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

February 2007 Entries

Open Source COTS Components vs. Custom Compnents

My good friend Brian said something very interesting to me last week that has stuck with me. We were talking about using the Microsoft Enterprise Library for data access. His comment (and I'm paraphrasing) went something like... "Are you sure you want to use that piece of software wherein who knows if connections have been closed, objects have been disposed, etc. etc.?" I'm one for buying/downloading if appropriate as opposed to building. However, I totally respect Brian and his perspectives. As ......

My Favorite Geek Joke...

An executive at a prominent software development company learns that the quality of software solutions provided by the company is in question. The executive takes immediate action and calls a meeting of the managers. executive - "Quality is the differentiator for our company. Poor quality is simply not acceptable. So...right now...each of you imagine that you are sitting on an airplace at the terminal awaiting take-off...and you learn that the software controlling the avionics of the plane were written ......

WinForms AutoScaleMode - Your One-Way Ticket to Pain & Suffering

In the ongoing saga of "I can't believe it's not GDI" (aka - Trying to get GDI+ to play nicely with refreshing user controls and picture boxes images as drawing surfaces)... The AutoScaleMode property applies to WinForms controls and forms (which are controls) and allows the widgets on the control to scale based on changes in other settings such as Font and Screen Resolution. This makes sense in that if you have poorly sighted users, for example, you don't want to manually control resizing of every ......

Invalidate, Update, Refresh, Oh My!

So in the ongoing saga of the Lords of Kobol reminding me that those two people are right and that I'm not smart nor a good developer...there is a new kid in town. The new kid is a spoiled brat who sits in the corner and, with bottom lip firmly out, repeats "I will not fire the Paint event! I won't! I won't! I won't! And you can't make me!" me - "What about if I call Invalidate?" kid - "NOPE!" me - "What if I call Invalidate (True) on the user control?" kid - "Not even then." me - "Okay...what if ......

SMTP Server Event Sink - Advice Request

I found some information about writing a custom event sink for SMTP servers using .NET 2.0. Most of them rely on Exchange (or some Exchange libraries) and a very few utilize CDONTS. All of the information I found is somewhat dated. I am wondering if you have done this. Here is the basic premise: Establish an SMTP server to catch emails from an existing 3rd-paty system. Reconfigure the system to use this "relay" server instead of the production mail server. Write a custom sink for the "relay" server ......

Visual Studio 2005 SP1 and C# vs. VB.NET

For years I have been avid (dare I type "obnoxious"?) about VB.NET over C# for one, and only one reason: case-sensitivity. I simply do NOT understand the need for a case-sensitive language (and probably never will but I'm from West Virginia...). The only remote reason that someone gave me was the background compiler and how it bogs the system on larger solutions. I can see this, and I agree but have never experienced. In fact, quite the opposite. I find that I really miss it when building C# solutions. ......

Discovery in the 21st Century - Shiny Toy Guns

So I'm not Magellan or Lewis or Clark or Lovelace or Amundsen or Jones or Picard or Aragorn or Polo or Curie or any of those people but I do truly enjoy finding new music that I love. On a whim, I bought "We Are Pilots" by Shiny Toy Guns. The name of the band alone is neat-o (I have kids) in that whole "We look menacing and dangerous but we're really just playthings" kinda way. I pop Mr. CD in (it's a Mr. for sure...I looked under and checked) and WOW! This band is amazing. I love this CD. I can't ......

Carpet Bubbles - The .NET Web Browser Control

The saga continues...Regarding Web browser control in WinForms, GDI+ with the Web browser, and general sleep deprivation... So we choose an interim solution until we get to the "final" solution (on which I will post later). The interim solution involves using the Web browser control and doing NO DRAWING. Straight-forward, yes? No. Two problems...AND a piece of technical advice. Bitmaps and Content Types - The Web browser control does NOT like to render bitmaps (.bmp). Now keep in mind, I know this. ......