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Now I need to install Microsoft Office Communicator

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Nov-2007 12:10

I was invited to attend the Microsoft Unified Communications 2007 launch here in Auckland. The day started with a media brief where Microsoft GM Unified Communications Kim Akers gave us an overview of the technology and drivers behind the current push into the unified market.

We also heard from Nortel and HP about their delivery capabilities, and all sounds really cool... I have been waiting for a consistent "unified" approach to communications for years - back at Unisys I was the architect for a couple of projects involving desktop VoIP, voice mail and web integration but this launch today is really something beyond that - very exciting seeing all this finally coming together.

The Microsoft Unified Communications suite includes Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsft Office Communications Server, Microsoft Office Communicator and Microsoft Live Meeting. And of course Nortel, HP and others are providing services and products that complement the platform. 

After the briefing we all got some bags with documents and product information but Nortel went beyond and provided each one of us with the new LG-Nortel IP USB Phone 8501 (pictured).

Now I have to get the software from MSDN to try it... And since the LG-Nortel phone only works with Microsoft Communicator I managed to get a second handset from a journalist who couldn't see himself using it - cool.

I know AnywhereExchange was running a trial of Exchange Server Outlook Voice Access. I wonder if they will be providing a hosted Office Communications Server product? We currently use VoIP in our home and home office and it would be great integrating all our communications resources - specially since I am travelling so much these days.

Attending Mobius in Amsterdam

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Nov-2007 11:43

I am attending the Microsoft Unified Communications launch in Auckland today and I have just realised my trip to Amsterdam starts Monday, not Friday week as I was thinking. Less time to do things before I leave New Zealand!

I will be attending the Mobius conference in Amsterdam:

Mobius is an invitation-only community of the world's most influential technology pundits and online writers. The collective insights, opinions and influence of Mobius drives market trends, industry buzz and the buying behavior of people worldwide. Mobians interact behind the scenes with companies big and small to shape the direction of devices, services, pricing, design and the culture of consumer technology.

Mobius is about a never-ending conversation where Microsoft plays a hands-off facilitator role for periodic events and discussions about a broad-range of technology issues, mobile devices and consumer electronics.

But beyond any sponsor, Mobius is simply a community of people who support each other as they follow topics related to the mobility landscape.

This sounds exciting, and it's the first time I am attending it. I will be meeting some old friends and geting to know new people.

Most of the sessions are not covered by a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) so I will be able to blog about the experience during the conference. I know we have HTC, Qualcomm and others already aligned to drive sessions, gather the group's feedback and more.

My trip is being partially funded by Microsoft Corp.

Geekzone is now running Windows Server 2008 RC

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Nov-2007 14:57

This has been a long project! A few months back I was talking to Darryl Burling during one of our weekly coffee meetings  and he asked "why don't you try running Geekzone on Windows Server 2008?"...

Indeed why not.

After asking around and receiving some good feedback I decided to apply for the Go Live licence and install Windows Server 2008 in our servers.

I really wanted to test it beforehand. Thanks to Acronis I was able to duplicate the exact Geekzone environment (Windows Server 2003) and run it as a virtual machine under Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.

On this virtual machine I tried the migration to SQL 2005 and the upgrade to Windows Server 2008.

I tested it during three weeks, finding some problems during the experiment - breaking things, restoring the virtual HD file and trying again.

After all those tests I finally had the confidence to go for it on the real box. The total upgrade took about two hours on the actual machine (a dual proc Xeon 3 GHz box).

My first impression is how responsive the UI is. Also it looks like Windows Vista in many aspects and it's easy to use. There are some new features that I will be trying soon. The next thing I notice is that pages are actually faster now - to create and load.

For Microsoft this is another showcase: Geekzone is now one of the top 15 New Zealand websites in number of unique browsers, which is a good traffic to try the new OS.

The plan now I to leave the server alone for a couple of weeks, to allow it to "settle down" and make sure we don't run into anything strange on the standard install.

NEC Technology showcase in Wellington (including NGN)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 19-Nov-2007 11:08

I just got an invitation and I am happy to pass this along: NEC will be showcasing its technology as part of its 25th year in New Zealand.

The show includes guest speakers from Japan, Australia and NZ providing an insight into the latest global technological developments with a series of short presentations in the morning on NGN (the next generation network and its impact on the telecomms industry in NZ), the Virtual PC Centre (NEC's thin client solution), and the increasing use of biometric technology including digital fingerprinting, facial recognition and intelligent video. 

There will be a light lunch and then a showcase - they will even have the PaPeRo robot (pictured) coming from Japan to pay us a visit!

Register on-line for the showcase (22th November, in Wellington). Look for me there if you are attending!

AMD Spider: overclocking

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Nov-2007 17:29

Yet another AMD Spider video, this time showing how easy it is to overclock the platform. The overclocking was done on the standard AMD Spider platform (AMD Phenom processors, ATI Radeon HD 3800 series discreet graphics and AMD 7-Series chipsets):

UPDATE: check the platform demo video too...

AMD Spider platform video

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-Nov-2007 14:04

I got this video from a blogger friendly contact at AMD. The video shows the new AMD Spider platform - worth watching it:

The platform combines AMD Phenom processors, ATI Radeon HD 3800 series discreet graphics and AMD 7-Series chipsets.

Next week I will be attending an AMD Spider Webinar hosted by Patrick Moorhead, vice president of Advanced Marketing for AMD. He will explain the features of the AMD Spider and provide live demonstrations.

UPDATE: check the overclocking video too...

The justification for the terrorism raids (NZ)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Nov-2007 09:05

Keep reading on if you are interested in local (national) politics. This is not a technical post.

The Dominion Post has published the evidence New Zealand police has presented to justify the raids based on the Terrorism Suppresion Act.

It is simply incredible that someone living in New Zealand says things like this:

Suspect tells another it would be good to kill Pakeha to get trainees used to killing. Also suggests making their own tracer ammunition and using tungsten projectiles to go through a "cop vest" and through "his f...... mate".
Bug in vehicle, recorded April 6, 2007.

"Get someone to assassinate the prime minister, the new one, next year's one. Just been in office five days, bang ... Yeah. John Key ... just drop a bomb ... Just wait till he visits somewhere and just blow them ... They won't even find you."
Two suspects in bugged vehicle, August 17, 2007.

"They want to start blowing shit up. You know, they want to blow up power plants, gas plants, Telecom, petrol f...... places and shit like that."

Two suspects in bugged vehicle, June 23, 2007.

"You know like the IRA in England ... it's gonna happen here ... I'm ready to die, mate. I'm gonna hurt this country, I've had a gutsful ... I wanna leave this planet making sure that I've done a f...... huge amount of harm to this country."

Suspect recorded on bugged phone, May 26, 2006.

"It'd have to be a, some sort of f......, sudden f......, because what it'll do, it'll come down on the thinking of the people, they'll think it's al Qaeda ... It's gotta be sudden and it's gotta be brutal."
Other suspect says: "Don't piss around with cities or doing the bush thing ... just go to Parliament."

Two suspects in bugged vehicle, August 17, 2007.

"No, I'm teaming up with the Maoris, we have to ... I'll come and see ya, I can't f...... take the white man on without the c...s ... I'm declaring war on this country."

Bugged cellphone, May 22, 2007.

"There's about 10 manuals ... There's the al Qaeda manual and that's f...... good. That's right up to date."
Later another suspect says: "That last exercise was a bit freaky for me, having a gun in my back."
Response: "High level of secrecy, we needed, you know, we need to test people."

Bugged training camp room, June 23, 2007.

Suspect X tells Suspect Y he is tired of playing games. Suspect Y says they need good planning so they don't die on the first day. Both worry about the enemy within their ranks and talk about needing 20 small squads, such as in Iraq, carrying out their own missions.

There you go. Read the full thing on Dominion Post's The Terrorism Files. Here's the editorial with the justification for publishing the files. Agreed with this:

That is more than empty talk. Police needed to treat that seriously and needed to investigate. To do anything less would have been to fail in their duty to protect New Zealanders. We believe that the police were right to act.

However, we also believe the public has the right to make its own judgment on the police's credibility, and to do that it needs as much information as possible, within the bounds of the law and within the bounds of fairness to all those involved. That is why we decided to publish.


How to get Geekzone up to date information

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 13-Nov-2007 15:51

Sometimes I am surprised to see how many people frequent our Geekzone Forums but don't realise we have news, reviews and others sections on Geekzone.

To make it easier for people to get up to date information from Geekzone, here is a handy list of features you can use:

Homepage: Yes, visit our Geekzone homepage!

RSS Feeds: We have lots of RSS feeds. The main Geekzone RSS feed provides updated information on the latest articles posted on the site Then we have a Geekzone Blogs RSS feed with all blogs posted by our users. In addition, each individual forum has its own RSS feed, so you can keep an eye on those discussion that interest you most.

Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget: If you run Windows Vista you can then keep an eye on all forum discussions as they happen with our Geekzone Gadget for Windows Vista Sidebar.

Geekzone Friends for Windows Mobile: Lots of Geekzone Friends? Follow the discussions, group messages and more using the Geekzone Friends for Windows Mobile client. In addition, visit your Geekzone profile page and grab the private RSS feeds.

FeedBlitz: You can receive a daily e-mail with new Geekzone items by subscribing to our FeedBlitz e-mail (sample)

Windows Live: We have a custom Geekzone Windows Live page with the latest information that you can add to your personal Windows Live starter page.

Windows Live Alerts: sign up to receive Geekzone notifications via Messenger or e-mail when a new article is posted on Geekzone. If you correctly configure your MSN Mobile account you can even receive a SMS when new articles come up on Geekzone!

And for the more social network inclined between us:

Twitter: Check the Geekzone Twitter feed.

Jaiku: Check the Geekzone Jaiku feed.

Facebook: Check the Geekzone Facebook group - no updates there, but a growing community of Geekzone users from around the world.

Microsoft no longer blocking GMail accounts from Live ID

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 13-Nov-2007 15:45

Last week I was alerted by a friend about Microsoft not allowing accounts when registering for a Live ID using an existing e-mail address.

I contacted Microsoft during the weekend and was informed that this was not their intention and it was the result of some wrong configuration.

I have just been informed - and confirmed - that are no longer blocked and can be used as a Live ID when registered through their site through the option to use an existing e-mail address.

All in all a very good and quick response from the Microsoft Windows Live team.


By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 13-Nov-2007 09:36

This is interesting... It looks like Microsoft allows some customisation of its portal. I found through referrals to Geekzone that PC manufacturer Lenovo is offering a Lenovo-branded site (

There aren't or though.

This is interesting because those subdomains are in general reserved for services (,,, and so on).

UPDATE: I found out that Lenovo and Microsoft have a deal since March 2007 on this (through ArsTechnica).

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.

Here's is my full disclosure post.

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