i-think Twenty-Two

Now with more coherency.

Tweet Command Line Client 1.0.7 Available

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After what has felt like an extremely long period of testing and tweaking, I am finally making Tweet, my command line Twitter client, available to the general public. It’s clearly the Twitter client of the future as we prepare for the re-emergence of the command shell.

You can find more information about Tweet by checking out the page dedicated just to it at: http://tweet.i-think22.net/.

If you have any troubles, let me know at http://feedback.i-think22.net/

Vista's point of maturity

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There’s been a lot of bad press about Windows Vista. Some of it warranted, but a lot of it seems to be just jumping on the Anti-Vista bandwagon. Let’s face it, there is a large (or perhaps just vocal) community out there that automatically dislikes anything coming out of Microsoft. Within this community it is “cool”.

I admit that I’ve been drawn to Linux in the past and I believe Linux does indeed have its place, but in the current form (and all the directions I’ve seen) I would never recommend it for general use by the community (both technical and non-technical) and would absolutely recommend against it in an enterprise environment (unless of course there were some very specific needs that Linux met better).

Working with the .NET Framework over the past 12 months I have been amazed by its richness and power. I love .NET’s generics implementation, a feature whose need becomes evident very quickly. But most importantly I have been impressed with the tools. Visual Studio 2008, IntelliSense and the MSDN library help bring joy to the activity of development. Perhaps even more importantly, they provide the opportunity to expand knowledge rapidly.

Best of all is that Microsoft is not standing still. They are rapidly advancing the .NET framework and working on new exciting developer and testing tools that will be part of Visual Studio 2010.

Microsoft has recognised its mistakes with Internet Explorer and has done incredible work with Internet Explorer 8. Bringing standards compliance to the Internet’s most dominant web browser is no mean feat and to achieve it with minimal disruption will be an outstanding achievement. I am confident that Microsoft will be able to do this and we will see more innovation in the web browser industry.

Two weeks ago I bought an Xbox 360 of my very own and have been absolutely thrilled with the console, the games and the recent improvements to the Xbox dashboard (including the ability for me to finally run my Xbox at my monitor’s native 1680 x 1050 resolution). The Xbox 360 controller is a huge improvement on the original and far friendlier on the hands than its Playstation counterpart.

Microsoft’s mice are among the most comfortable that I’ve used. Sure, they’ve had a few that don’t quite meet the mark, but I’ve been generally impressed with Microsoft’s mice for over ten years.

Then there is Microsoft Office. The 2007 release was a risky endeavour with the new ribbon UI. An interface that I feel has worked to improve most regular operations. Still, I accept that such a massive shift can be frightening for users, although not having to trawl through menu screens may provide some compensation. The ribbon UI was the most prominent new feature of Office 2007 which unfortunately overshadowed some of the great improvements to the templates which finally made it easy to create great looking documents.

And finally back to Windows Vista. Drivers were always going to be an issue, but by now this has been addressed and those manufacturer’s that haven’t updated their drivers are probably not worth dealing with (ignoring legacy hardware). User Account Control (UAC) is arguably not as big a problem as is suggested. Sure, IT professional’s are constantly tinkering with the innards of Windows, but an extra warning when I install software is perfectly acceptable. Indeed once a computer has been set up, these prompts are rare to non-existant unless you find yourself downloading software often (which is arguably a high level action anyway).

All up I’m quite happy with Windows Vista and have realised that sometime in the past six months I have shifted from being hesitant to recommend it to being confident in making the recommendation. I’m not suggesting that everyone should rush out an upgrade (most people that should probably have), but if you are buying a new computer, go with Windows Vista.

And while we’re on the subject, make sure your new system is ready for Windows 7. I can’t wait.

Ads in search results

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Am I the only one sick of overly wide ad terms when conducting searches? Searching for “Windows 7” produced an ad suggesting I was able to buy “Windows 8” online today. This is just poor.

I know eBay is pretty bad with them on Google, so it isn’t a problem limited to Live search.


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A while ago I shaved off my beard. Now I’m letting some of my facial hair grow back in the form of a Mo for Movember. This lip-tickling effort is about raising awareness (and hopefully money) to help address men’s health issues, especially depression and prostate cancer.

I’m not asking you to turn your head and cough, but you can help by donating. Hell, you can donate online at my Movember page using either credit card or even PayPal. How cool is that? There site is nice and secure and even makes the address bar turn green in Firefox! My internet banking site only recently got on that bandwagon.

Talking about wagons and things that are old and obsolete, seems that even cheques are acceptable! Just write a cheque payable to Movember Foundation', referencing my Registration Number 1835396 and mail it to:

Movember Foundation PO Box 292 Prahran VIC 3181

And I haven’t even mentioned the best bit yet. Not only can you give money away while I grow my magnigificent Mo, but you can also give a bit of a smack- down to the tax man. As usual, donations over $2 are tax deductable. It’s a whole world of awesome.

If you are a tight-arse (you know who you are) you can always grow your own Mo and ask others to cough up the dough.

Of course if you do give money (remember you can donate online) it will go towards continuing to raise awareness of men’s health issues through the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue - the national depression initiative. The PCFA and beyondblue will use the funds to fund research and increase support networks for those men who suffer from prostate cancer and depression. You can’t ask for more than that. Well, you can, but it’s probably better than what you would have spent the money on. The wonderful people at Movember (it’s not just a month) have even detailed what they do spend the money on.

I’ll be posting some pictures of my Mo once it starts to properly set in. While you are waiting, why not make a donation?

Mo On!!

Your travel survival plan - Part 2

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Moving alert readinessNow that you’ve organised your duress words it is important to consider what actions you want taken when a duress word is received. Finding the right balance between a simple phone call and declaring war against a foreign country can be difficult, but is an important step to get right. Aim too high and your safety line back home may be hesitant to act (in which case you need a better safety line), too low and you may be found too late lying in an icy bathtub sans two kidneys.

The action that you choose to take should take into account the possible situation that you are in. For instance, if you have agreed to call every 30 minutes and miss a call in, phoning back is not a useful safeguard if the battery in your phone has died. For this reason it can be beneficial to split communication methods so as to not allow for a single point of failure. For instance, you may choose to write three blog posts within 24 hours to inform your safety line that you are still alive (for now) and even give away information on your whereabouts (photographs are especially good, doubly if they include Geocodes). Unfortunately this mechanism is susceptible to attack, and could also become unavailable if the country you are visiting happens to ban your website (again a potential single point of failure). You may even be travelling in an area where they don’t have internet access or mobile phone coverage.

Depending on where you are travelling and how much you want to mitigate risk you may need to invest in a good satellite phone (or two), an EPIRB satellite beacon or simply forego the holiday and spend the time in your fallout shelter, shotgun in hand watching the door. You do have a fallout shelter, right?

Better yet, why not utilise the system that has been used throughout time and take a buddy with you. At least then if you both lose your kidneys you get a wonderful shared experience to end your vacation.