Friday, 31 March 2006

Newsletter Issue 111, March 2006

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 111, March 2006
Hi guys,
Our series on finding out how well you delegate winds up in Delegating Well Part 2 from AMA below.
If you are looking for a new PDA, then Microsoft's Origami Project might interest 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.

Delegating Well, Part 2

In a recent issue of the American Management Association's newsletter, AMA had a great article on delegation. AMA's editor, Shari Lifland, has kindly allowed me to reproduce it here for all of you to enjoy. Last time we looked at the do's of delegation; and this time we look at the don'ts.
The Don'ts - when not to delegate:
  1. Avoid delegating tasks that:
    • Are sensitive and personal in nature
    • Require a degree of risk and decision making that is unfair to the delegatee
    • Require your personal expertise
    • Require your personal leadership
    • Have legal restrictions.
  2. Such inappropriate tasks may include:
    • Performance evaluations
    • Counseling, disciplining and other confidential personnel matters
    • Tasks assigned specifically and exclusively to you
    • Tasks that are the responsibility of another team, department or division
    • Crisis situations where people are looking to you for leadership
    • New initiatives that require your setting the example and setting the standard.
  3. Avoid delegating to:
    • People who are already overloaded
    • People who have other important, high-priority tasks requiring their attention
    • People who lack the time to complete the task successfully
    • People who lack the skills to complete the task successfully
    • If there are other candidates for delegation available, people who have successfully completed similar tasks before. Share the knowledge.
AMA’s Delegation Bootcamp provides guidelines that help managers learn how to turn over the right amount of responsibility and authority to the appropriate people. This article was excerpted from the seminar materials developed for that programme.
About the Author: Shari Lifland manages content for AMA’s Members-only Website ( and is Associate Editor of MWorld. If you are an AMA member, you can rate your delegation skills in a short Self-Assessment, “Do I Delegate Enough?” from AMA’s “Delegation Bootcamp” seminar at

Microsoft's Origami Project

Microsoft is apparently planning a small mobile PC, sometimes reported as Intel's Ultra Mobile PC or Slide or by Bill Gates as Carry Everywhere PC. An announcement at the CeBIT tradeshow in Hanover recently stirred up all kinds of speculation.
Microsoft have set up a website at and from February this year they have been running teaser ads which have been updated every week, so that the early-adopters can check out what is happening. On March 9th they added a weblink back to the main Microsoft site at
The Microsoft site blurb says that "The Ultra-Mobile PC is a new kind of computer. It combines the power of Windows XP with mobile-ready technologies that make it easy to access and use your software on the go. With small, lightweight, carry-everywhere hardware designs, you can connect and communicate, accomplish any task anywhere and at any time, and be entertained and informed wherever life takes you. " OK, yes, but what is it REALLY?
The hardware is a Windows XP Tablet PC, running XP2005 with a diagonal display of up to 179mm with a minimum resolution of 800 x 480. It has an integrated touch panel, and is WiFi- and Bluetooth-enabled. It will happily run Office XP, and syncs with your base PC like any normal PDA.
Weighing a little under a kilo, it looks pretty small and compact. While is probably not something that you could put in your pocket, it would fit in a handbag. You can view the gadget in action at

CountA in Excel

When working in Excel, have you ever wanted to know how many blank cells you have in a row or column of text entries, and not been able to work out how to do it?
Well, there is a way, by using Excel's CountA function. If, say, you needed to keep track of workshop attendance at a conference, you would:
  1. Go to A2. Enter "Attendees" or similar title in this cell.
  2. Then enter all 250 registered attendees down column A from A3 to A252
  3. In cells B2 to - say - K2, you would enter the workshop titles (or course dates, or whatever)
  4. For every attendee who attended the first workshop, you would enter "yes" in column B against their name from cells B3:B252
  5. Right at the top of the spreadsheet in cell B1, create a total the first workshop attendees, enter the following formula: =COUNTA(B3:B252). You put the totals right at the top of the sheet because otherwise your data will be off way down the page and constantly scrolling down to see the result of your formula at the bottom is a pain
  6. To obtain the total attendance for each remaining day of the seminar, simply grab the fill handle on the bottom of B1 and drag the formula across to K1.
Not only will CountA count text, it will also count numbers. So you can check on how many entries of any kind that you have in any column or row.
How's that for easy?!

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • GPS, Global Positioning Systems (sometimes Global Positioning Satellite).
  • NMi, Nelson Marlborough Info-region. A joint venture between the Nelson Regional EDA and the Marlborough Regional Development Trust to co-ordinate & streamline top of the south information and communication technology initiatives

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

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
This time we are looking at all you can do with Shift and End;
  • Access "Select from the insertion point to the end of the text box entry" Shift & End
  • Excel "Extend the selection to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower righthand corner)" Ctrl & Shift & End
  • Excel "Extend the selection to the last nonblank cell in the same column or row as the active cell (with End mode on)" End & Shift & Arrow Keys
  • Excel "Extend the selection to the last cell in the current row. This keystroke is unavailable if you selected the Transition navigation keys check box on the Transition tab (Tools menu, Options command) (with End mode on)" End & Shift & Enter
  • Excel "Extend the selection to the cell in the lower-right corner of the window" Scroll Lock & Shift & End
  • Excel "Extend a selection to the end of a field or with scroll lock on, extend the selection to the cell in the lower-right corner of the window" Shift & End
  • FrontPage "Go to the end of a line " Shift & End
  • Outlook "Select from the insertion point to the end of the entry (or text box entry) or extend the selection to the last card in the list" Shift & End
  • PowerPoint "Select from the insertion point to the end of the entry" Shift & End
  • Publisher "Extend the highlighting to the last character in a text box or go to the end of a line" Shift & End
  • Publisher "Go to the end of the text frame or table cell" Ctrl & Shift & End
  • Windows "Select the last item and additional items in an extended selection list box or the last item in the current list and additional items above it" Shift & End
  • Word "Select to the end of current line or from the insertion point to the end of the text box entry" Shift & End
  • Word "Go to the end of a document" Ctrl & Shift & End
  • Word "End of Row" Alt & Shift & End

Hot Linx
Wanting to know what's happening in computing news, with a New Zealand slant? Then check out the latest at
And to help you keep up to date with new technology, the Sci-Fi website's tech page has all the new toys previewed at
If you need any kind of foot or deodorising product, then the NeatFeat site will interest you at
There is a scary reality programme on in the UK called "The Armstrongs" on BBC2; a double-glazing duo whose dubious 'entrepreneurship' can be sampled at

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

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