The Electric Wand

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

April, 2007

  • Communicator phones sneaking out

    When Microsoft first announced the Unified Communications strategy & partnerships last year, one of the pictures that was shown off was of a prototype "Communicator phone" - a networked device which could be used to make phone calls through the Office...
  • Thread Compressor for Outlook - do you want it?

    Here's an appeal - nearly 8 years ago, I wrote* a little COM addin for the-then new Outlook 2000, which "compressed threads". The idea was that it could take an email thread (eg a discussion over a period of time and a number of responses, from any number...
  • Blackberry outage - worrying for mobile mail junkies

    I just read news of an 11-hour outage in RIM's Blackberry infrastructure on ZDNet - ouch. Not only did email stop flowing to the devices during the outage, but the backlog of mail which built up is taking time to clear. Without wishing to gloat (really...
  • Outlook 2007 update - performance improvement on large PST/OST files

    I've been beta-testing this update for a little while and it seems to make quite a difference to the performance of Outlook 2007 (especially at startup) when you have large PST files, or a large offline cache of a mailbox. The Outlook team released it...
  • The day I met Tony Blair, talked about online healthcare

    I am feeling under the weather at the moment. Been off work for a couple of days with what seems to be some kind of chest infection. I finally decided to stop waiting for it to go away on its own, and went to see the doctor - starting by looking at the...
  • The Design of Everyday Things

    In part 2 of my book post about design (part 1 was earlier this week ), I'll revisit an old title which is still great reading for anyone interested in cognitive theory or design. It was written by Donald Norman , and first published nearly 20 years ago...
  • When interaction design goes bad

    For various reasons, I've been testing & driving several different cars lately, a process I quite enjoy - getting to know the foibles of the car's cockpit, playing with the various toys and gadgets, as well as actually learning how to drive each one...