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Windows Vista Sevice Pack 2 beta test announced

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Oct-2008 08:09

Last week I received an invitation to the Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 beta program. This came as a surprise since I had heard nothing about it.

The confirmation came later in the week, when the Windows Vista Blog posted the official announcement of Windows Vista SP2.

This is a list of things coming out in this new release:

  • Windows Vista SP2 adds Windows Search 4.0 for faster and improved relevancy in searches.
  • Windows Vista SP2 contains the Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack supporting the most recent specification for Bluetooth Technology.
  • Ability to record data on to Blu-Ray media natively in Windows Vista.
  • Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi Configuration.
  • Windows Vista SP2 enables the exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronization across time zones. 

The Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack is interesting because it is actually part of a bigger update, the Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless, which is only released to OEM so far.

Another important piece of information is that this service pack will also be available to Windows Server 2008.

Testing doesn't start until next week, so I don't expect to see this officialy released until the end of the year or earlier next year. Of course all depends on how the testing go.

Geekzone server update: the day after

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 23-Oct-2008 17:18

This is not exactly the day after - more like three days after. And since you are reading this it's obvious our Geekzone server update went well.

Geekzone was running on an Intel Xeon "Nocona" dual-core 3GHz box with 3GB RAM and two 70GB SCSI discs. The software platform was based on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition and Microsoft SQL Server 2008. We use NOD32 for antivirus protection.

A new HP DL360 server was installed. This new box is based on an Intel 5400 quad-core 3GHz with 10GB RAM, four 146GB HDD and ILO2 for remote management.

This is the host box running Micosoft Hyper-V. I installed a virtual machine for Geekzone, keeping the same software platform but in 64 bit. Geekzone is running on a quad core, 6GB RAM virtual machine.

Also on the same box we have an Exchange server running on a dual core 2GB RAM virtual machine, an ad server running on a dual core 2GB RAM, and a single core 512MB RAM virtual machine running Windows XP SP3 and hosting an IRC script that monitors our chatroom.

The old server is still in place, with a mirror of our SQL 2008 database, and Adventnet Applicatins Manager. This server will also be used for development.

Thanks to HP New Zealand and Microsoft New Zealand for their support - we couldn't do this upgrade without their help. also thanks to ICONZ for arranging the installation and network configuration so that everything could have been done within the time we had available.

By the way, how many SQL 2008 servers in New Zealand are running in a virtual environment?

Android Software now available

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 23-Oct-2008 14:15

The first Android-based smartphone, the T-Mobile G1 is out now, and more handsets will be coming out no doubt.

There are lots of developers porting the operating system to other hardware platforms - even more now that it was released as an open source project.

Lots of applications for this device are being released, and we already have quite a few Android applications listed in our Geekzone Software Store. We also have a special Android applications RSS feed listing all new applications for this platform. You can even access the store directly from your mobile.

You can actually find RSS feeds for other mobile platforms (Windows Mobile, Symbian, BlackBerry) in our RSS feeds page.

Microsoft looking for developer feedback

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 23-Oct-2008 13:58

I got a message today from a friend at Microsoft pointing out an initiative to collect feedback from the vast developer community we have here in New Zealand.

The idea is to have about 60 developers across the country spread through six focus group meetings. These meetings will be happening in Christchurch (11th November), Wellington (13th November) and Auckland (19th November).

Scott Wylie, the Director of the Developer and Platform Strategy Team for Microsoft NZ, will be facilitating these sessions. Scott’s role is to listen and understand your feedback which will enable his team to provide better support and resources for NZ developers.

You can find a lot more details on Scott's blog. And if you would like to participate, please email your interest to with your contact details and preferred focus group (by session number as listed in his blog) you would like to attend.

Follow Armageddon 08 live on Clearnet

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 23-Oct-2008 13:42

New Zealand fans of all things fantasy and sci-fi are well aware of Armageddon Expo. It's a long weekend expo with an exhibition floor, parallel events and more. Movie and TV starts, authors, gamers - everyone will be there.

But I also found out that if you are not there you can have the next best thing by following the CleanNet live streaming of this awesome weekend. And if you are on TelstraClear the traffic is unmetered - so even better.

To check the Armageddon Expo 08 live hit the ClearNet Armageddon 08 website and look for the schedule.

What is phishing and how to protect yourself - in plain English

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 23-Oct-2008 08:13

This is an interesting video explaining phishing in plain English. Show it to your parents, relatives and anyone else who is not a geek:

Made From New Zealand launches

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Oct-2008 13:38

I was in Auckland for our server upgrade, and had the chance to attend the launch event for a new on-line business networking-support-directory service, Made From New Zealand.

The service launched with a big splash, including a three minute TV ad in all three free to air national channels.

According to the official word "Made from New Zealand is New Zealand's global online business community, designed to connect and promote businesses and entrepreneurs with the 'Kiwi DNA'."

The Made from New Zealand concept was launched last year on Waitangi Day by entrepreneur Steve Adams, who organised more than 1,000 Kiwis to build a 100 meter long silver fern sand sculpture on Santa Monica beach, Los Angeles. You can see a video clip with this project on the Made From New Zealand channel on You Tube.

Part research project, part television commercial shoot, the fern attracted the interest of New Zealanders in businesses all over the world who were keen to connect with each other as Kiwis to help grow their businesses.

With the concept tested and the Made from New Zealand brand name launched, Tim Norton, John Clegg  and Pat Macfie partnered with Adams to build an online community to connect Kiwi businesses in New Zealand and around the world

The main partner is Telecom New Zealand - I met Alan Gourdie, CEO Telecom Retail, during the launch and he seemed pretty excited about the project.

Welcome to Yahoo!Xtra Australian edition

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 19-Oct-2008 12:37

When I moved to New Zealand in 1997 my first ISP was Xtra. I bought a PC, collected a CD with the dial-up configuration and I was up and running in no time. I still have that e-mail address, but only to login to the Xtra services offered to users, such as a Flickr Pro account.

Then Telecom decided to ditch the Xtra branding and go totally "Telecom" in its ISP offering. As part of all this a partnership with Yahoo!7 was put in place and the Xtra homepage was replaced with something provided by Yahoo!7, an Australian company.

Telecom handed a lot of power to Yahoo!7. If you read our Geekzone forums there are lots of reports of e-mail problems (domain blacklisting for example) and how hard it is to get someone at Yahoo!7 to actually look on these.

Now come a redesigned Yahoo!Xtra front page - and look at this beauty:

Telecom, why you decided to devalue your Xtra brand even more is beyond understanding...

Key Strategies for Successful Online Communities

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Oct-2008 17:05

If you are involved in building communities - social networks, events, intranets, blogs, microblogging, etc... You might be interested in this event being promoted by Intergen:

Key Strategies for Successful Online Communities
How to create, develop and evolve a social media presence to increase collaboration, drive awareness and improve customer loyalty

Social networking and online communities have received significant attention in the past 12 months, as services such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn attract and connect communities of people. For organisations wanting to truly bring their marketing and customer service strategies into the 21st century, creating and fostering an online community can be the most powerful –not to mention the most cost effective – marketing tool available.

For marketers and communicators social media is proving effective at reinforcing an organisation’s brand, understanding and capturing customer feedback, and creating and sharing information across communities of interest. Organisations can take advantage of similar technologies to create their own custom community experiences.

Recognising the importance of this trend, Intergen has invited Andreas Stjernström from Swedish enterprise software company EPiServer to New Zealand. He will highlight the reasons why developing a community is important, and give real world examples of organisations that have successfully created and maximised the benefits of online communities.

Intended as an introduction to online community development, these free events are targeted at:
- Organisations that are currently creating or are looking to create or sponsor an online community.
- Agencies who want to offer your customers options for taking advantage of social media.
- Marketers and communicators who are looking for new mediums to communicate your organisation’s value proposition.

Events are scheduled on the following dates:
Wellington Wednesday 5 November, Level 7, 126 Lambton Quay – 4.30pm-6pm
Christchurch Thursday 6 November, Level 2, 158 Hereford Street, 8am – 9.30am
Auckland Friday 7 November, Level 2, 15 Huron Street, Takapuna – 12.30pm – 2pm

To register for these free events, email .

Evidence that there were Apple iPhone devices connected to Telecom New Zealand

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Oct-2008 16:42

I think this is evidence that at some time there was at least one iPhone connected to Telecom New Zealand - before their GSM network even entered the world.

Let's see how long before we can get our WCDMA/HSDPA from Telecom...

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 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 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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