TechTrax now has a cover artist, Susan Daffron!
Susan Daffron is the president of Logical
Expressions, Inc., a company that specializes in writing, editing, graphic
design, and programming for periodical publications, such as newsletters and
magazines. LEI is the creator of Ezine
Power Publisher (the software TechTrax uses). Susan has been doing graphic
design work since 1988 and is the author of more than 60 articles that have
appeared in national computer magazines. She also has written more than 150
newspaper articles and is the author of How to Use PowerPoint 2000 (Sams) and
was contributing author of Microsoft Office Expert Solutions (Que).
Like the dog-daze of summer, January and February can be rotten months of the
year here in the US midwest. But one way to combat cabin-fever is to keep yourself
busy. And busy we've been this month. The cool thing is that you get
to reap the rewards of our boredom! And this month, Greg Chapman must have been
pretty bored, because he's had a serious development jones this month.
The result is that TechTrax has some great, free utilities to offer you. Then,
while practicing my ASP/ADO coding for web pages, I tossed together a fun Valentine's
compatibility test that you and your partner don't want to miss. And these
are just a couple of the great articles we have for you in this issue!
Don't miss reading Microsoft
Word as a System Management Tool, which includes a downloadable Word template
for backing up your files. Then there's The
Word Crayon. A fun and useful utility that allows you to set specific words
to specific colors in a management text file. You run the macro against any
document. It checks the text file for instructions and colors those words within
your documents to whatever color you want. Fun! An author asked about this possibility
for color coding actor's scripts and, intrigued, Greg built this tool. But the
one I personally think is the coolest is his Word
Options Utility! Just open it and it'll gather and display your optional
setting values. Extremely useful for learning, developing and troubleshooting.
However, apologies to those of you not using Word 2000 or 2002 (XP), because
the code functions Greg needs to use were not available in previous versions.
So these tools will only work with these newer versions.
We've also been busy gathering and answering Feedback
emails from our readers. We're happy you're taking advantage of the convenient
menu option above. Readers are contacting us to let us know how much they enjoy
TechTrax and checking article details they might not fully understand. You can
read this months comments and replies in our Feedback article. Maybe you
had similar questions?
We Have A Winner!
You might also remember that as of last issue, we still hadn't been able to
find a winner for our New Year's drawing. We were trying to give away some software,
but it seems many folks were out on vacation or partying (or still sleeping
off the party!<grin>), because we had a hard time finding a subscriber
who would reply back to us within the 24 hour limit to claim their prize. We
had to move along and keep drawing new email addresses. Some folks had too much
email on their servers, so our message kept bouncing. Finally, after five different
potential winners, we got a reply and found our winner! Clem Jenkins,
Forest Park, IL, was "thrilled to win your drawing and
sorry for those who missed out, but happy they did so I could win! I'm looking
forward to using Publisher to create brochures (and other materials) for our
bird-watching club. I am very excited to have won this contest. I really enjoy
your magazine with all the great support articles you provide." Thanks,
Clem...we know you'll enjoy Publisher Deluxe.
Send Us Your Solutions
I also want to thank Beth
Melton for suggesting to some folks that they should write an article for
TechTrax and for reminding me to remind you folks that TechTrax is always willing
to check out your articles for publication. Our writers don't receive payment
for their articles. But minimal fame and appreciation from our many readers
is a valuable return if you have the spirit to want to help others, as our writers
do. Beth came across some folks in the newsgroups who said they'd like to publish
some useful info, so she pointed them to TechTrax and we hope they'll take us
up on the offer and share what they know. I was also helping a user try to sort
out a difficult problem and she finally came back to let me know the solution
she discovered. She said she'd love to write up the details in an article. So
let's hope we do hear from Karen in a future edition. If you've tackled
a technical problem lately and would like to share the solution with others,
let us know. All guest authors are
listed under our Guest Author listing and you can include a picture, bio and
links to promote your own company, service or web site. Don't feel you're not
good enough! If you've discovered a solution, we'd love you to share it with
Calling all Artsy Folks!
We'd also love to hear from any artsy folks out there. No need to be
a professional artist. If you enjoy using clipart to design up fun displays,
you might be interested in helping TechTrax take advantage of the cool Cover
feature we have, but haven't had time to use. The software we use to easily
create TechTrax each month is a cool web application called Publication
Manager, designed and offered by Logical
Expressions, Inc. I just toss the HTML versions of the articles into this
tool and out pops a great publication that's easy to manage. But the program
also offers the ability to have a monthly magazine cover displayed on this opening
page. Although I was a graphic designer, I don't have the time to come up with
design cover ideas. So if you think you'd like to give it a shot, please get
in touch with me. It can be a lot of fun working out an image to go with the
new issue. As a member of our team, you'll get your own bio page, where you
can display your photo and any personal or business info you'd like to share.
Each new home page of TechTrax will display your work, with your proper credits.
If you enjoy playing around with graphics, please
drop us a note!
And finally this month, it is with extremely heavy hearts that we say goodbye
to Brandy (Lawson) Frank.
employees and Microsoft MVPs around the world were heartbroken to learn that
Microsoft MVP Lead, Brandy Frank, was killed in an automobile accident on January
4th, 2003. There's not enough space here to tell you how terrific Brandy was.
She was fun loving and a hard worker who did a wonderful job making sure that
all her Office MVPs were well taken care ofshe was our Lead and our friend.
Her last post to us was a warm wish for a wonderful holiday and a motherly warning
to us all to be safe.
Brandy was only 29 and was just married in 2002 to Sean Frank, another Microsoft
employee. They were building their future when it was tragically cut short.
Driving out on a Saturday afternoon to pick up paint samples for their new home,
Brandy was driving their SUV, with Sean in the front and their beloved Labrador
pup, Ginger, in the back. In slick weather, another car came speeding around
a curve, crossed over into their lane and hit Brandy's SUV head-on. Brandy died
at the scene.
Sean was hurt pretty badly and taken to the hospital. But sadly, their beloved
dog, Ginger, was thrown from the vehicle and was last seen running in terror
from the scene. A citywide
hunt was on for Ginger. Sean prayed that he could at least get back
part of his familythe dog he and Brandy loved so much! Brandy's family
and friends, armed with squeaky toys, started hitting the areas around the accident
scene daily in search of Ginger. Thankfully, she was finally
rescued! In shock, Ginger had run off to the edge of some woods, dug herself
a hole and hid there for four days, trying to recover from the ordeal. Then
she heard the familiar voices calling and came out of the brush to the waiting
arms of Brandy's relieved dad. Now Ginger
is home safe with Sean where they can comfort each other as they attempt
to recover from their devastating loss.
On January 10th, flags at Microsoft flew at half-mast as friends and family
said goodbye to Brandy, a much loved human being who was taken from us much
too soon. You are loved and will be missed by so many...goodbye Brandy!
Editor, TechTrax Ezine