Jim's Blog Ramblings about novels, comics, programming, and other geek topics


Comic Con 2010

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This was my third year in a row that I’m been fortunate to attend the San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC). However, it was the first year that I had a plan, a map with annotations, and a checklist.

I thought that I would try to traverse the convention’s exhibit floor in an almost OCD manner of going up and down every row starting from the northern end of the floor (the side with the comics) and ending in the southern end (movie stuff). I think this idea paid out very well since I was able to do almost everything on my list and find lots of hidden surprises along the way. Walking every row on the floor and browsing each booth took almost an entire date. I started walking soon after the exhibit hall’s doors opened and completed my first complete floor walk by around 3-4 PM.


Which direction is better for sorting multi-column list items?

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As I was working on a web site, one of the beta testers responded saying they didn’t like the default sorting (vertical) of the CheckBoxList elements used on a ASP.NET web form.

The CheckBoxList web control has a property called RepeatDirection which can be either Vertical (default) or Horizontal. Below shows two examples of how the data items will be rendered using each of the two RepeatDirection options.


Encrypting Sensitive Data in .NET Config Files

Encrypting your sensitive data in your ASP.net web.config files is a simple process that can be done two different ways. The first way is to use a command prompt to execute a command and encrypt/decrypt the XML sections. The second way is to encrypt/decrypt programmatically from within your web site.

Things you need to know before starting:

  • Which system account does your ASP.NET web site run as?
    This is usually “NT AuthorityNetwork Service” or “ASPNET” unless specifically configured otherwise.
  • The directory where aspnet_regiis.exe is located. The default installation path is $WINDIR% Microsoft.NET Framework <versionNumber> aspnet_regiis.exe. The last folder is the version of the Framework you are using (v2, v3, v4, etc.)

How to update your FAST ESP Java version

First, install the new Java version on your FAST ESP server.

Second, there are 3 configuration changes to inform FAST ESP which version of Java to use. Unfortunately, the FAST ESP application does not fully utilize the standard “JAVA_HOME” environment variable, so there are two additional configuration files that must be edited.