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.NET Hobbyist Programmer Staying Confused in a Busy World March 2004 Entries
Airplane Experiences
It is truly amazing what you can see and hear while flying. My day job took me to Washington, DC today for a meeting. Some simple observations. US Air Airbus A319 aircraft seems to have had their seat pitch reduced. At 6'3“, I do not really fit in cattle class. Middle school students should only be moved by air in isolated charter aircraft. Subjecting the traveling public to them is near criminal. Doing it in batches of 40 is criminal. While I was glad to not have any of the aforementioned ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 30, 2004 6:33 PM

Unhandled Exception Handler
OK, how does someone stupid proof an unhandled exception handler? As you can see below, I am trapping two events with these handlers. Public Sub OnThreadException( _ ByVal sender As Object, _ ByVal e As System.Threading.ThreadExce... Public Sub OnUnhandledException( _ ByVal sender As Object, _ ByVal e As System.UnhandledExceptionEv... I think these are correct for a WinForms app. I check the event args for Nothing and e.Empty before processing since this seems prudent. Within the ......

Posted On Sunday, March 28, 2004 6:26 PM

To GAC or not to GAC
Chris Sells recently went anti-GAC and gave his reasoning. Alan Shi answered this GAC phobia with a well-reasoned explanation. Of course, if you think the GAC is advantageous for you, then you no longer need consider XCOPY or no-touch deployment strategies. You are going to need to create an msi to get your app to customers. Only you can weigh the good with the bad of the GAC. I will probably end up using an msi that contains a custom update facility ......

Posted On Sunday, March 28, 2004 4:10 PM

Disney's Wear and Tear
This is my inaugural entry to The Stump, so I thought about writing first about how I have seen the Walt Disney World's condition deteriorate over the years. When I picked up this morning's Orlando Sentinel from my driveway, there was a front page story (free registration required) on how maintenance and upkeep has suffered. How timely. I agree with the sentiment of the article and I feel for the employees who have to defend the company on this issue. They are trying to do a job with inadequate resources. ......

Posted On Saturday, March 27, 2004 11:53 AM

FA-18C Becomes Crispy Critters
Oops. The national media covered this while the smoke was rising then moved their eyes elsewhere in a search for more explosions. The jet was from the Valions of Strike Fighter Squadron 15 based at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach. I deployed on the USS Theodore Roosevelt with that squadron in 1993 and am familiar with seeing them flying over Virginia Beach. The local Virginia Pilot offers more detail than the national reporting, including the fact that after the pilot ejected the plane ......

Posted On Saturday, March 27, 2004 7:18 AM

First Ever South Atlantic Hurricane?
My Naval service has made me extra aware of watching the weather. I have IE shortcuts set up to the local National Weather Service radar in the Tampa area that covers us here in Orlando from the west as well as others in their network. I prefer the NWS radars over those of local TV stations because I can get a loop and they has no advertising. The NWS radars provide the data to places like and The NWS national loop is very convenient to track what's happening where our ......

Posted On Saturday, March 27, 2004 7:01 AM

Nautical Terminology: Cup of Joe
I have to start writing shorter blog entries. When I joined the Navy, the old salts told me I would be smoking within a month, I would learn to drink alcohol heavily, and I would be swilling coffee by the pot within a week. Happily, I am still a nonsmoker and did not become an alcoholic, but I succumbed to brewed caffeine. At one point I was the only functioning (i.e. not gut wrenchingly sick) Tactical Action Officer on my ship while we were deployed in the Mediterranean. After 30+ straight hours ......

Posted On Friday, March 26, 2004 8:22 PM

Custom Base Exception Class - V1 (VB)
Update 1: I have posted a new version of the code given below. The comments in this post still apply, but the code has been revised and expanded. Update 2: A C# version of this base exception class is posted here. Now it is time to get serious with some code. This is the first element of my exception handling --- the custom base exception class. Here is an updated list of blog entries which address exceptions to standard design. I will refer to some of these further on below. Brad Abrams, Exceptions ......

Posted On Friday, March 26, 2004 8:10 PM

Nautical Terminology: All Aboard!
Nautical terminology is full of wonderful history and detail. It reflects the nature of people to be reasonable when they come to naming things. Much nautical terminology, especially that from the days of sail, seems mysterious because in today's world we have no referents to make it familiar. Take the concept of a board. To us, it is a thing you buy at excessive price in a home warehouse store. In the case of our story, it goes all the way back to the Vikings. To them, boards were what they built ......

Posted On Thursday, March 25, 2004 6:39 PM

Exceptions and Assertions
The requirements post for my Reference Application ended up being way too long --- so where to start? I chose to go with exception management. I fully anticipate making lots of errors, so a robust error handling scheme will have a big payback. I have read extensively and am including some of the links below. My code will follow in a later entry as I complete it and smooth its look. It will include dummy links to a logging framework, unhandled exception handler, enhanced exception display form, enhanced ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 23, 2004 4:32 PM

President and Owner
Each year, MSDN needs acknowledgement of life to keep sending me a free copy of MSDN Magazine. It's a great magazine and you should race out and buy one at your local bookseller today. I always have to smile and laugh at the inevitable marketing survey that is embedded in the web form. I have a small side business that supports the EDR, but it is not of any greatly significant magnitude. Here is how I answered their survey (and I'm trying to be serious here). The asterisks indicate mandatory items. ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 23, 2004 3:41 PM

Story Number One: World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to an aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly ......

Posted On Monday, March 22, 2004 6:11 PM

Simulating Navy Life
The following is intended to be humorous and has been rendered in many different forms that I have seen. Outside of the Navy, it may not have been. Here is one such version. Buy a dumpster, paint it gray and live in it for 6 months straight. Run all of the piping and wires inside your house on the outside of the walls. Pump 10 inches of nasty, crappy water into your basement, then pump it out, clean up, and paint the basement "deck gray". Every couple of weeks, dress up in your best clothes and go ......

Posted On Monday, March 22, 2004 5:55 PM

Since I am building a reference application, I need to set a few design criteria to start off the process. I expect these will evolve somewhat over time, but time is what I have. Therefore I will build a large, detailed list with the hope that I will eventually get to everything. I am trying to design a robust application without mentioning anything that it does. Just what is a robust application? In a perfect world, it would solve the user's problem immediately, completely, and without error. The ......

Posted On Monday, March 22, 2004 5:44 PM

Watching .NET
How does a hobbyist programmer follow the ever-changing world of the .NET framework? I chose to watch and wait. It would have been easy to jump in, since I have had an MSDN subscription since the P1 version (anyone remember that?). I switched to the Universal subscription when it became available. So I have had the software available to me, but I never installed it. Why? Well mostly because of time. I did not have the time available to learn it as I should. I would have spent too much time flailing ......

Posted On Sunday, March 21, 2004 10:01 AM

Tap Tap Tap ... Is this thing on?
Hi. This is the inevitable first blog post. My name is Mark Treadwell and I am what some other people elsewhere have referred to as a hobbyist programmer. To me, a hobbyist programmer is someone who writes computer programs for the enjoyment of the challenge rather than to put food on the table. I'll talk about the day job that permits this indolent luxury later. In 1982, I graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering. This knowledge has basically ......

Posted On Sunday, March 21, 2004 7:22 AM

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