The HP Magic Giveaway Contest#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

We are going to be having another great contest here at Boston Pocket PC just in time for the holidays with 49 other sites. It will be called the HP Magic Giveaway contest.  We had such a big success with the 31 Days of the Dragon Contest, the contest pool has expanded to 50 top blogs and websites to spread over $300,000 worth of prizes to some lucky people to give to others in the spirit of giving from the people at HP and Microsoft.

hp magic giveaway

Here is a list of over $6000 worth of kit that is being given away in each contest:

We will be announcing the details of our contest soon, so come back often to see what we have planned as well as updates on how you can win this prize pack to keep and giveaway yourself from 49 other sites and celebrate the magic of giving.

11/24/2008 22:21:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

HP Breaks the 24-hour Battery Life Barrier & How They do it.#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

OK I have been contemplating this press release I received a while ago and I am wondering what constitutes 24hrs of battery life of the HP laptop with the longest battery life of 24hrs and what the profiles are. Granted there has been a lot of tweaking going on by manufacturers to squeeze out extra battery life out of laptops, right?!. Don just got a new Toshiba Tablet PC at work  and was amazed that the laptop had a long battery life and performed well even at the Power Saver level. I too was amazed at how well the HDX Dragon did in battery and usage tests (granted it was only 3hrs, but it also had a 20 inch display and some pretty powerful hardware that goes to sleep as it should. So I don't disbelieve this claim by HP, but would like to see it for myself in a real world setting.

hp6930p

Today I got to talk to an HP Product manager on how they were able to achieve this.

HP had announced an unprecedented milestone in mobile computing: up to 24 hours of continuous notebook operation on a single battery charge. As measured by an industry-standard benchmark Mobilemark 2005 for Windows XP, the new HP EliteBook 6930p configured with an optional ultra-capacity battery delivered up to 24 hours of battery runtime.

When ordering your 6930p HP also offer’s the option of having the computer downgraded to Windows XP with an upgrade to Windows Vista Business disc included or it can ship with Windows Vista Business Edition. The timing for battery life running Windows Vista is of course different, not only because it is a more robust OS, there was a different testing software involved that puts the system under more real world scenarios using Mobilemark 2007. Using the same hardware configuration it was able to net 20 hours and 40 minutes using Vista with the modern testing software.

Surprisingly there was no tweaking in Windows Power Management. HP has a set of HP Optimized power settings that optimizes performance and battery life and this what was used and what they recommend.

During the tests both the wireless radios for Bluetooth, WiFi, (and if equipped with 3G radio card) were all off for best case scenario as a mobile user would use to eek out the longest battery life. So if you are using any of these, (which you aren’t supposed to do on any airline) your mileage will vary depending on usage.

The Elitebook 6930p used in the tests did have some hardware not yet available for the buying public, but will be soon. The greatest energy saver was the use of an HP Illumi-Lite LED Display (planned to be available October 2008) that is a $50 option that nets an energy savings of 4 hours additional runtime compared to traditional LCD displays as well as an 80GB X25-M Mainstream SATA Solid-State Drive from Intel, which nets another 4%.

hp6930p battery

So in order to achieve this 24 hour benchmark HP utilizes a 12 Cell Ultra Capacity Battery and customer download of the latest Intel graphics driver and HP BIOS. Notebook must also be configured with optional Intel 80 GB SSD drive, HP Illumi-Lite LED Display and requires Microsoft Windows® XP operating system. We were told that battery life will vary depending on the product model, configuration, loaded applications, features, and power management settings. The maximum capacity of the battery will decrease with time and usage. The Ultra Capacity Battery can also be charged with a separate AC adapter minimizing charging time before a long trip and it will also be compatible with other laptops in HPs lineup. The battery also has charge level LEDs to let you know when you have topped it off. It is also designed to give a comfortable working angle for the laptop when added to the bottom.

Designed and tested to last, HP batteries benefit from a combination of HP engineering and energy-efficient notebook components such as Intel solid-state hard drives (SSD) and mercury-free LED displays. For example, the highly efficient HP Illumi-Lite LED display boosts battery run time by up to 4 hours compared to traditional LCD displays, while the Intel X25-M and X18-M Mainstream SATA SSDs provides up to a 7 percent increase in battery life compared to traditional hard drives.

So in this day it is entirely possible to get 24 hours out of your laptop today with the right configuration of hardware and software and sets a pretty high benchmark.

Here are some excerpts from the press release you may find interesting:

“All-day computing has been the holy grail of notebook computing,” said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, HP. “With the HP EliteBook 6930p, customers no longer have to worry about their notebook battery running out before their work day is over.”

Use an HP EliteBook 6930p continuously on the world’s longest scheduled commercial airline flight – linking Newark Liberty International Airport and Singapore Changi Airport – approximately 18 hours, 40 minutes.

Inspired by aircraft construction and designed for style-conscious mobile professionals, HP EliteBook notebooks feature the latest mobile technologies.

In October, customers will be able to purchase an HP EliteBook with the new Intel high-performance SSDs – HP is a launch customer for new Intel X25-M and X18-M Mainstream SATA SSDs.

In addition to helping achieve outstanding battery life, these new Intel SSDs provide greater durability and reliability as well as faster system responsiveness. Internal HP benchmarks show overall performance boosts of up to 57 percent on industry benchmarks, and data transfer rates almost six times faster than traditional hard disks.

“Intel architected its new line of high-performance solid-state drives specifically to bring a new level of performance and reliability to the computing platform and make significant impact to the way people use their PCs,” said Randy Wilhelm, vice president and general manager, NAND Products Group, Intel. “The HP milestone is an example of the impact of this new level of performance that specifically delivers on lower power consumption for longer battery life.”

The initial ENERGY STAR®-qualified HP EliteBook 6930p configuration starts at only 4.7 pounds (2.1 kilograms). It features a 14.1-inch diagonal widescreen display and is available with an optional, mercury-free Illumi-Lite LED display.

The HP EliteBook 6930p is built for the corporate road warrior as it features a shock-resistant hard drive, enhanced display panel and spill-resistant keyboard to help defend data against bumps, drops and spills. It was designed to meet the tough MIL-STD 810F military-standard tests(2) that measure levels of environmental reliability and operation at extreme temperatures, while withstanding vibration and high humidity.

The inner magnesium shell of the notebook’s HP DuraCase is equipped with a honeycomb pattern that is thermally bonded to anodized aluminum for a solid construction.

All HP notebooks are designed with the environment in mind, with energy-efficient features and select materials for easier recycling. For example, HP has set a goal to remove all mercury – a material commonly found in notebook screens – from its entire notebook line by the end of 2010.

10/21/2008 05:07:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Velocity Micro Announces the Release of the CineMagix FuzeBox#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Wow, the folks at Velocity Micro, an independent builder of custom, high performance computers, notebooks, and home theater systems announces the immediate release of an innovative new closed-box home media server solution, called the CineMagix FuzeBox Home Media Server.  Utilizing an innovative interface and Velocity Micro’s trademarked expert engineering, the FuzeBox manages, stores, and distributes pictures, music, and video throughout an entire home, making it the first and only whole home media experience on the market.

fuzebox

So the FuzeBox Media Server allows you to stream audio and video into zones including DVD and BluRay content that will be stored locally on a hard drive coming in 2009, hopefully this will be available with the ongoing courtcase  between the major Hollywood studios and Real Media’s RealDVD, which allowed for backing up of DVD’s to one’s hard drive. We hope they win like Kaleidescape did, paving the way for solutions like the CineMagix FuzeBox Home Media Server which looks to provide the same function as a Kaledescape a fraction of the price.

“For years, consumers have been struggling to find a home theater solution that will simply and efficiently help them manage their digital lives,” said Randy Copeland, President and CEO of Velocity Micro. “The FuzeBox, with its simple interface and dynamic features, provides exactly what that consumer is looking for—a whole home media experience in one system.”

Velocity Micro paired with Fuze Media Systems to create and develop the innovative interface and perfect the meticulous build of the FuzeBox. As a result, the FuzeBox is a home media server device so simple and stable, literally anyone can use and enjoy it.  Key features include:

  • Digital Cablecard support for watching and recording digital content without a cable box or DVR(2 in the Fuzebox and up to 4 can be installed in the Fuzebox Pro);
  • Multiple audio zones for playing different music selections in various zones throughout a home using either a wireless or wired network;
  • The capability to back up and distribute DVDs and Blu-Rays to various video zones
  • Whole home storage server capability for music, photos, video, and data;
  • Tremendous redundant storage capacity of up to two terabytes means space for over 300 movies and 8000 songs;
  • Multiple control options for remote management of all media server aspects including playing and controlling music and video from anywhere on the network;
  • Simple installation by end users or media professionals;
  • Locked graphical user interface that can't be broken by casual users.

fuzebox2

The CineMagix FuzeBox looks like a great Media Center PC with all the functions many users have been looking for quite a while. The system is fully configurable starting at $1,995, directly from Velocity Micro.  Visit VelocityMicro.com/FuzeBox for more details.

10/09/2008 13:07:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

TabletKiosk Introduces the Eyesboard On-Screen Virtual Keyboard#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

TabletKiosk wanting to improve the slate-style Tablet PC user experience on their Tablet PCs and UMPCs is now including the Eyesboardon-screen virtual keyboard on all of its systems, which currently ships with all new Sahara Slate PC i400 series Tablet PCs as well as offering it as a free download for existing TabletKiosk Tablet PC and UMPC owners. It is a realistic software keyboard that  looks and performs like an actual keyboard placed on top of the screen of the Tablet PC.

Eyesboard

The Eyesboard, created by PlazaLOGIC, is an on-screen, virtual QWERTY keyboard, that enables users to type directly on the screen with their fingers or a stylus. Sporting a realistic "3D" look, multiple language options, easy size adjustment, choice of colors, and optional settings — including opacity, "snapable" palettes, menu buttons and sound effects — the Eyesboard virtual keyboard is highly customizable to best fit each user’s unique needs.

“Given that touch screen kiosks with virtual keyboards are now commonly used in airports and retail stores, today’s Tablet PC owners are more familiar with the idea of on-screen typing,” said Martin Smekal, president of TabletKiosk. “By including the Eyesboard as a standard feature on all of our tablets, we believe that we have greatly improved the overall mobile computing experience.”

09/09/2008 09:28:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Microsoft’s New Advertising#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well the buzz has hit the interweb whether it be good or bad about the series of Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld commercials with the first one airing last night. People are talking about it and as those in advertising say if people are talking about it they did their job. The first one seemed to be along the lines of the other humorous segment videos/vignets that were shown at several Microsoft conferences in the past.

seinfeld and bill

Microsoft has a few more than just that video on their newly launched Windows site. Microsoft actually has several other videos that tell more of a story, that I think work much better and really get the word out about their products. Hopefully we will see them not only online but also on your HD television during the new fall prime time lineup. :)

world of windows

They have a series of videos linking their technologies of Windows, Windows Mobile (which had a slight revamp) and Windows Live performing several tasks. These are really well done and are much better than the 15 second commercials that air on the Windows Vista Media Center when watching streaming video from the Internet Video section. They are very similar to the Digital Lifestyle video that was on the Internet, but never reached television that show the integration and usage scenarios of several Microsoft products and services.

I really like this one called Sharing your Photos, but it clocks in at 1:22. There are several more here.

Work from Anywhere is good too, more of those here. I think some of us have actually experienced this. :)

Entertainment to go isn’t bad either with a few more here.

And lets not forget Gaming for Everyone with more here.

Microsoft looks to have a pretty good ad campaign brewing. It is much better than what has been done in the past especially what wasn’t done after the Vista launch, but they may want to lead viewers to at least check out the rest of these videos beyond the online experience and if they wanted to spread the word they should at least allow people to share links to the videos. ;) Or maybe this is what Microsoft is hoping for increased site traffic with people checking out the rest of these videos online. I guess we will have to wait and see…

09/05/2008 11:16:42 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Tell HP what you want in your next Laptop#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

 

The folks at HP and BuzzCorps want to know what has been missing in the laptop market today and want to fill that void by asking you what you would like to see in your next laptop and what has been missing.

There have been plenty of new laptops recently introduced and there is a great video by Andru from GearLive featuring an interview with Stacy Wolff director of product design for HP, on what goes into great Industrial Design of HPs laptops as well as some of the innovative features in their next line of laptops.

Stemming from this a website was formed by Gnomedex attendees to get a pulse on what power users and shapers of the blogosphere want in their next laptop. Feel free to add any comments and wish list items and we will pass this link along with links from other community sites participating in this wonderful feedback forum. Tell us if you want DVI-D as a standard so with a little adapter you can use VGA, DVI, etc.; modular bays for optical drives and extra batteries; all day battery life; modular WWAN, processor, and GPU cards; both active and passive touch screens; memory up to 8GB; lightweight package with a lightweight power pack (why should the power transformer and associated cords weigh more than your laptop?)

This is your chance to let your voice to be heard on what you want in your next laptop. Make your opinions heard!!!!

08/21/2007 13:51:01 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Microsoft and AMD North America Tech Tour#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The AMD/Microsoft Retail Tour 2007 is coming to a city near you! It's your chance to stay up-to-date on the latest industry developments and learn more about Windows Vista, AMD's Quad-CPU technology, ATI Radeon™ Graphics chipsets, and more. They even have a very exclusive bundle available for attendees. In the past they had people pre-order them because they were so sweet.

For $349 you get:

  • Energy efficient AMD Athlon™ 64 dual-core processor 4400+, Rev G, 65nm
  • Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Ultimate OS - NFR
  • ASUS M2A-VM with AMD 690G Chipset (this MB has an included Video card with 256MB on board dedicated, HDMI out,DVI and VGA connectors on the board and yes you can power 2 displays with it)


Hear from industry-leading Microsoft and AMD partners such as HP and Acer, and just by attending you may qualify to purchase an amazing Retail Tour bundle. You can also win great prizes at every event, including software, a Zune, an Xbox 360 or an AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual-Core Mobile-powered HP Pavilion TX1000 Entertainment Notebook PC.

The Boston date will be June 12, 2007 at the Hynes Convention Center.

Here is the current Agenda:

Time Topic
3:00pm 4:00pm Registration, Technical Demo Showcase
4:00pm 6:30pm Welcome to the AMD/Microsoft Tech Tour 2007 AMD, Microsoft Demonstrations / Presentations
6:30pm - 7:10pm Buffet Dinner - Technical Demo Showcase
7:10pm - 9:30pm AMD, Microsoft and Seagate Demonstrations / Presentations and Marketing opportunities
9:30pm - 10:00pm

Q&A - Prize Giveaways

 


The Tour begins on April 10th and goes through June, covering 19 cities in the US and Canada. Register today! 

04/05/2007 12:09:07 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

My Code Camp 7 Presentations and Samples Now Available for Download#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Thanks to everyone who attended my two sessions at this weekend's Code Camp 7: Deer In The Headlights event. I really enjoyed the interaction, questions and comments during both sessions!

As promised, my two presentations are now available for download. The ZIP files contain both the Powerpoint slides and any sample code shown during the session.

As an "added bonus", I have put up the C# project I wrote to test out Ink and Speech with Vista and the Tablet PC. It is the little spelling application I wrote for my son to do his homework, and domenstrates speech synthesis and the Tablet PC ink APIs. Even if you don't have a Tablet PC, you can fill in the fields using your keyboard. The download also includes a setup installer for the compiled version of the application, allowing you to just install it and play around with it if you'd like.

Enjoy!

04/01/2007 10:44:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Vista Users: Windows Update for Windows Media Player 11 and Windows Mobile 5#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

If you are a Windows Mobile 5 user on Windows Vista, you may have experienced problems with trying to set up your storage card on the device to synchronize with Windows Media Player 11. Microsoft has issued an update (via Windows Update) to address the issue -

If you have not checked Windows Update in the last couple of days, be sure to do so when you have the chance.

03/28/2007 07:55:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Motion Launches Industry’s First Tablet PC Designed Specifically for Medical Use#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Motion Computing is gearing up for some business at the next HiMSS conference(booth 5137) in New Orleans that is coming up next week with a release of a Tablet PC designed to turn some heads in the clinical field, by announcing the new C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) at UCSF Medical Center during a joint conference with Intel. The MCA is a new computing category, created by Intel with support from Motion to enable nurses, physicians and other clinicians to do their jobs on the move.


The Motion C5, the first product in the MCA category, which was designed from the ground up to be durable and to simplify workflows, ease clinician workloads and improve overall quality of care. The design is based on input from thousands of clinicians worldwide, the C5 brings reliable, automated patient data management directly to the point of care. Intel and Motion conducted extensive user level, ethnographic, human factors, time/motion and clinical workflow research. This research resulted in clear requirements for a purpose-built mobile device.

This collaborative effort resulted in development of the Motion C5 – designed with and for clinicians – that is now being implemented in clinician usability studies worldwide. The C5 is the first highly sealed, fully disinfectable computer to integrate into one durable device the relevant technologies important to clinician workflow and productivity. The C5 combines multiple devices into one -- including a built-in barcode and RFID reader for patient identification and supply, specimen and medication administration verification; a built-in camera; and a fingerprint reader to improve security and simplify clinician authentication.

Key Features:

Genuine Windows® Vista™ Business or
Genuine Windows® XP Tablet PC Edition Intel® Centrino® Mobile Technology
- Intel® Core Solo Processor U1400 (1.20GHz)
- Integrated Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945 ABG network connection 512MB RAM (Upgradeable to 1.5GB max) 30GB HDD (60GB option) 
 
Key Features and Options
- Highly durable design with magnesium-alloy internal frame
   and elastomer overmolding
- Highly sealed, disinfectable chassis
- Optional integrated 1D/2D barcode scanner
- Integrated 13.56MHz RFID reader
- Integrated 13.56MHz HF passive RFID tag
- Integrated 2.0 Megapixel Camera
- One-year standard warranty
   (upgradeable to two or three years) 

 For more information head to Motion's website here

02/21/2007 08:48:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

What's New in Windows Mobile 6#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you are wondering what is new in Windows Mobile 6, Jason Langridge has a great writeup on some of the new features with screenshots called Windows Mobile 6 - What's Cool and What's New. Jaap van Ekris also covered a few things Jason left out in his article, What will Windows Mobile 6 bring for the highly mobile people? over at Modern Nomads. Chris Leckness has put together a pretty good video that is definitely worth checking out at MobiltySite on Windows Mobile 6.

Geek.com and Pocket PC Thoughts have some great gallery of shots and screen captures of the OS in action. Also Darius Wey has found some great news pertaining to the new imate ultimate devices and Windows Vista Sideshow, in that they can be used to display video as Windows Media Center Extenders with special docking stations.They will also be utilizing the AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) band, which T-Mobile took the lionshare of in last year's spectrum auctions.

There are a smorgasbord of new devices coming out on the Windows Mobile 6 platform. Some were covered very well by Engadget, MobilitySitethe::unwired ,  Jason Langridge, GearDiary and others from HTC, imate, and others. There is also a great video with Derek Snyder from Microsoft at on10 covering all the new mobile devices in all their glory. It is great to see so much choice of Windows Mobile Devices. A few years ago you couldn't even purchase one in the United States now I am wondering if too much choice may confuse many and cloud the market for some consumers.

Either way there is much more to come...

02/13/2007 14:11:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Daylight Saving Time 2007 Update for Windows Mobile and Windows Computers#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

An idea Benjamin Franklin came up with more than 200 years ago and wrote the saying “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” and was later implemented by William Willett, in1907 and has been changed several times up to 1966, when the Uniform Time Act was passed in the United States. Well  Congress has changed the dates for Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the United States under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 starting in 2007 (If you are in IT this is the new Y2K dubbed Y2K7). Canada has adopted similar DST dates. DST dates in the United States will start three weeks earlier (2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday in March) and will end one week later (2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November).These changes could cause clocks and Microsoft Outlook calendar appointments on Windows Mobile-powered devices to display incorrect times for March 11 – April 1, 2007 and October 28 – November 4, 2007 and again in subsequent years.

You can prevent these problems by installing three Microsoft files on your device and/or PC:

  • Microsoft Windows Operating Systems Update
  • Daylight Saving Time 2007 Update Tool
  • Outlook Time Zone Update Tool  

All users in the United States, Canada and Mexico should immediately install these updates. Users in other countries should install these updates if they travel to the United States, Canada and/or Mexico or if they make calendar appointments that include attendees that are based in the United States, Canada and/or Mexico.

Be sure to follow the step by step directions here.

 

If you use Microsoft Outlook to synchronize your calendar, download and run the Outlook Time Zone Update Tool.

If you do not use Microsoft Outlook to synchronize your calendar, connect your Windows Mobile device to your PC, then download and run the Daylight Saving Time 2007 Update Tool.

If you are unable to connect your device to a computer you can download and apply a CAB file directly to your device from here:

IMPORTANT: For the tool to properly update the Daylight Saving Time settings, you must manually change the time zone on your device. To properly update the Daylight Saving Time settings, you need to manually change the time zone at least once on your device.

For a Pocket PC:

  1. Go to Start > Settings > Clock & Alarms > Time tab.
  2. Change the current time zone to any time zone other than the one that is currently selected.
  3. Tap OK and tap Yes to save changes to the clock settings.
  4. Change the current time zone to the one you want to use.
  5. Tap OK and tap Yes to save changes to the clock settings.

For a Smartphone:

  1. Go to Start > Settings > Clock & Alarms > Date and Time.
  2. Change the current time zone to any time zone other than the one that is currently selected.
  3. Click Done.
  4. Change the current time zone to the one you want to use.
  5. Click Done.

Here are the directions for the 2007 time zone update for Microsoft Windows operating systems so update your computers too!

For more information on how daylight saving time changes may impact other Microsoft products, visit the following Microsoft Web site:  Preparing for daylight saving time changes in 2007

02/13/2007 09:45:16 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Microsoft Experience Pack for Windows Vista#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Taking some notes from the Experience Pack for Windows XP Microsoft introduces one for Windows Vista, called appropriately enough the Microsoft Experience Pack for Windows Vista

Equation Writer

Enhance your experience using a Tablet PC with these five new programs, which provide unique functionality and fun. Free download of Equation Writer, Media Transfer, Ink Crossword and Ink Flash Cards. Free download of Ink Desktop.

Equation Writer
Add mathematical expressions to your papers. Handwrite a math equation, and then convert it into a neatly typewritten image to paste into a report or a presentation.
Media Transfer
Copy or stream media files from your home computer to your Tablet PC, so that you can enjoy music, videos, or pictures wherever you go.
Ink Crossword
Solve crosswords on your Tablet PC using your tablet pen. Twelve puzzles come with Ink Crossword. You can also download a free daily puzzle and purchase more puzzle packs online.
Ink Flash Cards
Create flash cards to help you learn facts or study for an exam. Handwrite a question on the front of a card and put an answer on the back. Draw, insert graphics, and add text, too.
Ink Desktop
Take notes and refer back to them at anytime using Ink Desktop on a Tablet PC.

02/09/2007 13:39:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

New Mobile PC Hands-On Labs#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you are looking for some great step-by-step information about how to build mobile and Tablet PC applications check out these hands-on labs for Windows Vista for Mobile.

Adding Ink and Custom Rendering to Video in .NET Framework 3.0
This lab demonstrates how to create an application in which you add ink to video. You will learn how to add custom rendering of ink on your video. You will also learn how to record the ink and play it back as written while the video is playing.
C#, Windows Vista
Visual Basic .NET , Windows Vista

Windows Presentation Foundation: InkCanvas Element
This lab shows how to create a simple InkCanvas application that demonstrates various editing modes, ink attributes, and means of zooming and scrolling with a Windows Presentation Foundation InkCanvas element.
C#, Windows Vista
Visual Basic .NET, Windows Vista

Using Ink Analysis with Windows Presentation Foundation
This lab exposes you to ink analysis and the InkAnalysis API as they are used in the Windows Presentation Foundation. You add basic analysis to an ink-enabled form, improve ink analysis results by using analysis hints, use analysis hints to populate text boxes, use InkAnalysis APIs to analyze free-form ink, display the results of ink analysis on free-form ink and add a predetermined style to your application.
C# Windows Vista
Visual Basic .NET, Windows Vista

RealTimeStylus APIs
This lab familiarizes you with the Tablet PC RealTimeStylus (RTS) API. You create a pair of RTS plug-ins. The first plug-in is a packet filtering plug-in that demonstrates packet modification by constraining all (x,y) packet data within a rectangular area. The second plug-in is a simple custom dynamic renderer plug-in that renders stylus input by drawing a small circle around each (x,y) point. You then use your plug-ins in a sample application that is provided for you.
C#, Windows XP
C#, Windows Vista

02/09/2007 13:39:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Vongo Updated for Windows Vista#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

One of the coolest things I saw at CES 2007 this year was the Alpha version of Vongo. Being a huge Vongo fan, I wanted Vongo to work well with Windows Vista and personally wanted it to run well with Windows Vista Media Center. Well now that is a reality in the latest update from Vongo.

They also increased the video quality and now allow for Vongo content to be streamed to your Xbox 360. For a demo of it head here. It is pretty cool! The new UI was built from the ground up with attention to detail as well as where peoples eyes looked when they use it.

For more info head here.

02/03/2007 15:04:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Vista Upgrade Clean Install Work Around.#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The folks at DailyTech have confirmed a work around for installing a "Clean Install" with a Windows Vista upgrade DVD based on information from Paul Thurrott. This is great for the consumer that wants to do a clean install from time to time with their legitimate copy of Vista, but will this hurt Microsoft's bottom line and sales of Vista?

Here are the steps:

1. Boot from the Windows Vista Upgrade DVD and start the setup program.

2. When prompted to enter your product key, DO NOT enter it. Click “Next” and proceed with setup. This will install Windows Vista as a 30-day trial.

3. When prompted, select the edition of Vista which you have purchased and continue with setup.

4. Once setup has been completed and you have been brought to the desktop for the first time, run the install program from within Windows Vista.

5. This time, type in your product key when prompted.

6. When asked whether to perform an Upgrade or Custom (advanced) install, choose Custom (advanced) to perform a clean install of Vista. Yes, this means that you will have to install Vista for a second time.

7. Once setup has completed for the second time, you should be able to activate Windows Vista normally. You can also delete the Windows.old directory which contains information from the first Vista install.”

01/31/2007 16:17:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Microsoft Origami Experience Pack Now Available#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

I have mentioned the upgrade for UMPC/Origami devices dubbed now as the Origami Experience a few times. If you own a small screen device running Windows Vista you can install it. We are talking older UMPC devices and small Tablet PC based computers like the Motion LS800 and Fujitsu P1610.The team blog of Origami Project released this news yesterday.

The Origami Experience Pack is a combination of three programs that make your Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) running Windows Vista even easier to use. Upgrade your UMPC to Windows Vista, and then install Origami Experience Pack. You can download it from here.

Origami Experience Pack contains these three programs for an Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) running Windows Vista:

Origami Experience
Access your music, videos, pictures, and favorite programs.

Sudoku
Play this popular game using a touch screen.

Touch Settings
Easily view and interact with the touch screen on a UMPC.

And, don’t forget to download Microsoft Reader, so you can read e-books on your UMPC. It’s available separately for download. See Related Resources on the right side of this page to download Microsoft Reader.

Note from Origamiproject.com:

DialKeys is not included in the download version. DialKeys is only available pre-installed on new UMPCs so if you wipe your UMPC or upgrade to Windows Vista, DialKeys will be unavailable.

There is also mention of a new project as well, hmm I wonder what that is...

On a completely seperate note, I wanted to formally announce that my entire team and I (with the exception of Jeremy) have been asked to move off of UMPC and go to work on a new secret project. The new Product Unit Manager (PUM) for UMPC at Microsoft will be Oscar Koenders.

See more about the Origami Experience on Vista with UMPCs here.

01/31/2007 13:54:54 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Vista Updates#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you already have an RTM version of Windows Vista or just purchased one you may have noticed that several updates were recently made available.

More will come soon in the form of OS and driver updates.

If you have Windows Vista Ultimate you may have noticed some other updates in the form or Windows Ultimate Extras. One being an update to BitLocker and another that was previously part of the Windows Vista Ultimate Extra Beta called Hold 'Em, based on the popular Texas Hold 'Em game.

Texas Hold 'Em doesn't have any Live capability yet. I hope it will like many of the games like UNO that was demonstrated at the CES 2007 Keynote and Worldwide General Availability of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office System launch that work on the Xbox 360 as well. I also noticed that it wasn't updated in Windows Media Center under Games. Hopefully these changes will happen overtime.

 

Also available as optional updates were 15 localized languages.

Most of the updates for my system required a full system reboot to fully update.

So updates are rolling out. I also received several emails today from several hardware manufacturers that updates for their computers will be coming soon. Most said as early as next week. Some also stated that Windows Express upgrade disks should be arriving as early as today. I also received confirmation that several software titles will be coming out this week for Vista as well.

01/30/2007 16:31:01 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Vista Now Available - 3 Most Common Questions#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

As of Midnight tonight you could purchase retail and upgrade versions of Windows Vista not only in retail stores,but also online for download. I have been asked many questions about Windows Vista by many people some at CES, some at the Boston Launch, and some via email. Here are the top three:

Which version should I get?

Well that all depends on your needs, are you an “average” home user, power user, do some occasional work from home and need to be on a domain. There are 5 versions to choose from. For most people Windows Vista Home Premium will be more than enough for all their computing needs. If you are a power user or a user of more than one computer that is capable of being upgraded you may want to go with Windows Vista Ultimate. If you are a multiple computer user you can upgrade the rest of your PCs (well up to two) to Vista Home Premium for $49 each via the Windows Vista Family Discount (Note this is only available to customers in the United States and Canada who have purchased the full or upgrade Windows Vista Ultimate retail boxed product.) Not bad at all. To compare the versions side by side head here. A nice thing to know is that if you are not sure what version to get you can always upgrade Anytime, Anywhere with the Windows Anytime Upgrade which is a new option that allows customers to conveniently upgrade their existing edition of Windows Vista to a higher-grade edition by way of an online transaction. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices to upgrade to more premium editions of Windows Vista are as follows: Home Basic to Home Premium $79, Home Basic to Ultimate $199, Home Premium to Ultimate $159 and Business to Ultimate $139.

Why should I upgrade?

Another question I was asked. Well why do upgrade any software package? There are improvements. Most notably the answer is not just the UI. Granted 3D flip, Aero interface, new icons, etc are really cool. For me the built-in search from the Windows start is one of the best features, tagging of pictures and videos for easier organization and search, new UI in Media Center, the Security improvements in the OS as well as the Windows Mobility Center. For each person the reason will be different. For a list of all the features head here. Do you need to upgrade? Well that is a personal question. If you want the latest and greatest than yes. If you get by just reading email and surfing the interweb then you should be OK.

How do I upgrade?

Before purchasing any version of Windows Vista make sure it will run on your system by running the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor. As Don and I said at our last meeting if you are planning on purchasing a new computer that has the free Express Upgrade until March 15, 2007, be sure to note the difference between Windows Vista Capable and Premium Ready PCs. Windows Vista Capable will run Vista, but without all the flash and functionality. Minimum requirements for it are an 800mHz processor, 512 MB of system memory, GPU capable of running Direct X 9 (note Vista runs DirectX 10).Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs are basically a system running Windows XP, 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, DVD drive, Internet connection, at least 40GB Hard Drive, Audio output and 128MB of dedicated RAM on your video card for the full Aero Experience. Note some manufacturers may also opt for different SKUs of Vista as part of the upgrade so be sure to ask which one before purchasing. Most look to be Windows Vista Home Premium.

Upgrading isn't as simple as it was in the past. To find out your proper upgrade path head here. There will be no clean install option available for an upgrade in place if you purchased Windows Vista as an upgrade for Windows XP. So if you are upgrading from Windows XP it has to reside on the hard drive for the upgrade to take place. For upgrading from Windows 2000 or Windows XP64 you will need to do a clean install upgrade. The "clean install" option assumes that you have the OS installed on the hard drive and you are not installing to an empty, reformatted hard drive. If you do upgrade to Windows Vista with a clean install you should use the Windows Easy Transfer to automatically copy all your files and settings to an extra hard drive or other storage device, and then install Windows Vista. After the installation of Vista is complete, the Windows Easy Transfer will reload your files and settings on your upgraded PC. Then all you need to do is reinstall your applications.

Note: Also note before upgrading your OS be sure to unistall your Anti-Virus Software if you have any or it could cause problems.

Hope these are enough to get you started if you have more. Feel free to ask.

01/30/2007 15:23:28 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Celebrate Windows Vista Launch with an Ultimate Vista Celebration#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you are unfortunately bogged down with work in the office and regrettably are not able to attend the launch event in New York City’s Time Square today you can still view the video here.

If that isn't enough for you and are looking to get down and really celebrate, there are some local events worth checking out that have some NFL football superstars doing some signing and picture taking in association with FOX Sports new addition to Media Center. For the Boston area at the Framingham,MA Circuit City the infamous 'Master of Hail Mary' - Doug Floutie will be signing autographs and you have the chance to win some cool stuff. To find out what is in your local area head here.

Also if you haven't noticed Microsoft has updated the Windows Vista page for the Launch!

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/default.mspx

01/29/2007 11:07:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Live for Vista Media Center Enters Beta#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Now this looks like one cool application for Vista media Center. Previously known by code name "Nemo" and now code named "Orbit", LiveSide has reported that Windows Live for Vista Media Center has gone to Public Beta.

 
Photo courtesy LiveSide.com

According to LiveSide, features include:

• Browse millions of Spaces in rich 3D graphics with new Gallery views and full keyword search
• Find out what your friends have been doing and saying on Windows Live Spaces
• Have real-time text and voice conversations*
• Call your friends' mobile or landline telephones by signing up with Verizon Web Calling to make affordable domestic and international calls**
• Easily navigate with your mouse, keyboard or a TV remote (remote navigation requires Microsoft Media Center Remote and IR)
• Make free PC-to-PC calls to other Windows Live Messenger users.

You can sign up for the Windows Live for Vista at the Windows Live Ideas web site.

01/03/2007 21:17:40 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

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