Microsoft Un-Connect

Microsoft Connect is where Microsoft pretends to listen to customer feedback. In my experience, you shouldn’t bother unless you’re helping Microsoft debug a beta product. On 26 October 2008, I reported a WPF exception handling defect in Visual Studio 2008 SP1 which still persists in VS 2010 SP1. Within the VS debugger, exceptions in WPF … Continue reading “Microsoft Un-Connect”

Minimal Programming

Some amusing links on minimalism in programming during the last three decades… Greg Lindahl preserved Ed Post’s classic 1983 manifesto, Real Programmers Don’t Use Pascal. Of course they didn’t use silly C either, like those modern wimps. Real programmers used FORTRAN IV. Real Programmers like Arithmetic IF statements – they make the code more interesting. … Continue reading “Minimal Programming”

Social Networks and Google+

Social networks are coming under scrutiny since Facebook’s take-the-money-and-run IPO. Michael Wolff observed that Facebook is doomed to push advertising at ever lower rates, using ever more annoying methods, to ever more reluctant users. LinkedIn severed its relationship with Twitter following the latter’s ominous threats to third-party clients, likely intended to preserve Twitter’s ability to … Continue reading “Social Networks and Google+”

Distrust Observational Studies

There is now enough evidence to say what many have long thought: that any claim coming from an observational study is most likely to be wrong – wrong in the sense that it will not replicate if tested rigorously. Thus opens the 2011 paper Deming, data and observational studies by S. Stanley Young and Alan … Continue reading “Distrust Observational Studies”

Letters with KOMA-Script

The comprehensive LaTeX package KOMA-Script comes with a fairly powerful letter class, scrlttr2, that offers a broad variety of predefined variables and layout positions for window envelopes. Sadly, unlike KOMA-Script’s default layout for normal documents, the default letter layout is rather ugly. The recipient address field is too close to the edges of the envelope … Continue reading “Letters with KOMA-Script”

Fixing Windows Programming

Microsoft’s transition from the open Win32 desktop to the closed WinRT app store will alienate many Windows developers… but maybe that’s a good thing. Today I found yet another commercial Windows application – Postbox, an e-mail client from the original Thunderbird team – that’s completely oblivious to high DPI mode. Random GUI elements are hardcoded … Continue reading “Fixing Windows Programming”

The Portal Problem

Rick Anderson at The Scholarly Kitchen has recently published two excellent articles on what he calls “The Portal Problem:” what will happen to traditional portals of learning now that we have the Internet? The Plight of the Britannica examines the demise of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s print edition. As Anderson is quick to point out, this … Continue reading “The Portal Problem”

Civilization V Patch Notes

The last big Civilization V patch was just followed by another hotfix, mostly concerning crashes. Neither has yet been added to the official Patch Notes thread, whose updates were becoming rather sluggish anyway. So I uploaded my own consolidated patch notes file, Civ5PatchNotes.txt. I’ll keep it updated as new patches are released. By the way, … Continue reading “Civilization V Patch Notes”

Microsoft Surface Reactions

Ten days after the Microsoft Surface announcement, it’s time for a roundup of further details and reactions in the media. The Next Web claims prices will be $599 for ARM (Windows RT) and $999 for x86 (Windows 8 Pro). That’s roughly what was expected, although the RT price seems a bit high. Bloomberg says both … Continue reading “Microsoft Surface Reactions”

Selling Apps on iOS

Two recent articles report very similar experiences regarding sales of two moderately successful iOS apps. Neither app was prominently featured by Apple, and both authors report that advertising and viral marketing had very little effect. In both cases, major review sites acted as gatekeepers and determined whatever success the apps had. Drew Olbrich’s educational app … Continue reading “Selling Apps on iOS”