NFL Week XIV Picks

posted on 2004-12-11 at 00:23:21 by Joel Ross

I'm posting picks before results again. That means another busy week! For those non-romans, this is week 14.

  • Cincinnati vs. New England (-11): This week is a week to prove my theory of not picking the favorite when the spread is ten or more points. There are five games this week! And my first opportunity, I take the favorite!
  • Cleveland vs. Buffalo (-11): But Buffalo will win.
  • New York Giants vs. Baltimore (-10): But Baltimore will win.
  • Detroit vs. Green Bay (-9.5): The Packers are rolling again, and they were able to beat Detroit when they weren't.
  • Seattle vs. Minnesota (-7): Minnesota isn't playing great, but Seattle is playing worse.
  • Oakland vs. Atlanta (-7.5): Even week Atlanta.
  • Chicago vs. Jacksonville (-7.5): Jacksonville's defense should rattle whoever's taking snaps for the Bears.
  • New Orleans vs. Dallas (-7): Dallas is coming off of a huge win. Hopefully, they won't let down.
  • Indianapolis (-11) vs. Houston: Indy on the road favored by 11. And I think they'll cover!
  • New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh (-5): Pittsburgh is my favorite to come out of the AFC. The Jets won't stop them.
  • Miami vs. Denver (-11.5): But Denver gets the win.
  • St. Louis vs. Carolina (-7): Carolina is the fav? I think not!
  • San Francisco vs. Arizona (-7): Seven points is a lot for Arizona to be favored by. Plus, I think the 49ers will pull this one out anyway.
  • Tampa Bay vs. San Diego (-5): I think this should be eight or nine points. It seems like everyone keeps waiting for them to come back to earth.
  • Philadelphia (-9.5) vs. Washington: One of only two teams to be favored on the road, the Eagles shouldn't have trouble with Washington.
  • Kansas City vs. Tennessee (-2): No defense, and now Holmes done for the year. That's gotta hurt.

So there you have it. I'm tired. I'm going to bed!

Categories: Football


Google Suggest

posted on 2004-12-10 at 23:36:19 by Joel Ross

The big news today seems to be about Google Suggest. I looked at it, and it looks very cool.

Basically, as you type, Google tells you what you might be looking for, just like IE remembers what you've typed in a textbox before. Except with Google, it's what searches are popular. Then it tells you how many results are in each.

For example, I typed in .NET, and it showed that, plus .net framework, .net passport, and a few others, all showing how many results for each one. Then (to get my wife interested), I typed in bab, and it came up with baby names as it's suggestion - something we are looking at right now!

Very cool. As internet connections get faster and more reliable, these kinds of things will be around more and more!

Categories: General


Free Utilities List

posted on 2004-12-08 at 01:06:19 by Joel Ross

Here's a good list of free utilities. As the holidays approach, and family members ask me about computer problems, some of these will come in handy.

From a suggestion on one of the Engadget podcasts (I'm finally caught up with Engadget), maybe I'll download them and put them on my USB drive, then take that with me!

Categories: Software


Log4net Introduction Article

posted on 2004-12-08 at 01:03:35 by Joel Ross

We are using log4net for logging on our current project. I've never used it before, so I had a learning curve to figure out how to use it. It's a very good logging service, and now, after using it for a while, I found this. It's a good introduction article to get log4net up and running quickly.

Categories: ASP.NET


Windows Server 2003 On Your Workstation

posted on 2004-12-08 at 01:00:11 by Joel Ross

Brandon Paddock has a post about using Windows Server 2003 on your workstation. He lists out four reasons why people might want to do so, but missed the reason why I use it: multiple websites. In XP, you can hack it up and get multiple sites, but that's not quite the same.

Most of the feedback (other than mine and Brandon's) has been negative, mentioning what doesn't work. One says apps, and rest talk about video. Personally, I haven't any problems with video, and I am using an odd resolution - 1400 x 1050. I haven't really had any problems with applications under normal circumstances, but I have seen a few oddities.

All of these issues occur (at least as far as I can tell) after I have suspended my laptop and then turned it back on.

First up is Microsoft Outlook/Word. I use Word as my editor, and after suspending, I can't open any Word documents. Also, my cursor disappears when I type emails - so I don't know where I am typing. The solution is easy - kill winword.exe.

Next is WebMon. I'm using that to track pages that I put comments on. After coming back from a suspend, there's a memory issue. Closing and reopening solves that problem.

Last is Skype. If I have suspended, and then enable a second monitor, then disable the second monitor (I have a second one on my desk in the office), I will sometimes get a range check error. Shutting it down doesn't solve the problem either. I have to reboot. But it doesn't happen all the time, so it's not a huge deal.

Lastly is Windows Server 2003 itself. Sometimes, when I suspend, it doesn't come back. It happens very rarely, and I haven't been able to nail down any consistency to it. It probably happens once a month for me, and I suspend my laptop twice a day. I'm really not sure it's Windows 2003, or something else, and I save everything before I suspend anyway, so it hasn't affected me yet.

But to be honest, if I had to do it over again (maybe I will soon), I would load XP, and then load Windows 2003 on a Virtual PC. That, I think, would be more ideal. That way, I can have two conflicting environments (for two different clients - for example, I sometimes support CMS 2001, but most is CMS 2002) available to me.

Categories: General



posted on 2004-12-08 at 00:45:18 by Joel Ross

My wife and I started watching season three of 24 tonight. We got through four episodes (from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM). Coincidentally, the DVDs were released today. But we're not watching DVDs. We're watching VHS cassettes that we recorded last season. So far, so good. They are spread out over six tapes, and Tina's confident that she knows where they all are. We just didn't have the time to watch it last year, so we started recording until we got time. By episode 12, we just decided to watch them over the summer. That didn't happen until tonight. This is the reason we ended up with TiVo!

If you've never seen 24, you should watch it. The whole season consists of one 24 hour period, and the show is done in real time. It's action packed, and has multiple story lines going on at the same time, so it keeps your interest. To be honest, it's one of the only shows on TV that will get me to put down my laptop during it!

Anyway, knowing us, we'll probably finish season three this weekend. I say this because of how we watched season one. We didn't watch it while it was on. I was travelling to Ann Arbor, and Tina was pregnant and sleeping by 9. But we both started watching season two. Eventually, we wanted to know the background of what was going on. So we rented the season one DVDs, and watched them over the course of a weekend.

Plus, we have to have season three done before season four starts in January.

Categories: Personal


College Football Roundup

posted on 2004-12-07 at 00:06:05 by Joel Ross

I've been watching college football with interest as the season winds down. So what's making news?

First, Ty Willingham was fired after only three years as coach. And he only had two recruiting classes. That means he's using Juniors and Seniors that he had nothing to do with getting to go to Notre Dame. So what happens if Notre Dame's program turns around next year or the year after that? Those would be Willingham's recruits getting the job done. Personally, I think firing Willingham is about as rediculous as people calling for Callahan to be fired from Nebraska after one year. I guess when a program is used to results, even one down year gets the alumni up in arms.

Hopefully Willingham will land somewhere else. I think he's a good coach, and deserved a couple of more years. It's not the same situation as Michigan State had when they fired Bobby Williams - Williams had other problems with the team - ones that I haven't heard mentioned about Notre Dame, such as control of the team. No, Willingham just had residual recruits from the previous coaching staff.

Maybe Lou Holtz will come out of his (short) retirement. I hear he's pretty loved in South Bend.

The other big news? The BS. Sorry, I mean the BCS. I always forget the C. Freudian slip! Anyway, the college football ranks are left with another failure of the BCS. There are three undefeated teams who have a legitimate claim to the national championship. Most likely, two after the bowls are played. Then, you have Utah and Boise State. While I don't think they deserve it, who knows? They haven't lost yet. Who's to say they would?

So what's the solution? An eight team playoff! If the lower divisions can do it, why can't the main league? It works for colllege basketball. Yeah, the number nine team would argue, as would others. But teams argue about not making it into the NCAA basketball tournament too. But no one argues that because of that the national champ isn't valid. There's never an argument that the NIT winner should be the national champion. I think it would work fine for college football. You've got seven games to play - you could work in the four major bowls into those, and rotate the others through some lower bowls. This way, your national champ is undisputed.

But we don't have that. And it sucks. Now, Auburn will never know if they are good enough to beat either Oklahoma or USC. So for two years in a row, the BCS fails. Miserably. And if that wasn't bad enough, Texas breaks in, and invades the Rose Bowl. So now, we'll have an unofficially disputed national champ, and no Pac 10 / Big 10 Rose Bowl.

This isn't how it's supposed to be!

Categories: Football


Skype Voicemail Revisited

posted on 2004-12-06 at 23:42:17 by Joel Ross

Voipail is taking a while to hit beta, so I downloaded SAM - the Skype Answering Machine. I haven't been able to test it yet, so I have no idea how it works, but others have said it works well.

So if you want to help me out, Skype me, and leave a message! My ID is rossjoel. Once I get a few messages, I'll let you know how well it works.

Categories: Software


My Podcast List

posted on 2004-12-06 at 23:30:11 by Joel Ross

I remember when I first started reading blogs. Everyone published lists of blogs they read, mainly because it was fairly new, and everyone wanted to share what they were reading.

Well, now that podcasting is the new thing, I figured I would share the podcasts I listen to. I got a question today about what podcasts were, and after explaining it, I figured I would post a few good ones. So with that, here they are. I'll link to the rss feed that contains the mp3 enclosure in it.

  • Engadget: If you're a geek (like me), and don't subscribe to the Engadget site, you should. It's a plethora of geek toys! And the podcast talks about a few of the top stories. I have to admit, I'm about 4 shows behind!
  • DotNetRocks: The DotNetRocks show is the best .NET shows around, hands down. I'm 3 behind on these right now, though.
  • Daily Source Code: Adam Curry, of MTV fame, gets users and developers partying together. This is (in my opinion) the best podcast out there. This is the first podcast I listen to if I have one available. I'm all caught up on these. I couldn't pinpoint a reason he's the best, but he is. Plus, he's the Godfather of Podcasting!
  • Mondays: Carl Franklin and Rory Blythe used to roll the DotNetRocks interview and what is now Mondays (minus the Monday interview) into one show. They've since seperated them, and kept the techie stuff in the DotNetRocks show, and everything else (including an interview) in Mondays. It's definitely entertaining.
  • GeekNewsCentral: He's from Hawaii, and does a fairly interesting show. It's another review of the latest tech news, but usually covers different stuff than engadget. He has more news than toys.
  • The Skinny On Sports: He does a 10 minute take on four hot issues in sports. It's short, easy to keep up with, and gives you info about the biggest stories.

I have a couple of others that I listen to occasionally, but these are my staple of podcasts. If you use an aggregator that supports automatic download of enclosures, such as Newsgator or iPodder, the above links are the ones you will want.

The best tip I have to keep up? If you listen using Windows Media Player (like I do most of the time), set the speed to fast (Ctrl-Shift-G). For music, it's no good, but for people speaking, it's fine. It cuts down on probably about 40% of the time it takes to listen to a podcast.

So, for those already listening to podcasts, what others are out there that I'm missing?

Categories: Podcasting


Design Patterns Website

posted on 2004-12-05 at 00:36:37 by Joel Ross

If you haven't checked out the do factory website, you should. It's a great resource for design patterns, and includes sample code written in C#.

Categories: Development


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