Tagged with Technology
The new year is coming soon and that means it's time for my yearly look back at my life and industry. This was an odd year for me since I didn't do many conferences and stayed home to solve some issues and work on the film.
The year home did me a lot of good. My health is even better and first year without major kidney stone issues. If you've read my blog for a while, you might remember that I did this last year.
After being curmudgeonly about turning 50, I feel a lot better about it now that it's behind me. I still don't feel like retirement is coming soon. Luckily since I'm mostly teaching, most days I have time to code on my own, continue to make films, and be available to my family. I'm a very lucky person. I Here are some categories of my life.
As I am heading to another large round of airline trips, I decided I finally needed a laptop I could write on during a flight. While I really love my HP dv7t, its a full sized laptop and (with no thanks to my girth) I needed something smaller to work on in an airline seat. In comes the Netbook.
I finally decided to dive in with an online backup of my files. I have two systems that need backups so I decided to use MozyPro as their prices are good and if Hanselman uses them, they can't be that bad. My big pain point with online backup is my behemouth .pst files. I have two of them...my working .pst and an archive .pst. Totaling about 2 GB total, I need a solution that can back up these files without re-uploading the entire file everytime. Mozy promises this...after the first backup.
So I installed it locally and setup the directories and files I wanted backed-up. All seemed good until I started getting a "the C-Drive is out of space" errors. It seems that Mozy compesses everything locally and will do so without regard to remaining drive space. I had to stop the backup and reboot my machine as Vista was down to 5 Meg free. I didn't like how it was going about the backup, but I figured i'd live with it. So I opened the configuration to find out where to tell it to create temporary files...nothing...I wrote support and eventually found a listing where it showed me how to change the registry to make this happen. Huh? Shouldn't that be a setting in their long-winded configuration? Ok, not very professional but I'll do it. Restarted the services and went about backing up again...
After a second reboot (for un-related reasons), I couldn't log on my system. It was complaining that the User Profile couldn't be loaded. Wierd sure, but after rebooting a second time I could finally get into my system....but all my settings in my profile were gone. I did some searching and apparently I am not the first one to see this happen after using Mozy.
I waffle back and forth between whether Mary Jo is helping the IT world with her insights or is just IT's version of the gossip column. I honestly don't know which. But in a blog entry today she said something that was spot on. The quote is:
While she was referring to the Windows release plans, I think this is somewhat true across the board. I would guess that this is a product of the XBox's success on the rest of the company. XBox has been able to pull off very ambitious and high-profile projects without having to announce them all to the public. I think this is mostly because the projects that did not pan out were never announced. As much as I'd like to know where they are going, I think this is a better approach for Microsoft.
In case you never noticed I am a huge Atlanta Braves fan. I was reading this Braves fan site recently after the Braves player's record tying ten straight hits (tied a National League record), I wanted to find out more about this Matt Diaz. When I noticed that during spring training, the Braves checked Matt Diaz eyes and found out he had almost no depth perception. A major league hitter without depth perception...wow.
Evidently you can fix this with contacts (though I am not sure how that works). No big surprise that he has hit like a monster this year. Now the crazy part:
While I can't recommending buying it through eBay because of my recent problems with them, this is somewhat irresistable. A real Enigma machine...
FoxIt is a FREE alternative to Adobe's Acrobat Reader (yeah, I know its free too). And I have to say...fast...fast...fast...as well as not annoying and trying to install bunch of other junk:
Two weeks ago I used IE 6's new "Manage Addins..." to disable the Flash plugin. I was worried about some of the content I'd miss. After two weeks, my experience has been that I have not missed much. Here is a short list of what I've noticed without Flash:
Overall I am happy. The good certainly outweighs the bad IMHO . What's your experience?
I was looking for an update to convert my VPC image to a VMWare image (I think it handles networking better) when I saw a Beta of the 5.5 version that will use a VPC image without having to convert. It also support conversion like 5.x does, but being able to launch VPC images directly will save me a lot of time. For those users, it will also open Norton Ghost files natively too.
As many of you might not know, I am not at the PDC, but am interestingly watching to see what comes out from it. Usually at the event times, everyone blogs too much about what they like and don't like. Everyone wants to be the first out the door with some news from a keynote. So I am layng low and letting all that happen without me. On the plus side, I can now talk about some things that I've had the opportunity to play with for some time (now that they are public knowledge and I am not hurting any NDA's):
I installed the new version of iTunes recently and its amazing how many running services and background tasks Apple is installing:
Please make it stop. Guess I could just uninstall iTunes...I only use it to buy music, never to listen to it (I think its a crap player). If only MSN would get a library their size. I haven't tried with Vista yet, but I do hope that I get asked if an installer is installing anything into Run, RunOnce or into the SCM! This is ridiculous...I can only imagine how many tasks are running on my mother's system!
Microsoft has just released Virtual Earth. While it is a great competitor for Google Maps, it is still missing much of what Google Earth gives you (unless I am missing something). It is impressive what they are doing as a browser app without a download.
I played with "Locate Me" a bit. It did require a download. What it attempts to do is figure out where you are based on WiFi/IP Address. It was quite a bit off for me. It could figure out that I was in Atlanta, but located me in the capitol building (I am about 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta). Speaking with Robert Scoble at our geek dinner on Saturday, he told me that it was quite accurate. Perhaps they have more of the Northwest mapped out than Atlanta.
Palm announced their new logo today and told the press what the new logo "means". Here's the logo:
While I don't agree with much of what they say, especially that MS code is poorly written and buggy; I am convinced that MS has lost their way with what the story around Longhorn really is. They announced so many interesting ideas in Longhorn that have been either dropped (WinFS, Monad) or moved it to pre-longhorn (Indigo, Avalon, Aero), that they have lost the momentum story.
The funny thing is that I don't think Apple or Linux have an opportunity here (unlike what the article perports). I think Windows real competition in the next round is with Windows XP/2003. People just won't move because Microsoft wants them to. XP is a solid OS (unlike 9x or even 2000). I cannot imagine that unless there is a real story here around Longhorn (and they get it right *not*, not when the public beta arrives), many people will move. Unfortunately, I think Ballmer is betting the company on Longhorn's success.
With Apple moving to Intel chips, is a price war with Dell, HP and Toshiba far away? I'd love to get OS X in virtual machine to play around a bit. This might even make Mono more compelling. This might change everything...or nothing...
I am mostly blogging about this so I don't lose the link again, but this is a *great* app that hooks into the Task Manager to do a couple of things: