July 27th was my 40th birthday and Kristin, my wife, surprised me with an awesome present. First, she got her mother to babysit our son. Then, she contacted 6 of our friends and invited them to join us as we flew from Seattle to Coeur d’Alene Idaho. There she rented a van and we all drive to Silverwood Theme Park for a day of rollercoasters and water park slides! At the end of the day we drove to a resort for dinner with a great view and then we flew back to Seattle. What a great day! I love roller coasters. The wooden coaster, Tremors, at Silverwood is one of the best I’ve ever been on.
From Aug 2-4, I was in San Diego giving a 3-day .NET class. It was one of the largest turnouts we’ve ever had for a public seminar. It was a great class, very interactive. Wintellect is trying to set up another one of these in the Atlanta area around Sep 20th.
Every since the Tablet PC Devlab last month, I can’t seem to get Tablet PC prgramming out of my head. I have this idea for a project that (slowly) I’m working on in my spare time. It’s a program to help children learn how to print. The app creates a window where an adult can use the Tablet’s stylus to print the upper- and lower-case letters A-Za-z in ink. The app splits all these strokes at their cusps and saves all of these strokes in a file. This is the “authoring“ phase. Then, after all the letters have been authored, the app can be re-run in the “runtime“ phase. In runtime pahse, a window is shown to a child and a letter is selected at random and shown to the child. The app shows the child how to draw the letter. This is done by slowly drawing each stroke of the letter in slow-motion. This is why I split the strokes of the letter into its cusps: each part of the stroke (before a turn) is drawn with a delay in between. Then, the child gets to draw the letter using the stylus and I send the child’s strokes off to the recognizer. The recognizer tells me what letter it thinks the child drew and if it matches the randomly selected letter, then the child printed the character well enough to go on.
Anyway, this has been fun for me to play around with and it uses a fair amount of the facilities offered by the Tablet PC API. I’m still working on the authoring phase. I’m having trouble scaling and positioning the ink after it’s authored into an ownerdraw listbox. I can’t quite get thinks to line up correctly and I don’t understand why. The API documentation may be lacking some important info for me to piece it all together. But, I’ll get it.
Kristin & I have decided to go to Yosemite for a vacation. I probably won’t be blogging while away.
When I get back, Jeff Prosise is coming out to Seattle and he and I are going to start re-doing the Wintellect web site in ASP.NET 2.0. This should be a great experience for both of us. The only problem is that I understand that Whidbey’s ship date is slipping and we arent’t allowed to “go live“ with the site until beta 2 ships. Since I have no idea when beta 2’s ships, we may have to just hold on to the code for a while. And, I’m guessing we’ll have to modify a bit to make it work with beta 2  before we “go live.“ But working with Jeff should be a blast; we plan to work very intently for 1 week on this.
Then, on August 31st starts the Devscovery conference in Redmond, WA. This will be the 2nd of 4 Devscovery conferences we’ve done. I always look forward to them and to interacting with the attendees.
Oh yea, one last thing: I’m hoping to fly to CA to see a concert. On Aug 28th, Jean Luc Ponty, Al DiMeola, and Stanley Clark are playing a jazz concert in Los Angeles. They produced a CD together about 10 years ago called Rites of Strings. I love this recording and am very excited to see that they have reformed to play it live.