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White spaces could shake up broadband access...

Opening up white spaces for broadband Internet access could drastically shake up the telco's comfy stranglehold on US consumers.  Google has thrown their weight behind the idea today with the launch of FreeTheAirWaves.org.  I like what they've done for a couple of reasons.  They are very up front about why they support the technology (it potentially means more money for them), and their site does a good job of explaining the issue in simple terms. As someone who is stuck on a mountain and can only get 1.7Mb DSL, I wholeheartedly support the opening of the white spaces.  I... [More]

How to run a software development company (INTO THE GROUND) – Part 2

It’s Friday, so it’s time for part two of the on-going series of how NOT to run a successful software development company. Don’t pay your workers Times get tough.  Maybe a contract didn’t get paid on time.  Maybe someone made a gianormous accounting error (to the tune of $20,000).  Hell, maybe you needed a new LCD TV for your bathroom.  In any case, the coffers are dry.  But don’t fret!  You don’t have to actually pay your workers!  Dedicated personnel don’t do their jobs for the money, so they won’t even care.  And everyone has at least four or five o... [More]

Using Windows Live Writer on Windows XP x64

It looks like Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, has decided that the Windows Live suite of tools shouldn’t install on Windows XP x64.  Apparently we don’t need to do things like manage our blogs or something.  Fortunately, there is a way around this: just install the technical preview release. Brought to you by Windows Live Writer, running on Windows XP x64.

Top 5 Usability Lows of Mac

Smashing Magazine had a post yesterday called Top 10 Usability Highs of Mac OS. The article makes some great, valid points: Apple has a lot of things right in Mac OS.  They also have gotten a lot of things right with the Mac hardware.  However, they also got a lot really wrong.  As someone who has owned a Mac for about three weeks, I feel perfectly justified in criticizing Mac OS,  so here's my own Top 5 list (it's only 5 because I'm in a hurry and don't feel like writing a lot today): 1. Lack of Intuitiveness. Yeah.  Epic FAIL here.  Despite what Juul Coolen... [More]

Comments FTW!

Can you tell me what this const represents? 1: private const int MINIMUM_WORD_OCCURRENCES_TO_INCLUDE_DEFAULT = 1; What about if I include this helpful comment? 1: /// <summary>The Default Minimum Word Occurrences To Include</summary> 2: private const int MINIMUM_WORD_OCCURRENCES_TO_INCLUDE_DEFAULT = 1; The point, kids, is that comments should provide some insight into the variable (or method, or block of code, whatever).  This comment would have been just as useful had it been replaced with "I LIEK PERPLE!"... [More]

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 released?

Along with the release of SQL Server 2008, it looks like the final version of .NET 3.5 SP1 has shipped.  You can snag the bits here.  This update includes some very cool stuff, including Dynamic Data, the Entity Framework, ADO.NET Data Services, and lots of improvements throughout the framework. 

How to run a software development company (INTO THE GROUND)

I was all set to write an informative post about HashSets today, but I'm not going to.  Instead, I'm going to finally start what will be a new on-going series here on this blog.  The series will cover the things you *shouldn't* do if you hold some sort of managerial stake in a software project.  Sadly these tales will be from my own personal experience working for companies that have drifted into disarray.  These examples will be embellished  somewhat to drive the points home, but by and large, everything you will read in these posts will be true.  ... [More]

Essential Development &quot;Tools&quot;

I've had the unfortunate pleasure of changing out two of my machines in the last week.  First, my trusty Dell Inspiron is being phased out in favor of the lighter, sturdier, sexier VistaMac.  Second, my ancient workstation at my day job is finally being replaced by an HP xw6600 workstation with a quad core Xeon (NICE).  While new toys are great, setting them up and getting them to feel "right" is a challenge.  I've found that to perform at my peak, I need some essential tools, utilities, and other misc. items.  Some of these are not free, but I've... [More]

Unit testing complex ASP.NET MVC controllers with Moq

One of the advantages of the new ASP.NET MVC framework is improved testability.  Testing simple controllers is as simple as testing any other class.  Once you start accessing HttpContext-related things though (such as the request, response, etc), things become much more tricky.  There's a few things in MVC Contrib that can help, but I've found them to be very lacking.  For example, I was trying to test a controller that inspected the HttpMethod property of the request, but MVC Contrib provides no way to alter this value (at least not that I have found). Instead, I found s... [More]

LogMeIn.com problems with Firefox 3 and Vista

I'm not sure who to blame, but after switching to Windows Vista on one of my development workstations, I've been unable to get the Firefox 3 plug-in for LogMeIn.com to work.  No matter how many times I tried to install it, no plug-in files appeared on my computer.  I even tried running Firefox 3 with elevated privileges, but that didn't help.  So, instead, I manually installed the plug-in by performing these steps: Download the XPI from https://secure.logmein.com/activex/npRACtrl.xpi.  You may need to use Internet Explorer since Firefox will probably just try to insta... [More]