Monday, September 29, 2008

Accessible Microsoft MS-Word 2007 Online Training

Microsoft provides text transcripts for some of their Microsoft Office 2007 web training resources.  In this case, for MS-Word 2007.

This is especially useful for those who can not utilize audio / voice overs on web presentations and demos.


Check out the following link:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Travel Tip: Wireless Travel Alerts

clip_image002[4]Do you often travel by air and carry a personal wireless device such as a cell phone, blackberry, iPhone, Motorola Q, Palm Treo, Sidekick, and other? If so, consider signing up for wireless travel alerts offered by most major airlines: such as with American, Delta, NW, Southwest and United. Travel websites such as, and also offer some email and wireless alert features.

Wireless alerts are useful to help keep you informed of any flight delays or deviations from your booked flight(s) so you can respond accordingly. Depending on the provider, some can also send you reminders for other travel related issues such as severe weather alerts, and details for upcoming travel for hotel and rental car arrangements.

From personal experience, wireless alerts work well. On two recent occasions I was alerted in advance of a major impact on my travel plans. Because of the advance travel notifications, I was able to respond and change my plans accordingly.

The only draw back to signing up for wireless alerts is that when your flight details change, most alerts do not automatically carry over to your re-booked / re-scheduled flights. This has to be done manually by logging into your account on-line to set up new alerts.

While wireless/email alerts are useful, it is always a good idea to verify the information by speaking with your travel agent, airline representative and significant others.

The next time you make travel arrangements on-line, sign up for email / wireless notifications.

Note: You usually have to complete the reservation(s) before you can set up any alerts.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Quick and Dirty Guide to Selecting Your Next Smart Phone / Wireless Device

Confused by the number of wireless devices available for your use? You're not alone.

Despite the number of devices and the ever increasing confusion over devices, they all offer a big improvement over the numbers only pagers and the limited no-email devices several years ago. Remember the Motorola T-900, the TimePort or early Rim devices? If not familiar with them - then consider yourself lucky. Wireless handheld technology has come a long way since then.

This guide does not compare each device into depth. You can use this as a "Quick and dirty guide" to help you get started in selecting your next device.

The key is to determine what kind of user you are:
  • Just want push email and texting (sms) with some minimal personal information management? Select a Blackberry.
  • If you like to add / tool around with a number of third party applications, have above average technology and computer skills. Along with desire the to have to equivalent of a mobile Swiss army knife. Go with a Palm Treo or Windows Mobile device. Check out details for Windows Mobile devices at Microsoft's web site here.
  • If you want a cool device with colorful apps with a full touch screen, go with an iPhone or similar products like the Dare, Instinct, or the Voyager.
  • If you want the cool teen-factor, get a Danger Sidekick (only available from T-Mobile).
  • If you don't email or text much - get a "not so smart" cell phone.

Simple enough?

Be sure you do your homework and research online to learn about the plans, device features, costs, and coverage choices. Also go to stores to get a real feel of each product you are interested in. Another useful way of researching the features of products is to download and review the product manuals.

Every device and plan has their strengths and weaknesses. Choose what's best for your needs.

A side note: From what I have read is that some devices such as the iPhone does not have cut-n-paste ability. If this is a feature you need - be sure to check for it on the devices you are interested in.

The Blackberry, Treos, and iPhone do sync with MS-Office. So if its something you need - be sure to check the compatibility requirements.

Lastly, be sure to check on special "data only rates" for Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile if you rarely make voice calls.

Final word: Phone manufacturers have started to release new pda and phone models for the 2009 year. Such as the Blackberry Bold, Blackberry Flip, and HTC Touch Diamond and Pro. So if you are not in the need of an immediate new phone or a replacement - keep your eyes open for new devices coming onto the market.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Meebo: Web based IM

Check out It's a company that provides web based instant messaging. This allows you to use a pc connected to the web that does not have IM installed by the use of flash / Java web page. It also has been know to work thru corporate firewalls.

Meebo allows to connect to various chat networks at once.
Better yet, create a Meebo logon ID, and connect from users across several networks at the same time.

Some of the popular networks that are supported:
- AOL Aim
- Google talk
- Microsoft Messenger
- Yahoo

Many of us have contacts inside and outside of the work place, and most companies only allow internal chats with the application of choice. Yet it has been shown to work thru firewalls.
- Use at your own risk -

Meebo is also good if you are traveling, or at a different location - say at a public library, friends or relatives house - you can still chat without needing to install anything on their computer. (In most cases it should work if not blocked by the locations firewall or network).

This is also an ideal IM tool for those (the older generation) who may be intimidated by having to install / maintain an instant messaging client on their computers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Networking: Are You LinkedIn or on Facebook?

Today, the Internet provides new ways of professional and social networking which was unheard of 10-15 years ago.

Internet based social networks allow you to reach out virtually and connect with others nearby or globally without the need to travel or exchange business cards. LinkedIn and Facebook are two popular networking sites. These web sites can help you build and maintain networks of professionals and friends.

LinkedIn:, is viewed as more of a professional networking site.

Facebook:, is more casual, one that provides humorous ways of connecting and exchanging topics.

Both of these sites provide a number of ways of connecting to your professional peers and friends.

What social networks can be used for:

  • Finding old friends and colleagues,
  • Making new acquaintances,
  • Learn about ones career background,
  • Search for business opportunities,
  • Identify potential clients and subject matter experts,
  • Search for jobs
Registration: In order to search, connect with others, and use advanced site and networking features, both sites require that you to register and create a profile.

LinkedIn has both free and subscription options. In general, the free membership option serves most peoples needs. However, if you are a recruiter or a hiring manager, then the subscription option with additional capabilities may be worthwhile.

Facebook is free, with a number of playful features, which may appear somewhat tacky to serious business users - this is more of a fun social networking site.

Final Word: When using networking sites keep in Internet security mind - be sure not to include or disclose any personal or confidential information to prevent identity theft and fraud. Make it a good practice to confirm that the person(s) you correspond with are those you know or have previously come into contact with and feel that they can be a trusted connection.

Initially starting and maintaining your professional and/or personal networks takes some time and effort - it is not done automatically.

Connect with Others: Do sign up with either LinkedIn and/or Facebook to connect with others Try to expand your networks and learn about each other. Who knows, the next time your school alumni, friends, local community, or employer has a special project, someone may request your expertise.

My Linkedin Profile can be found at:

Send your feedback / comments to: Donald Moore or

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

In Brief: What Technologies Are Being Used By Commuters on Trains

Wondering what technology devices that commuters use on trains and subways in cities such as NYC, DC, Chicago, Dallas, Boston, and SF?

Other than cell phones, many commuters in large cities, such as those here in Chicago use the following electronic devices while commuting.

Here is a list of what's I've seen on Chicago's Metra trains:

- Wireless handhelds (Blackberrys, Apple iPhones, Palm Treos, other PDAs and Danger Sidekicks).
- Portable dvd players
- Gaming systems (PSP, GBA, DS)
- Laptops with wireless cards/tethered wireless devices
- iPods, Microsoft Zune, and MP3 music players
- Electronic book readers (Kindle / Sony)
- Digital cameras

Of course, there are still plenty of low tech solutions found on board:
- Newspapers, books, and magazines.

The only major gripe is that power outlets are usually not available on board, and you should recharge your device as much as possible before leaving the office for the day.

Sometimes wireless connections are disrupted when going thru several communities, under buildings or being underground - the outages are usually temporary.

Lastly - don't forget to take your devices with you when you get off at your stop.

Now isn't commuting a little more productive and fun?