Great article from Scott Hanselman on Edge.js bringing Node.js and .Net together on three different platforms; Mac, Windows, Linux.
My daughter brought me her HP laptop that was running Windows Vista, but now won’t boot. Like many users, she had years worth of data and no backup. All she wants are the photos and a few assorted documents. After trying various hard drive utilities, with no luck, I decided to try and create a bootable Ubuntu (Linux) USB stick. I know from past experience that booting Linux on a USB stick should get us by Windows but still allow us to get files off the hard drive.
Following these directions (I am using a Mac, but there are options for Windows too), I was able to create a bootable version of Ubuntu 12.10. Rebooting the laptop with the USB stick plugged in, I was able to boot to the USB stick, and start up Ubuntu. And like some kind of magic, the Ubuntu Desktop appeared. Bringing up the File Manager tool, and finding the folder where the photos and documents are located, I was able to download all 20GB worth of files to another USB hard drive I had plugged into the laptop.
Now we can rebuild the system using Windows Vista (because the system was built specifically for Vista, mainly because there aren’t any Windows XP/7/8 drivers for the video/network/sound cards.
I might be able to make Windows 7 work, but it will be a stretch. I may just install Ubuntu 12.10 on the laptop and call it good. She’ll have a system that is easy to use and will give her fewer problems. I guess it also means I’ll have to do a little training.
Netflix Headed For A Brick Wall?
It was bound to happen, subscriber backlash over pricing, and recent news that major content providers are cutting ties with Netflix. Read more of the story here: http://thom.ws/mUNE5C
Is Steve Balmer Actually Surprised At The Crappy Windows Phone 7 Sales?
Steve, you have to actually build a brand, a community, and a solid app store before you can start to capture market share. Oh, and if you have to battle the retail sales folks for pushing people away from your product, you will have an even harder time selling your product. You have some serious holes in your plan. Read more here: http://thom.ws/qgZ7yI
MOG Launches Free Version Of Music Service
MOG announced today that they are offering an ad-supported free version of their music service. The interesting thing here is they are trying to gamify the service, giving users free music, based on the amount of sharing, playlist creation, and the number of referrals to the service. This could be interesting. According to their press release “Tastemakers and influencers can easily get a lifetime of free on-demand music.” Read more here: http://thom.ws/o4P0CC
Chegg Buys Zinch In A Move Towards A Social Education Platform
You may not have heard of either of these companies, but they are leaders in their own industries. Chegg is an online book rental service for college students, and Zinch is an online service that connects high school students with college recruiters. On the surface, this is an odd acquisition, but more and more companies are buying complimentary services and products to increase their over all sales. Read more here: http://thom.ws/nvLUNG
Samsung Wants To Own Your First, Second, And Third Screen
Samsung is making a push to build technology that directly competes with Apple and it’s AirPlay technology. The company has had some success in the past, but this push could be fueled by the back and forth patent infringement claims made by both Apple and Samsung. Read more here: http://thom.ws/qZK9T4
1. Apple’s iCloud To Be Free At Launch, Then Pay To Play
Apple Inc. has just sewn up its contracts with the four major record labels Thursday for a cloud music service, with agreements from music publishers to follow on Friday, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
2. Mashape, the Marketplace for APIs, Moves to Beta
An app is like a Lego construction, Mashape is your Lego box. Search the API you need an easily integrate it in your project.
3. Robots With Laser Vision, Ford’s New $100M Investment
Ford’s new army of laser-sighted robots has the very benevolent aim of reducing wind noise in your next car.
4. Why +1 Could Crush Facebook (And How Google Could Blow It)
Yesterday they were joined in hope by Google +1, and while many are saying that it too will fail, I believe Google has a SERIOUS opportunity here.
5. Microsoft refuses to comment as .NET developers fret about Windows 8
There is a long discussion over on the official Silverlight forum about Microsoft’s Windows 8 demo at D9 and what was said, and not said; and another over on Channel 9, Microsoft’s video-centric community site for developers.
6. Cloud Computing Takes Us Into The Future of Technology, Chrome OS Leads The Way
In the future, computers could be distributed via a monthly subscription and the hardware and software update could become history.
Windows Phone 7 is about to hit the streets, and there is a lot of buzz being generated. My first impression of the phones are so-so. Nothing to write home about. The device is simple, and according to Steve Balmer’s keynote address at PDC2010, Microsoft wanted to put the most important features front and center on the main screen.
Microsoft is late to the mobile party as it were. Apple owns a commanding lead in the smart phone arena, with Android and BlackBerry having large user bases. But Windows hasn’t had a game competing device or OS until now. If Microsoft does this right, and doesn’t strong arm developers as much as Apple does, the Windows Phone 7 app store could be the piece that makes this phone a winner.
Application Stores like iTunes, have given Apple the leverage it needs to remain strong and keep their lead. With over the top developer agreements, and total control over the hardware and software, they also control the experience. Microsoft owns the OS, but is allowing other manufactures to build the devices, which isn’t necessarily and bad thing, but could be one reason it only achieves mediocre success. If I could wave a magic wand and command the Mobile division at Microsoft, that’s what I would do. Users may kick and scream, but taking a queue from Apple, so what. The experience is second to none.
The application space for the Windows Phone 7 could be a land rush. And with the shear number of developers who write software for the Windows platform, and so have a good understanding of the language used to write applications for WP7, I would expect see the volume of apps built and sold in the WP7 store to dwarf that of Apples iTunes App Store. I could be wrong, but the numbers are in Microsoft’s favor.
Microsoft is definitely muscling in on the mobile and cloud space. With the introduction of the Azure platform, and the WP7, Microsoft is finally starting to embrace anywhere computing as it’s lead platform.
Twitter released a version of their mobile device client for Windows Phone 7. This version of the client uses a platform and design they call Metro. This application also lets you view your Twitter data through Pivots, described as pages.
From the Twitter blog:
We dug into the platform with a development partner, IdentityMine, who helped us get started creating our application. We used an open source REST API library, Tweet Sharp, as the foundation for our app, and IdentityMine will release some significant improvements back into open source for everyone to use.
Wow, releasing this application back into the community as open source. That will let developers take the code and create their own versions, based off the work Twitter and IdentityMine have already done. Nice to see them ahead of the curve.
I’ve been using Windows 7 for a few months, and I’ve come to enjoy two features not seen in Windows XP or Windows Vista. The first is a fast list that is shown when you click on an item in the task bar and move the mouse up just slightly, this menu below will show up. It doesn’t work for every application, but for applications like browsers, you can quickly selected a web page you’ve visited recently. Kind of cool. The next neat feature I really like, and in fact, one that ups the coolness factor, is the built in search. When you click on the start button, the expanding menu now includes a search box. If you’re looking for an application or document, start typing the name or key word, and a list of files or applications meeting your criteria show up. This has given me an increase in productivity when it comes to finding the application and documents I want to open. I’m still not a Windows fan boy, but Windows 7 has been a lot easier to use than previous versions.
A recent Windows Forms project required that I copy data from a grid and an associated object with each cell copied. This allows a user to paste the data in the same grid but in a different set of cells. My problem came when a user would copy data from an external application like Excel, and tries to copy the text into my grid. I had to come up with a way to determine the user was trying to paste something copied from an external program. There is a great solution using a Windows API called GetClipboardSequenceNumber().
[DllImport("user32.dll")]static extern uint GetClipboardSequenceNumber();
Using this API allows you top capture the sequence number every time something is copied to the clipboard. Here is the workflow I went through.
1. Capture the sequence number when the mouse or keyboard events are fired
2. When the paste event is fired, check the clipboard sequence and compare it to one saved locally. If the numbers are difference, only paste the text, if they are the same, paste the text and the object.
I put the sequence capture in my Copy method so it’s changed internally every time someone chooses Edit/Copy from the menu, presses CTL-C, or right clicks and selects Copy from a popup menu.
This seems to work pretty well. There really isn’t any code to share other than the knowing which DLL and method to use. Where to store the sequence and how you use it is going to be up to you.
Advice from a seasoned IT professional.
Clean Up Your Desktop
Seriously, stop cluttering your desktop with icons. Shortcuts and documents are easily organized into folders, imagine that. Shortcuts are just as effective on the start menu. The computers I use have no more than four icons on the desktop. At home: Recycle Bin. At work: My Documents, My Computer, Recycle Bin, shttpd.exe. There’s just no need to have 20 documents, 15 shortcuts, 22 favorites, and 10 PDF’s. ORGANIZE YOUR CRAP.