November 2005 Archives

Rules have been "deprecated" in SQL Server. In their infinite wisdom, the SQL Server people seem to think that Constraints will work as well. While I don't agree, I think we're stuck with the reality of creating rules on our own in TSQL.
As far as being an "early adopter", if you have that attitude, you'll never keep your job skills sharp enough to compete with the offshore developers (who have been studying the new stuff since the first alphas).
About that OS upgrade. Yes, that could be a nice feauture, but, imagine, that you manage to install a WinXp on an old 286 machine. I don't think you manage that, withouth a hardware upgrade. And about that expensive phone: even in romania, you can buy that phone mpx220 for 199$, that means around 15$/month for a year.Just a simple q: how much did you spent for your computer this year? And by the way, there is a posibility to upgrade the OS of phone to 2005, just search around the net, but there is a great risk, that you will fail, and than you just turned your "precious" phone into an expensive toyphone for a child ;)
I have never been an early adopter of brand new Microsoft Products. Most developers I know including myself wait atleast untill the fist service pack comes out to iron out the killer bugs. Definately want to get my hands on all of it though.
I'm not sure (might be only in beta version) but I was not able to create a Rule in the management studio (right click > new rule...). I had to create a new query and use the dml statement "CREATE RULE ..." in order to do that...

A few issues have cropped up this week while working on the new book (still in progress):

  • Why doesn’t the Visual Studio 2005 Query Designer know how to deal with the O’Malley issue when entering values for the query Filter criteria or New Values in Insert and Update query types? This problem has been around for a long time and should have been addressed ages ago. Here’s a quote from my new book (still in progress)

Unfortunately, someone at Microsoft was asleep when they wrote the Insert Values or Update query type. When the developer fills in the “criteria” pane with New Column values, the routine that captures these values doesn’t know how to deal with the “O’Malley” issue. For instance, if you enter the name “George O’Malley” as a New Value, the Query Designer strips the interior single quote instead of doubling it up (as it should). This means that if you don’t catch it, Visual Studio creates an INSERT statement and sets the Author name to “George OMalley”. Thankfully, George is used to this abuse—but his wife is not, so you had best fix it before she finds out. When working with the Query Designer and Input Values or Update query types (and you have imbedded special characters in a string literal) you’ll need to “double” up the special characters to get them to work correctly. So to fix George, we need to enter his name as “George O’’Malley”—and don’t forget about his wife.

I go on to say that this is handled correctly elsewhere and in ADO.NET when you use Command objects with Parameters.

  • And another thing: Visual Studio 2005’s Server Explorer now permits you to create new queries (from the Table and View icons in the Server Explorer). However for some reason there is no way to save the queries you’re working on.
  • There also does not seem to be a way to execute maintenance queries from VS without getting several annoying “ya know... we can't create a graphical representation of that SQL“ messages.
  • We also lost the ability to set the Visual Studio 2005 font size from the command line. This was very handy for high-resolution screens and for presentation work.

I hear that the Visual Studio team is off working on a whole new suite of features. I just wish they would focus on fixing what they have before reinventing it again.

 

Well, at least they’re consistent. Each and every time I’m (forced to) schedule one of my trips on NorthWorst airlines they never fail to disappoint. Until now, they have consistently had rude and uncaring flight attendants and ticket agents, a poor on-time record, lost baggage and shoddy equipment. This last trip was no different as far as their lack of customer service—it was an unusual 3-city tour from Seattle to Minneapolis to Cleveland and back via Minneapolis. To start with, a flight attendant crashed her drink trolley into my knee on the first leg of the flight to Minneapolis. I heard not a peep from her—not even a muted “sorry…”. I was reminded of the ad on TV where the flight attendant bangs each passenger on the head with a briefcase as she walks down the aisle—funny, unless you’re on the receiving end of the blunt head trauma.

When I arrived in Minneapolis I found that my Cleveland session was canceled so I went to the ticket counter and stood in line (for 30 minutes). I told them that I would not be going on to Cleveland—there was no need as my session was canceled at the last minute. They said “If you don’t go on to Cleveland we’ll cancel the entire trip.”. “How am I supposed to get back home two days from now?” I queried. They said I would have to buy another one-way last-minute flight for about $500. (The whole trip costs less than that). Now that’s customer service I can do without. Northwest made out like a bandit—they had three seats they could resell to some other sucker. They also made it clear that I could not use the flight legs later in the future. Thanks so much for nothing. You can be assured that I’ll continue to blackball NorthWorst airlines. At least they’re consistent—consistently awful and not worthy of my business.  

Well said. We absolutely need to make darn sure that if we send people to fight for us, that the very best of medical care is available for those who come home needing healing of mind and/or body. Cuts in the VA cannot possibly be justified. Folks who would have previously died on the field are thses days getting home very often, but getting home absent limbs in numbers that are out of proportion with previous wars. We better make darn sure we continue to properly fund the VA as these vets need continuing care, replacement limbs (they should get the best available), etc.

While I do not think that a president needs to have served in the military, I think having a better understanding of what it takes to go to war would not be a bad thing for the current administration (hawkish on war now, not so much when they were of an age to do the fighting).

An interesting quote from a Republican Senator about questioning government policies:

"The Bush administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them.... To question your government is not unpatriotic - to not question your government is unpatriotic."


- Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), responding to the president's suggestion earlier this week that critics of the war in Iraq are "sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy."


Source: The Washington Post

While I DO in fact respect your right to say whatever you want, I disagree with you on your belief that that a President taking us into war should have had to have served in the military. I believe it is entirely possible for someone that has not been in the military to lead us in a war better than some that may have been in the military. Having been in the military, on the front lines where your life is on the line does not even begin to qualify one as an "expert" in war.
Ideally a President, whether or not he has been on the front lines, would rely on the expertise of his military advisors and leaders when it comes to tactics and decisions regarding war, noting that Congress still has to give the go ahead for a War.
My other comment would be... what do you suggest? I don't necessarily agree with Bush's handling of the war but I agree with his reasons for having gone in. Were we wrong on our information? Yes. I can admit that. But we weren't the only ones wrong and it's irrelevant now anyway. But to all those who say war was never the answer, then what should we have done? Sitting back and letting Saddam play his games with the UN was no longer an option and that's all I have heard people suggest. I would LOVE to hear what other ideas people have. Someday, I would love to be in Congress, or at least the Illinois government, and unlike most politicians, I acknowledge that I NEED other people's input, on all sides, not just Rep and Dem.

 

I asked Motorola a question last week and was promised a response within 24 hours. Three days later (almost to the minute) I got this:

 Customer (William Vaughn)

11/09/2005 11:08 AM

When can I expect Motorola to provide an upgrade to Windows Mobile 2005 (5.0) for my phone?

 

 Discussion Thread

 Response (Andrea)

11/12/2005 11:03 AM

Dear William Vaughn,

Thank you for contacting Motorola.

We appreciate your request and also we apologize for any inconvenience you may experience with your product.
Unfortunately the MPX220 can not be upgraded to Windows Mobile 2005, right now we are not having Windows Mobile 2005 for our smart phones, but it will certainly be an option for our future smart phones.

Thank you for contacting Motorola e-mail support. We really appreciate your interest in our brand and our products.
If you have further questions or need additional assistance, please contact our Mobile Devices Support Center at 1-800-331-6456.
Our business hours are Monday through Friday from 7am to 10pm CST and Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm CST.
Thank you for allowing us to be of your assistance.

Best regards,

 

 

 

 

I think this attitude hurts the industry. I like my Windows Smart phone but it’s an expensive investment. Why pay the extra money for it when I can’t expect the vendor to keep the OS current? What incentive is there for software developers to leverage the new version of the OS if only the newest model phones that run it? The PC industry figured this out some time ago. Sure, the hardware platforms that Windows was expected to support varied quite a bit in power (the newer systems were faster) but the consumer still had a choice. I also would expect to pay for an OS upgrade—this could bring more profit to Motorola so it could afford to support its phones with people that speak the language of the people they’re supporting.

 

 

Nothing what-so-ever...
So please tell me that the Kevlar jacket had nothing to do with the above.

And Thanks :)

Vaughn on Veteran's Day

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It was known as Armistice Day, commemerating the signing of the armistice between Germany and the Allies, marking the official end of World War I. The eleventh day of the eleventh month on the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour, 1918. The United States changed it to Veteran's Day following the end of World War II. Today, top-flight VB and data guy, and Vietnam veteran, Bill Vaughn weighs in with his thoughts for Veteran's Day 2005.

November 11, 2005 • Vol.27 Issue 45
Page(s) 25 in print issue

I had a private chat with Steve Ballmer during the MVP summit in late Septemberalong with about 2,000 other MVPs. He opened up the floor to questions, and he (bravely) took my question. I wanted to know what steps Microsoft was taking to clean up the trash flowing into my (and everyone else’s) computer each and every day. It’s gotten to the point that I get over 200 chunks of spam every day.

As some of you already know, I’m a veteran. I served in the US Army for about four years and did a tour in Vietnam flying for the 7/17th Air Cavalry. I, along with many others enlisted in the Army because we had very few options, sincerely wanted to serve their country or some reason in-between. Many others were drafted--forced to serve or go to prison or exile. Yes, I was proud to serve. I was not, however, proud of how the government used us young people. In my opinion, we were asked to fight and risk our lives in a war that didn’t need fighting. Yes, some Veterans say that the war was something they believed in and I respect their opinion and most (I expect the vast majority) respect mine. Some have said that all we needed to do was bomb the North into the Stone Age—be even more brutal than we already were. I expect that the companies building the planes, guns, missiles, rockets, grenades, bombs and other ordinance would agree—we should keep using their products with further abandon. Personally, I don’t think that being increasingly brutal would have suppressed the North Vietnamese—at least not for very long. I think that as you squeeze an enemy harder more foes slip through your fingers and more people are radicalized as they are drawn into the conflict. If your mother, daughter, son or wife, cousin, uncle or (perhaps your mother-in-law) were killed by a foreign power wouldn’t you want to get involved in fighting back? Yes, our own people our own family members were horribly killed on 9/11, and that has indeed radicalized many people here and emboldened our enemies here and abroad. But does that mean we as civilized human beings can justify killing tens of thousands of people—the “terrorists” along with the innocents in retribution? Only history will tell how many American and other “friendly” men and women will have to die before the US and its allies realize that this war is not “winnable”—not any more than we could have won in Vietnam.

If you know a veteran understand that he or she is not necessarily proud of what had to be done under the guise of fighting for freedom. Sometimes we were forced to (or chose to) kill or watch others be killed in ways you can’t imagine--others never left the safety of the US. Consider that most of us fighting were between 18 and 25—very young and burdened with orders and responsibilities that few would force on anyone so young. While you might feel compelled to ask a veteran about his or her service, understand that not all veterans want to revisit these memories. Many are proud of how they helped each other survive—and they should be. However, some carry wounds you’ll never see until a car backfires or they’re awakened by a terrible dream. We now understand this very common illness as post traumatic stress disorder—many of us have it; some afflicted more than others. Some of us still suffer (and die) from exposure to chemical agents (like Agent Orange or spent uranium), vaccinations taken in dangerous combination and other illnesses that cripple or kill us before our time. It’s too bad the Veteran’s Administration charged with the veteran’s care does not always understand how to treat veterans without stigmatizing them. I think they do the best they can (in most cases) given their funding but a significant part of the problem is that the Bush administration has consistently cut the VA budget as they increased the troop counts in Iraq and the number of sick and dying vets returning from the war. The problem with how the losses are tallied is that those that return “alive” are often burdened with wounds of all kinds—both physical and emotional that makes it harder for them to live from day-to-day. When they die from these wounds, the military does not count the loss as due to the conflict—it makes the war harder to sell on Capitol Hill. Remember that roughly three people are wounded for each person killed during a conflict. While these people might be alive, too many are horribly maimed or dismembered. They might never be whole again—but still they depend on the government promises of benefits that are slowly eroding.

I support our troops. I support them by trying to get them back home where their families and jobs need them. I support them by willingly paying taxes to pay them an honest (well-earned wage), to pay for their medical care, housing, food and equipment. I support them by willingly buying them the equipment not supplied by the government and military that sent them into harm’s way. I support them by watching after their families while they are gone and helping them adjust when they return. I support them by trying to get the government to stop wasting taxpayer’s money to pay companies that are profiting from the war instead of supporting our men and women on the front lines. I support our troops by trying to elect government officials that understand that you can’t send a man or woman into combat without also funding the care he or she and their family needs when they return—if they return.I support our troops by doing what little I can to stop the war.

I think that before any President takes us to war, he or she needs to have served in the Military and been on the front lines where his or her life is on the line. Perhaps these Presidents would know the real cost of war and (hopefully) how today’s international problems are rarely solved by killing or imprisoning the leaders, combatants and private citizens of other countries. Any President that has been a prisoner of war knows that the only thing a tortured prisoner will tell you is what you want to hear—whether or not it’s the truth.

I’m proud to be an American, but all-too-often ashamed of what the elected government has done to our prestige and honor. It’s time we stood up and make the government know that we want to be proud again—of them and our country.

November 25, 2005 • Vol.27 Issue 47
Page(s) 23 in print issue

I just read Mr. Sixto Ortiz Jr.’s article, “Is Outsourcing Overhyped?," in the Oct. 28 issue with some interest. It's a subject near and dear to the hearts of developers here in the United States (and I dare say Canada) and probably closely watched by offshore developers in Whoknowswhereistan.

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