Stuff that gets sent back to my news aggregator for later review

 Monday, May 23, 2005
  8:44:15 PM  

Visual Studio .NET Developer: Build a Visual Studio Add-in to Evaluate XPath/XQuery Expressions [MSDN Just Published 5/23/2005] Francis A. Shanahan shows you how to implement the IDTExtensibility2 interface and create a simple but useful Add-in to execute XPath or XQuery expressions against an XML document without ever leaving Visual Studio.
 Wednesday, May 04, 2005
  6:46:29 PM  

  • Automated smart client deployment and update The ClickOnce features of Visual Studio 2005 will improve on application deployment including security constraints for applications deployed over the Internet.
  • Developing .NET Web Services with Beta 2 examines several of the major Web services tool improvements in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2, and introduces a new interface-based approach to defining service contracts. He also discusses improved interoperability across frameworks and explains how these changes mesh with Web Services Enhancements and Indigo.
  • Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and XML takes a look at Microsoft's Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) which was recently updated to accommodate Windows XP SP2.
  • Microsoft has announced its first new certification credential in more than a year, the Microsoft Certified Architecture Program, or MCAP. Full details won't be known for about six months, but the general focus will be on what Microsoft calls "solutions architecture," or the work involved in designing, planning and developing software systems, and that MCAP will not have an exclusive MS focus. This super-premium credential would require an applicant to have documented, relevant work experience as well as passing a slate of exams, and also require "soft skills" such as decision-making, oral and written communications, and project management.
  • When planning and configuring security for wireless networks, you need to emphasize two items in particular:
    authentication and encryption.
  • How are you going to patch, and how fast are you going to do it? Many Microsoft tools can assist in solving the logistics of patching, so knowing the tools and methods necessary to keep systems patched is important. 
  • Visual Studio Tools for Office allows easy VB development, while providing rapid application development methods and .NET compatibility.
  • Some may argue that it's a waste of time trying to involve end users in Windows security efforts.
 Sunday, April 24, 2005
  7:09:43 PM  

SBS Usergroup Tour - hosted by SBS MVP's. [Barnaby's Canadian IT Pro WebLog 4/7/2005] Small Business Server MVPs invite resellers and consultants who want to understand solutions for small business customers to join together for an evening of presentations and discussion. Each of the SBS MVPs appearing on this tour is an experienced resellers and a community leader. Agenda:
-  Using SBS to empower Line of Business Application - presented by Jeff Loucks
-  Swing Migration: Upgrade SBS servers on weekdays, take the weekends off! - presented by Jeff Middleton
-  Open Forum Discussion on SBS Business and Technology Issues - mediated by Calvin McLennan and Les Connor
Toronto April 25;go.x=8&go.y=6
 Saturday, April 23, 2005
  7:56:32 PM  

Peeling Away the FUD Wrapping on Linux/Windows "Studies[Groklaw 4/23/2005 12:17 PM EDT] You just have to read this: The Truth About Linux and Windows. Business Week's Steve Hamm looks more carefully than most at Laura DiDio's latest piece of work and finds it wanting: "I've got a bone to pick with the never-ending stream of studies by tech research outfits comparing Linux to Windows. For starters, it seems like about half of them are paid for by one camp or another. Even when analysts aren't on the payroll, this is really complex stuff—and useful facts are hard come by. And, beyond complexity, some studies just make me scratch my head. For example: a recent one put out by the Yankee Group. I just don’t trust its conclusions." So, finally, the mainstream press is noticing that something is wrong with the methodology of some of these studies, and Hamm carefully documents exactly why he questions the results. He is not a Linux "extremist". Lots more ...
 Friday, April 22, 2005
  9:05:30 PM  

Best-ever Freeware Utilities [TechSupportAlert 3/1/2005 via Lockergnome 4/22/2005] There are a lot of great freeware products out there. Many are as good or even better than their commercial alternatives. This extensive list features Ian Richards' personal pick of the "best of the best," by category.
 Wednesday, April 14, 2004
  7:19:17 AM  Friday Web Zen: Walking in a Winter Wonder Zen. Despite any incidental innuendo, all links are relatively G-rated. Enjoy. 1. Warm Your Pussy;  2. Happy Tree Friends;  3. Snowcraft;  4. Snowrush;  5. Snowball;  6. Tobbogan Jump;  7. You've Got (pee) Mail!;  8. Christmas Consumerism
  7:16:13 AM  Web Zen: I know. It's only rock-n-roll..  Rock 'n' roll zen: (1) 100 albums  (2) thrift store finds  (3) vinyl museum  (4) daily song  (5) 78rpm  (6) the tarot  (7) publicity photos  (8) karaoke  (9) elvis  (10) glam rock  (11) roadies  Link Discuss (Thanks, Frank!)
  7:14:09 AM  Flash MX based UML Modelling Tool.
Grant Skinner has just launched the beta of one of the sweetest RIAs that I've seen.  GModeler is a programming tool for developers working with ECMA-Script and deriviative languages such as ActionScript and JavaScript.  It's a UML modelling tool built entirely in Flash and supports importing XML exchange formats for UML.  It also does a beautiful job generating HTML documentation and XML content for integration into the Flash MX dev environment directly. It's beautiful, useful, and also a great example of Grant's other pioneering work creating an operating-system style UI shell for Flash applications. [Jeremy Allaire's Radio]
  6:52:27 AM  Resume Tips For Jobs [Slashdot] SAGEWire reports that with the economy speeding up, more and more people are freshening up their resumés. They've printed an article by Tom Limoncelli, co-author of TPoSaNA, that offers specific advice for geeks writing resumes. 'Course, I'm not sure how much I believe the economy speeding up - but still good information.,
 Sunday, April 11, 2004
  10:13:11 AM  PCA publishes Fujitsu HDD advisory. What to tell the customers
Ouch! Fujitsu to replace 300,000 faulty HDDs. What does this do to the MTBF? [The Register]
 Sunday, April 10, 2005
  7:12:18 PM  

More media-shifting. In response to yesterday's item about media-shifting, Jason Burton reports that he uses a free tool called Sermonex, written by Chris Lundie, to extract audio tracks from Channel 9 videos. ... ngrelatedlinks Related... ngpostlinks [Jon's Radio]
 Friday, April 08, 2005
  9:50:46 PM  

  • VISUALIZE YOUR DATABASE WITH TREEMAPS Scott Stephens demonstrates how to generate a simple treemap that uses shades between green, yellow, and red to show which tablespaces have low percentages of free space. Then, he offers a sample PHP script that could generate that graph.;brand=builder&ds=5
  • WORKING TOWARD MORE REALISTIC DESIGN GOALS Web designers go to great lengths to ensure uniform page rendering, employing all manner of CSS code hacks, browser detection scripts, and other tricks and techniques. Is it time to rethink design expectations?;brand=builder&ds=5
  • USE THE FLEXIBILITY OF XEP TO RENDER AND PUBLISH XML PRESENTATIONS XEP, from RenderX, is a commercial-grade rendering engine that takes XML data and parses it into a viewable or printable format. See an example of how XEP works.;brand=builder&ds=5
  • A SIMPLE XML DATABASE FOR YOUR WINDOWS APPLICATIONS Want to create a Windows application that lets your user edit and view structured data locally without connecting to a remote database? XML is the answer, and with Visual Studio it's a snap.;brand=builder&ds=5
  • DON'T EXPLAIN AN IDEA TO A DEER IN HEADLIGHTS Communicating technical concepts to business drivers can drive even a tactful developer to the brink. In this classic article, you'll learn four things you can do to make the process easier.;brand=builder&ds=5
  • History: Confronting your past: You may now be tired of hearing me say it, but I will say it again: Your repository contains every version of everything which has ever been checked in to the repository. This is a Good Thing. We sleep better at night because we know that our efforts are always additive, never subtractive. Nothing is ever lost. As the team regularly checks in more stuff, the complete historical record is preserved, just in case we ever need it. But this feature is also a Bad Thing. It turns out that keeping absolutely everything isn't all that useful if you can't find anything later. My woodshop is a painfully vivid illustration of this problem. I have a habit of never throwing anything away. When I build a piece of furniture, I save every scrap of wood, telling myself that I might need it someday. I keep every screw, nail, bolt or nut, just in case I ever need it. But I don't organize these things very well. So when the time comes that I need something, I usually can't find it. I'm not necessarily proud of this confession, but my workshop stands as an expression of who I am. Those who love me sometimes find my habits to be endearing. But there is nothing endearing about a development team that can't find something when they need it. A good SCM tool must do more than just keep every version of everything. It must also provide ways of searching and viewing and sorting and organizing and finding all that stuff. In the rest of this article, I will discuss several mechanisms that SCM tools provide to help make the historical data more useful. Read it all online and share your comments with Eric...
  • Comprehensive CM with Razor Visible Systems’ Razor provides a well-integrated trio of cross-platform (Unix and Windows) configuration-management tools: (1)Issues is the problem tracking system, (2)Versions is the version control system, (3)Threads is the release management system. Two things distinguish Razor from some of its competition. First, all three of these tools work closely together. It’s clear that they have grown up together, rather than having been built as disparate pieces and then later lightly integrated. Second, they’re all quite flexible. If you don’t like the user interface in Issues, or the precise workflow within the tool suite, Razor is meant to be modified, and the manual shows you how.
  9:08:05 PM  

Microsoft Help and Support: Describe the problem

In Solitaire, if you click on the close button on the title bar while it's doing its bouncing card animation, the program asks if you want to deal again instead of quitting. You have to choose No (or Yes), then click the close button to exit.

It should close as soon as you click Close, just as it does when it's not doing the animation.

Always Repeatable. Probably there since version 0.

No big deal. Just thought it was time I got around to reporting this.

me the response by e-mail.

Confirmation number: SRZ050409000123
Your question was successfully submitted to Microsoft.
A Microsoft professional will respond to you in e-mail within 1 business day.
You can also view your response on the Support Options page when you sign into Passport
Print or save this page, or record your confirmation number for your reference.
Full name:Eric Hartwell
Product:Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (All Languages)
Problem:In Solitaire, if you click on the close button on the title bar while it's do...

  8:52:17 PM  

Microsoft Wish: Outlook - Ease of Use -  I would like to be able to edit directly in the email preview pane. (Without getting a tablet PC).
  8:39:25 AM  

More media-shifting


In response to yesterday's item about media-shifting, Jason Burton reports that he uses a free tool called Sermonex, written by Chris Lundie, to extract audio tracks from Channel 9 videos. ...

[Jon's Radio]
 Wednesday, April 06, 2005
  2:30:59 PM  

cannot update your roaming profile - Catbert sign-off
not enough space on the disk - Catbert sign-on
 Saturday, April 02, 2005
  9:08:37 PM  

Toy Zenfireball island  deadly toys  corgi toys  optical toys  vladmaster  my little borg pony  world domination toys  the cubes  art army  the real toy story  hazard cards
DJ Zen. fingerpuppet  dubai sistaz  air scratch  making mash-ups  too many djs  samples  wefunk  lofi mixtape  dublab  blentwell  And a postscript from Xeni: Q-Burns Abstract Message.
Brekkie Zen.  * cereality  * cereal box archive  * cereal character guide  * breakfast scramblers  * eggs benedict  * i love egg  * and the classic: all day brekkie
  9:01:11 PM  

Zoids Ultra - Gun Blaster - $6.98. Toys R Us 03-07-2005 03:56:25 AM EST [Discount Watcher > Toys > Educational]
Zoids Deluxe Action Figure: Dark Horn - $5.29. Toys R Us 03-26-2005 03:56:35 AM EST
Zoids Deluxe Zi-Com Control Figure: Gojulas Giga - $5.29. Toys R Us 03-26-2005 03:56:36 AM EST
 Friday, March 18, 2005
  8:36:18 AM  

Use IP-specific addresses to counter Phishing

First, let me say you can bookmark IP-specific address. For those that don't know, you type http:// in the address bar followed by the IP number of the site you want to go to. Once there, you can bookmark it. I have a number of my very important sites bookmarked by IP # - e.g., my bank, credit card company, etc.
Here are some popular IP addresses:
Microsoft -
E-bay -
PayPal -
CitiBank -
Also, here is a DNS tool for converting addresses from the www. form to the IP number: Regarding IP address, please note that if a site is addressed by a server company rather than on its own server, you may not be able to reach the address just by putting in the IP number. For instance, if you convert my company's web address ( to an IP # ( and then try to go directly to the site using the IP number, you get an error page. That's because we are hosted by a server hosting service.
Post by: johnnybluenote on 02/23/05 CNet article discussion: Alarm over pharming attacks: identity theft made even easier
 Monday, February 14, 2005
  9:18:44 AM  

History of Star Wars Video Games [Slashdot:]
Classic Movies for Free! [Online Deals]
Top 100 Toys From The 70's or Thereabouts [Slashdot:]
Whippersnappers Bad-Mouth Old Games [Slashdot:]
Comparative CPU Benchmarks From 1995 to 2004 [Slashdot:]
NASA Releases Free Global Climate Model Software [Slashdot:]
Why Did The FBI Retire Carnivore? [Slashdot:]
The Lost 1984 Mac Video [Slashdot:]
Filtering RSS Through Your Social Web [Slashdot:]
MSN Search - From A UI Perspective [Slashdot:]
Is Computer-Created Art, Art? [Slashdot:]
Most Common Ways to Kill a PC [Slashdot:]
How Heraclitus would Design a Programming Language [Slashdot:]
The Quest for More Processing Power [Slashdot:]
Open Source Journalism [Slashdot:]
  8:28:28 AM  

 Basichip Kiddie Records Album 01Kiddie record bonanza in 2005 on Basic Hip. In 2005, Basic Hip Digital Oddio will feature an entire year of albums from the golden age of kiddie records, lovingly transferred from the original 78s and encoded to 192kbps MP3 format. That's one a week for 52 weeks! Not many folks these days play 78s or share this type of recording online. Chances are you've never heard them and if you have, it's been a long, long time. They are nostalgic, entertaining and just plain fun. The colorful covers are beautiful works of art.  (Via Oddio Overplay) [Boing Boing]

Gallery of novelty records.  The The Internet Museum of Flexi/Cardboard/Oddity Records is a fantastic gallery of novelty records from days gone by. (Thanks, Phil!) [Boing Boing]

 Saturday, February 05, 2005
  6:33:37 PM  

  • Until the 15th of March, save yourself $10 on purchases over $50 from Chapters, Indigo, or Coles retail stores.  The coupon is valid on regular priced merchandise only.  Chapters, Indigo or Coles Retail Stores
  • coupon code MAG424633 get 20 free prints. It expires Feb. 14, 2005. 
    Coupon code 85487,  85004 expired?
  • 1and1 is offering free webhosting for 6 months and one free domain registration to entice you try out their service!  You don’t even need to provide billing information when you sign up!  You have to enter a real phone number though, because they call you to authenticate the account. Expires February 28, 2005
  •, an American site, is offering new customers 10 free prints (the credit shows up after you upload your first picture), upload those ten and then another fifty, go to the check out and enter coupon code EXPEDIA50 and your order will be credited with 50 additional free pictures!  Sixty prints free!  According to the folks on the forums, these are the “best” in terms of quality as well.  Shipping will be about $10. One note, you need to put an American address as your billing address, it doesn’t need to be real though.  Just make sure that your shipping address is correct.  They do ship to Canada.  Expiry: ?October 1, 2005
  • VistaPrint has a number of freebies that I think you’ll want to take advantage of!  The most popular will probably be the 250 premium quality, full-colour business cards FREE!, but they also have 140 Free Return Address Labels and if you dig around the page you will also find that they are also offering 140 free family caricature address labels, 25 free business card magnets, 10 free calendar magnets, and 10 free invitations!  You do have to pay for shipping though. Expiry: January 31, 2005
 Thursday, January 27, 2005
  6:32:33 PM  

SOHO offers comet contest
The SOHO spacecraft operators have begun a contest for the public to pick the timing of the discovery of No. 1,000 comet. The first prize will be a package of goodies that will include the SolarMax DVD, a SOHO T-shirt, solar viewing glasses, and a selection of SOHO materials. Second and third place entries will receive the same package without the DVD.
 Wednesday, January 12, 2005
  7:18:54 PM  

Rob Fahrni is looking for a software development job

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger

Rob Fahrni is still looking for a job. He's the guy who showed me around the pistachio factory last winter. He also worked on the Visio team.

Hey, Rob, how about posting some programming tips you've learned over the years? Turn your blog into something that demonstrates your authority and passion for software development?

Right now there are lots of teams looking for great developers (not just at Microsoft, either, I know of open jobs at Google, Yahoo, eBay, and Cisco). But, how can you demonstrate that you're an authority? That you can build apps? That you would be an asset on a software-development team?

Here's one. I know there's an open development job on the Internet Explorer team. Do you have a cool DHTML trick for IE? Or some source code that demonstrates that you know C++ and would be worthy to bring up for an interview?

How about this? Instead of posting quotes about movies, how about a programming quiz?

Anything that could demonstrate to your readers that you're an authority on software development.

Forget the resume. That won't get you a job in today's market. Your blog will, however.

But look at it the other way. Let's say you're a hiring manager on the Internet Explorer team. Why would that person hire you because of your blog?

 Wednesday, December 08, 2004
  9:21:18 AM  

1-Click Blooper Playback for Original Trilogy DVD: Normally you have to jump through cheerios to view Easter eggs on a DVD video, but DVDFILE recently launched a new online app that lets you view the 'bloopers' egg on Star Wars Trilogy Bonus DVD with the click of a mouse. Requirements: Windows, DVD-ROM drive/playback capability, and a copy of the Star Wars Trilogy Bonus DVD. [via Slashdot 12/8/2004]
 Friday, November 05, 2004
  7:21:40 PM  

MSDN and Microsoft Download
  • Step-by-Step Guide to Securing Windows XP Professional in Small and Medium Businesses. This guide explains how to implement the security measures recommended in the Microsoft Windows XP Security Guide in a small or medium business environment without an Active Directory directory service deployment. These recommendations help ensure that your desktop and laptop systems running Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 (SP2) are more secure from the majority of current security threats.
  • Defend Your Apps and Critical User Info with Defensive Coding Techniques. Protect critical user info and defend servers by writing attack-resistant code.
  • What's New in Visual Studio Tools for Office, Version 2005. Building on the foundation provided by the previous version, this release addresses some of the biggest challenges facing Office solution developers today, including separation of data and view elements, server-side and offline scenarios, and seamless integration with the Visual Studio tools set.
  • USMT 2.6. Microsoft® Windows® User State Migration Tool (USMT) version 2.6 migrates user files and settings during large deployments of Windows 2000 or Microsoft Windows XP. USMT captures desktop, network, and application settings as well as a user's files, and then migrates them to a new Windows installation in order to improve and simplify the migration process.
  • Introducing the ASP.NET 2.0 Web Parts Framework. Web Parts provide you with the infrastructure for creating customizable Web applications. When you build a Web site with Web Parts, the Web site can be easily customized by either the administrator of the Web site or the individual users of the Web site. Web Parts are all about flexibility.
  • What's Updated for Outlook Developers in Office 2003?. Office 2003 SP1 includes a number of enhancements for developers designing forms and programming with the Outlook object model in Outlook 2003.
  • Partner Briefing Slides. Partner Briefing Slides
  • An Introduction to the Web Services Architecture and Its Specifications. Get an introduction to the Web services architecture. This white paper describes the design principles underlying the architecture and foundational technologies for Web services.
  • LOB Application Compatibility Testing at Microsoft. Detailed discussion on the process that Microsoft IT uses and recommends to other enterprise customers to ensure Line-of-Business application compatibility with new versions of enterprise software before wide-scale deployment.
  • Introducing the ASP.NET 2.0 Web Parts Framework. Web Parts provide you with the infrastructure for creating customizable Web applications. When you build a Web site with Web Parts, the Web site can be easily customized by either the administrator of the Web site or the individual users of the Web site. Web Parts are all about flexibility.
  • Advanced Basics: Digital Grandma. Duncan shows you how to build a client application that pulls down new images from a web server onto his mother's machine to give her the functionality of a 'digital photo frame'.
  • Microsoft Office Project Initiation Tool. The Microsoft Office Project Initiation Tool is an add-in for the Microsoft Office Accelerator for Six Sigma that enables you to easily capture and rank new project ideas, approve them, and initiate the project within Microsoft Project Server 2003 SP1. The tool tracks the progress of each idea through its approval process.
  • Messaging Hygiene at Microsoft. Detailed discussion on how Microsoft IT manages the large quantities of unwanted e-mail (a.k.a. spam) and malware-infected messages in its inbound Internet e-mail traffic.
  • Business Patterns for Software Engineering Use, Part 2. Discover how to develop business patterns based on business functions, data, and business components, and show how these can be used to engineer software systems.
  • Microsoft Technet Security & MSDN Day presentations. Microsoft Technet Security & MSDN Day Featuring guest speaker Eric Rudder
  • Microsoft® Tools for Domain Specific Languages Technology Preview (October 2004 Release). This download contains a graphical designer hosted in Visual Studio 2005 for designing and editing the concepts (or metamodel) of visual domain specific languages.
 Tuesday, October 19, 2004
  9:17:06 AM  

Using localhost for organizing your work

I'm just wondering what people are doing to keep track of their work these days. Sure, Outlook has a good set of tools for this. Calendar, Task list, etc. but information is still disparate and I'm jumping all over the place each time I do something. Doing web development means that we have IIS (or Apache if that's your thing) at our disposal which can serve up your own local work center. With .NET installed, the possibilities are even more plentiful. So rather than having Yahoo or MSN set as my homepage I would use http://localhost and put my collection of links, tasks, documents and other useful tidbits there in some kind of organized fashion. Each time I fired up my browser I could track what I was doing or have a categorized view of resources that I use on a regular basis. I found it was somewhat more effective than using static IE bookmarks and saw it as a next generation PIM, as those have all but vanished from the desktop.

I've grown a little dissatisfied with having a static webpage that I was constantly editing so I looked for an alternative. SharePoint, while having a good collection of features for this, was out becuase it meant I had to run it on my server and I wanted something local (and simpler). After poking around on the web, I thought the current version of DotNetNuke would be a good choice. It's been kicking around for quite sometime, was built on .NET (grown up from the IBuySpy Portal Starter Kit that Microsoft created to show people what was possible with .NET) and the latest version is pretty slick. Lots of free add-ons, private assemblies mean I just upload a zip file and it's available as a new module so no messing with compiling or messy configurations and I can make the content as dynamic as I want it to be. I've been using that for a few days now and it's pretty darn effective. I use it for tracking a list of ongoing projects and tasks, a large collection of categorized links, a document manager, a photo album and there's even an MP3 player,.all organized on tabs (with my main page calling up the Daily Dilbert as you just can't live without that). So it's been my central core for my day to day work. ngpostlinks [Fear and Loathing]

 Sunday, October 10, 2004
  9:25:11 AM  

webservertalk: Home > Archive > IIS Index Server > January 2004 > How to add properties to .MHT files?
>> I am able to index the .mht files and search content using keywords.
      However, what I havent figured out is how to add properties to the MHT file.
      Adding meta tags similar to HTML files did not work. Vilva 2004-01-24
>> get filtreg from the platform sdk. type filtreg .mht .htm Hilary Cotter 2004-01-24

The filtreg.exe program inspects filter installation information in the registry. You invoke the filtreg.exe program from the command line simply by typing its name: filtreg. Filtreg.exe enumerates all file extensions that have filters associated with them by printing the file extension and the name of the filter DLL for the extension. This is a simple way to verify the correct installation of a filter.

Microsoft Index Server: Associate XML files with the HTML filter
Force Windows XP search to include all file types
 Friday, October 01, 2004
  10:48:34 AM  

The USGS is blogging Mt St Helens. (Sort of.) Mt St Helens webcam.
Globe and Mail headlines (RDF and HTMLNational Report   Sports  Sports (Golf)  Travel
 Monday, September 27, 2004
  6:30:53 PM  

Enjoy ice roller skating / J.P.
Enjoy ice roller skating / J.P. Poster promoting "ice roller skating" at the New York City Building, Flushing Meadow Park, New York.
WPA Posters WPA ( Works Progress Administration ) Posters were made during the WWII Era between 1936 and 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. We are offering reproductions of approximately 800 of these posters which were orginally silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcuts. They were designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in seventeen states and the District of Columbia. The posters were made possible by one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts.
 Wednesday, September 22, 2004
  4:30:12 PM  

Use Amazon to reserve a book at your local library. Mark Frauenfelder: 43 Folders writes about a great little bookmarklet maker that lets you request the book you're looking at on from your local library. I’ve combed through my Amazon wishlist over the past month and have been able to find almost 20 books I was going to buy—all of which have since been shuttled from SF’s many branch libraries to the cozy little outpost just beyond my front yard. [Boing Boing 9/16/2004]
 Tuesday, September 21, 2004
  9:09:05 AM  

Information Architecture Heuristics. Nice list of points to consider when doing site eval. The points are categorized under the following: Main page; Search interface; Search results; Site-wide navigation; Contextual navigation; [elearningpost 8/30/2004]
  8:56:28 AM  

What a great tool: Web Accessibility Toolbar The Web Accessibility Toolbar has been developed to aid manual examination of web pages for a variety of aspects of accessibility. It consists of a range of functions that: Identify components of a web page; Facilitate the use of 3rd party online applications; Simulate user experiences; Provide links to references and additional resources. The good and bad of having this installed is it constantly reminds me I still have some work to get done to make this site a bit more standards based. [Scott Watermasysk 9/11/2004]
  8:51:42 AM  

A web standards checklist. A comprehensive checklist for web standards-based design. One can use this checklist to: to show the breadth of web standards; as a handy tool for developers during the production phase of websites; as an aid for developers who are interested in moving towards web standards [elearningpost 8/19/2004]
  8:50:35 AM  

Intranets look vainly to knowledge management. Good advice on managing organizational knowledge: "Sharing knowledge takes effort and skill, even between two people talking face-to-face. You don't create that by writing stuff down; you create it by creating robust relationships that give people the confidence to ask questions and learn from each other, and by encouraging the disciplines of asking questions without wasting people's time, and of answering questions with clarity and power, of telling vivid stories within a shared value system. These are the things that matter, the things businesses need to be good at."[elearningpost 9/7/2004]
  8:49:44 AM  

Best practices in online captioning. Joe Clark's fantastic work on online captioning is listed here.[elearningpost 9/9/2004]
 Wednesday, September 15, 2004
  7:19:29 PM  

Configuring Logon Hours
Here is a quick and easy way for you to configure when users can log onto your computer. It’s a nifty little trick for parents who do not want their children using the computer when they are not home to supervise. You can use the Net User command to configure the day and the time of day when a user can log on to a computer. For example, if you want to permit a user named Bill to log on to a computer between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, you would open the command prompt (or use the run command) and type the following:
Net user Bill /time:M-F, 08:00-17:00
You can find out more about the Net User command from this knowledge base article
[Diana Huggins Lockergnome's Windows Fanatics 9/15/2004]
 Tuesday, September 14, 2004
  1:16:16 PM  

Free money helps make up for lost RESP time

RESPs and the sin of missed opportunity are the topic of today's sermon.

If you're a parent, registered education savings plans are almost as essential a financial planning tool as registered retirement savings plans. And yet, a Statistics Canada study released this month suggests nearly half of parents are unaware of RESPs.

What a waste. For RESP contributions of up to $2,000 a year, the federal government's Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) offers a matching 20-per-cent payment. That's as much as $400 in free money available to help send your kid to university or college. What part of that doesn't sound good?

If you haven't got an RESP for your child, here are your marching orders. First, set up a plan at a bank or get a self-directed plan through a financial planning firm, full-service brokerage or on-line broker. Scholarship trusts are the least-attractive option because of their fees, restrictive rules and sales practices that have drawn the attention of the Ontario Securities Commission.

Part of the setup process is choosing between a family plan, where you're typically saving for more than one child, and an individual plan, which has a single beneficiary. Family plan beneficiaries must be related to you by blood or adoption, whereas an individual plan can be set up for any child.

Federal grant money aside, the big attraction of RESPs is they allow investment dollars to grow tax-free until they're withdrawn and taxed in the hands of the beneficiary student. As with RRSPs, it's best to start early with an RESP to benefit from maximum compounding.

Lots of people have obviously let things slide in setting up RESPs, so let's look at how to best make up for lost time.

The first thing to know is you can't backfill or carry forward unused RESP contribution room like you can with an RRSP.

"The trick with RESPs is that you're held to the contribution limit of $4,000 a year," said Jeff Young, a national financial planning consultant with Royal Bank of Canada's RBC Investments.

But that doesn't mean you can't capitalize on CESG money you've missed out on, Mr. Young said. You just have to be strategic about it.

Mr. Young uses the example of an RESP newly set up for an eight-year-old born in 1996. This child would be able to claim grant money going as far back as 1998, when the CESG was introduced.

To start soaking up that unused grant money, contribute the maximum $4,000 to an RESP before the Dec. 31 deadline for this year. The first $2,000 of that amount would generate the maximum $400 CESG payment for 2004, while the second $2,000 would generate an additional $400 CESG payment for 1998. In 2005, you'd do the same thing over again and use up unclaimed CESG money from 1999. Repeat annually and you'll have used up all unclaimed grant funding with your 2009 contribution.

If you can't swing a $4,000 contribution to make up for unused education savings grants, then contribute whatever you can in excess of the $2,000 amount that will generate the maximum grant payment for 2004. Just remember, the slower you go in claiming that unused CESG, the less you benefit from tax-free compounding over the life of the RESP.

This time pressure explains why Mr. Young suggests you set up an RESP by year's end for a child who doesn't have one. If you wait until 2005, then you've added another year to the period of time it will take to catch up on any unused grant funding.

Want some more motivation to get moving on an RESP? Lately, there's been criticism of the RESP program on the grounds it benefits better-off Canadians more than the poorer ones who truly need help to send their children to university or college.

The federal government introduced a couple of measures on the February budget aimed at helping lower-income get better access to higher education. Still, you can't rule out changes to the CESG that would make the program less generous after a certain income level. If that happens, it will be a real sin not to have taken advantage of the grant money while you could.  [GAM 7/31/2004]

 Sunday, August 15, 2004
  10:10:09 AM  

Free Not-For-Resale Copy of Visual Basic .NET 2003 Standard Edition Check out the newly released VB at the Movies. This set of 101 short films will provide everybody from the beginner through the advanced developer with an opportunity to increase their Visual Basic skills. View and rate five movies, then sign up to receive your redemption code e-mail entitling you to a copy of Visual Basic .NET 2003 Standard Edition.
  10:03:47 AM  

10 tools every developer should download now. Get an introduction to some of the best free tools available today that target .NET development.
 Saturday, June 05, 2004
  9:48:01 PM  

At some point it might be necessary to change the product key for an installed copy of XP. This could be for a variety of reasons. For instance, if you are changing licensing schemes, such as going from buying licenses individually to a bulk-licensed edition of Windows or even vice versa. Some product keys that have been known to be pirated are also being invalidated with the release of each Service Pack. Changing the license key requires that Windows XP be re-activated.This tip explains how you can do this.
  9:40:09 PM  

A free program called Dashboard constantly combs through your e-mail, calendar, address book, word-processing, and browser programs and brings together information related to your current tasks—before you even know you want it.
  7:41:20 AM  

The pdf995 suite of products - Pdf995, PdfEdit995, and Signature995 - is a complete solution for your document publishing needs. It provides ease of use, flexibility in format, and industry-standard security- and all at no cost to you. Pdf995 makes it easy and affordable to create professional-quality documents in the popular PDF file format. Its easy-to-use interface helps you to create PDF files by simply selecting the "print" command from any application, creating documents which can be viewed on any computer with a PDF viewer. Pdf995 supports network file saving, fast user switching on XP, Citrix/Terminal Server, custom page sizes and large format printing. Pdf995 is a printer driver that works with any Postscript to PDF converter. The pdf995 printer driver and a free Converter are available for easy download. Download Now. PdfEdit995 offers a wealth of additional functionality, such as: combining documents into a single PDF; automatic link insertion; hierarchical bookmark insertion; PDF conversion to HTML or DOC (text only); integration with Word toolbar with automatic table of contents and link generation; autoattach to email; stationery and stamping. Download Now | more details at . Signature995 offers state-of-the-art security and encryption to protect your documents and add digital signatures. Download Now | more details at
 Thursday, May 27, 2004
  3:47:11 PM  

New York Times no-registration link: Thanks to Google . . . just add '&source=GOOGLE' to the URL
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, @01:46PM (#9268908)
 Wednesday, May 19, 2004
  3:25:21 PM  

Google Experiments With Local Filesystem Search [Slashdot]

Google Moves Toward Clash With Microsoft


Published: May 19, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO, May 18 - Edging closer to a direct confrontation with Microsoft, Google, the Web search engine, is preparing to introduce a powerful file and text software search tool for locating information stored on personal computers.

Google's software, which is expected to be introduced soon, according to several people with knowledge of the company's plans, is the clearest indication to date that the company, based in Mountain View, Calif., hopes to extend its search business to compete directly with Microsoft's control of desktop computing.

Improved technology for searching information stored on a PC will also be a crucial feature of Microsoft's long-delayed version of its Windows operating system called Longhorn. That version, which is not expected before 2006 at the earliest, will have a redesigned file system, making it possible to track and retrieve information in ways not currently possible with Windows software.

Google's move is in part a defensive one, because the company is concerned about Microsoft's ability to make searching on the Web as well as on a PC a central part of its operating system. By integrating more search functions into Windows, Microsoft could conceivably challenge Google the way it threatened, and destroyed, an earlier rival, Netscape, by incorporating Web browsing into the Windows 98 operating system.

A Google spokesman declined to comment about the new search tool.

Although Google's core business rests on huge farms of server computers that permit fast searching on the Internet, the company has already taken several steps to move beyond that business.

Last year, Google began testing a free program called the Google Deskbar that makes it possible to search the Web by entering words and phrases in a small dialog box placed in the Windows desktop taskbar at the bottom of the computer screen.

Google also sells a computer search system designed to index and retrieve information created and stored by a single organization.

There is a rich history of less-than-successful attempts to create information search tools for personal computers. In the 1980's, for example, Mitchell Kapor's On Technology developed On Location for retrieving information on Macintosh computers and Bill Gross, a prominent software developer, led a group of programmers to create Lotus Magellan for the PC.

Digital Equipment's Alta Vista search engine group also developed a search tool for data stored on desktop PC's. Today there are a number of commercial products for desktop searches like X1 and dtSearch. Moreover, both the Macintosh and Windows operating systems have file and text retrieval capabilities.

The Google software project, which is code-named Puffin and which will be available as a free download from Google's Web site, has been running internally at the company for about a year.

The project was started, in part, to prepare Google for competing with Windows Longhorn, which according to industry analysts will dispense with the need for a stand-alone browser.

The disappearance of the Web browser and the integration of both Web search and PC search into the Windows operating system could potentially marginalize Google's search engine. Google, well aware of this threat, hired a Microsoft product manager last year to oversee the Puffin project as part of its strategy to compete with Microsoft's incursion into its territory.

Microsoft has shown demonstrations of its new search technology, which emphasizes the use of natural language in queries like "Where are my vacation photos?" or "What is a firewall?" Microsoft believes that Longhorn users will no longer think about where information is stored; they will instead see a unified view of documents stored on both the Internet and on the desktop.

The looming confrontation between Microsoft and Google is coming as Microsoft prepares to introduce its own advanced Web search service, possibly later this year. The company is revising its MSN strategy and backing away from its Internet dial-up service, looking instead to get more revenue from the search advertising market that Google dominates.

Web and PC-based searching is a particularly thorny subject for Microsoft because the company's chairman, Bill Gates, first outlined the idea of "information at your fingertips" in a speech given at a computer industry trade show in 1990. Yet the company did little to innovate in the areas of Internet search or text and file searches on the PC until it discovered how profitable search had become for Google.

Google's strategy is to move quickly while Microsoft is still developing its Longhorn version of Windows, adding programs and services like its recently announced Gmail electronic mail program. The intent, say people who are aware of the company's strategy, is to lower its vulnerability to Microsoft by adding businesses that are "sticky" - in other words, businesses that create strong customer loyalty or are hard to switch away from.

Internet searching is widely seen by industry executives as a powerful commercial service, but one that is difficult to defend. It is widely presumed that Internet users who find a search service that is better than Google's will be willing to defect.

Searches for information stored on a PC, however, could offer an advertising arena that is more readily defensible. Indeed, desktop searching might be particularly valuable for Google's commercial advertisers, which may be willing to pay dearly for the ability to place targeted ads in front of personal computer users.

Such services, while they may be lucrative, will also inevitably force Google to deal with new controversies. Some privacy activists have opposed the Gmail service because they are concerned that the company is automatically extracting information from its customers' Gmail accounts.

 Saturday, September 20, 2003
  8:02:21 PM  SAProxy v2.5 [2.4M] W98/2k/XP FREE SA Proxy (Spam Assassin Proxy) is based on the open source software, Spam Assassin. It runs as a local proxy server that sits between your e-mail program and your POP3 mail account. All you need to do is start SAProxy and configure your e-mail program to connect to it instead of the normal incoming mail server (documentation shows how to do it). The next time you check your email, all spam messages will be tagged with ****SPAM**** in the subject line, allowing you to easily recognize them, or to create a rule in your e-mail program that will move those tagged messages into a separate folder. Spam Assassin uses Bayesian filtering, which is highly accurate and can learn from new spam as it is detected. The program does not delete any spam, but only marks it, leaving it up to you what to do with it. [MWA] [Lockergnome Windows Daily]
 Thursday, May 01, 2003
  9:38:25 PM  

Internet Chuckle: "Welcome to the Internet Help Desk," by Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie

A client of mine turned me on to these guys. They're a Toronto-based comedy troupe that has a lot of amazingly good stuff. Especially when you consider that there's not that much software humor out there, compared to, say, golf humor or mother-in-law humor. A lot of their stuff is available for free, legally, on The above-mentioned Internet help desk sketch is one of my favorites. They also have many other good ones like "Breaking Up With CPU", "Behind the Scenes at Microsoft", and "A Finite Number of Monkeys." My other favorite is "Every OS Sucks", which has a chorus that goes,

"Every OS wastes your time from the desktop to the lap
Everything since the abacus is just a bunch of crap
From Microsoft to Macintosh to Lin - Line - Lin - Line - ux
Every computer crashes 'cause every OS sucks."

Note: to download from, you will have to enter an e-mail address (not necessarily yours) and some other identifying data. They don't send you a key, or waste your time with nonsense like a user ID and password. They just want you to fill in the form; I'm not sure why. I put in false answers, and encourage you to do the same. 

  7:26:11 PM  

"Amphibionics : Build Your Own Biologically Inspired Reptilian Robot" leads you step-by-step through four amazing projects which, when completed, will leave you as master of a gang of robot reptiles that jump, slither, walk, swim, and respond to their environment. Packed with insight and a wealth of informative illustrations, Amphibionics show you how to build your own snake, frog, crocodile, and turtle. It focuses on the construction of each robot in detail, and then explores the world of slithering, jumping, swimming, and walking robots -- along with the artificial intelligence needed to make these movements happen. Amphibionics also:

  • Tells you all you need for mechanical construction, programming, locomotion, remote control, and customization
  • Teaches you corresponding electronics, PIC programming, artificial intelligence, software, motor control, and wireless data linking.
  • Instructs you to build your own customizable remote control using inexpensive transmitter and receiver modules
  • Helps you add your own touches, through a special section that shows you how to evolve each robot further and make it unique
  • And much, much, more!

With each project amazingly inexpensive to complete, you're bound to wind up with your own brood of reptilian robots in no time! Also available from the same author: "Insectronics : Build Your Own Walking Robot" This book is now on sale for 30% Off! Visit the "Hobby Robots" section at to see this book!

  7:24:38 PM  Windows Server 2003 Technical Readiness Labs
Microsoft and the ATEC alliance have partnered to build highly innovative Windows Server 2003 HANDS-ON 2-day technical readiness labs. Which will exemplify how Windows Server 2003 is the next step forward in the way that companies do business today. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is the next step forward in the evolution of the Windows Server computing platform. These 2-day sessions will give you a hands-on overview of the important improvements and the new features contained in Windows Server 2003. Sign Up Today!
  7:24:15 PM  
Special Offer Now Available - Only $95 (Value of $295)-Introduction to Business Intelligence Camp
Microsoft Business Intelligence solutions provide critical insight that help organizations make better informed decisions. This session will cover a review of the Microsoft BI Platform include SQL Server Analysis Services, Office XP, SharePoint Portal Server and more. More information.
 Monday, April 28, 2003
  7:30:55 PM  Product road maps are often used with software projects developed for external customers but neglected on in-house projects. These tips can help you build a product road map to drive internal projects as well.
  7:09:25 PM  The hidden costs of cost cutting Vendors are good at preaching to the choir, but cost cutting and near-term ROI don't always lead to savings or the much-vaunted reduction in complexity. In fact, cost cutting and reducing complexity are frequently out of synch.
 Sunday, April 27, 2003
  9:02:47 PM  C# Design Patterns: The Flyweight Pattern
Avoid the overhead of large numbers of very similar classes with the Flyweight pattern. Learn how to recognize the instances that are fundamentally the same except for a few parameters, move those variables outside the class instance, and pass them in as part of a method call.

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