# Tuesday, January 13, 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, January 13, 2004 9:39:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, January 06, 2004

There’s a new video of a Longhorn-based real estate application up on MSDN.  I’ve got to say this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long while.  The new Avalon execution model allows you to do some truly amazing things with Smart Client applications.  These same techniques could be applied to stock tracking, or any other kind of notification based application.  Just send out an email with a notification, and an attached Smart Client for more info.  What a great idea. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2004 9:54:18 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, December 30, 2003

If you’ve never seen Firefly, it’s a show well worth checking out on DVD.  I don’t get cable (or actually any channels besides our local PBS station, OPB) so I never saw the show when it first ran.  I think I’m glad.  Apparently, Fox did everything they could to screw it up, including playing the episodes out of order, not promoting it, putting it on at a bad time, etc.  On DVD, you can watch the whole first (and only) season in its entirety, in order, with three episodes that never aired.    

All I can say is that if further convinces me of the outstanding genius of Joss Whedon.  It’s amazing what you can do if you start from the premise that your viewers are not only reasonably well educated, but that they actually pay attention.  My wife thinks Firefly is even better than the better known Joss Whedon work, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I haven’t finished the whole series yet, so I’m not sure if I’d go that far yet, but I love what I’ve seen so far. 

Firefly is the classic space-western.  It takes place 500 years in the future, but it’s not a clean, pretty Buck Rogers kind of future, it’s a lot more like the Wild West.  Most of the places they visit are wild little border planets full of immigrants and indentured servants doing hard labor, just trying to get by.  At the same time, the “Alliance” (read, the Empire) is breathing down everybody’s necks trying to maintain (fascist) order.  Good premise to start with. 

They also got some really great (though relatively unknown) actors who really do a great job.  It’s not often that you see a pilot that actually establishes characters that you care about in less than two hours.  Joss Whedon’s direction focuses around subtlety and dialog, with great care given to facial expressions and dialog inflection.  It’s so nice to watch TV designed for smart people, instead of the absolute dreck that inhabits most or the airwaves these days, designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. 

Anyway, if you like Sci-Fi and or BtVS, check out Firefly.  Rumor has it that there’s a movie version in the offing, and my hope is that it might spark a return of support for the series.  There are several open questions that you can tell where meant to be revealed in the second season that never was. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2003 9:49:22 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, December 24, 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, December 24, 2003 4:13:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, December 09, 2003

I'm making a web request to a site that uses certificate authentication, and it's the first time I've done that with .NET, so bear with me.  I'm doing something like the following...

HttpWebRequest req = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create("https://mysite.com");

X509Certificate x509 = X509Certificate.CreateFromCertFile(@"c:\temp\mycert.cer");

req.ClientCertificates.Add(x509);

That works fine, but it seems like there should be an easier way.  The certificate already exists in my local certificate store, or I'm pretty sure this wouldn't work at all, so why do I have to export the cert to a .cer file in order to use it?  Shouldn't I be able to get a reference to it directly from the certificate store?  Or would that involve too much unmanaged yuckiness?  It just seems like an extra step, and administrative hassle, but maybe that's just the way it is. 

Any suggestions or feedback welcome.

[UPDATE]

Got it. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2003 8:58:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

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, December 09, 2003 8:13:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |