Tech Tock

Time is of the essence.

@Lab Happy New Year Edition


Lab49 is sponsoring a Code Camp in February.  You too can speak.

Code Camps are “grass roots” mini application platform developer conferences, free of charge to attendees and open to presenters of all stripes and experience.

Heard @Lab

Its cold and flu season:  “this is the best cough ever”

There are 10 kinds of people in this world.

Those who know binary and those who don’t.

Most of Lab49 is comprised of the former.

Should you be like minded, click here.

“There’s a lambda for that”


Happy New Year

There may have been some technical difficulties with the bonus schedule, but it looks like we handily beat last year’s dates and who can complain when the the check clears.



I Hope We  Get Treated Better


Facebook is the Flavor of the Month

How Facebook ships code. Facebook Management.

But Wait, There’s More

Virtual Blend SIG

F# Meetup

I met Howard Mansell, one of the organizers, and the F# excitement is definitely contagious.  I heard a lot of attendees have been using RX, so its not just a Lab49 thing.  Interesting F# fact:  it was recently open sourced.

So Long Yammer, We Hardly Knew Ye

Yammer was OK, but it never seemed to light a fire.  Now its gone.  I wonder how many people even knew we had it.

imageHTML5 Game





Maybe I Don’t Need a MacBook Air After All



This laptop might do:


“thinnest and lightest 13-inch notebook available.”




Ego, Sloth, and Impatience?

Not exactly, but another take on an age old question: Personality Traits of the Best Software Developers


The Big Lie that Is Waterfall.


CEP, BitFields, MatLab, Andriod Vs. Ios, Mono, Football (I mean soccer),

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Heard @Lab

We’re Measurably Cooler

Lab49: 22.5% cooler than Lab40

On Prism

Injecting the container is the last refuge of a scoundrel

Two Cures for a Heavy Laptop

MacBook Air
Gym Membership 

December 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

@Lab Holiday Spectacular

@Lab – holiday edition:


The Place

The Highline Room at the Standard Hotel definitely has spectacular views with its floor to very high ceiling windows on both sides.







Getting there I guess is supposed to be half the fun and the entrance was full of unusual textures and passageways:


The elevators were a trip, dark, with black walls and ceiling and crazy videos on both sides.





Upon leaving our group was totally disoriented by the crystal ceiling art and maze like elevator lobby ambience.  An attendant was there to point us in the right direction though.


The Food

The food was excellent though in smaller portions than last year.  The only appetizer I saw during the cocktail hour was a mini champagne glassesburger thingamabob.  But on the bright side, I wasn’t overstuffed before dinner started.  I heard mixed reviews on the food, but I thought both the fish and the meat (hey, as the chronicler I have to sample everything Winking smile ) were excellent.  I’m not a generally a fish person aside from sashimi, but maybe I like bass or it was just really good.  And both desserts (again chronicling Winking smile)hit my sweet tooth just right.  The bar was a bit limited since it was just a corner bar station and not a full bar, but the free flowing champagne ably relieved me of my quest for the perfect drink.

Oh and don’t forget the parmesan.  Parmesan chunks at the table were delicious and are likely to find a place in my latest crazy diet (Atkins).  Such a fantastic salty cheese.





Fearless leader’s speech was short and sweet.  I saw lots of familiar faces and met a few new people.  Lots of significant others in attendance toned down the geek speak just a little.  My topic of the day is skiing, but I heard about tornadoes, kids and schools (and skiing), travelling, movies, and of course DLR, Ruby, MacBooks, etc. etc (and skiing).

My guesstimate puts 3/4 of the company there.

For those of you who didn’t come, you’re in good company since Luke was out.  Get well soon Luke.

Next year, no excuses for the rest of you.


The Gift –  Apple TV

Its Apple, its TV.  So the rainbows & unicorns are free.

My initial thought was that it needs to be jailbroken, but it seems to do everything I’d want to do with it out of the box.  I expect to be streaming Netflix and off my PC any minute now.

Very cool for cable cord cutters.

Thanks guys.


After Party

I’m all for additional drinking and mingling, but I think I was born too old for this place.  I’m looking for twice the space and half the decibels.  Lots of folks seemed to be having a good time in our SRO area and I can’t imagine when it broke up.  Knowing some of the revelers, I bet there was an after-after party.

December 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment


It’s been a while since the last @Lab post, so there’s a bit of catching up to do.

Lotsa Seminars

Since last @lab I’ve missed seminars on: JavaScript, HTML5, Clojure, Pivotal Tracker (Agile tool), but I was able to attend:

Jimmy Schementi on The Iron languages: Ruby, Python, and DLR

Running DLR code within a .Net program is an interesting idea. It’s a way to create a DSL, especially if your users already know Python.

Reports of the Death of Silverlight Exaggerated?

The story of the “strategy shift” for Silverlight got the office buzzing.  Has Microsoft given up on Silverlight in favor of HTML5?  Does this official clarification clarify?

The Consensus is that Silverlight has a few more good years left and there’s always something next anyway.  HTML5 is hardly mature and is still figuring out what its going to be when it grows up.






Flex Silverlight Code-Off


I had a fun time watching WPF guys sweating in Silverlight vs. the Flex A-Team.







I’ll Have Chips with That

imageAnother Lab49 Town Hall – Lots to talk about.  Thanks for the shout-out Luke.

Full attendance in NY with reasonable length presentations, chips, drinks and some of the best guacamole dip ever.

If anyone can name the company that goes with the picture above, I think there’s a prize (not from me though).  I made a submission but no luck.



Coolest MVVM framework yet.  Wow.



The UI will be awesome, it’ll have dancing bunnies and everything.

cool bunnies


Lunch For 35 was cancelled on account of 35 is too many.

November 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

One Year @Lab

I recently passed the one year mark @Lab and realized I’ve been pretty busy.  And diverse:

5 projects, 4 clients, 4 offices, 4 teams, 3 business areas, 2 UI Frameworks, and umpteen other technologies.

Projets: Fixed Income Charting, Securites Trading, CRM, Fixed Income Monitoring, Fixed Income Trading

VS2008, VS2010, ReSharper 4.5/5

C#, C# and more C#

WPF, Prism/Unity, MVVM, RX

Silverlight, JavaScript

XAML, XAML, and more XAML

NUnit, MSTest, XUnit, Moq

Tibco/EMS, Web Services, SOAP, WCF

Linq (2SQL, 2Objects, 2XML), SQL Server

SVN, P4, Jira, Greenhopper, Version1

Infragistics, XCeed, WPF Toolkit


Never mind the 3 or 4 projects I did on the side…

Actions, Funcs, Dispatchers, Threadpools, Timers, oh my.

November 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment


Here’s another installment of our n-part series @Lab.


Honestly, every charting lib sucks in its own special way.

The coda of a truly inspired F# trashing:

If you’re interested in functional programming, Haskell ought to be the absolute lower bound.

In a comment to an MSDN Poll on Visual Studio Add-Ins, Ryan Cromwell said:

ReSharper tries my patience often with its instability, but overall I can’t live without it.

I couldn’t agree more.

Break Into Groups and Discuss

Lab49 is so big now we can break into sizeable focused technology groups.  My group, Lab Interactive (the front end guys), went out for drinks.  I’m sure it was a great time.  Too bad I wasn’t able to attend.  Sorry guys – see you next time.

Lunch and Learn

Awesome lunch for a bunch of us in Midtown South at Chennai Garden.  I love this Indian buffet.  I recommend a side of mango chutney with everything.

Oooh Shiny

Lots of Lab49ers have toured the Federal Reserve Gold vault.  So far I’ve missed 2 tours.  Maybe next next time…

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda

As reported here, I was the presenter at .Net Meetup.

WPF/Silverlight Charts Need Improvement

A recent review of charting controls for WPF / Silverlight found them inadequate when considering a combination of scalability, looks, and support for WPF features such as MVVM and styling.  One developer prefers the toolkit charts for their customizability.

On the same general subject, WPF grids could use improvement too.

How Many WPF Developers Does it Take To Screw In a Lightbulb?

If you know the answer, call a recruiter at Lab49.  We’re hiring.

TFS 2010 Doesn’t Suck

Early reports about Team Foundation Server are looking good.  While 2008 sounds horrible (I never used it), people are saying the 2010 version has easier setup and better management tools.  I’d be happy to wait till the next version to find out for myself.

We Like TeamCity

Not funny, but true.

Moving Across the Wire

Jira, Powershell, StreamInsight, Arcot, Nirvanna, HTML5, Trepp, Oktoberfest, iPhone

October 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment


Company Picnic

The Lab49 picnic was a blast.  Sun, lake, beach, food, beer and volleyball.  Some cute kids came too.  I highly recommend the bus and my son keeps talking about the ski trip, but he gave this one a big thumbs up too.

Quote of the Week

MejerTShirtOn Erik Meijer:  “I disagree with …(insert RX duality criticism here)… but of course, he’s right.”

I wish I could be so confident to find a disagreement, but I bet I’d come to the same conclusion.

Architecture, Architecture, Architecture

Six glowing reviews for Release It! A couple Lab49ers, including who has met the author, think the book is worthy.  And it has a Jolt Award.  Interestingly, more than one Lab49er pans the Pragmatic Bookshelf in general.

Of couse GoF and PoEAA are must reads.  IMHO anyone who hasn’t read these yet must be a bit wet behind the ears.  After that Domain Driven Design is highly recommended, with an interesting critique on “Who should drive paradigms”.

On Agile:  Practices of an Agile Developer, Ship It!

Also, Continuous Delivery.

My reading list just got longer.

Lady Java

Great to see that JAVA now has its own anthem.

AC_Run_Content javascript wrapper used to load Flex applications

I don’t know what it means either, but there’s a few people @Lab who do.  It has something to do with Flex and Wmode, whatever that is…


Boilerplate or Reset.


Flex: UML for Flex/AS, Saffron

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Welcome Aboard Jimmy Schementi

IronRuby core team member, Jimmy Schementi, is joining Lab49.  Read about his decision here.  MS bashing here.


I caught David Padbury’s WPF/Blend demo at the July .Net Meetup.  He really made it look easy and the demonstrated behaviors were pretty cool.

I’ll be presenting on WPF at the September 21st .Net Meetup.

Coming Soon

For the worlds most useful WPF XAML Converter watch this space.  It even beats BooleanToVisibilityConverter IMHO!  It’s brilliant simplicity.

Grid Computing

Lots of grid computing talk.  Data Grid, Computation Grid, whatever, it all sounds pretty whiz bang cool to me.

Here’s some links.



Globus: “the daddy of grid computing software”
EHCache (including Terracotta distribution option):

Web 3.0 is here – All Hail Web 4.0

Access Memory Directly At Your Own Risk

Here’s some instructions on how to access memory directly in JAVA.  Use caution.

Canonical Data Models Considered Harmful

It's BeautifulThe Shangri-La of a single all encompassing data model for disparate business units will mostly likely become a tortuous chimera.


I missed the Lab Seminar Presentation on time management – maybe that’s a primary indication I should have gone.

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment


Been busy, so the Lab conversation is going by in a blur:

swf2avi, silverlight pivot table, touchless surface, multi hundred project VS Solutions, JavaScript unit testing (jasmine, qunit, selenium, jstestdriver) , Advanced DataGrid performance

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment


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