eWorld.UI - Matt Hawley

Ramblings of Matt

Competing in Google's Top Coder Contest

September 15, 2004 21:56 by matthaw

So I just finished competing in the qualification round for Google's Top Coder contest, and well, damn there are some quick coders out there. You basically had 1 hour to code solutions for 2 problems, 1 being worth 400 points and the other worth being 1000 points. Points are based on how fast you submit your code, but are later tested against system tests and code reviews in which they can remove points from you.

Lets just say I got 311 points total (in 14 minutes), and that was for problem 1. Problem #2 was difficult, but I just needed more time than 46 minutes to complete it...I was close darnit! It truly is a test of ones ability to code accurately under a time crunch.

Since the qualification round is still going on, I can't really divulge my problems as it could give other coders out there an advantage against me. 500 participants will continue on (they take 100 participants from each of the 5 different problem sets), so I can only cross my fingers that I advance, however I won't be heartbroken if I don't. I set out merely to see if I could actually code under a time crunch like this, and I feel I didn't do too bad. Other coders out there that actually submit both solutions just amaze me, but who knows if their solutions are correct...only time will tell.

So, wish me luck and cross your fingers for me, I'd really like to get that "free plane trip" to compete in the final round.



Categories: .NET | General
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Firefox 1.0PR Released

September 15, 2004 00:33 by matthaw

Firefox 1.0PR has been released, amongst other Mozilla based browser updates. I've personally tried to start using Firefox more, but I seem to always revert back to IE. I however, have spent about 30 min customizing Firefox to my browsing habits, so maybe that will help me in my conversion.

So, if you're still running and older version of Firefox, download 1.0PR now! BTW, some extensions do not function in the new version, specifically the google extension and a few others I was using. So, don't fret just because of that, its still a great build!



Categories: General
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Featured in asp.netPRO Newsletter

September 13, 2004 16:17 by matthaw
I ran across this writeup through my site statistics and noticed a very nice article on several ASP.NET control developers, one of which being me. I'm not exactly sure when or where this was released, but based on the URL, I'm guessing it was released September of 2004. I have to say that this was by far a shock for me, and I'm quite pleased. Not that I'm bragging or anything, but I did get most of the rave in the article. Andy's and Peter's were just side notes, it seemed.

New Release: Unleash It 2.1

September 10, 2004 01:11 by matthaw

Unleash It 2.1 has reached another milestone with many fixes and few additions. There isn't a ton of functionality change, however you should notice a few differences:

1. If you're modifying the configuration file outside of Unleash It (while its running), you will be notified to reload your profiles.

2. A few options are disabled in the VS.NET addin configuration, due to them not being used in the addin.

3. A faster startup time due to optimization as well as only checking for updates once a day.

So, the changelog is as follows (which can also be found here):

  • Optimization of code, now starts faster!
  • Upgraded to #ziplib 0.81
  • Added ability to duplicate profiles.
  • Added notification in the Windows Application when the profiles configuration is changed.
  • Fixed destination label oversight.
  • Fixed VS.NET plugin now correctly loads the configuration.
  • Fixed intermitten problems with testing FTP profile settings.
  • Fixed delay of file deployment notification in status bar area.

So, if you're currently using Unleash It, you can check for an update and it'll allow you to download version 2.1, otherwise follow this link to my website to download Unleash It.

Update: It seems as if there are problems if you run the installation while Unleash It is installed and/or running. I would suggest removing it completely first, then downloading it and installing it.

Update 2: I've pulled the installation until I can get this figured out.

Update 3: I've diagnosed the problem, fixed it, and a new build is available for download.



Categories: Unleash It
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Better Password Security

September 7, 2004 16:26 by matthaw

Just read yesterday's Dilbert (not web, but desk calendar)...its truely priceless:

Boss: "My keyboard is broken. It only types asterisks for passwords"
Dogbert (Tech support): "Try changing your password to five asterisks."
Boss: "I hope I can remember it."

Talk about great!



Categories: General
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Finding "Unleash" on the Internet

September 2, 2004 17:26 by matthaw
So since I announced the rebranding of WebDeploy to Unleash It, I added a keyword search feed for "unleash it" through NewsGator. I've concluded that there are a lot of blogs out there that use "unleash" quite a bit concerning John Kerry and his campaign. And, after last nights presentation by Dick Cheney, he now appears a multitude of times. Now, I don't really care much for politics, but its quite funny to see "unleash" "unleash" "unleash" come out of so many peoples blogs on politics.

Categories: General
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New Release: Unleash It 2.0

September 2, 2004 00:21 by matthaw

"The day has cometh," sayeth the lone developer responsible for easy web deployments...

Unleash It 2.0 has finally reached its pinnacle of functionality, and as such its in due for a release to the public for general consumption (I'm not responsible for anyone eating software (is this even possible? (maybe if you save it to a floppy disk or CD?))).

For those who are not familiar with Unleash It, it is the rebranded utility named WebDeploy. However, Unleash It is not just a rebranded version, its a completely new codebase that has allowed for a multitude of expansion. Taking ideas (and a bit of code) from WebDeploy, Unleash It 2.0 has all of the same features of WebDeploy, but MORE!

Jumping directly into the changes, rather highlights (how can their be changes from a new codebase?):

  • Redesigned Windows Application, allowing you to:
    • Deploy a single profile or multiple profiles
    • Select folder masks that are to be excluded
    • Easy profile switching with new profile combobox
    • Easy active profile editing
    • Redesigned profile configuration dialog (ditched the wizard)
    • Redesigned profile management dialog (easier to use now!)
    • Easy to deploy a profile from the notification area icon
    • Notification Area Icon now alerts you when your deployment has finished
  • NEW! Visual Studio .NET 2003 Add-In
    • Easy to configure quick deploy profile
    • Easy to deploy a selected project (context menu item in the solution explorer)
  • NEW! WebDeploy Profile Conversion
    • Allows you to convert your existing WebDeploy profiles into Unleash It 2.0 Format!
  • New! New website to provide a primary entry point for Unleash It information.
  • New! New forums to discuss Unleash It, submit bugs or feature requests.

So, what are you waiting for? Scootch on over to the Unleash It site and download your free copy today!



Categories: Unleash It
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Central IL .NET User Group Meeting - Introducing SQL Server 2005

September 1, 2004 16:54 by matthaw

Tonight will be like no other. Kent Tegels will be making a trip from Nebraska all the way to central Illinois just to speak on SQL Server 2005. As a part of our attempts of expansion, we will be shifting our our meeting locations to Illinois State University to hopefully grab more of a student base to our group.

So, if your in the Central Illinois area this evening, stop by ISU's campus around 7PM. We will be meeting at CVA 145 (it's the only round building on campus, which happens to be in the middle of construction right now).

See you there!



VS.NET 2005 September CTP

September 1, 2004 05:21 by matthaw
Just saw from Wally that the VS.NET 2005 September CTP bits are available on MSDN. 16 hours for him, eek! 3-5 hours for me

Categories: .NET | Whidbey
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