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January 23, 2005

Rent a Regional Director, Donate to tsunami relief

At 9:00am this morning, the following eBay auction will go live:


Basically, it’s a big dutch auction in which the winners (in order of their bid rank) get to rent a Regional Director for an hour of consulting. All proceeds to go towards tsunami relief. You can read all about which Regional Directors (besides me) have agreed to take part in the auction, as well as the organization to which the proceeds will be going here and here. News of the auction has even been picked up by Microsoft Watch.

So, come on everybody. Let’s run the tally up. Bid early! Bid often! Pick me if you win (I’ll even throw in a test drive in my car if you’re local)!

11:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

January 18, 2005

Orlando Nerd Dinner (Episode III) is tonight

We’re trying to grow the group, so if you can make it, please do. You can find the details here:


09:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

ASPSOFT at Tech Ed 2005

I secured a 10’ x 10’ booth in the exhibit hall for ASPSOFT at Tech Ed 2005 here in Orlando, Florida. We’re going to use it to show off our super-dee-duper project that we’re working on (more details on that soon). I read through the exhibitor contract, though, and there are some amusing terms and conditions. For instance, the first (read: most important) rule states that an exhibitor “…may only showcase its demos on the Windows platform, running the most current Microsoft operating system…”. I noticed that Research In Motion is on the exhibitor list, though, and their BlackBerry PDAs run on Java.

Or, how about the rule that prohibits the “[distribution] of any givaways that would be considered potentially dangerous or destructive from the Expo floor or in the conference facility. Examples of potentially dangerous/destructive giveaways include: pocket knives, box knives, stickers, adhesive decals, helium balloons, glitter, laser pointers, dart guns, etc…”. A few of the items (like stickers, helium balloons and glitter) don’t make much sense. Microsoft must be getting advice from either the airports or Homeland Security.

One of the final rules states that we “must have [our] booth(s) set-up by 5:00pm on Sunday, May 23, 2005. Considering that the conference doesn’t start until Sunday, June 5, I’d say that takes “advance preparation” to a whole new level. There’s got to be a typo in there.

04:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

January 07, 2005

Keyhole rocks!

My new favorite program to toy around with is Google’s Keyhole application. I heard about it on 60 Minutes while they were profiling Google. For $29.95 per year, you can surf global satellite imagery using DirectX. You can zoom, pan, rotate and otherwise manipulate the images, as well as search for specific addresses. For example, here’s my house from 700 feet.


06:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

January 05, 2005

angryCoder as a movie mogul?

I just got a phone call from some yahoos out in California that are producing what they call a “Clint Eastwood” style western movie. They wanted me to invest in the project. Yeah, that sounds like a winner. I have to admit that’s a first in the sales call department for me. Usually, I just get calls about water filters and pool heaters. Have any of you heard of this type of sales call?

03:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Be aware of Ad-Aware

My laptop has been slowing down over the past few days, so I figured I’d get some software to check for spyware and other malicious goodness. I’ve already got Norton AntiVirus installed, but I wanted a product that specialized in spyware. So, I downloaded the new spyware protection software from McAfee. I ran it and it found some nasty spyware, but I still wasn’t confident that it had gotten everything. Then, I remembered that I had installed Ad-Aware 6 on my laptop about 6 months ago. So, I fired that up and ran it. It found even more spyware (damn, I should have been keeping up with my pc maintenance a bit better).

I decided that I liked the Ad-Aware interface and functionality better, so I downloaded the latest version (Ad-Aware SE). After I installed it, however, I found out that much of the functionality that you got for free with Ad-Aware 6 is only available in the paid upgrade version of Ad-Aware SE. So, just be aware that if you do upgrade to Ad-Aware SE, you’ll probably have to shell out the $30 to $40 upgrade price. Lavasoft says that they are discontinuing support for v6.0 (obviously, since there wasn’t much of a revenue model in it), so you don’t have much choice anyway, I guess. Yet another brilliant demonstration of using a free tool to gain massive market share, only to begin charging its already addicted user base. The strategy only works when you have a really good product, though, so hats off to them.

One quick note, though. I was a bit peeved that after I installed Ad-Aware SE, my Internet Explorer homepage was reset to http://www.msn.com. That was another nasty trick on Microsoft’s part to get people to use their portal. I wonder how much money they paid Lavasoft for that extra little (unwanted) feature? I use about:blank as my browser startup and homepage. Nobody gets free internet traffic from me.

02:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (39)

January 04, 2005

MVP Again

MVP LogoI just found out that I got the nod for Microsoft MVP again for 2005. I was hoping that would be the case, because I really enjoyed going to the MVP Summit last year, and was looking forward to going again in 2005.

10:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Orlando Nerd Dinner (Episode III) postponed

The Orlando Nerd Dinner (Episode III) has been postponed until Tuesday, January 18th, 2005. Same time, same location. This is mostly because it’s the only day that Joe Healy can show up. So, you’d better show up, Joe! You hear me?

10:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

January 03, 2005

Google search gone bad

While debugging some code today, I had to quickly find the number of bytes that the .NET Long data type can hold (yeah, I should have it memorized, but oh well). So, I turned to Google to find the answer, which is typically faster and much more effective than using the .NET documentation. Anyway, I searched on “.net long size”, and that was a BIG mistake (pun intended). I had more success with my second set of search terms “.net data types”.

12:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)