James O'Neill's blog

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

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  • Blog Post: Video, Windows 7 and Windows Phone

    I keep thinking back to the theft of my laptop last year. I’ve had maybe a dozen laptops over the years and I haven’t really the same bond with them that I have with, say, my cameras. Even so whichever laptop I happen to have at the time goes everywhere with me like some kind of comfort blanket. It might...
  • Blog Post: Humphrey Lyttelton. 1921-2008.

    On the Roadshow we have been in Cinemas so it seemed appropriate to have a round of IT professional's film club, an idea which we lifted from Radio 4's "I'm sorry I haven't a clue". I've never really taken to any other Radio station: I can remember asking my grandmother why "Just a minute"...
  • Blog Post: We’ll know more Zune.

    OK, OK I was wrong when I said My gut feel is that if we are [working on a player], it won't be branded Microsoft. Chris Stevenson told Billboard that there is a music player in the works and it will appear under the brand name of Zune. Chris is listed in the Microsoft Global Address List as "General...
  • Blog Post: PowerShell , VB , Media Center and SQL

    I hesitate to describe myself as a dilettante (1) programmer. Not because it isn't true but because we have a running joke in the office about vocabulary deficiency. Eileen said to someone "What's it like to be surrounded by People more Erudite (2) than you "? I quipped "Don't say that, he thinks it...
  • Blog Post: SD cards (again)

    I was about to say some things about Vista and TV when I realized I had actually said them a few months ago When your TV programmes are FILES there's a different psychological relationship to them compared with TAPE . VHS cassettes were something you recorded over and over. You taped a programme watched...
  • Blog Post: A good day to be a fake doctor ...

    I mentioned we had something big planned for the CES show in Vegas, and that something is Windows Home Server. There was a nice teaser site, The Center for Digital Amnesia Awareness which now has the information on it. On 10 has a video which explains it ; their summary As a small, headless box that...
  • Blog Post: TV Indirect to your phone...

    Well, well here's serendipity again. While Eileen was posting about " TV-Direct to your phone" I was noticing something in the options for Windows Media Player 11 on Vista, when I had my phone plugged in. There was a setting "Convert Music, Videos and TV shows as required by this device." Could this...
  • Blog Post: Songsmith again.

    Amazing how a Picture goes around , I found it on Eileen’s blog she found it on Jon’s blog .  Doing tech-desk duty at the BETT show last week I had the pleasure of directing questions on Songsmith to Eileen (I’ve got it but haven’t sorted out an activation key so I’m holding off installing it) and...
  • Blog Post: Open source lobby: "We'll get the EU to stop your telly"

    For some reason media seems to be on my mind at the moment.... The BBC i-player is to go live at the end of July. This follows Channel 4''s "4OD " service (I'm a bit peeved the that it's not available on Vista today, but C4 tell me it's in the Pipeline) . Five has five download , Sky have "Sky Anytime...
  • Blog Post: Making Word clouds (Part 1: how it works).

    I’ve been playing with word clouds on and off for the last couple of months, and finally I’ve decided the time has come to share what I have been doing. Word clouds turn up in all sorts of places, and I wanted to produce something which could take any text, be customized, and let me edit the the final...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft at CES

    The Consumer electronics show starts in Las Vegas on Monday. The internal rumor mill has been going crazy and we've been told not to blog about .... well I can't tell you what obviously. Bill Gates is delivering a keynote speech on Sunday night - 6:30PM Redmond time, by which point most people working...
  • Blog Post: Cars, social media, phones, windows media and there’s no hiding with co-pilot.

    As titles go that’s an odd one, but stay with me. I’ve written before about my Citroen C6 : Before Christmas a warning message popped up saying something was wrong with the hydro-pneumatic suspension which give the big Citroens their wonderful ride. A visit to the garage confirmed the problem was real...
  • Blog Post: Zune news. No FM transmitter (yet) it seems.

    I'm going to stick my neck out and be (I think) the first Microsoft blogger to tell you where to get details of the Zune. It's widely known that Zune will have wireless functions and that means for the US market it needs FCC approval. Some people who watch the FCC web site have found this link . It seems...
  • Blog Post: Making word clouds (Part 2: how to use it , and clouds from twitter).

    Attached to this post is a Zip file containing Twitter.ps1 the PowerShell script I use to get information from Twitter, and since the word cloud work grew out of that it has ended up in the same file. It also contains noise.dat the list of noise words which you can customize. If you want to use it...
  • Blog Post: PowerShell and Windows Media Player, part 1

    Stange bedfellows you might think but why shouldn’t media be scripted ? I was thinking this a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to run a video before I started a presentation. If the Presentation is due to start at 10:00, and the video is 3 minutes I want to the video to start automatically at 9:57, and...
  • Blog Post: A little bit of Microsoft Honesty.

      I like Vista. And I like the fact that with Ultimate I can have a 64-bit, domain joined , Tablet enabled, Media Center PC. (IN XP these were 4 products). I like media-center.  But one aspect of media centre drives me nuts, and that's its determination to keep a ton of free space and to over...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7… “Media for everyone !”

    From the betas of Windows Vista until the start of September I ran the Ultimate edition of Windows, rather than the enterprise edition. We had a perfectly good enterprise edition as a network installation, but in Vista there one some features missing from enterprise and from time to time I needed to...
  • Blog Post: Songsmith – there goes a chunk more time !

    Embarrassing personal revelation time. I sing in the car, in silly voices. Anyone who hasn’t heard me doing “Winston Churchill sings Dido’s ‘White Flag’” has had a lucky escape. I mention this because the folks in Microsoft research seem to have been putting something together for people with as little...
  • Blog Post: iPod Killer ? Only if it has a French accent.

    This Friday the BBC carried a story Microsoft has said reports that the company is planning an MP3 player to rival the iPod are based on "speculation and rumours". Indeed, they are. Speculation and rumours aren't always wrong. It made me go back to something I started last Friday after reading a story...
  • Blog Post: Would Apple sue Scoble's new company ?* . Don't Google for Podcasts. And other stuff from my weekend reading.

    Before I was working for Microsoft, I read Douglas Coupland's book "Microserfs" . I visited Redmond in1997 and was amazed how close it was to the book. Half a dozen pages in Coupland writes "WinQuote ... gives continuouse updates on Microsoft's NASDAQ price ... Most staffers peek at Winquote a few times...