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i'm on my way to the microsoft technology summit for this year.  what is the summit?  basically it's a small group of invited guests traveling to the microsoft campus for some conversations.  another microsoft lovefest you say?  hardly...these invited guests aren't the typical microsoft flag wavers -- in fact i'd venture to guess some may not even have a msft flag :-)

it's a chance to gather some influential people from varying technologies (PHP, Java, Ruby) and areas (academia, community, large enterprise) from around the world (united states, japan, malaysia, china, england).  it should be an interesting few days that wraps up on wednesday.  why redmond in the united states?  well, so we can gather some of the key technology leads from microsoft in one place to meet with this group of about 30 people.

here's a list of who's planning on being there from microsoft:

  • bill hilf or port25 and the open source labs
  • jim hugunin of ironpython fame
  • john lam of rubyclr fame
  • kim cameron from our identity team
  • don box -- does he need an explanation
  • chris anderson -- if you haven't heard chris before, you are missing out on his knowledge
  • michael howard about microsoft and security
  • celso gomes - interactive designer at microsoft

it's a packed few days and i'm sure (hoping) that the attendees will write/blog/discuss their interactions -- this is NOT an NDA event for them.  i know i'll be reporting what is going on and hopefully have some video interviews up rather quickly as we get them.

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i couldn't help but laugh when i saw this in our mailbox today...


that's right -- a legit check for $0.00, zip, nada, nil.  i really want to see the teller's reaction when we 'cash' it...would they just take it from me and say "have a nice day?" -- and what would they do if i asked for a receipt...

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well, i've been a huge fan of the budweiser "real men of genius" (renamed from 'real american heroes' after the world trade center attacks) commercials.  my personal favorite is the "mr giant taco salad inventor" ('a 12,000 calorie salad...brilliant').  it gets me cracking up every time.  sadly i have them all on my zune playlist as well.

anywhoo... the guys at stupidcubicle.com put up a site for "real technology heroes" and i'm cracking up a bit as well (of course, major geek humor here...your wife will be gazing at you like you are an idiot -- much like mine is right now).

my favorites are the top ones right now "Mr. you can build your own version of asp.net better than Microsoft" guy and "Mr. select * from tablename example" guy.

nice. visit them at

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what i love best about new technologies is when developers start figuring things out for themselves and providing knowledge sharing to their peers.  in the case of "" that is exactly what dave campbell has been doing lately...and he's updated his site with some latest samples of rectangle animation, etc.  if you haven't seen some of his stuff it is a great place to learn about some of the fundamentals of some things and dave provides some walkthrough as well as tutorial type content.

some fun stuff going on there -- keep it up dave!

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i'm having an excellent customer service day.  why?  well, my tivo series 2 busted last week (actually probably earlier, just haven't been in town) and i was pretty pissed as i still have "lifetime" service on it.  so i hunted around on tivocommunity.com and found that my problem looked like a bad hard drive.  everyone recommended getting a new hard drive and using to bring it life.  well, after conferring with the family cfo, i was able to procure the $20 to try it out.  why only $20 and not more for a new hard drive?  well, a while back i had upgraded my tivo adding a second drive bringing it to 200GB total.  i had a sneaking suspicion that the original 40GB drive was the problematic one and was going to attempt to salvage my secondary 160GB drive.  so i went to dvrupgrade.com and got the ISO download.  it was a 75MB ISO download.  i extracted and burned to a cd-rom.  then off i went to my trusty dell that is 8 years old. 

after a bit of RTFM'ing (your cd-rom drive needs to be primary slave and the drive you want to "bake" needs to be primary master), i booted the cd-rom and followed the very simple instructions.  basically i clicked enter about 4 times and got a message that it was "baking my cake" and wouldn't take long.  The only real status i saw was an extraction of about 694MB of "restore" as it was labeled.  man that's a nice and lean device.  after about 5 minutes, i was back at a shell with a message that said "power off and connect your drive to your tivo."

so i did...and powered up...and saw the "welcome, powering up" screen and waited with anticipation.  about 2 minutes later, tivo had life.  and life was good.  restarted setup, done.  download guide, done.  very, very cool.

lived up to every claim it had.  $20 repair and 20 minutes...man i'm happy.  i did lose all the season passes, but a small price to pay for disaster recovery.  oh, and by the way, i think it was my original drive, as the 160GB drive is doing fine right now.