Hugoware

The product of a web developer with a little too much caffeine

Archive for the ‘Just For Fun’ Category

Autocomplete? Yeah, But How?

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Unless you’re really hardcore you probably use an IDE with some sort of autocomplete feature. It doesn’t have to be the super charged intellisense you find in Visual Studio – It could be as simple as the autocomplete feature in Notepad++ (which I love by the way…)

In any case, I got to wondering today – How do other people use their autocomplete features?

Best I could figure there was probably about 4 different ways you could approach using autocomplete…

  1. Type just long enough to see the item you want and then use the arrow keys to correct item.
  2. Keep typing, regardless of when it appears on the list, until it becomes the selected item.
  3. Use both pretty much equally.
  4. Auto complete is for noobs

Yeah, it isn’t a very deep, through provoking sort of question but it is somewhat interesting to think about. Maybe there is some sort of deeper psychological meaning behind our choices… or not…

[Poll] : So, how do you use your autocomplete feature?

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Written by hugoware

June 24, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Have You Said ‘Thank You’ Lately?

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It’s always fun to look back on your career and see where you were and how you got to where you are now. Its also interesting to see the points where your life took the big turns, normally from a single moment or discussion with another person.

I’m not talking about the ‘Big Guys’ like Hanselman or McConnell (order is random ;)). I’m talking about the little moments that happened from parents, bosses or just people we met along the way.

Without these events we might be using different languages, working with different technologies — Heck, we might not even be programmers anymore. It seems to me we ought to thank those people that helped guide us to where we are today – even if it was inadvertently…

My Thank You List

Mom
Got me a programming book for our Commadore 64 when I was 6, fixed the computer every time I screwed it up, kept me focused on art and design.

Dad
Brought home my first “real” programming language Toolbook from Asymetric – Wasn’t playing with a kid language anymore (…well, I was, but you get what I mean)

Larry W.
The company I worked at didn’t have a software development department when I arrived – Without this guy I wouldn’t have a job (or even had the chance to learn all I’ve learned)

Gary W.
Probably said the most important statement in my professional career – “Classic ASP? I was under the impression that all real software development was done using either .NET or Java!” — or something like that. In any case, that was the kick in the pants I needed to really try and become a professional.

The Wife
Where do I get the time to blog? Or work on my projects? Or do contract work? Or listen to me sort out a problem when she really just doesn’t care that I think that an implementation of some WebControl is poorly designed? Without my best friend I wouldn’t have ever had the time. (Someone needs to keep the brats away :))

Cheesy But Relevant

Yeah, this is kinda a cheesy, out of the blue, mushy blog post – but take a moment and really think about it. You are where you are because someone helped you make that decisions – even if by accident.

So? Who do you need to go tell ‘Thank You’?

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Another Icon

reflector

Made another icon real quick today – I didn’t like the existing Reflector icon (since it looked terrible on my dock). I made a quick on to tide me over until I can make a nicer looking one.

Written by hugoware

September 11, 2009 at 2:11 am

Tool List Mania!

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Not sure if everyone else has been noticing this but a lot of devs have been developing lists of their favorite tools. While I’m not calling myself a “famous dev”, I do think that I’ll join in party!

ClipX – Clipboard Manager

clipx

Seriously, this tool ranks as one of my favorites – it’s such an amazingly useful concept executed with simplicity and elegant… or something like that. Basically, Copy as much as you want and even use your Paste command like you normally would. But if you need something from your history press Shift+Paste and BAM! A list of previously copied text and images – Awesome!

Notepad++ – Simple, Clean, Excellent

notepad

The classic Windows Notepad has served us well but all things must pass. Notepad++ is actually a bit of a misnomer if they are trying to describe how much better it is compared to regular Notepad. It should be something like Notepad+x42, but you get the idea anyways.

One of the reasons why this Notepad sets itself apart from others is it’s Word Completion “intellisense” – basically it uses the words already in your document for the auto-complete text, which is surprisingly useful!

notepad-word-complete

Expresso – Makes Me Think Of Coffee

expresso

There is probably thousands of Regular Expression tools out on the web that people all love – my personal choice has always been Expresso. I’m not sure if its the tools, that its free or a sub-conscious choice since I like coffee so much. Regardless, Expresso has been in my toolkit for a long time now and until someone else comes up with another coffee flavored named version, I’m sticking with it.

RocketDock- My Personal Apple Indulgence

rocketdock

Yeah, this looks like the application launcher for the enemy but it is still one of my favorite ways to get access to my most commonly used applications. Windows 7 might change my mind but for now this is hard to beat. You can even download additional plug-ins that can create the same “fan” style folder list! Awesome!

Like most tools, there are a lot of other options out there, but RocketDock is the only one that consistently placed the window focus on programs I launched, which was pretty much the most important part of the whole thing for me. 🙂

.NET Reflector – Pure AWESOME

reflector

I’m shocked when I encounter a developer that hasn’t heard of Reflector – but then again all of us, at one point or another, never knew about it. Even though you probably know all about it I’m going to list it just in case. If you ever need to see what the source of compiled .NET code looks like this is the tool.

jLinq- Personal Plug

jlinq

It’s like LINQ with your JSON data! Brilliant! Someone needs to get this guy a raise! In all seriousness if you’re going to be doing a lot of work with JSON data, especially large arrays of records, then jLinq will go a long way to help you keep your code short and clear!

n52te – Bonus Hardware Section

n52te

If you like gaming then you might want to check this out – the n52te. It is hard to see how I used to play games in the past before this came along. When I get this thing configured I can do 66+ commands reliably all with my left hand! Your keyboard certainly can’t do it!

I also use this thing for work from time to time, interestingly enough. For example, I have a separate configuration for using Blender (3D modeling program) that makes it easier to navigate the application. (I’m not good at 3D modeling, just something I do for fun)

In fact this is my second time buying this – I used to own its baby brother – until he died (granted it took a lot of abuse before it did).

And For Your Viewing Pleasure

You may have come here today looking for .NET programming related content… sorry… But how about a .NET related LOL-Cat?

lolcat

Written by hugoware

September 4, 2009 at 2:19 am

Sony VAIO – Now With Less Bloatware!

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You may have seen my previous post where I was deciding on the laptop I was going to purchase. I ended up going with the Sony VAIO VGN-FW463J/B (I can actually type it from memory after all the work I did this weekend). I got an awesome deal from NewEgg.com at a mere $899 – no tax!

To recap – here are the specs…

  • Operating System Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
  • CPU Type Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 2.53 GHz
  • Screen 16.4″
  • Memory Size 4GB DDR2
  • Hard Disk 320GB
  • Optical Drive Dual Layer DVD Burner
  • Graphics Card ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 (1GB)
  • Dimensions 15.1″ x 10.3″ x 1.14-1.46″
  • Weight 6.9 lbs.

Overall I’m quite satisfied with my purchase but it was a tough road to get here. This last weekend was rough to say the least. Here are a few of the problems I had when I got started.

Heat! Yowza!

I was quite shocked when I felt how hot this laptop is. It isn’t unbearable but is certainly isn’t ideal either. The odd thing is that the bottom of the laptop actually seems to be cooler than the top!. For the most part it seems that the harddrive and the graphics cards are the culprits – but since I plan to switch to a SSD drive later on then that source of heat should go away – and since I use the n52te when I play any games then the graphics card should be irrelevant (even though the vent exits where my arm would be — but whatever, close enough :))

Wireless

The wireless works until it comes out of sleep mode – then it works for one or two requests and dies. You have to fiddle around with the connection before it finally restores itself. It isn’t terrible since the wireless “on/off” switch is on the front of the laptop and you can use it to “reboot” the connection. Just a slight annoyance that you can easily overcome.

BLOATWARE

I remember when I was a teenager my parents bought me a VAIO and if I remember correctly they had a bunch of custom software for everything. In fact, instead of using the typical Windows 98 Start menu, they had some custom screen for managing your applications. You could get out of it but it was also a pain since it was in your way at the start.

This VAIO is no different – they have a bunch of silly programs to do things that are already built into Vista (like one to manage your wireless connection – why?). Along with that you have some other apps pre-installed applications like a trial version of Office or Norton Anti-Virus.

The problem comes in since you can’t do a clean install because the restore disks automatically reinstall all the bloatware you didn’t want — well that is unless you intervene. 🙂

The solution is really quite simple – just end task out of the installer!

At one point you’ll see that the VAIO restore disks are trying to install the software and drivers – just press CTRL-SHIFT+ESC to pull up the task manager and then end the process! The program fails, the Vista install completes and all the drivers you need, minus the wireless driver, can all be found on the restore disks.

Everything was installed correctly after the Vista install finished so I doubt you need the restore disks for the drivers – but they are there if you need them (again – the wireless driver has to be downloaded from the Sony website though).

Summary

I’m happy with my new laptop even though it took some effort to get to this point. Now my desk looks even more nerdy!

In my defense the teddy bear is a father’s day gift and cannot be removed… ever…

sweet

Written by hugoware

August 31, 2009 at 2:36 am

Getting Started With Silverlight

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Today I got started using Silverlight for the first time today. Presently, Silverlight is on version 3 so I’m a little late to the party (but then again given the speed of the releases, I may not be that far back after all). I was leery of using Silverlight because I’ve always liked working with Flash, mostly because I really like taking a break from statically typed languages and playing with dynamic languages.

However, Silverlight is just filled with pure awesome so far. .NET Framework, available from a RIA? Sweet!

I dont’ have as much to say today as usual because I’m still working on this project — but I can say that I’m really excited because a project I’ve wanted to build forever now is actually available for the first time thanks to the features found in Silverlight.

Over the next few months I’ll share my progress on my creation and hopefully get some feedback about what people think — but as for now, I’m still just trying to figure out how to move some rectangles around. 🙂

Does anyone have any recommended resources for learning Silverlight? Especially creating games?

Written by hugoware

July 30, 2009 at 2:37 am

Nothing Gets Done When You’re Out Of Town — Ever

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I was out of town this weekend, formatting my computer and chillin’ with my daughters, so the time to work on a technical blog post was pretty much non-existent. I did run into a very disappointing problem with the Vista install that shocked me that I would need to fix (manually loading drivers at the start of the installation – certainly not ‘grandma user-friendly)

Despite that fact I had no time for a technical post, I did get some time to test and verify my screencast software was working like it was before.

This screencast I have a special guest with me, my three-year old daughter Cassandra, showing us some of her favorite technologies on Vista.

This isn’t programming related, just something fun I did this weekend with my kid talking about her favorite games — and she’s talking at the start so have your speakers down


screencast-3

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Written by hugoware

July 13, 2009 at 7:41 am