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

January 2007 Entries

Comments on Vista Fine Print

Michael Geist has a great column that talks about the fine print associated with Vista. I thought I'd share my views on some of his points. "Users activate Vista by associating it with a particular computer or device and transmitting certain hardware information directly to Microsoft" Um...wasn't this part of the activation process for Windows XP as well? I recall that there may have been an issue if you did too many upgrades to your machine and XP saw it as a different machine. If you purchase a ......

Matt Ranlett Touches Greatness

I'm so jealous...Matt Ranlett went to a Vista launch party in Atlanta and got his picture taken and an autograph of the most prolific running back ev-AR in the NFL!



Treo and Vista Finally Connected!

I've finally been able to connect my Treo 700wx to Vista, and I'm happy to report it wasn't a Vista issue at all! Back when I was trying to get my Treo to play nice with my Mac, I had to install this application (USB Switch) on my Treo to get it to sync with Parallels...or at least that's what I hoped installing it would do. Unfortunately, it didn't. USB Switch allows you to decide whehter you want your mobile device to connect via Serial or the native RNDIS. For what I needed to do for Parallels, ......

WPF/E Not Available on Firefox (for Mac that is)?

I was reading Laurence Moroney's blog about running WPF/E in Safari. I went online and checked it out, but for some reason I couldn't get the examples here to run. Then I realized...oh right...I don't use substandard craptastic browsers like Safari! But that made it even weirder. You see, I run Firefox exclusively on my Mac. Safari is WAY too unstable...seriously...horr... But that's another rant. So the message I got from Firefox was "You must be running Firefox to view "WPF/E" content ......

Dammit Rob, that's not how to make friends!

Hey, c'mon guys, Rob May was just putting his opinion out there...let's all have a big GWB hug and lovin-in...Kumbya...Kumbya... But anyway, I wanted to voice my own opinion on part of Rob's comment...and not as a slag to Rob, but as a slag to the many who think the same thing as what Rob posted, and what I've even though before I started running with Vista. Here it is...ready? Vista kicks the f#%$^'n s%#%t out of OS X. There. I said it. Let all the Steve Job fanboys begin their flames. I can make ......

Not Impressed with Microsoft Call Centers

So last weekend I wanted to re-install Windows XP on my home PC, which is now my gaming rig since we do all the regular day-to-day stuff on the Mac. The install went fine (well, the second time around it did anyway), but when I went to activate it, I was told that it had exceeded the allowable number of activations. Alright...I guess I'm calling Microsoft. So I give them a call, and wait for about 6 minutes. Then I get this woman who sounds a little flustered and seemed to try and push through her ......

Crazy Leg Week

Uh oh...its back...the feeling I get that my legs are going to give out on me whenever I walk DOWN stairs. My workouts this week have been leg workouts, and I'm definately feeling it after this morning. Doing 20 minutes on the bike (10 at lvl 3, 10 at lvl 20), I did 10 minutes of side-to-sides (legs really feeling it by the end). Then I proceeded to push out 300 iron cross reps, and finished off with 3 x 10/10/20's. That's the leg press: you do 10 with only one leg, 10 with the other leg, then 20 ......

Dev Teach Sessions Announced!

The Dev Teach sessions have been finalized, and the lineup looks to be pretty impressive! Once again they've collected an excellent selection of speakers from the MVP, RD, and Author pools to present on an array of topics. Unfortunately, I didn't make the cut, but I'm happy that I had a chance to be considered.

Check out the list of sessions here.


Dev Teach Speaker Announcements Tomorrow!

It's like Christmas Eve...today we await the coming of tomorrow, where the 75 people that submitted presentations to the Dev Teach speaker board for consideration will find out whether Santa will be good or bad to them. 75 people is an amazing number when you consider that we're talking about a three day conference (well, 5, but Monday is the pre-conf and Friday is the post-conf). If you haven't been to Dev Teach before, please check the website out here and consider coming out! It's a great conference ......

Do you WoW on Lightninghoof?

Feel free to add me to your friends list:

Sinquisitor (Undead Priest)

Mysteria (Blood Elf Mage)

Sinreaper (Undead Tank)


Wi-Fi in a Car - Response

Brian posted about a service that's going to add wi-fi to Avis rental cars. I tried to post a comment on his blog about whether I thought this would be useful, but for some reason hitting the Submit button did nothing (Jeff - possible bug with the skin and/or IE 7?) So anyway, here's my response: I can see it being beneficial if the car didn't come with a built in GPS device. That way, if you got lost, you could check Google Maps or some other service with your laptop or PDA. Or, if you're a mobile ......

Burning Crusade: Men are Pigs!

Now that I've had some time to play for a bit, I figured i'd give my experience so far with the new WoW expansion since others are starting to post theirs (like Chris). But this is more than just me talking about how much I love the textures and the colors and whatever else. No, this is more than just a high level discussion...in fact, it goes much deeper, and frankly as a man, I must apologize to the female gender for our manliness. You see...I decided this time around to try something...different. ......

I like your pants...

So I went shopping over the weekend and stopped by an Old Navy because I wanted to pick up a new pair of jeans. So I went looking through the piles of denim, hunting for the elusive 44 waist size. I have been a 46 for a long time, and figured with my recent weight loss I'd treat myself to a smaller size pair of jeans. My wife thought I was crazy though. She was convinced that I could fit into a 42. So I humored her and tried on a 42, expecting that it would be crazy tight. But OMG...I fit a size ......

Weight Update - My Bad

Sorry, my bad. I reported my updated weight yesterday incorrectly.

After working out this morning, dropping a deuce, and NOT eating breakfast, I jumped on the scale just to double check.

Then I got off and checked again just to make sure I read it right.


That's right baby, under 270 for the first time since...well, for a long time! So instead of 5 lbs lost, I actually have lost almost 11 lbs!



Weight Update

Dec 23 I was 279.6 lbs

January 18 I'm now 274.6 lbs !!!

So I've lost 5 lbs in less than a month (and that was being weighed after eating breakfast and getting ready for work too)!


Game Kits

Intersting note from the MSDN Canada UG Leader Conference Call we had today: MSDN will be making available Game Development Kits to enable user groups to create gaming camps, where the focus is XNA development!

More info is yet to come out, but if you're in the states you might want to check with your local DE to see if theres something coming out for you similarly down there.


First WoW Level 70...kinda

This article talks about how there's already the first level 70 character in WoW! 70 is the new limit cap which was expanded from 60 with the release of The Burning Crusade expansion. Now, before everyone gets all "whatever, that blows, it shouldn't be that easy!", you have to read how he did it...it wasn't that easy. It was a carefully calculated, on-purpose levelling project that included a guild of 40 people who helped him achieve this. It sounds almost like a political campaign or Nascar, where ......

Burning Crusade is installing...and I'm thawing...

So tonight I went out and joined what turned out to be a few hundred hardy Winnipegers in line at the St. James Best Buy location for the midnight selling of WoW:Burning Crusade. First of all, these people are uber-geeks. I'm sure there were other midnight launches in other cities, but how many of them were in -41 Degrees Celcius type of weather?! That's right, we're hard core about our gaming. Booya! There was an talkative group of people I was in line with, and there were some awesome geeky jems ......

Blizzard Gives Canada Props in Burning Crusade

Now, I don't want to get any developer in trouble here, but its obvious that someone on the design team decided to sneak a little Canuck pride into the new Burning Crusade expansion to World of Warcraft. I'm not sure that O' Terokkar Forest has the same ring mind you as O' Canada, but I'm willing to give it a shot...




Check out the full details of David Asper's proposal to purchase the Bombers and build a new stadium in Winnipeg!



Vista and Mobile 5.0

Still loving Vista...but I'd love it more if the mobile device center would actually recognize my device. I mean, it says Treo, but its like talking to two people that have totally different takes on their relationship. Treo: Oh yeah, we're definately in a partnership! Whenever I plug in, my status is full on connected! I just don't understand why he doesn't synch his emails or gives me new applications... Vista: OMG, can you say "stalker"? Treo keeps connecting to my USB port, but we are NOT in ......

Parallels: Enabling Numlock

If you're running Parallels on your Mac and want to enable numlock for your windows session, just hit the clear key on the number pad.


Where are the High-End hosting provider rating sites?!

Seriously...I don't care how many sights offer $7.95 deals for unlimited bandwidth! I want to know whether I can rely on a clustered solution with enough bandwidth to handle all the traffic! But no, there's like NO sites out there that will show this...or so it seems...





Hosting Suggestions Please

I need to find a hosting provider ASAP. Here's my requirement list:

- Uptime MUST be 99%
- High data transfer and FAST access are a MUST
- Being the cheapest is NOT A FACTOR

Basically we're looking for reliability and throughput, and don't mind paying for it. Any recommendations, or also comments on who to avoid?



Tim's Vista score is so horrible...

that even if he could blog at the speed of light, his computer won't let him catch me and my fantastic GWB post count!



How horrible is it?

How horrible is Tim's Vista score?

Tim's Vista score...

Tim's Vista score is so horrible...

Dev Teach Speaker Announcment

For those of you who submitted speaker requests for Dev Teach, I received an email from Jean-Rene saying that selected speakers would be announced January 25 on the Dev Teach site.

It's going to be a long wait. However will I pre-occupy myself...


Stupid Question Indeed!

Tim posted here about whether plugging in a DSL modem and router to the battery backup will maintain internet connectivity if the power goes out. But that shouldn't be the real question. The real question is: Does Tim really think posting these little ditties are going to prevent me from overtaking him in the GWB post rankings?! HA! I've got you in my sights Hibbard! ;) D ......

And the quote of the day is...

"The fury and noise that ensues is rivaled only by Oprah at a two-for-one-Tuesday-Buffet."

Pure genius.

Check out Rob's blog here for some laughs.

(btw, is it bad that I pictured Russell Peters saying the line "I told you, not to be changing anything!")


One of the few reasons Canada sucks

So, I don't want to gripe or sound really ungrateful for all the wonderful things that us Canadians do get, but seriously...SERIOUSLY...what's up with all those contests or promotions that are "US Only"?! Like, for example, the one here. Yes, I'm talking about how, if you go to the Office/Vista launch event in the states, you get a FREE license for Office Pro 2007 and Groove 2007! Y'know what us Canucks got at our launch event? A t-shirt. And some marketing materials. And a pad of paper. I don't ......

Reality Update: The Apprentice LA/Beauty and the Geek 3

The Apprentice LA We kicked off the third season of The Apprentice last night. The Donald and his producers realized that the old formula was getting old, so they pulled a Vince McMahon and decided to mix it up: It's in LALosing teams sleep in tents outsideWinning Project Manager sits in on the boardroom as advisor to TrumpBianca Trump is WAY easier on the eyes than Catherine was Overall pretty good first episode. I mean, it wasn't gripping TV, but I'd put it under guilty pleasure status. Martin ......

Palm 700wx So Far

My love for my Palm is about 70%. Why only 70%? The Good It's an excellent mobile PDA! The EVDO connection is excellent, and I've got my device synching with our Exchange server back at the office. MSN works great, web browsing works great...its all great! Except... The Not So Good This is a PDA/Phone...PHONE...its a PHONE. When you call using a PHONE, you should be able to hear the person and have the person hear you. I've placed all of 4 or 5 calls with my Treo...only during one was the other person ......

Abstracts are In

So, its done. I've submitted my abstracts for Dev Teach so we'll see if I get the nod to speak for a few sessions. I really mixed it up, putting in topics that ranged from Mobile to WPF to Office 2007 to XNA. Dev Teach, if you have never been, is a developer conference that occurs every year in Montreal in May. It's a great conference and we always have a great time at it. This year looks to have more of the Canadian community superstars there than ever before, so it should be a great showcase of ......

Happy Birthday Chris!

Happy birthday to my buddy Chris Williams! Chris is living multiple dreams of mine: 1. He gets to travel to Atlanta regularly (or used to anyways), home of the 2008 Superbowl Champion Atlanta Falcons! 2. He owns his own gaming store and gets to play games all the time. 3. He owns arcade games in his basement...like, actual arcade games. He's also a class act guy and I'm glad that I was able to meet him back in 2005 when I got a ride in his two door and had to lie across three other guys while cruising ......

PDA Saga Comes to an End

So after much wrestling with getting the Treo 700wx to work within the Mac environment, I've finally waved the white flag. We talked about it, and she was saying that she wasn't super comfortable with the Treo anyway...she just wanted something easy to use and she said she wouldn't have used most of the features anyway. So we went out and got a Mac-friendly device instead: Palm Tungsten E2. I still needed to purchase the Missing Synch for Palm though to be able to easily synch with iCal and the Mac ......


Matt made a comment on one of my blog posts or his blog recently about how he thought my use of ketchup was weird (from our breakfasts at Tech Ed back in 2005). So that got me curious: what do you put ketchup on? Here's a short list...tell me if this is a Canadian thing or just a D'Arcy thing:

Eggs (if scrambled)


Falcon Fan to the End!

I love my Falcons, and I really thought this year was going to be their year. So much so actually, that a co-worker of mine and myself had a little wager going: We compare records at the end of the season between the Falcons (my team) and the Cowboys (his team). Whoever has the worst record between the two, that person needs to shave the other teams logo into their head. Well, we all know how the season went... By the way, if you want to see something hilarous, check out TonyHomo.com. Some guy went ......

Finished the week STRONG!

Great workout this morning! I totally put Wednesdays disaster behind me and pushed ahead this morning with a different attitude, and that's what got me through. I worked a bit more with Jeff this morning too, and he's awesome for pushing limits. I would have given myself a minute break in between, where he pushed me to 15 secons between weight sets. Cardio was good, weights were good...all in all a great workout to jumpstart the weekend! It's really true that the most important body part when working ......


So let's recap... Back in this post, I talked about the issues I've been having getting this damn Treo 700wx to work with my home Mac environment. In a nutshell: - Missing Sync is great, but my wife wants programs that require a desktop component. - Bought and installed Parallels, but it has flakey USB interfaces and I can't synch the PPC to my VPC on it And now...NOW...this: One of the features that I got her the PPC for was to be able to get email on the go. We're with Shaw for our home email, ......

Sometimes you just need to fit a square peg in a square hole...

So, for Christmas I got my wife a Palm Treo 700wx. It's one that runs Windows Mobile 5. Now, why did I pick the one running Windows Mobile 5? Well, becuase I think its a superior operating system to the Palm of course! I mean, seriously, who in this day and age would willingly take the Palm OS over Windows Mobile? What possible scenario would drive someone into the gaping jaws of mobile death that is the Palm OS? Well, let me tell you a story... So, my sister in law has a Palm as well...not a Treo, ......

You want me to pay how much to host my external Sharepoint site?!

OK, someone at Microsoft please clarify this: One of the new Sharepoint 2007 features is that you can host an externally available website to the masses, which will grab data from the shared datastore as your internal sharepoint, and not have to pay CAL's for each individual user (since, y'know, its the internet, and that could be huge). But instead, you end up paying an insane amount of money to do this, to the tune of approx 50k. If this is just how it is, how unfortunate that one of the kewlest ......

Overtime for Canada/US for World Juniors!

Go watch it here!

Go Canada Go!


First Workout of 2007...and its a dud!

I had the worst workout of my life today...well, technically that basketball team practice back in Jr. High where I couldn't keep running all those laps and had to "tie my shoelaces" every 2nd lap may have been the worst...but I digress... I went in with a horrible attitude to begin with...apparantly I didn't sleep well either from what my wife tells me, and I was just tired and feeling "whatever". So then we start into the workout, and I look at the stuff I have to do, and immediately feel a bit ......

Who's your daddy?

That's right...D'Arcy's your daddy..or should I say...APOCALYPSE!!! Your results:You are Apocalypse Apocalypse 46% The Joker 43% Magneto 39% Venom 36% Riddler 33% Lex Luthor 32% Mr. Freeze 32% Green Goblin 32% Kingpin 30% Mystique 28% Dr. Doom 24% Dark Phoenix 23% Juggernaut 20% Catwoman 17% Poison Ivy 16% Two-Face 16% You believe in survival of the fittest and you believe that you are the fittest.Click here to take the "Which Super Villain am I?" quiz ......

Inspiration for the "Others"

Friends, this time of year can be extremely difficult for many of us. As the clock continues to move ahead, and the new year approaches, many of us will feel an emptiness...a sadness...possibly even anger and angst. Why are we different? What is it about us that makes us un-worthy of the love and affection poured out to others? Yes, I'm talking to you my brethren, the ones that DIDN'T GET AN F'N MVP STATUS AWARDED THIS YEAR. I know it's tough right now with so many gloating about the joy of reading ......

Falcons Punt Mora

In a move that I think everyone saw coming, Jim Mora was fired as the Falcons head coach. As a Falcons fan, and someone that liked Mora, I'm somewhat disapointed that he's leaving. Mind you, I'm also disapointed that we didn't make the playoffs this year with the talent we had. Obviously a change was needed, and such is life as an NFL coach. But now its on Rich McKay and Arthur Blank to come up with a good replacement.One thing I've come to realize is that even though the coaches seem to be the ones ......