Internet Explorer 8 has released: Download links enclosed


Microsoft has just released Internet Explorer 8 (final build) today.  There’s not much to say, other than it’s the newest browser for Microsoft.  If you are running Windows 7 Beta (Build 7000), it looks like you will have to wait until the Release Client (coming VERY soon)!

Here are the links to the IE 8 builds:

Enjoy,

~ Robert Shelton

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author: Robert Shelton Jr. | posted @ Thursday, March 19, 2009 12:34 PM | Feedback (0)

Video: A Microsoft view of the future of computing (Very Interesting)


I just saw this video yesterday at work for the first time in an internal meeting and I had two thoughts.  First thought was: I’ve seen videos like this before and although they were nice videos, I couldn’t see the way to get there, so I always discounted much of what I saw as just “a vision.”  However, as I got home and saw the video again (albeit a shorter version than the one that I saw earlier), and I started to look at what was being shown and matching it with what I have on my desk today and was hopeful for this “vision of the future.”

 

 

Here’s a short-list of what I saw:

  1. Touch enabled devices – We have those (e.g., iPhones, HTC Touch phones, etc.)
  2. Touch enabled surfaces – We have those (e.g., Microsoft Surface tables, HP’s Touch Computer running Vista, Touch enabled features in Windows 7 beta, etc.).  However, getting touch-enabled walls, windows, etc. are not available today, but I have seen enough (i.e., the Science Channel and other demonstrations) to know that people are working on them.
  3. Tablet Computing – We’ve had that for a while, since Windows XP.  However they showed more capability and a smoother experience than we have today.  I hear that companies are working on Android interfaces for netbooks and other devices, so I can see this market potentially growing and getting stronger.
  4. Extremely high-speed communications between devices – This is one that I’ve seen the foundation for with 3G/4G wireless and Bluetooth communication between devices.  However moving information (i.e., data, video, pictures) from one device to a nearby device with a swipe of the hand is not something that I’ve seen as of yet.  However, I can see how we could get there as my recent experience with my Kindle 2 is showing me (Amazon keeps you synched from Kindle to the cloud to another Kindle 2, without losing your place in a book, for the most part).
  5. Digital Ink devices – In the longer form video they show a guy reading his news paper a dynamically switching between stories on a digital-ink newspaper (i.e., foldable/paper-like device).  I have the precursor to that today in my Kindle, but it’s not foldable.  To be honest, I personally prefer it NOT TO BE FOLDABLE!  I can see a need use for this kind of tactile feedback-like device, but I personally don’t need it for news/books etc.
  6. Heads up displays (HUD) that display virtual world image overlays of physical world “stuff”.  I’ve seen prototypes of this kind of technology, but from what I’ve seen we’d have to change our manufacturing processes to adorn physical equipment with RFID’s or some other technology to let the HUD figure out what we’re looking at and how we are holding it.
  7. Gesture-technology to manipulate the virtual world – We have that today in limited form with the iPhones, HTC Phones, Microsoft Surface device, and some other more specialized equipment.  So I can see how we’d get there.

 

~Robert Shelton

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author: Robert Shelton Jr. | posted @ Saturday, February 28, 2009 9:27 AM | Feedback (0)

Free download: Internet Explorer 8 RC1


The IE Team has published the Release Candidate for Internet Explorer 8.0. 

Here’s the overview from the page:

Internet Explorer 8 is the latest version of the familiar web browser you are most comfortable using, helping you get everything you want from the web faster, easier, more privately and securely than ever before.

  • Faster Internet Explorer 8 is more responsive with new pages and tabs, opening up fast and reliably. You can now get to the information you care about most, in fewer steps; one click access to your webmail, favorite news sites or other online services.
  • Easier Reduce the steps to accomplish many common tasks, and automate your access to real time information updates. You can keep track of your favorite sports team, news, weather with a single click.
  • More Private Helps protect your privacy and confidential information where ever you go on the web.
  • More Secure Helps protect and stop malicious software from reaching your PC, and makes it easier to detect when a website is an imposter.

WARNING, WARNING!: To install the RC, you have to UNINSTALL the Beta 2 (if you have it installed).  Since you need a browser to get the RC, either download it locally before uninstalling Beta 2, or have another/alternate browser available to get to the link.  I downloaded it first to my desktop, uninstalled Beta 2, rebooted, and then installed RC1.

To download it: Click here (Note: this link is for Visa and Windows Server 2008 32bit, look at the bottom of the page for XP and Windows Server 2003, and the 64bit versions)

~Robert Shelton

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author: Robert Shelton Jr. | posted @ Monday, January 26, 2009 3:18 PM | Feedback (0)

Free download: Microsoft Visual Studio Learning Pack 2.0


If you or your kids are trying to learn how to program, then you might want to take a look at this free download.  Keep in mind that you will need a copy of Visual Studio, but you can download one of the free versions of Visual Studio (Visual Studio Express Editions), found here.

Overview of the Learning Pack:

The Visual Studio Learning Pack 2.0 is a software package created by Microsoft to help students learn about computer programming. It consists of the following five components:

  • Sort Designer Control is a supplementary teaching tool developed to help students learn the basic concepts, algorithms, and implementations of popular computer sorting algorithms. It supports bubble and insertion sorting. The control generates initial values automatically and demonstrates intermediate states in the sorting process. It also generates sorting source code for both Visual Basic and C#.
  • Search Designer Control is a teaching tool developed to help students learn the basic concepts, algorithms, and implementations of popular data search algorithms. It supports binary and sequential searches. The control generates initial values automatically and demonstrates intermediate states in the searching process. It also generates source code for both Visual Basic and C#.
    Using the Visual Sort Designer and Visual Search Designer Controls teachers can easily develop a sample program to demonstrate the fundamentals of sorting and searching. They can also customize the control's appearance by simply dragging the control onto a form and setting its properties. These visual demonstrations help in teaching programming concepts and increase students' interest in learning.
  • Visual Declarative Designer is an intuitive variable declaration tool designed for novice programmers. During the coding process the student can declare variables of various types and generate the corresponding source code. Visual Variable Declarative Designer provides a visual approach to variable declaration. Teachers in the Information Technology (IT) field can use this designer to teach students the basic concepts of variable declaration and naming, variable types, access modifiers, and initial values.
  • Assistant Class Designer is a visual class designer for novice programmers. This designer guides students through the processes of adding classes, properties, methods and events. The designer also generates the corresponding source code for new classes. By using this designer, teachers and students can easily create and configure complicated classes. Assistant Class Designer provides an intuitive and interactive method for designing classes and helps students to understand key object-oriented programming concepts such as classes, encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism. The Assistant Class Designer generates source code for C# only.
  • Visual Programming Flow Chart is a supplementary teaching tool designed to help students understand program control flow. It generates flow charts for functions and saves them in the JPG picture format. This tool is easily activated from the Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) by simply right-clicking on a function name and choosing “Generate flow chart…” from the context menu. The resulting flowchart can be customized by changing its colors and other effects. This visual tool provides an intuitive way to explore source code, to examine its control flow, and to identify logic errors.

To access the learning pack: Click here

Robert Shelton

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author: Robert Shelton Jr. | posted @ Saturday, January 24, 2009 10:07 AM | Feedback (0)

Free download: Visual Studio Team System Web Access 2008 SP1 Power Tool


The Visual Studio Team System folks have released SP1 of the Web Access 2008 Power tools, for free download (note you have to have VS Team System). 

Overview:

Team System Web Access is a free download that will be incorporated into a future release of Visual Studio Team System. You may install it with licensed installations of Team Foundation Server. You must be a licensed user of Team Foundation Server to use Team System Web Access.
New With Service Pack 1


Features in Team System Web Access

To download it: Click here

Robert Shelton

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author: Robert Shelton Jr. | posted @ Saturday, January 24, 2009 9:30 AM | Feedback (0)

Windows 7 Secrets from a Microsoft Insider


Thanks to Paul Thurrott’s Blog (SuperSite for Windows), I’ve seen what is one of the best list of Windows 7 Secrets, Keyboard tricks, and hidden features on the net!  It was written by Tim Sneath of Microsoft.  I mean it is EXCELLENT!

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Check out his list (from his blog) here: Click here

~ Robert Shelton

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author: Robert Shelton Jr. | posted @ Wednesday, January 21, 2009 9:39 AM | Feedback (2)

How to make your Windows 7 ISO Bootable by USB Drive


If you are like me and get OS’s via TechNet and MSDN, you’ll note that Microsoft has been storing them as downloadable ISO images.  This means that in order to use them, you have to burn them to DVD or use some of the Software based Virtual DVD solutions.  Well, one of my colleagues pointed me to a great article that will show you how to make a USB Drive/Flash Key Bootable.  This is wonderful, because it means that I can just put the ISO’s on a USB Key and boot from there instead of having to burn DVD’s.  This will be useful as I install the Win 7 Beta  and Win 2008 R2 Beta on different hardware configurations in my lab.

I am trying it after I finish posting this article.

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To view the article: Click here

~Robert Shelton

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author: Robert Shelton Jr. | posted @ Tuesday, January 20, 2009 4:50 PM | Feedback (0)

Free download: Microsoft Small Basic (for beginners)


Microsoft has just released a project called “Small Basic” which is a simplified development environment and tool for beginners and kids. 

Here’s the description, from Microsoft:

Microsoft Small Basic is a project that is aimed at making computer programming accessible to beginners. The project comprises of a simple programming language that gathers inspiration from the original BASIC programming language; a modern and attractive programming environment; and rich, extensible libraries.

Together they make programming fun for kids and adults alike.

To download: Click here

~Robert Shelton

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author: Robert Shelton Jr. | posted @ Thursday, December 18, 2008 6:54 AM | Feedback (1)

Free download: WSRP Toolkit for SharePoint 2007


In an effort to ensure that SharePoint better support Open Standards, the SharePoint team has released the "Web Services for Report Portlets Toolkit" aka WSRP.  WSRP is the Open Standards approach (OASIS approved) for rendering data (communicating) from other "External" Portal Platforms (e.g. Java-based portals like: IBM Websphere, SAP Netweaver, and BEA Aqualogic) within SharePoint.

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  • Here's the full announcement from the SharePoint Team: Click here to read it (announced by Ryan Duguid , Technical Product Manager for the SharePoint Team)
  • To download the toolkit: Click here
  • Read more about the WSRP Standard: Click here

~Robert Shelton

 

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author: Robert Shelton Jr. | posted @ Monday, December 15, 2008 12:37 PM | Feedback (0)

Free download: Thumbtack from Microsoft Research


I just learned about this little utility, built by the Microsoft Live Labs Team, from a Digg article.  Rather than ”Just Digging” the story (which I did as well), I wanted to post the video demonstration of the tool.  It’s a nice little utility (note: it requires a Live ID), so check it out.

Checkout the video

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-US&amp;playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:6a905d98-0332-4c3f-8b25-75737cd9b675&amp;showPlaylist=true&amp;from=msnvideo" target="_new" title="Thumbtack Introduction">Video: Thumbtack Introduction</a>

 

You can get it here: Click here to access

Note: Sometimes things move around on the web, so if you can’t find it at this link, you may have to search for it using your favorite search engine.

~Robert Shelton

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author: Robert Shelton Jr. | posted @ Friday, December 12, 2008 3:24 PM | Feedback (0)