Monday, October 22, 2007

VBScript: How to ensure the script is running from the command-line

There is a pretty awful feeling when you're debugging a VBScript that produces hundreds of lines of output, and you absent-mindedly double-click the VBS icon and it starts producing message box after message box. When you do this, you are pretty well stuck. You either go to task manager and kill the wscript.exe instance (and pray it doesn't mess anything up) or click "OK" a few hundred times.

If you put this little piece of code at the beginning of your VBScript, you can avoid this:

'check that we're running from cscript
if lcase(right(Wscript.FullName, 11)) <> "cscript.exe" then
wscript.echo "Please run this using cscript"
wscript.quit 0
end if
' Okay, proceed with the regular program
for n = 1 to 1000
wscript.echo n

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Big Update: Moved to Washington, DC, working for FEMA

It's been a while since I wrote-- guess I got busy. After a fairly long process, I got hired by FEMA. As a Katrina survivor the irony is not lost on me. We moved from Philadelphia to Washington almost two months ago (it seems like forever now). I've been working for a month and a bit. It's an adjustment. In my last job, I was in charge of no one at all. In this one, I have a section of folks working for me. I'm nearly twice as old as most of them. *Sigh*. I remember my first job after Peace Corps working at the Office of Management and Budget as an eager young programmer, and wonder if I had it as together as my folks.

The really big adjustment is that I'm not programming here. Not an electronic sausage. I'm not sure what to think about that. I've been trying *not* to think about it much. But the fact is that I have defined myself as a programmer for... (quick math problem... oh wow) 15 years. I actually started writing programs 28 years ago, when I was 15. On second thought, let's not count from when I was 15. That's just masochistic.

So I'm not sure what will happen with this blog, as most of what I wrote about here had something to do with programming. Guess I could go back to writing about what this blog was originally supposed to be about: writing.

I'm toying with the idea of participating in National Novel Writing Month in november. The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. I biked from Natchez, Mississippi to DC solo with no training once. I suppose I'm foolish enough to try this as well.

One high point: I did find a group with whom to play Dungeons & Dragons. We're even playing 3.5. We'll see what happens when 4th edition comes out (supposedly Really Soon). I'm playing a cleric for the first time, which is fun. I found this D&D group through

I'm training for the Jingle Bells All The Way 10K. It's fun running my old running routes from 18 year ago (Jeez, I'm determined to feel old today). I've found a 10K route from the corner of 29th and Calvert to Westmoreland Circle, on the border between DC and Maryland. It's essentially a run up Mass Ave, which goes right past the National Cathedral. It's all fine, I just have to watch it, because my old knees are always warning me that they'll go on strike.