Pontifications on Microsoft and the Tech Industry

Twitter












Tag Cloud


February 2005 Entries

Beautiful Music

Friday night took us to Jazz at Lincoln Center, to hear the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis. This was, nominally, a late Christmas gift to my mother-in-law and her husband, but it was also a treat for us. The funny thing about Jazz at Lincoln Center is that it’s not at Lincoln Center, but rather on the fifth floor of the new Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. This “off-campus” facility has three performance venues (and, apparently, classroom space) and we were in the largest ......

New SQL Server SKUs

Microsoft today announced a new Workgroup edition of SQL Server (and also announced an OEM arrangement with Dell for it!). A SQL 2K version is available immediately, and SQL 2005 will have Express, Developer, Workgroup, Standard and Enterprise editions. Standard and Enterprise will continue to be the only non-developer versions that include Analysis Services, and their prices will increase a bit. Meanwhile, the lower cost of Workgroup Edition (and the lack of cost for Express Edition) combined with ......

Welcome Back, Graffiti

I am enjoying immensely the reruns of "Welcome Back, Kotter", running in syndication and on an odd, seemingly religious/family values channel, called the Good Life Network. My Windows Media Center PC is recording these reruns in the wee hours for me. On a recent episode, in a scene in the schoolyard, I noticed that even though the 1970s set was wildly fake-looking, one of its attempts at NYC public schoolyard graffiti was rather realistic: "B.M.T. Sheiks." For those who don't know, BMT is one of ......

Patent Pending

Did anyone catch Darryl Taft's piece in eWeek this week: "Real Software Slams Microsoft's Patent Effort"? Apparently, Real Software (not the RealPlayer folks) has a (very) VB-like cross-platform product called REALbasic, and thus objects to a Microsoft patent application for the IsNot keyword that originates from VB. Paul Vick, whose name is on the patent application, and who is tech lead of the VB team, blogged about the patent application back in November. From reading the post, Paul seems pretty ......

Oracle Casts its (Dot) Net?

(Yes, the word "its" has no apostrophe when used in the possessive form, even though most people use one.) Did you know that Oracle is working on a VS .NET add-in (now in Beta 2) for creating Oracle databases, tables, stored procedures, and ADO.NET objects? Did you know they claim they will support CLR stored procedures in the database? Did you know they have a .NET developer mail distribution list? Did you know they keynoted at VSLive? Did you know they they have an online Developer Center for .NET ......

The *Real* SNL

NBC put on a terrific two-hour special last night with clips from, and interviews with stars and writers of, the original Saturday Night Live. The special really went a long way toward showing what genius (and eccentricity) went into that show all the way back in the latter half of the 1970's. If you were a kid growing up in New York at that time, as I was, there's no way you could watch this show and not feel huge nostalgia, and sadness. The show was really an embodiment of a bygone era in New York: ......

Foodie Follow-Up

More from my dad on Bone Lick Park BBQ, and other new West Village eateries.... Went back to Bone Lick today for lunch with a friend. Had a nice chat with the owner who's a smart young guy. Turns out the smoker is right there in the kitchen on the main floor. Worth a look. It's quite a machine. The ribs are smoked for 7 hours at 220 degrees (what they call low and slow in the South). I was right about the Tennessee style, Memphis to be specific. I told him it was a pity to serve cold cornbread; he ......

Microsoft "Gets" New York

I spent all day today at the New York Microsoft office at a regional gathering of Microsoft MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals). I have been a Visual Basic MVP for about a year now, in addition to being an RD (Regional Director) for about 3 years. RDs were invited as well, though I was the only one in attendance. This was a great opportunity to meet other MVPs from the New York/New Jersey region as well as to meet MVP program execs from Redmond, TechNet event staff, and Bob Suess (pronounced "cease" ......

Guest Post: Bone Lick(in' Good)

A new neighborhood place opened recently (in the West Village) and it turns out to be one of the only legal, authentic BBQ places in Manhattan. It's called Bone Lick Park BBQ and it's at 75 Greenwich Avenue, between Bank and 11th (just northwest of the intersection of 7th Avenue and 11th Street, for those of you who find Village geography confusing). My wife and I have been there once (and really liked it, except for the cornbread) on the advice of my dad, Norman. He and my mom have now gone back ......

Calling Mozilla's Bluff

Thankfully, Microsoft announced today that there will be an IE7, that it will designed for users of Windows XP, and that there will be a beta version by the summer. The denialist rhetoric of promising us an amazing new browser, but tethering it to Longhorn without throwing us a bone beforehand is now over. IE's a great browser, and its security issues are more a byproduct of its ubiquity and role of high-value target than of deficient engineering. On the other hand, the product's been in maintenance ......

The Remote to End All Others

When I have more time, I'll discuss Windows Media Center (I own the HP z545 Digital Entertainment Center and x5400 Media Center Extender), with which I have a love-hate relationship. But no matter what type of home entertainment center you have, you should strongly consider buying a Harmony Universal Remote from Logitech (I have the 680). If you don't know about these things, they are learning remotes, but the way you set them up is to connect them to your PC via a USB cable, and then connect to ......

Laptop Nirvana

I _love_ my new ThinkPad T42. I got it (care of my benevolent employer) loaded with 2GB of RAM, a 60MB 7200RPM internal drive _and_ an 80MB 5400 RPM second drive for the "UltraBay." I'm running all VPC images off the second drive, and this is really amping up my presentation capabilities. For the talk I gave at today's Microsoft ISV Community Days event, I had two separate VPCs running (one with Whidbey Beta 1/Yukon Beta 2 and the other with the Whidbey December CTP) as well as PowerPoint on the ......

MS ISV Community Days Event Presentation Slides


Other than a startup glitch with wireless microphone static, today's talk on ADO.NET 2.0 went quite well, all in all.  Thanks again to Sajee Mathew for inviting me and ThinkPath for hosting the event.  Those interested in the slides can find them here.  And I'll be doing the whole talk again on St. Patty's Day.

Microsoft Speaking Gigs

Sorry for the ridiculously late notice, but I'll be speaking on Monday, February 14th (uh...today) at Microsoft's ISV Community Days event on Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005. I'll be presenting a "Lunch and Learn" session on ADO.NET 2.0, covering SQL Server 2005 CLR features, async and MARS (multiple active result set) querying, enhancements to typed DataSets, and the new data binding models in Windows Forms 2.0 and ASP.NET 2.0. The event will be held at the offices of ThinkPath at 195 Broadway, ......

Sunday Morning Quarterbacking

I try very hard each Sunday morning to watch ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos." This is due to a combination of the time that it's on (9 am in New York), their Sunday Funnies segment that usually features outtakes from my all-time favorite television show "The Daily Show With John Stewart," and the fact that when David Brinkley hosted the show, it was actually pretty good. Don't get me wrong...I think George Stephanopoulos is bright and astute, but he lobs mostly softballs at his guests, ......

"The Gates" -- Go Before They Close (As it Were)

Lauren, Miles (wife, 4.5 month-old son) and I met friends Jeanette and Ben in Central Park to see "The Gates." For those of you outside of New York, "The Gates" is a mega installation, by artists (and spouses) Christo and Jeanne-Claude, of orange quasi curtains/banners arranged throughout the entirety of Central Park. According to the New York Times, the project "has required more than 1 million square feet of vinyl and 5,300 tons of steel, arrayed along 23 miles of footpaths throughout the park ......

Maiden Voyage

I've told literally no one that I have started a blog, so if you're reading this anywhere close to the day it was posted, you have my admiration. I have long resisted the blog trend, but have recently come to the conclusion that such resistance is futile. Within the world of tech writers and speakers, it has become the case that not having a blog is somewhat akin to not having a cell phone or an email address in the mainstream world: there are a few left who cling to such principles, but they seem ......