Friday, September 30, 2005

MS Office Tips

Most of us spend a huge amount of time in Microsoft Office.  Check out these links for some great tips for these office products.  Do you want to know how to change a default attachment directory or Outlook, or have it minimize to the system tray rather than to the task bar?  Check these out.


Hat tip to Mark Orchant.

”After many, many requests from readers, I have finally gotten around to compiling all the Microsoft Office related tips I have written over the past two years.

For those of you who are waiting on the Windows XP related tips, it is definitely in the works and I hope to have them done for you by the end of the month.”

Download of the Day: Skype 1.4

In case you missed this, there is a new version of Skype out there, the nearly ubiquitous internet telephony program.  Skype is saving our missions thousands of dollars in phone bills.  A call to Macedonia from Kosovo, for instance, costs about a dollar a minute.  No more.  I can even Skype my bosses cell phone for far less than that.  In fact, Skype has forced our whole mission to begin to more aggressively underwrite the cost of internet for our personnel because of the downstream savings.  Good stuff.

Internet telephony application Skype version 1.4 is out of beta and ready for download, with new features that make it easier to make internet phonecalls easily on the cheap.

The new version includes support for call-forwarding from one Skype account to another for free and from Skype to up to three landlines or mobile phone numbers for as little as 2 cents a minute. Version 1.4 plays nice with Microsoft Outlook with an easy contact import and the ability to make one-click calls to numbers and names from Internet Explorer and Outlook. Skype 1.4 is a free download, Windows only.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tablet PC coming soon

I’ve been an IBM Thinkpad laptop user for a number of years.  A model 760 (?) was my first real laptop.  All the ones I had before that were hand-me-downs from nice people in the church I served in at the time.  But that laptop made me a committed Thinkpad customer.
I’ve also been tracking the Tablet PC phenomena for almost a year.  TPC’s were first released several years ago but have finally begun to win over a growing audience.  TPCs give you the ability to “ink” directly on the screen with a special pen.  That ink can be searched, converted to text, converted to shapes, etc., by Windows.
Anyway, when Lenovo (who recently bought the personal computer division from IBM) released a Thinkpad in a tablet form factor, I decided to take the plunge.  My Thinkpad T23 was three and a half years old at that point and in need of upgrade.  Fortunately for me I ordered one early because unexplained delays pushed the ship date back by almost two months.  Not a good first product ship for Lenovo.  It was probably only a month after I ordered my Thinkpad X41 that my Thinkpad died.  It was a slow, painful, gradual death, one from which I recovered all my data before something critical on the motherboard inexorably burned away.
I took it to the IBM service center in Skopje, Macedonia (yes, there is a reason I’m sold on Thinkpads) and they said a new mobo would be $1300.  Since I can buy a used T23 on ebay for about $250, and since my new X41 was in route (sort of) I decided to pass.
My new TPC will make it’s way back to Kosovo in about a week when my wife comes back from the US from some doctors appointments.  While she’s been gone I’ve been using HER T23 to copy all my installation CD’s to an external hard drive to make sure I have everything I need to recommence operations on the new PC.