Rants, rambles, news and notes from another geek

Geek Notes 2003-11-24

Sorry I didn’t post anything over the weekend. My daughter wouldn’t let me on the computer. Everytime I picked it up she got annoyed and started hollering “Dada!” at me. :)

  • Sun 3D Desktop - Check out this video demo of the new Sun 3D Desktop. Move windows around in 3D space. Interesting, but I don’t really know if I need it. I wonder if the Longhorn team will feel the need to copy this for the next version of Windows.
  • Hackers and Painters - In this essay, Paul Graham talks about the relationship between computer programmers and artists. Good read.

Busy busy busy…

Geek Notes 2003-11-21

Got my sweet new Motorola MPx-200 in the mail yesterday and got it setup today. Man this is a nice phone. Need to get a belt clip for it… and probably a 256MB memory chip for, but that can wait.

  • Vulnerability in MySQL - Looks like the popular open source database has a buffer overflow problem. I thought someone told me that open source projects don’t have buffer overflow problems because of all the peer review… :)
  • WSS Web Parts - Tim Heuer is working on some cool WSS webparts, most notably a Document Library Explorer – essentially an explorer view for a WSS Doc Lib. I can’t wait.
  • What is System Volume Information? - Raymond Chen tells us what is in there and why it is important. I’ve always wondered what it was for… interesting that WinFS is in there too.
  • Scientific American Sci/Tech Gifts for 2003 - Got a geek in the family? Take a look at this. I’d sure like a shrimp farm for my desk. [via SlashDot]
  • Sql Server Reporting Services - Tom Rizzo raves about the newly released Reporting Services Beta.
  • Design and Implementation Guidelines for Web Clients - This 238 page guide, targeted for used of the UIP Application Block, provides advice on how to best implement logic in the presentation layer of a distributed web application.
  • What is MSAvalon? - ChrisAn talks about the history of the MSAvalon namespace and the teams who work on it. In his next post, Chris explains the history of the Avalon architecture.
  • WsContractFirst v0.2 - I posted about Christian’s last version of this, but he is really starting to move this thing forward. It now adds an ASMX default implementation that has WSDL generation disabled (duh!), client side proxies get access to raw XML, generates properties instead of fields because it doesn’t use XSD.EXE. This is a Good Thing. [via Ingo Rammer’s Weblog]
  • MPx200.org - News, Reviews, and Help for the MPX200, SPH-i600, and SmartPhone Community.

Geek Notes 2003-11-20

So far, I’m very happy with NewsGator. Posting works well, reading in Outlook is good. There are a few weirdnesses, but I’m learning to deal with them.

Here’s what I found today.

  • The Lowdown on Help in VS.Whidbey - Tim Sullivan tells us what to expect. One thing that I’ve been looking for for a while is the option of going online for F1 MSDN help. It may suck, but I sure hope it doesn’t.
  • Why Requirements, Analysis, and Design No Longer Make Sense - A new essay by Scott Ambler that questions whether we still need to be performing these traditional development tasks.
  • Ink Log - Apparently blogging with a Tablet PC is cool, but without text-recognition and an RSS feed, why would I care?
  • Designing Quality Frameworks - Jesse Ezell posts some excellent advice for people designing frameworks. Key points: Keep it simple, take your time, assume ignorance, test aggressively, be consistent.
  • Stopping Blog Spam Redux - Luke Hutteman posts another idea for stopping blog spam. An interesting idea… let them do it, but steal their links.

Keith Brown's New Book Online in RSS!

Yesterday Keith Brown gave me a call to discuss how the VPC development technique is working out. And as I told him, it is working out pretty well.

Along the way, I mentioned to him that I would really like to have an RSS feed of his new book. He didn’t know much about RSS but I convinced him that it was a no brainer.

Well, what do you know… this morning he has a feed for the book. Now it is easy for me to keep up with his new chapters!

Thanks Keith!

Geek Notes 2003-11-19

This is my first Geek Notes posted from NewsGator, so hopefully it will work well. I’m also experimenting with NewsGator’s Draft capabilities…

Efficient Selling

I just ran out to McDonalds to grab a bite and I decided to go through the drive-thru. When ordering, the attendant asked me “cash or credit”. Credit I replied.

Then when I rolled up to Window #1 I handed her my card. She swiped it and handed it back to me with a reciept that she had already printed. No authorization, no waiting for the reciept to print, no signing. Wow. That is fast. I almost didn’t have to stop the car.

Second Test Post From NewsGator

So far, I have to say NewsGator rocks. I’m posting this using the dasBlog plug-in and I’m hoping it supports Categories. We’ll see.

Test Post From NewsGator

This is a test from NewsGator. I’m hoping I can do things like hyperlinks├é and simple formatting. We’ll see.

[Update] That worked wondefully. But I didn’t try including a category… one more test post should do it. :)

Geek Notes 2003-11-18

I spent yesterday up in Keystone meeting with a client and we almost got stuck up there for the night. Given that they were getting dumped on, that wouldn’t have been too bad, provided we didn’t get stuck on the highway.

By the way, I’ve been playing around with NewsGator and intraVnews&nbsp_place_holder;as ways to bring my RSS feeds into Outlook. I’m leaning towards NewsGator at this point. We’ll see.

One of the things that bugs the crap out of me whenever I&nbsp_place_holder;have to start over with a new RSS aggregator is all of the feeds that don’t have a posted date. Of my 200+ feeds, probably 15% of them don’t have it. So when I hit them with a fresh aggregator, I can’t tell how old things are. This is stupid!

Multiple Monitor Madness

Like many developers these days, I’ve really become hooked on using multiple displays. My new Dell Inspiron 8500 supports a second head on its external monitor port and combining that with a tool like UltraMon just makes it all work.

Then today I discovered the Digital Tigers SideCar Plus Four Pro. This external box connected to a laptop via a PC Card and gives you FOUR more display surfaces. Combine that with a multiple monitor display like this one, and you are flyin’!

Now where am I going to find the $5000 it takes to get this up and running? :)