April 2008 Entries
Notes From Computers 2K8 Radio Show! (April 27, 2008)

"Good morning everybody, you're tuned to Computers 2K8 on sports radio 850 The Buzz" and so began today's show as we do every Sunday morning from 8am - 10am here in Raleigh, NC. You can download the show from the show's website or you can listen do us live as we stream the show across the web.

Vista Tip of the Day: Running Legacy Data in Compatibility Mode

If you're having a problem running older software in Vista you might want to try running in compatibility mode. Here's how:

1) Right-click on the program's EXE file and choose Properties

2) Click the Compatibility tab

3) Select the checkbox that says Run this program in compatibility mode for: and then select the OS you want to try.

Windows XP SP3 Goes RTM

If you've been anxiously awaiting Windows XP SP3 I have good news. It was released to manufacturing on April 21st and should be available for you to download as a part of Windows Update on April 29th. You can read more about that here.

Intel Slashes Processor Prices!

Intel this week slashed prices on a number of their processors. For more information check out this story I referenced on the show this morning.

AVG Releases Updated Version of Their Anti-Virus software (Free and Non-Free versions)

If you're a regular listener of the show you know we always recommend people protect their computers with the free version of AVG Anti-virus software. This past week AVG announced their new AVG Anti-Virus 8.0 software.  You can read more about that here.

Links Mentioned on the Show

Spencer mentioned a couple of interesting websites on the show today. Tom's Hardware and Gibson Research Corporation. Gibson research, founded by security and hardware expert Steve Gibson, provides software and podcast content to help you better understand and secure your PC.

Ok, that's it for today's show!

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Sunday, April 27, 2008 12:52 PM | Comments (0)
VB.NET is Kickin' Some Butt!

Ok, so VB.NET isn't in 1st place (see this report) but it is ahead of that "other" .NET language. You know, that "other" .NET language that starts with the letter "c". You guessed it, COBOL.NET!!  Kidding aside, it looks like VB.NET is making a VERY STRONG showing against some solid competition. VB.NET is in 3rd place behind JAVA and C and I think that ROCKS! VB.NET is kickin' some COBOL (and c#) butt!  Tell all your friends, they probably won't care, but tell 'em anyway.

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Monday, April 21, 2008 8:19 PM | Comments (18)
Building Business Applications With Silverlight 2.0 (DevTeach post-con event)

Just thought I'd give people attending (or thinking about attending) DevTeach next month a heads up that Rod Paddock and I have changed out the session we were doing for a Silverlight 2.0 session. Rod Paddock (MVP and CoDe magazine Editor) and I are going to be presenting a day-long, post-conference Silverlight 2.0 event after DevTeach 2008 (Friday, May 16th) in Toronto next month. Here is the text from the DevTeach site:

Make plans to stay an extra day after the conference to take advantage of this opportunity to join veteran software developers Rod Paddock and Jim Duffy as they give you a head start down the road to developing business-oriented Rich Internet Applications (RIA) with Microsoft Silverlight 2.0. In case you just crawled out from under a rock, Microsoft Silverlight 2.0 is a cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device plug-in positioned to revolutionize the way next generation Rich Internet Applications are developed. Microsoft’s commitment to providing an extensive platform for developers and designers to collaborate on creating the next generation of RIAs is very clear and its name is Silverlight 2.0. In this intensive, full-day workshop, Rod and Jim will share their insight and experience building business applications with Silverlight 2.0 including a review of some of the Internet’s more visible Silverlight web applications. Make it a priority to not let yourself or your organization get left behind. Come join Rod and Jim as they provide an in-depth look at the future of Rich Internet Application development with Microsoft Silverlight 2.0.


We hope to see you in the audience!

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Monday, April 21, 2008 2:50 PM | Comments (0)
The Shoe is on the Other Foot for VB.NET Developers

I don't think anyone will disagree that our thoughts can play a huge role in our emotions. One thing we have as human beings that sets us apart from every other species on the planet is self-awareness, the unique ability to analyze our thoughts and emotions and make adjustments to our behavior based on that self reflection. The following is for all the VB.NET developers who migrated to .NET from VB6 (or earlier versions). Close your eyes and imagine this scene in your head:

Years ago, say in 1998, you're at a conference, user group meeting, Microsoft launch event, DevDays, or some other gathering of developers. You're standing with 4 other VB6 developers talking about the latest new additions to VB6 and up walks someone to join the conversation. This person introduces him or herself as a Visual FoxPro developer. Now be honest, what are your initial thoughts, feelings, or impression of this person? You probably started feeling all superior because you use VB and they don't. Possibly someone in the group openly ridicules this person (jokingly of course they say) or questions their sanity or their intelligence. Why? It's very simple. Because you felt validated in your feelings of superiority because Microsoft actively catered to you and the VB community. All code samples coming out of Microsoft for business developers back then was in VB, VB had wonderful support from Microsoft and the third party ActiveX control vendors, conference sessions and demos were typically all done in VB, and Microsoft was fully entrenched in marketing support for VB. Of course you felt validated in your decision to code in VB, of course you felt like you had the community backing from Microsoft, of course you felt confident coding in VB6, how could you NOT feel emotionally comfortable with your decision to code in VB6?? Everyone who was anyone was coding in VB unless they were C++ junkies so why wouldn't you feel somewhat superior to someone coding in VFP?

You with me so far?

The truth of the matter is in many ways Visual FoxPro was a superior product to VB6. I don't say that lightly and I'm NOT trying to, and won't participate in a heated conversation comparing the merits of either product because that is NOT the focus of what I'm trying to say. I'll add that I have experience developing software in both products.  Visual FoxPro has always and still does to this day support a full OOP model with full inheritance (much more so than VB6 ever came close to), dynamic language capability (sound familiar with all the current talk of the DLR?), a built-in and fully language integrated, extremely fast local data engine, a built in report writer, loosely typed variables (sound familiar with all the current talk of anonymous type support with LINQ?), an integrated ANSI-SQL compliant query language (sounds like LINQ to me, heck, where do you think the idea for LINQ came from?), easy connect-ability to SQL Server, an interactive command window to execute commands and manipulate data, and the list goes on. Don't get me wrong, of course VB6 had its technical strengths as well (much better COM support for example) but I don't think it was a better TECHCNICAL platform than VFP. It WAS though a better SUPPORTED and better MARKETED platform than VFP and that was what ultimately determined which product would succeed and which would not. I saw the writing on the wall and moved from VFP to .NET and VB.NET years ago. I'm not one of the bitter people who fought the change. I welcomed the opportunity to learn something new and expand my personal and business horizons. I'm happy being a VB.NET developer.

The problem now for VB.Net developers is that the shoe is on the other foot. Much like VB developers felt superior to VFP developers because of the items outlined in the imaginary scene a couple paragraphs above, today the C# developers feel superior to VB developers because of the perceived stronger or better support from Microsoft for their decision to code in C# (more samples, used by Microsoft in demos, etc.). Consider that when a baby brother or sister of an only child comes home from the hospital with Mom & Dad the new baby is going to get more attention. Unfortunately that is interpreted by the older sibling, the former only-child, as the parents loving the new baby more. I'm sure this couldn't be farther from the truth but the PERCEPTION by the older child IS real. I'm sure those of you with multiple children will agree that you love all your children equally but will acknowledge that sometimes one, but not always the same one mind you, gets preferential treatment over the others (just to be clear, I'm NOT saying that C# is the baby brother/sister to VB). The reality is that C# has some features that VB does not have and VB has some features that C# does not have.

I think one of the things that makes the VB community uncomfortable is the "shoe being on the other foot" feeling. It doesn't feel good NOT being the  "favored son", the "golden child", the "IT" development community anymore does it? It's all about feelings... and don't make me go all Barbara Streisand on you! :-)

I say get a grip on your emotions and relax because in the end the thing that matters most is that VB isn't going away any time soon, if ever. Most people I talk with say they're more productive in VB and isn't that what it's all about?  Agreed?

Have a day.  :-|

Posted On Monday, April 21, 2008 1:00 PM | Comments (7)
RDU DNUX / Silverlight Group - Meeting V1.0

A Silverlight user group in forming in the RTP area of NC! The kick off meeting is Tuesday, April 22nd. For more information check out Rob Zelt's blog posting about it.

I'll be there!!

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Friday, April 18, 2008 12:46 AM | Comments (0)