Saturday, May 08, 2004

I decided today to look for cool stuff and tie up a few loose ends from the past week. Nothing big - Just a few things that will probably change the way you work or live in the future that I thought you might like to know about, if you don't already. Not that I really know how they all work, I just find them very, very interesting:

How to Bundle Active Directory Application Mode with Your Directory-enabled Application - Microsoft created ADAM to let developers us Active Directory as a dedicated LDAP service. Someone was asking me what I know about it, and how to ship ADAM with his application. This article talks about how to bundle the ADAM setup as part of your app's setup. ADAM is cool. This makes it cooler. It may not change the way you live, but the potential is there to change the way people like me work.

Mono Beta 1 has been released - What the heck is it? No, you won't end up in bed for weeks wishing you could just die. Think of it this way: Write C# code and run it on Windows or Unix. This is big. It's a .NET framework for Unix, and when you think about it, the possibilities are - well - pretty interesting. Interoperability, here we come. It's worth noting that Microsoft released the whole .NET thing to the community to do this kind of thing. And for those who wonder why anyone should care, the abstraction layer of the .NET framework allows you to write and deploy much more secure (read: managed) code. That matters. That's probably not a great explanation, but someone else can chime in and comment if they want. :-)

Keyhole is Super-Cool and Addictive - I ran across Keyhole a month or two or more ago, but forgot to blog about it. I don't know why, I mean this company has only mapped out the entire earth - more than seven terabytes of map images are on their system. I think the first time I saw their technology and started looking for it was when the news shows started doing these fancy fly-over maps of Iraq to show their audiences where certain cites, battles or whatever were happening. In the future, this kind of tool will be commonplace. Imagine tying this capability into a GPS-enabled application and speaking instructions to your car, then having it show you, step-by-step and in 3D detail, to your destination. Or dream up your own uses and ideas.

Well, During an excellent presentation about Longhorn by Chris Sells the other day where I work, he showed some forward-looking stuff that reminded me of the coolness of this new application. When Longhorn arrives and we get its amazing 3D graphics system, we'll no doubt see some amazing new things taking advantage of applications like this one. At any rate, no need to wait for Longhorn to see what this can do. Anyone with eyes and brain (and hopefully broadband) should truly enjoy themselves on this site today. Oh, and if you happen to have a nVidia graphics card, be sure to check out Keyhole NV and see Mars. A free trial account is available, and it's worth the download is you have a computer that's less than three years old (older than that might be too slow).

Longhorn - The Next Version of Windows - As mentioned above, Chris Sells, who works for Microsoft and speaks regularly about Longhorn, the way-cool next version of Microsoft's operating system, spoke at Corillian (my place of work) the other day. Chris is a great speaker and he convinced me about the one necessary assumption upon which Microsoft appears to be betting the company: Longhorn will be to Windows XP as Windows 95 was to Windows 3.1. They want people to flock out to get Longhorn the same way they did with Windows 95. they'll spend more in marketing the next version of Windows thank they've ever spent marketing any other product, ever.

Now, if you were around for the debut of Windows 95, you know what I mean and how big a deal this statement is. For those of you who are too young to remember, but are old enough now to be interested (yes, I am speaking to you Scott), well hold on tight - The ride's about to begin. The world of computing as we know it will (once again) change dramatically.

Want to see where things are heading? Check out these concept videos that show some of the new capabilities that will reach our homes and offices one day soon. They're geared toward business solutions, but show a lot of the new features and make you think about the possibilities. Note that one of the videos (the commercial real estate one) leverages the Keyhole world imagery application and data mentioned earlier - in combination with mapping applications like MapPoint. Neat stuff.

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Saturday, May 08, 2004 7:10:22 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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