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Windows Home Server Power Pack 2 announced

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Mar-2009 15:51

Windows Home Server Power Pack 2 will be available shortly. It brings quite a few updates and the first Media Center-aware connector software:

I have been using it as part of the beta (codenamed Snoqualmie) and it's a solid build - very few bugs filled, and the RC is running on my Windows Home Server for some time now. Worth it!

Internet Explorer 8 RSS bug shows its head again - will webmasters notice?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 22-Mar-2009 13:44

If you are a webmaster and see an increase in traffic, check your logs - look for the user-agent "Windows-RSS-Platform/2.0 (MSIE 8.0"...

During the beta period I logged a fault that existed only when people using the Windows RSS platform on Internet Explorer 7 upgraded to the Internet Explorer 8 beta code. Basically Internet Explorer 8 goes crazy and instead of checking RSS feeds once every hour (or the time you set), does it hundreds of times per minute.

During tests I found some browsers checking some Geekzone RSS feeds about 20,000 thousand times in a period of a few hours.

I wasn't happy, and logged a fault. Microsoft's response was "Closed - can't reproduce".

Guess what? Now Internet Explorer 8 is out and I've just noticed this happening again:

I've just blocked this IP address but there are others. So my only option at the moment is to simply filter all requests from this user-agent.

If you are a webmaster, check your logs and see if you can catch this on your server too. Please let me know.

How fast is fast? Or does it matter when using a web browser?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Mar-2009 14:25

Now that Internet Explorer 8 is available for everyone (except for the Windows 7 beta platform) I hear a few talking about how this browser or that browser is faster than the others.

The reality is most people "browse the web", don't race it. And while faster is always better and perceptions can be deceiving , I was intrigued when I was told of some interesting results coming out of a study on "measuring browser performance".

For starters we are talking about a controlled measurement of browser performance. There are issues and configurations that need management. Once these are out of the way, then we can start talking.

Here is an interesting video about this and the results. Watch to the end:

IE8 Performance

Once there's a level playing field and people start talking about a group of 25 most visited websites on the Internet - according to Comscore - then the results are in: Internet Explorer loads those sites faster 48% of the time, Google Chrome wins 36% of the time, and Firefox is best 16% of the time. Here is the table from the document referenced earlier in this post:

Another thing to consider when we talk speed is "how much time and effort is need to get things 'done'"? For example one of the new features on Internet Explorer 8 are "accelerators" - shortcuts that give instant access to add-on features. There are a few accelerator add-ons available now that add some functionality to the browser.

For example in the screenshot below once the address is highlighted and the user clicks on the blue arrow then a series of "accelerators" show up, including "Map with Yahoo!", "Search with Facebook", etc. This feature gives almost instant access to features people use most, without requiring lots of "select", "copy", "open new browser", "navigate to site", "paste text", "select function" routine.

What is your own personal experience? Have you tried Internet Explorer 8 yet? What results you've seen?

The Nintendo DSi goes to... Leigh Primary School

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Mar-2009 11:27

Yesterday I posted some of my Nintendo DSi unboxing pictures and commented on my Twitter that it would be up on a Geekzone giveaway soon. This is one of the three units Nintendo gave away during the press briefing for the New Zealand launch.

Instead of giving this away on Geekzone though I've decided to donate it to the Leigh Primary School so they can use it as a prize during their Easter Carnival. I am sure our readers will understand :)

A win for SilverStripe, Microsoft and Open Source in general

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 19-Mar-2009 19:46

Congratulations to SilverStripe, Microsoft and the Open Source community in general working together to have Wellington-developed Open Source CMS SilverStripe in the Microsoft Web Platform Installer.

Here's just a bit from Nigel's blog - I recommend you read the whole post there:

Last July I spent a day at the Open Source Lab at Microsoft in the USA. Here I met Hank Janssen and Michael Joffe, and we started talking about working with PHP developers, the SQL Server Driver for PHP that his team had written and an update on running PHP applications on Windows.

Over the last year the Microsoft Open Source team have worked and contributed code to the communities that create some of the most popular open source applications in the world. This effort has culminated in an ambitious project that makes it easy for you to install your favourite “FREE” web applications and get them working on Windows and IIS.

This got me thinking of who in New Zealand would be a good candidate to engage with the Microsoft Open Source Labs to be added to the next group of Web Application Partners? How about Siggy and the SilverStripe team?

SilverStripe won the NZ Open Source award for Best Open Source Software Project of 2008 followed by SilverStripe winning the 2008 Most Promising Open Source CMS in the Packt UK awards.
Driven by my efforts to connect both sides, in August last year SilverStripe and Microsoft entered into a PHP on Windows Joint Development Program to get SilverStripe fully supported on Windows and part of the next iteration of the new Web Platform Installer.

The first challenge was to get Microsoft Software into SilverStripe’s hand. They hadn’t tested or developed on our platform before so they would need access to copies of Windows Server and SQL Server. Timing was great as we had just launched BizSpark in New Zealand so we signed the SilverStripe product up for that.

As part of the JDP, Microsoft technical support was available free of charge to SilverStripe from the US and Germany, but as the project progressed the talented and helpful Jorke Odolphi (Microsoft Australian Web Infrastructure Advisor), jumped into help SilverStripe, lead by Sam Minnée, with their testing and deployment.

SilverStripe incorporated some of the recent IIS7 enhancements features like URL Rewrite in their Windows Server 2008 solution. When it became clear that many of their community were using Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, access to expert Microsoft technical staff enabled SilverStripe developers to determine the best way to achieve IIS 6 compatibility and update the core product accordingly in record time.

My HP Mini Mobile Drive is here

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Mar-2009 15:59

I have been using the HP Mini Mi while away from my home office and it's a pleasure to use it - small, light and quite fast too. I have posted some screenshots of the HP Mini Mi Linux version before, but I wanted to have a bit more "room" - the built-in 16GB SSD is just about right for the OS and a few applications, but I wanted a copy of my most important files handy...

Of course any USB flash drive would work - but then it'd be sticking out... Lucky the HP Mini comes with a special deep USB slot and the HP Mini Drive is just right for it (or a Transcend USB drive if you don't care about the cover). See the pictures below:

Thanks to Hector from GeeksRoom for ordering the HP Mini Drive from HP USA and posting it to me.

Hear both sides on New Zealand copyright law

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Mar-2009 12:27

I think it's only fair to always hear both sides of any discussion and since we hosted a Q&A with the RIANZ CEO a couple of weeks ago, it's now time to ask Matthew Holloway from the Creative Freedom Foundation your questions about his (and the CCF) views on copyright, s92c and more.

You can post your questions on Geekzone, or post here and I will forward these.

Wellington Infrastructure User Group starting up

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Mar-2009 16:22

Wellington is now hosting an Infrastructure User Group, and its inaugural meeting is 30th March 2009, at the Microsoft Wellington Offices (L. 12, 157 Lambton Quay).

These are the topics on this first meeting:

Office Communications Server 2007 
As part of the inaugural Infrastructure User Group, Terry Chapman from Fujitsu New Zealand will present on deploying Microsoft Enterprise Voice using Office Communications Server 2007 and Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging. 

Terry Chapman (CISSP, VCP, MCTS, MCSE, FCNSP) is a Principal Consultant with Fujitsu New Zealand.  He leads the Unified Communications practice within Fujitsu NZ which has recently become a Microsoft Voice specialised partner along with being the first Microsoft partner in New Zealand to have deployed OCS 2007 R2 internally.  Terry works across most of Fujitsu’s customer base and has many years of experience with a range of clients in the public and private sectors both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Hyper-V | The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
With the imminent release of Server 2008 R2, and the licensing benefits it can offer, Hyper-V is becoming an increasingly popular option for a virtualisation platform. As a result, the question system implementers are being asked is “Hyper-V or VMWare?”

This presentation will discuss some of the key benefits of virtualisation, and how Hyper-V manages them when compared with VMWare – what it does well (the good), what it doesn’t do so well (the bad), and some of the traps that implementers and administrators can find themselves facing (the ugly).
We will also discuss some of the features of the soon to be release R2 and how they move Microsoft’s virtualisation offering ever closer to matching VMWare’s feature-set.

Julian Bee is a serial early-adopter and Microsoft advocate, [Julian] has spent several years in the trenches managing, supporting, and administering a range of server environments, with a principal focus on Microsoft solutions. In 2007, he lead the deployment of NZ’s first (and globally the second) Hosted Exchange 2007 with Unified Messaging platform leveraging the Microsoft Provisioning System interface for management. Has spent the last two years working with VMWare ESX server in both production and lab environments, and has been working with Hyper-V since its release last year.

More information on Nathan's Blog.

Pantech Matrix Pro in the house

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Mar-2009 16:00

Very exciting... I've just received an AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro Windows Mobile Smartphone here. Exciting because this is a very new model, with a sliding keypad and a sliding keyboard as you can see in the pictures below:

The AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro is a WCDMA 850/2100 MHz device meaning it will be perfect for connecting to the new Telecom New Zealand network and for my upcoming trips to Australia and the US.

I have just opened the box and I am now synchronising the phone with my Exchange server, installing important programs and more... Full review later.

Geekzone one of top ten New Zealand websites for online buyers

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Mar-2009 18:15

This is an interesting bit of information Nielsen Online released today - the top ten New Zealand websites that attract the highest percentage of New Zealand users who have made a purchase online in the last two months.

Geekzone is well positioned in the list - not surprisingly most of the websites are technology-related or have a high level of engagement with their readers.

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums.

Subscribe now to my blog RSS feed or the Geekzone RSS feed.

If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

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