Last night a couple people asked where I got all the neat VS2010 desktop backgrounds. I couldn’t remember the URL off the top of my head last night, but the website is http://vs2010wallpapers.com/. There are a lot of great backgrounds. My favorite though is the ducky.
Sometime last week I sent out an email to quite a few people:
As is the way of things in the tech industry, jobs change. More specifically,
Sometime around October 1st this email will be turned off as I am starting
a new position with ObjectSharp working with some of the brightest minds in Toronto.
If you need to get in touch with me after that date you can do it through a few channels.
My personal email is email@example.com, which
gets checked more often than it should, and my O# email will be firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Syfuhs, MCP
Soon to be ex-Software Developer / Database Analyst
Woodbine Entertainment Group
416.675.3993 Ext 2592
While I really enjoyed my job here at Woodbine (even though I complained about it
from time to time), it’s time for change and to move on to new opportunities.
Barry Gervin offered me such an opportunity and I start with ObjectSharp on October
1st. Bonus for starting on a Friday.
My role has many functions. Some internal; some external. Some loud; some…notsomuch.
It sounds like it will be an amazing experience!
So… I leave you with this:
Just a quick little collection of useful code snippets when dealing with certificates.
Some of these don’t really need to be in their own methods but it helps for clarification.
Namespaces for Everything
Save Certificate to Store
// Nothing fancy here. Just a helper method to parse strings.
private StoreName parseStoreName(string name)
return (StoreName)Enum.Parse(typeof(StoreName), name);
// Same here
private StoreLocation parseStoreLocation(string location)
return (StoreLocation)Enum.Parse(typeof(StoreLocation), location);
private void saveCertToStore(X509Certificate2 x509Certificate2, StoreName storeName, StoreLocation storeLocation)
X509Store store = new X509Store(storeName, storeLocation);
Create Certificate from byte array
private X509Certificate2 CreateCertificateFromByteArray(byte certFile)
return new X509Certificate2(certFile);
// will throw exception if certificate has private key
The comment says that it will throw an exception if the certificate has a private
key because the private key has a password associated with it. If you don't pass the
password as a parameter it will throw a System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException
Get Certificate from Store by Thumbprint
private bool FindCertInStore(
out X509Certificate2 theCert)
theCert = null;
X509Store store = new X509Store(storeName, storeLocation);
string thumbprintFixed = thumbprint.Replace(" ", "").ToUpperInvariant();
foreach (var cert in store.Certificates)
theCert = cert;
One of the downsides to using a Blog Engine one wrote while in High School is that
you are using a blog engine that someone wrote while in High School.
I got tired of writing a new feature every time I wanted to do anything different.
The logical approach was to upgrade to a bigger and better system, and DasBlog was
the engine of choice.
With any luck I’ll stick with it, and won’t need to write any more code for this site
in the near future.
Holy crap this is cool:
While I was in California last week I decided to visit the new Microsoft Store in
Mission Viejo. While there, the managers graciously allowed me to take pictures
of the store. Frankly, they probably thought it was a little creepy. But
nevertheless, they said go for it, and I did.
Now, Microsoft did one hell of a job making it known that the store existed while
I was at the mall. While I was grabbing coffee in the food court, these stickers
were on each table:
Following that, as you head towards the store you see two large LCD screens in the
centre of the walkway. On one side you have a Rock Band - Beatles installation
running XBox 360 over HD.
On the other side was a promotional video.
Microsoft designed their store quite well. Large floor to ceiling windows for
the storefront, with an inviting light wood flooring to create a very warm atmosphere.
While there were hundreds of people in the store, it was very welcoming.
Along the three walls (because the 4th is glass) is a breathtaking video panorama.
I’m not quite sure how to really describe it. It’s as if the entire wall was
a single display, running in full HD.
In the center of the store is a collection of laptops and assorted electronics like
the Zune’s. There’s probably a logical layout, perhaps by price, or performance.
I wasn’t paying too much attention to that unfortunately.
At the center-back of the store is Microsoft’s Answers desk. Much like the Apple
Genius Bar, except not so arrogant. Yes, I said it. Ironically, the display
for customer names looked very iPod-ish here, and in the Apple Store, the equivalent
display looked like XP Media Center. Go figure.
One of the things I couldn’t quite believe was the XBox 360 being displayed overlay
the video panorama video. The video engine for that must have been extremely
powerful. That had to be a 1080P display for the XBox. As a developer,
I was astonished (and wondered where I could get that app!) A few of the employee’s
mentioned that it was driven by Windows 7. Pretty freakin’ sweet.
Also in the store were a couple Surfaces! This was the first time I actually
had the opportunity to play with one. They are pretty cool.
And that in a few pictures was my trip to the Microsoft store. There was also
a couple pamphlets in store describing training sessions and schedules for quick how-to’s
in Windows 7 that I walked away with.
Microsoft did well.
The other day while I was sitting in the airport in Washington, D.C., I had a random
thought. When the ZuneHD first hit the shelves people were talking about how
Mobile 7 might borrow the look and feel. It’s sleek, easy to use/easy to understand,
and is very simple. So I started thinking about what such an interface might
look like. This is something I did quickly. Nothing was provided by Microsoft.
Nobody has said anything about Mobile 7 design (at least, not at that point, but
nobody cared anyway). This is simply something I thought the interface might
Some things to notice are the list-like menu’s, and the bing search
at the bottom. Blah-blah-blah anti-trust, the point is search is easily accessible,
not necessarily just to Microsoft’s own search engine. It could be Google’s
search too. Also, there is the location-specific information at the top showing
the current weather. Also mimicking the Windows 7 interface is the idea of pinning
things to the home screen such as the Internet Explorer application.
There are some things that should probably change. It feels a little cluttered
at the bottom showing current messages and the appointments color is iffy. There
may not be any need for the middle separation either.
Just a thought…
Still working out session details, but it looks like I will be presenting in Ottawa
and Montreal for Techdays 2009. I will
be loitering around at the Toronto event soaking up all the techie-goodness, so come
find me at any of the three events. We can talk shop, shoot the breeze, or just
mill about having a good time.
I promise I won’t embarrass anyone. Except maybe myself. But that’s a
warning for all occasions.
Here are the dates of the events across Canada. Buy your tickets before the
early-bird deal runs out!
Vancouver Convention Centre
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
World Trade & Convention Centre
Hampton Inn & Convention Centre
Winnipeg Convention Centre
The Early Bird price is $299. The regular Price is $599.
I will post more on the sessions I will be presenting at a later date when I get the
See you there!
Seems it automatically updates itself in IE.
Here is the presentation. Click the screen shot to download a ZIP of the demo
and slide deck.