It's easy online at American Library Assn
Did you miss us? We missed you! Really, we did! Several
writers, including me, were getting the
heebie-jeebies...we needed to write...to get our groove back. I think a
lot of it had to do with the fact that this summer was such a loser! Geez...I
really want a refund! Here in Chicago, if it wasn't storming, it was
overcast and somewhere in the 60s for pete's sake. We never even put in our
air conditioners this year and there were probably only three days when I
wished we had. But listen to me whine. I'm complaining about missing a little
sunshine when those poor folks along the southeastern US are continually
getting bombarded by terrible storms. Forgive me! Please...take care down
there and we wish you the best in surviving this scary hurricane season.
(By the way, not to trivialize that danger, but an article this month tells
you how to get a free hurricane tracker screensaver.)
Of course, I didn't get done all the things I'd optimistically looked
forward to doing back in June. But I was far from sitting around eating bon-bons.
Okay, so the porch still needs to be painted before winter. But MouseTrax.com got
a bit of a face-lift. A little nip and tuck here and there and it's not looking
too bad these days. I've also been pumping up my
consulting services. I've added several solution ideas
to MouseTrax to help show people how lots of time and money can be saved
by investing in a little document automation. Also, if you refer someone
to me and the relationship results in paid work, you can get a 15% referral
reward. I'm amazed at how many people struggle with documents in their
business when a little automation will save them hours a day and tons of
money each year!
We've been busy on the support front, too. MouseTrax now sponsors three
user groups. We started the
group back in September. However, over the summer we've added a Word_DocDesign group
and an ExcelVBA group.
And I want to personally thank Dawn Crosier, Salina
Herrington and, particularly, Ray
Blake, for the terrific job they're doing
helping users in the Excel group. That group was a selfish endeavor. I can
help out in the other groups, but I'm pretty much useless with Excel VBA,
yet, as I'm still learning it, too. If you need help with Word or Excel VBA
or dealing with your complex Word documents, come join us.
TechTrax may have been on hiatus, but we've been busy juggling the talent
around here. Sadly, we have to say goodbye to Luke Rush. Changes in his
world meant he had to bow out from teaching you about Quick Books. Sorry!
However, if there's anyone out there who would like to become famous teaching
Quick Books to our readers, drop me an
But fear not, even though Matt Billock isn't around this month with his
gaming development, he plans to be back. A new job, new MBA studies and a
blown up mother board means we are on his back burner for the moment...as
we are with a few other authors who weren't ready to give up on the vacation
But, this month you'll get to meet Candi
Thomas. Candi works in the Bat
Cave! As a support professional on the help desk, she plans to let us
in on some of the stories from that dark space where all those geeks dwell.
Trust me, it's not as glamorous as you might think!<smirk> Welcome Candi,
we look forward to your stories.
We also welcome Sue
is a consultant who
specializes in web design and graphic arts. She originally contacted
me due to my role as an ASP/ADO consultant, to discuss some potential
client web data work. A few emails later, I'd convinced her to share
her talents through tutorials. She starts out this month with a review of
a device to get baby started on the computer concept. But there will also
be graphic articles in her future. Welcome, Sue!
In fact, you wanted more graphic tutorials and we're doing our best to help
you. This month you'll notice we've even added a new department: Graphics.
Teska is holding down the fort for the moment, but I suspect we'll
be growing that department nicely, very soon. Our Graphics department will
deal with graphics, graphic design and photo apps. Note that we'll keep all
of Kim's Word Drawing articles under Microsoft Office, since they deal strictly
with Word—same with Geetesh and his PowerPoint articles. But apps like
Paint Shop Pro, Illustrator, Photoshop and the like will show up under Graphics.
Although we'll also be leaving web specific graphic issues under our
Web Development department.
And a very talented young artist, Stephen Swanson, is planning to join us
soon to teach you all how to use Macromedia Flash. Unfortunately, he couldn't
start yet, because he doesn't have his own copy of Flash. So he needs to
wait until he gets settled back in college so he can get those screen shots
and demos from the student's version. We did contact Macromedia in the hopes
that they might offer up a copy that Steve could use to teach you how to
use their program, but, although they do offer discounted purchases, we're
not a registered, non-profit organization, so we didn't qualify. Hey Macromedia!
We only want the copy to use to train others, which will lead to more users
and more demand for your product! Oh, well...if anyone has a copy they'd
like to donate to a starving, yet talented, college artist so you can get
some cool, free training...let me know.
By the way, we've also added a new feature to our monthly Feedback article.
We can now track our article hits, so we will let you see what the top rated
articles are each month. But to start us off this first month, we're displaying
the stats on the top 25 articles to date. Interesting data on the issues
folks are concerned about. And it's pretty amazing the number of hits our
articles get from the Internet!
I'm also still teaching courses at Eclectic
Academy, as is Linda Johnson (who
is on vacation this month, as is Vic Ferri.) If you're not familiar
with Eclectic Academy, you should check it out. For just $20, you can take
a six-week on-line training course. They have over 100 computer, business
and life courses. Linda covers most of the Microsoft software, although
I cover the advanced Word courses. The next session starts September
5...so get in there and see how much you
can learn for just a few bucks! However, if you don't
have six-weeks to learn, you can purchase my courses directly from my Tech
I know some of you have been waiting for the details from our special Document
Design survey and they will be coming, soon. Okay, sooner than Christmas!<I
hope!> I apologize for the delay, but I've been not only busy with clients
who want to solve their paperwork nightmares by having document
automation solutions built, but I also volunteered to help out a
worthy cause. Stacy Chesney tells you this
month about VolunteerMatch.org.
I personally, highly recommend that you volunteer any spare time to help
You Foundation was started by a dedicated woman
dealt with the loss of her mother to a crime. She understands the fear and
painful worry of having a loved one go missing. However, as a non-profit
organization they needed volunteers to help rebuild their web site. So, together
with several devoted professionals, I've been handling the project manager
role and some ASP duties. Sure, it's hard to squeeze more hours out of
the day and it's a lot of work to volunteer and give your precious time to
someone else. But let me tell you, you'll not only feel good about it...it's
good Karma! Note...if anyone out there is interested in helping out our Missing
You team, drop
me an email.
We have great stuff for you this
month, as we strive to do every month; and you can be assured that we have
lots of other terrific tutorials, contests and surprises planned for the
coming year...stay tuned. And please remember to share the wealth...tell
your friends about TechTrax!
By the way, our subscriber base just rolled over 5,700 regular, monthly readers!
So with that, I'd like to welcome all our new subscribers who signed up over
the summer. We're glad you joined us. Make yourself to home...kick
your shoes off and relax...there's beer in the fridge.
And to all our faithful
readers who patiently awaited our return from vacation, welcome back.
We'll do our best to keep your faith.