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.NET Hobbyist Programmer Staying Confused in a Busy World April 2004 Entries
Nautical Terminology: The Devil to Pay
Today, the expression "the devil to pay" is used primarily to describe having an unpleasant result from some action that has been taken. An example is when someone has done something they should not have and, as a result, "there will be the devil to pay." Originally, this expression described one of the more unpleasant tasks aboard a wooden ship. The "devil" was the wooden ship's longest seam in the hull. Caulking of seams between boards of the hull was done with "pay" or pitch (a kind of tar). The ......

Posted On Saturday, April 24, 2004 8:11 AM

On Meetings
Are you lonely?Don't like working on your own?Hate making decisions? Then call a MEETING!!! You can:- SEE people- DRAW flowcharts- FEEL important- FORM subcommittees- IMPRESS your colleagues- MAKE meaningless recommendationsALL on COMPANY TIME!!! MEETINGSTHE PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE TO WORK ......

Posted On Thursday, April 22, 2004 2:53 PM

Recalling Visual Fred
Update 12/30/2010: While it was amusng for six-and-a-half years, I have closed comments on this post. Move along... Move along... Recently, Eric Gunnerson posted code on how to create an array with a non-zero lower bound. Paul Vick brought up the AndAlso and OrElse operators which are new to VB.NET. This got me to thinking of the state of affairs way back in 2001 when .NET was still in its beta phase. Three years ago, Visual Fred was the derisive name given to VB.NET 2002 by VB6 programmers who did ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 20, 2004 4:42 PM

Nautical Terminology: He Knows the Ropes
In the very early days, this phrase was written on a seaman's discharge to indicate that he was still a novice.  All he knew about being a sailor was just the names and uses of the principal ropes (lines).  Today, this same phrase means the opposite --- that the person fully knows and understands the operation (usually of the organization).

Posted On Monday, April 19, 2004 5:10 PM

I Don't Care: Network Television
This is the first of what will probably be a series of I Don't Care posts unrelated to programming, but related to general topics on which I have an opinion. Please note the word opinion. As you can surmise from the title, I really do not care about network television. I passed out of their interest zone nearly a decade ago when I passed beyond the hallowed 18-34 male bracket. On my 35th birthday, I fell of the Earth as far as television and their advertisers were concerned. From my perspective, ......

Posted On Sunday, April 18, 2004 8:29 PM

Page 23
Picked this meme up from here. "And I must say immediately what a great honor and a great privilege I think it must be for you, the people of Cottington, to have this gleaming new motorway going through your cruddy little village ... I'm sorry, your little country village of cruddy Cottington." - From the fifth sentence on page 23 of Douglas Adams' The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts. Here's what the meme suggests you do: Grab the nearest book.Open the book to page 23.Find the fifth sentence.Post ......

Posted On Saturday, April 17, 2004 12:35 PM

FxCop as a Teaching Tool
I ran my Custom Base Form (V2) through FxCop 1.3 and was not surprised by the pile of errors that resulted. This was my first use of FxCop. What came as a pleasant surprise was that the analysis output contained links to useful explanations that taught me. That led to a series of other links that lead to greater understanding. For instance, this being my first C# work, I now have a better understanding of the differences between public - Access is not restricted. protected - Access is limited to ......

Posted On Saturday, April 17, 2004 11:34 AM

Nautical Folklore: Superstition of Friday
The reluctance of seamen to sail on a Friday reached such epic proportions, that in the 1800s the British Government decided to take strong measures to prove the fallacy of the superstition. They laid the keel of a new vessel on Friday, selected her crew on a Friday, launched her on a Friday and named her HMS Friday. They then placed her in command of one Captain James Friday and sent her to sea for the first time on a Friday. The scheme worked well, and had only one drawback ... neither ship nor ......

Posted On Friday, April 16, 2004 7:47 PM

Adobe Acrobat Reader Downgrade
Several months ago, I willfully downgraded my computers by installing Adobe Acrobat Reader 6. I describe it as a downgrade because I felt the Reader 6 was much worse than the version it replaced. In fact, when I later reformatted my hard drives for a fresh Windows XP install, I purposely searched for the older version 5.0.5 and installed that. I then started Reader and went under preferences and made sure that any possible polling for an “update” was turned off. What made me dislike the ......

Posted On Thursday, April 15, 2004 7:26 PM

Custom Base Form - V2
This post expands on my first version of a custom base form. Recently I was working with a Windows Forms form where I was trying to create some special effects while resizing a form. As I was working, I realized that I really needed some events that corresponded to the beginning and ending of the resizing process. Since I see this as a possible future requirement in multiple future forms, it is a perfect candidate for adding to my base form. While researching this, I came across a simple example ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 14, 2004 6:00 PM

Nautical Terminology: The Bitter End
As any able-bodied seaman can tell you, a turn of a line around a bitt, those wooden or iron posts sticking through a ship's deck, is called a bitter. Thus the last of the line secured to the bitts is known as the bitter end. Nautical usage has somewhat expanded the original definition in that today the end of any line, secured to bitts or not, is called a bitter end. The landlubbing phrases "stick with it to the bitter end" and "faithful to the bitter end" are derivations of the nautical term and ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 13, 2004 4:22 PM

Friendly Reminders
Here in the United States, April 15th is the dreaded day by which we must file the forms (and possibly pay) for our Federal and state taxes for the previous calendar year. Inevitably, the television news will station a reporter at a post office to interview the late filers as they come to mail their tax returns (the requirement is a postmark no later than midnight before penalties start to apply). Each year you can hear the same lame stories from the poor unfortunate souls the depressed journalists ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 13, 2004 4:10 PM

Airplane Experiences: TSA
Yesterday my wife and I flew back home after attending my mother's funeral. Our daughter was an amazingly accommodating 8-month-old and slept for most of the flight. As I watched Baggage Carousel 16 (on Level 2 Side A of Orlando International Airport (OIA) (after having some adventure finding where it would appear (for the unfamiliar OIA terminals are HUGE (and so is the parking)))), I saw our luggage begin to appear. I spotted the blue TSA tags that indicated that the Transportation Security Administration ......

Posted On Sunday, April 11, 2004 4:41 AM

Night of the Living Dead: Microsoft Bob
Update: I have a later post on Microsoft Bob here. When I came back from a trip today, I found an interesting item in the RSS feed for MSDN Subscription Downloads: “Microsoft Bob 1.0a was posted to MSDN Subscriber Downloads on March 31, 2004.“ I found that difficult to believe, so I looked at the XML of the feed itself. <item><title>Mi... Bob 1.0a< /title><pubDate>Wed, 31 Mar 2004 16:36:35 PST< /pubDate><description... Bob 1.0a was posted ......

Posted On Saturday, April 10, 2004 5:35 PM

Nautical Terminology: Knot
The term knot, or nautical mile per hour, is used world-wide to denote one's speed through water. Today, we measure knots with electronic devices, but 200 years ago such devices were unknown. Ingenious mariners devised a speed measuring device both easy to use and reliable, known as the "log line." From this method we get the term "Knot." The log line was a length of twine marked at 47.33-foot intervals by colored knots. At one end a log chip was fastened. It was shaped like the sector of a circle ......

Posted On Monday, April 5, 2004 1:15 PM

Microsoft's Hype Machine
Microsoft is famous for vaporware. A decade ago, merely announcing the intent to develop a product that was two years from shipping was enough to crash the competition. Today, it's not that easy, but Microsoft's marketing is still making it hard for current customers. A case in point is the supersonic nature of the PDC 2003 hype for Longhorn and its attendant technologies. The press ate it up and made it seem like you would be deploying it Real Soon Now. While I feel the technology will be neat and ......

Posted On Sunday, April 4, 2004 11:57 AM

Google's Eyes
Update: ExtremeTech posted a great article on this subject by Jim Lynch that brings out even points than I do here. I like his point of assumed entitlement. Recommended. There has been a big flap over Google's announced Gmail product. The first big negative salvo I saw was Cynthia Webb's Filter column in the Washington Post. She gives the “privacy advocates” big ink on the purported “intrusion” into your email. The Gmail privacy policy is pretty clear on what Google will and ......

Posted On Sunday, April 4, 2004 9:44 AM

Custom Base Form - V1
Update: There is a second post concerning the development of my base form here. This is a draft version of of what I will be using as a base Windows Form for inheritance. At the moment, it provides the following additional functionality: Automatic garbage collection and an event when the system is in a low memory state. An event when the system display characteristics change. An event when the system time is changed (by other than normal progression). An optional fade in/fade out effect with design ......

Posted On Saturday, April 3, 2004 8:16 PM

Nautical Terminology: Mind Your P's and Q's
There are few of us who at one time or another have not been admonished to "mind our P's and Q's," or in other words, to behave our best. Oddly enough, "mind your P's and Q's" had nautical beginnings as a method of keeping books on the waterfront. In the days of sail when Sailors were paid a pittance, seamen drank their ale in taverns whose keepers were willing to extend credit until payday. Since many salts were illiterate, keepers kept a tally of pints and quarts consumed by each Sailor on a chalkboard ......

Posted On Saturday, April 3, 2004 5:14 PM

My Maps

Everyone seems to be posting these, so here are mine.

You can create your own maps here.


Posted On Friday, April 2, 2004 3:51 PM

Nautical Terminology: Gun Salutes
In the days of cannon, it took as long as twenty minutes to load and fire a gun. When a ship fired her guns in salute, she rendered herself powerless for the duration of the reload. By emptying their guns, the ship's crew showed shore batteries and forts that they were no threat. Over time, this gesture became a show of respect, with both shore and ship gun batteries firing volleys. While many people like to say the 21 gun salute was a tribute to the American Revolution, a number determined as a ......

Posted On Thursday, April 1, 2004 7:04 PM

Custom Base Exception Class - V2 (VB)
Update: A C# version of this base exception class is posted here. This is an update to my previous post about a custom base exception class. I spent some time in the interim reviewing the Microsoft Exception Management Application Block code and added some of the features that I found there. Reassuringly, most of my design features matched and in some cases exceeded theirs. Here is a listing of changes since that earlier version: Added custom properties for the Windows Identity and an Additional ......

Posted On Thursday, April 1, 2004 6:26 PM

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