January 27, 2007

I Hate YYZ

Posted in travel at 3:40 pm by Mike Milinkovich

…actually I think I hate ORD even more, but today is Air Canada’s turn to ruin my travel plans.

So today I’m flying from FRA->YYZ->YOW (Frankfurt, Toronto, Ottawa for the non-flyers). The flight from FRA to YYZ was perfect. It hit the runway on time to the minute. So far, so good.

Then they put us on a what felt like 15 minute bus ride from the infield terminal to the shiny new Terminal 1, where we cleared customs. I was all happy, so I gave Cathie a call to tell her that everything was going perfectly. A few minutes later she called me back to tell me that she had seen on-line that my flight had been cancelled. To make a long story short, my 17.10 arrival time is now 22.10.

It never fails that the times when I really want to be home on time are the trips where all Hades breaks out. The Desperadoes are playing tonight at 19.20, so it looks like I am going to miss both games this weekend 😦


Eclipse on CBC

Posted in family at 3:28 am by Mike Milinkovich

This is kinda cool. The first time I’ve noticed a story that mentions Eclipse on CBC.

January 17, 2007

Open is only mostly better…

Posted in computers at 10:46 pm by Mike Milinkovich

In the last 24 hours I’ve read two very interesting blogs/threads that were seemingly similar, but which for me resulted in quite different conclusions.

The first was related to Apple shipping the iPhone as a completely closed system, and the myriad of pundits who predicted its doom as a result. They’re wrong.

The second was related to Microsoft and its need to be more open, even going so far as suggesting that .NET and Windows both be open sourced. They’re right.

So why do I see those scenarios so differently? The difference is the market they’re after. The iPhone is the quintessential consumer device. And frankly, consumers don’t care if the software is open source, or Java, or whatever. They just care if it works. They care about the experience, including how cool it is perceived as being. The iPhone has those attributes in spades.

In the case of Microsoft — particularly with .NET — the target market is developers. And developers care deeply about architecture, openness, extensibility, pace of innovation, and the like. And the best way to provide developers with many of those attributes is via open source. If Microsoft loses the hearts and minds of developers they will lose first marketshare and then profitability.

The obvious counter-argument to this, of course, is centred on the question of whether innovation on the iPhone will lag if it remains a closed device. In general, I do believe that open systems spur more innovation than closed systems. However, there are particular cases where a small, focused, brilliant team can execute more effectively than an ecosystem. I believe that the iPhone is such a case. Furthermore, the track record of open source communities developing compelling end-user software is limited. To date, open source’s successes have been primarily by developers for developers.

Time will tell if I’m out to lunch or not 🙂

January 16, 2007

Loving Winter

Posted in family at 3:27 pm by Mike Milinkovich

I might regret saying this by the time April rolls around, but….so today was really the first day of this winter season where it actually felt like winter. The weather is crisp and cold, with snow that crunches when you walk.

I don’t know why I love walking around when its cold. But ever since I was a kid, walking when its good and cold and I’m dressed warmly is just something I really enjoy. Not that -14 Celsius is all that cold, but its definitely more seasonable than what we’ve had so far this year.

So for you guys in California and Texas: you don’t know what you’re missing!

Ottawa Weather

January 14, 2007

Nemio 2007

Posted in fishing at 3:22 pm by Mike Milinkovich

So I sent the deposit cheque today….We’re off to Nemio Outfitters for our May fishing trip for the third year in a row. Ron and Rosie and great folks, and we really enjoy spending time with them.

We actually picked the dates based on the lunar calendar. It will be interesting to see if there is any truth to the old story that the fish bite more during full moons.
Walleye CatchBig PikeRon and Rosie

January 13, 2007

Oh Baby!

Posted in hockey at 11:57 pm by Mike Milinkovich

The Senators on a serious roll, with today’s 8-3 win over the Habs just the latest sign that they’ve figured out how to score in bunches again. What a fun game to watch if you are a Sens fan.

The Desperados won their exhibition game this evening 5-2 despite having only 10 skaters on the bench. It was a kinda sloppy game, with the main highlight being Lorne’s hat-trick.

January 9, 2007

Last Weekend’s Hockey

Posted in hockey at 12:07 am by Mike Milinkovich

I forgot to mention that the Desperadoes won again this weekend, 7-0.

The scary thing was that the boys didn’t even play very well.

Here’s our standings (we’re Team C).

We have an non-contact exhibition game this Saturday night against a team from West Ottawa. It’s always fun to play a new team and quite frankly, I hope we get our butts kicked. It’s pretty hard to coach an undefeated team, as they obviously already know it all 😀

January 8, 2007

I am Ironman

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:06 pm by Mike Milinkovich

Your results:
You are Iron Man
But apparently, I didn’t miss being Superman by much 🙂

Iron Man
Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Inventor. Businessman. Genius.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

January 6, 2007

Want to improve your computer’s boot time?

Posted in computers at 1:52 pm by Mike Milinkovich

I’ve spent a little bit of time tuning the startup times for the computers around here. Things were getting a little desparate on the main family desktop. This is a 4-month-old Windows XP HP dual-core 2.8GHz box with 2GB of RAM that was taking something like five minutes to completely boot up to the point of being useful. That is just simply crazy, as that machine should come up waaaay faster.

In less than 90 minutes of tinkering I was able to dramatically improve the start up performance. I used the following (subjective) test to measure improvement:

from the moment I hit the “logon user” button on the Windows XP start up page, how long did it take before I was able to launch Outlook?

On the home computer I was able to reduce the wait from approximately 2.5 minutes to around 10 seconds. Even better, I reduced the number of running processes after boot from 63 to 42, thereby freeing up lots of memory and resources. Yee hah!

So how do you do this and how hard and risky is it?

  1. You need to download one utility and find one website. The utility is AutoRuns from the ever-helpful SysInternals folks. You can download it here.
  2. The startup list page on SysInfo then gives you all the information you need to determine which processes can be safely deleted using AutoRuns. I found the advice they gave on each process to be spot on. Here is an example of the advice it gave me about whether I could safely delete “ibmmessages” from my Thinkpad:
    StartUp Advice

The general rule that I used was that I never deleted any process that I wasn’t absolutely sure I could get rid of. But that sure ended up being a lot.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any screen shots on the home computer, because those would have been a little more dramatic. However here are the “before” and “after” lists from the IBM Thinkpad T60 that I use for work:

January 3, 2007

Some pics with the new camera

Posted in cottage, family, photography at 10:42 pm by Mike Milinkovich

Here are some pics I took with the new camera.

The scenery shots are from a walk I took around the cottage on Boxing Day. The pictures of the kids are from New Years Eve when our neighbours the DiCesare’s joined us for dinner, party and sleepover.

If anyone has any idea what kind of track that one picture is, please let me know. It was a big track….had to be something pretty large. But from what I know, dogs, coyotes and lynx all have four toes, not five.

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