Archive for December, 2008

Dominican Republic Problem

Hey all I had promised to provide pictures during my stay here at Puenta Canta but unfortuantely it does cost a lot of money to use the internet here. So I will have to wait until my arrival home to post the pictures. I am having a blast. I got to swim with sharks and stingrays yesterday and that was pretty cool. Anyway, signing off for now and will talk to you soon.

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Windows Live Stats Way Off Again

Well I haven’t addressed this for a while but I guess we need to. Today it reported up to this point that I had had 48 page views. I keep an independent counter on my blog entries and it reported 172 pageviews up to this point today. I do wonder about the source of this discrepancy. Below are links to the StatCounter stats and the stats from today from Windows Live for comparison if any of you are interested.

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Virtumonde (Vundo) Hell

What a weekend! On Friday, it was a snow day. We received 12 to 15 inches of snow. Fortuantely I had hired someone to plow our driveway as it was the thick heavy kind of snow that we all dread. Jean had gone to pick up the vehicle to replace the one I had in the accident. I will post a picture of the”new” vehicle once it is cleaned up. We also did the family Christmas that day and Alyssa was quite happy with her gifts. In a bit of irony, both Jean and I got each other the same gift, a coffee pot. We needed a new one but it was just funny.

On Saturday, Jean was unable to return from western Wisconsin because of road conditions. She was a bit stubborn in this regard but I did manage to convince her to stay in a hotel. Unfortunately our roads remained unable to be effectively traveled as we live in a subdivision and they don’t pay us much attention. Then to top it all off, my internet connection went down.

First, let me say what happens here is my fault. First, I went to a site I didn’t trust to watch a program. Second, my java runtime environment was out of date because the newer versions don’t support the version of Limewire I am running.

On Sunday, my internet came back and Jean got home safely. I have become a fan of the television series “House” and was looking on the internet to see the finale of Season 4 called “Wilson’s Heart”. Somehow I landed on a web site that drove my up to date Internet Explorer 7 crazy. All of a sudden popups appeared everywhere, and someone offering me the ability to clean my computer if I download their software. I knew enough to bail out of this, but much to my sadness obviously not fast enough. I ran my virus scan, and my Ad-Aware found the infection called Virtumonde or Vundo. It said it had removed it, but as is my custom I immediately ran it again. It was not gone. I went to Google to attempt to find a solution. Lavasoft (the maker of Ad-Aware) but they claimed my 2008 version should be capable of removing it. It was not obviously. After trying several different things, I found a reference on Google to remove this trojan and ran it overnight in safe mode. When I returned this morning it appeared my laptop had rebooted and was waiting for me to log in. I figured this was a good thing. I logged in and Windows would not boot. It just hung there. after playing the introduction sound. I said oh crap. So I tried to boot into safe mode again and again no joy. It would not boot into safe mode either. I tried “Last Known Good Configuration” and this one got me a little further but again nothing but a hang. I figure if I manage to get into safe mode tonight i will end up doing a restore to when this trojan was put on my system (the trojan was nice enough to wipe out all restore points prior to this of course). Then what I will do will be a mystery.

So if you are wondering why I have been so quiet, that laptop has basically been rendered useless to me and I am now on my work machine. Wish me luck on my endeavors tonight to fix this. It should be interesting and I need to get that machine up and running!

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Run DTS Package without specified filename or path with

Good Morning! Another 5 inches fell last night. I gave up on the snow blower because the snow was relatively light. We are suppose to get nailed on Thursday, Sunday and Tuesday. I’d say our chances of a green Christmas this year are pretty good. My Dominican trip can’t get here fast enough.

Today’s topic is using a DTS package for SQL 2000 in your application without requiring a specific filename or path from your users. Yes, SQL 2000 is old but a lot of us still have to use it. Hope you find it useful and make it a great day!

‘ Copy the file that the user wishes to import into the required location
        Dim STR_file1 As String
        If OFD_import.ShowDialog() = DialogResult.OK Then
            Dim STR_FilePathAndName As String = OFD_import.FileName
            STR_file1 = "C:\Import\Import.txt"
            ‘ Remove the file from the import folder – this file cannot exist a new one is copied over
            If System.IO.File.Exists(STR_file1) = True Then
            End If
            ‘ Copy the file to the import folder
            If System.IO.File.Exists(STR_FilePathAndName) = True Then
                System.IO.File.Copy(STR_FilePathAndName, STR_file1)
            End If
            ‘ Run the DTS package
            Dim oPackage As DTS.Package = New DTS.Package()
            oPackage.LoadFromSQLServer( _
                ServerName:="SQLSVR1", _
                Flags:=DTS.DTSSQLServerStorageFlags.DTSSQLStgFlag_UseTrustedConnection, _
                PackageName:="Part Manager Import")
            oPackage = Nothing


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Capture Hot Key Combination with

Good Morning! Well if you have been following along, I have made a full recovery.  I got a rental car which I look really funny in. (It is a compact and I have long legs you see.) My daughter was taken into custody but they are probably not going to revoke her. My wife and I made the decision though that she can go elsewhere until she turns 18 once she gets out. It’s just time. We are tired of being stolen from and disrespected.

So today’s topic is how to capture a hot Hot Key Combination with In this case it will be Ctrl/Shift/F12. Make it a great day!

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Public Class Form1
    Inherits System.Windows.Forms.Form
    Private WithEvents llkb As New LowLevelKeyBoardhook
    Private Sub llkb_CtrlShiftF12() Handles llkb.CtrlShiftF12
        MsgBox("Ctrl-Shift-F12 Pressed ")
    End Sub
End Class
‘ ————————————————–
‘  Class LowLevelKeyBoardhook
‘ ————————————————–
Imports System.Runtime.InteropServices
Public Class LowLevelKeyBoardhook
    Private Const HC_ACTION As Integer = 0
    Private Const WH_KEYBOARD_LL As Integer = 13
    Private Const WM_KEYDOWN As Integer = &H100
    Private Const WM_SYSKEYDOWN As Integer = &H104
    Public Structure KBDLLHOOKSTRUCT
        Public vkCode As Integer
        Public scancode As Integer
        Public flags As Integer
        Public time As Integer
        Public dwExtraInfo As Integer
    End Structure
    Private Declare Function SetWindowsHookEx Lib "user32" _
        Alias "SetWindowsHookExA" ( _
        ByVal idHook As Integer, _
        ByVal lpfn As LowLevelKeyboardProcDelegate, _
        ByVal hmod As Integer, _
        ByVal dwThreadId As Integer) As Integer
    Private Declare Function CallNextHookEx Lib "user32" ( _
        ByVal hHook As Integer, _
        ByVal nCode As Integer, _
        ByVal wParam As Integer, _
        ByVal lParam As KBDLLHOOKSTRUCT) As Integer
    Private Declare Function UnhookWindowsHookEx Lib "user32" ( _
        ByVal hHook As Integer) As Integer
    Private Delegate Function LowLevelKeyboardProcDelegate( _
        ByVal nCode As Integer, _
        ByVal wParam As Integer, _
        ByRef lParam As KBDLLHOOKSTRUCT) As Integer
    Private Declare Function GetAsyncKeyState Lib "user32" _
        (ByVal vKey As Integer) As Integer
    Public Event CtrlShiftF12()
    Private hhkLowLevelKeyboard As Integer
    Private keyboardDelegate As LowLevelKeyboardProcDelegate
    Public Sub New()
        keyboardDelegate = New LowLevelKeyboardProcDelegate(AddressOf Me.LowLevelKeyboardProc)
        hhkLowLevelKeyboard = SetWindowsHookEx(WH_KEYBOARD_LL, keyboardDelegate, _
            Marshal.GetHINSTANCE(System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly.GetModules()(0)).ToInt32, 0)
    End Sub
    Private Function LowLevelKeyboardProc( _
        ByVal nCode As Integer, _
        ByVal wParam As Integer, _
        ByRef lParam As KBDLLHOOKSTRUCT) As Integer
        If (nCode = HC_ACTION) Then
            Select Case wParam
                Case WM_KEYDOWN, WM_SYSKEYDOWN
                    If GetAsyncKeyState(Keys.ControlKey) AndAlso _
                            GetAsyncKeyState(Keys.ShiftKey) AndAlso _
                            (lParam.vkCode = Keys.F12) Then
                        RaiseEvent CtrlShiftF12()
                    End If
            End Select
        End If
        Return CallNextHookEx(hhkLowLevelKeyboard, nCode, wParam, lParam)
    End Function
    Protected Overrides Sub Finalize()
    End Sub
End Class


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When It Rains It Pours

Good Morning everyone.

Amazing how 24 hours can change one’s life.

Yesterday, when returning from a visit to Milwaukee, I sat in a median waiting to to turn and a vehicle struck me head on. I was at a dead stop. The air bags deployed and apparently I took a pretty sever bump to the head as I had called my wife and wasn’t making a lot of sense. I had a concussion. So I had a pretty big headache. The car is totaled. But I am going to be ok.

Next my daughter. She took my credit card and bought a calling card for her boyfriend she met while she was in jail. He had since been returned to jail for further violations of his own probation. This is like the 7th or 8th time she has taken my card to do things she should not have done. She will go back to jail Monday where her probation officer is summoning her for a random urine test. She will be taken into custody there and returned to jail. She will be there through my trip to the Dominican and most likely there till her birthday in February. So that ends that saga for the time being. I feel sadness but am resigned to the idea that I have done all I can do. I really have.

Anyway, I am not going to look at work today. I am going to try to recuperate.

Those of you who sent me letters after my last posting, I will be responding today or tomorrow. So thanks for your patience.

Make it a great day! I will certainly try….


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Rest in Peace Dad – I Think

I don’t usually get very personal beyond the day’s events in what I write. Today will be an exception so please bear with me.

Today was an interesting day. To explain why I have to back up a few years.

My biological father was a Vietnam veteran. When he returned from the war he was addicted to heroin and opium and to put it simply, he was not a nice man. He hurt my mom, brother and me in ways that only nightmares can comprehend. While you might feel sorry for me, I do not. Though it took years of effort, I managed to put together a career, family and am usually an adequate father. I didn’t let the sickness that took his and my biological mother’s soul and threatened mine triumph in my life. It was close, but at the end of the day, I managed to survive and even thrive. The area in where it affects me the most is the way that I think. If you read the blog entry “The Difference Between Our Walls and Boundaries” it tells the story of how my thinking was effected and the process of how it is being changed.

Fast forward many years. I began the process of trying to find my biological parents. I found my biological mother. I guess to a teenager who grew up watching Montel reunite long lost parents and children and seeing the tearful and happy reunions, it may have pushed my expectations too high. She hepatitis C and was still an active drug addict. She was on probation for embezzlement. I brought her into my home anyway. I asked her to help out  with the baby, and around the house. She found that too much. She stole a couple thousand dollars and a car and sped away accusing me of wanting her to be my slave. In my mind, I was trying to save her. So much so, I was willing to put everything on the line. I would hear from her sporadically in the future usually wanting money. Finally, I put her in a local homeless shelter and told her I could no longer help her. I have not heard from her since. I would have been better off if I had left her where I had found her.

As far as my biological father, he proved much more elusive to find. I knew he knew I was looking for him as I had communicated information to the Veteran’s Administration and they acknowledged the message had been delivered but he had refused to return my contact. I watched the Social Security Death index and he did not show until 1992 I found out that he had died in 1989. Truth be told, what my motives were for wanting to find him were not altogether pure. I was consumed with anger and was extremely bitter.

In 2005 I convinced the editor of the newspaper to give me the information that he had contained in his obituary. I posted to various sites looking for relatives he might have had. I never had any luck. I contacted the relatives I could find with the same name but they were either dead or just had the same name. I got his military file but did not find anything useful.

Fast forward to today. I was going through my favorites and was cleaning out dead and aged links and I came across his obituary. There was his obituary. On a lark I did a search for the cemetery it indicated he was buried in. To my amazement, since I had searched there in 2002, there was now a web site listing the people buried there. One of those listed was my father. There before my eyes, was the gravestone and surrounding area of where he was buried. To be honest, I just kind of stared in amazement. I think, I’m not entirely sure, but I think I felt a sense of ….. grief. I didn’t anticipate feeling that way. And I am not sure why. I am not sure where this is going to go with me.

Time changes things. Instead of revenge and retribution, I actually hope in a way that that man is at peace from the tortured mind that he had. In the least, I hope your suffering has ended. I think I feel that way. I am sure I will have more to say about this another time. But I am kind of processing this all. Thanks for bearing with me.


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Compelling Case Made By Technogran

A very well thought out critique of Windows Live by Technogran, not like the knee jerk reactions of people who have not given it a chance I have seen all over. It is at least food for thought.

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Serialize a Class that contains another Class with

Good Morning. Well as usual the weatherman got the stuff wrong with us. They predicted all this snow that didn’t materialize. But I should be used to it. Friends of mine tell me up north got hit much harder.

My Twitter experience is … just getting started I guess. I wish we had a way to import our Windows Live network there quickly. But it will be interesting to see how it goes.

Today’s topic is how to serialize a class that contains another class with It’s a little different when generics are involved. Make it a great day!

        <Field1 />
        <Field2 />
        <Field1 />
        <Field2 />

Private m_Group As New List(Of clsGroup)
    Public Property Group() As List(Of clsGroup)
            Return m_Group 
        End Get
        Set(ByVal value As List(Of m_Group))
            m_Group  = value
        End Set
    End Property


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Twitter is different but the same

I decided to try Twitter today. Granted I only had one person I conversed with (John Kavanaugh) with which to base my experience on. It didn’t seem a lot different than texting one another. I guess once I get more contacts on here I might be able to see a difference. Not impressed but not rejecting it yet either.


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