Monday, December 24, 2007

Fred Meyer's To The Rescue

In my quest to find a Nintendo Wii for Christmas turned out to not be an easy one. A week before Christmas I decided to get a Wii, after calling around and finding out all different stories about people camping outside of Best Buy, Target, Toys-R-Us, and the like. I decided to try Fred Meyer since we were in the store shopping for grand parents... so I walked over to the electronics section and asked them if they had any Wii's. As expected they said they did not have any, however the guy behind the counter said we get shipments in on Wednesdays and Fridays around 6am and the store opens at 7am so get in line early. My eyes glowed as the day was Sunday... I had three whole days before I could attempt at getting my own... so I went back to work on Monday and mid-afternoon a co-worker of mine said he just picked up a Wii at E-B Games about 10min ago and even had the Wii in his hands to prove it. Since E-B Games is 5 blocks away I decided to lock my machine and run... After I got to the store I was next in line and asked the worker behind the counter for a Wii... he said to me... "Sorry Sir this is the last one". So I said with a smirk... "Thank you"... and turned around and went back to the office. Wednesday soon came and I made sure I was going to be at the head of the line, so I arrived at 5:30am and was 2nd in line... I waited until 7am. When 7am came a Fred Meyer employee showed up to open the doors and said to all 20 people in line that they did not get the shipment in and are very sorry for the inconvenience. Cold and hungry... I turned around and went straight to work, I figured I would give it one more shot and go back on Friday for one last chance before Christmas... otherwise I would wait until after Christmas. Friday came and I arrived at 5am this time and I was first in line... then 7am rolled around and the same employee came to open the doors for a line of 30 people or more... this time he said... "Sorry folks we only received 14 Wii Consoles this morning so I can only accept the first 14 people in line". Yay!!!! :)
I walked up to the register and paid for my Wii console... merry Christmas to me!

For those looking for so called impossible gifts to find around the holidays in the future... don't forget about Fred Meyers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Watch Your Memory Spaces when Implementing C++/CLI

So for the past 4-5 days I've been trying to figure out why my CLI will not run in one of my CPP files. I figured since it was just a POD(Plain Old DataType) it should behave as expected... not the case... basically the POD is being allocated in seperate memory space than the applications memory space and thus being joined up using the semantics of what's known as a SharedPtr (shared pointer) In my quest to beat or figure out the compiler I was not able to get CLI to play nice inside of a shared pointer class. I tried every which way under the sun that I could possible think of to get it to work... IJW (/clr, /clr:pure, /clr:safe) I even tried using the old and new style gcroot and auto_gcroot wrappers around System::Runtime::InteropServices:Marshal class... still no dice. Every time I went to call a member on the managed type I got a memory corruption runtime error. I searched around and no one I could find had a solid answer so the only thing left to do was pull the logic in to the program memory space and then once the managed work was done I could then Marshal the data to the native world and pass it in the back door of the seperate memory space via a custom accessor I created and voila... it worked! I would love to show some of the code for how I did this but unfortunately it would be against company policy. However, I think the key take away here is that when you're trying to expose functionality that you've invested in years ago to a now modern managed world of applications you really need to have a sense of both worlds as you write your managed functionality. I on the other hand am learning native as I work with it so there is always little surprises popping up as I code. : )

-Develop with Passion
(Jean-Paul S. Boodhoo)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Moving back to Web Development in ASP.NET

So it's been a little while since I posted about the progress I've been making at WAMU.
Things have been going really well, I moved the entire C++ code base over to 2005 which was a lot of fun... "Not". And since the rollover I've been adding perf improvements and refactoring some sections of the code base in CLI, throughout the process I've learned more about pointers, STL, containers, memory space, loadlibrary, getprocess, etc... more than I ever wanted to know. ;)
However I've learned what it takes to write native code and how much I appreciate managed code. The company has been going through a rough patch with having to layoff some people which have caused some of our developer contractors to leave there positions. So I'm back on the internal intranet site for now as the lead. I will most likely re-structure all the work that has been done in a way that makes more since for new people that will be coming on board next year. The intranet site is not that complex which will make it easy for me to restructure it and incorporate a build process using Nant of course as well as adding some acceptance unit test with MBUnit. If there is time I will try to setup CCNet on a machine just for me so that I can monitor stuff that other contractors are doing. Whew! I have a lot of work ahead of me and not much time to do it in... so wish me luck as I enter back in to the world of ASP.NET/AJAX and best of all novice code. ;)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New VS.NET Settings!!!!

VS.NET 2005 Settings provided by Scott Hanselman...
Download these awesome settings here!
-Thanks Scott