Sometimes good things get crowded out by not-so-pleasant memories. Here's one way to capture the good.

3 Ways To Hang On To The Good Times

Ever notice how negative events effortlessly pop up into your consciousness while the positive ones require digging and cobweb clearing? That’s happened to you, right? Good, it’s not just me. Actually, I know I’m not alone in this—apparently our brains are hard-wired to turn scary or uncomfortable moments into permanent memories. It’s part of an age-old survival mechanism that equates discomfort with danger and assigns these memories as high priority.

You can't litter negativity everywhere and then wonder why you've got a trashy life.Here’s the good news. Just because there’s science behind it, doesn’t mean we have to settle for the way things are. We can reverse this natural tendency by Continue reading

Job interviews should be conversations, not a ping-pong game of question and answer.

The Conversational Job Interview

Job interviews have to be the toughest way to get to know a person or a company. It’s not a whole lot different than looking for a potential mate at a bar. Everyone’s dressed up and ready to dole out clever words. What are the chances you’re going to see the true picture?

I wrote this article for people on both sides of the interview desk. It should help you have a conversation rather than a stilted, superficial Q and A session.  Continue reading

VOIP can make you crazy when it doesn't work as expected.

Solved: VOIP Problem on Windows 10

I have three phone numbers: two on my smartphone and one on my desktop — all of which I operate with no carriers. That’s right, no monthly cellphone or landline bills. It’s not a system for the faint of heart as this recently-solved problem illustrates.

My system relies on Wi-Fi which means I’m making VOIP calls. VOIP is the acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol which simply means you’re making calls using an Internet connection rather than regular phone lines or cellular. If you have a Gmail account, you already have VOIP capability. Look for the “make a call” icon to the left of your inbox.

I was happy with my system until I got a new laptop and my favourite dialer would only deliver one-way audio. Whether inbound or outbound, the other party could hear me but on my end there was total silence. For two solid weeks I verified drivers, played with settings and ports on the firewall, changed ports on the router, checked speaker connections … You name it, I tried it. The oddest thing of all is my Google dialer still functioned normally.

I should point out that I’m talking about my setup on which provides free calling across Canada and a dedicated phone number. It’s the one I’ve given to business contacts, our banks, friends, and family.

The Solution

The solution was to create a local profile in Windows 10, thereby cutting Microsoft out of the equation. Why does this make a difference? I have to start by telling you that Windows 10 seeks to use your machine as a server. Unless you edit your settings, Microsoft is using some of your bandwidth to send out Windows 10 updates to strangers’ computers. And some of the updates that you receive are coming to you from places other than Microsoft. (Side note: If that creeps you out as much as it did me, here’s how to undo that little bit of evil.)

Last night it struck me: If the soft phone worked perfectly in Windows 10 on my old laptop but not on the new one, I could be causing the problem by doing something differently. The only difference is that I had relented and was signing in every day using my Microsoft ID. As soon as I cut the mother ship tether by creating a local account on the laptop, my soft phone returned to its former usable state. Instantly.

I can’t tell you exactly why the Microsoft connection affected one VOIP line and not the other. I also can’t tell you exactly why my firewall is no longer going gaga (running and updating incessantly) but that seems to have been corrected as well. If your Windows 10 machine is exhibiting odd behaviour, try working from a local account. How-To Geek (my people!) posted excellent instructions here.



How To Schedule Instagram Posts Using Hootsuite

Has this ever happened to you? You have several photos ready to post on Instagram but you don’t want to spam your followers by uploading all of them at the same time. So you post one or two and make a mental note to share the rest over the next couple of days. You know what happens next, right? Life happens. Your brain moves on to the other thousand things you need to get done and Continue reading

"Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road." -Stewart Brand

How To Quit Your Cellular Carrier and Stay Connected

You might be surprised to know that smartphones do not require a cellular plan or a data plan to make calls or surf the ‘net. The setup I describe in this article isn’t suitable for everyone, but with telecom bills rising at three times the inflation rate, there’s no way I could hold back from sharing my experience.

Each of the suggestions that follow can be implemented on their own to save you a few bucks — or put them all together like I did and pocket 100% of what you’re currently paying your cell carrier in monthly charges. Continue reading

Plugged In is pleased to present this fun personality quiz: Which Office Type Are You?

Free Personality Quiz

Are you the diligent perfectionist who double checks every detail, or are you the passionate creative person who comes up with the big ideas? This simple quiz allows you to describe your work ethic, and identifies your office personality using the answers you provide.

That’s how Richard Madison, marketing executive for the Brighton School of Business & Management, described the quiz he sent me last week.

What Is Your Office Personality will ask you questions about how you solve problems, what you do in your free time, and how you handle decisions and criticism. It only takes a few minutes to complete. Sharing the results would make a fun way to start a team meeting.