Wireless Presenting on the Surface RT [Day 89]

Today I had the opportunity to wireless present in the classroom (something I feel has been lacking on the Surface RT). Admittedly it is not a direct connection (such a Miracast) but a workaround using RDA (Remote Desktop Assistance)  to the PC attached to the Interactive Board (mentioned in a previous post).

Required: USB Drive (for transfer of assistance file)


  1. Turn on all the Surface RT, Desktop for Interactive Board and associated projector
  2. Ensure you are logged onto the Eduroam network (USERNAME: workusername@southessex.ac.uk – not your email / PASSWORD: work logon)
  3. Plug in USB Drive
  4. On the surface RT search for “invite” and select “invite someone to connect to your PC and help you, or offer t…..”
  5. Select “Invite someone you trust to help you”
  6. Select “Save this invitatation as a file”
  7. Save file to USB (for good USB removal practice carry-out the intermediate steps underneath in place of this step)
    •  Save file to the Surface RT, such as the main drive or SD Card
    • Copy file to your USB Drive
  8. You can make a note of the code (I like to save this as a text file to the USB drive)
  9. Ensure you are not writing to the USB stick and remove (or for good practice safely eject drive first)
  10. On Desktop PC plug in USB
  11. Run the “invitation” file
  12. Enter password when requested
  13. On the Surface RT accept permissions by clicking OK
  14. Minimise the Windows Remote Assistance Window, by selecting the “-” in the top right hand window
  15. Rock ‘n’ Roll 🙂

NOTE: If you wish to control the Surface RT from the desktop PC you will need to request Control (top left of   Windows Remote Assistance Window on the desktop PC) and accept this request on the Surface RT

There is slight lag, due to the network, but it is excellent none-the-less and I hope to test it on a better part of our WiFi network tomorrow. A number of presentations were tried with differing success, more on this in a later post, however animated sequences such as those with Prezi do not do any presentation justice. But to wander around the room whilst presenting is something I am really eager to try!



Screen Recording on the Surface RT [Day 79]

There is no built-in feature in Windows RT that can record the screen and output a video file and currently there are no apps (you can record from a desktop if remotely connect).  A static alternative feature exists named: “Problem Steps Recorder”, then you may access it by using the “Run” command “psr” on Windows 8 computer or if you are using a Windows RT device, then follow the steps given in the previous post.

To search for the screen recording apps in Windows Store, you may follow these steps:


  • Tap on Windows Store App icon from the Start Screen to open it.
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and then tap on “Search” option from the Charms bar.
  2. Type “steps” or “PSR” in the search box and search for an app which can record the screen and output to a video file.


  1. Windows key and R
  2. Type “PSR”
  3. Press OK

The recording can has comments made to support any activities, and once complete you can save the output as a zip file or emailed as a Zip file/ The compressed file contains an MHTML file – which is a webpage archive format which can edited with word.psr

An example converted to word can be found here: Recording_20131012_1136

If you are looking for a screen recording app that can output a video file, then you may have to search for an it using your favorite search engine on Windows 8. If you are using Windows RT device, then search for an appropriate app in Windows Store.


Video Blogging on the on the Surface RT [Day 51]

I have a trip to the US pending and as part of the information gathering exercise we have been asked to capture a variety of media from images to video logs (VLOGS) so thought it was worthwhile to do a little test.

I could record at the following (under windows 8.0 RT);

  • 240p (4:3)
  • 360p (16:9)
  • 480p (4:3)
  • 540p (16:9)
  • 720p (16:9)
  • 800p (16:10)

With the 720p setting chosen with the camera facing forward I recorded a 5 minute clip (no I’m not willing to show!) it comes out at approximately 210mb (42mb/min). The same length of video set at 360p is a resulting 52mb (10mb/min). Although the audio does not play back on the surface, on a PC with reasonable speakers it is fine (so no need to use external speaker). I did try out a set of headphones with an inbuilt mic that will be outlined in a future blog that were very good. I do like the fact that you can trim the ends of your recorded video upon review.

The file is stored in your camera roll. I did have issues with uploading the 720p video to SkyDrive, but this could be due to the size as the smaller 52mb file uploaded with no problems at all.

Note: I have tried a number of 5min 360p videos and some come out as 80mb+, so limiting any clip that you want to send to SkyDrive to not much  than 5 mins would be a good recommendation


Update:  Within Windows 8.1 RT you no longer have the options within the camera app to change the resolution of the camera, merely the ratio, so I have noted the resolution below alongside each ratio…

  • 4:3 – 640 x 480p
  • 16:9 – 1280 x 720p 
  • 16:10 – 1280 x 800p 



Navigation on the Surface RT [Day 22]

New Skitch

There are many guides on how to navigate Windows 8 and move around the Surface. Most of the usual commands still exist via the keyboard or when using a mouse, such as…

Lock Screen: Windows Key + L
Swap between programs: ALT + Tab

but rather than reinvent the wheel the two following resources should answer most questions

A good video can be found here:

A great article can be found here:


Remote Connection from a Surface RT [Day 19]

Having tried top connect to a Surface RT from another PC I wondered if it was possible to do the reverse, born out from the fact that my home surveillance either needs a plug-in installed into IE (which Windows RT will not allow) or an alternative browser (which MicroSoft is not seemingly allowing). The first choice would be to use the Remote Desktop App but unfortunately Window Home Premium does not allow for this facility. So into the breach steps the amazing people from TeamViewer….

  • Download the Desktop App and install on your desktop
  • Register an account (including some info for your PC such as a name)
  • Verify your email address
  • Install the TeamViewer Touch App onto your Surface RT
  • Start the App and Login
  • Select the computer you wish to access, job done!

All set-up within five minutes – and free


Remote Connection to a Surface RT [Day 18]


The following it taken from http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum/surfwinrt-surfusing/is-it-possible-to-remote-into-a-surface-running/1749d23a-ffe7-410e-8637-b00ea8b6af4d

From the Surface RT
1. Search in Settings for “remote”.
2. Select “Invite someone to connect to your PC and help you, or offer to help someone else”.
3. Select “Invite someone you trust to help you”.
4. Select “Save this invitation as a file”.
5. At this point a window will open showing you a 12-digit password.
6. Open mail app, and send an email to your helper with the password, include the invitation file as an attachment. This is where your assistant takes over the process.


Assistance giver steps:
1. Open the email, copy the password, and save the invitation file.
2. Search in Settings for “remote”.
3. Select “Invite someone to connect to your PC and help you, or offer to help someone else”.
4. Select “Help someone who has invited you”.
5. Select “Use an invitation file”.
6. Open the invitation file.
7. Enter the password.
8. The connection is made! The assistant now clicks “Request control” at the top left of the window showing the recipients desktop.

Assistance giver steps (quick alternative – the method I used instinctively):
1. Open up email
2. Copy Password
3. Double Click on attached File
4. Paste in Password

The Surface will be asked if it will allow the connection. The connecting PC can then Request Control (again the surface will be asked if it will allow such a request). The connection suffers from a  momentary delay in proliferation over from the surface to the desktop and vica versa.


Tweaking the O/S on the Surface RT [Day 3]

So today was the first day at work with a functioning Surface RT. Very hectic…

  • Course Meeting
  • Dept Meeting
  • Moodle Surgery for Dept X
  • Moodle Surgery for Dept Y
  • Moodle Tech meeting

No time to sit and breath let alone focus heavily on Surface RT. I did use webmail, in the few minutes i had between meetings and take a few notes with onenote (I’m sure more on these in later blogs). The best thing however was to change a few O/S settings (on recommendation by a fellow RT’r)….

  1. Enlarge the interface itself
  2. Increase the audio output level.


So the first step would be to enter the desktop mode ( not the tiled UI) by pressing the desktop tile or the Windows button.

  • Select the yellow folder in the bottom left of the screen in the toolbar area.
  • Select COMPUTER on the right hand side
  • Choose COMPUTER from the options at the top left of your screen then OPEN CONTROL PANEL



  • Select SOUND
  • Select SPEAKERS
  • Press the PROPERTIES button
  • Select the ENHANCEMENTS tab
  • Press the OK button
  • Press the OK button

Enlarge Interface


  • Select DISPLAY
  • Select Medium 125%
    • or CUSTOM SIZING OPTIONS underneath for greater (you can be specific such as 130%, however too much of an increase may cause items to not be visible)
    • Select OK to accept custom sizing options once changed
  • Select Apply
  • You will need to sign out to apply changes

Now I am in my forties it does not hurt to assist the the senses 🙂


Surface RT Wireless Connectivity (or not)

So with Windows RT 8.1 we get Miracast functionality which is the ability to “mirror” or duplicate a devices display wirelessly on a secondary display such as a monitor, TV or projector.

Given that the Surface RT does not allow the use of wireless transmitter dongles that you can purchase for none-miracast-capable devices (due to its restricted O/S) is this great news? well yes and no……. although both the Surface Pro and Surface RT are to be supported the RT requires an updated WDDM 1.3 Video Driver from Microsoft / NVIDIA as the currently utilised WDDM 1.2 is not sufficient.

I am hopeful that this will be included in the final 8.1 upgrade or released soon after as it would be another great ability of the Surface RT that would not be as expensive as an Apple iPad/TV Airplay pairing.

Be mindful that you will require a Miracast enabled TV/Monitor or Adapter like the Netgear Push2TV PTV3000 adapter to connect and enable receiving of the Miracast signal should the driver issues be rectified. Although there are cheaper options (some lower than £25) the PTV3000 is well small-form, supported, stable and by an established and respected manufacturer.


Things to Try on the Surface RT

In no particular order

  1. Connecting wirelessly to another display
  2. Tethering to my phone for when I cannot get Wifi
  3. Finding at least one good app (and free) for all categories
  4. Trying to write this blog from the Surface itself (setup has been on a PC, entries have been on an iPhone 5)
  5. Not writing this blog retrospectively (which it has up till now!)
  6. Purchase & use a stylus