05 Jul 2007

Other silly quiz results

From http://www.oneplusyou.com: No surprise on the blog (G rating) Thought I would survive the zombies better (only 37% survival) Thought I would be more geek (65% geek) Thought I was more addicted to coffee (67% addicted) I'm worth a lot as parts ($4440) 65% Geek 65% $4440.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth
05 Jul 2007

My first potjie

This past weekend I braved Makro and the evil hordes which invade it on weekends to buy my first potjie since I had asked some friends over on Sunday for a late lunch. Since I have never made a potjie before I did some searches on line and found a few articles, but in the end decided to just go crazy. From all accounts the food was good so here is the recipe:
Ingredients:
- 1.3kilos of beef, cubed into about half inch sizes
- 3 crazy big carrots, diced into bit size pieces
- 4 large sweet potatoes, cubed in to about half inch sizes
- 2 pundits of button mushrooms, diced
- 2 green peppers diced
- 2 large sweet peppers diced
- A cast of other things I forgot about now and will unveil during the preparation.

Cooking:
Take the meat and added some freshly ground thyme, rosemary, and Robinson's meat tenderizer. Put that in a container and add a couple of dollops of Mrs Balls chuckney, BBQ flavored marinade and Bandito hot sauce (I used the 5 heat level one). Close container, shake and store in fridge turning every so often until needed. Mine sat for about 3 hours but the longer you leave it the better.
Once your potjie is nice and hot add all the veggies plus half a liter of water and leave for about 30min-45min.
Next add the meat and the basting sauce it has been in to the mix and throw in two cubes of beef stock, and two packets (50g each) of tomato paste. Mix well. Close lid and leave for 2 to 3 hours stirring every 15-20min.
Eventually the liquid should be low and you get more of a thick sauce than soup (think of it as a stew almost). If it starts to catch on the bottom it's ready and has been for 10min or so. Move it to a low heat and dish up on rice.

15 Jun 2007

Microsoft is pushing open source

Before I begin let me clarify a few points so you are aware of the context of this post.
1) I currently work for a Microsoft Gold Partner, been contracted to Microsoft (through my employer) and spoken at TechEd.
2) Before that I worked for company which used almost solely open source software and developed software for that. I also did work with the Shuttleworth foundation at the linux days event.
So I have been on both sides of the fence, now on to the content...

Go anywhere near Slashdot and mention Microsoft and you will get atleast a few zealots who complain about it's attitude/actions to FOSS (Free and Open Source Software).

Well I am not going into the free part, since until I can live without money making everything free doesn't help and there is many people in the traditional OSS community which do make money (RedHat, Novell, many linux contributors etc...) so I guess I am not alone in this view.

But many people bring up the open source side, which makes less sense to me. Microsoft does have this shared source thingy which is some special license for special people, but that doesn't fit with true OSS where anyone can access it so I'm not including it. Microsoft has Port25 (there public front for their internal open source lab) which has some interesting information, but not really pushing OSS. There are also a few "sponsored" projects on SourceForge and the now defunct CodePlex. Neither of these push OSS as part of major projects. So while benefical aren't big enough.

So what is it that doesn't make sense to me? Simple, the .Net framework is completely open source. All of the .Net assemblies are in source code (IL) all the time and thanks to reflection can be transformed into a convient language of choice of the viewer. Since .Net is the big push from Microsoft the new core of their systems will be open source. This can be seen currently with their applications built on top of it, like Microsoft CRM which has all their assemblies in .Net and can all be opened and viewed. Microsoft CCF is even further advanced with it including some applications in .Net (like the admin console) but the bulk is available in direct source code. BTW Neither are obfuscated in anyway, so there is no attempt to close this source.

Agreed that the core big money makers (Windows, Office etc...) are still closed source, but how much of that is legacy versus how much is based on the choice of language tool (C++ Win32 vs Dot Net) and how much of that is specific plans to close off the source I can not say and no one outside the core executive at Microsoft could say, but the argument that Microsoft doesn't get it, is just wrong. They get it and probebly more than most of the zealots mentioned earlier since they have figured out to use it strategically.

14 Jun 2007

Differential Diagnosis Lists for IT

One of the method of diagnosing illnesses and diseases in medicine is differential diagnosis (DDx), which is the method of creating lists of symptoms and cross referencing that with diseases and then testing or eliminating possible diseases from the list. For example: Patient pX shows symptoms sA and sB. The doctor then draws up a list of all diseases which have sA and sB as symptons as follows:
Disease Symptons
dA sA sB sE  
dB sA sB    
dC sA sB sF  
dD sA sB sE sG
  The doctor then tests for sE which either confirms or eliminates dA and dD and so on until one disease is confirmed to be the cause. This method has gotten more attention in the last few years thanks to the TV show House, where they use it extensively and it is actually through the House Wikipedia article that I stumbled onto the Wikipedia article on DDx (never say that TV doesn’t enrich). Going through the article references to various studies of how the use of general search engines like Google and specialised search engines on sites like Pubmed are being increasingly used to generate the lists and with greater accuracy as opposed to existing methods such as learning them or building up their own list. This instantly reminded me of the days gone past when I did technical work and did searches high and low for various problems I encountered, and how the process of determining a problem was very similar. What were lacking were the lists for no other reason that I have never seen any compiled or never tried to compile such a list. So how do we go about building a list to handle this? Well we need a format which contains this sort of information. Not another format! Actually yes, another lightweight format is needed. See if the point was to provide a list of information I could do that in the way I did the example above, by simply providing a table. But the point is to share this information out, so we need a format that is not only human readable within reason, but also machine readable. Before you run off thinking thoughts of irrelevance, think of the way formats like ATOM and RSS allowed content to be syndicated. Now think if you could have a similar tool to your RSS reader, except it allowed you to subscribe to these types of lists? Or think if Google could do a special search bot just for this information and expose it in some funky way? The true power then becomes apparent for all. So far I have been playing around with the idea for the format and come up with the template below. There is some things which I should borrow from RSS/ATOM which would be good to include, but this is a start. If you have suggestions to the format please email me around them <?xml version="1.0"encoding="utf-8"?> <ddx> <cause name="Active Directory Authentication Configured Incorrectly" moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" causeId="{A498231B-C651-4779-9FC8-43044598E795}" extendedSolution="Configure the active directory authentication."> <symptom description="User can not login on desktop." moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" symptomId="{F1565DE1-6F4A-4734-8BAE-B5E6D9680FEB}"/> <symptom description="User can not login on desktop." moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" symptomId="{F1565DE1-6F4A-4734-8BAE-B5E6D9680FEB}"/> <symptom description="User can not login on desktop." moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" symptomId="{F1565DE1-6F4A-4734-8BAE-B5E6D9680FEB}"/> <symptom description="User can not login on desktop." moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" symptomId="{F1565DE1-6F4A-4734-8BAE-B5E6D9680FEB}"/> </cause> <cause name="Active Directory Authentication Configured Incorrectly" moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" causeId="{A498231B-C651-4779-9FC8-43044598E795}" extendedSolution="Configure the active directory authentication."> <symptom description="User can not login on desktop." moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" symptomId="{F1565DE1-6F4A-4734-8BAE-B5E6D9680FEB}"/> <symptom description="User can not login on desktop." moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" symptomId="{F1565DE1-6F4A-4734-8BAE-B5E6D9680FEB}"/> <symptom description="User can not login on desktop." moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" symptomId="{F1565DE1-6F4A-4734-8BAE-B5E6D9680FEB}"/> <symptom description="User can not login on desktop." moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" symptomId="{F1565DE1-6F4A-4734-8BAE-B5E6D9680FEB}"/> </cause> <cause name="Active Directory Authentication Configured Incorrectly" moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" causeId="{A498231B-C651-4779-9FC8-43044598E795}" extendedSolution="Configure the active directory authentication."> <symptom description="User can not login on desktop." moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" symptomId="{F1565DE1-6F4A-4734-8BAE-B5E6D9680FEB}"/> <symptom description="User can not login on desktop." moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" symptomId="{F1565DE1-6F4A-4734-8BAE-B5E6D9680FEB}"/> <symptom description="User can not login on desktop." moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" symptomId="{F1565DE1-6F4A-4734-8BAE-B5E6D9680FEB}"/> <symptom description="User can not login on desktop." moreInfo="http://www.sadev.co.za" symptomId="{F1565DE1-6F4A-4734-8BAE-B5E6D9680FEB}"/> </cause> </ddx>
14 Jun 2007

A time honoured event

Leave requested for and approved. See you there :)

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14 Jun 2007

Do your bit for better SSIS

One of my favorite features of SQL 2005 is SSIS. It actually is usable (compared to it's old dumber brother DTS). One thing I have had the priviledge of working on is a component which Bruce mentioned on the newsgroups which allows SSIS and MSCRM to work together.

One of the worst points of the SSIS development is the error messages that SSIS throws back. Well there a place you can vote for actually providing some feedback to MS around pushing/advising them to help correct this. So go out and vote for better error messages and SSIS!!!

https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?Feedb...

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