Windows Live Messenger Beta

I recently got in on the Windows Live Messenger Beta courtesy of Jan Tielen’s and I’ve got to say, I’m a little sceptical. The real difference is in the interface, not the functionality (how much can you really do with text based chat?). They have tried to create a more impressive interface, but I believe its a little too clunky. It is a beta, but it doesn’t bode well for “ma and pa.” Here are my initial reactions:

  • Like the adjustable color scheme.
  • Dislike the horrid orange default color scheme.
  • Love the folder sharing.
  • Dislike not being able to share the same folder with multiple contacts.
  • Love the new contact form and contact card.
  • Hate the clunkyness of the roll-over, expand contact feature, though the idea may have a future.
  • Like the “name-wheel” for searching for contacts, but my parents won’t even notice it.
  • Dislike the stupid tabs – there has to be a better way.

In general, I would have expected more polish even for an invite only preview. Scott (like I know him :P) mentioned the pixelated icons, but the same issue runs through the entire app. The pop-out tabs are rough around the edges and the now-green MSN-men which replace the impossible-to-recognize personalize icons of MSN 7.5 are a little fuzzy.

I like that they are trying to make things look cool, but please, go vector, go home.

Screen Shots

Mono hits the road

It looks like Mono will finally be a valid option for deploying applications. Red Hat has announced that it will include Mono in its Fedora Core 5. Does that mean it will be in Red Hat as well? I couldn’t tell you since I don’t follow the Linux distributions to closely, but that would definitly be impressive. I personally run Ubuntu and, being a Linux novice, find it to be the closest thing to a “Mom-usable” Linux OS out there. Then again, I don’t follow the Linux distributions to closely.

Community Server and w.Bloggar Settings

This is really just for my future reference, but since I had a hard time finding out here are the settings I used for w.Bloggar and Community Server 2.0

API Section

  • Blog Tool/API: (Custom)
  • Account Alias: Ryan @
  • Ping:
  • API Server:
  • Path: /cs/blogs/ryanc/MetaBlog.ashx

Custom Section

  • Posts:: metaWeblog API
  • Categories: metaWeblog API – Single
  • Templates: Blogger API
  • Defaults for everything else

I found the starter for these on the CS MetaBlog API Thread

New Year Goals refresh…

Many moons ago I realized I was not a naturally directed individual. That is, I do not organize well without putting forth a deliberate effort. If and when I fail at something I can most often trace it to a lack of task management on my part. I have found that having a simple list has done more for my career and life than just about anything else I can imagine (please stop boiling over with arguments, I’m merely making a point). In a “kill two birds with one post” moment, I wanted to publish my goals refresh which have made their way into my list of things to do:

  • Publish my experiences on learning the IronPython and Scheme languages.
  • Run 9 miles per week.
  • Lift 3x a week.
  • Blog 3 articles a week (bird #2).
  • Play basketball 2x a week.
  • Read 2 books on the Crusades (this currently exists as “find 2 books about the Crusades”).

Now I know what your thinking, “Those certainly appear to be New Year Resolutions, Ryan.” Well they are not – they are goals. They are goals, because aside from the last three items they are unchanged from last week, last month, and all of last year. I prefer to maintain rolling resolutions rather than one time resolutions that are tied to dates. Some of the best advice: “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today”J. A. Spender

Dayton-Cincinnati Code Camp

The final schedule for the Dayton-Cincinnati Code Camp to be held January 21st has been released.  I’m really looking forward to Jim Weirich’s session on Ruby on Rails and the especially interesting Developing for Windows Media Center (with Xbox 360!) session by Jason Follas and Greg Huber. 

I’ll be following Mike Wood with a session on WSE 3.0.  I plan to recreate the Generic WSE Host service tool we use at Speedway to deploy new services which don’t have an otherwise reliable or acceptable host process.