General Tech

General Tech

FireFox and Insecure Password Notifications

09 Mar

Passwords are something we talk about as developers a lot when working with custom systems. We talk about the logistics of how to reset them, how to store them, and related back-end options. It is often simply assumed that we will be using SSL when we submit these passwords to our websites. This assumption, however, is often a big oversight and exposes a potential point of risk to websites. I'm blogging about this today, because FireFox, starting with Version 52 introduces a feature that calls all of us developers on any oversight in this situation.

tags: General Tech

Preparing for Load Balancing Diagnostics a Retrospective

16 Jan

As web application become more complex, or as individuals demand better performance or reliability, the addition of more web nodes is very common.  For those with a technical background we can easily see the complexity that is introduced as we load balance our applications.  Simple tasks such as writing a file to the local file system have now become far more complicated tasks.  How are the servers getting their content?  Shared file system?  File Replication? (DFS, RoboCopy, etc.)  When things work beautifully, it is great, but when they don't it can be a nightmare.  In this post I want to share a few "lessons learned" as it relates to load balancing diagnostics.  The information contained in this post is specifically related to working within a DNN Installation, however, the same principals will apply regardless of the platform.

tags: General Tech, DNN Administration, Quick Tips, Performance

Adopting a Performance Focus With Software Development

27 Jan

Over the past few years I have given a number of talks and written multiple blog posts on the topic of performance optimization as it relates to software development.  These postings have been very technical in nature and focus greatly on the problem solving aspects of application performance.  However as I review my presentations one of the most critical aspects of application performance is actually business organization and dedication to application performance.  In this post I would like to review the common approaches that I see within development teams and easy ways for management to encourage positive change to focus more on development.

tags: General Tech, Business, DNN Administration, Performance, Presentations

Vendor API Integrations: Developer Beware

15 Dec

Since I started IowaComputerGurus in early 2006 I have worked on more than 100 different vendor API integrations.  Now two integrations have been the same, even if they are both going to the same vendor API.  Each integration project is a unique beast, the business requirements however similar are exactly that, similar.  The small changes, the small tweaks that you might have from one client to another on the same platform can be catastrophic.  Having done so many of these, I thought I had seen it all, from poor API's, to poor support, and everything in-between I could go on for days with the things I've experienced over the years.  However, after two recent experiences, by far the most horrible I've ever experienced I thought I'd share a few lessons learned to help others out there learn from my experience over the last 4-6 months.

tags: ASP.NET, General Tech, Quick Tips, ASP.NET MVC, Performance, .NET 4.5

iTunes Invalid Address Fix

17 May

For those of you that are regular readers of my blog, I know this is a bit of an "off topic" post, but after suffering through a few hours to pain, and relentless efforts testing and re-testing various solutions to get back into my iTunes account I just had to share this post.  As many of you will see if you do a quick google search for "iTunes Invalid Address" you will see a stream of complaints coming up starting about May 5th, and getting increasingly more common of the last few days.  Well this evening my iTunes account fell victim as I inadvertently clicked "Update" on iTunes to take it to the most current version.  

tags: General Tech, Other (Non Tech)

Orlando Day of DotNetNuke Recap

26 Mar

For those of you not able to attend the Orlando Day of DotNetNuke and Orlando Code Camp events this weekend I wanted to take a few moments to post a quick bit of feedback on the event and also make those of you aware of some new presentation materials that I will be making available to the community over the next few weeks.  (The first of which is available now!)  See the full post for details!

tags: DNN, General Tech

Simple IIS Performance Improvement

09 Mar

I know that many of the readers of this blog manage their own webservers and i have a helpful tip to share about improving the initial load time of your webserver.  Although this modification I am recommending is a SMALL change and has a small impact, it is still worth doing as it will improve the performance and reduce the amount of work that IIS has to do.

tags: DNN, ASP.NET, General Tech

Want a Free MSDN Ultimate Subscription?

13 Jul

Like other Microsoft MVPs I have been given a few MSDN Ultimate licenses that I can give away to individuals that I feel are deserving of it.  I have been arguing with myself for a while now about how to best determine who should receive the license, and have came up with a contest to give one license away to a reader of this blog. 

tags: MitchelSellers.com, Announcements, General Tech

The Importance of a Consistent Development Environment

29 Sep

I am again traveling this week, in Toronto speaking at Tech Days Canada 2009, and as luck would have it I needed to complete some work on a few custom DotNetNuke modules for clients on a "Urgent" basis.  So this afternoon I darted off to the speaker room to get an internet connection, just recently I re-formatted my laptop to move to Windows 7, one of the main reasons that I needed to re-format the system was to create an environment that matched my primary development machine, today was the first true test of this new configuration.  Thankfully everything worked as expected and all issues were resolved.  In this blog post, I'll explain a bit as to why it is important when working on multiple environments to have consistent system configurations.

tags: .NET 1.1, .NET 2.0, General Tech, .NET 3.5, DNN Development

Acronis Backup and Recovery 10 Review

30 Jul

As some readers of this blog might have known about 2 weeks ago, I suffered from a critical hardware component failure on my primary development machine.  Initially unsure of the exact issue I was seeing the hard drive as a potential failure point.  It was at that point that I realized exactly how horrible it would be if the drive failed.  Don't get me wrong, I have backups both locally, in my source control system remotely, as well as in the cloud using Jungle Disk.  But the total time to recovery would be massive.  I have a list of around 100 or so applications that would need to be installed to get me back to "full" working state.  Not an easy task!  Luckily for me, it was some bad RAM and the system was restored after my new RAM came in.

However, this was a very enlightening experience for me and prompted me to re-visit the concept of disk imaging.  This is what prompted the review of Acronis Backup and Recovery, as it is my selected and implemented solution for the long term.

tags: Product Review, General Tech, Business

Development Environment and Tools Used

22 May

A very common question that I get asked by people is; what tools do you use to complete your development and what type of system do you use.  Now, I believe I have written a bit about this in the past, but I thought I would take some time to go through and give a bit of a detailed overview of what I use for development and why I have selected the hardware and software that I have.  I will cover this in detail from both the hardware and software point of view.

tags: ASP.NET, .NET 1.1, .NET 2.0, General Tech, Productivity Tools, .NET 3.5, C#, DNN Development

Review of SourceGear Vault Source Control Provider

16 Apr

My last blog article "Selecting the Right Source Control Provider" touched on the evaluation criteria that I use when looking for a source control system. This article is a review of sorts of SourceGear's Vault product, my preferred source control system. I'll start by reviewing vault as it relates to the criteria from the previous article, I will then provide my overall feedback on my experience with Vault.

tags: ASP.NET, Product Review, .NET 1.1, .NET 2.0, General Tech, Productivity Tools, .NET 3.5, C#, DNN Development

Selecting the Right Source Control Provider

08 Apr

One of the most common questions that I have been getting recently has been "what source control provider do you use and why?".  This article is the first in a series of two articles about source control.  This article takes a quick look at criteria that I believe is important to consider when it comes to evaluating source control systems for use.  The next article in the series will be a review of the source control system that I use, in relation to the evaluation criteria that I list in this article.

tags: SQL, ASP.NET, .NET 1.1, .NET 2.0, General Tech, .NET 3.5, C#, VB, DNN Development

Shared, Virtual Private Server, Dedicated or Cloud Hosting

08 Dec

Recently I have been responding to more and more forum posts and e-mails regarding DotNetNuke and selecting a hosting provider. Back in May I had a blog post Selecting a Hosting Provider Revisited, this article did a great job of outlining the basic consideration points when it comes to selecting a hosting environment for DotNetNuke. However, recent technology changes and other hosting options has created a few more items that need to be considered. This article is designed to specifically address the concerns and questions behind shared, virtual dedicated, dedicated, and cloud hosting options.

tags: ASP.NET, General Tech, DNN Administration

Why Dynamically Attached Databases Cause Problems

24 Nov

One item that many people find unusual about my DotNetNuke installation guides is my insistence on NOT using the Database.mdf, dynamically attached database file for the creation of a DotNetNuke database.  In my tutorials I have quickly dismissed the topic by noting that "issues" come up when trying to use a dynamically attached database and I leave it at this.  Well after seeing more questions on this topic recently in the DotNetNuke.com forums I wanted to take a moment to put my $0.02 out there as to WHY I don't like it.  I will do this by discussing quickly what the differences are in the two approaches, then I'll discuss the "downfalls" of each.

tags: DNN, SQL, .NET 2.0, General Tech, .NET 3.5

Review of BaseCamp

01 Aug

In the past I have completed reviews of various DotNetNuke modules, components, and skins, however, recently I have been receiving a number of e-mails with questions about how I manage my business.  Typically these questions have been from individuals that are just starting out with consulting business, or those looking for better ways to manage their pending products.  Once item that I always recommend to people is BaseCamp, a hosted project management solution provided by 37Signals.  This article will go through the features/services offered, and why I use it to manage all projects.

tags: Product Review, General Tech, Business

The How, What, and Why of Injection Vulnerabilities

20 May

Recently when browsing the forums on DotNetNuke.com I have noticed more and more questions regarding Script Injection vulnerability in the core and third-party modules.  I have often found that at times it is hard for non-developers to truly understand the concept of script injection and what makes a site vulnerable.  So in this article I will take a bit of time to discuss both types of injection that users of DotNetNuke should be aware of, how to test for them, and also how to prevent the vulnerability when creating modules. 

tags: DNN, SQL, ASP.NET, .NET 1.1, .NET 2.0, General Tech, .NET 3.5

New Development System

10 Oct

So yesterday I decided to replace my computer system, and today now that it is running it is totally amazing.  The system is so fast and quite it...

tags: General Tech

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