Monthly Archives: April 2004

Look at my shiny new phone!

i-mate Smartphone2On Thursday afternoon DotNetDan came around to the desk I was camping out on and dropped off a whitebox. Inside that whitebox was a brand spanking new i-mate Smartphone2 sent via courier. I think the phone, charger and cradle were out of the box in about fifteen seconds. Five seconds later it was synchronising my contacts, e-mail and calendar and I was copying across my GPRS settings from my crusty old Nokia (I never really got the hang of J2ME development). My wife has one too so now she has a spare one when hers finally dies.

I left the phone for a few hours to properly charge up before letting calls come through. Its always unnerving when you get a new phone and it rings for the first time. Hands up who has sat in an office complex muttering under their breath about how someone wasn’t answering their phone only to discover that its yours? No, not me either, that was just a for instance.

Because I have been on the road quite a bit recently I’ve been relying on my mobile to wake me up, so I was keen to give this feature a bit of a test drive. It didn’t wake me up on the first morning, but maybe that was because I had three (or was it four) glasses of cab. sav. the night before. I am pleased to report however that it did succeed in waking me up at 6am yesterday morning AND this morning (Sunday – ANZAC Day – oh, I had better ring my brother, its his birthday – we have a parades in his honor all over the country you know).

One of the features that I have taken to straight away is MSN Messenger ( – don’t worry, the spammers have it already). I can now be contacted most times on MSN Messenger via my mobile. The neat thing about messenger is that according to the “Department of Pulling Statistics Out of Thin Air” its much cheaper than using SMS. I was out visiting one of our clients last night and I used it to let my wife (who is always on messenger) that I was on my way home.

My next goal is to get MMS working, heck, I might even indulge in a game of Ming Mong with a few of the lads and lasses at Microsoft! I’m not quite sure how MMS messages are transmitted, do they go via GPRS? If so I’ll need to watch out for those data charges – Telstra really needs to lower their prices.

Anyway, I had better sign off, its taken me a long time to bash this out on my phone (just kidding – I’m not insane). I want to send out a big thanks to the folks involved in getting this smartphone to me – you know who you are! I’d been faking for such a long time with my Nokia 6310i (complete with a .NET operator logo that I got from a chap at a VTR User Group Open Day in Melbourne are year or so ago).

So – now that I have a true geek phone, what cool stuff can I put on it that I will want to use everyday. Jawbreaker has already become indispensible whilst waiting to board at airports!

Are you a sucker? Network Solutions wants to know!

While reading my e-mail this morning I came across some SPAM from Network Solutions. You know, that company that “improved” the domain name system by taking over from InterNIC. I normally delete these e-mails because I no longer hold any of my domain names with them, but this one caused me to pause and hover my finger over the delete key.

Apparently NSI are now offering domain registrations for up to one hundred years! I can instantly see the appeal of this, but before you race out and register your one hundred year domain name and place street directions for your 100+ years birthday party, lets think about what you are really getting here.

I headed on over to the NSI site to see if I could find the small print (there is always small print). Apparently, the domain name isn’t actually locked in for one hundred years – its locked in for the maximum amount allowed as set by ICANN (International Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers). I believe this is currently ten years. Network Solutions then promises to re-register as needed for that one hundred year period. The real kicker is that you cannot transfer your domain name to any other registrar so you a pretty much locked in.

According to NSI, the big advantage to this is that you save lots of money and you don’t have to worry about remembering to re-register your domain every year or so. Getting the person who did the  registration to remember the account access details after one hundred years might be a challenge – you’ll probably need a shovel.

Finally, who says that the DNS system as it exists today is still going to be around in one hundred years? I think we will probably see some drastic changes inside the next ten years – what happens then?

<startcassini /> and <stopcassini /> Tasks for NAnt

I’m in Sydney this week working for a client, this means one thing – I’m bored. And boredom drives me to code, so I thought I might take the opportunity to get two NAnt tasks that I have been working on to a point where I am happy to show them to some people.

The two tasks allow you to control multiple instances of the Cassini server inside the NAnt process. I have included some prelimary documentation in the Documentation directory and there are two unit tests for the task. Consider this a tech preview 😛

BlogJet released!

For the past few months I have been using BlogJet to update my blog and it has just been updated. One of the new features is the ability to make a post to multiple categories, the old version didn’t do this so if I wanted to do that I needed to bring up the browser an log into the Admin section of the awesome .Text software.

There are two other features that I like about BlogJet.

  • BlogJet adds a toolbar icon to Internet Explorer that allows me to create a blog entry about the current URL.
  • When entering a URL into BlogJet,it pre-populates the field with http://, however, if I paste a URL from the clipboard that already includes the http://, then I don’t end up with http://http://, thats smart!

BlogJet is still not perfect (what software is?). Here are some features that I would like to see in future versions of BlogJet.

  • A “BlogJet This!” button in Outlook.
  • Integration with nGallery and the .Text gallery to allow browsing and insertion of images (two-way).
  • SmartTag-like technology to pick up things like “this post” and give you a browse button to go and look at all the posts that NewsGator has downloaded.

Come to think of it, I think that BlogJet and NewsGator should get together. I just love it how I can define two organisations business strategy in one sitting . . .

There is also the odd bug in BlogJet, for example, if I put some XML tags in the header of my message it doesn’t escape them for me. The only place I don’t want to escape what I code is in the code window. Overall its a great FREE tool.

I’m going to wind this up now because I am going to take my little princess for a swim at the local pool.

Minor <csunit /> Update

“Pete” left a comment in this post, I wonder if its the “Pete” that I know. Either way I thought that the request had merit so I spent three minutes and thirty-six seconds this morning putting together a simple HTML file which described how to use the task. You can download it as part of the new archive ( If you already have the old archive ( you can just grab the HTML file by itself. Other than the documentation the only change that I have made is upgrading the version of the task that the task uses to test itself to (it was using the version I think). Enjoy.

Audio Controls on Your Window Frame? Hrm.

OK, this is a blatent post about a post – but Scoble does it, so why can’t I!

I was reading this post by Josh Ledgard talking initially about the pop-up blocker that will be built into Internet Explorer that ships with XPSP2. Its certainly about time (although, they missed the boat, I use the Google toolbar – indispensible), however as Josh points out the whole area of pop-up blocking has been made more complex with the addition of Flash based ads which roam around a web-page like slimer off Ghostbusters.

To be honest my online experience revolves around Outlook, Google and a handful of technical sites and newsgroups which Google effectively indexes. So I don’t see these free roaming ads too often, although when I do my aural senses tend to be assaulted. To solve the audio problem I propose that Windows (no later than Longhorn) has a set of controls next to the minimise, maximise and close button that allow you to control audio settings on a per process basis. This contextual information would be available as a per-process master switch to stop ANY audio coming out of certain processes.

Without looking too deeply into it, this doesn’t seem like a hard problem to solve.

Why is Canberra airport busy?

Why is Canberra airport so busy – I mean, what do all these people think they are doing jumping on a plane with me to Brisbane? Its Easter Monday for heavens sake – they should all be at home with your feet up enjoying their holiday. I’ve got an excuse, I hate arriving in the city I am working in on the morning – there is too much risk of something going wrong.

Did I ever tell you guys about the time I missed my flight out of Seattle after a ASP.NET 2.0 Tech Preview?