Simon Thorneycroft and Jonathan HodgsonCoding in the community.http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/default.aspxhttp://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/default.aspxCommunity Server2007-05-17T16:22:00ZJeff Raikes interview - Print Preview2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2482007-08-20T16:33:00Z<a href="http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/technology/archives/2006/12/14/jeff_raikes_interview_the_whole_thing.html">Interview with Jeff Raikes</a>, president of the Microsoft Business Division and a member of the senior leadership team, from the Guardian covering piracy, Office 2007 UI, SharePoint, etc.<br><br>But the part that caught my eye was:<br><p>"As an example, what happened with Mac Excel in 1985 was that we had a
programmer called Steve Hazelrig who was doing the printing code. Laser printers
were expensive then, and ours was way down the hall, so Steve wrote a little
routine that put an image of the page up on the screen, with a magnifying glass
so he could examine every pixel to make sure he had an accurate rendering of the
page. The program manager Jake Blumenthal came down the hall and said: "Wow,
that would be a great feature." That's how Print Preview made it into all of our
products: no customer ever asked for it. </p>
<p>So the trick is to understand the things people want to do, and they may not
know to ask for them, but the opportunity is there. So I think it's more
important to understand what customers really want to do, and to make sure we
deliver on that."</p>Whether that is completely true or not, it's a good reminder to understand what people <span>really</span> want do with software and it work for them.<br><img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=248" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=248Little changes, potential securiy risks2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2472007-08-20T16:04:00ZI thought this was an <a href="http://tomorrowtimes.blogspot.com/2006/12/how-to-login-to-expired-windows.html">interesting post</a> talking about how to login to an expired (Windows Genuine Advantage activation system) Windows machine.<br><br>
Basically involves using the Narrator program for accessibility to launch Internet Explorer where you can then browse to your local files, etc.<br><br>
What I find interesting is by a simple hyperlink in an about box you can bypass the intended security - one simple looking change that wasn't completely thought through in all usage scenarios.<br><br>
<i>Disclaimer: I do not agree with breaking your EULA by doing this.</i><br><img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=247" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=247Splitview for your monitor2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2462007-08-20T15:52:00ZHandy tool, <a href="http://www.splitview.com/">Splitview</a>, for people wanting to simulate dual screens over Citrix / RDP sessions.<br><br>
I've mentioned before about productivity boost of having multiple monitors and <a href="http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ThreeMonitorsICantGoBack.aspx">Scott Hanselman agrees</a>.
<br><br>Not related but on similar note, Visual Studio 2008 will going to <a href="http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/07/30/enabling-vertical-split-view-in-vs-2008.aspx">support viewing/editing code and design together</a> for <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/publicsector/archive/2007/08/06/visual-studio-2008-asp-net-wpf-designer-vertical-split-view-and-multiple-monitors.aspx">ASP.NET</a> and WPF.<img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=246" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=246MojoPac Virtualization2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2452007-08-20T15:35:00ZI was asked the other day if I knew how this piece of software works, <a href="http://www.mojopac.com/">MojoPac</a> by Ringcube.
<br><br>It is a relatively new product funded mainly by venture capital, the idea being a portable virtualization platform. It can be installed on a USB key and then when plugged into a host brings up your MojoPac desktop with your applications/data available but without the performance overhead or client install = great for corporate mobile workers.
<br><br>After a bit of poking around using task manager, process explorer and other <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/default.mspx">sysinternals tools</a> it seems to be dynamically loading a kernel level driver to 'hide' itself similar to how rootkits work.
Good interview <a href="http://www.grc.com/securitynow.htm#63">Steve Gibson and RingThree</a> which confirms my thoughts.
<br><br>That seems a bit scary to me and also likely to be closed or made more difficult by Microsoft if it is using undocumented or security holes to work.
<br><br>Rootkits got alot of press from the <a href="http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2005/10/31/sony-rootkits-and-digital-rights-management-gone-too-far.aspx">Sony DRM issue</a> recently. <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/Utilities/RootkitRevealer.mspx">RootkitRevealer</a> from Sysinternals is a handy tool and <a href="http://research.microsoft.com/rootkit/">Microsoft Research</a> also have tools to help you check for hidden kits.
<br><br>Another very good resource is this presentation, <a href="http://www.task.to/events/presentations/Hidden_RootKits_in_Windows_2006.ppt">Hidden RootKits in Windows (ppt)</a>.
<br><br>A interesting product that I'll watch, but think risk of how they achieve the technology and Microsoft Softgrid on the eventually shipping horizon might overshadow in the long term.<img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=245" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=245Office 2007 advert mistake2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2442007-07-16T17:31:00ZI saw this advert for Microsoft Office 2007 recently on the Sky News website and had to look twice. Clearly the <i>marketing team</i> has made the same mistake for Excel's calculation engine (numbers don't add up) as they did with <a href="http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/djst/archives/004866.html">Frontpage's Html validation</a>.
Although they did create a nice <a href="http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/djst/archives/004866.html">integrated advert for Office 2007 on MSN</a> the other day.<img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=244" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=244Apple Form Factor Evolution2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2432007-07-16T17:28:00ZGreat image of <a href="http://tofslie.com/work/apple_evolution.jpg">Apple Form Factor Evolution 1976 through 2007</a>:<br><br>
<a href="http://tofslie.com/work/apple_evolution.jpg"><img src="http://www.jonathanhodgson.co.uk/blog/appleevolution.jpg"></a><img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=243" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=243Active Directory Explorer 1.0 from SysInternals2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2422007-07-16T17:21:00ZAs well as the other fanastic <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/default.mspx">Sysinternals</a> tools comes a new one from <a href="http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/">Mark Russinovich</a>, <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/utilities/adexplorer.mspx">Active Directory Explorer 1.0</a>.<br><br>Very useful for discovering properties and attributes available in your Active Directory.<br><br>
<img src="http://www.jonathanhodgson.co.uk/blog/adexplorer.jpg"><img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=242" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=242Code review primer2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2412007-07-16T17:10:00ZThere are a number of code-review products on the market, including <a href="http://www.cenqua.com/crucible/">Cenqua Crucible</a> and <a href="http://www.jetbrains.com/idea/features/collaboration.html">features inside Jetbrains IntelliJ</a> but it's worth remembering a <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/marklon/archive/2007/07/11/code-reviews-stay-awake-at-the-back-there.aspx">few key points as described by MarkLon</a>:
<i><br><br>1. Does the code do what it is supposed to do?
<br>2. Does the code cover all cases?
<br>3. Is the code quality good?
<br>4. Does the code do too much?
<br>5. Does the code do too little validation?
<br>6. Does the code expose too much?
<br>7. Are all exceptions handled?
<br>8. When modifying code, has a new path into the internals of the code been created?
<br>9. Comments that make you think the code does something but actually it is different.
<br><br></i>Also well worth all developers reading <a href="http://martinfowler.com/books.html#refactoring">Refactoring</a> and <a href="http://www.cc2e.com/">Code Complete</a> every couple of years (or even months).<img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=241" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=241Spiceworks IT Desktop - Free computer management2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2402007-07-16T16:57:00ZThought this looked an interesting free tool for small businesses who don't run Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) or one of the new <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/opsmgr/default.mspx">System Center suite</a>.<br><br>
<a href="http://www.spiceworks.com/product/">Spiceworks IT Desktop</a>:<br>
Your network may be complicated and expensive but your IT management tools don't need to be. Spiceworks IT Desktop is the only application that combines Network Inventory, Help Desk, Reporting, Monitoring and Troubleshooting in a single, easy-to-use interface designed for IT teams in small and medium businesses. Plus, Spiceworks lets you collaborate with IT pros around the world to solve problems, share ideas and decide what additional features you need in Spiceworks.
I haven't tried it myself but it certainly looks impressive for a free product.<img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=240" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=240MMC snap-ins on 64-bit2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2392007-07-16T16:49:00ZCame across this interesting issue when changing code access security (CASPOL) setting via the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in.<br><br>There are separate policies on a 64-bit machine, ie. for 32 and 64-bit runtime versions.<br><br>Good explanation <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/shawnfa/archive/2007/03/15/using-the-mmc-snap-in-to-configure-64-bit-cas-policy.aspx">why and how to run different mmc versions</a> via command line parameters.<img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=239" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=239What makes an architect and what does a program manager do?2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2382007-05-17T17:46:00ZIn the article, <A href="http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/arcjournal/bb491122.aspx">A Profile of Don Ferguson</A>, in the <A href="http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/arcjournal/default.aspx">Microsoft Architecture Journal</A> (<A href="http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/arcjournal/bb266332.aspx">Scott Guthrie</A> was featured the month before).<BR><BR>When asked what makes a good software architect:<BR><BR><I>
<P>Firstly, at IBM we had an architect board in the Software Group, which helped me form a <B>network</B>. It took me a while to understand the importance of a network. Being a New Englander, I tend to be a little taciturn and by myself. You should never underestimate the importance of a social network. You don't know what you don't know. You don't know what someone may say to you that can push the reset button in your brain and make you think differently.</P>
<P>Secondly, as a software architect, <B>never stop coding</B>. I write code. It's not good or particularly deep code, but I do code. A lot of it is educational and related to my spare-time activities. For example, recently, I've been working on a portal that connects my family using TikiWiki and PHP. I installed the products, but they didn't work for me right out of the box. So, I had to go in and hack them. It was cool. Another example is the nursery school that my daughter attends. They asked me to set up a Web site using [Microsoft] FrontPage, which was another learning experience.</P>
<P>Thirdly, <B>communication skills matter</B>. They really do. It's really important to understand how to write well and how to present well.</P>
<P>Finally, the most important thing is to <B>connect with customers</B>. Spend as much time as possible with them. Learn what they are trying to do, and look at what works and what doesn't. Help them use your products. There's no substitute for spending time with customers and helping them solve problems. Doing this, we often learned that customers used things in ways that we never dreamed they would. We also came up with amazing new ideas.</P></BLOCKQUOTE></I>
<P>On a similar note, <A href="http://blogs.msdn.com/farshid/archive/2007/05/10/what-does-a-microsoft-program-manager-do-demystifying-the-pm-role.aspx">What Does a Microsoft Program Manager really do?</A> blog post by Farshid Sedghi has some really good points. Chris Sells did a similar set of <A href="http://www.sellsbrothers.com/news/showTopic.aspx?ixTopic=1954">postings on being a PM</A>.</P>
<LI><B>Confidence</B> - includes knowing your stuff inside out<BR></LI>
<LI><B>Impact and Influence</B> - If you can't have any impact and influence in the work, it probably is a good sign that you are not a good fit for the job or your position should not exist.<BR></LI>
<LI><B>Cross-group collaboration</B> - Whether you like it or not sooner or later everybody here has to do some of this and you better be good at it.<BR></LI>
<LI><STRONG>Be smart and get things done</STRONG> - Also goes without saying.</LI></UL><img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=238" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=238Microsoft Financial Services Developer Conference 2007 slides2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2372007-05-17T17:44:00Z<a href="http://www.financialdevelopers.com/devcon07.aspx">Slides from the Microsoft Financial Services Developer Conference</a>.<img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=237" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=237101 Linq Samples2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2362007-05-17T17:37:00Z<a href="http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vcsharp/aa336746.aspx">101 LINQ Samples</a> ... for future reference.<img src="http://www.syncadia.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=236" width="1" height="1">0http://www.syncadia.com/blogs/st_jh/commentrss.aspx?PostID=236Next generation of workplace work phones2cfb3aae-2693-4bad-923c-f87d3c19123c:2352007-05-17T17:02:00ZThis <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/may07/05-13NewGenWorkPhonesPR.mspx?rss_fdn=Press%20Releases">annoucement by Microsoft and leading telecoms companies</a> recently to better integrate the <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/uc/gallery.mspx">hardware phone devices</a> with the desktop software space looks set to push things forward.<br><br>
Most companies already have Voice Over IP (VOIP), Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) and use of conference calls for global team working and integration of address books from the PC to the phone is great.<br>
<i><p>“Today’s office phone is marooned on an island, separate from the rest of the
communications tools that information workers rely on to do their jobs,” said
Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division. “By weaving the
business phone together with e-mail, instant messaging, presence, conferencing
and the productivity software people use most, we are putting voice
communications back into business.”</p></i>
The UI on the phones makes more sense than alot of devices I've used in the past.<br><img src="http://www.jonathanhodgson.co.uk/blog/nextphone4.jpg"><br><br>
I think presence should be thought of separately from instant messaging alot more, embedding it into line-of-business applications where user context\communication might be required. This can be done by leveraging the <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=c7c38e82-48e9-45cb-9644-c3d72cbf8d98&DisplayLang=en">Office Communication Server SDK\APIs</a>.<br><br>
The upcoming release of <a href="http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/communicationsserver/default.aspx">Microsoft Office Communication Server 2007</a> (rewrite of Placeware) looks set to incorporate 360 degree video conferencing using hardware developed by Microsoft Research.<br><br>