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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  • e-Paper update

    Again from the Trends Blog . Big, color e-paper E-paper Still Coming Soon: LG.Philips LCD Teases World With A4 Color Electronic Paper “This is their all-new, world-first A4 electronic paper, a 4,096-color flexible 14.1-inch page made using “metal foil and plastic substrates rather than glass.” They only use power when the image changes and since they are reflective like real paper, they can be seen perfectly from any angle. Even under direct sunlight.” Slightly-flexible displays LOLED: Sony Flexi-OLED Screen Is Trouble Waiting to Happen “Today Sony showed off some 2.5-inch OLED screens that are capable of being slightly bent. It is made out of a glass substrate and is only .3mm thick. Supposedly the display has been created for lightweight, bigger and “softer” electronics” Interactive paper Digital paper with interactivity and sound “By combining paper with printed graphic codes and electronically conductive ink that is engineered to be sensitive to pressure. When the paper buttons are touched, the sound is played...
  • 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...
  • Virtual Earth and Silverlight enable you to hunt aliens in many places

    This little mashup of Microsoft technologies just shows how things are going to change in the future. You can shoot aliens at any location that has birds eye view (In the UK that includes ( Wembley Stadium , Blackpool Tower , Millennium Dome and Brighton Pier ) http://www.andybeaulieu.com/silverlight/DestroyAll/Default.html?latitude=40.689059&longitude=-74.04455 ttfn David Technorati Tags: Local.live.com , silverlight
  • Fantastic looking MiniPC's from Engadget - SA800 is stacked and ready to roll

    As is always the case, saw this and thought I would pass it on. Oh modular box of silicon affection, how we love thee. The latest -- the SA800 -- from MiniPC (Japan) is a DIY house of fun packing up to a Core 2 Duo T7600, 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 memory, 2.5-inch 40GB SATA disk, and an Intel 945GT chipset. Want more disk, no problem, stack a 3.5-incher in an extra slab above. Better video with HDMI-out or optical drives? Yup, they've got a stackable component for that and more. Have it your way starting early July in Japan. MiniPC's SA800 is stacked and ready to roll Posted Jun 29th 2007 8:57AM by Thomas Ricker Filed under: Desktops MiniPC's SA800 is stacked and ready to roll - Engadget ttfn David Technorati Tags: MiniPC , SA800 , Stacked
  • Netstreams is cool, but I am not.... - Nick Whittome - "The Naked MVP"

    I saw this and having discussed cool a bit I thought I would share a bit - there is more on Nick's blog. Of course, I don't own an iPod or a Audio Port Netstreams thingy, I just use media center, a Media Center Extender and a xBox 360 for my "piped" music and I don't tell my daughter about iPods :-) Me: “If I get you an iPod, do I become cool again?” Aoife: “Yes, of course”. Then it hit me…. Me: “Hang on… you don’t need an iPod, you can plug your mobile phone into the Audio Port in your room and play the tunes from that through the system”. Aoife: “That makes the NetStreams system cool, not you…” Netstreams is cool, but I am not.... - Nick Whittome - "The Naked MVP" ttfn David Technorati Tags: Fun , Cool
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  • Windows Home Server Blog : Couldn't have said it better myself - Terry Walsh and the Home Server UK Hero

    The Home Server team have made a shout out to a UK blogger who has lots of Add-ins and How-Two's for Home Server. Worth a peak!! Terry Walsh, some dude from the UK who has a blog ( We Got Served ) all about Windows Home Server, has been doing great things for the community. He's got a list of Add-ins , a bunch of How-Tos , and some great descriptions of the technology of Windows Home Server. Windows Home Server Blog : Couldn't have said it better myself ttfn David Technorati Tags: Home Server , Add-ins , Developer
  • Is Microsoft finally getting back a "cool" rap - Popfly, Silverlight, Home Server, Surface?

    Again, I saw this on the home Server blog and thought it was worth sharing. Not the information about Surface or Home Server - I have commented on those before, but the fact that people are finally saying these products are cool: Unless you've been hiding in a cave somewhere (or just maybe working really hard this week) you've probably caught some of the incredible buzz for Microsoft Surface , unveiled at the Wall Street Journal's D conference this week. USA Today tech columnist Andrew Kantor says Surface is the "second product in a row ( following Windows Home Server ) to 'just work,' a la Apple." Kantor wrote about Home Server last week, too: "Even if you only have a single computer in your home, dedicating an older machine as a WHS is a good idea simply for the protection against hard disk failure and the ability to pool your drives." ZDNet bloggers Dan Farber and and Larry Dignan also connect Home Server to Surface, saying the two could complement each other. What do...
  • Home Servers that will be look cool in the home and pass the dreaded "partner" test

    I have a Media Center, Home Server, Xbox, Xbox 360, SBS and other machines in my house. The under TV box hides the Xbox and Media Center, the 360 is in the bedroom and the home server (& SBS box) are in the study. I learnt a long time ago that IF I wanted something like Home Server in the living space I needed it to look good. This is one example of what looking cool might be. There is obviously much more to Home Server, so visit the blog if this is a new area for you. More Hockey Puck Photos Heh. Joel just sent me a couple more pics of the "hockey puck". This thing is so amazingly cool that I just have to rant some more about it. First, we commissioned Carbon Design , a local design firm, to dream up some really cool home server form factors about 2 years ago. After a couple of iterations we narrowed it down to 3 ideas: the cube, the slate, and the hockey puck. Carbon built us a few foam models of each of these as well as a bunch of cool looking renderings. These served us well for while as tools...
  • Go to MSN today to see a great Office 2007 advert - interact with the web page using a Word 2007 ribbon - today only 12th June

    This is a quick one - hope along to http://uk.msn.com and today you will be greeted with the Office 2007 ribbon bar. You can change the formatting of the picture or the MSN section at the top using the live preview function of Office 2007. This will be 24 hours only I am told, so about 14 3/4 hours left! Image changes as you hover over the formats - available in Office 2007 and now MSN UK for the day!! We also have style changes on the headers. ttfn David Technorati Tags: MSN , Office 2007
  • If you want to see what imaging, pictures, photosynth or Microsoft Research are doing in this space - go look at this video

    http://www.clipaday.com/videos/ridiculous-image-technology-coming You will see Sea dragon, PhotoSynth and see more. I rate this 10/10!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: PhotoSynth , Seadragon , Microsoft , Research
  • You know I like sailing, one day I might even own a big boat, but I hope this does not happen to it - ever!

    This is 110% off topic - http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/general-yachting-discussion/7055-splash.html shows how NOT to launch a multi-million pound boat. ttfn David
  • 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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  • Old but cool News - Sony 9mm OLED display @ 1080p resolution

    Going through old mails and found this - maybe one day I will get a new screen: Thin displays Sony Demos 9mm-thick High-Def OLED Displays “Look and yearn folks. This here is Sony’s new OLED display. It’s an obscene 9mm thick yet it packs a 1080p resolution along with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Just as a recap, OLED displays are thinner and brighter than their LCD counterparts and they suck up less power.” ttfn David
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  • How I created my popfly carousel

    If you go to the blog entry on Microsoft Surface you will be asked to install Microsoft Silverlight. When you do so you will see a carousel effect to show the 12 Surface pictures. As many of you know I am NOT a developer by any means, so I thought I would show you what I had to do to get to the finished product - it is not hard at all. 1st off I signed up for a Popfly account at http://www.popfly.com and was lucky enough to get an account very quickly. OK, so I dropped 3 blocks onto the screen - one to read the RSS fead of the Surface pictures, one to pull out the picture urls and one to display them. That was it (well I did drag those blue lines across too) Here is what I put in the RSS feed Here is what I put in the filter Here is what I put in the carousel initially (I changed it to a more complex piece of code later to change the screen resolution of the images it pulls down) that was it. That is why popfly is so simple to combine things together. ttfn David Technorati tags: popfly , mashup , silverlight
  • WOW!!! Microsoft Surface has just made me say - "I have to have one" and so does everyone else in the family too. This is seriously cool (and not really much to do for most small businesses)

    [updated 1:05 with more information and moving silverlight code to a 2nd page] I'm a difficult person to impress - Silverlight is one technology that impresses me seriously as to the future direction of media and web applications. Now however we have a new platform that I really like the look of - Surface . Have a look at the web site - see the possibilities of this touch and object sensitive device. Put a camera on it and the pictures poor out of it. look at photos and movies on it. It is just a wow, how cool is that type of device. Maybe I should run some form of competition on the blog and see if anyone wants to win one when they ship!! For more information go to www.microsoft.com/surface/ with the "Executive Q&A: What the new surface computing category means for Microsoft and consumers" found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/may07/05-29Surface.mspx and the general PR at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/may07/05-29MSSurfacePR.mspx . Finally you can see more...
  • Microsoft Watch - Vista - I Shacked Up with Windows Vista - what happens when a journalist tries Vista and likes it - he makes his Mac Tiger move out for a while :-)

    I saw this and the whole article is well worth a read - a good Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Monday read to smile. I Shacked Up with Windows Vista Joe Wilcox Last week, Vista and I started living together again , and Tiger moved into an apartment across the hall. I like Vista, but she's sometimes a tough companion. Tiger and Vista are both attractive, but my new roomie is just so much more pleasing to look at—and she likes to do fun stuff that's quite different from the cat woman. Over the weekend we did the Vongo together and hung out at the Yahoo Music club. Tiger wouldn't do either. Vista also is much more social. She loves to nudge her friends and hang out at social clubs MySpace and Live Spaces . She's quite particular about her social calendar , too. Source: Microsoft Watch - Vista - I Shacked Up with Windows Vista ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista business value , MAC
  • Which 2007 Office Application Are You?

    I did this " Which 2007 Office Application Are You? " and apparently I am Excel You are Excel 2007! People trust you to find the right answer. They call you "the wizard" and are in awe of your PivotTable. When you say you love functions, it's understood that you're referring to spreadsheets, not social events. You import and export with ease, always maintaining balance. Thanks to your mastery of numbers, people are constantly asking you for help with their own budgets. With the new Microsoft Office Excel 2007, you'll see how those people can get their own answers - better and faster. They will be amazed that they, too, can create a new chart with only five clicks. You may not have been known as a trendsetter, but your ability to use conditional formatting to "see" new trends was well worth any wait. You can analyze the impressive productivity and efficiency gains in Excel 2007 and prove that the benefits justify the costs. Your favorite new feature in Office 2007 is likely...
  • bCentral (UK) competition - Win 5 laptops – all with the ‘Wow’ factor of Windows Vista Business and Microsoft Office Small Business 2007 – plus a wide screen TV

    I saw that this is closing in a few days - the site has a find a partner link to find SBSC partners by post code and obviously the competition: Microsoft Small Business Centre - Microsoft Office 2007 small business Edition and Microsoft Windows Vista, the software for your Small Business PC We’re offering a special prize of 5 laptops – all with the ‘Wow’ factor of Windows Vista Business and Microsoft Office Small Business 2007 – plus a wide screen TV! To win, tell us how the ‘Wow’ factor can help your business. See Windows Vista Business and Office 2007 in action at your local PC store. PC World, Comet, Staples, John Lewis and Micro Anvika are all running regular demos. For details of demos at your local store, download our schedule . Find a Partner to help you add the ‘Wow; factor to your IT and upgrade to Windows Vista Business and Microsoft Office Small Business 2007. ttfn David Technorati tags: Win Vista and Office , bCentral
  • World's first IT support professional - just made me laugh

    [updated with a URL rather than embedded object] I got this mailed to me at work and just p**sed myself laughing - even my good lady thought this was fun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMa3QBqf3t4 ttfn David Technorati Tags: Fun , Support , IT Support
  • View and Search the Windows Vista Registry from the Windows Shell (Explorer) through this Namespace Extensions

    I came across this due to someone pointing it out internally - talk about awesome. The Windows Registry Shell Namespace Extension allows Windows Explorer to view and interact with the Windows Registry data via Explorer windows. It demonstrates existing Shell extensibility points like IShellFolder2 and SHCreateShellFolderView and also demonstrates new concepts in Vista including the property system, property schema extensibility, and content indexing via Protocol Handlers. This project is implemented using C++ and ATL. This release includes all of the latest deltas and addresses the installation issues for systems without VS2005. This is a temporary fix until James finishes the WIX setup. Installation notes: - Download/open the zip file. - If you have VS2005 installed, just double-click RegNamespace.msi. - If you don't have VS2005, run Setup.exe. This will install the necessary VC Redistrubutable. Source: Windows Vista Registry Shell Namespace Extensions ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Search...
  • Dreamscapes 3D spinning earth background where lighting changes depending on the time of day - for Vista, amazing!

    I just have to share some of the pictures my PC created while running Dreamscapes (free from StarDock at http://dream.wincustomize.com/ ) - this one is of the planet Earth spinning, but the view of the earth changes depending on the time of day, so you get to see the light polution if it is night etc. It also works well, as you might expect with Flip 3D: See the tools to produce this and much more at: http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/26/vista-enhancements-and-utilities-changing-the-screen-savers-adding-extra-search-functionality-to-the-start-menu-objectdock-logon-screen-changer-windows-blinds-and-wim-image-modifier.aspx http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/26/vista-has-flip-3d-for-changing-applications-well-here-are-some-more-3d-cube-based-virtual-desktop-window-switcher-rotation-based-flip-3d.aspx http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/26/changing-vista-boot-screens-and-opening-yourself-up-to-rootkits-or-not.aspx
  • Vista enhancements and utilities (changing the screen savers, adding extra search functionality to the start menu, Objectdock, logon screen changer, Windows Blinds and WIM Image modifier)

    Changing the screen saver settings: http://tweakvista.com/Article39129.aspx (make ribbons fatter, increase the number of them and so on) Start++ - search tools from WDS in Vista: http://brandonlive.com/2007/02/22/new-tool-i-made-for-vista-start/ “clear” aero theme for Winblinds for Vista: http://www.skinbase.org/rate.php?skins=32542 Logon Screen changer (free from StarDock when released, part of Object Dock during beta): See http://www.stardock.com/newsitem.asp?id=942 and skins at http://www.wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?libid=65 DreamScenes, Dream Maker and Dynamic Dreams – some free, some charged for, for Ultimate Users: http://dream.wincustomize.com/ and http://www.stardock.com/products/deskscapes/ - these include triggers in the “dreams” vLite – image tweaking tool: http://www.vlite.net/about.html ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Dreamscene , Logon Screen Changer , Dynamic Dreams , vLite
  • Changing Vista boot screens and opening yourself up to rootkits (or not)

    I love people who want to customise WIndows Vista and some of my previous posts have covered this, however you can go too far - you can hack the OS. While I understand the desire to "hack" the OS to get customisations, there are better ways. This particular example is where people want to change the boot screen in Vista. The ability to do this will be coming from StarDock soon, but until then people have taken to modifying the existing OS files. THERE IS ALWAYS a change that by downloading someones customised file to your PC and it being loaded so early on in the boot process that it could do nasty things, especially since these files are in now way certified by Microsoft. A classic example of this can be found here when people want to change the boot logo - this could easily be a social engineering attack. The instructions tell someone to remove the access and security permissions from a core system file, overwrite it with one that might make the system look prettier during boot, but who knows what else will...
  • Vista has Flip 3D for changing applications, well here are some more (3d cube based virtual desktop, Window Switcher, Rotation based flip 3d

    3d cube based virtual desktop: http://chsalmon.club.fr/index.php?en/Download Rotation based Flip 3D: http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=529816 Alternative to flip-3d (switcher): http://insentient.net/
  • UK Vista Community Group - First Meeting - March 28th

    Vista Squad The place to discuss Windows Vista and the .NET Framework 3.0. We're excited to announce the inaugural meeting of the Vista Squad! The event will be held between 18:15 and 21:15 on Wednesday 28th March 2007 at Microsoft's HQ, Thames Valley Park, Reading. This will be a great opportunity to meet other members, discuss Vista and see two cracking presentations. If you'd like to come pop your name in a comment and we'll add you to the list. The line-up is as follows: 18:15-18:30: Refreshments 18:30-18:45: Introduction session to introduce the group, the key people involved and finally our aims and goals – (Ray Booysen, Scott Belton, Robert Knapp) 18:45-19:45: Presentation 1 - Are you ready for Vista - Windows hardware assessment tools (Scott Belton) 19:45-20:15: Break - Food, refreshments and networking 20:15-21:15: Presentation 2 - WCF Introduction– (tbc) 21:15: Roundup and close Source: Announcements : First Meeting

(c)David Overton 2006-18