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Gates/Jobs Musical

Yes, there is actually a musical opening next month about the lives of Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Jobs. Nerds: A Musical Software Satire, opens September 20 with eight performances at off-Broadway theatre The Beckett. Follow the link to hear two songs, “I’m Just A Nerd” and “Windows Rap”. Hopefully I’ll be able to review it for you guys.
(via Steve Rubel)

August 24th, 2005 Posted by | Apple, Corporate, General, Humor | 2 comments

Microsoft’s RAW Viewer Available For Download

Apparently at some point Microsoft made its RAW image viewer for Windows that I mentioned months ago available to download. Get it. Thanks to Matt Walters for the tip.

A note on requirements: It requires Genuine Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and the .Net Framework 1.1 installed. The file info page leaves out Windows XP Media Center Edition as a supported OS, but it did install for me. Somebody send me a Canon or Nikon RAW file so I can verify it works.

UPDATE: Works (thanks, Matt). The viewer is a lot like the default Windows image viewer, with an extra option or two. You can make it your default viewer for all images, not just RAW. Getting image thubnails in folder views is even more convenient.

August 24th, 2005 Posted by | General, Windows | no comments

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Windows OneCare Beta First Impressions

Today, I got into the beta for Windows OneCare, Microsoft’s security suite. Thus far, it seems like a good program, but I have no way of knowing how secure I am unless something bad happens.

OneCare is made up of several programs, all of which run seamlessly in a single simple interface. I’ve been using Norton’s suite lately, and OneCare’s central controls are far simpler. In Norton, I’d have buttons that were unclear as to their functionality, while other critical functions were buried deep within the program. OneCare does a much better job organizing things, and there are “What does this do?” links all over the place.

OneCare has antivirus, firewall, antispyware (not present in Beta 1), backup and restore, tune-up, defragmenter and clean-up functions. Doing anything with one portion of the suite typically runs more than one process, which makes the whole thing work together excellently. For example, running Tune-up triggers an antivirus scan, a backup scan (to determine what files need backing up), defragments the drive and removes unnecessary files (like temp files).

OneCare’s status bar logo, a silly “1″ written in an askew oval, changes color based on your level of protection. If you haven’t backed up lately or scanned, or aren’t running active protection, it changes from green to yellow to red, (although I haven’t gotten that bad). It describes Green status as “Good”, yellow as “Fair” and red as “At Risk”.

Speed is not great, but it never is with these programs. A full Tune-up ran well over an hour. Tune-Up can delete unnecessary files, like temporary files, program installation files, ActiveX controls and Java applets, Microsoft Error Reporting files and Office setup files.

The Backup scan is quite cool. It scans your hard disk and tries to determine which files need backing up. In my case it found 1.8 gigabytes, consisting of music, pictures, Microsoft and Adobe documents (those from popular document programs get their own category), Outlook files, the remaining contents of My Computer and My Documents and IE favorites.

Following the scan, you can add any files (like saved games) that were missed. Then, you insert your blank CD or DVD and enjoy the knowledge that, after a compression and burn process, your data is safe.

All in all, as long as my system remains safe, I’ll be happy. If OneCare lets something get through that Norton detects, I’ll let you know.

August 24th, 2005 Posted by | AntiSpyware, General, Security | no comments

Unofficial Microsoft Intern Day?

A little bit of Microsoft intern stuff came through the old aggregator yesterday.

The best thing was the Microsoft Internz Music Video where some interns decided to celebrate the end of their time at Microsoft by saying Bye, Bye, Bye. Best part: The water fountain scene. You’ll see.

Seriously, a must watch.

Channel 9 has also posted a Meet Out Interns video. Not necessarily funny, but innaresting nonetheless.
(via Jobs Blog, Ledgard, Scoble)

August 24th, 2005 Posted by | Corporate, General, Humor | one comment

Happy Birthday, Windows 95

Today is the tenth anniversary of Windows 95 and MSN, also known as the first time the average person realized computers could actually be useful in the home. Regardless of bugs and mistakes and Apple-innovated features, Windows 95 was when the PC came into its own and the internet began to explode. Its been a great ten years.

Notice that, while Windows is better now than it has ever been, it has never been so threatened on so many fronts. What odds can we put on there still being Windows in 2015?

August 24th, 2005 Posted by | Corporate, General, Windows | 4 comments

MSN Messenger 7.5 Released

Microsoft has shipped a major interim update to MSN Messenger, version 7.5. New features, according to Neowin:

Among the new features are Dymanic Backgrounds and Voice Clips. Dynamic Backgrounds fill your MSN Messenger conversations and subtly animate during the conversation. Voice Clips allow you to send short audio clips (15 secs max) to your friends on MSN Messenger.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Google released their own IM client today.

August 24th, 2005 Posted by | General, Messenger, MSN | one comment

Halo Movie Greenlit

Gamespot reports from Variety that the Halo movie has now been set by joint studios Fox and Universal to hit theatres in the summer of 2007.

Peter Schlessel (American Gun) will produce the flick, which was scribed by author Alex Garland. Garland, whose previous credits include the novel and film adaptation of The Beach and zombie-horror film 28 Days Later, was reportedly paid $1 million for the Bungie-approved script.

The deal gives several Bungie employees “extensive consultation” on the project, but it doesn’t give them final word.

August 24th, 2005 Posted by | General, Halo, Xbox | 2 comments