Sunday, February 3, 2008

Weekend Update with Christopher Atkins

Dennis Miller was my favorite Weekend Update anchorman.  His wry, sardonic--if verbose--commentaries always made me laugh.  As I think about it, that sketch seems a direct ancestor of the news shows on Comedy Central so popular with the college crowd.

Anyway, my weekend has been interesting.  I found out that despite what the documentation says, ECDiffieHellmanCng is not supported on Windows XP.  In fact, its constructors check for the presence of NCrypt.dll: a library only available for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003+.  So, despite that fact that it ships with .NET 3.5, you can't use it on XP.  Joy.  I hope this is not a trend.  You'll also find that you cannot use a BigInt, because it is marked internal.  If you're trying to do modern cryptography on Windows XP, in other words, you are out of luck.

So, I spent the remainder of my weekend working through Programming Erlang, and I have to say I am even more excited about it.  I'm only on page 51, but I've already learned about list comprehensions and custom flow control abstractions using higher-order functions.  The cool thing is I can apply some of this stuff to C#, now that we have lambda expressions.

I'm excited about the year ahead.  There are a lot of changes on the horizon.  Imagine, Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, a Yahoo! and Microsoft merger, widespread adoption of OpenID, and a new presidential election are all on their way.  To quote the folk poet Bob Dylan:

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'