Random Updates

by Nick Thursday, October 14, 2010 9:18 AM

So you may have noticed that my site template got cleaned up a bit. What can I say... being a software guy is sort of like being a cobler. Your children are often barefoot.

You may have also noticed this advertisement on the right side which I put up more than a week ago:

Windows Phone 7 Dev Launch Banner

If you're interested in developing for Windows Phone 7, as I am, then you might want to think about attending one of these Developer Launch events. And as it turns out, putting that advertisment up will also give me a shot at winning a free Windows Phone 7. The odds are slim, but if you don't play, you can't win!

I've also added a link to my INETA Regional Speaker profile. As you've probably noticed, this year I've decided to venture into the realm of User Group speaking engagements. I've already done three this year, that have been fairly well received, and I'm hoping to expand on that. My first presentations were on "Application Instrumentation with WMI", but I have other presentations I'm interested in doing as well. I am currently developing presentations on "An Introduction to Umbraco" (a fairly well done open source .NET CMS package) and also another presentation on Software Estimation (no working title yet). If you are interested in having me come to speak on any of these topics, please feel free to contact me, or check out my INETA profile.

Email Problems

by Nick Thursday, September 04, 2008 6:22 AM

My hosting provider is having email issues right now.  Any email sent since last night to nick-at-nickschweitzer-dot-net has not gotten to me, and may be lost.  I still don't appear to be getting any email sent to that address.  If you're trying to get a hold of me, try sending to schweitn-at-gmail-dot-com.  I'll update this post as the situation changes.

Update:  Email is being delivered to my normal email addresses again, but I'm afraid anything sent last night until mid morning today was more than likely lost.  If you emailed me something during that time frame, please send it again.

Be Back Later

by Nick Thursday, July 24, 2008 10:19 PM

Well folks... I'm off to the west coast for a little while.  Blogging will be intermittent at best.  Stay well, and leave the light on for me.

More Web 2.0 Integration... Twitter Style

by Nick Wednesday, April 16, 2008 10:33 AM

So along with the recent news that I've joined Facebook, you can also follow me on Twitter.  One of the things that I kept hearing at Deeper in .NET a couple weeks ago was, "So what's your Twitter name?" and "Aren't you on Twitter yet?".  I heard it from so many people, that I finally decided to give it a try.  And if you're on Twitter and I should know about, feel free to drop your Twitter name in the comment thread so I can add you too.  Some of my blogs also feature my latest Twitter updates in the sidebar.

Email Troubles

by Nick Thursday, February 07, 2008 12:04 PM

For anyone trying to get a hold of me, it seems as if my two domain email addresses are not forwarding properly at the moment.  So if you've been emailing me at nick-at-nickschweitzer-dot-net or nick-at-thecodingmonkey-dot-net and I haven't responded, please try me at schweitn-at-gmail-dot-com.  I have a support ticket into my hosting service, so hopefully it will be resolved soon.

Update:  Everything got resolved some time last night, and I even got an influx of emails from throughout the day.  Nice to not lose anything, even if they were delayed several hours.  I actually do prefer nick-at-nickschweitzer-dot-net however, since at some point, I may stop using gmail, and if everyone sends to that address, I don't have to worry about losing too much email in the switch.

Blogging PSA

by Nick Friday, May 25, 2007 5:03 AM

This obviously doesn't affect me, but does potentially affect many of the other blogs I read:

Security analyst David Kierznowski shocked bloggers yesterday with a survey showing that 49 out of the 50 WordPress blogs he checked seem to be running exploitable versions of the widely used software. He said, 'The main concern here is the lack of security awareness amongst bloggers with a non-technical background, and even those with a technical background.' Mr Kierznowski also uncovered recent vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins that ship by default with the software, adding: 'WordPress users developing plugins must be aware of the security functions that WordPress supports, and ensure that these functions are used in their code.'

So if you run WordPress on your own domain, check your version and upgrade if you are running anything less than 2.0.10 or 2.2.

Housekeeping

by Nick Tuesday, October 10, 2006 10:56 AM

Just a quick note.  I've disabled trackbacks for a while since I've been getting more trackback spam than actual trackbacks.  I've got a couple changes to make to the code base I use, and will re-enable them when those have been completed.

Warning to All My Feed Readers

by Nick Tuesday, July 25, 2006 12:39 PM

Just wanted to give you all a heads up that I'm going to start using FeedBurner to supply my RSS feeds.  Fortunately, dasBlog is so cool, that if you give it the location of your FeedBurner feed, it will automatically redirect people who use your existing feed to the new one.  So hopefully, you'll never know it happened.  But if for some strange reason you stop receiving my feed, you'll need to come back to my homepage and get the new feed address.

We All Have to Pay The Bills Somehow

by Nick Monday, June 12, 2006 5:42 PM

As you know, Blogging isn't free for me anymore, and I don't get enough traffic to support real advertising yet.  But, I'd still like to make this little enterprise of mine self sufficient.  As you may know, Phel at The Confidentials has started up a new Cafe Press store (which you should definitely check out).  What you might not know is that I've been working on a similar enterprise, and have just opened one up myself called CubicleRevenge.  You can find it at CubicleRevenge.com.  Right now there are three designs with several more on the way in the next few days.

    

So head on over and check them out.  And if you feel so inclined, support my blogging with some nice merchandise.  And as Bartles and James would say... Thank you for your support.

Oh What a Difference a Hosting Service Makes

by Nick Wednesday, May 31, 2006 4:51 AM

As I mentioned last week, and as some of you continued to notice, my blogs were having some issues after I moved to my new domain.  As I've mentioned before, I chose a great tool for blogging called dasBlog.  It is used by hundreds of people, has an active developer community, and is used by many high traffic blogs.  I felt like I made a solid choice, and still do.  Unfortunately, I took the word of one of the community members about which hosting service to use.  Big mistake.  The hosting service I was using up until yesterday was BoundGrid.net.  They offered a pretty good package, and a very reasonable price.  But as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.  And what I didn't get was good service.

I'm sure that if everything went smoothly, I would have loved them like the person who had originally recommended them.  But the true test of any company is how they react when you are having problems with their service.  Last week, The World According to Nick was crashing about 3 to 4 times per day due to Out of Memory Exceptions.  This also had the effect of taking down The Coding Monkey.  The sites would automatically recycle, but would be down for 5 to 10 minutes while this happened.

When I originally emailed the technical support group, they looked at the site, said it was up (it had recycled by then), and told me to contact them when it happened so they could "investigate further".  I sent them my copy of the error logs that showed exactly what was happening, but they insisted they could only do something if the site was down.  For a problem that occurs randomly, this is not an easy thing to do.  Luckily for me, I was able to catch it when it was down, and I immediately contacted them.  Their "solution" was to perform an iisreset and thank me for using their service.

This would happen 3 to 4 times a day, and each time I happened to notice it and saw the site was down, I would contact their technical support group, and all they would do was perform an iisreset.  As I continued to escalate my complaint, their response turned into "check your code".  Of course, I'm running production level code that hundreds, if not thousands, of other people are using, but I did anyway.  I also contacted one of the lead developers for dasBlog (Scott Hanselman), and asked for his help.  He was baffled and had never heard of anything like this.  We started asking basic questions about the environment I was running on, to try to see how the site was configured.  BoundGrid basically told me that I had more memory than a site like mine needed, and refused to answer my very specific questions about where I was running.

At this point, not only had I looked at the dasBlog code, but I had made more than a half dozen configuration changes to dasBlog that might ease the memory requirements.  None of these changes worked.  On Monday I finally got sick and tired of it all, and decided to switch hosting providers.  I chose StormHosts, and I couldn't be happier with my decision.  They're slightly more expensive, but their service and support has been fantastic thus far.  When I originally copied my site up to their servers, there were some permissions issues that were not allowing me to post.  They worked the problem through, kept in constant contact with me, and gave very personal responses that showed that they knew what they were looking at.  They also host several other major bloggers who all use dasBlog.  I highly recommend them.  As for BoundGrid, I can only assume that their technical support team's only previous experience with computers was working the automated fry machine at McDonald's, and being handed a copy of "So You Want To Be a Network Administrator".

Thankfully BoundGrid offers a 30 day money back guarantee, which I am taking full advantage of, so my mistake won't cost me any money.  However, it has cost me great frustration, time, and effort.

About Me

Nick Schweitzer Nick Schweitzer
Wauwatosa, WI

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I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit. ... Full Bio

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