Telstra signs i-mode agreement

Read it here

This could be quite significant, and will more than likely shape the direction Telstra takes on the 3G front.

My only concern would be costs… Data costs for GPRS here in Australia is already way too high. And Telstra is probably making a pretty penny for GPRS/SMS services.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I hope that the prices will drop significantly. If I remember correctly from uni, NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode makes use of cHTML and I think may also support XHTML. (Not too sure on the second part, but I think I read it somewhere, though I might be thinking of another device). I remember a good friend of mine (who is currently teaching English in Japan) saying that he can recieve our emails on his phone for free as long as it is under 300 characters. That’s pretty good, that’s almost 2 SMS messages.

I definately agree with the comment made by Ted Pretty that “Telstra believed the future in the Australian mobile phone industry was in data, which includes SMS’s, video and internet services for mobile phones.”.

This is quite significant, take a look at the i-mode services and devices in Japan. They are plentiful, don’t know if we can expect a lot of those devices and services here. They will probably just start it up with purely data services on their mind.

If you want to compare GPRS with 3G speed and bandwidth, it’s almost like comparing 56kbps (ok, I know GPRS is slower than that) dialup to say your middle ranged 512kbps ADSL connection. They are in totally diffrent leagues.

Probably need to dig out more information about 3G, 2.5G (CDMA) and 2G from out of my brain. I know I learnt a lot about them during uni in Peter Stanski‘s lectures. Only thing is, that was way back in 2002. I could probably nut out a few random facts here and there. I just need to let my brain warm up first 🙂 — It effictively just rebooted itself this morning when I woke up!

I’m not one to forget these things that I learn, for example, if I was attending a seminar on something I have read about, then it’s more than likely that I try will mutter under my breath more info and what’s to come on that topic (without realising i’m doing so). My friends from uni claim I did this all the time during the lectures.

Microsoft Windows XP SP2 – RC2

Something which I forgot to mention from last week’s twilight dev conference was the announcement that XPSP2 RC2 will be out soon (I guess due to timing, they couldn’t release that to us, so they (the Microsoft presenters) tried to make sure everyone who attended received a copy of it.

For devs and IT Pros evaluating this software prior to it’s eventual release in August (well, that’s what the indication from the presenter [Danny Beck] was for the release) this is quite significant. Why? Well it means we can test that what we are working on will work on this major release/update to Windows XP. And for the IT Pros, they can familiarise themselves with it so that if they need to support it, they’ll know in advance what’s going on.

And it’s significant in my opinion to Microsoft because the more testers there are, it hopefully will mean the more feedback they receive from the community. Honestly, observing this community push by Microsoft through blogging and other means is quite significant.

Think about what open source has had for years? A lot of community feedback. Ok, sure it was only among like minded individuals, but still quite significant. (Though sometimes there was a bit too much feedback). And then think about user groups.

Would you rather go to some big juggernaught of a company that pushes out software but are hardly accessible to your everyday developer, or goto someone at your local user group? The dude at the user group of course!

I think it’s great that Microsoft is openly supporting our local user groups, and do have representatives from Microsoft at the user group meetings occasionally. Which is great, I like to meet people 🙂 [Yes yes, so I seem shy at times… But that’s another issue :P]

That reminds me, I liked that tickbox/checkbox (whatever you want to call it) that asked why you went to the event (or something like that), where it said something along the lines of “For networking with peers”. Seriously though, I think that is something quite significant.

Especially for someone like me getting my feet on the ground in the industry, having just graduated last year November (2003). I want to meet people, I want to make contacts, I want to get my name out there. Ok, so now you know one of my motives when attending these events, aside from the learning things part.

Hrm, this is starting to sound like a personal type post, doesn’t it? Well, this is my blog, I determine the content 🙂

On that note, can anyone have guess my age? I’m still relatively young compared to a lot of others in industry. But definately not totally inexperienced, due to many of my subjects being industry based.

Wow, the 4th Tuesday of the month is next Tuesday. That means, it’s time for… The Melbourne .NET UserGroups meeting (yes, notice the S at the end… that’s AusDev/MDNUG. Another joint Usergroup meeting).

Will has gone wireless!

Wohoooooooo!

After a one week delay, I’ve now got my wireless network up and running quite nicely.

I brought the Netgear WG511T which is a 108Mbps PCMCIA card. Perfect, it’s got some speed. But due to interferences from other devices, it’s not always a constant speed.

Picked it up after lunch, came home, installed the software, rebooted, plugged in the card, setup the SSID and enabled WEP security (and MAC filtering enabled) and I was up and running.

Just need to recharge the batteries on my laptop (Toshiba Tecra M2 ), and I can wonder around the house without cables again.

The World as a Blog

Was just looking through the various stats for my domain and noticed the following URL: http://www.brainoff.com/geoblog

Hehe, not the first time I’ve heard about this one. I saw it crawl my previous blogs a year or so back.

Interestingly I found another RSS aggregator called NewsMonster which is a cross-platform aggregator that looks like it sits inside the Mozilla browser. Found it looking through the stats.

Not really looking in there for any particular reason, so don’t mind me… 🙂

New Firefox RC & New iTunes

Awesome!

A new version of one of my favourite browsers, Mozilla Firefox has just been released. Please note that it is a Release Candidate of 0.9.

Though when you are installing you notice it says “0.8”, and in the about section it states “0.8+”. Quite odd, don’t you think? Ah well…

Anyway, I saw it listed on BetaNews.

Also saw that they have released iTunes 4.6 on BetaNews. Cool! Something to play with tonight when I get home!

*yawn*

[Edit 04/08/04]: Seems like this page is getting a lot of hits… There appears to be a Firefox marketing campaign of some sort. Saw this through some of my referers logs. Interesting… So if you are here because of that, then, Hello 🙂 and you’ve been noticed… :D]

Developer Twilight Conference @ Grand Hyatt

Ok, so I did end up parking at Crown Casino car park. And guess what? It was a 30 minute walk in the “elements” (rain/strong winds) of Melbourne.

Nah, it wasn’t too bad, would have been better if I had actually changed shoes (change to my runners, as was initially planned) rather than wearing the leather shoes that I wear to work.

But anyway, back on topic. It was a different experience to say the least. First off, attended the “Introducing Windows XP SP2” presented by Danny Becks. Must admit, there were some things which were talked about I already saw at the March Security Summit, though there were definitely some new information picked up.

What was interesting to me was the new enhancements to Internet Explorer. Why? Well, let’s get down to the fact that I’m an ASP.NET Web Developer. It’s what I do for a living I suppose.

It’s like showing a brand new rocket propelled pen to an author. He’ll marvel over it. Perhaps a few “ohhhhhhhh, lookie that!”, and “wow! I like that!”. And probably some, “how does that work?” and “why does it do that?”. Hehe.

What else interested me? Taking on a different perspective, the perspective of the “home user” would be the whole “Windows Security Center”. I like the tight integration of the Antivirus products inside the Security Center. What I would also like to see is tighter integration with third party Firewalls being given some support too.

I mean, look, ok, so boot time security is only enabled if you have the Windows Firewall (formerly known as “Internet Connection Firewall [ICF]). Yes, this boot time firewall is something interesting. I remember years back during highschool, they had VET antivirus (yes, ancient software). As Windows was loading up, you start to see the green’ish background of Windows, and then out of nowhere pops up the VET AV logo. I wish it was just in the background, not loading up nice and big! (Note, back then the common resolution was… 640×480 and to a lesser extent 800×600).

And now, we get back onto the topic of this post. Ha! I love going off topic, don’t you?

Ok, well that’s basically what the first session I attended was about. Just an introduction to XP SP2.

The developer sessions started after that finished, well had a short break, and Bill Chesnut arrived during that break.

I think the User Groups had the best stand available, because while all the MS partners each had a desk, we had a coffee table, and some sofas. Hehe, nice and comfortable!

Anyway, it’s the next part of the night that surprised me. It was the MSDN Developers Twilight Conference! At first it was like, wow, is that where we’re having the dev conference?

Heh, anyway allow me to describe it in more detail. It was setup so that there was a buffet (yes, food) on the far corners of the room (ok, exaggerating a bit, not that far).
As I was saying, there were tables, yes round tables with glasses, water jug in the middle, a bowl of mints. Ah, nice.

So, is this the new developer? Gone are the days of Coke in one hand, Pizza in the other? Replaced by all you can eat buffets and some alcoholic drinks and other beverages.

Maybe, or maybe not. We still get the coke/pizza combo at usergroup meetings.

Anyway, not complaining, it was quite nice.

I sat with some of the AusDev guys, and Nigel Watson joined us at the table. Though, as always, Nigel seemed really really busy, tapping away on the O2 XDA II. Oh wait, it said I-Mate on it. So it’s the I-Mate Pocket PC from Carrier Devices, a rebranded version of the same device. It’s quite a nice device, been thinking about getting either that one, or the O2 XPhone (aka I-Mate SmartPhone 2). Not sure which one I want yet. They are both quite nice devices.

I think I like the XDA II over the XPhone, but the XPhone is cheaper, and I am looking for a replacement for my crusty and trusty Nokia 5110. (I can bounce it on concrete and it still works! Note, that is not recommended normal operating procedure for the device).

I think what the device is rather lacking in, is support for WiFi of some sort. It would fit in nicely in my grand plan for my home network. For those who don’t know, I’ve setup a wireless network at home (though no wireless devices at current) through the recent purchase of the Netgear Wireless Router (WGT624) which is supposedly capable of operating at 108mbps (double that of standard 802.11g which is 54mbps). It’s also referred to as ‘Super G’ technology, as it is essentially two 802.11g combined to push out that type of speed (though they tested it and came out with about 45mbps speed, as opposed to the supposed speed of regular 802.11g which is about 22-24mbps depending on what sites you read).

Ok, back to the conference, the first of the two presenters for the developer twilight sessions was Adrew Coates. Andrew talked about some of the features of the XP SP2 and how it affected developers. Andrew showed a demonstration of a (VB) .NET application that interacted with the new Windows Firewall, which seemed quite handy.

This means that if you have an application that needs to enable various ports you can do that automatically. Although it is restricted to administrators only, I honestly think there is a good and bad aspect to it.

Most “home” users who run Windows are running as an Administrator. Well, at least from my experience helping friends and others, it seems that way.

And the final session of the day? ASP.NET 2.0!!! Yes, one of the things i’m looking forward to using in the near future. Demonstration/presentation by Dave Glover.

The whole “Master Page” concept, looks eerily similar to the “Templates” feature of Dreamweaver. Well, I think so anyway.

You can define things such as content areas, and layout areas. Layout areas, you can’t touch in derived pages, whereas content areas is where you can place content.

This has it’s benefits, it means that you can have a consistent site layout, minus the building of the page when change occurs.

Perhaps a website designer for example, can readily build the website layout, pass it over to the programmers to add the code. Then passes onto content writers/clients to fill out the content.

I’m still using the March build (of VS.NET 2005), though haven’t really played around with it, until recently. Tried converting over a project I am currently working on, but had issues with the IIS 6 MMC panel keeping on crashing whenever I try to select properties from the menu. I want to try the May build, but don’t have any means of obtaining it. Oh, and apparently this March build loves crashing on me!

One interesting thing about the upcoming release of VS.NET 2005, is the support of partial classes. Honestly, haven’t really heard too much talk about it compared to say, generics support.

And I think this post is long enough, so i’ll just stop it for now, and post another post some other time. 🙂

Parking at Grand Hyatt Hotel

Just decided to have a look at the car parking prices for parking at the Grand Hyatt Hotel carpark and noticed that it was quite price for parking is quite high. ($35 for 4 hours!)

So now gotta think of other strategies of where to park, and then either walk or catch a tram to Grand Hyatt.

Hrmm… Apparently all the parking closeby is quite high as well, unless I want to go and park at Crown Casino carpark, which has a lower maximum for car parking.

Oh well, I guess I’ll figure something out.

For those who don’t know, the Developers Twilight Conference in Melbourne is at Grand Hyatt, which is the reason for this minor complaint. I’ll go now, it’s dinner time… Mmmm… Food awaits!

Pixel Ruler

Ever wanted to measure certain objects on a webpage or any on screen object for that matter?

Well, I did, and I reckon a couple of others have wanted something like that too. Was referred by a friend sometime ago to something called a Pixel Ruler.

Go check it out!

I’ve found myself using it a fair bit lately for my work, been needing to figure out the exact pixel length of various elements of my website (rather than doing a screen capture, putting it into a graphics software and using that ruler to measure my website elements!).

Just thought I’d share something I found useful! http://www.mioplanet.com/products/pixelruler/index.htm