PhD lags but gamin skills explode

by admin 17. February 2005 13:05

Well, my PhD is suffering from a lack of motivation and inability to force myself to work, but my gaming abilities are exploding as evidenced below:

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That's right, I've broken into the top ten of the excellent Stick Cricket. When I finished that game I was equal 9th in the world (the screenshot shows the results in the last 7 days) but since then I've been pushed down to equal 10th.

I've also come across another excellent game this week (thanks to another PhD student, Greg). Tontie is kind of like wack-a-mole gone wild. It's simple, great fun and annoyingly addictive. My current best is level 19... let me know what you get to. In fact, check out all the games on They're all fairly simple to get started and they're also refreshingly different.

Finally, I'd just like to thank (or is that to name and shame) another Ph D? student, Simon Kent (now an MS employee), who led the way in being distracted by flash games. Have you submitted yet Simon?


by Admin 20. January 2005 06:31

The RikWareTimeSpanPicker is complete. Basically it looks like the standard DateTimePicker when it's in time format except it allows the hour section to go past 24 hours. This allows easier editing of short TimeSpans.

The whole thing is built on the UpDownBase class supplied with .NET. On top of that I had to re-implement the partial selection style that the DateTimePicker provides (ie. where you can select just the hour section and move it up and down with the buttons). Unfortunately, using the UpDownBase means no visual styles - I'm working on fixing that.

EDIT - 30 April 2008: The TimeSpanPicker control has now been released publically under a BSD license. You can find out more here -

Skype Time

by admin 20. January 2005 00:05

I signed up for Skype yesterday (username: richard_mason). Seems to work reasonably well even over my 56k link, unless I try to host a conference call or download anything else at the same time. Still, what do you expect...

WinForms TimeSpan editing

by admin 16. January 2005 01:36

So... this blog is worth watching isn't it. Anyway, the short version is I haven't posted in a month, but I have managed to visit Melbourne for the first time in over 20 years. Report from Victoria is: Hedge mazes are fun.

On the off chance that somebody out there is still listening, I'm looking for a winforms control to edit timespans. I'm thinking an up-down style control with a time format but which allows the hour section to go past 24 hours. Having found nothing in my brief search, I'm about to go make one of my own.

Also been checking out O/R mappers - settled on LLBLGen Pro which looks pretty good at this stage. If anybody has comments on O/R mappers then I'd love to hear them...

WinForms Painting

by admin 28. November 2004 23:41

Just caught site of some good info on painting in WinForms on jfo's blog. In particular the posts off his old blog at and

Otherwise... I'm trying to find some time to update RikWik so I can update this site and improve some things. There's a few bugs which I'm putting off fixing until I build an entirely new version of RikWik with a lot of stuff cleaned up. There is lots of activity on RikWik at QUT but unfortunately our versions have forked and I can't just use all the great work Tim is doing. Incidently, that QUT link includes downloads for full source of a slightly older version of RikWik which you can play with yourself. Like most stuff I'm involved in, it's released under a BSD style license so go for it! We'd love feedback or contributions. Unfortunately documentation is still lacking, but hopefully one day soon...

Bullets Crush Pirates Thanks to Couch Supporters

by admin 28. November 2004 23:39

I went to the Bullets game on Saturday night and thanks to my $5 T-Shirt my mate Brad and I got pulled out to sit on "The Couch", receive free drinks, free pizza and watch the game from courtside... poor me!

I was hoping to link straight to the photo we had taken at the end but it's copyrighted so you'll have to visit yourself -

Anyway, thanks to our support the Bullets are now on a 4 game winning streak!

New CredentialsDialog with Win2K Support

by admin 15. October 2004 22:17

A new version of the CredentialsDialog is available. This version adds support for windows 2000 and earlier operating systems that don't support the CredUIPromptForCredentials API. Support is provided by a fully managed "pseudo" dialog which looks similar to native one. Extension panels are still supported, and shouldn't require any knowledge of which dialog they are being hosted in. Saving credentials is also supported through the DPAPI (on windows 2000, on earlier systems this is disabled since the DPAPI is unavailable).

I'm pretty happy with the way the whole project degrades gracefully, using whatever APIs are available. I still want to add support for detecting if we have permissions to call native code and falling back to the fully managed version when we don't. Then the project could be used in untrusted environments as well.

Anyway, I'm off to my handball finals this arvo then on to the Bullets first home game. I've been meaning to go to a game for a few years but haven't got around to it. Finally I'm going thanks to a birthday present from my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. At least I'm moving on after the Lions' loss :(

CredentialsDialog Released

by admin 7. October 2004 00:38

I've finally cleaned up the CredentialsDialog and prepared it for release to the big bad world. Basically it's a wrapper around the CredUIPromptForCredentials windows call which gives you the nice login dialog. Of course this dialog also allows users to save their credentials without any extra effort on your part. Additionally I've added the ability to extend the dialog with extra winforms controls. Currently I provide one extension (shown below) which includes a "create new user" link. You can write extra ones as you wish.

CredentialsDialog with CreateUserExtensionPanel

Full source is provided under a BSD style license.

Overdue Update - Footy, Climbing, AusGrid, etc

by admin 18. September 2004 11:23

My blog is going to sleep so I thought I'd just update with what I've been up to.

First of all - The Lions have made it to another grand final. We've got our 4th church footy match on the morning of the final then it's back to the church to watch it on the big screen. Hopefully I'll be able to kick 4 big ones like Danny Bradshaw did tonight to down the Cats.

Finally got back into a bit of rock climbing. After 3-4 years of planning we finally went climbing with Rod and Abigail. Rod and I both got up Cornflake Crack and David Mac cleanly, then went back home and ticked them off at The Crag. Then the next day went climbing with Erik & friends and got cleanly up the excellent Halva. All of these climbs are at Kangaroo Point.

Been doing some paper writing for my PhD. Hopefully I'll be headed to AusGrid '05. I've got papers for both RikWik (my C# based super-wiki) and for G2:P2P (my Remoting based cycle-stealing system).

Other than that - been doing some Yeti Olympics and got some others in the lab into Settlers of Catan.

Joel Pobar is a TechEd Presentation Legend

by admin 5. August 2004 05:19

Just got out of Joel Pobar's two TechEd sessions. Joel did an awesome job. He seriously has done some of the best TechEd presentations I've ever seen (and I'm not just saying that as a mate). He presented on CLR 2.0 and CLR internals and they were both excellent. The content was great, the pace was perfect (I find most TechEd stuff to be a bit slow) and he kept everything really clear. Great job Joel!

About Us

RikWare is a software development company based in Brisbane, Australia. Led by director, Richard Mason, RikWare focusses on solving challenging business problems promptly and effectively.

RikWare is also the owner of Aussie Bushwalking, a free, wiki-like collaboration site for bushwalkers and the creator of RikMigrations, a migration framework for .NET.

Aussie Bushwalking

Want to discover some new bushwalking ideas? Share a few of your own? Aussie Bushwalking is like Wikipedia... but for bushwalkers. Head on over. Anybody can see the walks and it's free to sign up and share your own.



RikMigrations is a database migration library for .NET based on the migrations facility provided by Ruby on Rails. It allows simple upgrading and downgrading of databases using .NET code (such as VB or C#) either from the command line or built into your application. Unlike many other migration frameworks, RikMigrations is a stand-alone library which does not rely on a large surrounding framework.