January 2010 - Page 2 of 2 - Digital Tool Factory blog

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Stalin on the road to Barbarossa

I just finished reading L.A. Noir by John Buntin, a history of the Los Angeles Police Department, and was struck by the similarity of Stalin’s reaction to the German invasion of 1941 and the Police Chief Thomas Parker’s reaction to Watts riots in the 1960s.

First some history – in 1941 Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa – an invasion of the Soviet Union.  At first the Germans took far more territory than expected.  One of the primary reasons for the success, if not the primary reason, is that during the first days of the invasion Stalin refused to believe the invasion was happening and did not mobilize the Red Army.  Once he realized that the Germans were actually invading he seemingly had a nervous breakdown and did nothing at all.  As Stalin micromanaged the Soviet Union to the finest detail, his paralysis meant that Red Army did nothing while the Germans rolled across the border.  It took a matter of weeks before he was able to start issuing even halfway decent military orders again. Continue reading →

Jan 10

Written By Steve French


How to set up the CheckBoxList control in Asp.net

I recently came up with the need to have a validated CheckBoxList in and Asp.net page.  Over the years I’ve come up with a standard way of setting up validated CheckBoxLists, so I thought I would share the method and start the brand new “Code Samples” section..

The aspx code is as follows

<strong>Section Name</strong>
<asp:TextBox ID="tbBox" runat="server" Width="1" BorderColor="White" BackColor="White" BorderStyle="None" />
<asp:CustomValidator ID="cvBox" ValidateEmptyText="true" runat="server" ControlToValidate="tbBox" Display="none" ErrorMessage="<b>Required Field Missing</b><br />You must select at least one option" SetFocusOnError="true" ValidationGroup="Main" onservervalidate="cvBox_ServerValidate" />
<ajaxToolkit:ValidatorCalloutExtender ID="vceBox" runat="server" TargetControlID="cvBox" Width="300" />

<br />

<asp:CheckBoxList ID=”cblForms” runat=”server” RepeatColumns=”2″ RepeatDirection=”Horizontal”>
<asp:ListItem Text=”Option A” Value=”A” />
<asp:ListItem Text=”Option B” Value=”B” />
<asp:ListItem Text=”Option C” Value=”C” />
<asp:ListItem Text=”Option D” Value=”D” />

Please note, the control that I am validating is actually a 1 pixel wide textbox that one should not type in. Continue reading →

Jan 10

Written By Steve French


Review of The Power of Less by Leo Babauta

Overall Grade: 6/10

I recently picked up a copy of The Power of Less by Leo Babauta (I was using a gift certificate and that was the only interesting thing Barnes and Noble had in stock).  Babauta blogs as www.zenhabits.net and I imagine most of the content originally appeared there.  It is an easy, fast read.

The book boils down to these points: Continue reading →

Jan 10

Written By Steve French


Flying Car Syndrome

This is will most likely be included in some form in my upcoming e-book.

Flying Car Syndrome

Imagine the following exchange one week after a car sale:

Salesman: So, how do you like the new Prius?

Prius Buyer: It’s a piece of crap, I’m never buying a hybrid again.  You lied to me!

Salesman: What do you mean?  Aren’t you getting great mileage?

Prius Buyer: Mileage?  Who cares about mileage, it doesn’t fly!

Salesman: WTF?  Who told you cars could fly?

Prius Buyer: Of course hybrid cars can fly, why else would they be called hybrids?  And I saw a flying car in a movie once.

Now imagine talking to a client after a site has launched.  He came to you ignorant of the technology but specific in his requirements.  He wanted a site that mirrors the designer’s Photoshop files, standards compliant CSS and XHTML,  written in ASP.net MVC, optimized for 1280 by 920 screen resolutions and complete by the end of the month.  You do all those things, and wow, the site looks awesome – just like the Photoshop files, standards compliant,  and delivered on time.  If you’re dealing with Flying Car Syndrome, the call sounds something like this: Continue reading →

Jan 10

Written By Steve French


What should I title my new book?

Last night I  decided to package up some of my insights I’ve gathered in my seven and and a half years as an introverted small business person into a convenient e-book.  Being a self-diagnosed Aspie, I’ve categorized most of my feelings into Jungian Archetypes with descriptive names and stories behind the names.  Over the years I’ve developed many gut instincts about what to look for and what to avoid (when you’re not perceptive to people that helps tremendously).  I intend to write a 20 page (approx) book, consisting largely of material that has (or will) appear here or on my other blogs.    I will release it as an e-book on Amazon, and probably as a free download on the Stronico website.

Now what should I call it?  At the moment I’m thinking of the following 6 choices. Continue reading →

Jan 10

Written By Steve French


On the whole, I’m quite happy with WordPress

It’s been an unexpectedly large amount of work, but I am quite happy with the blog on WordPress.  All of the tweaks should be done in the next week.  WordPress did go out of it’s way to please with their lovely “Blogger to WordPress” plugin.

I originally tried to hosting on Windows 2003 and IIS6.  That was a horrible mistake.  Essentially the mod_rewrite feature found on Unix simply isn’t there with that version of Windows/IIS and there is no good way to make the feature work on Windows.  I’m still a bit flummoxed by widgets and what not, but I take back all of the negative things I’ve said about WP in the past.


This post originally appeared on the Stronico blog – with the absorption of Stronico into Digital Tool Factory this post has been moved to the Digital Tool Factory blog

Jan 10

Written By Steve French


The Stronico blog moves to WordPress

So, after a reasonable amount of work, we have moved the blog to a different server and blogging platform.  On the whole, I’m liking WordPress far more than Blogger.


This post originally appeared on the Stronico blog – with the absorption of Stronico into Digital Tool Factory this post has been moved to the Digital Tool Factory blog

Jan 10

Written By Steve French


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