You are viewing patrickjcollins

patrickjcollins [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
patrickjcollins

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Report Viewer 2010 nonesense [Jul. 19th, 2011|10:07 am]
[Tags|]

I had some trouble with the dimensions of the Microsoft ASP.NET ReportViewer 2010 component.

In previous versions, I set the Width and Height to 100% and the viewer automatically took up the entirety of the page. However, the 2010 version no longer respects the 100% Height.

I tried setting the SizeToReportContent property to True, however this has some unpleasant side effects. Firstly, the viewer no longer displays scrollbars, so for long/wide reports, I had to add scrollbars to my popup window. Unfortunately, as the user scrolls down the page, the parameters and toolbar scroll off the top. Additionally, if the report is very wide, the "Show Rapport" button is displayed all the way over to the right.

To get around these problems I decided to use a fixed Height in pixels with the Width set to 100%. I use the available height and width of the screen to ensure that my popup is (almost) maximized. I pass the screen height as a query string parameter:

window.open('Popup.aspx?report=' + nameOfReport + '&height=' + (window.screen.availHeight - 40), '', 'left=0,top=0,width=' + (window.screen.availWidth - 10) + ',height=' + (window.screen.availHeight - 40) + ',resizable=no,scrollbars=no');

And then in the code-behind of my popup page, I read the query string and set the report viewer Height:

ReportViewer.Height = int.Parse(Request.QueryString["height"]);
link

Template for an Artist Biography [Jan. 3rd, 2011|12:17 am]
[Tags|]

[Artist First & Last Name] was a [Notable / Influential / Controversial] [Time Period] [Painter / Writer / Film maker], famous primarily for [Work X] and to a lesser extent for [Work Y].

Born on [Date 18th / 19th / 20th century] in [Location]. (For earlier births, indicate location unknown and insert unsubstantiated hypothesis based on local oral history).

Attended [School]. Studied to be [Unrelated Profession] at the insistence of [Father / Other Relative or Benefactor] but [Dropped Out Before Graduating / Gave Up Shortly Afterwards].

Decided to become [Painter / Writer / Film maker].

(Omit suffering and/or personal struggles endured while impoverished and/or uncertain of personal creative capacity)

Met and married [First Wife]. (For women : Remained unmarried, childless)

Fathered [Child 1, Child 2].

Produced [Work 1, Work 2, Work 3, …] which were widely unnoticed by critics and the public.

Admirer of [Artist] and [Style].

Founded [Artistic Mouvement] with [Artist 1, Artist 2, ...].

Achieved success with [Work X] which was [heralded / decried] by critics as a [masterpiece of the current period / scandalous and baseless work] and that garnered a positive public following.

Abandoned family, divorced [First Wife], married [Second Wife]. Fathered [Chid 3, Child 4].

Continued success with [Work Y].

Divorced [Second Wife]. Married [Third Wife, aged 30 years younger]

Continued working but failed to achieve further success.

Died from [Contagious Disease / Accident] (but not old age) at [Age]. Buried in [Cemetery]. Grave bears [Epitaph].
link

Back then [Dec. 23rd, 2010|12:15 am]
[Tags|]

I was standing, shivering in the morning cold, waiting for the school bus. There was a line of men, blacks, who were not in a queue and were not waiting for the bus. They had come from the squatter camp down the road. Those who preferred euphemisms would refer to the camp as an informal settlement. I'd never been inside the camps, a labyrinth of shacks constructed from corrugated iron, where running water and latrines were inexistent and the smoke from cooking fires would hang low in the evening air. But it was morning now, and the men were there waiting for piece work. A pick-up truck, locally known as a bakkie, would drive past and the men would break ranks and run wildly, waving their arms, hoping for a day's work shoveling or lifting or gardening or any other sort of heavy unskilled labour that would gain them wages to be spent on pap, beer at the local drinking house, locally known as a shebeen and perhaps even a turn at the brothel. There were many men, fifty or more, and I knew that many of them, especially the elderly, wouldn't find employment and would perhaps go hungry that night. I wondered where they came from, for a few years back the camp hadn't existed, there was nothing but vacant mine land, with a seam of gold ore two kilometers down and mountains of sand spread about the surface. The camps had sprung up around the city like mushrooms, every day they spread further, with two new arrivals for every one that left. I supposed they came from the homelands, or perhaps from across the border, I shall never know because I never spoke to them. They made me uneasy, I could see the wretchedness in their eyes, and as I prepared myself for the horrors that lay ahead at school, I knew that things could always be a lot worse.

The bus arrived, and I mounted. Often the bus arrived before me on those winter mornings, when I struggled to drag myself from bed and dress and eat in the dark before sunrise. I'd sprint down the main road, my suitcase clutched under my right arm, and pray for a red light. Classmates would be laughing and pointing, and if the bus didn't stop I'd have to ride my bicycle the seven kilometers to school, arrive late and be punished. I wasn't late for once, and as I walked down the isle of the bus I searched in vain for a seat. There was an informal seating order, youngest to the front, eldest to the back, the tough kids took a bench to themselves and pulled out their compasses and ninja stars to carve the wooden backs and metal walls and perhaps tear out the stuffing of the seats. Sometimes I'd just stand and ignore the abuse thrown at me from all directions. I couldn't tell you why they hated me so, I think it was hate of the idle and ignorant kind. We were all bored, frustrated, unhappy, and we took it out on each other. I wasn't a bully, but there sure wasn't a shortage of those.

At school we had inspection, hair length, not too long, not too short, shaving, tie, neatly knotted, shirt, white, blazer, trousers, of the correct length and colour, shoes, polished and of the correct colour. Appearance was paramount and the slightest deviation was punished. There was a poor kid named Roger who had the misfortune to grow taller than his elder brother and was admonished for the shortness of his trousers. The school sported a second hand store for those who were unable to procure new fitting clothes, and the nonconformists were sent to find a more presentable article.

After inspection we lined up for assembly, where the head master and his entourage read from the bible, spoke of honour, ethics and morality. At some point during this period we were bade to sit, cross-legged, upon the icy floor. Once we had finally thawed the surface we were instructed to stand and we sang hymns and the national anthem, while the prefects who were aligned along either side of the hall carefully watched us to ensure that we were singing with gusto. The prefects were final year students, specially selected and granted the honour of acting as foot soldiers and snitches for the teachers. Defectors would be withdrawn from the ranks and sent for punishment.

Assembly would draw to a close and we would go to our homerooms in groups of thirty or so, a moment of relaxation, where the teachers would perform role call to ensure there were no truant students. Role call would occasionally be performed before assembly to catch those who might try and arrive late and slip directly into homeroom thus avoiding assembly. We broke out our rosters, checked our time tables and broke for our first class. Before there had been a bell that would ring before class, but I believe this constant ringing annoyed the head master who decreed henceforth that we should all wear wristwatches and ensure our own punctual arrival at class. Late arrival was punished. We had approximately four minutes to change classes, which could be located at opposite sides of the school, a distance of no less than six hundred meters. With over fifteen hundred students bustling in every direction, this presented quite a challenge, and on that particular day I was forced to run to ensure I arrived on time. As I crossed the corridors I remarked that the first year students were still wearing their name badges. A first year caught without his name badge was punished and would have to wear a larger name badge. One repeat offender had a name badge the size of his chest. His name was "Ahmed".

At my first class we were instructed to line up in order of height, shortest to tallest, so that the teacher would see "just one head". We filed into class, and sat down in alphabetical order. The teacher announced that we would be reorganized in order of grade. As I had the highest grade I was seated in the back corner, which was pleasant as my surname begins with the letter 'C' and thus I was previously seated near the front of the class where I was the target for missiles of paper, pencil sharpenings, chewing gum and any other describable object.

I'd like to interject by stating that I'm not asking for pity here, if you do want to pity anyone, pity those poor unfortunates who line up every morning in the hope of work and fail in the attempt.

We cycled through courses of language, mathematics, science, bible study, the usual curriculum. There was a lunch break at 10:30 where we would huddle in circles in the courtyard and I would hungrily eye the food others had bought from the tuck shop - vet kooks filled with beef mince and dripping in grease, or hot dogs and ketchup, or tuna mayonnaise toasted sandwiches. I had Marmite sandwiches, as always, two slices of industrial bread and a think layer of black yeast extract. The social interaction was entirely what one might expect of the environment, the students avoided the prefects, fought amongst themselves, or simply stared at the walls. I got into a fight, nothing unusual, one of several bullies pushed me around a bit, fists were flung, noses were bloodied, and I found myself in the head master's office.

The head master was a giant of a man, his height equaled his girth, his head balding, with small eyes and a pig nose. It would be kind to say that I did not like him. I was punished, as I expected to be, with six strikes of the cane and detention. The detention was worse as it would mean I would have to take the late bus home. It was possible to slip detention by going to athletics practice, because although discipline was important, winning the inter-school athletics meet was essential. Academics took a back seat to Sport at my school. I was good at running, a fine swimmer too, but alas I had made the fatal error of making the state chess team, which meant I bore a scroll sewn upon my blazer. The scroll I would have torn it off, but the blazer itself had changed too, no longer the homely black-green-purple Chappie-wrapper pattern, but bright green; I was forced to wear it with pride and be mocked at every turn for my evident intellect. Chappies by the way were a popular brand of chewing that the Portuguese merchants would happily return in the place of small change at the corner cafe. I don't know why it was always the Portuguese who ran the corner cafes, but the Chappies had the same colour and pattern as our school uniforms. Except for mine, and the prefects. I bore the mark of the hated.

The clock slowly wound around to 2 pm, I went to athletics practice and then thought better and caught the early bus home. We stopped at the Afrikaans school to let a few more students on. The Afrikaans students were terrifying, the average student from their school was rougher and meaner than any bully from mine. Additionally, they spoke a language of which had but a passing understanding. I was sitting on a bench, alone, when an Afrikaans girl sat down next to me. I didn't recognize her, I assumed she was new and hadn't learnt the lay of the land yet. She didn't know that I was contaminated, that no one sat next to me. And then she spoke to me.

I was embarrassed to not understand what she said, but then she changed into English, fluent with the slightest of accents. She told me that she was new and that she hated her school. I told her that I wasn't new but I hated mine. Much to my surprise she continued talking to me, she made jokes and we laughed. At her stop she convinced me to alight, saying I could always catch the late bus home. I followed her to her house. She lived in a depressed part of town, where the houses were old. In a city founded less than a hundred years ago, houses fifty years old were considered old. Back when the mines were still running they had built simple houses for their employees in neat rows, each equipped with a living room, bedroom and kitchenette. She shared the house with her single mother who was at work. She had a brother in the army, away on the front fighting the war against the communists and Cubans up in Angola somewhere. She lay on her bed and smoked cigarettes, the smoke rising up before a poster of Kurt Cobain. She played heavy metal music loud and asked me what music I liked.

Her name was Jeanine, and she had a scar above her right eyebrow where she had been bitten by a dog when she was young. Her school uniform was tatty, her stockings had holes and I guessed that the Afrikaans school cared less about appearance. She had a braid in her hair, had metal studs in her ears and a stud in her tongue. She told me she had a tattoo on her back but that she couldn't show me because she would have to remove her uniform.

I'd never kissed a girl before, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to start with her, but she excited me, I appreciated her lack of conformity in a world where we were moulded to all look and act the same. I missed the late bus and phoned my mother at the old lady's next door who grumbled and complained that Jeanine needed to get a phone of her own. We waited together at the entrance of the estate, when the rain began to fall. She huddled close to me for warmth, and I could feel her hard nipples pressed against the thin wet fabric of my shirt. I could have stood there forever, but my mother arrived, annoyed, and I watched Jeanine fade away in the dark distance between the streams of rain.
link

Suffering animated animals [Oct. 18th, 2010|10:21 pm]

Cocotte minute from Sylvain MARC /Polyminthe on Vimeo.



Oktapodi from oscardodo on Vimeo.



Burning Safari from Florent de La Taille on Vimeo.

link

Jenny [Oct. 3rd, 2010|08:04 pm]
[Tags|]

Jenny was sitting alone on the living room floor paging through a photo album, floating through the happy days of yesteryear. There were photos of Derek, friends from London, parties, then the wedding. Derek looked so dashing in a suit, the way it hugged his square shoulders and embraced his thick neck, although it was the only time she'd ever seen him in one. She knew he was having an affair, she was certain of it, a woman knows. He was never one for foreplay, his lust would overtake him in bed next to her and he would pressure her for sex, rubbing her back, kissing her neck, and she used to like that, used to succumb to his demands and allow him to carry her off to a land of exquisite pleasure. But the stress had rubbed out the desire in her, and his demands had become a source of frustration, she'd given in from habit, and later she'd stopped altogether, pushed him away, until suddenly he ceased trying. That was certainly when it had begun. She couldn't have believed that he would fit in better here than her, if anything it was one of her greatest worries before they sold everything and left London, that he would hate it, unable to learn the language, and that ultimately would force them to leave, to return. But no, he'd taken to it like a duck to water, his French was better than her's now, he spent all his free time down at the village bar drinking pastis and playing petanque out back with the men. He taken her reproaches and turned them around, so what if he spent all his time down there, he needed company, he wanted to fit in, the men helped him out like the time Henri helped him find parts to fix the car, and besides it had been her idea to come here, not his, and why wasn't she fitting in, this was what she had always wanted, what she had always dreamt of. And it was true, for when she was working late each night as a human resources consultant the only thing that had kept her going was the idea of getting away from it all, never again reading a Guardian newspaper, never again taking the tube, living in a quaint stone cottage with blue painted shutters in southern rural France. The house was beautiful, and the countryside too, but the life she'd imagined hadn't materialized. She'd met an American couple, Sue and Hank, Sue became her first friend, but alas no sooner had they met than they left for Michigan and Jenny was alone once more. She could hear the children playing upstairs, they had taken to speaking French to one another, they were going native despite the fact that she spoke English to them every day. They'd say things that she didn't even understand. It certainly didn't help that she'd always liked France more than the French people, and the people more than the language. Why wouldn't the words stick in her head, she kept forgetting the meanings, it was all so blurry, like looking at the world through bent glass or a thick gauze. She'd met Anne-Claire in a bookstore in Carpentras, she was gentle and kind and had seen her leafing through a classic English novel. They'd gone out for coffee a few times, and she'd been introduced to François, Anne-Claire's on-again, off-again lover, who divided his time between Paris and Provence. François was everything Derek was not, he was tall and slim and always wore a suit and tie, he was well spoken and had a deliberate calm, he smoked slowly and had good manners. They'd gone to Paris together and he'd bought her shoes, bright red heels that she'd seen in a window on the Champs d'Elysées. "He likes you, you know", Anne-Claire had said, "you can sleep with him if you like, I'm not at all jealous." And under the influence of some very good red wine, she let herself be seduced by him, and in bed all his casual demeanor had been stripped away, he had been violent with her and she had liked it and had been violent back, digging her nails into his back until they drew blood and biting his neck while he drove deep inside her, letting all the frustration pour out, her self-imposed celibacy broken in one moment of supreme passion. Afterwards the doubt had crept up inside her, the guilt, the frustration. Why had she done it? She arose from the floor, closed the album and placed it upon the shelf. She mounted the steps and pushed open the bedroom door standing ajar, and looked at the slumbering form of Derek illuminated by a pool of light spilling in from the landing. She pulled aside the bed sheet and slipped in next to him, pulled his body close to hers and lay awake staring at the ceiling, thinking, wondering what to do now.
link

Favorite video games [Sep. 2nd, 2010|11:03 pm]
Here is a list of the video games that I have really enjoyed playing. This list is incomplete; I hope to discover worthy games in the future. The list is sorted by publication date, I played a few of these years after they came out.

Booty (1984)

A platformer where you play the role of a cabin boy on a pirate ship. Involves climbing up and down ladders, opening doors, and avoiding the pirates. The graphics are pretty ugly and the music hurts my ears, but those were the early ZX Spectrum days. I enjoyed the puzzle element, for the keys have to picked up in the right order, and to figure out the right order you sometimes need to die a few times. I also liked the multi-dimensionality of the game, for behind each door is another hold with a different configuration. I recall making maps on paper so as not to get lost. I wouldn't play this game now, but when I was 4 years old it was like crack.

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards (1987)

A smutty, funny, adventure game. Larry is desperate for sex, and aren't we all. I liked the novelty of the text based adventure, although the novelty faded quick. I think this is one of the only text adventure games that I played right through. What I take from this is that there really should be more sex and humor in video games.

Prince of Persia (1989)

A platformer where you run and jump around a prison and try to avoid the guards. I enjoyed the scale of the game, simply exploring the different levels. The game could be puzzling at parts with the timed gates gradually closing behind you. I don't think I would enjoy playing this now.

Super Off Road (1989)

An arcade game where you race tiny monster trucks around a circuit. So simple, so fun, although only when playing with friends. I liked the basic physics, the power-ups and multi-player aspect. I also really enjoyed upgrading my vehicle, I believe this was one of the first games to offer vehicle upgrades.

Civilization (1991)

A strategy game where you guide a civilization from humble beginnings as a single bronze-age village to the ultimate goal of reaching to the stars. I enjoyed reading the in-game encyclopedia, learning about history while playing. I enjoyed building things, and micro-managing my cities. This is the best game that I have ever played.

Dune II (1992)

The first real-time strategy game. I enjoyed building bases, harvesting spice, and even destroying the enemy. This was one of the first games that I played that had really good music and sound effects, this added greatly to the enjoyment. I would have enjoyed more strategic control over the shape of the war, as the battle screen didn't leave much choice as to where to attack next. The story of Dune could have been better integrated into the game, the backstory never made much sense until I read Frank Herbert's book. I remember imagining a greater version of the game where the individual stages were removed and the entire planet was one massively-multiplayer battle field.

Star Control II (1992)

An adventure game where you explore space, encounter alien species, trade, do battle and ultimately save the universe for humanity. The back story for this game was incredibly rich, and the volume of dialogue stupendous. I really loved the exploration aspect as well as the many odd and interesting characters.

Frontier: Elite II (1993)

A space exploration and trading game. To be frank, this doesn't really count as a game so much as a simulator, for there is only the slightest of story and there is no game mechanic besides trading and occasionally firing a cannon. The enjoyment hinged on the possibility to range far and wide across the galaxy discovering exotic worlds. I really enjoyed the star map and the classical music jukebox. The size of the galaxy is quite unbelievable, I scratched my head for a long time trying to figure out how they stored so many stars. It's a trick, the stars are not stored, they are generated in real time using a seed. Explanation here : http://www.jongware.com/galaxy1.html

Simcity 2000 (1993)

A simulator of a city, be mayor of your own metropolis. The newspaper articles were so zany. Keeping a balanced budget is not easy. Building is always fun for me. I have since realized that Simcity reflects some of the worst crimes in 20th century urban planning : central planning, priority of roads over rail, separation of uses through zoning and relegation of pollution. I'd like to see Simcity with a European bent, with plazas, crooked pedestrian streets, bikeways, trams, mixed use, etc.

UFO: Enemy Unknown (1994)

Lead a global government-funded agency in the fight against an all-out alien invasion. Scramble the fighter jets, shoot down the UFOs, touchdown at the crash site and secure the area with a crack team of soldiers. Let the scientists dissect the alien corpses, unlock their secrets, and then use engineers to manufacture their weapons and use them against them. Ultimately, travel to Mars to destroy the main base. This game is pure genius, leveraging the full lore of Ufology, including flying saucers, little grey men, animal dissections. The tech-tree mechanism is borrowed from civilization, but the isometric battle mechanism is to my knowledge quite original. I would have loved to fly the interceptors myself, and a real-time multi-player FPS for the battles would be fun. Also, I had considered the possibility of playing the side of the aliens, and perhaps even playing a long-running massively-multiplayer war.

Transport Tycoon (1994)

A transport construction simulator, for those who liked playing with model trains. I especially enjoyed building transport links between towns with ever-greater capacity. Playing on the flat is a bit easy, so I started to play with mountainous terrain; more bridges and tunnels makes for an exciting railway. I liked the cutesy graphics and the sound quality was great.

Worms 2 (1998)

A artillery game where you lead your squad of quirky earthworms into deadly battle, armed to the teeth with bazookas, grenades, uzis, exploding bananas, baseball bats, ming vases, and many more somewhat improbable weapons. The voices are funny, I've never laughed so much playing a video game.

Counter Strike (1999)

An ultra-violent first person shooter, play either terrorists or counter-terrorists, kill the other team before they kill you. It's pretty bad-ass, one shot and you're dead, run-and-gun doesn't work here, thinking and tactics are imperative. This is a great game for multiplayer, the more the merrier.

Civilization III (2001)

A worthy successor to Civilization I. The ability to trade luxuries and resources was a great addition. I especially enjoyed the scenarios, such as playing a warlord in Edo-era Japan.

Seems '91-'94 were really the golden years. Since 2003 I've been cruising around Europe, hooking up girls and getting high, which is way more fun than playing video games. That said, I do really need to get back in touch with my inner nerd. The games that I have loved have generally incorporated an element of story-telling, an element of exploration and adventure, alternatively I also enjoy action games when I play with friends.
link

Chess in Marseille [Aug. 19th, 2010|05:55 pm]
There might be the possibility of playing chess at a café in Marseille, I need to check this out.

Café de la Banque
24 rue Paul Peytral

http://echecs.blogs.liberation.fr/echecs/2006/06/un_nouveau_caf_.html
link

incohérance [Jul. 16th, 2010|06:33 pm]
La SNCF vous prie de nous excuser pour ce retard, TGV - prenez le temps d'aller plus vite, les Côtes de Rhône et vous - une longue histore et de grands moments à partager, l'abus d'alcool est dangereux pour la santé - à consommer avec moderation, fumer tue, un mélange traditionnel hollandais composé de tabacs de Virgine blond et de Kentucky brun, cités, HLMs, bobos, petits commerces, grandes surfaces, rez-de-chaussé, vis-à-vis, combien de mètres carées avez vous, INSEE, IGN, ASSEDIC, ANPE, SMIC, RMI, crèche, maternale, primariare, collège, lycée, prepare, faculté, grande école, prime pour l'emploi, taxe d'habitation, taxe sur le revenue, TF1, france 2, france 3, arté, M6, canal+, medaille d'or, d'argent et bronze, OM, PSG, concors, salons, attention à tes mains tu risque de te faire pincer très fort, soldes, côtes d'azur, côtes d'amour, les parisiens en provence, le tour de france, manger bouger, grève national, grève d'étudients, CAF, CCI, CFE, URSSAF, la TVA baisse, donne moi un baiser, je me suis fait baisé, services publiques, sénat, assemblé nationale, la droite, le gauche, une véritable chacuterie paysanne, affinage douze mois, travailler plus pour ganger plus, crédit à la consommation, port autonome, favouriser les transports en commun, trier c'est protéger la nature, boulevard Jean Jurès, place Charles de Gaulle, rue de la Republique, faire du ski, branché, tendence, mode.

Tout ça, ça me fait chier en France.

En contrepartie je me prets à vous dire ce que j'aime en France.

Le français, ces consonnes silenceux, ses accènts bizarres, ses conjugaisons tordus, sa musicalité graçe à la liaison, et surtout les frissonements que je sens quand une belle française me dit "Bonjour" avec ce son /r/ qui rogne dans sa gorge. La cuisine de grande mère, pas de mes grandes mères parce qu'elles n'étaient pas françaises, mais des autres. Viandes mijotés pendants des heures dans du vin rouge, sauces fait à la main dans une poele à base d'echalottes et du cidre, tartes de fruits faire au four. La patrimoine culturale, les monuments historiques, les petites ruelles des centres historiques, les musées d'arts, l'opéra. Un bon café au bar du coin.
link

iPhone task list [Jun. 28th, 2010|12:39 pm]
[Tags|]

The iPhone calendar is good for appointments, but there is no built-in todo list. Omnifocus looks awesome, but 20€ is a bit steep! http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omnifocus_for_iphone/
link

cycling in marseille [Jun. 4th, 2010|10:44 am]
[Tags|]

A map : http://marseilleveloutile.fubicy.org/Plan/Principal/index.html

A second hand store : http://marseilleveloutile.fubicy.org/occasions/index.html

Accessories : http://www.lecyclo.com/
link

navigation
[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]