Archives for October 2009

October 2009 (8)
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First impressions of Quicken

Back in June this year, Microsoft announced that they were cutting Microsoft Money. Now, I've been using this app for well over 14 years now (my transactions go back to July 1995), and so I was a little peeved, to put it mildly. I know that the application itself will continue to work — although at some point I would be unable to install it on any new PCs or hard drives I may get: there's good old activation for you — but the online features would also be cut off at some future...


Internet Corporation Listing Service,

They're baaaaack! Back last December I got an invoice — er, sorry, a solicitation for services , cunningly disguised as an invoice — from this company for another domain I administer. I wrote it up as a blog post , shredding the invoice, oops, solicitation afterwards. Well, they just sent me one for, this here domain what you connected to for these pearls of wisdom from yours truly. And the price has gone up to $65! And still they'll accept checks only (because it's too easy for you to...


PCPlus 274: Choosing random samples

I write a monthly column for PCPlus, a computer news-views-n-reviews magazine in the UK (actually there are 13 issues a year — there's an Xmas issue as well — so it's a bit more than monthly). The column is called Theory Workshop and appears in the back of every issue. When I signed up, my editor and the magazine were gracious enough to allow me to reprint the articles here after say a year or so. After all, the PDFs do appear on each issue's DVD after a few months. When I...


The Roomba Kings Play Songs of Love

Excuse the pun, but I really like my Roomba . I'd been thinking of buying one for a long while, just to try it out, and then a couple of months ago I happened to notice a refurbished unit (the iRobot Roomba 560 ) on at $100 off the new price. So, I thought, why not, plonked the virtual money down and a few days later it arrived on my doorstep. Let me explain. We have four cats (it was only supposed to be three, but then a neighbor had a litter and there was this cute tabby who purred...


Online surveys

Today I got an email from eBay asking whether I'd mind filling out a survey for them. The survey was one of those that asked questions designed, quote, to improve the user experience when buying, unquote. Generally, with these, I tend to fill them out, providing I have the time, and by that I mean it'd better take much less than 10 minutes or I will just abandon it. Of course, if the survey is on something I feel strongly about, I'll stick it out — at least most times. This particular survey was...


Playing your portable music player through your computer speakers

Got an iPod or similar music player? Got Windows 7 on your PC? (Harder question) Got a mini stereo jack to mini stereo jack cable? If yes to all three, you can play your music player through your computer speakers. This is great if you happen to be travelling and are stuck in your hotel room (er, like I am at the moment): for the minimum extra equipment (the cable) you can listen to your music on your laptop without having to ensure your music library has been copied onto your laptop drive or carry...


The best Sudoku iPhone app (mostly)

I was chatting with Mehul in the DevExpress offices yesterday about writing iPhone apps with MonoTouch. He wanted to know what iPhone app had most impressed me, now that I'd had the phone for a little while and therefore what I might be trying to emulate in my own programming. My reply was Sudoku Grab . Yeah, yeah, I can hear you saying. There are a bazillion apps out there already that do Sudoku. What's so special about this one? Well, it's the grab part that fascinates me and that elevates this...


Book: Professional DevExpress ASP.NET Controls

Over the summer I spent quite a bit of time on top of my normal work activities (at least those I couldn't put aside) writing a couple of chapters for Professional DevExpress ASP.NET Controls . Yes, I've been saying for a while that I'd never write a book again, but this was an opportunity to quickly write something that would appear in a book form, without my name being on the cover. Unfortunately Wrox didn't listen to me and put it there anyway :). Originally Paul Kimmel was going to be writing...