Scott Hanselman

.NET in the Real World - the Regional Director Column launches

March 29, '04 Comments [0] Posted in Musings
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Yay!  The new Regional Director column called '.NET in the Real World' has launched on MSDN.  The inaugural column is by Billy Hollis.  I believe next month will be an update of my thoughts around the Myth of .NET Purity.  Check the column out for new content from a new Microsoft Regional Director every month!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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VSLive SFO Rocked...

March 29, '04 Comments [3] Posted in ASP.NET | Internationalization | Web Services
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What a blast at VSLive! this last week. 

Some highlights:

  • Gave three talks, one on Internationalization in ASP.NET, and 2 sessions of a 3 part series with Bill Evjen on 'Zen and the Art of Web Services.'  I will post slides and code later. 
  • Hanging out with Peter Blum (from PeterBlum.com - Validation and More and Peter's Date Package)
  • Introduced Peter to David Platt only to find out they both live in the same TINY Massachusetts town and have for the last 15 years.  And they run into each other with me in SFO.  Madness.
  • Saw my buddy and former Malaysian RD Loke Uei Tan.  Saw my friend Terk Sean :), but didn't get to hookup with her partner in crime Ramin Perumal. :( 
  • Had a guy come up to me, and the conversation went like this: Him: "You know Rory Blyth?" Me: "Ya" Him: "I'm dickhead!"  Me: "You're dickhead!" Him: "Yep."  Interestng conversation...here's a picture.
  • Saw Jon Box, Rocky LhotkaBilly Hollis, Chris Kinsman.
  • Hung out with Ron Jacobs the King of ShadowFax.  He took me to the airport on the way out using the Train, rather than using my brilliant 'taxi' idea. 
  • Had the best haute cuisine, as I always do when I'm in 'The City'

     

 

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Load Balancing and ASP.NET

March 23, '04 Comments [2] Posted in ASP.NET | ViewState
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Deployed a site this weekend with much success.  A few things that one always needs to remember when putting out a "site" that's on more than one server ("box").

  • In-process Session State + More than One Web Server: If you're using in-proc Session on ASP.NET, remember that the session has "affinity" with the server.  That means that if www2.hanselman.com is the first server the user ever hits, the user will get an ASPSESSIONID cookie that is an index into the Cache object (the In-Proc Session is really just a key to a Hashtable-type structure inside the Cache/Application) that only exists in the memory of THAT ONE SERVER.  So, since you're using Load Balancing (you have more than one server) it's important to ensure you're using "sticky connections" or node-affinity to guarantee the user gets back to his/her session on the next HTTP Request. 
    Note that it's often tricky to get a user back to the same box when dealing with "mega-proxies" of large corporations, ISPs, and AOL.  That means that if your load-balancer (hardware or otherwise) is looking at various combinations of IP+VPORT+Whatever that these values MAY CHANGE if the ISP changes their source port or IP address.  If you're using SSL, you can use the SSL ID to route traffic, but this can slow you down a smidge.  You can also let the hardware loadbalancer add in a cookie of its own.  Check your loadbalancer's FAQ for details.  But, it's worth being aware of the things
  • Out-of-Proc (State Server) + More than One Web Server: If you are using the State Service, you might think about putting it behind your second firewall, in a different DMZ than both the Web Servers or the Database. 
  • Out-of-Proc State Server + ONLY ONE Web ServerSome folks use the Session State Service even if they have only one Web Server so the session state isn't lost when the ASPNET_WP.EXE process recycles.  If you do this, make sure to lock down the state service to serve local requests only.

    HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\aspnet_state\Parameters\AllowRemoteConnections

    You can also change the port that the state service listens on with the following key:

    HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\aspnet_state\Parameters\Port

    If you're using the state server in a web farm, it's important that you put it behind a firewall or otherwise prevent anything but the web servers from talking to it. [Early and AdopterEarly and Adopter]

  • WebFarm Gotchas: When you're using either the State Service or SQL Server Session State, you're indicating that you don't want "session affinity" and you'll probably set your Load Balancer to Round-Robin dispatching of traffic. (It won't using any smarts or algorithms to get traffic, it will just go 1, 2, 3, etc.)  When you do this AND you're using Forms Authentication OR you have EnableViewStateMAC set to protect your ViewState, remember to synchronize your <machinekey> between all machines in the farm.  As users move around your site, each page could put served up from a different machine, meaning that not only are your encrypted forms-auth cookies passed around, but your ViewState (protected by the machinekey) may be sourced from one machine, and posted to another.

  • Security: Remember to secure the crap out of everything you do. 

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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The Visual History of the Graphical User Interface

March 22, '04 Comments [1] Posted in
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A great find from Tim Tabor, it's Marcin Wichary's Guidebook: Graphical User Interface Gallery, featuring some great historical timelines illustrating the history of the icon.  The site is truly a treasure.  One of my favorite sections is a collection of "First Run" Screenshots - all the different GUIs as they look just after setup.

 

 


 

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.