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Mark Schmidt's Abode On programming, writing, gaming and life... April 2004 Entries
Technical Best Seller List
I'll admit it, I'm addicted to Amazon. However, it's probably not in the same way as others may be. You see, I go to Amazon at least once a day to look at the sales rank of my latest book (I've given up on the first one). I keep thinking to myself though that this can't really be the best way to gauge the sales of the book. Or is it? For any and all published authors, how do you track the success of your publications? Amazon sales rank? Comparison of past sales of your other publications? Wouldn't ......

Posted On Monday, April 26, 2004 8:15 PM

Tip #1 for Author Bio's
Why didn't someone clue me into this. My author bio for my first book “SAMS Teach Yourself Visual C++ .NET in 24 Hours” began: Mark Schmidt has been a software engineer at Hewlett Packard for the last 3 years.” Now, if you go to SAMS website and look at my bio, it says the same thing. It's been 2 years since I wrote that, so the 3 should be a 5. Luckily I caught it in my 2nd book (”Microsoft Visual C# .NET 2003 Developer's Cookbook”) by just saying “Mark Schmidt ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 21, 2004 12:54 PM

First 3D Displays...Now This!
A display that doesn't have a screen? Sounds like it's straight out of a sci-fi movie. At the end it says that pundits claim there is no market out there. They obviously don't know the geek “I must have all toys!“ mentality. Personally, I think a thin-air display would be extrememly cool. Merge the 3D with the thin air and we'll have actual hologram displays! http://www.floatingplanet.n... ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 21, 2004 8:01 AM

Syntax Wars
I do far more work in unmanaged C++ (using ATL/COM) than I do in C#. My C# work is limited to either supporting tools, or the “extracurricular” stuff I do away from home (book writing, shareware, web sites). Lately, I've come to the realization that I'm mixing C# syntax with C++ syntax. However, it doesn't hold the other way around. I always catch myself writing C# code in an unmanaged C++ application (it's usually something like null instead of NULL, or the '.' operator instead of '->'). ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 20, 2004 11:28 AM

I hate decisions II
Ok, I just went and through the whole iPod thing out the door. Why? Well, it doesn't play WMA's for one. I thought you might be able to buy an FM tuner for it. They have an FM receiver that allows you to transmit to an FM station so you can listen to your MP3's in the car, but that's not what I'm looking for. Finally, I already have an digital music player (Nomad Jukebox 2). So, I have come to a final decision. I bought the XBox the day it came out. Unfortunately, I received one of the “bad” ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 20, 2004 8:04 AM

World record PowerPoint
I just finished giving a presentation on Whidbey (VS.NET 2k5) and C# 2.0 to a group of engineers (both local and remote via Netmeeting) here at HP. Going into the class I was quite nervous. Why? Was it stage fright? Nope, I dig presenting and teaching so that wasn't it. The issue: I had 62 slides plus code demos to show...and 2 hours to do it in. Doing the math, thats about 2 minutes allowed per slide and not including the demos. Well, not only did I finish, but I finished with about 10 minutes to ......

Posted On Friday, April 16, 2004 2:23 PM

Amazon searches everything...including you
Justin King blogged about Amazon's new search engine. I looked at it, installed their very Google like toolbar and tried it out. The SiteInfo popups on the search results page were cool. Then I clicked on the toolbar button that said “mark@schmidt6.com's History” and lo and behold, I was taken to http://a9.com/-/search/edit... and their I saw all the websites I had just visited after installing the toolbar. No way. Maybe the toolbar is intercepting the http response and filling in ......

Posted On Thursday, April 15, 2004 6:48 PM

I hate decisions
Every once in awhile, HP rewards its employees. The program is quite nice because they give you a set amount of money and you can go to a website to pick how you want to spend it (e.g. gift card, merchandise, traveller's checks, etc...). I usually end up getting either a CompUSA, Barnes and Noble, or Home Depot gift card or a combination of some sort. I received an award today so now its time to figure out what I want to do with it. Usually when this happens, the guilt phase sets in. Should I get ......

Posted On Thursday, April 15, 2004 11:54 AM

Blog Part Deux
I tried the whole blogging thing in its infancy and then left it almost as quickly as I entered. That was awhile ago and its time for another run at it. I will do the obligatory introduction post, but attempt to keep it short. I'm a software design engineer at HP by day, technical author by night. My latest book is “Microsoft Visual C# .NET 2003 Developer's Cookbook“ whose title is 4 characters longer than my 1st book “Sams Teach Yourself Visual C++.NET in 24 Hours“. There ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 14, 2004 9:53 AM

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