Microsoft Surface: Keyboard Function Lock

The Microsoft Surface is (in my opinion) a great piece of hardware. I was an avid user of the original Surface RT, and now I'm trying out the Pro 2. I'm attempting to use this as a full-time desktop replacement. As such, and as a regular user of keyboard shortcuts, easy access to function keys is really important to me.

Unfortunately, the Type Cover keyboard relegates the function keys (F1-F12) to secondary keys, requiring the 'Fn' key to be pressed simultaneously.

Fortunately, this behaviour can be altered. Simply press 'Fn + Caps Lock' and hey presto, your function keys now behave like function keys. You can, of course, still access each button's other function by holding down the 'Fn' key (so 'Mute' becomes 'Fn + F3', for example) or reverse the whole thing again by pressing 'Fn + Caps Lock' once more.

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28 October

Using RenderTemplate for On-Page Widgets in Umbraco

Much has been written about creating 'widgets' or sidebar panels in Umbraco.

In a recent project, we decided to implement our on-page widgets as 'pages' in the Umbraco content tree. This has a number of advantages. Users can be provided with a number of different templates and edit the content with familiar tools. It also means that we can create a central 'pool' of widgets which can then be added to pages using a content picker.


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28 September

Apple vs Microsoft - The Surface Strategy

It's been a big week for technology with, among others, Apple releasing a new range of iMacs, a new iPad (already) and the 7" iPad Mini. Microsoft also released Windows 8 and their first tablet - the Microsoft Surface.

The technology press were at all of the main events creating lots of content and stimulating lots of debate, much of which was pretty polarized. Those in the Apple camp were hailing the launch of the iPad mini whilst dismissing Surface as a failure before a single unit had sold. Microsoft's camp also had its fair share of supporters claiming that 'Apple is in trouble' and that the iPad's days are numbered.

The truth of the matter is that the Surface will not 'kill' the iPad. Similarly, the existence of the iPad will not cause the Surface to fail.

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27 October