Scott Hanselman

Baby T arrives

November 20, '07 Comments [188] Posted in Parenting | T
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Truly, I don't give my wife enough credit for what she does. This morning around 5am she said that she was feeling some contractions...minor, but enough for her to take notice. We had just moved house on Saturday, so we'd been running all over and unpacking. We didn't think too much of it because the baby's due date was the 29th (coincedentially our first son's birthday also). I figured it was just those beginning contractions that start a few weeks before you really get going. Plus, according to the doctor we'd just seen the previous Wednesday she wasn't at all ready.

The contractions continued, but with no particular pattern, so we didn't sweat them. Then they disappeared completely around lunch. Then around 6pm they started again, but she was still walking around, unpacking, playing with our two year old. She'd pause every 10-15 minutes, make a note of the length of the contraction, but still we weren't worried about it. Then around 8pm, she said, oh, that's not comfortable. I think we need to get going. Nah, you're not even close, I said. Let's hang out here and we'll probably head over tomorrow or the next day. No, she insisted. I'll drive myself if I have to, but I think we need to get out of there.

Since we'd just moved house on Saturday, we now live out in the country and we are over an hour away from the hospital. We start driving, leaving the two year old with my parents. It's dark and rainy and horrible and we pound through it. She continues with contractions, and we bet on dilation. I say 3cm, she says 7cm. I secretly wonder if we'll be sent back from the hospital, thinking that we're totally jumping the gun. I suspect she's worried about the same thing.

We show up at the hospital at 10pm, walk in and say, my wife's in labor. They look at my calm wife and say, um, ok, take our details, ask for timing, and show us to a room. It's clear that they're thinking we're in for a long night of waiting and that these folks (us) have shown up way early. We wait and wait for the nurse and Mo says, I really need some help here, this is really stating to hurt.

I politely go to the desk and say, I'm sorry, but I really think someone needs to look at my wife. They are kind, but again, I'm a nervous father, right? Sure, sir, someone will be right there.

A very nice nurse shows up, takes some readings and checks my wife out. She calmly says, ok, a lot of people are going to show up, but they are all here to help. She pushes a button and like seriously, five nurse ninjas appear from the floor and ceiling with carts and equipment. My wife is freaking out. She says it's time for drugs. Our doctor hasn't shown up yet, because we've only been here 15 minutes. An on-call doctor comes in and examines my wife. Ok, let me get my scrubs. My wife asks, what's going on? The nurse says, well, doctor is getting his scrubs, so a baby is coming and very soon.

I need drugs! she says, I can't do this! It's too late for drugs, you've got to do it naturally. The doctor returns and my wife starts pushing immediately. Fifteen minutes of hard drug-free labor later, our second son, T Daniel Hanselman arrives. He's 6 lbs, 6 oz and healthy.

My wife and I walked into the hospital this evening at 10pm and Baby T* arrived with a full head of hair and strong lungs at 10:43pm.

I will always listen to my wife from now on.

*T means Happiness in Zulu/Ndebele and is pronounced "Taa-bo"

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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Hanselminutes Podcast 89 - Larry Osterman Makes Windows Go Ding

November 16, '07 Comments [17] Posted in ASP.NET | Learning .NET | Microsoft | Podcast | Programming | Vista
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larryo My eighty-ninth podcast is up. In this episode, I chat with Larry Osterman, the man who makes Windows go "ding", about his two-plus decades working for Microsoft. We chat about sound, Vista, Security and generally geek out. I really enjoyed this show and I want to visit Larry again as he's got lots of wisdom to share.

(I stole the photo from Channel9.)

Subscribe: Subscribe to Hanselminutes Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

If you have trouble downloading, or your download is slow, do try the torrent with µtorrent or another BitTorrent Downloader.

Do also remember the complete archives are always up and they have PDF Transcripts, a little known feature that show up a few weeks after each show.

Telerik is our sponsor for this show.

Check out their UI Suite of controls for ASP.NET. It's very hardcore stuff. One of the things I appreciate about Telerik is their commitment to completeness. For example, they have a page about their Right-to-Left support while some vendors have zero support, or don't bother testing. They also are committed to XHTML compliance and publish their roadmap. It's nice when your controls vendor is very transparent.

As I've said before this show comes to you with the audio expertise and stewardship of Carl Franklin. The name comes from Travis Illig, but the goal of the show is simple. Avoid wasting the listener's time. (and make the commute less boring)

Enjoy. Who knows what'll happen in the next show?

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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Saving Money on Lighting the New House

November 15, '07 Comments [25] Posted in Musings
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Our final move into the new house is this weekend. We did a three phase, three week move. First week - anything small not nailed down. Second week, medium-sized stuff...basically everything except a week's food. Third week, all furniture. This has allowed me to keep working and 9-month pregnant Wife to be relatively relaxed about the whole process.

Aside: If you're moving to Portland, or want to rent a house, let me know! I'll put a Craigslist listing up soon.

The new house is larger to accommodate a family of four as well as a guest room for overseas relatives and my home office. The builder put in incandescent lights in all fixtures, which was a bummer. I spent a few hours last weekend replacing all the lights with Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Lights.

There are usually three kinds/colors of these lights...it all depends on what their view of "white" is. We got natural-light (more blue-colored) full spectrum compact fluorescent to minimize that "office look." These are very natural-colored and produce a clean, crisp white that isn't depressing.

The total bill to replace every single light in the house was $205 from Home Depot. I saved up a bunch of coupons and waited for a 2 for 1 sale on some of these lights. Why spend so much on new lighting? Here's why, using a custom spreadsheet with some formulas from this very good article on lighting:

This spreadsheet shows EVERY light in the house that was replaced (all of them). There's "can lighting" in the ceiling in many cases, as well as closet lights, etc. This spreadsheet was originally aggressive, assuming each light was on 8 hours a day (usually from about 4pm to about midnight) when more realistically less than one half of them is on. Ideally each light would have a separate "hours on" number, so I put that they were all on 4 hours a day, which is more representative when averaged across all lights, but you get the idea and you're welcome to mess with the numbers.

(Yes, I realize that this table doesn't wrap well...sorry)

Location # LightHrs OldW Total kW Cost/Day Cost/Mo Cost/Year NewW Total  kW Cost/Day Cost/Mo Cost/Year Savings
Downstairs 27 108 60 6480 6.48  $       0.97  $29.16  $349.92 13 1404 1.40  $       0.21  $6.32  $75.82  $274.10
Kitchen 7 28 150 4200 4.2  $       0.63  $18.90  $226.80 23 644 0.64  $       0.10  $2.90  $34.78  $192.02
Office 4 16 100 1600 1.6  $       0.24  $7.20  $86.40 16 256 0.26  $       0.04  $1.15  $13.82  $72.58
Upstairs 18 72 60 4320 4.32  $       0.65  $19.44  $233.28 13 936 0.94  $       0.14  $4.21  $50.54  $182.74
Outside 5 20 75 1500 1.5  $       0.23  $6.75  $81.00 16 320 0.32  $       0.05  $1.44  $17.28  $63.72
Misc 6 24 60 1440 1.44  $       0.22  $6.48  $77.76 13 312 0.312  $       0.05  $1.40  $16.85  $60.91
Total 67 268 505 19540 19.54  $       2.93  $87.93  $1,055.16 94 3872 3.87  $       0.58  $17.42  $209.09  $846.07

It's not a very controversial spreadsheet. Certainly when you replace a 120W light bulb with a 23W one and start adding multipliers like hours*lights*etc, you will save money. The only question left is when will you break even on the initial capital expenditure?

For us, our outlay was $200 and we'll recoup that easily within a quarter to half-year. That will multiple again, as in my personal experience CFIs will last 3-6 years. After almost exactly 5 years we just had 3 of 6 CFL lights in our kitchen all die within a week of each other. That's a lifetime of about 10,000 hours for me compared to a 1,000 hours for a standard light. My outlay of $200 will last ~5 years and I avoid replacing every light in the house at least 5, if not 10, times in that 5 year period.

We've kept the old bulbs and will either give them to relatives or save them for a rainy day. Unfortunately this builder wouldn't omit the bulbs which seemed a silly thoughtless thing to me.

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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Dynamic Language Translation Widget from the Windows Live Team

November 12, '07 Comments [16] Posted in Internationalization | Musings
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I'm playing with a dynamic translation service from the Windows Live Team. The user interface and implementation is incredibly clean and as with all computer based translation it's definitely questionable.

Here's the translation of my AboutMe page into Spanish. The part of what was the most fun was where it's that I worked in my "interior ministry" for Microsoft as a translation for "working out of my home office."

Here's an example:

"Mi nombre es Scott Hanselman. Me resuelvo de mi Ministerio del Interior para Microsoft como program manager mayor, apuntando separar la buena información sobre software que se convierte, generalmente en el apilado de Microsoft. Antes de que éste yo fuera el principal arquitecto en Corillian Corporation, ahora una parte de Checkfree, por los años 6+. También estuve implicado en algunas cosas del revelador de Microsoft durante muchos años como el MVP y los programas y yo del RD speak sobre las computadoras (y otras pasiones) siempre que escuche alguien."

From:

My name is Scott Hanselman. I work out of my home office for Microsoft as a Senior Program Manager, aiming to spread good information about developing software, usually on the Microsoft stack. Before this I was the Chief Architect at Corillian Corporation, now a part of Checkfree, for 6+ years. I was also involved in a few Microsoft Developer things for many years like the MVP and RD programs and I'll speak about computers (and other passions) whenever someone will listen.

Still, you can get the jist. It's pretty nice and compares well against the Google one I blogged about in March of this year. Both have really nice UIs. All I had to do was add this script:

     <script type="text/javascript" src="http://translator.live.com/TranslatePageLink.aspx?pl=en"></script>

...to my page. It's currently on the right side under my contact information. I encourage you to try it out. I wonder if it's useful to international readers?

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 Weekly Source Code 11 - LOLCode DLR Edition

November 11, '07 Comments [11] Posted in ASP.NET | Learning .NET | Microsoft | Programming | Source Code | Speaking
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During my Friday Keynote at the PNPSummit I did a silly 30 minute PowerPoint that ended with some LOLCats and a few examples of LOLCode. If you're not familiar with LOLCats, they are basically silly pictures of cats that speak a l33tspeak-like language, like IM IN UR BASE KILLIN YUR D00DS.

This language has turned into a Programming Language called LOLCode for which there are already at least TWO .NET implementations. The first implementation of LOLCode.NET is up on Google Code and is by Nick Johnson.

During my talk, unbeknownst to me, literally that minute John Lam was uploading the DLR team's own implementation of LOLCode implemented from scratch on the DLR. The amazing Martin Maly of the DLR team implemented LOLCode on his plane ride to Spain for presentation at TechEd.

I invited John up on stage spontaneously to give a demo of LOLCode and he did...he showed a Fibonacci implementation.

This is great code to read for two reasons. It's two completely separate implementations of the same general idea - an LOLCode compiler. However, they are implemented completely differently. Of course, the DLR team images this as a Dynamic Language so their implementation is a great primer on how to make your own language on the DLR.

HAI

CAN HAS STDIO?
VISIBLE "HAI WORLD!"

I HAS A CODE ITZ "CRAZY"
VISIBLE CODE

I HAS A NUMBR
LOL NUMBR R 2
VISIBLE NUMBR TIEMZ 2

I HAS A FIB
I HAS A A ITZ 1
I HAS A B ITZ 0

VISIBLE "Fibonacci: "
GIMMEH FIB

IM IN YR
    VISIBLE B

    IZ FIB SMALR 1?
		YARLY
			GTFO
	KTHX

    I HAS A TEMP ITZ A UP B
    LOL A R B
    LOL B R TEMP

    NERFZ FIB!!
KTHX

CAN HAS System?

VISIBLE CurrentDirectory ON Environment ON System
NJU Hashtable ON Collections ON System
I HAS A HT ITZ IT

I HAS A DT
LOL DT R DateTime ON System
VISIBLE Now ON DT

COL Add ON HT WIT "LolCode" AN "Rulezz!!"
VISIBLE COL get_Item ON HT WIT "LolCode"

COL Concat ON String ON System WIT "LolCode " AN "Rulezz!!"
VISIBLE IT

KTHXBYE

In order to get the DLR Team's implementation running on your own machine, you need to do the following:

  1. Get the LOLCode sources
  2. Get IronPython 2.0 Alpha 6
  3. Get the Gardens Point Parser Generator (GPPG) 
  4. Get the Gardens Point Scanner Generator (GPLEX)
    These are kind of Lex and Yacc for C#. Open up the Parser.y and Scanner.l to see the language grammar details.
  5. Confirm the PostBuild steps point to the right locations and make sure the Microsoft.Scripting.dll reference points to the Microsoft.Scripting.dll from the IronPython download.

Enjoy! If you don't think this is fun, go play with the MVC Demo Source Code from DevConnections and the PNPSummit.

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.