Synthesis : Scott Becker

A little update

A quick update:

To all who want the Grid control – yeah it works, but the code is sloppy and not very Rails-ish. Too much view logic in the controller. I want to re-write it before I put anything out there with my name on it. I’ll start “Getting Real” soon, I promise!

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google maps api

I started messing around with the Google Maps API today. Seeing all these “mash-ups” has convinced me that it must not be that hard, and it isn’t!

One thing you quickly discover is that google doesn’t supply you with a built-in way to translate an address into lat/long coordinates – the input they accept in order to plot points on the map.

So, I search for ways to do that, and find an article by John Resig that shows how to use perl to create a proxy to That was exactly what I needed, except I needed it in C#. I bet if I searched harder, I could’ve found something, but it was pretty quick to whip it up myself, so here’s the code to do it:

double geoLat;
double geoLong;

// Address of Google
string address="1600 Amphitheatre Parkway,  Mountain View CA 94043";

string url = "";

XmlTextReader reader = new XmlTextReader(url + address);
XmlDocument xmlDoc = new XmlDocument();

XmlNodeList gPoints = xmlDoc.GetElementsByTagName("geo:Point");

geoLat = Double.Parse(gPoints[0]["geo:lat"].InnerText);
geoLong = Double.Parse(gPoints[0]["geo:long"].InnerText);

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Hasta la…. vista?!

Veerle has a funny post about how there’s going to be not one, but SEVEN versions of Window’s Vista, from “Starter” edition to “Ultimate” edition, and everything in between. And I don’t think this list even touches on the server versions.

To see a complete rundown, check out Paul Thurrott’s WinInfo site.

Here’s the part I thought was the most hilarious:

Windows Vista Starter Edition: Aimed at beginner computer users in emerging markets who can only afford a low cost PC. … Starter Edition will allow only three applications (and/or three windows) to run simultaneously, will provide Internet connectivity but not incoming network communications, and will not provide for logon passwords or Fast User Switching (FUS). Windows Vista Starter Edition is analogous to XP Starter Edition. This version will only be sold in emerging markets.”

Bwaahahaha! And they expect people to actually pay for this? When you can get a free copy of Linux that runs as many programs as the computer is capable of? That runs Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, etc, without paying a dime?

As far as Apple’s user versions go, OSX has one. It also has one server version.
“Am I glad the folks at Cupertino aren’t smoking the same joints as Microsoft does,” Veerle said. Indeed, somebody must have laced their joints with crack.

I currently run Windows XP. Next year, I plan to buy a Mac laptop when the Intel versions come out, and our server setups will all be *nix based. By the time Vista rolls around, I plan to be completely devoid of Microsoft products.

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