Don’t Edit Attachments Within Windows Mail

There should be an image here!I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say that they opened a Word document included as an attachment within an email, edited the document, and clicked Save. When they re-opened the document within the email, their changes were not saved. Let’s just say that the number of times I’ve heard this is countless.

I added one more to that countless number when my mother called the other night in a panic. She had worked on editing a Windows Mail attachment for two hours, saved it, and now her changes were gone. So off I went to see what she had done this time.

I discovered that she received an email with a Word attachment. She opened the document from within the email and proceeded to edit it. When she was finished, instead of doing a Save As, she simply clicked Save. Her assumption was that her changes would be saved and she could just forward the email back to the recipient. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

What many people don’t realize is that when you open an attachment, such as a Word document, within Windows Mail, it is opened as a temporary file in the temp folder. Once you are done editing the document, even though you click Save, the document reverts back to the original version as soon as you close it. You must save the attachment to your computer if you want to save your changes!

Of course, someone sending a file in Word .doc format could be kind and tell the recipient that such saves won’t work, or send it in a completely different format (such as .rtf or .txt) to preempt this problem. In response to this post, Gnomie Stan wrote to bring up some very good points (republished here in hopes that others may learn from them):

Actually, you should never email a word doc.

You should never open a word document emailed to you.

Do not keep any Word docs that have been emailed to you in your email client.

Word is not a program meant to sent documents over the Web.

If you must send a doc from Word, send it as an .rtf (rich text file).

Microsoft Word files are a security hazard. Unlike standard data formats, Word files can contain programming code which can be executed by your computer automatically when a document is opened. Microsoft’s motivation for including this “feature” in Word was to allow word processing macros to be saved along with the document. However, it was not long before malicious people began exploiting this design flaw by writing Word macro code to surreptitiously delete random files or otherwise damage one’s computer. As a result, Word files are now notorious as the vector for dozens of computer viruses. When you receive a Word attachment by email, do you really want to take the risk of welcoming a proverbial Trojan horse into your system?

In cases where the document makes use of special formatting and you expect the recipient to edit it, you may wish to send an .rtf file instead of a Word file. .rtf was developed as a standard data interchange format for word processors, and most popular word processors can read and write such files. .rtf may not preserve physical formatting exactly, but unlike with HTML, it at least tries to specify physical presentation rather than leaving it entirely up to the recipient’s application.

See: Avoid E-Mail Attachments, Especially Microsoft Word

Thanks, Stan!

Could A Google Subscription Service For The Chrome Notebook Computer Work?

Microsoft has discussed a subscription service for its Windows operating system and Office system for years. I recall many discussions about how one day subscriptions to all software products would become standard and that distribution by CD and DVD would evaporate. But it seemed that the idea of subscription software went the same way as the paperless office went and never matured. There is now a rumor that Google may try such a service when it releases its Chrome operating system on notebooks some time in June or July of this year.

Though the exact plans are sketchy, the service would work by having the consumer purchase the notebook from a vendor. The notebook would have the Chrome operating system pre-installed. The user would then have the option to purchase a subscription costing between $10 to $20 a month. The service will provide hardware updates and may also include the replacement of faulty hardware during the subscription period.

What the Chrome OS could do is to redefine what the original notebook or netbook computers could not do. The original concept was that these lightweight computers were originally meant to be cheap devices connecting to the Internet only to access the cloud. What happened was that some companies tried to shoehorn Microsoft Windows onto the notebook and netbooks, and the hardware could not handle the heavy load of Windows. The Chrome OS is basically a browser that connects to the Web, starts fast, and boots in under 10 seconds. While this is a very attractive device, some question whether or not this is enough to unseat the Apple iPad or iPad 2 from their perches.

I have been beta testing the Google Chrome Cr-48 notebook computer since mid-December when I was fortunate enough to have received the device. During this time, I have had the opportunity to test and play with the system. I find some of the features very attractive for what I do on the Internet, e.g., blog for two sites, check email, surf for interesting articles, stay in touch with Facebook family and friends, and in general use the device for work more than to have fun with. The Chrome OS notebook has few options for game playing when compared to other devices.

The difference I see between the Google Chrome OS notebook computer compared to the Apple iPad is very simple: the Google Chrome OS notebook computer is a work machine whereas the Apple iPad is more for fun. IMO. Your opinion may differ from mine. But my opinion is the correct opinion. LOL

What do you think? Would you pay for a subscription plan for the Google Chrome OS notebook computer?

Source – Neowin

Has Technology Made Our Lives Easier?

If you are an older reader here at LockerGnome, you will recall the days when technology had no place in our lives. We lived in a time where there were no computers, no cell phones, and no mp3 players. When you mention this to the youngsters who are now tethered to all sorts of devices, they look at us like we are from another planet. But has technology made our lives easier or has it compromised our human behavior to the point where we no longer communicate face to face with each other?

I learned something interesting about two weeks ago from our 11-year-old grandson. He was doing a homework assignment and was printing out the answers to a particular problem. I asked why he was not writing out the answers, which is called cursive, to which he told me that it is no longer used. They apparently do not teach cursive writing in school any longer since the thinking is that computers are now used to write letters, emails, Facebook, and so forth. Since the kids also send text messages, you do not need to know how to write. The only writing skill that is taught is to learn to sign your name.

Coming from a generation in which we only had telephones and letters in which to communicate, I have noticed a change in our behavior. Between emails, Facebook, texts, voicemails, and other communication sources, when someone asks if you got their message, we need to ask how they sent it. It has become confusing trying to keep track of all the different communication means since we continue to receive postal mail. Toss in the Internet and the forums, groups, and other organizations we may belong to and the task of monitoring everything becomes overwhelming.

In days gone by one left work behind when they walked out of the building at 5:00 pm. Today with everyone having cell phones the office staff can call you anytime, anywhere if they have a question. Whether you are in your car, having dinner or taking a bathroom break, you are in constant contact with work. Your office can contact you via email sending contracts, assignments, and other work chores via email directly to your laptop. They can even text you anytime they wish even on the weekends. The question becomes: when do we get a break away from work and actually get to rest?

Last week my wife and I were visiting our middle daughter and her family. She had a day off and along with her family ventured out for a day of fun at the zoo. But during the entire time from when we left her home until we got back, she was either texting or calling to stay on top of what was happening at the office. At the end of the day she mentioned how much fun she had and I wondered how she even knew. Even during our lunch she was banging the keys on her phone texting back to the office. If this is what you call a day off, I would have to differ in my interruption of what a real day off is.

So has technology improved your life or has it just added more stress to your daily life?

Comments welcome.

Here Is Why The PC Will Not Be Replaced By The iPad Or Tablet

Though the term ‘post PC era’ makes for great journalist headlines, the fact is that the words that Steve Jobs stated have been misinterpreted. Some seem to believe that we are entering into a period of time where the PC or Mac desktop and laptops will be replaced by either the Apple iPad or other brand of tablet computer. Though this makes for great headlines and snappy commentary, the fact is that the PC, whether it be a Windows or Mac machine, is not going anywhere.

In our home we have the following computers that serve a specific purpose:

Desktop PC: I have what I consider to be a fairly powerful computer for gaming which uses Windows 7 and functions very well. The system has a large monitor and superior sound system, to make game playing as realistic as humanely possible.

Laptop PC: I have a 17″ laptop that I use as my main computer. I use the system for blogging, Internet surfing, emails, and social networking. The laptop has a full-sized keyboard, which makes typing easy for me and a pleasure to use.

Google Cr-48 notebook beta: I use the Google Chrome OS notebook about three to four times a week. I use the system mainly when I am outside of the home and will connect via a Wi-Fi or Verizon 3G network. What is attractive about this device is that it is lightweight compared to my laptop, and it can be used easily almost anywhere, since it takes up very little space — I can surf and eat at the same time when outside of the home.

Apple iPad: This is my wife’s computer along with a laptop she also owns. I bought a Bluetooth keyboard and protective case for the iPad. The keyboard, though smallish like the one on the Cr-48, does work well and makes typing easier compared to the on-screen keyboard.

Like many of you, I am in a quandary. I find that I rarely use my desktop any longer for gaming. In fact the system sits alone by itself in a closed bookcase and rarely sees the light of day. I guess my old gaming days have come to an end and I am giving some consideration of selling the unit. My laptop will need to be replaced sometime this year and here is where my problem surfaces. What do I buy to replace the 17″ laptop?

I have been considering another laptop, but most likely will buy a 15.6″ model. The new Toshiba laptops have wide screens that are just as big as the 17″, but weigh a few pounds less. But wait. If I don’t need to lug the 17″ around when I leave the home, does it really matter how much it weighs? I basically use the laptop as a desktop replacement. There are also the Google Chrome notebooks being released in June of this year that could replace my laptop. Or do I get an Apple iPad 2 with Bluetooth keyboard?

Decisions, decisions, and more decisions. But is this decision really that hard to make? The bottom line for me is that each of these machines provides a different user experience and performs a different function. I believe that the computer user of the future will have many different devices in order to take advantage of everything that technology has to offer.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Macworld

Posterous vs. Tumblr

Both of these services support many types of rich media types. These networks fill the space between Twitter and WordPress.

I love and use both blogging platforms and believe that both have their unique uses. Tumblr is more of a content blog, many of the themes are better for blog entries, or any type of text media. Posterous is more of a media type blog for posting video, audio and pictures.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/T-BaOUfha84" width="320" height="240" wmode="transparent" /]

Posterous has an amazing feature called email-to-blog, Posterous’ amazing platform allows for those quick writers to just use their email account for posting to their blog. Tumblr also has its advantages with a very simple and easy to use iPhone application and admin section.

Both Posterous and Tumblr have bookmarklets that make grabbing content as you browse and posting it to your site easy as can be. But, I have to give it up to Tumblr for having a much easier bookmarklet to quickly post to their blog.

Posterous does have an amazing come back with email-to-post. . Email whatever you want — photos, videos (even iPhone 4 vids), audio — to [email protected] and it will do the rest. Your subject line becomes the title, the email body your post description, and you can even add tags to your post by adding them with the proper syntax to the subject line: ((tag: social media, photo)).

You can basically import content from any blogging platform ever created (you can export too), and push your Posterous content out to any social site where you have a following.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages, use both for a week and see what you like best. I like Tumblr because of the ease of use, but I also like Posterous for some really exciting themes.

7 Major Airlines Offer Facebook For Free On Flights – Do We Really Need This?

Facebook, the most popular social networking Web site on the Internet, will now be offered free on flights for seven of the largest airlines, which include Virgin America, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, AirTran, US Airways, and Alaska Airlines. But before you get too excited about the offer, this is a limited time promotion being offered by Gogo. The company is hoping that by allowing users to try its Wi-Fi service that they may wish to pay for inflight Internet services, which range in price starting at $4.95 for a short flight and $ 12.95 for a long flight. Currently the Wi-Fi services are only being offered on domestic flights.

One article also states:

Virgin, the first airline to launch a Wi-Fi fleet, says up to one-third of its passengers log on to Gogo. One of its more popular routes, San Francisco to Boston, is called the “nerd bird” by Virgin crew members. The top task on Gogo is e-mail, Gogo says.

While I was reading this article it suddenly dawned on me. We are spending way too much time being connected to the Internet. The Internet is starting to consume most of our waking hours. Yesterday I mentioned to someone that there was a storm hitting the mid section of the U.S., and they were not even aware of it. They stated they had their nose in the laptop all day and obviously this did not include current events.

I must admit that I am just as much at fault as the next person. I spend a majority of my day surfing the Internet, answering emails, and looking around Facebook.

But I have an excuse. My surfing in general is to look for interesting articles to write about — articles like this that I believe readers would want to know about.

But what is everyone else doing on the Internet that they would need to Google when they fly?

What is your opinion? Are we spending too much time on the Internet or is there a real need to fly and surf?

Share your opinions with us.

Comments welcome.

Hotmail Goes Interactive

If you’ve been around on the internet for any period of time the name Hotmail must have been brought up a couple times. This Microsoft free mail service has been lurking in the shadows and slowly updating its platform. Today though Hotmail goes interactive with JavaScript enabled e-mail.

This new interactivity allows developers to embed and run JavaScript programs from within e-mails. Furthering the evolution from HTML e-mails to new heights Hotmail is opening the doors for the evolution to take a huge step forward.

For the end-user this means that their incoming e-mails will be fully interactive and increasingly up-to-date with information that you want to see in your inbox.

If developers send an e-mail with Hotmail’s new changes, you’ll be able to interact with it and take actions within the e-mail itself. Basically, the new Hotmail e-mails will look, feel and behave like a web page.

This cool blingy update has potential to keep Hotmail competitive with Google’s Gmail. Going head to head with Google’s GMail is a tough thing, even when GMail has a slight upper hand, enabling previews from Flickr and YouTube within e-mails.

Check out this demo from Microsoft:

However, JavaScript in e-mails can be a big security hazard. Malicious code is a top risk with this new update from Hotmail. Windows Live Active Views is our answer. Microsoft has been pretty secretive with Windows Live Active Views workings but what we’ve found out is that e-mails will be able to run securely within Hotmail. We realize that is a pretty vague statement, but that is all we’ve been able to learn.

The pioneering companies to utilize this new technology will be Orbitz and Monster.com , with LinkedIn and Netflix coming soon.

An Inquiring Mind Asks – Is Thunderbird Getting Harder To Use?

In my quest locating articles of significant interest that will keep my readership in tact, one reader sent me a list of potential topics he thought I should tackle. Being the humble man he his, he has chosen to remain anonymous , so I promised not to mention Richard Krohn by name. LOL

I was kind of surprised when Dick brought up the subject about Thunderbird getting harder to use. I actually think it is easy to use and is one of the better email programs.

I use two email software programs on my personal computer. I use Microsoft Outlook for both my personal account from my ISP and also a MSN account I must have as a requirement from Microsoft as a MVP. I use Thunderbird for my Google Gmail account in which I received and monitor Gmail alerts throughout the day. On average I receive approximately 250 emails a day from my Gmail account and Thunderbird handles the flow perfectly.

I started using Thunderbird after I upgraded my laptop from Vista to Windows 7. After the upgrade I was required to add an email program, because for some strange reason, Microsoft no longer thought it was necessary to keep Outlook Express as a part of Windows 7. In fact they changed the name of their email program to Windows Live Mail which I personally didn’t like. So I downloaded a copy of Thunderbird and have been using it now for well over a year.

I personally found Thunderbird easy to install and configure. I also like the uncomplicated user interface that is very similar to what I had previously used in Outlook Express. I don’t need a lot to monitor my Gmail account and only need the basics.

But there is one reason that I like Thunderbird and that is because it is free.

Comments welcome.

OK, Dick. Your turn.

File Sharing – ge.tt

Despite all of the advancements that have been made in terms of sharing files online, plenty of people seem to have no clue that other options exist besides email. This is a real shame because sending files through email starts to become more of a pain as the files increase in size. Not only are there sometimes file size limits, but whenever you want someone to have a file, you have to go through the process of sending it to them from beginning to end. With online file storage, you just upload the files once and link people to them whenever they need access. We can all do our part to educate the public about simple online file sharing by pointing people to ge.tt.

It’s become common for file sharing tools to try to outdo the competition in terms of simplicity, and ge.tt certainly makes a fine showing in this area. Just select your files and link to them – that’s it. You can share as many files as you want and there are no size restrictions. Social and e-mail sharing is integrated, and your files can be linked to individually or in collections called shares. If you create a free account, you’ll also get live statistics and extended hosting. The next time you hear someone complain about sharing files, just tell them to ge.tt with the program.

Manage Your Email Using The 4 Ds For Decision-Making Model

There should be an image here!One of the most effective ways I have found for managing email is to apply the 4 Ds for Decision-Making Model. By applying the model, you can quickly decide what action to take with an email and more importantly, which ones you can delete right away.

If you’re struggling with managing your email, I highly encourage you to read 4 Ways to Take Control of Your Inbox. In particular, step 4 outlines how you can apply the 4 Ds Decision-Making Model when processing email.

If you start applying the model, you’ll quickly find that your email is much more manageable.

[Photo above by Jeremy Keith / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Customize The To-Do Bar In Outlook 2010

There should be an image here!I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll say it again, the To-Do Bar in Outlook is a great feature. When I open Outlook I can see at a glance what appointments and tasks I have coming up. To really make the To-Do Bar work for you, consider customizing it to meet your specific requirements. For example, I removed the Date Navigator because I only want to see my upcoming appointments and tasks.

To customize the To-Do Bar in Outlook 2010:

  1. While in Mail, Calendar, Contacts or Tasks, click the View tab.
  2. Within the Layout group, click To-Do Bar to open a drop-down menu.
  3. Select one or more of the following options:
    • Click Date Navigator to see a calendar page in the To-Do Bar.
    • Click Appointments to see upcoming appointment in the To-Do Bar.
    • Click Task List to see your list of tasks in the To-Do Bar.

[Photo above by Jeremy Keith / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Facebook News Feeds Are Full of Malware

Facebook, a great source for malware! That appears to be the message considering the sheer volume of crap found within the Facebook news feed according to BitDefender. Worse is that BitDefender is reporting that 60% of those Facebook threats are coming from third parties. So blocking these threats is, well, not going to be that easy.

In most cases one can avoid most of these threats by not blindly clicking on every idiot thing posted to Facebook as if somehow Facebook is going to magically make you safe. The fact is, you are on your own here. Facebook is simply not going to do squat to make you safe. Its horrid security practices have made that clear.

So while some select malware prevention techniques practiced by the likes of companies like BitDefender are fine, it doesn’t help those of us not using them. I mean, clearly Facebook needs to worry a little less about rethinking email and a little more about getting a handle on that mess it calls a news feed.

Do You Keep All Your Emails?

There should be an image here!Many people are of the belief that they need to keep all their emails because “you just never know when you might need something”. Reality is that most people never use 80% of what they file away. That means you could get rid of 80% of your stored information with no ramifications.

I used to be one of those people who saved everything. A “keeper”. However, it contributed to my overloaded inbox, among other things. About a year ago, I made a conscious decision to throw away most of my stored information. I was a little nervous at first, but in the end felt much “lighter”. Not to mention, my inbox was far more manageable with fewer folders.

Now I’m much more selective about what I store and what I throw away. Furthermore, I go through my stored information every six months to re-evaluate whether I still need to keep it.

In my opinion, there is no reason to file away all your emails. Get rid of them! It’s liberating!

[Photo above by Jeremy Keith / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Help! I Can’t Keep Up With My Email!

There should be an image here!Have you ever heard someone say they can’t keep up with their email and that there is too much information coming at them? I hear it and see it all the time — people getting overwhelmed with the amount of email they receive.

Truth is — the amount of email coming in is not the real problem. The real problem is the lack of organizational skills. If people learned to manage their email, the volume of email would not be overwhelming.

It is true that we receive a high volume of email. However, if you take control of your inbox, the volume becomes irrelevant. Applying good processing and organizational skills to your inbox will keep it under control and manageable regardless of how much email is coming in.

[Photo above by Jeremy Keith / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Automatically Delete Emails In The Trash When Outlook 2010 Is Closed

When you delete an email from your Outlook inbox, the email isn’t actually gone. It’s sent to the Deleted Items folder, which is similar to the Recycle Bin on your Windows Desktop. When you close Outlook, the Deleted Items folder is not emptied which means your deleted emails continue to use disk space. Furthermore, a full Deleted Items folder can impact system performance.

Instead of manually emptying the Deleted Items folder, I recommend configuring Outlook to do so automatically when the application is closed. To accomplish this in Outlook 2010:

  1. From the File menu, click Options.
  2. From the Outlook Options window, click Advanced.
  3. In the right pane, under Outlook start and exit, click the Empty Deleted Items folder when exiting Outlook option.
  4. Click OK.