Okay, that's it...I'm filing for a rebate on Spring! Sheesh! As my MSN Messenger
profile quotes me "What the HECK is with this weather!" If
it's not cold and incredibly windy here in Chicagoland, it's cold and raining.
Front after front moves in and I'm waiting for my sinuses to file a law suit
against me for cruel and unusual punishment! Just wish we could get a little
balance here. I'm a summer person and I'm going nuts waiting for the heat
and sunshine. Yet, Herb Tyson is complaining that he's not a summer
person and is battling 90 degrees in his part of the US. Geez...feel free
to send a little of that heat over here, eh?
I guess it's a good thing that this weekend was kinda goofy, otherwise I might
not have been able to finish coding up all these drawing pages. Man, I hope
I didn't mess them up! This month was more difficult due to the number of
goodies we're giving away.
Say "Happy Anniversary, TechTrax!"
Why thank you!<grin>
Yup, it's our 2 year anniversary. TechTrax hit cyberspace
in May 2002. In honor of our anniversary, some of our writers have donated
their wares as freebies in several drawings we'll be holding this month.
article will link you up to all the individual articles that describe the
tools and courses we'll be giving away. You're free to enter all the drawings,
but we do ask that you don't bother taking up space in a drawing if you're
not interested in using the prize. Give those who could really use that item
a better chance to win. I'm giving away my VBA training video course, Linda's
giving away her Office training course, Geetesh has a free PowerPoint book
for everyone and is giving away some of his custom PPT templates in his drawing,
Vic is giving away his PPT to EXE service to make your presentation more
secure and Bill Coan is giving away his renowed DataPrompter addin for Word.
And speaking of DataPrompter, Bill recently sold a license for this program
to the White House! Yup...you can read the details here.
Survey and Office 2003 Drawing
Now you'd think all those goodies would be enough. But no! This month we're
also asking you to fill out our annual TechTrax
survey to update us on
what you're doing out there with technology. As a reward for taking a
little time to answer our 40 questions, we'll enter your name in yet
another drawing. A big one! The entries from the survey will be entered
in a separate database. The winner there will get a copy of Office 2003,
Small Business Edition! So fill out that survey before we close the drawing
on May 26th, 2004.
Windows XP Winner
Oh, and speaking of drawings, congratulations to Rene Shinavar who won last month's
drawing and will receive a copy of Windows XP.
"How cool! I am on old mainframe dinosaur, working with COBOL,
IMS, JCL, etc, for one of the regional Blue Cross companies. At home, my
wife and I are limping along on two old Pentium machines. And, by the way,
Win ME was one of my greatest mistakes in life. My wife's Win 98SE routinely
outperforms it, and on a slower processor! We are planning to replace both
PCs shortly, so the Win XP Pro upgrade will certainly come in handy. We
are involved in a community theater group, and use MS Office software extensively
to work on plays, do publicity, and so on. Thanks...
Congrats again, Rene. We'll get that software out to you, shortly. And I know
you'll love WinXP Pro!
Did We Hit 5,000?
Nope! Rats! Not yet. I was hoping to announce that we did. But we're on our
regular base of a couple hundred subscribers a month. So we're currently
up around 4,890 last time I looked. Man, can you feel the excitement?
It's All About the Ratings!
We've added some other cool features to TechTrax. First, we've listed TechTrax
Ezine Finder. This is a pretty cool service. A one-stop shop site for
Ezines and newsletters. And even though you'd think I have no time to
read more newsletters, I did sign up for a handful of cool ones I found
on their site. Something for everyone! But the important thing to us
here at TechTrax is that you can go to the TechTrax
page on their site and cast your vote for us! So do us
a favor, eh...get in there and cast your vote! They'll send you
an email ballot to confirm your vote and, as is the custom in Chicago<smirk>,
you can vote over and over again! They just limit your vote to once a
day. Just do it!
And thanks to the great support I get from the folks over in the Yahoo
ASP support group, I was also able to figure out how to create our own
article rating system. This is another way that you can voice your opinion
about the stuff we offer here in TechTrax. We'd really appreciate it if you'd
get into the habit of casting your quick vote for the articles you read here.
At the bottom of most all articles (we don't rate general info articles
like feedback or drawings), you'll find a button to Rate
Click it and you'll get to see the current rating for the article in question.
A quick selection and submission and your rating will be added to that article.
You're free to enter your name and some additional comments if you want,
but it's not necessary. And feel free to go back to some of your old favs
and toss in a rating. We'd appreciate it!
Of course, we still have our Feedback link
that you can use to send us any comments or questions you have and we'll
publish that in the next issue with an answer, if required. Note that there's
an important distinction between the Feedback and Ratings.
I've noticed a few folks have asked questions in the ratings comment box.
The problem is that we can't guarantee that each author will check their
ratings in a timely manner or answer your question. Therefore, if you need
more information about an article, use the Feedback link.
Those posts come directly to the editor so we can take better care to get
you an answer. The ratings go into individual entries for each author and
are really for their own information. The ratings will help them see which
articles are a hit and which are a flop so they can better tune in to the
type of articles you want to read.
I need to inform you of a couple corrections to make sure we limit the confusion
around this joint! Both have to do with mistakes I made!<sigh> First,
last month I told you about our new download page that'll make it easier
for our blind subscribers to pick up back issues. Unfortunately, I posted
that page to the wrong directory! Sincere apologies to anyone who used
the link in last month's doc version of TechTrax, because it's moved,
so that link won't work. The correct link you'll want to save is: http://www.mousetrax.com/TechTrax_DocDownloads.html.
The next problem has to do with a little matter of copyright. You'd think
that, with all the Dummie books I have on my shelves, that it would have
hit me that the term for Dummies is a copyrighted term! No, we didn't
have lawyers banging on our doors. I was just updating Mark's Excel VBA article
links in the TechTrax
Series Library the other day when it finally dawned on
me that we can't use that term for his series! Duh! So Mark has retitled
his series to Excel VBA: No Experience Necessary.
TechTrax Goes on Vacation!
Finally, as much as I wish we could stay here all year 'round, the pressure
is getting tight! Not as rough as last year when our teenagers were making
us nuts, but the ToDo list is piling up. And being summer people, we'd
like to actually enjoy some of it. So TechTrax is going to take
a little summer vacation.
We really appreciated the fact that so many
people told us how badly they were jonesing for their next issue
when we ran screaming last summer. But look on the bright side, it'll give
you time to catch up on all that reading. I know I'll be catching
up on some studying! I have some certification tests to study for and some
new courses to finish up to offer on MouseTrax. We'll still be here
for June. After all, you need to find out the survey and drawing results!
But then we're going to bail on you for a couple months. There won't
be any issues published during July or August. But before you know
we're gone, we'll be back in September...refreshed and ready to provide you
with more great articles.
And with that, I'll leave you to enjoy this month's issue. See ya next month!