ATC :: Since February 2001

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Dear Santa - [11:01 PM]

Just getting a head start on Christmas 2005, if I'm deemed a good boy I'd like a new Rio Karma.

Thank you.
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Friday, January 14, 2005

Movie line of the week answer - [9:44 PM]

Had a couple of guesses, which surprised me! I'll try to be better about my timing, right now everything is thrown outta wack.

Our winner is a Visio MVP, John Marshall, congratulations John!

The correct answer is...

Thanks for playing, come back next week.
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My first Windows application - [8:35 AM]

Back when I was a young programmer... That seems like the correct way to introduce you to my first ever Windows application. I've kept the code for many years, and I've only recently moved it from 3.5" floppies to a CD. I was checking out the code a couple of days ago and boy have I come a VERY LONG way since that project. When I joined Visio in April of 1992 I was searching for a project that would teach me how to a few basic Windows things. I'd NEVER written a stitch of C code in Windows, to that date all I'd done is VB Windows code and DOS C code. Since Windows is all graphic'y I wanted to figure out how to track where the mouse was clicked, then blast a graphic to the display. I decided to write a Tic-Tac-Toe game.

Tic-Tac-Toe

I've posted the code here, don't beat me up guys, it's not very pretty! The logic to decide if a player won the game is horrific. At the time I remember wanting to use a series of bits to figure out who won, but I gave up on that idea. Today it would take me very little time or code to do that. In the end I spent all my time figuring out how to put stuff to the display, it was a complete BLAST!

A lot has changed since I wrote this code. I noticed my coding style has changed a TON. I'm still completely addicted to "Visio style" code formatting. It's unlike any coding style I've ever seen, the Tic-Tac-Toe code was early Rob style. Like I mentioned earlier the code to check for a winner would've been SO MUCH SIMPLER, quite literally a few lines of code, not the mess it is in the project. Something that really struck me was the dev environment I was using, check out the #include lines commented out in T3.C, #include "d:\qcwin\include\stdlib.h", WILD! Do you see what struck me? It's the qcwin. I started this project in Microsoft QuickC, does anyone remember that IDE? I'd completely forgotten about until I saw that line of code. I believe the final 'build' was created using Microsoft C 5.1.

In the end I learned a lot about Windows coding by writing this cheesy little application, it's something I'd recommend for anyone new to any platform/language. Find a little project that will allow you to exercise the new environment and have fun doing it!
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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Movie line of the week - [10:42 PM]

Watchin' it on the big screen!I'm kinda late in posting this, sorry folks. If you're still reading, please take a guess.

I think this one will stump you...

Only one thing worse than a dragon... Americans.

Ok, quick, what movie! Send your guesses here.
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Tricky Patriots - [10:37 PM]

ESPN: " The team left the Gillette Stadium grass uncovered through Wednesday's rain and Thursday's fog. With more rain or snow expected Friday and freezing temperatures for the weekend, the Indianapolis Colts' prolific offense could find the footing funky in Sunday's playoff game." - Do you think Bill Belichick had anything to do with this? Hmmmmm...
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Ellison's not very nice - [10:24 PM]

CNET News: "Oracle appears to be adding insult to injury in its merger with PeopleSoft--taking the unusual step of notifying workers of their termination by sending pinks slips via express mail to their homes." - Wow, the guy that runs that show doesn't know how to deal with people does he?

Way to go BIG Larr, you're quite a leader.
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Ahhh Ireland - [5:53 PM]

Ben Padilla is going to Ireland, man am I jealous. You could say I'm green with envy.

Enjoy my friend, and have a pint for me.
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Potter walk-on-role winner - [5:44 PM]

Harry Potter and The Goblet of FireHarry Potter, Daily Prophet: "Over the last four days in London it was hard to imagine how we could have had a better time and out-do the experience of being on the set of the coolest movie around. But we had fun seeing all the sights in London." - Man, what a lucky kid. I know it's old news, but making Potter magic would be a great deal of fun.

I still think they should've cast me as Ernie, the Knight Bus driver.
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Scathing review... - [5:24 PM]

CNet News, Charles Cooper: "But when it comes to his talent as a technologist, the track record tells a different story. It is beyond contestation that a lesser mortal would have been sent packing long ago." - Wow, that last sentence is harsh isn't it? So the question is how do you hold Mr. Gates to the standard the employees are held to? Who does his annual review and gives him a rating, does that happen?

Come on Scoble, raise a ruckus and get an answer for us. Smile, life is good! (I know, he's Gates, he doesn't have to be held to that standard, right?)
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LiveMeeting, hire me - [8:53 AM]

The Microsoft LiveMeeting group is getting a lot of air time. I just saw a LiveMeeting commercial on ESPN. I find it ironic that a technology company, like Microsoft, doesn't use their own technology when it comes to workers. Back in September 2003 I left the company because our group leadership decided we'd be more productive if everyone was under one roof. This applied to the entire Visio group, not just the four remote devs. The entire Seattle-based team was "too far away from the main campus"(My guess, the management got tired of crossing the bridges to go to meetings), so they were all moved to the known center of the universe; Redmond, WA. (Yes, I practice sarcasm)

Hey guys, put your money where your mouth is. How do you expect folks to make use of your technology if you don't? Hire a remote developer, or two, or three, or four. EAT YOUR OWN DOGFOOD in other words.

One other thing. How is it you can have a complete technology center in Bangalore, India, if you can't communicate with a few developers around the United States? I'm pretty sure it boils down to economics in this case. Hire four or five(?) devs for the price of one is the States.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Watch our for the haters! - [9:17 AM]

Nick Hodges: "So if you don't like .Net, don't use it (and be sure to post about it.) But me? I'm loving it." - The .Net framework is here to stay, you don't have to use it as your development platform, but you'll probably have to get used to using applications built with it. From my perspective the combination of C# and the framework are a great choice for writing world class applications, it's a great platform to develop against. At least we have a unified framework, right? If you've written any amount of native Win32 code you'll know what I'm talking about. No more mix of Win32 API/COM code, or MFC if you're using that. The framework is huge of course, but it's worth digging into IMHO.

Get your tools!Heck, yesterday I flubbed what should've been an easy framework question. Namely, "Can you write on the board for me the code that will connect you to a SQL database?" Me, "Ummmm, no I can't. I can't remember off the top of my head." Yes, bad answer, the framework is something that'll take time to get used to. BTW, I've written that code, it's just not something I remember off the top of my head, it's kinda like remembering WinMain() or DllMain(), you just don't write them very often.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Hey, I know that guy... - [11:10 PM]

John Gossman: "The reason Microsoft does it, and the Valley does it is simple: it doesn't take very many successes to pay for all the failures." - I worked with John at Visio. He's a super bright, all-around, good fella.

Highly recommended.
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Browser-based or Smart Client? - [10:57 PM]

It's weird Scoble posted this today. While I was interviewing today I expressed my frustration with browswer-based development. I don't like the fact it's stateless, and I think that may have hurt me a bit, but we'll see.

I still believe there will be a trend away from browser based development, think smart clients with SOAP(or other) services behind them.
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Interview today... - [4:38 PM]

It was nice to be out talking to someone, that's two interviews in two months, not so good. Today's interview was a second round with Intesolv. In the end I don't think I'll be a fit for the position. They're in need of a SQL expert, which I'm definitely not. Beyond that I'm not sure how well I came across, it's very tough to gauge. I'm hopeful they'll have something that fits me because I like the company and the folks I met today.

I know I can do the job, I just need to catch a break. Sigh...
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Monday, January 10, 2005

New games - [3:41 PM]

Two new games I'd love to get my hands on, Oddworld's Stranger's Wrath and World of WarCraft.

Something I'd like to see is a WarCraft title on XBox, oh my, oh my, oh my.
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Fair warning! - [3:10 PM]

Our oldest daughter is now legally licensed to drive. If you're in the Exeter/Visalia area keep and eye out on the streets and sidewalks.

That is all I have to say about that.
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Sunday, January 09, 2005

Yesterday's football picks - [9:25 AM]

Unbelievable day yesterday. I was 0-2 in my football picks. At this pace we'll have Denver and St. Louis in the Super Bowl!

Today's picks, Indianapolis and Green Bay. I wouldn't be surprised if Denver and Minnesota won the way things are going. Sigh...
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How backwards can you get? - [9:14 AM]

I've been browsing the "big" shoe makers web sites this morning looking for some volleyball shoes for my daughter. I've only found one shoe manufacturer that make them, Asics. Something that struck me as a bit backwards was Adidas. They don't have volleyball shoes but they have shoes for cheer? Weird.
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