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Lance Robinson

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Lance Robinson is a software engineer in Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and surrounding areas. More about Lance.


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How Expedia Made My New Bride Cry
If you would like to help me out, you can Tweet this story OR email Expedia and ask them to make things right for me and my wife. This is the story of how Expedia made my new bride cry. When Expedia followed up their failure with our honeymoon trip with a complete and total lack of acknowledgement of any responsibility for the problem and endless loops of explaining the issue over and over again - I swore that they would make it right. When they brought my new bride to tears, I got an immediate and ......

Posted On Sunday, June 19, 2011 10:00 AM

Large Hosts Files
Its hard to find much technical information on the Windows Hosts file, beyond what is pretty much common knowledge. Some questions I had recently that were hard to find the answers to: Q. How big can the hosts file be? A. I still haven’t found an answer to this one, but apparently pretty darn big. The Hosts file is over 600Kb and still growing (it is designed to block certain malware related sites). Q. How long can a single line in a hosts file be? A. It seems the answer to this question ......

Posted On Monday, September 27, 2010 12:39 PM

How to Clear the Squid Proxy Cache in Windows
For some reason directions for clearing the Squid proxy cache (in Windows) seemed hard to come by on the web, so I thought I’d post them here. Hope this helps someone: Run MMC and load the services snap-in, kill the running squid process. Empty Squid’s cache folder (e.g. C:\squid\vars\cache\). Run Squid with the –z parameter to rebuild the cache folder structure (e.g. C:\squid\sbin\squid.exe –z). From the services snap-in of MMC, restart the squid service ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 1, 2010 10:52 AM

Automatically Wake Your PC Before Your Arrival
Just a quickie convenience tip. Some mornings it seems to take my computer a little too long to “wake up” after being hibernated overnight. This annoyed me, but as of today it annoys me no longer. This morning my computer was fresh and ready to go as soon as I sat down at my desk. These instructions are for Windows 7, however the same basic idea will work fine in Vista and XP. From Control Panel, choose Administrative Tools, and then Task Scheduler. Create a basic task. This task can be for anything ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 1, 2010 9:11 AM

Remote Desktop Copy and Paste Clipboard Stopped Working

Seemingly out of the blue, copy and paste from my local desktop to Remote Desktop stopped working.  I had to resort to *gasp* FTP (ok, so it wasn’t that big a deal but it was still annoying to me).  Anyway, the solution turned out to be very simple:  On the remote machine, just bring up the task manager and kill and restart rdpclip.exe.  Voila, problem solved.

Posted On Monday, August 16, 2010 2:41 PM

Leaving /n software, headed to new startup
I've been extremely fortunate to work at /n software, but after more than 9 years, the time has come for me to say "goodbye". This Friday will be my last day. The people behind the amazing machine that is /n software are great, hard working people, and I'll be a fan for life. Most importantly though, I'm looking forward to new experiences and new challenges. I'll be joining an exciting new online marketing startup in Chapel Hill (more about them later!). My new work will be as a C# developer, but ......

Posted On Thursday, March 18, 2010 9:56 AM

Kayaking on the Deep River
If you know of a better place to take-out of the Deep River at US1, I’d appreciate a note here. :) Yesterday, my buddy Blake and I went out on a kayak adventure on the Deep River. “Kayak”, because we took kayaks with us. “Adventure” because it was very loosely planned and we figured if we ran into any trouble we’d just figure it out and deal with it. Turned out we did run into some trouble and we did deal with it! It was a ton of fun! We knew there was a take-out spot somewhere near the US1 bridge ......

Posted On Monday, November 9, 2009 10:42 AM

No, &Registry.find_name;, we don't install anything else on your machine.
The FAQ at is funny. :) I love it when software companies put on this sort of laid back front. Q: Spyware! You have some sort of spyware that accompanies your install. You're harvesting information about me, aren't you? No, &Registry.find_name;, we don't install anything else on your machine. Technorati Tags: AS2, EDI ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 10, 2008 1:11 PM

TwitterMinder and Flickr->Twitter scripts
If you’re an RSSBus user who is using my Google Calendar –> Twitter or Flickr –> Twitter services, you might notice a minor change to both. I changed Twitterminder so that tweets resulting from Google Calendar entries are prepended with “GCal: “. I did the same thing with the Flickr->Twitter script, it will now prepend “Flickr: “. Related: How to call these services from your own applications. Related: How I converted TwitterMinder into Flickr->Twitter by changing 4 lines of code ......

Posted On Thursday, August 28, 2008 1:58 PM

SUP – Simple Update Protocol for feed services
This is cool – FriendFeed created the SUP protocol (format) for web services that produce multiple feeds. In order to reduce tons of frequent feed polling, services can offer one “SUP feed” that indicates what feeds on the service have been updated. It works very simply. Each RSS/Atom feed includes a link tag with that feeds SUP-ID (so each feed has its own SUP-ID) and the URL of the SUP feed. The SUP feed contains a list of all the SUP-ID’s of feeds that have been updated ......

Posted On Thursday, August 28, 2008 11:02 AM

Adding Tweet Button to ActiveModules’ ActiveForums
Here is how to add a “Tweet” button to your ActiveForums threads, using John Resig’s (@jeresig) “Easy Retweet Button”. I added a “Tweet” button to the header of each post, right next to the existing quote/reply buttons. First, modified the default styling of John’s retweet.js so that the tweet button matches ActiveForums. I modified retweet in the following ways: Set the link_text to just “ Tweet”. I killed the click count by setting count_type to “none”. Completely deleted the “styling:” ......

Posted On Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:20 AM

Adding Google Adsense to ActiveModules’ ActiveForums
Go to the forum control panel, Templates. If want to modify the ForumView, click on it and insert your Adsense code after the very first [BREADCRUMB], ie: <%@ Register TagPrefix="am" TagName="ForumJump" Src="~/DesktopModules/NTFor... <%@ Register TagPrefix="am" TagName="Stats" Src="~/DesktopModules/NTFor... <%@ Register TagPrefix="am" TagName="WhosOnline" Src="~/DesktopModules/NTFor... [BREADCRUMB] ......

Posted On Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:20 AM

SlickEdit 2009 Evaluation
I was asked to evaluate SlickEdit 2009, so I dropped Ultra-Edit for about three weeks and used only SlickEdit 2009. Here is a little “log” of my thoughts on the switch: - SE setup asked to add to my system path – I don’t like having to add stuff to my path. What is the benefit of adding this? [SE Staff:] Many of our customers are heavy keyboard and command line users. Adding SlickEdit to the path allows you to invoke it and its related utilities using the command line. - The first thing I went to ......

Posted On Thursday, September 17, 2009 7:00 AM

Twitter Button to GeekswithBlogs/SubText Skin
I’ve always wished I could customize the skin on my blog at GeeksWithBlogs.Net. GeeksWithBlogs is built on SubText, and of course its just a skin, but since GWB is hosting my blog and I don’t have control over the skin files myself I am limited to what I can do with it. Well, today I finally did it, after some inspiration from John Resig (@jeresig) and his “Easy Retweet Button”. I added a “Tweet This!” button to the footer of each post. First, I modified the default styling of John’s retweet.js so ......

Posted On Thursday, July 23, 2009 9:03 AM

Worst IT Excuses
From Bill Ryan, from unknown: It works on my machine It doesn't matter because no one will ever do that Users like it the way it is I don't write any bugs It'll be fixed in the next release It'll be ready on Monday, we just need to build the setup package The spam filter ate it A little more RAM will fix your performance problem You can't do that because it's a security risk The database is slow because it's too normalized I've heard a few of these before. Also there's: - It'll be ready on Monday, ......

Posted On Thursday, August 9, 2007 4:55 PM

Amazon Flexible Payments Service
It looks like Amazon has a new web service, FPS - the Amazon Flexible Payments Service. This one will allow developers to build Amazon payment functionality directly into their applications. The service looks to be similar to PayPals ExpressCheckout. FPS OverviewFPS Technical Docs ......

Posted On Friday, August 3, 2007 9:19 AM

Outdoor Volleyball Fun
I posted some pictures (none of me, because I was busy taking them) of this past weekends King/Queen grass doubles tournament. Also here is a short video, sorry I didn't feel like standing there recording video all day long so there is just one quick point ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 18, 2007 9:16 PM

Stop Unfair Beer Taxation In North Carolina
I got the email below yesterday from the folks at "All About Beer" magazine - those that host the yearly Beer Festival in Raleigh and Durham. I don't know about you - but I don't want to my favorite small micro-breweries knocked out of business due to unfair taxation. We're already paying enough taxes on beer and wine. If you are a citizen of North Carolina, I would ask that you take a minute to do the two quick things suggested in the email. Thanks! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~... ......

Posted On Saturday, June 27, 2009 6:13 AM

Lance's Non-Techie Guide to Free HD TV
I have been free of my monstrous cable tv bill for many months now, and I love it! Woooo! A while back I posted about how I want to get revenge on Cable companies by helping as many people as I can kill their cable service in favor of free HD tv over the air and over the Internet. There are other “free TV” guides on the Internet – but they suck because they are too generic, too technical, or not technical enough. Hopefully this one doesn’t suck. Let me know if you have any questions – if you tell ......

Posted On Monday, June 8, 2009 12:30 PM

I’ll be a guest on the PowerScripting Podcast
I’ll be a guest on the extremely informative PowerScripting Podcast this Thursday evening (4/2/09). I’ll talk about some of the PowerShell-related products I am working on at /n software like NetCmdlets, RSSBus, PowerShell Server, as well as join in on some general PowerShell geek fun. Also I’ll give a sneak peak of some new freebie PowerShell toys coming out for PowerShell enthusiasts. Join in on the live UStream at 9pm EST Thursday and say “hi” – or download the podcast later from the PowerScripting ......

Posted On Monday, March 30, 2009 12:28 PM

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