Scott Hanselman

North African Developer's Conference is on!

January 31, '04 Comments [4] Posted in NDC | Africa
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It's offical, Mo and I are going back to Africa, this time to Morocco to see my good friend, the very kind and and talented Moroccan RD, Abdelmalek Kemmou, to take part in the North African Developer's Conference, Casablanca edition.  Malek just got back from the Egypt NDC and had a blast.  Herr Clemens shall be arriving the day before us so it's guaranteed we'll have a great time.  Malek's (and Africa's) hospitality is the stuff of legend.

I may pick up this shirt for the trip (image at right).  Anyone have one?

I might take a few ComputerZen T-shirts and merchandise along as prizes.  They're selling, which is cool.  I should get someone to make me a cooler logo.

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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Chris Pratley in the blogosphere and Ethiopians rejoice!

January 31, '04 Comments [0] Posted in ASP.NET | Speaking | PDC | Bugs
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Wow, I missed this one.  Chris Pratley is blogging.  He is the Group Program Manager for Office Authoring Services, and one of the (if not the) primary mind(s) behind OneNoteI sat next to Chris on a plane (back from PDC?) and had a fantastic discussion (I thought, Chris probably doesn't know me from Adam) about lingustics and writing systems, particularly Asian ones as he speaks excellent Japanese if I remember correctly.  He is also the hero who allowed the programemrs to fix some breaking bugs in Word that now allow the world to write using the Ethiopian (Amharic or Ge'ez) Fidel.  I mentioned that I thought it was so cool that Microsoft cared about that language.  Turned out it was really just Chris who cared.  :) Point is, it's done and Word 2003 (and Office and Windows XP in general) are the best widely available platform for NOT speaking English.  (Remember having to install Arabic, Japanese or Chinese fonts manually!?)

Welcome Chris!

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