March 2009 Entries

Red Gate vs SQL Delta vs ?

I’ve known of Red Gate’s SQL tools for a long time, after having used them at an employer’s site many years ago. As useful as they were, I’ve never been able to justify the $400 USD price tag for a tool which I don’t think I’d use that often, no matter how useful it feels like it would be when I do actually need it. I thought I’d found the answer in SQL Delta – it’s a great product, and does exactly what I need, except I felt a bit let down when I realised I’d misread the price...

Stop Blaming the System

The March 09 issue of New Zealand Management magazine contains an article which is interesting (there’s a sentence I didn’t ever expect myself to write) to both managers and software developers alike. Titled “Stop Blaming the System”, it talks about processes and their relationship to IT Systems, exploring “the increasingly common misconception that expensive IT systems and software are the golden panacea to business process problems”. It’s the sort of article that you’d want all potential new clients to have read. The understanding that a poor business process won’t automatically convert into a great one after having some software...

Office Live Workspace

I’ve been using Office Live Workspace for the past few weeks, and thought I’d write a little bit about it here. Partly because it’s nice to write about a positive software/service experience, and partly because I have a couple of people from the Microsoft product team following me on Twitter (Hi!), so I thought this might be a better way to provide them with a bit of product feedback. What is it? Office Live Workspace is one of those services which not everyone is going to have a need for. In a nutshell, it offers you...

Site Specific Browser functionality on a PC

A while back I mentioned Fluid, aka a “Site specific browser application for OSX”. It was one of those things which seemed so obvious when I used it on my Mac, and I wondered why there weren't many similar apps for the PC, even if they weren't as elegantly executed. Well, after using the latest beta of Chrome for the past couple of days I have to say that the "Create Application Shortcut" powered by Google Gears seems pretty close indeed. It's fast, and seems to give me all the things I liked about Fluid. Nice. (On a side...

Securing Sites using Dynamic Data

After taking a look at Dynamic Data when it first came out, I was instantly sold. While you could easily build an entire application around it, the main use I had in mind was as a set of ‘super admin’ pages for custom applications. The ability to simply drop the Dynamic Data code into a new or existing site to instantly have full table level management tools is incredibly useful. However it's also something you'd probably want to secure, control, or limit in some ways. Here’s the quick and easy way – if you need a more...

It’s the end of an era

After resisting Windows Vista for a very long time, I’ve finally upgraded my main rig to Vista 64 Ultimate. Of course, this means I’ll no longer be moaning about installers and their lack of support for 64 bit Windows XP. This popped into my mind as I just installed the 2009 version of Windows Live Writer which installed with no issues at all, and looks to be a nice improvement over the previous beta version I was running on my old box. On a side note, there’s nothing like having a Windows installation corrupt itself beyond repair with looming...

Another XP SP3 casualty

There are a lot of stories floating around detailing the trail of destruction that Windows XP SP3 has been leaving in it’s wake. Off hand I know of a couple of friends who claim it forced them to rebuild their laptop, and first hand I spent a bit of time recently fixing my Uncle’s laptop after SP3 mangled the network connectivity via his data card. Last week I found another, albeit minor casualty to XP SP3 – the /console switch of Remote Desktop Connections. I spent a good few minutes on a client’s site feeling pretty silly, trying multiple...

Domino Administration 101

I'm after some simple Domino Administration guides for a client. The background is that they have some very capable network administration staff who haven't used Domino before.. and they're not really interested in learning. I'm after a few simple guides on the basics, and just the basics – user creation, user deletion, editing groups, access control lists etc. Nothing more than that. While there's a lot of great Domino books out there, and the Administration Help is a great reference, what I'm really looking for is just the basics with some screenshots. Any help would be...

Back from Vegas

Today I returned from holiday after a week or so in Las Vegas. It's really interesting how you can come back from a holiday and be physically exhausted yet feel mentally recharged. I've not travelled much recently, so this trip has been a nice reminder that it's good to unplug and get away once in a while.