How to format an HD not visible in Windows 10’s File Explorer

Sometime it may happens that you want to use an HD recovered from some other PC, possibly a not Windows one (e.g. Linux). When you connect it via USB port using a Hard Disk Docking Station, it may happens that that HD is not visible in the file Explorer of Windows 10 because corrupted or because the existing partitions are not the ones expected by Windows 10 and therefore you need to delete them all and then recreate a new NTFS volume.

Hard Disk connected to a PC, via USB port, using an Hard Disk Docking Station

This video tutorial is very esaustive, even thought it is an old one (2012) and it refers to a previous Windows O.S. version: in fact the procedure to follow is still nearly the same!

You need to right click on the Start menu and choose the Computer Management menu item. Going to the Computer Management (Local) -> Storage -> Disk Management section, you will be able to see from here the attached new HD, even if it is not visible from the File Explorer.
You have to delete all its partitions (be careful to be sure it is the new attached HD, possibly disconnecting and then reconnecting it from the PC USB port in order to identifying it for sure 😉 and then create a new volume: choose NTFS in the option related to the file system setting and possibly give a label to that new volume.

Computer Management

Storage -> Disk Management

The HD is visible from the Disk Management section

Delete all Volumes (1)

Delete all Volumes (2)

Delete all available Partitions

After deleting all available volumes and partitions and then having only a single unallocated one, create a new Simple Volume

New Simple Volume allocation (1)

New Simple Volume allocation (2)

The new Volume is now available in the File Explorer and it can be used to save your data!

Annunci
Pubblicato in Review e test, Windows | Lascia un commento

Come assistere gratuitamente ad una seduta della Camera dei Deputati: istruzioni per l’uso

P.S. Pubblico un vecchio post che fino ad oggi avevo tenuto privato.

Oggi (13/6/2016) ho assistito ad una parte di una seduta della Camera dei Deputati. Se visitate Roma, anche solo come turista, vi consiglio di farlo anche voi … almeno una volta nella vita è dovuto! Sicuramente vale la pena vedere, dall’alto delle sue tribune, la bella sala dove si svolgono le discussioni … tante volte la si è vista in televisione, ma vederla dal vivo è tutt’altra cosa, con la sua vetrata al soffitto, le pareti di legno scuro ed i numerosi banchi disposti a raggiera: purtroppo non si può portare con sé né una macchina fotografica né un cellulare, per cui non potrai immortalare il tutto con una fotografia! Comunque, anche per un non addetto ai lavori come me, è interessante (direi addirittura istruttivo) vedere di persona come si svolgono le discussioni e toccare con mano ciò che c’è intorno.

Io ci sono andato con moglie, figlia ed una amica avvocato: grazie a lei, che ci era andata in passato più volte, non ho dovuto interessarmi su quale fosse la procedura riservata al pubblico, ma ora ho visto che, sebbene molto sinteticamente, questa è descritta anche su una pagina del sito di una precedente legislatura mentre, stranamente, non l’ho trovata nel sito dell’attuale legislatura, … ma forse è solo più difficoltoso trovare il percorso per arrivare a tale informazione! Ho scoperto così che ciascuna legislatura ha un suo sito, con una sua grafica e suoi menù di accesso ai contenuti … e questi siti risultano assai differenti tra loro: comunque anche quelli delle legislature precedenti vengano mantenuti, forse a memoria storica. Da un punto di vista tecnico mi ha comunque stupito tutto ciò: è come se, cambiando il direttore, il sito di un giornale dovesse cambiare aspetto ed impaginazione, pur mantenendosi i contenuti analoghi così come la tipologia dei contenuti dinamici (es. l’ordine del giorno), al posto di invece riproporre con nuova grafica e con nuove tecnologie, tutti i contenuti (anche quelli vecchi) che in teoria, se il tutto è stato progettato bene, dovrebbero essere memorizzati su un data layer, quindi differente dal presentation layer relativo appunto alla loro presentazione.

Nel seguito cercherò comunque di dettagliare maggiormente le informazioni che ho trovato nei siti istituzionali relativamente al tema in oggetto, raccontandovi poi la mia esperienza personale e descrivendovi anche le mie sensazioni, sempre come cittadino non addetto ai lavori e quindi con studi tecnici che esulano dal mondo della giurisprudenza (e quindi ignorante in materia).

Da qui si legge: “I cittadini che desiderano assistere ad una seduta della Camera dei deputati devono recarsi, a partire da mezz’ora prima dell’inizio della seduta, in Piazza del Parlamento 24, presso la Sala del pubblico. Qui viene compilato un modulo di richiesta che deve essere accompagnato da un documento di identità valido.
L’autorizzazione è rilasciata, compatibilmente con la disponibilità dei posti nelle tribune per il pubblico, entro 45 minuti circa. Ricevuta la comunicazione, chi vuole assistere alla seduta si reca in piazza del Parlamento 25 dove gli addetti, verificata l’identità, rilasciano il biglietto di accesso. E’ necessario, prima di accedere alle tribune, depositare soprabiti, borse, telefoni cellulari e apparecchiature elettroniche che saranno custodite in apposite buste di sicurezza numerate.  Agli uomini è inoltre richiesto di indossare giacca e cravatta.
Durante le sedute, il pubblico che siede nelle tribune deve stare a capo scoperto ed in silenzio, astenendosi da ogni segno di approvazione o disapprovazione e deve seguire le indicazioni dei commessi parlamentari. Il pubblico deve uscire dalle tribune in tutti i casi di sospensione della seduta. Le persone ammesse alle tribune riservate al pubblico sono invitate a prendere formale visione delle norme comportamentali recate dall’art. 64 del regolamento della Camera dei deputati e dalle disposizioni integrative ed attuative“.

In verità conviene, una volta verificata l’ora di inizio di una seduta (visibile da questa pagina del sito istituzionale), arrivare molto prima, diciamo almeno un’ora prima, in quanto le procedure di ammissione, come andrò a descrivere, sono tutt’altro che rapide ed il protocollo utilizzato non è dei più “lean“. Generalmente mi sembra di avere capito che il lunedì iniziano generalmente sul tardi (es. 11:30) mentre il venerdì finiscono presto (es. anche prima delle 11:00) … almeno questo è quello che ci è successo arrivando il venerdì 10 giugno! Per cui, essendo gli orari così variabili, conviene (come ho già evidenziato) sicuramente prima visitare questa pagina del sito istituzionale.

Per quanto riguarda l’obbligo di giacca e cravatta, l’importante è avere camicia e cravatta, in quanto la giacca, se non ce l’hai, te la imprestano (ne hanno alcune a disposizione a tale scopo e, se non ci sono troppi visitatori senza giacca, non ci dovrebbero essere problemi …).

L’ingresso indicato (Piazza del Parlamento 24) è una porticina a sinistra sul retro del palazzo del Parlamento, quindi sulla facciata che, seppur bella, non è certo paragonabile con quella principale utilizzata come ingresso dei parlamentari e quindi ancor più presidiata. Comunque anche in quell’accesso secondario al Palazzo erano presenti (a presidiare fuori) due persone, una in divisa ed una in borghese. Subito entrati, passiamo attraverso un metal-detector e quindi un tappeto mobile analizza tutte le borse. Dietro una vetrata sono presenti tre persone che gentilmente, dopo avere appurato il motivo della nostra presenza, ci indicano di proseguire in una stanza adiacente dove si effettua la compilazione dell’apposito modulo di richiesta. Dopo aver superato un ulteriore gabbiotto con un altro dipendente, giungiamo quindi, a pochi metri di distanza, in una stanza dove è presente un tavolo con apposite biro e dove sono presenti tre altre persone, una delle quali ci fornisce i moduli e ci invita a compilarli inserendo i nostri dati anagrafici e relativi identificativi del documento di identità. Fatto ciò consegnamo i moduli compilati insieme ai documenti di identità ed il tutto viene inviato via fax da qualche parte dove deve essere effettuata una verifica di ammissibilità, penso in base agli eventuali precedenti penali: l’idea che mi sono fatto è che vengono inviati ad un diverso ufficio del medesimo palazzo, e viene da chiedersi perche tale verifica non possa essere effettuata dai medesimi addetti che hanno ricevuto i moduli ed ora sono solo lì che attendono …
Tutto questo processo generalmente dura, ci dicono, almeno mezz’ora, per cui ci consigliano di uscire e ritornare più tardi. In realtà abbiamo aspettato circa un’ora, per motivi non precisati, imputabili forse anche al ritardo nell’inizio della seduta [doveva iniziare alle 11:30 mentre è iniziata almeno un quarto d’ora (accademico?) dopo]. Ho anche nell’attesa chiesto se era possibile andare in bagno e gentilmente mi hanno detto di sì ma solo se accompagnati da un inserviente … e solo se ero in giacca e cravatta: la cravatta l’avevo portata (grazie alle indicazioni della mia amica avvocato) ma la giacca in valigia proprio mi ero rifiutato di metterla con caldo che faceva … tanto sapevo che c’era la possibilità di prenderne una in prestito una per entrare in aula (sempre se risultava ancora disponibile, non essendoci troppe persone ad averne l’esigenza) … ma non pensavo di doverla mettere anche per andare in un brutto gabinetto di servizio presente in uno scantinato!!  😉 Nel medesimo stretto corridoio vedo passare persone in camice bianco (come quello dei medici/infermieri, solo un po’ più stropicciato) e, chiedendo il motivo, mi viene detto dalla gentile inserviente che nel palazzo erano ammesse solo persone in giacca e cravatta o con un camice bianco: nemmeno quando ero andato ad assistere, come pubblico, nel Parlamento inglese avevo visto certe stranezze: sebbene là i deputati fossero con la parrucca bianca e vestiti con la toga, nessun requisito particolare era stato richiesto alle persone del pubblico, anche se straniere! In un mondo che evolve, in cui anche gli amministratori delegati delle grandi ditte oramai non indossano più necessariamente la giacca e la cravatta, sicuramente è bizzarro che un pubblico debba farlo, in assenza tra l’altro di indicazioni relative a come debbano essere i calzoni e le scarpe (io ero in jeans e scarpe da ginnastica!!): insomma, pura formalità anche priva di un qualsivoglia senso estetico, quindi semplicemente retaggio di un passato e di procedure che non avrebbero più senso di esistere.

Dopo l’ora di attesa, arriva una telefonata che attesta la nostra idoneità ad accedere alla tribuna del pubblico. Ci viene quindi richiesto di uscire nuovamente nella piazza e di entrare in un altro ingresso analogo, presente questa volta alla destra della medesima facciata (piazza del Parlamento 25). Nuovo passaggio attraverso metal-detector e tappeto a raggi X per borse e quant’altro. Altra vetrata con altri tre addetti che ci chiedono i documenti di identità e li confrontano con quelli presenti su fax in bianco e nero relativi ai dati da noi precedentemente compilati dall’altra parte. Siamo quindi invitati a leggere il regolamento di comportamento e a firmare un foglio che ci viene lasciato insieme ad una targhetta da pinzare rigorosamente a destra sulla giacca (anche questa volta imprestatami nuovamente, in quanto dall’altro lato la giacca l’avevo dovuta restituire dopo essere stato accompagnato in bagno). Dopo aver lasciato loro tutte le borse, cellulari inclusi, un addetto munito di metal-detector manuale ci invita quindi a passare attraverso un’ulteriore metal-detector che ci conduce in una scala da cui possiamo raggiungere una rampa di scale ed al secondo piano ci permette di entrare in una anticamera dove due nuovi assistenti ci accolgono, ci richiedono il foglio consegnatoci all’ingresso, lo dividono a metà restituendocene una delle due parti. Finalmente entriamo nelle gradinate del pubblico dove sono presenti diversi settori (tipo le tribune di un teatro) comunicanti tra loro tramite una bassa anta separatrice. In tutto siamo una decina di persone come pubblico. Io vengo cortesemente invitato a sedermi subito (non è possibile stare in piedi, anche se si vedrebbe meglio interamente la sala) mentre un altro visitatore viene ripreso perché aveva appoggiato i gomiti sulla ringhiera …

La discussione in corso verteva sulle linee generali del testo unificato delle proposte di legge relative all’Assistenza in favore delle persone con disabilità grave prive del sostegno familiare, discussione generale  [Disposizioni in materia di assistenza in favore delle persone con disabilità grave prive del sostegno familiare (Approvate, in un testo unificato, dalla Camera e modificate dal Senato)].

Fascicolo cartaceo relativo alla seduta corrente, fornito a tutti gli uditori su richiesta.

La deputata che presenta tale proposta di legge (già da tempo approvata da questa Camera e successivamente anche dal Senato che ne ha apportato minime modifiche) fa un bel discorso di circa 20 minuti, molto ad alto livello ed assolutamente non tecnico, delineando l’utilità sociale ed i principi di solidarietà su cui tale proposta di legge si fonda. Sinceramente mi aspettavo una discussione più tecnica sui contenuti e meno frasi generali sui principi seppur sacrosanti e direi persino ovvi per uno Stato che si voglia definire democratico e solidale. Poi, finito il suo discorso, viene invitato a parlare un altro deputato che subito precisa che anche l’opposizione, di cui fa parte, appoggerà tale proposta di legge … e poi prosegue per altri 20 minuti circa con precisazioni sui parti della legge che, nuovamente, anche a me sembra ovvio condividere  … e che quindi a me, non addetto ai lavori, mi sembrano a questo punto di poca utilità! Insomma … c’è una proposta di legge che è già stata approvata dalla Camera, è passata anche al Senato che ne ha migliorato ancor più il testo, ora viene ripresentata alla Camera e anche la persona dell’opposizione, che ha evidentemente avuto il mandato di rileggerla, concorda che verrà approvata anche dalla controparte … mi viene da dire: perchè “sprecare” tempo in inutili frasi fatte e non andare subito a renderla attiva? Scopro che il giorno seguente, alle ore 10 nuovamente si discuterà sul medesimo argomente, che a mio vedere era già stato ampliamente discusso ed accettato da tutti i presenti, opposizione compresa!! Ok, prima si parlava di “discussione sulle linee generali del testo” mentre ora si parlerà di “svolgimento di interpellanza e di interrogazioni” … ma, mi chiedo, anche per una proposta di legge condivisa da tutti è proprio necessaria tutta questa burocrazia e, a mio vedere, perdita di tempo per vederla finalmente approvarla? Magari se ci fossero stati già da subito in aula tutti gli attori interessati, non si sarebebbe potuti procedere ad una sua immediata approvazione? Perchè invece ora in aula ci sono solo una decina di deputati, di cui solo i due che hanno parlato sembrano interessati all’argomento? Addirittura chi ha preserntato la proposta di legge, dopo pochi secondi dall’inizio del discorso da parte del deputato dell’opposizione che sta lodando tale proposta di legge, si alza e lascia l’aula!!! … mi viene da dire: almeno rimani a sentirlo per educazione, anche se potrei concordare che è solo una manfrina!

Sicuramente un corso anche breve sulle metodologie lean sarebbe sicuramente utile per migliorare i processi e renderli più agile: d’altra parte ho visto che i principi su cui si basa quella metodologia, in quanto generali, oramai hanno varcato il mondo delle industrie e dello sviluppo di prodotti e del software, per giungere anche al government.

Pubblicato in Giustizia, burocrazia e malcostume, Pensieri e parole | Lascia un commento

Street philosophy/psychology …

Sometime you can read on walls phrases that make you think. Some of them can be considered, in my opinion, related to some kind of “street” philosophy and/or psychology … some others let you simply smile but they are anyway so special!

Some comes from a street art painting, sometime they are only phrases: both of them will be deleted by the time or by other paintings, so only photography can make them live forever …

In this on going post I will add more and more pictures on this subject, taken by myself or found in Internet …
… even you can suggest me some more with your comments!

😉

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Chi siamo quando nessuno ci guarda?
(Who are we when nobody looks at us?)

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Perché cercare la dolcezza nelle persone se esistono le caramelle
(Why look for sweetness in people if there are candies)

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La tua vita è una merda/gioia(??) e tu lo sai
(your life is a shit/joy(??) and you know it)

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Il S. Gesù sta arrivando … BUTTA LA PASTA [probabilmente scritto da qualcun altro]
(The S. Jesus is coming … THROW THE PASTA [possibly written by someone else])

* Foto presa da un post del blog spoonriverblog.wordpress.com

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Il tempo è la cosa che non ti rimane
(Time is the thing that doesn’t stay)

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Vivi e lascia vivere
(Live and let live)

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Mai giudicare un libro dalla copertina
(Never judge a book from the cover)

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Se non c’è la strada … CREALA!
(If there is no road… create it!)

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Prima di morire io voglio …
(Before I die I want to …)

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Sicurezza è un mondo senza frontiere
(Security is a world without frontiers)

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Io ho le ali … voi??
(I have wings… you??)

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Oggi è già domani
(Today is already tomorrow)

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Senza frontiere nessuno è clandestino
(Whithout frontiers no one is clandestine)

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Dormire pittare scopare
(Sleeping painting getting laid)

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Pubblicato in Bellezza ed Arte, Fotografie, Just for fun!, Pensieri e parole | Lascia un commento

How to make your tripod head Manfrotto mod. 222 work again

I have the great tripod head Manfrotto mod. 222 since 90’s … it’s an ergonomic dream: it has rock-solid quick release plate and when you pull the trigger it frees the head for movement in any direction.

However, some days ago I tried to use it after many years and I realize that it seem not to well support anymore a camera because the grip does not lock sufficiently the head, neither having set the maximum strength with the wheel (red cursor at the bottom). I read that the new model  322 is a little lighter and rated for twice the load, but I could not understand why my 222 did not work anymore appropriately … while still predecessor 3265 head works! I supposed that some plastic part was broken so I opened it unscrewing all screws … and then I realize that everything is well made of metal parts so it was only a matter of regulation and tighten of the ‘tension screw’ available on the opposite side of the grip (see screenshot).

It was then hard to reassemble the whole, because there are many little things an two springs (4 hands are needed!!) so I suggest you to simply screw/unscrew that screw 😉 … in order make the head work again properly: in fact the lock of the head is done simply applying the same strength on both sides (the screw one and the grip one).

This is the screw you need to adjust properly if the grip does not lock completely even setting the maximum strength with the wheel (red cursor at the bottom).

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Very useful are the following links I found:

 STEP 1 This is the Bogen 3265/ Manfrotto 222
 STEP 2You start off by removing the 4 screws that hold the two half’s together with an Alan wrench.
 STEP 3After you have removed the screws you will need to pry the 2 casings  apart with a flat head screwdriver anything flat that will not damage your head will work. NOTE Be sure to hold onto the plunger (See photo right hand holding on to plunger) If not held onto the plunger spring will shoot out very fast.
 STEP 4Here is what it should look after you have removed the casings.

The plunger and spring will come out easily the other pieces could give you a little trouble. (See next step)

The handle will more then likely fall out when you start to pry apart be careful not to lose the little golden stopper.

 STEP 5-1To Remove the tension wheel and spring place hand over spring if it has tension on the spring it will shoot out.  Get flat head screwdriver and slow pry off shouldn’t be that difficult. (See next step) 
STEP 5-2After we have removed the tension wheel and spring the other parts should lift out with ease.
 STEP 5-3Here we have all the parts of one the one side laid out.
 STEP 5-4When cleaning the ball DO NOT clean the silver piece on the right, only clean the ball and its casing only

 

 STEP 6-1When cleaning be sure to get into casing with wipe clean thoroughly.
 STEP 6-2 Do the same with ball
 STEP 7Notice how this nut is positioned when reassembled it will need to look just like this if not the head will not work right.

After it is positioned correctly test head by pulling on bottom if it moves you will need to tighten this nut slightly with a small Alan wrench.

For reassembly just follow the steps back being careful to make sure you have every piece back in place and the tension screw is facing the right way. I have found if when you need something to hold the Plunger and spring in the casing a non-elastic cloth wrapped around the casing to keep the plunger form shooting across the room is very helpful.


Pubblicato in Fotografie, Review e test | Lascia un commento

How to insert lines of example code into a WordPress post

Whenever it is a long time I inserted some code in a post in this WordPress blog, when I have to do it again I do the same mistake … so it is worth to write a post for me and may be for you too!! 😉

We both know that there are some strings (e.g. [sourcecode language=”csharp”] Here your C# code [/sourcecode]) you have to add before and after the lines of code you want to add in your page in order to have it well indented properly … BUT, if it does not work properly when you see the page, what we have to remember too is to check in the Text tab if some <span> were automatically added by the editor and, in that case, correct command strings (and possibly also the code!) being in the Text tab (and not in the Visual one) … otherwise that escaped command strings will be shown as a simple lines of text in the page, as it is in the following:

[sourcecode language=”csharp”] Here your C# code [/sourcecode]

instead of what you would like, that is:

 Here your C# code 

Even adding some formatting feature like, for example, Italicizing some text (as in the following), can break the command feature you added and the related tag will be shown (e.g. the <em></em> in the case of Italicization):

 <em>int Here your code</em> 

WRONG WAY: better to write the commands and the code when you are in the Text tab

WRONG WAY: if you go to the Text tab you could see that commands were possibly escaped and the code (you possibly paste) contains a lot of not useful <span> tags.

RIGHT WAY: commands and code are written when you are in the Text tab!

If you write the code correctly from the Text tab, even simply going to the Visual tab you can already see the code inside a grayed box (saying that you did the insertion in the right way!!), even thought the commands line are still visible and only seeing the page will give you the final view formatting.

RIGHT WAY: going to the Visual tab you can already see the code inside a grayed box

RIGHT WAY: in the Visual tab, if you see the code inside a grayed box, it means that is well formed

RIGHT WAY: when you see the page, the code is properly indented and the commands string are hidden

RIGHT WAY: when you finally see the page, the code is properly indented and the commands strings are not shown anymore

Pubblicato in Just for fun!, Review e test | Lascia un commento

Family useful features available for Microsoft accounts: Family Calendar and, for children, weekly activities report, limit screen time, sites/apps/games block and localization

There are several interesting features in any Microsoft account, that you can use whenever you use any Windows 10 device (PC/tablet/smartphone) or even other platforms, for example if you use some Microsoft apps (e.g. Outlook as a client for your email/calendar). They are all features available to everyone for free, someone since many years ago … but not so many users possibly knows their existence!

Once family settings were mostly for managing the activity of children, such as limiting screen time, viewing activity reports or finding their device locations on a map while adults in the family were merely administrators of their children’s computer access. In the Family section FAQ you can always see every new changes to family features: Microsoft updates this page regularly to keep users informed about new things they can currently use and what’s coming up next.

In the last few months (even though it was already a feature of Outlook 2013) it was added a Family Calendar, that I am using and I consider very useful. It is a calendar that everyone of the family can use to share events that can be of interest for all the family: in fact, very often there are some events that a parent or a child would like to share with all the family … and this is a very easy way to do that, much better than post it on a paper! Like any other event, you can set a reminder and you can have it shown (e.g. in the tile on the Start page) in whatever device you have Outlook (as an app or a desktop program), either PC/tablet or a smartphone.

Microsoft is not the only one who provide a Family Calendar.
Google has few services for the family too: Google Family Calendar, shared family calendar and a Google Keep, to capture and share ideas with features like reminders, shared lists and notes to help the whole family stay in the loop. To get started with the Family management you can go to Family Link or use the Play Store app (see How to handle Family Group on Google): however you can notice that it MUST be handled only using an Android/iOS smartphone … I could not find a page where I can manage a Family from a Web browser and therefore whatever device I use. It seems that, at least currently, you can create/manage a Family Calendar in Google only with an Android or iPhone app while, from a PC, you can ONLY see/add events of a Family calendar: personally, I think that this is an incomprehensible limitation …
Then there are also several Apps that handle similar tasks (e.g. FamCal (Android), Cozi Family Organizer (Android, iOS), Hub Family Organizer  (Android, iOS), Family Wall  (Android, iOS), FamJama, Chore Monster  (Android, iOS), Any.do (Android, iOS), Kidganizer (iOS) ), and may be in that specific task they do a better work than the one available from main players, …. BUT they are “stand alone” and require the installation of a new app … when very probably the user already use the Microsoft or Google Mail/Calendar!! Therefore, in my feeling, their probability of diffusion is very low: personally I will never install a new app if I have one (already installed and tested) that already can do quite the same job and moreover you expect it will evolve more and more in the future … even because available for all the platforms (PC/tablet/smartphones of any kind, at least Windows, Android, Apple O.S.) and from a browser too.

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Anyway in the following I will take a review only of the Family features implemented by Microsoft.  Let see how it works!  😉

First of all, as you can imagine, to have access to all the services available for a family, there is the need to identify who are the family members and this can be done in two ways:

  • accessing to the Microsoft Account management site : going to  https://account.microsoft.com and then to the tab Family, you can manage all the family features.

    Family section of the Microsoft Account management portal

  • from the Settings of a Windows 10 PC where you are logged with your Microsoft Account: from Settings -> Accounts, you can see that there is also a Family & other people section where you can manage your family definition,  directly from your PC Settings:

    Managing your Family from Settings -> Accounts -> Family & other people

Therefore, to manage your family features you MUST have a Microsoft account, that anyway is useful to have access to many features of Windows 10 devices (e.g. install app from the Microsoft Store, even the free ones; use the OneDrive cloud storage to possibly automatically synchronize a folder on your PCs – even though currently it is only a 5GB  free storage … but if you but Office 365 you get 1TB or more).
If you do not have a Microsoft account you can create one for free from Microsoft account sign-up page, selecting Sign in with Microsoft and then (in the popup window) choosing No account? Create one! . You can choose as username whatever email, phone or skype.
Take in mind that, whenever you have a Windows 10 PC, you possibly have already defined a Microsoft Account, as you can see also going to Settings -> Accounts -> Your info:

Manage the Microsoft Account of the logged user of Windows 10 PC/tablet from Settings -> Accounts -> Your info

The shared calendar is created automatically as part of connecting a family to your Microsoft Account.
To get started from the web site, go to the tab Family: to add each family member click on the Add a family member link and provide his/her email or mobile number, selecting if it is a child or a adult.

Popup window to add a new family member

Specifying he/she is a child you will have more control features, e.g. localization, weekly activity report, restrictions in Web browsing. Obviously every member have to accept to be part of the family with tat specific profile/role and every child is also notified of every notification sent to his/her parent (e.g. weekly activity report, sent to the email of the master member of the family, is also sent in CC to the specific child): the only missing notification is related to each localization done, service that anyway must be previously accepted by the child.

Note that Outlook mail and calendar app is available in all Stores: Google Store; Apple Store; Microsoft Store . It must be emphasized that usually the same app manage both the mail and the calendar [even though it possibly create two different icons, one called Mail (IT: Posta di Outlook) and another Calendar (IT: Calendario di Outlook)] and this happens most of the other email servers (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, Live … the only email I have that does not have a associated calendar seems to be Alice.it).

Take in mind that the synchronization of each new event is not done immediately and its depends also on the current synchronization configuration of the client used by each family member. In fact every email configuration page has a specific section where you can specify how you want the synchronization to be done: at least the first time you want to try this feature, possibly configure it with the shortest delay  … then, you could even relax the constraints and have the update happens every hour for example!

Let the synchronization happens appropriately

To have the Family Calendar shown on the app/site, you must select it among the calendars you want to take into account:

Select Family Calendar, available in your Outlook/live mail account, among the other Calendar you want to consider

Calendar app: Select Family Calendar, available in your Outlook/Live mail account, among the other calendars you want to consider

Select the Family calendar to have it included as one of the calendars to be used by the app (e.g. Calendar app in Windows 10)

Now that you have select the Family calendar too, you can choose it (among several calendars you can have associated to all the configured emails and available from the proper combobox) to add a new event in that specific calendar, so it will be available to all your family members.
I think it is important that a Family Calendar is integrated with other calendars the user could use
and with integration I mean not only to have a view of the events from all but also the ability to create and manage everyone events: Outlook clients have a specific combo in order to add a new event in the proper calendar (possibly the Family one) and whatever is the configured server, the every kind of management is allowed.

However, once an event is inserted in the Family Calendar, there is currently no way to know who inserted it (at least as I could see) and every member can manage the event (modify or even delete): I think that this could be some of the aspects that could be improved  …

Select the Family calendar to store the new event you want to share with your family (e.g. Calendar app in Windows 10 Mobile)

Family Calendar on Outlook.com site

Family Calendar from the Outlook.com site

The presentation of the events coming from each selected calendar (possibly also the Family one) is very well identified using a different color for the background and/or the text, and it is available for every selected view (Day, Week, Month).
Among all the views I think the weekly one is the more useful: I use it much more than the daily one. Having a quick easy way to see the weekly events is for me important and therefore I think that a calendar should always include at least this possible weekly view as well as the daily one!
… even better if it has also a monthly view, even though I quite never use it. Note that in the weekly view, if you click on the box related to one specific day, it will be expanded to better show all the events for that day (it shows for each both also the end time and the location) and possibly drill down inside each one to get all the available information.

Note that the UI change a lot depending the size of the window, so if the UWP app is running on a PC/tablet full screen or on a smartphone (and this it not only a matter of a personalization done in the Settings section of the app!): the usability of a calendar app must be very well defined and it should take into account also the available screen dimension. If you resize a UWP app on a PC, (both in height and in width) you will see that the UI will change completely, till to be similar (but not the same!!) to the one available on a smartphone: therefore the same app adapt its UI appropriately to get always the user experience as better as possible!

Calendar (Mail) UWP app - full screen on a PC/Tablet

Calendar (Mail) UWP app – full screen on a PC/Tablet

Calendar (Mail) UWP app – reducing width and height on a PC/Tablet

Calendar UWP app on a smartphone

In the weekly view, if you click on the box related to one specific day, it will be expanded to better show all the events for that day and possibly drill down inside each one to get all the available information.

Even the UI of a single event change a lot depending not only to the dimension of the window where the app is running (possibly limited by the screen dimension of the device) but also to the device where it is running.

Single event as shown in big window on a PC/tablet

Single event as shown in little window on a PC/tablet

 

Single event as shown on a smartphone (1) - Bottom menu available for setting specific options

Single event as shown on a smartphone (1) – Bottom menu available for setting specific options

Single event as shown on a smartphone (2) - Bottom menu available for setting specific options

Single event as shown on a smartphone (2) – Bottom menu available for setting specific options

There is a further note to be highlighted: there is already a way to enhance the capabilities of the Calendar app linking an external app: in fact, in the bottom menu there is a To-Do voice that allows to add this feature to that app, linking to whatever app that implement it and that the user chooses (see  registered to a URI schema, Association launching sample to get more information on how to link apps features).
As you can see from the following screenshots, the first time the user click on that bottom menu To-Do item, he is asked if he wants to choose in the Store an app that implements that activity. Currently there is only one app in the Store that implement that URI schema (Microsoft To-Do, available also in the Apple Store and in the Google Store)  but whatever app that implement that custom URI Scheme could be attached to improve the Calendar app features.

To-Do external app feature (1)

To-Do external app feature (2)

To-Do external app feature (3) – There is only one app in the Store that implements the requested URI scheme for that feature

To-Do external app feature (4) – Install the external app

To-Do external app feature (4) – once installed, clicking to the To-Do menu item of the Calendar app, suddenly open the feature implemented by the external app (the one the user chose)

What I wanted to highlight with previous screenshots is that the UI of a Calendar app must be very friendly and to be so, it changes depending of the available space; moreover it started to be open to further features providing specific URI schemes that can be used by external apps. Therefore I personally think that the current Outlook UI is very well designed (it changed several times, even only the last two years, following both designers testing and users suggestions coming from the communities) and the mechanism used to add the To-Do feature from an external app is a nice method to get more and more features from the same app.

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Other interesting feature available in the Family section are related to activity of children, such as limiting screen time, viewing activity reports (possibly receiving also a weekly email) or finding their device locations on a map. From any activity report parent can limit screen time, block some sites, apps and/or games.

Manage of activity of children, such as limiting screen time, viewing activity reports or finding their device locations on a map

Weekly mail report of a child activity

Online weekly report of a child activity

The last feature allows a parent to have the localization, in real time, of each family member added with the child role

Child real time localization from a PC/tablet

Child real time localization from a smartphone (1)

Child real time localization from a smartphone  (2)

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There are several apps (e.g. Simple Latitude  [*], Glimpse [*], SquadWatch) that allows to mutually get the position on a map with friends (that must obviously accept that!), but it requires that the app is launched at every restart of the smartphone (and possibly at any update of the app), so that a background task is running . Instead, the family localization feature embedded in any Windows 10 Mobile device does not need anything installed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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P.S. I tried the Family Calendar properly configuring my Microsoft Account and it works fine using both the Outlook mail and calendar app (on tablet/PC and smartphones of my family members) and the Outlook.com site from a browser.

Then I tried to use it from the desktop version of Outlook 2016 (where I have my business email), adding my Microsoft account email (on live.it), but I had some problem. Now in the Calendar tab there is, among Shared Calendars, also the Family Calendar but I have only read-only rights so, if I try to modify some event on it, a popup says: “You cannot make changes to contents of this read-only folder“. I cannot neither add a new event on that Family Calendar from Outlook 2016 desktop program (the New Appointment is  disabled in the menu).
I tried to see the Properties of the Family calendar, especially the Permission tab, adding my Microsoft Account email as Owned and even the Default as Owner, so with every right … but nothing changed and I am still not enabled to manage events on that Family Calendar and I can only view those inserted with the phones or with Outlook.com site from the browser.
I added a post in Microsoft forum on this topic and it seems that even other guys have currently the some problem … Then someone suggested me to have a look to the section “Known issues with shared calendars in Outlook” available in Outlook/Calendar/Share calendar of the support Office site. Here I saw that there is a topic => “I can’t edit a shared Outlook.com in Outlook 2016 (Last updated: May 2, 2017): “Currently, you can’t use Outlook on Windows to edit calendars that are shared with your Outlook.com account, even if you’ve reconnected your Outlook.com account to Outlook. We’re working to make it possible to edit shared calendars in Outlook 2016 for Windows. To edit a shared calendar, go online to your own Outlook.com calendar, open Calendar for Windows 10, or use a mobile device. Read how to Add your Outlook.com account to another mail app“.

I found there also an other current issue that I did not check yet, but that I think even more relevant => “When I edit a shared calendar in Mail for Windows 10, the edits don’t appear on other people’s calendars“: “Mail for Windows 10 does not prevent you from editing a calendar to which you only have read-access. However, any edits you make will only be local edits—other people who share the calendar will not see your edits“.

Therefore, lets wait that those known issues in shared calendars in Office Outlook 2016 will be solved 😉 …. and possibly some more features will be added, like the possibility to see (and filters) who added each event in the Family Calendar and possibly giving to him special rights (e.g. only he can delete events he inserted).

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In the following I will provide further information related to Microsoft Account and email associated with it (and alias of emails).

Take care that there is always at least one Microsoft email associated with your Microsoft Account, even thought you possibly doesn’t use it as main email (or even know that it exists!!): usually it is a live.*, outlook.*, hotmail.* … possibly all of them if you have configured aliases managing your Microsoft account from the Manage how you sign in to Microsoft page.

 Manage how you sign in to Microsoft page

Manage how you sign in to Microsoft page

You can even add one or more alias to your account, creating a new email address (currently on outllok.com or outlook.it … for Italian 😉 clicking on the Add email link of the previous screenshot and navigating toAdd an alias page (see also Add your other email accounts to Outlook.com):

Add an alias to your Microsoft account

Add an alias to your Microsoft account

 

 

 

Pubblicato in Review e test, Windows, Windows Phone/Mobile | Lascia un commento

How to connect a Microsoft Framework Bot to a Microsoft channel (e.g. Cortana, Skype)

In a previous post I spoke about connecting a Bot with a third party channel (i.e. Facebook Messenger).

Connecting a Bot to Microsoft’s specific channels is even easier because you do not need to create/add specific tokens. In his post I will take into account Cortana and Skype channels.

Cortana channel

To add the Cortana channel, you only need to configure a few things, among them the Invocation name you have to use when talking with Cortana.
Note that you must use your Microsoft personal Account (the one you use to login into your PC, and not a possible company Microsoft account using your firm LDAP for authentication … otherwise you cannot connect a bot to Cortana. Moreover you will be able to launch that bot with Cortana, from a device where you are logged with the same your Microsoft personal account. Moreover, as I will point out, it seems to work only with the English Cortana version (at least for my experience and possibly for the time being).

Add the Cortana Channel to a bot (e.g. testEnzoA)

Add the Cortana Channel to a bot (e.g. testEnzoA)

Settings required to add the Cortana Channel to a Bot

Settings required to add the Cortana Channel to a Bot

Ones the Cortana channel is running (green Running word on the Health column), you can ask Cortana on yout PC to run the bot (e.g. saying: “run ‘bot name’ ” … in my case ‘run test‘ having chosen the word ‘test’ as Invocation name for my bot.

Note that I succeeded to make it work on my PC with Windows 10 in English (even though the region is set to Italy), while on my Surface, with Windows 10 in Italian and being logged with the same my Microsoft personal account, it seems not recognize any command I do to run the bot: Saying, for example “Lancia ‘botname’ ” (e.g. “lancia test“) Cortana asks what local app I want to run or it launch one whenever there is an installed one with a name closed to that bot name. May be could be a current limitation of Cortana in languages other than English, but possibly I am using a wrong command …
I did not succeeded to fine that list for languages other than the one for en-us : that page is neither available in different languages, other than English. I tried to translate the same words from that English list in Italian … but I never will be sure that they are the expected translations … The only page related how to use Cortana in Italian seems to be this page , from the help support site, containing only a short video in English (being only a translation of an English original page)!!

In the following there are some screenshots I took launching my example ‘test’ bot with Cortana on my Windows 10  PC (set with English as Windows display language): I simply asked “Run test“. Only the first time she ask me the permission to connect with provaB2 bot. Then, every input I give to Cortana is processed by that bot (that simply reply “You said: ‘same phrase’

Cortana asks the user permission to connect with the requested bot (only the first time you call it).

Cortana asks the user permission to connect with the requested bot (only the first time you call it).

All the input from the user is processed by the remote bot and Cortana shows the bot response.

All the input from the user is processed by the remote bot and Cortana shows the bot response.

As for every bot, you can manage each connected channel using either the Bot Framework site (MyBots section) or the Azure portal (where you deployed your bot).

Management of the bot using the Bot Framework portal

Management of the bot using the Bot Framework portal

Azure Bot Service console where you can test your bot, edit or download it possibly enabling continuous deployment with a source control provider (e.g. Visual Studio Team Services or GitHub)

Azure Bot Service console where you can test your bot, edit or download it possibly enabling continuous deployment with a source control provider (e.g. Visual Studio Team Services or GitHub)

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If don’t necessarily want to use Cortana as a possible channel for your Bot, but your intent is more to build a speech-enabled Bot with Cortana skills, whenever are the used connected channels, in the following there are some useful links:

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Skype channel

The Skype channel is added by default as soon as you register a bot in the Bot Framework portal but to have it added as a contact in your Skype account, for testing purposes, you need to click on the Skype link and accept to have it: on the contrary, if you click on the Edit link on the right, you will be able to get some code (Web Control) to lets you embed the bot in your own website or to stat the publication process that requires a review of the bot. If approved it will be considered in Skype bot directory (unless you have selected the option to Hide from Directory). Bots in Preview are limited to 100 contacts. If you need more than 100 contacts, you need to Publish your bot and then distribute it to unlimited users via a URL or button.

To connect the bot as a contact to your Skype, click that Skype link

To connect the bot as a contact to your Skype, click that Skype link

Accept to add it to your Contacts

Accept to add it to your Contacts

The test bot is then added in my contacts

The test bot is then added in my contacts

To find the test bot, you can possibly click on the contacts icons on the right ot the Search box (just on the right of the magnifying glass) and then select the Bots tab.

The only way I found to let other contacts of mine try to use the test bot, is to share it from its profile page:

Share the Bot with some other contacts of you (1)

Share the Bot with some other contacts of you (1)

Share the Bot with some other contacts of you (2)

Share the Bot with some other contacts of you (2)

Share the Bot with some other contacts of you (3): this is what it is sent to the selected contact that have to click to that provided icon link to add the bot in his contacts too

Share the Bot with some other contacts of you (3): this is what it is sent to the selected contact that have to click to that provided icon link to add the bot in his contacts too

Note that to start the publication process you need to provide the URL of Privacy statement an Terms of use. Moreover, even though the publisher country can be set to Italy, there is not the support for the Italian language (only for English, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish seems to be supported for the time being).

You need to provide Privacy statement an Terms of use URLs

You need to provide Privacy statement an Terms of use URLs

I noticed that, after some hours nobody use a bot (e.g. my test bot provaB2) it answer to the first request after a lot of time (even 15 seconds or more) … as it was discarded and then recovered from the memory. Then, it started again to answer nearly in real time … I noticed this kind of delay only with the Skype channel and it should be investigated furthermore.

 

 

 

Pubblicato in Aziendali, Review e test, Windows | 1 commento