Help! We’re running a VB3 app and we’ve lost the code

I write a programming column for Personal Computer World. A reader contacted me with a problem. He had an application which he knew was written in Visual Basic 3, but for which he did not have the source code. He now wanted to adapt it to run on Windows Mobile.

VB 3.0 came out in

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How hard can it be to play an AVI file?

It depends. I saw Matt Mullenweg’s post about new features in WordPress 2.5. He’s included a video in several formats, and since the embedded Flash version didn’t want to play (maybe bandwidth issues), I downloaded the AVI and double-clicked. Windows Media Player tried to play it, said it was acquiring the codec, and then played

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Small Business Server 2008: no ISA Server, no built-in tape backup

I have caught up a little with what is coming in Small Business Server 2008, code-named Cougar. Short version: Microsoft is focusing on ease of use but omitting some of the features that made previous versions attractive. This will be an upgrade headache if you used those features.

The new version is 64-bit only and

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Windows 7 rumoured to have new UI framework with Ribbon and Jewel

Not sure what to make of this. A number of sites are reporting on a Microsoft job posting which includes the following text:

Come lead the effort to update the Windows 7 platform with the latest advancements in User Interface design. Bring the Ribbon, Jewel, and other new UI concepts to the Windows platform …

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Now it’s Eclipse that has "baroque" code

This provoked a wry smile, from a Reg Dev article on the forthcoming Eclipse 4:

Underpinning all this, though, is an attempt to escape the “baroque” 3.x codebase for something that’s simple, clean and modular. That means eliminating repetition in code and interdependencies found in the monolithic 3.x.

“It’s getting to the point where it’s

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Introspective QCon asks hard questions about Java, SOA, REST

Last week I attended QCon in London and have been mulling over the experience. Two themes stood out for me, though bear in mind that having recently attended Adobe and Microsoft events, I avoided the sessions which related to those companies and focused on Java and more general issues.

The first was the extent to

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Ugly Flash: auto-play audio with no stop button

Today I was transcribing parts of an interview when the phone rang. It was a call about Dreamforce Europe, the Salesforce.com conference in early May. I navigated to the event site to check out the agenda. Suddenly there was a cacophony of noise. At first I thought my interview, which I’d paused in order to

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XBox 360: nearly great

Unhappily, I have joined the ranks of those who have suffered more than once from the XBox 360 red lights of death. It’s a known design fault, so hardly surprising, but annoying none the less. Mine was a launch console, and lasted over a year before succumbing. Ten months later, and it’s failed again. I

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BBC standardizing on Flash for web video

I’m at Qcon London listening to John O’Donovan, Chief Architect, and Kevin Hinde, Head of Software Development, both from the BBC.

They are talking about video on bbc.co.uk. Previously this has been handled through pop-up pages that give a choice between Windows Media Player and Real Media. The BBC will now be standardising

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The BBC is rebuilding its web platform

Yesterday here at Qcon I attended an informal get-together to discuss the BBC’s “tech refresh”, which turns out to mean the rebuilding of its web platform.

Apparently the budget has just been approved, which means the BBC will be going ahead with a new content platform built on Java supplemented by a lightweight PHP layer.

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