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Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

(I came, I saw, I got stuck!)

April, 2007

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  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Atlas Shrugged?

    • 3 Comments

     

    The world is divided into two, People who like Ayn Rand and people who don’t! I clearly fall into the first category. My dad gave me a copy of the Fountainhead when I was in my 10th grade. I’ve never been the same since! It changed me, it changed my outlook towards life. The constant battle I’ve always had is deciding if I am more like Howard Roark or like Gail Wynand! Time shall tell…anyway, I just reordered my therapy book – Fountainhead! I have a feeling I’ll need it soon! :) I guess I'll read it with a very different perspective after 13 years of reading it first.

    By the way, is it just me who thinks the title - Atlas Shrugged is one of the most powerful titles, ever!?! Or. is there anyone else who agrees with me on that? :) I mean, it's so loaded...of course, I love that book too!

    Nothing keeps me busy and occupied like a good book does! It’s where I drown my worries and sorrows!

    Here’s a very comprehensive gist of characters from the Fountainhead. It's sad, but true that most of the people we meet in our lives are either Peter Keating(s) or Ellsworth Toohey(s)! Oh well! C’est la vie!

    The Fountainhead: Understanding the Major Characters

    by Robert Bidinotto
    Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead powerfully and credibly depicts how important moral integrity is in maintaining one’s personal independence, and in achieving success and happiness. Rand makes her case by depicting characters whose lives and choices represent the logical variations on her philosophical and psychological themes.

    Readers of the novel may find the following chart useful. It summarizes the differing premises, goals, and methods of each of the story’s five major characters – and the respective consequences for each of them.

     

    Character

    Premise

    Ends

    Means

    Results

    Howard Roark Integrity leads to success & happiness His work, done his way Exercise uncompromising integrity Success: his work done his way
    Dominique Francon Integrity leads to destruction by the world Preserving her integrity Abandon worldly values, success & happiness Discovers that her premise is in error.
    Peter Keating Integrity is an obstacle to popularity Popularity & social success Reject integrity, seek popularity via pandering Failure in his quest for popularity
    Ellsworth Toohey Integrity is an obstacle to power over others Power over others Weaken others by attacking their integrity Failure in his quest for power over men of integrity
    Gail Wynand Integrity is an obstacle to practical success Values & happiness Seek power over others Failure of power to bring him values & happiness

     

    Quip:

    Thinking men cannot be ruled.

    --Ayn Rand

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Silverlight - Microsoft's 'Kool ad'!

    • 1 Comments

    If you are a denizen of the 'bloggers world' this news is a bit old – sorta like CNN’s stuff!

    Earlier this week Microsoft announced the launch of WPF/E opps! I mean to say, Silverlight – Microsoft’s premier technology aimed at empowering designers. The whole idea is to collaborate designers and developers. Last quarter when I was talking about WPF – Windows Presentation Foundation a lot of people expressed interest in learning and knowing about WPF/E which is Windows Presentation Foundation – Everywhere! This allows designers and developers to develop ‘ultra-cool’® applications! Giving flash a serious run for its money! I think flash’s dominance has finally met a match.

    Next quarter, I'll be covering a lot more on WPF/E opps! again! I meant to say Silverlight! :) Be sure to register for an event near you!

    Anyway, the point of this post is – the Silverlight promo Ad that Microsoft released. To be honest, I’ve always been appalled with Microsoft’s ad campaigns. After the ‘Dinosaur mask’ fiasco (Office 97 – Information age?) or the ‘Software for the agile business’ tagline I started covering my face and ducking whenever I saw a Microsoft Ad. I think finally, finally, finally…we’ve woken up and realized that ad’s are supposed to be cool! Supposed to drive home a point to ‘everyone’ not just geeks! Supposed to strike a chord with your customer and strike the right chord. And, I think the Silverlight promo ad does just this :)

    I was just wow’d when I saw this ad – Check it out! If our past is any indication of our future, Apple – watch out!

    Ciao!

    PS:

    If you are still wondering whether Silverlight is written in Java (did you see the ad closely?) using SAX (the javax namespace and use of Java API's like vector.addElement) then you might want to get to Las Vegas and attend the MIX 07 show! There are a lot of cool announcements happening this year! Vegas being Vegas, I am sure there’ll be scalpers selling a few tickets to the sold-out event!

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    WCF Virtual lab now out! Very cool!

    • 0 Comments

    A Server Scenario Lab with Windows Communication Foundation Virtual Lab --> Click on the link!

    This MSDN Virtual Lab is built on Windows Vista, Visual Studio 2005 and .NET Framework 3.0. It provides an overview of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) built on a Fabrikam CRM Scenario. The lab is aimed at .NET Developers who have not used WCF before. It will take you through the following exercises;

    1. A walkthrough of the Fabrikam CRM application scenario

    2. Creating a WCF service and client

    3. WCF manageability

    4. Windows Activation Service (WAS) and Security, and

    5. Extending WCF services.

    The scenario also uses Windows Workflow Foundation and a separate MSDN Virtual Labs is provided as an overview to that technology.

    For more .net Framework 3.0 Virtual labs - Click HERE

     

    Happy learning!

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    MTV now runs on HTML

    • 0 Comments

    MTV bids adieu to flash! Here's their announcement...

    http://www.mtv.com

    http://www.mtvlabs.tv/

    “At MTV, experimenting is just something we do. We've got more than two decades of that under our belt. So, about nine months ago, we went all Flash with our Web site. It was a technical marvel and it was indeed flashy. But, it was also something of a headache for a lot of users, so we were told.


    Luckily, we're also good listeners, and that's why a few months ago we started toying with a new and improved HTML version of the MTV site. Anyone watching the live beta site has been witness to substantial evolution, from the overall look of the pages to simplified navigation, a new video player and a vastly improved internal search mechanism.


    Today, we've gone ahead and flipped the switch. The Flash site is gone. If you were digging that, we're sorry. We have good reason to believe that you will enjoy our content via the HTML version even more.”

     

    Hello Web x.0...

     

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    We are Microsoft! #1 - Undefeated!

    • 1 Comments

    I - love - this Company! And, this is why...

    10 Reinvigorating Facts About Microsoft's Profits
    Monday April 30, 5:57 am ET

    Joe Panettieri: I have written extensively about Microsoft's (NasdaqGS: MSFT) problems. But last week, I got a stunning reminder about the company's power. It takes Microsoft only 10 hours of business to exceed Red Hat's entire quarterly profit. Skeptical? Check out the math, and nine other facts about Microsoft's most recent earnings report.

    Microsoft last week announced quarterly revenue of $14.4 billion and net income of $4.93 billion. In other words, Microsoft's daily net income is about $55 million. That's $55 million in pure profit every 24 hours. Do some quick math and you'll learn it takes Microsoft only about...

    · 10 hours or so (yes, hours!) to exceed Red Hat's (NYSE: RHT - News) quarterly net income of $20.5 million.

    · Four days to exceed Research In Motion's (NasdaqGS: RIMM) quarterly net income of $187.9 million.

    · Four days to exceed Starbucks' (NasdaqGS: SBUX) quarterly net income of $205 million.

    · One week to exceed Nike's (NYSE: NKE - News) quarterly net income of $350.8 million.

    · Two weeks to exceed McDonalds' (NYSE: MCD - News) quarterly net income of $762 million.

    · Two weeks to exceed Apple's (NasdaqGS: AAPL) quarterly net income of $770 million.

    · 18 days to exceed Google's (NasdaqGS: GOOG) quarterly net income of $1 billion.

    · 23 days to exceed Coca-Cola's (NYSE: KO - News) quarterly net income of $1.26 billion.

    · Five weeks to exceed IBM's (NYSE: IBM - News) quarterly net income of $1.85 billion.

    · 10 weeks to exceed Wal-Mart's (NYSE: WMT - News) quarterly net income of $3.9 billion. For a dead company, Microsoft's profits certainly look lively.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/seekingalpha/070430/33932_id.html?.v=1

     

    Paraphrasing Dad's quip: The Golden rule of life is, He who has the Gold makes the rules.

     

    Damn! I am giddy with power! Phew!!

     

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Europe, as I saw it....

    • 4 Comments

    OK, ladies and gentlemen… I am back after a brief hiatus – I was vacationing in Europe! And glad to be back – I missed civilization! :p

    Here’s what’s different about Europe…

    They don’t understand the concept of Credit Cards

    They do understand the concept of Coffee

    They don’t understand the concept of Drive thru café’s/restaurants

    They do understand the concept of eating at leisure and enjoying a cup of coffee with friends and family

    They don’t understand the concept of small – Cathedrals, Museums, Government offices etc.

    They do understand the concept of mini and micro mini when it comes to your food portions.

    They don’t understand the concept of productivity and efficiency

    They do understand the concept of speed – ever driven on the Autobahn(s)?

    They don’t understand the concept of a quick or no lunch break (lunch breaks, who has time for lunch? This is Wallstreet – Gordon gecko – The wall street (If you haven’t seen this movie…you are missing a ton of references in your daily life!)

    They do understand the concept of a 2 hour mandatory shut down (France) from 12:00 to 2:00 and sometimes this follows a siesta! Aah!

    They don’t understand the concept of Globalization

    They do understand that their language and their country is the greatest in the world! (Sadly!)

    They don’t understand the concept of Customer Service

    They do understand how to get as much money as possible from you or make you wait as long as possible in insanely long queues of 3 people!

    They don’t understand the concept of tipping

    They do understand the concept of bribes and bureaucracy

    They don’t understand the concept of 4 lane inner city roads

    They do understand the concept of small and efficient cars

    They don’t understand the concept of individualism

    They do understand the concept of ‘togetherness’

    They don’t understand the concept of uber capitalism

    They do understand the concept of crappy socialism

    That my dear friends are a few observations I made while I was backpacking in Europe! It was my second time and I already am looking forward for my third time!! :)

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    To mommy, With love!

    • 1 Comments

    First there is God, then there is your mom! That’s what my dad used to say whenever I made my mommy cry! (I was one helluva naughty kid! I was the kid that all parents wished they didn’t have!)

    And just in time for Mother’s day (Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May (this year, May 13)) I stumbled upon this great deal…so if you are as confused as me and are wondering what gift to buy your dear mommy – Here’s a clue! And a Discount coupon! :)

    Don’t forget – The hand that rocks the cradle also rocks the world!

     

    MomDay 

    Take 10% off all Philips Digital Photo Frames and portable DVD Players with iPod Docking Station,
    plus take advantage of free shipping.

    Use promotion code: MOMSDAY-0407

    Promotion code is case-sensitive. Discount deducted at checkout. Offer valid April 25 - May 7, 2007.

    Shop HERE

     

    Thank you Mom!

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    For the designer in you...

    • 0 Comments

    I’ve been getting a lot of mails off late asking about Expression trainings, downloads etc. Expression Blend is the new Microsoft Designer tool! It’s part of the greater, Expression Suite of Products.

    In fact I’ll be talking about Expression and Silverlight in my MSDN sessions next quarter.

    I serendipitously stumbled upon this site today and phew! What can I say, I’ve just been addicted to these training videos. Find all these great resources to learn about Expression Blend from HERE.

    To get the best bang for your buck: (Weird, it's free already! So, I am not sure how you can get the best bang for your unpaid buck! :)) 

    1. Watch the Channel 9 videos and get some other useful overview on Expressio/Blend/WPF

    2. Download Expression Blend from HERE

    3. Watch these awesome training videos – TRAINING VIDEOS from Lynda.com

    4. Work on the Samples in Expression Blend - RC Version.

    5. Become a App design guru and change the world!

    Requirements:

    · A browser

    · QuickTime® required

    · Expression Blend – RC Version (Nice to have)

    · A great attitude to change the world

    Enjoy!

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Microsoft & You...

    • 0 Comments

    Ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for the country – JFK! Extending this analogy a bit further, I think it’s time we took some of that spirit in helping companies develop better software!

    Here's what you can do to stop 'Global Whining',

    · Provide Feedback (Esp when something fails and that pop up comes requesting you to send some information to MS)

    · Participate in Beta’s

    · Participate in Installation boot camps 

    · Participate in Community Planning Sessions

    · And last but not least – By working closely with the User Research Groups which will help us design and build the right software/keyboard/joystick etc. And pertaining to this here’s the How/Where/When/Etc details…

    How do I enroll:  Sign up online at our main site http://www.microsoft.com/UserResearch or for a direct link to the IT Pro form: https://www.microsoft.com/usability/enrollment_ITPros.htm.

    (Participants need to be U.S. citizens.)

    Where:  Most of our studies take place on our main campus in Redmond, WA.  We also use remote testing, electronic surveys, and site visits that are not location-specific so we encourage everyone to sign up regardless of your location.

    When:  User Research at Microsoft is ongoing. We run studies every day of the year except major holidays. IT Pro and Developer studies are usually conducted Monday through Friday but we are always as flexible as possible with our participants since we know they have busy schedules. A User Research study usually lasts 2 hours or less.

    WIIFM (What’s In It For Me): Have you ever had a frustrating experience with software? This is your chance to give feedback and to make a real impact on the functionality and usability of products before they get released. Your input can improve the experience for millions of future users. In addition, we’ll give you your choice of software from a long list of retail Microsoft hardware and software including Visual Studio, Windows Vista, Office 2007, games, keyboards, and much more.

    Now, go click on that link above and help us help you!

    Go ahead and Realize the Power Of One!

    -Mithun Dhar

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