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Vacation! It’s that time of year again. Fourteen days of sunshine is waiting for me in Florida. It’s my first visit to Florida and it’ll be my 13th state with 37 to go.

First stop is Miami for a couple of days. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Miami and I’m looking forward to party like it’s nineteen ninety nine there. After that Fort Lauderdale, then across the state in a rented convertible and doing some snorkelling in the various marine parks all the way down to Everglades. After wrestling with alligators for a day we’re heading down to Key West to relax, party and enjoy some water sports. If time permits we’ve talked about visiting The Bahamas for a couple of days before returning to Miami. Amusement parks doesn’t interest us much, so we aren’t going to Orlando.

The summer is long gone here in Denmark and the whether has been very depressing for the last month or so. Florida will be just what the doctor ordered.

Thinking about it, 2008 has been my most travelled year ever and I’m not done travelling yet. Here’s a recap:

February: Brazil for the carnival (1 month)
March: Fishing in Sweden (2 days)
April: Bachelor party in Poland (2 days)
June: Barcelona (3 days)
September: Florida
October: New York City (4 days)
October: London for the FOWA conference (2 days)

Besides London, all travelling has been vacation. The next problem is figuring out where to go in 2009. My dilemma when choosing a destination is that I also choose not to go everywhere else.

Do you have any suggestions for things to see in Florida?

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I was tag-team wrestled by Keyvan Nayyari and Janko today. They wanted me to take up the challenge of writing about my programming history. Since they are two seriously cool dudes I decided to play along.

How old were you when you started programming?

Eighteen years young.

How did you get started in programming?

Red and white wine. That was my business ten years ago. I ran a small wine import business during college and my wines where so good I drank most of it myself. That’s when I knew I had talent. So I started programming.

What was your first language?

VB 5 or 6 - I don’t remember exactly.

What was the first real program you wrote?

The first version of my Prison Bitch Name Generator, written in VB 6, revolutionized modern English forever. There's an online version of it here made by someone else.

What languages have you used since?

VB.NET, C#, Java, PHP, Action Script, Lingo (this is a weird language) and all web oriented scripting- and mark-up languages.

What was your first professional programming gig?

The Prison Bitch Name Generator never took off commercially so I had to look for other venues. I started a web design business like 3 billion other people did during the IT bubble. My success was limited but I did manage to build about 50 websites and win a design award with one of them (I wasn't the designer but took full credit like the gentleman I am). The first website must have been for a small Norwegian pharmaceutical company located in Oslo if I remember correctly.

If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming?

Definitely yes. It’s the most gratifying, creative and challenging thing and it makes me very happy every day.

What is the one thing you would tell new developers?

Rule #1. Buy the most expensive pair of Ray-Ban’s you can find. You probably look dorky like the rest of us programmers, but with a pair of Ray-Ban’s you look like a rock start. Don’t fall into the trap that any pair of shades will do no matter the price, and take pride in wearing them 24/7/365. 

Rule #2. When a girl ask what you do for a living, lie to her. Here are some good job titles I've had great success with over the years.

  • Pet detective (girls like animals for some reason)
  • Organic chef (girls like organic food for some reason)
  • Hybrid car designer (girls like the environment for some reason)
  • Bestselling novelist (girls like to read for some reason)

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had … programming?

That’s without a doubt when I learned about the semantic web and the process of teaching myself how to implement the various technologies in ASP.NET. It only became more interesting when I learned how to consume, aggregate and do cool things with semantic technologies on the web.

And with those words I’d like to pass the torch to James Avery, Al Nyveldt and John Dyer.

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Last year I was asked to do a tech talk at Microsoft headquarters in Copenhagen about open source and BlogEngine.NET. I said yes of course. The date has been set to this wednesday. It’s a two hour event and it’s free for anyone to participate in so sign up here.

I’m going through the history of BlogEngine.NET and look at some of the decisions made in the past – both in terms of architecture and organization. After that we’ll be looking at some code and see how open source have influenced the code base and driven some of the decisions. Lastly we are looking at the overall architecture and discuss the pros and cons.

I think it’s going to be really interesting with some great discussions along the way. The lack of unit tests will definitely start a discussion as well as the decision not to use third-party assemblies. Did I mention that we don’t use CAPTCHA for comment spam protection and that we cache external JavaScript files? Hmmmmm…

The more I think about it, BlogEngine.NET seems really strange. So if you want to know why directly from the horse’s mouth, then come to the tech talk wednesday the 5th of March at 9:00 am. Breakfast is included.

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As you might have noticed, this blog has been displaying a beautiful yellow-screen-of-death for the last three weeks. It began only a few days since I went on vacation to Brazil. The thing was that I didn’t realize that the site was down until about 10 days into my trip, because I don’t like checking e-mails or even touch a computer while I’m on vacation.

Now I’m back home and have investigated what happened to the site. Of course, it was my own fault as these types of things always are. It turns out I exceeded my server disk space. I was aware of this, but somehow forgot about it even though I’ve been warned a few times.

Anyway, the blog is now working again and I’m sorry for any inconvenience it might have caused.

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Looking out at the cold and rainy whether makes me really happy that I’m leaving for Brazil in two hours. It’s carnival time in Rio de Janeiro starting tomorrow February 1st and last for 5 days. Staying at Ipanema beach should guarantee a lot of fun. After the carnival I’ll be travelling north along the sea side till I get to Salvador. The plan is to make a lot of stops along the way and travel to some of the islands off the coast of Brazil.

The trip is my first vacation this year, so I’m not going to be online much. Unfortunately that also means that I won’t be blogging until I get back home. However, I do have some posts in the pipeline. One is about making the DOS attack prevention module thread safe, since people have been asking me to do so. I'm also giving a tech-talk at Microsoft Copenhagen March 5th - a week after my return - so it will be a bit rushed when I get back home.

As a side note I just want to mention that I'll have my last cigarette in Brazil. That's right, it's time for me to quit. I've heard that it's a good idea to tell people that you stop smoking because it will make it easier to quit. Something with pride and obligation. So now it's out there.

Adeus.