Run Faster, Jump Higher

by Dmitry Kirsanov 31. July 2012 13:00

A cubic meter of wood weights differently in different parts of the planet. We know it from childhood. What we start to learn later – that it’s the same about your career potential.

Let’s take an example. Mike, an ordinary guy next door, lost his job at the local café shop in England. It wasn’t a lucrative position by any means, but it was a job. When his employer informed him about the forthcoming dismissal, Mike went to state employment services and applied for all kind of allowances he could. He was one of a few hundreds of other guys with the same level of education, skills and knowledge, as well as with the same work experience.

He had to choose the next specialty, which is neither easy or pleasant choice to make, even if someone else is going to fund it. Since he is reading newspapers and talks to friends, he knows that IT is sort of the most stable industry nowadays. He doesn’t feel like he’s able to become a programmer, he is not a geek, so he decided he could go into system administration. Maybe something related to wireless technologies, as it looks to make more buzz in media.

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Two Things To Learn From LinkedIn

by Dmitry Kirsanov 7. June 2012 15:45

LinkedIn logoAs you already know, the LinkedIn passwords were supposedly leaked and became available online in form of hashed data. Or they were not, but it doesn’t really matter.

What really matters for you as for web developer is to see mistakes of LinkedIn developers and learn from them.

1. Website Performance

When people learned, that their passwords were jeopardized and these passwords could be the keys to other systems as well, they rushed to change the password. All at once. And LinkedIn has about 161 millions of users so far. No, of course there are thousands of dead accounts and people who haven’t heard about the problem yet, but still – many millions of people logged into their accounts, went to the profile settings and started the password changing procedure.

As the result, many people couldn’t do that, because the machines, responsible for that feature, were too busy. If you were among those who tried to change his password the day it hit the news, you could see that Ajax window, saying it’s waiting for the operation to complete. I did it from second attempt, since my password was one year old anyway.

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The Space In Between

by Dmitry Kirsanov 5. May 2012 03:26

A5 chipYou’ve already heard about the Windows Phone operating system. Microsoft invested a lot of money into making you hear about it. They are trying to form opinion and clear up the niche for their new attempt to settle in the mobile phone market, and this time it appears like they went for broke.

It’s not only huge resources spent on all sorts of advertisements, but also the unusual amount of FUD in their pitch. One of such arguments that riveted my attention is that iPhone is a glamorous gadget for non-geeks. If you believe it, then this article is for you. More...

ReactOS Rising?

by Dmitry Kirsanov 2. May 2012 02:03

ros_logo_08Have you ever heard about ReactOS? It’s an operating system which was in “alpha” state for the last 16 years (!) and is basically a free, open-source Windows clone. It looks just like Windows XP / 2003, but the code base is written from scratch. However, the software written for Windows should work just fine on ReactOS. That’s the goal, at least. For now, applications like WinAmp and uTorrent work stable on current release.

Just about now the founder of this project, Aleksey Bragin, sent an e-mail claiming he is fundraising to actually hire full time developers for his OS. Until now it was a hobby for everyone, but now he is about to make it real. Taking into account that his goal is quite modest 30 000 euro, I think he’ll make it in no time, so the only question that is left open – what’s next?

Either he is going to ship this OS (to potentially free millions of PCs from the inevitable upgrade of Windows XP), or he wants to rise the price of the project to sell it. In a latter case, the question is who would buy it – would it be some social network, financially capable to have a pet operating system, or would it be some ill management addict company, which is buying new projects and technologies to substitute previously acquired and dying ones?

More questions than answers, but anyway, I wish these guys a well deserved success.

Blogging Software Review: Live Writer 2011 vs. MarsEdit 3.5

by Dmitry Kirsanov 24. April 2012 13:20

BlogEditorsThere are two kinds of bloggers. The ones who edit their works offline and the ones who prefer to do it online (or just don’t know they could do it the other way).

Also, there are bloggers who don’t know that they are bloggers. Some websites are built on blog engines, as blog platforms are basically article-optimized CMS systems. For example, the BlogEngine.NET home page is built over their own blog platform.

This article is a comparison of two most widely used vital tools of modern blogging – the Microsoft Live Writer 2011 and MarsEdit 3.5 by Red Sweater Software.

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Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) in action

by Dmitry Kirsanov 20. April 2012 14:41

A few days ago Microsoft released beta of their new technology called User Experience Virtualization, or UE-V. The name implies that it has something to do with virtualization, but it’s just a buzzword. What UE-V does – it synchronizes user settings across workstations, in real time.

Imagine, that you have to log into multiple workstations, and what you want to have is the same settings of all applications you are using in your work. For example, spelling options in Microsoft Office, the layout of buttons, menus and colors – all the little pains that accumulates into the strong headache of roaming for some.

UE-V vs. roaming profiles

The roaming profile could be the answer, but for most of us it’s not. Some of us don’t even have the Active Directory profiles, but still desire the same user experience throughout the environment (translation to human language: every desktop of yours looks and behaves the same).

The difference with roaming is also in fact that in UE-V you only synchronize what you want to, not everything. So it works faster and has less space for errors.

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Microsoft Revived MCSE Certification

by Dmitry Kirsanov 19. April 2012 17:45

MCSEWith a catch. The topmost certification for windows system administrators, the MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) got new name, while keeping the old abbreviation. Now it’s called Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert.

No. Sorry. In fact, Microsoft created brand new certification, mixed products with the cloud and gave it the acronym of the most successful Microsoft’s certification, coincidentally abandoned since 2003. More...

Configuring Failover Cluster in Windows Server 2008

by Dmitry Kirsanov 19. April 2012 06:45

About 5 months ago, I made a video about configuring the network load balancing cluster in Windows Server 2008. I am continuing the series about clustering the Windows Server 2008 with the next type of clusters – the failover cluster. Also known as “high availability” cluster.

Although Windows Server 2008 supports 4 types of clusters – Network Load Balancing, Failover, Computational and Grid, the most commonly used are the first two. Also, we’ll talk about the private clouds later, as they are doing similar job, but in Windows Server 2008 the private cloud is the functionality of an application called System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012, so it’s not the system core feature, such as clustering.

During the series of demos we’ll talk mainly about failover and network load balancing clusters, as the High Performance Computational cluster requires it’s own special edition of Windows Server 2008, called Windows Server 2008 R2 HPC Edition, and chances are – you won’t ever have the requirement to set up such environment.

Windows Server 2008 Cluster Categories

Windows Server 2008 Cluster Categories

As you can see in the following slide, there are two categories of clusters by the way they share resources.

Failover cluster belongs to the second group, which means that it is a group of computers, where only one node (i.e. the machine participating in the cluster) owns the resource. You may have two or more machines working as nodes in your failover cluster, but only one of them will serve clients at any moment of time. Once that machine fails, another node takes ownership of resources (shared drive, for example) and starts serving clients instead of the failed node.

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The Long Tail Theory

by Dmitry Kirsanov 17. April 2012 00:00

SEOThe Long Tail theory in Search Engine Optimization is a reflection of an older Long Tail concept which was developed in the middle of 20th century and which basically states, that you can either focus on a few very popular things or many unpopular, but the accumulated popularity of the latter, reinforced by higher specialization and increased diversity, will make it more stable investment of your money and time.

In other words, instead of trying to moderately please everyone, try to highly please few diverse groups of customers. If one product fails, it won’t become a catastrophe, because you have other products. And because the product is “aimed” at something special – be it function or group of customers, it will be considered “professional” even if it’s not better than more generic or more complex products.

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Overlooked Features of Visual Studio 11

by Dmitry Kirsanov 16. April 2012 13:39

Visual Studio LogoScott Hanselman is a senior program manager in the developer division (whatever that means) at Microsoft. In other words, he is one of the primary sources of information regarding Microsoft Visual Studio.

He has quite interesting post about features of Visual Studio 11 which presumably were not noticed by the community. Until his post, anyway.

What I find especially interesting is that Visual Studio 11 Express edition is going to provide unit testing feature – something that wasn’t available in free Visual Studio editions before. This correlates to Visual Studio 11 Team Foundation Server, which got it’s free edition as well, making Visual Studio much harder to beat even if the budget is tight. I suppose this could lead to improved quality of other development environments.

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