MVP Gift Voucher

Microsoft gives us MVPs with a $150 voucher that we could use to buy anything we want at the Microsoft Company Store. Unfortunately I have a feeling that they only provide a subset of the items available at the store to us. I could hardly find anything to buy and finally settled on a Optical Desktop (which I love) and some really useless stuff like caps, flasks and an umbrella. I would have loved to have purchased an XBox if it was available.

But what I'm really pissed off with is the Sri Lankan customs officials and UPS. I had to shell out $35 as duty and other taxes for the $150 worth of items that I ordered. I was speaking with the UPS guy and he said the government had added an additional 3% tax after the tsunami for all imports. I wouldn't mind if they did anything remotely useful with this money but it would ultimately end up in some politicians pocket.

The fact is that the only thing of value in the pack I got from Microsoft was the optical desktop which cost $50 and I had to pay $35 as duty. WTF. Had I known this earlier I would have simply tossed away the voucher and not ordered anything at all. Not that any of this is Microsoft's fault though.

The Tsunami Effect

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Who is Scott?

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One of my former colleagues Nadeera forwarded this mail to me, I wonder how authentic it is?</SPAN>

You must have always wondered why the username / password in SQL is Scott/Tiger....</SPAN>

Who is this Scott? Here is the answer to your query....</SPAN>

So,  who is Scott?</SPAN>

Bruce Scott was one of the first employees at Oracle (then  Software Development Laboratories). He co-founded Gupta Technology (now known as Centura Software) in 1984 with Umang Gupta, and later became CEO and founder of  PointBase, Inc.</SPAN>

Bruce was co-author and co-architect of Oracle V1, V2  and V3.</SPAN>

The SCOTT schema (EMP and DEPT tables), with password TIGER, was  created by him. Tiger was the name of his cat.</SPAN>

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Start a movement! Donate all your Google AdSense Revenue to Earthquake Relief

Scott Hanselman has started a wonderful campaign to donate your site's annual Google AdSense revenue to the the Asian Quake relief. I think this is a blessed idea and will help those affected in more ways than you could ever imagine.

To put things in perspective of how far $1 could go. You can provide a single person with 3 meals a day for just $1! These people need your support for the next few months till they get back on their feet and put behind the mental agony of losing their most loved ones and start building a new future.

I'm doing my small part in the blogosphere by looking up anyone who has talked or commented on anything related to the Asian Quake and posting the following comment. I hope this won't be misconstrued as spam.

Hi,
I'm from Sri Lanka, one of the countries worst hit by this quake.

Although we can't do much about the dead, over a million people in Sri Lanka alone have been displaced and are facing various hardships ranging from the spread of water borne diseases to lack of clean water and shelter.

The Red Cross is doing a wonderful job in helping out, your smallest of donations along with those of the people you know (relations, colleagues) will go a long way towards helping out those who have been battered by this quake.

http://www.ifrc.org/helpnow/donate/donate_response.asp

Thank you,
Merill

IIS 6.0, 1 year old and NO security bulletins released yet!

It's quite hard to believe that IIS 6.0 has been out for over a year and there have been 0, that's right zero as in nil as in nada as in ziltch security bulletins!

Scott Guthrie also pointed out that IIS 6.0 has been out for more than a year now with no security bulletins. [Read here]

Messenger 7

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Go get Messenger 7 now! The coolest part for me is being able to sign in on Offline mode.

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Windows Genuine Advantage

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<p class=MsoNormal>I got my first taste of the Windows Genuine Advantage today. I’ve been seeing a lot about Photo Story 3 on the web lately so I thought I’d give it a try. The download was pretty painless with a link to the 5MB msi file right off the product home page. But trying to install it simply said something to the effect that I needed the Windows Genuine Advantage and no mention of how to go about getting it (even though I did have a genuine Windows XP license on my machine). </p>

<p class=MsoNormal>Being the clever IT pro I was I clicked on a banner image that talked about the Windows Genuine Advantage which then took through installing an ActiveX control and then prompting for my serial key and then authenticated that I had a genuine installation. After this I was able to run the setup and install Photo Story. The fact is that this is a pretty convoluted process of authenticating and installing and I don’t think a typical home user would be able to complete what I did.</p>

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