As we continue our trek through various enhancements and new capabilities in the recently released Windows 10 April 2018 Update (see here and here), we next stop at Focus Assist. Focus Assist is not new for Windows 10 – in previous feature updates for Windows 10, it was known as Quiet Hours. When this name change was announced, the general reception was that it made no sense and the Quiet Hours name was more than adequate for the feature. I have long felt that the April 2018 Update was focused — no pun intended — on productivity and that is how Microsoft explained this name change: Focus Assist helps you get more done by easily blocking notifications, sounds, and alerts to create distraction-free work times. This is helpful if you’re giving a presentation or trying to focus on a paper, you can use Focus Assist to block interruptions or distractions. While Quiet Hours also helped users by providing no interruptions when the feature was turned on, it also lacked in-depth management options of who or what could break through the silence. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
As file storage options become both less expensive and more varied, individuals and corporations have more power to customize their own storage system — and more chances to become confused and overwhelmed by their choices. “Once upon a time space and storage was costly and limited and required you to be very selective on where to put things and how to maintain a library and catalog of where to put things and how to maintain them,” Todd Pekats, vice president of Cloud and Services at PCM, Inc. Remember these? File management options have come a long way. Pekats once had riles living in multiple different places, on multiple different kinds of formats and devices: tap, floppy disks, SyQuest drives, etc. “Just keeping track of what you have and where it is being stored was a fulltime job.” This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
I’ll try not to make you envious. I have what is probably the fastest home Internet connection in the country – a theoretical gigabit: 1,000Mbps. And it’s synchronous, as fast going up as down. To add icing to the cake, my ISP bill is dropping almost by half while my speed increases exponentially. To make you feel better, let me tell you that my actual speeds aren’t anywhere near that. And yet the speeds I do get are many times faster than before. I’m here to discuss the experience of having a fiber to the home (FTTH) Internet service. I’ll tell you how I got this service, the experience of having it, and why you probably can’t get it where you live. Better Living With Fiber This is not the kind of fiber you want in your breakfast cereal. It’s made of glass. Fiber optic cables are extremely thin – almost a hair width – but they can handle huge amounts of data. Just one of these thin strands can carry a gigabit going down on one frequency, and another gigabit going up on another frequency. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here … Read More
Q. I am trying to install an app from the Microsoft Store on my computer, but I get an error that says I have exceeded my device limit. How do I fix this? A. This is an error that will pop up if you try to use more than 10 devices to download apps from the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 using the same Microsoft Account. There is no specific rhyme or reason to this number: Under Windows 8.1 this device limit was 81 and under Windows 10 it has dropped to just 10. OK – so maybe there is a connection between the operating system but that makes no sense at all to just change these limits from OS to OS. Note: Developers can often get this limit expanded so they can test their apps on multiple devices without any issues. Anyway, with just 10 devices allowed to install apps from the Microsoft Store, you could hit this limit very quickly. Devices are not automatically removed from your master device list so if you go through a couple of upgrade cycles you could hit this limit as well. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid … Read More
When Microsoft launched Windows 10 back in July 2015, they included a fledgling web browser called Microsoft Edge. Work has continued on Edge over the last three years and it has improved tremendously. However, there are still a lot of sites that do not work correctly with it. For some, Chrome and Firefox provide alternative browsers that can be used in these situations but there are also some folks who need to use Internet Explorer in certain circumstances. Over my time using Windows 10, I have occasionally pulled up IE 11, that is the version included in Windows 10, in order to check out certain sites. In fact, Edge has a shortcut in its sidebar menu that lets you directly open a site in IE that is displayed in Edge. While that shortcut is handy, I also use the Favorites Bar on all my browsers to have the same sites pinned across the different devices I use each day. As I have been working with IE over these last three years or so in Windows 10, I have noticed that the Favorites Bar is either not synching at all or is very slow to sync across devices. I tinkered around … Read More
Numbers make the world go round. Excel’s become indispensable for crunching numbers – so why not make the most of the application? This is part two of our collection on mastering Microsoft’s flagship spreadsheet program. (Part one is here.) Email subscribers will have the full text of all these articles: Avoid Copy and Paste Problems in Microsoft Excel Use Templates to Enhance Your Excel Spreadsheets”}”>Use Templates to Enhance Your Excel Spreadsheets How to Use Multiple Worksheets in a Microsoft Excel Workbook How to Work with Large Spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel We’re taking a quick summer break and will be back with new content on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.
Numbers make the world go round. Excel’s become indispensable for crunching numbers – so why not make the most of the application? We’ve got a wealth of how-to articles on optimizing the ways you work within Excel, and we’ll be spending this week collecting them in one place. This way, you get a comprehensive how-to that will allow you an easy reference for mastering Microsoft’s flagship spreadsheet program. Email subscribers will have the full text of all these articles: How to Sort and Filter Your Data in Microsoft Excel How to Work With Formulas in Microsoft Excel How to Protect and Secure Your Data in Microsoft Excel Helpful Free Add-ins for Microsoft Excel We’ll have more great Excel content on Thursday. …This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Since today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we’ll review how a few of the big tech companies are helping with accessibility when it comes to their products and services. Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) began back in 2012 with a goal to drive the dialog about making digital access to resources/services accessible to those with disabilities. On the seven-year anniversary of the establishment of GAAD, tech companies are showing how they are making their own technology even more accessible. Microsoft The folks in Redmond have become pretty good at building hardware over the last few years with their Surface line of devices and accessories. Today, they showed how that same approach can make a significant difference for gamers with the unveiling of their upcoming Xbox Adaptive Controller. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Workflow automation is an increasingly important factor in productivity. A research report from Formstack released this year found that half of managers are spending the equivalent of one full workday each week on administrative tasks, many of which could be automated. And 44 per cent of managers reported that their workplace has invested significantly in workflow automation tools within the past two years. Managers are spending significant amounts of time, up to half of the average workday, on administrative tasks. In many cases, these tasks could be automated. “Few business owners really grasp the concepts of what automation in technology can do,” said Martin Webb, a founder of Tudodesk. “When they start a business or look to grow it, they instantly assume the problem they need to solve is by hiring help.” There are times when automating repetitive or administrative tasks can free up time and mental space, allowing for focus on more important matters. Automate Your Email This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
I recently shared details about the retirement of HomeGroup from the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. This feature update was made available for download last week; as of this month’s Patch Tuesday, the update is now beginning its rollout through Windows Update. Microsoft had given users a heads up about the removal of HomeGroup from this fifth feature update for Windows 10 which is why we knew that was coming. When they began the availability of the update to the public last week that triggered the publication of the complete list of features that were either removed or planned for removal/replacement in this update. On the page listing these changes for the feature update there is a caveat from Microsoft which states: This list is subject to change and might not include every affected feature or functionality This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.