Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Very inspiring

I just wanted to let you know about an awesome site. It is very inspiring reading the papers and listening to the speeches. You can tell that this guy really know technology. If you ever find yourself down and just don't want to do something such as programming or reading a blog over technology. This guy will with his speeches and papers. After reading a couple of papers I am ready to jump into programming right now, even though I am working on an essay. This persons site is Bill Gates' home page. I found his site when I was looking for speeches to listen to, and I must say I was extatic when I found it. I like to listen to technology speeches so that can get inspired and learn. A lot of people will give a philosocal view on technology, and since I enjoy that I love speeches.

So Bill Gates' site is:
http://www.microsoft.com/billgates

I just got done with his "Real Time Collaboration 2005 Keynote" and I must say I am now inspired by their innovation to start programming things to help with communication. Mainly the way I can see that this can happen is podcasting. I am strong supporter of podcasting so I will get hopping on iPodder.NET.

Thank you for reading
Buddy Lindsey

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Only the Strong Survive

Recently I read an article on CNET news about the lack of interest in the Computer Science degree. As I read this I was filled with mixed emotions because it shows the waning interest in the IT department, but it also shows allowed me to realize that only committed dedicated individuals that care about technology for what is will truly get a CS degree.

After reading the article and reviewing the comments I am inclined to agree with one of the comments that only the truly dedicated individuals will get the degrees. I also want to take that a step further and say that those individuals, in my opinion, will be the next innovators of our future technological endeavors.

Basically, the article was saying that in the last 4 years that interest in the IT field for degrees has dropped 80% due to people either not as interested in the field or because they are afraid of outsourcing to India and other developing countries.

Personally, I am glad that the number of people have dropped because there is going to be a shortage of people filling Tech related jobs in 4 to 5 years, and since I will be finishing up college in that time I will be on the front lines able to snatch one up.

The best news is that the market right now is saturated with potential people wanting jobs. In 4 years the market is going to be in demand again for employees, and that is where the new innovators are going to be. There will always be jobs available to people, but I think that in 4 to 5 years there will be quite a few.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Podcasts to Listen to.

Ok, it has been a tireing day for me today soI am going to make this short. There are 2 main podcasts that i listen to that pertain to .NET development that I want to share with you.

DotNetRocks
Polymorphic Podcast

I suggest you check them out. They are both very informative and fun to listen to. have a good day or night.

Buddy Lindsey

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Podcasting Revealed

Ok, I have been asked lately by many sources what podcasting is so I have decided to explain it now, and some of the general concepts of producing and delivering a podcast to your audience or potential audience.

First, what is a podcast?

A podcast is a new technology for syndicating audio broadcasts to masses of people. Now that you are confused. Basically, you make a radio show, usually talk radio, and give it to the world. Cool, isn’t it. Now just because it is called a podcast doesn’t mean that you can only listen to it on a podcast. Because of how you are getting the file you can listen to it on anything your computer, any mp3 player, or you can burn it to a cd.

For further reading on technically what podcasting is go here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast

Second, what steps do you have to take to podcast?

Well first we need to break down podcasting into some essential parts that makes everything possible.

Requirements by the Content Producer:
1. Server and plenty of bandwidth
2. Site
3. Audio File
4. RSS Feed

Requirements for the Listener:
1. Podcast aggregator
2. Get feed

Content Producer:

Server and plenty of bandwidth:
Ok, this is probably one of the single most important things, next to the audio file, that makes a good podcast. First, you need a place to store the file, which is on the server, then you need a lot bandwidth incase you have a popular podcast. Bandwidth is important thing to consider when doing a podcast because it could end up costing you a lot of money.

Lets explain bandwidth and how it relates to podcasting. Bandwidth is the amount of data that is allowed to be transferred from a server or website to a user. So lets say you have a site you rent space and bandwidth on, and you have a cap of 100 meg (the meg is almost irrelevant in the explanation the numbers and math are important.) Ok, this is fine for a web site that people view pictures and text data on because they may only use up .02 meg per visit. And after 10 visits they have used up .20 meg of bandwidth. So for a website only this is fine not much to worry about. Now if you have a normal podcast that is 25 meg and you post that on your server and 4 people download the podcast you have just used 100 meg of bandwidth. So the problem is you just used up all your bandwidth allotment. Now at this point most hosting companies will let people keep downloading then they will charge you outrageous amounts of money for going over your allotted bandwidth consumption. So if you go over and you are charged you can use a lot of money fast.

Now if you have a server that hosts your files with unlimited bandwidth things will go a lot easier and you will not have to worry about losing money. Luckily with the innovation of podcasting there are now services available to podcasters that provide unlimited bandwidth, but you have a limit of how much you can put on the server for users to listen to. The company that is doing this is called Liberated Syndication at http://www.libsyn.com . They have plans for you starting at 5 dollars to 35 dollars depending on the number of shows you do. This is an excellent deal for a lot of people. The best part about Liberated Syndication is they archive all your podcasts, as long you stay a paying customer, and they never lose their address to listen to them. This is a phenomenal move because of how easy it makes things for non-technical people.

So basically if you have unlimited bandwidth you save money and can have a very successful show because you don’t need to worry about how many people download it.

Site:
The second thing that you need for your podcast is a site to advertise it on. Usually people have a blog that they use as their front end to get their show out, or they have a regular website they add it to.

Now if you don’t have a website and you use Liberated Syndication then you are covered because as part of your subscription you get website for the podcast so that you don’t need to worry about making one up yourself.

Audio File:
Now comes another important part the file itself the whole reason you are starting down the path of podcasting. This is self explanatory with this you just upload it to the server that is going to host the file so other can download it.

RSS Feed:
Ahh, this is the powerhouse of the whole podcasting experience. This is what allows all your loyal fans to get you file from now on with little effort at all. This feed is a file that you put on your site for others to get and put in a program called an aggregator (will explain in a little bit) so that they can automatically download the audio file without having to take the time to go to the site and find the show and listen to it. This saves the listener time which people are always happy about so you can have more listeners. I personally listen to about 25 podcasts because of this there is no way I would go to each site and check everyday if there was a post of a new show. This feed allows me to get them with almost not effort.

The Listener:

This is much easier than making a podcast because you only have two simple steps to get a podcast. So lets look at them.

Podcast aggregator:
Now I will explain what in the world this is, what it does, and why you need it.

To understand what a podcast aggregator is lets look at the word aggregator. Its root word is aggregate which means “to gather something in mass” (shortened slightly). So from these we can deduce that the aggregator is going to get something. Well the aggregator can get multiple things from audio files to text to programs. In the case of a podcast aggregator it will get the Audio file that is a podcast. The aggregator itself is a program that you download, the post popular being iPodder, and install on your computer to run in the background. At set intervals it will go to the internet and check to see if there is a new podcast if so it will automatically download it for you. Why is this important, well because it saves the user time from having to check every day or every couple of days for a new podcast. Again this is what makes podcasting so great the ability to get these shows with almost no effort.

Get Feed:
The second part of getting a podcast is finding the feed to the podcast that you want to listen to. This is easy because on most sites that are a database of podcasts they give you the link to the feed that you simply copy and past into your aggregator and click ok and you are done. It is literally that simple go to a site like PodCastAlley and search around their site for a podcast you like, click on get feed the load a new page for you with a link. What you do is copy that, go over to your aggregator and paste that link into a text box that is labeled feed. That is it.

Summary:

So as you can see there are many advantages to doing a podcast over just a regular radio show that people download off of your site. The main basis for this is you want people, naturally, to listen to you show. So if you do it in a podcasting format you can get a wide variety of people to listen to it regularly. You can spread you ideas thoughts or whatever else around to people all over the world. There are over 5000 people that have embraced this and are now successful at it.

Just to recap about Liberated Syndication it is an all inclusive service. They offer unlimited bandwidth, room for your site, and automatically make your feed for you so that you don’t have to learn all the technical things behind it. Also with the site you are able to do show notes to kind of cover in text what you covered in the show.

If money is a concern for you then you have the potential for your podcast to pay for itself. How can this be you may ask. Well on your site you just add a link to a tip jar that people can deposit money into, and just tell them in the show that you would like it if people would donate money to help with the cost of bandwidth. There are many avenues that you can explore with podcasting. It can help you grow as a person to learn more about something and to spread your ideas, similar to what blogs do, or it can help your business or organization grow because you are informing them as to what is going on. People love to be a part of something when its leaders are in contact with them. So are you ready to podcast?

If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas about podcasting you can e-mail me at percent20@gmail.com and I will get back to you as soon as possible. I hope this post has helped you today. I have defiantly enjoyed making it.

Buddy Lindsey

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A future post, and clarification

I have a nice post comeing hopefully tommrow of the origins of how people think about whether they prefer Microsoft or Open Source. It is an opinion that I have formed through asking others questions about whaty they prefer and why. I hope you all find it interesting.

Also I fell I must clarify something. The reason I refer to Microsoft vs. OpenSource is because they are generalizations. The OpenSource community generally doesn't like Microsoft; that doesn't mean microsoft can't have open source things, because they do. I just make the distiction based no a general acceptance of what people are thinking.

Buddy Lindsey.

Monday, April 18, 2005

3 Basic Complaints Revealed

One thing that you may have noticed if you have read much of my blog is I find the Microsoft vs. Open Source debate fascinating. I must say I really don’t know why I do, I just do. So to continue on this trend I want to add another post on that theme.

Here lately I have been putting thought into the fundamental reasons that have contributed to people not liking Microsoft or their products. I then thought how true are these opinion.

The three opinions are:
1. I don’t like their business practices
2. I don’t like that windows crashes so often
3. They don’t have a feature that I want, and I don’t have the option to add it.

These are the three main reasons that I have been able to break it down to. On the surface they seem superficial and not worth discussing, but if that were so I wouldn’t be writing this would I?

So lets take a look at them shall we.

“I don’t like Microsoft’s business practices”

Well I can understand this who would like a company that goes to court everyday for some legal reason or another. With a the biggest reason that Microsoft doesn’t want to run the java runtime on their OS that is licensed to people.

Now when I say licensing this means that you are purchasing the right to use this software. You are not purchasing the software for what ever you want to use. Therefore, Microsoft has the ability to restrict what every they want, in my opinion.

Now if you have such a problem with business practices then you might want to take look at the corporate world. There are scandals happening almost every week of someone that has done something shady in a corporate position. Now the reason that most of them are not so disrespected and flamed is because they are not top of the food chain of their market. I can see why Microsoft can be an easy target because of this it is not fair that you should single them out and call them a bad company, and the people bad people for this reason alone.

“I don’t like that windows crashes so much”

Ok, honestly this problem is an old one that is almost gone in windows XP. I crash my Linux partition far more than my windows partition. Microsoft spent a longtime to make XP run more efficient so that it did not crash as often. Friends, and I have run windows on our pc’s for several weeks straight doing everything from 3d modeling and gaming to programming and word processing, and not one time did it crash. Now it did slow down really slow at points, but it would pick back up to most of the same speed.

Now one of the biggest problems with speed and stability is how big that the kernel is for windows. The reason I say this is because of what windows is, a easy to use for many users operating system, it has to be able to run on almost any pc hardware configuration that exists, and has to look good doing it. This leads to a huge kernel so that it can support so much, which ultimately gives way to conflicts of devices when loading something, to me this is common sense like the difference between a router and switch. Because, windows has to work for everything it has to stay big, now the down side to windows being closed source is you can’t customize the kernel like you can in Linux for optimal performance. If you read a recent eWeek article the Linux community recognizes the problem of bloated kernel, and are starting to complain about it. So in a sense Linux is heading toward this problem. So ultimately Linux is heading toward crashes on its own, but the one thing it does have for it the customizable kernel.

So in conclusion to this point, crashes are inevitable it is usually a user error, in my experience, and it is something that will continue to happen as long as people are able to install their own software and hardware, because it seems that is were the problem is having to create software that works on several hardware configurations. I mean look at apple computers. They have an OS that is written for a specific hardware configuration and programs that are written for a specific hardware configuration leading less possibilities of crashing, but they are not impervious because I have crashed one at CompUSA. (The hardware stuff I am not sure of I was told that my a Mac person so I am taking him at his word because he seemed like he knew what he was talking about. Please, let me know if I am wrong and I will gladly write a retraction.)

“They don’t have a feature that I want, and I don’t have the option to add it.”

This is one that is the biggest complaint basically leading to “Open Source” dun dun duuuun. Anyway, one thing I hear a lot, not necessarily as an argument, but as a complaint is “Why don’t the include blah feature in their office software, windows OS, or other software.” I hear this mainly when it takes a while to do something, and they want a button to do it all right then.

Now, this leads to more geeky people complaining about not having the option to edit the software because it isn’t open source. To me Open Source is awesome, but as far as I have seen nothing compares to some of closed source software that Microsoft has such as office, Visual Studio, and windows. All these are easy to use and helpful for users to move around and get things done. Now OpenOffice.org is a good Open Source comparison that has a lot of potential, but does not have a lot of the things that Office does. I have not yet seen a IDE that even compares to VS. As for windows, to me Linux has a while before they are going to be as easy to use for everyone.

Another thing about being able to edit the software even with the option, how often have you actually taken that opportunity and added that feature. If you are like me you like to have the option, but have never actually done it. So for all those people that complain about it if this is the case it is a moot point because you haven’t taken the opportunity so it doesn’t really matter.



Basically these are all points that arise, but in a major since is honestly ridiculous in many cases. Now everybody has their right to an opinion and I respect that, but these are some insights into my thoughts on the three basic complaints that I mainly see coming from people about Microsoft. I don’t like these complaints because personally I like how innovative Microsoft has been and will continue to be, and want to try to work for them one day. Now please don’t think that I don’t like Linux or Open Source because that is just not true, because I am currently and admin on an Open Source project iPodder.NET and am a frequent attendee of my local LUG (Linux User Group) because I see the potential in Linux and love the challenge of using it.

Thank You for reading my blog,
Buddy Lindsey

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

ASP.NET is More Efficient than Java (Here’s why)

Disclaimer:
This is only one example of how ASP.NET is better than Java. There might be several reasons that Java is better than ASP.NET. These are just my views of a particular situation. I do believe though that ASP.NET for web applications is better source than Java on a Windows machine.


Ok, where I work we are about to switch over to clocking in at our desk instead of going to a designated spot and clocking in and out. This is a good thing to have happen because it will help on productivity because people can work right up to closing time then clock out without having to walk somewhere. This will save money because people won’t be as likely to idle around waiting for time to finish they can keep working. This is a plus to this system, but that is not what I am going to talk about.

This little application that we use is a web based application. It is hosted on a server in our intranet so that all you have to do is go to a web address anywhere in the company and you can clock out. However the problem is, in my opinion, that it is running a Java applet. While this may not be bad to the general user that doesn’t care; It annoys the heck out of me because it takes so long to load and I know of a more efficient way of doing it.

You see what happens is the computer calls the server and the server loads up the web application and the clients browser sees that there is a java applet. So it then calls on the runtime to interpret and run this applet. This takes quite a bit of time, I have clocked it at 5 seconds. While this may not seem like a lot on a large scale this can is a lot of wasted time, and waste of resources because the applet has to run on the clients machine.

Another problem with running the java applet is that the IT department must now spend quite a bit of time going to every computer and installing the java runtime. With a company at well over 100 computers this is an all day project. Not to mention you have to make sure that no one is at the computer, or you have to waste a Saturday coming in and installing it. This will cost a the company money because not only does the company have to pay for the time to get it installed on a computer, but they have to worry about headaches that may arise if he misses a computer or something happens to the runtime, though rare can happen.

Now if the company were to use ASP.NET then it would save time in many ways. Not only would the development life cycle be shorter, but the IT department would not have to go around to the computers and install the java runtime, saving a significant amount of time. What does this mean. Well the application can be cheaper, and you don’t have to pay people to waste time installing a runtime.

With ASP.NET it will display the same thing to you that the java applet will, but run it completely off of the server so that the users browser only has to read the HTML. This is a significant performance advantage because only one program is doing something. Also with the way that IIS 6.0 processes ASP.NET pages there is almost no strain, if any, on the server when running the application.

With significant performance gains lower Total Cost of Ownership of a intranet based web application you can tell that ASP.NET is a better way to go in this case. I hope that maybe I helped you learn something today. Again these are my views enjoy.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Mac (My Opinion)

You know I will admit I use to hate Macs because they were so hard to use, and I did not understand how-to navigate the OS. Well recently, within the last year, I have been playing with Linux. Once I started using Linux I realized you know I use to be turned of to Linux too how about I give the Mac a shot. So I went to CompUSA, and played with one for a while and was amazed how easy it was to use. I do accredit my ease of use to learning Linux. It allowed me to be open minded and figure things out which paid off because they are awesome for editing. I have a friend that has a power book, and I played with it making videos, music, and 3d modeling. I was amazed at how only 256 megs of ram could run all these programs for hours and not slow anything down on the system, and the whole computer ran smoothly the whole time. You can attribute this to the *nix base, but it was cool all the same. I think it was much easier to use than Linux because a lot more time as been dedicated to the UI. Overall it was a great experience using the Mac.

I definitely want to get a Mac to do my development things such as, podcasts, music mixing, graphic design, and post production work on videos. I think I would defiantly benefit if one day I am able to get one. I have to give kudos to Apple for making a great product. It was definitely a humbling experience.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Microsoft Launches Forums

Microsoft finally launches some forums here you go this is the link. I have to tell you this place is awesome it has a lot of potential for offering help. I can't wait for more people to find out about them. The more people there the more help people can get.

Here is the link.
http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Windows (My Opinion)

Windows is an excellent OS to use. It is one of the easiest out to understand, and get started with. People from the age of 2 to 70 can figure out how to use it fairly quickly. It has awesome configuration tools that are easy to understand and use. In windows I can usually figure out how to configure something with 15 to 20 minutes just by clicking stuff. For example I need to set up SMTP on Windows Server 2003 so I could receive e-mails, and I just started clicking a few things here adding what I “thought” goes there and bam it worked. I knew absolutely nothing about setting it up, but with easy to understand configuration tools I figured it out. With other OS’s I basically had to learn how to configure things from scratch, which when you are in a hurry is not good. Programming for Windows is much nicer with the .NET Framework you can easily program applications for windows, or the web. Windows also has the best IDE of any OS nothing can beat Visual Studio.NET with its intellisence and dynamic coding allow for coding to get done quick.

Windows is excellent for getting stuff done quickly and efficiently. I enjoy using it for all of my development.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Proof that Windows can be better than linux.

http://www.neowin.net/comments.php?id=27764&category=main

This proves that Linux, just because of opensource, is not necessarily better than windows. I have beleived this for a long time, and now i have the proof. Granted Linux does offer some advantages over linux, but as of right now Windows is better.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Linux (My Opinion)

This OS is good for geeks who know what they are doing and like to learn new things, and have the time to sit there and figure out all the little problems that may arise. Since most people grew up with windows the switch to Linux is relatively hard because people generally want to look at Linux as Windows and they generally fail.

Linux is also a good OS to learn how to use because I do see it becoming bigger and giving windows major competition, even more then apple. Linux does offer some benefits over Windows. Some of these are stability, security, and fun to learn. Linux is generally more stable then windows. I have run a Linux server for about 100 days, and it ran as good on the 100th day as it did on the 1st day. Windows however started to bog down after 20 to 25 days; at this point I could see a difference in performance. Linux is also more secure than windows because there are not as many viruses that are written for Linux. My opinion of why this is basically comes down to numbers and feelings towards Microsoft. (IMO)There are quite a few people that run Linux that do not like windows so they spend time learning how to exploit it. Linux, I think, is fun to learn. It takes a long time to learn to run it well, so to me I feel like I am never good at it so I keep trying to learn more, and I find it fascinating.

These are just a few of the bonuses about Linux