Rants, rambles, news and notes from another geek

Geek Notes 2003-12-27

I’m pretty much spending today doing nothing… trying to catch up from too much family time this holiday. I love them all, but sometimes you just need some time alone with your computer.

  • Code Smith 2.5 RC Available - This is my favorite free code generator and Eric has been working hard to add new features and improve the IDE integration.
  • Fun with ILDASM - Some very interesting IL gets generated when you create your own System.Object class. Try it yourself.
  • Using SmartAssembly for Smart Clients - Sick of fighting the App Updater Application Block? Don’t feel like rolling your own? Here is another solution for you.
  • Dropload - Need to send someone a big file but their Hotmail account wont take it? Don’t have your own FTP server? Use Dropload. You can upload a file up to 50MB in size and they will hold it for 48 hours. Very cool. Too bad the size it so small, I need to send a 6GB VPC image… :) [via Sirsha]

Geek Notes 2003-12-26

This afternoon I went trap shooting with my in-laws (the men at least). Had a blast shooting two boxes of 12-gauge shells at small ceramic frisbees. My shoulder aches a bit tonight, but it was worth it. This was the second time I’ve shot a shotgun in more than 15 years. I used to shoot and hunt a fair amount with my dad, but I haven’t done much since high school.

  • Dead Bolt - Robert McLaws, Jamie Cansdale and Michael O’Hearn wrote this tool to help those of you who don’t know how to do strong naming. ‘Cause it is just so hard when you have to go to the command prompt..
  • A Small-Penised Race - This is one of the funniest posts I’ve read in a while. I won’t rehash it here… just go read it.
  • Make More Mistakes - Eric Sink pens a column about starting up new software companies.
  • SQL Log Explorer - Sounds like a very interesting tool. Free Trial available. [via Jesse Ezell’s weblog]
  • Linux Does Work on VPC - Brad Wilson has been trying to determine if MS was intentionally thwarting his plans to run Linux… then he figured out the problem. (Hint: Think video drivers.)

Oh, and was anyone else forced to watch World Idol last night? It was the 11 international Idol show winners competing yet again for top honors (sic). Am I the only one who thought the two hosts (apparently they are the guys from Pop Idol in Britian) look and sound like Merry and Pippin from LOTR?

Geek Notes 2003-12-25 Christmas Edition

Call me a geek and I’ll admit it. Here I am blogging on Christmas day while my two year old naps. She had a wonderful time tearing open presents yelling “Happy Day!” (She confuses Christmas with Birthdays.)

Smart Client Offline Block Workspace

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of reviewing the design specs for a new Application Block being produced by the Patterns and Practices team. This block is called the “Smart Client Offline Caching Block” and will provide an extensible set of classes for building online/offline systems. They have just published the spec and some early code for review on a GDN Workspace. Check it out.

This is one of many new App Blocks and code samples being produced by the P&P; team, so keep an eye open for all the new releases.

Note: This is a pre-alpha release, so be warned! This is for review and experimentation only.

Geek Notes 2003-12-21

The Holiday party season has begun for our family. We had our company party on Thursday of last week and the first of four consecutive family get-togethers was tonight. Whew!

I’m currently reading Ingo Rammer’s Advanced .NET Remoting which is an amazing book. I know I’m late on this bandwagon, but let me just say… don’t do anything real with remoting unless you have read this book and everything on Ingo’s site. ‘Nuff said.

Geek Notes 2003-12-20

Here are a few interesting things I found last night.

  • Famous Unsolved Codes and Ciphers - Are you a bored crypto genius? Some of these are old.
  • MUTE: Simple Private File Sharing - Apparently designed from the ground up to deal with the RIAA snooping.
  • Teach Yourself Emacs in 24 Hours - I’ve been thinking about learning emacs for years. Historically, I’m a vi guy, but I’ve always wondered… so far it is pretty confusing. I like having a shell window and an editing buffer open side by side.
  • Building Disconnected Applications - Paul Laudeman posts a list of useful articles for building so called “smart clients”… Windows Forms applications that work both online and offline. Keep your eyes open in the coming months, because MS has a new application block on the way for just this kind of thing.

Off to bed…


Yesterday afternoon I took Microsoft Cert test 70-320 “Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework”. Passed with flying colors. It was a different test than I expected, but I had been given some warning by a coworker. From the title, you would expect 50% Web Services and 50% Enterprise Services.

Those two things are certainly covered on the test, but the are joined by a large amount of .NET Remoting and SQL Server. All of the tests I’ve taken so far in the MCSD.NET├é track have had fair amounts of database stuff, but this one had a lot more than I expected.

So if you are thinking about taking this test, I would suggest you spend some time reviewing Code Clinic’s Review Guide. It is basically a big collection of MSDN links for the related sections. Another excellent resource is MCSE Braindumps, but that is more of a “memorize it and hope” resource instead of a “learn it and know it” resource.

Geek Notes 2003-19

Oops. It’s been a while since I posted a Geek Notes. After seeing ROTK on Tuesday night, I’ve been too tired to do anything computer-related after work and my blogging has suffered. Sorry.

We had our company holiday party last night and that was fun. My wife and I basically spent the entire evening following our 2-year old Hadley around the party. She was having a blast.

Right now I am in K2.net Enterprise Workflow Training. In case you don’t know K2 is an amazing human workflow engine for .NET. It generates .NET code, integrates with SharePoint, BizTalk or even your own applications. Very cool stuff.