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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here. September 2008 Entries
HDC starts tonight!!
The Heartland Developers Conference has come to Minneapolis and things start kicking off tonight with the pre-conference party, down at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis. I attended the HDC last year in Omaha as a representative of Magenic and enjoyed it so much I decided to speak at the event this year (both in Minneapolis and Omaha.) I'm speaking on Monday and my time slot has some pretty tough competition with Andrew Troelson discussing LINQ Query Internals and Amanda Laucher discussing ......

Posted On Sunday, September 28, 2008 1:36 PM

Saturday Night Fun
Mission: Abandoned Mill Debrief: We've been here before, but haven't come close to exploring all of it. We met up after dark and drove out to the site. Getting there was fairly quick and uneventful, and aside from passing a couple of bicyclists, it looked like we weren't going to run into anyone on the way in. Just before we got to the entrance though, a car full of guys (looked like teenagers or early twenties) pulled up and tried going down a road that was (clearly) marked "do not enter." Confused, ......

Posted On Sunday, September 28, 2008 1:15 PM

CSLA Light
Rocky Lhotka has just released Beta 1 of CSLA .NET for Silverlight framework (and a corresponding version for Windows). If you are unfamiliar with CSLA .NET, it is one of the most widely used business application development frameworks for the .NET platform. I expect it will be extremely widely used in Silverlight as well, since it provides even more direct benefits to Silverlight developers! CSLA .NET for Silverlight abstracts many of the complex issues faced when building business applications ......

Posted On Saturday, September 27, 2008 2:29 PM

Charity Fragathon is over.
The Charity Fragathon was last night, and I'm happy to say it was a huge success.

We had 90 people sign up and 78 in attendance.

I'm still crunching the financial numbers, but it looks like I'll be handing a check for around $6000 to Children's Hospital.

Lots of pictures were taken, fun was had, pizza was eaten, sodas consumed, G33K B33R was chugged, prizes were won, n00bs were pwned.

Last night was truly made of pure awesome.

Posted On Thursday, September 25, 2008 3:26 PM

NINE Questions will be back next week.
The Charity Fragathon was a humongous success, and it totally kicked my butt. I'm swamped and exhausted.

NINE Questions will be back next week with interviews featuring George Clingerman and Lindsay Rutter.


Posted On Thursday, September 25, 2008 3:23 PM

Charity Fragathon is almost here!!
The Charity Fragathon (http://www.charityfragatho... is only THREE days away. We're hosting a HUGE HALO 3 tournament and a Rock Band 2 Room. I am SO CLOSE to hitting the mark on this, and really need your help. Magenic (my awesome employer) has committed to matching 100% of the first $3000. I'm just a few hundred bucks short of maxing this out, and I need your help to make it happen. If you've been thinking about attending, but haven't registered yet, please do so. We've got some great prizes ......

Posted On Sunday, September 21, 2008 9:46 PM

Friday Night Recon
Recon: Storm Drain near Mississippi River Debrief: We all have reserves of strength and endurance that most of us have never tapped. I found mine tonight. It started off simple enough. We had heard about a nice sized storm drain right on the Mississippi that would take a little climbing to get to. As with any recon, the plan was just to find it. Exploring it would come later. We met up in a nearby parking lot and took one car from there to the starting point. We knew roughly where it was, but needed ......

Posted On Saturday, September 20, 2008 3:59 AM

my new flashlight (or 100 LEDs of Fury!!)
Sometimes I buy stuff on When I do, it''s usually a good deal even if their shipping is slow.Recently I bought a couple LED Flashlights. They were about $13 each but they were supposed to be incredibly bright. I usually carry around a small 24 LED light in my bag when I'm out exploring. This flashlight claimed to have 100 ultra bright LEDs. I hadn't seen one that big before, so I figured why not? The package arrived yesterday and I ripped it open as soon as I got home from work. They had ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 17, 2008 1:20 PM

XNA 3.0 Beta is out

Posted On Wednesday, September 17, 2008 10:36 AM

NINE Questions with Jason Bock
I've known Jason pretty much since I moved up to Minneapolis, although I had heard of him long before that via his books and the Magenic tech lists. In addition to being a total languages geek, Jason's a pretty interesting guy with an eclectic background and a broad set of interests... it's probably why we get along so well. He's also a busy community guy, so I'm glad he was able to spare a few minutes to knock out this interview. So here it is, NINE Questions with Jason Bock: 1. Where are you from ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 16, 2008 10:21 AM

more Sunday Night Fun
Mission: Abandoned Mill Debrief: About a month ago, we did some quick recon on a local mill. You can read about that right here. We went back last night, but before I get to that part of the story, there were a few other things that happened first. I was sitting at home watching TV last night (around 8pm) and the phone rings. My buddy wants to do a mission and wants to know if I'm in. We agree to meet up around 10:30pm at our usual spot. Before I get off the phone, he asks if I would have a problem ......

Posted On Monday, September 15, 2008 6:25 PM

Getting protected pics from Flickr
Earlier this evening, I was working on another NINE Questions interview and the interviewee sent me two Flickr links of pictures to choose from. Unfortunately, Flickr had some sort of weird protection that prevented me from dragging, copy & pasting or saving the photo I needed. I kept getting this 1x1 pixel transparent image named spaceball.gif. I really needed this picture, and I had permission to use it from the interviewee, but she wasn't available at the time to just send me a copy, so I ......

Posted On Thursday, September 11, 2008 8:39 PM

NINE Questions with Liza Kindred
I first met Liza and the Lullabot gang at the Iowa Code Camp and started following her on Twitter the same day. She's got a pretty interesting story, but I'll let her tell it. This is another one of those interviews I did a while back and then somehow misplaced. Obviously my filing system (gmail) needs some work. Without further delay, I give you NINE Questions with Liza Kindred: 1. Where are you from? Des Moines, most days. I travel a great deal for work, so sometimes I feel like I am "from" airports ......

Posted On Thursday, September 11, 2008 4:55 PM

You Could Win a Free Massage
So I was out at lunch (Davanni's) with my friend Kitty last week and while we were there, this lady was going "table to table" getting people to fill out slips for a drawing for a free massage. I like "FREE" a lot so I filled out the little slip and handed it back to her. Imagine my surprise when I got home that evening and received a phone call informing me that I was a lucky winner. All I had to do was make an appointment at "Above and Beyond Chiropractic." The nice lady with the accent informed ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 10, 2008 11:20 AM

NINE Questions with Chris Sutton
I first met Chris at the Twin Cities Code Camp pre-party in the Spring of 2008. Since then, it seems like I've run into him everywhere... Iowa Code Camp, TechEd, Codeapalooza, etc... This guy really gets around. Fortunately, he was able to pause long enough to answer these NINE Questions. Unfortunately, he did it over a month ago and I promptly lost it. So now I give you, The Lost NINE Questions interview, with Chris Sutton: 1. Where are you from? Brazil, Minnesota, Florida, Missouri, Colorado and ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 10, 2008 9:58 AM

Google Chrome - so close, but not yet
I downloaded Chrome the second I heard it was available. It's damn fast, it looks good and it has some great new usability features that I really like. I figured why not give it a thorough test drive and make it my default browser for a day? Sadly, it didn't quite make 24 hours. Sure it's stable (other than that one "Evil Here" bug. feel free to click here if you're running Chrome to see what I mean.) Yeah it looks good, plenty of reclaimed screen real estate. It's extremely fast and of course works ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 3, 2008 1:32 PM

3rd Gen Zunes, a sneak peek
Sneak peek: 3rd Gen Zunes...

Click Me

Posted On Tuesday, September 2, 2008 11:57 AM

NINE Questions with Carl Franklin
Carl is one of the folks I credit (blame?) with getting me started in my career as a VB developer. Back in the mid 90's when I worked for the DoD down in New Orleans, I was a regular visitor to Carl & Gary's VB Homepage. If not for those guys, I'd probably be selling crawfish for a living or worse, coding in Java. So I'm happy to bring you these NINE Questions with Carl Franklin: 1. Where are you from? I was born in New London, CT and lived until I was 19 with my family in Mystic, CT. I spent ......

Posted On Monday, September 1, 2008 10:09 AM

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