Originally uploaded by ScaleOvenStove.

Well, now I have a dog. Lucy (in the Sky) – Beagle, pretty mellow dog. 12 weeks old. Hopefully she stays cool. :)


Windows ME – Vendor CD, SU0173 Error – What do you do?

So, I needed to install a Windows ME VPC today. I have a Dell CD that has ME on it, so I figured I would use that, and then probably just use my MSDN key or maybe it wouldnt need one. Well it turned into a mini-ordeal.

If you set up a new Microsoft VPC image for ME, and put the CD in, it goes fine, gets to setup, and bam! – SU0173 Error.  Pretty much means,  “you cant use this cd on a pc that isnt by the OEM manufacturer of the computer”. So after a couple minutes digging, found this site which give more information.  I downloaded the .

Then I download undisker – created an iso from the CD. Got magic ISO going, added to the iso. Got Microsoft’s virtual cd rom tool, mounted a drive and pointed at my modified ISO. Set my VPC image to boot the newly created virtual cd rom from the ISO, and I would good to go. Now I can use good ol’ ME :)

To Catch or Not To Catch

Earlier today, it came up in discussion, on when to catch exceptions. Really, you end up getting bitten if you just catch exceptions in your code. Basically what happens is that you are using exceptions as flow control, and not using if/end, etc. What usually ends up happening is an exception is getting eaten, but you didnt want it to, and you dont know how your program is reacting to use. ELMAH is great, you should set it up if you are using .NET programming. Also, and it is funny, but this always happens, Scott Hanselman blogged about almost the exact same topic today. And if you can avoid, dont catch a System.Exception – use a more specific exception. If you turn on Code Analysis or run FxCop, it will tell you about that as well.

New @Home Project: VehicleInfoTracker

I decided to start a new project at home, VehicleInfoTracker. I swooped up the domain, and started building a class library to support what I want to do. Using VS2005, C#, TDD, SQL2005. Have some basic parts done already – registering as a user, registering a vehicle(s) to a user. Working on adding a GasFillup/GasStation object model now. Since I bought my new car, I have been tracking my fillups and saving info on them so I can track my gas milage. We will see where it goes from here.. :)

DishNetwork – Do Not Call Me!

So, after 5 years with just a cell phone, I now also have a home phone number. I get soliciting calls from Dish Network once a week. I put my number on the do not call registry, but it just must not have gotten through to them. So I get a call tonight, a recording, offering me dish network. Now I could just hang up, but I listen, and hit 1 to get to a rep. The guy asks me what he can do for me since I am interested in satillite service. I respond – “Please take this number off your call list”. And his respone? “click” – he hangs up! WTF?!?!

Now, I don’t have caller id, im sure it would have been blocked anyways, but are you serious? Do they now they by hanging up on me I am ever in my life going to consider getting DishNetwork service? This post is probably already to much lip service to them. I guess I just thought that maybe they wouldnt want to get in trouble for not abideing by the DNC registry, guess not.

Next time they call, I will ask them what they number is I can call them back at, so I can do the same thing to them every week.

Crisis Mode Burnout and SQL Server Tips

Ever have one of those weeks where everything is a crisis or you are in “alert” mode all week? It is pretty draining. The worst part about it is, nothing else gets done, things fall behind, etc. Lesson learned: if you have a sql database and you are seeing tons of connections and cannot find the root cause, do not run sql profiler – it just makes it worse.
As for working with databases, especially SQL, you need to monitor connections, cpu, db size, transactions, IO and you also need to reorg your indexes and update your statistics. That along with verified backups, and you should be off to a good start. Also logging failed logins and even successfull logins (sometimes) is a good thing.

There are alot of tools to assist as well (Qwest, Idera, Sql Delta, Reg Gate’s Suite, etc) – but first you need to know how to use the built in tools and things that come with SQL Server itself (profiler, watching processes, dbcc commands, and more).

Back to the burnout – if you get to the point where its non-stop crisis mode, once it’s over – go and party :)