Windows 10


Windows arrived on Wednesday. I foolishly rushed to install. I forced that download into windows update every time it reported an error (that turned out to be a connection error). The installation got as far as 86% and then failed due to migration of settings.  I rushed to download the media creation tool and throw an image onto a USB stick. again thwarted as the installation froze at the last few hurdles. No fear, it gave me the option of a reboot and installation was now happening from the machine itself. I assumed it had dumped it off the USB. In the end it not matter as it still failed! I retried the windows update route again. It was re downloading the image from scratch! Sod it I’m cancelling it all and going to bed.

The morning found me in a better from of mind but not one that wanted to bother with Windows 10. But fate brought two elements together…

  1. I found out  windows update was ready to try another install
  2. I needed to go out to the shops (Butter for making cookies with my boys)

On my return… Success! I have upgraded from Windows 7 and whilst I am not in love with Windows 10 I don’t dislike it. It certainly is better than Windows 8. So what do you actually get (beyond Win 7).

  • Start Menu and Tile integration – the best of both worlds
  • Snap to corners (not just sides)
  • Add the recycle bin to the start menu (now I can hid the desktop version and not worry about lengthy steps to access)
  • Search on toolbar
  • MS edge, IE’s replacement, I love the annotation facility
  • The ability to access apps (a benefit for a Win7 user, don’t feel like i’m missing out now)

I hate the photo app – it works for wife’s account but not my own – not a deal breaker but frustrating!


Microsoft Showcase Classroom

(c) @GlennWoolaghan [Twitter]

Yesterday I spent the day with Microsoft looking at their Showcase Classroom. I really did not have a clear perception of what to expect other than looking at different mobile devices. So what did the day entail (and was it worth it!)?

Firstly it was free other than the cost of getting to London, Victoria and back for 10:00am – 3:30pm. A cup of coffee and a pain-au-chocolate later and we was shown a brief “Sway” presentation before the big reveal, doors slid open in our relatively small room, showing a much larger room with bright colours, comfy stool and giant bean bags. We grab a mobile device… this is going to be interactive! I pick a rugged grey “Stone” tablet with keyboard and a carry handle, colleagues pick HP tablets or Surface Pro’s – they all do the job they need to do.

We are asked to rate out the following out of four possible options: Don’t know what it it, aware, used a bit, used a lot using coloured post-it’s.

  • Windows 8.1 – its search capabilities and seamlessness
  • Yammer – social networking in a safe environment
  • Office 365 – buckloads, I even learnt about “Delve” (did you know a 365 account gives you 5 downloadable office’s?)
  • OneNote – the collaborative side utilising OneNote Classroom
  • OneDrive – limitless
  • Lync (Skype for Business) – connect to others and record sessions!

Now I was able to answer “used a lot” for all but that’s more a comment upon the organisation I work for and the projects I am involved in. I found the delivery that followed upon these technologies well thought-out and verging on seamless. a worthy day for the less tech proficient for sure. We had an outline of Mix and Sway (yes I felt an over whelming smugness) and then a hard-sell pitch for taking back-end services and pushing to our learners – progress, options, etc. (way off but lord-able goals). Finally we had highlighted windows 10 and  HoloLens.

I certainly found the day worthwhile but I took a number of key things with me…

  1. The organisation I work for are certainly embracing the tech discussed
  2. Although the room looked funky the backless “stools” were not nearly as comfortable as the “sit-in” bean bags
  3. Despite discussing how being untethered from the front of the classroom is ideal, it wasn’t applied (beyond a demonstration)
  4. A number of technologies will not work fully until we are in a 1-2-1 device position (such as OneNote)
  5. I cannot see myself bringing everything together under one platform, I am all for diversity in technology (Our D.A.V.E. intranet covers the likes of Delve and Yammer)
  6. Finally, there was a lot of discussion around learners subverting the technologies. More of this on a future post.


Anti-Virus on the Surface RT

A colleague asked a question as to ether they needed to install anti-virus upon their surface RT:

Windows 8 includes Windows Defender, a replacement for Microsoft Security Essentials, as the stock anti-virus on the Surface RT. As the Surface RT also utilises and RT version of windows, effectively only allowing “signed” applications to be installed (of which there are very few and these are all official such as office 2013), the chances of you becoming infected are extremely rare.

Besides unless it was an anti-virus App you would not be able to install it anyway due to the Windows RT restrictions!


Blank Outlook Tile on the Surface RT

office SP1

My outlook tile is blank after what seems a recent update. Checking for recent updates still outstanding has not solved the issues, as well as trying to remove and reinstate the tile. On further enquiry it seems there is a service pack (SP1) for the office 2013 installed on the RT.

  1. Swipe from the right for the charms menu
  2. Select settings
  3. Select change PC settings
  4. Select update and recovery
  5. Select Windows update
  6. Select View details (if SP1 is shown skip to step 9)
  7. Select the Back Arrow
  8. Select Check Now button
  9. Check the checkbox under Office 2013 and next to Service Pack 1 for Microsoft 2013 (KB2850036) RT
  10. Select the Install button
  11. The update process will take a few minutes
  12. Select the Restart Now button

You should now see the Outlook tile restored 🙂


Living with the Surface RT [Day 100]

Surface RT

I have hit 100 days with the Surface RT and I can say that they only thing about it that has been an uphill struggle has been this blog (only at times!). I certainly would have liked it to be more educational that it has been but attempting to blog daily has limited that. Id on’t intend to stop blogging, but I do not intend beyond today to blog on a daily (or attempt) basis but I do feel that this entry should look back at what I have tried to do and where i still/want to go with the Surface RT.

  1. Connecting wirelessly to another display
  2. Tethering to my phone for when I cannot get Wifi (made some headway – Bluetooth only real solution from a cost perspective, and so far not needed to!)
  3. Finding at least one good app (and free) for all categories (a bit ambitious now the categories have expanded i.e. sport & government not my thing!)
  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

I still have a few projects/research pieces involving the Surface RT that will be a part of this blog.

  • Tethering to my phone for when I cannot get Wifi (from my original list above)
  • Micro HDMI to mini HDMI adapter (on order)
  • VGA adapter (on order)
  • Working with whole groups of students and staff to utilise tablets in the classroom

I do have to say that I have not powered up my works laptop since July 2013, the Surface RT has been a great replacement and the abilities it has serves it well:

  • light
  • portable
  • Small form factor
  • Amazing battery Life
  • Productive (especially love office and OneNote app)
  • App store is starting to mature


I am going to have to dust off the laptop, if only because I’m teaching game engines and the software is on my laptop ready to utilise. I am still holding out hope that miracast will come to the Surface RT (although knowing it not coming), but overall I don’t see myself being drawn back to the iPad.

In fact I would probably be persuaded to move onto a Surface Pro or similar tablet/laptop device.



Show all Apps on the Surface RT [Day 97]

This has been so annoying! becoming so used to swiping from any edge fully the odd occasion I have wanted to access “all apps” has me either searching for it from the charms menu or effectively Googling it!

NOTE TO SELF: swipe up anywhere on the background between tiles, that is all!



Missing in Windows 8.1 on the Surface RT [Day 88]

Not an exhaustive list but most noticeably

  1. Messaging app, not used, now Skype is central focus (not really noticed this missing!)
  2. Facebook and Flickr folders missing in the Photos app (I really liked this but Microsoft said it was only until dedicated Apps started to appear)
  3. Apps not automatically added to start screen (I hate this, I would love the ability to turn this on or off – swipe up to see all apps)
  4. My Computer is now “This PC” (neither a deal breaker)


Quiet Hours on the Surface RT [Day 87]

I try and keep the volume down on my Surface RT due to noisy notifications through the night. Windows 8.1 adds a Quiet Hours setting that lets you silence notifications for specific times of the day.

Charms Setting > Change PC Settings >Search and apps > Notifications

You can set specific to and from times as well as electing to receive (or not) calls during those hours


Battery Issues on the Surface RT [Day 85]

Battery issue when updating from Windows RT 8.1 Preview to Windows RT 8.1 (official release)

If you updated Surface RT from Windows RT 8.1 Preview to Windows RT 8.1, you may notice a decrease in battery life. During the update, the wireless adapter power policy isn’t migrated. Instead, the power policy is set to a default value that consumes more power both during use and in the connected standby state.

To restore the wireless adapter power policy to the correct settings, open an administrator command prompt:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
(If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)
Step 2: In the search box, enter command prompt.
Step 3: Touch and hold (or right-click) Command Promptto bring up the context menu. Tap or click Run as administrator.
Step 4: On the User Account Control dialog box, tap or click Yes.
Step 5: At the Administrator: Command Prompt, enter the following:
powercfg -setdcvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT 19cbb8fa-5279-450e-9fac-8a3d5fedd0c1 12bbebe6-58d6-4636-95bb-3217ef867c1a 3
Step 6: Then enter
powercfg -setactive scheme_current