Sunday, May 28, 2006

Ajax Primer

Webmonkey has a good piece on the ins-and-outs of Ajax (http://www.webmonkey.com/webmonkey/06/15/index3a.html). I was almost going to mention Web 2.0, but O'Reilly is muscling others in an effort to make the term a ubiquitious buzzword and then trademark it (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/26/web_2point0_battle/) I am considering a new term to replace Web 2.0 or mention it in the same breath of evil, in the same way people hear the Imperial March or Borg gears when someone is mentions Microsoft. Does anyone have any tips for something that sums up Web 2.0 but doesn't invoke a name that O'Reilly is trying to hijack like so much GM corn.
The more I play with Ajax, the more I enjoy it. I've written a few reviews on the subject for CodeWalkers (link and link). In a lessor way, I've been doing stuff with iframes and html entity moving since 1999. Then in 2005, someone comes up with the buzzword of "Ajax" and voila it's an application environment.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Ye Olde Images

Do you need stock images of old settings, woodcuts and like? There is a great site of old artwork, paintings and drawing. I don't much of a need for this stuff and the moment, but I almost want to find a purpose. Check out: http://www.fromoldbooks.org/

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fun With Microsoft Licensing Audits

I have heard of Microsoft audits before. When the Province of BC was tightening its belts they dropped down to $9000 in licensing in one Ministry. That's really small: but it was during a period in between Windows98 and Windows2000, they were laying off users and they didn't bite at new versions of MS Office. They got audited. You see: not using Microsoft will get you audited.
Most of the licensing terms you find in the EULA come from a hybrid of lawyers and computer programmers: two groups who like money as much as they hate work.
This was brought into stark new light after I read a Computerworld article. Microsoft Engagement Managers use a combination of bully tactics and alienating policies to control their users. If you are an organization who has to face off versus Microsoft drones: hit them where they live. Here are some tips to combat Microsoft Engagement Managers. More than anything else, these are tips so you can have some fun while getting rogered by a minion of the Devil himself:
  • A day in the waiting room. Schedule an appointment with the engagement manager then through a combination of receptionist lies and managers buzzing through to say, "just a couple minutes"-- try to keep the Microsoft Crony there ALL day.
  • Call the engagement manager and require a Sunday morning audit that all other days are unavailable. Do the audit with only monitors on: no overhead lights. This will make it hard for the auditor to see their paperwork. After an hour or so, she'll have a headache.
  • Kill power to the building. This works best on a Saturday.
  • Play loud music or techno through the PA-- play the same music again and again on repeat. You like "Hollaback Girl?" I bet you won't like it after hearing it 50 times in a row.
  • Videotape the audit process for YouTube.com
  • Require verification of Microsoft licenses-- require they supply their records for your review and require all supporting documents.
  • Leave copies of Linux install disks on every desk.
  • Have a tech go through the department installing Linux at the same time (desktop BSD and Fedora).
  • Ask them if they can cite a clause in the EULA where detailed accounts of the audit cannot be shared with the State's Attorney General.
  • Ask them in they agree with with some mundane obscure point of the EULA-- if they can't comment on it tell them that Microsoft will need to send an licensing officer who is familiar with their own licensing.
  • Hand them unused licenses for refund and say that in select instances they didn't agree to the EULA so they ceased installation.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Website Screenshots

Do you want a website screenshot? Look no further. Velocity SC's tool allows you to ask for a URL of a screen rendered at an established resolution. A moment later it's available as a JPEG you can download. It seems there's no limitation to the number of uses. The next time you have a big project that needs screenshots, this is the place to go.

tags: screenshots urls ASPX