The Electric Wand

Thoughts of a technology enthusiast.

Browse by Tags

Related Posts
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #213 – London travel with Windows Phone

    There are plenty apps that help travellers to and from the city of London, some of which I’ve mentioned previously in Tips gone by. Apologies somewhat to international readers as many of these will be of little use to you, unless you choose to visit the cradle of parliamentary democracy , in which case...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #211 – Manage your battery on WP8

    The world – at least if you listen to ex-PayPal squillionaire Elon Musk – is destined to move from fossil-fuel-fired transport to electric vehicles that might be charged by the power grid rather than carrying around their own means of energy conversion. Some say that centralised generation (in the form...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #210 – Beam me up!

    In the last few weeks, Nokia has shipped the Lumia Black update and it’s widely available . There are some cool additions that the Finns have made to the Phone platform, some new and synched with Black. Nokia now publishes loads of addons (some available for other phones, many only application on Nokia...
  • 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 #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 #171 - eWallet on your phone

    One attribute of your phone is that it tends to be with you all the time , so it makes a great place to store information that you want to get access to when you’re out and about – the details of your car insurer, the password for your online banking site, your frequent flyer numbers etc. The long-established...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #57 - Using Microsoft Tag on Windows Phone

    The “ Tag ” initiative has been around for a little while, in beta guise initially, then general release. The idea is that anyone can generate a 2D “barcode” that can could be a link to a website for more information, could be contact information, some plain text or even a “dialer”...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #58 - Find your meeting, or your Windows Phone

    This week, a couple of smart tips concerning Windows Phone 7. Both revolve around finding something – in one case, how to find your phone if you’re not sure where you left it, and the other, how to remind yourself where you’re going. Dude, where’s my phone...? This tip uses the location services built...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #128 - Train Tickets & Times on WP

    This week’s tip aims to shine a light on a selection of Windows Phone Apps dedicated to letting the train take the strain. There have been a slew of newly released apps which let you plan your journey, find information about stations and even buy your ticket in advance, ready to collect at a ticket machine...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #127 - Windows Phone and History

    This week sees a short but sweet Windows Phone tip, courtesy of Kevin Lief . He paints the picture of being in a meeting when someone says “did you get my email about … etc?” Of course you got the email… but getting it and reading it are odds apart sometimes. How many times have you seen an email, maybe...
  • 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 #70 - Windows Phone 7 usage abroad

    If you’re planning on taking your Windows Phone to sunnier climes over the autumn/winter, this tip might help. One side-effect of going abroad is that the numbers you may have saved in your contacts, won’t be able to dial – 07802 etc won’t make any sense if you’re in the US…. One elegant solution to...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #126 – Voice dial on Windows Phone

    It may be a little known aspect of Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 that you can issue voice commands to the device. There are essentially two functions – one, searching using Bing by voice, by pressing the magnifying glass button on the front of the phone, then the microphone icon on the Bing page … ( see here...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #153 - Lync 2013 shortcuts

    Happy New Year! On the topic of Year (2013) and New, the Lync 2013 client introduced a whole load of new UI functionality compared to the previous release; for details of what’s new, check out the What’s new in Lync 2013 post on the Lync team blog. One side effect of moving to Windows 8, however, is...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #95 – the new Windows Phone lock screen

    One of the most immediately user-friendly aspects of Windows Phone 7.5, aka Mango , is also one that is not automatically enabled… Try this out, and I bet you’ll love it. Show to your friends who’ve upgraded: they’ll love it too. Windows Phone supports having a PIN lock policy so that if you haven’t...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #124 – The evolution of Windows Phone Marketplace

    Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted that an update a few months ago to the desktop Zune software has removed the Marketplace for buying or downloading Windows Phone apps. This was something of a surprise move to some, since the Zune software has been the primary way of finding and getting hold of phone...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #156 - some Windows Phone 8 fun

    If you’re a recently lucky Windows Phone 8 recipient, you’ll no doubt have followed all of the instructions in how to set up your new phone, so you’ll already know that you can go to My Phone and reinstall all the apps you’d downloaded onto your previous WP7 device (note that the previously recommended...
  • 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 #158 - blah blah Phone blah

    If you need a reminder on what’s new with Windows Phone 8, or you’ve just picked up your white Lumia 920, check out ToW # 156 . One of the slickest updates to Windows Phone 8 is the deeper integration of voice recognition than in WP7. The previous generation phone allowed you to issue commands via voice...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #81 – I’m Late!

    We’ve all had that feeling when you just know you aren’t going to make it in time for your next meeting… You know, you’re in Building 1 and the meeting’s at the top of Building 5, or you’re stuck in traffic, or in another meeting that’s already running over and isn’t going to end any time soon..? Obviously...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #109 - SkyDrive on the move

    Everyone should know about SkyDrive - the free Microsoft service that gives users with a Live ID (including MSN, Hotmail etc) a 25Gb storage space online, accessible ostensibly from anywhere? Well, it's just been made more convenient to access SkyDrive files from mobile devices, thanks to SkyDrive Mobile...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #122 – The Sky (Drive)’s the Limit!

    For years now, SkyDrive has offered a chunk of online storage to anyone who wanted to use it, if they had a Windows Live (aka Hotmail, MSN Messenger, .NET Passport & others) user ID. Adding Windows Live Mesh to the mix gave the ability to not just store and share stuff online, but be able to back...
  • 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 #93 – Ring the changes with Mango

    Windows Phone 7.5 – aka Mango – is here ! ( Find out what’s new ). I’m publishing this tip out of sequence as I think it is relatively topical and rather than wait until the end of January 2012 – when it would be scheduled to go – I figured it would be useful to share it now. If your Windows Phone 7...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #161 – Windows Phone 8 “Portico”

    Attention, Windows Phone 8 owners… you may not have spotted it, but there’s a pretty decent update already available – code-named “Portico”. (Aside: If you visit certain Italian cities – like Bologna – you’ll see porticos as the things that provide the apparent multitude of graffiti artists shelter from...