Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Banana Security

From the name it does not sound like a serious security company. As a matter of fact, it sounds more like a joke than a real security company. I can't tell you exactly how serious they are and how secure is their software, but, what I can tell you is how cool it is and how good it works. And that pretty much does it for me :)

As I mentioned before, I got myself a new computer. It came with a lot of cool features like wifi, firewire, 4 usb ports, integrated web cam and what I thought was the coolest feature until today, the finger print reader. I've been using it from day one and I love it. I love not to writing a password anymore, just swipe the finger and that's it.

But today I discovered what was only seeing (at least for me) in movies. Banana Security has a software that using your notebook's web cam takes a picture of you and associates it with your Windows account. After setting that up I can lock my computer and only my face will unlock it. How cool is that? I've just installed so it does not have cons, yet. I tested with my wife in works just fine. When she was sitting in front of the computer it wouldn't unlock, but as soon as I popped in my Windows session was up again.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Failed to generate a user instance of SQL Server due to a failure in starting the process for the user instance. The connection will be closed.

Same reason to previous post.
I got this error while working with my WCF client app trying to reach my services. If you Google around you'll notice it's related to SQLEXPRESS and probably, you have it installed but your not using it (at least that's my case).
Anyways, the thing is a bug kinda reported by Microsoft here (it's not my the exact behavior) and you can ask them for the hotfix (I have but they haven't sent it yet) or you can follow these dude's steps to fix it.

I know there's a comment about not fixing it but it worked for me.

Edit: Microsoft has sent the fix. I won't install it yet since I already fixed and they scraed me with that mail :(

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

ASP.net page default button

It won't be a long post. I just want to add one more post to the internet about this issue.
I'd looked for it it some time ago and at the time found a solution which seemed just perfect, at least it worked perfect, or so I thought. But a few days ago, a coworker was using one my apps (Goomez) and showed some strange behavior. The default button was not working as it was supposed to, and when I tested on my machine it did. Of course, he was using Firefox, don't ask me why, I don't get people using Firefox :)

Bottom line is I found a very useful post by Scott Guthire about this issue, and pretty easy to implement. Just put your controls inside a panel. This panel has an attribute called defaultButton where as the value you have to write your button's name. And that's it.

  <asp:panel defaultbutton="btnSearch" runat="server">
<asp:Image ID="imageLogo" runat="server" ImageUrl="~/images/GoomezLogo2.gif" />
<asp:TextBox ID="txtSearch" runat="server"></asp:TextBox>
<asp:Button ID="btnSearch" runat="server" Text="<%$ Resources:StringResources,search %>" OnClick="btnSearch_Click" />

Check out the original post for some other useful tips

P.S: I'm trying the "Insert from Visual Studio" plugin for Windows Live Writer

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

WCF timeout exception

I know I said WCF is not well documented, and I still believe it but I must say that when I posted about this issue I got a guy from Microsoft (named Richie) who really stuck with me to help me solve the problem. Even though I solved it, I still don't understand why. Now I'll post about it (and the solution) so hopefully I will help somebody with it and maybe some one can explain to me why the generated code with svcutil does not have what I want.

It all started implementing security features in the DeKlarit WCF Addin. When I finally got it working I started testing, and at some point the server did not respond and the client exited with a TimeoutException. I added trace log and message log and noticed that it always felt on the 15th communication.

After going thru the Indigo forum and Googled around I found the problem is due to the amount of concurrent connections opened and the timeout the have by default. What?!. Well, that's exactly what I thought, at least the NetTcpBinding (the one I'm using right now) has a default configuration that works in some limited cases.

How did I solve it? Closing the base channel every time so the connections won't add up. Even though it's been fixed I still don't understand why the generated code by the svcutil does not have those "close" calls.

Somebody? Anybody?

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Monday, September 10, 2007

WCF not well documented!

I know it's a pretty new technology, but I believe Microsoft should have done a better job with it's documentation. If you take a look at Microsoft's WCF forum you'll notice for the kind of questions people is doing that something is missing. There's of course the WCF for Dummies example where you host your services in your IIS and create a win app as the client. Everything goes smooth there. But what if you want your services to run as a Windows Service? what if you want to test it as a ConsoleApp?

I believe there's still some critical parts missing. If you come from Remoting you had an easy way to startup all your services with the RemotingConfiguration class, but in WCF there's nothing like it so if you have 10 or 20 services, as I have, you have the write two lines of code to create the service and open it to each and everyone of them... not cool! I've been trying to avoid it but I guess I'll have to run create that class myself. For some magical reason when you host your services in IIS, IIS starts them up. What about the rest of us?

It seems to me Microsoft was urged to release WCF and some critical parts are missing and other not well documented or not documented at all (it's real hard to find good info).

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