Andrew Connell

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Here you'll find 'Technology' related blog posts and articles

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    Blog: Darrell Norton explains XP (Extreme Programming)

    As I sit here, cramming down my lunch down before a webcast, I am reading through some of the 50+ blog posts I’ve flagged in Newsgator for future reading. I just finished reading the first four parts of Darrell Norton ’s Extreme Programming Explained 2nd edition series. Previously, I was blind to the fact XP was all about a bunch of developers sitting at one PC hammering out code, but I’m starting to realize it’s MUCH MORE than that.
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    Blog: Social bookmarking... it's delicious!

    Social computing is one of the coolest and interesting things to me. I’ve always followed what the Microsoft Research Social Computing group is working on. Yesterday, a co-worker turned me onto this new site that’s keyed around social bookmarking. In short, this is one of the new killer apps I’ve come across in a while. del.icio.us (delicious… get it?) is a social bookmarks manager. After creating your own free account, you can add bookmarks through a online form.
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    Blog: Windows 2003 Service Pack 1

    The other day I installed service pack 1 on one of my Windows 2003 server VirtualPC’s… and last night I found two nuances that were very different from pre-SP1 behavior. First, when you create a new virtual directory in a virtual server in IIS, it isn’t set as a web application it’s created as a virtual directory. So if you want it to be a separate web application, you need to manually create it yourself (previously Windows 2003 would automatically create it as a web application).
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    Blog: Jacksonville Code Camp **update**

    The Jacksonville Code Camp is now official… and has its own spot on the Jacksonville Developers User Group website! For all official information, check out http://codecamp.jaxdug.com . I’ll be giving two sessions: one on an introduction to what MCMS 2002 is all about (high level… so welcome marketing & sales folk!) and another on building a site with MCMS (yup, hands on building a site)! Now the challenge… build a site in less than an hour!
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    Blog: Chris takes the time to explain the powers of flags in OneNote

    Chris Pratley stuck a great post on his site early this morning about the power of note flags in OneNote. If you haven’t played around with the note flags, or if you don’t even know what they are/haven’t customized yours, you should read Chris’ post. I don’t use them to the extent Chris does, but he gave me some ideas and you bet I’ll be tinkering with my laptop when I fire it up next time for work!
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    Blog: Dell DJ batteries are the solution to the oil dependency & gas prices...

    This is a completely random post, but I couldn’t resist. Dell must have the best dang batteries and power management in their DJ MP3 players. I’m on day three of 9+ hr use (playback or pause) and it’s still going! Granted, when I plug it into my laptop to pull some tracks off it, it shut down on a low battery, but the damn thing is still helping me jam out this afternoon!
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    Blog: Cool tool added to my c:\util: Cropper

    Doesn’t matter what role you serve in your organization, you are going to have to do screen shots somewhere down the road. It’s always a pain… PRINT-SCREEN, paste into something like Paint, Paint.NET, or PhotoShop… then save as a decent image… such a PAIN! Brian Scott did something about it. He made Cropper … it has a slick, unintrusive window that you scale to your screenshot and fire it to put the image to your clipboard where you can paste away.
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    Blog: In-depth look into OneNoteImporter Managed Assembly

    Andrew May has a 5–part series where he takes an in-depth look at the OneNoteImporter . If you’re a OneNote junkie like me, it’s worth checking out part 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , and 5 .
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    Blog: Apple iChat Demo

    Impressive demo of Apple’s iChat. » Apple iChat
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    Blog: Visual Studio .NET 2005 & Pricing

    At times you feel like the last one to blog about something. I’m fairly surprised that Microsoft has elected not to include the Team Foundation Server in the top level MSDN subscription this time around. I thought we had access to all products? Hopefully there’s enough push back that they’ll consider. For now, I don’t care for it, don’t plan to drop the extra cash for it, and just want to reference some very interesting posts:
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    Blog: Google AdSense & placement on your site

    At the end of February I signed up for Google AdSense and added it to my site in the footer of all pages. What I didn’t want was to have this ad on mysite that was competing with the content, esp on my homepage. Then one Sunday I decided to shake things up a bit. I removed the AdSense panel from the footer and moved it to the top of some templates (article & blog detail, links, etc), but left it in the footer of others (homepage).
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    Blog: Creating a IE right-click context menu item

    [jotting this down so I won’t forget…] I found this little tidbit via tariq’s post , linked to Philip’s post , linked yet to Michael Earl’s post . It’s a cool little HOWTO in adding items to your IE right-click context menu. I can think of endless possibilities of this… for MCMS 2002, for SharePoint, and for Michael’s idea of A right-click menu in IE that allows me to “Mark Harrison for Follow up”.
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    Blog: TechEd 2005: Shared Schedule & Session Registration

    I noticed today the sessions are starting to be populated with abstracts and no longer just the titles. I wonder when we’ll be able to start signing up and creating our calendar of the sessions we’ll attend? Sure would be cool if they provided some sort of an export where we could show our sessions in blogs. Regardless, I’ll post the sessions I plan to attend. If anyone is up for grabbing a drink and shooting the breeze about MCMS 2002 or SharePoint during the week, please contact me.
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    Blog: Tivo: JavaHMO v.Next = Galleon

    It looks like the guy who built JavaHMO has switched gears and started a new project called Galleon based on the recently released TiVo HME technology. » Project Homepage: http://galleon.sourceforge.net/
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    Blog: Microsoft acquires Groove Networks

    Finally have a moment to comment on this great news yesterday. If you aren’t familiar with it, you should be. Groove’s products have been killer since day one. From the first moment I saw what they could do, I was floored. The addition of the Groove suite and developers to Microsoft will only boost them. I would assume they would fall under the Office umbrella. But what has me interesed is additional integration with SharePoint.
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    Blog: TechEd 2005: I'll Be There!

    Got the news from my boss yesterday… I’m approved to go to TechEd 2005 in Orlando, FL! I’m pumped! Never been to TechEd or a big conference like this. The only conferences I’d been to in the past were Sigraph (1999) and Web 2000 (2000). Very much looking forward to this! It’s far out, but I’d like to focus my attention on the portal track (for MCMS 2002 and SharePoint) as well as the entire .
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    Blog: My recent lack of blogging

    In general, you may notice that the last few weeks I haven’t been blogging much. There has been a ton of news related to MCMS 2002 and SharePoint, but I haven’t published it on my blog (like other bloggers are) in recent weeks. I’ve been quite consumed by events inside and outside of work over the last month: worked two 80hr+ weeks leading up to a massive MCMS-SharePoint site implementation, launched said MCMS-SPS site, had our first baby , and my dad went in for emergency quad bypass surgery (2 day’s after my son was born… he’s doing great BTW).
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    Blog: Careful about buying Sonic MyDVD for burning TivoToGo files...

    I’d recommend reading Jason’s post about a secret privary program that’s installed on your machine when you install Sonic MyDVD… and Sonic won’t say a thing about it. » PACE Anti-Piracy: theft prevention or virus?
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    Blog: Good idea for a home server...

    There is a good sized market in my mind for home servers. Rick Hallihan has a good post about his idea for a Windows 2003 Server Home Edition product. Some of his ideas: Email collection and backup Roaming profile management Domain management and group policies (for dummies… aka the non-MCSE) Simple backup Remote backup Media server Home automation ISA Server, Home edition Microsoft Update Services Software licensing » Blobservations: Windows Server, Home Edition
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    Blog: Next version of NewsGator?

    It’s been QUITE a while since I’ve seen an update to the NewsGator Outlook AddIn… and there was much talk of updating the organization storage for the items… but nothing in quite a while! Frustrating… I’d like to see the organization of folders & subfolders in Outlook match the OPML exports, see a better posting dialog for submitting posts, and sync’ing the read state of posts between online & different NewsGator clients.
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    Blog: .Text lives on... long live .Text!!!

    Scott recently posted a description of how .Text still lives and what the plans are for it within Community Server v1.0. I’m not sure if I need to take a longer lok at CS, or if I should progress on the changes I have planned . Thankfully next week I am taking time off of work to spend time with the new family, get caught up on some stuff, and also make some progress on some personal stuff (making a DVD of our wedding almost 4 years ago and a DVD of the first week of Steven’s life… both to share with parents and grandparents… and for archival of all these huge video files i have on my personal fileshare… next week may also bring a new 250-300GB drive).
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    Blog: Windows Media Center

    In my recent frustrations with TiVo ( explained enough here ), coupled with a ton of recent posts on the bad news and forecasts of TiVo ( as Matt points out ), I started taking a more detailed look at Windows Media Center . My biggest inial concern was that I have DirecTV and I don’t want to part with it… but I see people are using an IR blaster just fine.
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    Blog: Why Hasn't TiVo Improved (I'd say innovate is more like it)...

    Matt has a good post on PVRBlog about why TiVo hasn’t improved as well as some links to other posts. He ends with TiVo , every day it’s looks more and more like you’re finally on the ropes, but it’s time to start fighting back. I couldn’t agree more.
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    Blog: Converting .tivo -> .mpg without Sonic

    In case you’ve been under a rock, TiVo released an update to their software that includes the covetted TiVoToGo (TTG or T2G) a few weeks back. I’ve been critical of TiVo recently, as noted here , While some people are going crazy waiting on their TTG software updates, I got mine about a week and a half ago. Basically, it allows you to download a show from your TiVo and play it on a compatible player (one that understands the specific codec used).
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    Blog: TiVo is dropping the ball...

    I’ve been a loyal customer for almost 3 years with two Series2 80hr boxes. I’ve loved my Tivos, but I have reached the period of being very disappointed in the company and service offerings. My first bitter taste was when I paid $100 for the HMO option, only to watch them give it away months later for free, and refuse to refund anything I paid for it. I’m a lifetime subscriber on one box (I got the second box after my HMO issue, and thus elected to go with the month-to-month… who knows what they will do).
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    Blog: Chose your datatypes wisely... or you may make holiday travelers very angry

    Via /. How? Last week’s Christmas travel nightmare for Delta/Comair passengers were ultimately frustrated by a overloaded 16-bit integer. The Cincinnati Post has an article about how a series of three events caused the downfall: A bad holida storm forced the airport to close runways for 15-30 minutes for clearning (not that big of a deal) and forced a ton of de-icing. The airlines realized they were going to run out of the de-icer so they ordered 13 tankers to arrive Wednesday night.
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    Blog: Treo 650 followup (short review, accessories, and recommendations)

    It’s now been two weeks since I switched from AT&T Wireless/Cingular to SprintPCS and ditched my Motorolla MPx200 for a Treo 650 … and I can’t believe how happy I am! I’m going going to hash the features of the Treo because plenty of sites will have that but I do have a few comments… MS SmartPhone vs. PalmOS Based Phone I used to love my SmartPhone… thought it was the best OS for phones.
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    Blog: Angus & Leon's first podcast

    Little behind in my blogging… honestly I’m not much into podcasting, but I took a minute to listen to Angus Logan ’ And Leon’s “Random Act of Podcasting” first podcast. Interesting and funny stuff! A Random Act of Podcasting
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    Blog: Why I don't trust FireFox? A lot of reasons...

    I too am sticking with IE. Not for all the reasons in the article by Peter (referenced below by Patrick), but because I am well aware tabbed browsing is not secure, and that the FireFox effort does not proactively patch their browser. I like how Microsoft’s reputation is on the line if a vulnerability is discovered. Does it hurt them when one is found? Sure, but it’s fixed pretty quit.
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    Blog: I switched to the dark side...

    To cut to the chase, I got a Treo 650 from SprintPCS last Thursday and I love it. Now the narrative (aka: rant): I haven’t heard the end of this… but if you knew my background, you’d probably understand. I’ve always fought Palm devices. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them, it’s that I preferred the Microsoft PDA’s so much more. Previously I always saw Palms as just informational devices… not a real portable functional mini-computers because that’s what they were.
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    Blog: Build your own Windows Media Center 2005 box!

    Via Angus Logan & Chris : Extreme Tech has a very cool article up about making your own Windows Media Center 2005 box. Very cool stuff. » Build Your Own Windows Media Center PC
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    Blog: Smart Sync Software

    This is something I’ve strugeled with in the past: keeping multiple PC’s in sync… anything from images to code to references… anything. I don’t have an MCE, but this is something that could apply to just about anything. If you’re like me, you probably have multiple PCs with Photos, Music, Video etc. on them. For me, it’s more of a backup strategy- if one HDD fails, I want to have all my media and storage is cheap.
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    Blog: Settling down on a RSS aggregator...

    So I think I’ve settled down on an RSS aggregator for a while… this has been one heck of an adventure as I’ve blogged about it before here , here , and … um… oh yeah here too. Previously I was using JetBrains Omea Reader … but yesterday I switched back to NewsGator. I installed it on my work laptop and my personal home desktop, then configured the free online services to keep the two in sync.
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    Blog: Podcasting & Photo blogging

    Two things out in the blogosphere are being talked about… one I know of, the other I’m still digging around on: Podcasting & Photoblogs. Podcasting: I think the name comes from the iPod… basically it’s a blog audio attachment (like an email attachment). It’s picking up steam and some people really like it. Some of Angus’ comments on the problems with podcasting are shared by this blogger. I haven’t been impressed, don’t plan to jump on board, and of the feeds I’ve listened to, I still like webcasts more.
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    Blog: MSN Spaces: free blog host

    Microsoft has released their version of a blog host. It’s free and gives you 10MB of space. I created a space of my own (haven’t posted anything yet) to kick the tires. So far, I’ve noticed a few things that make it stand out: photo blog custom lists ability to post via email & mobile devices (this is very cool) » MSN Spaces
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    Blog: Took longer than I expected, but CE now has a higher market share than Palm

    Yeah, it took longer than I expected, but the Wall Street Journal reported Monday: Microsoft’s Windows CE operating system accounted for 48.1% of the third quarter’s 2.8 million PDA shipments world-wide, up from 41% the previous year, according to market research firm Gartner Inc. The Palm OS, developed by PalmSource, a Sunnyvale, Calif., provider of software for mobile information devices, took a steep drop, representing 29.8% of the market, down from 46.
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    Blog: Dark day for Tivo

    I’m not so sure I like the direction TiVo is starting to go in… So here it is, the story I hinted at earlier (which went to press a night early): TiVo Is No Longer Skipping Past Advertisers . Coming soon to the standalone TiVo OS: when you hit fast forward to skip past commercials, small banner ads will show up on your screen. You’ll be able to click them to get more info, see an informercial, or send your home address details to get more info about a product mailed to you.
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    Blog: Engadget: How MCE will save TV

    Engadget thinks Microsoft’s Media Center could save TV… great read. » How Microsoft’s Media Center Will Save Television
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    Blog: Cool article on hacking the TiVo on CNET

    CNET has a 3-page article on hacking your TiVo and the future of TiVo for hackers. Interesting reading: Five years after TiVo introduced the rewind and fast-forward buttons to broadcast television, hackers are pushing its digital video recorder to new heights–and possibly giving the company some ideas about where to go next. » CNET: TiVo hacks flourish
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    Blog: Toss the TiVo for Media Center '05?

    Bold statement by PCWorld… I would so love ot try out a MC'05 box… but I’m heavily invested in TiVo (2x80hr Series 2 boxes). » New Media Center OS Plays Well
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    Blog: Another RSS aggregator to check out

    Yet another RSS aggregator to check out: Onfolio 2.0 beta . Not like this is an issue to me as I’ve blogged about it here .
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    Blog: Building Your First BizTalk Server 2004 Application

    » The QuickStart Guide to Building Your First BizTalk Server 2004 Application
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    Blog: SourceGear's Vault source control provider flat out ROCKS

    SourceGear’s Vault source control provider rocks and addresses my biggest issues with Microsoft’s VSS. You know what VSS provides… here’s where Vault goes above and beyond: All data is stored in MS SQL2000 or MSDE2000 databases. All interaction is done via web services. Full integration with VS.NET (you can switch back and forth between Vault & VSS). Enterprise-level app, free for 1-user implementations (same binaries… just hardcoded to allow one user without a licence).
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    Blog: Community Server v1 is brewing...

    If you’ve been reading Scott’s blog, you’ve seen two posts recently about some work he’s doing on Community Server. The two posts refer to some refactoring he’s doing as well as the admin section… very cool to see some work actually going on and something I’m eagerly watching. » Refactoring Tools and Helpful VS.NET Add-Ins » Community Server Administration UI
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    Blog: My [never-ending] RSS Aggregator search...

    Last week I posted about NewsGator and how they now allow free accuonts to sync your RSS feeds with NewsGator Online as well as read them (aka: bloglines ). Well, I just uninstalled NewsGator. First of all, the online feed managment is a PITA … it was a royal pain trying to get my 150+ feeds into the folders I like to have them in. It also didn’t seem to sync correctly, but I didn’t give it much of a chance beacuse the online feed management just drove me crazy.
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    Blog: Longhorn... anyone getting tired of hearing about something 2+ years off?

    Is it just me, or is anyone else getting tired of reading all these blogs about Longhorn, something that is easily 2 years out of not more? They strip functionality in order to get it out the door. Just getting sick of hearing about something so far away.
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    Blog: First Win2003 R2 has features ripped, not SQL2005/Whidby is delayed..

    Dunno if it’s just me, but this is getting old. Frankly, I’d like to hear more vauge estimates on time (like “calendar 2005”) than repeated delays… this just gets old. Oh, by the way, you do realize that SQL2005 & VS.NET 2005 are tied together right? » TheServerSide.NET: SQL2005 Delayed