September BADNUG Meeting – Windows Installer XML (WIX)

The September BADNUG meeting will be this Thursday (Sep 28),  from 6-8
pm at Communifax HQ.  Eric Kepes will discuss WiX.  The Windows Installer XML (WiX) is a
toolset that builds Windows installation packages from XML source code. 
It’s also one of the first (if not the first) open source tool from Microsoft
hosted on SourceForge (project at

If you need to deploy desktop applications to your user base or clients, WiX
is one good option for customizing the installation process.

Free Chapters from Crystal Reports Encyclopedia

I received the following e-mail from today:

It’s been a long time since I sent out a newsletter because I’ve been busy writing a new book, “Crystal Reports XI Encyclopedia, Volume 1”.

I’m a few chapters from finishing and I’m making the chapters available online as I finish them. The first four chapters have been posted so far. You can download each chapter for free and read it before the book is in the bookstores.

I also want to thank everyone who has linked to my website and helped generate a lot more traffic. So I’m posting new articles as well.

Read tips and tricks for
* Formatting numbers as percentages
* Efficient use of global constants
* Getting rid of the red “X” icons on ASP.NET pages
* and much more!

If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ve seen me recommend his book almost endlessly.  If that’s any indication, then his newest book will be an invaluable Crystal Reports XI Reference.

Banned Book Week on Google Book Week

Book Week
is the last week of September (coincidentally, so is my birthday),
and Google Book Search is highlighting a number of
challenged or banned books
.  I was surprised to how many of the books
on the list were required reading in my rural Kentucky school district (not so
rural anymore, but was 20 years ago).  Plus, I’d read many on my own. 
I do remember some attempts to have books banned, and even one book burning (I
think it was Tom Sawyer), but that met with no success.

I’m curious as to the reasons for why some of these books are being
challenged.  OK, I get why some folks may not want Lolita rolling around a
middle school reading list.  But apparently I missed something in
James and the Giant Peach, which I read as a kid.  If anything, many of the
books should be required reading just for the sake of not repeating some of the
horros of the past.  I can’t really imagine a world without Salinger,
Vonnegut, Faulkner or Steinbeck, and I’d hate for any kids I might have one day
to live in such a world.

Hat Tip: Download

Adding Lightbox to dasBlog

Lightbox is that cool photo-opening javascript/css combo.  You know, the one where the page is greyed out and the image is overlaid on the page.  If you haven’t seen it, go to for a demo.  While you’re there, download it.

Once you have the download, unzip it.  Upload the JS, CSS and IMAGES folders to your dasBlog root.  If you have an images folder there already, just add the images to that folder.

To add the scripts and CSS to your blog, you need to find the theme.  Figure out which theme you’re using, and drill down in the Themes folder, and open your theme’s folder.

Find the homeTemplate.blogtemplate file, and open it in Notepad.  In the <HEAD> section, add the four includes (three JS and one CSS) as specified on the Lightbox sit  You can cut and paste from the sample page in the ZIP if you’re lazy.

That’s it!  All you need to do is activate your links with ‘rel=”lightbox”’, and you’re good to go.

Update: Picasa and Netgear SC101

There is a workaround to get Picasa to index a photo collection on an Netgear SC101.  The trick is, you have to set Picasa to save imported pictures in the root of the photo drive–go Tools >> Options >> General.  Click the Browse button (next to “Save Imported Pictures In”), and click OK.  Picasa will then index your entire drive.

Another option you have is to use the Import functionality, and import your folders from your Netgear drive.  This requires much patience, and the application may claim to be “Not Responding”, but it’s just loading information from the drive.  If you have a lot of photos, this can take a while.

I still can’t get Picasa to add additional SC101 drives via the foler manager, so it’s a good thing I have a partition dedicated to just photos.

September BADNUG Meeting – WiX

The Windows Installer XML (WiX) is a toolset that builds Windows installation packages from XML source code.  It’s also one of the first (if not the first) open source tool from Microsoft hosted on SourceForge (project at

Join as as Eric Kepes talks about WiX and how it can be used to create customized deployment packages.  The meeting will run from 6–8 pm on September 28, pizza and refreshments provided.  Directions to Communifax HQ at