Today’s been a tough one for me. To begin I was having issues with my normal laptop, a severely underpowered Sony VAIO that I’ve had for about three years. It’s never liked Vista and to be sure Vista has hated it right back. Still it is small, weighing less that four pounds and most often runs Office and a browser just fine. Good enough for non-dev work. Today that machine started acting up because the SMS client form our corporate machines wanted to install a Vista update that was already on the machine. Problem there is the install wasn’t smart enough to recognize that. Normally that isn’t a problem but this update was mandatory and the SMS Client is smart enough to shut your port down if it thinks you haven't installed it so I had to call our support guys to sort it out. Total time spent with IT guy on the phone? 1.5 hours. Total productivity during that time? 0.0 hours.

Vegas Pro has what you need BRAAfter that I needed to get an audio plug in for my copy of Sony Vegas Studio Platinum, the Noise Reduction one. Making videos I realized quickly that this is a MUST HAVE because everywhere I record there is background noise and it annoys the hell out of me. To be sure I ordered the right thing I called Sony and they said,

<typical stoner dude voice> “uh, actually you need to upgrade to Vegas Pro from, uh, Platinum. uh, yeah, that thing won’t work.  Vegas Pro has what you need bra”</typical stoner dude voice>.

"mkay" I said, "I’ll go online and buy that one".

Next I go online and try to purchase it but for some reason their website isn’t processing orders so I call back and order it from another person, this time thankfully, no stoner voice. They process the order and email me the download URL and keys. I install it and of course there is no Noise Reduction plug-in to be found. I call back and they say, again no stoner voice, “Yeah, I'm not sure why someone would tell you that. What was his name?"   "I don't remember" I said, "but I'll bet he's in the parking lot right now breaking the law".   "Um, yes sir. Actually what you need to do is purchase Sound Forge which has the plug-ins and then you can use them directly from Vegas Platinum”   "Great!" I say. "Cancel my order. I’ll order Sound Forge instead".   Total time talking to Jeff Spicoli and friends, 2.5 hours. Total productivity during that time? 0.0 hours.

Finally, I’ve been trying for three days to get a very fresh build of SQL Server Spatial installed on my demo laptop. I'm giving a presentation with Ed Katibah on Virtual Earth and SQL Spatial at the GeoWeb conference next week in Vancouver, BC. Anyhoo, this laptop, unlike my Sony VAIO is a 13 pound, 64-bit brick house of a machine. I got the pre-reqs installed and then reboot, start Setup again and ZIP, I got nothing. With the help of some product team guys we figured out that my machine was a piece of toast. Unfortunately that’s what happens with demo machines, they sometimes get fried with all the pre-release stuff many of us run to do our jobs. So now as the crowning achievement of my lack of productivity today I'm flattening the entire thing and rebuilding it from scratch. Total time dorking with this machine for the last three days? Hmm, roughly 5.893 hours. Total productivity during that time? 0.0 hours.

I have to say that it's not all bad today however. My first video for Behind the Maps is doing really well with just over 38,000 viewings since I released it a week ago Saturday. I am currently working out the details for my next video where I go up and fly with this thing. There is apparently some cool technology that coordinates the plane and the camera and some interesting operational details too about how we gather images that applies to the incredible 3D work you see in Virtual Earth today. Stay tuned.