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Software Piracy Meets “Dateline”

Dan sent me this video that parodies Dateline NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” to deliver a message about software piracy. Take a look:

The link at the end goes to, which is just a redirect to the Business Software Alliance’s page for reporting software piracy.

August 6th, 2009 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Humor, Law, General | no comments

How to Install Outlook Connector in Outlook 2010

I had installed Office 2010 last week, and the Outlook Connector installed just fine. When I reformatted and reinstalled Windows 7 over the weekend and then installed Office 2010 and got the same error I’ve been reading about all over the internet. A good number of people are saying they try to install it and get this error message:

You should have Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, 2007 or 2010 installed for the connector.

This was driving me nuts, until I figured it out: Last week, when it worked, I had Outlook 2007 installed, and didn’t after reformatting.

So, I installed a trial of Office 2007, and it worked! Just install Outlook 2007, which you can get here in Office Standard and don’t bother to enter a product key. Create the Hotmail account in Office 2010, it’ll download and install the proper version of Outlook Connector automatically, restart Outlook, and you’re done. Uninstall Outlook 2007 when you’re done.

Thank god I got this to work. It was driving me nuts!

July 21st, 2009 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Outlook, Office, Applications | 5 comments

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$10 To Answer This Question

I’m completely unable to find an answer (though this Russian forum might have something), so I’ll give ten bucks via PayPal (or whatever) to the first person to give me a working answer to this question:

How do I force an ATI X1550 card to output YPrPb signals on VGA under Windows Vista?

Even if it’s a stupid answer, if it works, I’ll pay you. It’s probably a registry key, or maybe there’s software, or maybe the Russians know something. If I have to buy the ATI HDTV dongle, and you can confirm that for me, I’ll give you five bucks.

Thanks for the assistance.

November 30th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General | one comment

Is Windows XP SP3 A Huge Mistake?

Microsoft is in the process of testing Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, in preparation for a wide release, and all indications are that it is a significant performance improvement for XP. In fact, the performance of XP under SP3 is so good, that some are saying it makes Windows Vista look like a chump.

It’s already a fact that Windows XP, with a six-year old architecture and tons of patches to stabilize and protect it, is Windows Vista’s number one competitor. XP is relatively stable, carries lower requirements, is compatible with almost everything and is usually already installed on most computers (except brand new ones). The challenge for Microsoft isn’t so much to prove Vista is better than Apple’s Mac OS, but that it is better than XP.

Microsoft until now has been challenging the image of XP in the marketplace, but when SP3 releases, it’ll actually be competing with itself. XP SP3 is an improvement to an already popular operating system, one that puts a direct shot across Vista’s bow, and actually sets up the team that developed SP3 as competition for Windows Vista.

Microsoft’s not stupid. It knows that it is in some ways shooting its own Vista in the foot with SP3, making Vista’s adoption harder against an improved XP point release. It would have been dishonest to its customers to cripple XP SP3 just to help Vista, and you can see how much Microsoft has improved in that it isn’t doing so. An “evil” company certainly would have.

Microsoft is likely counting on two things. Most probably, it will not significantly market SP3 like it did for Service Pack 2 three years ago. Current users will get the improvement, but Microsoft won’t encourage people to buy XP now that it has been improved. Microsoft wants you to get a better XP, but if you don’t have it, they still want you picking up Vista, which is also getting an improved Service Pack 1 release.

Besides that, Microsoft is probably hoping the good will from SP3 will encourage you to keep using Windows. Microsoft is seriously improving an older product at a significant cost to itself, showing commitment to improving its users experience at any cost. Microsoft will remind you that Vista will receive the same commitment, and that Apple charges money for point releases every two years.

Will it work? SP3 is going to cost Microsoft and Vista in the short run, but in the long run it could be a huge help for the company. At the least, if you’re buying XP, you’re still not buying Apple, right?

Photo by doobybrain under CC license

November 30th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | XP, Vista, Apple, Windows, General | 5 comments

MSN Video Surges Into Second Place

MSN Video is now the second most popular video brand on the internet, following a 25.3% traffic surge in October. MSN jumped to 35 million users, giving it 9% market share, good enough for #2 in an area heavily dominated by Google’s YouTube. Yahoo is half a percentage point behind Google. If Microsoft can sustain big gains for a few more months, they could pull away to become the indisputed top at the “Best of the Rest”.

November 30th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Soapbox, MSN | no comments

iPhone To Get PowerPoint Sync With Mac Office 2008

Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit has announced that Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac OS will allow iPhone and iPod users to sync with PowerPoint. You will be able to run PowerPoint slideshows on your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPod Classic and fatty iPod Nano (any iPod with picture support) if you have a Mac with PowerPoint 2008 and iPhoto (2006 or better).

PowerPoint will connect with iPhoto and export your presentation as a series of high resolution photos. Those photos will be saved on your hard drive and synced to your iPhone as photos normally are. Then, you can whip out your iPhone at any time and show slides from your PowerPoint presentation, or you can even plug the iPhone/iPod into a TV or projector to run a version of the presentation, minus the usual animations and transitions.

This via Mary Jo, who mentions that the Exchange sync iPhone users were promised four months has still not arrived, with no word on when or if it is ever coming.

November 30th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Office, Applications | no comments

The “Computer Randomly Plays Classical Music”, according to Microsoft Support

In what has to be first place for “Weirdest Tech Support Article Ever” we have Microsoft Help and Support Knowledge Base article 261186: Computer Randomly Plays Classical Music. Apparently, certain Award/Unicore BIOSes from 1997 on and detection circuits, which would alert you that the processor fan was failing the power supply voltages had drifted out of tolerance by playing classical music.

What would they play?

Beethoven’s Fur Elise:

And the Sherman Brothers / Disney’s It’s a Small, Small World:

That’s a pretty funny error message, and shows some good humor by the engineers. Plus, it creates a lot of incentive for the user to get the PC fixed, since who wouldn’t go crazy and take their PC to be repaired if it played “It’s a Small World After All” over and over and over and over and….

November 30th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Humor | 2 comments

Import PDFs Into Microsoft Word

Microsoft’s Word 2007 has the ability, with a plugin, to save your documents as PDF files. What it can’t do is import PDFs, but Microsoft’s MMEvents blog lists two utilities you can use to take a PDF and bring it into Word as an editable document.

Scansoft’s PDF Converter 4 lets you turn PDFs into fully formatted documents, forms and spreadsheets that look just like the original, retaining formatting and graphics. It even imports into WordPerfect, integrates with Word and Windows, and has a ton of other features for working with PDFs. The software costs $50 for download and requires Windows 2000 or better and works with Word 2000 through 2007.

Able2Doc 4.0 PDF to Word Converter also costs $50 and performs very quick conversions, and it has a free trial. They also have the more versatile Able2Extract PDF Converter 5.0, which can convert PDFs to Word, Excel, Powerpoint, HTML, text and more, for $100.

November 29th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Adobe, Word, Office, Applications | no comments

Office Mobile 6.1 Released; Adds Office 2007 Support

Office Mobile 6.1, the new version of Microsoft Office for Windows Mobile devices, has been released, and you can download it free right now for Windows Mobile 5.0 or 6 phones or PDAs. The new version brings, most importantly, support for Office 2007 Open XML file formats for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Also, it adds:

  • Enhanced viewing experience for charts in Excel Mobile.
  • Ability to view SmartArt in PowerPoint Mobile.
  • Ability to view and extract files from compressed (.zip) folders.

You’ll need 6 megabytes of space on your device or storage card to install.
(via Robert McLaws)

November 29th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Office, Applications | no comments

Windows Live Messenger 9 Available In Closed Beta

Windows Live Messenger 9’s beta has begun, with beta testers getting access to the software on Microsoft Connect. If you applied for the beta, check your email or check Connect to see if you’ve been accepted. Here are some screenshots of it someone leaked out:

The middle screenshots show off the new feature, which allows you to be signed in to your account on multiple computers at the same time. You can even click to sign yourself out of a remote computer from any computer, which is very convenient.

The last screenshot shows off another new feature, which lets you import custom sounds to associate with each of your friends when they log in. Not only can you choose from a list of sounds, you can select a five second sample from any music file on your computer to use that as the sound. The interface for choosing the sample is so clean and simple, I feel it should be integrated into the operating system for all programs to use to manipulate music and video clips.

Also, apparently Live Messenger is dropping Verizon Web Calling for VoIP calls, replacing it with a service to be announced later.

November 29th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Live, Messenger, Windows | 2 comments

Happy 22nd Birthday, Windows!

Microsoft Windows turned 22 years old last week. Amazing, the idea of any series of software product lasting over two decades, but Windows 1.0 was released November 20, 1985, and after several lousy initial versions, hit respectability with Windows 3.0/3.1 and mass popularity with Windows 95.

I’d hardly argue that the Mac operating system has lasted as long, but rather that the original Mac OS lasted from 1984-2001, and that the current OS is a younger six years old. That’s not necessarilly a bad thing, but it’s important to seperate Mac OS 9 and X as two products that share a brand name and used to share a lot more compatibility than they do now. Windows started out as a GUI over DOS that could run its own executables, and while evolving over time never cut off the previous generation completely.

November 29th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Windows | one comment

Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility Updated

The Xbox 360 continues to get more backwards compatibility updates, this one adding a lot of new games from the original Xbox that will now run on the 360. This update adds 84 news games, bringing the total to 465:

2006 Fifa World Cup Germany
25 to Life
AMF Bowling 2004
Arena Football
Armed and Dangerous
Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance
Batman Rise of Sin Tzu
Blade II
Blinx: The Timesweeper
Blitz The League
Blood Omen 2
Burnout 2: Point of Impact
Cabelas Dangerous Hunts 2
Championship Manager 2006
Colin Mcrae Rally 2005
Crime Life: Gang Wars
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2
Dungeons& Dragons Heroes
ESPN College Hoops 2k5
Fantastic 4
FIFA 06 Soccer
Fight Night: Round 3
Final Fight: Streetwise
Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone
Freedom Fighters
Freestyle Street Soccer
Future Tactics: The Uprising
Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Melee
Godzilla Save the Earth
Goldeneye Rogue Agent
Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball Max’d
High Heat MLB 2004
Hunter: The Reckoning
Indiana Jones And The Emperors Tomb
MLB Slugfest Loaded
MVP Baseball 2003
MVP Baseball 2004
MVP Baseball 2005
Nascar Thunder 2002
Nascar Thunder 2003
NBA 2k3
NBA Ballers
NBA Inside Drive 2002
NBA Street V3
NCAA College Basketball 2k3
NCAA March Madness 2005
NCAA March Madness 2006
NFL 2k2
NFL 2k3
NHL 2005
NHL Hitz Pro
Nightcaster: Defeat The Darkness
NTRA Breeders Cup: World Thoroughbred Championships
Playboy The Mansion
RLH Hunt or be Hunted
Robin Hood: Defender of the Crown
Rugby 2006
Shattered Union
Shrek Super Party
Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter
Starsky & Hutch
Syberia II
Techmo Classic Arcade
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Test Drive
The Bard’s Tale
The Chronicles of Narnia The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
The Guy Game
The Lord Of The Rings: The Third Age
Thousand Land
Tom and Jerry in War of the Whiskers
Turok: Evolution
Van Helsing
Worms 3D

November 29th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Xbox 360, Xbox | no comments

Live Spaces Tops Downtime Report

Pingdom tracked 12 top social networking sites from October 19 to November 19, and found that Microsoft’s Live Spaces had the most downtime, with the site failing to respond for a total of three hours over the course of the month. By contrast, that’s more than Facebook (10 minutes), MySpace (10), Bebo (30), LiveJournal (40) and Orkut (85) combined, and worst on the list.

Number one was Yahoo 360, but that service was so unpopular it’s being closed, so I suspect the zero minutes of downtime can be attributed to zero server load.

Downtime for social network home pages Oct 19 - Nov 19, 2007
Social Network Home page Downtime
Yahoo! 360 0m
Facebook 10m
MySpace 10m
Bebo 30m 35m
LiveJournal 40m 1h 10m
Orkut 1h 25m 1h 40m
Friendster  1h 50m
Xanga 2h 10m
Windows Live Spaces 3h 0m

November 29th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Live, Spaces, Windows | one comment

Hotmail Founder Wants Microsoft To Sue Him

Sabeer Bhatia, co-founder of Hotmail (which he sold to Microsoft) is now trying to take on Microsoft Office and Google Docs, launching an online office suite. While that in and of itself is a perfectly fine (albeit difficult) project, Sabeer’s methods are surprisingly self-destructive. His Live Documents site (a name that makes you think of Microsoft’s Office Live) uses Office 2007’s “Ribbon” interface, designed in Flex, to power document editing, spreadsheets and presentations.

The interface is a near-copy of the one in Office 2007, just with less features, containing the same colors and structure. Microsoft does allow other software developers to use the Ribbon for free and without permission, but the only real rule is that they can’t use it for programs that compete with Microsoft Office. Bhatia is tempting a lawsuit, considering he ignored the guidelines set by Microsoft, and I don’t envy his position.

There is some good stuff, like a plugin that synchronizes documents between Office and Live Docs, and makes it easy to upload, but I wouldn’t rely on a website that is destined to be sued into oblivion. Unless Bhatia is trying to get bought out by Microsoft, Live Documents doesn’t seem set for a long life.
(via Amit)

November 28th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Office, Applications | 3 comments

Home Server Gets Another Update

Windows Home Server users are gifted today with yet another system update, adding some small new stuff to the operating system. Your Home Server now gets an SSL certificate for remote access (you’ll have to re-run setup to get it). Also, they’ve added a Delete All button to delete all home computer backups on the server and shipped improvements to the Shared Folder and Server Storage componenents.

November 28th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Home Server, Server, Windows | no comments

Wait, So I’m Not A Trained Server Technician?

This site has been down for two days, which, you know, is always fun and profitable. The reason? Me and GoDaddy came up with this wonderful sponsorship agreement, which would allow this site to move to a dedicated server and thusly be more stable and not ever go down for two days, as well as allowing me the flexibility to install lots of useful plugins I couldn’t otherwise on a shared host.

Problem is, that didn’t work out so well. Turns out running a server is hard :-)

In the end, I’m glad to say the problem was not my fault, I’m just the one suffering for it. Turns out that GoDaddy’s default server provisioning enables a service called iptables, which manages a lot of NAT and firewall stuff on Linux, but installed it without enabling the ports for HTTP and FTP access (which are kind of important). Also, I have to change a setting in an “A-Record”, whatever the hell that is.

Anyway, I’m going to re-attempts the server move this weekend. Until then, enjoy some speedblogging.

Also, I’m still looking for someone interested in helping me sell some ads for this site. Traffic has been spiking like crazy, and on a 30% commission, it’s a nice way to make some side money. If you’re interested, just hit the contact form or comment on this post.

November 28th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General | no comments

Buy Mac Office Today Only At HUGE Discount

Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit is offering an amazing deal today, and today only, on Mac Office. The deal is twofold:

  • Buy Mac Office 2004 today, get a $100 mail-in-rebate. This applies to any version.
  • When Office 2008 is released shortly, get Office 2008 Special Media Edition for just $6.99.

Now, the Office 2004 Student and Teacher Edition is just $150 in most places, so with the rebate, you pay fifty freakin’ bucks. Office 2008 Special Media is $500, but you get it for seven dollars more. So, pay $57, and get a $500 ultimate edition of Mac Office 2008.

Unless you comparison shop, because has Office 2004 for just $125. So, you get the big 2008 edition for even less, just $32! What a deal! Oh, and it looks like they’ll send you Office and Student 2008, too, as part of the deal, so you’re getting four computers worth of Office 2008 here. Unbelievable.

Now, this deal is today only, so get cracking right now! Buy the Office suite, then head here to get your rebate. If you don’t buy today, you’ll still get the seven dollar upgrade, but lose the $100 rebate.

November 23rd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Office, Applications | no comments

Microsoft Working On 3,500 Open XML Concerns

Microsoft’s battle to get Open XML approved as an international standard continues, with them working their asses off to clear three thousand, five hundred twenty two comments from international voting members. The members of Ecma have addressed their concerns, and if Microsoft wants their votes, they have to address those concerns. Microsoft’s Brian Jones, who is Microsoft’s sole Ecma member, explains what the company is currently doing to whittle those down.

There are 3522 comments in total, but when you group them into similar buckets it narrows down pretty quickly into a more manageable list… but still pretty impressive!

There are currently 662 responses, and the plan is to provide updates to this list every few weeks. We still have almost 2 months until the deadline, but given that we have a lot of issues to work though, we thought it would be best to provide the responses earlier than the Jan deadline to allow for more time to discuss the issues.

So far I think we’re doing a pretty good job of doing what the national body is asking for. Most of the comments were accompanied by a proposed resolution, and most of them are great suggestions, so our response back is often that we’ll do exactly what they are asking for.

More at Computer World and Slashdot.

November 23rd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Corporate, Office, Applications | no comments