# Thursday, 20 September 2007
I was having some issues with using a straight keyboard and regular old mouse, since I've been using only trackballs and trackpads for years now, so I got hooked up with some new gear.  It's only been a few days, but so far I'm pretty impressed.  I got the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, and the Evoluent VerticalMouse 3.  The keyboard is very comfortable (as I type this) and has an optional support that props up the front of the keyboard, which keeps your hands flatter.  I wasn't sure about the lift at first, but now I'm sold.  It's quite comfy, although it did take me a day or two to get used to it.  The buttons are laid out very nicely, with a real inverted T arrow key setup.  My only complaint so far is that the spacebar clacks.  But since I usually work with headphones on, it will only really annoy my neighbors. :-)
The most is also quite comfortable, although I think I still need to get my chair adjusted a bit to deal with the desk height and the new mouse.  The VerticalMouse is just that.  It's a nice optical mouse, but oriented vertically instead of horizontally, so that you hold your hand perpendicular to the desk, rather than on top of it.  It seems like a much more natural hand position.  The buttons have a nice feel, as does the scroll wheel.  Because of the layout, the third button has to be pressed with the pinky (at least for me) which seems a bit awkward, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. 
Oh, yeah.  And I got a new car.  My Durango finally gave up the ghost after 9 years and over 230K miles.  RIP.  I got a 2007 Subaru Outback 2.5i, and so far I'm loving it.  Very comfy, handles nice.  About twice the mileage of the Durango.  We'll see how it does pulling a trailer.  The hitch goes on today, with luck.
Fall seems to be the season of change for me this year.  And it seems to have come early.  It's started getting much chillier at night just over the last week or so.  OK, now I'm rambling. 

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Thursday, 20 September 2007 10:15:43 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 28 August 2007

So there it was, all planned out...  I had two days off (and a weekend) between jobs, and everything in place for my son and I to do a 4-day, 40 mile backpacking trip.  My last day at Corillian was last Wednesday, so I staid up late into the night packing all our gear, putting dried food into little plastic bags, trying to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything.  Thursday morning, we got the whole family up way to early so that my wife could drop us off at Santiam pass for the 4 day trip to Ollalie Lake, heading North on the Pacific Crest Trail over Three Finger Jack, Jefferson Park, and finally down into the Ollalie Lake Scenic Area. 

Alas, 'twas not to be.  As we were heading up Hwy. 22 toward the pass, all set for an early start, about 5 miles this side of Detroit the alternator in my Durango went completely dead with no warning.  Very exciting.  The better voltage fell to exactly jack, the radio shut off, lights went out, etc.  Big fun.  Luckily we made it into Detroit, where there is both food and cell coverage, but once the car was off it was dead as a post. 

Apparently there just aren't that many tow trucks working Hwy. 22, especially ones that can take a 4WD vehicle and four passengers (plus a small dog).  Between that, and actually getting the car fixed in Mill City, we lost the entire day.  There's no way we could have made 15 miles a day to do it in 3 days, since 10 was a stretch as it was.  Crap.  We ended up just going home, and retooling for a new plan.

So, they 4 day hike became a three day hike, and we decided to focus on what would have been the end of the route, around Ollalie Lake.  We (re)set out Friday morning and started hiking South from Ollalie Butte around noon.  Many fine sights awaited us along the way.

 

We camped for the night at Upper Lake, just off the PCT, and got up the next morning to keep heading South. 

This was a great opportunity to try out some new gear, and it all worked fabulously.  My new pack, a ULA Catalyst, was a joy, as was the new tent, Tarptent Rainshadow 2.  Also a big success was my new quilt, a "No Sniveller" down quilt from Jacks'R'Better.  Between those upgrades, and some other careful choices, I think I got my total pack weight to under 35 lbs., which is soooo much nicer than the 60+ lbs. I used to carry.  I'm still in the "transition" to ultralight backpacking, so I've got plenty of room for improvement.  I also have to carry a fair amount of extra stuff for the kid(s) since they can't carry quite as much.  My son's new Golite Gust also worked very well. 

The one big problem was that I have apparently lost the ability to sleep on the ground.  Something to do with the aging process, no doubt.  We brought old fashioned closed-cell foam pads, and it was hell.  In fact, I slept so poorly (plenty warm enough though) that we decided to trim the 3 day hike down to a 2 day hike, and just truck on out the second day.  This went pretty well, although made for a few more miles than the boy appreciated.  :)

We went around the East side of Monon lake, then the West side of Ollalie lake to get back to the car. 

 

Not quite the trip I'd planned, but it worked out well none the less, and a good time was had by all (except possibly the frog, who was a bit harassed). 

Tuesday, 28 August 2007 22:03:21 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Monday, 23 July 2007

My apologies to anyone who tried to access this site over the weekend and found it down.  My hosting provider did some reorganizing, and some of the file system permissions got goofed.  I was out of town all weekend, and didn't know there was a problem.  Everything seems to be back to normal at present.

Monday, 23 July 2007 13:10:02 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 11 June 2007

After the usual travel hassles (4 hour delay out of Dulles), I'm once again back at home in Hillsboro.  I'm looking forward to not going anywhere next weekend, as I think I've been out of town for the last 4-5 weekends in a row.  Going places is fun, but traveling sucks.

Lot's of exciting new stuff at TechEd, the highlights for me being Acropolis, the Entity Framework, SQL 2008, and Orcas stuff like LINQ and the new smart client features.  Of course, now it's back to the practical, so I'll be focusing once again on the details of WCF/WF, ADAM and AzMan.  I can worry about Orcas later.

Monday, 11 June 2007 14:04:56 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 29 January 2007

Yesterday we had a party for the 10th Anniversary of the CERT program here in Hillsboro.  We had many more people than I had expected show up, to whom we provided free spiffs, literature on disaster preparedness, and lot's of nifty door prizes including tools, hats, etc.  Plus safety related games for the kids.  And there was cake.

A good time was had by all.  Here's to 10 more...

Monday, 29 January 2007 15:08:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 18 December 2006

Late last week, Rhapsody finally released a new desktop client that doesn't crash in the presence of IE7.  Hurray!  I've been gimping along with the web-based client, which is cool, but not nearly as full-featured as the desktop version.  I've been running it for several days now, and not one crash, so I'm hopeful at this point.  Just in time to listen to all that Christmas music that I'd never shell out to buy full time...

Update: I may have spoken too soon.  It works fine on my desktop at work, but crashes constantly on my laptop at home.  Sigh.

Monday, 18 December 2006 12:41:57 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Over the weekend I took my kids for a hike up the Deschutes river from where it meets the Columbia, just east of the Dalles.  The weather was pretty nice, although it was overcast most of the day.  At least the rain held off until the middle of the night.  Check out pictures and a brief description at portlandhikers.com

This was the longest hike I’ve ever done with my kids, and as we’ve progressed toward longer hikes over the summer, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about hiking with children and how to make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.  I got a lot of great tips from Extreme Kids: How to Connect With Your Children Through Today's Extreme (and Not So Extreme) Outdoor Sports.  It’s a very well written book, that starts with some general tips about going outdoors with children, and then has some sport-specific information in the second half.  The tips I’ve gotten the most out of so far:

  • dress them for the part.  Hiking-specific gear like hydration packs, boots, and trekking poles make them feel like they are participating in something special, and really help get them out on the trail.
  • talk up the hike.  Take some time to talk up the hike.  Make it sound hard, question their ability to handle such a difficult task (not too seriously) and make it into a challenge.  This has made a huge difference.  My kids both boogied right up Little Belknap Crater after I played up the difficulty of “scaling a volcano”. 
  • keep them fed.  Keeping their blood sugar up is vital.  I’ve started packing not just granola/Clif bars, but some smaller snacks to keep them sugared up.  Generally we avoid giving them sugar, so this one took me a while to warm up to, but on last weekend’s 7.8 miler, it made a big difference.  They were tired, but the never crashed.  The new Jelly Belly “Sports Beans” work great for this.  They are basically jelly beans with electrolytes in them (like Gatorade) that come in 100 calorie packs.  The kids love them, and the feel like they are getting away with something. :-)  We also tried some Clif Shot Bloks, which proved popular.  They come in packs of 6, and were easy to dole out at key milestones.

These tips (and more from the book) have made our time together outside much more enjoyable.  I’m already looking forward to next season (and maybe some snowshoeing over the winter).

Tuesday, 17 October 2006 10:18:17 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 04 October 2006

I wanted to check out some CardSpace stuff today, so I bit the bullet and installed IE7 RC1.  In the short space of time I played with it, it looks pretty good.  However, as soon as it was installed, my Rhapsody client started crashing on startup.  Bummer.  The Rhapsody client hosts IE to do its “Music Guide” stuff, so I wasn’t really surprised that it didn’t handle the change well.  I’m pretty addicted to Rhapsody at work, since I can listen to just about anything I might want to. (Today it’s been a bunch of alt country stuff, Neko Case, The Sadies, Whiskeytown, Be Good Tanyas…yesterday was largely a Rage Against the Machine/The Prodigy kinda day.)

Apparently, this is a known problem, and Real says tough rocks.  I don’t blame them.  It’s what I’d tell me.  Luckily, some crafty bugger in the Real support forum mentioned that it worked for him if he cleared his IE cache before starting Rhapsody. 

Son-of-a-gun, that worked.  We’ll see how long it lasts…

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Wednesday, 04 October 2006 15:02:49 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 11 September 2006
Yesterday my daughter and I hiked from Timberline lodge out to Zig Zag Canyon.  What a nice hike!  Just about the right length, and the weather up there was perfect yesterday.  Check out the pictures.

Definitely a good hike for even medium-sized kids, and the views are fantastic.

Monday, 11 September 2006 14:07:05 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 21 August 2006

We just got back from a week's vacation in sunny Marin County CA (just across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, for those not up on Californian geography).  We were visiting family and checking out goings on in "the City", which we haven't done in 4-5 years. 

I was quite surprised to discover that the California Academy of Sciences, which was one of my favorite destinations as a kid, is being rebuilt.  We showed up in Golden Gate Park, (finally) found parking, and were all set to go to the aquarium and visit the stuffed lions when we came around the bend to find a big hole in the ground, surrounded by cranes.  So we went to the recently renovated Deyoung art museum instead, and hit the temporary location of the Academy (near Moscone Center) the next day. 

We also squeezed in a visit to the new Asian Art Museum, much of which used to be the Brundage (sp?) Collection at the Deyoung.  The new building is beautiful, and very well laid out.  It's designed to be viewed as a progression over time and distance, starting with India and South Asia, through SE Asia, and then East Asia (China, Korea, Japan).  The new Deyoung is also very well laid out.  Don't be put off by the exterior.  It'll grow on you as you get closer, and the inside is fantastic. 

Our tour ended with a day in Sonoma, where we checked out the historical sights, like Valejo's house, the Sonoma Mission, and Jack London State Park, which has a very nice museum, and where you can see the ruins of London's "Wolf House" which burned down a month before he could move in. 

The weather turned out to be very pleasant, and in fact it was hotter here in Portland when we got home yesterday.  Go figure.  Hotter in Portland than in Redding?  Who'd have thunk it. :-)

Monday, 21 August 2006 13:18:16 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 07 August 2006
There’s a great (relatively new) site for hikers around the Portland area called (aptly enough) PortlandHikers.com.  There are forums for trip reports (many of which come with beautiful photos), gear reviews, and other topics related to hiking our part of the Great NW.  You can check out the pictures I posted of our hike to the Indian Heaven wilderness last weekend, which turned out to be a great trip.  Nice weather, good company, and a very pretty lake to camp next to.
Monday, 07 August 2006 23:10:39 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 02 August 2006

Yes, it’s happened again.  Yet another technology/trend which appeared in Neal Stephenson’s seminal novel Snow Crash has come to (almost) fruition.  I think he called it “sintergel” or some such.  This new technology joins the burbclave and a host of other trends that Stephenson predicted back in the day. 

Liquid Body Armor By End Of 2007

The company Armor Holdings is developing a liquid-type of body armor to either replace or enhance the current tough fiber and polymer armor that's in use today. The liquid can be smeared on a person, or a person's clothing, and stiffens when hit by an object. [Gizmodo]

Wednesday, 02 August 2006 09:54:15 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Monday, 26 June 2006

Aboutt 4 months ago I moved into a brand new (town)house.  It’s been great, particularly since our last house was generating more maintenance opportunities that we could handle.  The new place is 3 stories, and there’s a deck off the back of the second floor over the driveway.  Staining/finishing said deck is left as an excercise for the homeowner, and yesterday I finally got around to it.  At first I didn’t want to tackle it due to the everpresent rain, and lately it’s just been a matter of finding the time.  And I really hate ladders. 

Anyway, I had the time, the materials, and no rain.  Unfortunately, it was around 100° yesterday.  It’s a small deck, but nonetheless 4 hours of huffing paint fumes on my hands and knees left me a bit nackered.  And today I’m finding out how unbendy I’ve become (i.e. crippled today). 

This whole getting older thing really blows. 

Monday, 26 June 2006 13:14:20 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Thursday, 22 June 2006
I hope not.  But since it seems to otherwise be a good recording, I fear it’s so.  Check out Hanselminutes 21, wherein Scott interivews Jeff Atwood and I about the relative merits of Subversion vs. Team System.  Taking the show on the road was a great idea, and all the segments came out very well.  I’m amazed that he and Carl were able to clean up the audio to the point that you hardly hear the other 7–8000 people in the room with us.
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Thursday, 22 June 2006 15:28:15 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Monday, 01 May 2006

Yesterday we met a bunch of friends for a birthday brunch.  A good friend of ours turns 50 this week, and a ton of people showed up to mark the occasion.  Afterwards, on a lark, I decided it was a good day to visit Multnomah Falls, out on the Columbia Gorge.  It took us for ever to find parking out there.  I forget that Multnomah Falls is one of the most popular tourist spots in Oregon.  And I think pretty much everyone was there yesterday. 

Anyway, I’ve been to the Falls maybe a dozen times in the (almost) 18 years I’ve lived in Oregon, but never hiked up to the top of the falls.  Being that it was such a brilliant day, and the kids had been inside way too long, we decided to make the hike.  It was well worth it!  What a view.  It’s certainly not a hike to be undertaken lightly.  It’s only about a mile, but it’s very steep.  However, once you get up to the top, there’s a viewing platform that’s built out over the top of the falls (with a very stout railing) so you can see all the way down.  There were quite a number of wild flowers blooming already.  It’s definitely spring around these parts. 

I was reminded of just how much I like hiking.  I’m thinking the kids are big enough that it’s time to start dragging them around the woods on a more regular basis. 

the view from the top

Monday, 01 May 2006 15:07:25 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Monday, 24 April 2006

Vikki and I took the kids to see an “Indian Dance Ballet” downtown yesterday called Krishna Bhakti.  It was great!  Groovy costumes, great music, and some very impressive dancing.  The ballet focuses around the lives of two female saints and poetesses who were proponents of Krishna Bhakti, or love of the divine in the form of Lord Krishna.  Their stories reminded me a lot of that of Hildegaard von Bingen, a medieval German nun and abbess who was also a poetess, and whose work has become popular of late. 

The lead dancer and choreographer, Jayanthi Raman, also runs a school for Indian dance here in Portland, and many of the dancers yesterday were her students.  I’ll be looking out for future productions sponsored by Rasika, an Indian Arts and Cultural Council in Portland. 

Monday, 24 April 2006 14:12:52 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 10 April 2006

I’m such a sucker for good TV shows on DVD.  Our latest favorite is Lost.  What a groovy show.  I love the fact that during the cource of the first couple of episodes you form distinct impressions about the nature of each character, and one by one during subsequent episodes those impressions are exploded.  A very interesting premise for a show, particularly set against the survival-on-a-desert-island background.  I also like the fact that there are unanswered questions that are allowed to linger for several episodes before finally being addressed.  It’s nice to see more TV shows taking advantage of story arc, a la Joss Whedon, and not making the assumption that your viewers are all dim bulbs who can’t remember what happned a few weeks back. 

We’ve been renting Lost one DVD at a time, which Vikki says is a good thing, or else we’d never sleep.  :-)

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Monday, 10 April 2006 11:29:36 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

The second I win the lottery, I’m so getting one of these.  They are wood-covered, spherical rooms that you hang from trees.  What a great place to hang out in (literally). 

 

Treehouse sphere
Monday, 10 April 2006 11:03:06 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 20 March 2006
Scott and Mo are putting together a team for a Walk for Diabetes later this Spring.  I walked with Scott and his family 6–7 years ago, and had a great time.  Jump on over and make a tax deductible (in the US) contribution, or come out and walk in May.  I’ve watched the technology that Scott uses to control his condition pretty closely over the years, and know that there’s still a long way to go.  Definitely a worthy cause.  Show your support for Team Hanselman, and know that you’re helping a lot of people in the process.
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Monday, 20 March 2006 16:43:00 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 16 March 2006

Early this week my beloved iPod (a 3G 20Gb) died horribly, in a won’t boot and the diagnostics crash kinda way.  Great sadness.  I hadn’t been using it as much lately, largely due to how rediculously the battery life was SUCKING.  But with it gone, I was really missing it, particularly the Audible support, which I use in my car all the time. 

The result:  a quick trip to Costco (home of all things good) last night and a shiny new black iPod Photo 30Gb.  Gotta love Apple.  The packaging is even sleeker and sexier than before, and you can’t beat their out of box experience.  The documentation that comes in the box basically says “install iTunes, plug in the iPod and everything just works”, and that’s pretty much how it went.  Took over an hour to get my 11Gb+ of content downloaded, but I love the fact that the USB interface will charge them now.  I was a little bummed that you don’t get the wall-plug-to-iPod-cable charger any more, although I’m sure my old firewire one still works. 

The screen is truly amazing.  I scoffed at the thought of trying to watch videos on such a tiny screen, but it really is that good.   Since I don’t get cable, the fact that you can get the Daily Show on iTunes is pretty dang cool, since that’s about the only thing that makes me want cable. 

Sadness gone.

I really have to hand it to Apple (once again).  I’m amazed that so few other companies seem to “get it” the way they do.

Thursday, 16 March 2006 13:01:54 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 07 March 2006

Last night I finally got broadband access hooked up at my new house.  Two weeks without Internet access has been crushing me slowly, but this was the soonest I could pull everything together. 

I found out a while back that I could get Verizon’s FIOS service at my new house.  Way faster than the 768Kb DSL connection I had before.  I went round and round about how to set up networking/phone/etc. at the new place.  I considered cable modems, VoIP phone, etc.  I didn’t really want a cable modem, since I don’t watch TV, and Comcast really tries hard (relentlessly?) to make you watch TV once they get a foot in the door.  I considered DSL again, but you can’t get DSL without local phone service, and I didn’t really want that either.  FIOS works out perfectly.  It’s fiber direct to the home, and you can get (right now) 5Mb down and 2Mb up for $35/month.  Perfect.  I don’t have a landline, since I already pay for cell phones, and FIOS carries no local phone requirement, although if you use Verizon as your local phone service, they route your phone over the fiber too, at no additional charge.  If you really feel you need it, FIOS is also capable of 15Mb/2Mb for only $10/month more. 

Once that was decided, it was still a lengthy process.  Turns out that FIOS requires a little box (the Optical Network Terminal) to be installed on the outside of your house.  This (for me) required getting approval from the HOA, and for that I had to wait until we closed before even submitting the application.  That took a few days to process, and by then the earliest time I could schedule Verizon for was over a week out.  Sigh.  Being a utility, Verizon gives you a nice tight arrival window for the technicians between 8 AM and 5 PM.  Thanks.  So I worked at home all day waiting for them to show up.  They finally arrived at 4:45.  Good thing I waited. :-(  Once they got there though, I was very impressed.  They only took about an hour, which included installing the ONT on the outside of the house, installing a battery backup for said device inside my garage, and running CAT5 from the ONT through the crawlspace and into the room where I have my PC set up.  The install ends in a very tidy looking RJ-45 jack.  They even install a free (if you agree to a one year contract) wireless router and get it all configured to talk to their server (via PPPoE, I was surprised to learn). 

I tried it out last night, and it kicks the llama’s @$$, as they say.  Lightyears ahead of my DSL connection. 

If it’s available in your neighborhood, it’s totally worth checking out. 

Tuesday, 07 March 2006 10:40:24 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 22 February 2006

It was an arduous long weekend, but we are now moved into our new house.  10 years ago we bought our first house, a 1926 farmhouse with loads of character.  And bad plumbing.  And wiring.  And little insulation.  And no foundation.  All in all, an exciting place to live.  Somewhere along the line I discovered that I am totally not handy, and have absolutely no desire to become so.  And that I loathe yard work with a pure and simple hate. 

All that’s behind me now.  We’ve moved into a brand new townhome, with no yard work, lots of insulation, and all sorts of other stuff that works.  Sure, maybe it has a bit less “character”, but at this stage of the game, I’m willing to make sacrifices. 

We actually sold our old house back in December.  Full price, in cash, in less than 24 hours.  The real estate market may be slowing down someplace, but not here, apparently.  Ever since then, we’ve been renting our old house back, and waiting for construction to complete on the new one.  It was quite a thrill to pick up the keys last week. 

Oh, and if you ever need movers, All My Sons completely rocks.  The movers were incredible.  Not a scratch on anything, extremely polite and courteous, put everything exactly where we wanted it.  Totally worth it.   

Now the unpacking gets into full swing. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2006 14:52:23 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 05 February 2006
I've been a fan- and user of Plaxo for some time, but hadn't been using it as much since switching to Thunderbird for all my email at home.  Then they came out with Thunderbird support, but not for 1.5, which is (of course) what I was using.  Now everyone has caught up, and Plaxo supports Thunderbird 1.5.  Oh, happy day!  I'm once again a regular user, and love it.  It's so nice to have my contacts synchronized across all the different machines I use on a daily basis. 

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Sunday, 05 February 2006 09:09:31 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 23 January 2006

This morning I got to talk to an AP Computer Science class at a local high school about GPS receivers, and the wonderful world of geospatial data.  We touched on making your own maps, Google Maps/Google Earth mash-ups, and the kinds of data you can get from the internet and from a GPSr.  Fun stuff. 

In timely fashion, Scott has some info on how to geotag your photos using various means, which is handy information for the geospatially inclined.

Monday, 23 January 2006 15:09:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 06 January 2006
For an excellent (and practical) example of using geospatial data, check out the Brew Map.  A Google maps mashup showing the locations of every brewery in WA and OR.  Apparently there’s a winery version too if you are into that sort of thing.  Little did I know there was a brewery in Forest Grove!  A useful tool already. :-)
Friday, 06 January 2006 08:51:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 03 January 2006
Vikki and I took the kids up to Mt. Hood on Sunday to play in the snow and try out the new sleds they got for Christmas.  We decided to head for the Trillium Lake snow park, which is just past the turnoff to Timberline (maybe a mile) right across from the turnoff for Snow Bunny.  It’s a nice snow park, usually not too crowded, and a great jumping off place for Nordic skiing or snow shoeing.  Unfortunately, their new sleds need a steeper slope, so the sledding didn’t go as well as hoped.  But we had a very nice time playing around in the snow and walking down the snow covered road watching the skier and snowshoers.  Also impressive was watching the tractor.  Some brilliant individual had decided to drive his 4Runner down the snow covered road (we’re talking probably 4+ feet of snow) past the chained gate, and got stuck up to his axles at the bottom of the hill.  They had to bring in a little snow tractor on a flatbed and pull him out.  Must have cost a fortune.  As well it should for doing something so stupid.  It did provide a fair amount of amusement for the spectators, so not a total loss. :-)
Tuesday, 03 January 2006 10:41:18 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 27 December 2005

We had a pretty mellow Christmas this year, visiting family up in Seattle and then finishing the festivities yesterday at our place.  In years past we’ve had some pretty crazed holiday seasons, so it was nice to chill for the weekend.  Got a chance to hang out with my sister and her new baby, my first nephew. 

We managed to work in some gadgets, as is traditional.  I got a new Highgear Axis watch, with compass, altimeter and barometer.  Very cool for geocaching.  Also got some extra software for my GPSr, so now I have topo maps that I can load onto it.  I have yet to try it out for caching, but I’m thinking the maps will be a big help. 

I got my son his very own Garmin GPS 60, which was a huge hit.  We went out Christmas morning so he could find his first geocache by himself, which he did quite quickly.  A chip off the old nerd block. :-)

For those of you who might happen to read this blog for the technical content that once was here, hopefully there’ll be a bit more in the weeks to come.  I’m starting to work with Indigo, WWF, and Enterprise Library 2.0, so I should have some interested tidbits to report soon.

Tuesday, 27 December 2005 11:15:50 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Over the weekend I finally got a chance to go down to the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville.  The Spruce Goose is one big plane!  When I’d read that it was the biggest plane ever built, that still didn’t prepare me for the actual scale of the thing.  The whole museum is essentially in one big room, and the goose makes the other planes (like the “little” B-17) look like kid’s toys in comparison.  Not too surprising that it couldn’t actually fly.

The museum is very well done, with good, informative graphics, and a very nice building.  A clean, well lighted place for planes. One of the coolest parts of the visit was that we got to go inside the B-17 (for $10 extra for a family) and talk with some of the volunteers about the plane.  My grandfather flew B-17s and B-25s in WWII, so it was pretty cool to get a look inside and get a sense of what it would have been like to ride in one.  It would have been crowded, cold (30° below) and pretty scary, considering there’s not that much aluminum between you and the bullets. 

On the way down I managed to hunt up a couple of geocaches in Newburg, which made the trip that much more fun.  We also got a chance to check out the Hotel Oregon, McMennemin’s hotel in McMinnville.  Typical McMennemin’s food, nice atmosphere.  It’d be a nice place to stay.

Tuesday, 29 November 2005 13:38:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Wednesday, 26 October 2005

I did a little geocaching with some friends this summer, and really want to do some more.  To that end, I just got my first GPS, a Garmin GPSMAP 60C.  So far I’m totally digging it.  It gets great reception, even in the car, and the color screen is super easy to read.  It’s even got some nice built-in geocaching features, like the ability to mark a cache as found, and recording when you found it. 

The USB interface is super easy, and I was able to upload/download waypoints in no time.  I have yet to try downloading a route, but that will be next.  I haven’t shelled out for the mapping software yet, so I have to content myself with the basemap, which isn’t much to go on, but should be enough for highways at least.

I’m hoping to get in some ‘caching this weekend, so we’ll see how well it works in the field.

Wednesday, 26 October 2005 10:07:12 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 30 September 2005
How cools is this?  The first ever pictures of a live Giant Squid.  My son has been completely fascinated by these things for years, so he’ll freak when he sees these shots.  Getting pictures of a live Giant Squid has long been the holy grail of marine biology, which makes these images that much cooler.
Friday, 30 September 2005 09:44:15 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 29 September 2005

September and October are the very best months here in Oregon.  Yesterday was truly spectacular.  Bright sunshine, clear blue skies, 45° in the morning, 75° by lunch.  The leaves are just starting to turn, and it looks like they are going to be something else this year. 

I also love that when I walk to work from the bus stop in the morning I often see Killdeer and a Great Blue Heron hanging out in the field across the street. 

Thursday, 29 September 2005 13:05:33 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

Scott turned me on to TiddlyWiki a while back, and I’m totally diggin’ it.  I decided to use it for my latest Web Services class at OIT, and so far I think it will work out well. 

For those who haven’t seen it, TiddlyWikki is a self-contained, all DHTML wiki.  Just one HTML file filled with JavaScripty goodness.  It has very nice editing features built in, so all you have to do is keep slinging the one file around, and it’s all there.  I don’t have to worry about installing any server side code on my hosted site, and can edit the file basically anywhere FTP works. 

There isn’t much there yet, but if you want to take a look at an example, my class site is here.

Thursday, 29 September 2005 13:02:22 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 27 September 2005

Since our beloved husky-German Shephard Saffy passed away in July we’ve been casually shopping for a new dog.  Vikki and I both decided we wanted something smaller, and mellower.  In short, something that will be content to just hang out, and doesn’t take up too much room. 

Last week we found what we were looking for in the form of Carter.  He’s a Chihuahua/terrier mix that we got from the animal shelter.  About a year and a half old, had his shots, neutered, some puppy school.  All is good.  He’s a bit of an escape artist, but when he’s not escaping, he pretty much just wants to hang out with us, and he’s about the same size as our cat.  Perfect. :-)

Pictures to follow.

Tuesday, 27 September 2005 16:08:42 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Thursday, 11 August 2005
My sister Erica delivered my first nephew yesterday afternoon.  Connor James Mullen, 7 lb. 15 oz.  Woo hoo!  Everyone is doing beautifully.
Thursday, 11 August 2005 11:02:43 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 08 July 2005

Over the holiday weekend we lost our 11-year-old Husky/German Shephard, Saffy (short for Saffron).  She went quickly, and didn't suffer, which is all we could have hoped for.  We can only hope that wherever she is now that the sun is warm, and the squirrels are slow.  She'll be missed.

Saffy

Friday, 08 July 2005 08:07:38 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 12 April 2005

My friend Lori turned me on to O’Reilly’s new “Make” magazine this weekend.  Very cool stuff.  I love the current trend towards mainstreaming the hacking of stuff.  You can find similar, although a bit more technical, stuff on the Hack a Day blog. 

I’m dying to try Make’s project for “kite arial photography”.  Basically you build a cradle out of popsicle sticks and pure grit, put a disposable camera in it, and hang it from a kite string.  At some controllable interval after you get it in the air, it releases the shutter on the camera and you get some pretty cool aerial photos. 

There’s also a project for a $15 DIY steady-cam.  Pretty fun stuff, and most of it looks pretty easy to build. 

My son is chomping at the bit to try their electric motor made from a magnet, some wire, two safety pins and a D battery.  Good times.

Tuesday, 12 April 2005 12:48:34 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 28 March 2005

I upgraded to the latest 1.7 release of dasBlog CE this weekend, and it couldn’t have gone more smoothly.  I didn’t have any problems, and everything seems to be working just fine. 

Kudos to Scott, Omar and the other contributors.

Monday, 28 March 2005 10:35:03 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

I love to see technology being put to uses that actually make our lives better, so I was pretty tickled by the Fox Blocker.  It’s a little inline band-pass filter that you can screw into a cable TV line that blocks the signal for Fox News. 

Simple technology that makes our lives better.

[via Engadget]

Monday, 28 March 2005 10:01:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [4]  | 
# Thursday, 10 March 2005

I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to get some ham radio related (yes, I’m that big a nerd) software to run on an old laptop I have at home.  I figured, being such an old and limited little machine, I’ll run Linux, since it will be small, light and agile on such hardware.  As ever, the Linux install itself went very smoothly (Debian 3.0).  I spent three solid days installing Linux back in like ‘93, so I appreciate how far installing has come.  It’s what happens after that.  I know I write code for a living, but I’ve discovered that when I get home, it’s not really what I want to do.  And the unfortunate truth of Linux (for me at least) is that everything that doesn’t come with your distro is next to impossible to run.  I just don’t have the patience to compile every piece of software that I want to use, especially since whatever libraries it depends on are NEVER the ones that I have. 

Sigh.  I know deep in my heart that Linux is cool.  I just don’t have that kind of time. 

As sad as it is, I gave up and installed the copy of 98 SE that came with the box.  And it just works.  Not nearly as flashy (Gnome is way cooler, hands down) but a solid performer.  Of course it took two days and several sets of drivers to get my D-Link WiFi card to work, but that’s a different story. :-)

Thursday, 10 March 2005 14:05:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Thursday, 13 January 2005

I finally feel as if I’m starting to recover from the weekend…

My wife received a big award in the SCA (she’s now a Laurel for anyone who knows what that means) and the run up to the event was pretty hectic.  And the party that followed was epic in proportion.  I’m just not as young as I used to be.  I should have some pictures up after this weekend.

Anyway, hopefully things will pick up here a bit now that it’s over. 

Thursday, 13 January 2005 13:12:43 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 06 January 2005

No surprises there…


I am nerdier than 76% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Thursday, 06 January 2005 14:33:50 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 28 December 2004

I haven’t had cable TV for many years.  In fact my TV at home pretty much only gets one channel.  Luckily, it happens to be our fabulous local public broadcasting station, OPB.  Every time I see cable television, at the gym, at my parents’ houses, etc. I’m once again shocked and appalled by the lousy (I might go so far as to say “execrable”) shows that are on.  The one possible exception would be the food network, which often has some pretty cool stuff on, but they have their share of garbage too. 

Which isn’t to say that nobody is making good television!  There are some truly great shows on TV.  I’m just not willing to put up with the 99% that’s awful.  Luckily, more and more shows are being released on DVD, and I’ve become an avid fan of TV-on-DVD.  I’m more that willing to shell out $40–$50 for a season’s worth of good TV.  I must admit though, that’s about my limit.  There are a few really great shows out on disk that are just too expensive.  I love the Sopranos, but $75 a season is too much.  I was a huge X-Files fan in the early days, but there’s no way it’s worth $100+ a season.  But there are lots of shows coming out for a reasonable price that are well worth checking out…

I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan, so I’ve got all 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer now (say what you will, it’s a fantastic show!) and the final season of Angel comes out in February.  I’m also a huge fan of Firefly, Joss’s sadly short-lived Sci-Fi series, which is a great on DVD and includes some shows that never made it to the air. 

For Christmas this year I got the first two seasons of Roswell (great stuff) and the first season of Dead Like Me, which I find completely hilarious.  My wife got the first two seasons of the BBC classic Red Dwarf, which she and my kids totally adore. 

There are also some “vintage” shows coming out on DVD which I think is pretty cool.  I’ve picked up 21 Jump Street, Quantum Leap, and Northern Exposure so far.  21 Jump Street is worth it for the clothing styles alone.  Those were the days.  If only they’d put Miami Vice on disk. :-)

So as you can see from the list above, it’s not that I don’t like TV, I’d just rather put my $40 bucks a month into content that I know I like rather than bet it on the drivel the networks pump out.

Tuesday, 28 December 2004 15:07:21 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [4]  | 
Last year I got a great jacket for my birthday from SCOTTeVEST.  This year I got the fleece version, which also fits inside the shell I got last year to provide (much needed this time of year) insulation.  These are great jackets, very comfy and covered in more pockets that the average non-geek would know what to do with.  I haven’t had a chance to properly wire up the fleece yet, but I’m sure that’s coming any day now.  I’ve got a pair of noise cancelling ear buds semi-permanently wired into the shell, so I never have to wonder where I put those #(@*! headphones.  Of course that just leaves me wondering where I put the #*@(!@ iPod instead. 
Tuesday, 28 December 2004 09:49:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 20 December 2004

The open source email client, not the fortified wine. 

I’ve ditched Outlook at home in favor of Thunderbird 1.0, and I’m pretty happy with the decision.  Between the increased speed of startup and mail downloading, and the vastly superior HTML rendering time, it takes me much less time to read my mail now than it did with Outlook.  The junk mail filtering works very well, and consistently.  The filtering rules are easy to compose (although my one gripe is that I can’t figure out how to get the rules to run every time I get new mail) and work consistently as well.

I installed the extension “Enigmail” which provides a very nice frond end to GnuPG PKI engine, and it integrates extraordinarily well into Thunderbird.  The install of GPG was quite challenging, but the Thunderbird integration is super easy to use. 

Pretty much the only things I miss about Outlook are a couple of plugins, NewsGator and Plaxo, but I’m finding out that I didn’t use them all that much at home anyway. 

Thunderbird + Firefox == one big happy for me. :-)

Monday, 20 December 2004 14:18:51 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [3]  | 
# Wednesday, 08 December 2004

That’s just plain cool… 

Paper Enigma Machine

This machine is compatible with the original 3-rotor German Enigma used during World War II. For simplicity it omits the "ring settings" and plug board, but the primary workings of the machine are captured in this model. Great as an educational tool, or just for fun!

[via hackaday]

Wednesday, 08 December 2004 09:57:18 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 02 November 2004
Just in case you somehow missed the fact that it's election day, Go Vote!  If you don't vote now, you don't get to bitch later. :-)
Tuesday, 02 November 2004 09:43:40 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 22 October 2004

Update:  the link to the article seems to be broken.  Fie!

The Marin Independent Journal published an article about some of the fascinating medical work my Dad and his wife do in San Francisco.  Pretty cool stuff.  The article mentions the trip we took to Disneyland this summer.  Once again, the Internet knows everything. :-)

Friday, 22 October 2004 12:29:07 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Tuesday, 14 September 2004
I've got six three, if anyone wants one.
Tuesday, 14 September 2004 11:52:53 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Wednesday, 01 September 2004

It's been quiet here on the old blog lately.  Partly because I've been pretty busy, and partly because I spent 10 days on vacation in SoCal.  I've got to say it pretty much rocked. 

I hadn't been to Disneyland since I was in high school, and this time I got to take my kids (who are 6 and 9).  It was fabulous.  There are a bunch of new rides, and many of the old rides from when we were kids are gone to make room for them, but all the new ones were pretty great.  Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones, etc were very cool.  My kids had a great time, and it's a lot of fun to see that kind of thing through them.  We spent three solid days at Disney (2 at Disneyland and 1 at California Adventure) and that was just about the right amount of time.  One of the new crazes that's sprung up since I was a kid is getting the characters to sign autographs.  Both my kids had a good time hounding people in big fuzzy suits to sign their books.  It gave them a goal that kept them focused on moving around even when they were tired.  If you're kids are into autograph hunting, it's worth checking out some of the "character meal" opportunities.  There are several restaurants around the parks and hotels where the characters hang out, and will come by your table and chat (in pantomime) with the kids, etc.  We went to "Goofy's Kitchen" at the Disneyland Hotel (where we staid) and "Ariel's Grotto" at California Adventure and both had pretty good food and lots to entertain the kids, although be prepared for some sticker shock, they aren't cheap.  Some pretty groovy, although less kid-friendly dining was to be had at the "Blue Bayou" which is actually inside Pirates of the Caribbean.

This was the first time I'd been to California Adventure, and I was really impressed.  I had heard that it was more adult-focused than Disneyland, but I didn't find that to be the case.  Both my kids loved "Soaring over California" and there was lots of kid related activity in the Bug's Life area.  The rides were pretty cool.  My son drug me on California Screaming twice (the big roller coaster) and I coaxed him into going on the "Tower of Terror" with me, which was pretty dang fun.  My daughter really like the Redwood Creak Challenge Trail, which is basically a big forest-ranger-themed play structure. 

After our three grueling sun-up to well-past-sundown days at Disney we hit Legoland, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and last but not least my son's big requested attraction, the La Brea tar pits in LA.  And somehow we still managed to get in most of a day at the beach in San Juan Capistrano. 

All that's behind me know and it's back to work.  Not only is there plenty of work at work, but I've got a new Web Services class coming up, and then SellsCon in October. 

Home | Work
Wednesday, 01 September 2004 09:53:43 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 30 July 2004
Eric Gunnerson points to a post by Jeremy Rule about how he flash-cooked a hamburger using a giant Fresnel lens.  Pretty groovy stuff, although Jeremy says the burger wasn't very tasty.  It got me thinking, though, that a really fun project would be to take one of those giant Fresnel lenses and see if one could build a miniature solar-thermal generator, like these.  A nice big cast-iron pot with a lid, a few holes drilled, very small steam turbine...  See where this is going?  Unfortunately I'm way to lazy to actually try it myself.  I haven't even gotten around to trying out the DIY solar pizza oven.  :-(
Friday, 30 July 2004 14:26:39 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Monday, 19 July 2004

Just in case I wasn't a big enough geek before, I'm now officially KE7BJG.  That's right.  A licensed amateur radio operator (Technician class). 

I got interested in the idea of amateur radio through the emergency responder training I had last year.  I'd previously had no idea, but it turns out that in times of disaster/emergency, hams are instrumental in providing emergency communications through programs such as ARES and RACES.  That's a pretty important service, and I decided I'd like to be able to help out. 

In the process of studying for the licensing exam, I found out that the whole art and science of radio wave propagation is pretty darned fascinating. 

Ah well, it's not like anyone didn't know I was a nerd before :-).  My wife just shakes her head and sighs.  She says if I ever put up a tower in the backyard for antennas it's all over between us. 

Monday, 19 July 2004 11:33:16 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Wednesday, 14 July 2004

James Avery points out a site about "Metric Time", which describes (in great detail) a way of defining a rational, base 10 time system.  What a great idea!  As I've watched my son (who just turned 9) learning math, I can see how confusing it is that all our math is done in base 10 units, with the exception of time keeping, in which we still rely on Babylonian base 60 math.  It's a hard system to keep in your head if you are used to decimal math.  Of course, it would be nice if we backwards Americans just got over the fact that we need to manufacture incompatible car parts and adopt the metric system for everything else.  It's such a strange way we deal with the metric system here.  I grew up knowing about the metric system, understanding how to convert standard to metric, etc.  And yet I don't have that intuitive "gut" feeling about the metric system.  It's like a second language.  I know there are 1.6 kilometers in a mile, but I don't have that intuitive sense of how far a kilometer is in space.  I can conceptualize how far a mile is, or how much something weighs in pounds, and understand rationally how to convert to metric, but I didn't learn it early enough or it's not common enough for it to be intuitive. 

Which is too bad, since as everyone agrees the metric system makes way more sense. 

Unfortunately, I think most people would suffer the same problem with switching to metric time.  People have an intuitive sense of how long an hour is, but it would take some time to get an intuitive feeling for the deciday.  I'm surprised that with all the other geek watches there are out there that none of them tell metric time.  Maybe it's a product opportunity waiting to happen.  I'd buy one.

Wednesday, 14 July 2004 09:40:26 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 29 June 2004

I'm into the second week of my Web Services Theory class at OIT (Portland).  It's been a lot of fun so far.  We've gone over XML modeling, DOM, XmlTextReader, and last night some XPath/XQuery.  Not in too much depth, since what I'm really shooting for is a grounding in the idea of Web Services, rather than the technical details, but I think it's important to do some practical exercises to really understand the basics. 

Next were on to Xml Schema, then the joy that is WSDL.  I'm a little worried about WSDL.  It's a hard sell, and it takes a lot of time to explain the problems that WSDL was designed to solve that it turned out 95% of people didn't understand or care about.  Ah well.  It's what we have for now. 

 

Tuesday, 29 June 2004 14:16:38 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 07 June 2004

I'm a volunteer Emergency Responder for the city of Hillsboro, so I signed up for this years CERT Rodeo, which was this past Saturday.  What a blast!  I had a really great time.  We had a really good turnout, with probably 80+ responders, plus plenty of "victims" and amateur radio operators to play along with. 

It was a great chance to refresh our skills and meet people from different teams.  There were teams from all over NW Oregon and SW Washington, and they mixed us all up into different teams for the Rodeo. 

We got to spend the day searching for victims in the Portland Fire department's training tower (6 stories), doing triage, disaster medical care and transport of some really gruesomely made up victims, putting out fires, and extricating dummies from under some really #(@*$ing HEAVY actual concrete rubble. 

We also got some great support from the community, with lots of firefighters volunteering to train and help out, and the Red Cross providing snacks and drinks. 

Check out some pictures and videos of the event here.  The rodeos only happen every other year, and I'm already looking forward to the next one.

<Community service plug>If you're interested in learning how to protect yourself, your family and your neighbors in the event of a disaster or other emergency, check out CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) programs in your area.  NW Oregon has tons of programs, as do many other parts of the country.  In the City of Hillsboro, you can get a free 24 hour training course open to anyone who lives or works in Western Washington County.  It's a great training program conducted by local police, fire and EMS professionals.  It's a great way to feel more secure about yourself and your family in the event of an emergency, and a great community service opportunity.  CERT teams also get to help out with things like airshows, marathons, and other events where EMS coverage is desirable, which is a lot of fun.  FEMA also has some online training materials you can check out.</Community service plug>

Home | CERT
Monday, 07 June 2004 10:22:38 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 06 May 2004

Scott makes a comment about people being born coders.  I wholeheartedly agree.  I've known lots of people who have had reasonably successful careers as coders, but who've never been extraordinary.  Plenty of people pull down a paycheck doing competent work as coders, but never achieve greatness.  I agree that it's something inborn.  Maybe it's the ADD and dyslexia.  :-)  Whatever it is, my experience has shown that some people just don't have it, and no matter how hard they work they'll never get over the hump. 

I recently spoke with a psychologist who was musing about the idea that the high level of coffee consumption in the NW is due to the fact that many if not most coders are ADD, and caffeine works to calm them down enough to work, in the same way that Ritalin works on kids.  Not scientific, perhaps, but it makes some sense. 

My son thinks it's pretty cool to be a geek.  He's started referring to himself as “geek, son of geek”.  He's a little miffed that there aren't any T-Shirts that say that.  In his case it's tough to distinguish nature from nurture, since I was out as geek before he was born. 

Maybe someday in the near future they'll map out the geek gene. 

Home | Work
Thursday, 06 May 2004 11:30:12 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 13 March 2004

I just survived my very first Taekwondo tournament!  Yea me!

Better than that, I actually won one of my sparring matches, which I hadn't really expected to do, and the guy I lost to was WAY better than me and totally deserved it. 

I call that a good day.  Now on the the USTU state trials in May. :-)

Saturday, 13 March 2004 19:52:47 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 10 March 2004
I'm a big fan of alternative building methods (check out the Monolithic Dome Institute for one of my favorites) so this idea strikes me as pretty cool [via Gizmodo].  It's basically taking the 3-D printer concept to a larger scale, so instead of printing machine parts out of resin (which is also pretty dang cool) you "print" your house from blueprints using concrete or adobe.  What a great idea. 
Wednesday, 10 March 2004 11:29:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
Wow

And I thought I was a dork...

This guy proposed to his girlfriend by building a "bridal-themed" case mod.  With a little bride and groom and everything.  I feel pretty socially ept by comparison.

Wednesday, 10 March 2004 09:08:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 29 January 2004

I've been hearing a bit of hype around Skype this week, which sounds like a pretty cool idea.  Free download, make free phone calls, etc.  Being a bit of a paranoid, I decided to actually read the license agreement, and found this paragraph interesting

6. Payment.

You acknowledge that certain functions in the Skype Software are only available to paid subscribers after a free trial period of the Skype Software and Services (the "Free Trial Period") ends. After the Free Trial Period ends, you will be presented with the option to subscribe to the Subscription Services. If you do not wish to subscribe, you acknowledge that you can not access functions and services only available to paid subscribers. To subscribe to the Subscription Services you must agree to the terms and conditions of the Subscription Services.

It's interesting (although not surprising unfortunately) that I couldn't find any mention of this bit on their website, like what parts aren't free after the trial period.  So this would be free phone calls as in free sample, not as in free beer...

TANSTAAFL I guess. (If you aren't a big enough geek to grok that, ask a friend.)

Thursday, 29 January 2004 12:57:11 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 19 January 2004

To spare those who aren't interested, I've set up a new blog all about food, wherein I'll be posting all kinds of stuff on food, nutrition, and recreating recipes from historical sources.

Monday, 19 January 2004 12:01:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 13 January 2004

It’s pretty bad when you’re jonesing to upgrade a piece of clothing.  As mentioned previously, I got a groovy new ScotteVest for my b-day.  The ultimate in geek-wear, with 30 pockets that hold just about everything (the temptation is pretty overwhelming, and mine’s starting to get kinda heavy) and wiring channels build in to hide all the headphone, cell-phone headset etc. wiring.  Or at least I thought it was the ultimate.  ScotteVest announced at the CES that they are coming out with a new version with integral solar panels that are wired to all the pockets and an internal battery, so not only can you haul around all your geek gear, you can recharge it while you’re walking around.  Of course that implies that you go outside.  Actually, they are pretty good outside, and so far the Fine-Tex is proving pretty water resistant. 

Supposedly, the solar option only adds $100 to the price, which isn't too bad.

And of course, while I may feel minorly dorky walking around with all that gear, at least I don’t have a dork watch like Scott. :-)

Tuesday, 13 January 2004 09:39:00 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 24 December 2003

For my birthday today I got a fabulous new SCOTTeVEST Three.0 (thanks Dad!).  The perfect geek wear.  It’s got 30 pockets of all different shapes and sizes for holding my phone, my iPod, and just about anything else I can manage to stash in it.  Plus it has a ball cap tether (I’ve lost several by setting them down somewhere strange).  Best of all, it has wiring channels all through it, so I can run my noise cancelling earbuds through the inside of the jacket.  A raincoat with cable management.  Bliss. 

I realize it pretty much labels me as a complete a total nerd, but I’m down with that. :-)  My wife says she’s glad I’m enjoying it so much.  I can tell she’s captivated.  No, really…

Now I just need the matching hat

Wednesday, 24 December 2003 16:13:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 09 December 2003

I've upgraded to the newly released dasBlog 1.5 (it went smoothly as usual).  Kudos to Omar for the new DasBlog theme.  I use firebird, and his new theme looks fabulous. 

If only FreeTextBox worked under firebird, I could die fulfilled. 

Tuesday, 09 December 2003 20:13:09 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 12 November 2003

Sigh. 

Where to start?  I was disappointed in the new Matrix movie, which while not surprising, is still disappointing. :-) 

At least it wasn’t bogged down in the overly complex, pretentious philosophizing of the second film.  Instead, it was bogged down by a completely predictable plot, and constant sentimentality.  It’s almost as if the characters, aware that this is their last film, are sad about it (to the point of being maudlin) throughout the whole film.  Or maybe the actors themselves were sad because now they’ll have to get real jobs.  Anyway, I think I almost liked the pretentious philosophy better than the maudlin sentimentality.  I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but they way the last scene was filmed reminds me a lot of the last scene in the old BBC production of A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  Not what I would have anticipated for the third film of a trilogy known for wild action and innovative science fiction.  But I guess those days are gone.  While the first film was startling, the third film was pretty much just a war movie, and for a war movie to be any good, it’s got to be something different.  It wasn’t.  At least IMHO.

It sounds like Rory had more fun clubbing baby seals

Home | Movies
Wednesday, 12 November 2003 13:35:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 08 November 2003

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to have the opportunity to meet Rory in person, although he was one of the brave souls who actually staid to listen to me speak at the Applied XML Dev Con this year.  I’m hoping to catch up with him if I ever make it to one of the Portland Nerd dinners.  That desire was fueled by the fact that, like Don, I think his take on the PDC is one of the funniest things I have every read.  I mean ever.  In my life.  Really. 

Running a close second is his jubilation at being mentioned on Don Box’s blog.  Luckily I was already sitting down when I read it. :-)

Saturday, 08 November 2003 08:02:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 30 October 2003

As of tomorrow, I’ll be starting a new adventure as an employee of Corillian Corporation.  I’m looking forward to new challenges, and learning all about the world of online financial services.  There are some very smart people working there, including Scott Hanselman, and many other people I worked with back in the day at STEP Technology.  

So even if I didn’t get to go to the PDC (I’m still moping), at least I’ll get to do some really cool coding. :-)

 

Work | Home
Thursday, 30 October 2003 21:09:42 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 29 October 2003

I love the new features in dasBlog 1.4.  The extra statistics are very handy, and it couldn’t be much easier to use.  Best of all, between the source and all the samples, it was a snap for me to migrate my existing content.  If I were in LA :’( I’d thank Clemens with beer!

Wednesday, 29 October 2003 12:48:58 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 07 October 2003

I finally got around to moving this blog to dasBlog.  Now I'll have a lot more control over how things look, as well as features, etc.  Right now it's using one of the default templates, so there will probably be some cosmetic changes as I get time to mess with templates.  All of the old permalinks should still work, although the RSS has moved to http://www.cauldwell.net/patrick/blog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss

 

Home | Work
Tuesday, 07 October 2003 18:26:45 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 25 September 2003

Scott posted a great rant on what it means to be a GenX geek (I’m one too, although I’ve at least seen a punch card at the Smithsonian J ).  I was inspired to check out the geek test, and I only scored a 45%.  I was sure that those SCA questions would put me over the top.  Sigh.  I guess I came to it late.  I’ve always been a geek, but I didn’t really come to grips with that fact (or dedicate my life to it) until I was in college.  

And just in case anyone was wondering, I’m an INTJ, which didn’t really come as a surprise to me.

Thursday, 25 September 2003 17:09:11 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 15 September 2003

I love appropriate applications of technology, and I just came across a really cool one.  Our public transit system here in Portland (Hillsboro) OR now has up to the minute bus tracking information available for cell phones (trimet.org/wap) and wirelessly connected PDAs (trimet.org/pda).  You put in what route and which stop you are at, and it will tell you when the next bus is coming.  How cool is that?!  As someone who both has a WAP phone and commutes to work on public transit (since I can’t afford one of the new 2004 Prius), I’m pretty excited.  This is possibly even better than WAP/PDA accessible movie times, which was formerly my favorite application of wireless technology.  Since they are pretty static, I actually get my movie times through AvantGo on my PocketPC (a ViewSonic v37).  

Monday, 15 September 2003 18:32:05 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 11 July 2003
I got a question yesterday about what was up with the formatting on my blog? How come it jumps around?
Well, with some help from Mike Amundsen at EraBlog.net where my blog is hosted, I'm now hosting that pages (but not the data) at my site. The permalinks on EraBlog now redirect to my site (http://www.cauldwell.net/patrick/blog) so if you use that link to get at my blog rather than /blogs/pcauldweblog the formatting will remain consistent.
For anyone interested in the implementation details, I'm using ASP.NET, using EraBlog's toolkit which makes SOAP requests back to EraBlog.net to get the data for my blog, then formatting it on my pages. Check this out for more details...
Friday, 11 July 2003 18:32:52 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
Amazon gets Web Services. Jeff Barr is talking about how and why Amazon implements Web Services, and they really do it right. They have a real business model and Web Services (both SOAP and REST) that fit that business model and allow both Amazon and their associates to make money.
Their Web Service model is really just an extension of their earlier associate program, and basically just gives associates way more control over the look of their site and additional features they can support.
What I find really interesting is that there's a whole economy building up around this technology. There are even solutions available such as StorePerfect, which is a set of ASP.NET controls that wrap the Amazon web services, so all you have to do to set up a commerce site using Amazon is use these ASP.NET controls. So if you get a good domain name and do a little ASP.NET coding, you can set up a site that makes you money without having to handle any goods, process any payments, or ship anything. If that's not an appropriate use of Web Services, I don't know what is.
Friday, 11 July 2003 14:25:00 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 18 June 2003

Scott Hanselman writes:

Schema Versioning: Changing a namespace is not versioning, it is new type creation. [meta-douglasp]

Ok...I can see that point of view...then does versioning (as we hope to know it) simply not exist in the world of Schema?

I would say that versioning does exist in the world of Schema, but you do have to work for it.  It is certainly true that there is no standard way of handling schema versioning.  There are ways to deal with it yourself, but they do require some forethought. 

You can add version attributes to the elements in your schema, and leave them open using xsd:any or xsd:string, etc.  Doug Purdy had some good suggestions in his TechEd presentation (WEB400: Loose Coupling and Serialization Patterns).  The bottom line is that you have to leave yourself an out in the schema, and add a version attribute, and you have to do those things up front in the first version.  By their very nature it’s not the kind of thing you can start in version 2 when you discover that you need to add something.  That’s the biggest hurdle right there.  You have to anticipate version 2 while you’re writing version 1.  Granted, it’s usually a safe assumption that things will change, and it’s not too much extra work to build in the flexibility, but it does require some work and some additional planning.

Wednesday, 18 June 2003 14:29:49 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 13 June 2003

Scott Hanselman mentioned this site at the TechEd bloggers meeting. I'd heard of it, but hadn't actually checked it out. It's at http://www.pepysdiary.com/

What an interesting way to approach a historical document. You get to see each day in a man's life revealed as if he were writing about it right now, day by day like any other blog, only you're reading the life of a 17th century Englishman instead of a modern internet denizen. The text is heavily annotated with commentary, references to the dramatis personae, and even links to an English mapping site so you can bring up maps of the places described. The Internet has generated some new and interesting ways of examining historical documents, but I think this is the most interesting one I've seen in some time.

For all you aggregators, it's not obvious where to find their RSS links, but you can find them here.

[Listening to: Local God - Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack - Romeo + Juliet (03:56)]
Friday, 13 June 2003 17:13:50 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 12 June 2003

I'm in the middle of defining an interface between a set of hardware devices and a central server farm using XSD and WSDL. The semantics of the WSDL interface I understand pretty well, but what I'm wrestling with now is the schema of the data being carted back and forth. I want to use the same endpoint on the server side to recieve data from several different kinds of monitors, which understandable have quite different data reporting needs. The schema I'm working with right now (which I didn't right but consulted on) defines a set of basic structures common to all monitors, and the a separate schema for each type of monitor that extends those base types.

The issue I have with that is how to structure the datatypes in the WSDL. If I make the datatype in the WSDL the common type and just expect the get the derived types, that's one possibility. Another is to make the type in the WSDL xsd:any and just figure it out at the application level. Still another is to change the XSD so that the base types leave open placeholders (xsd:any) and that the concrete monitor types don't extend the schema, they just add their own extra data into the base type in a different namespace.

Right now I'm leaning towards defining the type in the WSDL as xsd:any and just worrying about it at the application level. The disadvantage is that you can't get the full schema information from the WSDL, but since this is essentially a closed system I'm not sure how much that matters. Hmmmmm.

I saw some good presentations at TechEd involving the benefits of loosely coupled schemas (Doug Purdy's was particularly interesting) so I understand what the options are, but that doesn't necesarrily make it easier. I suppose that's what we get paid for.

[Listening to: Someday Soon - Great Big Sea - Great Big Sea (04:18)]
Thursday, 12 June 2003 13:30:52 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 10 June 2003

Having been home a few days now (and spending all day yesterday lying on the floor with my back out) I've had a chance to ponder this year's event. 

Overall, I'd say that I learned a lot, but that the overall conference was less exciting than in years past.  I think that's mostly due to the vagaries of the product cycle, with Everett fully “here” and things like Yukon and Jupiter a little too far out.  I spent most of my time on all things Web Services, which was quite interesting.  The biggest thing I noticed was the new mentality of “it's the WSDL, stupid”.  In times past the message has been to write you code and get WSDL for free, and now the message seems to be that if you want your web services to be compatible with non-.NET platforms, it's worth writing the WSDL / XSD first, then generating code from there.

The one possible dissenter was Clemens Vasters, who demonstrated some very ingenious ways of starting with the code, but tweaking the WSDL to match what you really want, and not what you get from the framework for free.  Overall I think the best sessions I went to were his AOP and WS internals talks.   

The party was also pretty good this year.  Smashmouth rocked, and the overall atmosphere of the event was pretty fun, even if maybe not quite as fun as TechEd 2000's party at Universal Studios Florida.   I must say that watching people climb an inflatable rock after too many margaritas was worth the price of admission this year.

Tuesday, 10 June 2003 14:59:25 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 27 May 2003

I’m back home from New Orleans after watching my wife Vikki win a bronze medal at the US Tae Kwon Do Senior Nationals.  Woohoo!

A good time was had by all.  The competition is pretty amazing.   

Tuesday, 27 May 2003 15:11:37 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 16 May 2003

Sean Campbell and Scott Swigart have some pretty strong words about Access vs. MSDE. This is a subject I hadn't spent much time thinking about until pretty recently. I had the opportunity to give some presentations at an Access user's group conference (PAUG)

Being pretty much a died in the wool SQL Server enthusiast (bigot?) I hadn't realized how many people out there are writing useful, complex Access applications that are solving real business problems today. I also hadn't realized that most of them don't want to have anything to do with MSDE. As Sean and Scott put forth, it's just too much work. It's too hard to users to install, not easy to get configured properly, etc. Also, the SQL that MSDE/SQL Server supports is different enough from Access SQL to be not just a minor bit of tweaking in many cases but a full fledged porting activity, Upsizing Wizard or no.

So up until fairly recently, I would have been just as dismissive as Don Box was of their Access rant, but now I'm not so sure. I still haven't changed my feelings about the nature of Access (I still would use MSDE myself) but I have a much more profound understanding of the nature of the Access developer community, and how threatening rather than enabling MSDE looks to them.

Friday, 16 May 2003 19:06:06 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 13 May 2003
It's amazing how little things have changed on the web when you really look at the details. Lots of things that seemed like a good idea to a few people 5-6 years ago now seem like a good idea to a whole bunch of people. Scott Hanselman was musing about what ever happened to PointCast, which was quite the technology back in it's day. In response Don Box supplied a little piece of CDF, the PointCast equivalent used by IE 4.0. Sure looks a lot like RSS to me, without all the namespaces :)
Tuesday, 13 May 2003 14:05:59 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 07 May 2003
Here's an interesting scenario:
I started out with an XSD schema, lets call it myObject.xsd. Using xsd.exe, I generated a set of classes to represent the objects in the schema. Straighforward so far...

This part works fine, and I can read and write the objects using the XmlSerializer just as I would expect. The issues started when I tried to get SOAP and WSDL involved. I wanted to return one of the objects definied in myObject.xsd (and correspondingly in myObject.cs) from a Web Service method.

   [WebMethod()]    public myObject ReturnMyObject(){}

The WebService class has an attribute specifying its namespace

   [WebService(Namespace="http://me.com/MyNamespace")]    public class MyWebService : WebService{}

When I try to create a proxy class for the web service using either wsdl.exe, or VS.NET 2003, I get an error claiming that the type myObject is not defined, the schema can't be validated, and no classes will be generated.

It turns out that the crux of the matter was that when I wrote myObject.xsd, I didn't explicitly define a targetNamespace, so when xsd.exe generated the classes, it added an XmlRootAttribute(Namespace="") This conflicts with the namespace specified for the service, so when the WSDL gets generated by the framework, it's no wonder the schemas don't all line up.

Once I went back and fixed the targetNamespace in the schema, everything worked just fine. It makes sense why this would be an issue, but it certainly took a while to track down.

Wednesday, 07 May 2003 19:00:28 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 01 May 2003
There's a new spec out from the Open GIS consortium for defining an XML representation of sensor data. It's pretty verbose, but most of it is optional. I would love to see something like this take off as a standard way to get data from sensors. There are a couple of existing standards for sensor data (ModBus, UCA, DNP, etc) but they are all binary. A fairly complete XML based standard would make our (or at least my) lives much easier.

Now we'll just have to wait and see if it takes them as long to finish as XLink is taking :).

It's nice to see that they used the XML Schema diagramming in XML Spy for their schemas. It's the best one I've seen, and makes it much easier to follow.

Thursday, 01 May 2003 18:38:56 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
I'm working on designing a SOAP API for getting data from some monitors out in the field back to a central server farm for aggregation, and the more I get into the details the more interesting it gets...
One of the biggest restrictions is that the monitors may well get deployed behind someone's firewall. All of the typical SOAP examples are between what are essentially peers on the internet, e.g. two web servers exchanging business data. In this case, since most people aren't going to punch a hole in their firewall for the monitor, we have to assume that all traffic has to originate from the monitor.
This ends up having a big impact on the semantics of the API, since if the central server wants to do something like send new configuration information to the device, it can't send it directly, which means waiting until the monitor "phones home" and asks for updates. This in turn means that the server has to cache any data going down to the monitor until the monitor checks in, and so on.
Anyway, the design is still ongoing, but having to model a SOAP API that always has to orginate from one side, and yet represents two way converstation presents some unique challenges.
There are even more issue when one side of the equation happens to be running on an embedded platform with 16Mb of RAM. :) but more on that some other time.
Thursday, 01 May 2003 17:06:30 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 28 April 2003
You would think that compiling resources for .NET using resgen would be pretty straightforward, and most of the time you'd be right.
However, if you are trying to automate your build process by running resgen through some autmatic batch process (I happened to be using Draco) there's one little problem. If your resource file (.resx) happens to contain any embedded bitmaps or icons, the resgen compiler wants to turn them into real bitmaps during the compilation process.
Apparently, in order to do this, it really draws the bitmaps, and in doing so requires that there be a current desktop context into which to draw said bitmaps. If you run as a service (or in fact build using a batch file launched as a scheduled task) there isn't any desktop context. Resgen happily returns an exit code of 0, and fails to actually compile any resources. This took me a while to figure out as it was, but what to do about it is an even thornier problem. It turns out that when you call the underlying Win32 CreateProcess function, you can tweak the STARTUPINFO struct to set the desktop to something meaningful. Unfortunately, there's no way to get at that struct from managed code.
After contemplating changing the code in Draco in some nasty way, I finally discovered that if I ran my Draco.NET service as "Local System" and checked the box that says "Allow service to interact with the desktop" that the resource compilation would succeed. However, other bits of my build process failed because while running as local system I could no longer use SSPI authentication to my CVS repository, or copy files to network shares when the build finished.
Many triles and tribulations later (and some very strange network permissions here and there) it's now working again, but it took a good 7-8 person days to resolve the issue.
YUCK
Monday, 28 April 2003 16:37:20 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 03 April 2003
I'll be speaking this weekend at the Portland Access User's Group Database Designer's conference. Should be fun. It's at the lovely Silver Falls Conference Center. With all the rain we've been having the falls should be pretty spectacular. I'll be talking about Web Services, SQLXML and MSDE as they relate to Access.
Thursday, 03 April 2003 14:54:23 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 02 April 2003
One of the more interesting features of .NET has got to be the ability to do shadow copying. Shadow copying means running an executable, but before you run it you copy all of it's files to some other location and run them from there. It's the mechanism that ASP.NET uses to deal with changes to .aspx files. When your ASP.NET files run, they're really running from somewhere else, so you can change the aspx files and they can be recompiled. It also means that you can do autoupdates of your own apps.
Wednesday, 02 April 2003 21:57:37 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 12 March 2003
Even if your are prepared for a disaster, are you prepared to help?
I just finished training for our local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) here in lovely Hillsboro, OR. It was quite an interesting experience. We received (free) 24 hours of training from the fire department on how not only to protect ourselves and our families in time of disaster, but how to help our neighbors and communities as well.
Training included fire supression, search and rescue, and disaster medical operations among other things. Well worth knowing. And to finish up the class we had a simulated emergency, with live victims and everything :)
Now that I'm done with the basic training, it's made me want to go out and get a ham radio license and / or an EMT license. Pretty exciting stuff.
Lots of other communities have similar programs, so if you are interested and saftey and community service, check with your local fire department or city/county emergency manager.
Wednesday, 12 March 2003 17:35:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
I continue to be amazed at how easy it is to build a fairly complex and robust development environment around VisualStudio.NET using open source tools. We are using NAnt to do our builds, Draco.NET for continous integration builds, and NUnit for unit testing. I've just started experimenting with using a Wiki for internal product documentation, and so far it's working out very well. It's so easy to organically grow your documentation, with much less overhead than traditional document or content management tools. Playing with Wiki is what finally led me here, to my own weblog. I know it's all the rage, and I've been avoiding it, but here I've finally caved, largely because I was impressed with the content on a friend's blog. If you are interested in .NET development, check out Scott Hanselman's blog at www.computerzen.com
Wednesday, 12 March 2003 14:27:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Tuesday, 11 March 2003
This is my first post in the Patrick Cauldwell's Weblog blog.
Tuesday, 11 March 2003 21:31:15 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |