Geeks With Blogs
Caffeinated Coder A Grande, Triple Shot, Non-Fat Core Dump by Russell Ball November 2007 Entries
On Exotic Technorati Love and Klingon Conspiracies
I did a Technorati Vanity Check yesterday and noticed the following link: ผู้เชี่ยวชาญเกิดจากอะไร Staying true to my culturally oblivious American (technically United Statesian) roots, I took some wild guesses and placed the language somewhere in the Middle East. Not surprisingly, I was not even close. It turned out to be a direct translation of one of my recent posts into Thai that was done by chatchai chailuecha, an Engineer from Bangkok. <Shame>I hate to admit it, but I was blissfully unaware ......

Posted On Friday, November 30, 2007 7:12 AM

On Mouth Nets and Premium Infrared Stand-up Comedy
Did you ever wonder what it would be like to watch a stand-up comedy routine filmed in infrared? If you haven't already watched Rory's creepy YouTube Thanksgiving tribute to spiders and pretentious amateur film-makers, then grab yourself a set of ear-phones and get ready for ten minutes of well-edited and quirky hilarity. I particularly liked his spirited impression of spiders and his dire warning against abusing mouth wash towards the end. Warning, if you watch this video, then you'll probably want ......

Posted On Thursday, November 29, 2007 12:00 AM

The Not-So-Great Curly Brace-Dim Divide
I just read the Silent Majority post by Paul Vick, which challenges conventional wisdom by offering some evidence that VB.NET is more popular than C#. The VB.NET vs C# flame war that ensued in the comment section led me to the following thoughts. 1. The difference between these languages truly is trivial. The recruiters I talked to a few months ago when I was switching jobs from a VB.NET to a C# shop looked more than a little skeptical when I told them that I was just as qualified for a C# position ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 28, 2007 1:06 AM

Where Do Experts Come From?
Don't get excited. This is not a geek version of the "Birds and the Bees" talk. I just finished reading another excellent scientific paper called The Expert Mind, which I discovered through one of Jean-Paul Boodhoo's posts. The article examines the question of whether experts are born or made and offers some interesting insights into what it means to be an expert and the best ways to become one. As you probably guessed from my recent "Is that Juice On Your Face?" post, I am fascinated by the question ......

Posted On Sunday, November 25, 2007 11:45 PM

On Sonograms, Shrinking Brains, and Undeserved Bruises
I'd like to introduce you to Sophia, future developer and blogger extraordinaire. She's only 22 weeks old, but as you can clearly tell from this picture she is very precocious. When I mentioned I was downloading Visual Studio 2008 tonight, she was so excited that she kicked and startled her Mommy. I didn't have the heart to tell her that my first attempt at installing it failed. While waiting for Sophia to be born, I've taken it upon myself to learn a few interesting facts about pregnancy. Here's ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 20, 2007 10:52 PM

Is That Juice On Your Face?
A psychology study entitled Unskilled And Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Leads To Inflated Self-Assessments opens with the following amusing anecdote: In 1995, McArthur Wheeler walked into two Pittsburgh banks and robbed them in broad daylight, with no visible attempt at disguise. He was arrested later that night, less than an hour after videotapes of him taken from surveillance cameras were broadcast on the 11 o'clock news. When police later showed him the ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 20, 2007 12:42 AM

A Couple Firefox Add-On Gems
This week I installed a few nifty Firefox Add-Ons, All-In-One-Gestures and IE Tab. I tried All-In-One-Gestures after watching how fast a co-worker was able to navigate on the web by using this Add-On. It allows you to right-click anywhere on a web page and move the mouse left to go backward or right to go for forward. Navigating this way is definitely much faster than using the browser toolbar buttons and helps me stay in a better flow when trying to quickly scan oodles of google results. For some ......

Posted On Saturday, November 17, 2007 12:21 PM

Seven Ways to Transform Yourself from Geek to Marathon Running Geek
Really, it's not that hard! If the idea is remotely appealing to you, then I recommend that you throw caution to the wind and just commit to doing it. There are thousands of people who do it all the time that are fatter, lazier, slower, older, and saner than you'll ever be. You may actually enjoy it and decide to do several. At the very least, you'll probably feel better about yourself when you finally cross the finish line. Ok, enough with the pep talk, here are a few tips to get you started. Get ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 13, 2007 11:28 PM

If Jerry Springer were a Geek...
...he'd definitely want in on some of this action. I clipped some quotes from the comment section of a recent post by a popular blogger. See if you can guess the blogger's identity and topic of the post based on the comments below. Commenter: I think you weren't hugged enough as a child. Blogger: I think you lost your virginity to an uncle. Commenter: codeeliterer.com is still open for you to start your own pseudo-intellectual negativity community. Blogger: Oh aren't you the clever little anonymous ......

Posted On Monday, November 12, 2007 11:40 PM

A Kaleidoscopic Tour of a Slightly Twisted Creation Story
If you're not a regular reader of Rory Blythe's blog, then you may have missed his recent Neopolean Creation Story series of posts. Here are some questions to help you decide if you are ready for the experience: Are you a fan of Monty Python movie, "The Life of Brian"? Have you ever found yourself bemoaning the fact that last three page blog post you read was too short? Have you ever wondered what happens to a blogger when they suddenly find themselves with a lot of free time on their hands? Have ......

Posted On Monday, November 12, 2007 7:46 AM

On Ted, Avant-Guarde Presentation Styles, and My Emerging RWness
Dru first introduced me to ted.com the notion of the "Big Think", but I had forgotten about the site until I saw a link to one of the site's presentations referenced in one of Ayende's recent posts. Despite being on a seemingly dull topic (copyright law), this 20 minute presentation by Larry Lessig is riveting due to the presenter's unique content and effective communication style. After watching the presentation I was left with the following thoughts: I need to start making my way through the other ......

Posted On Saturday, November 10, 2007 2:15 PM

Trouble in Paradise?
I just read Mary Jo Foley's article talking about the all the negative publicity that Leopard, Apple's newest operating system, is receiving due to bugs, reduced functionality, and user interface issues. I started out on a Mac and have recently come to admire the sleek and light-weight design of my wife's new Apple laptop. However, I also can't help but associate Apple with some of the more annoyingly vocal zealots of their community, so I found myself smirking when I read the news. I am guessing ......

Posted On Thursday, November 8, 2007 9:51 PM

EditPlus: A Kinder, Gentler Way To Build Nant Scripts
I've been working on Nant scripts this week and the experience has been much more enjoyable since a co-worker showed me how he used EditPlus (thanks Raoul). After a few quick customizations, I was able to not only get syntax highlighting for my build files but also execute Nant from within the tool and see the output from the bottom pane. Anything that decreases context switching when I have a gajillion windows open is pretty nifty in my book. Here's a picture of a build file with my custom button ......

Posted On Thursday, November 8, 2007 8:06 PM

A Poetic Tribute to Visual Source Safe
Recent source control woes have inspired me to write this little poem about my least favorite source control system. VSS, I hate you so And I can not wait to see you go. You have the word safe in your name Yet since you came my IDE has crashed And my files have been trashed. If your integration were not so lame, Then maybe I could do a simple rename; All I wanted was a little bit of history But a few files I did purge and now it's all a mystery. Branching and merging is something we no longer dare ......

Posted On Thursday, November 8, 2007 12:03 AM

Still an Open Source Virgin
I was setting up Cruise Control the other day and trying to figure out why it wasn't working on a certain source control folder. I noticed a strange error in the cruise control log about there being an invalid character in the path, so I decided to take advantage of the fact that it is an open source project and download the source code so I could step through it in the debugger and see what the exact problem was. It wasn't long before I discovered the source of the error, which was a newline character ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 6, 2007 8:10 AM

Store Financial Developers Have Mad Dancing Skillz
It turns out that my co-workers have found a new hobby. They've been secretly practicing this dance routine at lunch time. Thanks to Grif for helping to capture this secret footage. NOTE: If no window displays below, then you will need to install the flash player. If your connection is slow, then the video might also randomly pause. If that is the case, just pause it and give it a chance to completely download before viewing it ......

Posted On Monday, November 5, 2007 3:54 PM

Hello, My Name is Russell Ball and I'm a Goaloholic
I seem to have kicked into a professional goal setting mode lately and fixated on a number of ambitious goals, such as publishing technical articles, speaking at major conferences, and creating my own version 1.0 software. Although I feel invigorated by the challenge posed by these new goals, I also have the nagging feeling that I am making a mistake by going down this road. Don't get me wrong, it is not that I am morally opposed to having goals. On the contrary, my personality thrives on them. I ......

Posted On Monday, November 5, 2007 12:00 AM

All Those Hours of CSI for Naught...
I only got 4 out of 10 on the Programmer vs Serial Killer Quiz. I either need to brush up on my profiling skills or else make it a general policy not to hang out with programmers any more.

Posted On Thursday, November 1, 2007 3:31 AM

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