Scott Hanselman

Hanselminutes Podcast 34 - Scott talks to Chris Sells

September 27, 2006 Comment on this post [12] Posted in Podcast
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My thirty-fourth Podcast is up In this unusual episode I head over to Chris Sells' house to chat. It's a little longer than usual, but Chris is an interesting guy. We ramble, but cover software design, user experience, programmer personality types, and Windows Vista. This is the first show I interviewed someone on (not counting the TechEd "on the floor" show) so if it's interesting (or not) let me know and we might do others.

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Links from the show are also always on the show site, although this show had no links to speak of. Do also remember the archives are always up and they have PDF Transcripts, a little known feature that show up a few weeks after each show.

We have new sponsor for this episode, /nsoftware. They've got a great deal in their Red Carpet Subscription package that includes IP*Works!, SSL, S/MIME, S/Shell, Zip, EDI, IBiz Integrators for QuickBooks, E-Payment, Vital/TSYS, Paymentech, USPS, and other solutions. I've personally got a Red Carpet Subscriptions and I encourage you to take a look. 

Check out Aspose, the .NET and Java Component Publisher. They produce a wide variety of components with versions in both .NET and Java. Do check out their Aspose Demo Downloads as they have a huge catalog of tools to explore.

Our sponsors are Apose, /nsoftware, CodeSmith Tools and the .NET Dev Journal.

There's a $100 off CodeSmith coupon for Hanselminutes listeners - it's coupon code HM100. Spread the word, now's the time to buy. This coupon is good for the CodeSmith Professional With 1 Year Premier Support option.

As I've said before this show comes to you with the audio expertise and stewardship of Carl Franklin. The name comes from Travis Illig, but the goal of the show is simple. Avoid wasting the listener's time. (and make the commute less boring)

  • The basic MP3 feed is here, and the iPod friendly one is here. There's a number of other ways you can get it (streaming, straight download, etc) that are all up on the site just below the fold. I use iTunes, myself, to listen to most podcasts, but I also use FeedDemon and it's built in support.
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Enjoy. Who knows what'll happen in the next show?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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September 27, 2006 22:30
I enjoyed the new format a lot. You guys were really having fun geeking out, and the enthusiam came through in the show.

Re: Itunes

While I don't think there's a way to say "fill up the rest of my space", fixed quotas are easy to do. It's pretty common to use a smart playlist along the lines of "Give me a randomly selected gigabyte of music I have never listened to" or "a randomly selected gigabyte of music that I have rated 5 stars"

By combining different smart playlists together, you can maek more complicated rules. For example, if you want to combine 'And' and 'Or' rules, you have to use at least two playlists and have one playlist reference the other.

For me, the feature that makes me feel like a loner among the millions of users is that there's no way to delete things from the iPod itsself. I put a ton of one-off content on my iPod like Podcasts. In fact, that's pretty much all of the content on my nano. I frequently skip through them like the radio and only listen to a few of them all of the way through. But there's no way to mark a podcast and say "Get this off my iPod the next time I synch". So everytime I sit down at my home desktop, I have to spent 10 minutes pouring over the content on my Ipod, straining to remember whether I decided to skip that particular show or not. You can't use a smart playlist that filters on playcount, because when you only listen to a portion of a podcast it won't increment the playcount.
September 28, 2006 0:41
That was a GREAT format! You guys are both very interesting, and to hear you get all excited about nerdy stuff just makes us nerds excited too.

I like less formal conversations that are chock-full of real content, rather than structured interviews.
September 28, 2006 17:58
Loved this show (got about half way through on my drive in, will finish it on the way home...). Wanted to add that winamp has a fill feature to do exactly what you're describing. Its not worth a whole lot, though, as your itunes purchases won't work. Its in there if you want to check it out, though.
September 28, 2006 18:58
You mentioned running the old Program Manager in Windows XP. It is actually still in WinXP and is located at "Windows\System32\ProgMan.exe". But, the sucky thing is they disabled it in WinXP SP2. If you run it in WinXP SP2, it doesn't error and it doesn't do anything.
September 29, 2006 21:38
One of my favorite episodes so far, I really enjoyed it.

I met Chris Sells at PDC03. I planned on asking him a bunch of stuff, but I just walked up, stammered "I know you", and scampered off. I ;)
September 29, 2006 22:53
My apologies for seeming unapproachable, Gerrard. If you'd like to try it via email, I'm happy to answer your questions.
September 30, 2006 18:33
Finally listened yesterday - best episode yet.
October 01, 2006 16:56
I guess I should be posting here not at Carl's blog here.

Anyway maybe you should set up a blog/comments on

You could even duplicate the posts here some how.
October 05, 2006 0:31
Oh, it wasn't you at all Chris, I just freaked for some reason. I don't actually remember the questions anymore...
October 10, 2006 10:37
Scott - in case you still would like to query the state of the keyboard (or a particular key) from a console app, I wrote a short post inspired by this podcast that might be useful.

Hope it can help...
October 10, 2006 20:01
Great show as usual.

It’s obvious from the other comments that we are not alone in our iTunes pet peeves. Your show inspired me to finally submit my list of enhancements to iTunes at:


My #1 pet peeve: after any podcast finishes playing on your iPod you get taken to the start menu! Of course no one ever listens to two episodes of the same podcast in a row. Apple must think that after something as mentally taxing as listening to a podcast you need to browse some photos or play some games.

Maybe if we all submit our ideas iTunes will be wicked awesome by v8...

October 24, 2006 0:30
I'm slow, but I'm old. :) Just finished listening to this podcast.

re: iTunes authorization. You can de-authorize computers from within iTunes. In 7.01 you click on the "Store" menu and select "View My Account". Then you can sign in and it will show you your account information, including how many machines are authorized to play music from this account. If you are signed into the ITMS, you can also click on your account name in the upper right hand corner. That's not very intuitive. Once you have authorized all 5 machines, a new button will appear that says "de-authorize all machines". This reset button will allow you to start over.

I ran into the same problem you did, I paved a few machines and lost a few of my "authorizations". At first I thought it was a pain to have the "authorizations" being unavailable to me, but I realized that as long as I could authorize more machines, I was still OK. Fortunatly, they aren't gone forever.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.