Tip o’ the Week #51 – Five Golden Rules for OCS & Lync

A tip this week concerning best practices for using Enterprise Voice in OCS or Lync for making and receiving voice calls… Participating in OCS/Lync Calls: Use a wired* connection when you are on OCS/Lync calls. (Performance over WIFI will not be as good) Ensure you use an approved OCS/Lync headset (available from the service desk…

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Tip o’ the Week #40 – monitoring your PC’s innards

Everyone can see their PC slow down inexplicably, but getting to the bottom of why can be tricky. It could be an occasional task that’s running (like an update being applied to Anti-Virus software), or perhaps something more sinister is going on – a badly constructed web page causing IE to use up system resources,…

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Tips for optimizing Vista on new hardware

Ed Bott over at ZDNet posted a really interesting article yesterday, detailing the journey he had of making his friend’s brand new Sony Viao laptop work properly with Windows Vista Business. In short, his friend upgraded a trusty old XP Vaio to a new machine which came with Vista, but had a terrible experience of…

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Windows Media Center query-based recording

Here’s a tip for anyone running Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate editions (the ones with Media Center functionality), if you have a suitable tuner set up and configured. I mentioned this in passing to someone who uses Media Center as their primary TV tuner, and they didn’t know it was possible – largely because…

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Dell’s "anti-crapware" initiative doesn’t go far enough

My wife’s small business has recently had a requirement to upgrade a couple of PCs, after 5 or 6 years. Since I am ultimately responsible for all their IT (and I am not proud of what they have – I cut all sorts of corners to make my life easy, but they don’t know how…

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BBC iPlayer kicks up a stink

It’s been interesting reading various news articles about the fact that the soon-to-be-released BBC iPlayer application will initially be available only to Internet Explorer and Windows XP users. The Register reports that a group called the Open Source Consortium is due to meet with the BBC Trust since the service will not be available at all to…

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Finally, a sidebar gadget worth having

Oooh, that’s a bit flippant. The whole Vista sidebar thing has kind of passed me by, though it really does make sense on widescreen monitors. I set about looking for a particular gadget today, though – one of my cats managed to knock my home PC over last night (it’s a desktop which I have…

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Windows Live Mail Desktop – replaces Outlook Express for Hotmail use

I’ve been running the “dogfood” version of Windows Live Mail Desktop (WLMD) for a while now, and found it to be really stable and usable. It’s basically a superset of the built-in Windows Mail application from Windows Vista, which supercedes Outlook Express. WLMD is now available for beta testing (on Windows XP as well as…

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Calibri: a font like no other…

Someone asked me a semi-bizarre question today: the new fonts which are in Office 2007 and Windows Vista, especially Calibri (which, I must say, I think looks great)…  Can they be installed on older versions of Windows or Office? I had never really appreciated all the work that goes into generating a decent font, including…

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Virtual PC 2007 now available

The Virtual PC team released the latest version to the web the other day, and it’s available for free, downloadable from here. Headline changes over previous versions are the ability to be run on Windows Vista, and to have Vista as a guest OS within VPC as well as miriad performance improvements. I’ve been using…

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