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: The Virtual Mac - a little idle speculation

    Apple's " Boot camp " software has created a big stir , hasn't it? Apple is a leader in industrial design: which is why my wife has an iPod Nano - the iPods have a magic to their design which no-one else seems able to match. The number of things which borrow from the original iMac design shows how...
  • Blog Post: An evening with ...

    Well me actually ... I'm presenting on Let’s take a look at Windows Vista At Microsoft in Reading on the evening of Tuesday May 9th... Registration is only a couple of clicks away... go on, you know you want to.
  • Blog Post: Using Vista’s Diskpart

    [Updated to fix formatting issue] Earlier this week I moved build 5384 (Beta 2) of Vista on a 60GB hard disk to build 5456 on a 100GB one. There were some obstacles to overcome before I could do the restore, which I'll talk about in another post. At the end of the restore the laptop rebooted into...
  • Blog Post: A day out with Divers

    I spent yesterday at the DIVERSE – the South Eastern area conference for BSAC (the British Sub Aqua Club) : officially I was there to speak about why Windows Vista (and 7) are so good at handling pictures. Unofficially as a diver (though not a BSAC member) any valid excuse to hang out with diving folk...
  • Blog Post: On the late arrival of Vista...

    Recently someone in Redmond caused a bit of a stir with a blog piece about causes for the delay in Vista. We’re not going to ship Vista until it is ready, and we thought it would be ready by one date, and we were wrong. Why ? People, like me, who work outside development simply don’t know and people...
  • Blog Post: Vista SP1 now on Windows update.

    I'm in Birmingham for the Windows Server 2008/SQL Visual Studio Launch. We British Microsofties tease our American colleagues for saying that they are "Super-Excited" about things, but I even I'm feeling the excitement - or maybe it's a combination of nerves and cold remedy. For the last few...
  • Blog Post: Powershell ...

    I mentioned that one of the negatives of my trip to Barcelona was not getting to sessions and the positives were all around the people I met. I was minding my own business in the speaker room when Eileen got into a Powershell conversation with a man in a most distinctive tie. She had a suggestion for...
  • 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: On Time-zones...

    Spring is here, Spring is here ... I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring, yes I do, don't you ? course you do. Actually when I look at the weather it's doesn't look like spring. But unlike Tom Lehrer , the one thing that makes spring complete for me is the changing of the clocks. All of...
  • Blog Post: Adobe [Acrobat] Reader for Vista

    Sometime in the course of yesterday afternoon (UK time) Adobe changed something on their web site. When I connected to install reader the site couldn’t understand that Windows NT 6 in a browser string meant Windows Vista and it offered me Reader 7.0.7 for NT 4.0. Later on it recognised Windows Vista...
  • Blog Post: Readyboost. Money well spent, but what's fast enough ?

    There are a bunch smart ideas in Vista, and Readyboost seems to be a favorite with a lot of people: extend memory by using USB "key" / "Stick" "Thumb drive" (what are we meant to call these things). Of course since it can be pulled out at any time it can't be used like normal RAM, and it works as a disk...
  • Blog Post: It is done.

    Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 have released to manufacturing . Actually it caught me by surprise because I was expecting it to happen later this week. Alex Hinrichs breaks the news on the Windows Server blog with pictures of the "Ship room" where the decision is made. Over on the...
  • 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: Phew ... I can come up for air now.

    I have finally got my outlook unread messages down to zero. There are 1229 Messages in my deleted Items folder and 195 messages from the last 2 weeks still in my inbox, but which have been looked at. Since getting back I've switched over the to Vista RC-1 build I set-up the evening before I went on holiday...
  • 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: Doubts and Powershell, Hyper-V KeyValue pairs and Hash tables.

    I've said a number of times that I think technical people are rarely secure in their own abilities; that they have a demon on their shoulder who whispers "You're not really, that good" ... "They'll find you out one day". I was talking to a colleague this week who seems to be racked...
  • Blog Post: The other man's grass is greener - a guide to colour in Windows

    Most weeks, one or other of the photography forums I visit will contain one of the following questions "Should I set my camera to use sRGB or Adobe RGB as a colour space ? " "Why do my pictures look different in different programs ?" "My Pictures look great on screen but lousy when I print them...
  • Blog Post: Product life cycles (and Virtual Server 2005)

    It's always nice when someone says James O'Neill, IT Pro Evangelist at Microsoft, reveals that Virtual Server 2005 support will end in 2014 - except that then people come and demand to know why you're revealing product plans. So, lets start with a basic question . "Where do I go to find out when support...
  • Blog Post: Bootable USB keys

    Since I raised the subject I've had a mail from a couple of people on the subject of making a bootable key. I described the steps making a USB key bootable using the Vista / Windows PE version of Diskpart. Here are the commands select disk 1 {or the number of your USB key, be careful !} clean {Like I...
  • Blog Post: On Scanners, Cameras and their USB modes, and lifting the lid on how they can be scripted.

    Long title, and I’m afraid I’ve been on a bit of a voyage of discovery about some of the things Windows 7 (and Vista) can do with photos and first thing I wanted to cover here was something I’ve been trying to ignore: Cameras have two USB modes. In “Mass Storage Class” (MSC) mode, the computer sees...
  • Blog Post: What do people really think of Vista - Mojave

    Unless this is the first post you've read here you'll know that I like Windows Vista, not because I work for Microsoft but on it's own merits. (I'm sure I've said before I work for Microsoft because I like the products and the thinking behind them , not the other way round). You'll also know that I'm...
  • Blog Post: Vista’s Scheduling and Defrag

    One of the things that is new to Windows Vista is the Scheduling service. Out has gone the old AT service and in has a come a new Task engine with more features than you can shake a stick at. In the current Beta builds of Vista there are still a few things we need to get right as I found out this...
  • Blog Post: The Numpty paradox: trying not to insult customers

    A long time ago, in a company far far away, I ran a Novell network (2.15 !). The other administrator and I checked had Supervisor powers on this network and we found that it was nearly everybody. So we removed all of them. Our director threw a fit - so I told him I'd log his machine in as supervisor...
  • Blog Post: Another machine another rebuild and a Backup headache.

    Santa came late this year, and brought me a new Dell Latitude 820. Nice. Two 64-bit cores, a 1900x1200 screen and for the first time I have integrated Bluetooth - which works nicely with my new mouse. I put Microsoft-IT's standard build of 64 bit vista on, and all the components seem to work just fine...