ATC :: Since February 2001

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Great .NET/C# dev tip - [11:07 AM]

Eric Gunnerson: "That made me realize that there's a feature that not everybody knows about, known as conditional methods." - Darn, I had no idea I could do this. I really need to find time to dig into the finer points of C# and the framework. Sigh...

File under: C#/Debugging tips.
Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Verse of the day - [8:34 AM]

I've been subscribed to Verse of the day off and on for many years, now we can get it in blog and RSS form.

Subscribed! Woo-hoo!
Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Movie line of the week answer - [8:18 AM]

Good morning.

Yesterday's movie line winner was Hanna, daughter of Aaron. Congratulations Hanna! She has a sharp eye and beat dad to the punch when she correctly guessed...

The strange thing about yesterdays line is a couple of folks actually answered with "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", which is the fifth book, and not due until 2007.
Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Movie line of the week - [8:21 AM]

And.... ACTION!I actually thought of a line on the way to work. First time in ages.

Here it is...

Actor #1: Your bird, there was nothing I could do. He just caught fire.
Actor #2: Oh, and about time too. He's been looking dreadful for days. Pity you had to see him on a burning day.

Ok, quick, what movie! Send your guesses here.
Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

XP SP2 download - [8:45 PM]

RibbitIf you're impatient, like me, you can find a Microsoft blessed XP SP2 download on MSDN.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program already in progress.
Click here for a permalink to this entry.

More new daily reads - [9:52 AM]

I've been reading a few more blogs on a daily basis and thought I'd share.

Get the RSS feed. Nick Hodges - Delphi guru.
Get the RSS feed. John Robb's Global Gorillas - Insight into the terrorist mind. Quite frightening actually, but it's worth being informed, right?

Read at your own risk.
Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

New daily read - [8:44 AM]

Back in the early days of my adventures into Windows programming I remember the whole SS == DS argument. Michael Geary was the guy that wrote FIXDS and he's a Windows programming hero, IMHO.

Now he's off exploring all kinds of stuff. Add him to your reader today.
Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Tabbed browsing - [8:39 AM]

When I heard folks talking about tabbed browsing I kept thinking to myself, "What's the big deal?" A while back I decided to download and start using Firefox as my daily driver for the web. For about a month I didn't pay attention to tabs, because I didn't really see the point in finding the feature because it didn't seem like such a big deal.

I'm now a convert. I've been using tabs for about a month now, give or take, and I absolutely love them! So IE team, give tabs a try, it's bound to be one of the easiest features you'll implement. Oh yeah, and while you're at it give full attention to PNG images, thanks!
Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Where's SP2? - [8:12 AM]

So I keep reading about folks using XP SP2 and I'm wondering where to get it? Now, I'd like the official Microsoft blessed bits, not some random download. I know, I know, I'm asking for too much aren't I? Smile, life is good!

I'd like to download the entire service pack so I can rip it to a CD and take it home as well. Since I don't have a broadband connection it would make downloading it impossible. I have a couple of boxes at home that could benefit, as well as grandma's computer to upgrade. Smile, life is good!

So, if you could point me to a Microsoft sanctioned download site I'd appreciate it.
Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Brain Rot... - [7:56 AM]

I'm suffering from brain rot these days. I've been working with a different group for the past month-and-a-half and haven't written a line of code. It's a real shame, I like writing code. The whole IT development process here still seems strange to me. Honestly I haven't adjusted to it, and I don't think I ever will, which is probably a good thing. Read "The Joel Test: 12 Steps to Better Code". It's pretty common practice stuff for a software company to follow. I know Visio did these things even in the very early days, back when there were 20 of us, heck they did it when there were four of them (read as "from day one"). Here we may do four to five of these steps, and I'm guessing that's a common practice in the IT development world?

When in Seattle, remember your umbrella!I'd like to change to a better model here but maybe that's just me wanting to make this place work the way I do? I'm slow, I have to admit that. I like to sit and think, and stew, over a problem until I have what I believe is a reasonable way to attack it. In this environment there's no time for that because the users need it and they need it yesterday. It's hard to be efficient. Could it be my problem? Maybe I'm just not cracked up to develop in this sort of environment? These days it doesn't matter much anywho. I'm working on HMI's and harvest is coming which means I won't have time to do anything but put out fires until November.

Such is the life of an IT developer. Smile, life is good!

Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Security, security, security - [10:37 AM]

Windows is full of security holes. Well maybe not. There's a lot you can do to protect your computer and I'd like to point out a couple of those things right here, right now.

3) Visit the "Microsoft Protect your PC" site. Follow the directions.
2) Tighten the security in IE.

  • In IE select Tools > Options...
  • Select the Security tab.
  • Select the Internet Icon.
  • Click the "Custom Level..." button at the bottom of the dialog.
A wonderful boquet of flowers.Take a look at all the different settings for .NET components and ActiveX controls. DO NOT ALLOW ANYTHING to be installed on your computer WITHOUT your consent. I have all things ActiveX set to Prompt at home. You'd be surprised how many sites you visit that want to install ActiveX controls to your box, DO NOT LET this happen automagically. It can be annoying to see the message box that pops up all the time requesting to run ActiveX controls but that puts the control back in your hands. I'd put money on this being the #1 way spyware is installed to computers, well that combined with you installing yourself as an Administrator on your computer.

and the #1 thing you can do to protect yourself...

1) INSTALL YOURSELF AS A USER! - DO NOT configure your machine and give yourself Administrative privileges. That's right, protect yourself by LOCKING YOURSELF OUT! Create a unique account for administration, E.G. "Big Momma", that has a strong password. Use this account when installing new software, if you absolutely need to, by right clicking the installer and choosing "Run As...". In most cases you'll need to do this because the installer will need to place keys in the registry that only an Administrator has permissions to. But since you're in charge of the installation you're saying you trust what's happening. Once the software is installed IT SHOULD RUN fine without needing administrative privileges. If it doesn't you need to contact your software vendor and get them to FIX their software. That's right, their software is busted. It should run with user privileges. Unfortunately most software doesn't. Microsoft software, like Office, and Visio I'm happy to report, run just fine in a user account.

Now that's not going to fix all problems. Exploits are exploits and can only be fixed by fixing code. But you can go a long way toward protecting the integrity of your machine by following the three steps outlined above. Seriously, give it a try. You'll be annoyed with how tight your machine gets, but in the end it's worth it to avoid all the crap that slows your machine and turns it into a virus spewing device.
Click here for a permalink to this entry.