Still finding bugs

Sometimes bugs really astound me. The current tom.net.nz theme has been active for at least 6 months. When I first developed the theme, it was in Firefox, and looked great. But then I started using Chrome and noticed the following: That is, sidebar text that looked fine in Firefox was now weirdly spaced out in Chrome, and some elements (e.g. Archive date links) that were meant to be plain text now had Cufon styling.
Read more

On the bright side…

So I’ve been a bit of a Negative Nancy in my last few blog posts. I think it’s time to lift the mood a little with some good news. The following image: … Means that I am officially able to enter the US! Huzzah! Additionally, everything else from my last emo post has since been resolved, so I’m feeling pretty good right about now!

Apple: A hate story

To date, I have owned two iPods: An iPod video (5th Generation), and an iPod Touch (2nd Generation). I am going to start this post with a disclaimer: I like many things about my iPod Touch. It is lightweight, has a good battery life, and does most of what I need from it. Apps are cool too. If given a choice, I would probably buy it again, and when I get another MP3 player, there is a good chance it will be another iPod. That said, I have some major gripes with iTunes, and to a lesser extent, the iPod. Here they are, in no particular order:
Read more

Windows Phone 7 Beta tools

In my experimentation with the Windows Phone 7 developer tools, certain things have been a little hard to find information on. Here’s some of the best resources I have found, along with little nuggets of good information I have discovered and want to document. Resources MSDN Windows Phone 7 forums — often my own questions were answered here. Search up the top for what you’re interested in. Also keep in mind that the Windows Phone 7 SDK is based mainly on Silverlight, so many resources that apply to Silverlight can be readily applied to WP7.
Read more

MySQL backups causing problems

Lately I’ve been getting the occasional error from my WebFaction instance — alerting me that a running MySQL query had been shut down because it had been running for too long and was slowing the system. Here’s the offending SQL query: 1 SELECT /*!40001 SQL_NO_CACHE */ * FROM `phpbb_search_wordmatch` Very mysterious. The offending table is one relating to my phpBB instance. I did not have any further information at hand to work out what was going on, and so my first port of call in attempting to resolve the issue was to adjust my phpBB search settings.
Read more

Dark Visual Studio 2010 theme

Looking for a refreshing change in colour? Getting sick of coding against that glaring white background? Look no further! I’ve decided to upload my Visual Studio 2010 Fonts and Colors settings for public consumption. The colour scheme is loosely based on the Railscasts TextMate theme. Here’s a couple of screenshots to give an idea of appearance: (Click to view larger). To install: Download the theme settings file. In Visual Studio 2010, go to menu Tools -> Import and Export Settings… Import selected environment settings I recommend you save your current settings — just so you can revert them later if you don’t like the theme!
Read more

Visual Studio tip

If you’re like me, the way that Visual Studio 2008’s Solution Explorer jumps around to select the file in the current tab makes you disoriented and frustrated. Fortunately, I have found the ideal solution! Disable the automated behaviour: In options, open the Projects and Solutions section Untick Track Active Item in Solution Explorer Enable a keyboard shortcut to track the active item when you want to: In options, open Environment -> Keyboard Search for the command View.
Read more

Next big thing

I have something of a prediction. If not a prediction then a wish. A wish for a feature that should become part of IDEs everywhere, in much the same way that IntelliSense-esque tools and refactoring tools have. To explain the feature, first let me explain the problem it solves. Supposing I have a number of similar lines of code: 12345 Item1.Text = GetData("Item1") Item2.Text = GetData("Item2") Item3.Text = GetData("Item3") Item4.Text = GetData("Item4") Item5.
Read more

Facebook Connect observation

Here’s a bit of a dud write-up. Dud because the risks are minimal, as I realised when I started looking into cross-domain iframe DOM scraping… But potentially interesting reading for web developers nonetheless. If you have been browsing the internet lately, you have more than likely seen a Facebook Connect box. It looks like this: This particular screenshot is taken from Gameplanet Forums, but Facebook Connect makes it easy for any website developer to embed the panel into their website.
Read more

Moving

For a long time, I’ve been interested in software development and computer programming. At some point in my mid-teens I worked out that I could get paid to write code, something I already enjoyed doing. It was from this time that I had vague aspirations to move overseas and work at a large software organisation, and even back then, the first one that always came to mind was Microsoft. Those aspirations had always been in the back of my mind, while I worked on my Bachelor of Engineering, and worked at Canary.
Read more