August, 2008

  • Steve Clayton

    Roland Whacker Unboxes IE8 Beta 2

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    Video: The Techno Critic

    Getting towards a day of using IE8 Beta 2 and I’m hugely impressed – it’s like a completely new browser from Beta 1. Loads of new features, little tweaks and lots of attention to detail. Oh and a viral video or two :)

  • Steve Clayton

    The Minutiae of Engineering Windows 7

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    I like others was a bit skeptical of this Windows 7 blog when it arrived a few weeks ago. I thought it would be light on details but thus far it’s quite the opposite – much like Steven’s internal blog. If they keep up the level of recent posts, there will be a huge amount of knowledge about Windows before this OS releases and a lot less room for rumours and speculation. I’ve seen plenty of posts about Windows in the past that range for speculative to wildly uneducated and unless you’ve been inside a team building an OS (I haven’t) I think it’s hard to understand the complexity and integration challenges they face. It’s also easy to overlook some of the minutiae of the building and testing process and comments like this one bore that out for me

     

    Because of the inherent tradeoffs in some architectural approaches, we often introduce conditional code that depends on the type of hardware on which Windows is running.

     

    I didn’t really grasp that level of work went on, let alone the testing across many many machine configurations of RAM, CPU, disk speed and disk type to mention a few. This is a BIG difference we have from Apple and though it’s one of the benefits of Windows (a wide choice of hardware, price, performance) it’s also something of a ball and chain. I really don’t know but my guess is if the Vista team had built that OS to work on one or two specific pieces of hardware we’d have seen a VERY different outcome. That’s not an excuse, just an observation of something that is obvious but often overlooked by commentators – including me.

    Anyway, if you have time take a read of Windows 7 -- Approach to System Performance. It’s both enlightening and a sign of the level of education that the market can now expect from the Windows team.

    Measuring the scale of a release is also worthy of a read.

  • Steve Clayton

    Who Are Crowd Surfers?

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    Crowdsurfing from David Brain on Vimeo.

    Many of you reading this blog I reckon. Checkout the short video from David Brain about his forthcoming book, Crowd Surfing. Love the use of the Gladiator quote – very apt.

     

    Listen to me. Learn from me. I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom. Proximo, Gladiator

     

    Though David is a friend, that’s not why I’d suggest grabbing a copy of this book. It’s because I expect it to be bloody good. For a guy who is a very senior industry figure (President & CEO Edelman Europe) he has his finger on the pulse. I don’t mean he has minions running around making him look like he has his finger on the pulse, he genuinely does. He’s top notch.

    The book is out on Sept 25th and naturally on Amazon now

  • Steve Clayton

    My Laptop Stinks

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    Well it would if I had one of the new Asus scented laptops. I kid you note people, the Eee PC boys and girls have launched laptops with smells. I seriously had to triple check this to assure myself it wasn’t a gag.

    Good on ‘em I suppose – it’s another way to differentiate and will certainly get some press. I have to say none of the current crop of smells appeals to my olfactory sensibilities but there is a lot of potential here. Perhaps a Formula 1 edition that smells of rubber and oil, or a Jaguar edition that smells of leather, or a Heinz edition that smells of beans….you know where this is going right?

    Full deets in the ASUS press release.

  • Steve Clayton

    Tweaking My Vista

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    VA_10as VA_10bs
    [image credit Tweak Guides]

    As a Microsoft guy I should probably think twice before linking to a post titled Vista Annoyances Resolved but I have to admit I found a couple of useful tips in here.

    I pride myself on being a tweak freak and eking out every last ounce of performance from my machine but I still picked up some tips. The one I find most enlightening was on indexing. Whilst I’ve pruned that nicely I decided removing my /AppData directory was probably a good thing.

    Meantime, check out Chris’s post for details of a roundtable session with the king of tweaks, Mark Russinovich.

    As an aside, Tweak Freak remains my favourite phrase from Wired’s Jargon Watch. Gareth Branwyn I salute you!

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