I enjoy reading Fawcette publications online as one source of industry information, but sometimes for plain old amusement. A recent article with an author byline that begins "by by" did a relatively decent job of comparing J2EE and .NET with a fair bit of praise for ASP.NET, especially in the much anticipated 2.0 incarnation.

The amusement part began with the author's constant reference to ASP.NET as ASP. This is a clear and dead give away that the author has either never used both or has absolutely no pride. I will not pretend to make a comparison of ASP.NET and JSP because I really don't have any real experience with JSP. I have friends that do, and they like it well enough, and that's good enough for me to assume that you can get done what you need to get done in JSP, JSF, etc.

And there have been reams of paper and billions of bytes wasted on enumerating the differences between what is now generally referred to, by those who have been there, as "classic ASP" and ASP.NET. Let me just waste the following words for the author and my Java friends: ASP.NET IS NOT ASP. The only real thing shared between the two is the <% %> tag markers. And just for the record, ASP 2.0 was a long time ago.

ASP.NET is like the guy with Jr. following his name who just knows he turned out so much better than his dad and wonders to himself why the old man thought so much of himself that he had to go and give him the same name.

And the real ASP.NET 2.0 is just days away. I'm like a kid looking in at the candy store, just waiting for doors to open.

And no, I'm not going to give you a link to the story. Like the byline suggested, the story should go bye bye.

Absent, Still Here - Pro Now Standard

Things have been a bit crazy. Actually, more like 32 bits of crazy. At least. I registered for the VS.NET 2005 product launch with excitement. They were giving away a free copy of VS.NET 2005 Pro and SQL Server 2005 Standard. I told all my friends and they signed up with the same excitement. Then the "we made a mistake" bait-n-switch email arrived.

"...there may have been an inaccurate reference on our website when you registered..."

Come on... Who wants a Standard version when you profess to be a pro and really need the Pro version? Sorry, "edition." And yet, I'm still going.

But for those of you who would rather have all the cool stuff but can't afford the MSDN Universal subscription price, there's always Empower. If you are starting a little company (your "on the side project business") and you need tools, the best way to get them, honestly, is through the Microsoft Empower for ISVs program.

Why two links? Because it's really the best deal out there. You get media. You get download access. You get managed support newsgroups and 10 hours of advisory service. Not bad for only $375.

ONLY $375

No. I haven't bought mine yet. But I plan to. Just as soon as the chairperson of the budget committee releases the funds. My wife's a reasonable person, so I expect that to happen soon. Before the launch event in my area anyway.

It was an honest mistake I'm sure. But would it have really hurt so bad to just give out what was originally promised? It's really not a bad idea. Get all the geeks in the neighborhood to use the latest and greatest at home, and when they all go work, they'll be begging for a corporate copy so they don't have to take a step back. Let's face it, there is some way cool things in .NET 2.0. and a hundred blogs or more for each of them.

But really, Bill, don't you think the mistake would have been fortuitous? But now you just kind of look like a stingy dork--"an inaccurate reference," yeah, right. Why don't you surprise all of us still willing to come out for a standard copy and give us a pro copy as a reward for our loyalty. Now that would be cool.