During the course of the day I encounter lots of challenges, some of which take minutes to solve and others that take much longer. My goal for this section is to keep track of these challenges and their solutions. I will turn the longer ones into articles, while the shorter ones will stay as blog entries. You can expect topics to range from very specific programming challenges to broader topics like life.

Below is a list of the recent blog entries. You can also browse the blog by using the tags on the right side, or if you know what you are looking for then you can use the search box at the top right.

Slow Day

Today has mostly been a very slow day. I worked on grabbing some tasks from Exchange for a little while then had to migrate my desktop app code to an web app. The desktop app was mostly a hack anyways so this was good because now I refactored the code. The new classes should really speed up the rest of the reports. I will try to write an article about my experience as soon as this project is finished.

My next challenge: Booting linux remotely

Lately I have had a need for an extra computer, and by chance I have got a Pentium Celeron 500 MHz computer sitting around. The problem is that hard drive on this computer has gone bad, but it does have a cd-rom and a sloppy drive, both of which are working fine. Even though hard drives are pretty cheap now a days but I have decided to take this on as a challenge and set it up as a remotely booting Linux machine.

In order to build a machine that doesn’t require even a single input source (i.e. floppy / cd-rom) you have to have a card that supports Preboot eXecution Environment (or PXE). Unfortunately the card that I have installed in that computer does not support PXE so that option is gone. From my research so far there is at least one package out there that can emulate a PXE somehow. Thats all I know about it for now… I am able to successfully set this up then I will try to put a tutorial to do it, that is, unless I find one thats already pretty good. 🙂

Checking Out Drupal

Well, somehow I stumbled upon the Drupal Content Management System today and decided to try it out. Drupal’s default interface looked pretty nice and it comes with most of the things that I needed. Also, you can put PHP code with-in the blog entries! pretty nifty. So far so good and hopefully it will stay the same.

eConnect / Great Plains: Introduction to Everything

This is where I start. Ideally I would like to give an overview of Great Plains before diving into the details but again, I don’t have too much time and most of the information in available on Microsoft’s Great Plain website (or so you would think :)). Anyways, here just a brief overview of Great Plains…

Great Plains

Great Plains (GP) was an accounting software offered by a company called Great Plains Software, Inc. I say ‘was’ because it was bought out by Microsoft in April 2001 and is now part of Microsoft. I haven’t had to deal with any of the previous versions of GP but my latest interaction with GP 7.5 hasn’t been the best one. I admit that this is a humungous application and probably requires a lot of upfront training but I still took on the challenge!


eConnect is the API provided by Microsoft for GP. This provides several different ways that can be used to connect to GP (including MSMQ, Biztalk, SOAP).

Test node

This is a test node