I've just read about FeedDemon 2.5 being released and downloaded the update. It looks great, and there are a couple of features I want to use, mainly the prefetch for offline reading and the Newsbin sharing, which now synchronises with NGES.
This is the theory. In practice it didn't work at all. I installed FeedDemon 2.5, it recognised my NGES host, and even created the Newsbin on the server. But that's all. None of my feeds (more than 600) synchronise either way, making it a futile exercise.
I tried installing on my Vista 32 bit machine, with the same result. Tried with a clean install, with the same result.
Now comes the thing: I've posted a request for help in the NewsGator Support Forum, but it appears there isn't a NewsGator Support person looking after the forum, so I have no answers for this problem, except for the few comments from the community. And the developer, Nick Bradbury, asks in his blog for all technical questions to be posted in the forums. Catch 22...
The idea I have for the Newsbin sharing is appealing for me: I read lots of stuff, and I would use FeedBurner to create a feed from my Newsbin and some applications to post this in a "link blog".
If this doesn't work then I will probably be moving all my feeds to Google Reader. Google Reader now uses Google Gears, a new framework that allows software to work offline.
UPDATE: As promised here in the comments I was contacted by NewsGator, and yes I need NGES 2.0 to use the new FeedDemon 2.5 features. I have downloaded NGES 2.0, but there was a problem installing the update, so the server is currently down. I've submitted screenshots to support - something related to date - perhaps date format (UK versus US)?
UPDATE: The date problem was related to the license file - US and NZ (UK) date formats. I also need to upgrade the Microsoft SQL database, so I will do this soon. Looking good now...
UPDATE: All sorted now. Installed Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SP1, got a new license file with correct date, and everything installed fine. FeedDemon 2.5 works fine with NGES 2.0 now. Installation took less than 10 minutes overall (not counting the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 update).
UPDATE: Not so fast... FeedDemon 2.5 is playing up and won't synchronise with NGES 2.0. I've submited this to NGES support again, and in the meantime I am back to FeedDemon 2.0...
For example, this is the kind of self-explanatory message I received before:
This is not as bad as what Ed Hansberry has experienced though...
Fear nothing for a NEW version is coming out soon, according to the official Windows Vista Blog. Which is not early enough...
You see, this first version of WMDC causes so much problems that I plug my Palm Treo to my laptop once a month, or less, depending if I need to install a new program. I am glad all of my PIM data (Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, E-mail) is synchronised to an Exchange Server, so I don't really need to plug the device. There was a time only one in four attempts would actually see the device communicating with my laptop.
Sharing this view are James Kendrick (a Microsoft MVP Tablet) and Darius Wei (like myself a Microsoft MVP Windows Mobile). I am sure Ed Hansberry will be happy, as others who also have problems and are crying for an update...
How is that? Until now PDAs and smartphones (from now on mobile devices) were PC companions, that is, users would synchronise their information (PIM, files, programs) to a PC. At the end of the day everything on a mobile device would just be a replica of the same kind of information present on a user's PC.
The Palm Foleo changes this by actually being the companion to a mobile device. Its main features are actually the large screen, full size keyboard and the ability to synchronise with a mobile device. Note that in this case the main repository is the mobile device, not a PC - although you could have a mobile device synchronising to a PC, and the Foleo synchronising to your mobile device.
Below is a short two minutes video I created from the press material distributed by Palm, with some more information, directly from Jeff Hawkins, founder, Palm Inc:
Why would anyone want this? For many users the most important things are really e-mail, attachment handling (office documents) and a bit of browsing. Not every user needs a PC for heavy 3D gaming for example. And not everyone wants to carry a heavy laptop when going out of the office, just to "keep in touch" with e-mail.
I believe some business users would really like the ability to have a device with a bit more "room" to work than a mobile device - a larger 10" screen, decent size keyboard and longer battery life (the Palm Foleo seems to be able to work for up to five hours with its standard battery) are very appealing.
The Palm Foleo comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Want to browse the Internet? You can do so with its built-in Opera Browser (including Flash support), via Wi-Fi. If no Wi-Fi is available you can use Bluetooth wireless to connect to the Internet through a Palm Treo.
It also uses Bluetooth to synchronise information with your mobile device. Note that what you see on a Palm Foleo is what you have on your mobile device. It is like an extension, a keyboard/monitor combination that is not constantly connected to its main storage.
Initially you must have a Palm Treo smartphone, but Palm says it will work with other Windows Mobile devices with little or no changes and possibly other smartphone platforms (Symbian?) with small modifications.
The entire system is open, based on a Linux platform, and Palm is making all the APIs available.
Palm Foleo is being launched with a street price of US$ 499 (after a US$ 100 rebate). Wasn't this what UMPCs should have been? Forgive me, but the way I see it the US$ 500, long battery life UMPC ended up being a US$ 1500, short battery life sub notebook. And the Palm Foleo might as well take its place.
Another important point to consider is Palm's history of creating and supporting developer communities. This will be a major factor in having a wider acceptance for this product. The Palm Foleo comes with Opera Browser, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Datavix Documents-to-go, and we can expect a lot more by the time it reaches the market.
While still early to give my final impression on this (let's wait until I can play with one), I think this new class of devices promises to be ground breaking. I certainly would use one, but I would like to see its price come down, to about US$ 250.
Back to MindManager 7: I have just installed it and the first (nice) surprise was the user interface: Mindjet is the first company I see that fully implemented a Microsoft Office Ribbon-like user interface (officially named Microsoft Office Fluent User Interface). Check the screenshots below:
What else is in store with MindManager 7? MindManager Pro 7 includes integration capabilities with Microsoft Office products, new map styles and galleries for faster formatting, and enhanced ScreenTips. MindManager 7 Mac offers a new way to select topics with rules, which can be saved and applied as filters; printing enhancements that allow users to print large maps across multiple pages and add headers and footers and borders to printed maps; enhanced import and export capabilities including OPML, HTML, Text Outline and more.
I've used MindManager in its previous versions in many projects and personal tasks - great tool to organise things, clear ideas, brainstorm, etc.
UPDATE: Below is a screen shot with the ribbon clollapsed. You can do this by double-clicking on any menu option in the menu bar:
Ilium Software are the developers of some fine software for Windows Mobile and Palm - eWallet is the only program I've used since my early Palm days, migrated across to Pocket PC OS and Windows Mobile. I have it on my desktop and can't live without it.
Watch their blog too...
In 2006 we saw Internet Explorer 7. Silverlight (and a lot more) was announced at Mix 07. What will we see in Mix 2008?
Better subscribe to their RSS feeds to keep an eye on registration information.
The game will run on Windows Vista and includes single player, multiplayer, map editor, dedicated server hosting (I will try this!) and one month free Live Gold membership.
Now to get work out of the way and start the game.
One of the things we saw in a demo was this amazing table top in the kitchen where you could drop groceries and have recipes displayed automatically - using the "material" on hand. you could interact with the table top touching or simply placing objects on it.
Today Microsoft has announced Microsoft Surface. It is an evolution of that table top I saw a few years back, with much more functionality.
The idea is to have every day objects that we can interact with, and interact with each other. At a high level, Surface uses cameras to sense objects, hand gestures and touch. This user input is then processed and the result is displayed on the surface using rear projection.
Surface computing, which Microsoft has been working on for a number of years, features four key attributes:
• Direct interaction. Users can actually “grab” digital information with their hands, interacting with content by touch and gesture, without the use of a mouse or keyboard.
• Multi-touch. Surface computing recognizes many points of contact simultaneously, not just from one finger like a typical touch-screen, but up to dozens of items at once.
• Multi-user. The horizontal form factor makes it easy for several people to gather around surface computers together, providing a collaborative, face-to-face computing experience.
• Object recognition. Users can place physical objects on the surface to trigger different types of digital responses, including the transfer of digital content.
Whatever you are doing now, make some time to watch the videos on the Microsoft Surface website. There's a video review on On10 as well.
Today I met a few people who are working to bring the SuperHappyDevHouse series of events to Wellington:
SuperHappyDevHouse has become the Bay Area's premier monthly hackathon event that combines serious and not-so-serious productivity with a fun and exciting party atmosphere. Come to the DevHouse to have fun and get things done!
We're about rapid development, ad-hoc collaboration, and cross pollination. Whether you're a l33t hax0r, hardcore coder, or passionate designer, if you enjoy software and technology development, SuperHappyDevHouse was made for you.
DevHouse is not a marketing event. It's a non-exclusive event intended for passionate and creative technical people that want to have some fun, learn new things, and meet new people. In this way, we're trying to resurrect the spirit of the Homebrew Computer Club. We also draw inspiration from the demoscene as one of the only intentional getting-things-done computer events in the world.
Sounds fun? It sure does. If all goes well, the first meeting in Wellington will happen early July 2007, and other events will follow. We are currently seeking to arrange corporate sponsorship, venue, etc.
If you or your company wants to sponsor (venue, drinks, Internet access) please contact me and I will put you in touch with the folks organising the whole thing.
A SuperHappyDevHouse NZ wiki will be up soon. The first meeting will be an invitation only event, so we can gauge interest and arrange some of the infrastructure.