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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here. August 2005 Entries
End of an era...
My Virginia license plates expired today, and since I'm no longer living in VA, I had to replace them with South Carolina tags. For now I'm not going to bother with personalized tags, although once I think up something good... I'll get them.

sniff... goodbye tags...

Posted On Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:48 PM

Welcome to the GWB, Dana...
One of my very cool colleagues at the world's coolest software company has recently started a blog. Check it out!

Dana's Blog can be found here.

Dana is in recruiting at Blackbaud (the aforementioned world's coolest software company), so if you're looking for a job or know someone who is... she's a good one to get in touch with.

Posted On Wednesday, August 31, 2005 10:15 AM

Charleston Code Camp - Swag Update
We're expecting around 150 people... although we do have a few seats still open, so (Sign up here!) So far, we have... an XBOX an iMate SP3 Smartphone Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Architect 3 copies of the Code Magazine CD (5 years of articles) 2 copies of Developer's Assistant (from Method Factory) a veritable buttload of VS 2005 beta 2 DVD sets Infragistics NetAdvantage Toolset a large pile of Tshirts (20-30 with more coming...) 20+ books from Apress 15+ books from O'Reilly 15+ books from Addison ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 24, 2005 6:13 PM

Google Talk
initial impressions... favorable.

Not overloaded with stupid features and bombing me with popup garbage like AOL IM.

Haven't tried the VOIP yet, but I will be soon.

very lightweight client. I like it.

Posted On Wednesday, August 24, 2005 5:33 PM

The Greater Charleston .NET User Group (GC.NUG) meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6:00pm at Blackbaud on Daniel Island. Our next meeting is September 8th and features an APRESS speaker (Les Smith) and of course pizza and sodas will be provided. Also, we are having South Carolina's 1st Code Camp on September 17th. Registration is free, but necessary for a proper head count. Please visit our Code Camp site: for more info. We also have informal coffee meetings ......

Posted On Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:19 PM

Ok, time to party...

I just got the ISBN number for my book... :)

Hey!! Stop yawning Tobin (and Bill and Andrew)... this is a big deal to me. ;)

Posted On Thursday, August 18, 2005 10:39 AM

Order of the ASCII
For those of you who have downloaded HA! or any other roguelike game, such as Nethack or ADOM, this link is my gift to you!


Posted On Wednesday, August 17, 2005 9:51 PM

Game AI
Last night (actually early this AM) the ZMan sent me this link to an interesting snippet of article where John Carmack talks about how the AI scripting in Doom was very limited, despite many player's theories and rationalizations to the contrary.

The full article can be found here.

Posted On Tuesday, August 16, 2005 6:17 AM

No longer foaming at the mouth...
I'm *happy* to report that I finally received my Reg Code from Eltima. Yeah it was like 30+ hours after I SHOULD have received it, and it appeared to take an email from RegNow, but I got it. Incidentally, the software itself rocks! Having said that though, I still can't recommend the overall experience to anyone with a sense of urgency. It was annoying, stupid and pointless. (Kind of like my last 3 rants... I know) So toss me a sugar free low-carb cookie and a few quarts of soy chai latte and I'm ......

Posted On Sunday, August 14, 2005 5:01 PM

Converting SQL from MS Access to SQL Server
Earlier today, I ran across some SQL that contained a "!" in a few places, like this:

tablename!fieldname * tablename!fieldname as aliasname

Can anyone clue me in to what that means? (The example in question was taking a quantity, multiplying by price to get an extended price... but I have no clue what the "!" means in this context)


Posted On Saturday, August 13, 2005 8:23 PM

12 hours later... still hopping mad
It's been 12 hours and shockingly... I still have NO REGISTRATION CODE. Nobody at RegNow is able(?) to help me, and nobody at Eltima is answering the phone. Apparently it takes 2 business days for them to contact Eltima on my behalf, and even longer than that to process my refund. (Of course it only took them seconds to charge my card in the first place.) Oh and the guy at RegNow was nice enough to talk to me as if I were an idiot. "Well sir... it IS the weekend you know..." I'm sorry, but so f@cking ......

Posted On Saturday, August 13, 2005 8:18 PM

the agony continues...
So I'm working on this project that I inherited and there are these Flash buttons with embedded links. I don't have the FLA files, just the SWF files. I Google around a bit and find a couple of products that will decompile SWF files back into FLA so I can open them with Flash. (For the record, I don't use Flash ever... or ColdFusion... but I'm a glutton for punishment.) So I download both of the utilities... and of course both are crippled to the point of being useless to me. So after much deliberating ......

Posted On Saturday, August 13, 2005 7:58 AM

Ask me how much I hate ColdFusion... I dare ya! *sigh*

Posted On Friday, August 12, 2005 8:49 PM

Googling for ColdFusion
So I'm at Google and I type in ColdFusion (why is not important) and press

First hit that comes up... Microsoft! So I'm curious... I click the link and it takes me to the Download Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition Beta 2 Today page (here).

That's just wrong. Funny yes, but wrong.

Posted On Friday, August 12, 2005 6:12 AM

Windows Vista re-revisited
I've been playing with Windows Vista (admittedly in a VPC image) for a few days now, and yes it's quite pretty but it's ungodly slow. Of course, I know it's in BETA and it's running on a VPC image, but I've thrown a gig of RAM at it and turned off most of the resource sucking options, and it's still dog slow. A few notes: - It makes it really hard to explore when just right-clicking can be measured in minutes. - One thing I noticed right off, is no new games in the start menu. That's a bummer. We ......

Posted On Thursday, August 11, 2005 8:18 PM

Virtual PC 2004 and Vista Beta 1 (cont... cont...)
ok I'm up and running, and I DLed the newest drivers from ATI.

Pretty nice... but wow it's soooooooooooo slowwwwwwwwwww

Posted On Monday, August 8, 2005 1:52 PM

They made a sequel to Jackass The Movie...
...and they named it The Dukes of Hazzard! Most people in my generation either loved The Dukes of Hazzard or hated it. I have fond memories of me as a child, sitting up late with my Dad and watching it, along with A Man Called Hawk and Knight Rider. I honestly don't remember much about the show, other than the car and the characters. I would be hard pressed to recall any specific stories, but most of them were all the same anyway. This movie does a fairly good job of updating TDOH for the current ......

Posted On Saturday, August 6, 2005 10:52 PM

Gearhead 2
Seems like someone is working on a second edition of Gearhead.

GearHead 2 announcement

He plans to support ASCII and OpenGL. Interesting choice.

Posted On Saturday, August 6, 2005 6:50 AM

Virtual PC 2004 and Vista Beta 1 (cont...)
So it turns out... the DVD of Vista Beta 1 that I burned earlier was no good. Plain and simple. I burned a second one and this time Virtual PC recognized it right away. That's the good news. The bad news is... now I'm getting the exact same error I was getting with the 64 bit version, which you can see here. I downloaded this: Windows Longhorn Professional Edition Beta 1 (English) from MSDN Downloads. Should I have downloaded this: Windows Longhorn Professional Edition Beta 1 - checked/debug (English) ......

Posted On Thursday, August 4, 2005 6:32 PM

Virtual PC 2004 and Vista Beta 1
Well... that's 40 minutes of my life I'll never get back. Messed around with trying to load the Vista Beta 1 on a clean (not even formatted) VPC. No joy. Did some Googling, but still didn't find an answer. Ok well, found some answers: 1. VPC can't recognize ISO images over 2.2 gig in size. The ISO for Vista is bigger than that. 2. Virtual Server has apprently solved that problem. I burned the ISO to a DVD and never could get VPC to even see the DVD. That was probably me doing something wrong. I also ......

Posted On Thursday, August 4, 2005 4:10 PM

Thanks for stopping by...
Just noticed this... I'm glad he enjoyed it.

my session at code camp

Never seen this site before, but I think I'll be adding it to my list of sites to read. Pretty interesting stuff over there.

Posted On Thursday, August 4, 2005 8:12 AM

My first paid article
I blogged about this a while back, when I was writing it, but my first *paid* article finally got posted today.

Hopefully if I get some good feedback on this one, I'll be able to do more... maybe a series!

Posted On Wednesday, August 3, 2005 9:18 AM

Free Pet Monkey
saw this in the EBGames newsletter... had to laugh EverQuest II: Desert of Flames with Free Pet Monkey That’s right, a pet monkey. Not a real pet monkey, which would be the most awesome pre-order bonus in the history of video games, but an in-game pet monkey that lives in your character’s apartment, which is still pretty awesome. EverQuest II: Desert of Flames also packs in a new land, vertical movement (as in climbing walls), guild vaults and all-out PVP action. Desert of Flames ships in mid-September, ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 2, 2005 10:29 AM

recursive plug
This is a plug for Doug Turnure's blog, where he plugs our GC.NUG Code Camp:

Doug's Blog

Recursive Blog Plugging? Something about that just doesn't sound right...

Posted On Tuesday, August 2, 2005 5:42 AM

another published friend...
So apparently, my friend Laura Hunter ( has a book out...

Stopping Spyware

Congrats Laura! I'll have to pick this one up for review.

Posted On Tuesday, August 2, 2005 4:52 AM

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