August 21, 2006
IIS and Oracle delegation
The Great NDB project at work is a three-tier chemical registration system built on top of Oracle and MDL Software's ISIS server and Chemical Oracle cartridge. The middle tier is a series of web services hosted as ISAPI DLLs on IIS, which the client connects to. I thought it would be good to use external Oracle account authentication to simplify the account creation process, and to ensure that user permissioning and auditing in Oracle will work correctly. Actually setting up the external authentication in Oracle 9i is easy enough ; getting IIS 6.0 to kick off the Oracle connection as the connecting user is something else. I seem to have got it working by using "Basic Authentication", which is not exactly ideal, seeing as it's plain text passwords. However, wrapping the connection up with SSL was easy enough, so perhaps that will do for now. I was hoping to be using Kerberos ("Integrated Windows Authentication"), but I guess there is a configuration step I missed somewhere. All advice kindly received.
August 20, 2006
More happy tales from the modern world
How gratifying to read that passengers on flight ZB613 bound from Malaga to Manchester mutinied in order to have two suspicious looking, Arabic speaking, inconveniently brown men turfed off the plane. They were detained by Spanish police while the plane's luggage was searched for explosives. The plane took off 3 hours late without the two perps, who were questioned and released to travel the next day.
There is so much about this that is wrong. Does anyone who travelled on that flight have one ounce of regret for causing two fellow travellers 24 hours delay? My guess is that 99% of that flight was composed of white lower middle class holiday makers, and their justification was "well, you can't be too careful, can you?". Yes, you can, when it involves racially discriminating against people who have as much right to travel as you do. Especially when the basis for turfing them off the plane was a) they look different and b) they speak different. Apparently, someone's genius child said "they look like terrorists" and someone else overheard them speaking Arabic! Shock horror! Speaking Arabic, when Morroco and Algeria lie so far away from Spain? What are they thinking! They must be conspiring to blow us all up!!! Saints forfend us!!!!! GET THEM OFF THE PLANE, THERE ARE CHILDREN HERE!!!!!!!
Sickening, isn't it?
August 19, 2006
Denmark for my German visitors
It occurs to me as I surf my referrer log (and this is a reflection of the general slowness of my brain and the ineptness of my language skills) that the title of this blog is also similar to the German proper noun for Denmark, "Dänemark". As a small disambiguation service to my accidental, and no doubt terribly confused, German visitors who were presumably expecting to read about holidaying in Denmark, allow me to provide you with a link directly to the German pages of the VisitDenmark website and one to a German language webpage on holidaying in Denmark. Schönen Tag noch!
News that the solar system has grown three extra planets (Ceres, Charon and 2003 UB313) is surely welcome - it's always nice to have a new extension or three built on the old place for a bit more room: a new workshop, a den, maybe some extra storage space. On the other hand, you might think it's a long way up to the attic, but try getting to Charon and back in time for dinner carrying three boxes of old photos, then remembering you left your keys up there.
One issue we have with the new planets is that no-one is seriously proposing the name "Rupert" for planetoid 2003 UB313. Personally, I think this is a grave affront to the memory of Douglas Adams, and needs to be redressed by the object's co-discoverer, M E Brown, as soon as possible. Act soon, Dr Brown! The gerbulons expect!
August 15, 2006
MDL Draw control tips in Delphi
... although it should work generally. Note I'm using Viatcheslav V. Vassiliev's Managed VCL components for Delphi 7 ...
Assume you have configured a TClrControl and set the AssemblyName property to MDL.Draw.Renderer, Version=1.4.1000.20, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=e922e3fd683b3777 (although the MDL.Draw.Renditor assembly will also do), and the ControlName property to MDL.Draw.Renderer.Renderer (although the MDL.Draw.Renditor.Editor control will also do).
Assume that you've read a molfile into variable MolFileString. You can set the molfile property of the Renderer control using the following code:
Assume you also have a TImage instance available that you want to capture the Renderer image into as a bitmap. You can easily do it like this:
ClrControl1.ClrObject.DispProperty['MolFileString']:= ClientDataSet1.FieldByName('ConvMolfileString').AsString; Image1.Picture.Bitmap.Handle:= ClrControl1.ClrObject.DispProperty['Image'].GetHBitmap;
The Onion on "The War on Terrier" : men buy too many mobiles phones, charged with terror offenses
Except it isn't. It's real. It's the story of a low functioning WalMart clerk in Michigan getting suspicious because three Arab-looking guys bought 80 mobile phones. So she did what any right-thinking citizen would in Bush's New America: she called the cops. And gee whiz, those guys had 1,000 phones in the van. Now, the local cops seem to have been caught up in the "War on Terrier", and somehow established that this was part of an elaborate plot to destroy the Mackinac Bridge because the three guys also had pictures of the bridge in the van. No explosives, though, or anything resembling detailed and dastardly instructions from the controller of their terror cell. Yes, that's right, because mobile phones have been used as detonators elsewhere, apparently the more of them you have, the more dangerous they are. What, were they going to keep buying mobile phones and strategically hide them in the bridge infrastructure until the extra weight caused it to collapse? Or maybe put vibrating batteries in the the phones and ring them up on group call so that the bridge would wobble itself to death in a ghastly recollection of the Tacoma Straits Collapse (maybe that was an early mobile phone terror attack, too, with a time machine and everything)?
I somehow suspect that this is a bunch of entrepreneurial but none-too-bright immigrants who found that you can unlock the phones and resell them for more money, which the guys cottoned on to as a money-making scheme. I imagine that their mistake was to get a bit greedy. They may end up rueing the day they walked into that particular Michigan WalMart.
August 01, 2006
So, have you heard the one about the speeding, drunk-driving, anti-Semitic Australian? What peeves me more than his boorishness is the fawning servility he follows it up with, proposing dialogue with Jewish community leaders. Who, I imagine, would (quite rightly) be aghast at the thought of sitting for any length of time in a room with an unreconstructed drunken redneck like Gibson. Nice one, Mel.