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Chris Breisch   .NET Data Practices
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September 2005 Entries
My 31st Blog Entry This month.
What’s significant about that? Well, it marks the first month ever that I’ve had more posts than days in the month. This helps in getting to my 1000 post goal, however, I’m going to have to do quite a bit better yet. In the 17 months I’ve had this blog, I’ve made 143 posts. At that rate, I’ll reach 1000 in another 102 months, or almost 9 more years. That’s obviously not going to cut it. I’m doing better in the last 6 months, though. 121 posts. At that ......

Posted On Friday, September 30, 2005 8:55 PM

Are you a Qumana blogger?
Hmmm...Tris, or Arieanna...or someone smarter than me over at Qumana wants to know who the Qumana bloggers are out there. Surprisingly enough, I am not. Why? This is a .Text blog and it doesn’t work well with .Text. It can’t retrieve the Categories. I suspect this is more a shortcoming of .Text than it is with Qumana, but for now I use BlogJet. I’m planning on moving to a new bloghost in the near future (I’ve already registered at 3 or 4 of them, as a matter of fact), as no ......

Posted On Friday, September 30, 2005 8:33 PM

Flightplan has Flight Crews Furious
Jodi Foster’s new movie, Flightplan has flight attendants rather upset. I thought the movie looked pretty good before (I’m a huge Jodie Foster fan), but now I’m certain I want to see it. Anytime a group gets upset enough about a movie to start complaining publicly, then I want to see it. I’m a computer geek, and I chuckle and laugh at the use of computers in film all the time. Sometimes I even get annoyed. But I’ve never been annoyed enough to vent publicly and make ......

Posted On Friday, September 30, 2005 6:46 PM

Questions About the FairTax?
I’ve written about the FairTax previously here. If you’re in the Indianapolis area, it may interest you to know that one of the authors, Neal Boortz, will be at the Border’s in Castleton on October 11. I know it’s in the evening. I think it’s 7 pm, but I’ll work on confirming that. He’s going to be there to do a book signing. However, I’m sure that if you come there with questions about the FairTax, he’ll be glad to educate you. As an aside, this ......

Posted On Thursday, September 29, 2005 3:38 PM

Microsoft Expression
I haven’t said much about this because I’m not the intended audience. I’ve stated that they look great to me, but I think that Microsoft will have an uphill climb getting people already entrenched in their Adobe products (speaking of which, I’ve had the misfortune to be using Acrobat the last week or so….please, no one ever send me complaints about Visual Studio again), or whatever it is they’re already using. However, if you are in the intended audience and you’re ......

Posted On Thursday, September 29, 2005 1:07 PM

.NET 2.0 Generic Collections vs. .NET 1.x Non-Generic Collections
Krzysztof Cwalina (one of the people who knows this subject best) has a good article comparing/contrasting the two.  I suggest you read it.

Posted On Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:48 AM

Toolbar editor for Visual Studio
This is nice, and everything he says about the toolbar editor in Visual Studio is true.  Unfortunately.

Posted On Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:33 AM

When is a test a unit test?
Michael Feathers has this to say on the subject. A test is not a unit test if: It talks to the database It communicates across the network It touches the file system It can't run at the same time as any of your other unit tests You have to do special things to your environment (such as editing config files) to run it. I’ll give you that you want to avoid these things if at all possible, but I only absolutely agree with the final 2. A unit test that exercises a class that talks to the database, ......

Posted On Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:23 AM

SQL Tips & Tricks
Once again, David Hayden writes an outstanding article on SQL Server Query Tips and Tricks.

Posted On Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:15 AM

Everything you ever wanted to know about LINQ...
…but were afraid to ask. The “official” article on MSDN. What Eric Gunnerson has to say about it. David Hayden has this AND this to say about it. Cyrus has this AND this to say about it. eWeek’s opinion. A very good article on CodeProject. I don’t ever remember seeing so many articles about a development feature that won’t be available for years. My own opinion? Good start, and I’m glad that Microsoft is FINALLY doing something with O/R mapping. But, it ......

Posted On Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:13 AM

What's a Test Worth
Charlie Poole is the man behind NUnit (together with James NewKirk, whom I’ve mentioned in the past.  He has a blog now and this is a good post on (of course) Unit Testing.

Posted On Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:03 AM

RSS Aggregators/Readers
Tris Hussey (I checked this time, and it IS Tris) has some thoughts about RSS Readers. I agree with her that we need a new metaphor, and that none of the current approaches is really the “best”. However, for me, at the moment, it’s NewsGator, as I’ve mentioned before. If I can’t read your blog in Outlook, I’m not going to read it. There are other options than NewsGator for this now, although I don’t remember specifics. Outlook for Office 12 will have this ......

Posted On Monday, September 26, 2005 1:39 PM

PDC05 - Lanyards
This is a totally useless blog entry, I admit. But, I finally figured out what all the different lanyard colors mean here at the PDC. Black – PDC CrewBlue – Microsoft (Staff)Green – AttendeeOrange – SponsorPurple – ExhibitorRed – MediaYellow – Speaker Did I miss any colors? I don’t think so. Although in certain lighting it’s hard to tell the yellow and the orange lanyards apart. ......

Posted On Thursday, September 15, 2005 2:54 PM

PDC05 - Hotmail

On Day One, Jim Allchin mentioned something rather significant that I haven’t seen anyone else comment on.  He mentioned that Hotmail will be getting yet another facelift, and that it will look much more like Outlook Web Access.  If you’ve used the latest version of OWA and used Hotmail, you know that this is a very good thing.  This can’t come too soon.  Hotmail users that have never seen OWA, prepare to be wowed.



Posted On Thursday, September 15, 2005 1:24 PM

PDC05 - Dell Laptops
If a virus were launched today that only affected Dell laptops, the entire PDC would shut down.  I can’t believe how many I’ve seen here this week.  Most of the laptops that aren’t Dell’s aren’t really laptops, they’re tablets.  Dell should take a hint from this, but otherwise, it’s obvious that this manufacturer dominates the laptop community, or at least the development laptop community.

Posted On Thursday, September 15, 2005 1:11 PM

PDC05 - Formalistic Approaches
I’ve been reading Object Thinking this week as I mentioned earlier (I have a few blog entries planned for this. I’m thinking of doing one on each chapter). It’s definitely affected my thinking as I’ve been going to the sessions here. Almost every speaker presents his/her subject using a very formalistic approach, the exact opposite of what’s recommended by David West. Of course, this is to be expected, as that is definitely the prevalent mindset in the software development ......

Posted On Thursday, September 15, 2005 12:26 PM

PDC05 - IIS7
Just left the Keynote for today. And I’ve finally found something at this PDC that I’m really excited about. Yes, Monad is a great shell. Expression looks fantastic, and I hope that the designer types will love it. Office 12 is the office system we’ve been waiting for since 2000. Windows Vista is very flashy, but while flash is pretty it doesn’t help me do my job (I know there’s a lot in Vista other than just flash). And, of course, I want Visual Studio 2005. But I’ve ......

Posted On Thursday, September 15, 2005 12:02 PM

The 1000 Post Goal
Tris Hussey at Qumana wants to know if you’ve hit 1000 posts on your blog. I’m only about 874 short, counting this one. At this rate, I’ll be there in about 7 more years. How many posts have you made? There’s a list here of people who have passed 1000. UPDATE: Shai Coggins, who is sponsoring this list, also has a list of bloggers who have set a goal to get to 1000 posts. UPDATE: Tris points out that Arieanna Foley wrote the post. Thanks, Tris, and apologies to Arieanna. UPDATE: ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 14, 2005 2:54 PM

PDC06 - Geeks
Just a general thought as I was sitting outside watching the people go by. I’m a people watcher, in case I’ve never mentioned it. We really are geeks (I include myself in this statement). The other kids were right to make fun of us in high school. It’s totally strange seeing what passes for cool among us. The cool guy can have no real social skills, wear ratty t-shirts and jeans, and might even pick out shoes from two different pairs to wear. But he knows what he’s talking ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 14, 2005 2:29 PM

PDC05 - Expression
Well, this is certainly the Office 12 and Vista PDC. Enough has been said about Vista everywhere else, but the Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly Avalon) is interesting. It’s going to change the way we build UI’s for desktop apps for years to come. And those pesky designers are going to have quite a bit more to do with it. Fortunately, they’ve got some cool tools to help them out and to help Designers and Developers work together ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 14, 2005 1:33 PM

PDC05 - PDC Underground
PDC Underground was cool. People who know and have the credentials to prove it speaking very briefly on one thing that they’re excited about. I admit that I haven’t done much with code snippets, for example, but now I’m excited about them. We also heard quite a bit more about the “InfoCard” technology. This seems like a replacement for Passport, and seems to be much better and much more useful. I must’ve been half asleep. I remember liking Ron Howard’s presentation ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 14, 2005 1:32 PM

PDC05 - Monad

I attended a session on (and downloaded) Monad yesterday.  Very cool.  It takes the command-line shell to a whole new level.  Scripters and System admins will love it.

But are they really planning on calling it that? I can already see the things that MS bashers will say about the name…



Posted On Wednesday, September 14, 2005 1:32 PM

PDC05 - PDAs
Enough’s been said about this fiasco on other blogs. I don’t feel the need to go into it in more detail. Congratulations to those of you that left the Keynote to go get one. MS keeps announcing that they “sold out in less than 2 hours!” as something to be excited about. I wouldn’t be proud of that if I were MS, as the two hour timeframe was during the keynote. After the Keynote was over, you couldn’t get one. I had hoped and expected for MS to say something about ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 14, 2005 1:31 PM

PDC05 - Office 12
The new UI for Office 12 is very cool. I have maintained for years that most people haven’t needed any of the new features of Office since Office 97. The one exception to that has been Outlook, however quite a few people don’t even use that as they use something integrated with their browser or some type of webmail (Hotmail, Yahoo, GMail, etc.). Finally, Microsoft has given us a reason to upgrade. Office 12 looks like a suite that people can actually be more productive with at doing the ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 14, 2005 1:27 PM

PDC05 - First thoughts
Sorry no blogging from the first day here. I was too busy most of the day and too tired when I got back to my room. However, I do have some thoughts. First thought, LINQ. Language Integrated Natural Query (I think that’s what it stands for) is cool. You’ll be able to integrate your queries directly into your code. Hmmm…but will our SP guys like that? Perhaps you’ll be able to use the queries on resultsets from SP’s? I’ll have to find out ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 14, 2005 1:26 PM

A Long Blog Entry for a Long Book
Pardon me for waxing nostalgic for a bit before I get to the meat of this entry. In early 1986, I bought my first self-improvement programming book, The C Programming Language, by Kernighan and Ritchie. At the time, all true C programmers had a copy of this book, and it was never referred to by title, but simply called “K&R” or even “The Bible”. I had a few other computer books, but they were all required reading for whatever class I was taking. Purdue didn’t teach ......

Posted On Friday, September 9, 2005 9:25 AM

Microsoft gets out the Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
This is very good news. I’ve been using the Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro for ages now. When they stopped making them, I bought about 5 of them. I’ve worn out two completely, and two more are getting close to it. But it’s the only ergonomic keyboard available that has the arrow keys and the PgUp/PgDn keys in the right place. Every time MS comes out with a new keyboard, I go and look, and sigh sadly because I can’t use it. Finally, however, engadget is reporting that I’ll ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 6, 2005 10:43 AM

I Hope the Blogreaders Are Better Than This
I’m looking at the truth laid bear, and the bloggers have only raised $363,150 in Katrina relief so far. I hope the number is much higher than that and people just forgot to log their contributions. If you haven’t donated yet, and you can afford anything, even a dollar, do so. Next time you may be the one living in a sports arena. If you have donated, and not logged your contribution, please do that also. I’m not saying this so that I’ll move up the leader board. I don’t ......

Posted On Friday, September 2, 2005 12:50 PM

More thoughts on Katrina
Today is a day to vent. Let it not be said that I am not sympathetic and charitable to those suffering through this devastating storm and its aftermath. The evidence is here. However, a few things are worth noting: Most (no, not all) people trapped and suffering in New Orleans can point the finger only at themselves for the position they are in. Weren’t they told to “GET OUT!”? If people don’t leave when warned by their government to do so, they should be aware that there ......

Posted On Friday, September 2, 2005 12:42 PM

pattern & practices Security Guidance for .NET Framework 2.0
While I’ve been somewhat critical of some of the things coming out of p&p lately, this is back to what I’ve come to expect from this group. Now playing: Styx - Half-Penny, Two-Penny ......

Posted On Friday, September 2, 2005 8:15 AM

Blog Aid For Katrina
Today is the so-called Blog Aid/Blog For Relief/Insert name here Hurricane Katrina relief day across the blogosphere. Basically, bloggers are asking their readers to contribute to various charities. Today, I encourage you to contribute to Catholic Charities USA. We hear all about New Orleans and Mississippi, but Katrina’s wrath was not limited to those places. Catholic Charities is also helping people in Baton Rouge and Florida, actually everywhere in the Gulf Coast. If you have made a contribution, ......

Posted On Thursday, September 1, 2005 7:23 AM

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