Category Archives: Technology


Clearing the cache

On DirecTV, you can clear the cache on your DVR with this sequence…

DirecTV people… did you know you can clear out the memory on your receiver? Just like clearing the cache on a web browser. I did it and it sped my box up. Tune to channel 1 (Customer Service Channel) and then with your remote, hit Red, Red, Blue, Blue, Yellow, Green. You might have to do it two or three times. In the lower left corner, it’ll put some text on the screen about flash memory cleared or something. It won’t hurt anything. Promise!


Frustrated programmer

Ajax forms and PartialViews opening in a new page

Why can’t this just work the way it’s supposed to out of the box?

So here’s today’s dilemma (which I’ve solved exactly once for each project I’ve done because once it’s done you don’t have to redo it which makes me think ‘gee… maybe it should be this way to start off with’).  When you have a form on your page and want to submit it and get a result via Ajax the results are being displayed on a new page, not in the output div you specified. Continue reading


When I am king, there will only be one TimeZone for the whole planet

Let’s get this out of the way first.  I can’t sum up the problems that timezones cause develoeprs any better than this.

The Problem with Time & Timezones – Computerphile

Now that we have that out of the way, we can’t really use the libraries he references since we’re C# developers.  Sure, the framework has a lot of great tools, but how do we use them exactly?
Continue reading


The easiest and best way to validate an email address

When someone enters an email address, how do we check to make sure it’s legit?  Not legit as in “is it really their email address”, but as in “does it follow the rules to make it a real email address”?

For example, if someone enters “jdshfjsdhf”, that’s not legit.  However, “” is.  Recently, I ran into a problem where my scheme for validating email addresses was failing me. Continue reading


Is Cordcutting for me? Maybe.

Cordcutting? Maybe.

I’m thinking about trying to ditch DirecTV. I wouldn’t replace it with Charter… that’s for sure. Maybe the TDS TV (which I guarantee sucks) or maybe Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime (NAPH? Someone get my lawyer so I can copyright that.) Anyway, we’re still under our DirecTV contract for another year.

In the next 12 months, I think I should keep a log detailing what I actually watch. I’ll see if I can get the kids and Sharon to log what they watch as well. The biggest problem would be live sports and local weather. We have an “over the air” antenna that would let us catch most of that. We’d miss out on the ESPN games and NFL Network games as well as the Big10 Network games. All of those would be available at a bar though.

I think the biggest thing I’d miss out on would be the general “flipping around” stuff. You know… when you just plop down on the couch and start flipping around. The other thing we might miss out on or be behind on would be the shows we actually watch. Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Hell on Wheels, The League… They might be available on Hulu for us the day after it airs on broadcast but maybe not.

This is something that warrants further investigation.


Type or namespace could not be found (are you missing a using directive)?

Recently, a co-worker ran into a problem I had run into many times in the past.  After taking a few minutes to figure things out I was able to help him.  It surprised me that I hadn’t blogged about this before.  So here we go…

Does this look familiar to you?

The type or namespace 'SomeNamespace' could not be found (are you missing a using directive or an assembly reference?)

I bet you’ve probably seen it before.  It happens when you forget to include a reference in your project or if you don’t use a ‘using’ directive to include the assembly.   Continue reading

Terso Solutions

Shameless self promotion

Terso SolutionsI’m currently working for a company called Terso Solutions.  We at Terso are essentially an inventory control company.

It breaks down like this…

We specialize in “high value medical goods” that are tracked with RFID tags.  Our cabinets are secured by utilization of RFID passes.  When a person wants something from one of our cabinets, they present their pass to the cabinet.  An access check is run and if the pass is legit, the door opens.  The person takes what they want.  When the enclosure door closes, a scan is run by the cabinet to determine what was taken (or what was put in).  That data is transmitted to headquarters for processing.

That’s the interesting part.  The data transmission from the device to headquarters.  That’s where Jetstream comes in.

Jetstream is a cloud platform which allows software companies to add distributed RFID capabilities quickly through simple programming interfaces.

If you happen to come across this blog and read this post, you might check Jetstream and/or Terso out.


Moving from MS SQLServer to MySQL

MySQLCaptureMicrosoft’s SQL Server is a really solid product, but it can be overkill for a lot of applications.  Oracle picked up MySQL a while back.  For many applications, that is a really viable alternative.  Not only is MySQL a fully mature product with support available, it’s an option on most web hosting sites as well as major service providers.  We use Amazon Web Services here.  They offer MySQL support with lots of extra benefits such as replication across availability zones.

Having coded my app in SQL Server and then getting the direction to move it to MySQL, I was a little unsure how to go about it.  Here’s what I learned from the process. Continue reading


Weird HTTP Error 503

503I’m working on an MVC Website.  In development in Visual Studio, things are working perfectly.  My app needs to run in IIS.  Easy enough, right?  Just set it up in IIS and you’re off and running.

Recently though, my IIS instance of the site stopped working.  What?!  I began to get the following error:

HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable.

Wha wha wha?!  I checked IIS and it’s running properly.  What the heck?  SQL Server is okay.  The thing works perfectly in Visual Studio.  ARG. Continue reading