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one of the things that i think we all hate with pc's purchased oem (original equipment manufacturer - dell, hp, etc.) is that they come pre-installed with about 8,038 programs that a) you didn't ask for and b) likely don't need.  in recent conversation sharing with some friends who also regularly play , i heard a story of a brand new vista machine (which has really good built-in firewall/spyware protection) that also came with mcafee protection suite.  essentially, every internet request was going through two layers of firewall...yikes.  every computer i've purchase has had step 1 being "fdisk" or some other assembly code wiping out the blocks!  most of the time, my family tech support calls are due to some piece of crap software that has been pre-installed and never used, but starts up on boot (have you ever seen the systray of a new computer...holy smokes).

well, via stan spotts, i have now read about the .  from their site:

Your brand spanking new PC boots up only to greet you with a plethora of pop up advertisements pestering you to pay for anti-virus software or sign up for a music service. Your desktop is littered with website links for 'special offers.' The system tray is already full of programs that continuously use your internet connection to make sure that you're 'up to date.' ... The PC Decrapifier will detect the 'crap' on your system, you choose what to uninstall, then sit back and let the PC Decrapifier work its magic.

bravo pc-decrapfier, bravo.

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hey all, quick update here.  i've been starting to record some media (audio/video interviews) and have set up some feeds for your podcasting delight.  next week especially i'll be uploading a few from with some great updates that microsoft will be announcing.

so, here's an explanation of them (they are on the left and as well as alternate links in the site meta data):

right now there is only one video file uploaded (hey, i just said i'm getting started) from our mobility developer lab in las vegas a few weeks ago.  we'll have more next week as well!

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well, texting has officially arrived (if it hadn't before)...when LG is hosting the 'national texting championship' i'm curious where we've gone!

even last night i saw a commercial (albeit funny) where a mom and a young girl have a conversation about her texting phone bill...the girl doesn't speak, but rather speaks in text codes to her mom.  anyhow, i just caught this tidbit on msnbc.

girl wins texting championship by typing supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' in 15 seconds.  um, congrats?  i wonder if that will improve SAT scores?

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i know some people are super excited about powershell...to be frank, i simply haven't looked at enough to make any judgement.  i've sat through a few very high level overview sessions but not enough to get dirty with it.  well, while waiting to present a session with kirk at CA World this past weekend in vegas, i sat in on david's session about powershell.

immediately upon sitting down i couldn't startup notepad fast enough to start taking notes. even some of the simple things were very cool to see...here's some of the things i learned in the first 5 minutes...

want to do a recursive directory listing grouping by file extensions?

dir -Recurse | group extension

how about searching a directory for only c# files?

dir -Include *.cs -Recurse

okay, what about counting the lines of code within those files?

(dir -Include *.cs -Recurse | select-string .).Count

pretty cool i thought!  then i learned about aliasing features within the shell.  now you can create your own "vi" shortcut:

New-Alias vi notepad2.exe

nice, now typing "vi" will give me my favorite text editor :-)

powershell even supports object creation and manipulation...something as simple as:

$speak = new-object -com "SAPI.SPVOICE"
$speak.Speak("Hello world")

using this object creation you can easily script a lot of things relating to your web development setup, including the creation of sites, config files (manipulating config files), etc.

i learned a lot in those 5 minutes...amazing what you can learn when you get the time to sit down and listen!  enjoy powershell!

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this whole twitter craze got me thinking a lot lately.  besides the curious thoughts of the business model behind twitter (not for others, cell phone companies are making money with their plan upgrades, people building twitter apps are making money through ad-funded models, etc.) for themselves, it caused me to think about my use of technology and how other people use it as well.

twitter has become a new instant messenger of sorts i think.  i see much more messages flying across with @username: what are you doing, etc. type comments.  i chuckle when i see messages like that and *that* is what made me realize how technology has been an enabler of avoidance tools.

so how many avoidance tools do you have that you use to avoid personal contact with people?  here are some of mine...

not answering the door/no soliciting signs: well, maybe not technology, but i remember growing up where people left doors open, neighbors sat out on the driveways with each other after work and talked, etc.  now it's open garage-drive in-close garage.  doorbell rings?   if you weren't expecting anyone do you answer?  i barely even bother looking through the peephole anymore -- and now the 'hoods are flooded with no soliciting signs.  minor, but notable.

voice mail and caller id: voice mail has been around for ages.  perhaps the best demonstration of this is in seinfeld's episode where george is avoiding the inevitable break-up with his girlfriend.  he won't answer the phone and uses the voicemail machine to screen calls.  c'mon, who hasn't done that?  now with digital voicemail, it's a bit more processing to screen calls because you may be using a service rather than a machine...so now you have to wait for that tone to tell you that you have to check who you avoided.  caller id? heck do you answer a call anymore from a number you don't know?  and what about instant-reply on voice-mail?  listen to a v-mail, rather than call back you use the "reply with voicemail" feature as long as you are on the same network.

email: do i even need to explain this?  seriously, my wife has to send me email to get things accomplished.  sad i know, but true.  my inbox has become my life to-do list

instant messaging: ah the instant nag.  ping/pong of messages.  don't have time to call/respond to v-mail/email?  use an IM.  it's quick, but we're still avoiding talking to each other.  would an IM conversation happen quicker if you just picked up the phone?

sms: the new mobile instant messenger.  what's funny is that *you are using your phone* to text someone.  wouldn't it make more sense to call?

twitter: now a combination of all of the above...and adding the lovely feature of me now knowing what you are doing on every random moment (heck, i'm guilty of using this now as well)...but i still find it amusing that we are instant messaging the world the fact that we are headed to breakfast.

fascinating, how many tools enable me to avoid talking to you as a person...:-)

heck, even this blog...