Rants, rambles, news and notes from another geek

Sybase SQL Cheat Sheet

I guess I’ve been lucky to have spent most of my career working on one database platform (MS SQL), but for the past week or so I’ve been dealing with a Sybase ASE 11.x server. The fact that SQL isn’t really a standard is very annoying.

This cheat sheet, put together by Scott Ferguson really helped me a lot. It is a quick 2 page PDF of showing syntax, built-in functions, etc.


The Definitive "Hello World" Managed Smart Document Tutorial

The previous tutorials and such about Office 2003 Smart Documents have been pretty poor, but this one looks pretty damn good. This tutorial is for VB.NET, but you should be able to translate it into C# if you want.

It should be very interesting to see if this technology really takes off or not.

"Anti"-Things You Must Install on Your Fresh Windows Box

This excellent post by Scott Hanselman tells you what you need to install when you get home with your brand new computer. Many of us perform this list instinctively, but a large majority of people happily take their shiny new box and plug it into their DSL modem before doing any of this stuff.


Read Scott’s post first. Install an anti-virus system, an anti-spam system, and an anti-spyware system. If you don’t have a dedicated firewall (and maybe even if you do), turn on the Windows XP built-in firewall. Not running XP? Install ZoneAlarm.

Joel's New Digs

Joel Spolsky just finished the new offices for his company, Fog Creek Software. Very fancy. Check it out.


  • Everyone gets an office.
  • 20 power outlets per office
  • HDTV in the break room
  • Glowing acrylic walls
  • Support for pair programming
  • Expensive ($700 per month per developer!)

OK, So Maybe Yukon Is Cooler Than I Thought

Let me clarify that subject line… I know Yukon is cool. I know it will change the way we work with SQL Server.

But honestly, I just wasn’t as excited about it as I am about Indigo, Avalon and Whidbey. Just my 2 cents… I’m really interested in seeing if the XML support in Yukon does what I want (XPath in the WHERE clause?), but other than that I have just felt ambivalent.

BUT! I have to admit, this looks very cool. If I can take my own C# data types and use them as columns in the database, that is VERY cool.

Weblogs Posts and RSS Descriptions

I have to admit, I hate the “description” field that many bloggers use. I understand why it exists, but I hate the way it is used. Here is my problem…

I don’t really like it when I have to double click a posting in SharpReader and then wait for a browser window to open showing me the page. If your weblog engine only sends me the description field, however, that is exactly what I have to do.

If you are like Chris Brumme and write 9000+ word essays on .NET internal stuff, then fine, use the description to tell me what’s in there. But many posts have descriptions like “A cool piece of software” that describe a 100 word post about something. Just go ahead and ship me the 100 words and save me the hassle of clicking through to see what the hell you’re talking about.


Linux Secure Tunnel Protocols Slammed

This post on Slashdot pointed me to this message on The Cryptography Mailing List by Peter Gutmann.

The gist is that CIPE, vtun and tinc–three popular open-source tunneling protocols–are terribly flawed. The worst part is that these flaws have been known for years but nobody has done anything about them.

As Peter says in the posting:

At least Microsoft eventually tries to fix their stuff, given sufficient public embarrassment and the odd hundred thousand or so computers being taken out by attackers.

I love this quote too…

Whenever someone thinks that they can replace SSL/SSH with something much better that they designed this morning over coffee, their computer speakers should generate some sort of penis-shaped sound wave and plunge it repeatedly into their skulls until they achieve enlightenment.