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The kind of hacking you want

Microsoft held "Windows Live Hack Day 06" last Thursday, and at first it sounded like employees there were trying to break into their own software programs. But the term "hack" isn't always a bad thing, and lately the word might even have upward momentum.

A "hack" can be a quick and clever fix to a computer programming problem, according to online encyclopedia Wikipedia. In Microsoft's case, Hack Day was an event for developers to brainstorm ideas for new features for the online programs under the Windows Live umbrella.

An internal poster promoting the event featured a truck called the "Data Crusher," and said, "See the planet's most powerful developers! Watch them hack, thrash and crush technology into the newest jaw-dropping gadgets for the world to play with."

iConclude gets dough

Bellevue enterprise IT-management startup iConclude raised $9 million, the company is announcing today. It's also getting two new board members from the funders: Tom Bogan of Greylock Partners and Shasta Ventures Managing Director Ravi Mohan.

Bogan is probably well up to speed on iConclude. Its engineering team includes alumni from Rational Software, where Bogan was president and chief operating officer before it was acquired by IBM in 2003.

Blue screen of Mac

Running Windows XP on a Mac sounds like it could be messy, even though Apple Computer has released a program called "Boot Camp" that allows a person to do just that. It doesn't help, either, that Apple is refusing to give technical support to Boot Campers who run into problems. But from some reviews online, technical support wasn't necessary.

"Boot Camp works," said Infoworld blogger Tom Yager. "Moving Windows over to a friend's Mac is now as easy as dragging out a partition, installing Windows and using Windows migration tools to pull in the other machine's files and settings."

Internet Explorer on a Mac runs better than Apple's browser, said the O'Reilly Mac DevCenter blog: "IE on Windows feels so much faster than Safari on Mac OS X that it is spooky. I hope the Safari team will not quit in frustration when they see that."

Gaming site 1up.com oaded some Windows-based computer games on a Mac and found that they ran fine. "At least a dozen platform fence-sitters have told me that the Mac's newfound ability to play PC games has broken down the last barrier to their buying a Mac as their next computer," said writer Jeremy Parish.

All is not rosy in Boot Camp land, however. A blogger with DealCatcher.com posted pictures of what happened after his install: the infamous Blue Screen of Death.

The kind of hacking you want - Tuesday, April 11, 2006 -

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