January, 2010

  • Steve Clayton

    Enable GodMode On Windows 7



    I thought this was a joke when I read it, but evidently not. If you want a quick way to get to all the settings on Windows 7, GodMode is it.  How?

    Add a new folder to your desktop and name it GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} - you will now see the icon above on your desktop and a pretty long list of items. Below is just a small sample.


    thanks to Less Than Dot and @jamiet

  • Steve Clayton

    Coffee makes you dance around like a goat!


    (click image to go to the original)

    Hence why I’m cutting down my intake these days Smile I am actually cutting down a lot on my afternoon & evening caffeine and woe does it make a difference to the quality of sleep I get. I know that’s obvious but I’m just a bit slow on this stuff

    via theoatmeal.com

  • Steve Clayton

    Those Google Chrome billboards


    Unless you’ve been walking around the UK with your eyes closed for the last month you will probably have seen a Google Chrome advert on a billboard somewhere. Well, you may not have known that is what you’re looking at but it’s very likely you have passed one by. That’s my point though….these billboards don’t make sense to me…but I’ll get back to that in a minute. First of all, hats off to Google for taking the browser battle to the street. When I first saw their wrap around my morning edition of the Metro paper here in London I thought “damn them”….then I thought “that’s smart…I wish we’d done that”. They’ve really gone big with the Chrome adverts and the takeover of the LCD screens on some escalator routes on the London Underground has been particularly impressive. Has it translated in to market share? I dunno….but I would think the product recognition is up. Impressive stuff Google.

    Back to those billboards though. Many of these things are situated alongside busy roads. I noticed one last week in Liverpool almost hidden alongside the very busy A41. You rarely if ever see stopped traffic on that route and the same is true for many of the other locations I have seen these billboards. What is my point? Well it’s one I have had with a few billboards over the last year – the have either too much information to ever be read by a passing car, or here in the case of the Google ads, the message is actually too hard to see for a passing motorist. Sure, the Chrome logo is huge, bright en eye catching but the accompanying text is small and looks almost washed out against the bright white. Here is a good example. The text below the Chrome by Google part says “a fast, new browser, made for everyone" and bottom left is the URL for the browser. Far be it from me to question Google’s advertising capability but I’m surprised this one didn’t get rejected. Eye catching – yes. Delivers a clear call to action…hmmm. Even when you see a huge example they just seem to be too subtle to me.

    Designers/copywriters/billboard nerds please feel free to rip my argument apart. Below are a couple of examples and then one that DOES really work. The last image is one of the ads running at train stations where people do have time to stop, stare and read. I read two of these myself at Piccadilly Circus recently and left smiling at the good humour. Taking my own point, those ads aren’t going to work roadside of course but I can’t help thinking that if I were Google, I’d issue a v2 of these billboards with much bigger text and less of the logo. Who knows, maybe that’s exactly what they will do.


    image credit: armchaircritic


    image credit: Mr Ubuntu


    image credit: dreampics

    Lots more billboard photos on Flickr

  • Steve Clayton

    Running those 1.3 billion Hotmail inboxes


     Windows Live Hotmail Logo H C

    Arthur de Haan’s post back on Dec 22nd made for interesting reading purely regarding the scale of Hotmail.

    • We are a worldwide service, delivering localized versions of Hotmail to 59 regional markets, in 36 languages.
    • We host well over 1.3 billion inboxes (some users have multiple inboxes)
    • Over 350 million people are actively using Hotmail on a monthly basis (source: comScore, August 2009).
    • We handle over 3 billion messages a day and filter out over 1 billion spam messages - mail that you never see in your inbox.
    • We are growing storage at over 2 petabytes a month (a petabyte is ~1 million gigabytes or ~1000 terabytes).
    • We currently have over 155 petabytes of storage deployed (70% of storage is taken up with attachments, typically photos).
    • We’re the largest SQL Server 2008 deployment in the world (we monitor and manage many thousands of SQL servers).

    Aside from the fact that I’ve always found it odd that product teams in Redmond refer to themselves and their products as “we”, those numbers are HUGE. It’s a fascinating and unusually candid insight in to what it takes to make these services tick. The service has four copies of your data for redundancy as an example.

    When people say Microsoft is late to the cloud, I point them to Hotmail.

  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft Arc keyboard



    Another new keyboard to add to the burgeoning Clayton stable of keyboards. The Arc keyboard will complement the Arc mouse nicely. Designed for comfortable use at home use this wireless number will go on sale next month for $59.99 – not sure when and where in the UK so I’ll update as I find out.

    Check out the video

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