Category Archives: Uncategorized

Webmaster Tools – Robots.txt User-agent: * Syntax not understood

While going through Google’s Webmaster Tools early today for one of my sites, I noticed under Crawl > Blocked URLs, that the number of URLs that Google had blocked was 0, even though the site has a robots.txt with a few rules, and Google has crawled and indexed 10s of thousands of pages so far.

Upon further inspection, I noticed a peculiar thing:

Line 1: User-agent: *     Syntax not understood

robots-analysis-before

Interesting? How can User-agent not be recognized?
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How To: Expand a Virtual PC Disk with VhdResizer and DiskPart

Question: What does “Dynamically expanding virtual hard disk” mean to you?

For some reason, while setting up a development machine in Virtual PC, I had this thought that “dynamically expanding” meant that the disk would start out at a specified size, and expand as needed. However, it’s the opposite. A “dynamically expanding” disk starts off small, and expands to the specified size. So needless to say, 10Gbs wasn’t enough to install Visual Studio 2008 (90 day trial), SQL Express 2005 and 2008, plus the service packs and Windows’ Updates.

After doing a bit of sleuthing (“Googling“), I discovered how wrong I was, but also discovered a tool called VHD Resizer.

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What’s the difference between CONST and READONLY in .Net?

Ever sit around talking to your co-workers about random things, when all of a sudden you ask “What’s the difference between const and readonly in .Net?“. If so, you are not alone. If not, well, you’re just weird.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a developer that I work with, when I asked the exact same question. I remembered though, that when I was working on Poynt while at my last job, we kept getting warnings saying that we should either change our const to readonly, or vice versa. I can’t remember exactly which one, or the reason that was given. I do also vaguley remember that it had something to do with compile time.

Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to sleep without knowing the answer to this riddle, I decided to use Google to see what I could find (If you’ve never used Google, I suggest giving it a try It’s a neat little web site that gives you links to web pages, that are relevant to what you are searching for. I have a feeling that it will become big one day). Continue reading

How Do You Name Your PCs?

Last weekend I went out and picked myself up a refurbished HP DX5150 Small Form Factor PC, which I’m planning on turning into a little Media Center. The current PC that’s connected to my TV will now become a network storage server (most likely using Windows Home server). And my main computer will stay as my main computer.

At some of the places that I’ve worked, they’ve usually named their servers with letters to describe the location/city and functionality (production, development, mail, …) of the computer, as well as give it a number to give it a uniqueness. One place that I worked at, they decided to give their servers names, such as “Sunny”, “Shade”, “Dark”, “Mirage”. Another place that I worked at, they used “Dev”, “Prod”, and so on.

So, instead of using the default computer names that Windows likes to generate (COMP-23k4h5g221nlm34), I decided to have a little fun at my PCs’ expense, and give each computer their own name, a name that will attempt to somewhat describe each one, and a name that isn’t so blah.

Here is what I’ve came up with so far:

Maggie: This is my laptop, the smallest of the computers, but not the dumbest (Intel Core2 Duo @ 2.2Ghz with 2GB of PC2 5300 RAM).

Homer: This is by far the biggest (2TB of storage) of all the computers, but is also the dumest (AMD 2400+, 1GB PC3200 RAM).

Krusty: This is an “entertaining” PC, and is my Media PC which is connected to the TV. It’s big. but not the biggest (1TB of storage), and isn’t quite the dumbest either (AMD 3200+, 1.5GB of PC3200 RAM).

Lisa: This is by far the smartest of computers (AMD 64 Dual Core 4200+, 3GB of RAM). This is also no where near being the biggest, but isn’t the smallest either (200GB of storage).

Do you like to have a little fun, and give your PCs a unique friendly name? If so, what are they?

Multiplied Media’s Poynt is a BlackBerry Developer Challenge Grand Prize Winner

Multiplied Media's Poynt On October 21st, it was announced that Multiplied Media‘s (TSX:MMC) local search application “Poynt” (I previously reviewed the beta release) was one of three Best in Show Grand Prize winners in the Blackberry Partners Fund‘s Developer Challenge.

For being a winner, each of the three companies will receive a $150,000 investment and will be entered into the “Jump Start” program.

Along with Poynt, the other two winners are:
Strands Social Player: A music player that lets you discover new music, connect with people, and share your tastes with friends. It automatically shows cover art, provides artist and song recommendations from over 6 million songs featuring free previews, and fully integrates with a social network of music enthusiasts.
Nobex Radio Companion: Shows you what song is playing on any of 2700 radio stations and when you hear a song you like click “Get It!” and it will send you an email with a link to buy the song, so you can keep your music collection fresh. Over a hundred stations are now playable on your BlackBerry Smartphone.

I’m pretty sure that the guys over at MM wish that the winners were announced a few months ago, but hopefully, as the saying goes, “It’s never too late”.

(Disclosure: I’m a former employee of illumicell/Multiplied Media)

This Day in History: September 2, 2008

Do you know what today is? Yes, it’s the day that Google finally released there much rumoured GBrowser browser, “Chrome”. Today also marks the First Anniversary of CarlJ.ca.

It only seems like yesterday that I was sitting at the office of my former employer on a Sunday afternoon when I wrote my first post, “Linux Surpasses Windows in PC Market Share”, congradulating the whole collective of distros for finally surpassing Windows 98 in market share. Well actually, according to the stats, they were both tied at 1.34% (As of today, Windows 98 has slipped to 0.66% while Linux has a whopping 2%, and will soon overtake Windows 2000).

A few days after that post, I received my first link back, and I knew right then that I was destined to be a blogger, and managed to write and publish a staggering 31 posts, with dozens of more drafts.

All kidding aside for a minute, I’m quite shocked at the number of people, the page views and comments that the site has received since then. When I first started, I remember telling a few fellow employees that I would be happy if I could get 100 visits a month. Over the span of the year, I’m averaging 221 per day.

In case you’re curious, here’s a few more stats according to Google for the year.

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Multiplied Media launches beta of Poynt for the BlackBerry

Poynt Logo On June 11 2008, Multiplied Media (Symbol: TSX-V:MMC) announced the release of the beta version of Poynt for the Blackberry handheld devices.

For those that are unfamiliar with Poynt, it’s a local search service currently for North America (agreements have been signed with t-info of Germany and Infobel which covers over 30 European countries) and is available on MSN (poynt@live.com) and on AIM (Poynt).

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Wow, that was a big dump

Not sure if any records were broken or not, but boy did Old Man Winter ever take a huge dumping on us here in the snowbelt last night.

Yesterday when I came home just before 5pm, there was just enough snow on my walk way and in front of my door for me to have to shovel off. At just before 9pm I wanted to head out to get some snacks for the UNC vs. Duke game, but when I went to open my screen door, I could only open it about a foot. I had to literally dig my way out of my apartment, and dig my way out to the road.

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I’m now Microsoft Certified …

Earlier today I managed to pass my first Microsoft exam, #70-528 – MCTS Web-Based Client Development.

Next up, I’m hoping to take advantage of Microsoft’s second chance promotion, and write the Framework (#70-536) exam by mid April which combined, would give me the “MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications” certification.

After that, I’m hoping to squeak one more in before the June 30th expiration date for the second chance, and either go for the “MCPD: Web Developer” certificate, or do the Windows application exam.

It’s going to be a long few months, but in the end my resume is going to look a bit more colourful with all of the certification images.

Windows Vista Error Message

Here’s a shot of an error message that Windows kept giving me this morning. Normally an error like this I would just ignore and carry on doing whatever it was that I was doing at the time. But this one was different. Vista would keep popping this one up whenever I tried to click on something, such as the Start menu, Taskbar (off topic, but it’s weird that Windows Live Writer says that “Taskbar” is spelt wrong) or even the Desktop.

Sorry for the crummy quality, but I couldn’t do a Print Screen and open up my favourite graphics application, MS Paint, to save it.

Microsoft Windows: The application is not responding. Do you want to end this process?

In case you’re wondering, Vista doesn’t close when I clicked on the “End Process” button.

Update: February 10th, 2008
Ginormous ‘Blue Screen of Death’ Hits Las Vegas