Archive for 2005

The Eagle Has Landed

My new Dell machine has arrived at last. After spending half the weekend getting everything installed I am now ready to rock and roll. If you have ever thought about getting a two screen system then I certainly recommend it. And not just because it makes your study look like the Star Trek Enterprise!

Your productibity will improve more from buying the extra screen than it will from spending the same amount on the extra .4Ghz processor speed. Just as useful is a RAID-0 config for your drives. This baby just flys!

Doing The Splits

With the release of VS.NET 2005 just around the corner I need to get on with actually producing the free Krypton Toolkit for release at around the same time. Currently I am working on the split container control that has the same functionality as the Windows.Forms version but with our own rendering framework.

So…back to the grind stone.

Product Logos

As outlined previously, the Krypton Toolkit and Krypton Navigator product logos are a bit mediocre. We obviously want to ensure that all the visuals used on the website and in the products are excellent and not just mediocre.

So as usual, we are going to pay a designer to come up with something much better. In the past we have used Guru.com for the main company logo and DesignOutpost.com for the website template.

Both of these websites have produced some great results although you have to be willing to push the designers quite hard in the right direction.

Rent-A-Coder

This time we are going to try another side called RentACoder.com. Despite the name they have plenty of designers that are happy to work on logos.

I have started a project on the site and asked for bidders to come forward to take part in the project. The ceiling price I have established is just $150, which is pretty skinny for creating a couple of professional logos. Still, if you live in the middle of Tibet and want this as extra income outside the main day job then maybe that is quite tempting.

After a couple of days I have had over 30 bidders come forward, bidding anything from $30 up to $100 for doing the project. Many of these are obviously automated answers because the replies have not taken into account the project requirements that I requested. Never mind, that leaves plenty of others to choose from.

The Good…

Some good news at last. The web hosting has been transferred over much faster than I expected and now I have a Linuxmachine hosting my web space space. The domain names are correctly pointing to it and email is still working just fine. It was a painful process with several calls to Network Solutions, but we got their in the end.

In fact you can visit the site right now and see the newly designed website up and running. Well, actually there is only a single page with example non-sense content but it gives the look and feel.

www.componentfactory.com

The observant among you will have noticed that one of the navigation buttons is called Blog. I am getting the web designer to setup a blog system that works within the website so there is no need to have it externally hosted as with Blogger.

Once that is working I will copy across all existing posts from here and let you know the appropriate new feed. But I expect this to take a little while yet.

…the Bad…

It seems that my order for a new PC with Dell is going to take another two weeks. When I placed the order the delivery time estimated seemed a reasonable 10 days. But once they have received payment it suddenly jumps by another 14 days. Not that I am cynical of course…

…and the Ugly…

As part of the website design I need a couple of small logos that are used to represent the two products. Have a look and see what you think.

The Toolkit will be the free set of components that will help market the company name and drive interest in the other products. Navigator will be the first actual paid for product.

As the products created will be related to each other it makes sense to have a name for the range they all belong to. Obviously you have now worked out that I have decided on the name Krypton. Hence the green colouring and not the blue you might expect for it to match the website.

What do you think of the name? Do you think the above logos are good enough?

Slow Slow, Quick Quick Slow

Things have been moving very slowing recently.

At the moment I am still in the middle of transferring my hosting package from a Windows machine to a Unix machine. As a result my domain names are not working and so the images on the blog are still not showing. The images are in a directory on the server and referenced from the blog. Fortunately my email is not effected.

Website Design Progress

I have an initial cut of the website design. It looks great and once the hosting is sorted out I will put it online so you can see how it looks. Might be a few days before that is possible.

This might sound odd but sometimes it is really hard to pay people. The designer that came up with the design has done a good job. So on receiving the design I immediately requested how to pay him in order to reward his hard work. Three days later and another email and still no response. Sometimes it is hard to give money away!

Visual Studio Problems

Another problem I am having is with my development machine. Because it has XP Home Edition installed it means I cannot install the latest CTP builds of Visual Studio .NET 2005.

This is a pain as it means I am developing against a version that might have since changed. I don’t expect many changes to have occurred but I would feel more comfortable making sure I am not writing code now that will definitely have to be replaced.

Another issue is the inability to see my controls at design time. No matter how I try to install Visual Studio .NET 2005 it seems to be screwed up, and refuses to work at design time. So I can only work on the features I can use at run time.

14 Days and counting

Luckily the end of all my problems is in sight. Two weeks from now I expect to have my new PC with XP Professional installed. I will also be able to use Virtual PC in order to install and develop against each new Visual Studio .NET 2005 release in an isolated way. With the domain hosting sorted out by then I will be back on the development fast track.

Still, in the meantime I am beavering away as best I can on the basics of the Navigator control and also a SplitContainer for the free Toolkit package.

Please bear with me as I get these issues sorted out and back to full coding and blogging speed.

Go faster strips

I’ve decided that my 3.5year old PC no long cuts it when it comes to professional software development. It’s like trying to use a mule when you need a thorough breed race horse. So I’ve ordered a new machine that will in itself motivate me for weeks to come. Two 19′ flat panel screens, a 512MB graphics card (so I will be Vista ready and a couple of large RAID 0 hard drives. Nice!

Webhosting Disruption

As part of the plan for the website I have decided to switch from a Windows hosted site to a Unix box. It might sound like treachery when I am Windows developer but to be honest, it just makes sense.

The designer I am now working with on the site wants to use PHP scripts and a MySQL backend in order to have the blog integrated into the website. On Unix this is a doddle. Trying to do this on a Windows machine is a major headache. No, I believe in using the best tool for the job and in this case it is quicker and therefore cheaper to use Unix. Plus I can easily pick up knowledge of PHP in order to modify and maintain the site myself in the future.

As part of the this process of changing over hosting packages the people at Network Solutions screwed things up. So it will be a few days or even a week before my domain names are working again. So images on this blog will be unavailable for a while.

Oh well, back to the 1.5GHz AMD processor for a few more days…