Friday, 18 April 2003

Newsletter Issue 60, April 2003

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 60, April 2003
Hi guys,
For those of you who have one or more domain names currently registered with Domainz, check out Domain Name Hosting below.
We are also starting a series on Using Diacritical Marks in MS Office. There are a number of shortcut codes that you can use to insert "notation marks" into text, and I have started by giving you the German ones.
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.

Domain Name Hosting

Many of you may not know that the function of registering domain names has been thrown open to competition. Where you once paid Domainz an annual rental fee for the use of your web address, now there are a number of organisations offering to host your domain name. Click this link to see just how many providers there are.  
Over the coming months, as your domain renewals fall due, you will get an email from the Domain Name Commissioner ( asking you to go to their website, logon with the password they have provided you in their email and select a registrar.
With me so far? OK. 
This is where it starts to get a bit messy. I initially registered with Xtra. They host my email, are my ISP and so should be interested in providing me with a good deal. 
Wrong. Xtra were going to charge me $1029 per annum to host my five domain name addresses & my POP mail box. Domainz charged me $200 for all of them last year.
The difficulty is that you have to change email providers. You can't have your domain name registered with one company, and have your email received by another. You can, however, have a separate ISP (the company who provides your internet dial up).
So I have found some deals;
  • For a single email user, Freeparking is offering the same service - email and registries - for $29.95 per domain name and $49.95 for email hosting (excluding GST). This came to $225 including GST for me for the year.
  • For up to 10 email user accounts, RegisterDirect have domain registration for $44 per domain name (excluding GST) per anuum including email hosting.
So what else can you get a good deal on? Xtra were going to charge me $600 to put up my website. The cost comparison is interesting here too;
  • RegisterDirect offer web hosting for $99 per annum (plus $44 per domain name/email hosting) - fantastic value.
  • Freeparking offers web and email hosting for $149.95 per annum (plus $29.95 per domain name) for websites 10mb & under
It has suddenly become economic to put a site up. 
I think I will go with Freeparking for my website, which will only cost in total $340 (incl GST) per annum for my domain registries, email and website. I can upgrade my package so that the $49.95 I have paid gets offset against the email fee. 
Xtra would have charged me $1629 for everything. Ouch.
Check the costs out, people; it's very easy to change providers, and makes very good business sense to get the best deal that you can.
You may well be able to beat these deals. Good luck!

Using Diacritical Marks in MS Office

Diacriticals, for those of you who aren't familiar with the term, are those "notation marks", sometimes called "speech marks", used in many of the European languages, including Danish, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Swedish.... These are those letters that have cedillas, circumflexes, acutes, graves, tildes, macrons, breves and umlauts attached to them to form a different sound -  â, è, ç, ø, ü, etc.
For any of you who, like me, have suddenly developed the need to key characters with another language's diacritical marks, the "Insert | Symbol" path is too long and cumbersome to be even considered.
However, there are a couple of SLIGHTLY easier ways of keying diacriticals without having to resort to loading another language version of Office;
  1. Use Ctrl keystroke combinations to put together some characters:
  • Ctrl & /     then "o" = Ø
  • Ctrl & '     then "e" or "a" etc = é or á
  • Ctrl & [Shift]:     then "e" or "a" etc =ë or ä
  • Ctrl & [Shift]~    then "n" or "o" etc = 
  1. Hold the Alt key down & key several numbers to form all diacritical characters through the number keypad. You must turn on your numlock key. Here are the German diacritical codes:
  • Alt & 0 2 2 8 = ä (a umlaut)
  • Alt & 0 1 9 6 = Ä (capital a umlaut)
  • Alt & 0 2 3 5 = ë (e umlaut)
  • Alt & 0 2 0 3 = Ë (capital e umlaut)
  • Alt & 0 2 3 9 = ï (i umlaut)
  • Alt & 0 2 0 7 = Ï (capital i umlaut)
  • Alt & 0 2 4 6 = ö (o umlaut)
  • Alt & 0 2 1 4 = Ö (capital o umlaut)
  • Alt & 0 2 2 3 = ß (eß-zed or digraph s)
  • Alt & 0 2 5 2 = ü (u umlaut)
  • Alt & 0 2 2 0 = Ü (capital u umlaut)
  • Alt & 0 2 5 5 = ÿ (y umlaut)
  • Alt & 0 1 5 9 = Ÿ (capital y umlaut)
  • Alt & 0 1 2 8 = € (euro)
In the next newsletter I will list the French character set diacritical codes with the Alt key & number pad. Have fun!

Excel IF Statements

When we start working with formulas in Excel, one of the first functions we learn is the IF function, which takes the form =IF(condition,true_result,false_result). 
When you use IF Statements, you normally only test one condition at a time; 

eg in the following, the only condition being tested is whether cell A2's value is higher than 10

Weight (Kg)      Shape        Blemishes     Grading 
17.25                    Export        No                    =IF(A2>10,"First","Second")

Sometimes though it is useful to test results on multiple criteria. Perhaps you want to test if B2 contains "Export", or if A2 is greater than 10, or if C2 equals "No". If any of those conditions exist then you want to return "First." However, if none of those conditions is true, then you want to return "Second." 
You create such a formula in no time by combining the IF and the OR functions. 
The OR function takes the form OR(condition1, condition2, condition3), and evaluates to a logical true value if any of the conditions is true. If all of the conditions are false, then the OR function evaluates to a logical false. 
In the example, the formula would be =IF(OR(A2>10,B2="Export",C2="No"),"First","Second")
The OR function will evaluate the three conditions to see if any of them are true. If any of them are, the formula with return "First,". If all three conditions are false, the OR function returns the false value ("Second").
At some point in the future, we will look at nested IF statements, where returning any ONE of a number criteria will return you the false value.
Enjoy playing!

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • VITC, Vertical Interval Time Code. Used with video recordings as a timing signal. It is recorded in the vertical blanking intervals between successive picture frames, hence the "vertical interval."
  • WAX, Wireless Abstract XML. This is an abstract markup language and associated tools that facilitate wireless application development. WAX comes as an integral part of Morphis, an open source transcoding platform from Kargo, Inc. Because WAX tags perform at a higher level of abstraction than those of earlier wireless markup languages, WAX translates to common languages including HTML, WML and HDML.
  • ISP, Internet Service Provider. The person who provides - and you pay for - the dial up number or codes for your web access

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

Short+Hot Keys... and now tips
All the Function keys for you again, but this time we are shifting as well - all you can do with Alt, Shift, Ctrl & F11 (and boy, is there a lot!);
  • Access "To toggle between a custom menu bar and a built-in menu bar" CTRL & F11 
  • Access "To switch between the Visual Basic Editor and the previous active window" ALT & F11 
  • Access "To switch between the Microsoft Script Editor and the previous active window" ALT & SHIFT & F11 
  • Access "To bring the Database window to the front" F11 
  • Excel "Insert a new worksheet" SHIFT & F11 
  • Excel "Insert a Microsoft Excel 4.0 macro sheet" CTRL & F11 
  • Excel "Display the Visual Basic Editor" ALT & F11 
  • Excel "Create a chart that uses the current range" F11 
  • Word "Lock Fields" CTRL & F11 
  • Word "Unlock Fields" CTRL & SHIFT & F11
  • Word "Prev Field" SHIFT & F11
  • Word "VBCode" ALT & F11 
  • Word "Microsoft Script Editor" ALT & SHIFT & F11
  • PowerPoint "Display Visual Basic code" ALT & F11 
  • FrontPage "Display the Microsoft Script Editor" SHIFT & ALT & F11 
Hot Linx
For those of you who are also keen logophiles, then this site is your oyster! World Wide Words is a treasure trove of definitions, provenance and sayings. Go to . And for those of you who have ever wondered why metal roads are called that, check out 
Interested in art? Then the Paris web museum is the place for you with an alphabetical list of artists at 
For any of you who really want to know what a group of any birds is called, you must check out this site; 

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