Mac vs Vista ads

I think Apple scored a home run with their “I’m a Mac”/”I’m a PC” ads, and in the UK have done a great job (and no doubt spent a good chunk of cash) in getting Mitchell & Webb to feature in them. You can see the UK ads on if you have QuickTime installed, or if you haven’t, see some of them here. Nay-saying their coolness, there was a hilarious (depending on your persuasion, I suppose) article in The Guardian (I’m always tempted to call it the Grauniad, can’t think why*) which has the author admitting why he hates Macs, and rails against the latest ads as part of the argument.

Whatever you think of the merit of the ads and the messages they’re putting across, they are very effective – but the opportunity to be spoofed is clearly too good, given the rash of comedy vids that have appeared on Soapbox and YouTube since.

My favourite bunch came from TrueNuff TV!, which does a great spoof of the whole GetaMac! website, and has some genuinely side-splitting ads…

Computers are Computers

Macs are great. So are PCs.
So are toasters – what’s your point?
It’s just a computer, get over it.

They even manage to poke some fun at a few other communities besides Macs and PCs… Be careful, though, some of the content is a little “mature”…


* Interestingly enough, searching on to just check I had the spelling of “Grauniad correct”, guess what the top link is… ๐Ÿ™‚

WSS Site Admin Templates now online

The second wave of releases for the Windows Sharepoint Services v3.0 templates (being referred to as the “Fabulous Forty” in some quarters … anyone remember the Nifty Fifty?) is now online

Server Admin Templates
Absence Request and Vacation Schedule Management
Budgeting and Tracking Multiple Projects
Bug Database
Call Center
Change Request Management
Compliance Process Support Site
Contacts Management
Document Library and Review
Event Planning
Expense Reimbursement and Approval
Help Desk
Inventory Tracking
IT Team Workspace
Job Requisition and Interview Management
Knowledge Base
Lending Library
Physical Asset Tracking and Management
Project Tracking Workspace
Room and Equipment Reservations
Sales Lead Pipeline

Transporter Suite 2007 for Lotus Domino

Exciting news if you’re looking to migrate from Lotus Domino to Exchange 2007: the development group has recently released the first wave of the new “Transporter Suite” for Domino (be sure to check out the release notes).

Exchange 2007 no longer needs a “Notes Connector” per se, since it uses SMTP to transfer mail to/from Domino, although there are some extra services (eg address book synchronisation, free/busy interchange) which are provided as part of the transporter suite.

Erik Ashby, Program Manager from the Exchange team, has been working on migration tools for years (he was behind the Exchange 5.5 Move Server Wizard, aka Pilgrim, which could lift a whole server between one site and another, and has been involved in cross-site mailbox moves, Notes & Groupwise migrations etc, ever since). There’s a nice video over on Channel9 of Erik talking about & demoing the new Transporter Suite.

Virtual PC 2007 now available

The Virtual PC team released the latest version to the web the other day, and it’s available for free, downloadable from here. Headline changes over previous versions are the ability to be run on Windows Vista, and to have Vista as a guest OS within VPC as well as miriad performance improvements.

I’ve been using VPC 2007 in beta for a while and it’s been rock solid, and performs snappier than I recall VPC 2004 doing (though since VPC 2004 wasn’t happy running on Vista, it’s been a while).

More technical information on Virtual PC 2007 is available here.

Remote control of Windows Mobile

The other day when I posted about VIrtual Earth Mobile, I was using some really great software to do remote control of my device and screen capture from the PC… SOTI Pocket Controller Professional.

It’s perfect for demoing Windows Mobile devices… even comes with a huge library of skins (which are updated online) so you can match the screen output from your device as its displayed on the PC to a surround which is identical, adding to the realism of the thing. Oh, and if you have a device which rotates the screen, the software auto-detects when you do that, and it redraws the skin in rotated mode – cool!

One tip: using USB/Activesync (or WMDC in Vista) as the connection method works fine for the basic show’n’tell, but some things aren’t available – device connectivity can be a bit confused, since it sees the Activesync connection as a possible route to the internet, but the PC might be disconnected. Also, the actual Activesync options (eg Schedule for sync) are grayed out when connected on a cable.

I use it over a Bluetooth PAN… so I connect the device to the PC as a network adapter (doubly useful in that it puts the PC on the net too), and then connect to the IP address of the device, which is always (since it’s the gateway through which the PC will connect). That way, your PC is connected, the device is visible, and all the connectivity (such as Direct Push mail) & other options work just fine.

Thought provoking stuff…

I’ve no idea how accurate this information is, but in a short video on there are some wild predictions about the future… under the title of “Did you know?”

This echoes somewhat  “The Age of Spiritual Machines” by the eminent Ray Kurzweil (I saw him present once, and it was truly amazing – this guy has a brain the size of, I suppose, a planet … e.g. he invented OCR when a blind friend complained that the supply of audio books was seriously limited), where the author theorises that technological evolution is almost exponential – ie. the pace of change is accelerating.

Kurzweil reckons the first 30 years of the 21st century will see the same degree of technology progression that the entire 20th century saw, and that the next 10 years will see the same again… to the point where, by the middle of the century, nano-bots will be injected into the bloodstream to repair damaged organs and defeat blood-borne diseases.

Of course, all of this could be a load of old tosh – after all, people thought in the 1950s that we’d all be piloting flying cars, wearing space suits, and eating food in pill-form by the end of the 20th century…

Virtual Earth Mobile – mapping on the move

Microsoft’s Virtual Earth technology continues to take strides forward – not just in the inevitable mash-ups, but in new ways of accessing the maps (as well as from I keep on trying to access as… d’oh). There are 3D maps in beta, as well as a cool add-in for Outlook 2000/3 (though yet to be updated for Outlook 2007).

I installed a newer version of Virtual Earth Mobile on my Pocket PC the other day… on searching for a business called Microsoft in Reading, here’s what I was offered as an initial map…


Switching to road + aerial, zooming in a bit and sliding the keyboard out to rotate the screen gives us…

… and it can still zoom in two more levels, so you can make out specific details like the parasols outside the restaurant!

I actually used this to get to a customer today – arrived at Waterloo station and realised that I didn’t know which immediate streets I needed to follow to get to the address I’d been given. I just searched for the street name, showed aerial view, walked past the London Eye and found it with no hassle … be careful though: prolonged use could lead to very large data bills ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a look yourself from the Windows Mobile Blog.

Are you CrazyBusy?


I was reminded the other day of a term coined by Edward Hallowell in his excellent and thought-provoking book, CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked and About to Snap! Strategies for Coping in a World Gone ADD.

Hallowell, an ex-Harvard Medical School specialist in Attention Deficit Disorder, has deduced that technology and the modern way of life & work is turning us all into ineffective wastrels who burn out by the time weโ€™re 50.

He tells a story of how he was staying in a remote cottage which had one of the old rotary Bakelite telephones, and no mobile coverage, and the act of dialling his friend in a nearby village took so long (in reality only a few seconds… the number probably had lots of 8s, 9s and 0s in it), that he was getting madly frustrated. This set him thinking about how strange it was that a simple act of waiting 15 seconds or so for something that normally takes a snap on a push-button phone, should be enough to make him near apoplectic. He started finding similarities in the symptoms of ADD patients he’s treated, and normal people who just get frustrated, distracted, impatient etc, in the normal run of their daily lives.

Heโ€™s even coined some interesting new terminology:

Vocabulary for a crazy world

Screensucking: wasting time stuck on the internet or Blackberry when you could be doing some work

EMV or e-mail voice: the ghostly tone of voice people assume on the phone when they are talking to you and reading their e-mail at the same time

Frazzing: when you are multitasking ineffectively

Gemmelsmerch: the ubiquitous force that distracts us from whatever we are doing with the desire to start doing something else

Doomdarts: suddenly remembered commitments such as a birthday or an invitation that had slipped our minds in all that frazzing and screensucking

I particularly like EMV and Doomdarts โ€“ been there, done that, many times…

Orange announces SPV E650 Smartphone

Now this looks interesting… as part of the slew of announcements surrounding Windows Mobile 6 which were made at the 3GSM conference in Barcelona, Orange have started talking about their SPV E650 Smartphone, which is based on the HTC Vox device. Details from Modaco:

It isn’t 3G, which is a bit of a pity, but looks like a nice compromise of size and functionality… I still fancy the “Excalibur” (aka HTC S620) as a Smartphone, though…

Windows Mobile 6 – aka Crossbow

I’ve been in Seattle all week at a technical conference and have been largely living on Windows Mobile devices … I have a QTek 8500 Smartphone (which is really nice and small Smartphone), a Palm Treo 750 (a Pocket PC with a smaller screen and built in thumboard) and an Orange SPV M3100 (larger PPC with slide out keyboard, Wifi etc). I’ve also been using Windows Mobile 6 (aka Crossbow) on a couple of other devices for ages… and have gotten really used to some of its new functionality regarding the way e-mail, calendar etc is handled when running against an Exchange 2007 server.

Jason (who was yesterday presenting to a room of 500 screaming and yelling people whilst – I kid you not – dressed as a pirate) has posted on his Mr Mobile! blog with a great summary of what’s new in Windows Mobile 6…

… now I can’t wait to see it hit the streets on some of the exciting devices that are out now or will be coming soon!