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Michael Flanakin's blog Food for thought... January 2004 Entries
Letters to the Editor Pt 2
Next up, Löwy Guest Op Generates More Response by Robert Teixeira of Tampa. Robert, like me, seems to like a lot of Juval's input into the community, but I think he's made the same critical mistake that a lot of people made after reading Juval's article. I've talked to Juval and a number of Microsoft employees about this topic and I believe that I have a firm grip on what Juval was talking about. First of all, the Microsoft teams that determine what features will be added in the next version of each ......

Posted On Saturday, January 24, 2004 9:53 AM

Letters to the Editor Pt 1
Wow, I don't think that I have ever had an issue of VSM that was as “thought provoking” as this one. First up: Special Issue 2003 or 1983 by Mark Nelson of Seattle... So, Mark points out some problems with his experience with what seems to be architects. First off, I'd have to say that everyone should question any sentence with the word “architecture” in it - I know I do. For those who understand what architecture and design principles are truly about, I'm sure you know what I mean. I've met a lot ......

Posted On Friday, January 23, 2004 5:30 PM

The Soul of VB
Well, I'm behind on my reading, so excuse the belated commenting... Patrick Meader, Editor in Chief of VSM, made his monthly comments in the December 2003 issue of the magazine. I couldn't let this one pass me up, though... Patrick talks about how VB will be getting a bit of a face-lift to bring it back to what it was intended to be from day one: a developer tool for non-programmers. Of course, those weren't his words, they're mine; but, let me clue you in on some of his words: ... the next version ......

Posted On Friday, January 23, 2004 4:52 PM

Win XP, Office 2003, Rotated Dual Monitors...Oh my!
As if the VS.NET dual monitor bug wasn't enough, now Office 2003 has dual monitor-related problems. I decided to be a bit adventurous and do what a friend has been harping on me to do for a while - I took my dual monitors, turned them on their side, and got some software to turn the display 90°. I have to say that I like the whole thing. The idea is that you scroll down more than you scroll left-right, so this allows for a 1024x1280 display instead of vice versa. And, using two monitors, it's actually ......

Posted On Thursday, January 22, 2004 5:14 AM

5 Catalysts for Innovation IT
I read an article, Let Innovation Thrive, which lists 5 important characteristics of someone working on an innovation team. My first thought after reading the list was, “Forget innovation, this is life in IT.” Consciousness:Each person knows the goals of the organization and believes they can play a part in achieving them. Multiplicity:Teams and groups contain a wide and creative mix of skills, experiences, backgrounds, and ideas. Connectivity:Relationships are strong and trusting, and are actively ......

Posted On Monday, January 19, 2004 11:34 AM

Applied IT Forum was a Success
AITF was a success! Juval Löwy, Michael Wheaton, and Dan Malks came and spoke to a group of developers and managers, and they all loved it. This forum was more focused on software development than I'd like for the future, but I had to minimize the scope because of other things going on at work. I must say that if you haven't experienced one of Juval's talks, you're missing out. Juval is very eccentric and opinionated, which is always a good thing in my book. He's worked with Microsoft on a number ......

Posted On Monday, January 19, 2004 11:21 AM

Visual Studio for Non-Admins
Here's an article on MSDN that talks about how to develop apps when you're not an administrator on the machine. I haven't read thru the whole thing, yet, but it looks pretty good. I don't have this problem right now, but I know my organization is thinking about moving this way. From an enterprise point of view, it makes sense...I still hate it, though. I have had problems in other areas most Microsoft developers take advantage of. For instance, not having administrator access to SQL Server or not ......

Posted On Sunday, January 18, 2004 7:21 PM

Google on the Rise 3: Revenge of the Consumer
I'm sure you've all seen this, but I just had to mention it. It seems that Google's getting crap for some of its practices. As I read thru the post, I thought it was pretty trivial, but slowly, the case started to get built up. By the end of the post, you're wondering what the heck is wrong with these people. There is a laundry list of allegations, which I suggest you check out. I guess Google figures that, if they're growing like Microsoft,then they can act like them, too :-) ......

Posted On Sunday, January 18, 2004 7:08 PM

Challenge to Open Source
I saw this a while back and thought it was pretty funny. The post basically smacks some open source developers in the face. Personally, I've always questioned open source development. While, I think it's nice that the community gets together to make some good tools, I just don't know about it. Anyway, the author takes note that when open source projects are created that mimic existing applications, they take away from the job market. Now, I don't know how much this actually affects US work, but I ......

Posted On Sunday, January 18, 2004 6:48 PM

More Predictions
Well, here's another set of Gartner predictions...“Predicts 2004: Developing Java and .NET AD Strategies.” For most Microsoft-centric enterprises, a move to .NET technology will be a question of when, not if. Meanwhile [J2EE] will span a range of projects, including high-profile e-commerce infrastructures. Here are the key predictions: .NET technology adoption will increase significantly The gap between increasingly mission-critical [J2EE] AD efforts and developer skills sets will grow J2EE will ......

Posted On Sunday, January 18, 2004 6:29 PM

Markup Validators
Here are a few nice markup validators. Let me know if you have any favorites/preferences. CSS HTML RSS 2.0 XHTML Then again, a lot of tools provide support for this. Visual Studio is ok, but questionable - we'll see if it gets any better. I'm sure someone has probably built a plug-in to validate code from within VS ......

Posted On Sunday, January 18, 2004 6:12 PM

Xen (X#)
This is interesting, but at the same time, I don't know what to say about it. Microsoft is looking at extending C# to include XML and SQL features in the language (not thru classes, as it is now). You have to look at the pros and cons of it, tho. I mean, what will you benefit from it? Pros Less code Cons Harder to read code Complex variable initialization Unclear focus - what does MS recommend, class or code? I just don't see the overall benefit. I don't think that it is so bad that I would shun ......

Posted On Sunday, January 18, 2004 5:50 PM

Now that's a monitor!

...'nuff said

Posted On Sunday, January 18, 2004 5:08 PM

Windows on Sun Servers
Now, this is awesome. I'm glad to see this happen. If for no other reason than to argue with a guy at work - for anyone who doesn't know me very well, I'm very argumentative :-) Anyway, I also have to admit that this is very funny. Sun is finally realizing that if they don't make some drastic changes, they won't be around for long. Once they loose their server market, they won't have much to stand on - a free tool (read: Java) doesn't quite bring in the money these days. Oh well ......

Posted On Sunday, January 18, 2004 5:03 PM

I've added some good icons to my image gallery section. Use them if you feel the need/desire. They're each in PNG files (I use Fireworks) with named slices for each icon. If you don't have something to read PNG files, you should be able to take a screen shot and paste it into whatever tool you have. Then, cut out the necessary icons as needed. I have more that need to be consolidated, but it's not worth the time to do it now. I'll get around to it sooner or later. If you have some good ones that ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 14, 2004 8:41 PM

I Want My Practical Eye
OK, so maybe it's not as catchy as the MTV tune, but I've still been singing it for the past 3 months. I ran into a “monthly” newsletter by John Lam, Practical Eye for the .NET Guy. I liked it, so I thought that I'd check back every once in a while to see the next version. Well, things happened, I forgot to check John's site...and, waddaya know, it's January. It's like finding a $100 gift certificate from << insert holiday here >> that was dropped behind the couch. So I scrambled to John's ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 14, 2004 8:28 PM

Cool, Funny, Pointless
I'm getting up-to-date on a few nice web log posts and I ran across this site: It's kind of a cool idea. The site hashes URLs and uses them as shortcuts. Now, the tiny URLs aren't anything I'd use in a business app, the idea is kind of cool...I guess. For instance, when you go to, you get a horribly long MapQuest URL. Check it out. Like I, funny, pointless ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 13, 2004 4:47 PM

Back in School
I thought that I would have plenty of time to play around on my web log between semesters, but it turns out I was wrong. Now, I'm sitting in class pounding ironic. It seems that work is what's keeping me away from the computer these days. I just have way too much of it. I know! Anyone out there want to be an intern? I'd prefer cute women 0:-)

Posted On Tuesday, January 13, 2004 4:29 PM

Geaux Tigers!
Well, even tho their offense was lacking, LSU still pulled out a win. Honestly, I was kind of embarrassed, tho. Mauck disappointed me. Normally, he's an excellent quarterback and has pretty good pass plays and scrambles. But, for some reason, both were pretty lacking. I know Oklahoma's a good team, but the offense could've worked a lot harder for the win. At least the defense showed up and was ready to throw down. All in all, it was a pretty good game. We'll see if USC starts raising a fuss. My opinion ......

Posted On Monday, January 5, 2004 3:22 AM

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