vs comments edit

I had this weird problem for like two days in Visual Studio .NET 2003. I would be working on a project and go to the Configuration Manager screen to change some solution build properties… and I couldn’t click anything. I could change the “Active Solution Configuration,” but I couldn’t change any of the settings.

Configuration Manager No

I fought with this thing. I mean, fought with it. I reinstalled Visual Studio - no luck. I took the computer home and uninstalled every add-in I had… and that seemed to do the trick, but when I got it back to work it stopped working.

I Googled it. I searched everywhere. I asked everyone I could find. Nobody had ever heard of this.

Luckily we have Microsoft Premiere Support at work. I submitted the question to them and after a couple of hours a guy called me. He told me he had to call because he couldn’t send this one through email, and he was right.

With some dual-monitor configurations, the Configuration Manager and the Batch Build options dialogs stop working. If you switch back to single-monitor mode, it works again. I tried it, and sure enough, it worked.

That’s why it worked at home - one monitor - and why it stopped working when I got back to work - dual monitors.

After experimenting with it (thanks to Scott Hanselman) for a while it turns out the problem is when the product is running on the second monitor (or, more precisely, when the Config Manager or Batch Build dialog is on the second monitor) and the second monitor is “above” or to the “left” of the primary (so the second monitor is in a virtual “negative” space). You can drag the dialog onto your primary monitor and it will work. It will also work fine if the second monitor is “below” or to the “right” of the primary monitor - so everything is always in a “positive” space. Weird, eh?

(The easy solution if you’re having problems is to drag the Configuration Manager or Batch Build dialog box onto the primary monitor then manipulate the properties there. It doesn’t matter where VS.NET itself is running, just where the Configuration Manager or Batch Build dialog box is physically located at the time.)

They didn’t have a patch for it, but the guy did tell me it is a product issue. Hopefully they’ll have it fixed in the next version.

hardware comments edit

I have a wireless mouse at work that eats two AA batteries a month, give or take. They make rechargeable mice, but it seems like everything has a cradle or charger or something attached to it all the time, and this is no different.

Okay, so here’s your million-dollar idea for the day: Use induction to charge your mouse.

Now, I’m the first to admit that I’m no electrical engineer, and I’m probably talking through my ass right now, but I remember my physics 101

  • if you run a magnet along a wire, you get electrical current. Well, you’re constantly moving your mouse around, right? What if you could apply some sort of power source to the mouse pad to speed things up a little and recharge your wireless mouse through induction? You need a mouse pad anyway, so there’s no separate special charger or anything; just plug in the mouse pad and use the mouse - no need to recharge.

When you become a billionaire off that one, kick a million my way.

home comments edit

Last Thursday I had some drywall contractors in to fix my bathroom issues. They sanded, mudded, and retextured. They told me to wait 24 hours before painting.

Sunday morning I got up, masked everything off, and started painting. I took care of the high parts (near the ceiling) and Jenn got the middle and lower parts.

Jenn had almost finished when I heard, “Oh my God!”

That’s never good.

I went in to find that a baseball-sized chunk of texture had come clean off the wall and was stuck to the roller.

I guess it wasn’t fixed after all.

I called the drywall company who, of course, don’t have anyone in the office on the weekend, and left a message to have them call me. If I don’t hear from them by 11:00a or so, I’m calling them back. I won’t be beaten by drywall. I won’t. I’ll finish painting this bathroom if it kills me (which it probably will).

I won’t even get into the fact that we want to install crown molding in there, too. With bullnose corners, no less. I’ll have to measure the angles… here comes my high school geometry, back in action.

media, movies comments edit

I went on Sunday to see the latest incarnation of Robert Ludlum’s master assassin, Jason Bourne, as played by Matt Damon, in The Bourne Supremacy.

The Bourne Supremacy is the second in the trilogy of Bourne books. We’ve seen two interpretations of the first book, The Bourne Identity, on screen; this is the first time anyone’s ventured past that.

I would say the first movie, also starring Matt Damon, only took the general premise of the book into account and then took liberties with the rest of the plot. The beginning started out like the book, but it slowly diverged from the book as it went along. I liked the movie, but I definitely liked the book better as it had some great psychological stuff in there that probably doesn’t translate well to film.

After watching the second movie, I’m really wondering now if the people who wrote the movie even read the book. I mean, did they even bother skimming the thing? Just read a few pages, guys. Here’s the description from the back of the book:

In a Kowloon Cabaret, scrawled in a pool of blood, is a name the world wanted to forget: Jason Bourne.

The Chinese vice-premier has been brutally slain by a legendary assassin. World leaders ask the same fearful questions: Why has Jason Bourne come back? Who is paying him? Who is the next to die? But U.S. officials know the shocking truth: There is no Jason Bourne. The name was created as cover for David Webb on his search for the notorious killer Carlos. Someone else has taken the Bourne identity–and unless he is stopped, the world will pay a devastating price. So Jason Bourne must live again. Once again, Webb must utilize his lethal skills–because once again, like a nightmare relived, the woman he loves is suddenly torn from his life. To find her, trap his own impostor, and uncover an explosive secret plan, Webb must lauch a desperate oddyssey into the espionage killing fields. But this time, survival will not be enough. This time Bourne must reign supreme.

Okay, now go see the movie. When no one ever even mentions China, you’ll start to wonder what’s up. Not to mention the constant pursuit of the ever-elusive “Carlos” character in the book, who was also in the first book, and who didn’t make it into either of the movies.

I’m not saying this is a bad movie. I liked it. I had a lot of fun with it. I’m saying it had zero to do with the book, aside from the fact the main characters are both named Jason Bourne. Watching the movie didn’t make me feel cheated, it made me feel like they should have named it something else… and then considered it “a new adventure for Jason Bourne.” Something like a “lost chapter” in the character’s history.

Of course, in the books Jason Bourne marries the Marie character (played in the movie by Franka Potente) and they stay together through the entire trilogy. In the movie, in the first five minutes, they kill Marie. What?! That definitely doesn’t happen in the books.

Again - I liked the movie, it just didn’t even remotely follow the book. Not even close.

Should you see it? That depends. If you are a die-hard fan of the books, you will probably be disappointed. Despite the great action and special effects, it will probably stick in your craw that the stuff on the screen has nothing in common with the Bourne universe you know and love. Of course, I loved the books, and I had a great time with the movie. Divorce yourself from the idea that the movie is “based on the novel” and pretend for an instant that it’s just a new adventure with a character you already know and love. Go into it like that, and you’ll have a good time with the movie.

It makes me curious now to see if they’re going to do the third book. No way they could even remain close with that - they’ve already diverged too far and have created their own mythos surrounding Bourne.

Might be cool, though.

I’m working at home today while the drywall contractors are here fixing my bathroom and my Tiny Cat is loving every minute of it. You’d think that all the sanding and vacuuming and noise would freak her out, but when she’s not sitting next to me on the couch trying to lay in the middle of the laptop keyboard, she’s over there poking around to see what sort of trouble she can get into.

Tiny Cat is weird. We kept her in the bathroom when she was very small (to get her used to the house, learn how to use the litter box, etc.) and now she has this connection with the bathroom that I can’t explain. She loves to be in there while you’re taking a dump. Loves it. She’ll cry and paw at the door if you don’t let her in. Once she’s in, she’ll walk around the base of the toilet and flop on her back expecting to be petted.

Of course, now the humans in the house expect her to be there, so if you’re going to the bathroom and she doesn’t show up, you leave the door open and yell “POOPINGCAT!” (long, like a yodel: “Poooooooopingcaaaaaaaaat!”) and she’ll come running. Seriously - you won’t have to wait more than a couple seconds. In fact, if you’re in a different room than her and yell “Poopingcat,” she’ll head to the closest bathroom to you because, well, that’s where the Poopingcat goes.

What a silly cat.