IE-Patchin’ time… baby.

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 31-07-2004

Patchin' time.

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-025
Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (867801)
Read full details here.

Oh please don't give me that 'shift-to-another-browser' solution. I prefer the fix-first-then-shift-after approach... but wait, probably it is the _best_ solution. So here's a hack to remove Internet Explorer from your system (This includes some registry works).

Now of course we can expect Microsoft to 'un-hack' it.

Now here... to satisfy your MP3 cravings: ONE MILLION free and legal music tracks.

From 1975 to well 2005 next year, looks like not much has change... movie piracy-wise.

Speaking of piracy... if ever you consider this piracy-related: Apple vs Real Networks - Round 01 - Round 02 - Round 03. Isn't technology about improving lives not improving the lawyer's standard of living?

It's not about piracy really... but 'hacking' is not the appropriate word either. Can we just restore the old glory days of the word 'hack'?

The .NET Developer’s Guide to Security

Filed Under (SoftDev (non-VFP)) by WildFire on 31-07-2004

Keith Brown: The .NET Developer's Guide to Windows Security.

Maybe I should start removing those category codes on titles…

Filed Under (GFX, Random.links, SoftDev (non-VFP), THIS.site.matters) by WildFire on 31-07-2004

Today's article: Un-Dynamics of Software Development, or, Don't Bite the Flip Bozo. A little 'warp' but interesting and true. Here's a snip:

The Perfect Software CompanyThere is a perfect software company. It is where I work. The coffee is excellent. The chairs are comfortable, the computers are wicked fast, and we take a lot of video game breaks. The humidor is well-stocked with Cohibas, there is a killer library, and naps are encouraged. The furnishings are handsome, and the décor is pleasant. There are no cubes. The Managers sign checks and buy whatever software, computers, books, gadgets, and video games are desired. Schedules are not set until requirements are defined, software release dates are only announced after the features are done and rock solid. There are no suits. No ties. No cubes, and no timesheets. The work hours are very flexible but long, but I show up because I have more fun there than anywhere else.

Hmm... imagine when hard disks were this huge? Here's an overview of that picture.

As expected Microsoft expands it's quest for innovation. Yes... we do have different thoughts what 'innovation' really is. Now it's crawling into searching, anti-virus (once there was MSAV right), mobile phones, XBox consoles, Tablet PCs and more.

Nice... but how come this move? Is this part of that promise a couple of months ago to fight and stop spam in the future?

Technology Review has something about Holograms, tweezers and teleportation. Now that's news... beam me up, cowboy.

On the pixel-side of things, MIGHTY DEPTHCORE released the Infinity Pack. I don't have any submission in that pack though since I've been busy battling out with Miss TCP/IP this week. But with or without me... the pack rocks.

Article . Great Hackers

Filed Under (SoftDev (non-VFP)) by WildFire on 29-07-2004

Two more interesting reads: Dan Bricklin's Software That Lasts 200 Years and Paul Graham's Great Hackers.

NF . You know what I should start making these title feeds look more interesting.

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 29-07-2004

Early-bird feeds:

Not much programming-related workblogs these days from me. I've been busy with hardware related stuff, installing LAN cables and other network-related tasks inside this regular job of mine.

After this, I'll install the Registrar and Accounting deparment-related programs I have created for the past year.

Article . Using VFP to call .NET web services

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 28-07-2004

Using Visual FoxPro to call .NET Web Services for Data Access (Rick Strahl).

NF . Ten .NET Must Have Tools

Filed Under (SoftDev (non-VFP)) by WildFire on 28-07-2004

James Avery's Ten Must-Have .NET Tools Every Developer Should Download Now

Newsletter . VFUG July 2004 Newsletter

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 28-07-2004

The July 2004 VFUG Newsletter is out.

NF . Solaris monitor

Filed Under (GFX, Random.scribbles) by WildFire on 28-07-2004

And finally I caved into this technocarnalust of mine.

This involves the 'monitor dilemma' I mentioned earlier on my blog.

You see, yesterday (make that the other day since it is 2 in the morning already) after returning a refurbished 15" Samsung monitor that behaves as if it was dissected by three trigger happy aliens, I happen to bump into the shop's delivery truck that delivered 'fresh goods'.

The golden loot of that afternoon was a crystal crisp 21" Sun flat screen monitor displayed at the center of the shop, which the vendors are eagerly 'marketing'.

But who can blame them... it was so lovely... even lovelier than the ViewSonic E70F flat screen monitor I have on my previous workplace in Davao... and ViewSonic has been on top of my list along with the different models of HP.

It's a refurbished monitor but aside from the one returned, we have purchased around 9 refurbished monitors on that shop already (Samsung, NEC, Toshiba and Sony) and after 7++ months, these monitors are still A-OK. 15" monitor costs around P1,800 (1 dollar is approximately 55 pesos) and 21" sells at around P4,000.

This SUN monitor was being sold at a higher price... 4,500.

And there was I faced between a LackofImmediateNeed and, as Avatar puts it, the ThisOppurtunitySeldomComes data collection battling inside my head.

I was able to convince the head of that shop though to reserve the monitor to me up to 10:30AM the next day (the shop opens around 10AM), until I can decide if I should acquire it.

Back home I did a little research on these Sun monitors.

The 'net showed that these monitors are really manufactured by Sony for Sun. Some even are bundled for Sun's 20,000 dollar computer packages. The new model line of Sun 21" monitors even sells for around P52,000 (850+ euros and 952+ dollars if my memory serves me right).

Other reviews were good and convincing too.

There are also refurbished and second hand monitors being sold online but there's a big difference when it is just around approximately 10 blocks away from your place and you have personally seen it.

The other factors that hinders me to buy the monitor are things I can override and justify but it's the LackofImmediateNeed reason that for a spend-only-when-needed type of guy like me, makes things a little harder to decide.

So I let sleep and dreams process subliminally the data, the 'values' and other factors gathered.

The next day (that was yesterday morning) I found myself in front of the shop 15 minutes before it even opened, fast forward... and I was carrying a heavy load upstairs to our room and I get to enjoy too, the 1600x1200 wallpapers I created the way they should be displayed sans the resizing.

Now here at 2AM in front of this huge thing, that if I think is not suffering from a major jet lag, would probably be happily devouring me especially that there no one else's is looking.

Ah yes... same reason why the room lights are still on.

BLOG . css.bcom

Filed Under (SoftDev (non-VFP), Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 27-07-2004

From Visual-Foxpro-to-.NET-programming-related blogs. (via Aleksoft)

And here's the link to the RSS feed of the blog above. I presume that most Blogger.com/Blogspot accounts has this default atom.xml feed attached to their 'home url'.

I am not a hundred percent sure though. But I tried it a couple of times already... and it's working fine.

NF . July 27

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 27-07-2004

On this day, July 27... one my favorite cartoon character, Bugs Bunny, mades his official appearance in the animated cartoon A Wild Hare, the discovery of insulin was announced and Atlantic Cable was completed which allowed the first transatlantic telegraph communication...

... and here I am at 3:33AM still undecided how to resolve this monitor dilemma of mine (More on this one later).

NF . RedHat 9

Filed Under (Random.scribbles, work.BLOG) by WildFire on 26-07-2004

Last Saturday, qs and I bought some PC peripherals and stuff. You see... in my regular job, I'm not only in charge with the development of database applications and systems-related functions, I also do hardware related tasks, canvassing and purchasing of computers, haggling with vendors, installation of lan cables, crimping, crawling and networking, hardware inventory and auditing, maintenance and sometimes preparing and arranging some defective computer parts for the weekly roof top practice target shooting.

Most of the time during these purchases, I am just given a budget and I will be the one in-charge to 'configure' the specs and joggle the needs to fit those tight budgets.

With a budget this time of 27K in our pockets (1 US dollar is approximately 55 Pesos), we were able to purchase 1 CPU with an AMD Athlon 2000+ processor and a decent MSI motherboard, a good looking transparent case with an extra fan in the side, an 80GB 7200 rpms barracuda hard disk, another 40GB 7200 rpms hard disk for another department which needs this upgrade after their 2GB hard disk crashed from too much porn, 1 256 DDRAM and another 128 DDRAM, three floppy disk drives, two 52X LG CD-ROM drives, (because of the tight budget in last last week's purchase I refrain from buying those disk and CD-ROM drives), an Epson scanner (CHED is now requiring photos in TORs), an 8 port CNET switch, two Logitech keyboards (one for me), an AVR and a Logitech mouse.

All in all it was a good loot for 26.5K, I got a discount of P375.00, which is quite less compared to the average 1K discount I got from the previous two purchases.

So while waiting for the CPU to be assembled, we roam around the mall. QS found an MP3 CD-ROM which contains the soundtracks of Shrek 2, Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights and 13 Going on 30, which she has been pining for... for quite some weeks now.

I, on the other hand, found a copy of Red Hat 9 Linux installation CDs. I was looking for a copy Fedora which after reading from a number of FilTech blogs online, have stirred my curiosity, but couldn't find one.

I tried downloading Fedora online but since Wednesday last week, I still can't get a connection that doesn't say 'Busy'. From the looks of it looks like Fedora 3 will be released before I can download Fedora 2.

When we arrived home, the first thing I did was to make that spare 40GB hard disk the primary disk, reconfigured the boot up sequence and booted from the Red Hat 9 installation CD. It was five years ago since I was beside our system administrator when she (yup it's a she) configured and installed Red Hat in three out of our four office servers. Quite a long time already and a lot has changed since then.

I installed using the default settings 'probed' by the Red Hat installer. The Red Hat 'look' is even cool that my three year old daughter pulled one chair and sat beside me during the installation. She was quite intrigued too with the blue light the CPU case emits.

Every thing was smooth until my daughter who got intrigued by the little silvery power button located on the edge of the case, pushed it.

I 'Graaa-ed', my daughter giggled knowing she did something wrong, then kissed me on the cheeks. I guess Linux-users just develop this kind of charm when they start using this penguin-powered OS, eh?

Anyway... the installation run smoothly afterwards. There are just some little things that could have made the installation smoother and a number more things, in my opinion that needs to be removed or remedied to make Red Hat Linux appeal more to the non-geeks in this world.

You see, if Linux or any bundle of its variation wants to be widely used by 'ordinary humans', it should lower down a little to a more 'duh-i'm-a-noob' level. Of course, without sacrificing its strength... security-related features included.

I'll delve more on that one on another post but let me give you one example which probably hard-core Linux users overlooked. During start-up, the geeks'-love-for-details is being reflected in a Linux boot up. Those Initializing processes with OK or Failed brackets coupled with some three letter acronyms... you see, 'normal users' don't give a rat's arse about those things.

Of course to a geek administrator it means a lot but to Mr. O' Charlie who only wants to run a word processor those things are gibberish. Microsoft during 'normal' boot ups would only display their Windows XP logo which I'm sure has a thousand of subliminal hypnotizing subtle messages floating somewhere around it.

There's more but I'll delve into that in another blog.

I don't have much time to explore deeper last Saturday so I made my last quest of changing the display to a much higher resolution. I'm a sucker for higher resolution displays... and since I used the default VESA drivers, the Linux I installed only can go far as the 800x600 dimension limit.

Just for the heck of it I tried misconfiguring the drivers, rebooted (required)... then I got this cyan over blue screen which displays a Yes and a No option with no message.

How in Olympus' name could I figure that out?

I tried clicking Yes then No but both tries were futile.

After a couple of reboots it was able to restore the old settings though. Again... this was just a rush test installation, I'll explore more one of these days.

UPDATE:
I installed another Red Hat 9 Linux on an aging and always cranky AMD500 MHz computer of mine in the office today. I paid more attention to details this time and it was able to 'probe' my GeForce2 video card and the LG Studioworks monitor which made the resolution better compared to that installation I have done last Saturday.

I tried the Terminal and the other applications and had fun browsing the screensavers. Anyway it will stay there for quite a long time since that old PC crashes often in Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000 and Windows XP installations... yup I've tried installing them all in the span of three months.

Red Hat 9 is sailing smooth so far.

NF . Bioengineered household stuff

Filed Under (alien.invasion, Random.links) by WildFire on 25-07-2004

Here... splice up your life with some Bioengineered household stuff.

THOUGHTS . PolSci and ComSci

Filed Under (Random.links, Random.scribbles) by WildFire on 25-07-2004

My wife, qs, is a PolSci major... I on the other hand, well... studied ComSci. Just a two letter difference but what a big difference it makes in the 'real world'. 'Real world' here would mean beyond the boundaries of an academic classroom.

Two letter difference which I often used on jokes against her. Jokes such as if programmers are running this country of ours in its current state, things would be better. That programmers are problem solvers while some politicians I see often sees problems as a way to bring spotlights into them. They convert problems to votes... while programmers find solutions.

Programmers are often focused on solving the problem at hand while politicians have to consider a lot of factors, linkages, resources, influence before dealing on a certain problem.

While of course I'm well aware that not all PolSci majors are involved with the government and politics, but still having the word 'Political' (or Politics-related), the responsibility of government of a country rests on them. They're supposed to be the future.

In a way or another the studies derived from her course, should've been used to improve certain situations... or at least minimized the things that's pulling us down, such as corruption and other magic-related processes existing in the government/politics.

Compared to computer science, political science has been there since... what? Aristotle's time..? Herod's time..? I'm thinking it's way back there even if the term 'political science' was first coined in 1880 by Herbert Baxter Adams, a Johns Hopkins University professor.

Anyway I remember these stuff when I read Jeff Davis' A programmer's society replaces a lawyer's society post from Rick Klau's What if lawyers became programmers? blog.

And here's another take from Corante: Hackers, Lawyers, Society and the INDUCE Act (IICA).

Looks like I'm not the only one having those type of thinking.

Mod . USB Gundam

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 24-07-2004

Making the USB Gundam. Savvy, eh?

Article . Robert Cringely

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 24-07-2004

Robert Cringely: Maybe the Best Use for Web Logging Is to Teach Us More About Ourselves.

There are several other interesting insights by Robert Cringely that can be found in the archive section of his site. And when I say 'interesting', I mean _interesting.

Article . VFP and .NET the best of both worlds

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 23-07-2004

VFP and .NET: The Best of Both Worlds

There's a 'Will There Be a VFP .NET?' part of that article that is worth delving into.

NF . RTFM and Pi

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 23-07-2004

I know that RTFM has a number of variants... but I never thought it was this much. One's UTSL... 'Use the Source, Luke'. Found this while reading Robert Tappan Morris Jr-related information inside the wikipedia.

You can also find interesting PDFs at Robert Tappan Morris Jr.'s MIT site.

July 22 is the Pi Approximation Day and Mary Magdalene's feast day. I don't know but Mary Magdalene reminds me also of the other Phi.

Read my mind.

Wikipedia, the source of the links above, is cool...

...and PHP5 rocks.

Database . ODBC

Filed Under (SoftDev (non-VFP)) by WildFire on 23-07-2004

ODBC DNS Less Connection Strings. Hey... that serves as a good tongue twister too.