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Archive for May 2008

TechEd 08

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My flight leaves for Orlando at 5am this Saturday for the TechEd 2008 developers week. I’m working as a Technical Learning Guide (TLG) in the Hands on Labs area.

The highlight of the week will be getting to present an “Advanced MVC” Instructor Led Lab (ILL) on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. If you attend you’ll get to do things like build a custom view engine, swap out the controller factory and use some more powerful routes.  Should be a good time.

I’ll also be at Party with Palermo on Monday Night and the Influencer/MVP Party Wednesday night (no, I’m not an MVP).

Between working 32 hours as a TLG, a couple of parties and and attending some sessions; I think I’ll have a full week.


Written by Chris Sutton

May 30, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Life, Tech Community, Technology

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Rails in .Net

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John Lam just announced publicly that IronRuby is able to run Rails. It doesn’t run it fast at this point, but it is compatible. Speed and performance will be drastically improved as the project develops. This is a good thing for .Net to be able run Rails; it’s only going to make the .Net platform richer with its available languages.

When I was at RailsConf last May Microsoft was almost completely ignored in the normal part of the conference. I think there was a single session related to installing and deploying on the Microsoft platform.

In the hallways Scott Hanselman and Chris Sells got some good hallway conversations going with Martin Fowler and other ThoughtWorks people. This year and even more in the following year it will be much harder to ignore the Microsoft implementation of the language.

Written by Chris Sutton

May 30, 2008 at 7:23 am

Posted in Technology, Thoughts

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Dime Casts is live

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Derik Whittaker has been building up a site called Dime Casts that is a series of well done videos demonstrating a variety of development techniques and skills. Currently there are 4 screencasts related to getting started with nUnit, but there are many more topics to come. Check this great learning resource.

Written by Chris Sutton

May 27, 2008 at 8:16 am

IronRuby and ASP.Net MVC

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It looks like John Lam and company are making some really good progress with commit 111 on IronRuby.

Along side IronRuby, the ASP.Net MVC team is developing the MVC framework rapidly with multiple releases in the last 6 months.

As these two ventures mature, I believe some really great projects will emerge. One project that has unified the Ruby/Rails community is RubyGems.  I strongly believe that we need a similar package manager. There has been some talk of this kind of project, but I haven’t seen anything significant yet.

The best of what comes out of these projects will not necessarily be the ability to run Ruby on Rails or imitate it, although running it will be a great milestone. The real action will be from idiomatic home-grown projects.

Written by Chris Sutton

May 23, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Posted in Technology, Thoughts

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What is Twitter?

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Twitter is like sending fortune cookie-sized messages on an irc channel you custom build. It’s already bothering me that I just went over 140 characters.

Written by Chris Sutton

May 23, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Posted in Technology, Thoughts

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2 things

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There are really 2 things I need to accomplish as a programmer: write a twitter client and solve fizzbuzz. Then I will be complete. :)

oops, this was supposed to be a tweet.

Written by Chris Sutton

May 14, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Technology, Thoughts

Visual Studio and .Net 3.5 2008 SP 1

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.Net Bloggers, you are clogging up my Google Reader view with all of the meaningless posts about about SP1. If you have nothing to add to the announcement, then please don’t :) Scott Guthrie and several others have said plenty about it and have done it well.

This post is mainly in jest, but please add something to the discussion if you blog it. Ironically, I’m not adding much to the discussion either with this post. I’m interested to hear what breaks as a result of installing it or what new features or fixes are part of SP1.

Written by Chris Sutton

May 13, 2008 at 8:05 am

WorldWide Telescope

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There is a project from Microsoft Research called the WorldWide Telescope that looks really interesting. It lets people create and view really high-end presentations(please don’t compare to Powerpoint here) about astronomy. It’s actually more of a visual experience than a presentation.

I just downloaded it and watched a presentation and it really caught my son’s eye. I think we will try to watch some more tonight.

Written by Chris Sutton

May 13, 2008 at 5:21 am

Posted in Life, Technology

May is a fine month in Iowa

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We’ve had a bit more rain this May, but as I commented last year May is still a fine month in Iowa.

Written by Chris Sutton

May 12, 2008 at 7:59 am

Posted in Iowa, Thoughts

Thanks Mom

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In The Kite Runner story there is a part where you meet Soraya’s father. Back in Afghanistan he was a well known general and now in California he peddles goods at a flea market. It struck me that anyone walking into the flea market would have had no clue what he had been in a previous life – that he had been very important and and had fought in battles.

This is what it would be like if you walked into a grocery store in northern Minnesota and and ran across my mom.  You wouldn’t know that she spent almost 1/2 her life overseas.  You wouldn’t know that she is tri-lingual (English is native and she can speak two other languages at near native levels). Two of the languages were picked up as an adult which is considerably harder than learning them as a kid.  One of the languages is spoken only by a few thousand people.  She is one of 5-10 non-native speakers in the world that can speak it well. Pretty cool eh?

She is an LPN, and if she actually made a resume to reflect all of the diseases she has successfully treated I think doctors at the CDC would be jealous. Seriously, she has treated so much malaria she should have an honorary title from the Gates Foundation. Two of the cases were mine. If you can avoid malaria, please do; the head-aches, body-aches and high fevers aren’t any fun. :)

She’s treated cases of meningitis (not a good disease to have to battle), tuberculosis and pneumonia. She helped fight a big outbreak of whooping cough and saved a lot of lives. You know the vaccine you get called the DPT? Well pertussis is the “P” in that acronymn and is another name for whooping cough – so named because of the rough cough that develops.

She’s set bones without real splints or any real equipment, stitched up significant wounds (one I remember seeing was a deep axe cut in a guy’s foot). She and my dad stitched (more like patched) up a guy’s neck who had nearly blown his head off with a shotgun. He had taken nature’s version of LSD and thought he was in hell (those were his words) so he figured he would end it. Luckily he missed but left quite a mess for my parents to clean up. They has to remove all of the buck shot and stitch together a very ragged wound probably 12-16 inches long.  If you met him today (he is alive and well) you would never know what happened because of the great patch up job.  Neck skin is very tough by the way, so it is no small feat to stitch fragments of really strong skin.

She got ready to fight cholera when there was an outbreak in a neighboring country. It could have been bad, but it left our area alone. Mom even taught us how to make the oral rehydration solution in case we needed it. A yellow fever scare passed us by as well luckily.

She significantly reduced the newborn infant death rate, bringing it down to almost zero.

She knew the Merck Manual as well as anybody and I remember the copies of Where There is No Doctor or Onde Não Há Médico. Us kids used to periodically peruse the illustrations – you’d have to get a copy of it and flip though it to understand :)

She taught kids how to read in the national language and their own native language.  I could go on, but this is getting long for a blog post.

Mom is compassionate and kind and tough all at once. Mom, we love you and respect you. Happy mother’s day.

Written by Chris Sutton

May 11, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Posted in Life, Thoughts