30 April 2008 in Blogging & General & Google & Mindscape & Windows | Comments (5)

facebook logo

Boy am I sick and friggin’ tired of hearing about how Facebook is worth $15 billion dollars! A lot of the business blogs I keep up with keep throwing this figure around and it is becoming quite an annoyance.

I’ll say this just once: Microsoft’s “investment” in Facebook does not extrapolate to a $15b valuation because it included the international advertising rights.

To put this in perspective, Google paid $900m for the advertising rights to MySpace (the #1 social network that still absolutely spanks Facebook in terms of unique visitors despite being the ugliest site in the world).

Granted, the details of the deals between MySpace+Google and Facebook+Microsoft are rather different, but it helps establish my point that advertising is big business. Facebook certainly did not give away the advertising rights for free so you can be sure that part of the $240m was in consideration for gaining the international advertising rights – not just to buy a 1.6% stake.

To give an indication of how big of a business advertising is – Google paid more for the advertising rights to MySpace than News Corp paid to buy MySpace months earlier (details here).

Sure – it might be in Facebook’s interest to say the advertising deal was provided for free and that it really does stack up to just buying a cut of the pie however if that really was the case why not get the Microsoft investment and then make more money by selling the international advertising rights?


So what do you think? All comments appreciated.

I’m sure some cheeky bugger will find this post in 5 years when Facebook actually is worth 15b and tell me I’m wrong :)

John-Daniel Trask

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 157 user reviews.

23 January 2008 in .Net & Mindscape & Windows | Comments (0)

Mindscape WPF PropertyGrid

Nothing better than starting off a new year by releasing a new product to help developers create better software. We announced on the Mindscape blog that the WPF Property Grid is now available to download, trial and purchase. The trial includes many samples that go into detail on creating new styles for the grid which is important as one of the benefits of being based on WPF is the ability to create any style that you can think of.

Ivan has posted a a blog article about using custom editors with the Mindscape WPF Property Grid – I’d urge anyone interested in it to download the trial and then check out his article. Pass your eye over the help documentation as well as it’s much more than just a boring API reference!

Check it out at:

I would love to hear any feedback about WPF Property Grid from any developers leveraging WPF (even if you’re not, what would you love to see in WPF?).

– JD

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 255 user reviews.

8 September 2007 in .Net & Code & Windows | Comments (2)

I’m posting this because it escaped my attention initially and I’ve been meaning to post it for any other WPF developers out there who have issues with their bindings.

Whenever doing WPF development make sure that you pay attention to the “output” pane in Visual Studio (or better yet, drag the pane to a second monitor while running the application). Here you will see any errors that are occurring with your WPF bindings. You may even spot some you didn’t know were having problems.

Anybody working with WPF will be using the rich binding capabilities and I’m sure, like me, you get annoyed when things just seem to fail silently behind the scenes. Now you can see what’s really going on.

Hope that helps,

John-Daniel Trask

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 175 user reviews.

8 September 2007 in Apple & Microsoft & Windows | Comments (10)

This may come as a shock to those of you who were closest to me. I thought I had done a good job of hiding my desires from those around me. I have spent so much time in denial but, finally, I couldn’t control “the urge”.

On Monday I bought a Mac. A 15″ Mac Book Pro to be precise.

To my amazement it arrived (from Australia) before lunch the following day. That sort of service is just outstanding given I only placed the order at about 4pm on Monday. Don’t be concerned, this is not the start of gushing about Apple and showing myself to be a Mac fanboy – more that I’m impressed with TNT’s global logistics. I haven’t had anything delivered directly by TNT before but I am seriously impressed.

I have always been quite anti the idea of owning a mac however those long time readers may recall I made more than a few posts when Apple shifted to the Intel chips and opened up the opportunity of running Windows on Apple brand machines. This is precisely the reason I elected to buy an apple machine, I get the following:

  • I can run windows and continue doing .NET development
  • I can run OS X and be able to dig into the Unix base of it
  • I can now run whatever application is best for the job, irrespective of the target platform

I kicked off with a boot camp partition and then directed Parallels at the partition. This was easy enough however I wished the boot camp assistant would have let me select more than 32GB for the Windows partition. Parallels had a few issues though in terms of usability. Andrew had been trying out VMWare fusion so I’ve since installed that and had everything running nicely.

There were a few things that just annoyed me with how Apple have done things compared to how things are done in the Windows world. My main gripe was the mouse, it’s like the cursor is stuck in the mud to me. The suggestion was made that I should just boost the speed so I tried that and it was slightly better however something was still missing. I did some digging and it appears “sensitivity” was my issue (mainly in that I appear to be sensitive to it not being sensitive enough to my needs :) ). Steermouse is an application that provides the ability to alter the sensitivity of the mouse and, along with the speed adjustments, I’m now using a mouse the way it should be used.

Overall I’m still testing to see if I’ll continue to host Windows on top of OS X as I’m still very much on the fence. I’ll make a follow up post in a week or so covering how I’m finding it. Any way you cut it, Apple make kick ass hardware.

John-Daniel Trask

P.S. 4+ hours of battery life is just phenomenal compared to be previous laptops!

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 259 user reviews.

31 July 2007 in Windows | Comments (4)

Admittedly this is a frustration induced post but seriously, how can the connectivity story in Vista have so many issues? I work on several networks:

  • Work, wireless
  • Home, wireless
  • Home, wired
  • Cafe net occassionally
  • VPN to work from home

At the moment, no matter what I do I cannot get the VPN connection to realise that there is an active internet connection. I can be connected over wireless or jacked right into the network and still no-go. Even though the icon in the system tray has the little world icon denoting that I have an active internet connection, the actual “connect to network” dialog begs to differ.

This happens somewhat often based on disconnecting from one network and connecting to another. Even disabling my wireless connection and re-enabling it doesn’t seem to be enough to fool that dialog to want to let me connect. I’m effectively being forced to restart my machine to connect to the VPN.

Windows Vista Connect To Network Dialog

I eventually found a work around on the web here. I’m really looking forward to Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista.

– JD

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 176 user reviews.

18 July 2007 in Business & Mindscape & Windows | Comments (4)

I’ve been a bit quiet lately with so much going on with Mindscape and life in general. The good news is that we have recently elected to expand our team to help ensure we continue to deliver (if you are interested check out the position information here).

I’ll be delivering two lunch time sessions at TechEd this year, one regarding unit testing and another about how to get up and running with BackgroundMotion. I’ve been to TechEd for the last two years and it has been fantastic and I think it will be the same this year. Unfortunately the tickets are already sold out but I’d love to catch up with anyone who follows my blog that lives further afield that Wellington :)

I’ve been up to my elbows in WPF recently and look forward to posting some of the things I’ve discovered on here soon (as a side note, Expression Blend is possibly the best V1 product I’ve ever used, it’s fantastic!).

More posts to come,

– JD

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 181 user reviews.

29 June 2007 in Blogging & Windows | Comments (0)

While at Remix I met up with a fellow Kiwi, Nas, who works at Infinity here in Wellington. Certainly a cool person, she is trying to help move the WPF & Silverlight community in New Zealand forward, about time I say! I’ve been a little underwhelmed with what people have done so far with WPF especially given the power it provides. We use WPF a bit at Mindscape however I don’t often blog about it as I don’t consider myself a designer and would likely just put egg on my face by trying to show what I’ve built!

Nas has setup her first blog ( and she’s going to be posting about what she’s doing and about the community in general. Worth keeping an eye on if you’re interesting in WPF/Silverlight.

Also check out TheWPFBlog by Lee, fantastic resource and really friendly guy that was speaking at ReMix (also Nas’s personal hero – never seen somebody act like they were meeting the Queen before).

Anyway, just thought I would share mention of her site to try and stimulate some interest in some of these cooler yet under-utilised bits of the Microsoft stack.

UPDATE: Looks like she picked a dodgy provider (bluehost) who terminated her account and wants her to fax copies of her credit cards etc to them to un-terminate it. She’s in the process of moving to a new provider so it will be a couple of days until she’s back. Talk about hard luck and shit service from bluehost.

– JD

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 170 user reviews.

4 April 2007 in Code & Microsoft & Mindscape & Windows | Comments (0)

Mindscape PowerShell Gadget

Andrew here at Mindscape has just put the finishing touches on his first version of a PowerShell Gadget for the Windows Vista SideBar. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to have a play with it while he’s been developing it and personally I think it’s pretty damn cool. I’m always firing up PowerShell for little commands here and there so by integrating PowerShell into the SideBar I no longer have to switch away from what I’m doing for too long.

Click here to see a screen shot of the Gadget in use

If you’re interested in checking this project out and downloading the gadget, check out the Mindscape blog post about it.

- JD

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 230 user reviews.