Brian Johnson's Startup Developer Blog

January, 2004


    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.


    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.

    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.

    Suunto Pics

    I posted a few pictures of the Suunto N3 to my photo site. I just wanted to show what comes in the box and how it fits together for those that might be interested.


    Napster and Windows Media Center

    Duncan and I were talking about the kinds of plug-ins that could be created for Windows Media Center and I thought it would be nice to have a Napster plug-in. Last night I disovered that this was already installed on my machine:



    When I came home tonight, my wife said that giant, pig-sized raccoons jumped out of the bushes and ran to the woods as she was about to cook some steaks on the grill. I found this funny because I've never seen a racoon in Redmond. I said they must have been bear cubs. Either way, the steak was awesome.

    BTW: My home town in Wisconsin is somewhat famous for a certain raccoon...

    The house in the picture is just around the corner from my mom and dad's.

    New Windows Server 2003 Security Guides

    • 3 Comments points to a couple of new security papers in the download center:
    Windows Server 2003 Security Guide

    The Windows Server 2003 Security Guide provides guidance to assist in hardening Domain Controllers, Infrastructure servers, File servers, Print servers, IIS servers, IAS servers.Certificate Services, and bastion hosts.

    Threats and Countermeasures: Security Settings in Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP

    The Threats and Countermeasures Guide contains detailed information about relevant security settings that can be configured on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.


    MSN Toolbar Beta

    This is interesting. An MSN Search toolbar. I'll take it for a spin and see how it compares. I've been telling people that I'm using MSN Search a lot because I use the MSN Explorer browser and that the search results have been good. This toolbar even adds a pop-up guard to IE.


    Tomorrow is Personal Firewall Day...

    So everyone have a happy and safe PFD!

    Personal Firewall Day is dedicated to educating everyone about the threats we face--and pose--when we don't protect our computers with personal firewalls. Personal Firewall Day is also a call to firewall experts to share their expertise and advice with friends, family, and their communities.
    Check out the details at:

    Services for UNIX 3.5

    Services for UNIX 3.5 is released and available for download. Follow the instructions on the SFU Home Page. You need to register to get the released version, so if you see the word beta on the download page, you may not be in the right place.

    Services for UNIX is always one of the first things I install on a new machine. (Otherwise every time I type ls in the console, it just beeps at me.) This is also a really easy way to install Perl. Perl's not in the default install, I think you need to do a custom install and check the appropriate box. Have fun!
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