Good News and Bad News

The Good News is that Shane surprised me while he was out on Friday and picked me up a few things, one of which was an Advanced AV Pack for my Xbox.

The Bad News is that it wasn’t at all what I needed.

The Good News is that it was for hooking up to a HDTV TV, which is something we wanted to get anyways.

The Bad News is that after looking around I couldn’t find an Xbox accessory that did what I needed. (Which was to output simultaneously to more than one device)

The Good News is that I DID find a bunch of $2 connectors at Wal-Mart that did the trick perfectly.

The Bad News is that now you will be forced to watch more of my lameass gaming movies. Muhahahahaha.

The greatest news is that I will stop posting this good news / bad news stuff now that I have gotten it out of my system.

Lineage II Beta

Aside from the Infopath good news, I also got this gem in my inbox earlier today:

We appreciate your interest in the Lineage II closed beta test and would like to extend an invitation for you to participate at this time.

I haven’t been in a game beta since Asheron’s Call 2 so I’m interested in seeing what it’s like and providing a little feedback whenever I can (I love any chance I get to do that).

Infopath Preview Released

The Infopath SP-1 Preview is available for download. How sweet is that news?? I am currently working on designing a solution that utilizes InfoPath, Sharepoint and Web Services to enhance our sales team workflow. So I was hoping that I could get my hands on the service pack as soon as possible since I already knew I could take advantage of some of the new features that were leaked/released a while ago.

I have loved InfoPath since I first played with it during the Office System 2003 Beta. However I was always disappointed at some of the things I found that were missing. The release of the reasonably feature rich service pack helps me believe that there is a lot more to come for InfoPath and while it’s potential has yet to be truly tapped…it will be.

InfoPath & Sharepoint are tools that are ideal for individuals like myself that are obsessed about efficient processes and information sharing. I am now empowered to create the sites, forms, lists, and workflows that I would typically require a developer to implement.

Given that we are a development company, there are certainly lots of developers around. However taking one off client work for an “internal improvement” project requires a signed photo from Porky the Pig after his first Trans-Atlantic flight – so often I found myself having to make due with certain inefficiencies because there was no easy way around them.

These days I can do pretty much all the work myself and break off little pieces to the development team as required. This seems to work best for everyone and progress tends to take place at a much more rapid rate – this keeps me very happy.

Some of the New Features Include:

? More control choices, including Master/Detail, File Attachment, Recursive Section, and Choice, as well as custom-authored controls..

? Better schema support, including built-in support for schema changes.

? Printing improvements, including page breaks, margins and print settings.

? Improved e-mail deployment of sandboxed solutions and auto-updating of trusted solutions.

? Better management and categorization of solutions.

? Tablet PC support improvements.

? Increased support for rules and roles for declarative business logic.

? Enhanced XPath expression support, including calculations without writing script.

? Additional data adaptors for email and SharePoint Products and Technologies lists.

? Better support for custom migration plug-ins.

? Enhanced Object Model (OM), including OnSave event, offline state, submit, and digital signatures.

? Improved support for secondary data sources.

? Additional support for business logic written in managed code (requires a separate download).

? Enhanced OM for external automation and windowless mode for application-level calls.

? Better support for ADO datasets and diffgrams to round-trip data changes.

? Additional support for complex scripts, such as right-to-left and South Asian languages.

? Enhanced support for digital signatures, including partial signatures, non-repudiation, co-signing, and counter-signing.

? Improved stability and performance, including auto-save and data recovery.

Update:

Holy Moly!! I am giggling like a 12 year old girl here at this new functionality. At least 5 major pains I had with Infopath in the past week have been resolved and I haven’t even begun to tap into the new functionality. This is direct proof that the folks at Microsoft are listening to what their customers need. Amazing!!

I can now do pretty much everything myself based on the built in functionality of Infopath. This is a big deal since I was just getting ready to hand a couple of pieces off to the development team and now I can just steamroll on ahead to get this done faster. Plus as a result, our developers can focus on more important things that require their specific skill sets and expertise.

Maybe now I won’t have to bug the heck outta Lauraj when I get stuck on something either. Although I am eternally grateful to her for the endless news and updates on the tools I love. Not to mention, her very kind offer to help me with any problems I run into. Very very cool!!

If You Ruled the World Contest

I love contests where you get to pretend that you have the supreme power. Adam Field sent me the link in an email – Thanks Adam! What a great opportunity to have your voice heard!! So get off your butts and get those ideas sent in.

If you ever wanted to make a significant impact on the gaming industry but didn’t think you had anyone’s attention – here is your chance. Otherwise you could always send the fine folks at Microsoft a video of you singing “She Bangs”.

European Xbox Live Giveaway Contest Announced

Now this is pretty darn cool!

If you live in the UK, Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, or Finland, you can win part of ?330,000 in prizes by simply being logged into Xbox Live between March 1 – and March 14, 2004.

It couldn’t be easier – for a chance to win, all gamers need to do is play any game on the Xbox Live service between 00.01hrs CET on Monday 1st March and 24.00hrs CET Saturday 14th March. Each day, between 1 and 14 March, 36 Gamertags will be chosen randomly from the Xbox Live service. The daily star prize is a cheque for ?1,000 (?675 GBP). Thirty five runners up each day will each win a stylish black and green Xbox courier bag – containing ten Xbox Live games including Project Gotham Racing 2 and Topspin, an Xbox Controller ‘S’ plus a limited edition Xbox T-shirt, for a combined prize value of ?650 (?440 GBP) per bag.

Winning Gamertags will be posted regularly on Xbox.com throughout the two week period and winners will also be notified by e-mail. Terms and conditions of the giveaway can be found at the following URL www.xbox.com/en-gb/live/live-giveaway.htm

So how do you qualify? Check out what you need to do at Xbox.com

My Xbox Meets Windows Movie Maker

One thing I have been meaning to do for a while is hook my Xbox up to my pc to capture some video so that I could start posting some of my own video clips with the reviews for my new site that I am putting together.

So last night I felt like taking a break from work for a bit and unhooked the Xbox from its usual home in our entertainment center and hooked it up in our office. I have an ATI Radeon All-in-Wonder card so I can hook the Xbox up directly to my pc. Works pretty sweet except I really need to swing by Futureshop and pick up an AV Expansion Pack so that I can output from the Xbox to my pc AND a TV. (Never really thought it through until now I guess) Right now I am recording and watching a tiny little window while I play. Very performance inhibiting but funny to watch.

From the small amount of playing around I did last night I have to say that Windows Movie Maker is awesome for video newbies like me. Shane usually uses Adobe Premiere but even he admits that WMM is pretty sweet. I still have lots to learn but the fact that I could even throw something together after playing with it for 30-45 minutes is pretty amazing. Anyways if you are up for a laugh you can check out my l33t boarding skillz here (150 kbps) or here (340 kbps).

It’s actually pretty cheesy, boring and repetitive since A) I was more interested in capturing video than playing. B) The darn window was like 2 inches big and C) I was throwing all kinds of junk in there just to figure out how stuff worked. But it’s all good since this can be the mark by which I will grade my progress from here on in.

2 Types of Geeks

OK I really cracked up reading this post from Chris Sells on why one should probably hide the fact that they are a geek.

Favorite Quotes:

Since it became obvious very early to me that geeks of the #2 sort find it nearly impossible to get girls, I learned in college to hide my geekness in mixed company (mostly : ). For example, I absolutely have to have a cell phone small enough for my front pocket because the Batman utility belt look just doesn’t say “breed with me.”

and

Plus, I’m SICK AND TIRED of fixing people’s printers. My own bloody printer doesn’t even work, and I sure as hell don’t want to spend my time fixing *yours*.

Not to mention the highly effective use of expressions like “Erblm… Futzm”. I dunno maybe the personal relevance is too high but this post really struck me as funny.