The miscellaneous ramblings and thoughts of Dan G. Switzer, II

My Great-Grandparent's General Store

I got this e-mail from my Grandma earlier today. It's the history of the grocery store my Great-Grandparents used to run. Unfortunately, I never got to see the store (or my Great-Grandfather Barger.) My Great-Grandfather died three years before I was born and they sold the store shortly after his death in '69.

I really want to thank my Grandmother for typing this up. It's nice to have some written history about my family. Anyway, for those of you who are interested, here's the story. :)


Microsoft Security Patch Slows XP Systems

Redmond is looking into a fix for security patch it issued late last week. The patch—which was designed to stave off a buffer overrun that could allow attackers to elevate privilege permissions on users' machines—ended up slowing some users' systems to a crawl.

Various Windows enthusiast sites on the Web have noted the adverse performance impact caused by patch 811493 on their Windows XP Home, Professional and 64-bit systems.

Monica's Birthday

Well today was Monica's birthday and like a tool I totally forgot. I went out to Applebees tonight with Monica, Todd and Nicholas. Anyway, I had a great time at dinner. Nicholas is such a little ham—he's such a happy baby and it's great being around him. Baby and Mommy even both had a touch of the cold, but they were both in great spirits. (Not even Todd telling the waiter is was Monica's birthday ruined her mood.) Also, Todd & Monica got Nicholas' Baptism pictures today, so I got copies of all the pictures—they all turned out great. Anyway, dinner was great, and to Monica I say:

Happy Birthday Monica!

10th Anniversary of the Modern Day "Browser"

Well, the modern day "browser" is no officially 10 years. The first version of Mosaic was released 10 years ago today. Mosaic was written by several college students at the University of Illinois. Prior to the release of Mosaic, "surfing the web" was text-based only. Mosaic brought many of the common day functions to web browsing, such as: back/forward buttons, search, image support and the home button. Anyway, whether they knew it at the time or not, this little program affected the life of millions—including myself. I don't know what I'd be doing today if I weren't designing web applications.

On April 22, 1993, a group of students at the University of Illinois released a piece of computer code designed to get information from various public networks. Little did they know that their pet project, a humble application named Mosaic, would fundamentally change everyday life. While Web browsers with graphical interfaces had traded hands among academics years earlier, Mosaic was the first to be widely adopted and introduce the masses to the Internet.

Gadget-Heavy Audi Geeks It Up

... the 2004 Audi A8 L may look like a typical yuppie-mobile, it boasts computer gadgetry, smart sensors and video displays that will dazzle even the geekiest of nerds. Not since KITT, the talking car of television's Knight Rider, has so much silicon been packed around a transmission.

Where do I sign up? I want this car (or at least the features it has.) I'm not found of the steering wheel, but auto cruise control that you can set to keep you X car lengths away is way too cool. It's about time they started enhancing cars with technology.

Turn that old Atari/SNES into a portable gaming system!

I've read about Benjamin Heckendorn before—at least siz months or so ago. He takes old consule units like the Atari 2600 and SNES and converts them to portable gaming systems. Although a complete novelty at the price you'd pay for one, it would be cool to have a handheld Atari 2600 or SNES. I really like the look of his handheld units, they have a lot of personality.

Heckendorn has refashioned 39 units out of old-school hardware. His signature model, the VCSp, is based on the Atari 2600, circa 1977. "It's a way to honor the old games. It lets people revisit something from their past - kind of like when they're at a bar and they hear a Bon Jovi song," he says. "Besides, it's cool." Make that supercool in the realm of classic gaming, where Heckendorn, 27, has become something of a cult hero since single-handedly inspiring a new hobby. He's even sold his handiwork to fans for up to $600 a pop.

Baby teeth could provide stem cells

Just like the primordial tissue from which all organs arise, the stem cells in baby teeth can transform themselves into nerve and fat cells in laboratory dishes, investigators said. In the future, stem cells plucked from a child's discarded molar could be frozen in cell banks to benefit its donor for decades.

Macromedia Flash MX Data Connection Kit Released

The Data Connection Kit provides prebuilt connections to web services, XML data, databases, and application servers so you can easily access, save, and display data. With its component-based application framework and support for multiple data sources, the Data Connection Kit lets developers focus on what's important—the delivery of great Internet applications.

Macromedia Flash MX Data Connection Kit

Macromedia DevNet Resource Kit Volume 3 Released

Macromedia's released the third volume of their DevNet Resource Kit. I haven't had a chance to purchase any of the resource kits yet, but I generally hear good things about them. Out of all the resources on the CD, the one that sparked my immediate interest was the Lindex add-on for CFMX that uses the Lucene open-source, Java-based text indexing engine.

Macromedia DevNet Resource Kit Volume 3

New "International" Hulk Trailer Online

The new trailer looks killer. Hopefully this movie is good—Ang Lee's films are normally visually spectacular, so I'm interested to see just how well this final product turns out..

Hulk International Trailer

Weekend Update (Not to be confused w/Tina Fey & Jimmy Fallon)

Wow, am I beat. This weekend was another busy weekend. Jenn went up to Niles to visit with her family for Easter and I stayed in the Columbus/Springfield area.

I spent the day in Springfield Saturday helping my mom move furniture from my Grandparents house to my parent's house. My Grandparent's recently moved, so there's some stuff they left behind for other family members (and some stuff to be auctioned off.) Anyway we moved a desk to my mom's office and rearranged her office a bit. We also tore down a few beds and got the everything ready to move—we were on a bit of a timetable, as we were having our annual family Easter dinner at 5:00pm.

We decided to move Easter dinner to Saturday night (instead of our normal Easter brunch on Sunday,) since the entire family would still be in town (my uncle was leaving for a golf trip down in Florida on Sunday morning.) As always, dinner was a good time.


Maddie's getting spayed on Friday...

Well I just called and set up Maddie's spaying appointment for Friday. I feel pretty bummed about it—I hate the thought of something possibly going wrong, but these procedures are pretty common. I feel crappy about doing it to her, but after researching it, I think it'll be better for her long term. It reduces the chances of cancer and a few other ailments down the road. I figured I'd have it done Friday that way I can be home with her over the weekend.

I need to call Petsmart to see if this will interfere with her training. I think it might, but I decided I better get the spaying done ASAP. I have a feeling she might be getting close to her first time being in heat. I really think her hormones are what's behind her orneriness as of late. Anyway, hopefully I can work something out with Petsmart.

An interesting artcile on Microsoft's InfoPath...

PerfectXML.com posted the first part of a two part article on Microsoft's new InfoPath XML-based form specification. I've been reading a lot about XForms (W3C specification) and InfoPath (Microsoft's proprietary specification) lately. While I think both basic concepts are good—XML-in/XML-out—I believe it'll be a while before we see wide spread support of either. Although I don't like everything about the XForms spec, I'd much prefer to see an open specification (like XForms) being used over a proprietary solution. Anyway, if you want to see actual code from an InfoPath project, definitely read this article.

Microsoft InfoPath 2003 By Example

Eight days until the NFL Draft!

Eight days until the NFL Draft—can't wait to see who the Steelers pick up in round one.

Pirates of the Caribbean Trailer

Watched the trailer for "Pirates of the Caribbean" today. The movie looks promising. Although I haven't necessarily like all of Depps movies, I think he's a great actor and who keeps getting better. It's been awhile since I've seen a good 'ol swashbuckling flick! I also keep hearing good things about Disney's new movie "Holes." It just might be that Disney's back to old form—they've had a few stinkers of late.

Pirates of the Caribbean Trailer