October 26, 2010

Setting the editor stylesheet in Sitecore

Filed under: Sitecore — joel.cass @ 11:02 am

Recently I was working on a site in Sitecore, and was thinking that it would be great if the editor stylesheet could be changed in the system.

Searching the Internet was generally fruitless, and looking through the core data, I couldn’t find any stylesheet config strings. Then, I stumbled upon the SIP Intranet guide, which pointed out that the editor stylesheet is in the web.config:

(section 4.2.1) The stylesheet that is used for the styling of the rich text fields within the editor is determined by the WebStylesheet setting in the web.config file.

And there it is:

Changing this field did actually update the CSS used in the editor, as well as populate the styles listed.

October 19, 2010

Please sponsor me!

Filed under: Cycling — joel.cass @ 10:26 am

I have entered the 2010 MS Sydney to the Gong Bike Ride and have committed to fundraise $1000.00 in support of people living with Multiple Sclerosis. This year MS Australia aims to raise $4,000,000 through the event, and I want to play my part and “ride for a purpose”.

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system affecting more young adult Australians than any other neurological condition. Your donation will go directly towards providing a wide range of services and support to people living with MS.

Please take a moment to view my online fundraising web page and help me reach my goal. It”s quick and easy. You can donate securely online using your credit card by clicking on the link below:

All information is secure and all donations will be sent electronically to MS Australia ACT/NSW/VIC. A tax-deductible receipt will automatically be sent to your inbox once the donation is verified.

Did you know?
- The average age of diagnosis of MS is just 30 years
- 3 times more women than men are affected by MS
- An estimated 20,000 people in Australia have MS
- There is no known cause or cure

Your support is greatly appreciated.

October 6, 2010

SQL Server 2000 Replication – Good one Microsoft

Filed under: Database — joel.cass @ 3:56 pm

One thing that I hate having to deal with, is replication in SQL Server 2000. It just seems like it’s half finished, and no-one bothered to think about what they’re doing when they wrote it. I’m not going to profess that I’m an expert in the area, I just think that it should have been done differently.

Recently I’ve had to set up replication going both ways between two servers. I had been recommended to stick to transactional replication, as it is being used on other databases set up similarly. One problem I have been having with transactional replication however, is that if a table is replicated both ways, the transactions related to the replication of data will be replicated, resulting in a horrible circular reference and before too long, full logs and no more disk space.

Furthermore, you will get random errors that occur anytime new data is inserted into a table on either database: “Cannot insert duplicate key row in object [blah]” or “Violation of [blah] constraint ‘[blah]‘. Cannot insert duplicate key in object ‘[blah]‘.”. Microsoft erroneously suggest that you add the term “-SkipErrors 2601;2627″ to the startup of the Distribution agent. Wrong. It should be “-SkipErrors 2601:2627″ – and, no error occurs on startup if the parameter is incorrect.

So, solving the full logs issue? You will need to stop both agents from running continuously, and schedule one or both of the transfers to happen every [x] minutes, otherwise the transactions will be replicated non-stop until the logs are full.

But the best solution for two-way replication would not be to bother at all with SQL Server transactional replication, at least for 2000. You could try merge replication, or set up a web service to allow data only to be written to a master db and replicated back to the child databases. Two-way replication is a bad idea.

October 1, 2010

Seagate “Expansion” Drive powering itself off?

Filed under: Technology — joel.cass @ 4:13 pm

I don’t know what genius wrote the power management “feature” of Seagate’s new range of low-price external drives. I recently purchased a 2GB Seagate “Expansion” powered external drive, and continually while I was trying to make all-important backups of my data, the drive would power itself down and I’d continually get these “delayed write failed” messages, which indicate potentially lost data.

One would expect that such a dodgy feature would be turned off by default. But no, the drive is configured to power itself down every 15 minutes, no matter what you might be doing with it. It’s a bloody stupid feature and whoever designed it needs to read a book on logical decisions.. Or learn to read.. or whatever

Anyway I digress, to fix the problem you will need to download the FreeAgent software from Seagate’s website, install it, run it, select your drive, click on “Adjust power setting” and set it to “Never”. More details can be found in the FreeAgent User guide, page 9.

You will never need to use this feature, the drive will power down when your computer is turned off or in standby. It will not turn on by itself whilst disconnected, at least not in my experience.

Furthermore it’s frustrating that I had to figure this out on my own. Endless perusal of FAQ’s, forums on the Seagate site, came to no avail. These guys clearly do not care about their product or the opinions of the customer. Well, here they are: I bought once, will never buy again.