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Back on February 2007 I blogged about a prototype project of Human Productivity Lab, code named Bumptop and was claiming that we’re really not that far from seeing something like that becoming available for end-users.

Well today I found out that I wasn’t wrong. Bumptop is officially released and available in two versions a free one as well as a Pro one for a small fee. Check it out in the following video.

Now imagine that desktop running on Windows 7 at a multitouch screen 😉

Unfortunately I’m using the default windows 7 beta graphics card drivers so I wasn’t able to run it 🙁 but I’m going to try it tomorrow on a vista machine. Can’t wait….


Protected: I am a Hero

Categories: Events, Off Topic, Operating System, SQL Server, Visual Studio
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Several events occurred this week making it a truly WOW week:


Microsoft’s much awaited, new operating system, Windows Vista, was finally launched.


British Library published a great WPF application that presents old historical books. The user experience is so rich that you think you’re actually holding the book. I think I had already seen a demo of this app on Mix06, but nothing compares with the real thing.


A few days after the final release of Microsoft’s Ajax library, MS opened up its Source Code under the Microsoft Reference License (Ms-RL).


Microsoft released a new version of its browser enhancement module that enables browsers to render rich content in addition to HTM codename “WPF/E”. Note, that you’ll need the new February CTP release to run WPF/E applications since the previous version has a time bomb that disables it.


After installing the February CTP of WPF/E take a look at a simulation of the Vista Aero interface from inside your Web browser. [Thanks Savas]


And since we’re talking about desktops, have a look at the future of the desktop as the Human Productivity Lab imagines it. SO COOL!



Speaking of WOW experiences, send your WOW and get a chance to win a computer from Microsoft. Haven’t seen any Greek submissions so far. Are we not interested?


I’ve been using Windows Vista RC1 for quite a while now and I have to say that I’m quite happy with its stability and performance. Today though I had to hard reset my computer at least 10 times. First my Trend Micro PCCilin antivirus software was running my kernel system process to 100% of CPU performance thus freezing my operating system. Despite running its “return to previous good configuration” feature the program kept freezing my system. So I’ve decided to remove it and try another one (I’m now trying the CA antivirus solution). After resolving my antivirus software Issue I’ve decided to read the news on NY Times Reader (It’s a new habit I’ve picked up) only to find myself frozen again L


The point I want to make though is not the instability of the operating system, after all it’s only a release candidate and after all the problem originated from third party software. The thing that annoyed me most was that I wasn’t able to run the task manager and kill whichever process was causing the operating system to run slower, as I could in XP or windows 2000 even if the process used 100% of the CPU.


I guess that running the new UI of the ctrl-alt-del shortcut key requires some processing power that’s not available when another process has taken over the CPU and thus nothing happens by pressing it. Well I have to say that I preferred the old behavior and UI instead of having to hard reset my machine each time a process falls on an infinite loop…


After installing Vista RC1 the problems I had installing VSS were resolved so for a while I was quite happy working with VSS on Vista. Today though I’ve just stumbled across the following problem:


Assume that you have a network share containing a VSS database which you use to store your development team work, and that you’ve provided the right security privileges in that share so that everyone in your team can access and modify it.


Also lets assume that you’ re working on a project that requires running Visual Studio as administrator (elevated mode in UAC).


In this case you are not running Visual Studio with your account anymore and of course you can no longer access the network share containing the VSS Database, and thus cannot work with source control over your project.


What’s oxymoron is that if you want to work around this problem you must allow everybody access to the particular share[1], thus lessen the security on the share in order to tighten security on your local machine.


I believe that this is not something that was done intentionally but something that was not considered when implementing UAC and something that will be resolved in the final built but never the less it’s something that gets on my nerves.







[1] Of course you can always have 2 Visual Studios to work with, one running in UAC elevated mode to run your project and another in normal mode to edit it (this will run as your account thus having access to VSS Database share.


It seems that the way visual studio understands the SQLExpress server name has changed or that security settings have disabled the .SQLExpress syntax (which obviously meant local computer SQLExpress instance) on Vista. So if you try to create a new database from the AddItem menu item of visual studio 2005 or connect to an existing one that uses the above syntax in the connection string you will most probably get an error saying that “failed to generate a user instance of sql server”.
What you’ll have to do (this took me a while to figure out, so you should thank me 🙂 ) is modify the server name/instance to the fully qualified one. If you want to create a new database you should first create it from the management studio, then add it to your project and modify the connection string.


Continuing my Vista setup and exploration, I begun installing all the software and components I used in order to develop software. Most of the MSI installation packages (including Microsoft’s CAB) though failed to complete under Vista.
It seems that some kind of privileged action needed in order to complete the installation, which is probably write access to the program files directory in order to write an InstallerState file is not allowed not even when the executable is running under an administrative account. The error message says that “Access to the path c:program filesprogramprogramInstall.InstallState is denied (P.S not event the administrator can change the access rights). The installation completes successfully though when a different installation path is specified (e.g. C:Program).
Ok it’s nice to protect the OS from various things that could damage it but from the experienced user’s perspective it gets really frustrating having to confirm every administrative action through a dialog or not allowing write access to the Program Files folder.


Installing all the software I need in my new Operating System, I’ve stumbled across my first real problem, (had various other small ones, which didn’t worth mentioning) Source Control. VSS 2005 does not install on Vista. I get a software requirement error, stating that Windows XP SP2 is needed in order to complete the installation. So if someone plans on checking out code from office and work at home with it in his Vista enabled laptop, he better forget about it, or use another source control system L. I wonder if there is any work around I could use…
I’m curious what source control Microsoft’s engineers/developers use for their code if  VSS does not work with vista?


Protected: First Vista blog post…

Categories: Operating System
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