Chris Rathjen

Warning: May be "Jab myself in the eye with a pencil" geeky.

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  • Blog Post: More than meets the eye...

    Totally off topic: We just got back from watching Transformers . I'll write up a bigger review if there's interest. The short version: It was awesome. Great action movie, one of the few that actually does a decent job at also telling a story and connecting you with it. Good pacing, great special effects...
  • Blog Post: We have added his biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.

    Becoming a full-time employee of Microsoft (or "MSFTie") is often jokingly referred to as " joining the collective " in public and even within our cybernetic halls. I mentioned awhile back that we'd gotten some additional team-members on the Setup/Admin/Ops QA team, and (as James recently enlightened...
  • Blog Post: Tagged!

    James tagged me - I guess it was only a matter of time. Being the avid Snow Crash fan that I am, I feel like I'm propagating a virus... gen(n-1) tag: James Five Things You Didn't Know About Me In the same vein (no pun intended) as James', I was quite accident-prone as a child, such that it...
  • Blog Post: Vista RC1 goodness

    Slightly off my normal topics, but I wanted to post a quick note about Vista. More of a "datapoint" than a general review. On the downside, I'm discovering that 1GB of RAM just really isn't enough for what I do with a machine (professionally) these days - between muliple instances of VS, an IE with...
  • Blog Post: Team Foundation Server: Why are my files transferring so slowly?

    I'm not sure if anyone "in the field" has run into this (yet), but it's happened to us a couple times internally now, and I figured other folks might be interested in the issue. We've seen situations where larger files (in the latest case, 100 meg) take an inordinate amount of time to upload (checkin...
  • Blog Post: Dust-busting for fun and profit: Your computer will thank you!

    I was just reading Raymond's latest post , partially relating to computer heat (and how the symptoms it typically presents might not be heat-related after all). I was going to comment with my own anecdote, but it's more of an aside, so I decided to post it here instead of spam Raymond's comment stream...
  • Blog Post: Random XP tip: Scheduled disk defragmentation

    It came to my attention that a lot of folks don't know about one of the very nice additions that came long with the rest of Windows XP: A command-line interface to the disk defragmenter. This means it's now easy to setup a scheduled task to defrag your hard disk(s), whereas with Windows 2000 it was rather...
  • Blog Post: Resolved Work Item: Get Married

    Two weeks ago, I was working extra-hard to help get our branch/merge features ready for the Release Candidate. Last week was a change of pace - I was on the beautiful island of St. Lucia, getting married! It was something of an open secret (hmm, they've been engaged for a few months now, and they...
  • Blog Post: Shameless Plug: Fog Creek Copilot

    I had another opportunity to use Copilot last night, helping out a relative with a cranky printer. What is Copilot? I'll sum it up as "Remote Desktop for Dummies," but I mean that in the best possible way. Basically, it's a tool to let a geek get at a non-geek's computer quickly and easily, without having...
  • Blog Post: So close...yet so far...

    There's a LOT to like in the 2.0 version of the Framework and Base Class Library. But, I ran into something today that I feel is missing. Or at least, it'd be really cool of it was there. I want to be able to override the ToString method on an enum. I know, I know - on the surface, it sounds...
  • Blog Post: Non-work blog

    I decided to create an MSN Space blog to talk about non-work related stuff - mostly video games. I created under my online alter-ego: Xentax . The origin of that name ought to be the content of one of the first posts...
  • Blog Post: <-- Blogging n00b

    Apparently, I'm more of a blogging neophyte than I thought. Or, I could blame the infrastructure, I suppose. I set anonymous comments to 'moderate' instead of publish by default. Which is great, but apparently I don't get notified when there are unmoderated comments, so I didn't realize I wasn't seeing...
  • Blog Post: Computer Science != Software Engineering

    I like to think the title of this blog post is common knowledge, but I still see places where the terms are used interchangeably all too often. As Dijkstra is often quoted, "Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes." Yet, at most universities, the closest thing you...
  • Blog Post: Rant: Cell phone drivers are a SOLVEABLE PROBLEM!

    So, I got to watch some of the spectacular side effects of driving while cradling a cell phone on the way home yesterday. You know, the mile-long backup from a trivial accident, and the countless near misses behind it as drivers with cell phones change lanes without warning or signaling, don't maintain...
  • Blog Post: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

    So, since I saw Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith last week, and since I’m a self-respecting geek, I just have to render my opinion. I’m not a manager, but I’ll use a bullet list anyway. :) Warning: Mild spoilers may follow. The Good The action sequences were almost universally good. I...
  • Blog Post: I need a subtitle!

    I'm going to borrow a page out of Korby 's playbook. I talk about a somewhat scattered variety of topics - lots of areas within Hatteras, security (not a whole lot so far but more as I go, hopefully), and (rarely) my possibly compulsive level of familiarity with videogames, books, and movies. I'd love...
  • Blog Post: Hatteras, Currituck, Ocracoke

    Some of you have no doubt heard of these projects, all part of the upcoming Visual Studio Team System. Some of you may also recognize the origin of these names: All three are lighthouses on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I took a "mini" vacation last week to the Outer Banks, and enjoyed it enough...
  • Blog Post: Running As Normal User

    As most of you probably know, Microsoft is a land of acronyms. We mostly prefer the 3-letter variety here (TLAs), but I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about one of the 4-letter ones: RANU. RunAs Normal User. Just to be clear about what I mean, I'm talking about one of the hurdles we set...
  • Blog Post: XP SP2 available - sort of

    As Buck mentioned , there's a version of SP2 for Windows XP available. But it's ~266 megs, while the version that will be up on Windows Update in a few days could be considerably smaller. I'm sort of scratching my head over this one. While it makes sense in one way - this version appears to be intended...
  • Blog Post: I was a hard sell, but...

    ... I finally came to see the light about this whole “ClearType” thing. I had tried turning it on when I first started using an XP machine regularly, and it seemed to make things blurry, rather than more readable. So, back off it went. But Raymond talked about monitor refresh woes on...
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