[abcomputers] ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers, Vol. 20: Introduction To Video CDs,and More!

  • From: "Linda F. Johnson" <linda@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ABCfreelists <abcomputers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 18:11:28 -0500

______________________________________________________
ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers.  The ezine YOU subscribed to.  If you want to change 
your subscription options or unsubscribe, see the bottom of this email for full 
instructions.  Thank you.

Linda
http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/abc
______________________________________________________
ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers
Volume 20; January, 2003 - mailed to 3502 subscribers

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Please rate this Ezine at the Cumuli Ezine Finder
http://snurl.com/6si

ABC is also listed at FreeTechMail now. Please visit their
site and rate it there too:
http://snurl.com/6sj
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If you would prefer to read the online Web-azine, which 
includes pictures and screenshots and is, basically, more 
user-friendly, follow either of these links: 
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc 
(frames) 
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/vol20.htm
(no frames)

or, scroll down to the Contents where you can click on 
over to any individual article 

NOTE:  Unsighted readers or anyone who uses a screen 
reader shoud probably go online and read that version if
my separator lines are making too much "noise".

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For definitions of any terms you do not understand, visit 
the GeekSpeak Translator: 
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc/gs.htm
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You are receiving this newsletter because you (or 
someone using your email address) subscribed to it 
voluntarily.  If you would like to remove yourself from 
ABC, please see SUBSCRIPTION MANAGEMENT at the 
bottom of this newsletter. 

Using the "Reply" function will not unsubscribe you!

My subscriber list is NOT made available to other 
companies or individuals. I value every subscriber and 
respect your privacy.
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SPECIAL THANKS 

to Robert and Tori of Omniana for designing and 
producing ABC's new logo, as well as the logo for 
Linda's Computer Stop and my new Computer Greeting Cards.  
See more on this here:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/newabc20.htm

Omniana - Award winning graphic design - Competitive 
prices and personalized service for all your design needs. 
We do logos, letterheads, business cards, slogans, 
website design, book covers, custom screensavers, 
regular screensavers, buttons, banners, DVD & CD Covers, 
editing and more. We can even design awards for your 
site to give away.  http://www.omniana-ltd.com

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WATCH FOR LONG LINKS!
Most of these have been replaced with SnipURLs
http://www.snipurl.com
so you shouldn't have to copy/paste URLs anymore, 
unless you have a reeeeaaallly tiny monitor ;-)

So...if the links are longer than a certain amount, I've
"snipped" them.
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To help prevent broken links, maximize your email 
window to FULL screen.
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**************STATION BREAK*****************
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THIS MONTHS' FEATURED SPONSOR:
*********************************************
ECLECTIC ACADEMY ~ A Better Choice in Distance Learning

DO YOU WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL WITHOUT LEAVING
THE HOUSE?
It's the latest rage and it's called Distance Learning. 
Most colleges now offer Distance Learning classes 
because they know some people work hard and just 
can't fit a classroom into their busy lives. But, 
sometimes you don't want to enroll in a full program; 
you just want to take one class.
ECLECTIC ACADEMY IS YOUR ANSWER! 
http://eclecticacademy.com/index.htm
Eclectic Academy offers a large range of classes to suit
many needs. Go there now and check out their 
curriculum and roster. Classes are only $20 for 6 weeks. 

HOW CAN YOU BEAT THAT?
Here's a sampling of what they offer:
*Art Courses, both digital and traditional
*Business Courses, including all of the MS Office 
Programs (many taught by none other than Linda 
Johnson herself) 
*Graphics Courses - Flash, PhotoShop, Paint Shop Pro 
& more 
*Website Development Courses - FrontPage, 
Dreamweaver, ASP, DHTML, Website Promotion, and 
on and on and on 
*Eclectic Classes - Computer Maintenance, Writing 
Workshops, Feng Shui, Eating Safely - just about 
anything you can think of

Go to Eclectic Academy now and sign up to be notified 
when classes are added or ENROLL NOW in the class of 
your choice. Go there now to enroll in the next set of 
classes. 
ONLY $20 FOR A SIX-WEEK CLASS! 
http://eclecticacademy.com/index.htm
*********************************************
FLASH!!  Classes started January 5th, but enrollment has
been extended until Monday, January 13th.
DON'T DELAY -- SIGN UP NOW!!
*********************************************
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CONTENTS
(all links below these items take you to the non-frames 
online versions)

(items with *** behind them include pictures and/or are 
better if viewed online)

1.  Important How-To Message for Reading This Ezine 
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/vol20.htm#HowTo

2.  Linda's Holiday Thought of the Month
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/vol20.htm#thought
(and animated GIF) *** 
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/vol20.htm#gif

3.  Linda's Soapbox ~  What's Wrong With the Word "Free"?
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/linda20.htm

4.  What's New at Linda's Computer Stop ~ 
FREE Ccmputer Greeting Cards
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/newabc20.htm

5.  Subscribers' Exclusive Tip ~ 
Microsoft Office Command Line Switches
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/newabc20.htm#tip

6.  GeekSpeak Translation from the Cap'n 
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc/gs.htm
Also, check out the Cap'n's response to 
Greg Chapman's request concerning WSH
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc/gs4.htm#wsh
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7.  THIS MONTH'S FEATURE ~

Vic's Multimedia Madness

~ AN INTRODUCTION TO VIDEO CDS
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/vicm20.htm

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8.  Kathy's Practical PowerPoint Tips 
~ Animating Text In Your Presentations
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/kath20.htm

9.  James's Database 
~ Creating an Automated Report Database in Access ***
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/james20.htm

10. Chad's Macro Mania 
~ Blinking Conditional Formats in Excel ***
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/chad20.htm

11. Tina's FrontPage News 
~ FrontPage Resources
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/tina20.htm

12. Mike's Safety Belt 
~  Is AdAware Dead?
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/mike20.htm

13. Vic's Registry Roundup and DOS Den 
~ Adding a New Email Message Option To the New Menu
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/vicr20.htm

14. Charlene's Drawing Board 
~ Layout and Design Tips 
~ and Customizing the User Interface in 3DS Max ***
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/char20.htm

15. What's a WSH?  
~ by guest author, Greg Chapman
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/greg20.htm

16. Fun With VBA and Training Your Office Assistant
~ by guest author, Dian Chapman ***
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/dian20.htm

17.  Subscription Management
18. Contact Information

*** means the article includes pictures in the online version 
or is better viewed online 

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(1.) IMPORTANT HOW-TO MESSAGE
If you decide to go to the Online "Web-azine" version, 
go here first for navigation instructions:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/vol20.htm#HowTo
If you are reading this plain text issue, maximize your 
email window for best viewing.
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**************STATION BREAK*****************
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Computer Help Central Presents...
A BRAND NEW RESOURCE: 

Does your computer "scare you" at times? 
Are you tired of not getting answers to your computer 
questions? 

Don't worry, Mad Mick can teach you 
"How to Solve All Your Computer Problems...
Fast & Forever...Even if You're Brand New to Computers
And Think You'll Never Learn Them" 

He'll Answer Every Single Computer Question You'll Ever 
Have - BEFORE You Even Ask!
(And if he doesn't, you'll have a chance to personally 
ASK HIM!)

Download Mad Mick's 200 Computer Questions & Answers
in pdf format

**includes 30 days of FREE email support**
http://hop.clickbank.net/?buntah/likeapro 

**SUPPORT ABC BY ORDERING THIS PRODUCT**
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(2.) LINDA'S THOUGHT OF THE MONTH
Assorted Computer Quotes

My head doesn't have any thoughts in it right now...well, 
at least not any you would want to hear (LOL), so I thought 
I would amuse you instead, with some computer quotes 
I've collected from various sources.

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.
--Isaac Asimov 

To err is human, but to really foul things up requires 
a computer.
--Farmers Almanac 

Computers WORK, people THINK.
--IBM Corporation 

Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.
--John F. Kennedy 

I see no reason why anyone would want a computer 
in their home.
--Kenneth Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment 

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
--Pablo Picasso 

Computers in the future will weigh no more than 1.5 tons. 
--Popular Mechanics, 1950 

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
--Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM
 
CLICK HERE FOR THIS MONTH'S ANIMATED GIF:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/vol20.htm#gif
(just rightclick on the gif and choose "Save Picture As...")
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(3.) LINDA'S SOAPBOX
~~Linda F. Johnson, Editor/Publisher

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       WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WORD "FREE"?
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EDITOR'S NOTE:  This article is really a tad ridiculous in the 
email version of this newsletter, cuz if your ISP is using this 
policy, you won't even get this newsletter.  The only way I 
could get this newsletter to everyone would be to go 
through it step by step and change every "free" to "fr**" 
or something like that and I just don't have the time for that.  
So, I'm asking you to keep an ear out for any of your friends 
or associates that you know are subscribed and not receiving 
the issues and maybe let them know why....Thanks. Linda.
*********************************************

Used to be that "free" was a good word.  Free the people.  
Free from slavery.  Wild and free. Free software.  
All good things.  

Now the word "free" inside an email gets your mail tossed 
into the spam bucket.  

Yes, my friends, a lot of ISPs have now decided to *help* 
their customers by removing SPAM from their servers 
before you even see it.  So, they've added filters that look 
for certain words inside your mail and when they find 
them, they dump the mail into a spam holding area.  
Unfortunately, some of them don't even tell you that 
they are doing this.  They just do it, without asking.  
And the result is that you may not receive some 
important mail.

Here's some mail, you won't get:

Grandma sends you an email telling you that Grandpa 
has been set FREE from prison.

Aunt Matilda sends you a mail telling you that she is finally 
FREE from her migraines.

Your boss sends you an email telling you that they are 
having a clearance sale of old inventory and all 
employees are entitled to one FREE item.

Of course, FREE isn't the only word that ISPs have decided 
you don't want to see in your emails.  If your ISP is filtering 
your mail for spam, you probably won't see these emails 
either:

From Cousin Mary:

The baby arrived yesterday.  Weight: 8lbs., Length: 
19 inches, SEX: Female.

From your co-worker:

You better come to work tomorrow.  The boss says you 
will be fired if you're not here for the meeting with the 
new VIAGRA client.

From your fiancé:

How bout we get together and watch some XXX rated 
movies?

Are you getting my point?  Yes, we are all sick of the 
constant spam and pornography we receive, and we 
appreciate our ISPs trying to help us, but shouldn't they 
at least tell us they are doing this and tell us how we can 
make our OWN choices about what we do and don't 
want to receive?

I'm betting lots of people don't even receive the text 
version of ABC becuz I've been known to offer lots of 
FREE goodies, and it's not uncommon for me to make 
statements like "I applied that speed fix and my browser 
acted like it had a shot of VIAGRA".  And, of course, I will 
always challenge anyone who discriminates on the basis 
of race, creed, or SEX.

So, if you want to be sure you are getting the mail you 
want to receive, you should contact your ISP and see if 
they are using these filters, and if they are, how YOU can 
manage what they put in their spam buckets.

Happy Computing!
Linda
*********************************************
Linda Johnson is a college instructor of all of the 
Microsoft Office Programs, as well as Adobe PhotoShop 
and Windows. She also teaches online distance learning 
classes in Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and 
Word at Eclectic Academy. 
http://www.eclecticacademy.com/index.htm
She has worked helpdesk and teaches and lectures at 
Many local businesses and tech schools in her area. 
Support this newsletter by checking out Linda's website 
http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com
and her ebook series, MS Word MAGIC!
Part I: Fonts, Fun & Formats 
http://snurl.com/6sk
Part II: Table Wizardry 
http://snurl.com/6sl
AND, How To Get Started As a Software Trainer:
http://snurl.com/6sd
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AND DON'T MISS LINDA'S NEWEST EBOOK SERIES:
If you have been interested in taking any of Linda's 
Online Classes but don't want to wait six weeks to 
complete all the lessons or don't have the desire to be 
part of an online classroom, why not 
SKIP THE CLASS & BUY THE BOOK INSTEAD?
Check out the eBook .exe versions of all of Linda's 
classes here:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/library.htm

Only $15 each!!  Where else can you master a software 
Program for that price?  

Separate eBook tutorials on Access, Excel, Outlook, 
PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word.  Terrific value!!

OR BUY THEM ALL ON ONE CD  Only $45.00!!
Order online or by regular mail
Details here:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/cdtutorial.htm

Download the free Sample Version at CNET:
http://snurl.com/6sc
And PLEASE rate it there for me?  Thanks!!

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**************STATION BREAK*****************
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Freelists to offer MailandFiles.com
http://www.mailandfiles.com/
Our amazing list host, FreeLists, has started a new email 
and file storage service called MailandFiles.com: "For 5 
bucks a month, you get access to 50MB of email and file 
storage, a you@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx email address, access 
to that email through web mail, POP3, and IMAP, plus 
access to your files both through the web mail client and 
FTP.  (Software like WebDrive(tm) and Windows 2000+'s 
"map a network drive" makes it easier on Windows users.)" 
If their incredible service at FreeLists is any indication, 
this is sure to be the best service of its kind on the Internet.

<snipped from MikesWhatsNews>>
To subscribe, send a blank email to 
mikeswhatsnews-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx?Subject=subscribe

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(4.) WHAT'S NEW at Linda's Computer Stop 
http://personal-computer-tutor.com

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Hey everybody!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  
I know I sure did.  Unfortunately, becuz I was having such a 
good time, I didn't add a lot of new stuff to my website.  But 
I did manage to add one REALLY cool thing --  FREE 
COMPUTER GREETING CARDS!!  So, now when one of your 
friends is whining about their hard drive biting the dust or 
getting the blue screen of death, you can send them a 
*not so sympathetic* e-card ... LOL

You can customize them with your choice of background 
colors or designs, choose music for them, and enter your 
own text.

Why not go there now and send ME a card?  I'd love to 
hear how you like them.

Linda's Computer Cards
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/cards/index.htm 

Thanks so much to Tori and Robert, of Omniana, for 
designing and producing these cards for me.  I think they 
did a wonderful job, don't you?  I highly recommend that 
you visit Omniana and see the other goodies they have.  
It's a great website.  

"Omniana - Award winning graphic design - Competitive 
prices and personalized service for all your design needs. 
We do logos, letterheads, business cards, slogans, 
website design, book covers, custom screensavers, 
regular screensavers, buttons, banners, DVD & CD 
Covers, editing and more. We can even design awards 
for your site to give away."

They also designed the new logo for ABC and Linda's 
Computer Stop.  You can see the new "computer on 
wheels" at the top of every issue of ABC and the full logo 
at my homepage:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/

And, if you visit Omniana, tell them Linda sent you!
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I also wrote a new article for TechTrax this month.  
It's all about Custom Cell Formatting in Excel.  

Read it at TechTrax:
http://snurl.com/kgs

or at my website:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/articles.htm
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Of course, I've also added some new links to my favorite 
links page, so go there and check out the revolving Ns:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/internet.htm
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Well...that's about it for this month.  Please come back 
to my site often to see what else I've added and drop 
me a line if you have any suggestions.

Linda
linda@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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**************ANNOUNCEMENT*****************
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My site has been added to the section on Women In 
Business On the Web at Brainy Betty Net: Portal of Sites 
for Women
http://www.brainybetty.com/bbnetwork.htm
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**************STATION BREAK*****************
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-------- "Still Struggling With Your PC?"

'PC & Internet Companion' is the latest Block Buster from
The Newbie Club, and is a Mega library of 43 Chapters and
over 800 Tips and Tutorials. And it's written in the Plain
English that has made The Newbie Club Famous all around 
The World. Take a look at this staggering publication NOW
http://snurl.com/gln
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(5.) Subscribers' Exclusive Tip of the Month:
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COMMAND LINE SWITCHES FOR THE OFFICE PROGRAMS

Some people don't know that all of the Office programs 
have command line switches you can use to perform 
unique tasks.  Command line switches are run from the 
Run box (Start button>click on "Run") and can be used 
to troubleshoot problems, fix problems, or as shortcuts.  
You can use a command line switch to see if Word has a 
corrupt global template and that's why it won't start for 
you.  You can use a command line switch to restore 
corrupted toolbars in Outlook. You can even use a 
command line switch to print a PowerPoint presentation.  
Microsoft has pages that tell all about the command line 
switches and, a long time ago, Vic Ferri was kind enough 
to compile them for me, so I thought I would share this 
list with you.  I recommend you read them and see if 
there's any you don't know about or could use.

Access Switches
http://snurl.com/kgu

Excel Startup Switches
http://snurl.com/kgv

Outlook Switches
http://snurl.com/kgw

PowerPoint Switches
http://snurl.com/kgx

Word Startup Switches
http://snurl.com/kgy

Office Setup Switches
http://snurl.com/kgz

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Discover How To Create Stunning Letters, Presentations, 
Greetings Cards, Promotional Materials, Memos, Reports 
And More - Just Like The Professionals!
Imagine using the Famous Newbie Club Easy Learning
System to create Newbie-Speak Tutorials of the World's
No. 1 Favorite Word Processing Program. What do you get?

MS Word MAGIC! eBooklet Series
by Linda F. Johnson

Book I teaches all about the formatting of text, words, 
and paragraphs.

Book II is all about Tables and how to use them to get 
the most out of your Word documents.

And both ebooklets come with the famous Newbie Club 
unconditional guarantee:
"If, within 12 months of purchase and for any reason 
whatsoever, you decide that MS Word MAGIC! is not for 
you, simply let us know and we'll refund your purchase 
price immediately. No Questions Asked! No ifs, buts or 
maybes.  No hidden clauses and no small print. With us, 
unconditional means unconditional!"
So...what have you got to lose? Check out this series:
Book 1: Fonts, Formats and Fun 
http://snurl.com/6sk
Book 2: Table Wizardry 
http://snurl.com/6sl

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(6.)  Cap'n Patt's
GEEKSPEAK TRANSLATOR
Visit the Cap'n's Official GeekSpeak Database at 
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc/gs.htm
If the word you need defined is not there, or the 
definition is not clear, too geeky, or just plain confusing 
to you, email the Cap'n.  He would love to hear from 
you at CapnPatt@xxxxxxx

Also, check out the Cap'n's response to 
Greg Chapman's request concerning WSH
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc/gs4.htm#wsh

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**************STATION BREAK*****************
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Are you into Video Computing?

VIDEOMAKER is the world's most popular monthly 
consumer video production publication and covers the 
use of digital video editing, camcorders, cameras, and 
desktop video and audio production for novice and 
expert enthusiasts alike. Its articles teach production 
techniques, survey and review the latest equipment, 
and explain the newest technological advances.  
Published monthly, and is available on select newsstands 
and to subscribers.  In addition, you receive a password 
giving you full access to Club VId, Videomaker's vast 
online resource of information about making video.
And the best part is, it's CHEAP! Only $14.97 for 13 issues!  
http://snurl.com/6t1

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             *****THIS MONTH'S FEATURE*****
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(7.)  VIC'S MULTIMEDIA MADNESS
~~ Vic Ferri, WinTips&Tricks 

AN INTRODUCTION TO VIDEO CDS

What is a video CD?

A Video CD - VCD for short - is a regular CD containing 
specially formatted video files that can be played on your 
computer (in a regular CD-ROM or DVD-ROM) or in most 
home DVD players. All you really need to create VCDs is a 
CD-R burner and burning software which supports the 
creation of Video CDs (almost all the major CD burning 
software like Nero and Roxio allow you to burn video CDs). 
Video CDs are great if you have a home DVD player which 
supports VCD (and most do) but no DVD burner on your 
PC. You can then create Video CDs using your CD-R 
burner and watch them on your television set (or on 
your computers monitor via your CD-ROM/DVD player). 

If you are completely new to this, you may be surprised 
to learn that Video CDs have been around for over 10 
years, long before DVDs came out, and were very popular 
in Asia where VCRs were expensive and not a common 
household item. The VCD standard was developed by 
Philips and JVC in 1993. VCD never really caught on in 
North America due to the widespread use of VCRs here. 
However, the interest in VCD in North America has picked 
up in the last few years and is greater now than it ever 
was. The main advantages of VCDs over VHS tape - is 
easier control and longevity. You can quickly move to any 
track - no rewinding or fast forwarding needed - and 
once the video is on the CD, the video deterioration 
process is halted - no matter how many times you play 
the CD, the quality will be the same (the same can't be 
said for magnetic tape which wears out the more you 
play it and with time). Video CDs are a great way to 
preserve family videos and other events for those of us 
who do not own a DVD recorder, and are easy to mail 
out to family and friends.

How do I create a VCD?

Basically, it's a 2-step process if your video files are on 
your computer or the net or a 3 step process if your video 
files are off your computer (i.e.: on VHS tapes). With 
video files from your computer, the first step is to convert 
the video files, which most typically are in avi format, to 
the format required for VCD which is MPEG-1. Then it's a 
simple matter of using your burning software to record 
them to a CD in VCD format. If you want to make VCDs 
from your old VHS tapes, you first have to capture the 
video to your hard drive and save it as a video file. To do 
this you would need a capture device or video card with 
a TV IN. (my next article will cover this in more detail).  
Once the video file is saved, you can then edit it if 
necessary, using special software, convert it to MPEG-1 
and record it with your CD-R as a VCD.

How do I convert my video files to VCD format?

Most of the VCD burning software come bundled with 
encoders that will convert your nonconforming video files 
into the correct video format or you can use specific 
utilities that will convert your video files to the VCD 
MPEG1 format required. An excellent free video converter 
is TMPGEnc which you can find out more about and 
download here: 
http://www.pegasys-inc.com/e_main.html  

NOTE - if you use NERO, I would advise a separate 
converter to convert your video to MPEG-1. In my 
experience, Nero was extremely slow in the conversion 
process and the video quality was deteriorated noticeably 
more than when the same video was converted using a 
separate utility specializing in VCD conversion. Personally, 
I use Roxio WIN ON CD burning software which has a 
built-in converter that does a much better and faster job 
of encoding video to the VCD standard than Nero does. 
However, I actually prefer to convert my video files to 
VCD MPEG-1 standard in advance of burning them. For 
that I use TMPGenc.

Please note that not all mpeg-1 files are in the proper 
format needed for Video CDs. In many cases, the mpegs 
you download from the net will have to be re-encoded to 
make them VCD compliant. Also note that mpg and mpeg 
are used interchangeably. They both mean the same.

NTSC and PAL

Depending on the encoder you use to convert your video 
files to the correct VCD format, you may or may not be 
given a choice to choose between NTSC or PAL encoding. 
These are the two major broadcast television standards 
used in the world - NTSC (National Television Standards 
Committee) is the standard used if you live in North 
America and Japan and is able to display 525 lines of 
resolution at 30 frames per second. PAL (Phase 
Alternating Line), is the main television standard used in 
much of Europe and Asia, and gives a resolution of 576 
horizontal lines at 25 frames per second. All you need to 
know about these standards is that if you try to play a 
Video CD (or DVD) from say Hong Kong which has the 
Pal standard in a DVD player that only supports NTSC, 
then part of your picture will be cut off. There are two 
ways to get around this that will allow you to view both 
NTSC and PAL videos. One is by using a multisystem 
television set and the other is by buying a NTSC/PAL or 
multisystem DVD player. If this is an issue with you, be 
sure to ask when buying a DVD player if it can handle 
both NTSC and PAL. Note that though these are the two 
main standards used, they aren't the only ones. Some 
parts of the world use another standard called SECAM 
and some use more than one standard. For example, 
Europe uses both PAL and SECAM, and South America 
uses both PAL and NTSC.

Video Quality

VCDs use MPEG 1 compression, which compresses the 
video by a factor of approximately 60 to 1 and gives an 
NTSC resolution of 352X240 or a PAL resolution of 
352X288 which is almost the same as you would get with 
VHS tape. This, of course, is much lower video quality than 
in DVDs which use MPEG 2 compression and a resolution 
of 700x480. One problem with VCD is that it has a fixed 
bitrate of 1.15 megabits per second, which means it is not 
great at handling fast action sequences, so if your video 
has a lot of fast action the visual quality may be reduced. 
Fast sequences require a higher bit rate to reproduce 
smoothly.

SVCD - for Higher Video Quality

You can achieve higher video quality with Video CDs if you 
burn them as Super Video CDs (SVCD) which uses the 
MPEG-2 video standard (same as DVDs use but not the 
same high quality as DVD) and gives an NTSC resolution 
of 480X480 and a PAL resolution of 480X576, which is 
comparable to the video quality of S-VHS tape. The bitrate 
supported by SVCD is more than double than that of VCD, 
so fast action movement translates better. Most burning 
software that supports VCD usually supports SVCD as 
well, since SVCD is simply an extension of VCD. The only 
disadvantages of SVCD over VCD are that you can't fit 
as much video on one CD (about half as much as you can 
on a VCD) and because SVCD only became an official 
standard recently, some older players may not be able to 
play the SVCDs that you create now. However, there is a 
way around this and that is by using burning software that 
can write your SVCD to a format that will play on both old 
and new players. WinOnCd, which I use, can do this. If you 
already have a SVCD that won't play on your DVD player 
which supports VCD, you can use the utility TMPGEnc, 
which I mentioned earlier, to place a VCD header on your 
SVCD. This is a trick that will fool your DVD player into 
thinking it is a regular VCD. You would open TMPGenc 
and simply select your video under the Simple Multiplex 
tab and make sure to select MPEG-1 Video CD as the type. 
Then select your output file and click Run. Once done, 
just burn the video as a regular vcd. 

Will my video CD play on any home DVD player?

Not all, but most recent DVD players do support VCD. 
When shopping for a DVD player, make sure it states it 
can play VCD/SVCD.

Almost all the most popular DVD players now are multi 
system ones that can play DVD, CD/CDRW, VCD/SVCD 
and even MP3s.

TIP - avoid cheap no name brand DVD players which 
seem to be all over now - flooding in from Asia. Almost 
all these players are prone to problems like sound sync 
problems, skipping, and more. Stick with reputable brands 
like Pioneer, Panasonic, Sony, JVC, etc. VCDs can also be 
played on dedicated VCD players especially made for 
them but they are quite rare now that most DVD players 
can do the job.

How much video can I fit on one CD?

A 700 mb CD holds about 80 minutes of VCD MPEG1 
video or about 40 minutes of SVCD MPEG-2 video.

Where can I find free video files that may interest me 
on the net?

The best way to obtain free video files from the net is by 
using a file sharing service such as AudioGnome, 
Bearshare, or Kazaa Lite. My recommendation would be 
Kazaa LITE (not Kazaa) from which you can download 
all types of videos. Unlike the real Kazaa, Kazaa Lite 
contains no spyware or adware. AudioGnome is also good. 
You can install more than one file sharing service on your 
PC if you so desire.

VCD CD Structure

If you open up a VCD and take a look at its contents, you 
will notice there are several folders in there and not one 
single mpg file. The files all have either a VCD or DAT
extension. A frequently asked question by many novices 
is how to play the VCD files independently.

The answer is, you can't! The actual videos you burned 
are not the VCD files but the DAT files. With a VCD, the 
video files are converted to DAT files named sequentially 
in the following format - AVSEQ01.DAT, AVSEQ02.DAT, 
AVSEQ03.DAT, etc. You will find these DAT files in the 
folder MPEGAV on the CD.

Can these DAT files be played if I copy them to my 
hard drive?

Yes, they can be played from the CD or your hard drive, 
just like regular video files, except you will have to choose 
Open With to associate the DAT file with your player -
 i.e.: Windows Media Player 7 and up, which will recognize 
it as a valid video file.

Can I convert a DAT file back to a mpeg?

Yes. The program TMPGenc that I mentioned before 
will convert DAT files back to mpegs easily.

When I burn a VCD, I notice a track named ISO 9660 
as part of my video list.  What is this?

The first track on a VCD is based on the ISO 9660 
standard which is a data track containing files which tell 
the Video CD player how to locate and play the other 
(video) tracks on the disc. It contains the CDI, MPEGAV 
and VCD folders you see on the CD. The next tracks are 
your mpeg-1 files that are listed as DAT files in the 
MPEGAV folder.

The definition for ISO 9660 is an international standard 
for a file system that specifies how data is arranged on 
a CD-R or CD-RW disc. This includes standards for the 
format of file names and directory names. CDs written 
in the ISO 9660 format can be read by computers running 
under various operating systems such as Windows, DOS, 
Macintosh, Linux, and Unix.

If you would like to become an expert at creating Video 
CDs, check out the excellent "Expert Guide To Creating 
Video CDs" which is currently being offered for only 
$19.95 and represents one of the best guides available 
on the subject. It includes step-by-step guidance and 
everything there is to know about video CD creation 
and editing. Screenshots and more info here 

For the best magazine on computer video, send for a
free sample of Computer Video Maker Magazine.
More info at this link:
http://www.angelfire.com/va3/vic3/vcd.htm

For other video expert guides, checkout and bookmark 
this link:
http://www.angelfire.com/va3/expert_guides/index.html
********************************************
Vic Ferri owns the very popular WinTips and Tricks 
email group 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WinTips-Tricks
He is also in charge of the Printing Tips page at
Linda's Computer Stop.
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/printing.htm
ans also the Registry Tips page. 
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc1/v4/vic4.htm

Vic has also created a program which allows you to 
Lock & Hide desktop folders in Windows 9X/ME.  
Read more and get the free demo here.
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/lh/lockhide.htm

And, he now offers a service to convert PowerPoint 
presentations to .exe files which can be viewed on 
computers which do not have PowerPoint installed.
http://www.angelfire.com/va3/vic3/index.html

Also, check out his  Expert-Guides on Video topics:
http://www.angelfire.com/va3/expert_guides/index.html
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>

(8.)  KATHY'S PRACTICAL POWERPOINT TIPS
~~Kathryn Jacobs, PowerPointAnswers
 
ANIMATING TEXT IN YOUR PRESENTATIONS

The most basic way of having your say in a PowerPoint 
presentation is to use text in a bulleted list placeholder. 
Microsoft has graciously provided basic placeholders for 
formatting bulleted lists, both single column and double 
column. These placeholders allow you to add the text 
quickly and easily, and ensure that the text shows up in 
your outline. Furthermore, these placeholders are set up 
so that the text displayed in the placeholders can be built 
a character, word, line or bullet at a time. 

Text entered in one of the bulleted list placeholders is 
great for drawing attention to one part of the information 
at a time. To set up your animations, use the "Custom 
Animation" item on the "Slide Show" menu. This tool lets 
you assign which animations you wish to use on the 
placeholder. You set up how you want the placeholder 
to appear, exit, and (in PowerPoint 2002 only) move 
around the screen. Once you have defined the basic 
animation, you are ready to define the animation for the 
bulleted text itself.

When you enter text in a placeholder, you are setting up 
a bulleted list. This list can either be a straight list, such as:

*Level One, bullet one 
*Level One, bullet two 
*Level One, bullet three 

Or it can be made up of nested lists such as:

*Level One, bullet one 
         *Level Two, bullet one 
         *Level Two, bullet two 
                 *Level Three, bullet one  
*Level One, bullet two 

********************************************
EDITOR'S NOTE:  If the above indentation doesn't show 
correctly in this email, go to the online version of this article 
to see how it's supposed to look:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/kath20.htm
********************************************

Nested lists are nice when you need to provide just a bit 
more detail than you could on a single bullet item. But they 
are very easy to abuse. Even though PowerPoint will let 
you set up a total of 5 indentation levels, please think 
carefully before going beyond two. The further indented 
the text is, the smaller it is, the less space you have to say 
what you need, and the harder it will be for your audience 
to stay focused.

Bulleted lists are animated by using animation options. 
The basic options you choose from are text grouping and 
text effects. Use the grouping to determine how many 
levels you want to appear at a single reveal. In our list 
above, we could select from the following options:

*As one object - All text in the placeholder revealed at the 
same time. 
*All paragraphs at once - Each bullet revealed in order, 
regardless of bullet level. 
*By 1st level paragraphs - All the nested bullets for the 
1st level revealed at the same time as the 1st level text, 
repeated for each level one bullet. 
*By 2nd level paragraphs - The first 1st level bullet 
revealed, the first 2nd level bullet revealed with all of its 
nested bullets, then the next 2nd level bullet. When all 
2nd level bullets are revealed, then the next 1st level 
bullet is processed. 
*By 3rd level paragraphs - Same idea as above, but with 
one more level of grouping. 

How much grouping you do depends on what you want 
the audience to see at any given time during your 
presentation. If you want the audience to concentrate 
only on the current sub-bullet, then use a very tight 
grouping level. If you want them focusing on the bigger 
picture, then use a looser grouping level. (Most 
presenters use 1st or 2nd level grouping.)

Once you know how much text to bring in at once, you can 
determine the order. The order of the bullets can be either 
top to bottom (the default) or bottom to top (reverse). Be 
careful about combining reverse reveals with tight 
grouping. It can be confusing to your audience.

Are you ready for another level of enhancement? Good. 

Next we are going to define what we want to happen as 
the text is brought in. You have three decisions here:

*If you want a sound played when the text is brought in, 
which sound to play 
*What you want to have happen to the text when you 
bring in the next bullet 
*How fast you want each bullet brought in 

These options are found on the "Effect" tab of the 
animation scheme. We are going to look at these in 
reverse order, as that is how you really set it up.

How fast text is brought in is determined by the "Animate 
Text" option. This option lets you bring your bullets all at 
once, a word at a time or a character at a time. Think 
about your screen as a typewriter, and you will have the 
idea for character at a time. Word at a time is slightly less 
spread out across time, all at once is just what it says. For 
word or character at a time, you also need to determine 
how long you wish to wait between characters/words 
before the next one appears.

Next, you should define what you want to happen when 
the next bullet appears. This is the "After Animation" 
option. You can choose any of these four options:

*Do nothing to the text 
*Change the color of the current text as the next text 
appears 
*Blank out the current text after it finishes animating 
and then bring in the new text 
*Blank out the current text on the next mouse click and 
then bring in the new text 

As each of these options is applied to the text box, you 
must choose one option for the entire placeholder. You 
cannot mix these effects within a single animation. Also, 
while you can set the sound to play and the amount of text 
to animate for exit effects, you cannot set dimming 
animations.

Finally, you need to decide if you are going to play a 
sound with each set of text that you have animated. You 
can choose any of the predefined sounds from the drop 
down list, or by choosing "Other Sound" you can select 
your own sound from your hard drive.

But what if you don't want all your text lined up in nice 
neat bulleted lists?

You can use text boxes (also known as autoshapes) for 
those text elements which you want to place at other 
locations around the slide. This text can be animated to 
appear element by element and move around the screen. 
There are two downsides to using text boxes:

*Text in the boxes does not appear in your outline 
*Text in the boxes can not be "built", unless you are 
using PowerPoint 2002 

To use text boxes to animate your text, place text boxes 
around your screen and use the "Edit Text" option on 
your right click menu to add your text. You can add any 
amount of text you wish to a text box, from single 
characters to multiple paragraphs.

When you have added all your text elements, your next 
step is to remove the shapes from those text elements 
you wish to merely show on the screen. To do this, select 
the shapes and go to the "Format AutoShape" selection 
on your right click menu. On the "Colors and Lines" tab, 
select no line and no fill. Your text will now sit directly on 
the background of your slide, just as it does when you 
place it in the placeholders.

Since the text is in a text box instead of a placeholder, it 
would appear that you do not have as many animation 
options as you would on a placeholder. However, because 
of the flexibility of the text boxes, you can fake the 
grouping options, the dimming options and the sound 
options by creating individual text boxes for each 
paragraph, line, or word of text you wish animated. This 
actually gives you more flexibility than you have with the 
placeholders. (If you are using PowerPoint 2002, you can 
apply all of the text animations and building options to 
text boxes as well as to the placeholders.)

There is one other point you should know about text 
and PowerPoint. 

You cannot build placeholders. You can fake them by 
creating sample slides with the text boxes in places you 
desire them, but you cannot create "Click Here" boxes. 
This means that if you are creating presentation 
templates for others to use, you must be sure to explain 
how to use and recreate your text box scheme when 
you distribute your template.
**********************************************
Kathryn Jacobs, BrainBench MVP, MS PowerPoint
Get PowerPoint answers at 
http://www.powerpointanswers.com
Cook anything outdoors with 
http://www.outdoorcook.com
Hardware, software, and history: 
http://www.oldcpu.com
Kathy is a trainer, writer, Girl Scout, parent, and whatever 
else there is time for.

I believe life is meant to be lived. But, if we live without 
making a difference, it makes no difference that we lived.
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>

(9.)  JAMES'S DATABASE
~~James La Borde

CREATING AN AUTOMATED REPORT DATABASE 
IN ACCESS ***

**********************************************
EDITOR'S NOTE: The code in this article may have line 
breaks caused by email formatting and includes tables.  
Both of these are clearer if read online.  You can see the 
online version here:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/james20.htm
**********************************************

Hello everyone. As promised in my last article which 
discussed Creating pdf Files from Access Reports, I will 
be posting the coding I use to run a list of reports on a 
regular basis. This will be a somewhat advanced topic 
for some of you but I have tried to document the code as 
well as I could for you as I went along. Please bear in 
mind that this is by no means the only way to accomplish 
this, but it is one way. 

First, you will want to create a table to list your reports 
and the like. Go to the online version of this article to see 
the structure of my table.
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/james20.htm

This will give you the basics to run a schedule of reports. 
It is vital that the report names be exact. I have created 
a combo-box listing all the reports in my table for mine so 
that I know they are exact. I also have a table of 
frequencies to link to the WhentoRun Field. This table is 
also available in the online version of this article:
 http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/james20.htm

In this table it is very important to follow the numbering 
scheme rather than rely on Autonumber. These numbers 
are very important. When you set up your form to input 
the reports make sure to link the number, not the name 
of the field.

One more table to set up and you are ready to go. This 
one is an Archive Format table. I have more data in mine 
than you will probably need but the basic table is available 
in the online version of this article: 
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/james20.htm

This table does need a little more explanation. The first 
field lists where you would like the reports to be put. It 
can be a local drive or a network drive or any folder on 
any of those drives. The Archive Format needs to be 
specific. The best way to get this is to open a macro and 
look at the format options there. Select the one you want 
and copy and past the format here. (Note this can be 
turned into a combo-box but ensure that the data stored 
is the actual name and a number referring to it.) I have 
added PDF for my system as I have Adobe Acrobat 
installed. If you do as well, you can include this option. 
The Archive extension is the extension of your selected 
archive. If you have created a combo-box with the 
format, you can auto-populate this field. The DateCheck 
field is a yes/no field that I include as I include date 
verification as part of my procedure and sometimes want 
to turn it off for various reasons. The most important 
thing to remember about this table is that there should 
only be one row. If changes are necessary, change them 
in that same row. 

Once you have populated your tables, you are ready to go.

The following code will loop through your first table and 
produce your reports based on your input into the last 
table. 

Here is the code (I have tried to comment it in Green so 
that you can follow along...to see my green comments, go 
to the online version of this article...in this text version, 
the comments have been removed from the code):

Option Compare Database
Option Explicit 

Public str2501 As String 

Function RunfromList() 

On Error GoTo RunfromList_Err 

Dim db As DAO.Database
Dim rsTemp1 As DAO.Recordset
Dim rec2Temp As DAO.Recordset 

Set db = CurrentDb()

Set rsTemp1 = db.OpenRecordset("dbo_zzSystem_") 

Set rec2Temp = db.OpenRecordset("ArchiveInfo") 

rec2Temp.MoveFirst   

If rec2Temp!DateCheck = -1 Then
    If rsTemp1!DatabaseDate <> Date - 1 Then
        DoCmd.OpenReport "DBNotUpdated", acNormal, "", ""
        GoTo RunfromList_Exit
    End If
End If 

Set rsTemp1 = Nothing 

Dim rec As DAO.Recordset
Dim StrCurMacro As String
Dim StrCurReport As String
Dim strCurMonthTxt As String
Dim StrLMonthTxt As String
Dim strDate4 As String
Dim StrDate As Date
Dim strDoW As String
Dim strDoM As String
Dim StrNQ As String
Dim StrMonthNum As String
Dim StrDayNum As String
Dim StrMonth As String
Dim SBegin As String
Dim BlnEndofMonth As Boolean  
Dim strArcPath As String
Dim strArcFormat As String
Dim strArcExt As String
Dim strArchive As String
Dim strArcMonth As String
Dim strMySubj As String
Dim strBody As String 

    strArcPath = rec2Temp!ArchivePath
    strArcExt = rec2Temp!ArchiveExt
    strArcFormat = rec2Temp!ArchiveFormat 

StrDate = Date 

strDoW = DatePart("w", StrDate)
strDoM = DatePart("d", StrDate)
StrLMonthTxt = Format(DateAdd("m", -1, Date), "mmmm")
strCurMonthTxt = Format(Date, "mmmm")
StrMonth = DatePart("m", StrDate)
StrMonthNum = IIF(DatePart("m", StrDate - 1) < 10, 0 & DatePart("m", StrDate
- 1), DatePart("m", StrDate - 1))
StrDayNum = IIF(DatePart("d", StrDate - 1) < 10, 0 & DatePart("d", StrDate -
1), DatePart("d", StrDate - 1))
strDate4 = StrMonthNum & StrDayNum
StrNQ = IIF(DatePart("m", StrDate) = 1 Or DatePart("m", StrDate) = 4 Or
DatePart("m", StrDate) = 7 Or DatePart("m", StrDate) = 10, "Yes", "No")
BlnEndofMonth = IIF(DatePart("m", Date) <> DatePart("m", Date + 1), True,
False) 

If Right(strArcPath, 1) <> "\" Then
    strArcPath = strArcPath & "\"
End If 

strArcMonth = strArcPath & strCurMonthTxt & "\" 

If Dir(strArcMonth & "*.*") = "" Then
    MkDir strArcMonth
    DoCmd.OutputTo acReport, "Report1", "MS-DOSText(*.txt)", strArcMonth &
"justfillingSpace.txt", False, ""
End If 

Set rec = db.OpenRecordset("ScheduleTable")

rec.MoveFirst   
DoCmd.SetWarnings False


With rec
Do 

SBegin = Timer   

StrCurMacro = rec!ObjectToRun
StrCurReport = rec!ObjectToRun
strArchive = strArcPath & strCurMonthTxt & "\" & StrCurReport & strDate4 &
strArcExt
strMySubj = "Your " & StrCurReport & " Report"
strBody = "Your Report,  " & StrCurReport & " can be found at: <html><a
href='" & strArcPath & _ strCurMonthTxt & "\" & StrCurReport & strDate4 &
strArcExt & "'>Here</a></html>" 

If (rec!whentorun = 1 And rec!LastRun <> Date) Or (rec!whentorun - 1 =
strDoW And rec!whentorun >= _ 2 And rec!whentorun <= 8 And rec!LastRun <>
Date) Or (rec!whentorun - 8 = strDoM And rec!LastRun _ <> Date) Or
(rec!whentorun = 40 And strDoM = "1" And StrNQ = "Yes" And rec!LastRun <>
Date) Or  _
(rec!whentorun = 42 And strDoM = "1" And StrMonth = "1" And rec!LastRun <>
Date) Or  _
(rec!whentorun = 43 And BlnEndofMonth = True) Then
                        Select Case rec!ObjectType
                                       Case "Report"
                            If rec!Archive = -1 Then
                                                If strArcExt = ".pdf" Then
                        
                                    Call ChangeToAcrobat
                                    Call ReporttoPDF(strArchive,
StrCurReport)                            

                                If str2501 = "Yes" Then
                                    Call ChangeToAcrobat
                                    Call ReporttoPDF(strArchive, "rpt2501")
                                    str2501 = "No"
                               End If
                                     Else
                            DoCmd.OutputTo acOutputReport, StrCurReport,
strArcFormat, strArchive, False, ""
                        End If
                    End If
                    If rec!Print = -1 Then
                        DoCmd.OpenReport StrCurReport, acNormal, "", ""
                    End If           

                    If rec!EmailRep = -1 Then
                        Call SendMessage(rec!EmailAdd, strMySubj, strBody,
"")
                    End If            

                    rec.Edit
                    rec!LastRun = StrDate
                    rec.Update
                    rec.Edit
                    rec!LengthLR = Timer - SBegin
                    rec.Update            

                        If rec.EOF = True Then
                        rec.Close
                        End If                

            Case "Macro"
                DoCmd.RunMacro StrCurMacro, , ""
                rec.Edit
                rec!LastRun = StrDate
                rec.Update
                rec.Edit
                rec!LengthLR = Timer - SBegin
                rec.Update
                    If rec.EOF = True Then
                    rec.Close
                    End If
        End Select 

    End If
End If 

SkipIt:  
rec.MoveNext
Err.Clear


Loop Until rec.EOF
End With 

DoCmd.OpenReport "rptScheduleTable", acNormal, "", "" 

GoTo RunfromList_Exit 

RunfromList_Err:

    If Err.Number = 2501 Then
        rec.Edit
        rec!LastRun = StrDate
        rec.Update
        rec.Edit
        rec!LengthLR = Timer - SBegin
        rec.Update
        Resume SkipIt
    Else
        MsgBox Error$
        Resume Next
    End If        

RunfromList_Exit:
Set db = Nothing
Set rec = Nothing
Set rec2Temp = Nothing 

End Function 

How is this automated you may ask? Well there are a couple 
of ways to automate this. First, you can tie the code to a 
button and allow it to run on command. My preference is to 
create a simple batch file to call this database and then 
create an autoexec macro to runcode for this code. An 
autoexec macro will execute upon opening the database. 
Simply schedule the batch file to be called from the 
Win98/Win 2K scheduler and you are ready to go. Since 
the Lastrun field is included and updated on a regular 
basis, any reports that do not complete for any reason, 
can be re-run simply by restarting the application. The 
LengthLR field is sometimes interesting, but can be a 
very useful tool in troubleshooting.  

As promised in the comments, next month?s issue will have 
the email application portion of this code. I welcome any 
comments or suggestions and would love to hear from 
you on anything you would like to see in this space.
**********************************************
NOTE FROM LINDA:  Those of you who are new to Access 
or VBA coding, might want to join my Microsoft Office email 
group where James and many other members are happy 
to help newbies learn this stuff.  To join this group, just go 
here and enter your email address and hit the Subscribe 
button.
//www.freelists.org/webpage/mso
**********************************************
James La Borde works in the computer department at a 
Credit Union, where he uses Access, SQL Server, VBA, 
and ODBC daily.  He also teaches online Access classes 
at Eclectic Academy.
http://eclecticacademy.com/curriculum.htm
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>

(10). CHAD'S MACRO MANIA
~~Chad K. Welch

BLINKING CONDITIONAL FORMATS IN EXCEL ***

**********************************************
EDITOR'S NOTE: The code in this article may have line 
breaks caused by email formatting and is clearer if read online.  
You can see the online version here:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/chad20.htm
**********************************************

I hope that you all had a wonderful Holiday Season. I 
certainly did. It is hard getting back to the regular rhythm. 

A couple of issues ago I discussed conditional formats in 
Excel:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc2/v18/chad18.htm  
I promised that I would follow that article with one on 
blinking formats. Sorry that I didn't have the article put 
together by the time the December issue hit the presses. 
I thank those of you who emailed me wondering about 
the article and apologize again.

Blinking formats have always been hot issues in Excel. 
Hopefully Microsoft will build it into one of their future 
releases. Until they do, I have a work around. Just be 
forewarned that blinking conditional formats may slow 
your workbook down. If you have a large workbook with 
many formulas, blinking conditional formats may not be 
your best answer. That said; let's take a look at how they 
work. 

The most crucial piece of blinking formats is the OnTime 
method. The method is typically called using the Application 
object: Application.OnTime. It accepts four parameters, 
two of which are optional. From the help files for OnTime:
**********
EarliestTime  Required Variant. The time when you want 
this procedure to be run.

Procedure      Required String. The name of the procedure 
to be run.

LatestTime    Optional Variant. The latest time at which the 
procedure can be run. For example, if LatestTime is set to 
EarliestTime + 30 and Microsoft Excel is not in Ready, Copy, 
Cut, or Find mode at EarliestTime because another 
procedure is running, Microsoft Excel will wait 30 seconds 
for the first procedure to complete. If Microsoft Excel is 
not in Ready mode within 30 seconds, the procedure 
won't be run. If this argument is omitted, Microsoft Excel 
will wait until the procedure can be run.

Schedule       Optional Variant. True to schedule a new 
OnTime procedure. False to clear a previously set 
procedure. The default value is True.
**********

Place the OnTime method at the end of your sub 
procedure to call the same procedure and create a 
repeating sequence:

Public Sub Blink()
    ?Code here to format the cells (discussed below)    

    Application.OnTime Now() + TimeValue(?00:00:01?), ?Blink?
End Sub

Whenever 'Blink' is run it will tell Excel to run the same 
procedure again roughly 1 second after it finishes the 
procedure. While this code works, it is typically a better 
idea to use a variable for the time rather than Now() + 
TimeValue incase you want to stop the procedure from 
running (like when you close the workbook). It is also a 
good idea to make the variable global so that it can be 
used by other procedures. Add the global variable before 
any lines of code in your module: Dim BlinkTime As Date. 

Now we are ready to add the blinking. This concept is 
pretty straight forward. We will have two formats 
(format A and format B) that we will 'blink' through. The 
first check that we will perform is to check if the cell has 
format A. If it does then we will apply format B. If it 
doesn't then we will apply format A. In pseudo-code 
that is:

If Cell.Format = A Then
    Cell.Format = B
Else
    Cell.Format = A
End If

Replacing the pseudo-code with real cells and real 
formats is pretty straightforward. Now we can move on 
to conditional blinking. Let's assume that format B is the 
'plain-Jane' format - the format that will be displayed 
when the cell doesn't meet any of the conditions to blink. 
Format A, then will be the 'changing' format. In addition, 
format A will have a few conditions, so we can say a cell 
satisfies Format A1, A2 or A3, ?.

Now we will run the same test on the cell: does it have 
format B? If it doesn't then we will apply format B. If it 
does then we may need to apply a conditional format, so 
run another test. Does it meet condition 1? If so, apply 
format A1. If not, does it meet condition 2? If so, apply 
format A2, and so on. If the cell does not meet any of the 
conditions then we will apply format B to it so that it doesn't 
blink. In pseudo-code:

If Cell.Format = B Then
    If Cell = Condition 1 Then
        Cell.Format = A1
    ElseIf Cell = Condition 2 Then
        Cell.Format = A2
    ElseIf Cell = Condition 3 Then
        Cell.Format = A3
    Else
        Cell.Format = B
    End If
Else
    Cell.Format = B
End If

At the bottom of the article there's a sample code that 
replaces the pseudo-code with actual cells and formats.

I mentioned earlier that we should use a variable for the 
time so that we could stop it from running when we 
closed the workbook. To do that we will add a 
Workbook_BeforeClose event procedure that stops the 
sub routine. Also, we've seen how the OnTime method can 
be used to create a repeating sequence, but the 
procedure has to be called before the OnTime method can 
schedule a time to repeat the procedure. To do that, we 
will call the routine from the Workbook_Open event. 
Double click the 'ThisWorkbook' module in the Project 
Explorer of the VBE and paste the following lines of code:

Private Sub Workbook_BeforeClose(Cancel As Boolean)
    Application.OnTime BlinkTime, "Blink", , False
End Sub 

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    Call Blink
End Sub

There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind 
that may affect how and when you use blinking formats:

1. The formats may slow down large or complex 
workbooks.
2. Changing the formatting in this manner changes the 
workbook, so when you close it, you will be asked if you 
want to save your changes, even if you haven't made 
any changes to the workbook.
3. Because it uses macros, users will be asked if they 
want to enable macros when they open the workbook. 
If they choose no, the blinking will not work.

Happy coding! Until next month.

Sample Code for Blinking Conditional Formats:
**********
Paste the following lines in the 'ThisWorkbook' module:
**********

Private Sub Workbook_BeforeClose(Cancel As Boolean)
    Application.OnTime BlinkTime, "Blink", , False
End Sub

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    Call Blink
End Sub

**********
Paste the following lines in a New Module:
**********

Dim BlinkTime As Date

Public Sub Blink()
    Dim c As Range
    
    For Each c In Range("C1:C10,E4:E10").Cells
        If c.Interior.ColorIndex = -4142 Then
            If c.Value > 100 Then
                c.Interior.ColorIndex = 3 'Red
            ElseIf c.Value > 50 Then
                c.Interior.ColorIndex = 6 'Yellow
            Else
                c.Interior.ColorIndex = 4 'Green
            End If
        Else
            c.Interior.ColorIndex = 0
        End If
    Next c
    
    For Each c In Range("D1:D14").Cells
        If c.Interior.ColorIndex = -4142 Then
            If c.Value < 10 Then
                c.Interior.ColorIndex = 3 'Red
                c.Font.ColorIndex = 2 'White
                c.Font.Bold = True
            End If
        Else
            c.Interior.ColorIndex = 0
            c.Font.ColorIndex = 1 'Black
            c.Font.Bold = False
        End If
    Next c
    
    BlinkTime = Now() + TimeValue("00:00:01")
    Application.OnTime BlinkTime, "Blink"
End Sub

Send me an idea I can use for this column and if you are 
the first to submit the idea I'll send you $5.00. Just make 
sure to put "Idea for ABC" in the subject line, so that my 
email filter will catch it.
**********************************************
Chad Welch works as a technician/enabler in Utah and is 
pursuing a degree in Biology. He is looking for a competitive 
and challenging position as a crime scene technician or 
forensic scientist. He is willing to relocate anywhere in the 
US as long as it is close enough to a good university so he 
can finish a bachelors and masters degree in biology or 
forensic science. He will also become POST certified if 
needed.  Contact him at chad@xxxxxxxxxxxxx for more 
information.
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>

^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-
**************STATION BREAK*****************
^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-

Do you want to know the latest on FrontPage? Do you 
want Tips, news, articles, links and ebooks on 
FrontPage? Well the AnyFrontPage Bytes Ezine is the 
best place for your FrontPage and web crafting needs, 
join up at: 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AnyFrontPageBytes
Are you looking for resources for FrontPage? Want to 
know where all the best FP links are? The hosts, the lists, 
the forums? 
Use AccessFP - FrontPage Resources Centre as the 
start site for your FrontPage Information facts. 
http://accessfp.net
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>

(11.) TINA'S FRONTPAGE NEWS
~~Tina Clarke, AccessFP - FrontPage Resource Centre

FRONTPAGE RESOURCES

I thought I deserved a break from writing articles at this 
time of year so I've put together a selection of FrontPage 
Resources for you to enjoy. Many, many more FrontPage 
Resource sites, dealing with add-ons, Themes/Templates, 
Tips, how-to's and tutorials etc are located at 
http://accessfp.net/  If there is something you want to 
know about FrontPage (any version) you will probably 
find it there. If not, give me a buzz and I will try to help 
you out. You can find my email addy on the site.

FRONTPAGE HELP SITES

AccessFP - FrontPage Resource Centre
http://accessfp.net/ 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Linda's Computer Stop ? FrontPage Resources, Tips, 
Tutorials
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/frontpage.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Solution-shelf - FrontPage add-ons & Tutorials
http://www.solution-shelf.com 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage Add-ons
http://www.ltmod.com 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage add-ons and Tutorials
http://www.xzmedia.com/frontfx/index.asp  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage Resources
http://www.gotowebhosting.com/index.htm  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage Forms
http://frontpageforms.com/ 

FRONTPAGE NEWSGROUPS

FrontPage Client in English
news://Microsoft.public.frontpage.client 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fpr FrontPage Add-ons listed at MS
news://microsoft.public.frontpage.addins 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NT Server Extensions
news://microsoft.public.frontpage.extensions.windowsnt 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
UNIX Server Extensions
news://microsoft.public.frontpage.extensions.unix 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Microsoft Internet Personal Webserver
news://microsoft.public.internet.personwebserv  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Programming
news://microsoft.public.frontpage.programming 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SharePoint - usability
news://Microsoft.public.sharepoint.teamservices  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SharePoint - custom development
news://Microsoft.public.sharepoint.teamservices.caml 

FREE HOST HELP

Geocities FP2000 help 
http://www.geocities.com/DICKKY9L/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
How to publish from FrontPage to your Geocities site. - 98
http://members.tripod.com/GeoCitiesFP/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Running FrontPage with GeoCities. - 98/2000
http://www.modemmom.com/fp98geo/index.html  

FREE TRAINING

Training Tools - 98
http://www.trainingtools.com/online/FrontPage98/index.htm  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Training Tools - 2000
http://www.trainingtools.com/online/FrontPage2000/index.htm  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beginners - 2000/20002
http://tutorials.beginners.co.uk/index/category/8  

FRONTPAGE MVP SITES

Thomas Rowe FP MVP
http://www.ycoln-resources.com  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
David Beauchemin MS MVP - FrontPage
http://www.web-dave.com/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kevin Spencer MS MVP - FrontPage
http://www.takempis.com/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
David Berry MS MVP - FrontPage
http://www.net-sites.com/sitebuilder/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kathleen Anderson MS MVP - FrontPage
http://www.spiderwebwoman.com/resources/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tiffany K. Edmonds MS MVP - FrontPage
http://at-frontpage.com  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Paul Colligan MS MVP - FrontPage
http://frontpageworld.com  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NOTE: Not all current MVP sites are listed.

PREVIOUS MVP SITES

Dyamicnet
http://dynamicnet.net/support/frontpage.htm 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SiteCrafters Internet Services
http://www.sitecrafters.com/support/fp/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Websunlimited
http://www.Websunlimited.com

FRONTPAGE BOOKS

Books by David Karlins - win books and see free chapters
http://www.ppinet.com/ 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cliffsnotes - FrontPage - sample chapter FP98
http://snurl.com/khb
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cliffsnotes - FrontPage - sample chapter FP2000
http://snurl.com/khc
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ElementKjournals - One free sample issue (USA only)
http://snurl.com/kae 

SPECIALISTS

Webworksite.com - Flash
http://www.webworksite.com/flash.htm  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SiteCrafters - Sound
http://snurl.com/khd 
http://snurl.com/khf 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Webdev.net - Check FP server extensions
http://www.dnswiz.com/fptype.htm  

DATABASES

Database Tutorials and Forum
http://frontpagedatabase.com 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Database Tutorials and Viewlets
http://www.sitebuilder.ws/frontpage/tutorials/add_db.htm  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Microsoft Database Tutorials - FP2000
http://snurl.com/khg
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Adding Forms and DB Capabilities Based on SharePoint Team Services
http://snurl.com/khh
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ASP/Database examples and HowTo's
http://www.frontpagehowto.com/examples.asp 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage Database 2000 Tutorial sample
http://adefwebserver.com/FrontPage/ContactDatabase

FRONTPAGE THEMES/TEMPLATES

Themes in Design
http://www.themesindesign.com/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Round the Bend Wizards
http://www.rtbwizards.com  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ThemeGallery
http://snurl.com/kho
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Free FrontPageThemes Guide
http://freefpthemes.com 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Theme Store
http://www.fp-themestore.com/ 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ThemeGallery
http://www.themegallery.com/themegallery/index.asp 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Template Store
http://www.thetemplatestore.com/frontpagetemplates.asp  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My Arts Desire
http://www.myartsdesire.com/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ThemePak
http://www.themepak.com/frameset.asp?ReDir=/&;  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A Pixel Pixie
http://apixelpixie.com/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Designs by Duchess
http://www.designsbyduchess.com/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
LipStick Monkey
http://www.lipstickmonkey.com/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Classy Themes
http://classythemes.com  

FRONTPAGE LISTS

AccessFP List - Relaxed FrontPage List
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AccessFPList/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fplist - Largest FrontPage List on the web
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fplist 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage Mailing List site
http://freepages.computers.rootsweb.com/~slund/ 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
pws-list - Find out anything about pws and servers
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pws-list/ 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage Themes - Great for FP Themes and Templates
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/frontpagethemes/ 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Microsoft Office - Covers all Office as well as FrontPage
//www.freelists.org/webpage/mso 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage Newbies - Great for Newbies 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/frontpagenewbies/ 

IMAGE COMPOSER
MicrosoftGraphics - Tutorials, Tips & Free IC add-on
http://mircrosoftgraphics.com 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Image Composer - Tips, Techniques and Help Site
http://www.pioneeris.net/ashton/IC/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tips by Demitrius - Free IC Plugin
http://www.demitrius.com/mic/index2.html  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Image Composer Tutorials and Graphics samples
http://webpages.charter.net/osborne/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Image Composer Tips and How-to's
http://www.on-ze-net.com/dominique_ic/english/default.htm

NEWSLETTERS/JOURNALS/EZINES

AccessFP Journal 
http://accessfp.net/accessfpjournal  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AnyFrontPage Bytes Ezine -Free FP E-Books 
http://anyfrontpage.com/bytes/  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
OutFront News 
http://www.outfront.net/subscribe.htm  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage World Newsletter
http://www.frontpageworld.com/fpnewsletter.htm  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage Newsletter
http://www.frontlook.com/newsletters/newsletters.asp 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Template Times
http://www.frontpageinfo.com/newsletters/newsletter.htm  

PixelMill Newsletter - Free Themes 
http://www.pixelmill.net/members/default.asp  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage Bulletin
http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/using/newsletter

FORUMS

FrontPage Forums - Tips, Templates, Help and more
http://frontpagetalk.com  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage Forums - Quick answers
http://www.timeforweb.com/frontpage/ 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage Portal Forums 
http://frontpageportal.com 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
OutFront Forums 
http://www.frontpagewebmaster.com/ 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Personal Web Server Forum
http://www.studiodeluxe.net/pws/forum.htm 

FRONTPAGE TIPS

Tips from Element K Journals
http://www.elementkjournals.com/tips.asp  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tools tips
http://www.trainingtools.com/tooltips.asp 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FrontPage Tips
http://frontpagetips.com/  
********************************************
Tina Clarke is the Webmaster of AccessFP - FrontPage 
Resource Centre at http://accessfp.net and an editor of 
"AnyFrontPage Bytes Ezine". Subscribe to the FrontPage 
ezine and get FREE FrontPage E-Books upon joining. 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AnyFrontPageBytes
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>

(12.)  MIKE'S SAFETY BELT
~~ Mike Baynes, MikesWhatsNews

IS ADAWARE DEAD?

During the Christmas holidays, messages started 
appearing that AdAware was dead and that it was no 
longer supported.

Reference:

"Stop using Lavasoft's Ad-aware

"I truly hate that it has come to this. Lavasoft's Ad-aware 
used to be a fine product. Not only was it the only free 
solution for finding and destroying advertising spyware, 
it was also a good program. However, Lavasoft has 
abandoned Ad-aware 5.83. Support is still offered at 
their support forums and via email, but the program is 
no longer being updated to handle new spyware targets. 
In fact, I feel that it is necessary to recommend to 
everyone that they simply remove Ad-aware version 5 
entirely. Using it in its current, unupdated form can be, 
and has been proven to be dangerous. " 

++ There is more on the web site:
http://snurl.com/khp

It is interesting to note that this comment comes from a 
competitor of AdAware, which has banner advertising on 
its pages.  AdAware has a long history, and is currently 
developing its new 'engine'.

Reference:

Quoted out of mid article, from LavaSoft:

"We have been hard at work on that very upgrade, but 
where this is different is in WHAT we are upgrading to. 
As many of you already know, we are/were working on 
version 6. It is an entirely new application; more powerful, 
expandable, configurable, and to be quite honest, light 
years ahead of version 5.83. We decided that any further 
upgrades beyond 5.83 would be more of a waste of time 
than productive as the coding work for version 6 was 
already underway. We therefore decided to place all of 
our efforts into the new version.

"We are however notifying you (our customers and the 
general public) that we have entered into the late stages 
of beta testing. Except for some minor polishing and some 
last minute initial bug fixes, we are nearly done and
should be ready to release Ad-aware 6 to our customers 
mid January 2003 and to our freeware users at the 
beginning of February 2003. Please be patient and we 
are confident that when you see what we have to offer 
you will understand AND appreciate the time taken to 
make it the best solution available!"

++ There is more on the web site:
http://snurl.com/khq

AdAware does have a support forum here: 
http://www.lavasoftsupport.com 

For a little history lesson about spyware and the efforts 
to block it, read some of Steve Gibson's earlier articles.

Steve Gibson's WebZone
http://grc.com/steve.htm

OptOut ? the original spyware detection and removal tool
The work on the Internet Spyware Analyzer (above) led 
to the creation of the free "OptOut" spyware removal tool. 
Optout was hugely successful with more than 2,544,000 
individual downloads. When the Lavasoft folks promised 
to extend their Ad-Aware tool, while keeping it free, I 
formally turned the task of spyware removal over to them. 
They are doing a >great< job.
++ There is more on the web site.
http://grc.com/steve.htm

Remember, be diligent in your downloads; scan everything.  
Sometimes hackers put malicious code into popular 
downloads.  It is your responsibility to surf safely.
**********************************************
Mike Baynes is the editor of MikesWhatsNews.  
To subscribe, send a blank email to 
mikeswhatsnews-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx?Subject=subscribe. 
See Mike's Anti-Virus pages ~ http://virusinfo.hackfix.org
To subscribe, send a blank email to:
virusinfo-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx?Subject=subscribe
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>

^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-
**************STATION BREAK*****************
^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-.,.-^-
                         
                            LOCK&HIDE
                                  from Vic Ferri
                                 
High level desktop folder security for 
Windows 95/98/Me

Keep your personal and most valuable files locked 
and hidden from prying eyes, viruses, and other users 
of your computer.  Easy to use and extremely secure.

Lock&Hide is an  extremely easy to use  program that 
allows you to lock and hide any folder on your desktop.  
Folders secured with Lock&Hide cannot be seen, found, 
or accessed. Your folders remain totally invisible and 
highly secured, yet can be accessed quckly and easily 
at any time!

More Info here:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/lh/lockhide.htm

Screenshots and instructions here:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/lh/scrnshots.htm

Or download the free demo here
(the demo does not include the "Restore All" feature
or the password protection utility.)
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/lh/demoinf.htm
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>

(13.) VIC'S REGISTRY ROUNDUP AND DOS DEN
~~ Vic Ferri, WinTips&Tricks

ADDING A NEW EMAIL MESSAGE OPTION 
TO THE "NEW" MENU
-- for use with Outlook and Outlook Express --

As most of you probably know, you can easily create an 
email shortcut for new messages on your hard drive by 
simply using the mailto: command (for those who don't 
know, just right click your desktop, choose New>Shortcut 
and enter mailto: as the command line for your shortcut). 
Fewer of you might know, however, that you can also add 
a new Outlook or Outlook Express Message entry to the 
New Menu, which is the menu you get when you right click 
a blank area of your Desktop or the inside of any folder. 
This can be handy for anyone who prefers to write emails 
without the need to open Outlook or Outlook Express and 
for anyone who prefers to save their messages on their 
hard drive instead of in the Inbox. 

You can designate folders to hold and organize the emails 
you write. For example, you can have a folder named Bob 
which you would use to write and save all emails you send 
to Bob. You would save your message and then send it. 
The message would remain in your folder but you would 
still have a copy of it in your Sent Items folder in Outlook 
or Outlook Express. Of course, you can also do something 
similar with the mailto: shortcut but the difference is that 
with a shortcut you would have to specify a save to 
location. It's the same difference between right clicking 
your desktop to create a new text document on your 
desktop and having a shortcut that opens up notepad. 
In one, the document is created before you even write 
anything and the other waits for you to write a document 
and to specify a save location.

Here are the instructions to add a new email message 
entry to the New menu.

1. Open Outlook Express or Outlook and open a new 
email message. You can leave it blank or add whatever 
signature or text you want to appear whenever a new 
message is opened via the New Menu entry (in effect, 
you are creating a new message template)

2 Click File > Save As and save the file with a name, like 
Blank.eml if you are using Outlook Express or Blank.msg 
if you are using Outlook. The blank message must be 
saved in the SHELLNEW folder which you will find in your 
Windows directory.

3. Click Start>Run and type in RegEdit to launch the 
Registry Editor.  Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and scroll 
down the list of file extensions till you find the eml key 
(for Outlook Express) or the msg key (for Outlook)

4. Right click the eml or msg key and create, if it doesn't 
exist, a new key named ShellNew.

5. Right click on an empty area in the right hand pane for 
the ShellNew key, and create a New String Value named 
FileName.

6. Double-click the FileName icon and in the Value Data 
box, type C:\Windows\ShellNew\Blank.eml if you are 
using Outlook Express or 
C:\Windows\ShellNew\Blank.msg if you are using Outlook.

7.  Click OK and exit the Registry Editor. You are now done.

To test it out:

1.  Right-click the Desktop or the inside of any folder and 
choose New.  A new entry titled "Outlook Express Mail 
Message" or "Outlook Item" should now be there.

2.  Click the entry and a new message icon waiting to be 
named should appear on your desktop or in your folder

3.  Name it, open it and type your message.

When you're done, click File>Save (if you want to save it 
before sending) or just click Send if you don't want to 
save it on your hard drive. In either case, a copy of your 
message will be saved in the Sent Items folder in Outlook 
Express or Outlook.

Note that deleting the message in your folder will not 
delete the copy in your Sent Items folder
********************************************
Vic Ferri owns the very popular WinTips and Tricks 
email group 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WinTips-Tricks
He is also in charge of the Printing Tips page at
Linda's Computer Stop.
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/printing.htm
ans also the Registry Tips page. 
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc1/v4/vic4.htm

Vic has also created a program which allows you to 
Lock & Hide desktop folders in Windows 9X/ME.  
Read more and get the free demo here.
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/lh/lockhide.htm

And, he now offers a service to convert PowerPoint 
presentations to .exe files which can be viewed on 
computers which do not have PowerPoint installed.
http://www.angelfire.com/va3/vic3/index.html

Also, check out his Expert-Guides on Video topics:
http://www.angelfire.com/va3/expert_guides/index.html
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>

(14.) CHARLENE'S DRAWING BOARD
~~Charlene Russ, Texologic

SOME PRINCIPLES OF LAYOUT AND DESIGN

Whether you are creating a document for the web or 
print, the information should be organized in a readable 
and coherent fashion. Graphics and photos should be 
arranged in an interesting way so that the viewer's eye 
is drawn toward the relevant content. Studies have 
shown that the viewer's eye tends to follow a prescribed 
pattern when viewing a page either in print or on the 
web, which is a zigzag diagonal line from the upper left 
corner to the lower right corner of a page.

Bad Layout vs Good Layout:

More than one dramatic graphic on a page can confuse 
the eye and fail to convey the information in a logical 
manner, placing the content in a centralized and 
organized manner is more pleasing to the viewer or 
reader. Also, placing text in the center of a web page is 
considered very predictable and to be an unsophisticated 
design technique. Organize content neatly and slightly 
off-center for visual appeal and eye-catching attention. 
If you are using background graphics on a web page, 
keep them understated so the text and other information 
is readable.

Creativity:

Adding interest by using an artistic graphic, creative 
photography or unique texture can add to your document 
if it is done tastefully and is not overpowering. The idea 
is to enhance and draw attention to your message not 
distract from it. Curves and gradual shapes are great 
design elements, and help you get away from an overly 
blocky look. Try adding feathered images and shapes, 
and avoid dull-looking block graphics or photos in your 
document.

CUSTOMIZING THE USER INTERFACE IN 3DS MAX

**********************************************
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article includes pictures and is 
clearer if read online.  You can see the online version here:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/char20.htm
**********************************************

Customizing the user interface in this program will allow 
you to visualize and easily access the needed tools for 
your 3D modeling and texturing. To access objects or 
shapes you simply click the tabs on the upper left. 
Primitive objects, or basic building blocks are available 
on the Objects menu. These primitive objects can be 
arranged to build models such as pencils, buildings, 
household objects, lighthouses, circuit boards, etc. 
Drawing tools and text tools are available from the 
Shapes tab.

After clicking the desired viewport with your mouse, you 
may change characteristics of the selected viewport. 

Viewport configuration is accessable from the Customize 
menu. Go to Customize> Viewport Configuration and the 
window on the right will be displayed. Notice that under 
rendering level, I have selected the 'smooth and 
highlights' radio button, as you can see in the picture in 
the online version of this article.
********************************************
Charlene Russ is an instructor with Eclectic Academy, and 
is currently teaching Introduction to 3D Studio Max.  She 
teaches novice students the basics of 3D design and 
modeling techniques.  She is also an adjunct instructor 
with a Florida community college in the Digital Arts dept.  
To enroll in one of her on-line courses you need to access 
the Eclectic Academy website at 
http://www.eclecticacademy.com and click 'enter'.  

Charlene's personal site can be accessed at 
http://www.texologic.com which features a wide gamut 
of useful design related information.
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>

(15.) WHAT'S A WSH?
~~ by Greg Chapman, Senior Systems Engineer

A WSH isn?t something you do upon a star, it isn?t 
something you do behind your ears and it isn?t the sound 
my airplane makes as it goes over your house - that 
sounds more like an old Model T Ford running past you 
at head-height. It is probably something the Cap?n 
(Cap?n Patt. You know him. No parrot, still has his legs, 
doesn?t bite) will wind up putting in his GeekSpeak column 
sometime soon, though. And it is something you probably 
already have.

**********************************************
EDITOR'S NOTE:  Ask and you shall receive, Greg!  
Here's Cap'n Patt's WSH interpretation:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc/gs4.htm#wsh
**********************************************

If you?ve ever had the Iloveyou or the AnnaKournikova 
worms advertise their presence through affectionate 
emails to your friends, you?ve probably got WSH.

WSH stands for the Windows Script Host and, despite how 
you feel about viruses, it?s a good thing. I should state 
now and without equivocation that while those worms 
would probably not have succeeded without WSH, the 
fault was more to do with Outlook and Social Engineering 
than the presence of a script processor. In fact, it?s 
because of the ease with which those viruses executed 
so flawlessly and quickly that you might consider giving 
a closer look at what this wonderful tool offers.

For many years, scripting languished as a hobby for ultra 
geeky Unix folks who wanted to manipulate their Shells 
(a shell is an operating environment. You can think of 
Explorer as a Shell. You can also consider the command 
prompt as a shell) or who wrote very portable, fast and 
powerful tools in a language called Perl. I hesitate to 
offer this idea but if you ever wrote batch files for use 
in DOS, well, you were doing some shell scripting there, too.

The problem in the Windows world, though, has always 
been the same one faced by the majority of Macintosh 
users; in a GUI based system, doing something more than 
once means lots of mouse clicks to repeat the same steps 
over and over. You need a macro language and a 
processor for that language in order to get those 
repetitive tasks done. And if you want to do that job 
without first opening Word or some other macro enabled 
application, you were out of luck on Windows systems.

Through nearly 6 years of whining about administering 
Windows NT systems manually, Microsoft introduced the 
Windows Script Host. Those who couldn?t wait for 
Microsoft to get off the stick for a scripting environment 
native to the operating system, there was Perl and those 
folks still run Perl code on their Windows systems to do 
those big, boring, repetitive tasks.

Perl is not really a language you would want to start your 
infant on. Neither is English, for that matter. But if you 
have started teaching the kids your first language, it?s likely 
they?ll be able to pick up VBScript. And, if you?re already 
writing HTML pages with Javascript and VBScript for the 
server side processing, you probably already know enough 
to put the Windows Script Host to work. Why?  When you 
visit a web page that is authored with script functions in it, 
you?re really providing a place for that script to execute or 
be hosted (script host, get it?). That script host is your 
web browser. It knows the languages, how to deliver 
that script to the language processor and then how to 
show the results.

But if you want to use those languages outside your web 
browser?you?re pretty much out of luck. And that?s 
where WSH comes in. It provides a conduit to the script 
processor and a place for that processor to return visible 
results. At last, with this tool on board, you can write a 
text file containing VBScript or Javascript instructions 
and have them execute?even if you aren?t logged into 
your system at the time! WSH provides that environment. 
You can even install other languages like Perl and Python 
and have them execute within WSH, too!

But why would you do that? 

To understand what?s so handy about a script instead 
of an executable, first understand that an Executable 
like Microsoft Word is a collection of code that has been 
converted (compiled) to a binary condition that allows 
the code to execute on your system. That?s great for fast 
and reliable execution. But if there?s something you want 
that executable to do differently there?s no way you can 
change that executable file by yourself. You need a new 
executable provided to you by the programmer after she 
has modified it with your request, recompiled it and then 
sent it back to you. Microsoft, for one, doesn?t do that 
very often and they rarely do it for free.

A script, however, is generally a plain old text file which 
you point to a script processor. The script processor then 
compiles the code and executes it. If you need a change 
made here, you don?t need special tools for the job. 
Notepad is good enough because we?re working with text! 
If you learn the script language, you don?t even need 
someone else to provide you with the changes; you can 
make them yourself!

Here?s a simple way to tell if you have WSH ? open a 
command prompt (that?s command.com for you Win9x 
users and CMD.EXE for the NT/2000/XP folks) and type 
the following at the prompt:  CSCRIPT

Press enter. You should see something like this:

Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.6
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1996-2001. All rights reserved.
Usage: CScript scriptname.extension [option...] [arguments...]

Options:
//B                   Batch mode: Suppresses script errors and 
                          prompts from displaying
//D                   Enable Active Debugging
//E:engine      Use engine for executing script
//H:CScript    Changes the default script host to CScript.exe
//H:WScript   Changes the default script host to WScript.exe 
                         (default)
//I                     Interactive mode (default, opposite of //B)
//Job:xxxx       Execute a WSF job
//Logo            Display logo (default)
//Nologo         Prevent logo display: No banner will be shown 
                         at execution time
//S                  Save current command line options for this user
//T:nn             Time out in seconds: Maximum time a script 
                         is permitted to run
//X                  Execute script in debugger
//U                  Use Unicode for redirected I/O from the console

CScript and its sister, WScript, are the two faces to the 
Windows Script Host that accept a file full of script and 
get it executed. WScript provides a light GUI interface 
and CScript provides a command line style interface. 
CScript is not the default processor WSH uses but you?ll 
want to use it the majority of the time. 

Note that the first line contains a piece of information 
describing the version of WSH installed on your system. 
The current version is 5.6 and if you don?t have it or you 
got an error, you can get WSH by visiting the Downloads 
link at http://msdn.microsoft.com/scripting. While you?re 
there, check out the documentation and very helpful 
articles available to help get you started. In addition, 
the public newsgroups hosted by Microsoft at 
msnews.microsoft.com are full of people with questions 
and, more importantly, answers on how to use WSH, the 
languages and the rest of the script accessible tools 
exposed through WSH. Find out more by setting up a 
newsreader and subscribe to the newsgroup 
Microsoft.public.scripting.wsh which is hosted at
news://msnews.microsoft.com. If you?re unfamiliar 
with newsreaders, you can also go to 
http://groups.google.com and take a look at them from 
this link:
http://snurl.com/ki2

Just for giggles, you can try this quick, illustrative 
example of a WSH compatible script written with VBScript 
as the language.

Open Notepad and copy the two lines of code below 
into a new, empty text file:

strYourName=InputBox(?Ya, hey dere! Type your name in the box, man!?)
wscript.echo ?You?re kidding!!! I never woulda guessed your name was ? &
strYourName

**********************************************
EDITOR'S NOTE:  Both lines above are one line each in 
Greg's online version of this article.
**********************************************

Save the file to your hard drive as Demo.vbs and make 
a note of the path to which you save it. Now, from a 
command prompt, type:

CScript <drive>:\<path>\demo.vbs

Where <drive>:\<path> is the drive and path to which 
you saved the file. Press enter and cooperate with your 
new smart-mouthed script!

So that?s what a WSH is!
**********************************************
Greg Chapman is a Microsoft MVP, Senior Systems 
Engineer, developer, private pilot, luthier, musician and 
dad.  When Greg's not flying or helping to solve the latest 
teenager crisis, he gets his jollies from finding the unusual 
stuff in Windows, wrestling with some obscure technical 
issues or beta testing games and simulators. His 
freelance work through MouseTrax Computing Solutions
http://www.mousetrax.com
allows him to exercise these passions to their fullest.
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>

(16.) FUN WITH VBA and Training the Office Assistant
~~ by Dian Chapman, MouseTrax Computing Solutions

**********************************************
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article includes pictures and is 
clearer if read online.  You can see the online version here:
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/dian20.htm
**********************************************

In this article, I'll give you a mini lesson in Word VBA 
(Visual Basic for Applications). Even if you've never 
written a single line of code, you'll be able to follow 
along with me and have a little fun. 

VBA is the programming language used in Microsoft Office. 
The overall VBA language is similar in each application. 
However, just as the programs are different and allow 
you to perform different types of tasks, such as run 
calculations in Excel, create graphics in PowerPoint, 
design text documents in Word or manipulate data in 
Access, each of the object models in these programs are 
different too. So, just because you know VBA in Word, 
you'd have to learn about the object model in another 
program and know that other program fairly well in order 
to write code in it. In this article, however, we won't 
worry too much about the object model itself and just 
have a little fun messing around with some standard 
codes that are the same throughout Visual Basic. 

NOTE! There's a lot you'd need to learn to understand 
how to write useful VBA code than what we'll do here. 
But if you want to get a little taste to see if it's something 
you might enjoy learning, follow along and let's see how 
much trouble we can get into!

The first thing we need to do is move into the VB Editor 
(VBE). So open Word and hit Alt/F11. Depending on 
whether you have any previous macros, you may or may 
not have a module already inserted into the Normal.dot. 
But just so we don't mess up any of your previous 
macros, let's insert a module so we have our own 
playground. Click Insert/Module. 

This will insert a new module into your Project files. 
Notice in the image below that you now have a new 
Module1 code module.

And notice the default command of Option Explicit is 
automatically added to your new module. This is an 
important command that forces you to declare all your 
variables and helps you combat typos that could make 
you crazy when debugging. If you don't have this option 
set (under Tools/Option/Editor/Require Variable 
Declaration) you can type it in manually just to help 
you write better code.

Also, when you write code, the words must be all one 
word. In order to make the words you use easier to read, 
programmers use upper and lower case text. So be sure 
to type the information exactly as I do.

Simple Message Box

We'll start with a simple message box. The code for a 
message box is MsgBox. The basic message box is easy. 
You just use the code word and then add some text in 
quotes. That's it! Then when you run the code, a 
message box will display your information. You need to 
give the sub procedure a name. We'll call this one 
myFirstMessage. Type the code below into your module. 
You can write whatever you want between the two 
quotes, but don't use any additional quotes and make 
sure your message starts and ends with double quotes.

        Sub myFirstMessage()
                MsgBox "This is so cool!"
        End Sub

Now you can run this code to see how it works. Hit the 
F5 key to run your procedure. Click the OK button on 
the message and it'll close and you'll go back to the 
code module.

More Complex Message Box

There are lots of additional options you can add to the 
code to turn this simple message box into a more 
complex information gathering device. To learn more 
about what you can do with a message box, place your 
cursor within the code word MsgBox and hit the F1 key. 
This will open the VBA Help files for the message box and 
you can read a lot more about your options. 

NOTE! If the VBA help files don't open, you probably did 
not install them. They do not install by default. So you'll 
have to get out your Office CD, insert it into the drive to 
have it startup. Then choose Add or Remove and go into 
the program files for the installation and be sure you 
check to install the VBA Help files. You can also get lots 
of information at the Microsoft Developer's Network site 
for Office at this URL:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/office.

The syntax (rules for where to position information in 
code) for the MsgBox is as follows:

MsgBox(prompt[, buttons] [, title] [, helpfile, context])

Now I'll use some of the optional arguments to change 
this code to make it a question and I'll also add code to 
figure out what button the user pushed. 

        Sub mySecondMessage()
                Dim myVariable As Integer
                myVariable = MsgBox("Cool, yes?", vbQuestion + vbYesNo,
"Dian's Message Box")
                If myVariable = 6 Then
                        MsgBox "You answered Yes!"
                Else
                        MsgBox "You answered No!"
                End If
        End Sub

Explanation

The first part of the above code is the name of the 
subprocedure. I've called this one mySecondMessage( ). 

The next line is the variable declaration. You need to 
warn your computer that you need it to put a little space 
on the side for a coming piece of information. Dim stands 
for dimension and it is how you declare a variable or 
warn the computer that information is coming. A variable 
is like a virtual bucket. It's where information is held when 
running code. So I've told the computer to be ready for 
an answer, a variable that will hold some information. 
Integer is the data type. You not only have to give the 
variable a name, but you need to tell the computer what 
data type it will be. This is so the computer knows how 
much space to save for this variable. Data types have 
size limits. This is also something you can look up in the 
VBA Help files.

Then I set the variable, myVariable, equal to the value 
that will be returned from the message box when the 
user clicks a button. 

The If...Then statement that follows evaluates the value 
of the information contained in the variable when a button 
is pushed. The information that it will hold will be the 
value of the button that is pushed on the message box. 
In the VBA Help files, you can learn what these values 
are for various commands. In the case of a message box, 
6 means someone pushed the Yes button. The number 7 
stands for the No button. But since there are only two 
possible values being returned and I've already asked 
it if the variable value is equal to 6, I use the Else 
statement to decipher any other possible answer?
which in this case can only be 7 or No.

Enter the code above into your code module and again 
hit the F5 key to run the code. You'll see the various 
messages appear depending on what button you push. 

You can imagine how useful this type of code can be! 

Say you were creating an automated form in Word. 
You could ask the user a question and then do something 
different depending on what answer they give. If they 
say they don't have children, for instance, you could 
jump them over all the questions about children, since 
that information doesn't apply. Why make a user tab 
through a bunch of fields when you can make the form 
slicker by making it smarter.

Input Box

You can also use a simple Input Box to acquire 
information from the user. You can find this by putting 
your cursor in the word InputBox and hitting F1 to read 
the VBA Help files. Below is the syntax for using an 
InputBox.

InputBox(prompt[, title] [, default] [, xpos] [, ypos] [, helpfile,
context])

Enter the code below in your module and hit F5 to run it.

        Sub myThirdMessage()
                Dim myVariable As String
                myVariable = InputBox("Please enter your name: ", "Dian's
Input Box")
                MsgBox "Your name is: " & myVariable    
        End Sub

In the code above, the variable is now declared as a 
string data type. This is because the variable will now 
contain a text string rather than an integer value. 

Training Rocky

Ok, now for some real fun! Some people hate the Office 
Assistant. Personally, I love having Rocky, the dog, hang 
around my screen to keep me company when I'm 
working. Folks often ask me how I get Rocky to pose 
for me so I can capture his image to use in some of my 
training screen shots, as I did at the beginning of the 
online version of this article. I simply program Rocky to 
do what I want and then capture a screen shot while 
he's doing his thing. You can train Rocky, too!

Below I've added a simple procedure to get Rocky 
(or whatever your default Office Assistant is) to do what 
I want. You can look up more information in the VBA Help 
files. But also, if you've used the Option Explicit command 
at the beginning, the code sensitive help window will 
provide you with all the available commands for the code 
you are writing. So when you get to the Animation line 
of code, the intellisense help will display all the possible 
moves Rocky can make. See the image below. Notice as 
you get to the animation code line, VBA Help shows me 
a list of actions. You can choose any option and then run 
the code to see all Rocky's moves!

        Sub TrainingRocky()
                Dim oAssistant As Assistant

                With Application.Assistant
                        .Visible = True
                        .Animation = msoAnimationGetArtsy
                End With
        End Sub

By changing the animation code, you can train Rocky to 
do whatever you want!  

Have fun!

If you want to learn more about writing VBA code, you 
can find several free articles linked here: 
www.mousetrax.com/techpage.html#autoforms 
or you can take my VBA online course, see
http://www.mousetrax.com/techclasses.html 
for details; or purchase my Word AutoForms and 
Beginning VBA eBook via this link:
http://www.mousetrax.com/books.html
And if you want to learn more about training Rocky, 
I'll have a more detailed article published in a future 
issue of my Ezine, TechTrax. 
http://www.mousetrax.com/techtrax 
**********************************************
Dian Chapman is a Technical Consultant, Microsoft MVP, 
Instructor of several advanced Word online courses, 
Editor of TechTrax, free support Ezine 
http://www.mousetrax.com/techtrax/
and author of the eBook: Word AutoForms and 
Beginning VBA. 

Dian specializes in AutoForms creating and training, 
technical writing, web development and tech support. 
She enjoys teaching people how to enjoy their 
computers more and loves the challenge of providing 
automated solutions to business problems. You can find 
out more about Dian and read many more of her tutorials 
by visiting her web site at 
http://www.mousetrax.com/ 
and her online magazine at 
http://www.mousetrax.com/techtrax/ 
And if you?re interested in learning more about creating 
Word AutoForms or you?d like to start learning how to 
use Visual Basic for Applications, Word?s programming 
language, be sure to check out her new eBook at 
http://www.mousetrax.com/books.html and her 
online classes at
http://www.mousetrax.com/techclasses.html
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>
<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>=====<>

Well, gang.....that's about it for this edition of 
ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers. I sure hope you enjoyed it! 
If any of it was over your head and you need some 
clarification from one of the Fleet, just send me an 
email to linda@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and I will 
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quickly, include as many details as you can in your 
email and make your questions as specific as possible. 
Also, feel free to write to me and let us know what you 
want the Fleet to teach you. This is YOUR newsletter!
Happy computing, my friends!
Linda Johnson
http://personal-computer-tutor.com
*********************************************
READ THIS CAREFULLY!
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