Thursday, March 11, 2004

Taking the fun out of fishing

I was taking a little break from coding this afternoon and decided to check out some of my regular blogs. While surfing to check out the latest geekwares and what do I find? The Fishing Cam, a camera that goes on your line like a floater and then inline you add the wireless transmitter. Of course right about your Penn reel you have a video screen showing you what the camera sees. No don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of technology. I mean I program for a living.

However somehow this fish cam idea seems just wrong! I mean one of the great things about fishing is being outdoors on a beautiful lake, with friends and family. I mean some of my favorite fishing trips was with my two brothers, Dad and Granddad K. We rented a couple of boats and fished lake skinner for the day. We told stories and jokes all day long. As far as the fishing catching goes I think only K got a fish, and we all had "the one that got away" stories.

The other thing about fishing is the thrill of the hunt. Your pray is almost invisible to you and the only way for you to get your pray is to have knowledge of it. Trying different lures and baits. Trying different ways of moving the bait. All the guess work is removed, you see the species and know exactly what bait to use. At that point why don't you just buy the fish at the market and pay a fishing video game.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

XSL in ASP.NET the Easy way

Well Boys and Girls, I am about to get geek here. I've just spend an hour trying to figure out how to write a function in C# that will let me display my xml transformed with my XSL Stylesheet. That is nothing cool then seperating the data from the presentation layer! So how come it took an hour? Well, because I was thinking in Classic ASP mode. Yup we all do it from time to time. You see in Classic ASP if you were going to transform your xml with an xsl it looked something like this:
dim xmlDoc, xslDoc
Set xml = Server.CreateObject("MSXML2.DOMDocument.4.0")
xml.async = false

Set xsl = Server.CreateObject("MSXML2.DOMDocument.4.0")
xsl.async = false

Response.Write (xml.transformNode(xsl))

So of course this is how I was thinking that I was going to have to do it in .NET. I won't bore you with the details of everything I tried. Let's just say that after trying the StreamWriter and still not getting what I wanted I was frustrated. I was thinking this can't be harder in ASP.NET then it was in Classic ASP, that would be a step in the wrong direction. So I did one more google search. Ah-ha, there was what I was looking for. It was easy I knew it had to be. So here is how to do the same thing in ASP.NET...Ready

< asp:Xml ID="books" DocumentSource="xml/books.xml" TransformSource="xsl/output.xsl" Runat="server" />
Yup, that's all there is too it! I have to thank for doing such a great job of documenting the controls and giving great example code.

Happy coding :-)

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A Nice surprise

So yesterday my Beautiful Wife surprised me with some gifts. Presents are always nice. Just little things to know you are thought of always makes one feel good. Anyhow she got me something that I have wanted for years. The movie "Animal Crackers" on DVD. This is so amazing, because amazon hasn't had it for over two years now. I don't even know how she found it.

I am just a huge fan of the Marx Brothers. There is something about their humor being witty and corny at the same time, I just love.

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know."

Plus the characters, that Harpo and Chico always played, they were the underdogs but you knew they would make it. And of course there is always something amazing about the way that Harpo played the harp, and Chico played the piano. Two completely different styles, yet both filled with showman ship.

And we can't forget Groucho shooting off the oneliners like a machine gun.

Well in the words of Jeffery T. Spaulding - "Hello, I must be going, I'm glad I came all the same I must be going, I'll stay a week or two, I'll stay the summer through, but what I'm telling you is... I must be going"

Monday, March 08, 2004

typographic illustration

Surfing the blogs and found this link. Typographic illustration
Having a background in typesetting and pre-press work, I found this illustrations to be both beautiful and intriguing.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

How to Read a RFP response

A good portion of my afternoon has been spend reading some of the RFP responses we have received for a project we are doing at work. What is an RFP? Well friends it is an acronym for Request for Proposal. So we sent out a fifty page RFP. What we get back ranges in size depending on how bored the sales and marketing teams are at each company. From this I have come away with some useful information. No so much on the products but on how to read a RFP response.

  1. If within three paragraphs they mention how flexible the product is more than five times, it probably isn't.
  2. Gleaming technical information from marketing materials is like reading hieroglyphics, it is doable it just takes a lot of studying and it may not be a true representation
  3. A RFP response is like staring at the sun, if you look long enough you will burnout your retina.
  4. Brevity is our friend...All of those marketing people out there, repeat after me brevity is our friend.
  5. Sending me a RFP response in PDF format is great, but don't expect me to read 200 pages off of the screen, cause, I'm just not going to.
  6. Most important of all, the ones that include pictures keep you from getting bored as fast! If their in color it's even better.