techonology solutions
Start screen sample

Default to Desktop for Windows 8

February 21, 2014

I may be in the minority but I have grown to love Windows 8 and appreciate the Start screen and it’s quick find ability (Microsoft’s version of Spotlight in Apple’s OSX).

That being said, I still feel at home with the Desktop view and want the Start screen to be a tool.  To that end, I’ve changed the Windows default for my computers to show the Desktop.

Here’s how…

[box type=”shadow”] Bring up the Start screen (If at the Desktop, press the Windows key to do this) and type in “Taskbar”. You should see “Taskbar and Navigation” appear as one of the matches below. Click that and then click on the “Navigation” tab.[/box]



I have chosen the first two checkboxes in the “Start screen” section to show the Desktop over the Start screen when possible.

Multiple-value parameters

November 7, 2013

We ran into an issue today that took entirely too long to debug. If you’ve worked in SSRS and BIDS, you know that there are about 10 ways to do that same thing but, unfortunately, usually only one will actually work the way you want it to.

In this case, we have a report with a parameter that allows for multiple values to be submitted. For example, the report could be run for “Peter” or “Peter and Paul” or “Paul and Mary”. The problem was that there are seven sub-reports that needs this parameter passed into it also. No matter what we tried, we couldn’t get the sub-reports to recognize the parameters in its query.

Finally found the answer in the comments to this blog post.

SEO circa 2013

May 15, 2013

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is more “organic” now than ever before. Here is a good article to read on the subject.

While the website itself has some important coding techniques that should be implemented, there is definitely a social media and very holistic marketing approach that needs to be intentional as well. Along with the obvious Facebook / Twitter outlets, there are some other areas that should be considered.

Wilson Browne can guide businesses on just this kind of thing where increasing your search engine ranking is a natural result.

WordPress CSS Customization

April 25, 2013

We’ve been exponentially expanding our WordPress knowledge as of late with several new projects.  Here is link to a conversation we’ve contributed to.

If you need a great looking website that is user friendly and easy to update yourself, WordPress is the answer.  If you have to pay someone everytime you need your website updated, you definitely should consider a change.

Contact us if you would like to chat about it.

Social Networking

February 23, 2012

People are wired for relationship. Our most meaningful moments and deepest memories are rarely created when we are alone. It is this desire that has created a huge “meeting place” need on the web.

Facebook and Twitter are currently the prominent players in this area. Previously, America Online (AOL) and MySpace dominated. Today’s high-speed internet and mobile devices have changed the landscape though. Sharing moments as they happen, thoughts as they occur, pictures and video are products of these changes.

The relationships have changed also. No longer are friends and family connecting but co-workers (i.e. LinkedIn), consumers (i.e. epinions), and complete strangers (i.e. Twitter and other “common interest” sites). There are people who wish to share (sometimes painfully) every detail of their life and others who stay anonymous yet share all the same. There is software that looks to aggregate restaurant reviews, weather, photos, item prices, you name it… all through people who freely contribute and consume these things. Volunteers who both add and benefit from these online communities.

While there are many angles I could take in discussing all this I want to bring out two things in particular: “focused groups” and trends.

Most of these online communities are volunteer-based. Every person who participates by “logging in” does so because they want to. This is big since everyone knows that it is easier to steer a moving object than a stationary one. Do you have something to sell or promote? Find a group that already cares and let them know! Make sure you aren’t just a “taker” though. No one wants to help those who only look to help themselves. Participate in the group by adding. Give away stuff, disseminate knowledge, talk about “real life”. Volunteer yourself and your business. There are communities that care about exactly what you do or provide. A billboard on the side of a highway cannot compete with this kind of targeted marketing. But again, don’t “market” but rather “provide”.

Once you are participating in a community, you’ll see changes in your society before they reach the general public. If your community is becoming more “environmentally-conscious”, you’ll see it coming and hopefully be prepared. You won’t be caught selling something nobody wants. If your community in love with the iPhone? Do you have an app in iTunes?

In an upcoming post, I’ll talk about “social location” services but in the meantime I hope that I’ve given you something to consider. If you are not making use of free services like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, you should. If you aren’t keeping a close eye on your community/customers, they’ll be out of sight before you know it.