Shawn Wildermuth

My Rants and Raves about technology, programming, everything else...

"Fear of Girls" - D & D Mockumentary


If any of you played D&D as a kid like I did you might be offended by this video on Google Video.  I found it funny.  Sorta like "Trekers" but for the D&D set. I am not convinced that this isn't fiction...

A Night of Avalon


I had a great time tonight talking about all things XAML at the Atlanta Visual Basic Study Group. There were plenty of interesting questions and it's clear the Cider and Sparkle have come a long way, but still have a way to go. It was interesting to see how many people seemed to still tie WinFX with Vista and machine upgrades. I am glad to see how well everything runs on my XP boxes. 

Slow Transactions with System.Transactions and SQL Server 2000


Thanks to Bill Booth via the Windows Off Topic Mailing List, I was concerned that the DTC was being used for intra-database transactions with SQL Server 2000.  I was looking at timing and using System.Transactions with SQL 2000 is through the roof slower than using traditional client-side transactions.  Interestingly SQL 2005 doesn't have this limitation.  Lazar Florin has a great blog post that explains what is happening here (found here).

My First Week with FireFox


I decided to download FireFox (the new 1.5 version) last week to try and combat my complains about how Flash is too pervasive. So far I am pretty impressed.  Not every site that I use works well with Firefox, but the majority of my "browsing" with FireFox works flawlessly.  Usually FireFox falls down when IE features are used (e.g. SharePoint or FreeTextBox related sites). I have found the following plugins to FireFox not only useful but required:

Reminder...Atlanta Geek Dinner This Evening...


Come visit with me and Atlanta's best geeks for some dinner and perhaps some adult cocktails:

Lesson for the Day: Don't use XP Home for Development

As some of you know I lost the screen on my main laptop (HP ZD8000, a lovely machine at 13 lbs) so I sent it into support where they are going to fix it but take 2 weeks to do it. I took over my old laptop from my dear Tricia to try and make it work for a while.

To simplify her world, the laptop only had XP Home on it.  After getting the 3,000 things installed I needed to in order to work on my current project I am going to have to upgrade it to Professional.  The problem?  ASP.NET 2.0.

HP Support Woes


My HP laptop that I love so much came up gimpy yesterday.  The screen went kaput suddenly.  I looked back and luckily the one year warranty from HP is going to replace it. 

.NET Rocks


My First Taste of Cider...

XBox 360 Game Roundup

I've had my 360 for a couple weeks now so I wanted to give out some mini-reviews of some of the games I've played so far:

Excellent racing game.  Not quite the racing sim that Forza was, but easy to pickup and play.

Typed DataSets and App.Config...A Cautionary Tale

In this assembly, the designer created an app.config and a Settings.setting object.  All sounded good.  So in my ASP.NET 2.0 project, I setup the connection string in the web.config and called it "MyConnection".  This all worked until I deployed it to a server, when all hell broke loose.  After deployment, my code that did *not* use Typed DataSets (mostly DataSources) worked fine with my new "MyConnection" connection string...but...

Everywhere I used the Typed DataSets it was failing to connect to the database.  When I looked at it it seems that the Typed DataSets were using the connection string I used on my dev box...but no app.config to be seen.  How was it getting that bad connection string?  Well it seems that the connection string information is being embedded as the "default" connection string to use if it can't find the connection string in the configuration.  Ok, this is bad...I'd hate for my assembly to actually have stuff like my password embedded in it, but I doubt that happens.  I was using integrated security so I haven't tested the password embedding yet.

Scott Hanselman is right...FoxIt Installed...PDF Reader Uninstalled


FoxIt is a FREE alternative to Adobe's Acrobat Reader (yeah, I know its free too).  And I have to well as not annoying and trying to install bunch of other junk:

Congratulations to Brendon Schwartz for becoming a new ASP.NET MVP!

I just heard through the grapevine that Brendon Schwartz was awarded an MVP for his work with ASP.NET (and no doubt the Atlanta Community).  Congratulations, you've earned it.


Atlanta Geek Dinner - January 19th, 2006


This month's geek dinner will be on January 19th.  Let's all meet 5 Season's Brewing Company at 6pm! 

Mixed Metaphors


One of the things that I've always loved is mixed metaphors. I've added a new section to the site.  Please submit any mixed metaphors you've heard!

XBox 360 - Initial Impressions


I've spent my first day with my XBox 360.  Overall I really like the unit.  Well made and no overheating problems for me. 

XBox last...

Web Application Project Preview from Scott Guthrie! (This is HUGE)


This is freaking huge in my opinion.  It seems that all the fuss about how hard ASP.NET 2.0 has made it for many of us has gotten through to the team (yeah!).  You can download the Preview here:

Forbes Top 15 Rich Fictional Characters


King Kong...A Brief Review (No Spoilers)


Trish and I went to see King Kong this evening.  And I really liked it.  Unlike LOTR trilogy, I scarcely noticed the three hour length as almost every scene was well paced and felt necessary.  The special effects were simply spectacular (with very few exceptions).  Everything from Time Square circa 1930 to Skull Island looked really good.  It never felt like Peter was trying to wow us (unlike George Lucas' city-scapes in the Star Wars Prequels), but wanted us to marvel in this new world of his.

Anyone remember Ubi?

Anyone remember this exceptional board game from the 80's?  I just bought a copy on E-Bay and I am so excited to play it again.  If you remember it, please reply with what you remember about it...

Ubi Game Box

My New RSS Reader


Engadget reports on this new RSS device to print stories on toilet paper for an eco-friendly way to get your RSS Feeds!  I had to make sure it wasn't April 1st.

OR Mappers, Code Generators and Business Object Frameworks

I am currently doing a bunch of evaluations on OR Mappers, Code Gen and Business Object Frameworks for my new book.  If anyone knows about anything great that might go unnoticed, please drop a comment or send me an email!


No Geek Dinner in December

Geek dinners will resume in January!

Update: It used to say "No Geek Dinner in January", I meant to say there would be no dinner in December.

Finally, A Keyboard for My Shrek-Sized Fingers

My Keyboard

Happy Thanksgiving (or Happy Thursday if you are outside the US)...

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