Now this is fun for the whole family.

I bought a GPS mostly because it came with Streets and Trips for $140 at Costco. Seemed like a good deal. We used it on a drive to Pittsburg to a friends 40th.

Then Barry tells be about GeoCaching. So I check out . We went yesterday.

It was so much fun. If you have a GPS and you havn't tried this I urge you to give it a go.


Google Intellisense

I'm looking for a practical application for this.

Barry pointed out to me that Google has a beta site with Intellisense. Now I appreciate google and it's research as much as the next guy. And I love that they create these things. But I am curious what practicle applications people can think of for this.

So please tell me how Intellisense is useful on a Web Search engine. I'll start things off.

Perhaps I don't know what I'm looking for. Maybe I want to know what pubs are in Boston, will I be able to enter “Boston pubs” and it will fill in the rest like they were memebers in a class.

Other ideas welcome.

The Da Vinci Code

A friend of mine told me I should read The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I would like to publicly thank him for that. Terry, thanks.

I couldn't put it down. Dan Brown is a great story teller. This Book is intelligent, suspenseful and fun. Full of codes to solve and rich thought provoking European history. I loved it. Do yourself a favour read it. You will not be disappointed.

Splitting Logs

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I rented a log splitter. Now I love everything electronic, I am a fairly typical developer. But I also love a good power tool and this was a beauty.

I had two trees in my yard that had been taken down for one reason of another and left for me to one day split into fire wood. The people who took them down were good enough to cut them into 16 inch (40 cm) pieces. Which was great but some of them were over 2 ft (61 cm) in diameter. I actually spent $15 at Canadian Tire and bought a wedge that you hammer into the log to split it. I tried that for about an hour one day. looked up at all the wood to be done and gave up.

This is when I decided to rent a Log Splitter. This thing was great. Although this is not a picture of the one I used. It gives you an idea of what one looks like.

It's hard to describe how much fun this was. Not to mention how much easier it makes splitting two trees worth of wood. Just put a log of apparently any size into it and pull the leaver. It splits the log like slicing cold cuts. :)

The Smart Client Architects Breakfast

If you are a Manager or Architect thinking of starting a Smart Client project using .NET. You should come to this Architects Breakfast. The ObjectSharp Architects Breakfast happens every two months. The topics are current and relevant to what our clients are doing today.

To Find out more about what the Architects Breakfast series is all about.

To register for the Smart Client Architects Breakfast.

Hope to see you there. :)

The Imagine Cup Kids

At VSLive ObjectSharp hosted a Limo Bus for speakers and special guests. Our special guests included the Canadian Imagine Cup winners, who just recently went to Brazil for the big competition.

Sadly they did not win, but what a ride they had. If you want to read about their travels here are their Blogs. these are also under links on by Blog page.

Dear Imagine Cup Kids,

What a wonderful accomplishment to get as far as you did. We at Objectsharp are very proud of you all. You're a great group and worked very hard to get where you did.  You will all go far in this industry, of that I'm sure.

Sounds like you are having a blast in Brazil. Now it's time to relax and have fun. You have earned it.

Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam...

I am sick and tired of Spam and I know I'm not alone on this. I don't just mean the email kind of spam. Spam comes in many forms. It's far from new, all that's happened is the spammer has new tools.

These are the Spams I hate (in order):

  1. email Spam
  2. Phone calls at dinner
  3. The crap you get inside every statement you receive
  4. Junk mail
  5. The stuff that falls out of magazines

Although 1 and 2 don't kill tress, I find them the most intrusive. I hate the others but not because of the intrusion, I just toss them aside without even looking at them. Which means valuable resources have been wasted. If anyone reading this sends me junk mail. STOP IT. You are wasting your time, money and our planets resources. I will never buy anything from you because of this, so just stop.

At least with the phone calls there is someone to take it out on. You can yell at the poor telemarketer and feel a bit better. Also there are two ways to get ride of the dinner time callers. Call privacy is one, unfortunately this costs money. You can also combat this yourself, by asking to be taken off their list. By law if you ask the telemarketer to remove you from their list they must comply. And it always stops their spiel when I say it.

So what about the worst kind of Spam. The tons of email we get in our email box each day. You can't even reply to these bastards to yell at them. The current thinking in the industry is, creating filters is just not worth it. There is just no way to weed it all out. The best defense would be to make it not worth while doing. If it's not cost effective the spammers will stop. One way to do this is to charge postage on email. If we each had to pay a penny to send an email. It wouldn't cost much and if it meant that the spammer sending millions would stop because it cost to much, I think it would be worth it.

Cynthia Dwork of Microsoft has another idea. Charge for sending email but not with money with Processing power.

What Dwork proposes is to slow down the process by having the sending computer solve a mathematical puzzle created from the details of the message itself. Messages sent at different times and to different recipients would generate a different puzzle. This way a message sent to many different people would have to solve a different puzzle for each one. Thereby slowing down the machine sending emails. She also tosses in a way to combat the fact that processing power doubles every 18 months, by tossing in a variable that ensures each message takes 10 seconds to send. And will increase this value as machines get faster. So for you and I to send a few messages, our machine works away on a problem as it sends each message, so what. For a spammer they would require more hardware and processing power to send out the same volume of emails they send now. Therefore it might not be worth the effort anymore.

I'm behind you on this one Cynthia. If there is anything I can do to help get this through you can count on my support.


Oh Canada, our home and....

You tell 'em Danny!

Google is king

If you open a browser on any of the 6 computers (including an IPAQ)  in my house, you will see It's safe to say Google is the official search engine of the Lloyd household. One of them actually defaults to French.

The other day my 10 year old son asked me if I knew that Google could help you shop on the internet.

I said “Yeah it's called Froogle.” "That's it", he said "Can you show me?" So I did.

While we were there I showed him a bunch of other cool features. He was amazed. So I thought maybe I should Blog some of my favorite Google Features.

If you know of others I don't mentioned please tell me. I love a good Google feature.

  1. Spelling: I'm sure people know about this feature. Those of us who can't spell sure do. If you type in something Google doesn't recognize Google will suggest a spelling correction to you. I get a lot of use out of this feature.
  2. Calculator: Did you know you can type a calculation into Google and it will give you an answer. Try typing this into Google: 5 * 5 and hit search. 
  3. More Google Calculator: The coolest thing the calculator does is conversions. If you want to know how many kilometers are in a mile just type into Google km in a mile and hit search, try ounces in a cup or cubits in a meter. Is that cool or what?      More about the Google Calculator.
  4. Define: Google is a dictionary. You can type define: someword and Google will return all the definitions it can find for that word. For fun type in define: Google
  5. Google Sets: I love this, but have not thought of a really useful application for it. Go to Google Sets  and type in a different related word in each textbox then click one of the set buttons below. Google goes out and finds other related items. Try this, enter Ross, Phoebe, Monica and see what you get. Now try DataSet and DataTable. This is really part of Google labs, see below.

There are others I would like to take advantage of but only seem to work in the US like Local search, phone book, maps.  Here is a complete list of Google search features .

Google Labs:

If you go to you will find other google ideas that are not quite ready for main stream yet. They are ideas in progress.

  1. Personalized Web Search - Get personalized search results based on your interests
  2. Web Alerts - Find out about new web pages on a topic of interest  ( I subscribe to this. Any time ObjectSharp is mentioned on the web I get an email)
  3. Web Quotes - View search results with quotes about them from other sites
  4. Voice Search -Search on Google by voice with a simple telephone call
  5. Google Compute - Donate your computer's idle time to help scientific research
  6. Froogle Wireless - Search for products from your cell phone using Froogle
  7. Google Groups - Create and join searchable discussion groups and mailing lists

Did you notice not an add anywhere. :)

Happy Goggling

FTP Software

For years I have been trying to find FTP software that was good. I mean easy to use, reliable with a nice GUI. I have used all kinds over the years. I won't mention all the bad ones I used, so as not to offend anyone. None of them were very nice to use.

I asked Dan what he used for FTP. He told me the kids today use FileZilla. You have to listen to the kids, they know.

So I went to SourceForge and downloaded FileZilla. this is the best FTP software I have ever used.

It's intuitive and friendly, and so far completely reliable.

I love it, and I don't care who knows it.