Spreading GoogleTalk

I’ve been invited to be a moderator for the forums that are about to be launched at SpreadGoogleTalk – it sounds like a really exciting project along the lines of SpreadHello and SpreadFirefox

Run entirely by “Fans” is should be an interesting place to hang out in the coming months – they’re working closely with GoogleTalk team members like Joe Beda a former Microsoftie who worked on Avalon amongst other things….

The site should go live in the next day or so – the delay is partly due to the inolvement of some of the original team members ing involved in a relief team called SEAEAT – apparently it’s originally a tsunami help team – who’ve been called to assist in the relief operations for Hurricane Katrina Best of luck to them in their efforts – it goes without saying that my thoughts are with those affected by this disaster.

I’m sure that I’ll post more as the site goes live and develops over the coming weeks and months – all I can say is that I look forward to being involved, and I’d like to thank Angelo Embuldeniya for this invitation to join in something this exciting!!


Google Talk is live (as a Beta)

Kraneland has just posted that Google Talk is live – as per normal – it Beta – but as I’ve commented before – what Google software isn’t?

It needs a GMail Account – leave a comment if you want one – I have plenty of invites available 😉

I’ve not really had a chance to play yet – but it looks pretty cool – I’ll be interested to see if it’ll play with MSN Messenger etc….. More to follow!!


Google IM??

Neowin have an interesting story up…. apparently Google have an active Jabber at talk.google.com

Apparently this could be announced properly tomorrow (Wednesday) but I’m in the process of downloading a client now to give it a try 🙂

On the other hand – it could be that the jabber server is just a part of the backend to Hello – that’s a minimally publicised Google owned IM client with a photo sharing bent* – it also allows you to post to blogger using your “bloggerbot” (the only friend you have when you first sign in….

*but it mostly seems to be used for swapping porn – I guess some things will always be the same…..


Rant O’Clock….

OK, it’s been one of those evenings…… I was in the middle of a post about how cool Microsoft Update is – I logged in to be greeted with a message that there were new updates for my machine – and did I want to install them? Of course, I took a quick look to see what they were before I made a decision – an Outlook Junk Mail filter update was ready – so I started the install – complete bonus having Office updates delivered as well – it just makes life so much simpler….

So half way through typing – a pop-up appears telling me that I need to reboot, yes reboot for an Outlook component!! I mean WTF???????

I chose the option to reboot later (outlook wasn’t running at the time – so what difference would it make?) I wanted to add a little something to the bottom of the post about this – a mini-rant if you like….. so I click on “later” and carry on typing… everyone’s happy and I continue typing…. I go to click on a category for the post, one I’ve spent 20 minutes+ working on with lots of links and praise of Microsoft – next thing I know my machine’s shutting down…..

“What happened?” I hear you ask…..

The f^&*ing pop-up reappeared – and the default option is Reboot – I have my mouse pointer set to snap to default options in dialog boxes – so I’d clicked reboot.

Unhappy customer – all because of a default option… how’s about an “are you sure?” option – or do I just need to make sure I always have another user logged in on my machines when I patch them? :-p


Are you listening Microsoft?

Joe Wilcox over at Microsoft Monitor makes an exceptiionally good point in his post Make the Music Available to All

He’s pointing out the pain involved in making stuff available to multiple users on Home PC’s / Networks – that stuff being music / photo’s etc.

To quote him:

“Problem: Making music easily available to everyone. The music collection comes from four sources: CDs I ripped, purchased DRM content from MSN Music or Napster and subscription stuff from Yahoo! Music. Authorizing the computer to play DRM downloads or subscription music was easy enough. Making that content available to all three people wasn’t as easy.”

What I’d like to see is a common music database or content list easily made available to, at the least, Windows Media Player and, ideally, to other digital media software, too.

Because there is no simple mechanism is place, I had to open Windows Media Player under each user account and search through the 3,300 song library. Better would have been one search that made the list accessible to all three user’s Windows Media Player. I even went so far as to put all the songs in the Shared Music folder.”

It’s an excellent point – and a problem dear to my heart. This is one feature that would really make Vista a worthwhile upgrade for home users – Microsoft need to wake-up and realise that as well as making it secure, they REALLY need to work on “making it work” if it’s tricky for me as an MCSA to share music with my girlfriend on the PC we share at home and to make it available on my laptop as well – then what chance does the average Joe (sorry for the pun) have?


Google go for the Desktop

Google today released a beta (does anything google ever go production??) of their Desktop Search tool – this one is seriously beefed up from the first iteration, and I have to say I think I like it 🙂

It operates as a Sidebar – scans and indexes your GMail only one account unfortunately :-(, files, photo’s (it runs a slideshow – that can include a flickr search!!!) has a “Scratchpad – for jutting down notes / url’s / whatever, it works as a RSS reader – it calls the “Web Clips” – not Web Feeds like IE7 🙂 News headlines appear – and it learns what sort of news you’re interested in and gradually shows more of that as time goes on…. a stock-ticker, “what’s hot” the list is endless…. but the one that’s really nice is “Quick View” webpages you’ve typed in recently – and you can keep stuff by “starring” it – very, very nice!!

All in all it’s very cool – I’ll be intrigued to play with it more tomorrow when it’s completed indexing my stuff….. all it needs it a media player and a browser adding in and you new desktop has arrived!!


A test of NewsGator’s posting plug-in

While looking through NewsGator‘s forums for something completely different (a niggle I have with their synchronisation setup that I may moan about in a later post) I discovered this tool that allows me to post direct from Outlook….. Nice!

I can also post existing items – so if I find something good in my Feeds I can bung it up complete or in edited state – but without all that pesky cut and paste!! I may even use if to transfer the remaining posts from my old blog – as I should have them all downloaded in Outlook somewhere 🙂

I’m intrigued to see what the formatting etc looks like!! Also – I’m not sure how I set a category…. I think I feel a post to the forums coming on!!


How F@ckin’ much?!?

The pricing for Xbox 360 has finally been announced:

Core System priced at $299.99 (299.99 Euros / 209.99 pounds) – with Wired Controller (how last year is that??)

For $399.99 (399.99 Euros / 279.99 pounds) you get the Delux version with 20GB drive, wireless controller, headset, and remote.

Funny that if you do the maths – we’re getting robbed in the UK / Europe – prices are £45/€58 and £60/€77 more than the direct conversions from $

Peripherals aren’t cheap either:

Hard Drive (20 GB) – £69.99/€99.99 (pretty pricey don’t you think?)
Memory Unit (64 MB) – £22.99/€34.99
Headset – £14.99/€19.99
Wireless Controller – £32.99/€34.99
Rechargeable battery pack – £9.99/€14.99 (lasts for 25 hours apparently)
Wireless Networking Adapter – £59.99/€79.99 (eek!)
Universal Media Remote – £19.99/€29.99
SCART AV Cable – £17.99/€24.99
VGA HD AV Cable – £19.99/€29.99

– props to Joystiq for the prices and the conversions to € and £!!


Microsoft SyncToy – is it any good?

The answer would seem to be Yes…. and No….

I installed it a couple of days ago – but couldn’t quite be bothered to do anything with it…. it all looked a bit clunky and not very nice to use (plus it kept objecting – spuriously I might add – to me selecting a folder on a UNC path)

Well, last night I sat down to have a proper play with it, and it’s actually quite good – for certain specific tasks…. taking a backup of your music collection for example – it doesn’t change all that often – but the sync is a manual job… so you need to remember to run it after you rip some more CD’s.

Not being able to schedule syncs is a bit of a bummer – but I have SyncBackSE for my regular backups, and this will do nicely for keeping my music collection and important documents available when I travel.

So for a 1.0 BETA release of an unsupported and free PowerToy I’ll give it 7.5 / 10