Blog Posts from December 2003 (page 1 of 5)

Messenger.NET Currently Hosed

I haven’t checked it personally, but I hear that Messenger.NET is no longer working. Apparently, MSN shut off access to all versions of their protocol prior to MSNP8 (Messenger.NET uses imcli which implements MSNP7) back in October.

There’s a good description of the MSNP8 protocol up on as well as some info on the changes in MSNP9 and MSNP10. I don’t have time to upgrade imcli and/or Messenger.NET. Any volunteers?

BTW, as an alternative, I found the dotMSN library on hypothetic’s project page. Version 1.1 of dotMSN implements MSNP8. It’s free, though the source is not provided. I have no idea if it’s any good, but it’s the only .NET library for MSN messenger that implements MSNP8 that I could find.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Patrick and Santa

My son (pictured with Santa) finally fell asleep for his first Christmas Eve. Of course, I read him ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas before bedtime. He was pretty worked up because we have quite a crowd in town. My parents, brother and great aunt all arrived today. That makes eight with my wife, my son, my mother-in-law (who just moved up a few months ago) and me. Add the tree and all the presents and you get a very excited little boy. Plus we’re going to Victoria to see my uncles the day after Christmas.

With so many people in town plus it being my son’s first Christmas, we have a ton of presents under the tree. My wife’s immediate thought was of the kids all over the world who don’t get the presents (or the opportunities) that we do. It’s been an amazing year for me, from the birth of my son to my new job and getting published.  I can only hope I am lucky enough to have as good year next year as I had this past year. In addition to the usual resolutions to clean out the garage and lose weight (though I have a role model on that one), I want to do more in 2004 to share this happiness and prosperity with those less fortunate.

Have a happy holiday season and good luck to you, dear reader, for the year ahead.

Live on XBOX


After months of having my XBOX hooked up on my big screen TV but far away from my cable modem, I finally broke down and bought a wireless adapter for it. I had been thinking about wiring the house and/or buying a Media Center PC. However, Media Center doesn’t support HD inputs (AFAIK) and HD PVR via cable or satellite should be here shortly. So I decided to skip the wiring job and go straight to playtime.

My gamertag is “RayTracer”. (Buy me a beer at the next MSFT conference and I’ll tell you why.) Many thanks to Cory for hooking me up with a gamertag graphic to live on my home page.

Let me know if you want to hit the ice, the mountain, the streets or the sky.

Focusing on the Now

Michael Earls is pleading with MS bloggers to focus on released bits instead of all the cool future stuff we previewed @ PDC. He is especially frustrated with my response to Scoble’s post about how syndication will look in the Longhorn timeframe. Mike, I can’t speak for Scoble or any of the other MS bloggers, but I’m sorry that it’s been hard to keep up. You’re a member of my target audience, so it’s good to know where we are missing the mark.

In my post, I said that Scoble shouldn’t focus on how syndication evolves in the Longhorn timeframe, rather how it evolves in the face of Service Oriented Architecture. And as watered down and nebulous as the term SOA is, when I use it I’m not implying that you have to wait for Longhorn. Indigo will be a great platform for services, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do them today. In fact, the advice coming out of my group is to start doing services right away. Check out the first two sessions from the PDC Architecture Symposium (here and here). In 110 slides there are only about three slides that mention Longhorn, Indigo or Yukon. The rest of the slides are focused on “Practical Advice for Building Your Services Now” (PPT deck from first session, slide 5). Stuff that you gotta worry about regardless of the infrastructure you’re building on. Tentative Operations. Avoiding Ambiguity in Messages. Stability of Data and MetaData. Service Masters and Service Agents. Mike, when you get a chance, please check out those sessions from the PDC Architecture Symposium and then let me know if they can help you right now.

It’s too bad the chapter on SOA that’s posted on MSDN is from a book on Longhorn. That implies you can’t do one without the other. Truth is, you can build traditional tightly coupled apps with Longhorn and, more importantly, you can build services without Longhorn.

What’s weird is that I’m actually not dogfooding anything right now. Oh, I have a VPC with the PDC Longhorn bits and another with Yukon and Whidbey installed, but I haven’t spent much time with them recently. I guess I didn’t make it clear in my recent post on SQL Service Broker that I can’t wait for it because I’m not actually using it yet. The only beta software I’m running on my host machine is Firebird and Thunderbird. I have two primary development VPC’s – XP and WS03 – and the only beta stuff running in either is WSE 2. Call me a slacker, but Whidbey/Yukon/Longhorn aren’t far enough along yet for my current projects.

When you’re REALLY into Cheese

And I mean you love cheese. As in you rate cheese and say things to co-workers like “this is one of my top 15 cheeses in the world”. You’ve got to check out The American Cheese Society and their annual conference and award winners. They judged over 600 cheeses in 70 categories such as “Fresh Unripened Hispanic and Portuguese Style” and “Sheep’s Milk Washed Rind”.

Too bad they didn’t judge any Venezuelan Beaver Cheese.