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Questions To Ponder

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Some of these questions keep me thinking during moments of idle processing….

Q: What happens when we use partial page caching and VaryByControl in ASP.NET?

A: I don’t know.
The documentation says “set the VaryByControls parameter to the ID property value of the ASP.NET server control in the user control that you want to vary the user control output by”. OK … but what exactly does the runtime do with the server control you point to? Does it examine a specific property on the control? Does it examine every property on the control? What does it examine, exactly, to determine if this version is different than the cached version?

Q: Why, when I need just 10 minutes of complete silence to finish an idea, do I never get 10 minutes of silence?

A: I don’t know.
At 2 AM in the morning (typically a quiet time), I am finally on the verge of a mental breakthrough and suddenly the sound of squealing tires outside breaks the silence. The sound wouldn’t be all that distracting except the squeal turns into the noise of a drunken teenager carrening his car through the well manicured shrubbery of my neighbor's front lawn. The next noise is the crunchy thump of car meeting ditch. Then come the fire engine sirens, the state police sirens, and the ambulance sirens. Everyone walks away from the accident without physical injury, but I’ve lost my train of thought.

Q: Why do my Outlook 2003 menus no longer drop down when I hit a shortcut key?

A: I don’t know.
I used to hit Alt+E and the Edit menu would drop down. Then I could hit C, for example, and the Copy command would execute. Now I hit Alt+E and the Edit menu just highlights. Hitting an accelerator key like C then doesn’t do anything at all. Aggravating!

Q: What does it take to get some link love from Rory Blyth?

A: I don’t know.
However, Rory is having a contest, and you can win a nice prize.
I'm entering Rory's stupid contest, and I'm lowering my chances of winning by telling you about it, too.

Q: Why does Virtual PC give misleading numbers in the task manager?

A: I don’t know.
With the VPC beta you could launch VPC and look in task manager and see a reasonable approximation of how much RAM the virtual machines were using. Since the release I look at Virtual PC while I am running a machine with 512MB of RAM and VirtualPC.exe is only using 17MB of RAM. Weird.

Q: What is the deal with my PocketPC and Secure Digital Memory Cards?

A: I have no idea.
Sometimes the contents of my SD cards simply disappear - all the files are gone. Sometimes the cards fill up with directories named ‘.’. I’ve tried two different cards in two different Pocket PCs – it happens on every combination. I use the cards to carry MP3 files around – nothing important – and I used to play the MP3s with Windows Media player. I thought it might be WMP wiping out the storage cards – so I tried Pocket Music, but the same thing happens. I’ve tried utilities to reformat the cards. I’ve tried utilities to scan for defects – none. I don’t know anyone else with this problem, so I’m beginning to wonder –

Q: Do I attract more cosmic rays than the average human?

A: I don't know.

[Currently listening to: NOTHING! And it's nice and quiet that way (0:10)]