XPO: eXpress Persistent Objects

[XPO][1] is an Object Relational Mapping .Net product from [Developer Express][2], a cool company designing cool tools. It’s a programming component whose job is to abstract access to database while allowing the developer to concentrate on a simple object-oriented interface instead. There is an impedance mismatch between the usual programming technology and the database worlds.... » read more

The Importance of Conditions of Sales

BusinessIn a past life, working as a project manager for a manufacturer of railway equipment, I had to deal with detailed specifications and conditions of contract that would be big thick documents of hundred of pages each.

You Aren’t Gonna Need It

technology02.pngRefactoring code is a necessary thing. Unless you work in some very specific environment where casual refactoring is not allowed (like in some safety-critical applications where the most minute change has to be pondered upon by teams and committees for weeks), you cannot code perfectly on the first shot. More often, you end-up reviewing code and making it clearer, merging parts that are too similar, removing what turned out not to be useful, cleaning up the names, moving things around, etc... there are dozen of refactoring cases that usually help remove the stink out of it.

All sites won’t work with IE7

technology01.pngI installed a beta of IE7 last week and was quite pleased at the new interface and tabbed browsing, which has been available to Opera and Mozilla used and many other browsers for years. However, looking good and being slick and more standard-compliant hasn't been enough to keep it on my machines.

WordPress: Fixing PNG transparency issues in IE

technology01.png I'm using WordPress to blog this. I usually prefer to use PNG images over GIF for their ability to have variable alpha-channel transparency that makes them look good over any background. PNGs are a much greater improvement over the old GIF's single-colour transparency mask.

SlickRun: Desktop command-line launcher

technology02.pngIf you feel you often have to interrupt your typing to move your mouse around and click on it to open applications or websites, the SlickRun is the perfect power toy for you.

It's just a small application that can either stay in your tray until you call for it or that can display a small semi-transparent prompt where you can type in configurable commands that it will launch.

Microsoft Office 2007 beta 2

technology02.pngI received an email from Microsoft updates this morning and there awas a link to download the latest beta of Office 2007.
After registering, I got a few files including the Microsoft Office Professional Plus package at about 440MB and proceeded to installing the beast.

China Telecom blocking email access?

security01.pngFor months, every time more than a handful of connections were made between my ex-employer's office in Shanghai and their email server in Hong Kong, the latter would become unreachable, not just for email but for web access as well. The strange thing was that access to the rest of the Internet would be untouched.
This prompted me to experiment with ways to circumvent the ISP's port blocking restrictions.
The fight was on!