Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Writing Kindle Presentation Notes with MobiPocket Creator

Next weekend I will be presenting on Code Generation with T4 Templates at the Portland Code Camp and I bought a Kindle a week or so ago. So, how do I play with my new toy without getting behind on preparing for my presentation?

Mobipocket Creator Publisher Edition

I am creating small ebooks with Word and Mobipocket Creator Publisher Edition. I work though a demo or other presentation block and write it in Word. Then I use the Mobipocket Creator to create an ebook. I put it on my Kindle and review it before I go to bed.

Is this really a net gain or just a way to justify playing with my new toy instead of doing real work? I will find out come Saturday in Portland

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hanselminutes #266 and Alt.Net Seattle’s "Open Source in Business"

I just finished listening to Hanselminutes Open Source vs. Making Money vs. Freaking Lasers - Are we all Evil? With Chris Sells and it reminded me of the Open Source in Business session that I attended at Alt.Net Seattle. This post is attempting to tie these two things together.

Open Source vs. Commercial Software

Should we share our non-core software? Scott and Chris suggest that open sourcing your software is a cost. If you open source a project to increase good will among the programmer community; it is a good thing but not necessarily profitable.

In Alt.Net Seattle’s Open Source in Business, a couple of participants claim that their companies benefited from "free" programming and used the contributor’s list to fill positions.

Scott and Chris talk about the Portland open source culture and how making money isn’t necessarily the biggest thing in Portland. Some of the open source that way to keep more of what they make.

Companies Being Evil

Apple and Google have done evil things in the last few years, but Microsoft is still evil. Scott and Chris suggested that Microsoft isn’t well organized enough to be evil. No company of any size is beloved by everyone.

Is evil associated with making money over customers? In any publicly traded company, stock holder value is king over everything else. Microsoft may feel more evil because they charge us directly. People may like them better if pricing was less complicated (the pricing discussion goes on from there, but I won’t go there in this post).

Since Google and Facebook make money from advertising and don't charge us anything, they feel less evil (Facebook privacy policy makes them feel more evil to me).

Originality of .NET Open Source

At Alt.NET we also discussed the relative lack of originality in the .NET ecosystem. Many of the major open source projects (NHibernate, NUnit, etc.) are copies of Java open source projects. Perhaps many .NET developers are shy about starting ambitious open source project fearing that Microsoft will somehow co-opt it. Perhaps Microsoft is too disorganized to get out of the way of some cool open source project.

This may be the way that Microsoft is evil. It also could be that the companies that use Microsoft software are more conservative and value safety over innovation. I've worked for a few companies that view open source as evil -- to these companies, Microsoft is a crusader fighting against the chaos.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Thoughts durring Alt .NET Seattle: Explaining my lame laptop.

Confession: I cam to Alt .Net Seattle with a HP Pavilion Entertainment PC Laptop with a HUGE screen. The thing is a monster. And it is totally uncool. I am not going to replace it for another year: I am not made of money.

I wonder if there are things I can to to acknowledge my folly in a light self deprecating way. Perhaps a sticker that says something like "I'm a slack jawed yokel from Spokane" or somehow making light of the fact that it isn't an Apple (it's 40% Apple here), but that seams too heavy to me. A sticker would be nice but what should is say? etc.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Thoughts before Alt .NET Seattle: Part II: Using jrcs3.com

I am going to Alt.Net 2011 Seattle Conference next weekend. Since I am not on the bleeding edge of technology at work, I’m looking into modern methods and technologies.

Using my domain

Several years ago, I bought the domain jrcs3.com; it the initials for my legal name John Robert Chilton Stephens III.

Since I will be hanging out with the cool kid and in technology, all the cool kids have vanity domain, I need to make sure that my domain is visible on my cards, etc. So this weekend I:

  • Moved this blog from jrcs3.blogspot.com to brochure.jrcs3.com (it is “brochure” because someone said that it isn’t a blog until it gets comments).
  • Created a jrcs3.com event email address for the Alt.Net Seattle 2011. You will have to attend the event to see what it is.

When I get my next paycheck (Monday or Tuesday) I will:
  • Buy a year of hosting for jrcs3.com
  • Write a simple home page for it in Razor (linking to brochure.jrcs3.com). I have already created a WebMatrix project.
  • Print out a couple of sheets of business cards to hand out.