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2006 » October MikeFitz with overflow bit set…

Archive for October, 2006

Dear Commenter,

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

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You were concerned that your comment on an earlier post might not be published.  I have replied to your comment, but my e-mail was bounced by hotmail.com as “mailbox unavailable”.  Perhaps you mis-typed your e-mail address?  Please contact me again. Cheers — Mike

Who’d be a southerner? Greg Low, that’s who!

Friday, October 27th, 2006

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Further to this morning’s post, we were out on the beach again this afternoon.  I only had my phone with me (not a real camera) but I thought you might like to see how wonderful the weather is.  Blue sky, gentle breeze, 29oC.  By contrast, the BOM forecast for today in Melbourne is

A few showers with local hail developing tonight. Fresh and gusty southwesterly wind.

I thought, Who’d be a southerner?

Well, for one (actually the only one I can think of) there’s my mate Greg Low.  In a reversal of Australia’s usual migration pattern, Greg is marrying fellow SQL Server afficionado Mai Phan tomorrow and becoming a Victorian by marriage.

I went up to the lookout to phone Greg and rib him gently about Melbourne’s weather while wishing the happy couple well.  Greg was driving and concentrating hard in heavy rain.  Mai answered his mobile.  She sounds lovely.

Best wishes to you both; I hope it clears up for the ceremony tomorrow and, Greg, she must be worth it.

The house where I grew up is now the set for a music video

Friday, October 27th, 2006

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Completely weirded-out* by this one…

I’m spending this weekend in Port Douglas with Mrs Fitz. In the last couple of minutes before QF786 touched-down in Cairns last night, the in-flight tv showed this music video which I had never seen before.

It’s The Shake by Kisschasy.  I have to admit, I haven’t heard of them, not being in their target demographic and all.  But they seem to have some pretty good reviews.

The setting seemed strangely comfortable and familiar.  And then I realised, Hey!  That’s the house where I grew up!

My parents bought the house at Enoggera in 1957, when I was quite young, and raised us 5 kids there. 

(more…)

ASP.NET 2.0 Gridview Deep Dive

Friday, October 20th, 2006

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Qld MSDN User GroupThat was the topic presented by Renato Haddad, an MVP visiting from Brazil, to last Tuesday’s meeting of the Qld MSDN User Group.

A good size crowd turned up. This was despite Brisbane’s streets being gridlocked following the sudden closure of the Riverside Expressway at 4pm.

Renato’s presentation was fast-paced with lots of examples.  His PPT files and sample Gridview projects are at

You can also see some of the samples running live at

Some attendees mentioned afterwards that the “Deep Dive” wasn’t quite deep enough for them.  After all, they had seen the drag and drop demos at Tech-Ed.  However, there were others who stayed around afterwards, asking the hard questions (like binding to collections of objects and executing methods on those objects) and they DID get their answers.

Renato is travelling with his wife, Karena. (Apologies if I have guessed the spelling wrong.)  They are doing touristy things in SE Qld this week, will visit Melbourne, then Sydney before flying home to Brazil via Santiago.

Obrigado and Boa Viagem, Renato.

The next 4 weeks are going to be HUGE…

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

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… for Brisbane/Queensland software developers.

  • Tue 17 Oct, Qld MSDN User Group.
    ASP.NET 2.0 Gridview Deep Dive
    This month, we are fortunate to have a special guest, Renato Haddad, an MVP visiting from Brazil.
  • Mon 23 Oct, Earning More Per Hour As a Developer
    1-day workshop presented by Steve Herzberg, NRG Solutions and Adam Cogan, SSW.
      cancelled due to insufficient registrations :(
  • Fri 20 & Fri 27 Oct, continuing the VSTS Tech Brekkie series.
  • Wed 8 Nov, Ready Summit’06, Brisbane Convention Centre.
    Prepare for the upcoming launch of Windows Vista, the 2007 Office System & Exchange Server 2007.

… and there’s even more on the Queensland Developer Events page.

Lost Property. Seriously.

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

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Just over a week ago, Mrs Fitz lost a gold filigree heart-shaped pendant in Dali, southern China.  Subsequent events gave an intriguing insight into just how seriously the Chinese regard law and order issues.

Maureen & Andy at the Great Wall of ChinaHere she is at the Great Wall with #2 Son, Andy, in early September.
 
Close-up of Maureen's pendant.She was wearing the pendant that day.

Late on September 26, in Dali, she noticed that the catch on her gold chain was undone and the pendant was missing. Here’s her full account, and here’s an excerpt…

Spent an hour at the police station today. As you do. Noticed yesterday evening that the locket from my gold chain was missing and the chain was undone. Probably an accident. Many SMSs back and forth to Mike to find out which hoops we have to jump through for the Travel Insurance company. Had to report it to the police and have verifying documentation within 24 hours. Told Edward the guide this morning and, no kidding, within 60 seconds FIVE policemen, including one with 3 pips arrived at the hotel. Big discussion followed. Conclusion: Turn up at the police station after finishing our touring at 5pm today. Very primitive facilities at the station. No computers. Everything handwritten and millions of words spoken. Had to be accompanied by the city guide and the national guide (Edward). All this for a $261 locket! Quite an experience. The worst was all the policemen smoked.

Dali Police showed up at the hotel within seconds.Five policemen showed up at the hotel within seconds.  Here’s Edward, the guide, showing where the pendant used to be.

Could an Australian ever expect such a response time from our own police services?  Tell him he’s dreaming!

But the silver lining is this: We now have this magnificent hand-written police report with its official red-star stamp.  It’s a work of art!Hand-written Chinese Police Report

(I wonder if the travel insurance company will now charge us more than the pendant is worth to have the police report translated.)

Andy’s back! … and off again!

Friday, October 6th, 2006

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4hrs 25mins. That’s how long #2 Son, AndyFitz, spent back in Australia following his month in China.

He landed from Singapore at 6:40am.  By 11:05 he was in the air again, headed for LA and Boston.  During his time here, he cleared immigration & customs, unpacked, off-loaded the China trinkets, collected his computer and business attire, repacked, checked-in, quickly pecked Karla’s cheek and was off again.

In 45 hours, he is flying from Kunming to Singapore, Brisbane, LA, and Boston.  Less than 12 hours later he will be presenting his session at the GNOME Boston Summit being held at the MIT Media Lab.  Oh, to be young again.

Toxic Childhood?

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

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Do you have strong views on whether computer games, TV, junk food and academic pressure are impacting today’s children?  The ABC’s 7:30 Report may want to hear from you.

Chart of Redeeming Value vs Time Wasted
Click to enlarge

Back in March, my post Where does the TV your children watch sit on the “Redeeming Value vs Time Wasted” curve? attracted a few comments and quite a few inbound links.  Maybe it was the fancy chart, I drew?  Maybe not.  (Stop laughing, Andy)

Recently my post drew a comment from Lesley Robinson, a Producer at the 7.30 Report.  Lesley writes…

The ABC’s 7.30 Report is working on a story looking at the impact of computer games, TV, junk food and academic pressure on child development. British author, Sue Palmer warns we’ve moved into an era of “toxic childhood” where real food, real play and first hand interaction with the world are disappearing.

We’re looking for families to interview who have strong feelings about this issue - you might agree with Sue Palmer and try to ensure that your children aren’t exposed to “junk culture”.

Or you may think it’s all a bit of a beat up and think your kids are resilient enough to survive what the 21st century throws at them.

If you’d like to take part, please email Lesley Robinson, Producer at the 7.30 Report on: robinson.lesley@abc.net.au or phone 0408 970500

What about you and some of your Canberra mates, Mitch Denny? You started this discussion.