Archives / 2006 / August
  • Web Search with Lucene.NET

    I've been working with Lucene.NET and a project called Seekafile based on it for the last few days.

    Seekafile runs as a windows service that builds a Lucene index in the background. You can then use it to build Windows and Web clients that search that index.

    Using a few lines of code I was able to quickly build an index of our intranet (including text, html, Word documents, etc) and a simple web site to search it.

    This all started after I tried to use the Microsoft Index Service. I was able to get it up and running quick enough but the search capabilities were pretty limiting. What I wanted was "Google" style searching and the Index Service doesn't seem capable of doing it (at least not without more of a development effort invested into it).

    There were a few issues with Seekafile, namely that the management UI is somewhat limited (adding index directories is tedious for example) and you cannot exclude directories or filter what is added to the index. But other than that it does exactly what I needed - add a simple searchable index to our intranet.

    Overall I though it worked really well and it has running without incident for 24 hours.

  • Visual Studio 2005 SDK - August 2006

    I while back I notices that there was going to be an August release of the VS2005 SDK. There was a a nice blurb on the Microsoft website about it

    The August 2006 v3 RTM is the next milestone in the VS 2005 SDK. This RTM release contains updated VS Integration sample and documentation content, including updates to the Team System SDK bits to make them more usable ( including whitepapers in the Doc-set, exploding all the sample zips so the files are all installed ), the IronPython end-end integration sample with Web Projects support for both web site and web application projects, updated wizards ( using the new Editor reference code from v2 ) new and Powertoys including the Extensibility Explorer in-memory hierarchy sample that browses installed Packages, Services, ToolWindows, Editors, and Project Systems..

    But so far the link for this version has remained dead. I'm not sure if this is an oversight or not.

    Thanks to Gabriel Lozano-Morán however I was able to download it anyway. Turns out that while the link isn't working, the file is. You get get instructions on download it from here.

  • Swollen Capacitors

    My PC at work was exhibiting some odd behavior; namely it was turning of abruptly. Occasionally when this happened it exhibited a secondary symptom - it emulated the sound of a Boeing 747 at take off.

    Turns out that it was caused by "swollen capacitors". I'd never heard of such a thing. Neither had the head of IT who thought the Dell support tech must be drinking on the job when he suggest it. Turns out this is a great description, the tops of several capacitors on the motherboard were noticeably "swollen".

    I found a page that talks about this problem at Trend IT.

    Who'da thunk.

  • New Job

    It seems I'm one of those "lame bloggers who doesn’t say much". Truth be told, I've just never had much of interest to say. But maybe that will change now.

    This month I accepted a job with Parlance Corporation. Their flagship product is called nameConnector. It is a managed appliance that - among a number other things - integrates with a company's phone system allowing you to reach people by simply stating a person's name or a location ("Conference Room One" or "John Smith").

    I'll be working with some exciting technology including speech recognition and VoiceXML. And I'll be building a number of internal and customer-facing tools using C#, Windows Forms, ASP.NET, and Python (including Iron Python). It has been awhile since I was this excited about writing software. I've missed this feeling.

    So who knows, maybe now I'll have some more interesting things to talk about.


    Don't hold your breath though... :)