I am Microsoftie 4 ever (18+ years) working in Windows Services and Content team in the UK, my blog is mainly focused on the Windows family of products and trying to provide help pointers and resources for customers on our products.
Using Virtual Earth 3D, Map Cruncher and Caligari trueSpace, Microsoft has built a Santa Tracker and Village at the North Pole Check it out: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28146841. Not only that, but they also created a 3D version of Santa’s Village at The North Pole.
You will need to navigate to the north pole and then zoom in on the push-pins to see Santa
Track Santa from the North Pole and beyond with Virtual Earth 3D
Note you will need to download the Virtual Earth 3D plug-in
Also staying on the Christmas theme the Microsoft mapping team created a Christmas card to show off Virtual Earth – enjoy it here: http://www.msmaps2008.com/microsoft
Even though i know Microsoft Onecare is going sometime in the new year, I recommended my dad to renew anyway as he was happy with the product and comfortable using it. So rather than do the online billing at £37 I suggested he buy a brand new copy at somewhat less from Amazon.co.uk (around £24 ISTR)
Anyway as one of my regular jobs whilst visiting is sorting out the family pc problems he asked me to update his onecare with the new one. So put the disk in and got a wonderful error message 0006-80004005 and bascially some text that said I would couldn't have 2 copies of Onecare on the same machine and I would have to uninstall the current one and then re-install. I feared doing this would loose all the settings and maybe screw up a whole bunch of other things and the get more help option was not. So after a bit of research I came across this http://www.vistax64.com/live-onecare/139278-retail-box-version.html on the Vista x64 forums that told me how to fix the problem (copied below)
Don't reinstall OneCare.Purchase the retail box copy and then go to http://billing.microsoft.comSign in with the subscription LiveID (Help/About in OneCare will show you theSubscription ID)Select the renew link in the billing entry for OneCare.Select the option to renew with a retail PIN or token.Follow the wizard for this and proceed with renewal. You can do this at anytime, not just when you are due for renewal.It can take up to 24 hours to reflect the new subscription status in OneCare.
But what stumped me was the term Retail Pin or Token, now going through the billing process it was clear it was asking for what I think is more commonly termed a product key... So why is it called a Retail Pin or Token and not at least adding or Product Key (as it is actually called on the box)
As someone once sang Confused you will be
I just started seeing this message pop up (from my etrust realtime protection) on a few sites including this blog!!!! how can that be?
A quick bit of surfing took me to http://www.crunchgear.com/2008/12/02/actnsswift-virus-affecting-embedded-youtube-vids/
'Apparently some sort of relatively aggressive virus is affecting certain embedded YouTube videos. Some are saying it affects IE and Firefox users, while others say it’s only going after IE. The virus is called Actns/Swif.T and seems to contain a redirect to a phishing website embedded within a SWF file.
The site apparently installs Antivirus 2009, which is malware. We’ll pull our most recent YouTube embeds, but be careful because this one appears to have just broken out today. If you find yourself being automatically redirected or experience other weird pop-ups, especially for something called Antivirus 2009, don’t click on anything.'
The only Youtube video on the main page is the TronMan one so thats gone, and so is the message WTF is going on :S
Following on form a previous post on the new licensing and Piracy site I wanted to share this new site on a similar topic.
'The new Counterfeit Gallery navigation includes the typical three types of counterfeit, high-grade or high quality, mid-grade quality and low-grade or low quality counterfeits.
Also included with this release of the counterfeit gallery is the ability to submit your own image. Here's some more detail about the categories of counterfeit you'll see in the gallery'
The site requires Silverlight, but you can see in detail how to tell if your physical software disks and boxes is genuine or not and the ways in which the counterfeiters go about trying to make there stuff like like the real thing.
Thanks to Alex for the tip
If you fancy getting into the festive theme with Windows Live Messenger then download these emoticons from MSN Italy
My Italian is a bit rusty but hit the big red button to Get free Christmas emoticons
Thanks to the WinVistaClub for the spot and link.
Hot on the heels of the UK Windows Vista Community Page is this new (i think site) called Windows Vista Answers…
Where you can get ‘answers to the most common Windows Vista questions.’
you can either search or browse from the existing set of answers and questions as well as asking the community where you can ‘Tap into the expertise and enthusiasm of Windows Vista customers and Microsoft support professionals worldwide.’
Currently the 5 most helpful answers to questions are
and rather nicely you can subscribe to the most helpful answers feed by clicking the rss button
Thanks To Blake on The Road to Know Where for the link
Just got the following from Matt over on the Windows live channel announcing the free messenger goodies available on Messenger Central for Windows Live Messenger
Expression packs – Create your own wink with the wink workshop or get some ‘geek-chic’ with the new Techicons pack
Games - Fishticuffs! Amongst other things...
Agents – Find out all you need to know by chatting to one of our agents, from astrology to translation
Activities – Featuring Time for a Story, MSN Wallpapers and more!
Alerts – Keep up to date with all the MSN channel updates and XBOX news
Btw if you have never played Fishticuffs then you haven't lived
No not a typo, I really hope these will be available in the UK as well.
Microsoft Turns to Crispin, Rapper Common for New Clothing Line - Agency News - Advertising Age
Spotted this nice photo article over on silicon.com
Photos: Windows through the ages
which shows 10 Windows screen shots from Version 1 through to 7, really interesting to see the changes...
My first encounter with Windows was I think 3.1 and then Windows for Work Groups...what was yours?
and if you cannot decide then you can always let the Windows Gadget Guru help you out with your decision
‘When it comes to choosing your new laptop or smartphone, you can't just rely on Santa to make the right choice. Give the old fella a little assistance using the Windows Gadget Guru – we'll help you pick a new laptop or mobile phone by answering your questions, cutting through the jargon and recommend a gadget that'll meet all of your needs. ‘