Friday, August 27, 2004

Made round to go round

Following in the footsteps of others before me, I introduce my paypal button. Go on, show me just how much you care ;) No donation too small.

Things to do when you have nothing to do

The Search Engine Belt Buckle: "What is the Search Engine Belt Buckle?
The Search Engine Belt Buckle is a PDA which shows 24 hours of all the bizarre and banal things people are looking for on the web. Art project or pointless hack? That's for you to decide, but all we know is that people are searching for some pretty freaky stuff out there, so why not put in a belt buckle..."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Outsource your job to earn more

The Times of India:
"Programmers are outsourcing their software modules to cheap and efficient labour in India. This way they get the best of both worlds- more money and more time. They earn doubly - one from the outsourced job, other from the new job they undertake.

Says a programmer on who outsourced his job: 'My employer thinks I'm telecommuting. Now I'm considering getting a second job and doing the same thing.'"


I am up to my eyeballs in SQL replication.
normal service (whatever that is) will resume one day...

Monday, August 23, 2004

ProFont - The ultimate Programmers font

ProFont: "These are various download files for all people who love ProFont and comparable small sized, monospaced bitmap fonts."

I Wonder if Microsoft really knows where NZ is?

Microsoft pays dear for insults through ignorance

"only 23 out of 56 young Americans knew the whereabouts of the Pacific Ocean."

"The company [Microsoft] has now launched geography classes for its staff to avoid further bloomers which have caused embarrassment and cost money on a grand scale"

· A game called Age of Empires 2 offended the Saudi Arabian authorities because it showed victorious Muslim armies turning churches into mosques. The game was withdrawn from sale in the kingdom

· The Korean government, objected because Microsoft software showed the national flag in reverse. The software had to be changed.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Scary Stuff - patch quickly.

You've got 20 minutes to get your system patched:
"If the human body did patch management the way (companies do), we'd all be dead." - Fred Baumhardt. Microsoft Security Consultant

According to the SANS Internet Storm Center, an unprotected PC connected to the net to get patches, updates, and security fixes will last about 20 minutes, on average, before becoming compromised. Last year, the number was 40 minutes.
SANS offers a helpful guide called Windows XP - Surviving the First Day. ZDNet has a brief overview of this recent analysis."

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Why didn;t I think of this...

The amazing Linux Duracell CPU load monitor
"You probably know those onboard testers found on Energizer and Duracell batteries : press the two white dots printed on the wrapper, and magically the battery's state appears on a yellow bar. No need for a separate battery tester, everything is included on the battery itself. While not very precise, it's good enough to know if a battery is brand new, so-so, or completely dead.

Here are instructions to turn such a tester into a not-so-precise analog display to monitor the CPU load on a Linux system, controlled by a serial port."

Internet Law - In plain english

Internet Law - Legal Encyclopedia - Nolo

After a recent brush with (I believe) cyber squatting, I found this link. It explained the fundamentals to me very well. There may be other iems of law that interest you. obviously this is a USA bviased site, but the principles may apply to global issues, but what do I know - I'm not a lawyer.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Nice change for Bloggar sites

The Navbar:
Automatic Google SiteSearch... That works - very nice.

So many gadgets - so little time Exclusive: "New Microsoft Hardware Fall 2004 Lineup Photos"


Blogging in a corporate environment

Biz Blogging Heats Up
"A lot of thoughts today on blogging as a way to bring an enterprise and its customers closer together...."

This lead me to
Six Types Of Business Blogs - A Classification
which is on an excellent site.

intraVnews RC1 released

intraVnews Beta Program:
intraVnews is a must have plug in aggregator for Outlook.
Compine this with Lookout and you have a killer active newspaper.

What are you waiting for?

Monday, August 16, 2004

More cunning than a fox

How to get someone to answer your questions: "I learned a wonderful trick today that completely resonates with me, and I wanted to share it. Perhaps I should start a new program management category for this kind of thing, seems like I've been writing about it a lot recently.
The problem: You have a question. You need an answer. You know the person or group of people who can answer the question. You ask them the question, but you never hear back... you might have to continually checkin every few days or weeks, you might have to cc their manager, etc... but that's an awful lot of work just to get the answer to a question.
The solution: Send the mail to the person or group of people, but rather than asking the question, state what you know is the wrong answer. 'I think the way it works is Foo, right Bob?' You'll be amazed at how quickly someone will take the time to correct you, particularly if the question was aimed at more than one person, since it's an opportunity for that person to prove their knowledge in front of others (which is just human nature).
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Of course, it's not without consequences... you need to have a thick skin (or be willing to grow one), and be willing to live with the consequences should you use this trick so frequently that others start to think you don't know what you're talking about."

Anne's Weblog about Markup & Style

The perfect weblog system

Reference URL - might be worth a look

Six great myths of IT

InfoWorld Special Report: "Urban legends from the tech trenches ... and the realities behind them"

Geek Humor

Humor: The Top Ten Reasons .NET is Better than COM

Friday, August 13, 2004

put this on my SQL to do list

Download details: SQL Server Health and History Tool (SQLH2): "SQL Server Health and History Tool (SQLH2)
The Microsoft SQL Server Health and History Tool (SQLH2) allows you to collect information from instances of SQL Server, store this information, and run reports against the data in order to determine how SQL Server is being used."

Pat Helland strikes again

Why I hate the phrase "Long Running Transactions"...

Whenever I hear about a 'Long Running Transaction', I wonder about where it ends. Let's consider the following example:
1) I decide to take a trip to Europe so I book some airline and hotel reservations.
2) The hotel in London hits a threshold of occupancy and decides to increase staffing and food for the restaurant.
3) The hotel orders more food from the Green Grocer.
4) The Green Grocer hits a threshold and orders another delivery from its shipper.
5) The shipping company hits a thresold and orders more diesel fuel for its trucks...
6) Two weeks later, I cancel my trip.

So, if I believe in long-running-transactions, the shipping company doesn't need any more diesel fuel! I don't think so!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Help Make Blogs More Visible!

There are by some estimates more than a million weblogs. But most of them get no visibility in search engines. Only a few 'A-List' blogs get into the top search engine results for a given topic, while the majority of blogs just don't get noticed. The reason is that the smaller blogs don't have enough links pointing to them. But this posting could solve that. Let's help the smaller blogs get more visibility!
This posting is GoMeme 4.0. It is part of an experiment to see if we can create a blog posting that helps 1000's of blogs get higher rankings in Google. So far we have tried 3 earlier variations. Our first test, GoMeme 1.0, spread to nearly 740 blogs in 2.5 days. This new version 4.0 is shorter, simpler, and fits more easily into your blog.
Why are we doing this? We want to help thousands of blogs get more visibility in Google and other search engines. How does it work? Just follow the instructions below to re-post this meme in your blog and add your URL to the end of the Path List below. As the meme spreads onwards from your blog, so will your URL. Later, when your blog is indexed by search engines, they will see the links pointing to your blog from all the downstream blogs that got this via you, which will cause them to rank your blog higher in search results. Everyone in the Path List below benefits in a similar way as this meme spreads. Try it!
Instructions: Just copy this entire post and paste it into your blog. Then add your URL to the end of the path list below, and pass it on! (Make sure you add your URLs as live links or HTML code to the Path List below.)
Path List
1. Minding the Planet
2. Luke Hutteman's public virtual MemoryStream
3. MrDee
4. MrDee Office Zealot
5. (your URL goes here! But first, please copy this line and move it down to the next line for the next person"

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Putting the Sans in Comic Sans

ban comic sans: "The FoNT foundation has determined that according to these trends the only typeface anyone will use by the year 2030 will indeed be Comic Sans. (illustations below)"

I just had to link to this one

bizgirl: "Mucus Trooper"
Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

A clever Idea in SQL server

SQL Server Alerts: "By using alerts for the client processing (not a system monitoring) better security with ability to use full SQL Server power and physical separation between two logically connected but physically independent processes can be achieved. This article shows only general design ideas that I was using for multiple processes very successfully. The actual implementation may vary based on each individual process scenario. "

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Be Afraid

XP SP2 Released - be prepared

XP SP2 Released - resources for developers: "Windows XP Service Pack 2 has been released, and should be becoming available via automatic updates soon. In the meantime, you may want to check out this link which will help you prepare:"

The problem with passwords

Jon Udell: Tragedy of the network commons: "A recent survey found that 75 percent of Dartmouth students have shared their network passwords. They like having people who know their password, explained Denise Anthony, a sociologist who spoke at the PKI summit conference I attended earlier this month. 'They like having someone who can check their e-mail for them or log them in to places where they're supposed to be.' "

critique of design

Stopdesign | Throwing Tables Out the Window: "The shame is that Microsoft's site isn't as optimized as it could be. They haven't taken the plunge yet. Users download unnecessarily larger pages, and servers waste extra bandwidth to keep up. At 40 KB, the HTML for Microsoft's home page is not exactly a bloated beast. But it is burdened with inaccessible, kludgy, table-based markup filled with proprietary attributes and some awkward JavaScript. "

I Am A Zealot

Andrew Dixon, Office Zealot
OK so I live on outlook.
I am investigating CRM and IBF
I can be made to admit I use access
I figured I might as well talk about the experience.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Nice freebie re: XML

"Essential XML Quick Reference" book available for free download: "Developmentor and TheServerSide.NET have teamed together to provide you with the entire book 'Essential XML Quick Reference', by Aaron Skonnard and Martin Gudgin, . The book offers quick-reference access to the XML Schema, XML, XSLT, XPath and more."

Yet avain we beat the Aussies ;)

Computerworld - Tech Ed attendance hits new high:

"Ironically, the New Zealand event this year is larger than Tech Ed in Australia.

Microsoft's Doug Pratt says speakers won't have to fly out next year, because the Australian event will be held a week before New Zealand's conference. "

Friday, August 06, 2004

Good at twice the price

ImageShack (TM) - Hosting: "ImageShack(TM) is a dedicated internet digital content hosting service"

Interesting disclaimer

"All opinions are my own. All content is provided 'AS IS' with no warranties, and confers no rights. Use code samples at your own risk.
Posts may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. Any dissemination, distribution or copying of this post is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word absquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the preparation of this post. Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this warning backwards, so just ignore that Alert Notice from Microsoft: However, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have read this post in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites and place it in a warm oven for 40 minutes. Whisk briefly and let it stand for 2 hours before icing. "

Firefox Checklist - Time to get compliant

Can Your Site Survive Firefox?

The first Pocket Computer (as in pocket of land)

Babbage Difference Engine

Ever wondered how this worked? They have built one in london, something Babbage was not able to do with the engineering available at the time. What do you know - It worked.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Security Wisdom

Passwords are like Chewing Gum

Strongest when fresh
Should be used by an individual - not a group
If left laying around, will create a sticky mess

TechEd - Day Three (the pain begins)

SEC201 Defending Against Layer 8: How to Recognize and Combat Social Engineering
Steve Riley at his best. BTW the auction for may password starts here (and begins at more than one chocolate bar)

ARC305 Improving Application Performance and Scalability
Tom Hollander
Good solid, sensible advice. Glad I went.

DEV403 .NET Framework: Writing Faster Managed Code
Nic Wise, recipient of the TechEd purple heart for continuing under fire. Next year can we please have a venue that is finished.
"The one thing you need to do is (insert mind altering screetch noise from the heavens that makes your eyes rattle) and that is it."

Sorry Nic, I could not get much more that this out of your session (and I lost the link to Quake :( )

DEV322 Using Web Services Enhancements v2.0 to secure Web services
Gabe Smith
Torture. One of the 'features' of v2.0 is ease of use. These guys need a dictionary.
I am sure Gabe is a great guy, it is the session that should be put out of our misery

DEV307 Visual C# Best Practices: What's Wrong With this Code?
Valentine Boairkine
Should have gone to the dentist. Even if I WANTED to feel like I was trapped in a C# for dummies book or a Hi-5 TV show I would not have come here.

DEV311 Secure coding best practices (or Writing Secure Code 2nd Edition)
Michael Howard
What a way to finish. Michael has passion, skill and an ability to make me REALLY scared. Please come back.

TechEd - Day Two

SEC403 Windows Passwords: Everything You Need to Know
Jesper Johansson
WOW I wish I had been to his first session. Electric, Informative.
no wonder this is the session that will not die.
and yes, he is a good as steve riley

SMT205 Smart Clients in a Service-Oriented World: Thomson Financial Case Study
Brenton Webster
Wierd opening, content that swung from a 100 to a 300 level - Interesting overview, just needed a little focus.

DotNet User Group
this is a must not miss, must support local talent - shame it conflicted with
SEC404 Security Expert Panel
Jesper Johansson, Steve Riley, Ben Smith
but there is one one of me - I'm sure they missed me (NOT)

DEV201 .NET Framework: Exploring What's new in the CLR 2.0
Joel Pobar
Nice overview, The map was a little strange, he seemed a little eagre, but very sincere - and a good topic helps.

DEV310 Threat modeling of possible software exploits
Michael Howard
He is the MAN. He wrote the book on security at microsoft (well co-authored at least)
Writing Secure Code and he knows how to interest an audience. I did not want to leave.

note to sponsers. WE NEED MORE STUFF. my haul so far - pens=2. t-shirts=1, balls=2 and I had to WORK hard for these. c'mon guys t-shirts are cheap adverting. Geeks wear these everywhere. and if you want to buy something technical who do you ask? why not make them a moving billboard. I will wear a t-shirt long after I have forgotten the eye-candy air-heads you have manning your stalls.

TechEd - Day One (part 2)

Oh yeah I forgot
DEV316 Visual Studio Team System Part 1
this could be good, this could be bloat, this could be another hoop to jump through before you an get to DOING something useful. I will wait for time to tell.

This one saw WAY too few seats. Can abyone explain why pre-registration is not mandatory so that sensible room sizes are allocated?

Then again Commnet would have to be reliable... maybe next year.

Oh yeah, annoyance number somthing - session times changed - I had the whole 3 days planned and the world shifted resulting in conflicts with cool sessions and dead periods with blah content.

methinks sharing speakers with Australia was the problem. I wonder if having NZ wed-fri and OZ mon-wed might work?

Customer service as seen in NZ

Monty Python's Cheese Shop Skit

Oh for the time to do everything

How to download Microsoft Webcasts

VMWare vs VPC - objective review

Ars Technica: Virtual Machine Shootout - Page 1 - (8/2004): "Virtual machine shootout: VMware vs. Virtual PC"

Lookout v1.2 Official download

Download details: Lookout v1.2: "Lookout v1.2"

Bob Lewis on Hiring Uber-programmers

Great Hacker != Great Hire: "I worry that lots of small ISVs will read this article (Great Hackers) and believe that they need to hire great hackers. When great hackers are as fussy as Graham says they are, they're not worth the trouble. We want the super-productivity, and we want the innate love of software development, but we don't want all the extra baggage. Instead:
Hire people who care about users.
Hire people who understand the difference between a job and a hobby.
Hire people who want to contribute in lots of different ways to the success of the product.
It's okay to be in awe of these great hackers. But as a practical matter, small ISVs would be much better off hiring professionals."

Beat the ROT,

Be as ROTten as you like:

Bob Lewis has some insightful comments to make about business in a techo evnironment.
read this article to see what IU mean (then subscribe)

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Yippee - the pixie is back

pixies are like that.

(tech ed content to follow when I get back tonight)

Monday, August 02, 2004

TechEd NZ - Day One

TechEd 2004 NZ

Tech Ed started with a bang and a roar. SOOO many people. I would have traken notes but, there was no pen supplied. Can you believe that? you pay an arm and a leg and no pen... or pad.. or eval forms.... note to self - pick these up later... too much to see.

ARC301 Metropolis: Envisioning the Service-Oriented Enterprise
Harry Pierson presented this fabulously - if you watch nothing else on the DVD set, this will give you a fresh perspective on where IT is going

ARC303 Business value of Enterprise Architecture
Mark Carroll - WARNING buzz word alert!
however when you actually understand what he is saying the value is obvious. I am looking forward to getting the slide deck (still no pen)

ARC401 Data in Services-Oriented Architecture
Harry Pierson - This guy is on fire. I will ahve to digest this session futher, but to see some flesh on the fiefdoms concept has made TechEd worth coming to this year (yay a pen was found, and a t-shirt, squeeze ball etc - must say though meagre pickings for geek pack-rats)

SEC402 Network Threat Modeling
Jesper Johansson - Such a shame I missed this gut earlier - tomorrow I will not miss him (despite 8:30 start) Animated, funny, INFORMATIVE. why are security guys so entertaining? Steve Riley et al.

did I mention the food - Not bad.

If they could find a way of letting us get from one seminar to the next without risking life an limb (bad queues due to sponsers on bith sides of narrow corridor, and a VERY dodgy escalator) I would be happier.)

don't you just love Tech Ed? I know I do.