I am waiting for this to happen.. shopping experience would be awesome!!
Video: Microsoft Retail Future Vision
Here is a secret!! I am a screenshot junkie! I take lot of snapshots of portion of computer screen for any of the following reasons..
Till now, I had been using Inbit's FullShot software (thanks to one of my friend who gifted it to me!) Its undoubtedly awesome piece of software for taking arbitrary screen snapshots! If you learn that software entirely, you increase significant percentage in productivity!
Main problems that I was facing with Fullshot was, snapshots taken on one machine were only on that machine.. Many a times, I had to remote into my office machine just to take a look at the damn snapshot that I took during office hours! I was looking for a solution that includes S+S model.. where I can integrate snapshots of all my machines (there are bunch of them that I work with regularly.. sometimes it becomes painful keeping things in synchronization!)
Before I got evernote into mainstream, I added my snapshot folder in Live Mesh profile so that all the snapshots on all the machines are synchronized! (Even before I got live mesh into mainstream, I had been using Windows Foldershare.. there is a lot of history associated with this dragon!)
But then, I got Evernote which is exactly what I wanted!! I moved all my snapshots into evernote (there are appx. 780 screenshots in my store increasing everyday!).. Here are advantages that I get using evernote over all my past systems!
So, after a long time, I have Good bye Fullshot and welcome'd Evernote to my always running tool! Like they say, One needs to welcome change.. and Softwares are no exceptions to it!!
It was before few days, when I got an email from Hyperwebenable.com that they have been watching my blog for some time and would like to offer me a free domain name (.com/.org/.net/.info anything) that I would like and host it on their servers. They would show two banner ads on all pages that I show in exchange of that..
I went ahead with the offer and just got http://jigar-mehta.com
I am still in the process of setting it up and their administrator is working with me to allow me setup everything I want (Right now, I am enabling google talk/jabber chatting on that domain with email and calendar through google apps). Once I am fully done with new domain, thinking to transfer to the new domain! (though, for some time, I will continue cross posting..)
If you want to get your own domain name for your blog, go ahead and tell them about your blog..
Shifting the blog got me in touch with Wordpress once again (my domain blog is wordpress based).. I feel like, wordpress is much more better than blogger! But anyways, blogger has got some pros too!
PS: Though they have not yet enabled advertisements on my blog but I guess they will do that in future!
This is the issue faced by many people using more than one computer/devices.
Well, at the same time there are multiple services out there in the cloud that tries to solve this issue..
I have used following services which can solve this issue..
Dropbox and Live Mesh are still in private beta where you need an invite to join the service. Windows Live Foldershare is in beta but anybody having Live ID can join.
I am running out of Live Mesh invites right now, but I have few DropBox invites available.. If you want, leave a comment with your email id, will send one!
Apart from business update, there were few announcements.. One of the most interesting one (the one that earned highest clapping) was "Company (Microsoft, India GTSC) will provide each employee with Broadband Connection at Home" (until now this was provided per business-need).. Though, I had been using Broadband @ home from the day I entered bangalore, but I really liked Management's decision to provide it to all employees.. It will help them stay in touch with latest happenings while at home and leisure time!
Another announcement that got everybody's attention was Microsoft, India GTSC will donate appx 1000+ Desktop Personal Computers this year with latest Operating System and latest hardware configurations (Windows Vista, Multi-Core) to NGOs. Basically thought here is to give something back to the society.. A huge initiative, Congrats to the leader who thought about this idea, loved it. If you know any registered NGO within India, who can be really benefited from a personal computer, please let me know (leave a comment here, I will contact you!)
My company Rocks!
Are you a designer mind? Do you love discussing UI / functionality related issue ? Can you think of better way to solve an issue with Windows UI / experience? Do you like suggesting things? If yes, then here is a great site that lets you discuss and 'vote' regarding windows UI issues..
Very nice site that I enjoy spending some time with every now and then. I love to see how different users looks at various features and what they expect.. There are also great people out there who gives really great ideas to solve complex problem in efficient way! My personal favorite on the site is 'digg' style box to cast your vote (positive or negative).. You can also leave comment to back your ideas..
Though, this is not Microsoft Official website (Microsoft should comes up with something like this to get feedback from community) but, I hope Program Managers from Microsoft will take a look at this site to 'listen to' what their users are saying (which is their primary job, I guess)!
Go, advice Microsoft to build your Dream Windows..
Woo hoo.. June 18th was somewhat special in the terms that my blog crossed 1,000 Page Views marks.. (Generally this has been from 700-800 average daily page views with 500-600 visitors).. Looks like Chris's twitter and respective friendfeed post has helped getting people's attention on my Live Search blog-post..
Following is what my Woopra shows..
Though, time spent per visitor per page (47 seconds) is not very good.. But I think Woopra's algorithm for counting it has some drawbacks (say if you come to any page, read it for 10 minutes and leave the site without clicking any other link, Woopra counts it as zero second visit!! and I think its not woopra's mistake, because there is no way to track such visit's accurate timing..)
Anyways, Thanks a lot people, hope you enjoy the content! Just thought of sharing this because crossing 1000 page views for this blog is first time in my knowledge
If you are using Windows 7, use this theme which downloads wallpapers dynamically from Microsoft servers (those which featured on Bing.com homepages).
The problem is:
I have been facing this problem from a long time! I tried many solutions! but none of them could make me speak "Perfect! Thats what I want".. So, search continued.. And just before couple of months, I read a blog post saying "Evernote is designing WebService based client as a next version!"
I had used Evernote previous version v2.0 which was not-so-effective for me! But this new version, Evernote v3.0 seemed interesting! I wanted to hear more about it so, followed Evernote on Twitter, Subscribed to their RSS and registered for Private Beta access for their new system! I did study with all that was available at the moment and found Evernote 3.0 can become Perfect solution for what I was looking for!
And one good day, I got access to Private Beta.. (Its still in private beta, if you need access, let me know)
I can just say one word after using Evernote.. "Perfect!!" My search stops here! I have been using it from few months and have got dependent on it!! It has saved me a lot of painful hours looking for information.. My account summary on Evernote website says (I have appx. 675 notes stored in my evernote account with lots of them Snapshots/Images!),
I think this is one of the S+S system which I dont have any suggestions for! Its truly Perfect! Infact, the icon they have chosen for Evernote is also cool!
I was just thinking about starting a new category on this blog, named "How do I.." (like, I have another category, "How would it be.." where I write about my Design Ideas to improve a produce or service)
As the name "How do I.." suggest, my main goal is to share basic usage information about different software/system! (be it a website or software or device !!) I will start with a unique problem to be solved and will probably note down one or more solutions to it. Probably you will also find some of them as cool as I do!
I will write some post in this category shortly!
I was a hardcore FeedDemon fan! Especially after it taken over by NewsGator, it became better than ever! But then I tried Google Reader in parallel (version 2).. and I was forced to retire FeedDemon (though it became free!)
Google Reader is one of the site that is opened by me at least 5 times in any working day! (all days are working days for me right now.. at least when I am in the city!) Over the time, I have got a huge collection of RSS subscribed!
Its good, that Google Reader supports Labeling the feeds (so I can categorize them and focus on what I want at a particular time!)
But now, while dealing with so many feeds and traffic, I think its necessary to have Outlook-like (or EMail like) rules support in Google Reader!
Following are the Use-Case I can think of!!
If you think there can be some more interesting use-cases for Rules feature in Google Reader, feel free to leave a comment..
Going forward, I would love to have GMail and Google Reader Integrated! Designing UI for this merging is going to be a challenging part, but that should be the way to go!! (no point in having two window [or tabs] having opened all the times!)
I think Google Reader has undoubtedly become Favorite RSS reader of the Mass.. Others should just retire!! (No offence, if you are BlogLines reader!!)
Microsoft has been a leader or really a good competitor when it comes to software (and now slowly, I can say in hardware devices as well)! But when it comes to Web Search it is not the leader, neither is it a big competitor comparing the Market Share.
It is always a big challenge to break the monopoly, especially when you are dealing with unbelievably good and growing competitor! Personally, I love working on almost impossible challenges (because when you achieve something which was really impossible, its out-of-the-world feeling! Though, I know it attracts high failure rate and risk as well!) It takes something more than extra-mile to reach that place! According to me (and many authors that I have read!), The key to win is, "Keep users in front of you, for all that you do!".
Well, I had thoughts about "Improving Live Search to Win" in my mind roaming around, from quite some time.. But could not get chance to materialize them into a blog post. This weekend, I decided to finish this pending task.. I want to list few things here that Microsoft (Live Search Team) can do in order to Win in the Search market! I know, Microsoft is FULL of smart & intelligent people, and may be some of THE BEST minds are thinking over this problem 'day-n-night' relentlessly.. Here are two cents from my side (being a drop in the sea, who's not in the position right now to make direct decisions )!
Here are main four themes around which my ideas can be grouped:
e.g. searching for "Petrol price increase India", it gives result saying
Petrol, diesel prices may rise after Jan 17-India Business-Business ...
Petrol, diesel prices may rise after Jan 17 5 Jan 2008, 0329 hrs IST , Diwakar & Sanjay Dutta , TNN ... timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Petrol_diesel_prices_may_rise/articleshow/2676215.cms
As you see in above result, actual content from the result page is hardly one line.. If more context is provided to user, he will be able to more efficiently select correct page by reading that information! (What I think is, its not a MUST to have first result the best one, if user is able to find his intended result on the first page without miss each time, every-time!, that should be absolutely fine! - Though, first result as best one is always good!)
Apart from sponsored results, there can be lots of things that can be shown on results page which can help user.. (I know, this will increase the wait time for user, but with the help of AJAX today, all these 'extra' items can be triggered to start loading after showing basic 10 results to user!)
That’s almost everything that I can re-collect right now.. It may be possible that some of the ideas are already implemented by live search (which I am not aware of).. But I tried my best to confirm they are not! I may be missing many other thoughts as well, but I will use Comments section (as I generally do!) for adding those..
If you want to add any, feel free to add them here in Comments section!
This is probably the largest post I have ever written, but I think I had to start some day!!
In an organization, its common that you are part of many discussion groups. Not everytime, you get useful content (for you!) on there! I was just wondering if Outlook had a feature to allow me to ignore a particular thread such that all emails that comes for that thread would automatically be deleted!! I think outlook can create in-memory (short-term) client side rule to do this!
A small feature, but would be useful to many people! I hope it would be there in Office 14!
Flickr has been a buzz in online photos from some time! Till now, I had never got a chance to use it.. (Picasa and Live Gallery fan here!) But yesterday on advice of one of my friends, I tried using Flickr! I have free account for which I was not aware of limitations.. I started uploading my new photo collection (appx 300 photos)..
And what I found was, with free account you can have only most recent 200 photos on photostream (which is I think very bad)! Flickr also provides functionality of marking photos private which nobody except you can see.. Another kind of upload is public upload which is available to anybody in world. So, I was trying to find out a way to get rid of these 200 photo limitations.. While reading documentation, I found that all photos which I had uploaded (which may be more than 200) are still stored on flickr servers but its just that they are not shown!
One thing can be done to temporarily resolve this problem is, Get your public photo RSS stream and add it to google reader (I have added it to FriendFeed, my Flickr stream which friendfeed stores forever is at, http://friendfeed.com/jigarme?service=flickr). So, you can still find individual photo link and access to all comments for that photo even if that photo is not one of most recent 200 photos!
Though, I have still not been able to figure out how to keep track of Private photos like this! Review of service is almost very good except these free account limitations! They have got good social touch as well. But one has to understand it costs real money to host and serve these photos over Internet So, they also have to have revenue model!
My PhotoStream (feel free to add me as your contact, if you wish),
Want to get your own domain name without spending bucks? These days its very easy to host your basic website files (HTML and client side scripts) in any free web space provider (like Live Skydrive or Google Pages).. If you want to get your own domain name for free of cost, go ahead and create one by clicking here..
Windows live writer team just released “Windows Live Writer 2008 Technical Preview”.. Installed it and posting my first post using it..
One feature that I liked is, now, we have “Edit”, “Preview” and “Source” tabs at the bottom of edit area..
Another one I liked is option to automatically link words..
Also, now windows live writer has got Auto Update functionality!! It rocks!
Go, download your copy!!
This is something I have been craving from a long time! In fact, I had written few papers about this solution before some time.. Hooeey is a company who has implemented this idea in a nice way..
It solves a unique problem of having browser history distributed on different machines (if you are using more than one personal computers - which is very common these days!), it stores the history on a centralized place (their server) and lets you search through all the history.. (you can also create rules about what links you dont want to store in history, those links don't get transferred to the server!)
Video is worth million words, Take a look..