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Copyright: Hal Lesesne

Enabling ASP.NET 3.5 in Umbraco

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 13:27:06 GMT

Originally posted on:, I started developing new applications around the Umbraco Content Management System. I use the term around very lightly, because Umbraco really doesn't require any constraints on your code (like DNN, Rainbow and virtually every other .Net based CMS that I have used), other than the need to develop in user controls instead of aspx pages - which makes perfect sense given the idea of a CMS. It has worked flawlessly and is easily the best .net based CMS system around from a developer AND designer perspective. I ran into my first hiccup yesterday when trying to develop using AJAX in Umbraco. My design project had been setup to target the 3.5 extensions, while Umbraco is generally configured to use the 2.0 version with the AJAX extensions. All is well with controls, until trying to use AJAX - apparently enough changed under the hood to require a dependency for the version of the ScriptManager and UpdatePanel being used. The Umbraco community came to the rescue before the ink was dry on my forum post. The initial reply to my issue came within a few minutes on the public Umbraco forums [My Post] and while their first suggestions didn't fix the problem, it certainly led me in the right direction and on to the final solution: BTW - all it takes to get Umbraco to start using the 3.5 extensions is the following addition to your web.config:                                                                     Just before your closing <\configuration> tag. Thanks to Doug Robar, Sjors Pals, Tim Geyssens, Casey Neehouse and Petr Snobelt and the rest of the Umbraco world for such an awesome application and community. For all of the grief that Umbraco is given about documentation being sparse and decentralized - after you spend a couple of weeks in the forums, setting up your Umbraco tag at and technorati, and learning XSLT, those concerns evaporate and you begin to see an unrivaled depth of support, content and community.   Technorati Tags: umbraco, aspnet, code Tags: umbraco, aspnet, code [...]

ASP.NET MVC Preview 2 Screencast Tutorials

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 14:13:13 GMT

Originally posted on:

Scott Hanselman just updated and/or added some terrific screencasts showcasing ASP.NET MVC, which just went wild as Preview 2 today. He talks about some significant changes from the December CTP and walks through several examples that make understanding and implementing the MVC simple, understandable, and (IMO) ultimately sellable to the uninitiated/uninterested.

He covers, with great clarity, several methods for displaying data, working with forms in CRUD operations and helper classes that will be available in MVC, several advanced techniques like attribute implemented ActionFilters and custom routing, and finally working with MVC and Test Driven Development. More specifically answering what is MVC doing to make it simple to implement unit tests in ways difficult or impossible with web forms applications.

For the uninformed or uncommitted, this is an hour that could make all the difference in their eventual adoption of ASP.NET MVC.

From: Scott Hanselman's Computer Zen - ASP.NET MVC Preview 2 Screencast Tutorials


Google Talk ChatBack

Tue, 26 Feb 2008 12:54:11 GMT

Originally posted on:

Just created my ChatBack GTalk badge. I'll publish it to the sidebar shortly, but just wanted to go ahead and publish it in a post to see how it works.

  src="" frameborder="0" width="200" height="60" allowtransparency="">

Source: Create a Google Talk chatback badge


Maybe we should think twice about watching?

Wed, 02 Jan 2008 04:50:27 GMT

Originally posted on:

Hopefully the 2008 Olympics will be the least watched ever:




Originally posted here.


Scoble Quits Email

Mon, 06 Aug 2007 17:36:35 GMT

Originally posted on:

Robert Scoble has apparently given up on email. He makes a good point for clear, open communication in his latest Twitter rant. If nothing else, the following tweets force me to consider the possibility of 1) defaulting to open communications (blog, twitter, forum) or 2) making sure that my private communication is acceptable for public consumption - don't say anything that the world couldn't see (not that the world is really all that interested in what I am doing.)

From Twitter via pidgin:

(13:51:42) Scobleizer: It's amazing that in this age of Twitter that people still send email. I hate email. I hate direct Tweets. I hate Facebook messages.
(13:52:58) Scobleizer: PR people are the worst in the email regard. Speaker planners are close. I don't answer a lot of my email anymore. If I did, I'd never do.
(13:55:44) Scobleizer: arikb: yeah, email still has SOME value. But going down all the time. I far prefer people not send me private notes. Scalable communication.
(13:56:40) Scobleizer: I always answer things in public space first. Why? Because those communications scale.
(13:57:06) Scobleizer: If something really needs to be private than email is great. But most of my email doesn't need to be private.
(13:58:30) Scobleizer: Or people asking me to blog. Very low quality stuff. If PR people were forced to do their work in public their entire method would change.
(14:00:44) Scobleizer: If I want to get a hold of Mike Arrington, for instance, i know that writing a Tweet about him will get his attention far faster than email.
(14:04:42) Scobleizer: Basically this is my gesture to the world: I am not answering my email and I'm not going to start. I'm overloaded. Tweet me.

 From my original post.


Spoolsv.exe pegs CPU @ 100%

Sat, 07 Jul 2007 04:18:37 GMT

Originally posted on:

I had a problem on one of our home pc's tonight where Spoolsv.exe was pegging the CPU at 100% usage. I couldn't find any knowledgebase articles concerning it and a Google query only turned up safe-file results.

I ended up discovering that the problem was in the MS Office Document Image Writer spool. There was a job (apparently from almost a year ago) stuck in the queue at 67% complete. I canceled the job and everything has returned to normal. Go figure. I have been unable to find any information on Tojans or Virii that cause such behavior, so I am chalking it up to a quirk... and going to bed.

Technorati Tags: , , , Tags: , , ,

Original Article Posted Here


Google Gears

Thu, 31 May 2007 03:55:24 GMT

Originally posted on:

 Just read on the GPC Press Release site that Google is starting work on a new open source platform enabling all of its online apps to have offline capabilities. Sounds intriguing.

Google Gears marks an important step in the evolution of web applications because it addresses a major user concern: availability of data and applications when there’s no Internet connection available, or when a connection is slow or unreliable. As application developers and users alike want to do more on the web—whether it’s email or CRM or photo editing—enhancements that make the browser environment itself more powerful are increasingly important.

Source: Google Press Center: Press Release

You can access Google Gears here.


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Microsoft Surface

Wed, 30 May 2007 04:13:35 GMT

Originally posted on:

Microsoft has just announced Surface. Just at first glance, this appears to be something that could change everything. I am curious about a couple of things. 1) Will it really be cost effective enough that we will be able to have a coffee table (See the Power video) that sorts our pictures and 2) How in the world is this going to run on top of Vistazilla?

If they could really do that bar trick with the bubbles and stuff... dang. Pretty impressive.

Link to Microsoft Surface

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10 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy Diamonds

Fri, 18 May 2007 12:55:12 GMT

Originally posted on: found myself talking to another guy the other day about diamonds and remembered a story listing 10 good reasons just to go with a simple gold band. I went to my bookmarks (three computers later, hallelujah for and found the link but it was dead. I had to dig a little more, but finally found the list here. I am also copying it below for future reference.  (2/14/02) By Liz Stanton, CPE Staff Economist 1. You've Been Psychologically Conditioned To Want a DiamondThe diamond engagement ring is a 63-year-old invention of N.W.Ayer advertising agency. The De Beers diamond cartel contracted N.W.Ayer to create a demand for what are, essentially, useless hunks of rock. 2. Diamonds are Priced Well Above Their ValueThe De Beers cartel has systematically held diamond prices at levels far greater than their abundance would generate under anything even remotely resembling perfect competition. All diamonds not already under its control are bought by the cartel, and then the De Beers cartel carefully managed world diamond supply in order to keep prices steadily high. 3. Diamonds Have No Resale or Investment ValueAny diamond that you buy or receive will indeed be yours forever: De Beers’ advertising deliberately brain-washed women not to sell; the steady price is a tool to prevent speculation in diamonds; and no dealer will buy a diamond from you. You can only sell it at a diamond purchasing center or a pawn shop where you will receive a tiny fraction of its original "value." 4. Diamond Miners are Disproportionately Exposed to HIV/AIDSMany diamond mining camps enforce all-male, no-family rules. Men contract HIV/AIDS from camp sex-workers, while women married to miners have no access to employment, no income outside of their husbands and no bargaining power for negotiating safe sex, and thus are at extremely high risk of contracting HIV. 5. Open-Pit Diamond Mines Pose Environmental ThreatsDiamond mines are open pits where salts, heavy minerals, organisms, oil, and chemicals from mining equipment freely leach into ground-water, endangering people in nearby mining camps and villages, as well as downstream plants and animals. 6. Diamond Mine-Owners Violate Indigenous People's RightsDiamond mines in Australia, Canada, India and many countries in Africa are situated on lands traditionally associated with indigenous peoples. Many of these communities have been displaced, while others remain, often at great cost to their health, livelihoods and traditional cultures. 7. Slave Laborers Cut and Polish DiamondsMore than one-half of the world's diamonds are processed in India where many of the cutters and polishers are bonded child laborers. Bonded children work to pay off the debts of their relatives, often unsuccessfully. When they reach adulthood their debt is passed on to their younger siblings or to their own children. 8. Conflict Diamonds Fund Civil Wars in AfricaThere is no reliable way to insure that your diamond was not mined or stolen by government or rebel military forces in order to finance civil conflict. Conflict diamonds are traded either for guns or for cash to pay and feed soldiers. 9. Diamond Wars are Fought Using Child WarriorsMany diamond producing governments and rebel forces use children as soldiers, laborers in military camps, and sex slaves. Child soldiers are given drugs to overcome their fear and reluctance to participate in atrocities. 10. Small Arms Trade is Intimately Related to Diamond SmugglingIllicit diamonds inflame the clandestine trade of small arms. There are 500 million small arms in the world today which are used to kill 500,000 people annually, the vast majority of whom are non-combatants. References: Collier, Paul, "Economic Causes of Civil Conflict and Their Implications fo[...]

Google Analytics

Mon, 14 May 2007 20:42:52 GMT

Originally posted on:

Google Analytics just released a new version of their interface. The dashboard has been totally redesigned with all of the key statistics right there.

All of the old in-depth reporting is still there, but now it has the slickness and ease of a gmail or gCal app. Very nice! 


A Twitterin'

Thu, 26 Apr 2007 17:02:50 GMT

Originally posted on:

I've decided to Twitter. I haven't invited anyone yet, because I want to get the feel of it first - however, Twitter is almost impossible to get the feel of without a considerable number of friends/followers... a quandary.

I would love to Twitter up a little more organically, so if you are a twitter user, please check out my profile: Link to Twitter / Widescreen


I'm selling out...

Thu, 26 Apr 2007 16:35:52 GMT

Originally posted on:

At first I was a little shocked... I wasn't quite sure how to feel and I wasn't sure if what I was feeling was anger or fear - or both. I found out a few days ago that starting next month I was going to have to expect a little less each month from my job. A little = 1/3 of my existing monthly income. Ouch.

It is supposed to only be for a short time, but I can't count on that now that I live in Mexico. So, having said that, I apologize up front for the repositioning of the advertising and the addition of the in text/contextual advertising, but I'm hoping to eeek out a little more money each month from this blog. It gets pretty decent traffic (several thousand unique views each month), but my conversions have been pretty low (a lot of my traffic comes from RSS readers) - so I thought I would move some stuff around and add some more.

I REALLY hope that it doesn't become intrusive to anyone and if it does, for ANY reason, please don't hesitate to let me know. I have been really reluctant to try to monetize this site and if it bothers anyone, I'll take it down immediately.

I'll also try to post on how it does in a month or so. If it doesn't do much, I'll take it all off again.

Best regards,



MSN Search - Who Knew?

Thu, 15 Jun 2006 20:17:00 GMT

Originally posted on: is looking for a few good men or women who can do the job that other companies probably just use screen scraping for.  From the above job listing page: Hand crafted resultsWhen all else fails, and the ranking algorithms do not pass the confidence threshold, we fall back to delivering handcrafted results. Working on a team of approximately 132 other handcrafters in 26 worldwide markets, you will receive a user query, use all the available search engines to quickly scour the web for results, pick the top 10 results for this query, and send it on to the user. Successful handcrafters can typically find top 10 results for a real-time user’s query in less than 3.8 seconds. This is an opportunity to truly connect with customers, because the queries that get routed to you are precisely the ones that the engine cannot answer well. We will have adequate staffing to allow generous coffee and bathroom breaks.If you are an expert at using at least 3 different search engines, well versed with American English/colloquial usage, and can type at > 149 words/minute as measured by the Simia-Lico method – come join us and delight users real-time! My assumption is (based on the job description) that they are hiring in order to end around any anti-scrape technology that Google might implement. Hmmmmm… What happens when the handcrafter receives a request for something illegal or immoral? The system is no longer automated – is liability transferred? If someone were to search for the latest Neil Young album and the handcrafter returned an MP3 link, does that then mean that the handcrafter gets the RIAA “fine”.? What is the responsibility of the handcrafter to report the IP address, MSN user name of the person who queries “how to build a dirty bomb”? Would you use MSN search if you knew (which you now know) that some handcrafter might see that you are searching for “hemorrhoid treatment center in or around Boone, NC”? I type pretty fast and am fairly efficient when Googling. However, if I had to provide the top 10 results in 3.8 seconds to ANY query, then I could do little more than copy and paste the first 10 appeared – which sounds like a screen scrape to me. It doesn’t afford time to compare results, traverse links and determine which links are the most relevant – the engine that I just exploited does all that work for me.  We will have adequate staffing to allow generous coffee and bathroom breaks. I am glad that bathroom breaks are what they will have adequate staffing for. They might want to double up as many of their staff will probably require a little assistance.  If you are an expert at using at least 3 different search engines Even if one of those three is actually using the other two to give the results? I foresee an infinite loop where one handcrafter’s request gets handed off to another handcrafter’s request and so on and so forth. I guess it would ultimately end when one of the handcrafters had to take that much anticipated bathroom break.  well versed with American English/colloquial usage Well versed meaning: “lives in Bangalore”. [Original Post] [...]

Google Reader Maintenance...

Wed, 24 May 2006 19:28:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

I love it.



Google's Defense

Thu, 13 Apr 2006 15:06:00 GMT

Originally posted on: News has posted about Google’s response to criticism that they caved to Chinese censorship and also announced the creation of a Beijing research center. There are several excerpts of note which I will comment on below: He said Google had to accept restrictions in order to serve China, which has the world's second-largest population of internet users after the United States, with more than 111 million people online. This is the Internet morons… how is it that Google has to accept those restrictions? Google is not bound by Chinese law. Google is not forced to have a physical presence in order to offer results to China. Google only has to comply with undemocratic laws in order to make certain that Google’s sites are not blocked at the physical level by the Chinese government. Google caved to the restrictions so that people could see Google’s bits more easily – $$. Schmidt also announced the creation of a research center in Beijing that he said should have 150 employees by mid-2006 and "eventually thousands of people." He said the center is meant to create products for markets worldwide, though he said planning was still in such an early stage that he didn't know what they might be. Me thinks their is something else to this… Do no evil? Schmidt was speaking at a ceremony to announce Google's Chinese-language brand name — "Gu Ge," or "Valley Song," which the company says draws on Chinese rural traditions to describe a fruitful and rewarding experience. I would think a better name might be “Klu Dge” – meaning “kludge” which I say draws on an old coder tradition of doing what you can to make the dumb thing work. Talking to reporters later, Schmidt said Google's managers were stung by criticism that they accepted Chinese censorship, but said they haven't lobbied Beijing to change its rules. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with filtering the results from Google China and making sure that Google is in compliance with Chinese law for the sake of money. I do, however, have a problem when what Google is doing goes completely against their corporate culture and mission. While Google may not be doing evil directly, they are certainly bowing to an authority who is evil… very evil. Perhaps Google should get back to “their philosophy”. Item’s of note from their philosophy: #4) Democracy on the web works. (unless you are in China)#5) You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer. (unless you are in China)#6) You can make money without doing evil. (but you can make more money in China by cohorting with those that do evil)#7) There is always more information out there. (unless it contains the word Tibet in China)#8) The need for information crosses all borders. (unless it is the border of China and Tibet) And how about some snips from Google’s software principles: CLEAR BEHAVIOUR: Applications that affect or change your user experience should make clear they are the reason for those changes… Applications should not intentionally obscure themselves under multiple or confusing names… [I don’t have the Chinese character set installed on my machine, but I don’t think that those little ???s say anything about why a Chinese Netizen can’t find good links on Job openings in Taiwan] KEEPING GOOD COMPANY: Application providers should not allow their products to be bundled with applications that do not meet these guidelines… [but it’s not really bundling when it includes the entirety of the w[...]