Tablet PC – A Student's Perspective

One Note, Note Taking and Powertoys

Goodbye Tablet PC

Posted by anirudhsaraf on July 22, 2010

After having graduated from college and getting an Ipad, my tablet has been lying abandoned in a corner. The other day I booted it up to test some Inking on the new OneNote14, only to discover that my pen had stopped working. It was then that I decided to retire my TabletPC  (and with it in all likelihood this blog)  and reformat and retrofit it as a Ubuntu Server.

I still love and use OneNote to save random tidbits of information, but lack of support on the Ipad and Linux is making me consider switching to  Evernote.  OneNote Team – can we get an Iphone/Ipad app !

As a parting gift I am releasing the source code for TreeView if anyone is interested in developing it further. I will be happy to answer questions about the code if you need help

Note: The code hasn’t been cleaned up ; was written in my sophomore/junior year in college and there are very few comments.

PS: Any emacs people interested in writing a M-x Send-To-OneNote/EverNote script ?

Update: check out my new blog (developer focused) at!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »


Posted by anirudhsaraf on February 8, 2009

This blog has been quiet for a while now as I have been ( am) extremely busy at College. I did however get a chance to make some changes to TreeView. I have been using it for a while now without any trouble so I thought I’ll post it up ( link at bottom).



As the above Screenshot shows, it has undergone a few enhancements.

Some Added Features

Favorite Folders : You can now create as many favorite folders as you wish. Use it to create alternate views of your notes.

Make Root ( The up arrow button):  Allows you to select any node and make it the topmost element in the TreeView. Specially useful if you are working within a single notebook and section and want to get rid of all the other noise.

Find Page in Tree : Are you on a particular page in OneNote and wish to locate it in the TreeView. This funky two page button will do just that.

Refresh : Refreshes the content of the TreeView to reflect the current hierarchy of OneNote.

Note : This is a standalone executable. There is no installation and it does not run from OneNote. Consequently, it does not make any changes to your system.

Feedback will be appreciated !

Update: Rev 1- Fixed Bug with TreeView Crashing if pages contained tags. If you had problems when TreeView crashed on startup, try the new copy. Thanks John for bringing it to notice !

Download TreeView

Posted in One Note powertoys, OneNote, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 31 Comments »

The Automation Hangover

Posted by anirudhsaraf on August 26, 2008

I got back to college yesterday after my twelve week long internship at Microsoft, and its difficult snapping back into “college-mode”.

I walked into SOURCe ( the student run tech support center) where I work. A routine we go through every year is to go around campus and register the mac addresses of the new students into our system. The steps to do this is to have the user log into the university portal, navigate to the student resources tab, click on the add mac address which reloads the page to show a form  where we add the mac-address. While earlier I saw it as a routine task, now it seemes like 3 unnecessary clicks along with the trouble of launching the command prompt and getting the mac address from there. Mutliply that by 700 new students and its a lot of work.

Instantly my mind began churning, looking to automate the process so that all the user does is log on to the portal and voila his mac address is registered.  Now luckily on my long plane ride back I was reading up on the DOM and the web browser control as research for one of the powertoys in the pipeline, and so it hit me – just as we automate testing OneNote or desktop software there must be a way to automate testing websites !! I fired up google, typed in automating websites and other related terms to come up with a simple solution using the web Browser control and DOM which registers the users mac address as soon as he logs into the portal through my software.

It will be put to test next week as the freshmen start pouring in. Here’s hoping they have the .NET framework installed.

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My first two weeks at Microsoft

Posted by anirudhsaraf on June 17, 2008

Let me just say its been awesome – except for the weather which seems to be taking a good turn now :),  about time I would say.

The best part about working at Microsoft is all the new technology – and the people who created them – I get to experience and see everyday. I could just as easily spend my entire day attending talks as opposed to getting any actual work done – there are so many exciting things to learn. The way the system works is I write out my commitments in consultation with my manager which is used to evaluate my progress. There are no fixed timings for reporting or leaving. I usually get in between 9-10 and stay there till the time my stomach starts complaining about dinner. Aargh – free dinners or at least open cafe’s at night would make things so much easier. I know Google pops into your mind – but seriously I prefer the more technological exposure at Microsoft over free food. In my two weeks here, I got exposed to Windows Server , Hyper-V , PowerShell, Sharepoint apart from experiencing the whole software creation process.

I did get a peek at the new version of OneNote they are cooking up here. Unfortunately I can’t talk about it but I can’t wait for when I can. There is a lot to talk about :) Boy, am I excited about it. My commitment or projects for the internship consist of testing one of the new features ( about which I can’t talk) and writing a tool to automate testing about which I can talk :). Basically I am writing some tools that deal with creating and automatically running a testing tool on Virtual Machines(Hyper-V ). This would make it easy for our team to deploy testing solutions to other teams to eliminate problems like OneNote and Windows Home Server corruption issue before they are discovered by users. I am still working on wrapping my head around the tools I need to learn to accomplish this :), and hopefully I’ll get it figured out soon.

That’s all for now :), but if you guys have some feature you are dying to see in OneNote, let me know in the comments and I’ll try my best to influence the PM’s  to think about them.

Posted in Microsoft Intern Experience | 5 Comments »

My First Day at Microsoft

Posted by anirudhsaraf on June 4, 2008

The first day started with dreary weather, a sign of things to follow perhaps. I reported at Building 122 at 8:00 am to take part in the New Employee Orientation. The morning was long and dull as we were made to fill out forms and go through orientation. We were made aware of various Microsoftie things like how to access the network, find HR related information, and watch essential security and legal videos. It should suffice to say that the most interesting and comic part of the entire morning of orientation was a video by one of the lawyers about the law, antitrust and IP protection stuff. Though his humor was obviously unintentional, I think he managed to generate the most laughs by saying things like “It’s bad enough to be a lawyer” with a totally expressionless face. Hmm, any comedians out there wish to comment on whether its a technique to appear unintentionally comic with a totally expressionless face?

After lunch ( notice we hadn’t yet left the single room we were in – from 8:00 – 1:30) we split up into teams and were sent off on a scavenger hunt. While the idea itself was good, in my opinion it was a failure as none of us had keycards to get in into any of the buildings, nor did anyone know even vaguely what the questions referred to. It was more like a battle between the group leaders (Microsoft workers who volunteered) rather than the tour of campus or a team building exercise which I think they intended it to be.

However I do realize that most of the stuff we did had to be done and considering that they get a batch of interns (around 100 in mine) every week, they couldn’t really do anything special like getting a high give a talk etc., but they sure could have tried to liven things up a little.

Then after that around 4:00  I met with John (my manager) and the rest of the Test Team. It was really thrilling to meet some of the people behind the product and my mentor (my go -to person :) )  helped me set up my office station and email etc. They gave me 2 desktop computers and a screamer of a Gateway tablet :) . She walked me through a few things but since I did not have full network access yet  looking at the actual tools was put off. Probably a nice thing, because a mixture of the boring morning and jet lag had made me really tired and sleepy. After checking my mail ( Yes I already had around 25 of them !! )  I called it a day.

Today, on the other hand is projected to be a sunny day, and I am looking forward to my first day in office.

Posted in Microsoft Intern Experience | 1 Comment »


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