The Microsoft Commercials

Microsoft has been getting a lot of crap for their new Ad campaign with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates.  At first it seemed like they were really going nowhere and they were commercials about nothing like the show about nothing.  What’s funny is, their campaign is working.  It’s drawing attention and everyone is talking about it even though everyone seemed to hate it.

There is no such thing as bad publicity.

The Windows Vista Blog posted a message a few days ago to let everyone know that the new ads without Jerry are not a vote of no confidence, they’ve been a part of the plan all along.

After Microsoft’s announcement I felt I needed to see for myself.  They’re on the ball with this one, they’re showing how they connect millions billions of different people world wide.  I think the campaign will only get better, and it should since they’ve spent millions on redefining their image.

See for yourself:

Syncing with FolderShare (part 1)

FolderShare syncIf you use more than one PC on a regular basis you know how much of a nightmare it is to manually keep everything in sync. Using primarily web tools helps greatly in that respect but it doesn’t solve everything. Whatever the solution you chose you want it to be automatic and simple. I’ve been using FolderShare to keep my laptop and home PC in sync for about a month now and I finally feel I can share the ins and outs I’ve discovered along the way.

This will be a two part post and first I’d like to describe what I’m currently syncing and why, as well as what my future plans for FolderShare are.

My FolderShare LibrariesWhat I’m currently syncing:

  1. All my music regardless of format. I’d love to be able to stream my music using a service like Anywhere.FM (previously posted here) or mediamaster (shared by Barak) but I like to be able to purchase songs and add them to my library wherever I am. I’m using FolderShare to overcome a shortcoming of iTunes itself. If iTunes hosted my music on the web and allow me to purchase songs so that I could download them later, I’d be all set.
  2. My iTunes library. This is due to another shortcoming of iTunes itself. It doesn’t auto detect media. Therefor unless I want to run a tool to auto detect the newly synced media or import files each time I purchased new songs on the other computer I need to keep the actual library synced. A problem with this is iTunes uses absolute paths in their library so I needed to have the directory path of the synchronized music exactly the same (in my case E:music) which meant setting up a partition on my laptop.
  3. My Firefox profile. I use a lot of extensions for Firefox and tend to change them in and out pretty often. It gets to be a pain because I’ll find a setup I really like but I need to install all the extensions and configure them on every PC. Including my work PC this really sucks. Syncing my Firefox profile alleviates all of these problems. You also get the added bonus of synchronized bookmarks and history although that doesn’t really matter to me as I don’t use them.

My future plans are:

  1. Syncing my Windows User Profile. One of the great things about Vista is they finally got the separation of application and data correct despite some applications tendency to corrupt the user space. All the data including your desktop is now under your user profile. I use my desktop as my workspace by keeping files on it that I’m currently working with. This can be anything from videos, documents, software I’m working on or Images. Syncing my user profile will mean regardless of which PC I’m sitting at I’ll have access to the same workspace.
  2. Syncing my Windows Sidebar. I’m not sure how this is going to work, or if its even possible but we’re going to find out. I change the applications on the sidebar out quite frequently, trying different setups. For the same reason I’m syncing my Firefox Profile I’d love to keep the same setup for my sidebar widgets on both PCs.

That’s it for my current uses and future plans. Stay tuned for my next post regarding my lessons learned about FolderShare.

Vista Drivers Be Damned

I finally upgraded my home PC to Vista Ultimate. I was originally worried about compatibility issues and performance. It’s an older PC, approximately 5-6 years old, built by me. It’s a testament to home built PC’s everywhere that it’s still running at all.

From the point of its conception my Home PC has only been upgraded three times. The first was by necessity when the motherboard failed after a year of building it. The second was when I went from the ATI Radeon 9000 to the ATI Radeon 9600xt graphics card. The third upgrade was the combination of my Server and Home PC. In that case the only upgrade was moving the dual 250Gb SATA Raid 1 array and the Antec NeoPower 480 PSU from the server. I guess that makes it more of a migration than an upgrade.

My PC has now been running vista good and strong for over a week. I haven’t yet run the vista experience test yet, I’m worried it’ll flunk with flying colors.

I’ve only had two small problems thus far.

The first is my sound card a SoundBlaster Live! is no longer supported. Apparently there won’t ever be drivers released either, although I find that hard to believe because its a fairly common sound card. For me this wasn’t a huge issue as i’ve been using my onboard sound for years now. The only reason I still have the card in my machine is for voice communication (ie: TeamSpeak or Ventrillo) and I haven’t used that in over a year. I guess it’s time to take it out?

The second issue I ran into was my RAID controller was unsupported. My motherboard is a Soyo Dragon KT600 Plus v2.0. The RAID controller wasn’t detected by the Windows Update Advisor as an issue and so I knew nothing about it beforehand. The first place I checked was naturally Soyo’s site which had plenty of drivers just none for vista.

Hard Drives

Luckily the Raid Controller is still at least semi popular and after doing some searching (and asking a friend who has used vista for a few months now) I happened across drivers for the via vt8237 Raid Controller. And now my computer is all set and running pretty. Can’t believe it but the thing is running smoother than it did on XP Pro for the past 5 years. I even have Aero enabled and the machine only has 1Gb of RAM. We’ll see how long this lasts.

Never hire a colorblind electrician

What’s your fortune? apparently I’m supposed to ignore mine whatever that’s supposed to mean. We went to Yangzee (or Wild Bar and Grill) for lunch today. As is typical we got fortune cookies afterward. Mine read “Ignore Previous Cookie“. Strangest. Fortune Cookie. Ever.

Mr Coffee E-mailThis morning the coffee machine overflowed. I didn’t think much about it until I got the E-mail from Mr Coffee. Take a read. I didn’t know Mr Coffee ran java.

Read an interesting article about Windows Vista’s ReadyBoost. Pretty interesting. Also now that Windows Vista includes the ability to use Flash memory as a Cache there is talk about including built in Flash memory with new computers.

if you’re interested to see what is truth and what is fiction in 300 check out this article.