Saturday, 1 April 2000

Newsletter Issue 6, April 2000

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 6, April 2000
Hi guys,
Here we all are again - and once more it has taken longer than I thought to get things under control so that I could get the next Newsletter out to you.  I hope you all had a lovely time over Easter with your families and friends.
The main topic of this newsletter is e-mail. I have been doing a bit of reading on this topic over the last few months, and as always, poor communication - e-mail or otherwise - causes a lot of problems. Check out Email Me Baby below and Virus News
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.

Email Me Baby
Communication can be a real problem; we all know how easy it is to not pass information on to ALL stakeholders when we are busy, with the result that people feel left out and resentful.. and often rightly so. 
What most of us really need are easy ways of keeping people up to date with project progress; and there are a number of excellent tools to do this; the primary one being e-mail.
Email is definitely the Internet's killer application.  More people go online to be able to use email than for any other reason.  The attractions include
  • Instant, direct messaging 
  • Convenient (because of PC penetration most people are on-line) 
  • Timely (send when you want to... whenever you want to!)
  • Very low-cost communication, not dependent on geographical distance (email to next door costs as much an email to Mongolia) 
  • Provides a complete communication record (especially when using "reply")
  • Able to send to mail groups as easily as to a single person. 
  • Easy to attach electronic documents with the e-mail
  • Easy way to discuss things without having to play phone tag
However, because email is so convenient, we often don't treat it as seriously as we should. Some "do"s!
  • Email is unsecure, and attachments should always be scanned before opening (keep your virus checkers up to date, you lot!)
  • Email can be used as evidence so remember to keep your correspondence to the point and as professional as you can
  • Use email to support and complement your business networks and relationships, not to avoid meeting with people. The personal touch is very important
  • ALWAYS spellcheck before sending your e-mail - poor spelling and grammar does not look good.  There should be a setting under your options that allows you to do this
  • Use a relevant subject heading (I have recently started putting the following in the sujbect line: Topic, deadline date & time. If there is no deadline, then I put "FYI". This saves other people time
  • If you are sending an attachment, check that all your recipients have the software. If not, send it in text format in the body of the e-mail.
I use Microsoft Outlook for my e-mail - and although Microsoft gets sworn at quite regularly in my office, the software does a reasonably good job. I especially find the ability to move important messages into my client folders, being able to back them up and then archive them absolutely invaluable for billing, records, project tracking and double-checking. 
I have tried Netscape and Internet Explorer e-mail and they both drive me mental. Can't cope with a Skoda when I have driven a Merc. I have also used Outlook Express, and it seems OK, but I am not a fan. I would be interested if any of you have any experiences to share with e-mail applications
For those of you who are using Outlook 2000, there are some new add-ons which are free, and downloadable from the internet; 
  • The 'Personal Update' is the first release of a different Outlook Today / Digital Dashboard for general use. Unfortunately it has no proper documentation or help and is a bit buggy, apparently; remember to reboot your PC after you have installed as the changes won't take effect until you restart (they forget to tell you that). I have downloaded mine but not yet installed it. The download is 155kb (not the 124kb stated on the web site)
  • Enfish Technologies had a standalone product called Enfish Tracker that was a wonderful searcher that indexed all your on disk files and all your email and allowed almost instantaneous indexed full text searches across files and Outlook email, even email in multiple .psts. They've changed their business model and upgraded the product to a free download (at called Enfish Onespace which will make money for them because of partnerships (for example, if you want to order flowers for someone on your contact list, you can pick a buy gifts button and get sent to an Enfish partner).It's amazing what Onespace puts in one place. Click on a contact name and you not only get the contact but a list of other contacts at the same company, all email that you've sent or received, appointments with that person's name or related keywords, and more.
  • Alchemy Digital Dashboard changes your ".pst" (where Microsoft stores all your mail) into a special file format that allows instant indexed searches (you can then arrange for new mail to go into their new file or else into a .pst that you'll have to periodically re-index). Searching is available via digital dashboard. Available as an Outlook addin at 
Virus News

McAfee are having a promo offer on "Clinic" (which I have told you about previously - the virus checker updated and maintained by McAfee) for USD$29.95. As a subscriber to the McAfee Clinic, they'll also let you download a free copy of McAfee UnInstaller (USD$24.95). 

McAfee UnInstaller is an easy, automatic way to remove unnecessary files that accumulate on your PC. It gets rid of Internet cache files, temp files, duplicate files, and more. It does the following: 

  • Provides More Disk Space and a Faster PC 
  • Removes Unnecessary Files and Applications 
  • Keeps your System Intact 
  • Updates Itself Automatically

I hear that Microsoft is coming out with a new version of Outlook where all your mail will be stored as seperate files. So instead of seeing one huge ".pst" file, you will have each e-mail listed by subject (probably). This will be great for those of us who have system crashes and no server - and about time too...  More news at as it happens at

Check out "iCards" at Apple. These are electronic postcards that you can send to people in your e-mail group. There is room for messages, you can edit easily and the addressing process is pretty simple Check it out at

Lots of news from Adobe this week. The company announced both Adobe Illustrator 9--a new web-savvy version of its world-class graphics tool--and Adobe Go Live 5--a new version of its website creation, production, and management tool. It indicated that Adobe InDesign 1.5 is now shipping. And it introduced Adobe PDF Online.

Think you are pretty good on the PC? Take a FREE Brainbench certification on-line exam and find out how good your IT skills really are. You can take a free Brainbench certification exam to rate your skills, then use the test results to get a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses or to earn a certification that helps you get a better job. It only takes a moment to register online for an exam, then receive your free test access code to take the multiple-choice exam anytime within the next 30 days. Register at

Short+Hot Keys... and now tips
Outlook shortcuts this time - in keeping with the e-mail theme. To quickly move an Outlook appointment from week to week from the keyboard;;
  • Just click on the item then .. 
  • Move to the same day, next week [Alt + Down arrow] 
  • Move to the same day, previous week [Alt+ Up arrow]
When you are in Outlook's calendar view you can change the number of days being viewed. Just hold down the Alt key and press the number of days you want to see
  • View 1 day Alt + 1  
  • View 2 days through 9 days Alt + single number key  
  • View a week Alt+ 7  
  • View 10 days Alt + 0 (zero)
Hot Linx
Wanting to know more about e-Business? Check out IBMs latest ideas at

Check out the Ministry of Consumer Affairs at, or Consumer Magazine 

Moving? Wish your flatmates were? Wish your children/spouse/dog/cleaner were? Try 

Free newsletters and business discussion to be found at 

Another yellow pages site - I dont think that we have had South Africa yet. The South Africans are to be found at

Ever wanted to know anything about some obscure little provincial place in Wellington called Whitby? We now's your chance!

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