Re-Launch, coming soon…

After a few months of dealing with family emergencies, relocating, starting a new job, and who knows what else I’ve left off the list, I think I’m finally going to sit down and get back in the swing of things! Expect more regular updates to come back to the site soon. Even better? The content will be more varied, combining a bit of what you’ve seen sparse bits of here, with what you know from WinBreak.com! So stay tuned, as the site really becomes the blog I’ve always wanted it to be. Check back soon!

Where Microsoft's "to the cloud" ads fall short

I think most people get that I’m a Microsoft Fan-Boy. A self-admitted Windows lover, Xbox lover, Windows Mobile addict, Microsoft product junkie. That’s why I don’t like being critical of Microsoft, but they just keep missing the point.

Android, and specifically even Motorola Droid commercials, often advertise how Product X is “just one of thousands of apps” available on the Droid. They plug the product, tell you what it does, all kinds of great things – and this is putting money in someone else’s pocket (though I’m sure some sort of scheme was worked out to get a product promoted).

Meanwhile, Microsoft gives all the glorty to “the cloud” – without ever telling you what it is, how it works, or how to actually use it.


Get Microsoft Silverlight

Now, I know the concept of the cloud is still a bit abstract for many home PC users, but when Microsoft shows off some great video conferencing software, it sure would be nice if I knew the name of it so that I could start video conferencing with my parents (note: I, frankly, still have no idea what cloud-product is being featured in this ad – can Live Messenger share a video while 2 people video chat?). I just think that the ads should at least feature the name of the Windows application that actually lets you do these things. It’s out there, it’s self promotional, it’s easy. Why is it so hard for Microsoft advertising partners to figure out?

Want better Gmail / Google Calendar on Windows Mobile? Try Google Sync

Are you jealous of all of your friends with their fancy Android phones, while you’re stuck with Windows Mobile? Do you wish you could sync your calendar and contacts to gmail just like them? Do you wish there were an easier way to import your contacts from Windows Mobile to Gmail so that when you buy an Android phone you can have it automatically download your contacts? You’re in luck.

For whatever reason, Google Sync seems to be one of the best kept secrets on Windows Mobile. After a download-free, quick, and painless setup, your Windows Mobile phone is syncing contacts, emails, texts, tasks, and calendar events like there’s no tomorrow. You can practically ditch Microsoft MyPhone* if you want. Details about Google Sync can be found on it’s website, http://www.google.com/mobile/sync/ – visit the page for easy instructions on setting the service up for multiple devices. Keep in mind, setting up for Windows Mobile is very easy!

A Parents' Guide to Gaming


Today, according to the American Library Association, is National Gaming Day at your Library. As a person who has grown up gaming, I see the confusion in some parents’ eyes as they try to determine what games are right for their children.

Your kid already knows what they want – but just because it’s a game doesn’t necessarily mean you should cave in, especially if you’re the type of parent that pays close attention to the movies your child watches or music they listen to. Why should video games be any different?

So today, I’ll be at my local library presenting, for parents who wish to attend, A Parent’s Guide to Gaming. I will be discussing ESRB ratings, as well as how the individual consoles handle their parental controls. For those unable to attend (the extreme majority of the people who view this website), I’ve prepared a few links that might help you.

Below are videos from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada – now these videos are a little old, but the majority of the information is still the same. I wish I had the ability to record today’s demonstrations, which will all show case the latest revisions of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. Since you can’t attend, below the videos are also step-by-step guides from the manufacturer’s themselves, describing in detail how to manage the Parental Controls of each console, with their latest updates.

Video Demonstrations
Configuring Parental Controls video for Microsoft Xbox 360
Configuring Parental Controls video for Sony PlayStation 3
Configuring Parental Controls video for Nintendo Wii

Written Guides
Setup Parental Controls step-by-step guides for Xbox 360
Setup Parental Controls step-by-step guides for PlayStation 3 (PS3)
Setup Parental Controls step-by-step guides for Wii