Feel free to drool…

I got my new mobile phone this week.  It’s the HTC Touch Diamond…oh yes!  It’s beautiful.  It’s sleek.  It’s light.  It replaces the Nokia N95 I’ve had since last htcdiamondAugust.  The real reason I wanted a new Windows Mobile-based device is that we’re running a pilot project to integrate our Nortel CS1000 PBX with Microsoft Office Communication Server to give us full unified communications.  There’s a Communicator Mobile client app that runs on WM devices that connects to our OCS server in the office to give me presence and IM capabilities to all my corporate contacts.

Initial impressions are that it’s an excellent unit, although the battery life has yet to be determined under “normal” usage, as opposed to the incessant playing with that it’s currently getting.  I just can’t leave it alone.

As an iPhone alternative, it’s got a few things the iPhone doesn’t: MMS, video recording, and the ability to load any WM apps I want.  It’s also got a 3MP camera, as opposed to the 2MP one in the iPhone.

I’ll post more as I get used to it.

Hyper-V RC1: Download details: Update for Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition (KB950049)

“The Release Candidate 1 (RC1) update to the Hyper-V role provides improvements to security, stability, performance, user experience, forward compatibility of configurations, and the programming model. All users of the Hyper-V role are encouraged to apply this upgrade. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. Once you have installed this item, it cannot be removed. This update is provided to you and licensed under the Windows Server 2008 License Terms.”

There is also an update to the Vista Management console for RC1 available here.

Download details: Update for Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition (KB950049)

Why Can’t I Google "()"?

I just tried to Google  the googlebracesphrase “exchange()”, but unfortunately Google (and Yahoo and Ask.com etc.) won’t process the brackets at the end.  I tried enclosing it in quotes and advanced searches, but it just won’t work.

I need to know!!!

O2 Ireland – 8Gb iPhone Price Drop

It seems that O2 Ireland have dropped the price of an 8Gb iPhone by €100.  No change for the 16Gb model.  This follows reports that the Apple stores in the UK and US are showing the iPhones as “Currently Unavailable” as opposed to the usual “Ships in 1-2 Weeks”.  This would seem to imply that Apple stores in the UK and US have run out of iPhones…in advance of the 3G model, perhaps?  Maybe they shipped them all over to us…

Find out more – O2 – iPhone – Find out more

Why you should never buy a Creative sound card again…

Over the years (quite a number in my case), I have purchased a large number of Creative sound cards.  Generally, I went for the higher spec ones (AWE64 Gold with extra sugar, etc).  My last purchase was in January 2007 of an X-Fi Elite Pro.  Not a particularly cheap purchase, you’ll admit, at €360.

Shortly after that, I started testing Microsoft Windows Vista, and was pretty impressed except for the lack audio driver support.  I had to accept the statement from Creative that as Vista had not officially launched, they would not provide support it.  Fair enough, you say.  Once Vista launched though, I wanted my drivers.  I still want them.  Doesn’t look like I’ll get them from Creative though, and now it seems that Creative want to make sure that I don’t get them from anywhere else.

Daniel_K is a regular in the Creative support forums who has taken it upon himself to develop drivers which Creative can’t/won’t release.  He has helped a lot of people to get Creative hardware working on Vista, but now Creative want him to stop.

Creative have, in a thinly veiled threat, told him to cease and desist, or else…don’t-touch-my-IP-or-I’ll-break-your-legs-cuz-you’re-stopping-us-forcing-people-to-buy-new-cards type of thing.

You can read it all here (currently with 1,714 replies…and heading for a quarter of a million views), but suffice to say, I personally will never buy nor recommend that anyone else buys, Creative hardware, as they just want you to junk whatever you have and buy another piece of their unsupported kit.

Message to Daniel_K – Sound Blaster – Creative Labs

Apple offering Safari to Windows users?

This mightn’t seem like too much of an issue, but having iTunes and QuickTime installed on my PC, I often get notified of updates for those products through the Apple Software Update.  Yesterday, I saw this:

safari

I have never had Safari installed on my PC (on my Mac Mini, yes), so I can’t see how I would “select the items you want to update” given that there’s nothing to update.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but if Microsoft tried this on another OS, we’d all be reading about the legal ramifications and EU competition commissioners spouting fire and the like.

Before you flame me, yes I can and did click on quit, but this update is always there and there’s no option to decline this update permanently.  I’m also sure that, buried deep in some EULA I agreed to ages ago, I gave Apple the right to do this.  It doesn’t mean I have to like it, and I don’t.

If I want Safari on my PC, I’ll go to apple.com and download it when I want it.  At this point in time, I don’t.

UPDATE:

Apparently, I can set an update to be “ignored”, but I still get this as a sly reminder that it’s not really ignored:

image

iPhone on O2 Ireland

Yesterday, I ordered a 16Gb iPhone, probably a gut-reaction to the O2 announcement that they’ll provide them from March 14th.  I grappled overnight with the thoughts of having to live without Exchange push e-mail, and no 3G.  I heard this morning that visual voicemail also won’t be supported.  Now I hear that the iPhone isn’t supported on 64-bit Vista.  We’re just about to roll out that OS flavour to all our desktops, so we’ll just throw that order in the bin.

Maybe later in the year when the 2nd gen iPhone supports 3G and other stuff, and the price is dropped and the extortionate packages and terrible conditions disappear, I’ll look at it again.

Or maybe not.  I’ve had a Nokia N95 now for nearly 6 months, and my biggest (only) gripe is it just a little too big and heavy.  That apart, it does everything I could possibly want.

SkyDrive – 5Gb Online Storage free

If you want 5Gb of free online storage, look at Windows Live SkyDrive from Microsoft, part of their Live initiative.

According to Microsoft:

  • 5 GB of free online storage, available from any computer with Internet access.
  • Create personal, shared, and public folders — you decide who has access to each folder.
  • Windows Live SkyDrive works well on any Windows or Macintosh computer with Firefox 1.5 or higher, or Internet Explorer 6 or higher.
  • All you need is a Windows Live ID account, and you can store private files of any type, or choose files to share with friends and family.

    It’s my virtual USB key of utilities.  Good price too.