Jason N. Gaylord
from Northeast PA
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Hello, I'm  jasongaylord Jason

I live with my family in the rolling hills of Northeastern Pennsylvania. I'm a web developer by trade, but have broad experience in various business areas. Want to know more about me?

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Off Topic: Which costs more: a gallon of milk or a gallon of gas?

Usually I try not to post about topics not pertaining to technology, but in the case, I think it was warranted. Before the US went to war with Iraq is 2003, gas prices in Northeastern Pennsylvania were around $1.69 - $1.79 and milk was around $2.59 a gallon. On my drive to work today, I noticed a gas station changing it’s price to $2.69 for gas. Just the other day I bought a gallon of milk for that same price. That means that in two years, when the rest of the US was going on a 3% inflation rate (according to inflationdata.com), gas prices started their 65%-70% rise. That seems to be a bit ridiculous. During the summer of 2003, gas prices were blamed on the war. In 2004, the same excuse was used. Last summer, gas prices were blamed on the amount of lumber being sent oversees to rebuild Irag and also the horrible weather in the US shutting down some oil refineries in the Gulf for days (weeks, months?). What’s the excuse this year? It can’t be because of the hard winter we had because in my opinion, it seemed as though we didn’t have winter. It can’t be because of the war because more and more troops are being pulled out. So what is it? I remember when I was in high school (just a short time ago) and I put in $5 of gas for the week. Now, $5 won’t last a day. When is this going to stop???

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Learned Something New About IE

Yesterday I learned something new about IE. I read a post by Scott Guthrie talking about a cool new feature in ASP.NET 2.0 called App_Offline.htm. I already new about that feature, but I didn’t know something else he mentioned. If you create an error page that does not show at least 512 bytes, IE 6 will show the “friendly” error message that is built in. Interesting. Thanks Scott!

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Generics Saved Me Time With RSSToolkit

I needed a quick and easy way to consume RSS. Scott Guthrie let me know about a cool toolkit that Dmitry from his team setup. The toolkit can be downloaded from Dmitry’s blog or by visiting the Sandbox site on ASP.NET. I downloaded the toolkit and began using it. However, the RSS feed I was using was from a Linux installed forums application and although the posts placed the newest on top, the RSS feed did not. So, I needed to modify the code from Dmitry. With a few small modifications to allow an additional property in which I called ReverseItems, I was able to use the Reverse function of the generic type List to reverse the item collection in the control and return the items in reverse order. All I can say is good thing we have generics! :)

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FireFox 2.0 to Have Extension Blacklist?

I just read somewhere that one of the features that FireFox 2.0 will include is an extension blacklist. The purpose is to help prevent attacks. Really, I see this as being a potential problem. That would seem to allow web compatibility issues to continue. If companies block JavaScript files in an attempt to stop JavaScript attacks, all JS would need to be inline. That would really sacrifice performance on an AJAX capable web app and also cause some browser caching issues. What do you think?

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Updated Atlas Site

The ASP.NET team has streamlined the Atlas site. Check it out at http://atlas.asp.net/.

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MIX 06 To Push Web 2.0, Go-Live for Atlas

According to several resources including eWeek, the MIX 06 will introduce a “Go-Live” license for Atlas, Microsoft’s AJAX library. Other interesting technology is supposed to be announced and/or released at the conference. Stay tuned to Mix06.com for more details.

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ASP.NET 2.0 Tutorials, Videos, and Code

Microsoft has put together a pretty good series of videos, tutorials, and code for ASP.NET 2.0. You can access this material at http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net/learning/learn/newtodevelopment/default.aspx.

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What's With Crystal Reports?

I have a really good question that I’d love to pose to Business Objects: Will there ever be a stable version of Crystal Reports that doesn’t crash, deploys easily with .NET, and generates everything you need? Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to deploy an application that uses the Crystal merge module with Crystal 11. We purchased Crystal 11 because Crystal .NET was having its own issues. At random times, the merge module kicks off an error during builds. It seems as though if you use an embedded report and don’t touch the code, the error occurs. Weird huh? That’s not all. Today, on a completely different machine, I attempted to Suppress a Group Header. Crystal locked up and then kicked me out. Unfortunately, Crystal is not like Word and does not save your report during a critical error. So, I had to continue from mid point. Then, when you try to go through their support, you’re talking to 3 different people via an email-based helpdesk and that have no clue what .NET is. Argh! I wish the apps I’m using can use MS SQL Reporting or something else!

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.NET Professionals In Demand

I just came across an article referenced in ASP.NET Pro about .NET Professionals being in demand. Check it out at http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/03/pf/pay_hike_jobseeker/index.htm.

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Very Busy Lately

As some of you may already know, I’ve been swamped lately. Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing a lot of programming. If you’ve ever heard the expression when it rains, it pours, it’s definitely true! During November and December of 2005, we migrated our accounting systems successfully from Microsoft Navision 2.01 to Microsoft Small Business Accounting 2006. In theory, that should be a step back. However, thanks to the SBA SDK, it was a step forward. We were able to offer integration with other applications that we utilize, something that Navision using the Navision database and file structure, really couldn’t do. Our goal is that within the next 2 years that we’ll upgrade to the new Microsoft Dynamics system. Then, we received notice that we were acquiring a fairly large portion of another company. This acquisition nearly doubled the size of the same department within our organization. Thus, I’ve been traveling between the two places every week since January. Hopefully April will bring more than just Spring showers and I’ll be able to build apps on 2.0 once again. :)

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