Life, Surf, Code and everything in between
WebLog Posts in Category Personal
Yet another Scam: Blog Ripping
March 21, 2009 @ 4:58 am
So here’s a new scam: Apparently a number of people are hi-jacking blog posts or – in this case – my entire blog and re-posting the SAME UNCHANGED content under their own blog. For example check out this post on my blog: http://www.west-wind.com/weblog/posts/10246.aspx#675653 And then this post on this dickhead’s blog (not linking the entry to perpetuate this bullshit so copy it into the...
Now Packaged with Less Plastic
February 24, 2009 @ 8:46 pm
Really? I can only imagine what the packaging must have looked before “Now”. This bugs the shit out of me. Why do manufactures have to waste resources like this? This packaging for 3 lousy memory sticks is gel plastic and is the size of a 8x14 piece of paper. What the hell for? Marketing? You think people will actually stop and go – gee, look at that nice packaging? Wasted resources, increased...
Quality of Life Home Improvements
February 09, 2009 @ 4:39 am
You might be wondering why the level of postings on my blog has dropped a bit in the last couple of months. For the last nearly 3 months I’ve been involved in a major home renovation of my house here on Maui and it’s taken a lot of energy, even though I wasn’t doing the work myself. But there are a decisions to make with contractors running around constantly making noise and living with torn up...
Online Video Streaming – Not quite there yet
December 27, 2008 @ 7:21 am
I've been experimenting with online streaming of movie and TV content recently and while the technology has improved quite a bit and it's quite cool to have on demand service, it's seems there are quite a few obstacles to overcome before we are 'there' yet.
Monitoring Household Electricity
December 06, 2008 @ 8:36 pm
Here on Maui electricity is rather on the pricey side and as my household here is hitting the 10 year mark a lot of the household appliances are starting to limp or downright fail. It’s getting to be time for replacements. As I do so I started to pay attention a little more to energy usage of the components. So a week ago I picked up an electricity usage monitor as an exercise in better...
November 15, 2008 @ 2:11 am
Just got a funny picture from the Gorge Hood River from last summer that I’d thought I’d share. It’s one heck of a wipeout: I remember this day and this wipeout on a backloop in particular – the board just got away from me as I slipped out of the footstraps. I went one way (down) and the board went another. There are a couple more pictures in this sequence as the board gets backwinded in...
Mousing Around: Mobile Mouse with Desktop Mouse Radio
September 07, 2008 @ 8:14 pm
I travel a fair bit and use my machine on the road a lot when I do, so portability is reasonably important to me. One thing is that in the process I got really used to the small 'mobile' mice that Microsoft makes - the small Soap bar kind. I've really grown attached to this mouse and I really can't get comfortable with the monster desktop mice any more. So the small mouse works great but one of...
Moving my Site onto a 64 Bit Server
August 07, 2008 @ 10:39 am
I'm finally getting ready to install my new Server and after some back and forth and testing on Windows 2008 I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and go with the 64 bit version of Server. I've had mixed feelings about installing 64 bit given that I have had exactly zero experience running under 64 bit. I've not really seen a compelling reason on the desktop to run a 64 bit OS especially...
The Big 1000
August 02, 2008 @ 4:36 pm
Woo hoo. I rolled over the magic 1000 Weblog post mark last night and didn't even notice until today when I was about to post another entry. Looking at the site this morning I realized the big fat triple 0's showing up on the Post count. It's been a little unceremonious I suppose - it's pure luck that I noticed since I rarely look at the actual post or comment counts these day. Heck I don't even...
Back in the US
July 31, 2008 @ 10:28 pm
It's been a long summer of fun out of the country for me. Some time off, some time away from the 'usual' and a time to go a bit lighter on work and time in front of the computer - just what the doctor ordered. Now it's back to reality and the catching up which invariably is left behind by 3 months of physical absence and putting off some work related stuff. The time off's been well spent. As I...
DevMaven Ads on the Web Log
July 21, 2008 @ 1:56 am
If you've been visiting here for a while, you may have noted that the advertising on this Web log has been cut down quite a bit recently. At the beginning of the month I decided to switch off from the mish mash of advertising that I was running previously, which included Google Adsense, Steven Smith's Lake Quincy Network, James Avery's The Lounge Network network and some of my own ads....
Customers and POs from Hell
June 29, 2008 @ 2:42 am
I do most of my business with credit cards and while I realize that the CC companies and merchant banks are making a killing off my sales with merchant percentages, the convenience of having credit card processing fully automated to the point that I often have to do absolutely nothing other than review orders is well worth the extra expense.Credit card processing (or PayPal processing for that...
What makes a Guru?
June 20, 2008 @ 2:19 am
Somebody called me a 'Guru' in recent conversation and I was well a bit embarrassed. What the heck is a guru or what makes one think of somebody else as a Guru?
Levels of Enthusiasm
June 03, 2008 @ 4:15 am
I tend to go through various levels or stages of excitement when doing development and they tend to have fairly drastic effects on the quality and quantity of development work that I do. Here's a personal view of these levels and how they affect me.
A Kindle Story
May 14, 2008 @ 2:11 pm
Ok, I'm afraid to take out my Amazon Kindle in public now. I just got back from dinner here in Geneva and I was literally swamped by the entire staff of the Italian restaurant trying to get a look at the thing. First there were a few shy glances, then one of the waiters came over and practically demanded to look at it. I even got a free beer out of it for letting him play with it for a minute...
Twitter this, Twitter that...
May 10, 2008 @ 9:53 am
So I recently started using Twitter (I'm RickStrahl in case you want to follow me). Late I know - Twitter's been around forever, but when I first heard and thought about Twitter the first thing that popped into my mind was "So what?". The concept of getting blasted with small disconnected messages detailing the minutiae of life of other people didn't sound terribly appealing to me. I'm still not...
Amazon Kindle on the Road
May 07, 2008 @ 4:08 pm
So I broke down and got myself an Amazon Kindle reader last week before I left for an extended trip to Europe. I've been reluctant to spend this kind of money ($399) on an electronic reader, but since I'll be spending a good deal of time on the road this year in Europe I thought it'd be a good idea to stock up on reading material before I hit the road and not have to deal with keeping stacks of...
Reusing old Laptop SATA Drives via USB
May 01, 2008 @ 1:32 pm
Since I travel around with a spare SATA drive all the time anyway (one too many 'surprise' drive failures) I finally decided to put that spare drive to use as a backup device by using a USB to SATA cable. Handy and maybe enough for me to ditch the shitty process of DVD backups.
On the Road again...
April 13, 2008 @ 2:41 pm
The next two weeks are going to be hectic. It's this time of year again, and I'm packing up home and hearth to go on my annual migration back to the West Coast. Except this year there will be a not so little European detour... The next couple of weeks will be especially hectic though. I'm getting on a plane in a couple of hours to fly back to Portland as I usually do this time of year. But this...
Custom iPhone Ringtone Installation
April 09, 2008 @ 3:40 pm
This entry talks about how to get custom ringtones onto a phone including jail breaking and connecting to the phone to manually copy files on a Windows box.
Google AdSense Advertising - eeech...
April 04, 2008 @ 10:49 pm
I'm both a consumer and a publisher of Google Adsense advertising on the Web and even though Web advertising makes me some money by publishing ads on this blog and in a few other places around this site, both publishing and providing ads feels like a bit of black magic over which I have only a tiny bit of control. Buying Advertising But let's start with the part that really gets my goat, which is...
What can you keep in your Head?
March 30, 2008 @ 3:16 am
So as I'm sitting here working on a project I'm realizing that the information that I'm actually pulling up from my head is getting to be less and less, and information that I'm drawing on from old code I have sitting around from other projects or documentation, blog entries is becoming my primary knowledge source. Am I getting senile or is this just a way to be able to deal with the myriad of technologies that we are tasked to work with these days. There's just not enough room to store it all 'up there' any more...
Justifying an iPhone
March 23, 2008 @ 3:39 pm
So last week I broke down and bought an iPhone. I know, I know I've talked trash about the hype around the iPhone some time ago and to be honest I still feel this way after buying the phone, although I also feel that after having used the phone for a last week that I made the right choice. My general feeling is that Apple is a pretentious company with their locked in tools and operating systems,...
Bank Logins and Twenty Questions
February 04, 2008 @ 3:23 am
You have one of those annoying banking sites that ask dumb ass questions just so you can log on? I dropped all my cookies on my machine a couple of days ago because I've had some issues with a variety of sites recently and so I lost a ton of my login cookies with various financial instutions. So...
More Memory and a New Machine - up and running
December 18, 2007 @ 4:28 am
Over the last couple of days I finally had some time to put together my new server test machine. I recently bought a new motherboard, CPU, memory and finally got around to just swapping out Mobo's on my secondary server box. The performance difference on this machine is staggering - running a dual...
December 09, 2007 @ 2:48 am
A couple of weeks ago I ordered hardware to replace my CPU, motherboard and memory on an old server box I keep in my office for testing. At the time I was running Vista on the box and running Vista on this Pentium M 2.4 gig machine with 2 gig of RAM is absolutely unbearable. Amazing - I'm pretty...
.NET 3.5 Upgrade SNAFU on my Server
November 24, 2007 @ 11:37 am
In the .NET 3.5 Upgrade shuffle I ran into a small problem caused by a difference in the .NET 2.0, .NET 2.0 SP1 Beta 2 and RTM runtimes. During beta 2 small change was made that broke some of my apps, which has been undone in RTM causing a couple of apps to fail for me until I recompiled.
November 10, 2007 @ 1:31 am
Yup I'm done with conferences and a couple of projects that have been sapping my energy for the last couple of months. You've probably noticed that the frequency of posts on this blog has dropped a bit in the last few weeks. With DevConnections over I'm finally past the threshold of pain...
November 03, 2007 @ 5:19 pm
Ugh... it's 4am now and I just got home from the airport. I was on my way to Vegas for DevConnections when my flight was cancelled due to plane troubles. Now these things happen and although I'm not particularily happy about this I prefer technical difficulties on the ground than in the air. It's a...
October 24, 2007 @ 9:42 am
I'm sitting here at Portland airport on my way back for winter migration to Maui. I love flying out of Portland - this airport is a great place to fly out of. My flight is delayed by an hour due to maintenance but hey, there's free Wi-Fi and the airport even has public office space like areas set...
Good Service, Bad Service
October 22, 2007 @ 1:00 pm
It's amazing how much we've been conditioned to accept bad service as the status quo. So much so that when we actually get good service we are often surprised to no end. I spent the last week doing training for Web Connection in Arizona at the Arizona Golf Resort followed by three days at Southwest...
One heck of a frustrating Windows Install
October 08, 2007 @ 12:08 am
I'm reformatting my old machine, putting the original Windows Media Center Edition onto this machine so I can sell it. This has been one of the most nightmarish Windows installs I can remember. First off I installed from the MSDN CDs which are have multiple options on it. So I picked Media Center...
Portland PADNUG Meeting follow up
October 03, 2007 @ 2:31 pm
Late night last night at the PADNUG meeting - which was, uhm interesting. I was speaking on - or supposed to be speaking on LINQ to SQL and Building a Business Layer. But as it turned out to a huge number of questions and various excited comments about basic LINQ syntax and the basic LINQ to SQL...
September 20, 2007 @ 10:38 pm
We had a big fire here on the other side of the river today pretty much straight across from where I look out. The damn railroad once again started up a fire which in the typical Gorge wind spread like a wild fire up the hill very quickly. Several homes burnt down so far and the thing's still...
Stickman in Peril
September 10, 2007 @ 1:58 pm
I stopped by our local used book store Artifacts here in Hood River yesterday and ran into these on the way out and had to laugh out loud at the Stickman in Peril sticker set. I especially like the guy getting sucked into intake manifold of - what - a steam ship? Yeah, that happens to me...
New Dell Inspiron 1520 Laptop - two weeks later
September 01, 2007 @ 1:24 pm
So it's now been almost two weeks since I got my new machine and I'm happy to report that things are going well. No more video problems (even though I ended up with yet another nVidia card) and the system has been rock solid. It's sad that this should astound me, but this has been one of the...
Registration Ids: The simpler the better?
August 27, 2007 @ 1:02 am
Having gone through easily 50 registration screens in the last few days, reinstalling applications on my new box got me to once again thinking about registration codes in applications. Somebody last week asked me as I provided them with a software key with Help Builder - what's this - this isn't a...
File Locations on Windows Machines = Absolute Madness
August 25, 2007 @ 6:58 pm
I configured and updated a brand new machine last week and overall the process has been pretty smooth and painless. But once again I'm reminded how silly Windows' scattering of files all over the place really is. I installed the new box on Monday. It's now Saturday night and I'm still picking up a...
New machine - new day
August 21, 2007 @ 1:12 pm
It's been a little quiet around here the last couple of days - that's because I got a new machine and have been buried in setting up the new box and trying to get some work done at the same time - always a fun exercise. As you probably know if you read this blog even occasionally I've been having...
Crytponomicon - man what a read
August 10, 2007 @ 1:51 am
Just got through Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon and man what a fun ride this book has been. Not really sure how I ended up with this book in the first place - it's really not the sort of thing I usually read as I usually chew through Sci-Fi or non-fiction, but this is one hell of a ride that made...
Stupid Pet Trick # 522
July 20, 2007 @ 11:05 am
Thought I'd share a really silly developer story here. A while back I built a scheduler application for ASP.NET which checks a POP3 mail box and looks for certain content. The app just pulls all messages and deletes them as it finds them (optionally) and forwards them to another email address with...
Have we turned into just a bunch Sheep?
July 03, 2007 @ 12:30 pm
Ok, the whole iPhone hype really makes me sick. Seriously. This is perverse. So here we have people - the tragically hip - who pretend to be the coolest of the cool, the hipster dufuses of the current age. We've got style, we've got it easy (screw you silly Windows users), we got class and...
Hero Water Camera
June 19, 2007 @ 12:01 am
I love to spend time on the water and over the years I've tried quite frequently tried to take pictures out on the water. To date most of these efforts have been pretty pitiful, from disposable water cameras to various small SLR cameras (in the days of film) with water housings. Recently i picked up a small GoPro Hero camera which although not perfect is pretty nice for taking out on the water with me.
May 30, 2007 @ 11:49 am
Dude it was 3.0 where were you? That's kind of an inside joke among of few of my friends - when you wanna rub it in that somebody missed big day! And boy last Sunday was one of those epic days on the (Columbia) river that I live for: 40 mph winds, huge rollers. The blowing child advisories were up...
May 09, 2007 @ 4:58 am
No... no... not the techie kind of migration you geek! It's time for me to pick up my suitcase full of belongings and haul 'em on a plane back to Oregon for the summer. I'm in the middle of re-arranging my household here on Maui, locking up the house, storing all the toys away for the...
Heading off to MVP Summit
March 11, 2007 @ 3:25 pm
Ah, it's that time of year again - I'm heading off to the MVP summit later tonight. I've had issues getting a flight out of here so I'm a little late taking the red-eye out of here getting there tomorrow around noon. The Summit is always a fun event, as much of a social, schmoozing thing as...
nVidia Vista Drivers and Dual Monitor Support
March 08, 2007 @ 5:34 pm
Since I've had my replcaed nVidia video card in my Dell Laptop I haven't been able to get dual monitor support to work on Vista, even with drivers that previously worked.
I got my Laptop back finally
March 05, 2007 @ 8:32 pm
Got my laptop back after a tech came out today to replace the video card. Long battle but it looks like I'm finally back in business.
Aaargh - nVidia Card Bombs my Laptop
February 25, 2007 @ 12:45 pm
My machine's video card took a shit this morning. In the middle of work the video went blank and never recovered. On subsequent reboots - blue screen or lock ups and video scramble. It looks like this is a hardware failure in the nVidia drivers and apparently only when using the higher end video features in Aero as the card works with the VGA driver.
February 14, 2007 @ 1:02 pm
I'm stoked: I'm getting off the rock for some Snowboarding R&R!
Big Wind and Wave and little Sailing
February 01, 2007 @ 6:10 pm
Honk, if you think this is windy!
Submergable USB Key
January 24, 2007 @ 11:48 pm
The things I do to a USB key...
Streaming Music (Radio) Suggestions?
January 23, 2007 @ 12:56 am
I'm looking to enhance my online streaming music environment, but I'm not having much luck finding good information, so I'm asking directly for some experiences.
Component Vendor Selling Practices
January 12, 2007 @ 1:13 am
Seems like more and more component vendors are getting agressive with their use of copy protection schemes. While I can understand some need to protect software some of this has gotten to the point where the software becomes such a pain in the ass to test and use that the copy protection/registration scheme is enough to scare off potential customers.
Tag, I'm It - 5 things you didn't know about me
January 01, 2007 @ 3:30 am
I've been tagged and so here are a few things you might not know about your's truly...
December 12, 2006 @ 1:50 am
Outlook doesn't like me much - it keeps reminding me of my birthday day and day again. I can't seem to get rid of the 'appointment'.
When all else fails...
December 06, 2006 @ 4:28 am
Get out, get away, go surfing...
Over the hill...
December 01, 2006 @ 4:57 am
I'm turning 4.0.
IE 7 Script Errors
November 23, 2006 @ 5:32 pm
Is anybody else seeing a lot of script or page editors in HTML pages with Internet Explorer? I see tons of sites that fail with script errors these days on load and result in a script error on Line 2 or Line 1 with the debug box popping up.
Looking for a new Music Player
November 17, 2006 @ 4:32 pm
As I mentioned some time back I’m looking for a new music player as my IPod is just giving up its ghost. I’ve never been real happy with the iPod – the software on the device has always been flaky and I really hate the whole lock in with iTunes which is as sucky as music software gets. I’ve...
Vista RTM installed
November 17, 2006 @ 2:43 am
I just installed Vista RTM on my laptop and I'm happy to say that this was a very smooth installation. Install took about 20 minutes to startup screen and the machine managed to come up with all devices configured! Impressive especially since that never worked on XP...Couple of cool things that...
HP ScanJet Adventures
November 17, 2006 @ 1:05 am
Ah here’s a fun one. I have a not so old HP ScanJet that every once in a while I need to fire up when I have problems faxing over my VOIP phone line (which seems to be happening quite frequently). So rather than faxing I scan the document and fire it off via email instead, or if necessary via my...
RSS in Outlook 2007
October 16, 2006 @ 6:56 pm
I'm not impressed by the RSS features in Outlook 2007. While it's nice to have RSS integrated into Outlook natively, the implementation is just plain lackluster.
October 15, 2006 @ 1:53 pm
We had a pretty good sized earthquake this morning here on Maui. Apparently it’s a pretty sizable one at 6.3-6.6 somewhere off the coast of the Big Island about 90 miles away or so… although the actual shaking here was pretty mild...
Web Log Changes
September 26, 2006 @ 6:26 pm
Over the weekend I switched this Web Log over from .Text to a custom engine I’ve been working on off and on as a side project...
September 26, 2006 @ 5:22 pm
Over the last couple of days I’ve been trying to get resettled as part of my annual winter migration and one thing that really occurred to me again is just how dependent I’ve become of my Internet Connection. In short I didn’t have any Internet access yesterday as I was waiting for my cable hookup today...
September 25, 2006 @ 1:29 am
My time on the mainland is coming to a close once again. I’ve been having a fun summer here in Hood River, but tomorrow (no today) I’m on my way back. The last day before getting back is always one hell of a rush job, trying to get everything packed, and buttoned down for a 7-8 month...
I hate Adobe Acrobat (even more now!)
February 14, 2005 @ 3:23 am
I installed Acrobat Reader 7.0 today thinking it might improve the crappy Reader that came before it. Nope - but it sure pissed me off some more by installing my full version of Adobe Acrobat removing Distiller and all PDF creation options. Nice.
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