# Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The company that I work for (Keane, Inc.) announced today that they will be sold to Caritor. It made the front page of the Caritor web site at http://www.caritor.com/ with a nice animated gif with fireworks and everything. Of course it will take a while to see what happens but right now all of the executives are saying that day to day operations will not change and that we will see no change in benefits, etc. I sure hope they are correct. In any case it looks like we will be in for a couple of interesting months while things settle down and get straightened out.

For those of you who want to read more the press release is at http://www.caritor.com/news-events/news-new.html.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007 10:05:19 AM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Tuesday, February 06, 2007
I got an e-mail about this today. Come check it out if you can.
 

It’s Geek Dinner time!!

This is a reminder or notification if you don’t already know about the upcoming Geek Dinner THIS THURSDAY put on by DevUtah. 

We’ll be having as our Guest of Honor, Jeff Barr, the web services Evangelist for Amazon.com.  You can find out more about Jeff here: www.jeff-barr.com and Amazon’s web service offerings here: http://solutions.amazonwebservices.com/connect/index.jspa

Geek Dinners are open to anyone, but cater to technologists and business people.  If you’re looking for a chance to hang out with and get to know Utah’s Geek Community, this is one of the places to do it!  This is our first dinner of 2007, we will be having monthly dinners this year and will be announcing the next at the dinner. 

Dinner will be from 6 – 8 pm at the Los Hermanos restaurant in Lindon at 395N State St.  Map here: http://local.yahoo.com/details?id=19874100&stx=&csz=Pleasant+Grove+UT

Note – the DevUtah site is currently down but will be back up and running before the dinner, therefore there will be no RSVP for this dinner.

 

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 8:31:24 AM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, February 03, 2007

By now many of you have seen or heard about the application that InterKnowlogy did for the Scripps Institute that helps cancer researchers collaborate. It is a smart cliant application that uses WPF with a back end in SharePoint 2007 for storing the data and collaboration information. Well, they have decided to make improvements to the application and are looking to hire a few developers. If you want to work on a project that will not just boost your resume but save lives you should look at this opportunity.

The official job announcement along with details on what you need to do to apply is on Stephen Forte's blog at http://www.stephenforte.net/owdasblog/PermaLink.aspx?guid=81b20029-dd37-4d0c-a9f2-8e9220eae12d. Good luck to you. And to whoever gets the job I would like to say a big thank you because it may be my life one day that is affected by this research.

Saturday, February 03, 2007 11:18:49 AM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, February 02, 2007

I really enjoyed the chance I had to meet with and talk to so many developers who are interested and passionate about Vista and .NET 3.0. I decided to post a list of the most popular questions and answers that I had yesterday. I am sure these are not comprehensive but hopefully it will point you in the right direction.

 

Q: What was the name of the health care company you were talking about?

A: I thought I was clear that the PR agreement doesn’t let me tell you who they are. I know a few of you came up and guessed on the name and some of you were correct and some of you were incorrect. I really hated not being able to tell you who the company is but I had a bigger point to make. I wanted you to realize that there is honest to goodness business value happening out there with connected systems. Things that were not possible or were cost prohibitive before are now becoming possible. I know when I first saw WPF I was a huge skeptic. I thought if Word were written to take advantage of 3-D and transparency and all that it would be a great proof point but until then it would be a hard sell. I expected the media companies of the world (Disney, Turner Broadcasting, etc.) and some of the companies that make extensive use of graphics now on their web sites and applications to be the only adopters. I even told a lot of you that I expected main-stream CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) type data applicatons to stick with the “battleship gray” user interface that they have had for the last 10 years. Now I have to recant that statement and say I was wrong. As I have come to see what can be accomplished I am becoming a believer. If I can search and find all my medical records including X-Rays, CT Scans, EKG, whatever else and have a way of collaborating and annotating the data it will increase customer satisfaction and decrease cost as people look all over for important data. In other fields such as retail we showed you some good examples of the way that you could use the technologies. Think about the impact to manufacturing, if they could get away from EDI to communicate with partners and suppliers, see their inventory levels compared to projected sales, and get a report on what products are in demand so they can shift manufacturing to cover it. The point I was hoping to make is that it doesn’t really matter who the company’s are who are working with WPF, WCF, and WF, unless of course they are your competitors and will steal away your market share, as much as you should be looking at the technologies and trying to determine how they can give you a competitive advantage.

 

Q: Where can I find more information or the demo you did on X

A: Some of the demos are applications written by companies and not public. Others are. Here are the public ones that I know about.

Download of .NET Framework 3.0 for Windows XP and Windows 2003 available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=10CC340B-F857-4A14-83F5-25634C3BF043&displaylang=en

Community site with dedicated areas for each of the technologies is available at http://www.netfx3.com

MSDN information on .NET Framework 3.0 http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/netframework/aa663309.aspx

Dinner Now sample application with links to source code and an RSS feed at http://www.dinnernow.net

Videos and interviews with Microsoft people (you will have to do some looking around but the navigation on the left will help) – http://channel9.msdn.com

 

Q: When upgrading my system/application what will work?

A: The generic answer is if it is new it *should* work. That is not all that comforting and not a good answer so here are some links.

Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0 – Find out if your application will work - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=24da89e9-b581-47b0-b45e-492dd6da2971&DisplayLang=en

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor – Find out if your XP machine will upgrade to Vista - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=42B5AC83-C24F-4863-A389-3FFC194924F8&displaylang=en

Windows Easy Transfer for Windows XP and Windows 2000 – Transfer files and settings to your Vista machine - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=2B6F1631-973A-45C7-A4EC-4928FA173266&displaylang=en

 

 

Of course using Live Search for “connected systems”, Windows Vista, Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow, or any of the other technologies we talked about will also get you a lot of good information (and some bad) about the products from the people who have created them, bloged about them, and are using them.

 

Friday, February 02, 2007 11:59:11 AM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I had a previous post about certain CDs from Sony that contained a rootkit. Today I saw an article on RedmondMag.com at http://redmondmag.com/news/article.asp?editorialsid=8175 that says Sony has settled the charges against them. If you have purchased one of their CDs and had a problem with removing the software you can be compensated up to $150 for your trouble. Sony BMG will also tell you before they do something like this again. They are also making tools available to remove rootkits.

Since I never purchased one of the affected CDs I can't really say if the settlement is fair but from the outside looking in I would have to say that it is more than I expected to see from them. I figured that after the initial reaction people would forget about it and the practice would go on. Hopefully this means that we will see an end to sneaky DRM. Now if we can just figure out a way to protect copyright without making the honest users jump through hoops or treat them like criminals, then we will have something.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 11:13:22 AM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, January 29, 2007

I have to admit I am a little confused at the New York Times and their apparent lack of research. What I am referring to is the article at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/27/technology/27vista.html that is a report that rivals of Microsoft have called on the European Commission to block XAML because:

The group said Microsoft’s XAML markup language — which it said was positioned to replace the current Web page language HTML — was designed “from the ground up to be dependent on Windows.”

It seems to me that a little searching on XAML on the web would lead them to the WPF/E page at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/asp.net/bb187358.aspx that states:

“WPF/E” is the Microsoft solution for delivering rich, cross-platform, interactive experiences including animation, graphics, audio, and video for the Web and beyond. Utilizing a subset of XAML (eXtensible Application Markup Language)-based Windows Presentation Foundation technology, “WPF/E” will enable the creation of content and applications that run within multiple browsers and operating systems (Windows and Macintosh) using Web standards for programmability. Consistent with Web architecture, the XAML markup is programmable using JavaScript and works well with ASP.NET AJAX. Broadly available for customers in the first half of 2007, “WPF/E” experiences will require a lightweight browser plug-in made freely available by Microsoft.

I don't have a Mac so I can't test it but I would assume that if the statement that WPF/E runs on a Mac were not true the New York Times would also have pointed that out. In any case is should be easy for the EU to look at XAML and that it runs on more than one browser and more than one OS and decide that it is a new language/plug-in/applet/whatever they want to call it just like Flash, Java Applets, AJAX, or any other technology that runs in a browser and throw out the whole complaint or make the decision that anything that is not a W3C approved HTML standard is not allowed to run in the EU.

I know that Microsoft has done some things in the past that make it hard for others to compete in the marketplace but this does not seem to be one of them. I see WPF and WPF/E as a way for me to make better web pages. I hope that the politicians will stay out of the decision and let the market place decide whether or not WPF and WPF/E are useful technologies. 

Monday, January 29, 2007 9:55:59 AM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, January 25, 2007

According to news.com Microsoft is already planning for Vista service pack 1. I suppose that they have to with the long lead times for testing all the different hardware and applications but it seems a little strange to be asking businesses to nominate themselves for inclusion in the program before the commercial release of the product. It will be interesting to see what features are in the service pack and how soon it comes out.

<rant>
From a purely marketing perspective I think they should release service pack 1 about 10 days after the initial release. That way they could sell to all the people who say they won't buy or install Vista until the service pack comes out. And yes, there are those people out there.
The other day I heard someone say they weren't going to allow Vista on their network until the first service pack to fix the bugs. I wanted to ask them how come they thought that the same people who developed, tested, and shipped the original version would suddenly become so much better that they could trust the SP1 version any more than the original version but then I remembered the old adage about "If you can't say something nice...".
</rant>

If the speculation in the article is correct and the service pack comes out around 11 months after the release it should be available around October and hopefully in time to be pre-installed on new computers. That would be a blessing for all of the people who will be buying a new computer for Christmas so they don't have to spend the first few minutes on Christmas morning downloading the service pack.
I guess only time will tell.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 12:48:19 PM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Microsoft released version 1.0 of their AJAX framework named ASP.NET AJAX (fka Atlas) to the web. You can read the official announcement on Scott Guthrie's blog at http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/01/23/asp-net-ajax-1-0-released.aspx

As Scott explains in his blog the actual code along with samples, documents, and videos can be downloaded from http://ajax.asp.net.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 2:47:56 PM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |