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Archive for July, 2006|Monthly archive page

Two all beef patties, special sauce …

In Personal on 22 July, 2006 at 3:00 pm

“Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun”  Anyone still remember this slogan from McDonald?  They used to have a campaign whereby if you recite this slogan at the counter under a certain time limit and you will get a cheeseburger free!  In Singapore they have a Chinese version as well, so I believe it might be also be translated into several other languages.  This slogan is so popular that some American can still remember it after so many years but they can’t seem to remember their Pledge of Allegiance (America’s National Pledge).  A few other cartoons like Bart Simpson and Spongebob Squarepants had make use of the slogan one way or another as well.

What? What OSR2?

In OS on 17 July, 2006 at 3:00 pm

I was reading some articles that mention about FAT32 disk format and this remind me of something interesting that happened when I was trying to purchase a copy of a so called “specialized” version of OS.

Time warp to the era of the Windows 95.  Windows 95 has just been released into the world not too long ago and I’ve just started work, fresh out from the U.  Later on, Microsoft decided to release a newer version of Windows 95 that is much more stable and has a particular feature that I wanted badly once I’ve heard about it.  This newer version is targeted mainly for Microsoft’s OEM customers and thus was called OEM Service Release 2, in short OSR2.  The new feature?  FAT32, support larger hard disk partition and will create smaller file fragments so that hard disk usage is dramatically reduced if you have a lot of small files on your machine.

Thus I went down to a local computer shop and asked them whether they sell a copy of Windows 95 OSR2.  “OS what?” said the salesman, “Oh you mean OS/2 is it?”, before I can even start to react, he follow up and said “Nope, we don’t carry IBM’s software product here.”, pointing to his Microsoft authorized dealer sign he continues “You mean still got people want to use other OS meh?”.  From that I know I have to rest my case, this guy has obviously never heard of an OSR2 before.  But at least he still know about the once highly regarded IBM’s OS, the OS/2.

Mac Attack!

In OS on 16 July, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Recently Apple released a new slew of ad campaign which target “so called” PC’s weak point.  They have a nerdy looking guy acting as a PC and a young guy dressed in jeans acting as a Mac.  So the ad start with these 2 guys standing beside each other and goes “Hi I’m a Mac”, “And I’m a PC”.  You can check out the clips from here (oh yeah, if you’re not on a Mac, you will need to install the Quicktime player, dude) .

These ads actually created a back lash from the community.  Check out this article on Slate just to see what one of these guys think.  And because of this someone actually came out with a spoof to get back at Apple.  Be sure to check out this spoof just for a good laugh.

So do you mean stupid stupid or cool stupid?

Software designers urged to list on exchange

In Programming on 15 July, 2006 at 3:00 pm

So what am I waiting for?  Calling all Software Developers, let’s unleash WPF applications onto the world!

In the United States, we’ve many software developers who make a lot of money listing their software on AppExchange, and I would like to invite Singapore-based software developers to do so too

Mr Marc Benioff, 41, CEO & President of salesforce.com

Research firm IDC had also said that worldwide spending on this kind of on-demand software service will grow at a compounded annual rate of 21 per cent to top US$10.7 billion (S$15.8 billion) in 2009.  This seems to be a very big market!  And since this AppExchange thingy take away the need for developers to do marketing and sales, this is really a good way for freelance developers to sell their goods.

Its time to put on my thinking cap, come out with something that can be of a hit, and head on down to the AppExchange!

Transparency is finally easily enabled in XAML

In Programming on 14 July, 2006 at 3:00 pm

With the release of the June CTP .NET Framework 3.0, transparent background and window with rounded corners can finally be easily tweaked in XAML.  Lauren Lavoie, from Microsoft, blog about how you can go about doing it.  The trick is in Window.AllowsTransparency, just set this property to “True” and then setting the Window.Background to “Transparent” will get you a transparent window.  With the whole background being transparent you can then achieve rounded-corner window by drawing a Border with a CornerRadius defined.  Below is a snippet of the XAML code that Lauren did:

and the result:
Don't forget to check out her blog.

Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 is now available

In Software on 13 July, 2006 at 5:40 am

Microsoft has just released the beta 3 for IE7.  You can surely download the good here.  For those who have been using the beta 2, please remember to uninstall beta 2 first before installing the beta 3.  You can follow the steps here as well.

The following are the changes made for beta 3, mainly there are improvements in reliability, compatibility, user features, and security:

  • reliability has improved as several layout-rendering bugs have been fixed
  • improve compatibility with websites and web applications
  • contains all the security fixes addressed in the June Internet Explorer Security Bulletin MS06-021
  • based on customers’ feedback made some additional changes to the look and feel of the browser
  • allows users to add the e-mail button back to the toolbar
  • enables users to reorder the tabs by dragging them to the left or right
  • enables horizontal scrolling while zooming
  • to improve the RSS experience, users can now update all their RSS feeds automatically
  • the user now has more control in marking their RSS feeds as “READ”

More OO?

In Programming on 12 July, 2006 at 3:48 pm

Can a language be more object-oriented (OO) than another language?  OO is a programming paradigm, a style of programming.  This style of programming emphasizes the following concepts:

  • Class – a unit definition of something that belong in a set, Dogs can be considered as a class.
  • Object – an instance of a class, a runtime manifestation of a class.  My wife’s favourite dog, Zombie, would be an instance for the class Dogs.
  • Method – way to interact with an object of some class.  Dogs can contain a method call ActCute, so to ask Zombie to act cute, you can use this method.
  • Inheritance – way to define a class as having all attributes of another class, this kind of class thus defined would normally be call a subclass.  Pomeranian can be a subclass of Dogs.  Zombie will then be more correctly instantiated as Pomeranian, as it is of that kind of breed.
  • Encapsulation – way of hiding the implementation detail of an object.  You can ask Zombie to ActCute but you won’t know its do that.
  • Abstraction – way to ignore details of an object’s subclass and work at a more generic level.  Zombie can be considered as a Pomeranian most of the time, but when needed it can be abstracted as a Dog.
  • Polymorphism – a way whereby an object can dynamically change its behaviour during runtime.  If you think of Zombie as a Dog then it should be able to guard the house, but if you then know that Zombie is actually a Pomeranian, you would know that Zombie is more for play.

A language can be consider OO, as long as it provide mechanisms to support most of the above concepts, so that OO developers can program at ease.  However, certain language might choose not to support certain concept and thus can be consider “less OO”.  For example, Visual Basic does not support inheritance and Java does not support multiple-inheritance which is a more complex mechanism of inheritance.

Did you download a copy?

In OS on 12 July, 2006 at 3:00 pm

What is your guess?  How many people downloaded the Windows Vista Beta 2 Customer Preview Program (CPP)?  Apparently, Microsoft has not release this information yet.  However the bandwidth needed to cater for everyday download had reached a stage whereby increasing the bandwidth some more will potentially bring down the whole Internet!

Incidentally, if you have not download a copy, the Customer Preview Program has already been closed.

Finally, Microsoft is going to change that ugly theme

In OS on 12 July, 2006 at 7:10 am

This is one benefit of releasing beta software for users to try out; Users can then feedback on what they dislike about the software.  With so many negative feedback, Microsoft is finally going to change the theme that is shown when Windows AeroTM cannot be enable, known as the Windows Vista Basic theme.

You can see from the diagram above, the middle window is the old look for the Windows Vista Basic.  The new look (the window at the bottom) in my opinion is much better, at least now it convey a certain professionalism instead of the half-hearted effort that was done for the old look.  Though I would prefer that Microsoft enlarge the 3 top-right buttons some more, ditched the old icons for the 3 buttons and use the icons that the Aero theme is using (the difference is small, but the Aero’s icons look nicer).  This is what I feel from looking at the picture, I am sure seeing the new theme in action would give a different perspective.

Advantages and Disadvantages of C# as compared to C++

In Programming on 11 July, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Advantages:

  1. While no programming language lets programmers write entirely bug-free programs, C# goes a long way in comparison with C and C++.
  2. With Windows Form and later on WPF (especially with the aid of Expression Interactive Designer), C# is great for Rapid Application Development (RAD).
  3. C# is safer to run.  Since C# program is compiled into an intermediate language, the OS can always check it to see that no malicious code is about.
  4. C# combines the old and the new in an almost perfect balance.  C# duplicates much of the concise syntax of C and also adds modern, object-oriented features while retaining very little unnecessary baggage from C.
  5. Cost of maintenance for C# is definitely much lower than that of C++.  This is a positive side effect of C# helping programmers to write program that is as bug free as possible.
  6. C# can make use of every feature available in WPF, making it one of the languages that can work perfectly with WPF.

Disadvantages:

  1. C# is slower to run.  This is somewhat taken care of when using WPF, although currently the launching of WPF application is still a bit slow.  However, after the program is launched, the animation effects are all very smooth.
  2. C# is less flexible than C++.  C# depends greatly on .NET framework, anything that is not found in the .NET framework will be difficult to implement.