Creative Suite Giveaway

Well, the time has come again! Time for my wife and I to start training for the MS150 charity ride here in NE Florida. If you’re not familiar with the event, you can get more details here. Its basically a charity fundraiser bike ride from St. Augustine, FL to Daytona Beach, FL covering 150 miles in 2 days. My wife and I rode this for the first time last year and we had an absolute blast! It was hard work but the feeling of accomplishment crossing that finish line was second to none. And knowing we were raising money for the MS Society made it that much more special.

Last year, Adobe was generous enough to donate a copy of ColdFusion Builder for me to give away to one lucky randomly selected person that donated to my charity ride. This was greatly appreciated and helped me to raise over $500 for the MS Society!

This year however, is the 25th Anniversary of the event here in Jacksonville so I wanted to really up the stakes as well as my goal. So I have set a goal of raising $1000 this year. And to help out with that, the fine folks at Adobe have once again stepped up to help me out. They have donated one license to ANY of the Creative Suite 5.5 products with the exception of Master Suite! That includes CS5.5 Design Premium, CS5.5 Design Standard,  CS5.5 Web Premium or CS5.5 Production Premium. Your choice! Hows that for incentive?!

But, not stopping there, I have a CS 5.1 Master Collection license that Im also going to throw into the ring! Keep in mind these are digital distributions so I will provide you with the license and you will download the software from Adobe’s website.

So here’s how this works. Im going to run the contest basically the same way I did last year. You can donate to my ride online at the MS150 website. In the notes field, enter an email address that I can reach you when submitting your donation. Donate any amount you wish, but for each $5.00 dollars that you donate, you will get one entry into the drawing. So a $20 donation would get you 4 entries into the drawing. Please remember to enter your name as well so I know who you are.

The day before the ride, Friday September 30th, I will be doing the random drawings. The first winner chosen will get his choice of either the CS5.1 Master Collection license OR one of the CS5.5 Suites listed above. The second winner chosen will get the other license.

Thanks again to Adobe for their generosity and thanks in advance to all of you for your support!

My personal progress page
My donation page 

ColdFusion Builder Contest Update

With the ride coming up this weekend, Im having to adjust my schedule somewhat. I will not be around at all on Friday to do the drawing so Im going to move the deadline and drawing up to today. If you are interested in a chance to win a copy of ColdFusion Builder, you have until 2pm EST to enter. I will be doing the drawing shortly after 2pm EST and announcing the winner here and on Twitter.
You can donate to the ride here, and remember, you get one entry in the contest drawing for each $5.00 that you donate.
A few updates on the progress of fundraising for the ride. So far, I have raised $558 dollars for the National MS Society. I havent reached my goal but $1000 might have been pretty ambitious for my first year. I received an email update from the North Florida MS chapter that is holding the ride yesterday and so far we have over 2300 riders and have raised over $1M dollars for MS from this one ride! Thats amazing!
The weather doesnt look like its going to hold out this weekend so I may end up riding 150 miles in the rain, but no matter. My goal is to finish it no matter what!
If you are interested in seeing the routes we will be riding this weekend. Here are links to day 1 and day 2.
Day 1
Day 2
Thanks for all of you help and support!

ColdFusion Builder Contest Winner

Let me start by saying how thankful I am to be a part of this community. I want to thank everyone who sponsored my ride for the National MS Society as well as all of you who blogged about the contest and sent out re-tweets, etc. Thanks so much again to Adam Lehman and Adobe for donating the copy of ColdFusion Builder for me to give away to help in my fundraising efforts! I raised a total of $558 for the MS Society which for my first time riding in this event I think is awesome!
So after the random drawing, the winner is:
Jeff Borisch!!
Congratulations Jeff! I will be contacting you via email with the information on your ColdFusion Builder license.
Thanks again to everyone for your support!
The ride is this weekend and I will be posting updates to Twitter and Facebook about every 10 miles using my CycleComputer software so feel free to follow along if you dont have anything better to do.
 

My Take On The iPad

Yeah it sure created a stir alright, with Fanboys and haters alike! It seems the iPad is certainly dividing camps and Im not really sure why. Yeah I have to admit I was watching the live blogs during the event as I always do. Anticipating something that would be revolutionary. I have to admit though, my expectations were not super high. I have never been interested in a tablet PC. I owned a netbook for 2 months and hated the damn thing with a passion. So I was just watching hoping for something that would allow me to browse the internet while sitting on the couch without unhooking everything from my Macbook Pro in the office.
After seeing it, I thought like alot of people, “its just a big iPod Touch”. But after seeing the iWork demos, I started to think bigger. I still wasnt sold yet. Here are a few of my initial gripes, notice I said initial because after thinking on it a few days, some of them have changed.
Cons:

  1. No iSight camera
  2. Runs the iPhone OS, really?
  3. $130 upcharge for 3G
  4. No Flash support
Now after thinking on this for a few days and reading plenty of other gripes about the iPad, I have changed my feelings on at least 2 of these.
First, I thought the idea of running the iPhone OS was just rediculous. How could a tablet be functional without a real operating system? How could I get any work done on it if I cant run Textmate or any of my other applications. But I started to realize, its not meant for work. Its not meant for people like us (developers) to replace our work machines. Steve Jobs stated at the beginning of his presentation that the device was to fit between the iPod and the laptop. Not replace the laptop. And given the fact that there are what, 7 million iPhone and iPod touch owners it just makes sense given the amount of apps out there already.
I think this move will make the iPad more accessible to more people this way. Again, this thing wasnt aimed at being our mobile development platform!
As far as no flash support, I know there are alot of people screaming about that right now and I admit every time I try to visit a flash enabled site on my iPhone Im further annoyed. However, let me make this point. Every time I load a page on the web that uses Flash, the CPU on my Macbook Pro spins up to 80% – 90% until I browse away from the page. I know Im not the only one since I have seen a few others ask about this on Twitter as well. Now if Flash Player does that to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo processor, whats it going to do to a 1GHz processor? Not to mention the battery power it would consume. I certainly wouldnt want this happening on my iPhone.
Now Im not saying any of that is the reason for lack of Flash support. There are even posts on MacRumors as well as a few others stating that Flash may be enabled on the iPad. None of us will know before 60 days unless Apple publicly states otherwise.
I will buy one. My kids are going crazy for the thing. However I learned a lesson from being an early adopter of the iPhone. I will not spend the big bucks for the high end model. Not yet. I will buy the cheaper one without 3G so we can play games on it and browse the web from the living room. But I suspect that we will see a second version following this one that will have the camera and alot of the other things people are complaining that is missing.
I think as being tech people though, we look at things from a skewed perspective. And thats the biggest reason that the iPad seems lacking at this point.

Pre-Conference Training at cf.Objective() 2010

If you are planning to attend cf.Objective() this year, you really should consider checking out some of the pre-conference training sessions. There are one and two day sessions listed and the trainers are all top-notch! Here is a list of the sessions that have been announced.
 
Building Secure CFML Applications (April 21) – Jason Dean and Pete Freitag
Coldbox:100 Training (April 21) – Luis Majano
Developing Applications with ColdFusion 9 Object Relational Mapping (ORM) (April 20-21) – Bob Silverberg and Mark Mandel
Getting Started with Flex and AIR Development with the Flex SDK (April 21) – John Mason
Mach-II and OOP from the Ground Up (April 20-21) – Kurt Weirsma, Peter Farrell and Matt Woodward
Rapid Development with Model-Glue 3 (April 20-21) – Dan Wilson and Ezra Parker
 

Accepted into the Adobe Community Professionals

I found out last night that I have been accepted into the newly renamed Adobe Community Professionals program. I am truly humbled to have made the list especially given some of the names on this years list!  The program used to be known as the Adobe Community Experts but was renamed this year due to some naming conflicts internal to Adobe.
So along with my work on several open-source ColdFusion applications, maintaining and adding new features to WorkingWithCFML.com, and being active on the CFWheels mailing list, I better get back to blogging regularly as well. I have been so busy with things in both work and personal life that I havent really had the time or motivation to keep blogging over the the last several months. So Im looking at finishing several posts that I started last year as well as continuing forward in 2010.
After 11 years of developing ColdFusion applications, I think this year is going to be one of the best ever!

Announcing WorkingWithCFML.com

Although there are many downsides to being unemployed, there are a few upsides to it as well. One of which is that you have a TON of time to play with code and learn new things. After almost 3 months between projects now, I started getting the fever to launch something. So I was playing around with CFWheels at that time and decided to throw something together.
The result is WorkingWithCFML.com. Its not nearly feature complete, but I wanted to get something out there and start playing around. Its basically a site that allows CFML developers to create profiles, recommend other developers, etc. The idea is not mine, Most of the functionality is heavily “borrowed” from the Rails site workingwithrails.com. I just thought it would be a cool project and wanted to see how much i could get done with Wheels.
Currently I have around 45 man hours in the site, that includes bug-fixing the last couple days. Its running on the latest version of Railo 3.1.0.026 and was written with version 0.9.3 of CFWheels
If you are so inclined, create profile and share. If you happen to run into any issues, or if you can think of a feature that you would like added, please let me know. Afterall, I dont have much else to do right now. 😉

Where are all the ColdFusion SaaS Apps?

Since I have been “between projects” for the last 7 weeks or so, I have been spending most of my time working on some open source stuff and surfing the web. Trying to keep up with all of the happenings in the CFML community. One thing Im noticing a major lack of is SaaS (Software as a Service) applications focused toward CFML developers.
In a community such as the Rails community, there are tons of SaaS apps focused on helping the Rails developer community. Things like wireframe tools, rapid prototyping tools, bug trackers, project management apps. All applications built and aimed primarily at the Rails developer community.
It made me start wondering why there were really no applications like that in our community. Would the CFML community not support such an effort? Are we so used to just using the freely available tools written in other languages and settling for that?
Just yesterday I saw a ColdFusion developer (I wont mention his name but he is pretty well known in the community) mention on Twitter that he was considering purchasing a project management/bug tracking tool that was written in PHP. I would be curious to know how many CFML developers are paying for those services right now. Using an application written in Rails or something else besides CFML.
What do you think? In your opinion, would the CFML community support such an undertaking if the app was good enough?
Do you know of any CFML SaaS applications on the web now? Let me know about them. Im interested in checking some out!

CFConversations 19 Framework Discussion

Brian Meloche has released Episode 19 of his CFConversations podcast today. Its the first part of 2 on a really good frameworks discussion. I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in this episode as a representative of ColdBox. I havent had a chance to listen to the final edited version yet but Im worried I came off sounding like an idiot. I was so nervous during the recording my stomach was in knots. So Im afraid I didnt represent ColdBox as well as I would have liked but Im sure Luis will do a better job when he finally gets to do an interview with Brian.
Head over and check it out. Part 2 should be released once the editing is done.
Thanks to Brian for inviting me join in on the podcast thanks to all of the guys for such a great discussion following the recording of the podcast as well.