Nikon Lens Rentals

Mar 03, 2009 by:   Tim Stanley

Before you spend nearly $2000 for a fantastic lens, you may want to rent it to see if it’s really worth it.  If you rent this for a week, you can rent this Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 for almost $10 / day. If you can’t afford to own all the Best High End Nikon Lenses, you can still borrow them for a few days for those special occasions when you need the perfect lens.

Nikon 70-200mm f2.8

I’ve not used these companies, but the Flickr groups list several sources.  Calumet and Lens come up often with positive comments.

Rate Comparison

I’ve listed below a summary of rates found as of March 2009 for a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

SourceDay RateWeekly Rate
Adorama Rentals $30 $150
Calumet $35 $105
Lens Lenders none $149
Lens Rentals none $82 (insured)
Rent Glass none $54
Southeastern Camera $30 $120
Zip Lens none $60
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2008 Theme Pack

Feb 26, 2009 by:   Tim Stanley

The BlogEngine.Net 2008 theme pack was released at the end of last year with 13 new themes.

BlogEngine releases.


Newspaper 1.1 theme


Sapiens.Net theme


Scuffy theme


Stablestart theme


Techjunkie theme


Triathlon theme


Wildnature theme


BibleScholar theme


Envision theme


Extensive theme


Fresh theme


Greyshadow theme


Interlude theme

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IE 6 Support Discontinued

Feb 24, 2009 by:   Tim Stanley

As of February 2009, I am discontinuing mainline support for new or updated sites for IE 6 and older IE versions.  There are enough known and documented issues in how IE 6 treats CSS that make it cost prohibitive to keep IE 6 as part of the mainstream browsers for customers while also supporting newer browsers and their features.

For the most part, I find that 90% or more of design elements display acceptably in IE 6 (albeit differently than other browsers) and that spending the extra effort for known / documented IE 6 browser issues and trying to create hacks for an older and dying browser to get an exact replica of the page is not a good investment. Customers that desire specific IE 6 support and testing of designs on I E6 will be based on an open ended time and material basis.  At the end of the day, if a customer wants to pay the significant costs to support IE 6, I will do so, but the cost of resolving IE 6 specific issues will need to be covered entirely by the customer. 

Yahoo, Google, 37 Signals, and other companies have announced similar decisions regarding either limited or discontinued IE6 support.  Scott Hanselman of Microsoft even talks about coaxing users to get off IE 6 onto a newer browser.

Who Does This Affect?

As of February 2009, IE6 users range from 11% to 25% of sites I maintain.  For the most part, indicators are that the bulk of IE6 users are corporate users that don't have the ability to upgrade because of internal incompatibilities for web sites that don't look well on IE 7.

What Does It Affect?

IE6 has several documented CSS Compatibility differences from other browsers.  The areas I see that most commonly affect designs are listed below.

  • box model - IE6 calculates a size of a box differently than other browsers.  This is the largest portion of the issue for sites as layouts in IE6 will look different than other browsers.  There are of course workarounds, but these come at a price of additional effort and incompatibility with other browsers.
  • display - Multi-column layouts using float where widths in IE6 are more narrow than other browsers.  This causes columns to appear at the bottom of pages instead of on the right side.
  • :hover, :active is not available on certain elements in IE6
  • :before, :after are not supported in IE6
  • min-width, max-width: height

Browsers Supported

This may change as browser market share change, but for now the following browsers and versions will be supported for 2009.

Other Browsers Not Supported

Chrome (3%) and Opera (1%) do not have enough browser traffic to warrant support at this time.


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Hawk Eyes

Feb 23, 2009 by:   Tim Stanley

There are several hawks that hunt near the house.   In the spring we often see the young hawks getting a few lessons from the parents.  This weekend this one landed on a tree right off the living room.  He looked intently to and fro for some time, turning his head at every subtle noise in search of a later afternoon meal.  When a flock of crows flew over, they quickly spotted him and called out to one another warning of the predator.

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How To Restart ASP.Net Applications

Feb 23, 2009 by:   Tim Stanley

Many times, from an administration perspective, it's desirable to restart an ASP.NET web site without restarting IIS on the whole server.

One quick way to do this is to leverage the fact that the application has a cache dependency on the Web.Config file.  Writing to the Web.Config file will cause IIS to restart the ASP.NET application.  We can also leverage the fact that changing the last update time on the Web.Config will also force a restart of the application.

This will clear all cache and tracing information and has an obvious impact on performance and should only be done from an administration security controlled page.

   1: String szXMLFile;
   2: szXMLFile = System.Web.HttpRuntime.AppDomainAppPath;
   3: szXMLFile += "Web.Config";
   4: File.SetLastWriteTime(szXMLFile, System.DateTime.Now);
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Vista Can't Find DNS Servers With Check Point

Feb 03, 2009 by:   Tim Stanley

I've had problems from day one with VPN Connections on Vista Ultimate Service Pack 1 returning a default gateway and it couldn't resolve any DNS lookups.

I purchased a new Dell XPS M1530  in December of 2008.  It seems like a fine machine, but the Vista networking issues have troubled me like a cancer.  It's been one of those nagging problems that I never had enough time to fully investigate and resolve. I finally found the annoying issue was with Check Point Secure Client / Secure Remote software.

For the security work I'm doing for a big name Fortune 100 company, I had to install Check Point Secure Client software.  It seems Secure Client wants to block finding DNS servers.  I had issues at home, Issues at the office, Issues with VPN connections.  I had no end to issues finding systems on any network.

Do Not Check Check Point Secure Remote

It turns out one of the main issues was resolved by disabling Check Point Secure Remote on the LAN, Wireless, and VPN connections.  I had the same problem on an XP system on Friday and someone found the answer was to turn off the wireless.  For that system, we had no issues in the office, but countless when trying to connect looking up DNS names at home.

Vista Wireless 

That still didn't fix the BSOD issues on Vista though.  Maybe Microsoft can fix some of the remaining networking issues on Windows 7.

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