D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

June 2006 Entries

My first night with the DS

So its been a few hours of non stop bam-out. The new Super Mario Bros is awesome...kind of a kicked up Super Mario Bros. 3 but without the stupid costumes (explain to me again why a squirrel costume would let him fly?). Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is amazing...Seriously, stop bothering with doing 3-D Castlevania games, and just keep focussing on the awesome 2D line...in fact, just keep making games for hte series on platforms like the DS instead of the next gen consoles...its what fans of the series ......

My Voice of Reason Hates Me

Below is a conversation I had internally with my voice of reason this afternoon between 4:30 and 5:30. Wow...I'm finally getting my Nintendo DS system! I hope EB has the system there, otherwise I'll have to get it at Best Buy. I've got Ghost Recon and Madden 2006 to trade in, so hopefully I'll get good trade value.Just remember: We're getting the system and A game...one...uno.Hmm...turns out that they don't have any systems...I get $42 credit though, so I might as well get my games here...hmm...they ......

CFL Week 3 Predictions

I was switching channels tonight when I discovered that there's a game! Those raskily CFL scheduling folks snuck a Thursday night game in on us! So here's the predictions for this week (short week too, only three games) Hamilton Gets a WinHamilton and Calgary should be a great game tonight...two spunky teams going at it. I think this is the week for Hamilton to get a notch in the win column though. BC Three and OC'mon, if the Bombers can shut down Toronto's Offense, what do you think Dave Ritchie's ......

Office 2007 Delayed

According to the CNN article below, Office 2007 is going to be delayed.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/ptech/06/29/microsoft.office.ap/index.html

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Getting Lit(e) Up

So this weekend I think I'm going to do it...I'm going to walk into EB with my stack of games I don't play anymore and say “Take them, take them ALL! Just give me a discount on a brand new DS Lite system!” Tonight might be the night, but more than likely it'll be tomorrow...and depending on how many games I decide to trade in too. I just couldn't get into Ghost Recon, and as much as it kills me to get back only half the price I paid for it, at least its something and it'll go towards ......

Old Nintendo Geek, meet Young Nintendo Geek / SpiderMan 3 Trailer

Spidey 3 TrailerFirst off, head over here to see the brand new teaser trailer for SpiderMan 3 that is being shown with the new Superman movie. I'm very stoked about it...and yet...and I mean, it is just a TEASER trailer...but I have this horrible feeling like Venom is going to end up being the last 15 minutes of the movie or something. They showed Topher briefly as Eddie while he's in the church and Peter is up top by the church bell ridding himself of the costume...but that's it...more scenes of ......

Hurcules! Hurcules!

Run, don't walk, to Google Video! Today only they're offering free viewing of...wait for it...the Mighty Hurcules collection! You remember...that old-school cartoon from when all us late 20's/early-to-mid 30's were young. They have a new opening song though...which sounds really stupid...and some of hte voices seem different...but the animation still screams 1982. http://video.google.com/vid... D ......

Sorry CBit, I guess it was my motherboard after all...

So I decided to get another stick of 512 ram to bring my rig's total rammage to a whopping 1.5 Gig. Oh yeah baby, feel the power as I play WoW! So I go to my local hardware shop and pick up a stick of ram. I come home, and because of a busy project, don't find the time to get it into the rig for a few days. Finally do, and...um...my rig isn't booting. Odd. I swap the stick out with one of my current ones just to make sure that its not a bad stick. Turns out that one was...my rig wouldn't POST with ......

CFL Predictions: 1 outta 4

Y'know, I don't mind being wrong when you have fantastic football games to watch like we did this week...lots of close games, lots of drama, and no blowouts other than the Winnipeg/Toronto game...but we'll get to that in a second. Let's work backwards since the SK/BC game just finished: Sask 32 - BC 24It took a game, but Karey Joseph and the Rough Rider offense finally came together, capping a 104 yard drive with a touch down. The Rider defense, which looked kind of shoddy throughout the game taking ......

I had that dream again...

No no Justice, don't get all excited...not THAT dream...geeze... Every so often I have this same dream...I'm part of a band, a famous one, and I'm the lead singer. When I get up on stage, I can't remember the words to the songs, so I try and wing my way through but its painfully obvious to the crowd that I have no idea. Last night I was heading up Depeche Mode, although it wasn't the “real“ DM. For some reason, Gordon Ramesy (yeah, the f*bomb dropping British chef guy) was backup vocalist/guitar ......

I've seen some pretty disturbing things in my day...

...but nothing as disturbing as some promo artwork that Justice Gray did up for some upcoming Edmonton .NET User Group events. Jean-Luc David is going to be making his final stop on the Western Canada UG Tour in Edmonton on Tuesday. James Kovaks will be speaking soon in Edmonton as well. To commemorate, Justice created this marketing poster: Exactly what sort of market are they looking to attract in Edmonton? So many comments, so much inapropriateness. I do rather like the other option Justice has ......

Are MMORPG's killing the gaming industry?

Interesting article on Grimwell Online (linked from Slashdot...no clue what-the-hell Grimwell is, but interesting article nonetheless) about whether MMORPG's are taking away from the rest of the gaming market, which is considered in a slump here in 2006. They list a few key facts about the currents state of afairs: The video game industry is in a slump this year. People expect the slump to end in 2006, when the rest of the 'next gen' consoles hit the market. PC sales aren't in a slump – they ......

Who let the girls in?!

So Trish Lacey has added her blog to GWB. I'm sure that her blog hits have gone through the roof from people reeling from the shock and awe of a female who not only works for Microsoft but plays WoW as well. I mean, not that I'm bitter or anything. I've only been part of this community since November 2005 with a unisex name, expounding on my geeky life including video games, coding, football, etc., and does Chris Williams ever call ME a 'hottie'?! Hell no! (mind you...I did sit on Brendon's lap in ......

CFL Week 2 Predictions

So I was 3 outta 4 last week, let's see if I can improve my record to 7 - 8. Before we get to the games though, the CFL announced that its going to be offering live webcasts of ALL CFL GAMES! There's a fee of course ($10), and all the games are televised. But when a local blackout is applied, its a great option to be able to still see the game. On to the predictions. The Ricky and Spurgyn ShowYes the Bombers looked vastly improved last week. Yes, they held the Alouettes at bay until they fell apart ......

Ok, things are looking up...kinda...

Thank God for programs like WinUndelete! I'm currently backing up the files in WUI format, which means that I'll probably have to buy the program, but if it can restore my files it'll be well worth it.

Then its off to DVD for these little buggers...can't keep putting them in harm's way like this.

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Some of the best lessons are the hardest learned.

So last night as I'm booting up my laptop, I notice something odd. Apparantly my profile went corrupt. This of course had a ripple effect accross everything: Source Safe decided that it didn't want to play nice with Visual Studio anymore, all my settings were toast...had to re-connect and download all my Outlook stuff over again...etc. But whatever, made the best of it. Windows was using a user directory called TEMP to put all my “new” settings in, so whatever. To be safe though, I copied ......

All The 80's Music Videos You'll Ever Want

Thanks to Donald for telling me about this website!

Back to Tarzan Boy...

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New Massive Online Gaming Magazine in Print

I was at my local Chapters yesterday and found a new magainze out dedicated to MMOG's (not necessarily MMORPG, just MMOG in general...and if you have no idea what MMOG means, Google it). Beckett publishing is putting it out (you can see a press release here). It looks like an interesting magazine. They have some funny, yet serious, articles. Like the one about how to manage a relationship when you both play a MMOG. The first issue has some insight into the new WoW expansion coming out too. Definately ......

Must...Find...New...Control...Suite

I have nothing against Infragistics...well, that's not true. I have a love/hate relationship with them. Their controls are powereful, but the deployment issues with VS.NET 2003 are just annoying.

I'm wondering if anyone has used any of the other control suites out there, and if anyone can recommend one. I'm wanting to start trying out some alternatives to avoid some of the headache we're experincing in the current project happening in the future.

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She Blinded Me With Technology

So I'm at Costco the other day and as I'm in line, this girl comes up to me and asks if I know about the executive club, which is basically a $20 a year fee and you get 2% of your purchases back at your anniversary date. Normally I would have just asked for more info feigning interest or politely said no thanks. But not this time. This wasn't your typical clipboard holding “would you like to sign up” type of thing. No, this conversation started with her using a Symbol PPC and scanning ......

And we're done Hockey for another season

Congrats to the Hurricanes, they were the better team tonight. Edmonton just didn't seem to have the same desire or want...well, until the last 10 minutes of the third period. Bad passes, players just standing still looking around instead of finding the puck and attacking it, bad penalties...these were all things that Carolina didn't do, and as a result, they're the winners. Edmonton did something pretty amazing though. They went from a “no chance in hell” to “well, they squeeked ......

Bloggin in the Second Intermission

Wow...unbelievable! What a crazy hour of TV! I just LOVE Hell's Kitchen!

But about the hockey game...what is it, 2-0 for Carolina? I flipped back and forth a bit, and Edmonton seemed to always be taking stupid penalties. They NEED to pick it up in the third. They NEED to get the momentum back, and they need to start shooting at the net instead of just being fancy.

It's going to be an awesome third period...let's watch shall we?

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Blogging at the First Intermission

Oilers have GOT to pick it up. The speed, the urgency...it just doesn't seem to be there for the Oilers. Moreso, Carolina isn't playing overly amazing either, but since the Oilers are looking so craptacular, they seem the better of the team after the first 20 minutes. Luckily for the Oilers they're only down 1-0. They've been giftwrapping powerplays to Carolina off of stupid penalties, but Carolina's power play is so anemic that it doesn't matter. Let's hope we have a bit more of an entertaining ......

Missing my UG meeting, getting ready for Game 7

So Saturday night we had the youth from my church over for a BBQ...an end of year wrap up event. During that time, we went to the park accross the street and played a game of football. Of course, being 20 years old and a ripped 205 lbs, I didn't feel the need to stretch. Unfortunately, I forgot that I'm actually 29 and closer to 285 lbs...which my body reminded me of yesterday when I realized that I couldn't really get out of my bed...and never mind walking. I'm feeling alot better now, but its still ......

Your Opinion: Should Telecomuters Have Desktops or Laptops?

I'm lucky that I work for a company that understands the value of having their developers use laptops. The agility, accessibility...its all there, and all good. But I have a friend (we'll call this friend “The Friend”, or “TF” for short) who is a telecomuter, and has worked for the same company for approx 5 years. When TF comes into town , TF has to lug the desktop tower that was given to her so she can do work in the city. Up until the last few years, that also included a ......

Yeah, you're a Dad too.

In cities all over, the pitter-patter of feet attempting to make something that appears to be pancakes or bacon and eggs can be heard. New golf bags and drivers will be presented and unwrapped. Those living in cities where its not raining might even be golfing today. There will be home-made cards expressing love and affection for being the provider, protector, and boo-boo kisser. Yes, its Father's Day today, and to all of you who have experienced what I'm talking about, congratulations, enjoy today! ......

CFL Predictions - How did I do?

Well the games may not have gone the way I thought they would, but I was 3 outta 4 for the results. Winnipeg crumbled in the second half and Montreal stormed back with 20 4th quarter points to put the Bombers back in their place: the losin column. Toronto, without Damon Allen, tamed the Tiger-Cats and Toronto looked much stronger than their pre-season performance. Spergon Wynn looked awesome as the backup QB having to fill in for Allen, who broke his finger on the third play and will be out 4 - 6 ......

CFL: Montreal is the real deal...Winnipeg is the real losers

It might not have been the utter destruction that I had thought, but Montreal still came out on top with 20 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to beat Winnipeg 27 to 17. And it was the same thing that we've been seeing in previous years: lack of discipline. Winnipeg has talent. But unfortunately that talent is more than stupid. Penalties, stupid decisions, and downright getting outplayed in key moments...those all contributed to Winnipeg slipping down the slope of suck. In the last Winnipeg drive ......

D'Arcy-Ed: What a Week!

And so D'Arcy-Ed has come to a close. Not much is schedule for today, as we wanted to leave time for people to travel home. There's still some sessions going on today, mainly around “the project”, but otherwise its pretty quiet. We've decided to let people attend from their hotel rooms this morning as well (i'm writing this in my 'jammas and bed head). Better access to coffee and back bacon (because all Canadians eat back bacon every morning for breakfast...no joke...the next time, my ......

CFL Week 1 Predictions

OK, so we're heading into the first week of the regular season tonight. Here are my predictions: What's that puddle of crap?! Oh...that's WinnipegThe Bombers are going to get destroyed by Montreal. Absolutely, positively, entirely destroyed. Ricky, Ricky, Ricky...I had originally picked the Tiger Cats to take this one...but I gotta...GOTTA believe that Toronto was putting in their second and third string offensive line guys and that they'll do a much better job controlling the line of scrimmage...but ......

Just to clarify...

A co-worker was confused as to what I really meant when discussion my ATI and power supply woes, so just to clarify: The recommended power supply is 300w. I had a 350w supply, but that still wasn't cutting it (two optical drives, two hard drives, a Radeon 9800, a P4, and a partridge in a pear tree running off of a 350w supply = no way in hell. So although the recommendation might be 300w, if you have a similar setup or issue, seriously consider getting a better power supply. D ......

D'Arcy-Ed Day 4, Web Standards, and User Group Best Practices

Adam Cogan has a great article about proper website navigation and some rules that should be applied. You can read the article here. I'm going to be doing a webcast with Chris Williams on June 28th on User Group Best Practices. Hopefully Donald Belcham from the Edmonton .NET User Group will be able to join in and offer some insights on what his group has done recently to rejuvinate the Edmonton .NET community. D'Arcy-Ed is winding down (or up depending on whether I want to take some of the new-found ......

D'Arcy-Ed Day 4

I must say that I'm loving the transportation to D'Arcy-Ed this year. The busses are always running on time, and there are plenty of them. Plus, our bus drivers are so happy that we don't have to worry about silly things like drivers striking (but what are the chances of THAT happening?) The main topic at D'Arcy-Ed has been “the project” and its been quite a challange. Everyone who's part of the sessions is very much heads-down in it though...going very well. I won a prize yesterday...the ......

CFL Primer for all my Yank friends...

Ah June...the month that brings with it the start of the new CFL (Canadian Football League) season. The Canadian version of football is faced paced, exciting, and fun. There are many who debate which is better: CFL or NFL, and some that say that the CFL is a second rate league, yadda yadda. But I look at it this way: The CFL is like Checkers: fast, quick, and more about execution than strategy (although that still comes into play)The NFL is like Chess: very strategic, slower pace, different mindset ......

D'Arcy-Ed End of Day 2

Y'know, I'm not hearing hot things coming out of Tech Ed. Bad keynotes, bus drivers not knowing how to get around the town, and then today a buddy sent me pictures of those magic tables that replenish themselves with goodies..but there was a freaking bucket of fruit on it! Where's the high carb, high sugar, high fat chocolate bar goodness?!?! Today at D'Arcy-Ed, it was an extraveganza of .NET goodness. Much fun had by all. Nothing super crazy to report other then I had the BEST coffee ev-AR this ......

D'Arcy-Ed Day 2

Wow, the organizers of D'Arcy Ed have outdone themselves this morning! Cold pizza and office coffee...awesome!!! I've never had a breakfast this good at a conference EVER! We got some free CD handouts this morning too! I came to my morning session (a continuation of yesterday's session) to find a free copy of the Compaq Quick Restore System Recovery disks for the Evo N800c series of laptops...which just totally happens to be the one I use at work! I'm really looking forward to seeing how my system ......

D'Arcy-Ed End of Day 1

I read on my buddy Brendon's blog that he got some free books for checking out the Vista hands on labs. Ha! Pitiful! Who wants free books anyway?! Back here at D'Arcy-Ed, the 3pm demo of the new CTP of our project went well, although we discovered that there will be a second CTP with some surprising new functionality due tomorrow at 3pm...this conference is great, always something new and exciting, and much better than free books! I even had two free soft drinks from the magic fridge! Btw, they did ......

D'Arcy-Ed Day 1

I pulled up to the venue for D'Arcy-Ed this morning after getting my breakfast: a beautifully cooked poached egg on a thick slice of grilled ham, aged cheddar cheese, and a toasted muffin. The first keynote of the day was with a local project team discussing the latest and greatest features that would be added to a current project. There's going to be a demo at 3:00pm here at D'Arcy-Ed where the new features are going to be shown and anyone with access to the VSS database will be able to download ......

Feel free to Break-Up

Went to see the new Jen Aniston/Vince Vaughn movie “The Breakup” tonight. Way better than the reviews gave it credit for. It was a comedy...and yet...not. There were times where you started off laughing, then realized that they weren't going for funny shortly there-after. But it was a great movie...more of a case study on how men and women are different and how they communicate with each other. SNL really should have new shows year round. Tonight is a repeat of Jack Black and Neil Young ......

HD and my life will never be the same...

Feeling absolutely horrid that I'll be missing out on the Fellowship of the Geek (read: Tech Ed and hanging out with my peeps), I decided to drown my sorrows last night in technology...and oh, what a drunken orgy of HD loving it was! Our local cable company is offering a low monthly payment plan, no interest, for their HDTV-PVR boxes. So last night I went out, signed up, and brought home my new digital cable-HD-PVR box! Very exciting. I borrowed a buddy's HD box for the Superbowl last year, and it ......

Welcome Dylan to Blogging!

My buddy Dylan Smith from Winnipeg (also on the board of the Winnipeg .NET User Group) has opened up shop on GeeksWithBlogs!

Check out his blog, and say hi if you see him down at Tech Ed!

http://geekswithblogs.net/optikal

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Get the Mad Mexican to Tech Ed!

Who are these heartless people that simply walk by a poor Mexican wrestler who just wants to eat free twinkies and talk up Web 2.0 with fellow Microsofties?! *Edit: Props to Rob Windsor for showing off his Paint .NET skills...watch out Bristowe, there may be a new Paint.NET MVP out there...The Mad Mexican may not be making an appearance in Boston, but you can bet that he'll be body slamming someone in New Orleans next year! D ......

Social Engineering the USB Way

Interesting article about how to snag private info using USB devices.

Do you think you'd fall for something like this?

http://www.darkreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=95556&WT.svl=column1_1

 

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Tech Ed 2007/2008

Crusing on Google I found the locations for next years Tech Ed (which I REALLY want to go to...really really badly...really...) Apparantly, Tech Ed 2007 will be held in none-other than the Big Easy, New Orleans! Tech Ed 2008 will be heading back to Orlando. This is according to a Google cache of a Microsoft page which apparantly is down. D ......

Tech Ed Smech Ed

All anyone seems to be blogging about is Tech Ed, and how they're going down to Tech Ed, and how many more days until they leave for Tech Ed, and won't it be fun to meet up with so and so at Tech Ed. Phooey I say! Overrated! Media Hyped! Why would I want to be in Boston with a bunch of geeks getting fed awesome food, hearing awesome sessions, networking with great people, and enjoying all things Microsoft when I could be here in Winnipeg enjoying our warm weather, mosquito swarms, our...uh...half-price ......

Areas and Iterations Dialog?!

A guy in the office is looking for where he can call the Areas and Iterations dialog box from Team System programatically (working on a VSTO project that integrates...gasp, I've already said too much!) ;)

Anyway, anyone know where this dialog can be found? We've been scouring the internet trying to find the answer, but so far no luck...and its not super obvious in the object browser where it would be (that we've seen anyway).

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JPod: You need to read this book!

So I'm reading Douglas Coupland's book JPod, which if you're a geek is a must read. How would I describe it? Mix in Seinfeld, Scrubs, Desperate Housewives, The Office, and Office Space in a blender. Then add a good helping of geek and voila: a book that you just can't put down. *Spoiler Alert* Within the first few chapters...er...sections (there's not really any “chapters” per se...just pages with large fonts and non-sensical text), we're introduced to the members of JPod, a small grouping ......

Hockey, Football

HockeyNow, before everyone and their dog jumps on the “Conklin Haters” bandwagon, let's not forget something: the Oilers gave up a huge lead WITH their starting goalie in net before the backup gave up the worst goal in history. The Oil better get their game together for tomorrow night, and play the whole 60 minutes. FootballSo Winnipeg still has no idea who they're going to use for their starting quarterback. They play in Montreal this week, and not all the players are going. Players ......

CFL Conundrum

I'm totally at a loss for who I should cheer for this year in the CFL. Obviously, it won't be a team in the West since none of them look to be contenders. The real Grey Cup is going to happen at the division championship level, with the Grey Cup game being a formality. But for kicks and giggles, here's how I think its going to shake down in the West, or as I like to call it:Division of MediocrityBritish ColumbiaCalgaryEdmontonSaskSo that brings us to the East division, and I'm really torn because ......