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time_t and printf

The bane of my existence is work where I use c++ primarily with MFC.

Now today I have come up to one or the most strange occurrence while debugging the database code in our product. I was formatting a string with sprintf and all of my time values were being formatted as “(null)“.

I know we should really be using parameterized queries but this is legacy code created by PC software guys, and I really don’t know if ODBC supports it in a database agnostic way.

Now we have been using Visual Studio 2005 for years but this code has not been working for years, the problem showed up around the database purging code.

When looking in the debugger at the formed SQL I noticed “(null)” showing up instead the numbers I was expecting.

It turns out we were using time_t as the type being fed into sprintf which under this version of Visual C++ is actually a 64-bit integer, or unsinged long long.

So the solution to this rather strange error in formatting is also quite strange, as in how do you format a unsinged long long into sprintf. Well it’s rather simple just add another formatter charter so if you have a signed long long use %lld or if you have a unsinged long long use %llu.

I hope you don’t get tripped up like I did. And if you were wondering why there was “(null)” in the string it’s because the next token was a string, %s, and intel architeture is little endian making the upper 4 bytes all zero, ie null.

Undelivered Mail And Incredible Building

Well aren’t I the lazy boy I haven’t put up a post in ages….

Well this week has been a bit stressful in getting a build ready so hopefully I can be excused.

If you are a /. reader you may have heard about a small start up called blue security who had a novel concept of fighting spam by sending thousands of un-subscribe emails to the perpetrators of the spam. I signed up for this free service and started fighting my spam.

However one of the leading spammers in the world didn’t like this idea much and started a campaign to stop the company. Bringing down websites such as tucows and typepad in the process. And eventually Blue Security threw up their hands and called it a day.

This has left me without a spam fighting technique and now with my email address well and trully in their address books. To the point now that I am receiving 2-5 emails a day saying that mail was undelivered so these quite insidious people are now using my address as a return address for the spam they send out. How Great!!!

On a note of the more professional nature we are trialling Xoreax Incredibuild, a distributed C++ build system for Visual Studio and it is going well. Nothing quite like your colleagues cpu idle cycles working for you instead of against.

Well I guess that is enough angst for one day.