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Latest 7 Posts
Plantronics BackBeat FIT
Thu, Nov 20th 2014 366
Dell XPS 2720
Sun, Oct 19th 2014 267
Adiós Lotus 1-2-3
Fri, Oct 3rd 2014 138
Calendar and scheduling irritations
Tue, Sep 9th 2014 113
Fitbit not fatboy
Mon, Sep 8th 2014 121
Scottish ancestors
Tue, Aug 26th 2014 97
Three years at Microsoft
Sat, Jun 28th 2014 121
Top 10
Plantronics BackBeat FIT
Thu, Nov 20th 2014 366
Dell XPS 2720
Sun, Oct 19th 2014 267
Outlook 2013 – better visibility of draft messages
Mon, Aug 20th 2012 190
Adiós Lotus 1-2-3
Fri, Oct 3rd 2014 138
Microsoft Surface with Windows RT, take 2
Wed, Jan 2nd 2013 132
Apps for Excel 2013
Wed, Jun 25th 2014 126
Power Query for Excel 2013
Mon, Dec 30th 2013 125
Three years at Microsoft
Sat, Jun 28th 2014 121
Fitbit not fatboy
Mon, Sep 8th 2014 121
Power BI for Office 365
Wed, Jun 4th 2014 116

Darren Adams
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Recent Blog Posts

Plantronics BackBeat FIT
Thu, Nov 20th 2014 6:10p   Darren Adams
Usually if I’m discussing a product from Plantronics it’ll be associated with unified communications (these days more likely to be Lync or Skype than Sametime). I’m the proud owner of a Calisto 620 speakerphone and, probably one of the best tech products I’ve ever owned, a Voyager Legend headset. Today, however, I shall be writing about a rather different Plantronics product… In a recent blog post I talked about losing weight and going to the gym, but therein was a small problem. Pound [read] Keywords: sametime apple ipod microsoft office skype unified communications wireless

Dell XPS 2720
Sun, Oct 19th 2014 7:14a   Darren Adams
Some people may find this a tale of horror. Why? After five happy years together I have passed my iMac onto a new owner (the current Mrs Adams), and I have replaced it with a Windows 8.1 all-in-one PC. I know that many of my readers are Mac fans and may think this does not compute. My home office doubles as a room with an overflow wardrobe, a cupboard for things that don’t belong anywhere else, occasionally a clothes horse covered in laundry (enjoyed by Lync conference attendees when I swi [read] Keywords: laptop mac microsoft network office wireless

Adiós Lotus 1-2-3
Fri, Oct 3rd 2014 4:11p   Darren Adams
These days it’s commonplace to learn about celebrity deaths from Twitter before hearing it on the actual ‘news’, but yesterday I read about another type of death on Facebook (from Phil Beresford-Davis). The death in question was not the demise of a person, but of a once much-loved product – Lotus 1-2-3 – as the support for Lotus SmartSuite was finally withdrawn. 1-2-3 was an important part of my working life. I was a user and then, in 1991, I joined Lotus Development to support [read] Keywords: ibm lotus notes symphony application applications database development facebook mac microsoft office twitter

Calendar and scheduling irritations
Tue, Sep 9th 2014 4:13p   Darren Adams
Back in 2008, I posted a selection of calendar and scheduling bad habits. I recently updated the list for another publication, and I now declare that these irritations are worthy of an entry in the Hall of Shame. My Outlook-based calendar is a temple. It’s pristine. I refuse to let it be riddled with other peoples’ bad spelling, bad grammar, bad punctuation, bad capitalisation and bad habits. I freely admit that I will edit entries created by other peoples’ invitations if they don’t meet [read] Keywords: office outlook

Fitbit not fatboy
Mon, Sep 8th 2014 7:12a   Darren Adams
I have never been one of those people who should be featured on those ‘Lose Weight Within A Year Or Die’ programs, nor has my backside been featured anonymously on the news when they’re doing a report on obesity. But for years I have been a bit, shall we say, overweight. Not by much, depending on what you think is the proper weight for someone of my height (5′ 11″) – the general consensus is that I should be around 164 lbs (I’m old-school English and fin [read] Keywords: microsoft office

Scottish ancestors
Tue, Aug 26th 2014 2:11p   Darren Adams
The print-out of my family tree has been rather lop-sided since I started tracing my roots. I have recorded sixty-six ancestors of my mother, going back seven generations and to the early 1700s (the oldest is my great x6 grandfather Richard Arman, born in 1718). I started the research in 2008, and as anyone who has carried out family history research will know you can get a lot of information quite quickly and then it slows down as the clues and evidence become more difficult to access. So on my [read] Keywords:


Three years at Microsoft
Sat, Jun 28th 2014 9:11a   Darren Adams
I had a very busy day yesterday and didn’t notice that it was my third anniversary of joining Microsoft. Looking back those three years have flown past – I remember the job interviews and my IBM exit interview as if they were yesterday. At my exit interview I had to hastily change my main account password because I was going to have to divulge it to my then-manager, and I suddenly realised it was rather unsuitable. A few times during those three years people have asked me whether I i [read] Keywords: collaboration ibm lotus notes microsoft password

Apps for Excel 2013
Wed, Jun 25th 2014 4:11p   Darren Adams
Office 2013 has the ability to provide in-application apps to users, and Excel is the most bountiful place to find and use these useful additions. Here’s a pick of some of the best. Random Generator by AbleBits – as the name suggests, this app inserts random numbers, which is really useful when creating some fake data for a demo (particularly if it’s a business intelligence demo which often requires a LOT of data). But I hear you ask, isn’t it easier just to use the =RAND [read] Keywords: application office

Power BI for Office 365
Wed, Jun 4th 2014 7:10a   Darren Adams
In two recent posts I discussed the Power BI app for Windows 8.1 and Power Query for Excel 2013. Continuing with this business intelligence (BI) theme, let’s take a look at Power BI for Office 365 (and to make it less of a mouthful, I’m just going to refer to it as Power BI). The post about the Power BI app described the way that Excel files may have ‘presentable’ BI content, and the same applies here. If you create an Excel spreadsheet containing a Power View dashboard ( [read] Keywords: database interface office server sharepoint

Windows Phone 8.1
Tue, Apr 22nd 2014 7:10a   Darren Adams
This latest update to Windows Phone is not generally available yet, so most users will need to wait until their networks push out the update. If you’re interested in grabbing it now, you can do so via the Windows Phone developer program. Despite the 0.1 version increment, this is a HUGE update. What follows is a list of new features and improvements, but I’ll probably miss some because there’s so much. Click on the small images to see the full version. The start screen Probably [read] Keywords: microsoft office wifi

All aboard the Camberley Express
Fri, Feb 28th 2014 2:11p   Darren Adams
Sitting on the train to Farnborough this evening I felt compelled to put fingers to keyboard while I was ‘in the mood’ for it. “Farnborough?” you may ask… but I live in Camberley. Okay, this is what it’s all about. I live ten minutes’ walk from Camberley station. This factor forms part of the pros and cons equation. The train service to and from Camberley is not the best on the South West Trains network. There are three direct trains from Camberley to Waterloo in the morning, and t [read] Keywords: facebook interface javascript linkedin microsoft network twitter widgets

Power BI app for Windows 8.1
Thu, Feb 27th 2014 4:11p   Darren Adams
In late December I blogged about the Power Query add-in for Excel 2013, and mentioned that Excel is an important part of Microsoft’s strategy for Business Intelligence. BI in general is very much a hot topic in customer conversations. Power BI for Office 365 recently became available, and I’ll cover that in detail another time, but now we’re going to take a look at the Power BI app for Windows 8.1. As I mentioned before, Excel’s Power tools take care of the various stages of BI, and Powe [read] Keywords: facebook interface javascript linkedin microsoft office sharepoint twitter widgets

Microsoft Project Siena
Wed, Feb 19th 2014 5:12p   Darren Adams
Most Windows 8 (or 8.1) users would look at the apps on their start screen and assume that they couldn’t build one themselves. Many people would be wrong, as Microsoft’s Project Siena app sets out to help those people who’d like to build an app but have almost no development skills. If you understand the data you might be working with, that’s an advantage, as is a good knowledge of Excel function syntax. So what is Project Siena? Project Siena is itself a Windows 8.1 app [read] Keywords: development facebook javascript linkedin microsoft mobile sharepoint twitter widgets

Super Calendar for Windows Phone
Tue, Feb 18th 2014 7:10a   Darren Adams
Ever since the days of the Palm devices, developers have been coming up with better versions of the applications (‘apps’, as we call them these days) which are native to the devices. Many moons ago I remember acquiring a calendar app that was better than the one supplied with the Palm OS. Times have not changed. The native calendar app on Windows Phone is fine, it does all that it should… or does it? A quick search in the Windows Phone app store reveals many alternatives. IR [read] Keywords: applications facebook javascript linkedin twitter widgets

Selling a car privately
Fri, Jan 3rd 2014 10:12a   Darren Adams
Almost twenty years ago I achieved something that was to lift a great burden from my shoulders – I became eligible for a company car. Since then the government have done everything in their power to make opting for a company car a less attractive proposition – if they could ensure that electing to take a company car would result in an eternity in Hell I think they would – but there’s one big thing that keeps me browsing the range of permitted company vehicles time after t [read] Keywords: facebook javascript linkedin twitter widgets

The BBC Breakfast ‘local’ news
Fri, Jan 3rd 2014 7:11a   Darren Adams
Actually there’s two things that annoy me about the BBC news in the morning. One is that weather presenter woman (Carol, I think) who says “guuud morneeeng” and then smiles inanely while she delivers a forecast that we’d be able to look back on a day later and say “well, she got that wrong again”. But mainly it’s about the way the local news is announced. Every morning they say “but now the news, traffic and weather where YOU are”… and [read] Keywords: facebook javascript linkedin twitter widgets

People who park in the pick-up point
Fri, Jan 3rd 2014 7:11a   Darren Adams
My supermarket of choice at nearby Watchmoor Park has an area which is adorned with the words ‘pick-up point’ in big white letters and has some double-yellow lines for extra clarification. Actually, I’m unsure of the actual painted words because they always have cars parked on top of them. But I do know for sure the words don’t say “park here if you’re lazy”. Yes folks, the pick-up point – which I assume is there to allow people to drive into, pick [read] Keywords: facebook javascript linkedin twitter widgets

Strictly Come Dancing
Fri, Jan 3rd 2014 6:12a   Darren Adams
I’m going to assume that you don’t need an explanation of what Strictly Come Dancing is. If you hail from the United States of America, you’ll probably know the format through ‘Dancing With The Stars’. If you’re Estonian you’ll know it as ‘Kuulsused Teeme Tantsu Asi On Väga Hea’. What’s my problem with Strictly Come Dancing? It’s not Brucie (I like Sir Bruce and his jolly catchphrases). You don’t get anything for a pair, not in this game – or “sa ei saa midagi siduda [read] Keywords: exchange exchange facebook javascript linkedin twitter widgets

Power Query for Excel 2013
Mon, Dec 30th 2013 1:11p   Darren Adams
If you have Office 2013 Professional (or Pro Plus, which is part of certain Office 365 offerings), you’ll be entitled to use a set of business intelligence add-ins for Excel 2013 which I refer to as the Power Tools. The full set consists of: Power Pivot – pivot tables on steroids, providing advanced data modelling and deep analysis and reporting Power View – presentation and exploration of results (dashboards) Power Map – visual representation of location-based data on m [read] Keywords: database db2 facebook javascript linkedin microsoft office oracle server sharepoint sql twitter widgets xml

Dell Venue 8 Pro
Fri, Dec 27th 2013 12:11p   Darren Adams
Poor Mrs A, she does struggle for what to get me for Christmas. I’m generally not a wanty person. But not this year… although it would be unwise to mention the words ‘Xbox One’ in our house (that’s a story for another time). There were a few things on my Christmas list but at the top was a little piece of technology… the Dell Venue 8 Pro. I first saw the Venue 8 Pro a few weeks ago at a device showcase event in the office. What can I say apart from “wow [read] Keywords: facebook google javascript laptop microsoft office twitter widgets wifi

Lenovo Helix
Sat, Dec 21st 2013 3:16p   Darren Adams
A couple of weeks ago I was asked “if you were to choose a second computer, what would it be?”. Thinking this was just a casual survey question I didn’t really give it much thought and answered “I dunno, a Lenovo Helix I suppose”. Actually there were some good reasons behind that quick answer. I’ve been a long-term ThinkPad user in the past and have always liked the red pointing device in the middle of the keyboard, more so than laptop trackpads. At the time o [read] Keywords: facebook google javascript laptop twitter widgets

Updated OneNote app for Windows 8.1
Thu, Nov 28th 2013 3:16p   Darren Adams
I mentioned in a previous post that OneNote is the unsung hero of Microsoft Office. That post showed two renditions of OneNote – the ‘traditional’ Windows desktop application and the Windows 8 app for the modern UI formerly known as Metro. I didn’t cover off the web app, but let’s move on. This week saw an update to the OneNote app, boasting some note-worthy new features. Most visible are some updates to the user interface – click on the small image here to s [read] Keywords: notes application desktop facebook google interface javascript microsoft office twitter widgets

Improved Windows 8.1 apps
Fri, Oct 18th 2013 3:15p   Darren Adams
If you’ve upgraded to Windows 8.1 (the general availability code, not the preview) you’ll now be the happy owner of some updated ‘modern’ apps. Yes, modern apps, because we can’t use the Metro moniker any more and no-one came up with a good replacement name (other than TIFKAM, and I’m sure you can work that out). Click on the images to see the larger versions. If you were a Windows 8.0 user you’ll probably know that the People app (which I call the peop [read] Keywords: rich text facebook google javascript linkedin microsoft outlook skype twitter widgets

Windows 8.1 ships
Thu, Oct 17th 2013 2:10p   Darren Adams
For Microsoft employees such as me, Windows 8.1 has arrived in three stages. The first was a preview, which the rest of the planet also had access to. This was covered here. Then came RTM (release to manufacturing), the stage at which it’s almost baked and is ready enough to give to ISVs and manufacturers so that they can work with code that’s representative of the final shipping product. The rest of the planet did not get access to RTM code, and we were given a direction to not wide [read] Keywords: blogging facebook google javascript laptop microsoft twitter widgets

Instagram apps for Windows Phone
Sun, Sep 15th 2013 11:10a   Darren Adams
Apps are an important consideration when choosing a phone. I’ve had a number of discussions about ‘missing apps’ for Windows Phone, and in the past one of them was Instagram. True to say that there’s still no official Instagram app for Windows Phone, but there are now a number of unofficial apps available. As I’m also the owner of iOS and Android devices I’m able to say that the Windows Phone apps stack up well in terms of features, and I’d also question [read] Keywords: facebook google javascript profile twitter widgets

The transfer window of doom
Sun, Aug 18th 2013 6:15a   Darren Adams
It’s a funny old game, football… if you support Aldershot Town, you could only aspire for your team to reach the dizzying heights of Arsenal’s status, their stadium, their squad and their past achievements. Or maybe you’re happy with not expecting too much, and therefore never being too disappointed. Maybe also you’re happy paying £19 for a match-day ticket, rather than £60 or probably more. If you support Arsenal, as I have done for more than thirty years, your e [read] Keywords: facebook

Bing apps for Windows Phone
Wed, Aug 14th 2013 3:14p   Darren Adams
News-centric apps are great at showing the capabilities of Windows Phone’s live tiles, so I was glad to see Microsoft release four new Bing apps last week… Bing News, Bing Sport, Bing Weather and Bing Finance. They’re a bit like baby brothers of the equivalent Bing apps for Windows 8′s modern UI. Click on the small images in this post to see the larger versions. Bing News, as its names suggest, is a news-based app pulling stories from several sources (such as Sky News, Gi [read] Keywords: facebook microsoft outlook profile

Introducing Ruby Adams
Sun, Aug 4th 2013 5:21p   Darren Adams
For a few months the discussion about getting a second dog had intensified, and while we were on holiday it reached the point of deciding on a breed and a name. When I say “breed” I don’t mean that we were expecting to get a pedigree dog as it would undoubtedly be something small and with a non-moulting coat… probably a poodle cross like our Yorkipoo Missie. Upon returning from holiday it seemed a good idea to get the puppy into our lives as soon as possible – that [read] Keywords: facebook

A totally moronic idea
Wed, Jul 31st 2013 5:13p   Darren Adams
I saw this news story while we were away on holiday, and out of all the news stories from the two weeks this was the one I had to comment on. The idea which I deem to be moronic is this… let drivers park on double-yellow lines for 15 minutes in order to boost local trade. There is good intent behind the idea – ‘local’ shops and the traditional British high street trade are struggling under the weight of competition from retail parks and megastores. So it stands to reason [read] Keywords: facebook

Windows 8.1 preview, complete with start button
Sat, Jun 29th 2013 6:17p   Darren Adams
Earlier this week I become embroiled in a slightly heated Facebook discussion – it was sparked by me posting about installing the Windows 8 preview and stating that “it has a start button for those who require it”. By this I implied that I don’t need it and personally didn’t think the return of the start button was necessary. Why? Because most computers that aren’t Apple Macs have a Windows key which invokes the Windows 8 start screen, and the re-instated star [read] Keywords: apple applications desktop facebook microsoft myspace

Helpful apps in Outlook 2013 – part 2
Fri, Jun 21st 2013 3:18p   Darren Adams
Back in November last year I posted about helpful apps in Outlook 2013 – apps which analysed the contents of e-mails and then suggested actions or provided information. Last week I was moved onto Office 365 for e-mail – I now have a 25 GB mail box, and some more of those helpful apps have appeared. A couple of them are Microsoft-internal, but are a good example of what can be added. Action Items was discussed in the previous post – it looks for things that may be actions and a [read] Keywords: facebook microsoft office outlook

Calendar apps for Windows Phone
Sat, Jun 15th 2013 1:18p   Darren Adams
One of the best features of Windows Phone is the live tiles which allow you to see updated info (such as news, weather, social updates) without actually opening the app. Certain apps also push info onto the lock screen – my choice is to have Facebook updates showing, although I also get a count of e-mails, text messages and tweet-mentions. Simple Calendar The live tile for the phone’s native calendar app only shows your next appointment for the current day, but I’ve discovered [read] Keywords: facebook

Dell XPS 12
Tue, Jun 11th 2013 3:18p   Darren Adams
If there’s one thing I discovered about Microsoft it’s that they’re not frugal in the investment of technology for us hard-working sales teams. Several months ago Mr Ballmer announced that all Microsoft full-time employees would be issued with the necessary kit for the new generation of products, namely: A Windows Phone 8 phone (check, a Nokia 920) A Microsoft Surface RT (check, just before Christmas) A new touch-screen laptop for Windows 8 The new laptop program started a co [read] Keywords: facebook laptop microsoft

Happy 10th birthday WordPress
Tue, Jun 4th 2013 5:18p   Darren Adams
Once upon a time, dadams.co.uk was published using hand-crafted HTML. Updating the site was pain-staking and laborious work for the editorial staff, and a walk-out over poor working conditions in early 2007 prompted a re-think in the strategy. It just so happened that the company hosting the hallowed pages offered several options for a more automated style of publishing, among them WordPress. The lead editor and Chief Technology Officer (that’s me) set up a site and started testing. At tha [read] Keywords: blogging facebook profile

Why is Microsoft’s share price on the up?
Mon, Jun 3rd 2013 6:18p   Darren Adams
My frolleague Steve Sharpe shared an article from The Guardian which posed the question of why Microsoft and HP are thriving in the post-PC era. Firstly, let’s talk about this post-PC era thing. “Post-PC era” would imply that PCs are dead and buried. So, hands up, who has thrown their PC or laptop away and now only works with a tablet? Certainly no-one I’ve ever met, and certainly none of the enterprise customers I’ve spoken to in the last year. Yes, PC sales have d [read] Keywords: roaming apple applications desktop enterprise facebook laptop microsoft office twitter wiki

Windows 8.1 unveiled
Thu, May 30th 2013 11:17a   Darren Adams
First of all I need to declare that in writing this blog post I am not using any Microsoft employee knowledge about the next release of Windows. I actually don’t have any more info than my readers. It does however seem that various tech journalists do have some info, and as of today Microsoft have officially blogged some info on the subject. I don’t intend to write a full synopsis, because you can read it here. But will add some thoughts. In October last year I wrote about the disapp [read] Keywords: lotus notes archive desktop facebook microsoft

Making sure the numbers add up
Wed, May 1st 2013 4:18p   Darren Adams
I think it’s safe to assume that Microsoft Excel has now toppled Lotus 1-2-3 as the world’s most-used spreadsheet tool. The great thing about Excel is that it can now do so much more than add up a few numbers… it can analyse, manipulate and predict, provide business intelligence, process data, and visualise your numbers. But beware… Some businesses rely on Excel, and over-rely on Excel. It’s on just about everyone’s desktop and it’s used to create a myri [read] Keywords: connections lotus applications desktop facebook laptop microsoft office server sharepoint

Leveraging the paradigm shift of the win / win
Sun, Apr 28th 2013 6:16p   Darren Adams
I refuse to use the word ‘leverage’, apart from there in the title, but that’s for the purposes of irony. I don’t have any proof, but I’m sure it was once only a noun – leverage is something you have, not something you do. But sometime in the last twenty years – I remember having a conversation about it with someone who left Lotus a long time ago – leverage started to be used as a verb. dictionary.com now lists it as a verb, the proof is here. My f [read] Keywords: lotus apple facebook instant messaging sharepoint

Windows 8 apps for e-mail, calendar and people
Fri, Mar 29th 2013 10:14a   Darren Adams
A few days ago Microsoft updated some of the core Windows 8 apps, namely e-mail, calendar and the people hub. These are the apps which sit on the new Windows 8 start screen and are of particular importance to Windows 8 RT users (since they don’t have much of a choice of other e-mail clients to choice from). My take on the e-mail is this… phone e-mail is for getting rid of the rubbish and doing a quick reply when required. Outlook is for full e-mail processing when I sit down at a des [read] Keywords: applications exchange exchange facebook interface microsoft outlook

Plantronics Calisto 620
Tue, Mar 19th 2013 3:15p   Darren Adams
Following on from my recent post about the Voyager Legend UC, today I’m turning my attention to something that sits on the desk rather than on your ear. The latest addition to Plantronics’ Calisto range is the 620, and it’s got a rather attractive selling point. My home office (a grand title for the room that often features drying laundry) is equipped with a Jabra SPEAK 410 speakerphone, which connects to my laptop or Surface RT to take Lync calls. After two years this continue [read] Keywords: ibm facebook integration laptop microsoft mobile office wireless

Social media annoyances
Sat, Mar 16th 2013 12:15p   Darren Adams
I recently mentioned on Facebook that I don’t like food photos. Other people agree with me – Incubus bassist Ben Kenney said that “food photos are the Comic Sans of Facebook”. I do appreciate that other people probably get equally bored with me posting photos of Missie (although she is really cute so the photos tend to get a lot of likes), and it has been pointed out that posts about Arsenal’s progress are as boring as I find posts about rugby. For a bit of fun I po [read] Keywords: facebook linkedin profile

OneNote 2013
Wed, Mar 13th 2013 6:14p   Darren Adams
I often say that Visio is one of Microsoft’s best-kept secrets (and I think I’ve said it here on dadams.co.uk) but I also say that OneNote is the unsung hero of Office. People tend to think of Office as the famous three or four (depending on whether you include Outlook when you think of Office), and some people will add Access to that list of core applications. But OneNote is sometimes the forgotten child… although I often speak to zealots who absolutely love it. Before I joine [read] Keywords: notes applications desktop facebook integration interface ipod laptop microsoft office outlook sharepoint

Plantronics Voyager Legend UC
Fri, Mar 8th 2013 6:11p   Darren Adams
Today I was in the right place at the right time, and with the right colleague who had a box full of Plantronics products. And so it came to pass that I got my hands on a Plantronics Voyager Legend UC. We make good use of this stuff – within the Microsoft campus there’s no phones on the desks because a headset plus Lync on our computers handles the telephony. At home the same applies, although I tend to use a speakerphone. The Voyager Legend headset itself is not very big, so why the [read] Keywords: desktop facebook microsoft

Why 4th place is the prize
Fri, Feb 22nd 2013 11:11a   Darren Adams
Last September I wrote a blog post entitled Targeting 4th place, based on the fact that this was, in my humble opinion, the best that Arsenal could hope for this season. The underlying facts were that ManUre would continue to be a dominating force (and bolstered by the signing of Judas van Persie), Man City would be in contention to retain their title, and Chelsea would rise again after a disappointing 6th last season. Last season Newcastle were looking like a threat (a concern which has since e [read] Keywords: facebook

Farewell Lotus Park
Fri, Feb 22nd 2013 8:11a   Darren Adams
On the 26th of November 1991 I started my employment with Lotus Development Corporation. Initially I worked in the Customer Support team, supporting Lotus 1-2-3 and Symphony. After a couple of years I joined the Corporate Sales team as a Systems Engineer, and worked my way up the Technical Sales organisation, hitting a peak as Technical Sales Manager of the North Region (which included South Africa, of course). After a re-organisation (now fully in the clutches of IBM) I proverbially stuck two f [read] Keywords: collaboration connections ibm lotus notes symphony community development facebook office

What’s new in Outlook 2013
Wed, Feb 20th 2013 11:12a   Darren Adams
Having said that I’ll cover off the new features in Outlook 2013, I realised that I’d already written about some of them (available via this blog’s Outlook tag). Nevertheless, here’s a quick run-through of some of the new features. Better visibility of draft messages – probably my favourite feature and used many times per day. More info here. Click on the image for a larger version. In-line replies – rather than opening a new reply window, a reply can be comp [read] Keywords: exchange exchange facebook integration office outlook

What’s new in Office 2013
Wed, Feb 20th 2013 5:09a   Darren Adams
Sometime very soon (not sure of the exact date) Microsoft Office 2013 will be made generally available. Certain customers will have already had access to the code, but by “generally available” I mean everyone and also through Office 365. As you’d expect, there are loads of new features – I don’t intend to list them all so this is a quick run-through, and I’ll provide a separate post for Outlook another time. Across Office Simplified welcome screens, focusing [read] Keywords: notes roaming application facebook integration microsoft office outlook sharepoint

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT, take 2
Wed, Jan 2nd 2013 3:15p   Darren Adams
Following my previous post about Surface RT, Lars Olufsen (@olufsphere) asked why most posts about the Surface were trying to address excuses about its shortcomings rather than the device’s wow factor. This left me considering a few things. Firstly, why didn’t I choose a cool Twitter name like that? Reading back through the blog post I partially agree with Lars – it was defensive in places. I could say that being defensive became second nature to me during years of being part o [read] Keywords: ibm lotus notes apple application applications community desktop facebook integration interface laptop linkedin microsoft office outlook password sharepoint skype taking notes twitter

Checking out of Foursquare
Wed, Jan 2nd 2013 5:15a   Darren Adams
I’ve never been one for new year resolutions. Every year I say to myself that I’ll eat better, cut down on sugar in my tea, crisps, cakes and chocolate, and exercise more, but it usually lasts about half a day. This year (and I mean 2013) I have made one resolution that I already started last week and stuck to yesterday… to give up Foursquare. I’m not closing my account, I’m just giving up on checking in at every place I go. This has bordered on obsession at times, [read] Keywords: facebook twitter widgets

Asus Nexus 7
Mon, Dec 31st 2012 12:14p   Darren Adams
Here’s something that may surprise you. I’m not the guy who has everything, but I don’t really want for much (other than some spare time and a worry-free life). So the current Mrs Adams always faces a problem at Christmas. Me, I’m not really concerned – I know that she’ll always do well at taking the hints for a few Xbox games (which is why I want spare time) and she always does a good job with some clothes, DVDs, and other assorted treats. The perennial probl [read] Keywords: exchange exchange facebook google ipod laptop skype twitter widgets

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT
Fri, Dec 28th 2012 9:14a   Darren Adams
A couple of weeks ago, along with several hundred other Microsoft UK employees, I received a Microsoft Surface with Windows RT (bit of a mouthful, so I’ll refer to it as the Surface RT)… a nice early Christmas present for all full-time staff (who were on the payroll at a certain point). We were given the 32 GB model with a black touch cover – some ladies who wanted the pink (actually, magenta) cover were slightly disappointed at the Hobson’s choice, but you can’t al [read] Keywords: apple applications exchange exchange facebook integration microsoft office properties wifi

Lumia 920 photos
Tue, Dec 18th 2012 6:12p   Darren Adams
Following on from the brief review of the Lumia 920, here’s a quick couple of photos. Click on the small images to see the larger versions. The first photo was taken in the kitchen with no light other than the actual tree lights and the ceiling light in the hallway (which really doesn’t illuminate the kitchen at all)… no flash was used and I didn’t touch any settings, it was very much ‘out of the box’. I took a comparison photo with Mrs A’s iPhone (which [read] Keywords: facebook iphone

Nokia Lumia 920
Tue, Dec 18th 2012 5:09p   Darren Adams
Yesterday was quite an eventful day. A while ago Microsoft employees were promised three things… a Surface device, a Windows Phone 8 device, and a new Windows 8-certified laptop. It came to pass that two of these were dished out on the same day. In the morning I queued for a Surface RT and after a twenty minute wait it was in my eager hands. Later the queue has disappeared and the IT folks still had plenty left… oh well. The Surface will be discussed another time. Later in the day it [read] Keywords: facebook laptop microsoft

Excel 2013 – flash fill
Tue, Nov 27th 2012 7:11a   Darren Adams
Office 2013 offers a new look ‘n’ feel, improved integration with SharePoint, and a new cloud-based deployment model – but one of the other key aspects is ease-of-use… making some of those common tasks easier to accomplish. After demoing Excel 2013 a number of times, I can tell you that flash fill is one the audiences’ favourite features. I’m sure we’ve all seen this scenario – you have a chunk of data, but it’s not in a workable spreadsheet format. Instead of the data being sp [read] Keywords: facebook integration office sharepoint

Helpful apps in Outlook 2013
Wed, Nov 21st 2012 12:10p   Darren Adams
I’m pleased to be able to blog on this subject – the Outlook (indeed, Office) 2013 apps were something that showed up in presentations from fairly early iterations, but now I’ve actually experienced them. If you’re wondering who the people are in this example, they’re demo users. IBM have Frank and Samantha and their colleagues, we have Katie, Sara, Alex, Robin and a number of others. I should also mention that at the moment we only have access to a US version of the Bing Maps app – [read] Keywords: ibm facebook office outlook

Pining for the start button?
Mon, Oct 22nd 2012 5:17p   Darren Adams
This is potentially a blog post that will divide opinions – and given that it currently seems en-vogue to take a pot-shot at Windows 8 I’m sure I’ll get some challenging comments. But I feel I have to address it. The start button is missing from Windows 8. It’s been there since Windows ’95 (wow, seventeen years) but it’s time to move on. Let’s start by dispelling a myth. Yesterday Business Insider published an article about ‘normal’ people not taking to Windows 8. They ba [read] Keywords: applications desktop facebook interface microsoft office vista

Why I hate calendar reminders
Mon, Oct 22nd 2012 11:13a   Darren Adams
Disclaimer: if calendar reminders work for you and you find them useful, that’s great… I’m happy for you. Each to their own. My personal opinion is that they’re a pointless, annoying distraction. This has nothing to do with Outlook itself, just the default setting that has been implemented. Okay, let’s begin… I know what’s in my calendar. I don’t need reminding. Proof: I remove reminders from all of my appointments and I’m usually the first [read] Keywords: facebook ipod laptop outlook

Cowlick! for Windows Phone
Sun, Oct 7th 2012 5:11p   Darren Adams
A few months ago I provided an overview of some of the Twitter clients available for Windows Phone. At the time, I said that my favourite was gleek! – its live tile and colour-coding, along with its full compliment of Twitter features, made it the winner. But that honour is now being threatened. However, the makers of gleek!, Liquid Daffodil, won’t be too concerned, because the new Twitter to show up is the baby brother of gleek! … Cowlick! (the ! is part of the product name). [read] Keywords: facebook twitter

SharePoint 2013 newsfeeds
Tue, Oct 2nd 2012 4:10p   Darren Adams
In the first post about SharePoint 2013 I mentioned that there’s a whole lot of social stuff going down. So far I’ve discussed sharing (and following) and tasks, but now it’s time to look at newsfeeds. If you’re a Facebook or Twitter user, or maybe a user of other enterprise social solutions such as Yammer (others are available) you’ll be familiar with the concepts of newsfeeds. They’re basically a digest of what’s going on in your world. Your world is m [read] Keywords: enterprise facebook microsoft network profile sharepoint twitter

Weather forecast in Outlook 2013
Mon, Sep 24th 2012 6:11p   Darren Adams
Just a quick post to cover off a nice feature in Outlook 2013. Above the calendar you can view a weather forecast for up to five locations – your choice, and they can be selected from a drop-down list. Okay, it’s only as good as the forecast data, and Outlook will use a number of sources to get weather from around the world. The screenshot below was grabbed on Monday afternoon as we were enjoying a spell of weather so typical of British ‘Summer’ 2012 (i.e. it was peeing d [read] Keywords: facebook outlook

Tasks for teams in SharePoint 2013
Sat, Sep 22nd 2012 6:10p   Darren Adams
Earlier in what is rapidly becoming ‘SharePoint September’ I discussed some of the new task management capabilities in SharePoint 2013. That awfully nice chap Alan Lepofsky then asked whether SharePoint 2013′s task management was focused on individual users rather that teams. Admittedly, my post did focus on the individual user’s perspective of tasks, but many of those tasks emanate from team sites and task lists used by teams working on projects. With that in mind, treat [read] Keywords: exchange exchange facebook office sharepoint wiki

Managing your tasks with SharePoint 2013
Wed, Sep 19th 2012 6:11p   Darren Adams
SharePoint sites can contain a lot of ‘stuff’ – document libraries, workflow, discussions, business intelligence and dashboards, composite applications… and tasks. People set up SharePoint sites to co-ordinate teams and to manage projects, so tasks can play an important part of getting things done. If you’re popular (note: I didn’t say “lucky”) you may be invited to many sites and be assigned many tasks as a result. This means that your tasks may e [read] Keywords: application applications facebook microsoft outlook profile sharepoint

SharePoint 2013 – SkyDrive Pro and sharing
Thu, Sep 13th 2012 6:11p   Darren Adams
SharePoint 2013 introduces a new model for personal file sharing, namely SkyDrive Pro. Users of SharePoint 2010 will probably be familiar with the document management capabilities of their own MySite, and SkyDrive Pro is an evolution of this. However, there are improvements to make the process of managing, accessing and sharing content much easier: Drag and drop from Windows Explorer Integration with Microsoft Office Synchronisation of files into Windows Explorer, and accessed as a library in W [read] Keywords: collaboration facebook integration microsoft office properties sharepoint

Microsoft SharePoint 2013
Wed, Sep 12th 2012 5:10p   Darren Adams
Please note that this post refers to a preview edition of SharePoint 2013 – features and functionality may change before the product ships. Over the next few weeks (possibly months) I’ll be covering some of the new capabilities in Microsoft SharePoint 2013. There are lots of new features, but here are the main themes… Social capabilities – I’ve argued that SharePoint 2010 is a great social platform, offering MySites, profiles, enterprise search (featuring expertise loc [read] Keywords: collaboration applications desktop enterprise facebook integration microsoft network outlook sharepoint unified communications

Embedding a Twitter timeline in your web site
Wed, Sep 5th 2012 3:14p   Darren Adams
This is rather cool – Twitter have announced a new and easy way of embedding your Twitter timeline into a web page. If you’re the owner of a WordPress blog (like this one) you’re spoilt for choice for Twitter widgets – I use ‘My Twitter’ by Xhanch and you can see it on the right-hand side. This new development will allow anyone to easily embed their feed, or give WordPress users the freedom to place a feed anywhere they want without relying on a widget which m [read] Keywords: development facebook javascript twitter widget widgets

Another facelift
Sat, Sep 1st 2012 6:18p   Darren Adams
A couple of months ago I updated the theme of dadams.co.uk, but it wasn’t long before I decided I hated it. After trying out a lot of themes I finally decided on Fresh and Clean by AJ Clarke. If you think this looks familiar that may be because an earlier version of the theme was used on the now-defunct notesiscool.com (a site I stopped my interest in after a career move). I’ll be doing some tweaking, but for the most part I’m happy with version 1.3 of this theme in its almost [read] Keywords:

Targeting 4th place
Fri, Aug 31st 2012 5:13p   Darren Adams
It’s been another typical transfer deadline day for Arsenal. I’ve kept an eye on the transfer activity today, but didn’t see what happened between 19:30 and 22:30. I switched on the television and turned to Sky Sports hoping that Mr Wenger had been playing his cards close to his chest all day, and his alluded-to two signings would be revealed. But as Kylie once warbled “I should be so lucky”. While Spurs, QPR and Moneybags City were doing all the business, Mr Wenger [read] Keywords:

Neil Armstrong, giant steps
Sat, Aug 25th 2012 4:14p   Darren Adams
I was once lucky enough to see Neil Armstrong in person. I shared the room with a few thousand other people as Mr Armstrong took to the stage for a Lotusphere opening session a few years back, but for me it was a deeply personal moment – seeing the man I’d read about in so many books about the Apollo missions. A man I admired greatly, who I’d have loved to have spent even just five minutes talking to one-on-one. One word stands out in my mind – ‘modest’. Arms [read] Keywords: lotusphere application development

Outlook 2013 – better visibility of draft messages
Mon, Aug 20th 2012 8:10a   Darren Adams
Please note that this post refers to a feature in a preview edition of Outlook 2013 – features and functionality may change before the product ships, etc, basic arse-covering. Have you ever started a reply to an e-mail, saved it as a draft, and then forgotten about it and found it again weeks later? I know I have. A new feature in Outlook 2013 (preview) makes drafts instantly visible. It’s worth noting that this is associated to another new feature – previously, replies and for [read] Keywords: outlook

Mehdoh 2 (Twitter client for Windows Phone)
Mon, Jul 2nd 2012 1:18p   Darren Adams
A couple of months ago I posted a summary of Twitter clients for Windows Phone but didn’t include Mehdoh as I was under the impression that development on the client had ceased (based on info from a web site dedicated to Windows Phone). Mehdoh developer Chris Field contacted me and corrected me – development of Mehdoh wasn’t stopping… far from it as version 2 was near to release. To balance things up and include Mehdoh in the list of Twitter clients, here’s a quick [read] Keywords: development profile twitter

Twitter clients for Windows 8 (Metro interface)
Fri, Jun 29th 2012 6:17p   Darren Adams
The Metro interface of Windows 8 lends itself very well to Twitter clients, and so far there’s three (or four, depending on how you look at it) available in the Store. Here’s a quick look at them, plus screenshots. All of these clients are in beta, so they don’t necessarily reflect the features or layouts of the finished offerings. Click on the tile images to see the full clients. Rowi – a Windows 8 version of the popular client for Windows Phone. Let’s get my one b [read] Keywords: facebook interface profile twitter

E-mail client market share
Sat, Jun 23rd 2012 2:16p   Darren Adams
I saw this on Volker Weber’s blog today and recalled a similar study last year which sparked a bit of a debate. Overall, I don’t get the point of surveys like this. The method of surveying is fundamentally flawed. As e-mail clients get better at blocking the loading of remote images, and users get more aware of the consequences, the results will be showing not the most popular e-mail clients but clients owned by people who are either prepared to load the images or using e-mail client [read] Keywords: lotus notes blackberry email iphone mobile rim

Windows Phone 8 start screen
Wed, Jun 20th 2012 5:18p   Darren Adams
Windows Phone 8 was announced today at the Windows Phone Summit. A huge amount of new capabilities are being added to the platform (to be discussed another time), but there’ll be visible enhancements right on the start screen… variable tile sizes and a greater choice of colours. The video below shows the new interface – the first 45 seconds relates to Windows Phone 7, the remainder shows Windows Phone 8. [read] Keywords: interface

Microsoft Surface
Tue, Jun 19th 2012 6:15a   Darren Adams
If you’re this side of the Atlantic and went to bed at a sensible hour last night, you’ll have missed the ‘live’ coverage of the announcement of Microsoft Surface. I say “live”, as live as a live blog with constantly-uploaded photos can get. Speculation had been growing since Microsoft announced the event and the smart money was correctly placed on Microsoft revealing a tablet. And indeed, a tablet was revealed… or a family of tablets to be precise. This [read] Keywords: atlantic microsoft

Euro 2012 for Windows Phone
Sat, Jun 16th 2012 11:14a   Darren Adams
So far so good for England – thanks to Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, who I’ve always said is a great asset to the team (ahem), England recovered from an abysmal start to the second half and took a deserved victory against a supposedly-average Swedish side. All we now need is one point from the match against Ukraine to get through to the next stage – but let’s hope for a big win and go through in first place. Maybe the Swedes will do us a favour and beat France. Whatever, [read] Keywords:

New in WordPress 3.4
Wed, Jun 13th 2012 6:14p   Darren Adams
As you all know (because it says so in the footer way down there at the bottom of the page) dadams.co.uk runs on the popular blogging platform WordPress. This is a good choice because it’s free, it has a huge array of available themes and plug-ins developed by some extremely clever people, and best of all WordPress has an amazing feature set. Version 3.4 was released today (sorry, I just noticed the time… yesterday), and although I could have waited for the inevitable 3.4.1 to sort o [read] Keywords: blogging twitter widgets

Sat, Jun 9th 2012 7:13a   Darren Adams
Every couple of years I like to freshen up the hallowed pages of dadams.co.uk, and looking back it seems that it was just over two years ago that the ModXBlog theme was applied. It has served the blog well, but was created in pre-WordPress 3 days. The new look ‘n’ feel, based on the Putte theme (and then subjected to some of my own customisation and tinkering), is optimised for WordPress 3.x and offers more possibilities for customisation. There’s still some tinkering going on, [read] Keywords: facebook

2011 / 2012 Premier League season summary
Sun, May 13th 2012 5:12p   Darren Adams
There’s really only one thing that matters to me and that’s Arsenal’s position. With that in mind here’s a few thoughts. Man City, Man Utd… I don’t care who won it, except that the thought of Dame Alice Ferguson looking a bit miserable amuses me more than Mad Roberto looking down in the dumps. It also amuses me that everyone associated with ManUre thought they had it won until Man City were awarded an amount of injury time which is usually reserved for ManUre [read] Keywords: facebook

Twitter clients for Windows Phone
Mon, May 7th 2012 1:10p   Darren Adams
If you’re a user of Twitter and an owner of a Windows Phone, you may argue as to whether you actually need a Twitter client since the native integration into the phone’s OS is so good. If you’re not familiar with that integration it basically works like this… you can bring your Twitter (and Facebook, Windows Live, and LinkedIn) contacts into the people hub and get an aggregated view of updates from those people and responses to you. It’s easy to see when people have [read] Keywords: development facebook integration interface linkedin twitter

Keep calm and deploy unified communications
Mon, Apr 2nd 2012 9:12a   Darren Adams
If you live in the UK, you may have noticed the trend for merchandise based on the old Keep Calm And Carry On propaganda poster produced by the British government in 1939. Indeed, on at my desk at home my mug is resting on a ‘Keep Calm And Have A Cuppa’ coaster. In the kitchen we have a canvas stating ‘Keep Calm And Walk The Dog’. Some members of the British public found it difficult to keep calm last week. The primeval sheep instincts kicked in as the threat (not the act [read] Keywords: application applications facebook ipod microsoft mobile office unified communications wireless

Adding a favourite Notes feature to Outlook
Wed, Mar 28th 2012 3:12p   Darren Adams
Moving from IBM Lotus to Microsoft last year, one of things I thought I might find troublesome after 19½ years was leaving dear old Lotus Notes behind and adopting Outlook. I needn’t have worried, as I took to Outlook like a duck to water. This post may gather some comments about the merits of both in terms of features, but let’s put it out there now. Notes has some features that are not in Outlook. Outlook has some features that are not in Notes. Some features are in both products, [read] Keywords: ibm lotus notes facebook microsoft outlook

Eating your own words
Sat, Mar 24th 2012 7:11p   Darren Adams
Just over a month ago I attacked Arsene Wenger’s strategy of hanging onto his transfer pot. That rant came after the 4-0 drubbing at the hands (well, feet) of AC Milan and the FA Cup defeat against Sunderland. A week later, Arsenal played Spurs at the Emirates – at the start of the match Arsenal were 10 points behind their North London rivals, and level on points and goal difference with Chelski. At the time people were saying that Arsenal could never catch Spurs and it was a battle [read] Keywords: facebook

The end of Arsenal’s season?
Sat, Feb 18th 2012 5:13p   Darren Adams
According to Football365… Arsene Wenger praised Arsenal’s commitment and felt they were “a bit unlucky” in their 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round defeat to Sunderland. “a bit unlucky”… Arsenal have been more than a bit unlucky with injuries to their defenders this season, and just as it seemed they were getting near to a full compliment returning suddenly they’re looking decimated again. However, a make-shift defence doesn’t account for two games witho [read] Keywords: facebook

See Lync at UC Expo 2012
Fri, Feb 17th 2012 11:12a   Darren Adams
Last year I attended the UC Expo at London’s Olympia sharing a stand with an IBM business partner. From our stand most of my field of vision was taken up by Microsoft’s presence… not a stand, more like a small village. There was a customer immersion zone, a theatre demonstrating Lync 2010 (which was full and overflowing all day) and stands manned by a number of Microsoft Unified Communication partners such as Polycom. I remembered feeling dwarfed and slightly embarrased – [read] Keywords: ibm exchange exchange facebook microsoft mobile office

The bell tolls for the work computer (again)
Tue, Feb 14th 2012 3:12p   Darren Adams
Every now and again, when they have no real news to report, there’s nothing that the technology journos over at the BBC News site like to do more than rake over a well-worn argument and fan the flames again. Okay, I’m being a bit mean, because this particular argument is worthy of being occasionally re-visited. About this time last year, as I battled in vain to keep a customer on Lotus Notes, one of the big cheeses in their IT organisation told me that when the iPad 2 was released th [read] Keywords: collaboration lotus notes apple desktop development facebook mac macbook mobile network twitter

Anywhere Working
Tue, Feb 14th 2012 5:11a   Darren Adams
A couple of weeks ago Microsoft launched the Anywhere Working initiative in conjunction with Business in the Community, Vodafone, Transport for London, Nokia, Regus and Nuffield Health. This group initiative is designed to demonstrate to businesses and individuals how much money, time and carbon can be saved by working more flexibly and finding alternatives to travel. The site (see link above) provides a savings calculator which provides a calculation of money, CO² and time saved by not travell [read] Keywords: collaboration community desktop facebook microsoft mobile twitter unified communications wifi

Acer Iconia Tab W500
Mon, Jan 16th 2012 2:11p   Darren Adams
One of the great things about working for Microsoft is that there always seems to be things going on to increase the interest levels around products… or more precisely, chances to win prizes. Since I’ve been been here I’ve seen people winning phones, Xboxes, Kinects, armfuls of Xbox games and (most recently) tablets. And I’m happy to say that I was the lucky recipient of a Windows 7 tablet. I had to do a bit of work for it, but it was a welcome reward. The tablet in quest [read] Keywords: enterprise facebook microsoft office outlook skype wireless

Lync for iOS
Fri, Jan 13th 2012 5:10p   Darren Adams
Following on from last year’s look at Microsoft Lync for Windows Phone, let’s have a look at Lync for iOS. Lync supports the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, but as I only have an iPod I’ll have to leave the iPad interface for another time. As usual, click on the small images to see the full versions After logging in I see My Info, where I can set my status and message, change the call-forwarding and simultaneous ring options, and change a number of other options for multiple phone [read] Keywords: desktop facebook instant message interface iphone ipod microsoft mobile server

Lync goes mobile
Fri, Dec 23rd 2011 7:10a   Darren Adams
Upon joining Microsoft I was extremely impressed by the fact that Microsoft Lync 2010 with telephony was rolled out right across the whole organisation. There’s no phones on any desks (other than some demo SIP phones) and a headset is part of the standard ‘welcome pack’ along with a new laptop and a Windows Phone. No-one asks if someone can take a Lync call, it just happens. All conference calls use Lync (unless it’s set up by an external party). It’s a way of life [read] Keywords: sametime exchange exchange facebook instant message interface iphone ipod laptop microsoft mobile office

Nokia Lumia 800
Sat, Dec 3rd 2011 8:10a   Darren Adams
Continuing with the Windows Phone theme… earlier this year Nokia announced their intention to embrace Microsoft’s new mobile OS. A few months ago, an internal Microsoft event previewed Nokia’s first phones and their ambitious marketing plans. Since then you may have seen a lot of advertising and events such as the Deadmau5 gig on the banks of the Thames with the Millbank tower’s eight hundred windows transformed into a huge screen. In October Nokia announced two new Windo [read] Keywords: apple facebook google ipod microsoft mobile office

Nokia Lumia 800 – the amazing demo
Mon, Nov 21st 2011 12:13p   Darren Adams
I think I mentioned Windows Phone recently, but as yet I haven’t mentioned Nokia’s first offerings for the platform. The Lumia 800 is one of two phones released so far (more are coming) and has been getting rave reviews. I have held one on two occasions, and twice considered making a run for it with the gorgeous device in my thieving paws. At the weekend I noted that some of the many mobile phone shops in Camberley had fully-working demo units on display (not those non-functional dum [read] Keywords: facebook interface mobile twitter

A tale of two clouds
Mon, Nov 21st 2011 10:12a   Darren Adams
Just a quick one, a blog post about another blog post – Binary Tree’s Henry Bestritsky explains why his company left the Google Enterprise Partner program and threw its full weight behind Exchange upgrades and migrations to Office 365. The choice quote is… …media perceptions and market hype could not hide the fact that we were not seeing customer demand for Google in the enterprise. You can read the full blog post here. [read] Keywords: archive enterprise exchange exchange facebook google microsoft office

A Windows Phone guide to Camberley
Sat, Nov 12th 2011 11:11a   Darren Adams
A couple of months ago I provided a list of new bits and pieces in the ‘Mango’ update to Windows Phone 7. One of the things I didn’t include was ‘local scout’. This feature can be accessed from the Bing search screen, or it can be pinned to the start screen. The first time I used local scout was in York – I was staying the night at a hotel and after seven hours of sleep I was ready for a spot of breakfast. However, I usually make a stand against expensive hote [read] Keywords: facebook microsoft

Task list for Windows Phone
Wed, Nov 9th 2011 4:12p   Darren Adams
Continuing the recent trend of blog posts about Windows Phone, and because Bill Buchan loves reading about the operating system, here’s a quick update on one of my favourite apps… the aptly named ‘Tasks’. It probably won’t be a surprise for you to discover that it’s a task list app (no, really). It was already a good app – apart from being free (a big plus-point) the killer feature is being able to pin tasks or task categories to the Windows Phone start [read] Keywords: facebook interface office outlook

The Olympic art of shooting fish in a barrel
Sun, Nov 6th 2011 11:13a   Darren Adams
Regular readers of dadams.co.uk will know that I love modern art… mainly because it gives me a chance to be sarcastic and rude about the complete tripe that someone people produce. Usually I turn my barbed wit upon the Turner Prize, but as luck would have it another group of artists has provided some ammo. Taking the Michael out of art is often like shooting fish in a barrel, but this occasion it’s like shooting dead fish in a small barrel at point blank range with a long-muzzled rev [read] Keywords: facebook

Windows Phone live tiles – this is how they look
Sat, Nov 5th 2011 11:10a   Darren Adams
You may think that this is becoming a blog dedicated to Windows Phone – it’s not, but Windows Phone is something that I’m enthusiastic about and deserves more praise than it’s getting. In a previous post I discussed live tiles, which have become more common-place in apps since the release of Mango. In the last day I’ve indulged in a bit of jiggery-pokery (that’s the technical term) which has resulted in me being able to capture Windows Phone screens. So here, [read] Keywords: application facebook linkedin microsoft outlook twitter

New York Times – a welcome Windows Phone
Thu, Oct 27th 2011 6:12a   Darren Adams
I’ve had several conversations with people (friends, ex-colleagues) about Windows Phone, and have argued about them being dismissive of the phone’s chances against Android and iOS. Sure, Windows Phone is going to have to catch up from a long way back – that I recognise – but what annoys me is people who are willing to dimiss the phone without actually having seen it or touched it. Those who do get to tinker with the phone often like the experience. Personally, the more I [read] Keywords: facebook integration iphone microsoft network

Windows Phone – quick access to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Wed, Oct 19th 2011 2:12p   Darren Adams
Remember the days when you had a phone with a monochrome screen, just enough of a display to read a phone number or a text message? Remember the days when a mobile phone really was just a phone, when it had less computing power than the control centre of the Apollo moon program? In those days of the distant past, my phone battery seemed to last forever. Compare that to now… I bet your phone has a large, bright, colourful screen, a processor which five years ago would have graced only the h [read] Keywords: connections facebook laptop linkedin mobile network office twitter

Loving the live tiles
Tue, Oct 18th 2011 6:10a   Darren Adams
Ever since Windows Phone 7.5 (also known as Mango) was released there seems to have been a marked increase in the number of available apps supporting the live tiles on the phone’s start screen. If you haven’t experienced the Windows Phone interface and don’t know what live tiles are, have a look here and select ‘Start Screen + Live Tiles’. If you’re familiar with iOS, you’ll know that apps like e-mail, calendar, Twitter, Facebook and Words With Friends c [read] Keywords: notes facebook interface linkedin microsoft mobile twitter

Mango ripens
Wed, Sep 28th 2011 5:11p   Darren Adams
Looking back through the dadams.co.uk archives I realised that I was a happy BlackBerry user for four years. Upon joining Microsoft they declined to provide me with a BlackBerry, and instead gave me an HTC Mozart sporting the Windows Phone 7 operating system (NoDo). Okay, I didn’t actually ask for a BlackBerry – before joining I’d had a good look at Lewis Turek’s phone, had found out his pass-key, and took great pleasure in changing the theme to pink when he wasn’t [read] Keywords: applications blackberry facebook linkedin linking microsoft mobile outlook pearl profile twitter

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