As part of the Government Leaders Forum - Americas, Microsoft has just announced the availability of professional-level developer and designer tools as well as training to students around the world, at no charge. Whether you are in university or high school, these is an amazing opportunity to prepare yourself for a successful career. The initiative is known as DreamSpark and you can visit the website for more information - check out the FAQ pages for details on how it all works. Students will need a Live ID account.
Isn't it amazing that just when you have yourself convinced how busy you are, you
suddenly find yourself with way too much time on your hands? Well, I've been itching to
play around with Microsoft Labs Photosynth for some time now, so I decided to give it a
bash without leaving the confines of my little home office. I like the effect but I
only achieved a ranking of "36% synthy". We'll do it better next time :-)
There's a definite knack to getting this right. On the Photosynth website you will find an instructional video and a PDF, full of tips of what to do to get the best results. It costs nothing and all you have to do is sign up to get a Photosynth ID which basically uses Windows Live ID.
There is a 20GB limit so I was pretty confident of being able to back in and delete and edit to my heart's content. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the means to do this. Hopefully this will be remedied as people will want the opportunity to improve their synths over time.
While you're at it, check out the new Deep Zoom technology which is incorporated into Silverlight. I just gotta try this one out and see what I can come up with :-)
P.S. The really persistent among you may be able to read the code on the monitor
screen! If you're going to do this, remember to put post-its everywhere you have something sensivitive written as this is viewable by everyone out there!
For all the people out there with a love-hate relationship of the new Office ribbon,
here's something to grab your attention. Despite, the fact that the "experts" spent 10 years studying people's interaction with Office applications in order to come up with the magic ribbon, more than a few people are extremely frustrated on first contact with it! So, we now have help videos,
a sort of multi-media, social office assistant.
The Office team have come up with Microsoft Office Labs in an effort to ease the learning curve of
their Office "power users"... I'm keeping a straight face, honest :-| In short, the Office Labs umbrella site has two new projects which Microsoft has just gone live with: Community
Clips and Search Commands.
Given the pace with which Microsoft have been releasing new products lately, this is a
welcome source of information. I may be a developer, but I put mastering Office tools right
up there with programming the VCR... one day I'll master it...