My first Windows Phone 7

Friday, 10 December 2010

Photo of Samsung Omnia 7 handsetOn Sunday, I dropped by the TeleChoice shop at Marion, and purchased a shiny new Samsung Omnia 7 phone.

I’ve been reading up on Windows Phone 7 handsets since before their release, so felt reasonably well informed as far as what features were present and what was still coming. I ended up choosing the Omnia 7 because a lot of positive comments about the clarity of the Super-AMOLED display, and also that it was compatible Vodafone’s network (my current provider and whose $20/month cap appeals to my budget).

On returning home, I inserted my SIM card and battery, plugged in the charger and turned it on. Starting up was simple and problem-free. I entered in my Windows Live ID, Google GMail, and Facebook details and a short while later, my contacts (aka People Hub) was populated with lots of familiar names. It also connected to my home wireless network without issue.

I’ve sadly been missing out on listening to podcasts since my trip to TechEd (and losing my old phone’s bizarre non-standard earphones), so I was pleased to be able to finally resume my regular habit. I’ve previously made use of the Spokenword feed aggregator, but one downside to using this is that all the podcast files get lumped into what Zune thinks is one single podcast. So I just entered each podcast RSS feed individually. A pity Spokenword doesn’t seem to allow me to export my feed collection, but it wasn’t too tricky to re-enter them.

Screenshot of Zune software showing podcasts collection

So far so good. I’ll post an update in a few weeks including how I’m coping on just 100MB/month!

Right in the solar plexus

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Not the usual start to the day today..

First one of the kids woke up at 1.30am complaining that they couldn’t sleep (they had actually been asleep but logical arguments don’t seem very successful at that hour of the morning!).

Then later on, around 5am I think, another child woke up complaining it was too dark. I turned on a bedside light and they seemed happy enough with that to be able to go back to sleep again.

Not so much for me.. I tossed and turned for a while, then decided to get up myself. After breakfast I went to have a shower, only to discover that the hot water wasn’t. My initial theory was that the batteries had gone flat in the instantaneous gas hot water heater, but we didn’t have any spare ‘D’ cells to replace them. I rushed down to the shops just in time for opening (7am), bought some batteries. Back home, new batteries in, but no joy.

Next step, ring some plumbers. Got on to one, who suggested isolating the heater to double-check whether it was actually trying to start or not. I checked that and it wasn’t, so the batteries were probably not to blame. He then said I was best off ringing Bosch to arrange a service call.

Bosch water heaters are serviced by in Adelaide by SA Hot Water, but they don’t open until 8.30am, so while I waited I proceeded to boil the kettle multiple times so that I could have a bath in reasonably warm water. This reminded me that I am relatively tall and our bath is relatively short. I won’t provide any pictures (you can breathe a sigh of relief!) but basically with a bit of wriggling about I can either get my legs wet, or my top half, but not both at the same time.

I rang back SA Hot Water at 8.30am, got through to their service people and turns out they’ve got a guy in the area who could come over right away – hooray!

He arrived not long after, and after giving some advice along the lines that our heater is probably on the way out (just over 8 years old) and is also a bit undersized for our house, managed to fix the problem.

So now my wallet is a bit lighter, but I’m also thinking that we should start investigating a replacement unit, with the idea that it would be compatible with a solar hot water system (something the current unit wasn’t).

It's all happening!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

First Windows Phone 7 was release last month.. (still haven’t got one but am warming to the Samsung Omnia 7)

Then the first CTP of SQL Server ‘Denali’ was released last week..

And tomorrow (18th) Microsoft’s Kinect for XBox 360 is released in Australia.

Don’t tell the kids, but I’m thinking this might be the Gardiner family Christmas present this year!

Prices I’ve seen so far:

Update 18th Nov, 9pm

Discovered good forum discussion on Economical Gamer site, which highlights Harvey Norman 4G Bundle (2 games) $468

SQL Server 'Denali' highlights

Saturday, 13 November 2010

On Wednesday at the two Adelaide sessions of the PDC Roadshow I gave the world’s fastest overview of interesting things coming in the next version of SQL Server – codenamed ‘Denali’.

I’d even whipped up some PowerPoint slides, but due to time constraints didn’t get to share them with everyone, so I’ve summarised the main points here:

Main highlights

Areas unchanged in CTP1

SQL Server Engine

SQL Server Integration Services

‘Atlanta’

‘Crescent’

Microsoft Certified Masters

If you’re interested in finding out about these features (and more), Roger Noble and Rob Farley will be talking all about ‘Denali’ at this month’s Adelaide SQL User Group (Tuesday 23rd November).

Microsoft SQL Server code-named 'Denali' - CTP1

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Wednesday morning I’ll be giving a quick summary of all the new announcements from the 2010 PASS Summit in Seattle (courtesy of LobsterPot’s on-the-spot reporters Rob and Roger) to the Adelaide leg of the PDC10 Roadshow.

In preparation for that, I did a quick search for any Denali titbits, and discovered the CTP is now publicly available. I’m downloading as we speak/type. Annoyingly, the Release Notes link is broken at the moment. Hopefully that gets fixed soon.

Download links

My top predictions for new features (seeing as I haven’t got it installed yet to find out)

Ha.. though actually I can see some possible use of Kinect with reporting and data mining in the future.. That would be cool.

Maybe they’d have to call that “Minority Report-ing Services” Smile