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P3P Header

December 9, 2009 03:00 by ckincincy


One thing I learned over the past few months had to do with sharing a website from one site to another via an iFrame.  The problem arises when the domains don’t match.  If your primary site is example.com and the site in the iFrame is exampleinaniframe.com, by default exampleinaniframe.com cannot set cookies or execute certain JavaScript.  Browsers see this as a potential hijacking and throw a security error.

The fix for this is pretty simple, but not simple all at the same time.  There is a header you can add to  your site telling browsers that it should allow it to be put in an iFrame.  Those are called P3P Header’s.  Now the hard part to this is that a search online returns a lot of conflicting answers to what your header should look like.  Then one night, as I was trying to figure out how to do Facebook development, it hit me.  That is how Facebook works.  All of those applications you use in Facebook are really hosted on another site, you just see it seamlessly via an iFrame.  Now since Facebook has 350,000,000 users I figured they probably have this figured out.

A brief search found this very simple and concise P3P header, all you have to do is include this somewhere early in your page load life cycle (global.asax, httpmodule, basepage, etc…):

HttpContext.Current.Response.AddHeader("p3p", "CP=\"CAO PSA OUR\"");

That will tell the user’s browser to not throw a security exception and allow the site to function as needed.

Orchard, Oxite and ASP.NET MVC

December 7, 2009 03:00 by ckincincy

I have been an ASP.NET developer since I joined the team at Cintech in 2006.  I’ve been in the web form world and all the wonders of the PostBack page model since then. 

oxiteThen around the end of 2008 I remember hearing some noise about an ASP.NET MVC project released by Microsoft that got some bad reaction.  Talking about how it wasn’t a good start to MVC.  I never took the time to look deeper as I had other things going on in life, and was happy with my PostBack world.  Turns out this was a project called “Oxite” that is hosted over on CodePlex.

Then July of this year I took a job with a long time friend at Epsilon.  My friend is a Java developer, and through our conversations he kept telling me about this “MVC" way of doing web development.  About how it is so different than how he was being forced to develop on the .NET project we were working on together. 

The more he talked the more I got interested in learning about this new ASP.NET MVC that Microsoft had released.  Around this time CINNUG hosted a firestarter event going over ASP.NET MVC.  I took a Saturday to attend the event and learn some more.

In general I’m eager to learn more and put some of this in action.  This is when I went looking for that project that Microsoft put out.  Upon finding Oxite I see that it was basically a dead project.  The only thing I could find was a post on Erik Porters blog stating this in the comments:

October 08, 2009
Jeff, there is news coming about Oxite, but unfortunately I can't share anything until some other news happens. :( It's looking right now like that news is still a month and a half out. Really sorry! :(

OrchardLogoCodeplexNow this is on top of the fact that Oxite had not moved much since July.  Check ins, yes.  But nothing worth writing home about.  Then in the comments there was some guessing that Oxite was going to become “Orchard”, which was discussed as being a full featured CMS backed by Microsoft, though still being open source. 

Now I had high hopes for Orchard.  Since Oxite had been dead for months, I figured this new Orchard product would be ready to go when released.  I was stoked and waiting for it to be released.  I was all set to move this site to use the Orchard codebase.  When it got officially released I downloaded it, compiled it.. then ran it locally.  Wow, was I ever disappointed.  Orchard is months away from being usable, so here we are in the community with nothing to use.  From what my brief research shows me, at least a year after the release of ASP.NET MVC we have made very little progress in expanding this for people to actually use. 

As harsh as this may sound, I blame Microsoft and I blame the Oxite team. A person named Adam created a discussion on CodePlex stating the following:

October 12, 2009

At the moment, I feel that Oxite is hindering developers from creating new ASP.NET MVC blog engines because Oxite is already there, on the other hand, the current official release of Oxite is missing load of features and cannot be compared to other popular engines.

If you are not planning to release soon or you are very busy, just declare this project as no longer supported to open the chance for other developers to start their own engines...



I totally agree.  People don't want to waste their time recreating the wheel when there is a project already out there.  But here we are, over a year has passed and we have very little ‘real’ stuff to show.

Microsoft needs to get its act together.  Many great developers are abandoning the .NET platform for platforms like Ruby, and if you lose developers you lose the market.  Customers don’t care what platform people use, they just want their problems solved.  If those problems are solved and the developer chooses a non-Microsoft technology, then Microsoft loses.

Maybe Orchard is the answer.  Maybe six months from now this blog post looks like the most foolish blog post on the web.  For now, however, I’m still looking for the next big thing.  What comes after .NET for me professionally?  .NET won’t be around forever and being a fairly young man, I have to look toward the future to keep myself professionally relevant. 

A Few Thoughts on Twitter

October 9, 2009 21:17 by ckincincy

I am on Twitter.  I don’t use it much, but I’m on that service.  My interaction with Twitter has been a work in progress.  My first three or four attempts just didn’t pan out. I found no value in using the service, but I would give it a fresh look every four months or so.  During my last attempt, it stuck a little.  So I’m going to share a few of my thoughts on Twitter.

Being OCD causes issues.

I’ve got a bit of an OCD personality to me.  The domain name on this site is not by accident.  I have to have a near empty inbox and Twitter works the same way.  I need it to be up to date on all the things I read.  This causes me to keep my friend list very well defined and pruned.  I use TweetDeck to sort out my friends.  A list of people I want to read all of their stuff, a few custom searches, a group for people who Tweet too much (hello @DanielJohnsonJr), and people who Tweet WAY to much (hello @Shanselman).  I’ll continually refine this list and I can’t wait for Twitter to release their new list functionality officially.

Twitter Stars

I’m sure there is a term for this, but the idolizing that some people get on Twitter is pretty disturbing.  I see this with some high end technical people, but its worse when it comes to some well known ministers.  When it comes to the technical people, it odd to see but when it comes to ministers… I just get a creepy feeling inside.  I’ve been in church settings that were defined by a personality of a given minister or staff member, and I just get that vibe when it comes to this dynamic on Twitter.

Can they stop the porn bots?

I get on average a spam friend a day.  Generally a link to some dating or porn site.  Can they stop that?  I will occasionally go a few days without incident and then get three or four in a row.  I can just see this taking over Twitter.


One of my friends is Daniel Johnson Jr.  He helped start up a local group called New Media Cincinnati.  He spent a lot of time building this organization, but lately a stalker came into the fold and created New(er) Media Cincinnati.  Dan covers it well on his blog, but the fact that Twitter has let this continue after many complaints disturbs me.  The newer person has no intention to use the site other than to cause Dan problems.

Get with the program!

OK, I’ll admit this is my OCD firing up.  However, there is a way to do things on Twitter and it annoys me when people don’t follow the given protocol.  Learn the tricks as you go, and as you do… change! 

It won’t last

I can’t imagine Twitter will last.  140 characters just isn’t enough to keep the interest of the average person.  Plus the people that do use Twitter hard core have a history to move on.  These people were the first on MySpace, then Facebook, now Twitter.  And if you really want to go back, these were your bulletin board people, your people paying by the minute on AOL, people that used a website that I think was sixdegrees.com.  It is the nature of the internet to move on to the next cool thing.  Few things stick around for more than a few years, and I’m not at all convinced that Twitter is one such site. 

How I Help

September 24, 2009 16:52 by ckincincy

I forget where I found this:


Canon Pixma MP620B Blue Edition

August 8, 2009 11:34 by ckincincy

image A few weeks ago my sturdy Dell desktop computer from 2001 decided to finally die.  The unfortunate part of this is that it was my only real PC with XP on it, to host my Lexmark X6170 printer on my network.  The Lexmark X6170 has been a faithful member of my house for around six years. With no issues until we started upgrading our computers with Vista.  The X6170 was only partially upgraded to work on Vista and even then was fairly unusable.  Even though I was a key member of developing the drivers that ran the X6170, and many of the first few generations of Lexmark’s All-In-One printers, while at Jetsoft Development… it was time to replace it.

While my family was out one night, we were fairly close to Best Buy and I figured I would stop in and price a few printers.  One of the first ones I saw was the Canon Pixma MP620B Blue Edition.  It supported ‘wireless printing.’  Which was intriguing to me, as my house is networked by wireless.  After reading over the box I saw that it also supported USB and wired printing.  It was on sale for just $99.99, a savings of $50.  Setting it up was not trivial but the directions that came with it made it pretty clear. 

Once I had the printer configured on my wireless network and on my personal computer it was time to install it on my wife’s.  Any installs after the first one are pretty trivial and went pretty smooth.  Now all the computers in my house are able to talk to this printer without issue. 

When I bought this I assumed that only printing was able to be done over the network because scanning is not a simple thing to program for on a local connection, much less a network connection.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this machine actually does support scanning and printing without having to be directly connected to a computer.  I was also surprised to find out that the machine also supports ‘pushing’ documents to computers.  So if my wife wants to scan a document to her file system she can do it from the printer and does not have to be around her computer.  The printer will scan and save the file on her hard drive.

The next added benefit is the numerous memory card slots on the box.  Not only can you access those from the printers 2.5 inch LCD screen but you can access them as a shared drive on any connected computer.  This saves battery life on the camera as it doesn’t have to put the power out to copy the files from the memory card to the computer.

My initial ratings on this computer is certainly a 4.75/5.00.  The software is a bit clunky, but most software bundled with these devices are.  Which leads me to my final point on this machine.  When I figured out that it was also a scan over the network printer, I made another assumption that my third party scanning applications would work with it.  That they didn’t have valid TWAIN drivers to allow for that.  I was wrong again.  I opened up my favorite application, again one that I had the pleasure of developing for several years at Jetsoft Development, Art-Copy.  Sure enough I get the simplistic interface and advanced features of Art-Copy and the convenience of a network scanner

I certainly recommend this product if you are in the market for an affordable, and flexible all in one device.


February 1, 2009 19:27 by ckincincy

image So when I recently upgraded my laptop I needed some software to open and create documents.  Like Microsoft Office. 

However my copy of Microsoft Office is getting a bit dated, and while bought legally is bordering on over use on my computers.  So I figured I’d give OpenOffice.org a shot. 

Opened it up, messed around with it a bit.  Changed all of the defaults to save files as Microsoft standard formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt, etc…).  Everything overall has gone well.

Microsoft Office has focused on making all the menu options easily available to users.  OpenOffice.org is very Office XP’ish.  So it is simple (which I like).  However I did find one issue.  I was creating some documentation for a project at work.  Required some vertical text (like the image in this post).  Couldn’t find a way to do it at all.  So I went to my favorite search engine and started looking around.  I found this post from April 2006.  Says you have to turn on Asian language support to do this. 

Are you kidding me?  Some things should be turned on by default… this is one of them.  There are times where open source projects get so wrapped up in doing it ‘their’ way that they forget to think of the ‘customers’. 

However, in spite of this… OpenOffice.org has its learning curve but for free, you can’t complain.

Cleaning Up the Task Bar

January 9, 2009 00:00 by ckincincy

image So I have this domain name for a reason.  I'm a bit OCD in nature, and one of those quirks is that I want my task bar to not be cluttered.  Just the things I want to see right now.

So I went searching for an application that would minimize things to the system tray (you know that thing by the clock).

I found an application called TrayIt!  It works just as you would expect, you hold the shift key and hit the minimize and it goes to the system tray. 

Not much more to it than that.  I tried several minimizer programs, and this one is by far the best.

Windows Live Writer 2009 – Release Candidate

December 29, 2008 00:00 by ckincincy

image So I finally took the plunge and grabbed Windows Live Writer 2009’s Release candidate.

I tested it with my blog engine and found a bug where the publish date wasn’t being honored.  Found the issue in the code and submitted the fix to the DNBE team. The other bug I found while writing this post is that only the last image border set is honored, covered that here, so if you stick to one image border per post you won’t have issue.

So now I want to give an overview of the product itself.

It is ripe with great features.

First it gets you away from the lame website based rich text editors.



All the generics of this make, making a post kind of difficult.  Adding a picture is what I always found most difficult.  With Windows Live Writer you can add a picture one of two ways.

1. Just paste the image from your clipboard to your post.
2. Insert an image via their menus (or drag and drop).

Now here is where Windows Live Writer 2009 separates itself from anything else, the ability to manipulate images.  Windows Live Writer 2008 was good, but 2009 takes it to another level.

What the various ways I can post an image, without having to open up an image editor at all.

All of those options without opening an image editor. Also as you can see I am able to post to an album on the fly as well.  Windows Live Writer defaults to a Window’s provided album, but there are many plug-ins available for other online albums.

There are really a limitless number of things a person can do with Windows Live Writer 2009, all readily available from the UI.

One of the things alluded to in one of my pictures above was the ability to use plug ins.  Currently there are 111 plug-ins available.

There really is no reason to not use Windows Live Writer.

Though I will offer one caveat, the version they are pushing on their site is a release candidate.  Not official, so there could be a few issues with it.  I have found one, just working on this post.

UI Options:


Online Learning Tools

December 24, 2008 18:48 by ckincincy

A few weeks ago my son was struggling with some spelling words, and I was listening to him and my wife talk about them.  He then asked if he should go test himself on the computer.

Being the geek I am, I was interested in what she was talking about.  Turns out he has been using a web site to help learn his spelling words.  I took a look at the site and was impressed. Sometimes I wonder how we learned anything back in the day :-)


Making Movies In Vista

December 13, 2008 07:02 by ckincincy

image One of the big weaknesses of having a Window's operating system was dealing with large files, specifically movies.  In XP I never could get consistency  and stability. From the editing to the writing of the DVD. 

Having recently upgraded to Vista Ultimate, I had my first job where I needed to take some footage that I had captured and make it into a movie.  Vista gets an A+. 

I used all 'out of the box' software and was able to create a decent movie from the files I had.  Then I burned it to five DVD's without a single failure.  That is the biggest thing to me. Many times previously that was so unreliable that I'd resort to going to my old employer's and use their MAC!

First I took my AVI that I had captured previously, opened up Windows Movie Maker and made some edits to the file.  With some title screen's, transitions and effects.  Added a photo gallery at the end of the movie, then went to 'Publish' my movie.  I needed to create some DVD's so next Windows  DVD Maker popped up and gave me a few options (title screen or auto play, different themes in the title, etc..).  Picked my options and 20 minutes later I had my movie on DVD. 

Very nice surprise.