Scott Hanselman

August 2005 Quickie Update

August 23, '05 Comments [10] Posted in ASP.NET | Nant | Africa
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Hey folks, I'm still on vacation with the family, but so you won't stop reading my blog and wonder if there will ever be an update again, here's what I've been doing in no particular order.

  • New Music: I've been totally digging/obsessed with this South African band called "freshlyground." They are an eclectic mix of pop/jazz/xhosa and they're a blast. You can have a listen here. I highly recommend "Mowbray Kaap" on their album "Nomvula." If you can find it, get it.
  • Sidebars galore: Google Desktop now has a Sidebar. Now that I've completely switched over to Microsoft Desktop Search, it's surprising that Google beat them to this. I've installed it and am running it with the search index off. I think I still like Konfabulator Widgets though, and it'd be interesting to write a Konfabulator Sidebar. (BTW, both are free, so at least download Konfabulator! Ya, I know it's a memory hog, so what?)
  • Speed: FireTune seems like a great idea but I always wonder why apps can't just tune themselves?
  • Maps: It's lovely that Omar is looking for reasons not to use Google and that he's stopped using it for maps. However, is it just me or is Virtual Earth virtually unusable? I can't figure out how to do a simple address search without double-taking. The interface is truly obtuse and the results are unforgiving. Google Maps is wonderfully elegant. Maybe it's just me. He loves the MSN Weather Add-In also, but I yawn at that since I'm using ForecastFox.
  • Babies: The baby is chugging along. We're at 25 weeks right now. It's been the non-pregnancy-pregnancy. She's had no sickness, no sleepnessness, no weird food. Nada. We hope the next 15 weeks are as easy to handle - certainly the next 18 years won't be as easy!
  • Ajax: I've been looking at a number of Ajax libraries lately, and I'm disillusioned by the bizarre drama going around around Ajax.net. I can't fathom why the guy didn't just put up a zip file then use SourceForge. The code's far to complex for what it does anyway, IMHO. I have been impressed by Jason Diamond's implementation though, which is nice and simple. As of this writing his latest is here. I've also checked out Mochikit and a number of others.
  • Del.icio.us: This continues to rock my world. If you're interested you can subscribe to my del.icio.us RSS feed and see what I'm currently bookmarking. If you end up using del.icio.us, for gosh sake DO use the BookMarkLets. They are a treat.
  • Fun: Here's my list of hilarious or poignant blogs I'm reading/subscribed to...
  • Um, OK: Aeon Flux. At least they tried.

Now playing: Freshlyground - Touch In The Night

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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Undeleting Digital Photo Files from Removable Media

August 19, '05 Comments [8] Posted in Reviews | Tools
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Digital Picture Recovery just saved my ass. My 512 Meg SD card was erased (Delete All Files) by my nephew, causing us to lose the last week of my Mother-in-law's trip to the states. OMG. Seriously.

Yes, I know how FAT works, yes I tried a number of tools, but this wasn't a matter of ?eleted files, these were orphaned. I tried 3 different undeletes, paying for 1, all without success. Each of the failures could find only 4 files, and there were 373 missing files. Also, the failed programs took seconds to search, which wasn't a comforting sign. At least lie to me and take some time, eh?

However, Digital Picture Recovery searched for 15 minutes and found all 373 files, as well as a dozen from literally months ago. 

Fan-freaking-awesome. Saved. Whew. 

UPDATE: Forgot, here's a few of the saved pics. My M-in-law from Zim is visiting our home for the first time.

CIMG3518 (Medium)

Recovered527539 (Medium)

 

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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CTP Madness

August 17, '05 Comments [7] Posted in Programming
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Reason number 0x64 why I think CTPs aren't worth the trouble. This link includes a compatibility matrix between 18 different versions of various 2005 products. You can't tell me that hasn't slowed the whole process down at least a month in aggregate.

I'd much rather have a nice clean Beta1, Beta2, RC0, RC1, Gold Release.

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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Dungeon Siege II Demo - Sucks Too Much?

August 16, '05 Comments [14] Posted in Reviews | Gaming
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You ever have high hopes for a games? You ever love an original and hate the sequel?

I was a big Diablo fan. It was brilliant and ahead of it's time. I tried the original Dungeon Siege and it was brilliant. Loved it. Still do. It prepared me for Guild Wars, which is absolutely stunning in its execution. Do try it. It's small, quick to load, well behaved, and always changing.

Of course, I was looking forward to Dungeon Siege II. Better graphics, same great gameplay, right? Wrong. Guild Wars has ruined it for me. (Or DSII has ruin things for itself)

After downloading an absolutely ridiculous 1,501,551,616 byte demo executable, suffering through at least 10 minutes of rendered intro video, I was faced with an obtuse and counter intuitive interface. Lousy panning, lousy zoomin, marginally improved graphics, no sense of range, expanse or draw depth, a greatly decreased focal length, a strange halo now that indicates selected characters, a cartoonish look, and poor voice acting.

Suddenly Dungeon Siege III is trying to be World of Warcraft-y, but it's not. It tries to be Guild Wars, but it's not. It's somehow a game looking for a reason to exist. I'm just heartsick about it. It's completely lacking in vision. Anyone else try it?

I'll stick with Guild Wars, but I'm still totally bummed.

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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Coding4Fun - Some Assembly Required - USB Wireless PC Lock

August 13, '05 Comments [28] Posted in Learning .NET | Coding4Fun | Bugs
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In this fourth installment of the "Some Assembly Required" column, Scott Hanselman and Bryan Batchelder find a piece of hardware so compelling - and with included software so bad - that they write their own version using the .NET Framework 2.0.

Big ups to Bryan for letting me piggy back on his initial design and for his help on the article. We've had a lot of fun, fixed a few bugs, introduced a few new ones.

We've also ported the code back and forth so you can get 1.1 and 2.0 versions. The project is up at SourceForge along with source and an installer. Buy the hardware at NewEgg for $15.

NOTE: If you're reading this post and you are the Asian company that makes this hardware, please contact Bryan or I, as we'd like you to use our software as yours really isn't very good. You've got a great product here, and we're happy to have you use our software with attribution. We aren't trying to get rich, just trying to get good karma.

BUGS: If you're running Skype and you're using our software along with the Windows Media Player plugin, apparently Skype doesn't like the Broadcast Window Message that we send to stop the media from playing. I haven't seen the bug myself, but Bryan has, so be aware. It's very likely Skype, not us.

DEVELOPERS: If you develop new plugins or fix bugs - which we hope you do - be sure to release the source, or give them to Bryan and I and we'll post them on SourceForge.

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.