Friday, 7 November 2003

Newsletter Issue 70, November 2003


Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 70, November 2003
Hi guys,
Well, here's an idea for taking the financial heat out of Christmas - have 5-dollar Christmas. All presents must not cost more than $5 - and to prove it, you have to leave the price tag on. You get very inventive, and it is an immense amount of fun finding things to suit people.
Zagat, the company who review all sorts of tourism things, have now turned their roving eyes to music. Their people have ranked their top 1000 albums of all time. See Music Music Music below.
If you are having trouble viewing images full size, then Disabling Image AutoSize in IE 6 is the solution for you. 
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.

Music Music Music

Zagat Surveys, who have previously rated things from restaurants and hotels to America's Top Golf Courses, introduced its first-ever Music Guide in September 2003, with over ten and a half thousand listeners reviewing & rating their 1,000 Top Albums of All Time. 
Publishing the results as a Music Guide CD & a book, the survey covering eight decades of recorded music, across 22 different genres, featuring artists as diverse as Dr Dre and Frank Sinatra, Massive Attack and Peggy Lee. Not only does it let the music-obsessed see how everyone's greatest hits stack up, but it is a great source for locating memorable music to listen to. 
The 10,656 Zagat participants devoted 24 hours each week to listening to music, rating some 2,200 albums on Zagat's signature 30-point scale for overall quality, song-writing, musicianship and production quality, choosing their favourite track per album, and using a wide variety of music media (including PCs and MP3 players). The participant's willingness to spend on music - coughing up an annual average of USD$343 and owning a whopping average of 516 albums each - suggests that the music retailers wailings about the death of their industry may be a bit premature. 
In early September, the Recording Industry Association of America had a crackdown on on shared electronic music files. This will peeve music buffs as the Zagat findings show that 48% of people are listening to music on their computers. And even more telling is that 53% are downloading songs from the Internet and 55% say they burn their own CDs. 
However, smart businesses are addressing these new consumer trends. For example, CD-Now allows you to select your own songs from a growing list, have a CD burned professionally for you and they then mail it to you.
The New York Times reported an interview with Tim and Nina Zagat, the Survey's co-publishers. They say "Our new Music Guide has over 80 separate indexes -- by genre, by decade and by special features. It reveals much of what is new in music today, including the mainstream acceptance of computers in accessing all kinds of recordings. The results showed that surveyors continue to embrace classics in every category while staying up-to-the minute with the latest trends and artists, many of whom were definitely new to both of us. Indeed, this book vastly stretched our own musical vocabularies." 
"We knew this Survey would be especially challenging since musical taste is so personal and top picks of all time stir passionate arguments," the Zagats added. "To our delight, participants showcased their tastes with a depth of knowledge that stands up to the most critical musical ear -- these are people who know chapter and verse on their preferred genres and they avidly shared memories and associations that their favorite recordings evoke. The Music Guide gives serious listeners access to the opinions of their peers -- just as we have done in all of the other leisure pursuits that we now survey." 
And while Music Guide surveyors did like a number of new talents, such as Coldplay, Norah Jones, The Strokes and The White Stripes, they had no time for weenie boppers Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne and Mariah Carey.  Rock and roll was decidedly the most popular genre -- 47% of surveyors said it was their preferred choice, followed by popular vocals (10%) and jazz (7%). 
And a summary of the overall winners follows. 
Most Popular Albums: 
  1. Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run 
  2. The Beatles, Abbey Road 
  3. The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper 
  4. U2, The Joshua Tree 
  5. The Beatles, The White Album 
  6. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue 
  7. Bruce Springsteen, Darkness on the Edge of Town 
  8. The Beatles, Revolver 
  9. Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon 
  10. U2, Achtung Baby 

Top 10 for Overall Quality: 
  1. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue
  2. John Coltrane, A Love Supreme
  3. Aretha Franklin, Lady Soul
  4. Patty Griffin, Living with Ghosts
  5. Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run
  6. Howlin'Wolf, Moanin' in the Moonlight
  7. Ella Fitzgerald, Best of the Songbooks
  8. The Beatles, Abbey Road
  9. The Who, Who's Next
  10. Frank Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours 

Most Influential Musical Artists: 
  1. The Beatles
  2. Elvis Presley
  3. Bob Dylan
  4. The Rolling Stones
  5. Madonna
  6. Led Zeppelin
  7. U2
  8. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
  9. Frank Sinatra
  10. Michael Jackson 

Top-Rated Songwriters:
  1. Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks
  2. Patti Griffin, Living with Ghosts
  3. Mozart, Don Giovanni*
  4. Mozart, Piano Concertos 19-23
  5. Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde 
*Tied with album above it. 

Top By Genre: 
  • Blues - Howlin' Wolf, Moanin' in the Moonlight 
  • Classical - Vladimir Horowitz, Horowitz in Moscow 
  • Country & Western - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Will the Circle Be Unbroken 
  • Dance - Donna Summer, Dance Collection 
  • Electronica - Massive Attack, Protection 
  • Folk - John Prine, John Prine 
  • Funk - The Meters, Funkify Your Life 
  • Hip-Hop - Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back 
  • Jazz - Miles Davis, Kind of Blue Kids - Muppet 
  • Movie Musicals - My Fair Lady (Lerner and Loewe) 
  • New Age - Ottmar Liebert, Nouveau Flamenco 
  • Pop Vocal (Contemporary) - Michael Jackson, Thriller Pop 
  • Vocal (Traditional) - Ella Fitzgerald, Best of the Songbooks 
  • R&B - Luther Vandross, The Best 
  • Rock (Overall) - Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run 
  • Rock (Alternative) - U2, The Joshua Tree 
  • Rock (Art/Experimental) - Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon 
  • Rock (Classic) - Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run 
  • Rock (Garage/Underground) - Nuggets: Original Artyfacts 
  • Rock (Hard/Heavy Metal) - Metallica, Master of Puppets 
  • Rock (New Wave) - Elvis Costello, This Year's Model 
  • Rock (Oldies) - Elvis Presley, Elvis (TV Special) 
The new Zagat Survey Music Guide sells for USD$14.95 and is available on www.amazon.com or at www.zagat.com.

Disabling Image AutoSize in IE 6

You are surfing the Web looking for photos of your favourite thing (could be Pamela Anderson, could be George Clooney!). You click on the images to get a closer look at their, um, talents... but instead of showing you the image at full-size, Internet Explorer 6 keeps shrinking the jpgs to fit into your browser window. 
Aha! To make IE 6 show the pictures full-size, the way IE used to work is actually a snap, once you know where to look. 
  • Go to the Tools menu and select Internet Options
  • Go to the Advanced tab
  • Scroll down to the Multimedia section
  • One of the first items is "Enable Auto Image Resizing". UNTICK the box
If you decide you want the resizing feature after all, just go back and re-tick. Easy as.
NB: If you want to only disable the resizing for a single image, simply move your mouse until it's over the image, hold it still for a couple of seconds, and two toolbars will appear on opposite corners of the resized image. Ignore the top left corner menu (it lets you save the image or send it to your printer) and go to the bottom right corner button; click that, and it restores the image to its normal size. 

Excel Spreadsheet insertion in Word 2

In the last issue, I passed on the Woody's Office Watch instructions on how to insert a landscape Excel spreadsheet into a Word document, which meant changing the page layout for the inserted s/s page to landscape. The headers and footers show on the sides of the page, out of kilter with the rest of your document. 
However, if you want to insert a landscape Excel s/s into a Word document and leave the page layout as portrait (ie, headers and footers still showing in the portrait position), then follow these instructions;
  1.  
    1. Open your favourite image software programme (eg PaintShop Pro, Photo Editor, Illustrator, PhotoDraw. NB: Avoid "MS Paint" at all costs). Minimise the window (the dash, third button in from the top right corner of the title bar).
    2. Open Excel and your target spreadsheet
    3. Go to the LAST cell (on the far bottom right) that you want inserted into your Word doc. A shortcut is to click Ctrl & End (takes you to the last active cell in your s/s). 
    4. Highlight back to the first cells that you want inserted into your Word doc. A shortcut is to click Ctrl & Home (selects all the cells back to A1)
    5. Click Ctrl & C (or go to the Edit menu & select Copy)
    6. Click on your minimised image software and maximise it once more
    7. Click Ctrl & P (or go to the - probably - Edit menu & select Paste)
    8. Go to the - maybe - Image menu & select Rotate (or Orientation or something similar). Rotate image LEFT 90°
    9. Save image as a .jpg (NB: Use a sensible name that you will be able to find again and remember the path to your saved location!)
    10. Open the target Word doc (the one that you want to contain your s/s). Click the mouse at the point of the document where you want it to go
    11. Go to the Insert menu and select Picture , then From File (Insert | Picture | From File). Navigate to your s/s image's saved location and double click on it to insert it into your document
    12. The s/s image will almost certainly be the wrong size. To fix ; 
      • Click on the black (or white) square at the corners of the image & drag it to re-size, or
      • Right click on the image and select "Format Picture" from the pop-up menu. Go to the Size Tab. In the Scale section, (a) ensure that the Lock Aspect Ratio box is checked and (b) change the height % figure (you can key numbers straight into this field - and you could go up in size to 1000%, if required)
While this process will leave your headers & footers in the normal place, you cannot link to the s/s to update it. Each time your data changes you need to repeat this process.
If any of you have an easier way of doing this, I would love to hear from you. Have fun!

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • POTS, Plain Old Telephone Service.
  • IMHO, In My Humble Opinion. Though, IMHO, usually the person who keys this is not actually "humble"!

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 are looking at a couple of shift key bonuses;
  • Inserting a CD that you don't want to auto play? Hold down the shift key while you insert the CD
  • IE: Surfing the web & want to view the last page you visited? Or the one before that? Hold down the shift key and use the scroll button on your mouse
  • IE: Want to move back through the items on a Web page, or on the Address bar, or on the Links bar? Then hold down the shift key and click the Tab key until you cycle back to where you want to be
  • Outlook/Excel/Access/Word: Want to move back through the previous options, selections, cells, items or option groups? Then it's the same deal - hold down the shift key and click the Tab key until you cycle back to where you want to be
Hot Linx
Been to the movies lately? Loved it? Hated it? Wished you had read a short review before going? Then the "Four Word Film Review" site is for you at http://www.fwfr.com  
To purchase the Zagat Music Survey Guide CD or book, go to http://www.zagat.com/shop/product_detail.asp?VID=1&PID=1&LID=&preload=60009&prodid=403
Need a source of cheap Chrissie present ideas? Try any of the following for inspiration;

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