My window to the world

Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview updated

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Mar-2006 16:45

Directly from the MIX 06 conference (which I am not attending because the dates are too close to my daughter's expected arrival): Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview update. This version will run only on Windows XP Pro Service Pack 2.

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...

Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Mar-2006 23:13

Are you reading this blog? I am sure you are. So, I expect you to post a comment to this entry, and after 24 hours from the original post I will draw two or three licenses of Microsoft Windows Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition.

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!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Mar-2006 09:16

Today I visited 10, the wannabe on-line tech tv show, with two cute-looking hostesses that seem to be always screaming to the camera and microphone. And run by Microsoft.

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."
Ok, great Digg material, and wonderful stuff for Scoble to hype. Boring. Next?

How a Zeeland-based company launched the cubicle and created the office space

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 19-Mar-2006 10:43

Office cubicle

A very interesting article on Fortune will make office workers, Dilbert readers, and Office Space fans shiver when thinking of the time spent in cubicles at work.

The article tells us the cubicle was the brainchild of Bob Propst, who had joined a furniture and office company called Herman Miller, based in Zeeland, Mich (not to be confused with good old New Zealand folks!). 

Originally dubbed Action Office, Propst's system was designed to increase productivity. Productivity would rise if people could see more of their work spread out in front of them, not just stacked in an in-box. The new system included plenty of work surfaces and display shelves; partitions were a part of it, intended to provide privacy and places to pin up works in process. The Action Office even included varying desk levels to enable employees to work part of the time standing up, thereby encouraging blood flow and staving off exhaustion.

"The Action Office wasn't conceived to cram a lot of people into little space," says Joe Schwartz, Herman Miller's former marketing chief, who helped launch the system in 1968. "It was driven that way by economics."

Check the full article on Fortune, and read about the move from cubicle to work mobility. And a good slideshow of office cubicles across the years.

PS. Did I say I have an autographed book from Scott Adams? Years ago I bought an electronic copy of one of his books and it didn't work on the Palm device I had back then. I sent him an e-mail saying what was wrong, and a few days later I got a hardcopy of this book, with a Dogbert cartoon and an autograph. Cool!

Image: © Photographer: Dennis Cox | Agency: 

Microsoft redesigns the Apple iPod box

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 18-Mar-2006 18:55

According to this animation was created by Microsoft as a parody: "It was an internal-only video clip commissioned by our packaging [team] to humorously highlight the challenges we have faced RE: packaging and to educate marketers here about the pitfalls of packaging/branding", said Microsoft spokesman Tom Pilla.


Airline companies can think of anything to squeeze money

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Mar-2006 08:41

I remember a few years ago the company I worked for had a policy in place which allowed anyone on flights longer than six hour to request this to be upgraded to business class. Of course, during the late 90s and early 00s the company took this "privilege" out of reach of employees (I am pretty sure top level general managers still had that though). Back to the airlines, a few years ago Air New Zealand introduced the "fuel surcharge". It bothered me all the time because the fuel is part of the cost of operating a transport company, and it should be part of the ticket price presented to the traveller. But how could Air New Zealand (and any other flight operator) present those nice "cheap" fares without the very tiny conditions, including fuel surcharge (you can read more here and here and the NZ Commerce Commision comments in pdf format). Anyway, now it surfaces that Northwest is charging US$15 for the privilege of having a seat in the emergency exit area (those with a little bit more legroom) or an aisle seat. I wonder if they are planning on giving a US$15 discount for those people seating in front of the emergency exits, since those don't recline? How does it link back to my first paragraph? I can see the companies wanting to save some beans will send policies down to HR saying that "people travelling for the company should always take centre or window seats"...

At last, Microsoft Outlook 2007 Works

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Mar-2006 22:07

I just installed Outlook 2007 Technical Beta on my tablet PC, and it seems to be working now. When I first installed the Outlook 12 Beta it would simply create a new offline file (I use Exchange Server 2003 in Cached Mode) and then go into a loop using 100% of the CPU.

When unchecking Cached Mode it would work ok, but crash on application exit.

I installed Outlook 12 Beta, removed it, installed Outlook 2003, rinsed, repeat, a few times, with the same results.

Big frustation settled at the time, because all other software of the Office package (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access) worked well and fast.

I decided to try the new Outlook 2007 Technical Beta, but this time I disabled all add-ins and I also added the whole folder where the .ost file is located into the exclusion list for my anti-virus software.

So far so good. The offline file is created, all operations seem to be working fine, e-mails are flowing nicely.

I am much happier now...

Introducing the Official Geekzone Blog

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Mar-2006 18:42

After some thought I decided to keep this blog a personal space, therefore creating a new space where to post the news, plans, tips and tricks for the Geekzone Blog. So, without delay, here is The Official Geekzone Blog. All posts in this blog that were related to the Geekzone Blog project are now moved to this new Geekzone Blog space. Of course there's a RSS feed for it, and of course it is listed in our aggregated RSS feed, which lists the 50 most recenter posts in all Geekzone Blogs.

"All Marketers are Liars" - Seth Godin speaks at Google

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Mar-2006 16:54

Seth Godin is the author of six bestsellers, including Permission Marketing, an Amazon Top 100 bestseller for a year and a Fortune Best Business Book. His newest book, All Marketers Are Liars, has already made the Amazon Top 100 and has inspired its own blog. This video is part of the Authors@Google series and was recorded during one of his presentations to Google. Worth watching it:

Working from Astoria Cafe

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-Mar-2006 08:40

Some of you already know this, but I work from home, 7am through midnight, with a pause in the afternoon (not necessarily out of the computer area but not necessarily on Geekzone). But working from home has some drawbacks, and the most important thing we miss when working in an office in town is the networking with other people. So I made a point, since I started working from home, to always go to town on Wednesday afternoon, take my Tablet PC with me, set up an "office" on Astoria Cafe and work from there (no free wi-fi, but Cafenet works great anyway). In between cups of coffee I meet people, we talk technology, life, and the universe. We always get to 42 ;-) It now has gotten to the point where I have to go there in the morning sometimes, and stay the whole day. Today for example: my first meeting is at 9:30am, then I have meetings with 15 minutes intervals, finishing at 8pm after the first Office User Group Meeting hosted at Microsoft (which is just upstairs from Astoria). If you are in town on a Wednesday, just contact me and let's meet for a coffee.

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. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

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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