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Friday, December 15, 2006

A CentOS MySQL server, a .NET app, and me.

by Simon Duvall.

Hey all,

Ripping my hair out the past day trying to migrate an MS-SQL server app to a MySQL server. There's a front-end Windows Forms app in C#.NET 2.0 that reads data in from a Scantron machine and sends the data to a MS-SQL server, and several ASP.NET 2.0 forms that both submit data to the same database and display reports from it. Love this project...

Anyway, the MySQL server is on a CentOS 4 box. I kept getting this wonderful exception when I moved to Connector/.NET (from the MySQL site):

A request to send or receive data was disallowed because the socket is not connected and (when sending on a datagram socket using a sendto call) no address was supplied.

I, of course, over-thought the problem and overlooked the simple fact that the CentOS box had it's iptables firewall blocking the default 3306 port.

So, for any of you also going through this debacle, check your iptables: iptables -L



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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I am thoroughly disgusted with myself. I cannot shake this gnawing, constant desire for the compleat ruin of Kevin Federline.

Then I unfortunately come across this news, and I'm just about K-Fed-Up.

The only way I would watch this garbage (and in all honesty, defend it whole-heartedly), is if it was titled and themed: "I'm Kevin Federline and I Suck Ass", or "Hi, I'm Kevin -- Punch Me".

Kevin, just a quick shout out to you: if you make a record that sells only 6000 albums, and have many, many cancelled shows due to poor attendance, you not only suck, people hate you. They don't care if you "keep it real" or whatever. You suck. You SUCK!!! ARRRGGHHH!!!

I hate you, Kevin. With all my passion.



PS: It'd be fascinating to see how many copies of his album have been pirated or put on P2P...I bet one user is on eMule/KAD 24/7 trying to share that spunk, and it'd be you, Kevin.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ugh...Moving sucks...Selling a house sucks...

Joey and I are in the final stages of selling the house and are basically fried from this process. We may have only 10 days to move out, but that's what you have to do to CLOSE!

Then I strut around with my phat wallet full of cash money...

Anyway, good Lehrer program last night. Jimmy Carter was on, talking about the Israel / Palestine conflict. He seemed to slant towards the Palestinians and their plight, and though I agree that these stubborn orthodox settlers / archetheologists (if there is such a word) are not helping the matter at all, lobbing rockets at them in retaliation ain't exactly the answer either.

Since I'm a genius at merging words, perhaps the solution is to unify the two countries into Pisrealistine...

Also, a moving, thought-provoking essay on suicide by Richard Rodriguez. I did a quick Find On This Page search for the word "victim", with no results. This is odd. Almost always where the word suicide comes up in a sentence, you find the word victim (e.g. "victim of suicide"). And, I would argue that, in almost all those cases, the "victim" is the one who committed suicide. As a person who has gone through the suicide of a best friend, it is this part I find to be complete gay. Everyone around - his family, friends, everybody - were the victims of his suicide. With a suicide bomber or kamikaze, the victims include innocent stangers (albeit supposed enemy strangers) and useful vehicles. IS THERE NO END TO THE SELFISH DAMAGE THESE SELFISH SUICIDERS INFLICT?

Sorry there...It's actually not these two stories that got me so riled up; they just helped pop the shiny bubble filled with bad gas that had been developing in me from the real pieces of news of late: the break-ups of Spears-Federline and Anderson-Kid Rock.

The Anderson-Kid Rock one, whatever. Federline, though. I have no idea what it is about him that makes me want to vomit so roughly. His obviousness? The un-originality of his entire persona? The fact he got to poke on Britney?

Your comments may help enlighten me on this...

Almost ready for my final MCSD exam: the 70-300. If I pass it, I'll give what I can out to you, my beloved readers who care. I can already say that anyone who has done any programming / development already, especially involving databases, will have a much more comfortable disposition when first taking a look at this exam. I can already suggest that, if you're thinking of taking this exam, download the MSF white papers as well as this paper on ORM. Look for some sample case studies by Microsoft, too, especially any with included project documents like Visio diagrams, spreadsheets, etc.

Okay all, until next post...


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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Linux and Microsoft together? Oh no!

Who cares. This whole debate for years now of who sucks and whatever is lame, old, stale, and just plain gay. Personally, it's just cool what these OSes can do. Coming from the age of PDP-11s, Atari 800s (my all-time favorite!), et al, today's operating systems are super-kill-dog. I think people should be focusing more on shaping their platforms to do what they want via the applications they run on it. I think XP is a solid OS, and great to develop on. Visual Studio is amazing. Eclipse is amazing. It's all just so...amazing...ahhh...

Anyway, 95% of my XP loads run open source software I've found out there. 7-zip: perfect archiving utility. Notepad++: text editor on 2.5 pounds of steroids. CDBurnerXP Pro: purty good burning program (although I wish there was a rock-solid ISO maker out there; mkisofs works extremely well, except I've had problems ISO-ing DVDs). OpenOffice, Eclipse, etc...And now with VirtualPC being free, I have my OS go through a M0n0wall VPC image. Better than ZoneAlarm by a long shot.

It looks like the bulk of this collaboration is on virtualization, xml document standards, and Exchange compatability. Good (especially for the Exchange stuff). Other vendors have already been developing "commercial" (i.e. $$$ + EULA) software for Linux. If Microsoft and Novell collaborate to make their systems work more transparently together, great. As long as it's free and I can look at that code. And boy would Microsoft earn big points out there for that.

A friend of mine went to a conference in DC a couple weeks back, and many of the attendees he talked to there said that for government work, they steer away from Microsoft simply because the only way they can be sure of their security is open architecture. If this collaboration between Microsoft and Novell is in any way hindered by licensing / closed-source issues, it's a boondoggle and has an exponentally increased chance of either putting a 0-inch dent in the continuation of open source development, or killing Novell's Suse as a Linux OS leader where there's a gazillion distros waiting to be the next top dog. Like FreeBSD. Viva la BSD, beeyatch!

PS: If any of you out there have gotten Xen to run on FreeBSD, comment or something and let me know how you did it!


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Monday, November 20, 2006

This weekend I was watching Bill Maher's thing on HBO with Dreyfuss on there. Pretty good episode, and Dreyfuss was excellent (although sometimes seeming a little silently arrogant, but he did co-star in Jaws, so...). So today, while watching wonderful install-bars go across my screen at work, I decided to search for the transcripts for the episode and came across another blog going off about Clinton actually being responsible for the war in Iraq.

That's pretty dumb, fella.

Anyway, I couldn't find the transcript, but you can watch it here.


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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Long time, no post....

Sorry all one readers, but it's been quite hectic. Looks like my house should sell this week and I'll be moving to the East coast by mid-/late-January.

Been busy lately moving my "productivity" over to Linux. I'm not extremely optimistic about this Vista release, but we'll see. I'm attempting to get a solid workstation down for doing C# development on a FreeBSD platform and have been foiled repeatedly in my attempts to get Monodevelop installed on there. Even the BSD# project and building from the Mono Merge port hasn't worked. I'm looking at any non-commercial plug-ins for Eclipse, but haven't seen anything thrilling yet. This, perhaps, may make for a good project, no? A C#/Mono editor written in Java?

Also getting lots of wierd projects at work to take care of, such as having an old Scantron machine with Windows 95 software send it's data to a SQL server. Ugh... I've been working on a solid m0n0wall syslog-client in C# that I'll post when finished. I'm maybe 95% there. I should have classes for sending the logs to MS-SQL, Oracle, DB/2, MySQL, and PostgreSQL databases, too.

Well, back to work and house crap...


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Monday, September 18, 2006

The MCSD and Me.

So, before moving on to the East coast (sometime this late Fall / early Winter), I've decided to take advantage of my workplace and get both my MCSD and MCDBA. I've been teaching some of the MOC curriculum anyway, so I needed the certifications in order to teach, but since I might leave work -- where I get the classes for free AND my certs paid for if I pass -- nuff said.

I've been teaching C# Windows Apps and the newest Core Data Access (2541), so I already had 70-316 passed. Went in and took 70-315 last week and thought I'd gotten bent over something awful. Got a 927 or something, so I was very pleasantly surprised. For all you looking to take it, here's some pointers:

Know your .config files
Know caching, sessions, and applications big time
Know your (SQL)DataConnections, DataAdapters
Know DataSets, DataTables, DataViews
Know control binding to data
Know assemblies and adding assemblies to your applications (and the sn.exe tool)
Know setup and deployment of projects / assemblies big time

Basically, know everything...After programming in C# since god-knows-when, I thought these exams would be gravy. Obviously it really helps to know the "core" classes well, like System.Data, System.IO, System.Text. It's really the sheer breadth the exams cover that gets you. However, I would have to say that 70-315 was easier than 70-316, most likely because I'd already been spanked and beaten by 70-316.

Prepping for 70-320 now. This should be gravy after the other two. I've already worked on Windows and Web Services (I wish I could post a project here; I have a service for gobbling up M0n0wall syslog into SQL or Access I'd definitely share...and a Jawbreaker clone called Ball Gobbler -- the term of endearment the brick mason I used to work with gave me), and the Kalani book is pretty much the bible, so...

I'll post after taking it to let you all (all 2 readers I currently have) know how it was. I'm really curious about the 70-300 exam. Please share your thoughts on this one: whether it was hard or not, etc.


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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Holy moly!

Sorry it's been REALLY busy lately. Been trying to get my house ready to sell here in Oregon and preparing to move to Pennsylvania (hopefully Philly!).

Passed my 70-316: C# Windows programming. Only one more test for the MCDBA. The test wasn't really that hard, just covered a butt-load of stuff. The two SQL tests were definitely harder.

I'll try to post more often, but will really get going when Joey and I start our adventure back East. We'll be road-tripping from Portland, OR to Pittsburgh, PA. We're giving ourselves between a month and two-months, and will probably start off taking a big divserion south through California, across to New Mexico, up through Colorado, then diagonally up to Pittsburgh. Joey wants to go father up to Niagara Falls since I've never been there before, but I keep hinting that maybe two months out on the road camping will get pretty old by then. Or not. Whatever.

More later.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006


It's been a while...sorry.

I've been working my ass off, maybe 50+ hours a week at work, then teaching 6 hours every Saturday from 9 to 3.

One thing about teaching: all your energy goes into it, then you = drained. Also, I've taught before, but when the material is new (i.e. it's your first time teaching the class), the amount of prep work is staggering. I'm teaching the MOC 2555 Programming Windows Applications in C#, and the curriculum is all there for you, but the students won't learn anything from it. All the labs are adding a few lines of code to an already existing project, and not having to develop something - even small - from the ground up. The module on asynchronous programming is lousy, and definitely would have confused anyone reading it, even experienced C#-ers. Plus, more than half the students have little or no object-oriented experience, so I had to try to give an hour intro to that. C# is either very easy to learn if you have OO experience, or will be thoroughly confusing if you have none.

Anyway, I've learned a lot so far, though, just by teaching the class. And where I once couldn't care less about XML or not, now I'm converted.

As if this isn't all enough, my fiance and I are trying to get the house out here ready to sell so we can move to the East Coast. She's taking two classes and working 50+ hours a week for Pepsi, so we have no life until Sunday. And we can barely go out Sundays while Sopranos is still running. And I've got a SQL contract to teach, starting in two weeks, and MOC 2389 ADO.NET after that. Ugh...

I have to wait until early July to even think about the East Coast plans. Joey's going for a Vet Tech program and I'm trying for graduate school in Computer Science. I'm narrowing down to studies in computer vision, computational linguistics, and machine learning. I'm trying to locate research out there into context and/or concept modeling - that is, when the machine receives conversational input, it's one thing to process it, but what about retention? How might the data received be "stored"? Could we perhaps find a more univeral data-type that could house information garnered from conversation.

Then why computer vision? I think that the above is hard enough as it is, but certainly harder without some sort of other "sensory" data to associate to. I remember from a psychology class long ago that the eyes technically do (among many other things) edge detection, as well as filtering out redundant data, so to speak. I'd like to see the effectiveness of using two cameras to perform depth-perception. If the images from two cameras are used together, can we determine light-sources? Could we determine distance from shadows? Etc. Then object detection could be merged with the context / concept idea above by have two sources of data to associate with each other. I think it would be amazing to have a computer look at a basketball and a tennis ball, then be asked the difference in size between the two, and be able to say that the basketball is x times larger than the tennis ball, what the radii are, etc. The uses for a Hubble-like telescope could be fantastic.

Well, I've been on vacation since yesterday and want to continue slothing until Monday. Just wanted to post here during the break.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

That is an ex-parrot!

(no, it's just pining for the fyords...)

At my momma's for mothers day. She likes to collect and arrange odd things. She has a fake / stuffed parrot in this cage hanging upside-down...oooo-kay...

Love coming out here, though. She has three pugs: Mojo-jojo, Chung King, and Zsu Zsu. They're fat, fun, and our shepards are great with them.

She also has a fantastic view from her porch, except for the lightpost.

Unfortunately, Joey and I had to flee early to try and make it home for the Sopranos in time. We were late by 10 minutes and had to wait till 9:00pm, so I laid around and did nothing. Which I like.

While at my mother's, I saw an article or something laying around that said Bush and the Cronies were building detention camps. So I did a little Googling and saw this. What the fuck...? Well, I'm sure it's just for our own safety -- a place to put chickens with the flu, their owners, and American islams with any sort of money or legal prowess. I, for one, already feel safe, as I neither own any chickens, nor have any prowess or money and haven't had any contact with Islam since breakfast.

Currently teaching a C# class while working full-time plus some. My god is teaching draining. But I'm getting good reviews from my students and learning way more about C# than I thought I would. The one thing that I'm noting during this class: my students wanted to use VS 2005, but 2003 was the required version for the class. I went ahead and upgraded to 2005 for them, and although we're mostly doing our own labs et al anyway, I'm realizing how much programming has changed over the years. Languages are slowly merging with their IDEs. Not that that's necessarily bad, but my god would .NET suck to learn without Intellisense. And look at what's happened with web programming. I don't know how many Dreamweaver experts I've run into that think they're the fucking gurus of web page design, but as soon as you show them a few lines of Javascript...I mean some of these people look at me as if I'm trying to trick them or something. I guess I have to be more subtle.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

This is my first posting, and I have nothing to say today...

However, my fiance informed me that every night we eat at least ten spiders in our sleep.

WTF? Is this true?

Here's my engagement pic from April 15.

She was beaming, and everyone in the restaurant was smiling... except the couple two tables to our right. They went dead silent. Then the woman got up to leave. Then the guy after her. We toasted to our engagement and its blow to some couple's night.

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