# Monday, September 20, 2010
WHAT: October PADNUG Meeting
WHEN: Wednesday 10/06/2010 (vCal Link)
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Ascentium)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~8:30 p.m. After Words at On the Border Mexican Grill

Intel Ronler Acres RA1 Auditorium
2501 NW 229th Avenue
Hillsboro, OR 97124


Scott Hanselman
Scott Hanselman works out of his home office for Microsoft as a Principal Program Manager, aiming to spread good information about developing software, usually on the Microsoft stack. Before this he was the Chief Architect at Corillian Corporation, now a part of Checkfree, for 6 years. He was also involved in a few Microsoft things for many years like the MVP and RD programs and will speak about computers (and other passions) whenever someone will listen.


Information Overload and Managing the Flow: Effectiveness and Efficiency
As developers, we are asked to absorb even more information than ever before. More APIs, more documentation, more patterns, more layers of abstraction. Now Twitter and Facebook compete with Email and Texts for our attention, keeping us up-to-date on our friends dietary details and movie attendance second-by-second. Does all this information take a toll on your psyche or sharpen the saw? Is it a matter of finding the right tools to capture what you need, or do you need to unplug?

While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
ORCS Web - http://www.orcsweb.com/
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Monday, September 20, 2010 9:54:45 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Thursday, July 29, 2010
WHAT: PADNUG Meeting - GeekRoadTrip
WHEN: Tuesday 07/29/2010 (vCal Link)
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Z-Tech Staffing)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~8:30 p.m. After Words at Gustav's

Microsoft Portland Office located in Lincoln Tower
10260 SW Greenburg Road
Suite 600
Portland, OR 97223


Steve Andrews' GeekRoadTrip
Steve Andrews is a Team System MVP and INETA speaker, and has been working as a developer for more than 9 years. During this time, he has designed and developed applications in such widely varying areas as trust accounting, medical information management, supply chain management, and retail systems. Steve is also a MCTS, ICSOO, and community fanatic.


Testing ASP.NET MVC Apps with VS 2010 Ultimate
Testing web applications has always been a manual and tedious process. With Performance Tests in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, automated web testing is now a reality. In this session, we'll look at created Web Tests and configuring parameters and database driven testing. We'll also look at performance testing your web applications to find and squash performance issues.

While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
ORCS Web - http://www.orcsweb.com/
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/

And, our appreciation goes out to Z-Tech Staffing for providing pizza for this additional meeeing:

Z-Tech Staffing - http://z-techstaffing.com/

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:17:46 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, March 29, 2010
WHAT: April PADNUG Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday 04/06/2010 (vCal Link)
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Ascentium)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~8:30 p.m. After Words at Gustav's

Microsoft Portland Office located in Lincoln Tower
10260 SW Greenburg Road
Suite 600
Portland, OR 97223


Jason Mauer
Jason Mauer is Owner and Chief Architect of Mighty Code, a development shop based in Portland, Oregon focusing on software consulting, training, and development. He has over fifteen years of experience in software development, including a stint with Microsoft from 2001 to 2009 as an application development consultant and developer evangelist. Jason is active in the developer community and frequently presents on technical topics at user groups, Code Camps, and conferences such as DevConnections and OSCON. Jason’s free time is spent making music with his band No Good Jones, cycling all over the place, and enjoying life with his son Zachary. He can be found online at http://jasonmauer.com/ or on Twitter as @jasonmauer.


Post MIX10
MIX10 last month had a plethora of amazing announcements for the .NET world, including Windows Phone 7 development with Silverlight and XNA, Internet Explorer 9 with support for HTML5, the Open Data Protocol (OData), new developments with Windows Azure, and more. Come check out the latest and greatest with plenty of demos!

While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
ORCS Web - http://www.orcsweb.com/rdirects/NEW_padnug_hostby.asp
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/
Robert Half Technology - http://www.roberthalftechnology.com/

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Monday, March 29, 2010 10:28:04 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, November 30, 2009
WHAT: December PADNUG Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday 12/08/2009 (vCal Link)
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Ascentium)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~9:00 p.m. After Words at Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Imbrie Hall

Fiserv Cafe
3400 NW John Olsen Place
Hillsboro, OR 97124


Scott Stanfield
Scott Stanfield is the CEO of Vertigo Software, Inc., a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for eCommerce Solutions. Scott is a proud member of the MSDN Regional Director community, covering Silicon Valley, and participates in the Microsoft .NET Partner Architect Council. His company built the Windows DNA "Rosetta Stone" sample application Fitch & Mather Stocks 2000, the ASP.NET Starter Kits and IBuySpy, the Nile and Petshop benchmarks and many others. He is a frequent speaker and has delivered keynotes at Microsoft events including TechEd, PDC, DevDays and VBITs.


Portland Silverlight User Group Kickoff - Silverlight in Action
Interested in how Silverlight is used in some of today’s best applications (Think Olympics, Sunday Night Football, Hard Rock Cafe)? Scott’s group made them. It’s going to be a great chance to see Silverlight in action. It’s also a great night to invite designers and manager types. I think Scott’s talk is going to be a good way of introducing people Silverlight.

While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
ORCS Web - http://www.orcsweb.com/rdirects/NEW_padnug_hostby.asp
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/
Robert Half Technology - http://www.roberthalftechnology.com/

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Monday, November 30, 2009 9:12:54 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, November 2, 2009
WHAT: November PADNUG Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday 11/03/2009 (vCal Link)
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Ascentium)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~9:00 p.m. After Words at Gustav's

Microsoft Portland Office located in Lincoln Tower
10260 SW Greenburg Road
Suite 600
Portland, OR 97223


Kelly White
Kelly White is a Senior Software Engineer with MyContent.com. He previously lead the PDXUX.Net user group, and now runs the Portland Silverlight User Group with Erik Mork. He has presented at user groups and code camps throughout the northwest on both Silverlight and WPF. Find him online at http://kelly.whitepdx.com.


Examining Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM)
MVVM is a design pattern for building rich clients in both Silverlight and WPF. Frankly, there's a lot of buzz around this idea, but why should you care about it (other than to pad your resume)?
In this session I'll be making the case both for and against using MVVM. I'll go over what it is, show how you can use it, and will be including plenty of examples. I'd also like to discuss some of your concerns for why you may want to avoid it, and lastly examine some tools that make it easier to use.
Even if you don't currently use WPF or Silverlight you should still attend this presentation. At the very least you'll leave with an understanding of MVVM such that you'll be able to comfortably discuss it during your next job interview.

While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Aivea Corporation - http://www.aivea.com/
Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
JetBrains - http://www.jetbrains.com/resharper/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
ORCS Web - http://www.orcsweb.com/rdirects/NEW_padnug_hostby.asp
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/
Robert Half Technology - http://www.roberthalftechnology.com/
SubMain and CodeIt.Right - http://submain.com/codeit.right

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Monday, November 2, 2009 7:31:22 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just in time for the weather to cool back down, we're having a PADNUG meeting!

We have the good fortune to have Nick Muhonen visit us again to discuss some of the new bits that are coming from Microsoft for C#.Next. There are some compelling changes, but some things to watch out for, too.

WHAT: July PADNUG Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday 07/07/2009
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Ascentium)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~9:00 p.m. After Words at Gustav's

Microsoft Portland Office located in Lincoln Tower
10260 SW Greenburg Road
Suite 600
Portland, OR 97223


Nick Muhonen
Nick Muhonen, a Portland area resident, has been working in and teaching Microsoft .Net technologies for the past 8 years. He currently works for his company, Useable Concepts, as a freelance certified trainer and software architect, helping others reach technical goals and new levels of understanding.


C# 4.0 - Microsoft's Brand New Language Lovechild
Nick Muhonen discusses the new language features of C# 4.0 and of course, demos for the faithful!

While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Aivea Corporation - http://www.aivea.com/
Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
JetBrains - http://www.jetbrains.com/resharper/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
Online Business Systems - http://www.obsglobal.com/Pages/main.aspx
ORCS Web - http://www.orcsweb.com/rdirects/NEW_padnug_hostby.asp
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/
SoftSource Consulting - http://www.sftsrc.com/
Rober Half Technology - http://www.roberthalftechnology.com/
SubMain and CodeIt.Right - http://submain.com/codeit.right

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 1:12:17 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Yes, Virginia, there is a PADNUG meeting! I know last weekend's Code Camp still has many heads spinning, but we are now settling back in to the groove. Obviously, mine is!

Join us this evening for a great presentation on debugging ASP.NET applications. I know the majority of us work in ASP.NET, so this should be very useful.

WHAT: June PADNUG Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday 06/02/2009
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Ascentium)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~9:00 p.m. After Words at Gustav's

Microsoft Portland Office located in Lincoln Tower
10260 SW Greenburg Road
Suite 600
Portland, OR 97223


Prashant Sinha
Prashant Sinha has over more than 11 years of work experience including software development in finite element analysis, telecommunication, investment banking, Check Imaging, Remote Deposit Capture and enterprise services. He has led, consulted and trained developers in software development, performance analysis and production debugging on Microsoft technologies. He has also prepared coursewares on Advanced .NET debugging to conduct debugging workshop. His debugging blog is http://www.debuggingblog.com/


ASP.NET Debugging
A production environment is likely different than the developer's machine. This means that the system's load pattern and timings will be different and it makes reproduction of bugs in test difficult or impossible.
Too often, bugs end up in the, "It works on my machine," unreproducable pile.
The goal of this presentation is to introduce the audience to tools and techniques to determine the root cause of common production debugging issues. The techniques and tools shown in the demos are based on real production issues. We will discuss the issues and debugging steps required for ASP.NET applications hosted on IIS 6/7. We'll also discuss debugging Silverlight applications on a customer machine when no development environment or source code is available.

While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Aivea Corporation - http://www.aivea.com/
Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
JetBrains - http://www.jetbrains.com/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
Online Business Systems - http://www.obsglobal.com/
ORCS Web - http://www.orcsweb.com/
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/
SoftSource Consulting - http://www.sftsrc.com/
Rober Half Technology - http://www.roberthalftechnology.com/
SubMain and CodeIt.Right - http://submain.com/codeit.right

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 1:05:52 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, December 29, 2008

Here we are at the end of 2008! Another great year has passed and it's time to gather together and remember where we've been and what we've done.

Yes, it's kind of short notice, but we have some out-of-town guests that should be in attendance. Please come out and make them feel welcome!

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Food Court (Second Floor "Food Court"; typically, straight out from Sanrio)
When: Tuesday, December 30, starting around 6:00 PM (vCal link)
Why: Wrap up and recount the year of 2008.

Be There and Be Square!

Monday, December 29, 2008 5:19:03 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, December 4, 2008

*** Notice: We are meeting on Thursday this week because we said we would! ***

This will be the last meet of 2008. Boy did that year move too quickly.

WHAT: December PADNUG Meeting
WHEN: Thursday 12/04/2008
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Ascentium)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~9:00 p.m. After Words at Gustav's

Microsoft Portland Office located in Lincoln Tower
10260 SW Greenburg Road
Suite 600
Portland, OR 97223


Jason Mauer


Post-PDC Extravaganza
Jason will provide an overview and lead discussion of the technologies introduced at PDC.

While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Aivea Corporation - http://www.aivea.com/
Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
Online Business Systems - http://www.obsglobal.com/Pages/main.aspx
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/
Robert Half Technology - http://www.roberthalftechnology.com/
SoftSource Consulting - http://www.sftsrc.com/
SubMain and CodeIt.Right - http://submain.com/codeit.right
JetBrains - http://www.jetbrains.com/resharper/

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Thursday, December 4, 2008 8:35:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Nerd Movie time again!

For those who saw Casino Royale, you know that the Bond franchise has really updated their style. From IMDB:

Daniel Craig reprises his role as Ian Fleming's James Bond in Quantum of Solace, the 22nd feature in the 007 film franchise. Fueled by the betrayal of Vesper, the woman he loved, Bond's determination to track down the mastermind behind the sinister organization that blackmailed her takes him to Haiti, where he finds an unlikely ally in the beautiful and feisty Camille (Olga Kurylenko). The trail quickly leads to the ruthless Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), but with the British Government and the CIA working against him, Bond must kill or be killed on his mission to uncover the truth.

As usual, we'll do this at Cinetopia. The movie starts at 3:15PM. If you are under 21, there are showings at 2:00PM and 4:45PM in the Grand Theater, too, though. If this is right for you and you would like to see your fellow nerds, let us know and we can meet up before or after.

Speaking of meeting up, Vinotopia - the restaurant at the theater - is great to bring your special someone to. Consider making that a part of your afternoon/evening.

Consider buying your tickets and arriving early. I'd imagine that there will be a pretty good turnout for this movie.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner Movie
Where: Cinetopia Theaters - 11700 SE 7th St, Vancouver, Washington
When: Sunday, November 16, 2008, 3:15PM Showing in Cinetopia's Living Room Theater
Why: Bond is Back!

Let any and everyone that might be interested know. And of course...

...Be There and Be Square!

Friday, November 14, 2008 11:45:54 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Friday, May 2, 2008

What a wonderful Spring that is upon us!

Let's have a Nerd Event.

Last time we did a movie (Portland Nerd MOVIE- Beowulf in 3D!), we had to go to the "Grand Theater" to enjoy the 3D view. This time, we return to the Living Room theaters!

The movie starts at 4:00PM. If you are under 21, there is a showing at 4:30PM in the Grand Theater, too, though. If this is right for you and you would like to see your fellow nerds, let us know and we can meet up before or after.

Speaking of that, Vinotopia - the restaurant at the theater - is great to bring your special someone to. Consider making that a part of your afternoon/evening.

Consider buying your tickets early. I'd imagine that there will be a pretty good turnout for this movie.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner Movie
Where: Cinetopia Theaters - 11700 SE 7th St, Vancouver, Washington
When: Sunday, May 04, 2007, 4:00PM Showing in Living Room Theaters
Why: Because Iron Man will Rock!

Let any and everyone that might be interested know. And of course...

...Be There and Be Square!

Friday, May 2, 2008 8:34:51 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, March 31, 2008

You know it's been coming...

It's almost here...

PDX Webfoot is coming April 12 at the OGI School of Science and Engineering. For the latest information, go to the PDX Webfoot Website.

Some of the topics and people already on the agenda (subject to change at this point):


  • Safe Internet Browsing
  • Silverlight 2
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • XNA
  • Adobe Flex/Air
  • Scott Hanselman
  • Adam Kinney
  • Tim Heuer
  • Jason Mauer
  • Ryan Miller
  • Kelly White
  • Erik Mork

There will be good food (not just pizza) and there will be games and activities for spouses and kids (think Rockband and Mindstorms, though we can't guarantee either of those yet).

Monday, March 31, 2008 10:03:56 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]

I almost hate to admit that I found this humorous, but Scott Adams of Dilbert fame made me genuinely Laugh Out Loud today when I read his thoughts on the Large Hadron Collider. The first paragraph:

My favorite story recently is about the lawsuit to stop the $8 billion Large Hadron Collider out of fear that it might shrink the universe to the size of a gnat turd. And I don’t mean the plump and juicy kind.


Too much fun. I'm sure my mom would not like to know I laughed at that, though.

Monday, March 31, 2008 9:26:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, March 17, 2008

Next week Adam Kinney will be coming down from Microsoft to present an "Overview of Silverlight 2" and answer questions about other content presented at this year's MIX conference. This is a meeting you'll want to be sure to attend. Details are included below and can also be found at http://pdxux.net/.

WHAT: March PDXUX Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday 03/18/2008
6:30 p.m. Pizza (by White Horse)
7:00 p.m. Presentation
~8:30 p.m. Drinks and continued discussion
WHERE: Corillian Cafe, now part of CheckFree
3400 NW John Olsen Place
Hillsboro, OR 97124

Adam Kinney
Adam works for Microsoft as "a guy who loves UI platforms like
Silverlight, WPF and Microsoft Surface." He often talks about these
technologies from a developer and designer prespective.


Overview of Silverlight 2
Adam will be presenting an overview of Silverlight 2 and answering
questions about other stuff from MIX. I'm not one to speak for Adam,
but I'm betting you'll be seeing Deep Zoom related content, and maybe
even something about what the Olympics are doing with Silverlight.

Be sure to join us afterwards at Cornelius Pass Roadhouse for drinks and continued discussion.

Monday, March 17, 2008 12:39:20 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, January 29, 2008

When I heard Matt on Hanselminutes, I knew we had to get him to come speak at PADNUG. It had been long enough since I'd seen him, I didn't realize that he was still right here in the Portland Metro area - Perfect!

Matt and Earth Class Mail are definitely ahead of the curve on using the .NET 3.5 Framework. Not only that, but they came to the platform from LAMP.

WHAT: February PADNUG Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday 02/05/2008
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Ascentium)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
WHERE: Microsoft Portland Office located in Lincoln Tower
10260 SW Greenburg Road
Suite 600
Portland, OR 97223

Matt Davis


WCF and LINQ in the Wild
Come out and here first hand war stories and tips & tricks on .NET 3.5 from Matt Davis, Architect at Earth Class Mail. ECM recently converted their bread and butter application to .NET from PHP on Linux, and went live on .NET 3.5 Beta2. Matt will share real world stories and demos about what works and what doesn't, using WCF 3.5's new Web Programming model, LINQ, Compact Framework 3.5, and others recent Microsoft technologies.

While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Aivea - http://www.aivea.com/
Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
Online Business Systems - http://www.obsglobal.com/
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/
Robert Half Technology - http://www.roberthalftechnology.com/

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 10:47:55 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, January 28, 2008

Gosh. Again, a lengthy pause between trips to the mall. Cinetopia has been pretty good to us over the last year, but I'm starting to forget what crappy mall food actually tastes like.

We can use this trip to the mall to recalibrate our nerdiness.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Food Court (Second Floor "Food Court"; typically, straight out from where Picture People was)
When: Thursday, January 31, starting around 6:00 PM (vCal link)

Be There and Be Square!

Monday, January 28, 2008 11:25:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, January 7, 2008

The answer, according to Scott, is:

No, it's pretty harmless. If you look in the Object Browser in Visual Studio you'll see that one assembly you already have has had some additions and its version rev'ed....

I wouldn't go slapping it on a production machine unless you're living on the razor's edge, but it should be fine on a development machine if you know how to pay attention to what versions your projects reference.

So, for those who got their appetite whetted with Scott's introductory presentation at the InstallFest or for those of you that haven't seen what the new extensions are all about, this will be a great chance to find out more.


January PADNUG Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday 01/08/2008
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Ascentium)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
WHERE: Microsoft Portland Office located in Lincoln Tower
10260 SW Greenburg Road
Suite 600
Portland, OR 97223

Scott Hanselman


Should I Fear MVC for ASP.NET?
ASP.NET MVC provides model-view-controller (MVC) support to the existing ASP.NET 3.5 runtime, which enables developers to more easily take advantage of this design pattern. Benefits include the ability to achieve and maintain a clear separation of concerns, as well as facilitate test driven development (TDD). The ASP.NET MVC Toolkit provides HTML rendering helpers and dynamic data support for MVC.

If you would like to get a jump on things, download the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions from <here>.

While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Aivea - http://www.aivea.com/
Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
Online Business Systems - http://www.obsglobal.com/
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/
Robert Half Technology - http://www.roberthalftechnology.com/

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Monday, January 7, 2008 8:27:30 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I published this post originally on my blogger account on June 19, 2003. I was reminded again today how much I appreciated the company behind my home office chair. They have pretty much replaced the chair through parts they were willing to supply to make me a happy customer. They never asked for any money. I'm finally considering buying a new chair and you can imagine, they will be at the top of my list.

Ok, I am not going to expect a lot of visitation here since I am considering this 'just practice' for blogging. BUT, in case this is read, I need to let anyone know that there is a GREAT company out there making office chairs. Global Upholstery out of New Jersey (and built in Ontario) has taken exceptional care of this customer without asking anything in return.

They get something in return, though - I want to tell everyone to buy their products.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 1:44:37 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Blink… there it went.

Another year passed so quickly.

Rich continues to work on his software career; loving every minute of it even through the frustrating times. In addition to work, he’s Nerd Herding and running a local developers user group – PADNUG – and continues to connect with new people in the industry. Jesann is proud of all his hard work and his passion towards all he puts his mind to.

As has become our tradition, we spent our Thanksgiving evening helping with the family dinner for several of Jesann’s clients’ families. In addition, we helped one of Jesann’s clients’ Christmas party, too. Jesann has worked for these folks for almost 25 years!

Jesann is truly blessed to have the clients she does. They are all so wonderful to her.

Baby and Ninja

This spring, we lost our girl, Baby (she and little sister Ninja to the right), to cancer. She spent sixteen years taking care of Jesann and had truly adopted Rich as her papa. We really miss her little shadow around the house. Even our other girl, Ninja, felt the loss and appeared saddened for some time.

In September, we decided it was time to get Ninja a playmate. We visited Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood, Oregon to see if there was someone waiting for us. Boy, was there. As we entered the kitten room, one little, black-furred girl raised her hand to us. Despite looking through the whole facility (they have over 300 cats!), we had to go back to visit this little girl.

Trashed Rastus After spending a few minutes in an office alone with her, we were bringing Rastus home with us (that's her getting trashed on the left).

It turned out that that day was her four month birthday, too. She will be seven months soon and has about doubled in size. She is a sweet girl and she and Ninja are getting along great. And, if there is any way that kitty spirits can move along, we’ve seen it here. She has so many traits that Baby did, it’s uncanny. Right down to her love of the bathwater when momma is trying to get clean.

Our FamilyWe have had a great 2007. We wish you all the very best for 2008 and thank you for being in our life.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Santa Claussens!

Jesann, Rich, Ninja, & Rastus

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 8:46:48 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, November 26, 2007

We're having a PARTY!!!

Microsoft is running an InstallFest for Visual Studio 2008 and you are invited! Everyone that attends will have a chance to get a licensed copy of Visual Studio 2008 Pro for their very own.

We're meeting at Corillian for this one since they have more space. Also, note that we are starting the fun a bit early; this will give you a chance to install the trial copy of VS2008 and ask some questions before we begin.

Note that you must sign up for this event. The sign-up page is at

WHAT: December PADNUG Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday 12/04/2007
5:00 p.m. Food (by Microsoft)
6:00 p.m. Presentation

Corillian Cafe
3400 NW John Olson Place
Hillsboro, OR 97124


Jason Mauer, et al


Visual Studio 2008 InstallFest
ATTENTION DEVELOPERS! Are you ready to be one of the first to get their hands on Visual Studio 2008? Join Microsoft and the Portland Area .NET Users Group (PADNUG) for a Visual Studio 2008 InstallFest and Holiday Party on December 4th, 2007 at Corillian in Hillsboro.

Visual Studio 2008 is HERE and this event is your opportunity to get your hands on the released version before anyone else. Every person that installs Visual Studio 2008 on their computer at the event will receive a FREE fully licensed copy of Visual Studio 2008 Professional in the mail shortly after public release. Don’t miss out on a great evening of food, fun, and your very own copy of Visual Studio 2008 Professional!

Space is limited so register today.

While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Aivea - http://www.aivea.com/
Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
Online Business Systems - http://www.obsglobal.com/
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/
Robert Half Technology - http://www.roberthalftechnology.com/

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Monday, November 26, 2007 1:28:24 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, November 12, 2007

Storms of Fall are upon us!

This means it's time for another Nerd Event. This will be the third Nerd Event at the Cinetopia Theaters this year.

One of the extra special things about this event is that Cinetopia has installed the new 3D Digital Cinema system from Dolby Labs. They were one of just five theaters worldwide to launch this new system.

Jesann and I went to see The Nightmare Before Christmas there a couple of weeks ago on this system and it was incredible. It's going to be difficult to watch movies in two dimensions after seeing a few on this.

Note that we are shooting for the late afternoon showing, too. 1:45PM seems just a little too early and the 7:00PM will have too much contention with non-nerds. Also note that we will not be going to the Living Room Theater this time as the 3D system is only installed in the Grand Theater.

To that end, consider buying your tickets early. I'd imagine that there will be a pretty good turnout for this movie.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner Movie
WhereCinetopia Theaters11700 SE 7th St, Vancouver, Washington
When: Saturday, November 17, 2007, 4:30PM Showing
Why: It's Freakin' Beowulf! In Freakin' 3D!

Let any and everyone that might be interested know. And of course...

...Be There and Be Square!

Monday, November 12, 2007 9:44:12 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, October 7, 2007

Just in case you've missed it, we're going to have a bit of an event this week.

Halo 3 on the REALLY big screen.

Thursday, October 11 from 7PM to Midnight (vCal reminder), we are gathering at the finest of movie theaters - Cinetopia Theaters - in Vancouver for an evening of fun and function. All proceeds from the $25 admittance to this event will be given to the American Diabetes Association.

Cinetopia has come through with two theaters for us. This means we will be able to pit two networked teams against one another and enjoy the show on their huge, Digital Super Hi-Def projectors.

Popcorn and a soda will be available, but don't limit yourself; the theater hosts a fabulous concession stand and Best of Citysearch Audience Winner Vinotopia Restaurant and Wine Bar, too.

Thanks to the efforts and contributions of Aivea, Robert Half Technology, Microsoft, PADNUGSAO and others, we will be able to contribute thousands to the ADA in the Fight Against Diabetes, too. This is a big deal, folks.

Space is limited. Sign up now at http://iammasterchief.com with the RSVP code of "FIGHTDIABETES". Feel free to ignore the text mentioning the 'prelaunch' party; we're using the same site as was used for that event.

Scott is making it possible to prepay, too. You are welcome to visit his ADA site at http://www.hanselman.com/fightdiabetes/donate (takes you to the diabetes.org site) and make your contribution there. Print the receipt page and bring it with you to the event as your admission. All contributions made after October 2 will qualify. Otherwise, bring your contribution (feel free to bring more than $25 :-)) to the event.

Join us. You will have a great time!

Sunday, October 7, 2007 10:26:24 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Monday, October 1, 2007

To Everything, There is a Season

It's now the season for which the Strahl migrates back to the islands. But, before he leaves the northwest, he will come to visit us at our 'September' PADNUG meeting.

Note once again: we are meeting a week 'late' compared to what we would traditionally. As I mentioned last month, with the release of Halo 3 last week, it seemed appropriate to postpone our meeting to allow the most avid fans time to perfect their game. Availability will do the same for us next month, too.

We are also looking to move our meetings to Tuesday or Thursday. Obviously, for the remaining meetings, we are planning on doing Tuesday. I'd be happy to hear some feedback for when we want to schedule our meetings next year. Since Wednesday's will not be available, it's our chance to shake things up again.

WHAT: September PADNUG Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday 10/02/2007
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Ascentium)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
WHERE: Microsoft Portland Office located in Lincoln Tower
10260 SW Greenburg Road
Suite 600
Portland, OR 97223

Rick Strahl


LINQ to SQL in a Business Layer
LINQ to SQL is one of Microsoft’s new OR mapping tools that aims to bring a more object oriented mechanism to accessing data. This talk introduces LINQ to SQL and some of its features and shows how it works and what you can do with it . The focus of this discussion is on using LINQ to SQL in the middle tier for proper data abstraction which requires some additional considerations to be made beyond the ‘quick demo’ usually shown for LINQ to SQL. I’ll share my impressions and thoughts as well as the beginnings of a small light weight business framework built around LINQ to SQL that simplifies data access, provides a few additional required DAL operations and facilitates the process of creating an abstracted data layer.

And while you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Aivea - http://www.aivea.com/
Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
Online Business Systems - http://www.obsglobal.com/
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/
Robert Half Technology - http://www.roberthalftechnology.com/

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Monday, October 1, 2007 8:21:00 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I think Chris has been the source of these type of tests before. But, hey, I couldn't resist. I just knew I could get a better Nerd score than him, too :-)!

NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool Nerd God.  What are you?  Click here!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 9:43:48 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No folks, I didn't make a typo this time. In order to accommodate various schedule conflicts, our August meeting has moved to the first week of September. I suppose with the extra meetings and all this year, it won't be that big of a change.

Now, as to the subject, Tom gave a similar presentation to PADNUG about four years ago and it was one of the most well regarded presentations we ever had. This is a presentation you definitely want to see.

We will be meeting at the usual time and place... just a week late :).

WHAT: August PADNUG Meeting

Wednesday 09/05/2007
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Ascentium)
6:30 p.m. Presentation

WHERE: Microsoft Portland Office located in Lincoln Tower
10260 SW Greenburg Road
Suite 600
Portland, OR 97223

Tom Howe


The Business Side of Software Development
Technical knowledge and skills are essential, but your business and financial success may equally depend on your business savvy. In this information-packed session, you'll find out how you and your software development business efforts can be more successful. Learn about sales and marketing of software products and services, setting your fee, negotiation strategies, handling customer objections, getting paid and other business issues. 100 business and legal documents will be provided with the session materials.

Tom Howe is a principal in two companies, Control Center Computing, Inc. and the Legal Technology Group. Both companies offer products and services to law firms, corporate legal departments and state attorney offices throughout the United States. He specializes in application development using ASP.NET and SQL Server. He is a regular speaker at Developer Conferences around the world.

Tom also co-authored "Access 2000 and 2002 Development Unleashed" by SAMS Publishing and “Electronic Discovery Technologies and is the technical editor of the Advisor Media .NET journal. He is also been a practicing attorney for 20 years.

And while you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

Aivea - http://www.aivea.com/
Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/
Ascentium - http://www.ascentium.com/
O'Reilly - http://www.oreilly.com/
Online Business Systems - http://www.obsglobal.com/
Robert Half Technology - http://www.roberthalftechnology.com/

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 9:10:24 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Thursday, August 2, 2007

It started with the TechNet newsletters and is now making its way to the other properties' publications. The tall, skinny advertisement that pushes the content below the fold.

The shot to the right is from my Outlook Viewing Pane. This screen is running at 1,600 x 1,200 pixels. Thanks to the height of the advert, I only see one out of eight articles in all those pixels without scrolling.

Who thought this would be a good idea?

I no longer subscribe to any of the TechNet letters and now, the "Mike Vizard" letter is gone, too.

So far, the c|net and ZDNet newsletters have kept these type of ads along the side of their content. That works. We'll see if it lasts, though.

Thursday, August 2, 2007 11:48:17 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]

Can you believe how long it has ben since we've been to a mall? Transformers was great last month, but the food was just a little too good up there at Cinetopia.

So, in an effort to get everyone's stomach back into the bad shape it should be, join us again at the Washington Square Food Court. We'll have a chance to give some feedback to the new Hanselborg as he prepares to join the collective.

For those of you that are members of facebook, we've got this event posted up there, too. Click here to visit the page and RSVP.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Food Court (Second Floor; typically, straight out from Picture People)
When: Tuesday, August 7, starting around 6:30 PM (vCal link)
Why: Welcome Scott to the Collective

Be There and Be Square!

Thursday, August 2, 2007 10:38:12 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, July 23, 2007

We've got O'Reilly's Open Source Convention visiting here in town this week and it gave us the opportunity to invite John Lam to come speak to us regarding his work on RubyCLR and IronRuby.

A couple of notes this month: First, appologies for the late notice. We had some logistics issues to work through and, obviously, wanted to work around the OSCON schedule.

Second, note that we are meeting at Corillian this month and I anticipate that we will start a tad later than usual as we will be rushing John from the Oregon Convention Center after his engagement there.

WHAT: July PADNUG Meeting

Thursday 07/26/2007
6:00 p.m. Socializing (Pizza)
6:45 p.m. Presentation


Corillian Cafe
3400 NW John Olson Place
Hillsboro, OR 97124


John Lam
John is the Program Manager on the Common Language Runtime team at Microsoft. John spends his days thinking about how dynamic languages can help improve the lives of developers everywhere. In his previous role, John was a partner at ObjectSharp helping customers write better software using the .NET platform.


Open Source and Dynamic Languages on .NET
John, the creator of RubyCLR, will discuss IronRuby, an implementation of Ruby on the .NET platform that will be released under the MS-PL licence (BSD-style license). We will look at the implementation of IronRuby on top of the recently announced Dynamic Language Runtime to better understand how the DLR deferred compilation model can be used to obtain excellent performance and cross-language interoperability. We will also look at different scenarios where IronRuby can be used, including the recently announced Silverlight platform.

Look forward to seeing everyone there!

Monday, July 23, 2007 12:44:34 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, July 22, 2007

It happened. Scott was assimilated. I guess I was always kind of surprised that this hadn't already happened, but once I got used to the idea, I accepted that it would always be that he would be an advocate, but not a member.

But now, it has happened. Scott Hanselman is now Borg.

Sunday, July 22, 2007 11:32:41 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, July 2, 2007

Great Summer Greetings!

It has been way too long since we've had an officially sanctioned Nerd event here in Portland. That said, with the release of Transformers this week, we can resist no longer.

In order to kick things off really well, we're going to haul up to Vancouver to the finest theater in the Portland metropolitan area: Cinetopia. I described this theater a couple of months ago. Since our first visit last year to see Pirates #2, we've not gone to another theater; it's that good.

Since we want to make this event available to nerds of all ages, we will be looking to go to the Grand theaters (the Living Rooms are 21 and over only).

What: Portland Nerd Dinner Movie
WhereCinetopia Theaters11700 SE 7th St, Vancouver, Washington
When: Saturday, July 7, 2007, 4PM Showing
Why: 'Cuz lotsa stuff will get blowed up!!!

Let any and everyone that might be interested know. And of course...

...Be There and Be Square!

Monday, July 2, 2007 10:22:36 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wow... it's time to cap off some of our busiest times for conferences and presentations by visiting with Stuart Celarier about Microsoft's CardSpace.

WHAT: May PADNUG Meeting

Wednesday 05/30/2007 (Click for vCal link)
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Ascentium)
6:30 p.m. Presentation

WHERE: Microsoft Portland Office located in Lincoln Tower
10260 SW Greenburg Road
Suite 600
Portland, OR 97223

Stuart Celarier
Stuart is a staff software engineer at the Corillian Corporation, a leader in online banking software located in Hillsboro, Oregon. Stuart has 25 years of professional software development experience. He received the Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) award for Connected System Developer in 2006. He is a director of the Portland Code Camp v3.0, and has served on the SAO Development SIG committee since 2005. He has been a speaker at user groups and Code Camps throughout the Pacific Northwest. Stuart is co-chair of the Birds-of-a-Feather track at TechEd 2007, and has co-chaired this community-led track at three previous national conferences.


Protecting Users and Websites using CardSpace
The dramatic increase in online fraud threatens to drive business and other high-value information exchange off the Internet. Microsoft, working with the software security industry, has created CardSpace, an identity system that encompasses current and future security systems, using open standards so that all vendors and platforms can participate. CardSpace allows a website to authenticate users in a highly secure manner, and prevents users’ information from being compromised by phishing sites or other malicious online attacks.

Come learn how CardSpace works by examining how Corillian, a leader in online banking software, is using CardSpace in our software to protect banks and their customers who bank online.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 9:46:23 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, May 4, 2007

All the way from the building next door, Microsoft MVP and Regional Director Scott Hanselman will be joining us for a very special BONUS PADNUG presentation.

(Didn't you love the familiar tone of that paragraph?)

Scott has stepped this one up a bit, too. In his effort to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association, this meeting will also be a chance for you to step up and contribute to the cause. Not only will you be helping, but there are several folks that have pledged to match donations during this time period!

Let me give you one more reason to attend tomorrow night's presentation and donate to the ADA with Scott: PADNUG will also be matching donations from the meeting! Thanks to the generous contributions of our sponsors and the participation of all of you, PADNUG will match up to $500 in donations from this meeting to the American Diabetes Association.

Help Scott Fight Diabetes

Further, don't miss the opening meeting for PDXUX on the 15th. It will be a great follow-on to Scott's presentation.

WHAT: BONUS May PADNUG Meeting and ADA Fund Raiser

Thursday 05/10/2007
6:00 p.m. Socializing (Food?)
6:30 p.m. Presentation


Corillian Cafe
3400 NW John Olson Place
Hillsboro, OR 97124


Scott Hanselman
Scott is Chief Architect at the Corillian Corporation, an eFinance enabler. He has over a decade of experience developing software in C, C++, VB, COM, and currently VB.NET and C#. Scott is proud to have been appointed the MSDN Regional Director for Portland, OR for the last three years. He's spoken internationally on Microsoft technologies, and has co-authored two books from Wrox Press. In 2001, Scott spoke on a 15-city national tour with Microsoft, Compaq and Intel featuring Microsoft Technologies and evangelizing good design practices.


Silverlight - It's Here
Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of Microsoft .NET–based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web.

Scott will be presenting a high-level overview of the technologies with a well-timed follow up presentation next week at the PDXUX group at PSU (http://www.pdxux.net).

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Friday, May 4, 2007 9:41:49 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]

This morning, I take a look at my blog syndications and I find that the InfoWorld feeds have gone to an abbreviated format with a “READ MORE” link at the end. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am with that.

Please tell me that this is a short-term experiment. Otherwise, I now have at least two more feeds to remove from my list of subscribed blogs.

With rare exception, when blogs move to this style, I drop them. For one thing, I like to be able to download the feeds to my PDA for reading offline. Also, I typically read blog postings in bulk from Outlook (using NewsGator) and have zero interest in the context switch required to move to the browser to finish what I've started.

I figure I'll give InfoWorld a week to change their mind. If nothing comes of it, ZAP!!

Friday, May 4, 2007 6:58:05 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, April 16, 2007

Windows' Live Search Maps (last mentioned here)  has made another improvement to the ability to view the world in three dimensions. High resolution 3D has come to downtown Portland! I'm not sure, but I think my car is parked on the top of the garage near the bottom of the picture!

untitled picture

Monday, April 16, 2007 11:33:00 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, April 15, 2007

It is the season again for all to step up and help Scott in the fight against Diabetes.

Help Scott Fight Diabetes

Last year, Scott raised $12,000 this way. The goal is now $50,000! Seems quite doable to me! I'll be adding to your coffers, Scott... heck, maybe I can even help in the walking part .

Sunday, April 15, 2007 11:55:02 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, March 25, 2007

The excitement builds as Jason got the Portland Code Camp v3.0 site up this week! I'll blatantly plagiarize his blog post here to save some typing:

Head on over to the Portland Code Camp v3.0 site and register to attend, submit a session or two, or just check out what's going on with the event. Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed to keep up to date with latest news about the event. It's happening May 19-20 at WSU-Vancouver and you won't want to miss it.

One word of note... changes have been made to ease the password requirements on the site. You no longer need non-alphanumeric characters in your password, so you actually have a chance of remembering your password now. As a result of the change we've blown away all the previous user accounts, so you will need to create a new account even if you have registered for a Code Camp in the past.

I'm sure this will the best Camp we've had yet. The campus and facilities are first-rate and it will be a great time of year for the event.

Sunday, March 25, 2007 7:34:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, March 17, 2007
The Living Room Theater

Why have I forgotten to mention this place before now?

It is a spectacular theater in Vancouver, Washington that provides a near perfect viewing experience for your favorite movies.

We went to see "300" up there (GREAT movie, btw!). This was our third time going to the theater and our first time in a Living Room Theater (pictured at the right). Just in case we weren't already convinced that this is the best theater ever built, the LR Theater pushed us over the top.

I never really understood how good a movie's picture could be. The sound is phenomenal; the seats are luxurious; and the food, beer, wine, and concessions are fabulous - and yes, you can dine and drink in the Living Room Theaters. I don't use the word 'dine' lightly, either.

From the Cinetopia FAQ site:

10 Reasons to make Cinetopia your first theater choice:

  1. Extra Wide Leather Seating
  2. Extra Wide Rows
  3. 50% Steeper Stadium Seating
  4. Digital Super High Definition Projection
  5. Finest Dolby / Klipsch Sound System
  6. Giant Curved Screens up to 50 feet wide
  7. Special Living Room Theaters with Private Box Seating
  8. Premium Concessions / Gourmet Popcorn Bar
  9. Gourmet Restaurant – 4 Star Chef
  10. Lunch and Dinner available in Theaters
Saturday, March 17, 2007 6:56:07 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, March 2, 2007

All the way from Australia, Microsoft MVP and Regional Director Adam Cogan will be joining us for a very special BONUS PADNUG presentation.


Wednesday 03/07/2007
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Corillian Corporation)
6:30 p.m. Presentation


Corillian Cafe
3400 NW John Olson Place
Hillsboro, OR 97124


Adam Cogan
Adam Cogan, all the way from Australia, is the Chief Architect at SSW, a Microsoft Certified Partner specializing in Office and .NET Solutions. At SSW, Adam has been developing custom solutions for businesses across a range of industries such as Government, banking, insurance and manufacturing since 1990 for clients such as Microsoft, Quicken, and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.


Rules to Better Code and Successful Projects
Managing a team of coders can be a tricky experience, especially as most coders like to do things their own way. During this session we go through a list of rules that help make the development process as smooth as possible. These rules govern the creation of specifications and schedules, best methods for testing and fixing bugs and even the employees working conditions.

He'll also likely cover some of his tools like SSW Code Auditor that can help you write better code.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Friday, March 2, 2007 5:47:39 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, January 12, 2007

I feel so bad for Steve and the gang over the iPhone flap and the big Cisco Lawsuit. But, rather than whine about it, I thought I'd be a bit more proactive and help them out.

It's been a few years since 'e' was attached to everything hip. Maybe if we move the 'e' from the front to the back of the words, we would see a resurgence in it's use. With that in mind, I present my proposal for the new logo:

Friday, January 12, 2007 12:05:51 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Well, it was bound to happen. I've reached The Answer today. I've only got two minutes to post this entry on my birthday, so I better hurry. How can I not post for this ostentatious occasion, though?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 11:58:51 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Happy 2007 Everyone!

It's shaken (not stirred) Martinis all year long folks and even though we can't have one at the mall, let's head out and have a Nerd Dinner! It'll give us a chance to exchange recipes in any event.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Food Court (Second Floor; typically, straight out from Picture People)
When: Thursday, January 11, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: Celebrate another New Year!

Be There and Be Square!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 10:27:59 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, December 4, 2006

INETA has been kind enough to get Bill Vaughn to make the trip down to Portland to present to us this month. This is going to be a fabulous presentation and I expect to gain a lot of knowledge on this one.

Come out to this months meeting to learn about ADO.Net connecting.

WHAT: December PADNUG Meeting

Wednesday 12/06/2006
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by INETA)
6:30 p.m. Presentation

WHERE: PCC Auditorium at Capital Center
18640 NW Walker Road
Beaverton, Oregon
The auditorium is in room 1508 through entrance B. There is a $3 parking fee. The kiosk for paying for parking is located between entrances B and C.

William (Bill) Vaughn
An industry-recognized author, B will illustrate how to connect to SQL Server and other backend servers. He's been in the industry for over thirty years- working with mainframe,minicomputer and personal computer systems. Bill has written six editions of "Hitchhikers Guide to Visual Basic and SQL Server". Bill is a top-rated speaker and we are honored to have him.


ADO.Net Connecting
Learn how you can use connection options that can help your application connect quickly and stay connected as well as encrypt your connection string. The session includes examples of the new SqlConnectionStringBuilder, the new User instance feature of SQL Express and even funtionality like FullTextSearch and Reporting Services.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Monday, December 4, 2006 11:05:42 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, November 27, 2006

Hey, I like Amazon as much as the next person. I've bought a lot of stuff from them. I've complained about the "Recommendations" feature before, but haven't seen the "Better Together" get so mixed up. I wanted to look at the new Microsoft Mouse today:

Better Together?

How do these relate? Use the mouse as I watch the movie on my computer?

Monday, November 27, 2006 10:45:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, November 26, 2006

TechRepublic has one of my favorite series' of posters plus several other similar ones linked. Fun to check out.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 7:17:04 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 16, 2006

 This is just awesome. They've done Star Wars in ASCII text animation. I can't imagine how long it takes to put this stuff together.

                         /__\                            /__\
                        | <><|         Look sir -       |><> |
                        (__/\)           droids.        (/\__)
                       /      \  /O                    /      \
                      //| __  \\//                     ||/(===o
                     // |/  \| \/                      | /  \ |
                    //__[][][]                         \/][][\/
               ____/|'  |\  /|.                         |\  /|
 ,---,_______ /         |_||_| \                        |_||_|
/|O O|      /           [ ][ ]   \                      [ ][ ]
 |O O|    /             | || |     \                    | || |
~~~~~ "          _______|_||_|_______\                  |_||_|
       " " " " "/       [_][__\        \________________[_][__\____

            |<   <<<   <<   1<   #   >1   >   >>   >>>   >|

Thursday, November 16, 2006 11:48:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Saturday, November 4, 2006

Reading Paul Thurrott's WinInfo newsletter and saw this:

Microsoft Provides New Theme for Windows XP
Since the dawn of the Luna UI style in Windows XP, Microsoft had promised a variety of colorful themes to replace the stock three it shipped in the first version of the OS. It even toyed with graphics-based themes for holidays like Halloween before abandoning the project due to its complexity. Since then, only one new theme--Royale, part of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005--has emerged. But this week, Microsoft shipped what we might assume to be the last official XP theme: Zune. As its name implies, the Zune theme is based around the Zune MP3 player, which is unfortunate. But it's pretty attractive looking, with black window, Start Menu, and taskbar treatments, and an orange Start Menu. And you can replace the lame Zune desktop wallpaper easily enough. You can download the new Zune XP theme from the
Microsoft Web site.

What perfect timing! Just this week I downloaded the new Windows Media Player 11 and found that it just didn't fit my choices for color scheme. I'd been using the 'standard' XP Blue Theme and switched to Silver, but WMP was just a little too "Vista-ish" for XP.

Well, the Zune Theme solves this. Compare:

XP Silver Theme <-- Before                 After-->XP Zune Theme

I'm just so darn happy! Hey, it's the little things that count.

Saturday, November 4, 2006 9:16:52 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 2, 2006

Oops! What happened to October? I think we got a little too busy. Bad Nerd Herder... Bad!

Well, we can make up for this faux pas next week. Oh, and you should come out to say "so-long" to Phil as he has become Borg! Another one lost. I just hope there will be some nerds left in the Portland Metro Area in the future.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Lloyd Center Food Court (Third Floor; typically, straight out from Billy Heartbeats - 2039)
When: Tuesday, November 7, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: To give others a chance to teach Rich about Time and Space!

Be There and Be Square!

Thursday, November 2, 2006 8:13:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Sunday, September 17, 2006

"Phil Factor" asks the question what, "If IT had been responsible for the Creation." I've seen this linked from a couple places and finally followed the link to the complete article. It is very funny and all too relevant. Here's just a quote starting with an executive angel:

"Our mission is to achieve total excellence in meeting the timescales for delivery of the project to the defined and agreed scope".

"Quality… excellence...", harmonised the assembled IT angels, upon hearing this confirmation of their mission statement, and rustled their feathered-wings to signal their commitment and solidarity.

"..and we're all clear on the project deliverables?" asked God. "Being more of the instinctive sort of executive, I realise I may have been heavy on the overall project vision…you know 'let there be light', and that sort of stuff…and light on the practicalities. I'm not really a detail person. That's why I delegate that sort of thing to you. I can appreciate that this is really a logistics and facilities-management issue but, we're 5 days in to a 6-day project and exploding two-headed donkeys at this stage make me rather nervous."

Check it out.

Sunday, September 17, 2006 11:26:57 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, August 25, 2006

I've read enough that I guess I just have to try this out. Nothing too interesting, though. I may just play with this for a few weeks and see if it motivates me to post more often.

I am impressed with how easy it was to set up.

UPDATE: Okay, that was really easy. Admittedly, I haven't played with any of the posting tools, so I really don't have a clue, but goodness... that's too easy.

UPDATE V2.0: Well, in fact, Live Writer has got me blogging more often and the plug-ins are making me happier all the time.

Friday, August 25, 2006 11:23:32 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, August 23, 2006

We always want to take advantage of Rick Strahl's time in the northwest. He's a fabulous presenter and really knows his stuff when it comes to programming ASP. He'll be heading home to Hawaii next month, so don't miss this opportunity to see him one more time!

WHAT: August PADNUG Meeting

Wednesday 08/30/2006
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Microsoft)
6:30 p.m. Presentation

WHERE: PCC Auditorium at Capital Center
18640 NW Walker Road
Beaverton, Oregon
The auditorium is in room 1508 through entrance B. There is a $2 parking fee. The kiosk for paying for parking is located between entrances B and C.

Rick Strahl
Rick Strahl is president of West Wind Technologies on Maui, Hawaii. The company specializes in Web and distributed application development, training and tools with focus on ASP.NET and .NET in general. Rick is author of West Wind Web Connection, a powerful and widely used Web application framework, West Wind HTML Help Builder and West Wind Web Store and Business Framework for .NET and Visual FoxPro. He also collaborates with Kevin McNeish on the Mere Mortals Framework for .NET. Rick is a Microsoft C# MVP, a frequent contributor to magazines and books and speaks frequently at professional developer conferences all over the world. He is co-publisher and co-editor of CoDe magazine. In the summer months, Rick spends his time in beautiful Hood River, Oregon to play on the river, forests and mountains.


Taking ATLAS for a ride
This session presents ATLAS, Microsoft's new client side/AJAX extension for ASP.NET slanted for release as an Add-on for ASP.NET 2.0 later this year. ATLAS introduces a rich framework for remote scripting with a wide variety of tools and approaches available to build rich client applications. In this session he'll overview the features available in the framework and show business oriented examples of how to utilize the various features. We'll look at the server centric approach with ATLAS Server controls like UpdatePanel, and a client centric approach relying on core ATLAS network features and the client side ATLAS framework and contrast the two approaches.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 7:58:07 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Not surprisingly, with the fabulous, big Code Camp event last month, there wasn't a place for having a Nerd Dinner. Heavens, we had enough food, fun, and geeking out that day to last until the next month!

Well, guess what? The next month has arrived!

We're going to kick it off early this month and finally get back to the West side of town for one. Heck, it's been four months since we visited Washington Square - we can only hope that they have found other business to keep them running while we've been away.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Food Court (Second Floor; typically, straight out from Picture People)
When: Wednesday, August 9, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: To keep the food court at Washington Square afloat!

Be There and Be Square!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:32:40 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Monday, July 24, 2006

Come out to our July meeting to learn about Amazon Web Services.

WHAT: July PADNUG Meeting

Wednesday 07/26/2006
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Centerstance)
6:30 p.m. Presentation

WHERE: PCC Auditorium at Capital Center
18640 NW Walker Road
Beaverton, Oregon
The auditorium is in room 1508 through entrance B. There is a $2 parking fee. The kiosk for paying for parking is located between entrances B and C.

Mike Culver
Amazon Web Services Evangelist, will provide an overview of Amazon Web Services and show you the possibilities created by these innovative offerings


Amazon Web Services
Learn how you can create innovation applications and launch online businesses leveraging world-class technology and content platform that powers the Amazon web site for millions of customers everyday.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Monday, July 24, 2006 12:27:47 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, July 5, 2006

So yesterday was the Fourth of July. Oregon doesn't allow very interesting fireworks... as I recall, nothing that goes up in the air and can only move around on the ground in a limited space.

Of course, many people will take a trip out-of-state to get a few more interesting devices. Having a more firework friendly state like Washington next door can certainly contribute to that.

But now, I must say that these devices just don't carry much thrill. It's like they are all just sparklers and snakes to me after this year's celebration. Why?

We got to participate in a full-size fireworks show!

Greg Hughes has been doing these shows for several years. When talk of this event came around last year, I made a note to myself to watch for Greg's call for volunteers this year. When it came, Jesann and I hurried to speak up.

This show happens up in Clatskanie, Oregon and we set up the display right next to the local treatment plant. Not the nicest place to hang out, but the wind was generally in our favor.

All told, there were nearly 400 shells to fire off. Nearly one-third of them were five-inch with the rest being four-inch. These things are big. Most of the day is spent burying the mortars and placing the shells into them.

After loading them all up, we took some time for a bit of a break. Time to go grab a bite to eat and change clothes as Jesann and I wore shorts through the day and needed to put something a bit safer (and warmer) on for the evening.

Throughout the day, Greg was providing safety tips and double checking to see who really wanted to participate in lighting the shells off. I knew that I wanted to, but Jesann was  little bit apprehensive about such activity.

The show started at just about ten o'clock sharp. There were seven of us lighting and Greg rotated us in.

Once it began, it was a constant bombardment. The force that the explosions carry is amazing. Those of us who weren't currently lighting stood back about twenty to thirty feet and you could feel it quite well from there. I was the last 'newbie' to light, but that had the absolutely thrilling advantage of putting me on a long section of five inch shells.

And I thought the compression from twenty feet was noticeable. Try being right next to these things!

It is amazing how much excitement there is to having these mortars exploding less than a foot from your head.

At the beginning of the lighting, I did manage to look up and see some of the shells explode in the sky above. I soon realized, though, that I had seen that plenty of times in my life. The lighting and launching, though, was brand new.

Having spent the better part of eight hours getting the show set up, it was all blown to heck in less than half of an hour. And yes, it was very well worth it.

Greg has more details posted on his blog at the following locations:

What can I say? I'm hooked! Normal fireworks just don't carry the thrill for me anymore :).

Wednesday, July 5, 2006 8:42:40 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, June 23, 2006

A group from work went to have lunch at the Merchant of Venice Cafe today and had an absolutely horrible time of it. I guess the quickest way to go is to bullet the problems...

  • Smallish circular table for seven big guys... and no, they can't push two other tables together for us despite having done so for an other group despite the specific request to do so.
  • "Sorry... not enough menus so you'll have to share." Three menus for seven people and one 'Specials' sheet. First, there was hardly anyone in the place yet. Second, why don't you have enough for everyone?
  • Small glass of lemonade of which they ran out... and still charged the full two dollar price!
  • Three of us ordered small pizzas. Mine was different. They brought out three of the same.
  • The waiter actually came back w/ the wrong pizza and asked, "wouldn't you like the same pizza as your friends?" You've got to be kidding!
  • The remake of the pizza took so long, I finally told him that we needed to go and to forget it. It was still on the bill.
  • It took so long for the bill to arrive that the pizza finished. He offered to pack it and not charge; even though it had already been charged.
  • Got the togo... it was burnt, not as-ordered, and packed in a box half the size needed.

I've been to this store once before and it was fine. This time convinced me to never go again. The fact that everything went wrong is forgivable if they take the time and effort to make it up to you. They just didn't seem to care.

Friday, June 23, 2006 2:53:29 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Let's have a Nerd Dinner!

What perfect timing: Next week there's this little MSDN Event. It's on Tuesday. It's across the street from the Lloyd Center. Doesn't this sound like a great reason to get a bunch of nerds together?

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Lloyd Center Food Court (Third Floor; typically, straight out from Billy Heartbeats - 2039)
When: Tuesday, June 20, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: We're Going to Be There Anyway!

Be There and Be Square!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:14:26 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, June 2, 2006

Via Travis at Parasthesia:

Your results:
You are Will Riker

Will Riker
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Geordi LaForge
Jean-Luc Picard
Mr. Scott
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Deanna Troi
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Beverly Crusher
Mr. Sulu
At times you are self-centered
but you have many friends.
You love many women, but the right
woman could get you to settle down.
Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Quiz
Friday, June 2, 2006 10:07:26 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, May 22, 2006

It's coming this weekend! X-Men: The Last Stand is released as of Friday and we're going to celebrate immediately.

If you would like to Fandango, click <<here>>.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner Movie
WhereCentury 16 Cedar Hills Crossing (Cedar Hills Crossing used to be Beaverton Mall)
When: Friday, May 26, 5:20 PM (Get there early if you can! It's opening night!)
Why: 'Cuz it's the coolest movie this year!

Be There and Be Square!

Monday, May 22, 2006 4:10:02 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It's that time again! Nerd Dinner!

Can you believe the great weather we're having this April?!? Let's celebrate the coming of this wonderful spring by getting together for some crappy mall food out Lloyd Center way...

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Lloyd Center Food Court (Third Floor; typically, straight out from Billy Heartbeats - 2039)
When: Tuesday, April 25, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: Look Folks! It's Spring!

Be There and Be Square!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 11:07:32 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Come out to this months meeting to learn some more about Atlas (Microsoft's upcoming implementation of AJAX).

The reason is that although the hype around AJAX is sure to fade, the technology itself will be around for a long time. That is, AJAX/Atlas helps solve a long-standing problem (avoiding server round-trips), and this allows web applications that are (potentially) more responsive.

WHAT: March PADNUG Meeting.

Wednesday 03/29/2006
6:00 p.m. Pizza, Sponsored by 3Leaf
6:30 p.m. Presentation

WHERE: PCC Auditorium at Capital Center
18640 NW Walker Road
Beaverton, Oregon
The auditorium is in room 1508 through entrance B. There is a $2 parking fee. The kiosk for paying for parking is located between entrances B and C.

Erik Mork
Erik was trained as a biochemist. Currently, he works for Tranxition Corporation where he is heading up development of a secret application that will change how users manage their personal data.


Atlas Shrugged
A Presentation on Atlas. While Microsoft only released a preview of Atlas, it is becoming increasing clear when the next-generation of web applications are made, they will be made (at least in part) with Atlas.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 1:11:29 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Saturday, March 11, 2006

Awesome time to have a Nerd Dinner again!   

It's that time again! Nerd Dinner!

I suppose we could wait a day and have a wonderfully nerdy Saint Patrick's Day, but hey, even some nerds do that social kinda thing on Friday nights. So, we'll just have to start a bit early and call it St. Patrick's Eve.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Food Court (Second Floor; typically, straight out from Picture People)
When: Thursday, March 16, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: 'Cuz we can't wait for St. Pat's

Be There and Be Square!


Saturday, March 11, 2006 12:06:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Okay, got that? Now, imagine 'driving' forward and on down the street. Without leaving your keyboard. That's the thought behind a new service on Windows Local Live. You can visit downtown Seattle or San Francisco with this and it is very cool.

I can just imagine when we have the best of Windows Local Live, Google Local, and Google Earth combined in a single product. Then, add in some live sat coverage... wait, no... that's not a good idea ;-).

[Thanks to Omar]

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 10:34:02 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, February 26, 2006

This is just the coolest gadget! Heavens, we've got at least a dozen of these little tins around the house ourselves.

Throw a 9v battery into the Altoids tin and you've got a quick charge for any device that can charge through a USB port.

The best part is Aaron is selling the parts for building this from his site for a very reasonable price.

Even though I don't think I have any devices that would use this, I'm tempted to pick one up to support the effort and, what the heck, just in case.

Isn't it nice to know that there are people out there thinking of these kind of things?

Sunday, February 26, 2006 3:37:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Friday, February 10, 2006

We had an excellant turnout to send ChrisT on his way to Redmond last night. He sure as heck didn't have that 'holier than thou' attitude I was afraid of, either ;-).

You may click the picture for a larger version

Thanks everyone for making such a wonderful time last evening. And Thank You Jason for bringing a camera to make our own Last Supper artwork!

Friday, February 10, 2006 11:05:31 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, February 4, 2006

Thanks to Mr. Tallent, I've had a great laugh today.

Someone went to some work :-).

Saturday, February 4, 2006 2:19:26 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, February 3, 2006

Many of you are probably in the know: Chris Tavares is going to be leaving the Portland area soon. He's taken up with this little software company in the Redmond, Washington area and we want to send him off right.

Fortuantely, Chris was able to get out of a trip north for some silly house-closing deal. Folks haven't told him how nice the sidewalks are up there yet.

And if you don't get the whole Last Supper deal, please feel free to contact Ted:-)

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Food Court (Second Floor; typically, straight out from Picture People)
When: Thursday, February 9, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: Because it's ChrisT's Last Supper!

Be There and Be Square!

Friday, February 3, 2006 5:14:04 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, January 9, 2006

As noted below, last year, we happened to choose the same date for the first Portland Nerd Dinner of the year. Is there meaning in this?

Wow! Talk about ironic - we had our first Nerd Dinner of 2005 on January 12, too. But, to mix it up a bit, we've moved the 12th to a Thursday this year instead of a Wednesday. I'm sure you will all appreciate the change.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Lloyd Center Food Court (Third Floor; typically, straight out from Billy Heartbeats - 2039)
When: Thursday, January 12, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: Because it's a whole new year!

Be There and Be Square!


Monday, January 9, 2006 12:18:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, December 25, 2005

I found out recently that my nephew, Jeff, is selling his beautiful home in Carnation, Washington. It's a 2,870 square foot custom built home with one of the most fabulous kitchens around. Darn reasonable drive for any of you Microsoftees out there :-).

The description from the Coldwell Banker site:

Custom Northwest Design with unique features not found in other area homes. The gourmet kitchen will delight you from the copper countertops to the travertine sink. The island features a riverrock front,log footrails, and accent lighting. Top of the line appliances/cabinetry. Open floor plan with the great room featuring a floor to ceiling riverrock fireplace. The upper level bonus room overlooks the great room below. First floor master suite w/double headed shower(s) & 6' antique clawfoot tub.

He's just one block from Lake Joy (link, but an annoying cursor) and a wonderful community.

I think it's a shame that he's selling it, but his job has moved farther north and he figures he can build a new one much closer.

Sunday, December 25, 2005 11:34:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [4]

I found this idea from Michael Swanson's blog inspiring. Carry a stack of cards with you to let people know when a bit of kindness has found its way to them.

Now, I'm all for providing such deeds anonymously, but there are two important reasons to hand out this card:

  1. Allow someone to know that good things can happen to them and that one just did.
  2. Motivate one more person to provide a good deed to another.

Hey, enough people started doing this daily, we might just have a problem wiping the smiles off of everyone's faces. Give it a try!

Sunday, December 25, 2005 12:38:19 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, December 24, 2005

I'm sure I've seen this picture somewhere before, but I just get such a kick out of it. Via Warner Crocker's blog and from The J-Walk Blog, we get to see what happens when air traffic controllers are not paying enough attention.

(It's okay kids, it wasn't the real Santa.)

p.s. We finally got around to watching The Polar Express tonight... wow. Somewhere between Miracle on 34th Street and It's a Wonderful Life, we really enjoyed it.

Saturday, December 24, 2005 11:14:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, November 28, 2005

Inspired by Marc Hedlund's Wishlist Wishlist, I started thinking about my disappointment with Amazon's Recommendations feature. I was going to leave a comment, but I realized that it was going to be too long and just enough off-topic that I should write my own entry.

I really want to like the Recommendations on Amazon. I continue to add ratings and data to the system in hopes that one day it will provide me valuable recommendations that I can use. But so far, it seems to be getting worse.

How do they recommend "Titanic (Special Collector's Edition)" because I rated "Airplane - The 'Don't Call Me Shirley' Edition"? Why on Earth would this be considered legitimate? And "Vanishing Point" because I rated "Boiling Point"? Is this based on both having the word 'point' in the title? It would seem.

And Amazon, because I like some TV shows doesn't mean I like all TV shows. You don't have to 'recommend' every television series that makes it to DVD to me now. Oh, and here is a great one: my wife is interested in picking up "Seven Faces of Dr. Lao" (a wonderfully weird movie with Tony Randall and Barbara Eden... check it out) so we added it to the Wishlist. Now what do they recommend? "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T," a Dr. Seuss adventure.

I suppose I'll keep updating information on occasion in hopes that when they do eventually fix it, it will have been worth it. But my patience wears thin.

Monday, November 28, 2005 10:40:48 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Sunday, November 27, 2005
 [UPDATE: Jim's got this game posted now at http://sudoku-koubou.com/. He's doing fairly regular updates, too.]

First, I hear about this thing a month ago from Scott's blog entry. Then, a few weeks ago, Jesann mentions the game. Finally, I notice over my coworker Jim's (Meyer) shoulder (after hours, of course) a Sudoku board on his screen. I had to ask... and of course, he was writing it.

I asked when he was going to post it up for the world to enjoy, but it was not his intention. After a bit of chiding, though, he was willing to let me post it for him. The .zip file includes source code and the binary result along with a short description of what led to this. It begins as such:

Well, as a Goof one sunday afternoon my sweetheart and I flipped through a puzzle book and (finally) caught the SuDoku bug. After trying a few games - the first being quite a time waster - I began to itch for a hueristic to solve them. We compared thoughts on how each of us were solving them, and formulated an idea. We applied it to all the puzzles we could find and although it was slow to do by hand, it worked. 

Then - perhaps backwards - we read the flood of web pages on the subject. We learned the buzzwords, algorithms, postings on what makes a computer generated board and human-generated boards appear different, etc. It was great fun. Oh yeah, and we played lots and lots of online versions of the game. Some were very pretty, and others were simply focused on the game and minimally anything else.

Finally, we thought a fun project might be to employ both our skills (designer/programmer) on a project of our own. Our idea was to make a windows Sudoku game to give to our family as a holiday gift. We will be putting in visuals and sounds for a full game, but for now we started with a meager board, no alpha support in the drawing, no sound, and other gaps.


This should allow you to waste several hours. Oh, and just in case you don't already know it, the rules from Web Sudoku:

The rules of Sudoku are simple. Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row must contain one of each digit. So must every column, as must every 3x3 square.

Have Fun!

[UPDATE: Jim's got this game posted now at http://sudoku-koubou.com/. He's doing fairly regular updates, too.]

Sunday, November 27, 2005 10:40:34 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Why would I post that?

As a Public Service Announcement, of course. I was looking at my logs today and noticed that someone(s) had visited my blog site after searching for "Hillsboro Store Opening Costco.com" on MSN Search. Not the strangest thing I've seen, but I must say, I am looking forward to this new store.

Finally, we'll have a Costco within a reasonable drive from home that sells gasoline. In addition, it's slated to be one of the largest Costco in the world* larger (largest?) of their stores in Oregon. This means even more goodies to tempt oneself with.

Now, for anyone else that wanders this way looking for the store, it will be opening on November 17 and will have treats being served early (~8:30, as I recall). It's at the corner of Northeast 48th and Cornell (1255 NE 48th Ave, Hillsboro, Oregon 97124) in Hillsboro, just a tad east of the airport. If you follow the link to the Google map, you'll note that the property was already clear when the picture was taken - that's a McDonald's right at the corner.

Hope you enjoy!

[*Oops! I didn't realize how big this store really is! It's HUGE!]

Wednesday, November 9, 2005 9:37:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, November 7, 2005

And it sure feels good! Mind you, I got numbers over 13Mb/second, too.

2005-11-07 20:51:55 EST: 12447 / 1746
Your download speed : 12447 kbps or 1555.9 KB/sec.
Your upload speed : 1746 kbps or 218.3 KB/sec.
Your Result








«12447 down
«1746 up
  =Your data speed   = estimated TCP overhead popup more info
Tip of the hat to Broadband Reports
Monday, November 7, 2005 6:09:02 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Sunday, November 6, 2005

To celebrate Jason's return, we're going to have a great big Nerd Dinner this week! Looks like Mr. Sells will be joining us, too, to hear some thoughts on Model-Driven Development. To top it off, we'll do everything we can to get Scott out one more time before he enters the world of Parenthood

My gosh it's been too long. I'm not even sure if I know where the malls are any longer.

In celebration of Mahku's return from the Skywall Realm, We need to have some serious make-up mall food, sooo...

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Squaremall Realm (a.k.a.
Washington Square Mall food court)
When: Thursday, November 10, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: To Celebrate Mahku's Sabbatical!

Be There and Be Square!

This should be fabulous!

Sunday, November 6, 2005 10:15:47 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, November 2, 2005

I know many of you know Scott from his very popular blog. What you may not realize is that he is a, "self-declared "Energy Star" person." Hey... I know Scott and he's a likable guy and provides a wealth of knowledge for the local .NET community. I never knew what a risk he was taking until reading The Raw Feed this evening:

Hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius are great for saving money on gas. But when you drive one into a tree and need to be extracted with emergency "Jaws of Life," your car can fry a fireman with its 500-volt electrical system. So Hale Products has come up with a special "Jaws of Life" that protect rescuers from being BARBECUED.

I'm sure glad Scott hasn't parked his Prius into a tree yet or he may have already had his funeral pyre.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005 11:42:39 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thanks to Mr. Sells' Entry*:

You Passed 8th Grade Math
Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

*Don't worry Chris, I'll tutor you.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 8:13:18 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Friday, October 14, 2005

The Nigerian government and Microsoft Corp. signed an agreement Friday calling for the software company to help law enforcement break up crime rings that use the Internet for fraud and theft. [1]

Not well publicized is how this came to be. Unknown to most, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect, Bill Gates, received the following (condensed) email from the government of Nigeria soliciting his and his company's assistance.







The rest will be history!

[1] Computerworld, October 14, 2005 (link)

Friday, October 14, 2005 3:08:09 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, September 7, 2005

I've been using the 'natural' keyboards for several years now and find them absolutely wonderful. One thing that has disappointed me, though, is the lack of 'reverse slope' on the most recent versions of these keyboards. That problem has been solved!

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000

Me wanna!

I'm hoping that Costco will have this soon. Heck, maybe they already do. I knew I needed to go over there for something this week.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005 10:42:07 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Tuesday, September 6, 2005

I had an incredible nerd week last week.

Tuesday, we had the monthly Portland Nerd Dinner. Turn out was great and the conversation just kept going until the Mall was closing. Chris wasn't able to join us as one of the Sells Brothers was celebrating his birthday, but those that were there couldn't get enough.

Oh, and Portland finally has a LEGO store :-)! I got my souvenier block!

Wednesday brought the PADNUG meeting. I was looking forward to seeing Ted present again after Code Camp, but it ended up being particularly fun. Scott made an appearance and the banter between he, Ted, ChrisT[avares], and Rick was fabulous.

What really impressed me is that Ryan Williams blogged his notes on the meeting. The next best thing to being there!

If you missed out, don't forget to watch for future meeting of both Nerd Dinners and .NET User Group here or on their respective sites. This next month, the Indigo Roadshow will be visiting Portland at the Intel Jones Farm Auditorium. Registration is required for this one, so sign up now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005 11:10:56 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
Help Victims of Katrina - Red Cross

It seems like just yesterday that we were called upon to help our fellow persons in South Asia. Well folks, it's time to help out here at home.

Our southern states are in dire need. Especially the good folks in New Orleans and the surrounding area. All hell broke on them and it's well worth the time to do something to help them out.

If you have a preferred target for donations of time, goods, or money, please go to them. Otherwise, you might just want to click this link and give a little bit (or a lot) to the Red Cross. You know they are there helping out.

If you are looking for updates on the situtation down that way, you may want to check out this blog or Sara's for more information. As Greg mentions, TextAmerica and NBC have teamed up to bring a site dedicated to reconnecting people in the aftermath called MissingKatrina.com.

Heck, even Rory has jumped in and done his part... in his way, of course.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005 10:15:09 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, August 23, 2005

From the local CBS station's website:

What were the chances?

[via Aaron Hockley]

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 6:05:17 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, August 19, 2005

I recently had a problem with my copy of Microsoft Money 2005. Somehow, it was completely uninstalled from my PC - probably because of a strange incident on the MSN Money pages, but that's not what this story is about.

It worried me a bit at first. I was connected to a call center that appeared to be offshore. I don't get so worked up about the 'where' support happens, but please, make sure the people speak clear and understandable english if they are supposed to be helping english speakers. It was a painful 45 minutes - and that was just to get directed to the actual support person.

But, once I got there, Nicole in Nova Scotia did a fabulous job of getting me up and running again. It turned out that I simply needed to do an upgrade, but the process took two hours! She stuck it out and was a pleasure to deal with. It turned out that she even had to stay an hour over her shift to complete this call. Big Kudos!

Of course, I worry about her not knowing about Second City TV, but that's another story - she's probably just a bit too young :-).

One thing I've noted over the years on the rare occasion that I've called MS Support: they must not beat their reps up over call time. I've always found that they are very willing to stick it out to make sure that the issue is resolved. Thanks for that and thanks to Nicole!

Friday, August 19, 2005 11:30:13 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Wednesday, August 17, 2005

This isn't a high traffic site by any stretch of the imagination so you can guess how crazy it was to see 15 times the traffic that I might normally expect today on this blog. It was all based on the MSN Search bot: "+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm".

Sure enough, I chatted Greg up and his seeing the same kind of crazy activity!

Is it a rogue Bot? Or is MSN getting ready for some new bit of technology?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 10:32:25 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Thursday, August 11, 2005

I can now combine my favorite Third Place with my love of technology and a good, stiff drink :-).

Nonna Emilia Ristoranté now has WiFi! Congratulations to my friends at Nonna's for the great new toy! As if I needed another reason to go there.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 6:57:23 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, August 8, 2005

As mentioned several days ago, we had our Dish Network DVR Dish 508 break down again. I suspected that I would give it one more try and contact the so-called 'Executive Office' to see if there was some flexibility possible.

As I had been told by 'Joan', I didn't have a chance.

Not only am I unimpressed and disappointed with their service on this issue, I think I've realized an other point: They don't seem to have a clue about their market!

Harsh, I know, but I got that impression when the representative said that I should, "...be sure of the deal I was getting." There was an implication that I was getting some 'special' deal from DIRECTV that I was trying to get Dish to compete with. I pointed out to him that this is the deal ($99 for the DVR and a $50 rebate) that is posted on the DIRECTV website; he seemed surprised.

Mind you, it didn't get me anywhere. Plus, DIRECTV is now offering a $100 rebate - the DVR is now free!

I happened on a good article that relates on CPR tonight. I'm sure that there were employees at Dish that wanted to make things right with me. But, instead, the company policies have given the competition a new customer.

Monday, August 8, 2005 11:14:35 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [4]
# Saturday, July 30, 2005

About a week ago, we had our fifth Dish Network DVR fail in a little over a year and a half. I know how technology can be, but I'm sorely disappointed with the results - in short, I'm looking into DIRECTV.

We have the Dish 508 and have been satisfied with it's capability. Oh sure, I've heard how much better the Guides are on other systems, but this has accomodated most of our needs. The trouble comes in that we've only averaged about six months lifespan with them.

I checked on the deal with DIRECTV and it would cost a bit more per month, but for less than <$100 (after rebate), we could have two dual-tuner DVR systems in place. In addition, they use TiVo for programming and I've heard nothing but good reviews on them.

The best that Dish could offer was either:

  1. A barely upgraded DVR (Dish510) that has no extra features except larger hard drive (we've never used ours up) for more money per month.
  2. A dual-tuner (Dish522) for $200.

I can't see it. As I said to 'Joan' at Dish, changing brands is just a lot more compelling. It makes me sad to have to do that. I want to think that they would try harder to keep a customer - heck, I offered to sign up for a year, too - but it just wasn't an option.

I may give them one last chance on Monday, but from what Joan said, the offer isn't going to change. How very disappointing.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 7:22:49 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]

The release candidate for version 1.8 of dasBlog just came along today and I'm pleased to see that it didn't break :)!

Hey, what can I say? I've been very happy with this blogging software since I started this version of my blog approaching two years ago. It had all the right features and allowed me just enough control. When Scott got involved, it substantially sealed the deal... always want to support the local folks.

Now, I just need to take some time to update the theme... it's a project that has begun, but I let it slide.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 12:17:50 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, July 17, 2005

I would be remiss in not noting the passing of another year in the life of the Blizzard. Happy Freakin' Birthday to the father of the Portland Nerd Dinner! We sure miss you up here!

Hope you all had a great Code Camp and we'll be posting the results from ours really soon.

We're still waiting for the pictures from Dennis. I fully expected you to be out there in the middle of it all bringing us live coverage of the storm as it passed the Tampa area.

Have a great 20th (?) birthday, Jim and come see us someday.

Sunday, July 17, 2005 10:06:52 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Greg was seems pleased with his new Tablet PC. So much so that he did some ink blogging this evening.

I was so impressed with his handwriting, I had to suggest he create a font out of it. He did :-)! Using the winning tool from the first Think in Ink contest, MyFontTool, he has allowed all of us to be a bit more like him.

If you are looking for alternative fonts, there are several sites out there that can accomodate. Some of the ones I've found are:

  1. divide by zero
  2. 1001 Fonts.com
  3. dafont.com
  4. Fonts & Things
  5. acidfonts.com
  6. Chank!
  7. MyFonts
  8. Abstract Fonts

Oh, and don't forget for your developer needs to check out Scott's blog.

Have a good time with these!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 10:54:00 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, July 10, 2005

Oh thank heaven! I'm very pleased with the result, but I'm sure that there are plenty of people that would debate it - especially the 'not annoying' part :-).

I am 15% Idiot.
Friggin Genius
I am not annoying at all. In fact most people come to me for advice. Of course they annoy the hell out of me. But what can I do? I am smarter than most people.

Thanks, Greg, for pointing me to this.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 1:16:17 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, July 8, 2005

What: Portland Code Camp v1.0
When: July 23 & 24, 2005
Where: Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, Oregon
Web: http://pacwest.ms/codecamp/pdx/1/

There’s a new kind of software event coming to town. It’s called Portland Code Camp v1.0, a weekend of software developers talking to software developers about software development. No marketing, no fluff – just code. It’s the weekend of July 23rd and 24th at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. It is a mini-conference and it is totally FREE.

Code Camp is a community-run activity, and we have a number of local area user groups participating in organizing and running the event. So far we have over 50 sessions in the works, in 10 broad tracks, including security, game development, database, XML, web and client development, and much more.

We receive support from Microsoft and other companies, but this is certainly not a Microsoft technology-only event. We welcome topics and attendees from all backgrounds, disciplines, and skill levels. Sessions range from informal “chalk talks” to presentations. If you are a software developer or interested in the field, then Code Camp is for you.

All of the presenters are volunteers, and we welcome you to present as well. If you’ve never presented before, then Code Camp is perfect place to give it a try. Not only will you be among friends, but there’s also a special pre-camp event Friday evening with a Tips Talk for New Presenters lead by renowned speaker Scott Hanselman.

Portland Code Camp v1.0 is attracting presenters and attendees from throughout the region and from several states. And the small, intimate size means a lot of opportunity to meet and interact with a lot of exciting people. Code Camps have been very successful on the east coast, and we are thrilled to be hosting the first Code Camp west of the Mississippi River.

For more information, visit our website at http://pacwest.ms/codecamp/pdx/1/.

To reserve your space, register for Portland Code Camp v1.0 by join our Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/codecamp_pdx.

If you are interested in presenting a session, email stuart.celarier@ineta.org.

See you at Camp!

Friday, July 8, 2005 9:59:55 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, July 7, 2005

This probably demonstrates how forgiving I am when watching movies. It seems I’ve only missed eight of them, though.

[Most recently from: http://www.knowing.net/PermaLink.aspx?guid=8a3fac3a-6041-4fe9-b13e-d06e8d748b98]

Italicize the ones you've seen and Bold the ones you actually liked.

1. Titanic (1997) - $600,779,824
2. Star Wars (1977) - $460,935,665
3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) - $434,949,459
4. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) - $431,065,444
5. Spider-Man (2002) - $403,706,375
6. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003) - $377,019,252
7. Passion of the Christ, The (2004) - $370,025,697
8. Jurassic Park (1993) - $356,784,000
9. Shrek 2 (2004) - $356,211,000
10. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002) - $340,478,898
11. Finding Nemo (2003) - $339,714,367
12. Forrest Gump (1994) - $329,691,196
13. Lion King, The (1994) - $328,423,001
14. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) - $317,557,891
15. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001) - $313,837,577
16. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) - $310,675,583
17. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) - $309,125,409
18. Independence Day (1996) - $306,124,059
19. Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) - $305,411,224
20. Sixth Sense, The (1999) - $293,501,675
21. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - $290,158,751
22. Home Alone (1990) - $285,761,243
23. Matrix Reloaded, The (2003) - $281,492,479
24. Shrek (2001) - $267,652,016
25. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) - $261,970,615
26. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) - $260,031,035
27. Jaws (1975) - $260,000,000
28. Monsters, Inc. (2001) - $255,870,172
29. Batman (1989) - $251,188,924
30. Men in Black (1997) - $250,147,615
31. Toy Story 2 (1999) - $245,823,397
32. Bruce Almighty (2003) - $242,589,580
33. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - $242,374,454
34. Twister (1996) - $241,700,000
35. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) - $241,437,427
36. Ghost Busters (1984) - $238,600,000
37. Beverly Hills Cop (1984) - $234,760,500
38. Cast Away (2000) - $233,630,478
39. Lost World: Jurassic Park, The (1997) - $229,074,524
40. Signs (2002) - $227,965,690
41. Rush Hour 2 (2001) - $226,138,454
42. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) - $219,200,000
43. Ghost (1990) - $217,631,306
44. Aladdin (1992) - $217,350,219
45. Saving Private Ryan (1998) - $216,119,491
46. Mission: Impossible II (2000) - $215,397,30
47. X2 (2003) - $214,948,780
48. Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) - $213,079,163
49. Back to the Future (1985) - $210,609,762
50. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) - $205,399,422
51. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - $204,843,350
52. Exorcist, The (1973) - $204,565,000
53. Mummy Returns, The (2001) - $202,007,640
54. Armageddon (1998) - $201,573,391
55. Gone with the Wind (1939) - $198,655,278
56. Pearl Harbor (2001) - $198,539,855
57. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) - $197,171,806
58. Toy Story (1995) - $191,800,000
59. Men in Black II (2002) - $190,418,803
60. Gladiator (2000) - $187,670,866
61. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) - $184,925,485
62. Dances with Wolves (1990) - $184,208,848
63. Batman Forever (1995) - $184,031,112
64. Fugitive, The (1993) - $183,875,760
65. Ocean's Eleven (2001) - $183,405,771
66. What Women Want (2000) - $182,805,123
67. Perfect Storm, The (2000) - $182,618,434
68. Liar Liar (1997) - $181,395,380
69. Grease (1978) - $181,360,000
70. Jurassic Park III (2001) - $181,166,115
71. Mission: Impossible (1996) - $180,965,237
72. Planet of the Apes (2001) - $180,011,740
73. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) - $179,870,271
74. Pretty Woman (1990) - $178,406,268
75. Tootsie (1982) - $177,200,000
76. Top Gun (1986) - $176,781,728
77. There's Something About Mary (1998) - $176,483,808
78. Ice Age (2002) - $176,387,405
79. Crocodile Dundee (1986) - $174,635,000
80. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) - $173,585,516
81. Elf (2003) - $173,381,405
82. Air Force One (1997) - $172,888,056
83. Rain Man (1988) - $172,825,435
84. Apollo 13 (1995) - $172,071,312
85. Matrix, The (1999) - $171,383,253
86. Beauty and the Beast (1991) - $171,301,428
87. Tarzan (1999) - $171,085,177
88. Beautiful Mind, A (2001) - $170,708,996
89. Chicago (2002) - $170,684,505
90. Three Men and a Baby (1987) - $167,780,960
91. Meet the Parents (2000) - $166,225,040
92. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) - $165,500,000
93. Hannibal (2001) - $165,091,464
94. Catch Me If You Can (2002) - $164,435,221
95. Big Daddy (1999) - $163,479,795
96. Sound of Music, The (1965) - $163,214,286
97. Batman Returns (1992) - $162,831,698
98. Bug's Life, A (1998) - $162,792,677
99. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) - $161,963,000
100. Waterboy, The (1998) - $161,487,252

Thursday, July 7, 2005 7:09:21 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Oh my goodness... Google has done another one of their amazing things. They took that Keyhole technology they bought and packaged it even better. Oh, and it's FREE!

You can use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out of the whole freakin' planet! And of course, just click and drag to move around a particular geography.

A view of our house from the south:

Just Too Cool!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 11:28:23 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, June 27, 2005

I was always a bit fascinated by how the viewscreen on the Enterprise could show images from locations where there were no cameras. Come on, that will never happen, right?

Don't be so sure. Not only do we have several ways to acquire imagery other than simple optical means, Nissan is developing a means to put an optical 'camera' fifty feet above your car to show you what obstacles may be nearby.

Via Mike Elgin's Raw Feed:

Cameras mounted at the front and rear and on both sides take pictures of the surrounding road surface, which are synthesized by an image processing technique into one view that is shown on a central display. The system is especially helpful when parking, enabling the driver to steer easily and precisely into a parking space. It also eliminates any fear of running over the neighbour’s prized belongings or posts or animals or anything else for that matter.

Monday, June 27, 2005 12:41:13 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Tuesday, June 21, 2005

How could I have forgotten to send my congratulations last week to Scott?!? It appears that there is a new Hanselman in the works!

Just so you know, Scott, I have a lot of Uncle Experience :-).

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 7:21:45 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]

I got this out much too late this month, but darn it, I'm going for it anyway. We sort of had a June PND while visiting in Orlando for TechEd earlier in the month, but I realize that one shouldn't count that against the local tally.

With that in mind, here we go:

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Mall food court
When: Thursday, June 23, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: 'Cuz it's Summer!

Be There and Be Square!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 7:12:28 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, June 18, 2005

That was unexpected... at least to me. If you go grab the most recent version of the MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search (ugh!), you will get the new Tabbed Browsing interface months before IE7 is released.

The bit I like best is the ability to save a group of tabs as one set. The shortcoming here is that there is only one set of "My Tabs" and you overwrite it by saving a new set. I want shortcuts to multiple groups of tabs.

Anyway, if you are still using Internet Explorer, check it out!


Saturday, June 18, 2005 7:15:14 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Daverci, the company I'm working for, is building software to better connect institutional pharmacies with the long-term care facilities that they work with. I was amazed by the amount of paper that is shuffled in that business.

With the work we are doing, much of that paper can go away :-). This will help assure that residents in these facilities get the correct medications at the correct time.

I saw an article this morning describing, at a high level, the work we are doing really well. U.S. Pharmacist (everyone has a magazine, don't they?) ran a blurb titled Medication Management System Is Targeted to LTCs.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005 9:31:56 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, June 12, 2005

As was implied, I've spent the last week+ in sunny/storming Orlando for TechEd. Unfortunately, the wireless was not working for the first three days and I gave up by that point. That could have been better, but overall, it was a great experience.

I've got emails/blogs under 800 and will be having many things to say on here this next week.


Sunday, June 12, 2005 8:20:12 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Okay, not only does the concept sound worthy, but the banner ad is just too funny! Here's my plug for the RDs' GrokTalk.net event at TechEd:

Take a few moments out of your busy TechEd schedule to stop by!

Wednesday, June 1, 2005 10:35:40 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, May 30, 2005

Saw an interesting article up on The Code Project suggesting eleven Tufte inspired 'concepts' that could be incorporated into future versions of Visual Studio.

I'm not completely sold on all of the ideas presented, but what a great exercise to see published. Having an article like this and seeing the resulting discussion can really help open one's mind to what might be possible.

Monday, May 30, 2005 5:07:24 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]

I subscribe to several e-newsletters. One of these is PCWorld's Tips & Tweaks by Steve Bass. The ironic thing is that I read it less for the tips or the tweaks and more for the "Dig This" asides he puts in.

Last week, (May 18th), one of the links was the following:

Dig This: I love imaginative and creative sites, and Billy Harvey's is super cool. (And no, I don't find his music or demeanor particularly interesting. But the site's design? Zowie!) Click around and you'll see what I mean. [Thanks, Brad.]

 It's wonderful to see such an innovative site for self-promotion. I wish this fella well!

Monday, May 30, 2005 3:09:41 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Friday, May 27, 2005

I try to resist this sort of thing... especially when it's this silly, but my results were just too compelling. I am surprised by the accuracy of this one :-). Plus, I always loved Defender!

What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Defender-ship.I am a Defender-ship.

I am fiercely protective of my friends and loved ones, and unforgiving of any who would hurt them. Speed and foresight are my strengths, at the cost of a little clumsiness. I'm most comfortable with a few friends, but sometimes particularly enjoy spending time in larger groups. What Video Game Character Are You?

Friday, May 27, 2005 9:57:24 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Just to keep you really busy, we have our PADNUG meeting on the 25th, the Visual Studio Team System Technical Training on the 26th, and TechEd starting in less than two weeks. Shortly after that, we will be looking forward to the first Northwest Code Camp

In the mean time, I want to remind you of what we have planned for the May PADNUG meeting. Many of you have now met Jason Mauer at various functions from PADNUG meetings to Nerd Dinners. His knowledge ranges from databases to DirectX.

WHAT: May PADNUG meeting.

Wednesday 05/25/2005
6:00 p.m. Pizza, Sponsored by 3Leaf
6:30 p.m. Presentation

WHERE: PCC Auditorium at Capital Center
18640 NW Walker Road
Beaverton, Oregon
The auditorium is in room 1508 through entrance B. There is a $2 parking fee. The kiosk for paying for parking is located between entrances B and C.

Jason Mauer
Developer Evangelist with Microsoft covering the Pacific Northwest. He recently switched to his current role from his previous one as a development consultant with Microsoft Consulting Services, where he specialized in .NET application development and SharePoint development for the past four years. Jason has extensive experience with customizing SharePoint and has worked on some of the largest SharePoint deployments in the world.


The Ins and Outs of SharePoint Development
In this presentation we will cover different opportunities for developers to build on top of the SharePoint platform. We will walk through the SharePoint stack, demonstrating different means of customization and why you may (or may not) want to adopt a certain approach. Come and learn about how you can make SharePoint a part of your development arsenal.

Jason promises some extra special swag, too :-).

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 3:39:58 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, May 14, 2005

I just finished a chat with Gateway trying to find out what resolution their laptops were available in. The representative told me 1,024 x 768 and I asked if there was any other options available.

First, he or she tells me that it would require a larger display. Uh, no, just more pixels... "HP and Dell have them," I pointed out. Then, I'm told that they just 'support' that resolution, not that the display is that large - even though we have these very computers and screens at work.

I left a 'negative' review of the experience with them with the following comment:

I'm shopping for a new laptop computer. One thing I consider important for the development work I do is a lot of pixels. First, it appears that you have no more than 1,024 x 768 resolution - my three year old HP has 1,400 x 1,050. Obviously, I'm not willing to downgrade. Second, your rep didn't seem to believe higher resolution screens existed. Please view the chat log for details.

I have had a soft spot for Gateway for years... it has now hardened.

Saturday, May 14, 2005 10:16:25 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]

A few months ago, I started thinking about the next laptop I would purchase. I have had my current one for about three years now and have been pretty darn satisfied. It's a HP Pavillion that I got custom configured through Best Buy. It was a really good deal and has worked well.

Well, one of the compelling features when I got on this machine was a higher resolution screen - 1,400 x 1,050. As I'm shopping, a 'must have' feature for me is resolution at least equal to or greater than what I've grown to love on this machine.

I was thrilled to see that Costco was doing the HP Configure to Order on their website. I had my 'perfect' machine scoped out and was just waiting for a little bit more technology to come around (and memory prices to drop a bit) before I popped for it.

What do you know? I'm ready and they no longer offer the high resolutions! :'(

Looks like Michael Dell is going to become just a bit more wealthy.

Saturday, May 14, 2005 10:09:32 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]

Jason Olsen has done it... he has left the safety of GeeksWithBlogs to venture out on his own blogging trek.

Congratulations Jason! I'm sure we will see all the more content from you and I think you will enjoy using the dasBlog software. I'll be looking forward to reading your crazy content and humorous anecdotes.

Now, Jason, go into your configuration and choose "Use Post Title for Permalink" so that you get the cool, clean linkies :).

Saturday, May 14, 2005 8:45:24 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]

Okay, let me be lazy and simply copy the information I put up at nerddinner.com:

Alright, I've abused this privilege twice by having the Nerd Dinner on my side of town. It's time to reciprocate. Let's all head on over to the east side of town this month. Just one week before his presentation at PADNUG, you can come experience Jason Mauer in all his candor.

Plus, folks, he's got VS2005 Beta 2 DVD kits! As he mentioned to me, “the DVD kits include VS2005 Team Suite Beta 2, Team Foundation Server Beta 2, and the April CTP of SQL Server 2005... a hefty load, even for a cable modem.“

Noted, Jason. And well worth a trip to the mall!

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Lloyd Center Mall food court
When: Wednesday, May 18, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: We want them disks!

Be There and Be Square!

Saturday, May 14, 2005 8:33:26 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Buddy and fellow nerd Jason Olson and I were chatting today. We were discussing Chris Sells' trips to the Redmond MS campus being that he works remotely from his home here in the Portland area.

Since MS uses the term OOF or "out|off of facility" to designate that an employee isn't at their office, what would they call it when the employee is on campus for a change like Chris? "On facility" just didn't have the ring to it, so we had to move to "in facility"

So, Chris is IFfy when he's OOF in Redmond. As long as they don't designate him as "On the F'n Facility," we'll be fine.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005 2:12:59 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Tuesday, May 10, 2005

One of my buddies, and fellow Nonna's patrons, here in town is getting some press on his current venture.

Jon Joye started AudioGlobe to tap into the MP3 boom, but that didn't pan out. Instead, he has developed a concept known as Dynamic Digital Rights Management that allows the content an artist (or writer, or programmer, etc.) produces to dictate the rights given to a consumer.

If the producer simply wants recognition as the source, he or she may choose that. Alternatively, if money is to be made, that can be be embedded in the content. As I understand, the idea is that the content itself contains the rights, not the 'player'.

It sure sounds like a cool idea. I'm looking forward to seeing where Jon takes this. It holds a lot of promise!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 11:33:39 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]

Last fall, I was shocked to read an opinion piece form local editorialist Steve Duin (locked away in the 'paid' area of The Oregonian). As outlined in the Beaverton Valley Times, the Beaverton School District realized that they had more money than expected. With that new awareness, they voted to not collect the second year of an option levy that the voters had approved.

I actually had to reread the article - when the budget situation improved, they actually 'gave back' the tax money they had requested to make ends meet? Was this for real?

It turns out that it was for real. Further, I knew one of the people involved with this decision. Craig Irwin spends many of his days helping out at my favorite local spot, Nonna Emilia Ristoranté. He and his associates on the school board decided to not take money they didn't need.

As stated by board chairman Mike Osborne, “We want to be consistent and true to our word. When we needed the money, we used it. If we don’t need it, we’re not going to take it.” The idea was, if they were honest with the voters - giving back the money they realized they didn't need as expected - they would be in a better position to come back to the voters if needed in the future.

Sounds like a good idea to me. Of course, there are those that didn't agree. Dawn Bonder is one of these people and is challenging Osborne in the coming election. She's very involved with schools, but seems to be willing to do it all on credit... yeah, that's what it seems like... credit.

I really hold out hope that the government bodies will one day run a bit more like other entities - spend what is available or repayable.

Mike and Craig, you have my vote. I trust that you'll do the right thing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 11:16:59 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Stuart had a great idea yesterday: Since we have the quarterly MSDN event in town tomorrow, let's make a Nerd Lunch happen right before it. Wonderful!

So, in that vein, I have announced a Portland Nerd Lunch over at nerddinners.com. The details are as follows: "...meet up with Stuart et al at 11:30 at McMenamins on Broadway, 1504 N.E. Broadway [map]."

Be There and Be Square!

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 8:28:21 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, April 27, 2005

To make way for a hyperspace bypass, of course. As mentioned here, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is coming this Friday. Chris Sells has posted a note inviting any and all to the viewing at 7:35pm at the Regal Evergreen Theater in Hillsboro, Oregon.

I've seen various reviews all over the place. As pointed to here and here, there doesn't appear to be a consensus over the quality of the movie, but as Chris says, "I am really excited about this movie. I love the book and want badly for the movie to be an excellent alternate way for me to enjoy the Hitchhiker's universe." Bravo!

Come on out and join the gang.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 9:06:36 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, April 23, 2005

One of our fairly regular attendees to the Portland Nerd Dinners has started his blog!

At this last week's Nerd Dinner, I was amazed that John Hann hadn't already started sharing his knowledge with the world by self-publishing on a weblog. Then, last night at the Pirillo-inspired Geek Dinner, we had a chance to talk about it and I see that he took the leap today.

Welcome, John! After what I've heard from you, I'm expecting some great material on your blog... but, no pressure ;-).

Saturday, April 23, 2005 10:37:58 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]

Last night, we had a rather impromptu (to me, anyway) Geek Dinner organized by Alex Williams of Corante to welcome Chris Pirillo and his fiance Ponzi to town.

There were several local nerds/geeks that I knew there: Greg, Scott, and John, for example. But I didn't expect to see a Marketing wonk that I worked with down at InFocus many years ago. Apparently, Scott Niesen is now with a company here in Portland making software that makes one's email and blogging software just a little bit better. The company is called You Software and the products look very helpful.

It was really great to meet up with Chris, Ponzi, and other techies that are a bit outside of the 'usual' crowd. I do hope to see more of these folks in future Nerd and Geek Dinners.

Who knows? Maybe we'll stretch the rules a bit and have a PND at a location other than a shopping mall one day.

Saturday, April 23, 2005 10:09:12 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, April 20, 2005

...and the adoration of all of his peers.... Stuart brought an awesome toy to the Portland Nerd Dinner tonight. All of the other nerds (and every kid in the Food Court) were jealous.


I guess this is one of the good reasons to attend shows like VSLive. Who knows? Maybe they will have some at another show on the right day for me to acquire. Heck, I'd probably pay money for this toy!

Oh, and by the way, the dinner was great! Some really good discussions on game development, Ruby [On Rails], alternate IDEs, and Paul even brought some 25+ year old copies of Electronics Magazine - "here comes the 8086," era. Cool Stuff!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 12:11:36 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Tuesday, April 19, 2005

As I mentioned here, I'm "hearding the nerds" tonight at Washington Square. With some luck, Jason will have acquired some Visual Studio 2005 disks to pass around :-)!

As it happens, it looks to be a nice evening, too. If folks are up to it, we might have a bit of Nerd Drinks after dinner, too. It'd be nice to spend a little time at McMenamins' Riverwood Pub - just a thought ;-).

In any event, it's time again to Be There and Be Square!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005 9:07:42 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, April 10, 2005

If you missed the chance last month to meet Jason Mauer, Microsoft's new Developer Evangelist (formerly Jim Blizzard, the father of the Portland Nerd Dinner), then you really need to come this month. This guy is Great! He's going to rock our development world in all new ways.

So, with that quick introduction, let's all have a Nerd Dinner!!

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Mall food court
When: Tuesday, April 19, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: 'Cuz it's Spring, baby and we've got a new DE in town!

Be there and be square.

Spread the word!

Sunday, April 10, 2005 11:48:18 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, April 8, 2005

As mentioned previously (my gosh, that was over a month ago!?!), Jesann was scheduled for a little bit of surgery. We had that surgery on Wednesday.

We arrived at 7:30 in the morning and started the prep work for Jesann's 9:30 start. They took us across the street to put in wires that help direct the doctor to the cancer location and inject radiation to see where it would go. No problems with that procedure and they let me come in the room this time. Thank heavens!

We then went to nuclear medicine to take pictures of where the radiation went after that. Very cool machine… probably very expensive, too ;-). They even printed an extra sheet for us to take home with us. Kind of fascinating.

By the time that was done, it was time for surgery (11:30). We were finally separated. Now, the expectation was that surgery would take about an hour and a half and then she’d spend about an hour in recovery. That would have put us back in the short stay unit at about 2pm and heading home after that. Of course, things don’t always go as expected, do they?

I finally saw the doctor around 2:30. Things had gone well and the initial check of the ‘sentinel lymph node’ didn’t show any concern or spread. There will be further analysis and we will get the final word at post-op next week.

Jesann finally made it back to SSU a bit before 4pm. Oh, and she was out of it. Seems between surgery and recovery, they gave her about 17mg of morphine. She’s decided she doesn’t like morphine :-). Between the lethargy and the sick stomach, we finally headed home at around 8pm. We barely made it to Costco before close to pick up her prescription and headed home.

We thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers. Gosh, it’s good to be on the other side of that day!

Friday, April 8, 2005 1:30:38 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, March 30, 2005

My gosh! I can't believe our very own Rory Blyth is ready for the big step. It's been wonderful watching him grow from a timid young blogger into an internationally known blogger extrodinaire. Now, he's ready to take that final step to completely fulfill his life.

During their little vacation to Fiji, he asked Aydika the question. Although he doesn't explicitly say so, I think we can presume she said "yes," too.

Great big warm and fuzzy Congratulations to you Rory! You've made an excellent decision!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 6:38:10 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]

Poor young Scott. He's been able to avoid it to this point, but after an ambush in the halls, he's no longer allowed to resist. He gets the KoolAid.

Rory wants to help, but is held back by the thugs.

You can be a witness to it all by visiting the third in the TechEd video series from these guys. Another funny clip!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 6:31:09 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, March 26, 2005

Another funny item via Steve Bass' Tips & Tweaks column on PC World:

[Rod Shelley]

These images are the result of 8 years in the retail computer industry - 8 years that are thankfully behind me. I used to work in the service department in a retail store of a very famous computer company (think cows...). During this time, I was able to observe (and preserve for posterity) the aftereffects of the - shall we say - "technology challenged" folks. My friends and relatives couldn't believe the stories I told - thus this collection of photos.

Check it out!

Saturday, March 26, 2005 10:59:25 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 15, 2005

[Some slightly gory detail, but not too bad]

It's coming to the close of flu and cold season around these parts and as is the norm, I couldn't resist getting a little bit under the weather. As Jesann pointed out, with all the stuff going on around here, I'm probably in a bit of a weakened state.


In all my years, somehow I've managed to avoid very serious stuff. Technically, I suppose I'm not too bad off now, either, but it turns out I have walking pneumonia. It just seems strange to consider. I've been coughing for two weeks straight. Yesterday, when I started coughing up blood, I thought it might be important to talk to the doctor.

After a quick examination, she sent me down for a chest x-ray. Sure enough, they found my lungs cloudy (or whatever tips them off). I got my prescription (which I can read much better with the experience I've gained at Daverci), ran to Costco to pick it up (>$50!), and started the regimen last night.

I expect that I will be feeling myself by the weekend. Just knowing that makes me happy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005 8:32:04 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, March 11, 2005

I know - this is so '90's. Back in the summer of '99, I decided to participate in that little thing called SETI@Home. I had several computers under my influence and figured, what the heck? I might as well keep the dang machine busy while I'm away.

I just noticed a link to my blog this evening from SETI@Home's 10,000 Page. I was surprised, to be sure. I hardly even notice the little shell window up at the top of my third monitor anymore.

Sure enough, though, I reached the 10,000 mark yesterday. Only 27,287 people have 'analyzed' more data units than I have putting me nearly to the 99.5th percentile.

Shouldn't I get an automatic boost in my Nerd Score for this?

Friday, March 11, 2005 11:41:17 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]

Spring has come early to us here in the Northwest. In fact, we have nearly the same weather that Jim is having way down there in Tampa, Florida. Darn it all! Let's celebrate!

It's time to have another Nerd Dinner!

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Mall food court
When: Thursday, March 24, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: Because we miss Jim L

Be there and be square.

Spread the word!

Friday, March 11, 2005 11:17:55 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, March 6, 2005

(...at least as a resident)

It took awhile to gather the photos from this fabulous event and get them posted, but they are here now. Please enjoy them!

And yes, despite what the rumors say, he did put the thi(o)ng on his head. Tux did look happy there, too ;-).

Just in case you worry, there is video, too. It has been captured and is simply awaiting a little quality time for me to cut it down to a reasonable length and get it posted.

Stay Tuned!

Sunday, March 6, 2005 11:24:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Friday, March 4, 2005

Amazing that it's been two weeks since I last posted. I actually got a note from a friend today wondering if everything was okay! If nothing else, it sure is nice to know someone cares :-).

The short version is, I'm not on the computer enough lately. At least not long enough to gather my thoughts and leave a note for posterity. I started a job with a company in Hillsboro named Daverci. They are developing software that will be used between pharmacies and long-term care facilities to track medications and initialize orders. It's one of those areas that is still too dependent on paper.

It's great to actually go out and do the coding that I've been practicing for in school. I'm feeling pretty good about what I've learned, too.

On the other side of things, Jesann had a lump found. Talk about your massive bit of stressor. This one has been making me crazy for weeks now. It's hard to know what to say or do... I don't usually lack so much for words. This week, we found out that they should be able to make her well with a (relatively) simple lumpectomy. It's really strange how, what would have been bad news a month ago (the lumpectomy), is suddenly a miraculous event.

I really have to thank the folks at Daverci for allowing me the time to go with Jesann to the doctor appointments. I don't know if I'm doing all that much, but I sure as heck don't want to be away from her during these things.

Oh... and to that point, Legacy Good Samaritan, your people are wonderful and caring (thanks, Denise!), but please, don't ever try keeping me from going in with my wife again for a simple procedure. I'm not going to faint if I'm there, but I will have a problem if I'm not. It's that important to me.

I'm sure my blogging will continue to be a bit more spaced out (time-wise, not tone-wise ;-)), but I'll try to be better. Heck, with Nerd Dinner time approaching and the next PADNUG meeting right around the corner, I have to get some posting done!

Friday, March 4, 2005 11:15:44 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [3]
# Wednesday, February 16, 2005

...and catch a ride to see The Hitchhiker's Guide on April 29! Definitely a movie on my short list. Chris is rounding up the Portland Nerds for a trip to see the flick on opening day. I know that I'll be looking to take the afternoon off for this :-). (clip (for now)|clip)

I lost track of the number of times I've read these books. I enjoy all of the Douglas Adams stories. Several years ago (could it really be 17 years?), I managed to get down to Powell's Books to get a signed copy of The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. Trust me, I'm generally not one to go out of my way for something like that. I just had to meet Adams and shake his hand.

Keep an eye out for a bunch of nerds wandering around, looking up in to the heavens near the end of April. And remember, if you can't see what they are seeing, it just might be Somebody Else's Problem.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 10:29:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, February 13, 2005

I just couldn't resist any longer. I had to find the best picture I got with Jim and Tux together.

You'll notice that Jim's Tux is much larger than the one in the 'canned' picture that Jim displayed on his site. He just doesn't want to brag, I'm sure.

Further, I want to dispel an ugly rumor going around regarding this thoing being on Jim's head... it was on his head most of the evening. I know that it must be hard to believe; especially with the lack of alcohol available in the mall, but this is just the kind of thoing that occurs when Nerds are let out into the wild.

As mentioned here, I will be working with Rory and Jason to make sure that we don't miss a PND beat in Jim's absence. This has become a wonderful tradition and we want to honor Bliz's memory by continuing it in perpetuity.

Hey, maybe in Jim's honor, we can retitle this thoing, "The JB Portland Nerd Dinner." Of course, there would probably be too many ruffians coming out for a taste of Jim Beam. That could definitely strike fear into the heart of many a coy little nerd.

With a little bit of luck and time, I'll come up with a little bit of video from our celebration, too.

[Update: There seems to be somethong wrong with my keyboard... Please forgive all of the mixups with the 'o' and the 'i' above ;-)]

Sunday, February 13, 2005 12:04:42 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, February 12, 2005

I spent the last four years back in school getting a BS degree in Software Engineering. It's been a most excellent journey and I have been really happy with all I've learned. I wanted to do this stuff twenty years ago, but mistakenly took a business path in school. I'm better now.

Well, if you follow the link above, you will see me effuse over the Computer Software Engineering Technology (CSET) program I attended at PCC and the Director of it, Taylor Hanna. That experience was top notch and I am so happy that I stumbled upon it while looking to start taking some programming classes. Lucky, I was, that day.

Not only was the program good, but we had a great class. I made some good friends there and learned so much with their help. Absolutely amazing!

This week, I found out that PCC was cancelling the CSET program.

As I've mentioned before, CSET was probably not the easiest program to get through at PCC. It probably didn't fit the mold for community college programs. But it's a shame to see it hit the floor like that. I wonder what might have happened with just a bit of decent marketing behind it. I know there are plenty of us out here that would have given glowing testimonials to them.

It sounds like Taylor will still be there at PCC teaching in the CS/CIS area. If you find yourself there, take his class. And, say 'hi' for me.

Thanks to Taylor and everyone else that made it possible for me to learn all I did there. You've improved my stature and enjoyement in life immensely and I appreciate it.

Saturday, February 12, 2005 10:11:22 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, February 10, 2005

I guess it was bound to happen... Our Nerd Dinner Bell, Jim Blizzard is well on his way to his new home in Tampa, Florida.

As you can see to the right, he's already beginning to look the part of an old beach guy with his new, thick glasses. Hey, if you look closely at the far temple of the glasses, you'll make out the tape holding them together.

Jim, we're going to miss you around here. I'm just so pleased that we live in a time where we can keep track of what's happening in your life through blog, email, chat, and whatever else you find yourself involved with.

It has been an honor and a privilege to know you here in the Portland area.

Folks in Tampa, it's time you learn what it's like to be caught up in a Blizzard. Get ready for some seriously crappy mall food!

Travel well, Jim. :-(

Thursday, February 10, 2005 10:43:37 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Talk about your basic, fabulous application. Not surprisingly, it's fast, too. Just point your browser to http://maps.google.com and give it a spin.

As Omar points out, there are some great opportunities with using your favorite shortcut system, too. For example, if you are using the MSN Desktop Search, you can enter:


into the Deskbar to quickly access maps. If you prefer to use SlickRun (and I tend to), create a MagicWord:


It's hard to keep up with all of the cool Google tools, eh?

Tuesday, February 8, 2005 12:58:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, February 5, 2005

EMERGENCY NOTICE: Jim is leaving early - The Nerd Dinner will be on February 10th!

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
When: Thursday, February 10, 2005, starting around 6:30 PM.
Where: The Lloyd Center food court
Why: Because (sniff) this is it for Jim...

As mentioned on Chris' site, if you would like to contribute to the finale, either financially or personally, contact me.

Saturday, February 5, 2005 11:28:13 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, January 30, 2005

Our good friend Kathy over at Creating Passionate Users is discussing how much teachers and advertisers could learn from one and the other. A generally good read, to be sure, but it reminded me of a phenomenon that I've been experiencing of late.

Now that the majority of television we watch is at least 'delayed' with our DishNetwork PVR, it's easy and worthwhile to skip over the commercials. Program coming on at three o'clock that you want to see? Go to that channel and let it start recording. In fifteen minutes come in and start watching. After skipping commercials, you will probably be just about caught up by the end of the program.

Now, the problem is, of course, that the advertisers are not capturing the eyes that they once did. There are efforts to remove the skip feature from devices and to have different advertising pop up on screen while a person is skipping.

Some advertisers are curing the problem a better way; At least in my mind. They are making advertisements that are... well, now what's that word?... ah, "Interesting"! I find that I'm skipping through the commercials and something catches my eye. I'll actually skip backward to take a look!

Nationwide insurance has done this with an ad that plays off of Lowe's/Home Depot. This couple gets home from the big-box hardware store with their new ceiling fan. They install it, turn it on, and WHOOOSHH! the whole ceiling is alit. Kind of sad, but it's very entertaining and eye catching.

Advertisers - Make your commercials interesting and I won't skip them. If they are lame, don't expect me to endure it longer than it takes to press a button. It's worth it.

Sunday, January 30, 2005 4:58:37 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I've been finishing up my Software Engineering degree over the last couple of years with a fabulous gentleman named Jeff Sherwin. He's smart, patient, innovative, and a connoisseur of fine pizza.

Well, with just a bit of encouragement over adult beverages the other night, he finally took the plunge into the blogsphere. I'm looking forward to watching this little corner of the net grow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 12:31:40 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, January 24, 2005

Scott is wondering about changing over to IMAP from his existing POP3 scheme for email. In the comments, it has been suggested that he should consider running the combination of Outlook and Exchange to manage email and not worry about moving to IMAP. I suspect that I will be looking at that solution, too.

One of the values I would like to see come of such a solution is that my wife and I could easily share calendars and contacts. Now, Jesann is just starting to get into this whole computer using thing, so I have a desire to make it easy for her. If we can consolidate all of the resources here at home, it should make her experience a bit more palatable.

When I put my "new" (as in older parts reassembled) server, I expect to install SBS2003. Exchange will be sitting there just waiting to provide for our needs. I'm just going to have to learn a bit more about email management.

I tend to agree with Scott on having a 'permanent', personal email address. For friends and family, I have one primary address: rich@. For business dealings, I tend to go with the more formal richard@. Where we differ is on emails used for subscriptions and the like. As mentioned here, I like being able to identify the source of spam through the addresses used.

Monday, January 24, 2005 10:17:32 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, January 22, 2005

Well, sort of.

Technically, I jumped on this bandwagon a few weeks ago. When I started getting hit by dozens of referral spams a day, I decided it was time to give it a try. With a little bit of help from our hero, Scott, I got it up and running on the early versions.

This evening, I finally got a few moments to install the released version of dasBlogCE. All seems to have gone quite well, thank you. Chris, Clemens, Omar, and Scott - Thank you for your work!

Now, if we can just stay one step ahead of the spammers!

Saturday, January 22, 2005 11:40:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [3]
# Friday, January 21, 2005

[EMERGENCY NOTICE: Jim is leaving early - The Nerd Dinner will be on February 10th!]

I suppose that these things are bound to happen, but it doesn't mean that you've got to like it. As mentioned here, Jim Blizzard - Father of the Portland Nerd Dinner - is going to be heading south for the winter... and the summer... and the rest of the year after that, too.

We will be gathering Tuesday, February 15 to honor him one last time as a Northwesterner. It's time to Be There, Be Square, and Have a Share of this momentus occasion. Details are:

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
When: TuesdayThursday, February 1510, 2005, starting around 6:30 PM.
Where: The Lloyd Center food court
Why: Because (sniff) this is it for Jim...

Really, don't miss this one. :(

Friday, January 21, 2005 10:55:58 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, January 18, 2005

It is no secret to those who know me that I love Costco. Heck, I'll go buy something for you if you want, just so I can go look around.

Further, it's interesting to see how they continue expanding their 'empire' with new product categories and brands. Heavens, when I saw that they had a house-branded wine (and not cheap stuff), I was pretty impressed.

But now, they've gone and done the unimaginable; they are selling an originial, crayon Picasso on thier website. It's only about $40,000, too. I was tempted to enter '2' in the quantity box to see what would happen, though.

[via Mike's List - The Raw Feed]

Tuesday, January 18, 2005 11:02:49 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, January 17, 2005

We all know the classic line: "Be kind, Rewind." Many video stores still encourage this behavior. Until now, it's been easy to find a rewinder for all those old VCR tapes, but hard to find one for your DVDs. Well, no more!

The best part is that it works on your CDs and Game discs, too! There's even a changeable rewind sound available.

Thanks to the Langa List (item #10) for directing me to this site.

Monday, January 17, 2005 12:39:44 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, January 14, 2005

I just can't believe it... the Father of the Portland Nerd Dinner is going to be leaving us. Jim, it has been an honor and privilege to get to know you and you will be missed here in the Northwest.

Tampa, get ready for the Blizzard of your lifetime! And learn to like crappy mall food!

P.S. Almost forgot - Big Congratulations on your quick house sale!!

Friday, January 14, 2005 10:43:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]

As I previously mentioned, the Head First series from O'Reilly just seems to work for me. Well, it appears I'm not alone in that view. HF Servlets and JSP and HF Design Patterns are finalists for the 15th Annual Software Development Jolt Product Excellence Awards. From Eric Freeman via the Creating Passionate Users blog:

Software Development's Jolt Product Excellence and Productivity Awards have been presented annually to products that have "jolted" the industry with their significance and made the task of creating software faster, easier and more efficient. Jolt cola, the fabled soft drink quaffed by software programmers for sustenance during development project marathons, sponsors the awards presentation.

Big congratulations to Eric and Elisabeth!   

Friday, January 14, 2005 11:03:20 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, January 10, 2005

Well, I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later; I finally reached that all important age of 0x28 (sounds better in hex, eh?).

I'm definately playing this one low key. On Christmas day, we didn't do anything of consequence and I kind of enjoyed that. After spending so long in school and working part time, it is nice to just kick back and not think too hard for a day.

I've tentativly decided that my birthday would be the same. The 'tentative' part comes in the fact that we could get a wild hair later in the day and do something, but I suspect not. I mean, come on! Look at the sampling of decorations that Jesann has made around the house! Plus, we have a lot of breakfast foods in the house today; I'm thinking I'd like to have an all day brunch buffet going :-)!

Since I wrote that last paragraph, we actually had the first phase of the Brunchday. Mmm Good! Might have to watch some movie now.

I hope you all are appropriately jealous of the decor my wife has provided for me. It's deserved :-)!

Monday, January 10, 2005 2:25:50 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [7]
# Thursday, January 6, 2005

From the local Nerd Dinner Blog:

  • What: Portland Nerd Dinner
  • Where: Washington Square Mall food court
  • When: Wednesday, January 12, starting around 6:30 PM
  • Why: Because it's 2005

Be There and Be Square at Washington Square

Thursday, January 6, 2005 12:49:23 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [2]

And speaking of nerds...

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith will be released on May 19. Inevitably, there will be lines to get tickets and see the movie. If you are planning to participate in this little adventure, you better start making your plans now - the line has already begun in downtown Seattle.

Jeff Tweiten aka "Superfan 1138" got in line on January 1; a full 138 days before the movie is to be released. The nerdiest part of this? He's blogging the experience!

I think he gets an automatic '100' on the nerd quiz.

Thursday, January 6, 2005 10:55:34 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
I am nerdier than 73% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Nerdy enough to take a stupid quiz on the subject. I knew I was in trouble over the gaming problems I have; I'm sure it knocked me down a bit.

That said, if I ranked better than 73% of the people who were even willing to take this test, then I think that the nerdiness is actually a couple of notches higher than is credited. I mean, come on, you gotta rank pretty nerdy just to play this game.

Thanks to Peter Provost for providing the link to this.

Thursday, January 6, 2005 12:09:51 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [5]
# Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Yesterday, I got a couple of emails that I didn't recognize. I didn't know the sender, the 'to' address was not me (presumably bcc'd), and it was for a product that I didn't recognize.

Must be spam, right?

Well, that's what I figured, so I deleted the emails and moved on through my day. Honestly, I didn't really pay much attention to what they were even for. Therefore, when I saw Roy Osherove mention the same email today, I was surprised.

I commented on Roy's blog about my reaction and within two hours, Sean (the original emailer) had sent me an apology and responded on Roy's blog. Well, Sean, I'm the one that should apologize:

I'm sorry, Sean, for disparaging your name!

Now that I pay attention, I'm intrigued and will look a bit closer at Zanebug, Sean. I have in fact looked at Codus in the past (also from Sean and Adapdev) and “deserved” that announcement.

Spam has ruined it for all of us.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005 12:33:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Here's an additional idea: Many employers and organizations have programs to match charitable contributions. Check with yours. I'll be able to double donations that I make because of my employer's matching program.

Note that Amazon has Amazon.com is now providing the ability to donate through 1-Click.

As we watch the number of casualties rise, we can see that there will be no end to the need any time soon. Anything that can add to the relief is worth doing.

Stuart Celarier's list of agencies that one may consider donating through:

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 9:54:12 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, December 27, 2004

My buddy Scott Hanselman and his coworker (and often destination of referrals on my blog) Greg Hughes have a great idea: donate all of one's Google AdSense revenue to the relief efforts in South Asia.

I would say that one doesn't need to restrict one's self to just AdSense, but that is a great starting point. Further, Greg and Scott are beginning a campaign to encourage Google to help automate the process for users of AdSense.

Do the world a favor: Participate, Donate, and Contact Google along with all of us. It's worth it!

Update: Stuart Celarier has a great list of other agencies that one may consider, too:

Monday, December 27, 2004 10:42:06 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Sunday, December 26, 2004

Today's news from south Asia is a monumental reminder of how precious life can be. Seldom will you see me make such a strong suggestion for getting involved, but this deserves it.

Take a few moments and visit the Red Cross site's donation page and give a little to the International Response Fund. Heck, give a lot. You can afford it.

Powerful earthquake, tsunamis strike South Asia, leaving thousands dead, injured and missing

Sunday, December 26, 2004 — The largest earthquake to strike the globe since 1964 has caused devastating tsunami waves that have killed thousands in south Asia. The 8.9-magnitude quake hit December 26 off the coast of Indonesia, triggering these extremely large waves that have brought massive flooding, damage and loss of life in the region.

Waves as high as 20 feet have crashed into the coastal areas near the Bay of Benegal. Among the worst affected countries are Sri Lanka and India, as well as Indonesia, Maldives and Thailand. Reports are that thousands of people are missing, and it is possible that the number of dead may tragically rise in the coming days.

International Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in south Asia have begun to mobilize staff and volunteers to affected areas to assist with the immediate needs. Emergency assessment and first-aid teams have already reached some of the affected areas.

“The situation is fluid, with so many people affected in so many areas of southeast Asia, and it is likely that relief teams there may need many different types of assist in the coming days,” said Matthew Parry of the International Disaster Response Unit.

The American Red Cross continues to maintain contact with its partners on the ground and is prepared to support operations with relief supplies, financial assistance or personnel as requested by our sister International Red Cross and Red Crescent societies there.

You can help those affected by this crisis and countless others around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance, and other support to those in need. Call 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the International Response Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.

Update: Stuart Celarier has a great list of other agencies that one may consider, too:

Sunday, December 26, 2004 7:56:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I know they have been a bit disparaged elsewhere, but I have tell you, I continue to be a very happy customer of Webhost4life.

I've had three positive experiences in the last 24 hours. First, I've noticed that they now advertise 300MB of space for my “Advanced Plan.” When I signed up, it was only 150MB. One quick post on their help system and it is resolved!

Second, I noted that the site was down last night for a while. Why is that positive? Because, in the year and a half that I have been here, I have never seen my site down for more than a refresh or two. I realize that I may have missed some instances, but I have no complaint there.

Third, there was a configuration error that Aaron was kind enough to tell me about today. I made a quick phone call to Webhost4life and the problem was resolved in minutes! “Reggin” even made me try it and make sure everything worked before he would get off the phone. Great Job!

For personal hosting, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a much better deal than what Webhost4life provides. Plenty of bells and whistles for a very reasonable price.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004 11:18:41 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [6]

I imagine that I'm the last one to know this, but Costco has a wonderful photo center. This year, I realized that it was time to try out the complete, electronic version of the Costco photo center for getting our Christmas cards.

I found an ideal picture from last winter; went on to costco.com and chose the photo center option; then, followed the simple instructions! If you get the order in early enough, you can pick up the cards the next day. They even include envelopes.

With a little label printing, we were just about ready to go. This is the way to do Christmas cards! I might just have to see what else they can do.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004 12:58:45 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [3]
# Thursday, December 16, 2004

I'm really excited! Jesann is going to take a couple of classes after the first of the year to become more familiar with this wonderful world of geekness we call computing.

It's hard to imagine how she tolerates the nerdiness that is me, but she has. I don't blame her for not being 'into it' like me, but I just know that she'll find compelling content out there when she starts getting online on a regular basis.

Her taking the class is part of the motivation for this year's cleaning project. I figure that I need to make more room in the office for her to be comfortable and I will likely want to update 'her' computer to WinXP - yes, it's still got WinME on it.

Congratulations Jesann! You're going to Love it!

Thursday, December 16, 2004 12:24:39 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]

I can't believe what I found: it was over a year ago that I rearranged my office to the configuration that it is presently in. I just find it hard to believe that it has been that long since I did this. Further, It's hard to believe some of the things I haven't gotten around to :$.

Back then, I had gotten to the job of rearranging - and let me tell you, it has been much better. But, as I look at that old blog entry, I see that I was to have made my old desktop into the new server; that never happened. Don't get me wrong - it still will - it just wasn't as compelling as it might have been.

The old server worked well for a long time. Over the summer, though, it started to have problems with overheating. I had to take it down permenantly and haven't had time to build up the new one. Over this Christmas break, it will happen though (he says smuggly).

I started this cycle with the closet. There are several boxes that have been in there for too long without serious consideration of the items in them. This year, that changed. So far, there are six empty boxes and likely to be more. This is a very big win.

In addition, I've pulled out two old computer shells - case/mobo/processor. One was my old P166 from, what, ten years ago? Thanks to Greg (again), I see where these are headed. I'm going to try to find a few more things to take to them before I make the trip, though.

By the beginning of 2005, I should be running much more lightly in this office of mine. That will indeed be worth it.

Thursday, December 16, 2004 12:16:49 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, December 13, 2004

Once again, Greg Hughes comes through with a vital tool for all nerds. Now he's outdone himself. I'm sure many have heard of the new “Google Suggests” feature: start typing and possible matches for what you are typing drop down below the input field.

Well, Greg happened on the Google Search for Klingons! (As in, “search that a Klingon might use”; not “search to find a Klingon” :-))

Monday, December 13, 2004 9:45:57 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Fred Flintstone Local (to Portland) artist, Michael Paulus has a series of drawings showing several cartoon characters without their flesh. No really!

As Greg Hughes (where I came across this) pointed out, it is both interesting and weird, but well worth taking a look. If you are a local sort, you can see the drawings live and in person at the Belmont Stumptown Coffee through December.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004 11:01:32 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, December 4, 2004

From Peter Provost's Geek Noise 2004-12-03:

Saturday, December 4, 2004 12:30:19 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, December 3, 2004

You just never know who you will meet in life, do you?

Tuesday, I was at work and noticed someone reading the sports page. I'd imagine that it is painfully obvious that I'm not exactly 'up' on things from that section of the newspaper, but I try not to be too naïve. Well, I missed a big one this time.

As I glanced at the page held toward me, I realized that I recognized the young man on the front page. I've met up with Mr. Bill Swancutt at several family functions - he's been seeing my niece, Kristin, for some time now! I guess I better read this article!

Now, I'm up on things enough to know that he was a football player... I even knew that he played for the Oregon State Beavers. What I didn't realize is that he is really good. He had just won the “Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year” Award! In fact, he's the first player to ever have won that award at an OSU. Details are available form the Oregonian here.

Just to top off my ignorance, my fellow workers started telling me about Bill. It turns out that Bill has a taste for quarterback meat - he holds a school record for career sacks and for 'tackles for loss'. Very impressive.

Bill, if you come around to reading this, let me personally congratulate you on such an impressive achievement. I'm sorry I had to learn about it from the paper ;-).

Friday, December 3, 2004 2:44:32 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, November 29, 2004

'Tis the season for celebration and merriment! So what better way to celebrate than to go to your local Nerd Dinner?

Mr. Blizzard has dun scheduled a Christmas Nerd Dinner as fallers:

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
When: Wednesday, December 15, starting around 6:30 PM.
Where: Lloyd Center food court
Why: Ain't no good reason

It's back to the east side for this one, folks. I guess Jim is just getting too tired driving home from way out in the wild west late at night.

Remember: Be there and be square.

P.S.: I think Stuart may be trying to >>Juggle<< too many things! (I couldn't resist).

Monday, November 29, 2004 11:29:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]

I'm in a bit of a daze this evening because it is the end of the term (whole story there, I suppose), so I can't remember the details of why or where this came up, but I was recently discussing with someone how to make a website look good.

I am very slow at creating such things. Note how I've mostly stuck to the 'canned' theme for this blog. That said, I sure do know what I like and can quickly - and probably quite loudly - voice my opinions on what does and doesn't work.

That thought reminded me how long it had been since I had visited my buddy Brian's web store, Northwest Active Gear. He specializes in GPS and Marine electronics out of this site and this is his banner month leading up to Christmas.

As I dropped on to the site, I was reminded of how good Brian is at doing design work. Now, this is a store and it is trying to sell to you, but he really did a lot of good work in laying it out for easy navigation and viewability. Everything is accessible from the main page, but it doesn't seem all that cluttered.

It's good to see the site looking so nice. I wish Brian and his wife Heidi a banner holiday season. And, if you are thinking of purchasing a GPS unit for yourself or loved one, go check his site out!

Monday, November 29, 2004 11:13:48 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 18, 2004

In an effort to assure that all in attendance at tonight's Portland Nerd Dinner were true nerds, Bliz brought a little bit of 'alternative' enticement: two tickets to the game between the Blazers and  the Grizzlies.

What a great way to check the nerd-itude of the group. As was apparant on the tickets themselves, this was a very valuable prize.

Well, I'm proud to say that not one person was tempted away from the Nerd Dinner for one of them sport thingies. All sat firm in their commitment to things geeky!

I mean really... Blizzard and .NET or Blazers and plain net? I think the choice is obvious!

Thursday, November 18, 2004 1:30:32 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, November 14, 2004

Reading Rory's account of his first real trip to Las Vegas was very enjoyable. It brings back many fond memories of the town.

He mentions several times the scale of The Strip. It's amazing. As I commented to him, it's like the Grand Canyon: you just can't understand until you see it up close and in person. The hotels are huge, but since they all are, you don't realize it. You start walking down the strip and see your destination up ahead - “no big deal,” you think, “it's not that far.” Then, an half-hour later, it's still up ahead.

Rory gives some good advice for visitors to Vegas: “The trick... is to not take the city at all seriously.” You can then enjoy it for what it is and not be too freaked out.

Sunday, November 14, 2004 10:03:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, November 13, 2004

I am about to admit something that might get me kicked out of the Nerd Dinners: I don't really play a whole lot of computer games. I catch the daily crossword... enjoyed Bejeweled alot... I even own several old classics like Unreal, Total Annihilation, and others of that time.

But I just don't play a lot!

Well, with all of the talk about Halo 2 this week, I felt compelled to pull out the copy of Halo (PC) that I purchased a year or more ago and give it a whirl. That was around two in the afternoon.

Fortunately, I got to sleep by six the next morning. Oops!

Am I blocking? Is there some secret part of me that knows I'd be an addict if I let myself start so I just don't play to avoid that inevitability? Who knows. I did enjoy it, though.

Don't misunderstand - I'm not particularly good at it or anything. I had the game on 'super easy' or whatever just to get a feel for things and still managed to die some horrible and spectacular deaths. I've got a long way to go before I could be competitive with folks out there. But, I can feel the itch to play even now. I've resisted for now; I've got too much other stuff to entertain me, but I just know that over the holidays, I will be compelled to scratch the itch again.

Maybe there is an Xbox in our future yet...

Saturday, November 13, 2004 1:56:11 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [6]
# Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Only the previous day I was pestering Bliz as to when the next Nerd Dinner would be and sure enough, I wasn't alone. Per the Nerd Dinner blog, the next one is just a week away:

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
When: Wednesday, November 17, 2004, starting around 6:30 PM.
Where: Washington Square Mall food court
Why: Because I can take a hint

Be there and be square.

Should be a blast. I'm also hoping that Greg Hughes will show up with more pictures of his trip on the USS John C. Stennis! What a thrill and honor to have that opportunity! Anyone have a projector that we could use :-)?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 4:28:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Monday, November 1, 2004

He's mentioned it in his blog several times, but now he's helping you buy it too... Scott Hanselman has an e-coupon for MaxiVista! It's a really good deal for a great product.

I guess I might as well have a fourth monitor running part time, eh? :-)

Monday, November 1, 2004 4:07:01 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]

Well, for the first time in years, we didn't do anything around the house for Halloween. Traditionally, Jesann has decorated the garage and/or the house for the holiday and we've stayed home awaiting the trick-or-treaters. This year, we took a break from that and got dressed up.

Jesann, of course, made some wonderful outfits for us. We had this “'fro” wig and she developed from there. at first, it was simply going to be a “pimp-ing” outfit, but when I decided that I wanted to dress up for work, Jesann decided to create a different look for the daytime.

This outfit became the early '70's version. Note the wonderfully full bell-bottoms at the bottom of the legs. You'll also see that the colorful parts of the shirt and pants actually match.

It was a very popular look. I got more compliments than I could have imagined. I'm sure some of the positive feedback was simply because of the memories I invoked in people. In fact, one lady even said that I looked like someone she had dated thirty years ago :-).

This stuff is definitely going to stay in the closet for future use.

Then, for the evening out, I got to put on the pimping outfit. I got the gold, the polyester, the 'fro, and the hat. Oh, and don't miss the gold tooth, too.

Jesann went with the elegant vamp outfit. She picked up some of those cool contacts this past summer when she went a visiting her friend down in Las Vegas. Between those and the sharpened tooth caps, she was looking really good.

After leaving the house we went to visit a few friends to show off our “wears” and then headed over to Nonna's for pizza and a drink.

Just have to throw in a close up picture of Jesann's eyes and teeth. This shot really shows them off.

You might also barely make out the fact that she has some fiber optics incorporated into the wigs - this just added to the effect.

After spending some quality time at our Ristoranté Italiano, we headed downtown to find a little bit of nightlife. There wasn't much on a Sunday night, but we finally stopped at the local Rock Bottom Brewery for a couple of games of pool.

I was reminded how bad at pool I am, but Jesann made some really good impressions on people with her outfit. Others were asking to take her picture! Of course, she obliged :-).

Monday, November 1, 2004 10:20:49 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [4]
# Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A wonderful Portland Nerd Dinner last evening. Several new faces - some on their way to the XML DevCon, others just visiting from afar, and yet more attending for the first time.

Jesann went with me to this one... it was a great chance for her to get some shopping done at the mall. I've been trying to get her to come see all of these nerds for several months now :-).

We even got a picture of IBM (Ed Brill), Microsoft (Robert Scoble), and Sun (Tim Bray) together. Détente!

It's such a pleasure to meet up with such a wide variety of people. I suppose it emphasizes the value of the Nerd Dinners. They are a place where people with a technical bent can get together and chat for a while.

Make sure to watch for your local Nerd Dinner at NerdDinner.com.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004 9:07:29 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Saturday, October 16, 2004

Jesann and I are fans of the original Thunderbirds series and also of South Park. We expected that we might enjoy Team America: World Police; Done by the creators of South Park using marionettes like the old Thunderbirds.

Boy were we wrong....

We loved the movie. Now, before you get in the car and run down to the local theater to see it, you need to know that this movie almost got an NC-17 rating. Yes, that's right: a movie with 'puppets' almost completely disallowed viewing by children under seventeen years of age. There's good reason for that, but if you are not easily offended (or like to be offended), this is one funny movie.

In fact, this is the first movie we've seen in a theater that Jesann might be willing to see again while it's still in theaters! That's amazing!

Rory enjoys a lengthy rant about how good the movie was and Scott talks about how he “...wiped tears from my face twice...” and “...almost cramped up laughing,” during the viewing of this movie. He also has a great picture of the Nerd version of the World Police (Jesann and I were already inside watching “The Twenty”).

“America! F*** Yeah!”

[Update: Just had to go see the movie again... still loved it! And I am fully sold on picking up the soundtrack of this movie, too.]

Saturday, October 16, 2004 4:17:31 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, October 9, 2004

I don't spend a lot of time chatting about politics... I have a lot of friends from both sides of the aisle and would rather discuss issues one by one rather than argue over candidates.

That said, I do have strong preferences and am willing to show my support by such means as putting up candidate signs on my own property.

Well, this morning, we looked out in the yard and realized that someone had come on to our property and stolen our signs. As my wife pointed out, instead of getting their own signs to support their chosen candidate or simply VOTING to make their voice heard, they decided to engage in a crime to prevent us from expressing our opinion.

This is sad. I really thought our neighborhood was better than that.

Saturday, October 9, 2004 4:07:51 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Friday, September 17, 2004

I really enjoy reading The Daily WTF. This week, we've been having a discussion on the local UG (PADNUG) discussion list about hourly rates that consultants could/should charge.

By sheer coincidence, The Daily WTF posted an example of code provided by a $250/hour consultant. I conisder it an opportunity to learn what it takes to make it to the big leagues.

Friday, September 17, 2004 1:05:27 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Tuesday, September 14, 2004

UPDATE: What a surprise... The Penton newsletters are back to their old format. I hope they come up with some sort of new concept, though. I don't mind receiving HTML versions of newsletters - I find it easier to differentiate content from ads and all - I just want the content to be in the newsletter.

I have a few favorite sites in my 'Links' toolbar of Internet Explorer. One of them is Paul Thurrott's WinInfo site. I enjoy the content provided through that site and by Paul himself.

Well, my interest in their content dropped a couple of notches this week. The email newsletters no longer provide content; just a brief paragraph introducing each story. I realize that the theory here is to drive readership to the website, but it honestly is having the opposite effect on me. I will likely be dropping several of the e-letters I receive from them, too.

Just to top it off, I went to the site to see if I could change a preference that would provide the complete content. I was unable to log in! I chose the 'I forgot my name/password' option and was told that my email address, “...was not recognized.” Excuse me? I've got at least a half dozen emails from you in my inbox addressed to that very address! The newsletter even tells me that that is the address.

Further, when I try to 'Update' my subscriber information, I receive a server error that asks me to email them information; I would think with modern technology what it is, somehow the webserver might be able to do that work and not burden the customer with it!

I hope this is just a momentary lapse of reason on their part and all will be made right in the next week or two. Please?!?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 9:38:22 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Sunday, September 12, 2004

I come out to my car at the Home Depot today to find one of those really irritating advertisements under my wiper blade. Generally, I just swallow hard and throw these things away at the first opportunity, but this time was different.

Bally Total Fitness (or their agent) has placed a glossy door hanger under my wiper whilst it is raining. Guess what? This door-hanger-turned-leaflet has become rather glue-like and it sticks to my window! After some scraping and a car-wash, it has started to come off, but there are still several little specs of paper almost etched into the glass now.

This irritated me at so many levels:

  • They did not have permission to market on the property there.
  • They used a door hanger on car windows (thus, likely the reason it changed in the rain).
  • The very fact that they use this as a marketing method at all.

Presumably someone has demonstrated that marketing this way works. Really? Who are the people that buy products or services based on a piece of paper on their car window? Are these the same people that brag about how there multi-level-marketing scheme has allowed them to purchase a Cadillac... but it turns out to be an early '80s model that shouldn't have spent so much time in the coastal, salty air? In other words, who are these idiots?

Sunday, September 12, 2004 7:49:00 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, September 7, 2004

I just know this will be blogged all over the web in no time, but I have to get in on it.

Chris Sells and his wife went on down to Burning Man this last week. In their honor, Rory Blyth wrote and sang a little diddy (mp3) about their adventure. It was really good as it was, but then something happened.

Mr. Jason Olson got hold of it. Rory calls it "The Jason Olson Psychedelic Lederhosen Burning Man Remix 2000." (2000?) It involves the original tune with a bit of “added pizzaz.” See how you like it - (mp3).

And, since we are already on the Chris wagon, don't forget to go see him in all his glory here. No wonder he is a Software Legend.

Tuesday, September 7, 2004 11:23:58 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Ok, I hate getting spammed as much as the next person. But when I read this little bit of spam that arrived, indirectly, from my blogspace, I just L'dMAO.

Dear Sirs

It's my great pleasure to contact you !

We learned from Internet you are interested in tents. We have been in this line of business for many years. We wish to establish friendly business relations with you and share the mutual benefits.

We are specialize in tents. We are offering them to our customers with the benefits of consistently high quality and performance and competitive prices.....

We are able to supply a wide variety of tents – manufactured to the specifications and requirements of the customer. We would be interested in receiving more information about your enquiry so that we will be able to submit an offer that is suitable.

For example ,what is the height of the tent?

Are you interested in windows?

What type of frame?

Who will supply the metal parts –

will you obtain them locally which will enable a much lower quotation from our side?

Do you have a drawing of your requirement?

What quantities do you wish to buy?

We would appreciate receiving your answers to these questions which will enable us to submit our offer.

Feel free to view our website:


If you don't want to receive the mail again, pls let us know we will take you off from our maillist!


We hope information will help you .

Awaiting your favorable responds
Richard Zheng
Qyield (Xiamen) Camping Products Co., Ltd 4/F., No. 20, Huaguang Rd. Huli, Xiamen, China.
Tel: +00 000 0000000
Fax: +00 000 0000000
E-mail: -------@----------.---
Web Page :---.---------.---

I searched my blogspace to find out how it is that I have an interest in tents... As near as I can tell, it is because of the numerous times I mention tents on my blog: content(s), attentive, attention, extent, and tentative.

If, by any wild chance, the implementors of this spam search algorithm read this, let me suggest something:

  1. Get better translators
  2. Match your search term on whole words
  3. Don't ever spam me again!
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 11:49:34 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Monday, August 30, 2004

Ok, if you can't/don't want to go to Devscovery, maybe you would enjoy a nice, shiny-new GMail account? I got my six GMail invites to give out today. Let me know in the comments if you would like one.

Monday, August 30, 2004 11:12:25 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [4]

I hoped beyond hope that I would be heading for Redmond tomorrow... it was not to be. But this could be your opportunity.

I have one ticket to Devscovery Redmond available for half of the regular $900 price. This event begins tomorrow morning and goes through Thursday.

This conference/training goes for three days and has more than thirty sessions put on by such luminaries as John Robbins, Jeffrey Richter, Jeff Prosise, Peter DeBetta, and Jason Clark.

If you are interested, leave me a comment or email at ticket@theclaussens.com.

This is well worth your time... take advantage of it!

Monday, August 30, 2004 9:36:13 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Wednesday, August 18, 2004

These Portland Nerd Dinners (PND) are becoming almost as regular as much more formal gatherings... and that is good. Jim has really built a following with this.

This month we will be meeting on the 31st. As has become the norm, it will be at 6:30pm at the Washington Square Food Court.

As there was in June, the PND will be followed by a Portland Nerd Drinks (PND-b? (b = booze?)) Some luck folks may find themselves with a jump start on that portion of the evenings festivities by leaving their WikiSignature at the PND-b link.

As always, Be there and be square.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004 10:51:35 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]

Last Saturday, Jesann and I headed out to see the Blue Angels perform in the local air show. It was well worth the time.

There is something spectacular about seeing these hunks of metal perform their maneuvers. First, I wouldn't want to drive as close to another car as these planes fly next to one and the other. The precision and trust that they have in their show is fantastic.

Second, how does it fly? I know a lot of the technicality around how these things function, but when you are actually watching them do their tricks, it still seems that some physical laws must be being broken.

After having fully enjoyed the show on Saturday, we found ourselves out and about on Sunday at just the right time. We drove over to the business park across the airfield and saw the show again from the other side.

We were in for a special treat: one of the planes made a fast, tight turn right over our heads! The roar of the engines combined with the sight of the plane and the wisps of condensation from the pressure it exerted on the air was something to behold. It sent chills through the body.

It's hard to say which was better: being at the show where they present to, or being across from the show where we saw the planes much closer. Maybe we'll just alternate from year to year where we go to observe the show. All I know is that we will continue to enjoy these shows for a long time to come.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004 10:39:15 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Two weeks and a day ago, I went to my favorite restaurant, Nonna Emilia Ristoranté. My wife was still out of town visiting a friend in Las Vegas. This is when I found out that our dear friend, Dick Kokich, had passed away.

I've been going to this place for about fifteen years, so I know the people well. Dick had been playing accordion at the restaurant almost since it opened more than twenty-five years ago. He was a wonderful person that always had a smile and a nice thing to say about everyone around him.

As written by Christina Lent in the Beaverton Valley Times:

His ability to brighten a room with his warm smile, the music of his accordion, giant blooms from his garden and vibrant oil seascapes will be missed by loved ones and friends of the longtime Beaverton resident.

Not only did Dick provide a valuable service to the restaurant by playing there nearly every Friday and Saturday night, he was a huge promoter for them, too. Whenever or wherever he went, he handed out his Nonna Emilia business card to people. I even saw his card taped to the jewelry case at Costco once.

Dick Kokich, Strolling Accordionist

Dick lived in the Beaverton area for 75 years. Over that time, he ran a music store, taught hundreds (thousands?) of students how to play an instrument (piano, banjo, accordion, etc.), painted hundreds of landscapes and seascapes, and grew some of the biggest sunflowers and tomatoes around.

People all over the world know him and will now miss him. Do a bit of the Chicken Dance in his honor.

Finally, from the program given at his service:

Dick is now in heaven, probably with a golden accordion gathering all of the angels together for the ultimate Chicken Dance. They are all dancing among the clouds, laden with hidden business cards and tiny music notes as far as the eye can see....

We miss you Dick.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004 12:30:24 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Monday, August 16, 2004

My wife, Jesann, was gone for the last week of July and into August. That was nine days of heck for me. Since that time, we have been spending a lot more time together. Thus, I haven't been at the computer more than I have to be.

I was approaching 3,000 unread emails and blogs. I decided that I should just blow a good portion of them away or I would never catch up. I'm sure that there was some interesting tidbits that I missed, but darn it, I had to do something.

School is out for summer... I am going to continue my education for a spell. Although the actual degree related courses are in the 'done' column, Patrick Cauldwell is teaching part two of his Web Service curricula. Highly recommended.

That doesn't start for nearly a month and a half, though. In the mean time, we will be having at least one more garage sale, getting down to the Oregon coast, making our annual trip to Black Butte and Bend, Oregon, and generally enjoying the summer time.

Monday, August 16, 2004 9:47:11 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Once again, Steve Bass of PC World comes through with a really funny link. JibJab has put together a little diddy from our two major party candidates. It's good for both parties.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 11:46:03 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Tuesday, July 27, 2004

This one (via Peter Provost) surprised me: At several McDonalds restaurants in Colorado (and some elsewhere), the drive through order taker is working from a remote call center.

This is amazing. Part of me worries about the dehumanization of the concept, but another part of me has to recall the mistakes made all too often at my local fast-food locations. How much better might the experience it be if the person taking the order was more skilled at the process?

Amazing what technology enables.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004 12:03:32 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [4]
# Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I have to believe that most of the rather 'geeky' people have thought this should exist before now. James Avery today led me to a site that demonstrates “Metric Time.”

I'll be looking for support on this when I purchase my MSN Direct Watch one day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004 7:29:26 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Wednesday, June 23, 2004

As I blogged several months ago, more than twenty years have passed since I first entered college expecting to get a Computer Science degree. I went astray and looked to get a business degree. At the time, the MBAs (Masters in Business Administration) seemed like the thing to get. Unfortunately, it was not the thing I was meant to get.

Not that there is anything wrong with business degrees; I just know now that I have a passion for the machines that I can’t ignore. About four and a half years ago, I realized that I wanted to return to my youthful passion. Then, in the fall of 2000, I practically stumbled across the Computer Software Engineering Technology (CSET) program at Portland Community College (PCC).

One of the issues I had with the typical Computer Science degree was the focus on history and theory. I know a great deal of the history and, although I enjoy the theory aspects, I want to apply it to problems right away. The CSET curricula did this. As I approached the end of the two-year degree at PCC, I visited the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT). Here, I could continue my studies and receive my bachelors degree in Software Engineering.

Graduation was last week.

What a journey this has been. I find it amazing all that I have learned in the past three and a half years and can now see how much I have yet to learn. I’ve heard it suggested that it is harder to learn as one grows older… I don’t agree with that anymore. There are two factors that affect a person’s ability to learn later: It takes some practice to get into the swing of things. Compartmentalizing information from different classes and being able to switch amongst them is a skill that becomes rusty over time. However, it does come back to you.

The second thing is sleep. It was easier to go without it twenty years ago and that doesn’t change.

A great number of people have helped me get here. First, the instructor I had more than any other was Taylor Hanna at PCC. Not only did Taylor provide a great deal of knowledge to us students, he drove us, too. There were some who thought Taylor was not very easy – they were right. However, as I’ve continued through my classes, I’ve been constantly reminded of how much I learned in Taylor’s classes.

Thanks, Taylor.

There are many instructors that helped me on this trip. Al, Ali, Barbara, Brad, Christian, Colin, Gary, Jay, Jeff, Julianne, Michael, Paul, Paula, RK, Ronda, Sean, Sergey, Shawn, Stefan, Terry, Vicki, and others, thank you for all you have passed on to me.

In addition, there are numerous other people at the schools that helped make my degree possible. My thanks go out to Abbie, Anne, Cheryl, Fran, Mary Lou, Peter, Sandy, Sylvia, and all of the other people who made it possible to go through these four years with some sanity preserved.

I had a chance to meet and work with many great people over this time, too. There have been many teams and tutor-ings that helped me get here. In particular, I want to thank:

Cat Anderson – You’re such a great pair-programming partner. Our family has really enjoyed getting together with yours over the years, too.

Mike Plourde – You’ve been a really good friend and we’ve had a great journey over the last years, haven’t we?

Jeff Sherwin – My goodness you know a lot! Your appreciation of good pizza is a testament to the quality of your character.

There are others too numerous to get to, but let me try:

Anita, Casey, Chris, Colin, Daniela, David, Earnest, Eric, Frank, Fred, Hope, Jamin, Janet, Jasen, Justin, Katy, Kim, Lael, Larry, Matt, Paul, Pat, Rhollic, Robert, Steve, Tess – Thank all of you for your help, support, and assistance throughout these years.

Another individual that helped me a great deal as a fellow student, instructor, and mentor is Scott Hanselman. First, Scott has been involved with the promotion of the programs at both PCC and OIT since before I started going through them. Second, after graduating last year from OIT, he immediately returned to teach an excellent class on programming in C#. Finally, on a personal level, he has become a mentor to me and helped me immensely in getting through my senior project.

Finally, I want to thank my family for there examples, support, enthusiasm, and love. You might think that taking over twenty years to get a degree would dampen the enthusiasm of the family… not mine. Even my siblings’ kids were excited and some even attended the graduation. Thanks all of you!

My mom didn’t get to stay around long enough to attend my graduation in person, but I knew she was there when I got up for my speaking portion and didn’t have any butterflies in my stomach. I know I wasn’t a perfect son, but my mom and dad always stood by me and made sure I turned out right. Thanks to both of them for all they did for me.

Last, but most, I want to thank my wife Jesann for her love and support through these years. Our household has a fraction of the income we did before I went back to school and I have spent way too much time staring at a monitor instead of helping her around the house. She’s been an inspiration to me and truly made it possible for me to get through this degree. Without you, honey, I wouldn’t have done this. Thank you and I love you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 1:29:32 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [3]
# Wednesday, June 16, 2004

It's been a long time since I visited Bob Rivers' site, but Brian Redmond's blog entry reminded me of it. When ever I here mention of Brittany's song, I think of the version that Bob did (this is a PG-13 site in my mind.)

There are some really funny remixes on this site ala Weird Al.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004 1:34:47 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, June 11, 2004

Jim Blizzard, the father of the Nerd Dinner, has written an open invitation to Linus Torvalds to begin attending the Portland Nerd Dinner. I second that invite!

Linus and his family are moving to Portland next week and I can't imagine a better place for him to get to know the region's nerd population.

Friday, June 11, 2004 10:45:09 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, June 7, 2004

Ironically (or is it?), I was thinking just last night that I should ping Jim to see when he wanted to do another Nerd Dinner. It's been too long for those of us who weren't in San Diego.

Apparently, Jim could sense the disturbance in The Force because I woke up this morning to find the next PND announcement:

Tuesday, June 29 @ 6:30
Washington Square Food Court
and of course, Be there and be square!

What surprises might be in store this time?

Monday, June 7, 2004 7:25:40 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, May 19, 2004

[Update: Betsy, Chris, Jim, Patrick, and Scott have added their voices to the post-dinner Nerd din.]

I'm tempted to use the phrase 'best Nerd Dinner Yet,' but I've said that before. Last night was the best, though. At the peak, we had 34 people in attendence. That's nearly three times the usual size. Jim Blizzard will go down in history as the father of the great Nerd Dinners.

Chris Sells led an entourage of the MSDN team down from Redmond to join us. This group included Shawn Morrissey, Betsy Aoki, Matt Powell, Duncan Mackenzie, Kent Sharkey, and of course, Chris himself. Not only did they contribute financially to the Nerd Dinner, but they offered themselves up for a panel discussion and allowed all there to provide feedback on how to improve MSDN and the developer experience in general.

The award for the 'farthest travelled' went to the surprise attendee Rory Blyth. Yes, all the way from New London, Connecticut and the .NET Rocks! show. I guess he means it when he says he misses us back here.

The 'youngest' award goes to Patrick Miller... let's just say the junior high school will be lucky to have him.

Another big surprise was seeing Scott Hanselman decked out in a suit and tie:

Who would have thought?

Obviously, there are too many people to mention them all specifically... we gathered a virtual (or is that a physical one?) blogroll of attendees and will probably make that available on Northwest Evening Blend.

Folks - you don't want to miss these events. This was some really good stuff!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004 8:20:09 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, April 23, 2004

As I mentioned here, the next Nerd Dinner will be on May 18th. Jim Blizzard just mentioned that we will have some very special, out-of-town guests at this dinner: A group from MSDN is driving all the way down from Redmond to see what we're all about!

Could this be the beginning of the Modern International Nerd Dinner Society (MINDS)?

Friday, April 23, 2004 12:56:41 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, April 16, 2004

[Update: Date changed due to conflict with XPDX!]

Bliz is getting a good jump on it this time with some real, advanced warning. The next Portland Nerd Dinner will be on May 18th at Washington Square Food Court again.

These things just keep getting better. If the last one (here, here, here, and here) is any indication, we may have to pay off the staff at the food court to leave the place open for another hour or so. We had such great turn out for just a couple days warning, what might happen with nearly four weeks notice?

Friday, April 16, 2004 8:08:55 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Friday, April 2, 2004

From the Microsoft PressPass site:

Microsoft and Sun Microsystems Enter Broad Cooperation Agreement; Settle Outstanding Litigation

Ten Year Agreement Sets New Framework for Industry Cooperation; Reduces Cost and Complexity for Customers

What next? Israel and Palestine go to church together? Ireland and England sit down for a pint? Everyone refuses to kick anyone else off of the next Survivor island?

Friday, April 2, 2004 3:56:01 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, March 22, 2004

This will probably be the most useless thing I’ve posted to date on my blog, but I found it quite interesting.

Two weeks ago, I shipped a pair of DishNetwork tuner/pvr’s off to their mothership (had some problems with hard drives). As I tracked their progress on UPS, I noticed that they went in opposite directions: one went east along the Columbia River, the other south on Interstate 5. Of course, I couldn’t wait to see which of the packages arrived at their destination (El Paso, Texas) first and wondered why both wouldn’t go that ‘more efficient’ route.

Well, I finally remembered to check on them today. Despite one going through California and the other through Colorado, they both arrived in Albuquerque, New Mexico within an hour and a half of one another, three days later. From their, they finished their journey to El Paso together.

I don’t know why I care about this, but I find it interesting. I suppose it suggests that UPS is pretty darn efficient overall. Anyway, that’s the interesting Monday story.

Package Progress:





Mar 12, 2004

12:04 P.M.



6:38 A.M.



6:00 A.M.



Mar 11, 2004

11:04 P.M.



3:42 P.M.



Mar 10, 2004

12:56 A.M.



Mar 9, 2004

10:30 P.M.



8:30 A.M.



7:06 A.M.



3:28 A.M.



Mar 8, 2004

10:14 P.M.



9:46 P.M.



8:38 P.M.



4:11 P.M.



Tracking results provided by UPS: Mar 22, 2004 9:06 P.M. Eastern Time (USA)

Package Progress:





Mar 12, 2004

12:04 P.M.



6:38 A.M.



6:00 A.M.



Mar 11, 2004

11:04 P.M.



2:29 P.M.



4:16 A.M.



12:03 A.M.



Mar 9, 2004

7:25 A.M.



7:15 A.M.



3:09 A.M.



Mar 8, 2004

11:40 P.M.



9:47 P.M.



8:32 P.M.



4:11 P.M.



Tracking results provided by UPS: Mar 22, 2004 9:09 P.M. Eastern Time (USA)

Monday, March 22, 2004 6:49:34 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, February 13, 2004

Another Portland Nerd Dinner has come and gone. Fortunately, this time I got pictures to savor the day a little longer.

Being the last PND that we will likely see Rory at for a while, it had a special meaning for all in attendance. Chris Sells brought a fabulous piece of artwork and allowed all to sign the back as a memento to Rory.

This PND seemed to go longer than usual. It may have been the fine cuisine, the excellent company, or the brawl that nearly started nearby, but something just kept the attendees enthralled with the meeting.

Rory, we’re going to miss you while you are gone. We just may need to get a cardboard cutout of you to stand in!

Friday, February 13, 2004 12:29:40 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, January 10, 2004

Well, it took me three weeks to get them posted, but our Christmas party pictures are now available in an album at http://photos.theclaussens.com.

I decided to try out the nGallery package to post the pix. It appears to be very straight-forward and has all of the features that I might currently require. Being able to 'bulk' upload the pictures turned out to be a real time saver.

Now I need to start creating albums of other life events!

Saturday, January 10, 2004 12:15:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Wow!! What incredible weather we've had this year. Portland is not used to getting more than a couple of light dustings of snow over the winter, but this year, we have full ice and snow storms going on.

Last week, we got the first snow. I think it was Tuesday night (December 30th). Jesann and I were watching a movie and realized that there was a couple of inches of snow on the ground. We shut off the movie, bundled up, and headed out into the night. It was amazing how much of the neighborhood was out after 10pm to enjoy the snow.

We trudged over to the nearby high school and couldn't resist the chance to build a snow person. Admittedly, Jesann did most of the work. Between her gloves and skill, she was much better suited to the task.

Next, New Year's Day came with a new batch of snow. I had to work in the morning, but when I arrived home, it was time for us to go out and enjoy. First, we went to the local Elmer's restaurant for a great breakfast. Then we began the shopping - we visited as many places as we could. Unfortunately, the local 'big' shopping center, Washington Square, shut down at 4pm - right after we arrived.

Finally, today has had snow, sleet, or freezing rain coming down almost constantly. As Rory points out, there are some real Snow Nerds out there... I know - we are they. Despite our lack of 'rig', we had to go out to enjoy it all once again.

More than likely, when we wake up tomorrow it will be raining and wet once again. This last week has been one to remember, though.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 1:08:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, January 5, 2004

As mentioned previously, I have put together a new computer. I dropped an AMD 'Barton' 2500+ on to a motherboard called LAN Party NFII Ultra. The compelling features of the MoBo were built in RAID and high speed FSB. It also has two LAN ports, surround sound, and all of the other 'cool' features that it should.

With 1.5GB of memory and more than 300GB of HD space, I've got some room to grow. I've partitioned the drives into seven segments to keep things better organized and to make backing up easier. Also, in that I've dedicated about 100GB for creating virtual PCs to use in development or general experimentation.

One thing that I found fascinating after building up the machine was the weight. over 50 pounds of PC in one tower box. Not exactly a portable machine :-).

Finally, maybe the most enjoyable new aspect is the addition of a third monitor. As previously discussed, I've been using two monitors for several years. Now, I can keep the 'monitoring' apps (IM, ActiveSync, Process Explorer, etc.) running on a third screen and use the full resolution of the other two for email, internet, debugging, and all other primary tasks.

Monday, January 5, 2004 1:08:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Wednesday, December 31, 2003

It is strange to think that it has been twenty-four days since I wrote something here. Especially when I consider how much has happened. I expect that I will need to add to these bullets, but here is the quick summation:

  • Got the new PC built and running - what a pleasure to drive!
  • My office is getting in really good shape - I know that there are many of us computer types that get a bit disorganized in the physical world. I'm trying to fix that to some extent and have made some real progress toward that goal.
  • We had our 'annual' (second year) Christmas gathering - about 25% more people than last year and it went off without a hitch! My wife, Jesann, does a fabulous job of entertaining.
  • Had a great Christmas season - I tried to get a media player (HP ew5000) for myself, but it wouldn't power up and Fry's didn't have a replacement. I will probably get a different one eventually.
  • Portland finally got a good snowing on - Jesann and I even made a great snowman on the field of a nearby high school.
  • Only five days 'till Winter Term begins - now to just finish organizing my office and computers; Will I have time to repave the notebook and server?

Nearly every one of these bullets deserve their own entry. I will get working on that over the next few days.

Wednesday, December 31, 2003 2:21:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Sunday, December 7, 2003

Well, sure enough, more was wrong with my PC than just the video card. Maybe the card caused problems with the MoBo, too. In any event, I'm finally getting around to putting all the parts together that I've had and building a new PC.

In and of itself, that's some cool news... I've been looking forward to doing this. On the other hand, I wasn't thinking that FINALS week would be the best time to do it. Oh well; Always good to challenge oneself, isn't it?

When I'm done, I'll have a lot of space to breathe. I'm dropping a total of 640GB of hard drives and 1.5GB of memory into this thing. I plan to mirror 560GB of the hard drives so end up with a 'mere' 360GB of usable drive. In any event, I'll have a million times the drive space as my original Apple II had (I had two floppies) and something like thirty-four thousand times the memory.

Now it's time to get to work.

Sunday, December 7, 2003 8:59:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, December 5, 2003

There is a good chance that if you read this, you've come across Scott's blog before. Last night he and Jim Blizzard (aka "Microsoft") put on a great presentation of Longhorn at the PADNUG (Portland Area Dot Net User Group).

I've had a chance to read a great deal about Avalon and WinFS, but last night's demonstration really brought it home for me. And seeing <transform> being used to easily rotate and scale a portion (or all) of a form was dazzling. What is currently a challenging task becomes one line of code.

I've also become enamored with the search folders in Outlook2003. To see similar functionality provided in WinFS for the entire hard drive's contents was impressive.

Tonight, I had my regularly scheduled Scottification in our C# class at OIT. It was a chance for some code review and it truly held my interest.

Unfortunately, I scurried out quickly to come home and tend to my sick baby. Computer that is. Turns out that I had a bad fan on my main video card. I am know using just ONE monitor and I am going slightly MAD. But that's an other blog.

Friday, December 5, 2003 11:46:03 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, December 3, 2003

There is recent discussion from Sean "Early" Campbell regarding the Gateway version of this product category.

This is a gadget that I'm trying to get sooner than later. When I described it to my wife, she even had an interest and gave a tentative 'go ahead' to the purchase.

In short, these things are a component for the entertainment system that will hook to your wired or wireless network. They are then able to access media collections (MP3, WMA, JPG, MPEG, etc.) from one or more PCs on the network. What formats are played depends on the particular device.

I've looked at more than half a dozen versions from Gateway, SMC, Creative Labs, HP, Prismiq, Linksys, and others. So far, I eliminated the Linksys and HP options for various reasons. The Gateway is still in the running, but the Prismiq seems to have the most going for it. I am hoping to see it in person to check out its features. Gateway is the only one that I've been able to see demoed (at the Gateway store, of course).

As easy as it is to get content onto the computer now and the likelihood that more will be there due to online music ordering, a device like this just makes sense. I'm not too concerned with the ability to play video, though; I figure that by the time I have a substantial amount of interesting video on my PC, there will be newer and better versions of these products on the market.

We'll have to see what Santa has in store this year!

Wednesday, December 3, 2003 4:33:10 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I got one of those "Special" coupons in the mail for being a "member" at B & N recently. Now, I know that the additional 15% this provides over my regular member discount just brings the price of a book into line with what I would pay at bn.com or amazon.com, but there is the whole immediate gratification aspect of it.

Unfortunately, there wasn't anything compelling to purchase this evening. I will probably return and buy something before the coupon expires, but it's still a let down.

On the other hand, it felt like a third place this evening. First, my wife went with me this evening. Of course, she was able to find a couple of books to get, but nothing worth using my precious coupon on.

Second, Matt was working; I took a Calculus class with Matt and we ended up working on a team project together. He's always helpful and it was good to see him.

Third, I ran into my neighbor, Nathan. That was perfect since I wanted to talk to him about coming to our Christmas party and he had some questions about InFocus projectors. He is looking for some references on building database driven web applications.

Finally, I saw Austin from my C# class. We had a chance to chat over our final project and some general C# and .NET highlights. Many that are blog readers would know our instructor Scott Hanselman from his bloggings.

So, what this all ends up as is: despite not finding what I was after, I had a great evening at B&N. Once in a while, I suppose that we need to vary our 'third place' a bit. But I won't be giving up my usual anytime soon: Nonna Emilia Ristoranté

Wednesday, November 26, 2003 6:31:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, November 21, 2003

I had one of those moments of being pulled back a quarter century in life by a post form Peter Provost. Apparently, Brookstone is now selling an "EcoSphere" - Folks, it's more or less a sealed Sea Monkey tank. I can't believe that one could sell these for $65.

I suppose the nostalgia makes up some of the value, though. You can still buy the 'original' Sea Monkey gear at http://www.sea-monkeys.com/ (and I'm sure in the back of many magazines). Just in case you can't afford the Brookstone version.

Friday, November 21, 2003 4:30:25 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, November 17, 2003

Richard Tallent mentions the pleasure of using a 'PVR' for your viewing pleasure. I have to agree 100% with him.

We finally moved to satellite (Dish) this year and I popped for the PVR option. It has changed the way we watch TV. My wife, who is not the gadget-head that I am, even loves it.

I here some people say that they don't watch all that much television. I think those people will appreciate the device even more. Imagine that the occasions that you do choose to sit down and watch the telly, you get to watch your favorite programming. No more surfing all 200+ channels to find that there is nothing on.

and don't get me started on commercial skipping!

If you don't have a PVR, you won't understand the difference it makes to your viewing habits.

Monday, November 17, 2003 3:23:26 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]

A couple of people have already asked for more information about the Kitty Litter Cake I made. Steve Bass, a columnist for PC World mentioned it in his weekly newsletter, "Home Office". It was just too compelling and I had to whip one up as a surprise for my wife.

She loved it.

Therefore, I shall now link to a picture of one (Bass', not ours) and to the recipe, also. I wish you well in your own endeavor :-)!

Monday, November 17, 2003 1:53:51 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, November 15, 2003

I read this blog from Chris Sells some time ago, but I can't get it out of my head: With digital distribution of movies to theaters, we could also make them available to home viewers, too. Probably not going to be as cheap as current PPVs, but for those of us that prefer the home theater to the public theater, it could be well worth it.

Love Movies; Hate Theaters; Windows, Take Me Away!

Saturday, November 15, 2003 12:21:01 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 13, 2003

Boy did Mark get me reminiscing. As I blogged on Chis Anderson's entry:

Oh yes. I remember the Apple ][. I remember going to "The Computer Store" in Eugene, Oregon - I was probably 14 or 15 years old - to select the system.

I got the computer itself, two floppy drives (big bucks), the SilentWrite (I think) thermal printer, and a word processing program. All for around $3,200. Have we come a long way or what?

This thing had a whole 48K of memory! And you must note that there was no hard drive. Back then, those things cost more than the comptuer for just five or ten megabytes of storage. There was no way for me to get one of those.

Also, I opted to use an old color TV for my monitor. Not the greatest picture, but at least it wasn't that green letter stuff. It's probably because of that experience that I can stand to look at 1600 x 1200 on my 19" monitor.

I did learn how to program in AppleBasic, but I really started having fun in the assembly language (was that a 6502 processor?). I made a little program that allowed me to program a course for a spaceship to follow. It worked much like the old Big Trak (here, also) truck: go forward '5', turn 'left', go forward '3', etc. This provided an early exposure to algorithms (not that I knew that at the time) in the way the image was painted on screen. The 'second' row in the video memory was like the seventh row on screen. Then, once you reached the bottom, the second screen row was painted. I don't remember the details, but it took a while to figure out how to move one pixel up or down from any spot on screen.

This 'addiction' that I was fulfilling started at my junior high school, though. We had the OTIS terminals (Oregon Technology something or other) that provided a select group of nerds access to an amazing new world. These were paper feed terminals - not those cool green CRTs. There were games and the ability to program. We tore apart the code to the games and learned how to rewrite them for added features.

Of course, the school got the cool new Commodore Pets and had a computer class the year I went to high school. I doubt that I would have learned as much in a class, though.

After ninth grade, I decided to take a class at the community college titled: Structured Programming in Basic. That is where I became enamored with the TRaSh-80s and their wonderful cassette tape storage system. I knew that I wanted to be a programmer at that point.

Unfortunately, when I reached college age, I went astray and tried my hand at 'business' studies. Here I am twenty years later, back in the fold and trying to recapture my youthful knowledge.

Most of that knowledge that I gained in youth left me in the intervening years. The last three years of school (Software Engineering) have only had scattered moments of recollection to those days. It sure is fun, though!

Thursday, November 13, 2003 1:09:03 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Bless the stars for governement holidays. Thanks to there being no school last evening, I was finally able to attend the Portland Nerd Dinner at the Lloyd Center. I knew that this would be a fun time, but boy, was I ever pleased.

For those of you that just don't understand the appeal, let me try to explain: You're twelve. You love playing in your little league baseball team. On this special day, you get to play and hang-out with your favorite Major League team. This is what it was like.

Now, I don't plan to go around all star-struck and such, but it was great to listen in to the Q&A in this group.

Thanks for the great time Jim, Chris, Rory, Kori, Richard, John, John, and Rick (including Janine (sp?) and Traci). I hope that I can make this a regular event.

And, BTW, when you visit Rory's entry on this, you will note that I was one of the Wiffle club people... I mean come on, I'm still in school for this stuff.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003 3:15:57 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, November 3, 2003

It finally happened. After months of keeping their distance form one and the other, our cats, Baby and Ninja finally were caught in a 'compromising' position.

It's great to see them finally getting close. Mind you, this picture didn't last too long. But it shows real progress!

Baby, our older cat, is sitting with Ninja, the younger one, lying in front of her.

Monday, November 3, 2003 4:00:18 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, October 31, 2003

I posted this link before I changed to dasBlog and wanted to repost because it is so cool.

I believe it was my sophmore year of high school that I took a typing class. I was pretty good at it and so was my friend Doug. Since we were always done early, the instructor would give us little picture drawing/typing projects (type 3 x 'i', then 5 x '-', etc.).

Well, that idea is back in a big way: Ascii Movies  

Friday, October 31, 2003 1:51:39 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, October 25, 2003

Thursday was the monthly meeting of the Portland Area .NET User Group (PADNUG). The speaker this month was Andrew Brust (his company site) talking about ADO.NET and XML.

Seeing as this is a subject relevant to my Señor project and I haven't fully explored the possibilities, I came right home and tried out some of the pieces that he demonstrated. Other than a small issue with Norton Internet Security telling me that I was being attacked from IP address, it all went off with out a serious hitch.

I am beginning to realize how much I would like to be using a Tablet PC at events such as this, though. There are only two months until Christmas - I wonder if Santa might win the $190 Million (Powerball) tonight?

Saturday, October 25, 2003 11:21:53 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, October 21, 2003

All of a sudden, the blogsphere is bursting with the study showing how much more productive having multiple monitors is. I started using this over five years ago and can't imagine going back.

I have to agree with ScottH that nVidia's drivers seem to be especially good for this task.

I've had a 1600x1280 and an 1152x864 running for a long time. I just added a new LCD monitor for 1280x1024 and expect to add the smaller 1152 back into the mix after building up a new system.

In my setup, I will have the hi-res right in front of me, the LCD to the left and the lo-res above, center for 'monitoring' apps - IM, ActiveSync, Process Explorer, etc. Outlook 2003 is in front of me with browsers to the left. While developing, VS goes in front and extras on the left (Snippet Compiler, nUnit, debugging apps, etc.)

With the price of video cards as low as they are and monitors getting cheaper all the time (even the LCDs), it's time for you to give it a try.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003 2:16:42 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Sunday, October 19, 2003

I attended a wedding reception last evening. A young lady that my wife and I have known for probably six or seven years was marrying her beau of several years. It was wonderful to see them take the step.

As I was moving around the crowd of mostly strangers, I suddenly noticed a face that I knew. Charlynn, whom I had worked with for some time at InFocus, and her fella were there. In all the time that we had worked together, we had never realized that we had mutual friends. This just struck me with such fascination. I couldn’t believe that I actually knew someone so well at this event.

I suppose that it also reminds me of what a small world it is. It was great seeing Charlynn.

Sunday, October 19, 2003 9:08:12 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, October 11, 2003

I'm about two-thirds through one of my favorite activities - rearranging my office. Ok, that was sarcastic, but the benefits to my personal productivity should be substantial, so I had to go through with it.

My home office space has been laid out pretty much the same for about three years - the time that I have been attending school again. I finally have reached a point of frustration over many of the inconveniences and had to rearrange. I’ve got my cable modem, router, and WAP hooked up so that I can get online with my laptop, but it’s going to be a little while before I have the big PCs connected.

As a bonus with this move, I have all of the makings of a new PC. Of course, until I’m done, I won’t have room to assemble it. But then, I will get to build up the new one, repave my previous to be a Win2003 server, and build up a new Linux only box. My former server will probably end up in a closet or donation pile. The old PII 400 just hasn’t got all that much oomph.

I formerly sat next to the window and could easily glance out to enjoy the day. Problem is that I didn’t have a wall next to me to post a whiteboard. As electronic as I like to be, I still enjoy getting down and dirty on the old whiteboard. This was the biggest driving force for the change.

Well, hopefully, by later today I will be wired back up. Then I can place the rest of the room’s furniture and start bringing all of the books back into the room. My wife will be glad to get them off the upstairs landing J!

Saturday, October 11, 2003 10:41:02 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]