# Sunday, November 30, 2003

I am Your Slave


For those of you who know me personally, you know that I hate Political Correctness-I call a spade a spade. If you also know me personally, you know that I hate-despise actually the city of Los Angles. So those of you who know me personally don’t have to read anymore if you heard about the LA County who recently asked computer and video equipment vendors to consider eliminating the terms "master" and "slave" from equipment because they may be considered offensive.


PC has gone too far when the PC Police are starting to talk about device drivers and the like. The terms are an industry standard. Will someone please just tell this guy to get his nose out of my industry.

posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 9:41:02 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Computer Randomly Plays Classical Music

Just when I thought I have seen it all.


Computer Randomly Plays Classical Music

View products that this article applies to.

This article was previously published under Q261186


During normal operation or in Safe mode, your computer may play "Fur Elise" or "It's a Small, Small World" seemingly at random. This is an indication sent to the PC speaker from the computer's BIOS that the CPU fan is failing or has failed, or that the power supply voltages have drifted out of tolerance. This is a design feature of a detection circuit and system BIOSes developed by Award/Unicore from 1997 on.


Although these symptoms may appear to be virus-like, they are the result of an electronic hardware monitoring component of the motherboard and BIOS. You may want to have your computer checked or serviced.

For aditional related information, please see the following DFI Technologies Web site:


Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0
posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 8:51:51 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 25, 2003

An Open Letter to John Ashcroft


Dear John Ashcroft,


Under the Clinton Administration, companies that had problems competing used the DOJ to bring frivolous lawsuits against their competitors. Sun Microsystems did this against Microsoft in the last 90s. As documents now show, this was more about personal egos and corporate profit. Corporations used the DOJ to take a swing at a competitor because they could (the DOJ was receptive). Basically Sun and its allies used the DOJ for personal gain. This set a dangerous precedent.


Oracle is planning to buy PeopleSoft. The Europeans are all over this. Last week, European regulators (the same ones attacking Microsoft last week) extended its probe into Oracle. The European Commission announced that it will enter a second phase of its investigation into the proposed merger of the second- and third-largest enterprise software companies.


Where is the DOJ?


Silent, as it should be. Please stay that way.


Oracle is a big database company. They make great database software, maybe the best out there at the moment. (Wait for Yukon). Oracle is in trouble. Big time. For 25 years Larry has tried to move past his core competency, databases and has never gotten anywhere. Microsoft (SQL Server) and IBM (DB2) are eating away at Larry’s profits.  OpenSource databases (MySQL and postgres) while not suitable for Enterprise applications can’t be ignored either-and are eating away market share in smaller accounts. So Oracle is losing make share in the only area it has any.  It needs to compete. Since Oracle can’t grow organically, let it grow by M&A. If not, Oracle will go the way of Sun, struggle to stay relevant.


Now please call your buds over at the European Comission and tell them to back off.




Stephen Forte

New York, NY

posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 3:45:22 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Monday, November 24, 2003

An Open Letter to My Old Friend and Client (RIAA Must Die Part II)


A group of investors led by my former client and friend Edgar Bronfman Jr. scored a victory in its bid for Time Warner Inc's Warner Music on Monday, signing a $2.6 billion deal to buy its recorded music and music publishing business. Edgar and I collaborated on a database for “Israel Experience” oh so many years ago. (And he still owes me a scuba diving trip in the Red Sea.)


Dear Edgar-


How are things going? Long time no speak. I really miss our days down on West 4th street arguing about the database I was building for you. Sorry I sat in your chair that day too. We have had our differences over database schema in the past, but you were still a great guy to work for (yes I want something). I am writing to you today on something more important than ever before. The RIAA is the devil and you are now the owner of the 4th largest record company in the world.


Please lead by example old friend. Extend your business model for file sharing and selling MP3s over the Internet. Figure out a way to monetize the electronic side of your business. Apple’s iTunes is a good start, talk to your pal Steve Jobs. Don’t litigate, innovate. You can’t fight technology, it is here to stay. So embrace it and make lots of money. Be the first to market, sell Madonna’s next album only on the Internet or something like that. I know you want to make a splash, so this can be it.


Being the first to market you will reap the financial rewards. Right now I openly admit to illegally downloading music to my heart’s content. That is because I hate the RIAA and it is my form of civil disobedience. Create an electronic distribution system of music and charge me for it and I will gladly pay. But be fair to both the artist and the consumer, or the artist will one day not need you. Remember that as part of your business plan, for you to make money, the artist needs higher compensation and the consumer lower cost of the product. Win-win for everyone, including you.


I know that Canadians enjoyed Thanksgiving last month, but do enjoy the holiday season.


Your Pal-


posted on Monday, November 24, 2003 4:29:02 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
# Saturday, November 22, 2003

Leila Called Today


It was 11:46am and I was riding my bike against traffic down E89th Street after an exhausting training ride in Central Park and the cell phone rings with a strange caller ID. I stop my bike to the oncoming traffic on Lexington Avenue and answer it. It was Leila, Wally Berg’s wife and our base camp manager on the Everest trip. When you travel to Everest with someone, you have a lifelong bond that can’t be broken, and the minute I heard her voice it brought me back to the mountain. The sights, the sounds, the smells. Also the calmness and tranquility of life all came back.

She filled me in on the fact that while they did not bag the summit, the team did have a successful summit of the South Summit (the second highest peak in the world) and assured me that a good time was had by all despite Mother Nature getting in the way. She also said that the sherpas were STILL singing the songs I taught them and saying the sayings that I taught them-a part of me is still in Nepal and that makes me feel special since a part of Nepal is definitely still in me. She was calling to tell me that they found a new blue hat to send me (one that I whined all trip for that I wanted) and took down my new address to send it to me.


While it is impractical, everyone should go to Everest, or at least their own personal Everest.


posted on Saturday, November 22, 2003 8:15:01 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, November 21, 2003

Vulnerable Systems Taken Down for 36+ Hours By Hackers


From eWeek:


An unknown cracker this week compromised several machines belonging to the Debian Project, including servers that house the project's bug-tracking system and security components. Officials from the project said they discovered the intrusion within the last 36 hours and are still working to restore all of the affected machines.”


Debian is cool. It is an open-source operating system that uses the Linux kernel and also includes a number of packages and tools from the GNU Project.


So I have been saying this for years, but now it looks like it is true, as Linux gains more momentum and marketshare, it too will be just as vulnerable to malicious attacks. Not sure what can be done, but I think international law has to be changed to take care of hackers easier.  

posted on Friday, November 21, 2003 9:06:41 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Rob Howard Started a War

On Stored Procedures v InLine SQL (heavy business logic in middle tier) in his blog on Monday..

I almost always use Stored Procedures. There is almost never a reason to use Dynamic SQL, but I am sure that there are times. My highlights:

  1. SPs are more secure. Most DBAs do not allow select permissions on any base tables-for obvious reasons. Using SPs gives you a nice abstraction layer. Don’t want someone accidentally deleting everything from a table, don’t create a SP to allow it.
  2. SPs can save your butt. What if a developer creates a dynamic SQL statement that looks ok but will not use an index, etc. And then in a few months your dynamic SQL is super slow since they are restricting on a billion row table without an index. Your procedure will never allow that if you say so.
  3. SPs are way easier to maintain in your code.

So what does Yukon with the ability to create SPs with C# or VB .NET do to all of this? Nothing, Microsoft still recomends TSQL for your data access/CRUD code.

posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 9:09:53 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 18, 2003

A-Rod at Shea?

It is that time of year where the super duper trade rumors start. The latest has A-Rod in Flushing.

posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 3:02:55 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [17] Trackback
# Monday, November 17, 2003

I think I can fly.


As I ate lunch yesterday on top of Slide Mountain (the tallest in the Catskills) there was a very special feeling as the snow started to fall on Walter and me. I have summitted this mountain twice before, but something was different today. The scenery, the calm, and the smell of the balsam fur and pine trees were intoxicating. The struggle up the last rock face was satisfying, especially when I got my boot wedged into a foothold and could not get it out-had to take my foot out of the boot while hanging on the rock wall with my other hand. On the summit, a calm soothing feeling came over us along with the sense of accomplishment of summiting our 3rd peak of the day (Wittenberg and Cornell mountains were also summited on the 7 mile approach in to Slide Mountain).


After lunch, Mary, Dorothy aka the Condom Queen (I can write that since she says that she doesn’t read my blog), Donna and Norm went ahead of Walter and I on the 7 mile descent (14 mile total day). I love the trail down Slide in the winter, with about 5 inches of snow on the ground and snow and frost in the green balsam and pine trees, the visual stimulus was amazing. Alone in the majestic quiet of the wilderness, we talked about this is why we climb these mountains and that it is too bad people not here would not understand how special it is to be there today. That is why I write this today, hopefully you all understand somewhat.


The stats: 14 miles, 7 hours, 3 peaks, 4 Cliff bars, 3 liters of water and about 7,000’ of elevation gain/loss.


What a way to recharge the batteries, both mentally and physically.



posted on Monday, November 17, 2003 4:53:54 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [11] Trackback
# Friday, November 14, 2003

The Source


Whenever I am on the Microsoft Campus, it is a strange feeling. Kind of like Neo returning to The Source in The Matrix Reloaded.


Yesterday I was on campus and had a good experience planning things for 2004. Stay tuned!

posted on Friday, November 14, 2003 6:00:30 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Wednesday, November 12, 2003

PASS Session

If you attended my PASS session in Seattle today called Efficient and Secure Data Retrieval in Your Middle Tier Using Stored Procedures and ADO. NET, you can download the materials here.

Off to dinner with Bill!

posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 8:13:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 11, 2003
SubQueries Rock in a Where Clause

I have been using subqueries in Where clauses since I learned TSQL. This SQL below gives me all of the data in one table that is not in another table. Clemons, try doing that with XML! <g>

select location_id  from rpt_rcep11 where location_ID not in (select location_ID from dbo.tblExtrnl_Location_Mapping group by location_ID) group by location_id

posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:33:48 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, November 10, 2003

Gentlemen, Start your Word Processors


I am one of three authors of the Microsoft Press book on Developing/Programming for SQL Server “Yukon” due out when the product ships. Last night I met with fellow authors Andrew Brust and Bill Zack at Andrew’s house and discussed the final outline, chapter assignment and writing schedule. Bill has written an article on the new SQL Server Service Broker for SQL Server magazine, so look for that in the March issue and I have written and article for MSDN magazine for the February issue on the new TSQL improvements, IDE and CLR Stored Procedures. These of course are excepts from chapters, so the writing process has officially begun.


This is going to be a great book since we will target .NET developers more than the DBA, while covering all the administrative features and tools. Since performance is as much of a developer concern as DBA concern, expect lots on performance tuning and optimization. I can’t post the outline and sample chapters here just yet (stay tuned, one day I can), but I can tell you we cover everything from soup to nuts. I was assigned (actually asked) for the chapter on XQuery, XML and the XML Datatype. Clemens must find that so funny!

posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 4:10:13 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Friday, November 7, 2003

Movin' On Up

Like George and Wese. Today is moving day.

Not sure how much Linda will miss me, but Andrew must be happy to get his room back.

posted on Friday, November 7, 2003 5:13:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Thursday, November 6, 2003

Do you like what I’ve done with the place?


Saw Matrix Revolutions last night and it was good and bad. If you saw the first two you need to see it. Lots of eye candy in the fight scenes, but the movie ran out of gas in the end.

posted on Thursday, November 6, 2003 2:08:33 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [12] Trackback
# Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Linux on the Desktop


Not anytime soon. This actually bums me out, I would like to see what the competition would do to Microsoft. From ZDNet:


“Linux is seen by Microsoft as its most dangerous competitor for desktop operating systems, and after a number of high-profile cases where government departments have switched from Windows to Linux-based systems, the OS has been making some progress. However, Red Hat said that the hype around desktop Linux is still mostly unfounded at the moment.


Matthew Szulik, chief executive of Linux vendor Red Hat, said on Monday that although Linux is capable of exceeding expectations for corporate users, home users should stick with Windows: "I would say that for the consumer market place, Windows probably continues to be the right product line," he said. "I would argue that from the device-driver standpoint and perhaps some of the other traditional functionality, for that classic consumer purchaser, it is my view that (Linux) technology needs to mature a little bit more."

posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 2:06:14 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [11] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 4, 2003

An Evil Company Forcing Expensive Upgrades


Today an evil company told its customers that it will force an upgrade on its users. The company will discontinue maintenance and errata support for versions 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 8.0 as of December 31, 2003," and that the company will "discontinue maintenance and errata support for version 9 as of April 30, 2004," and that the company "does not plan to release another product in the line." You will have to upgrade to a very expensive Enterprise version.


So you say the boys in Redmond are at it again. Think again, these are Germans. Got this in the mail today. I have a lot to say on this, but will let it sink in, because I predicted this years ago and the Linux crowd created a FUD site dedicated to me. Payback is a bitch.


The email:



Thank you for being a Red Hat Network customer.


This e-mail provides you with important information about the upcoming

discontinuation of Red Hat Linux, and resources to assist you with your

migration to another Red Hat solution.


As previously communicated, Red Hat will discontinue maintenance and

errata support for Red Hat Linux 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 8.0 as of December

31, 2003. Red Hat will discontinue maintenance and errata support for



Hat Linux 9 as of April 30, 2004. Red Hat does not plan to release

another product in the Red Hat Linux line.


With the recent announcement of Red Hat Enterprise Linux v.3, you'll

find migrating to Enterprise Linux appealing. We understand

that transitioning to another Red Hat solution requires careful planning

and implementation. We have created a migration plan for Red Hat Network

customers to help make the transition as simple and seamless as

possible. Details:



If you purchase Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS or ES Basic before February

28, 2004, you will receive 50% off the price for two years.[*] (That's two

years for the price of one.)



In addition, we have created a Red Hat Linux Migration Resource Center

to address your migration planning and other questions, such as:


* What are best practices for implementing the migration to Red Hat

    Enterprise Linux?


* Are there other migration alternatives?


* How do I purchase Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS or ES Basic at the price



* What if my paid subscription to RHN extends past April 30, 2004?




Find out more about your migration options with product comparisons,

whitepapers and documentation at the Red Hat Linux Migration Resource





Or read the FAQ written especially for Red Hat Network customers:






Red Hat, Inc.


[*] Limit 10 units. Higher volume purchase inquiries should contact a

        regional Red Hat sales representative. Contact numbers available at



--the Red Hat Network Team

posted on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 1:37:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [13] Trackback
# Monday, November 3, 2003

Stephen Put on Some Pants, Andrew Brush Your Teeth 

Linda was on a mission yesterday morning to get us up and motivated to watch the NYC Marathon up at Banshee on 1st and 74th as she ordered Andrew and I around before breakfast. The runners had awesome weather (sunny and in the low 70s) while we drank some beer and cheered them on. A band was playing in the street and some random runners even kissed random people in the crowd.


While Linda and I are running a marathon on February 26, 2005 in Antarctica, I could not get her to commit to running the NYC marathon with me next year. Kathleen did agree. Training starts this winter.


posted on Monday, November 3, 2003 2:52:05 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [19] Trackback
# Saturday, November 1, 2003

Its gotta be the shoes (aka a Night of Sin exposed)


The madness known as the Halloween Night Party started around 4pm on Halloween at East Side Nails on Lexington Avenue when the manicurist questioned my decision to paint my nails alternating blue and purple. I spent about 10 minutes picking out the correct colors to match my costume. I should have known, this set the tone for the entire evening.


Linda (a sailor), John (a Scottish man in a kilt) and I (masquerade masked man) picked up Kara (hot chick in red fishnet) in the cab and headed down to the Annual Halloween Festival and Costume Ball in the East Village. Andrew, with his new shows, playing the role of a gay British guy met us there and we got going. The night started off well when we found out that beers only cost $2, so we drank a lot (Please don’t tell Scott Hanselman). After Kara, Andrew and I got our Tarot cards read (it was soooooo scary how accurate it was), we got a little freaked out and had to drink and dance more. Andrew and I took over the stage on one of the dance floors and grooved until it was time to go. I was told that I was very drunk, but I don’t believe them.


As we walked to a bar called the Opium Den, we passed on the Bowery between 2nd and 3rd a bunch of homegirls grooving outside of their car. Andrew and I started dancing with them in the street. They got into it and started to smack our butts and one girl really got down with Andrew.


After dancing to some retro 80s tunes at the Opium Den, we decided to head home around 3:30, surprisingly we got the 5 train without any problems. After the 4am McDonalds Big Mac call (where that mean lady who cut us on line called Andrew and I gay), we ran into a bunch of dominatrix chicks across the street from home who whipped us pretty good.


After some beer and watching Governor Arnold in True Lies we finally got to bed around 5am. It was slow going at 2pm when we got up when John and Stephen went to the store and cooked breakfast. As I type this we are sitting down to eat breakfast at 2:45 pm. What a cool night..

posted on Saturday, November 1, 2003 7:50:15 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback