Sunday, 11 July 2004

This is interesting. Funny how the brain works (or doesn't, as the case may be).

Say the color of each word out loud, at a normal reading pace (Note: Don't read the word out loud - speak the color out loud):


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Random Stuff
Sunday, 11 July 2004 15:24:10 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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A co-worker approached me not-so-recently (read: months ago) and asked about setting up a Terrarium server for developers at our company. It's a great idea - just a little hard to accomplish becasue my round tuit has been so heavilly taxed as of late. BTW, there is a public server available here. But we want to be able to do an internal version.

Anyhow, that's my community commitment (no more goals for me - just commitments) for the month. An official company game to give everyone interested the opportunity to grow as a programmer and learn more about .NET programming.

About Terrarium:

"Terrarium, a sample application built by Microsoft®, is game for software developers that provides a great introduction to software development on the .NET Framework.  In Terrarium, developers create herbivores, carnivores, or plants and then introduce them into a peer-to-peer, networked ecosystem for a survival-of-the-fittest type competition.  The game provides both a competitive medium for testing your software development and strategy skills as well as a realistic evolutionary biology/artificial intelligence model for evaluating the role that various behaviors and traits can play in the fight for survival.  Terrarium also demonstrates some of the features of the .NET Framework, including the Windows Forms integration with DirectX® for generating powerful user interface (UI); XML Web services; support for peer-to-peer networking; support for multiple programming languages; the capability to update smart client, or Windows-based, applications via a remote Web server; and the evidence-based and code access security infrastructure that protects participating computers from the mobile code they are running."

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Sunday, 11 July 2004 14:14:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Pascal Belaud and family just has their second child, and made a very creative announcement:

I laughed - and had to share.

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Sunday, 11 July 2004 13:29:50 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Over at there's an article describing surprise in some circles that Office 12 won't be married to the Longhorn release of Windows.

What people may not remember is that Office 2003 (AKA Office 11 - the current version) was originally planned to release with what would become Longhorn (back in the day), and that as the Longhorn release has changed over time, that relationship was also broken off well before it reached the altar.

The fact that Microsoft keeps its productivity apps moving while building a healthy platform for them to run on - In other words not gluing them to each other - is a good thing. Longhorn will be a monster-sized change in the Windows operating system world, and while Microsoft will almost certainly build special hooks into Office 12 that will take advantage of Longhorn's new features when(ever) it's released, I'd expect (based on my conversations) that another version of Office will soon follow or parallel the Longhorn release, but Office 12 will include some pre-baked Longhorn capabilities. Besides, they'll have to support previous versions of Windows for at least some time, in order to allow people to properly interoperate.

Longhorn will be to Windows XP and 2003 what Windows 95 was to Windows 3.1 -- It will be huge, a major change in the way we use computing power from both the end-user and programming/design perspectives. Longhorn represents the next paradigm shift in the Windows computer world, if you will.

Microsoft now does a better job of quickly finishing better and more-frequent releases of their software. In-house quality assurance and release management tools implemented in the past year or two help them reach bug-free, clean code state ("Milestone Q") faster and with greater confidence, which better enables them to get products ready and out the door, with more features and fewer problems. It also enables them to switch gears and attack issues in existing products ruthlessly when needed.

I, for one, am glad we won't have to wait for Longhorn to keep growing and improving in areas like Office and some of the other productivity applications. New versions of Office mean we can reasonably hope for new or enhanced versions of other Office System tools, which we know are coming - specifically tools like Live Communication Server (look for some very cool and improved features there in the next couple of releases), SharePoint, Exchange and other Office System products on the server-side. Longhorn should be the platform to beat all platforms from a computing perspective, and other applications should be built to fit when Longhorn is ready (meaning feature-completed, tested and secured in a way that Microsoft has never done before). To do otherwise would be akin to the tail wagging the dog, and that just won't do.

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Office 2003 | Tech
Sunday, 11 July 2004 11:03:23 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 10 July 2004

A simple online web service allows you to take a Word-HTML file and clean it up quite a bit. Nifty:

"This is intended for fairly basic styled text documents; there is no support for notes, sectioning, ‘widow’ and ‘orphan’ control, etc. Typographic quotes, proper dashes and other special characters, if they exist, will be converted to HTML entities to increase their portability among browsers and platforms. Links, tables and image references should come through fine. Everything else is stripped."

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Office 2003 | Tech
Saturday, 10 July 2004 10:21:57 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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