The .NET Developer Search Engine - Google CoOp

Thanks to Google CoOp, www.netbrick.net is now my personal .NET developer search engine. With the help of a few friends, the list of domains searched remains relevant to .NET development. This helps eliminate all the clutter I get when hitting Google directly.

Thanks to Paul Allen for alerting me to this very cool feature. And if you use it, don't be afraid to click on the ads. :)

Refactoring Utah County Dot Net Users Group

Today I attended my first UCNUG meeting. It was great. Easy location. Perfect size crowd. Great presentation by Aaron Zupancic on refactoring.

Previous meetings have been held at UVSC, but fortunately they got kicked out of there. I'm lazy by nature and didn't want to bother with finding the room on a campus I don't know. This one was hosted gratiously by NuSkin at the East Bay location and that was easy to find.

Aaron gave a well thought out, cogent presentation on the ins and outs of refactoring. I actually learned some things. And for me, that makes any presentation valuable. But it was a good presentation as much for what Aaron did not do as what he did do. He did not just read from the book. Martin Fowler is great but the presentation was really valuable because Aaron pulled examples and ideas into slides with even better code examples.

I've attended the Utah .NET Users Group, where Aaron is the president, a few times. The presentations are generally good, including Aaron's, but this one was much better. I'm trying to convice a buddy of mine to present on CruiseControl.Net, NUnit and automated build and testing in general. I'll post it here if I can get him to commit.

IE7 So Far So Good

Installed IE7 (7.0.5730.11) over the top of the beta. Everything working well so far. Ah, but now, because of the increasing clutter on my drive, I'm running out of space and will soon be rebuilding my machine. Just another chance to install, install, install.

Point, click, wait. Repeat.

Google and Warez - Why?

It's been less than a week and my www.photohistorydoc.com site has caught up by many RegNow affiliates, hacked by some warez hackers in the UK, Israel, and Australia, and indexed by Google. The question I have is why does Google continue to index warez sites whose primary purpose is to sabotage the shareware and commercial software industry.

So, Google, why? Why do you help promote these low lifes whose only goal seems to be to troll for software thieves susceptible to the enticements of porn in order to make money from the click flips to the real porn sites. Why? These sites don't use AdSense, so there does not seem to be a monetary motive. What else can it be?

Does anyone have a clue?

Photo History Doc Released

After two months of working nights and weekends, I've finally finished Photo History Doc, my little contribution to the shareware world. I'd love to hear what you think about it. Visit http://www.photohistorydoc.com and download it and let me know what you think.

I'll post more about it and how it gets received out in the world later.

Trackback Spammers Deserve a Horrible Death

I'm disabling trackback on my blog because one particular post gets spammed with about 30 porn trackback spams a week. All of them in one batch. They point to seemingly empty places. So if you want to trackback here, sorry, too bad. It's too much of a pain to delete all the spam trackbacks and there is no easy way to track the offender or block him/her/it.

Bad Code is Platform Independent

I want a T-shirt with these words on it:

Bad Code is Platform Independent

All the political and religious debates about platform superiority all come to an end when running bad code. It amazes me how much bad code is out there (some of mine included). And yet we so often jump to blame the platform, runtime, operating system, tools, or some other outside element.

Where have all the good coders gone? More to the point. Were there ever any?

Bad coders never die, they just pick a new platform.

Captain Zilog - Redux

Nothing like a great laugh to perk up your day. Stumbled onto this Captain Zilog on computerhistory.org today. Take a moment and read it. What happened to those good old days? Did the dolldrums of reality take over?

"Systems designer Nick Stacey works late into the night, unknown to him, a small eerie comet passes overhead..."

"I am known to men as...opportunity! I give you the key to man's destiny in a brave new world!"

"It is the beginning of a new freedom for man's imagination! It is a microprocessor! I bestow upon you all of the knowledge that goes with it, but use it wisely! Now, go!"

Corny? Yes. Prescient? Definitely. It was 1979. I was in junior high school. It was the battle of the little, inventive, hungry geek vs. the titans of business with deeper pockets than I could imagine. It was an epoc battle that went to the best and the brightest, not to the most powerful. Or so it seemed. But as a kid, I was only barely aware of the war that raged in the world of technology in those days. To me, it was just an exciting time of change.

Now, change is more terrifying because I have responsibilities. I have four kids, a mortgage and car payments. Just like everybody else I know. And a lot has changed in the last couple of months. And it's been terrifying. And exciting. Two days ago, I blogged about the ethics of meta-searching. It came as a shock to others involved in the project because I had not discussed it with them. I blindsided them. That was fundamentally unfair. And yet, even had I wrung my hands over the issue and discussed it with them, it would probably not have changed the end result. Things changed. And it scared the heck out me. Some of them are probably still angry with me. I don't blame them. I would be too.

Looking back to the days of Captain Zilog made me laugh. It also made me think. Zilog is not a player in the huge PC market. But it's still alive and from all appearances, it's doing well. They innovated. They struggled. They stayed alive and ultimately found a niche market that has served them well. Are they comparable to giants like Intel and Microsoft? No way. But did they survive? Did they make money. I'm guessing that they must have given the fact that they're still around and still selling the Z8 line.

So what is our challenge? We must find a way to survive. Find a way to innovate something truly useful. Believe in that thing. Work hard to make that thing succeed, even if it's in a market you had not originally foreseen. In other words, we must adapt without losing a sense of who we are or what we've created. Time will tell if we, as technologists and entrepreneurs will do just that.