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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MVC: From Start to Blog

I gave a talk this past weekend at the Philly.NET Code Camp 2008.3. I’ve uploaded my slide deck, project, and a few additional files (used in the demo) in case anyone would like to review again. I was also able to find another way to fake HttpContext. Check out Stephen Walther’s blog post about faking the controller context. He also has a blog post about unit testing the views without a web server.

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ASP.NET Podcast: Routing with ASP.NET

Wally is at it again (finally). He just released his latest podcast after being away since mid-August. Anyway, his podcast is about a new feature in ASP.NET 3.5 SP1 (formerly the ASP.NET 3.5 extensions) called Routing. Routing can be done using System.Routing, ASP.NET MVC, or 3rd party plug-ins such as NVelocity. Check out this podcast to find out more:

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My Syndication at FeedBurner – Using Your Domain

Awhile back, one of my friends over at Telligent, Scott Watermasysk, posted a message regarding FeedBurner and hosting your own RSS feeds. FeedBurner is a web application owned by Google that hosts syndicated feeds and provides statistics based on those feeds such as the number of viewers. Scott recommended setting the MyBrand feature of FeedBurner to point to your own site and creating a CName entry with your domain’s DNS. You can read more about that here: http://simpable.com/technology/feedburner-cname/.

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DirecTV Needs Staging and Testing

As a software developer, you know that best practices recommend testing and even staging environments. Evidently, DirecTV lacks that or is really missing something. Sometime today, they released a software update that sent nearly all of their HD receivers into some sort of lock-down. Their solution: hold down the reset button for 15 seconds, then hit the power button, then wait up to 15 minutes. Not quite. It simply doesn’t work. The best part is, they aren’t deploying this on 20 different browsers or several different OS’s on a variety of hardware. Rather, they are deploying this to 3 types of HD boxes – all that have been released in the past 24 months. Unless I’m missing something, that seems like a no-brainer for a multi-million dollar, publicly traded company.

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Debugging ASP.NET MVC Routing

One of the most critical pieces to MVC is routing users to the proper controller. During the development process, you must keep in mind that routes will take users to the first pattern that matches. It’s not that difficult to create patterns that are too similar that users are routed to the incorrect place. Phil Haack, from the ASP.NET team, has created a cool library to help routes. You can download his library at http://haacked.com/archive/2008/03/13/url-routing-debugger.aspx. When you download the library, be sure to place it in your bin directory and add a reference to it within your project. He’s updated it for MVC Preview 5.

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Microsoft MVP… Again!

I just received word that I’ve been awarded with the Microsoft MVP award for ASP.NET for 2009. I’ve been a Microsoft MVP since 2003. It’s always nice to receive the MVP award, but it’s even better to see the impact that you have on the community. Six years ago, Northeastern Pennsylvania had no user group. In fact, most developers and IT professionals had no idea that Microsoft had a new .NET Framework. Things have changed. Many companies now use the framework and our user group has expanded to include IT professional and open source content. We’ve hosted events at our area’s best colleges and universities including Scranton University, Penn State – Lehman, and Luzerne County Community College. We’ve held an annual event called TechBash that has had as many as 125 at the event. I need to thank the community for this award. I hope we continue to grow technology in the area.

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Web Site Performance

I came across a post on StackOverflow.com regarding web site performance. Quite often you can take a look at your application and find 10 different ways to make it more efficient. Depending on your environment, you may have many different ways to increase performance. For instance, in a shared hosting environment, you’ll likely be limited as to what you can do on the server, but can tweak your application appropriately.

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Installing Team Foundation Server 2008 on SQL Server 2008

One of the prerequisites for TFS 2008 is that it must be installed to work with SQL Server 2005 SP2 or SQL Server 2008. However, TFS 2008, by itself, will not work with SQL Server 2008. You’ll receive an error message that your SQL Server instance is not compatible as I’ve mentioned at http://tinyurl.com/4shjod. You’ll receive other error messages such as Full Text not being installed. After struggling for a couple of days, I decided to ask one of my local TFS guru’s, Steve Andrews. He pointed me to an article that led me to Abdelhamid’s blog post at http://blogs.msdn.com/aabdou/archive/2008/05/13/team-foundation-server-sp1-beta-now-available.aspx. Following this, I was able to get it installed.

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My MVC Talk at Philly.NET Code Camp 3

I’ll be presenting at the third code camp of 2008 for the Philly.NET code camp. Apparently, several other Microsoft MVPs and ASPInsiders will as well. It should be a great time. Be sure to register on phillydotnet.org.

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Pandora to be Released for Windows Mobile

The full letter from Tom Conrad, CTO of Pandora, is available at http://wmpoweruser.com/?p=627. Basically, Tom has stated that a version for Windows Mobile devices will be coming out, but he refuses to guarantee when. One would assume it would be sooner rather than later and would hopefully support WMV 5, 6, and 6.1.

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