Tag Archives: microsoft

Baring your soul to Clippy →

In response to an XKCD strip about an insular community born from a defunct but still active product support forum, Colin Birge shared the story of someone’s touching conversation with Clippy.

Worth reading. I had no idea responses to Clippy were monitored.

Microsoft: Tasmania secedes from Australia – istartedsomething

kinect-rollout

Microsoft’s map graphics, which are known to be highly accurate, highlights that while the Kinect for Windows hardware is currently available in mainland Australia, it is neither available in Tasmania or coming soon.

via Microsoft: Tasmania secedes from Australia – istartedsomething.

Seems like Microsoft has updated the original article with an updated (read: more accurate) map. Grabbed this from a MetroTwit developer’s blog.

A month with some Windows Phone 7, er… phones

I’m in the privileged position where I can buy whatever the fuck I like. No kids […] and no debt – just disposable income and a bloodlust for gadgets. Some people smoke, do drugs, drink booze, gamble, go out, whatever. I like buying electronics I have no use for, other than to say “I’ve used that”, and to be able to throw my opinion into nerdly discussions with some sort of authority. The pinnacle of this is my T-Hub – currently acting as a glorified clock in the living room.

via Anthony – An Apple loving nerd from Melbourne.

* give or take a few days

Pretty much this. It’s not that don’t like having money, but what use is money if I can’t do anything with it? This way, my “bloodlust for gadgets” — as Anthony so eloquently puts is — is satisfied and no one gets hurt in the process. Win-win, really.

I don’t know quite how it happened, but at some point during the last month I managed to acquire not one, but two Windows Phone 7 Phones; a HTC 7 Mozart and a Dell Venue Pro. I’ve already written about the hardware of those a little, so this will mostly be about Windows Phone 7 as a platform and how it compares to, say, the iPhone.

Small note before we get into things proper: in the above review of the hardware and intro to Windows Phone 7, I (incorrectly) say that even though the HTC 7 Mozart includes a notification LED, WP7 doesn’t seem to use it. That is just plain untrue — it just doesn’t flash for things like unread emails or messages. It’ll definitely flash for missed calls though, but whether the notification LED is a standard thing or something HTC has tacked on still remains to be seen.

The next small note before I start giving you opinions on stuff: I used the release of Windows Phone 7 called NoDo (7390), as well as the as-yet-unreleased (to the public, anyway) Mango (7712) for my evauluations. Besides Twitter integration, groups, and threaded messages across communication platforms, there is little else that I discovered in terms of differences between the two. There may be a few little changes between the developer beta 2 refresh of Mango and the final, carrier-released version, but your mileage may vary.

Final small note: if you haven’t read Lukas Mathis’ excellent Windows Phone 7 write-up, you should go read that. I echo a few of his points here, but he also looks at WP7 from a usability perspective (something I don’t do much of here).

Windows Phone 7 Phones

If you’re ready to get this show on the road, take a deep breath, and read on.

Continue Reading →

Microsoft confirms 17-year-old Windows bug

Microsoft late yesterday issued its second advisory of the last week, warning users that a 17-year-old bug in the kernel of all 32-bit versions of Windows could be used by hackers to hijack PCs.

[…]

The VDM subsystem was added to Windows with the July 1993 release of Windows NT, Microsoft's first fully 32-bit operating system. VDM allows Windows NT and later to run DOS and 16-bit Windows software.

via Microsoft confirms 17-year-old Windows bug.

Yesterday, as in the day before January 21.

Apologies for all the old news – I’m clearing out some archives/”to-blog” sections of different places, and when that content is time-dependent, well, I’m sure you’ll get over it.

How to get along with geeks: A seven-point guide

#2 You’re in the Windows or Mac camp

There’s no room for indifference when it comes to being a Mac fan or a Windows defendant. To be less biased about it, you need to be in one camp or the other. And this isn’t a battle waged only by die-hard Mac fanbois and girls – both Apple and Microsoft have run million-dollar campaigns based around the meme. (See the YouTube clip above.) It is still possible to be a Windows fan and own an iPhone, just make sure you bitch about its poor battery life. And often.

via How to get along with geeks: A seven-point guide | Article | The Punch.

Mac funnies – MacTalk Forums

Three Microsoft engineers and three Apple employees are travelling by train to a computer conference. At the station, the three Microsoft engineers each buy tickets and watch as the three Apple employees buy only a single ticket.
“How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?” asks a Microsoft engineer. “Watch and you`ll see,” answers the Apple employee.
They all board the train. The Microsoft engineers take their respective seats, but all three Apple employees cram into a restroom and close the door behind them.
Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and says, “Ticket, please.” The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes the ticket and moves on.
The Microsoft engineers saw this and agreed it was quite a clever idea. So after the conference, the Microsoft engineers decide to do the same on the return trip and save some money.
When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the Apple employees don`t buy any ticket, at all.
“How are you going to travel without a ticket?” asks one perplexed Microsoft engineer.
“Watch and you`ll see,” answers an Apple employee.
When they board the train the three Microsoft engineers cram into a restroom and the three Apple employees cram into another one nearby. The train departs.
Shortly afterward, one of the Apple employees leaves his restroom and walks over to the restroom where the Microsoft engineers are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, “Ticket, please…”

via Mac funnies – Page 4 – MacTalk Forums.

On Firefox 3.5, HTML 5, and The Third Great Format War…

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have noticed that Firefox 3.5 was released.

With it, came the mainstream acceptance of HTML 5, the new web standard – and as a direct result of that, XHTML is effectively dead.

What’s most interesting about HTML 5 is the new <video> tag, however – allowing web content people (what’s their name again?) to embed videos directly without using clunky <object> or <embed> tags.

About time, too. Video is now more prevalent than ever on the internet, and the widespread usage of sites such as YouTube just goes to show just how popular such sites are. Even Flickr, a primarily still-photo based site, are now incorporating video features into their lineup.

Now, about this format war…

So the story goes a little like this…

Right now, the common way to include video on the web is by use of Flash, a closed-source technology. The answer to this is the HTML5 video tag, which allows you to embed video into HTML pages without the use of Flash or any other non-HTML technology; combined with open video codecs, this could provide the perfect opportunity to further open up and standardize the web.

via Slashdot.

The problem lies in which codec they’re going to use for this video. Mozilla, along with the rest of the open-source community, think it should be something open-source, such as the Ogg Theora codec which is based on open-source standards. The issue is that not all parties in the browser war agrees – Apple and Microsoft, in particular are against the move to use an open-source codec. Being the large corporations that they are, they want to use their own patented codecs. As they’re not a small portion of the browser market, Mozilla can’t simply ignore them and implement Ogg as the primary codec for the <video> tag in HTML5 (paraphrased from Slashdot comments).

So the question is: why don’t all the parties do what Chrome is doing and just support both proposed formats (H.264 and Ogg Theora) at the same time? In my opinion, this would undoubtedly be the way to go. The issue here is that “Safari won’t support Ogg Theora and Firefox and Opera won’t support H.264 — doesn’t mean you can’t support all three browsers. It just means that to support all three, you need to include at least two <source> elements within the <video> tag, one pointing to an H.264-encoded file, the other to an Ogg Theora file” (thanks to John Gruber for that one.)

That having been said and done, pleas enjoy the video below, whichever browser you happen to be using 🙂

Okay, scratch that idea. Either I just fail at using the <video> tag, or WordPress doesn’t like it, or something. I can play video just fine on the Firefox demo page, but Firefox itself doesn’t seem to want to play ogg video from any page that I create. I’ll just go now…

A Week Without Apple – Day Two, A Lesson in Understanding

Now there are many things Mac OS X does better than Windows 7 and vice-versa. I’m not taking advantage of either OS and it’s features. I’m sure Windows 7 has lots more up it’s sleeve than I know about. Ditto Mac OS X – I know I don’t use all the things in Mac OS X like I should because I’m too lazy to seek it out. The aim of this experiment isn’t to choose a winner, or declare Mac OS X THE BEST OS EVAR SCREW YOU MICRO$OFT! It’s to see what Windows is, how it works, what it does and what it does differently. Everyone’s computer use is different, so you need to make up your own mind as to whether Windows 7 or Mac OS X is for you. It’s great to have competition and choice. Windows 7 is way better than I expected and very competent.

[…]

So while the HP is much cheaper, has better specs, a built in card reader, HDMI and digital TV, loads more ports and a snazzy webcam, it has some real livability faults. The LCD is rubbish and even a layman can tell it looks awful, it’s that poor. The trackpad is virtually useless with it’s total lack of glide. If the screen was slightly higher quality and the trackpad not so crappy, it would be a vastly better experience. I’m actually confused as to why HP sent me this laptop to replace the MBP. The MBP retails for $3,199 – you’d think they’d send something a bit more upmarket.

via A Week Without Apple – Day Two, A Lesson in Understanding | MacTalk Australia.

I concur wholeheartedly.

This is why I use a Mac – even though I’m more than proficient at using both either/all OSs well.