David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  

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  • Steve from Sytec saw me …

    Steve sent me this earlier in December, but I thought it was worth sharing. Here is the photo he took: ttfn David Technorati Tags: David Overton , Overton , Personal , UK Train Stations
  • Star Wars Clone Wars and Robot Chicken both rock

      and  This weekend I finally got to see Star Wars The Clone Wars and while my Star Wars sensibilities were offended for the 1st 5 minutes (the voices are different and my eyes had to get used to the new visuals), but once I had done so both Molly and I really enjoyed the film. If you like simple fun, then you should also look at the Clones Vs Droids Game at http://www.clonesvdroids.com/ .  It is very simple, move your troops around, plan your shots and then see if your shots work, assuming your opponent moves too.  I have to say it took a few goes to master when playing against real opponents as first they moved than I had expected and then they actually jumped onto my “side” – something I was not prepared for!  Have a go, it is fun!     Finally, on my Star Wars-tastic adventure there is Robot Chicken.  This short DVD is based on the former works of Robot Chicken – the stop motion animation group take their normal themes and apply them to Star Wars.  I really, really...
  • Life at Microsoft - another comical parody of life in the big machine!

    I saw this and thought I had to share. While not as funny as some, still worth watching. For the record, no-one has ever thrown money at me! Look for the Jedi master mind tricks (failing) at about 4 mins. Life At Microsoft - The Truth Revealed Life At Microsoft - The Truth Revealed People often stop me in the streets to ask "Hey Tina, what's life "really" like at Microsoft? Sometimes I can't even walk outside my house without somebody standing there with a giant neon sign that blinks "What is life "really" like at Microsoft"? Instead of answering every individual separately and so you can save your money on those neon signs. I decided to create a video that would answer that simple yet complex question. I want to throw out a special high-five to the following because without them and a lot of beer this video never would have happened. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , humour , fun , Star Wars
  • How to do mapping on a mobile device or laptop without GPS, earn money while contributing to the project and mapping the world using GPS, mobile cell and WiFi access points (Navizon Peer-to-Peer Wireless Positioning system is the product)

    I've started looking at this application and found it better than I had hoped. It is simple - it triangulates your position using Wifi and phone cells and emulates a GPS should you need it for another application. It also uses GPS to capture the settings from the other two items and give them a more accurate placement, so learning information about masts, power etc. So, I've been using this to map my common routes and earn points (*which has just changed as a process), but in a week I've earn't 3274 points and I have not been driving every day and my trips have been short. Once I earn 10,000 points I get $20 courtesy of PayPal. I expect to get a significant amount of those points today on my 2 hours drive to a partner and back. I can also earn points by getting an award for signing people up and them doing the same as me. To sign up for this, go to http://my.navizon.com/Webapps/UserAdmin/register.aspx?referral_code=5D565A5E5C5E which includes my reference code (5D565A5E5C5E). Being referred by...
  • How they said "Happy Holidays!" to Star Wars fans in 1977

    Well, it is now over 30 years since Star Wars made me realise that there is more to life and that doing the right thing was something to fight for. However, just as a bit of nostalgia, here is a little posting from the Community Pages sharing how Happy Christmas (non-PC version) was done 30 years ago "Happy Holidays!" Love, 1977 December 21, 2007 Thirty years ago next week, 20th Century Fox began running a newspaper ad for the 1977 holiday season which offered seasons greetings from several Star Wars characters. Even our favorite Grand Moff and Sith Lord offered their best -- we'll chalk that up to New Year's resolutions. Star Wars: Community | "Happy Holidays!" Love, 1977 ttfn David Technorati Tags: Star Wars , Happy Christmas
  • Kids TV Quiz, Original artwork and Times Online. Take the 15 question Quick and see who you are - I was Dangermouse and there is also the ability to win some Dangermouse original artwork!!

    I was invited by Russell Singler of the The Animation Art Gallery to go look at TimesOnline for a quiz and competition to win some of his artwork . I found a discount code for the next ten days that gives 10% off of his work and this fun quiz ( www.timesonline.co.uk/kidstv ) Good grief! You really are Dangermouse Have you been known to loiter around a particular post box in Mayfair? Your character bears a striking resemblance to DM himself, the Chief, the greatest super hero in the world, that most debonair of rodents with the mysterious eye patch. You're obviously as brave as a lion, or even a white mouse. You're as cunning as a cat, (or a white mouse). And you can even do impressive yoga poses while balancing on one finger. Whilst you may be the best thing in the secret service since 001, you're not shy in letting people know all about your dazzling skills. What you really need is a timid assistant to boss about – oh shush Penfold… For the 10% discount at Russell's store, which includes some...
  • CES (Computer Electronics Show) is coming and Microsoft will be there. Want to learn more and watch the keynote...

    I love CES. Yes, it is not business oriented, but it is great to see what everyone / anyone is doing in the consumer end of the market. Microsoft have a little silverlight site for people to find out more: This site can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/ces/ :-) Notice the areas we will be talking about at the bottom of the screen shot - Windows Vista, Xbox 360, Zune, Office, Windows Live, Windows Mobile and Games for Windows... rock on!! You can find links to more information, more ways to view etc at http://www.istartedsomething.com/20080105/bill-gates-ces-2008-keynote/ ttfn David (still officially on holiday)
  • Happy New Year and 1tb drive failures

    I've managed to not blog for a week, which I think is a miracle for me and I am also enjoying the freedom of not working or doing anything too strenuous for the brain. I did think it was worth saying "Happy New Year" to you all and to say that I will be back. On the technology front I had fitted my system under my desk with an additional 1TB of storage to enable further file duplication, however this USB Storage Device has caused more system hiccups than it was worth, so it will be being resigned to another less strategic use in the home - I'm just not sure exactly what yet :-) Have a great New Year and see you when I get back to work on the 7th January. Its been fun doing this for another year. ttfn David
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  • Happy Christmas - see the Santa Cam to see where he has been

    I Love Santa Claus!! I was thrilled to hear Jonathan Ross announce that he had entered British air space. You can see all the Santa cam videos at http://youtube.com/view_play_list?p=26B9B2ACB4AAC849 . One that caught my eye was his visit to the International Space Station: ttfn and a Merry Christmas David Technorati Tags: Christmas , Santa Cam , Santa Claus
  • Silverlight, the UK PR company and Christmas greetings

    I'm enjoying the festive spirit at the moment - the home is well lit and I am officially off from work (officially because I still do a bit here and there). I'm off to the cinema with one of my daughters today and plan to spend some of the afternoon wrapping presents too. What more could one ask for? Well, how about Mason Zimbler writing their seasons greeting card in Silverlight? Well, if it was, then another of my Christmas wishes has been granted . It is quite nice to see a PR company taking the mickey out of themselves a bit, but they are British I suppose!! http://mason-zimbler.com/festivegreetings/ As always, enjoy the holidays David Technorati Tags: Silverlight , Christmas , Personal
  • Happy Christmas from Microsoft UK and me (ok, so it says Seasons Greetings, but I think we all can take it to be something about having a nice break if you choose to celebrate it)

    The card itself can be found at the site http://www.seasonal-greetings.com/ , but since this is a nice little Silverlight card I thought I would try my hand at embedding it too, so below is an embedded version of the card. If this gives you problems, let me know. If you feel inclined you can click the NSPCC link and think about how to support them (I do, but so could you) [updated to change Silverlight embedded card to a link since this is now post Christmas] ttfn David Technorati Tags: Seasons Greatings , Happy Christmas , NSPCC , Microsoft
  • Photos, photography, JPEG XR, Photosynth, the future of photography and Seadragons - why all the excitement?

    It's funny working in an industry where if you are not going at 50,000 miles an hour you are considered to be standing still. One area where Microsoft is speeding along is photography. In this post I will explore the announcements, the demos, short and long term products and then the future that lots of people are beginning to see. For me, the fact that people are already seeing such a future and its possibilities is very exciting (both the visions and the fact they are having them without drugs!! (humour)) Look at the recent events: Raw photo support in 2005 - Microsoft and Imaging Industry Leaders Unveil Support for Digital Photo HD (which some people thought was a JPEG killer.. tut tut) - HD Photo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia JPEG XR - JPEG committee supports Photo HD as next gen JPEG TrustedReviews - Official Jpeg Successor Is Microsoft's HD Photo Now this is all very nice, but so what - a better format for bigger pictures, that could be a bit like FAT disks getting FAT32 format, but it is not...
  • When digging holes in the garden, watch out for suspicious objects... it might mean you have to get the bomb squad out!!

    It was a rare weekend, I had agreed to do some digging in my parents garden to put up two arches. Some of you will know my dad - Derek Overton from various SBSC events. They live just over the way from a piece of MOD land that used to be used for all sorts of things and bangs were not unusual. Anyway, we were drilling into the ground when we hit something that should not be there - it was tubular and metallic. Having joked a bit that "who knows what it could be when around here" Dad decided to call the police. They arrived, examined it, decided since one of them used to be in the army that it could be dangerous, so calls were made to the bomb squad. The bomb squad said it sounded potentially hazardous, so came for a visit :-) The neighbours were obviously quite interested when we had 2, then 3 police cars out the front of the house and finally the bomb squad van and army folk. Finally, several hours after the 1st phone call the object was declared safe and that it had not ever have been a threat, but...
  • David and others, slightly drunk, speaking poetry on the South Bank

    This is just a silly post, but thought I would share: Of course, not wanting to do it alone, many others also joined in. Did I mention that we were standing on our chairs at a bar under the bridge with a lot of confused people around us? - Matt Brady was very animated in his performance - Stephie shows us that the Scottish have romantic hearts - Danny picked the shortest poem. but picked on people as "characters" - Steve Clayton decided to do a duet with Stephanie who found it all a bit too much
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  • Star Wars art work from Celebration Europe

    While I was at Star Wars Celebration Europe I managed to spend quite a bit of my unearned bonus on bits of "art". Some I will put pride of place on my wall, others will go in a tube because I don't have enough wall space. Here is what I bought (I just photographed them and then used a tool to remove the perspective from the photos, but don't expect print quality images): From Steven D Anderson the "Dark Avenger" poster, signed by him and one of 250 (11 / 250) and the little post card of the two ladies with blasters. Next up was Joe Corroney - I love his work especially since he also does some of the Star Wars comics. He has a web site http://JoeCorroney.com and his Star Wars blog can be found at http://blogs.starwars.com/joecorroney/70 . As you can see from the pictures on the left, I was lucky enough to not only get number 20 of 250 from his collection, but also the ORIGINAL PENCIL drawing that made this great poster. WOW, amazing and top. This is my best treasure from this event....
  • Star Wars Celebration Europe - How I got to re-shoot the Imperial storming of the Tantive IV and the final movie

    OK, so still need to do a all up post, but before I do, here is how I got to re-make the video. One item at the event was part of the set for the Tantive IV. The nice director and actors explained how shooting from different angles and by swapping bits out the set could be made to look even bigger etc. They then asked for 6 volunteers to be the "rebels" who die in this shoot. I was lucky enough to be picked, so off I went to wardrobe (yes, a proper costume maker, costumes and props). I quickly put on my rebel uniform with my 5 hapless colleagues and off we went to be briefed. We had to shoot 3 scenes and then these were to be edited into the original film, Scene 1- Running down the corridor toward the place we expect the imperials to board. while we are running, an explosion will rock us back (you have to act the explosion) and then on we go. Scene 2 - Run into position, line up your sites, then look above and back as you hear a noise and wonder what it is, then focus again on the big door. We had all...
  • Live Earth Concerts - playback available, plus the "how it was made with MSN"

    On Saturday, 7/07/07, MSN sponsored Live Earth, The Concert for a Climate in Crisis . This 24-hour global event featured more than 150 of the world’s top bands performing on all seven continents, with concerts in Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Istanbul, London, New York, and other cities around the world. There have been many, many critics of the Live Earth concert ("all the pop stars traveling leaves a huge carbon footprint" , "there was not 2 billion people watching", "why should we believe the pop stars", " climate change is not real, not even the scientists can agree "), but even if the world is not about to blow up, surely being better to the planet is good for us, great for our children and sometimes a matter of survival for other people and animals in the more extreme climates. If you have missed everything that Live Earth was about, go have a look at the SoapBox video here . An interesting blog on the whole should we shouldn't we explore these types of events can be...
  • The BBC has been using Microsoft research technology to do some AMAZING photo "things" with Photosynth

    No point in me buttering this up, but if you want to see what can be done in 3D with a "bunch of snaps".... I've been really excited about Photosynth since it was first publicly demo'ed about a year ago. But now you can go and play with it yourself and explore some of Britain's most striking buildings along the way. Photosynth is (for my money) the most exciting thing to happen to digital photography in a long time. And to show it off Microsoft has teamed up with the BBC to offer the previews at http://labs.live.com/photosynth/bbc/ . Prepare to be amazed! It's eerily good. The UsefulTechnology Blog: Photosynth in all its glory ttfn David Technorati Tags: Photosync , bbc
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  • The Windows Vista and Office Consumer and Small Business Launch - 30th Jan, The British Library, London, UK.... and some demos you MUST run to understand what ISVs will do with Windows Vista.. and a couple of case studies

    Finally the day has come and the rest of us (well, you - but I felt that excited anyway) without a Volume License (or if you work at Microsoft) could get and use Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System (known as Office from here on in). The British Library was chosen as two Leonardo De Vinci codices were being brought together for the 1st time in over 500 years. One was owned by the British Library and the other by Bill Gates, who appeared in person to launch the event. These books, plus other treasures from the British Library can be accessed and downloaded from http://www.bl.uk - I've put some info on how to demo it at British Library Demo of Vista and the Windows Presentation Foundation and the Windows Vista Magazine have put their copy in the same format http://wpf.windowsvistamagazine.co.uk/ttpdownload/browserapp.xbap . As always I would like to thanks everyone involved - the partners and their customers who helped to shape and deliver Windows Vista and Office and the Windows and Office teams who put up...
  • Problems with Girlfriend 1.0 (&1.2), Fiancee 1.0 and Wife 1.0

    Again, this was sent to me by my good lady. This was sent to me by my wife as 2 of 2. The other one can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/01/16/problems-with-boyfriend-5-0-husband-1-0-and-nagging-5-3-humour.aspx Dear Technical Support, 18 months ago, I upgraded to Girlfriend 1.0 from DrinkingMates 4.2 , which I had used for years without any trouble. However, there are apparently conflicts between these two products and the only solution was to try and run Girlfriend 1.0 with the sound turned off. To make matters worse, Girlfriend 1.0 is incompatible with several other applications, such as LadsNightOut 3.1 , Football 4.5 , and Playboy 6.9 .Successive versions of GirlFriend proved no better. I tried a shareware program, Slapper 2.1 , but it had many bugs and left a virus in my system, forcing me to shut down completely for several weeks. Eventually, I tried to run GirlFriend 1.2 and Girlfriend 1.0 at the same time, only to discover that when these two systems detected each other they...
  • Problems with Boyfriend 5.0, Husband 1.0 and Nagging 5.3 (Humour)

    This was sent to me by my wife as 1 of 2. The other one can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/01/17/problems-with-girlfriend-1-0-amp-1-2-fiancee-1-0-and-wife-1-0.aspx Dear Tech Support: Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in the overall performance, particularly in the Flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0. In addition, Husband 1.0 un-installed many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed undesirable programs such as: Football 5.0 , Rugby 4.3 and Cricket 3.0 . Conversation 8.0 no longer runs; it simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, to no avail. What can I do? Signed, Desperate ************************************************************* Dear Desperate: First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System. Try entering the command: C:/I-THOUGHT-YOU...
  • A bit late (from me, not the team), but Happy New Year

    Our nice Partner Group in the UK wanted to say Happy New Year.. http://blogs.msdn.com/ptstv/archive/2007/01/04/partner-tv-happy-new-year-from-the-uk-partner-group.aspx ttfn and have a great year. David

(c)David Overton 2006-18