Step 1: Believe

Would it have been possible to invent an airplane if no one believed heavier-than-air flight was possible? Would it have been possible to break the sound barrier if no one believed that it was possible? Would it have been possible to send satellites into orbit if no one believed that it was possible?

Although accidental discovery can lead to breakthroughs in technology, more often than not there is a person with a belief that the impossible-to-date is actually possible. First, believe. Once you have yourself convinced and committed you will either succeed or fail. But, if you refuse to believe then you fail before you start.

Xbox One

So Microsoft is touting the new Xbox One today. I’m not terribly impressed so far. It seems to be a whole lot more about convergence of media devices than about next generation gaming.

Watch movies and play games in stunning HD with a Blu-ray player.

Ok, my Blu-Ray player already does that. I also heard that the “new” PlayStation 3 is going to get that in 2006.

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Moore, Oklahoma

In 1987 a tornado ripped through Palestine, Texas and destroyed the A.M. Story Elementary School where I was a fifth grade student. But unlike what happened in Moore, Oklahoma today, there were no kids there at the time. It was a Sunday afternoon. One of my teachers was there, but was unharmed in the damage as the tornado seemed to have left that single classroom intact.

Moore was not as fortunate today when a much more devastating tornado did not choose a weekend, a holiday, a time after school had let out, or a summer to release its furious energy upon Oklahoma.

I try to consider myself “blessed” to have been personally spared the experience of that occurring to my school when I was there, but I cannot assume that the children, teachers, and families somehow deserved less blessing than I did.

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WinHEC Day 3

I have heard claims (here on Slashdot and here on apc) that Vista is the last 32-bit client OS. I have only heard that Windows Server 2008 will be the last 32-bit available server OS. Unless I missed something, Microsoft has not excluded the client operating systems from having 32-bit versions. Did I miss it? The article refers to Bill Laing’s keynote; however, I am pretty sure that was only in reference to servers.

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WinHEC Day 2 (Part 2)

Lesson Learned: When thousands of computer nerds are going to be in town for WinHEC, don’t stay in the hotel with free Internet access (like the Holiday Inn City Center, LA, CA). Otherwise, your call to the front desk may also be responded to with “I am sorry sir but the number of people accessing the Internet is overloading our bandwidth. If you are patient and try again later I am sure the system will have reset itself.” By my lack of another update last night I am sure you can tell that it didn’t “reset itself”.

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WinHEC Day 2 (Part 1)

Day two of WinHEC has so far been better than the first. Whereas the Mike Nash and Bill Laing keynotes were rather dry and difficult to sit through, Mark Russinovich was a breath of fresh air for the conference. Maybe Microsoft purchased his company last year, but they haven’t yet assimilated him into the Borg that the remainder of Microsoft seems to be.

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WinHEC Day 1

Day one of Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference has drawn to a close. The most remarkable thing is that nothing is remarkable (to me). Bill Gates and Craig Mundie delivered their keynote speeches this morning. Bill’s highlights included calling Windows Code Name “Longhorn” Windows Server 2008 (which has been on the web for quite a while), turning the show over to a couple of Microsoft PM’s who demonstrated the ease of use of installing Windows Vista certified hardware on Windows Vista and interoperability with Windows Vista devices, and turning the show over to a Microsoft PM who demonstrated some of Windows Home Server. Vista is no longer news at this point in time and I find a keynote that I expected to be focused on the future directions of Microsoft and Windows plagued with highlights of recent accomplishments.

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Determining the version of a file in Windows using Win32 API

Microsoft makes some things harder than they should be. One of those things is determining the version information of an executable file from C/C++ using the Win32 API. Here is the pattern:

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Home Again

Dear My Tivo Series2 DVR,

For almost a year now you have been stowed in a box. You have taken second place to my cable company’s DVR. You were traded out because I found you inadequate with your lack of support for high-definition and dual-tuners.

After moving and then opening the box in which you were stored what fond memories were summoned! Has it really been this long that I have put up with the useless guide and unusable menus that Cox and Time-Warner have forced upon me? Has it truly been this long since I have downloaded a show I recorded to my PC?

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