Saturday, December 11, 2004

Accessing input filename in an orchestration

I recently needed to access the incoming filename in an orchestration and found it difficult to find the simple answer. I found a few examples of doing so in a pipeline adapter and a couple of cryptic answers on newsgroups but nothing plain and simple. The incoming filename is made available in the message context and can be accessed via:


Hope this helps somebody and saves some time.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2004

PDC 2005 Announced (Sept. 13-16, 2005)

Found this via Jeff's blog.

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New BizTalk Deployment with NAnt

Scott has a major update to his award winning BizTalk deployment script.

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First snow in Southern NH

We had our first storm of the season today. The morning news show had a rolling list of school delays and cancellations and the morning commute took longer than usual. By the end of the day, my truck was covered with a sheet of ice and freezing rain was falling steadily. The ride home took twice as long as usual and the roads were slushy. So why would someone want to live in this? A couple of reasons come to mind - the kids are settled in at great schools and we don't want to disrupt them. And this:


It's weird that it was exactly a year ago when we had our first big storm of the season:


Monday, December 6, 2004

New Technology Study Group

This Wednesday we will be covering virtual machine technology from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. I will give an overview of Virtual PC 2004 and Virtual Server 2005 as well as drilling down on various details and how I use them. Since I've only ever tried the VM Ware demos a couple of times, I would be interested if somebody who's using their products could offer comparisons and contrasts to VPC.

Looking forward to seeing everybody then. Don't forget to bring a “non-dessert“ dish and stay for the annual holiday pot-luck gathering.

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A toe in the water

I've been reading blogs for almost 18 months now and find them both fascinating and a valuable source of information. I've responded to other's blogs when I felt compelled but never felt the urge to start my own. After seeing many friends jumping on the bandwagon, seeing the “live” posts at Chris Sells' Applied XML conference while attending, and talking with Chris Pels, Jeff Julian, DonXML and others I decided to take the plunge.

As for my background, I started programming on the Apple IIe in 1982 and moved on to the Commodore 64. From there I spent about 10 years in the IBM midrange world working on Systems 34/36/38 and AS/400. Throughout that time, I was the “oddball“ in the data centers and computer rooms because I both liked and knew how to use PCs mostly due to buying several PC clones through the years as well as Borland's Turbo Pascal. When Windows 3.1 came out, I jumped into it with a Wang 386 and upgraded my Turbo Pascal to Pascal for Windows and then Borland Pascal. I finally succumbed to the tide and put up my Borland products to switch over to Visual Basic 3.0 and Visual C++ 1.5. I then moved on to Windows NT 3.5, SQL 6.5, Oracle 7 and the world of client server and then COM. From there it was onto DCOM, ASP 3, and MTS. Once J2EE became a viable component technology, my company moved over to it and so did I. However, when .NET was announced I began working with the betas and haven't looked back.

Now 22 years, 3 major platforms, 6 programming languages, a wonderful wife, 3 teenagers, 2 apartments, a condo, and 2 homes later here I am. I still enjoy computers and learning new things. However, years of experiences have tempered enthusiasm with a pragmatic approach to technology.

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Sunday, December 5, 2004

A little history

The Boston .NET User Group grew out of a core group of individuals who had been active in the Visual Basic Professionals User Group. We wanted “more” in terms of moving into distributed computing and internet-based programming. In addition, we all felt that .NET would be the future of Microsoft-based programming so we wanted to get started as early as possible.

My own personal involvement began when I worked for a software company called CODA Finanacials. Some local folks, including Pat Tormey, were looking for a host company for an Access/VB user group in southern NH (circa 1995). Thru Pat, I was introduced to the VB Pro UG which met at Microsoft's Waltham offices. It was there that I got to know Chris Pels and sometime in early 2000 Chris convinced a few of us to get together to plan what became the Boston .NET UG.

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HOWTO: Add a BlogRoll to .TEXT

It took me a few minutes to figure this one out. Somehow I expected to see a specific option related to “BlogRolls” but couldn’t seem to find it. Turns out that all I needed to do was add a link under a *category* call “BlogRoll”.  Duh.