Well, it's official! I've re-located from Calgary to Vancouver and am totally stoked to be back in BC. Mind you, I didn't miss the provincial sales tax that's for sure!

The last month's been pretty crazy with the whole moving thing (note to self - never move again... it sucks!) so here's a quick blast of some recent items of interest...

Windows Media Player 10 is out! I installed this on my machines and am lovin' it...  Sean found a great review by Thomas Hawk "Windows Media Player 10 - The Good the Bad and the Ugly" that gives a good overview of cool new features in WMP10 along with some areas for improvement. From Thomas' comments he's the dude you want to get a review from as he says he's got 3 250GB drives worth of tunes! He also pointed out a great device I just gotta get... The irock beamit. And for $29!!

I also just read a new article by Pat Helland up on the MSDN Architecture Center called "Data on the Outside vs Data on the Inside". Pat brings up some dead on insights into SOA and challenges associated with it. I thought "The Debate about Transactions" was quite interesting... Basically you have one side saying "services need to be able to support ACID transactions across service boundaries". However, careful what you wish for as one of the tenets of SOA is "Services are autonomous" - meaning they are independently implemented and deployed on purpose so you are free from dependencies and are able to rewrite the service without any negative impacts (assuming you're message is still the same and you're just changing the internal guts of how the service does what it does. For example, instead of your service pulling data from Oracle, it pulls it from SQL, you change this in your service but the contract and message are no different). So Pat nails it with his comment: "Upon closer analysis, this debate is really about the definition of the word service. If two pieces of code share atomic transactions, are they independent services or is their relationship so intimate that they comprise one service. There will always be bodies of code connected by 2-phase commit; however, the question is about whether or not they are in the same service."  The rest of his paper goes into discussing some of the problems that will arise when independent pieces of code don't share transactions... Very interesting read and highly recommended!

Check it out, Channel9 now lets you download the video clips! That's wicked as I'm going to download these and be able to watch them on the commuter train, on the plane etc.

I also just noticed Streets and Trips 2005 is out!!- This is cool as I would've been screwed if I didn't have Streets and Trips in my job as I'm all over Western Canada visiting partners and ISV's that are located in all corners of various cities. Mapquest and things like that are ok, but I love having streets and trips with me on my laptop as I'm always able to pull over, find out where the heck I am and find various ways to get where I'm going when my schedule invariably changes. In the past I would print out some map from a website but if my plans changed or I missed an exit or something I was screwed... Hey, they've even got a version of Streets and Trips 2005 with GPS... nice!

Encarta's another one of my favorite programs and the 2005 version of that is out as well...