Hotel Cablefornia

So there’s another New Year on the horizon and it’s time to make some resolutions that will hopefully last for at least a few weeks into January. But at the moment I can think only one: find a new Internet provider. As previously documented in these pages, I really do try hard to deal with…

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All I Want For Christmas…

So I continue to battle with Windows 8.1 and Outlook 2103 on my nice big Dell workstation. Our IT support department have given up on me, saying it’s obviously a problem with my own network configuration. And it looks like they are correct. It’s just a shame they can’t tell me what the problem is….

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Downwardly Upgraded

So it looks like my upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 actually downgraded me to Windows 6.3. I know I don’t keep up with all the latest whizz-bang O/S releases, but I can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone eulogising Windows 6.3 as the ideal choice for today’s modern computing environment. My regular reader will…

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Agile Documentation – Tested to Destruction

Agile development is an important technique here at p&p; and throughout much of Microsoft. However, I’m yet to be convinced that it’s a good way of creating user guidance and documentation. It seems to me that the process often gets in the way more than it helps to produce a great final product. I’ve rambled…

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The Network Ate My Shortcuts!

It’s a bit scary when you turn on your computer and it’s different from when you left it the day before. I don’t mean it’s a different computer (though sometimes that would be nice), but that something changed while you were in the land of nod. This happened to me last week. As I sat…

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Do You Have a Vision?

In the olden days, people with a vision changed the world. Scientists such as James Clerk Maxwell kicked off the entire revolution in harnessing electricity and magnetism to build our modern world. Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley started the silicon revolution that gave us the microchip, and Tim Berners-Lee gave us the World Wide Web. But,…

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Why Is There Only One Monopolies Commission?

One of the old chestnuts you sometimes hear from disaffected and grumpy comedians is “How come there’s only on Monopoly Commission?” They’re not talking about the board game, but about the people who are supposed to guard us against being exploited by large corporations. And I’m going to hazard a guess that all these disaffected…

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A Cloud Service By Any Other Name…

As a firm believer in freedom of expression, I guess I can’t complain about the names that the Windows Azure team give to their services and features. After all, my responsibility is just to write about them. In theory that can call them whatever they like. The problem is that they keep calling things what…

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Double Your Money

How would you like to be guaranteed a price for your products for the next thirty-five years, and at double the price you sell them for now? Sounds like a great idea. However, there are a couple of downsides… For example, you’ll be allowed to sell only the lowest priced item, even if the customer…

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Who is We?

Windows and its applications are getting even easier to use, and work far better than ever before for most non-technical users. It’s a fact, I’m sure; but it seems to be having some unfortunate (and annoying) side effects for the more savvy members of the geekdom. I’ve been ruminating on various aspects of this since…

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