Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Release of the Next Generation Larger Format Mobile Phone (Phablet) – is Imminent – This time it might change the whole marketplace.

8 April 2014
by Loren W
Melbourne, Australia


Even the name Phablet is part of technological ambiguity. PC Magazine used the word in 1993 to describe the AT&T EO 440 a personal computer, perhaps even a mistake in the current context of the word, but it was tablet of sorts with a modem in it and could be used as a phone. It was 5.9″ x 4.3″ and quit being made in 1994.

However, the Samsung Galaxy Note I circa 2011 (my 1st phablet) is normally referred to as the first phablet. By early 2013 it was estimated that 25.6m phablets had been sold worldwide and numbers were expected to grow to 60m in 2013 and 146m by 2016 depending on what your definition is of a phablet is of course. For the sake of this article we will assume a phablet is primarily a mobile phone larger than 5.89 in and less than 7in.

Phablets Lagging Behind and One Step Ahead

Most phone manufacturers have launched Phablets months after they announce the more popular smaller form factors, and thus often before the next generation mobile depending on your perspective. This has been true of Samsung, HTC, and Sony. This often means features of Phablets (other than the size) usually offer less features than the next mobile phone based on this evolutionary conundrum. For instance the Sony Z Ultra was announced soon after the Sony Z1 and way before the Z2. Unfortunately it was made to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Note, so offered less features than the Z1 or naturally the Z2.

All the phablets on the market offer similar features in some respects very different ones in others usually depending again on the release date vs its competitors.

For example the Sony Z Ultra is the largest of the main group coming in at 7×3.6×0.26 inches, but is waterproof to 30m, almost identical screen quality, but with a much lower quality camera than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, has less memory than the Samsung but was announced 3 months before the Samsung. It has the same CPU as the Samsung so is almost identical in benchmark tests. The HTC Max is a lower spec phone but less expensive.




The Apple & Marketplace Phablet 3 Bears Conundrum

The late great Steve Jobs said tablets should stay big, phones should stay small period. Later Apple released the now very popular iPad mini. It is no secret Apple is testing a larger iPhone the iPhone 6, Google is sponsoring the Nexus 6, Nokia has the 1520. A recently leaked internal document by Apple shows concerns over losing sales to Phablets.

The next round of Phablet Wars included HTC, Google, Samsung, Apple, and Even Microsoft / Nokia.





Phablet Winners / Losers Summary Android – Samsung wins the high end spec race (matched by a earlier released less market savvy known, Sony Z Ultra 2). Nexus 6 wins on the best value front, HTC will draw interest from the 1 Max but with a low spec camera perhaps in line with the Nexus 6 , Motorola will draw a lot of interest with its 1st Phablet the X +1 and Microsoft will draw increasingly more interest with the Lumina 1520 and its replacement perhaps the Lumina 1820 due to windows 8.1 and Cortana voice assistant. . Apple might slip in under the minimum Phablet size but call it a Phablet anyhow, but might remain the one to watch. If they launch a phablet, (6inch or larger) it would change the phone demographic forever.


My Tablet is a Phablet – On the WTF side of things many new tablets continue to come out with phone features, as this happens folks will move to headsets vs talking into tablets as these less portable devices continue to trickle out.



17 March 2013
Melbourne Oz

Why RT is the necrosis of Microsoft (cut it off)

As a fan of Paul ‘MacGvyer’ Thurrott, of fame, I was pleased on many occasions to hear him agree that RT was not very good, however, recently views have contradicted this and hints of some ‘saveability; have been alluded to being possible.

Paul is not responsible for RT but it got me a bit curious why anyone would hold this view and made me think for some reason of the great adventurer / writer Ranuplh Fiennes.
In 2009, when explorer Fiennes became the oldest person to climb Mt Everest at 65, and later the oldest to stroll solo around the north pole alone, he eventually got necrosis in some of his fingers and cut them off himself. Cutting off his fingers did not take away from him being one of the greatest adventures of all times (and a damn good writer as well).
I see Windows RT as Microsoft’s own necrosis. A perhaps well-conceived idea, poorly communicated, poorly delivered and poorly priced. Having recently purchased the average Asus ME400C Tablet, I realized very quickly that currently Windows 8 is not happy in tablet form. It needs a keyboard and a mouse to survive. Try entering a URL in the browser a few times scroll around any website, to read something, and you might start wanting to question your own digits, or eyes as to the awkwardness of it all. Or pick up an iPad or a Android Nexus 10.
The real issue here if nothing else is price. The Asus ME400C, a great device ( that is had it been released 12 or 24 months ago) but is priced $80 less than an RT device. Running the full version of Windows 8, I am not sure why anyone would want RT if well informed, and something the media (including PMT) seems to have missed.

If Microsoft was to have released RT and Pro (full Win8) at the same time it could be viewed as a 2 different products for 2 different purposes and at 2 different price points. But with the eventual well staggered release dates, and the actual lower price point of full featured devices why would anyone on there right mind not think the 2nd is an evolution of the 1st.

If Microsoft is not careful (it might be too late already) RT will be their next Vista (though I was fan of Vista).

About the Author:
A pompous old guy, from Melbourne Oz, via Texas, California, and England, that was laughed at by his peers when he tried to stop them @  BT from enforcing a patent on the ‘http’ protocol, earned the name mrinternet, and for spite introduced business broadband on the world.  Serves them right.

Joy Turns to Despair When Retailers’ Confusion Spreads to Customers. 


windows 8

12 November 2012
Melbourne Australia


Microsoft recently launched one of the largest marketing campaigns of all time, celebrating their 3 new similar but very different platforms. The 3 new platforms, Windows 8, Windows 8 RT, and Windows Phone 8 all look and act similar, they are a major leap from all previous versions of Windows but familiar on the surface (pun intended). Windows 8 RT really is Windows 8, but only runs certain apps from the Microsoft version of the iTunes Store Simply called Windows Store, this is due to the CPU on ARM that is on RT devices not being Intel based. So all 3 run applications or apps that will only work on one of the 3 types of devices,

This means for example a Windows RT tablet will not currently run Microsoft Outlook, (or any other Windows 7 application) but has other special RT only Microsoft Office Products on it, Windows phone8 doesn’t run outlook but like RT will sync with your mail. Many believe this confusion could have been avoided had Microsoft just released the Phone OS to tablets rather than offering a 3rd hybrid, Widows 8 RT.

The confusion is not limited to consumers retailers also are having some challenges getting across the differences in the 3 platforms, especially Windows 8, and Windows 8 RT.

As a long time agnostic tech fan boy, I was excited when Windows 8 had its official launch recently. I have been using it sometime via the Microsoft MSDN developer licensing program. Here the mission was simple, to see and buy some dedicated Windows 8 hardware, tablets or laptops running Windows 8 with an Intel i5 or i7 chip, instead of ARM, (RT8) or Win8 on an Atom CPU with Windows 7 that has now been upgraded to Windows 8. First thing I saw was an ad for some of the high street stores showing these new ‘wares’. Unfortunately, none of the retailers understood there was a difference between RT and Win8. I asked for a touch screen laptop or tablet, to my delight I saw an RT device (did not know it was RT at the time. To the retailer Windows 8 was windows 8. Hmmm. It turns out that none of the new windows 8 devices were anything new. I tried to explain the Win8 vs RT differences. RT will not run outlook email, only apps from the windows store. Windows 8 devices will run windows 7 software.
I had a bit of an argument when the sales assistant and his manager insisted to me that RT and Windows 8 ran the same software. Look RT has Office on it and mail. Yes but mail is not outlook and only RT apps run on RT. I am mistaken I was told. This was now the manager, and I just shook my head and left. Thanks Harvey Norman (or Hardly Normal as I call them) . At the Good Guys, another retailer, it was easier, sorry mate nothing in yet. It was only at Office Works, that they actually apologized as they only had one touchscreen laptop in. Hey but he knew what I was asking for.. well done.

This is the problem. How does Microsoft expect consumers (those not beta testers since Windows 1) to understand RT vs Windows 8 when the retailers do not.

Microsoft needs a good 3 item commercial, that does not pretend to be 3 devices at the same time.

By Mr Internet
Melbourne Australia
9 August 2012 (likely tomorrow where you are)


Beta Hells: Office 2013, Windows 8 Build 8400 Over Office 2010 = Install Suicide


  • I Know I know, testing a beta is always dangerous. But 2 betas on top of each other, is silly, doing both as upgrades over previous versions, then it would be a miracle if something did not work right.
  • But I can only take some of the responsibility: Many reviews said to install Windows 8 over Windows 7 was a good idea this time.
  • The same reviews said Office 2013 over Office 2010 was also not an issue.
  • Wrong answers for this puppy.
  • To start 64bit windows 8 build 8400 would not install over windows 7 64 bit but after a few tries all was pretty good, with a slight performance increase (as installing any new OS will do even if over the top). My test machine a quad core home built PC with 8GB Ram and a Quad Core CPU, with a few TB of storage, is more than enough to handle this task.  Then when office 2013 came out a few weeks later, Windows 8 seemed a great opportunity to see how they went together.
  • Firstly office 2013 did not like an old FrontPage 2007 32-bit app, so it went, leaving my office 2010 64 bit intact, I chose to install Office 2013 to run in parallel, with 2010, so I could blow it out if I got into problems.
  • Before you could say oh fire truck, none of the 2010 apps would run, none of the office extensions would open either on 2010 or 2013, I could not assign any extensions to work with 2013, but they would open with 2013 if opened.
  • Worse of the lot was Outlook 2013 would not open period, and neither would 2010. Oh well I gave it a try. So I went about uninstalling 2013, crash, uninstall, 2010, crash. Manual, crash, Oh crap…. Time to wipe it…
  • There lies the moral of the story, I always always test  on my primary machine so I can get the full effect of the software, the secret is to ALWAYS, run your OS only form a drive, and install all software to another drive, and your data, to another, then 123 backup data to another drive, cloud, & external drive. So when I then ran Windows 8 again wiping my Windows 7 after trying to fix it for days, I did a clean install WOW what a performance difference. The system rocks.

Summary Tips

  1. Never install beta software on a primary machine UNLESS you are prepared for what happens if it dies, and requires a full re-install and wipe
  2. Install your OS ONLY in a drive or partition by itself (so if you wipe it you have less pain, and it keeps your system cleaner/ faster / leaner.
  3. Regardless of the recent news, good back-ups = piece of mind and make things work better.
  4. Forget the reviews and reviewers saying to upgrade software always consider doing a clean install, that has not changed since windows 3.1

Lack up updates and information from Microsoft, for a phone that is buggy starting to concern many.



At the same time Microsoft Windows Phone 7 (WP7) launched. Another mobile phone division of Microsoft (conflicting per those in Microsoft) was having a drama as they introduced a new phone (the KIN), the mobile team then had it killed, then introduced again then killed it again, confusing I know.

This has been referred to some since as the Microsoft Kin Effect. The KIN took years of development and acquisitions of Danger Incorporated that also had the T-Mobile sidekick (a popular handset with its own problems where the KIN was derived). The R&D around all of this has been estimated in the <gulp> $USD Billions of Dollars.

Due to poor US Sales, (not a surprise due too little advertising and poor pricing), a planned launch in Europe was scrapped and the KIN team (now Microsoft mobile refugees) were was rolled into the about the launched Windows Phone 7 Mobile Division and severely de-prioritised, e.g. all but scrapped again, others in the group were sent off to Microsoft Siberia.

Those aware of this in the media (businesses, and consumers) a bit nervous about buying a new WP7 phone, especially business sector that in some cases had to update dozens of handsets though they may still be running IE6 browsers and Windows XP both way out of date. A still larger number never heard or cared about the KIN so Microsoft escaped a bullet there.

The market was taking shape; Apple had few models to choose from all the same but for storage size but all apple. Google had their own problems as handsets were many but varied in size and specification. A mixed blessing for Google but a successful one in that by having many models to choose from, market share has skyrocketed.

The Microsoft Model would be a hybrid of Apple and Google Strategies, with multiple models but all with a specific specification that would give a uniform experience to customers.

But this also meant Microsoft had to do a good job to compete with the iPhone or one of dozens of android phones. Many felt Microsoft had to introduce a phone better than the Apple iPhone, a tall order indeed.

Are You Serious?

So was Microsoft serious about WP7 and would the benchmarks be for Microsoft to pull the plug on WP7 as they had done on the KIN such as poor sales figures.

Remember in the case of the KIN it was simple billions of dollars in Microsoft R&D were sacrificed would the same be done for the WP7?

The good news was Microsoft was introducing the phone globally (all but at a low budget global event) far from the glamour of an Apple launch.  Different handsets were being introduced across different global markets with a similar technical minimum being maintained to offer consistent experiences for users.

Frequent Updates (Where?)

Like Apple and Google had already done, Microsoft promised publically relatively frequent updates to the handsets, something that was for this slow moving giant well received and anticipated, especially for consumers and businesses that jumped on the bandwagon early to buy a single or multiple handsets. Here in Australia marketing for the Microsoft Windows Mobile 7 was a non-event, so much so that many larger shops from Optus and Telstra  that had WP7 phones did little to support or even offer them for sale even weeks after launch.

Updates offered a real comfort to Android and Apple iPhone users as though the handsets are not perfect a fix was only an update away. To date Microsoft has forgotten about updating handsets or telling customers & enthusiasts what the heck is going on.

Is There an App for That?

Will all the amazing number of poor quality apps for the iPhone and Android Phones, fart noises etc.  There are a larger number of good quality apps. Unfortunately, to date many feel that some needed apps for the WP7 have yet to materialise. Many developers say making apps for WP7 is a good experience, but prefer to focus on where volumes will be sold and that means anywhere but WP7.
Others have said when the demand is there they will produce apps.

Shooting Your Own

Even those in the media shouting from the roof tops on the wonders of WP7, are starting to wonder if they backed a loser, and Microsoft has done little to change anyone’s minds on this even attacking those that have grown frustrated at the lies (promises not kept).

The Nokia Salvation – Too little too late?

When it was announced of the JV between Microsoft and Nokia, after Google had failed to seal the deal with Nokia themselves, many thought this would be good news. Unfortunately in press interviews the words ‘Window Mobile’ were used but never the word ‘seven’. It then follows that the Nokia alliance will take 2 years to bear fruit way past the life span of windows phone 7.

So can Windows Mobile live long enough to be saved by Nokia that has the distribution power and market share to save Microsoft Mobile?  It is also believed Microsoft might launch a Nokia only Version of Windows Phone, so not helping those with non-Nokia handsets.

Other Problems (is the WP7 team going on Hiatus)

Recent software update attempts (even an update that allows other updates) has not gone well for Microsoft and mainly for scores of customers.

Many users globally are reporting issues with these small recent updates that caused the phones of many to be made inoperable. Further software updates has offered conflicts between old apps and new software updates, requiring complete handset resets for users



I walked into one Optus shop in Melbourne 2 weeks after they had launched the WP7 handsets, and they had to open the box for me to see the unit as they had no fake demo models or real ones, and I was the first one to ask. Two weeks after launch. This was similar to a larger Telstra shop where staff said they knew nothing about them (thought they were fake demos on display)

Additionally, for one Samsung WP7 case I had to order a case for it from China as none are available months after launch in Australia (per Optus and Samsung).

In a time when a  new Apple iPhone or iPad is discussed as soon as the last one is released, Microsoft can only hope that when someone discusses a Window Phone that the

It has been hinted that there will be a minor Windows Mobile Update still in 2011, but nothing more major until 2012. But it has been up to forensic media folk to even find that out.

As someone that regularly suggests hardware, including phone handsets, I am looking forward to the next 4G handsets, iPhone 5, other new Android Handset, The Nokia WP7 phones, and other Windows Phones (version 8) in that order after that and will likely be selling my Window Phone 7 as soon as a better handset one comes along, which may not be so far away.






Still Happy to take credit card payments

By Mr_Internet
1 November 2010
Melbourne Australia


Foxtel Australia has just quietly launched their exclusive deal with Microsoft for TV Services over the Xbox 360. a week early, these new services due to go live on 8 November went live today 1 November 2010.


Customers must have a 1.5mb Internet service, an Xbox gold membership account from Microsoft, a valid credit card, and live in an area serviced by the Foxtel xbox360 service.

Currently that area is slightly larger than the service area for Foxtel allowing customers that live in apartments or fringe areas that cannot get Foxtel to benefit even more from these new packages.


Service is offered with 30 stations available in 5 different packages the selection is quite good offering a mandatory basic package for $19.50 per month, and additional entertainment, sports, movies, and ShowTime channels at packages ranging from $10 to $15 per month.

These can be chopped and changed and there are no contracts and no set-up charges. The total for all xbox360 packages is $75 per month as compared to $150 for the satellite service. Quality is able to be selected from low medium or high on the Xbox 360 Foxtel application, minimizing download speeds. Initial attempts to subscribe to the service has shown errors but Foxtel staff are keen and patient (almost bubbly) when contacted with problems logging it. Unfortunately Microsoft has announced a fast and mandatory global Xbox 360 update tomorrow 2 November, so it is not sure if that has been foreseen and managed by Foxtel when they did their staff training (on the current set-up) Foxtel staff that were contacted were not aware of the new imminent update from Microsoft.

All models of Xbox360 are supported including the new controller-less Kinect system but Foxtel says the Kinect (controller less set-up will not work with Foxtel at this time).

One benefit of this new service will be in areas such as homes and apartments not able to get regular Foxtel services.

Information is availble form the foxtel deidcated website here

Initial attempts to register by many customers have failed. It is not known how wide spread this issue is,  but Foxtel is investigating.

2nd November 2010

Well there is either a problem or a problem . After foxtel took credit card details and  investigated the problem customers had with their new ‘service’ senior techs we forced to call customers back to say it was an admin issue foxtel was having and not over loading as first reporting. Techs said registration should work now (which it did), in my case my mistake was to not then got to the xbox 360 with the tech on the phone.

Unfortunately the application never appeared in my xbox 360 nor has it for other customers .

Further calls to Foxtel took place  and  customers were now told the trial had not started yet.  In my case I explained I had spent now 2 days with techs and I had registered and given credit card details.

I was then told it was a mistake and I would be notified by email and an icon in my xbox 360 would appear  when the services was available. Well 30 minmues later an email appeared see below.

Further calls to support says these emails (as well as previous calls with techs) were all incorrect, and the service now I am told to be offered and supported by Microsoft not Foxtel, will begin on 8 November.

Foxtel had no support numbers or anything for Microsoft. The Foxtel website only offered Foxtel numbers and offered no Microsoft hand off

Foxtel continue to be plagued by miscommunication and problems on their service launches with staff and managers unable to answer the same questions twice with the same answers.  For a service targeting new users and new subscribers Foxtel and Microsoft will have to do much better.

—–Original Message—–

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2010 11:14 AM
To:  ME
Subject: FOXTEL on Xbox 360
Welcome to FOXTEL on Xbox 360 <my name went here>
You have successfully registered to start renting FOXTEL On Demand programs.
To get started, follow these three simple steps:

1.            Go to the Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace and download the FOXTEL application
2.            Navigate to the FOXTEL application on your Xbox 360 console and open it
3.            Sign in to your FOXTEL profile with your username, which is: mrinternet.

To make changes to your FOXTEL on Xbox 360 service, such as upgrading to view Live and Catch Up TV, please visit

Congratulations on registering with FOXTEL on Xbox 360 <myname again>  it’s great to have you with us!




windows access

Pooched Your Own Computer System ?


Have you ever decided (or been forced) to reinstall Windows (any flavor) and left over were dead folders or files that you either wanted to delete but could not or worse, folders you needed to open but could not because you did not have the correct access on your own computer. This is not so uncommon when moving from an old Operating System (OS) to a new one. There is a secret magic world called  permissions and ownerships, where files have ‘attributes’ that allow or forbid you doing anything to your own files or folders (like opening them or deleting them) There are some common tricks (just change permissions), or less common tricks (go into an old dos command prompt and change settings manually), or into safe mode and change ownerships there.

But unfortunately there may be a time (I had it recently) where your computer is so pooched that taking ownership even in safe mode or via the normal means just does not work. There is a hierarchy that can go on a bit but if it fails this little trick can save you hours (days before I found it) and only takes 2 seconds (so sad). It effectively changes your registry (and can change it back if you want) and it allows a simple ‘take ownership’ click to give you back your rights.


Warning : ! !

I would be remiss if I did not mention the obvious that windows will often put up a fight to protect you from yourself. That is it can save you by having permissions on your folders and files so you can not kill your system too easily. This hack says you know better and sometimes you do other times you might not. Deleting tithe wrong file or folder that you need on your system is not a good thing, and can spoil your day faster then having Sarah Palin call you a golly good friend.


The Fix Itself

This is a small zipped file comprising two small 1kb (.reg) registry files. Click on InstallTakeOwnership.reg to activate, and deactivate to turn it off if you choose. It adds a ‘take ownership’  option to your list of commands  when you right click any file or folder tweak to   If you are curious or want to save time hunting the file ‘’  in google (or bling) open a new text document copy enter the text below change the .txt filename to takeownership.reg save it click on it and you are done. Amazing registry tweak.

This fixed (gave access) to my outlook files as well as my old windows folder.
a real lifesaver.


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="Take Ownership"

@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"
"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"

@="Take Ownership"

@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"
"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"


Tidbit by Loren Paul Wiener

Technorati Tags: ,

September 2010

Currently Microsoft is only offering the 3pc Windows Premium, License Pack in the USA (perhaps the UK by now as well). A global deal is about be announced, including Australia, shown here

Due in stock 26 November, so expect announcement soon, url moved to here or search ‘ windows 7 3pc’  on the old url.

22 Nov Update:

Stock has landed (around 1000 pcs) to the DSE warehouse in Sydney

24 Nov Update:

Installed software Windows 7 Upgrade ,  had XP, then formatted to install windows 7 ultimate (no key), then formatted to install Windows 7 home premium.


Remember this is an upgrade, but legally who hasn’t got XP or Vista installed on a machine, changed link destination above, technically in this case upgrade acts the same as a full version, I assume all versions due.

So the question can I do a clean install with an upgrade, the answer is yes. If like me you loathe to install all your programs again the easy transfer program makes this very easy and I had many less programs to reinstall (but always back up just in case)

26 Nov Update:

As predicted stock is now trickling in so is in stock in Australia nationally. Expect the rest of the stock to hit over the next few days. I assume the rest of ther country will get stock in as well. $237 for 3 licenses (great deal).

Let me know if there are better ones you see.

Bill Gates was right, the PC belongs in front  of the TV (actually it is a Mac Mini).

If you’re using Front Row to view movies that you’ve saved to your Mac, you’ve probably run into an annoying limitation: the Movies menu, in the Videos section of Front Row, and space limitations also and it only shows you the contents of your Movies folder.

If you’ve got movies stored elsewhere on your machine, you were out of  luck—there’s no apparent way to watch them.

With the update of the Mac Mini 2009 the 5 USB slots (yes 5) are a perfect opporutnity to add extra storage.

There’s a relatively simple solution to this problem, though, I have not seen advertised anywhere else.

Front Row understands Finder aliases, which means you can add any folders you wish to Front Row’s Movies menu.

Let’s say you have a folder called My Flicks on an external drive where you store your personal movies. To make this folder usable in Front Row, open two Finder windows—one showing your user’s Movies folder, and the other showing your Documents folder, with the My Flicks folder visible. Now press and hold Command and Option, and drag the My Flicks folder into the Movies folder. Holding the Command and Option keys down before you start dragging tells the Finder to make an alias in the destination, instead of moving or copying the folder. (The long method is to select the My Flicks folder, press Command-L to make an alias to it, and then drag the alias to the Movies folder.)

Now launch Front Row, and you’ll see the My Flicks folder at the end of the list of any movies in the Movies folder. Repeat this process for any other movie folders you want to use within Front Row.

But what if you’re the sort who keeps movies scattered all over your hard drive? You might not want to add 20 folders to the movie listing, in the interest of minimizing menu clutter. So here’s how to add every hard drive in your machine to Front Row’s movie list, while adding but one entry. In the Finder, press Shift-Command-G (Go -> Go to Folder), and then type /Volumes and press Return. This normally-hidden folder keeps an alias to every hard drive in your machine (along with mounted CDs, DVDs, and network drives). If you drag an alias of the Volumes folder into the Movies folder, you’ll have a fully-navigable menu system encompassing your entire system.

To create the alias in Column view mode, press Command and Option and drag the Volumes folder into your Movies folder to create the alias. In List or Icon view, you’ll have to use the “proxy” icon at the top of the Finder window—hold down Command and Option, then click and drag the word Volumes out of the top of the Finder window and into the Movies folder.

You can see my Volumes folder at the bottom of this screenshot:

 The small arrow at the right indicates you can drill down into this folder, and then into each drive shown within that folder. You’ll even see networked drives, though I don’t recommend opening a large movie file sitting on a network server! Thanks to aliases, you can greatly extend Front Row’s movie playing powers.

I have spent ages trying to find the perfect media extender and curently have a quadcore PC, cat5 to an xbox 360 connected to my HD TV, but the solution was lacking. I am now having fun with this solution adding the mac mini wasd perfect.

My next additon is adding the ability to record satellite TV to my mac mini (currently done on my Foxtel PVR) but not able to be archived off the box.

I will also be updating this great macwolrd story that was good in 2006 but out of date with the 2009 mac mini

Original story ‘ethos’  from Rob Griffiths Macworld (with thanks)

Putting servers inside shipping containers is a trend that is gaining momentum

in the industry with many of the leading infrastructure operators and providers, including Google, IBM, HP and Sun now leveraging the concept to drive efficiency and flexibility of data centers. Now,  Microsoft, which has already deployed a data centre in Chicago using the idea, has outlined a new vision that aims to adopt the concept across its facilities. “Today we are sharing our Generation 4 Modular Data Centre plan. This is our vision and will be the foundation of our cloud data centre infrastructure

in the next five years,” wrote Michael Manos, general manager of global foundation services at Microsoft. “We believe it is one of the most revolutionary changes to happen to data centers in the last 30 years.” In a blog posting in association with Daniel Costello, director of Data Centre Research and Engineering and Christian Belady, principal power


and cooling architect, Manos says that the new data centre vision  will be composed of modular units of prefabricated mechanical, electrical, security components, etc., in addition to containerized servers.  This would result in “a highly modular, scalable, efficient, justin- time data centre capacity program that can be delivered anywhere in the world very quickly and cheaply, while allowing for continued growth as required,” he wrote. “It allows us to deploy capacity when our demand dictates it. Once finalized, we will no longer need to make large upfront investments. Imagine driving capital costs more closely in-line with actual demand, thus greatly reducing time-to-market and adding the capacity Online inherent in the design. Also reduced is the amount of construction labor required to put these “building blocks” together. Since the entire platform requires pre-manufacture of its core components, on-site construction

costs are lowered.” The new Gen 4 concept would go beyond the company’s existing Chicago

facility, which only modularizes the servers, but instead aims to develop standardized interfaces on the mechanical and electrical levels. “This means using the same kind of parts in pre-manufactured modules,

the ability to use containers, skids, or rack-based deployments and the ability to tailor the Redundancy and Reliability requirements to the application at a very specific level,” Manos said.

FLEXIBLE QoS: One result of the enhanced flexibility is that different server containers can be given different redundancy levels to yield different efficiency levels. According to the blog post, the PUE (power usage effectiveness, which measures the amount of energy inputted into a data centre verses the

amount of power that goes to power the IT infrastructure) can be driven down to 1.08-1.14 in configurations where there is no UPS (uninterrupted power supply) or generator, and PUEs of between 1.27-1.33 in scenarios with dual backup for UPS and generator. That kind of PUE range represents an extremely efficient use of energy because almost every watt of power entering the data centre goes to running the IT infrastructure. Typical legacy data centers run with PUE ranges of over 2, meaning that for every 2 watt of energy entering the facilities, only half is used to power the IT gear. “A key driver is our goal to achieve an average PUE at or below 1.125 by 2012 across our data centers,” he said.

BEYOND THE SERVERS: Another key proposal of Microsoft’s vision is what it calls “the central spine infrastructure,” essentially a network of slots for the server containers connected together by air vents and cables ducts. The company is proposing a standardized implementation of this

infrastructure to further enhanced flexibility. “Gen 4 will allow us to decommission, repair and upgrade quickly because everything is modular. No longer will we be governed by the initial decisions made when constructing the facility,” he said. “We will have almost unlimited use and re-use of the facility and site.”

IE 8 looks to Win the Browser War  (If anyone can install it) 

As a self confessed MS Fan boy (and official beta tester/hobbyist
since Windows 3.1), I was delighted when my regular Vista update showed KB936330
last December and a further review of it showed it to be Vista SP1,  I jumped
at the chance to install it.

I had no problems before it (on my new quad core PC) and no
problems after it so I am not sure what the point was;  but hey I now had SP1


Equally very recently when IE8 Beta made itself available I
equally looked forward to this new browser prize so I could be the one the 1st
to see what the hype was all about (not that there has been much actually).
Then I was ‘ blessed’ with my 1st surprise.

IE8 will not install on your version of this operating system.

(the scooby doo Shaggy? question bubble then enters my mind).

I know I have Vista, I know I have SP1, so what is the deal.
A quick search on the ‘Internets’ and forum checks showed nothing too early I
was. Oh great I am special for me once again.

I started to see others with the same problem (misery enjoys
But no one had the answer (not the REAL answer).

The IE8 issued then showed up as a a fault saying you
installed a too early version of SP1.

I spoke to Micorsoft and the conversation kindo f went like

MS: Did I SP1 via an automatic update or manually.
Me: Definitely an update though I do mine manually (remembering my surprise on
seeing it)
MS: Oh no problem just reinstall Vista and all will be solved. HAVE A NICE DAY anything
else I can help you with ??
Me: (why does any vista support call just about end with oh well you need to
reinstall vista that will solve the problem).
I then asked a dumb question Riddle me this Microsoft …… (How can I tell if my
copy of SP1 is too early a version e.g. pre RTM) and thus the answer to the
problem I am having ??)
I mentioned to Microsoft that SP1 update was carrying with it the KB of 936330,
meaning an update of KB936330 was Vista SP1, but surely they would not release
the same KB for both a pre-rtm and an up to date version witohut allowing
someow to update itself.  I would assume they would have a new KB as an update
to the previous one (this is the MS way after all).
MS: Yes
Me:  Yes?  I just asked you 37 different questions yes could no cover them all.

MS:   Silence… um.. when did you install it…. (checking my control panel
updates field I determined it was 17 December 2007. Oh SP1 was not released
Me: (getting it) Hmm, I installed it then…
MS: No you didn’t.

Me: (Got it) Damn, I was caught time travelling again.

So it appears MS has released a pre-RTM and a full release
of SP1 months apart without differentiating between them (both are KB936330) or
allowing an upgrade path between them (not the 1st time).  But a
pain none the less.  

Confused Yet ?

If you installed SP1 via an update prior to 18 march 2008
you might have too early a version of SP1 to work with IE8. You need to
uninstall it.

Then install IE8, then reinstall the new SP1 via the download
center at (shortcut)
or google  KB936330, but make sure you download the new version, it is only a
little over 430mb. (gulp).

Then once installed you will need to install loads and loads
of updates and have to restart your machine about 12 times. Then eventually your
machine will be up to date.

Oh how is IE8??
It gives you the option of making IE8 look and run like IE 7 otherwise…
It looks and acts like IE7 for all I can tell.

Time will tell.