Monday, January 22, 2007 #

Last PingPoet Blog Post

This is my last blog post as VBGuru. I've switched to blogger now. If you are still interested in what I have to say from time to time, please update your feed readers:

PingPoet has been good to me (thanks Scott). I'm just consolidating, that's all. :)

posted @ Monday, January 22, 2007 7:04 PM | Feedback (20)

Thursday, December 28, 2006 #

CodeMash... I'll be there!

CodeMash is coming next month (January 18th & 19th) and I'll be there. Data Dynamics is actually sponsoring the event. We were trying to get a spot to speak at the event, but there were lots of other speakers with a hell of a lot more clout that myself (ie. Scott Guthrie, Bill Wagner, Josh Holmes, etc...). As it turns out, we'll simply be exhibiting at the event, but I do hope to attend 1 or 2 sessions if possible.

If you are able to attend, please stop by our booth. We have a whole new line of products and many people don't even know about them yet. We've demoed the products at TechEd, Tulsa TechFest , and DevConnections so far, but it's been pretty hush-hush outside of those events. We haven't made mention of this new line of products on our website or even in our marketing campaigns. When we do... you'll know though. Once the "cat is out of the bag" I (personally) plan to do a lot of blogging about them with tips, tricks, and all that good stuff. We've even talked about a Data Dynamics Community Blog to allow us to interact more with our customers, but it's just an idea right now. Feel free to send me an email if you are interested in finding out more information about these products or think a Data Dynamics community blog would be a good idea (lucas at datadynamics dot com). Otherwise, if you do come to CodeMash, stop by the Data Dynamics booth and talk to me "mono e mono" or "chicka e mono"... I'd love to give you a personalized demo of what we've been (secretly) working on. ;)

The coolest part about this whole "CodeMash thing" (for me anyway) is that I'm taking the family up with me. I can't wait!! The event is being held at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio... it's an indoor water park. Anybody with kids knows that this easily qualifies me for a "Dad of the Year" award with my girls. We are going up a day before the event and plan to stay a couple of extra days after the event. The goal is to relax and kick back for a couple of days with time off of the farm to not worry about anything.

Jen and I have some friends up around this area too, so if we run out of things to do at Kalahari, we could always go visit our friends from college. It's a shame that CedarPoint won't be open; that place kicks butt. The only times I've ever been to Sandusky are to go to CedarPoint... I didn't even know that there were other things to do in Sandusky to be honest. :)

Lastly, I gotta throw out some marketing stuff because it will give me a chance to win a Zune (details). Here goes:
CodeMash – I'll be there!

posted @ Thursday, December 28, 2006 1:22 PM | Feedback (1)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006 #

Horrible IIS Bug

Today I was trying to run an ASP.NET 2.0 application. And (as we all know) IIS requires us to change our 'Default Web Site' to point to the "Local Path" directory where localhost will run (my rants on this useless process might be found in a future blog post). :) Anyway, once I remapped my local directory to it's new location, I tried to hit the site: http://localhost/lucscoolproject and, after ASP.NET 2.0 finished compiling whatever it is ASP.NET 2.0 compiles, I got this "extremely descriptive and helpful" error message:

App_GlobalResources/' maps to a directory outside this application

WHAT!? I did my famous Google search using the entire string and found the answer right away. IIS bombs when the 'Local Path' on the "Home Directory Tab" has a trailing \.

I was using:
and changed it to:
c:\dev\testprojects\web <--- notice no trailing \ character
Vioala! It worked!

How could a simple trailing "\" at the end of my Local path warrant such a nasty error message? C'mon Team! :)

posted @ Wednesday, November 01, 2006 10:12 PM | Feedback (17)

Monday, October 30, 2006 #

White and Nerdy

This is my new theme song!!

posted @ Monday, October 30, 2006 1:54 PM | Feedback (159)

Friday, October 27, 2006 #

Here is my XNA blog post

I've been hearing a lot about XNA. If you are a tech blogger, you have probably noticed as well. I didn't quite understand all the hype at first, but now it's starting to catch my attention... deficit disor... I'm thirsty. Anyway, I'm seeing what all the hype is about now and decided to write my very own post about XNA. This way, someone might find my dorky blog if they do a feed search for XNA. Let me know if this was you. :)

Today I was doing my blog role and ran across a really cool post with oodles of useful code to get someone up and running with XNA using Visual Basic 2005. I must admit that when using .NET, I prefer using C#. Outside of .NET however, I'm a hard core VB junky at heart (hence the VBGuru blog name (nice little self pingback there)). There are tons of C# samples using XNA as well. I remember seeing a whole bunch of them a couple of weeks ago when it was first announced, but didn't feel like digging through old feeds to find them before posting this. Just do a google search if you are interested... they're out there!

I do plan to get into this sometime and tinker around with it. I've always wanted to be a game developer and now with XNA, it sets the "standards" (damn MS) for developing games in .NET. I just need to find some free time between workin, farmin, daddin, bloggin, and livin. Maybe tomorrow. :)

posted @ Friday, October 27, 2006 2:30 PM | Feedback (20)

Friday, October 20, 2006 #

Multithreaded Map Reduce Implementation

Map Reduce is a very cool concept. If you have never heard of it or never took the time to really figure out how it works, I highly recommend doing so now. I remember reading about it when Joel mentioned it on his blog. When I first realized how it all worked, I must admit there was some confusion as to when and why I would ever use this. I now see the power of it and can think of many situations where I could use this. It really is an ingenious concept.

I was catching up on my blog role today and ran across Eric Sink's multithreaded approach to this problem. The scariest part about the whole thing is that I downloaded his code and actually understand every line of code. If you would have shown me this code 6 months ago, I would have laughed in your face. It's amazing how fast you learn new concepts and not even realize it when working in the computer field. I love my job hobby passion. :)

posted @ Friday, October 20, 2006 11:29 PM | Feedback (20)

Saturday, October 14, 2006 #

.NET Rocks!

Today was a good day. Ok, today was a GREAT day! You'll have to excuse me if I'm start rambling on about hmump traughwre phla vie chee shafla chum chum. About 20 minutes ago I was interviewed by Carl Franklin and Richard Cambell!!! Yes, that's right, the one and only .NET Rocks! hosts!! I'm still on cloud 9 about the whole ordeal.

Needless to say, I'm an avid listener to the show and love hearing about all the cool things in the nerd-world. It's so cool to hear then say "Data Dynamics" when they shout out to their sponsors because I know that so many people listen to the podcast. We have lots of people come up to our booth and say they've heard of us on .NET Rocks! and thank us for sponsoring them. I can't wait until Monday's episode and hear Carl introduce ME!! Wow! So cool...

Every now and then Carl will come up to our booth at a tech show and catch up with us on what's new. It has always been on a "nerd to nerd" basis and very informal. He talks up our products and I talk up his show. I had never imagined I would be getting interviewed on his show. Well tonight James and I were leaving the VIP dinner after TechFest and as we were walking out, Richard came up to us and asked if they could interview us... I was floored!

Update: The pictures are in and blog has been updated. Thanks for the "camera phone proof" James! :)

Update: I looked on .NET Rocks! site and see that the TechFest episode won't be available for download until November 21st. All this waiting is killing me!

posted @ Saturday, October 14, 2006 10:42 PM | Feedback (13)

Thursday, October 05, 2006 #

Google Code Search

This should be a very handy search utility once I figure out the trick to using it:

I haven't really had much luck with it yet becuase I'm not sure what to search for. Typically when I run into a problem, I just press F1, read up on a topic and tinker with it. I was talking with Scott today on a certain aggregation issue in c# and i found a couple of "potential" links that might help find a solution to the problem. Who knows, worth a try. :)

posted @ Thursday, October 05, 2006 1:47 AM | Feedback (5)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 #

The Hmuan Biran

Well, ok... The subject is a little much, but this is pretty cool... Try to read the sentence below as fast as you can. You'll be amazed at how good you do:

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

Weried ins't it? Who ndees slpel chckeer aynawy?

posted @ Tuesday, October 03, 2006 9:25 PM | Feedback (7)

Tulsa TechFest 2006

Data Dynamics will be speaking at Tulsa TechFest 2006 on Saturday, October 14th. James and I are going to be demonstrating some of the cool new features in ActiveReports for .NET 3.0. Here is our little blurb about what we'll be talking about:

Creating Professional Reports in No Time Using ActiveReports for .NET 3.0
ActiveReports for .NET 3.0 allows you to create professional reports with very little effort. Come join us and learn how to leverage the power of a true object oriented reporting solution as we demonstrate useful features that will interest both the hard core coders and the business analysts. This one hour session will outline the benefits of a robust, event driven reporting library and illustrate how an easy-to-use designer can make you look like a pro.

If you are going to be attending the event, stop by our booth and talk "nerdy" to us.

posted @ Tuesday, October 03, 2006 12:52 AM | Feedback (0)

Saturday, September 30, 2006 #

Xaml PivotTable

Going through my blog role today and found a cool link to a PivotTable written in WPF. It has a whole slew of unit tests setup and looks to be pretty cool. I have to install some things before I can get it working, but I look forward to tearing into it...

posted @ Saturday, September 30, 2006 7:52 PM | Feedback (2)

Friday, September 29, 2006 #

Touch Screen Computing

Too cool!! Jeff Han demonstrates a multi-touch sensor computer screen.
This was the same system (and demonstration) that I blogged about back in March... I've since subscribed to the TedBlog. :)

posted @ Friday, September 29, 2006 3:58 PM | Feedback (1)

Google Reader

For all of those of you that use BlogLines, FeedDemon, RSSBandit, GreatNews, Sage, or any other blog reader, I have to say that you might give google Reader a chance now. Today they released a major usability enhanced version that (I feel) will be very hard to compete with.

See for yourself:

I have quickly switched back to google Reader as of... now.

1.) I started into my blogging experience using some Outlook Add-in that treated blog posts like "Newsgroup Threads". It might have been some early versions of NewsGator, I dont' recall exactly.
2.) Then I used RSS Bandit for a long time
3.) About a year or two ago, I switched to FeedDemon and used it for a while. I really liked FeedDemon, but it had some usability issues. FeedDemon was a hassle for me because I blog on my laptop and on my home pc and the read/unread settings are stored locally. When I travelled or had a big day of catching up on one of the pc's, I had to manually sync my settings.
4.) Once google released their online blog reader, I rejoiced and quickly began using it because I could keep all my RSS feeds updated in one place... online. There were some major usability issues. There was no "newspaper" view, no way to update a group of feeds as "read" without going through them one by one, and some other minor usability issues here and there.
5.) Issam uses GreatNews and I decided to switch a few weeks ago and try to get used to it. He told me about it almost a year ago and I installed it tried it out, but didn't notice anything too impressive. It reminded me a lot of FeedDemon only it had "Labels". I didn't think it was cool enough to swtich from my licensed FeedDemon (which I was using at the time). Well, since he has been so loyal to the app all this time, I basically decided to see past it's "local storage" problem and give it another try... google Readers' usability was getting a bit old and they hadn't made any significant updates yet. I was contetemplating an idea to just write a script to sync my read/unread posts. I was just starting to get used to it's interface and keyboard shortcuts... Until...
6.) google Reader fixed their usability problems. I've switched back. :)

Thanks google Gods!

posted @ Friday, September 29, 2006 2:45 AM | Feedback (2)

Sunday, September 17, 2006 #


I found this cool link while doing my blog role. This is an app that will allow you to draw a 2d image on it's surface and it will transform it into a 3d image automatically (no buttons, nothing).

It is currently a Java Applet, if anybody ports it to .NET, please let me know. :) Likewise, If I end up porting it to .NET, I'll post a blog and you know.

posted @ Sunday, September 17, 2006 11:39 AM | Feedback (14)

Thursday, September 14, 2006 #

How do you measure success?

I was catching up on my blog role and came across a very simple image described the 'definition' of success.
Diagram of Success
I couldn't agree more. After seeing that image and thinking about my life, I feel very successful.

posted @ Thursday, September 14, 2006 8:39 PM | Feedback (11)

Saturday, September 09, 2006 #

b. young designs

Bonnie Young is a very talented artist and a very close friend. She now has a 'working' website that displays all of her work and it is just a fraction of what she is capable of. Jennifer and I asked her to paint our girls bedroom this summer and it turned out amazing! If you think I'm kidding, look for yourself:


What blew me away about this room is that Jennifer and I stood around and talk to her while she was painting and she just kept conversation with us as she was painting it. It was really incredible to see her work, it is just so easy for her.

Anyway, the reason for this blog post is to inform the world that her site is up and running. I actually placed my first order a couple of days ago. Of course, we got the 'Daizy Card Set' so that we can send out cards when Daizianna is born (any day now). Her site was a long time in the making; Corey (her husband, and my good friend) gave it a full overhaul and got it looking very nice. He added a shopping cart and posted pictures of some of the amazing work that she can do. The site probably only shows about 20% of her full portfolio (I'm assuming). I've seen her portfolio and was blown away.

Bonnie has done work Crate and Barrel and Longaberger just to name a few of her bigger clients. She has been an art teacher for our local school district (Licking Valley) and she is just a great person. If you are into crafty things and appreciate raw talent, I definitely encourage you to check out

posted @ Saturday, September 09, 2006 12:21 AM | Feedback (6)

Friday, September 08, 2006 #

Blue Screen of Death

I'm in pieces again... I turned on my computer yesterday and was presented with the "blue screen of death". I hate the feeling that I get in my stomach when things don't work like they should, especially when it comes to my computer. Here is how it all went down:

The night before last, I installed a "CareBears" game for the girls so that they could play "vee oh games". They played that game for almost an hour, and of course I supervised the whole event to make sure that things didn't get out of hand (apple juice in the keyboard, crayons on the lcd, etc...). When they were done playing, I simply closed the app, ejected the CD and locked my computer. After that, I went upstairs for a while and didn't get back down to the computer until after putting the girls to bed. I went back downstairs after a couple of hours to put my pc in hibernate mode.

Yesterday morning, I turned on my computer to get started for the day and this is when my problems started happening. I saw the 'Resuming Windows' progress bar and then boom... Blue Screen of Death. Unfortunately, I don't remember what it said specifically. To get it to turn off, I had to hold in on the power button for 5 seconds. After I did that, I gave it a minute and tried to turn it back on... Nothing. No clicks. No beeps. No lights... Nothing.

Panic set in and I told myself to take a deep breath. I decided there was no time for that, so I unplugged all my cords and took my computer upstairs to begin surgery immediately. I took out all my add ons, hard drives, and memory. My computer had to be in 100 separate parts (or so it looked). I consulted with some computer nerd buddies and got lots of tips (thanks John, thanks James, thanks Corey). James actually helped me determine that it was not my power supply by using some cool hack to hot wire my fans with a paperclip.

Using the hack I knew that it had to either be my motherboard or my battery. Apparently the battery is a critical piece on a MAC, but I'm not sure that it is that big of a deal on a PC. Anyway, I think that the problem is another fried motherboard. Remember that I had a fried motherboard less than 5 months ago. I emailed MBX support already and I'm sending in my tower tomorrow in hopes of getting it back with "the quickness".  That is where I'm at now... Waiting for morning so I can visit FedEx... CRAP!!

posted @ Friday, September 08, 2006 10:37 PM | Feedback (0)

Hardbarger Spell Check

The funny-side of having such a cool last name. :)
I thought this little prompt was 'blog worthy'... Another cool one was 'headbanger'... that one almost got the 'Replace' button.

posted @ Friday, September 08, 2006 1:29 AM | Feedback (1)

Toboso and WikiPedia

I did a search for Blackhand Gorge on google and was presented with a wikipedia link. There is even mention of the great flood of 1946 when Dillon Dam was completely submerged and forced the town of Toboso to be torn down. A couple of years ago, I got to see how a good bit of rain could have caused a whole town to pick up and move. I actually blogged about it... Anyway, I just thought that it was cool to see Claylick and Toboso in a Wikipedia definition. I feel like we're officially on the map now.

posted @ Friday, September 08, 2006 12:55 AM | Feedback (0)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006 #

Freelance Drummer

Pretty cool... I found a site for freelance drumming. This guy (Joe Crabtree) will lay down custom drum tracks for any song. What is cool about this, is that he mic's each drum separately and this allows you to mix them however you wish. So, if you're in a band struggling to find a drummer for all your studio tracks, your band. Don't call me, I'm busy...  instead head on over to Joe's site. :)

If you think this dude is joking, check out his demo video... this guy has got some skillz. Very impressive!

posted @ Tuesday, September 05, 2006 7:29 PM | Feedback (2)

Friday, August 25, 2006 #

MDX Ranking Wizardry

Mosha is a MDX madman.

He took a simple query in MDX that took 1 minute and 20 seconds and optimized it down to happening instantaneously. The best part is that he walks you through each step of the way as he incrementally optimizes it. First attempt was strait MDX, then he went through and added a Stored Procedure with a custom C# function. Finally he resorted to using an ordered Named Set. Each step detailed why it took so long and explained what was happening under the covers of Analysis Services 2005. Bottom line is that this is a great post, and I thought it was very blog worthy.

If ranking tickles your fancy, check out this free chapter excerpt on Sorting and Ranking from MDX Solutions, 2nd Edition.

posted @ Friday, August 25, 2006 12:40 AM | Feedback (26)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 #

Photo Recognition

Picasa Team has teamed up with Neven Vision to offer a better way to organize photos. Basically, they are working to include photo recognition technology to allow users to search for photo's easier, without requiring them to use 'Labels'. I've always thought about how cool it would be to have this feature and now they are working towards making it a reality. What this means is that they want to be able to recognize places and people from photo's taken on a camera. How cool would that be?

Image if I took a picture of my girls next to the garage with my dog in the background and then simply open Picasa and do a search for "Lizzie" or "Jazzy" or "Diesel" and this picture would popup along with all the other pictures that have them in it. Now we're talkin!!!

This is very similar to what Microsoft is working on with PhotoSynth... If you haven't heard of PhotoSynth, you should definitely check it out. It is basically an application that will take a bunch of pictures and create a 3D model using the pictures taken... Of course there is a lot more to it than that, but that is the gist of it. You should watch the video to see what all PhotoSynth does.

posted @ Wednesday, August 16, 2006 3:23 PM | Feedback (10)

Monday, August 14, 2006 #

More bloggity

A couple of weeks ago I created a new blogger account:

For now, I'll just use the blogger account for family oriented stuff and use this one for all other topics. Basically, I have been having problems here and there with SubText so decided to explore my options to resolve some of the issues. My biggest problem of course is comment spam, I still get tons of comment spam from my email link in SubText (all contain ".... via Luc's Blog" in the subject). A couple of weeks ago I was having some major issues and wasn't able to edit or post new entries. Scott fixed it and it is working well now (duh, I'm posting). :) Thanks Scott!

Anyway, for now, my pingpoet blog will probably be my main blog for geek talk (code, quantum crap, etc...). The blogger account will probably be used more for family oriented blog posts because it integrates so nicely with Picasa and I have oodles of images to blog about. If I find that I am posting to one blog more than the other, I'll either tie them all together or just switch and don't look back. For now I'm just going to see how the blogger account works out for just family crap (farm living, girl raising, family news, etc...). Feel free to check it out and subscribe...

posted @ Monday, August 14, 2006 2:49 AM | Feedback (11)

Friday, February 24, 2006 #

UFO Sighting

I'm up working late again and I'm listening to 99.7 and the DJ stated that people in Sunbury are reporting that there is a UFO in the sky looking towoard Johnstown. I ran outside to see for myself, and “I'll be damned” if there isn't something in the sky. I'm not sure if it is an alien craft, but it is definitely not a star and it is not an airplane either because it is just sitting still. Typically the North Star is the brightest star in the sky out here, but this light is much brighter than the North Star. I can honestly say that this is pretty damn exciting.

I'm currently charging up my camcorder so that I can get some footage and zoom in on it. I'll post a link to the video if it is still there in a couple of minutes (after my battery charges). VERY COOL!!

Next Day Update: False alarm, it was a (very bright and large) star or something. Sleep deprivation might have had something to do with my extreme excitement. :)

Almost 2 Months Later: James turned me onto a link from that explains what I could have seen. Thanks James. I still believe... :)

posted @ Friday, February 24, 2006 3:01 AM | Feedback (0)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 #

I am the Best Drummer

... according to

Best Drums


SONG Love Drugs and Bombs [play]
BAND O Sweet Static


SONG Dawn [play]
BAND TwoThirtySeven


SONG Learning Your Way [play]
BAND Strydir Lee

We posted some scratch tracks of our music on their site with our new name (O Sweet Static) and it was rated as having the best drums in the rock genre. I'll be signing autographs after work. :)

posted @ Tuesday, July 11, 2006 5:02 PM | Feedback (0)