Sunday, September 09, 2007

Visual Assist X (by Whole Tomato)

I am hoping that people won't mind a small plug here for a product that I have been using extensively throughout my Visual C++ coding years and I find indispensable. I am talking about Visual Assist, which is now in its tenth iteration (with thousands of in-between builds and continuous support by its creator, Whole Tomato).

It runs within Visual Studio (all versions) and converts a very good product (Visual Studio == a Volkswagen) into a Porsche.

Run, don't walk to your nearest URL site:

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Trip to the USA - Part 1 (Washington DC)

Haven't written much the past month or so, but the reason was simple: I was on the road. Margarita and I decided to take advantage of a couple meetings I had scheduled overseas, so we combined business and pleasure to take a three week long road trip in the USA.

Our flight into the US was uneventful - if one ignores the absurdity of having to go through security measures TWICE while changing planes in London. Heathrow has now quickly climbed to first place in my "places to avoid" list - where else would you be subjected to an hour-long security checkpoint WHILE IN TRANSIT.

The first scheduled stop in the US was Washington DC, home of "I didn't vote for him, but he's still my president" (famous quote by a not so famous acquaintance of ours).

Thankfully, he was away on vacation (again?) together with most of the capital's residents, so there was almost none of the usual traffic that makes DC so likeable to tourists.

DC is always nice to visit, as it offers beautiful walking-dista
nce tours that can be done in a day without that much pain. Starting at the Capitol, a round-trip to the Washington Monument offers a variety of museums and historical site stops which educate and entertain.

My favorite? The Air and Space Museum of course. While there are other significant sites in DC, I always had a soft spot for the place that hosts most of man's attempts to escape gravity, documenting and keeping track of events and vehicles that made it possible for people to realize how beautiful it is to soar in our skies.

Gotta be done with the 747-400X no?

We visited the Museum of Natural History as well - always a favorite for children and adults alike, although comparing it to its New York and London equivalents I found it lacking a bit, for no specific reason.

Dad and... extended family ;-)

Another favorite spot is Georgetown, with its restaurants and bistros that offer quality for different tastes depending on the mood. Our day trip happened to take place on a Sunday, so we got lucky with a nice Italian restaurant that offered an all-you-can-eat brunch for $14.95 - can't beat that deal!

We left DC for Seattle - which will be part 2 of the trip blog entries.