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  • 12/23/10--17:29: Tech Talk Christmas Summary
  • I have had a lot of articles, news and other tech information filling up my browser and its time to de-clutter before Christmas.

    ExcelMicrosoft Excel

    INDEX -MATCH - a much better lookup function combination than using VLOOKUP or HLOOKUP. Charley Kyd writes a very good instructive post on using this combination. We use this a lot where the failings of VLOOKUP make it impossible to use.

    MSDN announces the new developer roadmap for Excel and VBA. Interesting reading and has lots of useful links.

    Power Pivot is an amazing AddIn for Excel 2010. I have written about Power Pivot before. Dick Kusleika has written a simple function to determine whether an Excel Workbook contains power pivot data.

    OutlookMicrosoft Outlook

    Conditional formatting and highlighting your emails based on content, subject, sender etc.

    Roy MacLean asks some interesting questions about storing data in Outlook. I love Outlook and think it is a very good tool, however there are lots of limitations with using it. Mind you I don't see any other email client out there that can do everything that Outlook can do or even half as well in most cases. Still Roy has some good points.

    My thoughts about this included:

    1. What if the outlook database could be contained somewhere in a non proprietary file format (PST or OST) that could be access by any client, whether that be Outlook, Thunderbird, Live Mail etc.
    2. What if you could push data into Excel for manipulation and suck it back after cleaning duplicates contacts etc, How about being able to pull data into Word documents using mail merge features.
    3. There have to be better search options then now - I know Xobni is awesome and the Windows 7 search is pretty good if you turn on the index file contents for .pst and .ost file formats. However these options are still limited to using the Outlook data model.

    I would be interested in others thoughts also.

    Prevent Email forwarding and Reply All in Outlook. Amit links to NoReplyAll a free plugin for Microsoft Outlook

    365-logoMicrosoft Office 365

    Office 365 is a new offering from Microsoft. It is a cloud based office offering including the following features:

    • Access to e-mail, documents, contacts, and calendars on nearly any device
    • Simple and secure collaboration with colleagues and business partners
    • Works seamlessly with Microsoft Office
    • Pay as you go pricing options billed monthly
    • Get the latest features of our enterprise class software including the Office Suite.

    Liveside have an Office 365 review and also point to Paul Thurrott's full review.

    windows home server logoWindows Home Server

    Liveside report that the New version of Windows Home Server, codenamed Vail, has had some bad news. The drive extender functionality has been removed. This is a key functionality in the current WHS platform that we use and rely on. I hope Microsoft will bow to the pressure being exerted by unhappy users and backflip!

    Windows-Live-Writer-LogoWindows Live Writer 2011

    Aaron asks what functionality would you like to see in future versions and upgrades of Live Writer - this is your chance to have your say and provide feedback straight to the development team. Note - this article was written in Live Writer and posted to a Drupal website.

    windows_mobile_logoWindows 7 Phone

    After writing about my HTC Mozart Windows 7 Phone recently all I can do now is sing its praises even higher. the battery issue I suffered was actually the result of the Network Email system - and Telstra made changes on their servers and the battery now lasts more than a day with lots of calls, downloads and usage. The Facebook and Windows Live integration is just superb.

    Now there is a Windows Home Server app for the Windows 7 Phone platform!

    drupal-logo1Drupal

    Finally! Drupal 7 is about to be released with the launch party scheduled for 5 January 2011.

    Real-Time News Curation

    Ron Good has written a 2 part series entitled Real-Time News Curation, Newsmastering And Newsradars - The Complete Guide Part 1: Why We Need It and The Complete Guide Part 2: Aggregation is not Curation. Some valuable lessons to think about, and why I try and comment on the links I post - research them as well, and not just post links blindly in bulk (except occasionally)

    Photography

    Big Huge Labs has some great tools for Flickr users.

    The spider holster looks pretty good - maybe one of my next purchases. Maybe.

    Mostly Lisa snapped the lunar Eclipse this week. I did too. 2010-12-21 Moon 100

    We did a lot of photography shoots in November. Here are some pictures from the Adonai Clothing Fashion Shoot.

    2010-11-27 Adonai Photoshoot 177-8002010-11-27 Adonai Photoshoot 263-8002010-11-27 Adonai Photoshoot 203-8002010-11-27 Adonai Photoshoot 646-8002010-11-27 Adonai Photoshoot 162-8002010-11-27 Adonai Photoshoot 604-800


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    I have been using the HTC Mozart for a few months now. Fair to say its the best phone I have ever used in a number of ways.

    HTC-Mozart-photosBest hardware I have every used. Simple easy to use external hard and soft buttons, ordinary 6.5mm stereo headphone jack, micro USB charger - uses both a power adaptor (supplied) or via a USB port.

    Best Phone Software - EVER. This kills the previous mobile 6.1, 6.5 interfaces, and the previous HTC TouchFlo software. It is smooth, sexy, responsive and packed with features. The only draw back is its missing copy and paste.

    Best ever applications. While there are plenty of stupid ones (I love the Chuck Norris Facts App) there are very good useful apps, including YouTube, Flickr Manager, Facebook, etc.

    The built in maps software is fast with amazing fine grained detail.

    I have setup access to two separate exchange server email accounts and a POP3 account. The calendar integrates with them and allows separate colours to differentiate.

    The following pages were useful in setting up accounts:

    Set up or delete an email account

    Setting up your Windows Live ID and email accounts


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  • 06/23/11--19:25: Vive le Tour
  • I came up with a bunch of different first sentences for this post - but ended up with this lame one because i couldn't decide which to use - potentially they were all lame anyway

    • htc_desire_sQuiet exuberance hardly describes my emotions…
    • I'm off to France - so long suckerssss…
    • Say hullo to the new HTC Ambassador…

    See what I mean - lame.

    Anyway now that that's over let me introduce to you the new HTC Desire S Tour De France Ambassador. Moi!

    HTC have selected me to go to France for the last week of the 2011 Tour to be their HTC Desire S Ambassador. What that means is they are giving me an HTC Desire S Android handset and hopefully enough phone credit to go nuts with it over there. I'm to report on the phone and how i use it to keep a daily blog and photos and video of the tour including the awesome Champs Elysees seating package I have. Did i mention its also a cycle tour so i get to manfully (or whimper like a girl) struggle up Alpe D'Huez amongst some other rides including the penultimate days time trial circuit. In addition I get to meet the HTC Highroad team and report on their progress in the tour.

    Trepidation, Excitement, Nervous Energy, Adrenalin. Some of the things happening right now. This has been a dream of mine for years. I was planning on going to the Tour Down under next year - but this tops that! No more late nights sitting watching scratchy SBS broadcasts (we live in a poor reception area) - I'm going to be one of those blokes on the side of the road with their shirt off cheering like an absolute idiot as the guys ride by up the Alpe!

    Lucky Buggers I used to mutter under my breath. Now I am the Lucky Bugger!

    Stay tuned for more.

    Follow my tweets on http://twitter.com/spyjournal and facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HTCau?sk=app_251315594884338&app_data=author:tim-miller where my diary posts will be published.


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  • 07/07/11--16:59: The HTC Diaries
  • I am blogging the HTC Desire S and Le Tour for HTC. The posts I write are all up on their public wall along with the other two HTC Desire S Ambassadors writing from Australia, Shane Miller (no relation) and Scott Fitzgerald.

    HTC Diaries Tour de FranceYou can see all the HTC Diaries posts or just my posts.

    I will update this article with links to each post as I write them.


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    Go on - I dare you to watch this video and then not share it with anybody.

    Samsung will sell phones based on this ad - even if they were useless!


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    From Jeff Alexanders Tech Net email.

    Lots of good how tos and information on the Windows 7 phone how to page also.

     

    Easier sharing, smarter applications and a better web - Mango is here!
    Friday, 21 October 2011

    Hi there,

    Hello and welcome to another edition of the Australian TechNet Flash. This edition is all about Windows Phone and the recently released Windows Phone 7.5 Update that has just come out. First up what’s this update all about?

    The good news is Windows Phone 7.5, codenamed Mango, is now available to Windows Phone 7 users in Australia! If you haven’t already been prompted for the update you will very soon. This latest update improves on the existing OS and adds over 500 new features to better connect you with people, applications and the web.

    Some of my favourite features released in the mango update include:

    • Groups - Organise your employees or work colleagues into a single group to quickly and easily email, text or chat with a whole group at once. You can also pin this group to your Start Screen and you'll be notified with any missed calls, new messages and even social networking updates from the group members.
    • Outlook Mobile - Outlook Mobile on Windows Phone now also supports tasks and conversation view to offer an enhanced email experience on the go.
    • People Hub - The addition of Twitter and LinkedIn to the people hub so you can now get your feeds from all your favourite social media sites.
    • SharePoint Workspace Mobile - Makes it easier to collaborate with your coworkers when you're away from the office.
    • Internet Explorer 9 - Harnessing the power of your phone's hardware for faster, smoother web browsing.
    • My Windows Phone– Check out the new revamped My Windows Phone site and manage your phone on the web, find a lost phone or even reinstall all your applications easily!

    These are just some of our favourite features, to learn more about the mango release as well as how to get it click here.

    Now on to a Mappersonal story regarding this update. I got a chance to use the newly revamped My Windows Phone site and in particular the Find my Phone feature. My wife recently left her Windows Phone in a restaurant after a night out with some friends. Of course she was worried her phone was gone. Well the next morning I logged into the My Windows Phone site with her Windows Live ID. I got a screenshot like the one right.

    The above is just an example but what it shows is the GPS built into my wife’s phone showed me where it was which turned out to be the place where she left it. At this point I had 3 options. I could Ring the phone, Erase it or Lock it. I decided to lock it and put a security PIN on it with a message to ring our home number.

    Well we went back to the restaurant the next day when they opened and there was the phone locked with the message I put in along with a sad smiley face! A great result. If I did decide to erase the phone, reinstalling apps is much easier with Mango using the App Purchase History which is now part of managing your phone on the web.

    Have a good one folks and see you next time!

    image

    Jeff Alexander
    IT Pro Evangelist
    Microsoft Australia
    My TechNet Blog | IT Pro Australia Blog | twitterTwitter


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  • 12/07/11--13:44: Future Technology Vision
  • This vide is a good watch to get some really creative juices flowing - imagination drives innovation and invention.


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    I have upgraded my main workhorse machine.

    Components are:

    Some of my design and specification choices.

    I have had some poor experiences with watercooling before. However this time I had no choice, the CPU and motherboard combination required it. The Corsair watercooling kit is much more robust and foolproof than my previous system. I am confident that it will do the job. Currently my CPU core temp is 39 degrees C so I’m pretty happy with that.

    The 32 GB Ram is on the basis that you cant have too much. This enables me to run virtual machines, a lot of other memory hungry apps like Photoshop, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Outlook and a lot of tabs open in Chrome simultaneously with no system lockups or spinning blue donuts.

    The 2 VelociRaptor drives are for system and system backup – ensuring that my application and system load times are fast, and backups are also performed quickly meaning that the load on the machine during a backup is short. My storage drives are large 24x7 rated drives for durability and long life. This machine will run 24x7 for 3-4 years.

    I originally wanted a different video card but i couldn’t fit it in the case so switched to the GTX560 Ti. I meant to get three so i could run 6 monitors but stuffed up on my order. I will get a 3rd card at some point. This Motherboard will actually take 4 cards if necessary.

    The case is excellent modular case with space saving back channels for cable tidy and good airflow – Lots of super large super quiet fans, and great drive storage. Both sides clip off for easy access.

    The Logitech gear is the only input gear i will ever use – it is reliable, takes a pounding, designed for gaming and that makes it awesome for business use. I have 3 G15 keyboards on older machines all still going strong after around 2 million words on each. The hyper scroll function on the mouse is an amazing time saver.

    Of course Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate is the only OS to run on a system like this.

    Total cost $5820.

    For the Mac fanbois – an equivalent machine would have cost around $9,700.


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  • 05/17/12--16:06: Random stuff from my brain
  • Sometimes i need to just dump stuff out of my head. Sometimes my kids just say the funniest random things. Judith went out to my daughter at the clothes line couple of days ago while she was hanging out clothes to get a peg. Jadeen just randomly said “I am a stegosaurus”. That phrase has been bouncing around this house since then amidst lots of laughter.

    2403693037_0b63bdc4b4_bOur brains are amazingly complex things. Sometimes we just do no appreciate the incredible processing power of simple things like coordinating even our vocal cords, diaphragm, lungs and mouth and tongue just to say a simple word. I was listening to Doctor Karl on Triple J explain how Turrets Syndrome caused people to swear occasionally (its not the most common symptom of Turrets and most people with it don’t do this) and he just reminded me to think about how our brains work.

    Last night I dream about alien people and apparently asked out loud for a sword (according to Jude).

    2012-04-29 Corporate Challenge 2012 Race 3 751 788Yesterday I was able to run 3 kms with no knee issues – I wish I was back to the running ability I had back in the year 2000. However I’m coming to terms with being 12 years older then I was then and my running is fine as long as I don’t try and run like a 32 year old any more. I did a 5km race a couple of weeks ago and managed a personal best in the last 5 years or so so I am slowly getting it back.

    Do you run? if yes where and when, if no – why not? Get into the comments or hit us up on Facebook.

    2012-05-13 Fat Possum 004My cycling has improved a lot since I got the new road bike and have been focusing on my hill climbing. My Mountain biking climbing endurance has improved as a result. Unfortunately my Gary Fisher Fat Possum broke in half on my last ride. I am waiting on Trek to honour the lifetime warranty and replace her.

    Work has been interesting of late. Since I am no longer employed by IT Integrity and have gone back to being my own boss the pressure on my time has reduced. I am doing far more photography, as that is part of our business and we have had a lot more work in that area. I am doing more of the things I love in IT, web design and Excel work. I am enjoying learning new photography and Photoshop processing techniques. I am really enjoying the sports shooting we do as well.

    Samsung-Galaxy-S-II_1-300x300I bought a new phone. After a disastrous attempt to get an iPhone to work without using iTunes I bought a new Samsung Galaxy IIS and am loving its ease of use, its synchronisation with my Google account and my other android devices, the HTC Desire S and the Motorola Xoom 2 tablet. Its great having all my photos from each device synch seamlessly together with Dropbox, my notes in Evernote all synch across all my devices and it works as a phone out of the box without having to connect it to a computer.

     

    I’ll leave you with a selection of my favourite photos taken recently.

    2012-05-05 Gold Coast Spit 0392012-04-22 Supanova GC 367 cartoon2012-05-06 Drew and Laurel 0262012-04-22 Supanova GC 5352012-04-28 Roller Derby 6242012-04-06 Peter and Kitti Pregnancy 2072012-05-13 Sarah Maguire 049 - desat2012-05-06 Shell 025-makeup2012-04-09 Warrarba Creek 0222012-04-10 PRIMA JCS Production Shoot 832


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  • 09/02/12--16:41: Apple V Samsung
  • apple-vs-samsung2The recent court decision by a jury in a civil patent case in USA awarding $1B of damages to Apple from Samsung is very confusing. What does it mean to consumers? Listen to my discussion with 3CR Breakfast radio presenter Philippe Perez.

    What do you think about this? Does it affect you?

    Comment, engage us in social media and lets discuss.

     

     

     

     

    Download this MP3 - (Right Click)


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    Quite regularly I come across people who are just starting out in business. Often this is due to dissatisfaction with a corporate career, change in circumstances or location. Many older people who are made redundant or leave their jobs feel they have little job prospects and decide to start a new business. Many are just starting something alongside their existing work hoping it will be enough to let them quit at some point in the future.

    2013-08-16 Alex Hughes 084Some (not all) talk to an accountant or lawyer and set up the right business structure for their new enterprise. Unfortunately a common mistake many make is to not talk to a trusted advisor about their technology requirements. Too often I am called into help after the investment in retail consumer technology has been made already. Often it is too late to change things, funds have been spent and computers, tablets, printers and phones have been acquired.

    The mistakes I have had to fix include:

    • Retail consumer level routers that are not able to handle the demands of a small business
    • PCs that were purchased with retail licences of the operating system, office productivity software etc.
    • Tablets and phones on retail or prepaid phone plans and accounts
    • Cheap PCs that were physically not capable of meeting the demands of the office software installed on them
    • Hodge podge of retail cloud services, email accounts and domain names (usually no domain name) and no professionally integrated solutions
    • Cheap printers that have high consumable costs and cannot handle the demands of a small office
    • No understanding of customer data management
    • No backup solution (or an untested hope and pray solution) or Business Continuity Plans (BCP)
    • and so on

    Note the common theme is retail. The retail versions of software is usually cheaper for a reason – it is missing components that businesses use. And maybe they don’t need them when it is one person but as they grow and expand saving $20 now means spending hundreds more later on. By cobbling together “free” services and retail solutions like Gmail or ISP based email addresses, prepaid phone plans and the like, these small and micro businesses think they are saving money, but they always spend more than they saved fixing the mess they get themselves into when something goes wrong as it invariably does.

    So my upfront advice to any new business or person contemplating a new business is this.

    • Get yourself a trusted IT advisor. We act in this capacity for most of our customers.
    • Treat them like your lawyer or accountant. Expect to pay professional rates and get professional advice. Tell them everything you plan to do.
    • Ask them to help you build an IT plan that covers at least 3 years of your business plan and allows for growth, expansion, additional staff and locations.
    • Consider cloud services carefully (more on this in future posts), ensure there is a BCP, a backup solution that is tested, and if possible regular maintenance contracts ensuring everything is maintained.
    • Ensure that critical assets can be replaced quickly without loss of data and minimal downtime.
    • Check your insurance policies cover equipment loss and data recovery.
    • Ensure data can be protected, and portable devices (laptops, phones and tablets) can be remotely wiped if stolen or lost.
    • Ensure purchased or leased equipment is running professional levels of software (not home consumer versions) for future compatibility and that equipment is using latest generation hardware. Typically cheap computers are running hardware that is 2-3 generations old. This will cost you more in the long run.

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  • 01/28/15--15:39: Apple v Google v Microsoft
  • Ok this post might bring out the fanbois but that isn't the purpose of the article.

    What I want to demonstrate is the business reasons and to some extent personal reasons why I believe the Microsoft Ecosystem is the best.

    This isn't to say that the others don't have their place, and I’ll explain what that place is. I'll also hopefully demonstrate the overlaps as well.

    Let start of why the basic understanding of what each of these three eco systems are and what they do.

    Apple_logo_black.svgApple. The iWorld revolves around two basic things, hardware and authentication. Apple has been around for a long time and at various stages in my career has been my primary system (shock horror for some of my friends right there). However all that changed with the iPod and iTunes.

    Apple dramatically changed their ethos of being a purely devices company until that point to force an authentication process (needed to access the iTunes store). With various incarnations since then they have until recently made this very difficult for people. There have been numerous cases of issues with devices locked to single users who had lost their authentication details unable to access their purchased music, many manufacturing faults with original iPod, and then the whole iCloud issue with families using a single account being forced to effectively change to individual accounts. Additionally most non tech users didn't know the right way to set this up and continually lose their iPhone contacts with their phones, lose their music and don't use even half of the power of this actually pretty good system. (Note Apple users are not alone in that problem)

    All the way through the evolution of their devices since the iPod, iPhone, iMac etc., Apple have continually evolved their authentication process. It is now pretty good for a standalone user to have all their iDevices connected, syncing and backed up, able to be replaced simply and easily.

    One other comment, the Apple store is based on the iOS development platform and although there is a pretty low bar for developers any app released for this platform works across all devices.

    Logo_Google_2013_Official.svgGoogle. Google don't own Android. A lot of people don't realise that. Android is an open source OS developed by Google and based on the Linux kernel. It is primarily a mobile OS. Interestingly there are more mobile devices using android than any other OS combined, iOS, windows etc. The primary difficulty with Android is the code development process that has seen massive code splits and forks based on hardware. In fact there are so many sub branches of the code that it is almost impossible for application developers (and there are over 1 million apps in the Google Play Store) to build apps that are compatible with every device. I own several android devices and some of them can have the same app installed on them but many of the apps I own will only work on one device and not others.

    The android world also revolves around hardware. That is the actual software is specific to each device, and iterations of the core OS are not always or generally backward or forward compatible. In addition because the devices are mobile devices the phone providers generally control the update release path. Jail breaking mobile devices is often the only way for many users to gain access to new OS upgrades.

    Google is also an authentication platform just like Apple. However their spread and control is much wider. Google is primarily a software company, not a device company. They don't (with the exception of the Chromebook) build any of the billions of android devices out there. The build software, and a very impressive list they hold. The key to the entire Google world is your Google account - often known just as the Gmail account.

    Windows10LogoMicrosoft. Windows is what most people think of when you mention Microsoft. And for good reason. Windows OS in one way or another is the operating system used by over 80% of all users. This hasn't changed markedly in the 10 years, although mac has doubled from 4.5% to 9% and mobile use has gone from 1% to 5% approximately. Source http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp

    Microsoft have almost never been a device company, and largely their device attempts have been marked disasters financially. (Zune, Xbox, Surface). All great devices, but poor marketing and cumulative bad decisions (e.g. the Blu-ray v HD DVD war).

    Microsoft Windows OS however has only been one strength. The other core foundational strength of authentication like the others is equally important. And all the apps in their store (over half a million) work across all devices.

    But Microsoft Office is the primary reason why Microsoft is different from Apple and Google.

    Microsoft Office logo 2012The world’s premier productivity application has gone from strength to strength ever since Windows 95 and Office 95. Prior to that there were alternative competitors but they rapidly dropped off the scene and by 2000 were all but non-existent. There are still small alternative open source alternatives like Open Office. And although Google Apps is seen as an alternative, it’s not actually for one important reason - there is no desktop install for Google Apps - you must be online to use their browser apps. Microsoft office has browser apps that deeply and richly integrate with a full installable desktop application and that is why they are not comparable.

    So that's the background out of the way.

    Now for the primary reason that I prefer Microsoft over Google and Apple. And note - this is not to denigrate the others, they just can't do what Microsoft can do. Also please note I am dumbing down here to a lowest common denominator. Yes there are technically savvy people (and the fact you are reading this blog probably indicates you are one of those) to whom this lowest level doesn't apply. But the general run of the mill average computer user doesn't even understand all these points of difference. Their password is the name of their dog with their year of birth backwards or it’s written on a yellow sticky note under their keyboard because their company makes them change it every 60 days (how inconvenient). They don't use keyboard shortcuts and use their mouse as their primary input tool, they still use desktop icons because most of their important documents are saved onto their desktop in a forest of icons. They don't know how to use the start key (what is the start key?). In a Microsoft world this user needs at least one password, maybe two. They have their password to access their computer - (which on a Windows 8 pc is either their Microsoft ID or their company domain authentication). They may have both a Microsoft ID and a company AD authentication - especially if they have office 365.

    Everything they need to do is controlled and accessed with this authentication.

    Now if you add a windows phone or table there is no change. Everything is seamlessly synced between a Windows 8 pc, phone or tablet device and there is no need for any further authentication.

    And here is where it gets tricky.

    If you want to use an iPhone or Android mobile device, you suddenly enter their worlds for authentication. And now nothing syncs. And you suddenly have two sets of passwords and two sets of apps that don't necessarily crossover.

    And then there are the browser wars (currently being won by chrome and Google). Sure you can use Chrome without signing in and many people do. But as soon as you want to sync your browsing history and preferences between your mobile device (android anyway) and your pc you need a Google account. And don't try and have a pc with chrome as your browser of choice and an iPhone. Never the three shall meet!

    one-does-not-simply-merge-data

    And so it should have become abundantly clear right there why I favour the Microsoft world. For most (over 80%) users they’re using it for work or personal computer. Office is really the only product tool there is. And authentication is critical so having multiple authentications and knowing when to use them is just painful.

    As an IT professional who spends most of my time assisting these users who are not tech savvy, who are 30 plus years old generally (not digital natives) who can't remember complex passwords or use apps or tools to do it for them, every additional level of complexity is just too much. They don't spend their waking moments figuring out how they can mash non compatible systems together. They use their computing devices as necessary evils for accomplishing their daily tasks.

    Microsoft makes that easy. Google and Apple just complicate it.


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  • 06/23/11--19:25: Vive le Tour
  • I came up with a bunch of different first sentences for this post - but ended up with this lame one because i couldn't decide which to use - potentially they were all lame anyway

    • htc_desire_sQuiet exuberance hardly describes my emotions…
    • I'm off to France - so long suckerssss…
    • Say hullo to the new HTC Ambassador…

    See what I mean - lame.

    Anyway now that that's over let me introduce to you the new HTC Desire S Tour De France Ambassador. Moi!

    HTC have selected me to go to France for the last week of the 2011 Tour to be their HTC Desire S Ambassador. What that means is they are giving me an HTC Desire S Android handset and hopefully enough phone credit to go nuts with it over there. I'm to report on the phone and how i use it to keep a daily blog and photos and video of the tour including the awesome Champs Elysees seating package I have. Did i mention its also a cycle tour so i get to manfully (or whimper like a girl) struggle up Alpe D'Huez amongst some other rides including the penultimate days time trial circuit. In addition I get to meet the HTC Highroad team and report on their progress in the tour.

    Trepidation, Excitement, Nervous Energy, Adrenalin. Some of the things happening right now. This has been a dream of mine for years. I was planning on going to the Tour Down under next year - but this tops that! No more late nights sitting watching scratchy SBS broadcasts (we live in a poor reception area) - I'm going to be one of those blokes on the side of the road with their shirt off cheering like an absolute idiot as the guys ride by up the Alpe!

    Lucky Buggers I used to mutter under my breath. Now I am the Lucky Bugger!

    Stay tuned for more.

    Follow my tweets on http://twitter.com/spyjournal and facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HTCau?sk=app_251315594884338&app_data=author:tim-miller where my diary posts will be published.


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  • 07/07/11--16:59: The HTC Diaries
  • I am blogging the HTC Desire S and Le Tour for HTC. The posts I write are all up on their public wall along with the other two HTC Desire S Ambassadors writing from Australia, Shane Miller (no relation) and Scott Fitzgerald.

    HTC Diaries Tour de FranceYou can see all the HTC Diaries posts or just my posts.

    I will update this article with links to each post as I write them.


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    Go on - I dare you to watch this video and then not share it with anybody.

    Samsung will sell phones based on this ad - even if they were useless!


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    From Jeff Alexanders Tech Net email.

    Lots of good how tos and information on the Windows 7 phone how to page also.

     

    Easier sharing, smarter applications and a better web - Mango is here!
    Friday, 21 October 2011

    Hi there,

    Hello and welcome to another edition of the Australian TechNet Flash. This edition is all about Windows Phone and the recently released Windows Phone 7.5 Update that has just come out. First up what’s this update all about?

    The good news is Windows Phone 7.5, codenamed Mango, is now available to Windows Phone 7 users in Australia! If you haven’t already been prompted for the update you will very soon. This latest update improves on the existing OS and adds over 500 new features to better connect you with people, applications and the web.

    Some of my favourite features released in the mango update include:

    • Groups - Organise your employees or work colleagues into a single group to quickly and easily email, text or chat with a whole group at once. You can also pin this group to your Start Screen and you'll be notified with any missed calls, new messages and even social networking updates from the group members.
    • Outlook Mobile - Outlook Mobile on Windows Phone now also supports tasks and conversation view to offer an enhanced email experience on the go.
    • People Hub - The addition of Twitter and LinkedIn to the people hub so you can now get your feeds from all your favourite social media sites.
    • SharePoint Workspace Mobile - Makes it easier to collaborate with your coworkers when you're away from the office.
    • Internet Explorer 9 - Harnessing the power of your phone's hardware for faster, smoother web browsing.
    • My Windows Phone– Check out the new revamped My Windows Phone site and manage your phone on the web, find a lost phone or even reinstall all your applications easily!

    These are just some of our favourite features, to learn more about the mango release as well as how to get it click here.

    Now on to a Mappersonal story regarding this update. I got a chance to use the newly revamped My Windows Phone site and in particular the Find my Phone feature. My wife recently left her Windows Phone in a restaurant after a night out with some friends. Of course she was worried her phone was gone. Well the next morning I logged into the My Windows Phone site with her Windows Live ID. I got a screenshot like the one right.

    The above is just an example but what it shows is the GPS built into my wife’s phone showed me where it was which turned out to be the place where she left it. At this point I had 3 options. I could Ring the phone, Erase it or Lock it. I decided to lock it and put a security PIN on it with a message to ring our home number.

    Well we went back to the restaurant the next day when they opened and there was the phone locked with the message I put in along with a sad smiley face! A great result. If I did decide to erase the phone, reinstalling apps is much easier with Mango using the App Purchase History which is now part of managing your phone on the web.

    Have a good one folks and see you next time!

    image

    Jeff Alexander
    IT Pro Evangelist
    Microsoft Australia
    My TechNet Blog | IT Pro Australia Blog | twitterTwitter


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  • 12/07/11--13:44: Future Technology Vision
  • This vide is a good watch to get some really creative juices flowing - imagination drives innovation and invention.


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    I have upgraded my main workhorse machine.

    Components are:

    Some of my design and specification choices.

    I have had some poor experiences with watercooling before. However this time I had no choice, the CPU and motherboard combination required it. The Corsair watercooling kit is much more robust and foolproof than my previous system. I am confident that it will do the job. Currently my CPU core temp is 39 degrees C so I’m pretty happy with that.

    The 32 GB Ram is on the basis that you cant have too much. This enables me to run virtual machines, a lot of other memory hungry apps like Photoshop, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Outlook and a lot of tabs open in Chrome simultaneously with no system lockups or spinning blue donuts.

    The 2 VelociRaptor drives are for system and system backup – ensuring that my application and system load times are fast, and backups are also performed quickly meaning that the load on the machine during a backup is short. My storage drives are large 24x7 rated drives for durability and long life. This machine will run 24x7 for 3-4 years.

    I originally wanted a different video card but i couldn’t fit it in the case so switched to the GTX560 Ti. I meant to get three so i could run 6 monitors but stuffed up on my order. I will get a 3rd card at some point. This Motherboard will actually take 4 cards if necessary.

    The case is excellent modular case with space saving back channels for cable tidy and good airflow – Lots of super large super quiet fans, and great drive storage. Both sides clip off for easy access.

    The Logitech gear is the only input gear i will ever use – it is reliable, takes a pounding, designed for gaming and that makes it awesome for business use. I have 3 G15 keyboards on older machines all still going strong after around 2 million words on each. The hyper scroll function on the mouse is an amazing time saver.

    Of course Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate is the only OS to run on a system like this.

    Total cost $5820.

    For the Mac fanbois – an equivalent machine would have cost around $9,700.


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  • 05/17/12--16:06: Random stuff from my brain
  • Sometimes i need to just dump stuff out of my head. Sometimes my kids just say the funniest random things. Judith went out to my daughter at the clothes line couple of days ago while she was hanging out clothes to get a peg. Jadeen just randomly said “I am a stegosaurus”. That phrase has been bouncing around this house since then amidst lots of laughter.

    2403693037_0b63bdc4b4_bOur brains are amazingly complex things. Sometimes we just do no appreciate the incredible processing power of simple things like coordinating even our vocal cords, diaphragm, lungs and mouth and tongue just to say a simple word. I was listening to Doctor Karl on Triple J explain how Turrets Syndrome caused people to swear occasionally (its not the most common symptom of Turrets and most people with it don’t do this) and he just reminded me to think about how our brains work.

    Last night I dream about alien people and apparently asked out loud for a sword (according to Jude).

    2012-04-29 Corporate Challenge 2012 Race 3 751 788Yesterday I was able to run 3 kms with no knee issues – I wish I was back to the running ability I had back in the year 2000. However I’m coming to terms with being 12 years older then I was then and my running is fine as long as I don’t try and run like a 32 year old any more. I did a 5km race a couple of weeks ago and managed a personal best in the last 5 years or so so I am slowly getting it back.

    Do you run? if yes where and when, if no – why not? Get into the comments or hit us up on Facebook.

    2012-05-13 Fat Possum 004My cycling has improved a lot since I got the new road bike and have been focusing on my hill climbing. My Mountain biking climbing endurance has improved as a result. Unfortunately my Gary Fisher Fat Possum broke in half on my last ride. I am waiting on Trek to honour the lifetime warranty and replace her.

    Work has been interesting of late. Since I am no longer employed by IT Integrity and have gone back to being my own boss the pressure on my time has reduced. I am doing far more photography, as that is part of our business and we have had a lot more work in that area. I am doing more of the things I love in IT, web design and Excel work. I am enjoying learning new photography and Photoshop processing techniques. I am really enjoying the sports shooting we do as well.

    Samsung-Galaxy-S-II_1-300x300I bought a new phone. After a disastrous attempt to get an iPhone to work without using iTunes I bought a new Samsung Galaxy IIS and am loving its ease of use, its synchronisation with my Google account and my other android devices, the HTC Desire S and the Motorola Xoom 2 tablet. Its great having all my photos from each device synch seamlessly together with Dropbox, my notes in Evernote all synch across all my devices and it works as a phone out of the box without having to connect it to a computer.

     

    I’ll leave you with a selection of my favourite photos taken recently.

    2012-05-05 Gold Coast Spit 0392012-04-22 Supanova GC 367 cartoon2012-05-06 Drew and Laurel 0262012-04-22 Supanova GC 5352012-04-28 Roller Derby 6242012-04-06 Peter and Kitti Pregnancy 2072012-05-13 Sarah Maguire 049 - desat2012-05-06 Shell 025-makeup2012-04-09 Warrarba Creek 0222012-04-10 PRIMA JCS Production Shoot 832


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  • 09/02/12--16:41: Apple V Samsung
  • apple-vs-samsung2The recent court decision by a jury in a civil patent case in USA awarding $1B of damages to Apple from Samsung is very confusing. What does it mean to consumers? Listen to my discussion with 3CR Breakfast radio presenter Philippe Perez.

    What do you think about this? Does it affect you?

    Comment, engage us in social media and lets discuss.

     

     

     

     

    Download this MP3 - (Right Click)


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