Scott Hanselman

Hanselminutes Podcast 47 - How to start your own MicroISV

January 18, '07 Comments [4] Posted in Musings
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My forty-seventh Podcast is up. In this one, we talk to Leon the SecretGeek - who is 1/2 of TimeSnapper - about his 25 steps to starting your own MicroISV. NOTE: We cover most of the steps in the interview, but you'll want to visit http://www.secretgeek.net/25steps.asp today for the complete list.

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: Feed-icon-16x16 Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

Links from the show are also always on the show site. This particular show had some great links, do check them out. Do also remember the archives are always up and they have PDF Transcripts, a little known feature that show up a few weeks after each show.

Our sponsors are CodeSmith Tools, /n software 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)

  • 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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Optimus Mini Three Keyboard and Windows Vista SideShow

January 18, '07 Comments [5] Posted in Tools
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Golly, it sure seems to me that the Optimus Mini Three Keyboard (ThinkGeek - ORDERED) would really suit Windows Vista SideShow very nicely. SideShow is Vista direct support for "helper displays." That might be three lines of LCD text on the back of a laptop on standby, or it might be a 320x240 color screen on your wall talking bluetooth. It'll certainly make Continuous Integration build monitors fun to write. :)

Of course McLaws is already over the general SideShow idea, and the the list is obvious. As SideShow APIs are fairly clear (MSDN) and the SideShow blog is very active, so I predict a LOT of motion in this direction soon.

Here's some ideas on what needs to be written:

  • SideShow adapters for Ceiva picture frames. Actually, this is a great idea. I think I'll start with this guy's Serial Port adapter for Ceiva, and flash my old picture frame with Linux, then write the SideShow stuff in C#.
  • SideShow using your PocketPC or SmartPhone as the display, over Bluetooth or WiFi.
  • A user-written XNA game for 360, where the XBox360 itself is the SideShow display.
  • Making a CrystalFontz LCD work with SideShow. Hm...I've got one of these lying around. I don't think there's a minimum device standard.
  • SideShow for the Optimus Mini-Three...this would ROCK. That'll be worked on this weekend...
  • I wonder if I can control the LCD on my Canon Pixma m550 Printer?
  • How long until Logitech updates the G15? They're obviously working on it - they'd be incredibly short sighted not to - it's too bad they haven't jumped in earlier with beta stuff.
  • There will be better Remotes that'll do it, but too bad my Harmony 880 Remote isn't wireless...

If your a company and you've got a cool device, email me, and let's talk about getting SideShow to talk to it, and I'll do a Coding4Fun article on SideShow. If you're the SideShow team, let me know what device isn't done yet, and I'll do it.

One very lovely thing to note about SideShow that will enable all sorts of crazy nonsense - from the docs:

The Sideshow platform is connection agnostic. It doesn’t matter whether an auxiliary display is connected through USB, Bluetooth, TCP/IP, or other future protocols, as long as the appropriate user mode Sideshow transport driver is present.

SideShowDevices.com is starting to collect news on all things SideShowy. Any other ideas on crazy SideShow stuff?

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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Patching OFFLINE Systems with Windows Update

January 18, '07 Comments [4] Posted in Tools
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A number of listeners wrote in with answers to my question - how can I update a Windows system that's NOT connected to the Internet, given ~70 updates and 6 reboots needed to get an XP SP2 system "up to date?"

I had a lot of trouble - as the de facto IT manager for my family - while in Tanzania trying to bring systems up to a safe standard without even dial-up internet.

I brought my trusty 2gig USB stick along with a pile of Portable Apps and the usual suspects for anti-crapware and general malware. I didn't realize that I could have brought the latest patches and rollups as well in an easy-to-install form.

Thanks folks!

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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Improving Outlook Today with Jello.Dashboard

January 17, '07 Comments [5] Posted in Reviews | Tools
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We did a podcast called "A Better Outlook" a while back and talked about ClearContext, SpeedFiler, and Taglocity. I've also talked about TiddlyWiki and for a while, ran my home page on Tiddly. (If you, your parents, or your school thinks you need a blog, you might try TiddlyWiki. Once you get it, it'll blow your mind. Some folks are using it to take notes in class. Brilliant.)

Now, we all know that Outlook Today (the javascript-based home page) sucked egregiously, and that suckage continues to this day. It's not really it's fault, it's mostly the Outlook Automation APIs being slow.

On the issue of functionally sucking, well, it's javascript and the Outlook Automation APIs are ever-so-public, so a mysterious person named dr.Uqbar decided to create Jello.Dashboard, a complete replacement for Outlook Today with a distinctive bent towards Getting Things Done.

It installed fine - it's just HTML and javascript, but the little tool they include to make your Outlook Home Page point to Jello didn't work, possibly because of my combo of Vista and Office 2007, but that was easily remedied. Just right-click on the folder you want to set the home page for - I recommend the ROOT/TOP folder - and select Properties. Then click Home and browse to C:\Program Files\JelloDashboard\jelloDash.htm. All set.

Don't freak out and think it'll mess up your Outlook, you can detangle it from Outlook by going to the same Properties Dialog and clicking "Restore Defaults."

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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Windows Vista Media Center Online Spotlight Launches

January 17, '07 Comments [4] Posted in Musings
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Finally! The section of Media Center formerly known as the "Online Spotlight" has launched/been-made-available on Windows Vista Media Center. I've just setup my Xbox360 to talk to the Vista Media Center, rather than Media Center 2005, and it's lovely. Truly. There's piles of content, and hopefully there will be piles more to come.

I also installed Anthony Park's MCEBrowser under Vista and it works great. I also noticed last week that my Windows Media Center Remote Keyboard controls 90% of the Xbox360 without telling it to, so that's shiny. I'll take a look and see if it makes the browsing experience bearable on a 37" LCD in my living room. I'm sure the wife would love to do her Gmail from the couch.

Hm...seems like a lot of technology hoops just to get the equivalent of a WebTV. Why can't I just browse the web on my Xbox360?

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.