Scott Hanselman

Roshambo and Rise of Nations

August 19, '03 Comments [0] Posted in Gaming | Africa
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If you've every played Age of Empires or the new Rise of Nations, you've probably realized by now that they are just really elaborate examples of Rock-Paper-Scissors (Pikeman beats Knight, Knight beats Footman, Footman beats Pikeman...). 

Even though I know this - as a 29 year old man I can intellectualize this - but I still stayed up until midnight last night playing International Roshambo (also known as Rise of Nations).  Dammit if it isn't a fantastic game.  I'm not even a big gamer, but the level of detail and thought put into this game is ridiculous. 

Of course, I play the Bantu (my wife is Zimbabwean Ndebele, a Bantu tribe) as they kick the most butt.

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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New NetPing from Jeff Key

August 19, '03 Comments [0] Posted in Web Services | ASP.NET
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Jeff Key has updated NetPing.  NetPing is one of the primary examples I use when teaching newbies C#.  It's a nice utility that everyone can easily understand.  It's full of nice examples of Threading, WinForms, etc. 

It's also a cool addition to utils collections for the IT wonk.  He's updated it to include launching Remote Desktop, launch Computer Management and NetworkDriveInfo (another nice util).

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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PDC and Birds of a Feather - Host your own technical session!

August 18, '03 Comments [0] Posted in Speaking | PDC | XML
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This a very clever idea - an opportunity for a attendees of PDC to host a session on topics of their own choosing.

BoF sessions will be held on Sunday, October 26th from 6PM – 9PM and on Monday, October 27th and Tuesday, October 28th from 8PM – 11PM.  To propose a BoF session, please visit the registration form hosted by International .NET Association's (INETA) http://www.ineta.org/bof. At this site, you will be able to propose a topic as well as view and vote on topics proposed by other attendees.  Periodically, a committee consisting of INETA members and Microsoft employees will review the topics and select sessions for the conference.  Final BoF sessions will also be posted through CommNet so that when you are selecting you want to attend, you can also begin planning which BoFs you would like to attend.

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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The end of an era...and the beginning of a new computer for me...

August 16, '03 Comments [4] Posted in Bugs
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I mentioned a little bit ago that I walked in my college graduation (had a great C# graduation cake).  They let you walk if you have only a few credits left, and I had to take one additonal three credit class in order to get my diploma.  Today I finished the final in my one summer class, and I came home and put Discrete Mathematics (fifth edition) on my shelf with about 30 computer science books and I realized that I have NO HOMEWORK.  This may seem like a silly thought to you, but if you count the first 12 years of school, and 11 year B.S. degree, I've had homework pretty consistantly for the last 23 years.  To wake up tommorow and have no homework is crazy madness.  Of course, I'll continue to stay up all night and mess with Mono and run ILDASM on everything in sight, but I just won't received a grade.

So, I updated my resume, and happily moved the Education section up (it had been hidden before) as I am now a "degreed computer scientist" with no homework!

In celebration I upgraded my PC.  The original plan was to go all-out and pick up an AlienWare or a FalconNW and do the whole $3000 PC thing. 

Segue: The last time I spent $3K on a PC was in 1991 when I picked up a sweet 486DX/33 (that's right, DX, baby!) with 8 Megs of RAM and a 210 Maxtor HD.  I promptly installed DRDOS, Stacker'ed the HD to a glorious 400+megs and installed DesqView.

Well, the wife promptly (and wisely) nixed the new PC idea, but OK'ed a trip to Fry's for parts.  I picked up a Pentium4 3Ghz with Hyperthreading, and a great new Intel Motherboard, with a gig of Dual Channel RAM.  I moved my 45 gig C: drive in for Windows XP (I'll move to Win2k3 when there's more drivers), dropped in my data array (I keep all my data on two RAID Mirrored 20 gig drivers) and my 400 odd gigs of Firewire drives (seriously, get on the Firewire bandwagon...it's so much faster to installed VS.NET and other CDs when everything is on a Firewire drive as a mountable ISO image!) and a new NVidia 5200 FX Dual-Head (multi-monitor, it's not just a suggestion, it's the law).  I also put in my DVD, my CD/RW (the new Nero Ultra software suite is unquestionably the greatest value in software today, full stop), my AverMedia USB TV Tuner (you just can't have two monitors if you can't watch TV in a Window while dual-screen debugging).  

I put the whole thing together for $824.  Amazing.  I also ordered some custom front mounted Firewire and USB 2.0 ports (There are a lot of internal motherboard mounted ports that a lot of us leave unused!)  With these new ports I'll have 6 Firewire ports, and 8 USB ports.

Holy crap my computer is fast.  Even with a crappy C: drive, it's fast.  Even better, the motherboard has Serial ATA RAID on the board.  I figure if I upgrade the C: with a couple striped drives (probably two of these 10,000 RPM babies), I'd probably see a 4x I/O increase, which is crazy since the beast goes from zero to the deskop in 15 seconds flat. 

So much hardware, so little time...maybe now I'll have the time to tinker.

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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The New Minimed Paradigm 512

August 14, '03 Comments [1] Posted in Diabetes | Movies
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I had lunch with a friend of mine, one of the Minimed Regional Consultants, who showed me the new Paradigm 512 Pump with the WIRELESS Glucose Meter from BD.  

In a word, yum.  

Having a pump takes getting used to, no doubt.  Everyone wants to ask "Do you sleep in it?"  "How do you, um...you know?"

When you're connected to another device 23.9 hours a day that is basically acting as a surrogate organ for you, you grow attached (literally and figuratively) to it.  I can give myself insulin (called a "bolus") with my eyes closed.  I can use the Minimed 508 Remote Control, I can use the EasyBolus with Vibration for feedback. 

But it's the little improvements in my external organ that really affect my quality of life.  When I got a Blood Sugar meter (the UltraSmart) that had a backlight - WOW.  It made checking my blood sugar in a movie theater possible...more importantly, that improvement made me feel slighly less diabetic. 

The 512 is one such improvement.   I've long advocated and even predicted 3 years ago a wireless glucose meter/pump.  Why should I have to carry around two devices with screens, batteries, buttons, etc.  Well, I still need to have two devices, but with the Paradigm 512 the pump is told wirelessly what my blood sugar is right after I test it!  You don't even have to tell the meter, or press OK...it's transparent.

Then, the best part, on the pump you then run the Bolus Wizard.  Having previously programmed the pump with insulin ratios (multiple ones even, by time of day!) you enter in how many carbos you're going to eat, and the Bolus Wizard suggests how much insulin you should take.  It considers the ratios, of course, but also your current blood sugar AND the amount of active insulin!

For example, if you took 2 units to correct a high an hour ago, and now your blood sugar is 100.  Clearly you're headed toward a low.  If you tell the pump you're going to eat 30 grams of carbs and your ratio is 1:15, it might suggest 2 units, right?  WRONG.  You've already got at least one unit of ACTIVE insulin in you.  If it suggested 2units, you'd be right back where you are now, facing a low in a few hours.  Instead it might recommend 1.2 units (just an example) and get you back on target. 

It's THESE kind of improvements that get us one step closer to feeling normal.

I can't wait until June 26th, 2004 when my warranty runs out and I get the latest and greatest from Minimed.

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