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The UsefulTechnology Blog
You Need to Get Out More
It's Friday. And Steve Clayton writes today about how his Out of Office message has taken on a personality all of its own. Mine has too. We all get so many "OOFs" that the very least you can do is inject a little life into your own message. In the spirit of sharing, my most recent OOF is below. I received...
18 Aug 2006
Hallelujah! At last: an intelligent spell checker
Great news for fast-fingered slow-brained writers everywhere: the 2007 Microsoft Office System features a new contextual spelling feature that detects many of the glaring errors that traditional spell checkers miss. This could be the cure I've been looking for to keep my blood pressure below danger point...
7 Jun 2006
See Windows Vista
Keith Combs' blog points out a nice link that gives an overview of some of the goodies coming in Windows Vista. I'm not sure what that guy's doing with his left arm. Contrary to my first suspicion though he does have one; as you'll discover if you don't click on any of the links.
8 Jun 2006
Online premiere of The IT Crowd
There's an odd marriage for computer geeks and comedy fans coming soon to British TV when a new series starts on Channel 4. The programme's called 'The IT Crowd' and premieres next Friday 3rd February with a double bill. But you don't need to wait until then. Watch the first episode from the comfort...
28 Jan 2006
Windows Vista and 2007 Office system packaging unveiled
Oooh, it's shiny and new. Announcing the new packaging for Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system. I quite like it. Do you?
31 Oct 2006
Teasippers, Limeys and Rosbifs
I am all of the above. And if you're English you are too. I've just discovered this fascinating list of colloquial ways to address your fellow citizens of the world. And before you start using any of these and upset someone, bear in mind that they probably have a special word for you too ;-)
1 Sep 2006
That Windows Vista Packaging
Here's the clever bit about the new packaging. It opens like this: Very neat!
31 Oct 2006
The brainless way to win a £4,000 digital makeover
What is a Personal Computer? (a) A microcomputer whose price, size and capabilities make it suitable for personal usage (b) An elongated yellow fruit that grows on trees (c) The Queen of England At least the questions aren't quite as simple as that but your brain still won't get out of first...
9 Oct 2006
Expression Interactive Designer - get the CTP today!
Microsoft released the public beta of Expression Interactive Designer, the software formerly known as Sparkle, today! Check out the Channel9 video at http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=157843 or download directly from http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/interactive_designer/id_free_trial...
24 Jan 2006
Frost on BBC Radio Berkshire
Punish your ears. Listen in to the BBC Radio Berkshire breakfast show tomorrow (24th August) between 08.20 and 09.00 UK time to hear me waffling about something or other. I have no idea what they want to talk about but they've asked to talk to me anyway. You can listen online at http://www.bbc.co.uk...
23 Aug 2005
Get your suduko fix
I don't know what it is about the magical 81 square grid but I'm hooked. Microsoft has a couple of free applications available to help you get your Sudoku fix even when in front of your computer. Check these out: For tablet PC only: http://msdn.microsoft.com/windowsvista/technologies/mobilepc/default...
2 Jun 2006
Lost - final episode
In what is turning out to be an interesting experiment in the effects of mobile communication deprivation, I left home this morning without my Pocket PC. On the list of the "things not to leave at home" a Pocket PC must rank pretty near the top. From where I'm sitting, only the lack of a wallet (or some...
27 Sep 2005
Useful Technology for Sport Spectators
I had the privilege of watching the British Grand Prix at Silverstone as a guest of Vodafone/Ferrari yesterday. It was a great day with excellent hospitality, some star appearances, oh, and a bit of racing thrown in as well. The race itself was a bit of a procession with Alonso leading from start to...
12 Jun 2006
My Mouse has a Dirty Bottom
What is that stuff that keeps building up on my mouse's bottom? No matter how many times I clean it off and scrub the surrounding desk area it keeps coming back. I don't use a mouse mat because the Health & Safety Police told me it's better to use the wide area of the desk to help avoid RSI (Repetitive...
21 Jul 2006
Presentation Tips from the Master
My colleague Darren (he's not as effeminate as his photo would suggest) has written up a great post with some really useful tips on how to give good presentations. So many people complain about 'Death by PowerPoint', yet so few take active steps to improve their own style. Darren has a relaxed yet engaging...
25 Jul 2006
Exchange Tour Unplugged Blog
Over the next few weeks I'll be posting to the new TechNet Exchange Tour Unplugged blog at http://blogs.technet.com/technet_uk_-_exchange_tour/ while we weave our way around the UK. Tomorrow we'll be in Coventry, before a short trip to Manchester, a dive back south to Southampton and then back up to...
27 Nov 2005
Smile! You're on a Speed Camera!
I'm fascinated by the human relationship with technology and how one helps shape the other. A recent example that got me thinking came after the Thames Valley Park Security team installed a speed camera on one of the roads approaching the UK Microsoft Campus. But this wasn't one of those widely despised...
25 Aug 2006
BBC gets the wrong Guy
If you recognise the "guy" above you may have already heard about the BBC's recent gaffe when interviewing Guy Kewney, one of the UK's most respected IT journalists. Instead of interviewing Guy Kewney, the respected IT journalist, they interviewed Guy Goma, a data cleansing specialist who was waiting...
20 May 2006
New laptop, new lease of life!
I finally got a new Tablet PC. My old one was designed shortly before the advent of modern computing and although it was slow enough to earn itself the nickname "Sleeping Tablet" I hadn't realised how slow until I got a new machine. So here I am blogging from my Toshiba Tecra M4. It's not the whizziest...
9 Nov 2005
Save the Blog: Vote Now
Contrary to one correspondent's theory, the lack of recent postings here is not evidence of my having been seized by British Anti-Terrorist Police. I agree that the liquids I carry onto aircraft may have a dangerously high alcoholic content that could blow your mind but I doubt they'd do much damage...
16 Aug 2006
Genial Presentations by Genii
If, like me, you regularly find yourself on your hind legs in front of an audience wondering how to make the next 30 minutes a pleasurable experience, check out this outstanding example of public speaking from the very brilliant Sir Ken Robinson . And a big thanks to TED (Technology, Education and Design...
14 Jul 2006
The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid
A friend sent me the following text recently. It highlights a few things for me. Firstly, it's definitely a good idea to have spell check turned on at all times and secondly, I can now see why it's so easy for spammers to side-step unsophisticated anti-spam filters and still ensure their invitation for...
12 May 2005
Installing Internet Explorer Beta 3 over Beta 2
Is anyone else worried about whether to upgrade to the latest version (Beta 3) of Internet Explorer? I pondered (that's like thinking, but more posh) for a while then thought "what the heck, the worst that can happen is it destroys my PC and my life." But then I started installing from this site and...
3 Aug 2006
You know you're out of control when...
...you discover a 'Tasks in Archive Folders' link suddenly appears because Outlook has auto-archived some of your tasks which are now more than 90 days overdue! Heck! I need longer days to stay on top of my ever-growing workload. Or perhaps a shorter task list would be a better solution.
20 Oct 2005
UK Microsoft Technical Roadshow
Good news for IT Pros and Developers in the UK: registration for the Microsoft Technical Roadshow 2006 is now open. The May/June roadshow will visit five venues across the UK: Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, London and Bristol. We'll be giving detailed technical insights into a host of current...
4 Apr 2006
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