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Archive for January, 2006



I spoke at the Fredericton .NET User Group last night on Team System.  It went well – a lot of the stuff in Team System is fun to show and professional developers really resonate with it.

Well…  I use the Address toolbar in the Windows taskbar.  It just so happened that the last site I visited via that toolbar was, which is where I regularly check the current US to Canadian dollar exchange rate.  In the middle of my presentation I noticed the URL and it dawned on me that it might not be obvious to everyone that the site is, um, family friendly.  So if you were at the presentation and the noticed the URL, X is for exchange.

January 26, 2006Comments are DisabledRead More
How to check for a network connection in .NET 2.0 (C# or VB)

How to check for a network connection in .NET 2.0 (C# or VB)

To check for a network connection in .NET 2.0 use this:


To monitor a change in IP address or a change in network availability, use the events from the NetworkChange class:



January 18, 200617 commentsRead More
What does every Visual Basic developer need to know?

What does every Visual Basic developer need to know?

What are the .NET Framework and Visual Basic .NET features that every VB developer should know?  I suggest the following as a starting list (in no particular order):

  1. Object-oriented features:  classes, objects, constructors, inheritance, interfaces, polymorphism, methods, overloading
  2. Shared (static) Classes and Methods
  3. Converting data types and casting objects
  4. Manipulating strings and using StringBuilder
  5. Basic File I/O (open, read, write)
  6. ADO.NET:  DataSet, *DataAdapter, *Command, and *DataReader classes
  7. Basic XML processing (opening a file/stream and finding an element)
  8. Exception handling / Try-Catch blocks
  9. Difference between late binding and early binding (and the existence of Option Strict On)
  10. Assemblies, referencing DLLs, and importing namespaces
  11. Basic collections (lists, dictionaries, arrays)
  12. Security fundamentals (CAS, authentication vs. authorization, validating input)
  13. Basics of threading
  14. Basics of garbage collection
  15. Spitting out data and getting data back (varies with type of application of course)

Comment away!  Please don’t just say C# (or Ruby)…  I’m not looking for yet another VB vs. C# debate.

January 6, 2006Comments are DisabledRead More
Riley the Blog Helper

Riley the Blog Helper

Last month I was looking for a tool to automatically announce posts on and at my blog.  After a modest amount of searching I gave up on finding a tool that did exactly what I wanted.  Tonight I just threw together something simple.  It uses the .Text Simple Blog Service and the RSS.NET Class Library (with a few minor tweaks).  I point the tool at an RSS feed and select the posts I want to announce.  There is a little preview of the announcement HTML and an easy-to-acquire Announce button.  It’s pretty simple at this point (a mere 80 lines of VB code including whitespace).

I’ll gladly share the code if anyone cares.

January 5, 2006Comments are DisabledRead More
Brain Teaser: What Does This JavaScript Do?

Brain Teaser: What Does This JavaScript Do?

JavaScript is one of those technologies that you can use for years knowing only very little about it.  Do you know what the following <script> block will do?  Post your guess as a comment before you test it out!


  function A() { document.write(A) }



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