Friday, 6 June 2003

Newsletter Issue 62, June 2003


Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 62, June 2003
Hi guys,
Junk mail - don't you hate it? But you need to be careful what lists you take yourself OFF as well as those you put yourself on. Check out Be Careful What You Click On below.
If you want to change the colours of images that you are using to gussy up Word documents, check out the Changing Image Colours in Word 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.

Be Careful What You Click On

Aside from the possibility of getting a virus from answering mail coming in from unknown senders, there is another reason why you should not click on links contained in unknown-origin emails. They may be a "hook" for spammers.
How? Some dot coms have software that "creates" possible email addresses and sends out hundreds of emails. If you click on the "click to resign" or "remove my address from this mailing list" sections of these unsolicited emails, you will actually be CONFIRMING your email address - or even worse - substantiating both the email they sent it to (eg hotmail) AND the email address your computer replies on (eg Xtra) so that the spammers get two email addresses for the price of one.
This is the same for free - and unsolicited - software offers. You only verify that your address is active by clicking the link - and rarely get the software.
These ANNOYING emails' creators are very clever in covering their tracks and are almost impossible to track down. In a recent Woody's Office for Mere Mortals article about spam, it said about one spam message's origin "If you run the address through http://whois.arin.net, you'll discover that the company who owns the address is registered at a post office box in Montevideo, Uruguay. Surf to the email address's Web site, liberomail.com, and you end up on an Italian-language site, superEVA.it." There are no street addresses - or, if there is an address listed, the physical location doesn't exist.
From what I understand, spammers can use a number of methods to "hide" who they are, including;
  • Hiding their ISP etc so that the email shows no source
  • Having a bogus reply address in their mail profile so that you can't reply to their email (you will just get an "undeliverable" message)
  • Remember the ads on the net for "Earn money - let us use your computer while you aren't"? Spammers can use other email addresses to route their mail outs so that they are not traceable to themselves, but to someone else
The best thing to do is to delete the messages as they arrive. 
It would be nice if you could create a rule to delete all the spam, but the trouble is that there are no unique identifiers. A number of spam messages which I have received lately have been mainly graphics - no text to pick up on. And if you create a rule to delete all messages containing "offer" and "free" you might delete that email from your partner asking you if you are free to discuss an offer on your property!
What you can do is go the other way - I have used the "organise" tool in Outlook and created rules to move all my solicited emails to other folders. What is left in my "Inbox" is usually junk. Then I can trawl through and delete what looks like junk at my leisure.

Another quick warning - there are a group of people who are stealing wallets and bags; who then call the owners of the bags posing as a Customer Service Officer from their bank. They ask the owner to verify their pin number for their credit or debit card over the phone. Don't do it. This is also a scam
NEVER give your pin number to another person. And don't click on unsolicited email links!

Changing Image Colours in Word

Looking for a way to jazz up plain-ish colour or black-and-white images in documents? 
Providing the images are simple, Word's Picture toolbar provides an easy way to replace one colour with another.
Here's how it works. 
  1. Go to Insert | Picture | From File, and insert an image into your current document
  2. Click the picture once to select it, then click the Set Transparent Color tool (this is the tool that looks like a pencil-end rubber pointing into a hard black corner) on the Picture toolbar (NB: If the Picture toolbar doesn't appear by default, right-mouse click on the Menu bar and select Picture from the list of toolbars)
  3. Move your mouse to your picture, and click on an example of the colour that you want to replace. Word will convert ALL occurrences of that colour in the picture to transparent
  4. Click the Format Picture tool (this tool looks like a tipping paint pot and brush). Go to the "Colors And Lines" tab, and in the Fill section, click the colour drop-down list. Select a colour from the palette, click OK
  5. Word will fill in all the transparent sections of your image with the selected colour
If the image you wish to change is already in colour, then this process won't work very well as you will only replace one colour amongst what could be a palette of thousands. To make sweeping changes to a picture's colours, you will need to use an application designed for image editing, such as PhotoShop or Illustrator.

Fit for Winter

To keep off those extra kilos that winter seems to add on with ever increasing ease, how about making yourself a simple fitness plan that you record in your diary or on your calendar over the next couple of months?
Or you can do what I did, and foolishly volunteer to play in a mid-winter hockey match. Then suddenly think about the unhitched-ness of your brain and mouth and start having a panic fitness-attack!
The best way to exercise is with a friend. Then you can keep each other motivated. Also, try making a pact that if you don't go out at your designated time, you still have to complete the exercise before your next scheduled exercise time.
But don't burn out. Remember;
  • Start slowly if you haven't done anything vigorous for a while
  • Warm up both your lungs and your legs before you start the main bulk of your exercise
  • Only do stretches once you are warmed up.
Some ideas to get you started;
  • Walk briskly around the block each morning before breakfast. Get wet-weather gear for the bad days
  • Never take the lift. Always take the stairs and go as fast as you can
  • Try to get five friends who are all keen to do something for fitness. Organise a trip out with each of them on a different day each week;
    • Take a walk with a friend at lunchtime (& take your wet-weather gear). Take a packed lunch and go somewhere with a view as a reward for the walk
    • If you have a dog, go dog walking with a dog-owner friend. Especially try to get to the beach as walking or running in the sand is hard work - but good for you
    • A swim at the pool with a non-drowning friend (!) on your way home from work
    • A couple of circuits at the gym with a gym-going friend - or walk to the gym with your gym-going friend if you don't like the gym
    • Walk to a friend's place to visit. If it's a long way away, ask them to drive you home again afterwards & have a reciprocal arrangement
  • If you want to start running, walk one lamp post & then run one, or run all the downhill bits and walk the uphill bits. Don't push yourself too hard at the start
  • Visit a new park or public garden each week and jog or walk briskly around it
  • Leave your car at home & take your bike once a week (remember to get your bike lights checked!)
  • Save money and get fit - car pool with someone else, where you have to either walk to meet them, or walk to work from your drop-off point. Or if you have to take your car - park a couple of blocks from work and walk the rest of the way
Then, around mid-winter, you might suddenly start to feel like a regular bike ride or a run to the local café for a latte and chocolate mud cake. Remember, after all that exercise, you need to treat yourself!

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLA for you;
  • USB, Universal Serial Bus. A standard, developed by Compaq, IBM, DEC, Intel, Microsoft and NEC for "plug-and-play" device interfaces between PCs and add-ons (such as audio players, joysticks, keyboards, telephones, scanners, and printers). New USB devices can be added without having an adapter card or turning the PC off. 

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 in Internet Explorer;
  • Select the text in the Address bar - Alt & D
  • Move selected item down in the Favourites list in the Organize Favourites dialog box - ALT & DOWN ARROW 
  • Go to your Home page - ALT & HOME 
  • Go to the previous page - ALT & LEFT ARROW 
  • Go to the next page - ALT & RIGHT ARROW 
  • Move selected item up in the Favourites list in the Organize Favourites dialog box - ALT & UP ARROW
Hot Linx
Want to reduce waste in your home or business? Then check out this site for tips & hints on how to do so in New Zealand at http://www.reducerubbish.govt.nz/
Wanting to know which New Zealand birds are endemic, native or introduced? And what they look like? Then check out http://www.nzbirds.com/Gallery.html
Looking for any online government services? Then go to http://www.govt.nz/en/home/ for the full list

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