Blog Posts

  • Technology Conference Update

    A long while back, I created a list of technical conferences that might be of interest to those working with the Microsoft stack. Since then, a lot has changed. Microsoft has shuttered some conferences and adjusted others either in name or in definition. My career path has opened up somewhat to include some other areas of development as well, not limited to strictly a Microsoft stack anymore. I recently found myself doing some research to identify some of the options available for conferences these days and I figured it would be a good opportunity to gather the results of that research together into this list so it is all in one place.

  • Office Space vs. The Programmer

    The office is a place to get work done.  Why then, do so many complain they can't get any actual work done while "at work"?  This problem is common among most office bound employees, but I'm most interested in how it affects my field, The Programmer.  Specifically, how does the office space support or hinder the programmers' productivity?

  • Website (Re)Design - What is Important Today?

    Mobile devices.  More on that later.

    I decided that it was time to update my website with a new design.  The previous one had been around since 2002.  Since then, the site had seen some content updates and a few technology updates, but nothing major.  Nothing architectural.  Nothing visual.

  • Exploring Business Capability Mapping

    "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." - Peter Drucker

    I started looking into the process of Business Capability mapping while following up on notes from my Advanced Distributed Systems Design using SOA & DDD course with Udi Dahan who mentioned it.  The process dubbed MOTION by Microsoft was referenced during the course, as a good thing to follow up on later.

  • Developer Hardware - How Much Is Enough?

    When the time came recently to upgrade the computer hardware for my developer workstation, it got me wondering what the average specifications are of dev workstations "in the field".  Through the use of twitter and linkedin, I reached out to several colleagues to conduct a very informal survey, to see what kind of horsepower they were running these days.  For all the respondents, they are full time employees and are not owners or consultants, so they typically don't make or influence the hardware purchase decision, they merely use daily what they are given.

  • HowTo: Repointing Historic Masonry

    I recently took on a new challenge, the restoration of a 145 year old century home.  The house has triple brick walls and some of the restoration work we are doing includes repointing the lime based mortar.  This involves manually taking the old mortar out and then replacing it with new mortar.

  • Adventures In Innovation

    I recently had the opportunity to be an exhibitor at the Adventures In Innovation event held at Trent University in Peterborough on October 29, 2010.

  • Software Conferences for Microsoft Tech

    I started thinking about putting a plan together for attending conferences.  I started doing some research about the different conferences that were geared towards the Microsoft Technology stack, or that were of interest to me.

  • Maximum file path length - Windows and TFS - Part 2 - error CS0006: Metadata file could not be found

    I blogged about TFS and the maximum file path length issue a while back, and thought I had covered it pretty well.  However, the issue came back to sting me again, so I thought it deserved another post.

  • SQL Server Gotcha - Cannot open database requested in login 'dbName'.

    So I had a good fight today with a SQL Server 2008 connection that would not work.  The error was:

    Cannot open database requested in login myDbName. Login fails. Login failed for user 'myDbUserName'

  • New Computer - Time for a major upgrade

    This story actually starts over a year ago when I decided that I might like to upgrade my computer.  I used to be an avid gamer... that dried up a little, but partly because my hardware was a little deficient for the latest titles.  I don't play XBox or any of the other consoles... I just never got into them.  When I do play video games, they are on the computer.  These days, it is probably more like 85% power user and 15% gamer.  I don't need the latest and greatest hardware, but it is a nice indulgence once in a while.

  • PDC 2008 Scott Guthrie @ Open Space

    After returning from PDC 2008, I've finally had a chance to process some video that I recorded of Scott Guthrie who participated in an Open Space meeting for about an hour.  Unfortunately, I only recorded about 15 minutes of the action before my memory card filled up, but I guess that is better than nothing.

  • Azure manages to avoid a Hailstorm of criticism -- extended

    I just got back from the PDC 2008 in Los Angeles where Microsoft unveiled their plans for Windows Azure.  Azure is their answer to computing in the cloud.

  • Maximum file path length - Windows and TFS

    260 Characters.  This seems like alot, and it is, however...

    I ran into this issue a while back with an existing project I worked on and it was a royal pain.  When attempting to follow the naming conventions adopted for the folders and projects within a Visual Studio solution, the newly added filename + path exceeded this hardcoded limit within windows (many core Windows APIs still have this hardcoded limit, and many of the more recent APIs, including the .NET framework still depend upon many of these core APIs).  This issue became apparent when trying to check the file into Visual SourceSafe, when an error was thrown.

  • Windows Server 2003 Distorted Audio

    After setting up a new workstation at work with Windows Server 2003 x64 I discovered an annoying problem that was hard to live with and wound up being harder to solve than I expected.

  • ASP.NET ViewState Explained

    While doing some research for something I was working on, I came across this blog about ASP.NET and the Viewstate.  This is a must read for those who are somewhat familiar with the viewstate and those who believe they know it all.   

  • Music Downloading - Good for Artists, Bad for Business

    Let me start by saying that I am not an audiophile.  I do not download alot of music.  I do not own an iPod.  Mostly I listen to the radio in the car on my way to work, or streaming music from the website of a local radio station when I am near the computer.  I am sure that this preference is due to my inherent inability to be a good DJ. 

  • Free Antivirus Product Musings

    Recently my Symantec Antivirus 2005 edition support contract ran out and I began to get the nagging, "fear of god" messages from the program telling me that my computer wasn't protected and that I could no longer get the latest virus definition updates.  It was very scary.  Ok, scary may not be the right word.  Annoying may be a better word.

  • IIS 6 on a Development box and Premature Session End

    I started working on a legacy web application that was comprised of both classic ASP and ASP.NET.  The development box was running win 2003 server x64 with IIS 6. 

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