel, where we were told our early checkin was for 11:30. It was 10:30. So we went downstairs, bought some jackets, and had lunch.

I've never had chicken parmesian (don't ask me how to spell that) in a sandwich before, it was actually quite nice. Kathy had some lasagna she was impartial to, but otherwise a good meal to keep us going.

We wanted to go into downtown to hit the Qantas travel center, so we decided to take the tram. Bad idea. First of all, I had no idea that it cost so much to get onto the tram, it was $2.30. Secondly, I had $4.30. Oops. We got off at the next stop, faces red in embarassment.

Then we made it down, via foot, the 3 blocks to the Qantas travel center, and found out that we could get $100 of free Australian cash per bag lost. Cool, $200 quick cash to pick us up new clothes! We hit a target another 3 blocks away, and then walked all the way back to the hotel where Kathy crashed.

I was about to, but then I got on here to document our first day. Now I'm going out to meet with Thorn of TTR fame for some grub. Our bags should arrive tomorrow, though we'll be hitting Surfers Paradise to meet up with some friends of ours and spend the day there. I'll likely report again after that. Until then, g'day mate!

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006
More work!
Posted: 11:40:00 PM 0 comments
Does the catching up ever end? More questions than answers today, it seems.

Despite doing extra work, I slacked again on the weekend and have forced myself into catchup mode. Right now, I'm an estimated 14 hours of work behind, with STILL most of it being in the Pwned Print category. There's no way in hell I'm getting that done by Australia like I had hoped. The good news is that the 14 hours are spread across 3 tasks, one of them being a 2 hour progress review, so I'm really hoping my time estimations are on the high side.

What I am going to get done for sure is the roncli Productions website, with the official launch planned for Monday, June 26th. Backup and Due Process will be the site's first two offerings, with a new project, Sitemap Generator on the way.

Yes, I decided to write my own, simply because I can't be bothered with adapting other people's ASP code into something that doesn't time out and kill my web server on my larger sites. In fact, that's going to be a primary feature of Sitemap Generator: you can run it on your own webserver and specify a delay between page reads so that it won't completely destroy your server. There are also plans to be able to include or exclude specific pages or directories, and I'm hoping I can manage to write a nice scheduler for it, complete with a little taskbar icon in the corner to be able to control the application. It should be a fairly complete application, and I plan for the free trial version to be able to index up to 100 pages, which is perfect for bloggers and smaller personal sites. I'm wondering how I'm going to be able to deal with ASP.Net pages, though, something I may challenge myself to accomplish should it come down to that. It should be a fun app to create.

I've left both Saturday the 17th open (I leave around 7 PM) and Sunday the 25th open (We return Saturday). Hopefully I'll be able to dedicate some of that free time to projects.

But for now, sleep.

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Aha!
Posted: 9:11:00 PM 0 comments
After another 5 minutes of struggling, I decided to look at Len(strFile). It was equal to 2! Turns out there was a VbCr hanging around on the end I wasn't expecting.

Oh well, fixed now. And I'm not completely losing my mind. Yet.

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Why does VB.Net hate me today?
Posted: 7:36:00 PM 0 comments


Rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006
As Promised
Posted: 9:32:00 PM 0 comments
I've finally MP3'ed all 59 of my releases. You can find them at http://tns.roncli.com. Enjoy!

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Monday, June 12, 2006
Mistakes
Posted: 10:57:00 PM 0 comments
Courtesy of World of Quotes:

"Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied." -Pearl S. Buck
"An error is the more dangerous in proportion to the degree of truth which it contains." -Henri-Fr├ęderic Amiel
"Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more." -Mark Twain
"Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom." -Phyllis Therous

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Thursday, June 08, 2006
Catching up is hard work
Posted: 12:05:00 AM 0 comments
Now playing: roncli, The Nightstalker - Awakening (5:01)

I made the fatal mistake of not doing any projects this weekend - that's 12 blocks of 2 hours each that I had not completed. My reward for this was spending this entire week playing catch up.

As of this writing, I am still behind an estimated 16 hours, most of it residing in the PwnedCars category, although I did catch up a good 6 hours on one task today, designing a form I thought was going to be hell to design in a relatively short amount of time. I also ran into a stumbling block when working on the roncli Productions forums, not being able to use the DataGrid at a rate of speed I'm accustomed to with classic ASP. But fortunately most of that is out of the way, the only things I am behind on is making a search page for the support section (I'm having an issue with Google AdSense for Search on that one) and forum subscriptions, which I'm not terribly looking forward to.

The good news is that I went ahead and scheduled the rest of the week, leaving nothing but simple-to-accomplish tasks to do through Saturday. Hopefully this will string enough time together to get some of the major tasks I have out of the way. roncli Productions is almost done, although I am having trouble with the Backup software not deleting things again, so I may have to work on that before I officially open roncli Productions for business. Oh, and there's that PayPal thing I keep avoiding...

OSMusic.Net has actually had some excellent progress on the minor changes I've been wanting to make, and hopefully completing the next big thing won't be too far behind. Finally, I am hoping to give Outpost Music the forums that have been largely absent for a couple of months now sometime early next week.

Things are beginning to look up as various projects come to completion, and even though I am behind further than I'd like to be, progress is always a good thing, no matter how slow it may feel.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The Nightstalker
Posted: 11:34:00 PM 0 comments
Now playing: roncli, The Nightstalker - Awakening (5:01)

That's me!

I've finally put together the new home of The Nightstalker together with enough music to be viable. In the coming days, I expect to add some more (as they are part of my projects list), although what's up there now is my very best. Check it out.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Oops
Posted: 7:03:00 PM 0 comments
Now playing: slammy - Reflections Part V 2006 remix (6:30)

I just now noticed that I haven't been showing the song I'm playing... somehow my plugin got uninstalled. Oh well, it's back. Enjoy what I'm listening to again!

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JavaScript Red X remover
Posted: 6:57:00 PM 0 comments
After a bit of frustration at the front page of OSMusic.Net having red X images, I decided to write something that will check for bad and broken images and remove them altogether from the display. It's a drity hack, but it works rather well.

function checkImages() {
 var all = document.all ? document.all : document.getElementsByTagName('*');
 for (var i = 0; i < all.length; i++)
 {
  if (all[i].tagName == "IMG")
  {
   if (all[i].complete == false)
   {
    all[i].style.visibility = "hidden";
    all[i].style.display = "none";
   }
  }
 }
}

<body onload="checkImages();">

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Sunday, June 04, 2006
Port Forwarding: Finally
Posted: 10:22:00 AM 0 comments
After weeks of struggling with ipfw and natd port forwarding, I finally got it working. Turns out natd doesn't forward the packets right, so they have to be forwarded manually in the ipfw rules. Why? I don't know. Nor do I care, it works now, and that's all that matters.

Yes, I was up all night looking at this, of course.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006
Another PDF Viewer
Posted: 10:42:00 PM 0 comments
This free PDF viewer is very compact and fluff-free. It's Foxit Reader, a really smooth PDF viewer that is a bit better than the previous one I mentioned. Give it a whirl.

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Overcomplication
Posted: 10:31:00 PM 0 comments
I finally uninstalled Adobe Acrobat Reader today after struggling with its absolutely terrible updater. Not only does it make you reboot your machine two to three times in order to update, I have never gotten its updater to work correctly since going to 7.0.

I'm trying a few free utilities, one being the CAD-KAS PDF Reader 2.4, a free PDF viewer that can also edit the files if needed. I'm definitely not going back to Adobe until they do somerhing about their faulty updater.

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