“My Scaling Hero” and other links…

Buy this Book at Amazon.com! Jeff Atwood: “These traffic and size numbers are nothing short of astonishing. He’s accomplished all this on his own, using only five servers with the same Microsoft and ASP.NET stack we use.” The “he” Jeff is talking about is Markus Frind of the dating website, Plenty of Fish. Jeff’s astonishing findings fly in the face of my ‘advice’ for Ed Dunn about using “cloud” solutions like Windows Azure.

However, the next news item from Markus Frind himself seems to make cloud computing attractive again (see below).

“Monetization free verse paid”

Markus Frind: “The problem with free is that every time you double the size of your database the cost of maintaining the site grows 6 fold. I really underestimated how much resources it would take, I have one database table now that exceeds 3 billion records. The bigger you get as a free site the less money you make per visit and the more it costs to service a visit.” Of course the Windows Azure rates schedule has not come out yet so it remains to be seen for the Microsoft cloud…

“Strings”

Douglas Crockford: “I don’t know why we call them strings. The term is unfamiliar and confusing to beginners. Why don’t we call them holleriths, just as we call true and false booleans? Or why don’t we call them texts, a shorter and more natural term?”

“Silverlight Toolkit Now Available For Download”

Shawn Burke: “The Silverlight Toolkit is a collection of components dedicated to making you—the Silverlight Developer—as productive as possible writing Silverlight. The full Silverlight Toolkit is available under the Microsoft Public License, an OSI-Approved license that allows full reuse of the code.”

“40 Application Templates from Microsoft”

Sharepoint-Girl.Com: “[There] are 20 Site Admin Templates and 20 Server Admin Templates. The Site Admin Templates has the .stp extension and can by uploaded to the user sites directly. Once uploaded, it can be used for the site. The Server Admin Templates .wsp extension. The Server Admin Templates must be installed at the Server and is the installation is more challenging than Site Admin Templates.”

Résumé Drill

Buy this book at Amazon.com! I have not updated my résumé in years. I have been doing time in the same W2 labor camp for almost ten years. Since I’ve known me for quite some time, I can tell that I am interested in summarizing my skills because my damn-near ten years of ‘exile’ has produced a revised and improved view of my personal technology plan. This writing here is like a little fire drill to exercise my ability to succinctly communicate the scope of my information technology concerns.

My IT Concerns by Operating System

There are two operating systems that are used for my development work: Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu Linux. Microsoft Windows is required because of its native support for the .NET Framework and Microsoft Office file formats. Ubuntu Linux is required because of its friendly relationships with the Java Runtime and the Apache HTTP Server. It is extremely important to emphasize that these operating systems are maintained by organizations that encourage and discourage technologies. In the “real world” of the IT business we must pick our “battles” wisely and not recklessly “fight” such organizations by using technologies that are not “approved.”

Buy this book at Amazon.com!My IT Concerns by Software Environment

There are three major ‘software environments’ that are of my concern: the .NET Framework, the “Standard Edition” of Java with its associated runtime and the XAMPP ‘stack’—a grab bag of traditional Linux technologies featuring Apache, MySQL and PHP (supplemented by my use of the Zend Framework and YUI).

My IT Concerns by Shell Language

There are two ‘shell’ languages that are of my concern: bash scripting and PowerShell. My bash efforts drive directly into PHP-related file management (featuring rsync) and the Java runtime for console applications (featuring JAXP solutions). My PowerShell efforts are currently very minimal with a few XCopy deployments for Visual Studio.

My IT Concerns by General-Purpose Software Language

These are the general-purpose software languages that are of my concern: C# and Java. These two languages are the preferred choice after working through BASIC, FORTRAN and Visual Basic (which implies I am familiar with Visual Basic .NET—and very familiar with VBA). A future language to explore might be F#.

Buy this book at Amazon.com!My IT Concerns by Domain Specific Software Language

These are the domain-specific languages of my concern: t-SQL, JavaScript (under AJAX), PHP, XSLT and XAML. These result from working through MS-SQL (for Microsoft Access) and ASP (for Microsoft Internet Information Server). Currently, there are no plans to explore new domain-specific languages outside of ones based on XML.

My IT Concerns by HTTP Server

There are two HTTP Servers of my concern: Apache HTTP Server and Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS). Do note the glaring omission of any Java-based server technologies. Also the presence of IIS here—coupled with my concern for .NET—implies that I am actively using ASP.NET.

My IT Concerns by Database Management System (DBMS)

There are two DBMS products of my concern: Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL. It is not technically accurate to include SQLite in this list but it is definitely worth mentioning because I also use this database frequently!

Buy this book at Amazon.com!My IT Concerns by Client-Interface Technology

There are three client-interface technologies of my active concern: AJAX-based HTTP clients, XAML-based HTTP clients and Adobe-Flex-based HTTP clients. All of these concerns share HTTP as the means of transporting data for human-readable viewing.

It important to emphasize that I also divide these concerns into two use categories: clients for intense data editing and clients for mostly-read-only scenarios. The mostly-read-only clients needs to be available to a wide audience—this implies that AJAX and Flex work well here. In my considered opinion, the intense-data-editing client is suited for XAML technologies like Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Silverlight 2. This means that I intend to produce data-editing tools for a small, specialized set of users (supporting a mostly-read-only audience through a decoupled publishing system). This position is not in agreement with the current trend of social, “Web 2.0” applications where “everyone” can be reader and writer.

It is also important to mention that since my commitment to building clients exists, this means that I have working knowledge of traditional design software products like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. I am also quite skillful in the field of sound design but this area leaves the scope of this writ.

My IT Concerns by Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

There are three IDE products that are of my concern: Microsoft Visual Studio, Eclipse Foundation Eclipse and Sun Microsystems NetBeans. I prefer to work with Eclipse and NetBeans in a Linux-based graphical user interface like Gnome or KDE.

Did I miss anything?

What would be really strange (for me) is to take the time here to set healthy boundaries only to find out that there is this whole other world of crap that I do in IT that I am unaware of… that would be literally unprofessional. My intent here is to capture and control my behavior and find out exactly what I am doing so that actually can profess and produce with potency.

“Netflix finally brings ‘Watch Instantly’ to Macs via Silverlight” and other links…

Netflix: Game Over Joshua Topolsky: “Netflix claims that the new implementation in Silverlight provides ‘breakthrough navigation for fast-forward and rewind,’ though fails to indicate exactly when this is all being rolled out (we assume immediately). Unfortunately for super-duper late adopters, the software will only work with Intel-based Macs, so if you’ve been holding onto a G3 for dear life, here’s one more reason to finally can it, along with your Xbox 360 HD DVD player, Von Dutch trucker cap, and gas-guzzling Escalade. Full PR after the break.”

“Steve Jobs explains why FireWire is dead”

Charles Arthur: “There’s been plenty of outrage and despondency from would-be Apple MacBook buyers over the fact that the latest versions of the low-end laptops don’t have FireWire, the high-speed data transfer system invented by Apple and Sony that basically kicks USB’s bum (even USB2.0). It’s being taken out the back and getting an icepick in the neck.” USB comes from the Intel camp so it appears that Steve Jobs is responding to ‘pressure’ from the Intel-based gift horse rolling out his new line of products.

“Silverlight 2 Released”

Scott Guthrie: “Silverlight 2 is small in size (4.6MB) and takes only 4–10 seconds to install on a machine that doesn’t already have it. It does not require the .NET Framework to be installed on a computer to run—the Silverlight setup download includes everything necessary to play video or run applications.” Yes, great Scott, but has the install experience improved?

“Mono 2.0 is out!”

Miguel de Icaza: “As the project matured, developers started taking advantage of Mono’s open source nature: essentially .NET on their own terms. A platform that could be adapted, morphed, ported and modified to suit many different uses. Today Mono is embedded in portable mp3 players and powers Unity3D’s game engine on the Apple iPhone, the Nintendo Wii, MacOS X and Windows (Some folks at Novell are working with Unity on bringing Unity3d to Linux!).”

A Pile of Web Links

JSLint and Firebug

I thought it would be easy to find a Blog post from some popular dude that gets 100s of comments per post about why Douglas Crockford’s JSLint and Joe Hewitt’s Firebug are not integrated somehow… I’m sure something will come up.

“Catching up with Silverlight 2”

Most of the MIX 08 videos from Microsoft are listed and categorized in “Catching up with Silverlight 2.” Lists like these are actually more convenient than the crufty dog-food Silverlight interface developed by Microsoft. Like Adobe with tv.adobe.com, the Microsoft Silverlight designs still make islands isolated from the benefits of a simple HTML page. Yes, Microsoft has spent billions on “backwards compatibility” but the official Yahoo! design principles of “graceful degradation and progressive enhancement” are lost on these kids, imposing their green-field dreams on real people maintaining real “legacy” bases.

“Adobe to Port AIR to Linux”

On Slashdot.org: “Adobe To Port AIR To Linux.” Adobe follows with “Adobe Labs—Adobe Flex Builder Linux Public Alpha.” But the real mover and shaker will be a Flex/AIR “killer app”—so something like Photoshop Express or “New AIR-powered Adobe kuler desktop” will make real change.

the sixtyone beta

Another new music discovery site… I still haven’t gone through the dream machine rituals at GarageBand.com yet…

Motion Picture Visualization Guilt Trips

Since I am supposed to know “everything,” I’m supposed to know why I saved links for topics like H.264.