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The coolest freaking thing ever...
User Rating: / 5
Written by WATYF on Friday, 10 February 2006 (7757 hits)
Category: Nerdery

How many nerds, like myself, watched Minority Report and remember that scene where Tom Cruise was working with the "future telling" machine thingy and he was dragging visuals around in mid-air and using that wicked cool user-interface to check out all the crimes that hadn't happened yet? How many of you also remember thinking how cool of a UI that was, but that it wasn't very realistic and probably wouldn't be a "real-world" technology any time soon (if ever)?

Anyone? Come on... of all the countless thousands of people who real this blog every day (whuh?!) there has to be someone else who thought that. I dunno... it just came across to me as being a bit too "Jetsons"... a nice piece of eye-candy, but just not a technology that I could see being developed for widespread use.

Well,... I'm happy to say that my initial gut feeling was wrong...

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My Google, My Google... why hast thou forsaken me...?
User Rating: / 1
Written by WATYF on Friday, 13 January 2006 (7118 hits)
Category: Nerdery

It seems like only yesterday I was shilling.... I mean... "praising" Google for all the cool stuff that they keep putting out. But I guess even the greats have to put out a stinker every once in a while.

It looks like the general consensus all... over... the net is that Google Video is a huge bomb. Not only does the interface suck, but the content offering is anemic, at best. On top of that, Google has created their own DRM (for the paid videos) that makes it impossible to import the videos on to a portable device. Some are even saying that videos you purchase are only available as live streams, which means you can't truly download and view them offline (I haven't confirmed this one yet). Google also won't tell you what format the video is in until you've purchased it. All that stuff combined, Google Video is looking like a really lousy release. Me thinks they shoulda done some more in-house testing before letting this thing out into the wild.

But, as with anything Google makes, there are always a few cool attributes to it... and since I'm such a "glass is half-full/look on the bright side" kinda guy... (whuh?!?) I'm gonna point a few of them out to you...

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The joys of web hosting...
User Rating: / 0
Written by WATYF on Wednesday, 11 January 2006 (5907 hits)
Category: Nerdery

So... I'm sittin' around, minding my own business last Friday, and I go to check something on my website (can't remember if it was email or the home page or whatever), and I notice that my website doesn't appear to be responding. I figured that the site was down.... again.... which actually isn't all that abnormal for the web host that I was using. But I couldn't do anything to fix it, because first thing Saturday morning I had a band coming in to do some recording, and then right after that, I had to run out to go..... wait for it......... camping. Yeah... that's not exactly part of my normal weekend activities. Needless to say it was a last minute whim someone had while we were hanging out Friday night that I got suckered into.  (ok... so I liked it... but that doesn't make me any less of a nerd.)

So basically, I was busy, 24/7 for the next two days and had no way of finding out what was wrong with the site... so I just left it at that and hoped that they'd have it back up in a reasonable amount of time.... but boooooy was I wrong.

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De-emasculating VB.NET...
User Rating: / 5
Written by WATYF on Friday, 18 November 2005 (16097 hits)
Category: .NET Programming

Is it just me, or has VB always seemed like a C language with its nads cut off? (that's a rhetorical question, btw... I know it's not just me ) The thing is... they always try to give you little features and "productivity" advantages, but when it really comes down to it, there are always those "manly" programming functions that you just can't perform with VB. (That is, if you consider anything in programming to be "manly".)

When .NET came around, they made it sound like VB was finally getting some cahones and that it would be on par with its corresponding C language (C#)... and in a lot of respects, that was true... but you know... there must have been a bitter, old C coder working on the .NET project who just couldn't stand VB.NET being put on the same level as C#... because it looks like he decided to castrate a few features out of VB.NET just to stick it to us poor, lowly VB coders...

In this case, I'm talking about Pre and Post Build Events. These are obviously very handy tools... and they're available by default in C# projects... so why on earth would they not be available in VB.NET projects as well? There's just no rhyme or reason to it... (other than my bitter C coder theory)...

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The grooviest studio I've ever been to... so far.
User Rating: / 0
Written by WATYF on Thursday, 17 November 2005 (4640 hits)
Category: Musical

So, the band I play for booked some time in a St. Louis studio to track a few songs. I was scheduled to go in on a Tuesday and spend about 8 hours tracking drums. Well, it ends up that they booked themselves into the nicest studio in St. Louis (and probably one of the nicest in the Midwest)... Four Seasons Media Productions.

I've been to a bunch of home/project studios in my time (some decent... some pretty crappy), but this is my first time tracking in a "real" studio. Unfortunately, I was so busy drumming that I didn't get much of a chance to drool over all their high-end gear.... but I did find some links online to a few pictures of their control and tracking rooms, just so you can join me a bit of gratuitous gear-lust.

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If VistaDB was a woman... I'd marry it.
User Rating: / 6
Written by WATYF on Friday, 11 November 2005 (12642 hits)
Category: .NET Programming

...or rather... if VistaDB was a woman... and I wasn't already married... and I was into chicks who were thread-safe and crash-safe.... then I'd marry it.

Since it is (by far) the most popular article on my blog, I'm assuming that anyone reading this knows about my long and painfully tortuous journey through the dregs of .NET embedded databases in an attempt to find a stable backend for TaskRunner. Well... I have finally arrived at a solution which I am perfectly content with. (yes, I realize that's bad grammer... sue me.)

Last you heard, I was going ahead with my implementation of SharpHSQL as the backend. I had a few "issues", but I thought I had a way of getting around them... well.... that has all changed.

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Copying data from one database to another using ADO.NET...
User Rating: / 18
Written by WATYF on Monday, 07 November 2005 (21039 hits)
Category: .NET Programming

I had a little task I wanted to perform. And this was one of those times where it wasn't as easy as my little pea-brain had imagined it would be. Basically, I wanted to copy data from a table in one database into an identical table in another database. You'd think that there would be a very straightforward way to do this using the amazing new ADO.NET... and believe it or not... there is.

"So what's the problem?", you ask? Well... apparently... NO ONE ON THE ENTIRE FREAKING INTERNET HAS EVER POSTED A SAMPLE OF HOW TO DO IT!!%#!%!

*aaah*... and that's where I come in....

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VistaDB 2.1 database for .NET has been released...
User Rating: / 1
Written by WATYF on Monday, 31 October 2005 (11088 hits)
Category: .NET Programming

VistaDB just put out a new version of their .NET embedded database. Here's the blurb from their site:

This 2.1 update includes over 60 improvements, including new support for .NET 2.0 and Visual Studio .NET 2005. VistaDB is a small-footprint, embedded SQL database alternative to Jet/Access, MSDE and SQL Server Express 2005 that enables developers to build .NET 1.1 and .NET 2.0 applications. Features SQL-92 support, small 500KB embedded footprint, free 2-User VistaDB Server for remote TCP/IP data access, royalty free distribution for both embedded and server, Copy 'n Go! deployment, managed ADO.NET Provider, data management and data migration tools. Free trial is available for download.
- Learn more about VistaDB
- Repost this to your blog and receive a FREE copy of VistaDB 2.1!

I'm still running into problems with the integrity of SharpHSQL, and even though I had trouble with the trial version of VistaDB in the past, I am looking forward to trying to integrate this new version into TaskRunner. The instabilities of #HSQL are getting to the point where I can't even code enough to account for them all, so it's time to take a serious look in another direction, and hopefully, VistaDB will be it...
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Post Empathetic Exhaustion (a.k.a. How much can one planet take?)
User Rating: / 0
Written by WATYF on Tuesday, 11 October 2005 (4101 hits)
Category: Serious Crap

Seriously... first the tsunami... then a nice long string of devastating hurricanes... then throw in a couple massive floods... and add a huge earthquake for good measure. It'll be a wonder if any buildings are actually still standing come Christmas.

And after all this... after months of consecutive tragedies... and public outreach... and billions of dollars in donations and aid... I think we might be running into a new phenomenon here... and I've dubbed it "PEE" or "Post Empathetic Exhaustion" (and mark my words, it'll be all over cable news in no time )...

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More cool stuff from Google...
User Rating: / 0
Written by WATYF on Friday, 30 September 2005 (6712 hits)
Category: Nerdery

Last time I drooled over the latest web-tech from Google, it was because of a cool new feature in Google Maps. This time... they've made a few enhancements (or should I say, optional enhancements) to their homepage. As ahead-of-the-curve as Google has always been, their homepage has always been very minimalistic and simple (which is one of the things I always liked about them). Most search engines flood their landing page with so much content, and news feeds, and crap that you have to squint just to find the "Search" field (which is the only reason you go to the page in the first place). But Google has always had a very uncluttered, fast-loading home page that gives you exactly what you need, and nothing more... but now, thanks to their latest groovy toy, you can have your cake, and actually find the freaking Search field too...

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Enumerating an... um... enumerator.
User Rating: / 0
Written by WATYF on Wednesday, 28 September 2005 (6993 hits)
Category: .NET Programming

Here's a little tip I picked up... I figured I'd pass it along.

Let's say you've got an enumerator... lets also say that you want to give your user the option to pick one of the items in that enumerator by using a ComboBox (or ListBox or whatever). Well... once they pick which item they want, the combobox returns a plain ol' string, not an item from the enumerator. Well what good does that do you? Now you've got this string, and you need to convert it to the corresponding value of that item in the enumerator... So what do you do? How do you take a String and quickly and easily return it's corresponding value from an Enumerator.... Well, how 'bout I show you.

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