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Preview: Syringe.Net.Nz - Vista

Syringe.Net.Nz - Vista

An Irregular Injection Of Opinion

Last Build Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2007 23:50:36 GMT

Copyright: Chris J.T. Auld

Tune Here for Silverlight News

Sat, 28 Apr 2007 23:50:36 GMT

So y'all know that MSFTs FlashKiller is called Silverlight...


You don't know quite how cool it's actually going to be. I know.... but if I told you I'd have to kill you.

So. Come Monday the Kimono Shall Be Opened @ the Mix Keynote.

I shall be blogging live and telling you all about it.... suffice to say.... YOU WILL HAVE KITTENS!


Just found out more great stuff.... Tommorows announcements will cover not only developer platform but some all new developer service offerings....


Mac vs PC.....

Tue, 06 Feb 2007 22:24:51 GMT

A couple of goodies from both camps


“I hate Macs. I have always hated Macs. I hate people who use Macs. I even hate people who don't use Macs but sometimes wish they did. Macs are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work; computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui.”


New User Experience Screen Cast

Tue, 06 Feb 2007 20:38:24 GMT

A friend of mine in India has just started a new UX focused screencast.

Check it out. Only one episode so far. But looking good.


Windows Error Reporting from .NET Applications

Mon, 13 Nov 2006 19:37:32 GMT

I taught some classes recently for Vista app compat readiness.

One of the key things you need to ensure your app does for Vista is take advantage of Windows Error Reporting.

This means you MUST NOT just swallow all exceptions with your own exception handling.

A couple of quick tips around this.

1. If you want to rethrow an exception with the original stack trace do a blind throw like this


catch (Exception ex)

Note that we don'te append the exception variable onto the throw.

You can avoid any .NET dialog boxes and throw unhandled exceptions straight to WER by using this line of code.



WIndows Update Finally Delivers On Promise

Wed, 11 Oct 2006 08:38:58 GMT

So I plugged the tablet PC into the hardwire. Vista asked me what sort of network it was Home, Work, Public and within 60 seconds it had grabbed all the drivers I needed t get WiFi going. A totally painless experience.... even the UAC-A-Mole was less conspicuous.

But, so far impressed.... more to follow- brain fart styles.


Wow... Vista is Performant All Of A Sudden

Wed, 11 Oct 2006 08:28:16 GMT

I just installed Vista on my VERY lowly specced Tablet PC (Centrino 1Ghz Ultra Long battery Life Panasonic Toughbook)... and bugger me if Vista isn't screamingly fast on it. At least as fast as XP. Vista suddenly seems really usable... and ready to hit the shelves! *rubs hands with glee*

No Aero Glass of course due to a basic Intel Video card. But who cares. Vista still looks amazing on it.

I'm about to scoot off to bed to play with it for a bit... got a big gym session in the morning.

No WiFi drivers yet so off to plug into my hard wire and see if Windows Update gives me any love....


Still On This Earth... Dogfooding Hard

Tue, 18 Jul 2006 21:14:00 GMT

So I am still here.

Just been a bit quiet on the blog front.

I've finally made the jump to Vista as my primary OS- I havbe two vista boxes on my desk and one XP box that I share with Skip... about to upgrade to 5472 this morning.

So far my thoughts....

  1. Sick and tired of playing “UAC-A-Mole*...
    i.e. constantly having to press those bloody security dialogs away. I am VERY close to running as Administrator again which should make all this go away. I have to run a few apps elevated- running VS2k3 elevated for example
  2. The search box still rocks the Casbah.
    THis is the little box at the bottom of the start menu. I've always been a big WindowsKey-R kinda guy.... now I just press windows key, type what I want and off we go. It is my fave feature of vista so far.
  3. Outlook 2007 is working
    But only via RPC over HTTP (Exchange Anywhere in 2007). I LOVE the new flag for follow up management. This is my favourite new Outlook feature. It's let me reclaim my calendar from being a task pad again.
  4. Vista is SLOOOOWWWW
    Quite obviously still running debug code all through it. It's slow as a gdog even on my highly spec'd 64 bit notebook with 2GB or RAM.
  5. IE7 is flakey on Vista
    Not sure why... I was using it without trouble on XP but its being quite flakey

I'm now at about the stage where I couldn't go back to Office 2003. I could *probably* still bear to part with Vista.... but it's certainly growing on me.


Back on XP...

Wed, 31 May 2006 22:12:40 GMT

..for the moment I'm still using Windows XP as my primary OS.

This REALLY pisses me off.

The reason it pisses me off is it's not an issue with Vista or Office, but rather something wrong with my Domain Controller (SBS2k3) that's stopping me from joinng the domain and thus using email and all that Jazz...

Need to rebuild the DC sometime soon and I'm almost certainly going to do it in Virtual Servr this time around.


First Thoughts on Vista... More To Follow

Mon, 29 May 2006 04:42:04 GMT

So, as Phil Blogs, we did our Vista install and Mountain Bike session on Saturday arvo.

By the time that the foggy rugby finished on Sat ngiht I had my machne pretty well setup with Vista, Office 12, VS.Net 2003 and 2005 and a bunch of other crap.

Setup for Vista took BLOODY AGES, but, was relatively interaction free, i.e. I just set it and went MTBing.

Office and OneNote installs were just as pleasant.

I've started a OneNote Notebook to keep thoughts on my fave and least fave aspects.

A few here to start.

Fave new feature: That little search mox at the bottom of the start bar- no need to navigate my filthy start menu any more. Just press the Windows key and type whatever I want to run. Like WindowsKey-R... but on 'roids!

Least fave new feature: All the bloody security dialogs. I am utterly desensitized to them now. I know where the 'Continue' button is and my braiin just goes on autopilot and clicks it.

Thing I was most surprised that I actually like after bagging it for almost a year: The new Office UI. It is actually REALLY usable. I mean REALLY usable. On on that basis why on earth did they not apply the new UI to the application that would get the most benefit out of it- the tablet PC oriented OneNote! FFS!

...more to follow!


Choose One From Many...

Thu, 25 May 2006 20:59:37 GMT

Phil has a post up about different UX approaches to doing mutually exclusive selection (think radio boxes).

Thought I'd chime in with the way that Vista now does it (most of the time).

This is a new Win32 control in Vista designed for scenarios where in the past you'd lick the radio button and hit next... when all you were doing was making a single decision.



Office Beta.... the download experience

Tue, 23 May 2006 21:26:34 GMT

Well. I've got Vista coming down at the moment.
About 7GB worth as I want the 64 bit version for my Ferrari and the 32 bit versions for my other machines.

The Office Beta uses some download client.

Be warned- it gives dodgy error messages.

'The email address is invalid'

actually means

'There is so much trafic hitting the server that I can't log you in... but I'm going to give you a dumb error like cannot find user account just so you have to go through the pain of going back to the sign up website... which is also getting hammered....'


Booze, Bikes, BBQ and Dogfood....

Tue, 23 May 2006 21:09:32 GMT

OK... who's keen for a bit of a dogfood install fest this weekend?

We could combine some beers, a BBQ and some mountain biking for a cool afternoon.

Get a few people around to my house and we'll all go through and switch our machines from smelly old XP to shiny new Vista, all the while drinking fine New Zealand beer. Then while the installs are humming away we canall take off to Makara for a bit of Mountain Biking.

Anyone keen? Comment here of email me


OK. It'll be at my place from 1300hrs on Saturday.

We'll do some installing. Then do some mountainbiking.
Your bike
Your laptop PC
Your external HDD if you need to.
Your Office and Vista product keys so you can activate your Beta
A towel and a clean change of clothes (if going biking)
Some beer

We'll all go to the supermarket after the ride for some BBQ goodies and then we may watch the Super 14 final as well :-)


Takers so far

Nic Wise
Nick Head
Phil Cockfield
Chris Auld
Tim Haines (doing a VPC install)
Ivan Towlson (Office only)


This Weekend Is Dogfood Weekend.....

Tue, 23 May 2006 20:59:54 GMT

DarrylB has blogged about all the new Betas being available.

I kinda knew this announcement was coming and so I've been geting organised for a Massive Dogfooding Weekend.

I'm going to make the switch from XP/Office 2003 to Vista and Office 12.

It's gonna be excitng and a bit scary.

I'll probably also lok at switching my Tablet PC to Vista and my Media Center PC to Vista really soon too.