Blogus Maximus

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November 2008 Entries

Today marks the first real snow of the season, here in Minneapolis. We've had a few days of flurries here and there, but nothing that would stick. It's already stopped falling as I write this, but its definitely about a half inch or so on the ground.

edit: an amendment to this review is posted here. Before launching into this review, there are maybe a few minor points I should address. 1. I REALLY liked GNR a lot, from the time I was 17 until around 25. 2. That was 13 years ago. My musical tastes have changed a bit since then. 3. This is Guns N Roses back in the day: 4. This is Guns N Roses today: Ok, I think we're ready to begin the review. I'll start with the short version: Save your money. Even at $9.99 you're going to feel a little ripped ......

While at PDC08, I had a chance to have a brief chat with NINE Questions alum Beth Massi between the sessions. Beth gave me her thoughts on what she's excited to hear about at PDC08. Fortunately, I also had my trusty videocam with me. Enjoy ......

I got hit with an interesting and troubling problem at work today. I won't go into specifics, other than to say it was an ASP.NET problem I hadn't encountered before and I was stuck. So I thought about it and pinged one of my twitter friends who happened to be an ASP.NET guru (and insider) and she thought about it for all of about 4 seconds and said, oh yeah... I hate that, here's a link. And wouldn't you know it, the link was to a blog right here on GeeksWithBlogs.NET. The blog entry totally solved ......

In addition to learning WWF (that's Windows Workflow Foundation, Paul) I'm also reading a book given to me at the client, titled: eXtreme Project Management. I haven't read any PM books before, and I've only just started this one. The intent is for me to read, discuss and learn, so I figure why not open it up to a broader audience and see what you think too... 1) Have any of you read this book? It's by Doug DeCarlo, published in 2004. 2) If you have, what did you think? 3) Whether you have or not, ......

If you're in the Kansas City area and you haven't heard about Kansas City Day of .NET (or KCDODN) then you're missing out. KCDODN is Saturday, December 6th at the Centriq Training center. (Go here to register...) Looks like 4 tracks of .NET Developer goodness, including a session by yours truly. GWB'ers Jeff and John will be there as well... so come say hi if you're there. Kansas City Day of Dot Net Development Architecture SharePoint Special Interest 8:00am - 9:00am Registration & Breakfast ......

I've been pretty quiet the last week and a half (at least in my blog... I'm still twittering plenty.) The reason for this is that I've started a new gig with Magenic and I've been really, really busy. This new gig has me traveling from Minneapolis to a smallish town named Mitchell, SD and back each week. Between work and travel (and spending most of my nights getting up to speed on new stuff and new concepts) I haven't had much time to blog regularly. So, I'm going to try to make a conscious effort ......

I just got the INETA November newsletter and as I'm skimming carefully reading every word of it, I see my name on the awardees list for Community Champion. Not knowing if it was me or another Chris Williams, I dropped a quick email to INETA and sure enough, it was me. Very cool. Once a quarter, INETA will recognize leading contributors as Community Champions. In addition to claiming this prestigious title for twelve months, awardees also receive a letter of commendation, a certificate of achievement, ......

I'm out in Mitchell, SD for a little while and it turns out they have a .NET User Group that's been around for 2-3 years. Unfortunately I missed the meeting last night, since I just found out about them today, but I hope to catch the next one for sure. If you're in the Mitchell, SD area and you don't know about this group, stop by the CodePrairie.net forums and introduce yourself. http://www.codeprairie.net/... ......

While at PDC08, I managed to corner Richard Campbell in the food court and asked him these NINE Questions on video. Enjoy ......

The Chippewa Valley .NET Users Group is holding their first Code Camp on Nov. 8th, 2008 in Eau Claire, WI. I’m one of the presenters, and I'll be talking about XNA. I think it's pretty neat how Doug Rhoten and Dan Krueger (the CVCC planning committee) are providing a Microsoft Technologies track and an Agnostic/Cross-over track. With that, there will be sessions covering topics such as Cloud Computing, Rails, XNA, AJAX-enabled Websites with Java and NetBeans, C++, Real World practices with WPF & ......

I should preface this by saying I spent a fair amount of time working in the TorqueX Platformer Starter Kit (PSK) when it first came out (back in the XNA 2.0 days.) I think it's great that Microsoft included this in the XNA 3.0 release (especially for the bargain price of FREE) and I certainly want to encourage them to continue doing this sort of thing, but I have to be honest and say that I'm not quite as impressed with this as I am/was with the TorqueX PSK. Of course Garage Games support of TorqueX ......

I met Doc at PDC08, while he was facilitating the Open Spaces with Jason Olson and Alan Stevens. We managed to find a little time to hang out, chat and do these NINE Questions on video. For some reason, Soapbox took a day and a half to process it, but it's finally done ......

Looks like we have ourselves a new president. I've always considered myself apolitical, never really caring who was in the white house, mostly because I don't believe it made a difference. The disaster we casually refer to as "the last 8 years" cured me of that philosophy. Turns out, the incompetence of one man, can actually make a difference... So, it was with gradually increasing interest that I began following the 2008 electoral race. This is a landmark year, in that no matter who won, things ......

I spent some time chatting with Kevin Hazzard at PDC08 and managed to catch it on video. Enjoy ......

While hanging out between keynotes at PDC08, I managed to get Ted Neward to sit down and answer NINE Questions. Enjoy ......

Theo and I have been good friends for years, and he's one of the more interesting (techie or otherwise) people I know, so it was a no-brainer to ask him to do this interview. He responded quickly and of course, I tucked it away and promptly forgot all about it... until now. So without any further delay, I give you this NINE Questions (the lost episodes) interview with Theo Moore: 1. Where are you from? Boy, that's a hard one to answer. I was raised in Florida, but I suppose the closest I've had to ......

This is another in a series of interviews conducted at PDC08. This time we're talking to Jeff McWherter ......

While at PDC08 I managed to score a couple books which I'm looking forward to reading. Amanda Laucher was nice enough to give (lend?) me her copy of: Foundations of F# For wearing an Orange bracelet, The Code Project handed me: C# 3.0 Unleashed While I was gone, I received a package from O'Reilly containing: Facebook Cookbook and another package, also from O'Reilly, which contained: Programming ASP.NET 3.5 Of those, I'm definitely interested in the F# and Facebook titles up front, and then I'll see ......

While at PDC08 I managed to capture a fair amount of video footage. I spent a good part of today trying to convert it to a usable format. I wasted a ridiculous amount of time and effort trying to get Windows Movie Maker to work. This is an incredibly frustrating piece of crapware, not only does it not work well (for me at least) since it kept throwing exceptions and crashing... but it also can't be downloaded except via Windows Update and can't be uninstalled via any normal method (Add/Remove Programs) ......