Friday, December 31, 2010

Original Series Star Trek Movies

For Christmas, my wonderful wife bought me all of the Star Trek movies I was missing from my collection.  We’ve started watching all 11 of them in order now.  She hasn’t seen most of them.  So far we’ve made it through #7 (Generations).  We both agree that this is how we would sort the original series movies from best to worst:

  1. 6: The Undiscovered Country
  2. 4: The Voyage Home – Directed by Leonard Nimoy.  In one of his autobiographies, he tells how he used a “Mission Impossible” style plot structure: multiple teams of people working separately towards a common goal.
  3. 2: The Wrath of Kahn
  4. 5: The Final Frontier – Well connected plot—just not the best plot.
  5. 3: The Search for Spock – It seems bad to rank this one so low, but the plot wasn’t very connected.  It does set the stage for #6.
  6. 1: The Motion Picture – We both fell asleep during this one.

This ranking still preserve the rule that the even number movies are the best.

Next we’ll have to see how the next generation movies compare…

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

Make sure you go see the total lunar eclipse tonight between 1:41am and 2:53am CST. The middle of totality is at 2:17am.

The 12 Stages of Monday's Total Lunar Eclipse

How to Watch the Dec. 20 Total Lunar Eclipse

Update:  Clouds messed up more than half of the eclipse last night, but I did get a couple of pictures:

Here are some pictures other people took of the eclipse:

And here’s a video of the entire eclipse:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Favorite Utilities


Xenu Link Checker
This is the best tool I've seen that will crawl a site and check all of the links.

HTTrack - Download Websites
Lets you download a website to disk.  I've used this to archive old hospital web sites.

CPU ID - Hardware Inventory

FileZilla - FTP Client

.Net Reflector

Microsoft Live Mesh
"With Live Mesh, you can synchronize files with all of your devices, so you always have the latest versions handy. Access your files from any device or from the web, easily share them with others, and get notified whenever someone changes a file."

Monday, July 5, 2010

Registering Extensions for Windows Search

If you are a programmer who uses the Windows Search service to index documents on your local computer then this should be useful:

How to register Microsoft Filter Pack with SharePoint Server 2007 and with Search Server 2008

By default, the Windows Search service only indexes content with certain file extensions.  Of course they leave out the extensions used in source code.  Step #3 from the KB article tells how to add registry keys that tell the Windows Search service to index additional file types.  I’ve done this for all of the common .Net file types:  cs, aspx, xml.  Now, whenever I do a search through Windows Explorer or the start menu, I’ll see my source code in the search results.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Access Denied when Running Site Locally

"Could not load file or assembly 'xxxxxx' or one of its dependencies.  Access is denied."

If you get this exception when running an ASP.Net site through the Visual Studio web server, make sure that McAfee isn't causing the problem.  Here's what I had to do to turn it off:

  1. Open the "VirusScan Console"
  2. Go to properties on "Access Protection"
  3. Click on "Common Maximum Protection"
  4. Make sure "Prevent creation of new executable files in Windows folder" is set to NOT block.
  5. Click "OK"
  6. Now restart the Visual Studio web server and it should work!

I’ve also had this problem when the Windows Search Service is trying to index the DLL’s in my “bin” folder every time I compiled.  You could try using the “Process Monitor” tool to see if there’s another program accessing your DLL causing the locking problem.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Space used by SQL tables

This SQL might be useful to you.  It will show you which tables in your SQL 2005+ database are taking up the most space.  Parts of the code were taken from the sp_dbsize system stored procedure.

DECLARE @TotalReserved AS INT
-- Get the database size...
SELECT @TotalReserved = sum(convert(dec(15),reserved)) * 8192 / 1024
FROM sysindexes
WHERE indid in (0, 1, 255)

CASE WHEN Rows > 0 THEN Reserved * 1024 / Rows ELSE -1 END as 'AvgBytesPerRow',
Reserved * 100 / @TotalReserved as 'Percent',
replicate( 'X', Reserved * 100 / @TotalReserved ) 'Reserved Space Graph'
select t.Table_Name,
FROM sysindexes
WHERE id = OBJECT_ID( t.Table_Name ) and indid in (0, 1, 255)
) as 'Reserved',
SELECT i.rows
FROM sysindexes i
WHERE i.indid < 2
AND = OBJECT_ID( t.Table_Name )
) as 'Rows'
FROM information_schema.tables t
) a

Monday, January 4, 2010

CSS Text-Overflow

Text-Overflow CSS property:

Emulate text-overflow:ellipsis in Firefox with CSS

How to Reinstall F5 VPN

I often have to log in to an F5 VPN to do my work, but sometimes all of the F5 components just don’t want to work.  Here are the steps to uninstall the F5 components so that the login process will reinstall the latest version.

  1. Download
  2. Run the program as an administrator.
  3. Tools > Remove Components > Yes
  4. Close the program
  5. Log in to to your F5 VPN site.

Now the F5 components will be reinstalled and the “Network Access” will work.