Monthly Archives: September 2006

Oh yea! ViEmu 2.0!

21 Sep 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  2 Comments

Sweet!  Just got an email letting me know about the release of ViEmu 2.0!  I can’t tell you how much more productive I am using ViEmu.  Awesome job Jon!

Not a ViEmu user yet?  Check this out.

Working with headhunters

21 Sep 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  1 Comments

My primary gig has all but ended due to a change in management at the client site.  It’s a bit of a bummer because we were doing some cutting-edge stuff in .NET 2.0, but alas, this is the life of a consultant/contractor.

Since I was putting full-time hours into that project, I didn’t have anything else lined up.  Now I’m in a position where I need to find something to take its place.  Previously, all my gigs came to me via friends, former co-workers and former bosses.  Unfortunately, things have tightened up at all those companies, so they’ve hired internally rather than go with consultants or

Because of this, I decided to contact some of the area headhunters / body shops.  Big mistake so far.  The gigs they’ve pitched look cool, but what’s up with only wanting to pay $30-$40 an hour?  Yea, yea…I know what those numbers
equate to in yearly salary, but a) I’m not looking for a full-time gig and b) I’m not asking them to pay for benefits, so I’d think they could increase the hourly rate *just a bit*.  Geesh.  One of the things that frustrates me when it comes to working with agencies is that I know for a fact they’re charging the client well over $100 per hour, they just don’t want to reduce
their piece of the pie.

I guess I can’t really blame them given the current economy, but it isn’t like I’m a n00b with 6 months experience.   I’ve got a solid 10+ years in developing Microsoft-centric solutions.  The past 4-4.5 years have been spent doing .NET almost exclusively (remember this non-.NET project?).  Before that, it was every version of VB since 3.0 (I actually started programming in Quick Basic and then on to VB 2.0).

Unfortunately, big job sites aren’t much better.  It kills me to see postings for senior developers with 10+ years experience and the pay is only like $60k.  Ouch.


Office 2007 and beta software

19 Sep 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

I normally stay away from betas of major software (such as Vista, Visual Studio, etc.) and after reading Scott Hanselman’s recent experience with Vista, I’m feeling good about my decision yesterday to NOT install it.

Instead I installed Office 2007 Beta 2  All I can say is “Wow!”  The Office devs did a kick-ass job (see bottom of post for a list of Office 2007 blogs).  The setup was smooth and the new UI is amazing.  It’s very intuitive; much better than previous versions.

All of the apps are very responsive (ummm…I’m running it on this, so YMMV) and a pleasure to work with. :-)

Great stuff coming out of Redmond, but I think I’ll still hold off on installing Vista.

—– Office 2007 Blogs —–
Jensen Harris: An Office User Interface Blog
Brian Jones: Open XML Formats
Dave Gainer: Microsoft Excel 12
Will Kennedy: Outlook 2007
Michael Affronti:  Microsoft Outlook Program Manager
Chris Pratley: OneNote
Owen Braun: OneNote
Erik Rucker: Access 2007
Jeff Bell: Publisher and More
Rob Mauceri: FrontPage
Joe Friend: Word
Mark Jaremnko: PowerPoint and Office Art
Melissa MacBeth: Outlook

Why Open Source?

17 Sep 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  8 Comments

While reading Haacked today, a question I’ve had for a long time finally boiled over to the point of writing this post. :-)

Phil commented on this post which puts up a good argument for why Microsoft should financially support Open Source projects.  Like Dave mentioned in the original post, I too have used DNN for implementing customer sites.  Without
it, development costs would have been too high for at least one project and I most likely would have lost the gig.  I’m also one of the many users of NUnit, NDoc, Nant, log4net and Subtext.

Ok now for my question: What drives people to write open source software?  What drives a person to write something as good as NUnit or DNN and then give it away?  What drives someone to create something like NDoc that’s used by
jillions of developers, give it away, and then close shop because no donations were given?  Why not charge from the outset?

Is it because by charging people, you’ve taken on more responsibilty when it comes to support?  Is it because you don’t think people would pay for your product?  Someone please enlighten me because I truly am curious.

On Joel, “rockstars” and common sense

15 Sep 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  1 Comments

You are young, my son, and, as the years go by, time will change and even
reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain therefore awhile from setting
yourself up as a judge of the highest matters.
Plato, Dialogues, Theatetus
Greek author & philosopher in Athens (427 BC – 347 BC)

Much has been said recently about Joel Spolsky’s comments on ruby, wasabi and
performance.  As with most blogs I read, I take Joel with a grain of salt.
I personally think his views on hiring are on the fringes of insanity,
but maybe I’m just jealous.  After all, I’m one of those heathens who is
self-taught with no CS degree.  :-)   I’ve managed to work pretty successfully
in this field for something close to 12 years now and my lack of degree has
come up exactly once in all that time.

We need to remember that Joel is a normal guy like the rest of us.  Yes, he
worked at Microsoft.  Yes he has a relatively successful software development
with some cool products.  Hell, he even has an entry in Wikipedia. :-)
Finally, yes, he has strong opinions on a variety of topics, but he is
certainly not the be-all, end-all authority on software development and how to
run a software development company.

Common sense dictates that what works for him may not (and probably won’t) work
for others.  It’s great that he developed a tool that lets his developers write
code once and compiles down to multiple targets.  Maybe he didn’t choose the
best platform to start with, but c’mon, it’s still kinda cool, isn’t it?  Is it
the right approach for everyone?  No.  Is using Ruby / Ruby On Rails the right
approach for everyone?  Nope.

37signals has great success using Ruby/RoR.  They have several successful products
and a loyal following.  They also, like Joel, exhibit something of an attitude
when it comes to software development.  Again, so what?  “Getting Real” may
work for some people, but without a doubt, BDUF works extremely well for others
(although I personally have yet to see a successful BDUF project). 

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have the success of Fog Creek or 37signals,
but I certainly don’t have to follow their specific recipes to have it.  I can
take a bit from here, a bit from there and some from my own experiences.

What’s the point of all this?  I guess it’s that people shouldn’t get so worked up
about this stuff.  If Joel wants to plant a stake in the ground and say his way
is “the way”, who cares?  If 37signals says you need to start developing screens
first, so what? 

Move on.  Do what works for you and stop worrying about the so-called “rockstars”.

9/11 – 5 Years later

11 Sep 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

September 11, 2001 -- Honor the 2996 victims.

Update on VS.NET 2005 issues

08 Sep 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

Sometimes it’s best to try the simplest things first.  In this case, I thought I had gone through the most basic troubleshooting steps, but about an hour ago, I decided to try something really off the wall and change the line of code that creates the object of the type that couldn’t be found.

First, let me say that I was / am properly importing the namespace in which the “unknown” class lives.  This has not changed for weeks.

Imports . .Business.Common

The original line of code that was raising the compile error was:
Private _errorMessages as IErrorMessageManager = new ErrorMessageManager()

I changed it to:

Private _errorMessages as IErrorMessageManager = new . .Business.Common.ErrorMessageManager()

Everything compiles fine now.  Just to make sure, I went through all the steps I outlined earlier (removing temp files, restarting IIS, getting latest, etc.).  I also switched the line of code back to the original and recompiled just to make sure the error still occurred.  It did, so I put my new code back in.

Anyone care to explain what the hell was wrong with the original line of code considering my Import statement was/is correct?

Can I get back to billing my hours now? ;-)

Major issues with VS.NET 2005

08 Sep 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  2 Comments

Running Team Edition for Software Developers version 8.0.50727.181 (QFE.050727-1800).

I have the following VS.NET hotfixes installed:
KB917452 and KB920805

I have the following .NET Framework 2.0 hotfixes installed:
KB917452, KB916002 and KB917283

Until recently, I also had hotfix KB922981 installed (couldn’t find a link for this one).

All the hotfixes are required by my primary client.

My development system has NOTHING on it except Visual Studio, Vault and VPN (CheckPoint) software.

Last Friday (September 1), the lead developer for the client emailed all the devs and said they needed to uninstall KB922981 and reinstall KB916002 which I did.  He advised us to reboot after the uninstall and then again after the reinstall of KB916002.  So, uninstall  KB922981, reboot, reinstall KB916002, done.

I did this late on Friday so I wouldn’t forget after the long holiday weekend.

Tuesday rolls around and I’m ready to get back to work, so I log into my dev workstation and run a clean-up script (again, from the client) which deletes ASP.NET temp files, restarts IIS, etc.  I did a “Get Latest” from Vault, fired up the solution (which, BTW contains 97 projects) and issued a “Rebulid Solution”.  A few minutes later, I notice the build failed.

The build error:
Error 1 Type ‘ErrorMessageManager’ is not defined. C:\\ \trunk\Web\IW\controls\Copy.ascx.vb 13 

Looks simple enough, right?  I opened that particular file and looked at the offending line. 

Private _ErrorMessages As IErrorMessageManager = New ErrorMessageManager()

Wanting to move on as quickly as possible, I simply right-clicked on “ErrorMessageManager” and selected “Go to definition.”  I was now looking at the ErrorMessageManager class.  Hmmm….if it’s not defined, why could I jump to it.  I must be missing something, so exit VS, back to Vault, “Get Latest”.  No new files were found.  Cool.  Checked references…no problems.

Back to VS.  This time I did a “Clean Solution” and then a “Rebuild”.  Same error.  Jumped on IM and asked another dev if they had any issues.  Nope, just me.  WTF?

I decided to reboot the system again, just for the hell of it.  C’mon…it’s Windows and VS 2005.  Maybe a reboot would help.


I composed an email to the other devs in the company I’m sub-contracting for.  Noone else had any issues, even after following the same steps I did.

Ok, time to get tough.  After ensuring I had no files checked-out, I completed deleted my source tree, ran the clean-up script again, “Get Latest”, clean solution, rebuild.  Same freakin’ problem. 

Ok, maybe it’s the hardware (I know…grasping a bit, but WTF).  I ran a chkdsk /f.  No issues.  I defragged.

By this time I was really getting pissed off.  The owner of the company I’m sub’ing for:

Can I assume that you have
a)    stopped the IIS processes
b)    removed ALL temporary files underneath c:\windows\\v2.x\temporary files\
c)    deleted the c:\\ \trunk
d)    rebooted
e)    get latest of both web and enterprise
f)    recompile all

Yep, did all that, in that order too.

So, now it’s Friday and I’m still having this problem.  I’ve run diagnostics on my dev workstation and everything is good-to-go. 

does anyone have any ideas WTF is wrong?

Blog comments, Subtext and ReverseDOS

07 Sep 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  1 Comments

Well, had I been paying attention last night when I installed Subtext, I would have noticed that ReverseDOS is already installed and configured.

I woke up this morning to find NO spam at all.  On my old blog, I would have at least 12-15 waiting for me each morning.

Again, I have to say, “Great work Phil!”

Now it’s time to blog about stuff.  What stuff?  Not sure yet, but I have some ideas related to the project I’ve been working on.

Running on SubText

06 Sep 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

SubText 1.9 is installed and running perfectly.  I can’t believe how freakin’ easy the installation and import of my .text data was.

If you find any problems or something just doesn’t look right, let me know!

Thanks Phil!

Next step (probably on Thursday) is to get ReverseDOS installed and configured.