Sidebar Geek

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

  • RSS Features in Internet Explorer 7

    Jane Kim, Program Manager for RSS in Internet Explorer, made a really cool post at the IE Blog regarding IE 7's RSS Features.

    For those of you unsure of the new RSS features in Internet Explorer 7, I strongly suggest reading what Jane has to say because its very cool stuff!

    And it also looks like the IE Blog has changed a bit too! They are using a new theme. How neat!

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  • Blog'n My Way to PDC 2005

    blogging my way to pdc

    MSDN's Channel 9 is putting on a really cool contest for PDC Bloggers. All we got to do is write why we want to go to PDC this year and be creative about it.

    Check out my essay!

    Wish me luck!

    Interested in going to a Blogger's Party at PDC? Paul Mooney is trying to gather some interest in getting together with fellow bloggers on the beach. I'm definately interested, if you are too, let Paul know by heading over to his blog!

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  • Getting things to work in Windows Vista

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    I tried loading MSN's Toolbar Suite with Windows Desktop Search so I could run their MSN Screensaver Beta and guess what? It didn't work.

    But, I found a way around it to force the installation - which works for other pieces of software too!

    Click here to see what I did, hopefully this may help some of you get things loaded on Windows Vista!

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  • Is Internet Explorer 'unworkable'?

    To quote Paul Thurrott today on Internet Explorer (mentioned in previous posts by Robert):

    "It is a cancer on the Web, and must be stopped. IE is insecure and is not standards-compliant, which makes it unworkable for both end users and Web content creators."

    I have to ask, as a "end user", how is Internet Explorer "unworkable"? I find IE gets me where I want to go, let's me see the webpages I want to see, let's me download what I want to download. How is this unworkable?

    I use both Firefox and IE. Firefox has many advantages. So does IE. Maybe one sees a website better than the other? Who knows. I haven't noticed ANY difference in the way ANY of my favorite sites load in either browser. I do what I want in both browsers.

    Now, I do know several of my friends have ditched IE for Firefox, not because certain websites haven't loaded correctly due to not conforming to these so called web standards, but because Firefox offers features that enhance the browsing experience such as tabbed browsing or many of the nifty add-ons Firefox and other software makers offer.

    And IE is insecure? So is many other different browsers out there. You still need a antivirus program and antispyware protection program using Firefox, Netscape, and Opera to be *really* safe surfing the web.

    This post is not a attack on any specific user of any specific browser. I wanted to express my opinion concerning IE as a browser being unworkable. As an end user, I find this statement to be false based on my own experience with IE. I don't have any trouble visiting the sites I want to visit and seeing the things I want to see.

    Now, to be fair, I will ask myself what would make me ditch Internet Explorer and solely covert to using a different browser? All browser companies are working hard to secure their browsers - if Microsoft had not decided to bring the IE Team back into full swing for IE 7, I would have likely ditched IE because its lack of features on top of an aging browser at wasn't really going anywhere.

    I guess I'll have to see how "workable" IE 7 is before I really make my final judgements. So far, it hasn't been too bad.

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  • Windows OneCare and Windows Vista: OneDisappointment?

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    I am not sure I can totally ellaborate on the details of OneCare as I continue to test it, but all I can say is that its very impressive. I very much enjoy OneCare and its features are very useful to me as a power user.

    I am extremely disappointed Microsoft has not chosen to merge the betas of Vista and OneCare together a little bit so users can test OneCare out on Windows Vista. It would make sense to do this. OneCare may not be completely ready until maybe 6 months before Vista ships and early testing would only benefit the program.

    I am dying to get OneCare loaded on Vista. I am also curious whether they are going to tie OneCare's features into IE 7 and their AntiSpyware too.

    Lots of cool stuff with cool potential. I hope Microsoft follows through with it.

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  • Very Cool: Vista detects personal Routers

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    I'm sorry if this has already been blogged the heck out of but this feature way cool: when connecting Windows Vista to a new network behind a personal firewall router (DLink or Linksys) - Vista automatically detects this device!

    Double click on that new little network icon and up comes the Network window showing you the Network device which in my case is my personal DLink router.

    I hope DLink and other network device companies take advantage of this new feature in Windows. They could write little Control Panel programs that tap directly into this feature and allow you to configure the router (or any other device) within the network properties in Windows. Maybe by adding a new tab or something? Maybe if they wanted to be REALLY cool, they could take advantage of the new UAP features and sync up the administrator's password on the Windows PC with the Router itself permitting ONLY the administrator of the main home PC to make any changes to the Router. Maybe I'm just plain crazy.

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  • Update: File Permission Issue in Windows Vista

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    In the past two days, I've been able to successfully run Windows Vista very well on my desktop. I am able to run all my normal day-to-day programs, check email, create websites and more. I was able to get all the correct drivers to load and currently have no outstanding hardware issues.

    I do have two major problems right now though I am struggling to find answers for.

    First off, I copied all my files onto CD and DVD. I then copied them back onto my Windows Vista installation so I can use these files, such as music and photos. Whenever I want to access these files, it tells me I have insufficient rights - yet I am logged in as Administrator and don't have the file protection UAP turned on.

    I am currently still trying to figure that one out. I took ownership of the files and everything.

    My second outstanding issues right now is for some odd reason my CD/DVD Burner driver does not work. It will read a CD for a split second, enough to tell me what CD or DVD it is, but after that - it just spins and tries to read but does nothing. I get these CDROM errors in the event viewer. I am thinking I need to reload the drivers for CD/DVD Burner but unfortunately it did not come with any.

    Other than these two issues, I've been running Vista for two days without any problems or crashes.

    UPDATE: I've been told that the file permissions problem has been known to exist in Windows XP as well. I'm waiting to hear back from a nice person who is going to help me figure the file permissions issue out.

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  • PDC Keynote Speakers Announced

    Bill Gates will be opening this year's PDC 2005 in Los Angeles on September 13th. I will be attending PDC this year. This is my first ever PDC and I'm beyond excited for this. I've wanted to go to one of these conventions for the longest time. I can't wait!
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  • iTunes and Aero in Windows Vista

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    Today I was able to successfully finally start trying to load my day-to-day applications in Vista and see how well they run.

    So far, nothing stands out as application that is struggling to adapt. Adobe Photoshop CS works fine, as does the Office 2003 suite.

    But I did notice something weird when I installed iTunes. Whenever iTunes 4.9 is running, it shuts down the Aero Glass effects. My screen will flicker once the application is started and poof, no glass or transparencies. Now once iTunes has been exited, the Aero glass effects come back.

    Weird huh? Not a big problem to me, because the application still works and does what I need it to do - play music.

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  • Testing out Windows Vista Beta 1

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    Last week has been amazing with the release of Windows Vista Beta 1 and Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta for XP SP2. I am currently testing Vista on two machines: a laptop and a desktop. I've had minor problems with both installations and currently have a few bugs to work out as well on both of them. I will blog about these issues soon. All in all, Vista has proven to be an exciting new operating system and I cannot wait to see how it progresses. I will blog more details on my experiences with Vista very soon as well as Internet Explorer 7!
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