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5.25.2006 - Finish Lines

Been working like hell for the last 2-3 weeks. A virtual marathon at work and at home. The good news is my big project at work is pretty well completed and I am quite satisfied with its capabilities and its interface. The database back-end for that project is awesome - a turn the key and walk away type solution. I am also wrapping up the new Arts Center site and it too turned out very nice and I'm pretty happy with the results.

The Arts Center site provided an opportunity to delve into PHP. It's an interesting language. It's quite effective and pretty much on par with classic ASP which I have been writing for so long. I've never parsed in a non-XHTML XML file before on the server - PHP 4 has some good tools for that which made the process fairly simple. Fortunately there was quite a bit of information on the web about how to do that and all the other things I wanted to do.

To give Microsoft some kudos - ASP.Net is very very well done. It truly is vastly superior to classic ASP in terms of what it can do for you. A lot of the built in mechanisms makes creating sophisticated web interfaces relatively easy. On one down side - it does tend to auto-generate some JavaScript - and I'm not totally sure how much I trust it to remain browser-neutral.

One thing I thought that was a bit weird was that if a form element was not a runat="server" type tag you have to revert to more of a classical ASP style for capturing the data. Another quirk that bugged me was it doesn't properly assign class attributes to checkbox tags (probably other form elements too but I haven't verified it yet). One thing I can say was really cool was the way ASCX include modules are implemented - it allowed to truly modularize the code simplifying maintenance and improving overall efficiency of the design - well done! On the whole I can't see myself coding a lot of classic ASP in the future.

5.7.2006 - The Big Move, and Upgrades

Last week my brother and I flew out to South Carolina to move mom from Florence. 2125 miles later, she is now living (temporarily) with my brother and sister in law. And my 92 year old grandmother is living in a home in Mesa. A huge move and I'm glad it's done. The rest is up to Mom.

I found out that having a 3 year old around is only conducive to having a 3 year old around. Oof, Kayla is cute beyond description, but like any 3 year old she can wear you down. One funny highlight was when TJ, my mom's maine-coon cat decided that somebody had to pay for the hassle and inconvenience of being stuck in a plane and uprooted. Kayla became his unwitting victim as he proceeded to chase her around my brother's garage hissing at her the whole time. Was funny seeing Kayla being on the receiving end of harrassment from a cat.

I know TJ and just laughed at him hissing and growling at me. Kayla on the other hand had never met him. He's a big cat and he knows it. He proceeded to chase Kayla around the garage hissing and growling at her. Kayla ran from him and he kept it up. He wouldn't have hurt her (and we wouldn't have allowed it) but it was still funny to see him chasing her around.

Just upgraded my firewall to OpenBSD 3.9. While I was at it I swapped out the hard drive since I was seeing some occasional odd behavior from the old ones. So far so good - as I type this I'm recompiling the optimized kernel.

Hmm, speaking of kernels I think I managed to screw my Gentoo Linux box up a little bit. Ever since I updated the kernel on it, it has been acting odd. Tempted to leave it lay until I swap out some hardware next time.

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