Archive for 2006

Updated Collapsible Amazon

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Just a quick heads up that I’ve uploaded a new version of Collapsible Amazon. It’s a Greasemonkey script that lets you collapse any section of the standard Amazon detail page. This update makes it work on a lot more sections - the only one it can’t collapse that I’ve found is the Customer Discussions section. Basically, wherever you see an orange header, you can click it and its content will disappear - and the script will remember that you want that type of section collapsed everywhere.

An Example Screenshot of Collapsible Amazon

Honestly, I’m no fan of Jane Austen - I was just looking for a screenshot! If you like this script, you should check out some of my other Greasemonkey scripts.

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Creating nested custom configuration sections in ASP.NET 2.0

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This weekend I decided to go through the hodgepodge of common code that’s shared between a lot of my ASP.NET websites and refactor it a bit. I’d only just learned about the magic of HttpModules and HttpHandlers, and I immediately saw a lot of canidates in my copy-paste code and global.asax handlers where a HttpModule would be a better solution. One of these was the code I was using to redirect old pages to new pages whenever I moved them. For example, at some point I had moved http://www.numbera.com/rome/tools.aspx to http://www.numbera.com/rome/tools/, and I wanted anyone who visited the old URL to get redirected to the new one. Previously, I just had some code in global.asax that hooked Application_OnError, checked to see if it was an HttpException (a 404 file not found, specifically), and then redirected if it knew where the file really was. Pretty simple, but not very general. So I broke it out into an HttpModule that basically did the same thing, but no longer required me to cut and paste code into my global.asax. However, one improvement I wanted to make was to allow for configuration through my web.config file, instead of having to hardcode an if/else tree for each redirect. I basically wanted to have a section in my web.config like this:

<configSections>
    <sectionGroup name="brh.web">
     <section 
       name="redirectOldUrls" 
       type="Brh.Web.RedirectConfigurationHandler, Brh.Web.Utility"
     />
 </sectionGroup>
</configSections>

<brh.web>
  <redirectOldUrls>
      <redirect filePattern="tools.aspx" url="~/tools/" />
    <redirect filePattern="strategy.aspx" url="~/strategy/" />
    <redirect filePattern="military_people.aspx" url="~/people/" />
    <redirect filePattern="history.aspx" url="~/history/" />
    <redirect filePattern="teacher.aspx" url="~/teacher/" />
  </redirectOldUrls>
</brh.web>
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Hogblog

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It seems these days that everyone has a blog (or two). There are big news blogs, little blogs with useful articles (such as the many C# blogs I read), the countless teenagers with MySpace or livejournal blogs. There are blogs about tech, politics,...

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Passport changes screw up XBList 2.2

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I’m still working on XBList 3.0 (though not as much as I’d like, between work and a social life). However, I noticed today that XBList won’t auto-signin to Passport anymore. Bummer. It has to do with the new live.com ID stuff. I promise this will be...

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Status Update on XBList 3.0

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So an update on how things are going with the next version of XBList. I’ve gotten a few questions about when I’ll support the new ability to do messaging between Xbox.com and Xbox 360, and I put out a bunch of questions in my last post, talking about...

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Windows Vista leads me to the Mac

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I’ve been meaning to write about my impressions of the various Windows Vista previews since I first tried it out in January. My thoughts (and my feedback to Microsoft’s beta site) have been piling up since then, but I never got around to putting virtual pen to even more virtual paper. However, Paul Thurrott’s recent article on where Vista fails really sums up a lot of my feelings here. Thurrott’s always been the type who’ll try his hardest to find the positive in even the worst Microsoft releases, but as a long time reader, I can tell that he’s very, very frustrated with Vista, and as a Windows journalist it really pains him to see something that promised so much deliver so little. He’s not alone. I’ve tried my hardest to like what I’ve seen of Vista so far, but it’s nearly impossible, especially when Mac OS X is out right now, and in many respects better than Microsoft’s late update to XP.

This is going to be a pretty long rant, so if you want more you’ll have to click inside.

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Apple Finally Speaks to Me with BootCamp

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The big news out of Cupertino this morning is BootCamp. It’s Apple’s beta bootloader for Windows on their previously-closed Mac platform. Now you can dual-boot Mac OSX and Windows XP, complete with drivers for the important bits of the system.

Win Mini
Putting... more