Internet Explorer 9 is coming

As most of you are aware Internet Explorer 9 is on its way, with a release date not yet confirmed but expected in early 2011. But what does this mean for me I hear you say, well for a start it’s only compatible with Windows Vista SP2 or Windows 7, which means anybody running XP or below will not have access to any of the benefits or improvements it’s bringing. For a start Microsoft are investing heavily in standardising the technology with support for such technologies as W3C standards, CSS 3, embedded ICC, a new JavaScript engine called Chakra, improving the visual experience with Direct2D and DirectWrite, WOFF and support for HTML5. With all its improvements it scored an impressive 83% on the Acid3 test compared to IE7’s 20%, see just how your current browser by following the link With all the work Microsoft’s IE team have done, it should allow for an easy transition from IE8 to IE9 and give users an even better experience. To experience Internet Explorer 9 for yourself have a look at the following link

2020 a look into the future

In 2020, most of us will have a 4-D TV as thin as a sheet of paper.  5-D TVs will have just come out …….but will still be a little too expensive. Gillette will have brought out a razor with 7 blades for an “extra, extra close shave” and my tooth brush will also be able to clean my ears at the same time. So besides the obvious, I wonder what else will have changed in the next ten years. 10 years ago, companies slowly came to realise they need to manage their application portfolio. Today companies have come to a definite conclusion; they were right 10 years ago! The problem is; it is expensive.  Migrating a company to a new operating system still feels like cleaning out behind the fridge; we do it only every few years, we never know what we are going to find, it generally takes longer than we think and it makes us realise we should be doing this more often. Where does the future lie? In 10 years time this should all have changed. Application information will not be collected by the migration team. It will already be there, collected by people on the ground, in the day to day running of the business. Why? Because they need it! This information will be used by HR, Finance, managers, deployment, security, support etc… And companies will be run better and cheaper as a result. The fact it would help OS migration would be a minor added bonus to the already huge benefits. For companies who adopt this approach, managing their application portfolio may still take some time and effort; however the information gathered will be more relevant, accessible and beneficial to the company’s overall well being. I imagine the whole experience will be generally less stressful. It better…I don’t want anything to affect my future marriage to Cheryl Tweedy!

Camwood do Sharepoint!

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we get excited by the benefits of a full set of the latest and greatest licences.  Did you know… and not a lot of people do know this; that your agreement only relates to the latest plus one previous version of the product.  So if you are running XP and Office 2003 – you are breaking the license agreement. Well we are on Windows 7, we are rolling out Office 2010 and migrating our Sharepoint 2007 sites to Sharepoint 2010.  Did we worry?  No, we planned well in advance and we are experts in all of these technology spaces…. Camwood?  Sharepoint experts – well yes we are and we have been delivering business change consulting for over two years. We can even give you free consultancy on the Microsoft SDPS and BVPS programmes if you’re a customer with the right amount of packaged services entitlement on your Enterprise Agreement.  These programmes can even leave you with a fully working environment and it costs nothing!!  Come and see us at

Windows Media Center & Freeview HD

Tinkering with my Windows Media Center (complete with dual Freeview TV tuners and connected to my HD plasma television) is usually a job I leave to the autumn and winter months, as I tend to take every opportunity to get outside when the sun makes an appearance over London. Six years in the UK makes anyone understand just how precious the commodity of sunlight can be. In the past, I didn’t set the agenda when it came to deciding when to tinker – instead, the technology demanded a reboot, graphics card driver adjustment, and other assorted problems every week or so, driving my girlfriend and therefore me to frustration. Those were the days of Windows Media Center 2005, based on Windows XP and one of Microsoft’s first forays into the ‘pc as a home entertainment hub’ market. I chose the Media Center as I couldn’t comprehend paying for a service I’d hardly ever watch, but wanted the advantages of recording television for programs of interest. And besides, I’m happy with the choice of over 30 Freeview channels and to pay for a few diet lemonades to watch the football / cricket down the local that were being shown via subscription services. But after a few months, the problems started to become something we’d have to fix every day or two. It did have the benefit of turning my previously pc fearing girlfriend into a Media Center second line support technician, but frankly the experience was disappointing  – especially  when you consider that these problems occurred with a machine configured specifically to perform the task at hand. Step forward Windows Vista Media Center. After reading a few forums of user experiences with the kit I have, I decided to wear the reboots and the changes to my machine in its current configuration. ‘At least I have a fighting chance to get it MCE 2005 working if something goes wrong’ was the general consensus. In my desperation and out of my ‘self imposed’ tinkering exile, I installed the Windows 7 Release Candidate early last year to see if any improvements could be made. I was sold within the first week, and six months later my opinion remained the same – minimal problems, increased functionality (internet TV, Sky TV plug in (subscription required) and a good user experience. Granted, not as good as a subscription set top box (they just work), but it was now something which didn’t command four letter expletives every time the television was turned on. Now installed with an official copy, everything is going along smoothly, leaving me to plan my next component upgrade or additional feature. With the release of Freeview HD in most parts of the UK, I’ve been looking to upgrade my TV tuner cards to be Freeview HD compatible – something that is not readily available just yet. Windows 7 does support Freeview HD, but the cards themselves won’t be available until the end of this year. Just in time for my next tinkering window, and hopefully it will also be enough time to ensure ill-timed adverts aren’t placed in the middle of global sporting events on HD channels by free to air television stations.

English is a crazy language

Following on from my statement “… Use less jargon and more basic English …” in my previous blog, it transpires that the English Language itself may actually be the problem, as the following sentences attest to:
  1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  2. The farm was used to produce produce.
  3. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  4. When shot at, the dove dove into the bush.
  5. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  6. There was a row amongst the oarsmen about how to row.
  7. They were too close to the door to close it.
  8. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  9. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  10. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
We take English for granted.  But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.  Why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing?  And if teachers taught, why don’t preachers praught?  If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?  How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? English was invented by people, not computers and it reflects the creativity and ingenuity of the human race (which, of course, is not a race at all). P.S. does anyone know why “Buick” doesn’t rhyme with “quick”? Credit to: and