Scott Hanselman

Microsoft "MSN Direct" and Wrist.NET applied to "Wearables"

January 8, '04 Comments [2] Posted in Musings
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One of the reasons I want Wrist.NET to succeed is my belief that the only jewelry (stuff you wear all the time) that will be worn all the time in my lifetime is watches, rings and to some degree, necklaces.   Perhaps will see some displays in glasses but that's 10 years+ out and iffy at best.  A watch is a perfect size to provide me with more than just the time, and I don't carry my phone with me everywhere. 

However, a comment in my last post about the watch said that it was too much of a 'gadget' and possibly too large. He said:

"That's why I'm more interested in the smartphones or maybe even some wearables."

I'm not sure about this whole vagueness of wearables.  I'm not sure there's as much of a market for a "Flava Flav" style SPOT device, do you? 

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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NEWSFLASH: Microsoft Wrist.NET - Fossil launches new Fossil Wrist.NET Watches and is taking orders

January 8, '04 Comments [3] Posted in Musings
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Some news for me and the three other dorks ;) that will be buying one of these watches.  Fossil just sent out their opt-in email to announce the availability of their watches on the Wrist.NET MSN Direct Platform.  Here's the Microsoft Press Release and the MSN Direct Site.

There's a great PDF from the CeBIT conference here.

Here's some interesting details about the hardware:

  • 28 MHz ARM7 Baseband processor
  • 512 Kb ROM, 384 Kb RAM
  • FM Radio Receiver: 12 Kb/s data rate
  • Cool internal hardware diagram from National Semiconductor:

Of course, I'm having MINE overnighted.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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The Browser vs. The Connected Application

January 8, '04 Comments [0] Posted in XML | Web Services
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John Lam talks about the troubles he has had with Quicken vs. Money and their interactions with the browser.  He wonders: 'It will be very interesting to see what a personal finance application circa 2006 will look like. On Windows, it will most likely sport a XAML front end that calls via Indigo against Web Services provided by the various financial institutions.'

I totally agree that is a cool future, and I look forward to it, but since work for the nations leading e-Finance server provider (Corillian) to wanted to chime in.

John says the he has to log into his Bank's website to download his financial statements and wonders when this interaction will happen via Web Services.  I don't know who John banks with, but this unfortunate interaction is actually a limitation of the bank and the decisions they've made, and not a technology limitation. 

Arguably, before SOAP, before XML-RPC, the first public 'Web Service' was OFX.  Microsoft Money and Intuit's Quicken products all support connecting directly to an OFX Server at the bank over a secure connection using this XML/SGML-based protocol.

When I connect to my Financial Institutions with Money 2004 I don't have to visit any of the 8 different websites that my FI's have. All transactions are downloaded in the background and when I sit down each night to review the days transactions they've already been entered and reconciled.

Soon OFX 3.0 will include WS-I support and join the world of Web Services, but OFX has been around and in use on the web doing real work since 1997. That's 2 years before XML-RPC.

Whenever I look into a new bank or Financial Institution, I always make sure they support OFX Direct Connect - not just OFX download, which forces you to go throw the whole dance between the browser and Internet Application that John suffers with.

(By the way, this entire post was written with handwriting recognition on my tablet PC!)

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Plaxo and my Contact Database

January 7, '04 Comments [5] Posted in Musings | Tools
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Sometimes a tool just works really nicely.  There’s a lot of little inexpensive Add-Ins out there for Outlook.  Personally I use the Addins DateLens and NewsGator in Outlook because they integrate to seamlessly. 

Today, I was completely snowed in so what did I do?  I did some housecleaning.  Not the Vacuuming kind, the Data kind.  I’ve got 500gigs of crap that I’ve been saving since I Stacker’ed my then-full 200meg HD in 1993.  So I started with my contacts.  I’ve been carrying THEM around in a giant CSV file since Lotus Organizer.  Literally as I was organizing, debating how to update this pile, I get an email from the venerable Sam Gentile asking to update my contact information via some service called “Plaxo.” 

I updated my contact info for Sam without having to sign-up or -in for anything.  Upon deeper inspection, I check it out, and install it.  TRULY a seamless install. 

I wrote a form letter and told Plaxo to request updated info from my friends and acquaintances.  True, you might think it initially smacks of spam, but it’s a REALLY clever idea. 

While I wait around for Longhorn, Common People Dialogs and WinFS to realize that fred@whatever.com and fredsmith@someotherplace.com are the SAME GUY, Plaxo links my Contact Database in Outlook with all my friends.  For those folks that were already Members I get their updated info immediately and they can choose whether to share business info, personal info, or both, or privacy is maintained.  For those folks who don’t want to join, they can just give me their new info and it’s all good.  It’s the automatic updating that I think is so compelling as I’ve lot track of dozens of people that I don’t have time to go googling for.

It’s only been 3 hours minutes and I’ve already updated 12% of my 1688 contacts.  Not shabby, Plaxo.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Microsoft Regional Director Program - The 2003 Group Photo

January 6, '04 Comments [2] Posted in Speaking | PDC
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I found a nice surprise in the mail today!  The 2003 RD Group Photo from PDC!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.