Spam Male

§ February 6, 2013 11:33 by beefarino |

spammaleI was walking my dog this morning, mulling over the kerfuffle on the interwebs lately about the overly sexual behavior of men at tech conferences, and I came to a realization.

These guys are spammers.  They’re Spam Male.

There is no better description – think about it:

  • their goal is singular and self-serving;
  • their lack of creativity and intellect makes it statistically improbable that they will achieve their goal;
  • ergo, they must throw themselves on as many instances as possible in the hopes that someone, some day, will prove the exception and help them achieve their goal.

Spam Male has a lot in common with Spam Mail.  No one really wants it around, it gets marginalized and ignored, and eventually, it’ll get rooted out and sent to a special place where no one will ever pay any attention to it again.  I’m working on that last piece, by the way – and not just for Spam Males, but any community spammer who takes it upon themselves to ruin a good thing for everyone.  A proof of concept is in the works, and with some support I think I’ll have something working in short order.

And truth be told it isn’t just the men – I know women who act completely inappropriate at these things too.  But mostly it’s men.

The Sex Part

All humor aside, let me put something out there that will probably not go over well with my fellow men:

Sex isn’t that important to me.  I have better things to do and better ways to form relationships.  Because I’m a fucking adult.

Sure I love sex – it’s fun and helps me feel close to my spouse and relieves stress, but it’s not something I live for.  I don’t put it on the calendar or keep a tally to make sure I’m getting it.  And it’s certainly not something I’ve ever wanted to do with someone on a whim.

I’m sure part of this is age – I turn the big 4-0 in a month – but to be perfectly honest sex hasn’t been an all-the-time-on-the-brain thing with me. since I was … what … 16?  Guys supposedly think about sex every few seconds; I can’t say that isn’t true, but I can also attest that it doesn’t take much to get past those thoughts and act like a decent human being. 

Yeah, it really isn’t difficult to not act like a booby-coveting 16-year-old mouth-breather around my female peers.  In fact, I’m doing it now.  See?  Easy.

The People Part

As I write this my brain is throwing back memories of my own juvenile behavior – much of it as recent as last summer.  The difference between me and Spam Male?  My behavior is focused squarely at me.  I might make myself look like an ass, but I would be mortified if I made someone else uncomfortable.  In any fashion.

And of course I have done so in the past – more times than I care to admit or remember - and I’ve apologized.

Because I’m a decent person.  And that’s what people do.  They make mistakes and make amends and learn and move on and get forgiven and do the forgiving.

The thing about people – they’re people, first and foremost.


The Difference Between ~ and $home

§ February 4, 2013 10:08 by beefarino |

I keep getting burned by this one – hopefully writing this post will cement this dichotomy into my brain for the foreseeable future…

In PowerShell, there is a big difference between the “~” path shortcut and the value of the $home automatic variable:

  • “~” is a shortcut to the home path for the PowerShell provider backing the current location.  In other words, the value of “~” changes depending on what type of drive you’re currently working (e.g., File System, registry, etc).
  • $home is set to the user’s home directory; e.g.: C:\users\yourusername or whatever your corporate overseers want it to be.  $home never changes.

I keep using ~ when I mean to use $home.  Why?  Because ~ in Linux is the semantic equivalent to $home in PowerShell.  PowerShell got it close, but not quite “right.”  Consider:

~ and $home are identical if you’re working on a file system drive.  For example:

PS C:\> resolve-path ~


PS C:\> $home

When you move to a drive for a different provider, the value of ~ changes, usually to an undefined value:

PS C:\> cd cert:
PS cert:\> resolve-path ~
Resolve-Path : Home location for this provider is not set. To set the home location, call
"(get-psprovider 'Certificate').Home = 'path'".
At line:1 char:13
+ resolve-path <<<< ~
+ CategoryInfo : InvalidOperation: (:) [Resolve-Path], PSInvalidOperationEx
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : InvalidOperation,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.ResolvePath

In fact, the only core PowerShell provider that defines a value for ~ is the file system provider:

PS C:\> get-psprovider | where {$_.home}

Name                 Capabilities                       Drives
----                 ------------                       ------
FileSystem           Filter, ShouldProcess              {C, D}

PS C:\>

In that respect, using ~ in scripts is fairly fragile unless you set-location to a file system path first.  $home is a better choice since it’s an absolute path.

StudioShell Update and a Related Effort

§ January 27, 2013 18:05 by beefarino |

Software and computing_Console_128I’m prepping a release of StudioShell by the end of January.  This release will include overdue support for Visual Studio 2012, and contain a ton of small fixes (and a few rather large ones).

As I wrap up this 1.5 beta release, I'm vacillating with certain new features I'm not sure everyone would want.  For instance, in my local StudioShell profile script, I've added menu items for projects, code elements, and files that allow me to quickly mount the studioshell prompt to that location.  E.g., right-click on a class, select "Mount this Class", and StudioShell magically does a push-location to the class location in the code model tree.  Similarly, right-click on the class, select “Mount this File Location,” and StudioShell changes location to the file system folder containing the code file.

There’s a ton of these little things floating about.  While these are useful, I don't think they necessarily need to be made a part of StudioShell.  I think they deserve their own place in the community.  So I’m creating a new StudioShell.Contrib project to collect these little helpers.  I’m not sure where this project will be hosted yet – either alongside StudioShell on CodePlex or perhaps on GitHub - your input is welcome.

UserVoice: PowerShell as a Project File Format

§ January 12, 2013 13:03 by beefarino |

I found an existing suggestion on uservoice that closely mirrors my previous post about using PowerShell as a Visual Studio project and build scripting platform.

Since my post has raised a lot of voices, I thought I’d share the link to this suggestion so  readers would be able to vote the suggestion up:

So if you agree, please spend some votes on this suggestion, and thank you!