Archives / 2009 / July
  • Ohio Towns Top Money Top 100 Small Towns List

    Money recently released their 2009 list of America’s best small towns (which, living in a small town, I was curious about).  Their Top 100 List includes towns in 32 US states.  I’ve long felt that the Midwest is an excellent place to live in terms of quality of life and cost-of-living, and likewise I’ve always preferred living in the suburbs over urban life.  I’ve done both, but I much prefer the privacy and convenience of the low-traffic, free parking, actually having a yard lifestyle found outside of concrete jungles. In any event, in looking at their list, I noticed that Ohio, while not in their Top 10 Towns, did do well as a state.  Ohio tied with Texas for the most … more

  • Free eBook Developers^4

    Recently, Microsoft released an eBook called Developer Developers Developers Developers which you can download for free or order a print copy from Lulu for under $10.  In the book are over 15 useful articles written by Microsoft MVPs, Regional Directors, and other experts.  From the site: In the book: Working with Brownfield Code by Donald Belcham (Microsoft MVP) Beyond C# and VB by Ted Neward (Microsoft MVP) Remaining Valuable to Employers featuring Barry Gervin, Billy Hollis, Bruce Johnson, Scott Howlett, Adam Cogan, and Jonathan Zuck All I Wanted Was My Data by Barry Gervin (Microsoft Regional Director and MVP) Efficiency Upgrade by Derek Hatchard … more

  • Thrive for Developers

    Recently, Microsoft launched a new developer community aimed at helping career software developers facing challenges in the current economy.  The site is called Thrive, and I think the idea is that not only should you be able to survive the current economic climate, but if you play your cards right, you can thrive.  There’s a lot of good material here from folks you probably already know (or should know): A 10-part podcast from .NET Rocks on “Development in a Downturn” including interviews with many well-known developers A 32-part screencast series on “How to be a better developer” Step by Step resources to help get into new technologies Job Search functionality … more

  • Microsoft PDC 2009

    PDC 2009 will once again be held in Los Angeles, but rather than October the event will take place in mid-November (17-19 November 2009).  The web site hasn’t been completely updated yet, but you can see the new logo and dates and sign up to learn more about sponsors and  “Partner Opportunities.” Lake Quincy Media will once again be a Silver Media Sponsor for the event, which tends to coincide nicely with our focus on Microsoft Developers.  I believe we’ll be sponsoring the exhibitor lounge once more, where the hard-working booth staff all are able to grab a bit to eat or catch a bit of rest after manning the expo hall.  [shameless plug]Look for us at the show if you’re … more

  • Advertising and the Principle of Least Surprise

    Advertising on the Internet is here to stay, and love it or hate it, good advertising is certainly preferable to bad advertising.  One thing that is important for advertising is that it follow the Principle of Least Surprise, which I recently discussed as it pertains to software application development.  In online advertising, this principle can be applied in a couple of ways. First, recognize that advertisements in general are an annoyance to users.  Given the choice, 99.3% of users (remember, 75% of all stats are made up on the spot) would do away with advertisements if they could do so without an consequences.  Further, for every cool web application or site on the … more

  • Principle of Least Surprise

    When developing software, and especially when building user interfaces, it’s a good idea not to surprise the end user.  This is known as the Principle of Least Surprise (or Astonishment if you want to go for maximum drama).  It may seem obvious, but in practice it’s often easier said than done.  This is why user interfaces are often difficult to work with, especially if they’re built according to how the programmers think about the system with no input from actual users. For example, in a data entry scenario where some data entered could cause an inconsistency with other data in the system, there are several options one might consider.  To make this more concrete, let’s … more

  • Silverlight Contest

    ComponentArt recently announced their Summer Silverlight Coding Competition, running June 22nd to September 22nd this summer.  Already there are a bunch of submissions to the contest, although there’s still lots of time left before the contest is over.  The winner will be determined based on the results of community voting combined with a panel of judges, so you can help decide which of these apps deserves to win the huge $10,000 prize for being the best application. Check out the list of contestants and their apps here.  Some of the applications submitted so far include collaborative whiteboarding/teaching applications, games, virtual in-browser operating systems, and online … more