Going Over the Edge

This fall, I'll be taking a big rappel - 300+ feet from the top of the Wells Fargo building in downtown Raleigh. This is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics. I love rock climbing and rappelling, so this is an exciting chance to raise some money for a great cause…

Markdown Preprocessor

I recently added a feature to my application to serve arbitrary markdown documents from a directory. This is designed to allow authors to populate a folder full of help documents, and be able to view them without any code changes. However, because this is an MVC application, I needed a…

First Outdoor Lead Climb

This past weekend I completed my first outdoor lead climb. I only got to lead once, because it started getting crowded, and we only had part of the day, but it was great. We went up to Pilot Mountain, which is about an hour and 45 minute drive. Climbing on…

Get Your Feet Wet Before You Ask "How's the water?"

One of the most important things we try to teach our non-tech-savvy family and friends when we're helping them with their computers and devices is this: Experiment. Play. Learn. Teach yourself. You're not going to break it. This is even a lesson we teach to kids, when learning about almost…

Creating an OpenId Relying Party and Provider In .NET

Preamble/Motivation I'm working on an MVC web app that will soon be moving to Azure. The big roadblock to moving the application is that it uses LDAP to communicate accross our local intranet to our Active Directory domain controller to authenticate users. The de facto method of authenticating users…

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Review

I'm typing this post on my new Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard. This is the latest in a line of highly reviewed ergonomic keyboards from Microsoft. Since I spend a lot of time on the computer - a lot of time typing - I figured that it's important that I get…

iPad Mini with Retina Display Review

For a while at work I was using an iPad Mini (first generation) for development, and I was able to take it home for general use, too. I finally got my own iPad (mostly because another developer needed the mini for a long project and this left me without a…

Calling Open Source Software Unpaid Labor and GitHub a Resume

There's currently quite a bit of discussion flying around regarding whether GitHub should be used in place of a resume when considering candidates for a software position. Part of this discussion led to some calling open source software 'unpaid labor.' I think that the discussion has been taken in…

Self Improvement 2.0 and the Role of Software

It used to be that the term "Self Improvement" meant reading a book about eating better, exercising more, or controlling anger (maybe that's self help?) In any case, it was usually confined to you reading, watching, or listening to someone else tell you what you should probably do (most likely…

The Best Shortcut You can Create on Your iPhone

The best shortcuts are easy to remember, easy to use, and very beneficial. The ratio of effort to benefit approaches zero. The best example? ctrl + c to copy. It's intuitive, one handed, and saves a 2-3 mouse movements and clicks. The best shortcut you can add on your iPhone is…

Climbing Training with a Hangboard

I've had a Blank Slate and hangboard for a little over a year now, going through various periods of more-or-less actual rock climbing, so I'm going to take a look at how much I use the hangboard, on what schedule, and how. Compared to Climbing The first thing to note…

Putting the "Smart" Back in "Smart Phone"

According to Go-Gulf (see the info graphic below), there are 1.08 billion smart phones in the world. This means there's a smart phone for about every 7 people on Earth. People are starting to take these smart phones for granted. In the past, only business people had smart phones…