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Copyright: Michael Flanakin

Win XP, Office 2003, Rotated Dual Monitors...Oh my!

Thu, 22 Jan 2004 10:14:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

As if the VS.NET dual monitor bug wasn't enough, now Office 2003 has dual monitor-related problems.

I decided to be a bit adventurous and do what a friend has been harping on me to do for a while - I took my dual monitors, turned them on their side, and got some software to turn the display 90°. I have to say that I like the whole thing. The idea is that you scroll down more than you scroll left-right, so this allows for a 1024x1280 display instead of vice versa. And, using two monitors, it's actually 2048x1280. Anyway, after I did this, I noticed that Office 2003 applications don't display toolbars correctly. What is normally a vertical gradient from light to dark gray, there is now a horizontal gradient. It seems that Office 2003 wants to display the gradients based on the monitor's top instead of the new, pivoted top. Odd. 

(image) (image)

5 Catalysts for Innovation IT

Mon, 19 Jan 2004 16:34:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

I read an article, Let Innovation Thrive, which lists 5 important characteristics of someone working on an innovation team. My first thought after reading the list was, “Forget innovation, this is life in IT.”

  1. Consciousness:
    Each person knows the goals of the organization and believes they can play a part in achieving them.
  2. Multiplicity:
    Teams and groups contain a wide and creative mix of skills, experiences, backgrounds, and ideas.
  3. Connectivity:
    Relationships are strong and trusting, and are actively encouraged and supported within and across teams and functions.
  4. Accessibility:
    Doors and minds are open; everyone in the organization has access to resources, time, and decision makers.
    Each person knows the goals of the organization and believes they can play a part in achieving them.
  5. Consistency:
    Commitment to innovation runs right through the organization and is built into processes and leadership style.

Applied IT Forum was a Success

Mon, 19 Jan 2004 16:21:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

AITF was a success! Juval Löwy, Michael Wheaton, and Dan Malks came and spoke to a group of developers and managers, and they all loved it. This forum was more focused on software development than I'd like for the future, but I had to minimize the scope because of other things going on at work.

I must say that if you haven't experienced one of Juval's talks, you're missing out. Juval is very eccentric and opinionated, which is always a good thing in my book. He's worked with Microsoft on a number of ventures and has even been named as one of the top 10 developers in the world (by Microsoft). Anyway, enough about him...

Michael and Dan were meant to attract some of the Java developer groups within the organization. While I did get a few, the majority of the attendees were interested in .NET - which is primarily due to the AF .NET User Group that got Juval to come (thanks INETA). I didn't get to hear much of their talks, but the feedback seemed to be that Dan is an awesome speaker. I did talk to him a little and will probably try to get him to come back to talk to architects and lead developers about patterns - Dan co-authored Core J2EE Patterns, which is still in my stack of to-read's.

I'm looking at AITF2 for the July time-frame. Hopefully, I can get Juval, Dan, and perhaps a few more good speakers. If possible, I'd like to get Chris Kinsman, but we'll see how that goes. I need to hear some other speakers before I nail down who I want to get. We'll see. I'd like to cover topics in the areas of .NET, J2EE, databases, XML, and maybe a few more. Requirements elicitation/analysis, project management, wireless, and tablet PCs are possible topics. I want to cover a wider range, tho - after all, the idea is to be focused on IT, not just software. Oh well, I guess I'll just wait to hear what people are asking for.


Google on the Rise 3: Revenge of the Consumer

Mon, 19 Jan 2004 00:08:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

I'm sure you've all seen this, but I just had to mention it. It seems that Google's getting crap for some of its practices. As I read thru the post, I thought it was pretty trivial, but slowly, the case started to get built up. By the end of the post, you're wondering what the heck is wrong with these people. There is a laundry list of allegations, which I suggest you check out.

I guess Google figures that, if they're growing like Microsoft,then they can act like them, too :-)


Challenge to Open Source

Sun, 18 Jan 2004 23:48:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

I saw this a while back and thought it was pretty funny. The post basically smacks some open source developers in the face. Personally, I've always questioned open source development. While, I think it's nice that the community gets together to make some good tools, I just don't know about it.

Anyway, the author takes note that when open source projects are created that mimic existing applications, they take away from the job market. Now, I don't know how much this actually affects US work, but I can see the correlation. It just made me think of the little man, who is actually developing the open source software, is screwing him/herself over; especially in a time when jobs are moving offshore so much.

Don't get me wrong, I like free stuff as much as anyone. I have just always had a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to doing work for free. Oh well. I've tried to participate in a few projects, but they never went well.


Windows on Sun Servers

Sun, 18 Jan 2004 22:03:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

Now, this is awesome. I'm glad to see this happen. If for no other reason than to argue with a guy at work - for anyone who doesn't know me very well, I'm very argumentative :-) Anyway, I also have to admit that this is very funny. Sun is finally realizing that if they don't make some drastic changes, they won't be around for long. Once they loose their server market, they won't have much to stand on - a free tool (read: Java) doesn't quite bring in the money these days. Oh well. (image)

...But Who's Counting?

Sat, 20 Dec 2003 03:24:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

I saw an interesting pie chart identifying the top corporate web servers based on a survey done by Port80 Software...


I may be wrong, but just so everyone knows, this doesn't necessarily mean that Microsoft-based technologies are used more than J2 technologies. These are just the web servers. As I'm sure you know, J2EE requires an app server as well. So, theoretically, one could have an IIS web server with an Oracle or IBM app server driving the content. I still think it's an interesting bit of information, though.


Predictions for 2004

Sat, 20 Dec 2003 03:02:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

Gartner predicts a few interesting things in its document entitled “Predicts 2004: Microsoft Application Platform vs. J2EE.” You should check it out if you have a chance. Of course, without an account, that'll be kind of hard. Sorry. Here's the overview...

Although the J2EE application server market is mature and the Microsoft application platform is more technically sound, changes and risks will remain part of the application platform landscape for enterprises in 2004 and beyond.

And, here are a few of the interesting predictions:

  1. Indigo will move Microsoft onto the middleware industry's leading edge
  2. The “all you need is great software” doctrine will continue to keep Microsoft on teh wrong side of the enterprise chasm
  3. Java-based application platform vendors will look beyond the certified J2EE

These were just the broad predictions; each had significant backing, which Gartner is known for. The part I liked the most was the “strategic planning assumption” stated at the end of the 3rd section:

By 2008, more than 40% of APIs in leading J2EE-based enterprise application servers will be proprietary (70% probability).

I thought this was funny because the biggest thing that J2 systems have against .NET is that they are more portable. Well, due to obviously less than adequate features of J2EE, vendors have added their own libraries to extend the environment, which makes applications developed with these libraries less portable, if at all.

Amusing. Simply amusing.


Total Eclipse

Sun, 07 Dec 2003 04:30:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

Maybe I'm just in the dark (haha...get it? the dark), but I just found out that Eclipse, IBM's open source J2 IDE, was given its moniker to symbolize its intent to overshadow Sun's own open source development tool, NetBeans. Well, that's what Sun officials claim, anyway.

Personally, I like this sort of thing. I'd liek to see more of it, as a matter of fact. Here are a few of my ideas...

  • Sun Block
  • Sun Screen
  • Sun Shade
  • Visual Studio .NET SPF 120 (hehe)

This all came about when IBM started an initiative to have an independant group setup to maintain the Eclipse software. This group is looking to have Sun on its roster, but Sun has declared that they do not plan on joining until the name changes and the pending company incorporation is completed.

Please excuse my attempt at humor. I didn't even notice the “in the dark” thing until I clicked the post button.


Plug-in Patent Updates

Sat, 06 Dec 2003 12:14:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

It looks like the director of the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) ordered a re-examination of the Eolas plug-in patent (patent #5,838,906). It's about time. I guess the W3C barked loud enough to get their attention. Apparently, less than .5% of patents get re-examined and less than 2% of those are requested at such a high level.

Concurrently, Microsoft is appealing the court ruling that would have them pay US$520.8 million. During their appeal process, they are working on work-arounds so that plug-ins can still be used, but outside of the patent infringement.

Looks like things have come a good ways since my last post. Good luck guys. Getting this thing knocked out will prove quite beneficial to the nearly all web-enabled industries.