Friday, 2 January 2009

Newsletter Issue 160, January 2009



Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 160, January 2009
Hi guys,
To push your organisation ahead in these tougher times, think about The Advantages of Advisory Boards as a strategic business asset.
If, when you double click on a file, the wrong application opens, check out the tip on Changing File Associations
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.

The Advantages of Advisory Boards

Paul Rosanowski, director, business owner and immediate past president of the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce, wrote this article recently and has kindly allowed me to share it with you.
Typically the Directors/Owners of small businesses will work IN the business all day and then part of the night to complete some of the unfinished business of the day.
During these tough economic times (with possibly more to come!) it is very important for Directors/Owners to know where their businesses are taking them. Often, the Directors/Owners have not had time to consider where they want it to go and will get around to it next week! As we know, this invariably does not happen.
Approximately 96% of the businesses in the Nelson/Tasman area have 2 to 5 employees and of these employees it is generally found that they are also the Directors/Owners.
An Advisory Board can be set up with one or two professional people from outside the business. These people will assist with being a sounding board for the Directors/Owners. They are there to assist by giving another perspective, to ask the “why” questions that you have not considered and to give advice on the issues. This group would normally get together on a monthly basis and review the business along with any other items the Directors/Owners may want to put on the agenda. Put together a good board of advisors and you’ll create a powerful asset that can make a huge difference when you need to get objective advice.
The position on an Advisory Board has the responsibility for supporting the Directors/Owners, their advice is non-binding. Set expectations of the advisors, choose the right people and ask for honesty. Advisory Boards will advise, evaluate and play devil’s advocate which will assist you with your decisions.
If you would like to know more about how to get started with an Advisory Board, contact Paul.

Changing File Associations

If you want to change the default programme that views a particular kind of file, it's relatively easy.
We will look at a slightly tricky example however, eg changing the default viewer of .gif files from the GIF viewer to the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer. The Windows Picture and Fax Viewer has a very non-obvious file name and location: it's contained in the shimgvw.dll file in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
Once you know where the file is located, setting GIFs to open with Windows Picture and Fax Viewer is basically the same as setting any other file association:
To change the programme associated with a specific file type of in XP:
  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Select Tools | Folder Options | File Types
  3. Scroll to .gif in the Registered file types box
  4. In the Details for .gif extension area, click Change. A new Open With dialog will appear.
  5. Windows Picture and Fax Viewer may already be listed as an Open With option. If it is, select it and check the box for Always use the selected programme to open this kind of file. Click OK and you're good to go.
    If Windows Picture and Fax Viewer isn't listed as an Open With option, click Browse to bring up a more detailed Open With dialogue. In the Files of type list at the bottom of this dialogue, select All Files. Navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder, select shimgvw.dll, and click Open. You'll now go back to the previous dialogue. Check the Always use the selected programme box, click OK, and you're done.
Vista doesn't have the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer applet, but you can still change your default image viewers via Default Programmes in the Control Panel:
  1. To open Default Programmes, press the Windows key, type 'default programs', and press Enter.
  2. Click Associate a file type or protocol with a specific programme, scroll to and select .gif, and click the Change programme button.
  3. Make your selection from the list that appears, or click Browse and then navigate to and select the executable file for the programme you'd like to use to open .gifs.
  4. Don't forget to check Always use the selected programme to open this kind of file at the bottom of the Open With dialog.
And remember, this same process can be used to change any file associations or Open With dialogues that aren't working the way you want them to.
Thanks to Windows Secrets Newsletter for this great tip (http://windowssecrets.com/)

Winmail.dat

Those of you who puzzle over a ".dat" file attached to an email that is impossible to open need to read on.
Usually called winmail.dat, this is error where a legitimate email attachment has got tangled up in the formatting information for RTF (rich-text format) messages sent by Outlook.
The system used by Outlook for this is called TNEF (Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format) but despite the word ‘neutral’ it’s a proprietary Microsoft format. Because it’s an in-house Microsoft format some non-MS email programmes can’t convert the incoming message into a fully formatted message – the result is plain text plus that mysterious winmail.dat attachment.
How to fix the problem? Click reply on the email, change the email format to "Plain Text" (a toolbar icon in Outlook 2003), and ask the sender to reattach the attachment & resend.
You can also make sure that your default email formatting is set to "HTML" and ask your sender to do the same; which will prevent future occurances.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you:
  • SOA, Service-Oriented Architecture. The underlying structure supporting communications between services, defining how two computing entities (eg programmes) interact & enable one entity to perform a unit of work on behalf of another entity.
  • SOAP, Simple Object Access Protocol. SOAP-based Web services are becoming the most common implementation of SOA.
Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
Over the next few newsletters, we are going to look at all you can do with Alt and letters. This time it's X:
  • Word "Display Mark Index Entry dialog box while working" Alt & Shift & X
  • Windows "Maximize the active window if it is minimized" Alt & Spacebar & X
  • Excel "To enlarge the Help window to fill the screen" Alt & Spacebar, Then X

Hot Linx
No doubt there are some of you out there who don't get Management magazine each month. However, NZIM have decided to make their articles available online to non-members, the month after publication. Go to http://www.management.co.nz/
To check the download speed provided by your ISP to your PC, go to http://speedchecker.org/ and run the speed test. Very useful!
If you want to keep up with all the latest happening on the web design front, then go to http://www.digital-web.com/ for articles of interest. There are some useful articles and freebies (such as an extract of "Know Your Site" at http://www.digital-web.com/articles/extract_know_your_site/)
For those non-iPod users amongst us, there are a couple of good sites to buy and download music from; try www.mp3fiesta.com and www.millisong.com

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

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