Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

I had some time to spend playing with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview released by Microsoft yesterday. Needless to say, it is quite different from any Desktop OS released by Microsoft in the past few years.
One thing I noticed during the install is the number of questions you are asked to answer. I read about half and then left the rest as they were (most people I watch install software don’t read the prompts anyways, next, next, next…) Other then the questions the install is fairly painless, with almost all of the hardware on this older laptop recognized (I had to download drivers for the Video Card using Windows Update).

Here’s a step-by-step of the install process – Ars Technica – I didn’t use the Express Settings. 🙂

It was also interesting to note that you are prompted to login using you Microsoft online account, in my case my rarely used Hotmail account. Much like Google’s Chrome OS prompts you to do using your Google account. Is this good… maybe, if you have a good internet connection.

After logging in, I played around and learned how to maneuver in the new Metro UI. This thing is different and at first look I feel it will be a hard sell for those people who are used to the conventional Windows Look and Feel. Where’s the Start button?

It was nice to be able to use my email without setting anything up, however my Hotmail account gets used once every Blue Moon. The main reason I wanted to use email was to send some screenshots to myself so I could use them here. That worked fine in the end, but it took a little bit of mucking around to figure out how to get it all to work. The biggest issue was finding the Microsoft Paint program so I could save the screenshots.

Bringing the mouse cursor to the upper right corner brought some functionality out of the system. From there I was able to look at the installed apps and search for them.

After taking and saving my screenshots I loaded the mail app and was really disappointed by the lack of intuitiveness when compared to other email clients I have used on PCs.

It took some playing to realize where the subject line went (I should have used TAB instead of the mouse). Once I clicked in the main body I was given some more options on the bottom which was nice. From there I attached my files and was able to send the emails.

I also played with the UI a little to see what little secrets may be hidden. I discovered that you could “pin” your apps to the screen. It almost made the email app unusable though. In this setup I could no longer figure out how to attach any files to an email. I never tried dragging and dropping which I’m guessing would work with both the Desktop view and the App pinned side by side.

When I finally decided that I wanted to close some apps (the clock in the Solitaire game was steadily increasing, not good for the scoring!) I had another battle on my hands. Eventually I discovered that if you hold the mouse over the top left corner of the screen you could get all of the running apps to display. By right clicking on them I was able to bring up a context menu that allowed me to close each one individually. analysis of website (Note the business offer in my Inbox. Sounds almost too good to be true!)

I was also able to bring up the Task Manager (sans any other tab, i.e. Performance, Processes, etc.) and do the same from within the Desktop view but that just doesn’t seem like the proper way to close an app.

Overall this was fun to play with but I really have a hard time seeing the value in having this UI on a PC. There’s so much real estate on a typical computer that these apps with big fonts and no menus really seem to be a waste of space. I also realize this is a Preview and there may be many other changes and modifications to this by the time it hits the streets. I went into this one blind, purposely ignoring anything I stumbled across online about Windows 8 so I could try and approach it from more of a typical consumer standpoint. I also had a friend try it out and they were convinced pretty quickly that they would be sticking with Windows 7 for a while yet.

Tomorrow I’ll try and stick a few different people in front of the laptop and see what kind of reactions I get from them.

Now to catch up on my Windows Weekly Podcast!

Amazing size comparison of our Earth to the Sun…

This amazes me every time I watch it. A size comparison of the Earth to the Sun and then to ever larger (an understatement) bodies in the Universe.

Wow!

Puerto Plata

It’s with a heavy heart that I spent the day reminiscing about a perfect vacation that we embarked on one year ago today.

On February 23rd, 2011, Siobhan, Me, Phoebe, Cory, Dana, Steve and a plane load of Dana and Steve’s friends flew to Puerto Plata to spend a week at the Iberostar Costa Dorada in the Dominican Republic. Steve’s good friends were getting married there and we were invited to join them all.

The trip was perfect! (did I say that already??) The people of the D.R. were some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Always smiling and always there to have a laugh. The resort was perfect and the food and drinks were great. We had one bartender – Julien, who served me up a “Red Fruity Drink” at 10:30 one morning after I had spent an hour hunting the resort grounds trying to find anyone I knew. I then introduced the rest of the gang to Julien and the drink and we’ve been hooked ever since. After returning home we spent many weekends trying to figure out the right mix of different beverages until we were happy with what we had.

We made many new friends, and shared many great memories. The Star Friends were great, the staff was great. Elvis, the excursion salesman in the hotel lobby was a great help. He introduced us to Mindy, a wonderful tour guide who took us out and showed us the sights of the city. We had a great bus and boat ride to “Paradise Island” where we went snorkeling. We experienced the beauty and simplicity of a Caribbean Resort wedding.

Up until this trip I had never really thought about going South for a vacation… since this trip I haven’t stopped thinking about returning. The only problem is that I want to go to other places but at the same time I want to revisit the Iberostar Costa Dorada!

Check out the video below. I put it together as soon as we returned. The music is the same music we heard throughout our trip, ending with the Iberostar theme song (Dale Palla) that was played every night at the end of the show. If you look closely you can see Siobhan dancing on the stage at the end of the video.

What a trip!

The Policeman and the Computer Fixer

Nathan is quite curious everytime I start to work on a computer. He was quite happy to get his hands on the screwdriver and start fixing his Qimo computer.

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When I asked Nathan today what he wanted to be when he grew up was quick to tell me he wanted to be a Policeman.

Nicholas, on the otherhand, has always been the one to say he wanted to be a computer fixer and move to Fiji… and then maybe to Africa and learn another language.

Let’s try this again…

Let’s see if I can continue this blog where it left off three years ago. First of all I think I have all of the hacked stuff fixed… however a lot of links to pictures and my old gallery don’t work anymore. I’ve been working on it but with all the damage that was done by the hack I’ve pretty much given up on it now. Facebook has taken over the sharing duties that this blog once did for my family and friends so I don’t know how things will progress with this… I’ll give it a shot though.

Three years of missed blog entries… hmmmm… where to start….? The biggest thing that has happened in my life in the past three years has been the birth of our second son, Nathan. He’s about to celebrate his third Birthday in a month and he’s been a real nut to have in our family. We also have a nephew, Alexander, who was born a couple of months after Nathan.

I’ve done a bit of travel, to the Dominican Republic and Florida. I’ve seen the second last space shuttle launch.

Apple has entered our lives. Two iPhones, a couple of iPods and an AppleTV, with no end in sight. All of these devices have been hacked in some way of course. XBMC is how I watch most TV shows and Movies.

Work is the same, more or less.

And to top it all off, I’m still married to the best wife in the world, and no, she didn’t make me write this. 🙂

So that’s a quick rundown on the past three years. Hopefully I’ll keep on top of this again now!

Hacked!

My sites were all hacked last week. I’ve been at it here and there trying to get things back up and running and slowly but surely I am managing to get some stuff sorted out. It could be a while before all is back to normal, but I will have fun trying to fix it all.

Wish me luck!

Rene

It’s a boy!

Siobhan went to St. John’s a few weeks ago to do some Christmas shopping with her sister Dana. A couple days before she left we phoned U C Baby to see if they would do a sex determination on a Saturday. No prob. She just had to be there at 4:00pm.

It’s a boy!

Her and Dana had an amazing experience. The lady who did the ultrasound told us that it looked like a boy. The baby is a bit further along then they recommend and is bigger and more squat in the belly, but they were able to see enough to make a educated guess that it’ll be a boy!

See Ya Poppy Keeping

We received an early morning phone call a couple of weeks ago from Siobhan’s Uncle. It was to tell us that Siobhan’s Grandfather had passed away in the night. It was unexpected news and shocked everyone.

From there we packed up the next morning and left for Ramea to be with the rest of the family and to have his funeral.

Pop Keeping

You will be remembered Poppy.

October 2008

Nicholas has had a very busy and exciting month of october.
 
Siobhan started putting up Halloween decorations around the house early in the month and we weren’t sure how Nicholas was going to react. The first time he came home from Daycare after most of the decorations were up he was asking questions like, “Are they happy pumpkins?” “Are they Smiling?” He was defintly unsure if he liked these new things. But with our reassurance he was fine and reallly started to love the idea of decorating and having spooky smiling decorations out!
 
Nicholas and his big Skull! 
 
We went to St. John’s for Thankgiving (a tradition we are hoping to continue for the years to come). His Godmom just got a Chocolate Lab puppy named Boone. This was their first time meeting, and Nicholas was scared to death. He cried at first and didn’t want the cute little fellow around. But once he got use to him he was ok. When Boone used to come around, Nicholas would curl up in a ball and say, “He’s kissing me, He’s kissing me,” and we would have to rescue him from all the kisses boone was giving. By the end of it he loved Boone and loved giving him his treats and wanted to be with him while he slept.
 
The day before Thanksgiving we went to Lester’s Farm. We visited the animals, ran through the corn maze, picked out our pumpkins and had a great day. Thanks again Godmom and Steve for letting us come visit.
 
Nicholas and the Pumpkins! 
 
Our most interesting experience of the trip to St. John’s was having Nicholas wake up one morning complaining about his ear. After a few minutes of trying to figure out what was wrong he proclaimed, “I got it” in a somewhat somber tone. When we turned on the light he had an earwig on his finger! Twenty minutes later we were at the Janeway and the doctor checked him out. There was a leg left in there, but nothing to worry about. 
 
Little bug 
 
About a week ago Nicholas came down with this really nasty cold. We took him to see the nusrse but she said that he was being a trooper and that she didn’t want him to take any antibiotic, just keep doing what we were doing to help him feel better.
 
We carved our pumpkins and Nicholas choose the simplest one for his pumpkin. I choose the pirate’s skull and Siobhan did the Hershey Kiss one. It was fun. Nicholas wouldn’t touch the pumpkin guts but loving trying to help carve them up. 
 
Helping carve the pumpkins. 
 
Pumpkins! 
 
Yesterday was his first Daycare party. Nicholas was really excited to put on his GREEN SKELETON costume and Siobhan put on her Tweety costume and off we went.
Tonight is trick or treating and hopefully he will enjoy it. He seems to understand what it is all about and he knows that we have to knock on people’s doors and say Trick or Treat to get candies. Hopefully he will last and not get contrary or tired. Time will tell. 
 
Daycare party. 
 
  
Happy Halloween
Trick or Treat.

Targa Newfoundland

A few weeks ago Nicholas and I went to Gander for a night. The main purpose of our trip was to catch some of the Targa Newfounfland action.We got to Gander just in time to see the cars racing through the streets. We found a great spot to park so we could stay in the truck and see over the heads of the other spectators while we stayed nice and warm in the truck. Nicholas loved it, every car he saw he would ask, “Is that a Ford?” or “Is that a Corvette?” He loved it. After we were done with the racing we went to the Arena and checked out the car show. The little man loved it all. We took his picture with a bunch of car and he made sure to examine a bunch of them very carefully.  

Nicholas posing with a Lotus Exige  

Hopefully next year’s Targa will be just as much fun for us!