# Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Happy 2007 Everyone!

It's shaken (not stirred) Martinis all year long folks and even though we can't have one at the mall, let's head out and have a Nerd Dinner! It'll give us a chance to exchange recipes in any event.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Food Court (Second Floor; typically, straight out from Picture People)
When: Thursday, January 11, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: Celebrate another New Year!

Be There and Be Square!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 10:27:59 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, December 4, 2006

INETA has been kind enough to get Bill Vaughn to make the trip down to Portland to present to us this month. This is going to be a fabulous presentation and I expect to gain a lot of knowledge on this one.

Come out to this months meeting to learn about ADO.Net connecting.

WHAT: December PADNUG Meeting

Wednesday 12/06/2006
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by INETA)
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 $3 parking fee. The kiosk for paying for parking is located between entrances B and C.

William (Bill) Vaughn
An industry-recognized author, B will illustrate how to connect to SQL Server and other backend servers. He's been in the industry for over thirty years- working with mainframe,minicomputer and personal computer systems. Bill has written six editions of "Hitchhikers Guide to Visual Basic and SQL Server". Bill is a top-rated speaker and we are honored to have him.


ADO.Net Connecting
Learn how you can use connection options that can help your application connect quickly and stay connected as well as encrypt your connection string. The session includes examples of the new SqlConnectionStringBuilder, the new User instance feature of SQL Express and even funtionality like FullTextSearch and Reporting Services.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Monday, December 4, 2006 11:05:42 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, November 27, 2006

Hey, I like Amazon as much as the next person. I've bought a lot of stuff from them. I've complained about the "Recommendations" feature before, but haven't seen the "Better Together" get so mixed up. I wanted to look at the new Microsoft Mouse today:

Better Together?

How do these relate? Use the mouse as I watch the movie on my computer?

Monday, November 27, 2006 10:45:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, November 26, 2006

TechRepublic has one of my favorite series' of posters plus several other similar ones linked. Fun to check out.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 7:17:04 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 16, 2006

 This is just awesome. They've done Star Wars in ASCII text animation. I can't imagine how long it takes to put this stuff together.

                         /__\                            /__\
                        | <><|         Look sir -       |><> |
                        (__/\)           droids.        (/\__)
                       /      \  /O                    /      \
                      //| __  \\//                     ||/(===o
                     // |/  \| \/                      | /  \ |
                    //__[][][]                         \/][][\/
               ____/|'  |\  /|.                         |\  /|
 ,---,_______ /         |_||_| \                        |_||_|
/|O O|      /           [ ][ ]   \                      [ ][ ]
 |O O|    /             | || |     \                    | || |
~~~~~ "          _______|_||_|_______\                  |_||_|
       " " " " "/       [_][__\        \________________[_][__\____

            |<   <<<   <<   1<   #   >1   >   >>   >>>   >|

Thursday, November 16, 2006 11:48:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Thursday, November 9, 2006

It sounds like Cory Smith has one of those MVP MSDN Subscription cards available and he's giving it away!

The theme is "What would you do to get one?" and it's a great opportunity. Think about it... a subscription just in time for the release of Windows Vista and Office 2007. What more can you ask for?

The idea is to be creative... it doesn't sound like you would actually have to perform your act to win. But don't let me be the final say on that!

Thursday, November 9, 2006 10:38:34 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, November 4, 2006

I noticed this evening that Microsoft's Live Local has increased the availability of "Bird's Eye" views. Even our house is in here. Now, as cool as this is, I guess I need to be even more careful of what I'm doing in the front yard!

untitled picture

Saturday, November 4, 2006 11:09:18 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]

Reading Paul Thurrott's WinInfo newsletter and saw this:

Microsoft Provides New Theme for Windows XP
Since the dawn of the Luna UI style in Windows XP, Microsoft had promised a variety of colorful themes to replace the stock three it shipped in the first version of the OS. It even toyed with graphics-based themes for holidays like Halloween before abandoning the project due to its complexity. Since then, only one new theme--Royale, part of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005--has emerged. But this week, Microsoft shipped what we might assume to be the last official XP theme: Zune. As its name implies, the Zune theme is based around the Zune MP3 player, which is unfortunate. But it's pretty attractive looking, with black window, Start Menu, and taskbar treatments, and an orange Start Menu. And you can replace the lame Zune desktop wallpaper easily enough. You can download the new Zune XP theme from the
Microsoft Web site.

What perfect timing! Just this week I downloaded the new Windows Media Player 11 and found that it just didn't fit my choices for color scheme. I'd been using the 'standard' XP Blue Theme and switched to Silver, but WMP was just a little too "Vista-ish" for XP.

Well, the Zune Theme solves this. Compare:

XP Silver Theme <-- Before                 After-->XP Zune Theme

I'm just so darn happy! Hey, it's the little things that count.

Saturday, November 4, 2006 9:16:52 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 2, 2006

Oops! What happened to October? I think we got a little too busy. Bad Nerd Herder... Bad!

Well, we can make up for this faux pas next week. Oh, and you should come out to say "so-long" to Phil as he has become Borg! Another one lost. I just hope there will be some nerds left in the Portland Metro Area in the future.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Lloyd Center Food Court (Third Floor; typically, straight out from Billy Heartbeats - 2039)
When: Tuesday, November 7, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: To give others a chance to teach Rich about Time and Space!

Be There and Be Square!

Thursday, November 2, 2006 8:13:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wow! What a fun night out!

Jesann and I went to a Halloween party last evening and I put on the '70's outfit that Jesann put together for me a couple of years ago and she assembled a great little French Maid outfit (OK, Stuart, Here she is!). She was looking really fine and we had to make a couple of stops post-party, too.

First stop was, of course, Nonna Emilia Ristoranté and we made a great splash. We always have a good time stopping in there.

Next, we stopped by the Tillicum Club and happened in just at the point they were having a costume contest. Jesann and I hopped down to the dance floor and it happens that my costume won second prize for a $75 coupon for the place!! Wow!

Not only are we pleased with the winnings, but I didn't realize that this was  a totally smoke-free restaurant/bar. They will be getting more than $75 worth of business from us now !

What a fabulous night. Now, it's time to sleep.

Sunday, October 29, 2006 1:01:34 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Saturday, October 7, 2006

Three years ago today I posted the first entry on this blog. Although I technically started experimenting about four months previous on Blogger, I tend to think of the beginning as when I started on my own domain.

I've not been as prolific in more recent times, but I sure do appreciate the ability to make notes about life out here.

Saturday, October 7, 2006 11:39:01 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# 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 8, 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 8, 2006 6:49:50 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 7, 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 7, 2006 7:44:44 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]