Nick MacKechnie
#8 wire kinda guy.....

Microsoft Pro Photo Tools 2.0 Released

Monday, 22 September 2008 22:16 by Nick MacKechnie

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Microsoft Pro Photo Tools provides a set of tools for photographers allowing them to perform various tasks with their images—including RAW captures. The current version enables you to quickly geotag your photos, edit metadata, and organize your images by leveraging the power of Microsoft Live Local.

New features include:

  • Support for reading & writing XMP side car metadata enabling interoperability with Adobe products.

  • Viewing actual RAW images, in addition to thumbnails

  • Conversion of RAW files to JPEG, TIFF, and HD Photo using “As Shot” camera settings.

  • The ability to resize RAW images.

  • Support for 64-bit Windows

  • Support for geotagging international locales

  • Improved functionality for geotagging images.

More info: http://blogs.msdn.com/prophoto/archive/2008/09/17/new-version-of-pro-photo-tools-released.aspx

Download here: http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/tools.aspx

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Current Windows Live Beta’s…

Monday, 22 September 2008 21:55 by Nick MacKechnie
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All your mail in one place

Manage your Hotmail, Gmail, and other e-mail accounts, plus your calendars and contacts, all in Windows Live Mail. And you can download it for free!

Chatting and e-mail

Messenger and Mail share a single contact list and work together. Plus, your calendar and multiple e-mail accounts are all in one place in Mail.

Messenger beta
Mail beta

Photos and movies

Use Photo Gallery and Movie Maker to edit and organize your digital images and movies, and then post them online or send them to friends.

Photo Gallery beta
Movie Maker beta

Blogging

With Windows Live Writer, blogging is a breeze. You can add photos and videos, format everything just so, and publish to most blogging services.

Writer beta

Browsing the web

With Toolbar, you can customize your browser and find anything, fast. And Family Safety helps you keep your kids safer online.

Toolbar beta
Family Safety beta

Nick.

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Hotel Broadband, Speights, Larnach Castle…

Saturday, 20 September 2008 01:15 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

I was down in Dunedin yesterday catching up with customers and attending the NZ Tertiary IT conference, which was held at the Dunedin Town Hall. I finished up for the day, headed to Speights Brewery to have a look about and take a trip down memory lane, before heading back to the hotel to catchup on emails before dinner.

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I flicked on the laptop, tried connect to the hotspot in the hotel, was re-directed to their intranet site to approve the spend and connect to the Internet. I was GOBSMACKED at the cost - NZ$50 for 12 hours for Internet – YEAH RIGHT!

Capture

So I decided to flag it, and Evan, Mike and I shot back to the Speight's Bar….

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(I’m pretty sure Evan was asking for 2 more please….)

Last night we hosted the dinner up at Larnach Castle. I haven’t been up there for a few years, the Barker family have done a fantastic job in restoring this iconic New Zealand building.

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MikeyT had the bagpipes out, a haggis ceremony was performed before dinner, and the drinking and band continued into the early hours of the morning – Great trip, and good to meet a heap of people from the NZ Tertiary Sector.

Nick.

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TV Manager for Windows Home Server Now Out of Beta

Thursday, 4 September 2008 21:46 by Nick MacKechnie

TVman4WHS

This plugin lets you copy your recordings from a Vista Media Center PC or XP Media Center 2005 over to your Home Server for storage and management. With TV Manager, you can view your recordings stored on your WHS in Media Center as if they physically resided on your PC. Recordings can also be deleted from either the WHS Console or Media Center.

Since the beta, several fixes and additions have been added to the software, including the following, listed below.

Fixes:

  • TV Manager Service setting permissions.
  • Compatibility with limited user accounts.
  • Launch recordings straight from the Windows Home Server Console.
  • Changed how recordings were moved (to fix ghost file issue) but lost the ability to monitor progress percentage.

New Additions:

  • Added Media Center Extender compatibility.
  • TV Manager Add-In interface redone.
  • Experimental ComSkip feature (disabled by default)
  • Regenerate the Xml in case of cache corruption without tester.exe.

If you’ve been waiting for the final version before trying out this software on your WHS, you don’t have to wait any more: you can download TV Manager 1.0 from here and the documentation from here

Nick.

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Office Labs: Speed Launch

Wednesday, 20 August 2008 00:48 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All, 


Office Labs: Speed Launch

This is the first community prototype from Office Labs. Community prototypes are projects Microsoft employees work on in their spare time. Speed Launch's goal is to let you get to the stuff you use faster and with less frustration.

Speed Launch - Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Why do I need Speed Launch?
Work faster and with less frustration. Speed Launch gives you lightning quick access to all the documents, files, and websites you use often. In the past when you used something a lot you might have created a desktop shortcut, added it to your IE favorites, or placed it on your quick launch bar. Speed Launch allows you to create centralized shortcuts to all the stuff you need and allows you to access them effortlessly.

What is Speed Launch?
Speed Launch is an application launcher that extends the functionality and usability of Microsoft Windows. With Speed Launch, users can select their own words to open frequently used websites, documents, and applications. The most compelling feature of Speed launch is the use of a drag and drop interaction model to make this advanced functionality more intuitive to novice computer users.

How is it used? How does it work with Windows?
Speed Launch is a downloadable program available at www.officelabs.com.   After you've download Speed Launch, simply drag the file, document, or website url onto the Speed Launch bull's-eye to create a Speed Launch shortcut. From then on, any time you need to access that file, document, or website, just hit "Windows+C", type the shortcut name, and what you need will immediately appear.

Is there a shortcut key to open the launcher?
Yes.  Use "Windows+C". 

How do I use Speed Launch to open multiple things?
Drag the first item on to the bull's-eye and give it a name.  Next, drag the second item on to the bull's-eye and give it the same name.  When you do this, Speed Launch will give you the option to replace or merge the two items, choose merge. Now, hit "Windows+C" and type the name.  Speed Launch will open both items.

Is there a limit to how many items a single Speed Launch shortcut can open?
Not that we know of Smiley

I notice that Speed Launch comes with some shortcuts that allow me to search websites.  How do I use them?
Speed Launch comes preloaded with a few useful fucntions.  For example, to search Wikipedia just type “Wikipedia Search” and hit enter.  Next, type what you want to search for in the new window and hit enter.  Speed Launch will open the related Wikipedia page.

Nick.

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FrameIt Beta

Saturday, 9 August 2008 08:48 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

With FrameIt, you can set up photo collections to stream into your digital photo frame or any of your RSS enabled devices.

home_frame 

  • Photos on your frame - Access photos stored online--from places like your Windows Live space or SmugMug--to be streamed to your digital photo frame
  • Traffic, news, and weather - View your local traffic and weather or stay up-to-date with local, regional, and international news headlines
  • Share with family and friends - Share any of your media collections with your friends and family members

Signup here.

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BBQ at Mihas for MSNZ/Ex-MSNZers in Seattle

Tuesday, 29 July 2008 06:37 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

I’m just home from a BBQ at Miha’s. We always try to get together with the ex-MSNZ family that are either based in Seattle, or are in Seattle for the Tech Ready event. This visit was no exception! Thanks Miha for an excellent night, and for hosting the venue!

For those that have been around and have dealt with Microsoft Services (predominantly) in the past, you might recognise some familiar faces here.

Nick.

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On Route to TechReady!

Monday, 28 July 2008 08:02 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

Well it’s been a longer trip than I expected! I caught up with Ronel, Steve and Michael in the lounge at Auckland Airport, we shared a few drinks and then we departed for San Francisco – I managed to score an upgrade which made the journey more comfortable – the glasses of port went down well! :-) 

DSCF6090

We landed at San Fran on time - once you go through customs, you pick up your luggage and drop it off so it can then routed to the appropriate destination for connecting flights. Steve was highlighted as someone that needed to be checked more thoroughly rubber gloves as we went through security (via a random check)..

DSCF6093DSCF6094 

Unfortunately for me, my bag ‘tag’ had fallen off in transit, so I had to re-check in. Lucky for us that this occurred, as our flight to Seattle had been cancelled (due to no crew being available), and the next flight for us on United Airlines wasn’t available until tomorrow. We then had to make a choice – fly to LA, then onto Seattle, or fly to Bosie (Idaho), then onto Seattle – we took the second option.  Michael had picked up some Fejoa vodka for a friend in duty free in NZ, however since the introduction of the new rules for liquids (100mls), the bottle had to be either checked in (er.. his luggage was already on route), we could drink it (er.. didn’t seem like the most sensible option… Well I was keen), or discarded – the ground staff seemed very eager to take it off our hands!

IMAGE_025 IMAGE_023

We arrived in Bosie a few hours later, and had to have new tickets issued for our Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle. As we passed through security (again) we had all been marked (randomly, well maybe not) as dodgy, so our contents and us were checked for explosives etc :-) Bizzar thing - Boise has a tagline 'City of Trees" (as per above) - As we flew in, the land was extremely barron - American humour?  

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My luggage arrived as expected, however the others were not so lucky… Their's didn’t arrive for another hour or so, so I taxied into town to have a few beers with the team that had already arrived.

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It's great to be here again, and I'm looking forward to the week ahead!

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Tech Ready is coming...

Friday, 18 July 2008 09:21 by Nick MacKechnie

TR7

Hi All,

It’s just over a week now until I head off to Seattle again. I really enjoy my visits there, both from a work and personal perspective. It’s a great time to connect with people you deal with around the globe, make some new friends, as well as sink some suds and poison your liver. This time I’m staying at the Warwick which looks vastly superior to the Red Lion where' I’ve stayed the past two times. TechReady is run twice a year, typically in February and July, and it is THE event for technical Microsofties in the field. We are surrounded by the product groups and receive deep technical training on what is currently in the market as well as what is coming down the pipe.

I’ve have some excellent side meetings organised with the follow teams:

  • Dinner with the Daylight Savings Team & Product Lifecycle Team to talk about our experiences in New Zealand with DST and the challenges we faced, as well as the challenges that Australia faced and continue to face as they trial the change of DST in various states.
  • Dinner with Premier leads to provide feedback on behalf of the APAC region on Premier Workshops
  • Catch-up with IE8 Product Team - (still to nail down..)

If you’re ever in Seattle, there are some excellent things to do, here’s a few:

Monday night is the night where a bunch of ex-pats and current kiwi employees with get together and enjoy a BBQ and a few beers ah Miha’s place (I worked with Miha when I lived in Auckland – the first vehicle he drove was a TANK, he’s eastern european (mad man!) from Slovenia). For me, this is one of the highlights of the trip. It’s fantastic to see how well we do off shore, and confirm the adage that Kiwis are hard workers and can and do contribute on the world scale. 

Then there’s the shopping – North Bend is excellent for clothes/shoes etc and Frys for geek ‘stuff’!

So 9 days and counting until I fly out..

Nick.

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Hard Rock Café Memorabilia

Thursday, 17 July 2008 23:05 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

View some of the Hard Rock Cafe’ Memorabilia! This was built using Silverlight and Deep Zoom technology. Keep clicking on an image and it keeps zooming in to the point where you can see a finger print on one of the guitars or huge detail in a postage stamp on a postcard.

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