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Starbucks .NET Developer

Coding tales from my 2nd home - Starbucks
  • Silverlight Write and Win contest


    Write And Win logo



    The Silverlight "Write and Win" contest is in approximately it's last two weeks, so if you love writing articles about Silverlight, then definitely check out the competition.  In short, you write a    cool article about Silverlight and submit it at or email it to  This year's contest will be judged by some of the most prolific members of our Silverlight Community, including:  members Adam Kinney, Chris Anderson, Dave Campbell, Emil Stoychev, Michael Sync, Shawn Wildermuth and Tim Heuer.  The jury will read your articles, judge them and pick three winners. The first three articles will be awarded with cool prizes:

    1. Telerik Premium Collection for .NET; ComponentOne Studio For Silverlight; Divelements SandDock for Silverlight; $100 in Amazon Gift certificate

    2. Telerik RadControls for Silverlight and WPF; Divelements SandDock for Silverlight; $100 in Amazon Gift certificate

    3. Telerik RadControls for Silverlight; Divelements SandDock for Silverlight; $100 in Amazon Gift certificate

    This should be a fun event and with all of the great articles that I come across every day, I am realy looking forward to reading the winning submissions.  Please remember, the deadline is January 31st, so don't wait too long to join in on the fun!

    For more details about the contest, visit The Silverlight Show

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  • Ooohhhh Visit Mix Session..... (spoken like Homer Simpsons)

    The sessions from VisitMix are up.  Woo Hoo!!!  As always, they will be the best you have ever seen.

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  • selects it's First Winner - Trish Lewandowski

    This past Ft. Lauderdale CodeCamp was really tremendous.  Dave Noderer did an amazing job of organizing it, as did the many other volunteers and organizers that helped to make it happen.  I gave 3 sessions and they all went well.  Naturally, the demo gods never let a full day go by for me without giving me grief in at least one of my presentations and in this case it was my session on Hypertext Video with Silverlight.  And, of course, it was the last demo while the session was being recorded.  DAMN YOU DEMO GODS!!!  It was a great time and I will probably dedicate a completely seperate blog post to it.  Well, enough about me, the reason that I am blogging is to tell you about the tool that we used to record the evals from the CodeCamp. 

    The site that we use is  This tool happens to be one that yours truly, along with Shawn Weisfeld, wrote to simplify the job of recording evals from CodeCamps in a way that the speakers can see the results real time.  Speakers can also elect whether to make their results visible to the world or keep them to themselves. In my case, I chose to show the results of my sessions and you can see the feedback here. I got pretty decent feedback, not all shining and wonderful, but the majority of the comments were very positive. 

    Last but not least, one way that we give incentive to attendees to give feedback is by offering prizes in a random drawing so that people can win something for taking their time to give us their feedback.  Our first winner is Trish Lewandowski, who won a copy of Visual Studio 2008 professional.  Contrats to you, Trish!  Thanks to you, as well, and all of the other attendees who submitted their feedback.  The speakers are all volunteers and none of us are professional speakers, so the feedback is very important to us.  In a sense the feedback is our "Pay" for presenting, since it helps us to improve our presentations for future user group meetings and conferences.  So, a big thanks to everybody who participated.

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  • Venting about and

    If I can vent a bit about a hosting company that I work with.....I spent another two hours of my life dealing with the tech support folks at this morning.   These are two hours of my life that I will never get back.  What happened, you ask?  It was actually pretty consistent with my history with OCHosting.  If I can take you back about 2 years, I used to be an OCHosting customer.  It lasted for maybe 3 days and on the 3rd day there were so many problems in getting my sites setup and  that I swore them off forever.  Or so I thought.    About a year+ back, a client of mine started using OCHosting and every 2 months we go through the same experience.  It is a pretty basic pattern.

    a) His website goes down, email doesn't work, some part of the site stops working properly or something similar happens, without the site changing at all. 

    b) I call up the tech support folks at OCHosting to let them know that nothing on our end has changed.  Therefore, it is pretty likely that it is something that caused breakage on the OCHosting end. 

    c) Regardless of the problem, the OCHosting folks willl insist that it is something that went wrong with the site.  I will let them know that nothing at all has changed.  Then I will spend hours (and sometimes days) trying to convince them that whatever broke the site was caused by something OCHosting related.

    d) I will send some flame emails and make a lot of noise at OCHosting, emailing everybody that I can think of to try to get somebody to help.

    e) Somebody in level 2 or 3 support will actually look at the website and find the problem, fix it, then send me an email saying "We found the problem, we fixed it, your site should be working now.

    f) I will say to myself, "THAT IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO TELL YOU!" and then spend the next hour decompressing and drinking heavily while I try to regain my sanity after the painful tech support experience.

    This has happened time and time again.  I have used many hosting companies and have never had to go through so much pain in resolving problems. 

    Well, today I went through the experience once again.  At around 8:00 am, it started with a call to tech support who insisted that it was a problem on my end. At about 10:00, I gave up my attempt to try to explain why it was not something on my end.  I just could not convince the guy.  I tried hard, believe me.  Well, I made no changes to the site, but at 2:30, I received an email that the site is back up after they fixes something with the DNS setup. 

    Okay, I am finished venting.  I feel much better now....


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  • "The Office" Video Game

    I just checked out the new video game based on "The Office".  I didn't really have the free time to play it, but I really had no choice.  After all, once I saw "The Office Video Game", my only option was to immediately download it and try it out.  I only played it for a few minutes and thought that it was fun.  Maybe not hugely compelling but  fun nonetheless.  Once I make it through my 60 minutes of free game play, I will decide if I want to buy it.  Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.  You can download it here
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