Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Zune – the hype begins… Have a Free Black Desktop for Windows on us…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 7, 2006 by Shaun

Yup it’s almost here, the Zune peronal media device is soon to be released.  I have to admit I’ve largely ignored the lead up the the release and I was surprised today to see that the Zune includes Wireless Zune to Zune sharing  (not sure how the DRM (Digital Rights Management) copes with this), as well and a built in FM radio and a 3 inch LCD.

The looks of the Zune are not far off most Personal Media Devices out there, the screen and wheel are in the obvious places, which should make it easy enough to get to grips with.  I’ve not had my hands on one yet (happy to review it though if I get sent one ;0)  ), so I can’t tell you what the operational aspects are like.  Price-wise, it’s being advertised at $249.99 for an estimated retail price on the Zune site and that looks like it’s a 30GB version.

As part of the celebrations for the release Windows XP SP2 users can download a free theme for windows.  This is a signed Microsoft theme so there’s no need to worry about fiddling about patching important windows files to get it to work.  The best thing about the theme is that it is a very useable black theme, contrast between the screen elements is good and I have to say I am impressed, it’s worth the download.
Installation is simple, download the file, run it agree to the usual licensing and then choose the theme from the desktop options, couldn’t be simpler.

Isn’t it just typical though that Microsoft release a new theme for Windows XP, that is official and does not require a patch for the uxtheme.dll, right before they release a new OS…

Picture of Zune Theme on Windows XP

A whole new experience for writing JavaScript…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 6, 2006 by Shaun

It seems to me that JavaScript is seeing a real boost of late, mostly due to the hype around Ajax and the many new javascript libraries available for download.  One of the things that put me off Javascript when I first started using it was that I just couldn’t get used to not having the IDE help me along.  Being one of those developers that can’t remember everything in a framework, scripted or otherwise, seems to be a curse I’ll live with forever.

I have some knowledge of the DOM and over the years I have picked up bits that I use every day but I still don’t know everything and I doubt I ever will.  So I’ve always been on the lookout for a tool that would help me along on my quest to perfect my javascript skills.  Initially I found First JavaScript Editor, a very nice IDE that gives you intellisense and debugging for your JavaScript.  It’s a paid for application and does a damn good job too, coming with some great tutorials as well as scripts to help get you started.  I found it to be an excellent application despite it’s dated looks (no disrespect here, building an app this good takes a lot of effort).

Then along came a surprise contender for my affections, AptanaAptana is an open source application, for which the source was recently released.

Aptana still has a little way to go before it includes all the features available in First Javascript Editor but it has the advantage of being free, and damn good looking.  It too sports Intellisense, spots errors as you code and additionally has an awesome project management facility that allows you to maintain some complicated (or simple) javascript libraries.  You can easily switch between different ‘perspectives’ that allow you to quickly arrange the interface to suit the current task, debugging and team synchronising being two of the options.

You can also hook it into a source control system which allows for easy sharing of projects, and coming very soon is another upgrade that will give us debugging as well as a few bug fixes.

Aptana Is available for Windows, Mac and Linux and has a plugin for the Eclipse source control system.

So if you are looking for a tool to help you get the most from your JavaScript, these two options are well worth a look.

First Javascript Editor  –  Aptana  –  Boost your Javascript productivity…

Move along…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1, 2006 by Shaun

It was a silly mistake but with amusing consequences… typing in the wordpress address I inadvertantly typed www.wordpad.org go a head try it…

Ah the internet, there’s entertainment a plenty :0)

11th time luck for media player?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 31, 2006 by Shaun

Microsoft have released Media Player 11 at last.  I’ve been playing with the Beta’s for a while now and I was reasonably impressed.  No HUGE groundbreaking changes for me, and although it is supposed to handle large media libraries better now the final Beta was flakey for me unable to handle several thousand MP3’s at once.  I only managed to import a clean library through several crashes that ungracefully dumped Media player forcing a restart of the application.

Fingers crossed that the final release is better.

Things I like:
The glossy black is pretty cool.
the ability to resize it so you just see the buttons is cool.
The new library features make managing your media a bit easier and I like the way it finally downloads all the album art without me having to go get the album info each time.

Media Player 11 is compatible with:  All versions of Windows except 2003. There is a Mac version available too.

Go get it here.

Media Player Download Logo