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# Friday, August 10, 2007

Well Greg Brill hasn’t responded to the email with my resume and I haven’t gotten any swag from DotNetRocks!, but you may have noticed that on episode #260 at five minutes and twenty seconds Richard Campbell read my email.  I was a little surprised myself as I was only half listening while I was at work, but sure enough he read my comments on show #244 with Scott Stanfield.  He didn’t read everything so here is my email in full:


Hey Guys,

I just wanted to let you know that the Scott Stanfield show was great.  I am a .Net developer and have been listening to the big three for some time now (.NetRocks, Hanselminutes, and Runas Radio).  My only complaint is that I need more content to listen to.  I’ve tried a few other podcasts, but either the content or the sound quality sucked and I removed them from my subscriptions.  After listening to the Scott Stanfield show I started thinking that you need to get this guy his own podcast.  He knew a wide range of topics and obviously enjoyed talking about them.   The way he presented information reminded me of Scott Hanselman as they both come across as very excited and enthusiastic about technology.  What do you think?  If you’re too busy to get it up and going then maybe you could hire a hot intern (or at least you could use it as an excuse to get one.)  Just thought I would throw that out there.  Keep up the good work.


Anyways, I’m going to officially start the campaign for the Scott Stanfield show.  I don’t know If Scott wants to do one or not, but if I can get enough people to ask then maybe he will.  My job is getting fairly boring and I need some interesting content to listen to so until I get a new job, some swag as a bribe to shut me up, or the Scott Stanfield show starts I’ll keep bugging for the new podcast.  I’ve put together a survey to gather everyone’s opinion about the idea so fill out the survey and feel free to comment about it here.


Friday, August 10, 2007 6:00:00 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] - Trackback - Save to - Digg This! - Follow me on Twitter
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If you haven’t been watching Slashdot at all or any of the many MythTV forums out there then you don’t know that we will all soon be losing our free XML feed of TV listings.  Zap2it Labs originally provided the feed for free for noncommercial use, but they are going to stop providing this starting Sept 1st.  Several individuals organized and have worked with Zap2it to keep the feed going and have created a new entity called Schedule Direct.  Recently Schedule Direct reached an agreement with Zap2it to continue to provide the feed to open source DVR users through Schedule Direct.  Of course, the rub is that it is going to begin costing $5 a month to subscribe to.  According to the website they hope to turn this into only $20 a year, but they are waiting to figure out how many individuals sign up.

I don’t want to sound like a complete cheapo, but I can get a DVR from my cable company for $5 more a month, and the entire point of me originally building my own DVR was so that I would not have to pay a monthly fee and could instead use that money to keep adding to my DVR.  Also, I have no idea how many MythTV and XMLTV users are out there, but someone is bound to make a decent profit off of this at $5 a month per person.

A few of the guys at work, including myself think that this is an area that Google needs to get into.  Google’s all about providing different types of data, so why can’t they start providing TV data?  It seems like the exact kind of service that they would provide for free.  You could probably wrap some ads around it all and generate some very decent revenue.  I even considered doing it myself, but I already have two projects going on at the moment along with a full time job, and I didn’t think I could put together a solution quick enough for it to be beneficial.

Anyways, this leaves me with deciding what to do next and I am strongly considering switching my setup over to Windows Vista Home Premium and using the Media Center functionality.  From what I have heard it is pretty good, my only concern is if my hardware is all supported, which I can’t figured out without hunting down the details on everything, or just trying it out and killing my MythTV install.  Of course, after Sept 1st my DVR is just going to be a big paper weight anyways.  What do you think?  Should I not be a cheapo and pony up, or stick to my guns and have a completely monthly fee free DVR?

Friday, August 10, 2007 5:00:00 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3] - Trackback - Save to - Digg This! - Follow me on Twitter
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# Monday, August 06, 2007

As I mentioned in a previous post, a couple former coworkers and I are putting together an application that we are hoping to take commercial.  This are going fairly well at this point, but perhaps a bit behind schedule as we are doing it entirely .Net 3.0 so there has been a small learning curve, not to mention the fact that we all still have day jobs.  Of course, unlike me, my partners also have significant others to dedicate time to.

Anyways, one of the things I wanted to utilize for this project because of the team work environment and the disjoint schedules was a build server.  (Okay, I also wanted to learn about the entire concept and functionality of a build server.)   I used CIFactory for our build server which was created by Jay Flowers.  CIFactory is basically a set of scripts that configures/installs the components of the build server so that you don’t have to put together all the integration scripts yourself.  The package works quite nicely and sets up things link CruiseControl.Net, Simian, NCover, NDepend, and MSTest.  I have it integrated with our Subversion repository, but it can also integrate with Visual Source Safe and other repositories.  It also can integrate a lot of other tools besides what I have listed here.

At this point we are mainly using the setup to verify that the project is building properly so that someone doesn’t grab the latest code and get stuck with errors that some else has checked in.  If a build fails an email goes out notifying everyone of the broken build so that no one gets updates and the person who broke it can get it fixed.  (Getting people to respect the build server is a completely different complication and topic.)  I want to get more familiar with the other tools, especially the ones that revolve around testing but I just haven’t had the time.  I need to put together a list of things to learn to make myself a better developer over the next six months and add testing tools to the top of the list (along with Ruby).

If you want to get going on CIFactory there is an excellent DNRTV episode on it that I followed to get our setup going.  I had it all setup in a matter of a few minutes and I really like the setup.   Jay is also excellent at responding to any questions quickly and promptly.  There is one negative to the setup though that I came across this past week that was a real disappointment for me.  CIFactory does not support multiple projects.  It creates a separate CruiseControl.Net server for each project and they won’t both run at the same time.  It appears from the news group that someone has made some modification and gotten it working so that two projects are going to one CCNET, but the benefit of CIFactory is the fact that it pretty much just works.  If I’m going to have to dig into scripts to get multiple projects working then I will probably eventually rebuild the build server without CIFactory.

CIFactory is an excellent starter package for getting up and going with a build server and if Jay gets the time to modify it to handle multiple project easily then it will be an excellent solution for a permanent builder server.  My build server path will depend on if Jay gets multiple projects implemented before I get the free time to rebuild the server.

Monday, August 06, 2007 6:00:00 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback - Save to - Digg This! - Follow me on Twitter
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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.

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