Monthly Archives: June 2008

Switching back to My Yahoo classic

On Thursday, Yahoo rolled out changes to my.yahoo.com updating the layout of the page with a beta version. One of the items that seemingly got lost was the link to switch back to the classic layout. I’ve played with the new layout and still prefer the old classic style that I’ve used for years now. Fortunately, at least for the time being, you can still switch back to the classic layout using this URL.

 

Btw, send feedback to Yahoo about the New Yahoo Mail.

[Update: July 9th 2008] Well that was short lived, below is a message from my current Yahoo page. Thanks a lot Yahoo.
image
[Update: July 9th 2008 8:30am] I posted a comment last night to this Yahoo blog post asking James, a My Yahoo! Product Lead, why he provided a link to switch back to classic knowing it would last only a week and the comment was deleted. I had included a link to the post I wrote about why Yahoo has frustrated me and indicating that this decision to kill Yahoo Classic was simply yet another reason. I guess that was just too over-the-top.
[Update: July, 14th 2008] Now that we’ve all be forced over to the new page I’m now getting hundreds of search engine hits on this post. Looks like I’m not the only one who like the “Classic” style.
[Update: July 15th 2008] According to one commenter Yahoo is now deleting requests to support the Classic mode from their web site properties though this page is still alive at least for now. I’m now getting 100’s Internet search hits for this post so this is a pretty popular subject. Feel free to digg this post and see if we can shine a little more attention on this.
[Update: January 25th 2009] How I replaced Yahoo.

[Update: August 11th 2009] I get enough email about this that I decided to record a video that illustrates the technique people posted here on how to switch back. Sadly, I no longer use Yahoo other than to forward an old email address I still keep alive but that’s it.
[Update: November 7th 2009] Removed the video as it didn’t slow the rate of email I get about people’s Yahoo’s problems.

Our Mac Mini back online with a new main logic board

The other day I mentioned our Mac Mini had died after just 18 short months of little use. I’d done some digging around on the web and found good reviews of a company called DT&T Computer Services and after describing the problem they quoted me $245 to replace the main logic board and $15 for shipping and handling. I filled out their online form and printed out my RMA information and sent the machine in last Friday. We got it back today and fortunately, it’s working once again. DT&T has a 6 month warranty which is nice although I hope we don’t have to use it.

I’ll add that my experience with DT&T was very good. They answered the phone immediately when I called, no waiting, hold, etc. answered my questions and once the repairs were done they called to complete payment and confirm shipping. It all went off without a hitch.

Now, of course, the thing I’m happiest about is my wife has her own machine back.

For me Google Reader just gained some serious competition in feedly

If you haven’t checked out feedly and you’re a blog/RSS reader you definitely should. It’s a Firefox 3.0 plugin that has some really cool features and turns your feeds into a magazine style web page.

[Updated: June 24, 2008] I should mention that this is really functioning as an alternative UI for Google Reader rather than a replacement since it updates Google Reader as I’m reading items.

 feedly Firefox plugin

SQL Server Index Nightmare

The other day I discovered one of the MSSQL tables I’m using heavily at the moment had 214 indices! There were about 20 with sensible names and the rest were all named similar to _dta_index_SA_OrderHeader_5_499519046__K1_2_6_9_13. I mentioned this issue to John Waters in the office today which elicited a nice laugh until I sent him this screenshot:
SQL Manager 2008 Lite
While I’m not exactly new to MSSQL I’m no expert though fortunately Falafel has a few experts on staff and John’s one of them. He dug into the problem answering the what, where and how to deal them, feel free to click through if that’s what you need.
Had I not blogged back in February asking about MSSQL tools this problem would likely have gone undetected for a lot longer. Microsoft’s Management Studio doesn’t show these so called $g(Hypothetical Indices) so you have no way of knowing your table/DB is being impacted by them. Ironically, they’re created by the Index Tuning Wizard. Anyway, one commenter to my post mentioned EMS Database Management Solutions (a mouthful notwithstanding whatever EMS stands for) SQL Manager 2008 for which there is a freeware download. SQL Manager’s treeview provides a wealth of information including counts for things like indices which allowed me to easily stumble upon the problem.
All in all, there were 500+ of these indices hanging around but thanks to SQL Manager no longer!

Techmeme helping drive traffic to sensational c|net blog post

How is it that blog posts like the one below from Matt Asay on c|net’s News.com can become a top headline on Techmeme? Is this sort of headline grabbing BS to be expected now that CBS owns c|net?Techmeme story 

I’m not going to do it justice by linking to it so if you want to you’ll have to search. I believe this story and headline were written for no other reason than to generate traffic for c|net. Mr.Asay is clearly out-of-touch with the Windows software development world if he actually believes the data he’s referring to. Couple that with the fact that companies like CodeGear and tools like Delphi can go a long ways towards alleviating the pain of moving to a new version of Windows by changing their runtime frameworks to help either adopt or mask the differences between versions allowing developers to continue to focus on the task at hand.

Fortunately, a number of comments in reply to the post are appropriately taking him to task. Of course, the downside of all this is that it accomplishes c|net’s goal of driving traffic to their site.

I’m not sure of the selection criteria for Techmeme but it just took a step down in my book.

Our G4 Mac Mini dies costing us $44 a month

In December, 2006 I bought a G4 Apple Mac Mini for my wife for Christmas and three days ago it died. It’s bad enough Apple came out with an Intel version within 4 or 5 weeks of my purchase but to have the thing die after 18 months makes it by far the most expensive computer I’ve ever owned based on of operation. That’s not to mention my wife used it maybe 15-30 minutes a day, if that. It’s not like it was running protein folding or some similar CPU intensive task rather it was in sleep mode the vast majority of the past 18 months.

And by died I mean pressing the power button does absolutely nothing. I’ve tried two different power supplies, resetting the PMU as well as taking out the RAM and re-seating it all to no avail. Yesterday, I took it to the Apple store Los Gatos where they told me “the worst case scenario for repair is $460.23” and that my only option is to authorize them for the worst case and they would charge me accordingly based on the type of repair required. They mentioned that if the machine had to be completely replaced the data on it would be lost, so I don’t even get the dead box back. Perhaps needless to say but I’m not going to go that route.

If anyone has suggestions for Mac Mini repair I’m all ears. I’ve read a few good things about DT&T in Fremont and that will likely be my choice unless I hear otherwise.

[Update: July 7, 2008] Here is how things turned out.

System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException loading a project into VS.NET 2008

Recently, based on comments to this post I decided to turn $g(Vistas UAC) back on in “silent mode” using TweakUAC. Doing so allows me to run $g(Windows Live Mesh) to support folder synchronization which I’m now using to backup my blog content. The downside is that after making this change I started getting System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException errors when loading a large application into VS.NET 2008.

System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException
After a bit of head scratching I thought to change my VS.NET shortcut to launch with “Run as Administrator” enabled which resolved the error. Now, back to work!

Facebook Starter Kit updated and available to install on Facebook

Here is an update for my Facebook Starter Kit for VS.NET 2008 which fixes the Invalid Parameter error in part by using the toolkits CanvasIFrame(…) base classes as well as adding the P3P header. These changes cleaned up the original code considerably making it much easier to read not to mention function properly.

FacebookASPNET available on Facebook

With this update I’ve added the application to Facebook as FacebookASPNET in case you want to add it to your Facebook account and play around. If you have feature suggestions or additions please let me know. At this point, the application is very simple but, of course, that was the point.

Lastly, if you monitor the RSS feed for the Facebook Developer’s Toolkit you already know about the pending 1.7 release as well as the pre-announcement of a 2.0 release which is great news and indicates the project is alive and well! Btw, I’ll be updating the Starter Kit as these updates come out but felt this change was significant enough to post now. If the 1.7 release comes out this week I’ll just update this post.

Let me know how it works. Thanks!