Steve Jobs Bio – On Kindle Now!

Looks like Amazon released the Jobs Biography a bit early. I pre-ordered the book, and it is now showing up in my Kindle books.

It might be a long night, looking forward to this book.

 

Google+ Profile

(Mini) iPhone 4s Siri Review and Easter Eggs

I was debating on getting the new iPhone 4s- I wondered if the speed and Siri really made the upgrade worthwhile.  Short Review: YES!  Siri Rocks!

I decided availability would be the deciding factor for me, if I could get a 4s without waiting in line, I would.  Turned out I missed the morning rush at the AT&T store, and walked right in.  I was expecting to be told a 3-5 week wait (like their website said), but the rep said they had “plenty” in stock (NOTE: If you are looking for an iPhone 4s and are in the Raleigh,NC area, hit up the North Hills AT&T store – they have some, no wait!)

Anyway, fast forward a few hours, Siri and the speed make the upgrade great.  Web pages are snappy and crisp now.  No more delays while the rendering happens (my iPhone 4 even took a while on WiFi for most page rendering).  A great Purchase, highly recommended if you do any browsing at all.

And then there is Siri.  It is amazing how good the recognition is.  It understands almost everything and generally just does what you need it to, without learning some complex syntax for speaking to it.  Apple has done a great job with this, and I expect to see it get even better over the next several months based on how they see people using it (Siri data is sent back to Apple’s servers for processing so they know what people are asking/expecting Siri to do).  I can’t wait to get my hands on the Siri API / SDK – I’m really hoping Apple starts to expose some of this soon.

In additional to the cool functionality (I won’t iterate it here, Apple does a good job in the promo videos), it seems that the Siri team hid a few Easter eggs in the app.  Here are a few of the funny ones I’ve seen so far..Enjoy!

Siri Easter Egg 1Siri Easter Egg Love

Siri Easter Egg Meaning of Life

Siri Easter Egg 1Siri Easter Egg BarkingSiri Easter Egg EULA

I’m Back!

After way too long, I’m back blogging!

I finally got my old Community Server Blog migrated over to WordPress. YES! I was having so much trouble with community server (it was several versions old) that I had decided not to post anymore until I could get on a new platform (and hardware).

WordPress really rocks, so I’m finally glad I got everything migrated. Now to find a decent WP Theme, and slap it on here! A few tweaks, and plugins, and I should be back in business.

No promises on how often I’ll blog now, but I am really going to try and get back into a regular cadence (several posts a week).

Coming soon: How I migrated from Community Server 2.0 to WordPress (not an easy task, but I took the easy way out).

Great to be back!!

New Microsoft Ads – What do they mean?

Disclaimer -  I work for MS, but have no inside knowledge of the commercials.  These are just some random (personal) thoughts we came up with at lunch today

So we have some theories we’ve been tossing around on the new Microsoft Ads…Everyone in the new ad represents something…

  1. BillG = Microsoft
  2. Jerry = Vista
  3. Grandma = IE (Not the latest and greatest, but still does everything around the house, been around 12 years – though it should be 13, right?)
  4. Little girl = Mac (Frames MS and Vista, makes them look bad)
  5. Mom and Dad = PC users (Asking Vista to do odd things – Financial advice, how much greek coins are worth)
    1. OR – the amount is $1800 is this 1-800 as in a support call?
  6. Delivery Boy = Search (Instantly recognizes Bill & Jerry, gives them something for no cost (but a token))
  7. Giraffe = XP Been around for 6 years? Close enough right?  Why are all our theories off by 1 year?  At least they are consistent.
  8. Also, when they get punished, why are they working on doors (and not Windows?)

What else??  Is this where they are heading?  Did we get it right? PS- Yea, I know, it’s been forever since I’ve blogged – I *really* need to get back into it! :-)

The iPhone Gets More Compelling as a Business Phone

iponeLike everyone else, I’ve been excited about the iPhone.  But, one of the major drawbacks for me has been the lack of integration with Microsoft Exchange server for syncing email, appointments and contacts over the air (OTA) without a physical cradle connection – as my smartphone does today (and has for the past several years).

Well, it looks like that may have changed, Mary Jo Foley is speculating that Apple has licensed the Exchange ActiveSync protocol from Microsoft.  Though neither Apple nor Microsoft has confirmed this, sounds like a good sign.  A little further digging tonight, and I see that Walt Mossberg confirms this rumor, by briefly mentioning:

Email: The iPhone can connect with most popular consumer email services, including Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, EarthLink and others. It can also handle corporate email using Microsoft’s Exchange system, if your IT department cooperates by enabling a setting on the server.

Sounds like great news for geeks everywhere who want the coolest new phone, but still need the business tools they have come to expect such as push email and OTA sync.  I still won’t be camping out at the Apple/AT&T store, but the iPhone is looking better and better to me.

Now if we could just get a REAL SDK……

[UPDATE]  – Looks like the initial Exchange support is just through IMAP, which works OK at best.  Hopefully the ActiveSync rumor is really true!

Apple iPhone, a Guided Tour

With only 7 days(and 4 hours) left until Apple launches the iPhone, they released a guided tour video today.  I haven’t watched it all yet, but I am very impressed with the iPhone so far.

I havent decided if I really want an iPhone yet, as there are a few features my WinMobile smartphone has, that the iPhone does not – namely Exchange server integration, a big one for me.  Either way, I’m sure I’ll visit the Apple or AT&T store next week to check them out.

Video Here

PhotoSync Beta2 for Windows Home Server is Available!

just finished up the 2nd Beta for PhotoSync for WHS.  (See this postfor an overview of what PhotoSync is)

The new version has several tweaks, bug fixes and the following enhancements, based on community feedback:

  • Ability to name Flickr Images based on the file name
  • Ability to automatically create Flickr ’Sets’ based on the folder name
  • Ability to set Flickr photo permissions (Public, Friend, Family)
  • Allow selection of any WHS Shared folders as the sync folder
  • Automatic upload throttling to keep large amounts of photos from bogging down your Internet connection
  • Ability to disable PhotoSync from the WHS console

Other notes and changes:

  • WHS console application no longer opens Internet Explorer on your server
  • Setting changes take place quicker
  • Config tools now use UNC shares (\\ServerName\ShareName\) rather than drive letters
  • Note – If you have a free Flickr account, you are only allowed to create 3 photo sets.  If you have more photo folders than this, PhotoSync will still upload them, they will just not be part of a set
  • If you have Beta1 Installed, install this over it (don’t uninstall Beta1)to maintain your settings and upload database – if you do uninstall Beta1, you will need to reconfigure things and re-link to Flickr.  You photos will also be re-uploaded (dupes).

Please enjoy, and send your feedback!

** Update Feb 26 2012 **

Download links were lost in blog migration.  Updated links are here:

PhotoSync for WHS, Beta 2 Download

Beta 1 (older)

 

TechRepublic also has a nice install guide for PhotoSync here (This is from PhotoSync Beta1, so some screenshots will be different)

Baby Names

Dennis Rice sent me this cartoon from bLaugh today.

Since we just went through this process (not the Skype part), I got a good chuckle here.

I wonder if this conversation will be happening in the Scoble Household soon? (Replace Skype with Twitter :-) )

Naming her skype

PhotoSync for WHS Install Guide

Even when the install steps are pretty straight-forward, a nice guide always helps. Sean Morton over at TechRepublic has done a nice step by step install guide, with screen shots, of my PhotoSync for WHS application.

Nice job, Thanks Sean!  (One less thing I have to do :-) )