Monday, 28 June 2004

Evan Feldman has written an interesting article about the process of field trials during the initial development of the Tablet PC. We've deployed more than 50 tablet PC's at the company where I work, and as the guy responsible for that decision (read: they guy whose neck is hanging out), I can say that I have heard the same concerns and have seen the same "celebrity" status (whether right or wrong) attached to using one of these truly nifty devices.

Ultimately, what matters most is finding and implementing a tool that makes people more effective and productive. Among other recent technologies we've deployed, the Tablet is one that is starting to show us its unique ability to help people become more flexible and effective in their day-to-day work. I'll be shocked if Tablet PC functionality doesn't eventually become commonplace or even standard in notebook computers - it just makes sense.

Tablet PCs, OneNote, SharePoint Portal and Windows SharePoint Services, Office System 2003, Live Communication Server, Exchange 2003, and much more -- It's been quite a year for those of us at work behind the scenes. What I especially appreciate is the noticeable improvement in quality in all of these product areas with new version releases, and the resulting increases in use and adoption by end users.

Personally, I've used a Tablet PC since the first models were released commercially more than a year and a half ago, and I'm lucky enough to be in a position where I get to (or unlucky enough to have to, depending on your point of view) test new equipment and software in the process of deciding how, when and whether we should use them at our company. I'm looking forward to seeing what's next in the Tablet world -- There's plenty of room and opportunity for this platform to grow, and the potential is certainly great.



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Office 2003 | Tablet PC | Tech
Monday, 28 June 2004 22:26:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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I like music a lot, play some guitar, and will occasionally sing along, but I have never been a big fan of Karaoke. However, William Bragg posted something on his blog that I think I may just have to check out, just so I can see for myself (and so I can say I did it).

Klingon Karaoke.

Uh... Wow... And yes, it's for real.

Willamette Week says:

"Dry-ice fog streams onto the dance floor, setting the scene for tonight’s No. 1 singer. Outfitted in a long black wig, a rumpled prosthetic forehead with bushy eyebrows, and full Klingon evening wear, Qaolin crashes onto the dance floor and belts out a song that sounds like “Cherokee Nation.” Only it’s sung completely in the growl and violence of Klingon. It’s Klingon Karaoke night at the Bodacious Classics Restaurant and Intergalactic Refueling Station in Southeast Portland."

How can you know about this and not check it out? Anyone care to join me on a Thursday night sometime soon? I mean, how can you possibly go wrong? I wonder if they'll let cameras in. Hah.



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Humor | Random Stuff
Monday, 28 June 2004 20:11:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 26 June 2004

Is it just me, or is there something inherently weird about dragging an AC-powered flat panel display into Starbucks to hook up to your laptop at one of those little tables, when your laptop already has a flat-panel display? /me rolls eyes...



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AudioBlogging | Random Stuff
Saturday, 26 June 2004 22:24:11 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 25 June 2004

Microsoft has filed the new Sender-ID email spec with the Internet Engineering Task Force. The spec is a hybrid of Microsoft's "Caller ID for E-mail" and the competing-but-similar "Sender Policy Framework" (SPF).

Security Pipeline: "The new specification, called Sender ID, proposes that organizations publish information about their outgoing e-mail servers, particularly IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, in the Domain Name System (DNS) in XML. If adopted, Sender ID would serve as an e-mail authentication system that verifies the message actually originated with the purported address."

This will be a hot item over the next year or so. Expect to see this actually happen. The merged specs that were filed allow verification that the sender domain is legitimate and not spoofed on two layers, and the concept of sender-authenticated email is picking up a real head of steam.

If it flies, the bad effects of all those phishers and spammers will be significantly reduced (at least until they figure a way around that, too...).

UPDATE: Bill Gates' announcement about the new technologies and anti-spam roadmap is viewable on the web. I received the "executive email" from Microsoft a couple days after posting this original entry.



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IT Security | Tech
Friday, 25 June 2004 18:18:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 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:
Bonus:
the most crazy and innovative add-in (not necessarily useful!) will get a special prize from me:


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Tech
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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