Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Martian Child" and Charity

"But right now, you and me, here put together entirely from atoms, sitting on this round rock with a core of liquid iron held down by this force, that so troubles you, called gravity. All the while spinning around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour and whizzing through the milky way at 600,000 miles an hour in a universe that very well may be chasing its own tail at the speed of light. And amidst all this frantic activity fully cognizant of our own imminent demise, which is a very pretty way of saying, "we all know we're gonna die," we reach out to one another. Sometimes for the sake of vanity, sometimes for reasons you're not old enough to understand yet, but a lot of the time we just reach out and expect nothing in return."
We watched Martian Child a few nights ago and really enjoyed it. It's a great family movie. One of the quotes I really liked is what you just read. I've thought a lot about that myself when I consider those who have no clue why we are here on this earth. What do they think motivates them to love and serve one another? We are taught that "the Spirit of Christ is given to every[one]," but they have no idea that that is what it is that motivates them to perform Christ like attributes.

I had my optometrist ask me the other day, "what is it that you teach in your church that motivates your youth to stick with your religion?" I tried to explain that it's because they are taught to ask God and He tells them that it is true. I tried a number of different ways to tell her we believe this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, but it just didn't make sense to her. Nevertheless, I was grateful for her not being afraid to ask and my ability to explain it to her.

The missionaries came by and shared our ward's mission plan with us. Something that they're emphasizing is not teaching the gospel directly to your friends and neighbors, but helping us first reach out and simply befriend them. Not befriending them for the sole purpose of getting them to listen to the missionaries, but genuinely "reaching out and expecting nothing in return."

What are somethings you have done to reach out to your friends and neighbors that aren't members of the church?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Best Free DVD Collection Manager...So Far

I've been trying to find a good DVD collection manager to better see what I have, track who I've lent DVD's to, what DVD's I've already seen, etc. I've even started exploring how to create my own application using Amazon web services to get the DVD info, but I haven't had too much time to do much with it.

I did find an application that does most of what I'm looking for. DVDSpot is an online DVD organizer. If you have all your movies in a text file you can upload that text file and have DVDSpot import all the information for those movies from IMDB. Not every movie is on there, especially if you are a collector of older movies, but the program also lets you input information into individual movies.

Another cool feature is that you can send out movie night invitations to a bunch of friends. An email is sent out with the date, time, place, and movie for the night. You can even have them RSVP if they are dvdSpot members.

The only complaint I have is it's export functionality (or lack thereof). It would be great if you could export all the information for each movie into a database, but the only thing you can export is the UPC, Title, personal rating, and watched date. If any one knows of an easy way to get this data from here or any other source (imdb, amazon, etc.), I'd be mighty obliged.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

AJAX Modal Popup Gridview Data Transfer

In a previous post I simply mentioned an article that helped me solve a problem I was having with the grid view control in an AJAX modal popup. The solution mentioned placing some javascript in your aspx file. I couldn't get that to quite work, so this is what I did:
  1. I created some hidden text fields in the modal popup.
  2. When a row in the grid view was selected by a user certain fields in the selected row were transferred to the hidden text fields.
    • Protected Sub GridView1_SelectedIndexChanging(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As GridViewSelectEventArgs)

      Dim index As Integer = GridView1.SelectedIndex
      Dim row As GridViewRow = GridView1.Rows(e.NewSelectedIndex)

      hTicket.Text = row.Cells(1).Text ...(etc.)
  3. When the OK button was clicked I was able to add some code into that sub procedure that transferred the data in the hidden fields to the controls in my form.
    • Me.txtTicketNbr.Text = hTicket.Text
This does seem like there should be an easier solution, but I could not get the data to be transferred from the grid view directly to the form when a certain row was selected. No one in the asp.net forums seemed to know or care. So if anyone comes across a solution after reading this, please be so kind as to share the knowledge.