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Showing posts from January, 2008

The Freestyle Entrepreneur onto WordPress

My other blog, The Freestyle Entrepreneur, is now on self-hosted WordPress with an all new, classy theme and platform. WordPress is super-powerful and will serve us well for quite some time. I especially enjoyed this implementation because I learned a ton and I can leverage it for some other blogs I'd like to produce. I encountered some interesting technology challenges I'll post here soon. For now, I'm glad to be done with this phase!

AT&T Ratcheting up on my 'Evil Companies' List

It really pisses me off when a company nickel and dimes me. You got a good service? Great. I'll pay for it. But don't nickel and dime me.

Hilarious (but not...) article on the price of data communication via SMS on AT&T.

Someday, I want to find a reasonably-priced media alternative and say 'kiss off' to all the companies like AT&T, Time Warner and Insight that nickel and dime me for cable, Internet and phone. Grrrr.

Posting Code on Blogger

A fellow blogger recently posted some unformatted code samples on his Blogger blog and...well, it was tough to read to say the least (hey, at least he's posting code). I did some investigation and found:
HOWTO: Post CodeCode Snippet plugin for Windows Live WriterUpdate (4/1/2008): I finally did this. My steps:
Download latest syntax highlighting code
Expand .rar with WinRARUploaded all the syntax highlighting files to Google PagesFollowed instructions here to change my Blogger template. (NOTE: remove errant link close tag...it's already closed)Updated above template code with pointers to my code files hosted on Google PagesSaved Blogger templateWrap code with pre tags as described here.

ArcReady

One of the avenues for learning I've leveraged this past year is the Microsoft-sponsored ArcReady three hour in-person, bi-monthly seminar. It's held in a dozen or so cities but mine (Columbus, OH) is coming up on February 4th. Click here to register.

[...and before you look at the remaining post and say TLDR: ArcReady is free, there's usually good swag and there are some very cool/smart folks that attend...]

I enjoy ArcReady because more than likely, you won't see a line of code. As developers, we're constantly exposed to writings and presentations with lots of code. For the most part, I like that and feel it's the best way to learn about software development. However, always approaching from a developer perspective tends to lose the forest for the trees.

My opportunities to code have certainly declined over the years but I enjoy coding and can [gasp] actually read a code book and enjoy it (vs. using it as a reference). However, I'm constantly amazed at how f…

Bonehead of the Week: PB Furniture

My wife kicked into an organizing spree last week purchasing a companion shelving unit to house kid stuff matching one we already have. I took an hour or so putting this second unit together Saturday. I'm one screw away from finishing and...crap, this one isn't the same color. You've got to be kidding. Explicative. Explicative. Explicative.

Yep, the new one is "espresso" with the old being "honey". C'mon, get real people. I'm completely pissed at myself for not checking and/or noticing sooner. Taking this guy apart isn't tough but putting it back into the need-to-be-a-packaging-engineer packaging feels daunting. Well, I managed to get it close and re-pack it with some semblance...and off to Easton I go.

My wife called ahead and Pottery Barn Kids told us to just have our receipt and pull into a little, nearby driveway. Ok, fine. Well, they've changed the traffic patterns at Easton and it's a PITA to get around; but I finally plunk myse…

January CONDG Meeting

Hit the Central Ohio .Net Developers Meeting last night. You'll find me there almost every month but last night was especially cool.

Mike Wood presented on .Net Workflow (WF) as a rules engine. This is Mike's fourth time in recent weeks delivering this presentation around the Heartland (Microspeak for Ohio, Ky, Michigan, Tenn) District and it showed. The talk communicated the ins and outs of a complicated but feature-rich product with clarity and passion. It was one of the best I can remember in recent months...although I tend to get really geeked out about WF and BPM.

I must admit an "ah, ha" moment in approaching .Net WF as a rules engine. (It seems fundamental and a no-brainer that the heart of WF is a rules engine but...) I had always just thought of it as a mostly-graphical (drag/drop) method to lay out a business process...like a mortgage application approval process. Did someone from Credit approve it? Yes, then "route" to Accounting, etc. But WF is so…

ADO.Net Entity Framework: Upcoming Presentations

I'm scheduled to deliver a presentation in March May (got pushed back) on the new ADO.Net Entity Framework. It went beta3 back in December and the samples are here. You'll also need an instance of SQL 2005 (could be Express), this clandestine Visual Studio patch (be patient...takes forever to install), and the EF Tools (last released with the December CTP2).

Other than from 10,000ft. and a familiarity with O/RM tools (EF does that but a whole lot more), EF is close to an unknown for me. This will be a good challenge to teach myself the technology and then effectively convey that understanding to the folks attending the presentation. However, EF looks like an excellent opportunity to accomplish a common LOB task more productively -- something I'm uber-passionate about -- so I don't think it will be an issue. I'm also delivering the talk internally in February for practice and may pitch it to a code camp if things turn out well.

Best articles I've found so far:
ADO.…

Central Ohio Day of .Net

Michael Wood, co-founder of the Cincinnati .Net User Group just announced the Central Ohio Day of .Net for Saturday April 19th at the Roberts Center in Wilmington, Ohio. The conference, formerly known as the Cincinnati - Dayton Code Camp, is a no-brainer: free, good location, [what appears to be] strong presenters and a great networking opportunity. I plan to submit a topic to present. Hope to see you there!

Why I Hate Good Conferences: CodeMash Wrap-up

A good conference like CodeMash really throws me off-kilter. I spend two days in uber-technology / developer land only to return to reality with a crashing blow. I'm sure my manager hates me with a passion afterwards too. I summon up a dozen or so new, cool (well, at least I think they're cool) ideas in my head and I pour them all into emails and just start firing. Mind you, they're well-thought-out but I'm sure it's a bit overwhelming. Oh well, at least I'm passionate. It's tough for me to manage my expectations after speaking at length with cool folks like Josh Holmes and witnessing great presentations from Brian Prince, Bill Wagner, and Scott Hanselman (yes, these are Microsoft-centric folks...see CodeMash 2008: Day 1 post). As a slightly-introverted person, it surprises me how much I enjoy meeting and interacting with the kinds of interesting people attending CodeMash. I also tend to become a deer in headlights with all the great directions I could take…

CodeMash 2008: Day 1

Well, day on of CodeMash 2008 is just about up. I'm in the last session of the day for me: F#. It's a functional language...code is data and all that. I can't say I'm mastering it or how I might leverage it but that's what CodeMash is all about: exposing yourself to topics and concepts one wouldn't normally be exposed to. I think of it as trying to minimize the "I don't know what I don't know" factor. I hate stumbling upon a great solution to a problem a few months after the problem was resolved with a more complicated solution. I tried to keep myself out of the box most of the day attending sessions on: Keynote: Neal FordGroovyMOSS (ok, not outside the box but presented by a colleague...nice work Leon!)Keynote: Scott Hanselman (IIS7)Surviving and Prospering as a Computer Industry ConsultantF#I was also honored to gain an invitation to lunch with the keynote speaker Scott Hanselman. (Thanks Josh, Jeff.) It was a big group (~30) but he spoke of…

JeffreyHunsaker.com

I splurged this weekend and bought JeffreyHunsaker.com. Currently, it redirects to my Blogger blog at EffectiveThoughts.blogspot.com. Eventually, I'll use Blogger's new domain mapping functionality to assume this URL or I'll move over to self-hosted WordPress...not sure yet.

You're probably saying, "You go by Jeff...why didn't you get JeffHunsaker.com or Hunsaker.com". Because I missed out on it by a month. Another Jeff Hunsaker (no not the SCO COO...SCO blows) bought it in early November. Bummer. Oh well, close enough.

CodeMash...Opens Wednesday!

Looking forward to attending CodeMash tomorrow through Friday. Should be a jam packed with good content.

Here's my agenda (cool Silverlight Alpha 1.1 Refresh application). You can also catch me at the following:
Leon Gersing Vendor (Cardinal Solutions) Session: Friday 1:25PM Ballroom FMe on the Expert Panel: Friday 10:15AM & 2:20PMHope to see you there. I'll probably be hanging at Cardinal'ssponsor booth when not in a session...stop by and say hello!

Amazon Edges the Bookstore

In an unusual turn of events, the stars aligned yesterday and I got a full hour by myself to pursue one of my favorite activities: browsing at the bookstore. You're probably asking, "what's so striking about that?" Go have two kids and you'll have your answer.

I love browsing at the bookstore. Particularly a big, national bookstore...like Barnes and Noble. Grab a cup of Starbucks and just lose track of time. Ahhh. A lot of my enjoyment stems from the uninterrupted quiet time. Sure, my cell is in my pocket but there aren't any of the normal distractions (see above: two kids...I love 'em though!). Secondly, I love to read and learn. What better place than in the bookstore? Typically, I like to browse by subject: technology, business/management/leadership, current events, history, economics are a few of my regular stops.

Despite my bookstore love, it remains an incomplete experience. The online retailers trump bookstores with (1) superior pricing, (2) reader r…

Demos using VirtualPC without a LAN Connection

Typically, when delivering a demo for a server-based product, I create a VirtualPC or VMWare instance of the server product and then show the VirtualPC instance full-screen. I recently developed a demo for Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite. I used a Rosario VPC instance for the TFS server but because VSTS 2008 released RTM, I went ahead and installed it directly to my laptop. So, VSTS 2008 on the laptop connecting to the Rosario VPC instance. Lovely. About 18 hours prior to my demo, I realized I wouldn't have IP connectivity and that I had been relying on my home network's NAT capabilities for divvying out IP addresses. Rhut rhoe, Raggie. Fortunately, the folks at Microsoft foresaw this and created the Loopback Adapter. If you need to configure your machine similarly (IP "connectivity" while disconnected) and you wish to avoid the ever-embarassing "Media Disconnected" status message from an IPCONFIG call, just use the "How to ins…