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  Top 30 Popular Posts 


I started this blog in August of 2003, almost 3 years ago. I've made 176 posts in those 3 years. I don't post too often to my blog because I'm not all that big on posting stories about my kids, wife, dog, etc - although those do come in every now and then. Anyway, even when I have lulls where I am not posting as much, my traffic seems to stay pretty consistent. I'm actually amazed at how much traffic I get, especially when I consider how often I get around to posting (big thanks to all the visitors over the years).

Some of my posts have apparently been useful :-), so I thought I would post the top 30 most popular posts I've made over the years (based on total number of unique views to the posts).

1. Set Focus to an ASP.NET Control
Setting focus to controls in your ASP.NET application is a part of giving your end users the feel that they have come to expect. Making your web applications act more like Windows applications is a key to success (IMO). While setting focus to con...
Total views: 371,568 - Posted on: 21-Dec-2004

2. Using the Web Browser Control in your C# Applications
It can be a powerful thing to display dynamic HTML in your C# applications. It can give your applications a modern look and feel and can make displaying data in non-standard ways easy with some simple markup. We have the web browser ActiveX control that wr...
Total views: 232,037 - Posted on: 23-Dec-2004

3. Writing to Your .NET Application's Config File
There's likely been times that you might have thought that it would make things convenient to write back to your .NET application's config file. The framework provides simple methods for reading from the config file, but gives you nothing for writing value...
Total views: 197,345 - Posted on: 13-Jul-2004

4. Tips for SQL Server Identity Columns
Tips on allowing inserts to identity columns and also for reseeding the identity value for a table....
Total views: 117,941 - Posted on: 19-Dec-2004

5. Multiple Monitors rule
I love multiple monitors. I can't even imagine trying to work without multiple monitors and don't think I could ever go back to a single monitor....
Total views: 96,533 - Posted on: 7-Jan-2004

6. Unable to Start Debugging on the Web Server
I hate that, and it seems that every time I (or a co-worker) gets the error “Unable to Start Debugging on the Web Server” on a machine when attempting to debug an ASP.NET project, I have to scramble to remember what to look at. Here's a few things that has...
Total views: 91,037 - Posted on: 23-Aug-2005

7. Stop Hijacking my Browser!
Often in applications you have the need to launch a browser window to a specified URL. I recently evaluated various RSS readers where links to blog posts could be launched in an external browser window. What I found was that most of these applications woul...
Total views: 90,029 - Posted on: 16-May-2004

8. Determining the Control that Caused a PostBack
Many times you might need to perform some action on an ASP.NET postback based on the control that caused the postback to occur. Some scenarios for this might include a form with many regions, each having it's own CustomValidator and the ability to perform...
Total views: 69,089 - Posted on: 11-Mar-2005

9. Solving problems through programming...and why the Skype API sucks
I love to take the approach of solving computing problems through programming. Sometimes it backfires and I over-complicate the problem (I have been known to prematurely generalize from time to time). But usually I bask in the greatness of being a programm...
Total views: 60,149 - Posted on: 14-Jan-2005

10. Enabling XP Themes in your .NET Applications
When you build Windows applications in .NET, by default your application will not have support for XP Themes, or Visual Styles. It is an easy enough task to do, and I think it goes a long way in giving your application a complete and professional look & fe...
Total views: 49,397 - Posted on: 5-May-2004

11. On the Subject of Dates in T-SQL
While we're on the subject of dates in T-SQL, I never liked getting the month and year for a date and sticking an '01' in the middle (then casting it all back to a datetime) to get the first day of the month for a given date value. Then you do the same to...
Total views: 42,317 - Posted on: 15-Feb-2005

12. Determining if a Date is a Weekday in T-SQL
I was reminded of a SQL function to determine if a date was a weekday or a weekend I wrote a while back when I saw the requirements of a project a colleague was working on. You'll see this requirement fairly often in many business applications. A company m...
Total views: 40,265 - Posted on: 14-Feb-2005

13. Awesome web.config Changes in ASP.NET 2.0
There are some really cool changes coming in ASP.NET's web.config files that I am really excited about. I'll just point out a few that I've used (I hate going back to 1.1 because I can't use them). The web.config file in ASP.NET 2.0 allows you to set a lot...
Total views: 40,145 - Posted on: 8-Jun-2004

14. Setting the Value of a TextBox with TextMode=Password
When the TextMode property of an ASP.NET TextBox is set to Password the value set in the Text property will not display at runtime. This can be a pain, however it is actually by design to prevent the unmasked password from being displayed in the HTML sourc...
Total views: 36,984 - Posted on: 18-Dec-2004

15. T-SQL Olympics
OK, there is not an Olympics for T-SQL - but there should be. A friend of mine and I were talking the other day about “gold-medal” T-SQL we've come accross. The one that wins the gold for me is the code I found a long time ago on SQL Server Central from Ma...
Total views: 36,617 - Posted on: 25-Oct-2004

16. T-SQL: SET vs SELECT when assigning variables
Do you know what the difference is between using SET and SELECT when assigning varaibles in T-SQL? Well, there is a difference. I came accross a great article by Narayana Vyas Kondreddi from the UK that describes the difference between the two....
Total views: 36,204 - Posted on: 1-Mar-2004

17. Interacting with the Web Browser Control
In my last post, I outlined some ways to make the Web Browser control more useful in your C# applications, to include things such as printing and setting the text or html of the browser dynamically. That is all good, but in a typical application it does li...
Total views: 35,885 - Posted on: 27-Dec-2004

18. Disabling the Windows Close action
There are times that you'll see a Window that has a close button in the titlebar, but it is disabled. This is often found in applications where the dialog/window changes it's status past a stoppable point so the Windows close action is removed so the user...
Total views: 35,796 - Posted on: 12-Apr-2004

19. Creating a IWin32Window from a Win32 Handle
There are times when you are integrating your .NET applications with other existing applications that you cannot modify and is possibly even non-.NET application. This can often result in problems integrating your .NET application's windows with the other...
Total views: 35,465 - Posted on: 23-Mar-2004

20. In Search of the Perfect RSS Reader
For the last year or two, I've been switching from reader to reader. While each one had features that I loved, they all seemed to fall short on one thing or another and I was never really 100% pleased with any of them. I went from SharpReader, to RSSBandit...
Total views: 33,384 - Posted on: 14-May-2004

21. Flattening Out Data with One of the Coolest SQL Tricks Ever
Not sure why, but I seem to be on a T-SQL kick lately - so here's another T-SQL post. One of my favorite T-SQL hacks ever is one that can flatten out data by taking a value from multiple rows and concatenating the values into a single string....
Total views: 33,281 - Posted on: 17-Feb-2005

22. Dynamically Loading Master Pages in ASP.NET 2.0
One of the cool new things introduced in ASP.NET 2.0 is Master Pages. Master Pages give you the ability to define a master page layout and look that is used throughout a site to give a consistent look & feel to all pages. Any updates or changes to the look...
Total views: 33,156 - Posted on: 16-Jun-2004

23. Communication between applications via Windows Messages
At times I'll build a suite of related, but separate applications. Even though each application is a separate executable, I like to be able to integrate the applications so they can work together. Sending messages between your applications is a great way t...
Total views: 31,548 - Posted on: 10-May-2004

24. Rendering Size (and other things) Correctly in FireFox
One thing that I just can't stand, is when a web page I build looks different in FireFox than how it looks in IE. Well, who doesn't?! The thing that really sucks is that there are things build in to how ASP.NET works that will cause this to happen. So unle...
Total views: 31,325 - Posted on: 6-Sep-2005

25. Returning Objects from Web Services
When I work with web services I want things to work the same way as if I were working with a local layer that returns objects, not data. I don't want my code outside of the service to even see the data, just the objects that represent the data. Who doesn't...
Total views: 27,545 - Posted on: 26-May-2004

26. Disabling Auto-Complete on ASP.NET Forms
Popular browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Firefox support something called Auto-Complete. You've seen this many times. You go to a online form and as you start to type in fields you get a drop-down showing values you've typed in that field before. Th...
Total views: 26,844 - Posted on: 23-Feb-2005

27. Intersection of Date Ranges
A friend of mine called me yesterday about a scheduling application he is working on. His question was so simple, or so it seemed, but it really drove me nuts. Basically he just wanted to find out if two date ranges intersected at all. Simple enough. It wa...
Total views: 24,593 - Posted on: 19-Aug-2004

28. Tricking out the Desktop
Something I have always been a sucker for is tricking out my desktop. I love any kind of tweak or gadget that enhances my pc and the whole user-experience thing. It's one of the many reasons I am looking forward to Vista. I've been a fan of applications th...
Total views: 24,497 - Posted on: 11-Jan-2006

29. Retrieving database independent schema information
Something that I think is often overlooked in the .NET Framework is the cool stuff you can get at using OleDbSchemaGuid to retrieve database schema information. I just thought of this again earlier today when I was reviewing a C# database application where...
Total views: 21,989 - Posted on: 3-Apr-2004

30. Creating Tracking Images for ASP.NET
Often with web applications you want to track traffic statistics to get a general idea of the number of visitors viewing a resource. Whether it be a web page, an RSS feed, an e-mail or whatever, you might want an inconspicuous way to determine that it has...
Total views: 21,725 - Posted on: 10-Jun-2004

Some of these are not as relevant now with .NET 2.0, so I guess I better get back on the bandwagon ;-)


Leave a comment below.


  1. Jiho Han 5/26/2006 5:27 AM
    you could make this a permanent thing...
    create a section just under Recent Posts called Most Popular Posts or something, that'd be nice. what do you think?
  2. Ryan Farley 5/26/2006 8:36 AM
    Hi Jiho, I do plan to do that at some point - it's been on "the list" for quite some time, the query and the code to produce this page was the first step ;-)

  3. Milan Negovan 5/27/2006 5:11 PM
    Ryan, we keep the traffic going hoping you'd come back. :)
  4. Ryan Farley 5/30/2006 7:54 AM
    Thanks Milan! Man, once something falls out of your normal routine it sure is hard sometimes to get it back in ;-) (but I do plan to)

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