Sunday, June 19, 2005

Please update your links...

I've moved to http://www.msmvps.com/nickwienholt/. All the old posts are there.

Always nice to get a good review...

Thanks for your kind words Daniel. It seems so long since I actually wrote the performance book. It is funny that one of the main concerns we had during the review phase of the book was that .NET 2.0 was coming so soon that the material would be out-of-date before it hit the shelves. I guess that long, long delays for Whidbey has been good for me.


I've had a few emails about whether I am doing a peformance book for .NET 2.0. I haven't committed to doing a new performance book in the short term, and I actually heading off on Friday for a six-month self-funded long service leave trip around Australia in a caravan. It been about 10 years since I left my previous career of coastal engineering behind, so an extended break made sense. The trip was also prompted by finishing off the current mortgage and having no burning desire to acquire another one straight away.


Back onto the writing, I need a bit of a break after doing the revision of Eric's C# book, which, based on Amazon's data, is shipping today. A peformance book covering .NET 2.0/ WinFx/ Longhorn will probably make more sense, and give me more time for a more thorough revision.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Photo of the Week - 6 Jun 2005

A rather obvious subject - looking east over the Port Hacking from Warumbul.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Photo of the Week - 28 May 2005

This shot was taken in early May at sunrise over the rock platform between Big Marley and Little Marley looking north towards Marley Head. The weather had been overcast and rainy the previous few days, and the track from the Bundeena road down to Marley becomes a shin-deep creek after rain, making the trek down to the coastline pretty unpleasant. The walk took about an hour, and I lost the track quite a few times in the pre-dawn dark.


There wasn't a lot of good light between the sunrise and the dull grey that occured once the sun climbed above the main cloud layer. In the brief peroid of good light, the warm colours of sunrise contrasted nicely the cold light under the cloud cover. The colour in the rock comliments the sunrise well, and leads the eye nicely into the shot.


Apress Ebooks - a first look

I got my first Ebook from Apress yesterday - Simon Robinson's "Expert .NET 1.1 Programming". I'll be doing the actual reading of the book on my upcoming 6 month round-the-country trip which I'm going on from 24 June till around Christmas, but thought it would be worth a quick post of the actual Ebook process itself. I'm happy to report the Apress has really delivered well with their Ebooks. The good points:

  • The book is available immediately after purchase. It can take Amazon up to half an hour before a book is available for download (which can be a pain if you leave the purchase until just before a long flight). There was no delay between purchase and download availability.
  • The book is available in PDF format, with full book and chapter download available. The PDF pages are exactly as per the printed book.
  • The security lock-down on the PDF is pretty minimal. The file is password protected by the email you use to set up your Apress account, but that's about it. You can print and copy from the file with no restrictions, which is critical to get the book onto the Smartphone using readers like RepliGo which uses a print-driver to convert the file.



    The only addition I'd like would be Microsoft Reader availability, but given Microsoft themselves do such a crappy job of promoting and developing Reader, I can't blame Apress for not supporting this format.



    Well done to the whole Apress crew for a great effort.

  • Wednesday, June 01, 2005

    My Podcast with Dr Pete is up

    Listening to the show, it seems we got carried away at times, so this isn't one for those with political correctness sensitivities.

    Thursday, May 26, 2005

    SQL Down Under Podcast

    I listened to the first half of Greg Low's SQL Down Under Podcast today at lunchtime. Great stuff Greg - looking forward to listening to the second half during tomorrows lunch break. Kalen Delaney is a great first guest.

    Apress Ebooks now available!

    Well done to Apress for responding to reader demand and making a heap of there totals available as Ebooks that can be purchased from the Apress site. As consultant without a regular desk, Ebooks are much, much more useful to me than paper books, and I have favoured MS Press in the past based purely on E-book availability.


    You can get Maximizing .NET Performance here at half the cover price (US22.50). I'm taking 6 months off starting at the end of June, and am looking forward to catching up with a number of Apress titles on my PDA during my travels.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2005

    Photo of the Week - 21 May 2005

    This image is a merged panorama of five separate shots taken in portrait mode. The merge image is 8200 by 2124 pixels (a whopping 17.4 megapixels - take that you punny 16.7 megapixel 1DsMkII), and is about 160 degrees (~ 4mm horizontal equivalent). The shots where taken last Friday after some pretty heavy rain mid-week at a spot called Winifred Falls. There are two falls between Audely and the road out to Maianbar, and AllThingsAus.com has a good description of the falls (and all the other falls in the Sydney region).


    The shot was taken around lunchtime, and a 4 stop neutral filter was used to blur the water going over the falls. My wife and daughter where at the top of the falls, and light rain began falling as I was setting up, so I had less than 20 minutes to set up and take the shots. Luckily, there are only two vantage points where the falls are actually visible from the base, and this one was clearly the best. The trees on either side of the small clearing nicely frame the shot, and the overcast conditions kept the light fairly even.


    The shots where taken with the EF 17-40mm f/4L USM set to around 29mm to avoid excessive distortion that can totally kill the merge process. Photoshop's inbuilt merge was used, and this nailed the merge with no visible seams and no stuffing around choosing common points that made Pano Tools such a painful exercise.



    Wednesday, May 18, 2005

    Photo of the Week - 16 May 2005

    This shot was taken thirty-eight minutes after last weeks shot. I hadn't actually been out on the Longreef rock platform before, but once I got out there, I realised that it would have been a much better location for the sunrise shot that last weeks fairly standard beach-shot-at-sunrise-with-a-few-rocks-thrown-in-for-foreground. The reef has a wonderful series of small rock pools and mid-size scattered boulders that make composition a breeze. A shot like this could be composed in nearly any direction.


    Once I got out onto the rock platform, it was pretty obvious that I had somewhere near 15 minutes of good light before the sun broke through the cloud layer above the horizon and killed the good reflections and excellent diffused light. This turned out to be heaps of time to get some good shots, and I took this shot hand-held as I was leaving to dry off my jeans and boots, and try to find the missing pieces of my tripod.


    The two good shots made the 4.45am start worth it.





    Photo of the Week - 9 May 2005

    [I wrote this post last Tuesday (10 May), but have spent the better part of a week trying to get the orange sky (which looks great in Photoshop) accurately reproduced in the JPEG format. On CRT screens it looks pretty good, but looks very dull and muddy on LCD screens. The graphics guru at work who lives in Photoshop all day long wasn't able to get the image right when viewed on all monitors, but I've decided to post it anyway in the hope that some folks will get to see it on a monitor that displays it well]

    This one was taken this morning out at Longreef. I've had to work on-site this week, and I took the opportunity to avoid the traffic and head up to the Northern Beaches for sunrise. I noticed a lot of pollution about yesterday, and as this makes for great sunrises, I was hopeful of a colourful sky. Also, Sydney had a mild change forecast for today, which meant that there should be a plenty of cloud to hold the colour. Both guesses turned out to be correct, and the sunrise was pretty spectacular. There where actually folks stopping on their morning walks to admire the great colour in the sky.


    I ended up breaking a knob off my tripod getting it out of the car and copped a wave up to mid-shin as I was standing in the location that this shot was taken (resulting in a pretty uncomfortable morning walking around in wet shoes and jeans), so I guess that this was one shot that I "paid the price" to get. Soon after this shot I noticed some dolphins frolicking near the headland, but they weren't doing enough acrobatics to make any of the shots worthwhile. I also got some nice shots out on the reef itself, and I'll use those as next weeks Photo of the Week.