You can download nightly builds of Cocoa Firefox now from :here:

Woot Woot!

The Apple WWDC 2006 has got a lot of press coverage, mostly negative, that has lead people to wonder if the creative spark has extinguished. While reading this opinion piece on another piece by Paul Thurott, I encountered a rarity – profundity within a comment. I thought I’d share the comment with you:

Let us not forget that the entire original Mac GUI, even down to the mouse is a rip-off of stuff that Xerox was working on at PARC years ago.

In software, there is RARELY anything truly new under the sun, virtually everything is derivative in some form or fashion.

I think it is time that people stopped comparing who invented what and instead focused on the usability of the systems that are released. The quarreling over mundane details should be supplanted by focusing on the end-to-end story. As a Microsoft employee I have to say, Apple leads the way when it comes to thinking of the customer’s usage scenarios holistically. Hopefully MS will eventually get their house in order, soon…

You can read the entire story :here:.

The Whole Story

Jobs also looked gaunt and tired on stage. He has grown a short beard, which almost seems to be there to hide his haggard face. He looked much older than he did at the January Macworld San Francisco keynote, and he didn’t even have “one more thing” to present at the end. I certainly hope all is well with Steve, but is he unwell? Is he planning to step down from Apple?

But what would Apple be without Steve Jobs?

Honestly, I don’t think I want to know what Apple will be without SJ. Makes me think of the line, “The awful thought still follows me that even Kings can die.”

If you were so inclined, how would you setup a machine that dual booted Windows XP and Windows Vista?

If I were you, I’d definitely be so inclined… Here is how you do this?

Here is a :kb article: that explains this in detail.
In case you want to know how to do this without clicking on another link, here are some 10000ft type steps. Use extreme caution and, caveat emptor.

  1. Install XP
  2. Install Vista
  3. Use bcdedit.exe in a Vista admin command window to add an entry for XP.
    • bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d “Earlier Windows OS Loader”

Firefox fanboy no more

July 26, 2006

I like the new IE 7.0 in Vista, like it to the point where I might consider switching back to using it full time over Firefox. This is a big statement coming from me. From the first time I started using browsers, I’ve used some variant of Netscape – Netscape 4 and 4.5, every Mozilla, Phoenix, Firebird and Firefox release there has been. That’s more than 8 years of browsing the web sans IE. I remember how Usha got so mad at me when I uninstalled IE5.0 from her machine and installed Netscape 4.5 instead. That it would break her web browsing experience to the extent that it did was something I hadn’t foreseen.

Dealing with badly rendered websites has become the norm since I decided to stick with Netscape. IE7.0 mucks up some pages too so it feels more like home than did earlier versions. But wait – I can’t theme it, I can’t extend it, I can’t… Do I really want to do any of those things anymore? All I care about is opening a browser and viewing sites on the web. IE can do that just fine… 

Pimp My Firefox

July 26, 2006

This page has a lot of information and ratings on how Firefox can be themed, extended and customized. IOW, it’s the site to go to if you want to Pimp Your Firefox install.

:Pimping Instructions:

Enjoy!

This is a trick that has been known within closed circles at Microsoft since we first shipped XP. That this tip is now available for public consumption raises some questions about whether we will block this in future service packs. This tip will definitely help legit users who are upgrading their current XP machine, as indicated by the introduction:

When you activate Windows XP, Microsoft stores the data in the Windows Product Activation database files wpa.dbl and Wpa.bak in the folder %systemroot%\system32. If you change the motherboard or make significant hardware changes, XP will require you to reactive.

The article :Link: goes on to describe what to do to ensure you don’t have to reactivate and/or buy a new Windows XP Key. Don’t cheat guys 🙂 and yeah, this won’t work on Vista (trust me)!

Rootkit researchers have discovered a way to create malware that is 100% undetectable. An excerpt from the article:

Joanna Rutkowska, a stealth malware researcher at Singapore-based IT security firm COSEINC, says the new Blue Pill concept uses AMD’s SVM/Pacifica virtualization technology to create an ultra-thin hypervisor that takes complete control of the underlying operating system.

Rutkowska plans to discuss the idea and demonstrate a working prototype for Windows Vista x64 at the end at the SyScan Conference in Singapore on July 21 and at the Black Hat Briefings in Las Vegas on August 3.

All I gotta say to this is, WHY? Wait, better idea would be to read the paper and see if the researchers have missed something!

Agile Methods – II

March 23, 2006

I was wrong about agile methods. All I had to do was not jump the gun and read on:

Plan-driven home ground:

  • High criticality
  • Junior developers
  • Low requirements change
  • Large number of developers
  • Culture that demands order

So no, the Windows development process per se isn’t an instance of Agile development. Now that I think of it though, it is a hybrid model of agile and predictive development – predictive when it comes to the RI process and agile when it comes to sub-feature teams working on their respective features.

Story Link

Agile Methods

March 23, 2006

I am reading about Agile Methods and I might be mistaken here but what I read sounds a lot like the RI process in place for Vista. Given the sheer number of features that are part of Vista, the entire Windows team was divided into feature teams (for instance, there is a UX team, a Security team, a Core services team, etc). Each team was given free reign over their code, which was checked into their own private feature branch. Before the code went into the Mainline though, it had to pass some stringent quality “gates”. The process of moving code from a feature branch to the main branch was termed, an RI. These occurred almost on a weekly basis at first and occur nearly everyday now, what with the push for Beta2.

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