I had the monumental task of reinstalling Windows 7 this weekend, and like all near death experiences it makes you stop and think. Mozilla Thunderbird has been my email client for the past year and while it did the job it never really fit in with Windows 7 and the user interface is too cluttered. Luckily, Microsoft’s Windows Live Essentials 2011 are now out of beta and the pack includes Messenger, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Windows Live Mesh among others. One of those “others” is Windows Live Mail 2011. The first thing I noticed was how nice the UI was. It fits beautifully with the Windows 7 interface and the choice of colors and placement of the dialogs (which can be changed to your liking) are spot on. Here is where it gets a little tricky though…
Like many people I prefer to have a global inbox so I can aggregate email from multiple accounts. You can add multiple accounts in Windows Live Mail but there is no clear way to have mail merge into one inbox. Here is how you do it.
1.) Add all of your email accounts to Windows Live Mail. They should stack up on the left side of the program. Minimize the stacks by clicking the arrows to the far left.
2.) Click on the “View” tab at the very top of the program and find the “Storage Folders” toggle. Click it to turn it on.
3.) Now that we have Storage Folders working right click on the new stack to the left(located below your email accounts) and select “New Folder”. Name it Inbox.
4.) Now highlight one of your email accounts but clicking on it once. Go to the “Folders” tab at the very top of the program and find the “Message Rules” toggle.
5.) Once the dialog pops up scroll down the first list and find “For All Messages” and check the box. On the second list check “Move it to the specified folder”. Now in box below click on the highlighted word “specified” and select the Inbox folder you created earlier under the Storage Folders stack.
6.) Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the remaining email accounts. Depending on how many accounts you have you should have the same number of Message Rules when you view the list when you click “Message Rules”. Now you can receive all of your email in one inbox!
My preordered copy of Windows 7 Home Premium arrived on Thursday, October 22 which was the Windows 7 launch day. Thanks Newegg!!!
So far I’m really liking it but I have had a few problems. I’m getting quite a few minor errors and warning in Event Viewer.
The nVidia driver sucks. I’m getting a lot of DNS errors. If I leave my iPod Touch plugged in when I restart I get a USB driver error. I have had explorer.exe crash. The personalize window freeze. Windows Live Essentials wouldn’t uninstall so I had to keep them.
Twitter is already huge. Biggger than most would have thought even 6 months ago and it’s still growing. Being the geek-type myself I listen to quite a few podcasts and hear many of my fellow four eyed friends talking about how much they want something new. They want the next big thing. The reason? Too many “average” people are uisng Twitter. I understand the feeling since I have been using Twitter long before any of my friends or family, or strangers that constantly talk about it everyday on the television, radio or while walking their dogs. What was once the playground for the tech elite is now just another website full of average people.
In this case though, unlike YouTube, MySpace, and yes even the golden one Facebook, Twitter doesn’t seem to be full of morons. Sure you have the people who tweet every night at 6pm alerting their followers to what they ate but the majority of Twitter users seem to be more mature. Adults are actually using a social networking site. The only reason I can think of is that teens don’t want to sit at a computer screen and tweet. If their cell phones had a Twitter client I think things would change but not many teenagers use an iPhone. They don’t text tweets because that uses minutes. This means that you can find some really fascinating real people on the site. Celebrities and tech God’s are the prominent ones who are followed but I urge users to take a look at some of the real people too. I’m not saying reading a tweet from Christopher Walken isn’t a great read but just take a minute to check out the average Joe’s too.
Twitter will keep on growing, even with no business model in sight. How do you make money on this thing? Ads are the only way and as soon as they insert ads in between tweets users will start dropping like fly’s. They still have their issues too to deal with, most importantly the amount of new users. I’m getting the “fail whale” more often now.
Oh, and if anyone at Twitter Inc. reads this post please help me fix that damn pop up box that asks me for my login info.
I have to admit, I never really used the RAW format on my camera to it’s full potential. That is until I actually took the time to delve into the many tweaks and options available in Photoshop CS3’s RAW plugin a few months ago. It was always easier to just snap a pic in JPEG mode and been done with it. With RAW, everything becomes important. White balance, color, contrast, sharpness, noise filtering, black levels and exposure. Things most people never even think about are available for you to adjust.
I used RAW mode before many times but just taking the time to properly adjust the settings produced a much better iamge than what I orignally took. If you have a RAW mode, use it. For almost anything I shoot that has importance I shoot in RAW mode. RAW rocks!
I was just looking at Smashing Magazine’s article(s) on web design trends in 2009 and it got me thinking about search. In particular which sites need search and which sites can get by without it. I never added a search box to any of my Justin’s Diecasts sites because I figured the “Car List” feature was enough. Besides, where would I put it?
While the drop down menu can be considered ancient I still think it has it’s place and the “Car List” uses it well. If a person comes to my site knowing what he or she is looking for they simply find the car maker in the list. If they just want to browse, it’s great for browsing. It works because I don’t have a site that contains must-have information. Instead, I provide a kind of entertainment. That might be a peculiar way to label it but that’s what it is. A site like CNN needs search. Blogs need search. But some sites do not.
As sites become leaner and are designed with more white space in might, I think the idea of “no search design” might take flight. I know I like going to a site and immediately knowing what to do and how to find the information I want. Searching is one way but so is navigation if its done properly.
Justin’s Diecasts has been updated with a new look and feel. It should allow for easier navigation and a better user experience. The Car List has also been updated and is faster than ever. The Links page has a bunch of new diecast and car related links.
I wanted the design to reflect the current design trend of clean white space and the top banner randomly changes the header image with each refresh.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
I updated my iPod Touch to the newest firmware 2.2.1 last night and now my wifi signal is weak. I can’t even get full bars when my iPod Touch is sitting next to my router.