Better Weigh in the App Store

So earlier this year I decided to write an app for the iPhone. In my case I wanted to loose a little weight before working to add on some muscle for a planned summer trip. I’d not been particularly happy with anything I found to track my weight before, so I decided to write my own. Thus was born Better Weigh.

 better-weigh-screenshot

The app focuses on helping you track your weight and spot trends such as subtle weight gain before weeks of dieting is required to lose unwanted weight. It works if you’re looking to lose weight, gain weight, or just maintain your weight

Just normal changes from diet, exercise, and other activities can cause your weight to vary by several pounds per day. These daily swings make the real changes over time of your weight hard to track. Better Weigh smoothes out these variations showing you how your weight is really changing and helping you reach your goal.

You can enter your weight manually or sync with FitBit. More syncing options are planned. You can find it on the App Store or see more info at http://betterweigh.me.

Code Never Dies

I spent much of the afternoon working on a new VBScript script.  Why would anyone do such a thing?  Because more than seven years ago I’d written a VBScript that did everything I wanted except output the data in the correct format.

The original code was a simple connector module that took a feed out of one system and loaded the data into a database meant for another system.  It has been running for most of those seven years and hasn’t been updated since the source system changed about three years ago.  It works and honestly there is no need to rewrite the program in a newer language since it’s simple, works, and isn’t a high priority process.

So today I needed to take that same source and produce a text file with a small subset of the data.  I could have written and tested a new script in PowerShell or a program in C#, but in reality I just needed to change the output from a database to a CSV file.  It took about an hour to rewrite and another hour to test.  It would have taken at least twice as long to write from scratch.

The lessons are that so much old legacy cold stays around is that it works.  The original script has more than three years of successful runs behind it with real data.  Testing can give you confidence, but working in production is hard to beat.

It’s also nice not to reinvent the wheel.  This is a once a year process that has been done manually more often than not.  It took about four hours to manually handle last year so this year I spent two hours to automate it.  Next year it will run in a few minutes.  That’s a good savings in time and effort.

Visual Studio 2008 Locks Up After Installing Office 2010

I installed Office 2010 on my development machine a few weeks ago.  I didn’t realize that this was relevant to the problem I’ve been fighting in Visual Studio 2008 until today.  The basic problem was that any time I opened an .aspx file, Visual Studio would lock up.  It made making any web edits impossible and I’ve been having to edit these files in a different text editor.

I’d tried resintalling the last Service Pack without fixing the issue.  So today I sat down to search for the problem and found and article called Upgrade or Uninstall of Office 2007 might cause VS 2008 Web designer to hang.  The issue it turns out happens when you upgrade from Office 2007 to Office 2010 on a computer running a 64 bit OS with Visual Studio 2008.  It turns out that Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2008 share the web editing component and when you do the upgrade to Office 2010, the component that VS 2008 relies on is removed.

The fix is to go into Program and Files, click Change on the Microsoft Visual Studio Web Authoring Component, and then select Repair.  Once that’s done Visual Studio 2008 will work as before.