Paul Thurrott just made both parts of his tasty MS Windows Vista-review available to the general public. It’s not just that Vista has been blessed with a new Start button and Start menu, but it’s also laden with some new, nice apps (or versions of them), such as the iCal-compatible calendar, Windows Photo Gallery and the exciting Windows Collaboration.

The new version of WordPress, my absolute favourite among blogging platforms, and the one that’s running this blog, will be released on 2005-12-26. It’s got a whole bunch of new features, but mostly, it’s an update made for the developers. That’s not to say that things don’t look any different for the common user; there are a lot of new things to discover for the eager author. What’s most evident for those persons is the WYSIWYG editor – which I hope soon will undergo a lot of configuration, as I dislike the code it produces, not to mention I haven’t been able to make it go all WYSIWYG on me; I’ve had to tweak the code somewhat when I’ve tried it out, to make it look good. But one can disable that and make the editor run in Ye Olde Mode. A few things I like is the database backup plug-in that’s included by default (albeit not activated), the new theme gallery and support for Akismet (a new anti-spam plug-in, which has caught every piece of spam that’s tried to enter two of my blogs during, roughly, the two month-period the plug-in’s been available). I strongly advise those of you who run WordPress today, who haven’t tried any of the RC‘s to install one of these and try a test-migration of your current WordPress set-up, in order to find out whether your blog will go through a painless upgrade when you decide to go 2.0. Here‘s a list of plug-ins that work in 2.0 (with a smallish list of some that do, at the bottom of that page).

Microsoft. Apart from building forth on their vast array of enterprise-sized applications and systems, they have a research department, who only deal with new stuff. Here’s a run-down of the applications I’ve tried and/or found interesting.

Snarf is a little bar that works with MS Outlook and displays e-mails in your inbox, not chronologically, but after “importance”. The trick is to teach Snarf which e-mails are important, which you do as you plod along.

Homenote is an experiment which is unavailable to all except for a select few (and should you live in the Cambridge area, MS wants you for this), but it’s still interesting. Imagine having a message screen installed in your home, and by the way, you have a family. With that in mind, imagine if you’re flying into town a little earlier than expected, and would like somebody at home to pick you up. You send an e-mail or an SMS to the box at home, and a message from you pops up with your face, saying you’d like a pick-up. Check out the link for more info. A little rough around the edges, but I definitely see the potential.

I’ve just tried Groupbar, a little application that carries a quite powerful punch. So, why should you install more that clutters your screen and gives you nothing? The punch is here if you often wish you could group a few windows together, and make them disappear and reappear (in a certain order) with just one click. Imagine your desktop being cluttered with 24 windows, 8 being about economics, 8 being e-mails and 8 being 8 different copies of my blog because you love me that much. You just group all windows into three parts, and then you can make them go away and reappear with just a click a piece. You can also take snapshots of the layouts and save them for later, so when you start with a blank desktop you just open a snapshot and your windows pop up again. Nifty, huh? Mind you, this doesn’t work 100% as this is a beta research product. It carries its kinks and flaws, but you get the gist.

If you run Excel 2003 and need something that displays sizes (=numbers) graphically, check Treemapper out.

How about this way to use your TV creatively?

Or how about being an idiot and not knowing how to use an iPod, or even how to talk?

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2 Responses to “Geekiness”

  1. Marc Says:

    Thanks for mentioning the Microsoft Research SNARF project! Just a minor note: SNARF works by analyzing your existing email store and grows from there as you send and receive email – no need to “plod along”!.
    SNARF is very much an early prototype, lots of rough edges to work on, but we hope we have estabilished that social information matters when dealing with tons of email.


  2. Niklas Says:

    Hey, Marc! Thanks for the comment and clarity provided, thank Bog for pingbacks and Google searches!

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