March 2004 - Posts

31 March 2004
Microsoft Progress Report: Security
Executive update on security initiative at Microsoft ( corresponding CNET article here , counter argument here ). Thanks Bill! Read More...
31 March 2004
File Sharing Legal?
It could be soon (in Canada at least) . Hopefully America will wake up and smell the mp3's soon. My favorite paragraph from the story: “The regulators cited a long-standing rule in Canada, in which most copying for personal use was allowed. To repay artists and record labels for revenue lost by this activity, the government imposes a fee on blank tapes, CDs and even hard disk-based MP3 players such as Apple Computer's iPod, and distributes that revenue to copyright holders.” My second favorite paragraph from the story: “The mere fact of placing a copy on a shared directory in a computer where that copy can be accessed via a P2P service does not amount to distribution," Finckenstein wrote. "Before it constitutes distribution, there must be a positive act by the owner of the shared directory, such as sending out the copies or advertising that they are available for copying.” Read More...
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28 March 2004
New MSDN TV Episode -- Data with ASP.NET in Visual Studio 2005
The new MSDN TV presentation is definitely worth taking a look at. The first you thing you will notice is that the format has changed (the demo runs embedded into IE), this is probably why we haven't had a new MSDN TV in about a month, and unintuitively there is an installer that configures the presentation whereas before it was just a .WMV file that was zipped up. The caveat to this of course is that it's only guaranteed to work correctly in IE. I didn't test it with Mozilla or Netscape, but hopefully it will be ok with those browsers. I initially hated the new format (you can only view it at 100%, not fullscreen), but once you get to the meat of the demo (the code) you will notice that instead of a camera zooming around the monitor, you get a true representation of Scott's desktop...this is a welcome change and overall I think it's a nice touch. As far as the demo itself, I think this is great stuff and I'm looking forward to it The new IDE looks great, although an initial complaint I... Read More...
25 March 2004
Bug Squasher's Heaven (or Hell)
This sounds a bit like the process we use at work (though we certainly don't mean to). Read More...
24 March 2004
ASP.NET Performance Tuning/Analysis
A role at my workplace that I've noticed a huge need for is one of a performance architect/analyst, which is a role I have been attempting to play a more active part in. By the very nature of the .Net framework and how much work it does for us, I think many of us throw performance considerations by the wayside and just assume that it will work when rolled out into production. Perhaps more times than not this is indeed the case initially, but inevitably performance issues are going to crop up and it will be time to fire up a production debugger/profiler and some of the CLR performance monitor counters. A little background may be in order...and this is from a corporate IT slant. There are developers that get their jollies by designing slick interfaces/GUI's as invariably this is the only part of the application that the end user is going to see, and 9 times out of 8 when giving a demo to a corporate sponsor, the only remarks that will be made about the application concerns the GUI, i.e. “it... Read More...
11 March 2004
The Peril's of Self Hosting
I host my own web server/database server in house (if anyone is interested, it's an AMD K6-II running at around 450Mhz w/ the wind behind its back, 256 Mb RAM, powered by Win2k3 --> runs great despite MS minimal HW req's; I reboot about once a month), but I moved last week and couldn't get internet access until this evening. If I was Scoble , I would have been dead in the water, but alas it's just I only get about 30-40 page hits a day hopefully it didn't cost me that many visits. Anywho, I'm back up and running and have some great stuff coming down the pipe soon. I haven't posted near enough code lately, so look for some new stuff in the near future. Would I ever consider hosting my blog offsite? Nope. I like having my finger on the pulse. Cheers, and happy computing. Read More...
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01 March 2004
Compendium of Interesting QA's on Why Some of us Became Developers
I've stumbled across a few of these on the web over the last week or two and decided to compile them into a post. I can relate to these whole heartedly. If anyone has any additions, feel free to send them in: Q: What is your advice to someone contemplating a career in the computer industry today? A: First and foremost, look in the mirror and really ask yourself the following question: “Do I like to solve puzzles that have no instruction book?” This is programming. It always stinks when I am teaching a class and find the stereotypical “angry programmer” who is just mad that she or he needs to learn new information. No joy. No happiness. No thought beyond his or her current misery (it is just so sad). Programming is all about being malleable. Things change sooooo quickly that you have to enjoy learning things on the fly, finding out the answer when no one has a clue (or cares), and respecting what you don’t know. These days, new programmers CAN’T really... Read More...