’s Recent Update

less than 1 minute read

Conforming with the Ajax/Web 2.0 trend, Microsoft has updated their homepage to a sleeker looking page stuffed with DHTML goodies. Yet as with most media-rich websites it’s very slow on older computers (probably the one you have in your office also ;) ) so it becomes quite tedious to navigate through.

One good thing about all this is that the website works well in Firefox, you’d think they’d screw it up but they didn’t. Gotta give some kudos for that one.

What the new page comes down to is a roll-over navigation system to the left side of the screen, and less links as before if I see correctly. Apart from the homepage, nothing has changed, except that instead of going to the page you get redirected to which has no PageRank and I doubt the search engines will like a 302.’s new DHTML layout.

Another Saturday: Firefox, Zune and more

less than 1 minute read

First Alpha release of Firefox 3

And you can get it: Here from if you’re interested in trying it out. I am, I’ll report on it later.

Zune Again

I was actually wondering if anybody has actually seen a “Zune” since the introduction on November 14th this year. I haven’t, and I’ve seen one commercial so far on the TV. Even on the internet, I haven’t seen many things yet (or maybe I’m just on the wrong sites). I have some colleagues that didn’t even know what “a Zune” is and didn’t bother to find out.

Nintendo Sued

A company named Interlink has sued Nintendo over the type of remote the Wii is using. interlink claims to have a patent on the motion technology, yet ArsTechnica claims this is not entirely true. I think that Interlink knew that Nintendo was going to use this technology long ago but just waited for the actual release so they could get lots of money out of law suits. Dontcha love how money works? ;) src

Microsoft’s Autumn Marketing

1 minute read

Is it me or has this last season been the most productive one at Microsoft in a long time? First we get the new version of the DirectX SDK and now we finally have the final version of Internet Explorer 7, not to mention the plethora of CTPs that came out the last couple of weeks..

So, what’s going on? More marketing on MS’ side? Let’s hope so since free software is great - even though most products expire next year and it’s not free in the manner of beer and speech.

Still, allowing everyone to become a “beta-tester” is a great marketing strategy. People use the products for almost a year, become dependent on it and will have to buy the product when in comes out since the CTPs expire.

Take Windows Vista RC1 for example. This version of Windows is freely download-able but will expire on June 1st 2007. For home-users this is a great way of getting a Next Generation operating system for free and even be able to work with it for quite some time. By using CTPs/Betas you are not limited in saving files etc, there’s simply a time period - similar to trial software. Now, June 1st 2007 - Vista expires. You’re stuck with your CTP and all your important data on your hard-drive. Your copy of windows has expired and the only way to get back in is to buy Vista/License key.

Now that’s how you sell products — by creating a dependency.

MSDN Event Boca Raton Review: 10/17/2006

3 minute read

Today me and one of my co-workers (not my boss as I announced earlier) went to the MSDN Event in Boca Raton. This was my first time at one of these events so think of this post as a first-timer. There were three sessions discussed at ther Event that I’d like to go over with you.


Because me and my colleague were at the Event a tad early, we were treated with a couple of tracks from Jethro Tull’s live album at the Isle of Wight. Always nice. These tracks were chosen by our presenter. We also watched some Microsoft propaganda from .. it was funny though. Our presenter was Mr. Russ Fustino, who introduced himself to the crowd in person wearing a yellow hard-hat and red suspenders while his theme-song (yes, a song bout Russ, not by Jethro) was playing in the background. Unconventional? Maybe. But it’s an attention-getter for sure.

Session 1: Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals

After all that stuff it was time to get down to business and absorb information — after all that’s what we came for. Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals is a nice integration of Database accessibility into Visual Studio 2005. It looked fairly simple to set up a new database from within Visual Studio and some features were very nice. Features such as the ability to rename a table in MSSQL and automatically rename all its references in Stored procedures etc without losing Data. I guess this could be called Recursive renaming or something similar. Another striking feature was the ability to compare changes side-by-side in a Visual Studio window. This product could really save some time and money on a large production scale.

Session 2: Windows Workflow Foundation

Windows Workflow Foundation (WF for short) is a layer in the .NET 3.0 Framework and got a Visual Studio extension in which you can create/define applications from a diagram view. Similar to the Class Diagram tool in Visual Studio yet think bigger and more objects to drag and drop. Mr. Fustino Slapped together an asp project from which he called the xoml (same as xaml, different extension) file in which he made a litte if/else diagram to show how the extension works. I can honestly say that I didn’t see the benefit of having this ability. Maybe it’s the type of company I work for but most of it seemed quite redundant to me. Each object that you drag into the diagram holds code and from what I saw, the code beneath the if/else function was stored in its own functions which seemed strange. I’ll have to look more into this program to actually understand its benefits. Please note: I’m not bashing the program/functionality just not sure about its usefulness.

Session 3: Expression Web

All I saw of this presentation was “Expression Web Designer” which is the tool marketed as “similar to Dreamweaver” yet more similar to say.. FrontPage yet including ASP.NET support. Not long after the presentation began I got the gist of the program and became rather scared for Russ’ Safety while he was presenting a designer’s tool to a room filled with Software Developers. Though this tool I am sure about: a waste of money. People already had FrontPage, Dreamweaver and many more wysiwyg tools, no need for more. Expression Web Designer claims to be a standards compliant tool.. Like the Microsoft browser? Hm.


Now, one tool in the Expression package seems interesting which is the “Expression Interactive Designer”. I didn’t see it in action but I will install the CTP to my machine tonight and might make a post about how it is later this week. Regardless of the software, Russ Fustino was a great presenter who was fun to listen to and watch. Kudos for that.

500 Google IPs

less than 1 minute read

Here’s a list of 500 IPs which belong to none other than Google, just add http:// in front of them and you’re all set for whatever you use them for.

List redacted.

Zune to be here on November 14th

less than 1 minute read

Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iPod will hit the U.S. market on November 14th as announced on the website. The player will feature a 30GB hard drive, a full color display but annoyingly pre-loaded content such as music, short films and pictures. The music player will be sold for $249.99 a pop and will be available with many expensive addons and accessories. Below is an image of the music player courtesy of Microsoft’s press room.

Google’s 8th birthday

less than 1 minute read

Google is celebrating its 8th birthday today. For the occasion they’ve changed the logo:

Google 8th Birthday

Can you believe it’s been 8 years? Or do they count from the spawn of “Backrub”? Happy B-Day anyway, Google.

OT: Storm

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Wow. I was just outside for lunch and I saw this humongous stormfront coming in. It was sunny on the way to work and literally where my job is located a big shadow struck the floor and pitch-black clouds came rolling in. Kinda reminded me of the scene in the new War of the Worlds movie where the first bolts of lightning strike the planet. I have a picture of it on my phone but I don’t have a USB-cord :|


The blue dot is me in Boca Raton and the Purple dot is my wife in North Lauderdale. Looks so tiny on the map ;)

Pirates 2 - Dead Man’s Chest

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Last night at 12:01 AM Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest premiered to the public throughout the country. So my wife and I went to see it since we were big fans of the original movie. I have to say that this movie is BIG, I mean huge in production. The special effects, the acting and the scenery are all incredible. Johnny Depp’s performance was incredible and Orlando Bloom topped himself on this one. I can’t go in to details about the movie here since I’d spoil it for everyone, but the end of the movie was strange. Not at all what you’d expect from a movie like this. Anyway, go see it. If you liked the first one, you won’t want to miss this part of the series.

WTF Sony?

less than 1 minute read

Racist Billboard

Just.. Wow. The nerve of this company. To celebrate the coming of a white PSP, Sony has launched this Ad-Campaign in my home country of The Netherlands. The reason for this is that there is a much smaller population of black people than there than other European countries. What I don’t understand is that the Dutch government let this through their census. Certainly NL couldnt have changed that much since I’ve left? WTF Sony and Netherlands?!

Five that Fell

less than 1 minute read

King's Quest

The good people at released an article yesterday about five great companies that fell into the clutches of nothingness. If you’ve always wondered what happened with the companies that made classics such as the Wing Commander Saga, King’s Quest and Ultima Online, check this highly reccommended article out. :)

Next Generation - Culture: Five That Fell

PS, their server seems to be under a big load so there might be a little time-out before you reach the actual page.

Riemer’s DirectX 9 Tutorials

less than 1 minute read

I’ve always had a thing for 3D and CG. So when I started programming most of my findings were either graphics or web related. More recently I’ve been delving into C# making tiny applications to connect to MySQL, rename files and an entire CMS from the desktop. But the CG world keeps having a magnetic pull on me so the last couple of months I’ve been trying out Managed DirectX in the C# programming language. Anyway, what this post is about is that there’s a great place for tutorials on this matter (C# and C++) written by Riemer Grootjans of This website is a very complete collection of DirectX and D3D tutorials, so go check them out here:

DirectX 9 Tutorial using C# and C++ > General > Overview

Netherlands win against Ivory Coast

less than 1 minute read

While listening to the 2nd half of the game on the radio I almost bit my fingers off in excitement. With 2-1 on the scoreboard one single goal by Ivory Coast could ruin my joy. I think the game could have been played better in terms of Goal-Count but we won nonetheless. Now I just wait until next wednesday when the Netherlands play Argentina, a game that I wouldn’t want to miss since my manager is from that country. It’s nice to have an immigrant-competative spirit at work, keeps me from falling asleep ;)

AJAX: Dictionary Search

less than 1 minute read

Much like a suggestive search I’ve created a relatively small application to search through a 1.2MB Dictionary file which is delimited by line-breaks (\n). This example updates the contents of a div container on each keystroke. For this example the prototype framework, a dictionary file from and PHP as the actual Server-Side parser were used to display the results. If you want to see the entire code and how to call the objects, right-click on the example page and click on “view source”, the PHP and JavaScript Sources are displayed below.

PHP Code:

// removed unsafe code

Simple PHP code link this could easily be adapted to retrieve results from a SQL database or an XML file.

You may get the JavaScript and HTML source by right-clicking on the page and viewing the source, it’s all open.

Link removed.

AJAX: Simplified beyond belief with Prototype

1 minute read

Before reading this I assume you know your JavaScript.

Creating your own AJAX slash AJAH handler in JavaScript can be a huge pain in the neck. For those who have been struggling with AJAX for a while there’s an easy way out. Its called “prototype” a JavaScript framework that aims to ease development of dynamic web applications. And that’s a direct quote from AJAX is not the only thing that prototype handles, it also eases regular operations such as the document.getElementById(’myeElementId’); by simplifying it as $F(’myElementId’);.

Now, for the AJAX part in which we are all interested. Let’s say you have a div container like below:

<div onclick="myMakeRequest('myElement');" id="myElement">
My Container

Which onclick is going to find the function makeRequest which in turn will replace the innerHTML property of this particular div (myElement) with the AJAX response.

Normally when generating your own AJAX-code you’ll be creating xmlHTTPRequest, probing browsers etc, etc. Prototype simplifies this by giving you something like this:

function myMakeRequest(elementId) {
    var url = 'my_file.xml'; // Your XML file
    var Ajax = new Ajax.Updater({success: elementId},url,{method: 'get'});

The good thing about this method is that your page or your .js file isn’t humongous in filesize. The thing that isn’t so great about it is that the prototype library is 54KB in size which could make your page quite slow qua loading time on a slower connection (non-broadband).

Still, it’s easier than coding it all yourself, I mean; what’s the point in reinventing the wheel? Especially a well-formed wheel. Below follows the entire code that will display the example given above.

<script src="prototype.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
    function myMakeRequest(elementId) {
        var url = 'my_file.xml'; // Your XML file
        new Ajax.Updater({success: elementId},url,{method: 'get'});
<div onclick="myMakeRequest('myElement');" id="myElement">
    My Container

Sources and Requirements: