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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  • Blinging Down the House

    I’ve just tweeted on this, but decided to blog on it as well.  The blurb … “During the summer of 2011, the Windows team here in the UK put out the call to all students with tired technology and faded furniture to enter Blinging Down the House. All they needed to do was to ask for help in the form of a simple video entry. The winning entry would then get their technology makeover with the definitive home entertainment setup. “ The winning student was Jack Rose.  He went from this: I like the comments of “and I’ve got man boobs, so the Xbox Kinect would come in handy to exercise” and the line about spreading out the vodka shows thoughtfulness! After all was done he had this: Perfect in time for Christmas – Xbox, 3D TV, tablet and touch screen PC!   ttfn David
  • 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...
  • Want MIX08 in the UK? Then come to ReMix08 in Brighton on 18th and 19th September and save if you book an early bird place now

    I love what goes on at these events. It would be good to see you there. Here is the little advert: Final chance to save £110 . Very limited Early Bird places left - don't say we didn't warn you! 1,000 web developers, designers, development managers and technology evangelists are going to take the media they love to the next level. Why? Because ReMix UK 08 is getting bigger and better. Scott Guthrie Developer Track Bill Buxton Design and UX Track For Designers, Developers, the Community and Beyond Work Julie Howell, Fortune Cookie • Brendan Dawes, Magnetic North • Paul Foster, Microsoft Evangelist • Guy Smith-Ferrier, Capella • Tim Regan, Microsoft Research • Mike Taulty, Microsoft Developer Evangelist See the website for the growing list of speakers... What's in the mix • Panel discussions to Interactive Mash Ups • Designers and developers hand-in-hand to • All day VJs to conceptual walls • Open Source project, CodePlex • Backnetwork to Moo cards • Photosynth master classes to Microsoft Surface • Our...
  • Are you a “Wizard bigot”? So you think that SBS is a poor quality, cut down version of Windows Server? Do you think that SBS admins are small in capability?

    Unfortunately there are people who answer yes to the questions above, so lets get some things straight – if you think that: SBS is bad. There were dark days in the SBS 4.5 and 2000 time (to a small extent) when people thought SBS did not work, did not perform and was clobbered down with stuff that made people hate it. Now Days SBS 2003 is amazing and is built on top of Windows Server 2003 with lots of good stuff extra too. SBS is insecure . SBS is not only as secure as Windows Server 2003, but since most of the work of securing the system is done for you, it stops you missing silly and obvious things. SBS 2003 R2 even ships with WSUS enabled and a system for telling you if your systems are patched (yes, desktop and server). For a fun look, see Hack That! Wizards are for wimps . I don’t understand those people who insist on not using the wizards. Yes, SBS 2003 has all the tools of Windows Server 2003 underneath, but why why configure everything by hand when a wizard will do 1/2 hours work in 1 minutes. If you then...
  • Making peace between web designers and developers - watch the movie

    This is a nice simple cheeky movie: ";" galleryimg="no" mce_src="http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/WindowsLiveWriter/Makingpeacebetweenwebdesignersanddevelop_E257/videofe25ed816e48.jpg"> It is all about and the finding some . Enjoy David Technorati Tags: Developer , Designer , Harmony , Web-harmony , XAML , Expression
  • PhotoZoom using Silverlight and DeepZoom (aka SeaDragon) technology - mine is on Star Wars, but we could create a SBSC one

    The above technology is built using Silverlight 2.0 beta that was announced at MIX08. You can upload photos or import via an RSS feed. I did the later, bit it occurred to me that we should start something like this for SBSC and ISV partners. To see the effect, go to http://photozoom.mslivelabs.com/Album.aspx?alias=Doverton&album=1 and then zoom in and out using the +/- in the top left corner or the scroll wheel on your mouse. It is quite amazing! Hat tip to Steve for this one ttfn David Technorati Tags: SeaDragon , DeepZoom , PhotoZoom , Silverlight , MIX 08 , Developer , SBSC , Star Wars , Community , ISV
  • We say that Heroes happen with the '2008 products - see what has been registered by heros so far

    I found this great web site where you can see 150 case studies that are presented in the form of a book with stories in it. Some are a bit slim on detail and others are good. You might enjoy reading it - http://www.microsoft.com/heroeshappenhere/portraitgallery/start.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , heroes
  • 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
  • Microsoft and Yahoo merger with Google cartoons

    I saw these and laughed lots: Pavel Constantin, Romania Daryl Cagle, MSNBC.com Enjoy :-) Please do not copy the images as they are (c) the artists and I have paid a royalty to share them. If you like them, please point people to this post ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Yahoo , Google
  • Read between the lines of the recent Google/Yahoo/Microsoft announcements

    I saw this and had to share ... just a little too much truth in them I think :-) The Google Strategy Will Backfire We forget that Google is still a very young company. But they just reminded us ... Continue Parsing Yahoo!: What Makes You Think We're Desperate? Given its grim outlook as a stand-alone company, Yahoo! suppresses its glee as it steps into play ... Continue Parsing Google: Don't Trust the Old Bully, Just the New One Parsing Google: Only benevolent giants like us should be able to buys things ... Continue Parsing Microsoft, the New Champion of Choice Protecting the existence of alternatives to a dominant player used to seem like a bad idea in Redmond. Suddenly, Microsoft is using the language it has fought against for so many years ... Continue Spin Blog - Business Spin by Jack Flack - Portfolio.com ttfn David Technorati Tags: Google , Yahoo , Microsoft , Marketing , Spin
  • Have you been on a conference call with Microsoft - ever wondered why you are on hold waiting for the conference leader ... the secrets revealed

    Hi, Saw this - very much noticed the behaviour, the music and then realised "this is not a stunt... this is what we do". Enjoy ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Conference Call , Fun
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  • 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 to get DRM protected media on one PC to play on another (eg stored on a Windows Home Server, playing on a Xbox or another PC)

    This question was asked internally and I was told this is the answer - I've not been able to test it fully, but it appears to be heading in the right direction!! Q. Why can't I play files that are shared by one computer but located on different computer? A. You can use Windows Media Player 11 to share media files that are located on other computers on your home network. However, additional steps are required so that these remote files will play on the devices you are sharing them with. On the remote computer, the media files must be in shared folders. For information about sharing folders, see Windows Help and Support. On the computer that contains the library you are sharing, you must grant users permission to access remote folders, modify registry key values, and monitor the shared folders located on the remote computer. The information in this section covers only granting permissions and modifying registry values. For information about monitoring folders, see What are monitored folders? There are five...
  • Cool and useful Windows Home Server Disk Management add-in

    if Heineken did Home Server Web sites then We Got Served would be their site. I love reading the information that Terry puts on there and what is really good too is the fact that it is a UK site. Not that I object to anyone being successful in any country, but it is nice to have one on home turf too. Anyway, the latest little ditty is the Disk Management add-in from Sam Wood which shows you the status of your disks (capacity used) and where they are in the box (you have to configure this) Add-In: Windows Home Server Disk Management A new add-in was released by developer Sam Wood today, called WHS Disk Management. The add-in is an extension of the standard WHS Server Storage interface, helping users visually identify the physical disks they’re working with. Here’s how it’s used: Select one of the disks, or expand the columns after the disk ID, to see infomation about the disk. It takes awhile to render, because it’s doing a WMI crawl to find the disk controller. You get SCSI bus/port/LUN, plus disk controller....
  • 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...
  • Windows Server 2003 is beginning to feel left behind with the arrival of Windows Server 2008 inside the Microsoft datacenter - fun videos to watch and learn a few reasons why to use Windows Server 2008

    I saw these and they just made me laugh while sharing a few things about WS2008 vs 2003. Unlike some "new and improved" washing powders, Windows Server 2003 is a good product, but some key areas have been improved to meet people's new and different needs, such as more security, sharing of information, web based applications, minimal systems and virtualisation. The blog entry (which was obviously written before RC1 appeared, but posted afterwards) can be found at Windows Server Division WebLog : About Lone Server . If you want some fun, skip the soapbox video and look at the long video from the blog / link below. About The Lone Server Once I was almost famous. For years, my friends and I were on the front lines: we were the Windows Server 2003 servers that powered Microsoft.com, one of the hottest Web sites in the world. Then, early last summer, everything changed. Quietly, without warning, the new kids took over. Windows Server 2008. Yes, I know, the product’s not even done yet. These were Beta 3...
  • From CES 2008: British Telecom (BT) Vision to use Xbox 360 consoles as set-top boxes

    If you have BT broadband then their IPTV solution will be coming to your Xbox 360 too (and BT don't charge for the service either) CES 2008: BT Vision to use Xbox 360 consoles as set-top boxes One exciting snippet of news from Bill Gates's keynotes speech last night, once again concerning us Brits, was that they're partnering with BT to offer the Xbox 360 as their Vision set-top box. This is yet another collaboration between the two giants, with Microsoft's Mediaroom already actually powering their Vision broadband TV service since late 2006. This deal with Xbox 360 might be just what BT need to pull Vision out of the depths and into the mainstream - they only have around 100,000 users, and have fallen dramatically short of their targets. Whilst Gates didn't go into the details last night, the Xbox 360 team has already sent around a press release about the collaboration, claiming it will be available from mid 2008. This means the whole range of on-demand TV and film will be available on the...
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  • Video for Bill's last day

    I've seen this mentioned in so many places that I had to share: ttfn David Technorati Tags: Bill Gates , CES , last day
  • 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
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(c)David Overton 2006-17