Microsoft Gadgets are a feature being introduced with Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Live.
This Microsoft Gadget shows the last users (with link and post count) who created new posts in our Geekzone Blog:
This is just an example Darryl has created to show me (and a couple of Microsoft NZ clients) how this thing works. This is using the Live.com website as the host, but it could also be used directly on the Microsoft Windows Vista sidebar, like these examples below:
All very nice, but:
1. I want Microsoft Gadgets to live freely in my desktop, like Yahoo! Widgets (which is just a rebranded Konfabulator) and not require a website;
2. When Microsoft Gadgets are living freely in my desktop, I want them to work on Windows XP, not only Windows Vista.
An idea of Microsoft Gadget I'd like to see implemented is one that would retrieve the list of Geekzone Forums (we already have this in XML), and show a drop down list to the user to select a forum, and then retrieving the latest posts for this select forum (we already have the RSS feed for all Geekzone Forums). Does anyone want to write it?
This would be so cool if the Microsoft Gadgets could live in the desktop...
I know of a couple of other things that are nice, but can't say much because of my NDA with Microsoft. But those two changes would make me happy.
Steven Hughes (whom I'e met a few times before, including the Microsoft MVP Summit and the Las Vegas CES), have taken some time to write "uPC: UMPC Questions Answered". Some of the questions include gems like this:
"Who is the target user? Many people are confused at what the market target is. Will the UMPC be replacing the Portable Media Center, Tablet PC, Windows Media Center, Windows Mobile device, etc or will it be a compliment to those devices?
While we feel that UMPCs will eventually be of great use to a number of different audiences, we anticipate the strongest interest off the bat from media and technology enthusiasts and early technology adopters. UMPCs do not compete with either Tablet PCs or Windows Mobile devices. The UMPC is part of Microsoft’s vision of expanding its mobile Windows PC offerings while incorporating mature features from Tablet PCs in a broader range of PCs. In addition, the UMPC is a great complement to Windows Mobile phones, which can be used as Bluetooth modems to enable a wireless wide area network (WWAN) scenario for constant Internet connectivity. The UMPC is also a great complement to other Windows PCs, such as Tablet PCs or Media Center PCs. Files can be easily synchronized using USB drives or products such as Microsoft FolderShare."
It didn't take long for some people to discover how to hack the system: by installing a VoIP gateway at home (Asterisk PBX nonetheless) and two landlines (with the VoIP system bridging them) it will be possible to call local numbers (from your home base of course) for free from a mobile phone: simply call your home number with the Telecom Freedom option, get a dial tone offered by the VoIP system and dial the number you want to reach.
For the price of some hardware, two landlines and a mobile phone you get this feature. If you are on the streets most of the time and call local numbers a lot, this is an interesting money saving strategy - not that we endorse it.
How long before Telecom New Zealand finds out how to block it?
That's right. T-Mobile UK is now providing unlimited browsing and e-mail for just £7.50 a month, on a contract.
The web ‘n’ walk service offers access to the Internet instead of “walled garden” WAP services (such as Vodafone live!).
I doubt we will see this kind of plan in New Zealand or Australia any time soon...
"The next version of Ubuntu Linux, "Dapper Drake" has been pushed back six weeks to June 1 to permit better quality, Linux Standard Base certification and improved international language support."
It looks like it's not ready for prime time, that's what it looks like... Even hardcore Linux users like Taniwha have problems installing this beta.
This ROM update includes the (now famous) AKU2 which we explained in this article, and add some other features and bug fixes.
Included in this new ROM is the direct push e-mail solution offered by Microsoft, working with Microsoft Exchange accounts.
The event is happening 22 - 23 april 2006, 9am to 5pm in the Whitireia Community Polytechnic, Porirua.
I don't have all the details yet, but the whole thing seems to be a cool gathering for .Net developers in New Zealand.
According to their page: "Code Camp is all about the code. You will see demonstrations of new and future technology as well as lots of coding. You will not die from PowerPoint poisoning! Code Camp is aimed at all levels of .Net developers. Sessions are 1 hour long and will be presented consecutively in a single room. Panel discussions will be run during the lunch breaks. These will be short presentations by experts, followed by discussions with the audience."
I guess I will have time during the lunch break discussions...
It's only a 11MB download - and make sure to remove any previous Internet Explorer Beta version you have running on your Microsoft Windows PC. Open Control Panel, Add/Remove and check the box to show updates.
There's a video with "7 Best Things in Internet Explorer 7" on Channel 9.
While I am not at MIX 06, I am following it through some of the RSS feeds around, and through the eyes of fellow MVP Chris Auld.
Now off to install this new version...
The licenses are part of a batch I received to distribute to our Wellington Windows Mobile User Group, but since the next group meeting is not until end of April the vouchers will be expired by then. I am distributing these during some User Group meetings happening now (the Wellington Office User Group and the Wellington Tablet PC User Group).
The software is great for production and development environments (yes, these are full production copies, not demo or development ones!), and "enables multiple operating systems to run concurrently on a single machine. In particular, Microsoft Virtual [PC] products enable one or more operating systems to run on the same computer system as the current Windows operating system. Today, many x86-based operating systems are supported by Virtual PC 2004 and Virtual Server 2005."
The difference between Virtual PC and Virtual Server is "[Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 is a virtual machine solution for desktop operating systems.] Microsoft Virtual Server 2005, on the other hand, is a solution for server operating systems. Although Virtual PC and Virtual Server share many features in common, they are designed for different purposes. As a result, some of their features are also quite different. Microsoft has created a white paper that explains the differences between Virtual PC and Virtual Server, and discusses the scenarios in which it is appropriate to use one or the other."
Virtual Server 2005, Enterprise Edition, can be installed on machines with up to 32 physical processors.
So, what are you waiting? Comment away!
The idea is that every weekday at 10:00 am (PST) the site is updated with a new video that highlights people, their passions and often the technology they are using. At the end of each week these videos are compiled into a full length show with some extras.
There are also some blogs, such as Education and Health. Hmmm, very interesting (not).
The shows are conducted by Laura and Tina, the two hostesses I mentioned before. They seem to be always reporting things in a "cool", "fun" way - annoying most of the times, and did I say they are always screaming?
Think podcasts turn videocasts, with a funky design and silly "Hello from China" comments in the threads associated with each video.
At least it's a good example of open application (on Windows OS): it works with Internet Explorer (with Windows Media player streaming) and Firefox (with Apple Quicktime player streaming). It won't work on Apple OS X though, either on Safari or Internet Explorer. And the Profile page is not working, returning a funny message that I would translate into either a 404 or 500 error (this is real tech talk).
Topics go like this:
- "Jon Bach, of Puget Custom Computers, impresses Tina with a monster gaming machine kept cool by a custom designed liquid cooling system."
- "Danny James and Dillin Quent of Theory in Motion stop by the studio to drop the beat. Very nice. Recognize the song from somewhere?"
- "Technology News as presented by Laura and Tina, news desk, blazers, smart-looking glasses and all. Ok, well maybe not the blazers or the news desk...or even the smart-looking glasses. But the news, yes, we've got news."