Tech Talk Christmas Summary

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jethro's picture

I have had a lot of articles, news and other tech information filling up my browser and its time to de-clutter before Christmas.

ExcelMicrosoft Excel

INDEX -MATCH - a much better lookup function combination than using VLOOKUP or HLOOKUP. Charley Kyd writes a very good instructive post on using this combination. We use this a lot where the failings of VLOOKUP make it impossible to use.

MSDN announces the new developer roadmap for Excel and VBA. Interesting reading and has lots of useful links.

Power Pivot is an amazing AddIn for Excel 2010. I have written about Power Pivot before. Dick Kusleika has written a simple function to determine whether an Excel Workbook contains power pivot data.

OutlookMicrosoft Outlook

Conditional formatting and highlighting your emails based on content, subject, sender etc.

Roy MacLean asks some interesting questions about storing data in Outlook. I love Outlook and think it is a very good tool, however there are lots of limitations with using it. Mind you I don't see any other email client out there that can do everything that Outlook can do or even half as well in most cases. Still Roy has some good points.

My thoughts about this included:

  1. What if the outlook database could be contained somewhere in a non proprietary file format (PST or OST) that could be access by any client, whether that be Outlook, Thunderbird, Live Mail etc.
  2. What if you could push data into Excel for manipulation and suck it back after cleaning duplicates contacts etc, How about being able to pull data into Word documents using mail merge features.
  3. There have to be better search options then now - I know Xobni is awesome and the Windows 7 search is pretty good if you turn on the index file contents for .pst and .ost file formats. However these options are still limited to using the Outlook data model.

I would be interested in others thoughts also.

Prevent Email forwarding and Reply All in Outlook. Amit links to NoReplyAll a free plugin for Microsoft Outlook

365-logoMicrosoft Office 365

Office 365 is a new offering from Microsoft. It is a cloud based office offering including the following features:

  • Access to e-mail, documents, contacts, and calendars on nearly any device
  • Simple and secure collaboration with colleagues and business partners
  • Works seamlessly with Microsoft Office
  • Pay as you go pricing options billed monthly
  • Get the latest features of our enterprise class software including the Office Suite.

Liveside have an Office 365 review and also point to Paul Thurrott's full review.

windows home server logoWindows Home Server

Liveside report that the New version of Windows Home Server, codenamed Vail, has had some bad news. The drive extender functionality has been removed. This is a key functionality in the current WHS platform that we use and rely on. I hope Microsoft will bow to the pressure being exerted by unhappy users and backflip!

Windows-Live-Writer-LogoWindows Live Writer 2011

Aaron asks what functionality would you like to see in future versions and upgrades of Live Writer - this is your chance to have your say and provide feedback straight to the development team. Note - this article was written in Live Writer and posted to a Drupal website.

windows_mobile_logoWindows 7 Phone

After writing about my HTC Mozart Windows 7 Phone recently all I can do now is sing its praises even higher. the battery issue I suffered was actually the result of the Network Email system - and Telstra made changes on their servers and the battery now lasts more than a day with lots of calls, downloads and usage. The Facebook and Windows Live integration is just superb.

Now there is a Windows Home Server app for the Windows 7 Phone platform!


Finally! Drupal 7 is about to be released with the launch party scheduled for 5 January 2011.

Real-Time News Curation

Ron Good has written a 2 part series entitled Real-Time News Curation, Newsmastering And Newsradars - The Complete Guide Part 1: Why We Need It and The Complete Guide Part 2: Aggregation is not Curation. Some valuable lessons to think about, and why I try and comment on the links I post - research them as well, and not just post links blindly in bulk (except occasionally)


Big Huge Labs has some great tools for Flickr users.

The spider holster looks pretty good - maybe one of my next purchases. Maybe.

Mostly Lisa snapped the lunar Eclipse this week. I did too. 2010-12-21 Moon 100

We did a lot of photography shoots in November. Here are some pictures from the Adonai Clothing Fashion Shoot.

2010-11-27 Adonai Photoshoot 177-8002010-11-27 Adonai Photoshoot 263-8002010-11-27 Adonai Photoshoot 203-8002010-11-27 Adonai Photoshoot 646-8002010-11-27 Adonai Photoshoot 162-8002010-11-27 Adonai Photoshoot 604-800