Archive for March, 2006

SQL performance: Nested select statements.

This is a tip for restructuring nested select statements to make them run faster in SQL server. I can’t vouch for this in all situations, but It shortened a long SQL query for me from 1 hour to 7 minutes.
Where you have
Select * from xyz where id in
   Select * from abc where id in
    select id from def
I recommend re-writing as
   Select * into #abcdef from abc where id in
    select id from def
Select * from xyz where id in
   select id from #abcdef
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Charset reverting to Windows standard

On Internet eplorer 6 SP1, If you perform a Response.Flush() before any content goes to the page, then the charset will revert to Windows. Regardless if the charset is set in the HTML.
If you put this line in Page_load, it should fix the problem
Response.Charset = "UTF-8";
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Differences between CHOICE command in Batch files

Batch files may be arcane, but they serve well for quick & nasty build scripts. One point to note that I fell into a trap today is the difference in the implementation of the CHOICE command (prompting the user for input) between Windows 9x and Windows 2000/XP. – Alot of documentation on Batch files is quite old, and thus doesn’t mark any difference
Windows 9x:
CHOICE /C:123 /N Please choose a menu option.
Windows 2000/XP:
set choice=
set /p choice=Please choose a menu option.
if not ‘%choice%’==” set choice=%choice:~0,1%
if ‘%choice%’==’1’ goto LOCAL
if ‘%choice%’==’2’ goto BACKUP
if ‘%choice%’==’3’ goto LIVE
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Google Toolbar buttons… second attempt

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Transparent Localisation

I’ve just launched one website, in four different languages all in the same path, with the same files & database under IIS. (english) (german) (french) (Spanish).
How did I do it?

public static string getGetSiteCulture()


string strUrl = System.Web.HttpContext.Current.Request.Url.ToString().ToLower();

string strCulture = "en-GB";

if (strUrl.IndexOf("mensajetexto")!=-1) {strCulture = "es-ES";}

if (strUrl.IndexOf("handyspruche")!=-1) {strCulture = "de-DE";}

if (strUrl.IndexOf("envoyezsms")!=-1){strCulture = "fr-FR";}

return strCulture;



Then I have 4 different Resource files,, strings.en-GB.resx etc.

public static string Translate(string ID)


rmTranslations.IgnoreCase =


string strTranslation ="";

Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture =

new CultureInfo(getGetSiteCulture());

Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture =

new CultureInfo(getGetSiteCulture());


{strTranslation= rmTranslations.GetString(ID);}


throw new Exception(ID + " not found");


return strTranslation;



Then in place of static text, I put Translations.Translate("Whatever")

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Parsing Skylights Route information

A company which develops airline websites, known as SkyLights, has a common format for javascript which they place on their webpages to populate two dynamic drop down lists for their routes.
This can be parsed out of the page, using this c# code

// var aVCE = new Array(‘TXL’,’HAM’,’HAJ’,’CGN’,’STR’, 0);

string[] strlines = Regex.Split(tbEntry.Text,@"n");

string strOutput = "";

foreach(string strLine in strlines)


string strFromIata = Regex.Match(strLine,@"a(w{3})s").Groups[1].Value;

MatchCollection mcIatas = Regex.Matches(strLine,@"’w{3}’");

foreach(Match mIata in mcIatas)


strOutput+="’" + strFromIata + "’," + mIata.Value + "rn";



tbEntry.Text = strOutput;

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Google Toolbar buttons

With the new version of Google toolbar, you can add your own buttons to it, with quite a simple technique.
Step 1.Create an .ico file,
Step 2. Base 64 encode it :

FileStream fsIco = new FileStream(tbIco.Text,FileMode.Open);

byte[] bIco = new byte[fsIco.Length];



this.tbOutput.Text = Convert.ToBase64String(bIco);



Step 3: Create an XML file containing the encoded icon


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<custombuttons xmlns="">
<description>Cheap Flights from Ireland</description>
<icon mode="base64" type="image/x-icon">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</icon>


step 4.

Host the xml file on line  – I called it slashdot_button.xml

Then let people download it from


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“Cannot open SQL server” bug Crystal Reports

This one baffled me for a while. I was trying to connect to a Crystal Report from VB, with an Access database. And it was giving me a "Cannot open SQL server", even though I was not using SQL server.
Under Database / Add Database, you have several options to add an access database,
eithe ODBC, OLEDB or Database File.
I found that Database File worked, the other two didn’t. This could be down to the
connection string that I used in my program though.
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IT clearout

   I’m clearing out my house of some books and equipment, prob. going to list them on ebay soon. If you’re interested in any of these, drop a note on the blog or by email. Developing windows based applications in c# Net2Plug power cable home networking kit.
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