Legacy Blog

Already Dead

I had to really lay into this movie in my Amazon.com review. I tend to write reviews for products that I’m impressed with and just keep quite on products that don’t really impress. This movie, however, was the exception. It got such good reviews on Amazon that I felt compelled to give it a look. The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) had some of the best information on this flick outside of Amazon. It didn’t make the mainstream movie reviews sites like Rottentomatoes.com since it never made it to the box office. 2 stars was probably a bit harsh, 2.5 would have been more appropriate. I felt the genuine need to remove this movie from the 5 star plateau though as this is genuinely deceitful. My Amazon review follows:

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The Virtue of Static IIS Machine Keys

Having non-static machine keys when hosting on IIS is just one of those things that’s just bound to cause trouble eventually. This holds true equally for single server hosting environments and load balanced web farm environments. Especially if your goal is to shield your users from any knowledge of IIS lifecycle activities (e.g. application pool recycles), the use of static machine keys is to be strongly recommended. The implications of static versus dynamic keys are enumerated for several different hosting situations below:

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VisualSVN

I’ve been contemplating the move towards a self-hosted Subversion repository for quite a while. My earlier attempts worked but left me with a lot of inconvenient and sometimes quirky side effects. These experiences always led me back to hosting Subversion on Linux, which is really where it works most naturally. Recently, however, I decided to retry my luck with Subversion hosting on Windows and I made the call to go with a “package” instead of doing the Apache / Subversion integration myself.

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Life in HD

After a long hiatus, I just got done working my way through a 6 month photo backlog, arranging and backing up photos and picking the best ones out for uploading to Flickr. You can find the new photos in the photo section of my blog. I was working my way through videos as well and preparing to convert some of these to Flash for uploading. If you look at the videos section of my blog, you’ll notice that there are no new videos. So what happened?

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Simple_Captcha on Windows

Another in the installment of Rails on Windows “gotchas”, there are some things to be wary of when working with the Simple_Captcha plugin in the Windows environment. In terms of basic background, the Simple_Captcha plugin facilitates the integration of CAPTCHA (Computer Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) image recognition tests, like the example below, into a Rails application. Facilitates is perhaps not a strong enough term. The plugin makes CAPTCHA integration dirt simple.

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The SOA Chasm

During a discussion the other day, I found myself repeatedly asking the question of how many organizations could make the leap from an organization dabbling in services (SOA believers) to an organization living SOA and benefiting from services (SOA achievers). I kept referring to the SOA chasm, this nearly insurmountable gap that needs to be crossed to move from an SOA believer to an SOA achiever. The image below is my visualization of this gap.

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Microsoft Publication: SOA in the Real World

Tad Anderson posted about the release of an SOA-related e-book from Microsoft concerning Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). This is one area in which Microsoft has remained notably quiet compared with competing enterprise software vendors such as IBM and Sun. As Tad points out in his post, Microsoft has made some forays into SOA publications and they have been pretty readable.

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iTunes Exclusive - Five for Fighting

I’ve had some really good experiences with some of the iTunes Original collections, which include a mix of pre-existing songs, original versions of hits and artist narrations. I’ve especially enjoyed the iTunes Originals with Rob Thomas. This weekend, I picked up my first iTunes Exclusive Live Sessions mix. The Live Sessions series at 5 or 6 songs per collection offers only about half the music of your average Original collection but, as the title indicates, it’s all live music.

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Rails on Windows - Part 1 (Capistrano on Windows)

As soon as you’ve spent some time dealing with Rails, you’re bound to hear the fact quoted that the entire Core Rails Team does their work on Macs. There are likely several reasons for this: (1) these folks really like Macs (you can’t fault them for that); (2) they’re getting kickbacks to use Powerbooks (could be; not likely though); or (3) Rails is fun, and using Windows puts a bit of damper on that fun. I think the last answer is the most likely even though I’d like to think that Steve Jobs has some skin in the Rails game.

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Web 2.0 Bus

I feel as if someone tacked a “show me your enterprise service bus” sign onto my back and I’ve been walking around blissfully unaware of this fact for months now. Client presentations, vendor presentations, casual conversations – everyone wants to show off their visuals of an ESB, SOA, and next generation architectures. Thank goodness there’s no fine print on my sign restricting me from asking tough (and not so tough) questions.

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