Monthly Archives: December 2006

ActiveWin Meetup ’06

Today I had the pleasure of having lunch with ActiveNetworks Co-Founder Bob Stein who was visiting Jamaica for the first time. It was wonderful to finally meet someone who I have been chatting with over IM for the past couple years. The face to face interaction strengthens a great friendship and I hope to do it with other AW staff and persons on my list. It was a great experience, thanks again for the lunch Bob, it was delicious.

Bob Stein (left) and me click here to see a slideshow.


Filed under Travel

Windows Vista R2 codename Fiji – Gearing up to be a major release?

I just checked my inbox and saw this interesting e-mail that I thought I would share with the rest of the web my thoughts on future Windows releases. Although everything noted is speculation and has been predicted and rumored for a long time, it does spark the curiosity about what is coming next. Operating Systems from Apples Mac OS to Linux have caused a frenzy when it comes to regular releases.


"Face it, Windows Vista is just so played these days. With that preliminary biz release under its belt, we’re ready for bigger and better things, and luckily a certain "jameskyton" drive-by-blogger has the low-down for us on Vista’s successors, Fiji and Vienna. James calls Fiji a sort of "Vista R2," which should include most of those fancy features Microsoft had to cut out of Vista to get it released this century. Highlights include the reappearance of WinFS, which will sit on top of the NTFS file system; a more full-featured sidebar app; tight Windows Live integration, especially when it comes to media; built-in playback of HD-DVD; Next-Generation Secure Computing Base; and possibly even a Garage Band clone called Monaco. There will also be the usual interface and other minor enhancements you can expect from such an update, but Fiji has nothing on Vienna, which is purported to feature a complete overhaul of the OS, including a break in compatibility with "all applications," though hopefully Microsoft will have some Apple-esque transition schemes in place before that time comes. The fresh beginning will give Microsoft more OS-building freedom than it has had in a long time, but right now it sounds like they’re a bit too excited about this: Vienna will supposedly do away with the Start Menu, toolbars and menus in favor of some sort of pie-menu interface, WinFS-t-the-core and search, potentially leaving long time users stranded with a brand new interface to learn from the ground up. The OS will also feature beefy speech support, along with a sandbox mode for running non-managed code without risking your security. Much of this is hearsay so far, and we’re really hoping Microsoft doesn’t go off the deep end with Vienna, but we’re still curious to see what they have up their sleeves after being cooped up so long ironing out Vista bugs."

From Slashdot via Engadget

Again, nothings really a surprise, and just as I noted in my ActiveWin: Vista review, DVD burning capabilities is just a logical step, and will be the same case for the new HD-DVD format if Fiji (Vista R2) does exist. As for Monaco, the rumored to be iLife Garage Band killer, Mary Jo Foley reported about this a long time ago and we have not heard anything since. WinFS is something I will just leave in the ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ category, the last I heard of it, it was now a SQL Server technology with pieces of it moving into the next release of the Company’s database Server.

Vienna should be another interesting topic as it nears development, but the Pie Face theory is a bit too far fetched. A lot of radacalism was orginally planned for Vista codenamed Longhorn at the time as evidenced by the PDC 2003 demos by Hillel Cooperman, a former Microsoft employee. The move to a new codebase will probably be a necessity to better take advantage of the latest hardware such a better multi core support. Changes the UI will be decided by what Microsoft has researched based on user studies. Speech in Vista right now is also beefy, I love the improved recognition and training tools which makes using it more encouraging. Vista has brought a refresed interface, but not as drastic as many enthusiast had wanted it to be.  Still, my anticipation for these next releases is at about 2%, I am more pre-occupied with the interim, Windows Vista, Ultimate Extras, Windows Live Services, Vista SP1 and a little bit of Longhorn Server, hopefully those can keep me satisfied for the next 2 to 3 years.


Filed under Windows Vista

Hey, Teching It Easy is 2 Years Old!

I just realized that my blog anniversary had passed me by on Dec. 9th. Wow, how time flies. So far things have been going well with Windows Live Spaces, the service could do better in the customization department. I also hope to see better integration with Windows Live Writer.

Once again, thanks for all the support. 🙂



Filed under MSN Spaces

The Windows Vista Launch Kit

I just caught this one from over at MSTechToday, and I have to say I wouldn’t mind having one. The launch kit for Windows Vista includes a number goodies that I am sure should set all early adopters and Vista Enthusiast on the right path.

The kit includes a Windows Vista mouse pad, Flight Simulator 10, a Dongle of some sort, numerous USB keys and lots of documentation. Congratulations to Steve Sinchak of TweakVista. The Vista box is very pretty by the way. 🙂


Filed under Windows Vista

Receivers of Acer Laptops with Vista Treated Unfairly

I have been browsing the blogsphere for the past couple of days now reading up on some of the feedback some Microsoft Community blogs have been receiving for receiving hardware with Microsoft software. I have summarized the majority of the comments as pure, 100% nutritious envy. It seems that Brandon Leblanc of MSTechToday got the brunt of it which is pretty sad, because I consider him to be one of the most upfront persons/Bloggers when it comes to "telling it like it is" about Microsoft products.

When I read the additional stupidity coming out of the redicilous lips of people like John Pallatto, Steven Vaughan-Nichols, I just felt sad that these individuals are playing the school yard envy game. Its not our fault they chose to cover another Company’s technology over Microsoft’s. Who knows, Redhat, Novell and Sun might even be putting them up to this useless torrent of attacks against honest Microsoft bloggers. The point is, we just don’t know, and just like Steve admits, true journalist have been known to commit such unethical moves.

What makes it even more weird, they are attacking "Microsoft based" community blogs, sites that are already considered MS Fanatics. So how in heavens name is this making them more "pro-ms", when in a sense they were already were.

I will say it right now, I am one of the lucky ones who will also receive one of the Acer Ferrari 5000 with Windows Vista and plan on reviewing it well. And who would not be biased after checking out the specs on the system, of course its going to get a good review. I have been testing Windows Vista for the past 15 months now on lack luster hardware and I have noted from early on the best way to transition to Vista is with a new system preloaded.

Another point too, if Brandon had disclosed that the hardware was courtesy of Acer and Windows Vista from the beginning, he would have been labeled bought anyway. So its a case of you just can’t win either way, but who cares, at least you will have a nice laptop as a nice comfort for all that attack.


Filed under Windows Vista

Seasons Greetings from ‘Teching It Easy’

I would like to wish Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year when it comes to all readers of Teching it Easy.



Filed under MSN Spaces

The Year that was 2006.

All of you must be wondering if I have abandoned my Live Space. Yeah, you are right, I did (temporarily), but worry not, I am back for good so get ready for the new content that’s coming!

The year 2006 I would best describe as being a bitter-sweet one. I got to be a part of a community of millions of testers who helped to shape the next version of Windows; Vista which I must say is awesome and will define a decade of user empowerment through improvements and new features in areas such as communication, collaboration and entertainment. With a significantly enhanced interface that puts the user at the centre, Vista will create new opportunities for users to be productive and agile in a world where time means money and precious memories are priceless.

Don’t forget to check out the ActiveWin Windows Vista RC2 review.

The bitter part of this year for me is the recent tragic loss of my father who I consider to be my hero and mentor. A person who was always there when I needed him for encouragement and advice. A man who was the epitome of strength and endurance faded away without us knowing really how unhappy he was. Still I will honour his memory by appreciating his love for family and the dedication and loyalty he gave to the rights of Workers throughout Jamaica. Rest in Peace Dad until that day we meet again.

Going forward, I am looking to 2007, to new beginning’s and opportunities. Some of my resolutions for the blog are to focus on getting out more Vista related content and more reviews, because it’s obvious the fun really begins with the release. I hope your year was great and let us enter the New Year with peace and love for one another.

I would like to extend special thanks to all the readers of Teching It Easy, online friends, Beta Testers and friends in the Windows Community for their out pour of love and support during what was a rough time.

With Love & Respect,
Andre Da Costa


Filed under MSN Spaces