Chris Pietschmann

husband, father, hacker, entrepreneur, futurist, innovator, autodidact

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A Couple VB.NET Language Tips for C# Developers

Originally, I started out as a Visual Basic developer, and have since moved mostly to C#. However, when doing consulting work, I do need to cross back and forth quite often. Here are a couple VB.NET tips that you probably aren't aware of if you're mostly a C# developer. Some VB.NET developers may not even know about then either. Null Coalesce Null Coalescing is really simple in C#: [code:c#] // If "someValue" is Null then set "i" to 0 (zero) // otherwise set it to the value of "someValue" in... [More]

I Still Believe in Programming Language Independence

Four years ago I posted about an idea of having the IDE (Visual Studio) do auto-conversion of your code from one programming language to another so give developers more language independence. I recognize that the only languages, perhaps, that would lend themselves to this are C# and VB.NET. They aren't completely equal yet, so it would still be difficult at this time, since each has a few features that the other doesn't. Just imagine being able to open any solution within Visual Stu... [More]

You Can Watch PDC'08 Sessions Online!

If you couldn't attend PDC'08 (like me) then you'll probably be interested in learning that you can go watch all the PDC'08 Sessions online for Free! This is awesome! Go Watch PDC'08 Sessions Online: https://sessions.microsoftpdc.com/public/timeline.aspx

WPF Toolkit adds Ribbon Control to .NET 3.5 SP1

The first release of the new WPF Toolkit was released today. This toolkit includes a new Ribbon control as well as the following: new WPF DataGrid, DatePicker/Calendar, and VisualStateManger. The coolest feature of this Toolkit (IMO) is the new Ribbon control. In .NET 4.0 there will be a ribbon control baked in, but thanks to the WPF Toolkit we have access to utilize the new Ribbon control today in WPF with .NET 3.5 SP1! Download the WPF Toolkit October 2008 Release: http://www.codeplex.com/wpf... [More]

Free the Airwaves! FCC vote on "white spaces" scheduled for Nov. 4!

On Nov. 4 the FCC will be voting whether to open up the "white spaces" (the unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels) or not. These airwaves need to be opened up so we can further change the way we communicate. The airwaves that WiFi operates on are open airwaves. We need more "open" airwaves to further open the possibilities of communication. Don't let the FCC sell it off to a telecom that wont use it. We need the FCC to open it up so we can all use it! Also, h... [More]

Is this necessary?- Chris Pietschmann, MVP, MCSD, MCAD, MCP

Recently when looking at the analytics logs for referring urls to my website, I noticed one from Hanselmen.com. It's actually a click-through from a comment I posted on his blog way back on April 21, 2006. His blog post that I commented on is titled "Scott Hanselman, 11 Successful Large Projects, 3 Open Source Applications, 1 Collossal Failure". In Scott's post, he talks about how placing your tech related certification acronyms after your name in your email signatures and... [More]

VEToolkit: Virtual Earth Toolkit Open Source Project

A couple weeks ago I started the new VEToolkit (Virtual Earth Toolkit) Open Source project. This project spawns out of the need for more helpers to make Virtual Earth Map development much simpler, and follows inspiration from the Ajax Control Toolkit. This is a JavaScript library, so it's all client-side code; just like the Virtual Earth AJAX API itself. The project is also meant to play nicely with any client-side, JavaScript library you want to use within your application (such as jQuery, ... [More]

And, the Community Coding Contest Winners Are...

The final stage of the Community Coding Contest (the judging/voting) is now finished and the winners have been announced. Even though there were only 6 entries submitted, they are all really cool projects. I really encourage everyone to go check them out. Also, the 1st and 2nd place winners were neck and neck for some time during judging/voting, and the 1st place winner slid ahead in the end by only 2 votes! We almost had a tie! Community Coding Contest Website: http://communitycodingconte... [More]

JavaScript: Null Coalesce using the || Operator

I recently purchased "JavaScript: The Good Parts" by Douglas Crockford, and I found this little gem on page 21, although he listed in in the section Objects - Retrieval. It is possible to use Null Coalescing in JavaScript by using the || operator!
// Note: only this code example is quoted from the book var middle = stooge["middle-name"] || "(none)"; var status = flight.status || "unknown";
Since JavaScript retur... [More]

Silverlight: Client-Side Database via LINQ and Isolated Storage

When I did a search on "Silverlight Database" there weren't many results, and none of them actually mentioned a small database that you could embed into your Silverlight application. So, I thought I'd share a solution that I've used to store application data on the client using a combination of LINQ and Isolated Storage. This actually gives you a small "SQL"-like database since you can use LINQ to interact with it. Basically, this technique constist of: ... [More]

Place a StackOverflow badge on your website

Update: StackOverflow.com has since added the ability to include StackOverflow "Flair" on your own website; basically a "badge" that contains your StackOverflow.com Name, Avatar, Score and Medal counts within a nice little box. I'm not sure when they added it, but now it's officially supported. http://stackoverflow.com/users/flair And, for reference, my original StackOverflow Badge code is still below: I was thinking it would be cool if you could place a StackOverflow "badge" on your ... [More]

New Touchless SDK brings Multi-Touch using a WebCam

This project looks awesome, now if only I had a WebCam so I could test it out and start playing with it. Anyway, the new Touchless SDK (and it's Open Source!) brings the ability to have Multi-Touch input within an application without the user needing to actually touch the screen, all with the use of a standard WebCam. Project: http://www.codeplex.com/touchless Video: http://www.officelabs.com/projects/touchless/Pages/default.aspx

$700B Bail-Out Bill Passes, Maybe It's Not So Bad Afterall...

I generally don't post on political topics, but this is a big one... Today, as I'm sure it isn't news to you anymore, the House of Representatives passed the Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R.1424), which includes $700 Billion to bailout the troubled financial institutions, plus aproximately $110 Billion in tax cuts. Go read the bill or it's summary here: http://financialservices.house.gov/ When I started writing this post I had this long post explaining reasons of why this bill is so b... [More]

Community Coding Contest Voting Has Begun! Go Cast Your Vote!

The voting for the winners of the Community Coding Contest has begun. Go Vote Now! To vote, just go the the poll on the right hand side of the Community Coding Contest website and cast your vote. You can also view a list of all contest entries here: http://communitycodingcontest.org/AllEntries.aspx