GeekSpeak comments edit

I’ve got a lot of background processes running and killing my disk performance with all the I/O they’re doing.  One of the primary offenders is the TortoiseSVN cache that helps put the icon overlays in Explorer.  Several folks I know disabled the cache altogether, but I like the icons.

Rather than disable the cache, you can optimize the paths it looks at so it only actually looks at working copies and not your whole disk.  If you keep all of your working copies in specific known locations, this is a really simple thing to do.  For example, I keep all of my checked out code in one of three places - a “dev” folder I have, the “Visual Studio 2005” folder in “My Documents,” and the “Visual Studio Projects” folder in “My Documents.”

To optimize the disk usage…

  1. Right-click on your desktop and select “TortoiseSVN -> Settings…”
  2. In the tree view, find the “Look and Feel/Icon Overlays” branch.
  3. In the “Exclude Paths” box, put C:\* to exclude the entire C drive.  If you have more drives than that, exclude them all at the top level.  Separate the values by newlines.
  4. In the “Include Paths” box, list all of the locations you have working copies, separated by newlines.  Again, this is easier if you keep all of your working copies in a specific folder or set of folders.  Using my example, this is what I put in the “Include Paths” box: C:\dev\* C:\Documents and Settings\tillig\My Documents\Visual Studio 2005\* C:\Documents and Settings\tillig\My Documents\Visual Studio Projects\*

    And here’s a screen shot: TortoiseSVN icon overlay options - set the "Exclude paths" and
 "Include paths"

  5. Click OK to apply the changes.
  6. Either reboot or open Task Manager and kill “TSVNCache.exe” so it restarts when needed.  You have to restart it for these options to take effect.

After I did this, the icon overlays still worked great but the disk I/O went down to nearly nothing.  YMMV.

GeekSpeak comments edit

I just did a quick peek at my feed in RSSBandit and it looks like my images aren’t showing up in my feed.  Turns out it’s because, in many cases, I specify image URLs as “/path/to/image.gif” rather than “" - relative rather than absolute.

I’m looking into ways to fix this in an automated fashion.  I don’t want to have to manually go back and edit every post that has an image in it, and I’m sure there are links that are also specified in relative format that won’t work in feeds.  I found a WordPress plugin that does exactly what I need for exactly the same reasons.  I just need to find a .NET HttpModule that does this (that I can selectively enable just for the feed).

If I can’t find it, I guess I’ll have to write it.

General Ramblings comments edit

Saturday was my second laser hair removal treatment, and I won’t lie, I was worried.

Since my first treatment four weeks ago, I’d discovered that there’s really no such thing as permanent hair removal - it’s more permanent hair reduction. I started questioning whether it’d be worth finishing, considering the cost and pain involved. On that point, I figured less is still more; I’ve destroyed too many pillowcases with this beard and it causes me too many skin issues, so any reduction is worth it.

Also, there was the issue of pain. I’d had half of my neck done with a MeDioStar laser and it was literally the worst pain of my life. The rest of my neck and face were done with a Dermo Flash IPL, which is far less painful… but also less effective. It took about three weeks to see the difference, but it was clear - the MeDioStar definitely cleared the hair better than the Dermo Flash. The Dermo Flash areas were slightly reduced in overall hair quantity, so I can’t say it didn’t work at all, but the MeDioStar area actually had some totally hair-free spots. There’s a visible difference.  Jessica, the technician, was right when she told me that during my first treatment.

That difference caused me to panic. What if the only option I had was MeDioStar? Could I handle it? Admittedly, I was sort of locked in regardless - I’d started and need to finish.  I can’t go through life with this half-a-neck-full-of-hair thing I’ve got right now.

The thought of several more MeDioStar experiences and that panic made me lose sleep. For about a week, I stressed about it hard. I went through the various stages of grief, pulling in to Acceptance on Friday.

Saturday was the treatment so I popped a Vicodin I found in the back of a drawer and headed in.

When I got there, I went into the treatment room and steeled myself for the worst.  Jessica surprised the crap out of me when I got there, though: since I’d been there, they’d bought a new laser!  This one was an IPL (intense pulsed light, not actually a real laser) like the Dermo Flash, but they’ve had much more success with coarse hair like mine using this one and - get this - it’s less painful than Dermo Flash. Less painful?  And effective?  Hell yeah.  I actually heard Handel’s Messiah playing and saw light streaming down from the heavens.

The name of this new device is the Aesthera Isolaz.  Their web site books it as “painless” and, while it’s not painless, it’s certainly far less painful than anything else they’ve tried.  It looks sort of like a big canister vacuum with an LCD screen poking off the top of it.  The technician dabs some water on your skin, then takes the hose on the Isolaz and puts it on the area you’re getting the hair removed from.  The hose sucks part of your skin up into it and then there are two bright light flashes - the first one is just sort of warm, the second feels like a tiny rubber band snap (about half as much snap as Dermo Flash).  The suction lets go and they move on to the next section.  So it sort of is like a canister vacuum - it has the suction and everything.  (I guess they treat acne with it, too, and the suction turns up so powerful it sucks the goop out of zits.  That’s some pretty powerful suction!)

When you’re done, it feels a bit like a sunburn for a few hours, but even toward that evening the redness was going away and the sunburn feeling was dwindling.  By the next morning, it was all better.

It’ll take a couple of weeks before I can vouch for the effectiveness of it, but Jessica told me they had pretty good luck with it, and that builds my hope.  I don’t think I’ll be totally done in just six treatments the way we originally thought, but that’s okay; if it’s working and it happens to take a couple of extra treatments, I’m cool with that.

aspnet comments edit

Ran into this today and it’d been so long since I’d fought with this issue, it took me some time to re-figure it out.  So, as a reminder to myself…

If you’re getting a 404 Not Found on an ASP.NET application running on Windows Server 2003/IIS6 that should be working just fine - the files are definitely there and the permissions are correct and everything - don’t forget to make sure ASP.NET is enabled in the IIS Administration Console under “Web Service Extensions.”

If you uninstall and re-install ASP.NET, these settings get reset to “Prohibited” so ASP.NET won’t work.  You’ll need to change them to “Allowed.”

Web Service Extensions inside IIS6 admin

aspnet, dotnet comments edit

Ran into an issue this morning where I was working on an IIS instance that just could not for the life of it create an AppDomain to run any ASP.NET applications.

Failed to execute request because the App-Domain could not be created. Error: 0x80131522

The server was running a mixture of ASP.NET 1.1 and 2.0 applications and should have been working just fine.  I looked at the application setup, the app pool setup, the application mappings… everything was in order.

I created a second IIS server instance, new app pools, and new applications pointed at the same code as the first server instance - everything worked.  I compared app pool settings - the same.  Compared application settings - the same.  The file permissions were the same (pointed to the same physical files).  The users things were executing as were the same, but it worked.

I even went so far as to uninstall and re-install ASP.NET 1.1 and 2.0 with the server.  No change.

After investigating, you know what the difference was?

The troubled server instance had an ISAPI filter in it - specifically one to force a certain version of the .NET CLR to load up

  • and the working server instance did not.  After removing the ISAPI filter in the troubled server instance, everything suddenly started working again.  Problem solved.

There didn’t seem to be enough overt logging to determine exactly why this was causing a problem.  Since the filter was forcing .NET 1.1 to load, I hypothesize that having .NET 1.1 loaded into the server process was trashing things as soon as .NET 2.0 tried to start up.  I’m not sure why that would be exactly, but I’m guessing somewhere in the bowels of the system there was a BadImageFormatException (1.1 trying to read/instantiate 2.0 stuff) and ended up resulting in no AppDomains for anyone.  I’d have investigated cause further but for various reasons reaching a verifiable solution was very time-sensitive and once we’d resolved the issue, determining root causes beyond the presence of the ISAPI filter was not pursued.

Long story short - if you’re having trouble not being able to create an AppDomain in ASP.NET, don’t forget to check your ISAPI filters.