# Tuesday, January 18, 2005

... who wouldn't be embarrassed by pictures of themselves from the 80's? But you have to see these, really you do... BillG looking soulfully into the camera while cuddling up to a monitor with the Microsoft logo, or giving new meaning to the old phrase "flipping floppies"... I don't think it was really for Teen Beat but anything's possible.

http://blog.monkeymethods.org/2005/01/bill-gates-strikes-pose-for-teen-beat.html

Kate

Tuesday, January 18, 2005 10:01:07 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, January 16, 2005

I have these friends, a married couple who are both paramedics -- the people who show up in an ambulance while the building is still on fire or the bad guy is still maybe inside with a weapon, and help you when you need it most. One works in the Peterborough area where I live, and the other commutes regularly to Toronto. Well this week, he's not in Toronto, he's in Sri Lanka, to help people who most surely need help. They were going to go on vacation somewhere sunny: instead he's gone to help and she's holding down the fort at home. I am so impressed by people like that.

Here's some news coverage from CTV, interviewing three of the four, but not my friend.

Think geeks like you and me can't help? Think again. Look at what Julie has been up to. The same skills we can sell to clients around the world we can also give to aid organizations. Watch this space for my tiny little bit.

Kate

Sunday, January 16, 2005 9:57:24 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Saturday, January 15, 2005

Thanks to kbalertz, I was notified of these:

FIX: You may receive results that are not correct when you perform mathematical computations that involve floating point arithmetic in Visual C++ .NET 2003

The repro code looks like this:

double a = 1.0 - sqrt(225.0) / 36.0;
double b = 1.0 + (31-30.0) /70.0;
if( b > 2.0 )
   b = 2.0;
double c = b * a * 9.0;
printf( "%f\n",c);

If all is well, this is supposed to print 5.325000 but if you have the problem it prints 14.378571 -- a slight discrepancy! Get the hotfix only if you need it.

Those with an old version of the XBox Developer Kit installed might also like to know about:

PRB: Debugger stops responding when you debug a Visual C++ .NET application with the Visual Studio .NET debugger

Workarounds: get a newer XDK, disable parts of the XDK, or leave your XBox on and connected to your computer all the time. That last one would kill my productivity for sure.

Saturday, January 15, 2005 3:13:47 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]

I'm pleased and proud to report that I have again been awarded MVP Status for C++. Technically it's “Visual Developer - Visual C++”. This came through January 4th, but my blog's been out of order for a bit.

Kate  

C++ | MVP
Saturday, January 15, 2005 1:16:36 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, December 23, 2004

I live in the Canadian countryside, so it snows in the winter and I generally consider that a feature. But we're in the middle of a 12-inches-in-24-hours blizzard right now, with bits of freezing rain mixed in. Take a look at this radar image from the Environment Canada website:

I've never seen the whole circle filled in, and I've never seen orange for snow before. This is really something!

Now I just have to find a way to get to Peterborough for the Gregcons Christmas lunch and a little last minute shopping.

Kate

Update: here's the view from my front door:

The horizontallish thing in the foreground is a picnic table... the seats are about knee height from the grass.

Thursday, December 23, 2004 8:37:06 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Recently, a reader asked "Do you know if Managed C++ can work with Managed DirectX9? I see lots of examples of C# with Managed DirectX but it seems if I want to use C++, I have to use unmanaged C++ with COM... I’ve spent the last six months learning Managed C++ and want to use that knowledge and not have to learn C#."

It certainly seemed logical that C++ and DirectX would play well together, but I couldn't find anything obvious, so I went to the source: the C++ team, who pointed me to Tim Miller, who implemented the Managed DX9 layer. He assured me it does work, though with an oddity or two, and pointed me to a blog entry of his on the topic: http://blogs.msdn.com/tmiller/archive/2004/10/05/238317.aspx.

If you're a Managed DirectX person, and a blog reading person, read Tim's blog!

Kate

Wednesday, December 22, 2004 8:04:35 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, December 17, 2004

I have just loved holding our meetings at Durham College, but some policy changes there meant that we would have to pay for the meeting room. Like most Canadian user groups, we don't charge membership fees or meeting admission. At the moment the only sponsor of the group is my firm, Gregory Consulting, which pays for the pizza most months (sometimes Microsoft or INETA picks up the tab.) So we've moved to another room. This one will meet our needs very nicely, I feel:

400 Taunton Road East, Whitby (between Thickson and Brock.)

So while we're still East of Toronto, our meetings won't be quite as far east of Toronto as they used to be! :-)

We have no December meeting, so I'll see you in Whitby January 18th and Feb 22nd. Those meetings are planned and should be on the web site soon.

Kate

Friday, December 17, 2004 12:07:26 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Finally the official announcement from INETA that eight super deserving people have been added to the North American Speakers bureau. Two are Regional Directors and friends of mine, Joel Semeniuk and Stephen Forte (get ready to come to East Of Toronto, you two :-)). All are well known in the speaking world and will be great additions to the bureau. Welcome aboard folks!

Here's a list of blog links stolen from the INETA site:

Kate

Update: If you want to learn more about the speakers bureau, or see who's on it, check http://www.ineta.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=2&tabid=14.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 10:12:28 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2]

I just read a blog entry that, to me, really epitomizes what blogs are all about. It starts out as a musing on a little technical question -- if some C++ code throws a string literal, what kind of catch clauses should win the race to catch it? -- and turns into a very personal story of what C++/CLI is for and about and Stan's motivations in being part of it. He says:

We have had an extraordinary degree of freedom not simply in our design, but in our being able to reach out and work with the general c++ community. this language is a coalition. I think we have all wanted to put the best face on C++ in what we regard as an otherwise hostile environment for C++. We think this is a win-win situation for everyone. if you don't like something, you should let us know. we're not a hundred thousand leagues removed from our users. if you want to use the language, you have every right to tell us what you think about it; how you find it; what you want.

And later:

I just program and write. and I do that best in C++. C# and Java mean nothing to me. Now I have my own language to use on .NET. That was my personal agenda in all this. I think you should check it out.

So go read it. C++/CLI is being developed by real people who care about the technology they use and the technology they create. I don't know what it is about C++ that makes people feel this way about it -- I feel the same way myself. I use VB.NET almost every day, I use XML, I use all kinds of things, but I don't really have feelings towards those things. I do for C++. Weird but true, and --hey!-- I'm not the only one.

Kate

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 11:48:20 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1]