Back in Sri Lanka

Dammika wanted to know where the hell I was. Things have been pretty hectic for me since I landed in Colombo last Tuesday morning.

Let me see… On Tuesday I went back to office for our weekly conference call, Wednesday I had to go to Mizra’s birthday party (Imara’s bro), Thursday back at work again, Friday work, badminton, Chalani’s wedding. Saturday went to Kandy to bring back my car. Sunday shifted houses, I now live at Thalawatugoda with the Sonnadara brothers. We also went out to MIT and had a cool swim to relax off the weekend!

I’ve been having a lot of fun with my new camera. This is a pic from Chalani’s wedding with Madura, Dishnika, Ashan and me at the top trying to place a horn on Dish

Madura, Dishnika, Ashan, Merill

Back in Sri Lanka

Singapore

This is the last leg of my long trip back to Colombo. It’s really cool that the Changi Airport at Singapore has free internet access.


What have I been doing the past 48hrs of travelling, well I’ve been reading Code Complete by Steven McCowell. Unfortunately I made a mistake when I ordered the book and ended up with the original version rather than the recently released Code Complete 2 book.


The book is heavy on procedural programming but it’s amazing that a lot of the concepts and practical advice is still applicable to the real world applications that we write today. Code Complete 2 is a book that should be on the desk of every developer, not only is it a good read, it’s a good handbook to refer to.

Singapore

A gift for my brother

My brother and sister teamed up to buy me this, so to return the favor I bought Julius (my small bro) one heck of an MP3 player. I ordered the SanDisk 1GB player from Amazon and I feared that the sound quality poor.

The first thing I did was to hook it up to my machine and copy my files over. My first surprise was how fast the copy went when compared with the Creative Muvo that Microsoft gave us MVPs. The second surprise was that this sounded better than the Muvo. Man am I envious now, my 128MB feels really cheap compared to the 1GB player (FM tuner included). Well, at least I get to use it on my long lay-overs on the way back to Colombo.

SanDisk

A gift for my brother

XP Sinhala Language Pack

Jinath has posted some screenshots of Windows and a Google page with the Sinhala Language Pack installed. Microsoft released the beta version of the Sinhala Language Pack to be used in the Tsunami aid programs. We MVP’s got a beta copy as well to test out and provide feedback on. Hmm… I’ll need to learn to read Sinhalese first before I can give any feedback though.


If you haven’t seen the Sinhalese Google check it out here http://www.google.com/intl/si/

XP Sinhala Language Pack

Windows Beats Linux in Live Security Contest

Well, well, well. Now this isn’t what you get to see everyday. Paul Thurrott reports in his latest newsletter.

During a live duel of sorts between backers of Windows 2003 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux during the RSA Conference 2005 this week in San Francisco, a surprising victor emerged. Based on the previously agreed upon rules, Windows 2003 came out ahead, emerging as the more secure OS.

How could this happen, you ask? After agreeing to terms, backers of both OSs evaluated the security-oriented performance of Windows 2003 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux during the past year, looking at such key criteria as number of reported security vulnerabilities and the amount of time that elapsed between the public disclosure of a security flaw and the release of a fix. But doesn’t the open-source model practically guarantee that fixes are released more quickly than they are with proprietary OSs? I guess not.

Results of the competition will be released next month, but here’s the gist: Windows 2003 won every part of the competition. It had fewer flaws overall. The average time between Windows 2003 flaw reports and fixes was less than half that of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Less than half.

Does this mean that Windows is more secure than Linux on the server? Not necessarily. But it certainly provides an interesting real-world example of why assumptions about Linux security are completely bogus, as I’ve often noted.

Windows Beats Linux in Live Security Contest

Dataset performance in .NET Framework 2.0

Andrew Conrad writes about Dataset performance improvements in .NET 2.0. For me these improvements are really, really good reasons to switch to .NET 2.0 as soon as it ships (or even earlier when a ‘Go Live’ license is available).

System.Data.DataSet contains some very significant performance improvements over prior versions – particularly for large result set scenarios.

In particular,

  • Highly efficient Binary Remoting —  For large Dataset, orders of magnitude better than v1.x
  • Row Insert, Delete and Modify operations – For large Dataset, orders of magnitude better than v1.x. For instance, for a DataTable with PrimaryKey constraint, inserting million rows in random order takes around 45 seconds. Everett took 30 Minutes.
  • Maintaining DataViews in sync with underlying DataTable was very expensive in v1.x, In Whidbey it’s extremely fast – orders of magnitude better.
  • WebServices/Remoting for TypedDataset: It can be send across to other end without having to send its schema, significantly reducing the serialized payload and giving approx 4x+ improvement in end-end latency.

The following article (in addition to highlighting some new V2 features) also details the performance improvements.

Dataset performance in .NET Framework 2.0