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Irregular Injection of Opinion
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 Tuesday, March 07, 2006
The Wonderful World Of Travel....

So mch for my regular blogging... But, I promise to live blog from Mix!

A number of others such as Rod and CJ have been having travel problems recently- I hope I don't catch that bug!

I'm in DUD at the moment, then out to MEL via CHC tommorow until next week then back to WLG via CHC. Then off to TGA for two days.... then it all goes a bit pear shaped and I travel to Singapore via MIX06, the Game Developers Conference and Fargo North Dakota. Something like:

1. NZ 462 Y 18MAR WLG AKL 1900 2000.

2. NZ 2 D 18MAR AKL LAX 2300 1355

3. UA 1566 Y 18MAR LAX LAS 1626 1738

4. US 8204 Y 22MAR LAS SJC 1146 1311

6. UA 530 A 24MAR SFO DEN 0600 0927

7. UA 6668 Y 24MAR DEN FAR 1007 1253 

8. UA 6669 Y 25MAR FAR DEN 1251 1343

9. LH 467 D 25MAR DEN FRA 1725 #1145

10. LH 9762 D 26MAR FRA SIN 1300 #0700

11. SQ 219 D 31MAR SIN SYD 0930 1955 (Quick stop in Sydney for U2 Concert!)

12. NZ 144 D 03APR SYD WLG 1815 2325

13. NZ 446 Y 15JAN WLG AKL 1500 1600 (Clever Travel Agent stuff see here)

On a good note, Rod and CJ and I have been searching for a good way to enter flight times acoss multiple time zones. Gallileo's ViewTrip being a TOTAL LOAD OF CRAP there are not many options- all seem to end up having my LAX-LAS flight leave before my AKL-LAS.

So I've discovered the Star Alliance travel tools. The desktop app is great for gettin your routing right when trying to squeeze travel into a small space (as above). The Pocket PC app allows you to choose your flights then drop them straight ino your Pocket Outlook Calendar. Of courseit doesn't work for Blackberry.... but that's no great loss... unless you happen to be silly enough to use Blackberry....

[UPDATE]

CJ has a great wee tool for doing this here

http://blogs.msdn.com/cjohnson/archive/2006/03/01/540805.aspx

Some feed back on it- it's be great if the time zones were sorted properly :-) Apart from that it works really well.....

Travel|Tuesday, March 07, 2006 10:49:25 PM UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Friday, March 03, 2006
What I Want to Bring Home From Mix

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV1WGDW37c0&search=project%20origami

Origami Goodness!

Toy Box|Friday, March 03, 2006 4:38:27 AM UTC|Comments [3]|    

 Thursday, March 02, 2006
Getting All Disruptive

So we've beengetting really disruptive with ur technology recently. Lots of VOIP and MSN for collaborative work.

We've now got a US number that VOIP through to us. I'm going to do a big post smetime soon on how we're putting together our collaboration platform, but for now, you can call me on

+1 425 296-6726

Toy Box|Thursday, March 02, 2006 10:24:58 PM UTC|Comments [4]|    

Speak What You See - Speech recognition in Vista

Gets really cool around 10min mark

 

Human Aggregation|Thursday, March 02, 2006 3:16:36 AM UTC|Comments [3]|    

Is Microsoft Made The iPod

A great wee video- if Microsoft boxed the iPod

Phil will enjoy this!

Human Aggregation|Thursday, March 02, 2006 2:18:31 AM UTC|Comments [2]|    

 Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Why I Love My Travel Agent

OK... so the fundamenta principle of agency is that someone else endeavours on your behalf.

Such it is with travel agents. We are in an increasigly agent hostile world but I still get HUGE value out of using my agent- he thinks the way I think- craftily!

Here is todays clever piece of work.

I'm booking a round the world fare for next month- easiest way to hit LAS,SJC,FAR,SIN in the space of two weeks.

On the way back I'm stoping in Syndey and maybe Brisbane. The agent is like:

As we have miles left you could use.....we could call Wellington a stop on the way back to Auckland or Christchurch...ie: BNE-WLG-AKL For the cost of the ticketable taxes (about $19) you'd get a flight from Wellington to either Auckland or Christchurch.....this would be date changeable and valid for up to a year from when we issue the ticket.

Which do you want? (AKL OR CHC?)”

I.e. I'll be stoppoing in WLG for as many months as I feel like and effectivly get a 'free' WLG-AKL fully flexi fare as part of the package! Now that's what I call effective agency!

If you want a kick ass agent like mine then you need to talk to Toby @ Flight Centre in Dunedin.toby.mann.nz@flightcentre.co.nz

Travel|Tuesday, February 28, 2006 10:42:04 PM UTC|Comments [0]|    

It's Bike To Work Day

I had forgotten that it was bike to work day. As I rode from the Gym (Thorndon) to the Office (Willis St) I stumbled upon the free breakfast (well the end of it) @ Civic Square.

Anyway- IU've got right back into riding to work having shifted to Wellington. Fuel is too expensive, m car drinks it (Turbo Subaru), and I'm really liking my new bike.

I think that Phil is keen for a Makara Peak MTB ride soon. So, if you are keen for a bike ride in WLG post a comment here and we should all heahis weekend sometime.

Adventure Sports | Gettin Fit|Tuesday, February 28, 2006 8:22:09 PM UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Friday, February 17, 2006
Mixng It Up In Vegas Baby.... YEAH!

So I'm just about fully confirmed for my Trip to MIX06. If you have been on another planet recently you may have missed out on learning that MIX is a conference about the next generation of the Web. MSFT are sponsoring/organising it, but it's gonna be really different to most other MS cons from what I can see.

I'm going there with anoter NZ ISV who I'm doing some architecture and strategy consulting with at the moment. We're going to hit the Game Developers Conference in San Jose on the ame trip so it's gonna be a CRAZY week.

There is a good http://channel9.msdn.com/showpost.aspx?postid=156677 that sets out some of the things that are going to be covered @ MIX.

It's kinda exciting for me because I've kind of eschewed 'the web' for the past few years and I've focused on Smart Clients. Funnily enough I wrot some of the first bits of published work on the sort of tenology that is now know as AJAX/ATLAS etc... (see my chapters in Practical XML For The Web)

 

I know I'm sure as hell looking orward to being part of the conversation.... be sure to keep a look out for my red shoes in Vegas. Come and say hi!

Oh... I'll be in Singapore the following week (Vista stuff)... so keep an eye out for the Red Shoes there too.....Gonna be some serious bum in a plane seat time put in over those to weeks!

.NET | Travel | Mix06|Friday, February 17, 2006 5:34:02 AM UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, February 16, 2006
Zen Presenting

A few days ago I blogged about Zen Presentation skills.

Here is a GREAT example of it in action. About 15 mins long. I really encourage you all to watch it. Good content too :-)

Human Aggregation|Thursday, February 16, 2006 3:34:20 AM UTC|Comments [2]|    

Using Messenger Live for Remote Pairs Pogramming

While we're not strictly a XP dev shop, we occasionally do a bit of pairs programming to nut out difficult problems or when we are doing performance optimisation. Because we now have offices in Dunedin and Wellington this may need to be done remotely. Over the last couple of days I have spent quite a bit of time working on some SQL optimisation with our SQL Server guy and frankly, the remote approach is just about better than really being there. We've ben using Skype for voice and MSN Messenger 8 Remote Assistance to allow me to view and control his desktop. It really is rather good.

We could probably use MSN for voice instead, but, we didn't find the quality quite as good as Skype.

I reckon this is about the ultimate approach to pairs proigramming. It affords each dev their own machine and you also get yor own personal space- I remeber at a previous employer ho much I disliked helping one colleague who would just spend the whole time noisily chewing gum in your ear.

I'm not sure if MSN Assistance is firewall capable yet- we have an ISA Server in both WLG and DUD and a VPN tunnel means that it appears we are on the same network (thanks WIC and FX for the fast backbone). But frankly it makes the whole concept of pair programming just about doable from a logistical point of view.

.NET|Thursday, February 16, 2006 3:31:34 AM UTC|Comments [1]|    

 Friday, February 10, 2006
Adam Cogan Rules

I've just listened to Adam Cogan on Dot Net Rocks.

Adam talks about his cool rule enforcement applications for VS.Net and SQL.

You also get to find out that he takes his whole team (30 odd people) to a beach house once a year and they all get up and go for runs @ 6:30am..... Now there is an idea! It's a great DNR episode and it gives some great insight into why Adam is able to run such a tight development ship.

Listening on some new headphones that I just got. I find my Sennheiser HD25 muffs a bit uncomfortable for use at the office so I got some cheapish ($120 vs $600 for HD25) Sennheiser phones- HD465. They are open ear designs- i.e. they just sit as flat pads on your ears so REALLY comfortable.

Human Aggregation | Rambles|Friday, February 10, 2006 1:27:43 AM UTC|Comments [0]|    

Time To Break Radio Silence

Well. For the last few months I've pretty much fallen off the face of the Earth blogging wise. A few reasons:

  1. We've been working really hard.
    We've been polishing off some product development which means that we've had to work hard on both the product and ensuring that we remain profitable and able to pay the bills.
  2. I've shifted to Wellington
    So we've now opened a Wellington Office. Will post some piccies soon. This has meant some reasonable time spent geting stuff organised. Yesterday we got the ISA boxes at each end talking to each other. It's really cool so I now have a Dunedin IP subnet and a Wellington IP subnet and we can route between them over a L2TP over IPSec tunnel. Means I am getting 15ms pings from WLG to DUD- it really is just like being there.
  3. I've been putting in some good gym time
    Been doing a lot of Spinning at the Gym which is really kicking the BF% down. Have paired back the weights for the last wee while but I'm going to kick it back up again soon.
  4. MTBing.
    I'm back riding a mountain bike quite a bit again. Riding to work most days too. Got a nice 2nd hand Specialized Epic Pro on eBay that I picked up in Vancouver last month.

I'll blog a bit more detail on some of these things over the next wee while. But anyway- going to make a real effort to blog more 'cos I've been slack.

OH! And if you haven't already noticed I tend to majorly over use hyphens- not sure why- I just do. I've found someone elase who does too! I'm reading Robert Fisk's book on the Middle East at the moment- he apostrophises too... will post a detailed review on the book once I've finished. It is heavy going but very interesting.

Rambles|Friday, February 10, 2006 1:15:28 AM UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Presentation Zen

A blog tyhat I had not come across before floated through my inbox this morning. A good post comparing the Zen style of Apple with the somewhat noisy style of MSFT. It's a good post- design and hipness has never been a strong point for MS.

http://presentationzen.blogs.com/presentationzen/2005/11/the_zen_estheti.html

Anyway. A good blog if you are a regular presenter (or are trending toward becoming one...)

Human Aggregation|Wednesday, January 25, 2006 9:08:37 PM UTC|Comments [3]|