I agree with Nick on that the preview is pretty annoying and that it's not problem free (more than often you have to click more than once on a link).
Byt why did I put it up in the first place? This blog is not just a blog for me I use it as a testing platform for different kind of techniques, hypes etc - and to have fun. I will still try on new interesting stuff and I may also remove old uninteresting stuff.
The day is finally here and Windows Vista is available for the consumer market and the commercials are everywhere. In Sweden we hade the annual Grammis awards, the Swedish music industry price, this evening and it was broadcasted on TV. The awards was sponsored by Microsoft and of course it had the standard sponsored by stuff in every commercial break (I'm glad I watched it on Vista Media Center with 30 minutes delay so I could skip those :-). The Vista marketing team had also managed to sneak in some really cool Vista branding when the nominees for each category was presented.
Check this scene from the nominations for best artist, see anything Vista-like?
But for me was the updates on Windows Update more interesting - the Vista Ultimate Extras was finally there. Only two of the announced features was ready by today; DreamScene was not in. The Hold'em poker game was not that impressive, I'd rather stay with my real online poker game. If it was a Media Center program it would have been at least somewhat interesting. The BitLocker tool is great but of no use for me right now. DreamScene is by no means a killer application but It would surely look nice on the 43" plasma screen.
Another cool optional update on Windows Update was the ability to download new languages for Windows Vista, so you easily can switch back and forth between the languages. So now I have the same Vista in both English and Swedish.
XSLT 2.0 is a really nice step forward in the XML transformation technology, a technique that we base our software on to enable us to produce content for different devices, platforms and targets.
XPath 2.0 and XSLT 2.0, in specific, could help us making these transformations much easier without having to use XSLT Extension Objects for some tasks.
The Microsoft XML Team writes about their contributions to XSLT and XPath 2.0 and how they will possibly use these technologies in upcoming versions of the Microsoft.NET framework and/or standalone packages. There will not be any support in Orcas, but I think we can expect some kind of CTP later this year.
A few months back, when XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 just became Proposed Recommendations, I had a talk over e-mail with one of the XML team members in which I begged :-) for an implementation... Now they ask us to provide them with information on how these techniques can help us and make our life easier. Here are my favorites, what are yours?
Regular expressions are great when comparing or searching text or patterns. XSLT 2.0 introduces the xsl:analyze-string to allow you to use regular expressions.
More formatting functions such as; XHTML as output, date and time formatting and collations for sorting.
And much more...
So Microsoft XML Team; when can we expect some early alpha or beta build? If you want some input or testing done you know where to go...
msfeedicon 2.2 is now available for download!
msfeedicon is an Internet Explorer 7 add-on which displays an icon in the system tray with information on your feed subscriptions and notifies you with a notification window when a feed is updated.
Version 2.2 contains some interesting new features such as the possibility to use Tags to find the posts that you are interested. It's especially interesting if you subscribes on a lot of feeds. You can use the Tags so that updated feeds containing your Tags wil be Auto-starred or that notifications should only be displayd for the tagged feeds.
The notification window also contains a context menu, which can be reached by the dow-narrow on the right side of the notification window. Using this menu you can easily exclude the feed from displaying notifications or unsubsribe to the feed.
Installation should work on Microsoft Windows Vista now, without elevated privilegies. If you still have problems, please manually uninstall previous versions.
For more information on features please go to this page, which also contains a complete change log.
To download it click here.
If you like it please go to www.ieaddons.com and review or rate msfeedicon.
msfeedicon, the Internet Explorer 7 feeds utility, is now at version 2.1, a new release with interesting new features. It was just a few days ago that version 2.0 was released, but I have recieved interesting feedback and I had some good ideas on how to develop it further that I just had to implement.
I already have plans for another two or three releases in the near future, contact me if you are interested, so you will most probably see more upgrades soon...
New features in version 2.1
These are some of the new features of msfeedicon:
- Starring the notification windows - making them stay on top for later readingJust click on the star, to the left, in the notification window
- Mark all as read feature in the menu
- Mark feed as read from the notification windowClick on the mark as read symbol, upper right corner to the left of the close cross, to mark the new posts as read.
- Interface improvements
- Settings dialog
- Notification windows
- New statistics: posts/feed
- Exclude feeds from appearing as notification windows - from the Settings dialog
- Improved setup
For all features check previous posts.
Where do I get it!
UPDATE: Installation on Windows Vista may fail if Vista UAC is enabled. If it fails please disable it during installation or use version 2.0 until further notice.
You can get it here.
It seems like I was not the only one who thought that there should be some nice system tray application for the feeds in Internet Explorer 7. I created the msfeedicon application which shows unread feed posts and notifies the user of new and unread posts. The application have had a few hundred downloads so far and I have had positive feedback from users.
Go check it out and choose the one you think suites your needs...
I have some future plans for msfeedicon which I announce on this blog later and if you have any suggestions don't hesitate to contact me.
msfeedicon is now released at version 2.0 and is a major update to the previous versions.
msfeedicon is a plugin to the Windows RSS platform and Internet Explorer 7 Feeds and appears as an icon in the Windows XP/Vista system tray and displays when you have unread posts in your subscribed feeds. Whenever there is new posts in a feed msfeedicon will show an alert window with direct access to unread posts. No more need to have the Feeds Favorites Center visible in Internet Explorer nor Internet Explorer open to see when your feeds are updated.
- Runs at startup (customizable*)
- Icon in the system tray displaying if there are unread posts or not
- Alert windows (customizable*) for new posts with direct access to the feed
- Notification of new versions of msfeedicon
- Feed statistics
- Mark posts unread automatically* (customizable)
- Internet Explorer 7 only marks feeds as read when you close the tab with the feed or you navigate away from the feed
- Enable or disable the automatic feed sync
- Icon in system tray indicates if the feed sync is downloading or is enabled/disabled
- Install and uninstall program
- Force an update of all feeds
* is new in version 2
Requirements are checked during installation.
- Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista
- Microsoft.NET 2.0 Framework
- Internet Explorer 7
The download is available at:
Icon in system tray
Alert window when a feed is updated
Menu of msfeedicon
If you have any problems or comments please inform me by commenting on this post or sending me an email.
Here's a summary from Scott's blog:
Some of the highlights:
- When pressing F7 to create a directory and the cursor is placed on a file then Total Commander suggests the filename (minus the extension) as the name for the directory
- Icons in the menus
- Even more customization options than before
Thinking about the environment is a high-priority nowadays and I stumbled across an interesting article on how we could save money and possible preserve the environment - Black Google Would Save 3,000 Megawatts a Year.
The point in this article is that a CRT monitor uses up to 15 watts less power with a black screen instead of white, and as you know power costs money and affects the environment, mostly, in a negative way.
Just to find out I used the information in the article and tried to convert it to an Intranet scenario, in which the company I work for focuses, and calculated out how much a company could save on applying these facts on the Intranet design. Intranets is often used so that it occupies the screen of the user most of the day.
The chart below shows how much companies of different sizes (the series, 100 up to 10.000 ,in the chart) that have an intranet that the users use about 4 hours a day, 260 days a year.
The x-axis represents the power usage of the monitors when using the Intranet (74 watts is pure white and 59 is all black) and the y-axis is the actual savings ($0.10 per kWh).
As you can see it's not that much for a single company in savings, as in the Google case, but if we all try to think about it we might save a tree or two in the rain forests :-).
Anyway it might be of interest or fun someday to use the numbers when discussing design with a company that have an environmental friendly mindset.
We have been doing a lot of work, on our product, with dynamic updates of web pages - you know the AJAX stuff. Most of the server side results are returned as XML and are delivered from different Web Services. Since I really like optimizations and like good and nice looking code I have been going back and forth in decision of how to return data to the client; XML or JSON. JSON are in some cases more effective but when the object model it tries to represent gets more complex you neither get nice looking code nor saves that much bytes.
Here comes yet another update to the msfeedicon utility, version 1.4.
The msfeedicon utility is a free notification icon for the Windows RSS platform, that comes with Internet Explorer 7. The utility will show whenever one of your feeds have been updated and gives you easy access to view the feed. All this so you do not have to waste space on your screen with the Internet Explorer 7 Feeds task pane or some Windows Vista Sidebar gadget.
Features of msfeedicon 1.4
- An icon in the system tray showing if you have unread RSS or Atom feed items or not
- The icon also shows when the feed synchronization is disabled and when it is downloading the feeds
- Balloon tip when a feed is updated, with instant access to the updated feed
- Starts when you log into Windows
- Function so you can force an update of all your feeds, even if they are not scheduled for update
- Checks for new versions of the msfeedicon utility
What's new in 1.4?
- Statistics of your feed subscriptions
- The ability to enable or disable the feed background synchronization
- Installation program checks for Internet Explorer 7
- Some bugs are also eliminated
The msfeedicon utility requires Microsoft.NET 2.0 or higher, Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and Windows XP or Windows Vista.
Where is the download?
You can download msfeedicon from these locations:
If you have time, please review the application on any of the sites above?
At a first glance, for me, the winner is live.com since when logging in you have instant access to the feeds, mail, gadgets and other personalization you have done in the rich live.com. The mobile MSN of course contains the classic MSNBC news, FOX sports and other types of content. So if you are interested in that maybe MSN will be the winner. Content vs. customisation?
The user interfaces differ somewhat; Windows Live Mobile uses a really slick and clean look, really suitable for mobile access while MSN still looks like MSN :-)
Since they both are in beta, the now pretty common state of a web application, there will be more rounds in this fight...
You can now use the DSL designer in Visual Studio 2005 Standard (and above), sorry you can't use these extensions in the Express versions, without having the complete Visual Studio 2005 SDK installed.
The XML Reference Guide is a great site containing everything you need to know on XML standards, from the Document Object Model to RSS to AJAX.
Each topic contains in-depth descriptions and samples wich allows you to easily read up on a technology or just have it as a reference whenever you need to.
Bookmark this and save for future use.
I have been trying to setup my HTC TyTN to get the synchronization to work over the air using 3G or Wifi so I'm really connected to work 24/7 :-) After setting up the Exchange 2003 servers using the excellent step-by-step guide on TechNet for this purpose I was ready to test it all.
But I ran into trouble directly and the ActiveSync reported an error: 0x80072F0D - invalid certificate. No problem, just install it to the trusted certificate store on the Windows Mobile phone...I thought. But the problem is that it's not that easy done. After some googling I ran into Ant Drewery's entry Windows Mobile 5.0 & ActiveSync which discussed this problem. I used his method to install the certificate into the Windows Mobile phone and it worked fine, after some initial trouble. I made the mistake first and tried to install the certificate that you get from the padlock icon, which will not work. You have to get it from the Trusted Root Certificate Store or from your administrator (which should have a backup of the original certificate installed on the OWA IIS).
It contains some nice updates such as new interface with an icon in the command bar for easy access to the DOM Explorer and finally a great HTML source viewer.
Time will also tell if the R-character hijack bug is still left, I have not noticed it yet...
Note: You have to uninstall previous betas of the IE Developer Toolbar, otherwise you will have some nice crashes of Internet Explorer when trying to access the toolbar.
First of all I downloaded English version which should be installed on a english Windows Vista Ultimate. This did not work at all. The setup exited and said nothing has changed - do you want to reboot? Then Windows Vista popped up an error dialog stating that I needed to download a fix for Age of Empires - duh!
After a few retries, and after some error messages stating that I was not running Windows Vista - duh again, I gave up and downloaded the international version from the UK site instead. This worked perfectly!
Now I can switch back and forth between Vista Desktop and Vista Media Center without having the screen to flicker like crazy.
NVIDIA has some more stuff to do before the real launch of Vista to the consumer market. I really need to get the overscan/underscan to work like it did in Windows XP. I have about 5% of my plasma unused right now.
I have not yet tested it but the Release Notes states that support for overscan/underscan is not implemented in this release - not good, this is what I was expecting from this release, there are multiple things in the control panel not yet implemented (as they were in Windows XP). There are some bugs fixed and I hope the flickering when switching from the Desktop to Media Center is gone.
I'll get back when I have tested it out...
Microsoft has launched a special site for Windows Vista Ultimate, windowsultimate.com. The site will contain the Ultimate Extras (not available until public launch in late january), recommended Vista Ultimate Links and hardware and some Team blogs.
Announced extras so far are: