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jethro's picture

The week in review

I don’t know why I seem to write massive link posts lately – maybe because i have been very busy with my three major priorities, family, work and photography. However this is a priority as well, so I need to allocate some time to write soon. In the mean time I am going to clear my browser of the tabs that are open there.

2009-11-06 BTUB 123 Here goes – and have a great weekend. Oh – and this photo was my favourite of the week. I took it in low light, no flash using the 70-200 2.8 IS L Lens.

Exposure 1/128, Aperture f2.8, focal length 170mm, ISO 2000

Photography Links

jethro's picture

Windows Live Mail

The following is the sample email that pops up in Windows Mail. Windows mail is being gradually replaced by Windows Live mail. This is a much better free email application than the old Outlook Express which technically wasn't free, you had to buy windows XP to get it. Windows live mail can be downloaded for free as part of the live suite.

I use it for a lot of clients as an easy way to manage their Hotmail or Gmail accounts on their PC.

image Windows Mail is the successor to Outlook Express

Windows Mail builds on the foundation of Outlook Express, adding a variety of new features designed to make your e-mail experience more productive and fun, while helping to reduce risks and annoyances such as phishing and junk e-mail.

jethro's picture

Riding and other bits and pieces

Back to work and back to an inbox full of things to do. I have spent a massive amount of time this last week working – the sailing holiday is now a dim and distant memory!

First some riding news. I got my bike back with the rear shock rebuilt (under warranty) and took it for a test ride with the MTB ride group yesterday. It held up just fine and the ride was an epic one - if a little long for my liking. The Saturday MTB group is back – meeting at the Wolves Bike Den every Saturday at midday for an epic ride like this. All ages and experiences welcome.

Map and terrain detail on bikely of the Ewen Maddock Dam Ride Click the pictures for more detail.

jethro's picture

Why Windows 7 and Virtual PC is so great

A great newsletter article from Microsoft.

Windows 7 Logo We all know the routine. You’re churning through e-mails or browsing your favorite tech blog and you see that new app that is going to solve that pressing issue or promises to bring world peace to your desktop. You click the link, download the bits, and 15 minutes later you’re stumbling through the interface working out if it is really going to do everything the blurb said it would. It’s normally about this time that something else pops up, so you close the app and go and deal with another distraction.
This routine is then repeated over the next couple of months and you start to notice that your machine is not quite as responsive as it used to be. A quick glance at Add or Remove Programs and you’re scratching your head working out where all those apps came from. The process then starts of looking at each app and working out which ones to cull and which ones to keep. Fast forward a couple of hours and, various reboots later, your machine is starting to behave like its lithe old self again. The downside though is that you have just burned through a few hours and all you have to show for it is that your machine is back to where it was a few months back.
So what’s the answer? Well, like most things in life, there are a couple of solutions. The first one is to swear off trying new apps, leave your machine in its pristine state, and never install another application again. That one not working for you? How about Windows 7 with Windows Virtual PC then?
This is the combination I love. I can install an application into a virtual machine (VM). Its shortcuts are then presented in the Start menu of the host machine. When I launch the application, it appears as if it is running on the host OS, but in reality it is safely tucked away inside the sandbox of the VM. Why do I love this? Well, once I’m done testing the app, I use the undo disk feature in Windows Virtual PC to roll the VM back to its original state and it’s like it was never there. How long does it take? Minutes. So now, instead of burning hours rebuilding or repairing my machine, I have more time to search for that world peace for the desktop application.
And here’s a tip if you want to quickly build a Windows 7 VM. Head over to and grab the handy Windows Image to Virtual Hard Disk (WIM2VHD) Converter. It will take your Windows 7 Install.wim file and convert it to a VHD in less than 10 minutes. You can then use that VHD in a new virtual machine and it will boot straight into the Windows setup process saving you even more time!

- Gordon Ryan is technologist, consultant, trainer, and Springboard Series Technical Expert Panel (STEP) member. When not traveling, he can be found living in Sydney with his 13-year-old cattle dog. When traveling, he can be found looking for quality libations.