Archives / 2009 / August
  • On constant connectivity and information overload in the online social age

    There was a solid post on the Mix blog about just letting go of all the stuff going on in the online social world and getting back to work. It's a subject that I've thought a great deal about lately for a lot of reasons. With a baby on the way, balancing life is important to me. I see friends who can't got five minutes without checking Twitter. Sometimes I worry about whether or not I'm learning the right things. The presence of information itself causes worry.

  • Snow Leopard impressions

    I was one of the nerds that went to church, er, the Apple Store, yesterday to pick up Snow Leopard, the OS X update. For $29, I think it's a pretty reasonable upgrade price (are you listening, Windows 7 pricing people?), considering it's an evolutionary upgrade and not feature heavy.

  • Twitter: I begrudgingly get it

    More than two years ago, I made a post on here about how I didn't get Twitter. It's one of the most popular posts I've ever made for some reason, which perhaps I'm not proud of. I been meaning to follow up on that for, well, at least a year, because obviously things have changed a great deal.

  • Under the covers of HTML helpers in ASP.NET MVC

    Coming from the Webforms world, the thing you might miss most when using ASP.NET MVC is the ability to create rich Web controls that generate all kinds of markup and do nifty things. HTML helpers do similar work, even if their plumbing is different, and because we can see the full source code of the MVC framework, we can explore their innards. Keep in mind that this isn't a straight analog, since there are no events to worry about. The helpers have one responsibility, and that's to display the right data as HTML. The truth is that you don't need to know any of this, as the existing helpers probably meet your needs 95% of the time. But in the event you want to build your own helpers for the purpose of encapsulating some kind of common, reusable markup (or keep your views cleaner), you'll benefit from understanding what goes on inside the black box.

  • Windows 7 in Parallels on a Mac

    It's no secret that I'm all about Mac hardware and living in OS X when I'm not developing .NET stuff. It's also no secret that I thought Vista was too much of a dog to use, and have been sticking to Windows XP because of that. And in all fairness, I suppose some of that bias is rooted in the fact that Vista was a nightmare on my wife's old laptop, but I did experiment a little with it in a Parallels VM, and it just felt clunky. The outright bizarre dialogs with a chapter of text for everything also threw me for a loop.

  • Book project follow up

    I'm still getting e-mail about the book I started to write and posted chapters for. Now that ScottGu has formally announced the progress on v2 of ASP.NET MVC, hopefully it's more obvious now why I put off the project. As I said previously, I had to prioritize with some other projects that would yield income sooner, and I was concerned with the speed to market with which I could get it out there (read: not fast enough). I also knew about the second iteration in the pipe, which made it a no-brainer to put it off.

  • CoasterBuzz Feed: A Silverlight 3 story

    A few weeks ago, I decided to jump in and do a "science project" with Silverlight 3. My prior experiences with Silverlight involved a simple DeepZoom viewer that happened to use a Web service as its tile source, and a file uploader that cut up multiple files and sent them to the server. The latter is being used as a part of a plugin to the forum on CoasterBuzz, and it has served me very well. With the out-of-browser option on Silverlight 3, I figured it was a perfect chance to give my audience another reason to stalk the site, using a small "feed" app that they could run on the desktop.