Archives

Archives / 2008 / September
  • EasyDB | What a complete waste of my time...

    Tags: .NET, ASP.net, SQL

    After watching a DNRTV episode with Scott Cate on EasyDB I was really impressed and could definitely see how it could solve a requirement in a project I am planning...

    Straight after listening to the show, with the advice of Scott Cate (a promotion code), I hot stepped over to http://easydb.com to sign up.  After waiting for a few days, maybe a week and still having heard nothing I tried again and was greeted with this little chestnut...

    image 

    ...and that remains to this day.

    Why bother doing a dnrtv episode then not letting me in to try it, blog about it and generally test it???? Pointless...

    Anyone else using this beta that may have the power to let me in?!?!

    more...

  • Me, myself and my iPhone

    Tags: Personal

    iphone Its my birthday in a couple of weeks and as a present my girlfriend bought me an iPhone...its an early present, but she's been going to the o2 shop for the last couple of weeks and this is the first time they have been in stock.

    Anyway, she is a gem, because she used her contract so I could get it! I had too long remaining on mine! (Which means for the first time in about 5 years my mobile number has changed, which is probably a good thing, anyway, if you haven't got my new number and want it, contact me!)

    Here are my thoughts on what is probably one of the most hyped gadgets I have ever known...

    With IFAF ratings, IFAF you say? I fone acceptance factor i.e. what am I willing to accept just to keep using my iPhone!! Its funny what's forgiven when presented with one of the best user experiences ever...

    1. Battery life: I have always looked at battery life as fairly important when shopping for a mobile phone, but here I am re-charging with less that a full days use. IFAF: Tolerate - Not enough to send it back. Mind you, why couldn't Apple just allow spare batteries to be used? Compromise design perhaps...such apple bollocks!
    2. SMS functionality: what do I mean? Well, I cant save text drafts, I cant forward messages, no MMS - what's that about? Ahh...I should email everything/one...well, not everyone has as easy and consistent access to email as me(us)!! IFAF: Pushing it - I don't send a great deal of text messages, but I do often prepare ahead of time and send pictures of humorous things to my misses! (my sea monkeys being the latest thing!)
    3. Tariffs: I cant speak for all carriers, but here in the UK o2 have the exclusive contract for iPhones and aren't shy about exploiting it. Currently (still with o2) I pay £25 per month for more minutes and texts than the £35 iPhone contract, and about 500% more than the £30 contract that is surely just a token deal which is so shite that no-one will take it and go for the £35. take a look here http://o2.co.uk/iphone/paymonthly IFAF: its only money right! I want an iPhone!!
    4. iPod: Of course the iPhone has an iPod built in with the same interface as the iTouch, which is so silky it slippery to the touch! However, in iTunes (which I like by the way!!), you cannot simply drag and drop albums like my iPod, I can only sync playlists, reading around the accepted method seems to be create a single playlist, drop all music into that and sync that one! IFAF: Takes the shine off - this is crap really, a big part of this gadget for me is that my beloved iPod will be built in...with the major addition of touch!! The fact that others have raised this means I'm not alone...its another big WHY? For the apple bods. It just takes the shine of an otherwise perfect feature.
    5. Camera: The camera i think is only 2MP...which is well below par. IFAF: Tolerate - i dont use it a great deal and accept that a phone wont take great photos.
    6. Radio: I do miss not having a radio, but then again the battery would be flat before I got to work! IFAF: Tolerate - I can happily live with out, I have never used a "phone radio" that was much good anyway!

    These few gripes however no way make up for a how silky and smooth to use it is. The keyboard is awesome, the email interface (even with the IzyMail nonsense because I use live mail, not gmail - Izymail is sweet, the fact that Live mail doesn't do POP3 is nonsense) is one of the best I have ever used on mobile device - Blackberry is not even close. The GPS, although not a full blown Sat Nav is pretty mustard.

    I also love the fact that custom apps get in on the action!!

    I am yet to unlock (or JailBreak!) my iPhone, I haven't looked into it much and as yet have no reason to do so...anyone got reason why? What does it do for me?

    I'm sure there are a few more gripes and I will come across as I get into day 3 of usage, but how much of a dent it will put into the weird power of the iPhone!

    more...

  • Live search for your blog with GWB, MSDN and Web integrated search

    Tags: Personal

    Check out my new live search component to the right here ->

    I came across this on Heather Solomon's blog, thought it was cool so had a play and set one up for my blog.

    To start with get yourself over to http://search.live.com/siteowner, select the advanced option.  I think it only works if you have your blog on a custom domain like blog.steveclements.net as www.geekswithblogs.net/steveclements doesn't work.  I also created a live search macro for geekwithblogs.net and used and existing one for msdn sites and blogs.  Creating your own macro is very straight forward, well the basic one is, I didn't actually look at what the advanced offered.

    Here you can see the four tabs for different search results.

    image

    The live.com tool generates the code for you, but I had to make a couple of changes to get it to look right (background-color: White, add a search title) and fit (reduced the width).

    I am pretty excited about this, I have used google and live search before just to find content on my own blog so this is definitely going to get lots of use, with geekswithblogs on there makes it even more useful, I often remember a post from the geekswithblogs feed, but cant remember who posted it.  With MSDN and web makes it pretty complete I reckon!

    Heres the code.

    To get it to show in the blog paste it into admin settings -> options -> configure -> static news/announcement.

    <!-- Live Search -->
    <meta name="Search.WLSearchBox" content="1.1, en-GB" />
    <div id="WLSearchBoxDiv">
    <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="width: 185px">
    <tr>
        <td style="font-weight: bold;padding-right:5px;text-align:left;">Search</td>
    </tr>
    <tr id="WLSearchBoxPlaceholder" style="background-color:White;">
      <td style="width: 100%; border:solid 2px #4B7B9F;border-right-style: none;">
      
      <input id="WLSearchBoxInput" type="text"     value="&#x4c;&#x6f;&#x61;&#x64;&#x69;&#x6e;&#x67;&#x2e;&#x2e;&#x2e;"     disabled="disabled"     style="padding:0;background-image: url(http://search.live.com//siteowner/s/siteowner/searchbox_background.png);background-position: right;background-repeat: no-repeat;height: 16px; width: 100%; border:none 0 Transparent" />
      </td>
      <td style="border:solid 2px #4B7B9F;">
      <input id="WLSearchBoxButton" type="image"     src=http://search.live.com//siteowner/s/siteowner/searchbutton_normal.png     align="absBottom" style="padding:0;border-style: none" />
      </td>
    </tr>
    </table>
        <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8">
        var WLSearchBoxConfiguration=
        {
            "global":{
                "serverDNS":"search.live.com",
                "market":"en-GB"
            },
            "appearance":{
                "autoHideTopControl":false,
                "width":800,
                "height":550,
                "theme":"Green"
            },
            "scopes":[
                {
                    "type":"web",
                    "caption":"&#x53;&#x74;&#x65;&#x76;&#x65;&#x20;&#x43;&#x6c;&#x65;&#x6d;&#x65;&#x6e;&#x74;&#x73;",
                    "searchParam":"site:blog.steveclements.net"
                }
                ,
                {
                    "type":"web",
                    "caption":"&#x47;&#x65;&#x65;&#x6b;&#x73;&#x77;&#x69;&#x74;&#x68;&#x42;&#x6c;&#x6f;&#x67;&#x73;",
                    "searchParam":"macro:steveclements.geekswithblogs"
                }
                ,
                {
                    "type":"web",
                    "caption":"&#x4d;&#x53;&#x44;&#x4e;",
                    "searchParam":"macro:livelabs.msdn"
                }
                ,
                {
                    "type":"web",
                    "caption":"&#x57;&#x65;&#x62;",
                    "searchParam":""
                }
            ]
        }
        </script>
        <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"      src="http://search.live.com/bootstrap.js?market=en-GB&ServId=SearchBox&ServId=SearchBoxWeb&Callback=WLSearchBoxScriptReady">    </script>
    </div>
    <!-- Live Search -->

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