Archives / 2003 / July
  • Paying for Certs

    DataGrid Girl was complaining about the cost of MCSD certification testing, a common refrain amongst techies on the certification treadmill. Something that might be news to any US veterans out there is that Uncle Sam might help - the GI Bill will pay for certification testing.
    I know that it's saved me a pretty penny - I'm working on an MCSA / MCDBA / MCSD combo, something I don't think that I'd really consider if this was all coming out of my pocket.
    Also, try bugging your employer - There really are benefits to having at least a couple of MCPs on staff, including the Microsoft Certified Partner program.  For less than price of an MSDN license, they actually get over $10,000 worth of software licenses, including all the MSDN goodies.  Having MCSDs on staff is a good marketing gimmick, too.
    I don't usually plug MS stuff, but there are pretty good arguments for your employer footing the certification bill.

  • /. on Essential .NET

    So, /. has a web article on Don Box's Essential .NET.  The book review is pretty good, actually, but some of the responses are a bit off base. Watching the *nix heads spread a little FUD of their own always gives me a good chuckle.
    I'm pretty agnostic on the OS / language wars actually - I'm a best tool for the job kinda guy.

  • Obscure bug of the minute...

    I'm working on porting an old MS C++ to Managed C++, and then perhaps on to c#.  So, I open the old .dsw project in VS.NET 2003, and whammo!  Instant project conversion, right?
    Well, sorta.  As soon as I set the project to compile with managed extensions (It Just Works, right?), i get the following compiler error:

    Command line error D2016 : '/RTC1' and '/clr' command-line options are incompatible

    It should be simple enough to go into the project settings and turn off the RTC1 option, right?

  • It's all Hype.

    There's been a lot of talk lately of SourceGear's Vault as the savior of Source Control repositories.  Lotsa Hype (with a capital H) from  Robert Hurlbut , Matthew Reynolds, and Marc LaFleur , amongst others.  Heck, with all this buzz, my company's Super Secret Weapon (and illustrious Software Architect) Paul Wilson was sitting up and taking notice. I heard him muttering something about wanting to take a look (and possibly review) Vault.  (Are you listening, Eric? )  This is after several years of my preaching to our team about how much Source Safe sucks, and we need to lay out a few bucks to purchase a _real_ solution.
    Why is it that all of a sudden the microsoft developer community is sitting up and taking notice how bad VSS is, after us config manager types have been preaching it for years?

  • Do we need a new Windows Installer?

    Several years ago, one of the big complaints about windows was that there was no operating system 'approved' method of installing programs.  Linux enthusiasts of the Redhat persuasion had their RPMs, the BSDs had their 'ports' collection, and all of the unix variants supported the lowest common denominator, "make && make install".  What did windows have?  Well, we had third party solutions like InstallShield and Wise Installer (the two most popular, though there were plenty of products in the tertiary market).  Application developers learned a third party 'custom' language such as InstallScript and the many idiosyncrasies that went along with them.  (InstallScript was a quaint mix between a C style syntax, Pascal syntax, and in its later iterations, a faintly VB-esque pseudo-OO programming model. Oh, and my personal favorite: sometimes a non-zero return value meant true.  Other times it meant false.  Still other times it signified an error condition.)