January 2004 - Posts

25 January 2004
Welcome to the Blogosphere Orion!
i recently set up a blog for my friend orion and wanted to make an introduction for him. i met him about 4 years ago through a news forum discussing windows xp back when it was still just known as whistler. he's a computer science graduate from uncg down here in nc, and while i've only met him twice in person, many a late night has been spent talking online about programming, microsoft, and all other geek related stuff. though he's posting as a fictitious sheep, i certainly expect the content to be chock full o' code, opinions, and lots of good stuff. being a cs major, c/c++ is his main forte, though he's hopped on the .Net bandwagon as well and his main interests lie in XML and web technologies. that being said, he shares a lot of the same sentiments as me about microsoft: their tools enable me to make a living, but that doesn't mean i think microsoft is the end all/do all in the computing world. please welcome him to the blogosphere! Read More...
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25 January 2004
Incredible Commercial (Honda's Cog Spot)
This is one of the coolest 2 minutes of video i have ever come across. It's actually a bit dated (came out about a year ago). It's a short spot for honda that features a virtually impossible scene using only parts from a honda car (no animation, no strings, 100% real, and the final cut is all 1 take, no edits). Apparently it took 606 takes , which is amazing in itself. It aired first in the UK, then spread on to other countries around the world, however it never made it to the US. If you lived in the UK at the time it aired, you could have actually called the UK honda subsid, and they would have sent you a free DVD copy of it. I have no idea why the US was left out of the fun. I would think that the commercial would have done extremely well here, and i'm almost insulted that it never made it over. It's impressive nonetheless, and I also have a high resolution version . You get bonus points of you can (without digging up the answers on the internet): Figure out how they made... Read More...
22 January 2004
A Closer Look at the Language Formerly Known as X# (Xen)
With the hype growing to a feverish pitch about the public announcement of Xen , i thought i would share some insight into the knowledge i've had of the language for almost a year and a half. i'm still under orders not to post the video demonstration i have back to my blog (not because the subject matter is Xen, but because apparently the demonstration is internal to microsoft...i still don't understand this, expecially now that the cat is out of the bag), but it certainly doesn't stop me from sharing some of the information contained in it. this will be an ongoing post as the demonstration is over an hour long, with lots of code samples to boot. this promises to be quite an informative post :-) i won't rehash the whole “programming with rectangles, triangles, and circles” paradigm that seems to be the encompassing theme of Xen, simply do a search on any search engine for Xen/X# for that kind of information. one of the first things mentioned is about declarative languages, XML... Read More...
16 January 2004
Cup o' Joe - Martian Style
Now this is certainly interesting . Not that i would expect any type of government outfit to use anything from microsoft, but i certainly wouldn't have guessed java to be behind the scenes on beagle. want to take it for a virtual spin ? it brings up an interesting point though, i remember reading (Wrox Professional C#, page 74) that the line of C code that made a previous space bound rocket crash was something to the effect of using an assignment (=) operator when a comparison (==) operator should have been used instead. i would think that most modern compilers would catch this at build time, but apparently in C or C++ the statement “if (c = 3)” actually does an assignment, and control flows on to the next statement. this is due to the inherent fact that C and C++ are not natively type safe languages. regardless, it cost NASA millions, and no doubt that programmer has been relegated to sweeping up the break room at mission control. another question in my mind is the performance... Read More...
15 January 2004
HttpHandler Custom ISAPI Extension Mapping
one of the great things about IIS on windows is the pluggable architecture for supplying your own http handlers to intercept page requests from your web server...if you wanted to, you could write your own parsing routines from the ground up and implement them as an ISAPI filter, then map page extensions to that filter. one of the bad things about this (pre .Net) is that you had to have a very intricate knowledge of IIS, C++, and ATL (active template library). ATL is a pretty arcane API into IIS for ISAPI stuff, and i personally don't know anyone who has tried to roll their own filters from scratch. that being said, .Net makes this task infinitely more palatable with the introduction of the IHttpHandler interface located in the System.Web namespace. the interface consists of two members, a bool property IsReusable, and a ProcessRequest method that takes an HttpContext parameter and returns void. when i got punked by microsoft , i needed to come up with a way to keep the name of the link... Read More...
13 January 2004
Sacked by Microsoft on XSharp
sadly i've been asked by Microsoft (the speaker in the X# video no less) to remove the link to the presentation on X# delivered by Chris Lovett . i could have sworn i snagged it from ms research , but i trust his word more than my cluttered brain. here is the email i received: How did you get this? Actually, I don't event want to know, but it is pretty bad that you are making internal only video about our non-product related research project available to the general public. Please remove it, thanks. Chris Lovett. (the speaker in this video!) i personally don't see anything “bad” about posting this, i certainly did it benevolently...though i do understand the significance of something internal getting leaked onto the internet. i really hope some of the ideas presented by X# find their way into future versions of the CLR and BCL. so enjoy it while you can, i will be removing it from my server shortly. Read More...
02 January 2004
Role Fragmentation in IT
I came across this article moseying around the web, it brings up some great points as to the evolution of the corporate IT department and how it has evolved (opinionated of course). i'm not saying i agree or disagree, just something else to digest :-) Read More...