Geeks With Blogs


Google My Blog

Catch me at: The List!

My InstallScript Utility Belt My Amazon Wishlist
My Standard Disclaimer

Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here. General Interest items of general interest, probably to no-one but me.
MonoGame – v3.6 now available
MonoGame 3.6 now available! Pardon the interruption of the regular MonoGame blog series, but this is important. There’s a new version of MonoGame now available!! Grab MonoGame 3.6 here: There are a bunch of new features, and a small mountain of bugfixes and enhancements. Read the entire changelog here: ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 7, 2017 1:38 PM

Amazon Alexa Skills Article in Code Magazine
My Amazon Alexa Skills article in Code Magazine is out now, and it’s the cover article!!! Very exciting stuff. You can find it online, at: Or you can download the PDF of the entire issue, at: You can also get a print subscription, at: ......

Posted On Monday, February 20, 2017 10:22 AM

2017 Syntax Code & Craft Conference
Looks like I'll be speaking again this year at the Syntax Code & Craft Conference, in Charleston, SC. Date: May 18 & 19Topic: What's New in C# 7C# 7 introduces a number of great features, including (but not limited to) pattern matching, tuples, and local functions. Additionally, several existing features have also been improved, along with overall performance.In this talk, we’ll demo the new and improved language features and look at ways to take advantage of the performance improvements ......

Posted On Friday, February 17, 2017 9:53 AM

Fansigns! Keep em coming...
Not too long ago, I mentioned that I'm having a little contest. Send me a cool fansign and you might win a seriously awesome badass prize. I had a couple of entries show up at first and then things slowed down a bit. So I figure, maybe you need a reminder, or an example. I received these today: There's a prize worth about $10,000 on the line here folks... keep em coming. You really don't have to send in a picture of yourself tattooing a nun to win. Just be creative ......

Posted On Saturday, July 12, 2008 11:24 PM

Adventures in 3D Printing
Background: I have a Micro 3D Printer, which runs (usually headless) off an OctoPrint server, running on a Raspberry Pi 3. I moved a few months ago and the whole setup sat in a box until this weekend. I start setting everything up again. I'm not a Linux expert by any means, but this thing is relatively plug and play, when it works. Fire everything up... led lights come on, it’s running headless (no monitor or keyboard) but I think it’s booted ok. Off to a good start. The OctoPrint server presents ......

Posted On Monday, February 13, 2017 10:42 AM

upcoming user group / conference visits
The next 6 months are going to be pretty fun (and by fun, I mean hectic.) In addition to a couple of interesting side projects (writing & video), I'm also going back on the speaker circuit. Fortunately, I'll be able to tie a few of these stops to some "vacation" destinations. 3/18: GSP Developers (Greenville, SC) 4/22: Enterprise Developers Guild (Charlotte, NC) 5/15: WNC.NET (Asheville, NC) 7/11: Codestock (Knoxville, TN) TENTATIVE 8/07: RV.NUG (Roanoke, VA) 8/28: DevLink (Chattanooga, TN) TENTATIVE ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 26, 2014 9:41 AM

ch ch ch changes...

After a mostly great 6 years and 3 months, I'm leaving Magenic. My last day is officially 9/14/12.

I'm going to be taking a much needed break from consulting, to focus on parts of my life that have been, well... rather unfocused lately.

Posted On Thursday, September 6, 2012 9:34 AM

Travelling at Magenic
I occasionally get asked if we travel "a lot" at Magenic. Sometimes the question comes from job candidates. Other times it's clients, recruiters or friends. To give a simple yes or no answer would be a disservice to the person asking the question. So here is my standard answer:It depends.(That was the short version. Here's the long version...)We do have some guys that are more "national" in focus, and they can travel a fair amount. They also receive a little extra in compensation for doing so. It's ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 4, 2012 2:57 PM

You've got questions? These guys have answers...
I'm sure most of you reading this have heard of, seen or actively used Stack Overflow. If you're like me, you probably thought to yourself... this would be such a great resource for other stuff... like games. Fortunately, that's exactly what is. Quite literally, it's StackOverflow for gamers. It doesn't matter if you're into board games, video games, card games, minis games or those weird games you used to play with your older cousin when your mom wasn't home (ok, maybe not THOSE ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 8, 2009 9:47 PM

UGSS / INETA .net user group support kits have arrived
After a lengthy break, the user group support kits from Microsoft have resumed. FedEx dropped off a big white box this morning, so if you are still awaiting yours... it should be there when you get home from work (or maybe in the next couple days.) User Group leaders didn't have the option of picking and choosing the contents for this cycle (or any future cycles, I would assume...) but don't fret, the contents are quite good. Assuming all the "Dev Group" kits are identical, this is what you can expect: ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 2, 2009 3:07 PM

DevExpress webinar series for Windows Phone
When I was at TechEd 2011 in Atlanta, I had the pleasure of meeting a bunch of the DevExpress folks and working out some of the details for a series of Windows Phone Development webinars. Here they are, for your viewing pleasure: #1 Introduction to WP7 Development with Silverlight and XNA - #2 Deeper Dive Into XNA on Windows Phone - The source (in C# and VB.NET) for the demos in this talk can be found in my book, or ......

Posted On Sunday, June 12, 2011 8:32 AM

Making the move to Wireless N
A couple weeks ago I was watching Netflix on the Xbox 360 in my living room and every so often, it would have to take a moment and rebuffer and just generally spoil my television enjoyment. As I thought about this, and thought about how often I was having to cycle the power on my aging Linksys Wireless G router, I decided it might be time for an upgrade. This is no small undertaking, mind you. With 8 desktop/laptop computers, 1 Windows Home Server, 4 Xbox 360s, 2 Wiis, 1 mini cell tower, various ......

Posted On Sunday, March 20, 2011 3:38 PM

Professional Windows Phone 7 Game Development: Creating Games using XNA Game Studio 4
In 24 short days*, my (along with the awesome George W. Clingerman) first book will be released: Professional Windows Phone 7 Game Development: Creating Games using XNA Game Studio 4 (or as we like to call it, that damned 550 page monstrosity that nearly killed us) Weighing in at 552 pages and featuring a foreward by the legendary James Silva (Ska Studios, creator of The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, I MAED A GAME W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1, and more...) this book gives thorough ......

Posted On Friday, January 28, 2011 10:24 AM

new year, new goals, same old blog...
So, I've been kind of a slacker on the whole blogging front. I pretty much took 2010 off from blogging, not necessarily on purpose of course, but I was doing a lot of tweeting and I guess after condensing things down to 140 character bites, I didn't have much else to say here. Unsurprisingly, I've grown bored with Twitter. (I find the busier I am, the less interest I have in what everyone else is doing... go figure.) So, I need a good outlet to talk about the things I'm working on and what I've been ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 25, 2011 9:54 AM

Since the new issue of Code Magazine is hitting the stands any day now, I'll go ahead and post my article on Give Camps from the previous issue. GiveCamps Chris Williams This month I’m going to take a brief departure and talk about the growing phenomenon in the developer community known as GiveCamps. If you’ve never heard of these, keep reading (you better keep reading either way, bub). What Exactly Is a GiveCamp? GiveCamps are the brainchild of Microsoft Central Region Developer Evangelist Chris ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 29, 2010 11:33 AM

Devs For Wendy

If you're in the NYC area, please consider donating to or participating in Devs For Wendy. (

If you aren't in the NYC area, please consider donating anyway to this good cause.


Posted On Tuesday, June 29, 2010 10:53 AM

What's new in VB 2010
Hello VB Folks, These sessions are designed to be a primer for getting started using various features in Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0. (Yes, some have already occurred... you can still watch them, just not live.) · Nov 3rd 10:00-11:00AM -Getting Started with IntelliTrace (formerly the “Historical Debugger”) by Habib Heydarian and Justin Marks · Nov 4th 10:00-11:00AM - Getting Started with SharePoint Development in Visual Studio 2010 by Boris Scholl · Nov 5th 9:00am-10:00am - A Lap ......

Posted On Thursday, November 5, 2009 1:35 PM

Japanese Bug Fights
What's that, you say? You've never heard of Japanese Bug Fighting? The Bumfights of the Insect world? Imagine this... 30 ROUNDS (yes, that's right THIRTY ROUNDS) of 1 on 1 fights to the death... all building up to the FINAL BATTLE!! Check it out: http://www.japanesebugfight... If this isn't the coolest thing you've ever seen, well... then I want to see what is. I bet the PETA people just love this (and if they don't care... then I guess they're hypocrites... I dunno.) ......

Posted On Monday, April 13, 2009 9:08 AM

Geek Cruise - Floating Tech Conference
I'm throwing this post out here for you folks to think about and provide me some input/feedback. I'm considering putting together another event: A Geek Cruise... Somewhere between Code Camp and Conference, on a big ship, with large fruity drinks and foreign port visits. Here's what I have so far: Duration: 3 days Location: Caribbean Depart From: Miami, FL (probably) Date: TBD (probably fall... these things take time to plan) Speakers: TBD (but I have a few volunteers so far) Cost: TBD (hopefully ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 9, 2008 4:04 PM

eXtreeeeeeeme Project Management
In addition to learning WWF (that's Windows Workflow Foundation, Paul) I'm also reading a book given to me at the client, titled: eXtreme Project Management. I haven't read any PM books before, and I've only just started this one. The intent is for me to read, discuss and learn, so I figure why not open it up to a broader audience and see what you think too... 1) Have any of you read this book? It's by Doug DeCarlo, published in 2004. 2) If you have, what did you think? 3) Whether you have or not, ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 19, 2008 2:41 PM

Kansas City Day of .NET
If you're in the Kansas City area and you haven't heard about Kansas City Day of .NET (or KCDODN) then you're missing out. KCDODN is Saturday, December 6th at the Centriq Training center. (Go here to register...) Looks like 4 tracks of .NET Developer goodness, including a session by yours truly. GWB'ers Jeff and John will be there as well... so come say hi if you're there. Kansas City Day of Dot Net Development Architecture SharePoint Special Interest 8:00am - 9:00am Registration & Breakfast ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 19, 2008 2:35 PM

new gig
I've been pretty quiet the last week and a half (at least in my blog... I'm still twittering plenty.) The reason for this is that I've started a new gig with Magenic and I've been really, really busy. This new gig has me traveling from Minneapolis to a smallish town named Mitchell, SD and back each week. Between work and travel (and spending most of my nights getting up to speed on new stuff and new concepts) I haven't had much time to blog regularly. So, I'm going to try to make a conscious effort ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 19, 2008 2:30 PM

It's all over but the shoutin...
Looks like we have ourselves a new president. I've always considered myself apolitical, never really caring who was in the white house, mostly because I don't believe it made a difference. The disaster we casually refer to as "the last 8 years" cured me of that philosophy. Turns out, the incompetence of one man, can actually make a difference... So, it was with gradually increasing interest that I began following the 2008 electoral race. This is a landmark year, in that no matter who won, things ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 4, 2008 11:53 PM

Heartland Developers Conference - Omaha
Just got back from HDC - Omaha last night and it was a blast. (The drive home was a little crazy... apparently my GPS has developed a crack habit, but that's a whole other story.) Wednesday - Jason Bock and I arrived in Omaha around 11:30am and after a quick lunch at the hotel with Amanda Laucher, the three of us piled into the jeep and were off to meet Joe Olsen and the GeeksWithBlogs crew at the PhenomBlue office for a Microsoft Surface demo. We hung out there for a bit and chatted up some of the ......

Posted On Saturday, October 18, 2008 7:43 PM

Go Vikings
This weekend sure was busy. Friday night, we had the Twin Cities Code Camp V pre-party, and then a trip to a bar downtown... I think I got home around 3am. Saturday, My XNA talk at Twin Cities Code Camp V went really well and then we had the after party at Joe Sensor's, followed by a trip to the Casino later that evening, and then a late night poker tournament at Jason Bock's house after that. Sunday morning (today) a bunch of us met up at IHOP for breakfast and then went to the Vikings game. (This ......

Posted On Sunday, October 12, 2008 7:48 PM

Happy 5th Birthday GWB
Today is the 5th Birthday of GeeksWithBlogs!  Congrats guys for kicking everyone's ass and making this THE premiere technical blogging community and home to so many badass cool people.  Jeff and John deserve a HUGE pat on the back.

Posted On Wednesday, October 8, 2008 11:48 AM

HDC starts tonight!!
The Heartland Developers Conference has come to Minneapolis and things start kicking off tonight with the pre-conference party, down at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis. I attended the HDC last year in Omaha as a representative of Magenic and enjoyed it so much I decided to speak at the event this year (both in Minneapolis and Omaha.) I'm speaking on Monday and my time slot has some pretty tough competition with Andrew Troelson discussing LINQ Query Internals and Amanda Laucher discussing ......

Posted On Sunday, September 28, 2008 1:36 PM

NINE Questions with Vipul Vyas
Recently I had the opportunity to check out and found it to be a pretty interesting concept. Vipul Vyas is the man responsible for bringing it to the internet, so these NINE Questions are all about him. Read on... 1. Where are you from? I'm Indian-American, but I grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. I was born in Cleveland, Ohio; but we left there before my first birthday. So I'm "American by birth, Southern by the grace of god," as they would say. These days I call San Francisco, California ......

Posted On Thursday, August 7, 2008 6:39 PM

Codestock is ONE WEEK AWAY
Codestock is ONE WEEK AWAY!! What is Codestock? Well, it's a one day conference, full of top notch programmers talking about the latest technology. There's no marketing presentations, or in your face propaganda. Oh yeah, and I'm speaking there... of course. Come spend a Saturday with some top tier developers. I'll be there, you should too. (and no, this isn't my big announcement... stay tuned!) ......

Posted On Thursday, July 31, 2008 9:12 PM

My Big Idea
Stay tuned to this blog for a huge announcement tomorrow (Friday August 1, 2008) morning.

It's taking all the willpower I have (which isn't much) not to announce it early.

Posted On Thursday, July 31, 2008 9:04 PM

Saturday Night Fun
Mission: Abandoned Mill Debrief: We've been here before, but haven't come close to exploring all of it. We met up after dark and drove out to the site. Getting there was fairly quick and uneventful, and aside from passing a couple of bicyclists, it looked like we weren't going to run into anyone on the way in. Just before we got to the entrance though, a car full of guys (looked like teenagers or early twenties) pulled up and tried going down a road that was (clearly) marked "do not enter." Confused, ......

Posted On Sunday, September 28, 2008 1:15 PM

CSLA Light
Rocky Lhotka has just released Beta 1 of CSLA .NET for Silverlight framework (and a corresponding version for Windows). If you are unfamiliar with CSLA .NET, it is one of the most widely used business application development frameworks for the .NET platform. I expect it will be extremely widely used in Silverlight as well, since it provides even more direct benefits to Silverlight developers! CSLA .NET for Silverlight abstracts many of the complex issues faced when building business applications ......

Posted On Saturday, September 27, 2008 2:29 PM

Charity Fragathon is over.
The Charity Fragathon was last night, and I'm happy to say it was a huge success.

We had 90 people sign up and 78 in attendance.

I'm still crunching the financial numbers, but it looks like I'll be handing a check for around $6000 to Children's Hospital.

Lots of pictures were taken, fun was had, pizza was eaten, sodas consumed, G33K B33R was chugged, prizes were won, n00bs were pwned.

Last night was truly made of pure awesome.

Posted On Thursday, September 25, 2008 3:26 PM

NINE Questions will be back next week.
The Charity Fragathon was a humongous success, and it totally kicked my butt. I'm swamped and exhausted.

NINE Questions will be back next week with interviews featuring George Clingerman and Lindsay Rutter.


Posted On Thursday, September 25, 2008 3:23 PM

Spaghetti Code Podcast w/ Jeff Brand
A couple weeks ago, Jeff Brand and I sat down and talked about XNA on his Spaghetti Code podcast. We had a good time, as usual, and discussed various aspects of the XNA experience, and what's new in the XNA 3.0 CTP. Here's the link: XNA Podcast ......

Posted On Sunday, June 29, 2008 1:48 PM

Charity Fragathon is almost here!!
The Charity Fragathon (http://www.charityfragatho... is only THREE days away. We're hosting a HUGE HALO 3 tournament and a Rock Band 2 Room. I am SO CLOSE to hitting the mark on this, and really need your help. Magenic (my awesome employer) has committed to matching 100% of the first $3000. I'm just a few hundred bucks short of maxing this out, and I need your help to make it happen. If you've been thinking about attending, but haven't registered yet, please do so. We've got some great prizes ......

Posted On Sunday, September 21, 2008 9:46 PM

my new flashlight (or 100 LEDs of Fury!!)
Sometimes I buy stuff on When I do, it''s usually a good deal even if their shipping is slow.Recently I bought a couple LED Flashlights. They were about $13 each but they were supposed to be incredibly bright. I usually carry around a small 24 LED light in my bag when I'm out exploring. This flashlight claimed to have 100 ultra bright LEDs. I hadn't seen one that big before, so I figured why not? The package arrived yesterday and I ripped it open as soon as I got home from work. They had ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 17, 2008 1:20 PM

Weekend Update
My week in review... 1) The weather forecast for my cookout has been downgraded to flurries (which is better than snow, for sure.) Still it's gonna be pretty cold. (30-40F) 2) The arcade pickup is getting complicated. The guy I'm picking the game up from is now going to be out of town all weekend through around Wednesday. I leave Friday for Iowa Code Camp, so that doesn't leave a very big window to pick it up. I don't really want to pay for delivery, but that might become my only option if I can't ......

Posted On Friday, April 25, 2008 9:35 PM

Snow?!? Are you serious?
I've got big plans for the weekend. I'm making fire and grilling dead animals. I've been planning this for weeks.

I've got friends, beer, dead animals, charcoal, a new grill... everything I need... and apparently I have SNOW on the way too...  %^$#@%& SNOW....  Yes, the weatherman is calling for snow, on April 26th. What are the odds?

Snow be damned, I will grill this weekend. Just watch me.

Posted On Friday, April 25, 2008 1:53 PM

NINE Questions with Jason Bock
I've known Jason pretty much since I moved up to Minneapolis, although I had heard of him long before that via his books and the Magenic tech lists. In addition to being a total languages geek, Jason's a pretty interesting guy with an eclectic background and a broad set of interests... it's probably why we get along so well. He's also a busy community guy, so I'm glad he was able to spare a few minutes to knock out this interview. So here it is, NINE Questions with Jason Bock: 1. Where are you from ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 16, 2008 10:21 AM

Getting protected pics from Flickr
Earlier this evening, I was working on another NINE Questions interview and the interviewee sent me two Flickr links of pictures to choose from. Unfortunately, Flickr had some sort of weird protection that prevented me from dragging, copy & pasting or saving the photo I needed. I kept getting this 1x1 pixel transparent image named spaceball.gif. I really needed this picture, and I had permission to use it from the interviewee, but she wasn't available at the time to just send me a copy, so I ......

Posted On Thursday, September 11, 2008 8:39 PM

NINE Questions with Liza Kindred
I first met Liza and the Lullabot gang at the Iowa Code Camp and started following her on Twitter the same day. She's got a pretty interesting story, but I'll let her tell it. This is another one of those interviews I did a while back and then somehow misplaced. Obviously my filing system (gmail) needs some work. Without further delay, I give you NINE Questions with Liza Kindred: 1. Where are you from? Des Moines, most days. I travel a great deal for work, so sometimes I feel like I am "from" airports ......

Posted On Thursday, September 11, 2008 4:55 PM

You Could Win a Free Massage
So I was out at lunch (Davanni's) with my friend Kitty last week and while we were there, this lady was going "table to table" getting people to fill out slips for a drawing for a free massage. I like "FREE" a lot so I filled out the little slip and handed it back to her. Imagine my surprise when I got home that evening and received a phone call informing me that I was a lucky winner. All I had to do was make an appointment at "Above and Beyond Chiropractic." The nice lady with the accent informed ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 10, 2008 11:20 AM

Twin Cities Code Camp V
It's official! Twin Cities Code Camp V is on the calendar for October 11th. So far we have 5 rooms reserved, with a possible 6th as needed. We already have about a half-dozen speakers signed up and it's only been open for a day. If you're wanting to speak at this one, be sure to submit a session topic and description ASAP. Last time they filled up really fast. For more information, go here: ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 23, 2008 12:36 AM

apparently intelligent life is hard to find on this planet too...
I was at Borders tonight, after my guitar lesson, picking up some chai before heading home to do more tech-editing. A quick detour through the RPG section and I spy sealed boxes of Yu-Gi-Oh! Strike of Neos (1st Edition) boosters. I don't normally see those in that section, and I know Borders occasionally screws up the price on stuff they don't quite understand. So, I flip over the box and sure enough, it's marked $3.99. This is the price of ONE booster. A sealed box of 24 boosters goes for around ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 22, 2008 11:13 PM

NINE Questions with Chris Sutton
I first met Chris at the Twin Cities Code Camp pre-party in the Spring of 2008. Since then, it seems like I've run into him everywhere... Iowa Code Camp, TechEd, Codeapalooza, etc... This guy really gets around. Fortunately, he was able to pause long enough to answer these NINE Questions. Unfortunately, he did it over a month ago and I promptly lost it. So now I give you, The Lost NINE Questions interview, with Chris Sutton: 1. Where are you from? Brazil, Minnesota, Florida, Missouri, Colorado and ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 10, 2008 9:58 AM

Google Chrome - so close, but not yet
I downloaded Chrome the second I heard it was available. It's damn fast, it looks good and it has some great new usability features that I really like. I figured why not give it a thorough test drive and make it my default browser for a day? Sadly, it didn't quite make 24 hours. Sure it's stable (other than that one "Evil Here" bug. feel free to click here if you're running Chrome to see what I mean.) Yeah it looks good, plenty of reclaimed screen real estate. It's extremely fast and of course works ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 3, 2008 1:32 PM

3rd Gen Zunes, a sneak peek
Sneak peek: 3rd Gen Zunes...

Click Me

Posted On Tuesday, September 2, 2008 11:57 AM

Intelligent Life Unlikely
In spite of what you may find in the blogosphere, and right here on Earth, many of us were still holding out hope that there might be intelligent life somewhere else in the universe. Sadly, if you believe this article, it's become significantly less likely. Apparently we evolved fairly late in the habitable life cycle of our planet... In about a Billion years we're toast. Interesting ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 22, 2008 4:37 PM

NINE Questions with Carl Franklin
Carl is one of the folks I credit (blame?) with getting me started in my career as a VB developer. Back in the mid 90's when I worked for the DoD down in New Orleans, I was a regular visitor to Carl & Gary's VB Homepage. If not for those guys, I'd probably be selling crawfish for a living or worse, coding in Java. So I'm happy to bring you these NINE Questions with Carl Franklin: 1. Where are you from? I was born in New London, CT and lived until I was 19 with my family in Mystic, CT. I spent ......

Posted On Monday, September 1, 2008 10:09 AM

NINE Questions with Lisa Feigenbaum
I met Lisa through my interaction with Microsoft as a VB MVP. We got a chance to hang out some at Tech Ed 2008 and via the VB mailing list. She's got a great sense of humor and is also one of the smartest people I've met. She's also incredibly busy, so I've been chasing her via email to bring you these NINE Questions with Lisa Feigenbaum: 1. Where are you from? Los Angeles, in the Encino area. (Yes, like the movie Encino Man.) It’s part of the San Fernando Valley. I’ve toned down the accent a bit ......

Posted On Friday, August 29, 2008 3:12 PM

Overly Caffeinated?
This is about 1 month of in-office soda consumption. Too much? Click for larger image. On the plus side, the mountain skyline is a nice reminder of home ......

Posted On Thursday, August 28, 2008 11:32 AM

more Friday Night Fun
Mission: Pet Food MillStatus: Abandoned, at least 10 yearsDebrief:We got together shortly after dark, with no clear plan on where we wanted to go. Piling in the car, we stopped at a convenience store to grab some snacks and batteries. I have a ridiculously bright LED flashlight but it eats batteries pretty fast. After that, we took a ride and briefly (without getting out of the car) scouted a couple locations of interest. One in particular looked interesting, but was sealed up tight, with concrete ......

Posted On Saturday, August 23, 2008 2:21 PM

Snakes on a Plane... the review
Let me start by saying I really like Samuel L. Jackson. I hope he had fun making this movie. It looked like he had fun. Surely he had more fun making it than I had watching it. This movie sucked. It sucked in a way that defies words. In sucked in that way that Love Boat reruns you watched with your grandmother when you were a kid sucked. Only more so. I had a plan. Samuel L. Jackson has a certain "signature" phrase he uses a lot in movies. Knowing this, and knowing I was in for a bad movie, I decided ......

Posted On Thursday, August 21, 2008 4:25 PM

What I do...
Occasionally, people ask me how I became an MVP...  or they ask me what do I do besides consulting, that keeps me so busy. Here's a list of stuff I've done over the last year, and what I have scheduled through the rest of 2008.

The List!

If you want me to come speak at your event, it would be a good idea to check here first to see if there's a date conflict.

Posted On Thursday, August 21, 2008 11:34 AM

NINE Questions with Rachel Reese
This week, I'm chatting with Rachel Reese, ASP Insider. We've never actually met in person, but it seems like we know all the same people. Funny how that works. Rachel and I emailed back and forth for a few weeks so you could have something to read this morning. I'm off to find coffee, so please enjoy these NINE Questions with Rachel Reese: 1. Where are you from? I was mostly raised in Wyoming and consider that my "home", but I've also lived in Maine, Florida, New York, Maryland, Arizona and a few ......

Posted On Thursday, August 21, 2008 6:57 AM

Tuesday Night Recon
Mission: strictly recon.Debrief:We met up in downtown Minneapolis, where we hung out for a bit and watched the sun go down. As it started to get dark, the three of us piled into one car and headed to the first of two places we wanted to scope out for further exploration.Location 1: Flour MillStatus: Closed, Non-operationalFinding suitable roadside parking, we walked over and checked the place out. We walked around for about half an hour, noting some very interesting features but no obvious entrances. ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 20, 2008 1:30 AM

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - a review
This review will contain naughty words. I don't know how many because that phrase is the first thing I typed, other than the title. I just know there's going to be some. I went to see a matinee of Star Wars: The Clone Wars today. There were 9 of us, ages ranging from 10 to older than me, so it seems like a good spread. I'll give you the short version first since there's a lot of ADD geeks out there (like me) who are about to stop reading if I don't get on with it... THE SHORT REVIEW: It Didn't Suck. ......

Posted On Sunday, August 17, 2008 6:39 PM

new ink (mistaking requirements for design)
I'm considering designs for my full back piece. So far, it's been an interesting exercise in discovering the limits of shared concepts/terminology, which I suppose is a lot like what I deal with on a daily basis as a consultant. An unfortunate conversation, earlier in my career, went something like this: client: we want "this" it should do "this, this and this" and look like "this" but not exactly. me: ok, I'm on it. (several weeks go by) client: is it ready, is it ready, is it ready? me: yep, ta-dah! ......

Posted On Sunday, August 17, 2008 12:22 PM

We Are the Masters of the Twitterverse
My CoDe Magazine piece on Social Networks is online now.

You can read it at:
Feel free to provide feedback there or here. I'm interested in what people think of it.

Posted On Friday, August 15, 2008 2:07 PM

NINE Questions with Chris Williams
We're shaking things up a bit over here at My 32nd cousin (she was born a Williams) and temporary co-host Rachel Appel is turning things around and asking me the questions this time. I'll let her take it from here. When I saw Chris doing the 9 Questions series on his blog, I wondered why everyone else got a little shot at web celeb and not the man himself. So I hopped on IM and said “Hey Chris, you’re interviewing everybody, but where’s your questions and answers? You have to dogfood ......

Posted On Friday, August 15, 2008 10:29 AM

NINE Questions with Desarae A. Veit
Desarae is a Social Networking powerhouse. After she added me on Twitter a while back, I checked out her About Me page and was impressed with the sheer volume of sites and services she's a member of. She's on every one I'd heard of and a bunch more that were totally new to me. Being a Social Networking junkie myself, interviewing her was an easy decision. I considered doing the interview over Twitter, but then what would you have left to read? Without further delay, I give you NINE Questions with ......

Posted On Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:17 PM

NINE Questions with Shawn Wildermuth
My buddy Shawn is probably best known as being The ADO Guy, but lately has rebranded himself. More on that below. I caught up with Shawn in between his extensive travels and asked him these NINE Questions: 1. Where are you from? While I was born in Brooklyn, NY I really grew up in south Florida. I’ve moved around a lot with the highlights being my stops in Amsterdam, Boston and Portland, Oregon. I currently live in Atlanta where I’ve spent several five year stints, but this time it’s a permanent ......

Posted On Thursday, August 14, 2008 6:02 PM

Twin Cities Developers Guild - tomorrow night!!

Quick reminder, tomorrow night is the Twin Cities Developers Guild meeting featuring Rocky Lhotka!

If you're in the area, or just really love CSLA (and who doesn't?) come on out and get your first public look at CSLA Light  (as in, Silverlight, uh-huh... that's right!)

Please RSVP for an accurate food and beverage count.

Posted On Monday, August 11, 2008 11:30 AM

CodeStock debrief
If you weren't at Codestock this weekend, you totally missed out. A few hundred developers from all over the country (Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Georgia, and I'm probably missing a few) got together for one of the most interesting technical community events I've ever had the privilege of attending and speaking at. My employer, Magenic, sent me down to Knoxville for the weekend with a slide deck, some swag, and a mission. ......

Posted On Monday, August 11, 2008 10:16 AM

NINE Questions with Rod Paddock
We're kicking this week off with an interview with my good friend Rod Paddock. Aside from being one of the coolest dudes on earth, Rod's also the editor of a little mag you developer types may have heard of: CoDe Magazine. I shot Rod some questions, and he shot me some answers. Here you go: 1. Where are you from? (especially if its not where you are now, geographically.) I’m from California. I graduated from Palmdale High School in 1987. I lived in Bend Oregon for a few years when I went to school. ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 5, 2008 9:58 AM

Friday Night Fun
Mission: Storm Drain near the Mississippi River Status: Active Debrief: We met up shortly after 9pm (around dusk) at a small park within walking distance of our entry point. Same gear as before, with the addition of my sadly underutilized HD cam. We discussed the plan, and the need for discretion (and quiet) on our approach. The danger factor was significantly lower on this mission than the previous one, but the trouble factor (if caught) was quite a bit higher (misdemeanor.) Basically the opposite ......

Posted On Saturday, August 2, 2008 8:32 PM

NINE Questions with Dana Coffey
I'm taking a break from this glorious day, with nice weather and grilled meats to bring you this interview with Dana Coffey (someone many of you know as @CrazeeGeekChick on Twitter.) Dana is from a place near and dear to my heart. The South. Every time I see her take the time to actually type out the word "y'all" I get a chuckle. So without further delay, here is Dana Coffey and her NINE Questions. 1. Where are you from? Peachtree City, GA – land of the Golfcart paths. It’s just south of Atlanta ......

Posted On Friday, August 1, 2008 3:36 PM

Have Fun. Raise Money. Help Kids. I give you the Charity Fragathon
so a few of you (including my parents) have been wondering what this "big idea" of mine was. It's not another game store, although don't rule that out permanently. It's not a video game studio, although again... never say never. No, this is something truly magnificent. I give you the Charity Fragathon. The Twin Cities XNA User Group is throwing their first ever charity event! Admission to this event is $10 (ten bucks!!) and that covers entry into what just might be the biggest ......

Posted On Friday, August 1, 2008 10:06 AM

NINE Questions with Randy Walker
I was hoping to get this out earlier in the week, but real life, work and that annoying sleep habit I can't seem to kick all got in the way. Randy is a fellow VB MVP and "Carl & Gary's" alumni, but I'll let him tell you about that. Here are my NINE Questions with Randy Walker: 1. Where are you from? Born in South Korea, adopted and lived all over the U.S. While I consider myself an Arkansas Razorback by heart (Go Hogs!), I’m a Texan through and through. I currently live and work in Northwest ......

Posted On Thursday, July 31, 2008 10:55 AM

Schizoid - First XNA Title for XBOX Live Arcade Microsoft and Torpex Games announced today the release of Schizoid for Xbox LIVE Arcade. Billed as "the most co-op game ever", Schizoid creates a new category of action gaming where teamwork equals survival and players must protect each other from waves of glowing enemies. Available for download now, Schizoid is the first-ever Xbox LIVE Arcade title built using Microsoft's XNA Game Studio. Microsoft's Schizoid page: click me I am really really excited about this. It's great ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 9, 2008 8:51 AM

Twin Cities Developers Guild kickoff wrapup
The Twin Cities Developers Guild had our kickoff/cookout this evening. We had an excellent turnout and served up a bunch of burgers and hot dogs. Afterwards, Jason Bock gave his talk on "Writing Better Code" which went really well. Lots of good questions from the audience. Jason and I tossed a few VB vs C# barbs back and forth, which was fun. Everyone seemed to have a good time, and we wrapped up with some giveaways and announced the speakers for the next two months (August: Rocky Lhotka - CSLA Light, ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 8, 2008 10:01 PM

NINE Questions with Wally McClure
If you live in the southeast United States, chances are you've heard of Wally McClure. You may have even met him in person. I met Wally at the Charlotte Code Camp, back in the early days before my inevitable ascension to .NET Demigod. Wally is always a lot of fun to talk listen to, so enjoy. 1. Where are you from? I grew up in Knoxville, TN. I have a BS & MS in Electrical Engineering at Georgia Tech. I worked at “The Coca-Cola Company” in Atlanta, but I found that the corporate life wasn’t for ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 8, 2008 4:12 PM

NINE Questions with Jim Wooley
Time to cap off the week with another interview. I spent some time with Jim at TechEd (Developers) 2008 and was quite impressed with not only his VB knowledge, but also his enthusiasm for sharing it. If you've ever worked with LINQ, you've probably been to his website ( at some point. So without further introduction on my part, I give you NINE Questions with Jim Wooley... 1. Where are you from? I've been living around Atlanta, GA for the last 9 years. Most of my formative years ......

Posted On Friday, July 25, 2008 8:26 AM

D'Arcy Lussier - newly baptised .NET Linguistic Parity Evangelist
Amazing... you let someone go to ONE MVP Summit and sit in a couple VB sessions and now he's a man on a mission. You're preaching to the choir here D. (Not that your message isn't right, because it is... I just find the newfound enthusiasm amusing.) Read more here... He's right of course... the lang wars are soooo 5 years ago. The divide is getting narrower and narrower every year. One thing I've noticed is that you don't really see the VB guys bashing C# nearly as much as the other way around. Wanna ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 22, 2008 4:13 PM

Caligari trueSpace 7.6 for FREE?!?
If you're a 3D kinda guy, which I'm not (well, I'm getting there, but it's a slow journey) then you might be interested in this. Apparently, Caligari is giving away their trueSpace 7.6 product for free for a limited time. Here's the marketing fluff: What you may not expect is that we are making trueSpace7.6 available to everyone at no charge, in a giant step forward to bring high-end 3D authoring tools to all who want them! trueSpace7.6 is far more than a SketchUp-style 3D architectural modeling ......

Posted On Thursday, July 24, 2008 8:57 AM

Make Money On XNA Games!!
Big announcement today:

Posted On Tuesday, July 22, 2008 4:22 PM

NINE Questions with Dr. Alan C. Jamieson (aka Ripark)
Welcome back after the chaos of last week. This time around, I'm talking to my very good friend Alan Jamieson (also known as Ripark in the gaming community.) Alan and I met back during my Reality Check Games days in Greenville, SC, where he was instrumental in helping to build a very strong gaming community. We've both moved on since then, but we'd both still rather be running a game store. Ahh memories... Anyway, without further delay, I give you NINE Questions with Dr. Alan C. Jamieson: 1. Where ......

Posted On Monday, July 21, 2008 10:02 PM

NINE Questions with Jason Olson
Sorry folks... only 1 interview this week. I've been busier than Gil Gerard at a one hour buffet. Our guest this week is my very good friend Jason Olson. Jason works for Microsoft now, but I knew him when... although that's a story for another day. Here are my NINE Questions with Jason Olson. 1. Where are you from? Now, Kirkland, WA (just outside of Seattle). As a child I was from McMinnville, OR (which had the adoring nickname of McHickville). And no, I'm not a hick. 2. Ok so we know you work for ......

Posted On Friday, July 18, 2008 12:24 PM

Sunday Night Fun
Mission: Cereal Processing MillStatus: Abandoned (35 years)Debrief:We met up at 11pm (more or less) last night in a nearby parking lot and made sure we had our gear. For me, my gear consisted of a flashlight and my cellphone/camera. To avoid attracting undue attention, we all piled into one car and made the mile and a half drive to the mill.There's a small parking lot by the mill. Small as in less than 10 spaces. There was also an empty car in the lot. It wasn't necessarily a cause for concern, but ......

Posted On Monday, July 14, 2008 3:59 PM

How Twitter Can Solve It's Problems
This is in response to a post by my fellow blogger & INETA guy, Randy Walker. Randy has a theory on how to make Twitter more performant (or profitable.) You can read it here or just see below for the relevant part: "charge anyone with a follow to follower ratio greater than 2 to 1. This would immediately eliminate 99% of spammers, drastically cut the system resource issues (thus reducing downtime), and create an income for company. While I doubt this will completely resolve it's lack of income ......

Posted On Thursday, July 10, 2008 5:08 PM

NINE Questions with Rachel Appel
I first met Rachel at TechEd 2008 and have been following her Twitter feed ever since. She's a newly awarded ASP.NET MVP, ASPInsider, Microsoft Certified Trainer and one seriously cool geeky chick. You can find her blog at Fortunately for you, dear reader, she was able to squeeze these NINE Questions into her busy schedule. Enjoy... 1. Where are you from? I’m from Northeastern Pennsylvania. I was born, raised and remain here, only to escape during my frequent travels. 2. Who ......

Posted On Thursday, July 10, 2008 2:26 PM

NINE Questions with Paul Vick
As the Grand Poobah of Visual Basic at Microsoft, Paul is one of the busiest guys I know. Fortunately for us, he managed to find the time to answer these NINE Questions. 1. So, inquiring minds want to know, where are you from? Originally, Durham, NC. But I’ve been in Seattle almost as long as I was in Durham so… 2. Who do you work for? Give me the 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to buy their product? A small technology company in Redmond, WA. You probably haven’t heard of them or used their ......

Posted On Friday, July 4, 2008 10:13 PM

I went to see WALL-E earlier this week (Yes, I know it's supposed to be a dot and not a dash. Call it a hardware limitation.) I wasn't in a big hurry to see this movie. The sense of urgency that I felt for Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Hancock, The Dark Knight, etc this summer so far, just wasn't there. It was more like "oh look, WALL-E is playing. Well, I've seen everything else TWICE, so why not?" My daughters are in from Atlanta for most of the summer, so we're seeing a lot of movies. They wanted ......

Posted On Friday, July 4, 2008 9:21 AM

Developer Groups in the Twin Cities
This month is kind of a big deal (to me) here in the Twin Cities. We're launching not one, but TWO developer related groups. The first one is my own project, the Twin Cities Developers Guild. (www.twincitiesdevelopersgu... Our kickoff meeting is on Tuesday, July 8 at 6pm (with our Kickoff Cookout starting at 5pm) at New Horizons of Minnesota (in Edina) and features Jason Bock (Magenic) speaking on "Writing Better Code." Later in the week, on Thursday, July 10 at 5:30pm, the Twin Cities Languages ......

Posted On Friday, July 4, 2008 8:57 AM

NINE Questions with Laurel Ruma
I've worked with Laurel for a few months on a number of different projects and had the good fortune of finally meeting her face to face (that would be her face on the right, and yours truly on the left) during TechEd Developers 2008. She was gracious enough to indulge me in a few drinks at Howl At The Moon and to answer these NINE Questions, so here we go... 1. Where are you from? I grew up in a small town in southern Maine. I now live in Medford, Massachusetts, less than two miles from O'Reilly's ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 2, 2008 12:41 AM

I just got back from the 9:30 showing of Hancock. Let me start off by saying this is a great superhero movie, but it's NOT a comic book movie. (Well... until Dark Horse starts cranking out comic movies anyway.) The point is, you can't really compare it to Iron Man or Spiderman. If you do, you'll be disappointed. There's no canon, no established history. This is something fresh and new and unlike anything you've seen before. I really REALLY enjoyed this movie. Imagine drunk and dirty Superman from ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 2, 2008 12:17 AM

MS Mafia
As a special treat for you, dear reader, I have 3 MS Mafia guitar picks to give away. The first 3 people to contact me through this blog with their mailing address will each get one.  Enjoy.

Posted On Tuesday, July 1, 2008 8:24 PM

Bluetooth Rearview Mirror
I (relatively) recently received a handsfree bluetooth rearview mirror kit as my prize from This weekend, I finally got around to hooking it up. First impressions are good. The mirror just clips right on top of the existing mirror and is held in place by some spring loaded clips. I like the fact that this mirror is about 25% wider than my original mirror, giving me a better field of vision. The mirror does seem darker though, but not so much to be a problem. Pairing the bluetooth ......

Posted On Monday, June 30, 2008 8:04 PM

writing sample
The following is an excerpt from a story I'm working on. Writing fiction is a lot harder than blogging. Writing interesting fiction even harder still... so take this for what it is. A rough, first attempt. enjoy (or avoid... your choice.) Lathan swung his axe for what felt like the thousandth time that day, turning, ducking and swinging as blood and gore flew past his head. For every orc the warrior took down, it seemed as though another stepped in to continue the fight. “Where the hell is Shawna?” ......

Posted On Sunday, June 29, 2008 10:30 PM

Announcing the Twin Cities Developers Guild
Do the Twin Cities really need ANOTHER .Net User Group? There are two answers to that question. The first is YES, we think so. The second is that we aren't a typical .net user group, even though we focus on Microsoft Technologies. We use the term Developers Guild to imply more than just a roomful of folks sitting around listening to someone talk. Our objective is to bring the various special interest groups of the Twin Cities together and also provide our own events. We think you'll be pretty happy ......

Posted On Sunday, June 29, 2008 1:40 PM

NINE Questions with Aaron Erickson
...and we're back. This time with Aaron Erickson, a Technical Sales Specialist with Magenic's Chicago office. Aaron was nice enough to sit down with me while I was in Chicago and answer these NINE Questions. 1. Where are you from? Born in El Cajon, CA, grew up in Troutdale, OR. 2. Obviously, I know where you work since I work there as well, but give our readers the 10 second pitch on them anyway. Why would I want to buy the product? We are a firm that effectively converts IQ points into business ......

Posted On Friday, June 27, 2008 1:23 PM

I'm looking for a sign...
How would you like to win a prize that doesn't suck? A really big, expensive prize... I mean it. This prize doesn't suck at all. In fact, it's the opposite of suck. This prize rocks. Totally rocks. I've got a 1 Year MSDN Premium Subscription sitting on my desk, staring at me... just daring me to give it away. (I actually have more than one of them, cause that's how I roll, but I'm only giving one away right now.) Take a moment, catch your breath... yes it's true. I am giving you a magnificent* gift ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 25, 2008 8:05 PM

Verbosity Animosity
People ask me why I blog so much. You know, why I turn a 9 word sentence into War and Peace? Maybe I'm a comment whore. When I blog about semi-personal stuff, I do so in part because I enjoy the feedback and comments I receive. Some posts receive more than others. Some post receive none at all. My technical posts tend to fall in that last category. I've found that my somewhat funny, somewhat rambling blog posts usually get more of a response than my terse ones. For example: I installed a new router ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 25, 2008 12:43 PM

BlogusMaximus.NET is alive. ALIIIIIVE!!
As I've previously mentioned, domain squatters are a bunch of "thievin' bastards" and I refuse to pay 10 times the original price to get back. So I decided to register BlogusMaximus.NET (which really makes more sense anyway, with me being a .NET kinda guy and all...) So, as of now, thanks to Jeff's addition of domain hosting/rerouting/configuring thingy to GeeksWithBlogs, BlogusMaximus.NET integrates nicely. (As opposed to just a redirect which is what I had before...) So thanks ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 7, 2008 11:31 AM

Zune 2.5 firmware update seems to be ok
So far, the overwhelming majority of Zuners I heard from have NOT experienced any brickage when applying the update, so it looks like the folks I did hear about were the exception, not the rule.  I haven't done mine yet, but lots of folks have with good results.   Carry on.

Posted On Wednesday, May 7, 2008 11:26 AM

Zune 2.5 firmware update MAY brick your device
As many of you probably already know, the new Zune software (and firmware) update is now available. I'm not posting a link at this time because over the last few hours I have seen several twitters indicating that the update is bricking Zune80s. I do not know if it is having a similar effect on Zune30s but I am currently advising folks to NOT perform the update for a few days, just to be on the safe side. I realize this is not happening to everyone, but it's better to be safe than sorry. (Honestly, ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 6, 2008 3:25 PM

NINE Questions with Trisha Cardell
Well, we're back again, this time with Trisha Cardell (formerly Lacey) of INETA/CodeZone fame. Trisha is also an occasional blogger at GeeksWithBlogs and plays a rather wicked Night Elf in World of Warcraft. Yes guys, really. So without further ado, here are NINE Questions with Trisha Cardell. 1. Where are you from? Gainesville, GA. A smallish town NE of Atlanta. To be more specific, I actually grew up in Flowery Branch, GA on a street called Quiet Meadow Lane. 2. We ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 25, 2008 1:41 AM

Announcing the Twin Cities Languages Group
Twin Cities Languages User Group My colleague, language geek and Twin Cities Code Camp leader, Jason Bock has recently formed a new Dev Languages focused user group. As leader of the Twin Cities Developers Guild, I have already extended him an invitation to join as one of our first affiliate groups. Here is Jason's description of the group: As developers, we use a number of languages throughout the lifecycle of a project and our careers in general. Learning core aspects and features from other langauges ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 25, 2008 1:16 AM

my new router (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love MSN.COM)
Recently I bought a new router. My existing Linksys Wireless B router (a nearly vintage BEFW11S4 v.4) was up to 4 reboots a day. Those of you who have experienced this fun little ritual know what I'm referring to: One minute you're working just fine and then all of a sudden, no internet connection. Doesn't matter if you're wired or wireless. So, being the thrifty (cheap bastard) type, I put off replacing it as long as possible. I also hate hate hate dealing with networking stuff, so that was another ......

Posted On Monday, June 23, 2008 11:34 AM

Magenic Technology Summit - launch
The Magenic Technology Summit has kicked off with a bang and things are going great! We're located at the Microsoft offices in Downers Grove, IL and the attendance is great. Greg Frankenfield (Magenic CEO) started things off with a brief introduction and welcomed everyone. Both of our keynotes went off without a hitch. Jay Schmelzer (Microsoft) had the first keynote, and he was followed by Rocky Lhotka (Magenic) Now that the keynotes are out of the way, we're taking a short break and reconfiguring ......

Posted On Friday, June 20, 2008 11:41 AM

my thoughts on SlickEdit
I got a review copy of SlickEdit recently and over the last couple weeks, I fired it up to check it out. These are my thoughts... Overall, it's a lightweight alternative to Visual Studio .NET. I can customize the look and feel and can build from it, and the memory footprint seems pretty small, so it's not all bad. It's not all good either. I don't know if I'm just spoiled on Visual Studio, but a lot of the "not entirely necessary, but nice to have" features that I've come to rely on just aren't there. ......

Posted On Friday, June 20, 2008 11:04 AM

Japan invents robotic girlfriend

Well, we all knew it was coming... but when I read a headline like that, I expect a bit more than this:

Come on guys... you can do better than that.

Epic Fail. 

Posted On Wednesday, June 18, 2008 10:01 AM

Heroic Adventure! now with automatic updates
I've been playing with ClickOnce at work lately, and I like it, so I decided to publish HA! with it. HA! really is the perfect application for it, since there are no external dependancies (other than .NET 2.0) and it doesn't care where you put it. I'll also be able to tap into the ClickOnce On-Demand API (which you can't do unless its running under ClickOnce) and pull down updates automatically in the background. The project along with all the sourcecode, bug tracking, etc is all still hosted on ......

Posted On Monday, June 16, 2008 8:54 AM

NINE Questions with Rocky Lhotka
Since Rocky and I happen to both be at the Magenic Technology Summit in Chicago this week, I managed to find some time to corner him and ask him NINE Questions. This means you, dear reader, get a bonus interview this week. This is my gift to you. 1. Where are you from? Aitkin, Minnesota. A small town with one stoplight and surrounded by a lot of great fishing lakes. 2. Who do you work for? Give me the 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to buy their product? Magenic, probably the largest Microsoft-only ......

Posted On Friday, June 20, 2008 1:03 PM

Magenic Technology Summit - Session 1- Writing Better Code (Jason Bock)
Session 1: Writing Better Code by Jason Bock (Magenic) Jason spent the first few minutes going over what makes good code and what makes bad code before jumping into (in my opinion) the best part of the talk, where he shows bad code on screen and has the audience discuss why it's bad. Most of the time, he gets the expected answer, but there are the occasional curveballs. After spending some time on the code examples, Jason covers our motivation for writing good code (productivity, maintenance, being ......

Posted On Friday, June 20, 2008 12:14 PM

NINE Questions with D'Arcy Lussier
D'Arcy is one of the most interesting techy people I know, so he seems like the perfect match for this column. When I asked him to do it, he graciously agreed, and got answers back to me pretty quickly. Settling on his picture, however... well that took longer. Where are you from? Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (One hour from the North Dakota border) Who do you work for? Give me the 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to buy their product? I chose to become an independent consultant a year ago. ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 18, 2008 9:31 AM

Iowa Code Camp - TOMORROW!
Today, in a few hours, a bunch of Magenic folks are piling into a couple of cars and driving down to Iowa City for the first Iowa Code Camp. Jason Bock is speaking on "Writing Better Code" and I am covering "What's this XNA Thing I Keep Hearing About?"

Tonight is also the opening night for Iron Man, which I hope to catch after the Code Camp tomorrow, with a bunch of my fellow geeks.

Posted On Friday, May 2, 2008 11:36 AM

Zune, errr... Soon to be released...

Check out this video on Channel 9 that talks about the soon-to-be-released CTP for XNA games on the Zune.

Posted On Thursday, May 1, 2008 3:40 PM

New INETA VP of Membership
Recently, I blogged about some of the changes I would make within the membership division if elected to the INETA Board of Directors. It's a terrific opportunity to do some good within an organization I believe in, and within the developer community as a whole. While at the MVP Summit, I interviewed with the board members. Answering questions and presenting my thoughts on what areas need improvement. So... this morning (a week later), when I received an email titled INETA Board Elections, I was pretty ......

Posted On Saturday, April 26, 2008 3:34 PM

Rotating your arrays (aka When the hell would I ever use this?)
I have a nephew who is wicked smart. Actually, I have 4 nephews and 4 nieces in total, but this is about one nephew in particular. Anyway... he's fairly young, but he's always been interested in software development. By software development, I mean games of course. He doesn't just play them though, he's taught himself Java. Then I showed him C#. (Yes, I suppose I could have showed him VB... but he already knew Java, so C# was the logical choice.) Along with C#, was XNA. He really grok'ed XNA. One ......

Posted On Monday, June 16, 2008 10:23 PM

Codestock registration now open!!
Attendee Registration is now open for Codestock! What is Codestock? Well, it's a one day conference, full of top notch programmers talking about the latest technology. There's no marketing presentations, or in your face propaganda. Ok, so what's the deal? The bad news: CodeStock costs $25 to attend. It doesn't cover a hotel, or even gas to get the the conference. It does include a lunch, a t-shirt, and a day of amazing sessions by awesome speakers. Personally, I wouldn't pay it. ......

Posted On Monday, June 16, 2008 9:14 PM

NINE Questions with Amanda Laucher
This is #3 in a series of interviews where I ask NINE Questions of various interesting people in the technical community. This time, we're talking to Amanda Laucher (aka Pandamonial.) You can find her blog at 1. Ok, let's kick this off with an easy question. Where are you from? I am from a small town in SW Pennsylvania called Dilliner, originally. Now I live and work in Columbus, Ohio. 2. Who do you work for? Give me the 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to work there, ......

Posted On Monday, June 16, 2008 8:18 AM

Twin Cities Sharepoint Camp 2008
The Twin Cities Sharepoint Camp kicked off this morning and is currently well on it's way. We had a few hiccups this morning, with a misprint (starting time) on the schedule vs the website. So we kicked things off a few minutes later than planned, but everyone was flexible and accomodating. We had one presenter who was very sick and couldn't make it, but he was nice enough to give us as much advance notice as possible. We also had one no-show, Jerry Sevier from ILM*. It's a shame, because he was ......

Posted On Saturday, June 14, 2008 10:47 AM

NINE Questions with Beth Massi
This time, I'm talking with Beth Massi of the Visual Basic Dev Center ( and ( at Microsoft. You can also find Beth's blog at In case you can't see it, the beer in her hand is a Victoria Bitter (get it? VB!) 1. Where are you from? I was born in San Pedro, CA (Southern California) but moved up to Northern California for college. I’ve been living primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area ever since. 2. Who do you work for? ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 11, 2008 9:43 PM

NINE Questions with Andy Dunn
This is the first in what will hopefully be a series where I ask NINE Questions of various Interesting People in the Technical Industry. My first victim is Andy Dunn of 1. Where are you from? I’m from a town called Halesowen, just outside Birmingham in the UK. I’ve lived in the USA for almost 12 years. 2. Who do you work for? Give me the 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to buy their product? I work for myself. I have no products besides my own abilities. You are buying ......

Posted On Monday, June 9, 2008 7:09 PM

happy to be home, now get back to work
So TechEd 2008 was pretty awesome. I spent a lot of time at the VB.NET booth, interacting with members of the VB team as well as VB community influencers and talking with VB users who had questions. I also managed to hit a few sessions. The sessions I hit were really good, and informative, but I have to wonder... I think the real value of TechEd lies in the networking and the spur of the moment discussions that pop up everywhere. I think I learned more that way than I did in the sessions I attended. ......

Posted On Monday, June 9, 2008 10:17 AM

Tech Ed 2008
Tech Ed 2008 has been great so far. I've spent a fair amount of time at the VB.NET booth, talking to folks, answering questions and also hearing about some the cool stuff they've been doing in VB.NET. Lots of LINQ questions so far. Also caught some excellent sessions, including: getting published writing on "MS technologies", "XNA 3.0", "Silverlight" and "UX: Selecting the right technology." I also got a chance to chat with Brian Noyes, the author of the ClickOnce book I've been using on my current ......

Posted On Friday, June 6, 2008 2:26 AM

new XNA announcements
Along with a new look and feel, the site has some pretty big announcements: The GDC 2008 presentations are now available. Additional information has been posted about The Democratization of Game Distribution (AKA YouTube for Games.) The Role-Playing Game starter kit has been released (which I am VERY excited about.) I spent a couple hours on this last night. Also, there's a new video on Game Development for the Zune available over at Channel 9 ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 21, 2008 2:45 PM

Give me a break. Wii Fit is a game, nothing more.
Sorry, but I'm calling bullshit on this one. The parents aren't right. Nintendo isn't responsible. It's a GAME. Say it with me... IT'S A GAME. One more time, in case it didn't sink in: IT'S A GAME. It might be a great idea, it might even help kids get in better shape, but at the end of the day, it's just A GAME, produced by a company that MAKES GAMES. If you want serious health and fitness evaluation software, don't buy it from the people who brought you SUPER MARIO. Duh people... take some responsibility ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 21, 2008 2:34 PM

My Summer Schedule
My Summer Schedule (for those of you that like to know such things) Events in GREEN are ones I'm working at. Events in BLUE are ones I'm speaking at. Events in YELLOW are ones I'm leading. JUNE June 3-6 - Orlando, FL - Tech Ed Developers - Ask the MVPs June 10 - Bloomington, IL - BDNUG (XNA Talk) June 14 - Minneapolis, MN - Twin Cities Sharepoint Camp June 18-22 - Chicago, IL - Magenic Technology Summit JULY July 2 - Iowa City, IA - Iowa User Group (XNA Talk) July 8 - Minneapolis, MN - Twin Cities ......

Posted On Monday, May 19, 2008 4:46 PM

New INETA Director of User Group Recruitment
Not too long after the INETA Board elections (mentioned here) I was approached and offered a different role within INETA. Specifically, the role of Director of User Group Recruitment. The mission of this role is to identify and recruit non-traditional (i.e. specific technology focus, such as: XNA, Silverlight, BI, Sharepoint, etc) and newly formed traditional (.NET) user groups into INETA. After some discussion and consideration, I accepted the position and immediately began assembling a team to ......

Posted On Friday, May 9, 2008 1:12 AM

Popfly Game Creator
Did anyone NOT see this coming? Noteworthy quotes: You can start with a known collection of game templates that are already built in and customize and share them, or start with a fresh idea and a clean canvas and build your own game. Casual games created using the Game Creator will have all the same attributes that Mashups and webpages built with Popfly have – they can be rated, shared and embedded as Windows Vista sidebar ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 6, 2008 2:27 PM

turning paper into gold.
As a followup to my prior post about my lucky score at Borders, I figured I would share the results. (Not the money, just the results, thank you.) Two of the boxes went a little higher, one box went a little lower, but the average sale price was around 1000% of what I paid. Not too shabby. The S&H cost will make up for the Ebay fees, so I'd say it's pretty accurate to call this a success. (Yes, I've been back several times since, but no luck... I'll just have to keep an eye out for the next thing ......

Posted On Monday, May 5, 2008 1:13 PM

Rockin the Iowa Code Camp
Iowa Code Camp was a lot of fun.  Looking forward to the next one.

Posted On Monday, May 5, 2008 11:36 AM

Iowa Code Camp - closing
Iowa Code Camp was pretty terrific. Everything went without a hitch, all the sessions went well and a lot of folks went away with some good stuff. My XNA session went well and got some really good questions. The room was mostly full and there were even a few Magenic folks in there. After the Code Camp, we walked over to the dinner, which was nice. Excellent turnout for dinner and many MANY drinks were purchased and consumed. Played some pool and socialized for a few hours before the crowd starting ......

Posted On Sunday, May 4, 2008 1:45 AM

housing costs, inflation and how things are.
While at the Iowa Code Camp, a few of us were talking over lunch about the cost of living in various parts of the country. Greenville, SC was really cheap, Charleston, SC wasn't (at all.) Minneapolis has some areas that are more than others, and where we are is a little pricey (although not the priciest.) This got me thinking about how much houses cost, etc... and it occurred to me that my parents bought 13 acres of land AND built their house (back in the day, when I was a kid) for less than what ......

Posted On Saturday, May 3, 2008 1:42 PM

Iowa Code Camp - opening
Jason and I got here fairly early. Checked in, got speaker badges. Snagged some breakfast... and hung out for the opening comments.  This is the first Iowa Code Camp and everyone seems really excited.

A few logistical difficulties involving wireless access, but otherwise everything is running smooth.

Posted On Saturday, May 3, 2008 9:50 AM

Sonic, how I've missed you...

I haven't seen a Sonic in nearly 8 months. So, imagine my delight upon pulling into Iowa City and seeing a Sonic near my hotel.  I'm sitting here now, enjoying a Cherry-Grape Slush and Tater Tots... oh and basking in the glow of my 1000th post on

Sorry D'Arcy... you never had a prayer.  ;)

Posted On Friday, May 2, 2008 11:17 PM

The drive down...
It took about 5 hours to get here (Iowa City) from Minneapolis, not counting a Pizza Hut stop around the halfway mark. I didn't see much corn (wrong time of year) but I did see plenty of corn fields and windmills... lots and lots of windmills. The weather sucked for a bit... really heavy rain and almost no visibility for part of it, but we eventually punched through it and got here. Checked into the hotel... hmm, not so great. It's kind of a dive and the security lock is busted off my door. That's ......

Posted On Friday, May 2, 2008 10:59 PM

20 Year High School reunion
I remember, when I was a child, my mom got an invitation to her 20 Year High School Reunion. I also remember thinking, "wow she must be really old if it's been 20 years since she graduated high school." Funny thing, I don't remember if she actually went or not. We were living in Buchanan, VA, and her reunion was in Pineville, LA. She went to visit her family nearly every summer though, so she probably did go. I don't remember her talking about it all that much after the invitation, so who knows. ......

Posted On Thursday, May 1, 2008 3:37 PM

Things I miss about the South
Well, I managed to survive the winter with all my fingers and toes* intact. As I look back over the last 9 months I've been in Minnesota, I realize there are a few things I miss: Chick-Fil-A Sonic Hardees Reality Check Games (sigh, due to gross mismanagement by the new owner, this one no longers exists) Dragon*Con (although we have a fair number of Cons up here.) My two teenage daughters (they'll be here for the summer... Yay!) 4 Seasons (not the hotel, or the restaurant, but 4 ACTUAL seasons.) mountains ......

Posted On Thursday, May 1, 2008 2:55 PM

non-technical books
It's all about equal time, right? In my last post, I asked about technical books. So on the other side of the coin, what non-technical book(s) are you reading? For example, I'm reading: 1. Storm of the Dead (Book II of The Lady Penitent) by Lisa Smedman (btw, D'Arcy... has book 3 come out yet?) 2. The Skinsaw Murders (Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords, Book 2) by Richard Pett How about you ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 29, 2008 7:16 PM

Twin Cities Sharepoint Camp
Magenic and New Horizons of Minnesota is proud to present the first Twin Cities SharePoint Camp, a one day FREE event for both SharePoint Administrators and Developers. The event is scheduled for Saturday, June 14 from 8:30 – 5:00 at New Horizons of Minnesota in Edina. We see this being a bi-annual event, falling in May and November each year. We need your help to make this event a success. We are currently looking for speakers… topics ideas include: · A success story presentation on the business ......

Posted On Monday, April 28, 2008 10:38 PM

Let me sleep on it...
OMG D'Arcy...  Meatloaf's your dad?  That's awesome!

How's that Go-Phone working out for you?

Posted On Monday, April 28, 2008 10:24 PM

Mandatory Fun
This post from Theo reminds me of some mandatory fun I've had at previous companies over the years. My current employer hasn't done this to us, although one gig I was on did try it... nobody participated though. One previous employer had a mandatory company dinner, spouses included, where they spent 45 minutes reading the vision statement to us and then presented us with our "special gift wrapped present" which was a mousepad that had the vision statement printed on it. All 6 sentences. (Yes, they ......

Posted On Monday, April 28, 2008 5:37 PM

Projector Problems
In addition to my Blu-Ray post, I have another issue I need to sort out. The lamp in my projector blew out about a week ago. The projector was an Infocus X1 (1100 lumens, 800x600) that I've had for about 5 years. I paid about $1200 for it at the time. A replacement lamp is ~$300, which is a non-trivial amount. A replacement projector (same exact model, with a new lamp) is about $350 and would come with a warranty, which has obviously expired on my current projector. It's tempting to go this route, ......

Posted On Sunday, April 27, 2008 8:32 PM

Blu-Ray decision
I deliberately avoided buying a next gen player during the HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray wars. Now that Blu-Ray has won though, I'm thinking I might as well bite the bullet and jump in. I don't own a PS3, but I know they ship with Blu-Ray. Is that enough justification to buy one though? Are there better Blu-Ray players on the market, for a comparable (or significantly lower) price? Does the PS3 have enough games to make it a worthwhile purchase? I know a lot of you have opinions on this topic, so let's hear ......

Posted On Sunday, April 27, 2008 8:24 PM

The cookout
The snow abated. The sun came out. The cookout happened.

People came and went throughout the afternoon/evening, but at one point there were about 25 people here.

Many many burgers, hotdogs, chicken, ribs, sausages, etc... were cooked and consumed. Much beer was brought in, not so much was drank... there's a lot left over. No worries though, I won't let it go to waste.

Today started crappy but ended up a pretty kickass day.

Posted On Saturday, April 26, 2008 11:44 PM

the best game ever: Ikari Warriors
I played the hell out of this game, back in high school... ...and now it's mine! Yay! Thank you eBay. Description: Rambo meets Front Line in this popular classic that spawned several similar games, like Heavy Barrel, Time Soldiers, and Guerrilla War. The game could either be played by a single player or by two players simultaneously. The goal was to reach the village of Ikari. Preventing the player from reaching the village were a slew of enemies like soldiers, tanks, helicopters, super tanks, and ......

Posted On Thursday, April 24, 2008 7:38 PM

This summer is filling up fast
What I'm doing, where I'm speaking... throughout the summer. MAY 08 Iowa Code Camp Iowa City, IA - 5/3/08 JUNE 08 BDNUG Bloomington, IL - 6/10/08 Day of Sharepoint Minneapolis, MN - 6/14/08 Magenic Technology Council Chicago, IL - 6/18/08 - 6/22/08 JULY 08 Iowa City .NET User Group Iowa City, IA - 7/2/08 TCXNAUG / IGDATC Cookout Golden Valley, MN - 7/19/08 AUGUST 08 nothing yet :( SEPTEMBER 08 HDC Minneapolis, MN - 9/28/08 - 9/30/08 (session submitted - awaiting confirmation) OCTOBER 08 Twin Cities ......

Posted On Thursday, April 24, 2008 2:13 PM

Congrats D'Arcy - now where's MY loot?
Congrats go to D'Arcy for winning (and receiving) his 8 Bit Tie from I won the top prize last month, a Bluetooth Rearview Mirror. Since D'Arcy just got his prize, hopefully that means I should be receiving mine pretty soon too!! I love the idea of, it really is a great way to encourage people to do more. The prizes are fun, and the competition can be pretty fierce ......

Posted On Thursday, April 24, 2008 1:11 PM

Gerson Lehrman Group
A few months ago, I was invited to apply to something called the Gerson Lehrman Group Councils. It appears to be some type of web based independent consulting* system. (*not the software consulting I do all day long. more like market research and conference calls, filling out surveys, etc.) From their "Terms and Conditions" document, it says opportunities would include: Telephone consultations and Online surveys. and possibly: In-person meetings; Seminars, roundtables, master classes, conferences; ......

Posted On Thursday, April 24, 2008 9:17 AM

Iowa Code Camp - May 3
Coming up in <2 weeks (May 3rd), the Iowa Code Camp looks to be a pretty good time. A bunch of Magenic folks are heading down to the University of Iowa (Iowa City) from Minneapolis. Some of us are speaking, some are just attending & hanging out. Hopefully we'll see you there. If you're in the area, be sure to come by and check it out. Just don't forget to register. Events like this fill up fast ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 23, 2008 8:23 PM

War of the Century??
I'm not so sure I'd call it the War of the Century, but Jeff's not the first person to take an interest in my and D'Arcy's race to the top of the GWB blogosphere... (technically I was already at the top... but the 1000 mile marker is closing in fast.)

At least Jeff was nice enough to supply us with pretty pictures to look at along the way.

Posted On Wednesday, April 23, 2008 6:37 PM

I have a dream
Last night, I fell asleep at my keyboard for a bit. (Cut me some slack, it was 2am.) While dozing off, I had a dream about the MVP Summit. Not so much a dream really as a kind of an instant replay. I do this sometimes... it's my brains way of processing things later (on a separate thread I guess.) In my dream, there were several semi-related events boiling down to a single slide-show: 1. Drunken Podcast in the Westin Hotel lobby. I watched several intoxicated MVPs attempt to pontificate on (something... ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 23, 2008 10:52 AM

How do I promote my user group?
This is a repost/rethinking of a post I made about 3 years ago. It still applies today. INETA asks what they can do to better serve the user groups... well, as a user group leader, here's my suggestion: Advertising! Small to medium sized groups have little or NO budget for advertising, and it's incredible how many times I meet people in the developer community that have no idea a local user group even exists. This is NOT due to a lack of effort on our part. So it comes down to advertising... specifically, ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 23, 2008 1:38 AM

Twin Cities XNA User Group - Shawn Hargreaves Double Feature
Next month, on May 15th, the Twin Cities XNA User Group is hosting a very special guest. Shawn Hargreaves (Microsoft, XNA Team) has agreed to come present TWO sessions to the user group in one night: Session 1: Defeating the Network Game Gremlins The speed of light. Quantum uncertainty. Parallel universes. Bandwidth that for some reason never turns out to be good as the advert from your ISP claimed it would be. When you set out to write a networked game, you have to worry about these things. This ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 23, 2008 12:43 AM

VB.NET Still Kicking
C#'s butt, that is...

Jim Duffy recently blogged about a report I find very interesting, and encouraging. Click here for more info.

Posted On Monday, April 21, 2008 8:37 PM

What would I change about INETA?
While at the MVP Summit, I interviewed for an INETA Board Position. Specifically, the VP of Membership. I have no idea if I'll get it, though I hope I do. If I do get it, there's going to be some ch-ch-ch-changes. If I don't get it, I hope whoever they do pick takes these suggestions to heart. #1 The membership committee needs some SERIOUS house cleaning. As a User Group leader, I can count on one hand (actually one finger, with room to spare) the number of unsolicited emails I have received from ......

Posted On Monday, April 21, 2008 4:21 PM

I got nothin...
I'd love to crank out 10 or 15 posts and give D'Arcy a run for his money for his race to 1000 posts, but honestly... I got nothin. I don't really have anything to complain about, I'm kinda busy catching up on some tech-editing and I skipped ALTNET so I could get home and relax. I could tell you about how my D&D game went, but I don't really think anyone would care. So... I know you're traveling right now but I'm guessing when I wake up in the morning, you'll have the top spot. Good luck holding ......

Posted On Sunday, April 20, 2008 8:41 PM

This is NDA (aka Oops, My Bad)
A while back, I posted something I shouldn't have. It was a mistake. Don't bother looking for it, since I already removed it. I wouldn't even bring it up now, since it's a little embarrassing, but the whole story makes for an interesting lesson in internet propagation. A few weeks ago, a buddy of mine sent me something via email. I found it interesting, so I posted it in my blog. Other people saw it and also found it interesting... and, you guessed it, posted it in their blogs. People I work with ......

Posted On Monday, April 21, 2008 10:28 AM

new PC - build or buy?
I want a new PC, but I'm really struggling with Buy or Build. I've always built my own systems from scratch in the past... but they tend to be quirky... kind of like the Millenium Falcon. You know they're fast, but you have to be somewhat gentle with them at times and you'd never hand them over to anyone else (willingly.) When they work, they work well, but when things start going wrong it can get really frustrating. The process of construction can be entertaining though. I took out power to an entire ......

Posted On Monday, April 21, 2008 9:57 AM

So many people twittering, myself included. It makes me wonder if this is a good or bad thing. SHanselman pointed out earlier this week that his wife doesn't necessarily think it's so great. I guess she has a point, are Twitterers so self-important that we feel people need to know our every move? Do you care that I'm stuck in traffic, or what I had for dinner? Then of course there are the self-promoting Twitterers (although, really, aren't we all?) that tweet every time they make a blog post, like ......

Posted On Monday, April 21, 2008 9:40 AM

My thoughts on Open Spaces
At the beginning of the MVP Summit, we had these talks called Open Spaces. The idea behind this was a free exchange of ideas with little or no agenda... just a topic. It's been done other places with varying degrees of success, but unfortunately the sessions I attended would have to be classified as a failure. Why? The first problem was the lack of moderation. We had a facilitator, but honestly he lacked a strong enough personality to reign the group in. It eventually got to the point where an MVP ......

Posted On Friday, April 18, 2008 1:24 PM

end of the summit
The MVP Summit is over, and it rocked. Totally rocked. It was very cool seeing so many of my friends and colleagues again. Definitely way too many people to list here. I also made a bunch of new friends. I can't wait for the next event. I spent some time talking with Microsoft about VB Community, and even got to present some of the VB XNA stuff I had been working on at the Summit. It was very exciting to be addressing Microsoft and a room full of MVPs. I also spent some time with the INETA Board ......

Posted On Thursday, April 17, 2008 11:36 PM

MVP Summit Day 1, morning.
So, the summit is going along pretty well so far. Yesterday was Day 0 with registration, open spaces discussion sessions and the welcome dinner, with lots of chances to reconnect with people I know throughout the industry. Especially some I haven't seen since last year. This morning is really Day 1, with the product team sessions kicking off. Right now Amanda Silver is discussing VB LINQ. It's going well and she's always interesting to listen to. There's this one guy though, that keeps interrupting ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 15, 2008 11:21 AM

why airlines suck, part XVIII
I flew from Minneapolis to Seattle today via NorthWest Air. Last night, I checked in online. I'm Elite with NWA, so they asked me if I wanted a complimentary upgrade to First Class. Hells Yeah!! I thought, so I clicked yes. "Sorry, there are no first class upgrades available" uhh? WTF? Oh well, wasn't expecting to fly first class anyway, so it's not a big deal. This morning, I get to the airport a couple hours early, and the place was relatively empty compared to all the other AM flights I've taken. ......

Posted On Thursday, April 10, 2008 5:04 PM

good news
As I prepare for my yearly pilgrimage to Microsoft (also known as the MVP Summit), I also happen to be wrapping up my current gig through Magenic. When I get back from Redmond, I'll have a day left here and then the weekend. After that, I'm off to whereever Magenic sends me next. I also got some good news via email today. I've been appointed to the Magenic Technology Council. From the email: The purpose of the MTC is to recognize Magenic consultants/associates who are evangelizing Microsoft technologies ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 9, 2008 2:04 PM

What do these bands all have in common?
I'll take "Famous Music Acts" for $1000 Alex... Radiohead, Rage Against The Machine, Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West and Wilco If you said "What bands are headlining the 2008 Lollapalooza Tour?" then you're a winner. Tickets are a little steep @ around $200 each (woof!), but there is an impressive lineup aside from the headlines, including: Raconteurs, Love And Rockets, Gnarls Barkley, Bloc Party, the Black Keys, Broken Social Scene, Battles, Mark Ronson, Cat Power, Lupe Fiasco, G. Love & Special ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 8, 2008 9:00 AM

Twin Cities Code Camp 4
Twin Cities Code Camp 4 is almost over, and it's been awesome. Red Bull just showed up with the cool Red Bull car, cute Red Bull girls, and a couple hundred cans of ice cold Red Bull. (My legacy as a geek god is forever intact.) As usual, I didn't catch many sessions since I spent most of the day working on my own demos... what I did catch was very good though. My session went well (VB.NET, XNA, AI) with plenty of good questions. It was a small session, with about 10-11 people. No time to relax though. ......

Posted On Saturday, April 5, 2008 3:11 PM

Congratulations, you've learned how to Copy & Paste
Congratulations Mr. Copy & Paste Blogger Guy I'm awarding this clipboard barf blogger with our 3rd More On Alert: What has he done to deserve such an honor? Allow me to list his qualifications... Not posting a single original thought in nearly 2 years. Even the blog tagline is an unattributed quote. Blatantly ripping off other people's content (CTRL-C, CTRL-V) without giving any credit ANYWHERE. Vomiting all over the GeeksWithBlogs main feed with ......

Posted On Friday, April 4, 2008 10:38 AM

I'll keeeel you!

I'll be the first to say that 4th grade kinda sucked, but... WTF?

Group of 9 year olds plot to attack teacher.

Wow.  Makes you wonder what the teacher did to provoke such wrath.

Posted On Thursday, April 3, 2008 1:28 PM

user group tips
Occasionally I get emails from people who have recently started user groups or are trying to revitalize an existing group. One of the top questions is about finding speakers. INETA gives groups a couple of speakers each year, but finding speakers can be tough on a monthly basis. The great thing is most of the time you actually don't need to look any further than your own members. Here are a few tips I have found to be pretty successful... Reduce the amount of time people have to speak. Instead of ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 2, 2008 11:55 PM

SharePoint Class day 2
Today was day 2 of the MOSS boot camp. I didn't actually realize it was a boot camp when I initially signed up. I'm not really a fan of that format, as I don't think they're terribly effective for most people. Still, the class is going pretty well. We covered Web Parts today, which was pretty interesting. We also digressed a bit here and there, covering various 3rd party tools the instructor thinks are neat. That's fine... I'm all for anything helpful. The labs are going really smoothly although ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 2, 2008 11:15 PM

toy? robot? You decide.

If you're a Robotics Geek, or just into cool geeky toys, this is worth a look:

Check the video too...

Posted On Wednesday, April 2, 2008 12:21 PM

SharePoint Class day 1
Today was my first day of SharePoint training. I've been to the New Horizons facilities here before (for Code Camp) so other than the foot of snow in my driveway, it was pretty uneventful getting there. The class is going well so far. Lots of introductory material which is good since I'm a total SharePoint newb. The instructor has a decent sense of humor (thankfully, since I busted on him a couple times... hey ya gotta do something to stay awake after lunch!!) I can already see some pretty cool potential ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 1, 2008 9:38 PM

see ya.
That's it, I'm done. No more blog. No more tech. No more consulting. No more speaking. I'm dropping out of the tech community and I've lined up a promising new career on an Alpaca farm in New Mexico. I'll supplement my income selling peyote to tourists and doing alien tours of Roswell. (So, yeah... no more snow either.) Peace. Sorry D'Arcy. This was an April Fools Joke. Everyone knows there are no Alpacas in New Mexico. (ok apparently I'm lying... a quick live search reveals there are a buttload ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 1, 2008 2:18 PM

Another month gone by...
Well, in my time zone, there's about 5 minutes left in March and then we're on to April.

Currently I'm in the lead on  (I think.)

Fingers crossed.

Posted On Monday, March 31, 2008 10:55 PM

WoW Judging
Yesterday (Sunday) I had an opportunity to judge a marquee event for the World of Warcraft TCG at a local game store (Outpost 2000 in Brooklyn Park.) It's been a few months since I'd done any regular judging, so after reviewing the latest updates and release, Boy #1 and I got our stuff together and headed over that way. Unfortunately, the turnout was pretty low, but we eventually had enough for a sanctioned tournament. 3 hours later, we wrapped things up... everyone had a good time, and we gave out ......

Posted On Monday, March 31, 2008 10:50 PM

If you're reading this, you're probably not at IMGDC right now. Why not? If you're in the Twin Cities and interested in Massively Multiplayer Online Game Development, then close your laptop and head over to the Minneapolis Convention Center RIGHT NOW, before it's too late! This is the second year of the Indie MMO Game Developers Conference, and it's got an even better lineup than last year. Check out THIS schedule! It's loaded with industry veterans. I mean, seriously... Richard Bartle pretty much ......

Posted On Saturday, March 29, 2008 9:39 AM

Out of my league...

I consider myself a pretty serious geek and collector, and I have a significant amount of hard to find, pricey stuff that would do well on ebay, but... THIS is completely out of my league.

Not that I wasn't tempted, when it was about $500... but damn.

Posted On Friday, March 28, 2008 3:37 PM

Just in case you need another reason to hate the airlines...
Dear Christopher Williams, As you may know, Northwest Airlines has announced a new checked luggage policy. Customers who purchase nonrefundable domestic Coach Class tickets may check one piece of luggage for free and a second piece for $25. As if travelling by air didn't suck quite enough... We want to assure you that as a highly-valued Silver Elite member, you and all of the travelers in your reservation are exempt from this policy change. Yikes... thank god I suffered countless hours in crappy ......

Posted On Friday, March 28, 2008 3:24 PM

So... what did you do last night? I spent my evening killing zombies and keeping the world safe for democracy. My awesome employer, Magenic, decided we hadn't had a decent party in a while... so off we went to Gameworks. I spent about 3 1/2 hours pumping bullets into a neverending supply of Zombies and Giant Spiders (House of the Dead III) and fighting spies and terrorists (Time Crisis II.) There was also some Zombie game that featured a shotgun, but the pump kept sticking, so I didn't survive that ......

Posted On Thursday, March 27, 2008 10:09 AM

VS2008 Webinar
I did my first Magenic Webinar (webcast) today, and I think it went really well. Andy Schwarz (my co-presenter) does a great job of covering all the non-demo parts and definitely kept the pace right where it needed to be. The topic was Visual Studio 2008 in general, and LINQ / AJAX specifically. It was a lot of fun building the 3 demos and I'll probably do something similar again soon. We got some really good questions as well, including a couple I need to go research. I also saw at least one familiar ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 25, 2008 1:00 PM

Tonight's the Twin Cities XNA User Group meeting.  Unfortunately, INETA speaker Nick Landry couldn't make it, but we were lucky enough that INETA was on the ball and quickly found a replacement.  Martin Shoemaker is doing a talk on "Speech Enabling Your Games On Vista."

I see much potential in using this for HA!  (more on that later.)

Posted On Thursday, March 20, 2008 6:26 PM

LINQ & AJAX Webinar
As you can no doubt see below, I'm doing a free webinar for Magenic this coming Tuesday (3/25/08) highlighting what's new in Visual Studio 2008. It's a little under an hour, including some marketingese, so I'll be doing some (2-3) demos specifically addressing LINQ and AJAX. If you want to check it out, here's the link: See you then ......

Posted On Thursday, March 20, 2008 2:08 PM

Friday Afternoon excitement
It started as a fairly routine day... Get up, shower, take meds, eat bagel, drive to client site, stare at code for 8-9 hours, go home. I got about half-way through step 6 and then drove over to Magenic to do an interview. The interview went well and as I was about to head back to the client site, I started having chest pains and a little trouble breathing. It wasn't so bad that I couldn't drive, so I went home and called my doctor. She wasn't in today, and the clinic was booked solid, so the nurse ......

Posted On Friday, March 14, 2008 6:51 PM

For the love of all that is holy... Let the boy go to Dev Teach already!!
My buddy D'Arcy is doing something pretty darn cool. Basically, he knows this college kid who won a ticket to Dev Teach but can't come up with cash for the airfare and hotel. So D'Arcy has rallied the troops and is trying to raise enough money to get the guy a plane ticket and hotel for 4 nights. So far, D'Arcy has pledged to cover half the roundtrip fare, but money is still needed for a place to stay, and to get home. (Personally, I think $250 a night is a bit extravagant for the hotel, and I've ......

Posted On Thursday, March 13, 2008 11:16 PM

Twin Cities XNA User Group site updated
I added a calendar to the Twin Cities XNA User Group website.  Check it out, here:

Now you can see brief details for previous events as well as upcoming events.

And of course, if you're in the Twin Cities area, there's a meeting next week. Be sure to RSVP via the site.

Posted On Thursday, March 13, 2008 4:45 PM

Minneapolis Developers Roundtable podcast
The February podcast from the Minneapolis Developers Roundtable is now available over at SlickThought.Net. I'm not in this one (because I'm totally lame and forgot about it even though it was on my calendar), but it's still worth listening to. Good stuff. Sorry Jeff, I'll make the next one, promise ......

Posted On Thursday, March 13, 2008 1:50 PM

YouTube takes a page from the FaceBook and opens up their APIs
as seen on Contentinople... In case you haven't had enough of yarn-ball videos, exploding Mentos, bad folk music, and amateur soft porn, YouTube says it will now be spreading it further into the world. Following the successful Facebook model, YouTube is providing APIs that allow developers to build small applications or "widgets" that would embed YouTube just about anywhere on the Web. The company says using the APIs, users will be able to (I am quoting form the YouTube Website): Upload videos and ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 12, 2008 11:15 AM

Tech-editing, revisited.
The last few months have been some of my busiest since moving to Minnesota back in August. (Wow... has it really been 7 months already?) In addition to my various "for fun" side projects, I've also been doing some tech-editing. First, I worked with O'Reilly on a VB 2008 book, and that was a pretty positive experience. Not only did I manage to learn a fair amount about the newest version of my language of choice (I'd honestly been too busy to spend much time in the 3.5 stuff) but I also found an author ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 11, 2008 2:41 PM

Surprised? No, not really...
I'm not the first to blog this, and likely not the last, but here goes: WalMart has stopped selling the Linux PCs in their stores, but will continue to sell them online. Allow me to quote the article: "This really wasn't what our customers were looking for," said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman Melissa O'Brien. Well... duh. No offense to Wal-Mart (although I'm not a fan) but what genius seriously thought this would be a runaway hit? Sure the price point is acceptable (for a low end machine) at $199, ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 11, 2008 9:26 AM

Option Strict
This may be the funniest thing I've heard in ages...

"option strict?  No way, we don't use that here. It causes too many errors."

See, it's funny because it's.... oh nevermind. If I have to explain it, you still won't get it.


Somebody's getting a More On Alert.

Posted On Monday, March 10, 2008 1:17 PM

So, I've been avoiding this whole ASP.NET Model View Controller (MVC pattern) thing for a while. That it, until late last week, when it landed squarely in my lap. We're going to be using it at a client, so I better get familiar with it. I had read a few articles online about the Model View Presenter (MVP pattern), and those read like stereo instructions, only not as exciting. So, as you can probably imagine, I was less than enthused at having to pick up YANT*. Fortunately, fate was smiling upon me ......

Posted On Monday, March 10, 2008 12:01 PM

The Gygax
I've been struggling with how to properly pay my respects to someone I never met in person, but that had such a tremendous impact on my life. I've looked at all the various tributes and cartoons, and I've heard the stories about people getting together in WoW and City of Heroes (and even City of Villains), setting aside their weapons and talking about what a huge effect Gary Gygax and D&D had on their lives. 3 days later, I'm still at a loss for words. You know, how to really express how unbelievably ......

Posted On Friday, March 7, 2008 10:55 AM

Twin Cities Code Camp 4
Coming April 5th, the Twin Cities Code Camp IV is going to be awesome! I've been emailing and calling practically everyone I know, helping Jason line up speakers and lining up some killer swag. We got loot from Infragistics, Sourcegear, Pearson Ed., O'Reilly, Magenic, Microsoft and much much more. I'm doing a talk again this time around (only one this time) on Game AI basics. Should be a blast. We've also got some great surprises planned. (I'm still trying to get a hold of Red Bull, so if you know ......

Posted On Friday, March 7, 2008 8:46 AM

another Gary Gygax tribute
Game on, Gary... game on.

Find the original strip, and many more at

As my friend Steven put it, "if he brings out Unearthed Arcana, it's all over."

Posted On Friday, March 7, 2008 8:25 AM

Twin Cities .NET User Group
Twin Cities .NET User Group 3/6/2008. 5PM-7PM Topic: Model-based testing with NMode Presenter: Tom Fischer Abstract: Model-based testing is more than another testing tool. It allows architects to assess the logic of their designs before the implementation. This presentation explores the basic concepts of model-based testing with the recently NModel framework. About Speaker Tom Fischer helps Magenic ( clients design and build applications using Microsoft tools and technologies. And ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 5, 2008 2:29 PM

Zune API
Hidden Zune API?

Read this for more details...  I'm too busy to fully digest this right now, but I'll be back.

Thanks to fellow Magenic Consultant Justin Chase for passing this along.

Posted On Wednesday, March 5, 2008 10:39 AM
If you're a blogger here at GWB, you probably already know about If you aren't, or you're new, or you just read a few blogs here and there and not the main feed, then you might not have heard about If you're active in your local (or larger) developer community, then you definitely need to check out since they give actual cool geeky (can those two words really go next to each other??) rewards to people for doing what they already love ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 5, 2008 10:08 AM

TCXNAUG March Speaker
Twin Cities XNA User Group - March 20, 2008 3D Game Development March Guest Speaker: Nick Landry This session quickly skims over the basics and takes you through an iterative approach towards building your first 3D game: a remake of the Space Invaders classic! Using live demos we’ll discuss the structure of a game, including the game loop, game time, initialization and workflow, explore the managed code libraries that form the XNA Framework, work with the XNA Framework Content Pipeline that allows ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 5, 2008 9:45 AM

Microsoft hiring for upcoming Marvel MMO Do you want to work with world class game studios responsible for hit titles like Gears of War, Halo, Viva Piñata, Forza, Jade Empire, Fable, Age of Empires, Project Gotham Racing and others? Like the idea of getting your hands dirty on next-generation games like Mass Effect, Alan Wake and the forthcoming Marvel MMO? Microsoft Game Studios is looking for seasoned developers to join the high-powered publishing engineering ......

Posted On Monday, February 25, 2008 1:13 PM

Take-Two rejects Electronic Arts takeover bid
Take-Two rejects Electronic Arts takeover bid Video game publisher says rival’s $2 billion offer undervalues company Personally, I say "good for them." I don't really see EA's bid as a positive thing for Take-Two or the game industry as a whole. How much "marketing muscle" does an "eagerly awaited" game actually need, anyway? It's an opportunistic move on the part of EA, and while it's already an undervalued offer, it's made even worse by EA's horrid reputation ......

Posted On Monday, February 25, 2008 12:26 PM

All my heroes are dying...
I haven't been this sad since Johnny Cash died. I think I listened to Hurt about 50 times that day. I think maybe an all day classic D&D session might be in order. This sucks. I met Dave Arneson, and always wanted to meet Gary Gygax. Now I'll have to wait a while longer. The publisher of D&D co-founder Gary Gygax, Troll Lord games, reports that Mr. Gygax died today in his home at age 69. For more information, go to: ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 4, 2008 1:21 PM

Justice is blind...
Boy #2 is on his Daredevil kick again. He's got a birthday coming up and wants Daredevil bedding pretty bad. (So far, I have found Spiderman, and plenty of other heroes, but sadly no Daredevil.) Today has been a mostly lazy Sunday, with me catching up on a few side projects like HA! and Tech-Editing another VB 2008 book, this time for Deitel. Both were "beginner's" books, but this one especially so. While I've been in my office working, the kids have been playing pretty well downstairs... within ......

Posted On Sunday, March 2, 2008 6:02 PM

Goodbye Childhood
So... I'm thinking about selling off my D&D collection. For those of you who don't know me, I've been playing Dungeons & Dragons pretty much since the beginning. (I started in 1978, about 4 years after the game was first published in the little brown pamphlets. I have all of those, and nearly everything published since.) For me, this was the one that started it all. So now, I've got 4 bookcases full of the stuff, and a few piles of overflow here and there. I've got about $6000 worth of D&D ......

Posted On Sunday, March 2, 2008 12:33 PM

Microsoft hit with ginormous fine...
If I had to sum this up in a single word, it would be: "ouch!" Even to a company as huge as Microsoft, that's not exactly pocket change. Obviously it's meant to be a punitive amount, but how do you come up with this value? And of course, you know none of it will go to the people Microsoft allegedly gouged on royalties. Full article text here. LONDON - The latest episode in Microsoft's tempestuous relationship with the European Competition Commission ended with a bang Wednesday, as Commissioner Neelie ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 27, 2008 3:09 PM

Serious VB Booklist
Serious VB Booklist Looking for VB.NET books that don't insult your intelligence? Tired of "Hello World" examples? Ready to get your hands dirty with some hardcore programming? Look no further than this list of serious VB.NET titles: Expert VB 2005 Business Objects - Rocky Lhotka Doing Objects in Visual Basic 2005 - Deborah Kurata LINQ in Action - Fabrice Marquerie, Steve Eichert, Jim Wooley (VB Samples) The Rational Guide to SQL Server CLR Integration - Greg Low Hitchhikers Guide to Visual Studio ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 27, 2008 2:16 PM

Dwarf Fortress - how did I never hear about this?
From the DF wiki: Dwarf Fortress is an ASCII game which includes both a roguelike adventure mode, and the more popular Dwarf Fortress Mode, which focuses on the creation and survival of a small dwarven settlement. It has a very steep learning curve, partly due to its ASCII graphics, but also due to the fact that it is one of the most complex games ever released. Dwarf Fortress is completely free. Before you play, you must generate a world to play in, which persists until you create a new one. World ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 27, 2008 10:45 AM

why bother?
I get a chuckle out of this... I have to confess, I don't understand the point of starting a blog here on GeeksWithBlogs, barely using it (14 posts in 2 years) and then announcing you're leaving to go elsewhere... It's even funnier because today's "I'm leaving" post was the first one since October of 2006. I think it's safe to say, as far as we were concerned, you had already left. Good luck on your new blog ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:05 AM

and if that weren't enough... XNA Developer Connection (XDC) is hiring... The XNA Developer Connection (XDC) is looking for software engineers with a strong interest in game technologies who are passionate about helping the world's leading game developers with tough development issues. Engineers in this position will support internal and external game developers directly, debug and analyze game development problems and develop responsive solutions, as well as write sample code and technical ......

Posted On Monday, February 25, 2008 1:17 PM

I'm sorry did he just say Microsoft WORD?!?
"Microsoft will start offering the XNA Game Studio 2.0 development tool kit for free, which lets people develop software games. While anybody can do it, Satchell acknowledged that you will need some expertise in writing software code. The games can be written in Microsoft Word and then migrated to Xbox." Start offering XNA for free? Start? Microsoft... Word... W.T.F?!? There's so much wrong with ......

Posted On Friday, February 22, 2008 7:47 PM

Finally... Battlestations has arrived
After nearly 4 weeks of waiting impatiently, my copy of Battlestations has arrived. The guys at Paradigm Games were in the middle of moving when I ordered, so things were a little crazy, but it finally showed up. If you haven't played this game, you have to check it out. It's a cool mix of Sci-Fi RPG and tactical boardgame. Unfortunately it's nearly impossible to come by right now, but a new edition is coming out in a few months. If you see a copy at your FLGS, I encourage you to pick it up. It's ......

Posted On Friday, February 22, 2008 12:40 PM

It's a good time to be a geek... details of the Games Workshop and Fantasy Flight deal
This is great news!! Roseville, Minnesota (February 22, 2008) – Fantasy Flight Games (“FFG”) and Games Workshop (“GW”) jointly announced today that they have reached an agreement for Fantasy Flight Games to become the exclusive publisher of board games, card games (including collectible card games), and roleplaying games based on Games Workshop’s family of renowned intellectual properties including Warhammer Fantasy Battles and Warhammer 40,000. Additionally, the deal will grant FFG the exclusive ......

Posted On Friday, February 22, 2008 12:25 PM

Do we have any Community Server geeks here?
I'm looking to do some customizations to CS.  What are some of your hints, tips, tricks and traps?  Let me know.

Posted On Thursday, February 21, 2008 1:53 PM

Calling all VB geeks...
If you're a VB.NET geek like me, and you're working on something fun or interesting in VB.NET, I'd like to hear about it. If you're doing samples in VB.NET for a technology that only shipped with support for C# (for example), I want to know about that too. If you need project, blog or forum space for your VB.NET work, I have you covered. Come by and I'll get you all set up. No charge, No monthly nonsense. If you're looking for XNA VB Code Samples, we've got that. If you're looking ......

Posted On Thursday, February 21, 2008 11:13 AM

Damn, I sure talk a lot.
I just hit 900 posts on

Wow.  I wonder who will hit 1000 first? Me or the Kung Fu Panda...

Posted On Thursday, February 21, 2008 12:30 AM

Roanoke Code Camp
2 1/2 weeks until Roanoke Code Camp. I can hardly wait. I haven't been home in close to 4 years. I've actually made a list of places to go and things I want to see while I'm in town. North Star Restaurant (Buchanan, VA) - I hope this is still open. I used to eat breakfast here with my dad every weekend, even after we moved to Roanoke, we would make the trip. Mill Mountain Star - This is hard to explain if you haven't seen it. Imagine a huge neon star sitting on top of a mountain. The star is less ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 12, 2008 12:38 PM

feeling better, still cold
Thank you to those of you who IM'ed, emailed, left comments and called. I'm uhhh... less sick than I was. *koff koff* Apparently when you blog a lot and then go a few days without doing so, people wonder about your health. I'm ok. Still got a nasty cough, but I'm not in pain, which is nice. Still working on those sugars though. Not much improvement on that front, which frankly sucks. Oh and it's -14F at the moment. I can sneeze snow now. Imagine the look on my face the first time THAT happened ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 12, 2008 12:37 PM

February XNA Newsletter
This is the email newsletter I send out each month for our local XNA User Group. If you want to get on the list, just drop me a line at and I'll be happy to add you to it. Hey everyone, I've got some potentially HUGE XNA news today, from the GDC. Keep reading. Also, if you haven't RSVP'd for tomorrow nights (2/21/08) meeting, please do so ASAP so we can order enough pizza, etc. 2008 UG Calendar February 21st - Game AI Techniques (THIS IS TODAY!!) March 20th - INETA Guest Speaker ......

Posted On Thursday, February 21, 2008 12:21 AM

The best week ever...
This just might be the best week ever, or at least the best one in a long time... Sunday I watched the new Knight Rider which was a lot of fun. I hope they make it a series. My tablet finally showed up yesterday and its working GREAT. My XBOX 360 has been repaired and is on it's way. (edit: FedEx says it will be here tomorrow.) I just finished tech editing a (IMO) terrific VB 2008 book for O'Reilly. Yesterday I got a nice letter from Microsoft, not just informing me about my MVP status & benefits ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 20, 2008 2:24 PM

Tablet troubles re-revisited
The saga continues, with a happy ending!! I got home today and found out that the FedEx guy managed to get my Tablet over to the local FedEx Kinkos today after all. I zipped over there, anxious to get my package. At first I was a bit worried because the guy couldn't find it, but eventually he handed me a rather beatup looking box and had me sign for it. Not feeling very confident, I took the box and went home. After cutting off all the tape, I get the box open and find my tablet (and it was the same ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 20, 2008 1:38 AM

Tablet troubles revisited
As I mentioned before, I've been anxiously waiting for the return of my beloved Gateway Tablet. I got an email this morning indicating it had been delivered at 9:15am. Shortly after I got a phone call from MPC letting me know that my laptop had been delivered. Pretty good service and follow-up honestly. Except for the fact that I'm at work, and the FedEx driver left my tablet sitting on the front porch in -15 degree weather. Now obviously, I don't blame MPC for this, but HELLO?!? FedEx you really ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 19, 2008 9:51 AM

HA! 0.1.6f
HA! 0.1.6f hit CodePlex tonight after a very long period of no activity on my part. The main purpose of this update is to provide a couple minor bugfixes and most importantly a working build again. I'm not sure how it happened, but HA! sat in a broken state for a long time. I would occasionally try to fix it, but there was a good bit of code "missing." I eventually found it all again, and got it working. Once that was taken care of, I actually found myself in the mood to work on HA! again and spent ......

Posted On Monday, February 18, 2008 11:58 PM

The new Knight Rider rocked!
I was going to call this post "What Canadians Know About Good American TV" and then leave it empty as a tribute to D'Arcy, but I thought that might be a bit over the top. Anyway, I'll keep it short. D'Arcy didn't like the new Knight Rider. Sorry man. We watched it last night (god bless you TiVo... I hate commercials) and totally loved it. Boy #1 had never seen any of the original (although, I should check Netflix for them) and so we popped some popcorn and settled in for two hours of talking cars ......

Posted On Monday, February 18, 2008 11:24 AM

Arcade for sale
I put two of my arcade machines up on ebay: Donkey Kong 3 and Crystal Castles. If you're in the Twin Cities area, take a look. I won't ship or deliver (because I don't own a truck) so if you're interested, we can make arrangements for you to come by and get them. I guess you could say this is part of my "Less Clutter Initiative" although honestly, I'm probably just making room for more stuff. There's this Joust game I've got my eye on. Just kidding. (No, I'm not.) Hell will freeze over before I put ......

Posted On Sunday, January 27, 2008 8:36 PM

My tablet died
About a month ago, my beloved Gateway Tablet died. It didn't go out violently in a blaze of glory, or even with so much as a whimper. One day it just refused to turn on anymore. I'd had it for nearly 3 years, and other than running pretty hot and being fairly heavy, it always performed really well. So, I was bummed, but such is life. Then I thought to myself... self, didn't you buy a warranty? Hmm... I almost never buy warranties, and certainly not for more than a year... But I flipped the laptop ......

Posted On Monday, February 18, 2008 11:03 AM

The GWB movie...
I went to see a sneak preview of the Spiderwick movie the other night (It was good, but that's not what this entry is about) and I saw a movie trailer for what I can only call... The GeeksWithBlogs movie. (Yes... that's D'Arcy in the middle, in case you were wondering.) Apparently this movie was filmed at various Code Camps, Conferences and Chipotles around the country. If you look closely you can no doubt recognize other "famous" GWB personalities in this picture. That's Jeff Julian just right of ......

Posted On Friday, February 15, 2008 2:41 PM

Welcome to Minnesota baby, you gonna freeeeeeze!
Welcome to the jungle baby, you gonna diiiiie! If some old dude had met me at the Minnesota state line and said that, I would have laughed and kept right on my merry way to Minneapolis. Now, on the other hand, if he had said "Welcome to the jungle baby, you're gonna get sick, stay sick AND freeze your ass off" then maybe I would have listened. It wouldn't have stopped me, but at least I'd listen. Some of you tried to warn me. Good people, smarter than me, told me it gets cold here. "No, I mean really ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 6, 2008 11:56 PM

.NET Languages site
Have you seen the .NET Languages site? I just found out about it today, so I'm betting you haven't. It's been around for a couple years though and is definitely worth checking out. It's maintained by my coworker Jason Bock (who also happens to be a scary smart dude and a BADASS drummer!) Anyway, check it out here: If you couldn't make Lang.NET 2008, he's got a nice writeup on that as well ......

Posted On Friday, February 1, 2008 12:50 PM

check me out...
Thanks to Jeff Brand, Microsoft DE and self-proclaimed .NET Sex Symbol, for making this happen!! Spaghetti Code Video: Spaghetti Code Podcast: The sound on the video is a little low in some spots, but hey... I look fabulous. ;) ......

Posted On Friday, February 1, 2008 12:45 PM

Radeon HD 2600 XT
This is not a review. This is just me complaining. If you like that sort of thing, keep reading. If you're looking for a review, check back in a month or two. My Radeon 9800 AIW card was serving pretty well under Vista, but I hadn't upgraded in a few years and figured why not... time for a boost. My ASUS mobo isn't PCI-e so I looked around for a high end AGP card. I found the Radeon HD 2600 XT (512MB, AGP 8x) and thought... hey this looks like a good card. It says it supports Vista and DX10 so I ......

Posted On Thursday, January 31, 2008 1:29 PM

Why use VB.NET?
Matthew Kleinwaks said this earlier today and it simply couldn't be more true... "Does VB give me what I need to write my commercial software: Yes Does VB work well enough that I get my program out the door on time: Yes Do I get a paycheck for the work I do with VB: Yes Has VB.NET gotten better with every release so far: Yes Is there anything I actually need to do for my job that can not be accomplished in VB: No Those might not be everyone elses answers, but they are mine, and until they change, ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 30, 2008 12:26 PM

Do you know what x is?
Sometimes I think I was put on this earth to serve as an inspiration to others... the rest of the time I realize I'm more of a warning. Stay tuned as I die for your sins this weekend. * ring ring * her: Do you know what Sunday is? me: Yes her: What? me: our anniversary Allow me to pause here for a moment and say how much I truly HATE that game. If I tell you I know what something is, don't demand proof. It never ends well. Either I'm lying and you've busted me and now you're mad -or- I'm not lying, ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 29, 2008 2:30 PM

Blood Sugar
After my previous post on diabetes, and beginning my insulin and new meds, I'm happy to say that a week later (as of last night) my blood sugar has dropped by 110 points. I still have a way to go before it's back at normal, but that is definitely an encouraging start. While I'm on the subject, if you're diabetic and hate checking your sugars as much as I did, consider getting one of the newer model glucometers. The new ones don't require a fingerstick. You can check it on your arm, palm, leg, etc... ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 29, 2008 12:56 PM

Twin Cities Geek Dinner
Some time in February, probably around mid month...  we'll be hosting another Twin Cities Geek Dinner.

Still working out all the important details like date, location, who's paying, etc...  so stay tuned.

If you're in the area and have a venue suggestion, drop me a line.

Posted On Friday, January 25, 2008 10:47 AM

You want me to pay HOW MUCH to fix my 360?!?
I don't normally blast Microsoft as a company, because I happen to like them overall and I know some really terrific people that work there. But I have to say my experience with XBox Support completely sucks. As I mentioned previously, here, my Xbox 360 kicked the bucket. Not in a dramatic 3 red rings kind of way, but in a slow, sad death kind of way... everything gradually turned green. My 360 lasts about 5-10 minutes before it happens... and gets progressively worse as it heats up. So I called ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 23, 2008 6:16 PM

Life as a Type II Diabetic
I'm a diabetic. It sucks. I've been diabetic for (hmm... lessee...) 12 years that I know of. Up until now, it was controlled by diet and medication. Ok that's not entirely true. It would have been controlled by diet and medication, had I actually bothered to diet and take my meds properly and check my sugars ever. I eat too much of the wrong stuff. Sometimes I drink a beer or three. I forget to take my pills sometimes. Basically I haven't been taking it very seriously and now it's kicking me in the ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 23, 2008 1:20 PM

Community Games (using XNA Game Studio) DVD Project
This is something I'm pretty excited about. The xna3way gang is proud to announce: The Community Games (using XNA Game Studio) DVD Project! This project is a showcase of work being done by people in the XNA community. It doesn't matter if you are a professional developer, hobbyist or student. As long as your game is complete and playable, and you don't mind sharing the source code then there's room for you on the disk(s). This is a living project, so there aren't any hard deadlines. Once enough projects ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 22, 2008 12:05 PM

Things I've learned from living in Minnesota (so far)
#1 Making Snow: When it gets -8 degrees Fahrenheit, take some warm water (not hot, not cold), throw it up into the air. You get snow. Cool huh? (There's more to it than this, obviously... you can't throw a whole pot of water up or you're gonna get wet. A spray bottle or mister works especially well.) #2 People Hate the Cold: I assumed people up here all love the cold weather, or are at least used to it. So it constantly surprises me to hear people complain about it, just like they did back in South ......

Posted On Monday, January 21, 2008 12:21 AM


Dear Blog,

Last night (Saturday, 1/19/08) I went to the casino with $3000.  After a few hours of Blackjack, I cashed out with $96,000. I also drank free all night. It was awesome. A bunch of my friends and coworkers were there too.  I can't wait to do it again.


What a great way to kickstart 2008.



Posted On Sunday, January 20, 2008 7:41 PM

words fail me


I hereby give you mad props and bow before your superior Paint.NET skillz!

You did forget a few other famous duos though...

Dukes of Hazard
Luke and Obi Wan
Wallace and Gromit
Gandalf and Frodo
Hall and Oats

Posted On Wednesday, January 16, 2008 9:36 PM

Bloodsucking Parasites
As previously mentioned... my "" domain was snatched up (due to my former webhost's incompetence) by some parasitic bloodsucking domain squatter in Singapore. Curious, I dropped him a quick email, inquiring as to the availability and price: How much are you asking for I was using it as a redirect to my blog, before my hosting company screwed up and let it expire. Thank you, Chris Williams I received an email from Charis Ho (the parasite) yesterday. It follows: ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 16, 2008 10:02 AM

XNA User Group - January meeting
The Twin Cities XNA User Group meeting is coming up this Thursday. The topic for this month is TorqueX. When: Thursday, January 17th at 6PM Where: Magenic Training Room If you're in the area and would like to attend, please visit http://www.twincitiesxnause... and click on the RSVP link (bottom left) to register. February meeting features talks on various AI techniques. March meeting features Nick Landry, courtesy of INETA ......

Posted On Monday, January 14, 2008 10:51 AM

I'm thinking about hitting a movie this weekend. My choices are: Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem, I Am Legend, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street If you've seen any of these, and have an opinion good or bad, I'd like to hear it. I never had much luck with movie reviewers.They tend to hate the ones I really like, and vice versa. I saw National Treasure: Book of Secrets last night and really enjoyed it. It's simpler than the first one, but still ......

Posted On Friday, January 11, 2008 10:14 AM

Network Solutions is a bunch of thieving bastards
I've suspected this for years, but the proof is starting to show up. If you look up the availablility of a domain name via the Network Solutions website, be prepared to buy it that second. If you don't, they (NS) will... and then they'll try to ransom it back to you at a higher price. If you still don't buy it from them, you have virtually no chance of getting it, because the expired domain vultures will swoop down, ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 9, 2008 12:52 PM

XNA opportunity

If you're working on something cool with XNA, check this out...

Send them your info and you might get some attention for your game.

Posted On Tuesday, January 8, 2008 3:04 AM

Seattle Day 4
Level one is completely done. Boss fight scene is done, Jason is working on Boss fight code now. Level two scene is done. Just need to set up the hazards. All the sounds are done, Andy is working on the XACT project. We're still using the dragon animations from the starter kit for our character, instead of the XNA3WAY guys, but hopefully we'll get those from George before too long. I have a basic splash screen done, although it's not great. Maybe Georgie will hook me up with a better one. What's ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 8, 2008 1:18 AM

Seattle Day 3.7
Since today is my birthday, we took a break for dinner and went to one of my favorite places to visit in Seattle: GameWorks. I was pretty excited because I still had a bunch of credits on my card leftover from the MVP summit. Well, we got in there and the place looked really different. Apparently in the last 8-9 months, they have rearranged things a bit. So we work our way upstairs and grab a table. The food was good, but my mixed drink was terrible. (Jason, Andy & Jolene with with me. Jason ......

Posted On Monday, January 7, 2008 12:49 AM

Seattle Day 3
Today's been another crazy day. Level one is done (I think I said that earlier, but I was wrong) from my end. I've handed it off to Jason and he's been making playability tweaks here and there, and getting stuff working properly. We grabbed some Taco Bell for lunch and kept right on working. Andy showed up not to long ago, and he's been helping out as well. George was a real lifesaver this morning, providing us with a fair amount of art and sounds that we sorely needed. He's been shooting me stuff ......

Posted On Sunday, January 6, 2008 6:52 PM

Seattle Day 2
Today was super productive. I've just about finished implementing level one (and making a few design changes along the way as I tested placement and jump distances, etc.) Jason's been busy working on adapting any necessary functionality and when I hand off level one to him, he'll be adding that functionality to the various conveyors, bouncers and controllers in the level while I start implementing level 2. Andy comes over tomorrow (Sunday) and we'll be working on voiceovers mostly Sunday. It's currently ......

Posted On Sunday, January 6, 2008 4:12 AM

Seattle Day 1
woke up early. really early. Still functioning on Central time. checked email for a bit then got up and started working. First thing we did was talk about level design for a bit. Captured a little video and then we made a quick trip out to pick up some Woodchuck (cider), Peach Fresca and a large drawing tablet so I could work on some rough sketches for the level design. I also had an opportunity to have lunch w/ some of the VB team from Microsoft, specifically Paul Yuknewicz, Amanda Silver & ......

Posted On Saturday, January 5, 2008 12:02 AM

Seattle Day 0
The flight went smooth, although the first flight was 25 minutes late and thankfully the connecting flight was almost an hour late... so no worries. I got to Seattle around 11:30pm and crashed around 2am. First class was nice. It's funny how you get so used to things a certain way that even the smallest changes seem huge. For example, more room. Usually in coach, as soon as the guy in front of me starts to lean back I put my hand on the back of his seat and apply just enough pressure to keep him ......

Posted On Friday, January 4, 2008 10:09 PM

Blizzard and Activision MERGING??
I'm having a difficult time imagining what will come from this. Good, bad or other. Huge fan of Blizzard. Not a big fan (at all) of Activision. I guess if you take things that rock and combine them with things that, well, don't... you should prepare for mediocrity. Part of what makes Blizzard great is the ability do the right thing, without bowing to pressures to ship an unfinished game. I don't see that staying intact with Activision. I'm being unfair, ......

Posted On Monday, December 3, 2007 2:49 PM

St. Mary's College of Maryland
In about an hour, I'll be heading to the airport to catch a flight to DC, and then ride to Maryland (St. Mary's City) to St. Mary's College. Andy "The ZMan" Dunn will be meeting me in DC and riding out with me. We'll be talking about XNA, hanging out with some students, evaluating some final projects, etc... should be fun. I'll be out there Tuesday and Wednesday, and then fly back early Thursday morning ......

Posted On Monday, December 3, 2007 2:41 PM

Code Jam 08
aka "What you get when you lock 3 developers, 3 laptops, a keg of woodchuck, a 5 gallon bag of Pizza Rolls and a microwave in Jason Olson's basement" aka Game Coding Butt-Numbathon 2008 aka My Birthday!! I leave tomorrow afternoon and fly (First Class, thank you American Airlines Gold Status: Free Upgrade) to Seattle. I arrive pretty late Wednesday evening, ready to kick off nearly 96 hours of game coding madness. We've already hit one speedbump (sorry Georgie, next time though, for sure) but we're ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 2, 2008 7:01 PM

new xna book on Amazon
I just noticed this on Amazon a few minutes ago... Learn Programming Now! with XNA Game Studio Express and C# Express Edition (Link to Amazon here.) No big deal, except the cover prominently mentions C# 2008. (Last time I checked, XNA didn't support 2008) Apparently the guy that wrote it is a devices MVP in the UK. Looks like it's published by MS Press. Here's the odd thing... Amazon says it has a CD containing Game Studio Express (which means it's 1.0 refresh at the latest) and another CD containing ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 2, 2008 3:16 PM

if your date starts misbehaving
My good buddy Paul Pearce (Roanoke, VA) shares this relevant tip: This affects those of you supporting Classic ASP. There is a bug in DatePart that makes it occasionally return the wrong week of the year ("ww") Apparently the first day of the first week of the year returns as week 53 sometimes (3 times per 28 years, once per 400 years)... and of course 12/30/2007 is one of those times :) So... pages that figure out the week and period are saying that 12/29 ......

Posted On Thursday, December 27, 2007 9:28 AM

Anonymous Delegates
I've run into a bit of a snag in some of the conversions I've been doing. C# has this thing called Anonymous Delegates that VB.NET doesn't. I don't really understand what they do, and as I said, VB.NET doesn't have them, so I don't have a clue how to convert them. I've done some googling, but haven't found anything that really jumps out as the right answer. So any suggestions or help would be appreciated. The code in BOLD ITALICS is what I'm having trouble with. /// <summary> /// The constructor ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 1, 2008 3:59 PM

MVP 2008

I received the email at 9:02am this morning, letting me know I had received the MVP award for 2008 for VB.NET.

This is my 3rd year receiving it and it's still just as exciting as the first time. woohoo!

Posted On Tuesday, January 1, 2008 9:42 AM

nothing like holidays to really get some work done...
The last few days have been incredibly productive for me, in terms of cranking out VB.NET XNA samples. Not only did I post several new conversions, but I also managed to wrap up two that had been giving me trouble since day one. The Bloom PostProcess sample and the Billboard sample have both been a real pain to convert, and I had pretty much given up on both of them until just recently. I've learned a lot from converting some of the recent samples (I've learned something from all of them really) ......

Posted On Thursday, December 27, 2007 12:22 PM

Brrrr, it's freakin COLD here

I know, I know, you're looking at this and wondering why the hell I'm up at 7:25am on a Saturday... but focus on the important stuff... it's FREAKIN COLD here!!

Yes, it's celcius... I set all the thermometers in the house to celcius when I moved here so I could watch my kids flip out whenever they see double digit negative temps... cruel? maybe... funny? definitely.

Posted On Saturday, December 15, 2007 7:32 AM

Thank You Shawn Hargreaves
One of the earlier XNA samples I tried converting from C# to VB.NET was the Bloom PostProcessing sample (original sample here.) After converting the code, I fought with it nearly every night (after work) for several weeks trying to debug it and get it to perform properly. It seemed I was plagued with problems and eventually shelved it, writing it off as one of those things you just can't do in VB.NET. After I knocked out several more samples, and learning a lot more about what works and what doesn't, ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 10:12 PM

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to all my friends at GeeksWithBlogs and to everyone else that reads my blog.


Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 9:48 PM

oh, you actually wanted to WATCH your tv?
For the last 6 weeks, my DirecTiVo has been on the fritz. I have called DirectTV EVERY WEEK to get someone out here to fix the problem. Their phone support is largely unhelpful, usually giving up fairly quickly after the standard scripts run out. Eventually, I got someone to show up after 6 weeks of calls. I ended up taking the day off waiting on this clown who didn't check the dish, didn't check the wiring, didn't check the signal, etc... and pronounced my receiver dead. He ordered a new receiver, ......

Posted On Friday, December 21, 2007 9:05 PM

Butt Numbing Code-a-thon II
Last year we tried and failed. (Ok, we had a LOT of fun, and got a lot done... but we didnt finish.) We were too ambitious, we tried to do too much (we quite possibly also hit the pub and drank too much) and most importantly we let Jason get a little carried away with the whole Framework thing... This year things are going to be different. I've got a plan. We're using TorqueX... We're using the Platformer Starter Kit... George is doing graphics. Jason and I are doing programming and I'm helping George ......

Posted On Friday, December 21, 2007 2:26 PM

Twin Cities Code Camp 4
Twin Cities Code Camp 4 is right around the corner (and by that, I mean less than 4 months away) on April 5th, 2008 at New Horizons. You can visit here for more details: http://www.twincitiescodeca... and the call for speakers is open. I'm helping out with rounding up some killer swag for this one, and I'm hitting all the usual suspects (book publishers, software shops, etc...) but if you're interested in donating something to be used as a giveaway, feel free to contact me via the blog ......

Posted On Sunday, December 16, 2007 11:35 PM

Twin Cities Geek Dinner

If you're in the Minneapolis or St Paul area, you are invited to come to a geek dinner at my house.

This first event is capped at 15 people, so let's see how it goes.  Time to "break in" the bar in the basement.

When:  Thursday December 27th, 2007 at 6PM. 
What:   Geek Dinner, of course.... menu TBD. 
Where:  RSVP for directions

We'll have some Rock Band, Guitar Hero, Halo3 action going on, along with good food and some geek talk.

Posted On Sunday, December 16, 2007 11:21 PM

Twin Cities XNA User Group update
We had our second meeting last night and it went really well. Everyone that could make it did a terrific job and we got to see some really impressive stuff. A big thank you to Microsoft and Magenic as usual for providing swag, pizza and a terrific place to meet. Currently, the plan for January 17th (3rd Thursday) is to focus on TorqueX. Chris Williams will be speaking and demoing some beginner TorqueX stuff and we're going to see if we can get someone to do a second, more advanced session the same ......

Posted On Friday, December 21, 2007 12:19 PM

The "WoW Ancient Enemies FragMat Mousepad" Review
The World of Warcraft "Ancient Enemies" FragMat Mousepad review Let me start by quoting the marketing materials: "The World Of Warcraft® Ancient Enemies FragMat Gaming Mouse Pad from Ideazon™ provides your mouse with a smooth surface ensuring precise and accurate control. It is made of high quality materials for both laser and optical gaming mice and provides you with high gaming performance. With Non slip under-padding, slim profile of 0.07-inches and a excellent gliding surface, this Mouse Pad ......

Posted On Thursday, December 20, 2007 11:20 AM

December Twin Cities XNA User Group Meeting

The December meeting for the Twin Cities XNA User Group is tomorrow night at Magenic.

If you're in the area, come check it out.  Just be sure to RSVP so we have enough pizza!

Please visit the site for more details.

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 2:45 PM

MS Adsense?

In continuation of my previous post (Google Adsense) does anyone know if MS has a similar offering yet? (I'm sure it's coming at some point...)

Just curious.

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 10:49 AM

Google Adsense
On the off chance anyone hit www.ILoveVB.NET tonight around 11:30CST, you may have seen some Google Ads showing up... for about 5 minutes I guess. They're currently turned off again. Honestly I haven't decided if I like them or not (regardless of whether they generate any money.) I'm really not thrilled with how they look on the site and I'm even less thrilled with the "relevant" content they are showing. (The "Free VB Code" stuff was fine, the "Get A Date" stuff was not.) I'm pretty sure some/all ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 18, 2007 11:53 PM

11th Grader hoaxes internet community
11th Grader gets detention for being a jerk, not for using FireFox. This is priceless for several reasons. The story is pretty brief, but it's the comments that make it worth reading. Watch how the angry and self righteous comments gradually turn from targetting the teacher to the student once they realize that it's a hoax. If half the people who claimed to send hate mail to the teacher actually did so, he or she has a lot of reading ahead. ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 18, 2007 4:44 PM

Where the heck did 2007 go?
It's hard to believe that we are 2 weeks away from 2008. So much has happened in the last year... I've gone from traveling 100% to zero. I've been on 3 different gigs for Magenic and moved across the country from South Carolina to Minnesota. I've owned and sold a retail game store and drank a hell of a lot of coffee in the process. I've seen new people come into my life in one way or another and seen good friends leave. I've said hello and goodbye to a LOT of people this year. I've made a lot of ......

Posted On Monday, December 17, 2007 8:56 PM

The Twitter Problem
aka "Who gives a twit, really?" As a technology geek and an "always on, always connected" kinda guy, I love twitter. I think it's a neat idea. The micro-posts, or tweets (tweets? twits? I dunno...), are an easy way to let people who actually care know what you're doing and where... without bothering the ones who don't care. One message to Twitter via my gTalk, can easily save me from having to write (or copy and paste) 10 messages to the same people. It also saves me from having to have an actual ......

Posted On Saturday, December 15, 2007 7:16 AM

VB.NET yesterday, today and tomorrow

Scott Hanselman has recorded a podcast with Paul Vick and Paul Yuknewicz about VB.NET yesterday, today & tomorrow.


Posted On Saturday, December 15, 2007 6:40 AM

New Batman movie info

This one's primarily for Theo (who has dropped off the face of the earth lately...)

There are some new Batman: The Dark Knight posters and a theatrical trailer. Assuming it hasnt been yanked already.

I can't WAIT to see this one...

Posted On Friday, December 14, 2007 12:36 PM

Awesome gift for your favorite geek...

I want one of these for christmas...


Posted On Friday, December 14, 2007 12:28 PM

What Would YOU Do if Burger King Discontinued the Whopper?

The Great Whopper Freakout

What Would YOU Do?  Would you get mad? Would you be sad? Would you behave in a way that is bad? 

Posted On Friday, December 14, 2007 12:21 PM

Jeff baked me a cake!

Jeff baked me a cake for being top of the hill on posts.  Thanks Jeff!

edit:  and apparently the crack in Canada must be really really good... Or else D'Arcy is getting his fix during his periodic trips across the border. He does come down here a lot, after all...

Posted On Friday, December 14, 2007 8:41 AM

XBOX 360 Return Process
For those of you who have had to return your XBOX 360, please share your experience with me. I havent returned mine yet, but I think I will be soon. Shortly after the most recent update, I started experiencing some really odd graphical problems. Green, and lots of it, starting appearing on my screen. Not just during DVD games, but on XBLA also, and even when I played DVD movies. More and more green on screen. No Red Ring of Death, just lots and lots of green on screen. I am going to wait a little ......

Posted On Thursday, December 13, 2007 9:27 PM

Hellgate London review
I don't get many chances to play games any more, at least not for lengthy periods of time. It's usually a few minutes here and there. I haven't played WoW in well over a month, although I sign in periodically just to stay updated on patches. So I'm not really sure why, but I picked up a copy of Hellgate London a few weeks ago. I think it was the cool looking box that did me in. I even bought the Collector's Edition in the big ass box. I'm a sucker for packaging, what can I say? Anyway, I let the ......

Posted On Thursday, December 13, 2007 9:11 PM

Twin Cities .NET User Group Installfest
Tonights TC.NETUG meeting / VS2008 was a total blast! In addition to getting a free copy of VS2008 and a cool VS2008 tshirt, I also won a copy of Ninety-Nine Nights (360) and got to play Rock Band (guitar) in front of about 125 people. My lowest score was 98% and I got at least one 100%. Our "set list" included Dead or Alive, In Bloom, Should I Stay or Should I Go and Maps. Jeff Brand recorded a video of our "band" which I named XNA of course. I'll post a link to the video once Jeff posts it online. ......

Posted On Thursday, December 13, 2007 7:11 PM

XNA 2.0 out...


Posted On Thursday, December 13, 2007 2:22 PM

Spike Video Game Awards

My DirectTV / TiVO is completely hosed and has been for a couple weeks now.  The repair guy won't be showing up until 12/18 (lucky me.)

So I missed the Spike Video Game Awards on Sunday, and I'll likely miss the upcoming reruns for the foreseeable future.

Did ANYONE happen to record these? I would really really like to watch them. Drop me a line if you did.


Posted On Wednesday, December 12, 2007 1:08 PM

Maryland trip part 2
So the first day went really well, the lodge we stayed in was very old and cozy (in a good way) and very WARM. We left the lodge around 10am (after getting a bit of work done) and walked to the building containing Alan's office and hung out with some of the students for a bit before going to lunch with them. We got to see a bit more of the campus since we were walking everywhere. Very nice area and it was good to be back in this part of the country. (I grew up in Virginia, so this is *like* home.) ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 5, 2007 12:40 PM

Maryland trip part one
The flight in to DC from Minneapolis was great, as far as I know, I slept through most of it. The last 10 minutes are so were pretty rough though, very windy. It was fairly late by the time I arrived, so the rental lot was a little sparse. Free upgrade to convertible sounded good, except for it being incredibly cold. So I doubt we'll take advantage of that feature. After an hour and a half drive to St. Mary's City, we met up with Alan and Lindsay and they showed us to the lodge. The lodge was really ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 4, 2007 10:51 AM

bad day at work
Yesterday was pretty frustrating for me. I try not to blog negatively about clients, especially current ones, but I'll make an exception for this. As usual, no names will be used. Our environment uses separate servers for static image hosting. No big deal. Yesterday, I had to deploy a bunch of static images from development to these servers. Not having done this before, I looked at the server map, confirmed I had the names right (we'll call them Z1 and Z2) and pushed the files out to both servers. ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 12, 2007 12:02 PM

my 21 thoughts on starting a user group
Sometimes people ask me what it takes to get a good user group going... so hopefully these tips help to minimize the pain a bit. 1. INETA ( won't even talk to you until you've had at least one meeting on your own. Then you go to their site and fill out an application. (You'll need to register on their site first.) 2. CodeZone ( works basically the same way. Both of these will net your group some free swag, and INETA will get you a couple speakers per year. 3. Find out ......

Posted On Monday, December 10, 2007 12:21 PM

Why Heroic Adventure! looks like crap...
Ocasionally I get people who email me and ask why HA! doesn't have all the gnarly graphics of, oh I don't know, Diablo or some other kickass game. Read this and get back to me. (Thanks to my artist buddy George who pointed it out to me.) In this case, I was actually aiming for a specific style (that of the Roguelike game) but the advice to "Build a game that fits your level of art skills" is certainly valid. It's why you don't see me trying to crank out a 3D game. and for the record, I LIKE the way ......

Posted On Sunday, December 9, 2007 12:43 PM

TCXNAUG Member Projects
The December 20th meeting of the Twin Cities XNA User Group promises to be a good one. We've got the following members presenting some projects they have been working on. Be sure to visit the website and RSVP so we know how many people to expect. Member Projects Justin Chase will show us Drop In, a 1 or 2 player game featuring a simple MinMax algorithm for AI. The object of the game is to get five pucks of your color in a row by dropping pucks into a column and by rotating the game board. Greg Wurm ......

Posted On Friday, December 7, 2007 12:22 PM

Maryland trip part 3
So yesterday was the big day at St. Mary's. We did another mid day session, and then last night was the final judging for the senior game projects. There were some pretty interesting concepts on display and it was obvious an amazing amount of work had been done (by SOME of the teams) in the time given. It snowed pretty much all day, so we were a bit worried about what kind of turnout we would have, but since almost all of the students live on campus, we had a great turnout! Thankfully we had plenty ......

Posted On Thursday, December 6, 2007 8:20 PM

A Zune Christmas Story
It's a short story with a crappy ending (so far) Man buys super special Halo 3 Edition Zune. Zune Breaks. Man sends in super special Halo 3 Edition Zune for repair. Man receives fixed (though beat up) plain old Zune, NOT super special Halo 3 Edition Zune. Man contacts Zune support. Zune supports tells man "Too Bad, So Sad." Man pissed, Man blogs. Show him some support at his blog: And if you work for Microsoft, make his day (and his ......

Posted On Monday, December 3, 2007 12:25 PM

Yoda for Christmas
Life Size Yoda Monument Product Information: The Lifesize Yoda monument stands 37" tall (51.5" to the top of the Lightsaber) by 55" wide. Made of fiberglass with real fiber clothing. The Lifesize Yoda monument features a light-up Lightsaber with dual working modes and adjustable sound effects. Comes with AC adaptor for destination country and 6 AA batteries. Now fan can bring home one of the most beloved characters from the Star Wars Universe. This item will be special ordered while supplies last. ......

Posted On Thursday, November 29, 2007 11:10 AM

Community Credit integration

Awesome.  Jeff has made some serious improvements to GWB. I use twitter a fair amount and I stopped using for a while because it was a pain to enter in every blog post. Now, thanks to Jeff, I don't have to.


Posted On Wednesday, November 28, 2007 9:08 PM

what exactly is ILoveVB.NET anyway?
By now, if you read the main GWB feed, you've probably noticed a few posts mentioning the www.ILoveVB.NET community. One of the perks of being a Microsoft MVP is that you occasionally get free software and services from various companies. This give me an opportunity to try new things and experiment without a big investment up front. The I Love VB.NET community is one of those experiments. So, what's it all about? I suppose you can think of it as a safe haven for VB.NET developers. When I first registered ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 28, 2007 7:26 PM

XNA GS 2.0(beta) deployment platform bug (what causes it and how to work around it)
Crossposted from the VB.NET XNA Project blog at www.ILoveVB.NET First... how to cause the problem. 1. Create a new C# Windows Game 2.0 project in VS2005. If you take a look at this point, in the Configuration Manager, you will see 2 entries. One is for the Content project and the other is for whatever you named your new project. So far, so good. 2. Add a new VB.NET Class Library project to your solution. (Make sure to add it to the solution, not create a new one.) Take a look in the Configuration ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 28, 2007 12:57 PM

This (upcoming) month in User Group land
Depending on where you live, December can be a tough month for user groups. In Minneapolis, that's no exception. Several of my area groups are forgoing the technical content and opting for "Holiday Socials" instead. But hey, at least they're still meeting... right? December 4th: MN.swf (Minnesota Flash/Flex Programmer Group) - progress continues on the scorched earth game, December meeting topic & location are TBD. December 6th: Twin Cities IGDA (International Game Developers Association) - Holiday ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 28, 2007 8:31 AM

XNA: new Windows Game (2.0) Content Project build platform defaults to 360
If you're getting a strange error in XNA Game Studio 2.0 like this: Error loading "whatever". This file was compiled for the wrong target platform. Be sure to check your content project's build platform. Even when you create a Windows Game, there's a bug that points it to the 360. The fix is easy enough, just change the target platform back to x86 and recompile, you should be good. update: This has been fixed ......

Posted On Sunday, November 25, 2007 7:07 PM

Cracking MD5

Need some help cracking that MD5 hash?

I think I may have pee'd a little when I read this article in the guardian. 

Posted On Saturday, November 24, 2007 4:54 PM

Rock Band released today
If Guitar Hero I, II, IIe:RtE & III no longer provide you with enough of a challenge, try your hand at Rock Band, which released today. There are a number of great tracks on this game, including Metallica's Enter Sandman and BOC's Don't Fear the Reaper (more cowbell, anyone?) The equipment is pretty sweet too, featuring not only a guitar controller, but a drum controller and microphone as well. This wikipedia article has more details and some pretty decent pictures: ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 20, 2007 12:41 PM

it's here, it's here... finally
Everyone is blogging about VS2008, and that's great. I certainly don't have to. SO what am I so excited about? Well duh... XNA 2.0 of course. See the announcement here: and here: and of course here: Yeah it's only a beta, but it's still chock full of Game-Devy Goodness. Why are you still reading this ......

Posted On Monday, November 19, 2007 11:34 PM

XNA 2.0 coming soonishly If you're too lazy (or excited) to click, keep reading: XNA Game Studio 2.0 Beta Available Soon Michael Klucher Program Manager - XNA Community Game Platform It's been a while since we posted on the upcoming XNA Game Studio 2.0 release. The good news is that there will be a XNA Game Studio 2.0 beta available for you to download very soon! This beta is considered "feature complete." This means that while we still ......

Posted On Thursday, November 15, 2007 1:09 PM

All good things must come to an end...
No no D'Arcy, I'm not quitting GWB. Far from it. In fact, I may occasionally stray from the fold and experience a little bloggish rumspringa if you will, but as long as Messirs Alexander, Julian & Co. will have me, I'll be here. I'm not quitting Magenic. Not even close. The two best career decisions I ever made were, in order: 1) joining Magenic and 2) moving to Minneapolis. I've been given more room for professional growth and development than pretty much anywhere I've ever been. (We're hiring ......

Posted On Saturday, November 24, 2007 3:39 PM

By the time you read this, it will likely be too late.
If you're a Cthulhu fan, or a H.P. Lovecraft fan in general, or into horror, weird tales, etc... or just really dig boardgames... then now is your chance to pick up one of the coolest games ever at a good price. Tanga ( has Arkham Horror (one of my favorite boardgames ever) on sale. Check it out!! This was one of the constant favorites at Reality Check and almost always out of stock. We could barely keep it on the shelf ......

Posted On Saturday, November 24, 2007 11:49 AM

Tap Tap... Is this thing on?

Hey, if you use Technorati and you read my blog, do me a favor and get some peanut butter on my chocolate by visiting the following link and marking me as a favorite:


Posted On Saturday, November 24, 2007 11:29 AM

One thing that comes along with the Zune software upgrade is the ZuneCard (if this was around in the first version, I apologize, they did a damn good job of hiding it.) It's exactly what you think it is, the Zune version of the XBOX LIve GamerCard, only with a little more. It shows your friends, what music you've listened to lately, along with what you've listenend to most. It also give you the ability to buy & send tracks, add comments, send messages, etc. If someone hasn't created a web badge ......

Posted On Saturday, November 24, 2007 11:18 AM

more gamer goodness

Still playing Rock Band... still loving it.

Just wanted to put this out there. has Bioshock and Orange Box (PC Versions) for $25 each.

Sweet.  They probably won't last long at that price.

Posted On Saturday, November 24, 2007 12:01 AM

reading brain waves In this story, neuroscientists are experimenting with a "locked in" patient (someone who is conscious but incapable of communicating due to paralysis) in an attempt to use brain imaging and implanted electrodes with speech software to give him a voice. They say they are a long way off from conversation, but it's still pretty impressive. Yesterday's sci-fi is tomorrow's outpatient procedure. I can't help but wonder... if he's unable to communicate, how ......

Posted On Thursday, November 15, 2007 9:41 AM

I know you're probably sick of reading about how awesome it is here in MN... tough! We had snow today. Not a lot, and none of it stuck, but it was definitely snow. Awesome. As a point of reference, it was 76 degrees today in Greenville. No snow there. Moving to the home office was the smartest thing I ever did. Not only is there enough work here in town that I'll practically never have to travel (unless I want to) but it gives me the opportunity to do all the fun, awesome community stuff I love to ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 14, 2007 4:00 PM

first impressions
Sometimes the first impressions you get about someone or something are 100% bullseye accurate. For example, Gil Gerard really is a flaming pusbag, Dairy Queen Frozen Hot Chocolate is every bit as bad as it sounds, and moving to Minnesota has been the smartest thing I ever did. On the other hand, sometimes first impressions are horribly wrong. Jason Olson is an excellent example of this, since we pretty much hated each other when we first met and now he's one of my closest friends. Another bad first ......

Posted On Monday, November 12, 2007 5:05 PM

I've probably been watching too many Star Wars movies lately, but I think I've come up with a new word. Googlechlorians. I know, you're wondering... what on earth am I talking about? Well, you know how people refer to their blogs having "google juice" when they get good search rank results? I think the word they are looking for is "googlechlorians" It's a measure of the living google force in all of us (or at least in our blogs.) usage: His blog had the highest googlechlorians count I had ever seen. ......

Posted On Friday, November 9, 2007 4:11 PM

One week left until the Twin Cities XNA User Group inaugural meeting

If you are planning on attending and haven't registered already, please do so now to ensure an accurate count for pizza and refreshments.

Just hit the RSVP link at the bottom left of the page.

See you there!

Posted On Thursday, November 8, 2007 4:01 PM

Windows Home Server and VB.NET
There's an interview on Channel 9 with Windows Home Server Dev Lead, Chris Gray, where he talks about the extensibility model and then walks through how to create an add-in for the Home Server console using Visual Basic Express. Get Chris's code here: Also, the Home Server team is working on Visual Basic samples. Way to go guys ......

Posted On Thursday, November 8, 2007 1:25 PM

FaceBook Developer Toolkit
If you're interested in writing .NET apps for FaceBook, here's your chance: (My favorite part of this: We are going to start by trying to maintain both the and C# code bases. Hallelujah guys!!) And of course, if you're in Chicago, and interested in learning more about how to do it, and seeing it done firsthand: CNUG Downtown Meeting ( Date: Wednesday, November 7th Time: Pizza/discussion: 6:00, Presentation 6:30-8:00 Location: 1 N. Franklin ......

Posted On Monday, November 5, 2007 3:47 PM


My long time buddy, and fellow Magenic Consultant, Theo Moore tied the knot this weekend.

It's been a long time coming, and he couldn't have picked a nicer bride. They're perfect for each other.

So if you get a moment, stop by and wish him well.

Congrats buddy!

Posted On Monday, November 5, 2007 11:29 AM

Programming Microsoft Surface - where's the VB.NET love? Interesting post, but no mention of VB.NET... (of course, it doesn't say it WON'T support it, so we'll see...) and here's the Surface Team Blog: Come on Microsoft... this sort of stuff is a perfect match for VB.NET ......

Posted On Friday, November 2, 2007 3:43 PM

Guitar Hero III deal

I hate Target (not as much as I used to, but Christmas is fast approaching) but this is a deal that's hard to pass up:

Guitar Hero III for the PS2, with not one but TWO guitar controllers, for only $99.

If you're looking to get into the game, that's a steal.

Posted On Friday, November 2, 2007 2:57 PM

Art for NonArtists 101
When working on my latest XNA game project, Super Mega Brick Smash, I decided to give it a go and do all the art myself. After all, how hard can bricks be to draw? Keep in mind, I'm no artist. There's a reason HA! never had any graphics and it isn't just for nostalgia's sake. So the rectangle bricks came out ok, although not terribly flashy, and the ball was simple enough. I did both of those, and the paddle in MS Paint. Ball: Brick: Paddle: (If you're curious about the magenta background, it's a ......

Posted On Friday, November 2, 2007 2:03 PM

Fun with Fonts in XNA
If you want to display some text on screen in your XNA game, the easiest way is to use a SpriteFont. The cool thing about SpriteFonts is that you can use any TrueType font and XNA will render it into an *XNB file and allow you to use it in your game. You can distribute the game without worrying about whether people have the font installed on their machines. (edit: XNB files can be opened using the XNB Viewer, downloadable here, although it doesn't seem to work on Vista.) So, anyway, to do this... ......

Posted On Saturday, November 3, 2007 8:57 PM

Deer Season
It's deer season here in Minneapolis. Tonight though, it seemed more like Silver Minivan season. We (the whole damn fam) were driving over to my buddy Mike's house for a cookout, and had gotten slightly lost. (Don't ask, just blame Google Maps) So we're heading down county road 47 and this deer charges across the road, narrowly missing a van in the opposite lane, and slamming head on into the side of our van. Needless to say, we were all WTF was that?!?! We pulled over immediately to check things ......

Posted On Saturday, November 3, 2007 6:48 PM

Good news from the VB.NET product team
As a VB.NET MVP, I love seeing stuff like this from the VB.NET product team: (I can't share most of the email, since it's NDA, but here is what I can share.) Also, here are some data points that make us confident in VB’s momentum. This is the kind of thing I share with other teams when I engage them about “speaking vb”. We’ve made the decision that you can freely talk about these data points in public (not under NDA) : ---non-NDA--- Visual Basic is the #1 .NET language (as reported by Forrester Research) ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 31, 2007 3:01 PM

It's time for gory movies... the worse, the better. Here are some of my favorites: Chopping Mall I Dismember Mama Dead Alive My absolute favorite (not as gory, but too funny to pass up): EVIL DEAD 2 So... What are yours? (Rod just suggested this one, which I haven't seen: Cannibal Holocaust) ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 31, 2007 12:54 PM

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like a Culturally Non-Specific Gift-Giving Season...

Halloween is almost here, which means Thanksgiving isn't far behind, and you know what that means!!



Posted On Monday, October 29, 2007 9:04 PM

Indie MMOG Conference, right here in Minneapolis
How did I just find out about this today?? This is cool. *Looks at calendar* ...AND it's on a weekend, awesome! This keeps getting better. Richard Bartle, Gordon Walton (of Bioware)... $99 until 11/15 Very cool. update: I've been talking to the guy running it, and I'm helping out some now. They still need sponsors and speakers, so if you're interested... drop me a line ......

Posted On Monday, October 29, 2007 3:49 PM

my first NFL game - Go VIKINGS!
So yesterday, after code camp was done and buried on Saturday, we (D'Arcy and Boy #1 and myself) got up early and headed downtown to the Metrodome to catch the Eagles and Vikings game. I'd never been to a real Pro game (of any sport) although I'd certainly seen plenty of ECHL (hockey) back in Charleston. The excitement level was pretty high and there were lots of folks in jerseys and body paint. D'Arcy was even sporting an Eagles jersey. We got there a little early and walked around watching all ......

Posted On Monday, October 29, 2007 9:15 AM

Post Code Camp decompression
So the Twin Cities Code Camp III is over... thoughts? I had a great time meeting a lot of the local developer community, including some Magenic and Microsoft folks that I hadn't had an opportunity to hang with before. It was great seeing Bill Ryan, Lou Vega and D'Arcy Lussier again. The four of us, plus a few extra folks (Justin Chase, Aaron Erickson, Michael Dunn) all got together at my house the night before to work on our presentations, have a few beers and jam on Guitar Hero II. Michael brought ......

Posted On Monday, October 29, 2007 8:48 AM

XBOX 360 Controller Driver for Windows XP SP1

I'm putting this here for people who saw my presentation and needed a download link.


Posted On Saturday, October 27, 2007 9:35 AM

Facebook <3 Microsoft
Taken from this article here. Although the two companies said they are not disclosing all terms of the agreement, observers need look no further than the fact that Facebook has already released its APIs, and Microsoft last week released the beta for its Popfly tool, which among other things is a Silverlight-based mashup tool that can be used to build Facebook applications. Microsoft also has a Visual Studio toolset that can be used to develop Facebook apps. "You can certainly look at what we are ......

Posted On Friday, October 26, 2007 11:55 AM

MVP Summit 2008

The site is up:

My renewal cycle is in January, so hopefully I'll get picked up again. We'll see.

(Oh and I have some encouraging news about XNA, I just can't share it yet.)

Posted On Friday, October 26, 2007 10:34 AM

Guitar Hero III

Guitar Hero III comes out this weekend (10/28)

Who's getting it and which version?  I prepaid (entirely) for the Wii version.  I can hardly wait.

Kinda weird that it comes out on a Sunday...  what's that all about?

Posted On Friday, October 26, 2007 10:21 AM

Gettin Busy (and keeping busy) with The ZMan and friends.
The next few months are going to be pretty insane for me... here's why: This weekend (October 27th) at the Twin Cities Code Camp I'm doing two sessions on Game Development. One on "XNA for teh total Newb" and the other on "Build a Game in an Hour with XNA and TorqueX." Jason has been ripping on me to go minimalist on the Powerpoints, so for my TorqueX talk, I won't be using one at all. That's pretty minimalist, yeah? (All code will be posted and made available of course.) My buddies Lou Vega, D'Arcy ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:15 PM

Let's see just how deep the rabbit hole goes...
Ok, I've jumped on the Feedburner bandwagon just like everyone else.

Please update my RSS feed to this:

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 4:36 PM

There's crazy and then there's CRAAAAAAAAAZY!!
It would seem my good buddy Bill Ryan is under attack (again) by Charles Carroll. I'm not sure what provoked it, but it sure makes for interesting reading. edit: It would seem we have an update now. Here's the thing. Bill's a good guy. He's brilliant and a friend, a really good one, and the sort of guy that will definitely hit you back but rarely throws the first punch. He's helped me out of more than one bad situation and I trust him implicitly. He's got my back and I have his. Just not in the Dumbledore ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 4:02 PM

kinda surprised nobody mentioned this one. part 2.
You can read the full article here.

The best quote of the article, by far:

"It's been terrible. I've always liked Dumbledore - just not in that way."

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 2:19 PM

Check out my podcast
While I was at HDC, Jeff, John and the PodcaStars gang were there and I sat down for a few minutes to rap with them a little bit about XNA and Game Development, among other things. You can find it here: Listen to Chris discuss XNA and Game Development ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 10:41 AM

Microsoft <3 Facebook
You know how I feel about FaceBook... so here's some interesting news. Microsoft pays $240 mln to clinch Facebook stake It's especially interesting to me as an ASP.NET developer, given that FaceBook is all PHP. Of course, 1.6% is kinda small to effect any meaningful change at Facebook, but after hours trading reports seem pretty positive ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 24, 2007 4:20 PM

More WoW players than farmers... so?
Several people have mentioned or linked to an article stating that there are more WoW players than Farmers in the U.S. While this may or may not be true, take this into consideration: There's a fair amount of farming (gold or otherwise) going on in-game in WoW, too. We're talking nonstop, around the clock farming... day or night. So, honestly, there's probably more American Farmers IN WOW than in the U.S. How's THAT for a statistic? So the real question is, where are the subsidies for our WoW farmers? ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 24, 2007 3:37 PM

So you think you can dance... like Rory
One of the more interesting people I've met from Microsoft has left some hard to fill shoes. Some might say they are giant red clown shoes, or maybe imported italian shoes, but either way... they're empty and this is your chance to try them on for size. Jeff Sandquist, the boss of those shoes and all around very cool guy, has posted an opening on his blog. Go there and see if the force is with you. Good luck. P.S. Don't go there with the intent of being another Rory. The first one isn't dead yet. ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 24, 2007 12:25 PM

Tales from the Trenches, part one and a half
Today is wrapping up and I've met some terrific folks, as well as seeing some old friends. I got to talk a fair amount about Magenic, and talk to some Microsoft folks about my XNA User Group as well. Tomorrow I'm supposed to be doing a podcast with Jeff and the gang, although I haven't a clue on what to talk about. Probably be something user group or XNA/TorqueX related. I've seen some interesting booths, at least of two of which had Nintendo Wii's setup for the attendees to play. (I remember the ......

Posted On Thursday, October 18, 2007 4:38 PM

Hi, I'm Chris and I am a VB.NET developer
earlier today, someone I respect very highly asked the following question: "Is this a REAL problem… Do we really need to worry about being VB Developers or not ?" I've given this a lot of thought and I believe it's a problem when the "great VB / C# divide" keeps me from using technologies that are of great interest to me. This isn't just about missing code samples anymore. I am a VB.NET developer. Before that, for many years, I was a VB Developer. Prior to that, I was a BASIC developer, in all it's ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 23, 2007 7:35 PM

kinda surprised nobody mentioned this one.
Dumbledore is gay. I don't have a problem with gay people. I don't have a problem with human rights, or tolerance or diversity or acceptance or anything. I just don't see the point of having human sexuality in children's literature. Gay, straight or otherwise. I further don't see the point of making the revelation now, after the books are done. Is Rowling so desperate for media attention, now that her cash cow has been milked dry, that she has to retroactively stir the pot? Personally, I think it's ......

Posted On Monday, October 22, 2007 6:41 PM

OMG, I'm a winner
This one not only made it past my GMail spam filter, but had an interesting enough title that I actually opened it. Imagine my surprise to learn that I was a MICROSOFT MEGAJACKPOT WINNER We are pleased to inform you of the announcement today of winners of the MICROSOFT WORD E-MAIL MEGA JACKPOT LOTTERY PROGRAMS held on 19th OCTOBER 2007. Your company or your personal e-mail address is attached to winning number 19-10OCTOBER-2007-02 MSW, with serial number S/N-00179 drew the lucky numbers 887-13-865-37-10-83, ......

Posted On Monday, October 22, 2007 12:12 AM

oh no he didn't.... a two parter.
In this post Nick Randolph makes reference to Bill McCarthy's unfortunate choice of words in his blog and on a VB community list about how Microsoft treats VB. The short version is, Bill dropped the N word, and got rightfully smacked around for it, and he wrote up a blog post attempting to explain his choice of the word in a more politically correct context. and now lots of folks are talking about what a shame ......

Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007 11:55 PM

Why do people think this will work? (For that matter, why do people think I have this info?) Comment from Blogus Maximus ---------------------------... From: aslam shaik <> Url: none given IP: ===========================... pls sent me complete architecture behind xbox 360 Source: ......

Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007 10:53 AM

weekend update
Spent most of Saturday in the van, coming back from Omaha. I got home around 2pm, checked the mail and found a nasty surprise. My oldest son's interim report. All A's and B's (mostly A's) and an F in reading due to "many missing assignments." Huh? Needless to say, I wasn't very happy about this. The thing is, I see him do his homework every night. So either he isn't turning it in, or there's some other problem. I know he's a good reader. He reads all the time. What upsets me most about this is that ......

Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007 10:13 AM

Tales from the Trenches, part one
Today was day one at HDC. I've spoken to about 300 people so far today. Most of my morning went something like this: good mornin, good mornin, how are you, hello, good mornin, good mornin. hi. howdy. good mornin. hello. hi there. no its pronounce Ma-gen-ic, yeah, there's no T there. nope. just magenic. good mornin. yep. hi. mornin. sure I can draw a smily face instead. good mornin. thanks. mornin. nope, rockys not here... mornin. mornin. no i dont know where rocky is today. mornin. mornin. yeah I ......

Posted On Thursday, October 18, 2007 2:26 PM

See you at HDC

I don't know how much blogging I'll get done the rest of this week, since I'm driving down to Omaha tomorrow for the Heartland Developers Conference (

If you're going to be there, be sure to stop by the Magenic booth and say hello. I'll be attending sessions along with everyone else, but between sessions I'll be at the Magenic booth.

Drop me a line here or by email and let me know if you're going to be there.

Posted On Tuesday, October 16, 2007 2:58 PM

If you are reading this

If you read my blog (not just the main GWB feed) do me a favor and leave me a comment.  I'm curious how many unique readers I have and how often they read.  If everyone who reads my blog leaves a comment (just one please), I'll get a rough idea of viewership.

I'll also do a random drawing in a few weeks for a prize to one of my commenters as a thank you.

Posted On Tuesday, October 16, 2007 2:54 PM

Cinema analysts blame Halo 3 for low ticket sales.
This is hilarious.

Cinema analysts blame Halo 3 for low ticket sales.

Here's a thought.  Stop making movies that suck.

Posted On Tuesday, October 16, 2007 11:24 AM

Technorati rank
I never really pay much attention to this kind of stuff, and largely forget it exists, but I noticed someone else recently linked to their Technorati rank, and I was curious what mine was, so here it is: If you're on GeeksWithBlogs and want to see yours, just replace cwilliams with your account name. But then again, if you're on GeeksWithBlogs, you're probably geeky enough to know that. :) ......

Posted On Monday, October 15, 2007 12:38 PM

It's been a long week and it's only monday...
This weekend wasn't too bad. I mean, sure, it could have been better but all in all it was ok. Let's take a look at how it went. I finished my slide deck for one of my code camp sessions. That's a check in the plus column. I went to the Midwest Robotics League competition this weekend. There was much carnage. Big check. One of the kids was bored to tears and we ended up leaving early. That sucked. I went to GameStop and traded in enough old games to totally prepay for Guitar Hero III for the Wii. ......

Posted On Monday, October 15, 2007 12:18 PM

Facebook Application Platform 2007
As you know, I'm completely addicted to Facebook, so when I heard about this book, I immediately requested a review copy. I just got it today. I've been on the fence about making some facebook apps, and this just might push me over the edge... Pretty excited about digging into it. I'll followup with a review soon. For more info, check out this link: ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 10, 2007 2:41 PM

as seen on Craigs List
wow you Atlanta guys get all the interesting gigs... Web Designer needed to update existing site Reply to: Date: 2007-10-09, 6:33PM EDT Help! My web designer has abandoned me. I need a web designer that is local(here in Atlanta) and can update and eventually train me to update my adult website. I also have videos I need added to the site. If you can help, please email me. This is a paid position ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 9, 2007 8:02 PM

Robot Combat in the Twin Cities this weekend...
The Midwest Robotics League is having their first competition of the new season this Saturday at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, MN. It's not quite as hyped and polished as the old BattleBots (Robot Wars) TV show, but it's still a good bit of fun to watch. The kid leagues (Middle School and High School) are doing 15 pound robots, but there's a 120 pound class also, so you might see some pretty impressive damage. I'm not actively participating this year but I'm planning on hitting most ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 9, 2007 12:43 PM

new website

The Twin Cities XNA User Group has a website finally.

We're still tweaking things here and there, but it's coming along nicely.

Posted On Saturday, October 6, 2007 5:52 PM

Twin Cities XNA User Group
It's official. The Twin Cities XNA User Group has been born. We're signed up with CodeZone and we have a place to meet and a date for the first real meeting. Where: Magenic ( for directions) When: 6:00PM November 15th (3rd Thursday of each month) Pizza: Provided by Magenic Guests: Steve Loethen (Microsoft) and Andy (The Z-Man) Dunn The first meeting will mostly be a "getting to know you" session. People are encouraged to bring what they're working on, or to talk about what they'd like ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 3, 2007 10:01 PM

Code to Live: XNA Video

Catch it here:

Steve Loethen is one of my (semi-)local MS guys up here in the Twin Cities and puts on a mighty fine Halo 3 party.

Posted On Wednesday, October 3, 2007 12:35 PM

yes it's true, .NET Framework Source Code to become available

As you've no doubt seen on at least a dozen other blogs by now, Microsoft is releasing parts of the source for the .NET Framework.

More info here.

I've already had an "interesting" conversation with one of my coworkers about this. He doesn't think it's such a great idea. I think it is.

What do you think?

Posted On Wednesday, October 3, 2007 12:12 PM

National Games Week
The marketing group behind the National Games Week is now defunct and Games Quarterly Magazine was sold. This has left the National Games Week in limbo. The web site is now down (relatively) but there is a MySpace page founded by a group of fans that want to keep it going... If you've ever participated in the NGW events, you know how fun they are. Please help keep National Games Week alive ......

Posted On Friday, September 7, 2007 2:28 PM

New Zunes w00t!
Pulled from Engadget We love a good non-mystery around here, and Microsoft's new Zunes are about as un-mysterious as they get. But we also love a good product refresh, and now that the cat's officially out of the bag we can really dig into the new Zunes, which definitely have a lot going for them. There's plenty to cover, so here's what you need to know. Hard drive Zunes It's called the Zune 80 and, shockingly enough, it has 80GB of storage. Uses the new Zune Pad -- four way touch-sensitive d-pad ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 3, 2007 10:43 AM

XNA GeekSpeak
Hey if you're into XNA, be sure to check this out: My buddy Glen Gordon is hosting a MSDN Webcast with Nick Landry. In this installment of geekSpeak, bring your questions about Microsoft XNA game development for industry expert Nick Landry to answer. "ActiveNick" is an accomplished author and speaker on topics like XNA and mobility ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 2, 2007 6:29 PM

TorqueX Tutorials
If you've been playing with XNA but haven't tried TorqueX, or maybe you tried it but didn't find it intuitive, or thought it was too hard, or whatever... I'm pleased to say that the super secret beta tutorials I've been testing are done and publicly released. You can grab them here: They are well worth the time it takes to work through them, especially for the TorqueX novice. enjoy ......

Posted On Monday, October 1, 2007 12:00 PM

new addition
I spent the last few days watching a few arcade auctions. Seems like Minneapolis is pretty saturated with them. I (reluctantly) passed on a Darkstalkers, a Pole Position and a Neo Geo 1 slot machine, all of which were at or under $150 ea. I'm kind of bummed about the Darkstalkers for two reasons, because I liked the game and the theme, and because it was a CPS2 setup, which means kinda like the NeoGeo I could drop other games in fairly inexpensively and quickly without any rewiring. I did manage ......

Posted On Friday, September 28, 2007 12:18 AM

Simian Escape indeed...
I met the guys behind Simian Escape tonight. Sorta. I'm not sure I actually met them, since the guy I "attempted" to speak to was dismissive and rude, but hey whatever... I don't get mad, I just use my google juice. :) So here's how it went... (If you don't know who these guys are, there's an article here: I was at the Halo Pre-Launch Party at Microsoft. Had a great time, lots of cool people, etc. In the middle of it all, are these two guys ......

Posted On Monday, September 24, 2007 9:55 PM

What are YOU doing tonight?
I'll be here: Discover Halo 3 first-hand. We will have several Xboxes setup with Halo 3 for multiplayer play, including the opportunity to play the Halo 3 campaign for the first time. We’ll also have other Xbox 360 games to enjoy, as well as food, drinks, and prizes to give away, including some exclusive Halo 3 branded items. And for those up to the challenge, we will be hosting a tournament pitting the top teams from cities across the US against each other. This is a one-time only event… don’t miss ......

Posted On Monday, September 24, 2007 1:29 AM

the big move, revisited...

I spent a good chunk of the evening unpacking the game room. As it turns out, the D&D Tower of Doom arcade game was an easy fix. Just a couple of loose connections reseated and it was back up and running, good as new.

The game room finally looks like a game room again, and not just auxiliary storage.

It's been a good day, and I'm happy. This place is really starting to feel like home.

Posted On Friday, September 21, 2007 11:17 PM

See you in October! I'll be at the Heartland Developers Conference in Omaha, NE on 10/18/07 and 10/19/07. Be sure to look for the Magenic table ......

Posted On Friday, September 14, 2007 12:57 PM

robotic children, not far off
Go go go Astro Boy:

Posted On Thursday, September 13, 2007 10:47 AM

Technology Evangelist
got a new outward facing title at Magenic today:

Technology Evangelist

pretty excited about it...  woot!

Posted On Tuesday, September 11, 2007 8:00 PM

An Open Letter to Rob Zombie, writer, director and producer of Halloween.
Dear Mr. Zombie, I recently had the opportunity to see your new Halloween movie. I would like to congratulate you on creating what might be the single most disturbing film I have ever witnessed. This is saying a lot, considering Pink Flamingos previously held that distinction. This is not to say it was a bad movie. Not at all, in fact, since I assume that "disturbing" was exactly what you aimed for. It was actually a pretty good movie. It lost a little steam near the end, but that's neither here ......

Posted On Monday, September 10, 2007 2:40 PM

Nerve Conduction Study
I saw the new Halloween movie (Rob Zombie version) this weekend. More on that in a future post. One thing that was mentioned in passing was "electroshock therapy." Now I've never had that, but I can imagine it sucks pretty awful. Especially if it's anything like a Nerve Conduction Study, which I HAVE had the pleasure of experiencing. I can only assume it's worse. The wikipedia defines a Nerve Conduction Study as "a test commonly used to evaluate the function, especially the ability of electrical ......

Posted On Monday, September 10, 2007 2:04 PM

Robotics and stuff
So, I went to the Mall of America a couple days ago and they have a huge LEGO store (I think it's called an Imagination Center or something) and was looking at the LEGO Mindstorms NXT kits. I've played with the VEX kits before, but they don't have any official support with the Microsoft Robotics Studio, although this guy is doing some interesting stuff. Anyway, so I was looking at the NXT stuff, and I noticed there were a number of accessories available (although apparently they only stocked the ......

Posted On Friday, September 7, 2007 11:28 AM

the big move
So far, pretty much everything survived the big move intact. ARCADES: Donkey Kong 3 & Championship Shootout made it ok. I have powered up the MAME cabinet yet, but my D&D Tower of Doom cabinet didn't survive. Initial attempts to turn it on have resulted in gibberish on the screen. I haven't had time to really play with it much, but I'm not optimistic. RPG: My D&D collection made it ok. A few crushed boxes here and there had me worried, but the contents all look ok... so that's a relief. ......

Posted On Friday, September 7, 2007 11:10 AM

no more... continued. (oh the irony)
Ok so my "last day of air travel" actually ended up being my last TWO days of air travel, and my front row tickets ended up going unused. I got to the Minneapolis airport in plenty of time, boarded the plane no problem. and sat... annnnd sat. After about 25 minutes, they tell us that the captain can't get his window closed and that they're working on it. (note to self, why does our pilot need a window that opens??) Eventually, they take off and the flight goes fairly smoothly, although a lot of people ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 29, 2007 4:20 PM

no more...
today marks the final day of my air traveling for what should be a very long time. In 6 days, the moving truck comes and hauls all my stuff from SC to MN. It's quite a haul and I'm really looking forward to it. We're driving up over Labor Day Weekend, which means I'll miss Dragon*Con unfortunately, and that's a real bummer... but on the bright side, I'll have GenCon to look forward to, and I've wanted to go there for over 25 years. Hopefully tonights flight won't be awful. I paid to upgrade my seats, ......

Posted On Thursday, August 23, 2007 3:12 PM

Woot! and Tanga
Two of my favorite sites on the web are Woot! and Tanga. Both offer really excellent deals on cool stuff. They usually have fairly limited quantities, and the good stuff goes quickly. Tanga tends to carry a lot of boardgames, which appeal to me obviously, but they have other stuff too. Really cool stuff. I recently purchased a rather large remote control pirate ship (and yeah it really floats.) Today, I was really surprised to see 30GB Zunes on sale for $150 on Woot. I imagine they will go quickly, ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 22, 2007 11:16 AM

Ziggurat Con
If you're a gamer, ex-military, active military, or just feel like supporting the troops, or gamers, or whatever... you should read this: Reality Check Games is accepting donations of gaming supplies to send to Ziggurat Con. What is Ziggurat Con? It's the first gamer convention ever held in a war zone (Iraq.) The convention is being put on by and for OUR troops and they need our help getting stuff together to be used. We (RCG) have put out a large box for people to donate any gaming supplies they ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 22, 2007 9:46 AM

Game Development w/ ADD
One of the fun things about working on HA! is all the neat ideas I come up with while coding. Annnnd, one of the downsides of having ADD (not AD&D) is all the neat ideas I come up with while coding. Today was a good example of both. I was working on the overland encounters code for HA! and was getting pretty deep into the factors that determine whether you... {Edit: ADD in action, I just stepped away to grab a drink of water and then I watched about half a game of "Ticket to Ride, sold a guy ......

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 7:05 PM

Summer Fun, day 1
As part of the extended Williams family vacation, I took 8 people (including myself) to Carowinds (a theme park owned by Paramount, I believe.) on Monday. If you know me, you probably also know I wouldn't be writing about it unless something went wrong. The weather cooperated nicely. It had rained all morning and stopped right around the time we got there. As a result, it was fairly cool (high 70s) and breezy. No complaints there. So we get to the entrance gate, coupons in hand, and pay everyone's ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 4, 2007 11:27 AM

xbox 360 laptop
This is the most insanely awesomest badass-ist thing I've seen in, well... a long damn time.

I want one!! OMFG I want one.

Go   for more info

Posted On Tuesday, May 22, 2007 11:11 PM

30 days of hell: day 2 and a half
So day two of my 30 days of hell started a little rocky. I went to Sonic for breakfast and started to order without even thinking about it and then realized "holy crap... I can't eat most of this junk." After studying the menu for a minute or two, I found something that fit within my requirements. A ham & cheese breakfast burrito and a cranberry juice. Sadly, no tots for me. Lunch was easier, opting for a microwaveable turkey pot pie. I ate dinner at home after the user group: a loaded tuna salad ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 9, 2007 11:18 AM

Columbia UG Relaunch
The user group in Columbia has seen some trying times over the last few years, effectively going on hiatus for several months at a time. Eventually, it just kind of imploded due to a leadership crisis. For a while it seemed as though there would never be a consistent community presence there, despite the efforts of numerous community influencers. That no longer seems to be the case. Last night was the relaunch and rechristening of the Columbia .NET UG. They will be moving to a new recurring date ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 9, 2007 10:49 AM

30 days of hell - day 1
As part of my efforts to get my lazy ass back into shape, the first thing I did was get my blood sugars under control. That took a little over a week to get them back to where they should be. The good news, I'm through that. The problem with dropping 300+ points of blood sugar is that even though you're actually much closer to where you should be, you feel like complete hell while you're body readjusts to the new level. Basically it feels like you've been hit by a slow moving truck that takes a week ......

Posted On Monday, May 7, 2007 4:05 PM

keeping my word
I'm keeping to my original decision. I haven't looked at any game development stuff at all, with the exception of some late-night work on Heroic Adventure! (as I said I would.) For example, I haven't looked at the new XNA refresh, though if you would like to, it's being splashed across every mildly game dev related blog between here and Seattle. You should have no trouble finding it. Most of my days lately, when not being threatened by crazed store owners, I have been studying my butt off for the ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 25, 2007 12:34 AM

Retail Bastardosity (aka no more Command Post)
I'm gonna lose a few karma points on this one, I have a feeling. File this under damage control... A month or so ago, I heard from one of my regular customers that Kevin of the Command Post was running his mouth about how I was "poaching" customers from his store. Apparently, one of my irregular "problem children" customers took it upon himself to pass out a bunch of our cards AT the Command Post. Instead of asking me about it, he decides to just badmouth me to his customers. Anyone who knows me ......

Posted On Friday, April 20, 2007 9:00 PM

bad taxis and dropping the F bomb...
One aspect of air-commuting that you get used to fairly quickly is not having access to your own car when you get where you're going. There are typically two ways around this... rent a car each week, or catch the occasional cab and carpool as available. I'm not a big believer in credit cards, so I opt not to rent a car. I typically don't go out during the week other than the grocery store, and work is within walking distance, so it's not a big deal. This means that I'm catching a cab every Sunday ......

Posted On Thursday, April 12, 2007 11:57 AM

a parting gift...
This post is about two things. 1. I'm getting out of game development for a while. As much as I was actually into it in the first place, that is. I'll still be working on HA! in my spare time, at my own pace, but that's pretty much it. No new projects. I just don't have the time to keep fiddling with XNA, or the $$ to keep buying absurd amounts of books on Game Dev, etc. FWIW, I always said I'd rather be NEAR the game dev industry than IN it, and lately too much of what I've tried to do has felt ......

Posted On Thursday, April 12, 2007 12:32 AM

It's because you're stupid...
Marines ban sleeve tattoos...

Read the story here

The best part is where the base commanders now have to photograph and document all the existing forearm tattoos, to make sure nobody adds to them. Talk about a waste of taxpayer dollars...

So it's ok to go fight, and die, for your country... but if you get a tattoo that's too big, we won't let you re-enlist... morons.

Posted On Thursday, March 29, 2007 1:11 PM

TorqueX out today
Garage Games has released the latest edition of the TorqueX game engine for XNA.

Grab it here.

They've also set up forums, which you can visit here.

Posted On Thursday, March 29, 2007 11:14 AM

in regards to the Zune Firmware 1.3 update
As mentioned before, by myself and others, the new Zune firmware update is today. A few things... 1. as of about 10AM PST, it's out there. Grab it. 2. updating your firmware can be scary. My Zune didnt take the update well the first time I tried it. I had to disconnect, reconnect and then retry. (I got a nice little "update failed" message in the Zune software.) The second try went a lot better, although... I had a couple scares along the way. The device rebooted about 4 times, which is no big deal. ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:42 PM

awww... it's so CUTE!!
I give to you, Lego Batman...


Posted On Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:19 PM

If you have to be number two...

might as well be #2 to a guy selling tshirts with your message...


Posted On Monday, March 26, 2007 12:09 PM

the ship is going DOWN man...
Sometimes, when travelling, weird things happen. Tonight was one of those nights. I have a loft in TX. It's a nice, upscale place and I really REALLY like it a lot. They have fun parties and social events and almost everyone is really cool. (Notice, I said almost.) There was a pool party today, with lots of people and lots of alcohol. I don't drink often, mostly because I'm diabetic, but also because it's more fun to watch the drunks than join them, most of the time. Anyway... earlier tonight I was ......

Posted On Sunday, March 25, 2007 10:53 PM

Apparently I spoke too zune...
I mentioned here that the new Zune firmware update would be today (Tuesday, 3/30/07) but I spoke too zune...

so... ETA on the firmware update is now: soon. It's being tested and all that, which is good.

Please hurry, but not too much.

Posted On Tuesday, March 20, 2007 3:43 PM

new ZUNE firmware update
New Zune Firmware update should be tomorrow, 3/20/07 This firmware addresses pretty much the ONLY complaint I ever had about my Zune, so I'm pretty stoked. Future firmware updates will most likely focus on additional features, so that's even MORE awesome. Way to go Zune guys ......

Posted On Monday, March 19, 2007 9:56 AM

TinkyWinky takes a walk... (aka AutoWalk part 2)
If you're too lazy to type in a name when creating a character in HA! I give you one randomly chosen from a list. Sometimes it's the name of a friend, like Robin, or it's androgynous, like Pat. Sometimes it's just silly, like TinkyWinky or IneedaName. So lately, in an effort to test and refine the autowalk feature, I've been creating a lot of characters that I didn't care much about. As with most manual testing, you often discover stuff along the way, while focusing on something else entirely. I've ......

Posted On Sunday, March 18, 2007 10:25 PM

MVP Summit continued...
So I haven' blogged in a few days, mostly due to my attempts at recovering from a serious lack of sleep. (i.e. I've been sleeping.) The summit rocked. I haven't gotten this much Microsoft lovin in a long time. Free books, free shirts, a trip to the company store, lots of gnarly NDA stuff that most folks won't see for another year... etc. The Orcas stuff is sweet, and I encourage you to play with the CTP to see it all. There's some "make my life easier" stuff in there, but also so cool new powerful ......

Posted On Sunday, March 18, 2007 5:31 PM

MVP Summit
This wraps up day two in Seattle for the MVP Summit. I got in Sunday afternoon, and went to the Party With Palermo (which was great... thanks Jeff!) There were a ton of people there, and I picked up some cool swag. Jason and George and I hung out with Rory for a bit as well as seeing some other familiar faces. Eventually we went to our respective hotels and I called it a night after drinking an entire pot of hot chocolate and surfing the web for a bit. After sleeping in a little (for the first time ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 13, 2007 3:25 AM

one more thing...
So apparently, in addition to ripped, dirty & uncomfortable seats and crappy food, the Dallas/Fort Worth airport is now charging for AC POWER. It's bad enough that they gouge you for wireless internet (my home airport does not,) but to apply an hourly fee to power is practically criminal. It hasn't happened in all the gates yet, but if you look around, you'll notice fewer and fewer "publicly accessible" power outlets. They're being replaced with "power kiosks" that you plug into, after swiping your ......

Posted On Sunday, March 11, 2007 8:49 AM

I survived Groundhog Day and didnt see my shadow.
I got through Groundhog Day without a bunch of repeats. As it turns out... that wouldn't have been such a bad thing. Yesterday was FANTASTIC!! After I finally got back to Greenville, I caught a quick powernap, a much needed shower and I was off to Reality Check. The weather wasn't enough to hinder the day's activities and we had a steady stream of people coming in. It was also release day for Planar Chaos, the latest set from Magic the Gathering. Our UPS guy showed up around lunch time with 7 large ......

Posted On Saturday, February 3, 2007 4:18 PM

Happy Groundhog Day
This year's groundhog day got off to a fine start. Last night around 11PM, after postponing my flight 5 TIMES (from 7:30PM eventually to Midnight) American Airlines decided to cancel it due to "weather." *weather is a nice little escape clause that absolves the airline of any responsibility other than getting you a later flight. It's their way of showing you exactly how little they care. Had they oversold the flight (which they had) or had it been over the allowable weight (which, looking around, ......

Posted On Friday, February 2, 2007 4:16 AM

geeky cool toys

Wouldn't it be great if Microsoft made a "magic 8-ball" giveaway where the answer was always .NET?  I'd love one of those.

How about a *small* USB powered device that generates heat waves and then projects an image of your choosing onto that "surface"? I think that would be cool.

If you could dream up any geeky toy, what would it be? (Sorry... the USB powered missile launcher already exists.)

Posted On Thursday, February 1, 2007 1:06 PM

Back in TX
After a nice holiday break, I'm back in TX again. (Technically I've been back a couple weeks now, but that's not the point.) The point is, time flies when you're on a good gig. I can't believe we're already a month into 2007. It seems like I was still looking at Halloween decorations last week. (Ok, fine, technically I WAS still looking at Halloween decorations last week, but that's because it's my favorite holiday and I couldn't be bothered to take them ALL down.) So anyway, back to the gig. It's ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 31, 2007 1:31 PM

has Rory seen this yet?
Office Depot is offering a keyboard/mouse combo with an interesting twist: Fellowes® Cordless 5-Button Optical Mouse With Microban® Antimicrobial Protection offers clear 6 ' cordless reception with advanced optical technology. Features built-in Microban® antimicrobial protection. Microban® protection fights the uncontrolled growth of damaging microbes, such as bacteria that can cause product deterioration. The continuous cleaning action helps your input devices remain cleaner for the lifetime of ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 23, 2007 4:11 PM

In case you missed it...
It's official:


Now go forth and make sites that do cool things... without postbacks.

Posted On Tuesday, January 23, 2007 12:36 PM

I didn't stand in line. I didn't rush right out. I didn't beat up grannies or housewives to get my copy. I went to WalMart. Paid my 40 bucks. Came back to RCG and started installing. About an hour later (4 discs plus 3 online updates) I was ready to play... then Boy #1 pushed me out of the way and proceeded making a Blood Elf Paladin. Yeah, him and a million other folks. Let's just say the starting areas were a bit crowdy. Lots of very well dressed Blood Elves roaming around whacking stuff, issuing ......

Posted On Monday, January 22, 2007 2:41 PM

eek... somebody actually read that??
I received this today from someone pretty high on our corporate food chain: Chris- I thought you might find it interesting that your blog found its way to me after several forwards through the Microsoft channels – I received the forward from the Microsoft person who is our National Business Development Manager. He started our meeting out this morning telling me we had a few items to discuss that weren’t on the agenda. He had received a few emails internally at MS that we needed to address (and made ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 16, 2007 2:36 PM

I don't know (or care) if this is real or not, but it's too funny not to share.

Web Munchkin

Those of you blogvomiters out there probably won't see why it's funny, but that just makes it all the funnier for thsoe of us who do get it.

Posted On Thursday, January 11, 2007 11:19 AM

5 reasons I hate my Zune
I got a Zune for Christmas, from my employer. Here are a few reasons I hate it. #5 - It's really cool looking, and people keep wanting to touch it. #4 - It holds WAY more music than I can possibly listen to. I've downloaded everything in sight and it's still not full. #3 - My Zune Pass gives me way too many choices. There's so much stuff on there I just can't download it all fast enough. #2 - The video screen is so big, when I'm travelling, other people keep looking at it to see what I'm watching. ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 3, 2007 2:08 PM

Tag... I'm it! 5 things you dont know about me.
Well... I'm betting some of you know some of them, but chances are none of you knew all of them until now. (I was tagged by Jason Olson, btw.) #1. I didn't finish High School or College. Not really a big story here. I was a bit of a screwup in High School and ended up dropping out after my 2nd or 3rd pass through the 11th grade. Certainly not stupid, just lazy and unmotivated. I putzed around in community college for a year or so and then decided I would roadie for a band that's no longer around. ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 2, 2007 1:54 PM

Behold my MVPness
Yay... I picked up MVP again for 2007. Just got the letter this morning.

Looks like this year is off to a good start.

and of course, my birthday is in 5 days and I already know THAT's gonna rock.

Posted On Monday, January 1, 2007 5:21 PM

The Eso-whatsis?
The Esoterrorists Sometimes our distributor lists stuff in the preorder sheet with no picture and very little in the way of a description. Sometimes I pass on that stuff, but this one had an interesting name, so I snagged a single copy. It came in a couple days ago, and it looks kinda interesting. Those of you who like Robin Laws (old school) might like it even more, since he wrote it. Whether you are (or aren't) familiar with him, you can always check out his blog. So, back to the game. Basically... ......

Posted On Sunday, December 31, 2006 10:20 AM

I learned something today.
The original title of this post was going to be “I did something stupid today“ but honestly, that's not so surprising. Apparently windshields are a lot squishier(?) on the inside than the outside. Put my damn hand right through it. I didn't even hit it that hard. I guess it makes sense when you think about it though... you want your windshield hard enough to stop a rock, but to give if something like your head (or apparently, my fist) hits it. Still it kinda sucks, it could been a LITTLE ......

Posted On Friday, July 21, 2006 5:36 PM

phpBB weirdness
Somewhere around day 3-4 of using phpBB I noticed a peculiar behavior where whenever I tried to access the Admin Panel, I was unable to do so. I was continually getting prompted to log back in, and never reaching the Admin Panel. This also began to affect my general use of the board. For whatever reason, I was unable to stay logged in. So I hit the phpBB support boards and it they recommended DLing a special script to run (once) on my site and delete. This was sure to cure all my problems. I'm sure ......

Posted On Sunday, December 17, 2006 4:05 PM

the saga continues... some more.
I just got home from Minnesota. If you're just tuning in, go here first. First off, I'm pretty sure I got ripped off Sunday night because the cab fare TO the airport FROM the office was nearly $10 cheaper than the cab fare FROM the airport TO the office. Bastards. Teaching went well. Very well, in fact. Although... the *best* part of my week was seeing a couple of my students get stupid drunk and make complete asses of themselves in front of the company founders. Makes it so much easier to know which ......

Posted On Thursday, December 7, 2006 1:51 AM

the saga continues...
Shortly after my last post, the plane arrived. We boarded. We sat. The plane pulled away from the gate. We sat some more. I fell asleep. We sat some more. The captain made an announcement about the nose of the plane, and something falling off. We pulled back to the gate. We de-planed (is that REALLY a word??) and returned to the terminal. We sat. They looked at the plane. We stared at them looking at the plane. We made snarky comments to each other about American Airlines. They said they couldn't ......

Posted On Monday, December 4, 2006 8:41 AM

Maybe you could just smack me around some, while you're at it...
This weekend was not so good. While I was away (Minnesota) I started getting reports that one of my Reality Check customers (a regular and a friend) was acting strange. Ok, more like stranger than usual. He's always been a little odd. But now he was agitated, rambling and saying some pretty bizarre stuff. He says I saved his life last weekend (12/3). He also says I showed him what was wrong in his life and provided him the means to fix it. For the record, I never did either of those things. I did, ......

Posted On Monday, December 11, 2006 2:41 PM

Well, this week is off to a FINE start
We had a pretty good weekend at the shop. I pulled a 42 hour no-sleepathon that started at 5:30am Friday morning in Alabama and ended last night (this morning?) at about 12:30 am. All things considered I feel a lot better than I probably should. I'm at the airport now, on my way to Minnesota. I did the usual self-checkin at the airport, checking 1 bag, carrying on the laptop. As I'm standing there waiting for the lady to take and tag my bag, I'm hoping that this plane will be a little bigger than ......

Posted On Sunday, December 3, 2006 9:27 AM

The Spoils
Before I forget, my store has been picked as an Invitational Qualifier Venue for the new CCG, The Spoils. More info to come. This is a big deal and should bring lots of new people into the shop. I'm excited.

Posted On Thursday, November 30, 2006 10:44 AM

travel schedule
After an excellent Thanksgiving, I find myself back on the road. I'm not in Texas at the moment though. I'm currently teaching ASP.NET at the AUM (Auburn University Montgomery) Technacenter. This is a nice town, with a surprising amount of stuff to do. Turns out (according to the folks I spoke to) Montgomery is also one of the top 3 cities in terms of Tech Jobs. Who knew? The trip was nice, my car stereo plays MP3s so I've been listening to the Eragon audiobook before the movie comes out. So far, ......

Posted On Thursday, November 30, 2006 10:42 AM

spamming the main feed...
Jason Olson, What the hell are you thinking? Dude!! Did MS eat your brain and replace it with a marketing droid? Seriously, EIGHT mainfeed posts in one day? Do we need to have another SNR discussion ......

Posted On Monday, November 13, 2006 8:48 PM

XNA Game Studio Express Beta 2 now ready for download
Nuff Said!

Get it HERE!

Posted On Wednesday, November 1, 2006 9:00 PM

Cunningly Clever or Stunningly Stupid, you be the judge...
Not too long ago, I was at the regional office in Atlanta. This lady comes around to all the various companies in the building and gives out these little ribbons for "yet another kind of cancer*" awareness day and asks (implores) us to wear them to show our support. (*not the real title) A couple hours later, the fire alarm goes off and we all have to gather in the parking lot. Not surprisingly, cancer lady is out in the parking lot with her camera asking everyone to stand a little closer so she ......

Posted On Sunday, October 15, 2006 1:55 PM

Adult Swim looking for casual game developers
I got this the other day. Looks interesting... Hello Casual Game makers, Sorry if this is an inappropriate place to do this, but I just wanted to let some casual game developers know that is now taking original game pitches. More information can be found here: Adult Swim will be a home for independent games. We know that there are talented artists and programmers looking for someone to pay them to do what they do best: make fun games. ......

Posted On Friday, October 13, 2006 11:32 AM

I hope she doesn't mind I posted this.
I wanted to share this conversation I had with Miss Lacey, regarding my spider post a couple days ago. See D'Arcy, I'm not the only one that hates spiders. ME: spiders!! hate em!! Trisha: yeah, spiders are scary!Trisha: did you find him? ME: NO!! Trisha: yeah, if I see them before they see me I am usually ok and will scoop them up on something and put them outside, but when it is a surprise I freak the hell out too ME: heh... they all hate me.Trisha: one time when I was in high school, I got home ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 1, 2006 5:10 PM

Latest XBOX 360 update could be your last.
If you're a modder, and maybe even if you aren't, you could be in danger of turning your 360 into a brick, courtesy of Microsoft's latest firmware update on the 360. Tread with caution and read the link below. For what it's worth, a coworker of mine got the "3 lights of death" on her hubby's xbox 360 immediately upon rebooting after the update finished. Dunno if she was modded, or just had some suspect hardware or if ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 1, 2006 11:31 AM

Happy Halloween
I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy (and safe) Halloween this year. It's my favorite holiday of the year, and I'm in ^%$#ing Texas. Not that there's anything wrong with Texas, mind you... it's just not where I wanna be. I'd rather be sitting in Reality Check with a big bowl of candy and all kinds of creepy decorations, waiting for the kiddies to come by. I even had this year's costume all decided on. (Although I ended up not making/buying anything for it since I knew I would be here.) Here's some ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 31, 2006 4:44 PM

South Carolina Code Camp 2.0 Countdown...
South Carolina Code Camp 2.0 is in 11 days. This year, Code Camp is 2 days instead of one and is being held in Greenville SC at the Buck Mickel Center on September 16th and 17th. On Saturday, we have tracks on Web, Windows, Framework & Tools and Business Intelligence. On Sunday, we have more sessions on the Web track, along with Data, Game Development and the MSDN coding4fun site (hobbyist development.) In addition to local developers, we also have some special guests coming all the way from Kansas!! ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 5, 2006 11:42 AM

Croc Hunter, Steve Irwin, dead at 44
CAIRNS, Australia - Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and conservationist known as the “Crocodile Hunter,” was killed Monday by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44.

For the full story, click here: Irwin killed by stingray.

Posted On Monday, September 4, 2006 5:23 AM

sharing too much, again...
I hate spiders. Big ones, small ones. It doesn't matter. I abso-F'n-lutely hate them. It's mutual. They hate me too. Seriously... between us, I'd pretty much cross the street to avoid the nasty things. So of course, anytime I get surprised by one (a REAL one thank you. The fake ones don't bother me) I tend to ummm... freak the hell out. This is going somewhere, I promise... So anyway. I may have mentioned before that I live on a mountain (near the top) and drive up & down a seriously twisty-ass road ......

Posted On Monday, October 30, 2006 4:05 PM

Week 3 Ends, Week 4 Begins... Back in TX
My Thursday night flight went so well, I was too stunned to blog. No delays, no sloppy landing... just a quiet, timely flight. Amazing. So far, that makes 1 out of 7. Tonight's flight was late, of course, but only by about 20 minutes. Anyway, I'm back in TX for another week. Good times.

Posted On Monday, October 30, 2006 12:31 AM

National Games Week, next month...
We're looking forward to this... Got any plans that week?

National Games Week

Posted On Tuesday, October 24, 2006 12:55 PM

Will VB.NET ever compile itself?
Interesting discussion going on over at Panopticon Central about whether VB.NET will ever be compiled by (you guessed it...) VB.NET. Also, other interesting nuggets can be found in the comments... such as the fact that Mono VB currently compiles itself.

Posted On Monday, October 23, 2006 4:00 PM

frustration poetry

Here I sit
simply waitin
in this airport
I am hatin

theres no pilot
theres no plane
i guess my flight
is late again.

will I ever
board my flight?
will they ever
get it right?


Posted On Sunday, October 22, 2006 4:06 PM

Reality Check Photos
for real this time... see them ALL here: Reality Check Photos Below are just a few pics: I still think Flickr is a pain in the ass, but at least now I have pics ......

Posted On Sunday, October 22, 2006 3:46 PM

Shared Source vs Open Source and a new home.
Yesterday, when I mentioned the possibility of taking HA! open source, I got some terrific feedback (more than expected, in fact) in my comments section and also some private emails. One of the emails suggested I look into the Microsoft Shared Source Initiative instead of some of the more restrictive Open Source licensing options I had mentioned previously. (FYI: The licenses published on this site are intended for people using MS source code, but it wouldn't take much tweaking to adapt one of them ......

Posted On Friday, July 21, 2006 4:39 AM

Week 2 comes to a close, and why American Airlines really sucks.
consider this a continuation of this... I barely made it home tonight. Not "I barely made it home" in the sense that I had to pee so bad I barely made it home (which has certainly happened on occasion.) No no, I mean I literally, barely made it home. As in barely survived the flight. As in barely got on the plane. It seems as though fate and the universe were conspiring against me this evening. On the way to the airport, we encountered heavier than usual traffic. Once at the airport, after dropping ......

Posted On Friday, October 20, 2006 12:52 AM

Alright Dammit... I want my +1 Longsword NOW!!
Scientists Create Cloak of InvisibilityWASHINGTON - A team of American and British researchers has made a Cloak of Invisibility. Well, OK, it's not perfect. Yet. But it's a start, and it did a pretty good job of hiding a copper cylinder.In this experiment the scientists used microwaves to try and detect the cylinder. Like light and radar waves, microwaves bounce off objects making them visible and creating a shadow, though it has to be detected with instruments.If you can hide something from microwaves, ......

Posted On Thursday, October 19, 2006 3:05 PM

I make no apologies.
hmm yeah, I love it when people at work read my blog and then try to justify themselves to me in person. Good times. At least I don't post about clients at thedailywtf... yet (although that day may come...)

I don't lie and I don't apologize (though I may occasionally edit or amend.) If you don't like what I write... don't read my blog.

Posted On Tuesday, October 17, 2006 8:52 AM

Week 2 of the long commute
Last week I spent 2 1/2 days in Texas. I babbled a little about the job and the place I'm staying. The flight home (Friday night) was late, and almost full, but tolerable. It was nice to be home. Less than 48 hours later, I hopped back on a plane to TX. This time, it sucked. The flight was 90 minutes late. It was hella crowded and I think the pilot may have almost killed us on the landing. He's either awful and almost killed us, or he's awesome and saved us I dunno which. Either way, here I am. My ......

Posted On Sunday, October 15, 2006 11:05 PM

Where in the world is Chris Williams?
For the next couple months (except on most weekends) I'll be putting my boots up in Irving, TX. That's near Dallas (also Texas) in case you were wondering. (I don't actually own any boots, mind you, except for some old steeltoe boots and you wouldn't want me putting those up anywhere, trust me.) What, you ask, could I possibly be doing in TX? Well, as I mentioned, I'm here for a 2 month (actually 9 week) engagement at a client. I can't really go into much detail other than to say its a CSLA 2.0 gig ......

Posted On Thursday, October 12, 2006 7:14 AM

ok this is the coolest thing ever (for now)
First, if you don't know what line rider is, you have to check it out. This is the kind of fun little game that just breaks my wannabe game dev heart. So simple in appearance and execution. There's a fair amount going on under the hood of course, but it's incredibly easy to learn and play with. It's also hideously addictive. Now, if you had never seen that before, and managed to make it back to this page in less than 20 minutes... I'm impressed. At this ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 3, 2006 8:32 AM

This is the one where I complain
See, that's humor, boys & girls. Those of you who know me are chuckling right now. If you read my code camp recap, you may have noticed a few things: I had a blast. We had a lot of people. Some of those people suck. For those of you just tuning in, it's this 3rd point I'd like to address. I find it perplexing that out of everyone who attended, and we're talking about a lot of folks (see point #2), the only (yes, ONLY) people that were rude to me were volunteers. This is perplexing for a couple reasons. ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 19, 2006 6:10 AM

Dragon*Con 2006
I went to Dragon*Con again this year. Last year was pretty fun, but looking back I remember thinking "Damn! I'm getting too old for this crap... I doubt I'll go next year." I guess it's true (that I'm getting old), because I obviously forgot about thinking that and ended up going again. Don't misunderstand, I had a good time, and my son had a good time but it wasn't quite as good as the last time we went. Maybe because it's just more of the same? There really wasn't anything *new* this year other ......

Posted On Sunday, September 3, 2006 9:59 AM

Microsoft Gamefest
This years game dev conference (Microsoft Gamefest) is gonna rock, and I hear from an undisclosed source that there will be some interesting and previously unannounced XNA news at the conference. Now I just need to get there... I've heard from at least 3 other people that will be attending, including my friend George. I wonder if my buddy Jason is ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 26, 2006 9:29 AM

Zune News
This may be old news to some of you, but I just heard it today so I'm sharing: lifted from here... “To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player.” Damn, ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 25, 2006 2:59 PM

I thought Meltdown was a cooler name...
...but I still can't wait to go!

I'm especially stoked about the XNA sessions.

Posted On Monday, July 24, 2006 4:55 PM

Dances with Morons
There's a coffee shop I like to visit when I'm in town. On alternating Thursday nights they are typically slam packed with people coming from all over to hangout and play boardgames. It's usually a lot of fun. There's this guy, a regular, whom we'll call Scooter (because, well... that's his name.) This guy is always ready for game night and consistently shows up with a suitcase (literally) overflowing with boardgames, card games, etc... He's mildly annoying because he can be kinda arrogant at times ......

Posted On Friday, August 25, 2006 6:07 AM

Thanks Dick!
This morning I received 4 phone calls (all within 10 minutes) from 4 different local car dealerships. All of them asked for me by name and all of them claimed that I had sent them an email requesting information about some car I had never heard of. I politely (no, really, I did) informed them that I was not interested in the vehicle they mention and that I never sent them an email. Sadly, there are few things in this world more persistent and annoying than a car salesman. (Oh the stories I could ......

Posted On Saturday, August 19, 2006 6:33 AM

may the source be with you...
The HA! code is uploaded and the CodePlex project has started. Feel free to visit the project at CodePlex. Just to clarify, you don't have to be "on the team" to download the source. Anyone can do that. I've already had a few people ask to be put on the team right off the bat, and I want to talk about that for a moment. Being "on the team" actually confers a lot more rights than I am willing to give a complete stranger. Please feel free to download the code, check it out and make suggestions or even ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 16, 2006 9:20 AM

new HA! release, CodePlex, Shared Source and more...
New release (0.1.6d) of HA! available here: Also, as you may have noticed above, my CodePlex project has finally been created. You can visit (and join?) that here: I haven't updated the wiki yet, but I will. So what does all of this mean? Basically, as I stated before, I'm taking HA! the shared source route. The source isn't up there yet because I'm still downloading the huge ......

Posted On Friday, August 11, 2006 5:41 PM

whats up
I didn't even realize it had been a week since I posted here. I've been absurdly busy and then my world exploded this past weekend. So... what happened? Well... this goddamn fucking 36 year old shitbag decided to try helping himself to my 13 year old daughter. Now I say "try" because he didn't get very far, fortunately, because my daughter kicks ass and wasn't about to just let it happen. She told him NO, pushed him away and let a friend of the family know immediately after the initial incident. ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 8, 2006 11:40 AM

a cautionary tale...
For the most part, I enjoy my 2.5 hour commute to Atlanta. XM Radio is a wonderful thing, as are books on CD. I try to make two round trips each week.... drive down on Monday morning, spend the night and drive back Tuesday afternoon. I like to take Wednesday off, and then repeat for Thursday and Friday. On the days I'm spending the night in Atlanta, I put in 12-13 hours, and work a regular 8 on the day I drive home. Occasionally things change up, and I end up staying in Atlanta for 2-3 days in a ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 1, 2006 6:11 AM

Waiting for CodePlex...

If you were wondering, I've decided to make HA! open source.

I applied for a space on CodePlex, and I've been accepted... and now apparently the wait begins.

Still waiting... for an actual project URL and access to my project.

Apparently it could be a few weeks.

Posted On Monday, July 31, 2006 4:02 PM

BillG = God?
Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Bill Gates all died in a plane crash and went to meet their maker. The supreme deity turned to Al and asked, tell what is important about yourself. Al responded that he felt that the earth was the ultimate importance and that protecting the earth's ecological system was most important. God looked to Al and said, " I like the way you think, come and sit at my left hand". God then asked Bill Clinton what he revered most. Bill Clinton responded that he felt people and their ......

Posted On Monday, July 31, 2006 8:28 AM

Whats up with Reality Check?
For those of you that have been following the saga of Reality Check Games, here's an update. I found a great location, with plenty of space and an attractive rent. But... it needed a little work, so I worked out a deal with the owners of the property. I would fork over the deposit and 2 months rent at lease-signing to help get the repairs started. They, in turn, would give me a couple of free months (in addition to the months I paid for) once the place was ready. So we executed a lease, forked over ......

Posted On Monday, July 31, 2006 5:42 AM

we got two kinds of sinners here... video gamers and them D&D players!
I normally don't pay much attention to voyeuristic crap like this, but the title mentioned blogging and murder. So I figured I'd take a peek. Then... I got to this part: “Radel had also dated Rachelle at one time. He was known around town as a pied-piper of sorts who gathered high schoolers to his computer shop where they played video games and dungeons and dragons. It didn't take police long to suspect that Radel... Arrant... or both men had something to do with the murder.” Ummm... ......

Posted On Friday, July 28, 2006 5:58 AM

last meal
I just read an interesting post on “last meals” and it made me wonder what I would order for a last meal... assuming calories, cholesterol, carbs, fat, etc was not an issue. I think I'd order a huge plate of fried calamari and a side of fried mozzarella sticks, and one of those sandwiches elvis loved so much (you know... the footlong loaf of bread stuffed with fried bacon, bananas and peanut butter) I'd also get some hardboiled, pickled eggs of course. For dessert a huge slice of hard ......

Posted On Thursday, July 27, 2006 6:56 PM

sold out!
as in, “I just got... “ I'm doing an Access to SQL Server migration. We've hit a few snags along the way, but I thought the “business owner” and I were basically on the same page. I told her from the beginning that she could change the data all she wants and that was no big deal... I'm working with a copy of the Access db and the freshness of the data is irrelevant at the moment since i'm focusing on the 800+ queries and tables and DTS packages. so the B.O. goes and changes ......

Posted On Thursday, July 27, 2006 11:20 AM

and now for something completely different...
When I lived in New Orleans, back around 1995, I was driving through the French Quarter on my way to a Danzig concert at the State Palace Theatre. As usual, I was running late and driving a little too fast. I'm heading up Chartres Street towards Canal and this white utility van slams on its brakes right in front of me. So I tap my horn a couple times... utter a few choice words and wave my arms about. (Ahh the impatience of youth...) The driver of the van is talking to some scruffy looking dude with ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 26, 2006 9:22 PM

the etiquette of authority
If someone in a position of authority rounds up “the team” and says “we're going to lunch” it really isn't optional, you just go. Even if you brought in lunch, you just go. So today, this happened to me and at the end of lunch, she has the waiter split up the check. This wasn't a cheap place either. She took nearly two hours of my day (my overtime, technically... that's money right out of my pocket) and had the nerve to expect us all to go dutch too?!? It's rude of me to say ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 26, 2006 7:34 PM

Score one for the other team...
(no this is not another Lance Bass is gay post) This weekend I upgraded my daughter's Mac cube. I approached this task with a significantly higher level of trepidation than upgrading a Windows based OS (such as going from XP to Vista for example) primarily because I know what a royal p.i.t.a. it is to upgrade my Windows OS and I know infinitely less about the Mac. If something goes wrong... I'm not likely to be able to fix it unassisted. (I've fixed more than a few botched Windows upgrades, thanks ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 26, 2006 12:13 PM


Is this little piece of news really that newsworthy?  Is anyone surprised? Shocked?

I'm sure there are a few former 13 year old girls shedding a tear at this moment and a whole lot of guys saying... AHA!! I KNEW IT!!

It's a funny world.

Posted On Wednesday, July 26, 2006 11:57 AM

Heroic Adventure! goes open source...
maybe. I'm honestly considering it. Not because I don't have time for HA! anymore (just the opposite in fact, I've spent more time on it lately than I have in months.) I'm considering it because I actually have a renewed interest in working on it and improving it and (gasp... finishing it!) I'd like to open up the source code, and get some help. I don't expect my little game to ever become the next Crawl or Nethack (google as needed) but I would like to see it realized. I know there is some really ......

Posted On Thursday, July 20, 2006 5:51 AM

Look, up in the sky...
There really isn't much more I can say about this...

Posted On Tuesday, July 18, 2006 5:44 AM

on Bush
Regardless of whether you think he's an idiot or not, he's in charge... The truly funny thing about this, IMO, is that we as a nation find it newsworthy that Bush prefers Diet Coke and is a stickler for keeping his schedule. Of course he's annoyed about the attacks, and yes he uses profanity. So what? Was it really so long ago that we as a nation had more important things to worry about than mindless crap like Bush's soda preference and what Clinton ......

Posted On Monday, July 17, 2006 11:17 AM

time for a reality check
logo, that is... I want to thank everyone who worked with me and sent concept art and everything else. A final decision has been made and I'd like to present it here for all to see... The artist is John Kovalic, who you might recognize from his work on various Steve Jackson games, or from his Dork Tower Comics, or from Apples to Apples, or any other numerous sources ......

Posted On Friday, July 14, 2006 6:55 PM

A step in the right direction...
Finally... A collection of new features and content has been launched today for Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach. The purpose of this update is to flesh out the solo play in Turbine's MMO. There are now more than 20 dungeons designed for solo adventuring that can be played in three different difficulty modes: Normal, Hard, or Elite. The official announcement says that the new features expand "the overall scope and quality of the game by enabling players to journey alone in epic adventure zones ......

Posted On Thursday, June 22, 2006 12:58 PM

Tablet PC + Vista Beta 2

Aside from Jeff, is anyone here using Vista Beta 2 on their Tablet PC?  I'm really tempted, but I'm also being a bit of a coward at the moment.

I'm curious to hear what (if anything) other folks have experienced with that particular combination.

Let me know.

Posted On Thursday, June 22, 2006 11:44 AM

redneck soap opera
This is an excerpt from a conversation I had with fellow GWBer George Clingerman today. Not really suited for the main feed so I'm just posting it here. Me: sometimes I look at my life and think... WTF? not so much my present life, which is good, but all the near misses and BS over the years. George: maybe that should be your blog tagline Me: lol yeah... that would be a good one. George: i've been kind of lucky because i haven't had too much BS throughout my life and i've discoverd the reason for ......

Posted On Thursday, July 13, 2006 1:14 PM

Irreparable Damage
I was chatting online with one of my pet codemonkeys (technically a codebaboon, but I digress) this morning and he mentioned that a coworker (his lead) had “irreparably damaged” their working relationship. After I made fun of him for a few minutes, I asked him if I'd ever offended him (knowing full well I have) and he said.. “well.. thats different.” So in my infinite Solomon-ish wisdom, I said... “Well, its different because you let it be different. No? Things like ......

Posted On Thursday, July 13, 2006 7:23 AM

Ok seriously, who decided THIS was a good idea?
Dear god why now? Why not two years ago when people actually WANTED to see THIS. Is it a money thing? This is just sad. Maybe it's a joke? A sick, cruel joke... --->BlogPost LinkBar ......

Posted On Thursday, June 29, 2006 6:21 AM

Damn you Jeff Julian...
Thanks for getting me hooked on THIS crack-like substance...

(link capitalized for my hypertextually-challenged friends)

Posted On Wednesday, May 17, 2006 10:23 AM

oooh pretty...

you want it, I want it... is it real or fantasy? Who knows...

Posted On Sunday, May 14, 2006 8:28 AM

HTML Blogging directly from Word?
Coming in 2007, no more HTML nastiness from Microsoft Word? Sorta...

Check it out...

Writing your Blog in Word, with all Word gives you, is a great notion. Cutting and Pasting from word to HTML has been less great. Looks like Word 2007 may change all that...

Now if we could get them to clean up the non-Blog HTML generated by Word.

Posted On Saturday, May 13, 2006 8:41 AM

more fun with Ebay
(or... If you don't know the laws of your own damn country, how can you possibly expect me to?) This is a transcript of a “conversation” I had with an overseas buyer over the last few weeks. Her: HI! I've received a note from the postman. The boxes have arrived, but the note also says I must pay 76,26 euro and I feel something is wrong, as I paid the shipping cost for yhe boxes. Could you explain me what's going on? Thanks, Toni Me:I have no idea what is going on, since I paid the postage ......

Posted On Monday, July 10, 2006 5:32 AM

Vista Beta 2 Upgrade - not any time soon apparently.
Ok, so I was curious. This past weekend I decided to move all my data and music and pictures and assorted crapola to a secondary drive (along with everything in My Documents... just to be safe) and pop in the Vista Beta 2 DVD and upgrade my desktop machine. I didn't get very far, although I will say the installer interface is very pretty. I was presented with a dialog that indicated I had some apps that would need to be reinstalled after the upgrade (no biggie... I expected that) and that I might ......

Posted On Thursday, July 6, 2006 12:39 PM

We should see a dramatic increase in certifications soon...

I'm assuming this is a joke, but I'm too busy to actually dig deep enough into it to find out.  Get IT Certified from the comfort of your own home or office.

Too lazy to study? Too lazy to take the exams?

Not a problem... these guys will do that for you... (for a fee.)

Apparently the MCSD.NET will only cost you $3200


Posted On Thursday, July 6, 2006 11:17 AM

I'm a hot toe picker
If you've seen some bizarre red billboards with white writing around your hometown (as I have) but haven't been able to figure them out... here's a hint! The phrases I have seen so far, in no real order, are:

I pooted
I'm a Hot Toe Picker
Clowns Hate Tangelos
Shiny Shiny, Pretty Pretty
and... I Have a Meat Beard.

It took me about a day to figure them all out. How about you?

Posted On Sunday, July 2, 2006 5:41 PM

Vista Beta 2 Upgrade - more good than bad.
I found a workaround for the AVG Antivirus issue, so I finally did it... and wow this Glass thing looks good. A few things of note. 1. Moving files is a major pain in the ass. I had backed up the “My Pictures” folder to my E: drive prior to the install and when it came time to move them all back into my new “My Pictures” folder, not only did it take FOR-EV-ERRRRR but It kept aborting the transfer over and over. I would select a few folders, Cut, Paste and it would transfer ......

Posted On Sunday, July 9, 2006 4:13 PM

Live Messenger F'n Rocks
a while back I posted about a few minor difficulties and annoyances with Windows Live Messenger (BETA). You can of course read the original post if you care. Short version is... I didn't like it, so I uninstalled it. Well... I'm happy to say, I reinstalled it recently and wow... definitely liking it a lot better. Good job guys! More features than Google Talk and nowhere near as annoying as the Yahoo and AOL chat clients. (OMG, don't get me started on those...) I'm already using it more than Google ......

Posted On Saturday, July 1, 2006 6:04 AM

Congratulations Jason!
Better late than never I guess... Now that you've officially joined Microsoft, maybe you can use your evilangelist powers to make an appearance at South Carolina Code Camp 2.0!! --->BlogPost LinkBar ......

Posted On Thursday, June 29, 2006 12:46 PM

GWB Wishlist
Hey Jeff... (I could do this privately, but I'm hoping this will prompt some discussion of my suggestions from the GWB community.) Are the following modifications possible with the existing GWB engine? 1. On the aggregated (main feed) page, show how many comments each post has. Why? Sometimes I read an interesting or well written post and click on it to see if there are any comments or discussion, only to be bummed that there aren't any yet. With some posts, the comments can be even more interesting ......

Posted On Thursday, June 29, 2006 8:07 AM

fun with upsizing... umm, this is about data.
I'm not a DBA. I don't even play one on TV. I do consider myself pretty handy with SQL Server though. Much moreso than say, MS Access. Honestly, I hadn't touched Access in quite some time... perfectly content to bang away in Enterprise Manager and Query Analyzer. After all, “real apps“ especially “web apps“ don't use Access... right? Right? [*I personally have never said that of course, but I've heard it often enough. Ok, yeah, maybe I did, anyway...*] So... of course, where ......

Posted On Thursday, June 29, 2006 7:48 AM

Hello, would you commit a crime for me?
excuse me while I rant... You would not believe (or maybe you would) how many times I get asked this question in one form or another!! As an Ebay PowerSeller, I do a decent volume and at least once a week I get asked to lie to customs so some cheapass in another country can save a few bucks (or francs or pesetas or pounds or rupies or sheckels or whatever.) It just blows me away that a complete stranger would have the balls to ask me to commit what amounts to International Mail Fraud and Tax Evasion ......

Posted On Thursday, June 22, 2006 6:07 AM

a blog worth reading...
So it looks like Trisha Lacey, Microsoft Marketing Maven, Queen of CodeZone, WoW Night Elf and overall hottie has started a blog right here on the GWB. (and apparently besides being a long term MMO player, while at TechEd she managed to pick a fight with Jeff Julian... something else we have in common. lol) I'll be adding this blog to my frequent reading list ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 21, 2006 1:01 PM

Microsoft Robotics Studio
This is cool, sexy stuff: “Microsoft, together with the upcoming LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT, will help further amplify the impact of robotics,” said Søren Lund, director of LEGO MINDSTORMS at the LEGO Group. “The MINDSTORMS robotics toolset has enjoyed a strong community of users since 1998, and the launch of our next-generation platform includes many built-in features that further the community’s ability to take MINDSTORMS programming out of the box. In combination ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 20, 2006 11:52 AM

some things should just stay dead
Ok so we have these email lists at work and I sorta fell into the middle of a conversation and learned that The Doors toured recently (without Jim Morrison, naturally) and after a brief moment of silence I started thinking about other bands that have committed (or attempted to commit) lead singer sacrilege. Does this ever turn out well? It's kinda like Pink Floyd without Roger Waters, The Misfits without Glenn, Queen without Freddy Mercury, Rage Against the Machine without Zach. It's not the same, ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 20, 2006 6:26 AM

getting people talking about .NET 3.0
No matter which side you're on, Somasegar's blog post on renaming WinFX to .NET Framework 3.0 has got people talking. I scrolled through about half of the 360+ comments on this entry, and while most people are pretty unhappy about the name change, not everyone is unhappy for the same reason. Some folks (myself included) felt that WinFX was a great name already, and that Microsoft has a habit of using really cool sounding names for Code Names only to replace them with remarkably dull sounding product ......

Posted On Monday, June 19, 2006 1:02 PM

You devil, you!

Tariq just hit his 666th post... if only he could have done it 13 days ago... that would have been classic.

Regardless, congrats Tariq!

Posted On Monday, June 19, 2006 8:27 AM

My busy buddy Bill's new book breaks big on Amazon
My good friend Bill Ryan has been working his butt off lately. That's certainly nothing new though. He's been working on training kits for the new Microsoft Exams and his most recent effort recently busted the top 100 technology books on Amazon. Congrats Bill!! Be sure to snag a copy of his new book from MS Press or Amazon ......

Posted On Friday, June 9, 2006 5:07 AM

Employedus Maximus
Thank you to each and every person who emailed encouragement & support. Thank you again for those of you who sent potential job leads and offered referrals so I could find a better situation. I'm quite happy to say I've found one.


Posted On Wednesday, June 7, 2006 12:09 PM

Vista Transformation Pack 4.0
A nonblogger buddy of mine turned me on to THIS and while I've DLed it, I'm too much of a chicken to install it on my main machine. So I'm wondering if any of you guys have checked it out or installed it and if you've run into any problems with it.


Posted On Tuesday, June 6, 2006 5:56 PM

this is too cool!
Now, I'm a geek at heart (obviously, since I'm here) and this is just cool... I was looking at BSG stuff HERE on and I saw a great ad for Visual Studio 2005. Here is a screengrab of the ad: EDIT: I would love to know who at MS came up with the ad. It rocks ......

Posted On Monday, June 5, 2006 5:51 PM

This post has been removed for legal reasons.

Posted On Friday, June 2, 2006 6:03 PM

la di dah
Eventually, all roads lead to home or something like that. I'm back in town and back in the game. A few things to update: - GWB Game Contest, yes. still working on that one. My Tank game without tanks has suffered a minor setback, but should be playable in time. - Reality Check, yes. we have a space, should be open mid July. - South Carolina Code Camp 2.0 - still on track, still need a location. We have 3 months and 16 days to go. (We spent less time preparing for SCCC 1.0 and that was a huge success.) ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 30, 2006 5:44 PM

Unemployedus Maximus
This post removed for legal reasons.

Posted On Sunday, May 28, 2006 4:48 PM

THIS is worth watching. It's COPS except with Stormtroopers. Funny stuff.

Posted On Wednesday, May 24, 2006 4:15 PM

Managed Chaos update
Ok, here's the pitch... get ready... it's a tank game, without tanks... oh I already told you that? Ok, how about this, you're a wizard fighting another wizard with spells and monsters. (ok technically the monsters come from spells, but you get the idea.) Screen/Display: You're in a 2D maze (topdown view) with no entrance or exit. (This is not Room-Passage-Room like HA!) This is arcade style, not turn based (like HA!) Actions: - You can move and cast spells. - Some spells summon monsters (which will ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 23, 2006 10:50 AM

As I continue to dive into the code of Managed Chaos, my Tank-like game without tanks, I pause a moment for thought... At the same time... far across the country, my "friendly rival" consults his elders for advice ......

Posted On Friday, May 19, 2006 2:24 PM

Managed Chaos progress report, Pt. 1
While my buddy phat bastard is trying to grasp the subtler points of hello world and paying homage (pronounced Oh-Mahj) to one of the dumbest movies of all time, I was busy actually writing code that does something. So far I have the basic game board designed, along with a random factor to improve replayability. No, it's not HA! 2.0 or anything like that, although I'm certainly applying some of what I learned there. If anything, it's closer to something resembling a Tank Warfare type game (oh no ......

Posted On Friday, May 19, 2006 7:49 AM

Looks like someone is taking this a wee bit too seriously...
Deep in the lair of my arch-nemesis... It's going to take more than curly-braces and wishful thinking if you want to win THIS contest. Let's face it... 42* days from now, VB.NET will be the clear winner. * yeah, that's right... I said 42. The magic number. The answer. Move along ......

Posted On Friday, May 19, 2006 7:25 AM

hey buddy, you got some methodology on your shirt.
Looks like my arch-nemesis* Jason is jumping into the GWB GameDev contest with both feet. It also looks like we have two completely different approaches to what is going to win this contest... Jason is all about pretty code, adhering to standards, best architecture, blah blah blah and that's all fine if you have time and a team of developers, but we have 43 days to get this done. I'm a lot less worried about what the game will look like internally and more about whether or not it's playable, complete ......

Posted On Thursday, May 18, 2006 3:11 PM

ok, now show me yours...
Top 20 most played songs in my iTunes (at work) right now. Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends (Theme) Don't Know Why (Norah Jones) Cold Cold Heart (Norah Jones) Just One Fix (Ministry) Hero (Ministry) Come Away With Me (Norah Jones) Overture Of The Rebel Angels (Danzig) Jesus Built My Hotrod (Ministry) I've Got To See You Again (Norah Jones) Loose (Primer 55) Du Hast (Rammstein) Bloodletting (Concrete Blonde) My Sacrifice (Creed) Let the Bodies Hit The Floor (Drowning Pool) Payback (Flaw) One Piece ......

Posted On Thursday, May 18, 2006 1:54 PM

GWB Game Development Contest

Seen it, in it, gonna win it.

In case you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, check out Jeff's announcement post RIGHT HERE and get the full scoop. The rest of you punks can go back to your boring lives now.  ;)



Posted On Thursday, May 18, 2006 11:42 AM

Greenville Spartanburg Developers Guild
Glen Gordon (SouthEast US Developer Community Champion) spoke at the GSPDevelopers meeting last night. I've heard Glen speak before (several times, in fact) and he always does a great job. Last night was no exception. After some initial announcements and Code Camp hoopla, Glen got started. He spoke for about 90 minutes on the System.Net namespace in 2.0 and what all you can do with it. Very entertaining and engaging presentation. You can grab the slides and sample code HERE. Also, Glen introduced ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 17, 2006 5:55 AM

new shows...
Seems like thanks to the obvious success of Smallville, we'll be getting some new superhero shows in the Fall or 1st Q 2007. There's this one, on NBC... (Jan 2007) Heroes is a serial saga about people all over the world discovering that they have superpowers and trying to deal with how this change affects their lives. The relatable superheroes include Peter Petrelli, a 30-year-old male nurse who believes can fly, Diego Medina, a 28-year-old junkie who has the ability to paint images of the future ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 16, 2006 12:41 PM

Blogus Maximus 500
You'd think my 500th blog entry would be a little more interesting.

You'd think that, and you'd be right... so without further delay, I give you... Dancing Spiderman.

This is my gift to you, go on... take it. Seriously.

Posted On Monday, May 15, 2006 5:09 PM

Heroic Adventure update...
Spent a few hours this weekend making some tweaks to the Dungeon Generation code in HA!. Specifically, I added 4 new SquareTypes to the room generation code so that room & passage corners would be explicitly defined instead of just using the more generic Wall square. While there is currently no difference in gameplay (hopefully) or appearance, it will make the dungeons more graphics friendly for those folks using the dungeon generator for things other than HA!. I'll update the DunGen source code ......

Posted On Monday, May 15, 2006 4:57 PM

decent ebay advice, except for one point
I read this blog on a regular basis, and it's typically good advice. Then I read this entry... now, I sell a buttload of stuff on ebay, so while I agreed with almost all of his points... he made one that I totally have to call him on. International bidders account for at least 30% of my sales, I've never had a problem yet. Yeah it's a minor hassle when dealing with customs paperwork, but Ebay/PayPal makes that really easy too. (ironically, I have had a few problems when making my own international ......

Posted On Monday, May 15, 2006 1:43 PM

welcome to dot.bomb 2.0
yo. check this out -

Posted On Monday, May 15, 2006 1:29 PM

gesture based gaming, a rant...
I was chatting with my friend Andre, who happens to be working on a gesture-based game for the experimental gameplay competition. I like Andre (obviously, since I call him my friend) but... I hate gesture based games. Seriously. *I can't count the number of times I screwed up and accidentally slapped my pet in Black & White when I meant to praise him. Ruined a perfectly good game, in my opinion. One of the earlier Elder Scrolls games, don't recall which one, used gesture based combat... try playing ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 10, 2006 11:09 AM

sucks to be this guy...

Interesting blog I've been reading.

I've shared some of his pain, at one point or another, but fortunately not all at once. Sounds like another EASpouse, although not actually the spouse this time. I'll be watching this one to see where it goes... or where he/she goes, at least.

Good luck.

Posted On Wednesday, May 10, 2006 9:53 AM

MtM is evil...
That would be Metrics that Matter (in case you weren't hip to my acronym), although in this case it's the Metrics that DON'T Matter that I'm really steamed about. Ok, perhaps evil is too strong of a word, how about: necessary evil. I understand the need for an evaluation system, I'm not arguing that point. However, there needs to be a way to seperate the relevant evaluation points from what I like to refer to as, the crap. If you've ever taught, you know what I'm referring to... The guy who give ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 10, 2006 7:16 AM

No WoW for now...
I've opted not to renew my World of Warcraft subscription. I didn't even play two hours in the last month, because I'm just too busy with work and side projects. I'm keeping my City of Heroes / City of Villains account for now, but I almost never play that either. I just don't have the time. Of course, this: looks kinda interesting... so (go figure) I signed up for the private beta. (I might as well, since I beta'd D&D Online, City of Villains, Auto Assault and countless ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 10, 2006 6:08 AM

We're sorry, but your call could not be completed as dialed
E.T. phoned home, but the mothership didn't have any room for him. Better luck next time.

Posted On Wednesday, January 25, 2006 6:44 AM

whoa... I can fly.
Sorry Neo, but Superman is gonna kick your ass this year. I just watched the second trailer (twice) and OMG. You must watch it now. (twice.) I'll wait... seriously, go ahead. I know, I know... I was one of the first (of many) to stand up and scream that this movie was going to suck horribly (and it very well could) but after watching this trailer, I have hope. Much hope. Is it the same level of OMG as Batman Begins? No, honestly, ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 3, 2006 9:10 AM

Coding4Fun @ South Carolina Code Camp 2.0
Do you live in the SouthEast US and have a fun or interesting project you want to share with others? Whether you wrote it yourself or just built upon it, we have a track especially for you at the South Carolina Code Camp 2.0 this coming September 16th & 17th. In addition to an all day Game Dev track (ending with a Game Dev Q&A panel), we also have a “Coding For Fun” track, put together especially for the casual/hobbyist programmer to show off a bit. For more information, visit ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 3, 2006 6:01 AM

Professional Perception (or how we see ourselves vs how others see us)
Yesterday I had lunch with a recruiter. It's ok, I work with her. She's one of the nice ones. We were talking and she got tickled when I referred to “the I.T. guy” at our company. She said, “you're all I.T. guys...” This got me thinking. I don't consider myself an I.T. guy, none of my developer friends consider themselves I.T. guys. To us, the I.T. guys are the ones who come by to fix our computers, manage the network, repair the printers, etc. Then she said that we were all ......

Posted On Friday, April 28, 2006 8:09 AM

DataGrid question
For those of you who spend more time messing with datagrids than I do (which is probably a fair number of you) I have a question... I have a datagrid with several sortable bound columns. These work just fine. I also have a few template columns that you can't sort by, but still need to be sorted when you click on one of the sortable bound columns. (Does this make sense so far?) The problem is, when I click on one of the sortable bound columns, the template columns stay put and don't sort with everything ......

Posted On Friday, April 28, 2006 7:48 AM

Electronic Arts settles labor suit
EA labor suit settled, Identity of “EA Spouse” finally revealed...

Posted On Wednesday, April 26, 2006 9:30 AM

Snakes on a Plane

check this trailer out -  "Snakes on a Plane" w/ Samuel L. Jackson

Should be a great “date movie”  lol


Posted On Wednesday, April 26, 2006 7:42 AM

Palladium's cry for help
So apparently, Palladium, the publishers of RIFTS, TMNT RPG, Robotech RPG and a lot more are in some serious financial trouble due to some sort of internal betrayal or embezzlement. Personally I was never a huge fan of their products, but I know a lot of folks that just love them. I hate to see ANY company (especially small press) go through this kind of stuff. So... if you're interested in helping out, the link is below. edit: this is apparently a list of some of what happened/was stolen... Reprinted ......

Posted On Saturday, April 22, 2006 5:30 AM

Andre Odendaal, Game Dev Superhero
For those of us living in the US, Andre Odendaal might just be the hardest working guy you never heard of. For the last few months, Andre has been working hard to establish a game development community (dare I say, Industry) in South Africa. Jason and I first spoke to Andre, via an introduction by Julia, several months ago when he was just getting started. I caught up with Andre this morning over GTalk and chatted him up a bit. Turns out he has been one busy fella. Not only has he established a web ......

Posted On Friday, April 21, 2006 6:26 AM

I'm not dead yet...

I feel a bit like the guy who snuck out of the party without saying goodbye. I've gotten a few “hey dude, where the hell are you” emails, and I've responded to a couple (ok, one... this morning.) 

So anyway... I'll try to be more diligent in posting.


Posted On Thursday, April 20, 2006 5:20 AM

This is gonna be interesting...

Posted On Tuesday, March 28, 2006 12:27 PM

South Carolina Code Camp 2.0
As your friendly neighborhood INETA Membership Manager for North and South Carolina, I'm happy to announce that South Carolina is getting their second Code Camp!! This one will be in September (just like last year) and is in the Greenville/Spartanburg area. This is a TWO DAY code camp and while the exact location is still TBD, the dates are set: 9/16 & 9/17. The call for speakers is open and you can find information (along with the speaker submission form) at the Greenville Spartanburg Developers ......

Posted On Monday, March 27, 2006 5:43 AM

Dear sir or ma'am, I would like to inform you that your system sucks...
(this is gonna be a bit off-topic) I'm a non-custodial parent of a 13 year old girl. I'm not a deadbeat or a bum. I pay child support monthly, without complaining. I also buy clothes, gifts, cover the medical/dental & vision, help with money for school trips and more. I see her every chance I get and I call & email her regularly. In return, I am treated like shit by Family & Children Services. Why? Because I am a man. Never mind the fact that my ex-wife (her mother) had an affair for ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 22, 2006 10:54 AM

XNA Goodness
Microsoft has updated the XNA page with some presentations, a CTP of XNA Build and some tutorials for XNA Build!! Check it out here: Also, if you missed the GDC (like I did) there is a web version of the XNA DVD that the attendees got. You can check that out here: Finally, if you haven't seen it before, the XNA Forums are here: ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 21, 2006 5:12 AM

click at your own risk
I have no idea if this is legit... I just saw it and figured I would pass it on to those of you interested in this sort of thing. Get D&D Online for free: edit: don't bother... you have to jump through a lot of hoops like applying for credit cards and crap. Not worth it. see below: 2. You must complete the product offers exactly as indicated on each page. For this promotion, Dungeons and Dragons ......

Posted On Monday, February 20, 2006 1:27 PM

Richmond, VA Code Camp
Richmond, VA is getting their first (and long overdue) code camp this April. They need speakers and volunteers (and attendees) so click here for more info!!

Posted On Saturday, February 18, 2006 9:22 AM

running a successful code camp
I've spoken at four Code Camps and chaired one in Charleston. I'm gearing up to do another one in September. Today someone asked me if I had any advice/suggestions for running a code camp. If there's anything I'm full of, it's suggestions. :) This is what I came up with: - plan things as far in advance as possible. we did Charleston in 3 months, this one in 6 months. - promote early and often, in every way you can think of. - involve the local colleges and universities!! - contact as many supporters ......

Posted On Friday, March 17, 2006 7:27 AM


I don't want anyone ever telling me I have a “collecting problem” again... check THIS  guy out!


Posted On Friday, March 17, 2006 6:10 AM

names wanted
I'm trying to come up with the perfect name for a gaming store. I've got a few that are ok, one or two that (I think) are pretty good and a whole bunch that truly suck. So... I'd like to hear your suggestions! Some of what I've got on paper so far... Reality Check (I kinda like this one) GameZone Endless Adventures Campaign Headquarters Game Central Beardy McBeersteins Shack O' Smack (not my suggestion) Heroic Adventure! (yeah yeah I know, but I love the name) Little Wars Strategic Advantage Geektopia ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 15, 2006 8:48 PM

I'm almost done unpacking my D&D collection.

before and after

I was hoping to get all of it in one shot, but the minis & terrain are all on the other side of the room.

Posted On Sunday, March 12, 2006 4:21 PM

another silly idea

Interesting concept... but what happens when you break up?

Or worse... what if one glows a lot more often than the other? Could lead to fights.

Posted On Friday, March 10, 2006 6:20 AM

life as we know it...
Sorry for not posting more frequently, been pretty slammed with work (although I'm digging it.) Been working on my mame cocktail cabinet a fair amount lately. The guy who sold it to me didn't take great care of it and it has some issues. We've narrowed down most of them, so I'm swapping out cables and parts here and there trying to get it back up to speed. Also working on my standup Crystal Castles game. The board and monitor work fine, but the trackball is crap. (I knew this when I bought it.) The ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 8, 2006 5:42 PM

Weekend Update
The move is done, the new job started. Initial thoughts... I love the new house. It's significantly bigger than my previous residence (over double) for basically the same (within $50) monthly. The cost of living here is much lower and there are mountains (and I'm on one of them.) I also have all my arcade games in one place now, instead of in different rooms and houses (Mom and Dad were "hosting" the Tower of Doom game for a bit.) Also, picked up some new machines during the move (literally mid-move.) ......

Posted On Sunday, March 5, 2006 7:56 AM

this weeks teaching gig
I taught MOC2310B (ASP.NET bilingual class - VB.NET & C#) this week. Like most Microsoft 5 day courses, it can easily be delivered in 4 days without sacrificing any content. Instead of delivering the training from 9am - 4pm Monday through Friday, I deliver it from 8:30am - 4:30pm Monday through Thursday. I've done this with a few classes and the students seem to prefer it this way. This week in particular really stands out for me because it was probably the most rewarding class I've taught in a while. ......

Posted On Thursday, February 23, 2006 5:50 PM

Best XBOX 360 ad ever...
This showed up on the main feed the other day, so I'm just posting it to my blog for remembrance...

This is undoubtedly the best xbox 360 ad ever!!

It's a shame that it was apparently pulled prior to airing due to the "extreme violence" nature of it. It's brilliant!

Posted On Thursday, February 23, 2006 5:25 PM

best 404 message... ever!
Good for a laugh.

Posted On Tuesday, February 21, 2006 9:00 PM

Where's Chris?
Some of you already know this, but others might be surprised by the news... As of Thursday (2 days ago) I have left Blackbaud and in another week I will no longer be living in Charleston, SC. I'm changing jobs and moving. Without going into too many details in such a public forum, let me just say I've found a great place in the woods on a mountain where they actually get all 4 seasons and it's very quiet, pretty and there are no mosquitos. (Oh how I hate those little bloodsuckers...) Why did I leave? ......

Posted On Saturday, February 18, 2006 9:07 AM

shared web calendar
If you've been thinking about ways to put your life and schedule into a more accessible format for others, like I was, you owe it to yourself to check out 30boxes. It's one of those “why didn't I do that“ tools that you learn to depend on pretty quickly. One of my students in Seattle turned me on to it and I'm liking it. It makes sharing calendars super easy and if you have several people (like room-mates or family) with different schedules it definitely beats installing Exchange Server ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 12:47 PM

GWB error workaround.
Whatever was causing my posting problem... this is a workaround for it. If you are getting a “specified cast invalid” error when you try to post, and there's no apparent reason for it... try doing this: Make a copy (Ctrl+C is fine) of your post. Save a post with just a couple words in it. Go in to the Admin screen and edit that post. Paste in the previous post that would not submit. Save your post. Voila! This happens to me more times than I care to recall. So far, my workaround has worked ......

Posted On Friday, December 30, 2005 9:10 PM

Weekend Update
Well I'm back from my week in Seattle. I had a GREAT time and got to hang out with some very cool people. The NetDesk folks were terrific hosts and definitely a great bunch. I was somewhat unprepared for a few of the modules (nobody's fault but my own) and they weren't afraid to provide me with some constructive feedback, which I appreciated. I've got enough friends who tell me what a swell guy I am (no small ego here), so when I do manage to royally bork something up I'm not averse to a little honest ......

Posted On Sunday, February 12, 2006 6:57 AM

MIXing it up in Vegas... babeeee
Anybody here (besides me) planning to attend MIX06 in March? Looks like a pretty interesting event with some info on Windows Live and IE7 and of course Uncle Bill will be giving the keynote so that should be interesting as well. Taking a look at the MIX blog reveals that the keynote might be a bit more interactive than most. Apparently Tim O'Reilly will be involved along with an opportunity for some audience questions. 50 sessions lined up so far, including people from Amazon, Ebay, PayPal and MySpace. ......

Posted On Thursday, February 9, 2006 7:47 AM

Sleepless... Seattle!! Yup, that's me. Woke up at 3am again this morning. (That's 6am my time) 4 more days like this and maybe I won't have to “change back” when I go home. :) Seattle is pretty (from the 28th floor) and still no rain. It never rained last time I was here either. I think they just tell people that to keep them from moving here. :) I could stand up here and look at Mt Rainier all day. This place has the fastest damn elevator I've ever been in. I went 28 floors in about 3 seconds. ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 7, 2006 3:43 PM

All I heard about for weeks... pack your parka... pack an umbrella. HA! It's not raining, and hardly even cold. The flight was uneventful although painfully crowded. Flying into Detroit on Superbowl Sunday was interesting. That is one HUGE airport. Then we had to sit on the tarmac for about 40 minutes waiting for them to de-ice. That sucked, but the flights were pretty easy. Got to Seattle, hopped a shuttle and hoofed it 4 blocks to my hotel only to find out that they only booked me from Wednesday ......

Posted On Monday, February 6, 2006 3:43 PM

I don't know what to do with those Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs
Seattle here I come!! I'll be there for a week (2/5 - 2/11). So if anyone wants to hook up or hang out, send me an email. I'll be teaching in the day time and working on my book in the evenings, but I'll definitely have time for a beer now and then, or a game of pool, etc... Probably won't be blogging much during that week, but I'll definitely be checking email. There are, of course, certain folks and friends I'd LIKE to hang out with if they're available... but hey... I ain't picky ......

Posted On Friday, February 3, 2006 11:36 AM

ok seriously this time....
Ok now this is officially the funniest thing I've ever read: No Peace With French Canada

It's funny how nearly every time I say this, it involves Rory Blyth.

Posted On Friday, February 3, 2006 3:52 AM

It's here, It's here!!
My D&D Tower of Doom game arrives today, some time between 8 and 12!! Woohoo!!

Must control urge to plug it in and turn it on immediately!! Need to open it up, check all the boards, make sure everything is seated properly... etc. Can't wait!!

Posted On Friday, February 3, 2006 3:28 AM

Travel Nightmare
I've done a fair bit of travelling by air. It's seldom pleasant, and typically the best I hope for is uneventful. Heather Leigh had an unpleasant airline experience recently, and while I'm neither cute nor female, I can definitely share her feeling of being totally creeped out. Looks like she's making some progress on getting it resolved though, which is good for her. Even better is the fact that she's not going to "just get over it lady" as some idiots have suggested. So here it is: Part 1 and Part ......

Posted On Friday, February 3, 2006 3:22 AM

Gamer Geek Mocumentary
This is actually painful to watch.

Click Me

You may find yourself saying "I know people JUST like this!!"

Posted On Friday, January 27, 2006 1:43 PM

My thoughts on DDO
DDO (D&D Online) has come a long way since I started playing it in the early beta. They've polished it quite a bit and it's a visually appealing game, although nowhere near as pretty or colorful as WoW (World of Warcraft). Depending on your preference, this may be good or bad. From a solo-player perspective, this game is hard... too damn hard, in fact. If you have a bunch of buddies who play, or you're fairly good at hooking up with folks you might not have a problem. But as someone who likes to ......

Posted On Thursday, January 26, 2006 3:24 PM

Calling all browncoats...
Survey on demand for a Season 2 of Firefly http://www.fireflyseason2.c... ......

Posted On Thursday, January 26, 2006 8:32 AM

Four things...
Yeah, I'm jumping on the Four-Things Tag-wagon. Not gonna pollute the main feed though, just on my blog. Four jobs I’ve had in my life: Developer PC Tech Computer Operator Instructor Four movies I can watch over and over: The Matrix Batman Begins Fight Club Gladiator Four places I have lived: Roanoke, VA Orlando, FL New Orleans, LA Charleston, SC Four TV shows I love to watch: House Stargate Atlantis & Stargate SG1 CSI Smallville Four places I have been on vacation: Virginia Beach, VA uhhh... ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 24, 2006 6:26 PM

The coolest game you never heard of...
It's called Mono and it's a bit hard to describe. Kinda like Asteroids, except with powerups, techno music and a trippy psychadelic pulsing lavalamp style background. It's pretty addictive stuff.

Download it here!!

Interestingly, it was written in DarkBasic. Pretty cool. (You can check out DarkBasic here while you're clicking on stuff.)

Posted On Monday, January 16, 2006 11:40 PM

Arcade hijinx... getting the game from there to here.
Ok... after much frustration, I paid for the D&D Tower Of Doom standup game pictured here and I should be receiving it in about 2 weeks. Why much frustration? Well... the guy I've been dealing with for the last couple of weeks hasn't exactly been difficult, but he hasn't gone out of his way to be helpful either. First, he was completely inflexible on the price (this was a newsgroup transaction, not Ebay.) Ok fine, he wants a certain amount... I can respect that. Still a little frustrating though. ......

Posted On Friday, January 13, 2006 12:56 PM

Cool, but it doesn't fit anywhere...

New doodad for my blog:

Blogus Maximus

It's pretty cool, but it doesn't fit on the side of my blog.

Hey Jeff... is there a way to customize the top or bottom of our blog page?

Posted On Friday, January 13, 2006 12:37 PM

My adventures with Windows Live Messenger
I recently received an invite to try out Windows Live Messenger (beta). I downloaded and installed it. That went easy enough. It was ok at first, then I realized it imported my entire hotmail contacts list into the client, including a hell of a lot of people who aren't using MSN messenger. Ok no big deal, I'll just remove them from my list. Uhh... I can't remove them from my buddy list without also removing them from my Hotmail address book?? WTF? Ok, that's kinda forgiveable... I guess (not really, ......

Posted On Sunday, January 8, 2006 6:56 AM

my birthday present to me...

Posted On Saturday, January 7, 2006 6:03 PM

it was only a matter of time
For those of you that care about this sort of thing... "Team I.C.E." (and no I'm not going to post a link) is apparently putting the finishing touches on the first XBOX 360 mod chip. Looks like it will be available at the end of this month through various "retailers" for around $70. ("Retailers" was their choice of word, not mine.) The bragsheet says you can direct boot Xbox 360 ISOs, Rips and Dumps. (It also mentions 20-30 wires depending on xbox revision, which I assume are soldered... and that ......

Posted On Saturday, January 7, 2006 7:30 AM

NVIDIA and Dell Bring Quad SLI Power to Life
Yes you read that right

Yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show, Michael Dell unveiled a new project that he and the gang at NVIDIA have teamed up on that until right this minute, no one had heard a peep about in the industry.

NVIDIA is introducing a new video card with TWO 7800 GTX 512 GPUs on it with two PCBs. Oh, and these new cards will sport 1 GB of total memory as well.

Read the full article here.

Posted On Friday, January 6, 2006 6:28 AM

McAfee about to become McToast??
McAfee about to become McToast?? " reports that Security Vendor McAfee has agreed to pay a fine of fifty million dollars stemming from false SEC filing. McAfee cooked its books, overstating its revenues one year by 131%, or half a billion dollars. The method employed was 'channel stuffing' in which compliant re-sellers are effectively paid to buy and hold inventory they may never sell. The shipped goods are booked as revenue and the payments disguised in the books. When it caught up ......

Posted On Thursday, January 5, 2006 10:25 AM

Hello 2006!!!
I didn't get much sleep last night. I'm just too wired. Not even counting the killer buzz I get everytime I think about getting MVP, I'm having one hell of a good week. 2006 is off to a pretty awesome start. Monday: Took the day off for New Years and worked on my book for most of the day (and played through all of Golden Axe II on MAME!!) Tuesday: Something wonderful happened I can't divulge just yet... and I paid off my Jeep!! (No more $460/month payment) Wednesday: MVP!! Thursday: I'm picking up ......

Posted On Thursday, January 5, 2006 5:02 AM


I got it!!  Woot!

The email came today, just a few minutes ago in fact... I got the Microsoft MVP award!!

Go me!!

Posted On Wednesday, January 4, 2006 1:17 PM

XBox 360 controllers and MAME
For those of you that care (and didn't already know)... You can hook your XBOX 360 controllers to your PC (they are USB after all) and they work great with MAME. I don't own a 360 yet, but I got a controller for free at Microsoft Meltdown and Windows XP detected it immediately with no driver download required. I liked it so much, I bought a second one the other day as an early birthday present. I have them both hooked up to my main machine at the moment. Whenever I finally get a 360, I'll be ready... ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 3, 2006 8:12 AM

The Lion, The Witch, The Wardrobe & The Review
Saw Narnia tonight. Kind of a funny story behind that. My mom wanted to take all the grandkids a few weeks ago but read a bad review of it (somewhere... not sure where since most reviews I saw were pretty good) and decided it wasnt a good idea. I could write volumes about my relationship with my mother, but lets face it... it aint that kind of blog. Anyway... the short version of the review follows: it was spectacular. (I was gonna write that it was F'n Spectacular, but opted not too... it is a kids ......

Posted On Friday, December 30, 2005 9:05 PM

My 2006 Arcade Wishlist...
I'm looking to acquire the following games. I'm not in a big hurry and obviously can't buy everything all at once anyway, but here goes... * D&D Shadow Over Mystara (original cab w/ sideart) * D&D Tower Of Doom (original cab w/ sideart) Dungeons & Dragons Pinball Game (Bally?) Golden Axe * Joust Galaga / MS Pac combo Karate Champ (or) Yie Ar Kung Fu Pole Position (or another racing game) A nice quality JAMMA cabinet with a good monitor so I can swap in/out other games. (I may end up building the ......

Posted On Thursday, December 29, 2005 12:48 PM

Unsurprisingly, it's junk...
So the standup arcade machine I was drooling over in a previous post is apparently complete crap... (and available exclusively at Target, I might add. Go figure.) What's wrong with it? The games are all running in emulation, badly. No original ROMs. It's like a crappy MAME knockoff without the ability to add new stuff. The monitor is TINY. As in, TEENY TINY. As in.... 13 INCHES (as in, damn that's tiny!) The monitor is NOT, in fact, a monitor at all... but a cheap (VERY CHEAP) color tv bolted into ......

Posted On Thursday, December 29, 2005 11:00 AM

Mac OSX updates disable powerbook memory slots

File this one under OOOPS!!

I'm just glad I don't own a powerbook.

Posted On Wednesday, December 28, 2005 12:17 PM

Adventures in C#, cont...
Someone at work noticed I was toting around a C# book lately and asked me “you're a VB guy, why the hell would you want to learn C#?” Before I could answer, he continued... “case sensitive? ughh... semi-colons? no support for edit and continue? no constant compilation? etc...” (he went on a for a couple minutes) To me, the answer was obvious. I'm learning C# for the same reason I learned VB.NET. Because I can. Because I don't want to limit myself to knowing a single language. ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 27, 2005 6:58 AM

somewhere, Cindy Lu Hoo is singing.
Normally, I'm a bit of a sourpuss around Christmas time and most people (that know me) know it's not exactly my favorite time of the year. In fact, I think the whole holiday season is grossly overhyped and has pretty much lost any relationship to the original meaning. I guess you could even say I'm a bit of a Grinch. (For the record, I'm definitely NOT a Scrooge.) So I approached this year's Christmas with the same measure of reluctance and dread as I always do. I figured it would be just like all ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 27, 2005 6:22 AM

in memory of Kong...

Rest in Peace Kong... 2005

Click for full size picture.

Posted On Friday, December 23, 2005 1:31 PM

Google explains the AOL deal

Google clarifies the AOL deal, and stomps on some rumors and speculation:

My favorite quote:  There will not be crazy, flashy, graphical doodads flying and popping up all over the Google site. Ever.

Good Google, let's all hope not.

Posted On Friday, December 23, 2005 8:02 AM

INETA news...
INETA NorAm Membership Division Announces: New Membership Manager - NC, SC Chris Williams Chris takes over the Membership Manager duties that have been the responsibility of Connie Marthinsen ( We thank Connie for her years of volunteer service to INETA. Connie has for the last four years worked with TRINUG and INETA. She says that her volunteer work with INETA has been a “tremendous experience” for her. Connie says “I am so impressed with the level of commitment and hard ......

Posted On Thursday, December 22, 2005 11:27 AM

Great Googly Moogly
Ok ok, so I haven't run the updater for D&D Online in a while, but damn... over a billion items?!? Doesn't look like I'll be playing tonight.

Posted On Friday, December 16, 2005 10:34 PM

White Wolf website
Apparently the White Wolf (RPG Company) website was recently hacked. I received an email from them a couple days ago letting me know that my personal information had been compromised (although supposedly no Credit Card data was acquired.) They said the hackers were extorting them for a payoff, which they refuse to pay, so they wanted me to know that I might want to change my password if I use the same one anywhere else. Fair enough. Apparently the hackers have decided to try turning up the heat a ......

Posted On Friday, December 16, 2005 8:49 PM

King Kong (with some spoily)
I just got back from seeing King Kong tonight, and I wanted to write this while it was still fresh in my mind. Let me start by saying WOW, this is a damn good movie. It's also a damn long movie, as in 3 hours and 10 minutes. By the time you get your popcorn, sit down, hang out for 10 minutes, watch the previews and commercials and then the movie, you've spent 4 HOURS in the theatre. The movie never drags. There isn't much action in the beginning (as in none at all), but they take the time to setup ......

Posted On Friday, December 16, 2005 8:33 PM

causing trouble wherever I go...
There's this guy (a trainer) who frequents this newsgroup I read. Recently, he posted a link to the newsgroup of a fairly disturbing video (circulated courtesy of PETA) of some small animals (cats) getting severely mistreated by some Chinese men of the food service persuasion. The men were enjoying themselves a bit too much and I concede it was pretty gruesome. The fact is though, cats and dogs are sometimes treated in the same manner over there as chickens are here in the US. Along with the link ......

Posted On Friday, December 16, 2005 11:26 AM

Good Clean Geeky Fun (for the aggregated page)
I initially posted this to the main page, but decided to spare you all...

If you're curious, clicky the linky...

Posted On Tuesday, December 13, 2005 4:16 PM

good clean geeky fun
edit: apparently they moved the video... again. hehehe... I love this ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 13, 2005 4:10 PM

I have a new hero...
Just for the record... Charles Petzold is a freakin' genius! (...but you already knew that, didn't you?) I'm still working my way through his Programming In The Key Of C# (I read it at lunchtime and at night before I crash) and I swear to you, I literally learn something new almost every time I pick it up. Not just something new about C#, mind you, but a little more of the Petzold way of programming... regardless of the language you choose. I'm talking about stuff that's so painfully obvious, after ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 13, 2005 10:09 AM

oh man I really want one of these
www.mybiggames.comA Full Size, Stand Up Arcade Machine for your home! BigGames™ Home Video Arcades are real arcade machines for the Home.Each unit plays 12 of the original arcade versions of the most popular Midway™ games including: Defender™, Defender II™, Robotron™, Joust™, Bubbles™, Splat™, Sinistar™, Rampage™, Rootbeer Tapper™, Wizard of Wor™, Timber™, and Satan's Hollow™. The unit stands 62” tall and has ......

Posted On Thursday, December 8, 2005 8:46 AM

the Target saga continues...

updates at the bottom of the post.

Posted On Tuesday, December 6, 2005 11:04 AM

Those crafty frenchmen...
Now that (hopefully) everyone has caught on to the Nigerian Bank Scam, we have new scammers on the horizon. Those clever clever Frenchmen! I recently received this email from a young lady in France: Dear sir,I'm glad to write you this message to ask you for help because i need a sponsor for video games because my husband is manadging some teams of "Counter-Strike" video game and he needs some sponsors for that please if you can help me to help him i'll be really thankfull thank you so much i'm waiting ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 13, 2005 7:45 AM

mixing ASP.NET 1.1 and 2.0
The question: If I have an ASP.NET 1.1 app that has placeholders for user controls, and I want to write some new user controls for ASP.NET 2.0, will I be able to use them in my app? I know I can mix/match classic ASP and ASP.NET, but I don't think I can mix/match .NET versions. Knowing that 2.0 stuff won't run on the 1.1 framework, let's look at the options. Do I... A. upgrade (and recompile) my app to 2005 (not a small task by any stretch) and then starting adding new stuff? B. install the 2.0 framework, ......

Posted On Monday, December 12, 2005 8:29 AM

target / wachovia final update
A few of you have emailed or IM'ed me looking for an update, so here it is... Wachovia credited my account, and they are fighting Target on my behalf. This is remarkable for several reasons. 1. Normally I hate Wachovia (pronounced WalkAllOverYa), but they really came through this time. They credited my account the money and are fighting with Target to sort it all out. Given their reputation, I was astonished. A couple lessons were learned from this... A. deal with someone who actually has the authority ......

Posted On Monday, December 12, 2005 8:13 AM

Hot diddly damn!
It's about time!! :)

Big thank you to Jeff & Co for adding paging functionality to the main GWB site!!! Happy Holidays everyone!

Posted On Saturday, December 10, 2005 12:34 PM

criminal behavior
If it's not against the law, it ought to be... I absolutely hate Target, and I'm not sure that HATE is even a strong enough word to convey how I truly feel... Last night, I did some Christmas shopping at Target. I don't go there often, but without fail, every time I go they end up overcharging me for something. Last night was no exception, and one of the items I purchased ($30) rang up as $50. Normally, I always watch them scan each item, and stop them when it happens... but last night I got distracted ......

Posted On Saturday, December 3, 2005 12:00 PM

Shades of Chris J Breisch...
No sooner do I post to my blog (only) about the lack of "14+ posts in a day" to the main feed from you know who when this joker shows up and does the exact same thing... In case anyone still hasn't figured it out yet, allow me to explain my position as the Blog Nazi... POSTING 14 TIMES A DAY TO THE MAIN PAGE IS RUDE!!! Why? The GWB main page doesn't offer any *paging* functionality. Once it's gone, if you missed it, you're out of luck. Short of reading every single blog updated in the last n days, ......

Posted On Monday, November 28, 2005 4:19 PM

gambling with fate
It's been almost a month since this guy got the royal GWB spank put on him for flooding the main page with 17 posts in one day. I just noticed he hasn't posted since.

Well... No great loss in my opinion, but I hope that doesn't mean he's out there somewhere building an ark.

Posted On Sunday, November 27, 2005 8:18 AM

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Saw it this afternoon (again). Good movie. It's definitely the best so far. If you've read the book(s), it definitely helps, but this one is pretty faithful to the book. Certainly much more than HP3. Keep in mind we're talking about 800+ pages. Obviously a lot of the smaller details are going to be left out. There are no Diagon Alley scenes, no mention of house points, no Hogwarts Quidditch matches, no Durseleys or Christmas break. It's just assumed that you've seen all of this in the last three ......

Posted On Sunday, November 27, 2005 12:14 AM

Adventures in C#, continued...
Can someone please explain this to me? I have a class that contains a loop that should execute anywhere from 8 to 12 times (it's random.) In this loop, I set some values in a two dimensional array. I have a test program (a console app) that uses this class, executes this loop, and displays the results. Here's where it gets weird... If I run the test program with no breakpoints, it displays results that indicate the loop is only running once (or VERY RARELY twice) If I set breakpoints and step into ......

Posted On Saturday, November 26, 2005 10:54 PM

cool GDI+ article
Blogging THIS so I can find it later.

Posted On Wednesday, November 23, 2005 10:23 AM

Wow, they'll let anyone speak these days...
edit: make that idiot rapper... Rapper 50 Cent speaks out on why his (rated M) XBox game, Bulletproof, is a valuable teaching tool for children. Umm, yeah... riiiiight. My new absolute most favorite quote ever: "you can grab an enemy and steal all of his valuables, leaving both his ego shattered and his pockets empty. Then, you can beat him over the head with your sawed off shotgun until he tells you everything he knows, freeing him of any remaining dignity. Lastly, you can choose to boot him away, ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 23, 2005 10:10 AM

I know what he's on about...
My buddy Brian makes an excellent point about CIOs trying to make decisions on too many levels. Read it here. The thing is, Brian's analogy is right on the money. Having a CIO blindly dictate blanket practices (such as all dev must be in x language) is a lot like have the captain of a ship telling his crew that they must use only left handed square knots, no matter what the situation actually requires. Brian is pretty good about not naming names, so I won't either, but I have felt his pain in a past ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 23, 2005 6:25 AM

Begun, the console war has...

XBox360 Starts Console War...

Posted On Monday, November 21, 2005 12:36 PM

Adventures in C#
Crossposted from my Apress blog... I’m learning C#. As someone who has been using VB since version 3.0 (around 1993) and since the first beta, I’ve been on the fringes of learning C# for a few years now. Oh sure, I could read it pretty easy. Drop the semicolons and add a few keywords here and there… piece of cake. The problem was, I always tried to relate it back to VB. I never just absorbed it as C#. At some point, I decided to actually LEARN the language. Learn it, use ......

Posted On Sunday, November 20, 2005 11:43 AM

Homebuilding Hell
My friend and fellow geek blogger Theo, who is truly never at a loss for words, has put up a website describing the shabby treatment he has received at the hands of his home builder. You can find it here: Apparently, these guys have done quite a number on him so far, and it doesn't look like it's getting better any time soon. If you live in or near the Charlotte, NC area and are considering moving into the Whitley Mills community, or you hear the names Standard Pacific ......

Posted On Saturday, November 19, 2005 11:17 AM

Crossposted from my Apress blog... I am, among other things, an upcoming Apress author. I’m currently working on a book titled Beginning Role-playing Game Development with VB.NET 2005. Writing games is pretty easy. Writing a book about writing games is not. Wow, was that the understatement of the decade, or what? Don’t get me wrong… I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience, and I can’t wait to get it published. I really really can’t wait, because it means ......

Posted On Friday, November 18, 2005 11:00 AM

Superman Returns, but does anyone care?
Besides Theo, I mean... I watched the trailer here and the first thing I notice is... I don't like the guy playing him. Aside from the fact that he's (dare I say it) CREEPY looking?? Clark Kent should look like a farmboy, not a serial killer. Dude grew up in Smallville, not Gotham. I also think Tom Welling should be playing Superman, but in order to do that, they should wait about 2 more years. Annnnd then there is the costume... if you watch the trailer, you'll notice it's DARK. Like Evil Superman: ......

Posted On Friday, November 18, 2005 8:11 AM

Brian Vallelunga's X10 Library for .NET
Brian has recently put out a new beta version of his X10 .NET library. This one is for the 2.0 Framework. From Brian: The biggest change to the library is the addition of support for the CM11A controller. Not only can you send commands, but you can now monitor commands sent by other devices with this controller.I've used his library for some time. It's well written and very simple to use. If you're interested in checking it out, I encourage you to download the library from his website. ......

Posted On Friday, November 18, 2005 6:57 AM

one of the best posts I ever read...

Rory Blythe, who I met at the Portland Code Camp this summer, writes about backwards compatibility on the Xbox 360. Hysterical!

there are “a few” dirty words, but it's worth it.

Posted On Monday, November 14, 2005 8:44 PM

This is gonna generate some hatemail...

Ok, so I know I'm gonna catch hell for this, but I think all children (as in, people under the age of 18) should be tagged with RFID chips (or GPS beacons or something.) Seriously.

Cases like this and this are exactly why.

Hate me if you want, but this world is a crazy place. They can take have them removed when they turn 18.

Posted On Monday, November 14, 2005 6:02 PM

ok seriously...
Am I the only person who finds it mildly (and I'm being nice) annoying to see 13 posts from the same person in a single day on the main feed? Don't get me wrong... I'm glad you have a lot to say, and I know I'm not the most “on-topic” guy here, but when you do this, you totally flood the main feed. It's annoying. I skimmed your blog, I know you're trying to hit some type of 1000 post landmark... ok fine, I can dig that. Are you aware that you can select whether or not a post goes to the ......

Posted On Monday, October 31, 2005 8:42 AM

I was NOT wardriving officer, I swear...
Crossposted from my O'Reilly blog hehe... I was a bad boy tonight. Ok, well not really, but with a title like that you expect it. no? Here's the deal: I went out on a call tonight. Spent about an hour working on someone's wireless network. Pretty basic stuff, with no real hiccups. Once I left and started to drive home, I *noticed* my WLAN monitor was still running. Being the curious fella I am, I thought to myself... I wonder how many networks I'll see between here and home. Home is about 3 miles ......

Posted On Monday, November 14, 2005 4:29 PM

marketing lives to fight another day
Crossposted from my O'Reilly blog... I'm just pleased as punch to announce that in spite of (or just maybe because of) my anti-Marketing rant a couple days ago, the Microsoft Marketing folks have come through for the ol' UG. Today, with roughly 7 hours to go until the Community Launch Event, a big fat box showed up from Microsoft. In this box were the missing NFR products and the exam vouchers, along with another banner, tshirt and balloons. I immediately delivered the balloons to our breathless ......

Posted On Thursday, November 10, 2005 8:12 AM

so this is what OLD feels like...

Recently overheard in conversation...

  Child: Walkman? What's a Walkman?

  Parent: You know, like an ipod, except it plays tapes.

  Child: neat.

This world is a scary place.

Posted On Tuesday, November 8, 2005 6:44 AM

Trip Update
Hit the Portland Code Camp this past weekend, which was a great event. 2 days full of excellent sessions. The game dev track went especially well and I feel like my talk was well received aside from a few minor demo problems. This week, I've been up in Seattle for Microsoft Meltdown, which ends today. It's been a great time and I've had a lot of fun while learning a lot. Met some terrific people and caught up with some friends. Tomorrow I fly back to South Carolina, then back to work on Friday. I'm ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 27, 2005 2:02 PM

Good Grief... yet another Game Dev conference in OR...
Instead of talking my friends into moving east... maybe I'm the one that should be moving!!

The Indie Games Con is October 7-9, 2005 in Eugene OR.

Hey Jason... where is Eugene? Is that reasonably close to you? (I'm geography impaired.)

Posted On Thursday, July 21, 2005 12:00 PM

Wow... another Game Dev conference in the Portland area?
Looks interesting...

It's a week after the Portland Code Camp, and just a few days after Microsoft Meltdown. If you're in the Portland area and interested in game development, why not check this out?

The Christian Game Developer Conference - July 28th - July 30th, 2005

It's a shame all the Game Dev conferences are out west... Maybe Jason can go check it out?

Posted On Thursday, July 21, 2005 11:51 AM

How many Marketing pukes does it take...
Crossposted from my O'Reilly blog The official launch of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and Biztalk 2006 was today. We know this because King Steve, the Ballmerian, gave a rather dry 90 minute presentation on the subject. That's not what this post is about, although it is on a related topic. You see, my local user group... excuse me, I mean my local .NET user group, volunteered to host a community launch event. Microsoft & INETA (that's the International .NET Association) sent out a letter to ......

Posted On Monday, November 7, 2005 4:35 PM

Do you optimize too much?
Ever see some code and think “I could rewrite that tighter and cleaner“ but when you do so, you wonder if you've actually improved anything or just made it harder to understand at first glance? In the two examples below, both chunks of code end up doing the same thing. So... while option 1 is more intuitive (to me at least) than option 2, I couldn't help but wonder if this was strictly a matter of personal style and preference, or was there a potential performance difference in doing ......

Posted On Monday, October 31, 2005 8:31 AM

unclear on the concept...
CAMRA Bill Introduced in House of Representativeshttp://www.g... “Children and Media Research Advancement Act to study the effects of various forms of media, including movies, music, television, and video games, upon children“ Regardless of any personal feelings I might have about the CAMRA bill, can anyone explain to me why it would fall under the control of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control)? I realize Mass Media is evolving at a tremendous ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 26, 2005 10:12 AM

Thanks for stopping by...
Just noticed this... I'm glad he enjoyed it.

my session at code camp

Never seen this site before, but I think I'll be adding it to my list of sites to read. Pretty interesting stuff over there.

Posted On Thursday, August 4, 2005 8:12 AM

My first paid article
I blogged about this a while back, when I was writing it, but my first *paid* article finally got posted today.

Hopefully if I get some good feedback on this one, I'll be able to do more... maybe a series!

Posted On Wednesday, August 3, 2005 9:18 AM

Free Pet Monkey
saw this in the EBGames newsletter... had to laugh EverQuest II: Desert of Flames with Free Pet Monkey That’s right, a pet monkey. Not a real pet monkey, which would be the most awesome pre-order bonus in the history of video games, but an in-game pet monkey that lives in your character’s apartment, which is still pretty awesome. EverQuest II: Desert of Flames also packs in a new land, vertical movement (as in climbing walls), guild vaults and all-out PVP action. Desert of Flames ships in mid-September, ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 2, 2005 10:29 AM

another copy floating around out there
I got an email the other day from a guy who found the dungeon generator code I wrote for HA! and wanted to know if he could use it in his own game, and could I possibly send him the updated source. No problem... I send it off along with a request that he keep me in the loop to any changes, bugfixes or enhancements he makes along the way. Naturally this is purely optional, but I like knowing where my offspring end up and how they look once they get there. ;) So he replies with a fairly lengthy email ......

Posted On Sunday, November 6, 2005 10:38 AM

copyrighting games
Sometimes, interesting things pop into my inbox... This link from an email I received on the IGDA Casual Games mailing list is a good example: The real points of interest are below: The idea for a game is not protected by copyright. The same is true of the name or title given to the game and of the method or methods for playing it. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form. Copyright ......

Posted On Thursday, November 3, 2005 11:34 AM

my new hat
I'm pleased to announce that as of today, I am the chairman of the INETA Marketing Website Committee. Some of you who read this are probably already aware that the INETA website has been undergoing an extensive redesign and migration to DotNetNuke. It will be my job, and that of my team of volunteers, to manage the content for the new and improved INETA website. Currently, this committee consists of myself, Jason Olson, Lou Vega, Robin Edwards & one other person, yet to be found. That's right... ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 2, 2005 3:13 PM

speaking of money...
wow... I was just browsing through the new FAQ on the next generation of Microsoft certs, when I stumbled across this little gem in the Certified Architect section: Q. How much will it cost? A. The final price has not yet been determined. The program is being operated on a costs-recovery basis. The cost for staffing and running a week-long review board is approximately US$10,000 per candidate, so the expected price is about US$10,000. A final price will be announced by the end of 2005. Pay close ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 26, 2005 6:13 AM

of course I do it for the money...
I've been teaching evening classes at a local high school. It's pretty basic stuff like 6 weeks of Intro to Web Design and also single night stuff like Intro to PowerPoint. I'm coming up on 5 weeks of teaching so far and I haven't gotten paid. So I ask the lady in charge when I should expect payment. She looks at me like I just stepped on her puppy and asks me if I'm just doing "it" (I assume she meant the teaching??) for the money. Well... Duh-huh lady, of course I'm doing it for the money. Granted, ......

Posted On Friday, October 21, 2005 11:33 AM

silly people
Sometimes I really enjoy the Linux propaganda machine. They come up with some really clever arguments, although they don't always make much sense when you scratch below the surface. The penguins are kinda cute too. For example... this post by Aboo S At first glance it's mildly humorous, but when you stop to think about it, it just becomes silly. His closing point is that this is "Another undocumented bug of undisclosed source code". Riiiight! Tell me something (and be honest)... How many Linux users ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:39 AM

Master's Thesis: A Flexible and Expandable Architecture for Computer Games
as seen on Abstract Computer games have grown considerably in scale and complexity since their humble beginnings in the 1960s. Modern day computer games have reached incredible levels of realism, especially in areas like graphics, physical simulation, and artificial intelligence. However, despite significant advances in software engineering, the development of computer games generally does not employ state-of-the-art software engineering practices and tools. This thesis describes ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:16 AM

Using Crypto for your Random Numbers in VB.NET
Ok, everybody already knows the default Random Number Generator in .NET stinks for anything other than really simple usage. If this is news to you, take a moment and go read this article first, then come back here. In HA! I use a C# implementation of the Mersenne Twister for RNG, but there is another option. After seeing John Lunsford's excellent Crypto presentation at the Columbia, SC .NET User Group, I decided to start playing with the RandomNumberGenerator class in the System.Security.Cryptography ......

Posted On Sunday, October 16, 2005 10:39 AM

What INETA can do for me... (revisited)
Andy (ZMan) Dunn tried leaving this comment in my blog, but the links caused CAPTCHA to reject it. No biggie... here it is, along with my reply. Andy Dunn wrote...This is a DAMN good idea. One other thing - your user group only getslisted if it has speakers scheduled. This stops the groups that claimto exist but do nothing and encourages people to book out a regularspeaking schedule.Here's the numbers - code magazine charges $2445 per month if youcommit to 24 months for a half page B&W. That's ......

Posted On Saturday, October 15, 2005 6:27 PM

The Greater Charleston .NET User Group (GC.NUG) meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6:00pm at Blackbaud on Daniel Island. Our next meeting is September 8th and features an APRESS speaker (Les Smith) and of course pizza and sodas will be provided. Also, we are having South Carolina's 1st Code Camp on September 17th. Registration is free, but necessary for a proper head count. Please visit our Code Camp site: for more info. We also have informal coffee meetings ......

Posted On Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:19 PM

Ok, time to party...

I just got the ISBN number for my book... :)

Hey!! Stop yawning Tobin (and Bill and Andrew)... this is a big deal to me. ;)

Posted On Thursday, August 18, 2005 10:39 AM

Order of the ASCII
For those of you who have downloaded HA! or any other roguelike game, such as Nethack or ADOM, this link is my gift to you!


Posted On Wednesday, August 17, 2005 9:51 PM

No longer foaming at the mouth...
I'm *happy* to report that I finally received my Reg Code from Eltima. Yeah it was like 30+ hours after I SHOULD have received it, and it appeared to take an email from RegNow, but I got it. Incidentally, the software itself rocks! Having said that though, I still can't recommend the overall experience to anyone with a sense of urgency. It was annoying, stupid and pointless. (Kind of like my last 3 rants... I know) So toss me a sugar free low-carb cookie and a few quarts of soy chai latte and I'm ......

Posted On Sunday, August 14, 2005 5:01 PM

recursive plug
This is a plug for Doug Turnure's blog, where he plugs our GC.NUG Code Camp:

Doug's Blog

Recursive Blog Plugging? Something about that just doesn't sound right...

Posted On Tuesday, August 2, 2005 5:42 AM

another published friend...
So apparently, my friend Laura Hunter ( has a book out...

Stopping Spyware

Congrats Laura! I'll have to pick this one up for review.

Posted On Tuesday, August 2, 2005 4:52 AM

(VB.NET) Generics and how I might use them, eventually...
I've started playing with Generics some lately (as if I needed something else to keep me busy) and they really aren't that hard to figure out with the right examples. (Start simple...) A lot of folks have been using the Swap example, which is simple enough to be fairly obvious when you look at it. (If you haven't seen it, I'm not going to pilfer it, just go look here and come back... I'll wait.) So anyway, that got me thinking about more complex implementations, such as in Game Development. Specifically, ......

Posted On Saturday, October 15, 2005 5:07 PM

What INETA can do for me...
INETA is always asking what they can do to better serve the user groups... well, as a user group leader, here's my suggestion: Advertising! Small to medium sized groups have little or NO budget for advertising, and it's incredible how many times I meet people in the developer community that have no idea a local user group even exists. This is NOT due to a lack of effort on our part. So it comes down to advertising... specifically, run a monthly ad in the main .NET related mags, such as CoDe, MSDN, ......

Posted On Friday, October 14, 2005 6:49 PM

Do we own the moon?
Scott Kuhl poses an interesting question here and it makes me wonder, does the US consider the moon to be a U.S. territory? Never really thought about it... Regardless of how enforceable such a claim would be, would we make an issue of it? Considering we purchased a large chunk of the real estate in this country with beads and tobacco (among other things), how far-fetched is it to think we might assert ownership, based on the age old finders-keepers rule? Food for thought ......

Posted On Friday, October 14, 2005 8:18 AM

the good and bad of Partial Classes in VB.NET
Ok, first off, let me thank whoever decided to implement Partial Classes in VB.NET. You Rock!! Ok, now... (for those of you who are new here) Partial classes are incredibly cool and allow developers to work in the same class without having an exclusive lock on a file that others need. We all know how painful SourceSafe is, and partial classes go a long way to alleviate this pain. I can't tell you how many times a day I have a file checked out that someone else needs to get into, or vice versa. Thanks ......

Posted On Friday, October 14, 2005 8:11 AM

Some days, this is all I feel like doing: I'm probably the busiest I've ever been, and more projects keep lining up. I'm actually at a point where I may have to start turning down work. Wow. It's amazing how productive you can be when you only get 3 hours sleep a night. (That was sarcasm...) The downside to all of this is that projects that pay actual money take priority over the fun stuff that pays nothing. That's just a weak excuse for why there hasn't been a HA! release in forever. There will ......

Posted On Thursday, October 13, 2005 7:42 AM

Ok God, just go ahead and kill me now...

Holding Developers Liable For Bugs

Posted On Wednesday, October 12, 2005 7:58 AM

One of the things I've been meaning to do for a while is set up a site that focuses on development. I've got several domains and websites floating around out there already, some of which I've been neglecting (shocker, I know!). One of the sites I started about 5 years ago (MysticTriad), has not been touched (by me or anyone else) in ages and is mostly just a conduit for people to spam me with Zo loft and Vi agra ads. I'm pulling the plug on it by the end of this month. Any blogging I do about ......

Posted On Friday, October 7, 2005 7:11 AM

GC.NUG Road Show
ok, calling it the GC.NUG Road Show is a bit of a stretch, since it was just me and John Lunsford, but we had a great time. John and I made the 2+ hour drive from Charleston, SC up to Columbia, SC to visit the Columbia .NET User Group. The weather was pretty lousy, with lots of wind and rain for most of the drive but nothing we couldn't handle. We were in a hurry to get there by 6pm, but they have a much more relaxed bunch than we do and things didn't really kick off until almost 6:30. (Note to self: ......

Posted On Friday, October 7, 2005 6:28 AM

What's new in the world of Roguelike Development?
Ok, I've been slacking on the HA! development lately. Certain people have been busting my chops lately about not updating the game, ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that I said I was going to quarterly releases. That means the latest HA! release would have been at the end of August. Heh... In my defense, I can honestly say that unlike some people, I have NOT been sitting on my ass playing World of Warcraft. (Ok that, wasn't fair. Apparently he's actually been working on a new OS... which is definitely ......

Posted On Friday, October 7, 2005 5:56 AM

Interesting news for game artists...
Autodesk, Inc, creator of noted 3D graphics creation tool 3D Studio Max, has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alias, a privately held developer of 3D graphics technology and the creator of major rival 3D graphics tool Maya, for $182 million in cash.

Clicky the linky for the full story.

Posted On Wednesday, October 5, 2005 11:32 AM

HTML to jpg (or gif), revisited...
Chris Slatt sent me this link, which seems to cover what I'm looking for. I'll know more once I really dig into the article.

Posted On Wednesday, October 5, 2005 11:29 AM

HTML to jpg (or gif)
I'm looking for a way to take some HTML I generate, render it in memory and then take a snapshot of it and produce a GIF (or PNG or JPG) thumbnail. Has anyone already done something like this? I did some basic googling, but haven't found anything that matches my requirements. The HTML Snapshot 2.0 sounded promising, but the links point to a site that no longer exists, and apparently it was pricey. Ideally, I'd like to do this in code (VB.NET) and not with an ActiveX control. I've found code that ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 5, 2005 7:38 AM

Cyclomatic Complexity in VS2005 RC
I recently (tonight) installed the Release Candidate for VS2005 (I believe it was the September CTP.) After an absolutely PAINLESS install process, I fired up the HA! code and started taking a look around VS2005. (I have been using the betas all along, but I was curious about some of the features I don't normally use. That's when I stumbled across the "Run Code Analysis on..." menu option. So I ran it on HA! and came up with some interesting results. Not necessarily surprising, mind you, but interesting. ......

Posted On Monday, October 3, 2005 8:58 PM

Jason's game
Jason has pushed out the latest version of his MDX opus... Tanks! Source and Binaries available here:

Right Here!

I definitely need to check this out sometime soon, maybe while I'm on the plane.

Posted On Thursday, July 21, 2005 6:26 AM

new podcast interview
Jason Olson and I get interviewed on the latest GeeksWithBlogs Podcast Studio The Podcast I had a great time talking with John and Jeff and Jason of course. My audio is a little low, but that may have been my crappy cordless phone. All in all, I think Jeff and John did a great job! Way to go guys! I'm looking forward to hearing many more podcasts. Keep me in mind when you start hosting other folks podcasts ......

Posted On Thursday, July 21, 2005 6:18 AM

Best Buy To Test Sales Of Used Games
from gamasutra.comhttp://www.gam... North American electronics and game retailer Best Buy is testing the sale of used video games in a handful of its stores, according to a report by Piper Jaffray analyst Anthony Gikas, and is considering rolling it out over a larger subsection of its 870 retail outlets. This move is particularly notable because Best Buy has around 14 percent of the new video game market in North America, according to recent surveys - only ......

Posted On Monday, October 3, 2005 11:43 AM

Top 5 Reasons
The top 5 reasons to... pre-register for the Visual Studio 2005 & SQL Server 2005 Product Launch Event (being held by GC.NUG on November 10th...) #5 If you don't, we won't have ANY attendee materials prepared for you. #4 That means no DVDs... #3 No Hands on Labs... #2 Possibly not enough pizza... #1 You won't be eligible for the big drawings! We have 5 (FIVE) FULL COPIES of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 to give away at this event. If you don't pre-register, your name won't be in the drawing. ......

Posted On Monday, October 3, 2005 10:53 AM

VS.NET IDE for Linux? Isn't April still 6 months away?
Apparently, The Code Project is sponsoring another contest, this one is called: The Race to Linux. Should be interesting.

Posted On Thursday, September 29, 2005 8:49 AM

Microsoft 2005 Product Launch Event
Coming to the Greater Charleston .NET User Group on November 10th... All attendees will receive the following: Attendee DVD which includes all the slides/code from the Developer and IT Professional training plus additional content from Visual Studio, SQL Server, BizTalk Server, Windows Server, Mobility, Patterns & Practices, and many others. VPC images of hands on labs providing over 50 self-paced training sessions on Visual Studio, SQL Server, BizTalk Server, Mobility, Security, and many others. ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 27, 2005 9:27 PM

footprints in the internet
In this post, Scott Miller talks a bit about his internet footprint, and how some companies (MS in particular) might google you before actually talking to you. So this made me curious... Here is what I found: Googling for: Christopher Williams returns 21,000,000 results and I do not appear at all in the top 100 results. Googling for: Chris Williams returns 29,000,000 results and #5 of the top 10 is my blog (that you're reading right now). I appeared a total of 3 times in the Top 100 results. Googling ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 21, 2005 4:07 PM

I've been out of the office all week teaching a Microsoft Course in order to meet the requirements of my MCT program. This is the first teaching gig I've managed to score since moving to South Carolina, and I'm at PST in North Charleston. I have to say, it feels good to be back in the classroom. It may sound cheesy, but I really do enjoy helping people learn, and when I'm in a small class (5 people) like this one I feel like I have more of an opportunity to connect with everyone. Also, this class ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 21, 2005 3:36 PM

OMG, World of Warcraft has the plague...
Here's the short version: Blizzard adds in a new instance to their MMORPG World of Warcraft. This instance is named Zul'Gurub. Inside is the god of blood, Hakkar. When you fight him he has a debuff called Corrputed Blood. It does roughly 250-350 damage to your character and affects nearby player characters. The amazing thing is some players have brought this disease (and it is a disease) back to the towns, outside of the instance. It starts spreading amongst the general population including NPCs, ......

Posted On Sunday, September 18, 2005 1:29 PM

Google Juice
I find it interesting that a post I made on Tuesday of this week (9/13/05) managed to hit the #1 spot on Google by Thursday (9/15/05) morning. I'm sure a lot of you have heard (or used) the term Google Juice before, and I know Jeff is pretty proud of the amount of "juice" GWB has. So I'm wondering how all of this really works. When you think about it, TWO days (more like 1.5) is pretty damn fast to show up in Google. How much of it is Google's attraction to GWB and how much of it is just Google getting ......

Posted On Friday, September 16, 2005 5:55 AM

Happy Blogiversary
Today marks 1 year on Geeks With Blogs.

Yay me!

Posted On Thursday, September 15, 2005 5:27 AM

interesting tidbit from PDC
Bill Evjen recently mentioned this in his blog from PDC. Using a USB memory stick will allow Vista to add it to the larger pool of available memory for the computer! Wow. Wow is right... imagine being able to stick a 2 gig USB drive in your machine and have it automatically increase your overall memory pool! I think that's pretty awesome, but... I am concerned about the impact speed will have on this... USB drives will have to get a hell of a lot faster, won't they? Or am I missing something obvious ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 14, 2005 11:31 AM

Code Campalicious...
Ok, so I'm NOT at PDC... and I get to read all these great posts about how cool it is and how much fun it is and all the neat people you all meet at the bar while sucking down your *diet cokes* (yeah right) That's ok... I've got the next best thing (if you happen to live within a couple hundred miles and couldn't afford PDC like the rest of us...) Charleston Code Camp That's right! The Charleston Code Camp is only 4 days away... and you know how much it costs? NOTHING!! ZIP ZERO ZILCH NADA NUTTIN ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 13, 2005 11:16 AM

unclear on the concept...
ebay buying skype? for $2.6 BILLION?

read it here

Posted On Tuesday, September 13, 2005 9:05 AM

ok fine...
Ok... I've gotten a few requests for the details behind this, so here it is: Like most good stories, the truth of what happened probably isn't quite as interesting as the aftermath, but here goes... about 7 years ago, I was at a small (dare I say... dinky?) convention in Glenvar, VA. Unless you live within 20 miles of there, you've probably never heard of it... No big deal. The convention was Rising Star and it's held at Glenvar High School each year. Rising Star was one of two cons that emerged ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 13, 2005 5:56 AM

Gil Gerard must be destroyed.
I made my yearly pilgrimage to Atlanta for Dragon*Con and will have pictures online soon. It was awesome as usual, with one sad exception. The disgusting pig I love to hate... Gil Gerard, did not grace us with his corpulent presence this year. Every year I make a point of swinging by his "fan table" and insulting him. Trust me, he's a jerk and he deserves it. I always took great pride in being the ONLY person anywhere near his table, sometimes even declaring myself "FIRST" on day 3 of the convention. ......

Posted On Monday, September 12, 2005 12:48 PM

How to be a PM at MS (and how to deal with PMs)
Found this in Paul Vicks blog...

How to be a PM at Microsoft (and how to deal with PMs)

I know it's a couple weeks old, but it's quite funny... because it's true.

Posted On Friday, September 9, 2005 11:52 AM

stupid HR tricks... part 2
When I was at {previous company}, they used this system called 360 degree feedback. I'm sure you've heard of it, a lot of companies use it with varying degrees of success. So what's the big deal, you ask? go ahead and ask, I'll wait... ok, well {previous company} may have called it 360 degree feedback, but it resembled the actual process in name only. Every company I've ever been at (and there have been a few) that used "360" did it the same way. You get reviewed by 2 or 3 of your peers, and by your ......

Posted On Friday, September 9, 2005 10:06 AM

GC.NUG September Meeting
The Greater Charleston .NET User Group I hope to see some of you this evening. We're covering the pizza and sodas, and providing a speaker (courtesy of Apress). All you have to do is show up! How much easier can we make it? :) Our .NET Lending Library is up and running, with a page of it's own on the website. Contact Cherrie if you see anything you want to check out. Also, reader reviews are always encouraged (although not required) as a great way to keep the books coming from our publisher ......

Posted On Thursday, September 8, 2005 9:37 AM

stupid HR tricks... part 1
So I have this friend who works for a software company that is trying to find new and innovative ways to locate potential employees (mostly developers). She's not a geek, so she asks me for some suggestions on how to attract the attention of my fellow geeks who might be looking for a job. Naturally I say... start a blog!! of course. There aren't all that many female geek bloggers (in comparison) and the ones I've seen on GWB tend to be fairly well received. We're a mostly courteous bunch after all. ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 7, 2005 6:12 AM

Marvel Signs MMO Deal With Microsoft
This news is a couple days old, but I hadn't seen anyone else talking about it, so... Marvel MMO to be on XBox 360 This news is a little older, but still interesting: Sony Online has recently announced that it will be creating a DC Comics-based MMO, targeting a fourth-quarter 2007 release for the PC and unnamed next generation consoles, which would likely not include a Microsoft platform release. Thus, although far away, the stage seems to be set for a Marvel versus DC massively multiplayer game ......

Posted On Thursday, July 21, 2005 9:56 AM

5 days left...

If you're into game development...  You don't want to miss Microsoft Meltdown

There's only 5 days left, but my trip begins a lot sooner than that. I'm hopping on a plane tomorrow to head to the Portland Code Camp this weekend, then driving up to Seattle on Monday.

I can't wait! It's also my first trip out west. (note to self: bring a camera!)

Posted On Thursday, July 21, 2005 6:31 AM

just to clarify, why I'm so busy (repost)
Thank you Julia Lerman for finding this one and returning it to me after it got lost... The title of my book was done ages ago, I'm writing the actual book now. It's just slowwww going. I have a full time day job of course, and a chronic inability to say no to extra projects. In addition to my day job, I'm also: - working on a fairly lucrative sideproject for a local company - teaching programming a couple nights a week at the local high school - preparing to deliver a weeklong MOC course ......

Posted On Monday, September 5, 2005 11:44 AM

well slap me on the ass and call me shirley...
Man... writing a book is freakin' hard! My kudos to all of you who have finished one (or more) already. Yes, even the really crappy ones. No David, that wasn't meant towards you. ;) (Besides, I have a newfound appreciation for your book. It got a lot better in the later chapters.) Yes I'm still working on my title, and yes I knew all along it wouldn't be easy. I just had no idea how hard it would be at times to regain momentum after you've stopped for any length of time longer than a bathroom break. ......

Posted On Thursday, September 1, 2005 9:38 AM

It's funny when it's not you...
I got this today at work... pretty funny. Your wife decides to go out with her friends drinking and dancing.... You're okay with it, because you get to watch sports all night.... You hear her stumble into bed around 4am and you laugh knowing she's going to have a monster hangover.... You wake up the next morning and go outside to the family Volvo, which she used last night.... You sigh in relief because it's all in one piece.... You circle the car looking for dents and find none.... But... Wait a ......

Posted On Thursday, September 1, 2005 8:20 AM

Nobody told me I was rich...
There's an article in The Escapist talking about "Casual Fortunes" and how much money casual game developers are earning. Not sure I agree with it, but it's a good read.

read it!

BTW, the navigation buttons are well-hidden down in the bottom right corner.

Posted On Thursday, September 1, 2005 6:41 AM

End of an era...
My Virginia license plates expired today, and since I'm no longer living in VA, I had to replace them with South Carolina tags. For now I'm not going to bother with personalized tags, although once I think up something good... I'll get them.

sniff... goodbye tags...

Posted On Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:48 PM

Welcome to the GWB, Dana...
One of my very cool colleagues at the world's coolest software company has recently started a blog. Check it out!

Dana's Blog can be found here.

Dana is in recruiting at Blackbaud (the aforementioned world's coolest software company), so if you're looking for a job or know someone who is... she's a good one to get in touch with.

Posted On Wednesday, August 31, 2005 10:15 AM

Charleston Code Camp - Swag Update
We're expecting around 150 people... although we do have a few seats still open, so (Sign up here!) So far, we have... an XBOX an iMate SP3 Smartphone Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Architect 3 copies of the Code Magazine CD (5 years of articles) 2 copies of Developer's Assistant (from Method Factory) a veritable buttload of VS 2005 beta 2 DVD sets Infragistics NetAdvantage Toolset a large pile of Tshirts (20-30 with more coming...) 20+ books from Apress 15+ books from O'Reilly 15+ books from Addison ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 24, 2005 6:13 PM

Google Talk
initial impressions... favorable.

Not overloaded with stupid features and bombing me with popup garbage like AOL IM.

Haven't tried the VOIP yet, but I will be soon.

very lightweight client. I like it.

Posted On Wednesday, August 24, 2005 5:33 PM

12 hours later... still hopping mad
It's been 12 hours and shockingly... I still have NO REGISTRATION CODE. Nobody at RegNow is able(?) to help me, and nobody at Eltima is answering the phone. Apparently it takes 2 business days for them to contact Eltima on my behalf, and even longer than that to process my refund. (Of course it only took them seconds to charge my card in the first place.) Oh and the guy at RegNow was nice enough to talk to me as if I were an idiot. "Well sir... it IS the weekend you know..." I'm sorry, but so f@cking ......

Posted On Saturday, August 13, 2005 8:18 PM

the agony continues...
So I'm working on this project that I inherited and there are these Flash buttons with embedded links. I don't have the FLA files, just the SWF files. I Google around a bit and find a couple of products that will decompile SWF files back into FLA so I can open them with Flash. (For the record, I don't use Flash ever... or ColdFusion... but I'm a glutton for punishment.) So I download both of the utilities... and of course both are crippled to the point of being useless to me. So after much deliberating ......

Posted On Saturday, August 13, 2005 7:58 AM

Ask me how much I hate ColdFusion... I dare ya! *sigh*

Posted On Friday, August 12, 2005 8:49 PM

Googling for ColdFusion
So I'm at Google and I type in ColdFusion (why is not important) and press

First hit that comes up... Microsoft! So I'm curious... I click the link and it takes me to the Download Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition Beta 2 Today page (here).

That's just wrong. Funny yes, but wrong.

Posted On Friday, August 12, 2005 6:12 AM

Windows Vista re-revisited
I've been playing with Windows Vista (admittedly in a VPC image) for a few days now, and yes it's quite pretty but it's ungodly slow. Of course, I know it's in BETA and it's running on a VPC image, but I've thrown a gig of RAM at it and turned off most of the resource sucking options, and it's still dog slow. A few notes: - It makes it really hard to explore when just right-clicking can be measured in minutes. - One thing I noticed right off, is no new games in the start menu. That's a bummer. We ......

Posted On Thursday, August 11, 2005 8:18 PM

Virtual PC 2004 and Vista Beta 1 (cont... cont...)
ok I'm up and running, and I DLed the newest drivers from ATI.

Pretty nice... but wow it's soooooooooooo slowwwwwwwwwww

Posted On Monday, August 8, 2005 1:52 PM

They made a sequel to Jackass The Movie...
...and they named it The Dukes of Hazzard! Most people in my generation either loved The Dukes of Hazzard or hated it. I have fond memories of me as a child, sitting up late with my Dad and watching it, along with A Man Called Hawk and Knight Rider. I honestly don't remember much about the show, other than the car and the characters. I would be hard pressed to recall any specific stories, but most of them were all the same anyway. This movie does a fairly good job of updating TDOH for the current ......

Posted On Saturday, August 6, 2005 10:52 PM

Gearhead 2
Seems like someone is working on a second edition of Gearhead.

GearHead 2 announcement

He plans to support ASCII and OpenGL. Interesting choice.

Posted On Saturday, August 6, 2005 6:50 AM

Virtual PC 2004 and Vista Beta 1 (cont...)
So it turns out... the DVD of Vista Beta 1 that I burned earlier was no good. Plain and simple. I burned a second one and this time Virtual PC recognized it right away. That's the good news. The bad news is... now I'm getting the exact same error I was getting with the 64 bit version, which you can see here. I downloaded this: Windows Longhorn Professional Edition Beta 1 (English) from MSDN Downloads. Should I have downloaded this: Windows Longhorn Professional Edition Beta 1 - checked/debug (English) ......

Posted On Thursday, August 4, 2005 6:32 PM

Virtual PC 2004 and Vista Beta 1
Well... that's 40 minutes of my life I'll never get back. Messed around with trying to load the Vista Beta 1 on a clean (not even formatted) VPC. No joy. Did some Googling, but still didn't find an answer. Ok well, found some answers: 1. VPC can't recognize ISO images over 2.2 gig in size. The ISO for Vista is bigger than that. 2. Virtual Server has apprently solved that problem. I burned the ISO to a DVD and never could get VPC to even see the DVD. That was probably me doing something wrong. I also ......

Posted On Thursday, August 4, 2005 4:10 PM

this just in, from the Shameless Self-Promotion Department...
Meltdown is over, but the comic sale continues... In an effort to completely simplify my life, I've decided to part with my comic book collection entirely. Initially I was selling it off in pieces to raise some Meltdown money. Well, Meltdown is over... and I don't really feel like fooling with it anymore. I'm entirely too busy to bother with it (to be completely honest) and I haven't bought any new comics in years anyway. So I've decided to just sell the whole collection as one big lot. Here's the ......

Posted On Sunday, July 31, 2005 10:22 AM

The Island
Saw The Island recently, and overall it's a pretty darn good movie. Ewan McGregor does an excellent job, as always, along with Scarlett Johansson (who I've liked ever since Ghost World.) Steve Buscemi plays, well, pretty much the same role he plays in every film he's in. Also noteworthy was a brief appearance by Michael Clarke Duncan. Ethan Phillips (think Neelix from ST:Voyager) was also terrific in his role, while not especially likeable. There were a number of other familiar faces in the movie, ......

Posted On Saturday, July 30, 2005 9:42 PM

Halo AI (and not coding more than you need)
While I was giving my talk on creature AI at the Portland Code Camp, I mentioned not overcoding your AI and how (unless you are deliberately making an AI simulator) you should only code what your players will be able to notice. At that point, Andy Dunn mentioned a paper by the Halo guys where they talk about how they did AI in Halo. Here's the link: Halo AI paper And here's the page where they talk about how nobody noticed some of the very subtle AI they put in: subtlety Thank you Andy for sending ......

Posted On Friday, July 29, 2005 11:23 AM

Pardon me whilst I drool
UT2K7!! http://www.unrealtechnology... Especially interesting is this quote: We are authoring most character and world normal maps and texture maps at 2048x2048 resolution. We feel this is a good target for games running on mid-range PC's in the 2006 timeframe. Ohhh mama... job listings ......

Posted On Friday, July 29, 2005 10:37 AM

back to the grind
Vacation is over, time for life to resume. The Portland CodeCamp was fun, and Meltdown was a blast but I've been neglectful of other projects while tromping all over the Pacific NorthWest. The Jacksonville Code Camp is coming up in a few weeks... The next release of HA! is scheduled for end of August. that is followed by Dragon*Con and then the Charleston Code Camp (both in September) I also have to get back in the habit of writing each night since I have chapters due before too long. David Weller ......

Posted On Friday, July 29, 2005 9:22 AM

7 days left until Microsoft Meltdown!!
This is gonna rock!! I can't wait. I definitely want to catch the Keynote (Blizzard!!) and I'm also really looking forward to catching the tracks on: Best Practices for Windows Development Speaker: Chuck Walbourn Developing games for the Windows platform means more than just using a few DirectX APIs. This talk covers a broad range of topics that game developers should take into account during design and implementation to ensure their titles work well on current and future versions of Windows. Optimization ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 19, 2005 11:49 AM

Paul Vick (the almighty poobah of recently mentioned me in his blog, Panopticon Central regarding this post I made not too long ago. It's pretty cool when someone like that has nice things to say about you (or even knows you exist). I quote: I was reminded of this when I read Chris Williams – someone who would not be described as a low-end VB programmer Sweet ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 19, 2005 7:45 AM

extensible game design
Jay Miller recent blogged this post about using the Dungeon Mapper from HA! The really cool thing is that I've never met Jay or discussed HA! with him (as far as I can recall). He found the code on my site and managed to integrate into his game in about an hour... and his game isn't even in VB.NET, it's C#... As Jay says... "how cool is that?" I love .NET! His post absolutely made my day ......

Posted On Saturday, July 16, 2005 3:21 PM

I have 30 minutes to forget about The Game
I had never played The Game until seeing DanK's post last night. Once I read it, I was playing The Game (now you are too, by the way... to know of The Game is to play The Game). All was good, because I forgot all about it last night. Then this morning I saw his post again on the GWB main feed (so unfair Dan!!), and the rules state I have 30 minutes to forget about The Game. After the next 30 minutes, to think about The Game is to lose The Game. I need to find a different hobby ......

Posted On Saturday, July 16, 2005 5:41 AM

You can learn a lot from a dummy.... (no wait... that's not right)
The things we love are a large part of who we are. This is who I am. Who are you? Top 10 favorite songs... in no order: - Hurt (Johnny Cash cover of NIN) - Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode or Marilyn Manson versions) - My Immortal (Evanescence) - You Spin Me Round (Dead or Alive) - Welcome Home Sanitarium (Metallica) - Baby One More Time (Britney Spears... don't even say it!) - anything by Gwen Stefani - Possession (Sarah Maclachlin) - Holiday (Green Day) - anything by Elvis Top 10 favorite movies ever... ......

Posted On Friday, July 15, 2005 12:00 PM

umm... wow

ok... since apparently I'm not going to be Bill Gates when I grow up, when I do get old, I want to be this guy!!

Posted On Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:21 AM

Ragdoll Physics
This is an interesting demonstration of ragdoll physics. You can drag her around and let go. I don't know how accurate the physics model actually is, but it does make for an interesting example.

Posted On Wednesday, June 29, 2005 8:31 AM

The lost liberty hotel

Interesting proposal, although I don't see it getting very far.

Posted On Tuesday, June 28, 2005 3:34 PM

GC.NUG going nonprofit
The boardmembers of the Greater Charleston .NET User Group (GC.NUG) met earlier this week to discuss incorporating the group and becoming a 401(c)(3) nonprofit. After careful consideration and research, we have decided this is the best course of action. Today the board voted unanimously in favor of proceeding. I know this is a topic of interest to other user groups, so as we go through the process, I will be blogging about it here. Stay tuned... the first thing to do is the mountain of paperwork. ......

Posted On Friday, July 15, 2005 11:22 AM

new pic of BlogusMaximus hard at work...

Posted On Friday, July 15, 2005 10:28 AM

you're FIRED!
I can only hope this isn't true... or if it is true, that the person responsible was fired.

news story

Short version... Man robs bank with note passed via drive-thru teller.

Posted On Thursday, July 14, 2005 1:01 PM

Charleston Code Camp
The Charleston Code Camp site ( has been updated with the track/session calendar and session descriptions. Registration is open, so grab a seat while they last.

Code Camp is September 17th in Charleston SC. Please visit the site for more info.

If you're interested in helping out, please contact me. Speaker Call is closed, but we can always use a couple more volunteers.


Posted On Thursday, July 14, 2005 10:43 AM

Hey, I got a new hat...
This one says I'm the INETA Grand Poobah of Code Camps! Ok, maybe not, but it's close... I'm on the INETA Community Events Committee, and I've recently (last night?) been appointed to the position of INETA Code Camp Liaison. A little history... INETA has never sponsored Code Camps before, and we're still in the planning stages, but good stuff is in the works. This is your chance to provide some input and tell us what kind of support you want/need from INETA. Realistically, there's just no way we ......

Posted On Thursday, July 14, 2005 6:13 AM

ch-ch-ch-changes... to MS certs
My trusted advisor Robin sent me this:

It's an interesting read about the changes Microsoft is making to the various certification programs. No more MCSD and MCAD certs, among other things.... Current MCSDs will need to pass two tests to convert to the new cert, MCADs will need to pass 1 to convert to their equivalent cert.

Posted On Wednesday, July 13, 2005 9:46 PM

new article about the XBox 360
Inside the XBox 360

Posted On Wednesday, July 13, 2005 1:12 PM

ebooks vs hardcopies
One of my biggest complaints about actually buying ebooks (aside from the fact that I could probably find them on a newsgroup if I looked hard enough) is that many companies try to charge the same amount for the ebook as for the hardcopy. They act as if they are doing you a favor by letting you download the ebook as a convenience, instead of having to wait for the hard copy to show up. Give me a break! If I buy an ebook, it should be significantly less than the cost of the hardcopy edition. Further, ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:35 PM

that's a lot of comics...
Still raising money for my trip... just got a new star on ebay.

Posted On Monday, July 11, 2005 9:03 PM

Portland Code Camp
The Portland Code Camp is coming up in less than 2 weeks, and I'm pretty excited to be a part of it. Not only is it my first Code Camp that features a Game Development track, it's also my first trip "out west"... Yes folks, that's right... the mighty worldwide explorer (I sailed the Atlantic, the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean & the Caribbean) has never set foot west of Texas... oh the shame! Anyway... these are a couple of the tracks I definitely want to hit... A Business Developer's Journey Into ......

Posted On Monday, July 11, 2005 12:58 PM

My BlogMap shows a whopping 8 folks in my area. Pretty weak.

I know for a fact there are more bloggers than that around here.

If you blog, and live in the Charleston SC area, visit and add your blog.

Why? I dunno... I guess I'm just OC like that.

Posted On Monday, July 11, 2005 10:46 AM

Announcing new Heroic Adventure! forums at Inner Realm
Mykre at Inner Realm was kind enough to set me up with some forum space for HA! The new forums are located here: Heroic Adventure Forum Feel free to submit bug reports, suggestions or just stop by and talk about your experiences playing HA! so far. If you aren't familiar with Inner Realm, it's a cool site devoted to .NET Game Development and Managed DirectX. You should check it out. It's where all the cool kids are this summer ......

Posted On Sunday, July 10, 2005 9:05 PM

new HA! build

The latest build of HA! has just been uploaded. Two towns (Fincastle and Stonegate) are now available, although not currently populated. Lots of internal stuff added and/or modified.

Get it here... new build

Posted On Sunday, July 10, 2005 10:53 AM

The wikipedia defines refactoring as: part of code maintenance which doesn't fix bugs or add new functionality. Rather it is designed to improve the understandability of the code or change its structure and design, and remove dead code, to make it easier for human maintenance in the future. In particular, adding new behavior to a program might be difficult with the program's given structure, so a developer might refactor it first to make it easy, and then add the new behavior. Ok so... it turns out ......

Posted On Sunday, July 10, 2005 8:44 AM

GC.NUG proudly presents: Charleston Code Camp
Charleston Code Camp South Carolina's first Code Camp is now open for registration... We have 150 seats available. Register now, today... before you forget! To find out who's coming, and what they're talking about, please visit our Code Camp page. (NOTE: If you've signed up as a volunteer, you don't need to register.) ......

Posted On Thursday, July 7, 2005 9:01 AM

Interested in developing games for next gen consoles?
It's not impossible, but it's probably a lot less likely than most folks realize. Certainly not as simple as downloading an XDK or paying a license fee. Ya know... it's hard to get experience developing for consoles if they expect you to have experience developing for consoles before you can participate in the program. From the Xbox site... Xbox Developer Programs We have created several programs to support the efforts of publishers, developers, tool makers, and hardware vendors who want to bring ......

Posted On Thursday, July 7, 2005 4:47 PM

Why I will most likely never work in the games industry...
A number of folks (especially recently) have asked me if I want to eventually get a job in the computer game industry. I always answer the same way... I'd rather be near the industry than in it. (Pretty much exactly where I am now... doing it because I love it, not because I have to) The answer doesn't always make sense to everyone, but I hope this does... EA: The Human Story I know many of you have read this already... but many more of you probably haven't. It's a good read ......

Posted On Thursday, July 7, 2005 4:17 PM

My worst job ever...
Inspired by Chris Sells post... here and Rory's post here. I had a string of truly horrible jobs in my youth. Fortunately my professional career hasn't been all that bad, with one shining exception... a certain company in Harahan, LA. I had been out of the Navy for about 3 months, and I only worked there for about a month and a half, and it was probably a month longer than I should have. These 2 chuckle-heads quit the (much larger) company they worked for, stole a bunch of their clients and started ......

Posted On Thursday, July 7, 2005 3:31 PM

...and now a word from the "give me what she's having, and make it a double" department...
Astrologer Sues NASA Over Comet Probe MOSCOW (July 5) - NASA's mission that sent a space probe smashing into a comet raised more than cosmic dust - it also brought a lawsuit from a Russian astrologer. Marina Bai has sued the U.S. space agency, claiming the Deep Impact probe that punched a crater into the comet Tempel 1 late Sunday "ruins the natural balance of forces in the universe," the newspaper Izvestia reported Tuesday. A Moscow court has postponed hearings on the case until late July, the paper ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 6, 2005 8:21 PM

20 days...

20 days remaining until Microsoft Meltdown!! w00t!

So... who all is going?

We need to all get together Monday night for a party. Place and Time: TBD

Reply to this post if you're interested...

edit: I am the uber-dork. The welcome reception is Monday night. For some reason I was thinking it was Tuesday night. So nevermind on the party... we're covered. So anyway... who all is coming?

Posted On Wednesday, July 6, 2005 1:56 PM

Michael Earls, I salute you...

If I were one of those Bud Light commercials... I'd be singing about Michael Earls, real american hero...


Posted On Wednesday, July 6, 2005 11:06 AM

Easy Building Generation on a Tile-based Map

When you're creating terrain features (such as buildings), on a tile-based map, doing each tile manually is a royal pain and a waste of time. Here's an alternative.

New article:


Posted On Wednesday, July 6, 2005 10:28 AM

Heroic Adventure 0.1.7 latest build (not a release)
For those of you interested in seeing what I've been doing with HA! lately (and don't want to wait until August 31), you can download the latest build of Heroic Adventure! 0.1.7 here: Latest Build Please keep in mind, this is NOT a release. It's a build. The very latest build. Things might not work as expected. Things may disappear from one build to the next. Things may not work at all. Repeat after me... it's a build, not a release, not even a release candidate. It's only a build. If you require ......

Posted On Saturday, July 2, 2005 10:33 PM

You never forget your first love...
TRS-80 Color Computer I It was 1982, I was 12 years old, she was... oh I dunno? 1 year, maybe... Oh sure, I had seen other computers before then. Even played on a mainframe one summer at UVa. But this one was mine, all mine. I spent hours (possibly days) typing in code from Rainbow magazine. Mostly games, but sometimes utilities. I bought every conceivable expansion known to man. *sigh...* Good times. thank you Z-Man for this trip down memory lane ......

Posted On Friday, July 1, 2005 11:25 AM

grunt work... apply within!
I'm a good coder and a decent game designer, but I'm a downright lazy bastard when it comes to documentation. So... in the spirit of true laziness, I'm foisting the grunt work off on someone else. Here's the deal: Download Heroic Adventure! 0.1.6 Play it. Play it some more. Play it a lot. Send me emails. Ask me questions. I'll tell you pretty much whatever you want to know (about HA!) Write some kick-ass documentation and/or a FAQ. Send it to me. I might send it back once or twice. (My prerogative) ......

Posted On Thursday, June 30, 2005 7:28 PM

another CodeCamp
I'll be speaking at the Portland, Oregon Code Camp on July 23/24 (not sure which day I'm speaking). Portland Code Camp If you're in the area, come check it out... it's gonna rock! This is actually extremely cool for me, since I've never been west of Texas before. I'll be hitting Oregon and Washington in the same week. I've hit pretty much every state from Texas to Maine, but never anything west of that (somewhat crooked) line ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:25 AM

hallmark of a successful blog
According to Jason Olson, the mark of a successful blog is when you have more comments than posts. (Presumeably this is only applicable after you have a substantial number of posts...) At any rate, I'm there now. I don't feel any different. Maybe a little taller. ;)

Posted On Saturday, June 25, 2005 10:58 PM

Overland Mapping in HA! 0.1.7
I've spent the last few hours working on the overland map for HA! and I'm happy to say the initialization routines are done. FWIW, they didn't take as long as I thought, but still longer than I would have liked. If you're interested in what the overland looks like, when actually represented, you can go here, but keep in mind that some (maybe a little, maybe a lot) of it will change as I implement it. Currently though, that's it. So anyway, now I have the overland map data loading at the beginning ......

Posted On Saturday, June 25, 2005 7:18 PM

this sounds about right...
Funny thing is... I'm pretty much on top of my game right now. I know that sounds arrogant, but it's true. I have a kick-ass job, good friends, awesome professional contacts and a book deal in the works. I'm in the best health I've been in over 10 years and I'm happy. I've got my MCAD, MCSD.NET & MCT certs, and I'm being considered for MVP (no guarantees). The user group is going well, we have a code camp coming up and I'm speaking all over the southeast US at code camps and user groups. Not bad ......

Posted On Saturday, June 25, 2005 2:26 PM

Sphere XP
Any of you uber-geeks ever use SphereXP? I'm considering trying it, unless someone fills my head with horror stories.

Posted On Friday, June 24, 2005 4:41 PM

I'm completely speechless

I'm a geek, I know, but I love stuff like this:

(Thanks SBoyle for sending it to me)

Posted On Friday, June 24, 2005 11:57 AM

seriously guys... anything!

Send me to Microsoft Meltdown and I'll even get a tattoo of one of the Meltdown superheroes...

I'm kinda partial to this one...

          Or this one (if I have to)...

Posted On Wednesday, June 22, 2005 2:05 PM

Microsoft Meltdown Keynote
Blizzard... very cool!

Posted On Wednesday, June 22, 2005 1:50 PM

finger crossing re-re-revisited!!
Ok, the *revised* story so far... RPG Dev book proposal is being considered by Publisher 1 - I sent 3 ideas - They requested a proposal on 1 of them (although they are considering possible 2nd idea) - I submitted detailed proposal - They're sending me a contract!! OMFG! (I have roughly 6 months to write it)Mobile Game Dev book proposal (of no interest to Publisher 1) is being considered by Publisher 2 - I sent ideas - They requested a proposal (strong interest in one idea, maybe others) - I submitted ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 22, 2005 11:36 AM

Blizzard discussion...
This started as a semi-private convo, based on one of my blog entries, but I wanted to open it up to you guys. Naturally I asked permission, because that's just the kind of guy I am. Dan: (original post here: Dan's Post) Mewell yeah... #1 does kinda make the rest of it pretty pointless.As for #2, you neglect to mention that the bootleg Bnet also does not do any serial key validation, which means it's wide open for piratedcopies to play all they want. Pretty sure Blizzard has the right to defend against ......

Posted On Thursday, June 23, 2005 1:17 PM

International Game Developers Association
Recently joined the IGDA... if you're into game development then I encourage you to check these guys out. They have several membership rates, ranging from $48/year for regular members, $30/year for students and a free (limited access) membership. The biggest advantage to joining is the networking, of course... which the free membership restricts a bit. No matter which level you sign up at, you get the IGDA newsletter. Depending on your goals, $48 is a steal... it's cheaper than some of the books ......

Posted On Thursday, June 23, 2005 12:54 AM

Microsoft Meltdown update
Registered... CHECK! Hotel Accomodations... CHECK! Plane Ticket... pending ok, so anyway... in a subtle twist of fate, I happened to be liquidating a substantial portion of my old comic book collection anyway... so if you're not feeling the need to sponsor a semi-starving developer in his quest to gamer geek Mecca, perhaps you want something of value for your money... Feel free to bid on some of my loot. All proceeds will go to funding my plane ticket to Seattle (and back of course, sorry Charles.) ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 22, 2005 10:40 PM

VS2005 launch date

from the C# Corner newsletter...

Finally Visual Studio 2005 launch date was announced at VS Live and we should be getting our hands on final product on Nov 07, 2005.

SWEET! (I added that part myself)

Posted On Wednesday, June 22, 2005 8:26 AM

names have been changed to protect the innocent
I sent this to my favorite book publisher... wish me luck!Top 10 Reasons your company name Should Send Me To Microsoft Meltdown http://www.microsoftmeltdow... July 26 & 27, 2005 10. It gets really hot here in South Carolina in July. 9. I'm (hopefully) writing a .NET Game Development book (still in the works) 8. I'll do pretty much anything your company name wants! 7. I've written numerous articles (some even paid) on .NET game development. 6. I'll do anything... seriously! 5. I'm tech-editing ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 21, 2005 5:05 PM

Microsoft Meltdown...

I would saw off my left arm to go to this...

I need a sponsor... I'll do anything. (ok almost anything... ok fine, anything!!)

Posted On Tuesday, June 21, 2005 4:13 PM

Review: Linux Desktop Hacks
Linux Desktop HacksReview by Sandeep Kachru (of the Greater Charleston .NET User Group) Linux Desktop Hacks by Nicholas Petreley and Jono Bacon, is a collection of 100 hacks to make your Linux experience richer and better. I think this book will appeal to users with all kinds of skill levels ranging from beginner to expert. A basic knowledge of Linux commands is required for most of the hacks but some of the hacks are more involved and are clearly marked by a thermometer icon. The book is well organized ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 21, 2005 2:58 PM

HA! gets mentioned some more...
wow... more good words about HA!

Looks like I better stick to my release schedule.

Posted On Monday, June 20, 2005 2:02 AM

dinosaur blog

Posted On Monday, June 20, 2005 1:15 AM

Atlanta Code Camp pics
Pics from the Atlanta Code Camp

There was a giant turkey there too, but it's not in these pictures.
I say, I say it's NOT in these pictures...

1 2 3

Posted On Wednesday, June 15, 2005 2:45 PM

how many geeks does it take...

I mentioned the “ride from hell” during Tech*Ed, and now I have pics to prove it.  (Thanks Matt!)

It's like the geek “clown-car”. BTW, the guy driving is yours truly.

Posted On Tuesday, June 14, 2005 2:47 PM

certainly I'm not the ONLY one...
You ever have days where you hear a portion of a REALLY old song on the radio, and it gets stuck in your head, so you go download the mp3 (along with EVERY SINGLE ALTERNATE VERSION YOU CAN FIND) and then play them all day long on repeat/shuffle until you absolutely can't stand it anymore? Ok, so maybe it's not that common of a thing. Surely it's not just me... What is the song, you ask? You spin me round (right round, like a record baby) by Dead or Alive (this is vintage '80s!!) so anyway, I'm on ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 14, 2005 10:22 AM

an excellent example

Anyone posting long code samples to the main feed, please follow Aaron Rosenfeld's excellent example.

It just makes things easier for everyone.  (Yeah I know, I'm guilty too... but I'll change I promise!)

Posted On Tuesday, June 14, 2005 10:05 AM

Review: ASP.NET Developer's Cookbook
ASP.NET Developer's Cookbook Review by Cherrie Yuen (of the Greater Charleston .NET User Group) "ASP.NET Developer's Cookbook" is a truly handy-dandy code reference. It does what it says. I am impressed by how the authors touch on a vast amount of topics, yet keeping the content succinct at the same time. The excellent organization of topics not only helps you find the solutions quickly, but also inspires you with other great ideas. Here is a snapshot of book topics: 1. ASP.NET Pages - Web Forms, ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 21, 2005 2:51 PM

finger crossin re-revisited...
Ok, the story so far... RPG Dev book proposal is being considered by Publisher 1 - I sent 3 ideas - They requested a proposal on 1 of them (although they are considering possible 2nd idea) - I submitted detailed proposal I'm waiting on feedback from that proposal. (Should be today or tomorrow)Mobile Game Dev book proposal (of no interest to Publisher 1) is being considered by Publisher 2 - I sent ideas - They requested a proposal (strong interest in one idea, maybe others) - I submitted detail proposal ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 21, 2005 11:44 AM

Scott's List

This is a must read for developers! Great stuff in here...

Posted On Tuesday, June 21, 2005 11:01 AM

This one is for Theo...
WoW skin for Media Player 10

Posted On Tuesday, June 21, 2005 1:16 AM Technical Case Study
The site is the online companion to the wildly successful Halo 2 video game for Xbox, released in November 2004 by Microsoft. The site also acts as the community hub for all things related to Bungie games. Built with the Microsoft .NET Framework, serves up more than 4 million pages per day, accumulating 300 gigabytes of online game statistics per month from more than 1 million games played daily. Deemed "Most Innovative Design" by IGN Entertainment in 2004, the site provides ......

Posted On Monday, June 20, 2005 2:48 PM

Batman Begins - a review
Let me start by saying I don't usually get all worked up over movies (for good or bad). I've seen a lot of good ones, and a few that I really liked, maybe even loved. Generally, I'm the type of guy that finds something to like in nearly every movie I see. As a result, it takes a lot for me to really label a movie "bad". Oh sure, I've seen a couple stinkers but generally speaking they are few and far between. Having said that, let me just say Batman Begins is unquestionably the best damn movie I have ......

Posted On Saturday, June 18, 2005 12:50 AM

it seems word is getting around
about my little pet project... Heroic Adventure!

This is PURE MOTIVATION for me to keep plugging away!

Posted On Friday, June 17, 2005 5:25 PM

Details on the Microsoft Certified Architect board certification

I've got a few more years to go before I need to start worrying about this one.

I like how they've broken it into two categories though... Infrastructure and Solutions

Posted On Friday, June 17, 2005 2:10 PM

nothing like getting noticed...

more good words about HA!

Good feedback (ok... any feedback) is always appreciated!

Posted On Friday, June 17, 2005 10:54 AM

Are you not entertained??

I asked a few of my friends to come up with cool imagery or fansigns for Blogus Maximus.

This is the first one, and it's gonna be tough to beat.

Thank you Jason Olson! You totally rock!!

Posted On Friday, June 17, 2005 9:01 AM

Another year, another Dragon*Con...
Just bought my ticket... can't wait! I wonder if any of my Atlanta geek buddies will be going? If you've never been, but you like sci-fi / fantasy or RPGs or Anime or cool toys or comics or all of the above... you should totally check it out. I've taken pictures the last couple years, and some of my favorites are here: ......

Posted On Thursday, June 16, 2005 5:42 PM

finger crossin' update
Of the three submissions, #1 & #2 were both appealing. No mention of #3 at all.

#1 (the Home Automation book) may be overlapping with another project they have in the works, they are looking into it.
#2 (one of the Game Programming books) was the most appealing to them and they have requested more info from me to "kick things off".

Here I go feeling cautiously optimistic... :)

Posted On Thursday, June 16, 2005 2:15 PM

keep your fingers crossed...
I submitted 3 book proposals yesterday (2 on Game Development, 1 on Home Automation).

First Attempt... wait and see

Posted On Thursday, June 16, 2005 10:54 AM

As I travel down the yellow brick road to the land of geek...
Robin Edwards is a good friend and trusted advisor, and she's also an innocent bystander on my road to “geek stardom” (thank you Jessica for that term). Anyway, Robin made the following observation this morning: I actually find everything you're doing totally cool - it's fun to see you travel down the yellow brick road to the land of geek. I will be the lion because when it comes to doing presentations I am definitely cowardly. That's classic! (Although I've seen Robin give a tech presentation, ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 14, 2005 9:54 AM

Guess who's coming to town?

Bill Ryan, you did NOT just call me a piker...

(ok, so technically he didn't, but read his post anyway... it's a funny one)

Posted On Monday, June 13, 2005 11:17 PM

I'm sufficiently decompressed...
After a weekend of mostly vegging, I'm mostly back to normal and ready for work on Monday. Tech*Ed Orlando was awesome but I'm glad to be back. That's a tough pace to sustain for much longer than a week. What's next on my agenda? Well... lessee... 7/14 Open Source Mobile Game Programming Expo (Final) 8/18 - 8/21 GenCon (Indianapolis, IN) BIG MAYBE 8/27 Jacksonville Code Camp (Jacksonville, FL) Speaking 9/2 - 9/5 Dragon*Con (Atlanta, GA) 9/17 Charleston Code Camp (Charleston, SC) Speaking 10/23 - ......

Posted On Sunday, June 12, 2005 7:48 PM

I'm happy to announce that despite completely trashing my diet at Tech*Ed, I managed to not gain a single pound. Must have been all the walking (and sweating) I did. I figure I probably averaged about 4 miles per day, definitely more on Thursday. me happy... still on track. and on a somewhat related note... I'd like to thank all the folks who approached me at Tech*Ed regarding my weight loss. Asking me how I did it and telling me I've inspired you were definitely two of the biggest motivators to ......

Posted On Saturday, June 11, 2005 12:08 PM

Tech*Ed Day 5 (the end...)
Friday was kind of a day for goodbyes and wrapping up. I didn't make it to any of the sessions, instead choosing to hang out with some of my new friends for a bit before heading back to the airport. There were a few folks I wanted to hookup with before leaving, but I know we'll all catch up eventually. I did get to hang out some more with J Rapp (that should totally be her rapper name) for a bit, along with my INETA gang. Jessica Rapp - it was extremely cool meeting & hanging with you. Good luck ......

Posted On Saturday, June 11, 2005 10:14 AM

good words about HA!
Hey alright!! Somebody likes HA! (and he's at Tech*Ed this week, so maybe we'll chat) I'm a proud papa! (and thanks Tobin for letting me know about it!!) update: OMG!! I'm on the MSDN Coding for Fun page!!! (Anyone remember that scene from “The Jerk” where he sees his name in the phonebook for the first time? Yeah that's me right now... http://www.garnersclassics.... ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 8, 2005 12:02 AM

Tech*Ed Day 1 (mid-day checkin)
Spent the morning hustling for INETA... had a good time. It's funny, you can tell the difference in who controls the various groups. INETA is run by developers, CodeZone is run by marketing. While we definitely had more personality at our booth, the CodeZone team hired the Tech*Ed equivalent of (I'll be nice) *exotic dancers* to pass out CodeZone flyers. I feel the dark side calling me... it's scary. Planning on hitting lots of cool sessions this afternoon including a MSDN focus group. That should ......

Posted On Monday, June 6, 2005 1:13 PM

Tech*Ed Day 4
Too much running around last night to post this in a timely fashion. Day 4 was pretty rocking! I missed out on the Patterns for Service-Oriented Architecture session , unfortunately, but I did catch Using VSTS to build Enterprise Web Applications, Getting Ready for VS2005 and SQL Server 2005 and Extending VB to suit your needs. All very goor presentations. Took a trip to the Hands-On Labs and did a really cool set of labs on Tablet PC Development. After finishing the labs and submitting feedback, ......

Posted On Friday, June 10, 2005 12:47 PM

food for thought...
from the Tech*Ed 2005 intranet... What does it take to feed 13,000 people at Tech·Ed? 117,000 bottles of water 14,300 lattes 15,600 ice cream bars (it’s HOT out there) 4,000 pounds of chips and snack mix 2,300 dozen eggs 8,000 pounds of chicken 52,000 servings of juice ......

Posted On Thursday, June 9, 2005 5:09 PM

Tech*Ed Day 3
What a busy day... Started off with What's new in the framework for version 2.0 which was a terrific presentation. Joel did an excellent job showing off some of the cooler aspects of what's new with 2.0. Among my favorites were the improved console class (for obvious HA! reasons) and the support for encrypted XML and of course generics. Edit and continue is back w/ 2.0 (and new to C#) but not without some limitations. Another cool thing he highlighted was Debugger Display Attributes. Cool stuff indeed. ......

Posted On Thursday, June 9, 2005 8:36 AM

It's so simple...

Yet addictive!

There is only 1 rule:

Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3 x 3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.

Posted On Saturday, June 4, 2005 9:33 AM

(that's) MS Build (if you're nasty)
(sorry for the corny title... I haven't had much sleep) ok, I gotta play with this: Starting with the Visual Studio 2005 release, the Microsoft build engine black box is extracted from Visual Studio. The new build engine, MSBuild, becomes extensible and available for all since it will ship with the .NET Framework. How will this affect me? I work with a small team (part of a larger whole) and I'm the guy responsible for the build. We ......

Posted On Saturday, June 4, 2005 9:05 AM

What a GREAT acronym for a user group...

Eric Hammersley is trying to start up a new group in South Central Indiana...

As someone who has started two .NUGs so far, I'd be happy to offer any help to get the ball rolling. Drop me a line after Tech*Ed and I'll hook you up.

Man... if I could have snagged that acronym for our South Carolina group (GC.NUG) I would have!

Posted On Friday, June 3, 2005 4:37 PM

Does anyone know??

Ok, newbie question alert! It's my first Tech*Ed so please forgive...

Will there be free wireless internet in the Convention Center (and wherever else) at Tech*Ed? 

I probably won't be lugging my laptop around, but I am definitely bringing my PDA everywhere I go... 802.11b

Posted On Friday, June 3, 2005 3:35 PM

Partyin with Palermo

Sweet!  Tech*Ed pre-party...

I'm there!

Posted On Friday, June 3, 2005 3:00 PM

Greater Charleston .NET User Group - June Meeting
Greater Charleston .NET User GroupOur June meeting is a *mere* 6 days away... Lou Vega of SPAWAR (and GC.NUG) is our guest speaker, and he will be talking about Mobile Development with the .NET Compact Framework. We'll also be handing out a bunch of copies of Visual Studio 2005 Team System BETA 2 DVD SET We have some GREAT drawings this month, including books from Addison Wesley, MS Press and more. We aren't having a “members only” drawing this month... so our big item will be open to ......

Posted On Friday, June 3, 2005 1:59 PM

I hear it's nice this time of (next) year...

In case you couldn't make it to Orlando...

TechEd 2006

Posted On Friday, June 3, 2005 11:02 AM

some things really ARE too good to be true (a rant)
So I'm at favorite bookstore and this Game Programming book catches my eye. Ok, the title was interesting, but it was actually the 40% off sticker that REALLY sucked me in. Hmmm I think to myself... a game programming book that focuses on VB.NET, from one of my favorite publishers, and 40% off?? Well, needless to say, $30 later (do the math) I'm flipping through my newest acquisition. Preliminary opinions are not good. (There will be a review, and the tech editor will be crucified...) However, I ......

Posted On Friday, June 3, 2005 12:58 AM

uh oh...
I tend to overpack, not clothes, but just "stuff" and Jeff's post here: packing tips has me a little worried.

This is my first Tech*Ed... do they really give away that much swag??

Posted On Friday, June 3, 2005 12:16 AM

I am the alpha geek... and occasional DM
Ok, so everyone knows I'm gonna be in Orlando for Tech*Ed from 6/4 through 6/10. I have the User Group Leader Summit all day Sunday, but that wraps up around 6ish I think. So as long as I'm going into full blown geek mode for the week... I'm thinking about running a Tech*Ed D&D campaign for a few hours Saturday (maybe), Sunday & Monday nights... (gonna be waaay too busy Tuesday through Thursday evenings!!) I can't really handle more than about 5 or 6 people, but I'm willing to pre-generate the characters ......

Posted On Thursday, June 2, 2005 7:49 PM

Review: Test Driving Linux
Examining "Test Driving Linux", a guided tour book. Review by Peter Mikovitz of the Greater Charleston .NET User Group (GC.NUG) David Brickner offers to readers of this book a unique opportunity to have a guided tour of a working Linux desktop. With the companion CD, he offers a risk free experience on the reader's own PC, without needing to install any software whatsoever. The choice for the CD-runnable distro is the Move Live CD, which can have its roots traced to Knoppix CDs, the original "run ......

Posted On Thursday, June 2, 2005 9:03 AM

moving at the speed of thought...
It's absolutely amazing how something can go from an idle thought to a giant snowball so quickly with the right people around to push and steer and clear the road ahead. Yes... I'M TALKIN 'BOUT CODE CAMP AGAIN The fact is, Tuesday morning (yesterday) I thought to myself... Charlotte and Atlanta Code Camps were such a blast, wouldn't it be great if we had one down here? So I sent around an email for a sanity check, and it turned out everyone else was just a crazy as me... they all said “Yeah... ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 1, 2005 4:44 PM

Hanging out at the INETA booth
In addition to all the gnarly Tech*Ed festivities, like the various sessions and cabanas and after parties and whatnot... I'll also be cooling my heels at the INETA booth as part of my INETA Tech*Ed Scholarship duties... (I'm actually looking forward to it, what a great way to meet some new people and talk up INETA at the same time.) So be sure to stop by and say hi. You can't miss me, I'm the guy with the tattoo sleeves! Just don't ask me about our upcoming CODE CAMP... or you might never get away! ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 1, 2005 4:30 PM

my Tech*Ed 2005 hit list...
I've been dumping this to Outlook and my PDA all morning... too much cool stuff, not enough time... Monday, June 06 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Opening Keynote 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM CSI241 Connected Systems Technologies and the .NET Framework: When to Use What S 220 E DAT382 Database Application Quick Start with SQL Server Express and Microsoft Visual Basic .NET 2005 S 210 E 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM GNL003 Microsoft Learning Presents: Getting Ready for Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 N 320 D/H 1:30 PM - 2:45 ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 1, 2005 11:14 AM

flying standby for Tech*Ed??
You're in luck, according to the Tech*Ed website, some seats just opened up... --> Very limited additional Tech·Ed conference space is now available!! Due to overwhelming customer demand, we’re excited to announce we’ve managed to create the availability of a very limited number of full conference passes to accommodate additional attendees at Tech·Ed. These additional full conference passes are in an overflow seating area for the Day 1 keynote. This overflow seating price is ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 1, 2005 11:06 AM

Charleston Code Camp revisited...
Ok I made a typo on the date in my previous post, so anyway... Charleston, South Carolina MSDN Code Camp We have a date: Saturday September 17th, 2005 We have a location: Blackbaud, 2000 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston SC, 29492We have sponsors: Microsoft, Blackbaud, InstallShield (so far)We need: speakers and volunteers (and more sponsors)!! Visit for more information... I've done GDI+ 3 times now, soon to be 4 in Jacksonville, FL and I'm thinking about doing something different ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 31, 2005 4:54 PM

Charleston, SC Code Camp

Coming to Charleston, SC this September 17th...


More info to follow at , although if you're interested in volunteering or speaking, contact me!


Posted On Tuesday, May 31, 2005 12:28 PM

Open Source Licensing
So I've been thinking about applying a license to HA! (there currently isn't one at all) Unfortunately, not being able to speak legalese with any degree of proficiency, I have a few questions about licenses. I've never really followed them and for the most part I don't know anything about their differences. A recent post to R.G.R.D mentioned looking at and I did, but I still don't really get it. I haven't found anything that just summarizes the different open source ......

Posted On Sunday, May 29, 2005 5:58 PM

debugging my diet
So I was having a hard time figuring out why my weightloss had totally stalled... I hadn't lost or gained any in almost 2 months. So I did some research and found out the low-carb spinach & turkey wraps I was eating at work were in fact, not low-carb at all. Just the tortilla wrap was 27 carbs (which was about 90% of what I allow myself each day) and once you add the other ingredients, it was damn near 30 carbs. Just as a point of reference, the ones I make at home with the actual low-carb tortillas ......

Posted On Sunday, May 29, 2005 5:07 PM

playing with firecrackers
Well, I've been playing with my firecracker today (keep your jokes to yourself) and I have to say it's pretty cool. I grabbed an X10 library dll from Brian Vallelunga's site: here The code below took about 5 minutes to write and now I can control the two modules that came with the firecracker just by clicking on a form button. Next step, speech control... Imports Vallelunga.X10 Public Class Form1 Private DeviceID As Integer Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) ......

Posted On Saturday, May 28, 2005 10:26 PM

Object Oriented Inventory & Item Management in Role-Playing Games
My latest game development article is posted here, with code samples...

Object Oriented Inventory & Item Management in Role Playing Games

Feel free to comment.

Posted On Saturday, May 28, 2005 3:08 PM

something BIG is coming your way...
I know a few of you have been wondering just what exactly it is that I do all day... oh sure I have lots of hobbies and interests, and I talk about cool stuff like game development and home automation, and I get to travel to CodeCamps and all that fun stuff, but what is it that pays the bills?? Well... between us, I work for the coolest company on the entire planet!! I can also proudly say I have worked (and worked) on this product, and I've worked WITH this product, and it is going to absolutely ......

Posted On Friday, May 27, 2005 12:23 PM

more X10 stuff
Got home from work yesterday and there was a package on my desk. Ripped it open and it was the firecracker kit I bought on ebay. Haven't had a chance to play with it yet, but I will be this weekend. (Michael Earls chastized me for messing with firecrackers, due to the serial interface. I'm getting the USB one soon... btw, you never replied to my last email.) There's a few .NET & Firecracker related projects on the net already. GotDotNet and Sourceforge both have some. This is the USB one I want ......

Posted On Friday, May 27, 2005 8:53 AM

You FPS guys might appreciate this...

Some of you have likely seen this before... but it's still funny!


Posted On Wednesday, May 25, 2005 1:00 PM

Reviewer: Theo Moore (Greater Charleston .NET User Group) Publisher: Apress Title: Pro ADO.NET with VB.NET 1.1 I’ve been involved deeply with DB access applications for the last 5 years, and I’ve read many books on the subject. I’ve read some that were bad, and I’ve read some that were amazing. This book is definitely a good one. Note that this not intended to be a full reference on the intricacies of the object model, but more of a “this is what it can do, and here’s ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 25, 2005 11:53 AM

if you think my blog is pointless and boring...
just wait 'til you hear my PODCAST!! haha I kill me... That's right kiddies... it's coming soon. The Blogus Maximus PodCast!! (You have my permission to kick me if I end up actually calling it that.) I've spent the last 3 hours playing with Audacity (which I'm really starting to like, btw) and messing with some spoken tracks and background music tracks. The best thing about Audacity, aside from being free, is that it's incredibly easy to use. I've played with a handful of different audio tools over ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 25, 2005 12:36 AM

XBox 360 architecture
Dana Dill has posted a link to an extremely interesting article on the new XBox architecture here.
(The actual article link is here.)

There's also a mention of XNA and a built-in Media Center Extender! Sounds like some stuff worth getting excited over.

Posted On Tuesday, May 24, 2005 2:42 PM

well now, that's interesting...
and I mean that in a way that says... damn! Apparently Microsoft made a recent(?) change to the MCT program that allows you to get your MCT if you have the MCAD cert. (As opposed to needing what they referred to as premiere certs, such as MCSD, MCDBA & MCSE). Please understand, I'm not knocking the MCAD cert, in fact I had one before I got my MCSD(.NET) and MCT. However, I think it devalues the MCT cert a bit (no offense Robin, you know I love ya...) by making it more accessible. It was always my ......

Posted On Monday, May 23, 2005 5:32 PM

Some thoughts on Media Center Development

Yesterday, Michael Earls posted a great entry titled:

Some thoughts on Media Center Development

It's good reading, so check it out!

(oh and he received the 'NIDs I sent him, so that's cool!)

Posted On Monday, May 23, 2005 2:00 PM

X10... Harry Potter style
Ok I know this is just wrong... but I have small kids and it's pretty hilarious to watch them. They haven't figured out I have X10 (and a remote control) so somehow they've come to the conclusion that this one particular lamp responds to their "magic". My 4 year old will spin around, stomp his foot and wave his hands to make the lap come on and off. over and over and over... eventually the lamp "gets tired" and stops responding for a few hours. but I hear them in the next room trying to convince ......

Posted On Sunday, May 22, 2005 8:28 AM

fun stuff to do at Tech*Ed

While I'm at TechEd 2005...

aside from the speaker sessions, and my time as an INETA volunteer, I defintely want to check out some of this cool stuff:

TechEd events:

Especially the AMD PC Gaming competition, and the free night at Universal Studios!!

Posted On Friday, May 20, 2005 1:45 PM

new term

Bill Ryan coined a new term in his blog recently. Julie Lerman Smart

Never met her personally, but I know a few folks that have and I'm volunteering to work one of her Tech*Ed sessions.

Posted On Friday, May 20, 2005 12:48 PM

As long as I'm going to Tech*Ed anyway...
and I quote from the website... On Wednesday, June 8, Microsoft Influencers from around the world will gather at two of the nation's hottest venues for an unforgettable experience. The Microsoft Influencer Appreciation Party will be held at Orlando's Metropolis and Matrix nightclubs-renowned for their state-of-the-art entertainment systems, including massive video walls, high-tech sound systems, and a multi-million dollar light show. This exclusive engagement is Microsoft's tribute to you-the inspiring ......

Posted On Friday, May 20, 2005 8:26 AM

music to work by
If you like listening to punk & metal while you code (and who doesn’t?)… I recommend checking this station out: I found them while googling for my new favorite band *Infernal Machine* (more about them later, my buddy Jason Gates hooked me up with a demo of their stuff last weekend...) So anyway, be sure to click the Listen to WREK link (or click here: ) They’re based in Atlanta (not that it matters online). ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 18, 2005 9:03 AM

.Net User Group Olympics
This is a cool idea... I'd REALLY like to see the Carolinas do something like this as well. We have numerous user groups. (It's funny... GC.NUG is doing the Open Source Mobile Game Programming Expo, which ends in July. When we first came up with the idea I wanted to include other Carolina groups to make it a bigger event and more fun. The primary opposition to that suggestion ended up dropping out of the contest after a couple months, quitting the company I work at ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 17, 2005 1:22 PM

review: Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (not spoily)
It's 2:50am, and I have just returned from the theatre (conveniently located about .2 miles away). I couldn't speak the entire way home, and now I can't shut up. Wow I loved this movie. Where do I start? The movie was incredible. Were there flaws? Sure... of course, but I'm still riding pretty damn high. I was 7 when I first saw Star Wars (opening night, thank you) and it was, as they say, a life changing experience. Was this one? No, but it could have been. If I had been about 15 when I saw it, ......

Posted On Thursday, May 19, 2005 3:42 AM

gahhh.... it's killing me!
9 hours and 14 minutes to go (by my clock).

Posted On Wednesday, May 18, 2005 2:50 PM

evening ketchup
Installed SourceSafe 2005 (just the client tools for now)... nice and easy. picked up my existing 6.0d server no problem, and all my SourceControl bindings in HA! are working peachy again. I guess I'll wait a while longer on implementing Vault. Now I just need a decent bug tracker. My wife is getting tired of me writing on the wall (ok technically it's a big whiteboard that I never erase) I'm DL'ing the Speech SDK as I type this, along with Win XP Media Center Edition 2005 (CD1 & 2) I see the XNA ......

Posted On Monday, May 16, 2005 11:58 PM

Inspiring others to greatness...
If I don't have a working demo using XP media Center edition, X10 and Speech Server by June 1st, please feel free to write me and remind me that I am a lazy procrastinating windbag.

It would seem the challenge has been made, the gauntlet thrown, the line drawn... Bill Ryan's blog

You've got 2 weeks Bill...

Posted On Monday, May 16, 2005 10:55 PM

So am I famous yet?

I got a brief mention in Max Karpov's podcast:


Posted On Monday, May 16, 2005 6:33 PM

Visual SourceSafe 2005
It's time to upgrade or find a new direction. All my HA! code is sitting out in VSS 6.0d Aside from the obvious (backing up my database)... are there any other suggestions for making the transition from VSS 6.0d to VSS 2005 a smooth and painless one? Has anyone here done it yet? I'm still tempted to use SourceGear Vault, except for the fact that it requires SQL Server... yes I have SQL Server, but it's just one more potential POF to deal with. I don't exactly run on the NEWEST of hardware... ok well ......

Posted On Monday, May 16, 2005 6:08 PM

cert testing at Tech*Ed 2005... why??
hmmm... 50% off Microsoft Certification exams if you take them onsite at Tech*Ed 2005 Makes me wonder... Does anyone who can afford Tech*Ed really need to save $62.50 THAT bad? Will other people get to watch you crumble under the pressure? Aren't there other, better reasons to be at Tech*Ed? I guess it's kinda like the guy who gets a tattoo at a tattoo convention. Not really the best environment for it, but chances are he cares more about telling people where ......

Posted On Monday, May 16, 2005 5:55 PM

home automation
Ever since I caught the home automation bug at the Atlanta Code Camp... I've been thinking about cool stuff I can do with it. Bill Ryan and Michael Earls both gave me some GREAT ideas. (Neither of their presentations were strictly on that topic, but both of them touched on it in ways that got me thinking.) The problem is, I don't have the first clue on what to buy or where to get started. I've been to and a couple other sites, but until I really figure out what it is I want to accomplish ......

Posted On Monday, May 16, 2005 1:25 PM

I'm not listening to youuuuuuuu
A few days ago, WallyM posted this link in his blog:

Why lightsabers could never work...

Thanks Wally, thanks a lot... :)

Posted On Sunday, May 15, 2005 8:10 AM

A day in the life of an install developer.

Sometimes, THIS is the type of day I'm having...

Posted On Wednesday, February 2, 2005 8:12 AM

Atlanta Code Camp
Well the buzz from Atlanta Code Camp is starting to wear off a bit and let me just say I had a great time. My presentation (GDI+) went very well, with lots of questions (although overall I think the Charlotte one went a tiny bit smoother on my end). I also caught some great presentations on free .NET tools and the Enterprise Library. My two absolute favorites of the day were on Speech Server and Programming Windows Media Center (with a healthy dose of home automation). Oh how I wish those two guys ......

Posted On Sunday, May 15, 2005 8:01 AM

Max Karpov Rocks!
It had to be said... I really want to get this guy at one of our .NET User Group Meetings. I met Max at the Charlotte Code Camp, and ran into him again in Atlanta (more on Atlant in the next post). So Max... if you're reading this, shoot me a line.

Posted On Sunday, May 15, 2005 7:42 AM

Installshield versus the volcano
As many of you know, I've been using InstallShield a lot at work. For the most part, I really like it although it's not without it's share of issues. Recently, someone asked me why specifically I use InstallShield as opposed to Visual Studio .NET. Since I'm creating MSI installs, sure the InstallScript is nice but is there anything that I couldn't do in VS with VB and VBScript? Not having a great answer to the question, I decided it would only be fair to find out. So having said that, I'm going to ......

Posted On Friday, May 13, 2005 10:06 AM

Sometimes... I can really get under peoples skin

This being one of those times...

(The irony is that I enjoyed his response. Although I'd like to see him post more on his various areas of interest since we have a couple of those in common.  i.e. games development, longhorn, etc)

Posted On Wednesday, May 11, 2005 2:32 PM

new from Microsoft: The "Agreements"
I was checking my Hotmail today, and before I could reach my account, I was asked to sign what they refer to as “The Agreements“. Being the curious sort, of course I read them first. from the MSN Service Agreement... We consider your use of the Service, including the content of your communications, to be private. We do not routinely monitor your communications or disclose information about your communications to anyone. However, to the maximum extent permitted by law, we may monitor your ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 11, 2005 2:12 PM

whoa... when did that happen?
Ok somehow I ended up in the top 10 bloggers on this site. When did that happen?

Judging from the stats (# of posts) I'm still further from first than from last, but good luck shutting me up at this point!


Posted On Tuesday, May 10, 2005 6:34 PM

a worthy cause
Michelle Julian is raising money for WalkAmerica. I think $5 is a pretty paltry sum to fork over for the excellent exposure that GeeksWithBlogs provides us bloggers.

I sent mine in, have you?

Posted On Tuesday, May 10, 2005 6:28 PM

GC.NUG loot
I just took a look at the giveaways for this month, and we're handing out nearly $700 worth of stuff!! Our members only drawing is for a fully licensed copy of MS Office 2003 Professional!! In addition to that, we have drawings for $150 worth of MS Press books, some books from our various publisher sponsors, MSDN tshirts and more. Don't miss your chance to take home some great stuff! The meeting is Thursday May 12th. Visit for more details ......

Posted On Monday, May 9, 2005 3:51 PM

Big commercial win for Mono
Volcker Informatik AG has switched from Microsoft to Mono. Volcker was traditionally a MS shop using VB & C++ to build it's enterprise-level user management and authentication products. But when the city of Munich, one of its largest clients, decided to switch to Linux, Volcker needed technologies that would work in a cross-platform environment. It felt it had two options, Java or Mono; it decided to recode everything in C# using Mono. In 9 months, it recoded seven million lines of VB and C++ ......

Posted On Monday, May 9, 2005 10:21 AM

woohoo... midnight tickets

I've got my Revenge of the Sith tickets for the May 18th, midnight showing. I can't wait. I've also got tickets for a couple showings May 19th, after I wake up... (assuming I go to sleep)


Posted On Friday, May 6, 2005 2:04 PM

a little Episode III trivia question

Can anyone tell me what's engraved on the handle of Mace Windu's lightsaber?

I've got a nifty, new, never been worn MSDN t-shirt for the first correct answer. 

Post a comment with the answer and give me a valid email address. I'll mail you the shirt (unless you live within throwing distance).


Posted On Friday, May 6, 2005 1:57 PM

XNA Studio revisited
So far I'm seeing “end of 2005” as a tentative release date. With 2005 probably shipping around 3rd quarter, early 4th quarter... I'd be surprised to see XNA by 12/5 but you never know. Here are some links to more info about XNA Studio: This article is from last month: is the “official” page from MS: Gamasutra article about XNA: ......

Posted On Friday, May 6, 2005 1:43 PM

Cleanup Tool
I used the VS 2005 BETA 1 cleanup tool, and I have to say it defintely made the transition smoother and easier. Now I don't know if it's responsible for whacking my source control plugin, but everything else worked fine. I'm going to try reinstalling the VSS client when I get home and see if that fixes it. (see earlier post for more info) Still considering making the switch to SourceGear Vault. we'll see. I do like their bug tracking piece (Dragnet) too ......

Posted On Friday, May 6, 2005 1:22 PM

it's amazing how one little post can stir up so much controversy... :)

If I didn't know better, I'd think I enjoy it a little too much.

Heroic Adventure! (HA!) 0.1.6 release announcement on Rec.Games.Roguelike.Development newsgroup


Posted On Thursday, May 5, 2005 9:55 PM

where the hell is my source control?
I installed VS 2005 BETA 2 tonight. The install went very smoothly. So I load up my project from VS2005 BETA 1 and I get this... Followed by this... and this... The project eventually loads, but I can't find anyway to bind it back to VSS and bring it under Source Control. I've been considering tossing VSS in the trash and using SourceGear Vault, and now seems like an opportune time (although I don't know if that would fix THIS problem) *sigh* why can't I ever be an early adopter of something that ......

Posted On Thursday, May 5, 2005 9:20 PM

my weekend
I had a great weekend! I spent a good part of Saturday working on the skills system for HA! It looks like I'm still on target for pushing out 0.1.6 at the end of the month. Wrapped a few more bugs as well. Things are starting to come together. Spells (and ranged combat) will definitely be in 0.1.7. Sunday was D&D day. My 9 year old son is learning to play, and yesterday was his first game. I think it's safe to say he had a blast. The best part of the day however, was before the game actually ......

Posted On Monday, April 25, 2005 8:21 AM

Jacksonville CodeCamp
I'm going to be speaking at the Jacksonville CodeCamp in August. I'll be doing GDI+, should be fun. For more info:

Posted On Sunday, April 24, 2005 7:33 PM

upcoming movies
As has become the norm in recent years, there are a number of interesting genre flicks in the pipeline. Here's a little info about some of the movies that will be hitting the screens this summer. Enjoy and feel free to discuss. First, the release dates for some of the bigger titles: STAR WARS: REVENGE OF THE SITH - May 19 BATMAN BEGINS - June 17 WAR OF THE WORLDS - June 29 HOUSE OF WAX - June 30 FANTASTIC FOUR - July 8 CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - July 15 (Johnny Depp) THE CROW: WICKED PRAYER ......

Posted On Thursday, May 5, 2005 6:52 AM

Tech*Ed 2005

My first Tech*Ed, and I can't wait. Should be lots of fun.  I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of the INETA folks I've emailed back and forth with over the last two years.

I'm staying here (Comfort Inn Universal Studios):

Posted On Tuesday, May 3, 2005 12:34 PM

Be nice to your Garbage Collector, your users will thank you
One of the things I mention in my CodeCamp talk is why you should instantiate your objects before passing them in as params. I was surprised to find out most people in my sessions had never realized why... Look at it like this: myObj.SomeMethod(new OtherObject(param1, param2), variable, variable) By doing the above, instead of creating a variable to contain OtherObject and passing the variable in, you lose the ability to Dispose of it when you are done. Garbage Collection will grab it eventually ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 3, 2005 10:31 AM

Everyone's NOT a winner!

If you have a game where nobody can lose, doesn't that also mean nobody can win?

So I ask you, the reader, which is worse? 

a) A situation where one (or more) persons will definitely lose, but someone will win, based (hopefully) on effort or ability


b) A situation where NOBODY will have a chance of winning, no matter how well they do, because all efforts are rewarded equally, no matter how weak.

Just curious...

Posted On Monday, May 2, 2005 12:52 PM

Charlotte Code Camp
Charlotte Code Camp was a blast!! I met some great people and had a terrific time. My GDI+ talk went very well and I got some great feedback for next time. (Next time, by the way, is Atlanta, GA on May 14th) The Enterprise Developers Guild also presented me with a very cool framed certificate for speaking at CodeCamp. They were a huge part of making the entire event happen, and we could not have done it without them. The other huge part of the event was the support we got from Microsoft. Not only ......

Posted On Monday, May 2, 2005 8:36 AM

Heroic Adventure 0.1.6 released
and there was much rejoicing: http://www.heroicadventure.... (ok perhaps not much rejoicing, but I'm pretty happy about it.) What's new? Skills, Traps, Secret Doors, new monsters, etc. IMHO the game is way too hard, but most of that will be mitigated once I add more magic items and finish the code for missile weapons, wands and spells. Currently there are no magical weapons or armor, just regular. Take advantage of the healing potions! I've decided to try adhering to a quarterly ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 27, 2005 8:10 AM

In Tariq's blog, he mentions Sea-Code: Someone at work sent me a similar link this morning: I can't help but have a mental image of these guys being boarded by software pirates... HAHA.. software pirates... I kill me ......

Posted On Friday, April 22, 2005 8:17 AM

Mersenne Whatsit?
I've had a few folks ask me why I implemented a custom Random Number Generator (Mersenne Twister) in my game, Heroic Adventure! This article explains why far better than I could. From the Rec.Games.Roguelike.Develop... FAQ, section 37: What's wrong with the random number generator that came with my programming language?Almost all programming environments come with random number generators that suck. While they may be okay for casual use, the use of random numbers in roguelike games is anything but ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 20, 2005 1:32 PM

GC.NUG May Meeting
I'm pleased to announce that the members only drawing for our GC.NUG May 12 meeting is a really nice one! A single user license of Report Sharp-Shooter 1.9, Standard Edition ($500 value) from our latest sponsor, For more info about this product, click here: It's easy to take part in the members only drawing. All you have to do is become a paid member of GC.NUG. Memberships are $20 per year ($10 for students, $50 for companies) ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 20, 2005 8:24 AM

DDO Developer Roundtable

The D&D Online (MMORPG) Developer Roundtable #1 has been posted.[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=24


Posted On Tuesday, April 19, 2005 9:54 AM

Read this BEFORE you install VS 2005, Beta 2...
From Previous Versions of Visual Studio 2005 If you have installed previous versions of Visual Studio 2005, such as Beta 1 or Community Technical Preview (CTP) builds of Visual Studio Team Suite, Visual Studio Standard or Visual Studio Professional, then you must uninstall the pre-Beta2 components in the exact order below before beginning to install any version of Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2. Go to the Control Panel and launch Add/Remove Programs ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 19, 2005 8:46 AM

GameStop to purchase Electronics Boutique
Story here:

Posted On Monday, April 18, 2005 10:17 PM

TechEd 2005 soldout??
Edgardo Vega informs us: TechEd 2005 is already sold out. Check out the site: Do these things usually sell out? Or is this something new? Sounds like there is going to be a buttload of people there this year ......

Posted On Monday, April 18, 2005 2:57 PM

Coding For Fun

This looks interesting:

Hmmm... MSDN's new Coding For Fun site might just be somewhere I can get some MSDN cred.


Posted On Monday, April 18, 2005 2:52 PM

Mobile Device App Development

Glen Gordon (Microsoft) recently gave a 200 level webcast on Mobile Device App Development. Good stuff, and you can watch it here:

Posted On Friday, April 15, 2005 9:22 AM

T*E 2K5

Tech*Ed 2005 registration? Check!
Hotel reservation? Check!
Airline ticket? Check!

Totally stoked? You betcha!

This is gonna rock!

Posted On Friday, April 15, 2005 9:18 AM

MS Press books revisited...

A while back, I posted an entry regarding some MS Press books I was waiting (annnnnd waiting) on from Microsoft. 

I'm happy to say they finally arrived. I'd like to thank Tracey at Microsoft for being patient with my impatience (and not including a little something extra in my box o' books).  I also want to thank Chris McKulka for responding to my initial post and inquiring about the status of my order.

GC.NUG thanks you!


Posted On Thursday, April 14, 2005 8:29 AM

Database abasers, take note...

Saw this on DNJ...

10 things you shouldn't do with SQL Server...

Posted On Thursday, April 14, 2005 8:10 AM

interesting question
A colleague of mine recently asked what I thought were the top 5 most significant changes in computers over the last 15 years. In order of significance, I said… Size (smaller) Availability (more) Ease of use (better) Power (more) Cost (cheaper compared to power) I came up with my answers fairly quickly, how about you ......

Posted On Thursday, April 14, 2005 7:55 AM

Firefox coolness
Did you know you can set your homepage in Firefox to multiple URLs, each of which open in a seperate tab? This may be one of the coolest things I've found yet. Go to Tools : Options : General Under the Home Page section, click on 'use current pages' and it will set your homepage to whatever pages you have open in your various tabs. If you're like me (you are, aren't you?) and use multiple webmail services, such as hotmail, gmail and my work OWA, I can set all three as my home page. Each in a different ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 12, 2005 10:25 AM

Half Day of .NET
Yesterday was a very busy day for me and a number of other people. The Charleston, SC MSDN event started around noon. We kicked it off by watching “The Code Room“ as people started filing in. Having never taken the time to sit and watch it before, I really enjoyed it. I have a whole new appreciation for Scott Belware now. Glen Gordon did a terrific job presenting. The topics were Web Services Unleashed, Universal Data Access w/ SQL Server 2005 and Publishing Applications Using ClickOnce. ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 6, 2005 10:01 AM

InstallShield Skins continued...
So... I've also been researching creating custom skins. So far I haven't had any real luck with that. InstallShield X (IS-X) ships with a handful of predefined skins. There is NO mechanism for discovery of new skins in IS-X. If you want to create a new skin, you actually have to manually alter one of the existing ready-made ones. There are a load of problems with the support for custom skins in IS-X. The biggest problem is that there ISN'T ANY SUPPORT! People who rely on the “community” ......

Posted On Monday, April 4, 2005 12:52 PM

InstallShield Skins... not quite ready for prime time
Installshield X ships with a handful of “skins” for their dialogs. You have blue, slate, monochrome (very sci-fi looking), true color blue, olive, midnight and my personal favorite: “NONE”. Why is this one my favorite? Well it's true the others look fairly cool, but they don't work with custom dialogs (even the same size and layout) and they don't even work reliably with the shipped dialogs. Just recently, I ran into a problem where I set my dialog skins to “true color ......

Posted On Monday, April 4, 2005 12:45 PM

ok... so which build relates to which service pack and hotfix again??

When you're working on an install, and you need to check for a specific version or Service Pack of SQL Server 2000, chances are you'll find this page very useful:

I certainly did this morning.

Posted On Monday, April 4, 2005 10:52 AM

uhhh... *speechless*
I don't really know what to say about this:

Darth Tater??

Posted On Saturday, April 2, 2005 7:14 AM

Should I be running Windows XP Pro x64 Edition?
Mohammed Jeelani writes: As I type - the Windows Development Team has released the final bits of the Windows 64bit OS (Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions - Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter) to Manufacturing. Today marks a day in computing history as we witness the dawn of the 64 bit computing era. Computing will never be the same. Let me just say... I am NOT a hardware guru! However, his post got me thinking... I have an Athlon64 cpu. Does that mean I should ......

Posted On Thursday, March 31, 2005 4:18 PM

cool images
So it turns out... my old friend Paul reads my blog. Now I haven't seen Paul in quite some time, and we haven't hung out (or even lived near each other) in years, but somehow he stumbled across my GWB blog. Turns out he's into photography, and has some pretty amazing pictures on the web.

so how is this geek related? I suppose it's not, but I just felt like mentioning it. HI PAUL!

Posted On Tuesday, March 29, 2005 6:31 PM

this geek is staying indoors, thank you very much.
Peter Stathakos writes: Robert Scoble is thinking of organizing a Geek Camping get together for sometime in June or July down in Mount Rainier National Park It's camping for all the geekingly-inclined in the northwest. Sounds very cool. To which I respond: Now I can't speak for everyone, but does anyone else think this might end badly? As a self-proclaimed geek, camping is pretty low on my list of “fun” activities. I'm not good at it, it ALWAYS rains, and I can't really see the point. ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 29, 2005 2:51 PM

Playstation Sales Halted?

as seen on Slashdot...

$90 million in damages doesn't seem like all that much for Sony to pay, considering the insane number of units sold. (I'm not saying it should be higher, just that Sony should be able to handle $90 mil without a hiccup.)

Posted On Tuesday, March 29, 2005 1:13 PM

streaming a video to my pocketpc

I have a iPaq HP2215 with a wireless CF card. I want to be able to watch movies on it, streamed from another PC in my home.

How do I do it?

Posted On Tuesday, March 29, 2005 1:01 PM

New manual...
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry… (sad thing is, I'll buy it no matter what... that's just the way I am) ......

Posted On Thursday, March 24, 2005 1:39 PM

my week just keeps getting better
Today I got a call from ErgoDex ( They are sending me a loaner DX1 unit to review. Don't know what that is? Read this excellent review at Toms Hardware: This is gonna be fun, although it totally sucks that I have to give it back afterwards. I'm looking forward to it. Naturally, I'm interested in seeing how it fares in my favorite games, but the real reason I want to try it out is to see what it can do in Visual Studio 2005. ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 22, 2005 2:47 PM


I'm going to Tech*Ed.....   yippeeeeee!

I just got the email this weekend, I got an INETA scholarship for Tech*Ed.  This is gonna be awesome!

I'll be hitting the User Group Leaders Summit on Sunday, and then Tech*Ed that week.  I can't wait!!!

*happy dance*

Posted On Monday, March 21, 2005 10:20 AM

MS Press books
A few months ago, I participated in a VERY lengthy survey conducted by Microsoft. The promised reward for participation was a big pile of MS Press books. Did anyone else do this? More importantly, did anyone else EVER get their books? I received a thank you email 3 months ago saying that they received my list of books I wanted, and that orders were processed every two weeks and to allow 4 weeks for delivery. 2 weeks later I received an email saying my order had been processed and to please allow ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 15, 2005 10:02 AM

history for sale
The first AD&D Player's Handbook ever sold goes onto ebay... Well, I thought it was pretty cool.

Posted On Sunday, March 13, 2005 7:34 PM

Demon Stone review
Demon Stone (PC version) review I picked up this game for two reasons. First because it's a licensed D&D product, and I'm sorta obsessive that way. Second, because R.A. Salvatore's name was attached to it. This is one of those purchases I'm going to live to regret. For starters, it's an obvious XBOX port. The PC version of the game even makes references to "push the black button" in game. I don't own a joypad for my PC, that's why I have an XBOX. If you try to play this game with a keyboard and mouse ......

Posted On Saturday, March 12, 2005 5:55 PM

this was unexpected
I figured ok... maybe I'm a mid-level nerd. I wasn't prepared for this:

I am nerdier than 95% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Posted On Monday, March 7, 2005 8:06 PM

I don't get it...
Can someone PLEASE explain the thought process behind these incessant comment-spams? I sincerely don't get it. This SPAM is so incredibly annoying I would never visit one of their sites even if the subject matter appealed to me , which it doesn't. So where's the gain for them? It seems like all they are doing is alienating potential customers. It's like they're trying to piss off as many people as possible, so their site won't get any traffic at all. I understand the viagra junkmail and the PayPal ......

Posted On Sunday, February 20, 2005 8:12 AM

Tips and Tricks books battle it out...
Review by Theo Moore of GC.NUG. Reposted with permission. I recently read two books on very similar topics related to .Net development. They were Best Kept Secrets in .Net (Apress) and Visual Studio .Net Tips and Tricks (The Marketplace for Digital Content). Both have quite a bit of information about nifty features that are included in VS.Net. I found most of the tips to be very handy, especially given that most of my experience had been in VS6. I think either book has value and is a worthwhile read. ......

Posted On Monday, March 7, 2005 10:21 AM

Make Magazine review
I just received the premiere issue of Make Magazine from O'Reilly yesterday. Let me just say this mag is a geek's dream come true. It's not a magazine about coding. Heck, I'm not sure if calling it a magazine is even accurate. It's more of a journal or zine (but with higher production values). A geek quarterly, if you will. For example... the premiere issue features an article on aerial photography. Not geeky enough for you? Ok, how about aerial photography accomplished by rigging up a camera to ......

Posted On Friday, March 4, 2005 11:40 AM

Don't freak out about Visual Studio

For the total VB.NET newb, Betsy Aoki of the MSDN team offers some tongue-in-cheek advice.

Posted On Thursday, March 3, 2005 8:18 AM

boredom sets in...
I think, therefore I am… I think I am, therefore… Therefore I am, I think… Am I there? I think fore… Fore! I think I am there… I forethink, there I am… any others ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 2, 2005 10:59 AM


Hey everyone, I'm bowling in the Junior Achievement Bowl-A-Thon in April.  Would anyone be interested in sponsoring me?  $10 gets you a nice warm and fuzzy feeling. If you're looking for more than that, I'm afraid I can't help you.

How is this geek related? Well technically it's not, I suppose, but the software company I work for is sponsoring me... so that's sorta geeky, in a cool way, no?

Posted On Tuesday, February 22, 2005 1:24 PM

Amazon Subscription Shipping Model
Amazon has just released their “Amazon Prime” service. For $79 per year, you get unlimited 2 day shipping (and overnight shipping for only $3.99) I don't know many people who would be willing to cough up $80 a year for this, but if you order often then I imagine it's worth it. Still, ya gotta admit it's pretty clever. I hate paying shipping costs ......

Posted On Friday, February 18, 2005 4:10 PM

The Black Art of XBOX Mods

The Black Art of XBOX Mods by Jonathan S. Harbour
Review by Chris Williams

Posted On Friday, February 18, 2005 10:56 AM

Installshield Wishlist Item #12

12. In InstallScript, STRING variables can be up to 65535 characters in length, but String Literals are limited to 255 characters. This means I have to spoon feed long strings into a variable, so many characters at a time.

Please change this.

Posted On Wednesday, February 16, 2005 9:21 AM

CLR6Coder seeks C# for long term relationship
CLR6Coder is definitely a better name than Visual BabyTalker, which was just unnecessary and inflammatory. However, I'd like to think that as time marches on, there are gradually less of those than Scott Belware implies recently. Personally I don't consider myself one, but I'm not on the jagged bleeding edge either... somewhere in the middle. And while I don't necessarily agree (ok... not at all) with his post generalizing VB.NET developers, I have to concede that I've been somewhat remiss in learning ......

Posted On Saturday, February 12, 2005 5:48 AM

GC.NUG Meeting Tonight
If you're in the Charleston, SC area tonight around 6:00pm, stop on by... Thanks to INETA and Blackbaud, the Greater Charleston .NET User Group (GC.NUG) is pleased host Jim Duffy of TakeNote Technologies. The topic is Building Web Portals With DotNetNuke 3.0. What’s DotNetNuke, you ask? The short answer is that it’s an open source data-driven intranet or internet portal. For the long answer, please visit ( for more information. In addition to this terrific presentation, ......

Posted On Thursday, February 10, 2005 9:46 AM

Installshield Wishlist Item #11
11. If I have a function in InstallScript that accepts a STRING by reference, let me pass in (and get back) a value from a STRING array. Where ReadKey is my function and the 4th parameter accepts a STRING ByRef...STRING szWebConfigKey(20); ...ReadKey(ISMSI_HANDLE, szInstallDir, "szWebConfigKey(6)); This throws an error at compile time. So I have to do this instead...STRING szWebConfigKey(20), szTemp;...ReadKey(ISMSI_HAN... szInstallDir, "szTemp);szWebConfigKey(6) = szTemp; I can do this in VB.NET ......

Posted On Thursday, February 10, 2005 9:42 AM

at least I'm not this guy

Ok, I thought I had it bad, and then Tariq sent me a link to the crap he's had to endure...

Posted On Monday, February 7, 2005 8:45 AM

Should I feel lucky?

Is everyone getting blasted with comment spam or am I just “lucky”?

I've gotten it at least 6 times in the last week. Same guy each time, some casino crap...

If we can't do something about this, I'm gonna go back to blogging on my own site.

Posted On Monday, February 7, 2005 7:51 AM

not so bright future...
Join the Television Digital Liberation Front! Today, you can use any device you like with your television: VCR, TiVo, DVD recorder, home theater receiver, or a PC combining these functions and more. A year from now, when the FCC's broadcast flag mandate [PDF] takes effect, some of those capabilities will be forbidden. Responding to pressure from Hollywood, the FCC has adopted a rule requiring future digital television (DTV) tuners to include "content protection" ......

Posted On Friday, February 4, 2005 7:39 AM

Strong in .NET?? send me your resume...
Software Engineer III Location: Charleston, SC USA Job Type: Full-Time/Regular Job Description: A great reputation is a result of great products. Great products are a result of innovative thinking. Our leading-edge Product Development team is a big reason why we are the world-leading provider of software solutions to nonprofit organizations. If you have a proven track record in packaged commercial software development, an enthusiastic team-oriented attitude and the right skill set, we've got a Software ......

Posted On Thursday, February 3, 2005 3:15 PM

Executive email

The latest missive from Bill is now online...


Posted On Thursday, February 3, 2005 2:30 PM

Installshield Wishlist Item #10
ok this is a two-parter... 10.a we need OPTIONAL parameters when creating InstallScript functions. 10.b. we need to be able to pass a param to an InstallScript function from a Custom Action. Why, you ask? Well... either would suffice. If I could supply a default value to an OPTIONAL param in an IS function, then I could (in theory) call it from a Custom Action (which currently doesn't support passing params to IS functions). Is there a workaround? Well yes, of course... I just write a wrapper function ......

Posted On Thursday, February 3, 2005 1:32 PM

re: InstallShield Wishlist Item #9
Ok, the reason #9 didn't make any sense to me was because I had it wrong... sorta. (It's 1:43pm on 2/1/2005 for those of you keeping track!!) original post here: http://www.geekswithblogs.n... You can control the max input on an edit field, simply by sizing the edit field to the size you want. But... let's be honest this isn't always (ever?) practical. And if you want any uniformtity in the appearance of your UI, it's just not an option. You can set a flag via ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 1, 2005 1:45 PM

Installshield Wishlist Item #9

9. Why can't I edit the max length of an edit field (textbox) in an InstallScript or InstallScript MSI project? I can do it in a regular Windows Installer project. This makes NO sense!

Posted On Tuesday, February 1, 2005 9:26 AM

inclement weather

So I drove home (from the hot/sunny place to the cold/winter place) for the weekend and while I was here, it snowed. I was supposed to drive back today, but... don't think it's gonna happen. 3 inches of snow and 2 inches of ice make that pretty unlikely.

So I get to hang out for an extra day (or two).  :)

Posted On Sunday, January 30, 2005 8:50 AM

Egads! cont...
I went for option B.  :)

Posted On Sunday, January 30, 2005 8:45 AM

opportunity knocks

The (850 employee) software company I work for is looking for a couple more .NET developers, full time. 

Ideal candidates would have 3 years of .NET w/ 5-6 years of programming experience overall.

This is not contract or temp work. These are permanent positions in Charleston, SC.

Leave me a comment if you're interested and I'll get ahold of you.

Posted On Thursday, January 27, 2005 4:02 PM

So I wake up today and realize I'm going bald! (Ok, I've known for some time, but denial is a wonderful thing!) This sucks. I have naturally curly (extremely curly) hair and it's going to be incredibly obvious soon (if it isn't already to everyone but me) as it continues to worsen. Ok, two choices... a) let it grow long and attempt to somehow disguise/prolong the inevitable b) shave my head and go for the cool factor I can't think of a 3rd option, so what do you guys think ......

Posted On Thursday, January 27, 2005 8:38 AM

Countries and their domain extensions
Ever get hit with an address where you don't recognize the extension at all? This is a handy little link: The reason I have it is kinda odd. Recently an individual from Portugal (.pt) joined our GCNUG mailing list. Ok, no big deal. Then he quit. Then he joined again. We moderate all first-time posts so I wasn't worried about spam, but it did attract my attention. So I'm looking at his email address and I'm wondering... where the ......

Posted On Thursday, January 27, 2005 8:33 AM

Installshield Wishlist Item #8
8. Please make an easy way (provide functions) to do these 3 things via InstallScript: a. Detect an existing Virtual Directory b. Create a new Virtual Directory c. Delete an existing Virtual Directory Via InstallScript is the key phrase here. I know you can do it in the Installation Designer. It's important to realize that there are currently ways to do 2 of these, but they are a royal pain. Even moreso because you have to do some of them differently in XP and Server 2003. (I know that isn't your ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 26, 2005 12:59 PM

fun with numbers

in 3 days:

Me.age = math.sqrt(7*7*5*5)



Posted On Monday, January 3, 2005 3:38 PM

Can I see my house from here? The short answer is NO. But that's because I grew up in the boonies. If you live in a more metropolitan area, like New York City or Charleston, SC they have coverage down to 2 feet. They also have New Orleans down to .7 meters, but I bet they weren't taking pictures during Mardi Gras... ......

Posted On Monday, January 3, 2005 2:53 PM

best! quote! ever!
"Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar." - Drew Carey Just for the record, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job. But oh how I hated my previous one. You simply can't imagine, and people there are still mad at me for leaving (them behind). ......

Posted On Saturday, January 1, 2005 12:26 PM

christmas chaos
My children are killing each other. My mother keeps trying to get everyone to eat more. My wife is slowly going insane. I'm hiding. It's good to be home.

Posted On Friday, December 24, 2004 4:06 PM

word wrap in Console app
Recently I found myself working on some player messages (for HA!) and was less than thrilled with how words were getting chopped in half on the linebreak. I came up with this fairly tidy solution: 1. Build the sentence(s) as normal, with proper spacing and punctuation, and store them all in one long string variable. Dim strMessage As StringstrMessage = "The smelly kobold swings his broken dagger at you. You see a door opening. You cleave the smelly kobold in two." 2. Dim a string array and ......

Posted On Friday, January 21, 2005 8:59 AM

Uh oh for Nintendo, Pokemon discovered to be #1 cause of cancer
From Nature magazine... UPDATE: apparently that link no worky no more... try this one: (not the same article, but same story) ......

Posted On Thursday, January 20, 2005 1:29 PM

tv junkies rejoice! I’ve used the free trial, and I’m actually going to pay for it. It’s THAT good. I'm a tv junkie and I download lots of TV episodes, because it seems like I’m never around when they’re on. I’ve tried a lot of tools and pretty much given up in total frustration on ever converting my AVI, DIVX and XVID files to a more comfortably viewable format like DVD. After all, VCD isn’t really a great option. With DVD Santa, in 3 clicks (and 4 hours of ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 18, 2005 1:04 PM

Installshield Wishlist Item #7

#7  Please please please give me an easy to use dialog that has a drop-down list control in it.  As it stands right now, I have to write entirely too much code to do this via the EzDefineDialog. Just give me a simple dialog that I can pass a variable of type LIST into.


Posted On Monday, January 17, 2005 3:37 PM

more comment spam
I don't know about everyone else, but I assume if it's happening to me then I'm probably not the only one. Once again I've been “comment spammed” with a bunch of garbage resembling html and links to god knows what. Is there something that can be done about this? I'd prefer not to turn off comments altogether (if that's even possible), but apparently allowing “anyone” to post “anything” in comments isn't such a great choice either. Anyone else have any thoughts ......

Posted On Monday, January 17, 2005 7:51 AM

finally finished, now I just need to name it... Thermaltake Xaser III Aluminum casehttp://www.thermaltake.... 7 fans, speedscrews, tool-less drive installation, numerous expansion bays, top mounted audio and USB ports, locking bays, case alarm, window and much more… It's aluminum for better cooling! ASUS K8N-E Deluxe motherboardhttp://www.pcsta... AMD Athlon 64 3400+ (equivalent to P4 3.2GHz)Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series ......

Posted On Thursday, January 13, 2005 12:35 PM

GC.NUG, Microsoft, Game Development, Free Swag & Pizza
Tonight is the Greater Charleston .NET User Group (GC.NUG) meeting, which contrary to certain people's opinion is NOT pronounced GC NOOJ. :) Anyway, we meet at Blackbaud at 6:00 and tonight's meeting features Doug Turnure of Microsoft, who will be talking about Indigo and SOA. He's also graciously offered to spring for the (Papa John's) pizza. In addition to Doug's presentation, we will be officially kicking off the 2005 Open Source Mobile Game Programming Expo, which runs from today until the July ......

Posted On Thursday, January 13, 2005 9:22 AM

wtf was that all about?

Some spamtard left this as a comment in an old blog entry:

You will submit your blog to the will of Allah.

Whatever dude... got too much time on your hands?  Consider learning something.

Posted On Wednesday, January 12, 2005 12:06 PM

gul·li·ble (adj)
This is not directed at the techno-elite (those of you who have just enough free time to read my blog). This is directed at the friends and family of the previously mentioned techno-elite. Ok... MY friends and family, mostly, but you all know someone this applies to as well. I hope everyone realizes by now how absurd these emails are that claim Microsoft will donate 1 cent to a homeless parapalegic hermaphroditic toddler in Indonesia for every time you forward an email to your friends. Repeat after ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 11, 2005 12:38 PM

considering new tags...

This is a tribute to “she whose name must never again be uttered in my presence”...

I think the “fight terrorism” tag is a nice touch...

Posted On Tuesday, January 11, 2005 12:22 PM

comment spam
interesting... some cretin just comment spammed my blog with links to various sites, none of which had anything to do with my post. More interesting is that he picked a fairly old post, presumeably in an attempt to hide his spam so I wouldn't notice it right away. The only reason I can think of for doing this, since he obviously didn't expect me to click the links, must be so search engines will see linking to his site(s). ok, so maybe it's not all that interesting. eh ......

Posted On Saturday, January 8, 2005 10:59 AM

Superman Returns (at last)
What kind of geek blog would this be without a superhero movie entry? Superman Returns Superman is blamed for the pain of the people and the destruction ofMetropolis in the wake of the attacks by General Zod, Non, and Ursa.In response to his new unpopularity, he exiles himself in the Fortressof Solitude. Six years have passed, and a new threat emerges. Supermanmust leave his exile and battle the oncoming threat, as he is the onlyone who can. In this film, Superman Returns. (The cool thing about this ......

Posted On Friday, January 7, 2005 2:56 PM

Extreme Development on the .NET Database
(lifted from the blog of Geoff Snowman...) Extreme Development on the .NET Database using Microsoft Visual Studio 2005/SQL Server 2005: Washington, DC, Feb 17th Have you noticed that the word extreme had been undergoing a popularity fad lately? There's extreme programming, extreme ironing, and now Extreme Development on the .NET Database. Despite the name, this should be a useful event. The focus is the new technology architectures that are possible because the .NET Framework is part of SQL Server ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 5, 2005 8:38 AM

VB.NET CF game development on Windows Mobile 2003
I've done a lot of googling lately, looking for articles on .net compact framework game development for the pocket pc (Windows Mobile 2003). I've found quite a few, unfortunately everything I have found so far has been for C#. Now I can read C# a lot better than I can write it, so I'm dying to know... are there ANY articles or samples with a focus on VB.NET? C'mon Microsoft.... throw me a frickin bone! C. (I realize this might just be the excuse I needed to spend a weekend in bed with a C# book, ......

Posted On Thursday, December 30, 2004 12:30 PM

GCNUG logos
We've had a few logos submitted over the last couple months: I really like this one a lot, and think it would look awesome on a shirt: This one makes a good website banner: So does this one: There have been other submissions as well, and all of them are good. I can't make up my mind which is best, so I'll put up a poll on the GCNUG site.Let the masses vote on it. :) ......

Posted On Thursday, December 30, 2004 9:19 AM

Artiste needed

ok, not an “Artiste” per se, but someone better at Photoshop/Illustrator than I am.

I need a logo for a website. Can't pay much money, but I can work something out.


Posted On Thursday, December 30, 2004 8:08 AM

just for fun
For those of you interested in game development, this short article talks a little about the random dungeon generation I did with VB.NET when writing a roguelike game. If anyone has any specific questions about the source code I refer to (not included in the article, for brevity sake) let me know and when I revamp the article I'll include code snippets along with answers to your questions ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 29, 2004 12:41 PM

All I got for christmas was...
Doom giftcardBest Buy giftcardPizza Hut giftcardBelk giftcardBarnes & Noble giftcardlow carb candy (hey it's not that bad, and I've lost 18 pounds so far) and of course... socks (in all fairness, I also got my favorite gift... $CASH$ for the new PC I'm building.) if you're interested, the specs so far are... Thermaltake Xaser III Aluminum caseASUS K8N-E Deluxe motherboardAMD Athlon 64 3400+Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series (512mb DDR PC3200) x2Seagate 160GB Barracuda 7200.7 ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 29, 2004 8:40 AM

I know they're reading this...
My InstallShield Wishlist for 2005 Please allow me to associate a component to more than one feature and provide different Destination Paths for each. Currently I have to create a new component with a different name for each feature I need to add it to (if I want different destination paths). This is horribly inefficient. Please allow me to programmatically disable (NOT HIDE) a feature via InstallScript. Currently InstallScript can only hide features, not simply disable them, but I want my users ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 4, 2005 2:02 PM

I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today...
The following is excerpted from an email a colleague received from one of her users: If I schedule to run it on Tuesday for the previous Saturday, will the report show what it would have had we run it on Saturday. More specifically, if an item was picked up on Monday and I run the report on Tuesday for the previous Saturday, would it show on the report or not? The sad thing is… I used to work there, and have no trouble believing it. ......

Posted On Monday, January 3, 2005 4:06 PM

the squeaky wheel and all that...
So apparently the InstallShield Product Manager at Macrovision reads blogs. After a few emails back and forth, I'm not necessarily closer to an immediate solution (and have, in fact, since found a tolerable workaround), BUT... I feel like someone listened. Someone with the authority to (hopefully) turn my suggestions and complaints into results. My opinion of them went up a few points today. :) It's worth mentioning that one of my earlier criticisms of IS X is fixed in IS 10.5 (the SQL dialogs), ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 22, 2004 2:18 PM

don't be a tater-hater!

Betsy Aoki of Microsoft's MSDN team inspired me to write this little ode to tater tots... you'll have to read her blog to understand.

ode to the tater tot
some people like them cold
while others like them hot
some save their taters for later
while other folks do not
if you like a later tater
that's ok with me
just dont be a tater hater
or we'll surely disagree!

Posted On Tuesday, December 21, 2004 12:23 PM

QA testing
You know... for a fairly smart guy, I can be a real bonehead at times. In my naive youth, which admittedly wasn't all THAT long ago, I honestly believed the only reason people took QA/tester jobs was to get their foot in the door with a software company so they could eventually become “real” developers. It never occurred to me that some folks actually wanted that job. So now I'm curious, how many of you reader geeks actually took QA jobs at some point in your career, with the sole intent ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 21, 2004 10:45 AM

no freakin way...
Wal-Mart Selling a $498 Linux Laptop?? excerpt follows... Linspire has been working for months on a project that will have a profound impact on consumers and on the Linux market - a sub-$500 laptop from a major retailer. This week, we're proud to announce a new complete laptop available immediately for $498, exclusively from There are no mail-order rebates, no refurbished equipment, no "only three available at this price," no gimmicks or asterisks whatsoever and you are not required ......

Posted On Monday, December 20, 2004 3:14 PM

2005 Open Source Mobile Game Programming Expo
My local user group is having a Game Programming contest. Starts in January, ends in July. We've already got some cool prizes lined up, with hopefully more before long. So far we have an XBox, 1 year of PocketPC Magazine & VB.NET Standard as prizes. I've been thinking about what I want to do, and whether or not I can finish it in 6 months and have it look fairly good. I'm thinking I'll do a card game. Something other than solitaire though. Something with a ......

Posted On Monday, December 20, 2004 9:29 AM

Greater Charleston .NET User Group
I meant to add this last week, but I'm a slacker... GC.NUG First Meeting Notes (12/09/2004) As many of you know, we had our first meeting tonight. I'd like to thank all of you who could make it. I had a great time and met some great people. I hope all of you did too. A big thank you to Blackbaud for giving us a place to meet each month.Attendance was good! We had 34 names on the signin sheet, and I know a few more folks slipped in after we got started. I think it was around 37 total.We started things ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 15, 2004 12:43 PM

cleaning out the cobwebs
I tried posting this a few days ago, but firewall issues at work prevented me from posting. A little about me: I'm a MCSD(.NET) & MCT. I work for a fairly big retail company (2700 stores) in the IT department. I'm president of the Roanoke Valley .NET User Group (RV.NUG) and I don't have any GMail invites. I've been playing with the Visual Studio 2005 beta, and I have to say it's pretty cool. I'll post more about that as I spend more time with it. I've also been writing my own roguelike game in VB.NET. ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 15, 2004 1:51 AM

Copyright © Chris G. Williams | Powered by: