Chris Pietschmann

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

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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

JavaScript Prototypal Inheritence Explained in Simple Terms

Recently, I started working on a new open source project (you'll have to wait until the first release to find out what it is), and the goal of it is to play nicely with any JavaScript Library you want to use. That means it needs to work nicely with jQuery, prototype, ASP.NET AJAX and the such. This means that I need to grow all my own code for registering namespaces and using inheritence. One major JavaScript feature that I needed a refresher on, and ultimately get figured out, is Proto... [More]

Less Than 36 Hours Left to Enter the Community Coding Contest!

There is only 1 day left to submit your entries for the Community Coding Contest!! There are currently only 5 entries submitted, so your chances are pretty good if you submit an entry today! The deadline to submit entries is 12AM EST October 1st, 2008, that's less than 36 hours away. And, then voting begins. Submit Your Entry Now! If you're not familiar with the contest, it's an awesome chance to win a Free MSDN Premium Subscription with Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite, plus... [More]

Virtual Earth 6.2 (Bing Maps) JavaScript Intellisense Helper Released

Today, "We" released a new updated version of the Virtual Earth JavaScript Intellisense Helper that is updated to support the brand new Virtual Earth v6.2. You can learn more about what's new in Virtual Earth v6.2 here: http://blogs.msdn.com/virtualearth/archive/2008/09/24/announcing-the-virtual-earth-web-service-and-virtual-earth-map-control-6-2.aspx It appears that Mark beat me to blogging this release (which makes sense since he's the one that posted the final ZIP of the release): http://blo... [More]

Silverlight Isolated Storage File/Directory Location

I was just building something in Silverlight that makes use of the Isolated Storage, and I uncovered a bug in Silverlight 2 Beta 2 that cause's it to crash and you are unable to write to the Isolated Storage. So, I dug in and found the location on disk where Silverlight stores the files for Isolated Storage. Here's the file location under Windows Vista where Silverlight stores the files for Isolated Storage: C:\Users\{username}\AppData\LocalLow\Microsoft\Silverlight\is Jus... [More]

Windows vNext (Windows 7?) Feature Ideas

Here are some of my thoughts on the Windows operating system and how thing could be improved in the "next" version after Vista. Also, the ideas aren't in any particular order of importance, they are just in the order I typed them in. 1) Make the Desktop version of Windows more Modular, like Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2008 is more modular, you can install Server Core that doesn't even have a graphical interface, or you can install Windows Server 2008 with just the features you want/need... [More]

Custom Themes in ASP.NET MVC Updated for Preview 5

Update 2009/03/26: There is an updated version of this code (with improvements) that targets the ASP.NET MVC 1.0 RTW located here: http://pietschsoft.com/post/2009/03/ASPNET-MVC-Implement-Theme-Folders-using-a-Custom-ViewEngine.aspx  About two weeks ago I posted on how to Implement Custom Theme support in ASP.NET MVC. There were some breaking changes made when the Preview 5 release was released yesterday. Here's a short list to a couple of the changes I had to make to my code from the previ... [More]

.NET 3.5 SP1: DataContractJsonSerializer Bug

Update 9/16/2008: After too long, I finally tried uninstalling SP1 and reinstalling it and that fixed the issue. I'm glad it's fixed now! I haven't seen any other suggestions for fixing this, and I first tried repairing the installation, but only an uninstall and reinstall fixed it. Hope this helps solves anyone elses headache with this issue.   A few months ago (back in February actually) I blogged showing how to use the new DataContractJsonSerializer to serialize your .NET objects to JSON... [More]

CouchDB on FLOSS Weekly Episode 36 - distributed, document-oriented, RESTful database

I just listened to the latest episode of FLOSS Weekly; episode 36 on CouchDB. This episode is an interview with Jan Lehnardt about CouchBD. Here's a description of what CouchDB is from their website: Apache CouchDB is a distributed, fault-tolerant and schema-free document-oriented database accessible via a RESTful HTTP/JSON API. Among other features, it provides robust, incremental replication with bi-directional conflict detection and resolution, and is queryable and indexable ... [More]

How To Setup Custom Theme Support In ASP.NET MVC Preview 4 using a Custom ViewEngine

Update 2009/03/26: There is an updated version of this code (with improvements) that targets the ASP.NET MVC 1.0 RTW located here: http://pietschsoft.com/post/2009/03/ASPNET-MVC-Implement-Theme-Folders-using-a-Custom-ViewEngine.aspx  Update 8/29/2008: I posted a new blog post today that contains updated code for this example that works with the newly released ASP.NET MVC Preview 5. The new code is located here. One option to do theming in ASP.NET MVC is to use the standard ASP.NET Theme fun... [More]

How To Use ASP.NET MVC in Website rather than Web Application Project

I recently started getting to know the ASP.NET MVC Framework (more specifically the Preview 4 release). The first thing I noticed upon installation is that it only comes with a Web Application Project Template. There is no regular ASP.NET Website template. So, I decided to try converting the Web Application Project Template to a regular ASP.NET Website. I actually prefer to use Website projects instead of Web Application projects since it gives a little more flexibility to deploy changes to the ... [More]

8/11/2008 - My email is currently down

Update: Ok, my email is back and working again. FYI, for anyone trying to email me, my email is currently down, so I wont see your messages until it's back up. The issue is actually GMail. I use GMail Apps for your domain to host my email (both pietschsoft.com and simplovation.com) email address's, and currently their service is down. I don't know if everyones is out, but mine is. I'll post an update when it's back, and reply to all emails as soon as I can too. This is ... [More]

SQL 2008 RTM Released, and includes .NET 3.5 SP1

Yesterday, Microsoft released the final RTM release of SQL Server 2008. Finally, the long anticipated release of SQL 2008 is here. Unfortunately, the Express edition of SQL 2008 isn't available yet (and according to the previous link, it wont be until the end of August), but if you have an MSDN Subscription you can download any of the other editions today. I'm currently installing SQL 2008 Developer Edition, and before the installation could proceed, it needed to install an update to the .NET F... [More]

Write code, Win FREE MSDN Subscription!

Have you got a cool piece of code you wrote, but don't know what to do with? Have you got a cool idea, but need the motivation to work on it? Would you like an MSDN Subscription, but don't have the money to pay for it? If you can answer, "YES" to any of the above questions, then you should definitely submit an entry in the Community Coding Contest by midnight September 30, 2008! As of today, there are 58 days left to submit your entries in the Community Coding Cont... [More]