Resurrection with

by fwhagen Sat, 03 November 2012

To cut costs this year, I let my 1&1 Hosting account lapse.  Therefore this site has been down for a few months.  I am currently hosting it locally on my home server, but the ugly URL and the lack of reliability make that temporary.  I have been meaning to upgrade to a newer blog engine for some time, since DasBlog is no longer developed and chose  So far, I really like it.  I have some CSS issues to work through and a rebranding to accomplish, it works better than the old site overall.  We'll see...


Filed Under: Blog

Appending a String to All Strings in a List<String>

by fwhagen Wed, 13 June 2012

This is one of those great 1 liners in C# that I can never remember how to do.  If you want to add a value to every string in a List<String>, you can use LINQ to easily utilize String.Format() (or String.Concat()) to do so.  Given a List<String> paths:

paths = (from p in paths select String.Format(@"{0}\badfiles\", p)).ToList<String>();


Filed Under: .NET

Software Versioning Rules

by fwhagen Wed, 07 March 2012

Find a versioning method and stick to it!  I have been looking for a good set of rules to apply to all versioning exercises and I have finally found one called Semantic Versioning, or SemVer, online.  And as a bonus, it follows my preference in versioning pretty closely too.  While I normally use or depending on scope, SemVer prescribes following convention:

  • Major: Breaking changes.
  • Minor: New features, but backwards compatible.
  • Patch: Backwards compatible bug fixes only.

Good rules to code by.  And since I like to include the build number as the last digits, automation through the fantastic Build Version Increment VS plugin, makes it (almost) easy.  (Configuration can be a challenge on larger projects.)  Dig a little to find the latest version that also supports VS2010.

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Filed Under: .NET | Programming | Software


by fwhagen Wed, 18 January 2012


The most dangerous threat to the 1st Amendment being pushed by RIAA/MPAA through massive contributions on the order of $94Million. Much of the Internet community is protesting. Not that I am a big player at all, but I AM TOO!


Filed Under:

Use Multiple Versions of Visual Studio and Want Pinned Solutions?

by fwhagen Fri, 13 January 2012

I need to have VS2005 and VS2008 installed for support of one of my clients, and of course I use VS2010 for my own development.  And I love the pinned list of solutions that VS10 offers.   In the past, I used a folder Toolbar in the Taskbar for listing solutions for easy access, but that was a maintenance task. 

TaskbarPinIn Windows 7, you can pin the Visual Studio Version Selector to the taskbar and pin items from Recent to Pinned (or do it manually as any other Win 7 file can be).  This has enhanced my productivity for the client without cluttering my taskbar or desktop at all.  Windows 7 continues to be the most useful environment I’ve ever use. 


Filed Under: Programming | System | Work

Fixing Open Transaction Blocks in SQL 2005

by fwhagen Wed, 13 July 2011

Sometimes, when developing in SQL, a transaction will be left open.  Performance will fall through the floor, which can sometimes be the first sign that it happened.  If you cannot close the transaction properly, the following command will show the oldest, and probably orphaned, on the server:


The transaction can easily be termed by issuing a kill on the PID:


That should do it. 

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Filed Under: Programming | SQL

Book Review: Freehold - Michael Z. Williamson (2004)

by fwhagen Mon, 21 December 2009

Well, I am not afraid to admit that the only reason I picked up this book was because it was a free ebook on Baen’s website.  I think.  It was a long time ago.  I read a recommendation of it somewhere, probably on John Scalzi’s Whatever weblog site, and decided I had nothing to lose.  Besides, I was looking for a well-formatted ebook to try out on my PDA using MobiReader.

Freehold is old-school Science Fiction in the vein of Heinlein and Drake.  It follows the desperate escape from Earth of Sergeant Kendra Pacelli of the UN Military after being framed in an embezzlement scheme.  She finds herself on Freehold after seeking asylum at their Earth-side embassy and is overwhelmed by extreme culture shock.  What seems to me to be the ultimate Libertarian Utopia, is a unrestricted nightmare for someone who grew up in the authoritarian, politically correct, dystopian future that the modern world seems to be trending toward.  We get to follow her adjustment to a personally responsible, high-technology life on a world devoted to the freedom of the individual. 

It is difficult to preview this book without giving much away, so I won’t go into it much.  While it seems that it could be rather proselytizing, it really is able to keep it down to a minimum.  As I am a big fan of smaller government, the concept of Freehold, an individuals’ liberty and government minimization greatly appealed to me, and was essential to the storyline, but only was used that far and not to bludgeon the reader with political badgering.  The only major problem I had with the book was its length.  Because it was so long, it took awhile for anything to really get going.  I read this on my PDA, but read something on the order of 10 other books in the meantime, going back over a year.  Not that it was boring, but just a bit slow in the beginning.  But not to worry, it really picks up at the end and I ended up with a few really late nights to finish it.  A good read made great by its availability, and it served it’s purpose:  I will pick up more from this author in the future.


Filed Under: Books

XP Mode and MS VPN Problems

by fwhagen Thu, 12 November 2009

Windows 7 XP Mode is probably the best feature added to Windows in a long time.  I won’t go into how awesome here, but this is the compatibility measure Microsoft should have pursued years ago.  That said, the main use I have for it is to VPN into my office network. 

The client site I am working at is using normal MS VPN connections which are easy to setup and use.  Their parent company, however, insists on the Cisco VPN client, which I am loathe to install on my clean Win7 installation.  So I have both setup in XP Mode and can use them interchangeably. 

Getting the initial setup was a little tricky:  First you must shutdown the VirtualPC then switch the network setting from “Shared Network (NAT)” to a named network card.  The funny thing is, the only symptom is the connection is made but times out on authentication.  weird.

However, I ran into a problem where I could no longer get the built in Windows VPN client to connect.  It couldn’t find the address.  Then browsing stopped working, even the Cisco VPN client failed.  After 2 re-installs (of XP Mode) I finally found a post that recommends removing the Virtual PC Network Filter Driver from the NIC, rebooting and re-installing.  Like magic, everything works.  Evidently a patch to XP Mode or Virtualization knocked it out.  (I did start with the RC of XP Mode 64-bit, maybe the reason…)  The blog was the Virtual PC Guy but the instructions were for XP and Vista, not 7.  The 7 instructions are below:

1.  Click on the network icon in the tray and Open Network and Sharing Center (or from the Start menu)
2.  Click on the active connection (Mine is Local Area Connection 2)
3.  In the Properties dialog, highlight the Virtual PC Network Filter Driver and Uninstall  (I deselected IPv6 while I was there; it’s not needed yet)
4.  Click OKs back to desktop and Reboot (evidently a critical step)
5.  repeat 1 & 2 and click Install in the Properties dialog
6.  Select Service and Add; the Virtual PC Network Filter Driver should still be there, select it and click OKs out to the desktop.

Fire up XPMode VPC and you should be good to go.  I was.

UPDATE:  I am still having this problem.  I have found a reboot is usually enough to reset it, but I am still looking for a way to reset just the VPN driver without a reboot.  I've found nothing, yet....

UPDATE 2:  Microsoft seems to have issued a Windows7 x64 hotfix for this issue quietly.  I am no longer having this problem, unless the system goes to sleep mode while VPC is running.  Then it's a reboot of the physical host to reset.

UPDATE 3: Turns out, a simple disable/enable cycle on the NIC is all that is needed. Still annoying enough that I have switched completely to the free VMWare client for work-related VPN sessions.


Filed Under: System

Windows Sidebar on XP

by fwhagen Thu, 15 October 2009


Dashboard-40 One of my favorite features in Vista is the Sidebar.  I have been using precursors of it since Windows 3.11.  Anyone remember HP’s Dashboard?  I bought and used that app every day on every system I used until Windows 98.  Since then, I’ve used Konfabulator, Stardock’s DesktopX and many others.  When Microsoft came out with Vista’s sidebar, it quickly became one of my favorite features.  In fact, it remains my sole disappointment with 7 so far; it just doesn’t work quite as well.

At work, I am forced to use a 32-bit XP system.  I miss many of the sidebar elements while working.  CPU, memory and network metering are part of my dev cycle.  And there are decent enough widgets that come close.  Clocks, calendars and other items are very useful.  But the sidebar wasn’t portable to XP.

Until, that is, I found a patched/hacked version on DeviantART that seems to work very well.  Called simply Windows Sidebar, Real One, Pack, it comes bundled with the Alky for Windows library that allows it to run within XP (you don’t need to supply a Vista key when it asks, by the way).  So with a couple of useful gadgets, especially the ones from Orb2k, I can have all of my monitoring loaded in one extensible process.  Very nice, and thanks to ~joshoon of


Filed Under: System

Windows 7 + x64 + 8GB RAM + VS08 = AWESOME

by fwhagen Thu, 15 October 2009

Windows_7_Logo Well I finally bought 8GB DDR2 for The Beast.  Before I installed it, however, I went ahead and installed Windows 7, in 64-bit mode, of course.  While I was a fan of Vista, I am very impressed with 7, though I still feel it to be a better chromed version of Vista.  But the 8 gigs is awesome!  NO more memory issues, pagefile thrashing, or even a need for ReadyBoost.  And I haven’t run into a limit of Visual Studios open at one time.  Now I can finish my micro netcast receiver project….  (Ok, I probably didn’t need 8G for that.)

And the frosting?  XP Mode.  My client site has switched to Cisco VPN from whatever they were using that was MS compatible.  I hate the Cisco VPN client.  And of course, it won’t work on a 64-bit OS.  So I downloaded the RC version of XP Mode, fired it right up, installed the VPN and was connected to their network in under 5 minutes.  I’m gonna love that feature!


Filed Under: System