November 2004 - Posts

28 November 2004
Magnolia -- A Must See Movie
I don't know how Magnolia slipped under my radar back in 1999 (actually I do, it was a great year for movies (ala American Beauty, Cider House Rules, Sixth Sense, The Talented Mr. Ripley, etc)...didn't have time to catch them all, plus the title sounds kinda chick-flickish...who knows), but I saw it for the first time recently. Two words; blown away. Paul Thomas Anderson really out did himself on this one. While I really enjoyed “Boogie Nights“ (another of his flicks), it was no where near as hard hitting as this one. The only complaint I have (besides the 3+ hours runtime) was the sheer number of characters to keep up with. I actually watched it again a day later and it made much more sense; a third viewing is probably in order. Each actor delivered a great performance, the culminating one (IMO) being Earl Partridge's monologue roughly halfway through the movie (though Frank Mackey's bedside “manner” shortly thereafter was quite good as well). Shortly thereafter... Read More...
26 November 2004
Language Oriented Programming
I meant to blog about this article by Sergey Dmitriev (of JetBrains notoriety) a few days ago, but must have forgotten to. Regardless, it's a great read. I will need to read it a few more times myself before garnering any opinions on the topic as it's pretty radical thinking. Microsoft already has some stuff in the works concerning the same set of ideas, though I think I'll wait for a more stable release before subjecting my machine to anymore pre-alpha bits; especially pre-alpha bits for a beta product (VS2005). I know that Whitehorse will be MS's first stab at this sort of technology for general purpose use; BizTalk 2000 had a similar domain specific tool for generating business workflows graphically and generating a compiled DLL, all without actually writing any code...it was all done via the Orchestration Manager piece that shipped with BizTalk. I was quite impressed, and it was one of the main selling points of BizTalk for me. I would love to see Sergey's concept of LOP come to fruition... Read More...
24 November 2004
Exit Poll Data Released
In an earlier post about this year's election, I mentioned what I think of exit polls (this election at least). I won't rehash this article here, but it's worth having a look at. Basically, they still don't know what happened, which is kinda scary. Read More...
21 November 2004
New Microsoft Website -- Microsoft Design
There is a new website in the Microsoft domain; it appears to be an extension of the Careers site. I don't like the fact that I have to wait for the scrolling header to...well, scroll. I should be able scroll backwards/forwards at my discretion without having to watch paint dry (so to speak). A nice site though...if not half-baked. Read More...
21 November 2004
Sirius Satellite Radio -- Undervalued Stock?
With the impending migration of Howard Stern over to Sirius Satellite Radio ( here and here ), I've given some thought to snatching up some of their stock (ticker symbol SIRI ) while it's still a very reasonable buy (flopping around five bucks a share), plus it just jumped from 1 "strong buy" to 6. My opinion of satellite radio is that it will be the "internet" (read: huge innovation) of the airwaves, sans commercials and FCC oversight...a good thing. Any thoughts on this? Sounding board is on . Read More...
21 November 2004
Writing Code for Spacecraft
Here's an interview with one of the folks who helped out on the Mars Rover spacecraft; he writes code for NASA spacecraft. Good interview, though (un)surprisingly, writing code for spacecraft isn't all that different than writing code for stuff here on Earth...it's the hardware that's quite different. A good read. Read More...
17 November 2004
Christmas Came Early This Year
Ok not really...it actually came 2 years late. Why? Read on... I'm a huge Eddie Izzard fan, to the point of geekdom (constantly quoting him, etc). He has a unique witty/clever humor about him, plus the fact that he can walk in 4 inch heels and still be funny is a bonus. I first saw Dressed to Kill when it was released in '99, and couldn't get enough. Fast forward to '02; my wonderful girlfriend Tonya picks up on the fact that really dig his stuff and orders me a copy of Glorious from Amazon for Christmas. It didn't arrive in time for x-mas '02. It didn't arrive in time for x-mas '03. It did, however, arrive in time for x-mas of this year...that's right, it took Amazon 2 years to finally get the DVD shipped out. I guess late is better than never. Me to Bezos: "Cake or Death"! Read More...
17 November 2004
Finally Got Rid of the Spyware
After half a dozen emails with the kind folks over at Famatech concerning the mysterious appearance of their Remote Adminstration software on my machine, I was finally able to track down the culprit. Apparently whomever placed this application on my system renamed the .exe as well as changed the icon. So not only was I looking for the wrong file, I was looking for the wrong icon in Process Explorer . So, what was the culprit? A little nasty bugger known as Syslink.exe . Thankfully I'm firewalled (hardware) so no damage was done...had I not been firewalled, the results could have been devestating; whomever planted syslink would have had complete control over my machine. So, crisis averted, and the world didn't end. Read More...
15 November 2004
Strange Spyware Makes a Debut on My Machine
I've been using Firefox 1.0 as my exclusive web browser for 5 days now. I haven't rebooted since installing Firefox, but upon my first reboot (just now) I discovered a spyware application; it appears to be remote administration software from www.radmin.com (noticed an unknown icon in my system tray, clicking on "About" brings up the following dialog): Have a look at this thread from their site for more info ( this one is exactly what I'm experiencing right now, it appears to be a common problem ). None of the remedies mentioned on their site work. Running Spybot appears to have zapped some of the reg keys this application uses, and I don't see any relevant info via either netstat or taskman, so I'm not too worried about someone actually peeking into my network (not to mention I'm heavily firewalled), but I just want to get this damn thing off my machine...the icon in my sys tray is annoying. I'm not blaming Firefox for this (I've had plenty of spyware via IE as we all have; there's no good... Read More...
11 November 2004
Test Post From Firefox 1.0
[Update 11/13] Fixed font formatting. This is just a test post from Firefox. .Text's font formatting toolbar isn't displayed in Firefox, which kind of worries me. I normally don't post via .Text (prefer BlogJet), but I'm putting Firefox through the paces. So far I'm impressed, and will be doing a full writeup soon. If Firefox doesn't support compiled web controls (I believe .Text uses FreeTextBox), that could be a problem. Upon looking at the FreeTextBox website, it appears that this is an issue with the freetextbox.dll, not Firefox. The version that .Text uses is 1.6.2.16687. Dropping in the newest version (2.0.7.x) breaks .Text (apparently some members have been deleted...not a good way to release updates IMO). That all being said, Firefox has been a delight so far, and my blog actually renders correctly in it (mo' better than IE). Interestingly good :-). More to come... Read More...
More Posts Next page »