Chris Pietschmann

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

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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]

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]

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

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]

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]

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]

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]

Can you do 100? Pushups that is.

Today, I was introduced to hundredpushups.com, via a Tweet by Scott Hanselman. In short, the One Hundred Pushups training program is a simple program that requires about 30 minutes a week of exercise doing pushups, with the goal of working up to being able to do 100 consecutive pushups at the end of the 6 weeks program. This is such a simple program, it's free, and there isn't much easier than doing pushups.   What is the hundred pushup program? Here's a quote from the website: If you... [More]

Why wait for Windows 7? Dell XT has Multi-Touch already

Really the only feature that Microsoft has promised for the next version of Windows after Windows Vista, is Multi-Touch. We're all becoming familiar with the idea of multi-touch displays thanks to the iPhone and iPod Touch, but it's about time for this capability to come to the PC (or rather Laptop / Tablet). I haven't owned a Table PC yet, but I've had my sights on getting one for a while. I just found out that the Dell XT (Dell's version of the convertable laptop / tablet) ... [More]

Free Vista SP1 Support through March 18, 2009

Microsoft is offering Free technical support for Windows Vista SP1. Free, unlimited installation and compatibility support is now available for all worldwide customers using Windows Vista SP1. Telephone support is available worldwide. Some countries also offer Chat and Email support. This is effective from now until March 18, 2009. Find out more information and access the service here: http://support.microsoft.com/common/international.aspx?rdpath=1&prid=11274&gprid=500921 ... [More]

dotNetExt - .NET Extension Method Library - v0.1 Beta Released

This is the first release of a small, new project I created. This is just the first release of the project, and I'll keep adding more functionality to it if there is enough interest by me or others in the project. So, please post any comments you have in the project discussion area. dotNetExt - .NET Extension Method Library dotNetExt is a small Extension Method Library for .NET 3.5 that extends the BCL Types with helper methods that make simple tasks simpler. So far there are extensions for the ... [More]

Community Coding Contest to start July 1st - Chance to Win MSDN Premium Subscription with VS'08 Team Suite, plus more

A few weeks ago Microsoft sent me 3 MSDN Premium Subscriptions with Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite to give away to members of the community. I thought long and hard, and the best way I could come up with who to give them to is to hold a coding contest. So I'm happy to announce the Community Coding Contest! I don't have the website up yet, but I'll get it up as soon as I can. The website is now Live! What are the Rules? Here are the basic rules for the contest. Once the webs... [More]

Web.Maps.VE 2.0 Released - ASP.NET Virtual Earth Mapping Server Control

Today, I released Web.Maps.VE v2.0!! I had originally planned to release it on June 30th, but was able to reach that goal about 2 weeks early, so here we are. Web.Maps.VE v2.0 builds on top of the previous v1.0 release, and adds many new features. If you aren't familiar with Web.Maps.VE, it is the industries first ASP.NET Virtual Earth Mapping Server Control. It enables you (the developer) to implement MS Virtual Earth mapping into your ASP.NET web applications by writing only server-s... [More]

Medical Technology - Robotic Assisted Surgery

One of my family members recently had heart bypass surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical. Robotic assisted surgery seems like something from the future, but it's done today and it pretty freaking cool. Here's a video demonstrating the da Vinci Surgical System: http://www.intuitivesurgical.com/products/da_vinci_video_overview.aspx Go check it out!

Software Development Meme - How I got started programming

Ok, I'm it. I've been tagged by Larry Clarkin with the latest questionnaire floating around the blogs. This one is focused on how everyone got started into programming. How old were you when you started programming? Even though I first started playing computer games on the family Apple IIe when I was 3 years old; I didn't actually get started into programming until I was 14. I still can't really believe that my dad trusted a 3 year old (me) to take the 5.25" floppy disks in and out of the c... [More]

Amazon.com is down

Wow, Amazon.com is currently down. It just shows a message of "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable". I know this isn't really worth a full blog post. I was going to Twitter it, but Twitter is down for maintenance at the moment.