# Saturday, September 23, 2006
White & Nerdy

I don't know why I've resisted the urge to go check the White & Nerdy video out, but I finally got past it and watched. This is our theme song.

I just wonder what they will do when a herd of nerd walks into the local shopping mall for the next Nerd Dinner and they all have their iPods synchronized and blasting this music through iPod Hi-Fis wired into car batteries? Should be fun to watch !

Saturday, September 23, 2006 2:55:43 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# 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, September 08, 2006

Although posted first by Paul Thurrott, I happen to see this wonderful tool on Omar's blog sooner. I've gotten so use to using the <ctrl>-i shortcut for finding items in Visual Studio, I find myself trying to do the same thing in other applications. Now, Internet Explorer provides for me!

Give it a whirl... I don't think you'll be sorry!

Friday, September 08, 2006 6:49:50 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 07, 2006

There's a nip of fall in the air. Even on these warm days, it cools down plenty in the evening. How about spending a nice warm evening with a bunch of warm nerds in a nice warm shopping mall food court?

It's time to get back to the mall and have a Nerd Dinner!

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Food Court (Second Floor; typically, straight out from Picture People)
When: Thursday, September 14, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: To keep the food court at Washington Square afloat!

Be There and Be Square!

Thursday, September 07, 2006 7:44:44 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]
# Thursday, August 24, 2006

This is just one of those little reminders to self. Self, you never seem to remember how to assign the return value from a stored procedure to a variable in SQL. I try various forms and always seem to miss the right one. So, in an effort to mark it for my future use, I place it here in the blog.

One does NOT accomplish it through any of these methods:

DECLARE @ReturnedValue INT

    SET @ReturnedValue = StoredProcedure @Param1, @Param2

IF( @ReturnedValue = @Something )

BEGIN

    --Do This Stuff

END

 

DECLARE @ReturnedValue INT

    SET @ReturnedValue = StoredProcedure ( @Param1, @Param2 )

IF( @ReturnedValue = @Something )

BEGIN

    --Do This Stuff

END

 

DECLARE @ReturnedValue INT

    SET @ReturnedValue = EXEC StoredProcedure @Param1, @Param2

IF( @ReturnedValue = @Something )

BEGIN

    --Do This Stuff

END

 

DECLARE @ReturnedValue INT

    SET @ReturnedValue = EXEC StoredProcedure ( @Param1, @Param2 )

IF( @ReturnedValue = @Something )

BEGIN

    --Do This Stuff

END

One does by this method:

DECLARE @ReturnedValue INT

EXEC    @ReturnedValue = StoredProcedure @Param1, @Param2

IF( @ReturnedValue = @Something )

BEGIN

    --Do This Stuff

END

I just have to remember the order. I suppose it makes sense when I see it, but I forget when it's time to type it. It's just too easy to get mixed up with Function format.

Thursday, August 24, 2006 5:50:34 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
WHEN:

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.
WHO:

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.

TOPIC:

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 02, 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 02, 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
WHEN:

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.
WHO:

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

TOPIC:

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]
# Tuesday, July 18, 2006

No surprise... I was using some of the Russinovich, et al, tools today to check things on my computer. Heck, on the home machine, I have Process Explorer set up in place of Task Manager.

That Microsoft has acquired the company is exciting news. As Scott mentions in his Ultimate List, "...anything these guys do is pure gold." From the tools to the Big Sony Flap, Mark and his cohorts have given a lot to the computing world.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 7:02:29 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, July 05, 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 05, 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]

Come out to our June meeting to learn source control best practices.

WHAT: June PADNUG Meeting
WHEN:

Wednesday 06/28/2006
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by InfoGroup NorthWest)
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.
WHO:

Patrick Cauldwell
After completing a Bachelor's degree in the unlikely field of East Asian Studies, Patrick Cauldwell fell into the software industry. Since then he has written tools that helped Intel localize software into 17 languages; architected large E-Commerce web sites like 800.com and gear.com while at STEP Technology, and spoken nationwide about how to build large scalable applications. Patrick is currently an architect/developer at Corillian Corporation, where he designs and develops software for online banking.

TOPIC:

Making Good Use of Source Control
We’ll discuss source control best practices, and how those practices apply to some common SCC packages. The emphasis will be on practices and procedures, not the mechanics of a particular SCC solution. Specific attention will go to how source control fits into an agile development process and continuous integration.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Friday, June 23, 2006 12:06:35 AM (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 02, 2006

Via Travis at Parasthesia:

Your results:
You are Will Riker

Will Riker
65%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
60%
Worf
60%
Geordi LaForge
55%
Chekov
50%
Jean-Luc Picard
50%
Spock
47%
Mr. Scott
45%
Uhura
40%
Data
40%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
35%
Deanna Troi
35%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
35%
Beverly Crusher
30%
Mr. Sulu
15%
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 02, 2006 10:07:26 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, May 27, 2006

Come out to this month's meeting to learn tricks to building a reusable ASP.NET toolbox. Mark your calendar and come join the fun.

WHAT: May PADNUG Meeting
WHEN:

Wednesday 05/31/2006
6:00 p.m. Pizza
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.
WHO:

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.

TOPIC:

Building a reusable ASP.NET Toolbox
This session demonstrates some re-usable tools, classes and components that every Web Application should integrate. Every application needs a core set of features, like managing configuration settings, handling and reporting errors consistently, logging requests, providing application status information, displaying consistent error and information message pages, managing application cookies consistently and more. In this session I'll demonstrate a handful of useful utility classes and processes that accomplish these tasks in a reusable fashion and show how they work under the covers.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Saturday, May 27, 2006 2:22:13 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]