Monthly Archives: February 2008

My Most Useful Programming Development Tool Ever

The most useful development tool I use makes me more productive on lots of tasks all day long.  I can open just about anything I am working on, and get the job done fast.  It applies colors sparingly to my work, and helps me identify mistakes.  It helps me multitask, working on many things at once.  It understands dozens of different languages with ease, all at the same time, and you can add more very easily.  It has all the qualities of a developer who embraces open source solutions – it is fast, cheap easy to use, and available for download any time on SourceForge.  I have tried its competitors, but this one stands out among the crowd.  It was recommended to me by a colleague, and switching over was very easy.  My most useful programming development tool ever is Notepad++.  I have used the standard Microsoft Notepad, and I have used TypePad, but Notepad++ is head and shoulders above the rest.  Give it a try.  You will convert too. 

Disagree?  What is your most useful programming development tool ever? Leave a comment and be heard.

On The Road to Mix ’08

I consider myself blessed to work for a company I believe in, and in a field that I love.  Working in the field of web development is exciting.  The job is never the same.  The technology is always in flux.  Tomorrow will be different than today.  Bristol-Myers Squibb has treated me well.  And they are doing it again.  I am now scheduled to attend the Mix ’08 Conference at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas from March 5 through March 7. 

Mix 07 was a fantastic conference, and Mix 08 looks to be just as great.  Steve Ballmer and Scott Guthrie will be keynote speakers this year.  The sessions look really interesting.  I am hoping to attend the MVC session from Scott Hanselman, some of the Web 2.0 panels, some SharePoint sessions, .Net 3.5 demos, WPF and Silverlight sessions, and some of the UI discussions. 

Last year I documented my trip with blog posts after each one of the sessions.  I hope to do the same this year.  I was criticized by some of my peers last year that my blog posts from each session didn’t really count as individual posts (we have a performance objective to post a specific number of blog entries per year) but as one giant post.  We will see if my online trip report creates as much of a stir again. 

I am really looking forward to Mix again this year.  Take a look at the sessions, and let me know if there are any that interest you.  I can try to attend, attend, and bring back as much information for you as I can.

Techno-Christmas 2007

Christmas in 2007 was centered around electronics for the whole family. Invion 4″ GPS Navigation Systems were given and received for all of the cars. They were easy to set up, and work great… the only issue is that the SD card is the source of the maps. If you lose the card, or it breaks, or gets erased, the unit won’t work any more.

I bought my wife a Jawbone Bluetooth Headset. She is using that with her Palm Treo 700w, and is having some problems. The headset does not seem to reliably connect to the unit, we have not been able to transfer an existing phone call to the headset, and the voice dialing doesn’t seem to work. If I turn the headset on, make sure it connects to the Palm, and dial directly on the phone (or answer an incoming call), everything works great. The sound quality is really good, and the noise cancellation does a fantastic job. I think I wanna try the unit on another phone before I let my wife go to the Verizon Store for help.

Mary Ann bought me the Toshiba HD-A3 HD-DVD Player. The first thing I did after all the presents were unwrapped was hook this up to the television I have in the basement. The DVD player came with two movies, and I dropped one in and sat riveted to the screen. I bought my Panasonic 42″ Plasma TV about 4 years ago now. At the time 1080p was way too expensive, so I settled with 1080i. The DVD player is compatible with both 1080i and 1080p, and connected easily to my system. I even tried a standard DVD movie, and the DVD player up-scaled the picture pretty good, too. My complaints about the player are not really with the player itself, but with the format. News that Warner Brothers announced it would be aligning with Blu-Ray instead of HD-DVD rocked the CES Conference. The price of the player, less than 2 weeks after Christmas, has fallen from $299 to $129. Blu-Ray has now captured 93% of the Hi Def market share. now my player, and the movies I have received with it, are obsolete, and it is less than one month since they were purchased. I am now a victim of the BetaMax Syndrome.

With the television, audio receiver, cable receiver, DVD recorder, Playstation 2, and VCR to operate, and now adding the new HD-DVD player, I was lost in a sea of remote controls. I did a little research, and found the Logitech Harmony 550 looked to be a great fit. I found it on sale at a local electronics shop, and brought it home. There are a few simple steps to program the remote: 1) install the software on your PC, 2) plug in the remote to your PC via USB cable, 3) enter in each of your manufacturer and models, 4) you choose what activities you want to do (i.e. Watch TV, Watch DVD, Play Game, Play Radio, etc.), and 5) the software downloads all the profiles your remote and programs it. It was easy, and it works fantastic. It was worth every penny.

So, Santa was on top of all of our wish lists this year and delivered a 2007 Techno-Christmas under our tree.