Looking for work…once again.

By James at May 11, 2012 15:23
Filed Under: Life in General

No need to go into the details, so I won’t, but it seems I, along with my entire team, are/am looking for a gig again.

While I would like to get back to work as soon as I can, I am enjoying the time off I have to sharpen my skills. That being said, a job is a job, and I need to find one. I’ve been thinking it would be a good time in my career to move up to a Director position; I sure have the skills from running the IEDOTNETUG, and my community involvement. However, a nice, calm production developer position would be welcomed as well.

If you happen to know any companies which are hiring, and you think I would be a good fit, or, you yourself is hiring, please contact me through my blog.

Here’s my resume for you to take a look at.

Thanks everyone!


INETA gets a new Board Member

By James at April 11, 2011 19:03
Filed Under: Life in General, community, evangelism, user groups, Technology in General

I’ve got news!


I’m honored and humbled to have been elected to the Board of Directors for the International .NET Association (INETA), where I will be in charge of handling the Marketing and Sponsorships for the group. We had our first semi-annual Board Meeting this past weekend (April 8th through 10th), with six new members, and there was a ton of passion and excitement for bringing INETA up to speed on visibility, supporting our user groups, bringing new user groups into the family, and keeping INETA viable and relevant. Plus I got to meet a bunch of really groovy people; the rest of the Directors and Officers:


Joe Guadagno, Dane Morgridge, Woody Woodruff, Robin Edwards, Chris Coneybeer, Mark Rowe, Lori McKinney, Steve Bohlen, Nancy Mesquita and Stacey McKown.


It will be lots of work, but I am thrilled to be given a chance to be part of this. Stay tuned for updates and more information. And, don’t forget to checkout the INETA site at www.ineta.org!



Watch your Azure Account

By James at April 29, 2010 03:57
Filed Under: Microsoft, Life in General, MVP

The other night, Carmina and I were at our computers taking care of business and stuff, when the following conversation took place.

Carmina: “James, what did you buy from Microsoft today?”

Me: “Um, nothing”

Carmina: “Microsoft just withdrew $315 from our checking account”

The transaction had a phone number so I called the next day. It was for my Azure account I had setup to play around with and do presentations on. When I started the account, I was asked to enter a credit card number as proof of identification, and since I have a MSDN account with my MVP, and that gives me 750 compute hours a month, I thought I was good.

Last month I received a notice from Microsoft Online Services that there had been a problem with my credit card. Wondering what that was all about, since I hadn’t been using the services I logged into the site to see what was going on. This is what I saw…

image  and I clicked on Subscriptions


then Actions, which had the following options, “View subscription details, Edit service details, Opt in to auto renew, and Edit billing information”. No where did I see anything to check on activity.

Back to the phone call. I was told in addition to Compute Hours there are also Upload charges and Storage charges, and even if an application is suspended on Azure, i.e. not active, it is still accruing storage charges. In addition, SQL Azure charges of $10 per month, are not included in the 750 hours/month which comes with my MSDN subscription.

Windows Azure Compute charges: $0.12 per hour
Windows Azure Storage charges: $0.15 per hour Yes, $0.15 per hour just to store the files even if the app is not running.

The moral of the story. Azure is a great platform, and I recommend you dive in and get comfortable with it. BUT, remember to take down your apps when you are done testing. Don’t leave them up there.

Oh yeah. Also take the time to look a little further on the portal. I didn’t see the tiny text the other times I was one the site.


Time to get a second job,


Hey! I’m an INETA Community Champion!

By James at April 05, 2010 10:39
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG, Life in General

Wow. I woke up this morning to a terrific email…


We would like to extend our thanks for your participation in the INETA Community Champions program and your commitment to the developer community. You were nominated by your local Developer Evangelist Lynn Langit.  You faced some challenging competition yet your accomplishments speak for themselves.  The Community Champions team is thrilled to inform you that you are one of our top winners for Q1 2010.  Congratulations!  INETA will be announcing the winners in our next INETA Newsletter as well as posting announcements on our web site. 

I had worked with the INETA Community Champs committee a few years ago, but never thought I would be a recipient.

Thanks everyone, especially Lynn (my own developer champion)!

And just so everyone knows I’m not kidding… here’s the proof.

INETA Community Champions Badge

Time to get crackin’.


Interview questions – Change for a dollar

By James at March 22, 2010 12:19
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG, Life in General, Technology in General

So, in my quest to become gainfully employed, I am going through the interview process, mainly technical interviews with hands-on developers. Unfortunately, they seem to want people that 1) either *just* graduated from Computer Science school, or 2) can memorize obscure bits of code, and recite the Visual Studio help files verbatim.

At my last interview, I walked in – after a two-hour car ride, and trying to find a parking spot – to a “Hi, let’s write some code on the white board” situation. Ok, I say to myself, “let’s give this a try”. Their first question, “write code to calculate the optimum number of coins to return when giving change after a purchase.”

Hmm, I think. And I stumbled around for a bit, eventually ending up writing some pseudo-code that involved some long division. The Inland Empire .NET User’s Group’s next meeting was the following Tuesday, and I decided to ask them the same question – however they had the luxury of being in a friendly environment with soda and pizza in their fiery little bellies.

Below are the two answers that UG members sent to me, and it got me to thinking. What I would like to do is have you write your code in the comments, so I can see how many different ways there are to write this method.

From member Daniel Lopez, “Just for grins. If you have suggestion on how to make it better, let me know.”

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;

namespace GiveChange
      class Program
            static void Main(string[] args)

            private static void DoChange(double Tendered)
                  double _DecimalPart = Math.Round(1-( Tendered - Math.Floor(Tendered)),2);
                        if (_DecimalPart >= .25)
                              Change.Quarters += 1;
                              _DecimalPart -= .25;
                        else if (_DecimalPart >= .10)
                              Change.Dines += 1;
                              _DecimalPart -= .1;
                        else if (_DecimalPart >= .05)
                              Change.Nickles += 1;
                              _DecimalPart -= .05;
                              Change.Pennies += (int)(_DecimalPart * 100);
                              _DecimalPart -= _DecimalPart;
                  while (_DecimalPart > 0);

                  StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();

                  sb.Append(string.Format( "Quarters: {0}", Change.Quarters));
                  sb.Append(string.Format("Dines: {0}", Change.Dines));
                  sb.Append(string.Format("Nickles: {0}", Change.Nickles));
                  sb.Append(string.Format("Pennies: {0}", Change.Pennies));


      public  static  class Change
            public static int Quarters { get; set; }
            public static int Dines { get; set; }
            public static int Nickles { get; set; }
            public static int Pennies { get; set; }

And from member Henry Vander Leest, "Hi James, Was thinking about the comments you made at the meeting about the interview you had the the question about the code to make change. Well, here's my solution... I don't believe I could have written this in 5 minutes under stressful circumstances. Live Long and prosper."

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
namespace ChangeMaker1
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            //takes command line arg from 1 to 99 to make change for a dollar
            int quarters;
            int dimes;
            int nickels;
            int pennies;
            int tendered = 100;
            int cost = Convert.ToInt32(args[0]);
            int change = tendered - cost;
            quarters = change / 25;
            change -= quarters * 25;
            dimes = change / 10;
            change -= 10 * dimes;
            nickels = change / 5;
            change -= nickels * 5;
            pennies = change;
            Console.WriteLine("Quarters {0}, Dimes {1}, Nickels {2},  Pennies {3}, 
This is the change for item costing {4} cents",
quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies, cost ); } } }

I tested both, and they work like a champ. Now I just need to memorize these for my next round of interviews. So tell me, how would you do this “simple” exercise.

Time to work…


.NET Rocks is on the Road Again!

By James at March 18, 2010 03:46
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG, Life in General

Man am I excited! Richard Campbell and Carl Franklin from .NET Rocks are going on the road again, and are making special plans to come out and visit the Inland Empire .NET User’s Group!

I’ve been working with – well he’s been doing all the work – Jim Barry at ESRI in Redlands to host the event there, and he has really come through for us. We will be having the event in the new Auditorium, which means the Inland Empire leg of the road trip will make all the other venues look like rickety old shelters.

(Update. I got so excited, I forgot the date)

Thursday, April 22, 2010 from 6:00 to 9:00-ish

Here’s a peek of what I’m talking about.

ESRI Auditorium

Go IE!

Here’s the “official” word from Richard and Carl…

.NET Rocks is on the Road Again!

Carl and Richard are loading up the RV and driving to your town again to show off the latest and greatest in Visual Studio 2010! And to make the night even more fun, we’re going to bring a rock star of the Visual Studio world to the event and interview them for a special .NET Rocks Road Trip show series. Along the way we’ll be giving away some great prizes, showing off some awesome technology and having a ton of laughs.

And one lucky person at the event will win “Ride Along with Carl and Richard” and get to board the RV and ride with the boys to the next town on the tour (don’t worry, we’ll get you home again!)

So come out to the most fun you can have in a geeky evening – and find out what’s new and cool in Visual Studio 2010!

Thanks Jim for all your help!

Keep an eye on http://www.iedotnetug.org/sf/dotnetrocksroadshow/ to RSVP for the event

Time to get planning.

Route 66 – Our latest road trip

By James at August 04, 2009 04:22
Filed Under: Life in General, Non-Technical

With work, family, volunteerism, side jobs, and all the stuff which leads to an incredibly rich life, Carmina and I don’t get a lot of alone time. So we decided when we got married to take a road trip, by ourselves every wedding anniversary, alternating who got to choose where we went. This year was my turn and I decided we should take the road less traveled and follow Route 66. Carmina’s friends worked really hard to convince her it would be hot and boring, but I won out. I think Carmina had the time of her life. She keeps talking about our adventure, and has already started planning our next trip along Route 66 – this time with more people – and better planning to see more sights.

First day, Thursday July 30 – Beaumont, CA to Kingman, AZ. Leaving around 6 pm.

We got out of the house and on the road at 8:30 pm. Just a bit of a delay, but since the majority of our life revolves around herding cats, it was understandable. I love driving through the desert at night,Route 66 so took the reigns and drove for the first three or so hours. Carmina traded with me somewhere in the desert and took us into Kingman.

We had decided, both to be thrifty and enjoy the ride, to only stay in the less-than-well-known places to stay. First night was at the Knight’s Inn. It was a cute little motel, similar to what you might see in a movie.  It included a lumpy mattress, rock hard pillows, an air conditioner straining to cool the air, and when we walked out in the morning, a dead cockroach on the steps. Oh well, at least the serial killers had decided to take the night off.

Second day, Friday July 31 – Kingman, AZ to Holbrook, AZ.

Carmina found on the map the Grand Canyon Caverns in Peach Springs, AZ. A chance to go underground in an area we've never been and where no one knows us? Hot damn! Sign us up! Of course we decided that would be our first stop.

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  King’s Inn, Kingman, AZ
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Nuthin but the best for Kingman PD Hills outside of Kingman One of the many tourist attractions

What was supposed to be a 60 minute drive ended up about 2 1/2 hours to get to the caverns. With so many things to see, we made a few stops along the way, the first being Hackberry, AZ.

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Hackberry General Store The Wagon Queen Family Truckster A few people just didn’t make it
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A local resident More beautiful scenery

The countryside is beautiful, and interestingly enough, there is not as much traffic as I had thought there would be. Apparently T-Rex and Velociraptors ranged during this era, so there are a lot of symbols, signs and actual sculptures around. We finally came across the Grand Canyon Caverns and made our way in. This spot is privately owned, so there is a bit of kitch associated with it. But they have done a great job in maintaining the premises and the tour guides are fun and informative. Ron was our guide, an old hippie, and while it was obvious his patter was well practiced, his references to pop culture made Carmina and I giggle.

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Grand Canyon Cavern Inn Into the cavern “Popcorn” Leftover fallout shelter supplies

The rest of the day was devoted to driving along the road to see the sights, just taking our time to relax, and to make a final stop for the day at Meteor Crater. I was surprised to see brand new Burma Shave signs along the road, and had a good time explaining them to Carmina. The next “big” town we came across was Seligman. Since it was after 12 pm, we decided to stop and eat at none other than the Road Kill Cafe. umm… yummy. The food was great, the atmosphere was terrific with giant stuffed animal heads all over, and Carmina got her first taste of drinking tea out of a giant mason jar.

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Umm..purty Burma Shave Where we ate More purtyness

I had been worried the weather would have been horribly hot. What I hadn’t stopped to figure was the area we were driving in was between 6000 and 8000 feet in elevation. The climate was cool and comfortable, at sometimes with a nice wind, and occasionally we had rain and thunderstorms. The next town we came to was Williams. Heading into town we came across the town cemetery and just had to stop and wander through. A cemetery with headstones nestled in the woods is one thing you just have to see. It was obvious there were two sections – the drab, dull area for the white folks, and the bright colorful area for everyone else.

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Williams Cemetery The welcome sign at the Red Garter B & B

We finally made it to Meteor Crater about 4:00pm, and it is an amazing sight driving up to it. The crater is about 3 1/2 miles in circumference, 1 mile in diameter and 600-700 feet deep. NASA trained the Apollo astronauts in the crater and a lot of science has been done examining the crater and surrounding area.

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Driving up to the rim Shots looking into the crater The impact area at the bottom.

Another little stop we had wanted to make was to the Homol’ovi ruins. After Meteor Crater we made our way about 20 miles further and followed the signs. The area was very beautiful, but we couldn’t find any ruins. It wasn’t until later we discovered we had been standing on them all along.

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Standing on ancient ruins. Doh! Dangerous. Keep away James looking for a short cut

One of the Eagles first hits was “Takin’ it easy”. “I was standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…” Meteor Crater has an informational AM radio station and during the broadcast, it mentions “going to the corner in Winslow and taking a picture with the ‘girl in the flatbed Ford’”. Seeing as we were only about 10 miles from Winslow, we just couldn’t pass it up.

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The two of us making history I think I need a haircut The flatbed Ford
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Two beams from the World Trade Center Another antique More roadside Americana

We made it to our destination for the day, Holbrook, Arizona. The motel was much nicer than Kingman, so we cleaned up, went out to eat, found provisions for the next day – along with pre-made margaritas – then, headed back to the room for some much needed rest.

Third day, Saturday August 1 – Holbrook, AZ to ?

When I was a kid, we took a vacation to the Petrified Forest and it was one of the places I wanted to show Carmina. The park is about 30 miles from Holbrook so we got up early to head out. 100_0303 Needless to say, we were a bit disappointed when we saw the Wigwam Motel on the way out of town, and realized we could have stayed there instead of a basic motel room. Oh well, next time.

Carmina had never seen petrified wood before, and we stopped off at one of the many “Petrified Wood Company”s in the area. We found some pretty nice pieces to bring home, and fortunately the cashier told us to declare them to the ranger when entering the National Park. After seeing the smallish pieces at the store Carmina was fascinated with the huge trees in the park. And I had a great time showing her around.

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So, we had pretty much driven to where we had planned to go, and it was only 11:30 am. I had heard of Canyon de Chelly (“Shay”), but had never been. Asking the park ranger how long it would take we decided to head out. Driving through the Painted Desert and the rest of the Petrified Forest was amazing. I don’t know if I did it as a kid, but this time is something I will remember. Carmina commented on how it looked like “God said, I have this brush, let’s see what it will look like.”

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Driving through the park are various turn outs and points of interest, one of which is Newspaper Rocks, a place where Anasazi hieroglyphics are on the rock faces. We stopped and started walking to the area, about a five minute stroll. Carmina ran up ahead and we got separated by a pushy old dude and his fake plastic wife. He was more interested in talking about gambling on his cell phone, and his comment to his phone companion was priceless. “Hmpf… these rocks don’t look anything like newspapers.”

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The Newspaper Rocks

Before President Eisenhower signed the Interstate Highway bill, Route 66 was the main road from Chicago to Los Angeles. Imagine the adventure of 100_0330driving through the desert in the 1930’s not knowing what was ahead, or what to expect. Apparently many people tried just that, and when their car broke down, all they could do was leave it by the side of the road. This car is an actual stopping point inside the park. And just outside the park, along Interstate 40, we saw another abandoned car, of the same vintage. I wish I could’ve taken a picture of that one as well.

Continuing on through the Painted Desert was incredible. We stopped along many places to take pictures of the spectacular views.

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Leaving the Painted Desert we travelled North on State Hwy 191 through the Navajo Nation. More gorgeous views of high desert with junipers, scrub, thunderheads, and the occasional rain storm. As this is reservation land, there are no fences along the road, and we were greeted many times by horses grazing on the shoulder. All of the ranches have typical buildings with a Navajo Hogan as well. We arrived at Canyon de Chelly National Monument and decided to take the southern rim tour.

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Carmina checking out a Navajo Hogan Canyon de Chelly

The Anaszi built homes in the sides of the cliffs, and this is one of the main reasons I wanted to go with Carmina to this area. Along with seeing these dwellings, the majesty of the canyon is both breathtaking and mystical. At one stop, Spider Rock, I started focusing on the spire, and began to feel as if I was floating. People still live and farm in the bottom of the canyon, right next to their ancestral areas. Something which both Carmina I found interesting and something which I doubt would be seen here in Southern California.

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Cliff dwellings Spider Rock

100_0358At the last stop we met a young Navajo, Marc Begay, who was painting Navajo symbols on pieces of flagstone. He showed us one and we decided to purchase it for $10.  He asked us where we were from, and had no idea of where Southern California is, as he has spent his entire life in the canyon. He was proud to tell us he would be receiving his tour guide card in November and invited us back so he could give us a native’s point of view tour of the canyon. So, this was the farthest we would travel on this trip, and we can’t wait to go back.

Saturday August 1 – 4:30 pm to Sunday August 2 – 3:30 am

We decided to just head home. What a drive that was. 606 miles. Whew. But crawling into our own bed, worth it.

All of our pictures are here. Our map points are here. Comments, as always, are welcome.

Time to dream.


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group – 2nd Annual Most Valuable Member Event

By James at July 22, 2009 09:16
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG, Life in General

Last Tuesday (July 14th, 2009) was the 2nd Annual Most Valuable Member Event for the Inland Empire .NET User’s Group. The first MVM event was a great success, and I wanted this time around to be just as, if not more, spectacular. I’d like to say it was, and boy howdy.

The sponsors really came through with tons of prizes. Riverside Medical Clinic allowed us to use both the conference room and classrooms – the conference room for the meeting, the classroom for serving the food. My cunados, Ricki and Mauricio prepared authentic Salvadoran food - pupusas, chilaquiles, chiles rellenos y arroz - which was sponsored by Patrick Conway at TekSystems.

William played his guitar during the breaks, and there was tons of conversation, laughter, geekiness and all out fun. Efren Toscano and Josh Highland of TechZulu were there to video tape the event. Wm. Marc Salsberry was taking tons of pictures (in that fantastic way he does).

And, there were four special guests presenting. Volkan Uzun on ReSharper, Dustin Davis on Red Gate ANTS Profiler, David Jung on User Interface testing with Visual Studio 2010, and the lovely and fetching Lynn Langit, gave an update on what is going on with SmartCare in Zambia.

Everyone won prizes, and went home with giant bags of swag. Carmina and I were up till after midnight the night before preparing everything.

Up late packing the swag
Inside the MVM backpack

So after a fun evening of geeking out and eating great food, it was time to announce the winners.

MVM Second Runner Up with 8,360 points - Dennis Palmer

MVM First Runner Up with 17,980 points - Matt Penner

Most Valuable Member for 2008-2009 with 26,350 points - Volkan Uzun


You may be wondering, so what does it mean to be the Inland Empire .NET User’s Group Most Valuable Member and First and Second Runner’s Up. Here is what they each received.

Sponsor Most Valuable Member 1st Runner Up 2nd Runner Up
JetBrains 2 products of choice 2 products of choice 2 products of choice
Developer Express Dxperience Enterprise Dxperience ASP or Winforms CodeRush/Refactor
TechSmith Camtasia Studio Camtasia Studio Camtasia Studio
Telerik Premium Collection Premium Collection Premium Collection
Infragistics NetAdvantage for both .NET and Silverlight NetAdvantage for both .NET and Silverlight NetAdvantage for both .NET and Silverlight
O’Reilly Safari 5 book subscription, 10 books of choice 5 books of choice 5 books of choice
Apress 7 books of choice 5 books of choice 3 books of choice
Wrox 5 books of choice 3 books of choice 2 books of choice
Pearson LiveLesson LiveLesson LiveLesson
InnerWorkings Annual Subscription to complete library    
Red Gate ANTS Performance Profiler Pro    
Microsoft Premium Backpack, Wireless Mouse, Web camera Premium Backpack, Wireless Mouse, Web camera Premium Backpack, Wireless Mouse, Web camera

Additional sponsors stepped forward and provided software to raffle off. Telerik provided a copy of their suite of tools. TechSmith donated a copy of Camtasia Studio. Balsamiq Studios provided three copies of Mockup. TimeSnapper provided ten copies of their software. Red Gate sent books, shirts, lanyards. ComponentOne, Telerik, JetBrains, Developer Express, and Apress provided tons of shirts.

Some fun facts

  • 44 RSVP’s for the eventa new record
  • 58 actual attendeesa new record
  • 159 pictures taken
  • 10 real live women in attendancedefinitely a record

Thanks to all who helped out, who came to see what was what, who participated in collecting points, who provided the TONS of swag, and, who made the evening something to remember.

So, in no particular order…

  • Rachel Hawley – Developer Express
  • Britt King – JetBrains
  • Betsy Weber – TechSmith
  • Emily Parker – Telerik
  • Patrick Conway - TekSystems
  • Kathleen Rader – Infragistics
  • Marsee Henon – O’Reilly
  • Leonardo Cuellar – Apress
  • Ashley Zurcher – Wrox/Wiley
  • Eve Turzillo – Component One
  • Andrea Bledsoe – Pearson
  • Erin Jacobs – Microsoft
  • Janine Rood - InnerWorkings
  • Annabel Bradford, Sarah Grady, Sofie Westlake – Red Gate Software
  • Leon Bambrick and Atli Björgvin Oddsson – TimeSnapper.com
  • Peldi Guilizzoni, Mariah Maclachlan, Valerie Liberty – Balsalmiq Studios
  • Melisa Castro, Amy Gonzalez, and of course,
  • Carmina Johnson

Time to breathe again,


May 35th. Why I do what I do.

By James at June 04, 2009 15:35
Filed Under: Life in General, Technology in General

Not many people know, but I didn’t start out thinking I would be a programmer. When I graduated from High School in 1979, computers were things of Sci Fi movies and such. I spent my young adult life working to become a Veterinarian, and when that didn’t work out quite right, I spent 12 years working in veterinary hospitals.

Tired of being bit, peed, shat upon and minimum wage, I decided to move on, and took a job at Chaffey College working in the Life Sciences Department. This was when “Personal Computers” started to become known, and a 286 processor with 1 megabyte of RAM was the hot machine. The department got a few of these monster machines and I started fooling around with them; teaching myself DOS commands, formatting 5 1/4 floppy disks, thinking to myself “I’ll never run out of room with this 10 MB hard drive!”

One day I received an invitation (think WAY before email) from IBM to come and see their new technology called “Ultimedia”. I made arrangements to go to see what this was all about. The presentation consisted of a computer attached to a laser disc player displaying on a very large monitor. The presenter started in about how he could access different parts of the laser disc in a random fashion to make a presentation and teach. I was interested in what he was demonstrating – the beginnings of technolust – and I started thinking about how this could be used in the classroom, I was working at a college by the way.

The laser disc contained various pieces of information about Tennyson’s epic poem, Ulysses. The entire poem was available, with dissertations and explanations by literature professors and experts. Different Shakespearian actors would recite the poem in various tones and intonations. All the while, I kept thinking how cool this was.

The presenter began to end the presentation by saying, “that’s not all, look what I can do with this information.”

The screen went black, and a “thump, thump, thump” started with images of current affairs displaying on the screen, clips of the actors reciting the poem, key words flying on and off screen, building, Building, BUILDING. Goosebumps grew goosebumps, which got even more goosebumps as the presentation continued.

The theme behind Ulysses is that of a sailor, who has spent more time at sea, than at home. And when he finally returns home for good, he finds the life he thought he knew to have changed – drastically. But all the while, his mantra, his personal creed, how he had chosen to live his life by not to giving up, no matter what the obstacle is, to be true to oneself, to state his case, and not back down… “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

My heart was pounding, my jaw slack. As the music was playing, the video and photos are flying in and out, and with the fascination of the technology I had just seen enveloping me, this last image displayed on the screen just as the deep baritone stated “to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”.

After that I knew this was what I needed to do. To use technology to bring information to people. To help them learn. To help them reach beyond what they thought was possible. To take a stand and talk about what needs to be changed. To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

I asked the presenter – I wish I remembered his name – how I could do the things I had just seen. He asked for my mailing address. A few days later, waiting for me in my office was a big box from IBM. Inside was a 386 computer, a copy of Arts and Letters, a copy of ToolBook and a note…”See what you can do. Change the world.”

The rest is history.

Time to reflect.


My daughter’s video

By James at May 22, 2009 02:56
Filed Under: Life in General, Non-Technical

When I first met Carmina, I also met all her friends. One our first date, we we’re accompanied by Alma and her three daughters, Kayleigh, Nicole, and Dagny. I’ve known these bright, funny, intelligent, beautiful girls for going on 5 years now, and it has made my life even “more better” watching them grow up and being a part of their lives. When I introduce them to friends of mine, I refer to them as my “daughters”

Nicki is just finishing up her first year at UC Santa Cruz (um, go banana slugs), majoring in film. She sends Carmina and I links to her videos from time to time, and last night we got the latest. This one is a short little ditty, which she decided to put together because she was “bored”.

I wish I was bored like this girl. See for yourself.

Nicki's boring video

Time to dance,


About the author

James James is a five time and current Microsoft MVP in Client App Development, a Telerik Insider, a past Director on the INETA North America Board, a husband and dad, and has been developing software since the early days of Laser Discs and HyperCard stacks. As the Founder and President of the Inland Empire .NET User's Group, he has fondly watched it grow from a twice-a-month, early Saturday morning group of five in 2003, to a robust and rambunctious gathering of all types and sizes of .NET developers.

James loves to dig deep into the latest cutting edge technologies - sometimes with spectacular disasters - and spread the word about the latest and greatest bits, getting people excited about developing web sites and applications on the .NET platform, and using the best tools for the job. He tries to blog as often as he can, but usually gets distracted by EF, LINQ, MVC, ASP, SQL, XML, and most other types of acronyms. To keep calm James plays a mean Djembe and tries to practice his violin. You can follow him on twitter at @latringo.

And as usual, the comments, suggestions, writings and rants are my own, and really shouldn't reflect the opinions of my employer. That is, unless it really does.

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