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  11. <title>dadams.co.uk</title>
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  13. <link>http://www.dadams.co.uk</link>
  14. <description>Technology and the occasional justified rant</description>
  15. <lastBuildDate>Sun, 22 Jan 2017 17:19:31 +0000</lastBuildDate>
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  21. <title>Running results and future plans</title>
  22. <link>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/08/08/running-results-and-future-plans/</link>
  23. <comments>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/08/08/running-results-and-future-plans/#respond</comments>
  24. <pubDate>Mon, 08 Aug 2016 19:24:29 +0000</pubDate>
  25. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Darren]]></dc:creator>
  26. <category><![CDATA[Running]]></category>
  27.  
  28. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://www.dadams.co.uk/?p=6075</guid>
  29. <description><![CDATA[<p>I&#8217;m pinning this here as a reminder to myself as to when races are, and as a log of times so far.</p>
  30. <p><strong>10 km</strong></p>
  31. <p>22nd March 2015 &#8211; Eton Dorney Lake &#8211; 56 minutes 11 seconds</p>
  32. <p>3rd May &#8230;</p>]]></description>
  33. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>I&#8217;m pinning this here as a reminder to myself as to when races are, and as a log of times so far.</p>
  34. <p><strong>10 km</strong></p>
  35. <p>22nd March 2015 &#8211; Eton Dorney Lake &#8211; 56 minutes 11 seconds</p>
  36. <p>3rd May 2015 &#8211; Run Frimley &#8211; 54 minutes 34 seconds</p>
  37. <p>17th May 2015 &#8211; Royal Berkshire Green Park &#8211; 51 minutes 7 seconds</p>
  38. <p>3rd June 2015 &#8211; Yateley race 1 &#8211; 49 minutes 22 seconds</p>
  39. <p>12th July 2015 &#8211; Vitality British London run &#8211; 52 minutes 21 seconds</p>
  40. <p>13th September 2015 &#8211; Seb’s Swinley Forest run &#8211; 55 minutes 43 seconds</p>
  41. <p>1st May 2016 &#8211; Run Frimley &#8211; 52 minutes 25 seconds</p>
  42. <p>15th May 2016 &#8211; Royal Berkshire Green Park &#8211; 50 minutes 54 seconds</p>
  43. <p>1st June 2016 &#8211; Yateley race 1 &#8211; 50 minutes 12 seconds</p>
  44. <p>13th July 2016 &#8211; Yateley race 2 &#8211; 48 minutes 40 seconds &#8211; <strong>PERSONAL BEST</strong></p>
  45. <p>3rd August 2016 &#8211; Yateley race 3 &#8211; 50 minutes 2 seconds</p>
  46. <p>23rd October 2016 &#8211; Fleet &#8211; 48 minutes 41 seconds</p>
  47. <p>27th November 2016 &#8211; Jigsaw Run (Dunsfold Park, near Cranleigh) &#8211; 48 minutes 53 seconds</p>
  48. <p><em>5th March 2017 &#8211; Weybridge</em></p>
  49. <p><em>30th April 2017 &#8211; Run Frimley</em></p>
  50. <p><em>21st May 2017 &#8211; Royal Berkshire Green Park</em></p>
  51. <p>&nbsp;</p>
  52. <p><strong>Half marathon</strong></p>
  53. <p>6th September 2015 &#8211; Maidenhead &#8211; 1 hour 55 minutes 13 seconds</p>
  54. <p>27th September 2015 &#8211; Windsor &#8211; 1 hour 57 minutes 41 seconds</p>
  55. <p>1st November 2015 &#8211; Marlow &#8211; 1 hour 58 minutes 23 seconds</p>
  56. <p>4th September 2016 &#8211; Maidenhead &#8211; 1 hour 49 minutes 44 seconds &#8211; <b>PERSONAL BEST</b></p>
  57. <p>18th September 2016 &#8211; Reigate &#8211; 1 hour 50 minutes 35 seconds</p>
  58. <p>2nd October 2016 &#8211; Basingstoke &#8211; 1 hour 56 minutes 36 seconds</p>
  59. <p>22nd January 2017 &#8211; Farnborough Winter Half &#8211; 1 hour 54 minutes 33 seconds</p>
  60. <p><em>12th February 2017 &#8211; Wokingham</em></p>
  61. <p><del><em>26th February 2017 &#8211; Brighton</em></del></p>
  62. <p><em>12th March 2017 &#8211; Surrey (Woking / Guildford)</em></p>
  63. <p><em>19th March 2017 &#8211; Reading</em></p>
  64. <p><em>7th May 2017 &#8211; Bracknell</em></p>
  65. <p><strong>Other</strong></p>
  66. <p>4th December 2016 &#8211; Hog&#8217;s Back road race (11.5 km) &#8211; 1 hour 2 minutes 15 seconds</p>
  67. ]]></content:encoded>
  68. <wfw:commentRss>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/08/08/running-results-and-future-plans/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  69. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  70. <post-id xmlns="com-wordpress:feed-additions:1">6075</post-id> </item>
  71. <item>
  72. <title>Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate</title>
  73. <link>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/07/07/bill-nye-and-ken-ham-debate/</link>
  74. <comments>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/07/07/bill-nye-and-ken-ham-debate/#respond</comments>
  75. <pubDate>Thu, 07 Jul 2016 22:55:57 +0000</pubDate>
  76. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Darren]]></dc:creator>
  77. <category><![CDATA[Science]]></category>
  78.  
  79. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://www.dadams.co.uk/?p=6055</guid>
  80. <description><![CDATA[<p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI<span id="more-6055"></span></p>
  81. <p>Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate whether creationism is a viable model for the origin of life. It&#8217;s nearly three hours long but worth watching. I find it entertaining, but infuriating. While Bill Nye presents evidence, Ken &#8230;</p>]]></description>
  82. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI<span id="more-6055"></span></p>
  83. <p>Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate whether creationism is a viable model for the origin of life. It&#8217;s nearly three hours long but worth watching. I find it entertaining, but infuriating. While Bill Nye presents evidence, Ken Ham does nothing but attempt to debunk scientific evidence, theories and research, provides no evidence of his own, he avoids answering certain questions, and waves a Bible around (&#8220;there&#8217;s this book&#8221;).</p>
  84. ]]></content:encoded>
  85. <wfw:commentRss>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/07/07/bill-nye-and-ken-ham-debate/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  86. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  87. <post-id xmlns="com-wordpress:feed-additions:1">6055</post-id> </item>
  88. <item>
  89. <title>A view on Young Earth Creationism</title>
  90. <link>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/06/29/lawrence-m-krauss/</link>
  91. <comments>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/06/29/lawrence-m-krauss/#comments</comments>
  92. <pubDate>Wed, 29 Jun 2016 17:02:33 +0000</pubDate>
  93. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Darren]]></dc:creator>
  94. <category><![CDATA[Quotes]]></category>
  95.  
  96. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://www.dadams.co.uk/?p=6030</guid>
  97. <description><![CDATA[Professor Lawrence M. Krauss, theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Arizona State University]]></description>
  98. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<blockquote><p>&#8220;<em>Allowing the notion that the Earth is 6,000 years old to be promulgated in schools is like teaching kids that the distance across the United States is 17 feet.&#8221;<br />
  99. </em></p></blockquote>
  100. ]]></content:encoded>
  101. <wfw:commentRss>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/06/29/lawrence-m-krauss/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  102. <slash:comments>6</slash:comments>
  103. <post-id xmlns="com-wordpress:feed-additions:1">6030</post-id> </item>
  104. <item>
  105. <title>FindTime for Outlook</title>
  106. <link>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/02/16/findtime-for-outlook/</link>
  107. <comments>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/02/16/findtime-for-outlook/#comments</comments>
  108. <pubDate>Tue, 16 Feb 2016 17:52:46 +0000</pubDate>
  109. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Darren]]></dc:creator>
  110. <category><![CDATA[Microsoft]]></category>
  111. <category><![CDATA[Office 365]]></category>
  112. <category><![CDATA[Outlook]]></category>
  113.  
  114. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://www.dadams.co.uk/?p=5923</guid>
  115. <description><![CDATA[<p>One of my <a href="http://www.dadams.co.uk/2014/09/09/calendar-and-scheduling-irritations/">major irritations</a> with the whole calendar and scheduling business is receiving an invitation to a time when I&#8217;m already busy. If said invitation is from an internal person this is utterly unforgiveable as my free &#8230;</p>]]></description>
  116. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>One of my <a href="http://www.dadams.co.uk/2014/09/09/calendar-and-scheduling-irritations/">major irritations</a> with the whole calendar and scheduling business is receiving an invitation to a time when I&#8217;m already busy. If said invitation is from an internal person this is utterly unforgiveable as my free / busy time (and appointment subjects) is available for all to see&#8230; therefore they have just not bothered and have adopted the &#8220;well I&#8217;m free at that time&#8221; mentality. Decline.</p>
  117. <p>If the invitation comes from an external it&#8217;s a different matter &#8211; they can&#8217;t see my schedule, so they&#8217;re taking the shot-in-the-dark approach (which sometimes offers a small slice of serendipity). However, we often resort to an e-mail exchange based on the &#8220;please send me some dates when you&#8217;re free&#8221; approach, and then I have to look at my calendar, type some words into an e-mail, and I&#8217;m already bored just thinking about it. When you want to schedule a meeting in this way and involve four or five people&#8230; okay, you get the picture.</p>
  118. <p>Now here&#8217;s the good news. The Microsoft Garage has created an add-in for Outlook, named <a href="https://findtime.microsoft.com/">FindTime</a>. Systems requirements &#8211; the chairperson has to be using Outlook 2013 or 2016 with an Office 365 account, but the meeting invitees don&#8217;t need anything other than a valid e-mail address, a web browser and a connection to the interweb. The basic premise is that the chairperson suggests some time / date slots, the invitees vote (yes, no and preferred), and then when all (or most) of the votes are in the chairperson schedules for the best time suiting everyone concerned. In more detail (click on the images for larger versions)&#8230;</p>
  119. <ol>
  120. <li><a href="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/FindTime1.png" rel="attachment wp-att-5929"><img class="alignright wp-image-5929 size-full" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/FindTime1thumb.png" alt="FindTime for Outlook" width="294" height="189" /></a>The chairperson creates an invitation as usual, and adds attendees (internal and external).</li>
  121. <li>The chairperson click on the New Meeting Poll button.</li>
  122. <li>The FindTime panel opens and suggests some time slots &#8211; small men in green indicate free time found for internal people, red means they&#8217;re busy and grey indicates a person for whom there is no info (e.g. external, or a secured calendar).</li>
  123. <li>The chairperson selects some of the time slots &#8211; preferably the ones where the internal attendees can all make it, and probably across a few days.</li>
  124. <li>After clicking &#8216;Next&#8217; they add a location, and insert into an e-mail.</li>
  125. <li>The e-mail is sent to the attendees (this will be their notification for voting), and placeholders for the potential meeting times are added to the chairperson&#8217;s calendar.</li>
  126. <li><a href="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/FindTime3.png" rel="attachment wp-att-5931"><img class="alignright wp-image-5931 size-full" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/FindTime3thumb.png" alt="FindTime for Outlook" width="233" height="179" /></a>The action now switches to an attendee &#8211; they receive the e-mail, which states the details of the meeting and allows them to &#8216;Select options&#8217;.</li>
  127. <li>They&#8217;re directed to a web page where they can see the votes so far, and they can cast their own.</li>
  128. <li>Back to the chairperson, who is advised when someone votes and sees the voting progress in an e-mail.</li>
  129. <li>When the voting is complete, the chairperson will receive an e-mail summary, and (all things being well) there will be at least one slot that suits everyone.</li>
  130. <li>If there&#8217;s only one slot, the invitation will be sent automatically and the placeholders will be deleted from the chairperson&#8217;s calendar.</li>
  131. <li>In the event of two or more acceptable slots, the chairperson can schedule one of them.</li>
  132. </ol>
  133. <p>FindTime is free to download and use &#8211; give it a go, I&#8217;ve found it extremely useful.</p>
  134. ]]></content:encoded>
  135. <wfw:commentRss>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/02/16/findtime-for-outlook/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  136. <slash:comments>5</slash:comments>
  137. <post-id xmlns="com-wordpress:feed-additions:1">5923</post-id> </item>
  138. <item>
  139. <title>Plantronics Voyager Focus UC</title>
  140. <link>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/01/27/plantronics-voyager-focus-uc/</link>
  141. <comments>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/01/27/plantronics-voyager-focus-uc/#comments</comments>
  142. <pubDate>Wed, 27 Jan 2016 21:11:07 +0000</pubDate>
  143. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Darren]]></dc:creator>
  144. <category><![CDATA[Plantronics]]></category>
  145.  
  146. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://www.dadams.co.uk/?p=5897</guid>
  147. <description><![CDATA[<p>When I joined Microsoft nearly five years ago (wow, that&#8217;s gone quick) I was presented with a technology survival kit on my first day. A Lenovo laptop, a Windows Phone, and a set of Jabra wired headphones. The &#8230;</p>]]></description>
  148. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>When I joined Microsoft nearly five years ago (wow, that&#8217;s gone quick) I was presented with a technology survival kit on my first day. A Lenovo laptop, a Windows Phone, and a set of Jabra wired headphones. The headphones were necessary (they still are) because there&#8217;s almost no desk phones in Microsoft &#8211; your PC is your phone, courtesy of Lync&#8230; sorry, Skype for Business.</p>
  149. <p>The laptop has been replaced (Dell XPS 12, and a Surface Pro 3), and the original HTC phone has long since been replaced several times (Nokia Lumia 900, 920, 830, and now a Microsoft Lumia 950 XL). But those ol&#8217; Jabra headphones kept on going, and I was happy with them&#8230; until I visited the Plantronics stand at Future Decoded late last year.</p>
  150. <p>I should also mention that my technology kit was supplemented by the excellent Plantronics Voyager Legend UC Bluetooth headset, right up until the point I opened the carrying case a few months ago and discovered it was missing &#8211; after much fruitless searching I concluded I&#8217;d left it on a train seat.</p>
  151. <p><a href="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/focus-uc.png"><img class="alignright wp-image-5904 size-full" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/focus-uc-small.png" alt="Plantronics Voyager Focus UC" width="210" height="308" srcset="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/focus-uc-small.png 210w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/focus-uc-small-205x300.png 205w" sizes="(max-width: 210px) 100vw, 210px" /></a>Anyway, back to the Plantronics stand. Front and centre was the subject of this blog post, the Voyager Focus UC. There&#8217;s a photo here, so you can see what it looks like (click on the image to see a larger version)&#8230; more like a set of headphones for listening to music rather than being part of your unified communications solution. But let&#8217;s jump forward a week&#8230;</p>
  152. <p>The courier found our house (a minor miracle) and I excitedly opened the box. Yes, I still get excited by opening a box of new technology. The Voyager Focus UC (I&#8217;ll just say &#8216;Focus&#8217; from here on) box contained the headphones, a USB charging cradle, a rather smart carrying pouch, and a little USB / Bluetooth dongle. You don&#8217;t always need the dongle, but it allows you to connect the Focus to any PC or Mac without the need for Bluetooth pairing, so a good use of a USB port. A microphone swings down from one of the ears, so you know this is a headset for communication as well as entertainment.</p>
  153. <p>The Focus is extremely light and very comfortable &#8211; I&#8217;ve used them for a two hour conference call with no irritation. The sound is excellent &#8211; you don&#8217;t fully appreciate that on phone calls when someone is droning on (not aimed at anyone in particular), but you do notice that sound quality when listening to music from a phone, iPod or PC. There&#8217;s active noise cancellation &#8211; switched on it won&#8217;t completely drown out someone talking near you, but it&#8217;s very good at taking away the general office hubbub and the constant hum of the air conditioning. For the benefit of the people near you, there&#8217;s no sound leakage. One of my colleagues was trying the Focus in the office earlier this week, I started playing some music but had to ask him if he was hearing it &#8211; I couldn&#8217;t hear any sound leaking out (which is nice for people next to you on a train).</p>
  154. <p><a href="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/focus-uc-cradle.png" rel="attachment wp-att-5903"><img class="alignleft wp-image-5903 size-full" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/focus-uc-cradle-small.png" alt="Plantronics Voyager Focus UC" width="172" height="308" srcset="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/focus-uc-cradle-small.png 172w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/focus-uc-cradle-small-168x300.png 168w" sizes="(max-width: 172px) 100vw, 172px" /></a>The &#8216;ears&#8217; feature call controls and music controls, although I have noticed that play / pause / next track don&#8217;t work with Spotify on a PC (no big deal). But they do work with the Spotify app on Windows Phone, which means that you don&#8217;t have to get your phone out of your pocket.</p>
  155. <p>Like other Plantronics devices, the Focus has intelligence built in. If you&#8217;re on a call and you take the headphones off, you&#8217;ll be muted. If you&#8217;re listening to music, taking them off will pause the track and putting them back on will resume the play (not Spotify on a PC, but again, that does work for the Spotify app). When a call comes in, swinging the microphone down will answer. The Focus will alert you if you&#8217;re muted on a call but start speaking, and there&#8217;s also an &#8216;OpenMic&#8217; button for you to hear your surroundings without having to take the headphones off. One of the ears provides a volume adjustment control.</p>
  156. <p>Like many other Plantronics devices, you can connect a mobile phone and an iPod while also being connected to the PC (or Mac). So if you&#8217;re listening to music and a call comes into the mobile phone, the music will pause when you answer the mobile call.</p>
  157. <p>The battery life is, supposedly, eleven hours for calls and longer for just music, and I only say &#8220;supposedly&#8221; because I haven&#8217;t measured it&#8230; but I have gone for a long period before re-charging. When the Focus is switched on it tells you the battery level and the remaining talk-time.</p>
  158. <p>In terms of use cases &#8211; the ol&#8217; wired Jabra headphones are now in a drawer, and I&#8217;m using the Focus for all calls in the office (home working it&#8217;s still a speakerphone on the desk), and I often use the Focus for music on the train, safe in the knowledge that I won&#8217;t miss an incoming mobile phone call.</p>
  159. <p>Yes, I do recommend the Voyager Focus UC unreservedly.</p>
  160. ]]></content:encoded>
  161. <wfw:commentRss>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2016/01/27/plantronics-voyager-focus-uc/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  162. <slash:comments>1</slash:comments>
  163. <post-id xmlns="com-wordpress:feed-additions:1">5897</post-id> </item>
  164. <item>
  165. <title>Outlook 2016 modern attachments</title>
  166. <link>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/10/01/outlook-2016-modern-attachments/</link>
  167. <comments>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/10/01/outlook-2016-modern-attachments/#comments</comments>
  168. <pubDate>Thu, 01 Oct 2015 20:07:27 +0000</pubDate>
  169. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Darren]]></dc:creator>
  170. <category><![CDATA[Microsoft]]></category>
  171. <category><![CDATA[Outlook]]></category>
  172.  
  173. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://www.dadams.co.uk/?p=5867</guid>
  174. <description><![CDATA[<p>Following on from the general blog post about Office 2016, this is the first of a few* which will focus on some specific features.</p>
  175. <p>* Actual number to be decided.</p>
  176. <p>We’re going to peak early, because the first &#8230;</p>]]></description>
  177. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>Following on from the general blog post about Office 2016, this is the first of a few* which will focus on some specific features.</p>
  178. <p>* Actual number to be decided.</p>
  179. <p>We’re going to peak early, because the first of these is the best… Outlook 2016 modern attachments.</p>
  180. <p>This topic gets me thinking about presentations I have provided in the past, and my mantra was something along the lines of “don’t e-mail file attachments to me”. It may also have included threats of violent behaviour. In a former life my mail box quota was set to 250 MB, so a few large thoughtless e-mail attachments would be enough to take me over quota. I do believe there’s also a best practice in sharing files from a collaborative repository – e-mailing attachments creates multiple versions and a lack of co-ordination.</p>
  181. <p>These days my mail box quota is 50 GB, and in four years at Microsoft I haven’t even got near to filling 20% of that. Send me a 20 MB attachment and see if I care (I do still overall hate e-mail and strive to live without a scroll bar in my inbox). Anyway, I digress…</p>
  182. <p><a href="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/modernattachments.png"><img class="alignright wp-image-5872 size-full" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/modernattachments-small.png" alt="Modern attachments" width="303" height="440" srcset="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/modernattachments-small.png 303w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/modernattachments-small-207x300.png 207w" sizes="(max-width: 303px) 100vw, 303px" /></a>The new functionality in Outlook 2016 offers some handy new features. Firstly, when you attach a file to an e-mail, Outlook will give you a list of the documents / files you’ve most recently worked on or accessed. Imagine that. Isn’t that the most obvious thing? If you’re sending someone a document, the chances are that it will be one that you’ve just been working on. How have I used e-mail for twenty-four years without that feature?</p>
  183. <p>Now let’s talk cloud integration, or more specifically OneDrive for Business (Office 365’s document storage and sharing solution). You may have noticed that in the screenshot (click on it to see a larger version) some of the files have a cloud sitting on top of their icon – that means the file sits in OneDrive for Business or SharePoint and is therefore in a place where it can potentially (subject to access control) be accessed by others. So wouldn’t it be handy if you could send a link to the file rather than sending the actual file? Absolutely.</p>
  184. <p><img class="alignnone wp-image-5870 size-full" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/attachmentsinemail.png" alt="Attachments in the e-mail" width="553" height="157" srcset="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/attachmentsinemail.png 553w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/attachmentsinemail-300x85.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 553px) 100vw, 553px" /></p>
  185. <p>In the process of doing this, Outlook 2016 will grant access to the file(s) for the recipients, and you can decide whether they read it or edit it (Change permissions).</p>
  186. <p><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-5869" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/attachmentoptions.png" alt="Attachment options" width="212" height="260" />If there is any reason why you want to send a copy of the file in the e-mail rather than a link (that&#8217;s sometimes a better option for people who are highly mobile and don&#8217;t always have a connection), you can elect to do that with the &#8216;Attach as copy&#8217; option.</p>
  187. <p>It&#8217;s worth noting that this concept of modern attachments has been available in Outlook for the Web for a while, but it&#8217;s good to see it come to the full-fat Outlook.</p>
  188. ]]></content:encoded>
  189. <wfw:commentRss>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/10/01/outlook-2016-modern-attachments/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  190. <slash:comments>4</slash:comments>
  191. <post-id xmlns="com-wordpress:feed-additions:1">5867</post-id> </item>
  192. <item>
  193. <title>Microsoft Office 2016</title>
  194. <link>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/09/29/microsoft-office-2016/</link>
  195. <comments>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/09/29/microsoft-office-2016/#respond</comments>
  196. <pubDate>Tue, 29 Sep 2015 14:58:04 +0000</pubDate>
  197. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Darren]]></dc:creator>
  198. <category><![CDATA[Microsoft]]></category>
  199. <category><![CDATA[Office]]></category>
  200.  
  201. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://www.dadams.co.uk/?p=5854</guid>
  202. <description><![CDATA[<p>I’m sure most IT people were aware that Office 2016 shipped last week, but publically it didn’t arrive in much of a blaze of publicity. Certainly there was enough coverage in the computer press and online (well, most &#8230;</p>]]></description>
  203. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>I’m sure most IT people were aware that Office 2016 shipped last week, but publically it didn’t arrive in much of a blaze of publicity. Certainly there was enough coverage in the computer press and online (well, most online I guess) but it didn’t garner the amount of attention seen with Windows 10 or anything that Apple release.</p>
  204. <p>Updates to Office are an interesting beast. When I started at Microsoft (June 2011) Office 2010 was the current version. It looked very different to 2007, and there were many conversations with customers about the visual differences and the inevitable concern about training. My personal opinion is that some companies don’t give their users enough credit for their ability to adopt a new version, and in many cases home users are a version ahead of their work installation. Companies could be worrying about their employees’ ability to grasp something they’re already using.</p>
  205. <p>Then came 2013, and that looked a bit different to 2010 – although if you looked past the cosmetics almost all of the commands, right-clicks and tabs were the same. But again, companies were concerned about the transition. Yes, I do know that developers write add-ins that may not work on newer versions, and that can be a deployment blocker.</p>
  206. <p><a href="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/word2016white.png"><img class="alignright wp-image-5859 size-full" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/word2016whitesmall.png" alt="Word 2016 in white" width="464" height="268" srcset="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/word2016whitesmall.png 464w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/word2016whitesmall-300x173.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 464px) 100vw, 464px" /></a></p>
  207. <p>As well as the visual changes, there were other things going on. Office 2013 was available as a suite that you could install via traditional method (e.g. from a CD, which seems positively Iron Age these days), but it could also be installed from the cloud for Office 365 users. Click-to-run, streaming downloads on-demand, and silent updates. It also integrated with Office 365 and OneDrive for Business (SkyDrive Pro as it was in 2013). Office 2013 allowed you to associate an account with it – it knew who you were, which files you’d been working on, even which page you were last on, and these attributes ‘roamed’ with you if you switched devices. It was cloud-ready.</p>
  208. <p><a href="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/word2016colour.png"><img class="alignleft wp-image-5857 size-full" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/word2016coloursmall.png" alt="Word 2016 colourful" width="464" height="268" srcset="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/word2016coloursmall.png 464w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/word2016coloursmall-300x173.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 464px) 100vw, 464px" /></a>So let’s talk about Office 2016. First, here’s the big shocker – when you first install it, it looks almost identical to Office 2013. There are a couple of things on the interface that give away its 2016-ness, but you have to look closely. The only arguments about training, if you’re stepping from 2013 to 2016, should be about the new features (which we’ll discuss another time). Now, this is a bit of a shocker, because if you’ve ever paid for an upgrade from one version to another, you’ll want to feel like you’re getting a new product, and generally that’s through it looking a bit different. The same was true of dear old Lotus Notes, and Paint Shop Pro, and almost everything. The good news is that if you want Office 2016 to look like it’s had a visual update, go into the options and change the Office theme to ‘Colorful’. Apologies for that spelling of ‘colourful’, the Product Management team are based in the US of A.</p>
  209. <p>The colourful theme isn’t the only new thing in Office 2016, but we’ll look at some of the new features in subsequent blog posts (coming soon).</p>
  210. ]]></content:encoded>
  211. <wfw:commentRss>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/09/29/microsoft-office-2016/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  212. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  213. <post-id xmlns="com-wordpress:feed-additions:1">5854</post-id> </item>
  214. <item>
  215. <title>(Half) marathon man</title>
  216. <link>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/08/25/half-marathon-man/</link>
  217. <comments>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/08/25/half-marathon-man/#respond</comments>
  218. <pubDate>Tue, 25 Aug 2015 10:51:48 +0000</pubDate>
  219. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Darren]]></dc:creator>
  220. <category><![CDATA[Running]]></category>
  221.  
  222. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://www.dadams.co.uk/?p=5831</guid>
  223. <description><![CDATA[<p>If you&#8217;re fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be one of my Facebook friends, you&#8217;ll probably be aware that a few times a week I post a map with a route marked out on it. And even the least &#8230;</p>]]></description>
  224. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>If you&#8217;re fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be one of my Facebook friends, you&#8217;ll probably be aware that a few times a week I post a map with a route marked out on it. And even the least technical of people will know that this indicates that someone has either run along that route, or cheated by traversing it sitting down on a bicycle (only joking cyclists). You may also be aware that I&#8217;ve shrunk over the past two years &#8211; not in height (still 5 foot 11 inches, or 1.8 metres), but in weight. At my heaviest, and I don&#8217;t remember the exact date, I was 14 stone. For the benefit of my American friends that&#8217;s 196 lbs. For Europeans and the like, that&#8217;s 89 kg. For astrophysicists it&#8217;s 4.46979<sup><span style="font-size: small;">-29 </span></sup> solar masses. Anyway, for me that was too heavy.</p>
  225. <p>I know from my Fitbit records that on 27th May 2014 I was 184 lbs. A year and a bit later I&#8217;m 11 stone&#8230; 154 lbs&#8230; 70kg. I have lost 42 lbs. I used to buy XL shirts from A&amp;F, now I buy M.</p>
  226. <p>As I mentioned in a <a href="http://www.dadams.co.uk/2014/09/08/fitbit-not-fatboy/">previous post</a>, the Fitbit played a big part in my weight loss and improved fitness&#8230; and it still does. Today (at the time of writing this paragraph) I&#8217;ve done 2,051 of my 10,000 step target, and 0.95 of my 5 mile target &#8211; the perils of working from home. Not good enough, especially with two half marathons coming up.</p>
  227. <p>I&#8217;ve actually stopped going to the gym, and prefer to run as my primary activity. Running on the treadmill in the gym was boring, and became exponentially more boring as the distance increased. This wasn&#8217;t a problem at first &#8211; the first time I stepped on a treadmill and tried to run 1 km I had to stop half-way for a walk. Seriously. That&#8217;s how unfit I was. Gradually I increased the distance, and one evening pushed on to run 10 km for the first time since I was a teenager more than 20 years ago. I did that 10 km in 1 hour 5 minutes, although that included jumping from one treadmill to another, because they&#8217;re set to a 45 minute maximum.</p>
  228. <p>In the dead of winter I started to venture outside to run, and after getting the 10 km distance to under an hour I thought it would be fun to enter a race. Now I say &#8220;race&#8221; but I had no expectations of winning &#8211; just picking up the medal at the end, hopefully not coming last, and finishing under an hour would be fine. And so I entered the 10 km Hot Chocolate Run at Eton Dorney lake (22nd March 2015) &#8211; so named because at the end they give you a free hot chocolate. Unfortunately, three weeks before the race I tweaked my left Achilles tendon. Tweaked, pulled&#8230;? It hurt, I couldn&#8217;t walk on it for a few days, but clearly hadn&#8217;t snapped it. So I had to forget running for a week&#8230; which then turned into two weeks. It was better but still hurt. With a week to go before the race I bought a strapping and this appeared to improve it. With the race on the Sunday I attempted 5 km on the Friday night and it felt okay, and so then participated on the Sunday. My time on this mostly flat course was a slightly disappointing 56 minutes 11 seconds, but I was half-way through the field of seventy-three finishers and didn&#8217;t aggravate the injury.</p>
  229. <p>Since then I&#8217;ve participated in four more 10 km races:</p>
  230. <ul>
  231. <li>Run Frimley &#8211; 54 minutes 34 seconds (tough course, very hilly)</li>
  232. <li>Royal Berkshire &#8211; 51 minutes 7 seconds (finishing in the top 33%)</li>
  233. <li>Yateley 10k race 1 &#8211; 49 minutes 22 seconds</li>
  234. <li>British 10k London Run &#8211; 52 minutes 21 seconds</li>
  235. </ul>
  236. <p>At this point I don&#8217;t want to say &#8220;10 km, check, done it&#8221; because it&#8217;s a good distance to run for training and general fitness, and for a &#8216;race&#8217;&#8230; and having broke 50 minutes I&#8217;m still looking to break 49, and then 48, and maybe some day get down to 45 minutes. But if you can run 10 km then 11 km is an easy step-up. And then 12, and then 15, and 18. The furthest I&#8217;ve now run in one go is 19 km (1 hour 47 minutes), and that&#8217;s only 2 km off the half marathon distance. That&#8217;s the next challenge, and I&#8217;ve entered two during September. The first is the Maidenhead half marathon on 6th September &#8211; I&#8217;m told it&#8217;s a fairly flat route and a good intro to running that distance. The second on 27th September is the Windsor half marathon, which I&#8217;m told is more challenging due to its up-and-down nature. However, living in Camberley I can&#8217;t avoid a hilly run, so every run is the right training.</p>
  237. <p>My goal for both is to finish in under 2 hours &#8211; right now I&#8217;m hitting the right pace but mindful that I do get a little bit slower with each passing kilometer. My other goal is to raise some money for <a href="http://sebastiansactiontrust.org/">Sebastian&#8217;s Action Trust</a>, a charity which supports seriously and terminally-ill children and their families. And thus you won&#8217;t be surprised that this ends with a link to my <a href="https://www.justgiving.com/dja-windsor-half">Just Giving page</a>, if you&#8217;re feeling generous, even if it&#8217;s just a couple of £s or $s&#8230; thank you. And if you want an extra incentive, Microsoft will match what I raise (yes, you can take money off Microsoft).</p>
  238. ]]></content:encoded>
  239. <wfw:commentRss>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/08/25/half-marathon-man/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  240. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  241. <post-id xmlns="com-wordpress:feed-additions:1">5831</post-id> </item>
  242. <item>
  243. <title>Ten great Windows 10 features</title>
  244. <link>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/07/15/ten-great-windows-10-features/</link>
  245. <comments>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/07/15/ten-great-windows-10-features/#respond</comments>
  246. <pubDate>Wed, 15 Jul 2015 11:37:44 +0000</pubDate>
  247. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Darren]]></dc:creator>
  248. <category><![CDATA[Microsoft]]></category>
  249. <category><![CDATA[Windows 10]]></category>
  250.  
  251. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://www.dadams.co.uk/?p=5791</guid>
  252. <description><![CDATA[<p>A few weeks ago, us Microsoft employees in the UK were invited to submit &#8216;ten great Windows 10 features&#8217; in order to be in with a chance to win a Windows 10 goody bag. I was a lucky &#8230;</p>]]></description>
  253. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>A few weeks ago, us Microsoft employees in the UK were invited to submit &#8216;ten great Windows 10 features&#8217; in order to be in with a chance to win a Windows 10 goody bag. I was a lucky winner. I&#8217;ve updated my main work laptop (Dell XPS 12) to Windows 10, and also my Dell 8-inch tablet. I&#8217;m doing the Surface Pro 3 this weekend, but I&#8217;ll probably leave my home PC (Dell XPS 27) until the actual release date of Windows 10 on 29th July &#8211; I&#8217;ll take the free upgrade rather than register this one on the preview program.</p>
  254. <p>Being a Windows 10 user on two quite different devices allowed me to get a good perspective on the notable new features, so here&#8217;s my list in no particular order with a bit of added explanation.</p>
  255.  
  256. <a href='http://www.dadams.co.uk/win10taskswitcher/'><img width="300" height="169" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10taskswitcher-300x169.png" class="attachment-medium size-medium" alt="" srcset="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10taskswitcher-300x169.png 300w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10taskswitcher-1024x576.png 1024w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10taskswitcher-900x506.png 900w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10taskswitcher.png 1500w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a>
  257. <a href='http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/07/15/ten-great-windows-10-features/win10snapapp/'><img width="300" height="169" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/win10snapapp-300x169.png" class="attachment-medium size-medium" alt="" srcset="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/win10snapapp-300x169.png 300w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/win10snapapp-1024x576.png 1024w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/win10snapapp-900x506.png 900w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/win10snapapp.png 1500w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a>
  258. <a href='http://www.dadams.co.uk/win10cortana/'><img width="300" height="169" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10cortana-300x169.png" class="attachment-medium size-medium" alt="" srcset="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10cortana-300x169.png 300w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10cortana-1024x576.png 1024w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10cortana-900x506.png 900w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10cortana.png 1500w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a>
  259.  
  260. <p><strong>1. Improved task switcher</strong> – more intuitive than the Windows 8.x swipe thing, and also allows you to switch between desktops. Which brings us on to&#8230;</p>
  261. <p><strong>2. Multiple desktops</strong> &#8211; cue the Mac users saying &#8220;oh, we&#8217;ve had this for ages&#8221;. Fair enough. When you hit the task switcher, the available desktops are displayed below the open applications, and you can drag applications from one desktop to another. A nice feature for separating your work and personal stuff.</p>
  262. <p><strong>3. Snap assistant</strong> – snaps an application to one side of the screen, and then allows you to pick which application to place on the other half or quarter. Again, this was sort of in Windows 8.x but this is much-improved.</p>
  263. <p><strong>4. Resizable universal apps</strong> – they no longer have to be full-screen, they can now float on one of your multiple desktops. I always felt that Windows 8.x had two interfaces (the traditional desktop and the full-screen &#8216;Metro&#8217; apps) and never the twain shall meet. Now the new and the old can sit together.</p>
  264. <p><strong>5. Cortana</strong> &#8211; your new personal assistant, first available on Windows Phone, and now featured in Windows 10. This could be a blog post in its own right. You can interact with Cortana via speech or typing, and set her (she is a she) to listen for the prompt &#8220;hey Cortana&#8221;. Best of the Cortana interactions are &#8220;when is my next meeting?&#8221;, &#8220;show me my schedule for tomorrow&#8221;, &#8220;how long will it take me to get home?&#8221;, &#8220;remind me to <em>whatever</em> at <em>time</em>&#8220;, &#8220;convert 13.1 miles to km&#8221;, &#8220;Microsoft stock price&#8221; and &#8220;tell me a joke&#8221;.</p>
  265.  
  266. <a href='http://www.dadams.co.uk/win10startmenu/'><img width="300" height="169" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10startmenu-300x169.png" class="attachment-medium size-medium" alt="" srcset="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10startmenu-300x169.png 300w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10startmenu-1024x576.png 1024w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10startmenu-900x506.png 900w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10startmenu.png 1500w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a>
  267. <a href='http://www.dadams.co.uk/win10edge/'><img width="300" height="169" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10edge-300x169.png" class="attachment-medium size-medium" alt="" srcset="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10edge-300x169.png 300w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10edge-1024x576.png 1024w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10edge-900x506.png 900w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10edge.png 1500w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a>
  268. <a href='http://www.dadams.co.uk/win10mailapp/'><img width="300" height="169" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10mailapp-300x169.png" class="attachment-medium size-medium" alt="" srcset="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10mailapp-300x169.png 300w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10mailapp-1024x576.png 1024w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10mailapp-900x506.png 900w, http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/win10mailapp.png 1500w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a>
  269.  
  270. <p><strong>6. The return of the start menu</strong> &#8211; but this time with live tiles. Personally I didn&#8217;t understand the problem with the Windows 8.1 start screen, I found it easier to work with and find applications than the ol&#8217; start menu. But I was clearly in the minority, so the start menu is back and the live tiles from the Windows 8.1 start screen can be included. You have a choice as to whether the start menu is full-screen (for a more Windows 8.1-like look) or partially takes over the screen, and you can remove the live tiles to just give yourself a lean start menu. Happy now?</p>
  271. <p><strong>7. Notifications</strong> &#8211; Windows 10 boasts a fully-featured notifications centre to keep you up-to-date on everything that&#8217;s happening on your device&#8230; e-mail, system alerts, social updates, reminders, and more.</p>
  272. <p><strong>8. Edge</strong> &#8211; the new browser, formerly known as Project Spartan, is  fast, lean and modern&#8230; and includes some interesting innovations such as reading view (which strips away the navigation and stuff to focus on the main content), web notes (mark up web pages with highlights and notes), and sharing of pages (inclduing your notes) via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and OneNote.</p>
  273. <p><strong>9. Windows Explorer enhancements</strong> &#8211; a quick access view shows you frequently-used folders and recently-used files.</p>
  274. <p><strong>10. Tablet mode</strong> &#8211; I mentioned that I had upgraded my Dell tablet, and it&#8217;s really breathed a new lease of life into it. For devices such as the Surface Pro 3, it can be used laptop-like but you can also pull the keyboard off and use it with your finger. In this case, Windows 10 will recognise that the keyboard has been removed and offer to go into tablet mode &#8211; any open applications will just keep going but certain aspects of the interface will re-arrange themselves to go you a better touch experience. The start menu becomes the start screen, the full list of applications flies out from the left, and you can optionally remove the pinned icons from the task bar.</p>
  275. <p><strong>11. New e-mail and calendar apps</strong> &#8211; this list goes up to 11 (there&#8217;s your Nigel Tufnel reference). I&#8217;ve removed full Outlook from the Dell tablet because on that small touch screen the new e-mail app is a better experience. Okay, it&#8217;s not as fully-featured as Outlook 2013 (soon to be 2016) but it&#8217;s great for &#8216;e-mail triage&#8217;, replies and rich-text messages. The new calendar app is very good too, and provides the display of multiple calendars from various sources.</p>
  276. ]]></content:encoded>
  277. <wfw:commentRss>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/07/15/ten-great-windows-10-features/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  278. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  279. <post-id xmlns="com-wordpress:feed-additions:1">5791</post-id> </item>
  280. <item>
  281. <title>Fitbit Charge</title>
  282. <link>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/04/30/fitbit-charge/</link>
  283. <comments>http://www.dadams.co.uk/2015/04/30/fitbit-charge/#comments</comments>
  284. <pubDate>Thu, 30 Apr 2015 20:59:38 +0000</pubDate>
  285. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Darren]]></dc:creator>
  286. <category><![CDATA[Fitbit]]></category>
  287. <category><![CDATA[Gadgets]]></category>
  288. <category><![CDATA[Health]]></category>
  289.  
  290. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://www.dadams.co.uk/?p=5759</guid>
  291. <description><![CDATA[<p>Last September I wrote about the <a href="http://www.dadams.co.uk/2014/09/08/fitbit-not-fatboy/">Fitbit Flex</a> and how it had worked for me in terms of losing weight and becoming more fit. Since I bought the Flex the Charge and the Surge models were released, but &#8230;</p>]]></description>
  292. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p>Last September I wrote about the <a href="http://www.dadams.co.uk/2014/09/08/fitbit-not-fatboy/">Fitbit Flex</a> and how it had worked for me in terms of losing weight and becoming more fit. Since I bought the Flex the Charge and the Surge models were released, but I considered that the Flex was more than good enough for my needs.</p>
  293. <p>However, a couple of weeks ago I traveled to New York, and said to myself that if the Fitbit Charge was available at a good price tax-free at the airport, I may possibly consider buying one. That &#8216;good price&#8217; was £80 as they&#8217;re usually £100.</p>
  294. <p>No &#8216;killing time&#8217; mope around a Heathrow departure lounge is complete without a survey of the goods on offer in Dixons (or whatever they call it these days), and there were the Fitbits&#8230; and there was the Fitbit Charge&#8230; priced at £65. Even so, I spent a while debating the merits &#8211; it&#8217;s bigger than the Flex, and the Flex is really good enough, but the Charge has that little read-out with the real number of calories, steps and distance, and you don&#8217;t have to do that strange multiple tap to put it into sleep mode. Eventually I decided &#8211; yes &#8211; and took the box to the till. Immediately the assistant walked back over to the Fitbit selection, grabbed a Charge HR and stated&#8230;</p>
  295. <blockquote><p>This one has a heart monitor</p></blockquote>
  296. <p>To which I replied&#8230;</p>
  297. <blockquote><p>I know, but I don&#8217;t want a heart monitor</p></blockquote>
  298. <p>Not a very interesting exchange of views, I grant you. I&#8217;m not really bothered with having a heart monitor. I know if my heart is beating fast. And if I&#8217;m running and my heartbeat is 120, what am I going to do about it? I run to a pace that I can keep for an hour or so, and I know that pace doesn&#8217;t cause me to have an over-zealous heartbeat or get dangerously out of breath.</p>
  299. <p><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-5765" src="http://www.dadams.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/chargemedium.png" alt="Fitbit Charge" width="250" height="233" />Anyway, after an uneventful flight (I watched Interstellar*), getting to the hotel, going to the office and then a meeting &#8211; and then dinner &#8211; the Charge was, errr, charged. Set-up was simple, attaching it to the Surface Pro 3 (nice bit of kit) with the USB connector, installing the sync tool and registering the Charge against my account. You can, by the way, have more than one Fitbit device attached to your account &#8211; if one sits idle, data will be synced from the active one.</p>
  300. <p>And to be honest (this isn&#8217;t much of a review) there&#8217;s not much else to say. Now I can press the Charge&#8217;s one button to cycle through a readout of calories burned, steps, distance and flights of stairs conquered (stairs is an addition over the Flex) which is better than the Flex&#8217;s system of dots. The order in which you see things is configured in the Fitbit dashboard, and you can also select from four different styles of time display. A double-tap on the face will display the time. Pushing and holding the button starts a stopwatch, which is actually an &#8216;exercise mode&#8217; tracking stats until you press and hold again (so you can get stats specifically for that workout). Sleep mode is automatic, there&#8217;s no having to tap the device a few times (which has annoyed the sleeping Mrs A on a couple of occasions).</p>
  301. <p>The battery life is very good &#8211; the Flex needs to be charged about every five days, but so far (after two weeks) the Charge lasts seven days. The band is wider than the Flex, but the face doesn&#8217;t sit any prouder from the wrist &#8211; it&#8217;s comfortable and the bigger clasp is much easier to click into place. Like the Flex, the Charge offers a silent vibrating alarm which really does wake you up.</p>
  302. <p>Call notifications are also available, if your mobile phone supports it &#8211; my Windows Phone doesn&#8217;t, but it&#8217;s coming. A nice-to-have but I’m not really bothered.</p>
  303. <p>As expected, a number of people have asked me why I bought an updated Fitbit and not a Microsoft Band. Yep, good question. My colleague Andrew bought a Band in New York, a bit cheaper than the UK price, and looking at his I contemplated whether I would have bought one too had I not just coughed up for the Charge. The Band was however more than twice the price, and I like the social element of my Fitbit league. I will continue with my strategy of not buying something first-generation and wait for the Band 2 (I know nothing about it, but you know there’ll be one at some point).</p>
  304. <p>* Interstellar – it was quite good overall but the ending left me feeling cheated in the same way as that Jodie Foster movie Contact… you know, when she got to the alien planet and she was greeted by a creature made to look like her father because she’d be comfortable with that. A bit of a cop-out.</p>
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