Experiences and Experiments in Programming

 Sunday, March 05, 2006
I am giving a presentation to the Huntsville .NET User Group on March 14.  They asked me to give a presentation on AJAX.  Seems the interest in AJAX continues to grow.  I think there is a lot of potential for AJAX now that it is more widely available to browsers.  There seems to be a lot of discussion of benefits and weaknesses.  It will be interesting to see where it goes.

Sunday, March 05, 2006 1:02:35 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Friday, February 03, 2006
I guess I have that freakish quality you don't find often in engineers.  I love the creativity of web design and graphics work! My boss, who happens to be a great friend of mine, ribs me all the time about my love of all things visual.  So it goes!  I have been utilizing CSS in my designs for quite a while and one of my favorite sites for showing off what can be done with CSS is CSSZenGarden. A book was written about CSSZenGarden, which discusses some of the designs on the site and the interesting implementations of CSS within those designs.  I finally decided I would get it and see what others were talking about.  I think it is a great book for someone who is somewhat familiar with CSS but wants to grow their knowledge.  It is not a beginners book.  And it is not a book for advanced developers either. Reading the book is like having a discussion with a friend who is knowledgeable about CSS.  I think it is a worthwhile purchase for anyone interested in seeing other perspectives on CSS implementation.

Friday, February 03, 2006 12:10:42 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Wednesday, February 01, 2006
I have a lot of hobbies. But one of my favorites is woodworking, more specifically turning objects on the lathe. I have had my lathe for probably 7 or 8 years and had wanted to turn a pen. As with many things, fear of the unknown caused me to continuously put it off.
Well at the beginning of 2005 I decided to purchase the parts I needed to begin turning pens and pencils. Another 5 months of procrastination and I realized what I had been missing. I officially began turning pens and pencils the in middle of 2005. For me turning is the activity that completely takes me a way from all the distractions and worries of the world around me. It is my escape.
Although I had originally decided I would focus on technology in this blog, I realized that turning is a big part of my "xperimentality". So I am going to create a category here so that I can include some pics of some of my pens. I can also discuss some of my trial and error and experiences with turning them. I hope it will be entertaining and possibly inspire some other turners who have been putting off trying something new. After all, what is "xperimentality" but trying new things and learning new skills!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 7:53:15 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Wow!  February 1st already. That one snuck up on me. Sometimes I can't believe how fast time goes by. You hear parents say that once you have a child, time just continues to speed up. Now that my daughter is 3.5 years old, I can say that it seems to be true!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 7:42:32 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Well the presentation seemed to go well.  Once I get the xperimentality site back up, I will post the presentation there.  Also, I mentioned last night that one of the things I was playing around with was using AJAX to extend functionality, not just data.  Some others are doing this as well but they focus on creating a library for it.  I think all the JavaScript libraries that are out there are great.  However, I can see how the use of libraries can be a negative if the library size gets too large.  Anyway, I am going to post more on my thoughts around this soon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 8:31:39 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Tuesday, January 10, 2006
I have been asked to do a presentation for the Birmingham .NET User Group tonight.  I am going to do a modified presentation that I did for the Alabama Code Camp focusing a little more on degredation.  Even though the browsers are providing better support, we still cannot control the user who might set their browser to not run scripts.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 10:41:58 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Since the last entry I made, a lot has changed.  I have taken on a different responsibility concerning the project I have been on for quite some time.  The project has lingered much longer than it should have.  The people in charge of the project were not very good at managing the effort/the budget/the people/etc.  Now the environment has changed, many of the developers have left, the leadership has completely changed, and now I am picking up the pieces left by my predecessors.  All in all, it is a good thing.  Finally, we will be able to plan properly for the work that is to be done.  The new leadership is also putting in place a plan to transition the knowledge of the system from the contractors to the full time employees that are left.  This is a good thing.  We (the contractors) won't be here forever, and someone will have to take the reigns when we move on.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 10:37:51 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Saturday, December 03, 2005
Well I did not have my blog up and going in time to report on the first Birmingham .NET User Group meeting in November.  Long story short, it went really well.  Turnout was great.  Our next meeting was scheduled for December 13, the same day as the "Best of" launch event in Birmingham.  After speaking with some of the folks from Microsoft in Atlanta, we are going to turn our meeting on the 13th into a Pub Club after the launch event.  I suspect after listening to presentations all day, most folks will enjoy just a laid back meet and greet!
I am really looking forward to watching the Birmingham .NET User Group continue to grow.

Saturday, December 03, 2005 10:58:25 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Well, I just got back from the VS 2005 Launch in Atlanta, GA.  As usual, there were some good presentations and some so-so ones.

I think that no matter how long you have been using a technology, there is always something you can learn.  I have always been old school when it comes to using provided controls.  In order to always squeeze all the performance out of an application, I am one for writing most of the code myself instead of relying on controls.

However ASP.NET 2.0 may make this old dog learn a few new tricks!  There is some really nice functionality provided without having to write any code.  I truly think that in many cases (I won't say most yet) using the ASP.NET 2.0 controls may meet a developer's needs...We shall see!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 10:49:06 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Who Am I - Todd Miranda
MVP Visual Developer - ASP/ASP.NET
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