Getting MSVS 2011 to register

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There’s a lot of bad information going around about a defect in the Windows 8 Metro developer license setup pass for Metro development on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
Specifically, the license servers are overloaded, and mostly-failing.

The way the MSVS panel responds is to give the message

We couldn’t get your developer license for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Please check your network connection and try again

Error 80004005

However, what’s actually going on is simpler: MSVS is calling some command line program, and that command line program, when it doesn’t get an answer from the other side, assumes your side is broken (thus the comment about checking your network – something it could easily – and should – do itself.)

Honestly, this is like a popular eBay auction – just keep trying, and hammer the servers until they do their job.

You could do that by closing and re-opening Visual Studio 2011, but honestly, who wants to do that?  It’s invoking a program called “Show-WindowsDeveloperLicenseRegistration“.  Just open a shell or a PowerShell and run that.  You’ll probably see the same error message; keep trying.

It took me six tries.  Once that command completes, opening MSVS will just work.

Honestly, someone really should update that tool to fail in a more transparent fashion; people are re-installing operating systems to get around what should be “try again in five minutes.”

Thank you. Finally.

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Read it from them. IE <= 7 dies.

A better approach to MySQL row generation

SQL, SQL 2 Comments

I love Markus Winand.  Use the Index, Luke taught me a lot about SQL.

Markus has produced a coping strategy for some of MySQL’s limitations in generating sequences.  I present an alternative form which produces arbitrary sized ranges, which he seems to believe is not possible.  Ah, Markus: it is.

So, this article is actually wrong.  There’s a call-time limitation I didn’t know about: apparently in MySQL you can’t call a stored procedure from a query.  That renders this seriously useless.  I’m leaving the article up just for the sake of permanence.

This advice is wrong.  Do not believe it.  I was in error.  It is kept only for posterity.

-- -------
--  in re:
--  No, this way is not our only hope: there is another.

drop procedure if exists nseq;

delimiter //

-- -------
--  Use union all to generate a 2-row table.  
--  Use log 2 to find power expansion count to cap the desired size.
--  Use cross joins to expand our 2-row to the smallest superior table.
--  Select the diminished part to get our sequence.

create procedure nseq(in upto integer)

    declare itLeft integer default -1;

    set itLeft = ceil(log2(upto));

    set @front := 'select rownum from (select @rownum := @rownum+1 as rownum
                   from (SELECT @rownum := 0) r, (select 1 as hidden union
                   all select 2) a0';
    set @upTo  := upto;

    set @interior := '';
    while (itLeft > 1) do
        set @interior := concat(@interior, ' cross join (select 1 as hidden
                         union all select 2) a', cast(itLeft as char));
        set itLeft    := itLeft - 1;
    end while;

    set @back  := ') sl where rownum <= ?;';
    set @query := concat(@front, @interior, @back);

    prepare stmt from @query;
    execute stmt using @upTo;  
    deallocate prepare stmt;  

end //

delimiter ;

Hopefully he will agree, or explain what I didn’t understand in his needs.  :)

Why the 3DS isn’t selling

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The media invariably seems to think that the problem with the 3DS is that it’s too expensive (after dollar value adjustment it’s not as expensive as almost any of Nintendo’s other portables have been,) or that somehow this is Apple’s doing.

This is all bullshit.

The problem is simple, and it’s the same thing that has crippled many, many platforms in the past. It’s what’s killing Win7 phone today.

There are no desirable software packages for the platform. I’ve had one since launch day, and I still haven’t bought any games other than the one I bought on launch day, because they’re all the same garbage that’s been being sold for ten years, and none of them do anything interesting with the new hardware.

Nintendo needs to wake the fuck up and change its software production availability to small producers, or *that* will sink the company. The platform has been out for six months and there are barely 40 games (for comparison, the DS launched with nearly double that, and people screamed at the sky for the limited game catalog.)

The iPhone gets about that many games released PER HOUR.

I hate playing games on my iPhone, but at least my iPhone has games I want to play.

Wake up, Redmond; Japan isn’t going to fix this.

My blog is about what again?

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I just noticed that I haven’t written about code in literally years.

For shame, fat man.


Hooray, PrinceXML does JavaScript!

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One of my favorite, unbelievably under-appreciated tools – PrinceXML – is in beta of version 8, and that beta includes JavaScript.


Time to dust off one of my old unused domains.  :D

Hooray, IE9 does protovis!

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At this time the Protovis example gallery’s HTML is not shipping a doctype, meaning that IE eats that page in quirksmode, so the graphs don’t show.

However, if you hit F12, pull Document Mode down and hit IE9 Standards, suddenly they nearly all work. :) To fix this permanently, all the Protovis team needs to do is add a doctype (preferably HTML 4.01 strict) to their pages.

Currently, streamgraph, bubble charts, force directed layout, dymaxion maps, conway’s life, belousov-zhabotinsky, n-body and automaton explorer are broken. Everything else works flawlessly, and the rotated tiny text is *gorgeous*.  The animated and live graphs are lightning fast, and sparklines are perfectly positioned.

Adobe’s installer engineers hit one out of the ballpark

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So, I go to install my Creative Suite 5 Web Premium upgrade, and I’m looking at version 4, and there’s a bubble in the disc.  Rageface.  Call the company preparing to have to spend $40 to have a DVD mailed to me two weeks from now.

Nope.  Put in the old serial, the new serial, put in Adobe’s version of a mouse Konami code, get a challenge code to give to the phone guy, give a magic number back, bang, CS5 installs.

A-fucking-plus, guys.  That was awesome.

What a pity – the Tufte talk was terrible

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I’m really sad about this, as I had been looking forward to the Tufte talk for months.  It’s just a directed reading from the books.  He doesn’t add anything except made up data (like that analog plate printings from the 1500s are eight times higher resolution than your laptop and cell phone, because apparently he hasn’t noticed how different those resolutions are in his highly made up measurement.)

Powerpoint jabs every 20 minutes or so.  Don’t user test – Jonathan Ives doesn’t, and Microsoft does.  Repeated appeals to buy his mother’s book.  Let’s turn to page X and spend five minutes silently appreciating this graph, then move on with no expounding at all.

For that price, I had expected at least some content other than what’s in the books.  I didn’t think I was paying almost $400 to have the author read his book to me.

I expected better.

Firaxis love/hate – Civilization 5, y u no werks? Brilliant garbage :(

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Six months in, and Civ5 still can’t get basic network play running. Call 2k? They just insist nothing’s wrong.

Why must the most brilliant game ever made be so broken?  :(

Know about a bug?  Add it to comments here please.  They turn a blind eye to the forums.  :(

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