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October 2005 - Posts

You know where you can stick your "2.0"...
I saw this via Dvorak's blog... awesome. Ed Sim talks about how stupid all this "Web 2.0" nonsense is. Amen brother. It's very bubble-like and stupid.

I really feel like we're going to look at all of our mistakes of that era and make them all over again. See ya later common sense... we hardly knew ye!
Posted: Oct 20 2005, 09:43 PM by Jeff | with 1 comment(s)
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Visual Studio 2005 on Amazon
I noticed today that Visual Studio 2005 is now listed on Amazon. The pro version lists for $809 with a release date of November 28. The Team System MSDN skus are also up there for $4,929.99, same release date.
Posted: Oct 20 2005, 12:47 PM by Jeff | with 2 comment(s)
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Apple is pissing me off
For all of the love I generally give Apple, they're really annoying me right now. iTunes v5 and v6 won't burn CD's for me. Nothing else has changed on my system, so it's not my problem. Everything was peachy with v4.9, and has since gone down the tubes.

What's particularly annoying is that there are widespread cases of the same error on their forums, and it has been well over a month now since they broke something. People with purchased music are getting blown off, which is pretty lame. Replacing my perfectly functional drive is not a solution!
Posted: Oct 17 2005, 04:26 PM by Jeff | with 4 comment(s)
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Apple is very smart, and new products show it

Apple made some important announcements today. While the analysts may poo-poo them in some respects, they're first steps toward a bigger picture that will make a difference in the long run.

First is the new iPod. The video thing is certainly the gee-whiz feature, but I think in the formal announcement it was really emphasized just the right amount. It's not the ultimate killer application, and I don't think anyone expects it to be. The point is really that it's a forward step in the storage and distribution of video. Would I buy the first season of Lost on iTunes for $35 to watch on my computer and iPod? At that price, maybe, especially if I do a lot of flying. There is a market, even if it's small to start with.

They're also making a huge statement with Front Row, the media app included with the new iMac. Along with its remote control, it does music, video, photos and DVD's better than anything else out there. There's no contest at all. They've gotten it right in their first try. It's simple, easy, and awesome.

Conspicuously missing is some kind of DVR capability, but you can be almost entirely sure they haven't gone there yet for two reasons. The first is that tuning devices (cable boxes, satellite receivers, HD tuners, etc.) still suck in terms of integration to any external device. The second thing is that I believe we aren't all that far away from seeing a decline in traditional video programming distribution. IP distribution is already here today among the geeks. I give ABC a lot of credit for having the courage to experiment with Apple on the distribution of their highest rated shows.

Apple is doing something elegant and again pressing the technology in a way that makes sense. Say what you will about Jobs, but he's the only executive on the planet that right now bridges the gap between media companies and tech companies. Everyone else is speaking different languages. Hollywood in particular is hopelessly lost, fighting over HD formats that ultimately will go the way CD's are going.

These are very exciting times for technology and media junkies.

Posted: Oct 13 2005, 12:33 AM by Jeff | with 4 comment(s)
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Podcast success story

About two weeks ago, I bought some audio equipment and decided to do a podcast for CoasterBuzz. To my surprise, people are actually listening to it. The first episode is closing in on 1,500 downloads, and the second is on pace to do the same. That's amazing to me.

I'm hyper-critical of it of course, because I'm not just some guy with a computer and a microphone. I used to do radio for a living, so I hear it and think it's just not good enough. I need to get over that and judge it the way I judge Web content... on the content. Technically it's sound even if I don't like my own performance, and the content is frankly pretty good. I'm working on a special guest soon that would be a huge thing for us.

The scary thing is I just got the credit card statement for the audio equipment. Ouch! And I complain about how I can't make the business debt go away. There's a business plan in there somewhere, and if I could find sponsorship, I could kill it pretty quick. Good old fashioned radio ads. That's fun!

Posted: Oct 06 2005, 11:59 AM by Jeff | with 1 comment(s)
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MSSEARCH is the devil!
Despite defragging my server's hard drives, I was still getting crazy disk gnashing and it was bringing everything to a crawl. I finally fired up the SQL Profiler and I was astounded to see crazy hits to one of my fulltext indexes over and over. It appeared that the incremental population of one of the indexes was "stuck" on something and just couldn't recover.

I prototyped a self-standing search engine for POP Forums v8 a few months ago, and it performs a lot better and with better results. I'm still working on cleaning up the word indexing (junk words I've got, but I need to get the punctuation and HTML out), but it works. I even ran some tests against a large (800mb) forum and it seems to work really well.

I need to get back on the horse and ramp that stuff up again!
Posted: Oct 05 2005, 02:14 PM by Jeff | with no comments
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