Tech Blogs 4 God

Apprehensive? Not exactly

I've been reading Douglas Bass's blog, Apprehension, initially because his blogroll link to my blog showed up on my Technorati list.

It's been a pleasant surprise. Douglas is "assistant professor in the Graduate Programs in Software at the University of St. Thomas." I checked out the Certificate programs with some interest, and I found one that I would enjoy having, given the time. A task like that is indeed daunting, especially with my current full-time job and other life responsibilities. Plus, St. Paul is geographically distant (I didn't check on the distance learning option).

Douglas covers a range of topics, including computing (like the sudoku puzzle - neat!), Christianity, higher education, and combinations of the same. But, above all, the title and theme is "Apprehension," not the negative emotion, but that kind mentioned by Paul in Philippians 3:12-13:

12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I will definitely be visiting again. You can check out Douglas's smooth-sounding voice in his podcast, "Belief Seeking Understanding." You can subscribe to his podcast here. You can subscribe to Apprehension here.

Free TUX Magazine electronic subscription

Nobody is paying me to do this, so don't think I'm biased. TUX Magazine is a sister publication to Linux Journal. I like what I have seen so far.

(pasted from email)

TUX Issue No. 3 Now Available: --
This issue is packed with how-to articles.

Articles in this issue include:

  • Does Linux Play Well with Others
  • Linux Does Windows
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Q&A with Mango Parfait
  • Tux Paint for Kids
  • iPod and Linux
  • TUX Explains
  • How to Install MEPIS 3.3 Simply
  • K3b and Feel the Burn
  • GIMP Chrome and Metal Effects
  • Review: Quasar Accounting
  • Gadget Guy - CES 2005 Edition
  • Review: In Praise of MEPIS Linux
  • Review: Autopackage to the Software Installation Rescue
  • If you've not yet subscribed to TUX make sure to do so today.

    Remember, subscriptions are absolutely free:

    Michael Lehman and NewsGator podcast filtering

    I searched for Michael Lehman today, after listening to the first Buzz Cast on MSDN's Channel 9. I found his Radio weblog. After browsing his list of podcasts I came across this one and left a comment about a typo. As I was typing, I decided to throw in this tip (reposted here for the benefit of readers):

    I filter podcasts through NewsGator Online Edition. I subscribe to podcast feeds via NG online and review them occasionally. I pick the ones I like and save them to a My Clippings feed for podcasts. I am subscribed to that feed on my home PC via Radio Userland's news aggregator.

    Radio Userland downloads enclosures in the background at a configurable number of hours after midnight. The next day, the podcasts I selected are cached on my PC.

    This allows me to selectively download podcasts instead of wholesale downloading anything that comes across in the feed. Of course this technique means that the downloads are a little time-delayed, but I like the control.

    Michael Lehman has a pretty cool radio voice. He can read fast too. Just listen to him give the contest information for the PDC event in the Buzz Cast!

    Michael's podcast, the Manic Minute is available on his Radio weblog via this feed.

    Podcasting expands my mind

    Ready or not, Microsoft is podcasting. ";->"

    [Scripting News]

    This is exciting. I've said for a long time, that if I could get someone to read a computer book onto audio, that I would listen to it. Sure code samples don't translate to audio well, but a lot of the content could work.

    Podcasting (not just Microsoft's stuff) is a nice substitute, plus you get personality and flavor. You get to hear experts talk about technical topics and provide insights that you might not otherwise get to absorb quickly by reading blogs.

    I'm not trying to pigeon-hole podcasting to technical topics, but this is a great use of it for me.

    Steve McConnell needs a weblog

    Steve McConnell is one of my heroes. His book, Code Complete, is one of my favorite programming texts--definitely a classic. Guess what? Code Complete 2 is out!

    Steve has a website. That's pretty cool. Here's his picture. But Steve doesn't have weblog. Maybe he should start one at Construx, his current company.

    Maybe when you write like he does, you just wait a couple years, put out another classic book, and wait two more years. Blogging, daily or weekly, doesn't fit into that model. Maybe that's what he prefers.

    But, as I have been on a binge of consuming the blogs of some great industry minds, I would almost expect to see a blog from the great Steve. So far, I've found blogs for the following:

  • Grady Booch
  • Bill Vaughn
  • Rocky Lhotka
  • Martin Fowler
  • I'm also hoping to find a blog from Larry Wall. He has a website too, but not a weblog. Here's his picture. Based on his website, though, I guess he values time spent on things other than blogging.

    What Happened?

    Ian's Messy Desk posts this quote by Casey Stengel:

    Some people make things happen, some people watch things happen, and some ask what happened.

    Ian's site has a very cool graphical layout--something I miss when I convert to "all RSS, all-the-time" blog reading.

    My visual layout here is very basic. It's one of the pre-packaged themes that comes with Radio Userland. One of the things I that fall very low on my priority list is a custom redesign of this blog. Oh, well, it is what it is.

    SQL Server Command-Line Utilities

    I found an article that describes several command-line utilities that can automate SQL Server tasks.

    These commands include:

  • isql
  • osql
  • bcp - bulk data copy
  • dtsrun
  • dtswiz
  • itwiz - Index Tuning Wizard
  • We use a couple of these commands at my current client as part of our build/migration process.


    Richard Hall over at connexions has started BlogWiki, a wiki about, what else, blogging. There are some interesting tidbits in the works, but much more can be done. Let's help out and contribute to the effort. I've already edited a page, DesktopBloggingClients. Here's a thought, how about some external links to the software mentioned on the wiki?

    I like his comment:

    This wiki has been set up to enable bloggers to share information and advice and provide a forum for the discussion of blogging issues. Of course, this already goes on in blogs themselves, but it's in the nature of a blog that discussions quickly "drop out of sight". On a wiki this doesn't happen.

    (emphasis mine)

    On wikis, the discussion is maintained in the "Perpetual Now" where a conversation is fluid, evolving, and represents the current state of affairs.

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