Brian Johnson's Startup Developer Blog

January, 2004


    Log Files into Searchable Data

    Kent links to a new article on his ASP.NET Developer Center:

    Turn Your Log Files into Searchable Data Using Regex and the XML Classes

    What?! You want me to transform all this into something searchable?" I asked with dismay. It was an early morning meeting with the company's CTO. The topic was, "We've got a bunch of log files from our legacy application, and we need to provide a good way to collect and search data from those logs." The "logs" were a bunch of year-old text files in which our legacy application saved all its logs for a specific task it performed. Now the customer wanted to have some statistics about all the operations that were written in those files.

    CTO: "Yeah, and we need it right away. Can you do it?"

    "Sure", I replied. I had to think about how to do this, though. Surely, this would be a challenge.
    This article is seriously cool. It's not directly related to security, but it's one of those things that's great for security guys who live and die by what's happing in the logs.

    Office SDK's and Tools


    I found a headline on linking to the Office Research Service SDK on MSDN. It sounded intriguing and so I checked out the documentation. I couldn't find the actual SDK and so I hunted around in the node and finally came up with the right one. You can download that SDK, along with the SDK's and tools listed below from Microsoft Office Downloads.

    XML Toolbox for Microsoft Office Word 2003
    Office 2003 Smart Document Software Development Kit (SDK)
    Office 2003 Research Service Software Development Kit (SDK)
    Microsoft Office 2003 Web Services Toolkit

    I was looking at the samples and this stuff seems very cool. I imagine that a service that exposed RSS feeds while working in Word would be quite useful for some of us. There's even a Google sample.


    MSN Explorer 9

    I've been using the new MSN Explorer 9 browser as part of my MSN Premium membership for a few weeks ago and it's pretty impressive. There's a popup blocker and the dashboard feature is really good for quick info. Most impressive to me is how much better MSN Search is. I'm actually finding good stuff on the first try. :)

    One thing to note is that it's somewhat difficult to use this as my main browser on my work machines. I've got it installed, but I find that it gets in the way of some of our internal applications.

    The thing that really makes this software for me is the persistent Favorites across multiple machines. Very slick. I told my mom about it and she subscribed as an upgrade to her Hotmail extra storage. She hasn't had time to install the new software yet. I'll be interested to hear what she has to say about it.


    Developing with Non-Administrative Privileges

    Today on the Security Developer Center we're featuring an interesting article by Lars Bergstrom that explains how to use Visual Studio .NET as a non-admin. This article has tons of tricks for accessing tools from different sorts of accounts on your workstation:

    Developing Software in Visual Studio .NET with Non-Administrative Privileges

    Members of the local Administrators group have privileges to perform any action on a machine. This causes both a risk to the user performing actions in that environment and to the software that they develop. This article explains how to productively develop software while logged on with non-administrative privileges.

    New security management column on TechNet

    Jesper Johansson of Microsoft has a new security management column at TechNet. The first comlumn is entitled:

    Security Management - The Fundamental Tradeoffs

    and here's my favorite quote:

    Information technology is working properly only when users can stop thinking about how or why it works.

    Another happy Napster user...

    Russell Beattie talks about the value he's recieving from his Napster subscription. This caught my eye because I'm also a huge fan of the Adult Alternative channel.

    The Web site has a really cool bits page that features some of the promotional Flash pieces they've done.

    [Listening to: Dusty Turnarouond - Lizzie West - Holy Road: Freedom Songs (04:47)]

    Redmond is freezing!

    The ice is building up in the fountains. I may bring skates to work tomorrow. :)


    Spirit Images

    This page at JPL links to the photos taken from Mars. You can drill down to get to medium and high resolution versions of the images.

    Somebody should wake the media and let them know about this event.

    Winners either way...


    Update: Packers and^h^h^h beat Seahawks in OT.

    SPOT Review?

    Not so much a review, as an opinion piece about a product the writer hasn't even used. (And this from ieee.) Check it out:

    A Dog Named SPOT
    When Microsoft stops imitating and starts innovating, watch out

    I'm going to get one of these in the next few weeks and I'll post my impressions then. I see the service that this device provides as fundamentally different from what a mobile phone can provide.

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