Monday, April 25, 2005

Word templates

I was rather disappointed learning that if you attach a Word template (.dot) to your documents and later change that template, only the styles of the template (Heading1, etc.) are updated in the documents, not the headers/footers, fields, watermarks, margins, etc. Lame. LaTex rules with respect to customizations like this. And I guess XML/XSLT would be good too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Serial ATA

"First-generation Serial ATA interfaces have a bandwidth of 150 megabytes per second (MB/s) ... Serial ATA II (available as of 2004, with the release of Nvidia nForce4 chipset) doubles the maximum throughput to 300 MB/s, and 600 MB/s is planned for around 2007."

It is interesting how serial communication is becoming the norm (USB, Firewire,...), what happened to parallel communication?

Monday, April 18, 2005

ISO 9001:2000

Been involved in establishing an ISO 9001:2000 quality management system. What I have distilled from that process is the following:

The 4 fundamental pillars are
  • Responsibility, i.e., it should be clear who is responsible for what.
  • Traceability, ensured by logging all activities.
  • Repeatability, ensured by documenting the work processes.
  • continuous process improvement, done by evaluating the processes regularly.
An important practice is that all reactions should be proportioned, e.g., one should not go overboard to fix an insignificant issue.

A common misconception about ISO 900x is that it has to do with the quality of the final product. This is the ultimate goal, however the ISO standard is primarily focused on the processes used to produce the product. It is quite easy to have a ISO 9001 certified company that produces rubbish, so long that all processes are documented and logged, and the delegation of responsibility is clear :)

It was a surprise to find out how short the ISO 9001:2000 standard actually was, only 19 pages in the format I have it!

Friday, April 15, 2005

XHTML/CSS validation

Thought I should check how well I did some html/css/javascript work. Used W3C validation service to check my (X)HTML and W3C CSS validation service to validate the CSS part. I got a pass :) Did though get a comment on my use of fonts, its was recommended that I provide a generic font family as a fall-back. This sent me on a search for more info on fonts, found a good reference which explained the five different generic font families, I decided on sherif.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

RSS feed directories

There seems to be a number of directory services for RSS feeds:

P.s. here is a short annotated list of RSS feed readers; at the same place are articles regarding the history of RSS.

P.p.s I really like this new web-model, i.e., you get the (relevant) information 'pushed' to you instead of having to 'pull' it from the web.

CSS adventure

I went on a CSS adventure, trying to figure out how to personalize by blog. Learned about div, span, classes, and ids.
Notice the in-page display of the comments and some change in style. Now that I feel confident in how CSS works I will be making further changes to the blog-stylesheet in the future.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The appeal of new technology

Trying out new technology is a strong driving force for most developers, I think. It is so at least for me. Let the developer make technology decisions and (s)he will very likely give into this force.

Currently I have to choose between using a specification the runs over (D)COM (stateful) and one that runs over WebServices (stateless). My common sense tells me to use the (D)COM specification since it is X17 faster (I am doing real-time monitoring and control), but (having not used WS) am much wooed towards trying out WebServices.

A side note: why is it that Microsoft is promiting WebServices with such force? I have seen guidelines from them to use WebServices between layers (not tiers) within an application. I will add the link when I find it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

My first blog comment ... ApplicationDomains

Many firsts for me this year, am I becoming more bold? The most recent first is that I commented on a blog: Raymond. My comment was on ApplicationDomains, what is the practical use for them? Is it perhaps only where you are excuting an assembly you do not trust?

Review on Amazon

I posted my first book review on Amazon today :) See Professional C#.