Socrative on the Surface RT [Day 30]


Now this is not strictly a Surface RT related tech – It’s a website, an awesome website, that has recently been updated. But this post does address a number of relevant issues…

  1. You can “pin” a website as a tile – making it feel a little more like an App, by simply visiting a website…
    • Swiping up from the bottom of the screen
    • Selecting the “Pin” icon, the one that looks like one of those plastic molded drawing pins that are used on notice boards
    • Selecting “Pin to Start” from the options
    • Editing the New Tiles name
    • Selecting the “Pin to Start” button
  2. I would normally use my phone for Socrative (unless on a large interactive Smart-Board) and would love more real-estate that the Surface RT affords
  3. Its an amazing educational tech (have I mentioned that?)
  4. It remains the same experience whether you use the IOS or Android apps or from within a browser.

Continue reading


Remote Desktop from the Surface RT [Day 29]

I thought I would quickly revisit the connection to and from the Surface RT a few posts ago, particularly in relation to the Remote Desktop App, to wrap the topic up nicely.

The Remote Desktop App does require another PC with a version of windows that allows remote connection…..

  • Windows 7 Professional,
  • Windows 7 Ultimate,
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8 Enterprise

 that must….

  1. have a Username and Password to Logon with (not just go to desktop by powering-on)
  2. Be checked to  “Allow remote connections to this computer” under remote settings, this is normally found under the right hand menu when looking at your COMPUTER PROPERTIES


Restoring a Surface RT [Day 26]

Screenshot (16)

This was actually very smooth, after all the dead ends I had taken (from yesterday post) I was happy to restore, and a lot less painful than expected…..

  • Took less than ten minutes
  • Completely back to factory settings
  • Thankfully retained some synced desktop setting such as pinned websites

All I had to do was complete all updates & install apps. But the most surprising was that my Apps retained a lot of their settings (obviously from Windows 8 synching) and the most effort was actually electing which apps I wanted to re-install from the App store. Although the Windows updates did take a time, the initial restore and app installations took little time overall.

Oh, I did have to tidy up my tiles and I got my HomeGroup Networking Connection working (nerd heaven!)

Note: I have had apps “pending” since, but it does seem to be sorted by after a short period of time (I’m still thinking updates are holding back any “pending” apps)


Windows Store “Pending” on the Surface RT [Day 24]

A week or so ago I had trouble with installing a number of apps. I was installing about twelve apps and the first half installed without any trouble, the remaining half-dozen stated “pending”. Nothing I did would progress them from this state, I tried…

  • Cancelling and only trying one at a time
  • I tried rebooting
  • I tried installing a totally different app
  • I tried looking for and installing updates (two found and updated)

Still no joy, a number of articles on the web suggested numerous solutions…that did not work either

  • Looking for and fixing any update issues, control panel>troubleshooting>system and security>fix problems with windows update – 2 issues found and fixed
  • Running the Windows Store Cache Resetting tool, type wsreset on the keyboard (or search) and you will find an app, selecting it will flush your Store Cache and you will get a message that says, “The cache for the Store was cleared. You can now browse the Store for apps” – I could still browse, but not download/install
  • I looked into Updates under the desktop control panel and found an optional update waiting to be updated, installed, rebooted – the store now refuses to even open! (running the previous step solved this issue)

I am hoping its a store issue, I have even reset my router in-case its a firewall issue, and that a change of location to work tomorrow may rule out these suspicions.

This post is written in advance (its actually the 15th of Sept) I am hoping to have found a solution by the date of this post or you may well expect a post regarding “Restoring a Surface RT” tomorrow.


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

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.


Media on your Surface RT SD Card [Day 15]

So today I have been looking into making the SD card more integrated into the system to relieve any burdens on the internal memory (with not a lot of success).

There are guides for mounting the SD card as your default picture location, but it involves Mounting within an empty NTFS folder and removing the drive letter. I have already assigned all my apps to use the card to I am loathe to start removing drive letters. An alternative option would be to relocated my user folders to the SD card (pictures, video, music, documents, downloads) however the system reports that it is not capable of accessing the drive, and it does not show the pictures folder in the photo app. So after restoring defaults I have settles to purely have a shortcut on the classic desktop directly to the SD card as well as pinning to the Start Screen.

I am not one to give up so easily but on my travels around the web looking for various solutions I came across numerous discussions saying that this issue is addressed in Windows RT 8.1, I can wait a month or so for this solution easily 🙂


Syncing SkyDrive Folders on a Desktop [Day 14]

So Syncing on the Surface RT seems to be sufficient. However the same cannot be said for the desktop folder synchronisation. It is not an instant process and there seems no way to actually force a synchronisation.

So a rough workaround….
Creating and deleting a folder will force a synchronisation – so this begs the question “can a batch file automate the process”? Yes it can….

  • Move to your SkyDrive location
  • Open up notepad and type in the following: (edit the two file locations to reflect your own SkyDrive Location –  e:\skydrive\TempSyncFolder )

@echo off
Echo Creating TempSyncFolder Folder
mkdir e:\skydrive\TempSyncFolder

Echo Removing TempSyncFolder Folder
rmdir /s /q “e:\skydrive\TempSyncFolder”

  •  Save as “z Sync SkyDrive. bat” in your SkyDrive Location (the Z is purely to keep the file at the bottom of the file hierarchy for easy access)
  • Double clicking on the file will cause a folder to be created and, after a three second delay, removed – forcing a synchronisation.

You could add this to scheduled tasks to automate the process further.

Note: Although my Batch file states the E:\ drive the screen shot indicates the Z:\ drive – this is beacuse I have shared and mapped the E:\ drive location to Z:\ so that my SkyDrive folder shows up in “Computer” easily. The mapping is in no way connected with name of the batch file.


SkyDrive on the Surface RT [Day 13]

So in an earlier post I discussed cloud services, such as dropbox, pogoplug, etc. With the Surface RT Microsoft’s cloud offering Skydrive features predominantly (not only in Windows 8 but in Office 2013) and with the Windows RT 8.1 update this is only set to continue.

SkyDrive (to be renamed in the near future) is effectively an “in the cloud” service that allows your files to be held remotely and synchronized over multiple devices with apps not only for the windows 8 environment but as smartphone apps such as the IOS environment and as an installable application on the windows platform (such as windows 7).

What this allows you to do is transfer images, such as a photo or screenshot, from the Surface RT to a desktop, or visa versa. Although a USB could suffice using SkyDrive provides a seamless experience.

Sending documents:

  • Select the desired file, such as an image from the photos tile, by dragging down (the tile will have a tick appear on the top right hand corner) further file selections will will add to the amount of the files to be shared
  • Swipe the charms menu and select the share icon (the second icon down a circle with three knots)I
  • Select SkyDrive and select where you want to send/store your file(s)
  • Confirm by selecting upload

To access files in your SkyDrive

  • Select the SkyDrive app
  • Move thought the folder until you reach the desired file
  • Swiping up from the bottom of the screen will reveal options
    • download
    • manage
      • rename
      • delete
      • move
    • open with…… (Appropriate apps)
  • choose an appropriate option