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Showing posts from 2013

Bouch, through my eyes - a quick thought or 2

Luckily I was on holiday when my wife bought me the book by Mark Boucher: Bouch through my eyes.

I was half way through another book, so finished that and started with the book. I love cricket. I have tried to wean myself off the sport, like I have others, but when it comes to cricket and especially test cricket I cannot continually check the score, or try watch on TV. I love playing sport more than watching, but with cricket I am definitely better at watching then playing.

I did play club cricket for about a decade, but only after I turned 30. And action cricket does not really count. There is something special about the game. I was once told that cricket and fish are similar, a whole lot of people in the same vicinity involved in a similar quest. That is not it, there is something special about spending a day and half with people then laughing about a plucked catch or the bowler that took a fiver with all wickets caught in cow corner. It is hard to explain.

About the book, Reading t…

How do we learn, live and appreciate?

preceptions as I know them today 10 Dec

There is a lot to take in every moment, but it is strange that only one of them relies on ligusitic skills.

Using ken Wilber's terminology:
Eye of FleshEye of MindEye of ContemplationThe Eye of Flesh
Is how we perceive through our sensors. Typically we are learnt we have five, but it now a much longer list.This is one: humans-have-a-lot-more-than-five-senses, I first heard a list on the QI program.

This is the main way we perceive the world, before we could talk the eye of flesh was working and it works until we die. We can put its working in to words, but lingistically we cannot fully describe it and we cannot know that others perceive it the same. There are common words like hot and cold but theses are merely pinters or signposts.

The eye of flesh is our most basic and most accepted form of perception.

The Eye of Mind
The eye of mind is thought, how we organize it how we think etc. This is normally done in our home language, and works like a…

Ken Wilber, the four quadrants

From the Ken Wilber material the quadarnts seem to be an intrinsic part of his integral theory. Over almost 2 dacades these quandrants had matured.

I googled them and though I woul place them here so that I can reference them (an hopefull others can too)

From The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion, We have this diagram:

Then from Integral Life Practice this is a great one:

And I found this oen that combines these:

To understand these models you need to read or listen to the books, but essentiallty everything we as mankind has achieved so far, fits into these quadrants.

Understanding that each area of developement and theory has some merit is the essential lesson that these are based on. In a previous post I posted states and stages these can be applied to these quadrants.

Having different config for local dev and remote deployment for web.config

I have been maintaining 2 different Web.Config files for ages, one for developement and one for live or remote deployed sites.

This is to say the least a pain. When you deploy your website you then need to remember to either copy the old config and replace or you need to edit the live one with the correct connection strings and the like.

While looking for a solution to a security related problem on a deployment of an ASP.NET site I came across this site:

2 Web Config files... The essence of this shows how you can have a core web.config then you can have a debug web.config and a depolyed web.config.

To do this all you do is in your Visual Studio project simply right-click the web.config file and select "Add Config Transforms". If it is greyed out / disabled then check if two  files exists under Web.Config

One called Web.Debug.Config and once called Web.Release.Config.

These two files let you add anything in t…

Media Centre from an old PC, Windows works well

With all the media we use in our daily lives today, having a media centre in a house is almost becoming a necessity. The problem is even the cheapest media centre still requires some cash to be spilt.
Toss the router idea I had to get a new router when we moved away from the super reliable, but now slow iBurst, and though I would be able to add a media server to the NetGear D2200 v3, but after getting the router to work as soon as I added the 1gb external drive it kept rebooting, so that did not work very well.

I then remembered we have and old Acer Tavelmate C300 lying around, even though it is 10 years old I thought lets make that a media server. It only has a 100gb drive and a Celeron 1.5 GHz, but surely that would be fine)
Linux, my Rs
Anyway so knowing that it would take a little time I put an evening aside and start prep. Most of the sites recommended uBuntu, do I downloaded the ISO, fired up the LapTop and started installing. I was greeted with a message saying

This kernel requi…

Home button on iPhone giving problems, here is a cool way to get by

There is an accisibility feature that add a home button (and a few other things) if you know where to find it.

From Settings:
GeneralAccessibilityscroll down until Physical and Motor and then Assistive Touch -> On Then you a soft home button that will display the below when you click on it:

How to list all open Estimates in Quick books

Every time you create an invoice and there is an open estiamte for that client, it asks you if you want to convert it, this is a great feature most of the time but sometimes what happens is that the client does not accept the quote or it changes or there is a reason the quote does not get taken.

To change this pop up you need to go into the estimates and manually close them. But that means you need to finsd them.

Here is a step by step way to do so:
Click Reports->Customers->Open InvoicesClick Customise ReportClick Fitlers tabRemove Paid Status = NoAdd Estimate Active -> Yes (it is under the Fitler list)Click OK, change the dates to suit Then click on each estimate and close them.'

You can also go to:
Reports->Jobs...->Estimate by JobCustomize ReportAdd Estiamte Active under columns (if not thereUnder Filters Add Estimate Active -> YesClick OK, change the dates to suit

Mindfulness breathing from Mindfulness Bell

taken from

The Sutra on Mindful Breathing
This is what I have heard at a time when the Buddha was residing in the Jeta Grove in the town of Sravasti.
On that day, the World-Honored One told the Bhikshus:

“Dear friends, let us enjoy the practice of Mindful Breathing. If a Bhikshu knows how to skillfully practice Mindful Breathing, and does so consistently, he will find his body and mind peaceful; he will acquire positive investigations and reflections; his mind will be calm and pure; and he will have perceptions leading to Wisdom and be able to bring his practice to completion.

“This is how a bhikshu should proceed:

“Whether the bhikshu lives in a village or in a town, in the morning he puts on his sanghati, holds his begging bowl, and goes into town for alms round. While doing so, he knows how to protect his body and his six senses, his mind skillfully focused on whatever is present. After the alms round, he returns to his…

Getting the size of your Microsoft (MS) SQL database

I foudn this at Stack Overflow, and thought it woud be great to save it since it works well.
SELECT t.NAME AS TableName, s.Name AS SchemaName, p.rows AS RowCounts, SUM(a.total_pages) * 8 AS TotalSpaceKB, SUM(a.used_pages) * 8 AS UsedSpaceKB, (SUM(a.total_pages) - SUM(a.used_pages)) * 8 AS UnusedSpaceKB FROM sys.tables t INNER JOIN sys.indexes i ON t.OBJECT_ID = i.object_id INNER JOIN sys.partitions p ON i.object_id = p.OBJECT_ID AND i.index_id = p.index_id INNER JOIN sys.allocation_units a ON p.partition_id = a.container_id LEFT OUTER JOIN sys.schemas s ON t.schema_id = s.schema_id WHERE t.NAME NOT LIKE 'dt%' AND t.is_ms_shipped = 0 AND i.OBJECT_ID > 255 GROUP BY t.Name, s.Name, p.Rows ORDER BY t.Name It returns a table that you can use to calculate the total size. Original post Get size of all tables in database

Obvioulsy you must use the database first.

The new IOS 7 mainly visual changes.

I must admit after all the negative press I was worried about upgrading to the new IOS 7. My iPhone 4 may be old but I decided to upgrade it first. 
The download took well over an hour on a 4mb ADSL line (for those none Telkom SA users that is DSL). And after doing a backup in installed this was smooth but did take a bit of time. 
So what is all the fuss about? To be totally honest I do jot kown. The main thing that has changed is that icons form apple apps are different and look is similar to Vista's aero look with everything being transparent. The buttons that we got used t are replaced with language based buttons, so delete is replace with trash, the button bars are now like menu commands rather than icon based tool bars. 
As far as improvements are concerned, most of the changes are visual, I am sure that there are under the good improvements but the visual changes are what seems to be the main change. Zooming app buttons cool open app scrolling, and finally some multi tasking on…

Integrative theory Levels - a Summary

From Ken Wilber has composed, I have extracted the below. Each area of development is normally mutually exclusive, except for the last stage which is inclusive. From the many minds of Trans personal Psychology and East-West studies, Ken Wilder and his colleagues have after 2-3 decades came up the notion of at least two different types of components of the mind, there are listed in a tabular form below:

Structures of consciousness (the way we grow up)States of consciousness (the way we wake up)archaicmagicmythicrationalpluralisticintegral and highergrosssubtlecause basedpure witnessingnon-dual
These are both development sequences. Ken says that each state and structure sees the other states or structures as incorrect, or inferior to the current state, except for integral or non-dual, which sees all the states for what they are and how they are needed.

By the way structures are how we think, and states are essentially our level of spiritual awakedness.

Automatic class or object maker for Access tables in C#

The entity framework is all very well when you run SQL. But what about all of us that are running Access, or are porting old access systems to the web and need to keep legacy systems in place?

I was keen to us the object data source to work with data and could not find anything that was able make a class for me. So I wrote my own that listed the tables in the database, then created the class file and stored it in the temp directory.

I have a separate code folder to dump these in so that the project does not play with them, rather than dumping them into the App_Code  folder, but you can change this.

I placed this code in the test folder of my app which is called TrackerDotNet

So here is the code:

First the HTML file
<%@ Page Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" CodeBehind="AutoClassMaker.aspx.cs" Inherits="TrackerDotNet.test.AutoClassMaker" %>

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.or…

Clearing invoices marked for emails send later or batch in Quickbooks 2013

One of the few great new features in Quickbooks 2013, is that fact that you can send batch emails.

The problem with this feature is what happens if you have a whole lot marked for batch, and you only want ot send one lot. Well it look like you are up the paddle without a stream.

Here is how I solved it.

What you need:

QB 2013


1. In Outlook take it off line, this varies per the version some you can just right click in the task bar others you need to go to Send/Receive->Work offline
2. Go to Quickbooks. Under preferences make sure the email is set to be sent via Outlook. I normally have this off, as since 2006 version I have had problems sending PDF files direct to clients, instead I use a gmail account that automatically forwards reply back to my accounts email. So I have this set to SMTP. But for this excercise, in Quick Books Edit->Preferences->Send Forms. I have set the Send Email Using to Outlook
3. Open up an invoice / estimate. Click on the arrow underneat…

VBA retrieve and current Row and Colum, in Excel

I wanted to store Row and Column in a VBA macro, and could not really find a good source for the how to anywhere so thought I would document how I did it:

  Dim actRow As Integer
  Dim actCol As Integer
  Dim actRange As String
  actRow = ActiveCell.Row
  actCol = ActiveCell.Column
' I actually want 2 rows up in the same colum.
  actRange = Chr$(Asc("A") + actCol) + CStr(actRow - 2)

You can change the row and col by just adding 1.

Audible - solving the echo

I love audible, being in the car a lot I use the product a lot. Weather it is a book that is educational, motivational or fiction it is a great service.

So recently I got fustrated. I download a new book on to my iPhone and it had a terrible echo. I had downloaded books before where the audio quality was not very good, so assumed it must be the recording.

I requested that they exchange the book online which they did and I then I got a new book same problem.

Guess how easy it is to fix. On the front page, on the bottom right there is a speed setting, check what it is set too. My echo was caused by it being set to .75x

I changed it to 1x and echo gone ;)

Integral life practice a perspective, if you have a heart beat buy thisbook

In the last year I have spent a lot of time reading and researching many books by some brilliant authors. James Hollis, Deepak Chopra, Wayne dryer, the Dali Lama, Ken Wilber, Caroline Myss  and Ekhard Tolle to name a few. No this is not a name dropping exercise but rather an introduction.

Add to that the many leadership and google talk and sounds true self acceptance videos I have watched and listened to over the last year, and my mind is still searching for my own perfect porridge like Goldilocks, but I feel happier doing it. 
I would still recommend that each individual, goes on their own internal quest to try get a better understanding of themselves, their ego and their own spiritual beliefs. 
But I think that any logical individual needs to look at the book "The Integral life Program" by Ken Wilber and co.
Why is this book a must. Well it firstly breaks things down into easy to understand sections of life. Namely mind, body, spirit and shadow. This together with the more…

String index array to calculate totals using Dictionary type

Thought I would document this, since it took me a while to gather all the information to do it, but once I got it, it was very useful.
I searched things like how to create a string indexed array and, multidimensional arrays and lists to eventually find the Dictionary Type, very powerful, and you can link it with objects/classes and lists to extend it.
Essentially I was running a SQL query where I am building a complex table using a number of conditions, and could not use GridView because of that. But I also wanted a total at the bottom. So created a Total Table in the asp page.

Then in the code file this is what I added:
class ItemTotals
  public string ItemDesc { get; set; }
  public double TotalsQty { get; set; }

// code to run query... which returns into oleData
string _strItemDesc = oleData["ItemDesc"].ToString();
if (sumItemTotals.ContainsKey(_strItemDesc))
   sumItemTotals[_strItemDesc].TotalsQty += Convert.ToDouble(oleData["QuantityOr…

Reward the Artists direct. Pay them their dues.

Having grown up with a musician that made very little money from his albums, and had to keep his day job, I am very anti piracy.

I was excited to finally have iTunes available in South Africa, only to be told that the artists get a fraction of the money that we spend on the music and videos we download.

Apparently artists submit their creation to so large body that then makes it available to all services and they take a large cut. Only if the artists hit certain targets do they make any money back.

This is a little like piracy as far as I am concerned. I know there are many cogs in the machine, but surely with digital distribution there should be more reward to the artists.
Site to get music direct Anyway an artist told me about a site they use. Bandcamp. This site lets artists upload and share their creations and charge what they like.

Then you as a lover of music or anyone can download the music and pay the artist direct.

And best of all you can listen to it online. Instead …

Alternatives to iTunes

Okay so we have all heard everyone whining about iTunes, the main problem for me is that it is only designed for iXXX items, and hence you are tide into using Apple stuff, I like to move my tech around, and see no reason to have to upgrade with in a manufacturers ambit. And now with the new iPhone not working with any of the old iXXX cradles I am keen to move on.
So now I need to replace my iTunes, I have spent a lot of time creating play lists and groupings, and storing MP3 tags and do not want to lose these.
Songbird v2.1.0 Build 2419:
This seems to be a popular choice when I search for an alternative, so I downloaded it. Their claim: Songbird. Connecting Fans Everywhere! With a focus on fans, Songbird personalizes music content from the artists you love the most. Download here:
PositivesRelatively small download, quick installImported iTunes Library fineStatic Playlists imported are thereTabbed view at the top seems to NegativesIt seems very clunky and the interface is quite old …

A UML Tutorial Introduction

Looking at UML again, it is one of these things that I will eventually have to do, if I want to do a more universally readable design

After finding this:
I then go to this:
A UML Tutorial Introduction

And then this:

Will have to just buckle down and get on with it.