January 2006 - Posts
Microsoft has at long last posted a CTP for Expression Interactive Designer (aka Sparkle). I've been wondering when we were going to get a look at this one. So far I haven't been all that impressed with Cider, so I'm interested to see what EID looks like (I don't know if EID is an official acronym, but damn, Expression Interactive Designer is a long name). Download here
After the big stink at the end of the year about Visual Studio 6 being pulled from MSDN Subscriber Downloads, it looks like Microsoft has just re-posted VB6 (Professional and Enterprise versions) for download again. Bad news for those folks planning on making a killing by selling their VB6 CDs for a premium on EBay. ;)
We've got a ton of VB6 code around still, and despite what MS might want you to believe, it's NOT going to be easy to port to VB.NET. Perhaps MS is starting to accept that fact.
A common meme going around
the blogosphere right now is "my next Windows laptop will be a MacBook". Although I understand the sentiment - they do make very nice laptop hardware - I wonder if these people have noticed something rather important (at least, important to me). From the pictures I've seen of the MacBook, it still only has one mouse button. I don't know about you, but I don't relish the idea of running Windows without a right mouse button.
It's possible that I'm wrong, that the pictures are deceptive, and there's actually two buttons in there (or maybe some kind of two zone button bar, similar to their mouse). But without that, the idea of a VistaBook is a non-starter to me.
I recently had the need to resize the virtual disk on the VMWare image. VMWare includes a handy tool for resizing a virtual disk, but of course that doesn't resize the partition on the disk. Partition Magic has long been the tool of choice for this kind of thing, but this time I decided to see if there was anything else "out there". Turns out there is - a utility called Ntfsresize
Ntfsresize is actually a Linux command-line utility which is included, along with a fairly easy to use GUI called QTPartEd, on a variety of Linux distributions. In particular, it's included on the Knoppix
LiveCD (at the moment not the absolute latest version of Ntfsresize, but near enough), which means you can boot straight from a CD and resize your partitions without having to install any software at all. The GUI was easy enough that even a Linux novice like me could figure it out. VERY handy, and it worked great on my VM image. Recommended.
I've used Quicken for my personal finances for years, and generally, it works fine. But sometimes when things go wrong in Quicken, they go really wrong. I hit one of those situations this weekend, and it cost me half a days work.
The problem started with a situation that didn't seem so bad at first - a couple of register items ended up erroneously flagged as reconciled. I'm not sure how it happened - they were well after the date of the last statement - but it seemed like it shouldn't be hard to fix. Wrong. Several wasted hours later (which included two chat support calls to Intuit), I end up restoring from a backup and re-entering months of transactions. Apparently the ability to re-reconcile a months transactions is too much to ask for. Even the trick of deleting previous reconciliation statements I've used with previous versions of Quicken doesn't seem to work in the 2005 version - that option seems to have disappeared from the UI.
Message to Intuit - if something as simple as recovering from a reconciliation error requires restoring from a backup, it's time for a little usability work.