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Consuming a PHP SOAP web service from C# client

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I need to create a SOAP client in C#, and in order to test it I need a SOAP web service. Since my hosting company uses MySQL/PHP technology stack, I am using this PHP Soap web service example.

For the C# soap client, I am following this example on stackoverflow. But there is one problem when I tried to run the example. I got the error (exception) like the following:
The content type text/xml; charset=ISO-8859-1 of the response message does not match the content type of the binding (text/xml; charset=utf-8). If using a custom encoder, be sure that the IsContentTypeSupported method is implemented properly.

Again I found this thread on stackoverflow which seems relevant. It talked about the custom message encoder developed by Microsoft, and Paul Morgado’s addition to the CustomTextMessageEncoder class (just add his method at the end of the class). There is one more thing, the configuration file for the app. In my case, it’s something like the following: (note the messageVersion and bindingElementExtensions definition, there was some error in the Microsoft documentation regarding the latter one).

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Amazon used book, COM, Juggle

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I bought a used book “Inside COM” from Amazon Marketplace recently. This is my second Amazon Marketplace buy this year. I found for used (a little out of dated) computer books, Amazon Marketplace offers a great value.

Why I need to buy the COM book?
I found in order to really understand the .NET stuff, one needs to learn the COM. This is just like in order to be a good value investor, one really needs to pick up Graham’s “Intelligent Investor”. Reading the blogs by Buffett followers are fine, but definitely not sufficient. Because those second handed materials don’t precisely convey the ideas of the masters.

Google search not working on Internet Explorer?

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War against spyware: I

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My old laptop was hosed. Couple weeks ago I noticed something strange going on, particularly sometimes it will pop up IE windows when I have not clicked on anything. The situation got worse, when I tried to do a system restore on XP, reboot, and a “Spyware Protect 2009” program automaticlaly started up. This user interface very much like a Microsoft anti-virus program. Then it says my laptop was infected with all kinds of programs: such as LdPinch key logger blah blah blah.

Hmm, being a software engineer, I know something fishy is going on there. So I stopped the process and googled “Spyware Protect 2009”, and here is some information (one and Looking through task manager, I found sysguard.exe. Killed the process. Delete the sysguard.exe.

I don’t know how my laptop got infected with sysguard. Restoring XP appears to be the direct cause, but I think another reason could be I was using uusee (a Chinese online TV program), so I went ahead and un-install it too (sorry no bias against my home country, but there are too many spyware/adware going on in some Chinese web sites).

Mission not complete yet

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Install Microsoft Visual Studio 2008

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Back to software. I installed the VS 2008 couple days ago. Two things worth to note.

1) Install from iso image: initially I burned a DVD from the iso image. During install it could not find couple files, probably because the DVD drive spins too fast. So I used this MagicISO freeware to mount a virtual CD. It worked beautifully.

2) After I install the pro version of VS 2008, I got an “unspecified error” when click on Project Properties. After I installed SP1, things worked fine.

Time to do some real work…

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How we removed unwanted Ad bar in IE

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Yesterday, our home PC acted strangely after my wife downloaded something from a China web site, basically there is always an Ad bar at the top of Internet Explorer (something like the picture below, full size pic here).

Advertisement bar at top of IE window

To fight against the ad bar, I did the following: upgrade the IE to 7. That did not solve the problem. I also looked the new files under “Program Files”, “Windows”, just by looking at the date. I did find a DLL named twkdtsdjdrqdp.dll, but I could not remove it. Did the “regedit”, before the install of IE 7. All these did not work, and we are both upset about that.

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Mr. Softy got a bit evil

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Obviously the new Vista is creating problems for competitors’ product, such as Google Desktop Search. See this news. I remember four or Five years ago the US justice department ruled to split Microsoft into two companies, because of its monopoly practice. That rule was over turned.

I don’t know all legal issues but I am aware many geeks don’t like Microsoft and its people. Once I went to a UNIX user group meeting in which a Microsoft guy did presentation, he got booed frequently.

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Vista Got a Reality Check

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When Steve (Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft) speaks, Wall Streets listens. Yesterday in the MicroSoft analyst day Steve tried to put a more realistic picture on the Vista sales. Basically he says that the Vista sales won’t be as good as analysts thought. With his words the stock MSFT lost 2.4% today.

When did Steve start soft spoken? I remember years ago, I attended a Microsoft technical presentation by Steve. I can see the energy and passion from his talk. He even put up his email address steve at microsoft dot com for the audience who are not satisfied with Microsoft’s customer serivce. We all know the mail probablly won’t get to his desk. But Steve is the Sales person and provides energy for the Microsoft, just like Bill Gates is the heart and soul of Mr. Softee. I also remember when I visited Microsoft campus in Redmond, only Bill and Steve got designated parking spots (side by side).

Now with Bill announced the retirement in two years, and Steve started soft spoken, the software world has really become soft.   

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From Reuters: “After more than five years of development, over 50 million lines of software code, a $6 billion investment and a few headaches,…” 

One thing is for sure, we will not see people lined up in front of Best Buy as they did with Windows 95, Play Station II and III,…Operating system is very much matured market. 

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Left hand mouse and UNIX

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I started to use left hand for mouse last week because my right hand did not feel well: being a programmer, I had too many mouse clicks for my job. One of my coworker hurt his right hand permanently so I decided to be more careful. Initially I felt it a bit awkward but I am doing OK now (this is the second week).

The real job is much tough. I had to do lots of work on UNIX. Don’t get me wrong. I am a fan of UNIX and I think I have decent skills on UNIX. It’s just in the past few years I almost used Windows exclusively. Now I felt a bit wield coming back. As I read “Joel on Software” recently I agree with Joel said: Windows is designed for everyday user; UNIX is for the programmer. The mind set of two systems are so different and I need to adjust. Different compilers on different UNIX systems, different debuggers, and different problems: compile error, run time error(bad results or crash). I think that may be one of the reasons that UNIX is losing market share in applications (in addition to higher hardware cost compared to Intel). I don’t know how the new generation programmers are taught in school. Are they using MS Visual Studio IDE for C++ class or gcc/gdb on Linux? The latter is much harder to use and debug; it’s all command line. Years ago I heard there is this thing called “KDevelop” Linux C++ IDE but I have not used it. Personally I do believe it’s important for programmers to know both IDE and command line, because IDE is not always available.

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MSN messenger

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After I upgraded from version 5.0 to 7.5, I had some problems using MSN messenger. Basically when I start the Windows, it will start up the 5.0 first, and then launch the 7.5 version. In doing so it will sign out from 5.0 and then sign in the 7.5. So I will see two or three messages saying “you sign out from MSN messenger because you sign in another computer”, bala bala bala. I am sorry to my MSN friends if you got all these annoying messages. The good thing is I believe I found a workaround: I disabled the automatic sign in for the 5.0 when Windows starts. So we all should not get all these stupid messages.

I think the root cause of this problem is when I installed the new version (7.5), it did not automatically uninstall the old version (5.0). It appears to me 5.0 is a part of Windows Operating System, and it could not be uninstalled separately. In my mind it’s just another bug at Microsoft side.

Now if I could fix my own bugs.