# 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]
# Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Come out to this months meeting to learn some more about how you may be using LINQ to improve productivity in your projects.

"The LINQ Project is a codename for a set of extensions to the .NET Framework that encompass language-integrated query, set, and transform operations. It extends C# and Visual Basic with native language syntax for queries and provides class libraries to take advantage of these capabilities."

Personally, I find this technology very compelling.

WHAT: February PADNUG meeting.

Wednesday 02/22/2006
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.

Nick Muhonen
Nick is a Portland area consultant with over 5 years experience in the .Net Framework. He is currently certified as both an MCT and an MCSD.


How LINQ Will Improve Your Everyday Life
A Presentation on the LINQ tool-set and the upcoming .Net C# 3.0 language extensions. The topic will compare current methods of Data retrieval in ADO.Net 2.0 with the new LINQ Tools. And of course- DEMOS for the faithful!

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 8:00:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# 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]
# Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Guess what Friday brings? It's Rich and Jesann's tenth anniversary!

To celebrate, Jesann turned the little electric Christmas tree in to our Anniverary Tree. The picture here does not do it justice - it's beautiful.

I'll tell you... I can't imagine not having Jesann in my life and I sure as heck wouldn't want to. She has made me a better person and (mostly) kept me out of trouble.

Thanks for marrying me, Jesann. I'm looking forward to the next ten years! They are going to be great!






Wednesday, January 25, 2006 8:17:56 AM (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]