Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Green and The Forest Guard

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Ted Dekker. He's definitely been my favorite author over the past 5 years or so, when I first discovered his books. Since then I've read many of his books. I would type out the list, but he writes a lot of books and the list would be long.

Well, Ted, being the genius that he is, has a street team called the Forest Guard, based on his books Black, Red and White, who's job it is to let people know about his books. Well, I, being the fan that I am, am a member of the Forest Guard.

If you would like to join the Forest Guard or find out more about Ted's new book Green, go to and register for the site. My recruit ID is 6291, don't forget to enter it.

Another great site for more info about Green in general, including a great video is at The video is amazing.

Also, hit up Ted on Twitter and Facebook, those sites will help keep you in the know.

If you do any of these things, sign up, go to the Green site or hit Ted Dekker up on Twitter or Facebook, let me know so I can report the activity.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Blog

I have a new blog. Head over to to join my discussions there.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Windows 7

Ok, I'm officially a fanboy of Windows 7. I'll state that right up front.

The company that I work for, ConsultUSA is a Microsoft Certified Partner. That is my fancy way of saying that I was watching Steve Balmer's (CEO of Microsoft) keynote address at CES on one tab of firefox and hitting refresh on the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) website on another waiting for windows 7 to show up as available to download.

That night I downloaded the x64 and x86 versions of the OS, created a partition on my laptop and installed the new OS. At first blush, I liked it. It kind of looks like Vista, but when I got under the hood a little, I realized the differences.

One of the nice features that Microsoft introduced in Vista was a system performance ranking system. You could run an analyzer on your PC and it would spit out a ranking of 1 - 4 in several different areas. This was one of the first things that I did when I loaded Windows 7. I do wish that I had the original Vista rankings on hand, but alas, I've since blown away the Windows 7 partition and upgraded Vista completely to Windows 7 and I cannot undo that, specifically just to get the performance ranking.

Alas, I can tell you that my performance increased in all areas, the biggest, not in size of jump, but because it was the biggest bottleneck on Vista was my graphic card performance. On Vista it was stuck at 2.5 on Windows 7 it is given... wait for it... wait for it... 2.7! I know, it's not ground breaking, except for the fact that Windows 7 itself takes fewer resources so it's able to get better performance out of the one system resource on a laptop that is really hard to upgrade. When I first got the laptop it had 1 gb of memory, the memory ranking was 2.5, I upgraded it to 2.5 gb and the performance went up to almost 4. Upgradable, easy peasy. Graphic cards... not so much.

The control panel on Windows 7 is another area that has been greatly improved. Not only is it a nicer layout and easier to find specific items in it. There are more items at your fingertips for managing this marvelous peice of technology.

The one thing that I've discovered that I don't like, primarily because it is frustrating my wife, is that the show desktop has been moved and the nature has been changed. It is no longer an icon on the shortcut bar it is a little section of the taskbar itself, on the right hand side of the bar. Well, as fate would have it, I have a slanted table that fits over the arm of my chair in the living room(just because I do some work at home doesn't mean I have to be away from my family.) I also have a wireless mouse that has a tendency to slide down the slant and flop to its right side when you let go (darn that gravity!) It is frustrating when it does that because the mouse pointer automagically flys to the exact point of the show desktop area.

Ok, so I mentioned that the nature of the show desktop had changed. Now when you hover over the show desktop, it... shows the desktop. If you move the mouse everything comes back as normal, but just hovering shows it. If you want to minimize all of the windows to interact with the desktop, just click that area and everything stays minimzed, just as before.

One of the nicest new features of windows 7 though is the ability to attach programs right to the task bar. This becomes their perminent place on the bar. They've also changed the size of the programs there to be the size of the programs icon. So, for instance. I currently have IE, Visual Studio 2008, Firefox, Thunderbird, Zune and a couple other programs pinned to the task bar. I can click on Thunderbird, and it opens up, it doesn't create a new spot on the taskbar, it already has one and lives on that one spot. At that point it behaves just like an open program from the previous OS's, click the icon while its open it minimizes, while it's minimized, it opens.

Ultimately, Microsoft is in the process of hitting a home run and I say, thank you. I may have been the minority and didn't hate Vista, but even I will not go back. I'm looking forward to the full RTM version as soon as it hits stores.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


For those of you who actually use Apple's web browser Safari, I'm sorry. You have been duped by "the Man". You've been told that everything Apple is secure, there can be no other. Be a Mac, be a clone, be an automiton, do what you're told.

A major security flaw has been discovered in Safari. One that makes every IE or Firefox security hole seem minuscule in comparison. Here is the original article on the flaw, or at least the one that I was pointed to by one of my friends.

Anyway, it's just nice to get a jab in at an Apple technology.

Have fun boys and girls.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1

I just wanted to send out a little note, even though it hasn't been officially announced yet, Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 is now available here.

I personally will not be installing it for another month or so, but it is nice to know that it is ready to go.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Windows "Mojave" the next Microsoft OS!

Here's a quick "preview" of Windows Mojave, the "next" Microsoft OS. I find this very interesting.

Friday, July 18, 2008

DotNetNuke Skinning Tutorial Book Review

As a developer one of my greatest areas of weakness is in the area of design. Where I have always been able to make a site functional, my designs have been merely passable.

The author, Darren Neese, takes you from concept to finished product. This book is aimed at beginners, so it is perfect for me, perhaps it will fit your DotNetNuke Skinning needs as well.

First, let me say this, I love DotNetNuke. There, I said it.

Second, I hate skinning DotNetNuke. As a developer that is my weakest area. In fact, to quote Scott Hanselman:

"The difference between a Designer and Developer, when it comes to design skills, is the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing it." - Scott Hanselman with apologies to Larry Miller

DotNetNuke Skinning Tutorial makes the design element of DotNetNuke a little easier. It does not automatically make your designs pretty, but it opens up the mystery of creating a design that is functional and usable.

I must say thanks to PACKT Publishing for continuing to produce books that break down complicated task in a clear and concise way.

If there were one thing that I would add in the next edition of the book, since they use the DotNetNuke Starter Kit install package, is to expose how to install the Starter Kit on Visual Studio 2008, when Visual Studio 2005 is not installed on the PC. I understand that when the book was written VS2008 was not released and by the next release of the book this may be fixed on the DotNetNuke side, but if it is not, there is a small amount of pain to install the package on VS2008.

Since this is my blog, and I have the space to do it here, I'll tell you how to install the Starter Kit on VS2008.

As of DotNetNuke 4.8.4 this issue still exists, the DotNetNuke installation package for the Starter Kit looks for Visual Studio 2005 to make sure that it is installed. They don't look for "At Least" VS2005, they look specifically VS2005. If you try to install the Starter Kit with VS2008 only, like I have on my new laptop, an error occurs because VS2005 is not installed.

The solution to this issue is to install, even if temporarily, the Visual Web Developer 2005. First, it's free, second it's necessary to get the Starter Kit installed.

It's that simple, but it took a little bit of pain, as I mentioned above, to figure that one out.