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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Worldwide Developer Conference News

If you’re looking to pick up the latest happenings from the Worldwide Developer Conference, check out this: http://www.macrumorslive.com/.

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DirecTV: The Saga Continues...

I received an email from DirecTV about my blog post on 6/2 (Note: this post is missing from my archives). They gave a 1-800 number and a 4-digit code so I can reach their team directly. I tried using that number and sat in a queue for nearly 20 minutes. Finally, someone answered and had no clue what my situation was. She placed me on hold for 5 minutes to review my account. Once she came back, she told me that I should have never ordered service with only 1 line. After my head spun completely around, I proceeded to ask her how DirecTV was going to fix this issue. She told me that “their” solution would be for me to purchase a Single Wire Multi-Switch (SWM) out of pocket. However, my one receiver wouldn’t work with it so I’d also have to upgrade that receiver to a DVR or HD receiver. In all, I’d be out $400. But, since I was a loyal customer, they’d provide me a $10 credit each month for 6 months. So, I’d still be out $340. I asked her repeatedly if this was what they told other customers and she said they usually don’t provide any credit. At this point I was extremely irate. 20 minutes later she offered a $10 credit each month for 12 months. I asked her to review with her supervisor and come back with her best offer before I switch service and after being on hold for 2 minutes, I was disconnected.

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Need "Out of the Box" AJAX Functionality for Your Data Controls?

I’ve been using the Ajax Data Controls (ADC) for 9 months. I recently joined their development team to convert the controls to VS 2008/.NET 3.5. It’s a really cool control set that uses AJAX for the complete data transaction. The documentation is pretty deep and there are a few good examples. You should check it out by visiting http://dotnetslackers.com/projects/AjaxDataControls/. You can download the source and binary on CodePlex by visiting http://www.codeplex.com/AjaxDataControls.

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Establishing a VPN on Windows Mobile 5

Many have found it difficult to establish a VPN connection on Windows Mobile 5. There are quite a few blog posts out there with instructions, but none are really that complete. Before you can establish a connection from your mobile device, you need to establish a VPN server. For my purposes, I’ve setup Routing and Remoting Access on a Windows Server 2003 box (Windows Server 2008 procedure). This is pretty simple to do and there weren’t any settings I needed to modify. Then, on the user account in my domain, I had to right-click and go to properties. There is a section under the Account tab called Account Properties.

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AjaxDataControls DLL for ASP.NET 3.5

The AjaxDataControls that have been developed by the DotNetSlackers team have been out for some time now. They were originally developed using the AJAX 1.0 libraries (pre 3.5 days). I’ve recently encountered some issues where they don’t seem to be playing as nice in VS 2008. So, I’ve updated the dll and made it available for now on my site at http://jasongaylord.com/downloads/ajaxdatacontrols-3.5.zip. As soon as I can get into CodePlex, I’ll upload it there instead.

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Adding QueryString Parameters to the SiteMapNode

There is no way to add querystring parameters to the SiteMapNode in a SiteMap control “out of the box.” I’m quite surprised there is no option but luckily the SiteMap uses the provider model. After a Live search, I was able to find a solution provided by Bobby DeRosa. By creating a custom provider, this can be accomplished. The project I was on is an update of an ASP.net app written in VB.net so here is my VB.net port:

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"OLE received a packet with an invalid extension." in Microsoft Word

We still have Small Business Accounting 2006 implemented for some companies. When we use a custom invoice to print using the MS Word Smart Document set, we receive the error “OLE received a packet with an invalid extension.” This error occurs since the document was created before .NET 2.0 (or 3.0) was installed and before the Smart Document set was installed. To work around this issue, perform the following:

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DirecTV: The Story of Bad Customer Service

I’ve had DirecTV service for 3 years now. During all 3 years I’ve subscribed to the premium package, the NFL Sunday Ticket, and NHL Center Ice. I have high-definition service with DVR capabilities. So, I pay a decent amount each month to DirecTV. Over the past 3 years I’ve also had my share of customer service “experiences.” When I wanted to upgrade to the HD-DVR receiver, I had to talk to the customer retention department to try to get some money off the receiver. Comcast, at the time, was new to our area and had a great HD/DVR offer for new customers. I finally received some credit for my HD service. When the installer came out, he threw my old dish off my house breaking it into little pieces and leaving a hole in the yard. They also took my old receiver. I called up and complained and all they did was leave the old receiver on the porch.

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Retrieving SQL Type Image Using LINQ

LINQ views the Image type in SQL Server as Binary. So, there are a few options that we have. We can either (a) modify our LINQ to SQL class and change the property to Byte() instead of Binary or we can (b) convert the Binary to an array. To do the latter, you can use a lambda expression to obtain the image you are looking for and grabbing just the image. Here’s an example:

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ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 Announced

Scott Guthrie just posted about the 3rd preview of the ASP.NET MVC over on his blog. You can catch the full details here: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2008/05/27/asp-net-mvc-preview-3-release.aspx.

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