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The Electric Wand
Thoughts of a technology enthusiast.
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The Electric Wand
Tip o’ the Week #203 – Remote control of Office
Anyone who regularly presents will have had the occasion when there’s a need to wander around the stage, or instead be marooned behind a lectern on the side, yet if there’s no presentation “clicker” provided, it’s difficult to control the flow. A/V professionals complain that they can never keep hold...
7 Feb 2014
Tip o' the Week #200 – Top Ten Greatest Hits
If I was to ever write a style guide for these Tip o’ the Week emails, it would say to never use the first person, and to maintain a degree of relatively irreverent humour that hopefully makes it easy to read and not get in the way of the content. When I was thinking about what to write for the ToW #200...
3 Jan 2014
Tip o' the Week #199 – Checking your home network speed
As winter bites, as roadworks cause pandemonium , there may be a trend for staff to work at home more. Microsofties all know Lync powers the ability to effectively work and be contactable when you’re sitting in your shreddies in your home office. If you have a less than perfect broadband connection,...
27 Dec 2013
Tip o' the Week #187 – A Route for old times
Once upon a time, a company called NextBase wrote some software to help people plan routes across the road network, using a computer. It was expensive in the day (£130 in 1988 works out about £300 in today’s money ), but if your job was to schedule travelling reps or delivery drivers, then time was money...
30 Aug 2013
Tip o’ the Week #181 – “Working Elsewhere” status
This week’s tip comes courtesy of Phil Cross , who discovered it one day whilst trying to tell his colleagues where he was going to be. In Outlook, as you know, you can set the “ Show As ” status of an appointment or a meeting (and ToW readers of long standing may recall the difference – an appointment...
5 Jul 2013
Tip o' the Week #180 - A touch of magic
As more and more of us continue to enjoy new laptops courtesy of the Windows 8 Refresh program, the fact that most of them are touch-enabled is causing delight and surprise. The best things about touch on traditional laptop devices may be the less obvious uses – scrolling up and down a web page with...
28 Jun 2013
Tip o' the Week #178 - Copy as Path, turbocharged
Long-term readers of ToW may recall tip 101 , which featured the “Copy as Path” command in Windows 7. In a nutshell; hold the Shift key as you right-click on a file in Windows Explorer, and you’ll see the Copy as Path option, which copies the entire path to that file (eg c:\blah\blah\file.doc) into the...
21 Jun 2013
Tip o’ the Week #176 - F(u)11 screen ahead
This week’s tip might seem a little obvious to some, yet partially unknown to others. Internet Explorer has offered the capability to display a page in full-screen mode, since IE4. Just like the “ content, not chrome ” ethos of the “ Metro ” Modern UI design language, reducing the various window borders...
7 Jun 2013
Tip o' the Week #154 - Outlook 2013 searching - reprise
Sometimes, the best bits of content benefit from revisiting, improving or just being done in a different way. It was good enough for Sgt. Pepper , and a mainstay of any self-respecting 1970s concept album (try and hear the Supper’s Ready lyrics at the end of the Squonk reprise in Los Endos , for example...
18 Jan 2013
Tip o’ the Week #152 – Zoom, Zoom!
If you ever see someone make a presentation or give a demonstration, who says “ you can’t see this, but… ” or “ this is an eye test, but… ” then you have to ask, well why are you showing it (or trying to)? Better still, throw things at them and make a jolly good scene. If you’re presenting, don’t use...
21 Dec 2012
Tip o’ the Week #120 – The colour of time
This week’s tip is a lovely little Windows app, recommended by Ceri Morris . It’s a little like the sunrise alarm clocks which start your day by gently lighting the room, or the sleep alarms which gradually fade out the radio instead of a sudden silence in place of music. This free application, called...
8 Jun 2012
Tip o’ the Week #113 – Add context to your Lync status
One of the biggest cultural impacts of using Instant Messaging and UC technology in a business context is the way that people tend to check the status of someone before contacting them. It’s a relatively rare occurrence to get an internal phone call out of the blue if both parties are online: usually...
25 May 2012
Tip o' the Week #102 - When did someone really put something in their calendar?
I've been thinking about writing this tip since the ToW started almost exactly two years ago (yay!) but for various reasons, competitive advantage amongst them, I've held off. I figure it's now time to relent and share. genesis The tip concerns the differences in Outlook between appointments, meetings...
9 Mar 2012
Tip o’ the Week #92 – Take and Share better meeting notes
Be the scribe OneNote is a great audit tool. When you’re in meetings with customers and partners why not offer to take the notes on your tablet, slate or laptop and then when the meeting is done simply save the notes as a PDF to create a simple, (almost) non editable version of the notes that you can...
27 Jan 2012
Tip o’ the Week #91 – So you're OOF? Meh.
Now that Outlook, Exchange and Lync all provide a way of showing that someone is Out of the Office (aka OOF, not OOO ), it should be no surprise when you send email to someone internally, that you get an Out of Office message. Outlook’s tool tip tells you they’re out, Lync’s status icon shows the small...
20 Jan 2012
Tip o’ the Week #44 – Making Outlook show only email from external senders
This tip came about after one reader asked if there was any way to highlight email, in Outlook, that came from a set of external addresses [in short, it kind-of is, but it’s not so straightforward] . There’s a more universally useful tip lurking beneath, though – how can I hide all...
8 Jul 2011
Tip o' the Week #39 - Multi-monitor with Win7
If you sit at a shared desk with a monitor on it, but are content to just use your laptop screen, then this tip is for you. Also, if you use your laptop and display the same image on both its internal panel and an attached external screen, listen up. Multi-mon in Windows 7 – the ability to extend your...
24 Jun 2011
Tip o’ the Week #31 – the lost art of the .EXE name
As has been mentioned in a couple of earlier ToW’s, it’s often quicker to use the keyboard to do things, than to take your hands off the keyboard and fish about for a mouse or other means of pointer manipulation. In the vast majority of cases, for example, whenever there’s a box that lets you type some...
3 Jun 2011
Tip o’ the Week #29 – Filtering email to reduce the noise
Anyone who gets lots of email will appreciate the importance of Outlook rules. Most rules run on the Exchange server, but some (like rules which move messages to a PST folder on your PC) will run client-side. In Outlook 2010, the Rules settings are available from the File menu (or Backstage ). Over the...
20 May 2011
Tip o’ the Week #23: Viewing Excel sheets side by side
Toni Kent from Microsoft UK’s partner group once again provides the inspiration for this week’s tip. Everyone loves the side-by-side windows feature of Windows 7, where you can dock windows to the sides of your monitor by dragging them (or pressing ÿ+→ or ÿ+←). But sometimes it doesn’t appear to work...
1 Apr 2011
Tip o’ the Week #22: Sync SharePoint data into Outlook
This week’s tip comes from a reader: over to Microsoft UK’s Rob Orwin… In order to help my forecasting, I synchronise the appropriate documents to my Outlook so that when I send and receive they are automatically updated. To do this I simply: 1) Go to the SharePoint site where...
25 Mar 2011
Tip o’ the Week #20: Outlook date cleverness
Here’s a quick Outlook tip that some long term users may know but might have forgotten. Ever since the first very of Outlook was released more than 14 years ago, it’s had a surprising capability to handle dates using natural language descriptions. Whenever Outlook prompts you to enter a date (and allows...
18 Mar 2011
Tip o’ the Week #17: Broadcast PPT to customers & partners
Many Microsoft folks have experienced the joys of scheduling Live Meetings with customers and partners, where they get an email or meeting request with lots of links, asking them to install software on their PC before they try to join the meeting. How often do the attendees not manage to click the right...
25 Feb 2011
Tip o’ the Week #11: SharePoint alerts
Some of us use RSS, many of us use SharePoint, but all of use email. Did you know that you can combine these three great technologies to keep you up to date on what other people are doing? Most areas of SharePoint allow you to request to be alerted when things change – in this picture, for example, we...
11 Feb 2011
Tip o’ the Week #2: Travel times in Outlook
Another Outlook tip this week. There have been some calls for Microsoft to include a “Travel Time” capability to Outlook, that lets you automatically add getting-to and getting-from time to an existing Outlook appointment. There is one internal addin which integrates Bing maps to calculate the time taken...
7 Jan 2011
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