Ouch again

Sunday, 9 August 2009

I'm a sorry and sore case again. My back gave out a few minutes into the first half of a game of Basketball on Saturday. Despite initial cries of "foul" from my teammates I quickly realised that the only reason I'd fallen to the floor in pain was an all too familiar but dreaded feeling in my lower back. One I'd hoped I'd never have to endure again.
It's so annoying as I'd been trying really hard to keep up the stretching and strengthening exercises given to me since the last incident. I realise this also doesn't just impact me - it messed up the rest of the weekend for my whole family, which is extremely frustrating.
Maybe it's an indicator that I need to think about other forms of exercise, and my body isn't as young and flexible as it once might have been? Or maybe the timing is appropriate for me to make the transition from player to supportive parent. We'll see.

Tracing the Sync Framework

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Using the Sync Framework (aka Sync Services for ADO.NET) can feel a bit like a black box. You implement some classes, override some methods, call Synchronize() and it all just magically happens..

Except when it doesn't. Sometime strange things can happen, and it would be nice to know a bit more about what Sync is doing under the hood. Unfortunately this is one product that Microsoft haven't release source code for, so you can't step into it with your debugger.

That was where I thought the story ended until I stumbled upon this topic on MSDN – How to trace the Synchronization Process.

So add some stuff to your app.config file and you should get a little more information about what is really going on.

Congratulations LobsterPot Solutions

Monday, 3 August 2009

I see that Adelaide's own SQL Server-specialist consulting company – LobsterPot Solutions – are now a Microsoft Certified Partner (Data Management Solutions, Business Intelligence).

Well done Rob!

Registered for Microsoft Tech-Ed 2009

Saturday, 1 August 2009

The life of a contract programmer can be a lonely one. Well I guess it would be if you never spoke to anyone and live on a island all by yourself, but I didn't mean it quite like that. One of the things about being a "regular" employee of a company is that most places have some kind of professional development programme. Our old team at UniSA was no different, and we were always encouraged to attend conferences and training opportunities that would enhance our skills and benefit both us and the institution.

But now it's been over 12 months since I left the the safe and familiar confines of the Flexible Learning Centre building at the old Underdale campus. I spent a short time at DECS and the remainder has been at ABB Grain Ltd. A side-effect of that was I wasn't able to attend Tech-Ed last year, though not for lack of trying!

This year I was thinking I'd miss out again, but after mentioning the group discount and free netbook with my wife, she encouraged me not to dismiss going altogether. I ran through the figures including likely travel and accommodation costs, and while it isn't cheap we can manage it. At least the cost can be claimed on tax which is better than nothing.

So to cut a long story short(er), I've now registered and will be heading off to the Gold Coast in about 6 weeks time. I am also very appreciative of my wife, as I'm aware it will be a lot of work managing the kids while I'm away. She did say if I go again next year, she wants to come too (Not to the conference, but just for the holiday!) Sounds good to me :-)

.NET Framework source code

Thursday, 30 July 2009

I knew that Microsoft were making it possible to Step Into .NET source code when you are debugging (if you configured Visual Studio to use the correct symbol and source server), but I didn't know that you can download the entire source by itself as well.

They currently have various bits of .NET 3.5, ASP.NET MVC and WCF. Hopefully more will follow.

More details are on the Reference Source Code Center Team Blog, and there's a forum too.