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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here. April 2005 Entries
Learn to write C# the fun way...

Just stumbled upon this...

Looks pretty cool!

Posted On Wednesday, April 27, 2005 1:04 PM

Heroic Adventure 0.1.6 released
and there was much rejoicing: http://www.heroicadventure.... (ok perhaps not much rejoicing, but I'm pretty happy about it.) What's new? Skills, Traps, Secret Doors, new monsters, etc. IMHO the game is way too hard, but most of that will be mitigated once I add more magic items and finish the code for missile weapons, wands and spells. Currently there are no magical weapons or armor, just regular. Take advantage of the healing potions! I've decided to try adhering to a quarterly ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 27, 2005 8:10 AM

my weekend
I had a great weekend! I spent a good part of Saturday working on the skills system for HA! It looks like I'm still on target for pushing out 0.1.6 at the end of the month. Wrapped a few more bugs as well. Things are starting to come together. Spells (and ranged combat) will definitely be in 0.1.7. Sunday was D&D day. My 9 year old son is learning to play, and yesterday was his first game. I think it's safe to say he had a blast. The best part of the day however, was before the game actually ......

Posted On Monday, April 25, 2005 8:21 AM

Jacksonville CodeCamp
I'm going to be speaking at the Jacksonville CodeCamp in August. I'll be doing GDI+, should be fun. For more info:

Posted On Sunday, April 24, 2005 7:33 PM

In Tariq's blog, he mentions Sea-Code: Someone at work sent me a similar link this morning: I can't help but have a mental image of these guys being boarded by software pirates... HAHA.. software pirates... I kill me ......

Posted On Friday, April 22, 2005 8:17 AM

Mersenne Whatsit?
I've had a few folks ask me why I implemented a custom Random Number Generator (Mersenne Twister) in my game, Heroic Adventure! This article explains why far better than I could. From the Rec.Games.Roguelike.Develop... FAQ, section 37: What's wrong with the random number generator that came with my programming language?Almost all programming environments come with random number generators that suck. While they may be okay for casual use, the use of random numbers in roguelike games is anything but ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 20, 2005 1:32 PM

GC.NUG May Meeting
I'm pleased to announce that the members only drawing for our GC.NUG May 12 meeting is a really nice one! A single user license of Report Sharp-Shooter 1.9, Standard Edition ($500 value) from our latest sponsor, For more info about this product, click here: It's easy to take part in the members only drawing. All you have to do is become a paid member of GC.NUG. Memberships are $20 per year ($10 for students, $50 for companies) ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 20, 2005 8:24 AM

DDO Developer Roundtable

The D&D Online (MMORPG) Developer Roundtable #1 has been posted.[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=24


Posted On Tuesday, April 19, 2005 9:54 AM

Read this BEFORE you install VS 2005, Beta 2...
From Previous Versions of Visual Studio 2005 If you have installed previous versions of Visual Studio 2005, such as Beta 1 or Community Technical Preview (CTP) builds of Visual Studio Team Suite, Visual Studio Standard or Visual Studio Professional, then you must uninstall the pre-Beta2 components in the exact order below before beginning to install any version of Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2. Go to the Control Panel and launch Add/Remove Programs ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 19, 2005 8:46 AM

GameStop to purchase Electronics Boutique
Story here:

Posted On Monday, April 18, 2005 10:17 PM

Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2

is OUT on MSDN Subscriber Downloads!!

They didn't send out anything over the RSS Feed or mention it on the MSDN Subscriber home page, but if you look... sure enough, there it is. I'm downloading it as I type this.


Posted On Monday, April 18, 2005 3:52 PM

TechEd 2005 soldout??
Edgardo Vega informs us: TechEd 2005 is already sold out. Check out the site: Do these things usually sell out? Or is this something new? Sounds like there is going to be a buttload of people there this year ......

Posted On Monday, April 18, 2005 2:57 PM

Coding For Fun

This looks interesting:

Hmmm... MSDN's new Coding For Fun site might just be somewhere I can get some MSDN cred.


Posted On Monday, April 18, 2005 2:52 PM

13 days and counting...
13 days to go, and HA! is still on schedule. Spent the weekend grinding away on bugfixes and enhancements. Here's what got done: - Floor traps are finished. - Skills are closer to being done (but still need much work). - [S]earching works now - some doors are less obvious than others - Elves are slightly more appealing to play now - Combat messages are better, made a few logical tweaks. - Dark rooms occur a little less often - healing is a little slower, I may change that That was pretty much my ......

Posted On Sunday, April 17, 2005 4:20 PM

Good News for .NET Developers
well... .NET Developers who use InstallShield at least. Remember my wishlist? I just got word from Bob Corrigan (InstallShield Product Manager) that #4 is being worked on! What's #4 you ask? 4. Please allow me to call .NET DLLs from InstallScript and retrieve a value from whatever function method I call. Currently I can only call C and COM+ DLLs. If I absolutely have to call my .NET DLL during the install, I have to either a) register it as COM+ (which I never got working quite right) or b) write ......

Posted On Friday, April 15, 2005 6:02 PM

InstallShield Utility Belt updated
In addition to the handy stuff in my InstallShield utility belt, here's another VERY useful script, although this one should go in your Setup.rul file: function OnResumeUIBefore() STRING szMsg; NUMBER nResult;begin // change the interior-dialog banner DialogSetInfo(DLG_INFO_ALTI... SUPPORTDIR ^ "newbanner.bmp", TRUE); Dlg_Start: nResult = SdWelcome( "Upgrading your product", "The InstallShield Wizard will now upgrade your existing your product installation." ); if (nResult = BACK) goto Dlg_Start; ......

Posted On Friday, April 15, 2005 4:47 PM

Mobile Device App Development

Glen Gordon (Microsoft) recently gave a 200 level webcast on Mobile Device App Development. Good stuff, and you can watch it here:

Posted On Friday, April 15, 2005 9:22 AM

T*E 2K5

Tech*Ed 2005 registration? Check!
Hotel reservation? Check!
Airline ticket? Check!

Totally stoked? You betcha!

This is gonna rock!

Posted On Friday, April 15, 2005 9:18 AM

MS Press books revisited...

A while back, I posted an entry regarding some MS Press books I was waiting (annnnnd waiting) on from Microsoft. 

I'm happy to say they finally arrived. I'd like to thank Tracey at Microsoft for being patient with my impatience (and not including a little something extra in my box o' books).  I also want to thank Chris McKulka for responding to my initial post and inquiring about the status of my order.

GC.NUG thanks you!


Posted On Thursday, April 14, 2005 8:29 AM

Database abasers, take note...

Saw this on DNJ...

10 things you shouldn't do with SQL Server...

Posted On Thursday, April 14, 2005 8:10 AM

interesting question
A colleague of mine recently asked what I thought were the top 5 most significant changes in computers over the last 15 years. In order of significance, I said… Size (smaller) Availability (more) Ease of use (better) Power (more) Cost (cheaper compared to power) I came up with my answers fairly quickly, how about you ......

Posted On Thursday, April 14, 2005 7:55 AM

Review: Honeypots for Windows
Review by Lou Vega of the Greater Charleston .NET User Group This book provides immediate and useful information whether you have previous experience with Honeypots or hadn’t even heard of one until you picked up the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever been interested in network and systems security as it pertains to a Microsoft Windows environment, especially in light of the fact that most previous books and articles with information about Honeypots were geared toward ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 13, 2005 3:13 PM

Firefox coolness
Did you know you can set your homepage in Firefox to multiple URLs, each of which open in a seperate tab? This may be one of the coolest things I've found yet. Go to Tools : Options : General Under the Home Page section, click on 'use current pages' and it will set your homepage to whatever pages you have open in your various tabs. If you're like me (you are, aren't you?) and use multiple webmail services, such as hotmail, gmail and my work OWA, I can set all three as my home page. Each in a different ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 12, 2005 10:25 AM

20 days and counting...
20 days to go once again, I spent a good portion of the weekend working on HA! on and off. Most of the cosmetic & logic bugs on my list are done (still a couple left) and I'm happy to say the traps system is complete (needs more testing of course). Skills are not done yet, may not be by my deadline, but they are in progress. A few of the items on my wishlist may make it in after all, which would be nice. I think door traps probably will, since they will reuse many of the routines from the floor traps. ......

Posted On Sunday, April 10, 2005 7:13 PM

Half Day of .NET
Yesterday was a very busy day for me and a number of other people. The Charleston, SC MSDN event started around noon. We kicked it off by watching “The Code Room“ as people started filing in. Having never taken the time to sit and watch it before, I really enjoyed it. I have a whole new appreciation for Scott Belware now. Glen Gordon did a terrific job presenting. The topics were Web Services Unleashed, Universal Data Access w/ SQL Server 2005 and Publishing Applications Using ClickOnce. ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 6, 2005 10:01 AM

InstallShield Skins continued...
So... I've also been researching creating custom skins. So far I haven't had any real luck with that. InstallShield X (IS-X) ships with a handful of predefined skins. There is NO mechanism for discovery of new skins in IS-X. If you want to create a new skin, you actually have to manually alter one of the existing ready-made ones. There are a load of problems with the support for custom skins in IS-X. The biggest problem is that there ISN'T ANY SUPPORT! People who rely on the “community” ......

Posted On Monday, April 4, 2005 12:52 PM

InstallShield Skins... not quite ready for prime time
Installshield X ships with a handful of “skins” for their dialogs. You have blue, slate, monochrome (very sci-fi looking), true color blue, olive, midnight and my personal favorite: “NONE”. Why is this one my favorite? Well it's true the others look fairly cool, but they don't work with custom dialogs (even the same size and layout) and they don't even work reliably with the shipped dialogs. Just recently, I ran into a problem where I set my dialog skins to “true color ......

Posted On Monday, April 4, 2005 12:45 PM

ok... so which build relates to which service pack and hotfix again??

When you're working on an install, and you need to check for a specific version or Service Pack of SQL Server 2000, chances are you'll find this page very useful:

I certainly did this morning.

Posted On Monday, April 4, 2005 10:52 AM

27 days and counting...
27 days to go spent most of the weekend working on HA! on and off. I have a reasonable list of bugs/issues and subsystems I want to complete in order to push out the 0.1.6 release. I have given myself a deadline of April 30. I can do it. I have a LOT of stuff going on over the next month, but if I focus 8 hours per week on HA! then I'm pretty sure I can meet my deadline. Floor traps are about 60-70% done (maybe more) Skills need a lot more work, but that will be an evolving system anyway. Inventory ......

Posted On Sunday, April 3, 2005 8:53 PM

uhhh... *speechless*
I don't really know what to say about this:

Darth Tater??

Posted On Saturday, April 2, 2005 7:14 AM

review: The .NET Developer's Guide to Windows Security by Keith Brown
Book Review - The .NET Developer's Guide to Windows Security by Keith Brown Microsoft .net Development Series, Addison-Wesley I have been a fan of Keith Brown and regularly read his blog on so this review may appear biased but I honestly believe this is a very useful book if you want to develop secure applications or are just wondering how security is implemented in windows. Though this book is available in its entirety on, if you are like me, you will ......

Posted On Friday, April 1, 2005 11:25 PM

Installshield Custom Skins
My “never-ending“ crazy install project is finally nearing completion, and the time has come to create a custom skin. 1st - grab the IS X Skin Customization Kit: http://support.installshiel... hmmm... It appears that dialog images are measured in “dialog units” instead of pixels. There is no obvious correlation between the two. Also, according to Ritesh from InstallShield, if I want to remove the InstallShield logo from my dialogs... ......

Posted On Friday, April 1, 2005 11:28 AM

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