Brian Johnson's Startup Developer Blog

December, 2004


    Mathforge: 2004, the Year in Mathematics

    Mathforge links to the important math stories for 2004.

    .NET Passport 2.5 SDK Available

    I saw on ActiveWin that this was updated on the download center this week. Check it out here:
    .NET Passport 2.5 Software Development Kit: Software and Documentation
    Microsoft .NET Passport is a suite of Web-based services that help make using the Internet and purchasing online easier and faster. .NET Passport provides users with single sign-in (SSI) capability at a growing number of participating sites, reducing the amount of information users must remember or retype. In addition, Microsoft Kids Passport can help your Web site comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) passed by Congress in November 1998. (COPPA requires that operators of online services or Web sites obtain parental consent prior to the collection, use, disclosure, or display of the personal information of children.)

    Herb Sutter: The Free Lunch is Over

    Herb Sutter has written an article discussing processing power limits and how concurrency will be the mechanism that we use to continue to maximize the performance of software in the future. Check it out here:
    The Free Lunch Is Over: A Fundamental Turn Toward Concurrency in Software
    Your free lunch will soon be over. What can you do about it? What are you doing about it?

    The major processor manufacturers and architectures, from Intel and AMD to Sparc and PowerPC, have run out of room with most of their traditional approaches to boosting CPU performance. Instead of driving clock speeds and straight-line instruction throughput ever higher, they are instead turning en masse to hyperthreading and multicore architectures. Both of these features are already available on chips today; in particular, multicore is available on current PowerPC and Sparc IV processors, and is coming in 2005 from Intel and AMD. Indeed, the big theme of the 2004 In-Stat/MDR Fall Processor Forum was multicore devices, as many companies showed new or updated multicore processors. Looking back, it’s not much of a stretch to call 2004 the year of multicore.

    And that puts us at a fundamental turning point in software development, at least for the next few years and for applications targeting general-purpose desktop computers and low-end servers (which happens to account for the vast bulk of the dollar value of software sold today). In this article, I’ll describe the changing face of hardware, why it suddenly does matter to software, and how specifically it matters to you and is going to change the way you will likely be writing software in the future.

    Windows XP Service Pack 2: The Inside Story

    Paul Thurrott has the inside story on XPSP2. Check it out here:
    Windows XP Service Pack 2: The Inside Story
    SuperSite readers will remember Todd Wanke as the guy who ran Microsoft's War Room for Windows Server 2003 (chronicled in Windows Server 2003: The Road To Gold Part Two: Developing Windows). Todd, you may recall, had pledged to never again run a War Room after the grueling Windows Server 2003 development process. "No way," he said, laughing, when I had asked him then if he would do it again. "No way."...

    ...In early December, I sat down with Todd, Ryan Burkhardt, and Jon Murchinson to discuss XP SP2 and the virtual team that made it happen. Here is their story.

    Best Gadget Present


    The best gadget present this year, didn't even go to me. It went to my two kids. One of my good Microsoft friends, Robert, gave each of the boys one of those headstrap miner lamps from REI. The model is the Petzl Tikka Plus. I rebuilt some computers this weekend and I wore one of these the whole time. I can't imagine working on a computer under a desk without one now. :)

    Petzl Tikka Plus LED Headlamp


    History of the Brownie Camera


    I was looking something up with regards to security around mobile cameras, and I found this site (must be from 2000) that details the history of the Brownie Camera. Mobile photography isn't quite as new as many of us might like to think. It was very new in 1900 though.

    The Brownie Camera @ 100: A Celebration

    What I mentioned in the comments here, was that when the Brownie was introduced, it was banned from some public beaches. Sound familier? :)


    Coolest Pocket PC Calculator


    I found the coolest little Pocket PC calculator today. It's called SpaceTime. I can't believe that I hadn't found this earlier, but it's a very advanced graphing calculator for the Pocket PC. They have a special running right now, so I picked it up today for 40% off. Check it out here:

    SpaceTime Mobile
    SpaceTime 1.6, a revolutionary graphing calculator  for the Pocket PC empowers your mobile device with 2D, 3D, and 4D graphing and nearly all the mathematical capabilities of a TI-83 Calculator.


    Microsoft's Spyware Strategy


    New article on the Security at Home site about spyware:

    Microsoft's strategy for addressing spyware and other potentially unwanted software

    Microsoft's vision for anti-spyware is that customers should be empowered to make informed decisions about the software that installs and runs on their computers. Microsoft will take steps toward this vision by making it easier for customers to gain insight into what's running on the system, to better discern good software from bad software, and to block and remove spyware from a PC.


    Camera Phones and Crime

    One last thing to think about while you're out shopping these last few days before Christmas:
    Camera Phone Criminals Targeting Holiday Shoppers
    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Thieves armed with camera cell phones are using the devices to steal credit card numbers, bank account numbers and even ATM numbers from holiday shoppers, according to a Local 6 News report.
    Drudge links to this and a number of other bizarre holiday stories. :)

    Major Nelson Blogcasts

    Major Nelson is no longer doing podcasts. He's calling them blogcasts. I agree, podcast is a dumb name. Blogcast isn't much better, but it's an improvement:
    It's official...I am no longer doing podcasts
    As I mentioned previously, I don't like the name podcast. So from now on, I won't be doing podcasts...I'll be doing blogcasts. Same thing, just a different name. Blogcast sounds better...and does not sound exclusionary.
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