The UsefulTechnology Blog

Tips and Tactics for a Better Digital Life

The UsefulTechnology Blog

  • The End: this blog leaps over to Windows Live Spaces

    I've decided to move my blog to a new home on Windows Live Spaces. I hope you'll move with me. My new blog URL is http://usefultechnologyblog.spaces.live.com/ . To subscribe to the new RSS feed, simply click this link: http://usefultechnologyblog...
  • UsefulGuides: Finding that well-loved feature in Microsoft Office 2007

    There's no question about it, there's a bit of a learning curve before you get familiar with the new ribbon menu layout in the 2007 Microsoft Office system. And the learning curve will be steeper the more familiar you are with previous versions. If you...
  • UsefulOffer: IntelliGolf Eagle now free with HP iPAQ 6915

    HP did a good job of hiding this offer on their website ;-) Head over to www.hp.com/uk/intelligolf and you may just spot that you can claim a free copy of IntelliGolf Eagle edition (the tippety-topmost-bestest version) if you own a UK-bought HP iPAQ 6915...
  • Windows Vista RTMs!

    Jim Allchin has just announced to the world's press that Windows Vista is now complete and has been released to manufacturing. Let the fun begin! More details here .
  • 3D Mapping in Windows Live Local

    Head over to http://local.live.com/ to check out the new 3D capability of this mapping service. Very nice! After you've installed the 3D application (a one-off download) try some of these keyboard shortcuts: Double-click a point on the map to move...
  • The Official Windows Vista Preview Magazine

    Phew! I'm delighted to report that the Windows Vista Preview magazine (an official joint venture between Microsoft and Future Publishing) is now on sale in the UK in all good* newsagents. Get your copy now for the paltry sum of £4.99. The Preview Magazine...
  • Windows Media Player 11 - final release at last

    Way back in May we released the Beta of Windows Media Player 11. Finally, after exhaustive testing and refinement, we released the final build earlier this week. You can download it now, for free, from here . If you're running Windows XP and have ears...
  • That Windows Vista Packaging

    Here's the clever bit about the new packaging. It opens like this: Very neat!
  • 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?
  • My Blogcasts on Soapbox

    I've been playing with the new Soapbox on MSN Video service. It's pretty cool. I never really got into YouTube but I can see how useful it will be to be able to restrict access to my videos on Soapbox based on my existing Windows Live Messenger contact...
  • Bring YourSELF to Work

    Yes, it's true: tomorrow is Bring YourSELF to Work Day 2006. In case you're feeling confused because you bring yourself to work most days anyway, take note of that clever capitalisation of the letters S, E, L and F. As the campaign leader says: ...
  • Brainfart with Vista

    By our standards it's quite subtle, but there's no doubting that Windows Vista is behind this new site at http://www.clearification.com/ . If you don't know Demitri Martin (i.e. you are one of the 95% of human beings living outside of the USA) you may...
  • Securing that wireless network

    I stumbled across this helpful article from Connected Home that explains how to secure a wireless network: http://www.connectedhomemag.com/HomeControls/Articles/Index.cfm?ArticleID=49176 . The most important thing here is to enable WPA (or WPA2 if you...
  • The Joy of Finding Big Things (in Outlook 2007)

    My former boss, Bruce Lynn , asked me this weekend how he could locate all the large (>200kb) entries in his Outlook calendar so he could delete them to free up some space in his mailstore. He couldn't figure out how to do this but knew it must be...
  • Voluminous Venti

    Sunday, sitting in Starbucks. Note to self: a venti-sized mug of coffee is too large to drink comfortably without a catheter.
  • Windows Live Insider Club

    Confused by all this new Windows Live stuff? Yeah, me too. There's a lot of new gadgetry to get our heads around. I discovered an interesting new site at www.insiderclub.co.uk that aims to shed some light on the matter. Those talking bodies are a bit...
  • Internet Explorer 7 is launched

    The world's most popular browser just got better. Internet Explorer 7 was released just hours ago. You can get it from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.mspx .
  • Windows Vista Tipfest

    Ah, I love the smell of a tip in the morning! I'm in New York for Digital Life and to meet up with some of my colleagues from around the world. It's Friday 13th, I'm jetlagged and I've just run out of coffee. But all is well because I've just discovered...
  • Add some hyperlink action to your emails

    Bloggers know how important it is to include relevant hyperlinks in their posts ;-) They can come in pretty handy in emails too. Instead of pasting a lengthy and ugly URL into an email you can add a hyperlink to any part of your email text. So,...
  • Screen capture the easy way

    I'm often asked what tools I use to make screengrabs to include in my blog. I used to use the Snipping Tool which is part of the Tablet PC Experience Pack for Windows XP . So you can imagine my disappointment when, after upgrading to Windows Vista, I...
  • Windows Live OneCare beta - free to 18 countries

    Hurrah! At last, Windows Live OneCare 1.5 is now available for free download in 18 countries around the globe. Despite having a dangerous name for anyone with lazy pronunciation, OneCare is finally out of the blocks on its journey towards global availability...
  • 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...
  • Get Safe Online (and Secure that Wireless Network)

    So here I am blogging from inside Windows Vista RC1. And I've never felt safer. Which is handy because I've been working closely with the team at Get Safe Online over recent months and next week is officially Get Safe Online Week in the UK. I'll be in...
  • Get Safe Online - UK Roadshow next week

    If you're a paid-up member of the geek gang, you probably end up fixing friends' computers every time you see them. And often the problems you have to fix are caused by their not taking simple steps to protect themselves while online. Thankfully there...
  • Windows Vista installation rant

    I wonder if I'm the only person who finds this annoying. Whenever I install Windows Vista (or XP or any previous version for that matter) I have to set the date and time. And the default time zone is always USA Pacific (GMT-8hrs). It's easy to change...