Archive for February 2005

News 05 Feb

It's time for a server upgrade. For two years a single server has hosted the bulk of our sites, including Joel on Software, although a second smaller server has made an appearance. Over the next few weeks there will be a massive upgrade, giving us six top of the line, state of the art servers at the Peer 1 colo downtown.

In the past I would have upgraded the system, installed it all, and written an article about it. And then people would have emailed me to suggest better ways to do things, but it would be too late.

So now for the first time ever, I'm going to publish a "live" article here. So far, I haven't done anything. If you have any better suggestions for how to do things, it's not too late for me to learn from your experience. As we go along, I might have a few questions for my readers who have experience with this stuff.

Colo Expansion Part 1

News 07 Feb

Thanks to everyone who sent me advice on our new servers. I've updated the document a bit with the information I've learned.

Upcoming Events

A lot of events coming up in March!

On March 16th I'll be speaking at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego. It will be somewhat similar to my talk at Amazon.com, which was about why Brad Pitt and the Apple iPod are so doggone popular, while Ian Somerhalder and the elegantly named "Creative Nomad Jukebox Zen Extra" are not. Also there will be jokes and music.

The very next day, March 17th, I'll be at Software Development West in Santa Clara, at a "fireside chat" with Alexandra Weber Morales. I'm not sure where the fire is coming from.

And the very next day after that, March 18th, my publisher, Apress, will host an open-house/pizza party in Berkeley (exact time and location to be announced) for anyone who wants to stop by and say hi.

Way in the future, like, July or something, I'll be giving a keynote at the Cold Fusion conference in Washington, D.C. More about that as we get closer.

News 11 Feb

Book cover image: Painless Project Management with FogBugzw00t! Hot off the presses, copies of Mike Gunderloy's excellent new book, Painless Project Management with FogBugz, just arrived in the Fog Creek Office!

This book covers FogBugz 4.0 in detail. I wrote the foreword, which you can read here.

Astute readers will note that FogBugz 4.0 is not quite available for sale yet, but it will be, by March 1st. We're also going to be selling Mike Gunderloy's book on the Fog Creek online store, which will be the first inventory item in the history of Fog Creek, so we'll need to make some changes to the online store software.

News 12 Feb

Katie Lucas: “Step 1: write about running really fast. Step 2: Go and draw a plan of the racetrack. Step 3: go and buy really tight lycra shorts. Step 4: run really, really, really fast. Step 5: cross line first.”

News 16 Feb

Jamie Zawinski on Groupware: “So I said, narrow the focus. Your ‘use case’ should be, there’s a 22 year old college student living in the dorms. How will this software get him laid?”

News 17 Feb

Usability Time! When Microsoft AntiSpyware is running it displays this dialog:

Dialog box from Microsoft AntiSpyware, containing the text 'Detected Spyware on your system:'

... which looks, to me, like it's telling me that it detected spyware on my system.

Oh, wait! No, that's not it, it's just a lazy programmer who wrote this code:

10 PRINT "DETECTED SPYWARE ON YOUR SYSTEM:"
20 FOR I = 1 TO 1000000000
30 IF SPYWARE(I) THEN PRINT FILENAME(I)
40 NEXT I

I think I get it. It's the heading for a list which has not arrived yet because you're still busy scanning my harddrive searching for spyware which I don't have. The usual programmer mentality ("it's just a list with 0 elements, what's so hard to understand about that?"). Hey guys, next time don't use a message that's only one pixel away from telling me the exact wrong fact about whether or not there's spyware on my system.

So far, it looks like this is a nifty program, and consumers should be happy that Microsoft has announced it will be free, but it really, really would have been nice for us here in the software industry if Microsoft had set a price on this thing just to provide some air cover for the other companies working on spyware removal. This is not a software category where a monopoly monoculture will be a good thing.

Not only that, but I wonder if Microsoft can run an antispyware product without huge conflicts of interest. For example, will they block all the spyware that Real installs on your system? While Real is suing them? Especially when blocking spyware from Real will just give Real more ammunition to use against Microsoft in court? And the next time Microsoft needs a DRM favor from your friendly neighborhood media conglomerate, will the media conglomerate demand exemption from Antispyware removal for their adware in exchange for supporting Windows Media 37.0, with the new brain-zapping feature that prevents you from humming any song unless you bought the performance rights? (A sheet of tinfoil wrapped tightly around your skull is effective against this zapper, I understand.)

I understand that Microsoft wants to help customers who feel like a spyware-free operating system should be your right when you pay for WinXP, but it's a shame that by giving it away free they're likely to wipe out a useful industry and replace it with something that's difficult to trust due to conflicts of interest.

News 23 Feb

Phew! and w00t! Last night at about 7:35 FogBugz 4.0 finally went live, on the exact day we planned to ship it quite a few months ago.

 FogBugz 4.0, the CD-ROM

I have put a lot of other things on hold while we got this major upgrade out the door, so I'll be spending some time in catch-up mode for the next few weeks. And now I'm going to take a nap.

The Large Print Giveth and the Small Print Taketh Away: What we shipped today was FogBugz 4.0 for Windows. The Unix & Mac versions are now in beta and will be shipping Real Soon Now.

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Historical Archive

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