Brandon Paddock

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  • Shell Team - Exploring and Using Windows Vista

    I also felt that Catherine's questions seemed to disrupt the flow of the interview/demo.  Everytime she asked a question I was thinking, "Yeah, we get it... let him keep going."  I'm just not sure she understood what kind of audience this was for... it seemed like her questions were meant to
    A) Get explanations for things that she thought might be too technical.
    B) Sort of marketing-esqe as another poster said above - like in a bad TV advert.  "So you mean I can add my own thumbnail provider?  Wowzers!!!"

    Nothing at all against Catherine, I just like Scoble's interview technique a bit better Smiley
  • Shell Team - Exploring and Using Windows Vista

    DownUnderGeek wrote:
    I always thought WinFS was pretty much a file search function.  This already seems to be part of Vista.

    So "what else" is WinFS all about ?

    WinFS is not a search technology.  WinFS is a new kind of relation data store, kind of a hybrid between a database and a filesystem.

    Instead of putting a Word document into a Folder, you'd just submit it to the database.  Then instead of browsing through a specific folder path, you would run a query to retrieve the document.

    Of course, you can still represent the data as a hierachical set of folders, but the same file can be reached through many paths.

    To the user, the basic functionality is a lot like what Desktop Search and the Vista shell will provide.  In my blog, I've posted about why I think WinFS may ultimately be unnecessary - or at least not as revolutionary as it once might have been.

    However, there are major differences between WinFS and Desktop Search - and WinFS is not directly comparable to anything currently available... except perhaps SQL Server, which is basically what WinFS is.
  • Shell Team - Exploring and Using Windows Vista

    mycroft wrote:
    Also, anyone know if there will be a text box on the taskbar for search like in Windows Desktop Search? It's nice to be able to search without opening a new window up.

    The Deskbar is not part of Windows Vista.

    The current plan as I'm aware of it, is that we'll probably still have a Deskbar for you to install onto Vista.

    Of course that's a ways out and subject to change.
  • Shell Team - Exploring and Using Windows Vista

    Manip wrote:
    Search -- Does it support a wider range of queries, such as Google's  minus (-) or quotations (" ") or some other Microsoft home-grown format for getting exactly what you want? 

    I think they're supporting the same or similar syntax to what the current version of Windows Desktop Search uses for Advanced Query Syntax.  Vista uses our indexer but the Shell team is kind of doing their own thing... So I can't say for sure.

    But I believe you should be able to say "kind:email" or "To:John Smith"

    And stuff like that.

  • Office Communicator

    scobleizer wrote:

    Manip: synchronize Outlook? Or synchronize your PC in general?

    Exchange keeps my Outlook synchronized automatically among multiple machines.

    I have an Exchange server.  And you can pry it from my cold, dead hands.

    But before a few months ago, I didn't have an Exchange server.  Those were the dark times.

    Seriously though... One thing I want more than anything from Microsoft is very simple:

    Exchange Personal Edition.

    I would actually name it something cooler, but I'm being realistic in my request Tongue Out

    MSN has worked toward this with Hotmail (which, as I understand, is now Exchange 2003 powered) - offering very good Outlook integration (for e-mail, calendar, contacts, etc).

    But there are still a lot of features it lacks.  If they added full mobile support (ie. Server Activesync) and OWA... it would be close.  They also need to fix the way Outlook rules apply to secondary accounts.
  • Pablo Fernicola (and others) - An hour with the Avalon Team

    nukeation wrote:

    Bottom line is, just wait till this goes BETA. Then see what people will do with Avalon - anyone who is not convinced then will surely be.

    Thanks for the response, although I still have questions.

    My biggest concern remains Avalon integration with VS 2005.  Is Avalon going to ship with VS 2005, or be an add-on?  Right now it looks like the latter.

    That's what I meant by "second-class citizen."  I'd rather have Avalon in VS 2005 from the get-go.  Unfortunately, my understanding is that it won't be ready in time.  Will we see a VS 2006 update?  Or will Avalon remain an add-on like it is in the current CTPs?
  • Pablo Fernicola (and others) - An hour with the Avalon Team

    What I want to know is:

    How does Avalon relate to Windows Forms 2.0?  Does it?

    From what I understand, when I fire up Visual Studio 2005 (after beta 2 or RTM), the visual Designer mode will feature Windows Forms 2.0 controls.  But those aren't Avalon controls.

    So, will VS 2005 support Avalon controls in the designer?  Is Avalon and the rest of WinFX planned to be released along with .NET 2.0 and VS 2005, or after?

    Will Avalon apps require users to install a redistributable package in addition to the .NET Framework 2.0?  Or will .NET 2.0 support Avalon out of the box (so to speak)?

    Avalon (especially paired with tools like ZAM 3D) has me very excited.  But I'm a little concerned about:

    1) When does Microsoft expect developers to start writing Avalon applications instead of Windows Forms apps.  When VS 2005 comes out?  When Longhorn comes out?  When Orcas comes out?

    2) Will Avalon be a second-class citizen in Visual Studio 2005?

    3) How many prerequisites are Avalon apps going to have for the end-user on XP/2003 (I'm making the assumption that none will be needed on Longhorn).

  • Ben Armstrong - Running Virtual PC and Virtual Machines

    Haha, I caught that Longhorn screen as soon as the video started.  I wonder if he's running the build we'll get in two weeks at WinHEC Wink
  • Introducing MSN Toolbar Suite - Silicon Valley team (and demo!)

    For reference, on my system I had it index my documents, emails, downloads, pictures, videos, and music, along with my network dropbox share.

    All told, it indexed about 250GB of files in about 10 minutes.

    This is on an A64 3200+ with 1GB memory.  Very quick indeed.

  • Introducing MSN Toolbar Suite - Silicon Valley team (and demo!)

    Shannon wrote:
    How does this compare to Copernic Desktop Search?
    Does it index music (file names and ID3 ifo)?
    Does it index images?
    Does it index videos?
    Does it index Firefox Internet cache and history? 
    IE Internet cache and history?  
    Can you configure the file types to index (locations or full text)? 
    Does index content of Word docs and PDF?
    Does it have a preview window for full-text searches?
    Does it highlight search terms in the preview window?

    So far, I've found that it does index media files (at least WMA, but I'm pretty sure others as well).  However it won't do so if you have shmedia.dll unloaded (as Explorer won't be able to access that information either).

    It also indexes Word documents.  And a user above said that Indexing Service plugins work, including one for PDF files.

    So I'd imagine it's quite customizeable at that level.

    As for browsing history, I don't think it does it yet.  But I'll keep looking.
  • Dan Appleman - Where are teenagers feeling computing pain?

    On cookies:

    Like Scoble said, your personal information isn't written to a cookie.  The cookie writes a text string which identifies you to the server.  The server then can look-up the information you provided when you last visited the site (because your information is stored alongside that text string on the server).

    The server can only store what information you give it... So many people, including my own grandmother (who was brainwashed by my "all-knowing" mac-evangelist uncle) think that simply by having cookies enabled, people can find her address and come to her house and steal all of her earthly possessions.

    At the same time, she had her iMac plugged directly into the cable modem (and it wasn't one of the new ones with built-in NAT). 

    Which, of course, I fixed for her.

    The other thing about cookies is that the ONLY site that can access a specific cookie is the one that created it in the first place.

    The only "abuse" of cookies that has become commonplace is that used by Ad companies. 

    Basically, countless web pages who use the same Ad service have an include that both pulls the advertisement from the Ad server, AND lets the ad server access its own cookie. 

    The way they use this is simple... When you click on an Ad, the Ad server registers that you clicked on a certain kind of ad... maybe one for a new computer system.

    Then the next time you go to a site that uses that particular Ad service, their include can check your cookie, look you up in their database, and say "hey, this guy (user 25234523423423423) clicked on an ad for Gateway in the past.  Let's show him an ad for Dell instead of the one for Coke."

    At no point does the ad service have your name, phone number, address, or anything else...  Even if you buy something from one of their clients.  Only their client should get your information.

    So they can track your tastes, or which of *their* websites you like to visit... but nothing more.
  • Dean Hachamovitch - Do you have the hottest seat at Microsoft?

    Personally, I am very very fond of Avant Browser (  It's a completely free IE shell with several features that I've come to rely on.

    Here they are in no particular order:

    1) Pop-up blocking.  IE has this now, but didn't when I started using Avant.

    2) Ad blocking.  Can be done manually for IE by editing the HOSTS file, but that's not exactly user-friendly Smiley  Of course, this I think is the least likely to be added to IE... as Ads are in many cases a legitimate money maker for web sites.

    3) Tabs.  When I discovered that I could middle-click on a link and have it open up in a background tab, I fell in love with Avant.  Before Avant I would have to right-click, select "Open in new window," and then alt-tab back to the original page.
    Avant's tabbing system is especially useful for forum browsing and research.

    4) More menu customizeability.  My monitor's resolution is 1920x1200, and I like having my Back/Forward/Stop etc. toolbar at the upper left, with the File/Edit/etc. menus to the right of them, and the tab window MDI controls (maximize, minimize tabs, etc.) on the right.  ALL on the same line, though.  With the address and search bar on the second line, and my customized Links bar on the third.  I keep my tabs themselves at the bottom of the screen, just above the status bar.

    5) Inline search queries.  I can type "g robert scoble blog" into the address bar and get a google search for that string.  Or I can type "d combustification" to lookup that word on

    And most recently, I've set it up so that I can type "kb 145629" to look up any KB article by its number in the MS knowledge base.  This has become a great way for me to look up the details of a particular hotfix.