Thursday, November 7, 2013 #

Looking for new opportunities...

Due to circumstances surrounding the U.S. Government shutdown in October I am currently looking for new opportunities.

Posted On Thursday, November 7, 2013 9:43 PM | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 20, 2013 #

Dear Social Media Community,

Dear Social Media Community,

Now that the 2nd suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing has been captured and the good citizens of Boston can breathe a little easier knowing he’s not in their midst, can we, as a community come together and snowball the mainstream media with our stories of the goodness of our brothers and sisters that was demonstrated in the aftermath of this tragedy?

The mainstream media is going to be awash with accounts of the lives of the suspects that led up to the point where they became the most wanted men in the U.S.A. I don’t really care about “their story” and I don’t want to focus on their evil acts. I want to hear from all of you about the really awesome stuff that came about from this.

I’m not talking just about the amazing men and women of the Boston and surrounding area’s first responder units (Police, Fire, EMS) or the amazing doctors, nurses and medical techs who helped when the first victims arrived and continue to help as some remain in their care. I’m talking about everyone. From the guy in the cowboy hat rushing an injured runner to care in a wheelchair to the other everyday citizens who saw a brother or sister in need and jumped in to help. The one’s who would probably remain nameless and maybe they’d like their anonymity preferring to know they did a fine job helping and restoring things afterwards unless their story comes out.

During the past few days as a Social Media Community you have all sent thousands upon thousands of imagery to the law enforcement agencies investigating this crime. Now I want you to start sending the positive images of people helping people to the media, to Facebook, to Twitter, to Instagram, via e-mail to your friends you went to high school with. I want blog posts talking about how the good people of Boston opened up their homes and businesses to strangers in a time of need. I want Facebook updates talking about the healing process the victims are going through as they adjust to a new life, and perhaps even a new body image after this crime. Overwhelm our nation’s attention if nothing else than for a few days now with stories of hope, courage, strength, and resolve.

I know the mainstream media won’t do it. It’s not a money maker for them. Doom and gloom sells. But you, the community aren’t in this for the money. You’re in it for the sense of community. The sense of shared experiences and bonds with others in your community. And you outnumber them beyond belief.

And I don’t want made up stuff either. I don’t want talk about charities. The good and legit charities will do a fine job of raising the funds they need through their usual channels. I don’t want some scumbag to create a “charity” over this and tarnishing the image of those who do good. 

I know there have to be enough genuine and awesome stories of how those affected directly and indirectly bonded together and faced what was handed to them. It's time to let the world know.

Yours in love, hope, fear and peace.

Lou

Posted On Saturday, April 20, 2013 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 1, 2012 #

Windows Phone 8 SDK Available

The Windows Phone 8 SDK is available as of yesterday!

Posted On Thursday, November 1, 2012 7:36 AM | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 #

Airport security vs. privacy - can smarter technology provide a nice middle ground?

There's a lot of public backlash concerning the new TSA Airport security measures which include the new rather invasive body scanners and the option of a very intimate pat down should you decline the body scanner. What I want to know is why can’t the people who build the body scanners build them a little smarter? Smart enough so that everyone passing through doesn’t feel like they’ve just walked naked past a group of strangers.

Now I don’t pretend to know all about what goes into developing the backscatter x-ray machines but it would seem to me that a happy medium would be to make the machines so instead of showing the image of the person’s body all the time, it would only show a “Pass/Fail” type of indicator. For example, if I went through with nothing suspicious, a green light would simply show on the top of the device where the TSA person is. If on the other hand I went through with stuff I shouldn’t bring on a plane, a red light would show with perhaps an audible alarm. At that point TSA would probably be a little more justified in either turning on the actual image to see what suspicious items I may have, or opting for the aggressive pat down search. But the point here is the default behavior would allow all of us law-abiding people to contribute to airline security while maintaining our dignity.
I’ve read in the little research I’ve done they are already using some algorithms in the image generation to distort private areas on the output image so the level of detail there isn’t as accurate as it could be. Why couldn’t the developers write some pattern recognition software too?
OK – here’s where you come in. Provide feedback here because maybe I’m on to something or maybe I’m not. I’m just thinking there’s probably a better way to do this America…after Oppy the Mars Rover’s odometer just rolled over the 25 km mark when it was only meant for a 90 day mission travelling a max of 1 km (thanks @MarsRovers for that tweet!). Maybe now that NASA is retiring the space shuttle and possibly looking for work, they can rescue us all with an intelligent backscatter scanner.

Posted On Wednesday, November 17, 2010 8:04 AM | Comments (2)

Thursday, October 21, 2010 #

Product Review – Crutch Remedy® Cushions and Hand Grips

For those who hadn’t heard yet, I’ve been on crutches the past 3 weeks or so after a knee injury (torn ACL). Walking on the crutches was OK but after a few days started to get pretty painful in my hands and under my arms. The problem was the padding on a standard crutch was not very thick and with my weight pushing on those pads, I could easily feel the hard metal underneath.

Naturally I turned to the web to find a solution. Surely someone else must have experienced this and had a recommendation for me. One of the first results I came to was for the web site: http://www.crutchremedy.com/ . This company offers a set of custom cushions and hand grips made with a special foam (they call it Remedy Foam™) that was much thicker and softer than the standard cushions and hand grips on crutches.

After reading some information on their web site, I called them up, talked with them some more and decided to give their product a try.

I was pretty excited when the package arrived. By this point in my injury I was down to using a single crutch most of the time, but I also knew surgery was coming up and I would be back to two crutches again for a while. I opened up the package, looked at the installation information and installed the Crutch Remedy cushions and hand grips, making proper adjustments to the height of the crutch and hand bars.

Walking with Crutch Remedy versus standard crutch cushions is as different as night is to day. I couldn’t believe how much more comfortable it was to walk on them using the custom Crutch Remedy cushions and hand grips versus my old standard ones. My hands no longer hurt and the custom contour of the top cushion fit better under my arm. For anyone who has to walk on crutches, I would definitely recommend getting a set of Crutch Remedy Cushions and Hand Grips.

They also sell cover sets for their cushions and hand grips. Depending on how long I’m in crutches I may get those next as I noticed even with my standard ones, after a while the rubber felt grimy from use all the time and didn’t lend itself well to being washed. I haven’t had my Crutch Remedy items long enough yet (just a week) to get really grimy but it would be worth getting those to protect them too.

Posted On Thursday, October 21, 2010 12:32 AM | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 #

Error installing Windows Phone 7 developer tools (June 2010 Beta) with Symantec Endpoint Protection

Wow that was a long title but hopefully it will help out when people run into this problem.

I ran into a small issue when installing the June 2010 Windows Phone 7 Beta tools (yeah I know I'm 2 months late...been busy!) in that Symantec Endpoint Protection's Tamper Protection tool kept blocking the install when it got around to the install portion with Imagegen.exe

Just turning off Symantec Endpoint Protection services isn't enough, you actually have to go into the client settings and uncheck the Tamper Protection setting.

If you already started the install and ran into that issue, be sure to do an uninstall/reboot after turning off Tamper Protection before trying to re-install the Windows Phone 7 tools.

Oh and be sure to turn all that stuff back on when you're done installing!

Updated August 14 2013

Posted On Tuesday, August 17, 2010 1:05 PM | Comments (1)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 #

Ch-ch-ch-changes...

The last few months have been pretty crazy. Just before the MVP summit in February I was approached about changing to a different project with my (then current) employer, and right after the summit I was approached by another company. Eventually I went with the new company and a new role in the Information Assurance field. More to come on that as things progress.

All that being said I've not been as active in the .NET community as I once was and I miss it - so I'm looking to dive back in especially as Windows Phone 7 draws nearer and nearer.

Speaking of the community - many of you may not recognize me if you see me now :) I had told my son for the last couple years that I would cut my hair before he turned 5 (he always asked how come he didn't have long hair) and he turns 5 (time has flown!) on June 19th so May 30th I cut my long hair down pretty short and donated the hair to Locks of Love.

As Chris said to me on Twitter, "pics or it didn't happen" - well fortunately my wife was there to document the whole thing so I'll get a picture or two posted here soon.

Posted On Wednesday, June 9, 2010 8:42 PM | Comments (0)

Friday, October 2, 2009 #

GCNUG October Meeting

October Meeting - 8 October 2009 6PM

Our next meeting on October 8th, 2009 at Blackbaud on Daniel Island will feature the Greater Charleston .NET User Group meeting in one room with the brand new SQL Server User Group meeting in another room. Both groups will meet at the same location on the same night so you have a choice of which session you’d like to attend.

This month the Greater Charleston .NET User Group is pleased to host Microsoft Developer Evangelist Glen Gordon who will give a presentation on building connected applications with Silverlight.

Register Please!
Let us know you're coming! Please RSVP at EventBrite!

http://gcnugoctober09.eventbrite.com/

Posted On Friday, October 2, 2009 5:18 AM | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 #

Installing PHP on IIS 6

One project I'm working on now requires the use of an application written in PHP though newer portions of it are written in .NET - they wanted to host both together and I figured it would be easier to configure PHP on IIS than it would be to configure .NET on Apache :)

I was right - it was dead simple to get PHP installed and running on IIS. I simply followed the guide written here by Peter Guy. The guide he wrote covered everything I needed and I was up and running quickly...sweet!

Posted On Wednesday, September 23, 2009 5:38 AM | Comments (0)

Monday, September 14, 2009 #

Greater Charleston .NET User Group September Meeting - 17 September 2009 6PM

September Meeting - 17 September 2009 6PM

Two meetings for the price of one!

This month we start up again after our summer break with a new twist to the user group experience here in Charleston…now you get 2 user groups for the price of 1! :)

Our next meeting on September 17th, 2009 at Blackbaud on Daniel Island will feature the Greater Charleston .NET User Group meeting in one room with the brand new SQL Server User Group meeting in another room. Both groups will meet at the same location on the same night so you have a choice of which session you’d like to attend.

For the .NET User Group we’ll discuss the upcoming Mega Carolina Code Camp and learn a little bit about analyzing performance bottlenecks in your code. The .NET User Group presenter will be local Microsoft MVP Lou Vega.

For the SQL Server User Group we’ll have an Introduction to SSIS 2005/2008 presented by Eric Humphrey. Eric will demonstrate how to use Business Intelligence Development Studio to build an SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) package

Register Please!
Let us know you're coming! Please RSVP at EventBrite when you get the e-mail invite.

http://gcnug92009.eventbrite.com/

Posted On Monday, September 14, 2009 5:49 AM | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 10, 2009 #

Bing + Java

Am I the only one who thinks it an odd combo that the latest security updates for the Java Runtime Environment include the option to install the new Bing Toolbar for Internet Explorer? Oh and as an added bonus - right after that option screen is an add for Open Office. Just curious....oh and hi again, it's been a while!

Posted On Thursday, September 10, 2009 6:26 AM | Comments (2)

Friday, May 22, 2009 #

Windows Mobile RampUp track is now available on MSDN

Are you interested in learning about Windows Mobile Application Development from the ground up and looking for some easy-to-use content that helps you get started? We have good news for you. We have just launched the MSDN RampUp track for Windows Mobile Application Development on MSDN.

There's a new Windows Mobile RampUp track available on MSDN

Posted On Friday, May 22, 2009 5:00 AM | Comments (1)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 #

Neat feature with Google Translate

Maybe I'm late in noticing this, but it was a pretty handy feature so I though I would mention it.

Recently I was working with some obscure scripts that had comments written in another language. Though I had a pretty good idea what the author had intended just by reading the script logic, I wanted to see what the author's comments might have to add.

I fired up Google Translate and having traveled quite a bit I thought I would guess at what the language was. Then I noticed a choice from the drop down list that said "Detect Language" and thought to myself "Now that's a handy feature!".

I pasted my text in and hit "Translate" and Google's translate tool handily detected the source language (Dutch in this case) and spit out the English translation. Nice!

Posted On Wednesday, May 20, 2009 5:56 AM | Comments (1)

Thursday, April 2, 2009 #

Just a tip for me about SQL Versions...

Working on a database project today I got the latest drop from a co-worker to test on our deployment machine. The process had gone on without a hitch for the past few months but today the SQL 2005 database backup file he gave me would not restore on the deployment machine...gave an error during the restore saying it was "INCOMPLETE". A quick check of SQL Server versions using MS KB 321185 showed us that he was on SQL 2005 SP3 and I was on SQL 2005 SP2. Thankfully that 2 minutes worth of checking saved lots of time trying to hunt down a problem that wasn't really there. Hopefully this posted here will save someone else time and trouble too.

Posted On Thursday, April 2, 2009 6:15 AM | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 1, 2009 #

Get Fit in February Challenge

Today begins the Get Fit in February Challenge from Facebook. If you haven't already signed up - check it out while the month is still young and compete against over 100 other geeks for an MSDN subscription and other prizes! :)

Here's my first blog entry concerning the challenge. I'm starting the challenge at 210 lbs...yeah I ended up putting on some of what I lost last year after giving up soda completely. I was down to 195 for a while but I guess the holidays and then not really paying attention let things creep back up on me. So one goal for this challenge is to get back to that weight level again.

I'm also starting up the 100 push ups challenge again - and this time have 4 people in my office plus my neighbor joining me on the challenge. My initial test the other night was 43 - I could have probably done more but just was feeling lazy at that point. Either way it's a good starting point because rather than the full 6 week program I'm going to start off at Week 3 and try to complete it during the month of February!

Posted On Sunday, February 1, 2009 11:31 PM | Comments (0)