Windows 8 and Office 2013 Evaluation – First Impressions

Before I do the permanent set up of my new PC, I took the opportunity to set it up with Windows 8 and Office 2013. These are my first impressions, based on a few hours exploring ans installing and are mostly good to excellent, with one major exception. So let’s get that out of the way.

Windows 8 is Different

My first impression is, that if implemented in its standard form, Windows 8 will drive most regular desktop PC based end users nuts with frustration.  The interface might initially be too different for them. Discussions I have heard about organisations considering customised desktops now make sense.

As a non typical, but largely desktop based end user, I was within about 30 minutes beginning to get a feel for where things would be, and easily connecting to Twitter  LinkedIn and Google and installing IIS and Hyper V tools. I can see users having a  good experience with a touch screen.

Shame about the Windows 8 interface, because Office 2013 is really very impressive.  Windows 8 and Office 2013 are clearly meant to go together. I have had comments from colleagues about the Office 2013 interface. On Windows 8 it looks at home. Even on a desktop PC.

So what is impressive about Office 2013?

The connection to SharePoint and Office 365.

Over recent months as I find myself training on site more and more, I am seeing the value of having my documents and resources in a SharePoint library in the “cloud” . My recent PC troubles have confirmed this is the direction for my company and training documents.

Previously the value in Office 365 for me was in exchange based email and SharePoint Calendars. My document creation process is still local disk based with some documents going to SharePoint libraries. In part because the integration between Office on the desktop and SharePoint online wasn’t seamless.

In Office 2013, the integration to Office 365  is easy to set up and seamless once done. When I go to my  permanent set up on my PC I will be directing my documents directly into SharePoint as they are created. And I will be finding the time to upgrade my laptop as well, to get the same integration there as well.

The Office 365 integration makes sharing, collaborating and accessing documents for mobile or dispersed end users in small and very small organisations very, very easy. It brings out the true potential of Office 365 much more that Office 2010 did. Used to its potential this could give a nimble small organisation a flexible edge over some corporate dinosaur stuck on Office 2003. At modest cost too.

Office 2013 probably has other features, I was so taken with trying the SharePoint/Office 365 integration I didn’t even notice…

More on that another time.

Adobe E-Learning Suite

Also more on installing Adobe E-Learning Suite on Windows 8 next time. (Acrobat X Professional doesn’t install – but Acrobat XI might…)



Custom Lists and SharePoint 2010 Tutorials – First two on line

First two movies in a series now on-line.

Part 1 Custom lists and Site Columns
Part 2 Create Custom List and Import Data in SharePoint 2010
Part 3 Custom Lists and Views
Part 4 Custom Lists and Workflow
Part 5 Custom Lists and KPIs

Continue reading “Custom Lists and SharePoint 2010 Tutorials – First two on line”

Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

Ted Talks are the best value. They have become my Sunday morning day starter. A couple of Ted Talks over breakfast.

Always learn something

Today I am recommending the Amy Cuddy presentation “Your body language shapes who you are” . The presentation explores the relationship between positive postures and behaviour.

I can see applications for this  for trainers and presenters especially.

I like the way many Ted Talks are backed by research and experiments – as is the case here. Having seen too many body language as entertainment presentations on tabloid TV – I am a bit wary – but I was swayed by the supporting science.

Amy also used a good presentation technique in that she gave the audience one effective technique to take away and use.

Meetings and Power/Positive Attitudes

Many years ago, as a young public servant I was also a union delegate particularly involved in the introduction of new systems and wound up going to meetings with management at the state and national level.  I was conscious of the power issues at being at a meeting with a room full of suits and outnumbered. I would wear a good sports coat  to the meetings myself – people would ask why – I would say the jacket was my “wings  of steel” (see video below). My small way of neutralising the whole power balance thing, in my head anyway, which is where it counted.

 Another Meeting Tip

If you are a small delegation meeting with a larger group at their site, the larger group will spread themselves around the meeting table, leaving spaces for you and your group dispersed around the table. This can be deliberate, (or it can be because the people you are meeting don’t get on ). You want your team together, at the very least for passing notes…

So ask people to move, I have done it several times, use the passing notes thing as a pretext if you have to, but do it.


Steven Knight



Virtual Machines are Fun!

Planning a major round of Study, Exploration and Evaluation – SharePoint/Designer and InfoPath/Captivate 6 and exploring Office 2013/Windows 8.

Upgraded to the new VMWare Workstation last week and today I have spent the day setting up a few virtual machines – its Spring after all!

Today, I have set up:

  • SharePoint 2010 Enterprise on Windows Server 8 (no Exchange)
  • Windows 8 and Office 2013 (Office 2013 looks good in Windows 8, clearly Windows 8 is the intended habitat for Office 2013)
  • Linux Mint (Adding Apache, PHP, MYSQL is still a work in progress)  – All to serve as a base for Moodle and Chamillo, so I can do my long delayed comparison article.

And I have finally mastered accessing web servers on the Virtual machines from other PCs on my network. Frustratingly simple now I have it straight.

I’d like to do SharePoint 2013 – but if the minimum specification is to be believed, I need more cores (4 for the the VM) and I only have three (I have been giving two cores and 4 GB of RAM to a virtual machine and keeping 1 core and 4 GB for the host). So I need to budget for a PC based on a 6 or  8 core processor.


Steven Knight – part trainer, part geek



SharePoint Q & A

A digest post addressing SharePoint 2010 questions

Does SharePoint index the content of ODT files?

For Enterprise and FAST search appears yes – see articles below: Continue reading “SharePoint Q & A”

TED Talks – Daphne Koller, What we are learning from on-line education

An excellent talk I have just watched on my TV via Boxee, was  at TED Talks – Daphne Koller, What we are learning from on-line education. You don’t need  a smart TV, just follow the link!

Daphne explores the benefits of using on line education tools in a university environment. Continue reading “TED Talks – Daphne Koller, What we are learning from on-line education”

Sunday Night Music

Enough Work!

Musical Post to finish off for the evening, new videos of my own coming  very soon Continue reading “Sunday Night Music”

SharePoint Q & A

Folks, This post is an omnibus post to document an assortment of questions on SharePoint 2010 that I have had recently.

SharePoint 2010 and Farms

This area is a bit out of my territory – but here is some light reading on getting started: Continue reading “SharePoint Q & A”

Inspired by Boxee and the Twit network

In the last week, I have moved from an old CRT style TV to a flat screen LED TV and a D-Link Boxee Box. Continue reading “Inspired by Boxee and the Twit network”

Document Signing, Acrobat and Alternatives

This topic came up on a recent Acrobat session, raised by people discussing cutting and pasting signatures into documents to simulate signing. Which led to a discussion on digital signatures and Acrobat and a run through of the process (using a self signed certificate).

So I thought I would dig up some light reading on how to get a proper digital certificate for document signing. Continue reading “Document Signing, Acrobat and Alternatives”

Adobe Activation Issue “Resolved” or how I discovered the Adobe Frustration Limit Algorithm (AFLA)

My Adobe Activation problem has solved itself. I share this solution with you now:

When you go to read a pdf, the activation wizard will display and advise that it can’t activate. Continue reading “Adobe Activation Issue “Resolved” or how I discovered the Adobe Frustration Limit Algorithm (AFLA)”

Free SharePoint 2007 User Guide download fixed

The SharePoint 2007 User  Guide download and other downloads have been fixed (and checked/tested).

The fault was due to a clash with Jetpack.

SharePoint Guide Download not working


The SharePoint user guide download is not working

I will work on it on Friday 8 June and post when its fixed