Sunday, August 29, 2004

Holidays, Free resources and University

I've been on leave this week, spending a week at home (was going to go camping, but the weather had other plans about my holiday!!), where I've been doing quite a bit of programming (writing another fun ASP.NET app) and even more learning.

Since getting Broadband (If you're in the UK, Virgin do a good deal. Especially if you rent your flat, since they don't make you sign a 12 month contract like prety much everyone else does...) I've been going througha lot of webcasts on MSDN, especially these by Jo Hummel.

Something struck me about them just now - It's a series of 15 webcasts, each about an hour and a half long, wiht about 30 minutes of Q&A afterwards. So that's about 2 hours. (hey, that Maths A-level's kicking in now! ;-))

When I was at University, we did 3 modules a semester, and they were about 10 weeks long. Now each module would consist typically of a 3 hour lecture (or 2 lectures of about 1 1/2 gours) once a week. That's about 30 hours.

15 webcasts of 2 hrs a peice is about the same time as each of my degree modules. And they're free. How cool is that?

You'll probably see a lot from me over the next few weeks about the wealth of multi-media stuff online at the moment helping the likes of me to learn about programming. I must admit, I'm dead impressed!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Kwik Links

I'm off work at the moment. Nothing bad, just having a week at home instead of going camping. Mrs Mawoo's at work, so I've been spending my time coding and learning. Fun, fulfilling, but a bit tiring.

Been working on a new ASP.NET project - Team Mascot Online. The background is very simple. In my team at work we have a team mascot each week. Each member submits a nomination for team mascot, and then we have a vote. We then spend the next week with our team mascot as our desktop wallpaper, and in times of trouble and strife, ask ourselves the question 'What would x do?'. Just a bit of a laugh. Past mascots include Mr T, MacGuyver and Corey Haim (the younger brother out of the Lost Boys. The Corey who wasn't in the Goonies.)

So I though I'd put together an online version, where users can write their nomination cases (oh yes, they have to be justified!) and vote for this week's mascot. I'll write a bit more about it when it's more complete, but that's what I've been doing with my time this week. I've still got a bit to do, but hey, I'm not back at work until Tuesday, and Mrs Mawoo's away this weekend. I've still got 4 whole days to finish it (It's mostly aesthetic things to do now, anyway).

The rest of the time (even I can't concentrate on one things for a whole day!) I've been doing some learning. I just upgraded to Broadband over the past couple of weeks, so I've been caning hell out of it with loads of multimedia stuff. A lot of what I've been watching/listening to hasn't been the brand new stuff, but go back a month or two and there's tons of archive material out there...

DotNetRocks is hosted by a coupla guys, Rory Blyth, and Carl Franklin. It's a coupla hours long, goes out weekly and is packed to the gunnels with cool .NET news, information and interviews. Not just .NET, either. They've had people on recently talking about Mono, SQL Server, and a little while ao, just a geek fest talking about water cooled PC's and other nerd toys. Fantastic. The shows are available as MP3s, each one coming in at about 75-80 MB (Now do you see why I didn't get into it while I was using Dial-Up?)

Jo Hummell has made a series of 15 webcasts looking at VB.NET development. I've seen 3 of them (they're about 1 1/2 hours a peice) and they're really cool. It's kinda wierd sometimes. He'll quote something as a design rule, or something like that, and I'll thin 'hey, that's really clever'. It'll be something that I know how to do, just something I've never thought of doing (The one example that springs to mind is overriding the ToString method for any classes you write). There's loads of other cool stuff in there as well. There must be - there's 15 of them!

This webcast by Ken Getz was really cool too. It's a series of tips and tricks that have been pretty much lifted from the website. It covers some great stuff in windows forms programming. Things like alternative applications of databinding (I bever really thought of using databinding for anything other than, well, data...), windows forms transparency and accessing protected methods and properties via inherited classes are all in there. It's all fascinating stuff.

That's pretty much all I've been doing this week, apart from spreading the joy/laziness of MSN Messenger via the web. A couple of my mates work behind spiky corporate firewalls, so can't use mesenger at work. Not no more!!

I'll write again when I've got something more to write about...

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Weird things...

Several weird things happened yesterday:

  1. Mrs Mawoo and I were due to go camping next week, just up the road from Boscastle. We're not going camping there now.
  2. Went out for a beer with th guy behind Holidays For All. If you go to any of the language subsections, and they appear in glorious Gujurati, or beautiful Bengali, I did that (Well, made the text render properly, anyway!), So that was cool.
  3. Spoke to a friend of mine when I got home, and the organisation I used to work for might be wanting to get me back in for a day or two doing some work on their old membership database. He's ordered me to charge them plenty for it!

Not very weird, I grant you, but certainly intersting. It would seem there are a few people out there who reckon I know something worth paying for. Not that's weird!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Oh God!

I can't beleive it's been nearly a fortnight sonce I wrote something.

The reason? Just begger all's been going on. I haven't really been writing any code. I'm starting to get bored with SavageBlog. Just realised the other day that the whole thing is better done through XML and DataDocuments. Not a problem, just a bit of a faff.

And I really need to get myself motivated to do it.

I think I needa hoiday. Good job, then, that Mrs Mawoo and I are off to Cornwall for a week next week. Who knows what we'll see. No doubt I'll come back all fired up for a new project to start and not finish.


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Ha ha ha...

This (got via Mike Gunderloy) made me giggle like a girl.