In the spirit of holiday savings, I thought I would provide this to everyone (courtesy of Grant Killian) Thanks Grant!
For those of you who (a) pay for your own certification exams or (b) want to save your employers money, Amazon currently offers Microsoft exam vouchers at a discount (pretty good one too).
If you're interested, then check out the following link
Darrell Norton, as usual, has come up with another gem. Check out the Design Pattern Automation Toolkit, which is an open-source application that (from the website):
Design pattern automation toolkit addresses the following issues
- Allow new design patterns to be plugged into the design of software application as they are discovered. The developers can develop design pattern plug-ins using the application and these design patterns can be merged into the design of a component. Hence it helps in Multi-site development. The design pattern plug-ins are saved in XML format for cross-application portability.
- Allow code generation routines to be plugged into the application for new languages as they emerge. By programming for an interface, the developers can write their custom code generators and create a DLL. These DLLs can be plugged-into the application and used to generate code.
- Allow Reverse Engineering modules to be plugged into the application. Reverse Engineering helps to understand the structure of an existing software project.
- Provide XML serialization/De-serialization of the projects so that they can be interfaced with other technologies/ languages.
MetaInfo: The developers can customize the code generation (for ex: final in Java, sealed in C# etc.) by adding the metainfo for classes, methods, fields and parameters. This feature helps to overcome the language-neutral limitation of the class diagram. The code generation routines can query this information and incorporate the suitable keywords in the generated code.
- Hover-Sense: Provides dynamic help to the user. The user can get the details (such as summary and meta info) associated with a class/methods/fields by hovering the mouse on the respective visual element. The metainfo, which is not depicted in the class diagram, is presented to the user in this form.
- Image Generation in 4 formats: gif, jpeg, png, tiff
The guys at the Plano .NET User Group invited me to present my TDD & .NET Session at this Wednesday’s monthly meeting. If you’re in the area or are very interested in TDD, please join us! The meetings are currently located at the Christopher A. Parr library in Plano. Here is the UG’s website page showing the address & map.
I’m going to split the meeting into 2 parts. For the first part of the session, we’ll focus on using the TDD approach with .NET today, with Visual Studio 2005, NUnit, (Time Permitting, we’ll also cover TestDriven.NET & CSUnit). After the break, we’ll cover the Microsoft’s upcoming Unit Testing offering provided by Visual Studio 2005 Team System (using Beta 1 Refresh).
Thanks again to the guys @ Plano .NET User Group for inviting me, and I hope everyone enjoys the session.
Also, please visit my ongoing list of TDD links. If I’m missing something that you know of, please let me know. I want this list to evolve overtime.
(Non .NET Posting)
Other than seeing Godsmack headline earlier this year, this was the first hard rock show I’ve been to since now-defunct Candlebox at Deep Ellum Live in 96!
First, let me start off by stating something that I realized after this show… I’m too old for this! Man, did I feel old! It started from the beginning when Andy (long time friend since 6th grade, co-headbanger in crime now college professor) & I, waiting to get into the American Airlines Center started to talk about various topics: our wives, kids, new employers & 401k rollovers, various aches & pains, stuff like that. We received nothing but blank stares from people around us… way too funny! Already riddled with a bad case of Tinnitus (caused by playing my own drums and going to concerts without ear plugs), I came armed with Eckerd’s best pair or foam earplugs! This mid-30’s music fan is going to keep his hearing!
Now, I’m really going to sound old and fical-tight-wad-type, but $30 for a concert shirt? $38 for long sleeve? $90 for a jacket? LOL. I remember my first real rock concert (not some country or pop show with my parents) was Def Leppard in 1983 – the show was $10 and the shirts were probably $8-12. Yes that was a long time ago. For that matter, concerts have really gone up in price. I remember paying $25-35 for all day events, such as Lollapalooza or OzzFest and thinking that was a lot! Metallica was $55 or $75 for the floor.
TVs were setup all around the arena, showing the promo for the Metallica movie, Some Kind of Monster. If you are a fan of the band, a fan of rockumentaries, then definitely check it out. I never knew how close the band was to splitting up! The DVD is coming out very soon, January
Venue was awesome – anyone that hasn’t been to the American Airlines Center in Dallas needs to attend an event there. Ideally, we would have a hockey season, and the Dallas Stars would march toward that Stanley Cup championship. But the players are locked out by the evil owners, who are too busy using fans as pawns in their chess game with the NHLPA (can you tell where I stand on the matter?!? I will hold those thoughts for another post)
The band was unbelievably tight, and I thought they put on a perfect performance. The Boston-based quartet put on a heck of a show that contained mostly their singles, including Keep Away, Alive, Voodoo, Bad Religion, Whatever, Mistakes, Straight Out Of Line, I Stand Alone. The highlight for me (being the wanna-be drummer) was the drum solo - La Batalla de los Tambores. Lead singer Sully Erna showcased his chops by working the bongos and killer drumset in tandem with new-band drum stud Shannon Larkin. The entire solo was backed up by the rest of the band, and to me was a great classic. Wanna see for yourself? Checkout their new DVD, Changes, which was taped during their headlining tour, earlier this year. The funniest part of the show was watching Sully give crap to anyone sitting down in the audience!
First, their album St. Anger is heavy – FINALLY! After over 8 years of lame, Album Oriented Rock with Load, Reload, I Disappear, and new songs for Garage, Inc, they finally put out a heavy album. Say what you want to with the level of production and the fact that there are NO guitar solos, but it is an aggressive, heavy album. That, mixed with the fact that they planned these shows to be 2+ hours, with rotating set lists, and promised some old stuff was the sole reason I wanted to attend the show. How was it? I can sum it up with lyrics from a popular children’s TV show, “Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Please won't you be my neighbor?”
The post-rehab, refined James Hetfield was an interesting one to watch! Between songs went from phrases that I can’t post here, to “Dallas, that gave me goosebumps!” OR “Metallica Loves You… Do you love Metallica?” OR “Do you have energy to give tonight? If so, each song provides you with the ability to do so!” Now, being a family man myself, I’m happy for James in that he is at peace, and released those demons that plagued him in the past. I just didn’t expect the “Mister Rogers”-side of him during the show. The only other thing I noticed was that the Hetfield-Growl is gone, and replaced with a vocally, trained musician! Maybe not for others, but for me, that took a little out of the heavier songs.
The band sounded fantastic! They dug deep into the oldies to belt out tunes such as, Wherever I May Roam, Fade to Back, Fight Fire with Fire, Disposable Heroes, Seek & Destroy, One, and opened the show with Blackened. As you can tell, I’m not a fan of anything between Black and St. Anger, and they did play a few songs from that era – Memory Remains, the horrid Bob Seger cover, Turn the Page, and something from the S&M album. For those who are interested in downloading the show for $9.99, checkout http://www.livemetallica.com/show.asp?show=102 (It is blank now, but should be available in the next two days or so).
New bassist Rob Trujillo was fantastic – and I’d argue is the best musician in the band. Outside of his great stage presence, his solo was a lot of fun. He’s definitely miles ahead of Jason Newsted.
For those who are planning to see one of the remaining shows, prepare yourself for the massive amount of pyrotechnics - lots of flames & explosions from the stage floor. For someone who values your hearing and vision, as soon as you hear “Full Metal Jacket” from the loudspeakers, plug your ears and close your eyes! Against a black stage, what ensues is a mirage of wartime audio that leads to big, frequent explosions that was too loud and too bright for my taste – probably because I’m OLD! LOL
Reliving my concert youth was a blast! While drinking Sprite, standing all night, knowing I had meetings the next day :p It was a great night – I had a blast. My arms, neck, and throat weren’t as sore as I expected them to be :p
Rock On! Now, it’s off to more time with TDD, Unit Testing & Whidbey as well as ASP.NET 2.0!
(Warning: Non .NET Posting)
Yes, I was a long-haired metal head back "in the day", and I'm not embarrassed to admit it! I tried singing but that failed during our band's first practice. I settled in with drums and was much happier!
I'm sooo psyched that the Metallica is in Dallas tonight. It is going to be a fun night - all new set each night (lots of oldies, and hopefully NOTHING from the Load, Reloaded, & Garage Days (i.e. Whiskey in a bottle), in-the-round stage, and Godsmack opening the show! My best friend since 6th grade is coming up, and we're going to have a blast. If you want to go to the show, here's the Ticketmaster site for tickets.
I've been the butt of my wife's jokes (to her friends in the moms club - "My husband is going through his mid-life head-banging crisis by going to Metallica!"), but I don't care! If you want to see someone get stupid (i.e. me), back in the old heavy metal days,
come to the show ;)
If you can't make it, or if you are interested in any of their live recordings, checkout www.livemetallica.com, where you can purchase almost any of their concerts on the "Madly In Anger With The World" Tour in MP3 format for 9.99.
Anyway, I'll offer a review tomorrow for those who are interested!
Well, It's official. I've been blessed with a chance of a lifetime, an opportunity that I couldn't pass up.
On Monday, I joined »telligentsystems as a Senior Software Architect. I'm extremely excited for this unique opportunity, to play a leadership role at an growing organization! Plus, I get to work with such .NET Rock Stars as Rob Howard, Jason Alexander, Scott Watermasysk, Andy Smith, and others (yes, that totally rocks!)
This move really had nothing to do with my former employer, and I wish them well. They are looking for .NET talent. If you've ever wanted to apply your .NET skills to make healthcare easier and more acessible to everyone, then checkout Healthvision. Send your information to firstname.lastname@example.org , if you are interested in applying. You can view their recent job posting at the Dallas .NET User Group website (Search the page for HEALTHvision)