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.NET Hobbyist Programmer Staying Confused in a Busy World May 2004 Entries
Nautical Terminology: Three Sheets to the Wind
We use the term "three sheets to the wind" to describe someone who has had too much to drink. As such, they are often bedraggled with perhaps shirttails out, clothes a mess, and with wild hair. The reference is to a sailing ship in disarray, that is with its sheets (lines - not "ropes" - that adjust the angle at which a sail is set in relation to the wind) flapping loosely in the breeze. When loose or let go, the sheets would let the sails go slack. The ship would then lose speed and control. It ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 26, 2004 6:22 PM

U.S. Aircraft Carrier Trivia Answers
Added Update 6 below. I wrote an entry that asked some trivia questions about U.S. aircraft carriers. Here are my answers. Obviously, the third and fourth questions may change, since a ship headed to the breakers can be detoured to become a museum. How many U.S. aircraft carriers have been SUNK by enemy action? Six LANGLEY (Hull #1) was sunk as a result enemy action about 75 miles south of Tjilatjap 27 Feb 1942 (see comments below) LEXINGTON (Hull #2) was sunk as a result of enemy action at the Battle ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 26, 2004 5:39 PM

Nautical Terminology: Taken Aback
My little the nautical terminology series has gotten an unusually high number of hits over the past few months. Let's continue with the next few relating to wind during the days of sail. One of the hazards faced in the days of sailing ships has been incorporated into English to describe someone who has been jolted by unpleasant news. We say that a person has been "taken aback" when the person is at a momentary loss; unable to act or even to speak. A danger faced by sailing ships was for a sudden ......

Posted On Saturday, May 22, 2004 6:51 AM

.NET DateTime and Timezone: It Seems Simple, but It's Not
Over the past several months, I have been learning about how DateTime really works. It turns out that there are pitfalls in something that appears to be inherently simple. Here is a group of interesting work on the subject arranged by date. Why Daylight Savings Time is Non-intuitiveRaymond Chen blog Coding Best Practices Using DateTime in the .NET FrameworkDan Rogers MSDN articlehttp://msdn.microsof... ......

Posted On Friday, May 21, 2004 4:37 PM

Lorem Ipsum
Ah, the good old Lorem Ipsum. The best resource for Lorem Ipsum information and generation appears to be That site includes a Lorem Ipsum generator that does a little more than just regurgitate canned sentences. Another (less polished) site is This second site's benefit is generating Lorem Ipsum in different character sets for web programmers to use against their solutions. Here are some of the gory details from What is ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 19, 2004 4:35 PM

Design Guidelines: Something for Everyone
Microsoft is in the throes of designing Longhorn. The design of the .NET framework started the process of formulating the current design guidelines that are being used to guide the development of the API. Microsoft has been amazingly open with the process. They have been using their blogs to solicit input to the process. The main blog for this is from Brad Abrams with additional material by Krzysztof Cwalina. More static material is available on MSDN. Basically, the blogs highlight updates to the ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2004 6:15 PM

Translucent Windows Patented?
Code it while you can. The following may soon be Patent Pending. private void tmrFader_Tick(object sender, System.EventArgs e) { if (m_fadeDir == FadeDirection.In) { if (this.Opacity <= 0.99) { this.Opacity += 0.1; } else { this.Opacity = 1; tmrFader.Enabled = false; } } else if (m_fadeDir == FadeDirection.Out) { if (this.Opacity >= 0.2) { this.Opacity -= 0.1; } else { this.Opacity = 0.25; tmrFader.Enabled = false; } } } Sigh. I hope it's thrown out on prior art. (/. is on that here.) ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2004 4:37 PM

Nautical Trivia: Aircraft Carriers
I served for a couple of years aboard the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71). I thought it would be an interesting blog entry to ask you, the audience, historical knowledge questions about what has happened to the ships which have served proudly as aircraft carriers in the U.S. Navy. First some facts. USS LANGLEY (Hull #1) was the first carrier. USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (Hull #77) is under construction and will be commissioned in several years. OK, now the questions. How many U.S. aircraft carriers have ......

Posted On Monday, May 17, 2004 7:28 PM

Nautical Terminology: Took the wind out of his sails
Often we use "took the wind out of his sails" to describe getting the best of an opponent in an argument.  Originally it described a battle maneuver of sailing ships.  One ship would pass close to its adversary on its windward side.  The upwind ship and its sails would block the wind from the second vessel, causing it to lose headway.  Losing motion meant losing maneuverability and the ability to carry on a fight.

Posted On Saturday, May 15, 2004 12:31 PM

.NET app.config Files
Another thing to remember. The Mothership's view of app.config files. Suzanne Cook's .NET CLR Loader Notes: one on app.config files and one with examples. A Google search ......

Posted On Friday, May 14, 2004 3:23 PM

Windows Client Side Caching
I need to keep a reference to this. This proved to be a space hog on my old laptop (taking 5.5G of an old 7G drive). The C:\Windows\CSC directory is where Windows keeps the document files that you have marked for being available offline. CSC was the working name for the feature now called Offline Files. It stands for Client-Side Caching. Details on removing/controlling CSC are here ......

Posted On Friday, May 14, 2004 12:02 PM

Google's Eyes are on Gmail
My earlier entry on this topic got the most interest of anything that I've written on this as-yet young blog. Now that the Gmail vitriol has subsided somewhat, we are beginning to see some more rational evaluations of the future service. The best so far seems to be David Pogue's evaluation in today's New York Times. His article was expanded on by Robert MacMillan in his Filter column in the Washington Post. Both are recommended to be read carefully. For an opposite view, read Walt Mossberg's piece ......

Posted On Thursday, May 13, 2004 5:56 PM

I Dislike: Lawyers and Politicians

 I especially dislike lawyers and politicians who are

  • Shocked
  • Appalled
  • Disturbed
  • Offended
  • Troubled

and spout their nonsense in front of a television camera.  For both groups, continued employment in your current profession will not solve your problem.  I recommend a psychiatrist, medications and a new job.

Posted On Wednesday, May 12, 2004 6:31 PM

Preventing PowerPoint File Corruption
The Inside Microsoft Office newsletter just arrived with an item that struck a chord with me. I have been accused of being a PowerPoint Ranger occasionally. This can be bad in the military since you become a reference for everyone's PowerPoint problems. I have to spend way too much time in this program myself to help fix everyone else's problems. Anyway, the newsletter has a great lead item: How to prevent PowerPoint file corruptionPowerPoint MVP Echo Swinford tells you how to avoid risking corruption ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 12, 2004 6:06 PM

Nautical Terminology: Head
The "head" aboard a Navy ship is the toilet or water closet. (For the Navy, water closet is more official than toilet or bathroom. The spaces are commonly labeled “WC” even though that is not a popular usage in the United States.) The term comes from the days of sailing ships when the place for the crew to relieve themselves was all the way forward on either side of the bowsprit, the integral part of the hull to which the figurehead was fastened. This position allowed any odors to be ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 11, 2004 6:47 PM

I Dislike: Free Auto Dealer Advertising
I'm not sure about other people, but I feel that when I drive my vehicle I have a right to attach the decals and stickers that I desire to it. My desired form of automobile advertising usually stays along the lines of college decals, flags, and a single statement of rebellion: “I Love Jet Noise.“ My current issue is with the fact that most automobile dealerships in the United States fasten small placards, license plate frames, or stickers to the rear of your vehicle. They presume they ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 11, 2004 6:42 PM

RFID Hysteria
There is an article on that reports on the current level of hysteria in California over RFID use in stores and libraries. I found one paragraph to be particularly amusing. “Privacy advocates fear RFID will become as omnipresent as video surveillance and give marketers an even more sophisticated way to track people's whereabouts, interests and habits. For example, could a store's RFID readers collect information on what products a shopper previously purchased?” Unless ......

Posted On Saturday, May 1, 2004 6:03 AM

Nautical Terminology: Between the Devil and the Deep
As mentioned before, in wooden ships, the "devil" was the longest seam of the ship. It ran from the bow to the stern. Depending on the ship's construction, it could be along the keel, along the railing or somewhere in between. When at sea and the "devil" had to be caulked, if it was above the water line, the seaman sat in a bo'sun's chair to do so. The bo'sun's chair was usually just a board suspended from a rope. The seaman was suspended between the "devil" and the sea -- the "deep" -- a very precarious ......

Posted On Saturday, May 1, 2004 5:07 AM

May Day
It has been a busy time since my last post. I have mostly completed my work on my custom base class, having only a few things left to do. I also made a trip to Pascagoula for my day job. The flight experience is worthy of another blog entry. For today, it is May Day. There are brief explanations of the history of May Day here and here. I'm sorry, but this is one day celebrated by many that just escapes me. I'm sure it is a fine workers' day, but for me it is just a weekend day of work around the ......

Posted On Saturday, May 1, 2004 4:55 AM

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