Sunday, November 02, 2008

Off the Microsoft beaten path

Just became aware this week of a few things.

Windows Blog Redesign

Official Windows Blogs Redesigned & Has New URL – Josh’s Windows Weblog - Windows Connected.

I’ve loved the Windows Vista Blog site.  It has provided a lot of great information and insights.

However, since it is becoming clear that Microsoft is working hard as possible to now distance itself from Vista and move attention to Windows 7, the blog was targeted for an “Extreme MS Blog Makeover”.

It now breaks down into three distinct blogs

· Windows Vista Team Blog

· Windows 7 Team Blog

· Windows Experience Blog

That’s all great and the redesign is a bit “brighter” but which site(s) do you add to your watch-list?

Keep it simple by just sticking with this one Front Page which pulls articles from all of the others. IF you want a singular feed source for all the blogs, as Josh points out, just use this Main RSS Feed.

Free MS Ways to Access your Data, Remotely

James.Random() : Live Mesh is now in BETA

I hadn’t even heard of Live Mesh Beta before until James mentioned it.  Turns out it is pretty cool, especially for home users.

Sign up for and download Live Mesh and get treated to the following features:

Live Desktop – 5 GB of free storage where you can view and access synchronized folders and contents on the web.

MeshBar – Kinda like a sharable meeting space where you can share shared-items with other Mesh users, collaborate on items, chat.  Sounds a bit like a poor-man’s SharePoint service.

Live Remote Mesh Desktop – Like “GoToMyPC” but only free.  Of course, your remote-enable workstation must be on as well as loaded and registered with your Mesh devices for this to work.

I mentioned this over at the TechBlog and Tim responded that it’s been around for a while in a buggy-beta status.  Not sure how this new version compares.  Looks very promising and I am sure we may see some form incorporated for Windows 7

Tim also suggested looking into Windows Live FolderShare beta.  According to Tim it is more stable and the limitations aren’t very high.  Also allows for sharing of folders between registered systems for a user, but it seems to be local-system based and not “cloud-storage” based, meaning that the devices must be on and the service running on them to access the file-sharing.

Windows System Recovery Bits

Specifically for my little bro.  Turns out that he downloaded the latest Adobe Creative Suite 4 and now it absolutely refuses to install on his almost brand-new Vista system (like many others) even though it has more than enough cores, RAM, and drive-space. He feels there may be some bad Registry bits causing the muck-up in his case. I recommended he try a System Repair for Vista first, before he nukes all his hard work with a OEM system restore.

Want a quick way to build a Vista system rescue disk?

Vista SP1: Create a recovery disc – Long Zheng – Background information only. Feature removed from the final Vista SP1 release…kind of.

Recover “Create a recovery disc” on Vista SP1 RTM – Long Zheng – So Long shows you how to build one anyway with a bit of hacking around.  It’s a fun exercise and should help teach you a bit of things about how this tool was intended to function before it got yanked.

Windows Vista Recovery Disc Download – NeoSmart – Or save all the time, education, and self-learning that you get by going through that process and just download a pre-made ISO file from NeoSmart.  I have and it checks out fine as far as I can tell.  If you ever think you will need this, I recommend snagging it now, just in case the ISO gets pulled sometime in the future.  It’s not very big so assuming you have a broadband connection to the Net, shouldn’t take any time at all to download.


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