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Entries for August 2009


I've had several catastrophic hardware failures in a row, which have crippled my ability to work on any of my projects. So here's what happened...

About 3 weeks ago, the in-house email server power supply failed. The ball bearing on the main fan gave out. I replaced the power supply, but then the server did not boot up. I went and replaced the motherboard. No dice again. At this point, I just gave up and moved the different email domains into Google Apps. So the email stuff is working again, except for the SMTP parts. Google Apps SMTP is a giant pain in the ass, and I haven't been able to get that to work at all.

The second failure happened when I was trying to recover the data in the hard drives for the email server. I had SQL Server 2008 running there, so I needed to get the database files off them. I was in the process of plugging the hard drives, one at a time, into my workstation, when I accidently dropped the workstation case. This killed the boot drive and a few of other drives. By kill, I mean that the platters were turned to shards, totally unrecoverable.

My code is safe as I had backups of that, and the repositories are on a Subversion server in my LAN. However my development environment is a total loss. All of my virtual images are gone, and so are my local Subversion working copies. I had the vitrual images in a separate drive, and the working copies in another drive. Both of these drives also failed.

I'm still trying to sort through what drives are working and which ones are not. I bought a new boot drive and installed Windows 7 Ultimate, so that I could at least browse the Internet and email at home.

I decided to just hold off on recreating my development environment, until we move into our new house. The house is supposed to be finished this Friday, September 4th. I will be getting my own office, and hopefully a new workstation. We are getting the tax credit for new home buyers, but most of it is going to be used for new furniture, since all of our stuff is over 15 years old.

It may not be until October 2009, before I can get my development environment up to speed. I will know more, after September 10th, which is the day we are supposed to be getting the keys for the new house.

posted @ Monday, August 31, 2009 6:28 PM by

Posted in: Personal, Business

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I've been working on making the repository UI more intuitive. I wanted the UI to make sense at first glance. I believe I got the Subversion Realms working in an intuitve way now.

Notice that all of the repositories with the same realm are now under the same realm node. The Subversion Red-Book explains that repositories in the same realm should point to the same password and authorization file. I'm reflecting that best practice here.

Also notice that the second repository has a custom post-commit hook. This repository is using the rss hook that is in the "Subversion C# hooks" download page.

posted @ Saturday, August 08, 2009 6:05 AM by

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I finally got reading the Subversion authz file working (at least the basic UI layout). This screenshot is done against one of my live Subversion servers:

So my next step is reading the actual path permission in code, then figuring out how to do an UI for that. The "kernel" that drives PainlessSVN is actually open sourced and it's called SVNManagerLib. I'm hosting it over at CodePlex. Writing this code is not that hard compared to all the UI tricks that I need to use to present this to users.

posted @ Wednesday, August 05, 2009 1:40 AM by

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I've come to the conclusion that TextFileSplitter is at the end of its useful life. It's becoming harder and harder to fix bugs and add new features to this useful utility. After much though, I decided to create something new from scratch.

Enter, TextFileMechanic the evolution of TextFileSplitter. Here's the work that I have so far:

This is by no means a finished product. Some of the things that this new program will handle are:

  • File Merging
  • Custom splitting strategies
  • Unlimited file size

I use TextFileSplitter myself quite a lot, and there are some features that I can't add in its current condition. Unfortunately, I will need to make this a commercial product. The price will be very low, about the same price as a haircut. This will help me defray hosting, and commercial controls costs.

posted @ Tuesday, August 04, 2009 11:30 AM by

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I'm developing against PainlessSVN. There are a lot of things happening, and I had to slow down work on PainlessSVN. So here's a list of things that have been happening:

1) The house that my family and I were renting went on short sale, and we had to move out immediately. This created chaos for a short time, but it caused enough disruption that I had to stop work on everything.

2) The new rental does not have central air cooling. This made the house very uncomfortable. It was so hot inside that we ended up just sitting outside at night, until it was cool enough to go to sleep. We finally got 3 window units, and we can now live in the house during the day.

3) We signed up to have a new house built for us. This house is currently under construction, and it is scheduled to be completed at the end of August of this year. This is going to cause more disruptions very soon, as we will have to move, yet again. Thankfully, this will be the last move for us in the foreseeable future. I will finally have my own office, and will be able to concentrate back on the business of creating and updating great software.

4) While working on the PainlessSVN code, I realized that I could make it more intuitive if I did some structural changes to the UI. These changes, while pushing back the release of 1.1, will make it much easier to add new features to PainlessSVN. I will talk about these changes in a separate blog post.

posted @ Tuesday, August 04, 2009 11:14 AM by

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