Scott Hanselman

Playaway - Preloaded Portable Digital Audiobooks

May 10, '06 Comments [10] Posted in Reviews
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I've talked before about what a fan of Audible I am. Once you incorporate it in to your life by making it easy to listen in your car and you've got a nice rhythm for how many times you sync your iPod or MP3 player, it really enriches your life. I've even got my wife hooked on it. She walks three miles a day with the baby and has been listening to The Time Traveler's Wife (a fantastic book, highly recommended.)

I'm in Charlotte transferring planes to Dallas right now and just noticed a very clever digital device that I hadn't seen before. It's such a clever and totally obvious idea. Portable Audio Books with the audio pre-loaded on a "disposable" player.

They are called Playaway. Apparently they launched a year ago. They're attractively packaged and include everything you need. The book, pre-loaded batteries and headphones. The audio books are tiny, about the size of a micro-cassette with controls on the back for controlling the speed of the reader's voice, fast forwarding, etc.

Fantastic idea, brilliantly executed, save one thing. $39.95 for a book? Oy. I was a biscuit away from buying one, was drawn to the retail point of sale, picked it up, looked at the box, all the things one is supposed to do if the marketers got it right.

However, in this case, I turned the package over and blanched at $39.95. Some are even more. Yikes. If it were $19.95, sold, without even a thought. $24.95, maybe. $30, eh. $40? Hell no.

Back to audible again. For half the Playaway's cost per month I get two books. Sure I have to have an audio player, so I'm comparing apples to carburetors, but you get the idea. If a first class recent paperback is <$10, I expect a device like this to be under $25, IMHO. I'm sure the price will come down, but at this pricing it kind of squashed the whole impulse buy thing. Still a rockin' sweet idea though. Maybe I'll give some of these for Christmas to some of my Luddite relatives. :)

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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Share my OPML, everyone's doing it

May 10, '06 Comments [4] Posted in Musings
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LikeminePotentially interesting stuff going on at http://share.opml.org.

Particularly compelling is the Subscriptions like mine section. Upload your OPML here and not only do you contribute to the ranked list, but you get the personalized Like Mine list.

For now the number of OPML files uploaded is small, but if tens of thousands of folks uploaded theirs one could get some interesting data. The tabular way things are being displayed now won't do that amount of data justice and will just get folks looking at "who's in the top 100." A graphical network view of the relationships between folks and who they read could be really interesting though.

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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Diabetes Walk 2006 - The Day of the Walk

May 6, '06 Comments [1] Posted in Diabetes
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Teamhanselman2006donationsI want to publically and formally again thank everyone who has donated to help find diabetes with Team Hanselman at this year's Diabetes Walk.

I'll update this post tommorow with pictures of the walk and the turnout.

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Also, I'd like to take this opportunity to make a final call for donations to take us into stratosphere. If you haven't donated, perhaps you were thinking about it but hadn't taken the time, I want to assure you that donations are completely tax-deductible in the US.

You can donate to fight diabetes here, securely, online.

Here's a list of the donors that made this amazing day possible.

Judith Agee - Andres Aguiar - Christopher Aitchison - khalid almarzook - Chris Arndt - Sarat Atluri - Terry Austin - Bill Ayers - David Ball - Edward Ball - Guy Barrette - Stephen Barron - John Batdorf - Dave Bettin - Michael Bonnell - John Bristowe - Christopher Brooks - Kayla Brown - John Bush - Michelle Button - Tyron Button - Richard Campbell - Michael Caron - Glenn Carr - Patrick Cauldwell - Vikki Cauldwell - Daniel Cazzulino - Lois Celarier - Stuart Celarier - Santiago Cepas - Matthew Clendening - Rebecca Cohoon - Mauricio Collares - thomas cook - Galynne Davis - Richard Day - Margaret Decker - Richard DeLong - Donald Demcsak - Kenneth DesRochers - Brian Donahue - Nicholas Emery - Moshe Eshel - Marc Fairorth - Eric Farr - Simon Fell - Joshua Flanagan - Jason Follas - Stephen Forte - Carl Franklin - Jeroen Frijters - Elizabeth Gee - Barry Gervin - Ken Getz - Robert Gilmore - Daryl Golinsky - Paul Gomes - Jonathan Goodyear - Peter Gossmann - Carlos Guevara - Michael Gunderloy - Phillip Haack - David Hanselman - Jack Hanselman - Scott Hanselman - Jason Harper - Andrew Hay - Nicholas Hebb - Scott Hess - Howard Hill - PHIL HOCHSTETLER - Kenneth Holloway - James Holmes - Mark Horninger - Jeff Huber - Gregory Hughes - Paolo Hutchison - Lucas Hutteman - Patrick Hynds - Avesh Jain - Jeff Julian - Ed Kaim - Joseph Kaplan - Chris Kinsman - Timothy Kling - Bala Krishna Kodarapu - Leon Lane - Mats Lanner - Brian Lee - Debra Lee - Devon Lee - Bryant Likes - Gerrard Lindsay - Walter Lounsbery - Gregory Low - Jessica Lunceford - Kalen Lunceford - William Lunceford - Katrin Maehle - Eric Malamisura - Ryan Manwiller - Andrew McQuery - LUCAS MELIA - Greg Menounos - STEVE MENYHERT - terrie merritt - Johnson Michael - Mark Miller - James Minatel - Duane Mohney - Badari Mysore - Piyush Naik - Himanshu Nath - Tony Neely - David Negron - Brian Noyes - Albert Nyveldt - Larry O'Brien - Steve O'Brien - Peter Ordal - Devu Pandit - Mrudula Pandit - Kyle Petersen - Lawrence Pina - Martin Plante - Kathy Quick - Vineeth Raja - Tim Rayburn - George Reilly - Terrence Riley - Ryan Rinaldi - Andrew Robinson - Jesus Rodriguez - Chris Rogers - John Roth - Jens Schaller - Jason Scheuerman - Jeffrey Schilling - David Schlesinger - Ronald Scott - Paul Sheriff - Joseph Shook - Bil Simser - Eric Sink - amy smith - Cory Smith - Cameron Soper - Benjamin Stiefel - Lisa Stup - Shawn Swaner - Darren Swartzendruber - Marcus Tettmar - John Theisen - Joe Tillotson - Matthew Trentini - Shawn Van Ness - Joel Verwers - Kim Villalpando - John Walker - Cullen Waters - Philip Weber - Terry Weiss - Kyle Welsh - Steven Wilcox - Doug Willbanks - Pamela Willis - Claire Wolfson - David Yack - David Yuhas - Robert Zelt - Jonathan Zuck

Thanks again to everyone and wish us luck on the walk!

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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Introducing PowerShell Prompt Here

May 5, '06 Comments [3] Posted in PowerShell
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PowershellhereIt was only a matter of time, right?

Due to my recent infatuation passionate love affair with PowerShell (whose download has been up and down on MSDN today...not sure why) I realized that I was missing something - the same behavior that I'd gotten hooked on with Visual Studio's Command Prompt/Batch File and "Visual Studio 2003/5 Command Prompt Here.

I really think it's intuitive to right-click on a folder and say "Command Prompt Here" so here's "PowerShell Prompt Here."

Download the INF, right click and select "Install." It appears in Add/Remove programs but for some reason doesn't completely uninstall. If you want to uninstall completely, search the registry for "PowerShellHere" (oneword) and delete the two trees you find.

Enjoy. Note, if you've installed your PowerShell to another folder other than the default, you'll need to edit the file manually with your path.

Disclaimer, Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV), Good Luck, Don't Player Hate, Integrate. If you've got improvements to the INF, post them in the comments and I'll update the file.

File Attachment: powershellhere.inf (1 KB)

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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Hanselminutes Podcast 16

May 3, '06 Comments [5] Posted in Podcast | ASP.NET | XML | Tools
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HanselminutesMy sixteenth Podcast is up. This episode is one full of random goodness we're calling Hanselminutiae #1.

We're listed in the iTunes Podcast Directory, so I encourage you to subscribe with a single click (two in Firefox) with the button below. For those of you on slower connections there are lo-fi and torrent-based versions as well.

Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

Our sponsors are PeterBlum and the .NET Dev Journal.

As I've said before this show comes to you with the audio expertise and stewardship of Carl Franklin. The name comes from Travis Illig, but the goal of the show is simple. Avoid wasting the listener's time. (and make the commute less boring)

  • Each show will include a number of links, and all those links will be posted along with the show on the site. There were a number of sites mentioned in this episode, some planned, some not.
  • The basic MP3 feed is here, and the iPod friendly one is here. There's a number of other ways you can get it (streaming, straight download, etc) that are all up on the site just below the fold. I use iTunes, myself, to listen to most podcasts, but I also use FeedDemon and it's built in support.
  • Note that for now, because of bandwidth constraints, the feeds always have just the current show. If you want to get an old show (and because many Podcasting Clients aren't smart enough to not download the file more than once) you can always find them at http://www.hanselminutes.com.
  • I have, and will, also include the enclosures to this feed you're reading, so if you're already subscribed to ComputerZen and you're not interested in cluttering your life with another feed, you have the choice to get the 'cast as well.
  • If there's a topic you'd like to hear, perhaps one that is better spoken than presented on a blog, or a great tool you can't live without, contact me and I'll get it in the queue!

Enjoy. Who knows what'll happen in the next show?

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.