Thursday, 17 June 2004
Scott and I sat down over lunch today and he (once again) proved his l33t development skills, all while teaching me some new stuff... In the end, we had the new RSS Feed to dasBlog Content Converter to show for our (primarily his) efforts.

From Scott's site:

Greg Hughes once had a LiveJournal Blog and the only remnant of his blog was an RSS Feed/Archive.  Now that he runs dasBlog he wanted to move his old content forward into dasBlog.  So, we googled a bit and couldn't find a tool that would take an RSS (2.0) feed as input and put the entries into dasBlog.

So we made one over lunch, and here it is: (219.29 KB)

RSStoDasBlog.exe MyRssFile.xml "C:\documents and settings\whatever\dasblog\content"

Use it like this by pointing it to the RSS file and your (local) dasBlog content folder.  It will create all the needed dayentry.xml files for you to upload to your remote blog.  It will also (I think) take an http:// url to an RSS file and could be used to (possible as a service?) steal RSS and mirror them in dasBlog.  Thanks to Jerry (Chris) Maguire's RSS Framework that showed up first in Google and saved me the time of running XSD.exe on an RSS XML schema. Apparently he has even newer stuff on his site.  It's got a few more moving parts than I think it needs to, but it did the job with a few changes that I marked with my initials; SDH.

Thanks to Scott both for teaching me and for helping me get the content migrated over. I'm a lame IT-management-type of guy, not a coder, but it was truly fun to learn a little something and to find that I was able to follow what he was showing me. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Scott's probably the best technical speaker/teacher I have ever met. I'm lucky to work with a number of really creative people that also happen to be really, really smart.

Speaking of really creative and smart people, Travis is now a MSDBA in addition to being a MCSD - which is both very cool and a big deal (not mention quite an accomplishment). Not many have the MCSD certification, and even fewer have both. Congrats, Trav!

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Blogging | RSS Stuff | Tech
Thursday, 17 June 2004 15:55:55 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 16 June 2004

There's a pretty sudden and major uptick on our mail servers - and apparently on the mail servers of others - of instances of the Zafi worm/virus attepting to propagate itself. It's particularly pervasive, and while the payload does not appear destructive, it could quickly become a cleanup nightmare, including the possibility of disabling AV software and running in its place. If ever there was a justification for a really good email antivirus product, this is one.

From Panda Software's virus encyclopedia:

Brief Description 

Zafi.B is a worm that looks for directories in which antivirus programs are installed. If successful, Zafi.B overwrites the executable files with copies of itself. By doing so, the user will be unprotected against the attack of other malware. So whenever users run the antivirus, they will be running the Zafi.B without noticing.

In addition, Zafi.B searches for certain processes, such as the Windows Registry Editor, the Task Manager, etc. If successful, Zafi.B ends them.

Zafi.B spreads via e-mail in a message with variable characterics that can be written in different languages, and through peer to peer file sharing programs (P2P).

Visible Symptoms  

Zafi.B is easy to recognize once it has affected the computer, as it attempts to open any of the web sites stored in the following path of the Windows Registry every time it is executed:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\ Microsoft\ Internet Explorer\ TypedURLs


on CA's web site for info about the worm and how to remove.

Also see: 

on Panda's web site for further info.

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IT Security | Tech
Wednesday, 16 June 2004 16:57:31 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Chris Pratley asks: How do you use OneNote? From his weblog site:

"Although we have several different ways to collect information about how OneNote is used, I am always interested to hear how people use it. And this forum provides an opportunity for a dialog that our other data collection systems don’t really provide. So, let's hear it. How do you use OneNote? How is your notebook organized? What do you do with it? Would you prefer a different type of organization, or even a different concept for OneNote besides a tabbed notebook?"

He goes on to describe how he uses it, how he organizes his OneNote notebooks, and then lists some of the things he doesn't relaly like about his organizational method and its use.

Chris is asking for real-world feedback here. If you're a user of OneNote, take the time to describe for him and his readers - via a comment on his blog entry - how you use the program in your daily life. He wants to hear from others, so this is your chance!

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Office 2003 | OneNote
Wednesday, 16 June 2004 06:08:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 15 June 2004

Have been trolling the web for nifty SharePoint stuff and have come up with some interesting items worth looking into. I don't post nearly enough about SharePoint here (and I even have a category for it), so here goes a few nuggets of what I think is pretty cool stuff:

SPS 2003 Document library TreeView
A simple treeview renderer for document library in SharePoint 2003. Make navigation/visualization of your more complex document libraries a little more familar.

Building Custom Alert Result Channels in SharePoint Portal Server 2003
This definitely fits in the "cool" department. Toast alerts from SharePoint Portal - would be even niftier in the Messenger (MS/MSN) interface.

SQL Server Reporting Services Webparts for SharePoint
Display business data mined and munged with SQL Reporting Services on a SharePoint site/portal. Hello, biz intelligence - is that you?

Workflow Lite for SharePoint RC1
Display business data mined and munged with SQL Reporting Services on a SharePoint site/portal. Hello, biz intelligence - is that you?

Sharing Bookmarks, Wikis, and the Zen of SharePoint
Says Jonathan Hardwick: "But first you've got understand the Zen of SharePoint, which is this: it's SQL, but without the agonizing relational pain. Yup, under the hood beats good ol' SQL Server. That means SharePoint is all about lists." He also found a past article I wrote dreaming about wikis and SharePoint truly coming together. Anyone game???

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SharePoint | Tech
Tuesday, 15 June 2004 20:22:07 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Looks like pretty much all the free blogs at (about 3000 of them) are gone. Userland's apparently not especially interested in hosting free sites (they're a commercial enterprise after all), and Dave Winer, who really got the free thing going back in the day, has actually been buying servers himself recently and moving the sites over. But the migration and hosting is much more difficult than can be handled by Dave for free, so he's had to pull the plug. Performance problems and other issues (DNS nightmares for sub-domains, for example) have not been manageable, so the other evening, Dave posted this entry, recorded this audioblog entry, and decided he had to turn off the free service. So, he did. People who have sites hosted there can post a comment on this page with the URL of their site, and Dave promises to send the contents of all requested sites on July 1st. For complete information, listen to the audio entry. Dave explains it all there.

"This is not a company here, this is a person"
Dave Winer has provided, or through Userland has been involved in providing, a free service for many years. Unfortunately, he's faced with a difficult personal health situation and had to make a decision. It would have been much better if there was some reasonable period during which people could have downloaded their own information, but we're past that point now. Dave's a somewhat controversial (to some) and outspoken guy, but he's human like the rest of us, and hey - four years of free hosting... Regardless of the situation today, he's got to take care of himself, and IMO he deserves the community's gratitude for all the years of good and free blogging service (I even had one set up for a while back in the beginning). For my part, I wish him well and hope his heath improves and that he's able to focus better on the more important aspects of his life. As nice as it is to do for others, one must take care of one's self first in order to be available to others. Dave's done a lot for the community in the past, and regardless of the present situation, we can at least tell him thank you:

    Hey Dave - Thanks! (and good luck)

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Tuesday, 15 June 2004 07:02:18 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 14 June 2004

For some reason, over the past few days several people have asked me if I know what to do with an American flag that is in a fixed position on a pole (like the kind that you'd attach to your porch, for example) during a time when the flag is to be flown at half-staff. I understand why they're asking the question - I was wondering the same thing myself last week. I am just not so sure why they're asking me.

Anyhow, I did some research, and it turns out there is a correct and acceptable way to fly those flags:

For flags that can't be lowered, such as those on many homes, the American Legion says attaching a black ribbon or streamer to the top of the flag is an acceptable alternative. The ribbon should be the same width as a stripe on the flag and the same length as the flag.

If the flag is hanging on a wall, make three black bows from the same material and place one bow at each of the mounting points.

Totally non-technical, but for now completely relevant to many. So, there you go.

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Monday, 14 June 2004 08:52:42 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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