Author Archives: Steve

Bumbling Reindeer Gift Exchange

Image Credit: Santatelevision

Are you tried with the ho-hum Christmas Gift Exchange? How about a super fun modern mashup with the oh-so-popular cheek retractor game?

I present to you, the “Bumbling Reindeer Gift Exchange”

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Oprah uses a Surface Pro. Really this time.

oprah surface proAfter the Surface snafu last November, Oprah Winfrey has finally made good with her “Best List” by using the Surface Pro during her new “Lifeclass” episode, aired this past Sunday.

I happened to flip through the channels and caught a glimpse of her using the Surface Pro with a pen in hand, in a preview commercial. I posted the video on last week with doubts from the community that it was actually a Surface, let alone a Surface Pro that wasn’t even available to the public.

Today I watched a recording of the show and can confirm that she is in-fact using the Surface Pro. She did not mention it specifically, but during the show, she did use it to answer an online quiz, which did have the “Surface” logo on it. Also, there were plenty of Surface (RT) commercial in between the show.

Quiz with the Surface logo



Painlessly switch from Google Apps to Microsoft Part 1:Email with


Just a back story: I did attempt to move my custom domain to Microsoft’s service awhile back and it was not friendly nor did it look like it was actively supported at the time, so I decided to stick with Google until now. Microsoft uses a service called to handle custom domains routed to live services, such as, profiles, calendars, etc. Instead of using a or or, or passport email address, you can use your own purchased domain to utilize their services. Since I am using all MS products now (laptop, phone, surface and xbox), I thought it was the time to try it again. Heck, maybe things have improved since 4 years ago.

Prep your gmail settings to ensure that you have “Pop” enabled to download all mail.

Log into and go to the Gear -> Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP

Set to “Enable POP for all mail”

Gmail POP


Go to and log in with your Primary Microsoft Account, or create a new one if you don’t have one. I suggest picking an account.


Custom Domains


Add a custom address and make sure “Setup for my domains” is selected


Add Domain03-conifrm-add


Verify the ownership by adding a MX and TXT record with your custom domain registar or host dns




Copy the MX and TXT records enter them into your DNS / MX settings. For me, I use FreeDNS to manage my records. I simply replace what I had there for my Google Apps records.

06-add-txt-record 07-add-mx-record


Once verified, select your Active domain and add a new member account




Now, logout and login into with the new account you created to confirm your new account.




Once in, it is time to add you Google email so we can import your messages.

Go to Gear -> ” More mail settings” -> “Your email accounts”




Add a send and receive account, for your Google hosted email. 13-send-recieve-account



Name the account something other than your existing email, like



Tell it to move all mail to your inbox. btw. this will retrieve all mail (inbox and sent) and place it into your inbox.


Let it retrieve all your email.

For me, I let it go overnight.

Clean-up Inbox

Google puts all mail (inbox and sent) together and adds flags to them to seperate them into virtual folders. When you import your mail into, it will get all mail (inbox and sent) and import it into your inbox.

  1. Once all the mail is retrieved, do a sweep and move all messages from you (your email account), to your sent folder.
  2. Select all email in each folder and choose all records, then mark as read.


At some point, Google will no longer receive your emails because of the MX record changes and your outlook will no longer fetch them (new mail) as the mail will be coming directly to you new outlook email.



You will get an error on the account status page, because it cannot send a verification email to the temp email you set up in 8.3. You can ignore this as you wont be sending from this account anyways.