Scott Hanselman

"Geeks and the Women/Men Who Love Them" or "Normal People are from Earth, Coders are from Sedna"

March 19, '04 Comments [2] Posted in ASP.NET | Movies
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This is a great post folks are talking about on Matt Warren's blog (a C# design engineer at MSFT, and one of the guys designing Xen, a language whose name is clearly stolen from me, as I have patented and trademarked all things Zen.  Send me a check next time you meditate. :) )

At my company, we all are deep, deep in the development of the 2nd revision of our .NET eFinance SDK (which I had the pleasure of demoing via WebCast today) and I think it's fair to say we're consumed.  We're refactoring and generating code and improving and building and abstracting and dancing and generally killing ourselves.  (Apparently Patrick is feeling the pressure and went to McDonalds.  If I remember correctly, he was a vegetarian once, so this is a concerning turn of events.

I'm trying to work out more, watch movies, read/listen (Audible.com+iPod...use it, live it) but I'm still up late running through designs in my mind.  It's the kind of consumption you've only read about.  And it's usually in the context of tortured artists that cut their ears off experience.  My wife, however, is an MBA.  The operative letters being "Master" and "Business" while I am a "Master of None."  I came home today and told her about our new plan to introduce a new interface - blah blah - .NET solution - blah blah - reduce compile time dependencies - blah blah - revolutionize the company - blah blah - TLBs and Interop assemblies.  I painted a picture for her complete with charts and graphs and jazz hands.  All it elicited was "that's nice dear."  Talk about an artist not being appreciated for his work!  :) Now it's 12:34am, she's asleep on the couch and I'm coding away!  Must...create...must...dance...jazz hands!

Perhaps it's time for me to get my Master's.  But not in CS.  I think someone as tortured as I should be a starving artist and get an MFA in Software.




Some highlights of Matt's post:

Like an artist I must channel this energy through my being and out my fingers, onto a digital canvas, because that is what the expression of my ideas become to me, my art.  I paint with the keyboard, patterns in symbols, lines and logical structure.  It's more than the simple words, the names and statements, the loops and threads. 

It speaks of motion, a liquid flow, a living breathing thing, and you can feel it when you read it, drinking it in. 

Real coders know this.  They know their programs are alive, somewhere there in the machine, even if only caught in time. 

The best comment on the post was this:

Oh yes, I knew this already! I pray for the day my husband comes up from the cold, dark, stinky basement and asks for a beer and plops down in front of the TV to watch the Packers play. Heck I'd settle for a white wine spritzer and figure skating at this point! I sit with a smile on my face nodding as I listen to him excitedly rant about .Net and how he got a (whatever you call it) down to .003 seconds from its previous 3.8! I hug him and tell him I'm proud of him and he can do anything because I know that one day, that idea that's clawing and chewing its way out of his brain will make it out!

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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A tale of three Scotts worth listening to...

March 18, '04 Comments [3] Posted in DevDays
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Carl Franklin forwarded this along which contained a few fun things.

First, this DevDays attendee was really digging the DevDays DVD.  Word on the street is that it's worth the price of admission. :)  Kudos to Vertigo Software!

Secondly, he thought I was Scott Stanfield when he started reading my blog.  That's a compliment no matter which direction you look at it.  Scott's a friend and great speaker.  And it's always fun to see him and do the whole 'Scott!' 'Scott!' 'Scott?' 'Scott.' 'Scott...' back and forth. 

As it turns out, there are actually 3 distinct people named Scott that are really worth listening to if you get the chance.  As luck would have it, they've all been guests on .NET Rocks, so you DO have a chance. [Joshua Flanagan]

A nice bunch of Scott's to be associated with.  I'm sure there are others! :)  Who's your favorite Scott?  One day I vow to get off page 12!

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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Root Cause: The SPOT Watch calendar quota...

March 18, '04 Comments [0] Posted in Web Services
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Lots of talk about this supposed 'Calendar Quota' issue with the SPOT Watch.  I've figured out the root cause, and I believe it's a crazy edge case that was arguable MY FAULT. 

Here's what we know, you decide:

  • There is a calendar update quota of some kind.  There has to be, as there is limited bandwidth.  It's obviously set to some ridiculously high number that noone should EVER hit.
  • There is a separate quota of 100 IM messages that you can get in a month.  Again, separate.  One doesn't count against the other.

Now, I'm using Taskline, an Outlook AddIn that takes all your Outlook Tasks and their durations and creates a Calendar event to fill your free time with scheduled 'tasks.'  Apparently it does this a LOT, and deletes and RECREATES it's appointments when it's run. 

Obviously, if the MSNDirect Outlook Addin is syncing with the Web Services everytime a calendar appointment changes or is added, well, you can understand why the Taskline AddIn would cause me to hit the ceiling on the quota for calendar sync. 

It would be nice if I could exclude certain kinds of appts (like ones marked as free or tentative) from syncing with the watch.  Or, teach Taskline to RELAX.

Either way, that's the scoop.  I believe that the average user would NEVER hit the calendar limit with the SPOT watch unless they were recreating appts daily. 

I wonder if there are problems when sync'ing with certain PDAs that delete and recreate appts?

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 Calm Before the Storm...and more Watch Musings

March 17, '04 Comments [0] Posted in DevDays | Movies
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It's 1am, and I'm finishing my DevDays Demos.  If you're in Portland, stop by the newly revamped Convention Center and check out DevDays.  We're putting on a good show.  I'll be showing a few naughty things as I try to break into Microsoft's implementation of OpenHack.

As I'm sitting here my Spot Watch announced that a new applet was available, this one showing Sports Scores!  Awesome.  I can't wait until the Movie Times one.  Also, it's currently downloading a new Watch Face.  It's Christmas in March.  Also, they fixed the Outlook Calendar Sync thing...I'm still trying to get details, but it appears the quota was either set to low, or the add-in was too chatty.  The limit is to prevent troublemakers, not regular users.

Also, rumor has it that these are some of the new channels coming VERY SOON:

  • Current Traffic
  • Dining Guide (nearby)
  • Movie Finder
  • Lottery, Horoscopes, This day in History

How about tiny black-and-white wallpaper? :)

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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XBox Friends

March 17, '04 Comments [0] Posted in Gaming
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Looks like Cory Smith has been busy and impatient with the XBox folks, so what did he do?  Well, like any good .NET programmer, he wrote an app to save us all. 

He wrote an MSN Messenger clone that lets you know what your buddies are doing on XBox!  He'll tell you what games they are playing, as well as what games they own!  Very nice, and all .NET and XCopy deploy.

Check it out at XBOXFriends.com

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.