An interview and roundtable podcast where we talk about all things ColdFusion and CFML.

I am a fanatic of The Event! Help us get a season 2!!! (also: Where is the podcast?)

Cross post... also posted on my blog - brianmeloche.com, but this one is slightly edited to address CFConversations.

OK, so it's been almost a year... and you're probably asking where has this podcast gone??? Are you done, or what???

In 2010, and now into 2011, CFHour has been going strong, representing the ColdFusion developer community well, and the pressure I used to feel to get out podcasts just hasn't been there anymore. I was dealing with some issues, and was busy both at work and on some freelance and pro-bono projects, so I didn't feel the need to rush out getting CFConversations. It would come back when I was ready.

I was planning to bring back CFConversations in early 2011, as several things got wrapped up. I got busy at work in January, but my plan was to step down as manager from my user group and focus on being an Adobe Community Professional and get back to regular podcasts. Since then, the results were announced, and I wasn't chosen for either the Adobe Community Professional or the new Adobe Community Champion this year. It was my perfect storm that hit the last half of 2010, with five pets passing away, my wife's job being lost, and a lot of turmoil, that stopped the podcast. I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to be doing anything public. I needed a break, but that break most certainly cost me the ACC/ACP... rightly so, I might add, but it did make me re-evaluate things.

In 2010, we lost four pets, and last month, we lost a fifth. That's all three of our dogs and our two most senior cats. All died to old age. Our beloved pitbull mix, Buster, was the hardest of all. He lost the ability to walk and couldn't even go to the bathroom on his own, and after a week of suffering, we had to put him to sleep. That was one of the worst weeks of my life. Recently, we lost Stella, our last dog, which we had to put down after her dementia had gotten much worse. We've recently adopted a new doggy, who we have named Shorty, who's helped us heal, so things are finally being happier around the Meloche household.

So... why no podcast? Currently, the office/studio where I podcasted regularly has been dismantled and I really don't have a place to podcast from or a computer to podcast with. It's not a top priority, so until I can get to that, I won't have another episode. I'm hoping I'll get back to it by the summer, but I'm going to call CFConversations at this point "on hiatus", which means that it will probably come back, but it may not. I'll let you know once I know.

Without the pressure and the lack of a decent place to podcast from, I decided to devote my current time to something completely unrelated to the podcast or CFConversations, something that I thought needed my involvement right now more than the CF podcasting world does.

If you follow my Twitter stream, you probably already know that I'm a big fan of The Event. In fact, I haven't been tweeting about much else these days. No, I haven't lost my marbles... in fact, things are good these days, especially with Shorty now in our lives. However, I am near-fanatical about this show and I want people to know it!

I am tweeting about The Event a lot these days for one very, very important reason: It's very possible the show will be canceled at the end of the season, and I want to do whatever I can to make sure that doesn't happen!!! We should know in mid May its fate.

It's not a perfect show. It has some flaws. Some of the episodes seem like they could use another draft before they go to air. Since I sold a story to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine way back... wow, fifteen years ago (a story for another time)... I sometimes get the "I could have written a better episode than this" feeling. That's, in my case, a good sign, because I haven't had that feeling when I'm watching a show since Star Trek: TNG was on... and I was as much into that show as I am into The Event.

It's a roller coaster! It's pretty much a cross between 24, Lost, V, Flash Forward and The 4400 (from what I am told... I haven't caught up with that show yet). I was initially intrigued by its combination of action, suspense, science fiction and serialized storytelling that I was very excited when it was announced and was a fan, even before it started. Once it aired, it didn't disappoint, though I did understand some people that were a bit confused by the pilot and how it was told in a very non-linear way... not the best for a casual viewer that may not be fully paying attention. I'll save you from going into a long explanation of the story, as there are other websites that can give you detailed synopses of each episode, such as Wormhole Riders, but we pretty much now know what the Event is, and that it's coming soon (probably the season finale).

SPOILER ALERT!!! If you don't want to be spoiled, don't read on.

At this point (episode 1.17 - five more episodes left in the season), we pretty much know that "the event" is the mass arrival of 2.5 billion humanoid aliens that have superior technology, have infiltrated every level of society, and are hellbent on the "winnowing" mass-extinction of many or even most of the humans on this planet. These aliens, or as what was suggested in one episode "guardian angels", have visited Earth for thousands of years, and are now coming here to day. They want Earth for themselves. Their sun is starting to go supernova, and will be uninhabitable within the next year, so they have to move. We also know that Sean Walker is an outsider, but has been accepted by a tribe of "sentinels" who have also been around for thousands of years to protect us from the angels/aliens, and see him as humanity's best hope for survival. His girlfriend, Leila, at the start of the show, has discovered that she is half human, half alien, and that her father is one of them.

If you haven't gotten into the show, or gave up on it early on... I do suggest you try the two minute replays if you can't watch all of the episodes in their entirety. If you have Hulu Plus, you can watch all 17 episodes with your subscription. If not, the last five are available on Hulu and nbc.com. If you're outside of the US, I'm not sure what might be available. I know citytv.com has episodes on its site for Canadian viewers, but I'm not sure about the rest of the world (please comment if you have info). I have seen download sites on the web... but I'm not condoning that. They are available for purchase on amazon.com and ITunes, as well as the Zune marketplace and I'm sure other places and on demand for many cable systems.

Anyway... so why all the twittering, facebooking and whatnot? Well, the show hasn't done all that well in the ratings. It started strong, but with stiff competition in the schedule, a network that took the show off the air for three months and is having major problems throughout its schedule, and a big budget, the show is in jeopardy of cancellation, and it would be a tragedy if that were to happen. I'm not podcasting these days because my podcast studio has been disassembled, and it's difficult to do the show without it, and I'm pretty busy these days at the office, so I'm taking a break from any open source projects, but what I CAN do is help do what I can to help fans of the show be heard, get people watching the show when it's aired (especially if you're a Nielsen family!!!), talk about it to friends and get them into the show! What's more, I'm trying to do whatever I can do to help rally fans to get the word to NBC Universal to not cancel this show. WE WANT A SEASON 2!!! If it's removed from the NBC schedule, my hope is that they will move the show to one of its sister channels, such as Syfy or USA Network, or bring it back as a mid-season replacement. That might be a good alternative because the show suffered from pre-emptions and that long hiatus. Law & Order: LA, which also went through a long hiatus, has suffered a similar problem in the ratings since its return, and that, and lackluster ratings from the network in general, will help NBC give this show another season. Shows like 24, which has a lot in common with The Event, had a very similar lackluster season 1 but were strong in subsequent seasons, and I am hoping that will be a factor in bringing back the show.

To that end, I have set up a new blog & website at theeventfanatic.com, where I will keep links, theories, episode info and whatever I can find about The Event. Check out my Other Websites page, where I have links to every website, Twitter account and Facebook page I can find devoted to the show. I have also created a new Twitter account devoted just to this site, called @TheEventFanatic. If you're interested in the show, I have moved most of my The Event specific activity to that account, though I still post some on my main @coofuushun account from time to time.

Also, I want to publicize another website that has been created to help fans of the show know what they can do to save the show. It's called savetheevent.blogspot.com. There, you'll find things you can do to help this show.

Thanks for reading! Again, once I can reassemble my office space, I'll hopefully get back to CFConversations, but until then, you've got CFHour (and now 2 Devs Down Under) to get your podcasting fix.

Artisteer - Web Design Generator

OO ColdFusion Presentation Today on ColdFusion Meetup!

Cross posting from the original post earlier...

This is a late post, but I wanted to mention that I'll be presenting my Common Sense Approach to Object Oriented ColdFusion, 2010 Edition presentation in a few hours to the ColdFusion Meetup, 12pm Eastern (UTC/GMT-4) today. This is a slightly refined version to the one I presented in April at the CFObjective conference.

Watch Live Here

After the presentation, you'll find the recording posted here. I'll update this post after the fact with the direct URL.

Also, I'll finally be making the code from the CFObjective/Meetup for public view for the first time following the presentation, as well as post it on RIAForge and Github. One of the sample applications is the most extensive LightFront example posted to date, so this presentation should also show you a little bit on the framework as well. In that sample, there's also an "old school" version, as well as an unfinished Mach-ii/ColdSpring version that I'll continue to work on (but there's enough there to show the stark differences between a typical OO CF application and a simpler OO LightFront one).

I'll also be releasing a new version of LightFront (0.4.5) today as well.

Vote for the CFConversations Open Mike at CFUnited!

I'm hoping to do a CFConversations Open Mike at CFUnited this year... but I need your help to get on the schedule.

I'll be at CFUnited regardless (well, hopefully; I'm planning to be there), but I'd like to have a big audience for one of the podcasts.

If you want to see it, vote for it here:

http://callforspeakers.cfconf.org/?event=vote&eventId=188

Also, I've sent in another three topics that could use your vote:

  1. Improving Website Performance in the Browser
  2. LightFront - The CFML Framework that you don't need to be a rocket scientist to use!
  3. Object Oriented CFML: 2010 Edition

I probably won't get another podcast out until March, as I'm pretty swamped with work right now until the end of the month, but I've got a few episodes coming, including a few guest interviewers, and two that are already recorded. I have to hit it hard in March, as CF Hour() is about to lap CFConversations. :( I'm all about healthy competition. :)

CFConversations won a CFEmmy!!!

Thanks to everyone that voted for CFConversations in the Community Achievement Awards (CFEmmys) for Best Podcast. It's much appreciated, and good to know that the community supports what we're doing. It's not always easy producing the podcast, believe me, but things that are worth doing aren't always easy.

For those of you who are at CFUnited, you're all welcome to attend our next roundtable at 5:45pm. We are in the Legolas room, which is Dogwood E. If we need a bigger room, we can move if we have to. Recording will begin at 6pm sharp, but you can pop in any time between 6 and whenever we finish. I want to encourage fans of the podcast to attend!

I know, I know... but I'm on my way to CFUnited! Prepare for a CFConversations flood of episodes!!!

Yes, I know... I am the suck! :-)

I have been trying, but I've had a whole bunch of things going on that have prevented me from getting out a podcast since the last one, which came out June 8th, some of that I can tell you about (work, user group stuff, personal stuff), and something new that I can't yet talk about that's been taking up a lot of my time. Let's just say I've been pretty busy lately, but there are other CF podcasts now (which I'll promote later), so I hope you haven't missed us TOO much.

I wanted to just send out a quick post to let you know, that CFConversations is still around, and that content is coming your way.

I have a bunch of stuff planned for CFUnited! We have a day 1 open mike round table podcast scheduled for 5:30 on Wednesday, and CFConversations will be situated in the Legolas room throughout the conference, interviewing and podcasting away. Anyone who's at the conference can attend the open mike session, and I'll be looking to schedule interviews throughout the conference.

In addition, I am going to TRY (can't promise) to get some of the many interviews we have done over the last few months out DURING... yes, DURING... CFUnited. This may sound like a bad idea, but, trust me, although I am not going to explain why right now... it isn't. Already recorded are interviews with Peter Bell, Sean Corfield, Barney Boisvert, Lawrence Cramer, Dee Sadler and Rachel Lehman. I think I may be able to get out one or two of those during the conference (or even today).

We've already got some new interviews scheduled while at CFUnited... so although I've kept you waiting... you're about to be flooded with podcasts from CFConversations!

Yeah, I know it's been a while, but we're coming back!

I know it's been a while since CFConversations has released an episode - since February 24th, over two months. There are reasons for that, and for those of you that don't know what those reasons are, I've finally blogged about it, so please read it if you're interested. Bottom line, the short version is that I had gastric bypass surgery on 2/27. That entry explains what's been going on, although it may not explain why it's been this long. Thankfully, we're coming back!

Unfortunately, CFConversations went on hiatus, as I recovered from surgery. We had hoped to get a few podcasts out while I recovered, but it didn't work that way. As I have struggled a bit getting everything into my new schedule, the hiatus got extended. I've got more things to do, like working out, now that I'm serious about getting this weight off, but it hasn't left me much time for the podcast. I'm finally starting to figure out a balance, so it's time to return.

Before I went on leave, I recorded two interviews as part of our CFUnited series: One with Lawrence Cramer and the other with Peter Bell, which was recorded before his announcement that he was joining Railo. I haven't gotten them out yet.

Also, I just interviewed Sean Corfield, the latest to join the Railo team. That's going to be released as a three part interview, also part of the CFUnited series. We got through a lot of questions tonight, enough to split the interview into our first three-part episode.

Due to all the recent Railo news, the plan is to release as follows: Episode 31 with Peter Bell and part 1 with Sean as episode 32. The next two episodes I'm going to try to get out by cf.Objective(). I'll get out part 2 and 3 of Sean's interview as well, if I can, but I doubt it will be before the conference. They will probably wait until after cf.Objective(). Once all three parts of Sean's interview are out, I'll release the Lawrence Cramer interview, which would in theory be episode 38, and then any more we get.

At cf.Objective(), we're going to try to do three roundtables: Day 0 (the night before the conference begins, Wednesday night), 1 (Thursday night) and 2 (Friday night). If you are at the conference and would like to join in, you're welcome. Watch me on Twitter and I'll tweet where we'll do it and at what time. We're also planning to get more interviews while at the conference, as many as we can. I'll have a few people helping with interviews, so I hope we'll get quite a few.

So, sorry for the hiatus. I thought it would be 2-3 weeks, but it ended up a LOT longer. We're about to be back and we're coming back strong, better than ever.

Our original episode 27 - Meet the ColdFusion Team BOF - will be delayed

One of the planned episodes from MAX 2008 is a partial recording of the Meet the ColdFusion Team Birds of a Feather session. It's the episode I've been working on for the past three weeks. It's about a 38 minute portion of the session.

Unfortunately, the recording has several issues. After several weeks of trying, I came to the conclusion that, with my current skill set, I couldn't fix the episode in a timely fashion. It's delayed the release of episodes, and enough is enough. I had decided to scrap the episode altogether. I decided last night to push up an interview in its place, with Doug Hughes of Alagad. I also have two other great interviews coming: one with Luis Majano and another with Charlie Arehart.

Notice, I said had scrapped.

I tried one final mastering of the recording, and had originally given up on it. However, after listening to it, it looks like I'm going to be able to publish at least a portion of that recording after all. It will mean a few things - a stereo recording instead of mono (sounds clearer in its original stereo) and a larger filesize, but I think that's OK in the circumstances. That said, that will still take more time, so I'll change the schedule, publish at least one interview first, maybe all of them, and then try again.

Sorry for the delay...

I had hoped to have delivered at least three of the episodes we recorded from MAX 2008 San Francisco by now, since episode 24 was released. Unfortunately, a few things have delayed the release.

After MAX, I went on a week and a half vacation. When I got back, I discovered that many of the recordings taken from MAX were of VERY poor audio quality (one exception is an interview with Charlie Arehart). What's worse is that, since back from vacation, my six year-old desktop that I'm using to edit the podcasts has been giving me some instability problems, crashing, while editing the recordings, and I'm yet to have a fully edited episode. It's been very frustrating, as these recordings need a lot of work before they can be published, and my current computer isn't up to the task. Although I am really trying to get a new computer, the reality is that I don't have enough money yet to buy a replacement. You could help me out a lot by donating to my Amazon wish list, and buy an Amazon gift card of any dollar amount you feel comfortable with. Specifically, I'm looking for gift cards, not anything else (unless you want to buy me a computer). I'm sorry to ask, but I don't know what else to do except ask for donations.

I'm hoping to get out the next few episodes out soon. Stay tuned.

Site Updates and Proposed Schedule

We're still looking for some help to pretty up the site, but I've gone ahead and created a new design. This is based upon a favorite of mine for a long time, Community MX's Jumpstart Traverse City. One person commented it's "too blue", but some graphics and even a pic or two should break the blue up nicely.

We're trying to get our first roundtable podcast scheduled for Friday night, with release on Sunday. It will be a roundtable podcast, covering various conferences over the last several weeks, open source news (there's been a lot of that) and CF9 rumors and hints.

CFUNITED is next week, and we plan a full schedule with roundtable sessions, and we have some interviews planned. More on that next week!

Announcing the new CFConversations Podcast...

My name is Brian Meloche, and I would like to formally announce the CFConversations podcast.

We are planning to make this a combination of an interview and a roundtable-based podcast, trying to alternate with every episode, and may throw in a few other formats in here over time.

This is an effort of a group of people, and while I have gotten the ball rolling, I am only one of those people. This will be very much a community effort. I am a host, but don't plan to be the only one.

Host My Site is a sponsor, and has graciously offered hosting and bandwidth for the podcast.

We're using BlogCFC for the site, after looking at other CFML alternatives, including MangoBlog and MachBlog. It appears to be the most fully featured for our needs. MangoBlog, for example, doesn't have enclosures yet, so while it's more advanced in some areas, the lack of enclosures excluded it at this time. Yes, we could have added them, but we would rather focus on content and not application design.

You'll notice the site design is still basic. We're looking for volunteers to submit designs. Yes, I could design one myself, but since this is a community effort, and I'd rather spend what little time that I do have (which isn't much, I'm afraid) on the podcasts themselves, and seek a designer from the community to pretty up the site.

We might sacrifice a bit here and there to get a good schedule going. We won't have musical intros, multiple features, and may sacrifice a bit of audio quality if it means cranking out a podcast in a day instead of a week. We may also have a few bumps here and there as we learn how to do this. Please be patient!

Expect our first episode within the next week. In addition, we are planning to do coverage from CFUNITED. Stay tuned!