Windows XP SP2

Windows XP Service Pack 2 is now available for download to MSDN subscribers; the public download will probably arrive in the next few days. The Service Pack itself weighs in at a chunky 275MB download, but that climbs to 475 if you grab the ISO image of the installation CD. They’re not kidding when they suggest you order might want to order the CD instead.

I’ve been looking forward to SP2 mostly because there are now so many patches and updates to SP1 that doing a fresh install of XP takes bloody hours. Time to slipstream this puppy and ease that pain.

August is training month

I took the Microsoft exam 70-320 (“Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework”) this morning, and passed. Not a difficult exam, as these things go. As usual, I went into it worrying I was under-prepared, and came out of it thinking that I’d spent way too much time studying for it. Meh.

This August is going to be a training month for me. My last contract finished at the end of July, and I have a new one lined up for the start of September. As well as this morning’s exam, I’ve got two more scheduled for the week after next: 70-229 (SQL Server) and 70-316 (Winforms with C#). Assuming I pass those, that will sort me out with my MCSD for .NET certification. That’s the main goal for the month.

As well as that, I intend to get myself up to speed on WordPress and ExpressionEngine. And now that I’ve got my MSDN Universal subscription up and running, it would be kind of groovy to start rocking on an MCMS install, too. Content management, yeah baby!

Not to forget all the work I still have to do here on Sunpig to get the new site design and structure finished. Plus there’s a couple of friends’ sites I have promised to sort out. And I’ve got a nifty little Movable Type hack I need to write up. And…and…

Turns out that August is probably going to be busier than a normal month of work.

Oh, and I baked an apple pie this afternoon! Mmmmmmmm….Pie…..

Local Virtual Hosts with Apache

Dave Shea on setting up Virtual Hosts:

Virtual hosts enable you to intelligently run multiple sites on a single server. The useful side effect is that with proper setup, you can point your browser to www.whatever.whatever and load a local copy. My development site is now, which works exactly the same as the .com, just faster. I don’t even need a connection to work on it, because it’s all local; all my PHP scripts and Movable Type templates work, and the local filesystem access is so much nicer than using FTP.

I’ve long been aware of their use, but never committed to learning how to set up virtual hosts in Apache. A conversation with Narayan of Etherfarm on his recent trip through Vancouver enlightened, and it’s really ridiculously easy, to the point where I wish I’d done this last year.

It’s just like kludging about with the Microsoft Loopback Adapter and hacking around with your HOSTS file…only a couple of orders of magnitude easier.

Nnnngggg. The time I’ve wasted….