Upload videos to YouTube from your Phone

One of the new features you get with the Mango update to Windows Phone 7 is a way to share videos with others directly from your phone via email or by sharing (uploading) videos to Facebook or SkyDrive.  This means you can now post videos to your YouTube account by emailing your videos to a unique YouTube email address!

Before you can upload videos to your YouTube account, you’ll need find out what your unique email address is by logging on to your YouTube account from your desktop computer.  Click the down arrows just to the right of your user name (see the upper right hand corner of screenshot below) and click the “Settings” option.  Then click “Mobile Setup” under Account Settings to find the unique email address you can use to upload videos to your account. Continue reading Upload videos to YouTube from your Phone

Manage & Share PDF files from Windows Phone 7

A fundamental difference between the Windows Phone 7 operating system and its older Windows Mobile operating system cousin is the way files are handled on devices. Windows Phone 7 does not expose its file system to the end user, so there isn’t a way for you to browse, sort or manage all the files that are stored on the phone from a single application.  Instead each application plays within it’s own “sandbox,” which means each application operates, in many respects, as a stand alone entity within the windows phone operating system infrastructure.  The application controls how users interact with its files. It is left to the application developer to provide options to users for retrieving, backing up, renaming, and organizing files and to provide ways for users to share its files via text message or email.

The Adobe Reader software that Adobe developed for Windows Phone 7 is missing some important options. The application does not provide a way to share PDF files that are stored on the phone with anyone else, nor is there a way to copy or back up PDF files from the phone to the web or to a computer.

Continue reading Manage & Share PDF files from Windows Phone 7

Use 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.

If you’re running Outlook 2003, 2007 or 2010 on your computer, you’ll need to install the Outlook Hotmail Connector, which is an Add-in to Outlook before you’ll be able to sync your Outlook data to an Outlook.com, Live.com, or Hotmail.com account (all these accounts are now referred to as an Outlook.com account) and on to a Windows Phone. Continue reading Use the Outlook Hotmail Connector*

How to restore contact pictures to your windows phone

If you sync your contacts and appointments from the desktop version of Outlook 2010 (or earlier versions of Outlook) to your online Outlook.com (Microsoft) account, and then sync this information to your Windows Phone, you’ll probably notice that any pictures that were included with your Outlook contacts did not sync to your Outlook.com account or to your Windows Phone.

Outlook.com stores photos with contacts, but the only contacts you’ll see in the Outlook.com People hub with photos are your Live Messenger contacts who have posted a picture of themselves to their Messenger profile. You can’t edit those pictures and you can’t add your own pictures to those contacts.

You’ll need to manually add the photographs to your contacts on the phone.

Continue reading How to restore contact pictures to your windows phone

Use Windows Live to handle tasks on a Windows Phone

There is no task application on Windows Phone 7 and so there’s no way to sync tasks from Outlook 2010 (or earlier versions of Outlook) to WP7.  Windows Live (which is now known as Outlook.com) includes a task option that is buried within the Calendar hub, which is still quite limited.

I recently published an article that documents one method you could use to handle your tasks on a windows phone, which you can read here.  At the time I also mentioned another method that I was formulating.  This method uses a windows live account to manage tasks. It’s a little complicated to set up, but it’s  free and integrates nicely with Outlook and the phone’s calendar.

Continue reading Use Windows Live to handle tasks on a Windows Phone

Manage Your Tasks on a Windows Phone with Remember The Milk

Windows Phone 7 does not include a tasks application and there’s no way to sync Outlook tasks to the device.  Even if there were a way to sync tasks, there’s no place to store them once they get there.  This to me is one of the greatest deficiencies of windows phone.

A few years ago I signed up for a free “Remember the Milk” (RTM) account.  At the time I didn’t have a prevailing reason to move my tasks to the cloud and there was no windows mobile support for RTM, so I didn’t seriously consider using it.

But now with windows phone 7, I had a strong incentive to find a different way to work with tasks on my phone, so I rummaged around and found my RTM login credentials and took another look at this well known, well regarded, cloud-based tasks application.  I figured I could at least have access to my tasks through RTM’s mobile website.

Continue reading Manage Your Tasks on a Windows Phone with Remember The Milk

Tethering a Laptop to a Windows Mobile 6.1 Phone

Using your WM6.1 device’s data connection to surf the internet from your laptop is easier than ever.

Tap Start > Programs > Internet Sharing icon

You’ll see two options:

  • PC Connection:  Tapping the down arrow to the right of this option you can select USB or Bluetooth PAN
  • Network Connection:  Tapping the down arrow to the right of this option to choose the specific data connection that is available for use through your cellular provider.

Attach your USB cable to your computer and windows mobile device, then select the Connect option on the lower left hand side of the screen.  Your laptop will acknowledge the connection with a series of “Found New Hardware” messages.  You can now surf the internet from your laptop through your cellular data connection. Continue reading Tethering a Laptop to a Windows Mobile 6.1 Phone

Comparing PDF Readers

If you want to read PDF files on your Pocket PC, you have a couple of choices in PDF Readers.  In this article I will evaluate and compare the three most popular PDF Readers for Pocket PC:  Foxit Reader for Pocket PC; PocketXpdf; and Adobe Reader for Pocket PC 2.0.

Foxit Reader for Pocket PC (Beta 1.2, Build 0602)

NOTE: Foxit Reader no longer offers the Pocket PC version on its website. You might be able to find a working version of Foxit Reader for Pocket PC if you search the internet.

Foxit Reader is the lightest PDF reader – it does not consume near the resources as Adobe Reader.  The Beta 1.2 version of Foxit Reader has greatly enhanced the functionality of this PDF Reader. 

Tapping Menu > View, you are now able to select a Reflow option.  Reflowed documents display much better on the Pocket PC screen, but because the margins are justified, some of the spacing is weird.
Foxit8  Foxit9

Foxit Beta 1.2 provides many zooming options

The Actual Size, Fit Page, Fit Width and Fit Height options are not available when Reflow is selected. Selecting the Zoom To option allows you to set the magnification to any where from 10% to 400%
Foxit2 Foxit10

If you do not use the reflow option, you can Zoom In and Zoom out by tapping the plus (+) or minus (-) icons displayed on the bottom of the screen or by tapping the stylus on the Pocket PC screen.  When you zoom into a document you can move around the document by dragging the stylus up and down or left and right across the screen, or by tapping the document minimap (see the small gray picture of the document found in the lower right hand corner of the screen).  When moving around the document, the text blurs until you stop moving the stylus (see the screenshot on the right).  I think it would be tedious to read a large document on Foxit Reader in this manner.  Instead select the Reflow option for a better reading experience.

Foxit5 image

You can view the document in full screen mode and you can turn the document minimap feature off for a better viewing experience.

Zoom > Fit Height / Full screen mode Reflow on / Full Screen mode:  The weird justified spacing detracts from the fluidity of the text.
Foxit3 Foxit12

  You can easily rotate the document from portrait to landscape.


Foxit Reader recognizes pre-existing bookmarks in documents and remembers your place in the document, so if you exit the application in the middle of a document and then reopen it later on, the document will open in the place where you left off.

PocketXpdf (v0.5)

PocketXpdf takes a little longer to open a file, and moving from page to page is quite a bit slower than for Foxit Reader or Adobe Reader.

PocketXpdf’ provides a “View Text Only” option that removes all of the document’s formatting (including paragraph indentations) and “reflows” the text to fit the smaller mobile device screen.

Document when first opened in PocketXpdf. The print is quite small and you’d have to scroll up and down and left and right to read the document. Document set to “View Text Only” mode – notice that the new paragraph, which starts with, “Once the votes……,” is no longer indented.
image image

You can view documents in full screen mode and adjust the font size from 11 up to 16.  PocketXpdf also supports VGA screens.

image image

PocketXpdf includes a Zoom In and Zoom Out option, but zooming is very slow and I encountered memory problems before I could zoom the text to a comfortable size for reading.

image image

Adobe Reader for Pocket PC 2.0

NOTE: Adobe no longer provides a Pocket PC or Windows Mobile version of Adobe Reader. You can find a link where you can download a working version of Adobe Reader on my article, entitled “Adobe Reader for Pocket PC.”

Adobe Reader for Pocket PC has the largest footprint and is a memory hog.  But compared to the other PDF readers, it offers the most options, provides the most comfortable reading experience and accommodates the widest variety of documents.   Some of the options that keep me coming back to Adobe Reader include:

Adobe Reader recognizes tagged PDF files and reflows the files to work with a smaller mobile device screen.  You can also see that reflowing documents preserves existing formatting (paragraph indentations) and removes excess margins.

Document that is not reflowed Document is reflowed to fit the Pocket PC’s screen
image Adobe in reflow mode

Pressing and holding the stylus on the screen reveals a menu with many different options, such as “Full Screen” and “Automatically Scroll.”

Pressing and holding the stylus on the screen provides a menu with many different options: Reflowed document in Full Screen
image Adobe reflow full screen

You can rotate the view from portrait to landscape either by using Adobe’s rotate function or by using the Pocket PC’s rotate option (if available). 

  • Adobe’s rotate function only rotates the screen to the right, so if you rotate it to landscape mode, it will take 3 rotations to get it back to upright portrait mode. 
  • Pocket PC’s rotate option (this usually involves pressing and holding a button) is clunky.  If you use the Pocket PC’s rotate option, the screen will not appear correct (see screenshot below), but if you select the Full Screen view mode after you rotate the screen, the screen will self correct.


Full screen mode with view rotated to landscape view. 


You can use Adobe Reader’s Zoom In option to make the text as large as you need it to be to read comfortably or you can use Adobe Reader’s Zoom Out option to make the text as small as you can stand it.

image image

You can customize the toolbar that runs along the bottom of the screen to display up to 11 icons along the bottom of the screen by tapping the up arrow found on the lower left hand side of the screen and selecting “Customize Toolbar”

image image

Adobe Reader for Pocket PC is the only PDF Reader that will allows you to read protected PDF files.

Protected PDF files

There are  two possible levels of protection you may encounter with PDF files: 1) DRM level encryption and 2) Password Protection.

1) DRM level encryption

NOTE: DRM level encryption is no longer functionality within the app.  Adobe discontinued its use of this method of encryption.

PDF formatted eBooks that you purchase or check out of a library may include DRM level encryption.  To read DRM encrypted PDF files on a mobile device requires activating the device through Adobe’s website. The Pocket PC activation on Adobe’s website appears to be broken (I managed to activate one of my 4 Pocket PCs through Adobe’s website months ago, but now I receive error messages when I attempt to activate any of my other mobile devices). If you can get your Pocket PC activated on Adobe’s website, then you can transfer and read DRM files on the device by:

  • Adding the PDF file to the Digital Editions module within Adobe Reader 7.0 (you cannot use Adobe Reader 8.0 for this).
  • Then connecting the Pocket PC to the computer, highlighting the PDF file and selecting the “Send to Mobile Device” option found in the Digital Editions screen. 

send to mobile device

You can not use Adobe Reader 8.0 or Adobe Acrobat 8.0 because this version of software does not include a Digital Editions module.  Instead you will be forced to use Adobe’s new Digital Editions software (this is a free standing PDF reader) that does not support Pocket PCs or other mobile devices at this time. 

Adobe Reader for Pocket PC is the only PDF reader that can accommodate DRM encrypted PDF files. 

2) Password Protection

The other level of protection revolves around files that do not have DRM encryption on them but are password protected. Password protected files may require a password to open them and may require a separate permission password to copy or print them.  All of the PDF readers I evaluated were able to open Password protected files.  If the book is protected with a password, you will be prompted to enter the password when you attempt to open it on your Pocket PC.

Let’s Compare PDF Readers


Adobe Reader

Foxit Reader






Accommodates a small screen Yes, tag files & use reflow option Yes, tag files & use reflow option Yes, use “View Text Only” option
Search option? Yes Yes Yes
Change font size / VGA support? No, use zoom instead No, use zoom options instead Yes from 11 – 16, with VGA support
Bookmark option No, but remembers the last page read No, but remembers the last page read Yes, up to 5 bookmarks; remembers the last page read
Zoom levels Yes Yes, many zoom options available Yes, but slow and subject to memory errors
Smartphone version? No Yes Yes
Reads password protected files? Yes Yes Yes
Memory Requirements:    
Storage Memory 7.6M 1.9M 1.2M
RAM load * 3.25 MB 1.41 MB 2.89 MB

* RAM load calculated by subtracting the amount of program memory available after opening a book in the respective reader (available program memory after a soft reset – available program memory with application running)

Which one would you prefer to read?
Foxit Reader: Reflow on / Full Screen mode PocketXpdf: Full Screen & View Text Only mode Adobe Reader: Full Screen & Reflowed mode
Foxit12 image Adobe reflow full screen

Final Thoughts & Recommendations

Foxit Reader is a lightweight PDF reader that performs quite well.  If you don’t mind paying for it and you don’t need to read DRM encrypted files on your mobile device, Foxit Reader is worth your consideration.  Foxit Reader Beta 1.2 is a huge improvement from its earlier version.  Fixing the weird justified spacing or providing an option for the user to turn off justification will greatly improve the reader’s experience when using this application.

PocketXpdf is an adequate PDF reader.  If you are looking for a free lightweight PDF reader and you don’t need to read DRM encrypted files on your mobile device, PocketXpdf might be good enough.  If you need a PDF Reader that accommodates VGA screens, PocketXpdf is your best choice.  However, its performance needs to be improved before I can recommend it for anything more than light PDF reading.

Adobe Reader for Pocket PC is the best PDF Reader if you plan to read lengthy PDF documents on your mobile device and the only PDF reader that can handle DRM encrypted PDF files.  Given the memory requirements of Adobe PDF Reader, be sure to install the software to a storage card.  Before opening a large PDF file, close all other open applications so as to free up as much program memory as possible and avoid memory issues. 

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Adapting to Office 2007

I started using Office 2007 last Fall.  I liked Office 2003, knew my way around it pretty well, and had no intention of upgrading to Office 2007, but when I showed up to teach class on the first day of the semester, I found that the university had updated all the classroom computers to Office 2007.  I use Excel extensively in one of the courses I teach and it was near impossible to teach my class without first figuring out how to navigate the ribbon menuing system in Excel 2007.  

After my first day of trying to “wing it,” I knew I was in trouble….I had to learn Excel 2007 and I had to learn it fast!  So I purchased Office 2007 and began updating my lecture materials right away. Now I demonstrate Excel 2007 in class and provide screenshots for students who are still using Excel 2003.  All-in-all it was a frustrating and time consuming experience.


Transitioning from Office 2003 (or an earlier version of Office) to Office 2007 (or a later version of Office) can be very frustrating.  Even after five months or using  Office 2007, I still spend way too much time hunting for the correct menu option to perform even simple tasks.  Along the way, I’ve learned a few things and found some useful tools.

Continue reading Adapting to Office 2007

Adobe Reader for Pocket PC

AR2 I often see threads on Pocket PC forums where users report issues installing Adobe Reader to a WM5.0 or WM6.x Pocket PC.  Because of these difficulties, there is a misperception that Adobe Reader for Pocket PCs is not compatible with these devices.  But I installed Adobe Reader to both my WM5.0 and WM6.x devices and the software works fine.  I encountered a problem when I installed the software to my first WM5.0 device, but the problem appeared to be with the installation wizard and not with the Adobe Reader application.

Problems installing the application?  Just use the CAB file!

Download Adobe Reader for Pocket PC Version 2.0. (I uploaded the cab file to my OneDrive space since it is no longer available on Adobe’s website).  Download the file to your computer, then select it and let the installation wizard prompt you through the reset of the installation.

Continue reading Adobe Reader for Pocket PC