Microsoft and Quantum Computing

Microsoft recently announced they are developing a new programming language designed for Quantum Computing.  This (still unnamed) language will come with full Visual Studio integration as well as a Quantum Computing Simulator and will be available before the end of 2017.

Microsoft is also going to release *two* versions of the Quantum Computing Simulator. One version will run locally, the other version will be powered by Azure. The local version of the stimulator will offer up to 32 qubits and will need 32GB of RAM. Each additional qubit doubles the amount of memory required. The Azure version will scale up to 40 qubits.

This is fantastic news for anyone interested in Programming or Technology in general.  I’ve been very impressed with Microsoft over the last few years, their Visual Studio development tools, their SQL Server database product, Azure etc.  I’ve signed up to the Quantum Computing preview program and am looking forward to playing with their offering in due course.

Quantum Computing

More information on Microsoft and their Quantum Computing efforts can be found here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/quantum/default.aspx

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The Four Hour Work Week (4HWW)

I’ve long been a fan of Tim Ferriss and his incredible ‘Four Hour Work Week‘ (4HWW) and whilst re-reading it recently I came across a flowchart diagram that neatly captures his approach to ‘activities’.  The image was originally created by a reader Jed Wood.

I’ve recreated the flowchart and supplied it below as an image. I assume Tim and Jed will be ok with this, if not it can be easily removed 🙂

The reason I have done this is that the 4HWW is an incredible work, yet its not the easiest to get into in the first place. If the image below interests you in any way you will do well to check out the book and the associated website.

Four Hour Work Week

 

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DataViewer Components for Xojo

Here’s a chance to get my Dataviewer Components for Xojo at a 20% Discount:

All Xojo Add-ons and Videos are 20% off through July 16th! Use coupon code SPASH and expand your toolbox now: http://bit.ly/2bAciyX #sale

Click here for more information on DataViewer

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Magic Cipher Video: Additional Features

http://www.magiccipher.com

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Magic Cipher Video: Steganography (Hiding Data in Images)

http://www.magiccipher.com

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Magic Cipher Video: File and Folder Encryption

http://www.magiccipher.com

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Version Numbering

Since the dawn of time I have been using one of the more traditional types of version numbering systems for all my software developments. Recently however I have ‘enhanced’ my methodology and now use something slightly different.

To the outside world not a lot will appear to have changed, the N.N.N methodology will still be used, albeit with a slightly different interpretation. Internally however I will be using the full version numbering system shown below:

Aside from building the release date and time into the version number and swapping out Revision Number for Restricted Release Number, the main benefits to me are building an ascending Feature Number and Fix Number into the version number.

These numbers will only ever increase, regardless of the program status changing from (for example) Version 1 to Version 2. This means that at a glance I can see how  features and fixes have been applied to this particular program since day one, without having to go to Version Control for this information.

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Magic Cipher: Usage Scenarios and Examples

Example 1: One to One Private Communications

Bill and Ted are ready to start making plans for their next Excellent Adventure. Knowing that their email discussions could be intercepted and easily read, they use the Magic Cipher Shared Secret Generator with it’s Strength Meter to create a Shared Secret they can use together.

They type their discussions into Magic Cipher and email the contents as encrypted text directly from within Magic Cipher. They are now secure in the knowledge that no­-one can obtain access to their plans and attempt to put a spanner in the works!

Example 2: One to Many Private Communications

Bill and Ted decide they want to involve the Historical Babes in some of their plans, but not all. The four of them agree a Shared Secret and now Bill and Ted can communicate between themselves using their own Shared Secret and if they wish to include the Historical Babes they use the second Shared Secret previously agreed between the four of them.

Example 3: One to Many Private Communications over a Public Medium

Frodo is setting off on his next adventure and as is the fashion nowadays he wants to update the world with his travels via an online blog. With his new Macbook Pro this will be easy enough, however there is certain information he wishes only to be read and understood by Merry and Pippin who are holding the fort for him back in Hobbiton.

Before he sets off the three of them agree on a Shared Secret and as Frodo updates the world via his blog he uses Magic Cipher to append an encrypted entry on the end of his posts, in a separate paragraph, knowing that the world can see but not read or understand his instructions, which are only for the eyes of Merry and Pippin. Frodo uses the built in Virtual Keyboard to add a little bit of extra security to his posts.

Example 4: The Benefits of Cross Platform

Unfortunately, small, slim and gorgeous though it is, the Macbook Pro is just a little bit too big ­ and let’s face it, expensive ­ to take across Middle Earth, what with the danger from the Orcs and other dark forces.

At the last minute Frodo decides to switch to a small Linux notebook which he obtained free of charge with his mobile broadband card. Luckily Magic Cipher works as well on Linux as it does on macOS or Windows, so Frodo has no need to change his plans, or his choice of encryption software.

Example 5: Magic Cipher, Not Just for Men

While Frodo is off on his travels his wife, feeling lonely, takes a lover. Knowing that the local Hobbiton ISP takes quite an interest in emails to and from the villagers, they both use Magic Cipher to arrange their rendezvous. Even hobbits need loving.

Besides it was rather selfish of Frodo to disappear like that for months at a time ­ and who knows what he got up to with Sam on that epic journey?

Example 6: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words …

Sat on his sofa safe back at home several months after his epic journey to Mordor, Frodo dreams of his next challenge. With Sam on board, who now lives several miles away in Bree, Frodo and Sam use the Steganography features of Magic Cipher to enable them to swap ideas and plans which they have hidden in pictures which they upload to their Facebook pages.

With no evidence that their pictures are anything more than rather boring pictures of Sams garden or Frodos wine collection, nobody has any clue that there is another adventure being planned. In fact nobody has any reason to suspect Sam and Frodo are even in communication regularly. Problem Solved!

Magic Cipher Video: Text / Email Encryption

http://www.magiccipher.com

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Syncing Your Email to Your CRM

A recent chat with a customer reminded me that there are still many companies out there running their own in-house CRM, or similar, and facing the very real problem that their email is received and stored separately to the rest of their customer information, which is accessible in their CRM.

A product of mine from ‘back in the day’, ContaxCRM, solved this problem with email sent and received being synced into the CRM, against the correct Customer / Supplier / Prospect – and it did this on both Windows and macOS.

In this post I am demonstrating part of this solution for macOS only, using Apple Mail.  Of course this can easily be modified and extended to work with other email packages should you wish to do so.  This post basically covers how to extract the received emails and store them in such a fashion that your CRM can read, parse and save this information to the CRM database the next time the CRM is launched.

The first thing to do is to install the Apple Script that does all of the heavy lifting.  You can see the Script below, and Download it from here.

capture1

This script needs to be stored in the appropriate location on your Mac.  You can see the location in the image below, generally ~/Library/Application Scripts/com.apple.mail/

capture2The second step is to open your Apple Mail Preferences and navigate to the Rules Tab.  From here you need to setup a new rule to execute the script whenever a new email is received.  See the image above.

That’s it !  A text file will be created (if necessary) and appended to with the full contents of every email received.  You can setup the Name and Path for the text file from within the Apple Script.

Parsing the text file, extracting the email address of the sender and saving this to your CRM is straightforward but will differ depending on your application, development software and requirements.

Hopefully this will be of use to someone out there 🙂

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Software Cannot Grow Old Gracefully !

As the title says: ‘Software Cannot Grow Old Gracefully‘. It is with this in mind that I am no longer selling or further developing any of the following products:

  • ContaxCRM
  • macVCR
  • MonitorMyMac
  • R10BatchMail
  • SMSRelaySuite

Custom or bespoke versions as well as joint venture editions will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future. I’ll be sad to see them go, macVCR was the first application I ever wrote for Mac OSX back in 2007 and here we are 9 years later … still, everything comes to an end.  RIP.

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If you have any questions or if you are interested in acquiring source code etc. then please click here to email me, or contact me via telephone: +44 1773 252 007

Note: The source code is written in Xojo and in some cases uses plugins from Monkeybread Software.

New Domain: chol.tech :-)

I’ve recently acquired a new domain that I’m very pleased about. chol.tech will now forward to this website in the same way as chol.technology. Only with six less keystrokes required.

choltech

When discussing domain names, small is way better 😉

A Couple of Free Books :-)

I have the following eBooks that I have written which are available for Free download.

  • Securing the Network: An eBook on Corporate Security Issues for the Non Technical (40 Pages)
  • Oracle Database 10g Exam Cram (70 Pages)

Please confirm your Name and Email Address, and select the book you would like from the dropdown menu, and your book will be with you shortly.

You can also access these books from the Free eBooks Page.

freebooks

 

The Best SQL Tool for Mac: Updated

oneSql 1.0.1 was released earlier today and I'm very pleased to say that there was not a single bug fix 🙂 Surely a testament to the guys and girls who participated in the Beta program earlier this year. So a very big 'thanks' to them 🙂

This update consists of a change to the way the SQL Keywords mechanism works. Previously the file SQLKeywords.sjc was loaded from the application folder or the SupportFiles folder and all the SQL keywords were loaded into an array and this array was accessed after each keystroke when typing occured in the SQL Text Area. If a match was found then the appropriate action was taken, ie: the word was capitalised, or coloured etc.

In version 1.0.1 the array of SQL keywords is built internally without reference to the SQLKeywords.sjc file. However if this file is present any words within this file are added to the SQL keywords array. So for example any words that you wish to be treated as keywords for your own purposes, or any keywords you find that I have missed when building the keyword array, can be added in a file called SQLKeywords.sjc which needs to be located in the same folder as the oneSql application or in the SupportFiles subfolder.

In addition to the changes described above there are half a dozen small interface tweaks which just tidy things up very slightly.

New CRM Software: Video Preview

A new video has just been uploaded to YouTube. This video demonstrates how simple and straightforward it is to insert and print a Sales Invoice using blackdogCRM, currently in Beta. (There is only so many hours in the day!) 🙂

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New Pinterest Account

We now have a Pinterest account. Still in it’s infancy and only a few dozen images so far, but if you want a peek, here it is:

Follow Steven’s board chol.technology on Pinterest.

 

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A Radical View of Software Licensing

My article on Software Licensing and Piracy is now available in the current issue of Better Software Magazine. You can download the issue here, or alternatively you can see my article only at this link.

A Radical View of Software Licensing

Thanks for your interest.

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Easy to Use SQL Tool | oneSql 101: Preferences

Visual Guide to oneSql: Part 3

New, Easy to Use, Fast, Cross Platform, Multi-Language SQL Query Tool: oneSql

 

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Easy to Use SQL Tool | oneSql 101: Connections

Visual Guide to oneSql: Part 1

New, Easy to Use, Fast, Cross Platform, Multi-Language SQL Query Tool: oneSql oneSql Connection Window   busbanner Affiliate Links