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Lorin Thwaits A geek says what? January 2006 Entries
C# code to determine which versions of the .NET Framework are installed on a system, along with hotfixes and Service Packs
There was a question that surfaced on the Arizona .NET User Group list about determining which versions of .NET are on a system, and which service packs have been applied. It sounded like a fun challenge, so I spent a few minutes this afternoon learning about how to dig up that data. Definitely the most helpful information came from this post in Aaron Stebner's blog, which was pointed out by my friend Tim Heuer. Aaron's sample code is only available in native C++ and VB.NET, so I decided to write ......

Posted On Monday, January 30, 2006 2:09 PM

Will work for food... if it's from the Bamboo Bakery!
One of my friends has a bakery that he opened in Phoenix about six months ago. It's a wonderful spot to get cakes and pastries, the best in all of West Phoenix if you ask me. But still largely undiscovered. So to get noticed, he rented a nice corner booth in the biggest bridal show in Arizona, which ran over this past weekend. I offered to make a video of his handiwork to display at the show if he would give me a box of assorted pastries or a cake every week for a year. He agreed, and with the quality ......

Posted On Sunday, January 29, 2006 8:27 PM

London trip, part 3
Here's the third and final blog installment from my trip to London last week. One of the places I took in during my short stay in London was the Imperial War Museum, which has a truly gripping exhibit about the holocaust. I left in tears, still unable to fathom how the situation could have escalated to the point of genocide. But it did, and we need to know about it so that this never again happens to our human family. So if you're ever in London, may I recommend this excellent exhibit, which consumes ......

Posted On Saturday, January 21, 2006 10:41 AM

London trip, part 2
Here's an interesting place, part jail, part armory, where the Crown Jewels are currently displayed. The Tower of London: Lots of history behind this place, often involving imprisonment and beheadings. In happier news, as promised here's the ASP.NET TreeView sample, which is written in VB.NET in VS2005: Jonathan_Treeview.zip It demonstrates the new TreeView control in ASP.NET 2.0, how recursive routines work, and how to extend the standard TreeNode class to support enhanced functionality. ......

Posted On Friday, January 20, 2006 7:27 AM

London trip, part 1
Last week I had the pleasure of teaching an ASP.NET class in a little town called Weybridge, just outside of London. Being from the sun-soaked desert, it was quite a treat to spend time in a countryside so verdant. And the history of the city was enthralling. The class was held in a building over 200 years old, the town's old post office. It has now been renovated and is owned by a computer consulting firm: (The presence of the mail van is purely coincidental!) One of the students in my class gave ......

Posted On Thursday, January 19, 2006 6:12 AM

Who's got your SSID? (WiFi exploit)
Yesterday at the Shmoocon conference in Washington DC self-described hacker Mark Loveless reminded us that it's risky to leave the WiFi enabled on an XP laptop. But note that if you've got SP2 with the firewall enabled you're at very low risk. While I don't think this news item will garner nearly as much attention as Mark Russinovich's discovery the Sony rootkit, it is still good to know. What I find particularly annoying is that someone could do a drive-by with a high-powered WAP set with the same ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 17, 2006 2:19 AM

The first still camera to record high definition video debuts at CES
Many still cameras these days can record 640x480 video at 30fps, encoded in MPEG-1 and stored on a memory card. Basically the same resolution and framerate as an average NTSC camcorder, just not interlaced. It has been expected that this capability would eventually evolve into high definition at some point, and that day has now arrived. Yesterday at CES Sanyo announced their new HD1 Digital Media Camera: Based on a 5 megapixel still camera platform, it includes an MPEG-4 compression engine that can ......

Posted On Friday, January 6, 2006 3:15 AM

BDR-101A: I was wrong about the price!
In my last post about Pioneer's new BDR-101A, my source had incorrectly quoted an expected MSRP of $500. It's actually reported to be $995, as seen here. So probably around $800 street, unless initial demand keeps the price higher. Availability is expected to be sometime in March. Disc prices are still expected to be prohibitive at that point, limiting its usefulness as a general backup device. Probably towards the end of the year lower media costs will make it more viable for the average computer ......

Posted On Friday, January 6, 2006 2:01 AM

Welcome Blu-ray, the successor to the DVD!
Pioneer will announce the MSRP of their new BDR-101A drive tomorrow, which is able to record Blu-ray discs. It is widely expected that it will be $500 (edit: my source was wrong; it actually ended up being $995). So after you buy the drive, then what? That's where things get a bit more spendy. You can get 23 gig rewritable media here for $42 each. But I want to know how it's at all different from the very similar XDCAM Professional disc (pictured above on the right), which sells for ten bucks less? ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 4, 2006 7:31 AM

Simple fix for an A604 transmission
This is a follow-up to my previous post about putting an A604 transmission into limp mode. Back then I thought for sure there was a clutch problem or some kind of serious mechanical failure going on. Back when I made this video I mentioned that I thought it was the torque converter (which it actually wasn't). Listen to how it grinds away! This whole issue ended up being solved simply by cleaning the contacts for the solenoid connector! It's shown here with its cover off. Inside the connector's receptacle ......

Posted On Monday, January 2, 2006 12:12 PM

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