Are Social Obligation Games Psychological Malware?

Years ago I played a game called Dark Age of Camelot (DAoC). It was my first foray into the MMORPG genre of video games. While the game had its fun moments where strategy and some thinking was required, many parts of it were very repetitive. Leveling up was one of these boring repetitive tasks that you had to do in order to progress in the game. Players lovingly called this process grinding.
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Nothing Happened To Programming – It’s the Problems

In this blog post (and follow up post) Mike Taylor asks “What happened to programming.” He writes about creating games as a kid and reflects on his excitement about writing compilers. He enjoyed making things. His complaint is that most programming today is just gluing libraries together to create a solution and as he says “I want to make things, not just glue things together.” I agree with him, but not his reasoning.
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Customizing The UITextField Format For Currency

** Update! ** Make sure to read part two of this article to learn about how this solution was optimized. When I was building iAutoCalc for the iPhone I was looking for an easy way to validate and format the data as it was entered into a UITextField. I found plenty of articles to do the validation, but nothing that showed a way to arbitrarily format the field as data was entered.
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How To Start AND Finish

I came across this on 43 Folders. Anytime I’m lacking motivation I always pick some random article from the site. I was procrastinating tonight and came across this talk about starting something AND finishing it. Like most people I have lots of ideas that I think are great. I’ve started many of them, but never finished any of them (outside of work of course) – basically I’m suffering from brain crack.
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jQuery and Scriptmanager in asp.net Custom Controls

I dove into jQuery today with the intention of using the datepicker control in an asp.net custom control that I had built. I ended up having to jump through a few hoops to get it to work properly so I thought I would share what I discovered. First, lets start with a simple user control like the one below: What I wanted to do was make the date text box control work as a jQuery date picker and have the custom user control work properly with UpdatePanels.
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News Overload!

I’m an information junkie. IT, economics, politics, general ‘news’, etc… I’m drawn to it like a drug. Daily I used to visit various web sites like /., The Wallstreet Journal, and Google News in order to get my fix. Then, in order to become more efficient, I started using Google Reader to manage RSS feeds. I thought I had found new nirvana. I could quickly scan, tag, share, and manage hundreds of news stories easily through a single interface.
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32-Bit To 64-Bit Upgrade

I’ve been busy upgrading and moving a MSSQL server and all of the associated applications from a 32-bit Windows 2000 server to a 64-bit Windows 2003 server. The process has been a lot of trial and error. Below are some tips to use when moving from 32-bit to 64-bit. Try to find a 64-bit equivalent of your application. If you wrote the application, recompile it. If you bought the application try to find an upgrade.
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Agile and Cowboy Coding

All too often I meet people who claim they are agile developers. After a short discussion I realize they are not using any software development methodologies and are instead cowboy coding. Agile development is not a plan free environment. In fact, being an agile developer requires more developer discipline than even the dreaded waterfall. Agile development requires the proper tools. Without tools to help with automated testing, refactoring, source control, etc… agile development would be dead in the water.
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1 TB Loaded in 30 Minutes!

This is a great new white paper out of Microsoft. In it they explain how to move a lot of data from flat files into MSSQL using SSIS. Some key take aways from the paper and my personal experiences loading data into MSSQL. If at all possible get your source systems to provide flat files to the ETL processes. The popular ways like web services and ODBC are nice, but they tend not to perform as well when you start moving a lot of data.
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Excel Evils

I’m a big fan of using the best tool for the job. The old adage that says when you only have a hammer everything looks like a nail explains why so many people use Excel for tasks beyond its capabilities. This article provides some facts for what I’ve been seeing anecdotally for years. “Spreadsheet errors are probably more prevalent than most users realise. A 2005 paper by Jonathan P.
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