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Windows 7 Media Center screenshots

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Jan-2009 10:05

I first came in contact with Windows 7 when Microsoft released the M3 build to a select group of private testers on Connect, back in December.

Windows 7 M3 made its way to my HP tablet PC and it is running on it - solid and fast for a few weeks now. It will be replaced this weekend with the new Windows 7 Build 7000 though.

But Windows 7 Build 7000 is already installed on my Windows Media Center in the lounge. I run an Apple Mac mini as a Media Center PC, booting into Windows via Bootcamp. It's a machine small and silent enough to be in the lounge.

Until now I had been using dvbviewer to watch Freeview (DVB-T) with good results. The receiver is a Hauppagge HVR-900, and while the whole setup struggles a bit with very high definitions channels (such as TV3) it does well on the other HD channels.

My main objective on upgrading this setup to Windows 7 Build 7000 was to test the built-in H.264 support, that would allow us in New Zealand to have Freeview HD terrestrial programs directly on the Media Center experience, without having to use a third party program.

And did Windows 7 deliver! The upgrade over the existing Windows Vista installation was smooth and quick. The Apple Bootcamp drivers all worked ok, and even the drivers for the USB DVB-T receiver worked fine.

Tunning worked well - but there are still problems with the EPG (Electronic Programming Guide).

Another thing I feel it misses is the - long lasting - lack of support for ISO files. The Media Center won't play a DVD backup in ISO format without third party software.

Other than these two points, it's a very interesting release so far. The PC itself boots much faster than before, channel switching is smooth and the picture is almost perfect.

Here are some screenshots for your pleasure:



















Microsoft Certification Exam discounts (New Zealand only)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Jan-2009 14:47

Are you on the Microsoft Certification path? I will help you get some discounts then. You need only to visit the Microsoft Learning special site and request a voucher by entering a special MVP Certification code NZADDEB4.

This code will give you a 10% discount voucher and free retake if needed to.

Note this is valid for exams taken in New Zealand only by 31st May 2009, and valid for Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) and Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) exams.

What are you waiting for?

Thanks to the Microsoft MVP Program for arranging this so I could distribue to you folks...




ESTA required to travel to the USA from January 2009

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Jan-2009 17:08

The Department of Homeland Security Attache to the European Union Jacquelyn Bednarz overviews the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) which will be required by all visa waiver travelers to the U.S. as of January 12, 2009.

This is important because it affects New Zealanders travelling to the U.S. under the visa waiver program - I guess a lot of the people involved in technology here do so.





Another step in solving the potable water problem

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Jan-2009 16:37

Some say the biggest problem in our future is not lack of oil - but lack of potable water. Swedish inventor Petra Wadström has developed SOLVATTEN, an environmentally friendly system that makes unsafe water drinkable using solar energy.

The system combines heat, UV and built-in filter in a specially designed container to clean contaminated water by filtrating macro-organisms which cause diseases.





Visualizing the spread of botnets

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Jan-2009 07:37

I've found this blog post with a visualization of the spread of botnets over the course of some time, based on botnet IRC channel logs:




Read about botnets here







Happy 2009!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-Jan-2009 00:00

I wish everyone a happy 2009!



Update your Windows (client, server) machines *NOW*

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 18-Dec-2008 08:24

Just a reminder that Microsoft has released an update for Internet Explorer.

This update is coming out of the band (meaning it's not part of the second Tuesday of the month cycle of update) because it's an important update - there are reports of malicious activities already using the vulnerability covered by this update.

In my experience Windows Server 2008 64 bit do not require a restart. All other versions will require a reboot.

Just visit http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com to do it. You'll find more information here.



Microsoft Office Professional 2007 giveaway

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Dec-2008 18:29

Wow! Lots of giveaways here on Geekzone lately...

And I just got a copy of Microsoft Office Professional 2007 that one lucky Geekzone reader will take away from my hands.

Microsoft Office Professional 2007 comes with Word 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Outlook 2007, Publisher 2007, and Access 2007.

To be in to win is easy: simply reply here "I want Microsoft Office 2007" and anything else you want to say - be nice!

I am sorry but this is open to our New Zealand readers only this time. I will lock comments on this post on Friday morning and draw the prize then.

And remember - you have until the 20th December to enter the HP Magic Giveaway on Geekzone.




Telecom and Frogprints offerings prints from Flickr Pro

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Dec-2008 21:30

Some time ago I posted a blog entry with my thoughts on how ISPs should add value by differentiating its services.
Telecom New Zealand started it by offering some security software to all their broadband users - a move now other ISPs are following too.

Telecom also differentiate itself by offering Flickr Pro accounts to its dial-up and broadband users.

They are again ahead of the pack by partnering with Frogprintgs to offer an initial 50 prints for free, and 20% discount afterwards.

Pretty good value if you ask me.



Place phone calls from your browser with Gizmocall

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Dec-2008 20:02

Gizmocall.com is launching a browser-based service that allows VoIP (voice over IP) calls though Gizmo5.

This is the browser-based dialer - go ahead login with your Gizmo5 account or create a new one): The service also allows incoming calls from other users, free calls to other Gizmo5 users, 800 numbers (USA) and SIP services. You can even setup a caller ID so that when you call out to a landline or mobile it shows your own number.



freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


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

I work for Intergen and I'm also 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 freitasm@geekzone.co.nz. 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.

Here's is my full disclosure post.

A couple of blog posts you should read:

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