net comments edit

The Typemock Insider blog mentions that Patterns & Practices has adopted Typemock Isolator as their mocking framework, at least for testing SharePoint applications. Blaine Wastell and Francis Cheung say they’re using it because it allows them to mock sealed and internal types, which SharePoint is full of.

I think this is cool and definitely says something: Even if you’re writing brand new code, which can be entirely designed for testability (if that’s what you want), at some point you’re going to have to interface with something you didn’t write (SharePoint, .NET Framework) and you’re still going to want to test that interface code, which is where Isolator comes in. I’m so glad they’ve got an open source license now!

GeekSpeak comments edit

OK, my favorite Chrome Easter egg (actually, the only one I’ve heard, but still, so awesome) is if you type “about:internets” in the address bar. Too funny.

media comments edit

I got a “prototype system” up and running for a media center solution using my new Windows Home Server as the storage for the video. I set up a new shared folder called “DVD” on the home server and fixed it so it’s not using file duplication (no need eating up double the amount of space for each movie), then ripped a disc to it.

My laptop is running Vista Ultimate, so I set up the DVD Library to automatically watch for movies in the DVD shared folder and enabled it to play VIDEO_TS folder structures following the instructions here. Doing this worked perfectly and it played the ripped disc as though I had put it into the local drive. Exactly what I was looking for. It even played without glitches over the wireless network, which was surprising, but very cool.

The next step is to figure out how I want to deal with the media center itself. I know I’m going to need some sort of dedicated machine, so that will probably end up being a Mac Mini, similar to the “death of DVD” story I was reading. The question is, what software do I want to run?

  • Under Windows Vista Media Center, I have two choices:
    • The out-of-the-box DVD Library, which is the simplest way to go but doesn’t offer much in the way of searching/sorting by genre, cast, etc.
    • My Movies, a plugin for Media Center, which provides a much richer interface but also is higher-touch. There’s a server component I’d have to install on the Windows Home Server that, frankly, scares me because the WHS is working so well right now, I’d hate to start hacking on it.
  • Sticking with straight Mac, I have some choices, too (probably more than I’m aware of):
    • Front Row, which, as of version 10.5, finally supports playback of VIDEO_TS folders. Doesn’t look like it’s much richer than the DVD Library in Vista Media Center, but if I went Mac Mini, it’d require less to be installed on the Mac. (No Boot Camp running Vista, for example.)
    • Matinee, which looks pretty thin. I’m thinking if Front Row supports VIDEO_TS, I’d probably be best off with that over Matinee.
    • DistantDVD, which is also pretty thin but is specifically geared towards what I’m trying to do - play the video off the network. It doesn’t show any more info than the DVD Library, though, so, again, if Front Row supports VIDEO_TS over the network, that might be the way to go.

There are technically a lot of other choices for both platforms, but I’ve ruled out non-Windows-Media-Center choices for the Windows platform because I really don’t need most of the options the other servers offer and I don’t want to hassle with a lot of extra configuration and hackery. I didn’t list any different platforms for the Mac because, frankly, I’m ignorant. I’m really hoping to keep it simple, though, so as much out-of-the-box, it-just-works as I can get, the better.

It looks like it boils down to a small hierarchy of choices:

  • Do I need to have cast/genre/etc. information with the movies or is the title and cover art enough?
    • If I need more than title/cover art, My Movies seems to be the way.
    • If I don’t need more than title/cover art… Do I want to use out-of-the-box Mac stuff or do I want Vista Media Center?
      • If it’s OOTB Mac, which would be the easiest, it looks like Front Row is probably the answer.
      • If it’s Vista Media Center, DVD Library.

I’ll do a little more research on Front Row, but my media center solution is getting close…

General Ramblings comments edit

The Red Team: Jeff, Derek, Me (Travis), and
DevinYesterday the entire Voyager User Solutions and Infrastructure teams went downtown Portland to do a photo scavenger hunt. We were broken up into three teams - Red, Yellow, and Blue, and ran around taking pictures of ourselves with various landmarks.

Jeff, Derek, I, and Devin were on the Red Team.

We started out at Pioneer Place around noon for lunch, then at 1:00p met up in Pioneer Courthouse Square to get our clue packets and get moving. From then until about 3:30p we went everywhere from Powell’s Books to Skidmore Fountain to the Portland Art Museum and the Oregon Historical Society getting pictures.

After an extremely exhausting day, all of the teams reconvened at the Pinocchio Bar and Restaurant for happy hour and dinner.

A great time was had by all. We learned a few things about Portland that we didn’t know (and I’ve lived here my entire life!) and came out all the better for it.

Maybe next time we’ll go skydiving…. nah.

gaming, playstation comments edit

Finally completed Grand Theft Auto 4 100% this morning!

Key To The City: You completed GTA IV to

Pretty stoked about that. Turns out the last bits I had to do, as I suspected, was to take my friends out to do all the activities.

I also got the “Walk Free” achievement this morning - escaping a four-star wanted level alive. Secret to that one is to land a helicopter in the embassy and get out (instant four-star wanted level), then fly the helicopter to a secluded beach in the north where there’s a boat. Get in the boat and just avoid the other boats, which isn’t too hard. Might try for some of the others, like “One Man Army” (survive five minutes with six-star wanted level), but generally, after 80 hours, I’m pretty much done. I love the game, had a great time with it, definitely got my money’s worth, but there are other games I have

  • games I got for Christmas last year - that I need to get to.