I had to learn Python this week for a little project at work. (OK, I guess I didn’t have to learn Python, but it seemed like the best tool for the job.) Just for reference, here are some key sites, if you’re going to try to pick up Python:

I’ve also found that the Python 2.1 Bible is a decent book to get started with.


Check out for information on running PHP on a Mac.

I’ve just started playing around with PHP a bit, since there’s a chance we’ll need to do something with it at work. Everything else we’re doing is ASP.NET, but we’re outsourucing something that’s liable to be done in PHP. As usual, I’ll probably end up supporting it after it’s delivered. I’ve got nothing against PHP, but it sure would be nice if I didn’t have to learn yet another scripting language!

Blast from the Past

No C# tonight. I’ve been paging through some old issues of DDJ from 1996. Ah, for the days when articles about PowerBuilder occasionaly appeared in mainstream programming magazines. And Java was new. And the Year 2000 problem was just starting to freak people out. I let my subscription to DDJ lapse in 1996, and I’ve had the last few issues just sitting, unread, under the microwave since then. Time to finish them off and put them out at the curb, methinks.


I managed to install IIS on my XP Home machine today, but the whole thing was a little iffy. I couldn’t bring up pages in Mozilla, only Explorer. Other stuff was not as it should be. It was just, you know, odd. So I gave up and uninstalled it. I got an interesting error doing that. It worked though. It went away. So now I’m resigned to NOT doing ASP.NET stuff on my home desktop machine for now. My laptop (running Win 2K Pro) should be able to support IIS, and hence ASP.NET, so maybe I’ll give that a go at some point. And I can probably do other .Net stuff on the XP Home machine, like C# with SharpDevelop. I’ll let you know how that goes. (Whoever you are.)

Stimulating the economy

I bought a bunch of stuff this weekend:

  • The new Badly Drawn Boy album.
  • “Retro,” the New Order 4 CD box set.
  • A couple of Spider-Man TPB’s, reprinting all the JMS issues that I didn’t already have.
  • A Hulk TPB, reprinting the first Bruce Jones issues.
  • The Powers “Who Killed Retro Girl?” TPB.
  • ASP.NET in a Nutshell. Not as fun as the other stuff, but necessary.

So, I’ve got a lot of listening and reading to do. Too bad I still don’t seem to have enough spare time for all this. Oh well!

(The motivation for buying all the comics, by the way, was a gift certificate that I got for Christmas. I’m not on some mad buying spree. Really.)

Geek Stuff

Spent a bit too much time today trying to figure out how I could create a DLL containing user-defined functions callable from Crystal Reports 8. The obvious route was to use Visual Basic. Well, I don’t normally use VB, I use PowerBuilder. However, creating a DLL in PowerBuilder resulted only in a new and exciting way to crash Crystal every time I tried to open a report. So I went hunting for VB. I have no problem buying a copy. However, I couldn’t verify that VB.NET could create the kind of DLL I needed. I knew VB 4, 5, and 6 would work, but no one reputable seems to have VB 6 for sale anymore. Eventually, I found a dusty copy of VB 5 in a box on top of a bookshelf, underneath a bunch of other stuff. And it worked! Yay!