Apple’s Unlikely Guardian Angel

Who is Apple’s unlikely Guardian Angel?

The Macintosh has had its ups and downs over the years, but there's always been one company that supported it. On the Mac's 20th anniversary, we reveal the machine's improbable best friend. By Leander Kahney.
[Wired News]

The New MSN

I opened my browser a second ago, and a butterfly busted out of the page. What are they feeding that thing? At any rate, I like the new I was a beta tester for MSN9, so I finally get a chance to talk about it a bit. MS really puts a lot behind MSN... I was surprised when three weeks ago, a limited edition gold-plated MSN 9 CD showed up on my doorstep (It's real gold, I had it checked). That's one hell of a beta tester thank you. And all I got for Office 11 was a lousy keychain.

 Anyways, the new MSN home page is really well organized. I like the color-coded sections, and what not. The best part of all is MyMSN, which, I think might be using the ASP.NET 2.0 WebPart framework, or some derivative thereof. It's pretty frickin cool. I'm working on making my custom home page right now. Now someone just needs to come with an RSS feed provider so I can show the top 5 items from my favorite feeds there. I'd never have any other home page. It seems to be not letting me save my preferences right now, but hopefully they'll fix that. Maybe I need to enable cookies for this site, since I'm on IE6 SP2.... Nope, must be a technical glitch.

MSN Video is pretty cool too. The picture is bigger, and it's definitely much more visually appealing than it's predecessor. It even has an Enhanced client that installs locally, offering high-res playback at 750kps. I'm pretty sure it's a .NET app, because it's using the VS.NET generic installer screens, which is kindof surptising, but oh well.

All and all, it's a beautiful, functional upgrade. I'd highly recommend checking it out. You might make it your home page again.

[Weblogs @ ASP.NET]

SOA is Just Inteface Based Programming?

Steve Eichert suggests that SOA is just hyped up interface based programming:

“In OO systems we often declare interfaces that define the behavior of our objects.  These interfaces allow us to plug in new implementations quickly and easily.  By coupling our objects to interface contracts rather then concrete objects, we reduce the coupling between our objects. Is this different then SOA?  Do Xml web services make SOA better or more interesting then normal old interface based programming in an OO world?“[1]

While it may be safe to say that SOA is interfaced based (or contract based) programming, saying that it is nothing more is a huge generalization, especially if you are talking about SOA driven by web services. A few differences:

  • Interface programming doesn't play nearly as well AOP as SOA (especially web service based SOA).
  • Use of interfaces generally doesn't give you cross-platform support.
  • Use of interfaces says nothing about remote procedures.
  • SOA is message based (HUGE difference). Web Services are not RMI, you aren't dealing with objects, you are dealing with messages (hell, SOAP's acronym status has been officially revoked, probably to do away with that very idea).
  • The “plug-and-play“ aspects of web services are a non-factor in most of today's SOA implementations. People today are worried far more about providing accessable behavior than swappable behavior. There are definately some very cool applications that for swappable services, but this type of thing is out on the fringe (stuff like WS-Transaction implementations fall into this category).

I'm sure there are plenty more reasons why SOA isn't just interfaced based programming, but the bottom line is that SOA provides for a ton of scenarios that interfaced based programming doesn't even begin to address. If interface programming alone was good enough, we wouldn't need SOA.

[1] Steve Eichert.

[Weblogs @ ASP.NET]

Introduction to ObjectSpaces

I’ve blogged about ObjectSpaces before and this time Nice West (of Fast Chicken Fame) has written a nice little introduction to ObjectSpaces and how he got it set up and running. 

What ARE ObjectSpaces?

ObjectSpaces (OS) is an Object-Relational Mapping tool (ORM) for .NET, done by Microsoft. Its planned to be released in the Whidbey / .NET 1.2 timeframe.

An ORM tool allows you to define a class, and setup a mapping between the class and a database table, and have the tool automatically create / populate / save / insert / delete / update it for you.

[Read more]

Minimize Outlook to notification area

Outlook 2003 has an option that allows it's window to be minimized to the system notification area, near the clock.  You can also have Outlook 2002 do the same thing, with some registry hacking.

For OL2003, the option can be found by right-clicking the Outlook icon in the notification area.  Choose the “Hide when minimized“ option on the menu.

For OL2002, there is no user interface available to turn on the option.  By modifying the registry, you can control the behavor.

The registry path is:


The registry key is called “MinToTray“ and is a DWORD value.  If the key doesn't exist, use RegEdit to create it.  When set to a non-zero value, typically 1, the feature is turned on.  Setting it to zero turns the feature off.

If you have Windows XP or later, copy the following command and paste it into Run dialog:

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Preferences /v MinToTray /t REG_DWORD /d 0x01

The REG.EXE program is included with Windows XP, and I believe was available for earlier versions as part of the Resource Kit.  It's a very handy program.

After making the change, you'll need to restart Outlook 2002 for it to take effect.

FYI, in case you're wondering, OL2003 uses the same key name for it's option, so you can use the registry to turn it on or off as well.  However, change the registry path to reflect “11.0” instead of “10.0”.

Can anyone try this on OL2000 and let me know if it works there as well?  The path for that would be “9.0”.  Thus:

Outlook 2000 (unverified):

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Outlook\Preferences /v MinToTray /t REG_DWORD /d 0x01

Outlook 2002:

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Preferences /v MinToTray /t REG_DWORD /d 0x01

Outlook 2003:

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Preferences /v MinToTray /t REG_DWORD /d 0x01

[Weblogs @ ASP.NET]

For you linux guys who think Windows Server can’t hang…

Check this out! statistics


Traffic (for December 2003)

  • 125 million unique users per month
  • 4 million unique users per day
  • 999 million page views per month
  • 32.3 million page views per day


  • Six dedicated gigE uplinks provide a total of 6000 MB uplink capacity.
  • Multiple OC48s provide connectivity to the Internet.
  • Running on HP Proliant ML570 with four PIII-Xeon/700 Mhz processors, 4 GB memory, 170 GB content capacity, and 34 GB log capacity each.


  • The Web servers (IIS 6.0) run on Windows Server 2003.
  • The search servers receive 149 requests per second and run on a multi-layer architecture that includes SharePoint Server.
  • The database servers run Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition.

[Listening to:  John Mayer - Daughters]


[Weblogs @ ASP.NET]