General Ramblings comments edit

Friday was Phoenix’s first birthday, so on Saturday we had her party.

Phoenix with her cake.

From 2011 Phoenix’s First Birthday Party

The party was supposed to start at 12:30p, but everyone seemed to be there about an hour early, so it was anarchy from the get-go. Phoenix didn’t seem to mind getting passed from person to person the entire time. It took a bit for her to get into the gift opening spirit, not quite being sure what to do with the wrapping paper, but after being shown how easily it rips, she figured it out.

I’m pretty sure her favorite part of the whole thing was the cake. She really dug into that and ate an entire piece.

Phoenix eating birthday cake.

From 2011 Phoenix’s First Birthday Party

We wrapped it up by a bit after 5:30p and cleaned the house for most of the rest of the night. I’m guessing that’s the signs of a successful first birthday party. Right?

It’s pretty amazing what a kid learns in just a year. From being pretty much motionless in a cradle to walking around the house at full speed, opening drawers and cabinets. From not being interested in anything to pointing and being interested in everything. She doesn’t talk much yet, just “ball” and “hello” (she puts her hand up to her ear like she’s holding a phone every time she says hello - that’s Grandma Illig in action, there). She’s not afraid of anything.

After everyone left, she ran over to the stairs (she’s normally kept in an area without stairs, blocked off by baby gates) and climbed all the way to the top by herself (with Daddy on her tail, just to be sure). She did that three times.

Such a big girl now, and a total maniac. She is everywhere, all the time.

Happy birthday, miniature baby. Mommy and Daddy love you.

dotnet, vs comments edit

I was working yesterday on a solution in Visual Studio and noticed that every time I’d rebuild VS would report the build as failed… but without any error messages.

I thought it was just a fluke, but then I had to update a service reference. When I tried, I got the following error message:

Could not resolve mscorlib for target framework “.NETFramework,v4.0”. This can happen if the target framework is not installed or if the framework moniker is incorrectly formatted.

I searched all over and verified the TargetFramework settings on every project. No luck. Tried removing the service references so I could re-create them. Got the error and couldn’t remove the references. Rebooted the computer, you know, because that’s what you do. Still got the error. At which point I was like…


And then I foundthis blog entrythat saved my life. I was hitting a maximum path length error.

I’m on Windows 2008, not XP like in the article, but MAX_PATH is still 260 characters. I was working on a project that was only about 100 characters deep, but if you look at the files that VS generates when updating a service reference, you see filenames that can be 100 characters long with the fully qualified type name of the proxy type being generated and a suffix of “.datasource” (e.g., “Some.Really.Super.Long.Namespace.That.May.Be.Inside.Your.Project.datasource”). All of that put together and I was bumping up against the max path length.

Moving my project closer to the root of my drive resolved the issue(C:\project rather than C:\dev\project\tasks\taskname\trunk sort of depth) and I was able to build again.

I’m guessing that something in there isn’t using the Unicode path extensions that would allow for a 32,767 character max path length. Hopefully that will be fixed in the next VS… but I’m not holding my breath.

gaming, xbox, media comments edit

I spent far more time than I’d like to admit in troubleshooting this issue so I figured I’d at least blog it.

Symptoms: When you run the “network connection test” on the Xbox it consistently succeeds. When you try to connect to Xbox Live, either to sign in with your profile or do a “Recover Gamertag,” it fails and tells you to go run the network connection test.

Let me tell you how frustrating this behavior is. The connection test says fine, but when you try to connect it says it can’t - go run the test?!

My network is set up right now so I have my wireless router downstairs feeding a wireless bridge (DAP-1522) upstairs in the game room. The Xbox is connected through the bridge. Everything was working wonderfully until around two weeks ago. Nothing changed on the network to my knowledge, no configuration changes or devices added/removed. Just… magic. Things are failing.

The first thing I did was disconnect the wired connection to the bridge and connect using the Xbox onboard wireless adapter. Same symptoms, only this time I could occasionally connect to Xbox Live if I tried signing in five or six times in a row. Not a lot of progress, but progress.

I rebooted and reset every network device I own with no luck.

I contacted Xbox Support via email and they directed me to this page about troubleshooting connection issues. None of the items here helped, but it’s understandable - there’s no way they could have guessed what was wrong.

The breakthrough came when I powered down the bridge and then connected to Xbox Live via wireless. Instant success. Something about that wireless bridge was interfering hardcore with the rest of the wireless network.

I ended up resetting the DAP-1522 bridge to factory defaults, doing a firmware upgrade (not sure if that was necessary, but there was a minor-version update available, so I figured why not), and reconfiguring the whole thing from scratch.

The Xbox is connected through the bridge once more, but now it signs in correctly.

This isn’t the first time that DAP-1522 has given me grief. When I was using it as an access point rather than a bridge it also had a couple of times where I had to reset it to factory defaults and start over. Like running for an extended period of time causes some sort of “buildup” that has to be flushed out. I may have to replace it with something more reliable.

gaming, xbox comments edit

Now that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is out, I’ve had some folks asking when I was getting it.

I’m not. At least, not yet.

Why not?

I’m a single-player campaign guy. I like the stories that go along with those campaigns. I like being able to pick it up in the 17 minutes I have between getting home from work and the arrival of my wife and daughter, which indicates it’s time to get back to work around the house.

I also like co-op play. Borderlands was really spectacular for this. Modern Warfare 2 was OK with its “spec ops” mode, but I really want a co-op campaign. I like working with my dad, uncle, and friends toward a common goal. “Spec ops” only being two-person… was limiting.

3What I’m not interested in is what is widely termed “multiplayer” but basically boils down to “100 different free-for-all modes.” Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch are roughly identical - the only difference is that in the latter, half the people aren’t shooting at you. “Horde mode,” “Capture the Flag,” and other almost-goal-based modes are only tolerable (to me) for a little while before I get really bored. I want a reason to do what I’m doing, not just endless waves of guys to shoot.

I did get Battlefield 3, which I was led to believe by various previews and things would have a decent co-op mode.

Eh…. not so much. I did a separate review of that and discussed my thoughts there, so I won’t go over that again.

Anyway, I’m starting to feel “done” with the whole military-based first-person-shooter. They’re all starting to feel “same-y” to me. The single-player campaigns get shorter, the “multiplayer” gets larger, and co-op gets the short end of the stick. New features get added that are totally things I’m not interested in (I don’t need “battle log” integration to track my friends’ kills) but none of the stuff I would like (better co-op?) shows up.

At some point down the road, I may pick up MW3. I’m not saying I’ll never get it. Right now, though, I’m wading through Battlefield 3, Halo: Reach, and LA Noire. I haven’t finished the new Portal 2 co-op levels, either. And when Borderlands 2 comes out… I’ll definitely be on that.