• Famous again?

    My parents actually noticed this photo on the front cover of the “Belair line renewal” brochure (Broken link, was originally (PDF), and then my son happened to notice the brochure and asked “Why are you in this photo Dad?”

    Passengers boarding train at Blackwood Station (Broken link, was originally

    Have a close look at the tallish guy closest to the left of the train. Yes, I reckon that might be me! You may recall, as a regular train commuter this isn’t my first brush with fame. Moving to ABB Grain (who are on South Tce) I did stick with the Belair train for a while (hopping off at Unley Park station to transfer to a bus down King William Rd), but then realised that the 218 bus is generally quicker.

    The Belair line is being fixed up this year, however it’s the only line that isn’t being electrified, which is just ridiculous. I’ve heard that “it’s tricky because the Belair line runs next to an existing freight line and also goes through some tunnels”. Give me a break! These are simple engineering problems that can easily be solved.

    The Belair line has never been the same since the government sold off one of the lines to become a standard-gauge freight line. Reducing it to a single track has meant that trains now need to wait on sidings to pass each other, and as a consequence the trains virtually never run on time.

    What I would love to see is they fix up the line, electrify and standardise the gauge and lease back the other line so that services could finally return to normal. That seems sensible and logical to me, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  • ASP.NET MVC 1.0 and Ouch

    Looks like version 1.0 of ASP.NET MVC is finally released. I’ve had a tiny play with some of the previews, but I really want to spend a bit of time getting up to speed with this. On a completely unrelated note, I’ve managed to injure my back today. I was riding to work and all of a sudden it felt like my lower back had a big spasm. I started to walk back home and quickly realised that I wasn’t going to get very far. Happily my Dad was able to come over and pick me up. He’s had personal experience himself of doing his back very badly, so was quite concerned – plus it happened that it was his bike I was riding (mine not having survived the trip home from this year’s tour). I’m a reasonably tall fellow and I wonder if the fact that Dad’s bike is a bit smaller might have been a contributing factor. So a rapidly-booked appointment with the Chiro and some Nurofen Plus leaves me a little more mobile now that I was earlier today, but it sounds all going well the pain will be there for a little while longer, and cycling and basketball might have to take a break for a bit. I had also been hoping to still get over to Wagga for CodeCampOz but sitting in a car all day doesn’t really sound that comfortable right now either.

  • ‘Severe error’ in SQL Server 2008

    System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: A severe error occurred on the current command.  The results, if any, should be discarded.

    That’s not a very helpful error message!

    Googling doesn’t throw up much except for KB article 961283. However after installing Cumulative Update 3 the problem remained, so that wasn’t it.

    Narrowing down the problem highlighted a stored procedure using a CURSOR while talking to a linked server.

    Re-writing the stored procedure without a cursor gave back a more descriptive error (trying to set a non-nullable column to null!). Now it was easy to fix.

    Thanks to Timothy, SQL guru :-) I’ll let him describe how he writes T-SQL that avoids cursors.