Author Archives: Robert Barron

Locking files for testing

Getting errors when trying to access locked files is a common situation that must be addressed by programs.  On Windows machines it’s fairly easy to replicate the scenario of a locked file using a simple technique that I picked up … Continue reading

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HTML escape characters in Azure app settings

Windows applications can make use of XML nodes in appSettings to pass configuration information into a program.  Because the app.config (or web.config) file is XML some characters need to be escaped so that they are not improperly parsed as part … Continue reading

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Blank lines in Jinja2 Templates

When working with the Jinja2 templating engine on Python I’ve been bugged by blank lines that got inserted into the resultant XML when an optional node was excluded from the output.  Though Jinja2 sports some support for controlling whitespace I … Continue reading

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TP-Link Wifi Extender Light Woes

My new TP-Link wifi extender works great at extending the range of our home wifi setup. The home office downstairs unfortunately resides in a wifi dead spot given where our AT&T wifi access point had to be located. It’s inexpensive … Continue reading

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DateTime Intervals Versus DateTimes

I had wondered why some websites displayed date intervals (i.e. “5 days ago”, “4 hours ago”) for user posts instead of printing actual dates and times. Doing some new website work recently caused a revelation about that choice and how … Continue reading

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Code First Foreign Keys With Different Names

The Entity Framework’s Code First scheme is handy way to do quick development of new websites. I recently had an issue with a foreign key relationship between a table I created and the ASP.Net Identity user table AspNetUsers. Typically, EF … Continue reading

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The Move

It’s been a while now, but Penny and I are officially Californians now. About a month ago we made the move from Austin, TX to Oakland, CA. The reasons for the move are really quite complex and drawn out – … Continue reading

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Migrating Code From SQL Server To MySql

After having worked exclusively with Microsoft’s SQL Server for some years now I was working on a project in which the customer wanted the data to be stored in their database of choice, MySql. My first thought was to utilize … Continue reading

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Skipping Unit tests In MSTest

When creating a large number of test cases for a project there may be a number of cases that don’t apply for some particular scenario or platform. I didn’t want to mark a non-applicable test case as having passed just … Continue reading

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SQL Server Versions And Compatibility Levels

When working with a number of different SQL Server versions on various projects I’ve been a bit confused about what exactly I’ve been dealing with. I wanted a single table with all of the names, versions and compatibility levels all … Continue reading

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