Pure Genius (revisited)…

December 30, 2005

A few months ago, I posted about an idea that a British student had for making a million dollars. I’m proud to announce that he has achieved his goal!! It’s great to know that there are still some ideas out there that can make money and don’t involve porn. 😉 Just wanted to say “my hats off to you sir”…


So Very Bunny…

December 29, 2005

Here’s a few short clips to brighten your day (and summarize a few great movies) brought to you by Angry Alien Productions.

FxCop & Robbers…

December 28, 2005

If you write .NET code and aren’t using FxCop, you should start. It really does help you to produce better code and learn best practices as well. I’m not going to go into a long diatribe about how or why you should use it, plenty of other folks have done that. Rather, I wanted to mention an issue that I had as I began to use it…

I noticed a large number of errors, thus a large part of my time, were due to FxCop not recognizing my company name, project name, or other words that were actually correct. While I appreciate the concern, I HATE false positives and resign ed myself to simply ignoring spelling in general – not something I wanted to do but I felt it was the lesser of the two evils. Fortunately, I’m ever the “Googler” and managed to dig up a little feature I was unaware of – CustomDictionary.xml. Basically, you follow their format and can have certain acronyms/words allowed and even disallowed based on this handy little file. So I’ve added it to my BuildSystem [sorry link was to old site] so that it is now at both the repository level and at the project level.

CustomDictionary.xml format:

<?xml version=”1.0″?>
<Deprecated />
<Inappropriate />

Meebo – web based IM…

December 27, 2005

I can officially hang up any ideas I might have had of creating the killer web based IM client – it exists here. I was a little doubtful at first and hesitant to put my username/password into a non-HTTPS browser window (let alone on a server I have no knowledge or control of) but I did it anyway. The gasp that was heard upon clicking “Sign On” was one of amazement – the interface is clean, simple, and works quite effortlessly. It’s basically Trillian but in a browser – which is great since my copy of Trillian takes 15 minutes to load and seems to bog my entire PC down (P4 3GHz with 1GB RAM) but that’s a rant for another day…

Apparently, this is the love child of two devoted and quite capable devs produced by a company that is a mere three months old. Although it’s still in alpha and needed a few features – it’s completely usable in my opinion. I will certainly have to keep an eye on these folks…
Oh and they have a blog too.

Using Prototype…

December 27, 2005

I’ve been aware of the prototype library (if you want to call it that) by Sam Stephenson for some time now by way of Rico and even used it in my [edited] project. However, I had little idea of what all it was capable of due to a SEVERE lack of documentation and not really having the time to pick thru the source myself. Today, that was rectified. Finally, a great explanation of prototype.

Christmas Time…

December 23, 2005

It has arrived!! The family has begun to gather – my sister Jen and her husband Mike got here on Wednesday and my brother James should have gotten here last night (he’s 20 so he pretty much keeps his own schedule 🙂 ). Unfortunately, my brother Shaun won’t be able to make it since he’s got a game on Christmas eve – go Giants!! – but I’m hoping that he’ll at least be able to spend time with his girlfriend Amy and her family. It’s just nice to be around family again – it’s been much too long since I’ve spent Christmas with mine and this is made all the better now that I have a wonderful wife and two beautiful girls to share this with. Here’s a photo to help get you in the right mood…

Makena kissing Gemma

Tired of your bank too…

December 19, 2005

Having recently had to go round and round with our bank, Washington Mutual, I really could identify with this ladies frustration. Apparently, I’m not the only one…


Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by a 96 year
old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it
published in the New York Times.

Dear Sir:
I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored
to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must
have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my
account of the funds needed to honor it.
I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire
income, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight
years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of
opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for
the inconvenience caused to your bank.
My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has
caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I
personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to
contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging,
pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become..
From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood
person. My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no
longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed
personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must
Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other
person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an
Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to
complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as
muc h about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no
Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be
countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her
financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be
accompanied by documented proof. In due course, I will issue your
employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.
I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have
modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my
account balance on your phone bank service.
As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery Let me level
the playing field even further. When you call me, press the buttons as
1. To make an appointment to see me
2. To query a missing payment.
3. To transfer the call to my li ving room in case I am there.
4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to
6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my
computer is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later
date to the Authorized Contact.
8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
9. To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will then be
put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.
While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music
will pla y for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an
establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year.

Your Humble Client

(By way of Sean McCormack)