Media Center and the Universal Remote Challenge

A few posts back, I mentioned that I installed Media Center 2005 on my old P4 1.8GHz computer. Since I’ve now fallen in love with it, I figured it was time to assimilate its remote control functionality into my 2-year-old Marantz RC9200 universal remote. As a side note, my wife was gracious enough to give…


Book Review: Expert C# Business Objects

A few weeks back, I was talking to a fellow member of the West Michigan .NET User Group board, and we were discussing the architectural model behind the business objects that we used on the NxOpinion project. The more we talked, the more he said that our approach sounded similar to a framework called CSLA…


Greater Lansing User Group .NET Presentation

Last Thursday evening, I gave my presentation on Taming the Software Development Process: Tools, Tips, and Techniques to the Greater Lansing User Group .NET (GLUGnet). It was well-attended, and I’m guessing that there were around 50-60 people there. From what I could tell, there was a mix of students from Michigan State University (where the…


Half-Life 2 Review

Well, it’s been almost one full week since I purchased Half-Life 2, and in that time, I’ve managed to set aside around 18 total hours to play this game from start to finish. Valve has truly created an interactive masterpiece…one that will no-doubt set the bar for other first-person games for quite some time. In…


Avalon November 2004 Community Technology Preview

Don’t know how I missed this interesting bit of news, but Andy Boyd mentions that the Avalon November 2004 Community Technology Preview is now available via MSDN subscriber downloads (255.39MB ISO). You can also find the WinFX SDK documentation online. From the download description: The Community Technology Preview Edition of the Microsoft® WinFX™ Software Development…


Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Rocks!

Okay…I have a confession to make. To-date, I’ve purchased four TiVo units, and I’m currently running the DirectTV DVR that includes the TiVo service. My wife and I are both TiVo addicts, our friends are sick and tired of us talking about it, and I firmly believe that it’s the only way to watch TV….


Sanitize Your Clipboard Text

I’m guessing this is mostly a geek problem, but I frequently find myself starting up NOTEPAD, pasting in some formatted text, selecting all of the now-unformatted text, copying it again, and pasting it into some other application. Does this sound familiar? I don’t know how many times I’ve wished for a special paste command that…


The Final Hours of Half-Life 2

GameSpot has posted an excellent, 25-page, in-depth article titled The Final Hours of Half-Life 2. The report covers: The choice by Valve Software to develop their own game engine The inclusion of realistic physics and articulate characters Why Half-Life 2 didn’t appear at E3 2002 The real story behind the September 30, 2003 release date…


The Importance of Information Increases Directly with Distance and Cost

This is a maxim that I’ve generally found to be true in my many years of consulting experience. Although I’ve seen it in the technology industry, I have no reason to believe that it’s any different in other specialties. As a matter of fact, if you’ve ever worked in or with a large organization, you’ve…


MSN Search Service Beta

The MSN Search team has released a beta version of their new service at Of course, being a beta, you can expect to run into some quirks. For example, all of my searches this morning result in: “This site is temporarily unavailable, please check back soon.” I’m hoping that this is because we didn’t…