OK this REALLY made me do a facepalm. I was wresting again with SSRS (Microsoft’s SQL Server Reporting Services), and was just trying to format the numbers in a pie chart. It seemed clear enough: right click on the little numbers in the pie chart and edit the number format. It even displays all the numbers in all the pie slices with the new format. Easy, right? No. That change only affects the first series, with no obvious way of selecting the other series values to format them… since they look like they’re already formatted! [image here…] Turns out you have to move the next series to the top position in the “Chart Data” floating tool window, and then you can modify the[…]

This was actually surprisingly difficult for me to figure out since there is basically no discoverability hints anywhere, and I literally found it by accident. In the Dropbox app for iPad, if you open a Word or other Office document, there is a little button in the lower right hand corner for viewing the document in full-screen. However, if you open a PDF document, that button is not present. Hmmm… Additionally, in the iOS 5 version of the Dropbox app, there used to be an arrow button in the navigation bar area to toggle the visibility of the navigation panel on the left. This served as an adequate almost-full-screen view of a PDF, but the (as of March 10, 2014)[…]

OK, so I’m not sure if this works in Vista but it definitely works in Windows 7. I have grown very tired of the Aero-style Alt-Tab behavior in Windows 7 (only took 4 weeks to get sick of it!), and I really wanted to revert back to the “classic Alt-Tab” behavior and make it my default. The former is easy. The latter requires a little regedit hack: Create a DWORD called “AltTabSettings” in \HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer Set its value to 1. Test Alt-Tab combination. The Windows XP-style AltTab behavior should have returned. Thanks to a comment from “barbudo” on this page for the answer to this mildly-perplexing problem (scroll down to the comments).

I had run into this problem before. Setup I have my Visual Studio 2008 options set to reload the previously loaded solution on startup. I use Subversion. I use AnkhSVN as my SVN provider in Visual Studio 2008. Problem If I launched Visual Studio 2008 with a particular solution loaded when I last closed VS, I would receive a “Source control provider could not be found” error. However… if I just launched it via double-clicking on the .SLN file in my file system, no error!!! Weird. OK – so I did a quick diff on a solution that I knew worked fine. Both had the expected source control provider information embedded: SccProjectName = “Svn” SccAuxPath = “Svn” SccLocalPath = “Svn”[…]

In experimenting with Dashcode last night using the introductory tutorial provided by Apple, I noticed that in their example, they build a URL dynamically: var dsource = dashcode.getDataSource(“list”); var name = dsource.selection().valueForKey(“name”); document.location = (“http://www.google.com/search?client=googlet&q=” + name); But your first thought when looking at this may be (as was mine), “what if there are spaces or other characters in the “name” value that are not legal in an URL? So then I set out to use one of the standard functions for escaping URIs: encodeURIComponent. Unfortunately, when I entered the function I spelled it encodeUriComponent using camel case, which is what I thought was appropriate in this situation. Evidently not. I even was referencing good ol’ w3schools on the subject[…]

OK this one has been baffling me for a long time but I just ignored it. We have been using the open source logging library log4net for a long time, and for the most part it was working fine. But the one thing that I wanted to do but could never get working was logging to what my brain wanted to call “The Console,” AKA (to me) the Output window in Visual Studio. I tried using the log4net appenders ConsoleAppender and ColoredConsoleAppender, to no avail. Turns out there’s a different appender that works with the Output window, and it’s not ConsoleAppender. The appender in question is TraceAppender! So here’s a little snippet of XML from my web.config files that handles[…]

Debugging messages are for developers/engineers, not for humans (I can say that since I’m a developer). But I can’t believe that it’s 2009 and I still encounter things like the following example… Every time I log into one of my online banking systems, I get a message like the following: This is just intrusive and rude behavior (as Alan Cooper might say). First of all, the message first off tells me when the last unsuccessful attempt was made to access the account… HUH??? Then it tries to be helpful and tell me when the last successful attempt was made. It just makes no sense at all to me why this message exists at all. Why would I ever care about[…]

Ummm… OK I know Microsoft is trying to give the illusion of being user friendly and all, but when the delimiter for tags that categorize a post on the ASP.NET developer forums, they chose semicolons. Is it just me or is that a ludicrous choice? Why not a space (my preference – a la delicious) or a comma? In addition, there is no example visible to show you what the legal delimiter is! You have to miraculously divine what it wants, or let it show you what it wants, as I chose to do. To find out what the delimiter is, I had to do the following: Open the “Select Tags…” dialog. Select two (short) tags. (I notice lots of[…]