all know the feeling...sometimes it seems that you've stepped in something really
nasty and it's rubbing off on your life. Everything seems to be going wrong
at the same time. Then there are those times when you must have stepped in something
wonderful, because good fortune is slapping you in the face at every turn. It
seems of late, I must have stepped in something quite nice!<knock, knock>
My consulting work has been taking off. However, going to work in your pajamas
is not what those of you looking in from the other side of the fence might
think. It's a lot of work being your own boss and you need to spend a lot
of time learning how to do it properly. More often than not, you end up
shooting yourself in the foot. But I recently fell into a cool position doing
work for a larger consulting firm...a
one-stop, full-range technical consulting (IT Outsourcing) firm. Besides
the fact that I'll have regular work, which is a relief in itself, and that
I'll get to continue doing what I enjoy...being a Technical Consultant...I'll
have a chance to have more stimulating conversations than my dogs have yet
to offer me!
And with October comes the annual MVP renewal. I came home after being hired
at this cool place and there's my MVP gift package waiting for me, letting me
know that Microsoft sees fit to award me for yet another year...my 9th.
While I'm on the subject of MVPs, I want to share with you folks some comments
I recently made in a user group. I know that many of you probably think that
MVPs are mouthpieces for Microsoft. But the truth of the matter is that we are
more so advocates for you, the user community! Sure, we like a lot
of Microsoft products and we are advocates for a lot of their software. But,
NOT because we've been programmed by MS to say so, but because it's
good stuff! Sure, Word has issues, but it's the best program out there for what
it does. Period! If it wasn't...millions of people wouldn't be using it. But
I also personally feel Dreamweaver does a better job at web development than
FrontPage. So I spend my money to purchase DW even though I can get FP free.
If it works for you, you'll use it. If not, you won't. But the point here is
that MVPs are not out here to do the Microsoft song and dance. If we do that
dance, it's because we honestly have a passion for the software we use. But
more importantly, MVPs are here to help users and also to help Microsoft learn
what the user community wants and needs from their software. Through priority
feedback avenues, MVPs provide valuable feedback to Microsoft relating what
we learn from users while we're out there helping you get your job done. And
I can tell you first hand, Microsoft does listen! If you're interested in learning
more about the MVP program, you can find details, as well as a list of this
year's award recipients, at the MVP
web site and through the MVP
page at MouseTrax.com.
I was also asked to review one of my favorite book series and provide feedback
on the new Word
2003 Bible. The software "Bible" series is one of my favorites
as reference books. Mine look like they've been through a war...with post-it
shrapnel hanging out of them in every direction. My comments were apparently
taken to heart, because the publishers saw fit to plaster them on the cover
of the book! So receiving my copy was especially exciting.
But fame not only dropped at my door-step. I'd also like to welcome
our many new subscribers who read about Greg in Lockergnome
this month and Chris's comments that "Greg was one of his favorite developers."
Greg passed one of his wonderful new utilities to Chris to share with Lockergnome
readers and many of them found their way to our subscription page. So welcome
and be sure to check out the TechTrax Archives
as we have lots of goodies here for you to discover.
What had Chris so fired up? Greg has created a cool new utility called: NetBIOS
Name Retriever. And anyone who is responsible for running a network, large
or small/home, will want to get a free copy (at the previous link).
I also want to grab the attention of anyone reading this who does any Word
VBA work. Although the Microsoft
newsgroups have some of the best Word VBA support, provided by many of my
fellow Word MVPs, I was recently looking for something different. An email support
group. All I could find in Yahoo were unsupported groups loaded with porno spam.
Frustrated, I decided it was time to create my own group. If you want to learn
Word VBA or have skills that you'd like to share and thereby sharpen them by
helping others, you can join us at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Word_VBA/.
Well, we have lots of great articles for you, again, this month here in TechTrax...so
I'll let you get to your reading. Enjoy!