Sunday, May 25, 2008

This is for Sally

Where to put the screwdriver. Lefty loosey!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How do you *know* it's a witch?

Wow.. The ALT.NET blogs have been downright hostile to the Entity Framework. Admittedly, I'm a total noob in this arena. I've done some work with IoC containers, but I haven't done much with the various and sundry ORM frameworks. I played around with Hibernate quite awhile ago and was very impressed (yes, I've written Java; no, it's not contagious), but NHibernate was in very early beta at the time.

Anyway. I think it's a bit premature to call for the pitchforks and torches with respect to the Entity Framework. From what I've read, the EF appears to force you to weld your code to it, which is annoying. But remember, this is 1.0 product and Microsoft has never, ever released a decent 1.0. I think it might be best to sit out this first version, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some interesting things coming from the mothership in the coming years.

What kinds of things? I'm glad you asked! The Entity Framework requires numerous XML files to work. Those XML files integrate seamlessly into C# and VB projects. In fact, Microsoft has a quite bit of history blending XML with their projects. So much so, that VB9 allows you to write XML directly in your code. C# doesn't have that feature (yet), but it does have LINQ. While LINQ isn't XML, it is a language in its own right. Then we have WPF, which comes in both XML and API flavors. Windows Workflow - same story. All of these things lead me to one conclusion:

Visual Studio will become a polyglot programming environment. I believe Microsoft is thinking beyond source code (the horror!) to an environment that allows us to write some code and literally draw other bits of code. Right now, it looks pretty ugly, but it should get better. The biggest flaw in my crystal ball is the fact that you can't mix .NET languages in a single project right now. Maybe multi-language source files are something we can expect in CLR 3.0? Imagine drawing data entities, writing utility classes in C#, contracts in IronRuby and orchestrating the whole thing with F#!

What a long, strange trip it will be.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Best SATA/IDE-USB Adapter Ever

The Vantec CB-ISATAU2 adapter is marvelous! 99% of the time, I just want to hook up a drive and copy some data off of it. This normally means finding an appropriate enclosure, taking it apart, swapping out a drive, putting it together again and finally plugging it in and getting the data off of it. This adapter eliminates all but the last step. It has 2.5", 3.5" IDE and SATA connectors, a power connector and a USB connector. Plug in drive, plug in USB connector - done.

Buy one!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Undermount sinks - awesome and sucky

All at the same time. It looks fantastic, but it's an unbelievable bear to install. It's no wonder people end up paying 30k-40k to have their kitchens updated - IT SUCKS! As nice as this sink is, I don't think I'd do it again. It's a sink. It doesn't need to look like a masterpiece, it needs to hold dirty dishes until I get them into the dishwasher. So next time, over-mount sink. I think that makes more sense anyway, with weight-loading and what-not.

Also, I got black caulk in my hair, which really pisses me off. Don't get me wrong - I'm sure a lot of people love black caulk, I'm just not one of them.

Oh well.. I'm just impressed I managed to drill 14 holes into the bottom of the countertop WITHOUT popping through the other side.

Here's a lovely piccy. Weekend over. Who needs a drink?