January 2007

Vista arrived

My Microsoft Action Pack for January arrived on Friday and with it came Windows Vista Business so the first thing I had to do was install it on one of the unused partitions on my main laptop’s hard drive. I’ve been playing with it for about half a day, now, and have to admit, it’s OK once I get beyond the flashy exerior.

I don’t think I’m gonna rush right out and upgrade all of my systems — matter of fact, I’m not gonna upgrade any of my systems yet — but within a couple of months I’ll probably upgrade most of them. It includes 10 licenses for Vista Business Upgrade which has apparently replaced the 10 licenses of XP Pro. I didn’t see anything in the package that talked about the replacement/upgrade process, though. See, the Action Pack provides licenses that one can use internally to support their business. Unlike the MSDN subscription which provides software specifically for research and development purposes and prohibits its use in production, the software included with the Action Pack is intended to help Microsoft Partners use Microsoft’s software to run their bueiness. So, if one has deployed all 10 of the provided licenses for XP Pro, must one immediately replace those installations with Vista Business? Since the Vista that’s provided is an upgrade, can one upgrade the previously provided XP Pro? I’m sur ethis will all become clear to me onceI’ve made sense of all the material provided in this update, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense right now.

Also in the package was and Office 2007 Enterprise and a few others including the new Office Accounting Professional 2007. I don’t have a link for that particular product because the link on the Action Pack site points me to Small Business Accounting 2006. I imagine it’ll be up soon, though.

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Safer passwords: PwdHash

From Rod Begbie‘s blog, a link to PwdHash, a browser extension that hashes a password against the domain name of the site at which you’re going to use it, producing a unique password for each site. This means that you can remember and type in only one password at each site but the password that’s actually used is different. Seems worthwhile and there are extensions for Firefox, IE6 and IE7 with a script for Opera.

Note that the opening page on PwdHash contains a link to the Firefox installer only. You need to go to the Stanford project website to get the installers for the other browsers.

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Still blogging, still at 1 and 1

When 1 and 1 started hosting here in the States, they offered 3 years of free hosting. Naturally, I signed up! The free contract expires at the end of the month and, if you’ve been following along this whole time, I was preparing to move. Well, 1 and 1 offered to continue my contract for another year for what I consider to be a reasonable price so it looks like I’ll be sticking around for at least another year. If you were holding your breath in anticipation of a site outage, you can breathe again.

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Rhapsody’s coming to the Squeezebox

Real Networks announced yesterday that, as of January 15, Squeezebox and Transporter owners will be able to access the Rhapsody music service directly from their Squeezebox. Initially it will only be available through Squeezenetwork and will be available later from the SlimServer software that one may run on one’s own machine. Don’t know how much of the Rhapsody service will be available yet. I’m a Rhapsody user by virtue of the fact that I’ve got Comcast‘s High-Speed Internet service.

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GPS Receiver plus Micro SD Card

Ever since I got my MDA from T-Mobile, my HP HX2495 PocketPC has been lounging around, pretty much unused. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I decideed to dig it out and use it around the house — I’ve got good wireless connectivity all over here (better than my T-Mobile connection) and, while the MDA has WiFi, it drains the battery really fast. The iPAQ has both an SD slot and a CF slot. This week, it occurs to me that I could plug a GPS receiver into the SD slot and use it as a GPS! And then it occurs to me that this was one of the things I was planning to do back when I bought it (too much to do, too little time).

OK, so, with that introduction, Spectec has introduced an SD GPS receiver with a Micro-SD slot. It’s not available yet but MicroPlanet has it available on pre-order for $176. I need to do a little more research but this is looking pretty good to me. Comies with the SiRF Star III chipset. This post on GearDiary has more information.

Why don’t I just buy a good BT GPS? I dunno, maybe I will. I’m still investigating.

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Trade CDs, listen to music

Just heard about LaLa on KNTV, the local NBC affiliate (they do a pretty good job reporting on local technology news which is why I gave the link to their technology section instead of their main page).

Anyway, Lala does a couple of things. First, it let’s users trade CDs — the physical discs. They provide mailing materials and take a fee for each trade they facilitate (something like $1 for their services and $0.75 for shipping). Second, they have “radio stations”, not unlike Live365 and ShoutCast. I’m not sure how one goes about setting up a radio station but there are lots out there. To tune to a station, you simply select it. You need to have Javascript enabled and, pops a window that shows which song is playing and you hear music. It doesn’t look like it’s possible (yet) to play Lala radio stations outside of your browser (thereby obviating use with my SqueezeBox, it still looks interesting, though, and I think I can figure out how to piece together a URL.

I’ve only just started playing with it so, as I know more, I’ll post more.

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