Windows 7 RC Exclusive FAQ with Guys from MS Corp

28 05 2009

windows-7-logoYesterday, I had the priviledge of attending a Windows 7 Live Meeting session with the OS team members from Redmond. I would like to thank Chris Leong from Microsoft Malaysia for providing me with this opportunity to chat with them. The 3 speakers during the event includes Stephen Rose (Senior Community Manager), Jason Leznek (Windows Client Group Product Manager) and Erik Lustig (Senior Product Manager) who are part of the Windows 7 team. From the chat, I have managed to dig out quite a number of points regarding Windows 7. Here, I would like to highlight some of the interesting snippets from the entire session:

  • Windows 7 Beta Expiration. Bi-Hourly shutdowns will begin July 1st 2009, so upgrade to RC now to avoid this from happening. RC will only expire around June 2010.
  • If you have been facing slowdowns in IE8 in Windows 7 RC compared to Windows 7 Beta, please ensure that your OS and browser have been updated with Windows Update. This issue may also happen if you are not using the genuine Windows 7 RC install, thus disallowing you to perform the necessary updates. It has also been mentioned that you should perform a clean install of the OS instead of doing a direct update from Beta to RC.
  • Approximately 50% memory is now being saved for each open window in RC compared to Beta. This allows users to multitask even more.
  • Windows XP mode which is a virtual machine software running on Windows 7 will only be available to Windows 7 Professional and above SKUs. Always use XP mode for programs having compatibility issues since Windows Vista.
  • Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate edition have the same features. The only difference between both versions are just the features which are being turned on. e.g. Enterprise will have more business features such as IIS, Bitlocker turned on by default while for Ultimate, the entertainment features such as Windows Media Center will be turned on by default.
  • Unlike previous Windows OS which takes a 3 year development lifecycle, Windows 7 only took a 2 year development lifecycle. The reason why it has been sped up is because of the availability of the telemetric system to obtain reports and historical data on crashes and problems on Windows Vista. Since Windows 7 is built based on the Vista code, it was easier for the team to identify the relevant problems and fix them soon.
  • Up till today, about 80,000 people are running Windows 7 RC for their daily use without facing much issues.

I have also actually asked the team whether they can expose any changes which are currently being made from RC to RTM. However, they are reluctant to provide any details on that. They just said that the new features would most probably be cosmetic additions only and would not affect the way you work with Windows 7 like how you are using it in RC.

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KL Technite May 2009

25 05 2009

KL TechniteIf you have time this coming Friday (29th May 2009), come on down over to Starbucks at Bangsar Village II Level 2 for KL Technite. This time around, we will be talking about all things mobile including iPhone development and how take the opportunity of the current mobile market. I will be presenting on Windows Mobile 6.5, so if you are interested to know how the next Windows Mobile OS is shaping up, do attend to see how it works. Below are 2 screenshots of Windows Mobile 6.5 to whet your appetite.
winMobile01winMobile02

For those of you who do not know, KL TechNite is the local chapter of the informal monthly networking session between entrepreneurs, reps from the local industries, the ICT industry and Government agencies. Every month, we use this informal setting to enjoy technology talks and networking sessions with good coffee throughout the night. ITrain is one of the supporters of KL Technite which is usually held on the last Friday of every month.

Hope to post my next entry on the presentation as well as the reactions to the upcoming release. Till then…





Photosynching with Microsoft PhotoSynth~! Share and View Photos with a Different Point of View

16 05 2009

Photosynth LogoIntroduction to PhotoSynth

I am not joking when I used “Share and View Photos with a Different Point of View” for describing Microsoft Photosynth in the main title of the article.  That’s because Photosynth (www.photosynth.net) really does that by creating 3D models of your photos and allows you share them in ways you wouldn’t have imagined before. First developed by an undergraduate at the University of Washington in 2006, the tech of Photosynth have been improvised and meshed with web browser technologies to allow us to create and view “Synths” anywhere we are.

Basically, this technology is possible with the use of pattern recognition and matching algorithms. Photos which are uploaded into the Photosynth server are compared to find identical points so that they can be merged together to form a single 3D model. This means the more images you place in your synth, the more detailed your 3D model becomes. Once the Synth has been uploaded, Microsoft will allow visitors to view the Synths using Microsoft Silverlight, a browser based plug-in which could be installed on most browsers available today.

By using Photosynth, you can now enjoy photos of famous landmarks such as Piazza San Pietro at Rome, San Marco at Venice, the Eiffel Tower and even our very own KLCC in Synth 3D glory. You may even create 3D shows for your collectibles like how I did for my toys.

KLCC Photosynth. Photos by Seok Chern

KLCC Photosynth. Photos by Seok Chern

Toy Photosynth. Photos by Derek Chan

Toy Collection Photosynth. Photos by Derek Chan

Creating Your Own Synths

Like the idea of viewing Synths? How about creating one Synth of your own, upload it and start sharing your 3D Synths with your friends? Creating and uploading a Synth is really simple. The only pre-requisite for creating Photosynths is a Windows Live ID. Go get one for free if you don’t have it as every user is allotted with 20GB of space to create synths. Below are the steps that you may follow:

Step 1 – Download Photosynth Client Tool

Firstly, move your mouse over to http://photosynth.net/create.aspx to download the Photosynth client tool first. You should get a page as shown below:

Create your own Photosynth Page

Create your own Photosynth Page

Once you are here, just click on the “Create a Synth” button. If this is the first time you are creating Photosynth, you should be prompted to download a Photosynth client tool with the filename “PhotosynthInstall.exe”. The download is about 10MB in size, so be patient – it’s worth the wait!  When you have finished installing the client tool, open it up and login using your Windows Live ID.

Step 2 – Select the images that you want to Synth

After you have successfully logged in, you may now add the images that you would like to synth. Do that by clicking on the “Start a new synth” button and add the photos that you would like to have in your Synth. Ensure that the images have some background or props in common so that the Photosynth server can mesh your pictures together.

Photosynth Desktop Client Tool to Add Pictures and Description

Photosynth Desktop Client Tool to Add Pictures and Description

You may then provide any tags or a description that you feel is necessary. Be sure to set the visibility of your synth too. Public will allow your pictures to be seen by anyone while Unlisted will only allow you to hide and share out the link of the synth only to those whom you allow.  If you would like to set any one of the images to become the main photo to be displayed for your synth, just select one of the pictures and click on the ‘Use Selected Photo’ button.

Step 3 – Synth, have a Cup of Tea & Wait

Once you are done, click on the ‘Synth’ button, sip a cup of tea and wait for the photos to upload. The time to compile and upload will depend on the number and size of your images.

Photosynth Synthing and Synthy Score

Photosynth Synthing and Synthy Score

Upon completion, you should get a synthy percentage which represents how many photos were successfully synthed together. A percentage less than 100 would mean that some pictures were not successfully merged due to some possible differences in your shots.

To view your synth, just click on the view button and your web browser should open with your newly created synth. You may also add highlights to images and set several settings so that it will be easier for people to get around your synth by clicking on the ‘Edit Synth and Highlights’ button here.

Photosynth Completed

Photosynth Completed

Start Snapping and Happy Synthing!

That’s all it takes to create your very own Photosynth synth. Pretty simple isn’t it? Don’t stay there and wonder anymore, go create your synths now at www.photosynth.net and start sharing your creative synths!





Windows 7 RC Build 7100 Released!

8 05 2009

Windows 7 RC1 changesThis may be a little outdated as the release was back on the 5th of May. However, for those of you who do not know, you can download the latest version of Windows 7 right here with your Windows Live ID.

Some of the changes includes a Windows XP mode, which is something like running a Windows XP VPC on Windoes 7, turning off features such as Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player, a modified Aero Peek, better performances and 30 0ther changes from beta (Build 7000) to RC (Build 7100) as shown here.

I am itching to get it installed during the weekend already. Time to get started!





Twitter Windows Mobile Application

8 05 2009

Today, I had a presentation at ITrain for the Windows Mobile Development Bootcamp. After discussing with Mike on what to demo, he suggested that I come out with a Twitter Windows Mobile App so that we can do simple checking on our Friends Timeline as well as allowing for Twitting to be done on the go.

So after another round of checking the Twitter API, I have managed to use both the “Friends Timeline API” to check out my friends and the “Status API” to update my status. Below are some shots from the Windows Mobile 6 emulator.

Since it was a presentation, I have also uploaded a PowerPoint slide on the basics on Windows Mobile development. You can find that here. It covers some basic Windows Mobile tech and some of the best practices of Windows Mobile development. For the source code on how to connect to the API, just get it right here.