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News Jonathan Starr is a developer in Saint Louis, MO. He holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School and earned his MCSD from Microsoft.

All statements in this blog are personal opinions and do not reflect the opinions of his employer.

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Jonathan Starr's Blog Thoughts on C#, Ajax, WCF, LINQ, Agile et al. January 2008 Entries
LINQ and Financial Simulation
improve my => 'code' I just started playing around with LINQ seriously, and I really love some of the features incorporated, like the Enumerable.Range() function and how it can be used for integer programming. Here's a simple function for generating lognormal distributions (could be useful for financial engineering). Hope you're enjoying the samples, Jonathan Starr public List<double> GenerateLogNormalDistributi... numberOfTimes, double mean, double standardDeviation) { Random randomGenerator ......

Posted On Friday, January 25, 2008 8:00 PM

Surprising CLR Behavior
improve my => 'code' The following code (surprise, surprise) compiles. But it does not work as intended (you won't be able to "doSomethingElse()! Can any of you figure out why? (I have my suspicions.) Jonathan Starr using System; namespace test { internal class BaseTest { private int _prop1; public virtual int prop1 { get { return _prop1; } set { _prop1 = value; } } } internal class DerivedTest : BaseTest { public override int prop1 { set { base.prop1 = value; doSomethingElse(); } } } } ......

Posted On Friday, January 25, 2008 4:45 PM

Response to Brainteaser #11?
I have been pretty excited about LINQ, because it seems to do all of the optimization for me for free (kinda like T-SQL). Yow Han-Lee asks in his blog, Brainteaser #11, Given any two large List, what is the quickest way to find the mutual intersection of the two? Now take into consideration memory constraints? Well, the answer that only takes a minute or two for me is the following... Comments welcome! Jonathan Starr using System; using System.Collections.Generic; using System.Linq; using System.Text; ......

Posted On Friday, January 25, 2008 3:23 PM

Beauty.Equals(Truth) ?
improve my => 'code' I noticed an entry on Wikipedia that made me smile. SPL or the Shakespeare Programming Language is, in the words of Wikipedia, "designed to make programs appear to be something other than programs; in this case, Shakespearean plays. " Variables in code are treated like characters in a Shakespearean play. Variables must "enter" to be useable (allocated?) and "exit" to be declare out of scope... And variables speak their mind to output to the console. For instance, [Enter Juliet] ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 22, 2008 1:58 PM

The Sesame Street Presentation Rule - Not #1
I just read through Jeff Atwood's recent post - The Sesame Street Presentation Rule - and it warrants a reaction. The most important feature of a presentation is that it communicates how you can benefit your audience. People are not actively trying to fund cartoons or quips as much as they are looking out for their own very personal needs (whatever that is). So, it is vital that we analyze our audience for their needs - as needs differ. Employees are generally interested in security, and possibilities ......

Posted On Monday, January 21, 2008 2:53 PM

Thought Experiment: Reforming Meetings
I just read an excellent article posted on XKCD on how to create a better IRC chat. Basically, to keep chats interesting, the server boots out users who enter things already entered before. Wouldn't that be good for corporate meetings? The rule could be amended: If someone says anything said before (even using different words), the person cannot speak again for the duration of the meeting. Imagine how much shorter meetings would be with this rule. No more endless repetitions. No more wasted time. ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 16, 2008 5:31 PM

Automatic Properties in C# - A Critique
improve my => 'code' In the latest release of Orcas, one of the new features provided is "Automatic Properties" which allows developers to use a shorthand like the following: public class Person { public string FirstName { get; set; } public string LastName { get; set; } public int Age { get; set; } } and the compiler knows to interpret this as public class Person { private string _firstName; private string _lastName; private int _age; public string FirstName { get { return _firstName; } set { ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 15, 2008 8:00 PM

Instructional Video #3 for Mobile Phone Project management
I did one more video with a friend today for 1CCN.COM - which is a mobile phone project management toolset custom designed for the construction industry. The video below shows you how a user can add time entries via mobile phone to a project. I am very interested in your comments! Is the video easy to understand? Jonathan ......

Posted On Sunday, January 13, 2008 8:17 PM

improve my => 'code' Just a quick reminder to the Saint Louis developers out there. There is another Saint Louis .NET User Group meeting on Monday, January 14th at 2 City Place. Details are here in the updated Saint Louis Microsoft Technology calendar. Hope to see you there! Jonathan ......

Posted On Saturday, January 12, 2008 9:46 PM

1st Instructional Video
I have been helping a friend finish a mobile web application for his new business (, and posted below are my first attempts for making instructional videos. Windows Movie Maker (which comes with Vista) was a blast - really easy to use. Any comments are appreciated - btw, we will be adding Ajax to the budget entries tomorrow. Thanks! Jonathan Adding a contact to the Contractors' Collaborative Network Creating a Project in the Contractors' Collaborative Network ......

Posted On Saturday, January 12, 2008 8:55 PM

Critique of Richard Bookstaber's, “A Demon of Our Own Design”
I just finished Richard Bookstaber's new book, A Demon of Our Own Design: Markets, Hedge Funds, and the Perils of Financial Innovation, and he makes some fair points. He asks a very important question in the book, in my opinion, “Why have economic cycles become less extreme while financial cycles have become more extreme?”. After all, our knowledge of financial instruments has increased over time, we use computer applications to help us hedge risk in better ways today, and we have better and more ......

Posted On Friday, January 11, 2008 6:27 PM

Re-Adding Service References
improve my => 'code' While using Visual Studio 2008, I made the mistake today of dropping and re-adding a WCF service reference. If you do this, not all of the service operations and exposed proxy types are recreated in the References.cs file. If you made my mistake, cleaning the solution (right click on the solution and choose -> Clean Solution) will clear out the problem. And in the future, I will be updating service references instead. Hope this helps you out! Jonathan ......

Posted On Friday, January 11, 2008 5:30 PM

Motivating Developers
I was just reading Jeff Atwood's post - The Magpie Developer - where he uses the metaphor of the magpie who collects shiny objects for his nest to explain why elite programmers go from one programming language to another. Perhaps it would be more useful to think about what really motivates programmers generally. After all, while the pay is okay in our profession, most of us work in relative isolation on problems not generally of interest to the public. Personally, I studied math as an undergrad - ......

Posted On Monday, January 7, 2008 5:26 PM

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