Thursday, November 27, 2003

Nine Reasons NOT To Use MS Access To Power A DB-Driven Website

The ASP Emporium - Nine Reasons NOT To Use MS Access To Power A DB-Driven Website

Yes, another reason why you shouldn't use Access on webpages. Well, I do it on my free account (see yesterday's post, but for 'power sites' you really shouldn't). I really had to smile at the first reason, as this describes exactly the problems I had with my access db...

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Comments continued

Some weeks ago I added the possibility to add comments to this blog. Well, I tried to add them. For this free Blogger blogs there's only a couple of freeware thingies, and you have to use some free service like Brinkster hosting (in case you're on the Active Server Pages side) where you can store your little database. I could well build it myself, but it would probably take a couple of hours to make a script that adds webform information to a table. And there's people who did it before. And well, they tell you to reuse code whenever possible, isn't it?
The error basically comes down to an irritating ASP error code 80004005. As this is an unknown error one is own his own in solving it. It can mean a lot of things, but in the case of this blog it is related to not being able to access the Access db (not trying to be funny) of the comment script (General error Unable to open registry key 'Temporary (volatile) Jet DSN for process 0x868 Thread 0x824 DBC 0x1130c32c Jet). Which is strange, because it is related to some registry key error at Brinkster. And how could I possibly change something in their registry...
I have really wrestled with this error before in setting up a webserver. I also had an Access database from which a menu and some user information was loaded. Every now and then 'something' happened and this error popped up, rendering the database and therefore a part of the website useless. I checked everything IUSR account access to the applicable keys in the registry, read access to the database. When nothing helps I even tried to "full control" all these things (which is a bad practice, as at this pont you actually don't have a clue as to what's going on: don't you do it).

UPDATE: from Usability Watch India I learned about the YACCS comments. Have to try that out, but the only thing is you have to register and handle the comments via their server...


Since I started my blog, I had about one visitor each day on avagerage. However, since yesterday I suddenly see a rise up to 5 visitors. Where do they come from, I don't know, as I don't have logs from which I can check the referers. So much for the free Blogger version. No really, I do appreciate the free service, since it doesn't cost anything for my site to be hosted. And I can live with the banner on top of the Blog. But please tell me how you found me (sikko2go AT tiscalii DOT nl) ...
I have to say this stimulates me to blog more often. Well, 5 visitors a day is not a lot :) but that probably will go up if I have some more interesting content here....

Sunday, November 16, 2003

I finally have a notebook!

Recently I had the opportunity to take over a Tosiba Portege Pentium III 500 Mhz notebook for a very good price. I really didn't want to pay a lot of Euro's, as I already have a PC, just as I wouldn't want to have two cars at our disposal. But then this one came around, and I couldn't resist it. I must say, I made a very good choice, as now I can just sit at the kitchen table entering a new BLOG entry, as I'm doing now. Connect to the internet from the living room to add the entry to my blog etc. It's all so much easier now. Until now I had to go to the attic, a cold room, which was often just too much hassle. And what's more, we have to 24/7 our 15 month old son, running around the house from 6 or 7 AM to 8 PM (well, that's actually 14/7, but with him waking up every night being afraid in the dark, it's really working around the clock. Note: this is NOT complaining. It can even be fun playing with your son at 3 AM). With me sitting in the attic, I really could not pay much attention to from behind my PC. However, with this notebook I'm very flexible, typing and paying attention at the same time :)

Keynote: Timesaver of the year

For some years I'm a user of the EditPad editor. And still a happy user, I must say. It's great when editing and changing multiple text documents, scripts etc at the same time, which I'm doing every day. Still, I found myself moving around with all kinds of text files, Word documents and the like. But then on my favorite tech discussion group (, Gathering of Tweakers, dutch) someone pointed to the KeyNote editor. It has a flexible interface with basically tabs and treeviews which make it possible to have URLs, new BLOG entries, a TODO list, a logbook in the same file. It is even possible to store passwords in a KeyNote document, as it has the option to encrypt documents with the secure Blowfish and Idea algorithms.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

AskTog: Security D'ohLTs

AskTog: Security D'ohLTs
Really cool article about security. You'll be reading it with a grin on your face. And I'm wondering: at the end of the article, will you think you're the hero of the story, or the D'ohLT?

Monday, November 10, 2003

How to permanently replace Notepad with a serious text editor on Windows XP

How to permanently replace Notepad with a serious text editor on Windows XP

This is one of the annoyances I encountered now that we work with XP. One of the first things I always do is changing notepad.exe with my favorite Text Editor (which happens to be EditPad, the same as the author of this site, just a coincidence). The trouble is XP is trying to do more and more for you. Instead of cooperating, it is even considering notepad.exe as a vital system file, and does *almost* everything to protect it. Almost

Thursday, November 06, 2003

NTBackup on Win2000 Server does not work as expected
Scheduled Backups Fail on Standalone Tape Drives After Changing Media
Fiddled around with the tape backup on the fileserver which we just upgraded to Windows 2000. Must say the old NT4 Server backup program was a bit more straightforward to use. It did not fail complaining about invalid tape libraries, unused media, wrong tape names etc. It just did what I asked: make a full network backup on out DLT streamer. Now all kinds of things are going wrong. And then I finally had a working script, with 1 statement working on a .bks file, containing all locations to backup. This went OK the first night. But lo and behold: the second night, from the same scheduled task, it complained about no unused media available" :( Digging into the problem I ended up on abovementioned MS site, which explained a lot. I found out the tape library is not refreshing itself after you manually change taes on a standalone streamer. Which is what we do daily of course. One rought hack was to add a small job before the real full network backup. This first job fails, the library is refreshed and there you go. Additionaly, I had the option of changing reg keys, adding a service etc. But I don't want to change things on the production file server, unless absolutely neccessary. Problem solved

Network Upgrade

Just upgraded our network to Windows / Office XP. Everything went OK, thanks to RIS it was relatively easy to update all clients. Just boot from LAN, enter admin parameters, click the required install, hit enter somewhere, reboot to have additional software install and you're set. Only thing was, we had to manually do some things like configuring Outlook for all users, set the printer, change the Word standard template, restore old files back to the users' hard drives... this manual configuring and restoring took more time than the installation of OS + software. I know, I know, we could have done some things with standard templates or simple registry hacks for all clients at once. But hey, these were only about 40 clients, and we're a small company. This upgrade was OK for us.