James O'Neill's blog

Windows Platform, Virtualization and PowerShell with a little Photography for good measure.

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  • Blog Post: Easy transfer is not a sign of weakness

    Someone from the office (no names, no pack drill) told me they had read my post from yesterday where I mentioned Windows Easy Transfer.  They felt that it might not be quite the done thing for a technical person to use it but since I was using it , then it was probably OK.  I’ve now switched...
  • Blog Post: Groove and Mind Mapping

    In my post last Friday I mentioned installing Groove and the Mind Genius Mind mapping software which I use so much. When I had trouble explaining what Groove 3.1 did, I made a mind map - which has now been given the Mind Genius V2 treatment. Darren Strange has a good post on using Groove ...
  • Blog Post: Progress or Luddism … why Windows 7 isn’t an F1 car

    Jason Perlow at ZD Net thinks I called him a luddite. Actually I said one of his colleagues barely stopped short of using the L word.   Jason complained that “The “ Run ” option is no longer directly accessible from the Start Menu as a default behavior, you have to get to it via a Search. Once you...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 SKUs

    We’ve announced what the “SKUs” will be for Windows 7 – I hate this term “Stock Keeping Unit” means anything with with a part number… But first a first a history lesson: XP had 5 SKUs Home Professional Tablet Media Center 64 bit Bad luck if you want a 64 bit Tablet or a laptop which is Domain joined...
  • Blog Post: Office Communications server 2007 Beta available for public download.

    Little more to say. It's here Documents are available separately. So is speech server Given our propensity to move these download URLs, Just be aware that if you search for it putting 2007 in the search terms narrows the hits down. Technorati tags: Microsoft , office Communications Server , live Meeting...
  • Blog Post: Fun and games with VHD files in the new OSes

    One of the new features for both Windows Server 2008 R2 and the Windows 7 client is support for Virtual Hard Disk files built into the OS. You can create fixed or dynamic disks and “attach” the tools for Hyper-V call this “mounting” a VHD and early stuff on 7 seems to  have called it surfacing a...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 for everyone !

    I don’t normally cut and paste things from mail straight to my blog but this arrived in ready to read format so here it is The Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) is now available to download for everyone , and is available until June 2009 to download. Download the RC So what’s new in the RC?   Check...
  • Blog Post: How to use Advanced Queries in Windows search.

    If there was one single feature about Windows Vista which made me say “I’m never ever going back to Windows XP” it was search and the way search was integrated everywhere. True you can download Microsoft Search for Windows XP (and , as they say other kinds of desktop search are available) but it doesn...
  • Blog Post: My first couple of hours with Windows 7

    I don’t talk much here about occasions when Microsoft’s internal workings get silly, but the last couple of days have been funny. We were fore-warned that Steve B would be announcing Windows 7 beta availability in his CES speech, but to prevent leaks the software was kept on very limited distribution...
  • Blog Post: IE is cool again

    I remember the year hen 3 versions of Internet explorer were released. That was before I came to Microsoft, when the web was still new and browsers were exciting - partly because (to outsiders at least) Microsoft seemed scared of Netscap. The Netscape battle ran its course, and I joined Microsoft as...
  • Blog Post: A Windows 7 tip for (untidy) presenters

    Do you have lots of icons on your windows desktop ? I do. And sometimes when I’m giving a presentation I think not only do they look untidy, there might be something given away by the icon and file name. The fix for that is to create a folder named “my stuff” or “everything else” and drag everything...
  • Blog Post: Screencast and Q&A: Hyper-V integration components Disk and Network behaviour

    I had a really nice mail over new year from an influential IT Pros with more than a passing interest in Virtualization. It would be unfair to identify him, but I was very pleased to read "Yours is always one of the blogs I point our staff toward to get up to date information and idea of how the various...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 : Photos, Gallery and AutoCollage.

    When I first started using Windows Vista it was the better experience for photographers which really hooked me in. Most common image formats use the EXIF standard for embedding data about the picture (everything from the camera model and settings, to the title, keywords and so on. XP lets you look at...
  • Blog Post: Windows Marketplace now open ...

    I found a reference to this on Ed Bott's blog according to what he say a couple of days ago the store has opened a few hours ahead of schedule. Ed describes getting to this page from the performance settings in Vista. It is also available from the Welcome center, or via the Control Panel programs section...
  • Blog Post: Mobile devices on Windows Vista

    Last week I followed up on Jason Langridge's posts about new HTC devices and the Motorola Q. , which gives a clue that I have an enduring interest in Mobilty Windows Vista inserts has components to handle syncing devices but the complete package isn't included with Beta 2. I had advance access to...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 federated search.

    I was a little surprised to find it was nearly 3 years ago that I first wrote about Open Search… So first off… Open search provides a specification for XML to describe search services. It’s easy to build this XML, and there’s a Microsoft Page which builds it for you , so here’s an example for IMDB, which...
  • Blog Post: This week’s cartoon

    Some complaints about Microsoft are valid, Some aren't. Anyone can get Microsoft Beta software. Developer ? Sign up for MSDN. IT Pro ? Sign up for TechNet. The new TechNet direct is a bargain. It gives you all the software and information you need for less than cost of two support incidents, and then...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 client Betas on Technet

    I’m not exactly delighted to be be blogging at 3:13 in the morning, but I’m watching the keynote from CES. In the last 45 minutes we’ve published a press release about Windows 7. Steve Ballmer said that “Technet and MSDN subscribers can download it now”. I was watching site propagate and the downloads...
  • Blog Post: Photosynth

    Dreadful timing for me, because I really want to be honing the presentation I'm doing later today - but I was up late looking at this and it still feels exiting. So here's a problem that's always bugged photographers: You can only get so much in a photo. The camera is at one point in 3D space, aimed...
  • Blog Post: Vista update. RC1 is so passé

    There's a post " Interim Windows Vista Build 5728 Released Today " over on the Vista team blog. I've already explained that "true" builds of vista move in increments of 16, so this is 8 builds on from 5600 which is RC-1 (which I've only been using for 7 working days) . I was expecting to see a release...
  • Blog Post: Vista Power plans - get exactly what you want

    Back when beta 2 came out I read Scot Finnie's article on ComputerWorld "20 things you won't like about Windows Vista " . I was shocked: with a whole new operating system to aim at he came up with 20 really lame things. I took it as a sign that we'd done really well when 5th place went to " Faulty assumption...
  • Blog Post: A new bit of Windows 7 (for me)

    Someone sent me a couple of good links about new bits Tim Sneath's bumper list of Windows 7 Secrets , and Brandon's list of Hotkeys. Both are worth a look. If [Window] [+] and [Window][-] zoom in Server 2008 R2 it’s going to help demos enormously. On the subject of demos, I’m presenting tomorrow, and...
  • Blog Post: Digital Image Suite. RIP.

    I've mentioned Digital image suite before. I always felt I needed to apologise for not using Adobe Photo shop. As several people commented, Photoshop was overkill. Digital image suite let me Straighten Pictures which had been taken at an angle Clone or blend out stray telephone lines, spectators, skin...
  • Blog Post: Customizing the Windows 7 logon screen: no additional tools required

    A few of people have noticed that I’m running Windows 7 with a customized logon screen, and a couple of them asked me if I used “logon studio” which (as I understand it) rummages round inside some of the image resources buried in DLL files. In Windows 7 we have provided a registry key for OEMS to turn...
  • Blog Post: Something for the photographers: Silverlight Deep-zoom formerly "Sea-Dragon"

    With all the other stuff I've been doing lately I'm champing at the bit to get out and take some more photos. Still here I am slaving over a hot laptop. Search suggests haven't mentioned Sea-Dragon before - but I've talked about Photosynth , which is one of the technologies that use it. We've been...