The Lanham Factor
The (ir)rational thoughts of a (not-so)mad man

November 2005 Entries

The Captain must be Objective

In my most recent post, I describe the nature of scalability in terms of design, not platform. The events that prompted me to make that entry also urge me to follow a different branch with that discussion. Having served five years and nine months in the United States Navy, I will use that as an example. The skipper (a.k.a. Captain, a.k.a. Old Man) of a ship is a great and terrible thing. Ultimately, the skipper is responsible for every action of every sailor on board. The captain must have a great ......

Scalability is a Function of Design - Not Platform

Recent events have prompted me to make an entry about scalability. It can be summarized with the title of this post. Scalability is a function of design, NOT platform. I won't bore you with statistical analysis of Java vs. .NET. A quick Google search will reveal all you ever wanted to know. I want to spend just a minute focusing on scalability. http://www.whatis.com defines scalability two ways and I want to focus on the first. Basically, scalability is the ability of a software system to provide ......

Create & Destroy IIS Virtual Directories - Programmatically

Chris Williams posted a request on his blog (Blogus Maximus) for programmtic creation of virtual directories in IIS 6.0. Some time ago (actually, a long time ago, not even this calendar year), I wrote a small WinForms application in VB.NET to accomplish this very task. The reason for my client's need is that they don't install to the default Web and wanted a simple installation solution without buying an installation product. While researching this I became curious as to writing the code to perform ......

Free RSS Reader with Outlook - Attensa Rocks!

I was looking for a news reader that integrates with Outlook but I'm a cheap b* and didn't want to buy one. In fact, I started writing one myself just for the experience and because I really wanted one. I was searching for something related to this effort one evening and found Attensa. At first I didn't install it because I was pretty committed to writing mine. Well, we all know how work picks up and lower priority items are pushed off. My custom news reader was one of those items. If you use Outlook ......

Artificial Database Keys

I have experienced two situations recently regarding the use of artificial (a.k.a. surrogate) versus natural database table keys. I decided to post about this because I truly do not understand their proliferation. It seems to me that immediately using an artificial key is cutting corners. I am hoping to dispel some of the myths I heard about artificial keys, make some suggestions for when to use them and when to not use them, and do this all without offending too many folks. Firstly, just about every ......