October 22nd, 2009
Yesterday I attended the Stack Overflow Dev Days Seattle conference. First of all, a $99 conference locally that had this amazing collection of topics made this a must attend. Honestly, though, this jQuery presentation was worth the $99 by itself.
Cody Lindley [@codylindley] gave a great intro and exploration of what jQuery is all about!
Sure there was lots of great ideas for how to use this technology bubbling in my head after Cody introduced feature after feature of jQuery. The best part was his ‘How to build your own jQuery plug-in in 6 Steps’ starting on slide 82. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to extend a library but the documentation doesn’t clearly outline best practices for building new classes or plug-ins. It’s a lot of trial and error, not to mention headaches. This presentation was so valuable I just have to share it!
You can also check out Cody’s PDF book jQuery Enlightenment for just $15. It is a collection of useful code and samples which can rapidly get you up and running with all the power of jQuery.
P.S. Microsoft was at Dev Days Seattle giving FREE RAM upgrades to every computer that wasn’t already maxed out. Unfortunately, my laptop was maxed so I couldn’t take advantage, but what a cool way to engage this audience.
P.P.S. You have to check out this video of the guys who brought you Photosynth. Steve Seitz talked about how their team has taken the ideas behind Photosynth further and this technology is seriously impressive. Their goal: Re-Build Rome in a day! http://grail.cs.washington.edu/rome/
October 7th, 2009
Have you visited Tweetstats.com yet? Well I guess the first question would be have you visited Twitter.com and set up your Twitter account? If you haven’t you can stop reading now.
If you have, and are curious about your Twitter usage, take a trip to Tweetstats and enter your account name. The service will go and fetch all tweets and build some fun Flash graphs to illustrate how you use Twitter. For instance you’ll notice that March of this year was a particularly busy tweeting month of me. I was attending MIX and letting everyone know all the cool things I was learning. You’ll also notice that I pretty much only tweet during the day. Mostly in the morning as I review all the cool stuff from the previous day.
Curious, here are my results:
There is also my TweetCloud featuring the words I tweet the most.
any my HashCloud featuring the words I hash the most.
My TweetStats give a glimpse into how I use Twitter. What will TweetStats say about you? Also, if all this Twitter Speak hash tags and @mentions is confusing you, check out Twitter Speak – A Beginners Guide to learn the basics! Happy Tweeting!
October 1st, 2009
Microsoft recently announced a program called WebsiteSpark. You can read more about it on Scott Guthrie’s blog. It’s a variation on their Spark program which is intended to give people that have an idea for a business or web site an opportunity to use Microsoft technologies for free to develop and deploy their ideas for 3 years.
Personally, I think it is a brilliant program that finally shows a desire from Microsoft to embrace a culture of open-source without having to sacrifice their business model of making software to sell to people. If you let someone use your technologies for free, support them making something amazing with it and add that to your portfolio of successful projects, it just fosters positive connection to the community that ultimately will drive success in the future.
Microsoft products can be extremely pricey. A windows server license alone can cost near $1000 per processor. With this program you get 4 licenses for free for 3 years. Talk about offsetting the start up costs. You can have a solid, supported, industry standard technology in place while you build your business.
The WebsiteSpark program joins the other two successful “Spark” programs previously launched – BizSpark for startups, and DreamSpark for students.
While I was in school back in 2005, the only technologies we learned and used were open-source because we couldn’t afford to use anything Microsoft. I can only imagine how many fun, off the wall, projects I could have created in school with access to some of the products available in these programs.
I’m sure a lot of this sounds like I’m spitting cool-aid out all over the place, but I honestly believe that this program is a good thing for everyone. Microsoft got this one right, and I’m giving credit where credit is due.
Now go out and bring your ideas to life!