My Golden Ticket!

Well, it looks like today is my lucky day….. the kind folks over at have picked me as a recipient of a hosted blog there – you can find it here and it’s rather nice all in all.

From what I can see, it running on WordPress 1.6 (which is still beta) but the UI is lovely – the admin side of things is much improved, and more intuative to use – I can’t wait to be able to upgrade this site πŸ™‚

It’s not as customizable as a “proper” install like this one – as I have no FTP access or anything like that – so I can’t install add-ins or change the look and feel much (at least I’ve not found a way to do so yet….)

Why not trip on over to and sign up with your e-mail address – you might just get lucky too!!


Kahuna Invite!!

I’ve got one!!

Following my post here a couple of days ago….. Imran Qureshi has kindly picked me for an invite to the new Hotmail Beta – codename Kahuna!! So he’ll be getting a mail in a moment from me (slimboyfat at to confirm what I need to do etc – this is proof of who I am as much as anything!!

I can’t wait – maybe it’ll be the final thing to move me away from GMail – but I might have to wait until GTalk can talk to MSN Messenger πŸ™‚

Edit – < note to self > Spell check things before you post!! < /note to self > Cheers Grasshoppermind!!

Edit II – FOR CRYING OUT LOUD PEOPLE – please pay attention to what I’m actually writing…. I DO NOT HAVE ANY INVITES TO GIVE OUT and if I did, I’d be offering them to people I know – or with something worthwhile to offer in return. If you want to try and get an invite read my post here for more info.


GoogOS – Could it be closer than you think?

I think I’ve got it sussed – GoogOS could be just around the corner…..

Just put the core pieces together:

  • Google Secure Access (GSA)
  • A U3-style Device setup with a bootable image
  • The huge amounts of “Dark Fiber” that Google is reported to have been buying up.
  • So, you plug in your Pen Drive anywhere, power up the machine, and away you go – the Image on it boots and connects you to your GoogOS profile using GSA and away you go – search, browse, e-mail (or is that GMail?) throw in a web-based word processor like Writely, Image management through Picasa & Hello, they’ve just launched GoogleTalk for instant messaging and you have what most people need for (at least basic) computing – I know it’d do me for trips away….

    Anyone else excited by the possibility?


    Hotmail (Kahuna) Beta

    More of a “placeholder” for a trackback than a real post this – I’m trying to wangle an invite to the Beta for the new and improved(?) Hotmail – codename Kahuna from Imran Qureshi

    I’m intrigued to see what it looks like – apparently it’s more OWA 2003-like, which sounds superb – I just need convincing that it’s better than GMail now πŸ™‚

    Fingers crossed…..

    Edit – Just read Imran’s post properly and realised that I need to trackback to a different post on his Blog – so I’ve ammended that trackback now – Sorry Imran, I guess I just got carried away in all the excitement!!

    Edit II – FOR CRYING OUT LOUD PEOPLE – please pay attention to what I’m actually writing…. I DO NOT HAVE ANY INVITES TO GIVE OUT and if I did, I’d be offering them to people I know – or with something worthwhile to offer in return. If you want to try and get an invite read my post here for more info.


    Spam Maps….

    F-Secure have posted some interesting stuff about a program from Mailinator.

    Mailinator is a service that provides throw-away email addresses you can use for web registrations – very handy in this day and age…. but given the “nature of the beast” the system ends up getting lots of spam.

    Now, here’s the cool part: they’ve created a realtime map using Google Maps to actually show you where the spam is coming from. Well, actually, it shows the location of the proxy – ie. the Zombie PC that’s been owned as a result of Mydoom, Bagle, Mytob or any of the multitude other viruses that install spam proxies as their payload.

    Take a look at the Map


    Microsoft Max – Hello Killer??

    One of the first things to come out of Microsoft’s PDC is Max a photo “organiser” and sharing tool.

    I grabbed a copy* and had a play to see if it was any good… and it is… sort of…. it’s no Picasa as it has no editing capabilities – but it does allow you to do Hello-esque photo-sharing (I don’t know anyone else who has it yet… so I haven’t really been able to test that side of it fully – but I’ll get Grasshoppermind on the case later….

    * it’s a tiny initial download – but don’t let that fool you – it automatically goes off to get the handily named “WinFX Beta 2 Core Redistributable Package” when you start the install

    The interface is clean – but not hugely intuative (but neither is the Picasa / Hello integration…) and it’s not the fastest software in the world – but my test PC istn’t bleeding edge either…. According to

    Microsoft Max requires a minimum of:

    • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or Microsoft Windows XP Professional with SP2. (Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition not supported.)
    • 1.0 gigahertz (GHz) processor.
    • 256 megabytes (MB) of RAM.
    • 200 MB of available hard disk space.
    • Super VGA (800 x 600) resolution monitor.

    All in all, I’d say that the jury is out for now – but it’s a very “nice” demo of things to come in Vista. For more information, have a look at their Blog


    Scoble – what’s he on about now?

    The eternal hype machine that is Robert Scoble, has reached a new level of obscurity with one of his posts today but he’s got my attention….

    You know, even inside Microsoft people have no clue as to what’s coming next week. I was just showing some people here the videos of what’s coming next week and they said simply “wow.”

    So what’s he planning? Well, I’m presuming that it’s something different so it won’t be:

  • a VOIP & Chat product they already have one of them – but it’s not as “nice” as GoogleTalk IMHO….
  • a phone that plays music – Apple and Motorola are making a nice mess of that one….. and my ScoblePhone with a 512Mb Mini-SD card is a far better alternative….
  • I’m guessing that as it’s to be announced at PDC I’m guessing it’s something to do with Vista. Quite what, I’m not at all sure – WinFS is in Beta, Visual Studio is about to be released, SQL 2005 is almost a go…. so what’s it going to be? Something cool I hope – I sincerely do!!

    Some have accused me of overhyping what’s coming next week. Well, I don’t want to ruin this chance to keep expectations low (the industry hasn’t seen such an opportunity to take advantage of such low expectations to perform some shock and awe in years), but damn this is the most excited I’ve been about Microsoft since I joined.


    Yes, it’s been a while since we’ve shipped something significant. Yes, we have missed out on several new trends like the iPod and search. Yes, Steve Jobs‘ accusation that we’re just copying his company has looked pretty true.

    But now it’s time to change the world. Again.

    Go ahead, accuse me of hyperbole. Of FUD. Of mud throwing. Whatever. Let’s get together for beers next week and you look me in the eye and tell me that I overhyped this PDC.

    btw – I have to say that if this next quote doesn’t get you fired for blogging – nothing will!! πŸ™‚

    I think I’ve been underhyping Microsoft. I had lost my belief. I was almost ready to get Steve Ballmer to throw another chair and go work for a cooler or at least smaller company.

    I’m listening Robert… amaze me…… PLEASE


    Super Cool Flickr add-in app

    The team at airtightinteractive have a superb flash application that lets you select a tag – and see all the flickr photo’s relating to it.

    They also do a variant called simpleviewer that you can run on your own site – I have it running here. I spent about 40 minutes setting it up – and most of that (probably 25 minutes or so) was spent finding a way to generate the thumbnails as my hosting company doesn’t support the GD Imaging Library.

    I ended up using Easy Thumbnails from Fookes Software, it’s free, quick and fairly easy to use – and only a 1Mb download!

    Give it a go – it’s easy free and looks really nice….. my only complaint is that I can’t change the layout / positioning of stuff in the flash page….. no biggy!!

    Thanks to Grasshoppermind for the original heads-up on this.

    Share goes live!

    Well, it’s been a week or two in the coming – Katrina has kept a chunk of the team busy with other things…. but the Forums are now live at

    Why not take a trip over there and sign up? If you’re a GTalk user, there are some additional tips and tricks for using it – and if you’ve not got that most coveted of things (a GMail address) there’s a way to get one – for free!! Of course – you could just leave a comment here and I’ll send you an invite!!