December, 2006

  • Steve Clayton

    Wikipedia Explorer beta


    I was over in Windsor recently chatting with the guys at DotNet Solutions who have done some pretty cool work to date on WPF, Vista and Office. Whilst chatting with their CTO, Tim Scarfe, I suggested it would be cool to do some kind of 3D explorer view of Wikipedia that used Windows Presentation Foundation. Tim kinda went "umm, yeah that'd be cool" and said he may have a play with it. Needless to say he has and what he's come up with is fantastic. He explains it way better than I can

    "Using the latest WPF technologies, Dot Net Solutions has crafted an application to browse Wikipedia which we have dubbed Wikipedia Explorer. Compared to the standard text only view of articles, Wikipedia Explorer deals with and displays the relationships between the articles.
    With the display of the data, the application allows 3 forms of view. An initial Document layout displays the article's content as it would be displayed in Wikipedia itself. The real value of the application however, is in the extra 3DExplorer and Network view modes.

    Within the 3DExplorer mode, the main article is displayed in the centre of the screen with all linked articles shown around in a helix structure for quick navigation. Scrolling through the articles is as easy as scrolling with your mouse wheel."

    What you get is a VERY powerful visualization of the flat by hypertexted Wikpedia. The 3D explorer is funky but the Network mode is just awesome. Put in a search term, switch to Network mode and watch the app build out the web of links before your very eyes. I think Tim has done a stunning job here but you can check for yourself as Wikipedia Explorer can be run as a ClickOnce application (note that you do need to install the .NET 3.0 redistributable package)

    thanks Tim - a great pre-Xmas present....and I also just realized you helped build Oxfam Unwrapped. tres cool.

    Link to Dot Net Solutions - Wikipedia Explorer

  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft lithographs: coming soon


    Blue monsterjason


    James and I just collected a limited edition run of the Blue Monster lithographs from Stormhoek Towers. Mucho gracias to Jason and Hugh :)

    Hands up who wants one of the limited run of these puppies? More info soon....

    [update] okay, I can sense we may be inundated here so my plan is to put all the names in a hat on Christmas eve and announce the 10 winners on Christmas Day and for those who still want one but don't get drawn out, I'll add 3 more on to eBay on New Years Day with all profits from sales going to Microsoft UK's chosen charity, NSPCC.


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  • Steve Clayton

    Vista at the IMAX


    Our Business EVOlution Roadshow visited Bristol again today where we swapped The Watershed for the IMAX cinema. How do our new products looks on an IMAX screen? Pretty damn good I'd say :)


    Check out the full Flickr photostream that I'll be publishing throughout the week as we visit Bristol, London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.

    Top questions today:

    1. Is Sharepoint replacing Content Management Server? (yes)
    2. Can you do a longer session please? (love time)
    3. How do you do that Exchange Voice Access stuff? (check out Julian's blog)


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  • Steve Clayton

    Elf Yourself



    Hours of fun (well, a few minutes maybe. Trust me.

  • Steve Clayton

    The best Smartphone ever?


    I love the HTC S620 (aka TMO Dash or Excalibur). It's still not quite taken over my QTEK 8500 as my primary phone but it's not far off and I may make the change this week. Why?

    • It's a Smartphone with a keyboard. Freaked me out for a while but the combo of the Windows Mobile Smartphone OS and the keyboard just works. One handed too!
    • The screen is beautiful. Not quite as good as my Vaio X-Black screen but not far off.
    • The keyboard is great and nice touches like not having to switch to numeric mode when typing in my key lock code show a nice attention to detail.
    • The JOGGR thumb pad is just genius when it comes to scroller innovation
    • Battery life is solid
    • WiFi, Bluetooth and the camera. All good quality and good UI.
    • Finally, the build quality. A bit like my Zune people just pick it up and don't want to put it down. It has a lovely smooth rubber like finish and feels solid...and it's soooo thin.

    Don't take my word for it though. Cali Lewis of Geek Brief TV gave it a big thumbs up over 3 Blackberry units and the Sidekick.

    Hooked up to our Exchange Server 2007 direct push email service, this thing is pretty close to perfect.


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