The Electric Wand

Weekly tips from the "Tip o' the Week" email distribution inside of Microsoft.

January, 2007

  • Vista Aero Glass - performance hit (or not)

    Just read an interesting analysis at http://firingsquad.com/hardware/windows_vista_aero_glass_performance/ where they tested a couple of different systems running Windows Vista with Aero Glass switched on and off. ( Windows Aero - if you're not aware...
  • Sansa e280 - I took the plunge

    After my post last month about getting a new MP3 player, I went ahead and bought a Sansa e280 8Gb device from Amazon UK. In general I'm pretty pleased with it - battery life looks good, sound quality is good, it supports direct sync from Windows Media...
  • Travel's a curse

    We all know that travelling on business can be a pain, and the glamour of travelling on holiday has long since worn off... ... so I thought I'd share some useful travel websites to help ease the pain (if you feel that way, and haven't seen them before...
  • Use NewSID on cloned virtualised machines

    I came across a problem recently when a colleague was building a virtual Windows Server environment, and was reminded of it the other night when on a webcast with Exchange MVPs, when one of the attendees said he was hitting issues with Exchange 2007 servers...
  • Exchange Archiving - to be, or not to be?

    A lot of customers have looked at archiving solutions for Exchange over the last few years, and the most common reason for doing so is to reduce the volume of data held on the Exchange server. This obviously brings benefits for the administrators - they...
  • Which File Extension are you?

    I remember this 10-question quiz being sent around a couple of years ago, but was reminded of it the other day. The first time I did the quiz I was... but after re-taking the test, apparently I'm now... That's progress I suppose :¬|
  • iPhone over-the-air experience

    Just read Jason O'Grady's blog over on ZDNet and it's quite eye-opening... one thing leapt out: "Wireless syncing . iPhone can only be synced with a cable and can't be synced via WiFi or Bluetooth. This is unacceptable. iPhone has three radios and should...
  • "Dealers of Lightning" - an insightful history in Xerox PARC

    Ever since reading Robert X Cringley 's excellent 1996 Accidental Empires book (which actually has the even more excellent full title of Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition and Still Can't...
  • Choosing a new MP3 player - dilemmas, dilemmas...

    It's time for a new music player. I got a Creative Zen Micro a couple of years ago, and it's been a good little player but the headphone socket has now developed a loose connection and it's getting a bit annoying. It's time to start choosing a successor...
  • Sideshow Media Center remote - want one!

    I've been a long-time user of the Philips Pronto programmable remote - it's an LCD touch screen based affair, which can be programmed to the 9th degree to create your own UI of macros which correspond to lots of different activities on different remotes...
  • Nice new calendaring features in Exchange 2007

    There's so much new stuff in Exchange 2007, that it's easy to forget just how useful some of it is... like the calendaring improvements both in the UI of Outlook and OWA, but in some server-side cleverness too. In Exchange 2003 and earlier, when someone...
  • iGot-over-it-already

    You have to admire the way Apple stage manages announcements and releases - despite months of rumours, there's been little of real substance about the iPhone until it was announced in San Francisco on Tuesday . The media coverage the announcement has...
  • Using Outlook Search Folders to filter only external mail

    Following on from my recent post about search folders, I got a few questions and comments via mail. One, from Christian, asked if it was possible to use a search folder to filter out only mail which came from "outside" - eg Only show me the last day's...
  • You can't ignore a ringing phone

    It's funny when you look back a few years to see just how communications technology has changed - remember when you might have asked (or been asked), "are you on the phone?"... meaning not, "are you using the phone" but "do you have a phone at home"....
  • Using Outlook Search folders to sift large volumes of email

    [This is a re-heat and update of an older blog post on You Had me at EHLO! ] Search Folders in Outlook 2003 and 2007 can be a useful tool to manage large volumes of mail in your mailbox; one tip is to create a folder for "all mail since this morning"...
  • Some more useful Windows & Outlook shortcuts

    As I mentioned the other day , I've a penchant for using shortcuts in Windows: most (if not all) are documented in help files and the likes, but it is amazing how many people don't know about them or just don't use them. Continuing the list of shortcut...