If you are a software developer don't miss this 
If your like me you love being a software developer. I love to take ideas and create and ship software which brings those idea to life. Link Logger is just another piece of software that I've created over 17 years of being a coder. While I love being a coder, sometimes I'm not to keen on where I'm a coder and I think just about every developer has felt the same at least once in their career. Right now is maybe not the best time to be a coder as work loads, expectations etc are typically unrealistic and so while you love what you do, you might be feeling a little lost or overwhelmed with coding as a career. We have talked about this a number of times and now Microsoft Canada is doing something about it. Whats really cool about this is its not about Microsoft, its about YOU , so hustle over to:

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-ca/bb738057.aspx

and sign up for career enabling webcasts including:

Becoming a better developer
Sept 11, 2007
Itís a great time to be a developer in Canada. But with all the opportunities available to you, itís important to plan the path ahead. In this session, our panel of experts gives you an overview of the Canadian Developer landscape, shares their own experiences, highlights some of the many different paths you can take, and answers your questions about how to keep your career on track.


Building your skill set
Sept 18, 2007
Do you have the right technical experience? Do you know what Development skills are in demand? Do you know the best way to build your resume? In this session, our goal is to help you answer these questions. Youíll learn tips on how to improve your competencies and represent your experience and skills in a way that helps people perceive the true value you offer. You will also gain a better understanding of what organizations are really looking for in a DeveloperĎs skill set.


Discovering your trusted resources
Sept 25, 2007
Building a set of information sources and connecting to the development community at large are critical to a Developerís success. This session brings successful community, technology, and information leaders together to share their experiences in building this important set of skills. Our experts will help you learn how to identify credible sources and find the right tools, links and techniques to keep you up to date in a world of constant change.


Becoming your own boss
Oct 2, 2007
Itís becoming more common for a Developer to be identified as an Independent Developer Consultant or Contractor. Some have done this to grow their skills, others to have more control over their careers, and some are entrepreneurs who want to change the world with their vision. In this session, a panel of experts will help share their experiences as well as the joys and pains of being their own boss. Plus, the experts will answer some common questions you may have about making this shift in your career.


Creating your own startup business
Oct 9, 2007
Do you have a great idea that you believe will change the world? Wondering what it takes to start up a business? This session is hosted by a panel of Developers and IT professionals who have created their own startups and become successful entrepreneurs. Our experts will share personal startup insights and experiences, answer common questions and offer guidance for building the right startup path for you.

I'm very excited about this as its not everyday that someone comes along who wants to help you up the career ladder as a coder.

Blake

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Yet more Proof that politicians are idiots 
I am a proud Canadian, I love hockey, played hockey, but like just about every other person on the planet I hate politicians (as surprising as it might not seem, I hear that politicians like politicians and they are about the only people that do other then lobby groups, which no doubt gives credence to the fact that politicians are truly idiots as only a twit would like a politician).

So here is another example of politicians who donít have a clue what their purpose in life is. Currently the Canadian team at the World Hockey Championships the Canadian team is captained by Shane Doan who by all accounts is not only a good hockey player but is also a fine human being, but is currently the stupid issue of the day for our Ďconnoisseurs of stupidí politicians in that he shouldnít be the captain of the team because of something he didnít say two years ago (see http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/World/ ... 61-cp.html ). It was claimed that he made a racial slur about a French Canadian Lineman during a hockey game two years ago. The NHL dismissed the case sometime ago and everything was forgotten until some dopey politician decided that he should take it upon himself to champion the cause of the stupid and declare that because of something Shane Doan never said, that he shouldnít be allowed to be captain of the team. Iím sure this French Canadian politician (now thatís a slur) thinks that a French Canadian player should be the captain and frankly I could care less except all nine of the invited French Canadian players, turned down the offer to play for Canada at the World Hockey Championships (wonder how many of those guys will get an invite to play for Canada at the Olympics in Vancouver, hopefully none of them).

Denis Coderre and Gilles Duceppe are idiots, plain and simple.

Now what can be done, well you can go to www.savedoan.ca and sign a petition telling Denis Coderre, Gilles Duceppe and company to stick a sock in it and get back to work. Frankly Iíd suggest handling this with a good old fashion hockey pulling of the suit jacket over the head while delivering a thorough thrashing and I think that just about any Canadian would be happy to volunteer for that task but Iím thinking the Hansen brothers would be a good choice, 'puttin on the foil coach'.


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When Geeks Vacation 
Earlier this year I went for a vacation in the Dominican Republic and while I had a great time, I thought perhaps I should share my experiences so other geeks could benefit. One way to tell if youíre a true geek is if it takes longer for you to pack your laptop bag then your suitcases. I mean come on, its just t-shirts, shorts and whatever else, but my laptop and other computing accessories are my life.



So perhaps we should talk about a couple of things you might want to consider packing in your suitcase for that topical holiday. Now of course everyone knows when traveling to some of these vacation paradises, by default you bring lots of digestive system medications such as Imodium, etc, but one thing that some geeks or men in general forget about when traveling to hot humid environment is Tinea Cruris, more commonly known as Ďcrotch rotí, so tossing a tube of something containing an anti-fugal such as Tinactin, Lotrimin or Micatin can save you a painful bull legged trip to the drug store (if you can find one) during your vacation.

Next I know that many of us donít get out often so being somewhere like a beach where shirts are somewhat optional, one should consider oneís fur factor. The silverback gorilla seen in the photo below should have perhaps considered taking the hair trimmer to his body and reduced the fur factor, no sense sitting in the sun if the sun canít penetrate the fur. Now fur is great where it is cold like Canada, but this is the tropics and you donít often see someone running around here with a fur coat, so take the hint.



That said, sun screen, use it and lots of it. The glow from your monitor, no matter how close you sit to it, isnít going to prepare you for the glorious topical sun. So just accept the fact that sunscreen is your friend. A hat is no doubt a good idea as well, as typically you have invested a lot of time, effort and money into your head, it would be a same to bake it into a vegetable.

Now before we get into the geeky stuff about my vacation, let me pass on a tip which was a lot of fun. I like to snorkel but I donít have the best eyesight from all the years of staring at a monitor so fish need to be close for me to really enjoy their colors and such. The secret we found to attracting fish was bananas. Iím not sure what it is as Iím thinking traditionally most of these fish donít know how to climb a tree and get a banana but take a banana out snorkeling and every fish in the water is now your best friend and you will get a great view of them as they gorge themselves on banana bits.

Now I really liked our resort but there were a couple of things that as a geek made me worry or otherwise think twice. First there wasnít any internet connectivity in our room. Now in the lobby you could Ďrentí a computer and you could buy time on a wireless access point, but Iíd felt really nervous about bringing my laptop out in the lobby as there wasnít much security in my room. In the room we had a steel box and a key, which was great for small items and my JasJar, it was way to small for my laptop. So what to do with my laptop? Toss in the fact that we were on the ground level and the lock pins didnít work on the patio doors (likely the doors were not the same ones when the pin holes where drilled into the frame) which meant in effect we didnít have a lock on them, and I was sweating bullets for my laptop. Iíd really appreciate it if anyone could recommend a Ďtravelí patio door lock that I could use in the future. Fortunately I had a Kensington lock cable with me which was apparently good enough chained to the bed frame and hidden under the bed as I still have my laptop.



I purchased some wireless access time and used my JasJar in the lobby to download my mail and such and it worked great but I would recommend setting up your PDA for mail before you leave on vacation. So all in all it was a great vacation, the weather was great the ocean unbelievable and Iíd happily go back.




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Start of MVP Summit Blog 
Before I start one of the things that I hate about blogging is its a lot of work. I had this written, went to upload an image and lost what I had written, thin client interfaces suck.

OK with that off my chest, look out Seattle I'm in town again attending the Microsoft MVP 2007 Summit. In case you don't know what a MPV is visit Microsoft MVP). Lots of fun, work, and meeting people rolled up into 4 days, and after which you feel exhausted.

OK so it is overcast and raining in Seattle, surprise surprise. The flight in was rough only during the take off and especially the landing as there was lots of turbulence. Otherwise I'm lucky have no problem sleeping when I fly, so it worked out to a nice hour long nap for me. The flight crew I'm sure wanted to kill me as they have had a very long day, as they started in Dallas this morning, flew to Seattle, then flew to Calgary and then back to Seattle so they are beat but were still very pleasant. I've never had a back experience flying with Alaska Airlines or Horizon.

One thing that struck me as funny was at Boeing field there was a F-18 parked beside a Cessna. I wish I could have gotten a picture of that but I forgot my camera and only have my phone camera and we all know those suck.



Much more to follow over the next 5 days.

Blake

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Wow that was FAST!!!! 
Wow I have to mention that CACE Technologies has got to have the fastest shipping on the planet. I ordered an AirPcap on Feb 15th, and on Feb 20th UPS delivered it to me. Now considering that that CACE Technologies is located in the US and I'm in Canada, I'd have to say that is the fastest than any package has reached me from the US, congrads CACE and UPS.

I'll blog about the AirPcap more later but thus far I can say its a cool tool!!

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