The Electric Wand

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

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  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #256 – Clip Art clips off

    Exactly 5 years after publishing the very first instalment   (though it was internal only for a year before I started posting the tips on this blog) , Tip o’ the Week goes Old Skool : # 256 , or 2 8 , the number of combinations possible from a single byte. If you want to join the retro-fun, Sir...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #243 - Parliamo Glasgow?

    The great Stanley Baxter had a famous series of comedy sketches looking to help Sassenachs and Embrafowk understand how to navigate a conversation (at say, a Hogmanay party ) in the city that recently hosted the Commonwealth , and was hitherto known as “ Second City of the British Empire ”, or just Glesga...
  • Blog Post: 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 so – like all the Enterprise functionality that...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #99 - Is your hard disk just "on"?

    One frustrating aspect of a modern PC is when it seems to slow down inexplicably, even when it's not obviously busy. Sometimes that could be evidenced by the hard disk light flickering a lot of the time, or in extreme cases, solidly lit up. There are a number of reasons why this could be the case - here...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #168 – Loving some Windows Phone 8 tips

    At a recent “Love It” internal event hosted in Microsoft UK’s Reading campus, a whole series of tips and tricks were shared amongst other Microsofties. Did you know, for example, that with an application called ZipApp ( www.zipapp.co.uk – check it out), you can build a Windows 8 app in a few minutes...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #108 - Using Accelerators

    Internet Explorer 8 added a concept known as IE " Accelerators " - the principle being that you could select some text on a page, and using an accelerator, quickly search the web for that piece of text, or maybe do something more specific. The other day, I was talking to someone about a particular piece...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #106 - Revisiting Microsoft Tag

    We've covered Microsoft Tag before on Tip o' the Week, but it's worth paying another visit as a few things have changed. Tag is an innovative 2D barcode which can be in colour or black and white, and can even be heavily stylised and worked into logos or other graphics. If you haven't tried using Tag...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #73 – Using Bing Maps in London

    Here’s a quick but useful tip for Bing Maps (did you know, by the way, that you can jump straight to the maps by entering www.bingmaps.com as the URL? Or if you’ve super-efficient, just type bingmaps into the address bar on IE, and press CTRL+ENTER and it will do the rest for you). If...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #157 - Bing photos R Us

    Everybody loves the lovely photos that feature every day on Bing. Did you know the images can and do differ in disparate markets (eg PRC, USA and UK tend to have different images from each other )? You can set the flavour of Bing you’d like to see on http://www.bing.com/account/worldwide , so if you...