I hate February! Sorry, I just do. Here in the Midwest, February is the dead
of winter. And in Chicagoland there's no doubt about that fact. Snow, ice,
storms, traffic, biting winds...phooey! Yeah, I know, February has Valentine's
going for it. But I'm sorry, that's just not enough to give me reason to
drag my butt outta bed each morning.
Thankfully, keeping very busy during the month is a good way to keep
moving. With lots of stuff on the agenda each day, it's easier to ignore
this month. And before I know it, March will roll around and the sweet smells
of Spring will be in the air.
And very busy I've been. Lots to do at the office....lots to
do at home...and lots of Microsoft
MVP activities. In January, Microsoft
came to Chicago on one leg of the MVP Regional Tour...presenting mini
summits to local MVPs as a prelude to the upcoming global summit. February
opened up the registration for the Global
MVP Summit. Emails are now flying as MVPs make
personal plans to meet up with old friends while attending this annual
event held on Microsoft
As I've said so many times before, folks
who say that Microsoft MVPs are just mouth pieces for Microsoft are
dead wrong! If anyone is going to bring Microsoft to task for issues
with their products...MVPs are always at the front of the line to voice
their opinions. And voice them we do! The annual
summit is our chance
to bring these issues to the forefront. We're power users; but more
importantly, we're user advocates...your
our daily exploits to help users understand various Microsoft technologies
better, we see where the problems are and hear the comments from large groups
of users. So we have a very good lay of the land when it comes to what users
want and need. Microsoft does listen to what we have to say!
So the summit is an exciting time. Not only to get back in personal touch
with many friends...both fellow MVPs and softies we've come to know over
the years...but a time to discuss important issues about current technologies
and also learn what's coming down the pipeline for the future. If
you have issues you want us to carry to the summit to be heard, be sure to
use that Feedback link
above and let us know what's on your mind.
TechTrax has also kept me very busy. Lots going on here. We
finally managed to find a winner to our Flight Sim drawing. Gary Moyer quickly
responded to our winner's email: "Hi, thanks so
much for selecting my name as your Flight Sim winner. I
am a HVAC Mechanic here in Altoona, PA and will enjoy spending time playing
this game as it is so cold here, it is 0 degrees today. Thank you again!!!!" Congrats,
Gary, and hope you're having fun flying from your PC this winter.
This month, the good folks over at TechSmith.com have
offered up three copies of their award winning image capture program, SnagIt,
to our subscribers! Be sure to check out my article this month introducing
a series showing you how to use SnagIt. And don't miss
the chance to enter
your name in our drawing to try to win yourself a copy.
Hurry! This month, due to some additional web site modifications I need to
make to my databases, this drawing will only run until February 21, 2004.
By the way, due to these additional modifications I need to make,
in the background, at MouseTrax.com...should
you experience problems visiting the site later this month, feel free to
let me know. But also, you can probably just chalk it up to temporary code
corrections being made, so be sure to check back again, later.
TechTrax also picked up two new writers this month, and another
will be joining us next month. So if there are any gamers out there,
or folks interested in even learning how to go about programming gaming software...be
sure to check back next month to meet Matt Billock! This month, Excel
users, VBA devs, scripters and System Admins will be pleased to know we've
picked up two authors this month who will be concentrating on your areas
Mitchell emailed Greg about
some scripting issues. Greg was so impressed with Rob's solutions that
he suggested he consider sharing his knowledge and ideas with our readers.
Rob agreed! Rob's first article this month explains how to create automated Daily
Storage Growth Reports. A great time saver allowing admins to make sure
the boss knows what's up on the back end so you won't get nailed for hitting
managment with out-of-space surprises. Keep them informed with daily storage
notifications. I believe the technical term for that is covering your
And I'm extremely thrilled to welcome Mark
Thorpe to the TechTrax writing
team! Mark is not only a primo software developer (and dad of 3 young boys!!),
who also dabbles in VBA and will be presenting a learning series for
Excel VBA, but Mark is also a former colleague of mine and was my mentor when
I was learning Visual Basic. A great guy and terrific teacher, Mark patiently put
up with all my questions and frustrations as he helped me take my minimal
developer skills and move them up several notches. Now you, too, will
be able to take advantage of Mark's humor and teaching talents as he
shows us how to get rolling understanding VBA and learn how to automate
processes in Excel.
I'm particularly excited about Mark's series, because I'll be reading right
along with you. Although I've been writing VBA code for years in Word,
there is still a learning curve when you move to another application's object
as luck would have it, just as Mark is beginning his Excel VBA series,
I'm at a point in my career where I need to learn how to write VBA code
in Excel. Yup, I'm an Excel newbie! So welcome Mark—you know how thrilled
we are to have you aboard!
Oh, and speaking of Excel, if you've previously bookmarked Jon
Peltier's Excel charting web site, be sure to notice that he has
a new domain. Check
bio to get his updated info.
Lastly, before I get out of your hair and let you get on with reading all
the great articles we have for you this month, I want to point out one article
in particular that is very close to my heart. In January, I was minimally
involved in a very cool adventure involving a lot of volunteers who helped
a sweet little dog get to her new home...home to the family of a US
soldier who fell in love with her while serving his country overseas. If
your heart isn't encased in stone, you will be moved by this touching
story. Don't miss reading Honey,
Okay, I'm done...I'm outta here...enjoy!