Archive for June, 2007

Getting Video on My New Samsung Sync Mobile Phone

In preparing for our recent Faculty Symposium on Digital Trends: The Mobile Classroom, I took a video lecture that I had in AVI (Xvid encoded) format and converted it into several formats to play on portable devices to demo in the presentation. Getting the video on my iPod Video and Playstation Portable was straightforward and familiar. But the phone was new and even though I knew it could be done, it took some experimentation and an inexpensive hardware purchase.
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Microsoft Live Labs: Seadragon and Photosynth

I wrote the other day about Microsoft’s new multi-touch display technology, called Surface. I just saw a TED Talk with Blaise Aguera y Arcas on a software product that was recently acquired by Microsoft and a tool that takes advantage of it. The underlying technology that re-envisions how we interact with data is called Seadragon. The current implementation of Seadragon is called Photosynth.

I am not a fan of 3D interfaces in general, but this is clearly a powerful implementation that make sense because of the nature of the represented objects. Because the content being organized is one we naturally interact with in three dimensions (the external world of objects), making sense of pictures of objects in three dimensions is natural. What Photosynth and Seadragon underneath it give us is a powerful way to represent and navigate these natural 3D spaces. Very cool stuff.

Why you need Microsft Virtual PC 2007

Have you been waiting to try out Microsoft’s newest operating system, Vista? Don’t want to install Vista on your PC until you know what you are in for? Now you have options.

If you already have an install disc or are lucky enough (like me) to have access to the Enterprise Edition through our campus agreement with Microsoft, you can install Vista inside a virtual machine using Virtual PC 2007 – and now you can get VPC 2007 for free. That’s right, Microsoft is giving away their virtualization software at no cost. And if you have a machine with a Core2Duo or one of the quad core versions of the processor and a couple of gigs of RAM, you won’t notice much sluggishness at all while you test drive Vista.

My Core2Duo machine at home runs Vista in Virtual PC 2007 noticeably faster than my Alienware FX-55-based machine at work. But it’s not so slow as to be unusable in any way. So give it a try. I am planning to use my virtual Vista install to test compatibility with various video codecs and utilities that I use on a daily basis. If I find that all of my apps run well in Vista, I plan to upgrade my Core2Duo machine.