Thoughts from the clay guru.

Archive for the category “General Gadgetry”

Why I like my WP7 phone over my iPhone – part 2

After a few days, I came up with a few more features I like on my WP7…that iPhone users have to learn to live without.

  1. Damn IOS Auto Correct.  Now WP7 has “auto correct”, but it seems to perform much better than the iOS version of auto correct.  I remember turning it off on my iPhone when I had it, and I still have it turned off on my iPad.  (see  there are entire sites dedicated to the auto correct silliness of iOS)
  2. Late for meeting.  If I am running late for a scheduled meeting, there is a quick “Late” button when I view my meeting invite.  When I press this button, I am given the option to send an email to the person that scheduled the meeting, or everyone invited to the meeting that states; “I’ll be a bit late, but I’m on my way.  See you soon.”  So from the meeting, I am 3 clicks away to tell folks I am running late.
  3. Edit response to meeting invite.  When declining a meeting, on an iOS device I cannot give a reason.  I am so used to this in Outlook and now WP7 that I do not accept or decline meetings using my iPad (that and the number of issues iOS devices have had with meeting synchronization in the past).

Please feel free to add your favorite reasons in the comments.


Okay, I tried it…

(click on the picture to enlarge)

This morning, on my way into work I saw the truck pitured in the photo.  Yes, is a QR code on the tailgate.  Initially, I thought that was silly, but when I came to a stop, I snapped a picture and tried Bing to see if I could follow the link…but no go. Maybe if I had a little more time I may have been able to zoom in and get it.

What’s next? QR bumper stickers?

Windows 8 and Proxy servers

This post is only relevant if you are trying to use the Customer Preview version of Windows 8 within a corporate firewall.  If this is not you…go do something else…like google “cat breading” (and that is breading…like Wonder Bread…and, I can’t figure it out either…what a waste of bandwidth).

Okay, on to the regularly scheduled blog….

After reading some posts, looking up some MS articles, and miscellaneous other reference materials, I finally got Windows 8 – Customer Preview to download and install apps from within our corporate firewall…and here are my 12 easy steps:

  1. Go to the windows Desktop (if you don’t know what this is…wait until the final release of Windows 8) and fire up Windows Explorer (the folder thingy)
  2. Under the View menu, make sure you have “File Name Extensions” checked
  3. Right click in a folder (Documents is fine) and select “New | Text Document”
  4. Name this new file MikeIsCool.cmd (or some other name that states I am not really a geek)
  5. Click on “Yes” when prompted if you want to change the file name extension.  If you don’t get this prompt…go back to Step 2…you forgot to turn on the file extensions.
  6. Right-click on the MikeIsCool.cmd file then select the Edit menu item.
  7. Type in the following 2 lines:
    netsh winhttp set proxy http://<your proxy server here>:<your port here>
  8. Close the Window and click on “Save” button to save the file
  9. Right-click on the MikeIsCool.cmd file (yes, again), and select “Run as administrator”
  10. (optional) Enter your administrator password.  A command prompt will pop up and you should see a line labeled Proxy Server(s) with your proxy server to the right of that.  Make sure it all looks good…if not, you typed something wrong in step 7…or I got something wrong…but I am guessing it is you.  If it is me, please post a comment and tell me how much smarter you are than me…and please tell me and others how to fix my blunder.  And make sure you don’t really type in “<your proxy server here>” or “<your port here>”
  11. (optional) Press the spacebar to close down the command window.
  12. Reboot your Windows 8 machine.

That worked for me.  After the reboot, I was able to install apps in Windows 8.

Checking out an eBook on your tablet or Kindle

So, did you know that most libraries provide a number (although small…but hopefully growing) of electronic books available for checkout?

I have used this approach a few times and it is pretty easy.  This blog is a visual step-by-step process for getting the book Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson onto my iPad (and Windows Phone 7 if I want to later).  Click on any picture below for the full-size image.

Step 1:  Go to the Overdrive site (

Step 2:  Enter your Zip code to the Library in your area.

Step 3:  Click on the library link provided in Step 2 to be taken to the collection of books available for download from your library system.

Step 4:  Search or browse for your book.  Once you locate an available book, clicking on that book will provide you some options to download.  I will select the Kindle format for this discussion.

Step 5:  After selecting the Kindle format, we will select the option to Proceed to Checkout

Steps 6, 7, and 8:  Select your Library, change Lending Period if you want, and then click on the Get for Kindle button

Step 9, 10, 11, 12, 13:  Head on over to Amazon ( and accept your Public Library Loan and then Deliver it to the Kindle compatible device of your choice

Step 14, 15:  Go to your Kindle device (my iPad for this example), and select and read your book.

When the book has expired, you will see that the loan has ended (as in Snow Crash in the image above), and when you launch the book, you will be presented the option to buy it

Hope you found this guide helpful.  Please provide comments to this blog if you have anything to say… positive or negative.

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