January 2009 Newsletter ...
Happy New Year comments
These newsletters seem to be a good place mention some of the common questions I am asked, and to give everyone things to consider.
Office 2007... Microsoft has created some problems with its' implementation of the "open document" format. If you are not using Office 2007 and have not had to open a "docx" Word document, you haven't discovered that older versions of Word are not compatible unless you load this patch. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HA100444731033.aspx
There are also bugs with the Explorer interface. Explorer is the software that gives Windows its' desktop interface and also handles file browsing, etc. I have seen cases where Office files open extremely slow when double-clicked. Apparently Explorer has trouble linking to Excel, etc. to know how to open them. The "work around" causes documents to open quickly, but then the history of where documents are saved is lost. This does not happen on all computers, and there is no fix at the monument. Another "gotcha" is that Outlook Express uses spell check from Office products. Office 2007 does NOT support spell check in Outlook Express. Microsoft suggests using a third party spell check such as
An online version... There are several pr0oducts out there. I have played with Carbonite and am impressed. It is not fast, nor is it capable of recovering your whole computer if your hard drives crashes, but it WILL keep your documents, pictures, and email safe. Radio ads give offer codes such as "Kim" that give you bonuses. Carbonite has a free trial. The major drawback is that it may take 2 days to perform the first backup. Your PC must be left on during that time. For $50 a year with unlimited space, it is not a bad investment. Try it out at http://www.carbonite.com ( I receive no payment for these comments.)
Local Backups... I have become a fan of external USB hard drives for this purpose. It is easy to create a folder and copy important files to it. Some products, such as Seagate's, come bundled with automatic backup software.
Dell at the moment is selling Vista computers with XP loaded. If you use Vista, be sure to have a at least dual and very fast processors and 2-4 gb RAM. I see Vista as going the way of Windows ME.
That's it for this newsletter...
Until next time... Happy Computing !
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