____/ Donations \_________________________
If I have truly made your life easier...
...then feel free to send some cash my way via the "Send Money" feature at PayPal.
My email address is: Mike<dot>Sacha<dot>Tomlins
(replacing the <xxx> parts with the obvious filler or couse!)
The beer fund appreciates it! =)
____/ Free Apps \_________________________
Check out my YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/IdleMindEE
"Slide Puzzle Factory": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpjhEedIN1E
"Kids Alarm Clock": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qucWOkZp0Uw
"Sudoku Downloader": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l0S6P80pBw
____/ Milestones \_________________________
01 Jul 13 --> 2013 Microsoft MVP Award "Visual Basic"
03 Mar 13 --> Attained 14,000,000+ Experts Points (12th Expert to do so)
10 Oct 12 --> Over 11,000+ Questions Answered
01 Jul 12 --> 2012 Microsoft MVP Award "Visual Basic"
13 May 12 --> Attained 13,000,000+ Experts Points (12th Expert to do so)
21 Dec 11 --> Earned 6th VB.Net Genius Cert (6,000,000+ Expert Points in Topic Area)
01 Jul 11 --> 2011 Microsoft MVP Award "Visual Basic"
25 May 11 --> Attained 12,000,000+ Experts Points (15th Expert to do so)
25 May 11 --> Over 10,000+ Questions Answered
08 Sep 10 --> Attained 11,000,000+ Experts Points (14th Expert to do so)
01 Jul 10 --> 2010 Microsoft MVP Award "Visual Basic"
11 Jun 10 --> Earned 5th VB.Net Genius Cert (5,000,000+ Expert Points in Topic Area - First expert to do so!)
11 May 10 --> Over 9,000+ Questions Answered
11 Jan 10 --> Attained 10,000,000+ Experts Points (15th Expert to do so)
07 Jan 10 --> 2009 Expert of the Year
Visual Basic Programming - Most Points: 468,495
Visual Basic Programming - Most Answered: 226
.NET - Most Answered: 151
Microsoft Visual C#.Net - Most Answered: 93
11 Dec 09 --> Earned 1st C# Genius Cert (1,000,000+ Expert Points in Topic Area)
02 Aug 09 --> Over 8,000+ Questions Answered
28 Jul 09 --> 2nd Expert to earn .Net Genius Cert (1,000,000+ Expert Points in Topic Area)
21 Jul 09 --> Attained 9,000,000+ Experts Points
01 Jul 09 --> 2009 Microsoft MVP Award "Visual Basic"
30 Mar 09 --> Earned 2nd Visual Basic Genius Cert (2,000,000+ Expert Points in Topic Area - First expert to do so!)
08 Mar 09 --> Earned 4th VB.Net Genius Cert (4,000,000+ Expert Points in Topic Area)
21 Jan 09 --> Attained 8,000,000+ Experts Points
01 Jan 09 --> 2008 Expert of the Year
VB.Net Topic Area - Most Assist Points: 89,639
Visual Basic Area - Most Assist Points: 40,918
05 Dec 08 --> Over 7,000+ Questions Answered
14 Aug 08 --> Attended the 2008 Experts Exchange "Core Conference" in San Luis Obispo, CA
01 Jul 08 --> 2008 Microsoft MVP Award "Visual Developer - Visual Basic"
20 Jun 08 --> Attained 7,000,000+ Experts Points
01 Jan 08 --> 2007 Expert of the Year
VB.Net - Most Assist Points: 89,639
Visual Basic - Most Assist Points: 40,918
25 Oct 07 --> Earned 3rd VB.Net Genius Cert (3,000,000+ Expert Points in Topic Area) [exactly one year from 2nd to 3rd...]
14 Oct 07 --> Over 6,000+ Questions Answered
01 Jul 07 --> 2007 Microsoft MVP Award "Visual Developer - Visual Basic"
12 Jul 07 --> Attained 6,000,000+ Experts Points
14 Feb 07 --> Over 5,000+ Questions Answered
01 Feb 07 --> Attained 5,000,000+ Experts Points
01 Jan 07 --> 2006 Expert of the Year
VB.Net - Most Points: 1,165,885
VB.Net - Most Answered: 1,019
VB.Net - Most Assist Points: 87,043
Visual Basic - Most Points: 430,439
Visual Basic - Most Answered: 408
VB Controls - Most Answered: 96
25 Oct 06 --> Earned 2nd VB.Net Genius Cert (2,000,000+ Expert Points in Topic Area)
27 Jun 06 --> Attained 4,000,000+ Experts Points
14 Jun 06 --> Over 4,000+ Questions Answered
04 May 06 --> 1st Expert to earn a Genius Cert in BOTH the Visual Basic and the VB.Net Topic Areas
27 Feb 06 --> Attained 3,000,000+ Experts Points
07 Feb 06 --> Over 3,000+ Questions Answered
07 Jan 06 --> 3rd Expert to earn VB.Net Genius Cert (1,000,000+ Expert Points in Topic Area)
01 Jan 06 --> 2005 Expert of the Year
VB Controls - Most Points: 122,386
16 Sep 05 --> Attained 2,000,000+ Experts Points
22 Jun 05 --> Over 2,000+ Questions Answered
24 Dec 04 --> Attained 1,000,000+ Experts Points
16 Nov 04 --> Over 1,000+ Questions Answered
21 Oct 03 --> Joined Experts-Exchange
____/ Idle_Mind \_________________________
Why do you call yourself Idle_Mind?
Most of a computers time is spent in an Idle state, which means it is simply sitting in the message loop doing nothing. On windows systems, you can see this in the Task Manager. The "System Idle Process" shows us that 99% of the time, the CPU is not actually executing any processes.
Read these funny threads regarding the often misunderstood "System Idle Process":
Our brain is the same way; 99% of the time, it is simply processing the unconscious messages our body sends automatically to keep itself going. Programming can become the same way...the same patterns (good or bad) being spit out over and over. One of my goals here at EE is not to simply answer questions, but to give my brain something new to do...thus reducing the amount of Idle state in my mind. To this end, I enjoy finding questions that I really don't know how to answer (or at least are variations of something I've done before), but have an interest in solving. Given the depth of topics, experiences and needs of EE's members, there never seems to be a shortage of things to keep my Idle Mind busy. =)
My stats over at Stackoverflow:
____/ Rankings \_________________________
Don't forget that Rank is not synonomous with "the best". It is simply a placement based on the number of points you have with respect to other experts. Points DO NOT tell you what areas of a language or what technologies an expert is good at (or horrible at). One can amass a significant number of points answering only very basic questions!
A large number of points simply means that an expert has answered alot of questions. In general though, exposure to a large volume of questions gives an expert experience...and that is sometimes the invaluable part of a contribution to a question. Not just giving an answer (in the form of a code snippet), but saying "A" is better than "B" because of XXX. Knowing all the pros and cons of different approaches to a problem can be the difference between implementing a solution that simply works, and a solution that is elegant, easily adaptable to new requirements, and can solve a wider variety of inputs.
One of the disadvantages to having expert rankings in systems such as EEs, is that it can sometimes hamper the attractive collaborative nature of the open public forum. Often times, once a high ranking expert has made a comment in a thread, other experts become reluctant to participate because they believe their comments won't have credibility and that most likely, all points will simply go to the already high ranking expert. This deprives questions from having more than one point of view and only gives the question asker a limited set of ways to solve a problem.
So please, if you see me (or any other expert) post a solution to a problem that has obvious limitations, don't be afraid to speak up and offer alternatives or advice! High ranking experts are not infallible...
Do your part to keep the "collaborative" aspect of EE alive!
Despite the above...the rankings aspect of EE greatly appeals to my competitive nature... ;)
____/ About Me \_________________________
I'm a mostly self-taught "ex" programmer who just loves to code. I answer questions here at experts-exchange to satisfy may daily "urge to program". To me, an elegantly written piece of code is not unlike a beautiful painting...something to behold. When done right, it is more than the sum of its parts...having achieved a synergy that gives it that something "extra" that often can't be described in words. Writing programs is my creative outlet...the IDE, my "blank canvas". ;)
Born, raised and released in San Diego, California, I currently reside wherever the Air Force decides to station my wife. I'm a Stay@Home Dad with three kids, two cars, and plenty of free "two cents".
Ever consider adopting a grown dog instead of buying a puppy? Our last three dogs were adopted:
Did you know there are hidden caches all around us?
Explore the world the Geocaching way: http://www.geocaching.com/
Our Profile: http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=0cc40f45-0d8e-4532-97f9-41636e53fa8a
For those that are REALLY bored, read on to take a trip down memory lane...
I got my start in 1983 learning BASIC on my very first computer, the TI-99/4A. I wrote many programs on it and saved every one of them on my trusty cassette tape drive! You can check out this "impressive" language here: http://www.99er.net/basicref.html
I then moved on to learning GWBASIC, BASICA, QBASIC and DOS Batch Files on our families "True Blue" 8 MHz 80286 IBM AT.
In grade school I remember commanding the Turtle to draw on the screen with Logo on an Apple II machine.
In middle and high school, I learned PASCAL, FORTRAN, COBOL, and Integer BASIC on Apple IIe and Apple IIc's.
Since then, I have taught myself Visual Basic 6.0, MS Access, Java, C/C++ Console Apps and Visual Basic.NET. I'm now exploring C# and finding that I really like VB.Net... ;)
I also maintained Medical Equipment for seven years in the Air Force, giving me an electronics background.
An "Expert" in any of these languages I am certainly not (there are just too many areas to specialize in!)...but I bring to the table a unique perspective on software design and troubleshooting derived from a wide range of computer/electronics experiences.
I am looking forward to solving problems together, and hopefully, learning something along the way.
Mike Tomlinson a.k.a. Idle_Mind