Scott Hanselman

Thanks No

May 23, '06 Comments [3] Posted in DasBlog
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Here's a clever service from the makers of 43 Folders (a favorite getting things done site), it's http://www.thanksno.com.

It's a friendly one page site that you would send to that friend, family member, or co-worker who sends you chain letters, jokes, pictures, videos, or other crap.

I think it's a pretty clever idea. I'm not sure what Miss Manners would think about it, but it feels reasonable from a netiquette point of view.

I seem to remember a number of other "one page sites" that were basically brochures presenting one point of view or the other.

Here's the few I remember:

  • Web Standards - A tasteful (used to be) page that you could redirect your users to, gently prodding them to download a decent browser. (A recent "standards-based redesign" now causes retinal damage. Be warned.)
  • Feed Icons - One page and a lot of images promoting the new standard icon for representing feeds. DasBlog uses these now.
  • Common Errors in English - I'm stretching here, as this is an index into many pages, but this is (to me) the definitive colloquial english site, highlighting common errors. I've sent this link to a few well meaning writers. I've also sent the link to myself at least a dozen times.
I've bookmarked a bunch more "For Reference" pages, but I can't find too many "one page, one idea" examples. My gut says there are many more.

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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Book Review - Kindred by Octavia Butler

May 23, '06 Comments [0] Posted in Reviews | Z
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I'm going to be posting a number of book reviews this week as I used a chunk of the weekend while Z slept to catch up on my reading. Some'll be technical, some not.

I've just finished a haunting book called kindred by the amazing and prolific Octavia Butler. This is the 25th anniversary edition from 2004 - this book was written in 1979.

The premise is that Dana, a modern Black woman, is called back to the early 19th century to save the life of a white ancestor. In the present her husband is White and at one point is pulled back with her. The dynamics of their relationship change dramatically as it is assumed that she is a recently enslaved freewoman from the North travelling with her owner (in fact her husband.)

Their relationship is tested as they are forced to live dramatically different lives. Most painfully to watch is how quickly and believably they slip into their expected roles, that of slave and slave owner. As an interracial couple they've typically swept awareness of their differing ethnicities under the rug, but those differences and associated race memories are pulled to the forefront when the extraordinary circumstances drag on.

There are sadly few books to compare this to, although the language has similar texture to that found in The Intuitionist. (Another racial allegory that I recommend, using science fiction and alternate reality to explore difficult questions.)

I would suggest this book to nearly anyone, but especially young people over 15-16 of any race, as long as a parent, mentor or book group that is well-versed in the time period can help some of the deeper nuances. I really would have enjoyed teaching this book at the high-school level either for Social Studies, History or English Literature. I took a number of Black Studies classes in college, did some teaching/tutoring, and looked into the PSU Black Studies major when computers found me. Perhaps one day I will teach again.

This is a fantastically powerful book and well worth the read. My next Octavia Bulter book will be Dawn.

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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Multiple Homepages with Firefox

May 23, '06 Comments [6] Posted in Musings | Tools
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A little trick that I like to use when I install Firefox on a family member's computer is having multiple homepages.
In FireFox from Tools|Options|General, enter in the homepages you want, separated by pipes "|".

This will make the day of spouses, parents, great uncles and cousins who only visit three or four sites a day. Rather than trying to teach them the wonders of RSS, just show them how tabbed browsing works and send them on their merry way.

The WAF on this tip is high.

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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Bringing an Inkjet Printer back to life

May 18, '06 Comments [4] Posted in Musings
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CanonS300-MWe just upgraded to a rocking sweet new printer, but I just didn't feel right throwing the old Canon S300 away. It had become totally useless, unable to print black and yellow.

The printer was only a $50 printer and the local printer place said they'd repair it by soaking the print head for, you guessed it, $50. No way, says I. Instead I got a small plastic container and a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and soaked the print head (minus ink) overnight.

Amazingly, the printer has been brought back from the dead and prints better now than in years. I took it to my office and replaced the old Canon BJ200ex at work with my shiny new-to-me-at-work S300 Color.

New printer at home, well-loved printer at work and now an orphaned B&W inkjet on my shelf...gotta find a home for that...

Isn't recycling of techie equipment great? I just can't stand to throw anything away if it can be put to some use.

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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Looking for Senior Software Developer at Corillian

May 17, '06 Comments [19] Posted in ASP.NET | XML | HttpHandler | HttpModule | Tools
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We are looking to add a Senior Software Developer to our Consumer Banking team here at Corillian.  Are you "just the right person"?  If you are, then you fit the following description:

You know web development inside and out and can explain the HTTP protocol and HTML to your mother.

You have deep expertise with development using Microsoft ASP.NET.  You know the page event model, the control event model and the difference between a HTTPModule and a HTTPHandler and when each makes sense.

You understand how DOM and SAX parsers function, how XML schema works and how it is fundamentally different than database schema.

You know that TDD really means "write the test first"
 
You know how to read code, not just write code.

You are prepared to do what it takes to deliver value to the customer.

You work with others in an environment that encourages new ideas and improvement.

You have experience using a source control tool other than VSS.

You are willing to live in Portland, OR.  (To be a part of our team, you have to be here.  No telecommuting.)

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.