For this Sunday’s Office tip we are going to look at Vista Sidebar Gadgets that can help you better manage appointments and GTD lists in Outlook 2007. When Vista first came out I was not a fan of the Sidebar or its gadgets. At the time, gadgets seemed only to be resource consuming “”eye-candy”. As this technology has progressed I am finding more useful Gadget applications.
Another week of cool articles featuring useful tips and showing off software features. I started with the Online Storage Series where we will look at most of the services available. Thanks to all the readers who commented on the fact AOL is selling Xdrive. Hopefully another company will buy it out so existing users can keep their data and storage space. In case you missed anything here is a list of what was covered last week.
After writing about how to create a shortcut or hotkey to mute the speakers in Windows, I got a couple of requests for how to do the same thing in Linux, which turns out to be really simple if you are running the latest version of Ubuntu or Gnome.
Yesterday a friend pointed out that about every 3 months I go on a quest to find a new music player. When I think I have found “the perfect one” I end up repeating the same quest. Those who are regular readers of this blog know I have covered several music players over the past 18 months. I think my indecisiveness started back when I went on my iTunes rant. Since then I am still looking for the crown jewel of players. Well, for now I think it is aTunes which is an Open Source Java based music player.
After reading an article I wrote over at Lifehacker on how to use the Quick Parts feature in Outlook, reader Jason wrote in asking how you can transfer them to another computer once you’ve created them, and it seemed useful enough to explain for everybody’s benefit.
Being able to burn an ISO image should not be as difficult as it sometimes is. Being able to burn them should actually just be a standard feature in Windows. Of course there are hundreds of things a person could list that should be included. We can get this feature by adding a the free 3rd party application ISO Recorder V3. This handy utility is developed by Alex Feinman and he will gladly accept donations on his site.
If you have a dual boot system and often switch back and forth from Vista to XP, you’ve probably already been annoyed with the fact that you have to wait until the boot menu comes up and choose the right OS… and half the time you step away and it ends up booting into the wrong one anyway.
So far we have taken a look at SkyDrive, Mozy, and ADrive for backup, storage, and sharing your data. Another popular option is AOL’s Xdrive. Like Microsoft’s SkyDrive you get 5GB of storage with Xdrive.
After a number of readers have written in about how to remove the dotted black outline that sometimes appears when you make a file selection, I realized that I needed to write this up for everybody’s benefit, since there actually is a solution.
The user interface of Xdrive is quite intuitive as is managing your files online. The free account is for 5GB of storage with the file size only limited to the amount of space on the drive.
As part of our online storage series we will take a look at most services available. I am going to focus on the free services, taking a look at what they offer or do not, which should help you decide if one is appropriate for you. Using online storage services as a supplemental step is beneficial in a well rounded backup plan.
As of this writing they offer 3 plans which are Basic, Signature, and Premium. You can read more about and compare each service on their site.
Have you ever had music playing loudly on your speakers when the phone rings… then you fumble for the speaker switch or the pause button on your music playing application while trying to answer the phone? Instead of bothering with that, I’ve always simply created a shortcut to mute the system volume instantly with the press of a key.
During a workday things can definitely seem overwhelming as the amount of data we are expected to absorb increases at such a rapid pace. In this fast paced environment it can be easy to misplace an important contact or have another do the same if you are the important contact.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time creating your own Electronic Business Card design you can download Templates from the Microsoft Office site. This is a cool and easy way to go because you can open the template and do various customizations to it. There are also several sites on the Web that you can download them from.
My main theme this past week was keeping children safe online using Parental Controls in Windows Vista and using another very useful service OpenDNS. I also covered Windows Live SkyDrive and the volume control utility Volumouse. In case you missed anything check out this weeks review. More great how-to articles you have come to expect next week!
This week I have been covering tools to use within Windows Vista to help keep your kids safe using the PC and while being online. This article will apply will show how to use Open DNS with any Operating System to help filter undesirable web content. Simply put DNS (Domain Name System) translates IP address to an easy to remember hostname. For example if you were to type “126.96.36.199” without the quotes into your web browser you will be directed to google.com.
One of our great readers wrote in yesterday asking how to migrate the custom Office dictionary from one computer to another, and it seemed worthy enough to write about for everybody’s benefit. Thanks Josh!
One of the many annoyances I have with Internet Explorer is the fairly small default width of the tab bar… as somebody who opens a lot of tabs all the time, it becomes difficult to manage. With a simple tweak, we can remove the command bar that usually sits on the right of the tabs.
Today there are a plethora of options available for storage, both online and off. More and more options are becoming available for cheap and often free online storage. You have to shop around a bit for a service that fits your needs. Some free accounts do not offer a very much capacity, and ones that do offer up to 50GB of storage are not easy to use. In this Online Storage Series we will look at some of the better online storage solutions and how to use them.
As you know this week we have been covering ways to help protect your children online and with PC’s in general. Vista includes the feature Parental Controls which help in making those tasks easier. So far we have covered How To Block or Allow Programs, Limit Time Kids Can Use The PC, and How To Block Certain Websites. The are good tips and seem to work pretty well for younger users. However, once the children of this technology age get a bit older and learn to adapt more sometimes it is hard to determine what should or should not be controlled. That is where today’s tip comes in. Here I will show you how to use Activity Reports to determine what you want to block or not block.
In my latest article on Lifehacker, I examined some of the most offensive myths out there regarding PC performance tweaking, and debunk them once and for all:
So far we have covered ways to monitor and protect children with the PC and while online using Windows Vista. In coming features in this series we will look at what we can use to get similar results in XP as well as other precautions to take using 3rd party applications and services.
A while back I wrote an article on how to use Outlook 2007 as an RSS reader. In my new position I am actually using Thunderbird as my email client and wanted to subscribe to RSS feeds using this instead of using a separate app like RSS Owl or Google Reader. Not that there is anything wrong with those choices, but the more everything can be consolidated the better.