Patrick\’s Bytes

30, March 2008

MS Word for FREE

Filed under: Word — patrickyong @ 5:46 pm

I guess this headline sure caught your attention. Actually you still can’t go to Low Yat today and asked for a free copy, don’t even try come to 29th floor KLCC either!

You see, I just discovered that the last DOS based version of MS Word (v5.5) has been made available by Microsoft since 1999 after they released it as a Y2k fix.

You can download the program here. Below is a screen shot.

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22, March 2008

The Office 2007 UI Bible

Filed under: Office,RibbonUI — patrickyong @ 3:47 pm

Patrick Schmid actually compiled together blog posts of Office 2007 UI Team Program Manager Jensen Harris into sections of topics about the new Ribbon UI.

As someone who do a lot of Office customization, I keep wonder sometimes why certain things are design in certain way inside Office 2007. This bible web site will more or less gives you the answer to the 4Ws of the Office UI.

http://pschmid.net/blog/2006/10/09/58

Jensen also did a prezzo at Mix 08 about the Story of the Ribbon, you can download the .wmv and .pptx there. Its interesting to see some early prototype of Office 2007 like the photo below.

OpenOffice supports OpenXML

Filed under: OpenOffice,OpenXML — patrickyong @ 12:03 pm

There are works to be done but initial support of OpenXML in the latest version of OpenOffice (ver 3.0) is here. No more installations of ‘plugins’ from 3rd party such as Sun.

Screenshots taken from OpenOffice Ninja blog.

19, March 2008

MS CRM 4.0 Titan First Impression

Filed under: Dynamics CRM,Titan — patrickyong @ 5:29 pm

  Well, this is not really a first impression lar. I actually just install MR CRM 4.0 on  a VPC just to get a look at feel of things in MS CRM 4.0.

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There is this familar Outlook feel on the workspace.

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One of my favourite feature MS CRM workflow, which built on top of Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)

MS CRM is one of the most customisable business application inside Microsoft and I mean besides APIs and SDKs for developers, end users can also customize features within it. Workflow is one great example shown above, which is meant for end user to orchestrate process within the enterprise.

There is this nice article about 11 things to know about MS CRM 4.0 customizations.

Here is the MSDN MR CRM Developer Center. And already 3 books are written about the software.

Working with MS Dynamics CRM 4.0

Programming MS Dynamics CRM 4.0

MS Dynamics CRM 4.0 Unleashed

Channel 9 has tonnes of interviews and also screencast tutorials.

Book To Read: RibbonX Customizing the Office 2007 Ribbon

Filed under: Office,OpenXML — patrickyong @ 6:05 am

This is a amazing book on customizing Office 2007 new Ribbon User Interface. All the Office programming books so far never go as deep into topics such as:

Contextual Ribbon

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Office Menu

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Quick Access Toolbar

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Best of all, it even has samples on deployment and security best practices.

There are a lot of codes inside on how to customize the above mention UI. For anyone doing Office 2007 customization you guys should really pick a copy from Amazon.

15, March 2008

SharePoint Portal & Designer Training Kit

Filed under: Sharepoint,SharePoint Designer — patrickyong @ 3:23 pm

Just got to know about these new training material from Microsoft with videos included. I don’t have time yet to check out the material but I don’t think it is meant for developers, more towards power user or business analyst.

Here are the overviews and links

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 offers a rich set of features that allow you to build and maintain powerful intranets and Internets for your company. You can manage workflow, maintain version control, connect to business intelligence applications, track key performance indicators for your business, add blogs and wikis to improve knowledge transfer and enhance collaboration, and more.
The Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Training Portal Edition, built on the Microsoft SharePoint Learning Kit, is designed for server administrators who want to help their end-users learn how to use the features of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. The Training topics lead the learner step-by-step through beginning to advanced features, including Collaboration, Business Processes and Forms, Portals and Personalization, Search, Business Intelligence and Enterprise Content Management.

The Training includes videos, interactive tutorials, and articles. In addition, the material is SCORM compliant. You can easily add or remove training topics to fit your business needs. The Training also includes a reporting function that allows an administrator/trainer to track learners’ completed training topics. You can customize the Training to fit the look and feel of your own Office SharePoint Server site.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=673dc932-626a-4e59-9dca-16d685600a51&displaylang=en#filelist

The Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 Training (Portal Edition) leads the learner step-by-step through SharePoint Designer features using easy to understand videos. Built with the SharePoint platform integration in mind and engineered to work efficiently with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, SharePoint Designer will help you customize your SharePoint sites to make it an even more powerful tool for productivity. SharePoint Designer is the ideal tool for Information Workers to build composite applications, design and customize workflows and tailor SharePoint sites to their branding needs.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=6a429664-a911-4ad3-9856-f1b0ae7a136e&displaylang=en

8, March 2008

IE8 Beta 1 failed to render major web sites?

Filed under: IE8,Internet Explorer 8 — patrickyong @ 6:24 am

As reported by my pal Walter, IE8 Beta 1 indeed failed to rendered the all popular Hotmail web page properly. This prompted me to do some testing myself.

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Yup, just as said, position all ‘koyak’, now let me try it in IE7 mode

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Alright, now it is working. And seriously speaking, I feel the rendering in IE7 mode is faster than the original IE7 itself. Someone please help me bust this myth!

7, March 2008

IE8 Beta 1 First Impression

Filed under: IE8,Internet Explorer 8 — patrickyong @ 2:24 am

The installation experience of IE8 Beta 1 is about the same as IE7. The interface also, as I expected looks the same (pic below)

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I installed IE8 on a Windows Server 2003 VPC image so I guess the menu bar shows up just as in IE7

Examined carefully, I notice the shortcut bar is back. It was one of my favorite feature on Internet Explorer prior to IE7. You can still have it in IE7 but the feel is just not there.

Observe carefully on the address bar, you will notice the domain URL is in bold while the rest of the URL is grayed out. is this for novelty or what I am not sure yet.

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Right to the tabs area, there is a few buttons such as Home, RSS and Print button which is the same as IE7. Below is 2 of the extra buttons which I suspect its meant for developers only and they might go away in RTM.

Emulate IE7 – Accordingly IE8 has been defaulted to standards mode which as some cases web site optimized for IE7 might not look exactly the same, click on this Emulate IE7 and you will have IE8 behave just like IE7. For example in standard IE8 mode, the Silverlight website does not render properly.

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After I click on the Emulate IE7 mode and restart IE according to instruction, it renders nicely.

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Good thought, but too much hassle for end users, maybe make it more transparent in next beta release.

Developer Tool (Far right button with a arrow inside angle bracket) – This opens up a new window which shows you (with highlighting) the underlying HTML, CSS and JavaScript of the current webpage.

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For Javascript, the developer tool also offers a debugger which is really great for web developers

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For users two most obvious features are WebSlices and Activities, the details you might find it clearly and interestingly explained by Jane Kim, one of the program manager in IE team, there is a video interview on Mix website (click on pic)

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For me my 2 lines explanations (with pic) without too much details. 🙂

WebSlice

WebSlices is like a bookmark with preview. INstead of previewing the whole page, developer can determined only a certain portion to be display on IE8’s WebSlices button, see below for an example (pic 1 is the site, pic 2 is the WebSlice). This is how it works, I go to Stumble Upon website (one of the sample sites featured in IE8 home page)

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If a portioned of the page is marked as WebSlice, I will see the purple WebSlice button when I hover my mouse across.

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Clicking the purple button, that a window pops up, asking your permission to add it into your favorites.

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It will then appear on my favorites toolbar, click on it will show me the update ‘sliced’ portion of the page I added just now. There is a annoyance at the moment, the WebSlice preview always appear on top portion and not adjust accordingly to the space on the desktop, so I got to move my IE windows down a bit to see everything.

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Activities (Smart Tag for IE)

Activities to me is really like charged up feature of Office’s smart tag. It a programmable feature where you can use it to call certain web service and pass in the highlight item on the web page as parameter.

For Example, below here I highlighted some text, then upon right click, there will be a range of built in activities list appear.

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Should I want to find out more about the highlighted ‘developer’ word via Live Search, I just click on it.

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Then a new windows pops up with search results on developer. What a good way to improve user experience by having less cut and paste!

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Trust me, I think last night someone is working on a Google search activity.

The one last thing I want to see on IE is the download manager. For years I hope for a download manager like the one found in FireFox but IE8 beta 1 still have the same older download manager. Hope the team will improve  it.

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6, March 2008

Digital Lifestyle? Microsoft S+S in your life…

Filed under: Live.com — patrickyong @ 4:21 am

Also looks like a nerd’s life… got the coolest gadget… but drive a lousy car… but the pretty girlfriend part? Gee…

Since when convenient store assistant got Zune (or IPod)? Not here in 7-eleven…

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-AbGaKdCbs]
YouTube – Your Digital Lifestyle

I like the song very much, its Girl from Mars by Magneta Lane

Goodies from MIX 08 available now!

Filed under: Internet Explorer 8,Silverlight — patrickyong @ 3:50 am

They include IE8 Beta1, Expression Suite 2 and Silverlight 2. I just downloaded them… see this weekend got time to try or not.

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By the way, dev.live.com got a facelift with new APIs announced.

Do check out Mix’s website.

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