Free copy of Microsoft Office 2007

Power Together - Microsoft giveawayPower Together - Microsoft giveaway

Zdnet had reported a Microsoft give-away which allowed one to get a free copy of Office 2007 or Vista. I jumped at the opportunity and I completed the requirements and this is what Microsoft has to say:

Congratulations! You’ve completed the number of Webcasts or vLabs required to receive a free, fully-licensed copy of Microsoft Office Professional 2007. Once we’ve confirmed that you meet the eligibility requirements stated in the offer details below we will ship your gift within 6-8 weeks of the release to manufacturing of Microsoft Office Professional 2007. While you’re waiting, why not check out additional Webcasts of vLabs to further your skills?

I just hope there is no further catch in it. The “… confirmed your eligibility requirements…” sorta scares me! I can only wait and watch.

I do use the Microsoft Office 2007 Beta and I really like it a lot. They have done an amazing job with the interface and I am also happy to see that they have changed from a binary format to a compressed XML format for describing the *.doc (now *.docx) files.

Intel 4004

via Slashdot:
The Intel 4004 Processor celebrates it’s 35th Birthday and Intel designs a hands-on 130x magnified processor. It also has a Java simulator. Visit the Intel unofficial website for this at http://www.4004.com.
Anyone with some basic knowledge in logic circuits and processor design will be able to easily identify all the parts in the schematic. But, 35 years from now, when Intel releases its Core Duo 2 architecture, will we humans be able to understand all the details without any means of technology mediated augmented understanding mechanisms?

Wikipedia asking for what content should be freed

Jimmy Wales is asking people to come up with ideas and suggestions about what premium content they would like to be freed up and made available in the public domain if they had the money to do it.

Dream big. Imagine there existed a budget of $100 million to purchase
copyrights to be made available under a free license. What would you
like to see purchased and released under a free license?

Seems very interesting.

Google’s Privacy Policy for Orkut

I wanted to find out what Google expresses to do with the extremely large amount of information it gathers from its social networking website Orkut. When going through the terms, I was felt happy for a second while I was mid-sentence, but it immediately turned to frown. I will explain why. This was the sentence I was reading.

You can terminate your account at any time. To learn how, click here. If you terminate your account, your profile, including any messages in your inbox, will be removed from the site and deleted from orkut servers. Because of the way we maintain this service such deletion may not be immediate, and residual copies of your profile information may remain on backup media.

It starts out by assuring that when you delete an account from Orkut, the profile gets deleted completely, and all messages in the inbox will be removed from the site and deleted from Orkut servers.
It sounds good on first read, but if you are familiar with Orkut you would realize that there is so much more information in your friends network, your scrap-book, your usage and communication statistics etc which will stay forever. They never make any explicit mention of this data.
Secondly, even if they mean to encompass all data using the meta-term “message”, the latter part of the sentence flushes down the effectiveness of the first sentence.
“… residual copies may remain on backup media…”. For how long? No mention.
Why can’t Google be more open and frank about how they intend to use and process the data and let people make a conscious choice rather than trying to mislead them?

Microsoft Zune – A new social experience?

So Microsoft has finally declared that the Zune will be priced at $249. They make a bold statement there on the press release:

“On Nov. 14 we’re delivering not only a device, but a shared, social experience that will be shaped by the collective imagination of consumers,” said Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Zune. “We’re infusing the spirit of discovery and sharing into everything we do — from the experience we crafted around the device and service to pre-loading music and videos on every device to expose people to something new.”

We will only know for sure once we experience it, but this sure has me all excited. So now you know what I want for Thanksgiving.

Television Screensaver


You know you are spending too much time on your laptop watching media when you start getting restless after 3 minutes of watching television. Why are you restless? Coz you are reaching for the mouse to move it a little coz you think you forgot to turn off the screensaver. But the 3rd minute passes and the television doesn’t give as much as a blink and you start getting comfortable again.

Closure

So you quit your job in a good software company, move to a new country, start school again but it just doesn’t feel complete until you do that one thing: Format+Clean+Reinstall Windows on your laptop.
I finally got around to doing that yesterday and it’s only now that I feel like my “transition” is complete.
Microsoft Office 2007Interestingly, as a cheaper alternative to Microsoft Office 2003, I go ahead and install Microsoft Office 2007 Beta (which can be had for as low as $1.50 which gives you a valid license till Feb 2007). And I am quite impressed by it. Coupled with Microsoft OneNote 2007 Beta, I feel all set for school. Proudly using Microsoft Outlook 2007 Beta for all my structured and non-browser information needs I am happy that they have removed the Exchange Server bias and treat IMAP accounts with more respect. I also go ahead and install Internet Explorer 7 RC1 and I am surprised at myself for not using Firefox anymore. More interestingly, I also go ahead and Format+Clean+Reinstall the OS on my phone and I suddenly become aware of how stress-relieving this activity can be.
Six ZoneTick clocks in taskbar, auto-arranged in 2 columnsOfcourse, I do not feel complete until I have installed Zonetick which I so willingly bought as the best solution to the “what time is it there?” problem. Dictionary and Translation software by Babylon
Nor can I feel at ease until I install my good old Babylon – a tool which is surprisingly indispensible despite the fact that a browser can probably get you more information than it. Probably its only winning factor now is that it’s a more efficient and structured interface to the big-bloated-information-blob the Internet is.
With a light heart and a light mind I sleep at peace when I retire to bed.