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by VB
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"Just click your heels together three times and say 'There's no place like home'." That sage advice from the Good Witch of the North in The Wizard of Oz also applies, it would seem to becoming a Certificate Authority on the Net. Just tell yourself you're a reputable person and start issuing Certificates… of course, you need people to recognise you as being reputable for it to do any good! This dog hears that accounting giant KPMG have done just that in Australia - and that soon-to-be mega-company AMP are now accepting KPMG Certificates as valid. The power of positive thinking!

Long-time GUI staffer Stephan Grieger departs, so the dog hears, for pastures European in the next few weeks. GUI's first employee has finally decided to fly the coop, and the Heeler can't let him go without an "adequate" send-off. Just the highlights will do :
…I remember the time at Windows World when, charged with setting up the reference PC, Stephan managed to prove that the easiest way to disable Windows 3.1 was to move ALL .DLLs into a separate directory. Even adding the directory to the path wouldn't get Windows to start. Ahhh, popularity!
…it was Stephan, too, who was responsible for the worst look in software development when he talked GUI boss Mark Trescowthick into wearing truly appalling tracksuit pants at Windows World.
…and Stephan who spent all of one VBA conference dragging his tongue on the ground after the-AVDF Editor Anna Morgan's friend Manuela. Even the fact that he managed to blow up a server in one of the theatres didn't deter him!
…and Stephan who still holds the distinction of being the only GUI staffer to hold a Hellfire Club frequent flogger's card.
…and Stephan who holds the record for having been sacked at least three times, but simply not leaving. Can't take a hint, this lad!
…and Stephan who sat the MSCP/VB exam so hung over at Tech*Ed one year that he was amazed when he scored a pass by the barest of margins.
…and Stephan. Well, you get the idea! The dog will miss him.

What the dog won't miss (if it ever stops) is the ridiculous posturing the Sun and Microsoft are going on with over Java and IE 4. Guys, how about we first develop a Java VM for more than one platform that lives up to the "Write Once Run Anywhere" tag, then start arguing about who's done what to whom?? Please??

It's a tough life being an independent software developer in Australia. Recently, a group of Melbourne developers (including Ed guru Neville Franks and Windows By Design honcho Jin Ng) were even forced to organise their own conference on Web design, hosting and commerce. Of course, they did organise it in the Whitsundays, and did take along a "cheap" Canon Digicam, and did do a web site on the way (at least until the power gave out on the boat). And I guess they'll be claiming it as a tax deduction????

Wanker of the year award has now, it would seem, been run and won. GUI Boss Mark Trescowthick takes it out hands down with his oh-so-cute domain name : What an email address : . And what a wanker!

Speaking of Mark, congratulations are in order, the dog hears, for his 40th birthday during October. Apparently he and better half Fiona held a very private party at one of Melbourne's leading hotels... funny no-one but the two of them were invited!

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