Passed 70-547

Monday, 30 June 2008

What a nice way to start the day! I passed the Designing and Developing Web-Based Applications by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework exam scoring 825.

So I’m now a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: Web Developer :-)

Standby power in the home

Saturday, 28 June 2008

A few months ago I was visiting our local library, when I noticed some interesting kits behind the the desk. They turned out to be "Home Energy Action Toolkits" (which has an acronym of HEAT!). I put my name down on the list, and finally last week it was my turn to borrow one of the kits.

They include the following items:

I was primarily interesting in using the power meter to gauge how much power various appliances use in our home.

Here's what I discovered:

Appliance Standby (Watts) On (Watts)
DVD Player 2.1 12
VCR 5.6 16
CRT TV n/a 56
2400 W Heater 1.3 960/1370/2210 (low/med/high)
CD Cassette Radio 1 5.3 8.5/6.5/6.3 (Cd/Tape/Radio)
CD Cassette Radio 2 4.0 5.9/5.3 (Tape/Radio)
Computer + CRT Monitor 8.5 160
Computer speakers 2 3.6
Small CRT TV n/a 44
1000 W Heater n/a 960
Camera battery charger 0.4  
Automatic garage roller door 10.4 100
Mobile phone charger 0.2  
Microwave oven 5.4 1550
ADSL Modem n/a 8.3
VoIP ATA n/a 2.9

Two other appliances were also measured, using a feature of the power meter which calculates running costs by allowing you to enter in the cost per kilowatt hour (I used 17.99 cents). The results were very interesting:

Dishwasher 14.44 cents per standard cycle
Bread machine 8.3 cents to make 1.25Kg loaf

So it probably is cheaper to make your own bread after all.

As a family we’re not too bad at turning off things that we’re not using. We’ve also started the move to compact fluorescent lights, and I intend to make use of a service like Envirosaver, which will come out and replace all your incandescent bulbs with CF ones for free.

CodeCampSA 2008

Saturday, 28 June 2008

CodeCampSA is on again, over the weekend of July 12-13th.

The speaker list looks impressive:

(Yes, I've put up my hand again!)

The event is free, but to assist organisers you're encouraged to register your interest. There's also a dinner at Marcellina's in Hindley St on the Saturday night which sounds great.

I'm definitely going on Saturday - will have to see about Sunday though.

Updated Jason’s surname, and added links to speaker blogs – let me know if I’ve missed someone.

Security tools

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Microsoft have just released a couple of new security tools that might be useful, especially if you’re still running some legacy ASP applications.

UrlScan has been around for quite a while, so I’ll be interested to see what new features are part of v3.

Version control for your database

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Getting your code into a version control repository is relatively easy. Doing the same for your database schema has historically been a bit trickier. I think this is partly because modern databases (like Microsoft SQL Server) come with quite useable graphical interfaces, which means that you can make many significant changes without ever writing a line of SQL.

The good thing though is that all of these changes are done using SQL, so version control is usually about keeping versions of the SQL scripts.

Some common techniques include:

Creating the initial database isn't too bad, but pushing out updates can be more difficult, especially if you need to deal with updating from different possible versions.

One tool that might prove in solving this problem is DBDeploy.NET - a port to .NET of the Java-based dbDeploy.