Great Review of Noise Cancellation Headphones in NYTimes

Being a frequent flyer, I am also a frequent purchaser on technology to make the trip a little more pleasant. One of the key tools I use are a pair of headphones to block out the noise. One of the problems is that there are few good comparisons of all the choices out there. So when a review shows up from David Pogue of the New York Times, I had to read it. The obvious winner in this review was the Bose offerings. But a few surprise runner-ups were Panasonic and Audio-Technica headphones. Surprising because they are significantly cheaper. I own a pair of the original Bose headphones which are very comfy but unfortunately way to big to fit in my Tom Binh Empire Builderalong with everything else in there. I have also owned various pairs of Sony’s which while smaller offer pretty weak noise-cancellation. Now I carry one of two different pairs of headphones, solely based on which is closer at hand when I pack my bag. They are actually noise-suppression instead of noise-cancellation, but they do almost as good a job as the Bose at a fraction of the size. First is theEtymotics ER6 ($140) and the Shure E5C ($450). I think I prefer the Shure’s but that may just be me trying to justify the extra cost. But since I have been on planes for over 160 hours so far this year, that’s a pretty small price to pay for a little more comfort.

How To: Integrate the AJAX Gallery Viewer with CS2007

When designing this new theme, I knew that designing the gallery would be important and a lot of work. I wanted an AJAX feel if possible, but I didn’t want to have to go through a huge learning curve just for that. So when I saw the AJAX Gallery Review on Smashing Magazine, I thought I would implement one of them. The one that I thought was most interesting was Slimbox. Implementing this was far easier than I could have ever imagined. Here is the process:

  1. Go to Slimbox and download the bits.
  2. Download the mootools framework choosing all the features listed here. The default Packer compression is ok, even though it mentions PHP.
  3. Extract the files to your web directories. I put slimbox.js and the mootools js file in the common directory of my theme, then the slimbox.css in the style folder.
  4. On any page I want the AJAX effect to show up, I include the following code. Since I am using master pages, this is inside a asp:content block:

  5. Add the link for your images. Since I am using CS2007, I have a CSGallery:GalleryPostData tag with the following content. The magic happens with the linkrel value. You need to have the word lightbox in there. Anything in square brackets after lightbox is used as a group name so that lightbox knows what other photos it can view in the same session. Go ahead, hover over the picture and click the Next link, or just press the N key.

  6. Here is the full code listing from the Gallery page to prove to you that there really was nothing else I had to do.

Setting this up was so incredibly simple. I was shocked at how easy it was. And I think the effect is fantastic. Do you like this or would you prefer the standard static gallery view???

Is the Feedburner Feed an Improvement?

This is a question for those of you subscribing to the rss feed. As you may have seen I recently switched over to using FeedBurner. Is this an improvement? Is there anything you have seen in other FeedBurner feeds that isn’t in this one but should be? I look forward to hearing any of your comments.

How To: Redirecting in Community Server 2007

When I updated this site to CS2007, some of the pages broke. The two problems came up due to older configurations of this site. First, in a very old config, I had my RSS feed at /RSS/default.aspx. The other problem came about because I used to have the blog page at the root and now I have gone back to the default way of doing things. So let me show you how I solved both issues.

First the part about redirecting RSS/default.aspx. Actually this has nothing to do with Community Server. I simply went to my hosting provider’s control panel site and created a virtual directory that pointed to the RSS feed, which is now hosted at Feedburner.

OK, that was easy. Redirecting the requests to blog pages at the root to now go to /blogs/technovangelist was a bit tougher. There were actually two main problems here: How do I redirect rss.aspx in the root of the site, and how do I redirect all of the calls to the archive blog postings that were under /archive to /blogs/technovangelist/archive.

The first of those two happened to be fairly easy. I simply created an rss.aspx page in the root with the following content:

 

Actually, it was a bit simpler than that. The actual process was search the net to find Hansleman’s entry on solving the problem.

 

To solve the problem with the archive pages I got to take advantage of the new SiteUrls_Override.config file. Here is my config file with some of the non relevant lines removed:

As you you may be able to see, I just copied the lines from the SiteUrls.config file, then modified a few of the values. I am sure there is a more elegant way to do it, but this worked. If you know of a better way to handle this, please let me know.

AJAX Login for CS2007

I just found one of the cooler login controls I have ever seen. Go check out Kyle Beyer’s website and click on the sign-in button at the top left. Very slick. He even covers it in detail in a blog post at http://daptivate.com/archive/2007/02/26/ajax-login-compatibility-with-asp-net-authentication.aspx. I definitely have to try that. Of course, I just blew an entire weekend working on this site and the idea of spending more time on it makes me feel a bit guilty.