Jun 26

Circuit City Rebooted

Systemax Inc., a leading multi-channel retailer of computers, electronics, and industrial products, has purchased the Circuit City brand, trademark, website and other assets.

They’ve recently launched the all-new CircuitCity.com website, which offers values on a huge inventory of brand name computer & electronics products, at what they claim are the most affordable prices in the industry.

Hopefully this won’t be the same “affordable prices” that Circuit City offered its customers during its going-out-of-business sale.  Although most items were 40-50% off, this was based on hyper-inflated retail prices, which meant that Circuit City’s sale prices were often higher than what you could find at Best Buy or Amazon.com.  I was able to find a few good deals at the time, but most items were picked-over expensive crap with no return policy.

The new CircuitCity.com features low everyday prices, world-class 24/7 customer service (because they haven’t fired their experienced staff yet, as did the old Circuit City), and a wide selection of products.  You’ll also enjoy advanced search capabilities and enhanced content, which includes photo galleries and videos of thousands of the most popular consumer electronics and computer products & accessories.

Jun 26

Microsoft Windows 7 Microsoft has announced retail pricing for Windows 7 that includes an option to preorder the operating system at a substantial discount. 

From today through July 11, U.S. consumers can preorder an upgrade from XP or Vista to Windows 7 Home premium for $49 or Windows 7 Professional for $99.  However, XP customers must do a clean installation of Windows 7.

Also starting today, buyers of new PCs with Vista installed will receive a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it becomes available.

Retail boxed copies of Windows 7 go on sale October 22.  Microsoft plans to charge $119 for Home Premium, $199 for Professional, and $219 for Ultimate.

In Europe, the EU’s anti-trust ruling has forced Microsoft to ship a special “E” version with the Internet Explorer web browser removed.  Therefore, the European launch will be delayed, and all users must perform a clean installation, even if purchasing an upgrade.

Early reviews are generally positive and indicate that Windows 7 is much better behaved than Vista was when it was first released.

Story at CNN

Jun 11

Visual Studio Shell If you create software development tools, you’ll want to consider building on the Visual Studio Shell.  A streamlined Visual Studio development environment, the Visual Studio Shell provides the core foundation so you can focus on building your application’s unique features.  Flexible customization options help you deliver optimized experiences for specific markets.  Note that the Visual Studio Shell is royalty-free for building and deploying applications.

The key benefits of the Visual Studio Shell:

  • Faster development. The Visual Studio Shell accelerates development by providing a base integrated development environment that can host custom tools and programming languages.
  • A familiar environment. Developers can build on the Visual Studio platform and provide end users a familiar user interface, speeding the learning curve for both.
  • Optimized for languages and tools. Created in response to requests from our partners, the Visual Studio Shell gives you the option of integrating your tools with Visual Studio or creating an isolated, custom-branded application.

Visual Studio Shell

Jun 03

Last week I purchased a cheeseburger at McDonalds for $1.58.  I handed $2.08 to the young woman behind the counter.  She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while staring blankly at her register.  I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me back two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help.  While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she started crying in frustration.  Why do I tell you this?  Because of the evolution in teaching math in the United States over the past six decades:

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Jun 03

This is part 10 in a series of articles on obscure programming languages.

What is JADE?


JADE is an object-oriented software development platform.  It has its own programming language that seamlessly integrates an application server and object-oriented database management system.  JADE also provides APIs for other languages such as .NET, Java, C/C++ and Web services.

As a programming language, JADE’s main competitors are Java and C#, while as a database it competes with other object-oriented databases and post-relational databases such as Versant, Caché and Matisse, as well as with traditional relational database software packages such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server. 

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