July 2004 - Posts
In the book Pollyanna (which I finished last night), she was always playing “the game,” finding the good in everything even while others saw the bad. I was that happy girl once, discovering Microsoft Reader on my PocketPC.
Then I encountered Required Activation.
I've tried to play “the game” with Activation, trying to find the good in its relationship to intellectual property preservation, security, and so on, but it was hard for me to maintain my cheery Pollyanna glow. My PocketPC is attached to a computer on my office network which is not connected to the Internet, you see, and to activate Reader you need to be connected to the Internet.
Tell me, how do these frigs at Microsoft come up with these deployment and licensing scenarios. A junior engineer type says to his boss, “Yeah, okay, but if we design the activation process so that the PocketPCs must be attached to the Internet, won't there be a lot of people whose PocketPCs are NOT attached to the Internet? And we provide them no method to activate their PocketPC to read eBooks they pay good money for?”
The boss says, “That's correct. Screw 'em. Revenue is up. Microsoft Rules.”
Junior geek says, “Ohh, oh--okay.”
So I detach my PocketPC from its home and attach it to the USB port of the office computer attached to the Internet. ActiveSync installed. Reader Activated. Oh gosh, that's swell!
Then I go to open a title I bought on Amazon for $6.99 (Band of Brothers, by Stephen Ambrose), only to encounter the error:
Microsoft reader is no longer able to access the book
What th'??? A Microsoft Reader upgrade (on my 1-year-old Dell Axim) and a re-Activation did the trick. I am a cheery young philly with freckles once again.
I'll have to say though, when it comes to many required Microsoft activation and licensing practices, I get so friggen' tired of playing The Game...
I discovered Microsoft Reader for the Pocket PC this week. I've been digging my Dell Axim for over a year now, but never thought to check out Microsoft Reader until now. I've been denying myself something great! I'm reading Pollyanna (you know, Haley Mills? Walt Disney?) as my first MS Reader Pocket PC read. I have read novels on my Pocket PC before, just finishing Mysterious Island by Jules Verne (for the 3rd time. So besides having weird reading tastes in general, I'm a Mysterious Island nut...) Before discovering MS Reader, I got all my electronic texts from Project Gutenberg as straight ASCII files.
About MS Reader, I like the intelligent bookmarking where it knows the last place you left off (with my ASCII Gutenberg reads, I entered “69” at the point I stopped, then do a search when I started reading the next time.) With MS Reader, I like the ability to change the font size, the table of contents feature, library management, and navigation aids in general.
I enjoy reading from my Pocket PC much more than a book, especially in bed at night. Reading electronic texts with Microsoft Reader becomes the first reason to consider buying a Tablet PC. On second thought, who wants to bring a Tablet PC to bed?
For buying ebooks, I've been enjoying creating a lengthy wish list at Fictionwise eBooks. Amazon often beats their prices, but I like using the Fictionwise site. Any other ebook recommendations welcome.
btw, at bottom is my sweet .NET Pocket PC theme I picked up from pocketpcthemes.com the other day.
then check out the comments to “I LOVE IE” from the new ieblog team.
God bless them. Someone's been drinking a little too much Kool Aid with their morning Flintstone Chewable Multiple Vitamins.
A Microsoft manager walks into a room chomping on a stogie. Eager developers sit at an oval table eating PBJ sandwiches.
“Okay, people, listen up! We're forming a team to serve as a liaison to developers and the world to convince them that we give a rat's ass about IE. You'll be using phrases like 'a perceived lack of innovation' and 'I love Internet Explorer!' Now who wants to join???”
“I DO!! I DO!!!!” Hands raised enthusiastically around the table.
No one expresses the longing for a life once lived as Meryl Streep with, “I...had a farm...in Africa.”
My version? “I...had a coding job...in Pittsburgh.”
I'm sure fellow developers can relate at one time or other with coding and project cycles in their own jobs. For so long I banged out .NET code, day after day, and nights, too. Then this Sharepoint Services project came up and I'm digging it, yeah, but I haven't written a respectable web app in what feels like months! And because I'm digging the project and involved in it, when bedtime comes I'm perfectly happy to go to bed instead of burning the latenight desk lamp to write code because I need to do something cool, as I am a contented nerd.
Except when I dream of that coffee farm in Africa...
I've never consciously taken steriods. I am not responsible for what I may have ingested unconsciously. You gotta trust your homies, after all. But to me Windows Sharepoint Services workspaces are like Sharepoint Portal Server 2001 Document Libraries on steriods. Initially I viewed WSS doc libraries as SPS2001 Document Library-Lite. No lengthy popup menu options to check-in or publish the item, no separate document profile--er, property--dialog box, no profile information on a Details Window view, etc.
But then we had to replicate the s-e-c-u-r-i-t-y of SPS2001 document libraries, where at any point in the SPS2001 folder hierarchy we could add a group from Active Directory. WSS doc libraries ask, “what is Active Directory?“ So we ended up creating workspaces at the different tiers where we could change user settings, and document libraries under those.
So if before we had a DEPARTMENT directory, say, and an IT subdirectory, in SPS2001 we simply set the perms on IT different from DEPARTMENT and all was jake. In WSS we created an IT workspace, with its SPS2001 top subdirectories as individual WSS doc libraries, which is, of course, where the steriods kick in. Now the IT homies not only have a folder and its subfolders to call their own, but a workspace. Announcements, discussions, links, scheduling, weather, and news at 11:00. We're not pushing this feature initially upon migrating our SPS2001-based intranet to WSS, but maybe some of the users will get it and discover the value in their WSS workspaces on their own.
As I mentioned elsewhere, I'm in the process of migrating our SPS2001-based intranet to a Windows Sharepoint Services backend. I haven't posted forever because this has been one of those longstanding gigs that consumes and destroys all other nerd quests in its path.
The SPS2001 intranet system employs a middle data layer as a merged SQL-Web Storage System XML data file which the applications hit, so part of the migration was to rewrite those apps to pull document data from the Sharepoint Services SQL databases.
Added to that I thought it would be a good time to clean up directory and file names to remove as many unicode characters as possible and start fresh. What, these users think they're using Macs?? %26, %3B, %20...like zits in URLs ready to pop. Hate em. I went down this path whole hog when I saw that I couldn't drag-n-drop a folder with a “&“ in it into a WSS Document Library. So the in-house migration app I wrote (MS doesn't provide a migration tool from $PS2001 to WSS that I've seen. Surprise) strips out the most offensive unicode characters on my zit list.
Things are going great across the board. We're wiring the last 50 feet now into users' bedrooms, which is always the toughest, but we're sitting pretty. Not as pretty as Julie Andrews, but pretty all the same.