ATC :: Since February 2001

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Smalltalk & Berne - [12:32 PM]

The Fahrni family crestJames Robertson: "Smalltalk codefest in Berne" - Hey! If you manage to get to Berne, why not take a trip to Fahrni.

Apparently the Postmaster of Fahrni is named Robert Fahrni, stop by and say "Hi" for me. Smile, life is good!
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How To: Disable Google's "Evil" Toolbar - [12:16 PM]

With all the hubbub these days over Spyware and Malware we now have a controversy over Google's new toolbar that does "evil stuff".

John Robb asks "Will Microsoft release a patch to block the adware in Google's new release of its toolbar?"

I have a much better idea, one that would completely undo everything Google's done with their toolbar...


Revolutionary, isn't it?
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Friday, February 18, 2005

In defense of Microsoft - [9:35 AM]

A wonderful bouquet of flowers.NY Times [via Rodent Regatta]: "But when I tried to remove Acrobat 5 (using Windows’s Add/Remove Programs program), a message said, 'The system indicates that the following shared file is no longer used by any programs and may be deleted: C:/program Files/Dell/ShareDLL/djbsdk.dll. If any programs are still using this file and it is removed those programs may not function. Do you want to remove the shared file?' - This is a case of an end-user putting blame on the wrong party. Everything David Progue says about the end user alerts are true, while uninstalling system level shared components the OS will indeed throw up and alert warning you you're about to uninstall a 'shared component'. At one time you'd have never seen this alert, and to be quite honest I don't remember what release of the OS it was added. The file would've been removed and you'd possibly be left with applications that would no longer function. To solve the problem Microsoft added the idea of registering shared components so applications could bump a reference count that would represent the number of applications using the component. It's not a bad idea really, but developers MUST make take advantage of the functionality, that's why the cryptic message. To the OS's knowledge the application's use count has reached zero and the shared component can now be uninstalled, but just to be on the safe side the OS warns you before removing the component. As an end-user I can understand your frustration, but it's better to be a little over cautious can leave the component installed than remove it and wreck other applications.

So the short answer to Mr. Progue's question "Why can’t Windows keep track of which programs need which pieces, so Microsoft’s long-suffering customers don’t have to judge whether some shared DLL file is still necessary?", is it does keep track, but only if the vendor installing the component follows the rules and tells the OS it's installed the component.

Hopefully this is one of the areas Microsoft can work toward solidifying. Install and Uninstall technology has come a long way over the years. I can't see why it wouldn't get better as time goes by.
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Bad XBox power cords? - [9:31 AM]

Microsoft has announced a recall on XBox power cords for units manufactured before October 23, 2003, read the press release.

Here's the link to order a replacement.
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Movie line of the week answer - [9:24 AM]

Two weeks in a row? Weird.

I don't think this has every happened? Two weeks in a row without a guess... Sigh. Did I stump all two of you, or is Movie Line of the Week growing old? Enquiring minds want to know. Smile, life is good!

The correct answer is...

Come visit next week!
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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Wow, great post on Apple and iPod. - [10:26 AM]

Mike Davidson: "I listen to all my music on a Treo 600 phone and the regular iPods give me little advantage over this besides a slightly nicer interface and better syncing." - Subscribed! I myself am guilty of NOT SEEING the appeal of the Apple iPod, mini or otherwise. Apple is a fantastic company, don't get me wrong, I lust for a Mac, but the iPod just doesn't do it for me. Maybe I'm an old man now and just don't get it, maybe I'm too cheap to spend $400.00 for a music player, who knows.

I think the idea of a Treo with a beefy hard-drive is my answer to the ultimate media device. Why not jam a 60GB drive into a Treo, add a piece of software that behaves like the iPod software(read as simple), and I think you have the ultimate combination device. I myself want a device that can hold large volumes of data; E.G. my Harry Potter obsession, we listen to books on tape on our family outings. It would be nice to rip our entire collection to a device and play them back on anything with an RCA jack. It would clean the clutter of CD cases our of our car for one thing. Smile, life is good!

Come on Palm, give us a mondo Treo!
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Can't say I'll miss it - [8:56 AM]

Ben Padilla: "Alas, I maintain Hockey is the *best* sport in town." - Unfortunately I don't share Ben's enthusiasm for Hockey, but I can sympathize with him. I'd hate to see the NFL go away for a season, I'm already itching for next season.

The NHL problem illustrates a shared problem with professional sports. The players make too darned much, and are unwilling to share. But as long as fans continue to buy overpriced tickets the trend will continue. We call it sport, but it's a business to the owner. I'm always surprised to hear how much power the players unions have in deciding what rules are enforced, or how much money they'll make in a given season. It's nice to see professional hockey put its' collective foot down. Hopefully we'll see the NFL, MLB, and the NBA follow suit.

Note to the pro hockey players: Learn another trade, your season just swirled down the toilet because you're greedy.
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Movie line of the week - [8:47 AM]

Cut, cut, cut!Good morning movie liners.

I managed to pick this line early in the week, unlike my typical scramble on Thursday morning to figure something out. This line comes from a thriller I thought was absolutely fabulous, Kim on the other hand didn't care for it, as I've said before 'Your results may vary.'

He told the truth, and once you tell the truth, everything else is just cheap whiskey.

Ok, quick, what movie! Send your guesses here.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Six Apart History - [11:08 AM]

While I was browsing Six Apart, checking out their new design, I ran across their History page. This is something I'd like to see on more sites, including weblogs.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Esuvee - [10:08 AM]

EsuveeMy youngest daughter and I would like to get a new pet. We've both decided we need to adopt an esuvee.

Does anyone know where we can get such an animal? Smile, life is good!
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Thanks for the pointer - [8:43 AM]

The Furrygoat Experience: "One of the biggest problems that I have with .NET is that there are so many class libraries" - Amen brother! On a recent phone interview I was asked to rate my C++ and C# skills. When I rated my C# skills I paused. The C# language is small and easy to pickup if you've ever written code in C/C++/Java. I answered the question and told the interviewer the tough part of .NET is learning the class library that supports it. Go to the link and bookmark the Win32 to .NET API Map.
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Cass, our local domain expert! - [8:14 AM]

Visalia Times Delta: "People who aren't Web savvy may not realize it, but once a person or group gives up a domain name, it can be bought and sold just like any other commodity, said Cass McNutt, chief executive of Vantage Technology Group Inc. in Visalia, a developer of Web sites and custom software." - Cass' comments will hopefully enlighten folks that may have the same embarrassing problem Devin Nunes now faces. When you let your domain name lapse the creeps of the world move in and setup shop.

NOTE: Read the article quickly. The Visalia Times Delta has a bad habit of taking their articles off line.
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Monday, February 14, 2005

Reading the Groundhog - [4:43 PM]

Dave Rogers[a.k.a. Groundhog Day]: "Robert Scoble, of late the darling of both mainstream media and the blogosphere, tells us in a comment that people at his 'level' at Microsoft can 'change the world.' I commented that I thought that was overstating things a bit, and Robert replied that no, I was wrong." - Dave, I think Robert must be referring to the "World of Software". I'd agree Microsoft products aren't changing the world in any significant way. The way Microsoft changes the world is through the kindness of its' employees giving. There are still a few folks running around Redmond with fat pockets, and I'd wager most of them give to people in need. Every year Microsoft employees give generously during their giving campaign.

To be quite honest I think my life has become more complex due to technology. No, I'm not joking. I write software because I love doing it, making a computer do things the way I want it to is a real hoot, and I wouldn't want to do anything else on a day to day basis. I do have days I'd love to move to the mountains; no TV, no computer, etc... Computing has changed the way we work. We can now jam more work into our day because the computer allows us to do things quicker.

Busier, yes. Better? Your mileage may vary.
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Happy 10th Delphi - [3:46 PM]

Codefez [via Nick Hodges]: Well, he ran the application, and of course Delphi gracefully caught the exception and ran on without problems. The Microsoft people in the back were hyperventilating. - Great story Nick! I can't believe it's been ten years.

Here's to a long and fruitful future Borland!
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Software as art? - [8:50 AM]

FeedDemon LogoFeedDemon 1.5 is a work of art. Nick Bradbury is one of those very unique developers that can do it all. FeedDemon is beautiful, functional, fast, and small.

I'm currently running on a trial version, but as soon as I land a job this is one piece of software I'll be registering.

Oh, and another thing. I love the way Nick publishes his software. You just go to and download it, period. Sure it's a trial version, but it's very functional and if you use it every day over the trial period you'll find it's something you want to keep, or not.

Great job Nick!
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