Geeks With Blogs
John Watson The Pragmatic Enthusiast May 2005 Entries
A memorable metaphor
I first started teaching technical classes in 1992 when I joined a software company. At that time, NT 3.51 was just coming out and our mainstream software product was written in Cobol for the VAX and AS/400. I had experience in both Cobol and RPG at the time and taught the same material to two different audiences. Over the last 13 years, I've developed materials and delivered training for VB (and ASP), C++, Java, .NET (C# and ASP.NET) and even taught part-time evenings and weekends at UNH for several ......

Posted On Monday, May 23, 2005 12:35 PM

How well traveled are you?
I spent 10 years as a “road warrior” consultant working for software companies and pure consulting companies. Most of my travel was inside the U.S. One side of the story it doesn't tell is how much time away from home all this travel cost. Found this via Scott Reynold's blog: Your Travel Profile: You Are Very Well Traveled in the Midwestern United States (75%) You Are Very Well Traveled in the Southern United States (62%) You Are Well Traveled in the Northeastern United States (57%) You ......

Posted On Monday, May 23, 2005 11:38 AM

Beware Virtual PC Differencing Disks!
Ah, now that I have your attention, please let me elaborate :) I just read a post by Russ Nemhauser, Virtual PC - Beyond the Basics, and it reminded me of some caveats I had picked up in my trials. I too thought differencing disks were the way to go and in fact set up several “base” installs to test it out. One of my early reasonings was simply because each .vhd image had about 1 - 2 gigs of duplicate information - that is, a base OS plus tools and assorted service packs. I figured I ......

Posted On Monday, May 9, 2005 12:45 PM

BizTalk Project / Assembly Organization Gotcha
I have a real-world experience to share for organizing your BizTalk projects and assemblies. I think the natural tendency is to group “like things” together so if you have an orchestration with a schema or two and a custom pipeline you'd define all these artifacts in the same project. This way they're always kept together in source control, on disk and deployed together. That same “benefit” is also the “gotcha” to watch out for. In my case, the custom pipeline ......

Posted On Friday, May 6, 2005 10:45 AM

Running with a clean machine as non-admin
I've been intrigued with the idea of non-admin since around the time I went to PDC 2003. While I had dabbled around with VMWare it wasn't until I loaded Virtual PC that I took virtual machine technology for a serious tryout. At the time, it gave me a chance to play around with Longhorn but it wasn't long before I realized it could be a big part of a consultant's toolkit. Before VPC, my average for re-paving a machine was usually 6-12 months. In that timeframe, I would end up adding and configuring ......

Posted On Monday, May 2, 2005 9:26 PM

Specifying the output filename from a BizTalk orchestration
Once again, I needed a short simple answer but found either examples that didn't match exactly or newsgroup posts that were cryptic. In my case, the target system I was feeding data to required me to specify a filename that included the month and day of posting as well as the next sequential number. Thus the format is MyOutputFile_mmdd-nnn.out where mm is the month, dd is the day and nnn is the next sequential number (in the case of multiple runs during the same day). To do this, within the message ......

Posted On Monday, May 2, 2005 4:40 PM

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