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I have wanted to have a security system at the house for a while. But, with estimates into the thousands, it was way outside our price range. Recently, Rachel picked up a coupon that waved most of the installation costs, bringing the price to a few hundred. So, we jumped on the deal.

Our new alarm system features sensors on the doors and windows. In addition, it also includes a smoke and heat (fire) detector. What I especially like is that it announces door and window openings even when it is not armed. This comes in handy as I can now hear someone entering when I am upstairs. Originally, we were going to get a motion detector and a key fob (a remote arming and disarming device similar to the ones for cars). However, a single motion detector would not cover the entire house. Also, with the pets running loose, we would likely get false alarms. The key fob sounded interesting at first. If we lost the fob (with the house keys attached), a burglar would have an easy time entering the house. So, we decided it was better to put sensors on the doors and windows.

In addition to upgrading our previously non-existent security system, I have been upgrading my programming skills. I currently use Microsoft Visual Basic 6 as my language of choice (though I know a few others). However, as there are less income opportunities with VB6, I have been reading up on Visual Basic .NET. My first problem is that I am using VB.NET 2005. But, most of the books I have run into are for VB.NET 2003. Fortunately, the two VB.NET versions are similar enough were it is not much of a problem.

There are many similarities between VB and VB.NET, which accelerate my learning. Of course, there are just enough differences to drive me crazy. Overall, I feel that I will enjoy developing with VB.NET, and I look forward to more projects in the future.

Tagline for today: “I bought a self learning record to learn Spanish, I turned it on and went to sleep, the record got stuck, the next day I could only stutter in Spanish.” - Steven Wright