Friday, 3 October 2003

Newsletter Issue 69, October 2003


Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 69, October 2003
Hi guys,
A Dutch company, PC Active has been conducting tests on the longevity of CD-Rs. See the results in CD-R Testing below.
For those of you who didn't catch this tip in issue 50, you get another chance at finding out how to Hide the "To" Field sender's addresses in Emails
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.

CD-R Testing

While we fondly assume that CD-Rs are good for at least 10 years, and some manufacturers claim their CD-Rs will last up to a century, those estimates may be way off. Dutch magazine, PC Active, has just completed an extensive CD-Recordable quality test, and has found that a high number of CD-Rs are unreadable in under two years. 
PC Active tested disc readability of thirty different CD-R brands, including discs of both well known and lesser known manufacturers, recorded twenty months ago. 
Shockingly, many of the discs could no longer be read, or were only partially legible.
There is obviously a lot of junk on the market and it is completely unacceptable that CD-Rs become unusable in less than two years.
One idea as to why some CD-Rs are breaking down so quickly is possible oxidation of the top coating on CD-Rs. Unlike pressed CDs, data on CD-Rs is burned into the top CD coating. Oxidation will occur more quickly in locations with higher humidity... and once you scratch the coating, it creates a foothold for oxidation to start.
Another issue is that people may be mishandling CD-Rs by bending them when removing them from the case, causing "delamination" which will also make them unreadable.
How you can limit damage to your CD-Rs;
  • Handle CDs carefully - pick them up from the edges and take them from the case by pushing the central "button" to release them
  • When recording, use good quality CDs
  • Once written, store your CDs flat in cases, in a cool, dark and DRY place, free from dust, ensure there is no chemical contamination and limit temperature fluctuations where possible
  • If you scratch the coating, re-copy the CD
  • Keep data zipped on HDD wherever possible AS WELL as storing on CD
  • Make two copies of any stored CD-R only data
  • If you must label your CD-Rs, do so directly onto the disc with a soft marker (don't use stickers) 
  • Check your CD-Rs annually for legibility by opening the files. Make new copies of any discs that are starting to break down.
Hide the "To" Field Sender Addresses in Emails

For all of you who didn't get issue 50, there is a way to hide your customer email addresses in your "To" field.
You do this by NOT putting them into your "To" field. Read on;
  • Create a new dummy email contact (mine is called "Recipient List Suppressed" but you can call it whatever you jolly-well-like) 
  • Enter a legitimate email address for that contact - the email address could be yours, or one person who always gets whatever it is that you are sending. I have my "Recipient List Suppressed" address down as a guy in Chch who is on all my mailouts - the server at his place of work automatically side-lines any emails coming in that don't have the recipient's email in the "To" field. The only way for him to get my emails is for  "Recipient List Suppressed" to go his address 
  • Create a new message. Enter your "Recipient List Suppressed" name into the "To" field
  • Go to the View menu on the message. Tick the "Bcc" field to have it show in your message
  • The Bcc field will now appear below the "CC" field in the message header. Enter the addresses (or distribution groups) that you want your message to go to into this field
  • Finish creating your email and send as usual.
NB: You can also just use your own contact name instead of creating a "Recipient List Suppressed" contact. The email will then send to you, just the same as it would if you had put your name into the email field of the "Recipient List Suppressed" contact.

Excel insertion into word 1

In a recent article in Woody's Office Watch, they specified how to insert a landscape Excel spreadsheet into a Word document, changing the page layout for only the inserted s/s page to landscape. 
  1. Open Excel and your target spreadsheet
  2. Select the entire sheet by Ctrl & A, or by clicking the upper left blank grey corner cell (above "1" and to the left of "A")
  3. Click Ctrl & C or go to the Edit menu & select Copy 
  4. Open Word 
  5. Go into Page View 
    • In Word 2000, 2002 & 2003, click View | Print Layout 
    • In Word 97, click View | Page )
  6. Open the target document (the one that you want to contain your s/s). Click the mouse at the point of the document where you want your s/s to go
  7. Click Ctrl & P (or Click Edit | Paste) NB: you can also link to the spreadsheet by using Paste Special, and insert a linked Excel s/s which will update for you
  8. The spreadsheet will almost probably spill beyond the document margins. To fix: 
    • In Word 2000, 2002 & 2003, a four-headed directional arrow appears above the upper left corner of the pasted table. Click on it to select the entire table
    • In Word 97 or if you can't see the four-headed arrow, click once inside the table and then click Table | Select | Table
  9. Click File | Page Setup
    • In Word 97 & 2000, click the Paper Size tab, click the Landscape button & ensure "Selected Text" shows in the "Apply To" drop down box. Click OK. 
    • In Word 2002 & 2003, click the Margins tab, select Landscape in the Orientations section & ensure "Selected Text" shows in the "Apply To" drop down box. Click OK. 
  10. The s/s probably be too big (or too small) for the page. If that's the case;
    • In Word 2000, 2002 & 2003, click on the resizing handle (appears to the lower right of the s/s) & drag it to re-size the entire s/s. NB: don't use the four-headed arrow to the upper left; that moves the whole thing
    • In Word 97, click Undo to get rid of the s/s. Go back into Excel, resize the problem cells, then repeat this procedure
If you click on View | Normal, you'll discover that there are "Next Page" section breaks before and after the landscape page.
However, with this method, the headers and footers will show on the sides of the page - out of kilter with the rest of your document. If you want to insert a landscape Excel s/s into a Word document and NOT change the page layout to landscape, then I will show you how to do that in the next issue.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • HDD, Hard Drive on your PC
  • SCTP, Stream Control Transmission Protocol. A standard protocol (RFC 2960) developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for transmitting multiple streams of data at the same time between two end points that have established a connection in a network. Sometimes referred to as "next generation TCP" or TCPng. Designed to make it easier to (a) support Internet telephone connections, (b) manage connections over a wireless network, and (c) manage the transmission of multimedia data. 
  • CF, CompactFlash card. Popular memory card using flash memory to store data on a very small card, used for a wide variety of computing devices (digital cameras, music players, PCs, PDAs, digital audio recorders and photo printers). Based on PCMCIA PC Card specs, CF cards measure 43 X 36 mm (about the size of a matchbox) and are available with storage capacities ranging up to 1 gigabyte (GB), with higher capacities corresponding to higher prices. There are two types of CF cards for different capacities - Type I (3.3 mm thick) and Type II (5.5 mm).
  • PCMCIA, Personal Computer Memory Card International Association

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 in Access;
  • Switch between the Visual Basic Editor and the previous active window     Alt & F11 
  • Insert data from the same field in the previous record     Ctrl & ' 
  • Insert the current time     Ctrl & : 
  • Insert today's date     Ctrl & ; 
  • Insert a hard-return in a memo or text field     Ctrl & Enter 
  • Copy the current selection     Ctrl & C 
  • Open the Find And Replace dialog box     Ctrl & F 
  • Open a new database     Ctrl & N 
  • Open the Open dialog box     Ctrl & O 
  • Open the Print dialog box     Ctrl & P 
  • Save the current database     Ctrl & S 
  • Paste the clipboard contents     Ctrl & V 
  • Undo the most recent change     Ctrl & Z 
  • Undo changes just made to the current field     Esc 
  • Undo changes just made to the current record     Esc & Esc 
  • Display the database window     F11
Hot Linx
GR Business Process Solutions have undertaken a survey of MS Office users. See the results at http://www.grbps.com/sur_txt2.htm
Can you tell an urban myth from the truth? Think you are good at sifting the chaff from the grain? Then take this quiz at http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/quiz/quiz.html 
"Aoccdrnig to Cmabrigde Uinervtisy rscheearch. it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, jsut taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae". See if this is true at http://www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/~matt.davis/Cmabrigde/ 
And at last. Hitchhikers looks like it IS going to make it to celluloid. Check it out at http://www.moviefans.de/peranhalter/ - but you have to scroll down the page past the German to read it in English (unless you can read the German, of course!)

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