August 2003 - Posts
No, I'm not talking about deciphering your coworkers code.
Actually, I was looking into the System.Security.Cryptography namespace to answer a question on CodeProject when I stumbled across this. It turns out, GDN has the entire source for the Crypto classes in .NET. Am I really late to the party or has this been published unnoticed? Anyway, it's pretty darn cool. After a quick glance it doesn't look like Rotor has the source for the Crypto classes, so this is a great resource for anybody doing work with them.
The template strikes back... This is an awesome improvement. All that useless crap that every C# developer ditches immediately, and now we won't have to delete it manually! w00t! Thank you Eric!
Also, I wanted to say that String.Format is waaay freaking cool. I had another one of those “Duh!” moments today as I realized that the method I was writing to change a string of numbers like 1234.56 into $1,234.56 was already written for me. String.Format(“C”, 1234.56); String.Format is waaay cool and can do a lot more than that as well. So remember, if you ever wind up thinking that you're doing too much work with string formatting, you probably are.
In totally unrelated news, my best friend is going off to college and just bought a 12” Titanium Powerbook running Mac OS X Jaguar. Now, I am by no means a Mac lover. I've been born and raised on the PC and I love Windows. However, I must say that the Mac OS GUI kicks some serious butt. There are a few things I would change, but I was very impressed. I can see why Sam has been dying to play with it. (And run Rotor on it) And he's right, Aqua “makes the outdated Windows UI look silly.” I can't wait to see some actual-beta-release Longhorn builds and compare the UI...but from what I've seen, it looks like Longhorn is gonna be totally awesome on the UI side.
Actually, it was also a blast from the past because about 6-7 years ago, we used to play these games called Boom, Greebles, and Mortal Pongbat(which, as it turns out, is being ported to the PC over at Sourceforge) on his family's old Mac...and he had them on his laptop. Quite fun! (I highly recommend Boom...what an awesome game).
Of course, this is always how viruses end up coming in to the office, some machine on the network that no one ever uses, so patches never get installed... You think we would have got smart after nimda... nah... when it comes to machines we rarely use, we are just as lazy as the admins who don't patch their servers.
[Jesse Ezell's Blog]
Funny you should mention this...because I just solved this problem last night. After my post yesterday, I wanted to see if there was a way for Automatic Updates to be installed...get this...automatically. ;) So when I got home, I went to Start|Control Panel|Automatic Updates (on Win2k, in Win2k3 the place to go is Start|Control Panel|System|Automatic Updates) , and up popped the configuration window with the “Hey, how do you want this thing to run?” options:
The funny thing is, I had never noticed the third option: automatically download and install the updates on a specific schedule! w00t! This was just what I needed because my parents leave their computer on all night anyway, so I set it to download and install at 3AM every day. Pretty nifty...and now my mother never needs to install another update, they'll be done before she ever wakes up. Very cool.
So yesterday morning I got onto my parent's computer at home to check e-mail before we (Dad and I) left for work. Well, I got done with my e-mail and was about to fire up IE to read the main feed here on weblogs.asp.net when I noticed a little text file on the desktop that was named “YOU.GOT.HACKED.READ.ME.NOW.txt” I asked my 13 year old brother how long that had been there and he said, “Oh yeah, I pointed that out to Mom about a week ago and she said 'Don't bother me with that right now'.”
I opened the text file which had one line in it saying “the patch is here http://microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=C8B8A846-F541-4C15-8C9F-220354449117&displaylang=en”
I noticed that the patch was released almost a month ago and was puzzled because I had set Automatic Updates to run on that machine and had previously instructed my mother in the art of applying the automatic updates once they had downloaded themselves. So I head on over to Windows Update and up turns about 12 items in the “Critical Updates” section...including IE6 SP1.
The IE6 SP1 that's been out since 9.9.02?
My mother informs me that she had clicked on something that made the little world icon and the balloon go away and stop bugging her. She said it was inconvenient and that she didn't have time to be installing those things and restarting the computer. Also, despite the fact that we had ZoneAlarm installed, my father (normally the computer savvy manager that you would expect in a Chief Technology Officer) had uninstalled it because it wasn't working right.
So I installed all the updates that Windows Update said I needed and patched up everything. I couldn't really do anything about the firewall right then because we were heading out the door, so I just shut down the computer and told mom to turn it off when she wasn't using it.
Turns out that the buffer overrun this hacker exploited to get onto the family computer is the same buffer overrun that Blaster is exploiting. Had I not run the patch yesterday morning (a few hours before Symantec, Microsoft, et al. published news about Blaster), our computer would most likely have been infected and I would have had a major problem on my hands (because I have to fix the computer when it breaks). So, to that hacker, whoever you are, thank you. You've saved me from a big headache and a problem I didn't really need.
The moral of the story is to run your Windows Update...always...forever. There's a reason Microsoft releases these security patches, which I assume cost a lot of money to produce/test/deploy. It's not for their own health, it's for yours.
Oh look, over on CodeProject, it's Yet-Another-.NET-Game. :) Tetris3D...except this one's written in MC++ using Managed DX. I haven't played with the other one yet, but they both look pretty good.
Unfortunately, there is no image that says: "My company doesn't have the budget for it and it is WAY too expensive for an interested developer to pay their own way."
[Brian Graf's Weblog]
How about Stephane's logo:
Hacked By Lades268
[torstens .NET blog]
1) Can somebody please tell Torsten he's been hacked. Maybe I'm not looking closely enough, but I can't seem to find his e-mail or a Contact Me link on the page.
2) Why on earth would anybody want to hack Torsten's RSS feed?
3) If someone has enough time to sit there and hack somebodies' blog, dontcha think they could put that time to good use?
Among most "regular computer geeks" in my school there were virtually none that perferred Microsoft technology. They all wanted java and linux.
...Additionally there seem to be a tendency among (at least Norwegian) schools to prefer open standards for the curriculum, often argued by the "independent standard" point.
[Mads Haugbø Nissen]
That's how it is here too. Often I get into debates over Java+*NIX vs .NET+Windows. However, the one thing I've noticed is that “the other side” always seems to be very in the dark as to what Microsoft is doing. One time, I got into an argument where the guy thought that C# compiled C++ source code as well. I gently explained to him that it was an entirely different language...but he remained adamant as to his stance. I blame the entire situation on the fact that they are unwilling to either look at Microsoft technology or read anything other than Slashdot.
However, there is hope. I was on a “field trip” to UCSD's CompSci dept. and in talking to one of the professors, he said that some of his colleagues were looking into .NET and C# and were very happy with the performance, ease of use, and power...and were even considering looking into teaching C# classes. (I'm praying fervently that this comes true before I transfer there) He said that they were very pleased that C# and IL were ratified by ECMA and, at the time, being considered for ISO approval.
I still feel left out though. I mean, everybody else is downloading the latest versions of mySQL and KDE and Apache, trying to make sure their dependencies are in line so they can get JSP to work, while I'm stuck over here with my MSDN Universal DVD binder...where everything just works like it should.
I just wanted to say “Thank you” to everybody at Microsoft. You guys produce an awesome OS, an awesome Office suite, and an awesome IDE. Hats off to you guys for enabling me not to use Java and Linux. I've been there, tried that, found it wanting, and came back to the fold.
This tool[^] looks amazingly cool, and it's written 100% with .NET.
I've been looking for a .NET reporting engine like this. I didn't like ActiveReports too much just because it didn't give me everything I'm looking for. This may just do the job.
Also, I'd like to introduced my friend and fellow CPian (noun: person who lists CodeProject as their primary place of residence) Stephane Rodriguez(who, I've just noticed, looks a lot like Robert Picardo of Star Trek Voyager EMH fame). While easily being the most cynical person on CP, Stephane has a great amount of technical knowledge and can often be found helping out in the C# forum...when he's not being pessimistic about Microsoft, that is. :)
Side Poll: Star Trek or Star Wars?
Brenton House is trying to figure out how to get on the Whidbey
Begging on a weblog is a great way, actually. Going to the PDC and
cornering the product manager is another. That's how I got on the Train
I have another question...why aren't all the betas open to MSDN Universal
subscribers? Take for instance, that VS.NET 2003 and Office 2003 were both open
betas to MSDN Uni subscribers, but the Yukon beta isn't right now (not to my
knowledge anyway...and I think I would have noticed "SQL Server 2003 Beta" on
the Disks... ;) [Quick Check: It isn't available on Sub. Downloads].
So Robert (or anybody else who cares to answer), is there any rhyme or reason
as to why we get some betas and not others?
And if begging on a weblog is a good way...then consider this begging. ;) I
love living on beta software. There's the riskiness factor that reminds me to be
religious about backing up my crucial data. There's the coolness factor that I
use to get girls (I wish ;). And there's the wonderful feeling of upgrading
everything to the RTM version and getting a fresh install of Windows...which
Chris Maunder has so eloquently stated "feels like a new set of sheets".
[Update]As Erik Porter pointed out in the comments...Yukon is in Alpha. However, so is
Whidbey. Thus what I really want is to get into Alpha programs. So consider my
beta-begging ammended...Thanks Erik! :)[/Update]