Monday, 23 April 2007

Canada Day

While the official Canada Day might 1st July, last Wednesday was the next best thing

It was my birthday, and I got given the new Serena Ryder CD - "If your memory serves you well".

Serena Ryder performing on SBS TV's RocKwiz She's a young Canadian singer that first came to my attention while watching RocKiz on the motel tv at Wagga Wagga while attending CodeCamp last month. I've never seen the show before as our SBS reception is virtually non-existant at home (lots of snow!). Anyway, she not only had a very good knowledge of music trivia, but has a really nice voice.

The other Canadian event was the birth of my cousin Toby's son Tiernan (technically this was on the 17th, but I'm sure we can work something out with timezones!). Toby and his wife Jen live in Canada, and this is their first child. Congratulations to all concerned.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Farewell Roger

Roger let us know yesterday that he'll be leaving UniSA at the end of this month, and will be starting a new job at Oconics.

We'll really miss him, but hopefully we'll still see him at SQLSIG meetings (assuming he doesn't end up in Dubai!)

Monday, 16 April 2007

Passed 071-510

Following on from last week's pleasant news, I stumbled across the fact that I've also passed the Microsoft Team Foundation Server: Configuration and Development exam!

So I'm now a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist for SharePoint and Team Foundation Server. Time to add another image to my blog template.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Passed 071-541

I just found out I passed Microsoft Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0 - Application Development, which I took in December.

Ironically, I found out from a message from my wife - they'd sent an old-fashioned letter in the mail. Not sure why they wouldn't just send an email to me :-)

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Debugger "Feature" for SharePoint

Here's a Debugger "Feature" for Windows SharePoint Service 3.0

Microsoft Management Model Designer

Here's a new tool from Microsoft to help you produce MOM management packs for your applications.

A bit of background can be found in a document published last year - Health Modelling: A Key step to DSI-enabled applications

The tool helps you to manage the events and counters exposed by your application that can be used to assist in monitoring performance and problems.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Adelaide (Buckland Park) Radar offline

Users of my Australian Weather Radar gadget (particularly Adelaide-based ones and new users) - please note that the Buckland Park radar (and hence the images from it) is unavailable for the next two weeks.

So, no the gadget isn't broken (which was my first thought!) - just select a different location (eg. Sellicks Hill) and it all works again.

When I get a chance, I'll upload an updated version that fixes a few issues that I am aware of so far:

  • Some locations are in the wrong state/territory.
  • The centering of the image doesn't take into account the "docked height" value

Please let me know of any other bugs or errors you've noticed.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

PageMethods goes Open Source

I just received an email from Fabrice Marguerie, the creator of PageMethods (that useful tool that helps make your links between pages in ASP.NET applications "type-safe") He's decided to make the project Open Source on CodePlex. This is great, as hopefully it will allow a few people to contribute and help the tool to develop and improve.

Australian Weather Radar - Vista Sidebar Gadget

My very first Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget has been accepted by the Windows Live Gallery.

It allows you to select one of the weather radar locations provided by the Bureau of Meteorology, and then updates the image at regular intervals (10 minutes by default).

Because the sidebar is quite narrow, it also allows you re-centre the radar image so you can focus on your area of interest.

If you hover the mouse over the image, then it will cycle through the last few images (up to 10).

As outlined in the Copyright Notice on the Bureau's website, the images are copyrighted by the Commonwealth of Australia, but may be linked to without requiring permissions as long as acknowledgement is given and no advertising is nearby.

SharePoint 2007 CSS Reference Chart

Something to file away for future reference - a list of all the CSS classes and IDs used by SharePoint 2007.

VoIP problems

Before I left for CodeCamp on Friday, I'd done two things:

  1. I'd enabled the Telstra Home Messages 101 service on our phone line (seeing as our answering machine had died a couple of months ago)
  2. I upgraded the firmware on my Billion 7402GL modem to the latest release - 5.52e.

While I was away, Narelle mentioned that the phone had been playing up a bit. The Home Messages service takes a few days to activate, so I wondered if that was interfering with the Sipura SPA-3000's line detection somehow.

I had a look this morning, and after power-cycling the modem and ATA, everything appeared to be ok.

However tonight I noticed the phone dial tone was back on the expensive "Telstra" tone.

After fiddling with the modem settings for ages, I finally decided that maybe there was a problem with the new firmware, so used the emergency software to drop back to 5.04 then upgraded to 5.07, which had been very reliable and what I had been running for ages.

I managed to do this (though it would have been a bit quicker if I'd paid attention to the instructions where it said to ensure your PC has a static IP address before you start - kind of makes sense when you think about it).

After power-cycling again, still no joy.

I use the free SysLog daemon from Kiwi Enterprises to monitor what the SPA is up to, and it still looked like it was not able to register with our main VoIP provider - FreeCall.

Had my Sipura gone faulty?

As a last desparate measure, I checked the VoIP Forum on Whirlpool, and lo and behold - someone had posted about problems registering with FreeCall!

A quick visit to their website confirmed in the hard-to-read scrolling notice that they're suffering some kind of DDoS.

Please be advised that our main Internet router is currently being attacked by virus. VoIP services are temporarily unavailable. Apologies for inconveniences caused...

So I updated the Sipura's configuration to point to our other provider PennyTel (usually we just use them for mobile calls), and bingo! we're back online again.

A pity I didn't check that first :-(

CodeCampOz 2007 Review

Another year, another trip to Wagga for CodeCamp. This year was very good, though there were fewer presentations (just one "track", rather than the last two years where there were often two or more choices at times).

It really is good to spend a couple of days with your peers, and "super-peers" - hearing from some of the people who really know their stuff.

I even finally introduced myself (in person) to Mitch Denny after all this time.