Oracle 06413: Connection Not Open (x64)

Having changed to a 64-bit development machine at work recently I ran into an Oracle error while trying to generate files using CodeSmith. This error was ORA-06413: Connection Not Open. Assuming it was a connection string error, as I had not run this particular generation in some time and it was likely that the server or username/password had changed, I proceeded to test the connection from SQL Developer. Success!

After ruling out that the connection was indeed valid I did a quick Google search for the error message. After a few clicks I discovered a very well known (has been around for a few years) Oracle issue; When executing an Oracle command from an application with parentheses or equals — ‘(‘ or ’)’ or ‘=’ — in the path than the specified error message is thrown.

In this particular case, CodeSmith had been installed under C:/Program Files (x86)/CodeSmith which was causing Oracle to fail. The quickest workaround was to simply move CodeSmith from the Program Files (x86) path e.g. into C:/CodeSmith. However; there is a patch (5383042) for Oracle 10g, which is also applied to Oracle 11G.

Australian Internet Filter: What Can I Do?

What is it?

The Australian Federal Government is introducing a mandatory ISP-level filtering of all Refused Classification (RC) rated content. This means all websites (or part thereof) which have been refused classification under Australia’s classification laws will be blacklisted.

See the Electronic Frontiers Open Internet website for more information.

What can I do?

The simplest thing you can do is sign the EFA’s online petition.

Additionally, you can contact your local member of parliament or contact Senator Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Take Action!

iiNet Vs AFACT: The Verdict

As a lot of people are probably already aware iiNet was taken to court by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) for allegedly allowing its customers to illegally download copyrighted material (e.g. movies, music, etc).

This morning Justice Cowdroy has ruled in favour of iiNet stating that “I find that iiNet simply can’t be seen as approving infringement”. His verdict was that the “copyright (infringement) occurred as result of use of BitTorrent, not the Internet” and that “iiNet has no control over (the) BitTorrent system and (is) not responsible for (the) BitTorrent system.”

Common sense and Australia’s Internet Freedom prevails, for now (see mandatory Australia Internet Censoring).

Win 7 Live Messenger Task Bar Fix

For those of you ‘lucky’ enough to have already updated to the new Windows 7 then you have probably already noticed the major changes to the task bar. Good or bad, you decide. Personally, I like some of the new functionality that it provides but I also enjoy a slim taskbar — similar to that of Vista. Fortunately, Microsoft provided a “Use small icons” option in the taskbar properties (right-click the taskbar and select properties) which makes the task bar a similar size to that of Vista.

Changing the taskbar to use small icons, however, does not fix the fact that Windows Live Messenger likes to constantly take up space in the taskbar even when the window is not open. Since there does not currently appear to be an option in Windows Live Messenger to display the program in the system tray, instead of on the taskbar, we need to use a simple work around.

First, close any current Windows Live Messenger instances. Then open your start menu and locate the Windows Live Messenger shortcut. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties. Switch to the Compatibility tab and check “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and select Window Vista (Service Pack 2)”. Now start Windows Live Messenger and problem solved. You should now see the Windows Live Messenger icon in the system tray. As you would on Vista, XP, etc.

Link: Booko

This site has been around for awhile now, but I was recently reminded of it when a colleague was asking for the best place to buy books online for Australia; Booko is a very simple and easy to use price comparison for purchasing books in Australia. The search engine will retrieve results from over 30 common online booksellers — including Amazon, Fishpond, The Nile, Booktopia, Borders, QBD, The Co-op, and many more — and order the results based on the price of the book and the estimated delivery cost.

Check out Booko at http://www.booko.com.au/

Telstra HTC Touch HD — Enable Weather Module

ONE of the best features built-into the HTC Touch HD would have to be the weather module. This module allows you to view the current weather conditions, as well as a four-day forecast and all in a pretty cool looking interface. However; for some unknown reason Telstra decided to disable the weather module by default, instead opting to include a bunch of somewhat completely useless modules of its own.

There is good news… through a bit of editing you are able to re-enable the weather module and, if you desire, remove the unnecessary Telstra modules. First thing is first; we need to find the file which contains the HTC Touch Flow configuration. The file we are after is 26948339_manila.xml which is located in the Windows directory. Back this original file up. Copy this file on to your storage card, or somewhere you can access it from your computer (alternative you could use an application such as Total Commander to edit the file from your mobile device).

Continue reading “Telstra HTC Touch HD — Enable Weather Module”

See Code, See CodeRun

Merbla wrote a short post today about a site he came across, CodeRun. The site is an online code repository, with the added advantage of an online IDE include on the site which allows you to see the code and run/debug it as it is. After signing up for a free account you can create your own projects (AJAX, ASP.NET, PHP and WPF — AJAX and ASP.NET also have support for Facebook applications) which you can develop, store and run all from their website.

The concept is brilliant — everything from start to go can be done online via your standard web browser (currently only supports Internet Explorer and FireFox) and publishing of your source code is as simple as a right-click and a left-click. Once the source has been published other people can freely go and search for source code in the repository and open it directly in the browser, make modifications and run them all from within the browser.

However; The actual implementation of it so far (while still very impressive) is significantly lacking from a development perspective. Although it is possible to do the majority of thing you can do in Visual Studio, it is a little cumbersome and slow at times and does have a few limitations. For example, there is no toolbar — and therefore no drag and dropping of controls (which Microsoft presentations always seem to contain a lot of ;-).

Although the site seems to be focused on web applications some features are also available in the online IDE. You do not have the ability to create folders with underscores in them, and there does not seem to be any way of creating the special ASP.NET folders such as App_Data or App_Themes… not such a big deal. Designer files are not automatically created and if you try to create one an exception is thrown saying the file already exists.

The biggest problem, however, is the speed. Perhaps it is just my machine or my internet connection, but the online IDE is very slow to use and navigate. Menus and prompts tend to hang the browser for a couple of seconds before they load and the IntelliSense (ctrl+space) does not allow function correctly. Code highlighting, although not important or required, is lacking from the Visual Studio equivalent and take a significant amount of time to process and display.

Copying and pasting from Visual Studio into the online IDE also seems to be out of the question, as it seems to paste the text multiple times; Copy and paste from within the online IDE works fine.

All that being said the online IDE quite features rich and imitates Visual Studio very well. You are able to apply breakpoints and step through code, attach to processes (only online applications — not system processes), watch variables, etc. There is also an option to open a project from a zip file — which works great, providing you zip the project from the root of the project folder (it must not be in a sub folder).

In the end (as Merbla suggested in his post) something like this teamed up with StackOverflow, for the purpose of displaying simple solutions to problems with working example would be brilliant! However, as far as online development goes I think there is a long way to go.

See running example: Hello World!

Cinebuzz 50 Famous Movie Titles

Some time ago Greater Union Birch Carroll & Coyle revamped the Cinebuzz club and now offer 1 free movie for every 10 movies that you see. With this promotion, they also include the above ad during the movie previews prior to each and every movie. The goal: List all 50 famous movie titles:

  1. Catch-22 – 22s caught in the spider webs.
  2. Along Came A Spider – Spider entering the scene.
  3. Spider-Man – Male spider.
  4. Kiss of the Spider Woman – Female spider blowing a kiss.
  5. Signs – The collection of street signs.
  6. Kangaroo Jack – Kangaroo sign with the kangaroo holding a jackhammer.
  7. Stripes – The poles from the sign posts become stripes on the screen. (Thanks R.K.)
  8. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof – Cat with its paws on fire on the tin roof.
  9. To Kill A Mocking Bird – 2 shooting dead the bird on the roof.
  10.  The Queen – Queen waving.
  11. Cactus – The cactus next to the queen.
  12. The Skull – The bulls skull next to the queen. (Thanks R.K.)
  13. The Castle – The castle in the background of the desert.
  14. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – Man in the dress, in the desert.
  15. Cinderella – The pumpkin carriage.
  16. Saw III – The three saws cutting the tree.
  17. The Hills Have Eyes – The hills with eyes all over them.
  18. A Clockwork Orange – The orange with a clock face on it.
  19. One Flow Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – The 1 flying over the ‘cuckoo clock’ in the nest.
  20. American Graffiti – USA spray painted on the building.
  21. Blue Crush – Orange being crushed in to blue liquid.
  22. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – The two famous (Eiffel tower and Tower of Pisa) towers next to one another. (Thanks R.K.)
  23. Sex in the City – The two buildings having sex.
  24. The Fast And The Furious – The angry man in the fast car.
  25. Iron Man or The Giant Iron – The Iron wearing a tie.
  26. Crash – Car crashing in to the bull.
  27. Raging Bull – The bull after the crash.
  28. Twelve Monkeys or Twelve Angry Men – The twelve monkeys/men who get out of the car.
  29. Matchstick Men – The two men made from matchsticks.
  30. Out of the Box – Two matchstick man coming out of the box. (Thanks R.K.)
  31. The Thin Red Line – The red line the matchstick men light.
  32. Mission: Impossible – Fuse being lit and burning off screen. (Thanks Adam)
  33. Walk The Line – The man walking on the thin red line.
  34. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – The two smoking barrels next to the stock of locks.
  35. Napoleon Dynamite – The dressed up dynamite stick.
  36. The Devil Wears Prada – The devil dressed up in a yellow outfit.
  37. Hot Fuzz – The two police officers trying to cool off in hell.
  38. Hell Boy – The Buoy in hell.
  39. Strongman – Very strong man lifting the screen to the next scene. (Thanks R.K.)
  40. Top Gun – Guns on the winners podium. (Thanks rilstix)
  41. The Running Man – Man running.
  42. Cool Runnings – Man running in to the fridge. (Thanks D-jei)
  43. The Big Chill – Man standing in front of the big fridge. (Thanks Adam)
  44. Black Hawk Down – The black bird falling out of the sky.
  45. The Man From Snowy River – The man getting out of the white river. (Thanks Adam)
  46. March of the Penguins – Penguins marching in a line.
  47. Titanic – Sinking ship.
  48. The Last Samurai – Red Samurai running in after the penguins.
  49. Swordfish – The fish holding the sword.
  50. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy – The anchor wearing the tie and top hat.
  51. Million Dollar Baby – Baby sitting on bags of money.
  52. Kill Bill – The money being shot.

Can you see any more? Post your findings in the comments.