Kudos to Microsoft

I love it when a plan comes together.

After a very long beta program, Vista (as I’m sure you’re aware) has gone RTM and retail offerings are imminent.  As a special “thank you” to official beta testers, Microsoft has offered a free (that’s £0.00, $0.00, or €0.00) copy of Vista Business or Ultimate to all testers who submitted at least one bug through the Microsoft bug tracker application.  I thought we’d get a mug, cap, mouse-mat, mug-warmer or the like if we were lucky, but it’s unheard of to get a full licenced OS product.  If we’d received Vista Home Basic, I would have been impressed enough.  Here’s the speil:


“We would like to take a moment to thank you for your contribution to Microsoft Windows Vista. Quite simply, it would not be the product it is today without your time, dedication and thoughtful feedback. You should be proud to have helped us develop the highest quality, most secure and most reliable Windows to date. To say “thank you” we would like to provide you with a complimentary copy of Windows Vista for your use.
Please visit >> removed << to accept your copy.
If for some reason you are unable to accept this gift you may decline by clicking “Decline Invitation” on the “My Participation” page on Connect.
We would like to offer you a copy of the software and a product key for Windows Vista Business Edition or, if you are eligible Ultimate Edition. You are eligible to choose Ultimate Edition if the machine on which you intend to install Windows Vista already has a DVD drive and is currently licensed for DVD playback, i.e., you have already licensed one or more pieces of software for playing back DVDs

  • This is a full retail copy intended for your personal use and not for resale.
  • It is being offered as a download only. No media will be mailed.
  • Only currently active, invited members of the Windows Vista technical beta program who filed at least one bug are receiving this offer.
  • Please visit >> removed << to accept this offer and indicate your preference for Business or Ultimate editions.
  • After accepting the offer terms you will be immediately be given access to download the software.
  • You may install and use the edition you chose for 30 days without a product key. Simply click ‘next’ at the product key prompt during setup, continue on and choose the appropriate edition from the list. You will be able to enter your product key at the activation prompt at a later time.
  • We will email you when your product key is available for retrieval on Connect. In general this should happen within one week of your acceptance of the terms.

Again, we thank you for all your contributions during the beta!!
Thank you,
The Windows Beta Team”


Way to go Microsoft!!!


Buffalo TeraStation 2TB

I finally got my TeraStation last week, and it’s been sitting under a coffee table in the den since.  It’s not totally quiet, but my wife and kids haven’t complained yet, so I suppose that’s good.  I set it up with RAID 1 to give two 500GB shares on the network.  All my Recorded TV from my MCE2005 and Vista Ultimate (X64 build 5744) boxes are sync’d to one share on the NAS box using the free Microsoft SyncToy nightly.  All my pictures, videos and music are on the other share.

The best thing is that I now have about 300 hours of TV recorded without having to delete stuff I haven’t yet watched.  The worst thing is that I now have 300 hours of TV I haven’t watched…

There’s no noticeable network lag when watching recorded TV from the unit (all the DVR-MS files are recorded in High-quality – about 3GB/hour).

The web interface to the box is clean and straight-forward, although the help text popups could do with being re-translated into english, as it appears as if that was an afterthought.

If you’re short of disk space, I’d definitely recommend this unit.  Along with the 2.0TB unit (4x500GB), it’s also available in 0.6TB (4x160GB), 1.0TB (4x250GB), and 1.6TB (4x400GB) configurations.


It’s Hammer Time…

Well, Longhorn…sorry, Vista Time.  Jim Allchin finally posted the announcement ending five years of development to the Vista Blog.  Build 6000.16386 has gone gold (RTM, Released to Manufacturing).  Microsoft expects to have 18 languages at the January launch, and 32 within 100 days of English RTM.

No sign of RTM on MSDN yet, but Saturday is looking promising.  According to the MSDN Downloads page, “Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be available through MSDN Subscriber downloads within 7 days of release to manufacture”.  Still no word if/when it will appear on Connect.

Well done to Microsoft on reaching this goal.

Samsung Q1-SSD ordered…

Samsung Q1-SSD Ultra Mobile PC (Solid State Disk Version) | eXpansys Code: 139989

Yes, I’ve ordered the SSD (solid-state disk) version of the Samsung Q1.  The specs are here.  Now I just have to wait…8 days according to the order tracker.  It’s going to be tough…

UPDATE 17/11/06: Still waiting..aparently 23/11 is the due date now…

I want one of those (.com)

Forget the Zune, I want this.  For a mere €222,000 (£150,000 or $270,000) you can get your own wax model sculpted by Madame Tussauds of London.  I like the disclaimer at the end “Please note that the figure is not able to be displayed at Madame Tussauds Museum”.  Awww, for that much moolah I’d want it on Grafton Street…