Scott Hanselman

The Ultimate Zoom Tool? Sysinternal's ZoomIt

March 27, '06 Comments [1] Posted in Musings | Tools
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I've mentioned a number of Zoom Tools over the years, and most recently had settled on Magnifixer.

But...OMG, people, check out Mark Russinovich's new ZoomIt tool. This is a different take, IMHO, on a zoom tool for presentations. Some folks like the "drag a magnifying glass" paradigm. ZoomIt takes a different tack, zooming in the entire screen.

I have an IBM T42 with a "Zoom Craplet" that, with a press of FN-Space, automatically changes the screen resolution. This is cool, but the subsequent re-syncing of the projector makes it totally unusable for presentations.

ZoomIt does the same thing but without changing the screen resolution, but also includes screen writing/drawing/annotation. Fantastic.

The only downside of ZoomIt is that you're looking at a zoomed in snapshot of the current screen. You aren't getting live window updates when you're zoomin.

Magnifixer does give you live updates, as well as some other niceties like an eye-dropper/rgb value lookup.

Still, between these two tools, I'm totally covered when it comes to zooming into during a presentation.

Thanks to reader and fellow presenter and trainer Gerben Wieringa for the heads up!

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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Z Leaving on a Midnight Train

March 27, '06 Comments [12] Posted in Javascript | Parenting | Z
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Forgive my singing in this video clip, but this was just too cute not to share. Z turns 4 calendar months old on Wednesday and he's a different guy every day. What a blast we're having. He's jabbering on, finally sleeping through the night and talking to himself to wake us up in the morning. He is absolutely hilarious and we're loving the time we spend with him. I don't know how you folks with kids can concentrate when you are away from them. My wife misses her job and her interaction with adults, but she's said she wouldn't trade this opportunity for the world.


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We're a little bittersweet as he's growing up so fast. Every day that goes by is another day that he won't be that age. I mean, he'll only be under a year for, well, a year. That's only 365 days of baby, and really only 6 months of tiny baby. We already miss the little 2-week old Z. I wonder what it'll feel like when he's 15 or 30.

All that said, I'm really looking forward to him walking around and developing opinions. We read to him now, but he's not paying much attention. I'm sure he's a little sponge, but when he starts talking and really interacting it's going to be a freaking blast.

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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Alternative Power - Kensington 120W Notebook Power Adapter

March 27, '06 Comments [3] Posted in Reviews | Gaming
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5555130_640I just picked up a Kensington 120W Notebook Power Adapter for work. When I go on a trip I have my IBM T42, my PSP, my iPod and my Blackberry. Sometimes I also have my Toshiba M205 Tablet PC.

The power situation was getting out of control, and my boss Chris mentioned that he was loving his Kensington. I said I was considering an iGo as that was the adapter that first came to mind when considering a 3rd party power solution. He showed me that the Kensington was considerably thinner and cheaper.

Right now there is a $25 rebate if you get the adapter and the Dual Charging Cable. I may pick up two more Dual Charging Cables to charge every device at once from a single outlet as well as this wind up cable and travel plug adapter for foreign plugs.

The Kensington 120W comes with a car adapter, airplane adapter and includes an iPod tip and tips for any laptop. I ordered a PSP tip and Blackberry tip as well.

I'm using it right now, and I'm very happy with the extra room in my bag from throwing all my other power adapters into the junk drawer in the kitchen.

Now playing: OXM Magazine - Episode 4: Official Xbox Magazine Video Podcast

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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DasKeyboard

March 27, '06 Comments [6] Posted in Reviews
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Face-profile-biggerThey folks over at DasKeyboard loaned me a reviewers copy of their totally blank keyboard about three weeks ago and I've been typing on it since.

Sure it's blank, and at cursory glance, that's a gimmick. But DasKeyboard claims to have individually weighted keys. Most keyboards have keys weighted at 55 grams of force - that's how hard you have to push. DasKeyboard has 5 different levels of force from 35 grams to 80 grams lined up with the varying strength of your fingers. I know that my pinky fingers do tend to hurt more than the primary fingers.

There's a 30-day guarantee, and they are currently on sale for $70. It's a smidge spendy - I'd pay no more than $50 myself, but +/-$20 it's a very nice feeling keyboard. The key travel is smooth and comfortable. Be aware, it uses a legacy-free USB interface, so no old-style keyboard interface here, but that shouldn't be a problem for a computer purchased this century.

I'm still having trouble with the [ ] bracket keys and a few other programmer specific symbols, but my prose typing has definitely improved in speed. When I go home now after using DasKeyboad for just under a month I don't have to look at my fingers at all. My wife likes it also as she's been trying to become a touch typer.

Another benefit for blank keys is easy switching between Dvorak and Qwerty keyboard layout. I've tried to switch twice and failed. One day I'll try again, probably with a blank keyboard. I know at least one co-worker who types Dvorak on a Qwerty keyboard. I'm not sure how he ignores the Qwerty lettering.

There are a few competitors out there like the Happy Hacking Keyboard that includes no cursor keys, but none have the individually weighted keys.

I'm very sorry to see my reviewer keyboard go back in the mail this week. If you're interested in typing faster, you're having finger fatigue, or you just would like a nice, classic keyboard with the added benefit of smoother, individually weighted keys and a nice key throw, you should check out DasKeyboard.

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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Visual Studio .NET 2005 in the Bathroom, again.

March 26, '06 Comments [2] Posted in TechEd | Speaking
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BackInTheBathroomThis new Visual Studio ad campaign is pretty funny actually. I dare say funnier that Rory and my attempt(s) at humor last year.

And they didn't even give us royalities for the bathroom idea...shame. ;)

Check out all the videos at http://www.400plusdifferences.com/, they are all funny.

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.