Saturday, July 28, 2007

Betas, Betas everywhere

Loads of Stuff seams to be in the pre-realise (beta) testing phase at the minute. I have just downloaded the beta of the bbc's tv-on-demand service, iPlayer.

Using this you can download programs broadcast over the last 7 days, and then have a limited time to watch them on your pc. I think the technology is peer to peer based, so presumably downloads of more popular programs will happen quicker.
The only thing that it seams to have against it at the minute is it will only work on Windows XP machines, running Internet explorer. It even moaned at me when I accessed the site using Firefox. Reading stuff online it does seem they will be releasing a version in the future that will work on Linux/OSX and with other browsers, so most people wont have to wait to long. You can sign up to the beta (if you live in the UK) at

Also in early testing at the mo is Firefox3. You can download the current Alpha version and find out about all the new features at
There's quite a few cool new things planned, there are updating the rendering engine to improve speed and support for new standards, improving the way updates work, developing a new way of storing bookmarks (now called 'places') and various other things. I think ill wait until a Beta version comes out before downloading it though, I've not really got a machine I can easily blow away if it stuffs it up!

Its not just software that's in the testing phase, we are getting a prototype laptop at work that has a solid state hard drive in it instead of a traditional spindle based one. This seams where the future of disks seams to be going, its understandable really especially as the amount of data you can get on them is ever increasing. They will be especially suited to laptops as well as they will draw much less power than existing disks due to there being no moving parts. Pity its not coming into my office so I wont be getting my hands on it!

I've also has another article published on, its the second part of the one I did about controlling Windows fax services, you can read it here

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