Amusing Things on MSDN

So today I was digging around looking for the NotifyIcon class (I couldn’t remember it by name), and stumbled across this beauty in MSDN: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa511448.aspx

Its really nice a nice article on the proper usage of the Windows Nofication Area (aka System Tray). What I do find somewhat disturbing is that they use examples from Windows – both good and bad. Maybe someone should point this out to the Windows team…

On another note, this past week I had no internet at home (at least for part of the week – it had to do with roommates moving out, etc. It’s a mess). This meant that I had to use my wireless USB network adapter to try and latch onto a local unsecured network. With my D-Link USB wireless network adapter, I could usually manage to get two bars, but could never actually manage to connect. If I did manage to connect I was never able to get a decent connection, and my connection would drop within minutes. Now here’s the amusing part: my new cellphone (An HP IPaq 510, for the curious) has WiFi built in. With it, I was able to connect to the same network, no problems. This was while I was sitting in front of the computer that had the wireless network adapter that couldn’t get a connection. So what I found out is that a cellphone, with integrated WiFi was better than my USB wireless network adapter – a device who’s sole purpose was to connect to wireless networks. Sad, really. I don’t plan on buying any D-Link products any time soon. I’m tempted to add it to “Joel’s list of things you should never buy”.

Also, what’s the deal with all the new video cards requiring massive power supplies? I think things are getting a little crazy in that respect, especially with NVidia’s Geforce 280 in triple SLI requiring well over 1000 watts (more like 1500 watts). That’s nuts. I was thinking I might throw a faster card in my current machine, but after learning that the AMD Radeon 4850 requires a separate power cable, I don’t think I will be doing that until I buy a new machine (a purchase which I have decided to delay, at least for a while longer. No sense in buying a new machine when my current one is able to handle most everything I can dish at it, except the occasional game demo).

I also think I may have found a solution to Bell and Telus charging for incoming text messages. (I learned earlier this week that two of the major telecom companies in Canada are going to start charging for incoming text messages). Simple: get the cell phone numbers of a bunch of the VPs and other employees, and start texting them with all sorts of messages (such as “I love you!” or “Hey, what’s going on tonight”). Eventually they might get the hint that paying for incoming messages is a crock of crap. Of course I’d use an email to SMS gateway to do this. There’s no way in heck I’d pay for that much for sending text messages. The telecom companies already have the customers bent over that one. There’s no way in heck a single text message costs $0.15 to $0.25 to actually send, including maintenance of the cellular network, and any other associated costs.

I wish I had the link handy, but someone had done the calculations – sending 45 million text messages (the approximate amount sent in Canada, each day) turned out to be less than 4.6 GB of data. That’s 4.6 GB of data spread across the entire wireless network in Canada. It turned out to be more expensive to send data via text messages than to get data from the hubble space telescope. Go figure.

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