• Steve Clayton

    Link To Public Download of Windows 7



    Go get it - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/beta-download.aspx


    • You'll need some technical skills, like knowing how to:

      • Burn an ISO file to make an install DVD (A good example of what we mean by “technical”)

      • Install Windows (of course)

      • Backup and restore your PC (There's a chance of losing files, so it's a good idea to do a backup of anything you want to save.)

      • Set up a network

      It can be glitchy—so don't use a PC you need every day.

    • Minimum recommended specs call for:

      • 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor

      • 1 GB of system memory

      • 16 GB of available disk space

      • Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB memory (to enable the Aero theme)

      • DVD-R/W Drive

      • Internet access (to download the Beta and get updates)

      And yes, like anything tech-related, these specs could change.

    • Some product features of Windows 7, such as the ability to watch and record live TV or navigation through the use of "touch," may require advanced or additional hardware.

    • You'll need a system recovery disk (and know how to use it).

    • You're [almost] flying solo: you'll need to troubleshoot problems yourself and call on other Beta testers for their know-how.

    • It's a two-way thing—Beta testing is about feedback so our developers can fix bugs and hear what appeals to the people who use our products daily. Please tell us what you think.

    • Watch the calendar. The Beta expires on August 1, 2009. To continue using your PC, please be prepared to reinstall a prior version of Windows or a subsequent release of Windows 7 before the expiration date. (See installation instructions.)

  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft: change the world or go home


    A new poster from Hugh MacLeod - I like it a lot and plan to paste it around the building as liberally as I can and to see what Mr Ballmer thinks of it :)

    Hugh gives a few explanations for which are:

    • Microsoft telling its potential customers to change the world or go home.
    • Microsoft telling its employees to change the world or go home.
    • Microsoft employees telling their colleagues to change the world or go home.
    • Everybody else telling Microsoft to change the world or go home.
    • Everyone else telling their colleagues to change the world or go home.
    • And so forth.

     and then paraphrases with

    Basically, Microsoft is in the world-changing business. If they ever lose that, they might as well all go home

    That's what I say to people a lot when they said what is my job? I work for a company the changes the world. Maybe I drank too much from the firehose but I do believe it. I spent a day with Microsoft Research last week and that continued to make prove the point to me. I know not everyone will agree that we change the world for good (I'm expecting a tonne of flak on this post) but when you see some of the projects and causes that software touches you can't help but feel humble about it. I'm hoping to help our UK citizenship team get a blog up and running soon to show you some more of this.

  • Steve Clayton

    Blue Monster Cube Grenades



    [the shelf above my “cube” at home sporting an original]

    Hugh is on a riff and roll at the moment with Cube Grenades – something his audience has been doing with his stuff for years but he’s only just noticed. Often the way.

    I’m lucky enough to have a number of Hugh originals both in the standard business card format but also a couple of his new full scale prints and the Blue Monster is a true original of the species – I know it graces many cubicles in Redmond and recently heard it was in the office of someone pretty senior. I’ll be sending them one of the last signed original lithos I have.

    Do you have Blue Monster grenade? If so, post it up and lets be seein’ it…

    I like the notion of cube grenades. They’re provocative images or messages that make people stop, ask questions and challenge. Same with card grenades

  • Steve Clayton

    What’s in my sack?


    I was inspired by Hugh’s recent post on his portable studio, I got thinking about what I carry around every day – what are the tools of my trade? 

    My main use bag is the Rapha backpack from the legendary cycling company. The build quality of their stuff is second to none and this bag is no exception. The detailing is wonderful with little touches of their trademark pink here and there. The bag itself has a good selection of external and internal pockets including a laptop divider. It’s big enough to house my essentials while being small enough that I have to judiciously pick what I carry. Here’s today’s inventory

    • Lenovo X301 laptop + small power supply. Though I have a smaller laptop with my Vaio X, the Lenovo is the perfect combination of power to weight.
    • Zune HD 32
    • Bowers and Wilkins P5 headphones. Okay, they take up too much space but they’re to good to leave at home!
    • Leica D-LUX 4 – used for taking snaps around campus. More of which will be showing up on Next at Microsoft soon!
    • Micro USB cable – for sync and power of my Samsung Focus
    • Oakley Flak Jackets – I live in Seattle. I live in hope.
    • Numerous pens and markers
    • Cowshed lipbalm – did I mention I live in Seattle? “Stolen” from High Road House
    • Various memory sticks – 2x4gb, 1x16gb (rarely used) given the cloud syncs all my stuff.
    • Do Epic *** stickers – I just got a load more of these and friends keep asking me for them.
    • Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse – flat and perfect
    • Sony ICD-UX200 digital voice recorder. Slowly being made redundant by my Samsung Focus and OneNote

    That’s my daily load – all I need (and more really) to get my gig done. What’s your haul look like?

  • Steve Clayton

    The promise of Natural User Interface - NUI

    Get Microsoft Silverlight


    You’re familiar with GUI even if you don’t know it – it’s the type of user interface you use every day on your current class of PC (or Mac) – a Graphical User Interface. Over the last year or so, Microsoft and others have begun referring to NUI or Natural User Interface. This is where computers start to become, well, more natural with speech and visual gestures being the modes of interaction rather than mouse and keyboard. Todd Bishop has a post about this topic today and noted that Bill Gates recently talked of NUI as “the thing that people underestimate right now."

    Wikipedia defines NUI as “common parlance used by designers and developers of computer interfaces to refer to a user interface that is effectively invisible, or becomes invisible with successive learned interactions, to its users”. In that Wikipedia entry, Bill Buxton of Microsoft is mentioned and you’ll see him in the video above as he’s been at work on this stuff as far back as 1984. Project Natal and Surface from Microsoft are also mentioned in that entry alongside the amazing work of Jeff Han on multi-touch which he showed at TED in 2006. On a side note, it wasn’t a surprise to me to see that poleydee was an early contributor to this Wikipedia entry as I know he’s a big fan of Bill’s work.

    There is a lot of work going on at Microsoft around NUI and this video brings much of it together – from Windows 7 touch, Surface, Natal and the Office Envisioning videos. Until now, much of this seemed a bit far off – in the realm of Minority Report it seemed very “Hollywood”. However, inexpensive display technology is enabling any surface to become an interactive screen. Cameras and microphones can now be embedded in almost anything and the Wii and iPhone have shown that computers can understand simple gestures – with Natal that goes further with more advanced gestures and speech recognition. There is much talk of augmented reality at the moment and that adds another layer of exciting potential.

    Component prices are falling fast so we’ll start to see hardware catch up with the software work that has gone on to date. Microsoft Research, it we get things right has a big part to play here as for years we’ve invested in computer vision, machine learning, user interfaces and language processing – across the many labs we have but much of that here in the UK in our Cambridge lab which I’m personally pleased about. It’s been a long journey as this work goes back as early as 1991….finally we’re starting to see it bear fruit.

    We’re taking a platform approach to this and looking to others to innovate on top. The PDC began some of our quest to unleash  that innovation to some extent - the laptop giveaway encouraged these new types of NUI apps with a machine designed specifically to highlight the sensors in the unit and build completely new applications based on touch and more. The second video below shows you some of the apps that were in the laptop from the PDC – but these are just the tip of the iceberg – I can’t wait to see what developers do with all of this.

    Get Microsoft Silverlight

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