Friday, 2 March 2007

Newsletter Issue 128, March 2007



Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 128, March 2007
Hi guys,
Is your partner looking for work? Then you should read Interviewees, Bring Your Spouse below.
Learn some tips for Eking out the Battery Power in mobile devices. 
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.

Interviewees, Bring Your Spouse

The Sunday Star Times had an interesting article a couple of weeks ago about a new-ish selection trend; that of meeting the spouse of potential top job candidates to see if the spouse would fit into the corporate culture as well as the candidate.
This has long been the practice of embassies throughout the world, where both partners are often expected to attend functions, to host foreign dignitaries, and to be ...ah... discreet. While the practice is definitely invasive, you can understand why ensuring a good 'family' fit around the candidate is important in this type of role.
But apparently this practice is not only creeping into many international postings, but is also becoming more common place in postings to branches. In the UK, Paul Harper, Chair of the Association of Executive Recruiters, said "It's normal practice for the spouse of a candidate to be involved in a lunch or a dinner meeting with a client prior to a senior appointment".
The signs watched for (read 'snooped for'?) at these innocent lunch or dinner meetings include marital harmony, social fit, attitudes and beliefs, willingness to compromise to new situations, what and how spouses eat, and how much they drink. The article related stories about candidates being ditched because the spouse didn't agree with smoking (partner going for a tobacco industry job), being unwilling to wear a burka (partner going for a posting in Arabia), spouse being derogatory about the candidate (which made the interviewer think the marriage was unravelling) and the spouse getting trollied at lunch.
Paul Harper went on to say "I know of one man who was headhunted last year to become the MD of a financial services firm, but lost out to the number two after his would-be boss met his wife. The relocation involved moving from an upmarket city area to a smallish London suburb and the wife was seen as being too posh to fit in with her new, more provincial, surroundings".
Ouch. So not as the spouse of an interviewee, only do you have to know how to use the right fork, you also need to be able to have a pint and a sing-a-long down at the pub.
No pressure.

Eking out the Battery Power

When working on the move, a fully charged battery is wonderful. After a few hours of working though, our batteries can run out quickly. Here are some power saving tips for some commonly-used devices:
  • Phones/PDAs:
    • Turn off your connectivity - Bluetooth, WiFi & phone mode etc - & only turn on to check messages. Via the "Settings" or "Tools" sections in your devices' menu, select 'standby mode' or 'turn off non-essential features' when idle for 10 seconds. Use a landline to make return calls
    • Write your texts in 'Phone Off" mode, then send texts all at once when you turn on to check messages
    • Ensure you have good signal strength when connecting - when making a call, aim for three or more signal strength bars (preventing power loss through roaming)
    • Avoid connecting to the internet - use an internet cafe to check webmail wherever possible. Avoid any websites that use lots of bandwidth (like YouTube) when you have to be online
    • Turn your backlight length down to 10 seconds or less
    • Turn the screen brightness down
    • Turn off screensavers and moving wallpapers
    • Turn down ring tones and turn off vibrate mode
    • Don't use your device to play games
    • Don't leave the device in the sun
    • Charge your device whenever you are near a suitable powerpoint. If you haven't remembered your charger, you may be able to use one of the 'Recharge' stands that will be appearing in high traffic areas like airports, where you rent a lock box with the your appropriate phone connector, plug in, take the key with you, and return when your phone is recharged (Shanghai has a very communist version viewable at http://www.mobileslate.com/blog/category/recharging/)
  • Laptop computers gobble power, and to save it:
    • Check out your laptop's pre-defined power schemes, and choose one to suit; eg Portable/Laptop, Minimal Power Management or Max Battery
    • Use the Hardware Profile to create a profile to disable specific devices not currently required, such as your CD/DVD drive, saving power
    • Remove any external devices, including USB devices like mice or storage
    • Avoid graphic-intensive applications, such as games or watching DVD movies until you are back on mains power
    • Turn the laptop's screen brightness down as far as you can
    • Only have applications running that you need to get the job in hand done. Shut down any background applications
    • Turn the sound off
    • Turn off wireless devices (like WiFi) until you specifically need them, and avoid connecting to the internet where possible. Definitely avoid websites which use lots of bandwidth (like YouTube)
    • Keep your laptop as cool as possible - make sure you're not blocking the vents, because the hotter a battery gets, the more inefficient it becomes
    • Add more RAM to your system if possible, because this will reduce the amount of strain that’s placed on the hard disk
    • Charge your laptop whenever you are near a suitable powerpoint.
  • iPod: Apple advise that you should:
    • Use your iPod regularly
    • Use the iPod hold switch to disconnect the keypad when you're not using it
    • Turn down the volume a notch or two (loud music = fast battery drain)
    • Buy music without DRM locking (digital rights management). The player has to use more power to unlock each DRM file, so reducing battery life
    • Charge it up at least once a month.

Outlook Error Message Fix

Some PC and Palm users have had problems during upgrades of MS Outlook when sending e-mails.
When they click New, Reply or Forward on messages, a message box appears, stating "A program is trying to access email addresses you have stored in Outlook. Do you want to allow this? If this is unexpected it may be a virus and you should choose No.". The only way to proceed is to click 'Yes'.
Installing Service Pack for Office XP doesn't help resolve the constantly recurring message boxes, and in some cases, users even get the message when opening any Outlook message.
This issue is caused by Microsoft Outlook deciding that Palm is a threat. The way to resolve it is to install Mapilab's free, third-party add-on called Advanced Security for Outlook. Download it from http://www.mapilab.com/outlook/security/. This great little tool tells you which program caused the pop-up to appear and lets you define the action to take when it occurs in the future.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you:
  • DRM, Digital Rights Management. IP protection for music to force us all to buy single application versions of all our favourite songs!
  • SMB, small and medium-sized businesses. What we call SMEs in New Zealand are SMBs in the US
  • ADSM, Distributed Storage Management. IBM's family of high-end software that helps a customer manage a company's scattered storage devices (such as mainframe storage, PC disk drives, and Zip drives).

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

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we are going to look at all you can do with arrow keys in Excel:
  • Excel "Open a selected drop-down menu within a dialog box or open the selected drop-down list box or display the AutoComplete list or see more Help topics or display the AutoComplete list when working within a cell or formula bar" Alt & Down Arrow
  • Excel "Ungroup rows or columns or ungroup selected PivotTable items" Alt & Shift & Left Arrow
  • Excel "Group rows or columns or group selected PivotTable items" Alt & Shift & Right Arrow
  • Excel "Close the AutoFilter list for the current column or see previous Help topics " Alt & Up Arrow
  • Excel "Select the cell that contains the column label, then display the AutoFilter list for the current column or select the cell that contains the field, then display the list (or page field) for the current field in a PivotTable report (PivotChart)" Arrow Keys Then Alt & Down Arrow
  • Excel "Select the cell that contains the column label, to display the AutoFilter list for the current column" Column Label Cell, And Then Press Alt & Down Arrow
  • Excel "Move to the left between nonadjacent selections" Ctrl & Alt & Left Arrow
  • Excel "Move to the right between nonadjacent selections" Ctrl & Alt & Right Arrow
  • Excel "Move to the edge of the current data region" Ctrl & Arrow Keys
  • Excel "Display the full set of commands on a menu or move to the next page when zoomed out (in Print Preview)" Ctrl & Down Arrow
  • Excel "Move one word to the left" Ctrl & Left Arrow Excel "Move one word to the right or move to the last page when zoomed out (in Print Preview)" Ctrl & Right Arrow
  • Excel "Extend the selection to the last nonblank cell in the same column or row as the active cell" Ctrl & Shift & Arrow Keys
  • Excel "Select or unselect one word to the left" Ctrl & Shift & Left Arrow
  • Excel "Select or unselect one word to the right" Ctrl & Shift & Right Arrow
  • Excel "Move to the first page when zoomed out in Print Preview" Ctrl & Up Arrow or Left Arrow
  • Excel "Move by one block of data within a row or column (with End mode on)" End & Arrow Keys
  • 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 or reduce a selection by one cell" Shift & Arrow Keys
  • Excel "Select or unselect one character to the left" Shift & Left Arrow
  • Excel "Select or unselect one character to the right" Shift & Right Arrow

Hot Linx
If you have old furniture which needs reupholstering, or if you have a yen for 50s and 70s furniture designs, check out Vickie's Originals at http://www.upcycled.co.nz/furniture.html
While I haven't seen the programme, TV3's Wa$ted has come up with some great savings ideas for around the home at http://www.wastedtv.co.nz/index.cfm?&action=calculator
I have listed this site before, but it is always worth another look. Check out Tiscali's time clock at http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
And if you happen to be bored at the moment, there is a special site just for you! Check out http://www.i-am-bored.com/ & see if you get inspired :-)

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

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