May 2007 - Posts
This is a note to self. When I need it I can never find it. The name of this tool that wraps the BITS api, using C#, and provides a smooth BITS client.
The www.WindowsForms.net website is no more; it's just been recast as WindowsClient.com - to take advantage of the SmartClient, WPF, etc. parts of the client side experience. Although, the SmartClient verbiage is light on the site - definate focus is WinForms & WPF...
I've been a big fan of Netflix for years, but definately see the horizon on their mail to home business model coming to an end, or at least siginificant contraction as video on demand becomes truly viable.
The Netflix folks have been working with SilverLight and at the Mix 07 conference they presented a demo of their new video player - saying it took about 2 weeks to build.
It was very slick, simple interface with all the controls you'd expect from a DVD player controls.
Take a look at it here: NetFlix Mix 07 Demo
One nice feature of the Outlook thick client is to view other user's calendars. In OWA 2003 it was a different URL that was needed, as along as you had the permissions.
Now with Exchange 2007 OWA the URL is different.
Below is the syntax - all on one line:
replace <server> and <user@yoourdomain> with your host and User's email address as required
Recently, a bunch of people were caught cheating casinos by various means. One of those ways was something that I saw first hand when I worked as a BlackJack dealer in Atlantic City back in the mid-1980's for the Sands Casino (which is now gone).
This was done by I guy I knew who was also a BlackJack dealer at another Casino in AC just down the boardwalk. He just wanted to prove it was possible. And to my knowledge it happened only once, and the win was probably around 1K, and clearly not the millions these guys took.
Basically, on a dead game (no players) dealers would fan the cards out face up in 2 or 3 rows of cards. What the dealer would do is look at the cards and would just see what a series of hands would come out of the shoe if they were dealt in the order that they appeared. Remembering that the 1st card is the burn card. If there were 3+ hands of 1 player against dealer that would win (including BlackJack, double downs, etc.) the signal would go out to another person just roaming the casino telling that person to sit down and play.
Then, the dealer would pick up the cards careful not to disturb the "block" of cards at the top. Shuffle w/ out mixing the block, offer the stack (6 or 8 decks was the standard then) for a "cut" - make it a thin cut, but remember a few cards that would "signal" the block. Then, just start the 1-on-1 play. When the block would start, the betting would increase and the player would win, press the bet, and then just walk away.
So, nothing new here. Just the same old cheat taken to a much higher level. A few years later, they made the dead games fan the cards face down - doh! You think they would've thought of that before. Also, one of the pit bosses that I used to work for, several years after I left, was convicted with a bunch of other Sands people for taking the casino for millions by palming checks (chips) and having the floor people and pit bosses look the other way while it was happening. The real scumbag thing they did was palm some of the tips (tokes) that were supposed to be shared amongst the dealers.
Anatomy of the false shuffle/A7 The dealer bribe Training in the false shuffle. It keeps the cards from interlacing after they’ve been dealt from the shoe; before they are shuffled and returned to the shoe for the next round of hands. That creates a “slug” to keep a group of cards in the same order they were dealt. Card counters track the cards; predict its order to get the upper hand on bets. Dealers get paid per false shuffle, sometimes thousands. Floor supervisors and pit-bosses can sometimes be recruited to take their cut.
Anatomy of the false shuffle
At the table The “card recorder” notes values of cards dealt. In mini-baccarat, cards are recorded on paper. In blackjack, a hidden transmitter or microphone is used to relay the order to someone who would enter the cards into a cellphone loaded with a special card tracking program. After dealing all the cards in the show, the dealer would create a slug that the card cheats recorded. When the slug is hit, a signal goes out to raise bets.
Greg Poole has updated the batch file renaming utility that I posted a while back (http://cicoria.com/CS1/blogs/cedarlogic/archive/2006/07/10/260.aspx)
Here's his updates:
From Greg's post:
I've spent some time looking around to find a batch file renamer which meets my needs, without much luck. Basically, I wanted something which would be activated by an item in the context menu for folders (right click) and would just allow basic renaming of files using regular expressions. I didn't want anything heavy-weight or complicated, just a regular expression file renamer. I finally stumbled across Shawn Cicoria's blog, where he had posted his regex file renamer. It works pretty nicely and was pretty much just what I was after (if lacking one or two specifics). I've now modified his code to work exactly how I imagined as well as tweaking the interface a bit. I also added configurable presets (using FileRename.xml), which allows you to set up some standard expression sets. I haven't done any yet but if you have any you'd like to send in, please do. I've made the whole package available for download in my downloads section for those who are after the same thing I was. If you like the code or you see something which you'd like changed, why not download the project source and let me or Shawn know about your modifications or improvements.
If you're using both TFS & Project Server (god bless you BTW) the Project Server Connector has been released on CodePlex.
The Visual Studio Team System Project Server 2007 Connector is designed to integrate the project management capabilities of VSTS with Project Server 2007. It's been developed by the Visual Studio Team System Rangers in response to significant customer demand for a connector solution. Future versions of Team System will have native integration with Project Server, in the meantime this Connector solution is the best way to integrate the two Microsoft products. This solution builds on the previous PS2003 VSTS Connector, published on GotDotNet. This solution is intended to provide guidance, provided as source code that can be used "as is," extended, or modified by developers to use on enterprise development projects.
I had seen a post indicating it was based upon code from my prior company; it is not. It's distinct.
A few updates to EntLib for the May 2007 releaes. Just released in April, the P&P team updates (bug fixes & more functionality) the distrubution, now on CodePlex
Tom Hollander posts the changes in the 3.1 release:
Needing to learn MOSS "fast" - Tim points me to a bunch of nice videos on MOSS features. Kinda like the MSDN nuggets on MSDN UK site.
I was looking in the event log at some issues and noticed a source "bowser"? Well, that sounded like Browser. Here's what shows up below - clearly somebody fat fingered the "r" in the provider name missing it altogether. Some QA on that spelling...
- <Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
<Provider Name="bowser" />
<TimeCreated SystemTime="2007-05-22T16:00:43.804Z" />
I tend to think the MySpace generation is already aged.
However, Microsoft has put up a site called Popfly (www.PopFly.com) that allows mashups of content based upon blocks.
There's a Popfly Explorer VS 2005 add-in allowing users to work with Popfly for building or extending. Silverlight (the old WPF/e) is in the mix as well.
Quoted in the Article:
"There's an obvious desire or need for people to want to create online applications, but it's too difficult today. So our goal is to democratize development," said Dan Fernandez, Microsoft's lead project manager for Visual Studio Express, of the Popfly project.
In an interview with eWEEK last month, S. "Soma" Somasegar, Microsoft's corporate vice president for developer tools, said what is now known as Popfly is Microsoft's attempt to tap the "MySpace generation."
The Microsoft ESB Guidance, Co-authored by Neudesic and released back in December 2006 in a "partner only" set of bits, VPC, documents, has been released to the public up on CodePlex
This is CTP code with lot's of good patterns and concepts that I was fortunate enough to use as "inspiration" on a project I worked on several months back while at Avanade / Accenture. Certaintlyl allowed re-use of a patterns for concepts that made it into working code.
Take a look, if not for the free code, for the patterns and concepts.
To take it to the next level, take a look at Neudesic's ESB product; Microsoft platform based, but not bound to BizTalk with support for a variety of transports such as MQ Series, Peer to Peer (for low latency), etc. Built upon Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) extensible architecture.
Usually, as it was in the past, when Dell finally started producing systems supporting a technology is was considered mainstream. In reality, it's when the economics start to make sense that Dell's model, capital structure, turnover ratios, etc. all make sense; or maybe because Michael is back?
Here's a link to a quick video on Dell's announcement (blog, WMF, and MPEG respectively).
The device looks very sleek, thin & light (can't tell the real weight from the video)... It reminds me of Motion's version. Doesn't look like I'll be running Visual Studio on it though. Looks like single spindle at best. Hopefully more spec's to follow.
PC Magazine has a quick article on Windows Home Server - something I've been testing out at home for a bit. I personally like it. The WiFi limitation is more based upon reliability of a link than anything else. WiFi still is not reliable (just do a search on 3945ABG & Vista - which is all Intel's issues). It's Windows 2003 Server underneath it all, which never was meant to be WiFi friendly - so drivers are always the issue.
The price is projected at about $500 - which is inline with what I would expect for the device - a price point that people consider the device as opposed to a full blown PC/Server.
There's more to Home Server than just network based files - auto backup & synchronization, etc.
Link to What You Can't Do With Windows Home Server - News and Analysis by PC Magazine
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