Wednesday, October 27, 2004

SIA in $300m outsourcing deal with IBM

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has confirmed that it is outsourcing its IT infrastructure functions to IBM in a seven-year contract valued at around $300 million.

Full story here (registration required)

And one month ago, on the other side of the planet:
JP Morgan Cancels $5 Billion IBM Deal

Monday, October 25, 2004

Joel has a blog!

Joel Ward, the first MVP for MCMS and co-author of upcoming book, Building Websites for Microsoft Content Management Server has started a blog:

Check it out!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Containers for Orphaned objects

Have you ever wondered where orphans get deposited when using import scripts written with the SDAPI? In Site Deployment Manager, you get to choose the container to store them from the Orphaned Objects tab. You don't get to do this with the SDAPI, if you looked at the documentation, there aren't any properties or methods to set this programatically. So how does the SDAPI handle orphans?

Wonder no more!

Orphans are objects in the site deployment package whose parent container does not exist in both
  • the destination server and
  • the site deployment package.

Without information about the parent, MCMS needs to decide where to place the orphans when running the import. Here's when it gets interesting: After running a few tests, we found that the server-side and client-side SDAPI exhibit different behaviours in deciding where to place orphans.

If you are using the server-side SDAPI, the import script automatically creates a special container named CMS Default Site Deploy Destination and stores orphaned objects there. Only MCMS Administrators have access to the container.

The client-side SDAPI handles orphans differently. Orphaned objects are automatically placed in the root container for each object type.

It's an interesting detail that was uncovered while Stefan, Joel and I were writing the upcoming book, Building Websites with Microsoft Content Management Server - coming to an online store near you soon! Have you pre-ordered your copy yet?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

iTunes - a cool MP3 ripper

Even if you don't intend to buy music from the online store, iTunes, by itself is an excellent tool for importing and organising your music files!

Here are a few reasons why you should use iTunes:
1. It's FREE
2. It supports a wide variety of formats, including MP3
3. It allows you to rip music while listening to it at the same time.
4. It comes with a very friendly Apple style user interface.

It took a moment before I figured out how to rip my music files into MP3. Well, in case you are trying to do the same thing, here's how:

1. In the iTunes menu bar, select Edit>Preferences
2. Click the Importing tab
3. Choose to Import Using MP3 Encoder
4. Select the desired sound quality in Setting. The default is High quality (160 kbps) which is pretty good.
5. Click OK to close the dialog.

And to import the files to your computer, simply
1. Slot the CD into the tray
2. Click Audio CD on the Source panel and
3. Click on the big Import button on the right hand side of the screen.

It's that easy and to top it off - it's also really fast. Within minutes, my entire album was added to my library. Whoopee! I've transferred my MP3s to my portable hard drive. Now I get to listen to all my CDs whereever I go :-)