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SkyDrive Got Sync April 24, 2012

Posted by Bilal in Updates.
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A lot of people nowadays are using services like Dropbox which provide you the ease to access your up-to-date files everywhere. Dropbox is currently limited to 2GB with some expansion via referrals (and it is not so simple). Some Dropbox competitors like Sugarsync, Waula etc. (with 5 GB) have been around for some time but they haven’t gained much attention for being late comer in the market. However when a competing product is launched from a giant company, it is bound to get a lot of attention. So is the case is with much hyped GDrive, which is expected to be launched by Google very soon. Meanwhile, the other tech giant Microsoft has refined its SkyDrive service, by adding new sync features. Up until now, SkyDrive has been a useful place for online file storage with a generous FREE 25GB quota. Today, Microsoft announced PC and Mac apps for SkyDrive which provide the more-useful file synchronization features.

At first glance it is very tempting to see a free 25GB online space available for cloud storage and syncing, compared to Dropbox (which offers only 2GB). But unfortunately, along with the introduction of new features, Microsoft has also decided to reduce the free storage offerings to 7GB. The new SkyDrive users are left with no option other than a paid upgrade if they want extra storage. Old SkyDrive users though, still have some luck. If you have used SkyDrive before, you can avail a limited time offer. Existing users are being offered a free upgrade to 25GB. Login to SkyDrive with your Windows Live ID, and you will be prompted with a following message:

The interesting thing is that the image is not linked to any page. In the navigation column on left, you have to navigate to Manage Storage page. So, what are you waiting for??? Go and enjoy the free cake from Microsoft until it is on display.

Update (24/04/2012): Google Drive is out now.

A guest post by Ammar Haider


Microsoft OpenDoor Expo Jeddah 2010 November 13, 2010

Posted by Bilal in .NET, General, Microsoft, Tech News, Tips & Tricks, Updates, Windows.
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Microsoft OpenDoor 2010 Saudi Arabia took place in two cities Riyadh (2nd and 3rd Nov) and Jeddah (7th Nov) at Intercontinental Hotel. It was the first time that Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer visited KSA and delivered the Key Note but his visit was limited to one day and it was in Riyadh only.

The registration was web based and no registration fee was mentioned. I happen to know about Professional Developer Conference (PDC) that used to have separate registration fee for students and professionals. Anyhow, for this expo, a bar code was issued to each participant against his Windows Live ID.

The Expo started with the keynote of Developer & Platform group Manager
Adel Al-Massarani about Cloud Computing and Abdurrahman Al-Qahtani
Manager Windows Phone Group, about the new Windows Phone 7. It was followed by the presentation of the Platinum Sponsors

Mobily was also a platinum sponsor but they are already making too much advertisement through different mediums. No time was given to the Gold Sponsors. All of the sponsors have their stalls in the lobby where attendees can easily get their information.

After that there were three options to go:

  • Track A for IT Professional
  • Track B for Developers
  • Track C for Technical Managers

Each track was taking place in separate hall. Attendees had full choice to attend any of the tracks at any time as per their taste.

I joined the Track B (Developers). It started with a presentation of Mohamad Halbi about Windows Azure Platform, the cloud service operating system. It was a brief but comprehensive overview of the Azure Platform right from the start to a live working demo. He showed how windows Cloud could be utilized to get a cost effective and reliable performance.

It was followed by lunch and prayer break.

The next session was about Microsoft Web platform by Abdurrahman Al-Qahtani. He demonstrated about the new Web Platform and also gave some working demonstrations.

After a break of about 15 min, the stage was conquered by Jerry Yasir about the advanced features in Microsoft Excel 2010 and its interaction with Microsoft Sharepoint 2010. He showed how we can get the graphical representation of data and its distribution/sharing with other people through SharePoint.

Then there was prayer break. Refreshment was available in the side room that can be utilized by anybody at any time.

Last session of the track was about Visual Studio 2010 from Architecture Point of view by Abdurrahman Al-Qahtani. He should that how the advanced tools in VS 2010 can help in understanding/designing the architecture of a system graphically using UML.

In the last, there was a combined closing session of all the tracks in which winners were selected through a lucky draw. Gifts include 3 web-cameras and 1 XBOX 360 and another set of 2 web-cameras and 1 Xbox360 for the female participants.

And so, a wonderful Expo by Microsoft came to an end. We wish to see more such events in the near future by international companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc… Also, we expect to see Steve Ballmer in Jeddah next year.


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Updating to iOS 4 June 22, 2010

Posted by Bilal in iPhone, Updates.
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Looong awaited iOS 4 is out since yesterday (8 PM KST)

I tried for the update in the morning & it was pretty much smooth. I plugged my iPhone to iTunes and it seemed that there was much load on the server. iTunes did not started properly, I closed it from the task manager and re-opened it. I was unable to get the “update available” msg, anyhow I clicked the iPhone in the iTunes and it showed update available. I clicked update now and it was all done.

First it downloaded the update package of 378 mb(app) then it took the backup of the iPhone and after that it communicated wid the device and installed the update. It asked me to keep iPhone connected while it get restarted.
After restart, the device was loaded with the updated OS.

I m using STC sim in my device purchased from Mobily. Last time when I updated from 3.1.2 to 3.1.3, the update was not successful until I inserted the mobily sim. I was afraid of same situation this time but luckily no such issue.

The first thing that I did after update was to utilize the new network setting “Cellular Data” and turn it off. I had been facing an issue wid it.

By the way, it’s my first post from iPhone using wordpress app.

Firefox 3.0 – Download Day – Set a Guinness World Record June 18, 2008

Posted by Bilal in Firefox, Tech News, Tips & Tricks, Updates.
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With more than 15,000 improvements, Firefox 3 is faster, safer and smarter than ever before.
Waiting for what….? Download Now.
Want to know some Tips & Trick about new Firefox??
Download Day is here!
Set a Guinness World Record
Enjoy a Better Web
Mozilla is organizing a “Download Day” to promote Firefox 3.0 and set a Guinness World Record for the most downloaded software in 24 hours. Sounds like a good deal, right? All you have to do to help us set the record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours is get Firefox 3 now – it’s that easy. We’re not asking you to swallow a sword or to balance 30 spoons on your face, although that would be kind of awesome.
Please download Firefox 3 by 11:16 a.m. PDT (18:16 UTC) on June 18, 2008. That’s 11:16 a.m. in Mountain View, 2:16 p.m. in Toronto, 3:16 p.m. in Rio de Janeiro, 8:16 p.m. in Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Rome and Warsaw, 10:16 p.m. in Moscow, and June 19, 2008 at 2:16 a.m. in Beijing, 3:16 a.m. in Tokyo and in Lahore Thursday 12:15 a.m.
Do we have to reach a specific number of downloads in order to set the record?
This is the first record attempt of its kind so there is no set number. We’d really like to outdo the number of Firefox 2 downloads on its launch day, which was 1.6 million. Let’s shoot for 5 million–the sky is the limit!
Go ahead…. Download Now
STILL Not Ready to download ………………??? Want some more details, okay check this:

Mozilla Firefox 3.0 RC1 Released May 21, 2008

Posted by Bilal in Firefox, Updates.
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Two emails from the Hardware 2.0 mailbag:

  • What’s “sneaky” about the install process for Firefox 3??? If you can’t or don’t want to read the screens than that’s your problem!
  • I think it’s interesting that while you tore into Apple for making Safari available through the Apple Software Updater to iTunes users you choose to give Mozilla a get-out-of-jail-free card and only label this malware-like move as “sneaky.”

First, some background. As most Firefox users will be aware, the choice as to whether Firefox was set as the default browser used to be set at the time when the browser was first run (this was true of Firefox 1.5, 2.0 and 3.0 beta – I can’t remember further back than 1.5 though … maybe someone else can remind me if the process was the same). Starting with Firefox 3.0 RC1 the default browser setting has been rolled into the install routine. As expected, the option is pre-checked:

So, why did I call this sneaky? Simple – because it caught me out, and not many things catch me out! I’ve carried out hundreds, if not thousands, of Firefox installs and handled each and every beta release of Firefox 3.0 and the install process has become second nature to me. This time, it caught me out and I only spotted what had happened when Internet links on my desktop that had previously been marked by the Big Blue E suddenly changed to the Firefox logo. Sure, I probably should have been paying more attention, but I wasn’t. I guess I trusted Mozilla.

So why has the Firefox development team gone and made this change between the beta of Firefox 3.0 and the Release Candidate? Simple, it’s because the old method made it far too easy for people to download Firefox, even install Firefox, but to then forget about it and never even run it. Also, when people are faced with a dialog box asking a simple Yes/No question, I guess that people were being conservative and choosing not to make Firefox the default browser. The only reason to change this process now would be that Mozilla feels that this move will help it turn some of those downloaders that aren’t committed to running Firefox into regular users.

Mozilla’s own product planning document for Firefox 3.0 states that one of the objectives for the browser should be to “continue to increase usage share and broaden the Firefox audience” – seems like this change in the install routine is one way that Mozilla plan to use to increase market share.

Is this move deceptive? No, I can’t say that it is, especially compared to Apple’s move in pushing Safari through the software update mechanism. I don’t like it, and this move offers yet another reason for me to hate the entire browser industry, but it’s no deal-breaker. Browser makers only care about one thing – market share. It’s all about a fight for market share, and in this big land grab the users are caught in the middle.

That aside, I’m still on track to make a complete switch over to Firefox 3.0 as soon as it hits final release. It’s an excellent browser.

Source: ZDNET

Firefox 3 RC1 Expected in Late May May 13, 2008

Posted by Bilal in Firefox, Tech News, Updates.
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Mozilla now expects Firefox 3 RC1 will be ready to go in late May.

RC1 was originally planned to be released last month but several bugs have arisen during the final phase of development that needed to be addressed, including problems with the new Places bookmarking feature, themes UI and conflicts with Google’s Safebrowing add on.

It looks like are systems are go aside from a trio of minor issues.

”We are code complete for Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) … Last night we hit Zarro bugs for Firefox 3.   3 New issues have arisen since then,” wrote Mike Schroepfer,  Mozilla’s VP Engineering who posted a status update on the project Saturday. He said the team planned kickoff builds for RC1 beginning this weekend and would begin the Q&A cycle for Rc1 on Monday.

”The QA cycle for RC1 is more extensive than the betas since this may be our last milestone,” he wrote. “If no unexpected issues arise, RC1 should ship late May. ”

RC1 will be Firefox 3 if no “showstoppers” are found, he added.

The Firefox team has declined repeated requests to discuss the status of Firefox 3 and said it would speak publicly beginning in late May.

Sources familiar with the Mozilla Firefox 3 project told this blogger Firefox 3 is expected to ship in June, but Mozilla spokespeople would not confirm that timeframe.

Source: ZDNent

Windows XP SP3, Delayed again May 8, 2008

Posted by Bilal in Tech News, Updates.
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Microsoft has decided not to release Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 to Windows Update and the Microsoft Download Center as planned on April 29. The reason? A last-minute compatibility issue with a Microsoft application — Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS).

Here’s the latest from a company spokesperson:

“I wanted to update you on today’s planned release to web (RTW) (of XP SP3). In the last few days, we have uncovered a compatibility issue between Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) and Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1).

“In order to make sure customers have the best possible experience we have decided to delay releasing Windows XP SP3 to Windows Update and Microsoft Download Center.

“To help protect our customers, we plan to put filtering in place shortly to prevent Windows Update from offering both service packs to systems running Microsoft Dynamics RMS. Once filtering is in place, we expect to release Windows XP SP3 to Windows Update and Download Center.

“Until we have published a fix for this issue, we advise Microsoft Dynamics RMS customers to not install either service pack. Microsoft Dynamics RMS customers running Windows XP SP3 or Windows Vista SP1 should contact Microsoft Customer Support Services for additional information.

“The fix is currently in testing and will be available as soon as that process is complete.”

That’s all we know so far. No new date as to when Microsoft will release XP SP3 to the Web. Microsoft released to manufacturing XP SP3 last week — and after outcry for its paying TechNet and Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers — released the update to them shortly thereafter.

Update No. 1: One reader noted that he downloaded SP3 today via a direct link to the executable (which my ZDNet blogging colleague Adrian Kingsley-Hughes pointed to earlier today). A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company is advising users against doing this. The official response:

“Customers should not download Microsoft software from links posted on non-Microsoft websites, when those links point directly to the executable as is the case here. Customers should always download from a page on Microsoft.com that provides all relevant download details, installation instructions, and release notes. In this particular case, it’s possible that some 3rd party websites are linking to the Windows XP SP3 software that we have published for MSDN and TechNet subscribers. Since we cannot confirm the source of every link that 3rd parties provide, out recommendation is that customers wait until we’ve published Windows XP SP3 to Windows Update and the Download Center.”

I have to admit: I’m somewhat surprised Microsoft decided to delay the release of SP3 for RMS. RMS is a retail-chain-management app for small/midsize users. I know very few customers who are using it.

Update No. 2: As a result of this RMS glitch, Microsoft also is temporarily halting the Automatic Download of Vista SP1, as it is affected, as well. But Microsoft is not pulling Vista SP1 from the Download Center or Windows Update.

From a Microsoft spokeswoman:

“Microsoft is temporarily holding any additional automatic distribution of Windows Vista SP1. However, they continue to offer Windows Vista SP1 via Windows Update for interactive installation. While we are recommending that customers running Microsoft Dynamics RMS should not install SP1, there are many other customers who can benefit from installing Windows Vista SP1 immediately, so we are maintaining availability via WU.”

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has temporarily halted distribution of Vista SP1 via Automatic Updates; it did so earlier this year when a pre-requisite for the service pack resulted in problems for some Vista users.

Source: Skill Master