Jeff Julian's Blog

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SharePoint Consulting (Kansas City Metro)

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Along with the new TV we purchased, I need a new antenna for Over-The-Air HD/DTV because I absolutely hate the Trek antenna I bought last year because of it’s bulky size and lack of a strong signal.  I was strolling through Lowe’s picking up some stuff for youth group and I wandered by the home audio/video section.  You will be amazed sometimes by the stuff Lowe’s carries and the prices compared to Best Buy and the chains.  In this case I for the RCA Flat, non-powered antenna (see picture) for around $50 bucks.  Being I spent well over that for the other antenna, I thought I would give it a try and take it back if it didn’t work (which I planned, because I didn’t think it would).

First off, it has no power adapter, which is awesome, but scary at the same time.  I figured every antenna needed a amplifier or signal booster of some sort to get a good picture in KC.  I was wrong.  Very wrong.


Now that said, I have never attached anything to my house and I am at the top of a hill at the new place so I am sure these factors all play in, but man is this thing amazing.  I have always struggled in the past to get a good mix of VHF and UHF channels to come in, but this thing handles them perfectly.  In fact I get every known channel listed on the over-air channel list for the metro area without any signal lost.  The picture is perfect without all the digital fallout that I have seen with most antennas.

The ease of use is what makes this thing some awesome.  No power cord, No mounting, No tweaking or pointing.  I just sat it on top of the cable box and plug the coax into the TV.  Once the auto-tuning was done on the Samsung LED 6000 Series, we were ready to rock with free HD.  The device is so low profile, you don’t even notice it. 

Like all reviews I need to state that this is my first reaction to the product, I have used it for only 4 days now and we mainly use Time Warner as our HD provider, but I do truly think this is a solid product for you to try.

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Christmas is coming and so are the deals.  Right now Best Buy has a huge discount (and you can find them in-stock) on the Samsung LED TVs.  (I think I saved $960 off of the original price) 

I have needed a new TV ever since we moved.  The main reason is we wanted something we could mount on the wall to keep away from the kids in the new house and my wife watched enough Food Network (she bakes cakes and cookies as her hobby) that the logo started to get burnt in.  The black lines were definitely burnt in, but who really wants to watch SDTV all stretched and nasty just to save from burn in.  No one's head is really that wide and squished looking :D

That said, I have been shopping the reviews and sites that have the in-store stock status of their TVs.  Currently it seems like most places are selling out early on big TVs this year since the price has dramatically dropped from $3-4k for a big flat TV to $1-2k.  This week there are a lot of sells on TVs so they are few and far between.  I really don’t like the idea of having a TV shipped either, though everyone offered it.  I know they were shipped to begin with, but if I open the box that night and something is wrong, I can take it back right then.  I like that with big purchases :D.

Anyway, I decided to go with the Samsung 55 in Series 6000 LED TV, purchased from Best Buy due to these factors:

  • Depth – Less than 2 inches is very very small
  • Price – Little over $2,000 sell price (- tax) is dang good for a LED or LCD TV of that size.  10 years ago, I paid that for the mid-level projection TV that took up 2 foot of space from the wall, this one mounted on the wall is less that 2 inches.
  • Weight – You can mount it very easy on almost any surface.  In fact, the mounting kit comes with drywall, concrete, or wood screws and instructions. 
  • Brightness – Wow, seriously, go to Best Buy and stand back and just compare it to the other TVs, it is hard to find a better picture than an LED TV due to the brightness level
  • Go Green – Just kidding, I don’t purchase anything for this reason, but they state on the site you can Go Green with this purchase.
  • Availability – It was and still in in-stock at most stores.

So far I truly love everything about this TV, and am still amazed by the items I listed above.  This will definitely be a great Christmas present for me … opps, let that cat out early, but I will really enjoy using it through this holiday season and the next couple years.  Then like most modern devices, it will start to flake and most likely crash and I will replace it with a TV made purely of glass and the picture is projected from the side like all those Microsoft future videos promise.


image Last week I deployed a small update to based on a blogger suggestion to get the last version of the Admin Blog Editor’s input control on the server so he could do some cool stuff he wanted to with syntax.  I published that update and then fixed some of the annoying CSS issues we had on the server side to make it a little cleaner looking UI.  I need to do more work for sure, but I fixed the majority of the issues.

Another area I put some time into was the long standing request for allowing users to control the number of tweets that show on their blog (with a cap of 10).  I have noticed a few registered bloggers add themselves for the SEO and twitter integration only, so pushing more than 10 would probably prolong this issue.  You also have the ability now to say “Do Not Show” and the twitter widget will not show, but your tweets will still remain part of the community feed. 

Idea Request

Beyond just showing the latest tweets from the community, how would you like to interact with this data?  What else would you like, what would be beneficial for you to see?



Well I have been using WVPC for Windows 7 RTM for about a week now and there are a few things I like and a few things I don’t.

First off, why at the end of 2009 do we still not have a “multiple monitor” story that doesn’t require me to put quotations around the words.  This RDP style of one giant monitor span across your two monitors is not a solution, it hasn’t been since it came out. 

Secondly, What *flicker* is *flicker* up *flicker* with *flicker* all *flicker* the *flicker* flickering?  I have a 17 inch unibody MacBook Pro with 4gb of RAM and 16gb of ReadyBoost and Windows 7 64-bit.  I have dedicated 2GB of RAM to my virtual environment running Windows 7 32-bit.  I am seeing a constant flickering when scrolling through windows in IE, Visual Studio, and other applications.  I am guessing this is Aero running Aero with the Windows 7 installations, but the product boosts that it is possible to do Aero in the virtual so I wanted to try. 

Thirdly, what???  You got rid of Drag and Drop between Host and Virtual?  Why would you do that.  The new RDP experience most likely forced your hand, but you could have came up with a solution like GoToMyPC where an application running on each side would handle the transfer.  We need a patch with a real solution instead of some command line drive attachments or network storage as the solution that the Virtual PC Guy blog suggests. 

I do like the product though.  I have not been a fan of Virtual products in OS X ever since Parallels ate my boot camp machine and I had to rebuild.  So I have ran exclusively Boot Camp for Vista/7 and Virtual PC and now Windows Virtual PC since being a Mac user.  The get the job done with irritation, but I have found that to be true of most products.  I plan to continue using it through the life of my current project, but I do want to review VMWare Workstation again.  Before on Vista is was SLOWWWW, but if you have better experiences on WIndows 7 with it, please let me know

So what are your WVPC stories and findings?

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JeffJulian-Addison I have been converting my current client’s development environment to a VPC instead of taking over my main machine as we did to get the project kicked off.  I decided to go with Windows Virtual PC now that it has RTMed, but quite a bit has changed.

Once I had Windows 7 installed and VS 2008 configured, I started looking for a multiple monitor solution for VPCs.  In the past, I had just lived with the limitation of running virtual and not getting the benefit of dual monitors.  This time I wanted something else.

The solution everyone was talking about a few years ago was MaxiVista, but once Vista when live and they started having problems with the new driver model, I wrote them off, however they are definitely back (I don’t know how long since they have had a Vista solution) but their latest version works with Windows 7.   (MaxiVista is a product that will extend your monitor to another computer and it’s monitors using the network)

Most examples will say run two VPC and use on as a slave monitor to MaxiVista and put each one on a different monitor fullscreened.  That will definitely work, but puts a much larger footprint on my machines RAM than I want to.  So I decided to treat the VPC as the host MaxiVista server and my main machine as the slave viewer.  Then I configured the viewer to use only my secondary monitor that the host VPC does not reside on and then it worked!  Sort of.

You have to disable the pointer integration with VPC to get the monitor to work because you don’t want your host PC taking the mouse away from the VPC since it is extending the monitor, so like VPC 2007, you just need to configure the VPC’s settings through Console to turn off Pointer Integration right?  Nope.  For some reason they took that feature away, but left it in the .VMC configuration file.  So open up your .VMC in Notepad and change the XML to turn the mouse off.

<allow type="boolean">false</allow>

You will most likely have to disable the Interaction Settings as well, but MaxiVista states it has a clipboard syncing feature that should work. 

<heads direction=”up” />

I have only used this configuration for a few hours and so far I like it, HOWEVER, I tend to like everything a lot at first.  Heck I still like my Windows Mobile 6.5 HTC Pure (even though app wise, Windows Marketplace is like going to Circle-K for groceries instead of the Super Market).  I will hopefully post a few follow up posts about this topic as I use it more and more.


A few days ago Microsoft released an update to one of my favorite PowerToys, SyncToy.  This is a must have if you are a portable user and you want to get a quick backup of your files (photos, videos, source code, etc) by folder for free.

SyncToy 2.1

I have been using this for a few versions now and it is great at syncing or backing up folder to folder onto USB flash or hard drives. 

The scenarios I use it in are:

  • Backup of photos pre and post processing from my D300 and D700.
  • Backup of source code to a small USB device at the end of the day.
  • Synced copy of files from large RAID drives to portable drives for portablity without the worry of lost data.
  • Zune music, iTunes music sync.

I know there are other tools and even OSes like WIndows Home Server that would do a better job of automated backup but I am ok with having a backup workflow for the different scenerios I have and leaving portable hard drives around the places I need them without having to carry them from building to building.



Hello again!  This is my first time to blog since July and that is a little bit long I know.  So what has been going on?  Well quite a bit actually. 

First, Addison and Brandon are getting quite a bit older and are more active.  I truly enjoy spending time with them in the evenings and that takes a lot of time out of blogging.

Second, my role as youth leader at my church has been taking a larger priority in my life than when we first started our youth ministry.   We are now up to 40 students at our Saturday night events so I have needed to place more effort into the planning and preparation of that.

Third, we have moved…a lot.  In October I moved my house and our John and my office in a three week span.   That remains to be fun as we start to unpack boxes. 

Fourth, I needed a break from blogging.  My blog has grown more and more non-technical and more about what is going on with Geekswithblogs instead of the cool stuff I am working with.  I hope to bring back some energy into the work I am doing in ASP.NET and the cool stuff coming out.

Well off to work for now, hope no one comes down with a case of the Mundays… (yeah I said it)

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09182009 - Thinking Hard This Morning

Seriously why do new bloggers insist on placing a test post with the word “test” as the entire body?  This is just a weird concept to me.  Please stop.  No one wants to see you introduced to a community as “test”.  Rather we would like to see you say, “Hi, this is my first post.  My name is [Insert Name] and I am [Insert Interests and Bio]”.  This is a blog community so why not try out a blog post for a test?

Anyway, I am very sorry for the number of test posts we have been receiving lately.  I will add to the list of site updates some verbiage about what to post and what not to post to the registration email.