Super Sexy Flex App for Managing Expenses

Michal Glowacki, I wrote a review of a preso on Cairngorm he did at NYFlex, contacted me to let me know his group released a new Flex based application that manages expenses. This has got to be one of the hottest looking Flex applications I have seen. Have a look at http://www.iexpenseonline.com/. Using this free application, you can manage your budget, track expenses, check out your personal financial position and also work towards self-established goals.

The application is really easy to use and takes care to provide good feedback to the user. The data is visualized using some sweet Flex charts and this application is a great tool to help you stay on the financial straight and narrow.

Michal told me this was a cairngorm application, no surprise since he is an expert Cairngorm developer. I tried to view source on the app but alas, no luck. (Michal, if you are kind enough to show me how you make this application work so well, I would be much obliged.)

So have a look at http://www.iexpenseonline.com/. Let me know what you think.

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TransferORM gets closer to 1.0 release

The word on the street is Transfer 1.0 will be in release candidate status at CF.Objective 2008. I've actually overheard that the Transfer code in SVN ( http://svn.riaforge.org/transfer ) is complete and ready for the 1.0 release, all that remains is documentation. Mark Mandel has been quite specific that the 1.0 release will be properly documented. It appears as if he has been quite busy. I just stumbled upon the new Transfer documentation and MAN is it looking sweet!

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Kudos to the TSA

I'm a pretty seasoned traveler and have been through many security checkpoints. I am also deathly afraid of the TSA. I have a recurring nightmare the TSA agents will find a 3.5 oz container of liquid in my bags and send me to Guantanamo Bay Prison. Every time I pack, I empty all items out of my backpack and make sure all pointy objects are left at home where they belong.

This last trip was no different. Before I left, I checked all nooks and crannies in my backpack. Finding nothing, I headed to the airport with bags in tow. After removing my belt, shoes, keys, 2 laptops and other assorted bits, I walk through the metal detector. No Problem.

As I wait for my baggage to clear the X-Ray, my nightmares become real. "Sir, you can not carry this Knife on board!" said the TSA agent...

He held my Gerber Multi-Tool in his hand, which apart from a bottle opener and needle nosed pliers, also has a 2" knife blade. I must have hooked the sheath to the outside of my backpack at some point and didn't even notice. "Oooohhhhhhffffff", I said, having nothing more intelligent to say before the imminent firing squad. I looked at the TSA agent knowing I was in big trouble.

Fortunately, this must have happened before. The friendly TSA agent calmly gave me my options and we chose to walk to the unsecured area of the airport to the cleverly located mailing facility used to mail prohibited items back home. $9.99 later, I was Gerber tool free and back in the security line. I was at my gate with plenty of time to spare.

This blog post is dedicated to those men and women who keep us safe in the friendly skies, and who also are patient with the (occasionally forgetful) flying public.

Haiku For Today

Blood Pain Agony,
At Last Mountain Bike Ride Done,
Am Glad For Helmet

This was my first time on the bike in 3 years. Man, I know I can do better next time.

I Hate You Adobe Updater

I usually like Adobe Updater. It runs out of my way, has options to run in the background and generally is a polite little updater. Today, the Adobe Updater politely let me know it needed my attention. Apparently there were 120MB of updates needed to keep my Creative Suite in sync.

120MB is no joke. That is 1/8 of a GB. What I find curiously annoying is, Adobe updater downloaded updates for programs I don't even have installed. Lots of programs I don't have installed. Matter of fact, I only have Fireworks installed because thats really the only Adobe Creative Suite I have any competence in. So why Adobe Updater doesn't check to see which programs are installed is beyond my comprehension.

Adobe, when you read this, please consider only downloading updates for installed products.

Seriously!

Drinks in DC April 8th

April is a nice time to hang out and be friendly. I'm going to be in Washington DC the evening of April 8th for business and want to coordinate a meetup at Brickskeller. We'd meet from about 7:30 - 10:00, not too late, since it is a school night!

If you are interested in coming, either leave a comment or use the contact form on this blog to let me know and I'll put you on the list.

The Brickskeller Dining House
& Down Home Saloon

1523 22nd St NW
Washington, DC 20037 brickskeller@aol.com
202.293.1885
Award winning beer selection!

Looking for the best MySQL IDE on the market

I've been doing a lot of work with MySQL lately. A lot more than I ever have. As a normal fan of open source software, I am pleased to have such a feature rich database at my disposal. I do have one small problem that bothers me, however...

The various IDEs I have tried are really far behind the mark. I do not feel as productive when working on MySQL as I do when working on MSSQL. Rarely do I heap praise on Microsoft, but man do they know how to design and deliver an IDE.

To start off with, I tried the MySQL administration tool. I found it very clunky and upsetting to work with. I then found SQLyog, which is a lot more refined, but isn't quite there yet. I like how fast the editor performs but there are still moments with SQLYog confuses me. Favorite past times we share include obfuscating the values of Bit Columns in the Table Data Tab and Randomly Deleting Views.

Thusly, I am on the lookout for a top quality MySQL database administration tool. If you know of something applicable that you like to use, please share it with me in comments below. I run both Windows and Mac computers so only products with solutions for both platforms will be considered.

Refactoring in ColdFusion: From Procedural to OO

I just finished giving my presentation on Refactoring in ColdFusion to the Triangle Area ColdFusion User Group. This was the first time I've given the presentation to a live audience and it went rather well. All the slides were in order and all the code samples were in place. We had a fun time, thanks to all who came out. I'd like to present this talk at least once more before May 1. If your CFUG is short a speaker and can host a Connect, let me know.

This presentation timed at 1:15. This is fine for a CFUG but a little over time for CF.Objective(), where the sessions are 60 minutes. To shorten it for the big show, I've whacked two of the 18 slides and have my eye on a third. Most people would rather see code samples than slides anyways, the slides are really to keep some structure in the presentation.

I could talk on this topic all day long but I'm definitely going to stick to the alloted 60 minutes at CF.Objective(). I'll save my pontificating for afterwards at the get togethers.

In other news, Phill Nacelli and I are having our sessions repeated on Sunday at CF.Objective(). Phill is talking about Leveraging Basic Design Pattern in ColdFusion and his session is the most popular of all sessions at CF.Objective() so far. Congrats Phill! We are both pretty stoked to be on the list of repeats.

If you haven't yet signed up for CF.Objective(), what are you waiting for? The Schedule is jam packed with awesome training from luminaries and experts in ColdFusion/RIA. Reading blogs can only get you so far. Come get trained by the best in the business. I plan on walking out of the conference 72% smarter, myself.

Presenting on Moving from Procedural Architecture to Object Orientation at TACFUG on March 25th

If you would like to know how to migrate an existing procedurally programmed application into an object oriented one, grab a chair and sit for a while.

We'll discuss some sensible guidelines designed to help you make incremental changes towards OO nirvana.

We'll also look at lots of code samples, we all like code samples, right?

Note: New Meeting Location

The meeting begins at 6:30 and will be held at PStrat in a new Location:

10 Laboratory Drive, Building 2
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

Directions: From I-40, take the Davis Drive exit (280).
Turn right at the end of the ramp.
Turn right onto Laboratory Drive (if you reach Cornwallis Road, you've gone too far).
Turn right at 10 Laboratory Drive.
Veer left and drive around back to get to the main entrance for the building on the left (Building 2).
The meeting space is on the second floor.

View Larger Map

See you there!

Listen to 7 CF geeks talk about Flex and AIR

The first installment of the ColdFusion Round Table was released today. A ColdFusion Round Table is a collection of Motley ColdFusion geeks talking about the relevant issues of the day. I was a participant along with Sean Corfield, Peter J. Farrell, Brian Meloche, Terrence Ryan, Brian Swartzfager, Matt Woodward. This round table focused mostly on the recent release of Flex and AIR and we covered quite a bit in an hour and fifteen minutes.

Being on a podcast is pretty cool. Matt and Peter made it very comfortable and easy for us all to participate. Once I got over the "Do I really sound like that in real life?" bit, I felt fine.

I'm pretty amped on Flex and AIR. Really, platforms like this will drive the next wave of application development. Web applications that remain HTML+CSS based will begin to look more dated in the next few years and there will be much resources and energy expended to upfit applications with the latest in features and branding. As I mentioned, this is a very exciting time to be an application developer and now, more than previous, it is important to update your skills. There are no hungry Flex developers right now :).

Anyways, the finished podcast product turned out rather well. Give it a listen and tell me what you think.

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