Monday, March 29, 2004
Locking done nicely
Ian Griffiths has a good post on how to use the using statement in C# to create a better approach to locking than the C# lock statement which runs a real deadlock risk. It would be nice to see MS parameterise the lock statement to provide the sort of timeout functionality provided by this solution.
That siad, with input from EricGu and others the proposed approach looks quite elegant.
.NET|Monday, March 29, 2004 9:13:18 PM UTC||
Getting to Redmond... the long way...
So I'm off to Redmond for the MVP Summit and going about it the long way.
I flew out of NZ on Thursday morning (NZST) and arrived in Oahu, HI, Wednesday Evening (Hawaii Time). Flew out on Air New Zealand and for all the bitching I've done about them in the past, they were a good choice. Easy flight and while back in coach (hard for a small businessman like me to justify the front few rows) I got 3 seats to myself. I kicked back and watched a couple of good movies- Love Actually (seen already and it is FANTASTIC) and Calendar Girls (OKish). Then I watched some DivX'd episodes of TopGear on my tablet PC for the rest of the time.
Got to Hawaii pretty ate on the Wednesday night and met up with a mate of mine who works as a computer geek for one of our NZ govt departments. He's staying at some pimptastic resort in Hawaii so we cruised back to his place for a few hours sleep before flying out to Kona, HI at about 6am the next morning on Aloha.
We got to Kona, picked up the rental car (a red Mustang Convertable) and then cruised down to the hotel to drop off some gear before we went diving.
We dived with a crowd called Sea Paradise along the south Kona Coast. The highlight of the diving on Hawaii is the great volcanic structures you get to explore. Plenty of cavesw and tunnels- great fun. Having been spoilt rotten on the Great Barrier Reef last year it was hard to get too worked up about the marine life or the coral, but, it was good diving nonetheless. One guy on the trip flooded his Nikon Coolpix 5300 - moral of the story == don't take your nice US$700 camera to 20m in a shitty plastic bag housing!
That afternoon we cruized back to the hotel via Safeway (where they make amazing custom sub sammies) and pretty much crashed by the pool for the afternoon.
The next day we did 4 dives, two in the morning and two in the evening. Unfortunatly we didn't get to see the Manta Rays as despite being assured on the phone that our night dive would travel (a long way) north to go and see them we ended up doing out night dive south of the dive shop.
Saturday morning we cruised around the bottom of the island. We stopped at some Waikoloa gardens (or something like that) on the road down to the Place of Refuge for lunch- what a rip off! $10 + TAX AND TIPS for a scummy fish burger. The Place of Refuge was OK... wasn't really in a cultural sightseeing mood at the time though.
We kept cruising down the coast through small townships and got hungry pretty quickly so stopped at some crazy little Mexican place run by a genuine spanish speaking mexican matriach- great value! It was in the front of the theatre- look like it was popular with the locals. We got a yummy corn and chicken and bean thing wrapped in corn husk leaves.
We kept driving around towards the Volcano region. First stop was the Volcano Winery- this was a real highlight and is highly recommended - free tasting and it has to be the most exoctic winery that I have bought wine from. Got a couple of bottles to take home- novelty factor mainly. Then we cruised into the Volcanoes National Park. Stopped at the visitor center, which IMHO looks pretty average when you compare it to some of the National Park vistors centers in New Zealand. Then we drove down the Chain of Craters road looking at all of the lava flows and so forth. There wasn't much activity and no visible lava, but, it was an interesting and at times amazing drive.
Finally we drove from the Volcanoes into Hilo where we stayed the night and some big Hotel on the waterfront. Hawaii feels like a place that was in tourist boom mode about 20 years ago- all the big hotels now look a bit tired.
On our last day we drove up the coast from Hilo looking at the waterfalls along the way. THis was the most amazing piece of driving we did. All along the coast are rivers that come as steep rapids right down to the sea and the road runs over them by way of amazing bridges 50m high and more.
That afternoon we drove back out towards the Airport, grabbed some Jamba Juice which is REALLY good btw, and then got to the Airport fairly early. THe lovely ladies @ Aloha Airlines upgraded us to 'first' class. THis meant we got to sit in the big seats, have our drinks poured rather than from a sachet, and sit in the windowless (but airconditioned) room that is the Hilo First CLass Lounge. Just as well we did get to sit in the lounge though as when we came out the airport was chaos- note to self- do not fly out of Hilo on a Sunday night again.
...and that's about it...
Rambles|Monday, March 29, 2004 8:46:11 PM UTC||
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Search engine for MS Newsgroups
The MS newsgroups are one of the best (and most underutilized) resources for .NET developers.
MS have launched a search engine for em- I'm still a big fan of Google groups but this offeres an alternative...
.NET|Wednesday, March 24, 2004 3:46:20 AM UTC||
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Friday, March 19, 2004
Portable media Centers Coming Real Soon
Microsoft Corp. today announced at CeBIT 2004 that leading European entertainment companies EMI Music and Napster LLC will support Microsoft Windows Mobile (TM) -based Portable Media Centers, an exciting new category of handheld devices created for people who want to enjoy their digital movies, recorded television, photos and music on the go. Microsoft also announced at the show that hardware manufacturers Creative Technology Ltd. and iRiver International will make Portable Media Centers available in Europe by the end of this year.
What sort of cool applications are we going to see on these?
I hope some ship with Firewire so I can plug in my DV cam and do edits while travelling light.
Toy Box|Friday, March 19, 2004 12:14:16 AM UTC||
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Casey calling out....
Casey Chesnut has posted about the MSMobiles MVP league table...
Specifically he says
i'm linking this because i doubt anybody else has the balls to
Well.... I posted my thumbs down a few days ago *grins*. I'm defn. keen to have a beer with Casey @ the MVP summit if he's there though?
Rambles|Wednesday, March 17, 2004 3:40:01 AM UTC||
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Monday, March 15, 2004
Land of the Free? Read and weep!
Harvey Silvergate has a very well researched and very well written article outlining the real threat being posed to fundamental liberty in the US today. It is long- took me about 20 mins to read- but well worth it.
PoliTechLaw|Monday, March 15, 2004 9:23:21 PM UTC||
Doing the Subversion thing....
I've bitten the bullet and decided to start being better about source control in my business- we're a .NET only (pretty much) dev shop building Smart Client and Smart Device applications mainly for the electricity services industry. Up until now I've been using some rudimentary batch scripts for backup but haven't really been as diligent as I should be. With more people coming on board (more on this another post soon) I've decided to use Subversion for source management.
I had 3 basic contenders for my source management solution.
I have used VSS before and it is a DAWG! Sorry Korby, but it really is. They reckon that they are going to fix it but IMHO they would be better to throw the sullied name out and start afresh... CVS comes with a bit too much historical baggage for me. So, I decided to wait for Subversion- so far it looks good- good GUI support, merge based, easy branching... that's about all I'd really ask for in source control... oh! It's free too..... as in free beer not free software i.e. it is Apache licensed not GPL licensed... *refrains from ranting on the GPL*
I installed it this evening and here's a quick tour of what I did in case you are doing it and can learn from some of the stuff I did.
Subversion http://subversion.tigris.org/ (the windows installer version)
TortoiseSVN http://tortoisesvn.tigris.org/ (free as in 'free software')this is a nice Explorer integrated GUI
AnkhSVN http://ankhsvn.tigris.org/(free as in beer) this is a plugin for VS.NET
- Ran the Subversion installer
- Decided that I wanted to use the built in Subversion server rather than installing Apache on my box. But the built in SVN server is a simple daemon... so I decided to download FireDaemon (not free but a trial version available) to run the server.
- Created a repository.... svnadmin.exe create e:\sourcerepository
- Got the server running against the repository by creating a FireDaemon service to run
svnserve -d -r e:\sourcerepository
- Found out that I needed to run the service with certain rights- namely log on as a service (duh!) so I used Local System (reconfigured my FireDaemon service)
- Gave Local System read/write/modify permission on my repository
- Configured the repository configuration file for security in %repository%/conf
- Tested it using Tortoise just by going to Repo-Browser and creating a new folder in the repository.
I found that the most useful document for setting up on my Windows box was the TortiseSVN documentation- it was VERY helpful and easy to read and ran through pretty much the whole lot... I found the Subversion docs a bit too Unixie (I wouldn't know a Linux box from a bar of soap).
I'll post more as things go along....
.NET|Monday, March 15, 2004 8:48:40 AM UTC||
Sunday, March 14, 2004
Ahh.... the joys of Physics
Human Aggregation|Sunday, March 14, 2004 8:55:14 PM UTC||
“Check this shit out (Fig. 1). That's bonafide, 100%-real data, my friends. I took it myself over the course of two weeks. And this was not a leisurely two weeks, either; I busted my ass day and night in order to provide you with nothing but the best data possible. Now, let's look a bit more closely at this data, remembering that it is absolutely first-rate. Do you see the exponential dependence? I sure don't. I see a bunch of crap.
Christ, this was such a waste of my time.
Banking on my hopes that whoever grades this will just look at the pictures, I drew an exponential through my noise. I believe the apparent legitimacy is enhanced by the fact that I used a complicated computer program to make the fit. I understand this is the same process by which the top quark was discovered.”