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Microsoft’s first open source project April 30, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Information Technology, Microsoft, Open Source, Technology, Windows/Microsoft.

For the past five or six months I have read Robert Scoble's blog, the Scobleizer. He has quite a large following as there aren't too many high profile Microsoft employees blogging. For the most part, I find that he generally strikes a good balance between honesty and sticking to the party line (the Microsoft corporate party, if you know what I mean).

This weekend I read this post about the Windows Installer Xml (WiX) toolset, Microsoft's first open source software project that was given to the user community this year under the Common Public License. I find this move to be very interesting.



Have you heard HD Radio? April 29, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Random, Technology.
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HD Radio LogoThe other day I was listening to NPR on WEKU radio while I drove to work. At one point, when they gave their station identification, they ended by saying, "Now broadcasting in high definition." I thought to myself, what is that?

Of course, we have all heard about high definition TV (HDTV) by now. But, did you know that radio broadcast technology was also changing to some type of higher quality broadcast? I didn't.


Is Apple’s Aperture closing? April 28, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Mac, Photography, Technology.
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As reported in this story posted by Think Secret, Apple's software development team that wrote the Aperture photo cataloging and editing application is being disbanded. Some of the programmers have been moved to other software projects. Other project members have been set free – allowing them to work on other vendor's projects.

What has people wondering is whether the Aperture program, which is only at version 1.1, will have any future. It's been said that the underlying design and foundation is so flawed that any future development will need to begin by overhauling the software to fix many of its problems.

This is surprising and disappointing news. I have been planning to purchase a copy of Aperture to catalog and organize my digital photo library. I have seen the many Aperture demos on Apple's web site and was very impressed with its features and easy-to-use interface. Even now, I can't help but think it would be ten times better than iPhoto, which is what I have been using. I know, it's not the same thing, but it is what I'm using to house my digital photos until something better comes along.

Provided Apple doesn't abandon Aperture and make it an orphan product, I will be purchasing a copy by this summer.

CEO Scott McNealy leaves Sun April 24, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Management, Technology.
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Tonight I was surprised when I read on Slashdot that Scott McNealy was planning to step down as the CEO of Sun Microsystems. I say surprised because he has been there all of my professional life.Scott McNealy at Educause

I remember the earliest days (back in the mid-1980’s) attending a computer conference where he was one of the keynote speakers. He was a lot more interesting than the other speakers I heard at that conference and I took note that if I had the opportunity to hear him speak again, I would take advantage of it.

Several years later, I heard him speak at NetWorld InterOp. By that time, his reputation and his company had grown, significantly. Also, that was when I first heard him talk about the concept that the network is the computer. He was good. I found him interesting and insightful. I have heard him speak 4 or 5 times since then.


Visit Microsoft’s Mac Lab April 23, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Mac, Technology, Windows/Microsoft.
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David Weiss, one of the Microsoft employees who work in the Macintosh Business Unit, gives a virtual tour of the Mac Lab that helps them develop and test Mac software, like Office 2004 for Mac.

They have Macs of all shapes and sizes, including about 150 Mac Minis that they use for testing. David says, "We have images of the Mac OS from 8.1 all the way up to 10.4.6 in all the languages our products support." They use Apple Remote Desktop to access and manage all of those computers.

If you have any interest in Macintosh software development and testing, you should check out David's blog.

Can you run that Windows program on a Mac? April 21, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Mac, Management, Technology, Windows/Microsoft.
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Yesterday, Brock from Ichthus stopped by my office for a short visit. He used to work in my department, years ago. Anyway, he asked me if I thought it would ever be possible to run regular Windows applications on an Intel Macintosh computer running Mac OS X. My rather quick and confident response was, "No, don't wait for that to happen any time soon." Then, I proceeded to tell him various technical and legal reasons it couldn't and wouldn't happen.

It's amazing the difference a day makes.

Today, one of my I.T. colleagues sent an e-mail message to the department with this link to an article that talks about how Apple could in fact come out with a Windows API and run native Windows programs on a regular Intel Mac without running the Windows XP operating system. It looks like I was more than a little off target in my response to Brock's question. Oh, well! I can't always be right.

Can you imagine? Buying an Intel based Apple iMac and indiscriminately installing Windows games and Mac applications, running them side-by-side in the same (Mac OS X) operating system? You would never have Windows XP security vulnerabilities or errors. That, is something I would pay to see!