# 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]
# Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Okay, I enjoy the Creating Passionate Users blog. I know I've mentioned it several times lately. But, just this evening I noticed that the CPU leader, Kathy Sierra, had one the prestigious Smartest Blogging Babe award from Michael Pollock's Small Business Branding site.

And no folks, it's not as naughty as it sounds ;-).

I'm thrilled to see how much their blog has caught on. My buddy, Jeff Sherwin, is making the Head First Design Pattern book his core reference in the Architecture class he's teaching at OIT and has truly gotten in to the blogging idea because of their work.

All of the contributors on CPU deserve kudos: Eric Freeman, Elisabeth Freeman, Bert Bates, and Kathy Sierra. They are doing a fabulous job!

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 11:38:29 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]
# Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Hello Everyone! Welcome to 2005!

It's time to let everyone know what we have planned for the January PADNUG (http://www.padnug.org) meeting. As has been the case for the last couple of months, meetings have moved to the **NEW LOCATION**. Please make a note of it!

WHAT: January PADNUG meeting.
WHEN: Wednesday 01/26/2005
6:00 p.m. Pizza, Sponsored by 3Leaf (http://www.3leaf.com)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
**WHERE: PCC Auditorium at Capital Center
( http://www.capital.ous.edu/directions.html)
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.

Scott Swigart

Scott spends his time consulting, authoring, and speaking about the convergence of current and emerging technologies. He believes this is partially a result of having worked with a very wide range of technologies over his career. Beginning with Commodore 64 programming at the age of 12, then writing hardware diagnostics for UNIX systems in C++, moving into windows desktop, Web, and component development, and finally through XML, .NET, Web service, development, he has seen how technology evolves over time. Today, he focuses on helping organizations get the most out of today's technology, and prepare to leverage emerging technology as a way to be more competitive.

TOPIC: What's So Smart About Smart Client?

In this presentation, Scott will examine design criteria that factor in to choosing a Web or Smart Client implementation. You will then see how technologies like the Smart Client Offline Application Block, and the Application Updater Block combine to provide Smart Client functionality today. The presentation will finish with a look into the future at the compelling Smart Client functionality that Visual Studio 2005 will provide.

Plan to be there and enjoy the presentation. We'll be looking for you!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005 12:25:10 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]
# Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Some time ago, I saw mention of a new book series from O'Reilly called Head First. They published a chapter of the Head First Design Patterns book on the O'Reilly network and I found it particularly intriguing.

Since then, I've had a chance to start reading the weblog that is tied in with the book series, Creating Passionate Users. I'm loving it. Titles such as "You 2.0" are inspiring and a great reminder that it's never too late. And the general theories on how people learn are well worth consideration.

I finally got around to ordering the Design Patterns book, too. I'm just looking forward to O'Reilly doing the .NET technologies in the Head First series.

Update: I was reminded (in a rather long, twisted way (way to go, Michael ;-))) of another similar blog: Church of the Customer. Some really good bits on successful business practices and word-of-mouth marketing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005 11:16:23 PM (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]