Wednesday, 23 June 2004

Sounds like Roy Osherove's a little bit disappointed he has not received more entries to the "Most Useful VS.NET Add-in/Macro Coding Contest," for which there are some pretty nice prizes.

Since I'm not nearly talented enough to even think about doing this, and since I know a number of people who are, I figured I should post this reminder. Submissions will be accepted only through the end of June, so hurry up! Only new (not re-used) code need apply.

Go here and read the details. I mean, just look what you could win:

1st prize:
2nd prize:
3rd prize:
the most crazy and innovative add-in (not necessarily useful!) will get a special prize from me:

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Wednesday, 23 June 2004 21:38:58 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Many are not aware that in PowerPoint 2003 (and 2002/XP) there is a feature available called Presenter View, which allows you to use your computer's multi-monitor capability to better control your presentations.

In order to use presenter view, your computer must meet the following requirements:

  • The computer must have multiple monitor capability - check with the manufacturer about this if you're not sure. Usually desktop computers require two video cards in order to have multiple monitor capability; laptops often have the capability built in.
  • The computer must be running an operating system that supports multiple displays, such as Windows 98, Windows 2000, or Windows XP (or later).
  • Multiple monitor support must be enabled by setting the display options. In Control Panel, click the Display icon.
  • Presenter view must be turned on in PowerPoint.

Basically you just set up your second monitor in the display settings and check the "Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor" box. Then in PowerPoint, follow the menus to set up the slide show (Slide show... Set up show...), and in the multiple monitors section, choose the extended monitor (your projector output) as the device on which to place the slides, then check the box to indicate you want to use the presenter view.

There you have it: One monitor with your notes and controls, and the other for your audience with just the slides. Cool stuff.

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Office 2003
Wednesday, 23 June 2004 21:13:03 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Thanks to Alwin Hawkins (who has a blog I read regularly), I'm a Gmail user now. He had a couple extra invitations (you can't just sign up, someone has to invite you), and was kind enough to share.

Okay, so there are certain things about Gmail that are kind of cool. I like the idea of being able to organize content by conversation and applying multiple labels (think of them as virtual folders) to a single conversation. Add the fairly advanced searching features, and you've got a pretty flexible email system.

It's definitely not Outlook on Exchange, but then again not much is. Besides, this is 100% web-based. You get a gig of storage space, which is nearly obscene. For a person who needs a free and flexible Internet email account for personal use, it's not too darn shabby.

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Random Stuff | Tech
Wednesday, 23 June 2004 19:53:38 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Robert's playing mind games! He's right though - pretty amazing that such a large company can keep things secret:

Another quiet launch coming?

In the .NET show Jeff Sandquist says that the days of the quiet launch on the blogosphere are probably over. Oh yeah?

There's some really cool stuff coming next week that hasn't been leaked yet. It's really shocking that Microsoft can still keep a secret. But my fingers are itching. Twitching. Convulsing.

Damn, it's hard to keep a secret. Especially this one (I've been keeping it for a couple of months under threat of career ruin). No, it's not about blogging or RSS either. Well, see ya next week.

Quiet launch? Oh, sure, just between me and my closest friends. Get the Slashdot-compliant server ready. :-)

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Blogging | Random Stuff
Wednesday, 23 June 2004 19:03:54 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Comdex has been canceled this year. It may come back in 2005.

"MediaLive [the company that organizes the show each year] is forming a corporate advisory board for Comdex that will include representatives from Microsoft, Oracle, Dell and other tech giants. Executives from those companies, who have already been approached by MediaLive and expressed an interest in participating on such a board, will help reshape Comdex to make it more relevant to IT decision-makers..."

Too bad, but here's your alternative: Gnomedex 2004.

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Random Stuff | Tech
Wednesday, 23 June 2004 10:39:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Microsoft has received a new patent, issued June 22nd, for personal areas networks and "the methods and apparatus for distributing power and data to devices coupled to the human body."

So, Microsoft owns me? It's an interesting patent (for real), but the sarcastic side of me begs to ask the question: "If the devil now owns my body, is the soul next?" But I digress...

Personal area networks are not a new concept. I remember discussion around the term dating several years back. What Microsoft has done here is protected the use of the human body as the apparatus used to communicate the information.

Excerpt: "The human body is used as a conductive medium, e.g., a bus, over which power and/or data is distributed. Power is distributed by coupling a power source to the human body via a first set of electrodes. One or more devise to be powered, e.g., peripheral devices, are also coupled to the human body via additional sets of electrodes. The devices may be, e.g., a speaker, display, watch, keyboard, etc. A pulsed DC signal or AC signal may be used as the power source. By using multiple power supply signals of differing frequencies, different devices can be selectively powered. Digital data and/or other information signals, e.g., audio signals, can be modulated on the power signal using frequency and/or amplitude modulation techniques."

via Compendium/Adam Gaffin

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Wednesday, 23 June 2004 08:51:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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