much to cover, so little time! Okay, wiggle that butt into your chair and fasten
your seat belts...here we go...
First, we just got back from the Microsoft MVP Summit in Seattle and I'm
still riding a cutting edge technology high. It's so cool being out there
with so many geeks who understand what's going on in the industry. You
can't help but learn! But even cooler is the chance to sit down with
Microsoft developers and program managers and whine and complain about
our favorite software apps. I don't know how they put up with 1500 know-it-alls!
But they do each year and do a great job (although I'll lay odds they
all go out after we leave town and whine about us!<smirk>). Each year
Microsoft does a better job at not only keeping us contained and entertained...but
informed and they really do stop and listen to everything we have
to say. They even take notes! And we know they're not just doodling on
the page cos' we've looked over their shoulders to check!
Thanks Microsoft...you did a bang up job and the opportunities you give the
MVPs to represent your customers in the community just keeps getting more
and more incredible. Bravo! (Now where's my copy of all the presentation
If you'd like to check out our photos from the summit, you'll find the ones
Greg and I took here: MVP
Windows XP Professional Drawing
With all the rushing around these weeks, TechTrax, obviously and regrettably,
had to take a back seat in my planner so I could get everything done. I appreciate
the patience you, our faithful readers, afford me! And to further disappoint
you, I didn't have time to write my next article in the Windows XP training
series. HA...but I didn't completely forget about you. Microsoft let us hit
the software aisles of their company store. Did I spend my MVP bucks on myself?
Nope...I thought of you. I picked up three copies of Windows XP Pro Upgrade,
which I'll be giving away in individual drawings for subscribers. (How noble,
eh?<smirk>) And we'll
start this month! As a way to apologize for neglecting
your article on WinXP, I'll give you a chance to upgrade that ol' operating
system so you, too, can play along with the cool stuff you'll find in XP Pro.
If you're currently running WinXP Home, Win98 (including Second Edition),
Win ME, WinNT Workstation, or Windows 2000...you are eligible to use this
upgrade version of Windows XP Pro to upgrade your system with all the cool stuff
and enhanced security you'll find in XP Pro. I highly recommend you upgrade if
you can. WinXP Pro is more stable, more forgiving, more secure, looks better
and is more easy and fun to use than any previous version. I love it! To
enter our drawing all you have to do is be a current TechTrax subscriber
and enter your name and email (which we would never DARE give away to anyone!)
into our drawing database. To do that, just click HERE.
Then set your brain for 12:01 AM Wed, April 28th, Chicago time. On that date we'll
start our hunt for our winner. Details are on the entry page at the previous
I also have to thank Herb Tyson for whining about the missing Photo Editor.
John Dvorak, PC Magazine, referenced his article in one of his famous rants, thereby sending
us several new subscribers from his direction. To those of you who recently
found your way here...we hope you're enjoying yourself. Welcome...kick your
shoes off, relax, there's beer in the fridge!
And speaking of subscribers...we're about to hit 5,000! Yup, there are nearly 5,000
of you out there who turn to TechTrax each month for your monthly dose of
geek speak and training. Thanks so much for keeping the faith. Our volunteer
authors do their best to keep you happy. And when we do or when we don't,
remember you need only click that Feedback button above to let us know exactly
how we're doing. We love hearing from you!
And this 5,000 hit couldn't come at a better time. We're also about to turn
two years old. May 2004 will be our two year anniversary. We need about
400 more subscribers by next month to hit the ball out of the park. Think
we'll make it? Geez, guess I could have turned that into a contest, too.
Sorry for not thinking of that one. Well, I'll keep watch if you wanna
lay down your bets. When we hit 5,000, I'll be sure to tell you exactly
when that happened. (I'll take May 2, 4:15pm, Chicago time!<g>)
We're planning to jam pack next month's issue with cool stuff and drawings...so
don't miss it!
RSS News Feed
And if that wasn't enough this month, our wonderful web app developer, James,
Expressions, Inc. and that's his dog on this month's cover) has written
code to give TechTrax news feed "pull" capabilities. What does that mean?
Well, next month we'll give you the complete details in an article. But
the short of it is that...rather than going to a dozen web sites to read
your fill of news, you can get a free news feed reader, subscribe to
your favorite resources by just adding their RSS URL into the program
(if they have one), and each month all their articles will be pulled to you! Yup...right there on your desktop. You don't
even have to get out of your PJs!
We're playing with the big dogs now, folks. TechTrax is right up there in
your RSS reader with CNN and ESPN! For those of you brave enough to give
it a shot without formal details, you can click the orange RSS button that
now appears on our menu bar. There you'll find further info. But the gist
of it is that you just need a reader and need to know our RSS URL, which
Then you need to get yourself a free reader. Greg and I have found and checked
out three good ones so far. If you prefer to use one web site for all your
news, you can use RocketInfo RSS which you can sign up for, free, here:
If you prefer to have one that works as an addin to Outlook so all your important
news articles will find their way to a special folder in Outlook, Greg likes
Newsgator, which you can get here: http://www.newsgator.com/.
And if you're running a MAC, we didn't forget about you. Ranchero Software
puts out a Net News Wire reader for the MAC that you can get here: http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/.
Have fun checking out this new technology!
New Archive/Download Page
Oh geez, almost forgot. We've also created an additional way for you to find
articles and browse through previous editions of TechTrax. Sure, you
can click the archive button above, but sometimes my META search tags
leave something to be desired. So in an additional effort to find stuff
around this joint, as well as easily download previous Word doc versions
of TechTrax, you can now go to our main subscription page (www.mousetrax.com/techtrax)
and click the link under the download area. Or just save this direct
URL for future reference: http://www.mousetrax.com/TechTrax_DocDownloads.html.
There you'll not only find doc downloads for all issues, but also links
to all online issues and even lists and links to every article within
each issue. Man, we've put out a ton of great stuff! I'd forgotten about
some of it until I started listing it all!
And finally, TechTrax will have a survey for you next month. We had one last
year and we'd like to update it by finding out what you're up to with
your computers now. But our good buddy, Geetesh, who writes all those
great PowerPoint articles for you would also like to ask you to jump
over to his site and help him gather data by filling out his survey. Help
him out, eh? Those who do will get a freebie! You can find his survey here: http://www.indezine.com/powerpoint/survey.html.
Speaking of Geetesh, I want to again congratulate him on having the # 1 requested
(voted on) question for Steve Ballmer at the summit. Sorry, can't get into
details, but he was asking Microsoft to work on improving some of their imaging
capabilities; something I know so many of us would love to see. Anyway, congrats
Geetesh. And he has also offered up some of his very cool slide templates
as future prizes for drawings. Right now, we're hoping to work them into
our anniversary issue next month. And if that wasn't enough, he's also offering
up a tips book! Geetesh...you're so good to us! Looks like you Power Pointers
will make out in the near future.
Okay, that's it. I give up. If it ain't in here this month, it'll just have
to wait until next month. HA! That isn't too far away at this point.
So we'll see you again, soon. Enjoy!