Scott Hanselman

Team Hanselman and Diabetes Walk 2007

April 12, '07 Comments [18] Posted in Diabetes
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I'm here to ask you a personal favor, Dear Reader.

Please Donate to Team Hanselman and help us reach our Goal of raising $50,000 to Fight Diabetes...

...during this year's Step Out to Fight Diabetes by the American Diabetes Association.

This is a technical blog, but I'm not just a technical person full of source code and pomposity.

Two months before my 21st birthday I started peeing a lot. A LOT. Like I was drinking four 2-liter bottles of Sprite a day and was still thirsty beyond belief. We'd just had a family photo taken and I was 130lbs on a 5'11" frame (for those of you outside the US, that's thin.) I was wasting away and looked like death. My father, a Portland Firefighter and Paramedic for thirty years smelled the sugar on my breath and sent me right away to the hospital where my blood glucose level was higher than the meter could read...and it's supposed to be under 100mg/dl.

I spent that spring learning how to give myself shots, four a day, along with a regiment of pills. Twelve years later I have no side effects, knock on wood. Not everyone is that lucky. I recently went to a funeral of a high-school friend who was the exact same age and succumbed to Type 1 Diabetes.

I currently take three shots a day of Symlin while also wearing an Insulin Pump 24-hours a day, even while I sleep. The pump saves me from an additional six shots a day, which I took for 8 years before the pump. I test my blood sugar by pricking my finger between 8 and 10 times a day - that's about 46,500 finger pricks so far, and miles to go before I sleep.

I consider myself lucky though. My 91-year old grandmother's neighbor friend in the 1920's, before Insulin was widely used (it was discovered in 1921) ate nothing but lettuce and eventually died in childhood. I have friends who have been diabetic for nearly 50 years and had to boil large-gauge needles on the stove before injecting themselves with Pork-derived insulin, basing their decisions on a once-a-day urine check to check their blood glucose level.

Diabetes is endemic. Here's some stats from the NIH:

  • Total: 20.8 million people—7 percent of the population—have diabetes.
    • Diagnosed: 14.6 million people
    • Un-diagnosed: 6.2 million people
  • 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older in 2005.
    • Diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death listed on U.S. death certificates in 2002.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20 to 74 years.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 44 percent of new cases in 2002.
  • About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage.

I tell you this not to scare you, or ask for pity. I tell you this because it's the painful truth. It sucks, and it sucks big time. I am constantly and consistently afraid that my son will face this disease in his lifetime. God help the children who get Type 1 diabetes. I was hardly prepared at 21, I can just now begin to imagine what a parent of a 2 or 3 year old would go through after a diagnosis like that. I'm even afraid to say it out loud, it's that unspeakable.

If you aren't familiar with Diabetes, perhaps my explanation on how Diabetes works using an analogy of an Airplane and the above statistics will help you understand how personally painful this disease is.

The Goal

This year Team Hanselman, led by myself and my wife, Mo, who had this whole idea, will be walking to fight diabetes on Oct 20h, 2007. We have set a goal of raising US$50,000. Crazy, huh?

If only 2500 of you, dear readers, gave US$20 to this cause, we've met our Team Goal. If only 1000 give US$50, well, you get the idea. If you can't donate, that's OK. Post about this on your blog, spread the URL http://www.hanselman.com/fightdiabetes or put some of our Diabetes "Flair" on your site!

Last year this time, there were over 5000 people subscribing to this blog (for the technical content, I assume) - this year there are over 14,000.

A Personal Favor to Me

Perhaps you've Googled and found my blog useful in the past or you've seen me speak at a conference or local user's group. Or, you've hung out here for years (this blog started in April 2002!). Maybe you're a blogger yourself and use DasBlog. Perhaps you've visited my Blog Archives and found them useful, or you read the ASP.NET 2.0 book.

If you've ever thought about giving a 'tip' to this blog, here's your chance to make that tip tax-deductible! (if you're in the US) You can also paypal your donation to the email address that is "my first name at my last name .com" and I will personally deliver 100% of your money myself.

Donate Now

Donations are Tax-Deductible and go directly to the ADA. If you like, you can PayPal me and I'll deliver the money myself.

Team Hanselman Diabetes "Blog Flair" and Badges

Please feel free to spread this flair or post them on your blog, and link them to this easy to remember link: http://www.hanselman.com/fightdiabetes. It'll bring folks right here to this site.

 

If you want to create a better flair, like the one that Jon Galloway created, send it to me, or put a link in the comments and I'll add it to this page for others to use!

LINKING NOTE: http://www.hanselman.com/fightdiabetes brings you here, and http://www.hanselman.com/fightdiabetes/donate takes you straight to the donation site.

Thanks for your patient attention, we now return you to our regular blogging schedule.

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 Technology Podcast - RunAs Radio with Greg Hughes and Richard Campbell

April 11, '07 Comments [1] Posted in Podcast
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Happy 40th Birthday to Greg Hughes.

To celebrate his birthday, go checkout his new Podcast with Richard Campbell called RunAs Radio.

As with all Pwop shows, the audio quality will be excellent. Richard says:

I did get a fancy new recording rig to make all this work. My broadcast mike plugs into a MOTU Traveller that uses Firewire into Terrance, my 4960x1600 x64 XP beast. Also plugged into the MOTU is a Telos ONE+ONE for capture two telephone lines: one for Greg, and one for the guest. So I record my channel, Greg's phone track and the guest. Greg also does a local recording of himself (maximum quality, of course) and then all that is combined to make a show.

And Greg used my Samson Mic, Stand and Spit Pop Filter. Greg says:

It's a weekly IT podcast with a Microsoft technologies focus. Richard and I will discuss all sorts of relevant topics with a variety of smart and interesting people.

I have a great deal of respect for both Greg and Richard. They are both deeply technical and well-versed on a huge number of topics that the IT community cares about, and Greg also has a very strong security focus as our Chief Security Executive here at Corillian. I'll definitely be listening to this show on my drive home.

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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Fix: "General Failure" while launching FireFox URLs from Outlook

April 11, '07 Comments [9] Posted in Musings
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There seems to be an ongoing chaotic series of bugs, or bug, around "Set as Default Browser" and FireFox. Recently I updated my FireFox to 2.0.0.3 and suddenly whenever I click on a URL in Outlook I get a message box with "General Failure." Occasionally I'll get a "Locate Link Browser" message as well.

The issue seems to be some of the old Windows DDE stuff where a DDE message is sent to an application after it started up to pass information - in this case, the URL. Today, we prefer to pass the URL on the command line. It also makes for a faster launch.

Even though this was a problem with FireFox 0.9, it's still happening today. (I'm not the only one). John Haller has a fix in the form of a Registry File.

You can also make the change yourself in the Explorer UI via Tools|Options|FileTypes. Go to the ones marked (NONE) and start with URL:HyperText...and go to Advanced, then Edit the Open action and clear out the DDE Message TextBox.

Unrelated Aside: John's even got a theme and tools and hacks to make FireFox 2 look like IE. Stunning.

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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Adding PNGOUT to the Explorer Right Click Context Menu

April 11, '07 Comments [6] Posted in Musings | PowerShell | Programming
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I've been creating more PNGs lately on the blog. However, the default PNGs created by most tools are fat fat fat. PNGOUT to the rescue.

So, now I use PNGOUT to compress all PNGs before they are uploaded to the blog now. It's wonderful. It looks like Rick "Paint.NET Guy" Brewster is also enamored with PNGOUT and is considering integrating support directly into PAINT.NET although there might be legal issues. I'd be happy with a simple "call PNGOUT when you're done" option. Poof, we've avoided any legal trouble.

I know there's lots of Windows Apps that front PNGOUT and other PNG apps, but I like my things integrated and automatic.

Thoughts:

  • I wonder if someone could write a Windows Live Writer Plugin to run PNG out on files created by WLW before they are posted?
  • Since I'm using Kenny Kerr's Window Clippings to create the PNGs, it'd be more expedient to ask him to add the "Call PNGOUT when you're done"-feature to his tool.
  • I think I'll just integrate PNGOUT with the shell, it'll be faster...

Create PNGOUT.reg file that looks like this:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\pngfile\shell\PNGOUT]
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\pngfile\shell\PNGOUT\command]
@="\"C:\\Utils\\pngout.exe\" \"%1\""

Make sure you change your path to PNGOUT to match reality. Now you have this available in Explorer:

Optimizing all existing PNGs on my blog

Ah, but I also need to tidy up the EXISTING PNGs from my site. First I'll download all the PNGs to my local drive, then fire up PowerShell and run this command that will recurse everywhere in the current directory and below and run PNGOUT on all the PNGs, replacing them in place:

get-childitem . -include *.png -recurse | foreach ($_) { pngout "$_"}

Uploaded, and now I've taken my total PNG size (of all PNGs in all posts on the blog) from 40,004,166 bytes to 23,004,247 bytes a savings of about 42%. That'll add up in bandwidth costs.

You can also optimize the autogenerated PNG files within Windows Live Writer by running that same PowerShell command on the files in

%APPDATA%\Windows Live Writer\PostSupportingFilesWriter\PostSupportingFiles

It's a shame that most default libraries for PNG make such large PNGs, considering that this is the "picture format design for the web." Thanks PNGOUT!

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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Blogging to DasBlog from Word 2007

April 11, '07 Comments [13] Posted in DasBlog | Musings
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If this works, I've blogged to DasBlog from Word 2007. Why would I want to do this?

Looks like it works fine except for pictures. According to Ken (a developer on the DasBlog team) the Word 2007 implementation of the metaWebLog API's "newMediaObject" method is broken. They are passing a string but calling it an int, and DasBlog is pretty strict.

I can see where I might find myself on a computer that had only Word 2007, and rather than using the Web Interface I might want to blog from Word.

There's also the comfort level - that seems to me to be the most compelling reason. Word is comfortable, and being able to post to one's blog here would be very natural for most writers who live in Word already.

I might set this up for my wife as she's already comfortable with Word and Office. We'll get the picture/media thing worked out and I'll have Mo give it a try.

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.