Monday, October 31, 2005

Dynamic Einstein picture

check out this link

enter whatever text and Einstein will draw that for you in his chalkboard

Sunday, October 30, 2005

ready to start playing with Visual Studio 2005 and .NET 2.0

last night I finished burning and installing Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005, the install went very smooth and fast, I got the whole thing installed in about 40 minutes, I guess my Samsung H552A 16X DVD±RW helped a lot for this to happen

Now I feel like is almost starting over, there is so much to learn with .NET Framework 2.0, Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005, just to mention a few things, but is definitely exciting to be here at this time, and get to see how the technology is evolving and be part of that evolution, I think is a great opportunity for us developers to learn all this stuff right from it's birth and even during it's conception (Betas), we are learning today what future generations will learn and what will drive tomorrow's technology

now if you'll excuse me I gotta get busy playing with .NET 2.0 =o)

Friday, October 21, 2005

new search engine: exalead

check out this new search engine, it is REALLY nice, introduces many new concepts to the search arena, it shows that even though searching is simple, you can really make it richer in content and options without making it bloated, some of the features are (when you hit search):

- on the left side it has lists of: Related terms, related categories, web site location, document type
- on the middle section the results, with some links that redefine your search, also on this middle section, you can click on the result (but not on the link) and it presents a preview of the site a la Microsoft Outlook
- on the right side you see a thumbnail of the web page of each result

very nice concepts, the search engine may not be as powerful as google or msn search, but will definitely get attention and I'm almost sure that google and Microsoft will soon change their pages to have something like this

do we need yet another search engine? you bet! go try out your self

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Amazing optical illusions (or visual illusions)

check out this page, with (at the time of writing) 59 amazing visual illusions, and each one with an explanation of how it works, history of how/who discovered it, etc. very nice work put together

you can fint it here:

59 Optical Illusions & Visual Phenomena

I specially like these ones:
Frazer's Spiral

“Rotating Snake” Illusion

The 24 Hours of DeXter (Delphi, C++Builder and C#Builder)

Borland has announced another event similar to the last 24 hours of Delphi, it is scheduled for Monday, October 24, 2005. I hope this one goes better than last time, but we'll see

the official announcement is here:

24 Hours of DeXter (Delphi, C++Builder and C#Builder)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

MSDN event in Salt Lake sold out
I was planning on attending the MSDN event in Salt lake today, we got there 5 minutes late, only to find out that the event had "sold out", the guy that was there explained that normally they get about 60% of people who register, to show up, but this time there was even people standing in the room
as we were waiting there just for a few minutes, people kept coming for the event, seems like .NET 2.0 will be more successful than a lot of people would like it to be. They gave us the DVDs containing the whole .NET 2.0 stuff (Visual Studio beta 2, SQL Server 2005, etc), we left our tickets there and they said we would have a priority seat for the next event in December, well see...
this much attendance reminds me of this... except, the exact opposite way, this single event, in a small city probably got more attendants than the 24 hrs of Delphi (at peak time) in the whole world =o(
Finally I am a Black Belt!
After 2 and a half years, last saturday I tested for my Taekwondo Black Belt, it was very hard, my whole body still hurts, but it was fun, and the Black Belt looks really cool

here are some pictures:
Black Belt test

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Free code translation from VB.NET to C# (and viceversa)

do you program in VB.NET and are trying to find example code for such or such thing but all you can find is C# example code (unlikely, but maybe is the other way around)?
don't worry, you can translate the code using this online tool:

CodeTranslator: Free Code Translation From VB.NET <-> C# (from your browser)

that's right, you just paste the code and it gets translated right there in your browser

quote from the site:
"This service will translate the code for you, just start typing the code or upload a file to translate it."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Parameters.Refresh might slow your application big time (Delphi + ADO)

I recently found that that by calling someADOStoredProcedure.Parameters.Refresh you might be slowing your application quite a lot, I use this method to retrieve the stored procedures parameters very often, I have used it for many years with no problems, then last week I came accross this problem where my application would work very well when executed against the local database, but really slow when executed against a remote server in another office.

I went through the "trouble" of adding counters to measure the time each part of my program was taking, to determine where exactly the problem was, and it did tell me what block of code was causing the problem, but I still couldn't see anything obvious, it was simple code to execute a stored procedure, I was still confused, because other parts of code also executed procedures, and so by looking very closely I saw that the other procedures weren't using the Parameters.Refresh; still not convinced that that was the problem, I decided to give it a try, and sure enough it fixed the problem, it dropped the execution time from 300+ milliseconds to 30+

so there you have it, be careful when using this method to retrieve your parameters, while it can be very useful, it might kill your application if it runs against a remote database

my solution to completly fix the problem, was to call this method once, and after that, make sure I populate all the parameters values, because that also can cause issues, if you don't call the .Refresh method, make sure that you update all the parameters values, or you'll end up with parameters data from your previous call, which can really mess up your data
freeware .NET visual components from obout inc

Danny just pointed to this site that contains some visual components for .NET, the components include:
- ASP Treeview
- Slide Menu
- Calendar
- New Postback (ajax based)
- Splitter
- EasyMenu

really nice components, work in all major browsers, and best of all, they are completly free!!
go check them out
obout inc

Monday, October 03, 2005

more news on Office 12: native PDF support!

it has been announced that Office 12 will have native support for the PDF format, it will be built into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, OneNote, Visio and InfoPath

so now you have the option of HTML, RTF, the new Open XML and PDF!... pretty cool, check more details here

Office XML Formats
Virtual Earth Shared Map (with MSN Messenger)

now you can navigate through a Virtual Earth map with your peers that are using MSN Messenger, simply use the Actions menu, Start Activity and select Virtual Shared Map, you then are prompted to enter your location (city, postal code, address), as each person navigates both users can see the changes, pretty cool add-in for MSN Messenger, try it out your self