Scott Hanselman

Feed Auto Discovery

January 13, '06 Comments [1] Posted in ASP.NET | DasBlog | XML
Sponsored By

Firefox LivebookmarkThis is an older tip, but a lot of folks don't realize that it exists and its easy to miss.

If you've got a blog and you want folks to subscribe to it, make sure you're set up for Feed Auto-Discovery. FireFox supports it, almost every feed reader like FeedDemon supports it. Basically it saves you this whole process: Go to a site, search everywhere for an orange XML badge, right-click on it, select Copy Link Location, go to your reader, paste in the XML URL to the Add Feed dialog.

Add markup like before the </head> tag in your site. You can have different links for different feeds or different protocols if you like.

<base href="http://www.hanselman.com/blog/" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="ComputerZen.com - Scott Hanselman" href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/ScottHanselman" />

feed autodiscoveryIf you're using a blog engine like DasBlog you likely already have this, however, if you've added to or modified a theme you might want to confirm that your theme HTML contains this autodiscovery info. You can just hard-code it in the main blog template's, there's no harm.

I also like to add one-click subscription support like this feed:http://feeds.feedburner.com/ScottHanselman with the feed protocol. Many readers will catch clicks that start with feed://.

We'll add autodiscovery to Hanselminutes very soon. :)

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.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Running Mac OS X Tiger

January 13, '06 Comments [7] Posted in Reviews | Tools
Sponsored By

Runmacx2.sI'm still using the Free MiniMac and digging it more each day. I got a copy of Running Mac OS X Tiger from O'Reilly. It's really an excellent book. It's got a great, casual tone that realizes that there is a kind of user that isn't a newbie, but isn't a *nix or Mac freak. Just a "prosumer" who wants to get the most out of the new Mac. It's also, as an aside, written by a Portlander, which explains the general tone of the book. This second edition book feels like the work of a person from the NW (which is a very good thing, IMHO). Apparently the second autho built on the work of the first who did the first edition, but you really wouldn't notice as the tone is very even throughout.

I still haven't been able to get my Canon S300 printer (shared via Windows) to work with my Mac. I'm not sure that the Canon drivers I install work for remote printers running under Windows. Even though I installed the new drivers, the S300 doesn't appear in the Printer Browser; only the S400 and S450, and when I print a whole page it only shows up at 1/4 size. Hm. Underneath it's still voodoo.

Anyway, the book walks a nice fine line between the Unix underlayman and the Mac UI. The opening section on the history of the OS refrains from Microsoft bashing and is a very interesting read. I'd forgotten about the whole Rhapsody fiasco and the NeXtSTEP stuff.

2006-01 Mac DesktopHere's a current screenshot of my Mac's Application's folder.Thanks to Scott and Grant from the comments of my Mac post for getting me started...maybe it's time for a Mac Ultimate Tools List? Maybe in a few more years when I know what I'm doing.

If you've got a Mac, you've got some Unix experience but you don't consider yourself a Mac-person, this book is a good way to head in that direction.

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.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Obscure Bug: ASP.NET doesn't handle cookies with non-standard server names

January 13, '06 Comments [4] Posted in ASP.NET | Bugs
Sponsored By

Jon Box ran into a crazy bug today with ASP.NET, IIS and Cookie handling. These are my favorite bugs. I love sniffing HTTP traffic; not sure why.

I had thought that his cookie was being dropped due to a missing P3P privacy policy. Turns out, it seems, that his server name was like SERVER_NAME and that an underscore is outside of the RFC guidelines, specificaly RFC 1034 and RFC 1035. His IIS support guy at Microsoft pointed to Q222823 that mentions a warning message you'd get when naming your server in this non-standard way:

"The computer name "computer name" contains one or more non-standard characters. Standard characters include letters (A-Z, a-z), digits (0-9), and hyphens. Using a non-standard name will prevent other users from finding your computer on the network, unless your network is using the Microsoft DNS Server. Do you wish to use this non-standard name?"

The conclusion is that ASP.NET doesn't handle cookies properly unless the DNS name of the server in question is within specifications for standard naming. Seems obivous in retrospect, but the fact that the cookie is just dropped doesn't automatically lead one to this conclusion. Kudos to Jon for sticking to the problem. If he posts more details on his blog, I'll add a link.

UPDATE: Looks like it's IE, not ASP.NET, and for security purposes. Thanks Jeff Berkowitz!

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.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Zero to Three Month Baby Ultimate Tools List

January 12, '06 Comments [12] Posted in Africa | Bugs | Parenting | Tools | Z
Sponsored By

HappyZ1Z is 6 weeks old now, heading towards seven. He's certainly a much more interesting person now and getting more interesting every day.

Folks who think they know me ask questions like, "Does he have a blog? Did you register ComputerZ.net? Where's his pocket-protector? Is his GPS-enabled?" I'm actually a little more pragmatic than my friends may think. I want Z to be much more than the sum of his parents. I want him to make mud pies and put bugs in jars and hike. If he wants to code, great. Hopefully he'll spend him life not in front of a screen. This means I will be a more outdoorsy person (like my dad) so that he might find more balance in his life than I have found (so far) in mine. I want him to be comfortable in Portland, New York or Bulawayo. I want him to be a flexible and competent citizen of the world. I hope I have the tools to turn him into a interesting, non-neurotic individual.

Many of you have mentioned that you've either just had a child or are expecting. Many others with kid experience kindly offered me advice. Some I took, some I discarded. Here's some tools (and books and techniques and what-not) that we've found useful in this, the "fourth trimester" (While he's 0-3 months.)

Books

Equipment

  • BabyBjorn - This was recommended by many and while its a little spendy, it's worth it. It's expandable and will grow with him. I carry him around the house happily and he tends to sleep right on my chest after a few minutes of walking.
  • Nojo Baby Sling - More flexible and soft than the BabyBjorn, this carrier lets you hold the baby in about six different positions and also allows Mom to breast-feed while he's in the sling.
  • Sony Baby Monitor - I tried and took back a number of Baby Monitors and this one was the cheapest and had the best sound quality. The receiver is also rechargable and waterproof.
  • Diaper Genie - Makes poo disappear. Yay!
  • Graco Travel System - This combination car seat, car seat mount (LATCH), and stroller (pram) is a winner. Complex to initially assemble, but a snap to use. Wife Acceptance Factor is high and it will grow with him.
  • Boudreaux's Butt Paste - Great stuff, helps his tushy not be red. He hasn't had diaper rash yet.
  • Bouncer - I knew I'd forgotten one. JasonF reminded me about the bouncy seat. Z digs it very much. However, I'm thinking the swing, while huge, might be better.
  • AVENT ISIS iQ Duo - This is a great breast pump. We did have a blown power supply early on, but their support was great. What's really significant about this pump is that is has only one button. You pump "manually" like a standard manually pump and it records and watches your rhythm. When you find a rhythm you like, you just press the one button and it continues automatically what you did manually. Amazing. It's the iPod of Breast Pumps, if there can be such a thing.

Other Tips

  • Boobs - It's good to have at least two of these. Man-boobs don't count. We're fortunate enough that breast-feeding is going well and I think Z will be better for it.
  • Patience - Sometimes he just needs to cry to release stress. If he's fed, he's dry, he's healthy, he's slept, maybe he's just releasing stress.
  • Routine - We figured this out early. Around 8pm we start the house winding down. We turn down the lights, turn on some music and I give Z a bath. We feed him and put him down. He's 6 weeks old and will sleep from 9 to almost 1am. He feeds then, and will sleep until 4 or 5. Feed again and he's down until 9-10am. For us, this equals success. Folks always ask if your baby sleeps through the night. As far as I'm concerned we've got that now, it's just that the night is 4 hours long. :) I don't expect him to sleep for 6 hours straight for a few months.
  • Multilingual - Mo is already chatting with Z in Ndebele (Zimbabwe's Zulu dialect) and I'm hoping to include Spanish as well when it's time. Check out Milind's FAQ on raising polyglots.
  • Swaddling - When he was in the womb he was swaddled 24 hours a day. If we swaddle him 6-10 hours a day, he's very comfortable and sleeps much better. We swaddle him while he sleeps and he is less likely to wake himself up by bonking his own head.
  • Tummy Time - We let him chill and move around on his tummy for a a while every day, the intent being to avoid having him on his back too long and to build neck muscles. Seems to be working, he's starting to hold his own (giant) head up.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled technical blog.

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.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Paving my machine for a fresh 2006

January 12, '06 Comments [6] Posted in ASP.NET | Ruby | Watir | Subversion | Tools
Sponsored By

Before Start MenuBefore DesktopCrap. I had to pave (reformat, start over, reimage, toss) my machine yesterday. After eighteen months of increasing Windows arthritis, it was getting unbearable. At one point I was unable to get on wireless and when I did, I couldn't browse. It was like the registry got the flesh-eating virus and it was moving fast.

So, I imaged the drive ASAP (Thanks TrueImage!) and went to talk to Corillian IT. They formatted and re-ghosted my IBM T42 back to the default Corillian T42 Developer Image. I followed Omar's flattening tips, which were well-timed. The Office 2003 Save My Settings Wizard is pure gold and so few people know about it. You likely have this on your machine now, under Office 2003 Tools.

Eventually I'll add back everything in my Tools List, including all the add-ins and Explorer integration stuff I like, but first I needed to get my system back to a state that I call "marginally useful." Here's the things I installed yesterday before I found myself productive. Yes, I likely forgot something important, but these other tools will trickle back in as I realize I need them.

The images to the right there are my "Before" Desktop and Start Menu. Here's what I installed on my fresh "new" system before the machine was usable.

  • Command Prompt Here
  • Consolas (the Vista Command Prompt Font) and changed my command prompt to use Kermit Green on Black and 16 pt font.
  • Plugins for GDS to index ZIP files, etc.
  • Ruby, Watir
  • SlickRun Beta
  • PureText
  • WindowClippings
  • LinkedIn Toolbar (for the Anagram-style address grabbing)
  • Plaxo
  • Mono 1.1.13 for Windows
  • GetRight Pro
  • iTunes
  • del.icio.us integration with FireFox (This FireFox extension is brilliant. More on del.icio.us soon.
  • Magnifixer
  • Foxit PDF Reader
  • BlogJet
  • TrueCrypt
  • SmartFTP
  • EFax
  • Paint.net
  • At this point, my main system is pretty usable for day-to-day tasks. Eventually I'll get my tools back on in an on-demand fashion. Not bad. Elapsed time was about 3 hours from the restoring of the base Windows XP Pro OS image to this point. I did also leave the machine on over night to get my FolderShare shares re-synced.

    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.

    facebook twitter subscribe
    About   Newsletter
    Sponsored By
    Hosting By
    Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

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