# Thursday, January 20, 2005

Today Indonesia increased the number dead in their country alone to over 160,000, which brings the total amount dead so far from the Tsunami to over 220,000.  The devastation is unimaginable. That is why Julia Lerman has been organizing a lot of efforts for a local charity. She approached me a week or two ago and wanted to try to organize a .NET Celebrity Auction on eBay where all proceeds go to a local charity. After a lot of hard work, we are about to make this happen.   

So that is why a bunch of us are going to auction an hour each of our consulting time to benefit the Tsunami victims of Banda AcehALL of the money will go to help the victims.

Within the next 48 hours the auction will appear on eBay. It will be a single “multibe item“ auciton where the 26 higest bidders pay their higest bid amount. The higest payers get to choose who they get the hour of time with (I am sure I will go second to last, Clemens will be last. )

The link to the auction will be here shortly, we are still working on the legal paperwork with eBay. Bookmark this post as I will put the link here and the start date as soon as we have it!

Here are the participants:

Michelle Leroux Bustamante, Kimberly L. Tripp, Jonathan Goodyear, Andrew Brust, Richard Campbell, Adam Cogan, Malek Kemmou, Jackie Goldstein, Ted Neward, Kathleen Dollard, Hector M Obregon, Patrick Hynds, Fernando Guerrero, Kate Gregory, Joel Semeniuk, Scott Hanselman, Barry Gervin, Clemens Vasters, Jorge Oblitas, Stephen Forte, Jeffrey Richter, John Robbins, Jeff Prosise, Deborah Kurata, Goksin Bakir, Edgar Sánchez, Thomas Lee, J. Michael Palermo IV, Vishwas Lele, and John Lam.


Who will this auction benefit?

In the long run, the auction is to benefit the people of Aceh Province , Sumatra , who have had their island destroyed and lost nearly 100,000 of their people. The waves may be gone, but the devastation continues and the fear of many more dying from disease continues.

We are trying to help, by assisting Aceh Aid at IDEP, an organization that is local and doing amazing work.

There is an area on their website devoted to this work: http://www.idepfoundation.org/aceh_aid.html. (www.AcehAid.org will take you right to this page). I recommend that if you are interested in knowing who you are doing this for, you go peruse that website, read the updates, read about the volunteer search, etc.


IDEP is a small, Indonesian NGO, based in Ubud, Bali . Completed projects over the years have included community based development, sustainable living initiatives, permaculture training, waste management, organic gardens, recycling, etc. The focus is on helping people to help themselves. IDEP's founding director, Petra Schneider is a US -born, Indonesian citizen. The demonstrated and reproducible success of IDEP's small projects in local communities has earned the team an excellent reputation.


At the time of the Bali bomb, about two years ago, IDEP was an important element of the network of local NGOs and other supporters that quickly responded to the tragedy, in various ways, not only immediately after the bomb, but during the recovery process for the various communities involved. Following shortly thereafter, IDEP received funding from USAid to create a comprehensive set of disaster management materials for Indonesian communities, aimed at children, families, and local leaders (official and unofficial). The materials are in the Indonesian language and suitable for use in rural and urban settings. These materials, including a booklet for children about Tsunami preparedness, were finished just weeks ago, but had not yet been disseminated to communities. Then the tsunami struck.


Only hours after the news of the tsunami reached Bali, the same network of NGOs and individuals in Bali who had been involved in the relief efforts for the Bali bomb, reanimated and went into action. We started something called the "Aceh Aid Bucket Brigade" (see website), creating and deploying one-family-one-bucket multi-material aid packages from the hands of donors in Bali to the field in Sumatra . We began sending highly skilled volunteers, well-matched to the task within two days of the tsunami (Sam Schultz, Lee Downey, Oded Carmi and others). Our relief, and later, recovery programs in response to the Tsunami are now focused on two fronts. One is direct aid from Medan by road to areas around Banda Aceh. The other is this remarkable joint effort (nothing short of heroic), to the islands off the west coast of Sumatra , which as of yet, have not been receiving aid from any other channels that we know of.

Fine Print:

About the auction: We have 25 amazing consultants and trainers in this auction. Each person has donated one hour of consulting time, to be provided by email or phone (at expense of bidder). The consultant and winner are free to agree upon other arrangements. It will be an Ebay "multi-item" auction where all of the consultants are in the same auction. The top 25 bids will be the winners. The highest bidder will get first choice of which consultant they would like to work with. Payments will be made DIRECTLY to Aceh Aid at IDEP's PayPal account (acehaid@tides.org).

A note about multi-item auctions. Normally and EBay multi-item auction is set up to auction off identical items, such as hammers. Given that they are of equal value, the multi-item auction rules state that the winning bidders would each pay the amount of the lowest winning bid. The .NET Celebrity Auction for Aceh Aid at IDEP will not work this way. Since this is a charity auction, we expect the winning bidders to pay the amount of their final bid. Allowing bidders to select consultants based on their bid rank justifies this, but moreso, the fact that this is a charity auction justifies this.

A note about your tax-deductible contribution. All contributions will be made through a PayPal account that goes to Tides Foundation (www.tidesfoundation.org) which is a  US-based 501c3 non-profit, permitting tax-deductible contributions and supported by many corporate matching programs. Tides Foundation's EIN is 51-0198509. Tides Foundation then forwards the full amount of the donations directly to Aceh Aid at IDEP.

posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 3:14:22 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [8] Trackback
# Monday, January 17, 2005

Yukon has enhanced the SQL Server 2000 FOR XML function. If you want to create element based XML (yay!), FOR XML PATH allows you to specify column aliases that contain valid XPath expressions that will shape your XML output.



ContactID as [@Contact_ID],

FirstName as [ContactName/First],

LastName as [ContactName/Last],

Phone as [ContactPhone/Phone1]

From Person.Contact For XML PATH

Produces output like:
























If you are familiar and comfortable with XPath, there are some additional features to XML PATH you may like. You can use the following XPath node test functions to further control the shape of your XML output:

·        node()

·        text()

·        data()

·        comment()

·        processing-instruction()


posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 1:31:13 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [6] Trackback
# Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The XML Data Type can, just like other data types, conform to Nullability, Defaults and Constraints. If you want to make the field required (NOT NULL) and provide a default value on your XML column, just specify like you would any other column.



   xOrders XML NOT NULL Default '</Orders>'

This insert will work because it is relying on the default:

Insert Into OrdersXML (OrderDocID, xOrders) Values (2, DEFAULT)

The following insert will work, even if we add non <Orders> in our table because we have not declared a constraint on the column:

Insert Into OrdersXML (OrderDocID, xOrders) Values (3, 'steve')

SQL Server 2005 gives you the opportunity to add a constraint. An interesting feature of an XML column is that the CHECK constraint is based on the XML Infoset model using the methods of the XML column. You can use the exist method, which is specific to the XML type, as part of our CHECK constraint to force a particular type of XML element to exist.  In the following example we will drop and recreate the table from scratch (you can use ALTER TABLE as well) adding a default and CHECK CONSTRAINT.

Drop Table OrdersXML

--create the table with the XML Datatype

--using a default value

--also has the check constraints



   xOrders XML NOT NULL Default '<Orders>'

 CONSTRAINT xml_orderconstraint



Now this example from before will fail.

Insert Into OrdersXML (OrderDocID, xOrders) Values (3, 'steve')

When you attempt to insert data that will violate the xml_orderconstraint you get the following error message from SQL Server:

Msg 547, Level 16, State 0, Line 1

INSERT statement conflicted with CHECK constraint

'xml_orderconstraint'. The conflict occurred in database

'AdventureWorks', table 'OrdersXML', column 'xOrders'.

The statement has been terminated.


posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 10:25:06 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [23] Trackback
# Monday, January 10, 2005

The Mets made a spash as did the Jets this weekend, but marathon training is right on schedule, a 5 mile race was ran on Sunday with the usual results (Kathleen beating us). This is the first of 9 races to qualify for the 2006 New York City Marathon. Antarctica marathon is 47 days away...

Last Name

First Name







































posted on Monday, January 10, 2005 5:44:37 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [6] Trackback
# Thursday, January 6, 2005

Since I speak at the SDC in the Netherlands so much (every year since 1997 I think?) I decided to open a cafe in the Netherlands. Here is my buddy Remi Caron after he discovered my cafe.


posted on Thursday, January 6, 2005 5:40:09 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
# Tuesday, January 4, 2005

This is a photo from the USS Abraham Lincoln over the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

posted on Tuesday, January 4, 2005 3:47:10 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [12] Trackback
# Monday, January 3, 2005

When you want to view a web site that has a Quick Time video and you go to Apple.com to download the free Quick Time player for Windows 2000 or XP, you HAVE to install iTunes. What does iTunes have to do with QuickTime? So many move previews are done in QuickTime and Apple knows this. So they are using their dominance in one area to force something else on us. Somebody call the US Justice Department.

Anyway Apple owns the iPod market, but a years worth of iPod sales is equal to 2 weeks of Dell shipments…

posted on Monday, January 3, 2005 4:42:21 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [16] Trackback
# Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Osama bin Laden formed an official alliance with the Iraqi terrorist Sunni Zarqawi yesterday and urged the minority Sunnis to protest the Jan 30th election in Iraq.

Previously bin Laden (who is a Sunni Muslim) has not been a vocal enemy against the Shiites. Remember Saddam was a minority Sunni kept in power by force and repressed the majority Shiite population. (As well as the minority Kurds.) By forming an official alliance with Zarqawi, bin Laden’s now pitting himself against the Shiite majority. (Like the good Wahhabist he really is.)

So January 30th there will be elections with or without the Sunnis. Osama bin Laden said anyone who will vote is an infidel. Just like in Afghanistan where the radical Sunni Taliban allied with bin Laden are still in their holes protesting the first freely elected leader in Afghanistan’s history, Zarqawi’s Sunni Muslims will just get more radical and blood thirsty with an alliance with bin Laden, boycott elections and live in their holes. Just like in Afghanistan, moderate Sunnis (like the moderate Sunni non Wahhabist Taliban) did not align themselves with terror and wanted to be part of the political process and laid down their arms and formed political opposition parties. Moderate Sunnis will do the same in Iraq. Sure some will stay home, but they know that the majority of the population made up of Kurds and Shiites (both previously gassed by Saddam) would rather die then not vote and will not risk staying out of the process. The Sunnis can see the writing on the wall.

Will Zarqawi’s terror continue? Unfortunately yes. How do we stop them? Hold free elections January 30th and give the people a stake in their government. Zarqawi’s Sunni “insurgent” group is not an “insurgency” but just a radical group of terrorists opposed to democracy-as his alliance with bin Laden now proves. Let’s now call a spade a spade and label his group terrorists. His legitimacy has sunk even lower with moderate Sunnis with the bin Laden alliance. As democracy grows in Iraq over time Zarqawi’s group will diminish. It will take time, maybe years as it did in Afghanistan.

Lastly, we need not worry about Iran, the Shiite power next door. Elected moderate Iraqi Shiites will reject the radical non democratic and non Arab (Iranians are not Arabs, Iraqis are). Moderate Sunnis will come to the forefront and Zarqawi’s Sunni terrorists will eventually be isolated and marginalized, just like the radical Taliban were in Afghanistan. It took only three years in Afghanistan-give Iraq time.

Fast forward 10 years from now. A democratically elected free Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq.

posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 12:16:53 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [16] Trackback