Monthly Archives: December 2006

Disappointment in VS2005 SP1 on Vista

Disappointment in VS2005 SP1 on Vista.

Well, I installed SP1 of Visual Studio 2005 yesterday on my laptop running Vista, and I have to say there was one think that really disappointed me. So much so that I am not just going to blog about it… I want everyone that reads this to go AGAINST Microsoft recommendations.  . . .

Thats right…. Microsoft is recommended to run Visual Studio as Administrator. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. Don't do this!!

You are on Vista. You should be running as a Standard User, and running Visual Studio as a standard user. Why? Because then you can SEE how your application will work while in least privilege mode AS you develop the software.

Now, some people will complain that they need to be administrator because they need some of the tools in the IDE. A good example would be if you are writing a COM component. You cannot register the library when running as a standard user. Is there a solution? Yes. Open up a cmd window as Administrator and do it by hand. Don't like that idea? Have a post build event that runs a custom app to do it… and modify the manifest to REQUIRE the UAC elevation. This way, you elevate a separate process to do your administrative task without requiring the IDE to be run with higher privileges that you really don't need.

And NOTHING prevents you from starting a second copy of VS2005SP1 elevated in those cases where you really have to debug as Administrator. But for your day to day use of VS… DON'T run elevated!!!

I am really surprised and disappointed to see this dialog. I only hope Microsoft reconsiders this position in its next version. If they REQUIRE admin privs for some tools, separate them out so only they have to be run as Administrator. You should only elevate when you need to; you should try to run with least privilege throughout the entire development process so you can REALLY see the impact of the code on normal users.

Well, IMNSHO anyways. 
[Dana Epp's ramblings at the Sanctuary]

Thanks, Mr Ford!

Thanks, Mr Ford!.

In 1973–1974 I worked in the Nixon White House on drug abuse treatment and drug interdiction policy. I left on August 1, 1974, Mr Nixon about a week later. (We both went to California.) I hate to say something like this, it's so pretentious, but in a way only those of us who were there at the implosion may know how it felt from the inside. All of which is to say that the administration of the oath of office to Gerald Ford was a very momentous occasion. The Republic was wobbly. Ford doubtless had his faults, but he restored calm in almost a flash with his demeanor. (Anyone remember the picture of him in the White House kitchen toasting his own toast?) Hence, I will miss him. I met him only once, when we were both speaking in San Jose. Our conversation lasted but a couple of minutes, but his graciousness and lack of pretense shone through. Ford was tough when he needed to be tough, to be sure—it goes with the turf. But it is his decency that I shall fondly remember.  [The Tom Peters Weblog]

“Outlook 2007 grant for Exchange Server 2003 CAL customers”

“Outlook 2007 grant for Exchange Server 2003 CAL customers”

Just in-case you haven't already read about the fundamental change
to the Exchange/Outlook 2007 CAL licensing, it's worth covering here..
unless you were on Exchange Server 2003 with Software Assurance at 30th
November 2006 you will not be able to automatically use Outlook 2007
when you upgrade to  Exchange Server 2007. 

Unlike
prior versions, Exchange Server 2007 Standard or Enterprise does not
include the right to install Outlook on devices for which CALs are
obtained.
  However, for each Exchange Server CAL, Core CAL
Suite or Enterprise CAL Suite with active Software Assurance coverage
as of November 30, 2006, customers will be granted one Office Outlook
2007 license. The right to use Outlook under that license expires upon
expiration of the corresponding CAL. Use of Outlook under this offering
is subject to the customers’ license agreement and the product use
rights for that product. If Software Assurance coverage on the
corresponding CAL is maintained continuously (i.e., renewed with no
lapse in coverage), and one later version of Office Outlook (i.e., N+1,
where N=Office Outlook 2007) is made available prior to the expiration
of that coverage, customers’ license will be for that version instead.
Alternatively, customers are eligible to acquire Software Assurance
coverage for that Office Outlook license, provided that coverage is
acquired by February 28, 2007. Customers who wish to acquire Software
Assurance coverage for Office Outlook after that date must first
acquire a new license for the version of Office Outlook that is current
at the time coverage is acquired. “

There's more coverage of this here, here and here.  [MS Exchange Blog]

Ben Rockwood on Some OpenSolaris Experiences at Joyent

Ben Rockwood on Some OpenSolaris Experiences at Joyent .

Ben Rockwood talks here about some of the experiences we're having with OpenSolaris at Joyent. 2006 has seen tremendous growth for us across all of our product families. We are setting up for a great 2007. Much of this is thanks to the great technology from upon which we've been able to build a great platform for customers.  [Joyeur]

Libraries, Bookstores, and Espresso

Libraries, Bookstores, and Espresso.

Slashdot aggregated a short piece on CNN about Espresso, a one-book-at-a-time machine that I have commented on before–five years ago, in fact. So the book machine itself is not news–and similar systems were around before Jeff Marsh announced Espresso in 2001–but this time, the innovation is to put the machines inside public libraries, basically as dispensers of printed copies of out-of-copyright books. (See ondemandbooks.com.) People have been talking about machines like this in the back rooms of bookstores for a long time, and I posited “replenish-on-demand” book retailing in my October 16, 2006 entry. None of that is especially new or novel, though the little video clip of the Espresso machine in action is worth a few minutes to watch.

(One caveat I have: The machine has been announced for five years and is still in “alpha”? This sure sounds like an underfunded basement operation to me, and the machine looks like a slightly haywire lashup of two commercial printers with a binder. This is about all there is on the Web.)

What may be worth pondering is having book-on-demand machines in public libraries, fed by archives like Project Gutenberg. And that's just to get the library systems installed, funded, and used. What happens next might ignite the War to End All Wars in bookselling: Allowing public libraries to sell POD copies of first-run books by contract with publishers. Figure that certain people will take a book out of the library, read it, and then like it enough to want a copy of their own, or one to give as a gift. As a publisher, I'd be delighted with such a system, and I suspect most small-to-medium sized publishers would as well. The war would begin when book retailers realized that libraries are publicly funded organizations and could sell books at very steep discounts. Large publishers don't dare annoy large booksellers, on whom they depend. Small publishers don't get much shelf space in retail stores anyway, so they take sales however they can. A library-based network of unattended POD kiosks would (at least potentially) be a huge threat to booksellers, and their point is worth discussing: Should a government agency compete with private retailers?

I'm on the fence here. It's good to give the public more choices, and retailers cannot stock everything. (They won't stock my novel, for example. Hrmph.) Libraries should be allowed to do anything permitted under copyright law. If the bookstores don't like it, well…their recourse is obvious: Get machines themselves, and “stock” everything. Everything. No exceptions. Everything. [Jeff Duntemann's ContraPositive Diary]

Why are you not hiring remote workers?

Why are you not hiring remote workers?.

Just recently, we hired a new systems administrator named Mark. He lives in Virginia. That’s six hours off the GMT. One less than the current five guys in Chicago. Two less than Jamis in Idaho. So what?

He was the best of the candidates available, we’d be crazy not to pick him up, no? Well, apparently there are still plenty of “crazy” companies and hiring managers out there. People unwilling to pick the better candidate because of geography.

Jonathan gives us just one example in his an Open Letter to Job Board Advertisers. So I thought this would be a good occasion to get the excuses out there: Why are you not hiring remote workers?  [Signal vs. Noise]

Articles 1.0

Articles 1.0.

As requested by many of you, I’ve packaged up my Articles page functionality as a WordPress plugin.

This plugin allows you to easily present a list of posts you select outside of your blog chronology. Very useful for featuring things that might otherwise slip into the nether regions of your archives. See it in action here.

I’m experimenting with a new way of implementing this without requiring a modification to your theme to add in a template tag (though the template tag is also included). Implementation details are in the README, feel free to comment here with your thoughts on if the “token” method is easier to implement than the “template tag” method.

Small plea: I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing a few donations – I’ve spent a lot of time during the last couple weeks working on WordPress plugin release development (making new versions of stuff that already works for me, so that it will be easy for you guys to use).

The download is available on my WordPress Plugins page.

If you have any trouble with this, please open a thread in the WP Support Forums and send me the link.
[alexking.org]