Friday, 12 January 2001

Newsletter Issue 17, January 2001


Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 17, January 2001
Hi guys,
Well, here's the third instalment of web building. This time I have a lot of freeware & shareware programmes that can be used if you are wanting to DIY. If you are wanting expert advice - or wanting an expert to check over the site that you have constructed, check issue 15 for details on who is available in New Zealand to do so. Check out Weaving Your Web and Touching Wood below.
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Weaving Your Web

Remember from what we have looked at before - that putting together a Web site is not that hard, you just need to do your homework first... and hire in some expert advice to complement your skills.

And here's a good tip: When possible, build the entire directory and file system for your website BEFORE adding any of the main content; it is much easier to test features such as overall navigation, design, and to make necessary adjustments without the pages being filled with information.

If you don't own a web authoring tool, here are some trialware, shareware & freeware programmes to help you get started;

  • AceHTML: This free HTML editor can help you create frames from templates that are well organized and easy to edit. This program also comes with ready-to-use JavaScripts, as well as predefined DHTML scripts that you can easily insert into a document. Cost: Free
  • Netscape Communicator: This is also a freeware HTML editor that allows you to view what your html will look like on Netscape software (often with remarkable differences to Internet Explorer!). Cost: Free 
  • Arachnophilia: The form generator in this editor allows you to make Web forms that are well organized and supported by different browsers, with a customisable toolbar, shortcut key macro feature and WYSIWYG instant view window. You can even create a password box that displays asterisks as information is typed in. The program's Analyse HTML feature checks your Web page for syntax errors and nested tags. Cost: Free
  • 1st Page 2000: This program includes 450 JavaScripts that you can use in your document in four user levels: Easy, Expert, Hardcore, and Normal. Each script falls within a category (such as Alerts, E-Mail Forms, Cookies, and Enhancements) and performs various functions, such as initiating e-mail messages with the subject line already filled in, creating pop-up windows, generating cursors that blink, or making text scroll. The program works with existing HTML files, or you can use it to start new ones that support Cascading Style Sheets and Java applets. Other features include automatic image resizing, rollover-button creation, and code checking through the Tidy HTML feature, which you can also use to convert HTML to XML. Cost: Free
  • FrontPage: This is pretty much the industry standard software. This Web site creation and management tool gives you everything you need to create and manage exactly the site you want, using tools similar to you from Word and Publisher, such as background spelling checker, WYSIWYG Fonts, Format Painter etc. Choose from more than 60 pre-designed themes or customize your own. Add pizzazz to your site with improved graphics and formatting tools, create forms, discussion pages, auto emails etc, etc. This is a 45 day trial version. Cost (after 45 days): USD$60
  • HomeSite: To give your Web pages a common look without having to define the properties of every individual word or element, the Cascading Style Sheets feature of this program is for you. Using the TopStyle LiteStyle Editor that comes bundled with this program, you can create a uniform look specifying, from pull-down menus, font type, style and colour either globally (site) or locally (this page). In addition, a colour-coding system makes identifying various style elements easier. DHTML, SMIL, Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript, ASP, JSP, Perl, CFML, VBScript, and XML are all supported. This is a 30 day trial version. Cost (after 30 days): USD$93 at www.beyond.com
  • Dreamweaver: This is one of the two main programmes used by designers (the other is FrontPage). The site management feature in this program simplifies site updating issues by synchronizing file transfers and keeping copies of files in both directories (the web server and your PC). On the remote server, this program mimics the changes you have made on your local machine, using the Site Synchronize command to transfer the latest versions of the files to the remote site. A dialogue box prompts verification of which files are to be transferred before initiating the command. It also had options for deleting files that have no corresponding origins. This is a 30 day trial version. Cost (after 30 days): USD$299
  • Custo: Whether you're a master Web developer or a novice, this specialized tool for retrieving information about the structure of Web sites can be of use. Explore site resources, download selected files and Web folders, and verify the accessibility of links to other sites. Developers can use this tool to verify the integrity of a Web site under construction and get a tree structure of the overall site before making it live. Users just learning Web development and programming can use it to learn the structure of Web sites worth emulating. It works quickly and doesn't consume your Internet bandwidth or scads of space on your hard drive. 
  • Media Inspiration: This site will tell you everything you need to know about setting up a website. It reviews sites and their designers and if you click on 'Links to Tutorials' on the left hand navigation bar you'll find loads of tutorials teaching you how to design your site and use the Web software tools to the best of their ability. 


Touching Wood

For all of you who have not yet joined any of Woody Leonard's ezines (emailed newsletters) yet, all you have to do is click on this link and enter your email address to join Woody's Office Watch.

This FREE ezine provides excellent information about all aspects of MS Office, including beta tester's results on the up and coming Office 10 (more commonly known as OX!). The reviews are useful, the information superb and the writing style cheerful. They are fanatical about people's privacy, and your name will never be given to anyone else - not even their other publications.

But wait, there's more!  There are also four other FREE ezines that Woody produces; one providing Access database news, a new one detailing Palm Pilot information, one on Windows operating software, and one solely looking at Microsoft Project. And here is what Woody has to say about them all....

  • It's about time somebody told the truth about Microsoft Windows®, Access®, Project® and Palm® doncha think? If you want the latest up-to-the-nanosecond news -- or if you're going crazy trying to figure out how to use Office or Windows -- you're in the right place. Join our 500,000 subscribers for a FREE, unbiased, jolt of cold, hard reality, tailor-made to help you get the most out of Microsoft's products, delivered straight to your email inbox. If you want old, warmed-over tips, or the Microsoft Party Line, look somewhere else. My newsletters feature original articles from internationally known, award-winning experts who have descended into the belly of the beast, and survived to tell the tale. No Microsoft marketing drivel. No bull.

There are no ads or extra mailings from associated companies. There are sometimes VERY good offers on software, shareware and freeware available to Woody's readers only. There is no subscription. I have been a member for about three years, had good advice delivered to my inbox each fortnight or so, and never paid a cent.

I have no idea how they do it for the money!

What is more, by joining Woody's Office Watch via this link (click here) you will donate 25 cents NZ to the World Wildlife Fund (my nominated charity). And it will STILL cost you nothing!

Microsoft Windows 2000 Myths

Well, the following information comes straight from the horse's ... er.. mouth. Microsoft have posted the main myths surrounding Windows 2000 on their website, which I have shamelessly cribbed and am sending to all of you. I have provided the links so that if you want to read more about each item, you can. 

Myth: You need Windows 2000 Server before you can install Windows 2000 Professional. 

Fact: Windows 2000 Server is not required before installing Windows 2000 Professional. Windows 2000 Professional delivers superior value, such as mobile features and reliability, as a stand-alone desktop operating system. There is, however, incremental value to be gained via IntelliMirror and Group Policies when Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server are installed together as a platform. In addition to Windows 2000 Server environments, Windows 2000 Professional can be installed with Windows NT Server and Unix (learn more here: Top 10 Reasons to Move to Windows 2000 Professional). 



Myth: Windows 2000 Professional is the next version of Windows 98. 

Fact: Windows 2000 Professional is the next version of Windows NT Workstation 4.0 and is the operating system for all business desktops and laptops. 

Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me) is the operating system for home-users, and is the next version of Windows 98. 

HOWEVER. Windows 95 and Windows 98 can be upgraded to Windows 2000 Professional, so regardless of whether your business currently runs one of those operating systems or Windows NT Workstation, you should upgrade to Windows 2000 Professional to get rock-solid reliability and other business benefits—no matter what size your organisation (see my Newsletter #14 for details about that in case you have forgotten).



Myth: Windows 2000 Professional is no more reliable than any other desktop operating system. 

Fact: Windows 2000 Professional is the most reliable Windows desktop and laptop system ever. Windows 2000 Professional is 50 times more reliable than Windows 98 and 17 times more reliable than Windows NT Workstation 4.0 (learn more here: Windows 2000 Professional—the most reliable Windows ever



Myth: It makes economic sense to stay with my current version of Windows rather than move to Windows 2000 Professional. 

Fact: Windows 2000 Professional offers a significant increase in user productivity as well as reduced IT costs, which leads, of course, to increased profitability for businesses. This ROI (return on investment) will be realised in only a few months post- installation, and is not to be found in such quantities in any other desktop operating system (learn more here: Windows 2000 Professional Business Value)


TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;

  • UUCP, UNIX-to-UNIX Copy. Originally, UUCP was a program that allowed UNIX systems to transfer files over phone lines. Currently, the term is used to describe the protocol that passes news and email across the Internet
  • WAIS, Wide Area Information Service. A distributed information service and search engine that allows natural language input and indexed searching. Many Web search utilities use a WAIS engine
  • DEK, Data Encryption Key. Much like an actual key used for locking and re-opening doors, DEKs are used for the encryption and decoding of message text, sometimes as a digital signature
  • CGI, Common Gateway Interface. A set of rules that describe how a Web Server communicates with another piece of software on the same machine, and how the other piece of software (the “CGI program”) talks to the web server. Any piece of software can be a CGI program if it handles input and output according to the CGI standard. You can sometimes see that a CGI program is being used by seeing “cgi-bin” in a URL...
  • PPP, Point-to-Point Protocol. A protocol that provides a method for transmitting packets over serial point-to-point links. PPP is one of the most popular methods for dialup connections to the Internet, since it allows you to use other standard protocols (such as IPX, TCP/IP, and Netbeui) over a standard telephone connection, but it can also be used for LAN connections
  • SLIP, Serial Line Internet Protocol. Similar to PPP, SLIP is another standard protocol used to run TCP/IP over serial lines, such as telephone circuits or RS-232 cables. Unlike PPP, however, SLIP does not work on a LAN connections. SLIP used to be the most popular way for dialup users to access the Internet, but PPP quickly overcame SLIP because of its ease of use and integration into many client operating systems

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Short+Hot Keys... and now tips
This time we have some toolbar tips for working in Word.

Work a lot in Word with a variety of templates? Find that you hardly ever use the "Normal" template? Then replace the "New" icon on the toolbar with "New..." (Right click toolbar| Customise | Command | File - New...). Each time you click the icon it will bring up the template "New" window so you can choose whichever template suits you.

Never use the "New" template? Then replace it with your own. Create and save the document as a template that you want to open each time Word opens. The save location is automatically C:\Windows\Application Data\ Microsoft\Templates (Word 97 location is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Templates). Name your document with whatever you like (you will be changing the name in a minute). Close Word. Open Windows Explorer (right click start button, select Explore). Go to the template location for your version of Word. There will be a document called "Normal.dot" Change this document's name to "Normal 1.dot". Rename your document template to "Normal.dot". Close Explorer. Restart your PC. Open Word, and there is your template, ready to use.

Have a label template that you use for printing address labels? Type your labels manually? Then add the "Address Book" icon to the toolbar (Right click toolbar| Customise | Command | Insert - Address Book...). Go to where you want the address to appear in your document, click on the icon, and the Outlook Address Book opens. Type in the first letters of the name you require, double click, and hey presto! name and address inserted for you.

Have trouble when copying images from other programmes? Are they pasted in the wrong format for your requirements? Then add the "Paste Special" button to the toolbar (Right click toolbar| Customise | Command | Edit - Paste Special). Then when you want to paste, for example, an image from Excel, click the button, and choose from seven options; Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object (which can also be linked) through to unformatted text and HTML Format.

Have trouble when sending Word 2000 docs to Word 97 users with your graphics floating all over the place, overlaying each other and generally not behaving as they should? All can be solved by right clicking on the graphic, selecting Format Object, and on the Position tab selecting the "In line with text" option. Your graphic is embedded and will no longer drift everywhere. 

Hot Linx
If you are an extra customer, you may be interested in a new offer from Xtra. Get your business online at: http://www.xtrabusiness.co.nz/websites/sitestarter/ 

Loads of trivia and memory "common or garden" computer games at: http://www.uproar.co.uk 

Want to learn some new office tips from users? Go to http://www.microsoft.com/nz/office/tipfile.asp 

Check out Organizing Solutions, a San Francisco business teaching us how to get organised at organizing-solutions.net

Macro Anywhere lets you create hot-keys that perform complex tasks with just a single keystroke. It works with most Windows applications and can hold up to 256 commands. It has a 30 day trial, but only costs $13 US to register (and you can pay by credit card). ZDLabs rated it "5 star". Find it at http://www.infinitefreedom.com/keygen/


                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here