# 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]
# Thursday, April 28, 2005

Last evening we had our monthly installment of the Portland Area .NET User Group. We had Scott Hanselman and Patrick Cauldwell speak on creating an environment of continuous integration. To borrow from the description:

Continuous Integration is more than just a fad; it's darn near required to survive anymore.

Join Patrick Cauldwell and Scott Hanselman as they talk about one of Corillian's product's build processes. They will explore NUnit, NAnt, custom NAnt Tasks, automatic reporting of errors, and unit test failures as well as Cruise Control.NET which can enable you to create an Enterprise Wide Build Dashboard for all the pointy-haired bosses to oogle at. It'll be fun, informative, and fast pace.

Specifically, they discussed several tools that they use at Corillian to build their products. The major tools were:

  • Ambient Orb - The Ambient Orb slowly transitions between thousands of colors to show changes in the weather, the health of your stock portfolio, or if your boss or kid is on instant messenger.
  • Cassini - The ASP.NET Cassini Web Server Sample is a sample web server written using the Microsoft® .NET® Framework, and demonstrates hosting ASP.NET using the ASP.NET hosting APIs (System.Web.Hosting).
  • CodeSmith - CodeSmith is a FREEWARE template-based code generator that can generate code for any ASCII-based language. CodeSmith templates use a syntax nearly identical to ASP.NET syntax so that creating templates should feel immediately familiar to ASP.NET developers.
  • CruiseControl.NET - CruiseControl.NET is an Automated Continuous Integration server, implemented using the Microsoft .NET Framework.
  • MbUnit - MbUnit is an evolutive Unit Test Framework for .Net. It provides new fixtures as well as the framework to create new ones. MbUnit is based QuickGraph, a directed graph library for C#.
  • NAnt - NAnt is a free .NET build tool. In theory it is kind of like make without make's wrinkles. In practice it's a lot like Ant.
  • NUnit - NUnit is a unit-testing framework for all .Net languages. Initially ported from JUnit, the current release, version 2.2, is the fourth major release of this xUnit based unit testing tool for Microsoft .NET. It is written entirely in C# and has been completely redesigned to take advantage of many .NET language features, for example custom attributes and other reflection related capabilities. NUnit brings xUnit to all .NET languages.
  • TestDriven.NET - TestDriven.NET makes it easy to run unit tests with a single click, anywhere in your Visual Studio solutions. It supports all versions of Microsoft Visual Studio .NET meaning you don't have to worry about compatibility issues and fully integrates with all major unit testing frameworks including NUnit, MbUnit, & MS Team System.
  • Tree Surgeon - Tree Surgeon is a .NET development tree generator. Just give it the name of your project, and it will set up a development tree for you in seconds. More than that, your new tree has years worth of accumulated build engineering experience built right in.
  • Zanebug - Zanebug is an advanced tool for comprehensive unit and integration testing.

If these tools are not enough for you to satisfy your cravings, visit Scott's Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for more.

Thursday, April 28, 2005 9:54:43 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]
# Wednesday, April 13, 2005

This has been a hilarious set of videos that Scott and Rory have put together. They've finally made it to TechEd and it looks like they will sleep right through the keynote. The expression on Scott's face near the end is well worth the viewing.

I have to agree with others:

  1. This series should continue to be a part of our Dev food indefinately. Make More!
  2. A DVD would be an ideal gift for the nerd one loves
  3. That DVD should include a lengthy section of outtakes

Scott mentions the release of this here and you can view it here. Let's hope they take this beyond just the TechEd video series and make this a more regular feature of our blog experience!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 8:33:57 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, April 11, 2005

Back in November, I got around to using Scott's cool routine for resizing DataGrid columns automatically. Now that I'm using it more often, I decided I wanted to make it a little more generic so that I didn't have to rewrite it for each DataGrid that I used it on.

With a simple change to using the 'sender', I no longer need to do any editing. Drop it in and wire it up! it's ready to go.

/// <summary>

/// Automatically resize the columns of a DataGrid to fit the

/// data within

/// </summary>

/// <param name="sender">The DataGrid that needs resizing</param>

/// <param name="e"></param>

private void DataSourceChanged( object sender, System.EventArgs e )




    Type       t = sender.GetType();

    MethodInfo m = t.GetMethod( "ColAutoResize", BindingFlags.NonPublic

      | BindingFlags.Instance );


    for( int i = ( (DataGrid) sender ).FirstVisibleColumn;

      ( i < ( (DataGrid) sender ).VisibleColumnCount ); i++ )


      m.Invoke( sender, new object[] {i} );



  catch( Exception ex )


    System.Diagnostics.Trace.Write( "Failed Resizing Columns: "

      + ex.ToString() );



Monday, April 11, 2005 2:14:40 PM (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]

Hello Everyone! Spring is in the air!

It's once again, time to let everyone know what we have planned for the PADNUG meeting. I have to say how excited I am for this months presentation. Not only will the subject be interesting, but I've seen a lot of presentations from both of these gentlemen and know they are great to see and hear.

WHAT: April PADNUG meeting.

Wednesday 04/27/2005
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.

Patrick Cauldwell and Scott Hanselman


Continuous Integration is more than just a fad; it's darn near required to survive anymore.
Join Patrick Cauldwell and Scott Hanselman as they talk about one of Corillian's product's build processes. They will explore NUnit, NAnt, custom NAnt Tasks, automatic reporting of errors, and unit test failures as well as Cruise Control.NET which can enable you to create an Enterprise Wide Build Dashboard for all the pointy-haired bosses to oogle at. It'll be fun, informative, and fast pace.

Clear your calendar now! You really want to be here for this one.

Sunday, April 10, 2005 11:22:50 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]