27 September 2008

Geek goes lazy

School starts on Wednesday. Or Thursday. (Anyone knows, by the way?) Anyway, I'm making the most of the last days of freedom, which, besides work, includes mainly this:

Yep, I'm playing the Sims with the newest expansion pack, Apartment Life. Here's a short review and a long review.

Oh, did I mention that I have a brand new hard drive? With a brand new Windows installation out-of-the-box annoying as can be. I got my documents, but my beautifully ordered inbox is gone. I had to google my own father's e-mail address today.

24 September 2008

Puppy peeing on laptop

I am so amazed by this recent entry on CuteOverload:

My train of thoughts:

  • The puppy is peeing on the laptop! And I complained when I spilled tea on my laptop.
  • The puppy is peeing on the laptop! And the owner is taking a picture?
  • The puppy is peeing on the laptop! And the laptop is working?
  • The puppy is peeing on the laptop! Do you realize how many P are in this sentence?

23 September 2008

New direction in programming

I had lots of fun learning Silverlight at work, but fun doesn't last forever. I finished the website and joined a big project in asp.net. It's not as easy as Silverlight was, but that's a great thing. Silverlight alone is not much more than a Flash replacement (a good one imho, but still), it's the .net framework that gives it its power.

So I'm not learning Java anymore. I finished the school assignements I had in Java and have no intention of going further in that direction (but let's wait for the semester to begin and see what school brings). I'm learning asp.net.

Does that mean my Silverlight blogging is over? I hope not, but now I will only have my free time for that. And if you know me or have read the colorful paragraph on the right, you know how little free time I have and how much stuff I try to fit in it. Still, I love Silverlight and will do my best.

19 September 2008

Sometimes it's better not to have goals in life.

Dear readers, as much as love motivating stuff (I mean stuff that motivates and not trying to motivate stuff), I will be demotivating you today.

I had a great vacation in Spain. Then I had a few exams at school. Then I went to work for a few days. Basically, I never had any free time to allocate during these days. So I started thinking it was time to set some goals in life, plan some activities for the free time, stuff like that.

I do have a few blurry goals, but I need to figure out the importance hierarchy first. These include blogging, writing about Silverlight, learning asp.net, meeting friends, sewing,... well, lots of random stuff.

And then my laptop crashed. Crashed big time - the hard drive is dammaged and is being low-level formatted at this moment and I'll see if I need to buy a new one. No documents lost, but the systems and applications all need to be reinstalled - that's like two days of work, plus one trying to recover the inconsistent ntfs.

Who likes to have three days wasted? Well, I'm really surprised how little I minded it when I found out. What can I say? I had no plans to cancel. Isn't it a good thing sometimes?

13 September 2008

What [not] to watch: The Hills

MTV just resumed airing "The Hills" for a fourth season and I just resumed school work. This perfect synchronisation lead me to giving the show a try while writing the networks assignment. (I had watched the previous seasons during previous study sessions.)

The show is about young women moving to L.A. to attend courses at the Fashion Institute and start their careers and it's made to look like a reality show. The realism is questionable, but as I'm not interested in those people's private lives, I don't care. (Quite the opposite actually: the more privacy they get to keep, the better for me.) Anyway, what I liked about the show was seeing what the girls did at work. One was a receptionist but two had an internship at Teen Vogue that included various tasks at various places and that was fun to watch.

But one day the girls moved on form Vogue and became stylists which I guess must be as boring as receptionist, judging by how much airtime it gets. So the plot revolves about the personal life. In the personal lives, someone has spread rumors about Lauren so she's not talking to Heidi nor Spencer who is not talking to Brody but Lauren is friends with Spencer's sister who talks to Spencer and at the same time Lauren moves in with her friends Audrina and Lo but Lo is bitchy to Audrina who becomes a bit estranged and when Lo apologies Audrina says they won't be friends - got it? So now and again someone talks to someone he mustn't and someone is offended and that's what is shown. The only quote that made sense to me came from the sister, who tries not to fight with anyone as she has nothing to do with any feud but always get involved against her will: "are we five?".

Well, let me just say, I prefer writing the networks assignment. It's not as much fun, but I least I get to feel that my intellect is appreciated, not insulted.

11 September 2008

LHC launches and girl suicides

If you haven't heard about the LHC launch yesterday, you've been living under a rock.

My family life is going crazy with Dad being on TV every hour. Of course, I'm excited and proud and stuff, but I can't avoid TV like I usually do and therefore I'm forced to watch living proofs of journalists' stupidity. Each time they interview a scientist I'm wondering when they are going to ask about the philosopher's stone and the time machine. All the suggestions of the LHC causing our world to collapse were starting to get boring... until this morning, when I learned a 16-year-old had committed suicide:

A teenage girl in central India killed herself on Wednesday after being traumatized by media reports that a "Big Bang" experiment in Europe could bring about the end of the world, her father said.
How cruel/stupid/I don't know what can these journalists be? Don't they feel the slightest bit of responsibility? Do they wonder about the impact of their words other than the number of viewers/readers?

Okay, enough ranting. There are also many good reports and articles out there, like
"How long would it take the LHC to defrost a pizza?".

06 September 2008

Most useful Silvelight techniques

I have the habit of taking extensive notes when I learn stuff so I know where to find stuff I've read and found interesting. This of course applies to Silverlight, so below are the most interesting Silverlight techniques I noted in the last month (except for the ones mentionned earlier). All or almost all of these came at some point from Silverlight Cream, so if you follow it carefully, you should know all of these already.

So here's how to...

Embed Silverlight in HTML

Navigate between XAML pages
I use HTML overlay instead. Well, "instead" isn't the right word as those different techniques suit different uses. Both are worth knowing anyway.

Make the file smaller

Go full Screen

From my experience, it doesn't work in Firefox.

Show a Splash Screen
(However, the author admits it doesn't always work.)

Resize the Silverlight Application
- two different techniques
I tested the second one and it works great.

So simple and my boss was impressed. Great article.

Create reusable animations
This article helped me when enormously when I was creating animations I had to modify at runtime (thought it's not exactly about it).

Access the HTML DOM from managed code
A must-know for HTML Overlay.