Archives for: "October 2006"

Windows Live Messenger 8.1 beta

Microsoft have just released the beta version of Windows Live Messenger 8.1 to the general public.

It's got a couple of key news features my favourite being roaming profiles, this is something that has bugged me a lot recently with re-installing Windows every few weeks with new Vista builds - I'd have to get my yeti picture back out and put him as my display image. Now however it, along with your personal message is being stored server-side like my contact list, so it won't matter where I sign-in from in the future my stuff will just be there.

There have been a few tweaks here and there, couple of new features and the menus have been re-organised a bit too.

You can check out the WLM team blog here, and download the beta here.

Windows Vista and Office 2007 packaging

Makes a change from the boring old square boxes.

Office Home and Student 2007 packagingOffice Professional 2007 packaging

Windows Vista Home Basic packagingWindows Vista Home Premium packaging

Windows Vista Business packagingWindows Vista Ultimate packaging

Wanna use Windows Vista - ditch nVidia

Now before I start off I'd just like to say I'm sure nVidia will of ironed out most of their problems in the next few months. So for most people this isn't for technical reasons, I recommend ditching them because of their attitude throughout the beta process.

I'm absolutely fed up with nVidia's drivers for Windows Vista. In all honestly they just don't seem to improve at all. My Tablet with a GeForce 5200 doesn't wake from sleep using nVidia's drivers.

Every time nVidia release a new version I go and check them out, and they get even worse, with each release. Now screen corruption, even on the desktop, can be added to the list of things they've somehow broken.

I have to go back to the Windows XP drivers just to make the system function correctly. Windows Vista is going to be finished in just a few days nVidia, seriously, what the hell do you think you're playing at?

Speaking of playing things, there have been hundreds of posts on Microsoft's public Vista newsgroups about games not working, with things like screen corruption, crashing and other weird behaviour which can usually be associated with video drivers. Yeah you guessed it, they're all using nVidia graphics cards.

There's one guy saying that Battlefield 2142 doesn't work properly and the screen is corrupted. Somebody replies saying there's a bug with full screen mode. That's funny; I use Battlefield 2142 on the same build as this guy and have no problems.

Guess what the difference is? He's got an nVidia card, I've got an ATI card, in fact for as long as I've been using Vista I haven't had any problems with games in my machines, well other than the one with the GeForce.

So because of nVidia's shockingly poor drivers throughout the Windows Vista beta and RC stages I hope their market share suffers, they certainly shouldn't gain if people knew how buggy their software has been and how much crap beta testers, and later the public have had to put up with.

End the Mexican government

The Mexican government has the nerve to demand that "protesters" in the southern city of Oaxaca lift barricades and end their occupation of the city.

Sorry to the un-elected bourgeois government, but the city of Oaxaca is under the control of the people, it has been since June and it will continue.

Some parts from the BBC article:

The demand came as hundreds of federal police sent by President Vincente Fox were seen arriving in the city.

Three people including a US journalist died in clashes between masked gunmen and leftist protesters on Friday.

Yes, the government can try and send in the thugs to attack the people; they'll lose (again).

The demonstrators are seeking to oust Governor Ulises Ruiz, whom they accuse of abuse of power.

The People's Popular Assembly, the only legitimate organ of power in Oaxaca, has decided that the former governor is no longer the governor and is banned from the state.

An interior ministry statement called for "the immediate handover of the streets, plazas, public buildings and private property".

Sorry but no, the government should resign and a Mexican Socialist Republic should be declared.

Thousands of schools have been closed since the strike began in May, leaving 1.3 million children out of school.

The teachers staged the walk-out, demanding higher pay and better working conditions.

After police attacked one of their demonstrations in June, they extended their demands to include a call for the resignation of Gov Ruiz. The teachers were joined in their protest by left-wing groups.

More information in the revolutionary movement in Mexico can be found here.

Windows Vista daylight savings / summer time

Polish. That's what this feature is.

Windows Vista and daylight saving / summer time

It informs you when the clock will be changing. There's only one thing I don't like about this feature, in the UK we call it British Summer Time, not Daylight Savings Time. But I'll let them off, until Windows "Vienna" anyway. Or better yet until we scrap all this silly time changing nonsense.

Too much Windows this and Windows that

I installed Windows Vista 5744 on my Tablet PC the other day, before I had a chance to install Toshiba's utilities to make the screen automatically rotate I went over to the Control Panel to change the orientation to portrait mode.

Now to do this I was looking for the Mobility Center, which has all the mobile controls for brightness, rotation and so on.

But I couldn't find it. After another few seconds, there it was hiding down the bottom, after all it's called Windows Mobility Center.

Then it hit me, there's far too much stuff that begins with the word Windows.

Windows Vista Control Panel

Windows CardSpace, Windows Defender, Windows Firewall, Windows Mobility Center, Windows Sidebar Properties, Windows SideShow and Windows Update.

How many of these actually need Windows in front of their name? Windows Defender, sure that is a separate product on XP and 2003. Windows Firewall, sure I could see some users getting it confused with 3rd party firewalls, Windows Update, sure it updates Windows.

But the rest don't need to have Windows in front of their names. It gets even worse when we get to the Start Menu, where almost everything is Windows Calendar or Windows this...

What do I want to see in Windows codename "Vienna"? An end to Windows this and that. It makes the W key pointless in search as it brings back results for nearly everything!

Xbox 360 HD DVD on Vista confirmed

Fellow MVP Robert McLaws, confirmed today that the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive will be recognised by Windows Vista.

However it will not ship with decoder software and there is some confusion over Windows Vista's ability to play HD DVD natively. So you may require a 3rd party software package like you do with Windows XP and DVDs today.

Either way $200 for an HD DVD drive that will work on your PC (even if you need to buy a decoder) and on your Xbox 360 sounds like a good deal to me.

Raising the Internet Explorer connection limit

As many of you are aware IE will only make two simultaneous connections to a server. This is down to the RFC standards to try and prevent servers getting hammered. In recent years however other browsers have ignored this standard and raised their limit.

But if you want to change it within IE it's also possible here's how.

Fire up regedit and browse to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings
Create two new DWORDs called:
MaxConnectionsPerServer and MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server

Then change their decimal values to 8 for example - if you want to allow up to 8 simultaneous connections.

If you want to create a .reg file here's what you use:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]
"MaxConnectionsPerServer"=dword:00000008
"MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server"=dword:0000008

I've tested this on IE7 on Windows Vista and it works well. Update: Tested it on IE6 on Windows XP too with similar results.

Internet Explorer 7 released

Microsoft have released the long-awaited Internet Explorer 7. I'll do a review/guide on the changes for the Windows Resource at some point in the not too distant future. Until then here are the download locations:

IE7 Final For Windows XP 32-Bit.

IE7 Final For Windows Server 2003 32-Bit.

IE7 Final for Windows XP/Server 2003 64-Bit.

IE7 Final for Windows Server 2003 Itanium.

More information, including a tour of the new features can be found on the IE7 website.

Windows Live Alerts

I know some of you guys don't use RSS or Atom feeds as much as you should so now you can be alerted when I update the blog over Windows Live Alerts, which can either be e-mailed to you or they can be sent over Windows Live Messenger itself.

Windows Live Alerts

They'll look something like that saying that my blog has been updated. You can subscribe by clicking the Windows Live Alerts button at the bottom of the contents to the right, signing in and telling it where you'd like the alerts delivered, to unsubscribe just click options on one of the alerts which will take you to the alerts control center.

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