Surface Pro 3 – Nightmare!

Written by rsolberg. Posted in All, Reviews

SurfacePro3Fail

A few years back I had purchased a MacBook Air that eventually was replaced with a more powerful MacBook Pro. The Air ultimately collected dust in a desk drawer and was in amazing shape. Another device of mine that collects lots of dust is the original Surface RT. When I saw Microsoft’s promo a week or so ago for them to essentially allow you to trade in your used MacBook Air for up to $650 towards the purchase of a new Surface Pro 3, I jumped at it.

Crabtree, Mediocre Receiver?

Written by rsolberg. Posted in All, Seahawks, Sports

It has only been a week and a half since Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks became a household name. While his play on the field this season should have made this possible, it was actually a 45 second adrenaline fueled rant to Erin Andrews moments after his team won the NFC Championship game that made this possible.

Syncfusion Report Viewer Control

Written by rsolberg. Posted in All, Software Development, Technology

parameter-support

I’ve recently been exploring many of the Syncfusion controls and one that jumped out to me as potentially being very useful is the Report Viewer control. Many companies and development shops out there want to make you think they are the ones who have nailed the perfect reporting platform and the fact of the matter is I don’t believe any of them have truly nailed anything. I’m not saying their products are garbage, I’m simply pointing out the obvious that is not obvious. You see every project and every business demand is unique and having a one size fits all approach is difficult. Larger organizations attempt to work around this by having huge investments into database systems from Oracle and Microsoft with nice reporting features like SQL Reporting Services. But what about small businesses without the capital to invest into these platforms?

Looking for work?

Written by rsolberg. Posted in All, Business

I’m in the process of recruiting for an entry-level IT position. This position will have broad possibilities including help desk, software development, web development, graphics/video development, etc. At a minimum though, this position will need to be able to handle the first level help desk for our organization.

We’re still working out the budgetary possibilities here, but it’ll likely be a part-time position that would be perfect for a current college student or a recent graduate.

If you’re interested in this position, please connect with me for more information…

Entity Framework Seed Data for States & Counties

Written by rsolberg. Posted in All, Software Development, Technology

GitHubCloneIt One of the great benefits of Entity Framework and Code First for ASP.NET MVC application development is the ability to seed data for your application when you run your application for the first time. Earlier today I was working on an implementation of EF and Code First for a new app and I had all kinds of fun in Excel concatenating() my c# code to seed States and Counties in my app. Rather than force everyone else out there to experience the same joy I did, I through the code into a quick app and posted it on GitHub for you all.

Forcing SSL/HTTPS With ASP.NET MVC

Written by rsolberg. Posted in All, Software Development, Technology

Lock

I have recently been working on a new internal application for my family’s insurance agency and I knew I wanted to force a secured connection. Being an insurance agency, there are various rules and regulations regarding data security that you can’t take for granted. We use SSL connections for all of our web applications and I needed to force this new application to use HTTPS.

Chase Mobile App UX #Fail

Written by rsolberg. Posted in All, Business, Oped, Reviews

photo

It seems as though everyone has a favorite banking application these days and today my favorite app failed me. In the year of 2013, consumers simply demand convenience from their mobile applications and consumers view mobile apps as an extension of the business whom provides it. It is for these very reasons that Chase and other financial institutions allow you to deposit checks online through their websites or mobile apps.

Cascading DropDownLists Inside Telerik RadGrid

Written by rsolberg. Posted in All, Software Development, Technology

telerik One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about the Telerik controls is that they do things out of the box quicker than the standard ASP.NET controls, but if you venture off the beaten path just a step or two you might be entering hell… I literally spent hours googling yesterday trying to find where someone else had actually accomplished this feat and much to my surprise, I had to pick and pull a line of code or two from 7 different sources just to get to a place where I knew I could finish what I was working on. Perhaps this post will save you all some time…

Annual Goals – 2013

Written by rsolberg. Posted in All, Business

Introduction

Recently I’ve been thinking about accountability quite a bit.  In many facets of each and everyone of our lives, accountability is what sets many of us apart from one another.  It is certainly extremely easy to look at others whom lack accountability and point it out, but as I type I’m looking at myself in a mirror.  Accountability starts with each and everyone of us and I’ve decided that I’m going to try and hold myself more accountable by sharing what my annual goals are. I will then provide a mid-year and a end-of-year review to update everyone on where things ended up.

Here is a look back on where I was in 2012.

Year In Review – 2012

Written by rsolberg. Posted in All, Reviews, Technology

Introduction

Recently I’ve been thinking about accountability quite a bit.  In many facets of each and everyone of our lives, accountability is what sets many of us apart from one another.  It is certainly extremely easy to look at others whom lack accountability and point it out, but tonight as I type I’m looking at myself in a mirror.  Accountability starts with each and everyone of us and I’ve decided that I’m going to try and hold myself more accountable by sharing what my annual goals are. I will then provide a mid-year and a end-of-year review to update everyone on where things ended up.

Since I didn’t start off 2012 with this plan, I didn’t have many formal goals to look back on so I figured I’d start by documenting what 2012 was for me.

Family

This has been a pretty crazy year full of ups and downs in terms of family. I’m still happily married to my bride of 7 years Melissa and we absolutely love our two year old son Owen to pieces. He definitely has my personality (Lord help us all, now!) and he looks exactly like his Uncles on his mom’s side of the family. Owen keeps us grounded and very busy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

In May of 2012, my sister Dani passed away after a very courageous fight against Clear Cell Sarcoma (CCS) Cancer. Looking back, I’m very glad that I was able to be there with her and the rest of my family in her final days and moments. Now that I’ve had a little over 7 months to reflect upon my sister’s battle and ultimately her death, I have learned that you have absolutely no idea what life is going to throw your way, but if you get to decide how you’re going to go about dealing with life. Dani never played the “why me” card and taught me that NOW is the most important time. If you spend all of your time thinking and worrying about tomorrow, then you are neglecting NOW.

Given my sister’s battle, Melissa and I were not able to travel as much as we would have liked to have. We started off the year in TX with my family and that was our only big trip together for the year. I was able to spend Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas with my father-in-law, two brother-in-laws and my brother Rob. I then spent another 7 weeks or so in TX throughout the remainder of the year. I may as well refer to San Antonio, TX as my second home at this point.

Business/Career

I spend most of my time working for my family’s Medicare Insurance Agency VibrantUSA (VUSA). I’m the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for VUSA which basically means I’m responsible for making sure that all of the current and future technology needs are met for the business. But given the size of our organization I end up wearing many hats from operations to marketing to human resources. 2012 was the best year that VUSA has ever had with record setting revenue and net income, but we’ve still got some very important work to do and investments to make to remain competitive.

When I’m not burning the midnight oil as they say for VUSA, I run a technology consulting company called TechDoba (TDOBA). The reality is that I didn’t push for new clients in 2012 for TDOBA as we spent most of our time enhancing our CRM solution that VUSA has used for the past few years. But we still did get a couple of new customers and saw revenue of about $1,000 (clearly not bragging). The good news is that 2013 will start off with a project near completion that will yield about $500.

Technology

While Technology is my profession, it is also my hobby and passion. I absolutely love learning new things and trying to solve new problems. Here is a quick list of some of the areas I spent some time:
  • WordPress
  • Windows Azure
  • ASP.NET MVC4
  • Arduino
  • NetDuino
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