Uh oh, not again...

January 14, 2009 at 6:52 AMJoshua Harley

So I figured I better explain myself on this one.

After a brief hiatus of over a year (yeah... "brief") I have finally decided to start blogging again. Rather than try and write my own blogging software I figured I'd fall back on an old friend, dasBlog. If any of you actually followed my blog before you might notice that I've followed this chain: dasBlog > Community Server by telligent > Tessa (my custom one) > dasBlog; talk about going full circle!

dasBlog has come quite a long way since I've last used it a few years ago. Setup was a breeze, they now have IIS7 integrated pipeline support (which means IIS7 has more control over the flow of the program and generally just seems cooler!) and they finally support .Net 2.0! While I know I could've used any online blogging service such as Google's Blogger (actually there was a one post stint on blogger), or WordPress I've always liked the idea of running my own site locally. I suppose I could've done it like Jared and had Blogger upload it to me via FTP but that still wasn't good enough. I wanted something that will work immediately, but allow me to edit it, extend it, and generally change it in the future without many problems. Naturally, understanding someone else's codebase is much harder to do than writing your own, I have learned a lot about programming in the last few years as well. In fact, that was one of the reasons I took Tessa down, I ended up learning so much that I was actually upset with what I had written and could no longer hack it together... I was actually planning on a complete rewrite!

Maybe in the future I'll progress down the same road as described above but I wanted something to let me write my topics now. You know, as they happen. This blog will be whatever I want it to be right now, there is no goal, there is no direction, it is just a place for me to jot my thoughts down and let others read them if they so desire. Obviously, given my background, most of the posts will probably be technical but that is how things work. I have gotten quite a bit of information on the internet from other blogs just like this one. Here's the scenario: some guy out there has a problem that is just causing all sorts of havoc and while the answer eludes them they eventually figure it out. Now at this point they would have a couple of choices but I am only interested in two.

  1. They do nothing and go on their merry way, maybe they wrote it down for themselves or documented it though some work order system or maybe they didn't. Who knows?
  2. They decide "hey, that was a pain, but let me write about it and post it online; that way if anyone else has this same problem, they can read my fix and get going much quicker."

I certainly hope they choose option #2 because I can benefit from it... it can save me time, and let me fix whatever the problem is quicker. Of course, whoever posted that information usually isn't asking for anything in return (generally) and will usually get nothing in return other than the satisfaction that maybe, just maybe, their post has helped someone else. (and in this field that can actually go a long way – why else would you be writing if it wasn't to help others?) So I figure after many, many years of reading posts, seeing code snippets, and having that elusive answer posted right in front of me I can finally return the favor and maybe, just maybe, someone might find my post helpful for them.

Posted in: General

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I forgot about .net 3.5!

January 7, 2008 at 1:05 AMJoshua Harley

I forgot to mention the whole reason the server issue came up... I have been trying to install .net 3.5 so I can upgrade my blog. I have an update, but it's on 3.5 whereas the server is on 2.0.

Here is the process to get to .net 3.5:

  1. Install .net 2.0
  2. Install .net 2.0 SP1

Oh wait... .net 2.0 SP1 requires .net 3.0 to be installed!
Here are the revised directions:

  1. Install .net 2.0
  2. Install .net 3.0
  3. Install .net 3.0 SP1

Damn it! Yet again... the .net 3.0 SP1 requires .net 2.0 SP1 to be installed!
Here are the revised revised directions:

  1. Install .net 2.0
  2. Install .net 3.0
  3. Install .net 2.0 SP1
  4. Install .net 3.0 SP1
  5. Install .net 3.5

Ahh! There we go... talk about weird dependencies! I mean, what the?

Oh well, I finally got .net 2.0 SP1 installed! I'll wait until tomorrow to do the rest. "Why?" you ask? Because I'm freakin tired!

Posted in: Rant | Site Information

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It got worse and worse and worse

January 7, 2008 at 1:00 AMJoshua Harley

Some of you may have noticed that my uptime has been rather low recently. My web server, Yggdrasil, has been BSODing and slowly generating errors that make no sense. Within the last 12 hours I have seen the stop errors 0x8e, 0xD0, 0x4e, and a few others. After much swearing and screaming I had finally resolved to reformat the thing. Any of you who know my current setup knows that Yggdrasil not only hosts the website and Kerio, but it also hosts my TFS front end. If there is anything you need to know about TFS 2005 it should be that TFS 2005 does not natively support access from the internet... and if you change the default ports or enable SSL you have now broken upgrades, unless you revert back to its original setup. It was one huge pain to set up! Anywho, I don't have a recent backup of Yggdrasil that I could restore.

David was kind enough to lend me his PE Bootable CDs to allow me to access the hard drive and copy off what files I needed. This was failing too... meaning the solution was more than reformatting... go figure. As the series of BSODs got more entertaining I started suspecting hardware, more specifically the RAM.

Long story short, I removed one stick of 512MB RAM and am now running at half of the RAM Yggdrasil used to have. It's slower, but it is stable.

Stable enough that I haven't had to reformat.

...

Yet.

Also! One of the many reasons I don't want to reformat (one being the HUGE task of trying to set everything up again) is the fact that I am finally moving into my own apartment this Saturday (2008-01-12)! You can expect some outages next week as I get my new network set up and repoint the DNS entries.

Wish me luck! (and my server luck too!)

Posted in: Hardware | Site Information

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November Update

November 27, 2007 at 12:52 AMJoshua Harley

SpamIt's been well over a month since my last post and I haven't done much with the website recently either. The only updates that have been done over the last month are better logging, and tweaking the keyword filter for spam filtering. I have over 100 keywords with different weights being applied to every comment field; this includes the name, email, and homepage fields since one spammer was crafty and was using a ten word body and only linked their site in the homepage field. The new list does have some tight restrictions: you can't use the domain suffix of .biz or .info (until I see a legit site, this is the easiest way), if you use bbcode [url=...][/url] it'll be blocked instantly considering I mention you can use standard HTML tags. It now keeps a record of every post blocked (by the keyword filter only, if you are blocked via the Http:BL or by my ranges, tough luck) and the content. If I see a legit comment I will take the time to repost it and tweak the filter to allow the comment (if applicable). Since I don't get many real comments, I don't expect this to be an issue (yet).

Most of my time has been consumed by work and by doing some overtime for work. I am in the middle of creating an Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 to Exchange 2007 calendar connector. This task, while fun, has been one huge headache after another trying to account for all of the small and large differences between the two. I do have one thing to say though...

I HATE RECURRING APPOINTMENTS!

Ok, not really, but they are one huge pain in the ass to handle - especially when you have exceptions to the recurring appointments! Aaaargh! I'll figure it out soon... though if I had my way I'd just disable recurring appointments considering I do have at least a one way synchronization working from SharePoint to Exchange for basic appointments. I am currently researching on how to tell if a list in SharePoint requires moderation or not (basic Approve/Reject stuff) and allowing meeting invites is soon on its way.

Working behind the scenes with SharePoint and working with Exchange 2007 Web Services (EWS) has been fun though and I can't wait to see the project complete. I only have a deadline of four weeks from now...

Posted in: Rant | Site Information

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