Covered topics: life in general, personal productivity, life hacks, organization, software development, technology, etc.

The Dispose method on a WebControl/Page can be overriden to handle closing of connections, etc. when the page request is done.

For an object inherited from System.Web.UI.Control, the Load event happens before any postback events are processed.  This means that you cannot expect a button click or other similar event to hit before a Page_Load on an ASP.NET page.

It appears that the PreRender event on a System.Web.UI.Control object is the last place you can make anychanges to a control's contents and have it persisted to the viewstate when the page is rendered.

You can "upcast" (my term for treating a base class type as an inherited class type) the EventArgs in a method like OnBubbleEvent by checking the e argument (of type System.EventArgs) using the TypeOf keyword in Visual Basic.NET or the is keyword in C#.  More on this later.

Magic Eight Ball

An amusing thought came to me recently.  I may refine it and expand it later, but here it is in a nutshell:

"Computer consumers want software to perform the functional equivalent of the magic 8 ball in every context."

Bayesian Belief Nets

A friend of mine, Dan Johnson, remarked to me about Bayesian Belief Nets as some kind of artificial intelligence algorithm for determining the relationship between things.  I don't want to forget it.

Here's a great tip (and this is one I hesitate to give away, but...for anyone that actually reads this blog/klog):

Add power to your Google searches by limiting the results to a specific site.  You can do this by using the Advanced Search on Google's website, OR (my favorite) you can use special syntax in the Google search box.  Add the phase "site:desiredsite.com" as a term in your search to limit the results to the specified site.

For example, "SQL Server 2000" site:microsoft.com - looks for an exact phrase of "SQL Server 2000" on any of Microsoft's sites.  Or, you can add a subdomain to make it even more specific. 
"SQL Server 2000" site:msdn.microsoft.com - looks for an exact phrase of "SQL Server 2000" in MSDN's collection of material.

Have fun searching.

According to Tom Noe, SQL Mail must be configured at the SQL Server level rather than at the database level.  This means that it cannot be selectively activated by database.  So, in a hosted application (using an ISP web hoster), it is questionable whether SQL Mail would be an available feature and its presence should not be counted on in an application design.  The command for sending SQL Mail is xp_sendmail.  A big downside to the xp_sendmail command is that you cannot specify a From on the message.

Yes, it is indeed confirmed!  In ADO.NET (at least with a SQLConnection class*), calling the Close method multiple times does not throw an exception.  Previously, in ADO, if you tried to close a Connection object* when it was already closed, it threw an error:

ADODB.Connection (0x800A0E78)
Operation is not allowed when the object is closed.

Thanks, Microsoft, for removing an annoying "feature" that added little value.

* Note: the hyperlinks in this post require that certain help files from Visual Studio be installed on your machine.  Sorry.

Architect or Not?

OK, I'm done reading headlines for the day.  It just so happens that one of my feeds contains a very technical discussion (or at least for a relative newbie to web services like me).  I read it and go, "OK, I'm sure someone understands this, but not me.  At least not now."

The question arises: is this level of detail worth pursuing or not?  At some level, I really long to understand a TON of topics that I just don't have time to digest.  Such is life.

I've recently been giving much thought to some sort of technical architect position as a career destination (not an ultimate destination, mind you).  Finding a good niche is tough, and sometimes I think I am getting ahead of myself.  Focus on what you have to deal with now.

So, I want to learn Perl, PHP, Apache, MySQL, Linux administration, game programming, ad infinitum.  Oh, and by the way, some day I'd like to learn to play the guitar and saxophone.

Should I just learn things of interest to me and wait for a pattern/niche to emerge on its own.  I think this is not such a bad plan.

Tomorrow is another day.  Perhaps it will provide new insight.

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