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Twiki Blog Archive 2002-09

Monday, September 30, 2002

Monday at the FoxPro DevCon, and no sessions to give today. Had a great day, and made it to a session every slot, sometimes two or three.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Sunday morning was spent presenting "Introduction to Visual FoxPro?," a four-part, four-hour brain dump of everything I've learned in fifteen years of developing with Fox products. Pretty challenging session.

Spent the afternoon catching up with friends, beach-combing, and body surfing the really nice surf. Not a bad day.

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Spent the day travelling to Fort Lauderdale for the conference. While the travelling wasn't too bad, there was a very frustrating moment. I spent an hour-and-a-half in the Delta check-in lines, and was then told I could not check my luggage. As a result, I was forced to surrender a precious pocket knife, a 20-year-old Navy souvenir, at the security checkpoint. I was, and still am, pretty angry.

Friday, September 27, 2002

Microsoft opened up their "Office of the Future" exhibit and got this less than enthusiastic review in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "One concept not addressed is the bugs, unnecessary or hidden features and overly complicated products Microsoft has already introduced into the market."

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Fun meeting last night. A great exchange of opinions and views.

Fortune magazine is coming to the conclusion that " It turns out that the Linux doubters were wrong." Interesting to read in a mainline publication. And in the same issue, a second columnist concludes "Sure, corporations could save millions by replacing all their Microsoft desktop licenses, but it's doubtful the cost savings merit the hassle factor." Wow. I wonder how it will all turn out.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Wednesday. The FoxPro? group in Boston meets tonight, and I will be on a panel with former fellow employees Chad Gronbach and Andy Kelly. Should be fun.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Microsoft announces plans for business software.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Monday morning, and back into the swing of things.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Had a great day, working on the windows in Steve's bedroom, and cleaning out the garage. Watched "Monsters, Inc." on DVD.

Saturday, September 21, 2002

Back home. Good to be home.

It's the 38th week of the year, and Microsoft issues security bulletins numbered Fifty-One and Fifty-Two. It seems like Terminal Services is insecure, unless you own all the wires between terminal and server. So much for remote control of web servers over the Internet! And the Java VM has a little problem, too. Time to patch!

I left my machine on while I was away from home, as it is now serving some shared files as servers are moved around. I came home to a blue screen and the "your machine isn't fully ACPI compliant" message I've seen before. Must be a recent patch or new software - ZoneAlarm? and McAfee? come to mind. Hope it's not time to reformat.

Friday, September 20, 2002

Spent the morning walking up and down the local beach. Had lunch in Vineyard Haven and then the ferry and a drive from Falmouth home. Almost four hours of Friday night driving, pretty tough, but I had three days of vacation to make it worthwhile. A great mini-vacation.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Off on vacation. Toured Pogue Point and the Lighthouse this morning, and spent the afternoon on the beaches of Gay Head. Glorious!

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

On vacation.

Just had to rescue a floppy of disgital pictures. Downloaded, installed, evaluated, ordered on-line, registered, and succeeded with BadCopyPro. Highly recommended! Windows 2000 would only complain, and ask to format the floppy. CHKDSK said everything was find. BCP rescued my pix!

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Today marks six months of blogging. A milestone at which to pause and reflect. I'm still at the amateur level of blogging. I'm not sure if this is a professional blog, with all it's links to interesting articles and utilities, or a personal one about painting the house and going to the beach.

The Rollcall web site had an interesting article on how Congresspersons are trying to sort incoming email from constituents. Have to remember to include my street address when ranting.

Joh Udall has another one of those tie-it-all-together pieces he is so good at.

Stopped by Gould Hill Orchards to pick up a peck of apples. Beautiful views on a cloudless day.

-- TWikiGuest - 17 Sep 2002

Monday, September 16, 2002

Monday, Monday. Got a drenching rain last night; we needed the water. But it's still too humid this morning for my tastes.

Mozilla has tabs! With a tabbed interface, I can have several windows open at once, similar to the MDI interface in Opera. Just a few more things left to tweak on.

  • The Tiger Skin interface in Twiki doesn't render correctly.
  • The mouse wheel doesn't scroll a long page.

  • Opera lets you save and restore a set of windows, a great feature.

I accidentally closed the Moz main form and instantly lost 6 trains of thought, in the different windows. Sure would be nice to be able to save and restore them.

Moz has a security leak, although it looks like a low-threat one to me: http://members.ping.de/~sven/mozbug/refcook.html

In corporations, innovation is driven by competition. AMD, the powerhouse for single-processor CPUs for a couple of years, has fallen behing the latest Pentium 4s, according to this article on Tom's Hardware. Good. It will make everyone work harder to catch up.

According to news.com, Microsoft is getting a pass when the Bush administration reports on computer security.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Rains from tropical storm Hanna called off outdoor painting today.

The Internet Storm Center has a pretty photogenic view of what threats are happening on the internet, worldwide. It looks like the OpenSSL exploit is really hammering Apache servers.

Larry Wall is an entertaining writer and answers some interesting questions from the fans at SlashDot

Saturday, September 14, 2002

Saturday. Great day working in the yard. Stripped, prepped and primed four windows along the street side of the house. These are the last of the house windows to get done. Three cellar windows remain and the trim will be - dare I say it? - done!

  • Three windows primed for paint:
    Trim painting

Friday, September 13, 2002

Salon: "Forbidden Thoughts of 9/11"

Jim Alchin was busy yesterday. First, he's Frustrated over the lack of Web Services acceptance here, criticizing the Linux kernel here, and then he's making promises for 2003-4-5 here.

I've been trying to download Service Pack 1 of Windows XP for three days. I have gotten to within 97% complete and gotten the transfer terminated. Microsoft doens't seem to be providing an ftp server where I could try to pick up the transfer where it drops off. This is frustrating. It's only 133 megabytes. I had no trouble downloading .iso files for 6 CDs worth of Red Hat, around 3 gigabytes. Wonder if someone is trying to tell me something.

Cringley is at it again, with details here of his plan for a freely-distributable, GPL, compatible with any platform, TV for nerds series. With all this noveltie about the medium and its delivery format, I sure hope the content justifies the rumble.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Busy day, spent on the road visiting a client, eating a great dinner, and at SoftPro in Burlington. What a great store. Got a book on Samba and another on ISBN:1578701392 Windows Scripting Host (New Riders).

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

The end of a year of mourning. It's been a tough year. Tough for a lot of New Yorkers. Tough for the friends, relatives and loved ones of those lost in NYC, Washington and Pennsylvania. Tough for the Afgans. Tough for al-Quida, but not nearly tough enough. A year of major governmental changes, changes I hope do not appear too severe in the long run. Impositions on civil and personal rights that worry me. A war on terrorism that threatens personal liberties, intellectual property and the true freedom to innovate.

The web site for http://www.zeoslib.org[Zeoslib]] is an add-on for Delphi and Kylix that adds data handling capabilities to the low-end versions that ship without it. Instructions for packages like this are scary, as they tell you to download packages, ignore the attached installation instructions, and extract and compile stuff by hand. They don't seem to consider that those instructions are a brick wall for a new user.

SlashDot did a nice remembrance page here and turned off banner ads for the day.

Profox list members insist that Torry's List is a great source for information on Delphi and Kylix.

In this article, David K. Every explains what he thinks went on with Apple and NeXT?. I found it interesting reading. http://www.igeek.com/browse.php?id=1078

"Open Link in New Tab" was the option I hadn't seen in Mozilla before. This allows Moz to have an MDI interface where you can toggle between multiple documents (like clicking a link to download while continuing to read a page). This is the feature I love about Opera, where I often have a dozen windows open - articles I want to go back and read, standard search engine pages, news pages, etc.

Jeffrey Zeldman gets great respect in some corners. His feature article, an excerpt from his book, was featured on Slashdot, where he was promptly stoned to death for claiming that the entire web is "obsolete" and that the One True Way is to use CSS to render all web features. I think he's a little heavy-handed, and the response more so.

"Tyranny, Terror and Technology" are the theme's of Ray Ozzie's Weblog entry. The Netwars references sound interesting. Is the network a new form of cooperation?

Dan Bricklin, Mr. Spreadsheet, looks at the numbers the RIAA is claiming, and says they just don't make sense in "The Recording Industry is Trying to Kill the Goose That Lays the Golden Egg." His conclusion: shutting down napster is hurting CD sales.

Peter Coffee hits the nail on the head with this column that says that we are not using the power of the computer to it's advantage, but rather to bury ourselves in e-mail.

Wasn't it Three D Graphics that created FoxGraph?? They still seem to be around and thriving.

-- TWikiGuest - 11 Sep 2002

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

My 9/11 story. I was a speaker at the 12th Microsoft Visual FoxPro? Developer's Conference ("DevCon"). I went downstairs from my hotel room at the San Diego Harbor Hyatt to discover the horror of the terrorist acts. Large TVs had been rolled into each room. I watched as the towers fell. As the 8 AM sessions of DevCon were about to begin, I went to the speaker's lounge to see how my fellow speakers were holding up. There was a discussion over whether we should continue. My statement was simple enough: "If we don't keep going on, we let the bastards win." A few days later, at a gathering, I overheard an attendee thanking a speaker for having kept their session going. He said that to do otherwise would have been "to let the bastards win."

I like to think that I helped.

Framework is still supported, according to this website. Still DOS-based. Still powerful enough for most people.

If you're looking to buy me a nice shirt, this one would be nice in a large.

This article reports on "Microsoft's Next Must-Have Operating System" - not Microsoft .NET Server 2003, due out sometime soon, but the next one after that!

-- TWikiGuest - 10 Sep 2002

Monday, September 09, 2002

Retiring Apollo as the up-and-coming web server. Apollo also served as the test platform for VSS maintenance operations.

Mozilla and Netscape 7.0 don't play well together. Netscape complains that the default profile is in use if it is started second.

No complaints about Mozilla. It throws few of the Javascript errors that seem to plague Opera. I like Opera's MDI feature and mouse gestures, but Mozilla is pretty good.

-- TWikiGuest - 09 Sep 2002

Sunday, September 08, 2002

Another domestic Sunday. Finished painting the porch door, the cellar bulkhead. Mowed the back yard.

Saturday, September 07, 2002

Brian Valentine, Microsoft VP in charge of Windows OS is quoted in this article in InfoWorld?: "I'm not proud," Valentine said, as he spoke to a crowd of developers here at the company's Windows .Net Server developer conference. "We really haven't done everything we could to protect our customers ... Our products just aren't engineered for security."

Friday, September 06, 2002

As usual, TGIF.

My web server is giving me trouble. A couple of pages on my SourceSafe Twiki keep displaying bad characters or getting truncated. Not sure if it is the machine (P-166, 64 Mb) or the OS or the software, but it feels like it is time to take down the machine and start again.

Installed Mozilla 1.1 today. It's pretty slick, fast and clean. Worked on most of my favorite web sites without a problem. However, it couldn't handle the non-standard Javascript of the SourceSafe page on Microsoft, not surprisingly. Opera and Netscape couldn't do it, either. Too bad. Wish they'd stop making non-standard stuff.

Interesting article on O'Reilly's website on how Mozilla can invoke Web Services via Javascript.

WinMerge looks like a cool standalone tool to do merging and diffing of source.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Ray Ozzie has a fantastic essay here on the economics of platform products and the plans for Groove.

The Microsoft TechNet Script Center has lots of scripts you can execute to perform lots of pretty cool functions in Windows. I'm looking at a couple of these to finish off the VSS Maintenance processes I've started. I need to know if a particular string exists in a log, and if so, how to branch to different actions. Right now, I'm just looking at putting a flag file in the directory - OK.txt, Problem.txt or Crisis.txt and then testing for file existance to initiate the other actions - email, page or other alarms.

A recent survey finds IT spending still pretty flat.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Late last night I wrote a semi-coherent note about blogs and wikis and the differences between the two. I'm still trying to sort that out, and think that I'm on to something interesting here.

Blogs tend to be linear, based on chronology, although taking liberties to edit or refine are expected. When blogs link to other blogs, or even self-link to other entries, they start to take on the web characteristics of wikis. Wikis in Twiki:ThreadMode are multi-user blogs.

A disadvantage of "forum" style interactions has been older items scrolling off, losing knowledge. Since blogs are usually archived and support permalinking, this is no londer a disadvantage.

RSS seems to be a way to publish and advertise content and changes, like the Recent Changes features of wikis.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Here's a link for the three tones to play on your answering machine to tell all those telemarketers your phone is disconnected.

Monday, September 02, 2002

Happy Labor Day! Great articles and information on http://www.afl-cio.org, http://www.uaw.org (parent of my National Writers Union) and http://www.unionlabel.org.

Sunday, September 01, 2002

September came in like a lion. It was forty degrees this morning, the coldest it's been since April or so. Brrrrrr!

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Last update: 9/7/06; 2:33:55 PM.