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Occasionally Relevant Insights from a Software Builder

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Installing MS SQL Server on Ubuntu

At Microsoft Connect(); 2016, it was announced that MS SQL Server was available for Linux (Ubuntu and RedHat) and MacOS. This was a real surprise and I’m not sure if its free or not. It was an easy installation on Ubuntu 16 running on HyperV on a Windows 2012 server.

The installation procedure for MSSQL and SQL Server Tools are at:

After you install the software, a brief tutorial on using it from the command line is here, but I prefer using SQL Server Management Studio (see below).

screenshot-2016-11-17-10-51-38

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DIY Peanut Butter

There have been far too many political posts this week so here is a positive one: how to make your own peanut butter!!!

You’ll need:

  • peanuts, lots of them
  • food processor 

Very simple procedure. Put peanuts in food processor and turn it on high speed. Eventually the oil gets separated from the peanuts and it becomes a thick paste. You may have to do this in short bursts of blending to prevent your motor overheating when the paste starts getting thick.

The end result is a 1 – ingredient product, depending on the quality of peanuts you purchased. The peanut butter in my attempt was thicker and drier than a store bought one, but it tasted better. Refrigerate afterwards because real food goes bad in a few days.

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A Better Error Page on the Canada Immigration Site

Tonight during the historic US election, the Canadian Immigration site (http://www.cic.gc.ca/) was down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with Americans trying to leave their country and move to Canada in light of the imminent Trump victory. The following ASP.NET error page was displayed:

Screen Shot 2016 11 08 at 10.59.59 PM

This is a default error page that gets displayed for ASP.NET sites. This is ok, but I prefer something more friendly than this type of page which doesn’t mean much for most people. A custom error page should have information about your website and contact info for the user to let you know the site failed.

The code to redirect errors to a custom page is added to the web.config file (located in the root of the website folder). The following settings refers to Error.aspx in the /ErrorPages folder.

<configuration>
    <system.web>
        <customErrors mode="RemoteOnly" defaultRedirect="~/ErrorPages/Error.aspx" />
    </system.web>
</configuration>

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Direct URL for a Store in XMPie uStore

You can login to an XMPie uStore using a direct URL. This is just for debugging purposes. Normally an outside user will use a friendly URL that the proxy server generates. The URL for accessing a store is:

      http://website.com/uStore/?StoreId=XX

The XX is the StoreID that you can find in the uStoreAdmin site under ID beside the Store Name. Your store’s web site goes under website.com in the URL.

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How To Download Visual Studio 2015 for Offline Install

I don’t mind online installers. They’re convenient but if your installing a multi-gigabyte application, you don’t want to reinstall it this way. Visual Studio 2015 is one of those apps.

This, in my humble opinion, is the best software developer tool out there. If it had PHP, Ruby, and FTP/SSH, I could uminstall Eclipse. (To clarify, there is PHP available for VS but it’s a commercial product and the free Eclipse version is just as good and free. Did I mention that it was free?)

There used to be an option on the Microsoft site to download a VS ISO, but it seems to be unavailable now. You can still download the installation files (not the ISO) by running the online installer with a command line option.

First, download the installer. Then open a cmd.exe prompt as administrator. Then run the installer as follows:

    vs_community_ENU /layout

You will then be prompted for a download path, then the long download will proceed.

This will download the core features of Visual Studio and you’ll still need to go online to download all of the features you might need.