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I realised a few days ago that one of the most under-utilized features of my blog is the ability to subscribe to the comments feed.

This would be of particular interest to anyone that’s interested in having a high-level overview of everything that’s going on.  Noone can follow every single post, so subscribing to the comments gives you a view of “all comments from all posts” so you get to see all the questions/answers behind the scenes.

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Could Microsoft be catching the presentation bug?

People are becoming more and more aware that presentation style is important.  Sites like have done a fantastic job of thrownig tips out there and doing style-comparisons.

Last night we hosted another user group meeting – The topic was AJAX/Atlas and Christian Beauclair from Microsoft came to town to deliver the talk.

As he delivered the presentation I noticed a huge change in the normal Microsoft slide-style.  It was practically void of bullets and instead filled with 1 liners which kept the focus on him, a great speaker I might add.
I was thrilled to see this so after the talk as we strolled across the campus I mentioned the style-change.  He informed me that they (His team) were trying out a new style – a bullet-free-style!

I’ll be honest I’m not a big fan of their bullet infested huge complex-chart/diagram style presentations so this is a huge step in the right direction.

In other news, something I was unaware of until last night is that Microsoft recently (Sept11-06) renamed Atlas and it is now known in 3 ways:

  • The Atlas client-side library has become the Microsoft AJAX Library (MAJAX)
  • The Atlas server-side library has become the ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions
  • The Atlas Control Toolkit has become the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit

Stop bloating my code!

While testing out some of the cool new featuers in SharePoint 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh, I noticed there is a lot of code-rewriting going on when you use the HTML editing features built into the new WCM content-editing control.

For example:

I wrote a simple inline style to add some padding to a DIV – I took full advantage of CSS shorthand while specifying my properties but unfortunately the editor decided “it knows best” – and took:

<div style=”padding:10px;”>My div</div>

and turned it into

<div style=”
PADDING-BOTTOM:10px;> My Div</div>

While I assume the reasoning for this is the average user may not be HTML literate, I would assume most people opting to use this feature are more like myself and relatively well versed in writing leaner, more semantic HTML. If you are like me you probably utter profanities at any editor that feels the need to change your code.

If you feel you absolutely must have the code-changing option available at least give me the option to say “no thanks” – and if you can’t do that, then at least do it right.

Maybe I am missing something here? Is there an issue with using CSS shorthand inline? I rarely ever use inline code – this was a throw-away example.

A weekend of techo-spending

This weekend while quite busy with various projects was also filled with various suprise shopping sprees.  Amanda started it off by buying us each a Pocket PC (The UTStarcom) which I’m very impressed with thus far.

We pondered the Motorolla Q but quite frankly I am just more fond of the PocketPC.  Sure the Q has great form factor but I just don’t see me utilizing it as much as I will the PCversion.  I mean C’mon Mobile OneNote and PowerPoint? Woo-hoo.

Of course what good is a mobile device without memory?  Off to the local Future Shop we went to find some MINI-SD cards where we managed to find a couple of 2GB cards which were actually very reasonably priced.

We also somewhere over the course of the weekend managed to obtain several other suprise gifts which included an outdoor fire pit (great addition to the yard) and a copy of EA Sports NHL 2007 (freakin dynamite!).

It was a great weekend of techie gifts! :)

Xbox 360: NHL 2007

Finally a decent hockey game has been released for the Xbox 360 console!  I have always been a fan of the EA Sports NHL series and was pretty rotted when I brought my 360 that there was no version of the 2006 game available.  The Rockstar series just didn’t cut it at all for me.  In fact it was probably my biggest disappointment of all the games I have played for the 360.

Today Shane picked up NHL 2007 for me and man oh man…it ROCKS!  The graphics are amazing and the new stick controls just bring a whole new level of interactivity to the game.  Even though I lost my first game..*cough* cheap goal * was still awesome. 

Unfortunately the last thing I need right now is a killer game to act as a distraction from the sky high pile of things Shane and I have on our plates.  However I am hoping that a 15-20 minute game will help us recharge in between tasks so it will in fact help our productivity.  At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Xbox 360: Cranium Pop5 Videos

Looks like the guys from the Gamerscore blog were having some fun creating videos acting out some of the scenarios from Cranium.  You can see a list on their blog post of the videos they created but my personal fave was this one.  It’s proof that there is just no way to hide that giant power adapter…it will in fact pop up anywhere.

I have always been a fan of Cranium so I look forward to checking this out though I am not sure how close to the real thing it will get.

The importance of listening to your customers

I think it’s crucial to point out that it’s very evident that Microsoft is listening to the partners, customers and the community.

From the new communication strategies (Blogs), to the User Experience Programs, Microsoft is obviously paying close attention, taking notes and making modifications where possble.

Here’s a little proof:

Sure Microsoft has many paid evangelists but In my opinion the key to successful communication is creating a userbase that will evangelize your product, simply because they believe in it.
I also think they’re also on track to obtain this status with both Vista and the Office 2007 Stack (Which also just so happen to be the companies two flagship products)