microsoft

Military Converts to Mac

Interestingly enough the military supposedly recognizes that Window's is less secure. Apparently the military has been converting to Macs in order to try and secure data.

...have determined high-ranked officials to go with the less secure Windows platform

Add to this the inherent security of the UNIX-based MacOSX

I just like to see Microsoft getting a run for their money. Obviously, I would vote for Linux since I like it and it can run on the same hardware, but giving Microsoft some competition is always a good thing.

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IE8 Might Be Worth Something

After years of having one of the worst mainstream browsers in the world Microsoft might actually be working on making it better. The latest so called version of IE is supposed to pass the ACID2 Test as discussed in this article. If this is true and IE8 will actually move towards being standard compliant this will make web developers lives, myself included, much easier.

Anyone who has done web development knows that IE has always been different than the other browsers and in many cases just doesn't work. Web developers are constantly finding quirks and having to figure out ways to work around them. This isn't made any easier by the fact that IE has no web developer tools to help you figure out what it doesn't like. By contrast Firefox has many very useful web development tools. Two very powerful tools are Firebug and Web Developer.

Many innovative features that have been added to the W3C specs as well as implemented by browsers are not able to be used due to IE's lacking support. If IE8 were to finally make an effort to support them and fix many of its quirks it would make the Internet a better place.

The fact that Microsoft fixed just about nothing between version 6 and 7 and was very similar between 5 and 6 goes to show their dedication to improvement. After reading about the changes you see that they only fix the most criticized bugs which amounted to about 200 bwetween 6 and 7. IE should still be considered version 5.5 at best, not looking at the steps up to version 5. By contrast Firefox fixed 11,000 issues already between Firefox 2 and 3 and was more compliant and stable to begin with (article).

Rather sad that the most widely used browser is not kept up better considering that Microsoft has more than enough capital and staff to make it happen. Instead of doing it on their own they have to receive massive criticism before actually doing anything. Would be nice if they could be on the innovation side of things instead of holding it up.

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Microsoft Report Card

Accidentally found an interesting article that reviewed Microsoft as a whole. One of the main points in the article pointed out that Vista has been one of the worst things for Microsoft and that it has caused even dedicated fans like the author to switch to alternatives such as Linux and Mac.

Regardless of whether the author points out specific bugs and annoyances, as many loyal worshipers of Microsoft will criticize, he points out that overall very little has been improved and much more has been made worse. You can read reviews all over the Internet that come to the same conclusion. Most avid computer users who really use computers for more than just surfing the Internet and gaming will tell you the same thing. Obviously there are those who follow the Microsoft religion and may never be saved, but that's life.

I hope that Vista helps people see that Microsoft doesn't produce a quality product, instead they pushed out Vista before it was really read and then provide service packs and updates for it frequently. What other business could get away with selling a product that didn't work correctly and still be the largest in the business. It is very sad that people don't see that Microsoft can simple push out another version and tell all software manufacturers that they can only produce their product for Vista and thus forcing everyone to upgrade. This business model is more of a scam than anything else. I found the following quote to sum up the Vista situation very nicely.

In recent my conversations with execs from big PC makers, one said that the good news about Apple gaining market share is that maybe, just maybe, Microsoft would "get the picture" and work harder to build a better product. Just yesterday, another exec told me that customers were "crying like schoolgirls" to get XP put back onto shipped Vista machines.

In many cases if you look at Microsoft's record they will add something that has been in the open source world years and call it an innovation. Instead of actively improving the computer experience as a whole Microsoft has in many cases slowed progress and driven people away from computers. Internet Exploder (Internet Explorer) is a prime example of Microsoft holding back progress. As web standards progress IE has failed to catch up and since it holds the largest share of users web developers have to cater to its quirks. Many innovative features that other browsers support have not been fully explored due to IE's lack of support. In other cases extra development time must be devoted to ensuring that a web site works with IE. For basic comparison of IE feature support, not including many non-rendering feature such as standard search engine support, can be seen in this comparison.

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Microsoft IIS 5 - Windows 2000 Server - ASP .NET

Although I dislike IIS I and .NET I was forced to setup a server running the two due to an application that required them.

I installed Windows 2000 Server, Service Pack 4, various components, and locking down the directory permissions (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/271071). Running the application resulting in the famous Metabase issue.

After messing around for a couple of days with no luck I reinstalled Windows 2000 Server and the various things mentioned above. This resulted in the same problem. I reviewed the system event log and noticed that it was failing to load the profile for the SYSTEM user. Just for kicks I set the directory permission on Documents and Settings to allow EVERYONE access. This fixed the problem but created another. This time it was having trouble "mapping" the App_GlobalResources folder.

I searched the web for this issue and found the following article: http://www.thejoyofcode.com/Failed_to_map_the_path_App_GlobalResources.aspx. The fix was to changed the permissions on C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Crypto\RSA\MachineKeys to allow the ASPNET user to have read and modify permissions.

IIS and .NET were finally satisfied and I just had to setup SQL Server and the remaining application settings.

I rebooted the machine and wouldn't you figure I received the Metabase issue again. Frustrated I just set the Documents and Settings permission to EVERYONE read access. Shockingly enough that fixed the problem.

It is interesting that Microsoft puts such necessary files in Documents and Settings since that is used for user data not libraries etc.

Another one of the wonderful experiences you get to enjoy when using Microsoft products.

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