Thursday, December 18, 2008

Australia next year to drink milk

The above title is from Google Translate, a translation of "明年喝澳洲牛奶" from Chinese into English. Obviously, the proper translation should be "To drink Australian milk next year".

From: Bing Bao
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 4:55 PM
To: Workgroup
Subject: Chinese people next year to drink Australian milk

Hi Folks,

It is reported that the third batch of Australian cows has arrived in Sichuan, China. Some Chinese people will be drinking Australian milk from next year.

I tried to use Google Language Tools to translate the related Chinese news into English, but found the title has been translated to "Australia next year to drink milk". :-))

The first paragraph of its translation was:

"China Morning Post (Reporter Yanqing) yesterday (17) morning, with the third batch from Australia by air from the 483 Holstein cows into the four-Chuan Hongya County dairy import quarantine field, Sichuan Province, the first large-scale introduction of foreign The work of the official end of the cow. At this point, Mengniu Group's 1500 imports of cattle imported species have been arrived at. It is understood that the post-disaster reconstruction in our province as the focus of one of these dairy imports formal entry will further increase the income of dairy farmers."


Experience what MS is missing on 64-bit

For a better 64-bit experience, yesterday I installed Internet Explorer 8 Beta x64 version on a pure 64-bit VM, a Hyper-V virtual machine running Windows 2003 R2 Standard x64 (guest) on Windows Server 2008 x64 Enterprise (host). Using this IE8, I visited ISA 2006 website to see if there was any 64-bit update or upgrade for this 32-bit only firewall product introduced in 2006. After that, the story began.

As shown above (of course, not including the lines and words I added in red), at the Home of ISA Server website, there was a big image prompting you to install Silverlight 2.0 in turn to "experience what you're missing on this site". Sure, I loved to do that. I clicked the image to install Silverlight 2.0.

Then the following screen appeared.

That's why I modified the title image above, because what I experienced was what Microsoft was missing on 64-bit.

As you know, Silverlight can be installed from Microsoft Update. So, with the same IE8 window, I chose menu Tools | Windows Update to try another way to install the Microsoft's Flash-Killer.

Wow, still not compatible! This time, it was Windows Update. I was asked to open a 32-bit IE8 window. An unknown error followed, as shown below.

At that moment, Windows Update was prompting me for an automatic update: a 64-bit update to set the kill bits for a few third-party software.

Actually, this kind of task (to set ActiveX Killbits in registry) can be done by any code (32-bit binary code, or even a plain script), but Microsoft officially released a 64-bit patch to do that..., though the patch loader (the ActiveX control of Microsoft Update) is still only available in 32-bit...

For Microsoft, a pure 64-bit world still has a long way to go.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Trunk Monkey Ads

Got three Trunk Monkey video clips from a workmate today, and found the full set at YouTube from Laughing Squid. Really funny. LOL!

Source: Trunk Monkey Ads by Suburban Auto Group

Thursday, December 04, 2008

FILESTREAM is just for SharePoint

PosterAs a new generation of database engine, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 is architecturally enhanced to provide a trusted, productive, and intelligent data platform for most demanding mission-critical applications.

A lot of cool features have been revealed, one of them is FILESTREAM, which can be used to provide better support for SharePoint Document Libraries. Therefore, large files can be efficiently managed by SharePoint, but no longer need to be physically stored in the SQL database.

According to MSDN, FILESTREAM "allows structured data to be stored in the database and associated unstructured (i.e., BLOB) data to be stored directly in the NTFS file system. You can then access the BLOB data through the high-performance Win32 streaming APIs, rather than having to pay the performance penalty of accessing BLOB data through SQL Server."

Unfortunately, MOSS 2007 currently does not provide any official support on this feature of SQL Server 2008.

However, the good point is: "Instead of being a completely new data type, FILESTREAM is a storage attribute of the existing varbinary (max) data type. FILESTREAM preserves the majority of the existing behavior of the varbinary (max) data type. It alters how the BLOB data is stored – in the file system rather than in the SQL Server data files."

"Because FILESTREAM is implemented as a varbinary (max) column and integrated directly into the database engine, most SQL Server management tools and functions work without modification for FILESTREAM data." Thus, it is technically possible to use FILESTREAM with current version of SharePoint.

Actually, a .NET Architect in Rome, Vincenzo Tenisci, just posted his solution for this last week.

BLOG: SQL 2008 FILESTREAM and SharePoint Document Libraries

It is worth giving a try.

For more information about managing unstructured data with SQL Server, download the white paper from here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Nokia 6131 in water

I eventually found my Nokia 6131 yesterday, from the washing machine, at the bottom of the drum, after I collected all the clothes washed. :-((

Now, the mobile has gone back into the water again. In the next few days, the water will be its home. :-)) Like its little brother, my bluetooth headset, a bowl of clean water is the place to go after having a shower in the washing machine. :-))

My bluetooth headset experienced the same kind of incident six months ago, but it works quite well now. I am not sure if this Nokia can be back again. Just give it a try.

To see the photos taken by this Nokia 6131, just click the label below.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Considerations on building a SharePoint Document Library

Lots of SharePoint deployment today simply move all files on the network drive straight into a SharePoint Document Library keeping the same folder structure and properties, and use the same methods to maintain the library, as what we dealt with a file share.

I don't see it is a right way to utilise SharePoint. This approach is not efficient for searching and re-using past work because only one category can be applied to each document.

Today, a new approach of taxonomy is to use labels. Multiple labels can be applied to a single document. A good example is Gmail, which puts all emails in one logical repository and uses labels to personalise email classification. Another example is blogging systems, most of them are now provide labelling ability for quick search and easy organisation.

To maximize the search ability of SharePoint, you may consider to:
  1. Use labels, as metadata, to category documents in a document library. This can be implemented by using a document property or a custom column.

  2. Store documents in a single specific folder (not several folders). One document, one physical location, multiple logical views (explained in Point 4.)

  3. Enable versioning in turn to hide old versions for general access.

  4. Instead of presenting end-users a friendly interface to browse documents, similarly as they browse file folders, use Customised Views based on the metadata that the system (better automatically) collected from custom list, document properties, and database if applicable.

  5. Create simple, standard folders for each document library, such as Work, Published, and Temp. This is for easy file maintenance (Backup/Restore/Archive), not for document management from the point of view of business.
Basically, the above suggestions can be summarised into two approaches:
  1. Use label based metadata;
  2. Use customised views.
I think these two approaches would make your SharePoint solution special and advantageous, and better benefit the client’s needs.