So are you ready for the holidays? Sheesh, can you believe it's that time again. I give up! Every year I say I'll do better getting ready for NEXT year...and every year the holidays sneak up on me before I know what's up. And doncha hate the way the stores make it even worse! Come on, guys, give us a break!. On July 5th they start putting out the back-to-school supplies. The day after Labor Day the Halloween Candy hits the shelves, and the minute the ghosts have left the scene...turkey feathers are in every aisle along with the Christmas Musak and all those annoying musical toys someone just had to turned on. Joy, joy, joy!
And of course, this last month has had the added bonus of being bombarded with political rhetoric at every turn. In fact, something happened recently that not only really upset me, but was also sad because someone else's mistake caused me to bail on one of my favorite newsletters. Attention business owners! Never, repeat...never...abuse your email lists! If someone has signed up requesting certain information from you, don't abuse that fact by spamming them with unrequested information. Very bad move! That happened a few weeks ago. A newsletter I looked forward to getting was taken over by the company president because he had his own political agenda and wanted to make sure he got his comments out, so he used, no make that abused, his opt in mailing list by spamming members with his political views. Okay, that's it...I'm outta here!<huff>
Not only was I personally offended by his comments, but I was offended that he spammed me with his comments. So I left the list. Then he made a valid attempt to apologize to all those who wrote to complain (of which, I was one). Unfortunately, his apology included an attempt to back-peddle, so he included yet more political gibberish about the other side of the coin...more of his personal opinions with which I didn't need more of my time wasted. Bottom line...if someone signs up for something from you, don't abuse their trust by sending them unwanted email. And NEVER mix politics or religion with business. Those are two areas of passion that you just don't want to mess with!
Here at TechTrax, we'll never abuse your email address by passing along unsolicited information! Well, okay...that is not beyond this page, anyway!<smirk> But this is my therapy page. Besides telling you about cool stuff we've done for you since our last meeting, I get to rant, ramble, whine and talk about stuff...like my dogs!
Oh, and that's the third subject with which you need to use caution when voicing an opinion. You know how people get about cats and dogs.<hee, hee> So, are you a cat person or a dog person? By the way...to all the cat people out there, know that I'm not a non-cat person, I'm just more of a dog person. We also do have two cats. It's just that they're not much fun on a car ride! Geez, when my daughter has to bite the bullet and take her cat in the car for some reason, you can hear that fat tabby YEOWing all the way down the block like he's being sliced and diced! Poor cats...what a traumatic experience a car ride is for them.
Alternatively, we literally have to spell some words around this house just to make sure the D-O-G-S don't hear us say the words R-I-D-E or C-A-R or they'll be bouncing off the walls trying to beat each other to the garage to see who gets to ride shotgun in the convertible. Ever see two dogs attempt to squeeze through a dog door at the same time? It's not a pretty sight! (And as you can see in the image, Cassy usually beats little Lexi to the punch!) But what's more fun than the looks you get from passersby when you're riding down the street with a big dog sitting upright in the front seat of a convertible?
Okay, okay, I've abused your patience with my dog chatter long enough. Let's get back to the matters at hand. Speaking of email and spam...have a seat, we need to talk! There's a little matter of bounced email we need to discuss. At the beginning of each month I send out the TechTrax notice letting you know that it's time to come play and learn over in our little corner of the Internet. However, after I send out over 6,000 notices, each month I am immediately zapped back with about 500 bounces. Granted, many are over quota notices. Oh and I get to find out who is on vacation thanks to their Out-Of-The-Office notice!<grin>
Now many of you do a very nice job of keeping your email address up to date, so few of the bounces are due to the fact that the email is being sent to an address that is no longer good. I sincerely appreciate you helping us keep our database updated by going to www.mousetrax.com/techtrax/ to remove your old email addresses and inserting your new address. I see update notices come through, so I know you're keeping up with things. (Oh...and to the wise guy who deleted MY email address from the database last week...I've got your IP address! The FBI will be knocking on your door any time now with that illegal tampering warrant!<evil grin>)
However, folks I'd appreciate it if you'd get around to cleaning out your inbox at the end of the month. I know you all get bombarded with lots of email, especially if you have a free email account. But if you don't get your notices each month, realize that we do send them out. It's just that your email is over quota so the notice bounced. Or you signed up for the HTML or Doc version, but your company doesn't accept these types of mailings for fear of a virus. So check with your company if your briefing or doc version isn't arriving. Even better, switch to your home email or just choose the text notice. And to our many blind readers, if you don't get your doc version, feel free to contact me directly and I'll be happy to shoot you out any missing editions.
One other request goes out to system admins. Those of you who are running that email server, please make sure your bounce message contains the actual details of WHY it bounced, as well as the email address that bounced. We'll be happy to remove the dead letter address from our database, but we need to know what it was. And we will not remove names due to over quota, since we hope you'll clean out your folders by the next month. A little more info would be nice. Some admins have these really useful, terrific messages with lots of helpful details, including who to contact. But some messages have a lot to be desired! So, please, go check out your bounce message and see if maybe you can make it better so you can help us help you.
And while I'm in "mom mode" here (doncha feel like a teenager getting busted?)...this is just a reminder that everything you read here in TechTrax is copyrighted in one manner or another. That means that...no, you cannot copy articles and paste them on your school web site for your friends to read so you look like you know what you're talking about! I am notified when anything remotely related to this magazine is newly posted to the web. And I got a notice last week related to some of our content. I believe that site was innocently posted out of copyright ignorance. But a little note to the principle of the school had that material removed from the user's personal web site. Although I did feel bad that some poor kid is now probably on number 479 of 5000 lines of "I will not swipe copyrighted material from the web for my own web site!"
That said, also know that getting permission to reprint our material is usually fairly painless...in most cases you only need to ask! So if you need company newsletter or intranet filler, just ask. As long as you ask and include our copyright notations, most authors will be happy to give permission.
I was also hoping to get to another article this month providing some insight about setting up computers. I got a nasty refresher course on that this month when my motherboard blew on my big, main system...causing me weeks of heartache. I am still finding myself reaching for something somewhere on that system only to realize I haven't yet had time to reestablish the way I had that setup. And my email filters are still a mess. So frustrating! Especially to someone like me who likes working efficiently with everything needed easily at hand. But while I was rebuilding my system I thought of you. So I took screen shots throughout the process and will try to get a useful article out soon. Well, as soon as I can catch up on all the backlog on my ToDo list thanks to that nasty crash!
Okay, time for me to shut up and get out of your way so you can get busy learning. But before I do, I want to welcome all our new subscribers from Linda's Sims group and also from Lockergnome! This month in Lockergnome, Chris and the kiddies over there felt the justification to mention both my Normal.dot article and also Greg's way cool asset management freeware. Thanks guys! And if you're not familiar with Lockergnome...go check it out over at www.lockergnome.com. They have gobs of very useful tech newsletters to keep you up to date on all the latest geek goodies and technologies.
And don't forget to enter our Jacquie Lawson card giveaway this month! Jacquie has given us five subscriptions to give away to some lucky TechTrax subscribers. But you only have until November 15th to enter...what are you waiting for...move your butt!