Archive for January, 2006

TurboGears One Page Reference

I’ve been writing TurboGears applications again reciently and I a quick API reference to hang off of my monitor, so I could just get down to work without having to look things up all the time.

This is a work in progress, but I thought it might be useful to a wider audience.

This is a rough draft based on the things I kept forgetting, plus the things that I thought I might keep forgetting. If you have any ideas for more information that should be on here, I’d be more than happy to add them as we go.

Update: I’ve updated the guide quite a bit, the newer, and much nicer, quick reference guide is here.

Supported TurboGears hosting at

Well, it’s actually been a while since this announcement, but I hadn’t seen it before:

We’ve hosted TurboGears sites for a while but we’ve now added it to our official list of supported software. TurboGears is a great web framework based on CherryPy. And since two of the CherryPy core developers work for you can be sure to have great support for TurboGears.

Looks like may be the place to go for TurboGears support.   Not one, but two CherryPy developers — now all they need to do is hire Kevin. ;)

TurboGears Classes

Demand has definitely outweighed my ability to support it, so I’ve had to cap registration on the Online Class at about 85, with another 20 in the Ann Arbor class, so we have more than 100 people signed up already. My informal online poll shows that we have the whole gamut of from people new to Python and web programming right up to people who are commiters on the TurboGears repository. So, it will be an interesting ride!

For those of you who didn’t make it in to this class. Let me know, because I am still trying to determine when to start up the second round of TurboGears 101.

P.S. I have an offer for help with LPI (Linux Professional Institute) certification classes, so those are probably also coming soon.

Excel Date Weirdness

A strange Microsoft Excel problem got passed up the chain to me today. We had to re-create a workbook that had lots of links to data from other workbooks. Yea, one of those Excel is a database nightmares that I keep wanting to replace, but we never have time or money to do it.

Anyway, the new sheet showed dates that were four years and 1 day older than what they ought to be. So a project with a billing date that should have been January 20, 2006 was showing up as billing on January 19, 2002. Nobody could figure it out, and because it is something pretty critical to our business (billing is about as business critical as it gets) it made it’s way up to me right away.

The dates were formated in different ways in the original spreadsheets, but if you turned them back into plain numbers you could see that they were both coming up as 37275. Anyway to make a long story short, it turns out that Excel has a feature labeled “1904 dates system” which is available under the options menu.

This means that under the covers Excel stores dates as the number of days since January 1 1900. Unless of course you have “1904 date system” turned on, in which case it counts days since January 2nd 1904.

As features go, this one seemed pretty absurd to me, but it turns out that this has something to do with Office on the Mac and some 10 year (at least) bug in Mac OS.

It seems like a little bit of foresight 15 years ago would have prevented Microsoft from having to maintain this feature for I don’t know how many versions of office. But, even though the bug this was originally designed to work around has long been fixed, the workaround is still generating work at Microsoft, and for helpdesk people around the world!

Oh well, at least this kind of thing keeps our lives interesting.

Online TurboGears class

I already have almost 60 people signed up for the online TurboGears class, and another 15 or so who have signed up in the site, but didn’t register for the class. My original plan was to cap enrollment at 40, but we’ve blown past that in 2 days!!!

So here’s fair warning — I’m going to have to close down the enrollment tomorrow night, or when we reach 100 people, whichever comes first. I just can’t keep track of 100 different people — even online with lots of tools to help me.

Also if any of you SuperGearHeads are signed up and want to helping me to facilitate this huge class, let me know by e-mail (mark (at) CompoundThinking dot com). It looks like I can definitely use all the help I can get.

And if enough facilitators show up, we might be able to offer more TurboGears classes sooner. ;)