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July 13th, 2009

Sad news on the Locus web site:
Locus publisher, editor, and co-founder Charles N. Brown, 72, died peacefully in his sleep July 12, 2009 on his way home from Readercon.

Charles Nikki Brown was born June 24, 1937 in Brooklyn NY, where he grew up. He attended the City College of New York, taking time off from 1956-59 to serve in the US Navy, and finished his degree (BS in physics and engineering) at night on the GI Bill while working as a junior engineer in the '60s. He married twice, to Marsha Elkin (1962-69), who helped him start Locus, and to Dena Benatan (1970-77), who co-edited Locus for many years while he worked full time. He moved to San Francisco in 1972, working as a nuclear engineer until becoming a full-time SF editor in 1975. The Locus offices have been in Brown's home in the Oakland hills since 1973.


As per his wishes, Locus will continue to publish, with executive editor Liza Groen Trombi taking over as editor-in-chief with the August 2009 issue.
Read more.

News originally found via matociquala on Twitter.

What I did at the weekend

Friday evening I got access to the Office 2010 Technical Preview release code, and fired up the FTP engines. Just under 2GB later it was sat on my hard disk, where I installed it on my main Windows 7 test machine. By the end of the evening we'd done one clean install, and one upgrade install (just to see if it worked).

Over the weekend I:

(a) baked a lemon/peach polenta cake with marypcb.
(b) made a red chicken thai curry for friends whow were coming round for dinner (again with marypcb).
(c) introduced those friends to The Middleman and Jennifer Crusie.
(d) reviewed Office 2010 and wrote two articles on it, for different audiences, coming in at around 5500 words - plus 22 different screenshots.

I think I got to bed at about 4 am this morning, before getting up to finish the screenshots and captions and take part in a call with a Microsoft spokesperson.

You can check out my words at ZDNet UK here:

Microsoft, like Apple, has one customer. Apple's is Steve Jobs, while Microsoft's is the Microsoft Corporation — all 70,000 or so of it. Once you realise this, it explains much of the thinking behind Office 2010. It's a suite of tools that primarily addresses Microsoft's own organisational problems — and we're lucky that most of those problems are the same as for any other business, from the smallest to the largest.

Codenamed 'Office 14' (Microsoft skipped neatly over the unlucky number 13), Office 2010 has been some time in the making prior to this public Technical Preview. There have been some snippets of information over the last year or so (among them its final name) but Microsoft has managed to achieve almost Apple-like levels of secrecy. One fact that's been known for a while is that this is the first 64-bit version of Office, part of Microsoft's transition to the current generation of processor architectures.

Read more.

I also put together a hefty image gallery for the site, drilling down into many of the most interesting features.

The other piece was another first look piece, this time for IT Pro:

Microsoft is using its World Wide Partner Conference to finally publicly unveil Office 2010, in the shape of its first public technical preview.

We’ve been playing with it for a few days now, and it’s clear that, while there are plenty of excellent new features, this is an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, release.

The Office 2010 technical preview isn’t going to be widely distributed. If you weren’t at TechEd US or the World Wide Partner conference, you’re unlikely to get access – though there is a waiting list sign-up at Office2010themovie.com. You’ll need SharePoint 2010 to get the most from Office 2010, but it won’t be available until after October.

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There's more to write on the subject - we've got commissions from magazines to fulfil too.

But now, I think, it's time for an earlier night.