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when i start writing code, i like to get 'in the zone' -- and i'm sure all you developers are no different.  you want to enter a state of bliss and utter ignorance of any world other than that between your eyes and the screen of squiggly lines and foreach statements.

well, usually i help get in this developer "rem" state by using music.  for me, ambient music is almost essential.  sure, i like the occasional heavy metal to really get the motivation going, but at the end of the day, i found myself concentrating on the song more than the code.  i was getting into the music a little to much.  the band tool, however, keeps me going -- i find there method of music soothing enough to enjoy while not wanting/needing to concentrate on the tunes of something like metallica, or black sabbath.

now, where was i...oh yeah, ambient music.  well, a little known fact (above and beyond my 5 things) is that i love music.  perhaps it is because where i live (arizona, united states -- very big latino culture), but i also think that the mariachi is one of the more talented pieces of music you can listen to.  the number of instruments, the choreography of the sound...oh man, it's wonderful.  perhaps the best part aside from enjoying the music is the fact that i don't speak spanish.  i have no idea what they are saying so i'm not distracted!  pretty much any latino/cuban music is awesome for this purpose.  one of my favorites is buena vista social club -- very, very good.  for some mariachi with some speed...look for the song el cascabel performed by  (unfortunately the video cuts the harp solo which is friggin amazing)...you'll be amazed and how one of the band members picks on what essentially is a mexican harp.

other music i like are "lounge" type music like that found on www.smoothlounge.com internet radio.

however, recently i have been really sunk in to a composer who i didn't even really know about.  i watched the lady in the water recently and while i'm still figuring out if i liked the actual movie or not, the music really soothed me.  i purchased the soundtrack and it is amazing for ambient music (especially: "cereal boxes", "the healing" and "the great eatlon").  the composer/producer of this is , and as i've learned has an extensive collection -- having composed for other movies like king kong, devil's advocate, sixth sense, hidalgo, the village, batman begins, etc.  i had no idea he's so involved in a lot of projects...now i'll have to check out his other music.

anyhow, just a random thought on what keeps me 'in the zone' when writing code.

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wow?!  the navigation item that made them famous for the navigation is not visible in their latest incarnation.  now granted it wasn't in the perl as well, but that was a smaller form-factor i just assumed it was because they went "phone-first" in that model.

of msnbc reviews the latest blackberry 8800 and informs us of the change:

For all you “CrackBerry” addicts I must warn you at the outset that the 8800 is different from any other . It’s the first one without a thumbwheel. The experts at RIM, seeing the success of the Pearl and its little trackball, decided that their new model didn’t need an ancient-style navigation device.

personally i think it is going to be a bad move for blackberry.  i remember sitting in a room full of microsoft skeptics one time talking about windows mobile and one of the complaints was that the devices lacked easy one-handed navigation...and they pointed to the thumbwheel.  the blackjack has it and i like it.  it does make one-handed operation easier to use quickly.

hmm...i'm just a little curious what the feedback will be.

ps -- any irony in the default home wallpaper they are using on the blackberry 8800?

Blackberry 8800

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over the past few weeks i've been getting a few requests for if my web parts work on sharepoint 2007 (also referred to as moss).  well to be honest, time has been getting the better of me and i hadn't had a chance to test.

well tonight i fired up a windows sharepoint services 2007 instance and loaded the web parts AS IS to see what they did

after that i loaded them up.  here's the flash web part in action:


and here's the feedreader in action:


they rendered without issue for me.  there is something funkadelic in the upper left corner that i didn't bother to investigate (i'm sure a weird image reference).

as a reminder, the feedreader does not work well at all with proxy servers requiring authentication...and the recommended configuration for proxies anyway is to use the sharepoint web.config defaultProxy settings.

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the patch for windows mobile and united states daylight savings time is now available.  see the article and downloads here.

i also noticed that there was finally a daylight savings update on my OSX machine at home.  what struck me was the size.  on windows xp sp2 for example, the patch is 504KB.  on OSX the patch was 9.2MB.  wow, quite a difference...i'm curious why.

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attention windows vista team...

suggestion for SP1 -- remove the lame CTRL+ALT+DEL for machines added to a domain.  why should the logon experience be any different for a domain-joined machine?  is that a consistent user experience? why do i feel like when i CTRL+ALT+DEL that i still click on my name tile and login...essentially i'm clicking login twice i feel like.

please please please...remove that function.  i'm a developer...i understand that there may be some code that *must* be required.  but can't you just abstract that code?  why make me see the mess anymore...c'mon -- let's eat our own words on user experience and change some subtleties!