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

January 2008 Entries

Aaron Erickson Interview Available

What does Star Wars, "Pour Some Sugar on Me", Beer, Ginger from Gilligan's Island, Socks with Sandals, LINQ, MetaLINQ, and a lack of pants have in common? You'll have to watch Jeff Brand's interview with Aaron Erickson to find out! Back at last Fall's Twin Cities Code Camp, the resident Microsoft DE Jeff Brand did a series of recordings with some of the presenters. He's got them posted up on his web-site now for your parousal. Interesting note: you can't tell, but Aaron is actually not wearing pants. ......

New Blogs

No, I'm not leaving GWB. I am however setting up a couple of vertical blogs on Chris Williams new baby, www.ILoveVB.net. That's right, not one...but TWO blogs to add for your reading enjoyment! The first is on architecture and design with VB.NET. Over the next few weeks I'll be posting about how you can implement different patterns in your applications and how to do it with...wait for it...VB.NET! Check that one out here. The other one will have a web-focus and talk about how to work with VB.NET ......

Is Anyone Noticing? Comment

Tried to post this as a comment on Brian's blog but got some error from subtext (500). Brian's comment was" "Yahoo just announced it would cut 1000 jobs by February. Others will soon follow as they look at fourth quarter reports. This doesn't look good for current job seekers or college graduates who will graduate in the spring. What's going to turn this economy around? " I wouldn't worry about college grads. Yahoo is a bit of a different beast because most of its model is around free services and ......

Want to boost your skills? Teach.

I've been subcontracting for a company recently, and I gotta tell you its been one of the best experiences I've had in a long time...and I'm not actually coding anything! Hmm...so I'm slacking? Not at all...in fact this has been some of the more intense months of my life. I've been teaching two courses and gearing up to teach my third under their banner. One was an ASP.NET course that was a lot of fun (although it was an intro level so there was mostly drag/drop stuff, but still good presentation ......

It's Official: Scott Hanselman is *NOT* a Dick

Microsoft came under one of its *biggest* PR nightmares recently, when Rob Conery's recent post describing how Scott Hanselman single-handedly schooled a "Red Shirt" while also creating the newest catchphrase to be seen on t-shirts at the upcoming MVP summit: "That's Comp-Sci Baby!" This was how it was made out as: However, it would take the courage of a lone Canadian with incredibly good looking hair and a throng of fans (like him, him, him, him, and him) to expose what *really* happened that fateful ......

Donald Belcham Rocks Victoria Code Camp

<Note> Donald is actually a good friend of mine, not a narcissist, an amazing developer, and a great guy. But, in this case, he was just too easy a target to pass up. So, enjoy! </Note> I wasn't there...but I heard that Donald put on a spectacular presentation at the Victoria Code Camp! For those of you that also weren't able to make it, here are some highlights. Look at this ROUSING scene: Donald Belcham about to expound his wisdom and knowledge to the throngs of Victorians who gathered ......

Yet Another Reason I Got Out of Comics...

As any good geek, I'm enthralled with video games, sci-fi movies, books, and Red Bull. But Comics hasn't been on my top list, other than seeing my childhood favorites finally come to the big screen. Of all the various titles, Spider Man and Batman were the two that I was most passionate about. Venom was, as per my famous "Why Venom Can't Be In Spider Man 4" post (which has 92 comments to date btw), one of the best villains ever and Batman's dark tone was always kewl. But Spiderman got dropped along ......

Connection Strings, DAL's, Architecture, and Application Context

Back in December, I had a blog post around Sub Sonic and how I wished there was a separation between the UI and DAL...to which many people didn't really understand what I was asking for or what I was trying to do. And in turn, I realized that my issue had more to do with how ASP.NET in general is structured and not any particular framework (i.e. Sub Sonic) which just play in the sandbox their given. .NET gains a lot of its power from how flexible it is, and how much leeway we as developers have in ......

OK, Seriously: What Justice Gray Means to Me...

So, after coming away with not only the undisputed Paint.NET Master of the Universe award AND the best posting during Justice Gray's Guest-Posting-Week, I felt that I still haven't expressed what the purpose of the post was really meant to convey: what Justice Gray means to me. In a word: hope. Justice Gray is, for all of us, a man we can look to and know that no matter what life throws at us, we can persevere. We can survive. We can TRIUMPH. Is this because Justice constantly is pushing the envelope ......

Heroes can be *anywhere*!

It's coming! The Canadian launch events around the 2008 suite of products has been set in stone, and registration for the events is now open! So what are you waiting for? Click the registration link below and get out to an event near you! Three ways to be a hero. One event to launch them. As one of the unsung heroes of technology, you do work that helps your company be more competitive. Now, Microsoft is launching three powerful new products that help make it even easier for you to be a hero every ......

Microsoft Office System Developer Conference

I just learned about this today from Joe Stagner's blog, and I wish I would have found out sooner! It sounds like a fantastic conference for those into Sharepoint or any of the Office suite of applications. Like Joe mentions in his blog, there's still time to register so go check it out if Office is what tickles your fancy. Check out the conference site here. D ......

Ladies and Gentlemen...Welcome to the Chris and D'Arcy Show!

That's right folks, its official: we have a brand new tag-team sitting on the top of the blog post leaderboards, and GWB will never, EEEEEEEEVAR be the same again! Earlier today I overtook Tariq to secure second place in all time GWB blog posts, behind only one other legend of GWB: Chris Williams. And so our blog carnival of all things geeky and .NET-ish begins anew, just in time for the new year. And so we take our place among the other great dynamic duos... Batman and Robin... Drizzt and Bruenor... ......

Overloads and Shadows (VB.NET)

I'm teaching an 'OO with VB.NET' course right now, and last night was the talk about overloading, overriding, and shadowing...specifically around inheritance. Prepping for this showed some interesting behavior that I wasn't aware of, and wanted to share. Overloading a function or sub means that you have a method with the same name as an existing method. If these are in the same files, then you need to specify different signatures for them. However, you could have a situation where a base class and ......

MacBook Air Revealed at MacWorld

I was beginning to think that this year's Macworld was going to be a bust...new iPhone apps, new movie rentals, blah blah blah. But then came the payoff... Apple will be releasing a new line of laptops called the MacBook Air, the "world's thinnest laptop". This thing just screams geek-envy all over it! A review of the features: - .16" to .76" thick (fits in a manilla envelope) - 13.3" widescreen display - Backlit keyboard - Multi-touch trackpad (similar to iPod Touch, so you can pinch in/out, rotate ......

Session.IsNew Behavior

A colleague was running into a problem with his session values. He had a page that had some custom timeout code written in. This code outputs a refresh metatag to the header of the page, and if no activity occurs in 60 seconds it redirects to a "Please re-login" type of thing. In this re-login message page, he was trying to check whether this was a new session (someone hitting the redirection-page directly) or if it was an existing one coming from one of the pages with the timeout code. He was using ......

Who's the king of the jungle? Not so sure its the lions...

This video is just nuts...taken somewhere in Africa (I'm assuming), its got everything you want in a nail biter: - A family looking for food - A gang of thugs who attack - A third group of bad guys - A rescue operation - A happy ending ......

ISO Mounter for Vista 64?!

Seriously...this is SO FRUSTRATING! All I want is an ISO mount program for Vista...but it needs to handle Vista 64 bit, since that's what I'm running. After scouring the web, I *thought* I found something on MagicISO...which I *thought* alluded to it working on V64...but apparently it doesn't: it just hangs after I specify an ISO to mount. Anyone running Vista 64 have any success getting an ISO mount app to work? [Update: Thanks to Scott Kuhl for pointing out that Daemon Tools does in fact have a ......

JPod: FINALLY something quality coming out of Canadian TV!

OK, maybe that's not totally true. We have the Royal Canadian Air Farce, we had SCTV, and we had Marketplace and Venture...but honestly, unless CFL Football was on CBC didn't really make it on my list of stations to record programming on during the week. Until now. Douglas Copeland has transformed his book JPod into a tv series. Taking anything from book to small or large screen always has risks: Will the flair and atmosphere of the book transfer to live actors and screenplays? Will there be the ......

Just because you CAN put an MP3 player in a taser...

CES is underway, and with it the good, the bad, and the 'You've gotta be kidding me!'. For example... Consider the Taser MPH from Taser International (this has to be a joke...seriously...Taser Internationl? There's actually a company called that?...apparantly, there is). This little gizmo won't just let you zap angry mobs that are coming right for you, but it also stores up to 1 Gig of MP3's! Because if you're gonna taser someone, you might as well do it while blaring "Welcome to the Jungle" in your ......

Winnipeg Code Camp Site is Live!

Our code camp site is live and ready to take registrations!

We don't have a tonne of info yet on speakers or schedule...we're still finalizing some of that information, but keep posted if you're in the Winnipeg area and want to attend!

D



DCR-SR200 - First Impressions

I purchased a Sony DCR-SR200 hard drive camcorder on Boxing Day. This was my first camcorder, and I was pretty pumped to get a dedicated video gadget instead of relying on my Samsung digital camera and its video mode (which is still very very good). So far, I don't hate the camera, but it hasn't blown me away. Now, keep in mind that I've only had it a few weeks, and haven't even really pushed it to any limits yet (or spent quality time understanding the settings and modes); but I'm also a firm believer ......

Hey, want to help build a CodeCampServer project using MVC?

Jeffrey Palermo announced that he's set up an open source project for creating a web application based on the ASP.NET MVC framework for user groups to manage their code camps with! This is a great opportunity to work with other developers who are actively using the MVC framework and get some great exposure to tools like Cruise Control, NUnit, and using "stories" to identify features Check out Jeff's blog post here for more information. D ......

ASP.NET and Active Directory

Ran into a need to connect up to Active Directory from an ASP.NET app at work today...found this article and wanted to post it up as reference. http://msdn2.microsoft.com/... Technorati Tags: ASP.NET Active Directory,Active Directory ......

Blogs = Forums 2.0?

Something struck me over the last few days. If you follow my blog, you'll notice that I've been in a discussion around Sub Sonic and its ability to act as a standalone DAL (for all the gritty details, see this and this). My original post came out of frustration that I couldn't find anything online that satisfied my question. I Googled, checked forums, and gazed on the online tutorials...but still, nothing. So...I posted a blog entry of my own. Within a matter of days I not only had multiple people ......

Sub Sonic - Let's bring this saga to an end...

First off, thanks to Willie for his excellent blog post walking through how to create a layered architecture with Sub Sonic. Although it did make it clearer what the steps were, it still didn't solve the issue I had raised earlier: the UI knowing and accessing information about the database connectivity mechanism which is still required in the web.config file (even if its just a path to where the actual config information is going to be found). However, I want to bring this saga to an end for a couple ......

Sean O'Driscoll Leaves Microsoft

Ok, this isn't necessarily up-to-the-minute news, as Sean posted about his leaving Microsoft on December 20. However I'm not sure if many outside the MVP program had any exposure to him, and my brief meeting with him left enough of an impression that I'd be blogging about him here. At the Canadian UG Summit this past November we held it simultaneously with the Canadian MVP Summit in Vancouver as well. We (the user group leaders) were invited to attend the MVP keynote and discussion period. Sean delivered ......

Don't Pack That Spare Battery in Your Checked Luggage

According to this article... "Effective January 1, 2008, all U.S. air travelers will be required to keep all their spare lithium batteries in carry on baggage, with the terminals covered, as a precaution against the possibility of the batteries exploding." Not sure how people out there actually store their spare batteries in their checked bags, and no clue if this will eventually become a law in Canada, but just an FYI if you do. D ......

Now that I've had sleep...My Official "I'm An MVP" Post

My last post which alerted the world to my MVP-ness was a bit...unlike me. I mean, for one thing, it was a one sentence type of post...when do I *ever* post a one sentence post? But you need to understand my condition at the time: stayed up all night playing board games and pool with friends, then went for breakfast and didn't get home and into bed until after 7AM. So below is the post that I *would* have posted earlier if I hadn't been such a zombie at the time I got up to check email quick before ......

2008 ASP.NET MVP Award

I'm very humbled and honored to have been named an ASP.NET MVP for 2008!

D