Chris Pietschmann

husband, father, hacker, entrepreneur, futurist, innovator, autodidact


Web.Maps.VE - Virtual Earth Without JavaScript, plus .NET 3.5 Support just added!

Yesterday, I released the fourth update release (v1.00.04) of my Web.Maps.VE component. The main feature addition in this update is the addition of .NET 3.5 support. Below is an overview of the main features of Web.Maps.VE. For more information you can go here: Implement Virtual Earth completely from server-side .NET code; No JavaScript Necessary In case you're not familiar, Web.Maps.VE is an ASP.NET AJAX Virtual Earth Mapping Server C... [More]

Virtual Earth 6: Align Mini Map in the Top Right corner of the Map

If you take a look at you'll see the Mini Map is in the Top Right corner of the map. Virtual Earth doesn't have any alignment options built in when showing the Mini Map. It just allows you to position the mini map using x and y offset coordinates relating to the top left corner of the map. This makes it really easy to show the mini map in relation to the top left corner, but what makes this tricky is the dashboard is already there. Here's small example I wrote ... [More]

Virtual Earth: Convert Road Map Style to Shaded Like does

What is the Shaded map Style? If you've used and Virtual Earth, then you've probably noticed that the Road map style in the Virtual Earth API isn't the same as it is on This is because the Road map style on is actually not using the VEMapStyle.Road map style, but instead is using VEMapStyle.Shaded. The VEMapStyle.Shaded map style is the standard Road style with Shaded Contours drawn on the map, and is new to Virtual Earth v6.0. In th... [More]

Safari 3 for Windows: Enable JavaScript Debugging

As you probably know, Safari 3 doesn't allow you to turn on the debug menu within any settings dialogs. It also doesn't come with a JavaScript Debugger either. This makes it almost impossible to do any JavaScript development for Safari. Luckily you can turn on the debug menu, and there is a debugger you can download. Turn on the Debug menu Step 1: Open up the Preferences.plist file in notepad. In Windows XP:C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\Safari\Preferences.... [More]

Virtual Earth: SSL Support

I've implemented Virtual Earth within many web applications, but one thing that I've only had to do a couple times is run the site under SSL. If you have ever done this, then you know that the web browser doesn't like this and complains with the "Do you want to display nonsecure items?" prompt. This can be a pain for users, escpecially when they click "No" and then wonder why the map isn't there. Is SSL Supported? Yes, even though it isn't documented... [More]

My RSS Feed URL has changed.

My RSS feed url has changed to the following: The old url will still be active for awhile still, but I will be setting it to redirect to the new one shortly. So, please update your reference to my feed in your reader. Until now, I have been using a small, hidden 1 pixel image to track the views of my posts through my feed. I have been able to tell that I may have approximately 50 subscribers, but I'm not completely sure. This is why I have decided to ... [More]

Virtual Earth: Getting Started - Adding a basic Map to a page

What is Microsoft Virtual Earth? Virtual Earth allows any developer to implement mapping technology within their web sites and/or applications. The mapping techology behind Virtual Earth is the exact same technology that powers Microsoft's Live Maps website. Getting Started with Virtual Earth Lets add a Map to a page Step 1: Add a DOCTYPE declaration and specify UTF-8 as the pages character set at the top of the page <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Trans... [More]

WI .NET Users Group - Holiday Party 2007 InstallFest

It was a great night, with a really great turn out. I'm not sure the exact number of attendees, but I think it must have been over 150! A few volunteers got up and gave some great demo presentations of new features in VS'08 and .NET 3.5. There was even a 360 setup with Halo 3 for people to play. Don't forget about all the great prizes that were given away: a couple Zunes, an XBox 360 Premium, an XBox 360 Elite, and alot of other games and software. Oh, and don't forget about... [More]

Dec. '07: Are the latest Vista updates full of error? Or is it just me?

I installed the 64-bit version of Vista Ultimate shortly after it RTM'd back in November 2006. Everything was going perfectly fine with it until a couple weeks ago. It started Blue Screening (BSOD) and giving me some other strange issues. Here's a list of some of the issues I've been having: Blue Screens (BSOD) - It shows a different error message each time, so there isn't just one thing wrong. CD/DVD Burner says it can't be accessed, but then I try again a second later and it works fi... [More]

WI .NET Users Group Holiday Party '07 has been Cancelled due to Weather...

The WI .NET Users Group Holiday Party '07 has been Cancelled due to weather and will be rescheduled. The new date for the party will be announced as soom as possible. Here's the announcement that went out to all registered attendees via email: Everyone - The holiday party has been cancelled due to weather.  Even though the ice warnings are expired, there is still snow falling and Direct Supply (our host for the evening) has asked us to cancel the party because of hazards ... [More]

12/2007: Code that I've Blogged over the last 6 months

Here's a list of links to all the different code that I've blogged over the last 6 months. .NET Framework .NET: How to Alias Namespaces and Data Types LunchTimeCoder: Windows Service Monitor that runs in the System Tray .NET 3.5: How to Convert from one TimeZone to another ASP.NET Google Charts API: an ASP.NET 2.0 Server Control Subsite Rewriting HttpModule for ASP.NET ASP.NET: RewritePath breaks HyperLink's ImageUrl in App_Theme file when path with slash is rewritten ASP.NET AJAX:... [More]

Google Charts API: an ASP.NET 2.0 Server Control

Today, I just saw that Google released their Chart API. Basically, the Google Chart API allows you to dynamically generate charts for use in your web applications. All you do is pass your data in the querystring and an image is returned. This isn't really a service to get too excited about, but it is pretty simple to use. And, it's Free. I decided to code up a small ASP.NET Server Control that uses the Google Chart API to put simple line graph charts on a page. The image on the right is actuall... [More]

My Blog content is now licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License...

My Blog content is now licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License by default. If I do license specific content under a different license, then I'll post the license with the content. So, pretty much unless explicitly stated otherwise all content on this blog is now under the Creative Commons Attribution License. For more info about what this license is; click the link below. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License, unless explicitly stat... [More]

XNA and XBox 360: Not until you pony up some ca$h!!

I recently got an XBox 360; and until I got one I didn't fully realize what all its features are. This is a really sweet system! So, naturally I downloaded the XNA Game Studio Express to check out what's all possible with building homebrew games for the 360. After registering my gamertag with the XNA Creators Club and installing XNA Game Studio Express on my PC, I took the following steps: Go on XBox Live Marketplace and download the Free XNA Game Launcher. Run the XNA Game ... [More]

.NET: How to Alias Namespaces and Data Types

One of the little known features of .NET is that you can give complete namespaces and data types alias's that you can reference them with in code. Aliasing Data Types For this example we'll give a different name to the integer data type: In VB.NET: Imports MyInteger = System.Int32; In C#: using MyInteger = System.Int32; Now to use the alias in code: In VB.NET: Public myVariable As MyInteger = 4; In C#: MyInteger myVariable = 4; Aliasing Namespaces For this example, lets assume ... [More]

Attend WI .NET Users Group Holiday Party and get Visual Studio 2008 Free!

Update Dec. 11, 2007: The WI .NET Users Group Holiday Party has been cancelled due to weather, and will be rescheduled. On Dec. 11, 2007, Microsoft is teaming up with the Wisconsin .NET Users Group to throw a special holiday part. There will be Free food and prizes, just like at every other group meeting. Do you want to get Visual Studio 2008 Free? Just bring in your computer and install it at the party. Those that install VS'08 at the party will get a full licensed copy of Visu... [More]

Cryptographic Extensions for Microsoft AJAX Extensions Framework

The Extensions for Microsoft AJAX Framework project over at CodePlex provides cryptographic services including secure encoding and decoding of data, as well as hashing and random number generation, and new methods for JavaScript native objects. This project is pretty cool, and could really grow into a huge library offering us what Microsoft isn't putting into the AJAX Extensions themselves. And, now we have an object oriented, JavaScript way of doing MD5, SHA1, HMAC and AES! Go check it out: ht... [More]

WI-INETA: Augmented Reality with .NET on 11/13/2007 with Casey Chesnut

This months Wisconsin .NET Users Group meeting (and the last one of the year) is tommorow (Nov. 13th) night. This month Casey Chesnut will be presenting on "Augmented Reality with .NET". On a related note, Casey has an article titled "/wpfAugReal: Augmented Reality with Windows Presentation Foundation" that he posted back in the beginning of October. I don't know any details of what he'll be presenting (other than the below meeting description), but I'm assuming he'll be covering some... [More]

Not All Software Developers Need To Be Graphic Designers

Today, I came across a post by Vitaly Gorn titled "Is it time for software developers to master in graphic design?" And, in this article, they explain why software developers need to acquire more graphic design skills today. What's the problem? Most application User Interfaces aren't the most user friendly. I do agree that this is a common problem. And, there is no doubt that the one of the next steps in the evolution of the software industry is betting Graphic Design and User Interf... [More]

Subsite Rewriting HttpModule for ASP.NET

Here's some simple code for easily adding Subsite functionality to an ASP.NET website using UrlRewriting/UrlMapping. Urls are rewritten in the following fashion: ~/jdoe/default.aspx  => ~/default.aspx?site=jdoe ~/jdoe/subfolder/default.aspx => ~/subfolder/default.aspx?site=jdoe And this is all done by the 65 line HttpModule below: [code:c#] using System; using System.Web; /// <summary> /// Summary description for SubsiteRewriteModule /// </summary> public class ... [More]

SimpleBlack Theme for BlogEngine.NET v1.2

I've been looking at the code of BlogEngine.NET and playing around with it a bit lately, so I decided to create a theme to see how easy it is. And, it is actually really simple to do. I actually used the Cogitation theme as the basis and just morphed it into the below theme I call SimpleBlack. If you would like to use it, go ahead. Download: BlogEngine.NET v1.2 SimpleBlack Theme

Software Development = Logical Creativity

Programming = Logical There is a lot of logic involved in computer programming, just as there is in Math. In college they teach you a lot of mathematics and how to use that same logical thinking with programming. It's true that if you're good at math, you may have the potential to be good at programming. Development = Creativity The development aspect of building a software solution is the creative aspect to programming. When you design or architect a software solution there is a t... [More]