Just a Blog by Just Rhianna

Archive for the ‘Adventures’ Category

Breakfast in DC

So I never made it to Huntsville last night as US Airways cancelled my flight due to weather effecting the plane that was to be mine. It is very annoying to have this happen when there was no weather to speak of in DC or Alabama.

Because the deed the cause am act of God, US Airways refuses to puts and other passengers up in a hotel. I will definitely be sending them my bill.

On the upside they gave me a discount code for the Renaissance hotel in Arlington and it is just gorgeous. As we speak I am enjoying my breakfast Chesapeake eggs Benedict with lump crab instead of Canadian bacon. I opted for fruit instead of Yukon gold potatoes to keep it more light.

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Next I will be heading back to the airport to try to get to Huntsville in time to take my clients out to dinner.

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NEMO in Long Island

Lots and lots of snow. 2.5 hours for 3 adults to shovel snow that was 23 inches deep.

My three boys had a blast. My ankle that I had surgery on back in may is currently cursing me along with the rest of my body.

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SDKs, @DevExpress and Nostalgia

I was on the hunt today in full research mode. There are few things that please me more than solving problems. I live for this my geekiness gravitates towards unsolvable problems that others would run from, whether that be in my personal life or work life the harder to solve the more blissful.

My mentor and dear friend Edward J. Bleser at Brookhaven Laboratory when I was a mere geek in teen clothing enlightened me on this. I am sure I have mentioned it before on this blog but it has held true for me since that first summer as a high school student doing a research internship. Ed said to me, “Now Rhianna, you see we don’t know the answer. This world wide web is new and like everything scientific we just need to keep searching for answers….(or something to that effect it was almost 20 years ago now that he said this to me.) ..you are here so that we can put you in a round, dark room without any windows, doors or tools except your mind to find your way out!”

As you might imagine this both frightened and intrigued me a 16 year old girl being given the knowledge that it didn’t matter how I solved problems they gave me as long as I made it work. And so this is what I have been doing in my career and life in general since.

Back to today, a colleague of mine a senior developer on my team was desperate to find a solution to a request a client made. He found a fantastic solution indeed a set of controls to use in C# that would grant any GUI (graphical user interface) wishes the client could ever have, drag and drop, inline editing, .docx formatting and much more. Unfortunately the dream controls came with a hefty price tag that just could not be justified considering our current need though I must say I will be keeping that URL in my favorites filed under DREAM TOOLS. I guess I will share it with you since I really do plan on researching into this product much more thoroughly when I have the time: http://www.devexpress.com/Subscriptions/DXperience/WhatsNew2012v1/index.xml?page=38 you can also find them on twitter: @DevExpress http://twitter.com/devexpress

If only they would sell me the one control instead of the whole package I would be a very happy geek.

The FREE solution I found that will require lots of coding for my cronie but will help us meet the client requirements in the end is the Open XML SDK 2.0 http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/hh181052 you can download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=5124

It’s been a long day of conference calls, mentoring, coding, and bruised knees. Time to unwind to some tunes on Pandora, make macaroni and cheese for the kids, have a Guinness, do some laundry and maybe play a little World of Warcraft.

OK I forgive you IE temporarily even though I was only using you because I was testing to see how something looked to make sure my firefox/chrome optimized page for work didn’t get broken by your poor CSS choices and it was really word press that I have to thank for saving my precious post as a draft!

Post Summit Madness

Where to Begin?

I think the best way to start is to overload you with lots of youtube videos and links to breakout sessions!

Day 1 (Look for Stuart and I running the SCBS booth at about 3 minutes 12 seconds):

Day 2

The future of CX – featuring Tomas the coolest Brand VP I have ever met (Ok so maybe he is the only one I ever met but it doesn’t change my opinion of him) We had some good chats at the EMEA Summit.

The RightNow PGX APP– Very cool App had some bugs involving issues with connecting via twitter and people checking in at trees but by the time I got to the EMEA Summit I was ready to shake off my 7th place finish in the US and take Wales on! A little birdy told me over drinks that my scores were so much higher than everyone elses in EMEA that they were actually validated to make sure I wasn’t cheating. In the end the irony of it all was not only did they give away a much cooler gift in EMEA than they did in US but I won it and it was a D3100 DSLR kit with two lenses compliments of Nikon my old pals!

SCBS had a great presence at both summits and Stuart spoke during the keynote in the US, at two breakouts and our Mobile Apps were featured in a third breakout as well as shown in the RightNow booth at the partner pavilion.

Watch the Keynote featuring Stuart speaking about SCBS’s work with Compassion UK: http://www.rightnow.com/resource-video-ceo-address-summit-2011.php

Break out slides on Innovation: CX Innovation Story: Learn How a Leader Is Innovating on RightNow CX

Break out slides on Unified Desktop: Unified Agent Desktop: Good Customer Experiences Require Optimal Agent Experiences

Break out slides on Mobile Apps: CX Mobility: Learn How to Develop Consumer Experiences in a Mobile Generation

All in all a very successful couple of weeks!

The Lost Summit Post

Found this on my laptop today when I was organizing some files. Thought I had posted it but apparently it never made it. So here goes still need to write up a porper post summit review:

Started the day on a pleasant note. Packed the Odyssey for my trip to Colorado and the family drove me to the airport. The kids are spending quality time with the husband by spending the day at the ZOO while I endure a 12 hour jaunt to Denver. Things would have been so much easier if scheduling conflicts didn’t force me to take American Airlines instead of my original plan of a straight shot to Denver via JFK on Jet Blue. The whole American Airlines thing is simply ludicrous. I had to fly from Laguardia to Miami in order to the fly north to Denver. What is wrong with this picture AA? Seems like a huge waste of fuel. The only other option was NY to Fort Worth and then Denver but that flight didn’t gel well with my travelling partner who is coming across the pond. His travel time is the same is mine and he is coming all the way from Heathrow!

The good news is the flights have been pleasant with very little turbulence and we left on time. In Miami I had 2 hours to kill so I found a place to eat which was actually quite yummy a little sushi place called Sushi Maki in concourse D near gate 29. I would definitely eat there again.

Sitting next to the window trapped with another passenger next to a man on the aisle seat with very bad body order. I nearly gagged a when I yawned it was so pungent. Only about an hour left until we touch down, it won’t be soon enough.
Really looking forward to seeing what the response is to the two Mobile apps we will be demoing as well as how folks I know will react to the news that I am no longer at Nikon and am now working for RightNow partner SCBS. Hopefully it will only mean good things and they will be excited to work with me? I guess I will update you post-summit as I am sure to be extremely busy manning our booth.

The path to the Summit!

Started the day on a pleasant note. Packed the Odyssey for my trip to Colorado and the family drove me to the airport. The kids are spending quality time with the husband by spending the day at the ZOO while I endure a 12 hour jaunt to Denver. Things would have been so much easier if scheduling conflicts didn’t force me to take American Airlines instead of my original plan of a straight shot to Denver via JFK on Jet Blue. The whole American Airlines thing is simply ludicrous. I had to fly from Laguardia to Miami in order to the fly north to Denver. What is wrong with this picture AA? Seems like a huge waste of fuel. The only other option was NY to Fort Worth and then Denver but that  flight didn’t gel well with my travelling partner who is coming across the pond. His travel time is the same is mine and he is coming all the way from Heathrow!

 

The good news is the flights have been pleasant with very little turbulence and we left on time. In Miami I had 2 hours to kill so I found a place to eat which was actually quite yummy a little sushi place called Sushi Maki in concourse D near gate 29. I would definitely eat there again.

Sitting next to the window trapped with another passenger next to a man on the aisle seat with very bad body order. I nearly gagged a when I yawned it was so pungent. Only about an hour left until we touch down, it won’t be soon enough.

Really looking forward to seeing what the response is two the two Mobile apps we will be demoing is as well as how folks I know will react to the news that I am no longer at Nikon and am now working for partner SCBS. Hopefully it will only mean good things and they will be excited to work with me? I guess I will update you post-summit as I am sure to be extremely busy manning our booth.

Red Bull Rant, Lightning Strikes and Merlin!

The other night I was up late working on my 101 project and I got a call from my friend who lives with us. Apparently lightning had struck a switching station near Jamaica Queens and all trains out to our house were suspended. There was however limited trains running to Ronkonkoma so I told him I would pick him up once he arrived.

While I waited for him to call back I had a CSS break through and got a fair amount of progress made on my project. I was happy and wired all at the same time!

I made this video while driving to get him:

Tonight was the season finale of Doctor WHO?!!!!!!  I loved it! (No I haven’t relocated to UK but my IP did. *wink*)

Next up was the season premiere of Merlin! Exciting indeed. The oly issue is while it has been away I have watched camelot on Starz and  when I see this Morganna I keep seeing the one from the Starz series. I like them both for different reasons but the BBC series brings out the SCI-FI, D&D playing GEEK in me more than the more mature Camelot. Here is to a promising new season!