August 2005 Archives

nAnt Tip

I've been struggling with a known issue with nDoc where it tries to generate filenames that are bigger than 256 characters. So instead of generating my documentation within the build folder, which is under the project folder - I'm going to have to create a temp directory at the root of my current drive with a really short directory name and create the documentation within it. The problem I had was figuring out what my current drive was. Answer:

<echo message="${directory::get-directory-root('.')}" />

Probably an easier way, but this'll do for now.

Google Talk

Probably going to be a lot of talk about this over the next few days. Google has just released a first beta of Google Talk - ther own IM / VoIP client. Just giving it a try now, but it will be interesting to see how this competes with Skype, AIM et al. It uses XMPP so is actually a fairly open client (See the developer pages). They are also talking about supporting SIP which would be great. Also seems to have good integration with gmail. One to watch definately, I think the boys in Redmond may be moving more into this space as well.

UPDATE: BBC News has a story about Google Talk, still nothing on the Google Blog. Also searching Google for Google Talk does not yet yeild the product!

UPDATE: Skype have announced a limited opening of their client base. Looks like the weight of Google is already having an impact. It's amazing how big the Google brand is. Considering this frst release of Google Talk isn't actually that good compared with what is in the market currently, the move is getting loads of press today. I heard reports in the (very short) news on BBC Radio 1 - even a mention in the New Scientist website. This may actually be quite good for Skype as it is getting mentioned against the Google Talk product - which means more people are getting to hear the name.

Back Online

Well, I'm back online in the new house - with a lovely new 2Mbps ADSL connection. Upstream is still 256Kbps but that is as good as I can get for now (unless I want to pay for extra lines and start bonding ADSL connections).

Alan Irwin has pointed me towards the Linksys WRT54G router as the firmware has been modified by a number of people including Sveasoft. Looks really interesting - especially as you can boost the WiFi power and also have sshd running on the router!!

Going Offline

This site may dissappear for some spells over the next few days. I'm currently in the process of moving house so it may take a while to get the old server located in my new garage. The good news is that I have some Cat5 cabling in the new house and a fancy 3Com router courtesy of Clark Sell. The bad news is that my broadband is not due to get installed until Friday. The good news about the bad news is that my line is getting upgraded from 512 kps to 2Mpbs! We'll soon see if it works...

Detecting Code Smells

I sometimes come across code that I consider posting to The Daily WTF, but I find the old career preservation instincts usually kick in. One of the most common problems occur when code is copy/pasted into lots of places. Tonight I accidentally stumbled upon this little tool for java - the copy/paste detector. Nice - the web site has links to the algorithims that are used. If I had the spare time I might get this working against C# code, but I have too many sourceforge projects open at the moment. Thinking about it, another great tool would be a plugin to word that could scan a document and hook into the google web api to find where sections had been lifted from - might have helped with 'that' dossier...

My Guest Map

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Excellent Google Hack via Scott Hanselman. Take a look at my guestmap Let me know where you live! It's a bit buggy and performance isn't great - but still pretty good.

Modal Dialog Copy Paste

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A friend of mine called Mike Becker just passed on a tip that I am now committed to passing on to as many people as I know. You ever needed access to the information in one of those annoying modal dialog boxes? Well now you can. Simply hit "Ctrl-C" when the window is in focus and it will copy the contents into your clipboard! If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I would never have believed it. Try it yourself by clicking here.


I'm loving the new Generics support in C# 2.0 - may I never use the vanilla System.Collections namespace again. Syntactically, generics in C# and Java are quite smiliar, but there are some important differences under the hood of the VM (or CLR). There is an intersting converstation between Bill Venners and Anders Hejlsberg posted here on the topic of the C# and Java implementations of Generics. Basically, the IL for .NET 2.0 understands generics, but the 1.5 JVM does not.

VSTS Extensibility Toolkit

I always have trouble finding this, so I'm adding a link to the VSTS Extensibility toolkit to my blog and my links...

Apple Store

Now I'm in the Apple Store in Chicago - sweet!!

In Redmond


Just a quick post from inside the MS Vistor Centre in Redmond. Just seen a Compaq Luggable I still have in my Dad's loft inside a museum exibit - that's bad. Anyway, I'm now heading back to the office, then back to Chicago at the weekend.


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