Monday, 1 November 1999

Newsletter Issue 1, November 1999


Sam Young Newsletter


Issue 1, November 1999
Hi guys,
Introducing my newsletter. This is designed to give all you people out there some local info and computing tips from the user’s point of view. I know that many of you do not have the support of a helpdesk, and the IT person at your place is YOU.
I am sending this out to you, my clients and associates, to try and share some computing knowledge around. In return, you can let me know what hot tips or ideas that you have. When I have enough info for the next edition (I don’t know when that will be – might be a month – might be two!), and I will add your info in.
The theme of this, my first newsletter, is data storage - my opinions on how to keep safe what your sweat has created. Check out Backups below and Zip Drives
Next time we will be looking at Office 2000 – my personal views on the pluses and minuses.
CD Writers    Short & Hot Keys        Hot Linx
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.
Backups

Dudes – I hope you have all developed good data habits by now and are backing up your data regularly.
However, over time, we often forget how important it is to think about saving copies of our information – especially if we have had no major problems. So if you are not backing up your data, or if you have the systems in place but are not backing-up regularly, read on.
It occurred to me, during the little earthquake last week, that it would be very easy for a hard drive to have an accident. While my hard drive is under my desk, I know many of you have your CPUs on top of your desk or on shelves, where something could happen to your machine during a fairly small quake.
I am sure that all of you have heard me bang on about the Warehouse and Payless Plastics here in Nelson, during the fire that burned down the building that these companies traded from. Because those companies had good record management systems in place before the fire destroyed their premises, if stock had been available they could have traded the next day. Additionally, their insurance companies had up-to-the-minute information regarding the stock that had been destroyed, GST could be calculated, and other taxes paid without sweating the calculations.
How many times have you deleted a file by accident, and had to recreate it? Damaged a file during a system crash? Saved a new file over top of the old, when you wanted to do a “Save As”? If your back-ups are done regularly, you can restore a damaged or deleted file easily, using your back-ups.
You must get into good data habits. It will save you money, time, and needless self-butt-kicking. And if the worst comes to the worst, your client records, correspondence, e-mails and contacts details will all be safe.

Zip Drives

I am still a fan of the Zip Drive, being particularly fond of the Iomega Zip. These little drives work like a floppy A: drive, and are used for data storage.
They come in portables (external) and internal units, and now use a USB port (instead of the old serial or parallel porting) which makes them much faster. They also used to only come with 100Mb discs - being the equivalent of 70 floppies - but the new ones are 250Mb, which is a pretty impressive 173 floppies.
While these 250Mb Zip Drives are currently retailing at about $400, they will come down in price. The discs themselves go for about $30, and are easy to store and manage. Check out the Iomega website here.

CD Writers

The growing thing at the moment of course is CD writers. Hewlett Packard (click here for the Hewlett Packard website) is leading the field in reliability and accuracy of data transfer. I know several people who have gone this way for back-ups, where they have a lot of data to copy – you can get approximately 750Mb onto one CD. There is a greater initial outlay (about $700 to $800), but the cost of the storage medium (the CD) is way less – as low as $3 per unit.
If you are worried about how to keep your CDs organised, you can buy CD covers in a pack of 10 for $10 from Everyman in Hardy Street.

Short+Hot Keys... and now tips

Following are the short & hot keys for a variety of programmes;


  • Publisher object “Nudge” - Alt & arrow keys
    Word object “Nudge” - arrow keys
    Excel/Access object “Nudge” – Ctrl & arrow keys
    Universal Cut – Ctrl & X
    Universal Copy – Ctrl & C
    Universal Paste – Ctrl & V
    Universal Undo – Ctrl & Z
    Universal Underline – Ctrl & U
    Universal Bold – Ctrl & B
    Universal Italics – Ctrl & I

    Hot Linx
    Iomega Zip Drives info: http://www.iomega.com/
    Check for virus hoaxes before forwarding the “virus warning” e-mails; http://www.datafellows.fi/news/hoax.htm
    Lord of the Rings updates; http://www.theonering.net/
    Looking for a business contact details in the UK: http://www.yell.co.uk/
    Looking for Art on the net: http://artchive.com/ftp_site.htm

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