Argot, 31337

Communications of the ACM January 2013 “Lost in Translation” refers to ‘argot’ which leads us to 31337 (leet).

Interesting topics -check the respective wikis.

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Peter Neumann

Peter Neumann (Principal Scientist, SRI)

via ACM journal mention by Vincent Cerf

Lots of fun stuff, and especially the quasi-literary pursuits!

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Not just another 6-letter, starting with K, Japanese-origin concept.. (see also Kaizen)

From the MSDN newsletter today.. VS update 2 (presumably for VS2012) supports Kanban.

Checking the wiki…

“… stimulates continuous, incremental and evolutionary changes to your system.”

“Sweeping changes may seem more effective but have a higher failure rate due to resistance and fear in the organization.”


Applying this principle to Win8 slow adoption:

MS should have found a way (needs to consider ways) to give users the Win8 UI gradually… preventing the shock effect that’s a symptom of non early-adopter types (most people)..

oh.. but they did.. they left the Desktop that you can flip over to easily.

They should have kept it default, and let users flip to the new one at their own pace…

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Windows 8 continuing to be Awesome! Storage Spaces

A couple of years ago I realized that if I had money to spend up-front, I could enhance my storage environment by buying a NAS device.  I researched the products but held off.  I learned that my new powerful Dell (Dec 2010) desktop had extra bays for 3 or 4 additional drives (it came with a fast SATA Seagate 1TB).  I read a bit more and found that I could buy them for $45 each!   So I bought 4.   I installed 3 of them in the computer and went about configuring RAID.  First, I had to ensure the firmware was set to allow virtualization (something to do with the Intel RAID controller).  That was either already set or I set it.  I then discovered that Windows would need re-installed to support the array RAID.  Of course nowadays the vendor doesn’t supply boot media with your OS, so I ruled out re-installing from scratch.    I happily used the several fast drives, 1 for camera video, 1 for Recorded TV, 1 for pictures and websites.   And I relegated the unreliable external USB drives (over the years I’ve had about 10, with average life 2 years; by now I’ve had over 5 die) to various backup roles.   So as of a few days ago I had c:, r:, s:, t: internal drives, and g:, j:, k:, l:, i: external drives (not to mention a router-attached backup as well).  Basically, I ended up with various backups all over the place.

I thought I knew all about Windows 8 then I stumbled upon this:

Exciting!   This may allow me to clean up the mess!  Oh, I’d also recently purchased a 3TB WD drive and had WD Smartware configured to automatically backup my important classes of files.

The grand experiment began… I shuffled files around over a period of many hours and configured 4 or 5 drives into a Windows Storage Pool with a Mirrored space and a Parity space.   I had no issues, and only a minor performance hit.   Seemed good.    But then I read this further article

One concern is that there is no automatic re-balancing in the case of adding disks to the pool after initial space creation.   The author also indicates issues if you add drives of different sizes.   Anyway, this has lead me to re-build my Storage Pool from scratch, using only 2 3TB USB 3.0 drives and 2 fast USB 2.0 2TB drives and not including the older 500G drives.. just trying to get the best initial configuration without too much experimentation.   Anyway… population in progress.

So I’ve abandoned the WD Smartware auto backup in favour of automatic software mirroring.  Next up:  Windows 8 File History

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Windows 8–the best thing

My co-worker asked ‘what’s the best thing about it?’   I’ll try to put it into words.

  1. Looks and feels slick; nice to have something new after decade or two of the Windows UI
  2. Fast and responsive; cannot overstate that.  Snappy.  Nice.  The metaphor/paradigm of the desktop finally feels like what an OS UI should be.. app oriented (yes, like smartphones and tablets) … almost achieving that Taligent / Next  ideal of de-coupling user from knowing there is an underlying file system.
  3. Has the common app ‘Install update’ I’ve come to expect using Apple and Android tablets and phones.  Somehow most of the apps I use are short and sweet single-purpose.  News, Photos, Calendar, Skype, Media Center… just click the big icon (smart tile) and I’m instantly in the app.   (Windows RT)
  4. Fallback to old ways is easy.. click Desktop and voila. 
  5. Learning curve was very very short.  The minimalist design works –incredible for someone like myself that normally likes a zillion features.
  6. IE10 and VS2012.. nicely allowing me to keep up my developer skills with latest HTML5 / CSS3 support.   VS2012 is awesome –multi-monitor support to name one feature.
  7. People app gives me quick view into all my contacts and follows/follwers.. may just take over as my favourite Twitter client.



  1. Can’t (yet) change Sources for News –I want to eliminate Sports sources for example.
  2. Had to add Windows Media Center manually.. easy, but expected it to be seamlessly built-in –you know: Convergence.. whatever happened to that…

that’s all for now….

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Windows 8 my weekend! (in a good way)

PC 1: Upgraded Vista to Windows 8 ($39) .  Smooth, apart from minor annoyance of having to re-install applications like Office 2010.  And the small matter of convincing user who is initially resistant to change.

PC 2: Win 8 RTM continuing to operate normally, added Windows Media Center (free til January).  The ordering process was disturbing –press Submit and get no response to the button press whatsoever.    Tried again throughout the day.   At one point an email arrived saying ‘welcome to Windows 8’ rather than the expected WMC product key.   Eventually the site indicated it may take 24 hours.   It all worked out by the next day –Media Center even found the old Win7 WMC config and migrated it forward –apart from the need to re-configure the remote.

PC 3: The Win 8 CTP that I had thought to have had a hard drive failure came back to life.  The Windows Store no longer operates as indicated by ‘this version doesn’t support…’  messages.  The initial compatibility check not sure if my system has NX bit on (AMD) or XD bit (Intel).. but willing to try and restart.  I restarted manually and set what might be that bit – sure enough the next compatibility check was happy.   So we’ll read a bit more and see if migration from CTP to Prod release has any other gotchas – the install is indicating that it will not be able to keep anything from my current installation..

Exciting!  Change is good.  I think it’s been very well thought out by Microsoft.

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Brad Abrams

MSDN Oct 15 Vol 27, p. 23  The Pit of Success

ref to a Brad Abrams quote from Oct 2 2003  which is that essentially, well designed APIs make it hard to get in trouble.. akin to Wizards really (my analogy)

at the top of Brad’s blog is his ‘my last day at Microsoft’ post.. where he indicates no issue with the company, just time for a change.   which leads me to explore his blog which starts with some good PM tips in the Dec ‘10 post,

then we scroll down and find his path to learning about his new employer Google; Aug 1 ‘10 post “Google is a computer science company’ (no wonder I like them); goes on to talk about AppEngine and GWT (you do your app and Google handles the plumbing); and sentiment analysis and finally  Google Prediction APIs

which is all very good stuff!

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