blogs.msdn.com/brianjo

Brian Johnson's Startup Developer Blog

January, 2005

Posts
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    Portable Media Center Impressions

    • 7 Comments
    I got my Portable Media Center (PMC) last Friday and I wanted to play with it for a few days before I talked about it too much. I bought the Samsung YH-999 because that one seemed to be the smaller of the two availalble right now. So far, I'm really liking this machine. Just a few comments:

    Size: This device is larger than a regular iPod by about half. That is to say, it feels a lot like somebody sliced an iPod down the middle the long way and tacked it to another iPod. Given that the machine has a big wide color screen on the front, this does't feel like a bad thing. It's about 8 ounces and the edges are fairly rounded so it's comforable to hold. There's a little kickstand on the back of the PMC that lets you set it on the table for easy viewing.

    Content: This is where this PMC really shines. I've got a number of things going to fill the machine with content and they all seem to work great:

    First, I've got a Media Center PC and the PMC device syncs any shows that I've recorded in the last week. The other night I watched a Nova episode about the Mars rovers on the PMC. After about 5 minutes, I forgot about the machine and I was completely immersed in the show. I think that's a good sign. In addition to TV shows, I've got a lot of family video that I can add to this machine, and I've also added a couple hundred photos. (You can watch slide shows while you listen to music.)

    Next up, MSN. I mentioned earlier this week that I signed up for the MSN Video Download Service. It was 19 bucks for the year and I've been getting new stuff every day when I plug in. Last night I watched the CNBC interview with Steve Jobs. The material you get seems a little random right now, but the site mentions that you'll be able to customize what you download soon. For under $20, this is a pretty good deal.

    I've been a Napster subscriber for a long time and I was able to add the Napster To Go service for an extra $5.00 a month. This has been absolutely great because it's given me a chance to listen to artists that I wouldn't necessarily buy outright. This week I downloaded a couple of Kid Rock albums, some 50 Cent, Velvet Revolver, and even a little Brittany Spears. If you're into exploring music, this service is completely awesome.

    One of the big reasons I bought this machine was that I wanted to sync podcasts automatically. I followed the instructions that Phillip Torrone gave in this article, and I was up and running. So I've been able to listen to a few podcasts and they're pretty good. Tonight I noticed that the Channel 9 Video feed (rss)included enclosures, so I added that to iPodder. I added a video criteria to the auto playlist that I set up for podcasts and I was set to go. (Though right now, I've only hooked one video from that feed.) So for podcasts, this is super.

    Finally, Tivo anounced a new service called TivoToGo. This should let me copy some content from the Series 2 machine in the living room to the Media Center PC and on to the PMC. I added myself to the priority list for the necessary Tivo software upgrade on Saturday, but that hasn't come through yet. I'll post about it when it kicks in.

    Overall Impression: The YH-999 is a great little machine. It's quite different than anything else out there right now. It's small enought to carry on the belt for music and it's pretty easy to open up for a quick demo. There's a little AV port on the top that lets you jack the device into a TV for playback and I could see possibly using this to do PowerPoints in a pinch. (You would have to convert the slides to photos or video.) If you've got any questions or comments, be sure to post here. I would love to hear the impressions that others have of this device.
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    Chat: Visual C++ Editor and IDE Features

    • 3 Comments

    (Took this off the C++ feed.)

    Sorry for the late notice. There's a Visual C++ chat tomorrow (January 12, 2005) at 1:00 PST.

    Visual C++ Editor and IDE Features
    Chat with the Visual C++ Editor & IDE team to talk about new Whidbey features such as Code Definition Window, Call Browser, Emacs & Brief Emulations and XML Comments.
    Add it to Outlook here.
  • blogs.msdn.com/brianjo

    Windows Security Updates Summary for January 2005

    • 1 Comments
    New security bulletins for 2005. Get the details here:
    Windows Security Updates Summary for January 2005
    The Windows security updates for January 2005 include several important updates for Microsoft Windows and some installations of Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1, a component of Windows. If you have any of the software listed on this page installed on your computer, you should visit the Windows Update Web site to install related updates.
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    Malicious Software Removal Tool

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    Today, Microsoft released the new Malicious Software Removal Tool. The link below contains information about the tool, along with links to the scanner and downloads:
    Malicious Software Removal Tool
    The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool checks Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003 computers for and helps remove infections by specific, prevalent malicious softwareincluding Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom. When the detection and removal process is complete, the tool displays a report describing the outcome, including which, if any, malicious software was detected and removed.
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    MSDN Magazine: Big C++ News

    • 6 Comments
    Great news. MSDN Magazine is expanding their Visual C++ coverage. MSDN Magazine Executive Editor Joshua Trupin expains it all in his latest Editor's Note in the February Issue of the magazine:
    Editor's Note: C++, Plus...
    ...Since along with Visual Studio 2005 comes an improved flavor of C++, there's no better time than now to introduce what many readers have been asking for: expanded C++ coverage. We're doing this in two ways. First, we're pleased to announce a new column, Pure C++, by noted C++ expert Stanley B. Lippman. (If you were wondering, the B stands for C++.) Stan will discuss the C++ language itself, touching on topics like the CLI and generics and their integration with C++....
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    MSN Video Downloads

    • 1 Comments
    I was reading Russell Beattie's blog and I found a link to MSN Video Downloads, and a few other very interesting things. I did end up picking up a Portable Media Center last week and so I subscribed right away. This is pretty cool stuff. I'll do a bigger post decribing how all of this fits together when I get more time.
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    Snow in Redmond

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    We woke up to snow on the ground this morning. I usually have to throw on a bunch of clothes to go out and take pictures when this happens. Today, I stayed inside and shot these pictures through the living room window. They turned out pretty well. :)
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    My First Moleskine

    • 7 Comments
    The other day, I was in Borders and I discovered this little notebook. It had a story printed on the wrapper and I found it really intriguing. I didn't buy it, but I did go home thinking about it. I then saw a post in Danny Gregory's blog where he mentioned the very same notebook. I did a little MSN Searching (formerly known as Googling) and I found all these links to blogs about the notebook. I feel like the last person to know about this thing. :)

    OK, so I'm a sucker for great marketing, so I picked one up today. I love it.

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    w.bloggar v4 available

    • 1 Comments
    Version 4 of my favorite blogging tool is available here. I'm tring it out now. :)
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    Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware Beta Available

    • 6 Comments
    Check out the new Microsoft Windows AnitSpyware (Beta) Home page. You'll find all sorts of inofmation about the beta there. Here's a link and some information from the overview page.
    Microsoft Windows AnitSpyware (Beta) Home
    Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) is a security technology that helps protect Windows users from spyware and other potentially unwanted software. Known spyware on your PC can be detected and removed. This helps reduce negative effects caused by spyware, including slow PC performance, annoying pop-up ads, unwanted changes to Internet settings, and unauthorized use of your private information. Continuous protection improves Internet browsing safety by guarding more than 50 ways spyware can enter your PC. The worldwide SpyNet™ community plays a key role in determining which suspicious programs are classified as spyware. Microsoft researchers quickly develop methods to counteract these threats, and updates are automatically downloaded to your PC so you stay up to date.
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