# Friday, 29 August 2008
Back at the beginning of August, we spent a week in Florida. Below are some highlights.
posted on Friday, 29 August 2008 10:59:28 (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 16 May 2008

A couple of months ago, my wife and I found out that we were pregnant.  We've been extremely worried for the past month because she was rear-ended while driving to class one day, but now we know we're almost clear.  She had her first ultrasound yesterday, and we found out that we have a healthy, very bouncy, 3.6cm baby.  Being that she's at 10 weeks, we're almost done with the worries.  Once we clear the first trimester, the risk goes down a great deal.  I'm so excited that I can barely stand it, hehe.  So without further ado:

Hello World!

Hello Again

posted on Friday, 16 May 2008 16:29:38 (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [4] Trackback
# Tuesday, 04 March 2008

So we've been both working on and putting off the new view system in Decal for ages.  Checksum did a lot of work to give us something to extend, and we've been chugging along with that.  We have a couple of semi-usable controls, and a simple form/view loader.  The integration with Decal still lacks a great deal, but there's one very big problem with the system:  It's fugly.


Above you can see NVS or Decal.Forms in our test container.  It's not going to win any beauty pageants for some time.

We do have a powerful theme system that goes along with NVS though.  Once the controls stabilize, and we start working on performance, it shouldn't be hard to make things look great.  Of course, none of us have any artistic talent so it'll never look that good (unless we can con an artsy person into the core team).

In support of this effort (though mostly just so I can say I finally finished rewriting it) I've put some effort into reviving Portal Opus.  I had been sitting on the framework for ages now and decided a couple of days ago to go ahead and integrate Ken's DatUtils to speed up the progress (his spell table object probably saved me an entire night of coding easily).  Right now it supports all of the textures that Decal supports and loads the skill and spell tables.  I'm going to fool-proof it a bit and post an alpha in the near future.  After that, I'm going to start building a model viewer into it too.


posted on Tuesday, 04 March 2008 03:30:53 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 22 February 2008

My wonderfully amazing wife gave me the coolest present for Valentine's day:  she named a star for me.  Even though I'm well aware that it will never be used officially, it's still one of the best gifts that I could have been given.  Below is a not-so-great view from Google Earth.  This summer, I'm going to see about getting some photos taken to show off.


posted on Friday, 22 February 2008 04:05:15 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Friday, 25 January 2008


The years seem to keep getting shorter, and I seem to be getting less and less done.  I'm hoping to change that this year since I've been running this site for 4 years now and have only made a handful of posts.

I'm looking to make some pretty big changes to both of my sites in the near future.  Paradoxlost.com will become much less Decal-centric in the future.  I have considered both hosting my personal projects on this site and creating a projects sub domain on paradoxlost with the ability to categorize things much better.  Either project will be fun to write.

I have two paths that I intend to follow for site upgrades.  I'll be rewriting this site using the new ASP.NET MVC framework (available here, lots of information from ScottGu here).  My non-windows sites will be moving to Python, particularly extending the web.py framework.  I love playing with python, and I've found web.py to be particularly useful for play.  It's very non-intrusive.

Decal is still moving forward.  I don't know what the future holds for AC, but we do still throw code into poor old Decal.  It's been in beta for so long that I think parts of it are getting moldy.  To help with things we recently recruited a new guy into the core team.  Those of you who still visit #acdev know him as Flynn and on VN/IGN he goes by Thorfinn_Sigurdssen.  He jumped right into the new view system, and it actually saw a lot of code churn before the holiday season (and final exams).

And for anyone starving for a new release of decal, join #acdev (irc.sorcery.net).  We could use some lively discussions to get us interested and motivated in AC again.  Who knows, you might even convince us to reactivate our AC accounts!

Until next time!

posted on Friday, 25 January 2008 14:08:08 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 29 November 2007

So I've been working with mass archiving Office documents at work lately.  Part of this process is extracting meta data information from the files such as subject and author.  Microsoft has had a "sample" component out for a while to accomplish this:  DSOFile.  Using this component brings up COM Interop fun which I like to avoid if possible.

Having a bit of free time on my hands, I set about looking at rewriting DSOFile using C++/CLI.  This actually turned out to be pretty easy once I figured out how msclr::com::ptr worked and DSOFileNET was born.

posted on Thursday, 29 November 2007 21:55:49 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 17 September 2007

The ASP.NET AJAX UpdateProgress control is rather limited.  It only shows up for UpdatePanels and then only for one at a time.  This was highly annoying, since I needed it to display for the CascadingDropDown in particular.  After a few failed attempts, I found that it is very easy to create your own control that will work for any and all requests.

The secret for this method is found in Sys.Net.WebRequestManager.  This object contains two methods:  add_invokingRequest and add_completedRequest.  Using these two events, we can set a short timeout, and using a ModalPopupExtender, show a progress alert for every background action.

var wrm = Sys.Net.WebRequestManager;


function BeginRequest(sender, args)
setTimeout('ShowProgress()', 800);

function ShowProgress()
// show the modal

function EndRequest(sender, args0
// hide the modal

I leave the rest as an exercise for the reader.

posted on Monday, 17 September 2007 16:25:15 (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Something that I happened upon this week after reading one-to-many post saying that VSTO Add-ins can't be installed for all users under Office 2007.  I knew it worked that way under Office 2003, and they couldn't have broken compatability that much in '07.  I was determined to find a workable solution to this problem because the sheer administrative overhead of needing each user to run the install or another patch mechanism was rediculous.

First, I had to identify the major difference between '03 and '07 when dealing with VSTO:  '07 supports it natively.  In '03 all VSTO Add-ins are loaded via a generic shim and are essentially regular COM add-ins.  In '07 the add-ins are loaded directly by the Office app, ignoring the shim.  To get around this issue, you have to cause '07 to load your add-in the same way that '03 would:  as a COM-shimmed add-in.  Invoking this behavior is a simple stroke of the delete key.

Setup your installer as normal, except having all registry entries defined under HKLM instead of HKCU.  Then navigate to HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Office/[APP]/Addins/[YourAddin].  Remove the "Manifest" value from this key.  This value being missing causes '07 to load your add-in via the ProgID [YourAddin], which eventually leads it to the VSTO AddinLoader and your real add-in via the Manifest defined under your CLSID/[GUID] entry.

There is a downside to this method:  If your add-in crashes, it will take out all other add-in using the AddinLoader via Office's disabled list.

posted on Tuesday, 21 August 2007 12:38:41 (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 08 August 2007

In last night's episode of Eureka (Duck, Duck, Goose), the winner of the fair was Megan, daughter of Julie He(a?)rrington.  It's always fun to come across little things like this in life.

posted on Wednesday, 08 August 2007 12:10:18 (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Monday, 30 October 2006
I just wanted everyone to know that on last Thursday (Oct. 26) I married my long time girlfriend.  We've been together nearly seven years now, and knowing that I'll spend the rest of my days with her makes me happier than anything I've known before.

posted on Monday, 30 October 2006 09:57:33 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback