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greetings from my pocket

Hi! I’m glad you found me. My original blog, which was also called “from my pocket” went dark a few weeks ago and I’ve just now had some time to bring it back online. Here’s a short explanation of what happened.

GoDaddy, who hosts my blog, discontinued the software I used to create it. So I’ve had to learn WordPress and then transition my blog articles over to it. The truth is I should have moved over to WordPress a long time ago.

So now I republish blog articles….

Before my blog went dark, I made sure I had most of my still relevant articles backed up to my computer, so I’ve managed to republish the articles that I think I still relevant here (sorry if you’ve been seeing some old articles pop up in my RSS feed).

If you landed here by clicking a link you found in a forum thread, try searching the blog for it via the Search box found in the sidebar to the right.  If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, send me an email and I’ll check my backed up archive for any old articles that I can republish and share with you.

Windows Phone:  I’ve republished most of my Windows Phone articles, although the permalinks for those articles are lost and so none of the old links work any more. Here are some links to my most popular Windows Phone articles:

Windows Mobile: I’ve republished some of the Windows Mobile articles that were still getting a lot of traffic, but I’m not planning to republish many more articles since the Windows Mobile OS has been discontinued for eons (in mobile technology terms anyway) and I’m not sure how relevant those old articles are to anyone any more. You can find the Windows Mobile articles that are currently posted to the blog by clicking the Windows Mobile menu option at the top of the screen. You can also click any of these links to find the popular Windows Mobile articles that are posted here:


Using the Outlook Hotmail Connector

Windows Phone devices do not sync contacts and appointments to a local computer via ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center.  Instead Windows Phone syncs contact and appointment data directly to web-based services, such as Outlook.com or to an Exchange Server account.

When I switched over from Windows Mobile devices to my first Windows Phone 7 device, I spent some time exploring the Outlook Hotmail Connector as a way to manage my contacts and appointments on my local computer while also providing a way to make the data available for my new Windows Phone 7. In this tutorial I use Outlook 2010 to demonstrate setting up the Outlook Hotmail Connector. The menu settings are similar for Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007, but you may have to hunt around for them a bit to find them. Continue reading

Creating Playlists on Windows Phone

Creating playlists on windows phone isn’t particularly difficult, but it’s not particularly intuitive either.

Clear the “now playing” playlist

When you’re listening to music and select the pause button to stop the music from playing, the music stops playing but before you work with playlists you need to completely clear the “now playing” playlist on the phone.

You can clear the “now playing” playlist on the phone by powering down the phone and powering the phone back on or you can install an app form the marketplace like the one I use (“Stop the Music”).

Select music for your new playlist

Open up the music+videos hub, swipe over to the Zune screen (for Windows Phone 7) or the Collection screen (for Windows Phone 8), tap music.  Now select and add entire albums or individual songs to the phone’s now playing playlist: Continue reading

Sync Outlook 2013 to a Microsoft Account

If you’ve installed Outlook 2013 to your computer, you can sync your Contacts, Calendar AND Tasks (yes, Tasks) to your Microsoft account and you don’t need to install the Outlook Hotmail Connector to do it – the functionality is built into the software.

Once the data is synced to your Microsoft account, it is available to be synced to a wide array of devices (phones, tablets, computers) that encompass all the most popular mobile operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows Phone). You can enjoy the full power and feature set of Outlook 2013 on your desktop or laptop and be completely flexible in your choice and use of mobile devices!

This article will guide you through the steps to set up Outlook 2013 to sync your data to your Microsoft account. Continue reading

Windows Phone can announce your incoming callers by name

Your phone can announce your incoming callers by name if you enable the “speech for phone accessibility” option that is found by going to Settings > ease of access > tap the ON/OFF toggle:


When the “speech for phone accessibility” toggle is turned to the ON position the phone will announce the name of the person who is calling you if the person’s phone number is found in the phone’s people hub, otherwise the phone will announce the phone number of the incoming call.

NOTE: If you don’t find the “speech for phone accessibility” option when you go to Settings > ease of access then your phone (make/model) does not support the feature and you won’t be able to use the feature. The “speech for phone accessibility” feature is regionalized, which means it is not available worldwide, and the feature must also be enabled by the OEM and/or carrier before it can be used. 

The feature is available on Windows Phone 7 and 8.

Share Videos or Pictures via Bluetooth Connection

Sharing videos and pictures with other Bluetooth enabled devices is easy from Windows Phone 8. Videos and pictures that you create on the phone are stored in the camera roll album in the Photos hub on the phone.

Within the camera roll album, tap any video or picture you want to share, then tap the three dots in the lower right hand corner of the screen > share…

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Continue reading

Consolidate & Convert VoiceMail Messages

If you receive voicemail messages via email, you may have encountered a problem listening to .wav formatted messages on your Windows Phone.  Apparently some service providers use old codecs for their .wav formatted messages that are not compatible with Windows Phone.

I ran into this problem with voicemail messages I received from a service I use. I figured out a quick and easy way to convert the .WAV messages to .MP3 format that can be played on my phone.  All you need to do is: Continue reading

Windows Phone & Ringtone Profiles

Windows Phone 7 does not include any kind of ringtone profiles that allow you to automatically program how incoming phone calls are received on the phone. I’ve come up with a workaround that addresses this deficiency well enough to suit my needs and thought I’d share it here for anyone who might be interested.

First, I created a “silent” ringtone and synced it to my phone.  I assigned this silent ringtone as the system-wide ringtone on my phone:

  • Download my silent ringtone (this ringtones complies with all the requirements of using a custom ringtone on windows phones, so no editing is necessary)
  • Sync the silent ringtone to your phone
  • Assign the silent ringtone as the system-wide ringtone on your phone by tapping Settings > ringtones+sounds.  Tap the Ringtone option and select the Silent ringtone from your list of custom ringtones.

Continue reading