Rants, rambles, news and notes from another geek

Geek Notes 2004-07-07

I haven’t blogged this much, but my wife is due to be induced for our second child (a boy this time) tomorrow afternoon. Consequently, I probably won’t be blogging much after that… except to post pics of the kid.

Geek Notes 2004-07-06

Back to the grind… holiday is over.

Speaking of the virtual laser keyboard, I was chatting with Bob the other day and he and I had an idea. We want a PC that is nothing more than a small box with a projector on one side, a virtual keyboard transmitter on the other side with a 4-port USB hub on the side. Make that sucker about the size of a Maxtor drive and now we’re talking portable computer.

Now playing: Pelican - Angel Tears

Denver Pragmatic Practitioners, July Meeting

Tuesday, July 13, 2004 5:30 PM-8:00 PM

Location: (map)
Interlink Group Offices
2nd Floor Conference Room
98 Inverness Drive East, Suite 150
Englewood CO 80112


Sooner or later, every developer is asked to participate in the interview process. Or, when developers become managers, they must oversee the interviews for new members of their teams.

How can you effectively interview someone with just a few hours of face to face time? Does being an agile team mean you should look for certain attributes when interviewing new members for your team?

The Denver Pragmatic Practitioners take an informal approach to meeting. We prefer conversations over pizza and beer, so come ready to make some new friends and have a great chat about interviewing! Refreshments will be provided.

We look forward to seeing you there!

(Join the Denver Pragmatic Practitioners Mailing List at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pragprog-denver/)

UPDATE: I won’t be able to make this meeting because of the new kid, but it is still happening. Please go and have fun!

Geek Notes 2004-07-04

Had a blast tonight. We had a bunch of old friends over for a barbecue and as expected Hadley (my two year old) was the hit of the party. She made friends with everyone and loved being the center of attention. Now the wife and I are sitting quietly, enjoying the Macy’s show on TiVo.

  • TestFu 0.2 - I really need to download this suite of tools that Peli has put out. He’s got some very cool classes for database testing… SqlAdministrator, SqlExplorer and most interesting… SqlFixture.
  • Unit Testing BoF at TechEd EMEA - Jim Newkirk hosted what sounds like an excellent BoF on unit testing at Tech Ed Europe.
  • Breaking Changes and Obsolete Members in .NET 2.0 - Brad Abrams posts some links to some important changes in Whidbey that all developers using .NET now need to know about.
  • Systems That Last - Aaron Skonnard says something in this post that rings true with my feelings: Service-orientation is about building systems that last.
  • BlogJet Is Good - James Avery switched. I’ve been using BlogJet for a week now and I agree with him: nothing spectacular, but better than everything else out there for posting and managing a blog.
  • Fix Your Family’s Computers - Scott Hanselman says that we should all take advantage of the opportunity and install things like Anti-SpyWare software on our family’s machines. I do this kind of thing every time I get in front of a relative’s computer. You should too.

Geek Notes 2004-07-03

Ahhh… the weather in Colorado is wonderful this holiday weekend. Mid-to-high 80s, nothing but parties and get togethers… not too much real work to do… I love it.

  • System.Decimal Bug - Craig Andera found an interesting bug in the .NET decimal class. It looks like they are using double precision arithmetic behind the scenes which is a no-no for a class that is specifically designed to avoid the rounding problems inherent in single and double precision numbers. I can’t believe this wasn’t found before now.
  • Roadmap for Testing on an Agile Project - The god of agile testing, Brian Marick, lays out how he would do testing if he were starting a new agile project.
  • Continuous Integration and the Ambient OrbΓäó - Michael Swanson shows off a cool trick that gives a team immediate feedback on the state of their build server… using a glowing red/green Orb in the developer room.
  • Free ASP.NET Controls - Eli Robillard found some sweet free web controls.
  • Using Fancy XPath With XML Documentation - Yet another jem from Peli… this time a way to use XPath to select all source code examples that include a class rather than just the example defined for that class.

Now playing: Kyuss - Molten Universe

Configuration Change to Protect Against Download.Ject

One of my good friends in the local MS district just sent me this:

Microsoft teams have confirmed a report of a security issue known as Download.Ject affecting customers using the Microsoft Internet Information Services 5.0 (IIS) and Microsoft Internet Explorer components of Windows. (Download.Ject is also known as JS.Scob.Trojan, Scob, and JS.Toofeer.)

As a valued partner, we are contacting you so that you have the information and resources you need to help address any security issues that may arise with your customers.

Microsoft Product Support Alert Details:

Microsoft has released a configuration change that addresses the recent malicious attack against Internet Explorer known as Download.JECT.

In addition, Microsoft has released a Knowledge Base article, 870669, that provides information that administrators can use to implement this change manually in their environment and to deploy the change across their networks.&nbsp_place_holder; Partners can also leverage this information to implement changes on behalf of their customers.&nbsp_place_holder; This Knowledge Base article is available here:


We recommend that you encourage your customers to review the information in the Knowledge Base article, then test and deploy the change immediately in their environments, if applicable.

If you or your customers have any questions regarding the security updates or its implementation after reading the above listed bulletin, you or your customers should contact Product Support Services in the United States at 1-866-PCSafety (1-866-727-2338).&nbsp_place_holder; International customers should contact their local subsidiary.

Thank you,

Microsoft PSS Security Team

Everyone needs to pay attention to this. It is a nasty one.

Now playing: Porcupine Tree - Heartattack In a Layby

DasBlog2DotText Now on SourceForge!

Today I uploaded the code for the tools needed to convert from a dasBlog weblog to a .Text weblog. After multiple requests for the code and a number of submitted changes/bugfixes, I decided the best way to handle it was to make it open source.

The project is on SourceForge.net at the following URL:


Craig Andera has graciously offered to help me admin the project and he will be checking in some updates in the next couple of days.

I also want to that all of the people who submitted updates and fixes to the code. Although I don’t expect to need this tool ever again, hopefully we can all work together to make it better for those who need it.

Now playing: Porcupine Tree - Gravity Eyelids

Geek Notes 2004-07-02

Got my VS2K5 downloaded last night and am building up a VPC as I write this. Hopefully I’ll find some time over the long weekend to get my hands dirty.

  • XmlSerialization in Reflector - I still can’t believe how prolific Peli is with the cool Reflector Add-Ins. This one shows you what your class would look like if you ran it through XmlSerializer. Way cool.
  • Effective NDoc and Stuff - If your organization uses XML comments to produce MSDN-style documentation, then you need to read this post by Scott Hanselman.
  • Book Review: Debugging the Development Process - Darrell Norton reviews a book I’ve been wanting to read. Now I want to read it more.
  • Solvent - A cool little VS.NET Add-in to make VS.NET “suck less”. [via Scott Hanselman]
  • Vil 1.1 - A code metrics and analysis tool. Unfortunately, it is crippled and won’t work on assemblies with more than 100 classes unless you contact them for a key. I don’t know if the key costs $$. [via TheServerSide.net]
  • Performance Characteristics of DataMappers - DonXML does a nice analysis of a few Data Mapper implementations and is surprised by the results.

And last but not least, check out this beauty! A 30-inch LCD screen. Only for Macs right now, but that won’t last for long. I still can’t decide if I want that or this three panel monster

Now playing: Tool - Stinkfist

WinAmp Question

I’ve recently switch back to WinAmp from Windows Media Player. I’m not going to get into the reasons now, but there is one thing that I want to be able to do that I can’t figure out…

Can I link to songs together so that they are logically treated like one song? I’m guessing that the answer is to open the tracks in something like SoundForge and actually join them together, but I don’t really like that so much. I would much prefer to be able to choose the tracks and logically join them.

Now playing: Tool - Parabol