thoughts from shawn keene: analyst, technologist, microsoft mvp, skywarn storm chaser, fitness freak, and nerd

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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Mr. Consistent

Have you ever ventured onto Wikipedia to lookup one encyclopedia entry, and end up reading a dozen others as you navigate among (un)related links?  Sometimes it’s satisfying to quench idle curiosity by thumbing through interesting topics.  The discoverability and broweability of inline links greatly appeals to me, of which you can see evidence in my various posts. One such blog I frequent as part of my information diet, Lifehacker, uses such a writing style. And today as I hyperlinked my way through…

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Why I hate Walmart: Abridged Version

It’s dirty. From the moment you enter the parking lot full of oil spills and garbage, to the floors and shelves, everything is sticky, grimy, and gross. Everything is broken.  The place looks like it’s being run by 8-year-old McGuiver wanna-be’s. Everything is tapped up, tied up, wrapped up, and bandaged together.  Both ad-hoc signs and even actual product displays.  At the checkouts (if you can find one that is open) the credit card readers are usually busted (not an…

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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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User Experience Optimization

Users that have immediate, unfettered access to their resources and information are more reliable, better performing, and happier. When a workforce is more reliable, better performing, and happier, the entire business benefits with better SLAs, less turnover, and happier clients.  User Experience Optimization is taking steps to consolidate and simplify the user experience, and is proven to have a very real and direct impact on a business’s ability to function profitably. Before we look at what makes an optimal interface, let’s look at what…

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Moore Storms logo

Moore Storms

Back in December of ‘06, I was asked to come up with artwork for a team, the Moore Storms. Although I never took it further, I re-discovered a rough draft I came up with while digging through some archives. If you aren’t familiar with the meteorological symbols, here they are in order, following the tornado: snow storm, hurricane, thunderstorm, cold front, and dust storm.

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The Future We Live Within

My thoughts after noticing the incredible pace and significance of recent papers in the scientific community… On several occasions, I have yielded to my inner nerd and shared with friends how much I’d desire to have been born a few centuries later, to grow up in a world not unlike Roddenberry’s fictional universe. As any dedicated Trekkie will gladly discuss at length, many of the principles and concepts in the series were inspired either directly or indirectly by actual scientific…

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My Mobile Evolution

I’ve shared my favorite desktop apps and tools several times, now it’s time to discuss a device that is more intimate in nature. It’s hard to overstate the significance of the object that is so ubiquitous. For many, it is the first thing we see when we wake up, and the last thing we see when we go to sleep. It’s in our possion more than any other item.  It knows every person you communicate with, everywhere you go, and…

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Our Generation is Taking Over

A few months ago, a colleague of mine mentioned that our generation is taking over.  I thought it was a interesting comment, but didn’t think of it again until he mentioned months later on the popularity of Windows 7.  “Windows 7 is our generation’s answer to Windows being lame until now.” I don’t think Windows was ever lame, but it is true that Windows 7’s user experience was really re-thought with our generation’s ideas about productivity in mind. Today I…

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