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Tagged: May 2007 Blog Posts

Please leave a comment, ask a question and consider subscribing to the latest posts via RSS or email. Thank you for visiting! Below is a list of entries related to the tag listed above.. My site contains more than just the information below and I'd encourage you to visit the home page to view current information as well as other items/categories that might be of interest.



new windows live writer avail

beta 2 of windows live writer was released today.  go get it.  improved user interface, improved blog support, some new functions...you know all the good stuff you want in an update.  oh yeah and continued extensibility. i took a quick second (after doing a little RTFM'ing [thanks charles]) and uploaded a custom manifest to my blog.  why?  because when in writer sometimes i want quick access to things about my blog (stats and such).  so i took a minute to "subtext"-ize a sidebar extension to writer...see: i've got the nice little transparent subtext icon in the back and two...

when will google learn

that they must scale their betas even...of all the stuff they have and all the scale they've already proven, when will they learn? trying out their new stuff (google gears and mashup editor) i got this on the mashup editor page: seriously, FIX YOUR ERROR page -- for a company that seemingly gets some level of ux, their failure messages are horrible, no links to direct me anywhere, no sitemap, etc...this does not pass the mother-in-law litmus. and then installation failures abound on the gears installer...because their installer doesn't take into account proxies. shrug.

media center for mac?

hey mac users, educate me...what's a media center equivalent for osx?  i'm not talking apple tv -- i'm talking to receive television signal on my mac...

airlines: when pilots fight back

well, i'm sitting at sky harbor airport waiting to get on a plane to head to dallas for the day.  the plane is supposed to depart at 6:50am (it's 6:32am as i'm writing this).  about five minutes ago, the pilot of the aircraft just walked to the counter and made an announcement. he couldn't figure out the public announcement system, so just started shouting.  he gave first an informative update about a weather issue in dallas, and then went on a personal rant about how we were being mistreated because there was no gate agent, etc.  he was pretty harsh...

onramp: follow-up from silicon valley

first, thanks to all who came out to the microsoft silicon valley campus on thursday to listen to me babble about microsoft and web developer technologies.  as promised, i said i'd make a post with answers to unanswered questions and/or concerns... so here we go! logistics: expression web product: i learned some clarification on the fulfillment of the expression web product (note: if you didn't hear, those that registered and attended will receive a not-for-resale copy of expression web, one of the products we discussed and showed in the morning for developing/authoring standards-based web sites/pages/applications.  there was confusion (mostly on...

act now: preserve festivus

an insult to mankind is happening in my area.  no seriously, it is.  a radio station i listen to announced a concert happening soon in the summer...and they are calling it Festivus for the rest of us.  i think i nearly caused an accident on the 101 when i heard this...my car swerved and explicatives were flying all over the place. that's right...festivus in mid-summer.  clearly the peak (98.7) couldn't be doing such an injustice to festivus?  (note: for those in phoenix and know my musical taste, i listen to 98.7 because it is the least suckiest for me on...

bad ux: features not available to users

i was recently logged in to a members-only web site (of which i'm a member) and noticed two buttons in the left navigation titled: Administrator Options Record Keeping Information upon clicking on either one i was presented with a pop-up and this message: Please note: In order to speed up some of the lookup functions of the website, it was necessary to enable the Website Admin Button for all user screens. The Admin Button is only functional for users with Admin Rights. Clicking on the Admin Button will check if the user is a current...

canceled registration reminder

ah, the irony...from my earlier post, i get this in my inbox today (and the mail merge was wrong...not in SFO) :-).  if they asked me to not participate you'd think they'd take me off the reminder list :-)

silverlight: breaking changes planned

felt this was necessary for a re-post (as i'm sure it will be all over the place).  joe stegman has announced some breaking changes and provides an updated silverlight.js file for us all to use. see his post: Some v1.0 breaking changes tags: silverlight

rant: cancelling competitor registrations

something has been bothering me lately.  you see, i registered for a seminar, then a few days later go this: argh.  it wasn't rude necessarily, the individual politely is asking me not attend and for the reason.  i just found it very "un-tech-community" of this particular company.  i wonder how people would react if microsoft canceled registrations for competitors attending pdc or teched or things like that?  surely they would be /.'d.  in fact oscon, railsconf and other open source conferences never do this -- and those are the audiences that don't like big blue. what do you think? ...

baseball, meet blogging

i've been monitoring 38pitches.com for a while now and if you aren't aware of it, it's essentially (well not really, it is) curt schilling's blog.  if you have no idea who he is, that's okay...you're likely a geek...and that is fine. but curt's blog is bringing blogging to the mainstream.  go ahead and argue that scoble did that, or that news agencies did that, but i'll disagree.  curt is appealing to the sports fan...not the techno dweeb like you and me, but to the everyday joe. for a minute, take a look at the number of comments he gets per post...unreal -- averages about 100,...

portland code camp wrap-up

i had a great time at the day i attended at the portland code camp!  i'm sorry for those who couldn't make it, you missed out!  we also had a great time at the kennedy school afterwards on saturday (an old elementary school transformed into a bar, restaurant, movie theater, hotel, etc. -- very cool, all the insides of the school left in tact). i delivered 3 presentations at the saturday session of code camp: virtual earth, sidebar gadgets and popfly.  first and foremost, thank you for those that attended my sessions (i apologize for the room changes again), i...

travel tip #137

so it's not really #137, but it sounded better than #1 and i didn't want to set myself up for a complete list, so my mental brain told me pick a number...(it's been a long morning) a while back i read chris' travel tips/realizations (here and here)...a few of which i've adopted.  while on another trip with woodyp a while back, we were chatting about hotels and such and i had been woken up earlier than desired because of the light coming in through the window.  i was commenting on how no matter how much i try to close the...

railsconf: dead phones and no excitement

my phone officially died today.  it's been ill for the past 3 days...it was in intensive care today...but didn't make it.  it's a brick (thin, small one).  anyhow, a trip to the store and i'm going to try to survive the weekend with a "normal" phone (text messaging is the most advanced it has. anyhow, back to railsconf after a jaunt... some of the sessions here have been PACKED.  i wasn't able to get in to some...shame on me for being late...namely "clean code" and "doing REST right" were packed to the gills -- to the point apparently that the...

railsconf: apollo session

sitting in the "product and services" track for apollo.  this really has nothing to do with rails, but hey, adobe is a sponsor, so throw them a bone and give them a few sessions. the html engine in an apollo app is webkit...interesting -- didn't know that.  the reason was that it is an open project and they wanted something to contribute to... yawn...these guys don't have enough energy...their jokes aren't working...this is 100 level stuff...walking out now. ooh, just heard one of them talk about using design mode in flex builder: don't be afraid of it, it works well,...

railsconf: day one (actually 2) keynote

i chose not to attend technically the first day of railsconf which was some pre-con tutorials.  why?  well, last year i did, and didn't find them a particular valuable use of 8 hours of my time...probably because in conference mode i'm not in a mindset of sitting for 4 hours on one topic. but i'm here back in portland, this time for railsconf (my last trip was oscon...man was it really that long ago?) as well as the portland code camp (where i have a few sessions).  there are a few of us softie-types here at railsconf, so if you...

popfly is launched

check it out -- microsoft popfly is an online environment to easily (and in a fun way) create apps, mashups, gadgets, etc.  the "ide" is built on silverlight too! there is also a plugin for visual studio to look at the community submissions. view the overview and sign up for the waitlist. tags: popfly, springfield, express, coding4fun, gadget, mashup, silverlight

@portland: railsconf and code camp

i'm in portland!  i like this town.  i'm here for railsconf and portland code camp...if you are in the 'hood, give a shout out.

traveling woes: zune triggers alarm as a hazardous device

while traveling on my way to railsconf and the portland code camp, i headed to the airport (again).  from march-may i've redefined myself as a frequent traveler...mastering the security lines, figuring out what is and is not required, etc. as a part of code camp, i'm bringing a zune to give away.  i should note that when i travel i bring my zune with me in my backpack.  the zune i was also carrying was on a carry-on and was brand new (in the packaging, etc.).  well, going through the security line...my backpack...made it fine.  suitcase...stopped.  they needed to look....

silverlight: layouts and control framework

one of the things that developers ask me about silverlight is regarding the control set...more specifically...where is it.  well, i don't have a timeline for you, but there are a bunch of other people working on some samples and frameworks for silverlight. dave relyea just posted a layout and control framework for the silverlight 1.1 alpha.  check it out. tags: silverlight plugin, silverlight, layout controls, wpfe, blend, relyea

flickr4writer minor release

well, the flickr4writer project had it's first community contribution (thanks simon).  a new minor release was updated today that incorporates one small bug fix and one feature change (ability to select multiple images). release: Flickr4Writer v1.2.7.0516 tags: flickr, flickr4writer, codeplex, windows live writer, writer, live writer, blog, blogging, writer plugin

great ux: espn and mlb

i remembered watching the super-bowl via esp.com and even mentioned my experience in a previous post.  well, tonight espn proves to be a winner for me again.  while watching the dbacks and randy johnson stomp on colorado, i moved to espn.com and their gamecast view...it is incredible.  i didn't have a tv nearby, so i have no idea how out-of-sync it was, but the play-by-play visuals were great, down to the diamond being the shape of the field where they are playing...here's a shot: when a ball is hit, they even have an animated baseball going in the direction...

truemors: another site i don't get

people are saying guy kawasaki is behind this latest truemors.com site.  while i'm starting to see less value in twitter, when i opened up truemors i shook my head.  it certainly looks/acts/feels like a twitter-ish type application...and the content surely has parity with twitter posts...here's a sample of some of the "rumors" posted: "Jello wrestling for Charity?  Yes, it happens." "the iphone gives you herpes" "hey mark, give me a call later and we'll get dinner" "the truemors homepage is easy to spam." "Guy Kawasaki started this up? must be losing touch with reality." "I heard that this...

silverlight: watch a ladybug poo

or at least that is what i think is happening ;-) check out silverlight from a flash developer perspective and some early findings...no IDE/tools used outside of a text editor and a very simple "game" is born... http://seeing-is-believing.blogspot.com/2007/05/sileverlight-demo-with-source-code.html tags: silverlight, flash, silverlight plugin

some tuesday entertainment

humor: entertainment:

silverlight: in a dashboard widget

someone asked if silverlight would work in an osx dashboard widget...interesting thought i felt.  after all, the dashboard widget concept is similar to the sidebar gadget feature in vista in that it is essentially a packaged file with html, javascript, images, etc.  so i went to task and tried it out. i first started with a media player that i had been working on and it didn't go so well...more on that at a later time (startup javascripts, etc.).  after that i just dumbed it down to a simple sample that had some animation and stuff. packaged it up, deploy...

silverlight: app streaming versus media streaming

one of the most asked questions i've been getting lately has to do with the silverlight streaming service provided by the windows live services.  i think microsoft may have done ourselves a naming disservice with including "streaming" in the title.  i think to most in the tech world, the "streaming" term implies a media file streaming like .asx files or streaming audio files, etc. that are consumed by some type of player. well, silverlight streaming is a bit different in my opinion.  first, the services hosts silverlight applications.  the whole thing...xaml, media, etc.  so it isn't streaming your media directly,...

post mix expression training

okay, are you coming off of a high of MIX (or the information surrounding it)?  i know i am, heck i've seen a lot of the stuff and i was still amazed at things that i saw.  there are some great designers and developers building fantastic user experiences with windows presentation foundation (wpf) and silverlight...i was impressed. if you are like me and searching for the best way to get a leg up on this technology and the tools, you're probably hunting around for the opportunity to learn some more.  there is currently an expression blend tour that is coming...

apple vs. vista ads

they keep coming don't they.  personally, i crack up when i see them.  i, like others, share some feelings that i wish they would be more accurate in their advertising comparisons (like the fact that apple has a UAC feature themselves!...or perhaps that some hackers feel vista is more secure). i just saw on adwatch that three more just came out -- again with some inaccuracies -- so i went and saw them online...got a chuckle again.  i was *very* surprised with the comments on the post though...people basically telling apple to start to "think different" as their ads are...

virtual earth: goodbye pushpin, hello shape

now that the virtual earth version 5 sdk/control is out and available, some that may want to quickly move to v5 may find some refactoring required.  for me, it was pushpins.  when using v4 of vritual earth, i would normally create a VEPushpin first like this: var pin = new VEPushpin( someId, // unique identifier of the pin latLon, // a VELatLong object "images/custompin.png", // custom pin object "some title", //...

bad ux: disable your pop-up blockers

attention site builders: if your site copy has any words that are similar to "disable your pop-up blockers" please change now.  i've been seeing this a lot lately and it really bothers me.  i haven't seen it on any microsoft site yet, but if someone has, please let me know so i can pester the site owners as well (you know, trustworthy computing and all).  here's an example of one from samsung: If you selected the "Software" link from the SGH-i607 (BlackJack) page and reached article regarding the Update for your BlackJack but were not taken to the End...

silverlight: not working on ie7?

a few users have reported some issues with silverlight plugins not working correctly on ie7 on windows...but working fine within firefox on windows, etc. this is due to a previous ctp build of silverlight not being fully uninstalled (hey, it's ctp isn't it) and residual registry grout hanging around... the silverlight community is live and well though over at www.silverlight.net where there are forums and an answer was posted: http://silverlight.net/forums/t/437.aspx.  hope this helps! tags: silverlight, silverlight.net, silverlight forums, wpf/e, silverlight plugin

windows mobile: t-mobile trumps cingular, get your upgrade

just got back and noticed t-mobile has their windows mobile 6 upgrade builds ready for dash and mda customers get them here: t-mobile windows mobile 6 upgrades hmm...now i wonder when cingular will accelerate their plans for a blackjack wm6 upgrade!!! tags: windows mobile, windows mobile 6, wm6, t-mobile, dash, mda

random: thanks mtabar for sharing your music

so while waiting for a replacement hard drive in my local office (i received an event log telling me "your hard disk driver has reported imminent failure...do not save anything more to this hard disk" -- yikes), i was working on some silverlight 1.1 cross-platforms stuff...i decided to fire up itunes to listen to some ambient tunage.  lo and behold two "shared libraries" popped up (i was on a public wifi connection).  sweet, i took a look and started lurking...mtabar had the broadest selection, from 2-pac, to my all time favorite band, black sabbath (the original, not the current). i...

silverlight: center text on a rect

wooclan member and game-coder extraordinaire jason just posted about some hacking he did to provide some basic layout capabilities of textblocks, yeah, like basic as in centering. check it out yo. tags: silverlight, jason mauer, mauer, xaml, wpf

silverlight: what you need, when you need it...compressed

one really great feature about silverlight is the packaging aspect of it.  what do i mean by this?  well, you can essentially put a ton of assets into a compressed file and pull them out as needed.  this would provide you the ability to have a single asset package that is compressed, and thus saving on some download time.  of course there would be tradeoffs that you'd have to consider, but for sample sake, let's assume they are good. so how would you do that?  well let's say you have a bunch of images in a file name 'assets.zip' (here...

silverlight: embedding the plugin part 2

in a previous post i wrote about embedding the silverlight applications in your site using the silverlight streaming service.  i wrote about my troubles in getting output from more complex types working in the service.  here's the skinny.  i was using expression media encoder (eme for the cool kids) and the output templates for media players.  turns out the version of eme i was using was missing a few things.  the version on microsoft.com/expression is correct and is working fine. if you are using eme outputs and want to put them in silverlight streaming, do not use the <source> node...

silverlight: embedding the plugin

so what happens when you want to embed silverlight in your page?  well if you have absolute control over your site, you may not need to worry as you'll post your silverlight applications as-is.  but what if you want to just output some smaller silverlight applications in specific areas in your site, blog, etc? enter silverlight streaming.  this was announced at mix07 where you get 4gb storage for free.  now, there are some caveats that you should read about -- the 4gb is total storage, but the per-app upload has some limits...so be sure to read...it may not meet...

mix07: dynamic language superfreaks

sitting in a session watching john lam/jim hugunin: getting input from an html input element... write a ruby block... responding to a c# event... calling a visual basic function to get JSON serialized information... then doing some other stuff in python... executing animation with javascript... ...all in a single app, powered by the dynamic language runtime in Silverlight. i think i just peed my pants. tags: dlr, dynamic language runtime, john lam, jim huginin, silverlight, wpf/e, ruby, vbx, json, mix, mix07


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