# Tuesday, 19 August 2003

Arrest this Man: NYS License Plate # ROBB (T & LC)

 

A copy of my email to the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commissioner:

 

Today something unthinkable happened during our training bike ride in Central Park. On the last leg of the 40km ride a crazy livery cab started harassing us. (This is not that uncommon.) The harassment turned ugly when the car drove across two lanes of traffic and intentionally drove straight into teammate Tom Halligan (and clipping my right elbow at the same time). Tom was not thrown off the bike, but immediately a chase was on (lead by teammate Andy Catlin) and the car was swerving in and out of traffic to escape the park. Several bikers and other cars came to our aid.

We chased the car outside of the park and he was stopped at a red light. I yelled for him to “get out of the fucking car now” as another biker who came to our aid rode to the left of the car and I was on the right, all on Central Park West and about 95th street. Then the car turned over the double yellow line and hit the second biker and drove down to Columbus avenue! That is the second intentional hitting of a pedestrian and leaving the scene of the accident. A few more bikers were behind me chancing the car down Columbus, and even pumping the fastest I have ever went (about 40mph on flat) we lost him around 72nd street as the car drove on the wrong side of the road and went up a one way street to escape down the West Side Highway. Even down at 72nd cars were pulling over offering his license plate and any other assistance possible.

Please arrest this man and never let him drive again in the State of New York.

 

posted on Tuesday, 19 August 2003 11:55:42 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 18 August 2003

They call this FUD

Stephen Forte’s Testimony to the New York City Council, April 29, 2003

Thank you all today for taking time to hear my testimony. My name is Stephen Forte, I was born and raised in New York City and am 31 years old. At the age of 23 I founded a high-tech consulting firm called The Aurora Development Group, which was sold 5 years later. I also served as the Chief Technology Officer of Zagat Survey here in New York from late 1999 until January 2002. Last April I co-founded Corzen, based up at Union Square where I currently serve as Chief Technology Officer.

I have had to do the economic and technical analysis of whether to use Open Source in my operations twice, once at Zagat where we had a 5 million dollar technology budget but not enough time and money to meet our deadlines for an IPO and second when I founded Corzen last year with only $300,000 of initial investment. Time to market and saving money was very important at Corzen epically since I did not get a paycheck until December 2002.

As a small business owner and resident of the City of New York for over 31 years, I appreciate the magnitude of the current budget shortfall. It may be tempting to make a blanket policy stating that the City must only use Open Source software to save money. On the surface Microsoft Windows, for a typical server machine configuration costs approximately $6,000. Linux costs nothing. Surely Linux is cheaper. Isn't it?

On the surface it appears that way. But once you dive into the details you will see that Open Source is not free and that while it may have a place in your organization as well as mine when the technology deems fit, there should be no blanket “Open Source” only policy. This is a policy I would strongly urge the council not to spend any taxpayer time considering. Here is why.

A benchmark recently performed by the non-profit TMC (www.tmc.org) compared a Linux machine running IBM’s middle tier software WebLogic/ WebSphere compared to a Windows Server machine running Microsoft middle tier software .NET. At this moment in time there is no viable open source “middle tier” component to compete with the IBM or Microsoft offerings. Just a technical note, the middle tier is what makes your custom applications work: the web server, the application server, the runtime environments and the programming languages.

The TMC broke down the cost of the server machine into three components: the hardware, the operating system (Windows or Linux), and the infrastructure (.NET, WebLogic, or WebSphere). Since the hardware was the same in all benchmarks, the differentiating costs were due to the operating system and the infrastructure.

It turns out that the cost of the operating system is relatively insignificant in the overall server costs. Of the total WebLogic server cost of $76,990, only $5,990  was attributable to Windows. Of the total WebSphere server cost of $84,990, again, only $5,990 was for Windows. In neither case was the cost of Windows more than 8% of the total server cost.

However the use of Linux does have one dramatic cost consequence. It eliminates the possibility of using .NET as the application server infrastructure. Since Linux does not have a comparable infrastructure, the use of Linux thus dictates the use of either WebSphere or WebLogic. While you are paying for Windows Server, the middle tier is built right into it so the costs of the middle tier are quite low when factored in as part of the cost of the Operating System.

While the cost of the operating system is relatively insignificant in the overall server cost equation, the cost of the infrastructure is not at all insignificant. WebLogic costs $40,000. WebSphere costs $48,000. This is as much as the server hardware! .NET, in contrast, cost nothing. It is part of the Windows operating system. The bottom line is that in order to save $5,990 of operating system costs, one must lock oneself into a "free" operating system that will require an additional $40-48,000 for server infrastructure!

TMC did not include the cost of the database in their benchmark cost analysis. This was a rather odd decision, given that the database is just as critical to this benchmark as is the operating system or the infrastructure. Had TMC included the cost of the database, the cost analysis would have further favored .NET, given that Microsoft SQLServer is much less expensive than either Oracle or DB2.

I am not advocating the use of Microsoft .NET over IBM or Windows over Linux, what I am saying is that the cost of open source software is not free, and for enterprise wide applications not even less expensive then a comparable non-open source platform.

When I was the CTO of Zagat Survey I had to do similar analysis. Preparing for an IPO, we were not scalable in our web site costs. Meaning that as the total amount of users went up, the cost per user was not going down. I was being pressured by the Board of Directors, one of which was the founder of Sun Microsystems to use the Linix/Java/J2EE approach on our Web Site. When I came in as CTO I inherited a site running on the open source platform using the Java platform. The site had cost us $650,000. The problem with the site was that for what we paid for we got only the “bare bones”, the vendor told us to increase traffic a factor of 10X, we would have to spend an additional 5 million dollars. My own analysis supported this view as did the Venture Capitalists who invested 34 million dollars in the company. In addition the total cost per user would go UP, not down!

I concluded after months of research that I can increase traffic by 20x and decrease the total cost per user by 1000% by not using open source technology. In a meeting on June 13th, 2000 with the board of directors I justified my approach based on my open source analysis:

 

“Everybody knows that we must have scalability if we are to build a web site that we can go public with. Surprisingly, very few people have any idea what scalability actually means. I consider a system to be "scalable" if we can add more workload to the system without increasing the cost of the system per unit of workload. The common unit of workload for a web site system is a transaction. If the commerce system is an on-line store, then the transaction equates to an actual sale. If the commerce system is a bank, then the transaction equates to a banking transaction. In the case of Zagat.com a transaction is a pure database read, which is almost each and every page.”

I went on to conclude that the June 2000 version of our web site which cost $650,000 broke down after 300 concurrent users (nobody denied this, this was the reason why I was before the BOD.) I proposed a “Microsoft” solution for 1.2 million dollars, not the 5 million. William Ford of General Atlantic Partners said to me, never have I offered a CTO 5 million dollars and he came back ask said he only wanted 1.2.

I got permission to build the site and as development took place from July to December 2000, Zagat’s needs grew, so we had to add capacity. We spent only $300,000 over our budget of 1.2 million (compared to 5 million) and achieved 20x user base and 1000% decrease in cost per customer. In December 2000 the site launched and has not been “down” since. That is 2.5 years of uptime for a real cheap price tag.

Exhibit 1. Total Cost Per User at Zagat.com

Total Cost Per Customer

 

 

 

 

 

June 2000 (Java)

 Proposed

December 2000

Future Plans

Hardware

$80,000.00

$210,000.00

$300,000.00

$420,000.00

Hosting

$90,000.00

$168,000.00

$264,000.00

$528,000.00

Human Resources

$480,000.00

$700,000.00

$800,000.00

$900,000.00

Software

$0.00

$150,000.00

$200,000.00

$250,000.00

Total System Cost (Annual)

$650,000.00

$1,228,000.00

$1,564,000.00

$2,098,000.00

Max Simultaneous Customers

300

6,000

10,000

20,000

Total Cost Per Customer

$2,167

$205

$156

$105

 

The Open Source community is dynamic and exciting. There are pieces of my architecture both at Zagat and at Corzen where I use Open Source products (SendMail for instance). I would like to conclude with a warning. Unix was plagued by different “flavors” and “distributions” that dramatically increased TCO. This fragmentation is now occurring in the Linux space. Take a look at this quote:

"’Enterprises now realize that they are writing to a distribution, not to Linux in general. What works on Red Hat Advanced Server will not work on SuSE Linux,’ Schwartz [Sun's executive vice president of software] said. ... There is little doubt that the notion of ‘Linux and free have gone away. Red Hat's pricing model now makes that clear,’ he said.”

-          Sun Drops Its Linux Distribution, in eWeek, March 28, 2003By Peter Galli http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,981455,00.asp

I would like to thank the council for taking the time to hear my testimony today.

 

 

 

posted on Monday, 18 August 2003 12:10:55 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [4] Trackback
# Sunday, 17 August 2003

The Big E

So many people have asked many different types of questions about my trek up Mt. Everest (starting after TechEd on August 30th) that I decided to do a brain dump here. Ken Getz's sister asked two important questions here:

* How do people go to the bathroom when tied down to sleep on the mountain?

* How do people cook stuff up there? Like how do they boil water for coffee? Is there like a platform to cook on?

 

My answer:

Well you are not actually tied down, the tent is “tied in” to an anchor so if there is an avalanche or massive wind, the tent doesn’t blow away. So here are the options: 

  1. There is the notion of a “pee bottle”, I can leave it at that. J
  2. If you have to do the other, you can just go outside and risk it, but if the wind is strong and there is a really high grade of steepness, you can put on your harness and rope on in to an anchor.  

Cooking is always a challenge at high elevation. At the lower elevations you use portable camping propane stoves that porters or sherpas carry. At higher elevations, it gets really hard to cook with propane over 18,000 feet (the magic elevation for a lot of reasons since at 18,000 there is exactly ½ the oxygen in the air then at sea level. This is why most major base camps for major mountains are at  <18, 000, Everest is at 17,600 for example.)  So you don’t cook much over 18,000 feet, but at the same time you also don’t spend that much time at that elevation, you really use base camp as a “base” not because it is on the base of the mountain. You eat a lot of packaged foods and energy bars. Usually for coffee/tea at higher elevations, you use a thermos. We have some thermoses that can keep coffee/tea hot for 24 hours. 

I bet you also want to know how to shower and clean our clothes. Clothes are simple, we boil water and then when it cools wash our clothes in a bowl each night and hang it do dry, we wear the “quick dry” athletic gear so it dries overnight. Showers just don’t happen, so we wash also with those bowls and at lower elevations set up a little “wash area” like in the military and shower under a watering can type of thing.  

What is funny is that a lot of people walk around base camps in their underwear and flip flops during the day-because they are doing laundry, I know I always do. If you hike fast and get there in the afternoon, it is warm and your clothes are sweaty. If you want to sleep in clean clothes (no time for laundry in the AM before hike), you have to wash in the afternoon and hang all afternoon. So a lot of people wash everything they have dirty, including the clothes on their back.

Also, Kevin and I are going with Wally Berg, super famous Everest dude (see his world famous NatGeo photos here. He is also getting married on the trek at Namche Bizarre, look for my photos and bolog entries after the trek.) Wally has summited about 6 or 7 times and was the guy who took the GPS up in 1989 and they reevaluated Everest's height based on his readings. Wally's recomedation gear list besides the ice axes and crampons type stuff for us to bring are:

FOOTWEAR 

 

q       Running Shoes  - for travel & easy walking

q       Hiking Boots - leather with sturdy mid-sole and a vibram sole. ½ or ¾ shank, boots should be warm and fit well over light and heavy sock combination.  Fit is much more important than brand.  Take time to select a pair that fits, and break them in well. (Asolo, Merrill, Scarpa Delta M-3, Sportiva TRK)

q       Gaiters – Short, simple gaiters are best (Outdoor Research Rocky Mt. Low) Gore-Tex gaitors are not necessary.

q       Sport Sandals – Excellent in camp during evenings when worn over wool socks, Perfect for living in tea shops, Sherpa lodges and for visiting monasteries.  (Teva)

q       Down or synthetic camp booties - optional luxury, any brand with thick foam soles

q       Lightweight Socks - 3 pairs Synthetic/Wool Blend (Bridgedale, Patagonia, Wigwam, Fox River)

q       Heavy Socks - 3 pairs Synthetic/Wool Blend (Smartwool, Bridgedale, Wigwam, Fox River)

 

CLOTHING 

 

q       Lightweight Pants - 2 pair (any brand Supplex or “stretch woven” pants).

q       Lightweight Long Underwear Top  - (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

q       Midweight Long Underwear Top - Zip T- neck design is good. Light colors are better for tops because they are cooler when hiking in direct sunlight and just as warm as dark colors when worn underneath other layers.  (Patagonia Capilene, North Face, Mountain Hardware). 

q       Lightweight Long Underwear Bottom  - dark colors are preferable. Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op.

q       Midweight Underwear Bottom - dark colors are preferable because they do not show dirt (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op). 

q       Briefs - 4 pairs synthetic or cotton.  Running shorts also work well for underwear.

q       Short-Sleeved Shirts - 2 synthetic; most nylon running shirts or athletic shirts work.  (North Face Tek Ware, Patagonia Tech Dri, or any brand of PowerDry).

q       Fleece Pullover or Full Zip Jacket-  (Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, ArcTeryx).

q       Fleece Pants -  Polartec 100 or 200  A good alternative for fuzzy fleece for this layer is Mountain Hardware Chugach Pants.  (Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, ArcTeryx). 

q       Down Insulated Jacket - Medium Weight, Hood Recommended. (Marmot, North Face, Mountain Hardwear).

q       Waterproof/Breathable Jacket & Pants - jacket must have hood, pants must have full-length side zips (ArcTeryx, Marmot, Mountain Equipment Co-op).

 

 HEAD & HAND GEAR

 

q       Liner Gloves—Lightweight Synthetic (Patagonia Capilene or any brand of PowerStretch).

q       Windstopper Fleece Gloves – (any brand of Windstopper fleece).

q       Mittens w/ pile liners - Outdoor Research

q       Bandanna -Traditional Cotton, 2 or 3.  Very important item, large size is best.

q       Sun Hat - any lightweight hat with a good brim or visor

q       Wool or Fleece Hat - any brand of warm hat that can go over ears

q       Balaclava – Should fit underneath your wool or fleece hat or be thick enough to be worn alone. 

 

 ACCESSORIES 

 

q       Sunglasses -1 pair High quality 100% UV 100%IR.  For general use, travel and lower elevations

q       Glacier Glasses - 1 pair High quality 100% UV 100%IR min 80% light reduction, side shields are optional, but size and shape of lens should offer maximum protection from bright light on snow.

q       Headlamp w/ spare bulb - AA or AAA battery powered (Petzl or Black Diamond)

q       Spare Batteries – bring plenty for reading in tents at night

 

 CAMPING GEAR 

 

q       Backpack - 2500 cubic inches or more, internal frame. Top opening mountaineer’s rucksack style is best.  Avoid large zipper openings and excessive outside pockets.  Larger packs are better than smaller, because they are easier to pack with cold hands and they distribute loads more effectively. ( Dana, Arc’Teryx,  Gregory)   

q       Sleeping Bag – 0 to negative 10 degree Down 700 fill minimum (Marmot, Mtn Hardwear, Moonstone)

q       Water Bottles - two 1 quart, leak-proof wide-mouth (Nalgene Poly or Lexan bottles) 

q       Pee Bottle – Optional. One 1 quart, leak-proof wide-mouth (Nalgene Poly or Lexan bottles)

q       Pee Funnel for Women Optional (Freshette)

q       Pack Towel - Small or Medium size (PackTowl).  Do not bring “terrycloth”, Bandanas work in a pinch

q       Trekking Poles – Recommended. Useful for going up and down trails of the Khumbu.  (Leki 3-section)

q       Swiss Army Knife - Remember not to leave in carry on bags for any international or domestic flight

 

 MEDICAL & PERSONAL

  

q       Sunscreen - SPF 30 or higher, non-oily (Dermatone or Terrapin)

q       LipscreenSPF 30 or higher, any brand

q       Toiletry Kit—t.brush, t.paste, lotion, alcohol-based anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial soap, comb/brush, shave kit, lighter, small long-burning candle, needle/thread, throat lozenges (bring travel size bottles to keep you kit small)

q       First Aid Kit - ibuprofen/aspirin, assorted band-aids, moleskin, little of hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin-type suave, Nu-skin spray, small gauze pad, roll of adhesive tape, tweezers, safety pins, small bottle of water purification tablets. Include any prescription travel meds that might be prescribed by your doctor. (Antibiotics, diamox, malaria meds, sleep aids)

q       Large Trash Compactor Bags For waterproofing some items inside your duffel.

q       Zip-loc bags  - always useful

q       Baby wipes

q       Earplugs  - Very useful for sleeping in tent and lodges. Available in most hardware stores.

  

TRAVEL ITEMS

  

q       Expedition Duffel Bag – Important.  Large one with strong zippers.  Wild Things “Burro Bag” North Face, Eagle Creek, Patagonia Black Hole.

q       Small Travel Bag – or second duffel bag.  For storing travel clothes and personal items at the Hotel in Kathmandu

q       Nylon Stuff Sacks – 2 or 3, for organizing, light colors preferable for labeling

q       Clothes for Kathmandu and International Travel 2 –3 three changes depending Comfortable simple travel clothes.  Evening in Kathmandu can be slightly cool in autumn and spring.  Bangkok is very hot.

q       Work-out clothes and/or bathing suit simple and versatile, for hotels

q       Passport Belt/Pouch

q       Small Padlocks - for locking duffel bag(s)

q       Book(s)

q       Journal

q       Camera

q       Film Be sure to keep in your carry on luggage, in clear zip- lock bags so that it can be inspected.

 

 

posted on Sunday, 17 August 2003 15:45:23 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [4] Trackback
# Saturday, 16 August 2003

I am sitting in my office at Corzen in Union Square, having just brought the servers back up. It has been a long 40 hours or so.

 

Thursday 4:11 pm. Corzen’s Office @ Union Square

 

I am oddly sitting in the server room working on a staging server when all the Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSes) start to chirp. I know that only badness will follow. About 30 seconds later, the power goes. Everyone is calm since we are in a very old and has a power outage every once in a while. So my business partner and Corzen’s CEO, Bruce Murray and I decide to go and get a few beers at the local bar to wait it out.

 

Thursday 5:00pm. Park Bar @ Union Square

As more people start to filter on in the bar, we realize that this is bigger than we thought. At first we thought it was just local to our building, then our general area, but then we heard about Canada and such. We immediately thought terrorism (we are New Yorkers) and ran back to the office and plugged a TV into a UPS and saw some CNN. We decide to all walk home, Bruce and Bob Plummer (our director of Indicator Services) both live in Brooklyn, so they left for a 5.5 mile walk over the Brooklyn Bridge.

 

Thursday 6:30pm. West 57th Street

I finally get home. Being the CTO, I was the last to leave the office and it only took about 45 minutes to walk home. Since it was mobbed with people and about 94 and humid, I was drenched. (I also had tix for a bway show that night, so I was dressed not in my typical shorts and tee shirt.) I peeled off my clothes and showered with all the windows open in my apartment for light. After my shower I was making some phone calls to my teammate Tom Halligan (who was in Long Island WITH power) and his wife stuck home on 11th Avenue without power and my buddy Richard Campbell in Canada for information. I get hungry around 8pm and go out to look for some food.

 

Thursday 9:45pm. East 89th Street

So my quest for food brings me to the east side where I actually hook up with my running partner and walk her home (she was walking home alone and I had a flashlight.) After I drop her off I walk down 5th avenue, all along Museum Mile and to my disbelief, I see stars! Yes total constellations, like I was in the woods. I can hear the crickets in Central Park. It was so strange just walking home in such darkness. When I mean pitch black, I mean pitch black. When I get home to my building there was a little party going on, cheese and wine set up, and chairs. Talked about my Everest trip with my building owners (who are Everest junkies and climbers themselves) and I helped a bunch of people up the stairs with my flashlight (good Everest training.) When I was done, I climbed the 14 flights to my apartment and went to bed.

 

Friday 4:14am. West 57th Street

I was awaken by the sounds of the power turning on! I turned on my AC and thought that the worst was over.

 

Friday 6:00am. Engineers Gate, Central Park

My running partner arrives and she is still without power. The whole east side of Manhattan is still without power. We run and it is nice and cool. When I get home I realize that just about 75% of the city is still without power. My phone goes out and the cell phone is spotty, very spotty. Bruce calls me and said that power is still not back in Union Square, don’t even think of coming in until it is. So I do laundry, clean my apartment and pack my bags for my Everest trip in the comfort of my air conditioning (I feel very guilty, but it was HOT).

 

Friday 4:00pm. Central Park South

I just completed a 30km circuit in 57:04 on my OLD bike. This was by far the best time I have ever had. Some friends come on over (who STILL don’t have power) and a good time is had by all. Total power is restored to the city by late evening. The subways still don’t work.


Saturday 12:00pm Corzen’s Office @ Union Square

The subways are open and I get down to the office and brought the servers back up. Life is back to normal.

posted on Saturday, 16 August 2003 19:46:54 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Thursday, 14 August 2003

You can go home again…

 

Tonight was a major homecoming, for many reasons. I was born in Flushing, Queens and spent the first 18 years of my life four miles from Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets. My late Grandfather took me to my first Mets game in May of 1977 (a loss against the San Diego Padres, I still have the ticket.) I also worked for the Mets as a stadium vendor from 1987 to 1994. So I have been to at least one Mets game every year since 1977, and from ’87 to ’94 I must have worked over 500. Tonight was my first and only game of this season. So as my pal Kyle and I traveled on the 7 train to Shea tonight to watch the Mets take on Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants it was a bit of a homecoming for me.

 

But despite what my teammate Tom Halligan says, this blog is not all about me. Tonight was a very special Mets game for Mets fans. Superstar Mike Piazza officially came off the disabled list after missing the last three months of the season. So tonight was Mike’s homecoming and first game as a Met since early May.

 

Let’s just say that this game was one of the best games ever. I have never seen Mike Piazza hit a home run and most of the games I go to the Mets lose. Not tonight. Mike hit a 2 run home run and two singles for 5 RBIs in his first game back. The place went wild.

 

In addition to killing the first place SF Giants 9-2 tonight, there was insult added to injury. Pitcher Steve Trachsel hit an RBI double! That never happens non-baseball fans. Steve also pitched 7 2/3 solid innings.

 

But wait there’s more. Smart ass Barry Bonds (how dare he compare himself to Babe Ruth) had a horrible night. He actually got a hit but was tossed out trying to stretch it to a double. Then in the 8th inning, they pinch hit for him! I think that the last time someone pinch hit for Barry was in 1986.

 

The only bad point of the game was at the 7th inning stretch when RD Mom Eileen Crain called to tell me that Scott Hanselman and myself are in trouble due to some emails we sent on a private alias. I told her that she should chill out (which made her more mad) and had to call Scott to tell him the deal and then he called her and then I called her when I got home. We all love each other again, but I think it is kind of funny that news can travel so fast, from Redmond, to Flushing to Portland in a matter of 2 minutes without the aid of a computer.

 

Homecoming was fun and congratz again Mike.

posted on Thursday, 14 August 2003 03:40:28 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Wednesday, 13 August 2003

Ready for Tech*ED Malaysia

 

Next Friday I leave for Tech·Ed Malaysia held in Kuala Lumpur. This is the last major conference (and last TechEd) of the year for me.

 

We have a bunch of Regional Directors speaking:

 

Adam Cogan (Australia)

Tim Huckaby (US-San Diego)

Clemens Vasters (Germany)

Scott Hanselman (US-Portland)

 

Looking forward to some geek talk and time in KL with some of the other speakers and RDs. Looking forward to catching up with my buddy Adam Cogan, haven’t seen him since Dallas, far too long. I will get Scott Hanselman to do some drinking this time, no more lame crap from you Scott. Also looking forward to hacking some das Blog with Clemens while in KL (We will party too and his girlfriend, Pat, owes me a favor!)

 

I just got my machine all ready to go. Here are my sessions, the Stored Procedure session is the last time I talk about The Rozenshtein Method this year (and maybe forever if they let me talk about Yukon next year):



 
ASP .NET DataGrid Drill Down
Track: Developer Tools & Technologies   Code: DEV203
Room: Tun Dr Ismail A   Time Slot:
Tue, August 26 12:00 PM-1:15 PM
Speakers:
Stephen Forte
The ASP.NET DataGrid is an incredibly powerful and timesaving server control. Compared to "classic" ASP, with just a few lines of code you can load it with data from any data source. Formatting is accomplished by setting just a few properties. Gone are the days where you had to write lots of complex code to filter, sort and page through your data. In-place editing is also a breeze. This session will show you how easy it is to use the ASP .NET DataGrid and accomplish powerful .NET grids without sacrificing any flexibility and functionality.
 
 
.NET CF Database Development with SQL Server CE 2.0 ROI

Track: Enterprise Data Management   Code: EDM207
Room: Tun Hussien Onn A   Time Slot: Wed, August 27 4:00 PM-5:15 PM
Speakers: Stephen Forte
The decision to build an embedded application has been made. In today's environment, Return on Investment (ROI) so important that it is now a main decision making factor in deciding what platform to use. Choosing the platform that your developers can leverage their existing skills and code to build something on time and on budget is more important than a cool new language or feature. We will look at a case study of a .NET CF PocketPC application build for Professional NFL Scouts using SQL Server CE 2.0. See the ROI decisions for justifying the development effort, training the developers, leveraging current ADO code and libraries and maintenance decisions along with lines of code comparison to the other embedded tools.

Efficient and Secure Data Retrieval in Your Middle Tier Using Stored Procedures and ADO. NET.

Track: Developer Tools & Technologies   Code: DEV206
Room: Tun Dr Ismail A   Time Slot: Wed, August 27 5:30 PM-6:45 PM
Speakers: Stephen Forte
Using Stored Procedures is more efficient, secure, and easier to maintain than using in-line SQL in your application's middle tier. In this session we will look how to optimize using Stored Procedures for efficient and secure data retrieval in the middle tier of your web, windows, mobile and web services applications.

Using Regular Expressions in Windows Forms and ASP .NET

Track: Developer Tools & Technologies   Code: DEV315
Room: Tun Hussien Onn A   Time Slot: Thu, August 28 10:30 AM-11:45 AM
Speakers: Stephen Forte
Regular expressions, although popular in Perl and other UNIX/C-like languages, are unintelligible to those not familiar with them. Regular Expressions provide an incredibly powerful and compact way of matching and replacing text. Once you become serious about .NET, you'll find Regular Expressions staring you square in the face. They're there and they are very important, but the .NET documentation doesn't help much in learning about Regular Expressions and how to work with them in .NET. This session will introduce you to RegEx, using RegEx as data validation and manipulation.

posted on Wednesday, 13 August 2003 14:46:01 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 12 August 2003

Strategic Inflection Point

 

Andy Grove, in his bestselling book, Only the Paranoid Survive, describes the nightmare moment every leader dreads--when massive change occurs and a company must, virtually overnight, adapt or fall by the wayside-- a “Strategic Inflection Point.” The arrival of the Internet was one such Strategic Inflection Point in the tech industry. I think that we are at another.

 

The Strategic Inflection Point is for consulting firms today and the issue is outsourcing off shore. Large companies are outsourcing almost their entire development work offshore. JPMorgan Chase just announced 50% of its IT will now be offshore (that is oh about 4,000 development jobs). I am not going to make the case for or against outsourcing, since it is happening anyway, apparently if you have a convincing argument against is, nobody is listening to it. So why fight it, it is happening and the jobs are not coming back (at least not to New York). This is why I left consulting in July 1999.

 

But wait, there is still money to be made in the contractor role. First let’s say that you are running a consulting shop today and are feeling the pinch of outsourcing. Let’s look at the notion that it takes 30% of the development effort to design the application, 30% to code, 30% to test and 10% to physically implement.

 

I always say that the strategic advantage you bring to the table in the 30/30/30/10 universe is the design. That is the MOST important phase of any project-period.  (Don’t make me go Steve McConnell on you!) What if you set up shop to do the 30% design and 10% physically implement?  You can make the case to do the design locally and then work with the outsourcers offshore to code and test. Set up a strategic partnership with several off shore players. Or better yet set up a JV. You can then take on a project management, relationship management and architecture guidance role. I have worked with overseas outsourcing and they tend to follow specs to the letter, so if your potential customer has made the decision to outsource overseas, they will be more inclined to do the design work very seriously.

 

Just an idea…

posted on Tuesday, 12 August 2003 20:24:02 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Mount Rainier called a threat

What were we thinking?

http://www.msnbc.com/news/950829.asp

posted on Tuesday, 12 August 2003 02:20:22 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [16] Trackback
# Monday, 11 August 2003

The age old question. If you ever saw one of my TechEd sessions or WebCasts, you know that I am a big fan of using the DataReader, especially when you are doing Web DataBinding. I am all about the firehose, forward only cursor. Today I actually replaced a DataReader with a DataSet, so I think that I need to tell the world the story. J

 

So my app that runs each Sunday morning to get data over HTTP and regex out stuff was bogging down. What happens is that I have a DataReader on the client that grabs the URLs, RegEx patterns, etc from a table for the main application “loop” to process the URLs and save the data to the database. There are about 30,000 records stuffed into the datareader and the stored procedure that powers it has to do a join to the table I am adding data into on each iteration of the loop to make sure that if the process stops and restarts, I don’t reprocess any duplicate URLs.

 

So all of a sudden (this code has been in production for 15 months, and on .NET 1.1 for 4 months) I started to get timeouts when I read data from the DataReader. Randomly this would happen, maybe once ever few weeks. I never really tracked it down. So this week I would run the process and every 10th record would cause a timeout. It was a timeout when I tried to read data from the next row in the DataReader, on the 10 row. I start and stop and this happened a zillion times. I spent a few minutes playing with some settings, etc, but more of the same. Oddly enough, setting the command behavior of the command that filled the reader to SequentialAccess did not even let me read data from the first record, it returned an error saying that it can only look at data starting at the 10th row.

 

I have not discovered the problem here, but it must have something to do with the buffer, I must have been stuffing way too much data in there. So I said DUH, let’s use a DataSet. Well I never looped through a DataTable before, so here is how it goes:

 

Private void DataTableLoop (DataTable dt) {

 

   foreach (DataRow dr in dt.Rows) {

      foreach (DataColumn dc in dt.Columns) {

         Response.Write (dr[dc] +”


”);

      }

    }

}

posted on Monday, 11 August 2003 15:54:28 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [4] Trackback

1:47:51

That was my triathlon time today! I am very happy. Teammate Andy Catlin got out of the water a few seconds before me (we both were at 15 minutes) and we had a hard transition (lots of rocks, and the bikes were far from the water). The bike was brutal (55 minutes). Almost all uphill, about 75% of the bike was uphill.  We had a 4 mile downhill at one point that was so super steep hill-I hit 47 miles per hour! That is almost as fast as a car… Transition from bike to run was not that bad. The run was hard, but ok, about 25-26 minutes. Andy finished about 5 minutes behind me, way to go dude…

posted on Monday, 11 August 2003 02:19:29 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback