Connection Strings reference…

Heres a very useful website with tons of various types of connection examples for database, programming etc.
Visit: and another userful link for learing the basics of creating custom WPF controls is:


HP Laptop screen problem

I own a HP Pavilion dv6500/dv6625us laptop which l bought exactly a year ago, my first hp laptop (prior to this l’ve owned 2 DELL laptops which l only replaced/gave away when  l needed a technology upgrade and they still work). This laptop now has a strange annoying LCD screen problem, it goes black, shows the hp logo and anything else in the faintest gray which you cant really read, and at times it flickers like a dying flourescent tube light. I sent it to hp support about a month ago, and they shipped it back with a letter saying its fixed. Now for the last 2 weeks the problem is back again. Googling shows this is a common problem, and if l dont get this permanently resolved (sent a support email today) – this will be my one and ony hp laptop. See also this link: Problems like this are very irritating when you use a laptop as a mobile office for most of your work.

My quest for a new laptop starts now. Its down to the Alienware area-51 m15x – which is more affordable compared to the M17. The M17 does come though with a ATI CrossfireX GPU enable option. Why l’m researching and blogging about this at midnight shows how dependent my work is on a mobile computing reliable powerhouse.
Update: Got back my laptop, and it works okay so far. The motherboard as well as lcd display was replaced. One thing l have to say about hp support, the response and shipping of a return box is very fast.


SQL 2008 Reinstall nightmare..

Trying to un-install a Microsoft Heros event 2008 release of SQL Server 2008 on my Windows 2008 server box but each time l uninstall it and all related components, on trying a fresh install for a default instance l keep seeing the previous default MSSERVER instance.
Heres the link to Mark Michaelis Weblog which has hacks on forcefully removing Sql Server 2008 using command line as well as registry hacks.

Finally, after running all the steps in his blog, l ran the Installed SQL server discovery report from SQL Server 2008 installation center (under the Tools section) and l found l have succesfully removed the instance.
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Setup Discovery Report

Product Instance Instance ID Feature Language Edition Version Clustered
None None None None None None None None


Render SSRS 2008 Report from Website to Adobe PDF

This is a test project to see if l can successfully render to PDF from an website, using Report Control from a Visual Studio 2008 project.
First l created a simple sample table called MyContact from some files from the AdventureWorks database. Heres the code:

    [ContactID]      ,[Title]      ,[FirstName]      ,[LastName]
      ,[EmailAddress]      ,[Phone]      ,[ModifiedDate]
      into MyContacts
  FROM [AdventureWorks].[Person].[Contact]

If you wish to create the table directly, heres the code:

USE [AdventureWorks]
/****** Object:  Table [dbo].[MyContacts]    Script Date: 01/15/2009 22:34:31 ******/
CREATE TABLE [dbo].[MyContacts](
 [ContactID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
 [Title] [nvarchar](8) NULL,
 [FirstName] [dbo].[Name] NOT NULL,
 [LastName] [dbo].[Name] NOT NULL,
 [EmailAddress] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
 [Phone] [dbo].[Phone] NULL,
 [ModifiedDate] [datetime] NOT NULL

I’ll attach a link to a text file with data for populating this with over 19,000 rows, as well as a link to the entire source code.
Heres a link to the Report Webpage. (should be active soon)
Currently l’m trying to debug the error below:

Configuration Error

Description: An error occurred during the processing of a configuration file required to service this request. Please review the specific error details below and modify your configuration file appropriately.

Parser Error Message: Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.ReportViewer.WebForms, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

Source Error:

Line 53:     <add assembly="System.Design, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=B03F5F7F11D50A3A" />
Line 54:     <add assembly="System.Windows.Forms, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=B77A5C561934E089" />
Line 55:     <add assembly="Microsoft.ReportViewer.WebForms, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=B03F5F7F11D50A3A" />
Line 56:     <add assembly="Microsoft.ReportViewer.Common, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=B03F5F7F11D50A3A" />
Line 57:    </assemblies>



WRN: Assembly binding logging is turned OFF.
To enable assembly bind failure logging, set the registry value [HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftFusion!EnableLog] (DWORD) to 1.
Note: There is some performance penalty associated with assembly bind failure logging.
To turn this feature off, remove the registry value [HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftFusion!EnableLog].

This seems to be a possible solution to this problem.


Windows Azure

This is a version of windows which runs over the internet using Microsoft’s data center. I’ve just signed up for a development account with which to test this from Microsoft Connect. This is Microsoft’s step one into cloud computing and a Community Technology Preview on this was given at PDC 2008. I’ll update this as my testing goes on.




Microsoft Silverlight allows developers to create rich, cross-platform, interactive Web applications. I went through some sample code from Microsoft’s website and created a base page from which to demo/test the functionality of silverlight capabilities and use these as a base for learning as well as for future projects. Click here to see these awesome demos.


Essential lighting…

Working on mastering lighting in 3Ds max. Seems photometric lights placed around the object like a halo is very crucial. Playing/learning graphics meets a “balancing the use of both sides of ones brain” goal in me.
See below images. First shows the setup l now have in 3ds max. Next was the original render using mental ray. Then better lighting, then came photometric lights placed at a reasonable distance above the curve of the beamer [bmw].





WordPress tips

Resize pictures you want to upload/insert to 400 pixels wide – height constrained to the resized pictures width, and save in gif format for the web.
You need to set your wp-content folder to 777 or at least writable to allow the pictures to be uploadable to your website.


To see… [TV Shows, Movies etc.]

24 - Jack Bauer
24 - Jack Bauer

Interesting Indian movie to see – Slumdog millionaire
This is a classic movie about rags-to-riches, life choices, morals, character, friendship,doing what you have to do to survive and of course, what indian movie doesnt have the love angle?




TV Series l’m waiting for 24 – Jack Bauer rocks!!! 
I can not believe that TONY ALMEDIA is coming back!!! Wish Michele didnt die though, she was a great agent and partner to him

Another TV Show l am hooked on is: PRISON BREAK!!! and of course, theres “D-e-s-p-e-r-a-t-e  H-o-u-s-e-w-i-v-e-s”.
You can tell FOX TV does present my kind of shows. The challenges Michael Scofield goes through as well as his gang, is unbelievable and nerve wrecking on each episode.


For the web

My favorite web publishing software used to be and sort of still is Dreamweaver 8/CS4, but recently l have been using Microsoft Expression Web 2 which is impressive, and integrates wonderfully (obviously) with web projects developed in asp, visual 2005/2008 etc, and has a good media encoder with which you can prepare your video file for web publishing – mainly targetting microsoft silverlight. To do serious web development with the .Net framework from Microsoft, you need Expression Web 2/Blend 2/Encoder 2/ Design 2/Media 2 (you get the picture). Heres a link for a trial version.