Drew's Blog

The Joys of Technology Explored
New Blog Now Online

Ok, it's been awesome here at weblogs.asp.net and I just want to thank Scott personally for including me in the experience very early on. However, it's time for me to move on over to my new web site where I'm hosting my own .Text weblog now. So, without further adieu:

blog.hackedbrain.com 

Posted: Aug 17 2004, 03:01 PM by drub0y
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Where I've Been, Where I'm Going

Where I've Been

Ok, so I'm back... albeit probably not at the capacity that I used to deliver, but I'm going to try and start getting back into the groove. Truth is, I've been lurking around all this time, reading other weblogs and keeping myself confined to responding via comments. This is mainly because I've been heads down for a long time working on the next-gen of software for my company. We're not done yet, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. I've learned a lot of things during the project and I'm sure I'll learn a few more before we deliver the final release.

Where I'm Going

Before I went silent, I was working on moving my weblog off on to my own personal site. I got an account over at WebHosting4Life and even have .Text setup over there, but I left off working on a custom skin so my weblog has an original look. I just haven't had time to finish that, so maybe I'll go live with one of the built in skins. Keep your eyes peeled here for details about the move.

And now... let the posting resume!

Posted: Aug 13 2004, 02:51 PM by drub0y | with 90 comment(s)
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VS.NET Add-in Contest Third Place Winner's Entry?

Are you serious with the third place winner being "GoogleFind"?

I'm probably gonna come off looking like an ass for even bringing it up, but so be it. I posted a macro that did at the beginning of 2003. Here's the original post on my old Radio weblog dated 1/17/2003 and here's the post when I moved it to weblogs.asp.net and even that's dated 3/6/2003. Not only that, but the winner went way out of the way and forces you to copy an interop dll to your VS.NET installation when he could have just done what I did and called the environment's built in DTE.ItemOperations.Navigate method. No interop, no dll's to copy.

I'm not looking to win the contest or anything, but it seems unoriginal and unfair to the other entries. I mean, do just go search Google itself for "Google Macro" and see what comes up number one. The fact that anyone entering the contest would write something without making sure someone else didn't write it first is kinda sketchy. Not to mention the implementation shows a lack of knowledge of the VS.NET environment, so it's not exactly a poster child for what the entire contest stands for. There has to be more worthy entries in the running.

Finally, I'd like to extend a "sorry, nothin' personal" to Martin up front since I don't even know the guy and I know he didn't do a straight rip of my code, so it's not that bad.

Posted: Aug 13 2004, 01:58 PM by drub0y | with 13 comment(s)
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Comments on FedEx Aquisition of Kinko's
The air and ground transport service is acquiring business services company Kinko's in a $2.4 billion cash deal. Kinko's will provide a leg up in electronic document delivery, FedEx says. [CNet News.com]

Hmmm... this is very interesting to me personally. CNet has chosen to put a more technical spin on it and so they're relating it to e-document printing and delivery. The thing about that is my company, Mimeo, is much better positioned in e-document printing and delivery than Kinkos is. I've written about the Mimeo process before, so I don't think I need to go into it again, but if FedEx had truly wanted a quality e-printing solution, they would have purchased us... and for a hell of a lot less than $2.4 billion. ;) It's more likely that the importance of this aquisition is the Kinko's store front presence as reported by this article. FedEx needs to compete with the UPS Store and this is how they're going to get into doing that.

In any case, I wish them luck. We're getting ready to unleash some seriously cool stuff next year that's going to take the game to a whole new level. Competition is what it's all about... let's see if they can keep up!

Posted: Dec 30 2003, 04:59 PM by drub0y | with 49 comment(s)
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The Future of Scripting?

Everyone's blogging about Daniel Boyd's open letter to Microsoft regarding the future of scripting technologies on the Windows platform. Personally, I think that the new Microsoft Shell (MSH) will be the answer to these people's prayers.

Here's a couple of nice articles by Jason Nadal with some specific details and examples. Also, if you're running Longhorn, you can join the MSH beta by going to BetaPlace, entering a Guest ID of "mshPDC" and filling out the survey there.

Posted: Dec 30 2003, 11:50 AM by drub0y | with 12 comment(s)
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Can't Install XPSP2 Beta On XP-MCE

I just dl'd XPSP2 beta from MSDN Subscriber Downloads only to find out that it won't install on XP Media Center Edition. Bummer.

This seems silly to me as MCE is really just a thin veil over XP Professional. As far as I know, there's no real OS changes to support media center. It's simply an application (written in .NET btw) which provides the fancy Media Center “shell” over the underlying OS.

What a pain. I wonder if there's a build of the SP2 for MCE... I'd love to check it out.

Update: I forgot I was invited to the closed beta for SP2, before it was posted on MSDN subscriber downloads, and they have a version of it for MCE. Now I just gotta wait to see if I can get it.

Posted: Dec 22 2003, 01:21 PM by drub0y | with 1 comment(s)
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True Streaming Reads from ASP.NET

Simon Fell1 is venting about the lack of true streaming reads in ASP.NET. I agree, it really sucks that everything gets buffered.

I'm not quite clear why this is the way it is. After all, if you look at what is basically the lowest layer of the CLR based ASP.NET runtime, HttpWorkerRequest, you can see it has a ReadEntityBody method which would appear to enable a streaming read scenario. Underneath the covers, I would imagine Microsoft's concrete implementation could reach back into their native ISAPI extension and leverage IIS' ISAPI server support functions HSE_REQ_IO_COMPLETION and HSE_REQ_ASYNC_READ_CLIENT to get the job of an asycnhronus streaming read done.

Hopefully someone from the ASP.NET team can comment on this. The public, well at least two of us anyway, is dying to get streaming reads within the ASP.NET environment. For now, ISAPI is the only way to go.

1 Correction, I originally said Sam Ruby, but I meant Simon Fell. For some reason, I have no clue why, I always confuse those two names. Sorry Simon and Sam. ;)

Posted: Dec 19 2003, 06:44 PM by drub0y | with 7 comment(s)
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Don Box and Chris Anderson MSDN TV Episode on XAML

A new MSDN TV episode just rolled out. This one is all about XAML. Don and Chris do an awesome job showing us once again that XAML really has nothing to do with Avalon. *grin*

Their demo happens to be creating a custom console framework and then leveraging that framework in a XAML based application. They do an excellent job showing how XAML actually maps to CLR types, properties and events. They also show how to implement the IAddChild interface that allows you to integrate more closely with the XAML parsing engine, making your custom classes more XML friendly.

Oh and uhh... be prepared for a couple (scary) little holiday duets at the end of the episode. I know it sent shivers down my spine. Consider yourselves warned. ;)

Posted: Dec 18 2003, 09:34 PM by drub0y | with no comments
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Application Global Resources In XAML

Nathan Dunlap points out that resources can be defined at the application level in XAML. This enables the resources to be used across all “pages” in an Avalon application. He then makes the analogy between this technique and using a base CSS file for your web application. Finally, he wraps up by mentioning the BasedOn property of the Style class. This property allows you to create a new style by deriving from an existing style and overriding or extending the base style definition.

The great thing about styles in Avalon is that they're much more than just decorating an element. You can completely re-define the internal composition of a visual. You can also define a set of visual triggers that alter the visual based on dynamic property notification. The more time I spend studying styles in Avalon, the more impressed I am with the implementation.

Posted: Dec 18 2003, 09:15 PM by drub0y | with 18 comment(s)
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Movie Review: Hero

Sorry once again for the break in technical content, but I just saw the movie Hero, starring Jet Li, for the first time last night. Wow. I just had to make a recommendation.

It's not dubbed in English, so you have to watch it with subtitles, but I like that because it would most certainly lose something if you didn't hear the original Chinese being spoken. The story has twists and turns and there are multiple story lines within the main story line, which I love. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking as well. IMHO, it puts Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to shame. Frankly, it puts most American movies to shame. How this movie hasn't made it state side yet is beyond me. Even finding it on DVD is difficult, but my girlfriend finally found and ordered it here.

Two thumbs up. Highly recommended. Check out the movie's website to learn more about it. Also check out the IMDB for more details, but you'll have to look under the movie's original name Ying xiong.

Posted: Dec 17 2003, 11:54 AM by drub0y | with 6 comment(s)
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