ATC :: Since February 2001

Saturday, January 29, 2005

One of my Christmas Gifts - [3:44 PM]

I'm blogging this t-shirt.


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Visalia, I told you so... - [10:24 AM]

Visalia Times Delta: "Costco bound for Packwood" - Most of the time I like being right, but in this case it makes my heart ache. Visalia is such a beautiful city, with a very rich history. In 2002 the Visalia planning commission approved the Packwood Creek Shopping Center. At that time even a simpleton such as myself could see what would eventually happen. Everyone would want to be in the new part of town and the old areas would rot. There are now areas of Mooney Boulevard that are on their way to ghettodom.

All I have to say is get your act together Visalia, unless you want Mooney to start looking like Shaw in Fresno.
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Friday, January 28, 2005

Would wrapping IE cause bloat? - [10:52 AM]

Justin King: "And no I'm not going to install crap over the top of IE to make it tabbed browsing, that would just bloat it up." - Honestly Justin I don't think this would be the case. If you take a close look at IE you'll notice IE.exe is a simple wrapper application, a bootstrapper if you will, that's the beauty of the design. The guts of IE live in shdocvw.dll, if memory serves? Basically IE is an ActiveX control, and I'm not sure if IE.exe instantiates it through COM or it calls an exported function in shdocvw.dll or shlwapi.dll, but I'm pretty certain it uses the same ActiveX control you and I could use. That being said it would be fairly easy to wrap that control in yet another small .EXE that adds a bit of extra functionality for tabbed browsing. I haven't tried this myself but I'd put money on it being fairly painless.
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Movie line of the week answer - [10:46 AM]

Well, yesterday's movie line got a single reply, from an old-timer.

Steven Vore correctly guessed...

Congratulations Steven, nice to have you guessing again!
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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Thanks All! - [10:12 AM]

A wonderful boquet of flowers.My lost CD problem has been resolved. VB 6 is now happily residing on my box.

I'd like to give my whole hearted thanks to everyone that responded and offered their help.

The blogosphere is full of truly amazing people!
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Movie line of the week - [10:01 AM]

Hollywood!As I sit here creating this post I don't have the slightest clue what movie line I'm going to throw out. Lately I've been busy trying to figure out how to approach some contract work I've lined up.

So let's try this line, from an extremely successful movie, completely ignored by Hollywood and 2004's Best Picture. Yes, I'm biased...Smile, life is good!

Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.

Ok, quick, what movie! Send your guesses here.
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Job Hunt - [9:54 AM]

The job hunt continues. I've talked with a few folks, but alas no job offers. I have some contracts that are starting to ramp up, we're trying to get requirements and specs hammered out so it's going kind of slow.

I just applied for a position with A9, and they did something I appreciate. I got a very simple email letting me know they'd received resume and they would be in touch if my skills matched those of an open position.

It seems like the polite thing to do.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

RSS vs. CSS - [4:13 PM]

Nick Bradbury: "I was talking about RSS with someone who has long been a supporter of CSS-based web design, and he feared that the success of RSS meant that design has lost the battle to content." - Kind of an interesting thought. I myself use RSS to let me know when a site has changed, and more often than not, I'll view the new post in context, by viewing the site in all it's glorious markup.
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In good company - [9:32 AM]

John Gossman: "All this web stuff is just soooooo... confusing." - I see I'm not alone. The bad thing about preferring the client over web based is most mom-and-pop shops do web based stuff in my area. I think a comment I made about web stuff being frustrating during a recent interview pretty much toasted my chances of being hired. Frustrated, Yes, opposed to, No.

Your mindset has to change to do web stuff. You have to think about the stateless nature at all times. On the client it's about being tight, fast, and you have complete control over the state of your process. On the web you have to learn new tricks, and know that maintaining state isn't like it is on the client.

Going from client to web reminds me of going from C to C++, in some ways. It was more about changing how I thought about solving the problem than learning the language. It takes time and some mistakes to get there.
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Monday, January 24, 2005

Help me please! - [3:18 PM]

The baby Monster.I have a project coming up, through a contract, that will require the use of VB6. No, VB6 isn't the problem, the problem is I've managed to lose Disc 1 of my Visual Studio 6.0 CD set!

I have my CD key I could read off to someone to verify I own the copy. Does anyone know Microsoft's policy regarding replacement media? Will they do it?

If you have any tips, please share them.

Thanks mucho grande.
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Sunday, January 23, 2005

Wanted: OEM Visio - [11:55 AM]

OEM may not be the correct word to use, but it's close. I don't know how many folks know Visio 2003 ships with an ActiveX Control. The control hosts the Visio Engine, just as the stand alone Visio.EXE would. Since day one Visio was designed with a small loader EXE and all the functionality living in VisLib.DLL. For the last release a good friend of my worked his fingers to the bone to create a very good ActiveX Control(VisOCX.DLL) to do all the things necessary to host VisLib.DLL. That brings me to my point. It would be really nice if Microsoft would put together a redistributable that would install just the 'basics'. This basics installer would only install VisLib.dll, VisOCX.dll, VisIntl.dll, and whatever else is needed to allow an application built with the ActiveX control to run. No VBA, no Visio Solutions(stencils/templates/add-ons), no help, nothing. Just the basics. All the work would need to be put into an installer because I know for a fact it can stand alone. That redistributable would also be included with the standard Visio installer. This would allow the licensee to include the MSI(redistributable) with their own installer.

Visio 2.0, JakeAt one time there were plans on the table during the Visio 2003 release cycle to create such an installer, but it was a victim of time. There are also business related issues that need to be resolved. The big one of course is how does Microsoft get paid? I for one wouldn't expect to get this for free. They'd need to figure out what this small package is worth. I'd think somewhere between $75.00 - $100.00 would be a good price point. Think about the diagramming power you'd get for that price. If you're creating a specialized application for you sales force that allow them to create a diagram of the company components all hooked together to produce a bill of materials. That's very powerful and worth a small price tag to be allowed to install just the basics on numerous desktops. Here's a similar example. What if you're creating a product that goes outside your own walls? A product that allows distributors to do the same? The tightness of not only the application but the installer will make the end product feel professional and polished.

If you haven't seen the Visio ActiveX Control, take a look, I think you'll be very impressed.
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