So that’s why…

Finally, an explanation! This little expose reveals exactly why Dave Navarro looks like a freakingly boring piece of potato sitting on the host’s couch in Rockstar: Supernova.
I’ve always thought he was nothing like the likeable Dave Navarro of last season’s Rockstar: INXS – something was very obviously wrong with him. I had thought it’s because of his obnoxious fellow rocker Tommy Lee (whom I detest for his lack of general manners, haha), but this totally feels like a fitting piece in a jigsaw puzzle.
Haven’t I written about why I totally loved Rockstar: INXS, and what I thought of this year’s contestants? Hmm… nothing a little time wouldn’t fix…

One Word

Here’s something I’ve swiped from my pal Ell’s website, and it requires a description for every item listed in a grand total of one word.
Here we go:
Yourself: Ambitious
Your partner: Loving
Your hair: Thin
Your Mother: Deserved
Your Father: Underachieved
Your Favourite Item: Broken
Your dream last night: Bleak
Your Favourite Drink: Unsweetened
Your Dream Home: Convenient
The Room You Are In: Office
Your fear: Complacency
Where you Want to be in Ten Years? Wealthier
Who you hung out with last night: Wife
What You’re Not: Relaxed
Your Best Friends: Faraway
One of Your Wish List Items: Holiday
Your Gender: Male
The Last Thing You Did: Showered
What You Are Wearing: Enough
Your favourite weather: Cool
Your Favourite Book?: Devoured
Last thing you ate?: Chicken
Your Life: Complicated
Your mood: Stressed
The last person you talked to on the phone: Wife
Who are you thinking about right now?: Parents

ADO.NET makes developing for different databases harder

Hmm… I suddenly realized that my focus these days is development. Interesting.
I’m wondering if there is an easier way for a .NET application to natively support different databases in the same code base. For instance, when I do SQL Server, the .NET Data Provider I would use is SqlConnection. If it is OLEDB, then it’s the OleDbConnection namespace.
Now each of these namespaces have their own DataReader object, which is the primary data object I use. How can I write the application such that I can automatically choose which one to use (based on a parameter), without coding different sections for each data provider?
MSDN, here I come!

Listal vs Librarything: No contest

I’ve been evaluating online book cataloging tools recently, and have found just two of real note: Listal and LibraryThing.
Let’s do a quick overview. What I’m looking at is a tool to catalogue my library of books in an easy manner, and make it available online. That’s it really. Delving into the murky depths of the internet, only Listal and LibraryThing managed to come up smelling somewhat like flowers. Although, as you’ll soon discover, one more so than the other.
For comparison, however, I’ll only be looking into Listal’s book cataloguing feature. The cataloguing of other media is very similar to books, so the features aren’t too different to worry about anyway.
A quick list of similarities:

  1. Both allow you to add books to your library by searching Amazon (although LibraryThing allows you to search from more sources). You enter a keyword (author, title, isbn, whatever) and it will return a list of hit results. You select the book you want, and click Add. Simple.
  2. Both allow your online library to be browsed by other people.
  3. Both allow you to add custom information on each book – comments or reviews or some such custom tagging.


  1. Listal is free. LibraryThing is free only for the first 200 books. Any more and you’ll have to be a member – a one year subscription is USD$10 while a lifetime membership is USD$25.
  2. LibraryThing supports mobile access. Not important if you’re not a *total* geek, but imagine being able to check your online library via your mobile phone when you’re browsing in a bookshop.
  3. LibraryThing allows you to import and export your list. Listal’s simply sits there – it’s basically stuck in Listal’s server. All the hours you spend inputting your library is basically sucked down the drain if Listal suddenly disappears from the face of the earth. People tend to overlook the importance of import/export, and they shouldn’t.
  4. LibraryThing has a much more matured implementation of social networking. This makes more of a difference than you’d first think.

Both are very nice, however in my opinion, LibraryThing wins hands down. LibraryThing understands the one advantage online lists have over similar functionality offered by offline programs doing the same thing: the social component.
The ability for LibraryThing to help you find like minded readers via its Users with Your Books functionality really allow you to see who shares the most number of books in your library with you. It allows you to see what others have written about the book you own, just to see if others share your thoughts. It even shows you what books people who own your book also own, thereby giving you a wonderfully accurate recommendation of books you’re likely to enjoy.
LibraryThing encourages exposure to new books given what others have recommended or own, and exposure to new and interesting reads is always a good thing.
This social element is sadly lacking in Listal. All Listal does is cataloguing, and little else. And because it lacks many of LibraryThing’s social features, that’s all it really is – a catalogue. One that others can browse, granted, but Listal can be so much more.
I wish I came up with the idea for LibraryThing. It’s brilliant, a true example of a labour of love by a book-loving programmer. Now if only it weren’t so damn pricey for someone outside of the States, I’d be a lifetime member in a flash. 🙂