My Almost Electrocution - A Follow Up

posted on 10/24/07 at 09:40:09 pm by Joel Ross

The other day, our washer quit draining, and in my attempt to get the water out, I came close to electrocuting myself. In the post about it, I had a picture showing that the screwdriver had melted where it came into contact with the washer.

Well, yesterday, I pulled the washer apart to replace the lid switch, and here's what the washer looks like:


In the lower right corner, you can see that the washer also melted - a bigger indent than on the screwdriver! That would explain all of the sparks that were flying!

By the way, the part in the upper left corner is what I replaced. In the picture, you can see that it's fallen apart. So the good news is that after replacing the part, the washer works again!

Categories: Personal


Gmail & IMAP - Friends At Last

posted on 10/23/07 at 11:45:19 pm by Joel Ross

I've been watching Twitter tonight while my son slept on my chest, and DownloadSquad tweeted a bit ago about Gmail getting IMAP support. I was pretty excited. I logged into my Gmail account, and...nothing. Oh well. So it's one of those features that's being rolled out slowly.

Then I logged into my account, where I use Google Apps, and lo and behold, there it was! GMail not having IMAP is the one thing that has been keeping us from using Gmail for Tourney Logic's email addresses. We share access to a few accounts, and it's important that we see who has done what with the messages we get, so we rely on IMAP to do that. Up until now, that's ruled Gmail out.

I'm excited to try it out. I'll be doing that tomorrow!

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Categories: Software


FeedDemon 2.6 Beta 1 Released

posted on 10/23/07 at 08:54:56 pm by Joel Ross

Nick Bradbury has pushed out a new beta of the awesome FeedDemon product. Normally, I don't mess with a whole lot of beta software for things I consider critical (and reading feeds is now one of those things), especially not the first beta! But FeedDemon is different. I've installed every beta I could thus far because the Newsgator team does a great job of ensuring that even though it's beta, that it's very stable. So far 2.6 is no exception.

In normal use, it's not that much different. The most notable differences? Better support for favicons and the newspaper views are faster. One other feature that looks interesting: Better pre-fetching for offline support. I'm rarely offline, so I haven't used that one yet, but at some point, I'm sure I will.

Anyway, if you're a FeedDemon user, this is exciting news!

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Categories: Software


OutTwit Gets It (And Gets Updated)

posted on 10/23/07 at 04:34:17 pm by Joel Ross

Certain companies understand how to gain a fan base. OutTwit is one of those companies. I've been using OutTwit for a few weeks now and when I started using it, I thought using rules would be a good way to sort tweets - I wanted to sort news tweets from individual tweets. That didn't end up working, so when I saw an option to send some feedback, I did. I never really expected to hear anything back, but imagine my surprise when yesterday, I received the following email:

Hi Joel,

How's OutTwit working for you?

Just a quick note to let you know that we have released a new version, which has a feature you requested - an ability to sort messages in per-sender folders. It doesn't let you build arbitrary rules, it's all or nothing right now, but it's a start :)

This is probably the best kind of marketing for a piece of software. Not only did they send me an email about a new release, but it's a personal message - it was obviously custom written for me. It includes details about my specific request - to be able to use rules against incoming tweets.

While it's not exactly what I asked for, this new feature actually completely satisfies my needs. By having the separate folders, I can build search folders that separate out mainstream tweets from individual tweets, so I'm pretty excited about the new release.

One of the other new features is kind of subtle. I didn't notice it right away, but when you are on a particular message, the user's twitter id is already filled in:


Click through to see a larger image if you can't see it, but in the OutTwit box, @davewiner is already filled in. Nice, simple feature, but really, really useful.

By the way, the other feature I asked for didn't make it - Jaiku support.

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Categories: Software


07-08 Week 7 NFL Pick Results

posted on 10/23/07 at 12:35:08 am by Joel Ross

I had a solid week - again, low picking the O/U, but I never understood why I did good on that in the past. One thing to note: I'm picking games correctly at a rate of 63%, but still losing money. You pretty much have to pick at about a 70% rate to make any money. Not something that's easily done.

Another poor week for "Lock Solid" picks. I was 2-2, with both Pittsburgh and Baltimore losing. For the 4 games, I lost $13.88, bringing me to 19-9, and down $26.00 - on $280 in bets.

  • Atlanta 16, New Orleans 22 (-8) (42 O/U) [P: $2.67, S: ($10.00), O/U: ($10.00), T: ($17.33)]
  • Tampa Bay 16, Detroit 23 (-2.5) (44.5 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.09, T: ($10.91)]
  • Minnesota 14, Dallas 24 (-9.5) (47 O/U) [P: $2.11, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $2.11]
  • Tennessee 38 (-1.5), Houston 36 (38.5 O/U) [P: $8.00, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $8.00]
  • Arizona* 19, Washington 21 (-8) (35.5 O/U) [P: $2.67, S: $10.00, O/U: $9.09, T: $21.76]
  • New England 49 (-16.5), Miami 28 (52 O/U) [P: $0.67, S: $10.00, O/U: $9.09, T: $19.76]: Should we just give the Patriots the Super Bowl ring now? Oh - and Ronnie Brown's done for the year. I'm sure that'll help the situation in Miami.
  • San Francisco 15, New York Giants 33 (-8.5) (39.5 O/U) [P: $2.50, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $2.50]
  • Baltimore 14 (-3), Buffalo 19 (34.5 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: ($10.00), T: ($30.00)]
  • New York Jets 31, Cincinnati 38 (-6.5) (47.5 O/U) [P: $3.45, S: $10.00, O/U: $9.09, T: $22.54]
  • Kansas City 12, Oakland 10 (-2.5) (37.5 O/U) [P: $11.50, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $11.50]
  • Chicago 19, Philadelphia 16 (-5.5) (41.5 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.09, T: ($10.91)]
  • St. Louis 6, Seattle 33 (-8) (39.5 O/U) [P: $2.67, S: $10.00, O/U: $9.09, T: $21.76]
  • Pittsburgh 28 (-3.5), Denver 31 (39 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.09, T: ($10.91)]
  • Indianapolis 29 (-3), Jacksonville 7 (44.5 O/U) [P: $5.71, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $5.71]

Results Summary

  • Picks (this week): 10 - 4 (71.43%) - Winnings: $1.93
  • Picks (season): 65 - 38 (63.11%) - Winnings: ($73.26)
  • Spread (this week): 9 - 5 (64.29%) - Winnings: $40.00
  • Spread (season): 43 - 51 (45.74%) - Winnings: ($80.00)
  • Over/Under (this week): 7 - 7 (50.00%) - Winnings: ($6.36)
  • Over/Under (season): 46 - 54 (46.00%) - Winnings: ($121.82)
  • Total Weekly Winnings: $35.57
  • Total Overall Winnings: ($275.07)

Be back in a few days with week 8 picks.

Tags: | |

Categories: Football


How To (Almost) Electrocute Yourself

posted on 10/23/07 at 12:16:13 am by Joel Ross

I wasn't feeling good today, so I spent the day working in The Dungeon. At lunch time, I came upstairs to get lunch, and that was when The Wife discovered that the washer decided to quit working. Well, not totally. It would run through the wash cycle, but not the rinse or spin cycles. That can make for some very, very wet clothing. Not something I'd want to wear.

Anyway, we pulled the clothing out, and The Wife took it across the street to a neighbor's to finish washing it. I was left with a large basin of soapy water. Being an awesome handyman, I decided to take a look and see how I could fix it. I discovered that the problem had to do with the washer realizing that the lid was closed. Under the lid, I could see where a part was broken. It actually came out, and feeling underneath, I could feel a switch. When pressed, it clicked, meaning it was in place.

I got an idea. If I could flip that switch with the washer still on rinse, I could at least drain the water. So I took a screwdriver, pressed the switch under the lid, pulled the knob to turn the washer on, and watched as all of the water drained out. Once there was no water left, I pulled the screwdriver out of the switch, and the basin stopped.

Once it stopped, some more water came out of the middle cylinder, and feeling pretty good about what I just did, I decided to spin that water out as well. I positioned the screwdriver again, turned the washer back on, and it started spinning. My daughter was standing behind me, watching this time.

I apparently got a little too cocky for my own good, and accidentally touched the screwdriver to part of the washer - a metal part. This was when I realized that the way the lid switch worked was to close a circuit, thus allowing the 110 volt current through. Sparks flew everywhere, and I jumped back, screwdriver in hand. When I looked down at the screwdriver, it had actually melted part of it away.


It's a bit tough to see, but that big black mark is where I touched the washer. The silver in the middle is where it melted.

When The Wife got home, my daughter (helpfully) informed her that I set the washer on fire. That went over well.

In my defense, I knew there was no chance I would get electrocuted. I was holding the plastic handle, and was sure not to touch the washer - I wasn't sure if there was current in the switch, but I was being cautious anyway. Well, kind of cautious!

Oh yeah. The washer still doesn't work...

Categories: Personal


Serialization And Event Subscriptions

posted on 10/19/07 at 12:20:47 am by Joel Ross

We ran into an interesting issue with Pay It Square and the NuSoft Framework tonight with a change we made as part of the 2.0 release of the framework. We changed our collections to inherit from BindingList<T> instead of List<T>, and we thought it would be a simple change that allows us to better support two-way binding.

Well, as with any change, there were some unintended side effects. Actually, it's an issue that has always been there, but only manifested itself once we started using BindngList<T>. You can reproduce this issue pretty simply. Create the following class.:

public class EventSample
public event EventHandler MyPropertyChanged;

protected void OnMyPropertyChaged()
if(MyPropertyChanged != null)
this, EventArgs.Empty);

private string _myProperty;
public string MyProperty
get { return _myProperty; }
if (_myProperty == value)
= value;

Note it's marked as serializable and has one public event. Now create a simple web page, with the following code:

protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
EventSample sample
= new EventSample();


+= new EventHandler(sample_MyPropertyChanged);


"Sample"] = sample;

void sample_MyPropertyChanged(object sender, EventArgs e)
"My Property Changed");

When you load the page, you'll get an error because the subscriptions cannot be serialized.

As it turns out, the solution is not really that difficult. Basically, you tell .NET to ignore your event when serializing, but the syntax is a little different than what you'd expect.

[field: NonSerialized()]
public event EventHandler MyPropertyChanged;

You're not really telling .NET not to serialize the event - you're telling .NET not to serialize the field that is created for you automagically to hold references to subscribers. A side effect of this is that your event subscriptions will go away when the object is de-serialized, so be aware of that.

So how did changing our EntityList to inherit from BindingList<T> reveal all this? Well, we were putting a collection into ViewState, and the way BindingList<T> helps in handling two-way binding is by looking at objects added to it and if they support the INotifyPropertyChanged interface, and if it does, the list subscribes to the event - and therefore, returns an error when you attempt to serialize it.

Categories: Development, C#, RCM Technologies


07-08 Week 7 NFL Picks

posted on 10/18/07 at 09:52:19 pm by Joel Ross

I'm not feeling very confident with my picks, but here they are anyway.

  • Atlanta vs. New Orleans (-8) (42 O/U)
  • Tampa Bay vs. Detroit (-2.5) (44.5 O/U)
  • Minnesota vs. Dallas (-9.5) (47 O/U)
  • Tennessee (-1.5) vs. Houston (38.5 O/U)
  • Arizona* vs. Washington (-8) (35.5 O/U)
  • New England (-16.5) vs. Miami (52 O/U): This is a huge spread, but New England hasn't won by less than 17 yet - and they played Dallas last week. No reason they shouldn't do the same against Miami, right?
  • San Francisco vs. New York Giants (-8.5) (39.5 O/U)
  • Baltimore (-3) vs. Buffalo (34.5 O/U)
  • New York Jets vs. Cincinnati (-6.5) (47.5 O/U)
  • Kansas City vs. Oakland (-2.5) (37.5 O/U)
  • Chicago vs. Philadelphia (-5.5) (41.5 O/U)
  • St. Louis vs. Seattle (-8) (39.5 O/U)
  • Pittsburgh (-3.5) vs. Denver (39 O/U)
  • Indianapolis (-3) vs. Jacksonville (44.5 O/U): And you thought the Sunday night game was supposed to be the best game of the week? Not this week!

For my "lock solid" picks this week, I'm going with New Orleans (-375), Pittsburgh (-200), Baltimore (-165) and Cincinnati (-290).

Check back next week to see how (bad) I did.

Tags: | |

Categories: Football


Microsoft Licenses Get OSI Approved

posted on 10/18/07 at 07:45:19 pm by Joel Ross

Shawn Burke announced the news that last Friday, Microsoft had two licenses they have been using for their open source initiatives approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). There were two licenses approved:

  • Microsoft Permissive License (MS-PL)
  • Microsoft Community License (MS-CL)

They have both been renamed to better reflect their meaning - Microsoft Public License (MS-PL) and Microsoft Reciprocal License (MS-RL).

What caught my attention about this is that the NuSoft Framework is licensed under MS-PL, which means we are now under an official OSI license.

Tags: |

Categories: Development, Software, RCM Technologies


Port Forwarding in Windows 2003

posted on 10/17/07 at 08:16:24 am by Joel Ross

A while back, I set up Team Foundation Server for Tourney Logic's source control. It was anything but straightforward, so I figured I would share some of my headaches and how I got around them.

First, a note about my ISP. TL1 (Tourney Logic's development server) is hosted in The Dungeon, and I'm on a cable modem. Certain ports are blocked for inbound traffic - 80, 25 (in and out), and 8080. If you've ever used TFS, having port 8080 blocked is an issue if you want remote access. TFS runs on port 8080, and while I'm sure it's possible to change that (CodePlex appears to work over 443), I couldn't find any good documentation that worked reliably.

This probably could have been solved by a better router or VPN, but my router will not forward traffic from one port to another and, having tried VPN in the past, it's slow and unreliable. In my router, I can forward a port to a particular machine, but not on another port, so that wouldn't work for me either - and I'm too scared I might brick my router by installing DD-WRT - Internet access at my house is key for survival!

So, having no choice but to run TFS on port 8080, I started digging into Windows 2003 to determine if there was a way to make it think that one port was really another one. Turns out there is, and it's available through "Routing and Remote Access". Under the machine, you can manage the IP routing. Under that, you select "NAT/Basic Firewall":


You should have an entry for each NIC in your machine. I just have one, so I select that, and go to the "Services and Ports" tab.


I created my own called TFS, and in it, I set up my firewall to forward all incoming traffic on port 8083 to port 8080.


Note that I have a static IP address set up internally for all of my servers, and the entered IP address is the machine's IP address.

I think the original intent of this process is if you are using your server as a firewall and have other machines sitting behind it, so you can specify which machines handle which services, but it can just as easily route traffic to itself, and do it over a different port. Once I added this entry, I was able to use my public address over port 8083 to interact with my TFS server and it works perfectly.

For those sysadmins reading this thinking to themselves, "Well, duh!" you apparently aren't the ones installing TFS in environments where certain ports are off limits, because I saw this issue over and over in forums, blogs, etc., and no one had a good solution.

Categories: Software


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