I recently started fooling around with .NET. I never had the urge to try it out before until now. I thought, since these days I got nothing to do in the meantime at work, I could study a new technology to add to my resume. I have been reading about .NET and using its IDE called Visual Studio. My phase is a bit slow since I’m fairly new to this area. Anyway, on to the topic of this post. Majority of web applications involves having interactions with the database. However, Visual Studio only includes connectors for its MS Sql Server to interact with the database. I think Oracle is also included. Another way to connect to a variety of databases is via ODBC but I don’t like using that. Since I want to use MySQL, I had no way to connect to it unless I find a connector for it specifically. Currently, the .NET framework is at version 2 so a MySQLConnector made specifically for that should be downloaded. You can get it here. If you happen to come across a MySQLConnector link for .NET 1.0, that will not work if your .NET framework is version 2.

This post assumes you know your way around Visual Studio and its coding syntax. If not, please review the basics of ASP.NET. Install the connector. Go to your Visual Studio and right click the project name in the Solution Explorer window. Right click, choose Add Reference and browse where the MySQL connector DLL file is located. To check if creating a connection is successful or not, we need to add some C# code. Make sure you include the namespace MySql.Data.MySqlClient by using the keyword using. Create a Label control and name the ID lblInfo. In the Solution Explorer, under the aspx file where the Label control is located, go to the .cs file that falls under it. This is the C# file that is associated with the .aspx file. You will find a method there named Page_Load(). inside the method, add the following code.

That’s it. Run your web application and see if the connection is successful or not.

I looked for a good birthday widget in my Mac OS that would alert me for upcoming birthdays. It took me awhile to find the one I want and out of the others out there, I’d say Oliver Fornio’s Happy Birthday Widget is just what I needed. The UI display is simple, clean and tidy. The widget simply looks in your address book for birthday entries and lists them in the widget display. You can set the name display to either nickname or full name. The display shows how many days till your friend’s birthday comes and how old your friend will be. Just download the link here and double click the widget and press the install button then your widget will be automatically placed in your dashboard.

Java FX is Sun Microsystem’s competing version to create Rich Internet Applications (RIA) rivalling Microsoft’s Silverlight and even Adobe’s Flex. I actually checked this out before I studied Adobe Flex and I sort of did not have a clear understanding on how to go about using Java FX since I don’t use an IDE to do coding. Because I did use an IDE when I studied Adobe Flex, I was able to grasp right away how make great use with these technologies. At least with the time I spent with Adobe Flex, I don’t have to start over with Java FX dealing with the basics. I can just go straight to programming.

You are not restricted to creating RIAs for browsers and/or desktops. Java FX also supports mobile devices with its Java FX Mobile technology. Since Java FX is built on the Java platform, it leverages the features and power that the Java platform provides. The same Java FX Application that runs in the browser can run in the desktop with no coding changes needed. They’re even planning a Java FX TV, for running Java FX Applications in the TV platform (by 2010). I’ll be posting source codes about any Java FX related application I’ll be doing for test studies. Oh and this time, I’ll also be using another IDE, NetBeans.

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