Steven Wilssens 2008-01-22T13:34:00.7176250-08:00 Imagination is more importand then knowledge newtelligence dasBlog 1.7.5016.2 Steven Wilssens My laptop and I (part 2) 2008-01-22T13:34:00.7176250-08:00 2008-01-22T13:34:00.7176250-08:00 2008-01-22T13:34:00.7176250-08:00


Last week I decided that there was no more hope for my laptop, and got managerial approval to order a new one (6458A17 - ThinkPad T61p). Yay! I've been so exited about this for the past couple of days that Yeondo's starting to look at me with a bit of concern when I bring it up again... anyway, thanks John!

Now this morning my desktop's graphical card died. Now I've got a broken desktop and laptop. I'm about to switch back to my old desktop and will remote desktop to the one with the broken graphical card. ugh.,....


My laptop and I 2008-01-15T20:12:29.0311250-08:00 2008-01-15T20:18:45.3436250-08:00 2008-01-15T20:12:29.0311250-08:00

My laptop and I are not exactly on speaking terms these days. During the last months I had to have the motherboard replaced 3 times (broken wifi, broken sound and graphics card, broken graphics card) and today it started malfunctioning again. I can only successfully connect to a projector when I boot with the projector connected since connecting it with my machine already booted causes the screen to go haywire and the machine to hang. To add to this, I just discovered that it's now required to undock my batteries, boot with the power cable in and then add the batteries again before it turns on again.

I'm really starting to consider it as a person and I want to be angry and hate it... but how can you hate somebody with such health problems? I feel said for my friend and hopefully they can cure it.

Creating a Silverlight Display Block 101 2008-01-14T14:30:25.2035940-08:00 2008-01-14T14:30:25.2035940-08:00 2008-01-14T14:30:25.2035940-08:00

Timothy wrote a wonderful blog entry on how to create a Popfly Block that displays its content using Silverlight:

Popfly and Silverlight make it easy to show your pictures from many places in slick little gadgets. It's easy, and fun to make these "display blocks". I wanted to do a little walkthrough of creating a display block. The examples herein are actual Popfly mashups. They do use Silverlight, so make sure you get that installed.

This first blog entry will go over a couple of simple examples...

Creating a Popfly Block with Popfly Explorer 2008-01-14T12:59:30.5317190-08:00 2008-01-14T14:37:32.1879690-08:00 2008-01-14T12:59:30.5317190-08:00 Coming to Belgium in March 2008-01-09T00:02:17.6951250-08:00 2008-01-09T00:02:17.6951250-08:00 2008-01-09T00:02:17.6951250-08:00 I've been talking to the wonderfull people in charge of organizing TechDays and I'll be delivering 1 or 2 sessions this year. I'm planning on sticking around for about a week and look forward to seeing a bunch of friends for the first time in 1,5 years. TechDays (DevDays) is for me related to David Boschmans and I have a hard time accepting that he's not with us anymore. Aaron Brethorst is leaving the Popfly Team 2007-11-16T22:40:35.4375000-08:00 2007-11-16T22:40:35.4375000-08:00 2007-11-16T22:40:35.4375000-08:00

I have been very lucky to work with amazing people in my short career and some of those have somehow changed my view on one or more aspects of life. Aaron Brethorst is one of them. He was the latest addition to the group of Program Managers on the Popfly Team and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him. I'm trying to remember some of the funny things that happened in those short months... here are 2:


Number 1 (This one is a bit vague, but still very funny at least in my world):

John: Aaron, has work item # xxxx been completed?

Aaron: Well, (about 2 minutes of very advanced English, can't remember the exact words, maybe I was doing e-mail or I just saw a shiny thing somewhere in the shiproom meeting room, I was daydreaming, or I just forgot...)

Andy/Adam (I think it was Adam): Is the lawyer speak for no?

Steven: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (This totally cracked me up)


Number 2 (Aaron hijacked my desktop-machine on my birthday and sent out a mail to the team, You'll have to read it from the bottom to the top):

From: John Montgomery
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:06 AM
To: Steven Wilssens; Popfly Status
Subject: RE: I'M A BIG BOY NOW!!!

OK, you’re scaring me.

-- John

From: Steven Wilssens
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:06 AM
To: John Montgomery; Popfly Status
Subject: RE: I'M A BIG BOY NOW!!!


From: John Montgomery
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:05 AM
To: Steven Wilssens; Popfly Status
Subject: RE: I'M A BIG BOY NOW!!!

Left your computer unlocked, did you?

-- John

From: Steven Wilssens
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:05 AM
To: Popfly Status
Subject: I'M A BIG BOY NOW!!!



I'll miss having our random talks, working on texts and popup messages, sending mails in German to the team, shouting in German to each other (we are the only 2 people on the team that have a vague knowledge of the language) or hugging you in front of non meterosexual people (at work at least ;-)).

The good news is that the title for the best dressed Program Manager on the team is up for grabs again ;-) Have fun during your new endeavor!

Dan Fernandez on how to build and publish Web Sites with Popfly Explorer Beta 2007-11-09T16:26:29.0781250-08:00 2007-11-09T16:26:29.0781250-08:00 2007-11-09T16:26:29.0781250-08:00


Dan Fernandez wrote an excellent blog post on how to Build and Publish Web Sites with Popfly Explorer Beta. Check it out.

Popfly Explorer Beta announcement pictures 2007-11-07T17:51:28.1406250-08:00 2007-11-07T17:51:28.1406250-08:00 2007-11-07T17:51:28.1406250-08:00


Pieter Gheysens was kind enough to take some pictures during the announcement of Popfly Explorer Beta:

There’s also a short video of the presentation available:


Click here for more information on Popfly Explorer.

Popfly Explorer Beta announced at TechEd EMEA 2007 2007-11-05T12:11:01.5413750-08:00 2007-11-05T13:07:51.3226250-08:00 2007-11-05T12:11:01.5413750-08:00



Popfly Explorer Beta


Dan Fernandez and Soma Somasegar announced the release of the Popfly Explorer Beta during the TechEd 2007 Keynote. You can have a look at the interview that was made with Dan at the videocasts that were made during the first day of TechEd.  With Popfly Explorer you can unleash the power of Visual Studio upon your Popfly creations with Popfly Explorer. Popfly Explorer is a plug-in for Visual Studio that lets you:
  • Effortlessly create and host a Popfly web site
  • Access your Visual Studio solutions from anywhere
  • Share Visual Studio solutions with friends
  • Add mash-ups to your web pages

Download Popfly Explorer

Getting Started

To get started, download and install Popfly Explorer. After installation, Popfly Explorer will appear in Visual Studio. Sign in to your Popfly account, and you're ready to go. Don't have a Popfly account yet? Create one here.

Create a Web Site

Making web sites with Popfly Explorer is incredibly easy. Create your web site with Visual Web Developer, then share it on Popfly with Popfly Explorer. Take a look at the possibilities that open up to you with Popfly Explorer and Visual Web Developer.

Access Visual Studio Solutions on Popfly

Popfly Explorer enables you to quickly and easily store copies of your Visual Studio solutions on Popfly. You can access your creations from any computer with Visual Studio and Popfly Explorer. You can even share your creations with other Popfly users, and find solutions that have been shared by others.

Comment on your friends' projects

Interact with your friends: check out their latest projects, rate them and leave comments through Popfly.

Potential Future Enhancements

We are working on enabling Popfly Explorer users to publish completed projects with support for hosting Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation applications directly from Visual Studio. If you want to give us feedback on this, have questions, or other ideas about how we can improve Popfly Explorer, please let us know on the Popfly Explorer discussion forum.

Question #1 2007-08-22T17:16:46.6488160-07:00 2007-08-22T17:16:46.6488160-07:00 2007-08-22T17:16:46.6488160-07:00


We want to create a project type that resembles the Empty Website template with the following requirement:  We will add a default.htm page which is the only file that can ever exist in the project.  Is it possible to create a restriction like that?

News on the calf injury 2007-08-20T21:10:08.0731250-07:00 2007-08-20T21:10:08.0731250-07:00 2007-08-20T21:10:08.0731250-07:00 Alright, I got a phone call from my doctor today and he brought me some good and bad news: "My tendents are not damaged in a way that I need surgery" (just as a FYI, this is the good news), the bad news was that I have a massive hematoma in my calf which if not treated appropriately could bother be me for the next 6 months. So when I asked the doc what would be appropriate treatment, he told me that would be physical therapy for about twice a week. Nice, if you combine that with the 3 times a week I should go for my shoulder, I can fill my calendar with dates with a therapist on weekdays.

Anyway, in the line of what seems to be my character I went out cycling today. Although I still have a pretty severe limp, cycling was kinda painless, I can defintely not walk on my pedals or anything like that but at least I completed my light course that I'll normally do when I feel like going out for a ride during an evening.

I've seriously decided to run a marathon this year, and Theresa (Olivier's girlfriend, before I need to answer a bunch of emails ;-)) has convinced me to run a half marathon with her in a couple of months. I'm looking forward to it, I just need to stay fit long enough to get some decend training.

I haven't written anything about David's death (I will soon) has learned me a couple of things, one of them is that it is OK to be harder on myself and push myself more to the limit. One other thing is that I really shouldn't complain about my life and when I do, I should be increadibly ashamed for complaining and thankfull that I get to live another day when my friend doesn't have that opportunity...
Soccer Injury 2007-08-15T21:59:47.6574276-07:00 2007-08-15T21:59:47.6574276-07:00 2007-08-15T21:59:47.6574276-07:00 I can't believe it! My shoulder was getting better, I've been cycling a lot and today I played my first soccer game in a long time, got invited to a coed game by Oliver's girlfriend (she passed the first 3 rules ;-)) and what happens... My calf explodes after 5 minutes... I thought that somebody had shot me in the calf or threw a rock at me or something... increadibly painful. So I turned around and I swear for the first time in my life a thought that I would hit somebody. There was nobody there??? At that point the pain took over and I was done. I called Olivier and he was kind enough to drive me home.

So what do you do when you come home and you think you seriously injured yourself? You do some research on the internet!

(just told Olivier that I'm blogging about my injury... yeah it's crazy but I think it is just the pain)

shit this hurts bad!
The Boys are into town (PART I) 2007-07-27T08:59:14.1607080-07:00 2007-07-27T08:59:14.1607080-07:00 2007-07-27T08:59:14.1607080-07:00

On Saturday afternoon, I picked up Jelle and Peter from the airport.  It was really good to see them again.  I made a small mistake driving to their hotel and got ridiculed for that: 

Peter: You've been living here for a year and you still don't know where your way around town?

Steven: I got lost in Belgium all the time too!

Peter and Jelle: That's true...


When we arrived at the hotel Jelle came up with the goods:

  • 1 kilo of Lionidas chocolates.  I took them to work on Monday and went around my team. It's a national pride things I guess...
  • A real Brabantia fries cutter: Picture. Impossible to find in the US.

Thanks a lot for the chocolates and the fries cutter buddy!


In the meantime some members of the other Belgain delegation had arrived.  They had already assembled in the bar, I guess it's a national pride thing.  Saturday afternoon I dragged the jetlagged Belgian boys to the bite of seattle.  It's a bit of a food festival where you've got a bunch of food stands.  It was OK, not great and was a bit too crowded for Jelle and Peter, they just got off the plane ;-).  Afterwards we ended up having drinks and food with Olivier, Theresa, Thomas, John, Cecille, Anna and Andy.  I dropped them of at the hotel and that was the end of their night.

I'm going to stop giving out detailed descriptions of how we ended up sending the reset of the week.  Paramesh's remarks, which are totally great by the way, have made me concerned about my falling reputation ;-) or is this how far I got when I started this post on Tuesday and am I just too laizy to write down what happened the rest of the week? 


Anyways here's an interesting hall way conversation:

Paramesh: So are you going out again tonight?

Steven: Euh yes, I'm meeting up with my friends tonight.  I have to, they are only in town for a week.

Paramesh: Yeah right, it's not that you are ever at home when they are not here.

Steven: hahaha... I have to admit that the last weeks have been really busy...

The boys are coming to town! 2007-07-20T16:08:07.1336250-07:00 2007-11-25T00:33:43.8237500-08:00 2007-07-20T16:08:07.1336250-07:00

Jelle Druyts and Peter Demeyere and a bunch of other Belgians are coming to Seattle for TechReady. Jelle is giving a presentation on the Guidance Automation Toolkit the following week and he’s sticking around for my birthday. This makes me incredibly happy. When I first started working at Microsoft Jelle and I were the rookies and Peter Himschoot and Peter Demeyere were the experienced scary people. After about 2 years a couple of things went pretty wrong at Info Support and in a not to long time span we all left the company but remained friends ever since. I always considered Peter Himschoot to be my mentor, Peter Demeyere an incredible smart guy and Jelle… Well Jelle and I have got a very interesting history. Even when switching jobs in the years after InfoSupport we always ended up at the same company and ever since InfoSupport people always created some kind of competition between us and I’m glad it never got the upper hand. By the way Jelle is also the guy that would lend me his couch when I broke up with a girlfriend (The stories he could tell ;-)). Anyway one of the biggest tests of our friendship probably was when we did our Devdays presentations together. I had just moved out of the house me and Wendy had been living in for the last years, Wendy still lives there so you kinda know what went wrong and I really wasn’t up to giving or preparing any kind of presentation. We ended up in a sprint and finalized the presentation a couple of hours before we went on stage. I don’t think it’s that much different from a lot of presentations but anyways… It was still early days for Visual Studio Team System back then and the prerelease version blew up a couple of time in never before seen ways but … at least Jelle and I had a lot of fun!


I’m incredibly glad to have them over and I’ve been looking forward to this for a couple of months now.
Mentos in Carlsberg 2007-07-20T15:23:28.5711250-07:00 2007-07-20T15:23:28.5711250-07:00 2007-07-20T15:23:28.5711250-07:00

No words needed!

Harry Potter Book 2007-07-20T14:27:21.3211250-07:00 2007-07-20T14:27:21.3211250-07:00 2007-07-20T14:27:21.3211250-07:00


Just another random office conversation:

Steven: I know how the new harry potter book ends

Suzanne: Don't you tell, me! I will beat you up and I'm very serious about that!

Something Zune could have done better 2007-07-18T14:20:46.2230000-07:00 2007-07-19T11:15:41.2105506-07:00 2007-07-18T14:20:46.2230000-07:00

Besides the fact that I absolutely love my Zune, there's one thing that could be better ;-).  When you reinstall your machine to which your Zune is bound, you can either reconnect as a guest after the installation or just erase everything that is one your Zune and start all over.  It's dissapointing... 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of King & Pierce Counties 2007-07-17T12:17:16.7855000-07:00 2007-07-18T09:54:15.0042500-07:00 2007-07-17T12:17:16.7855000-07:00 Getting Better 2007-07-17T11:13:53.1136250-07:00 2007-11-25T00:37:44.7300000-08:00 2007-07-17T11:13:53.1136250-07:00

I've been planning on writing a post on my shoulder operation but I just haven't been up for it.

Before Suzanne brought me to the hospital, Murali (one of the developers on our team) detected serious performance degradation on  This caused me to file a high priority ticket to the operations team, just before I left.  One of the implications of filing a high priority ticket is that the coming 24 hours, you need to be available to work with operations team on getting the problem resolved.  Since I was undergoing surgery in about 2 hours that was going to be a bit of a problem, but I asked Murali and John to act on my behalf, and they handled it perfectly.

I made it clear to everybody in the hospital that I get nauseous when I have anesthesia, so eventually I got 2 anti-nausea injections.  My surgeon is, just like me, a man of few words when it comes to getting his job done. 

Doctor Castle: "Do you have any questions?"

Me: "Am I going to be ok?"

Doctor Castle: "Yes"

Me: "That's all I need to know, we'll talk later..."

Doctor Castle: "Sounds good"

He was running a bit ahead on his schedule, and before I knew it I was laying on the operation table. 

Lights out...

When I woke up again, I was feeling pretty nauseous, ant-nausea medication suck everywhere around the world.

After about 10 minutes in the recovery room, my ride home arrived to pick me up.  Well,... I wasn't really in a state to be picked up to be honest.  Nauseous and still pretty much under the influence of the anesthesia but I was in a lot of pain.  After another half hour I stared to become more human again, and the nurse told me that I should try to get my clothes on.

I forgot to mention that I got my surgery on the hottest day of the year and I was just burning up while I was resting on my couch. Thomas came by to say hi and I fully thought I was engaged in a conversation with him and was answering his questions without him even needing to speak. At one point I realized that I was going nuts, which was a strange sensation.

At the end of the day I own a couple of people a very big thank you:

Suzanne: Thanks for driving me to the hospital

John: Thanks for taking care of me when Anna left, and getting the cookies I wanted

Thomas: Thanks for popping by, checking up on me, and having a non-existing conversation with me.

Last statement of our triage meeting 2007-07-11T09:56:13.5075420-07:00 2007-07-11T09:56:13.5075420-07:00 2007-07-11T09:56:13.5075420-07:00

John: Is there anything else we should be worried about?

A couple of people: Global warming!

John: I just love this group.

Getting my ass kicked in English 2007-07-10T13:50:58.3673750-07:00 2007-07-10T13:50:58.3673750-07:00 2007-07-10T13:50:58.3673750-07:00

I’m on lucky streak of getting my ass kicked in English:

Wes: Why don’t you shut your mouth

Steven: Why don’t I shut it for you? (Thinking I was being tuff)

Wes: Yeah, you do that.

Steven: Crap, I suck at this language ;-)

Next time…

My First Mariners game 2007-07-09T13:38:41.7892500-07:00 2007-07-09T13:40:09.7423750-07:00 2007-07-09T13:38:41.7892500-07:00 I saw my first Mariners game last week (I'm late I know) and although I never expected to actually like baseball, I loved it!

I got some pictures of its as well, the one with John drinking himself to death with water is my favorite :-)

Eindhoven 2007-07-08T20:26:40.3986250-07:00 2007-07-08T20:26:40.3986250-07:00 2007-07-08T20:26:40.3986250-07:00 Wes' Birthday Party 2007-07-07T15:04:44.8205000-07:00 2007-07-07T15:14:07.8361250-07:00 2007-07-07T15:04:44.8205000-07:00 Last Friday we had Wes's birthday party. I just got some of the photos from John's camera, so here they are. The photos will prove that I was a bit intoxicated but I guess that's not a crime :-)
Thomas's Demo on Data Dude 2007-07-06T14:08:23.0548750-07:00 2007-07-06T14:08:23.0548750-07:00 2007-07-06T14:08:23.0548750-07:00

I got Thomas to give a demo on Data Dude today. Vinay and Murali are excited about the product and I'm excited because by using Data Dude we’ll overcome some of the concerns I’ve been having with regards to our database development and deployment. The Popfly team has added Data Dude to its tools today. YAY! 

You will be made stronger by adversity 2007-07-05T11:56:58.4611250-07:00 2007-07-05T11:56:58.4611250-07:00 2007-07-05T11:56:58.4611250-07:00

Thomas and I went out for some Chinese food on Monday and this is what my fortune cookie had to say: “You will be made stronger by adversity”. Ugh… I think I’ve had enough of that by now! I’m strong enough stupid fortune cookie.

Shoulder Surgery 2007-07-03T15:13:33.6642500-07:00 2007-07-03T15:13:33.6642500-07:00 2007-07-03T15:13:33.6642500-07:00

A couple of months ago, I went climbing with friends and at one point something really popped in my shoulder. It felt like a muscle shifted but after a couple of doctor visits, the diagnosis was that I had sustained a Labral Tear. The labrum is analogous to the meniscus in the knee. It is a ring of cartilage that attaches to and extends the effective area of the glenoid (the socket of the shoulder). The labrum helps to stabilize the ball-and-socket joint (glenohumeral joint) and serves as an attachment site for ligaments around the shoulder as well as the biceps tendon.

I was planning on continuing to do sports during this summer and get the operation afterwards but the pain was just unbearable and I ended not exercising so there really was no point in postponing it any further. On Wednesday the 11th of July, I’ll be undergoing surgery on my shoulder to fix the tear. During the surgery, the doctor will examine the rim and the biceps tendon. If the injury is confined to the rim itself, without involving the tendon, the shoulder is still stable. The surgeon will remove the torn flap and correct any other associated problems. If the tear extends into the biceps tendon or if the tendon is detached, the result is an unstable joint. The surgeon will need to repair and reattach the tendon using absorbable tacks, wires or sutures.

According to literature my shoulder should be in a sling for about 3 weeks, by my surgeon told me that I should be freed of that thing after a week. I’ve been practicing on typing with 1 hand and driving my car with 1 hand, so don’t be scared if you happen to be in Seattle and you see silver Volkswagen Golf in your rear view mirror. Apparently I should be able to start doing some minor sports-specific exercises after 6 weeks, but I won’t be climbing before 4-5 months. I’ll be glad if I’m able to go cycling again after a week or 6.

Although I have got some really good friends that will take care of me, I have to be honest and confess that I’m really scared…

Transformers the movie 2007-07-03T13:51:18.1798750-07:00 2007-07-03T13:51:18.1798750-07:00 2007-07-03T13:51:18.1798750-07:00

Weston, Matt, John and I went to see the transformers movie last night.  It started at midnight, and we got out of the movie theater at about 2.45.  We had 3rd row seats, which really wasn’t optimal, to make an understatement. I absolutely loved the movie, it was like my childhood fantasies came to life and I remembered how I much I loved the Transformers cartoon as a child.

It really is a good movie, and if you’re a Transformers fan you will definitely love it.

My blog is back! 2007-07-02T18:14:24.4767500-07:00 2007-07-02T18:14:24.4767500-07:00 2007-07-02T18:14:24.4767500-07:00

A couple of weeks ago, I forgot to renew my hosting subscription a couple of weeks ago and my provider took down my website.  When I called them, provided them with the needed currency, they reactivated my account… but my blog wasn't working anymore.  Apparently some configuration settings were reset to their default values and I finally felt like fixing it today!  So yes, I'm back baby!


Lots of things happened: not all good, not all bad and when I have the time I'll tell you about it! 


Ah and just to make you jealous, I'm seeing the Transformers movie tonight!

Autobots roll out!

Little Brother 2007-06-04T10:49:55.4000000-07:00 2007-06-04T10:49:55.4000000-07:00 2007-06-04T10:49:55.4000000-07:00

Since my office mate Wes is actually younger then my younger brother, I’ve been calling him little brother lately.

This is the kind of talk these young kids have these days:

I'm not little brother… There's a rage inside of me. A rage of which you've never seen the likes before...

I call him scary little brother now ;-)