Saturday, July 30, 2011

OSX Crashes More Then Windows

There! I said it!

For the record, all my computer hardware, phones, and tablets have been Apple for years; but I primarily do programming in .NET which means I still need to use Windows.

I'm on my 3rd Macbook Pro since Sept of 2007 and over that time OSX has consistently crashed more then Windows XP and Windows 7. Up until April of this year, I was primarily booting directly into Windows using Bootcamp and only using OSX 5% of the time and even with 5% use it had more complete lock ups!

Since April I've started running OSX 100% of the time and run Windows 7 off the Bootcamp partition using Parallels.

Since making the switch to 100% of the time I'd estimate OSX does a Black Screen of Death on average 3-4 times per month. I had one waiting for me this morning after leaving the computer on over night.

People think I'm making this up, so I plan to start tweeting every time it crashes for a historical record.

Granted I have a ton of software loaded on OSX, I'm running Parallels, and I use a Diamond BVU195 USB Display Adapter for a second monitor, BUT other then Parallels these are all things I did on Windows as well so I feel it's a fair comparison.

I've had Windows get slow, or weird, or need a reboot. But I can't remember the last Blue Screen of Death I've had, I can usually kill enough process where I can shut down the OS gracefully. I can't say the same for OSX.

I don't plan on switching away from my current setup and I'll be installing Lion soon. I just want people to STFU about how stable OSX is versus Windows, because it's simply not true.

Crash Log
  • 7/30/2011
  • 8/17/2011 (Milestone: first crash of OSX Lion)
  • 9/8/2011
  • 9/19/2011
  • 9/25/2011
  • 9/30/2011
  • 10/14/2011
  • 11/3/2011
  • 5/25/2012
  • 6/22/2012
  • 8/3/2012 (Milestone: first crash of OSX Mountain Lion)
  • 8/9/2012
  • 8/16/2012
  • 8/17/2012
  • 8/17/2012 (second time in one day, grrr)
  • 8/20/2012
  • 8/22/2012
  • 10/14/2012
  • 10/17/2012

Friday, July 15, 2011

ASP.NET MVC3 App Using plupload to Upload Directly to Amazon S3

UPDATE 8/15/2011:
I can't recommend using this for large files (video files). It's very unreliable. Web size image files and normal email attachment sized files would probably do fine. What I ended up doing to get around it was creating a web app on AppHarbor (which runs on EC2) that I upload the files to and it saves them to S3. Since the AppHarbor app is on a different domain you are still limited to Flash and Silverlight support but you do gain file chunking which brings back some reliability. Alternatively to AppHarbor you could setup your own server on Amazon as well.

I created a working example of using plupload to upload files directly to Amazon S3 and threw it on github, since the .NET examples I found on the web we're incomplete or broken.

The files that are being uploaded do not even touch your web server. They are posted directly to Amazon. At the moment plupload only supports the Flash and Silverlight plugins as far as I can tell.

The AmazonS3Helper.cs library originated from Cary Abramoff off of this plupload forum thread.

I've made some changed based on iwasrobbed's excellent Ruby on Rails example.


Upload the crossdomain.xml found in the root of the site to your Amazon S3 Bucket.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE cross-domain-policy SYSTEM "">
<allow-access-from domain="*" secure="false" />

Modify the settings in HomeController.cs to use your Amazan credentials and set your S3 bucket.

public ActionResult Index()
 string acl = "private";
 string bucket = "YOUR S3 BUCKET NAME";
 string accessKeyId = "YOUR AMAZON ACCESS KEY ID";
 string policy = AmazonS3Helper.ConstructPolicy(bucket, DateTime.UtcNow.Add(new TimeSpan(0, 10, 0, 0)), acl, accessKeyId);
 string signature = AmazonS3Helper.CreateSignature(policy, secret);

 var model = new PluploadAmazonS3Model()
  AWSAccessKeyId = accessKeyId,
  Policy = policy,
  Signature = signature,
  Bucket = bucket,
  Acl = acl

 return View(model);

On the View side you could just use Razor to dump the Model variables directly into your javascript, but I decided to use hidden form variables instead in case you want to move the javascript to its own file where embedding Razor syntax won't work.

Hope this saves somebody else some time!

Friday, July 1, 2011

ASP.NET & IIS7 Error: Could not load file or assembly 'System.Data.SQLite'

This was annoying. I setup an ASP.NET MVC3 web application on a fresh install of Windows 2008 R2 and got the following error:
Could not load file or assembly 'System.Data.SQLite' or one of its dependencies. An attempt was made to load a program with an incorrect format.

I wasn't even using SQLite in my project; at least that's what I thought. Turns out ELMAH was trying to load it.

The error is due to trying to load the 32bit SQLite.dll on a 64 bit server.

To fix the error set Enable 32-Bit Applications to True for your Application Pool under Advanced Settings.