Monday, February 26, 2007

Quote from the man himself

The long lines of quotes that is present in the comments section of this post, urges me to write one that the Romanian President (while he was not president at the time) said "on the record":

The winter time is not like the summer time.
The genius in there words is still very much present in Romania.

The Dilbert Blog: Quotes



I think that I have moments just like Scott had at least twice a year. I don't look for coincidences in the world around me though.

I wish I could do that (see the coincidences)

The Dilbert Blog: Coincidences


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The worst IT worker in the world

This angry guy made up a list that any IT worker that "strives to be the worst in the field" should follow.

Talk in jargon - at times, you should talk using such words that anybody listening to you would be under the impression that they were left behind when "high tech class" was held.
Treat anyone who doesn’t understand your work as if they’re stupid - pretty much self explanatory
Focus solely on technology - nothing else matters. You should have no outside life. Or, at least, that's what the others would have to think about you.
Refuse to acknowledge when there’s an issue - you have no problem, the technology you are using has no problem, so, the problem must reside elsewhere.
Tell the boss’s brother his idea is stupid - hmm...
React aggressively to any perceived criticism - who are they to tell you that you're wrong?

I would add: Never trust a fellow teammate with something. In fact, never work on a team. If your boss tells you that you are to work on a team, do so for the facade, but, behind the scenes, do the best you can to not do so.


I'm twice as productive, starting .. now

I wish I could follow this rule.
Maybe, if I'm to relate to the complexity of the tasks I'm to perform every day, I'm much more productive than I was when I started out.
But, it seems that software engineering is spreading in further more areas than anyone would have predicted no more than 10 or 15 years ago, so, the rule would still apply.

taw's blog: Yannis's Law: Programmer Productivity Doubles Every 6 Years


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2

Microsoft just released the SQL Server 2005 SP2.

Key enhancements to SQL Server SP2 include the following:

Data Mining Add-ins for the 2007 Microsoft Office system enable data mining functionality from SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) to be used directly within Excel® 2007 and Visio® 2007.

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) compatibility with Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 provides integration with the Report Center in SharePoint, enabling the seamless consumption and management of SSRS reports within SharePoint.

SQL Server Analysis Services improvements for Excel 2007 and Excel Services relate to performance and functionality.

Data compression (varDecimal) is an important feature for data warehousing scenarios, requiring less disk storage of decimal data and increasing overall performance.

Manageability enhancements, based on customer feedback, provide management capabilities for database administrators such as improvements in database maintenance plans, enhanced management reports and a new copy database wizard.

Management reports added to SQL Server Express Edition enable customers to get insights into the performance of their Express Edition and SQL Server Compact Edition databases.

Interoperability improvements including Oracle support in the Report Builder feature enable customers to use its functionality on top of Oracle data sources. Customers also have access to SQL Server Reporting Services to build reports on top of Hyperion’s Essbase cubes.

Go ahead and download the service Pack.

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Customer Service guidelines

Joel from JoelOnSoftware has put up a list of 7 (with a bonus 8th) rules that a Customer Service Department has to follow in order to have a successful operation. The rules are:

1. Fix everything two ways
2. Suggest blowing out the dust
3. Make customers into fans
4. Take the blame
5. Memorize awkward phrases
6. Practice puppetry
7. Greed will get you nowhere
8. (Bonus!) Give customer service people a career path

Nice rule titles, but to get the full idea, you should really read the entire post.

I would add a 9th rule: Be very, very, very polite and never look at your customers from above.


Australia pulls plug on old bulbs

After reading the article, imagine what will happen to the companies that provide electricity to the consumers, especially what will happen to their profits.

Are we to expect a reaction from them? Maybe they will raise the prices. Or maybe not.

Anyway, it's a good start if we are to "save the planet".


Monday, February 19, 2007

Why limit to just being "a better programmer"?

I was reading a post by Christopher Diggins stating that sharing your code in a public environment can and will lead (if you take note) to a development in you coding skills. » Blog Archive » Do you want to become a better programmer?:

"very few programmers have had the experience of putting their code out on display in a very public forum for others to publicly dissect and critique"

"Seeing your code through other people’s eyes can be a real wake-up call as well as a crash course in things you may never have realized you didn’t know!"

I'm sure that's true. But, the main thing that you have to take into consideration is: listen to what others have to say about your code.
While I haven't really "experimented" with this approach, I can say that I was hoping to have the time and (mostly) the guts to do it. Maybe the near future will hold some surprises for me and my "sharing endeavor".

But why stop at just being "a better programmer"? Maybe if I were to share my life experiences would make me better at .. well.. living.
Just a thought.


From the platform up

Ajaxian » Intel Web 2.0 Technology Development Kit (TDK)

Wow... Never thought I would see the day !!!

But then again, I always thought that being platform-aware was the next logical step for Web applications.
Not that "low level" though. I was hoping to see some kind of offline operation of a web application that, while connected to the internet, would work normally, but, while disconnected, work with data stored locally. And when the connection reappears, the data "misteriously synchronizes with the server.
Maybe Dojo guys will have a working solution in place with Moxie.


The new passport?

So, OpenID ideology is starting to pick-up momentum in the world of giants.

AOL and OpenID: Where we are

All I can say is: very good work. Maybe decentralisation and openness was all that MS Passport was missing.

I'm eager to to see myself logging into (almost) any web-site account with just a set of credentials.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Open source software enthuziasts - are they communists?

Free software, software for all needs, we are all equal...

We all love the idea of free (as in "free beer"), but is that all we need? Better yet, does free software fill all our needs?
I think not. It takes a lot of resources (manpower and money) to do a good piece of software. It takes even more resources to make it stay on top of the market (aka: make it even more competitive, to fill more needs).

And how should one finance this kind of endeavour? One way is to find a way to make money out of it. So, you have to sell the piece of software to enough people to at least get you money back.

And let's get real. The best end-user software products are the ones that are not free (see Microsoft Office). By "best end-user software" I mean software that is found on almost every computer in the world.

But, from "free software enthusiasts" to "a new breed of communists" there's a looooooong walk.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates once described copyright reformers — including people who want to do away with proprietary software — as "some new modern-day sort of communists" — which is a badge of honor from the Cuban perspective

You can find lots of free software that can compete very well with non-free products. See Open Office.

So, I think that there's a place for all kinds of software on the market. Maybe we can see fit to not use such harsh words when referring to the people "on the other side of the barrier"

Live and let live.


Yahoo has pipes under the sink

So, you Linux freaks love pipes, don't you?!

The technology has always been there. But who had the great idea? Yahoo! seems to have it all. They published a lot of Javascript libraries for the past 2 (or so) years. He is paving the way with it's YUI. And, the next logical step was to put it to a good and novel use. The combined it with some pretty nifty AJAX and publish the whole thing.

It works much like an aggregator with more features. You can get all sorts of input in, union them in a big data source, pipe it through am array of filters and sorters, then, send it to the screen so that the user can enjoy it.

You should check out this giant's kitchen sink. He has all sorts of pipes under-there.
He can gather information from anywhere, funnel it through filters, sort it to it's hart's desire and then send it to the screen.
If you can't get the idea, go see some of the sample pipes that are being put together for your entertainment.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Microsoft does the "hush-hush" on Vienna

It seems that the rumours saying that by 2009 we'll have to do yet another OS upgrade were not right.

Guys over at ArsTechnica say:
When the "2009" story hit, we ignored the shipping date and paid attention to what was really interesting: hypervisors. Call me a pessimist, but I just could not believe that Microsoft would dare suggest that Vista's successor is only two years away.

I have to say that I think they are right. And to think that Longhorn launch date rumours back in 2004 stated that it will be on the shelves early 2005.
What are the rumour starters thinking? Or maybe they know more that us, the plebes.


One million OLPC laptop orders!

While I know that my country has nothing to do with this order, I have to wonder: is there any government initiative in the works? Is there any chance that some of those learning devices get to any of Romania's children?

The company I'm working for has a big software product that is all about learning. It spread all over the country. Would a product line that included the OLPC be better that just providing the software?
I hope that there's somebody in the marketing department that is giving any amount of thought to this idea. (note to self: maybe I should send them an e-mail about this)


Helping the thieves

It seems that, if I want to have a safe work, I would have to quit smoking.

Or would it help if I kept smoking? The smoke place at the company I work for has a good view on the entry points.

Should I ask for a bonus having this new responsibility?

Workplace smoke ban a 'gift' for hackers | The Register


The Story of Sergey Brin

Interesting read.

The story of one of the most influential man when it comes to online-business reminds me of the story of "The Lord Of War". Anyone who's seen this movie (and a good movie it is) remembers the humble beginnings of the immigrant ukrainian and the way he became one of the most influential man in his line of business.

You should read it. It's a nice story, with a happy ending.

The Story of Sergey Brin: "The Story of Sergey Brin"


And I mean: BIG

Talk about big databases.
Man, how I wish I could look at their software architecture.
The best growth rate seems to be that of YouTube. 18TB per month? I wonder what bandwidth their servers have.

Business Intelligence Lowdown: Top 10 Largest Databases in the World


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Well... Off We Go

So, I'm starting my blog now.

I'll be writing about software development, about gadgets, about my life, about anything.
And, most of all, I will be commenting on what others have to say about anything.