Archive for the 'Development' Category


Sunday, November 26th, 2006

You can buy a 320 gig external hard disk, with a USB-capable enclosure, for around $120.  That fits all my videos, music and photos, so using one as my backup medium makes sense.  It’s a lot faster than backing up to a stack of DVDs, and frankly I trust it more. I couldn’t find a tool […]

Application Configuration and the Registry

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

Back in the bad old days, applications used INI files to store settings like where the main window was when it was closed, or the last font selected. Then, with Windows 95, Microsoft introduced the Registry APIs, and suggested that applications store their settings in the registry rather than in INI files. One of the […]

Political Satire in Canada

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

I live up in the frozen wasteland, the Great White North, Canada.  I can say “up” when referring to Canada because Google Analytics shows most people who read stuff here are in the US.  Most of you can just skip ahead to the next unread subscription, because I’m going to talk about the state of […]

Flex, Array, ArrayCollection

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

I was working on some Flex stuff this morning, and got hung up on a data binding problem.  Data binding is one of Flex’s strongest features.  It lets you simply say “this value is bound to that”, so you can do something like have a label’s text be bound to a field in your data […]

RatingMerge for iTunes

Monday, October 16th, 2006

I’ve created a tool, RatingMerge, that lets you merge iTunes ratings from multiple music libraries. Check it out.

Obvious Obsolesence

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

One subtle way to encourage users to buy a new version of your software, is to make the old version feel old.  If the only difference between the previous version and the current version is features, and the previous version has all the features that the user needs, then what incentive is there to upgrade? […]

IncredBuild Becoming Increasingly Relevant

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

Most of the large projects I’ve worked on have been C++ MFC applications that had hundreds of source files in a single project. Visual Studio 2005 added support for parallel builds, but only of projects – not of individual files.  When you’ve got a single project that takes ten minutes to build, you want that sort […]

FileMon: Use It

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

I’m trying to figure out why my Windows Media Center sometimes just starts going nuts with the disc for short periods of time.  I’m watching TV and suddenly the disc starts thrashing like mad and sometimes this causes my program to skip.  Part of diagnosing a problem like this is using the excellent tool FileMon from […]

Setting the Clock Forward or Back

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Occasionally in software development you need to set the clock forward, or back, to test functionality or duplicate a reported problem. My advice to you is to do this inside a virtual machine, not on your main development system.  Messing with the clock is something that can have a pretty big impact on your system, […]

RSS Certification

Friday, February 10th, 2006

Every half hour, a bot at Bloglines (Bloglines/3.0-rho) requests my feed from it’s old location, gets told the new location via a 301 redirect, and probably doesn’t follow it. This means readers who subscribed to my old blog via Bloglines (all 21 of you) just aren’t seeing anything I write anymore.  (No big loss ) […]