Monthly Archives: January 2007

My Last Night in New York

WOW, three days go really fast and what an experience this has been for me. Coming to my first launch event will leave a lasting impression on me, and I just would like to thank all the people who help to make it possible. Terri Stratton (tabletpc.net), Nick White (Windows Vista Team Blog) and Robert Stein (ActiveWin) for making this trip a reality and smooth one. I appreciate all your hardwork and time to get me to witness a product I have been testing since July 29th 2005 go out to the masses. The social experience has been amazing, like I said earlier, getting to meet the people behind the blogs and websites I read everyday was very surreal and humbling. It was really nice to finally meet Stephen Bink and fiance, Sandro, MichaelBrandon, Ryan and Mary Jo, thank you for your great friendships and warm hospitality, all of you ROCK!

New York is such a high intensity, fast place, the people here are warm and friendly and its just so big in everyway. From the many sky scrappers to the delicious food, this place knows how to treat a traveler really great. This is a place everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime, and I hope I get the opportunity to come back here again. If I left anybody, thank you. 🙂

With much respect,
Andre

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Steve Ballmer at Best Buy

This morning the ActiveWin Team (Bob and I) stopped at the local Best Buy in New York City to witness Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) along with a young lady from Arizona relay her experiences with Windows Vista. The press were there to cover the event, after demoing Vista to the crowd, the CEO discussed his excitement over this major release of Windows. It was refreshing to see Steve Ballmer in person, he is full of pepp, excitement and gets the crowd going with his strong tone of voice and passion for the Company. He also rallied the employees at Best Buy which was a sight to see, it was such a great time. Unfortunately though, I did not get to meet Ballmer, (because I walked away to pick up a few items), Bob was lucky enough to meet Steve, congratulate him and take a picture together (I envy Bob)!

Steve Ballmer getting personal demo of Vista, Best Buy army of employee’s and Best Buy CEO.

After Steve left the crowd of consumers started chowing down on the available copies of both Office 2007 and Windows Vista. There were two iMac desktops that looked really, really out of place. The Best Buy folks should have used Boot Camp and install Vista on them. Nick White (Windows Vista Team Blog) sold the first copy of the product (I think), a signature upgrade edition from Bill Gates to a Best Buy employee. I saw the desktop Ballmer and that little girl used to demo Vista and its just awesome, its a Gateway HD display with integrated speakers.

Copies of Windows Vista and Office 2007 on shelves.

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Ultimate Extras, quick look at Hold ‘Em

So, I just installed the latest Windows Update and Ultimate Extras. One of the Extras that a lot of game fans will have fun with is Texas Hold ‘Em Poker game. According to the games Help system:

Quote:
"Hold ‘Em is a blend of psychology, skill, and chance that puts you in a contest against other players, each trying to get the best hand and take home all the chips.

Each player is dealt a set of cards called a hand, and then each player wagers chips on who has the best hand. All those wagered chips are called the pot. By getting a better combination of cards in your hand than anyone else at the table, you win the pot. When one player has all the chips at the table, that player wins the tournament."

Its an interesting game, I need to study before I start playing it. Its only available to customers of the Ultimate edition Vista, if you want to extend your Windows Experience beyond the box, application and device driver updates, Ultimate should be on your list. Another Extra included is the Bitlocker Encryption feature, Bitlocker encrypts the entire system drive, including the Windows system files necessary for startup and logon. You can log on and work with your files normally, but BitLocker can help block hackers from accessing the system files they rely on to discover your password, or access your hard disk by removing it from your computer and installing it in a different computer. BitLocker can only help protect files that are stored on the drive that Windows is installed on. 

Hold Em’ Poker for Windows Vista Ultimate

Quote
"The Windows BitLocker™ Drive Preparation Tool, which configures your hard drive so that you can use the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature of Windows Vista, and Secure Online Key Backup, a utility that stores a backup copy of your BitLocker recovery password and Encrypting File System (EFS) recovery certificates in your digital locker, a secure Microsoft website"

There is no sign of Windows DreamScene yet, it was previewed yesterday at the Windows Vista Launch Event. DreamScene which basically uses a looped video to turn your desktop into a live action animated background. Other add-on’s include Hold ‘Em Poker game and Bitlocker/EFS Enhancements. I saw it really, really close up yesterday, and you can’t even tell its been looped. My favorite so far are the waterfalls and grass blowing in the wind while the sun sets. You can even pause the effect and turn it into a static wallpaper. Its very innovative and adds a lot of life to the Windows Desktop. This is something I see a lot of consumers going nuts over. There is one DreamScene I find a little eerie, a racoon looking at you all day.

There were some language Windows Language packs available in Windows Update today Packs. For multi-lingual homes or small businesses this should be very handy.

Windows Vista Ultimate Extras Website

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Windows Updates is really awesome in Windows Vista

I think this is one of the great improvements to Windows Vista that will put a smile on many faces. Windows Update in Windows Vista includes the option of postponing updates up to 4 hours. Its great highlight of some of the many small improvements in the new OS. The days of automatically restarting your PC and nagging your are over! Hallelujah!

Speaking of updates Microsoft is beginning to provide Ultimate Extras for Windows Vista Ultimate customers, these include Hold ‘Em Poker and Bitlocker Encryption. No sign of DreamScene yet which is looks really cool when you see it in person.

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The Windows Vista Launch Experience by Brandon Leblanc

Brandon Leblanc of MSTechToday, talks about his experience at yesterdays Windows Vista launch event, and it sure was an experience, a cold one at first. 😉

Read the entire blog entry at The Hive WOW blog here

Other community member’s also talk about their experiences:

  • Ryan Hoffman – Extended64
  • Steven Bink – Bink.nu
  • Andre Da Costa – ActiveWin
  • Bob Stein – ActiveWin
  • Michael Reyes – Hardware Geeks
  • Terri Straton – The Tablet PC
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    Hey, don’t have a DVD drive but want Vista?

    Just because your PC does not have a DVD drive means you cannot upgrade to Windows Vista. Included in the product box is a small pamphlet that tells you how to obtain CD’s with the Vista code from Microsoft:

    Quote:
    "It’s easy to obtain the media you need for your recent Windws Vista operating system licence purchase.

    If you have received a "format error" message when trying to install your new copy of Windows Vista, this likely indicates that your PC’s drive cannot read the supplied DVDs and that CD’s are required instead.

    If you need CDs, simply visit www.windowsvista.com/1033/ordermedia for information on how t obtain this software.

    I think this is pretty cool, basically, a lot of system’s won’t be left behind. I have seen some powerful systems that can run Vista just fine, but are limited by the fact that they are using CD drives. But, there are still limits to this, since certain DVD based functionality available in Vista will not be available to the user which possibly limits the full potential of the software. I still would recommend installing a DVD drive just for the easy installation it provides, disk swapping is such a chore.

    Learn more here

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    Close-up pics of the Office 2007 and Windows Vista Packaging

     
    Office 2007 and Windows Vista Packaging

    ActiveWin.com got a hold of both the Windows Vista and Office 2007 packaging, show pictures of the disk, back and front. I got to hold the package for the first time and I must say its very tamper proof and took a little effort to open, especially after opening it then closing it, then trying to open it back. The box is much smaller in comparison to past traditional square boxes and comes in a hard plastic frame. The box includes two Windows Vista disk, one with x86 and the other with x64 instruction code. A nice color manual and Welcome pamphlet with quick instructions and information on getting Vista on CD’s for systems without DVD drives is included. These are boxes you will find very, very hard to throw away, I definitely like them.

    Check out more pictures here

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