Achievement Unlocked: Stack Overflow Moderator

Back in February I decided to increase my Stack Overflow participation. Apparently what that turned into was a greater involvement in the Stack Exchange network in general over the past year and getting elected in the latest community moderator election on Stack Overflow.

I’m pretty excited about it. It’s pretty cool to be a moderator on two complementary sites. I’m looking forward to helping them both grow and become more awesome.

Programmers.SE Moderator

I’m very happy to say that I’ve been elected as one of the three new community moderators on The voter turnout was pretty low, around 11% of the total userbase and 55% of those who visited the elections page, but that’s not entirely unexpected. It’s hard enough to convince people to vote in government elections, nevermind online.

I’m pretty excited about this, though. I’ve been getting more and more involved with the site over the last few months and I’m pleased to see that I can continue to be “more and more” involved. It sounds cheesy, but seriously. I’m psyched. Next goal – higher StackOverflow participation.

How to create an infinite loop

Obvious in retrospect, but took me a minute to catch on to what’s going on here:

public void DoStuff(byte maximum)
    for(byte i = 1; i <= maximum; i++)
      // whatever

This works like a trooper until someone passes in a byte.MaxValue in a unit test and i becomes 0 after reaching maximum and getting incremented again.

New desktop specs

I have used a laptop as my main machine for a couple years now. I guess calling it a laptop would be a bit of a misnomer — it is an Alienware m9750, a relative powerhouse for its time, weighing in at 10 lbs and making my car think I’m a bad driver who lets her front seat passengers ride without a seatbelt if I were to put it beside me in the car. It has served me well, but the time has come to move on.

I opted to return to the desktop this time, in part for financial reasons and in part because I would’ve much preferred to just do a few spot upgrades on my laptop… which unfortunately wasn’t much of an option. I haven’t paid attention to hardware in a while, so I enlisted the help of a friend in sourcing out good parts to put together. Here’s what we ended up with:

ASRock H55M Pro Micro ATX motherboard
Intel Core i3-530 2.93Ghz Dual Core CPU
4GB DDR3 1333 RAM
Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB SATA HDD (7200 RPM, 32MB Cache)
MSI N250GTS Twin Frozr 1GB video card

With a couple other bits (such as power supply and a DVD burner, all this lives inside an In Win Griffin case and is hooked up to my existing monitor — a 24″ Samsung SyncMaster 2443BW.

For completeness’ sake, my keyboard and mouse are both Logitechs — a Wave and an MX400, respectively.

It is by no means an ultimate machine, but for just over $800 after taxes and shipping, it’s not too shabby at all.

Here’s a comparison of the Windows Experience Index scores. Old laptop:
WEI of my old laptop

New desktop:
WEI of my new desktop

I look forward to upgrading the hard drive at some point (maybe with some solid state goodness) to bump that score up a point.

Why Excel thinks your CSV is a SYLK

Just a quick post to share a tip I discovered this morning. I was generating a CSV file and for some reason when I went to open it in Excel, I got a message saying the file’s extension was CSV, but the file format was SYLK. Clicking through a couple message boxes opened the file up just fine anyway.

A bit of digging turned up the Wikipedia page linked above, and within it the format syntax description:

”’ID”’ record:
A header to identify spreadsheet type and creator.
Must be first record in the file.

Yep. If the first record of your CSV file is “ID”, Excel will attempt to intepret the file as SYLK. Changing “ID” to anything else (including “Id” or “id”) fixes the issue.

I'm a winner!

I won a license to Telerik’s premium collection last night at my local .NET user group meeting. I’m incredibly excited to start playing with their controls — right now WinForms and reporting are of most interest to me, but I can see myself branching out into WPF soon.

I don’t have any Windows-based hosting available to me at the moment, so the ASP.NET controls will just have to wait. It’s just as well. I’m sure the rest will keep me busy for quite a while.