Steve Rowe's Blog

Ruminations on Computing - Programming, Test Development, Management and More

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  • Blog Post: Behind the Scenes of Windows 8

    Larry Osterman returns with another installment of his Behind the Scenes... series. This time with Windows 8. Larry is a developer for the team I work on. If you haven't caught it yet, take the time to read how the team developing Windows Runtime experienced this release.
  • Blog Post: Follow my adventures at //build/

    This week I'm attending the //build/ conference where Microsoft is revealing many of the details about Windows 8. If you want to see what is going on, follow my Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/steverowe , I'm posting some pictures, linking to summaries, etc.
  • Blog Post: The Sidebar is Back!

    I'm apparently in the minority, but I really liked the sidebar in Windows Vista. On a widescreen monitor, there is horizontal space to waste and it was really convenient to have all of my gadgets showing over on the right-hand side. In Windows 7, the sidebar was removed. Gadgets are still there, but...
  • Blog Post: More Win7 Previews

    Previews of some specific parts of Windows 7 which are of interest to me: Audio Media Center
  • Blog Post: Win7 Previews Starting To Appear

    Windows 7 is being unveiled for the first time at PDC and the initial previews are starting to hit the net. Here is a sampling: Gizmodo (covers Device Stage with lots of pictures) WinSuperSite (lots of pictures of the shell) Ars Technica (mostly new UI) NeoWin (UI plus Device Stage)
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 Will Be Officially Called... "Windows 7"

    After Millenium, XP, and Vista comes... Windows 7. Yep. Not a lot of imagination in this one. As unexciting as the name is, I'm excited that we're finally starting to talk about it. It's shaping up to be a really nice OS. I can't wait until you all get to experience it. http://windowsvistablog.com...
  • Blog Post: Cause of "Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet Site" found

    Perhaps you, like me saw a rash of sites giving the error "Internet explorer cannot open the Internet Site" yesterday. At first I thought one of my machines was messed up. Then I saw it on another machine. This one running XP. A virus perhaps? I can't recall doing the same thing on both machines. How...
  • Blog Post: Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 Beta Is Available

    At long last, there is a preliminary fix for the corruption issue that has dogged WHS since its release. The WHS team released the fix with its Power Pack 1 beta. See their blog post for details and a link to download it. In addition to the corruption fix, many other bugs are fixed and it is now possible...
  • Blog Post: Update on Windows Home Server Corruption Issue

    The WHS team has an update on their blog regarding the corruption issue. In short, they fully understand the issue and are working on a fix. The issue is at a low level of the operating system and so requires a lot of testing to be sure that the fix works and that it doesn't break anything else. The...
  • Blog Post: Drobo + Windows Home Server = Goodness

    I've been using Windows Home Server (WHS) for a little over a month now. While there is still an issue with data corruption if you work on files directly on the server, as a backup tool, it is great. The system is practically foolproof. Install the server, install the connector software on each machine...
  • Blog Post: Trying Windows Home Server

    Over the weekend I installed Windows Home Server on a spare box that I had. So far, I'm impressed. The interface is very slick. Installation of the client software called the "Connector" is easy. Go to a share on the server and install. All connections and setup are automated from there. The main purpose...
  • Blog Post: Vista SP1 Release Candidate Available to the Public

    Vista SP1 RC1 has just been released for public consumption. If you want to try it out, you can do so here . I'm running this on most of my machines without incident. This includes my Media Center at home. So, from my few data points, it seems quite stable. Don't expect any major changes in functionality...
  • Blog Post: XP Machine Can't See Vista Computer - Solution

    I'm at my brother-in-law's place and had to troubleshoot a network issue. I didn't see quite this situation on the web so I'll post it here in case it can help someone else. The issue was that his laptop (XP) couldn't see his desktop (Vista). The easy guess was that it was a firewall issue but I looked...
  • Blog Post: Windows Live SkyDrive Is In Open Beta

    Windows Live SkyDrive is now open to the public in beta form. From what I can tell, it is basically 500 megs of drive space on the web that you can use to store personal documents or things you want to share. This isn't the first time something like this has been done. I can think of older stuff like...
  • Blog Post: Vista Performance Update

    We just released two update packages which improve the performance and compatibility of Vista. As far as I can tell, they aren't on Windows Update yet so you'll have to go get them manually. The most significant in my mind is improvement for file copies from the Vista shell. Anyone who has tried to copy...
  • Blog Post: List of ReadyBoost Compatible Devices

    I've been interested in ReadyBoost for a while now but it's hard to find out which devices will work and which will not. Performance specs do not provide enough information to tell because often they list speeds in only bursty situations. Some manufacturers will tell you on the packaging but most don...
  • Blog Post: How We'll Avoid the Animated Cursor Bug Next Time

    Michael Howard provides a very insightful look at how the animated cursor bug bypassed the numerous security measures in Vista. He dicusses the -GS flag, address space randomization, static analysis tools, and fuzz testing. He also talks about the steps we're taking to make sure it can't happen again...
  • Blog Post: Why Windows Can't See 4GB of Memory

    Interesting post by Hilton Locke about why installing 4 GB of RAM on a 32-bit box doesn't actually give you 4 GB of RAM. Instead it gives you something like 3 GB of RAM. A 32-bit operating system should be able to access 4GB. Worse, a 64-bit operating system might not be any better. What's happening...
  • Blog Post: Showstopper!

    I just finished reading Showstopper! by G. Pascal Zachary. It recounts the creation of Windows NT starting with the hiring of Dave Cutler in October 1988 and ending with the shipping of the first version of NT on July 26, 1993. The book puts a lot in perspective. NT took nearly 5 years of grueling work...
  • Blog Post: Copy As Path

    Here's a cool little Vista trick I just learned: Browse to a file. Hold down shift and right-click on the file. Select "Copy as Path" The path for the file, include the filename, is now in your clipboard. You can paste it into any app. This is useful when sending a network file's path in mail or when...
  • Blog Post: Mac Users Respond To Vista

    I have heard several Mac users talking very kindly about our new OS. This is encouraging as these are a bunch that are pre-inclined to view Vista in a negative light. Impressing them is a hard task. It appears that, at least in some cases, we have done that. Here's a sampling: Many of the commentators...
  • Blog Post: How Much Memory Does Vista Need?

    With Windows Vista coming soon to a retail channel near you, one of the important questions to ask is, "How much memory does it really need?" There are the official minimum requirements of 512 MB, but we all know that minimum requirements don't translate to a great experience. What are the real memory...
  • Blog Post: Printer Problems on Vista x64

    I've decided to take the plunge and I'm running Vista x64 on my primary home system. So far things are going well. I haven't found any x86 programs that don't run yet. I'm sure they are out there but I haven't run across them yet. The driver signing thing has bitten me a few times though like with rivatuner...
  • Blog Post: The State of PC Audio

    One of the things I own at Microsoft is test development for audio in Windows. For Vista we did a lot of work to rewrite the audio system and make it more stable and enable more features. Just recently ExtremeTech published an article on the State of PC Audio. It talks about the various options for audio...
  • Blog Post: Vista Goes Gold!

    Windows Vista--the product I've been working on for much of the last 5 years--has finally shipped . Hopefully that will give me some more time to actually blog here. It has been a long haul and a lot of work--especially over the past few months--but it is now finished. I'm pretty proud of the final product...
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