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Facebook acting weird?

Is it just my internet connection or has Facebook been acting weird today? Throughout the day I’m met with errors when trying to load pages from Facebook. Sometimes it loads, and sometimes it just fails.

Are Indonesian FBers really that influential such that a bomb in Jakarta could bring the mighty Facebook to its knees? :)

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Random ramblings of the day

BK tests Motion Power kinetic energy harvester
[via: Engadget]
I think this is pretty cool. The government of Indonesia should learn a thing or two from this and implement this all through Jakarta :). It would generate tons of energy and save a lot of money in the process.

HTC Hero
[via: Engadget]
I’d love to have this HTC be my next cellphone, but man is it expensive (499 Euro or Pounds, I forgot).

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ASUS A8Jm review

Sorry people, haven’t had time to update the blog about my new notebook :). It’s a great machine, and I’m writing a review on this A8Jm review page. The link is available on the right navigation menu. The review will be an ongoing one, as I don’t have the time to complete it in one shot.

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Bought a notebook

Well, after months (even years) thinking about buying a notebook, I finally got one. It’s an ASUS A8Jm. Gonna pick it up this afternoon.

I’ll post the details this evening after I get it :)

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Windows on Mac just got easier

Apple has released a beta version of software called Boot Camp, that will allow the new Intel Mac’s to run Microsoft’s Windows XP OS. I think this will be a beneficial move for Apple since many people who’ve been interested in getting a Mac but couldn’t because they’re living in a Windows world will now be able to get the best of both worlds.

For me personally, I’m still looking for a notebook, and this is making me re-consider the MacBook Pro (it was out of my favor because I couldn’t run Windows on it) since now I can do all my .NET development and use all the Windows apps I need while having a beautiful looking notebook.

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Free Microsoft Virtual Server

Virtualization is a big word these days, allowing increased utilization of hardware resources and thus driving cost of operations down. Microsoft has made its Virtual Server software available for free to the public, signalling their intent to jump into the server virtualization market and challenge VMWare.

They also have said that support for Linux machines are being built, in addition to already existing support for certain flavours of Linux such as Red Hat and SUSE.

Personally, I’m always in favor of lots of competition in the market, because it always benefits the consumer in the end. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft can overtake VMWare in the long run, but along with Xen, the consumers have quite a bit of options to choose from.

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Intel Macbook Pro

I’ve long stood against purchasing any Macintosh machines because of their incompatibility with software developed for the Intel platform. But now they’ve come out with Intel based machines such as the Intel MacBook Pro, I might just change my mind :)
Now, I just need to find US$2000 to cover the cost of one of these babies…
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Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, Biztalk Server 2006 Launch

I went to Microsoft’s launch of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, and Biztalk Server 2006 at the Toronto Congress Centre yesterday. The event was styled in a rock concert atmosphere, with loud music and huge screens abound. It was a typical Microsoft event, with everybody was well taken care of, free software, free goodies and food. I think Microsoft does a great job and handling such events.
First thing I found out when I got my badge was that there was gonna be lunch (didn’t know that), so kinda started the day on a good note. Grabbed a muffin and proceeded to the first session (keynote speaker). There were a couple of things that happened in this first session, which I can’t seem to recall properly (not enough demonstrations ) ), but there was a talk by Microsoft Canada’s President, GM for Visual Studio 2005 and testimonials from partners who have successfully implemented the newest versions of these products. Ho-hum so far, but I did get one of those glow in the dark sticks (picked purple, thinking it would look cool like Mace Windu’s lightsabre ) ).
The following sessions were more interesting, as they proceeded to do demo’s and actual development of applications using these products. There were 2 tracks, developer and database, and I went to all the developer sessions. In all, there were 3 main presenters for the developer track, and they paired up for each of these sessions. Check out their blogs:
Some of the interesting parts in each session that I noted:
Session 1 – Overview of all 3 products (more like 2, VS2005 was covered much in depth in the later sessions)
- Ability to use managed code in stored procedures / SQL Scripts
- Ability to expose a procedure as a web service
- Exception handling in T-SQL
- .NET runtime, ability to set breakpoint, debug etc.
- Mapping various objects using orchestrator maps in Biztalk is a breeze (never used Biztalk, so correct me if I’m wrong, but that looked cool)
Session 2 – Visual Studio Team System
- Various versions for various roles within software development (architects, developers, testers, PM)
- Integrated tracking of work items
- Improved Source Safe, ability to set policy on check-in / check-out, use of SQL Server 2005 data store
- Built in reporting, can be put on portal
- Shelving, allow other developer to check changes before check in is committed
- Integrated testing framework, allowing unit, load testing etc.
Session 3 – Smart Client
- Goal is to reduce lines of code written, especially the plumbing parts
- Demo the creation of online store, almost no code for UI and major functionality
- 2 way binding with database
- Tons of new controls to use including login, gridview
- Master pages (this was still painful to do in ASP.NET 1.1) !!!
- Easily implement security, authorization, built in administration page that can be customized
Overall, I was quite satisfied with the event. The demos didn’t run as smooth as expected (within the 2 first sessions, a crash in the first session and a failure in the second, causing missed demo of major parts of the applications); the presenters claimed that they were not using the release version, and it shouldn’t happen in it ) Not a big deal, as it happens sometime, but shouldn’t really happen during a major launch event IMO.
The best part about this? Everyone who attended the event, received complimentary copies of Visual Studio 2005 Standard, SQL Server 2005 Standard, and a rain-cheque for BizTalk Server 2006 Developer Edition when it launces next year. In addition, we also received a coupon to waive the certification test fee for 1 course and a free T-shirt (You have to have free T-Shirts at launch events ) ).
I’m really impressed with Visual Studio and SQL Server 2005, as they look much improved from previous versions (can’t speak about Biztalk). I could picture how the new features would save tons of work in developing new applications, allowing developers like me to focus on the business logic and more important stuff. Now, I wonder when these will make their way into the office, probably not till a few years from now )
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Microsoft Live

I tried Microsoft Live yesterday because of the hype created during the launch.To me it doesn’t seem too much different than Google’s personalized home page or MyYahoo. Differences in how they look are expected, but the way everything works seem similar to each other, availability of mail summaries, RSS feeds, weather content (Google’s doesn’t allow display in Celcius!!!), but overall it just seems Microsoft’s trying to play catch up to Google and Yahoo in this area.
The interesting part is that AJAX is being used more and more in these new web technologies. I do like the concept of using a broker to act as intermediary between the web server and browser, so that surfing looks a lot smoother and more enjoyable.
ps. I wonder how much Microsoft paid Live Networks to buy the Live.com domain?
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Cognos 8 Launch

I went to the Cognos 8 Launch at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this afternoon. It was simulcast to various cities all over the world, with the main event happening at New York City. After the 90 minute launch, there were breakout sessions where we get to see a bit more in-depth demo’s and what’s involved in upgrading/migrating from previous versions of Cognos.
I’ve seen demos of ReportNet previously and really want to try it (still using Impromptu at work), but no money means no new products as yet :). The new framework is quite cool, as it integrates all the various Cognos products into a single framework, and really simplifies the management of the application. The capabilities extended to the end user are really amazing, and will allow so much improved business productivity. All the products seem to integrate quite well with each other, seamless it seems and very intuitive.
Really can’t wait to get my hands on these products, now if only someone had the money to get it at work… :)
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