Almost every Arabic speaking person I know does this; they write Arabic words using English letters. When chatting, SMSing or even blogging.
That’s somewhat normal, since they’ve memorized the English keyboard by heart. The problem is, some of the letters in the Arabic alphabet are missing in English, and therefore people have replaced these with numbers and combinations of numbers and letters.
For example, the Arabic letter ‘ع’ is replaced with the number ‘3’. And the letter ‘ء’ with ‘2’. Which makes the name ‘علاء’ in Arabic translate to ‘3ala2’ in English literals.
If anything, this makes reading very difficult.
Introducing Maren, Microsoft Egypt’s solution to the problem! Watch the video on the site and you’ll understand…
Download it here.
Neither could I. Xobni (pronounced zob-nee) is ‘Inbox’ spelt backwards, and has been hailed by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates as the ‘next generation of social networking’.
At first glance Xobni looks like yet-another-desktop-search-engine, much like Google Desktop and Windows Desktop Search. A second glance would prove all the difference.
Officially, Xobni is an Outlook plug-in ‘that helps you organize your flooded inbox’ (which doesn’t say much).
While indexing your email Xobni will group contacts you email together much like the way Facebook and LinkedIn do. It will provide you with information on who this contact ‘networks’ with (based on the people he Cc’s when emailing you), how many emails you have exchanged with each contact (in and out) and will even rank your contacts based on the number of emails you send.
Xobni will even let you know how many ‘conversations’ you have had with a particular contact and what files you exchanged with him/her.
Xobni will even attempt to associate telephone numbers with contacts based on ‘signatures’ and other algorithms and will allow you to call them using Skype. Whenever you click on an email (to read or preview it) Xobni will immediately provide you with the most relevant information for the person who has sent you the email.
Microsoft seems to have been interested in Xobni, but were turned down, price issues (rings-a-bell?). Xobni are planning versions for different email applications / services, but right now, its only for Outlook. Remember, its still in beta.
Don’t know about you, but personally I love Office 2007. Despite what I hear and read about it, it is much easier than its predecessor (which ultimately means it is more efficient).
Having said that, the number one problem users new to Office 2007 face is the ‘ribbon’. To them, everything’s NOT where they used to have it and that actually reduces efficiency.
Therefore, the guys at OfficeLabs (online at http://www.officelabs.com, BTW powered by SharePoint) have come up with what they think would be the solution to some of their troubles; the search command ribbon.
What this does, is allow you to search for whatever command you’re looking for and the search result will actually be displayed in the ribbon itself.
A picture is worth a thousand words:
Remember, if you decide to download and install this, you should bear in mind that Microsoft will be gathering information with regards to your usage, and you can NOT disable this.
IMHO we ‘developers’ should be doing more with regards to integrating solutions into Office using the new ‘VSTO’ (Visual Studio Tools for Office). Right?
I was sitting at the office earlier today going about my day-to-day business when I received an email from my MVP Lead, that contained one word and a URL. The word was ‘WOW’ and the URL was http://www.microsoft.com/surface.
I quickly clicked on the link.
At the risk of sounding too much like ‘Janus’ from ‘Friends’: Oh… my… God!!! I think the innovation issue for Microsoft has finally paid off. No longer can anybody claim that Microsoft copycats ideas from other technology companies. They can steal ideas from sci-fi films, this time, ‘Minority Report’.
This is the outcome of approximately US$7 billion spent every year on research and development.
In other news, Microsoft has introduced an alpha of its new mashup (mashup various stuff from various Web services like Twitter, Flickr, Virtual Earth, etc) service, PopFly, which can help people create websites without writing code.
Now, many companies have introduced similar services, so, not too much innovation here. However, the way you create the mashup visually is pretty impressive. Remember this is all rendered in Silverlight. Check it out, and the screen cast.
BTW PopFly is still in Alpha so not everybody will get a chance to try this.
From an online download website: ‘Microsoft XML NotePad 2007 assists developers in creating XML applications. It allows authors to rapidly build and edit small sets of XML data as a test bed during the development of XML-based applications.
With XML Notepad, you can create XML document prototypes quickly, easily, and in an iterative fashion, using familiar metaphors. XML Notepad offers an intuitive and simple user interface that graphically represents the tree structure of XML data.
Working with the standard building blocks of XML (Elements, Attributes and Text), authors are able to create reproducible data structures that can be easily filled. It also includes XMLDiff to visually compare the differences between 2 two XML files.’
Read more here:
First a personal piece of information: my MVP status has been renewed! Wooohooo! I’m happy 🙂
Now for the real stuff; the other day I was trying to uninstall WDS (Windows Desktop Search) and since I did not find the uninstaller in ‘Add or Remove Programs’ I had to do it manually. I found an entry on the net that explains in detail how to remove WDS and it involved removing the installation folder in the ‘Program Files’ directory.
When I tried to delete the folder, I could not because it was ‘locked’. A quick search online turned up this utility that enables you to unlock ANY folder and subsequently delete it. Lovely tool indeed. It will also give you of all locking threads and you can decide which to kill / remove.
On other news, remember a company called Sysinternals? Well, Microsoft acquired the company back in 2006. (You will be redirected to a Microsoft Technet site.) Sysinternals had some extremely wonderful tools that enabled you to monitor literally everything on your computer. You can monitor the entries to your registry (RegMon) in real time! You can monitor your hard disk activity (FileMon). You can monitor the processes running on you computer (Process Explorer); it even shows .Net assemblies and other JIT (just in time) information.
The one I liked most, was Autoruns which allows you to view and switch on or off all the applications that start with Windows. Please note that RegMon and FileMon have been replaced by Process Explorer which, apparently, will do the same job.
Check it out!!
Remember the service manager in SQL 2000. Yes, that nice little icon near the clock in the system tray that showed the status of the SQL Server service. Well, it went missing in the 2005 version of SQL.
Well, some cool dude has created one for SQL Server 2005. I have to say, WOW! It looks absolutely astounding and supports versions 2000 and 2005 of SQL.
Now, this guy is an SQL expert and he’s even posted a few articles such as ‘SM0 2005 – Populating a list of SQL Servers‘ which I’ve always wanted. How cool would it be to add it to your application?!
I just received an email telling me about this. Apparently this is a “free image editing and photo manipulation software designed to be used on computers that run Windows. It supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.”
Download it from www.getpaint.net.
I am very anxious to be going to the 2007 Global Summit. The Global Summit will take place March 12-15, 2007 in Seattle at the Washington State Convention Center and at Microsoft Corporation’s main campus in Redmond, Washington.
Bill Gates will deliver the keynote!! Yes, I’m gonna meet Bill Gates!!! Very very excited!
I’m gonna do a lot of shopping too. A lot of shopping!
Meanwhile, Virtual PC 2007 is available and it is absolutely free. “Virtual PC 2007 is a powerful software virtualization solution that allows you to run multiple PC-based operating systems simultaneously on one workstation, providing a safety net to maintain compatibility with legacy applications while you migrate to a new operating system.”
Check it out here http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx. Download it here.