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September 2007 Entries

Rory has left the umm...campus...

Rory Blyth has left Microsoft, this is really sad news, campus has just become a less interesting place...I never actually got up the nerve to talk to him. I've read his blog since about his 3rd post and it's been one of my favorites since then.I used to see him around the canteen and on the odd occasion when I had a meeting in his building. I'm sure it won't be the last we hear of him!

posted @ Sunday, September 30, 2007 11:47 PM | Feedback (0) |

Fibonacci...coding efficiently (when doing nothing is the fastest route)

Just a little diversion, I posted previously about some code which I didn't think of until I was in the elevator following  a pretty important meeting (details may follow ). I asked how you'd make this code more efficient for multi-core CPUs...well I'll get to that but one thing I didn't point out was that with this as with any other computationally intensive code, the most efficient approach is not to do the operation in the first place. Caching...not on the web but probably the simplest form of caching you could perform, store a previous result for future use. For the code I...

posted @ Sunday, September 30, 2007 3:38 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET Code Snippets ]

Remarkable Silverlight site

This site from Liquidboy is just the best showcase for Silverlight that I've ever come across. To be honest when I first heard about Silverlight I though...ah, it's our answer to flash...but the more I've learnt (both internally and externally) I'm realizing that this is the next big thing for UI development. The stuff that people like Liquidboy are already doing with this really shows what's possible. I remember back in the late 90s when the company I worked for was creating Flash and Director based sites for some fairly big customers, but that really proved to be pretty niche (I...

posted @ Friday, September 28, 2007 12:17 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET Links Sliverlight ]

I am not an engineer (or wasn't)

I always found it interesting that there's a discipline called 'Software Engineer', the dictionary definitions for engineer are as follows: design as an engineer; "He engineered the water supply project" a person who uses scientific knowledge to solve practical problems mastermind: plan and direct (a complex undertaking); "he masterminded the robbery" the operator of a railway locomotive I never really thought that this was a good fit for what I saw a person who creates software as doing, a few years ago I read the book Hackers and Painters (second link is to the original essay)  by Paul Graham and the ideas...

posted @ Thursday, September 27, 2007 1:58 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Long & Rambling Random ]

"As simple as possible but no simpler" : my obsession with Muji

I thought I'd share with all of you my obsession with all things Muji, for those who don't know Muji is a Japanese store which sells 'minimalist' items for everyday use. Now, they don't *seem* to be minimalist for any other reason that it makes the stuff cheaper, from the site's own 'What is MUJI?": "Lower priced for a reason." "This phrase encapsulates how we can provide our Muji products at lower prices. We launched our Muji brand by designing and developing products that might almost be regarded as substandard if based on traditional criteria, although they are, of course, actually of...

posted @ Thursday, September 27, 2007 1:01 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET Books Links Long & Rambling ]

Thought of it in the elevator...

static int CalFib(int n) { return n<=1?1:CalFib(n - 1) + CalFib(n - 2); } I hate when that happens...also remarkable just how inefficient this code becomes at higher values of n... As a challenge, anyone care to give a way of making this code work efficiently on a multi-core (or processor, or both!) system? I'll give a possible answer at the weekend.Hint, you might want to use System.Environment.ProcessorCount;...

posted @ Wednesday, September 26, 2007 8:22 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET Random ]

Trying Livewriter hookup...

Just a test...

posted @ Tuesday, September 25, 2007 11:00 PM | Feedback (0) |

Is this thing on?

Well, it kinda works...sorry if I just messed up everyone's feeds, search results et al...this wil be the last major change for a long time....So comments are back for old posts, performance is vastly improved (now using SQL rather than DasBlog's XML stuff)...

posted @ Tuesday, September 25, 2007 10:58 PM | Feedback (0) |

Biodome Haiku...kind of...

Brain meltingHD Biodome on TVOoh Kylie... (I know, nowhere near a Haiku...but man, Biodome is even dumber when you can see more of it!)Any comments in Haiku form if you please; or near enough...for this post be as insulting as you like, I deserve it for watching this shit!

posted @ Tuesday, September 25, 2007 3:20 PM | Feedback (0) |

Jealous, me???

So Rory has a hot actress from an iconic TV series try to kill him, I have my cat throw up on my feet in the middle of the night...hmm...something is serious out of whack!

posted @ Tuesday, September 25, 2007 1:48 PM | Feedback (0) |

Amazon MP3 store

Now this looks like a winner! Having one-click combined with DRM free MP3 downloads seems really sensible. The artist choice looks a bit limited at present...I'd guess some idiot record companies don't have a clue yet...This model seems sustainable and has the convenience factor we've all been waiting for. Hey, it wouldn't be a terrible idea for my own employers to link up with this...no DRM raises some really interesting possibilities ...makes sharing kinda difficult though; how do you get the person you share with to actually buy the song without having at least some kind of DRM wrapper to...

posted @ Tuesday, September 25, 2007 1:17 PM | Feedback (0) |

Comcast sucks!

Not just me that thinks this! I save up a ton of content over the week to watch on the weekends as well as shows I'm not properly watching for later review...One of the lovely little features about my Comcast HD-DVR is that is occasionally decides that I shouldn't waste my time recording all this stuff and completely wipes all of it's content...not just one corrupted show mind you but everything on the disk including all of my series selections etc...I have to say that this device really sucks, it's juddery, occasionally refuses to change channel for minutes on end 'forgets'...

posted @ Tuesday, September 25, 2007 12:13 AM | Feedback (0) |

Me like...Silverlight Tutorial Site

Very nice UI...I wish had some design talent...hmm...wonder how much I could do. 3D spinning logos are about to make a comeback, you heard it here first (well, first since 1996 :-))

posted @ Monday, September 24, 2007 10:36 PM | Feedback (0) |

That buzz-buzz-click noise...

Aargh! I've done it again, another external hard drive smashed to the ground (carelessly)...now makes a buzz-buzz-click noise when I turn it on; and rattles a bit...which can't be good...Oh, for the day when cheap, reliable SSD disks arrive - who thought that a high speed spinning glass platters were a good idea in a device that *I* could own...dummies :-). Oh and I AM making progress in getting this blog updates, comments are now over...trying to discover where my old .TEXT blog held the associations between comment names and urls / emails now...Mind you the more I post right...

posted @ Monday, September 24, 2007 10:26 PM | Feedback (0) |

That buzz-buzz-click noise...

Aargh! I've done it again, another external hard drive smashed to the ground (carelessly)...now makes a buzz-buzz-click noise when I turn it on; and rattles a bit...which can't be good...Oh, for the day when cheap, reliable SSD disks arrive - who thought that a high speed spinning glass platters were a good idea in a device that *I* could own...dummies :-). Oh and I AM making progress in getting this blog updates, comments are now over...trying to discover where my old .TEXT blog held the associations between comment names and urls / emails now...Mind you the more I post right...

posted @ Monday, September 24, 2007 10:26 PM | Feedback (0) |

I love this, the true cost of Halo!

Think of the share price! I'll be able to switch to Organic Chicken!

posted @ Monday, September 24, 2007 3:21 PM | Feedback (0) |

Yet another site tip...Sara Ford

I *did* actually know about this site it's a collection of great VS.NET tips and tricks...really makes life easier...

posted @ Monday, September 24, 2007 12:58 PM | Feedback (0) |

Another site tip...Eternally Confuzzled

As part of my oft mentioned dev spin up, I've been getting my knowledge of data structures and algorithms back up to (almost) parity with where it was when  I left full time dev just over 2 years ago. Along with spending about $300 on various books (reviews soon!) I've been surfing around in search of great sites. One of the best I've found is Eternally Confuzzled which as well as having a great name has really good coverage of various data structures and algorithms. Most of the code samples there are in C++ but to be honest it's fairly easy...

posted @ Sunday, September 23, 2007 4:42 PM | Feedback (0) |

Software recommendation...7-Zip

Now, I know Vista has support for compressed folders but there are (quite a few) times when you need something more powerful and flexible. I was a big fan of PowerArchiver for a while but it got a bit bloated for me and well it costs $19.95 and I'm cheap :-). Anyway the one utility I tried out which really fulfilled my needs (quick, cheap and flexible) was 7-Zip, supports all the popular compression formats, it's fast and it's has a really small footprint (818kb download!). Oh and for the devs out there the same people developed an SDK for the brilliant...

posted @ Sunday, September 23, 2007 1:48 PM | Feedback (0) |

MSDN magazine 'special' on multithreading, multi-cores and concurrency

One of my obsessions is scalability and one of the main ways of achieving scalability in apps is to make the most appropriate use of the resources you have. With this in mind one of the rapidly growing ways of achieving this optimal resource use is spreading work across multiple processors. Up until now multithreading has been a bit of a pain to use correctly; note I said correctly, .NET makes it easy to do but a lot of people use it inappropriately and end up doing more harm than good. Reading through the October 2007 edition of MSDN magazine...

posted @ Sunday, September 23, 2007 1:18 AM | Feedback (0) |

Note to myself...new (to me) .NET blog

This blog looks really interesting, some nice advanced stuff on WCF and WPF; two technologies I'm slowly spinning back up on after my dev hiatus...Also been working my way through Darren Neimke's blog. So much new stuff to learn, right after I get this blog updated I am going to work on a bunch of Silverlight playthings for it!

posted @ Sunday, September 23, 2007 1:02 AM | Feedback (0) |

Yes, I'm feeling sorry for myself

I never said this blog would be laugh a minute...

posted @ Thursday, September 20, 2007 8:23 PM | Feedback (0) |

Just because

posted @ Thursday, September 20, 2007 7:59 PM | Feedback (0) |

The night before

I had a post all ready to go here but I just deleted it...sometimes being a loner frankly just means you're totally alone, not having someone to talk to (in the UK it's 4am) is really hard sometimes. Was moving here a mistake?

posted @ Thursday, September 20, 2007 7:46 PM | Feedback (0) |

Whatever happened to Robert Scoble?

I've been out of the blogging fray for a while and am just getting back into it now. I used to be a real fan of Scoble (before MS as well as when he was here...) . I've just been reading through a bunch of posts on his site and my god it's boring! I'm sure if you're part of the 'blogging set' and hang in his circle it's fascinating but man, it just seems so insular now...I'll check back in with it occasionally but it's off my faves list!

posted @ Wednesday, September 19, 2007 9:04 AM | Feedback (0) |

Blog Cliches

Just rediscovered Jeff Atwood's Coding Horror blog again (also bought a couple of books he links to...). I love this blog...hate the archive function though. Anyway one of the many great posts on there is 'Thirteen Blog Cliches' - when I finally get round to Subtexting this blog I'm implementing a few of his ideas to make life more pleasant (I also hate the resizing Tag Cloud thing he mentions...). One of his points is that blogs aren't a diary...umm I kind of disagree with that one...this blog is absolutely a random dumping ground for whatever I'm thinking about at that...

posted @ Tuesday, September 18, 2007 10:51 PM | Feedback (0) |

Blue Mind...

Ok, one last post then I promise I'm on the specs (I am actually working between posts...just in case my boss reads this!). In days gone by I was into meditation in a big way; once scared my self when at university, was practicing ZaZen and somehow became 'disconnected' from my body...very strange! Anyway used to be into that and latterly some umm...substances which could be described as mind-expanding (entirely legal at the time incidentally...just not anymore :-)  oh ,and if you're a border patrol guy reading this ignore that last part!). Anyway I love what could be described as trippy...

posted @ Tuesday, September 18, 2007 3:15 PM | Feedback (0) |

Ooh, new toys

Yes I know...write the specs freakjob...but I have toys coming which I'm sadly excited about. Memory, a hard drive and a couple of swords (I like swords, no doubt my latent homosexuality manifesting itself as a pseudo-phallic obsession...told you, freakjob :-)). Here's a tip for you, if you have a geek in your life then you can never go wrong with giving them a couple of gigs of ram (find out the type first, there's lots of different ones now)...right specs!

posted @ Tuesday, September 18, 2007 2:15 PM | Feedback (0) |

Tommorrow is Procrastination day..

Not really :-) I suffer badly from procrastination, always have in fact I'd say it's my worst quality (apart from all the killing...but I was young then :-)). The odd thing is that I also suffer from extreme anxiety...and it builds into a vicious cycle as the more worried I am the less likely I am to actually do the thing I'm worried about...and it sucks! This is also one of the reasons I love coding, it's very a->b in that you have a definite start and end to a task with multiple small tasks in between these two points....

posted @ Tuesday, September 18, 2007 2:09 PM | Feedback (0) |

Random toons.

I don't know why but I woke up this morning with this tune running through my head and a memory of the most beautiful girl I ever loved...Hannah. Sometimes dreams just make you smile...soppy moment over :-)

posted @ Tuesday, September 18, 2007 1:47 PM | Feedback (0) |

MotionPortrait...

Now this is just freaky...basically a technology which converts a 2d photograph into a 3d model; hint, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the dog...it's just wrong!

posted @ Monday, September 17, 2007 9:21 PM | Feedback (0) |

Note to self, avoid Frys electronics the day after MS hands out bonuses...

Well, it's bonus time again at Microsoft and live seemingly almost everyone else at work I decided to head down to Frys electronics to see what interesting stuff they had; and ostensibly to get myself an XBOX 360 Elite...gave my old one back in the UK to my nephew and never got round to replacing it...Well it was like the company store in there! I swear every second person was an MS employee! Anyway very boring story short they were sold out of XBOX 360s of all types (side note: smell of burning from my PC...not a good sign, really need...

posted @ Saturday, September 15, 2007 11:40 PM | Feedback (0) |

Porting update...

Thought I'd give a quick update on my porting efforts from my old blog to SubText...well it's 2am and I just got all of the old posts ported into the SubText DB...tasks now are to get the comments ported an hooked up to the entries (717 of them with around 2000 comments !), then get the few new entries on this blog imported (means writings yet another convertor to take the dasBLog XML and import it...). Phew...after all of that I need to get it up and live; oh, and write another HttpHandler to rewrite and map the old format URLs...

posted @ Saturday, September 15, 2007 2:09 AM | Feedback (0) |

Playing around with the SubText source

As I said in a previous post I'm getting back into development..as part of this I've been playing around with the source of SubText, the likely future engine for this blog. Whilst doing this I found an interesting (and it seems fairly common) pattern when using an ASP.NET provider where to avoid the performance issues with Activator.CreateInstance the author places the first instance created in a static field then returns that as a singleton each time it's requested. This is great in terms of raw performance...but I have a bit of a problem with it...scalability. Actually this will apply to any Abstract Factory pattern implementation...

posted @ Friday, September 14, 2007 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) |

Writing convertors...

My decision to switch this blog to subText means I'm going to have to write some weird convertors...right now the decision is whether to convert the dasBlog xml files to the DB schema used by subText or to convert my old DB directly (with the advantage that I'd also convert the old comments). Others have done this and used the BlogML format as an intermediary but to be honest what minimal investigation I've done into this method makes it look kinda fiddly. My choices are therefore to do a SQL->SQL conversion directly (but subText has a hashing form which I'd have...

posted @ Tuesday, September 11, 2007 11:53 PM | Feedback (0) |

Kickin off my boots...

So I'm on the crux of making a decision about my career; I usually avoid making decisions but boredom occasionally forces me into it! Stay tuned but let's say you might find a distinctly developery feel to my posts form now on ;-)

posted @ Tuesday, September 11, 2007 11:43 PM | Feedback (0) |

Archaeology and nested Repeaters

Just discovered that an article I wrote in the pre-cambrian era was uploaded to this server when I recreated this blog...so if you're interested in some techniques for nesting ASP.NET repeaters take a look...should add that this is REALLY old as in ASP.NET 1.0 days. I don't necessarily recommend what's in the article any more; though a quick search shows nothing which really trumps the methods I show in terms of raw performance...A nicer method in the .NET 3.0 days would almost certainly use Listviews and LINQ...and significantly less code (oh and the examples are broken right now...hopefully I'll get...

posted @ Tuesday, September 11, 2007 11:39 PM | Feedback (0) |

Is my memory going? Or did we just mess up Live Writer?

I downloaded the new Beta 3 of Live Writer this morning for another machine; one of the wonderful 'bonuses' they added was installing apps I don't want (right now it's saying I need to close 'Windows Explorer' and that it might need to restart my machine). How DUMB is this decision, adding a barrier to install is not smart! I only want the Windlows Live writer app, it's compact and non-intrusive but now we have added a major barrier. So annoying!

posted @ Tuesday, September 11, 2007 10:20 AM | Feedback (0) |

Comments not working...

Not sure why but the comments system seems kinda screwed on this thing. For the time being you can mail me at blogcomments@mostlylucid.co.uk if you have any comments / questions / complaints :-)

posted @ Sunday, September 09, 2007 12:07 AM | Feedback (0) |

Playing with VS 2008 Beta 2

I've been out of serious development for a couple of years (i.e., basically living in VS). As as way to revive my interest in development (which for a few reasons has been waning of late) I decided to re-launch this blog as well as play around with some coding additions to it. As part of this I've gotten my little server unpacked (yes, I have been here 9 months but still :-)) and play with VS again. I started off my spin-up by watching these excellent short videos by Scott Guthrie on the new features in Orcas (or more correctly now, Visual Studio 2008). On...

posted @ Sunday, September 09, 2007 12:03 AM | Feedback (0) |

Changing platforms

Hmm....been running dasBlog on this site (saves some cash as it doesn't require a DB..). It's nice but I feel it's slow and lacks some functionality (e.g., decent search). Will be switching over to SubText in about a week or so...

posted @ Thursday, September 06, 2007 10:57 PM | Feedback (0) |

American chocolate sucks...

For anyone who knows me reading this...umm...it's hypothetical, I of course being a diabetic do not eat chocolate...oh no :-)So the title is pretty unequivocal, but sorry it does. Or at least the stuff I've tried does :-) Hersheys...so they have a milk chocolate bar which at first taste seems OK...but it has an aftertaste reminiscent of meat. Please, Americans try Cadburys Dairy Milk; it's not a 'purists' chocolate and the American one is a different formulation to the UK yet it tastes the same??? It's delicious, I mean it is just transcendent...if someone told me it was as addictive...

posted @ Monday, September 03, 2007 7:37 PM | Feedback (0) |

Who the hell are you?

Well traffic is starting to pick up a little...always amazes me how this happens for solitary sites...guess I'd better tell you a little about myself. Name: Scott GallowayAge: 34Born: Scotland, UKMartial Status: Single (with cat)...big and fat and I lack self confidence so this ain't gonna change any time soon!Live: Fremont, Seattle, WAWork: Microsoft, Redmond, SeattleWork History: Currently Program Manager on the Project Server group, previously developer and architect for over 10 yearsInterests (what am I going to write about): the future (I am a devotee of the Technological Singularity theory); programming (I've written production code in pretty much any...

posted @ Monday, September 03, 2007 3:24 PM | Feedback (0) |

Woohoo! All of the mostllyucid.co.uk posts are now on this site!

Well, took about 5 hours of coding but I got a little tool together to convert my old posts from www.mostllyucid.co.uk (currently dead but it will eventually point here). Nice to get them all back up again! I will be playing around with the site for the next few days so there will be a bit of churn. It was nice to get to do some coding again...not the prettiest code but hey it worked! Just for the hell of it, here's the code for the tool... using System;using System.Collections.Generic;using System.Text;using System.Data;using System.Data.Sql;using System.Data.SqlClient;using System.Collections;using System.Xml;using System.IO; namespace BlogTranslator{   ...

posted @ Sunday, September 02, 2007 5:58 AM | Feedback (0) |

Content of this blog is my personal opinion only...

A friend from work just reminded me, even though I work for Microsoft, this blog is NOTHING to do with them. Everything on here is my personal opinion only and does not reflect upon anything anyone else at Microsoft or elsewhere believes.

posted @ Saturday, September 01, 2007 6:22 PM | Feedback (0) |

Idiocracy...hopefully not the real future!

You know, watching US TV I have to say that the movie Idiocracy is looking more and more true. Stupidity and ignorance seem to be increasing in social acceptability with intelligence being trusted less and less.  Anyway, great movie...hope it isn't really the shape of things to come (this post may be colored by my watching MTV for the past couple of hours!) Trailer is here: The one statistic which got to me was a poll which states that in the USA more people would elect a gay person than an atheist; and even then Christians (assumed as only...

posted @ Saturday, September 01, 2007 3:42 PM | Feedback (0) |

Top Gear yay!

Playing around with video embedding...UK show Top Gear took the fastest production car on the planet (the Bugatti Veyron.) to it's top speed...253MPH...faster than an F1 (or Indy) car!

posted @ Saturday, September 01, 2007 3:14 PM | Feedback (0) |

Sites I like...

Will be adding to this post occasionally but thought I'd mention a couple that I love:NotCot - more specifically the 'org' version of NotCot you wouldn't know it by looking at me but I'm a design nut and this site has some fantastic quirky designs ranging from romper suits to illustrations on wood. This is one of m,y top ten sites right now and the level of creativity shown buy the artists and designers linked to by this site just blows my mind (what, I've been reading the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and I tend to pick up the lingo :-))....

posted @ Saturday, September 01, 2007 1:28 PM | Feedback (0) |

Diabetes promotion...

Just noticed that Scott Cate is having a promotion to donate the American Diabetes Association by selling the excellent EasySearchASP.Net...as a fellow sufferer of diabetes I though I'd give his effort a plug (though no-one reads this blog at the moment :-))

posted @ Saturday, September 01, 2007 1:17 PM | Feedback (0) |

So what have I been up to,,,

Well, for the last 8 and a bit months I've been living in Seattle (Fremont for those who know Seattle) and working in the Project Server team at Microsoft in Redmond. It has been bit of a big change, I went from being an Application Development Consultant, immersed in the technical minutiae of a dozen different products and living a lot of my life in Visual Studio to my current life of focusing on getting the next version of Product  Server out. I'm not going to pretend that it hasn't been hard making the transition - it has - but...

posted @ Saturday, September 01, 2007 1:08 PM | Feedback (0) |

Testing Livewriter...

I have to say I am VERY impressed with this tool...DasBlog and Livewriter hooked right up..very slick. See that's that kind of software we CAN write at MS... Woodland Park Zoo ,Seattle

posted @ Saturday, September 01, 2007 1:55 AM | Feedback (0) |

The return of mostlylucid

Well, been away from blogging for a while...now I've decided to get back into it...let's see where this goes...

posted @ Saturday, September 01, 2007 1:39 AM | Feedback (0) |

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