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Thinking In .NET

Code, industry analysis, and miscellaneous cross-links from Larry O'Brien, the former editor of Computer Language and Software Development magazines.

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Monday, February 10, 2003

Which OS are You?
Which OS are You?

Yes.... my first personal computer was this close (fingers teeny bit apart) to being an Amiga. Instead I bought an XT-compatible with Hercules graphics.
8:48:03 AM    comment []

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Borland "Sidewinder" to be C# design-and-development tool. According to this CNet article, Borland's first .NET product will be C#-specific. As I surmised last week, this appears to be the next generation of Together Control Center.
3:44:06 PM    comment []

Friday, January 31, 2003

Friday Five

1. As a child, who was your favorite superhero/heroine? Why?

Superheroes weren't a big deal to me, I was much more into science fiction. One of my first memories is the Apollo moon landing; when I was at that very impressionable age, the exploration of space was a huge deal. I guess in retrospect it was a bubble in the zeitgeist, like the dot-com obsession. So by that theory, in thirty years we'll generate a crop of programmers (or, shudder, a crop of "business development managers").

2. What was one thing you always wanted as a child but never got?

A slot-car racing track. You snapped together a track from hard plastic pieces with thin wires running on either side of a deep channel; one wire carried a negative charge, the other a positive. Cars stayed on course with a little post that fed down into the channel, which was enough to keep them on course as long as they didn't skid. Your sole control was a trigger-like device that controlled how much current was in the wires. The sound of the little motors, the particular scrape of the pickups against the track, the slight smell of ozone...

3. What's the furthest from home you've been?

I've been physically farther than New Guinea, but culturally, Papua New Guinea and West Papua / Irian Jaya are different worlds.

4. What's one thing you've always wanted to learn but haven't yet?

To narrow it to two obvious ones, I'm ashamed that I don't speak any non-English language and that I can't play any musical instruments.

5. What are your plans for the weekend?

A friend is having a "7 Deadly Sins" party tomorrow night; I'm going as "Pride," Tina's going as "Sloth."

8:27:19 AM    comment []

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Hydrogen-power infrastructure: The new moonshot

I'm 100% for it. It should be noted that some of my non-technical friends were surprised to hear that hydrogen doesn't solve the problem of fossil fuel dependence, since the energy to crack water into H and O has to come from somewhere and renewables aren't there yet. So realistically, a hydrogren-power infrastructure means construction of many coal-burning plants: without reasonable regulation, that could be worse environmentally than the pretty-clean-actually IC engines we have in the US. Even if it's an environmental wash, though, it's much better for the US to be dependent on coal than on oil.

Plus, hydrogen has all sorts of benefits for micropower efficiencies. Of course, the first time the public sees the explosive power of 15 gallons of liquified hydrogen, you can pretty much guarantee a national freak-out.

3:15:31 PM    comment []

Monday, January 27, 2003

Borland Together to go .NET: While reiterating its commitment to Java, Linux, and the general concept of cross-platform-ness, according to this article, Borland appears to have unveiled the first tool in its .NET strategy (they'd already made the general commitment to support .NET). Although no details are yet available on Borland's site, it appears that the first thing they will produce is a new version of Together Control Center for .NET. No Delphi for .NET yet.
1:49:09 PM    comment []

Casey Chesnut has written a client for the Pocket PC Phone Edition that records your voice, shoots it off to a .NET Web Service running a speech recognition engine, and returns the results to your client. The best use of this is certainly for constrained input, not continuous speech recognition. Is there a killer app? The one that comes to mind is hands-free routing: a GPS still costs a few hundred bucks and inputting a destination is a pain, especially when driving. "I'm at mile 200 on route 50 in Nevada. How far to the gas station?" would be a pretty cool thing to be able to ask your phone.

Delightfully, Jakob Nielsen's latest Alertbox argues that voice interfaces are poor choices for the majority of applications. Compare and contrast.

9:23:51 AM    comment []

Youch. Gearhost, my hosting company, was offline for almost 40 hours over the weekend due to the Slammer virus and a perhaps-unrelated router problem. Things still seem quite slow, so if you've been trying to download Thinking in C#, please be patient. In general, Gearhost has been an excellent, inexpensive option for .NET-based Webhosting.

Even worse than the Internet flu, I've been floored by this year's virus and have spent most of the last week too head-ache-y and run-down to do anything but watch television. I like television but the years when I could be happy watching TV all day long are thankfully passed.

9:05:40 AM    comment []

Friday, January 24, 2003

Congratulations to Sam and Sue Gentile!
9:55:04 AM    comment []

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Check out this OLED display from CES. Holy cow! Look how thin that sucker is! Let's see: crisper, clearer, better response time, better viewing angle, and cheaper to produce. Sheesh, maybe I won't buy dual flatscreen  monitors for my next computer.   
11:00:29 AM    comment []

The contents of these pages represent the opinions of one person.
All contents © 2003 Larry O'Brien. All Rights Reserved.



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