The Electric Wand

Thoughts of a technology enthusiast.

The Electric Wand

  • Tip o' the Week #235 - Present on Lync

    Tip o’ the Week #111 covered how to present within a Lync meeting. Given that it was 2+ years ago and many things have changed in that time, not least the version of Lync many of us use, here’s a chance to revisit the topic. Anecdotal evidence suggests...
  • Tip o' the Week #233 – When I'm moving windows

    As the nights are already drawing in , UK domestic interest in international football has long waned to background tolerance (apart from tabloid cannibal fever ) , massive new TV sales and beer supply forecasts drop to any normal summer level, we must...
  • Tip o' the Week #232 – Xbox, Watch TV. XBOX! WATCH TEE VEE!

    When the Xbox One released last year, the Kinect sensor promised a great new experience in watching live TV through the console. Sadly for users outside of North America, the dream was largely unfulfilled at launch, as the console supported only a limited...
  • Tip o' the Week #231 – Linking LinkedIn and Outlook, look!

    LinkedIn has been going for over 11 years and has resurged in user base and usefulness after seemingly getting really popular initially, and then fading a bit (remember Friends Reunited , anyone? – somebody should come up with Fiends Reunited.com , though...
  • Tip o’ the Week #228 – Lync Q&A

    Presumably, we’ve all been on a Lync conference call where there may be a presentation going on and in parallel to the voice conversation, there’s a rampant side-channel of IM traffic which the presenter has no chance of keeping up with or maybe even...
  • Tip o’ the Week #227 – Moving around Outlook

    What’s the most-used application on your PC? Maybe it’s your web browser (IE, of course), but if you’re a corporate email slave like many of us, then it’s quite likely to be Outlook. As you spend so much time in the application, it’s worth getting to...
  • Tip o’ the Week #226 – Reading Mode on IE11

    Windows 8/8.1 has continued to improve over its life , providing both changes to existing functionality and adding some whole new stuff along the way. One recipient of both such updates is the Internet Explorer browser – Windows 8.1 saw the upgrade to...
  • Tip o’ the Week #225 – Surveys R Us

    Have you noticed an increase in online surveys asking if you have a few minutes to complete them, when you visit web sites? Do you duck & dive when walking along the street and are confronted by a just-a-little-too-friendly student in high-vis and...
  • Tip o' the Week #224 – Alarem Scarem in Windows 8.1

    If you’ve installed Windows 8.1 Update 1 , there are many great additions which will be  doubtless delighting you as you use them, especially if you’re working on a PC which isn’t primarily touch-oriented. There are hundreds of incremental updates...
  • Tip o’ the Week #229 – Cortana, let’s rock!

    (Another slightly out-of sequence tip as this could be more timely now than in a few weeks) One of the most written-about and eagerly-awaited features in the soon-to-appear Windows Phone 8.1, is Cortana – the “digital assistant”, named after the character...
  • Tip o’ the Week #221 – Stay safe on WiFi

    Following last week’s misty-eyed retrospective on WiFi and Bluetooth , it’s worth pausing a little to pass on a few safety tips too. If you’ve a WiFi network at home which does not have encryption enabled (using a decently strong password – known as a...
  • Tip o’ the Week #220 – Wireless networking, 15 years on

    It’s amazing how quickly technology goes from an expensive frippery to a cost-insignificant near-essential. It’s not so many years ago that WiFi and Bluetooth first arrived (remember the Ericsson T29 or T68 , the latter of which not only had a COLOUR...
  • Tip o’ the Week #219 – OneNote takes flight

    In case you missed it, OneNote had some interesting news a few months ago. The application has a great following amongst fans who crave being organised (at least some GTD aficionados too) , more so than maybe any other application (even Outlook). If you...
  • Tip o’ the Week #218 – Have you got the touch?

    Using “ touch ” in computing has evolved so much in just the last five years. First phones then tablets evolved a new UI around using your fingers rather than a pointer & mouse, and with Windows 8, touch really got mainstream on regular PCs too. How...
  • Tip o' the Week #216 – Bing Smart Search in Windows 8.1

    Hopefully, everyone who was on Windows 8 should be running Windows 8.1 by now. There’s so much that was improved since Windows 8 released, some very noticeably (such as the return of the Start button, if you consider that an improvement) and some, less...
  • Tip o' the Week #223 – Clear your inbox

    Some people live a disciplined existence and manage to keep a very tidy desk, their to-do list at the end of each day is empty, and their inbox is clean. Many others aspire to be so organised but either convince themselves that they’re too busy to tidy...
  • Tip o' the Week #222 – Windows 8.1 Update 1 is here

    Another in the occasionally out-of-sequence Tips: since this is quite topical, it’s jumping the queue (as will next week’s tip) before we settle back to ToW #215. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that Windows 8.1 arrived, promising universal salvation...
  • Tip o’ the Week #214 – Trouble connecting Outlook at home?

    If you see Outlook behaving strangely while working at home, there are a few things you might want to try. Symptoms include steadfastly refusing to connect to the server, even though everything else appears to work fine. Or connecting fine for email but...
  • Tip o’ the Week #213 – London travel with Windows Phone

    There are plenty apps that help travellers to and from the city of London, some of which I’ve mentioned previously in Tips gone by. Apologies somewhat to international readers as many of these will be of little use to you, unless you choose to visit the...
  • “Latent Data” – the secret sauce of the Internet of Things

    This is part 2 of a series of articles exploring the Internet of Things , starting with the first post, What is this “Internet of Things” thing, anyway? The secret sauce, the Holy Grail, the raison d’ être for Internet of Things...
  • Tip o' the Week #212 – Filing and piling of email

    The topic of filing vs piling of email has been had on ToWs passim ( here & here ) , but this week’s gem comes courtesy of a recommendation by productivity guru Tim Pash . Tim says he couldn’t live without a cracking utility which plugs into Outlook...
  • What is this “Internet of Things” thing, anyway?

    I’m going to start the odd bit of blogging aside from the weekly Tips that will carry on making their way onto this blog. Here is the first in a short series looking at the Internet of Things. The term “ Internet of Things ” (or...
  • Tip o’ the Week #211 – Manage your battery on WP8

    The world – at least if you listen to ex-PayPal squillionaire Elon Musk – is destined to move from fossil-fuel-fired transport to electric vehicles that might be charged by the power grid rather than carrying around their own means of energy conversion...
  • Tip o’ the Week #210 – Beam me up!

    In the last few weeks, Nokia has shipped the Lumia Black update and it’s widely available . There are some cool additions that the Finns have made to the Phone platform, some new and synched with Black. Nokia now publishes loads of addons (some available...
  • Tip o’ the Week #209 – Shhhhhhhh!

    How many times have you been awoken by your phone , tablet or PC blaring an alert first thing in the morning, telling you it’s someone’s birthday (worse, someone you hardly even know ) ? Or reminding you it’s time to go to an optional conference call...