dotnet, blog comments edit

Well, folks, things seem to have worked out reasonably well for me today. I have:

  • Passed my Windows Application Programming in C# test
  • Moved my site over to my friend Marty’s box
  • Not eaten anything but Sour Skittles all day long

The Test: I actually thought I failed this while I was taking it. Seriously. There were 58 questions, and only around 35 of them were on my practice test. The rest were pulled out of someone’s ass and I had no clue on them. Obviously I’m a skilled guesser (thank God they’re multiple choice tests) because I passed. Honestly, I don’t care how I passed, as long as I did. So, moving on to the next test, right?

The Site: If you’re here reading this, you can see that the site move went acceptably. I’ve put up a redirector page for folks whose name servers haven’t updated to the new location. Hopefully that will propagate through within the next day or three. Regardless, I’m here now, with some ample breathing space, meaning I can post pictures of my stupid neighbors and their fucking Titanic car parked in the fire lane and all the other shit that gets my goat. I’m stoked, and you should be, too.

Sour Skittles: I think they speak for themselves. Though I should probably take some time and eat something substantial.

All in all, not a bad day. Now maybe I should get some work done…

personal comments edit

The day started off so well, then about halfway through took the biggest nosedive in the world.

I’m working on building up a new corporate web server at work to replace the existing site and server with. It’s a Windows 2003 box that it took me like three days just to build and secure (it was locked down, man) and get so it could be remotely administered from our corporate network yet not be a threat if it was compromised. It was solid.

Well, we put some security patches on it that came out recently and the web server portion of the machine started denying everyone access to the site. I mean, not even ask you for username and password - just straight up denying you access.

After fucking around with it for like two hours, I come to find out that it’s a sort of “intelligence” that’s been built into the system.

For the technical: The machine was a domain controller (on its own domain) with a one-way trust between our corporate domain and itself. The machine also ran IIS for the web site stuff. It turns out the security patches we did (or something related, though I couldn’t say what) made it so that only Administrators were allowed to log on locally to the box. Even if the Domain Controller Security Policy said otherwise. Even if everything else - all other policies and settings - said otherwise. It just wouldn’t let anyone in. That includes the IUSR_MACHINENAME anonymous user account. Which means you can’t run an anonymously accessed web site on a domain controller - even if you want to - unless the anonymous user account is a local administrator. Fucking brilliance.

For the non-technical: Microsoft decided to make things more “secure” by not allowing you to “accidentally” do certain things. Even if you specifically want to do those things.

Thank you very much, Microsoft.

So now I have to build up a whole new domain controller machine and a whole new web server, reconfigure and re-secure both machines, reinstall the web site (thankfully written in ASP.NET so it’s easy to deploy), and hopefully be back at square one by the end of next week.

Bah. How irritating is that?!

personal comments edit

I started off this morning by waking up at 6:00a to my stupid fucking downstairs neighbors starting up their “classic” convertible 70’s Cadillac and revving the engine for a few minutes, then shutting it off and going back inside. Nice.

That, of course, put me in a bad mood, which is not uncommon for me in the morning since, frankly, I hate waking up. I’m not a big morning person. I can stay up all night long if I know I don’t have to get up early for work the next day. But this was a worse than usual style mood, which is bad news. I didn’t expect much from the day.

So far, though, the day is very pleasantly surprising me. I think my friend Marty is going to hook me up with some space on his server, which would allow me to post pictures of things like my stupid downstairs neighbors’ car, which would be altogether too enriching for the lives of my readers. I like that.

I got my Amazon Associates kickback gift certificate in email - a whopping $11.05 this quarter, mostly generated from me ordering things through my own damn site thank you very much - and I do have to say that free money in the mail is never frowned upon in my household. Rock on.

Of course, I promptly used that $11.05 while pre-ordering Alias: Season 2 and Angel: Season 2, both sets I have been waiting for with baited breath, neither of which I realized were coming out. Good times there.

And, last, but not least, I’ve scheduled my 070-316 test, “Developing and Implementing Windows-Based Applications with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET,” to occur this coming Monday at 11:15a, since I have been studying the questions on the practice test and they all make some weird sort of natural sense, like I might actually know on some instinctual level the answers to the questions. Seriously, the practice test is almost unreal in its relative ease, compared to the last test I took. After talking to another guy who has used practice test software from the same company as the practice test I’m looking at, he says that his practice test was pretty dead-on for what he saw on the actual exam. If that’s the case, I’m thinking I should pass without too much issue. I don’t want to get overconfident, but after looking at the practice test… I can’t help but smile. So - Monday. We’ll see what happens there.

And that’s all just up until now. It’s only… uh… 10:39a by my clock (will probably be a little later by the time this gets posted, but still), and things are going swimmingly.

Nobody’d best come over and fuck up my mood or I’m going to be busting some caps.

music, personal comments edit

Man, it’s been a couple of days since I poked my head in here, but lots has happened since Monday.

Well, let me think about that for a sec…

Maybe not lots so much as stuff.

First, I went out and bought the Fountains of Wayne album Welcome Interstate Managers. It’s got a song called “Stacy’s Mom” that rocks. Besides which, it’s pretty funny, so all the better. That was, uh… Monday night. Yeah. Maybe I should tell this all chronologically instead of just the order in which I remember things.

Monday night Jenn took me out to Olive Garden for a nice Italian dinner because I passed my test. After that, I headed over to the music store where I picked up the Fountains of Wayne album, simply because I couldn’t get the song out of my head. That pretty much capped off that night.

Tuesday I went to the store to get a Firewire card so I can sync my iPod faster. Installed that, and realized after installing it that my whole laptop was sort of screwed up anyway so I decided it would need to be rebuilt… but not right then. Installed ephPod because Musicmatch Jukebox (the software that comes with iPod for Windows) is total crap. The only reason I left it on the computer was because the Apple “iPod Manager” software - which should allow you to connect and disconnect the iPod from your compute - doesn’t really work too well, while the MusicMatch thing works a little better.

Wednesday I couldn’t handle all the errors on the laptop anymore so I got a new hard drive for the laptop (faster and twice the size) and reinstalled everything from the ground up. By the end of the day I had almost, but not quite, everything back up and running.

Wednesday night, Jenn and I watched a movie called 15 Minutes about some murderers who videotape their crimes so they can sell the tapes to the media. Eh. I’m glad I didn’t see it in the theater. Love the digital cable.

Which brings us to today, Thursday. I got the iPod working this morning and I’m noticing that the “mount” and “unmount” functions are not terribly reliable. “What,” the technically challenged might ask, “precisely does that mean?” Well, when you connect your iPod to the computer, the computer “recognizes” it and then “attaches” to it so that you can put your music on it. That process is referred to as “mounting” the iPod. The thing is, when it’s done synchronizing, you can’t just jerk it off the computer - you have to “unmount” it, or, more simply put, you have to tell the computer you’re done so it will let go of the iPod (otherwise you could corrupt stuff - sort of like shutting off your computer without using the “shut down” function). This process of “mounting” and “unmounting” is not the fastest or most reliable thing in the world. It can take like 10 or 20 seconds to “mount” the iPod, and then pending on what you do, it may never successfully “unmount,” at which point you have to disconnect it and do a little reset operation (which isn’t bad per se, but it’s a pain).

Regardless, I’m still digging the iPod, and will have to put more stuff on it.

I’ve been studying for my next Microsoft exam, which will be on Programming Windows Applications in C#. Looking at the practice test questions, I’m already feeling pretty comfortable. I’m going to talk to a friend of mine who has used the same practice test company (different test, same manufacturer) to see how close the practice test is to the real thing. If it’s really close, I’ll schedule this next one up. It’s pretty common sense stuff.

Finally, my friend Marty has potentially offered me some server space to move to, so I may be able to expand my offerings to you fine folks out there. Maybe post pictures and things more often, and who knows what else? I’m going to talk to him and see what that’s all about. In the meantime, go check out MildPeril and see what he has to say.

sql comments edit

For those who ever doubted (including myself) and those who ever wondered, let it be proclaimed throughout the land that I AM THE DATABASE MASTAH!!! We gots the tools, we gots the talent. Maaaaad skillz, I tell you.

[Translation: I passed my test, MS070-229 - Designing and Implementing Databases with Microsoft® SQL ServerTM 2000 Enterprise Edition.]

I studied all last week, I studied this weekend, and I studied this morning before heading into the test center. I was still pretty nervous during the test (I’m glad I didn’t eat anything because I would have launched right onto the test machine) but as the thing went on, I realized that I knew the answers to the questions. They were the same questions in the practice tests. No problem.

Finished the 44 questions on the test in about an hour. Considering they give you two hours for the test, I think that’s pretty good. In the end, I got a PASS score. They used to give you actual scores to tell you how many you got wrong, but now it’s just PASS/FAIL. No problem for me, PASS is PASS, baby.

So. One down, four to go. I think the next test I’ll take will probably be the Windows Apps in C# test. I’d best get cracking on that.