Scott Hanselman

Does Your Code Think In Ink? Contest ends on the 31st!

January 30, '04 Comments [0] Posted in Programming | Tools
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Don't forget to turn in your Tablet PC Power Toys and win $15K!  I turned in a Zen Power Tool that I whipped out in 17 minutes.  We'll see if I get a T-Shirt.

Thanks to Carlos Tapang (who sits ten feet from me at Corillian) and his Tablet PC Article on MSDN.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Support for Windows 98 finally comes to a middle...

January 30, '04 Comments [4] Posted in Musings
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This may be slightly old news, but it's so [insert profound adjective here] that I wanted to comment on it. 

Remember how excited we were to here things like "Windows 2000 marks the end of crufty 16-bit code" and "Windows XP isn't saddled with the crufty architecture of Windows 9x."  Microsoft blinked, possibly with reason, but blinking none the less and Windows 98, 98SE and the red-headed stepchild of the Windows Platform, Windows ME, will be supported through Summer of 2006 with online self-help till the solstice of 2007.  Alas, support for Windows 98 is coming to a middle.

Although I'd like to see these Operating Systems go away, I figure the primary reason behind the decision is one of security, and I suspect when 2007 comes, we may STILL see security patches for 9x.  It's really about mindshare vs. marketshare.  With the obvious global shift in more aggressive viruses, spam, spyware and malware, a conneted Windows 9x box is a lamb amongst wolves.  Considering the there's an how-to manual called Windows XP: Surviving the First Day, I wonder how long a fresh Windows 9x Gold box would last on the open sea.  Probably about 15 minutes.  It would make sense for Microsoft to include a free firewall for Windows 98.

If Microsoft pulled the plug now with the likes of MyDoom, Klez and Melissa, the average Joe running 9x would feel screwed and revolt which would add even more fuel to Michael Robertson and Lindows.  So, I understand the basic premise behind extending support, but like Iraq, I see no exit strategy. 

What happens in 2006?  Do we all hope that folks will have a more compelling reason to get a newer faster machine?  Probably not.  I'm guessing I know the secret exit strategy, and it's an acronym.  MTBF.  Most cheap IDE harddrives last 5 years, with a MAX of 10, IMHO.  Drop support for the OS when every hard drive running it has crashed!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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It's Thursday: BACK YOUR STUFF UP

January 30, '04 Comments [3] Posted in ASP.NET
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Yep, it doesn't happen until it happens.  And then it happens.  Ain't that the way.  I'm flying to ATL on Monday for a Technology Council with some big Corillian Customers and what happens?  Blue Screen Of Death.  But no, no, not the nice full-of-hex BSOD, no.  The tiny one.  Ever seen this?

UNKNOWN HARD ERROR
0x3243 YOU'RE SCREWED
GOOD LUCK WITH THAT
WHOLE PRESENTATION THING
DUMPING PHYSICAL MEMORY...

And that was it.  Then I was stuck in a BSOD LOOP.  Yes, loop as in, puke, reboot, puke.

Was I worried? My friends, no.  Why?  (Don't you hate people who ask rhetorical questions? Do I? ;) )

Because I back my sh*t up.  DVD Burner.  Every week.  I backup My Documents, the CVS Repository and all my photos.  I back them up to a 250 Gig Firewire drive then move them weekly on to DVD, then put those DVD into a firebox/safe, then move them off-site monthly. Also, while my C: drive is not mirrored (no data there), My Documents and My EverythingElse is mirrored with RAID on two drives.

Because I'm psycho?  Maybe.  But if Portland was nuked, I'd go to Fry's, buy a new computer, move to Alaska, and restore in about four hours.

So, you, dear reader, have an assignment this weekend.  BACK UP. 

Today's Question: What's your personal backup strategy?  Is it a strategy or more of a suggestion?  If your computer crashed today, how many hours would you lose?

Also, thanks to our IT Director, Greg Hughes (visit his blog!) for helping me out with a new PC that we'll restore tommorow.  Corillian has a truly great bunch of guys in IT.  Believe it.

P.S. I forgot to mention that it was this tragic system crash at 4pm today that caused me to miss the freaking ASP.NET Roadshow.  Sorry if I missed you there.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Went to PDC? Get into DevDays free...

January 28, '04 Comments [4] Posted in DevDays | TechEd | Speaking | PDC
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I like to think I "got my start" at DevDays.  I've been doing DevDays in Portland since before the .COM days.  I used to think it was an annual thing, then one year there just wasn't one.  But, DevDays is back. 

They're live, local, fun, silly, powerful and chock-full of goodness.  I'm a lot less concerned about being dragged off the stage at DevDays that I am at TechEd or PDC, so I KNOW I'll be having a blast.  I usually sneak some fun stuff in to make sure the audience is paying attention. 

I'm going to give Session 4: Developing Secure Web Applications—Examining an End-To-End, Hack-Resilient Application, and Patrick Cauldwell is doing two Smart Client talks...and the man knows his stuff, my friends.

Be sure not to miss your local DevDays.  If you missed TechEd or PDC, go to DevDays.  As a bonus, if you attended PDC, you get in FREE.  There's some great speakers this year (I've seen the list) and a lot more 3rd party involvement than in previous years.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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I bought a Suit and a Robotic Vacuum yesterday...

January 28, '04 Comments [3] Posted in Musings
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I've been getting philosophical about my the beginning of my fourth decade and I realized two things:

A. I've never owned a suit.  I look OK in one (see tux pic at left :) ) but I always feel like I'm playing grownup.  (Don't most geek-types feel that way in a suit?) So, clearly I needed a suit.  I went into Bachrach and walked out decked out.  I'd show you a picture but the 'net can only handle one photo of me dressed up.

2. Then, I bought a Roomba.  Yes, I needed a suit, but really, I seriously needed a Robotic Vacuum.  They both go nicely with my watch

I'm seriously digging the vacuum.  It's stupid, mind you, but it's effective.  I thought it would be smarter and map out the room and figure out the most effective way to clean.  But no, it just drives around randomly and based on the size of the room and the time that it runs they can mathematically prove that they'll cover x area in y time.  Kind of a cop-out but it works, eh?  I've happily left it to vacuum the entire top floor (900 sq. ft.) of our 1800 sq. ft. house and it manages the task in about 90 minutes before the batteries poop out.

Shame it doesn't have mscorlib on it...anyone else have a suit AND a robot hoover?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.