• Using a Macbook Air laptop as an ASP.NET development machine

    Current Development Setup

    I was using an old Macbook Air (2010) as my ASP.NET web development machine since it was released in October 2010. Since the release of Visual Studio 2012 though it was feeling it's age and things were starting to slow down. Using Visual Studio along with ReSharper was a pretty bad experience on the machine. Opening projects and pages took around 10-30 secs.

    I had a look around at actual Windows laptops to see what was on the market but nothing was really taking my fancy. The Macbook Air with it's SSD had spoilt me and the majority of PC laptops only had 256gb drive paired with 4gb RAM which was too low for my requirements.

  • Dragnet Systems is looking to hire a new Tech Support Developer

    new tech support developer role in Dragnet Systems

    Dragnet Systems is looking to hire a talented .Net developer for a new tech support role. This is a new role in the company that aims to help reduce the level of support that the top tier developers have to give. Full training of all the in-house tools will be provided but you must have the basics so that you can hit the ground running.

  • Group, count and order top words or phrases in Excel 2007

    This is going to be one of those posts that's probably more for me than anyone else but recently it drove me a little loopy trying to sort out a basic task. I was asked to take one of excel error reports one of our websites generates and get a count for the top 20 recurring error messages. Sounds simple enough you might say, well thanks to Excel unless you know where to dig it can be a little frustrating to do!

  • Need to do a word count from a Word, Excel, HTML, XML or PDF file?

    Count Anything

    I had to send on a word count to a customer recently. Nothing new there. Client's ask for word counts all the time, especially if they are getting content translated. Usually I copy the text into Word document and do a word count from there but this was proving too time consuming.

    A quick search online and I stumbled onto a small program called 'Count Anything'. It's a free program for Windows users that allows you to drag any supported file onto it and it lets you know the number of words and characters in the document. Very handy!

    I love finding programs like this. If you know of any other neat little programs you use day to day let me know.

  • Workaround for the PDFSharp error: Cannot handle iref streams

    [July 09 2012 Update] As some people have emailed and commented, another option to work around this solution is to plugin iTextSharp and use that for opening PDFs older than ver 5. The workaround can be found over on the PDFSharp forums I decided against this option myself as it would have required me to install and setup another third party library which I didn't want to do.

    [Original Article]

    I use PDFSharp with my ,net projects as a great way to produce invoices for our online stores. Some of our customers supply us with blank PDFs and we use these as templates when generating a new invoice.

    I was given a PDF recently that was encoded using Adobe Acrobat 9. Normally we don't have any issues but this file was throwing the following error any time I wanted to open it:

    cannot handle iref streams. the current implementation of pdfsharp cannot handle this pdf feature introduced with acrobat 6

    It turns out that the encoding a PDF form above ver 5 gives PDFSharp a bit of a headache. The solution for us was to simply re-save the file with Adobe Reader v5 format. We were able to do this using Adobe Acrobat or Photoshop.

  • IIS7 ASP Routing not working on live server

    We had an issue at work the other day where one of the developers was having an issue with asp routing in IIS7. It was the first time this particular server was asked to run a .net 4 website so naturally some fine tuning was required. When we tried to navigate to the webpage the following error appeared: 403: Access Permission Denied

  • get's a new update offering even more choice for customers is relaunching in over 26 countries very soon

    I've been extremely busy the past few months working on a new version of that will be rolling out to all European countries very soon. This new version of the website includes many new additions including:

    • New Hertz Advantage branded area
    • Dual Hertz/Advantage pricing screen
    • Updated languages for Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Dutch and Swedish
    • Improved admin area with charting controls, export to excel options, full control over when to display dual pricing, etc.

    I'm also very excited about this project because it is the first project that I've worked on which sits on multiple servers for both the web servers and database servers. The raw power of the server setup is huge and I am very curious to see how it handles all of the traffic from launching in 26 countries.

    The work never stops though and once this project is finished and live there are some new exciting changes coming to our online store software that will be launching in the early part of next year for customers so stay tuned!

  • Simple Resx Editor - A good alternative to using Visual Studio for Resx / Resource Files

    Simple Resx Editor

    I've noticed that some members of my team were having difficulties with Visual Studio when using resource files. Any time they would open a file it would crash Visual Studio. As you can imagine this was very frustrating for all involved.

    After a quick search I found a pretty neat alterative editor called 'Simple Resx Editor' by Matías. Currently this resource editor is at version 0.6.2 but it is being worked on at the time to improve the functions available.

    The main benefit I like about this editor is that you can open all your resource files, side by side and edit them all in one quick go. This is a perfect setup when dealing with multiple languages as it really speeds things up. If you just want to work on one resource file and you need to know what the Key Name values are simply click on the big Key icon on the top of the app. This little app is small, quick to use and really offers a benefit over the built in editor in Visual Studio in my opinion.

    The only snag I noticed while working with the editor is that if you had a very long Value field there are no scrollbars showing. I've left a message to Matías about this issue and I'm sure this will be fixed in the next version of this software.

  • Book a taxi online using has finally launched! Now any business can book a taxi, know how much it's going to cost in advance, save favourite journeys, re-book previous journey's, add via routes and even print off invoices all in the click of a button....ok it's a few clicks but it's still a slick system if I say so myself :D

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