February 26, 2003

Compiler Conspiracy

An interesting article I read talks about an idea I've never thought of before.  It suggests that Microsoft and Borland are in bed with each other with this whole .NET initiative and that .NET is in fact Borland's idea and development work.  I'm not 100% convinced, but there's a lot of evidence.  Read for yourself.

Posted by queue at 09:02 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Technology

Compiler Mish-Mash

Have you noticed that Microsoft is trying to kill C/C++ programming?  One of the compiler suites we use is Visual Studio .NET.  Visual Basic and Visual C# in this package have wonderful graphical user interfaces for creating programs.  They're flexible, fairly user friendly, and for the most part, robust.

Then you look at Visual C++.  This package has virtually not changed in several generations of releases.  Form building is a chore and most components don't work as documented, if documentation even exists.  The one saving grace is the text editor.  Their text editor has options that blow away every other compiler's editor I've ever used.  I credit this to the fact that they're using the same text editor in Basic and C#.

As much as I love Borland's C++ Builder, I wish they'd add some of the text editor options.  I have to give them a standing ovation for Kylix, however.  This little baby is the Borland IDE for Linux. It works on several different Linux GUIs, looks and works exactly like the Windows equivalents, and the code is 100% portable to Builder and/or Delphi.  Given the fact the Microsoft will probably never release a version of their compiler for Linux, Borland stands to gain huge market share in the compiler market.

Posted by queue at 09:01 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Technology

One Finger Pointed At Me, Three Pointed At You

I'm getting real sick of the finger pointing that goes around in my organization.  When things go wrong, everyone blames everyone else.  I was reading the latest report from one of our guys who took a system to the field and he was pretty much blasting the system.  Now I'm the first to admit that our system needs improvements, but most of the stuff I was reading was just plain out wrong.  Our system just doesn't work the way he was describing.

One of these days, I'm just going to let loose and tell these guys off and show their bosses what a bunch of lazy you-know-whats they really are.  The sad part is, this kind of thing happens no matter where you work.  I guess it's just a fact of life I'll have to learn to accept.

Posted by queue at 08:56 PM | Comments (1) | Category: Rant

February 25, 2003

Where, Oh Where Did The Animals Go?

I've decided that I don't really care for Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida.  I guess I was expecting more of a zoo or a reserve.  There just weren't that many animals.  I have to admit there were some pretty nice shows.  I think next time I'll just go to Busch Gardens.

Posted by queue at 09:08 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Punditry

Those Cheapskate Airlines

What is it with airlines cutting back on everything these days.  I have taken eight flights with three different carriers in the past two weeks and have not had a single meal on any flight. They're also purposefully overbooking flights a lot more these days.  I saw very few empty seats and nearly every flight was preceded by a request for volunteers to wait for the next flight.

I am learning which airlines to keep my business with, and which airports are the best to fly through.

Posted by queue at 09:05 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Rant

Another Gap In The Rant

Ever notice when you're traveling, you don't check e-mail as often as you like?  I found writing my blog suffers from the same symptom.  The good news?  I'm done for a while and hopefully can keep up once again.

Posted by queue at 09:05 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

February 15, 2003

Sleep Deprivation Dept.

I'm tired. Nuff said!

Posted by queue at 09:12 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

An Accident Waiting To Happen

Has anyone noticed that drivers are paying less attention to the road these days?  I was leaving a restaurant the other day and just as I was getting into my car, I witnessed a near accident on the road.  The driver, not paying attention, on wet roads, slammed on the breaks and nearly smashed into a stopped car.  When I was younger, I did something similar to that... twice.  I believe I've learned from my past mistakes and I've not even had a ticket in 5 years.

I feel that the root cause of inattention on the road as well as aggressive driving habits begins with the lack of education, even with those who take drivers education.  We need to require a strict course in driving that should be taught in school right along with all the other high school subjects.  We also need stricter driving tests, and require retesting every so many years.  It would also help if cops would concentrate more on aggressive and poor driving rather than just set up speed traps.  All they accomplish right now is causing everyone to slow down until the cop is out of sight, then it's right back up to speed.

Posted by queue at 09:11 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Rant

Lame Excuses Dept.

Ok, I won't make excuses.  I didn't have access to the Internet for a few days, but that doesn't account for the other week I didn't post.  I expected that I'd miss a day from time to time, but I'll try not to miss so much at once.

Posted by queue at 09:10 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

February 03, 2003

TV Half-Season

What is it with these TV series seasons ending half way through the season?  Is it pure laziness that keeps them from producing enough shows for a whole season or is it the fear that the show may be a flop and they want to keep the money spent to a minimum?  Of course the reality shows such as Survivor have a bit more of an excuse since they produce the number of shows to match the number of days or sets of days. What makes it annoying is that the stations that carry the shows give you no indication when a season will begin or end.  Even the web sites tend to be tight-lipped about the details.  *sigh*

Posted by queue at 09:16 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Rant

Out With The Old, In With The New

I've come to the conclusion that I love playing with new hardware, but I hate doing maintenance on existing hardware. The disadvantage in working with a small development group is my job description includes, but is not limited to, reasearcher, designer, implementer, coder, documenter, maintainer, and all-around fix-it guy. If I could shed the last two parts, I'd be 100% happy with my job.  But alas, every job has something that is undesirable or it wouldn't be a job.

Posted by queue at 09:14 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

February 02, 2003

Mourning The Dead

Don't get me wrong, I am seriously saddened and mournful about losing the seven astronauts.  Being a Florida native, I always feel attached to the space missions.  But I have to stop and wonder why we put our flags at half-mast for the seven astronauts, but when dozens of our soldiers die over in the middle east, we make mention of it and go on to another news story.

The only conclusion that I could come up with is that we see the soldiers as casualties of a "war", where the astronauts we see as civilians.  True, astronauts are typically military personnel, but they're not fighting in combat and therefore, we tend to be more touched by their deaths.

Posted by queue at 09:32 PM | Comments (1) | Category: Punditry

Water, Water Everywhere...

After being in a serious drought, the state of Washington is finally getting more than its fair share of rain.  I visited Snoqualmie Falls yesterday and was quite impressed with the amount of water going over.  We're dreading this summer if we don't get more snowfall.  It will make for another serious drought.  Luckily, the area I live in does not depend on run off for its water supply.

Posted by queue at 09:29 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

Attack Of The Bad Movie Clones

I apologize in advance to anyone who's a big fan of Star Wars.  I just saw Episode II and I was absolutely appalled.  The acting was bad, the graphics were lame, and the jokes were cheesy.  Only the story itself saved me from turning it off and throwing the DVD away.  I'm seriously debating whether I even want to see Episode III.  I and II were bad enough.

Posted by queue at 09:28 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Punditry

February 01, 2003

Free-Text Protocol (FTP)

FTP is a great way to transfer files around on the internet.  After all, it requires a username and password, giving permissions based on the user. So if it uses a password, it has to be secure, right?  Think again. Anyone who knows a little bit about FTP knows that it is a free-text protocol, meaning, the username and password are sent, unencrypted, to the server for verification.  I've personally had my account information stolen from someone monitoring for free-text protocols.  This includes POP as well. You know, the protocol most e-mail servers use for you to get your e-mail? That's right, completely insecure, just like the e-mail itself.

Unfortunately, there just really aren't many alternatives at this point.  Even though plenty of technology exists to secure your transmissions, most ISPs don't offer those services.  Until we demand these secure means of transmission from them, they will continue to let the hackers have free reign.  All we can do is continue to educate people and encourage them to demand better.

Posted by queue at 09:26 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Technology

Shuttle Tragedy, Take Two

What a somber moment to see the pictures and hear the news of another Space Shuttle Tragedy.  Since there are so many news sources dealing with this, I won't even attempt to talk about the problems here.

I was almost 12 years old when the Challenger blew up in 1986.  Once again, we are reminded that traveling to space is dangerous.  I just hope that people remember that just like getting in your car, or flying in an airplane can be dangerous, so it is with any mode of travel.  Just living can have dire consequences.  It is no reason to stop living, and neither is the accident a reason to halt missions to space.

Posted by queue at 09:23 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Punditry