The Electric Wand

Thoughts of a technology enthusiast.

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  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #233 – When I'm moving windows

    As the nights are already drawing in , UK domestic interest in international football has long waned to background tolerance (apart from tabloid cannibal fever ) , massive new TV sales and beer supply forecasts drop to any normal summer level, we must amuse ourselves in other pursuits. Maybe, perusing...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #209 – Shhhhhhhh!

    How many times have you been awoken by your phone , tablet or PC blaring an alert first thing in the morning, telling you it’s someone’s birthday (worse, someone you hardly even know ) ? Or reminding you it’s time to go to an optional conference call in the middle of the night (your time), that was sitting...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #204 – Mirror, mirror, on the big screen

    Many people who’ve had a new laptop in the last year will have experienced the frustration of showing up in a meeting room, only to find that you have no means of projecting onto the screen – there are at least 5 different types of connector that could go into the laptop, and 2 or 3 that might be supported...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #202 – Screen grabs, reprised

    Previous ToWs have covered how to capture the screen image on Windows, but things have moved on a little of late and it seems like a good time to highlight how to take an image of the screen on a number of devices. Props to Liam Kelly and Rachel Peck for inspiring this discussion. There are any number...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #201 – Multi-monitors with Windows 8.1

    One of the best presents you can buy your PC is a second monitor. There have been a few ToW’s past that have explored the delights of running a second screen, where even just plugging your laptop into a desk monitor can make a really noticeable difference to the way you work. The basics are all there...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #194 – Windows 8.1 Reading List

    Windows 8.1 is now available free for existing users of Windows 8, and in a break with tradition, will not be sold as an upgrade to existing installed Windows versions – it’ll just be the full version, and that’s it. Upgrading from Windows 8.1 Preview isn’t officially supported – though it can be done...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #174 – Presenting tips from the pros

    This week’s tip comes after another successful “ Tech.Days Online ” session in late April, delivered by a host of specialists covering a range of developer and IT Pro topics. The Tech.Days Online programme of events is interesting in that it’s delivered “live” to thousands of virtual attendees: in other...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #151 – dates, leaks, sides

    First, an update on last week’s ToW . Both Daryl Gywn & Will Thompson pointed out a quicker way of displaying the date & time (past intern-ship in the STU must have developed a keen sense of observation that other roles don’t develop) – simply display the Charms by… swiping from the right if...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #139 – Taskbar fun

    Windows 95 (aka “Chicago”) introduced us to the wonders of the Windows “Taskbar” as a way of managing open apps.  It was a response to people's increased ability and need to multitask in Windows, as previous versions of the OS provided no ready visual indication of how many windows were currently...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #164 – Work Anywhere with Windows 8

    Recruiter Nick Papé recommended this week’s topic. Escalation Engineer with spare time on his hands Ben Phillips wrote a cracking Windows 8 app to inspire Nick , and UC overlord Steve Tassell had this to say about it: “The app is another step in the consortium providing practical advice and guidance...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #147 - Sharing Windows 8 Apps

    The next few weeks’ Tips will be out of sequence since they coincide with the launch of Windows 8. As the world continues to enjoy Windows 8 (4m copies sold in the first week, apparently) , the number of apps in the Windows Store is growing every day. It’s easy to discover apps – fire up the Store app...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #121 - Networking with Lync

    This week, we have a semi-rehash of earlier tips ( #51 and #67 ), based on some investigation work that’s been done inside Microsoft’s own IT group. If you’re going to join a Lync call (especially if you’re using video or app sharing, using a Roundtable/Polycom CX5000 device etc), then best practice...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #188 – Writing on Windows

    Owners of the HP Revolve 810 laptops (as many in Microsoft recently received through the new laptop refresh) can get hold of an HP Executive Pen as an option, to enable on-screen scribbling and the likes. Before everyone starts celebrating by dancing in the streets, it’s worth noting that the Executive...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #167 – Flash! Ah-Aaah!

    Some big news for Windows 8 IE10 users this week (especially those using “Immersive IE”, aka modern/ Metro IE) : the way the browser handles Flash websites has changed. More details, here. In a nutshell, the Flash player which is built into IE10 has changed its default from not allowing Flash sites unless...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #115 – Windows 8 keyboard tips

    The next couple of posts on this blog are out of sequence, since they concern Windows 8. I’m bringing them forward by about a month… so ToWs #115 and #116 will come soon, then we’ll revert back to ToW #111 thereafter… Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been out for a little while so it’s worth taking a look...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #145 - Fun with Drag 'N Drop

    Some things in computing have been around for so long, that it’s hard to envisage or remember a time before them. Take the humble mouse – Mr Scott might not recognise what it’s for , but at least until touch and gestures take over the world, we are all familiar with its basic operation. Doug Engelbart...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #184 - ActiveSync account limits

    Various people have commented on issues they’ve had whilst setting up new PCs, especially after the upgrade to Windows 8.1 Preview. The upgrade process is a lot like a reinstall which happens to remember a bunch of settings, and one of the side effects is that it sets up the Mail (and associated Calendar...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #140 – PDFs in Windows 8 - reprise

      Hot on the heels of ToW #138 which looked at handling PDFs in Windows 8, lots of feedback from avid ToW readers with their own tuppence to contribute. Mike Mundy pointed out a simple way to print from within the built-in Win8 Reader app – good ol’ fashioned CTRL-P. Actually, this combo works for...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #183 - Screen Grabs on Windows 8.1

    If you’ve taken the plunge and updated to Windows 8.1 , you may have spotted a mix of improvements (like the updated Search pane behaviour which needs a little getting used to, but works well) , and some funnies (compatibility issues with IE11, internal tools like GMOBI or CRM not working so well, etc...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #116 – Windows 8 - IE 10 desktop or Metro..?

    One of the potentially confusing aspects of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is the fact that it has two web browsers built in – the Internet Explorer we know and love has been updated to IE10 on the desktop, and a new IE10 browser has been added into the Metro UI. For the most part, there’s little to...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #172 – Dreaming of Apps

    Clearly, the most obvious difference in Windows 8 compared to other operating systems (from inferior *NIX based desktops to fancy fondleslabs ) is the Start Screen – the colourful, dynamic  and interactive tile-based view of apps available to you with just a click, touch or swipe. It’s also the...
  • Blog Post: 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...