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.NET Hobbyist Programmer Staying Confused in a Busy World March 2005 Entries
Nautical Terminology: Gundecking
In the modern Navy, falsifying reports, records and the like is often referred to as "gundecking." The origin of the term is somewhat obscure, but at the risk of gundecking, here are two plausible explanations for its modern usage. The first relates to ship construction. The deck below the upper deck on British sailing ships-of-war was called the gundeck although it carried no guns. This false deck may have been constructed to deceive enemies as to the amount of armament carried, thus the gundeck ......

Posted On Sunday, March 27, 2005 11:17 PM


One year ago today, Jeff set my blog up for me and I made my first post.  This one is my 121st.  I have tried to post lots of different information in this blog, from programming, to Naval terminology and history, to hurricanes, and more.  For any readers for whom English is a second (or third, or more) language, I have tried to be grammatically correct and avoid contractions.

I would like your suggestions for future posts, so please leave me a comment.

Posted On Monday, March 21, 2005 9:21 PM

How to Understate an Airbus Accident
My degree is in Aerospace Engineering, so I have followed aviation even as I drove ships around the ocean for a living. I am concerned when planes lose major chunks in flight. AVweb has a story on the Latest Airbus Missing Rudder involving Air Transat, a Canadian charter airline, Airbus A310. The Mail & Guardian story is here and an interesting blog analysis here. Update 1: France Issues Emergency Airworthiness Directive On Airbus Rudders Update 2: US inspections are now required, but Reuters ......

Posted On Thursday, March 17, 2005 9:23 PM

Microsoft Forums (for Developers)
I found this somewhat inadvertently. Things are sparse at the moment, but I see that the forums on the Windows Forms website will be moving the the MSDN site. I wonder if this is the eventual future for Microsoft's newsgroups? What else may be moving? A welcome message says is reasonably enough: "Welcome to the Microsoft Forums for Visual Studio 2005 Q & A. Many of you might recognize some similarity with the Asp.Net Forums. We've taken the 2.0 version of that code base and extended upon it to ......

Posted On Thursday, March 17, 2005 7:45 PM

Nautical Terminology: Fathom
Fathom was originally a land measuring term derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "faetm" meaning to embrace. In those days, most measurements were based on average size of parts of the body, such as the hand (horses are still measured this way) or the foot (that's why 12 inches are so named). A fathom is the average distance from fingertip to fingertip of the outstretched arms of a man -- about six feet. Since a man stretches out his arms to embrace his sweetheart, Britain's Parliament declared that ......

Posted On Monday, March 14, 2005 12:17 AM

Stock Photos for Presentations
I recently needed to decorate a one-off Powerpoint presentation with some washout background pictures (such as this and this) and used the stock.xchng site (hat tip to Chris Anderson). The terms are reasonable and the pictures are of good quality. This is a great way to spice up a boring default template. Recommended ......

Posted On Sunday, March 13, 2005 4:32 PM

Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam
The Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam has presented quite a few interesting pictures since it was activated in 1996. It is interesting to see the weather in the area, and I have to make some adjustments for the three hour time difference. The new webcam was installed in September 2004 in time to catch the eruption series that was soon to follow. The website archive has the eruption series. The March 08, 2005 Eruption Event Movie is described thusly: The network connection to the VolcanoCam had failed the ......

Posted On Sunday, March 13, 2005 3:09 PM

Shutting Down Comments on a Post
I never thought that I would have to do it, but I shut down comments on my Gmail post and removed it from syndication. People got completely out of control with wanting Gmail invites. The ME TOO! cries were mostly from India, but there were others as well. I got tired of the inbox spam feeling. If you need a Gmail account, just wait. They will open it up again. I have no invites available. Update 1: See the comment below for what I mean ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 8, 2005 7:32 PM

Port List

Here is a well-maintained list of ports for those moments when you just cannot recall if the Ricardo North America License Manager is on port 6143 or 6148.

Posted On Monday, March 7, 2005 11:54 PM

Command Management
Sigh. I was making great progress on my .NET custom forms designer bits for VS05 when the test machine's hard drive quit. I have a backup, but quite a bit of progress appears to be lost. Sigh. While I an resuscitating my test development machine, I am continuing work on another project. This one involves building my own app framework to do what I want. I know that there are several commercial versions out there, but they force me to conform to their vision of the Way It Has To Be. I want to fashion ......

Posted On Monday, March 7, 2005 11:15 PM

Nautical Terminology: Boatswain and Coxswain
As required by 17th Century law, British ships-of-war carried three smaller boats: the boat, the cock-boat, and the skiff. The boat, also called the gig, was usually used by the Captain to go ashore and was the larger of the three. The cock-boat was a very small rowboat used as the ship's tender. The skiff was a lightweight all-purpose vessel, generally with a flat bottom. The suffix "swain" means keeper, thus the keepers of the boat, cock, and skiff were called boatswain and cockswain (or coxswain). ......

Posted On Saturday, March 5, 2005 11:58 PM

WinForms Z-Order
This is a reminder to myself in the future. When you need to adjust the z-order of controls on a WinForm, you can use the controls' SendToFront and SendToBack methods. A better solution is to go to the control's container. There in the container's Controls property is the SetChildIndex method that can then independently set the z-order of its contained controls ......

Posted On Saturday, March 5, 2005 11:50 PM

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