Blah, Blah, Blog The ramblings of a crazed gadget developer. en-us Fri, 24 Mar 2006 15:44:44 GMT RSS.NET: Home Town Girl Does Good <p> Teri Carnright is one of the Remix contest winners. Not to take anything away from her impressive Remix entry, but apparently last week was a slow news week in Chattanooga, TN (her home town). <a href="" target="_blank">This article</a> appeared explaining all about her contest win. Scott Davis from Microsoft and I were also quoted making the two of us only minor celebrities. </p> <p> So the next time you visit Chattanooga, your list of <i>must sees</i> should include one of my favorites the Incline Railway at Lookout Mountain AND Remix winner Teri Carnright. :) </p> <p> *** Update *** Here is Teri's email response to my post. LOL. Way to go Teri! I understand that her article in the Tech/LifeStyle section even appeared above the article titled "New Microchip Advances in the Field of Musketry" ;) </p> <blockquote><q> And Donavon - it was a whole slow WEEK here in Chattanooga - there was a mention of me on the Sunday paper front page, a mention and photo on the Monday front page, and then another mention and photo on the Tue front page, along with a HUGE front page display of photo & article in the Tech/LifeStyle section. </q></blockquote> donavon Fri, 24 Mar 2006 13:53:39 GMT Remix Winners meet at Mix <p>I got a chance to meet the other Remix Mix winners and Scott Davis (the ReMix Mix Master) on Sunday night. T is as cool as she appeared on the mix06 website. Sandra is as quiet as she appeared and just as cool. I understand there are mostly goats and bicycles on her small island in Sweden. Both are very talented individuals. And thanks again Scott for your patience. It was great to have met all of you. </p> <p> <img src="" width="320" height="240" /><br /> Pictured above (L-R): Donavon, Sandra and Teri. </p> <p> *** Update *** Here is <a href="" target="_blank">Teri's blog entry</a>. </p> donavon Wed, 22 Mar 2006 03:36:12 GMT The Remix Mix Contest Winners <p> I just got a call from Microsoft about the <a href="" target="_blank">Remix Mix contest</a>. I WON!!!! You can also read the <a href="" target="_blank">official announcment</a>. The 3 winners are: </p> <ul> <li>Sandra for "<a href="" target="_blank" title="">Mixmas Tree</a>"</li> <li>TCarnright for "<a href="" target="_blank" title="">Retro Vegas</a>"</li> <li>donavon for "<a href="" target="_blank" title="">Mix'86</a>"</li> </ul> <p> Here is a screen shot of my winning entry: </p> <p> <a href="" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="" /></a> </p> <p> I also also told that the judges were impressed with my <a href="">Comix06</a> entry. Two of the judges stated that they had never seen the MS Comics font actually pulled off successfully on a website. :) </p> <p> As I stated in an <a href="" target="_blank">earlier blog entry</a>, the prizes include a ticket to the Mix06 conference, air fare and 3 nights at the Venetian in Las Vegas. PLUS a cool Mix inspired Xbox360 (yes I've won 2 Xboxes in as many months for those of you keeping score :) The first one <a href="" target="_blank">I gave to a local Ronald McDonald house</a>, but I'm keeping this one! </p> <p> <img src="" style="border:solid 1px #dddddd;padding:1px;" /> </p> donavon Tue, 14 Mar 2006 17:52:46 GMT More Xbox Stuff for the Ronald McDonald House <p>Scott Davis of Microsoft heard about <a href="" target="_blank">my Xbox360 donation</a> to my local Ronald McDonald house and wanted to help. Here is what he posted on the <a href="" target="_blank">Mix06 blog site</a> (scroll WAY down in the comments). </p> <blockquote><q>Donavon - Four wireless controllers, 10 games and 4 one-year subscriptions to Xbox Live! are on there way to the Ronald McDonald House in Falls Church with a hat tip to you in the letter. </q></blockquote> <p> Thanks so much Scott for you <i>generous</i> contribution! </p> <p> Maybe I can get a few more people/organizations to send donations? If you wold like to help, please use the address below: </p> <p style="margin-left:20px;"> Ronald McDonald House<br /> 3312 Gallows Road <br /> Falls Church, VA 22042<br /> Phone : 703 698-7080 <br /> Fax : 703 698-7745 </p> <p>or visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Ronald McDonald house website</a> to find a house near you.</p> donavon Tue, 14 Mar 2006 14:13:02 GMT One Last Remix <p>Ok. I couldn't resist submitting one last remix before the contest ends on March 13th. This one is a sequal of sorts to my Mix'86 submission. It is Windows desktop theme and is titled "Bliss06".</p> <p> <a href="" target="_blank"><img border="0" src=" " /> </p> donavon Sat, 11 Mar 2006 15:14:31 GMT A Comic Book Inspired ReMix Mix Entry <p>I decided to take a stab at submitting another entry in Microsoft's ReMix Mix contest. My latest submission is titled Comix06 (as in "comics"). It is a comic book inspired theme and even includes an animated Bill Gates!</p> <p>Again a vote of 5 stars would be appreciated. And leave me your comments as well. I'd love to hear what you think. Click on the image below to view the entry on<p> <a href="" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="" /></a> </p> donavon Mon, 06 Mar 2006 21:36:16 GMT The New Sprint PPC-6700 Phone <p>I have a new phone! I have a new phone! And not just <i>ANY</i> phone, mind you. It's the new PPC-6700 from Sprint. It sports Windows Mobile 5.0, a slide out keyboard and EV-DO broadband data access. <a href=",1895,1870490,00.asp" target="_blank">PC Magazine</a> calls it <i>"The best Windows Mobile PDA/phone we've seen so far"</i>. </p> <p> Now all I need is a PPC version of ;) </p> <p> <img style="border:solid 1px #dddddd;padding:1px;" src=",1425,i=116473,00.jpg" /> </p> donavon Tue, 28 Feb 2006 00:23:28 GMT Mix '86 <p>I entered the Remix MIX contest sponsored by Microsoft. The prize is a trip to Vegas for the Mix.06 convention including air, hotel at the Venetian and admission to the conference. Plus a pimped out Xbox 360.<p> <p>Click on the image below to see my DOS retro inspired Mix '86 entry. Notice that its Lucky 13!</p> <p>I'd appreciate it if you would go vote for it and please be kind and give me 5 stars (cuz I'm such a nice guy).</p> <p> <a href="" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="" /></a> </p> donavon Thu, 16 Feb 2006 20:04:10 GMT XBox Donated to Ronald McDonald House <p> I <a href="" target="_blank">blogged earlier</a> about the fact that I won an Xbox 360 in a contest sponsored by Microsoft. I also stated that I'm not really a game player. I pondered on what I would to with my new prize (I understand that they are fetching a pretty penny on eBay). </p> <p> I finally decided to donate the game box where I felt it could bring some joy to some unfortunate kids and their families: my local Ronald McDonald house. I also tossed in a copy of NBA 2K6 Live, Project Gotham Racing and an extra controller. </p> <p> Here I am with Ronald (left) and Rita (right) from the Fairfax Virginia <a href="" target="_blank">Ronald McDonald house</a>. </p> <img src="" style="border:solid 1px #dddddd;padding:1px;" /> &nbsp; <img src="" style="border:solid 1px #dddddd;padding:1px;" /> donavon Sun, 12 Feb 2006 05:30:59 GMT Pimp my Xbox 360 <p>Microsoft is holding a contest to "remix" the MIX home page (ala CSS Zen). Three winners get a ticket to the MIX conference and a one-of-a-kind, MIX-themed, Xbox 360. <p> <p> Images of the pimped-out Xbox 360s were recently released. I'll post some more pics after I win mine. ;) </p> <img src="" style="border:solid 1px #dddddd;padding:1px;" /> donavon Sun, 12 Feb 2006 04:56:34 GMT Torino 2006 Olympic Medal Count Gadget <p>Cheer on your country and watch their progress at the winter games in Torino Italy with my Torino 2006 gadget. </p> <p> A mash-up of feeds: an images feed overlaid with a current medal count feed. Both courtesy of the friendly folks at MSNBC. </p> <p> Download and comment on the gadget here: <a href="" target="_black"></a> </p> <img src="" /> donavon Sun, 12 Feb 2006 04:25:42 GMT Super Bowl Commercial Gadget <p>Some people watch the game. Some the commercials. I watch both. Just in case you missed them, here is a gadget that will let you view the Super Bowl commercials.</p> <p>There is also a link to the gadget on <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> <img src="" /> Tue, 07 Feb 2006 19:17:17 GMT Remote TV Recording Gadget <p>I've been out at Microsoft's Search Champs v4 for the past 2 days and having a great time meeting some of the people I've read about on the Internet and seeing some cool new Microsoft technologies. Yesterday Sanaz Ahari (of demonstrated a cool new gadget to be released "soon" that will let you control your Windows XP MCE 2005 PC (Media Center Edition) to record television shows. And while I wish I would have written this, I thought is was so cool that it should be posted. I can't share some of the other cool stuff we learned as the bulk of the sessions are under a NDA, but this information and the screen shot was shown in a non-NDA demo session.</p> <!-- <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" width="391" height="293" border="o" /></a> --> Thu, 26 Jan 2006 13:15:42 GMT Interview This could be tagged as "Shameless Self Promotion" but The Hive (one of Microsoft's community sites) today released <a href="" target="_blank">an interview</a> they did with me about gadgets. In it I talk a little about my experience with developing gadgets. It also allowed me to publicly thank Adam, Sanaz, Steve and Kris for their support. Thu, 26 Jan 2006 03:08:26 GMT Search Champs v4 Attendees The list of attendees to Microsoft's Search Champs v4 was announced. Matt Paines is hosting <a href="" target="_blank">the list</a> with links and bios. Returning champs <a href="" target="_blank">Chris Pirillo</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Buzz Bruggeman</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Joe Janes</a> will be there. Thu, 19 Jan 2006 22:10:57 GMT It's In The Stars! <p> I was born in late April so I'm a Taurus. Look what my horoscope said this morning when I loaded it up on my desktop. I'm destined to write gadgets! :) </p> <p> <img src="" style="border:solid 1px #dddddd;padding:1px;" /> </p> Thu, 19 Jan 2006 04:49:28 GMT When it Rains it Pours <p>Look what I just recevied in my inbox a few minutes ago from the administrators of Microsoft's <a href="" target="_blank">The Hive</a> community site:</p> <p> <blockquote><q>You have been selected as a winner in the <a href="" target="_blank">The Hive Gadget Contest</a> for your gadget The Hive Multi-Gadget in the category of creativity... and you will be awarded a Creative Zen Micro Portable Media Center... Congratulations!</q></blockquote> </p> <p> This is the second gadget contest that I've won today! This time it was for my <a href="" target="_blank">The Hive Multi Gadget</a>. <b>Thanks to everyone at Microsoft for this prize</b> and for selecting my gadget as the winner. </p> <p> <img align="middle" src="" style="border:solid 1px #dddddd;padding:1px;" /> <span style="font-size:60px;font-weight:bold;font-family:Arial;padding:0px 30px;"> = </span> <img align="middle" src="" /> </p> Mon, 16 Jan 2006 13:11:13 GMT LiveClock: Best in Show <p> I'm pleased to announce that last night my <a href="" target="_blank">LiveClock gadget</a> (pictured below) was selected as a winner of Microsoft's "<a href="" target="_blank">Build a Gadget for an Xbox 360</a>" contest announced on November 1st of 2005. My entry was chosen as one of three winners from a field of nearly 150 other gadgets. </p> <p> While I'm thrilled to have won, I don't really play video games so I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with it. :) </p> <p> <img align="middle" src="" style="border:solid 1px #dddddd;padding:1px;" /> <span style="font-size:60px;font-weight:bold;font-family:Arial;padding:0px 30px;"> = </span> <img align="middle" src="" width=175" height="162" /> </p> Sat, 14 Jan 2006 21:50:04 GMT Costello: Best in Show <p> I know that this isn't about gadgets, but... Congratulation to <a href="" target="_blank">Costello</a> the Alaskan Malamute for winning Best in Show, Best Owner/Breeder/Trainer and the Viewer's Choice Award at the 2006 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship held this past weekend (Jan 14th and 15th) in Tampa Florida. I owned a Malamute for many years and I can truely say that they are wonderful dogs! </p> <p><img src="" style="border:solid 1px #dddddd;padding:1px;"/></p> Wed, 11 Jan 2006 05:14:00 GMT Microsoft Search Champs <p><img src="" /></p> <p>I'm very excited to have been invited by Microsoft to attend the fourth <a href="" target="_blank">Search Champs</a> to be held on the Redmond campus January 24-26, 2006. I know very little about the event outside of what I have read in these quotes but I'm honored to have received an unsolicited invitation.</p> <blockquote> <p><q>Search Champs is an invite-only event where we bring together a small group of people to start a conversation about the future of Search and Windows Live. In short, we bring you to Redmond, introduce you to the product teams, and host several day and night sessions to give us your feedback and thoughts. Our desire here is to learn how we can do things better and to build connections. We want to be good citizens and provide a face behind the products.</q></p> <p><q>One of the most successful programs was Search Champs, which included about 30 of the world's most influential technology enthusiasts from the field of search. Invited to Microsoft in October, they were given a special in-depth preview of the beta release and encouraged to provide detailed input on how MSN could improve the service, both in the initial release and beyond.</q> -- Quote from MSN Search Launch press release in February of 2005.</p> </blockquote> Fri, 06 Jan 2006 00:10:45 GMT Run Google Modules on <p>I am in development of a gadget that will allow you to run practically any Google Module on It's called "gadget/ig". For more information visit the <a href="" target="_blank">gadget/ig section</a> of my</p> Thu, 29 Dec 2005 02:34:00 GMT Announcing my new Gadget Website <p>I'm pleased to announce the grand opening of my new website: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Stop in, take a look and let me know what you think. I plan on keeping it updated with articles and links to important gadget resources. I also have a Gadget Gallery where I show off some of my gadgets. I think that the Preview button next to each gadget is especially cool the way it pops up over the main screen.</p> <p>The entire site is loaded as one HTML file and used DHTML, CSS and JavaScript/AJAX to change tabs. I also have a back end RSS proxy written in C# (similar to the one used on</p> <p>Enjoy,<br /> donavon </p> Thu, 29 Dec 2005 02:34:00 GMT Gadget Project Template for Visual Web Developer 2005 <p>This article will explain how to install and use the Gadget Project Template that I have written for Visual Web Developer 2005. The template provides the framework to write gadgets more easily and efficiently. It removes the busy work and lets you concentrate on the creative and design aspects of your gadget.</p> Sat, 05 Nov 2005 15:55:00 GMT