30 Nov 2005

Visual Studio 2005 beta 2 breaks ASP.NET 2.0 application cache

Cut a long story short (again) - If you have an app running on your workstation that uses the web cache (e.g. HttpContext.Current.Cache) you may notice the cache contents being dropped at seemingly random intervals while developing the app in Visual Studio 2005 beta 2. The bizarre behaviour starts when I open an ASPX page for editing, and then only stops when I close Visual Studio.

21 Nov 2005

Physically Shrinking An SQL Server 2000 DB's Transaction Log File

Had a big old transaction log (LDF) file that I wanted to cut down to size after backup.

This was quick (but very dirty):

  1. Set Recovery mode to "Simple" in DB Properties > Options.
  2. Ran a CHECKPOINT command in Query Analyser
  3. Ran a DBCC SHRINKDATABASE() command in Query Analyser

18 Nov 2005

SQL Server 2000 Full-Text Indexing

Cut a long story short - You can't do Full-Text Indexing in SQL Server 2000 on Windows 2000 Professional edition.

Why it doesn't say this anywhere on the Microsoft site is beyond me. The enclosed link was the only one I could find to confirm why the "Full-Text Indexing" option in Enterprise Manager was greyed (grayed ?) out on my workstation.

26 Jan 2005


I gotta moblog! Das ist cool.

24 Jan 2005

Smart Phone

So I finally got with the hip kids and upgraded to a fairly modern mobile phone. The cellphone du jour is now an Orange SPV C500. Based on the HTC Typhoon it's a phone/PDA type thingy running Windows Mobile Smartphone 2003. Ah, but is it any good? Here's my thoughts so far..


No. It's not sexy as the picture will tell you. It's as shaggable as Bill Gates. Next!


Yes it is fairly small, just a tad bigger than me Nokia 8310.


Feels quite sturdy so far although the battery compartment cover has developed a slight bit of travel which irks an obsessive loon like myself. Like Bill Hick's loose tooth I can't stop jiggling it. I also haven't dropped the phone yet - something I have done several times with all my old Nokias. Despite flying into several bits, scattering batteries, snap-on covers, spaghetti etc. all over the shop, they always survived to tell the tale. If this fell to the ground I would be most worried about the..


Yes it has a bloody enormous screen for a dinky phone. Nice and bright, easy to read from different angles. Trés bon.

Battery Life?

Pretty rubbish compared to me old Finnish wonders. Say about 4 days with easy use. I do have to bare in mind that this phone has a 200Mhz processor though. In fact it runs about 25 times faster than my old Commodore Amiga and has over 30 times more RAM. Amazing!


If you really care about ringtones you have deep issues that you need to resolve. Take your crazy frog and enjoy some electro-covulsive therapy.


As a proper little computer unit the SPV can run all manner or programs including music players. The bundled Media Player 9 is pretty crappy but can play WMA and WAV files. You can also download MP3 player software including PocketMusic which rocks bells.

However there is a problem with this phone which doesn't seem to be fixable at this time! It seems that the sound circuitry has a fit every 14 seconds or so, adding a semi-audible "tisss!" noise to whatever you play. This scuppers my plans for using the phone as an MP3 player in my car. Arse. See here for more info.

Sound quality?

Seems okay so far. I'd say my old Nokia 8310 was a bit better, although on the other hand that had a nasty bug that would make often make crackling noises for the other caller.


Yup its got it. Haven't tried it with a headset yet. I have used it to receive and send files with the Welsh One's Nokia 6230 though. One thing to note - the crappy file manager doesn't have a "send via bluetooth" option. You have to select "send via infrared" and then select the bluetooth device when it finds it. Very intuitive... not! Actually even that doesn't work most of the time. I recommend you download an alternative file manager like SmartExplorer and use that instead.


Yeah it comes with a midlet engine, although there's not a great deal of stuff out there that will play happily in it. A bit of a novelty feature really.


Yeah it has a VGA camera and it can also record video. It's okay, not brilliant. It does seem to have a stupid bug though where it won't go into camera mode because it thinks there isn't enough memory available for the preview - even when I've proved there is with Task Manager.

Other stuff.

In no particular order:

  • It has email capability with POP3 over GPRS. Neat-o!
  • It has a calendar and can synch with MS Outlook. Neat-double-o!
  • It has a dinky version of Internet Explorer for viewing websites over GPRS. Works nicely.
  • It has a USB lead so you can load and manage the files quickly. Groovy.
  • It has a scrollbar joystick controller that is less prone to mis-clicks than others I have tried like the Nokia 6230
  • Windows Mobile OS does seem a bit flaky to me! They still haven't got it right IMO. It has crashed a couple of times already... Also it takes an age for the camera to boot. Well over a minute...
  • Customizable. You can write your own XML files to control every aspect of the interface colours and homescreen layout. Even write your own custom plugins. Just go and check out MSDN.
  • They should make it easier to manage the sort order of the Start menu! I had to hack the registry... bleh.

Okay that's enough for now. I'll keep you posted, I bet you can't wait!

23 Jan 2005

Baby baby

For Zootfans who don't know, the Welsh One and I sprogged forth on the 23rd Nov 2004 with our little noob, Joshua. Photies? U got 'em: http://zfi.org.uk/photos

Now that I have 2 months parenting under my belt I feel wise enough to vent forth....

Nappies (a.k.a diapers in the colonies)

You get what you pay for. We have tried Morrisons own-brand, Pampers and Huggies - all for newborns. The supermarket ones leaked right through the material, so boo to them! The Pampers didn't have much room in them for poo collection, leading to spectacular results. Therefore Huggies win for now, with their capacious load compartment and wide non-sticky tabs. I'm still keeping my eye on Pampers for the next level up cos they do seem to have nice stretchy sides.


As a bloke I naturally couldn't belive the amount of crap we had to buy. The decisions we had to make rocked me to my core. Like "Microwave vs Electric" for the choice of sterilizer system. Note that we discounted Cold-Sterilization as we are clearly not Communists.

In the end we went for the nice n' cheap Tommy Tippee microwave sterlizer and I stand by the decision. A counter-top electric sterilizer would just be one more thing in my kitchen that needs dusting, whereas the microwave one can live in the microwave when not in use, and is also more portable. Go microwave!

Dummys (a.k.a pacifiers or soothers)

They are all rubbish! Why won't our little chap take to them? Aaargh. He is perfectly happy to suck my finger all day long, so why won't some entrepreneur come and make a latex mould of my finger and cheer us all up bigstylee?

T.E.N.S Machines

These are the power-abs type thingies that you can hire to help with pain relief during the birth itself. The Welsh One hired one and it worked fine for her. Go for it. You'll still need an epidural though I promise you! Muahaha...


What is it with all the teddybears everyone is buying for the Noob? People, he has 13 million cuddly toys in his bedroom now; there isn't enough room for him to sleep any more! For the love of Bod save your effort and send the cash direct to me!

Pushchairs. Travel systems etc.

We bought a bloody massive Mamas and Papas (Peg Perego) Venezia travel system and although the Welsh One likes it for moogling around our estate I have to say it is a right pain in the bum to cart around the shops. For a vastly easier time I recommend you get a baby-carrier (sling thing) which instantly makes you look like a trendy dad and receive red hot girly action!

If you do get a sling, the Baby Bjorn one is a good design. The Tomy ones are crapola. One more thing - we bought both our Pushchair and Sling 2nd hand off eBay and don't regret it for a moment.

Muslin Squares

What the hell is Muslin? Why do I personally need to know about it? Buddy, you will. Buy a shedload of it. It's da bomb. In fact I have decided to become a Muslin cleric.

Hmmf. Sorry.

Moses basket

I thought this was a trendy frippery. I was wrong, you need one of these for the little blighter to sleep in for the first 2-3 months. Much more convenient to have in yer bedroom than a....

Travel Cot (crib)

We bought a Graco Electra mega deluxe travel cot thingy with vibration, sound, lights, a bassinet and a bloody kitchen sink thrown in. Packed up the damn thing weighs more than my car! Darling audience I pray thee don't bother about getting one of these straight away. Samsonite now do a pop-up crib thing, I think it looks ace: http://www.kiddicare.com/invt/tcssambubbd

Okay that's enough spoutage from me on this subject for now!

Okay let's try again

Right, time for a new start. I hereby swear to keep this blog up-to-date and post stuff worth reading.

So I've screwed that up already!
If I helped you out today, you can buy me a beer below. Cheers!