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.
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 th
oing 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 th oing 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 th
oing, "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 ]
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.
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.
A fellow that I'm working with asked how to insert a row or column into excel from the keyboard. I hate having to reach for my mouse unnecessarily while working in a keyboard intensive application and was sure there was a way. It's sort of a two parter:
One of the keyboard shortcuts I've seen previously in Excel but never committed to memory is the ability to select a row or column: <ctrl><space> for columns and <shift><space> for rows. You may use <shift><arrow key> to select, for example, cells from several rows and then hit <shift><space> to select those entire rows.
Now, choose <ctrl>+ to insert or <ctrl>- to delete. Viola! This also works with cut and paste operations: select a row or column, <ctrl>x to cut; move and select another row or column and hit <ctrl>+ to insert the cut data.
Good number crunching to you!
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
||January PADNUG meeting.|
6:00 p.m. Pizza, Sponsored by 3Leaf (http://www.3leaf.com)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
||PCC Auditorium at Capital Center|
18640 NW Walker Road
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 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.
||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!
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.
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!
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
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. :(
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]
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.
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