Category: Technology

MobileTechnology

Microsoft To Release Their Own Surface-Branded Tablet

Microsoft is set to release two Surface-branded tablets that is will sell as competition to the Apple’s iPad. The Surface-branded tablets will be based on Windows 8 and Windows RT. They will also feature an integrated keyboard cover and a kickstand. See below for a sample screenshot.

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Also notice the new Microsoft logo.

Technology

Welcome to Windows 8 (Release Preview)

Yesterday Microsoft delivered the Windows 8 Release Preview, the final pre-release milestone of its next OS. Along with this release came related releases such as Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC) and Visual Studio 2012 RC.

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If you know me, then you know I’m a huge Microsoft fan boy. I have a Zune, a few Xbox 360’s, an original Xbox, a Windows Phone (first the Focus and now the Lumia 900) and I’m a software developer specializing in Microsoft Development technologies (.NET Framework, C#, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Azure, etc).

Anyway I must say I absolutely love what Windows 8 is and the impact it will have on our every day lives. I’m still a little unsure to the lack of the Star button when in Desktop mode…but I’m sure that will grow on me.

I plan on redoing my main laptop from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 8. I’ll then install Visual Studio 2012 RC and begin exploring what is possible in Metro-style applications, the Windows Runtime, and fully embrace this change.

The Windows 8 Release Preview is here. Go get it now.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/release-preview

Here is a wonderful guide to Windows 8 Release Preview from Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows. I highly recommend you take a look at everything he’s documented in his articles and the wonderful screenshots.

LifeTechnology

SkyDrive App for Windows

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Microsoft recently released a number of SkyDrive updates, including changes to the service, mobile apps for iPhone and Windows phone and a preview of a new Windows desktop application.

There are also changes to the storage size. As mentioned in a previous post, those that have been with Microsoft (MSN, Hotmail, Live) for a long time are being given a free upgrade to 25GB of storage. You can then add additional storage if you like. See my previous post for more details. If you haven’t already upgraded your account, you should take advantage of this before it expires.

First, what is SkyDrive?

SkyDrive is a cloud based solution for storing important files on your PC and keeping them in sync with SkyDrive.com. It is the easiest way to access your SkyDrive from your PC. When you install SkyDrive, a SkyDrive folder is created on your PC. Everything you put in this folder is automatically kept in sync between your computers (PC or Mac) and SkyDrive.com, so you can get to your latest files from virtually anywhere. Whenever you add, change, or delete files in one location, all the other locations will be updated.

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If you forgot to put something in your SkyDrive folder, you can still get back to your PC to access all its files and folders from SkyDrive.com.

You can also access your SkyDrive from your mobile devices, including Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android, etc. There is also support for the Mac.

SkyDrive Application for Windows

As mentioned above, with these changes comes a new desktop application for Windows which allows you to see your SkyDrive as if it were a physical folder on your machine. This has the added effect of making any program with a save option SkyDrive enabled.

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Similar to other cloud solutions, this desktop application lets you drag and drop files to the SkyDrive folder. These files are then automatically uploaded to the remove server. This means you can work on a document, save it to SkyDrive and then always have the latest version available online, your phone, another computer, and so on.

Summary of Features

  • Access your SkyDrive right from Windows Explorer—photos, documents, and all your other important files
  • Quickly add new files to SkyDrive by dragging them to the SkyDrive folder
  • Easily organize your files and folders in SkyDrive, just like any other folder
  • Connect back to your PC if you forget to put something in SkyDrive

Compatibility

This application is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7, and the upcoming Windows 8. Windows XP users will have to use the web browser interface.

Download

You can download any of the SkyDrive apps from here.

Technology

SkyDrive Limited Time Offer to Keep your 25GB of Storage

If you’ve been a customer with Windows Live, Hotmail, MSN, etc., then you’ve most likely been through a lot of changes. Microsoft appreciates your support and would like to make it easy for you to continue to keep using your 25 GB of free online storage. All you need to do is go to the SkyDrive storage page and choose Upgrade my storage. That’s it—you’re then locked in for 25 GB for free.

Click this link to view more details on this offer, otherwise continue reading below to see instructions…

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/skydrive/loyalty

 

NOTE: This offer only works with older accounts.

Instructions

1. Sign in to your Windows Live account and then click on the SkyDrive link at the top.

2. Then if your account is eligible, click on the message that says “SkyDrive’s free storage is changing – claim your free 25GB”. If you don’t see this message, then your account is not eligible.

3. Click on the Free Upgrade! Button.

4. You’re done.

Alternatively you could decide to upgrade to higher storage allotments… +20, +50, +100 for a small fee. I would first start by upgrading to your free 25 GB and then if needed, consider adding on to that.

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MobileTechnology

My Nokia Lumia 900 Experience so far

LUM900BLKR_banner_lumia_04Here is a quick review of the new Nokia Lumia 900 (Windows Phone) that I picked up.

I went in to Rogers and walked out with the phone 15min later. It was quick and simple. Phone was $150 on hardware upgrade and you get $50 mail in rebate. Nokia is also give users who buy the phone a $100 credit if you buy it prior to April 21. This means I got the phone for $35 (admin fee).

Rogers only has the Black model available at this time. But I was able to pick up the light blue rubber sleeve. With the sleeve on, the device still looks sexy and the sleeve is barely noticeable.

The Lumia 900, like the Lumia 800 before it, comes in a unibody polycarbonate form factor that offers a terrific hand feel. Here is something that is amusing…

While Apple champions unibody designs for its laptops, it obliterates that superiority in its mobile devices. Where the iPhone is a mess of small, fragile parts—glass front and, unnecessarily, back pieces that beg to be encased in thick covers, and several thin, foil-like metal bumper bits—the 900 is a single, well-made, block of polycarbonate. It’s bulletproof, solid. Not frail. But because of its unibody design, and non-replaceable battery, the 900 isn’t going to come apart when dropped either.

Other nice features are Visual voice mail, Internet sharing (tethering) and support for LTE cellular networks. I’ve really noticed the speed improvement on 4G/LTE compared to 3G.

The cameras are sweet. You have the option for Widescreen picture taking (16:9) and there is also the front facing camera for video calls (Skype and Tango), and then there is the 8MP rear camera. Although not as good as the iPhone 4S camera, it comes close to it.

They also improved the capacitive front buttons—Back, Start, and Search. They are far less easy to trigger accidentally, a long-lived problem on Samsung’s Windows Phone handsets.

I’m also really impressed with the Nokia apps (only available on Nokia phones)…

  • Nokia Drive (Turn by turn GPS)
  • Nokia Maps
  • Nokia Transit

I have not tried the internet sharing yet…but that will be really nice to have when you’re in the middle of nowhere without Wi-Fi and want to get online from a laptop.

Getting setup on the device was quick and painless. All I did was login using my Windows Live ID (email address) and it was configured…all my email was synced, my contacts, my calendar, my tasks, my twitter, my Facebook, my linked in, etc.

I never had to plug in the phone to sync any files.

As for the apps…I downloaded an app that looks at my Windows Phone account online to see what apps I’ve installed in the past…and then on the device shows me which apps I’d like to re-install. Easy as pie.

That is all for now.

AviationTechnology

Infinite Flight (mobile flight sim)

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Last year when I got my first Windows Phone, the Samsung Focus…I was browsing the Marketplace and came across a Flight Simulator called Infinite Flight. I downloaded and tried the demo out at the time, and loved what I saw.

Almost a year later…I upgraded to a Nokia Lumia 900 and decided to pull the trigger and finally get this awesome simulator.

Here is a quick description of Infinite Flight and some of the features. If you’re an avid flight simulator, have a passion for aviation and own either an iPhone or Windows Phone…then I highly recommend you try it out.

Plus I read that they’re looking to support Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8!

http://flyingdevstudio.blogspot.co.uk/

Infinite Flight

Infinite Flight is the first Flight Simulator for iOS and Windows Phone 7 developed by a team of 2 highly dedicated developers.

 

Features

  • Great airplanes selection (varies with the platform): C-17 Globemaster III, Supermarine Spitfire, Airbus A380-800, Boeing 747-400, A-10, Boeing 737-800, Cessna 172SP, Cirrus SR22, Super Decathlon, F/A-18 Hornet, Airbus A321, Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner, A-10 warthog
  • 2 Regions: San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California
  • Flight Planning
  • Realistic Flight Model
  • Interactive Flight Lessons
  • Autopilot (Altitude and Heading, Throttle)
  • 4 time presets (Sunrise, Day, Sunset and Night)
  • Weather settings: Wind direction and intensity, visibility…
  • Yoke helper for easy handling of the airplane
  • Final Approach Path Display to help with landings
  • ILS (Instrument Landing System)
  • Realistic sounds
  • 5 Camera Modes
  • Runway lights
  • Automatic Logbook (entries added for each flight)
  • Leaderboards
  • Achievements

Screenshots

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