Marquee de Sells: Chris's insight outlet for category 'fun' via ATOM 1.0 csells on twitter

You've reached the internet home of Chris Sells, who has a long history as a contributing member of the Windows developer community. He enjoys long walks on the beach and various computer technologies.

Free Portland Code Camp, 7/22-23

I've just registered for the Portland Code Camp 2.0, July 22-23. It's a free conference that includes 26 developer sessions (so far), food, a party and the potential to win an XBox 360. And did I mention it was free? I'm not sure about the name (it's being held at the Washington State University in Vancouver, WA), but other than that, what's not to love about a local, free, developer conference?!?

And if you're coming from out of town and need a place to crash, I've got a spare room. Come one, come all! Tell a friend! Register today! It's free!


My Qtek 8500 should be in my hands tomorrow!

The reviews have been largely positive (but not completely), and I'm very much looking forward to my new QTEK 8500 (aka the Star Trek [STRTrk?]). Apparently I'll be one of the first folks on the west coast to have it, which will probably destroy my book-writing productively over the weekend (I'm supposed to be working on the Avalon RTM book).

Being first with hardware is not generally something I like to do. In general, I purchase laptops and cell phones and not many of either (usually one every 18 months of either). Frankly, I'm a late adopter on hardware 'cuz I like to handle someone else's first (no snide comments, please... : ). However, the experience with my Audiovox 5600 has been so positive and the features of the QTEK 8500 are so overwhelming (on paper) that I just had to get it ASAP. It's really the first Windows Mobile 5 phone I've found compelling.

Stay tuned for a review.


I wish I had time for this

Alternate Reality Gaming sounds like fun, but I just don't know where people find the time...


Code Monkey: The Song

Check out the Code Monkey mp3!


There's a Windows "Brat Pack?!?"

Not only does have a traffic ranking for (80,616 -- this number sounds too high to be good : ), but there's a web site review claiming that I'm one of the "Windows Brat Pack." I have to associate with Anthony Michael Hall or Rob Lowe from this bunch (they seem the most geeky), but them who's Don and who's Tim? Definitely, Ted Pattison is Judd Nelson...


Ninja's Need Love

I love the internet. Where else would you see a video of a ninja answering letters about love?




I love this idea!

"Exanimus is an online massively multiplayer game created in a world where the dead live and roam the earth eating the flesh of the living. While most of the world is dead, there are small pockets of survivors that exist in barricaded cities across the globe."

You guy will kill me before I change, right?


I'm *loving* the new images search has a new image search which does progressive showing of images, scaling of the group and individual photos in very cool ways, but the killer feature is when you surf to the page from whence the image comes, the image is shown in full size hovering above the page. Very slick. My only complaint is that there seems to be no way to do an image search w/o first doing a normal search and then pressing the "Images" button. Still, I've switched from and image search.


Fabulous Half-Life 2 Comic

Here's a tip -- if you've got a deadline, don't wander over to the Half-Life 2 comic "Concerned." I'm a *huge* Half-Life and Half-Life 2 fan, so when I heard about it, I went right over and now that's two hours of my life I'll never get back (but were oh so pleasantly spent) reading all 120 comic strips front to back. Since I've been spending my evenings and weekends playing Half-Life 2 again (why oh why aren't there any more good games?!?), all of the stuff in these comics is fresh in my mind. Plus, I don't mean "comic inspired by Half-Life 2;" the guy actually posing characters and objects from the game using a Half-Life 2 mod and builds his comics out of the screen shots, adding hilarious prose. It's like if Rory built his comics from "Stick Figure World 3D" (coming soon to XBox 360). Very highly recommended.


IT Crowd: Yesterday's Jam

Why is British comedy so much funnier than ours? Check out Yesterday's Jam.


Looking for an Xbox 360

I got my first hands on Xbox 360 demo today and I want one! Unfortunately, MS employees aren't treated specially, i.e. there isn't a big warehouse full of 360s for us at the MS Store. However, there is an internal mailing list filled with rapid pre and post-360 purchasers that showed me several resources to use to find 360s:

I don't want any fancy bundles and I don't want to purchase online -- I want the premium bundle and I want to walk out of the store with it. Is that so much to ask?


My Son's First Computer Program

Wonderful things happen when I tell me kids to stop playing video games and to stop watching TV (I try to limit them to an hour of each/day). I mean, aweful things happen at first -- you'd think I stuck a sharp stick in their eye. But, after the hollowing stops (and the pull the stick out), the imagination kicks in and they think of stuff to do. Today (they were home from school on MLK Day) John asked if he could write a program.

Now, as you may or may not recall (or as you may or may not care), I just moved a few months ago and I haven't built enough shelves to hold all my books yet, so my copy of Microsoft C# Programming for the Absolute Beginner, by Andy Harris (which I'd purchased in case this day every came) was buried who knows where. I scoured every book box stacked in the closet in my office and every book box I could get to in the garage before risking an antique painting and crawling behind four matteress to dig through the one box I just couldn't reach to find it (why is it that whatever you're looking for is always in the last place you look?!?).

Once I'd found it, I handed it to John so that I could ready the computer for his programming genius. I knew right where to go to get Visual C# Express and I loaded on MSDN Express and SQL Server Express, just in case (Mozart's dad got him more than one instrument, didn't he?!?). Of course, I got to the spot where I needed 1.7GB on the C drive (even though I was installing on the E drive) and I only had 1GB, so I had to clean the drive and uninstall a bunch of stuff, all the while John's pestering me, "Do I have to read this part called Intro? What's .NET? What does the C in C# stand for? I don't want to read stuff, I just want to do stuff!" Clearly, Mr. Harris had a different audience in mind when he used the phrase "absolute beginner."

So, after about an hour of searching and uninstalling, downloading and installing, and then showing him the difference between the development environment, the documentation, debugging and running, I was ready to give up the driver's seat and let John try his hand. Here's his first program:

using System;


namespace ConsoleApplication1 {

  class Program {

    static void Main(string[] args) {

      Console.Write("Hi, Mom!");






The "Famous" Book Fight

So, I read Rory's latest comic and laughed. A lot. However, I haven't posted it because I figured anyone who'd be amused would've already seen it.

And then I got a ping from a marketing friend of mine who'd seen it and wondered what I thought. Granted, he's a marketing guy in the IT field, but still -- he's a *marketing* guy. I mean, I don't read their bait & switch blogs, so what's he doing reading our geek-out blogs?!?

Rory, dude, I expect to see you in Time magazine one day. Don't forget the little people (even if they need help carrying their ego : ).


A Quote With Which To Kick Off The Year

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing."
--Redd Foxx

Happy New Year!


George Carlin's Incomplete List of Impolite Words

DISCLAIMER: Obviously, this completely violates George Carlin's copyright, but I purchased the $80 CD box set and it wasn't on there, so I feel like I'm owed. Also, the audio is in RealMedia (.rm) audio format, whose player may have been the world's most aggressive piece of mainstream software before spyware became a plague to rival locusts and frogs falling from the sky, but a quick batch processing pass with GoldWave on the one computer in my network with a RealMedia audio codec installed and I've got the MP3 version. Finally, this is completely work unsafe and you shouldn't even think of looking at this web page at work, let alone listening to the file in question.

I can't believe that after all these years, I still find George Carlin's Incomplete List of Impolite Words amusing. It makes Tom Green's Pet Names for Genitalia seem like a poem you'd write on a mother's day card. For your grandmother. On a dialysis machine.


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