Room 101

So, this blog has been going a while. Starting on the first of January last year, I have been updating the blog every two weeks. A couple of times I was late, a couple of times I was early (usually to be excited about tournament write-ups), but as it adds up I am still three days ahead of where I should be.

This post will be the one-hundred and first since the blog was started, back in October 2009. I managed seventy-two posts before 2013, and twenty-seven in 2013. That’s roughly 27% of all posts being in 2013, so about a quarter of posts being in a quarter of the time. If I keep this up, I expect to be at post two hundred in 2017 sometime. Of course, if I get a few early posts in, I should be able to bring that forward a bit.

This year, I intend to continue posting regularly every two weeks. I also intend to continue posting about DreadBall, hopefully getting more pictures of my painted models up this year. I’d better step up the game, with DreadBall Extreme scheduled to Kickstart in late February/early March and the Galactic Tour series that might introduce more teams and MVPs. I’d better start selling some organs too, unless Mantic slow down.

I also intend to continue posting the Star Trek episode autopsies. The overall plan, in case you haven’t guessed, is to slog my way through The Next Generation and make my way to Deep Space Nine and Voyager (although obviously, I already started with Voyager) and maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll get to Enterprise. At the rate of one episode a month, I think that means I can expect to get to DS9 in roughly 2028? And since I only blog twice a month and will want to drop game reviews, tournament write-ups, DreadBall stuff, I think I’ll have to throw in some bonus blogging to be able to make it in anything like sensible time. If we’re lucky we’ll even see another series before I’ve finished (something of the same quality as DS9, perhaps).

This is going to be short and sweet, because I think I’ve earned a little break over the last year. And if I don’t get away to paint models, I won’t have any pictures to put up here!

IE9 Beta + VS2010, and a blog-reading tip

I’ve been experimenting with IE9 beta in work recently, and been finding it annoying when I go to show someone what I’ve been working on and need to refresh a page a couple of times after running it from Visual Studio 2010 before it ‘takes’, and will display the page and work properly. I’m getting a little tired of saying ‘it’s only a beta…’ and sort of harms my decision to install it in the first place. Sure, hitting refresh a few times isn’t really cutting into my productivity any but it’s one of those small frustrations… something about controlling one’s environment, and smoothing our day’s problems out. That sort of thing.

I was browsing around trying to find help on a problem I’ve been working on at home (another learning project), and came across a blog that had a great explanation, a working sample, and the answer that I wanted – although the explanation didn’t point me to the answer that I wanted, when I went back and re-read it I realised it was right there and could have solved my problem an evening sooner. D’oh.

One of my habits when reading blogs is that if I find the post useful, or at least well-written and informative, I will go to the front page and see what they’ve posted recently. Dan Wahlin’s blog front page is an archive page, so you get to see a lot of interesting titles all at once. One of those titles was Getting the IE9 Beta to Play Well with Visual Studio 2010 and it described exactly the problem that I’m having in work with the beta, and also a suggestion to get around it. Since I found this in the middle of the Christmas bank holiday season, I had to wait a few days to try it out and see if it works… I’m not really keen on installing IE9 at home just to see a few days earlier! It seems to have worked so far, it’s a lot nicer than hitting refresh over and over till it sticks. So anyway, if you see a helpful or interesting blog post – look up recent posts in that blog. There might be something useful there too.

Family Tree Update

On Saturday, we visited my father-in-law’s family to make a start on my wife’s family tree. We managed to add just over sixty names to the list, bringing to total to over two hundred! As usual, a lot of the details are concentrated near the bottom of the tree – people who are still alive – but some of the older details were backed up with birth, marriage or death certificates. These are fantastic, it helped to fill some gaps in the knowledge that people either don’t know off the top of their head or never knew. I am indebted to the in-laws for keeping a hold of that sort of thing. I’ll definitely try and keep what I can for the future, and pass it on with the tree itself. We’ve gone back six generations from my son on almost every path now, and just think how amazing that will be to his children and grandchildren!

There are still some gaps, but with luck we should be able to get in touch with some of the more extended family and see what they can fill in (even if it is only their own details!)

Also, my parents are at home Easter weekend so we’re travelling down to see them – hopefully, I can meet up with my granddad and get some more information from him. I’ve been warned that he probably won’t have any documentation to help piece things together, but that’s not a major problem. We’re also going to start planning to meet with my wife’s other grandparents, to find out what we can there. It will challenge my family tree program and it’s text support, as most of the names on that side are German…

One thing my dad hasn’t tried when researching his tree is getting in contact with living relatives he doesn’t know or have a lot of contact with, to try and get more details that his main sources (close relatives, of which there are few) might not know. Although, I don’t know that there’s much more that they can tell him – he is from a small family, and his mother knows enough to place the top of the tree near the beginning of the 19th century. It’s at least two or three generations further than I’ve managed yet.

In other news, I have a small disaster to report. I was, over this year, going to try and re-post all the content I produced for way-back-when I was a student, and had the time, and some really weird ideas. Like eating noodles for 23 days, or flying to Glasgow on a whim.

This idea might have to take a backseat for a little while, as in the recent reformats of my drive… I’ve lost them. Now, I’m sure there’s a spare hard-drive knocking around somewhere that it should be saved on (some of the older stuff may even be on a CD backup I made many many years ago). I think that I have a bunch of IDE drives in a box, and eventually replaced the ones being actively used with SATA drives. So given the age of the content, I just need to find out any old IDE drives and see what’s on them! That’s almost easy! As long as the files still exist somewhere!

I’m not filled with a huge amount of hope. I have a few too many things to get sorted before I can search the drives out anyway.

Blog Power Up!

I just upgraded the blog to version 1.6 of BlogEngine.NET, using the incredibly useful guide from David Wynne.

Two things he missed though: Remember to change your CSS file as described in the ‘official’ instructions (change #widgetzone to .widgetzone, and #widgetselector to .widgetselector) and to be sure that any changes you made to your web.config file are copied across with the rest of your site (default blog provider, database connection settings, and the like).

If you did change to the database provider for your blog, there are scripts to manage the upgrade (especially since Blogroll is now stored there!) in the setup folder.

Since you can see this, I made it work! Hooray!

Now to mess around and see what’s changed… and finally get that BlogRoll working!