# Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I have a Motorola MPX 200 SmartPhone. AT&T sucks-ass and will only sell the phone with the SmartPhone 2002, quite possibly about as good an experience as airplane food. The next version is out, but AT&T refuses to sell it until its MPX 200 inventory is all sold out.

 

I got one anyway on eBay figuring I can flash it to SmartPhone 2003 at TechED or the MDC. Wrong. AT&T told Motorola to stop flashing the phones so people won’t upgrade. Well someone got pissed off and put the software to flash the phone up on the internt and my buddy the Toy Boy Richard Campbell downloaded it and gave it to me before it went away.

 

I pluged in my phone to my laptop and ran the software. It flashed to SmartPhone 2003 without incident.

Now I have two illegal phones that I did not buy from AT&T Wireless.

posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 4:27:45 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [22] Trackback
# Monday, August 30, 2004

There was a party for the Regional Directors and the Microsoft Developer Evangelists on Friday night and let me say that it was epic.

 

It was on a boat. This was no ordinary boat. After they fed us and opened the bar, a DJ and go-go dancers started to rev us. Clemens and I pulled up chairs and pretty much held court.

 

Then they announced there would be a belly dancer. They started to play Turkish music. Then building on the RD belly dancing traditions (me in Cairo and Clemens in Casablanca), Goksin Bakir decided to get up and dance. He was GOOD. Unfortunately they asked him to stop and the real belly dancer got up and started.

 

While that was all fun and games (and Clemens and I still holding court, but now about 8 or 9 beers later), the DJ decided to play some awesome Punjabi remixes and that got fellow RD Sanjay Shetty and I on the dance floor pretty hard core. (It has been almost a year since I learned to dance to Punjabi music in India.) We danced our brains out. SQL Hera also got down with Goksin, Michelle and I.

 

Richard Campbell did his weekly Toy Boy bit for .NET Rocks via Cell Phone on the boat as we passed Bill Gates house. I was too drunk and drooling over the belly dancer to participate.

 

Hours later (and buckets of sweat later too), the boat docked (and I headed to the airport for a redeye back to New York.)

 

See the team at TechEd in Kula Lumpur in a few weeks!

posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 1:44:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [20] Trackback
# Friday, August 27, 2004

A report from the front lines at the meeting on campus this week.

 

First Kimberly Tripp, aka the SQL Goddess, is mad at Clemens and I that we have dubbed her the SQL Goddess and now via the power of Google, she is now known as the SQL Goddess. So I decided to start call her SQL Hera (with the Olympics and all). But I need you help. Google works with links so you all have to link to her and use the term SQL Hera in your blogs and such so Google will pick it on up. So here is the deal: SQL Hera, SQL Hera, SQL Hera, SQL Hera. Put it in your blog. Make a web page. Kimberly will love us all for it.

 

Who’s bed did you sleep in last night? That seems to be a common question at the meeting this week since we are all sharing rooms. Clemens and I are sharing a room but NOT a bed.

 

So today Jim Allchin made a major announcement saying that WinFS is being pulled from Longhorn. The real good news is that it will make Longhorn released in 2006 and MS will ship Avalon and Indigo for WinXP and 2003. This is pretty cool! But delaying WinFS is ok if it will make it right.

posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 3:21:16 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
# Thursday, August 26, 2004

Microsoft has gathered 300 of its top internal and 3rd party (RDs) Evangelists in one place and have given us a brain dump on their 7 major categories over the next few years. I am sitting in on the Yukon/SQL Server category.

 

Many RDs are here and we of course are causing lots of mischief. Lots of info overload here today…

 

posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 4:47:01 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [23] Trackback
# Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Northwind is oficially dead, it will not ship with Yukon. This is good, Northwind was bad, very bad.

posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 5:59:29 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [14] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 24, 2004

 I installed Windows XP SP2. It ran without issue. Many people complain (most recently the Wall Street Journal) that SP2 does not include as part of the offering anti-Spam, anti-Spyware and anti-Virus. These are the same exact people who would complain that Microsoft is putting these independent third party people out of business. You can’t have it both ways.

 

XP2 is good enough. It automatically puts on your firewall and adds a pop-up blocker to IE, even though I run the google and msn toolbars, now I have three pop-up blockers. My  system seems stable and they have worked on the WiFi dialogs, lets see if it is any easier to connect to a local access point. The new “Security Center” may not be perfect but at least is a step in the right direction and future versions of Windows I am sure will build on top of this.

 

As for programs not working, we all knew this. If you are doing remote debugging with VS .NET or SQL Server you may have to tweak your system to accept the client requests, etc, but most non-developer and non-admin stuff will run fine. Microsoft has a list here.

 

So go install the damn thing.

posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 8:37:08 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
# Friday, August 20, 2004

I hate the RIAA more than Osama bin Laden, The New York Yankees and Communists combined. Why? There is so much to hate. (If you are counting I only hate OPEC, DeBeers and every telco out there more.)

 

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) represents the most criminal elements of our society, the Recording Industry executives.  They sit in-between the artists and you and me-the consumer. When you pay $12 for a new CD how much of that money goes to the artist? Nothing. If you don’t believe me, read Courtney Love’s number crunching here (I’ll wait).

 

Yesterday the RIAA lost a major legal battle. File swapping companies Grokster, StreamCast, and Sharman Network were being sued by the RIAA to be closed down. This begs the question if I send you a mail bomb via FexEd can you sue FedEx? (No) Thankfully the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals followed Canada’s lead and ruled in favor of the on-line swappers saying that since there is no central server, there is no liability.

 

So once again to the RIAA, why do you constantly try to litigate away technology. MP3 and downloaded music is here to stay. Find a way to monetize it instead of litigating it. Until you do so I am going to keep downloading for free. (I don’t pay for iTunes because I refuse to buy an iPod and Apple’s music won’t work on my current MP3 player.)

posted on Friday, August 20, 2004 2:16:54 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
# Thursday, August 19, 2004

My favorite city, Kathmandu is under a blockade by the Maoists rebels. This is a problem, the rebels have been targeting Kathmandu more and more in recent months (starting with the General Strike and such when I was there a year ago). A few days ago a hotel I stayed in in 2002 had 5 bombs go off in it. This is going to kill tourism to the South Col Route to Everest and force climbers to attempt Everest via the China side.

posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 10:25:43 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [10] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I have gotten lots of email about how to obtain inner peace while still working in a cube. People think that because I am self employed that I have an advantage over them about this. Well my pal Julie Lerman emailed me the other day and hinted that she is taking on too many commitments. So that is where I will start.

 

Many people are too busy. The older you get the busier you get. Some people can’t even relax on vacation. My advice is that you should just relax a little. Leave work at work, just as you should leave play at play. Find something that you like to do every day. (For me it is riding my bike, running, swimming, lifting, etc). It make take you a while to find out what that is, be it reading romance novels, talking on the phone to distant friends, or even surfing porn on the internet, I don’t care. The first step to actually do it. If you can’t find two hours a day to do it, then you have your priorities all wrong, you are working too much, or something else. And these are not I will get up at 5am two hours, and preferable they are non-consecutive hours. (I gave this advice to Andy Catlin over a year ago and he still lives by it, and he is way smarter than me.) Start with 30 minuets if you are super busy. Then move to an hour, etc. If you protest to me and say “Steve I am super duper busy at the office, you don’t understand.” I have two things to say. Yes I do understand, I am super duper busy and I worked on Wall Street on the Y2K project, you know 100 hours a week. Second is that nobody on their deathbed said “I wish I spent more time doing the things that did not make me happy and were a low priority in my life.”

 

So after you get there the next step is easy. It is simple, live your dreams. (Well at least the best you could.)I have wanted to go to Mt. Everest since I was 7 years old. I finally did and when I got there a little voice in my head said “What were you waiting for?” Life is too short, live your dreams. No excuses, make it happen. If your dreams are super bold like mine (Climb Mount Everest), do something (like at least go the damn mountain) at least in the neighborhood. I also want to ride in the Tour de France. We all know that is not going to happen, but I do bike races locally against other amateurs at my level and one summer soon I am going to take the time off and follow the tour as a crazy spectator.

 

Ok, see you all on the other side…

posted on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 9:09:42 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [9] Trackback
# Monday, August 16, 2004

I was a competitive swimmer and cyclist growing up. I was even captain of my High School swim team. I have also been doing triathlons since then. (Unfortunately I have to sit out of a tri this weekend due to an injury) So every 4 years I am glued to the TV to watch the cycling, swimming (and diving, I dove too), and track and field events. And of course whatever women was in my life (from moms, to wifes to girlfriends) at the time made me watch the gymnastics.

 

Tonight (2:30 EDT) in Athens is the match up of the entire Olympics. Ian Thorpe (21) of Australia and Michael Phelps (19) of Baltimore, MD. These two kids can swim. They have lots of world records and 2004 Olympic medals already. (They are trying to catch Mark Spitz from 1972 with 7 gold’s, highly unlikely-nobody can catch mark).

 

What I am sad to think of is that each of these kids will go home with several medals (they each have a gold already I think) and if they “only” get 4 or 5 medals people in the media, etc, will say it is a disappointment. Screw them and their internet “what have you done for me lately” reality TV-obsessed, recall vote culture.


Tune in tonight (8pm EDT tape delay in the US) and watch some great competition!

posted on Monday, August 16, 2004 11:52:12 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [24] Trackback
# Saturday, August 14, 2004

A year ago today was the blackout. Like most New Yorkers I can’t believe it was an entire year ago. For me personally the blackout was a turning point, a chain of events were set off for a truly amazing, unexpected and strange year that took me to Mt. Everest, Mt. McKinley (Denali) , Mt. Rainer, India, Egypt, Morocco, Malaysia rainforests, the bars of Bangkok, Hawaii, London, Paris, Amsterdam and so much more.

 

Looking back on a year you think about what matters most, what you learned, mistakes you made, etc. I learned a very important thing last year on Mt. Everest. Inner peace. After more than a month away from home, (a week in Malaysia and 4 weeks in Nepal), I had achieved inner peace in that bar in Lulka. It may have had something to do with the dirt cheap happy hour drinks, the bartender playing No Woman No Cry four times in a row for me, but it was more than that. I had time to reflect on life, the universe and everything. I found that nothing is more sacred than finding inner peace. You just can’t get it working 9-5 in a cube and worrying about picking up your dry cleaning and rushing to the downtown 6 train. Around Christmas time last year I contemplated moving to Lulka and buying that bar and making a living there. (Don’t underestimate my desire to get back there, one day this blog may be hosted in Nepal.)

 

Short of moving to Lulka or Goa, India, once a year I plan to find that inner peace somewhere, it doesn’t necessary have to be on a mountain, but that is a good place to start.

 

So this next year brings some crazy things. I get ready to travel back to Tech*ED Malaysia in KL with stops in Hong Kong, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Then off to Kilimanjaro in October and Antarctica in February. Somewhere, whether it is the Killing Fields of Phnom Penh or the highest point in Africa, I will find that inner peace somewhere. I just hope that all of you can try to do the same at your time and location. Don’t lose the desire to keep looking for it.

posted on Saturday, August 14, 2004 1:42:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
# Friday, August 13, 2004

Ok sorry you can’t have it both ways. The industry has been bashing Microsoft for the last 5 or 10 years about being soft on security. Then when Microsoft releases the Windows XP Service Pack 2 which is a security focused SP, people whine about it breaking apps and being a chore to deploy to large corporate users. Stop the whining, just install the damn thing and make your system more secure. You can’t have it both ways. If you want Microsoft to respond to your security complaints, you have to make some sacrifices. I think these people have been bashing Microsoft for so long on security that now they are not sure what they will do with their newly found free time. (I am not saying that SP2 fixes very single hole but it does an amazing job. XP will be secure by default and much more focused on Security as a priority.)

 

The people who don’t install it and get hit with a virus or bug that is fixed by it are in my book like people who don’t vote but complain about the government.

 

And come on now developers. Quite a few applications will break under the new security-focused service pack. Many shouldn't have been written that way, and developers have had plenty of warning that things would change. Let me see, I personally delivered this message twice, once at DevDays in February and once at TechEd US in May. Combined over 50,000 people attended those developer conferences. Plus all the MS warnings on the web and in the press. SP2 will force you to develop more secure applications, so why not just get started…

posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 8:03:40 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [17] Trackback
# Thursday, August 05, 2004

Flew into Grand Haven, MI to stay at Andy Catlin's tri-camp. A weekend of bike, run and swim. Also the tri of drink, fall down and get arrested. With a crowd of Tom, Adam, Linda, Katleen, John, Andy and myself could you ask for anything less?

posted on Thursday, August 05, 2004 1:59:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [17] Trackback
# Wednesday, August 04, 2004

So my trusty Dell Inspiron 4150 is just over a year old. It has flown 157, 403 miles (thanks aa.com). It has been to strange places like Alaska and Mt. Everest. Egypt twice, Morocco, Tunis, all over Europe and Asia. I have delivered countless Tech*Ed sessions and the like on this trusty thing.

It has revolted against me! I think it is sick of flying. (Or of the TSA thinking it is an evil terrorist bomb.) Two weeks ago I had to replace the power supply. Then the screen went pink (I blame Kathleen, girl's like pink.) and the keyboard was all shot. So Dell came and gave me a new screen and keyboard last week.

As of Friday I can't turn it on. So Dell is coming today to give me a new motherboard and power button. Stay tuned. Before you know it I will have a whole new computer!

posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 12:04:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 03, 2004

At 10:15 A.M. on Thursday, August 23rd, 1973 the "Sveriges Kreditbank" of Stockholm, Sweden was rocked by sub-machine gun fire.(1) "The party has just begun", announced a 32 year old prison escapee named Jan-Erik Olsson. "The party", indeed, continued for some 131 hours, or five and a half days, as Olsson held four of the bank's employees hostage in an 11 by 47 foot vault until late in the evening of August 28th.

While the "Sveriges Kreditbank" robbery itself may not have been of world shattering importance, later interviews with the four hostages yielded surprising results -- results that have been confirmed in numerous other "hostage situations" in the years that followed. Even though the captives themselves were not able to explain it, they displayed a strange association with their captors, identifying with them while fearing those who sought to end their captivity. In some cases they later testified on behalf of or raised money for the legal defense of their captors. The Swedish location of the "Sveriges Kreditbank" gave its name to this mental aberration as "The Stockholm Syndrome".

Long-term psychological study of this and similar hostage situations has defined a fairly clear and characteristic set of symptoms for the Stockholm Syndrome:

The captives begin to identify with their captors. At least at first this is a defensive mechanism, based on the (often unconscious) idea that the captor will not hurt the captive if he is cooperative and even positively supportive. The captive seeks to win the favor of the captor in an almost childlike way.

The captive often realizes that action taken by his would-be rescuers is very likely to hurt him instead of obtaining his release. Attempts at rescue may turn a presently tolerable situation into a lethal one. If the bullets of the authorities don't get him, quite possibly those of the provoked captor will.

Long term captivity builds even stronger attachment to the captor as he becomes known as a human being with his own problems and aspirations. Particularly in political or ideological situations, longer captivity also allows the captive to become familiar with the captor's point of view and the history of his grievances against authority. He may come to believe that the captor's position is just.

The captive seeks to distance himself emotionally from the situation by denial that it is actually taking place. He fancies that "it is all a dream", or looses himself in excessive periods of sleep, or in delusions of being magically rescued. He may try to forget the situation by engaging in useless but time consuming "busy work". Depending on his degree of identification with the captor he may deny that the captor is at fault, holding that the would-be rescuers and their insistence on punishing the captor are really to blame for his situation.

posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 2:13:19 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [4] Trackback