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Jayson's Blog

  • Comedian Richard Pryor Dies at 65

    CNN.com - Comedian Richard Pryor dies at 65 - Dec 10, 2005.

    Pryor, who had been ill with multiple sclerosis, died at Encino Hospital near Los Angeles, at 7:58 a.m. PT. Jennifer Lee Pryor tried to revive him before paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital, she said.

    Ground breaking doesn’t even begin to describe Pryor’s contributions to the comedy world…he basically invented/popularized his style of comedy (which Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock both followed up on quite well)…for his style of comedy, he was definitely the best and will probably remain so for quite some time.  I know what I’ll be watching on TV tonight.  Rest in peace.

  • Performancing for Firefox Extension

    The good folks over at Performancing have released what looks to be a very promising Firefox extension:  Performancing for Firefox.  I haven’t been able to get much functionality out of it yet using the MetaWeblog API (which is what Community Server uses) account settings, but apparently it’s working for other account types.  Regardless, it looks very promising, so here’s hoping they get the MetaWeblog stuff cleaned up.  I dare say it could even replace my beloved BlogJet if all the kinks get ironed out.
  • About Jayson

    After two years of blogging, I finally got around to adding an “about me” page…I’m pretty terrible at introducing myself, but you can view it here.
  • Community Server 2.0 Beta 2 -- Available Now

    As promised, Community Server 2.0 beta 2 was released into the wild today (about an hour ago actually)…you can follow the discussion over on this thread if you’d like (please post feedback there).  The two most notable features of this release is that the legacy settings page has been pulled from the suite completely (replaced by the control panel piece), and also the addition of an MSI installer package for super quick setup (it literally takes about 2 minutes).  There is a small bug in the installer which will cause it to fail:  You cannot use a period (.) in the database name (even if you surround the name in brackets [ ])…other than that it runs flawlessly and supports remote database installation (the site itself is installed on your local machine).

    All in all, this is the biggest release yet for the CS team…huge congratulations to them; I know there were many a late night spent getting this release out of the door on time.  Way to go guys!

    You can download the newest MSI installer based release from here.  If you prefer the web based installer, you can find that release here.

  • Digitally Imported Channel Chooser Utility

    I got sick of going to Digitally Imported’s slow as hell website to find music to listen to, so I wrote a Windows application that pretty much mimics their site without all the ads/nonsense…if this is something you think you’d find useful, feel free to download it from here (requires .Net 2.0, which can be downloaded from here if you don’t already have it installed).

    The application itself is just a simple wrapper around the publicly available DI.fm XML playlist (which is updated in real time), and the app refreshes itself every 5 minutes (you can also manually refresh it if you’d like).  It can also be minimized to the systray if you need it out of your way.  Feature-wise, it’s still incomplete as there is quite a bit of stuff I want to add to it…but the core stuff is all there.

    Architecturally speaking, the application is very simple:  To my (limited) knowledge of WinForms, there isn’t a repeater control, so I had to roll my own logic to mimic one (quite easy to do actually).  As far as consuming the XML playlist, I just suck it into a strongly typed dataset and just query for the data I need via the DS’s API and set control’s text properties accordingly.  All string/image resources are compiled into the .exe itself just to keep it simple, though pretty much everything is generated on the fly dynamically (magic strings == bad as we all know).  Enjoy.

  • Free Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Training

    Huge ups to Mark for sending me an email linking to a ton of free SQL Server 2005 online training from Microsoft (though unfortunately it looks like the “virtual labs” part of the training won’t be available until early February of next year).  I usually just go out and buy a ton of books when new technology comes out, but given the price of tech books these days, I’ll take anything that’s free…especially if it’s straight from the source (in this case, Microsoft).  Good find Mark!
  • Jayson on Interviewing for Microsoft

    I haven’t really been talking about this much, but over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of screening over at Microsoft (well, off and on).  So I decided to write an article about the whole ordeal; if you’re interested in hearing about it just head over here and have a read.  It’s been quite interesting to say the least.
  • Nick Harrison is Blogging

    I just noticed that Nick Harrison is blogging (I’ve mentioned him before).  He is without a doubt one of the brightest guys I’ve ever worked with.  He has over 20 years in the business, and is one of the rare *nix turned Windows folks that I’ve run into.  He already has some fantastic content up on his site, so I highly recommend taking a few minutes to browse through it.  If I know Nick, these will be his focal points:

    • CodeDom (which doesn’t get enough air time IMO)…he did a couple of lunch and learns on this subject and I was blown away by what he was doing with it.
    • Reflection (a topic very dear to my heart)…this is the guy that taught me not to be afraid of it.  He has a great post about it here.
    • Application Architecture.
    • Hopefully some Oracle related stuff; he was a wizard with Oracle.

    A great addition to the .Net blogging realm.  Welcome Nick!

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