Tech

indulgences into my geek side

Bring Gmail-style workflow to Outlook

Among the top features called out by any gmail fan is the archive button, which acts as a simple dismissal of a message.  Archiving removes an entire email conversation thread from your inbox, while keeping it accessible under all mail, or any number of labels.  It’s an extremely efficient hybrid method between piling and filing, because it rescues the user from obsessive organizing, and later, searching… ‘where did I put that message from the boss, his folder or the one for the…

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Ask a Geek: Bloated Computers

If you’re looking for a new PC, you can ask any geek and they’ll tell you to build clean.  Their reason is simple: the manufacturer’s cripple their own products before they ever send it to you. Even if you buy direct, original equipment manufacturers make money by pre-installing trials, games, bundles, even spyware on to their computers. Resellers from BestBuy to Walmart are even worse. Make no mistake: you’re being sold out before you even buy.

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Windows Search Icon overlaid on search window

Boost Windows Search in Two Steps

Many of even the most infrequent of Internet users has experienced instant searches by now, where search suggestions (or even full results) appear live while you type, before you even press Enter.  It seems like magic, searching the entire world as fast as you can type.  But did you know your Windows PC has the same power?

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Microsoft MVP Award 2012

I’m thrilled and honored to have been re-awarded as a Microsoft MVP for 2012.  My award date is April 1, so you’ll understand the delay my boasting — would you have believed me last week? The award box arrived yesterday evening, where I promptly ripped the box apart like a kid on Christmas morning.  Here’s a look at what’s inside: There’s the new certificate and ID badge for the new year, along with a 2012 year disc to stack into…

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Set Microsoft Office Name for Friendlier File in Use Messages

Has this ever happened to you? At best an annoyance, this can be a real productivity killer as you hunt around to find the user that has the file locked. You could save a copy of the file and try to clean up or reconcile later, and while collaboration solutions like SharePoint limit these cases, most businesses still rely heavily on network storage that makes this impractical. So, help make the word — or at least your office — a better…

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Reminder to update drivers in Windows 8

I just finished installing Windows 8 natively using a VHD, as discussed in my previous post, and while exploring I noticed some fonts were not quite as crisp as I would like. Others may not notice this subtle nuance, but it is likely that in aggregate you’ll be affected by stretched images, poor font and color quality, and even poor performance without proper hardware accelerated graphics. Let this post serve as a reminder to update your drivers and check your resolution so that you can…

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MVP Summit Schedule Sync without Outlook

Hey fellow MVPs, I’m sure most of you have downloaded your itinerary from the schedule builder and probably added the events to Outlook. For those of you that either don’t have Exchange Active Sync capabilities or wish to keep these events off their Outlook Calendar, you can still sync your schedule with your smart phone using subscriptions in the cloud (such as Hotmail or Google Calendars).  Unlike importing the downloaded .ics file, the method below will allow your phone to…

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SharePoint URL reflecting filter choices

Create personalized bookmarks in SharePoint

You might already be familiar with the filter bar, the gray headers at the top of most SharePoint lists. This interactive header allows you to sort and filter your view to drill down to the information you’re seeking. Sure, you could set your filter every time you visit the page, but that’s tedius if you need the same information each day. Here’s the ninja way: First, visit the list once and set your filters as you normally do one last…

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Sprint users, enable Google Voice services!

Do you have Sprint service?  If so, I would encourage you to take advantage of Google Voice services. Some might fear the ever-growing tech giant for permeating ever-increasing corners of our lives, but I for one welcome our all-knowing computing overlords at Google. Seriously though, have you heard of Google Voice?  The service was previously known as Grand Central and was purchased by Google back in 2007.  They’ve been making steady improvements, the latest of which is seamless integration for Sprint users.…

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comparison between Basic and Aero themes in Windows 7

Speed up your computer with eye candy?

Has your computer ever re-drawn the screen slowly? Or has a lagging program ever turned black or duplicated itself like this as you try to drag it around? You can alleviate these slow-downs and even prevent GDI driver-mode related crashes by using Windows Aero, available in Windows Home Premium and higher editions. You can tell if Aero is on by looking at the top of almost any window. If the window controls (known as caption buttons) are touching the edge,…

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The Outlook conversation view

Be more Conversational with your Email

Tip: Use Conversation view in Outlook to find related messages from other foldersYou save: About an hour a week Have you ever received a reply to an email and wanted to look at the other messages in the chain? What if the other messages were already moved into other folders? Or if you wanted to look at messages you sent? In the dark ages, finding all these related emails required digging though folder after folder, hoping you weren’t missing any. In the…

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