Thursday, September 20, 2007

How Far Does Your Mouse Travel?

Just listening to Johnnie Walker on BBC's Radio 2, apparently someone has worked out that the total distance travelled by all of the computer mice in one hour is 133,000 miles. I can't find any more details on this, and goodness only knows how (and why) someone felt compelled to estimate this. Still, makes for an interesting statistic to drop into the conversation!   Digg! Digg it

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

.NET User Control in VB6

I've spent a few days looking into this. I need a web browser in a VB6 application I'm amending, but the VB6 control doesn't allow me to inject HTML as a string, only to browse a URL.

Creating a user control in VB.Net was simple enough as I had an example, but resizing the controls in the user control when the user control was resized in the VB6 environment appeared impossible.

Searching the Internet didn't uncover anything useful, so it was down to trial and error. I've come to the conclusion that the resize action is lost somewhere between VB6 and the .NET user control.

The solution was to resize the controls contained in the user control when passing the HTML string, although this could be carried out via a seperate method call.   Digg! Digg it

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Actinic Catalog - Missing File

I had a very strange problem recently with my mate Mark's online shop. We've set the shop up using Actinic Catalog (version 6) and it's a good product for the job and generally it works fine. After returning from holiday and processing the first batch of orders, a message started appearing immediately when downloading orders indicating a file was missing, but not giving a hint as to which one.

Unusually the Internet didn't provide a solution, so it was a case of rolling up the sleeves and investigating.

First job was to set Actinic up on another PC, partially so that Mark could get orders out the door and secondly to confirm the server set up was OK. This worked, so we could concentrate on fixing the PC mark uses for dispatch. It's a relatively new machine running XP Pro, service pack 2 and all the current Windows updates. Taking a cut of the files from the second machine across to the dispatch machine didn't make any difference.

I've used the excellent and free SysInternals tools in the past, so I installed FileMon hoping to discover the missing file. It didn't indicate a missing file but did show access to Internet Explorer's temporary files folder, which did seem a bit odd at the time.

Testing the connection from Actinic indicated a problem connecting to the FTP server. Windows Explorer suffered the same problem. So I tried Internet Explorer and noticed the Work Offline option was ticked. Mark uses Firefox rather than IE, so wouldn't have noticed this. Unticking Work Offline allowed IE to access the FTP site and amazingly Actinic was now accessing the orders on the webserver quite happily.

Last job was to transfer the Access database from the other PC onto the dispatch PC and remove the copy of Actinic.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sad Day

After a brave 8 year fight against prostate cancer, my Dad peacefully passed away last night (10 September 2007) and 21:40. Both my sister and I were with him at the time and had been for the past 5 nights.

Greenwich & Bexley Cottage Hospice took care of him for the last 2 and a bit weeks of his life and couldn't have done more for him or us and I want to thank them with all my heart. The hospice runs on donations and it's important for me to support that funding so that others can also experience a level of care not always possible in a busy hospital.

Rest in peace Ken West, you were an inspiration to me and my children.   Digg! Digg it