A painful upgrade to Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex

I’m writing a piece on Ubuntu – makes a change from all that Windows at Microsoft’s PDC. I wanted to be up-to-date, so I upgraded my laptop from Hardy Heron (8.4) to Intrepid Ibex (8.10), released just yesterday. I followed the officially recommended procedure. Currently I only have a wi-fi connection, which is not ideal,

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WordPad in Windows 7 supports Open XML, OpenDocument

Interesting twist in the document format wars. Early builds of Windows 7 have extended document support in WordPad, the word-processing applet in Windows. WordPad will now read and write both Microsoft’s Open XML (docx) and OpenDocument (odt). The latter is the native format of the open source OpenOffice.org. I was sceptical about this since the

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Windows 7 media: AAC yes, FLAC no

Microsoft’s Larry Osterman is here at PDC 2008 and I took the opportunity to ask a couple of questions about media in Windows 7. Windows Media Player is getting built-in support for AAC (as used in iTunes – but not when DRM-protected) and H.264 – but not ALAC (Apple lossless) or FLAC (open-source lossless). What

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Windows 7 unveiled; hands on report

Here at PDC in Los Angeles, Microsoft’s Chief Architect Ray Ozzie and Windows VP Steven Sinofsky are introducing Windows 7.  A couple of days ago, journalists were loaned Windows 7 laptops to try and I’ve been using this over the last day or so. Generally it’s been a pleasure; performance is great and it works

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C# 4.0 goes dynamic

Anders Hejlsberg is explaining new features in C# 4.0, a future version, at Microsoft’s PDC. The big new feature, he says, is support for dynamic typing. Currently C# uses static typing, which means that when you call object members like methods and properties, the compiler checks that they exist or raises an error if they

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Hello Windows Azure

Ozzie has made his big announcement here at PDC 2008. Windows Azure is, he says, Windows for the cloud; a “web tier” offering that runs on Microsoft’s own datacenters. The basics: develop a web service in Visual Studio, deploy it to Azure. You can test and debug using a local Azure server. The client for

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PDC 2008: Microsoft attempts to remake its image

There are two big themes at Microsoft’s Professional Developer’s Conference, just getting under way here in Los Angeles.

One is cloud computing. At this morning’s keynote, Ray Ozzie and others will present Microsoft’s cloud computing strategy. If it’s right that IT is moving inexorably into the cloud, this could be make-or-break for the company. Truth

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UK job stats show Java decline

Long-time readers of this blog may recall that I occasionally track IT job vacancies at Jobserve. There may be better sites to track; but it carries a lot of vacancies, and I need to be consistent. I started in early 2002 with the goal of seeing how much adoption Microsoft was winning for its .NET

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Amazon’s cloud services growing up, sending out spam

Amazon made multiple cloud announcements yesterday, just ahead of anything Microsoft might be pitching at PDC next week. The Elastic Compute Cloud is out of beta; there’s beta support for Windows 32-bit or 64-bit at $0.125 per hour; there’s a new web-based management console; and new automatic load balancing and scaling.

The last points may

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Mobile phone wastage

According to a release today from Moneysupermarket.com, promoting its recycling service, two-thirds of us (in the UK) don’t recycle old handsets. The worrying aspect of this is that handsets include some nasty chemicals (mostly in batteries) which should be disposed of safely. Many people either don’t know or don’t care about the regulations and throw

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