The Electric Wand

Thoughts of a technology enthusiast.

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  • Blog Post: Geek T-shirt cool - or not

    I always like reading Jason's blog, and had to laugh the other day when he posted a great picture of a now-favourite t-shirt, which glows when in a WiFi zone. I'm not much of a t-shirt wearer, but I think the best geek slogan I've seen so far is (from the same shop as Jason's Wifi catcher originates...
  • Blog Post: Low-cost hands-free kit, anyone?

    I had to keep this post for a Friday. Was in a taxi going back to Barcelona airport after IT Forum last month, and had to laugh at the driver's low cost solution to what to do with his mobile phone... Actually, talking about mobility and Barcelona... Jason Langridge's session on how to deliver...
  • Blog Post: When bean counters start counting things they don't understand the value of.

    I've been having a discussion with an old friend, who's telling me of a large financial institution that have suddenly started getting very picky about spending on IT. Maybe it's the financial environment right now - the tabloids are desperate to paint a doomsday scenario where all the banks are on the...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #105 - Productivity? Learn to type!

    Thinking about general productivity often leads one down the path of some methodology to get things done , or some great tools to try and silence the background noise. I've certainly featured plenty of both as Tips o' the Week, but one thing we've never covered is simply making correct use of the keys...
  • Blog Post: Careful what names you give to Outlook Contacts when using UM!

    This is a follow up to Friday's post about what happens if you have Exchange Unified Messaging set up to send you notifications on missed call alerts (and on voicemail), using caller-ID to reverse lookup against the personal contacts folder. Stephen Spence commented: Fingers crossed nobody is using silly...
  • Blog Post: Picture association - a new variant of word association

    I've seen this crop up a couple of times on web discussion forums - basically a game kicks off where people post photos and the responses need to be tenuously linked to the previous picture, the more tenuous and clever the better. I'll add explanations of the examples, but it works best when there are...
  • Blog Post: Laptop melts, for once it wasn't the battery

    Here's a funny - it happened a while back, but I was sent a link to this story today. The author kept her laptop in the oven when she wasn't at home, since it was a high-crime area and it seemed a non-obvious place for a laptop to live... Then one day she came home and her partner was cooking french...
  • Blog Post: I need some Flo Control - or Arnie Control, more like

    Regulars may remember the trouble my PC was having with Arnie the cat ... well I could use some more technology in and around the house to solve another little problem. Arnie & his sister have now got quite big - they're just over a year old, so fully-functional adult cats (well, not entirely...
  • Blog Post: The lost art of the .sig

    Whatever happened to elaborate and amusing '.sig's? It used to be common practice to have a signature with some kind of witty/pithy quote appended at random to every email. Nowadays, the autosignature that most email programs can insert (such as Outlook's ability to have multiple autosigs , which vary...
  • Blog Post: The lost art of the OOF

    Some time ago, I posted about how the ".sig" has faded from grandeur. I'd like to add the somewhat terminal dryness of the OOF message to that list, and propose a solution. OOF is a Microsoft term for Out of Office. It should really be OOO, but is stuck in the days of the predecessor to MS...
  • Blog Post: 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 :¬|
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #46 - Reduce your influx of Corporate Spam

    We’ve all had unwanted emails from external sources – so-called “Spam”, after the famous Python sketch that featured a café with Spam in every dish on the menu. A further menace is “Corporate Spam”, or stuff that you don’t want, but which originates from within the corporate network. Usually, C-Spam...
  • Blog Post: Updated LifeCam software

    It's not exactly "news", since the Microsoft LifeCam web-camera driver & software package was updated a few months ago, but I only picked up the latest version the other day and it brought a few smiles when playing with it today, during a call with James Akrigg . The LifeCam software does real...
  • Blog Post: Mac vs Vista ads

    I think Apple scored a home run with their "I'm a Mac"/"I'm a PC" ads, and in the UK have done a great job (and no doubt spent a good chunk of cash) in getting Mitchell & Webb to feature in them. You can see the UK ads on Apple.com/uk if you have QuickTime installed, or if you haven't, see some of...