# Thursday, April 14, 2005

Last night I went to a very groovy CERT refresher training at the fire house.  The topic was “Light Search and Rescue”.  What we ended up doing specifically related to extracting people from cars.  They got a towing company to bring over a junker car, and the fire fighters proceeded to pretty much take the car apart.  It was sooooo cool.  If you’re into that kind of thing…

We learned the best way to break out the windows of a car to get access to the people inside, how to get the windshield off, etc.  For the finale, one of the fire fighters used a hand-help, battery powered sawz-all to take the whole top off the car.  Took less than three minutes.  :-) 

The second half of the class was all about knot tying.  There are a truly amazing array of things you can do with a 10’ length of tubular webbing.  Definitely handy to have around.  We learned the water knot, the figure eight (on the end or the bight), the “alpine butterfly”, double fisherman’s, etc.  It was kind of like a whole room full of grownups thrown back into scouting for the evening.  Of course, if I don’t practice, I won’t remember the knots in a week or two.  Time to get a length of rope and start practicing…

Thursday, April 14, 2005 3:58:17 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, April 12, 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, April 12, 2005 12:48:34 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, April 06, 2005
G#

I’m a bit late picking up on this, but if you are interested in either code generation, AOP, or both, check out the spec for G#Ernest Booth has come up with a very interesting spec for a new language that extends C# with some built in constructs for doing code generation.  Since these generators are extensible, etc. this provides not only some great opportunities for code gen (which I do a lot of at work) but for what essentially becomes compile time AOP.  I’ve looked a couple of times at the possibilities for doing AOP in .NET, and most of the options haven’t really been satisfactory (mostly involving remoting contexts).  This would provide most of the benefits of AOP, but happen at compile time in a happy, type-safe kinda way. 

I’ll be very interested to see if this spec turns into actual code.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005 10:09:28 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Someone asked today how to get a list of all the namespace prefixes used in an XML document, along with their associated URIs so that that information could be used to initialize a XmlNamespaceManager.  This works…

        XPathDocument xdoc = new XPathDocument(@"c:\temp\myfile.xml");

        XPathNavigator nav = xdoc.CreateNavigator();

        XPathNodeIterator nodes = (XPathNodeIterator)nav.Evaluate("//namespace::*");

        Hashtable h = new Hashtable();

        while(nodes.MoveNext())

        {

            h[nodes.Current.Name] = nodes.Current.Value;

        }

        foreach(string name in h.Keys)

        {

            WL("{0}:{1}",name,h[name]);

        }

 

You’ll end up with a hashtable with the prefixes as keys and the associated URIs as their values.  You could probably do something even cooler with a unique set datastructure, but the hashtable works in a pinch.

XML
Tuesday, April 05, 2005 4:12:52 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, March 28, 2005
Steve Maine’s posted a very well-written article about using duplex contracts in Indigo.  I’ve just started doing some Indigo prototyping, so any good introductory material is welcome.  It’s cool to see that they’ve come up with an obvious way to deal with two way web services conversations.
Monday, March 28, 2005 2:49:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
Of all the artists I thought I’d never hear of again, Billy Idol was towards the top of the list.  He’s got a new album out called Devil’s Playground, and it’s actually pretty darn good if you like that sort of thing (and I do).  Check it out if you get a chance.  It’s on Rhapsody
Monday, March 28, 2005 11:05:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

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, March 28, 2005 10:35:03 AM (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, March 28, 2005 10:01:27 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [4]  | 
# Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Travis presents some hints for understanding the Hanselman
Tuesday, March 22, 2005 3:42:44 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
I decided that KE7BJG was just too hard to say over the radio, so I decided to do something about it.  The FCC has granted my humble petition ($20.80 later) and I am now KE7PDC.  So take note, those 1–2 of you who took note in the first place. :-)
Tuesday, March 22, 2005 9:31:54 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  |