Aug 25

This is part 19 in a series of articles on obscure programming languages.

What is Script.NET?

Powered by Script.NET. Copyright © Microsoft Corp.

Script.NET (also known as S#) is an open-source metaprogramming language that adds scripting capabilities to Microsoft .NET applications, similar to VBA in Microsoft Office applications.

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Aug 19

Facebook status updates must be 420 characters or less.  If you try to post a longer update, you will receive the “Status Too Long” error message:

Facebook Status Too Long

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Aug 18

Owning an Internet domain is like owning a virtual property lot.  You can build a website on a domain, place ads on it, or resell it for a profit.  In addition to the initial purchase price, each domain requires an annual renewal fee.  If you fail to pay the fee, the domain returns to the market, and someone else can buy it.

Fortunately domains are not very expensive.  There are many low-cost domain sellers like GoDaddy.  Domain prices vary by top-level domain (TLD, i.e. the suffix after the final dot, such as .com and .org).  GoDaddy prices range from $11.99 for general domains (gTLD) such as .com, to $29.99+ for country-code domains (ccTLD) such as .co for Colombia.

The good news is that many domain sellers offer deep discounts on domains for the first year.  But the important thing to remember is: 

The annual domain renewal price is often much higher than the initial purchase price.

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Aug 16

Wow, I nearly fell out of my chair when I read this little gem on TechCrunch:

Android chief Andy Rubin wrote in a 2005 email, “If Sun doesn’t want to work with us, we have two options: 1) Abandon our work and adopt MSFT CLR VM and C# language – or – 2) Do Java anyway and defend our decision, perhaps making enemies along the way.”

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Aug 12

Broken Computers. Copyright © Paul Downey. Image used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

A new study by Gartner shows that 94% of newly purchased PCs run Microsoft Windows 7, four percent run Apple OS X, and two percent run Linux.  This number is boosted by corporate IT departments, which are conducting massive rollouts of Windows 7.  Many enterprises are still running Windows XP because they had decided to skip over Windows Vista, which was widely panned due to software incompatibilities and overzealous security. 

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Aug 03

WordPress is the most popular open-source blogging software in the world.  It’s powerful, mature, reliable, and best of all, free.  All of my blogs use WordPress hosted on Linux.

When you visit a WordPress blog, the WordPress software processes the blog text before displaying it on a web page.  WordPress filters out unwanted code and formats the text so the web browser can properly interpret it. 

One of the most noticeable filters is Texturize, which modifies blog text to “present a more readable and visually attractive output.”  Texturize replaces quotes with smart quotes that better show the start and end of the quote.  It also replaces sequential hyphens with dashes, and sequential periods with ellipses, etc.  For example:

Copyright © WordPress

This is a wonderful feature, except on websites like C# 411 that display a lot of source code.  C# compilers expect regular quotes, not smart quotes.  So any code copied from a WordPress blog and pasted in a development environment will generate compiler errors.  This can be frustrating to your programmer readers.

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Aug 02

If you are looking to embed a YouTube video on your website, there’s one important step you must take so it plays properly on the iPhone and iPad.

Quick Background:  Because Steve Jobs hates Flash, and most web videos were originally encoded in Flash, many web videos won’t play on Apple’s iOS devices, which means the iPhone and iPad.  Fortunately the YouTube player on these devices can detect a Flash video and play it automagically.  But only if you use the correct embed code.

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