Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Scary thought: Microsoft is inspiring me
I'll have more on this in a little bit, but wanted to jot down this thought that Microsoft is inspiring me with its adoption of weblogs and opening up a bit. Sure, they have to do this in order to hold on to what they have, but it still wasn't an easy one to pull the trigger on. My company doesn't have near the PR/perception problem Microsoft has (in fact, we're doing pretty good in that area), but our web sites are corporate blah. I want us to adopt weblogs in a big way. I want the excitement that I hear from product managers, brand managers, engineers, etc. on a daily basis about our products and company as a whole to be heard all around the world. I want people to see what we're about and know that there is more to our company than just another corporate machine out to get your money. I want a dialogue between our company and anyone even remotely interested in our products and the industry as a whole. And what better way to do that than to utilize weblogs and the reach the technology provides?

I'm psyched about this. I've been evangelizing this idea the past couple days now. I'm just getting started. I'm sure it will never fly with legal and I'm sure it will be met with skepticism from near and far. I'm still going to push for it because I believe it is the right thing to do. I want to push the boundaries in our industry. If Microsoft will stick their necks out on the line to become more approachable, then I know we certainly can.
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Frontpage extensions required no more
Rory Blyth: Aside from the code reduction, there was a pretty cool list of new features for ASP.NET 2.0:

1. No FrontPage server extensions required (this almost won a standing ovation).

...All in all, ASP.NET 2.0 is going to be great. I know I sound like a hype machine again, but it isn't my fault. I'm just reacting to what I'm seeing.

I didn't realize that Frontpage Extensions were required to run .NET currently. That right there should be very embarrassing for any .NET developer to have to admit.

ASP.NET 2.0 sounds like a solid improvement over 1.1 from the various weblog posts I've read today. Of course, it hasn't been released officially yet and it still requires me to run all my applications on Windows. Oh yeah, let's not forget to mention that ASP.NET targets a client (the web browser) that Microsoft no longer seems to think is all that important. But I'm sure Microsoft will have an easy migration path built into ASP.NET 5.0 to move away from that crappy client the web browser and on to Longhorn, Avalon, Indigo, etc.. Out with the standards and on with the lock-in!
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I found out the company I work for uses Gartner for quite a bit of IT research. I have nothing against Gartner personally, but most of these research companies are very suspect. They make their money from not only companies like mine (consumer product manufacturer), but also from the technology vendors they report on. How can you give a negative report about a paying customer's product or service that will likely negatively affect that customer's bottom line?
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The “white box” in the business world
Wow! InfoWorld has a (front page) article of their latest printed issue on using generic (white) boxes instead of servers and desktops from the likes of Dell, HP, etc. I'm very shocked and impressed. I've always thought that on the lower end server (2 CPU or less) that you might be better off just getting a system from somewhere like ASA Computers or something other independent PC builder. The systems are built on standard components and they likely have the same quality as anything you buy from the big boys. I've often seen that you can buy twice (or more) the computer if you go with a white box, but never had the nerve to consider it for the companies I've worked for. I think this latest InfoWorld article will make me a little more bold when I'm faced with buying x86 server hardware.
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The Colonel