Tuesday, 19 October 2004

I'll be going on vacation this coming weekend for a week plus a couple additional days. I'll be able to post the details when I get back, but for now let's just say it's going to be a very, very different kind of vacation, and I am definitely looking forward to the experience. That 5GB Seagate CF-II hard drive that I ripped out of the Rio Carbon MP3 player is finally going to get its real workout in my digital camera.

   



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Personal Stories
Monday, 18 October 2004 23:10:08 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 18 October 2004

Microsoft has released Virtual PC 2004 Service Pack One. If you're using VPC2004, you'll want to review, download and likely apply this update.

Lots of fixes and improvements in this service pack, so be sure to take a look.

More information about the service pack from the Microsoft site:

SP1 also includes the following additional software updates

  • A new Virtual Disk Precompactor. A utility that is designed to "zero out"—that is, overwrite with zeros—any available blank space on a virtual hard disk.

  • Updated version of Virtual Machine Additions.

  • Update to support TCP segmentation offloading. Prior to SP1, if TCP Segmentation Offloading was activated, some virtual networking features would not function correctly. With SP1, if your physical network adapter supports TCP segmentation offloading, you can activate TCP segmentation offloading, and virtual networking will function correctly.

  • Update to support Group Policy Software Installation. For more information about Group Policy Software Installation, see Help and Support Center in your Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system.

  • Update to change the default performance option from Give processes on the host system priority to Run Virtual PC at maximum speed.

  • The hotfix described in article 833506, which describes how Virtual PC 2004 may stop responding when a virtual machine is started, in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 Service Pack 1 (SP1) contains the latest software updates for Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 that improve the reliability, performance and manageability of Virtual PC. Updates have been made to improve the performance of Windows XP Service Pack 2 as a guest in Virtual PC, to improve the manageability of virtual machines when used with SMS 2003 Service Pack 1, and to provide support for running Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition as the host operating system.

Some of the fixes included with SP1 have been previously released as separate updates. This service pack combines them into one update.

Important: You must shut down or turn off all guest operating systems before installing SP1. This ensures that there are no virtual machines in a saved state. This is important because saved states are not compatible between SP1 and all previous versions of Virtual PC 2004.

Service Pack 1 includes an updated version of Virtual Machine Additions. You should update the version of Virtual Machine Additions on all virtual machines where Virtual Machine Additions is installed. For more information, see "Installing Virtual Machine Additions" in Virtual PC Help.



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Tech
Monday, 18 October 2004 20:49:53 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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In a well-written and well-argued article on Security Pipeline, Mitch Wagner tells us the story of the little pigs and their houses of straw and brick, and then draws from the story to illustrate the state of Internet security, stating:

"The preceding has been a fairy tale with no bearing on the current state of Internet security."

Except that it really does. Have a bearing, that is.

Wagner's analysis of the arguments on both sides of the browser wars is interesting and well-explained.

Secure coding and design wins the argument every time - with regard to secure applications, that is. Of course, functionality, usability and other aspects of computer programs have to come into play and be taken into account, as well. But ultimately, the structural materials with which you build your house (be it brick or straw) determine whether you'll survive the hurricane. Or the wolves....

The little pig's big brother said, "Dude, you can't blow down a brick house. Brick is fundamentally more resistant to huffing and puffing."

Good point, Mitch.



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IT Security
Monday, 18 October 2004 19:32:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Microsoft has published 2005 calendar templates for Word, Excel, FrontPage and PowerPoint:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT011371131033.aspx



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Office 2003
Monday, 18 October 2004 18:59:51 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 16 October 2004

 

Greg Hughes says :   22:18:30
i went to the apple store tonight

Eric Rice says :         22:18:34
yeah?

Eric Rice says :         22:18:40
felt good, didnt it?

Greg Hughes says :   22:18:41
the prices are fixed?

Eric Rice says :         22:18:44
yup

Greg Hughes says :   22:18:48
hahahha yeah they are nice machines

Eric Rice says :         22:18:56
you touched them too

Eric Rice says :         22:19:00
in a naughty way i bet

Greg Hughes says :   22:19:04
i thought i would not like the new imac g5 but really they are pretty nice

Eric Rice says :         22:19:06
'wow this is sleek'

Greg Hughes says :   22:19:10
LOL

Eric Rice says :         22:19:13
YOU DID

Eric Rice says :         22:19:14
hahahaha

It must be the Devil. It has to be. It's the only reasonable explanation I can think of.

I confess: I've been seriously considering buying an Apple computer for a few weeks now - Probably a PowerBook G4, if I ever actually get to the point where I break down and make the switch.

Why? Well, there are certain things the Mac does very well, and certain pieces of software that are available only on that platform. Software that I want and need. Well-made software that just works. Hardware that fits together well.

At GnomeDex there were a gazillion PowerBooks around. Eric Rice uses one and I got to see it in action. I got jealous quickly. It was really quite pathetic.

So - If someone can help me find a good Windows-based alternative, for example, to GarageBand on the Mac, I'm all ears. I mean, If I can keep from spending money on a whole new computer just to solve a few "problems," that's more than fine with me.

But dude, Apple has this way of making things that just work.

If I really need to, I know I could run Windows XP on the Mac inside of MS VirtualPC. Nothing is impossible. But hey - why can't I run Mac OS X on a PC in a virtual machine? Anyone? Seems kinda one-sided, or maybe it can be done I and I just don't know it... Time to look for PPC/Mac emulators that run on Windows?

But it's not just the software. Don't tell anyone, but I spent most of this evening at CompUSA in the Mac section, and then over at the Apple Store at the mall. Their hardware is very well done. I even like the new iMac G5, very cool.

I must be going insane. Apple??? Either that, or maybe I'm actually having a breakthrough and coming back to reality.

I wish I could tell which it is.



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Random Stuff | Tech
Saturday, 16 October 2004 22:15:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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"podcasting redefined radio...
... Doppler redefined podcasting"

In this amazingly fast-growing (like, really fast) phenomenon called podcasting (yes, I am willing to use the terms phenomenon and podcasting when discussing this, even if I don't particularly like the name), it's hard to always know which way is up. So, it's also hard to know where to go and what to do with all this stuff, both as a content creator and a consumer/end user of podcasts.

Heck, it's difficult enough just to explain to people what podcasting is, let alone how it works. Of course, it's early in this experiment, and we'll certainly have to improve things from the usability standpoint. But still, it's truly amazing what's happened in the past month or so in this portion of the universe.

Enter Doppler [http://www.dopplerradio.net/], a client program that runs on Windows and raises the bar in terms of making it easier for the end user to subscribe to podcasts without too much hassle. In other words, this is just the kind of thought and change that needs to happen to make podcasting a mainstream application. As a community we're not there yet, but with ideas like this and a few people to kick them out the door, we will be before too long.

The best part is, it just works. It makes subscribing to podcasts easier. It makes sense to use. It makes life simpler.

Features

  • Doppler is designed for the Windows platform
  • Drag and drop a URL onto Doppler
  • Scheduled interval to retrieve feeds
  • Specify the numer of files to download
  • Restrict the allowable size of downloads
  • Filter your items by text
  • Possibility to run in minimized mode
  • Import and export of OPML files

Doppler is an aggregator that downloads podcasts based on RSS feeds, and lets you listen to it the way you want it, whenever you like it, on the device of your choice. Doppler has been developed using the latest Microsoft .NET technology and is available as a small download sizing less than 500 KB.

And Doppler has been alive for something like, oh, three days. And work continues on adding features and shoring it up as we speak type. Or maybe it is speak. Oof...

Go download it and try it out.



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RSS Stuff | Tech
Saturday, 16 October 2004 14:47:12 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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