Tech Tock

Time is of the essence.


I Missed the Boat

I’m sure Lab49’ers had a great time at the summer kickoff party.  I unfortunately had an unexpected conflict :(.

AndroideroidsAndroid + Asteroids + multiplayer = Androideroids (video)

One Lab49’er knows the guy who made this.

10 Thumbs Up for SketchFlow

On the question of design tools it seems Lab49 UX designers overwhelmingly recommend SketchFlow.  By MS?!? Yup its by Microsoft.  They hate to love it.

Also noted for “casual use”:  Balsamiq and GoMockingBird

Visualizing the World Cup


Rick Winslow noted:  The ingenious information designers at NYTimes have produced dense, interactive visualizations of each game.

They have integrated player stats, areas of play, events (shots on goal) and more for the entire length of the game in a very tiny, mobile friendly footprint (less than 500×500 pixels).


There’s a cool world cup schedule guide too.

June 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Obscure Errors

Last week I got an error that returned only 4 google results.  Today, I did one better, only 1 Google result for "Method parent has circular class type parameter constraints".

This one only happens when running a unit test in debug mode, but its pretty annoying.  It turned out to be from mocking an IUnityContainer.  Don’t know why and don’t care.  I just threw in a real UnityContainer and went on with my life.  Why was I mocking a UnityContainer in the first place?  No reason…

June 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An Improved Google Stock Watcher

image I may be late again, now that Google is Ditching Windows, but I finally posted the code for my Google Sidebar Stock Monitor app.

Google made this very nice stock monitoring app for their sidebar, but it had one really annoying bug where saving new settings can delete tickers from your list.  Fortunately, the code was included under an Apache license, so I played around with it a bit and made my own version.

I fixed the annoying bug in Google’s version and added a bunch of features, noted here.  Primarily it allows you to monitor a bracket around the price to see if a stock is approaching a high or low target.

You can download the gg file here.  With Google desktop installed on your system, just click on the gg file to install it to your sidebar.

June 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment


image Tweat.It

A side project by a UX team member launched a couple weeks ago called  It’s by far the easiest way to find a mobile food vendor near you, which can come in especially handy for those folks who are in different parts of the city from time to time…  or all the time.  I just love that truck.

Enjoy and happy eating!

Hiring Hiring Hiring

Java anyone?  Apply here.  WPF, Silverlight, C#, Flex, C++, that’s good too.

githubGit It from Linus

With an esteemed colleague constantly lauding GitHub and the release of GitHub Subversion support, I did a little research and found this interesting article and presentation by Linus Torvalds.  Linus starts out ragging on CVS (tarballs are better) and Subversion and it just gets better from there:  “By definition anyone who disagrees [with Linus] is stupid and ugly” got a good laugh from the crowd.  I can only imagine the curses he’s reserved for Visual SourceSafe.

Connection Overload

Add Facebook to the list of social networks where you can find Lab49.

Quote of the Week

“you might try this book that my uncle co-wrote”

Apple Vs. Microsoft Redux

I was somewhat skeptical of Apple being worth more than Microsoft, but after seeing these charts (floating on the Lab49 conversationsphere), I’m on the fence.  Apple is definitely on a growth tear while MS has a “disturbing slowdown”.  Growth can’t continue forever, but it seems a case can be made that Apple’s income can exceed Microsoft’s in a few years.  They’re probably both overvalued IMHO.



Expression Studio 4 Launched

Available on MSDN.

June 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Unity: Details Optional – Rx: Documentation Optional


A first chance exception of type ‘Microsoft.Practices.Unity.ResolutionFailedException’ occurred in Microsoft.Practices.Unity.dll

A first chance exception of type ‘Microsoft.Practices.Composite.Presentation.Regions.Behaviors.RegionCreationException’ occurred in Microsoft.Practices.Composite.Presentation.dll


I love Unity and all things Composite, but I’d like a little more than this information when resolution fails.  I thought I knew the missing interface mapping, but I was wrong.  Now I’m on to “break on all exceptions” as a fix. 

I’m sure deep in the bowels of the Unity code, the exact type/interface failures are known, somebody dropped the ball not putting it in the message – I just don’t have time right now to open up the code and fix it, so I think I’ll just complain.

While I’m on the subject of complaints, the Rx library has some truly awesome features and astonishingly completely absent documentation.

end rant.



June 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


When a DataGrid Lets You Down

WPF Perf was recommended to solve a performance issue in a commercial datagrid.  It gives some useful info:  rendering thread cpu usage, dirty region, etc., and it’s part of the sdk now.

M$ vs. Apple

Everyone took note as Apple’s market cap exceeded Microsoft’s.  Some AppleHeads are rejoicing.  UX team members showed their pride.

Product DetailshaXe Can’t Hack It?

Multi platform addition to ActionScript 3, haXe, with generics, enums, type inference, etc. is said to be limited by the need to work across all platforms and not suitable for enterprise use.  At least one Flex  developer is disappointed.  On the other hadd, the “Professional haXe and Neko” book is in our library, so maybe there’s hope.

On The WPF Toolkit DataGrid

There’s nothing like fighting XAML to bring out the surly side of a developer who said:

There are very few bad free things in life, but this is one of them.  The only thing good about this grid is the price.  Do not under any circumstances use this grid.  Even on price.

You’ve been warned.

Fix The Debt

Several Lab49ers had no problem stabilizing the US debt at:

Holiday Weekend Heats Up Lab Atmosphere

Lot’s of visitors and energy @Lab this Friday.  Must have something to do with the holiday.

What Makes a Restaurant

Is Subway a sit-down restaurant?  You decide.

June 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment