NMStoker NMStoker

Niner since 2006


  • Chittur Subbaraman: Inside Windows 7 - Service Controller and Background Processing

    Firstly, Charles & Chittur - thank you for a really interesting video.

    It's great to see this sort of thing is being worked on - from my experience (I've got the Win7 beta on my laptop) it appears to be helping and I'm pretty impressed with the speed improvements (things are not 100% but that's par for the course with something like this).

    Also, do you think now this more mature design is available, you (Microsoft) might be able to try some "tough love" with those hardware/software manufacturers who aren't doing a good job.  I'm thinking of the sort of scenario where you have some gadget that's incredibly useful, poor quality code probably won't make me stop using it (unless it's seriously flawed) but it drags down my whole machine to some extent... and all because they've got some lame service running permanently that needn't be.

    Typically speaking, even if you are able to pinpoint the performance on the item (which isn't always the case unless you're more technical than I am, but you can get a fair sense that it's negatively affecting things) you will get ZERO response from the software writer's / manufacturer's support - they already have your money, the guy dealing with support might not understand the issue or he might be jaded since there are countless false problems so he's going to ignore your legitimate problem.  Maybe sometimes they'll be dealing with it internally, but you won't ever get any acknowledgement.

    It would be great if you got onto their case either discretely "having a polite word" or (preferably to my mind, since it's more open) by publishing lists of widely used services where design could be improved by simple adjustments (i.e. run as a task under task host).

    Two particular cases that spring to mind, which must affect huge swathes of PCs:
    Sun's Java update check service
    Adobe's Acrobat Reader update check service

    These two things run always - they have a legitimate purpose (yes, it's good to get updates on these bits of software) but it doesn't merit their own schedulers starting every single time I boot Windows!  Also, if they used Task Scheduler, you could tweak the frequency of checking yourself (and there's no need to learn a new UI - Task Scheduler exists!)

    Anyway, just putting my two cents in...  Smiley


  • More PDC Fun with Laura

    Sure it's trivial, but you know the whole "A-jeur" pronounciation is going to get extremely irritating... let's hope no one calls the cops and gets me jzapped by a Tay-jer ("Tazer") Smiley
  • Countdown to PDC2008: Technical Fellow John Shewchuk Talks About His Talk at PDC2008

    yes - i get the ringing too and the video ends abruptly... did something go wrong with posting or editing?
  • Tafiti Quick App: Behind the Scenes with Marc Mercuri

    dentaku wrote:
    Basically, it's broken. How many people know how to turn off the Google Toolbar blocker or the one built into the browser?
    Almost nobody knows how to do that so they will assume the site doesn't work and never try it again. That's a failure and that's too bad because it's a good concept.

    Winter blues got you down dentaku? Big Smile

    I fail to see how one could reasonably say it's broken... (before or after the addition of the blocker message)

    If people don't know how to turn off their pop-up blocker (Google or otherwise) then they are hardly the most observant and whilst I wish them no ill, they would only have themselves to blame.  IE7 flashes up about pop-ups in most cases and Google has a counter indicating the number of blocked items.

    If these hypothetical people showed a bit of natural curiosity ("hmmn, that didn't work like I thought it would.  What might be wrong?  Oh, that thing just changed at the top of the screen") then I'm sure they'd be zooming along happily in no time.

    Now it has a blatant help message they have no excuse.
  • Karsten Januszewski and Tim Aidlin: Floating Freely in Flotzam

    Anybody else think, from looking at the screenshot where someone's holding their fingers at each edge of the window, that this was going to be a groovy "Microsoft Surface" type demo.

    Don't get me wrong, Karsten and Tim's work is awesome, but I am a sucker for that Surface/FTIR stuff... it rocks!
  • Microsoft Research TechFest - Technology on the Wall

    Rory wrote:
    (What is it with people lately?)

    Hey Rory!  Loving the videos (both the content and style).  Am sure you don't need advice from me, but if I were you, I'd take encouragement from what I strongly suspect are the often silent yet approving majority here...

    The videos are great - please don't change them!  Sure, things can always be made "better" especially in this live-capture style, but there's a trade-off and you mustn't kill the spontanaeity.  That said, I hope you'll keep an open mind to comments even if they do come in a poorly expressed or seemingly critical manner.

    Now for the video content! That shared personal space message board thing was impressive - I'd been thinking about doing something similar with my old Xbox and a cheap LCD screen, but this is way neater than I'd've managed!

    Perhaps some of these ideas might feed into Sideshow apps soon? (I know there are limitations on them but the core of the ideas could probably work on Sideshow)  I'd love to have something like this on my brand new Momento picture frame Big Smile
  • Looking at XNA - Part Two

    Wow!  A word oft used too lightly... but wow.

    This is my favourite video on Channel9 and that's amongst a peer group of really quite impressive stuff.

    I watched it avidly - twice.  And not just because I was trying to find out when Rory called Frank Mike Big Smile

    I'd spotted the large HD thing too - although (and I don't want to sound snooty) but this isn't breaking news - there've been shots of the >20Gb drives surfacing from Korea and Japan since early November I think.  Good to see it with our own eyes though!

    I think XNA is going to be one of the great advantages of the 360 over PS3. It takes things beyond the "boxes of chips" and the machine specs into the creative fun arena, which ironically was falling out of gaming.  Sony toyed with software tools and the public before (they released a Linux build for PS2) - but let's be honest (and I may be tempting MS bashers here, opps!)  Which company in recent years has the better reputation for software and engaging with users:


    I feel it's clearly the latter.  The Japanese have been worried about the software issues since their MITI govt projects in the 80s!  PS1 and 2 stuff has been impressive and I've enjoyed playing games on them, but without pushing the envelope on the creative side, as XNA and other tools are doing, they will be left behind.  They'll find they have no games with the famed "sweaty palms" feeling

    Top points also to MS for doing this in an open yet sensible way: letting people use tools, not killing the golden goose of premium games and still managing to tap into a new part of the market (after all, your typical enthusiast isn't going to get into giving away £50 games.  Well, not till they chuck the day job!)

    One final point (brevity not my strong point tonight!): is there a plan in place to help get people (enthusiasts) together to learn stuff / have intro classes / swap advice etc.  MS could really get the ball rolling there - even if they then left it to people to socialise and take it to the next level.  It needn't be some uber-fancy conference show; just make it a Channel9 type meeting in a hotel somewhere; do them all over and the people will come.  I'm sure of it.  Yes, this could be done via internet communities, but face-to-face is exactly what this type of learning benefits from.

    Thanks again Rory and Frank.