Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Why Featured Desktop are Retarded IRL

Ok, so we've all seen these super sexy custom featured desktops featured on Lifehacker, and damn do they make you desire them, you want to be as cool as them and show them off in your sweet pad. But you know what? They aren't really that cool...and here's why:
  1. You need to install a crapload of custom mods, apps, widgets, wallpapers, and icons, and yes I realize that there is an installer for most of it, but usually people disable effects to get performance, not crud it up more
  2. It doesn't even really do anything other than look pretty and convey almost entirely completely useless information like your cpu uage, memory available and harddisk space. When was the last time you cared to check that information, and how frequently do you really need it? virtually never! A terabyte is a lot of information and affords me not to require checking on it very often. I can scroll song information in my winamp taskbar title and really don't need to see a picture of my album cover as I don't own many cds anyways so they wouldn't mean much to me.
  3. Probably one of the most important: YOU CAN'T SEE ANY OF IT IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING OPEN! Who the hell has their computer on with nothing ever open or up? What is the point of that, your desktop is a place you put stuff on top of, not watch and marvel at. I think the whole mac style fanboy crap has really gotten to people on windows. So we don't have a fancy remote and sleek minimalist UI, but yeah our computers can actually do stuff and not just look pretty or make a fashion statement. If you are sitting at your computer, you are doing something with it. If you aren't it should be in powersave mode.
Seriously, it's all glammer and no substance. What's the point? You are probably thinking "to get laid", and that's probably what they were thinking too when they made these.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nightmare on MS SQL Street

Why is it that everytime I start blogging, it always comes back to how stupid ASP.NET and Microsoft products are?

I had the worst headache and lost 2 days worth of working time trying to uninstall and reinstall ms sql server, which I will recount one day, but I'm trying to forget already.

PROTIP: NEVER uninstall 2005 express if you are developing on it, because it's a pain in the ass to reconnect to after!

I ended up where I started, but with one extra management tool, which was for MS SQL 2005, although it crashed depending on how I used it, so I had to use a combination of that and the MS SQL 2008 management tool which also crashed most of the time.

I have an express database which after the nightmare I was able to recreate in MS SQL 2008, and create a .bak file to transfer to my webhost as there is no other easy way to export and upgrade to a true instance and I didn't want to copy over my test data or erase it on my local machine.

Now I get this stupid error when I try to create a user:

Failed to generate a user instance of SQL Server due to failure in retrieving the user's local application data path. Please make sure the user has a local user profile on the computer. The connection will be closed.

Yay, just what I need, and it's hard to figure out, it probably has to do with hosting not being set up properly to interact or it's some legacy crap that has to work with the old ASPNETDB instance and how it handles authentication, but I don't know.

I was able to eliminate that error on a number of other pages as I noticed the data adapters were set to straight use ASPNETDB instead of my ConnectionString, but in my CreateAccount files I can't find any reference to ASPNETDB or ConnectionString. It's that goddamn CreateUserWizard that is probably doing something funky, perhaps there is something else in my web.config file I need to fix.

There are about a million different posts out there apparently on this same error and it has a bit of a range, so I'm no closer to uncovering the issue.

I wish moving to a live environment was easy :(

Add on:
I actually solved my problem while writing this blog, and did have to change some things in the web.config! Feels good to solve the problem by writing out my thought process.

Now I just have to deal with the next set of errors! blech

Friday, May 8, 2009

Finding a good web host

So I recently had a horrible experience with, a large webhosting provider, apparently according to many random people in a lifehacker open thread, they were one of the best, so I signed up with them. A day or two later I go in to check it out and play around, see how the database works, and I'm immediately thrown off, I see a MySQL manager, but no MS SQL manager, and I'm thinking, hmm perhaps I just can't find it. Lots of searching later, panicking, doubting myself for wondering how in the hell I could buy windows hosting that doesn't come with MS SQL, I ended up research the web for how I can just use MySQL, and what I found was complicated, poorly documented, and sounded like I'd have to rewrite my whole app.

So I go back to their homepage, and find the database option which is hidden, and it says MySQL, and I'm thinking, I would have swore it was MS SQL! Later I realized I was on the Linux tab, and now the Windows tab, then I had a sigh of relief, I wasn't crazy, I should have it. So I go back in to my hosting and browse through every PDF, and find mention of an MS SQL tool, but I still can't find how to access it, the images all look wrong compared to what I got.

Then it hit me, somehow I got stuck with motherfucking linux hosting. I go back and check my bill, sure enough that's what on there! How the hell did this happen?? I know I couldn't have signed up for Linux, so I call the company at the worst time, when I'm starving and upset at lunch. Billing says I can pay $10 bucks to changeover, or I have to buy a whole new account, then get the tech team to transfer my free domain, then I have to use my money back guarantee on the first one. Seems like some effort, but ok, so they put me over to the tech guy, I re-explain the situation and he tries to take me through the menus to switch it where it would cost me, I ask him if it will cost, because it should be free, you guys fucked up, he says, oh well you could sign up for the new account, but the small text in the agreement states that you will lose your 6 months at half price option as you are no longer a new customer. I'm furious and starving, so I hang up and go to lunch.

Later in the afternoon, I decide to call back and talk to someone else on billing, I explain my situation, I say I just signed up for service, you guys fucked up and gave me the wrong hosting, and now you want me to pay to fix your mistake, is that what you are saying? She says "Yep, That's pretty much it". I say, then fine, I'm going to cancel my account, she says, "Ok, now I just need your password to verify your account". She didn't even fucking try to keep my business! what the hell is that? I ask if I can email it, she says no, I say I'm not saying my password outloud in the office, so I'll call back later.

I call back later from my car, give my password, wait on hold for 5 minutes, then as I finally get frustrated again, I'm off hold and she asks if I'd like to say why I cancelled, I said I sure would, I told her you guys fucked up and wanted to charge me, so I'm out, she says ok, Thanks. I say bye.

Wow, what a pile of shit their customer service is. In the afternoon I did a twitter search for and guess what I found? all complaints and warnings. Goddamn I should search twitter more before hand!

When I did get the survey, I gave them a very bad rating and put in a few choice words on their behalf.

Let's see if my new hosting lives up to standards. I found Arvixe after doing some more research and found some good ratings, and they give you lots of unlimited stuff.

If you want to sign up, please use my link!