Thursday, September 20, 2007

New look for Lakers

After 7+ years the Laker web site is looking and feeling a bit dated. So I've begun the process of giving the site an update. Here are a couple drafts:



With Facebook status


With Menu


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What we're watching

We use a product called WebGuide a lot to remotely schedule recordings and to also stream our recorded content. One of the features is a list of what WebGuide users are scheduling.

It is an interesting snap shot in time.

1) The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
2) How It's Made
3) The Colbert Report
4) Oprah Winfrey
5) Grey's Anatomy: "Six Days"
6) Deal or No Deal
7) The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
8) As the World Turns
9) The Simpsons
10) Las Vegas
11) Dr. Phil
12) Pimp My Ride
13) Saturday Night Live
14) The Office: "Traveling Salesmen"
15) Days of our Lives
16) Sesame Street
17) My Name Is Earl: "Buried Treasure"
18) House: "Words and Deeds"
19) Desperate Housewives: "Not While I'm Around"
20) The Office: "The Return"
21) Mad Money
22) The Ellen DeGeneres Show
23) BBC World News
24) My Name Is Earl: "Kept a Guy Locked in a Truck"
25) Judge Judy

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List

A great list of tools and utilities:
Scott Hanselman's 2005 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List

I use some of these. SlickRun being the one I would highlight on this list.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Quick success with XmlSerialization and RSS

I have been tinkering with adding an RSS feed on the site the past few “free times” I had available. After very little time I can say that the site is fully setup for syndication. I have implemented the 2.0 RSS specification after completing 8 simple steps.

  • Grabbed a sample RSS 2.0 Xml file

  • Created the XSD scheme using the above Xml sample file. Saved the results locally as my rss2.xsd file.

  • Generated the System.Xml.Serialization class by running the following command:

  • xsd -c -l:c# -n:Your.Namespace.Here "C:\PathToXsdFile\RSS2.xsd" /out:"C:\Temp"

  • Added the generated class to my project

  • Created the rss aspx page that will return “text/xml” as its Response.ContentType

  • Instantiate the Rss and RssChannel objects from the generated class and fill the needed properties.

  • Built the RssChannelItems. In my case I had a DataTable I could loop through.

  • Lastly, Serialized the Rss object to a string that is sent in the response.

Bonus Step:
Validated the feed to ensure I was correctly following the specification.

That’s it!! With the help of some generation tools and the System.Xml assembly implementing this was very painless. XmlSerialization rules!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Uncle Koskie's PC

I got a support call from Mike and Angie. Angie is a photographer and obviously does tons of Photoshop work. They have been getting the typical virtual memory errors on their Dell Dimension 2400 and thought maybe Photoshop was causing this.

The 2400 is a pretty beefy machine so I was surprised when they told me about their issues. After looking over their system their guess pretty accurate, it seems Photoshop is consuming a lot of virtual memory. They currently have 256mb and Photoshop is consuming a majority of this.

After doing some quick research I found some memory stick price options for them.

256 MB Module for a Dell Dimension 2400 Series System for $49

512 MB Module for a Dell Dimension 2400 Series System for $89

Else where:
512MB DDR PC2700

A very, very good deal from a reputable company 256MB for 29.99 and free shipping

Dell also has some installation tips

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Automatically syncing my podcasts to an mp3 player

While looking for a way to automatically synchronize my Zen Micro I stumbled onto the following article by Pete Kay. After reading his post and watching the step-by-step guide I had a good feeling that this solution would be very solid. Following his steps, I implemented it and have been using it now for over a week.

I can officially say that I have reached my goal of setting up a situation where I grab my portable mp3 player on my way out the door in the morning and all my podcasts/music/content have been synced on it for me to listen to on the way to/from or at work.

Once thing I would like to re-stress is how to keep your playlist clean as you sync. Using the following will allow files to be automatically removed from your mp3 device. Using Juice (formally know as iPodder), you can set the clean up on a subscription basis. Do this by selecting a subscription and going to its properties. There should be a Cleanup tab. Check the “Automatically delete episodes more than” and then set a days value.

A good example of how I use this is with the podcast subscription. This podcast is a daily. So I have the clean up process to remove anything that is a day old. So when I sync my playlist will only contain that days woot podcast. This keeps my podcast clean and refresh and removes any manual task of removing any podcasts.

The way I have it set up is that eventually all podcast that get synced will be removed at some point in time. All my subscriptions in Juice are setup to automatically delete. I see no real value in saving past podcasts. Until there is a way to maybe search them quickly to find information you are looking for it seems almost worthless to keep old podcasts around. I actually ran into this situation this past week. I heard something on a TWiT podcast and a couple days later I wanted to revisit the segment of interest. I manually seeked through the podcast once again but never found what I was looking for. So to me once I have listened to it I have no real motivation to either listen to it again or save it for future reference.

Heck, there is so much great content out there to listen to everyday why would I want to listen to something a second time.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Zen of 20/15 Vision

I took the leap and finally made the purchase of the Creative’s Zen Micro. I really haven’t had much time to play with it. I recently under went the LASIK vision correction procedure this past Thursday so I really have limited myself to any screen time.

First, the LASIK procedure is incredible! I setup a free consolation this past Tuesday just to see if I was eligible and to also find out more about what can be done for my terrible vision. Well, next thing you know I was fully informed and they offered me an appointment for Thursday to have the procedure done. I was blown away at the rapid pace thing were progressing but I was so sick of glasses and contact lens vision correction. So I setup the Thursday appointment and next thing you know I was on the table looking up at the laser. The procedure took a max of 4 minutes and immediately after sitting up I noticed a whole new world. Although my eyes were very sore I instantly could see things clearly around the room. SHOCKING!! Best thing I have ever done for myself. Well, 3rd maybe considering I am married with two beautiful kids - That I now can see with 20/15. The only downside to the whole experience is having to think about all those years I prolonged the agony of putting up with prescription lenses.

Secondly, the Zen has been pretty pain free thus far. I think the main use I will get out of it is for listening to some podcasts. The fun part for me is figuring out just how best to utilize it. The big benefit of the Zen is that it is fully compatible with Yahoo! Music Unlimited subscription. I have tested this out and actually had instant success playing a subscription piece of music on it. The downside so far is that the Yahoo! Music jukebox doesn’t do anything fantasy like auto syncing with your device. Everything has to be done manually after downloading content to your PC. My goal is to be able to grab my Zen in the morning on the way out the door, plug it into my car and get the morning’s Woot and tech news while driving to work.