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John Olson

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Top Stories by John Olson

Microsoft The long running Microsoft antitrust lawsuit pursued by the U.S. Justice Department is finally coming to a close. In a recent joint news conference, representatives of Microsoft and the U.S. government announced that an agreement has been made regarding the breakup of Microsoft. The agreement will follow the pattern of AT&T ("Ma Bell") when it was broken up into many smaller "Baby Bells" in 1984. As a result "Ma Soft" will be broken into regional companies, referred to as "Micro Babies," to be named MicroAtlantic, SoftSouth, PacificSoft, U.S. Soft, MicroWest, and several others yet to be named. In return for Microsoft's cooperation, the U.S. government has agreed to allow the Micro Babies to create a consortium, which they'll call the Microsoft Group. The goal of the consortium will be to improve efficiencies among these companies in technologies where th... (more)

Cause and Effect

Do you remember where you were on March 30, 1981, when John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan? What about on January 28, 1986, when the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff? When I was younger the question was, "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" Unfortunately, our generation has many more recent events we can ask that question about: the Beirut barracks bombing, the World Trade Center, and now the space shuttle Columbia. I had the great fortune of working on space shuttle parts and repair systems back in 1995 at NASA's Shuttle Logistics D... (more)

PBDJ's Tenth Year

Believe it or not 2004 is the tenth year I'll be writing for PBDJ! I can't believe it myself. This magazine debuted back in 1994 when PowerBuilder was the hottest client/server software development tool in the world. That year I joined forces with a dozen PowerBuilder experts and we wrote PowerBuilder 4.0: Secrets of the PowerBuilder Masters for SYS-CON Media, the publisher of this magazine. That book made quite a splash in the PB world and we suddenly became celebrities. I remember the pride I felt when I went into a B. Dalton bookstore in Orlando (I was working on a space shutt... (more)

Everyone Works Better When Everyone Works Together

Recently I was at a Sybase event and an IT supervisor/PB developer approached me and asked why the new features in PowerBuilder were almost entirely for Web and n-tier and only a few were for client/server development. First, tools that are purely for client/server development are dead and dying, though client/server development is alive and well. They are dead and dying because they have matured and met the needs of their customers. PB and VB were great client/server tools five years ago, and it was becoming a challenge to identify new client/server features that would compel us... (more)

n_ds DataStore Coupled to Parent Window in PFC 6.0+

Last year, after migrating a client's application from PFC 5.0.02 to 6.5, then applying some enhancements to take advantage of new features, the program began giving the following PFC error message: "For certain functionality the PFC DataStore requires a reference to its parent window. One of these cases has been encountered. To let the DataStore know who its parent window is, call the of_SetParentWindow() function after the DataStore creation." At first I was disturbed that the PFC developers had coupled the DataStore to a parent object. And worse, not only a parent object, but... (more)