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March 30, 2007
  • Have you experienced terribly slow speed when attempting to debug/view ASP .NET sites locally on Windows Vista with Mozilla Firefox? The terrible performance will occur when using the built in "Cassini" web server to dish up your development pages.

    Even after installing the Visual Studio SP1 along with the Vista update, Firefox will load pages 1, item, at, a, time, so, slow, that, it, is, as, if, you, are, loading, the, page, with, a, 1200, baud, modem, rather than from your local hard drive. It ends up being pretty easy to fix this problem: disable IPv6 within Firefox.

    Fire up Firefox and type about:config in the address bar. Now type ipv6 into the filter text box. Either right-click and select toggle (or double-click) on the network.dns.disableIPv6 to set the value to true.

    Once the network.dns.disableIPv6 value is set to true, Firefox will be back to its normal self and as speedy as before.


    Mar 30, 2007 at 11:35 PM in Software & Internet Development
March 27, 2007
  • Passwordsafe As I posted here and here, security is more than using a simple password. More than anything though, having a simple short password is like going out of town for a week with your front door unlocked. You may end up not being robbed but it is simply luck and sheer statistical odds your house was not broken into. Of course the opposite is also true, even if you have the best lock in the world, someone could decide to drive a bulldozer through your wall. In other words, while any account you have is likely to be cracked by a determined hacker, why make it a 5 second job?

    To that end, check out this article I found via the splendid Lifehacker: How I'd Crack Your Weak Passwords. Within it, you will find a great explanation regarding the cracking process and tips about password security. Among the gems you will see the following stats:

    Mar 27, 2007 at 11:29 PM in Security
  • Verizonvsvonage It is one thing when someone like Jim Cramer jabs Vonage constantly for business reasons, that can actually be pretty humorous. What is not funny is the possibility of once again paying inflated prices to telephone companies due to Verizon’s attack on Vonage and subsequent winning of round one. Make no mistake, Vonage has had a key hand in changing 135 years of traditional ideas and usage patterns relating to what we call the telephone. These changes have had a dramatic impact on pricing and moving VoIP from techie to mainstream.

    What I do not understand is the relative apathy and lack of true outrage among consumers in general with regards to the Verizon ruling. Sites like TechDirt (for which I have previously disagreed) have covered it well and point to the ludicrous nature of granting a permanent injunction when Verizon seems to have no other interest than stopping innovation and keeping inflated prices. The judge states the following (as noted at TechDirt):

    Mar 27, 2007 at 08:47 AM in Companies, Legal, Patents, Take Notice
March 22, 2007
  • Adobeversusmicrosoft For those of you that questioned my assertion that many Adobe products will not work or be supported on Windows Vista, CNET and Information Week reported this today:

    Adobe to CS2 users: Want Vista? Upgrade
    Adobe Has No Plans To Make Current Products Windows Vista Compatible

    While some people might find the following statement amusing:

    "Another reason is, how many customers are really on Vista in the installed base, and is it worth the work, especially in the creative customers? And we have no desire to really showcase Microsoft's technology," Chizen said.

    I personally find that sort of statement to be offensive and anti-customer. Why? Adobe Creative Suite cost customers a thousand-plus dollars per copy, while Acrobat, Photoshop (fill in the product blank) customers paid hundreds per copy. Now, if customers want to to use Windows Vista - whether via upgrade or new machine - along with current Adobe software (not just older versions) they must upgrade (translation: spend thousands more). Products  like Creative Suite, Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver must all be upgraded to the new - yet unreleased - version.

    Mar 22, 2007 at 01:00 AM in Business, Companies, Software
March 21, 2007
  • I had intended to post that I would be off the wire from March 13th until March 20th. Much to my chagrin, I posted it as a draft rather than a final post... So take this as a belated notice; in the future I will have to make certain to check the post status.

    Now that I am back, I also want to announce that I am finally completing the initial site re-design. For those not simply pulling the RSS feeds, there have been some obvious changes during the past month-plus. I have been trickling out the re-design in pieces (which also explains why a couple of things are not hooked up yet).

    I intend, and am looking forward, to posting about the new design along with some of the technical pieces relating to it. Some of the changes and challenges are very obvious, while others are not. Since this site is not run from a server that I have control over, nor have much programmatic access to, I have had some unique challenges that may be of interest to others. More than that, I am just excited to talk about it.


    Mar 21, 2007 at 11:09 PM in Blogging
March 11, 2007
  • MacBook ProI am not an Apple Fanboy – but I am a fan of innovation, choice and knowledge. When thinking about my next laptop, more and more I am strongly considering something that was not a possibility a couple of years ago. I am seriously considering an Intel based Apple MacBook Pro. As someone using Windows, .NET, ASP .NET and having decades of intellectual and financial investment in the PC platform, a move like this is not to be taken lightly. I will not and cannot throw that all away, but not only do I not have to but I am excited to expand my knowedge by the potential move to an Apple laptop.

    In some ways it will be going full circle because I first started using and developing software with the Apple II. Once high school courses started, PCs were the primary machine, but I remember thinking what trash they were compared to the Apple II GS OS. The DOS and Novell driven PCs looked and felt terrible compared to my Apple II GS. I debated with classmates about why the Apple was superior (yes, I know, I know) but alas a prettier UI, better user experience and technical superiority does not necessarily matter. The law of numbers and practicality do.

    Accordingly, Apple became less and less viable as a platform and a lot of us moved to the PC where the majority of jobs and high growth areas were. Whether you wanted to start a new software company or work in an office, many times that dictated that you use a PC. Today is different and it is time to reevaluate and (dare I say) “think different”. Why?

    Mar 11, 2007 at 10:54 PM in Computer Hardware, Mobile, Software
March 09, 2007
  • Intuos3

    In my PDF Power Pack post, I mentioned PDF Annotator as being a great tool for marking-up and dealing with PDFs via a Tablet PC. In fact, one of the reasons I ended up buying a Toshiba Portege M400 Tablet PC was to mark-up and sign documents. Even more so, I find drawing things out to be much more natural than typing and attempting to sketch via mouse.

    One problem is the relative lack of Tablet PC choices in relation to traditional laptops (not to mention desktops). Another problem is the additional cost involved to receive said functionality. Moreover, what about the days you do not want to drag a laptop around but want Tablet PC functionality? Well, with Windows Vista you can now turn ANY desktop or laptop into a Tablet PC. The answer? Wacom.

    Mar 9, 2007 at 04:49 PM
March 08, 2007
  • Pdfpowerpack I have slogged along using either Acrobat Reader (now just Adobe Reader) or Acrobat Professional for years. For years, I have endured ever increasing bloat, performance-degrading, teeth-grinding frustration, all for the ability to either read or print-to a PDF. Having moved my system to Windows Vista and Office 2007 means I cannot even use all of the features because Adobe has dropped the ball and will not provide support until sometime in the first half of 2007. Furthermore, if you are an Acrobat 7 user and are considering Office 2007 – forget about it; you will never be supported and are expected to fork over your upgrade tax.

    For me, the days of using Adobe Reader and/ or shelling out hundreds of dollars to create a simple PDF are over. I now want to pass along the options I have chosen that enable me to read, write and annotate for free, free and nearly free.

    Mar 8, 2007 at 11:55 PM in Software
March 07, 2007
  • Gmail LogoNow that Google Apps is available for all to try out, I thought I would share a small tip regarding sending emails to yourself via nicknames, email lists, or alias account that point to you. Specifically, if you are accustomed to sending yourself to-do lists, links, reminders etc. you might set up an email list or account alias so that you can easily set a rule that files (label, in Google terms) such items based on the address. One example might be setting up as an address that points to your primary account mailbox so you can easily send yourself links that are then labeled as links and more easily retrievable. Another example might be to set up an email list such as that points to both your account and another account (such as a spouse) that applies a reminder label to said items. In Gmail based services, these items will not show up in your inbox.

    Mar 7, 2007 at 11:02 PM in Tips & How-To
March 04, 2007
  • Quicken 2007After having a bad experience with Microsoft Money 2006 that caused me to recreate 9 months of data, I decided I would give Quicken 2007 a try. Doing some quick research, it seemed to be relatively popular and also fit my requirement that it work with Windows Vista (although it was not certified at the time of purchase). I generally had moved away from using Quicken due to what I deemed to be clunky interface and poor usability. That being said, after the problem I had with Microsoft Money, I decided I could not care less about usability if the product actually worked and I could track my data. After all, what good is a pretty product if it does not work?

    After purchasing Quicken Home & Business 2007 I began entering the required information, including that needed to take advantage of the much touted online banking. As described in the feature list:

    With over 5,124 participating partners, download your business and personal banking, credit card and investment information directly into Quicken

    My first experience with this feature led to numerous errors stating the Quicken server was temporarily down or issues not unlike those described here and here. Once I actually got the connection to work however, a new more disturbing problem reared its head and led me (and perhaps you should consider doing the same) to switch back to Microsoft Money.

    Mar 4, 2007 at 10:02 PM in Software