Gates stop’s by University of Waterloo, Canada

The only stop Bill Gates will be making in Canada is the University of Waterloo [].

Two thousand students listened attentively yesterday morning as Bill Gates talked about how the world got to the present state of technology — and how the most exciting things lie just ahead.

The Humanities Theatre, which seats 700, was filled with listeners who had managed to get the coveted tickets to hear the Microsoft founder, computing guru and reputed “richest man in the world”. Just as rapt was an audience of several hundred more who covered the floor in the Student Life Centre great hall to hear the talk (and see Gates’s videos) on a specially installed big screen.

And in the Davis Centre, hundreds more packed the lobby, while spectators lined the balconies on the second and third levels like birds crowding on a wire. Most were, in Gates’s phrase, “avant-garde practitioners of the digital lifestyle.” Among them: the blogger of, who posted a minute-by-minute report on Gates’s talk and the audience reaction.

Incidentally, founder of RIM, Dr. Mike Lazaridis is the Chancellor of UWaterloo [].

Someone asked what he thought of Mike Lazaridis, co-founder of Research In Motion and UW’s chancellor, whom he had met for the first time earlier in the day. Gates said he was very impressed with the Waterloo man, describing Lazaridis as having tremendous vision for the research development he supports, and adding that he is “very impressed with his generosity to Waterloo.” Asked about a business issue for Microsoft — whether RIM, maker of the popular BlackBerry, has an “insurmountable lead in the wireless handheld devices” field — Gates simply stated that in his thinking, “the field is open . . . we’re in the field and will do the best we can.”

UWaterloo is also widely regarded as the best overall university in Canada.

During a wide-ranging interview with members of the print media in the Humanities building yesterday, Gates praised UW several times as a university that is at the top in terms of talented people, recognition and acclaim.

He singled out the number of interesting “R&D collaborations” MS has with Waterloo, saying that “really stands out for us” as a positive arrangement. As well, he noted that year in and year out Waterloo is probably the top pool for people and talent that Microsoft dips into.

“In terms of scale, Waterloo stands out on a global basis,” he said. “There are many years Waterloo is the number one place we hire from in the world,” he went on, and it’s always in the “top five” of places that Microsoft comes to for talent. He again lauded the co-op program as worthy of special praise, and wondered aloud why other institutions don’t follow the same model because his company can hire top students year-round under the Waterloo system.

Symbian offers connectors for MS Exchange

Symbian Limited today announced that it has licensed the Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol for use in Symbian OS�, the leading open standard operating system for advanced mobile phones.

Under the terms of the agreement, Symbian will develop an Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol � plug-in � for the Symbian OS messaging architecture to enable Symbian OS licensees � the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturers � to include in their Symbian OS-based phones direct over-the-air (OTA) synchronization capabilities for email, calendar, contacts and other personal information management (PIM) data supported by Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 .

Press release.

Q: Why do you need an agreement, especially when Microsoft’s MAPI has been forever available to develop applications that utilise the Exchange enterprise server?

Take for example the Blackberry Enterprise Server:

Key Features
BlackBerry Enterprise Server enables several key features essential for a complete wireless connectivity platform:

* Corporate Data Access – mobile professionals get always-on/push-based access to enterprise applications, as well as online content and applications.
* Wireless email synchronization – seamless integration with existing enterprise email account.
* Attachment viewing – users can view popular document formats (Excel, Word�, PowerPoint�, Adobe� PDF, WordPerfect�, ASCII, ZIP and image files) on their device.
* Wireless organizer synchronization – PIM information is updated wirelessly between the device and messaging server.
* Remote address lookup – users can search and interact with their Global Address List (GAL).
* Wireless application download – third party applications can be downloaded wirelessly to the device.
* Wireless activation and provisioning – users can activate their device wirelessly.
* Wireless backup – users’ device settings and preferences can be automatically, wirelessly backed up.
* Wireless IT policies – administrators can wirelessly mandate passwords and other controls.
* Data encryption – all incoming and outgoing wireless data and messages are encrypted and decrypted by BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Q: What is ActiveSync?
A: Follow this link to MSDN

Monad – Finally, Windows Admin made ‘powerful’

Quote Jon Udell (Infoworld):With MSH, Windows system administration manages to be both fun and productive. And the story will only improve as the .Net Framework continues to enfold Windows� management APIs. Competitors take note: Windows is about to convert one of its great weaknesses into a strength.

An object pipeline for administration :)! Wow!

Trauma – want to run as a user but I cannot

Background: My new development MS Windows XP Pro box, I was thinking of bringing in some common-sense principles from the Unix world.

Hypothesis: If I can run as ‘user’ under Linux painlessly, why can’t I do that under Windows too?

Benefits: If I were able to run as a user versus ‘root’, fewer chances of causing a devastating accident or running a dangerous Trojan and incurring embarassing consequences (the latter, I am not entire sure about).

Results: Experiment was an unrivalled failure. After two days of trauma, I decided to give my ‘user’ Administrative privileges.

Observations: Applications just refuse to run after being installed by the Administrator. These are usually legacy applications and the primary cause of my trauma. For example, the Openwave WAP/WML browser kept complaining it did not have access to the “CookieCache” which was probably under “Program Files”. It should have been using local folders to store cookies.

Also, I am trying to work out how I can stay logged in as a user and switch back and forth between root and user. Akin to ‘su’ on Unix.

Joel On Software – Biculturalism

A quote from the article:
“What are the cultural differences between Unix and Windows programmers? There are many details and subtleties, but for the most part it comes down to one thing: Unix culture values code which is useful to other programmers, while Windows culture values code which is useful to non-programmers”

I am not sure if I agree with that entirely, there is definitely no clear line! In fact I feel he might be missing the point entirely! The users themselves aren’t the same? Do I agree with that? But let me not hold onto that point!

My other favourite quote:
“I have heard economists claim that Silicon Valley could never be recreated in, say, France, because the French culture puts such a high penalty on failure that entrepreneurs are not willing to risk it.”

Halloween Memo 8

Here ye Here ye all !! Microsoft are out with their Halloween Memo #8. For those mortals that are uninitiated to mundane Microsoft Rituals, the Halloween memo is traditionally circulated by the top brass every …Yes I knew you would get it, every Halloween. The intention of the memo is to plan publicity efforts against the current largest competition (read the Enemy) and to ensure readiness.

I really appreciated the first couple of comments by Eric S Raymond, I quote:
Everybody remember the Gandhi quote?

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

Gentlemen and ladies, this newest leaked memo from Microsoft confirms that
we are advancing through GandhiCon Three.

You can find the rest of the memo here.