Philip Lippard

Please say it ain't so

More Loot from the Attic

Here is one item from the attic that I simply could not part old IBM Selectric Typewriter. This was my sole means of personal productivity in 1979....used it to send out invoices, etc. This baby will probably be worth a fortune someday; I paid $500 for it used. This IBM Selectric along with my old IBM PC Jr. will have to stay as collector's items


ENTJ Spoken Here

Found this in the attic today....while tossing out 99.9% of my attic crap. As for the ENTJ....this does have some sentimental value. I had personality tests given to the entire staff in 1997....and this was the Myers-Briggs test result for me. I always found these results for the staff to be quite accurate. As for myself, I have mellowed a bit since this 1997 test.


DotNetNuke Acquires Snowcovered

DotNetNuke Home

+ : Market for DotNetNuke skins and DotNetNuke modules!The DotNetNuke Corp. is acquiring Snowcovered.  Since 1995, I have used Snowcoveredas a Reseller for many of the ASP.NET components on my web site at Sanibel Logic.  Snowcovered has long filled a niche marketplace need for the re-sell of DotNetNuke specific skins and components.  In my case, the Sanibel Logic components work with native ASP.NET web deployments as well as with DotNetNuke deployments.  Click HERE to read the full Press Release.

The House that Nexus Built ?

I bought my Sanibel house in Dec-1999 from a French lady.  At the front door entrance she had the following sign exhibited.  I am currently having my Sanibel home remodeled, due for completion around 1-Sep.   I think I will replace the following sign with one which reads..."...The House that Nexus Built..."...


IE6 Rebellion ?...You Be The Judge

As a Web Designer/ Software Developer, IE6 is a browser that is difficult to avoid if you have a web site where the world is your audience.   There are so many non-compliance issues with IE6 that it is difficult to maintain a comprehensive list of known problems.  The most annoying problem with IE6 is the non-support of PNG24 images.

In any event, I saw an article in CNN this morning where web designers are starting a movement to get rid of IE6.  I would not expect the demise of IE6 anytime soon, however this can only be good news.

The problems with IE6 can become so overwhelming that I wrote a special ASP.NET custom control for one project that conditionally injects special HTML code where appropriate for IE6.  It works sort of like this...

   1:  <slcms:InjectBrowserHtml runat="server">
   2:      <DefaultTemplate>
   3:          <img src="/Themes/Images/ShipMyLuggage/Your-ticket-to-ease.png" 
   4:              alt="Your ticket to ease of convenience" />
   5:      </DefaultTemplate>
   6:      <IE6Template>
   7:          <div style="filter:progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(sizingMethod='scale',
   8:                      src='/Themes/Images/ShipMyLuggage/Your-ticket-to-ease.png'); 
   9:                  width: 478px; 
  10:                  height: 149px;">
  11:              &nbsp;
  12:          </div>
  13:      </IE6Template>
  14:  </slcms:InjectBrowserHtml>    

And of course, all over the web are articles about how to fix the most noticeable IE6 problems....such as 10 Fixes That Solve IE6 Problems...

IE6 ?....Good riddance...

No Monthly Fee Outbound Internet Fax Service

I acquired an eFax telephone number several years ago for inbound faxing.  I think the area code for my eFax telephone number is in Utah somewhere, however for inbound faxing, the service has always worked well.  For outbound faxing, eFax has always required a monthly fee.  I have recently discovered for outbound faxing.  One can conduct on-demand outbound faxing without needing to pay a monthly fee.   Pamfax can also use your Skype credits for payment. 

Cost per page is only about 15 cents per page, and Pamfax works well with sending PDF documents.  One simply uploads the documents to be faxed and selects and fills in a fax cover page.

So Who Appointed You King-Maker ?

Interesting how we have all read about the evils of Microsoft over the past decade, starting with the Justice Department's efforts in 1999.  However, when one takes a close look at the behavior of many companies, doing what is necessary to be competitive is common practice.  Take Apple for example.  After the market crash, during the Fall of 2008 Apple shares dropped to $90 per share, and Apple is now at $165 per share and riding high.  On the other hand, Apple is clearly not what one would call an "open company".  The Macintosh product line and the OS X operating system is built on top of Intel based processors, yet don't dare try to run OS X on a Dell Intel based processor, or for that matter an Intel based processor from anyone other than Apple.

When I started iPhone software development I searched the Internet long and hard for a means to run the iPhone SDK and Objective X (XCode, etc) and OS X within a Microsoft Virtual PC (VPC).  I found one hacker who spent hours trying such and was moderately successfully, however no doubt he violated numerous license agreements along the way.

And then there is the Apple iPhone App Store.  My previous blog posts support my view that the iPhone product line is a revolutionary product line, however it is clearly not what one would call an "open product line".   The Apple iPhone App Store places Apple into the role of King-Maker.

Here is an interesting article from this morning's Wall Street Journal that may suggest a reversal may be forthcoming in Apple's behavior.

Text Messages at 30,000 Feet

On a recent flight between Raleigh and Sanibel I could not help but notice the "WI-FI Enabled" logo as I was entering the aircraft.  I figured this would be a good test for my new 13" MacBookPro laptop.  The WI-FI service is powered by  After researching GoGoInflight, I learned that it is available on multiple airlines, so evidently some entrepreneur has been quite creative in developing a WI-FI capability that can be airline-neutral and provide a great service.

So...I tried it out and it worked great, and I was flying coach class.  I was able to text message using Google Voice and Skpe.   I was also able to conduct voice calls using Skype.

Technology has come a long way since Charles Lindbergh.

RIA Services - July CTP ==> Great Stuff...

To-date I have been a casual user of Microsoft's Silverlight technology, however that is all changing with Silverlight version 3 and a new companion product called RIA Services. 

With Silverlight version 1, I wrote quite a bit of JavaScript based Silverlight, plenty of animation, etc.  I avoid Silverlight for animation in favor of jQuery where practical, simply because of the browser audience.   jQuery has a wider browser acceptance, and since the introduction of Silverlight version 1, Microsoft has also embraced jQuery.  If the world is my audience, then I avoid Silverlight, although I consider the underlying technology to be great.

I was pleased to see a more business application oriented direction with Silverlight version 2, however data access from the client was still somewhat problematic with the use of WCF or ADO.NET Data Services.  I worked with both, however fast simplified data access had not yet arrived.

Silverlight 3 was released on 10-Jul-2009, and at the same time a RIA Services July CTP was made available.  RIA Services provides an object oriented approach to Silverlight client data access in the form of a RIA Services client proxy accessing a RIA Services Domain Service Class on the server.  The RIA Services Domain Services Class provides many of the same benefits as popular Object Relationship Mapping (ORM) offerings; Sub-Sonic, nHibernate, etc.   Presumably, this is the reason why RIA Services will be shipping as a separate product.  While providing many benefits for Silverlight 3 applications, RIA Services's benefits are not limited to Silverlight.

An extract from the RIA Services introduction...

Microsoft Silverlight provides a strong foundation for building Rich Internet Applications (RIA). Microsoft .NET RIA Services introduced in this document further simplify Line of Business (LoB) RIA development. They complement the existing Data Access Layer and presentation components in the .NET framework and Silverlight. They build on the foundation of ASP.NET and codify, evolve and support some of the common patterns in web applications.

The underlying Server data access layer for RIA Services can be an Entity Framework data model, LinqtoSQL  or a Plain Old CLR Object (POCO).  I prefer using LinqToSQL as my underlying data access layer.

Classic Web Application

Word on the Internet is that we are likely to see a RIA Services release date of late 2009 or early 2010.

There are some excellent reference articles on the Internet:

Nikhil Kothan's BLOG

Brad Abram's BLOG (a NC State graduate)

While I still avoid Silverlight when the world is my audience, I think Silverlight coupled with RIA Services is a great technology to use for Intranet applications, where the browser usage can be controlled.  Silverlight 3 and RIA Services provides a native Windows application look and feel, thus providing many advantages over the traditional web application.