Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Win 10 Tips 'n hints - a little fun with the calculator app VIDEO

Episode 2 of my new series - Windows 10 Tips 'n Hints for the home user.  This week, I look at the extras included in the much ignored built in calculator. 

If you have an idea for an episode, drop me a comment.     

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Win 10 Tips 'n hints - easy photo editing VIDEO

I'm trying something new - videos of various tips and hints for Windows 10 users.  I started thinking about doing this as an aid to my customers and decided to go full bore and load them up to YouTube and share them with my readers. 

First episode: Easy editing with Windows 10 built in Photo App.  You can go directly to YouTube and see it there if you prefer.

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Microsoft renews commitment to Windows Mobile

Image of Windows PhonesGood news for Windows Mobile users – you aren’t going to be abandoned. Every time I read “windows phone is dead” or “Win mobile circling the drain” I sigh and roll my eyes. This has been the mainstay Henny Penny cry of the tech writers for a few years now and has become tedious in it’s insistence.   Microsoft has a fairly good track record of sticking with a product for the long run and mobile has room for growth. Windows Mobile (formerly called Windows Phone) has an opportunity to capitalise on Apple’s doldrums. If they can push the idea of seamless synching between laptop/Windows 10 tablet and your phone, they should be able to push sales above the embarrassing level they currently languish. In a leaked email (to Windows Central), Microsoft’s VP of Windows and Devices, confirmed it is not dumping their mobile unit: “Let me be very clear: We are committed to deliver Windows 10 on mobile devices with small screen running ARM processors.” (Terry Myerson)

It’s clear MS isn’t going to abandon users in the near future, and this commitment will allow current and potential users to move forward with a greater degree of confidence.

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Google's staggeringly ill thought out April's Fool prank

Gmail IconI’m not a fan of April Fool’s. I find the entire concept contrived and tired. Very rarely are the jokes amusing and they often seem to be built around the concept of embarrassing people.

Someone in the Google Empire thought it would be a brilliant idea to put a fake Send button onto Gmail accounts. People who tapped it, sent off a joke gif called Minion mic drop instead. So potentially, that important client or crabby assed boss received an animated gif instead of your report. Ha ha, right? There are reports a person losing their job, job interview acknowledgements not delivered and some contracts jeopardised. I believe this has happened.  I’ve dealt with pain in the ass employers who fired people with little provocation. I’ve also dealt with employees so harried, they may not have noticed anything different on their screen and would have tapped the button without hesitation. You don’t expect a corporation like Google to screw around with something as essential as a Send button.

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MS Office Themes – increase your workspace contrast

You can adjust the background theme for Office to suit your work style.  If you want a higher contrast background, or prefer a darker framework, you can make a quick change to Office.

All you need to do is click on File -> Options -> Personalise your copy of Microsoft Office. Click on the drop down box for Office Themes.  You have a couple of choices, but Black offers the highest contrast. It'll look like this: Microsoft Office high contrast black theme It's not to everyone's taste, but if you are working in a really bright office, the dark theme is a bit easier on the eyes.  You can quickly switch it back if you don't like it.    

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Web design 101 - how not to market your website

I operate on the assumption that it's easy to get things wrong so I tend to be (marginally) tolerant when I see goofs on websites. I chuckle, sometimes throw the error up on my site to share, knowing full well that could have been my error.  With web design, it's so easy to get get something wrong. Once in awhile I see something that leaves me a bit stunned, like this: 

web design failure

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“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.”

 ― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

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