Thursday, October 12, 2006

I wish I could buy a BlackBerry (ie Vodafone NL sucks)

I have been trying to buy a BlackBerry from Vodafone Netherlands for two weeks now, and I can't seem to pull it off. I initially placed my order online and that was a mistake. The website crashed when I submitted the order, and I've been calling customer service since trying to figure out what is going on. I've been promised everything from callbacks to an actual courier delivering the thing, but I've seen or heard diddly squat. I really wanted to go with Vodafone because of the romaing deal they have with other Vodafone carriers worldwide but I'm on the verge of giving up. I mean, how hard should buying a BlackBerry be?

I have to say that Vodafone customer service has been noting but awful, taking two days to answer emails and playing some of the most impressive pass-the-buck games when I have them on the phone. It seems that they are one of those departments that works really hard at getting nothing done. It's sad to see since the phone service Vodafone provides is actually quite good. Signing up is the problem.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Biztalk 2006 and Visual Studio 2005 disappointment

I've been working with BizTalk 2006 and Visual Studio 2005 daily for the last few months and have to say I am severely disappointed. The UI crashes at least a few times a day, and there are a number of gotchyas that can really steal a LOT of time from you.

One such gotchya is related to the BizTalk mapper. It seems that if you add any type of project to your solution that is not a BizTalk type, you run the risk of breaking your mapper. Not that VS tells you this. You get a cryptic message saying 'Failed to load source schema'. Luckily there is a newsgroup thread somewhere out there that has some relevant discussion on this.

If you are building a BizTalk solution, I recommend you keep all your other types of projects (Database, C#, Reports, etc) in another solution.

I'm hoping that the Visual Studio service pack will solve some of these issues, but only time will tell.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Long Weekends

I learned something new today. I though to myself - It's been a long time since I've had a long weekend. I wonder when the next one will be? So I did some searching and found out that the Netherlands have 3, maybe 4 long weekends per year. That sort of sucks to be honest. I remember Canadians being upset when we had one of those months without a long weekend. (There are two if I remember correctly.)
I know we get far more vacation in Holland so I can't really complain. There is however a difference between taking a day off and having a day off along with everyone else. Think about it - can you have a may two-four without the official day off?