Ramblings of a Coder's Mind

Got Tech? Will Hack.

Trying Minefield 3.7a1pre

Ever since I started using Win7 (first public beta) I have liked one thing about Internet Explorer that Firefox couldn’t do. This was the ability to use Win7’s Aero prowess completely rendering each tab in the Aero preview for Firefox. At the time, Microsoft hadn’t come out with the Win7 UX Interaction Guide but it’s been out for a few months and I was quite disappointed that Mozilla didn’t jump at the opportunity to release an upgrade.

A couple of weeks back, I saw screen shots of my friends’ browsers and noticed they were using Minefield. They confirmed

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MP!L Forum Elite Member

You might have heard about Messenger Plus! Live, a Windows Live Messenger add-on that has over 62 million users already. I’ve been on their support forum for nearly 5 years now and been a beta tester for nearly 2 years.

Early on the morning of the 27th of October I stumbled upon a thread simply titled “New Elite Members” and I found this interesting since it was the first time in my 5 years on the forum that new additions to the staff were being made. I opened it to see who the lucky people were. I

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Windows 7 Launch Party

Windows 7 Launch Party is a party organized by individuals in their homes, offices or other commercial venues celebrating the launch of Windows 7 and showing off its prowess. Its being done through the House Party website and the only reason its not called that is because Microsoft didn’t want to restrict the venue to homes. Great PR is what I say.

Why am I giving you stale news? Well, this isn’t really news but I applied around the first week of September got selected first as a candidate host then got a confirmed host status. Last night I

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Anonymous Microsoft Developer opens AMA discussion on reddit

Ever wanted to ask what really goes on at Microsoft to a softie? Want to know about some random bytes of code inside Windows? Want to know who really killed Microsoft Bob? Well, here’s your chance!

Ask him about anything from life at Microsoft to questions on their product and business strategies. As he puts it, he will try to answer them without getting fired :P

I worked on Vista and Windows 7, and will also be working on Windows 8. Ask me anything you want about the company, culture, lifestyle, seattle, products, etc. and I'll answer the best

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Dell Win7 x64 sound driver updates cause system freeze

I noticed that Dell had finally released updates for some of their drivers on their support site for a Dell Studio XPS 1640 on Windows 7 x64. I immediately started downloading them and after a reboot noticed that the update for IDT sound driver causes a freeze in any application trying to do anything related to sound. No updates on their track pad drivers it is so we continue to use Windows Vista drivers.

Speaking of IDT drivers causing serious woes, I would suggest to every Dell Studio XPS 1640 user planning to upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7

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Building a Home Server: Part 1

The first question in your head would be “Why the world do I need a Home Server?“

Good question. I’d like to ask you a couple of things. Do you have multiple machines in your house? Do you ever feel like you should have centralized storage in your house? Do you have old hardware simply lying around the house waiting to be tinkered with? Do you like playing with your machines?

If you said yes to (most) of the above questions, having a Home Server could help you :) It can handle not only centralized storage of media and documents but also backups. Have you ever needed a file from computer x in your house and found it was shut down after being used by a family member? Well, you wouldn’t have this issue if you had a central server. People could go around switching off their machines all they want as long as you have the file you want on your Storage Server.

Lets get into it then. From now, I’ll walk you through how to make your old machine into a Network Attached Server (NAS).

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Sensible Vision's FastAccess on Windows 7

Sensible Vision came out with this pretty amazing software called FastAccess that does a decent job at facial recognition. But using it on Windows 7 has given me a few issues so I thought I should just talk about it.

I’ve been using Windows 7 ever since the first beta was made public. I have been using Sensible Vision’s FastAccess on every build I’ve used so far. Currently, my laptop is on Windows 7 build 7137.

I have 3 major issues with FastAccess.

  1. On every boot, it refuses to log me in. But if I logout/lock workstation and

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Visit to Microsoft, Redmond

Firstly, I’d like to apologize to all that have been waiting for this. My health and unusually booked schedules are to blame. Lets get into the trip on a day to day basis then!

Before I begin, I’d like to thank Microsoft for having us in Seattle despite the prior two scheduling issues. More importantly, I’d like to thank Jas who did a great job of not only showing us around campus but around Redmond, Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland and other neighboring places always making sure we get the best experience during our trip, getting a chance to try out different things and to keep each one of us happy. He really did make the trip perfect in every respect and for that I’d like to thank him on behalf of my entire team. Of course, thanks to the Interop team as well for having us there and giving us the opportunity to interview. The experience we bring back from meeting all those great people will indeed carry us a long way.

There are quite a few things that I saw a lot of which, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of. If I was, I have uploaded them to my Picasa Web albums here.

Beware, the post is (4500 words) HUGE. Sorry about that. :P Without further adieu, let’s begin!

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First hand at F#

With the release of the first beta of Visual Studio 2010 which includes support for F#, it was only a matter of time till I tried my hand at it.

I don’t go for Hello World programs. Apart from C, the first code I’ve written in every other language (since I heard this question) has been the same. Keeping up tradition, here’s the F# port.

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The power of the Windows key!

The Windows key might have started as something a tad bit redundant (considering Ctrl+Esc does the same thing) but the Windows Key is so much more.

I have already spoken about the Win+(1-9) to activate programs in Vista’s Quick Launch Toolbar and its transition to taskbar applications in Windows 7. Of course, everyone knows about Win+Tab activating Aero Flip 3D but there is more to this.

Here is one that really strikes me as super-useful. On Windows 7, you can now use Win+Up to maximize a window, Win+Down to restore a maximized window and minimize a restored one, Win+Left/Right to

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