Thursday, July 29, 2004

Icing on the top

Last Sunday I went with a couple of friends to Mt Rainier. We walked for a couple of hours. I wish we had more time. I will certainly be back the next time I'm in town.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

A truly American experience

I went to a baseball game last night! I went to see the Seattle Mariners play against the Anaheim Angels. The Mariners lost 8 - 2. It made no difference to me who won, the event itself was the fascination for me.
It seems the main reason most people go is to have somewhere they can drink and eat for a solid three hour stretch. I have to say most of them didn't look like they should be quite so hungry.
I had a vege-dog, after all I couldn't miss out on the full experience.
All I can say is it's certainly not cricket :)

Friday, July 23, 2004

Top turnout for Tablets

I've spent the last three days with a great group of people exploring Tablet PCs and other mobile technologies. We examined what's avaiable now and discussed what is likely to be coming over the next few years. In the group we had Billy Hollis, Charles PetzoldJon Box, Julia Lerman, Jeffrey Richter and John Robbins from Wintellect, Marcus Egger and Paul Yao
It was a lot of fun and we got to talk to some of the people at Microsoft making decisions now that may change the way mobile devices are produced.

Monday, July 19, 2004

I, Robot

On Friday I went to see I,robot. It is hard to rate a movie like this mostly because I have read the Asimov books.
Whichever way I look at it this movie gets better than a seven out of ten.
It has good humor (of course with Will Smith), the special effects are good. Some of the gadgets are very cool. The story is told well.
In order to get a ten the robots would have had more realism. In my mind the animated robots still don't get it quite right. C3PO and R2D2 still have more believable qualities than the NS5 robots in the movie.
There are a few other things that would bump up the score, but I will refrain from spoiling the movie for you.

Test Driven Development in Microsoft .NET

This week I finished reading Test Driven Development in Microsoft .NET
By James Newkirk and Alexei Vorontsov
I give this book seven out of ten
What I liked about it:
It is easily to read. The topics are well presented and clearly defined.
The book introduces the concepts behind TDD (Test Driven Development)
Some of the less trivial aspects of TDD are discussed, like testing web services or using transactions.
Refactoring is introduced very well in chapter three.
The concepts of FIT are well explained and demonstrated.
In order to get a ten:
The book needs to decide who the target audience is. The material seemed too hard for a first introduction book and too simple for advanced developers.
As the book is about TDD it should have spent more time examining the benefits of developing software using this approach.
I would have liked to have seen more real world (hard to solve) problems tackled.

Friday, July 16, 2004

New portfolio case for Tablet PC

I just bought a leather portfolio case for my new Tablet PC. I give it 7/10.
What I like about it:
It protects my Tablet from scratches.
It protects my hands and arms from the heat produced from the Tablet.
It looks good.
It secures the Tablet in place with some well placed elastic straps.
In order to get a ten it would:
Support my Tablet running the other way around in portrait mode.
Come in a variety of colors. Dark blue or tan would be nice.
Have pockets to store SD cards.


Thursday, July 15, 2004


Master of Funk Alex has been busy laying down some new BOOMSHAKALAK !!!!!
Nice work!
Can I have a WAV file version so I can use it as a ring tone for my phone?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

VS.NET 2005 Team System Testing

The new XP friendly features in Visual Studio are taking up some of my time at the moment. Jim Newkirk has posted a Quick & Dirty way to get compatibility between NUnit and the testing in Visual Studio Team System.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Complex solutions sometimes rock too!

Two guys in Romania have worked out how to plug an iPod into a Pocket PC and create a
mobile wireless file server. Now that is cool!

I love simple solutions

I just read about this great way to increase the range of your WiFi network. The
Tritium Flatenna is essentially a curved piece of foil backed cardboard that you put on the antenna of an existing WiFi adaptor. Nice work guys.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Software for Your Head

My friends Jim and Michele McCarthy have started a blog. Not surprisingly it's called Software for Your Head.
I am looking forward to reading about some of the projects they are working on.
Welcome to the world of blogging.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

276304 - Error Message: Your Password Must Be at Least 18770 Characters and Cannot Repeat Any of Your Previous 30689 Passwords

John Liu of Sydney has pointed me to this most outstanding error message!

276304 - Error Message: Your Password Must Be at Least 18770 Characters and Cannot Repeat Any of Your Previous 30689 Passwords: "Your password must be at least 18770 characters and cannot repeat any of your previous 30689 passwords. Please type a different password. Type a password that meets these requirements in both text boxes. "

Now that is a secure password. I have trouble remembering my password when it is longer than 15 characters!

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Joe on Cruise Control

My good friend and old time programming buddy Joe Field has been hard at work getting Cruise Control.NET to work for him. He has documented the whole process here.
Nice work Joe.

Coding Slave

I have just finished reading Coding Slave by Bob Reselman.
I give it a seven out of ten.
What I like about it:
It's an easy read, flows nicely and has some nice ideas. The seperate threads of the tale pull together to weave the web that is the whole story. The characters really get me, I kept thinking I know someone like that. The style is very informal and easy to read. The book is short and sweet. Nice work Bob.
In order to get a ten:
There would have been more of it. I felt like the story ended earlier than I would have liked. More could have happened but didn't. I was disappointed by the ending, but maybe that was the point?
The book itself could be better presented, there are a few gramatical errors.
While the story puts a blunt reality into perspective I believe it could do so much more. It is quoted as 'the novel the software industry does not want you to read!' I am not convinced but I think it has all the potential to be the the novel the software industry has banned employees from reading!

No more outdoor office for a while :(

Remember the other day when I showed you my 'outdoor office'? Well the deck was falling apart and finally the guys came to start work on it last Friday. No more working out here for a while :(

Monday, July 05, 2004

July 4th - Let's blow something up!

The fireworks are going off and it's totally gorgeous with the reflection of the fireworks in the lake. Jim joined in the fun by bringing out his 'magic disco light' that rotates beams of color. The colored beams looked really good in the smoke from all the fireworks.

The fireworks reflected in the lake

More fireworks

Two shows in one - the air and the water

Jim and his magic light

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Spiderman, Spiderman, spins a web just like a spider can!

I went to see Spider-Man 2 today. It is a great movie. Worth seeing if you like comic book heros. Some people have said it is the best super hero movie ever. I would disagree but it is worth seeing and a lot of fun. Go see it, tell me what you think.

MSN Search

Microsoft is releasing improvements to it's MSN Search engine. If Microsoft is going to compete with Google I think they have a long way to go. Still I believe that competition in this field is healthy as we still have a long way to go with web searches.
Some things I'd like to see:
Tracking the things I'm looking for as a user to help improve the results of searches I do.
Use of color (or graphics) to categorize results
Location aware searches, the search engine would take into account your location when doing the search, so if I search for "I want to see the Spiderman movie, where is it on?" it shows me where it is playing locally.
Better English language translation on the search request as in the previous example.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Music to my ears

General Funkster Alex has put some more of his tunes online. This guy has so much talent. Will someone please give him a proper job.

Commodore PET or Vic 20GB?

Commodore are back and they are releasing a new range of devices with old names. The PET and Vic names are being applied to mobile MP3 players. The original Commodore PET with 2K RAM and a tape drive was one of the first machines I learnt to program. BASIC and then 6502 assembly were the only options then. The world has changed and I expect the new devices will be somewhat more powerful!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Chris Garty's talking agile

Chris Garty from Melbourne has been giving some talks on agile development practices and .NET. They look like they were good. Nice work Chris.
When will they invent the teleporting machine so I can get around the world fast enough to be where I want to be when I want to be there?