Used TomTom for iPhone over the summer hols–loved it

We took a long-ish drive into northern Ontario and I wanted to ensure that we had decent map coverage on our phones even when we were out of a coverage area (which was fairly often on some of the back roads).

The TomTom iPhone app – only $39 for the Canada/Alaska version – worked tremendously.  I found that it would naturally route us using major highways, but if we wanted to skirt through a particular town, that was easy to do.

The GPS on the iPhone 4 worked perfectly, and all turns and notifications were spot-on.  The fast app switching of iOS 4 meant that we didn’t lose notifications when my wife wanted to change the music coming over bluetooth (which worked perfectly, as well).

The only thing I can think of that would be swell is the ability to route the audio through the headset profile for bluetooth instead of the A2DP so that you can still get notifications when the car’s audio was switch to the radio or CD instead of bluetooth audio.

I’m liking the latest Eminem songs

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but the dude seems… different.


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Eminem–Not Afraid



Why do we have “bloatware”?

When you buy a new PC, you have to deal with a barrage of crap you need to delete before the thing is usable.  Now this is happening with Android phones.

They obviously don’t give a damn about the user’s experience.  Didn’t they see the movie Tron?  Is this what sets Apple apart most of all? I think so.  I don’t own a Mac, but I recommend them to family members and friends, mostly so I know they won’t have to ask me for help setting it up.  I have an iPhone 3G and I will certainly purchase an iPhone 4 so that my wife can finally ditch her crippled Nokia 5300 “music phone” that can’t even play music properly.

This reminds me of a book I am reading called “Rework”, by the folks from 37signals.  If you look at “bloatware” as the only thing bringing you a decent monetization, than maybe the model is wrong…

Ironically, my blog here is bloated with Google ads… but that’s just an experiment. 

Wired via Daring Fireball


Everybody’s talking about Flipboard – ‘cause it’s AWESOME

Flipboard.comYou can check out a video of this fab iPad app here from  It goes along with the whole trend we’ve been a part of with web 2.0 – blogging, twitter, facebook etc, and brings a ton of these things together in a nice format.

The weak point, as I discovered last night, is that it relies on some pretty heavy lifting on Flipboard’s servers.  If they can somehow get around that, then their algorithms will be even better to determine what content is appropriate for a given user.

It makes me wonder if that is another, albeit more hidden, more insidious, yet useful trend, among website and web content providers in general: snooping our habits to give us a “better” or “more personalized” experience.  Isn’t it great that Amazon or Google know so much about me that they can show me ads for products that I just have to have?

My real question is this: Will stuff like Flipboard, which I love, make me more or less informed?  Will I be smarter or dumber now that everything I need is placed before me with ease?


What is News?

I read an article today that got me thinking about the nature of “News” and what it means to be delivered news through the normal channels, such as newspapers, television, radio, etc.

I think that we are so used to be TOLD what is news that we have nearly forgotten what it means to experience and report on events ourselves.

Enter blogging.

We need to embrace this medium and expand it! It is a legitimate form of reporting on news through the eyes of the beholder. It doesn’t pretend to be something unbiased or objective (since NOTHING is!). We don’t need an institution like a media network to tell us what is news. Sure, they have the connections and the people in the all the hotpots (supposedly), but what about hearing the news unfiltered through the eyes of the people that are living in the hotspots?

Wouldn’t it be nice to judge for ourselves what is and is not the TRUTH?!


Well, I finally wrote (and passed!) my final exam in the MCSD certification. For those of you who don’t know, it stands for Microsoft Certified Solution Developer, and is a tough cert to get.

For my elective exam I wrote 70-229 (SQL Server 2000 Design Exam) and finished off lastly with the 70-300 (.Net Solution Architectures).

This last exam was tough because I had a completely different format (Case Studies) and didn’t allow you to simply study the textbook to memorize all the answers. You had to actually discover your answers from the Case Studies, which is a much better test of knowledge than simply doing multiple choice.

So, hopefully things will continue to go well leading into .Net 2.0, Asp.Net 2.0 etc and then on into Whidbey, Avalon, Indigo, etc.

I can’t wait for the future!

MSDN Deep Dive – Enterprise Integration…

Went to an MSDN Deep Dive session today in Toronto.

Great session – the material was fabulous and the vision MS has for SOA is definately compelling, especially since it is available today and will be more available later on with Indigo and new versions of BizTalk.

I was astounded by how simple it will be to build secure, relible and transactional services that can use any protocol based on the situation. That is what the IT managers need to be told, in simple English.

The widescreen presentation sure made PowerPoint look like crap though, and it was really blurry. Bad blurriness.

Can’t to try see VS 2005 with Team System. I am really looking forward to decent version control! As well, the nUnit tools will be a nice shortcut to solve tedious testing tasks.

More later on this as I get a chance to try stuff out.

My Own Indexed Sql Server View…

What a pain in the @$$. I have to create a sortable, searchable view that has nearly 100 columns, with over 65 joins, 36 “pivot columns” and more. How do I make this giant monolithic thing perform well?

Select the whole doggone thing into a new table, which you actually use to view the data.


This is ONLY ok if the data is pretty much read only, since you need to add a trigger to the tables to update the New_Table on update of the actual records.

Nasty, but you can only create indexed views on very specific requirements, and this puppy needed Functions that did lookups, as well as Left Outer Joins. Tough.

BB 7280 post…

This is my first post using the browswe on the BB 7280, with beta 4.0 os. Wow. Javascript, tables, css and more all on a tiny device. Memory is still a bit scarce and processor speeds have yet to catch up to the demands of the java-based apps, but it is still a great device.

Just today I was tinkering with the 4.0 java dev tools for bb, and they have added enought integration points (finally) that a real enterprise app for these thing with true push technology is possible.

Mds server admin allows me to install an app from the server to the device and have it preload with data without the need to cradle, and all future updates can happen without having to sync manually.