You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

One sunny day in January, 2009 an old man approached the White House
from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he’d been sitting on a park
bench.

He spoke to the U.S. Marine standing guard and said, “I would like to go
in and meet with President Bush.”

The Marine looked at the man and said, “Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer
president and no longer resides here.”

The old man said, “Okay”, and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to
the same Marine, “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.”

The Marine again told the man, “Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no
longer president and no longer resides here.”

The man thanked him and, again, just walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the
very same U.S. Marine, saying “I would like to go in and meet with
President Bush.”

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and
said, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to
speak to Mr. Bush. I’ve told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the
president and no longer resides here. Don’t you understand?”

The old man looked at the Marine and said, “Oh, I understand. I just
love hearing it.”

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, “Looking forward to
seeing you tomorrow, Sir.”

–Sorry not sure who wrote this.

I have been surprised Circuit City has lasted as long as they have.  They just didn’t keep with the times and their prices were just out of line.  I don’t think I have purchased anything from them in over 5 years.  Not that I haven’t looked, they just never had what I needed at a reasonable price.  Plus, Internet shopping is where most of my stuff comes from.

In the book Good To Great, Jim Collens profiled Circuit city as a well rounded solid company which had positive momentum.   I would real like to hear comments on them now.  When I read the book in 2006, many years after it was written, I didn’t see his appeal in the company, and I didn’t see them forging their way forward.  They where more hemorrhaging money and looking for a direction to keep afloat.  (Actually I have always wished he would write a followup book to show and explain where his profiled companies where and are today.)

Well now they are gone, or leaving anyway, and besides for all of the people who will be jobless I couldn’t be happier.

Adios Circuit City
This is brilliant:
The Downfall of Circuit City, In Convenient Graph Form

Just the other day I decided to sign up with dreamhost for SVN and web hosting.  This hosting service is setup really well.  They have one very reasonably priced plan, and charge for extras from there.  Not that I need any.  They are running an unlimmited storage and bandwidth special right now.  Normally 50G (not sure on bw);  5 MySql databases, unlimited email and shell/ftp users,unlimited mail, imap access, webmail client, etc., etc.  Truly full service hosting. You can setup a virtual private server for on $15 per month extra!

Programming support for PHP5, Perl, Python, Full Unix Shell (one of my favorite parts), Crontab access, Full CGI access, Ruby On Rails, SSI, CVS and SVN reopos, and they have mod_dav_svn installed!

Running on Debian Linux, friends have told me that they have had very little down time with the service.

You cannot go wrong with all they provide for the price they charge ($9/month?), easily the best Linux based hosting I have come across.  Only time will truly tell me how reliable the service is.  The word on the street is good!

http://dreamhost.com

Oh yeah, and they are a green hosting center 🙂

A new installation of VS2008 Team Edition said it was missing a dll.  Other methods I found to add the dll failed as the whole directory under c:\windows\WinSxS where the dll should be, was missing.  Perhaps I forgot something during the install; I went to Add/Remove programs and clicked the VS2008 installation.  After the installer, did this and that a dialog box poped up reading:

A problem has been encountered while loading the setup components

After clicking OK on the dialog the installer just closed.  This isn’t good, I thought to myself.

I found this post through google which fixed my issue

There is a critical hotfix (kb952241) which is creating this issue with Visual Studio 2008.  Removing this hotfix and rebooting my computer allowed me to successfully run the installer again.

For reference I have included the entry in Windows update for this hotfix.

Visual Studio 2008 Security Update for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 (KB952241) Succeeded Saturday, November 01, 2008 Microsoft Update

Not sure if I will be prompted again to load the hot fix (I am sure I will) or how sever the security hole is that this is suppose to fix.

As always, I hope this helps one other out there.  If you have any further information about this issue, please put in the comments and I may add it to the post.

Update: Now of course Windows Update wants to load the hotfix every day I boot up.  I an not sure if I want to load it again for obvious reasons.

4/1/2010: I am loading my new Windows 7 computer and much after loading VS2008 and SP1, I realized I failed to load unit test support (Doh!).  When I went to load the feature in VS2008, I received a similar error as before.  The difference this time, the hot fix isn’t on my system, its now incorporated into SP1.

To fix this issue and let me select new features in vs2008:

  1. I had to remove VS 2008 SP1
  2. Update the features using VS 2008 installer
  3. Reload SP1.

A pain in the ass, but it does work.

To remove VS2008 SP1, go to Programs and Feature (or Add/Remove Programs) and click View installed updates. You will find it listed in here, and uninstall it from here.

Instead of creating a bunch of short articles, I am going to consolidate my experiences here.
Please note that this experiment is being conducted on GoDaddy’s economy plan which came free with a domain purchase.  I assume its functional, just with the annoyance of ads.  Thinking about this now this experiment may not have much weight, since I don’t know if these ‘free’ trials are throttled, etc.

  • Making a connection to FTP took some time to complete
    File upload speeds where decent, but switching from file to file was very slow.  Updating a dozen files all of 80KB in size takes no less than 30 seconds, I would hate to see how long Mediawiki would take to upload.   I am using FileZilla as an FTP client.
    Sorry to keep adding to this bullet, but the more I use the FTP, the more the delays annoy me.  Just grabbing a file to edit it, is so much slower than my current host.
  • Wow, this is annoying: There are ads on Yellow Error screens!
    Those sly bastards, the free one month hosting which comes with a domain uses ads.  That is just lame.  I understand it, but it’s lame.
  • The file manager is nice.  It allows you to upload files and zip and unzip files on the server, and edit files.  Of course other basic file manager stuff too.
    Screen loads of the file manager have a tendency to be slow.
  • Woot, PHP now on a Windows host.  It’s about time!
  • While in their web manager, clicked on the help/blog link and the generic GoDaddy welcome page showed.  Nice.
  • Having issues with file-level security.  A new app I am writing works with .NET’s System.IO classes, and most of the calls fail under this hosting plan.  If the app is running at a virtual web of http://mydomain.com/myapp, I cannot change directories in the app to the root, it’s not allowed.  I am unable to any System.IO.FileInfo methods on the files at all.  The ones I have tried are throwing a SecurityException.  😦

In a nutshell things aren’t going great.  It’ s just cumbersome to use their hosting.  Perhaps I prefer more control over my settings, I don’t know.  The slow FTP is a huge factor.  30 seconds to upload 12 files with a total size of 80k, is just silly.  Sure it’s only 30 seconds, but there is no room for scaling.

Final word: I’ll stick with iHostasp.net.  They may not offer as many items, but their service is much more solid.  Overall they ihostasp.net wins.  Just started hosting for my programming stuff with Dreamhost.com, for linux hosting, I haven’t found anything better.

For those of you pointing to CrystalTech, yes, I think they are a really good host, a bit expensive for me, for my use.  I have used them in business and they have rock solid hosting and excellent support.  Only one database and having to use code to map to other domains, isn’t great for multiple projects.

In all fairness to GoDaddy’s upload issue, I didn’t realize the website I was using to check out their capabilities was a free website with my domain, not a one month subscription for a website.  So it makes sence that they would throttle the hell out of it.  It would be useful if the would indicate something along those lines.

new_google_favicon

Google has put up a new favicon, looks good.  Ah the little things…

Forgot about this annoyance with GoDaddy; any time you change anything on your virtual host you have to wait for it to be processed.

I just added a sub-domain and fifteen minutes later it’s still in  a ‘pending’ status.  I wonder how long the new virtual web directory will take to complete?

Write a quick blurb and send it off. OK, done.

It’s been a bunch of months since I have look at other hosting.  For a few years now I have been using iHostasp.net, and they are not a poor host, but I have had my issues with them.

What I like most about iHostasp.net is that their middle plan support 3 separate web spaces, this is a huge plus, something you don’t find too often in shared hosting.  They also allow 3 MS SQL databases and 5 MySql database.  All accessible from outside their network.  This was the main reason I went with them originally.  I can setup all typs of domains and sub-domains and virtual folders, that has never been an issue.

iHostasp.net has been slow to update their service and NEVER contact their clients when they make changes.  They changed the way you connect to databases from the outside, never said anything.  They updated to support .NET 3.5, and never said anything.  Plus, when I asked how to utilize it, I was told they would have to move me to a new server, which they did, but I lost all of my site stats.  They use SmarterStats, which has import capabilities, but it wasn’t configured in a way that I could import my saved log files, and they didn’t help me out in getting the files imported.

So sure they have been an OK host, and I have recommended them to others, but if I find a like deal with more stuff, well I have too investigate it.  I often wondered if they would care whatsoever if I left?

I was checking out my domain renewal dates on GoDaddy and noticed that I had to free credits for shared host accounts.  Oh yeah, I said, forgot I have those.  I have used GoDaddy often in the past, have had hosted and virtual dedicated services there.  I respect them and they have usually provided adequate support.    The two biggest items that kept me from using GoDaddy.com is they don’t (or didn’t) support external access to databases and are in a timezone which does use daylight savings time.  Now the second part isn’t that big of a deal, it only broke the training calculators on my eve-igbtools.com site, and only during daylight savings.

At the time, not being able to update my database from Enterprise Manager what just not an option.  Many of the planned application for that  site where very database intensive.  Only ever got around to writing one of them, and it’s only accessible by me.

GoDaddy’s hosting plans have really been enhanced since the last time I looked.  For the same $14.99 I pay at iHostasp, I can get unlimited domains, unlimited sql databases(!), unlimited MySql databases, IIS 7 (iHost doesn’t have this), SSL cert(!), PHP support under windows and others. Oh and most importantly, remote access to databases!

Performance has been OK in the past, I wonder how that is now?  It says nothing a GoDaddy about multiple primary domains, which means everything will run in the same memory space.  I am not too crazy about that.  Probably the one thing which may keep from using them.  For most of my piddly apps it really isn’t an issue, but it has been a useful configuration option.

Update (1/9/2008) The shared host I am using is the basic, which only allows one domain.  Once this month is up (probably sooner knowing me) I will get a better plan to try out.

Not sure where I am headed right now, but I will check out the GoDaddy service again on my free token, and go from there.  I am paid up through March at iHostasp, I am sure I will know by then, and I will writeup my decision.

I remember spending much of my pre-teen and teen years flipping and drooling in the once defacto electronics guide, The Radio Shack Catalog.  No always the best products, but it sure had everything.

I have been introduced to a website archiving all of these great catalogs, and it’s been fun looking at all those products again.  I am amazed at how many I still have; which still work!

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/

The TRS-80, one of the first computers I fiddled with.  STA-7 stereo receiver, which is still in use today.  Liner tracking turntable.  Chronomatic 248 clock radio (introduced in the 1986 catalog).

What items do you still have and use?  What items do you remember the most?

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