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There are times when I find Microsoft to be annoying.

Not exactly news, right? I develop software, I run up against the Tao of Microsoft all the time, and it's frustrating. Microsoft does enterprise applications. I do mostly embedded systems, and the two do NOT sit well together. Forcing things like UML workflow on my design don't make my job easier, thankyouverymuch.

But that's all reasonable. I get that, I expect it. It's like trimming the fat off of the steak, or having to pay the girl for sex.

But the latest annoyance?

The NetMeeting ads on Yahoo! mail.

The Net Meeting ad is a click-through ad that launches a new browser window that takes you to Microsoft NetMeeting (or LiveMeeting nowadays) land. And it runs on the primary page in a transparent box that just happens to cover the inbox link.
So I am either forced to wait until the little ad animation runs its course, or most often When I click the link to check my mail, I'm treated to a lovely discourse on LiveMeeting.

It's not much, but it's annoying. It is the only ad that behaves like that that I've seen, and it happens often enough that it's beginning to piss me off.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 20th, 2005 10:09 pm (UTC)
or having to pay the girl for sex.

I repeat: You don't pay her for sex, you pay her to leave.
Dec. 20th, 2005 10:11 pm (UTC)
Oooh, nice.
Dec. 20th, 2005 10:14 pm (UTC)
Could you tell me more about your prograqmming woes? It sounds like you are writing embedded applications to run on Microsoft operating systems and running into their usual burdensome APIs. Are you developing for XPe, or are you writing normal desktop apps for Microsoft and are used to writing embedded systems? Just wondering as I write a lot of code to augment Microsoft's enterprise apps and am curious about the difference in perspective.

As far as the ads go I know there are some good ad blockers as plug-ins to Firefox. If you are stuck using IE, than I offer you my sympathies. I am stuck using IE most of the time due to some job requirements and wish I could make the switch.

Good Luck
Dec. 20th, 2005 10:32 pm (UTC)
Microsoft doesn't do embedded in the sense that I do. My stuff is almost entirely real-time machine control, which has consistent intervals on the order of 50 microseconds or less, and deals with multiple threads and synchronization on that timescale. Real-time in Microsoft's world would be on the order of 50-100 milliseconds, which is fine for people-based things like PDAs.

We've recently made an investigative move into Visual Studio.NET for consistecy in the development platform. I really like Visual Studio as an IDE, and the debugging tools for MS apps are quite lovely. However, they've just released VS2005, which is force-fed into enterprise development. It clearly follows a single methodology in the linking of tools and workflow, and forces design decisions down the path of use cases and tasks, which I have a core disagreement with. I find use cases to be an excellent analysis tool, but forcing a one-to-one correspondence between a use case and a developer task is horrible.

I do a lot of development on non-MS platforms, from Micro_C to VxWorks to embedded linux to roll-your-own to pretty much anything that's needed. And the best way that I've found to develop breaks out any OS-specific methodologies and compartmentalizes them as much as possible, which is very much against the Tao of Microsoft.

As for Firefox: since the ad is embedded in the yahoo! page itself, it doesn't matter.

I'm just being whiny.
Dec. 20th, 2005 11:05 pm (UTC)
I hear you on the real time control issues, I was helping write a machine control program in VB a while back and had to use a third party hi-res timer control to get that level of precision. I am not a fan of doing precision work on Microsoft, they are definitely more focused on corporate apps.

I can understand why you don't like using VS.Net 2k5. It is really designed for integration with SEI processes and their own MSF framework. Unless you are creating a huge application with tons of users in different roles requiring different features it is overkill and just extra process for the sake of it (in my opinion). I like use cases for testing and QA purposes, but I agree with you that linking them to developer tasks is annoying. I thought there was a way to create tasks with out using the workflow and if you want to avoid it all - just writing code. Are you working on a large team that need to manage the project by sending tasks around?

I would love to pick your brain sometime about writing embedded code for non-MS platforms as I saw the Science Museum has a robot club for autonomous sumos. The microprocessor most of them use is probably pretty primitive by your standards. I thought programming a vehicle to react to it's surroundings sounded like fun, well in a nerdy way.

BTW, the ad blocker I was talking about wasn't the built in pop-up blocker it was this plugin which kills banners and flash animations as well.
Dec. 20th, 2005 11:15 pm (UTC)
I love working down at the PIC level. I have a nifty Philips C51 dev kit, and I like the 8051 for doing a lot of machine control stuff (I did a really cool design for a DMX-512 controller/dimmer on the cheap-cheap) and the TI MSP430 family is really cool for ultra-low-power stuff.

Unfortunately I don't have time to do a lot of the stuff that I'd like to do anymore.

Hey, PIC away!

(heh. PIC, get it?)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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