Category Archives: Coding

Posts regarding software development.

The Green Button

Wow. I’m impressed. It was just a week or so ago that The Green Button had issues with the hoster and now they have the site up and running on a new host. New look & feel. Most content appears to have moved over. Great work folks! The Green Button is a community website for Windows Media Center Edition (MCE). MCE is the coolest version of Windows you can get for home use. It includes …Continue reading

MCE Controller 1.0.3 Released

No code changes. Just added an installer using the very cool NullSoft Scriptable Install System. Wow, that was easy! Download and install from  

New MCE Controller Version

Tonight I posted version 1.0.2 of MCE Controller. Basically one new feature: The ability to shutdown, restart, standby, or hibernate the system. See the V1.0.2 readme at The product page is at Looking for feedback!

Source Control

Tonight I moved my source code out from the under the control of Visual Source Safe to Source Gear Vault. Even though I’m a single developer I really like having all my source stored in a source control system. It allows me to have “undo”, to be able to go back and build/update old versions of products, and ensures I have everything in a single place that can easily be backed up. VSS is a …Continue reading

Web based photo gallery using SQL

In an entry last November I noted that I was enjoying ADO.NET and ASP.NET so much that I’d have another go at writing a web based photo gallery app that stored the images in SQL. I had most of it working by the end of the year, but my cat ski trip to Canada gave me the perfect excuse to actually work on it. It’ now at the point where I can actually use it. …Continue reading

MCE Controller v1.0.1 Released!

Today I released the first public version of MCE Controller. MCE Controller allows the Media Center application of Windows Media Center Edition (MCE) to be integrated into an advanced AV control system by enabling programmatic control of the user interface via a TCP/IP connection. To put it simply, MCE Controller, allows you to simulate a press of any button on the MCE IR remote control by sending a text command to a TCP/IP port on …Continue reading

MCE Controller

In my post on XMLSerialization I mentioned that I was working on an app to enable control of MCE remotely over a TCP socket. I call this app MCE Controller and it’s basically done. Here’s what it does: Runs as a taskbar icon and allows you to view a log of what it’s doing by double clicking on the icon. Supports 45 commands. These include all MCE keyboard shortcuts (equivalent to all of the remote …Continue reading


XMLSerialization absolutely rocks. I am blown away by the flexibility and richness it provides and how easy it is to use…once you get past the initial learning curve. I implemented it for a tool I’m writing that allows me to control Windows Media Center Edition remotely via a TCP based protocol. My home AV control system uses Crestron and I need to be able to have Crestron be able to control MCE. For various reasons …Continue reading

Check constraints in SQL Server

This goes in the “here’s something I learned today” bucket. I was working on my ASP.NET based photo gallery sample/experiment and realized that I needed to ensure that the names of images I stored in the database couldn’t contain illegal filename characters. This is because I allow the user to specify a path like http://imgsample/P51.jpg and I use URL rewriting to translate this to http://imgsample/ViewImage.aspx?name=P51 or http://imgsample/ViewImage.aspx?ID=12&size=med. Not being a database guy (yet!) as I …Continue reading

Ray Ozzie on WinFS & Longhorn

One of my favorite industry visionaries, Ray Ozzie, has written a great note in his blog on WinFS titled “640KB ought to be enough for everyone“. Interesting read. He references Jim Gray (another of my geek heros) and points to an old but topical presentation on the trends in storage. Jim gets it.

Problem installing VS.NET 2003 on Windows Server 2003

I’m cranking away on really learning ASP.NET by building my own photo gallery component (primarily for my ’95 BMW 540 M-Sport ( registry). Even though I know it won’t perform as well I implemented it by writing the images (full size, medium size, and thumbnails) to the SQL Server. Fun stuff. Anyway, I deployed it to another server and wanted to debug. Didn’t have VS.NET installed on that server so debugging won’t work. So in …Continue reading