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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ms Windows code names

Microsoft has announced a new codename for the Windows OS that will follow the yet-to-ship Vista: "Vienna."

The previous codename for the operating system, Blackcomb, was taken from a Canadian ski resort, but has now been dropped in favor of a name inspired by the altogether grander capital of Austria.

The tradition of using place names is long-established at Microsoft. Previous operating systems stretching back to the late 1980s have used the development monikers Sparta (Windows for Workgroups 3.1), Daytona (Windows NT 3.5), Cairo (Windows NT 4.0), Chicago (Windows 95), and Memphis ( Windows 98).

More recently, the company briefly broke with the grand-city tradition when it used the Whistler ski resort in Canada as its codename for Windows XP, following this with Longhorn--a nearby ski bar--for what became Vista.

Every product now has a place name code at Microsoft, most of which are never used by anyone outside the software community. Curiously, Vienna is also listed by some Microsoft-watching websites as the codename of Office Live Communication Server 2005.

There is no confirmed timescale for the release of Blackcomb/Vienna, but at least the world knows what to call it until it does arrive.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Paul Allen continued........


With Bill Gates, he co-founded Microsoft (initially "Micro-Soft") in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1975, and began selling the BASIC interpreter. Apple commissioned Microsoft to supply a version of its BASIC for the hot-selling Apple II. Allen spearheaded a deal for Microsoft to buy an operating system called QDOS for $50,000. Microsoft won a contract to supply it for use as the operating system of IBM's new PC. This became a foundation of Microsoft's remarkable growth. Allen resigned from Microsoft in 1983 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease which was successfully treated by several months of radiation therapy and a bone marrow transplant.

In 1984 he founded Asymetrix, a software development company based in Belleuve, Washington, to make application development tools that nonprogrammers can use. Asymetrix later went on to become Click2learn.com and yet later merged with Docent to become Sum Total System (2004). In the 1990's the company began to specialize in software for developing and delivering computer-based learning.

1992 Allen started Starwave, a producer of online content sites. Starwave did such great work for ESPN SportsZone and ABCNews.com that Disney (NYSE: DIS) bought it for a total of $350 million last year.

1998 In April Allen buys Marcus Cable, the nation's 10th largest cable company, for $2.8 billion--his biggest investment to date. Also this year Allen grabbed a stake of the Internet video-sales market with his purchase of Hollywood Entertainment. And he took another software group public. This time it's Asymetrix Learning Systems, maker of products for online classes.

On September 28, 2000 - Microsoft Corp. announced that Paul Allen is assuming a new role as senior strategy adviser to top Microsoft executives. The company also announced that Allen and Richard Hackborn have decided not to seek re-election to Microsoft's board of directors at the company's November shareholder meeting. In November 2000, Allen resigned from his position on the Microsoft board.

In September 2003, Allen founded the Allen Institute of Brain Science pledging $100 million in seed money to the Seattle-based organization. Its inaugural project is the Allen Brain Atlas, a map of the human brain which will be made publicly accessible. The Brain Atlas is a component of the loosely formed Human Cognome Project.

Starting in 2003, Vulcan Ventures began funding Project Halo, an attempt to apply Artificial Intelligence techniques to the problem of producing a digital Aristotle that might serve as a
mentor, providing comprehensive access to the world's knowledge.

In December 2003 he announced that he was the sponsor behind the SpaceShipOne private rocket plane venture from Scaled Composites, as part of the ANSARI X PRIZE competition. In June 2004, SpaceShipOne became the first successful commercial spacecraft when it passed the 100 kilometre threshold of space.

Allen is a major contributor to the SETI, or Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence project.
He is also the founder of the Experience Music Project, originally inspired by his interest in a museum to house his considerable collection of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia.

Allen runs a venture capital firm, Vulcan Ventures, and has created the Experience Music Project, a museum of music history, in Seattle, Washington.

He owns (through Rose City Radio Corporation) some Portland radio stations. When he heard Seattle's Cinerama movie theatre was about to shut down, he bought, restored, and updated it into a showplace for movies of all formats. He is also one of the principal financiers behind the SETI project, having stepping in to rescue the project when NASA stopped funding it in the 1990s. Allen owns the Flying Heritage Collection.

Currently Allen is the owner of the Portland Trail Blazers (an NBA basketball team) and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He also owns Rose Garden Arena, the home court of the NBA Blazers team. Due to declining attendance in 2002 and 2003, as well as difficulties renegotiating the terms of a 1993 loan, the Rose Garden Corporation filed for bankruptcy on February 27, 2004.

In June of 2004, Allen opened the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, located at the
Experience Music Project.

He is also the winner of many awards, notable amongst them are Life-Time Achievement Award by PC Magazine and was inducted into the Computer Museum Hall of Fame.
All of the above scrap has got some genuine source over the web. But still there may be discrepancies which I assure are non-intentional. Anyone pointing out corrections or adding more info about this wonder-guy is whole-heartedly welcome.

Paul Allen ........Who?

Paul Allen is a personality who is not so much hyped about , I know many of you out there would disagree. But still I would like to present a little overview of his early life in this blog.

Paul Gardner Allen was born on January 21, 1953 at Mercer Island, Seattle, Washington, to Kenneth S. Allen, an associate director of the University of Washington libraries and Faye G. Allen. I found his middle name given as Gertrude in another web source.

Allen attended Lakeside School, a prestigious private school in Seattle and befriended Bill Gates, two years his junior but who shared a common enthusiasm for computers. Lakeside School then had only a single computer. Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and a few other Lakeside students (many of whom were the first programmers hired at Microsoft) immediately became inseparable from the computer and used up all the computer hours in no time. They would stay in the computer room all day and night, writing programs, reading computer literature and anything else they could to learn about computing. Soon Gates and the others started running into problems with the faculty. Their homework was being turned in late (if at all), they were skipping classes to be in the computer room and worst of all, they had used up all of the schools computer time in just a few weeks. Paul was then 14 years old while Bill was 12.

Allen and Gates and a small group of other Lakeside students began programming in BASIC, using a teletype terminal. In the fall of 1968, Computer Center Corporation opened for business in Seattle. It was offering computing time at good rates, and one of the chief programmers working for the corporation had a child attending Lakeside. A deal was struck between Lakeside Prep School and the Computer Center Corporation that allowed the school to continue providing it's students with computer time.Gates and his comrades immediately began exploring the contents of this new machine. It was not long before the young hackers started causing problems. They caused the system to crash several times and broke the computers security system. They even altered the files that recorded the amount of computer time they were using. They were caught and the Computer Center Corporation banned them from the system for several weeks.

Bill Gates, Paul Allen and, two other hackers from Lakeside formed the Lakeside Programmers Group in late 1968. They were determined to find a way to apply their computer skills in the real world. The first opportunity to do this was a direct result of their mischievous activity with the school's computer time. The Computer Center Corporation's business was beginning to suffer due to the systems weak security and the frequency that it crashed. Impressed with Gates and the other Lakeside computer addicts' previous assaults on their computer, the Computer Center Corporation decided to hire the students to find bugs and expose weaknesses in the computer system. In return for the Lakeside Programming Group's help, the Computer Center Corporation would give them unlimited computer time. The boys could not refuse. Gates was quoted as saying "It was when we got free time at C-cubed (Computer Center Corporation) that we really got into computers. I mean, then I became hardcore. It was day and night". Although the group was hired just to find bugs, they also read any computer related material that the day shift had left behind. The young hackers would even pick employees for new information. It was here that Gates and Allen really began to develop the talents that would lead to the formation of Microsoft seven years later.

After graduation, Allen attended Washington State University, though he dropped out after two years to pursue his dream of writing software commercially for the new "personal computers". Allen and Gates bought an Intel 8008 chip for $360 and build a computer to measure traffic. They launched their first company, Traf-O-Data. They produced a small computer which was used to help measure traffic flow. From the project they grossed around $20,000. The Traf-O-Data company lasted until Gates left for college. Meanwhile Allen was also hired as a programmer by Honeywell in Boston. He later convinced Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard College and together they found Microsoft.

In December of 1974, Allen was on his way to visit Gates when along the way he stopped to browse the current magazines. What he saw changed his and Bill Gates's lives forever. On the cover of Popular Electronics was a picture of the Altair 8080 and the headline "World's First Microcomputer Kit to Rival Commercial Models." He bought the issue and rushed over to Gates' dorm room. They both recognized this as their big opportunity. The two knew that the home computer market was about to explode and that someone would need to make software for the new machines. Within a few days, Gates had called MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems), the makers of the Altair. He told the company that he and Allen had developed a BASIC that could be used on the Altair. This was a lie. They had not even written a line of code. They had neither an Altair nor the chip that ran the computer. The MITS company did not know this and was very interested in seeing their BASIC. So, Gates and Allen began working feverishly on the BASIC they had promised. The code for the program was left mostly up to Bill Gates while Paul Allen began working on a way to simulate the Altair with the schools PDP-10. Eight weeks later, the two felt their program was ready. Allen was to fly to MITS and show off their creation. The day after Allen arrived at MITS, it was time to test their BASIC. Entering the program into the company's Altair was the first time Allen had ever touched one. If the Altair simulation he designed or any of Gates' code was faulty, the demonstration would most likely have ended in failure. This was not the case, and the program worked perfectly the first time. MITS arranged a deal with Gates and Allen to buy the rights to their BASIC. Gates was convinced that the software market had been born. Within a year, Bill Gates had dropped out of Harvard and Micro-Soft was formed.

This post has already become too voluminous. So the rest will be in the next post.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Paul G. Allen Launches Web Site Dedicated to Early Computers

Investor, philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft Paul G. Allen unveiled a new Web site, www.PDPplanet.com, as a resource for computer history fans and those interested in Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) systems and XKL systems. From a PDP-8/S to a DECSYSTEM-20 to a Toad 1, Allen's collection of systems from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s preserves the significant software created on these early computers.

Via the new Web site, registered users from around the world can telnet into a working DECsystem-10 or an XKL Toad-1, create or upload programs, and run them -- essentially stepping back in time to access an "antique" mainframe. Demonstrating how computing was conducted before the convenience of today's powerful desktop, laptop and palm devices, PDP Planet will give users an appreciation of how it felt to be an early programmer.

Years before there were the pervasive PCs and Macs that are everywhere in today's homes and businesses, PDPs were important mainframe and mini computers, providing fertile ground for the researchers, programmers and hackers of the era. MIT students came up with the first video game (called "Spacewar!") on the PDP-1, which helped show the potential for computing applications beyond the traditional number-crunching activities of the day. From there, it was just a matter of time until room-size mainframes evolved into third-generation minicomputers (beginning with the PDP-8, which sold for about $16,000 but had less computing power than a 21st century calculator). It was made possible with the use of transistor and core memory technology, so some of these machines including the PDP-8 could even fit on a (large) desktop. Although still a far-cry from the laptops and small form-factor machines we all use in our everyday lives, the computing revolution had begun and there was no turning back.

"PDP Planet fulfills my dream to find a way to preserve the achievements of early computer engineers," said Allen. "With running versions of these machines via the Web site, we now have a place that recognizes the efforts of those creative engineers who made some of the early breakthroughs in interactive computing that changed the world." Along with the forthcoming Microcomputer Gallery being created by Allen at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque (opening late this year), and the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, PDP Planet provides an important exploration of the early technology that launched a revolution.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Google Dance..tra ...la...laaa...

Many of us often hear referals to the Google Dance and what it can do to search engine rankings. It can be a frustrating time for search engine optimization experts as well as their clients. So, what exactly is the Google Dance and what does it mean for our Web site?

As we know, Google's spiders are constantly crawling the Web looking for new information on millions of Web pages. Roughly once a month, Google updates their index by recalculating the page rankings of each of the Web pages they have crawled. Search engine optimization experts commonly refer to this update period as the Google Dance.

To ensure complete accuracy, these calculations must be performed multiple times. Additionally, because Google's index is enormous, the calculations will take several days -- or even months, as we recently witnessed -- to complete. During this time, PageRank and ranking will fluctuate, and sometimes wildly. With the blink of an eye, you can go from a ranking of three to a ranking of six. Consequently, the name Google Dance emerged, denoting these fluctuations. This crazy dance usually occurs towards the end of the month.

Granted, you may see mild fluctuations in your search engine ranking at other times of the month, but they are merely a result of Google's daily crawl, known as "fresh crawl". The fresh crawl occurs almost continuously to locate frequently updated sites already in the Google index and then add the new content to the Google database.

For anyone interested in seeing the dance in action, it is fairly easy.

Google has two other searchable servers (www2.google.com and www3.google.com) in addition to their main server (www.google.com). Typically, the results on all three servers are the same. However, during the Google Dance, the search engine ranking results will be different. Once the Dance is over, your new ranking will be visible on all three servers.

During the Dance, if you go to either of the two servers mentioned above, you can see the new rankings that will eventually appear on Google's main server once the Dance is over. Do not focus too sharply on watching the Google Dance take place. It can be extremely frustrating, especially if your site accidentally gets dropped from the index altogether. Yes, this has been known to happen.

So, tread lightly where the Google Dance is concerned. My advice: Leave the worrying to the search engine optimization experts, sit back, and enjoy your new-found ranking.

Some interesting facts about Google!!!

What does "Google" mean?

The name "Google" is a play on the word "googol," which was coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner. A googol refers to the number represented by a 1 followed by 100 zeros. A googol is a very large number. There isn't a googol of anything in the universe -- not stars, not dust particles, not atoms. Google's use of the term reflects our mission to organize the world's immense (and seemingly infinite) amount of information and make it universally accessible and useful.

I hope all of you know how Googol came to be known as Google and that was by sheer accident. Leave out all of that word-play stuff for the truth is always more interesting. A cheque was issued in the initial stages but then-known Googol was misspelled as Google. So it has stood since then. So where does the word-play come in?

When is Google's birthday?

Google opened its doors in September 1998. The exact date when we celebrate our birthday has moved around over the years, depending on when people feel like having cake.

How is "Google" pronounced?

"Google" is pronounced "goo-gull" (like "noodle," but replace the "n" and "d" with a hard "g"). The double "o" makes the same sound it makes in "moo" and "kangaroo."

Why does the Google logo sometimes change?

From time to time we modify the Google logo in honor of holidays celebrated by our users around the world. These special logos – we call them doodles -- usually run for 24 hours. You can find an archive of our more popular logo variations at http://www.google.com/holidaylogos.html. If this piques your interest, check out our Oodles of Doodles entry on the Google Blog at http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2004/06/oodles-of-doodles.html

For the complete history of Google and its various milestones , just visit the following link

Google Introduces Software Starter Kit

Due credit should go to Purna Chandra Mandal for he forwarded this link to me and Amitesh Hati.

Google Inc. is distributing a free software startup kit designed to make computing safer and easier — a generous gesture driven by the company's desire to steer technology offline as well as online.

The software bundle, unveiled Friday in Las Vegas during a speech by Google co-founder Larry Page, represents the Internet search engine leader's latest jab at industry kingpin Microsoft Corp.

The suite of programs is designed to make it easier to install and maintain basic applications that have helped turn the PC into a hub of information, entertainment and communications.

With the initiative, Google is setting out to prove that it is better positioned to help people get the most out of their computers than more-established software makers, particularly Microsoft — the maker of the pervasive Windows operating system.

"We thought, 'Why can't using a computer be more fun, simple and empowering?'" said Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products and user experience.

Six of the programs in the package are owned by Google, which had previously offered all but one on a piecemeal basis. A screensaver that automatically displays pictures stored on a personal computer is being introduced for the first time as part of the "Google Pack."

With the exception of a Norton antivirus program that is being offered in a free six-month trial, the seven other applications in the Google Pack are already available for free on the Internet.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has simply negotiated agreements to create a one-stop shop for all the applications, supplemented with tools to simplify the process for installing and updating the programs.

Neither Google nor the other participants in the Google Pack are paying each other any money, Mayer said.

Although cobbling together a bunch of free software isn't revolutionary, the move could foreshadow bigger things to come as Google's maneuvers to gain more influence over the products people install on their PCs while diminishing Microsoft's power.

If the Google Pack proves popular among PC owners, more software makers are likely to be lining up to be included in future versions — a phenomenon that would give Google even more leverage in its slugfest with Microsoft, said Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li.

"This has the potential of giving Google more control over the software supply chain," Li said. "They in effect could become the arbiters of software taste, determining what's good and bad."

For now, Google is primarily interested in making personal computers easier and more enjoyable to use, Mayer said.

If people spend more time on their computers, Google believes it will receive more Internet search requests — an activity that generates the highly profitable ads that has catapulted its stock and spawned more than $100 billion in shareholder wealth during the past 18 months.

Google's shares surged $14.42 Friday to close at $465.66 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock price reached a new high of $470.50 earlier in the session.

Hoping to stunt Google's rapid growth, Microsoft has invested heavily to expand its presence in Internet search during the past year. So far, though, Google has been able to win even more market share, emboldening the company to embark on far-flung expansion that has increasingly put it on a collision course with Microsoft.

Toward that end, Google plans to distribute even more software as it builds upon the loyalty fostered by its popular search engine.

"I can imagine an operating system that some day does a better job storing your data, using (a) network," Mayer said in a barb clearly aimed at Microsoft.

The Google Pack includes Adobe Systems Inc.'s Acrobat Reader, RealNetworks Inc.'s media player, Mozilla's Firefox Web browser and Cerulean Studios' Trillian instant messaging program.

Notably missing are word processing and spreadsheet programs, though Google pledged in October to work with Sun Microsystems Inc. to promote an open-source version of those applications.

Mayer couldn't explain why the free OpenOffice suite, which includes word-processing and spreadsheet applications, wasn't included in the Google Pack.

Li believes the programs were excluded because Google didn't want to risk including anything that might be difficult to install or interfere with other applications, such as Microsoft's competing Office suite.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Gonna be rich people any time from now on....

All of you must google atleast 35% of the total surfing time. Are you being paid to use these search engines? Or just that you find a particular one captivating and more productive or user-friendly? How about an incentive of money? Hmm....sounds interesting.

Some time ago, while in a visit to India, Microsoft's Chairman Bill Gates floated the idea of paying MSN's search engine users a share of the advertising revenue brought in by MSN Search.

Yeah it is true and already amazon.com has set the ball rolling. Well, wait no more. Amazon.com is sending out mails promoting their A9.com search site, and although they are not exactly sending a cheque to users, they will be providing Amazon.com discounts to users. In short, regular users can receive 1.57% off purchases on Amazon.com.

The page http://a9.com/-/company/instantRewards.jsp? src=amz_pi_ema_info explains how it works, but it will depend on how much you search on A9.com before you can get the discounts. And like other programs, there's no information on how much is enough. And some conditions apply of course. And why 1.57%? Because they are sharing their pi(e) (3.1415926 / 2)...

Althouhg the program seems to be running for more than a year, it looks like they are actively promoting it now.

Now we have to sit back and relax, waiting for the next move from the other web search players such as Google, MSN, Yahoo, and Altavista... . And maybe then you will spend 65% of your surfing time googling or amazoning.


Now come on , do you know what BackRub originally stood for?

Don't complain about your persistent backache and name some pain-releiving spray, come on now, do tickle your brain!!!

Okay I will reveal it....

When Google was a Stanford research project, it was nicknamed BackRub because the technology checks backlinks to determine a site's importance.