A Blog by Scott Isaacs

Month: January 2006 Page 1 of 2

MS Paint

I just saw this today: MS Paint

(via Clemens Vasters)

An Introduction to F#

The next WI .NET Users Group meeting is on February 21st.  I’m looking forward to the next meeting where our very own optionsScalper (OS) will be presenting “An Introduction to F#” (register here). 

Why am I so interested?  Is it because OS is such a hottie?  While one could make that case, I’d have to say, “No”.  It’s because F# has been described to me as the “math language” of .NET, and you may not know it, but I have a B.S. in Applied Mathematics.    It’s been a while since I’ve had to do any serious “math-like” development, and even longer since I’ve done anything remotely academic, but talking to OS about this has definitely piqued my interest.

If you have any interest in math, finance, a “scripted/functional/imperative/object-oriented programming language”, or just cool, new stuff in general, then you owe it to yourself to attend. Get the details and register here.

Update: More IE Stuff

A couple weeks ago, I posted about a ZIP of stuff for IE context menus.  I just updated the ZIP file to include a context menu item for getting a map for a highlighted address from Google Maps.

Here is the updated ZIP.  Download and use at your own risk.  See readme.txt for summary and instructions.  These will modify your registry and if you don’t know what that implies, then you probably won’t want to install them.

Windows Live Messenger Invites

I have a few invitations to use the new MSN Live Messenger Beta.  If I know you, and only if I know you, and you want one, let me know.  First come, first served.

I disabled comments and trackbacks on this post because I’ve seen other posts where someone announces invitations, and that’s too much.  🙂  Besides, if you know me, you’ll probably know how to contact me anyway.

MSN Display Picture

In honor of me starting to use the new MSN Messenger 8.0 (Windows Live Messenger), I made myself a new display picture.  Let me know what you think.

Old pic:

New pic:

Windows Live Messenger Beta

Downloaded it this morning and have been using it all day.  So far, I don’t really notice much different, other than the skin.  I know it has shared folders and offline messages, but haven’t got to play with that yet.

Sorry, no invitations yet, though.

More IE Stuff

Some time back, I posted a little thing I hacked out to let me open un-linked URLs in a new window (in IE).  Well, I actually have a few very similar, ummm, things.  There are five parts in this ZIP.  You can pick and choose which ones you want to use.  Here they are:

In a nutshell, these each add a new menu item to your right-click menu in IE when you have text selected.  Once installed, select some text, right-click, pick the new option.  Pretty simple, hey?

Here is the ZIP.  Download and use at your own risk.  See readme.txt for summary and instructions.  These will modify your registry and if you don’t know what that implies, then you probably won’t want to install them.

Update: I’ve since added another “thing”.  Read the update post here.

Another (Slightly) Useful Piece of Software

OK, so this one may only be useful to one other person on the planet, but here it is.  (If you’re a .NET developer, then this is a trivial application.)

Anyway, my wife had a need to convert a bunch of BMP files into JPGs, and she doesn’t have Photoshop, or anything like that installed.  She could have done the conversion with MS Paint, one at a time, but that was cumbersome for a lot of images.  So I “whipped this together” for her.  In a nutshell, you specify a folder, and it creates JPG versions of all BMP files in that folder.  It doesn’t do any resizing, resampling, cropping, or anything else.  It just saves a copy in the new format — pretty basic.

For the .NET geek that might read this, I got 95% of the way (which was approximately equal to a whopping 20 lines of code) through this in VB 2005, then remembered that she doesn’t have the new framework installed.  So rather than spend the time installing that for her, I just copied the code into VB 2003 and finished there.  What can I say.  I’m lazy…  🙂

Anyway, here is the download.  Use at your own risk.  I zipped the entire solution, but if you’re not a developer and just want to use it, then look for the EXE in the “bin” folder.  You must have version 1.1 of the .NET framework installed for this to run, but if you’ve run Windows Update anytime in the last couple years, you probably do.

My Blogging Habits

Since I’m approaching my one-year anniversary of my return to blogging, I thought I’d compile a few stats about my blogging habits.  These numbers do not include this current post, and dates and times have been adjusted to Central time (the server is in the Pacific time zone).

Since I started blogging on this site on February 7, 2005, it has been 332 days, and I have written 110 posts.  For those posts, I have calculated totals based on month, day of week, and hour of day.

Posts per Month

Month# Posts
Feb. 20059
Mar. 200514
Apr. 200511
May 200515
Jun. 200513
Jul. 200514
Aug. 200511
Sep. 20056
Oct. 20056
Nov. 20054
Dec. 20055
Jan. 20062

Posts per Day of Week

Day# Posts

Posts per Hour of Day

Hour# Posts
12:00 AM3
6:00 AM2
7:00 AM1
8:00 AM2
9:00 AM3
10:00 AM8
11:00 AM6
12:00 PM10
1:00 PM8
2:00 PM3
3:00 PM9
4:00 PM6
5:00 PM4
6:00 PM6
7:00 PM4
8:00 PM8
9:00 PM6
10:00 PM14
11:00 PM7

I’m sure this information is completely riveting to absolutely all of my readers, right?  🙂

My Environmental Concerns

I don’t know your stance on environment preservation.  Overall, I’m not a big environmentalist.  I believe that we need to take care of what we have, be smart, do what we can, etc., but I have never really been of the mindset that I need to worry and take seriously life-changing action. 

Until now, that is.

No, I’m not going to tell you that we need to save the trees, the rain forest, the whales, the rivers, the oceans, the air, or even the Argali.  No, I’m talking about something much more serious.  Something has recently been brought to my attention, and after a little research I’ve come to the alarming conclusion that we all, as a society, need to take immediate action: write your congressman, put a sign in your yard, picket offending companies, and organize other peaceful demostrations that will be broadcast on local and national news media.

What is it that has got Scott so concerned?”, you ask.  (Go ahead, I’ll wait while you ask…)

It’s the GUIDs.  Globally Unique IDentifiers.  You know, those 128 bit, hexadecimal strings that are, well, globally unique.  They typically look something like this:

There are only (approximately) 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.  In ordinary English, that is just over 340 trillion trillion trillion – roughly 10^38 GUIDs total.

Sure, that sounds like a lot, but think about it.  There are already over 6 billion people on earth.  At current population growth rates (2.15% in 2004), the earth’s population will double in about 30 years and will square itself in just over 2^10 years, and we will have over 40 million trillion people.  Given that there are only approximately 10^80 particles in the known universe, and that each person is made up of a bunch of those (10^7 red corpuscles alone, not counting the other color corpuscles, or things like intestines and hair follicles), and that in such a short time, the earth’s population will square itself, I think we have serious cause to worry.

When you think about it, we already don’t have enough GUIDs to truly globally uniquely identify every particle.  As it is, if we tried to identify every particle, each GUID would be “responsible” for ~10^40 particles.  That’s 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or 10,000 trillion trillion trillion.

That’s GUID abuse, if you ask me!!  We HAVE to stop the madness!

What do we do?”, you ask.  I’m not sure, to be honest.  I’ll have to leave that up to people much more intelligent than myself.  I do have a few ideas, though.  Please excuse my naivety if you are a GUID expert.  I’m just trying to do what I can to save the poor little guys things. (I have been informed that GUIDs are asexual entities.)  My ideas:

  • Institute a mandatory GUID recycling program.  If it works for Pepsi cans and newspapers, it can help the GUIDs.  But we can’t wait until it’s too late — there would be none left to recycle.
  • Make each particle complete a GUID Request Application (GRA) and a Verification of Uniqueness Addendum (VUA).  The problem with this idea is that each application itself contains particles, thus requiring and endless cycle of GRAs and VUAs.  Maybe someone can take this idea and re-work it a little so it wouldn’t be so immediately catastrophic.
  • We could invent a Super GUID, or SGUID (SQUID in some Anglo-based languages) consisting of 1024 bits.  Similar to GUID-breeding (which is too deep of a concept to cover in the scope of this post), I think this is the most immediate solution, but is akin to throwing more money at a problem, or more RAM at an underpowered server running a poorly written application.

At the end of the day, I can only hope that this post generates some interest, some concern, some thought, some discussion, and some action.  Please, people, let’s save the GUIDs from abuse and extinction.  Together, we can find a way!!

Note: All GUIDs presented in this post are recycled, reclaimed, or reconditioned GUIDs.  No GUIDs were harmed in the writing of this post.


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