When reading RSS feeds in Outlook 2010, I was always bothered when images were automatically downloaded. When reading feeds in my RSS reader, I prefer to focus on the content rather than an image. In particular, I've noticed that a number of RSS feeds are now including very large images in their RSS feeds which caused me to have to scroll a full page-length before I was able to read the content.

Outlook has an option to disable image downloads in RSS feeds, but it was a bit tucked away. Here's how to enable the feature:

After installing Windows 8 on one of my test computers (a Panasonic ToughBook  CF-19), I noticed that I had lost my option to dual boot Windows XP and Windows 8. The new bootscreen for Windows 8 is really nice - it has the metro look, it's touch friendly, and it's mouse friendly - but it didn't automatically add a boot option for my Windows XP installation which was pre-existing on the computer.

Here's how you can dual boot Windows 8 with a Windows XP option.

  1. Boot into Windows 8
  2. Navigate to the traditional Windows Desktop
  3. Open a file explorer window
    I find the easiest way to do this is just to click the folder icon from the start menu
    1 - Taskbar - File Explorer
  4. Navigate to the "Computer" option
    The easiest way to do this is to click the Computer option in the left side of the file explorer
  5. Click the "System Properties" button in the ribbon at the top
    2 - File Explorer Properties
  6. Click "Advanced system settings" in the left pane
    3 - System Info
  7. In the Startup and Recovery section of the window that pops up, click the "Settings" button (on the Advanced tab of System Properties)
  8. Change the "Default operating system" option from "Windows Developer Preview" to "Earlier Version of Windows"
    4 - Properties5 - Startup and Recovery
  9. Click Ok to close the settings popup, then click Ok again to close the system properties menu
  10. Reboot and you should be presented with an option to boot into Windows XP (Earlier Version of Windows) or into Windows 8 (Windows Developer Preview).


It's here! I've finally published my first Windows Phone 7 App. If you're a previous reader of my blog, you may have noticed that I'm avid XBMC supporter. I run XBMC on several machines in my house including a Linux based HTPC and on Apple TV devices throughout my house. My company recently started piloting Windows Phone 7 devices and I wasn't happy with the XBMC remotes that were on the market (or their price!) so I decided to write my own.

The first version of XBMC Remote for Windows Phone 7 includes the core capabilities for browsing your library and controlling your XBMC box. If you have any suggestions, comments, or problems using the app, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Check out XBMC Remote on the Marketplace (the one by BoshDirect). The app includes a fully-functional 15 day trial and is the lowest priced XBMC remote on the market at $1.49

  • View and search movie library and select for playback
  • View and search albums and artists and select songs
  • View and select TV shows, seasons, and episodes
  • Remote control your XBMC
  • View movie, tv, and music artwork (fanart, posters, album covers)

*Sorry for the low-framerate video - I need to re-record it on a better computer.

Note that XBMC Remote is a libary browser and remote control. It does not stream videos or music to your phone.

V1.0 ("Taco"):

  • Requires XBMC Dharma (10.0).
  • Tested with Pre 11 (Eden) -- subject to change
  • Movies, Albums, Artists, and TV shows are cached to device for fast viewing and searching
  • Initial movie, music, and TV viewing and remote control functionality
  • Panorama view for movies
  • TV Show Wide Banner view
  • Artwork cached to device for fast viewing (on second load)

My company recently started the process of switching to Exchange and as part of the process I am beta testing Windows Phone 7 devices for them. At the time of writing this article, I'm using the Samsung Focus. The started me off with the LG Quantum which was a pretty abysmal device. It was heavy and the screen quality just wasn't up to par with even the old BlackBerry Bold 9000 I was using previously. I had heard a lot about the Windows Phone 7 platform through a number of tech websites, but I was really surprised at how great the platform really was once I got my hands on it.

The OS is extremely snappy and the phone is incredibly responsive. At first I thought it was just me, but everytime I showed the phone to my friends and colleagues they would also comment on how quick it was. After browsing through the list of available apps on the Windows Phone marketplace, I started thinking about what apps I wished were available... I realized that there's already a really great start to some of the more mainstream apps (Netflix, Maps, Facebook, ESPN, Twitter, etc), but there's definitely some opportunity for improvement.

I decided to look into what it would take to develop and app for Windows phone and realized that it looked pretty easy and the barriers to entry were fairly low. The Windows Phone developer tools are completely free and include everything you need to get up and running. I downloaded the tools  from the App Hub and got started with my first app (Visual Studio, etc). One thing to note is the developer tools allow to fully run and test your application in the Emulator that runs on the computer. If you want to run the application on your phone or deploy it to the App Market (to make money), you'll have to pony up $100 for a App Hub license. A nice thing about the license is it enables you to unlock up to three devices so you can test on more than just your primary phone.

About Me

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Name: Joshua Lyon
Birthday: August 8, 1985
Location: Valley Ranch (Irving), TX
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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