Dan Archer

Dan Archer is a Software Engineer at Red Gate and has worked on tools ranging from SQL Backup to the forthcoming SQL Response.

17 March 2008
17 March 2008

If you see SID, tell him

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As a small addendum to my previous blog on the subject of authenticating users, and checking for administrator privileges, under Windows 2000, XP and Vista, I should add this little note. It turns out, thanks to the sort of heavily industrious testing that’s par for the course here at Red Gate, that LogonUser / SSPI … Read more
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17 March 2008
17 March 2008

SID. Vicious?

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Some activities on any operating system fall into that category of “should be extraordinarily simple, and yet is full of the sort of pitfalls that cause headaches, confusion and (at least in my case) bouts of cursing and ranting”.  My favourite of the moment is a simple security task: authenticating credentials provided by the user … Read more
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05 February 2008
05 February 2008

Step up to Red Alert!

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“Step up to Red Alert!”“Sir, are you absolutely sure? It does mean changing the bulb…”                                                                — Red Dwarf  Computers are stupid. This is a well established fact, which has been en-harped on by much greater and perspicacious authorities than I. They, that is, computers, tend to blindly and relentlessly do what they’re told. Given conflicting, … Read more
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12 October 2006
12 October 2006

Transforming parrots

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Whilst I agree with luminaries such as Paul Graham on a reasonable number of points he makes about our industry and profession, I generally disagree with him on the subject of typing. He doesn’t believe in compiler-enforced strong types, whereas I do. On this occasion though, I find myself leaning towards a slightly more permissive … Read more
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28 July 2006
28 July 2006

Exceptional service

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A constant niggle in the arena of computing is the way in which nobody takes responsibility. If your computer crashes whilst you’re, say, playing an online game, and you call the manufacturer, they’ll explain it’s probably a software problem, perhaps a driver you, the user, stupidly installed. If you call the driver vendor, they’ll explain … Read more
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14 July 2006
14 July 2006

Hoop jumping

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Although this may come as a surprise to some, as I work at a company which happens to produce simple tools for database professionals, I am not the world’s biggest fan of databases. “Don’t get me wrong”, as the poet said: they are extraordinarily powerful and highly necessary. Many splendid online games, in which I … Read more
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12 June 2006
12 June 2006

1mL Adrenaline, stat

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It is a balmy summer evening in a suburb of Cambridge, England. Young gentlemen play cricket on the village green. Young ladies walk the country paths, shielded from the sun’s rays with fashionable parasols. An iced cream vendor perambulates the streets with a cheery smile. And a young couple sit before their computers, beating the … Read more
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10 May 2006
10 May 2006

The game’s afoot

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I’d like to squeeze in another reference to the Killing Game Show, or other Amiga classics, at this point. I really must wind up the emulator and dig out the ADFs I made of my old games, at some point. Sadly I lost the original machine when I sold a house, neglecting to clear out … Read more
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28 March 2006
28 March 2006

Making Tracks

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Feeling as we did that it was time to take longer strides (ah, the Killing Game Show. A fine example of early 90’s computer gaming) Red Gate has just released the beta version of our shiny new SQL Dependency Tracker. This is, in many ways, a long-planned revamp of last year’s SQL Dependency Viewer beta. … Read more
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28 February 2006
28 February 2006

Wheels within wheels

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I hate to depart from my usual ranting and raving and actually post some useful code, but the below is too lovely to ignore. Before I proceed to take credit, I have to thank Google and the following poster(s): http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=228499&SiteID=1. The below is a rather elementary explanation of the code posted therein, with a generic … Read more
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07 February 2006
07 February 2006

Trivial Persuits

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Once again I find myself penning a missive on trivia, rather than matters of import. Still, now we’re here… Regular expressions. To a large extent, I hate them. To begin with, they are a complete misnominer. They are neither regular, nor expressions. Don’t believe me? To demonstrate this I’ll consult an authority on such topics. … Read more
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12 December 2005
12 December 2005

Super size me

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Having fixed all the outstanding “Oh my [deity/dictator of choice], we have to fix this now or people will be really rather unhappy” issues (as they’re referred to under our bug tracking system. Or is that my imagination? You know, I think it probably is) against DTS Package Compare 2.0, it was time to turn … Read more
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02 December 2005
02 December 2005

Cowboy filenames

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If you ask me, and I take it as implicit by your visit that you do (sorry about that, but it’s Friday afternoon and I need a weekend), Windows is far too facist about filenames. Most notably in terms of the characters one can put into a filename, and the obstreperous way it will cough … Read more
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22 November 2005
22 November 2005

Wing Dings

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Occasionally when developing software you come across really absurd or bizarre bugs. The user interface for the application I’m currently developing recently exhibited one of these: a propensity for beeping periodically, for no readily explicable reason. To be precise, not so much a beeping as a “ding”ing. Now like most software developers, I work in … Read more
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28 October 2005
28 October 2005

.NET Combo Boxes

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It occasionally strikes me as hilarious that in the 21st millenium with Windows Vista near on the horizon with all kinds of spangly UI likely to result, we’re not only still using some of the oldest Windows UI primitives every day, but encountering problems using them. You’d think that we might have got it all … Read more
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