A Blog by Scott Isaacs

Month: August 2005 Page 1 of 2

Nerd Dinner Tuesday Night

The Milwaukee Nerd Dinner is happening tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 6PM at Champp’s.  Sign up and get details here.

I’ve only made it to one of these, but it was a lot of fun.  It’s not an “official” WI .NET Users Group event, but it’s a great chance to get to meet some of the UG members in a casual, relaxed, fun (albeit sometimes noisy) setting.

I’m planning to attend and am looking forward to meeting some new people.

BTW, thanks to Dan for picking this up while Matt is busy at his new job!

Code Generator 1.1

If you’ve read the blog for a while, you might have seen my previous posts about a code generator I wrote.

As I’ve used it for a couple months, I’ve decided that I have a lot (LOT) of changes I want to make to it.  I’m not quite a genius yet (like all of the people at the Q# launch), but I’ve learned a ton since I first started writing this.

However, as things go, I haven’t had time to really re-engineer it.  It’s hard to take time to fix something that works, even though it doesn’t work as well as it could or should.  (Can I get an “Amen”?!)  So, in the meantime, I’ve just fixed a few bugs and made a few enhancements.  Most noticably, there is a progress bar at the bottom of the window now.

So anyway, for what it’s worth, here is the updated version.  Use it at your own risk, blah blah blah.

To see a “real” code generator, check out Codus by Sean McCormack from Adapdev Technologies.  Adapdev has a few good tools that have been released to the development community.  On a (sort of) related note, Sean will be speaking to the WI .NET Users Group on September 13 about Automated Testing for .NET.  You can register at the UG site.

More on Q#

You know, I was re-reading my last post, and I see that I missed something important.  I meant to mention it there, but got distracted in the middle of the post and forgot when I came back.  (Typical…)

I really need to thank Kelly (“Her Royal Highness of the Order of the Geek”) for all her hard work.  All I did was clean up the yard, set up the chairs, and burn the burgers.  She took care of all of the other stuff, like cleaning the house, preparing the toppings and sides, putting all of the stuff that people brought out, doing the dishes, and pretty much everything else.  Plus, she managed to carry on conversations with the geeks and geek widows.

I just wanted to say thanks to Kelly for all her hard work to make the whole day happen.

I love you!


Yesterday was a good day.  The weather was really nice. 

We had a few friends over for a cookout.  Actually, there were about 25 people (including kids).  I decided a few months ago to have a party sometime this summer and invite some of my geek friends.

So yesterday was Q# 1.0 (formerly known as BBQ.NET).  I grilled 18 burgers and a dozen brats.  (Actually, as Russ can attest, the grill was basically a bonfire there for a while — lots of grease in the burgers.)  Lots of people brought other things as well.  All in all, I thought it was a pretty fun evening.  The last ones to leave were here until right around 11, and we were all sitting outside around the citronella candle talking about string theory, the meaning of life, and Office 12 amongst other things.

About halfway through the party, I looked around and realized that I had some of the smartest people in Wisconsin in my backyard.  Gerry and his family were there, as well as Brian and the rest of Tinklers (including Brock), Travis and his wife and son, casey and his girlfriend, OS, Russ Ambrose (no site), John Mitchell and his wife, and Kate and Clint Houchens and their kids.  My friend Jeff also made a brief appearance.

I wasn’t sure if Brian would actually be there since he HADN’T CALLED ME IN TWO WEEKS!!!  ๐Ÿ˜‰  Apparently, he’s been “really busy” at his new job (at Microsoft), but he did show.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, I just found out yesterday that casey won the Code’n my way to the PDC Contest with his labyrinth TabletPC app.  Congratulations!!!  That’s awesome!

So anyway, thanks to those who came by and enjoyed the afternoon with me and Kelly.  We had a blast!

TechEd DVDs

I got my TechยทEd DVDs today.  It includes seven discs:

  • 4 of presentation slide decks and audio
  • IT Showcase (lots of case studies, etc.)
  • SQL Server 2005 Readiness Kit
  • Microsoft Office System Tips & Tricks Plus

Plus it has the keynotes and all of the manuals for the Hands On Labs.

I’ve got a lot of learning to do…

Ditching Google AdSense

So the Google AdSense thing wasn’t working for me, and I’m not referring to the fact that I only made 60 cents.  OK, so maybe it has a little to do with that, but the real reason is that the ads were totally out of context.  99% of the ads that were displayed were about “blog”.  The other 1% was about tsunami relief.

Both, I’m sure, are fine topics, but are not relevant to my content like they “were supposed to be”.  I e-mailed Google about this a few times to find out what could be done.  My third e-mail got no response at all.  The two responses before that were (paraphrased):

  • I need to wait for indexing by the AdSense crawler.
  • I need to use full sentences and paragraphs about specific topics.

OK, the first one I could understand.  I didn’t realize at first that AdSense uses a different index than the regular Google index. 

The second suggestion, though, was a little frustrating, for a couple reasons.  First, I know I’m not a hardcore tech writer, where all I write about is code, but the majority of my posts were, in some way, about technology and development.  Second, I’m not writing term papers or essays, and in most cases, long paragraphs don’t “make sense”.  Also, as far as I can tell, I nearly always use compelte sentences.

In addition to describing my above reasoning, in each of my three e-mails, I asked (or suggested) if there was a way to “tag” my content.  For example, I could surround my content with something like this:

<div rel=”adsensecontent”>…</div>

Well, my third e-mail has been unanswered for 10 days now, so today I decided to ditch Google AdSense.  It’s not that I expect them to change their technology based on my suggestion, but I suggested/asked about something like that in each of the three e-mails, and that part was ignored each time.  It wasn’t working for me, maybe it will for you.  I’m not the only one, though.  Julie Lerman blogged about a similar issue.

Anyway, in place of AdSense, I’ve decided to post jobs from karmaONE, a service for referring people to open positions.  You can read all about it here on their site.  The service is currently in BETA, and, as you can see, most of the jobs are currently located in the San Francisco area.  If you are a recruiter in the Wisconsin area, check out karmaONE — you can help to make this list more relevant.  I might end up getting some money, but you’ll end up with a good candidate.

In the end, though, as much as I’d like extra money for doing pratcially nothing, I decided that I’d rather my “practically nothing” at least possibly help someone find a job.

For those that care, I’m actually using OpenGUI’s Feed2JS service to display these links.  What can I say — I’m too lazy to write my own RSS display module for CommunityServer.

Casey’s /CameraFlow App

Have you seen the new app that casey (or “the lower cased one”, as OS likes to call him) wrote?  Remember the old wooden labyrinth game?  The one where you had to twist the knobs to tilt the deck so the little silver ball would roll through the maze without falling in the holes?

He wrote that for the TabletPC (in C# with managed Direct3D).  But it’s not just a game controlled by mouse or keyboard (although you can use the mouse).  The meat of the story is that the “board” is controlled by camera tracking, so if you have a camera connected to your Tablet, you can play the game by actually, physically tilting your Tablet.  Just like the real game…

I saw the app while it was in development, but haven’t seen the finished product yet.  Maybe sometime this week?  Or this weekend?

I think it’s pretty cool — he even got Scobleized.  If I had a TabletPC and a camera, I’d probably be playing it all the time.  I haven’t seen my “real” labyrinth game in several years, so I’ve had withdrawls, you know.

Maybe for version 2.0 he’ll add the ability to control it with some sort of knobs?

casey also presented on Tablet and speech technologies at our June WI .NET Users Group meeting.  He’s posted slides and code for those who are interested.  The code for the Labyrinth game will be available soon.

Perfmon Tips (via Coding Horror)

I found this on Coding Horror today while browsing.  Thankfully, MS has a wizard to recommend relevant counters, because “using perfmon is like trying to sip from a fire hose“.  There’s a “helpful” image in the post showing a graph of the MS recommended counters.  That makes it so much easier…

My Other News

Last week, I mentioned some news and said that I would have more this week.  As promised…

It’s no secret that Brian Tinkler has joined Microsoft.  He started on Monday (the same day I started my new job).  He also has taken on a new role as the VP of Marketing for INETA.  Because of all of his extra responsibilities, he has decided to step down from his role as president of the WI .NET Users Group.  As of last week, I am now the president of the UG.  It was announced last night at our monthly UG meeting.

This is new territory for me.  Fortunately, we have a solid Executive Committee, so I’m not worried.  ๐Ÿ™‚  I’m actually pretty excited! 

So anyway, look for good things in the future.  We have a lot of exciting meetings coming up!

Where Do They Sit?

Here is an interesting story from Seth Godin’s site.

Who are your customers talking to? Where do they sit?

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