Sidebar Geek

My experience with Windows Vista. Windows Sidebar and Microsoft Gadgets.

January 2006 - Posts

  • ActiveWin Interviews Steve Ballmer

    ActiveWin was able to interview Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer. Very interesting interview as Mr. Ballmer discusses topics ranging from Microsoft's Community website The Hive and Channel 9 to Microsoft's new online services. Here's what Mr. Ballmer had to say about Microsoft's role in the technology community:

    "We have known from the very beginning that one of the most important success factors for our business would be our ability to build a community amongst our partners, developers and customers. From the start, Microsoft has looked to offer the ability for them to connect with one another and for us to reach them and hear from the directly. So, in many senses the blogging phenomenon is nothing new to us and has been very natural for us to embrace. Certainly, with the continued proliferation of the Internet and technologies like RSS, everything has been taken to an entirely new level. You’ll see us continue to do even more, building on the success of sites like Channel 9, where we already have over 2.8M visitors every month."

    Check out the rest of the interview at ActiveWin.  

  • Behind the Scenes at a Windows Vista Recording Session

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    Looks like Robert Fripp will be doing some audio for Windows Vista. Channel 9 has got some "Behind the Scenes" footage of Mr. Fripp doing some recordings for Microsoft's upcoming operating system.

    "So, what was he doing on campus? Recording the various sounds we'll all hear in Windows Vista.

    This is a different kind of Channel 9 video. We needed to be quiet during the recording session so you can just follow along. It's a little audio preview of what Windows Vista will sound like.

    Sorry it's dark too. Charles Torre was invited over by Steve Ball to film the session. Hope you enjoy it.

    Can't wait to hear the finish products.


  • New Peaks at Windows Sidebar

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    Microsoft's updated Windows Vista website shows some new peaks at Windows Sidebar and Desktop Gadgets.

    Click on the above image for a larger view.

    Today at CES, Windows Sidebar and Desktop Gadgets were also featured in Bill Gate's Keynote. As you can see from the above screenshot, the Windows Sidebar's UI has somewhat been updated. Demoed at CES was a few of the same Gadgets we've seen before such as the RSS Feed Gadget, Clock Gadget, and Photo Gadget.  

    Essentially, Desktop Gadgets are mini-applications that can be pinned to your desktop. Windows Sidebar serves as a place to "pin" you Gadgets. You can choose to use Windows Sidebar or just have your Gadgets free floating around your desktop. Expect to see a wide variety of Desktop Gadgets such as one for Windows Mail and Windows Media Player.

  • The Windows Media Player 11 Experience

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    Want to know more about Windows Media Player 11 and URGE (the new joint service from MTV and Microsoft)? Check out this excellent article Joli Ballew.

    URGE might be the one service that draws me away from iTunes and Apple's Music Store. I can't wait to give it a try and see what happens.

  • New Microsoft Windows Vista Website at Microsoft

    Microsoft has put online a newly resdesigned official Windows Vista website. Check it out. Its very neat and well designed. Our very own Robert McLaws is a featured MVP too!

    Also, check out the Windows Vista Virtual Press Room for updated Press Releases and images.

  • Vista's Windows Photo Gallery at CES

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    Windows Vista was showcased at CES this evening from Bill Gate's Keynote. Among the features that were showcased from Windows Vista was Windows Photo Gallery. Windows Photo Gallery has gone through many changes from Beta 1 to last month's CTP. At one time, Windows Photo Gallery went to Windows Digital Gallery and now back to Windows Photo Gallery.

    Showcased at CES was Windows Photo Gallery's ability to allow users to crop and edit photos at their wish and add keywords and tags to these photos. Also, users can leave their edited photos on their computer for months and even years and then come back to that photo and decide they want to return the photo back to its original unedited form.

    Windows Photo Gallery looks to be an excellent addition to Windows applications coming with Windows Vista giving users more control of their photos and "memories" on their PCs.

  • Using Vista's BitLocker Drive Encryption

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    In Windows Vista, Windows now supports drive encryption through a technology called "BitLocker". Josh from Windows Connect as a pretty extensive article on how to get BitLocker going for drive encryption on the latest build.

    Not sure if I'm going to try this or not. Seems pretty dangerous. Oh who am I kidding, I try everything out.

  • Build 5270 Media Center Trial

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    As Robert mentioned yesterday, Microsoft decided to give us a trial version of Media Center in Build 5270.

    Screenshot: Trial Expired for Media Center

    This is just weird that they would put a trial version in a CTP. I had a chance to play with Media Center before it expired and had grown frustrated with its inability to play DVDs. It doesn't have the right codec installed to play DVDs. So I ended having to install PowerDVD just for the codec so I could watch DVDs in Media Center. I wonder if Microsoft will bundle a DVD codec (I believe its Mpeg-2) when Vista's Media Center ships later this year or if I will have to go out and find the codec myself.

  • Vista goes to Vegas with Chris Pirillo

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    Chris Pirillo installed the December CTP on his laptop before leaving to CES and had no time to uninstall it. This is what he had to say:

    "I did something fairly stupid: installed Windows Vista build 5270 on my laptop before leaving for Vegas this week. Yeah, I'm heading down there early this time around - keynoting a conference this afternoon (or earlier, depending on when I'm able to get online to post this entry). I should've followed my gut instinct and uninstalled this beta after trying it for a few minutes."

    I hope Vista works well for Chris. My problems with the build haven't been reliability, rather just a few drivers and applications not running. The build itself is quite stable. I look forward to reading more from Chris's blog as he heads off to CES.