[abcomputers] ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers, Volume 2: RAM, RAM, I Need More RAM!

  • From: Linda Johnson <linda@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ABCfreelists <abcomputers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 03 May 2002 21:53:21 -0400

ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers
Volume 2; July, 2001 - mailed to 750 subscribers

If you would prefer to read the online ezine, follow this link:
http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/ABC.htm (frames)
http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/vol2.htm (no frames)

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To view this text newsletter best, maximize your email window to FULL
SPECIAL NOTE:  In order to make these articles less bulky, yet more
readable for the more technologically challenged, I have added a new
member to the Fleet.  His name is Cap'n Patt and he will be our official
GeekSpeak Translator!  Unfortunately, I didn't get this setup in time
for this issue, so if there are any terms in any of these articles that
completely baffle you, just send me a note at
ABComputers-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and the Cap'n will be happy to put
them in plain English for you.  Starting with the next issue, all
geekese will be clearly translated for you in the Cap'n's column.
(all links below these items take you to the non-frames Online versions)

1.  Linda's Soapbox:  Update on the Newsletter and How the Fleet Works

2.  What's New at Linda's Computer Stop
***including this month's  Exclusive Tip
for subscribers only ~ Themes in Win 2K***

3.  THIS MONTH'S FEATURE ~ Hal's Hardware Haven
***RAM, RAM, I Need More RAM!***

4.  Tina's FrontPage News:  Printing a Broken Hyperlinks Report

5.  The Den of the Demon:  Take a Byte Out of Sight

6.  Jack's Internet Connection:  Language Translators

7.  James' Database:  Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail!

8.  Parker's Mailbox:  Creating Rules in Outlook 2000

9.  Chad's Macro Mania:  VBA Magic

10. Corey's Network Corner: What You Need To Get Started

11. Kathleen's Spider Web:  HTML Checkup

12. Chas' Word World: Adding a Work Menu to MS Word

13. Subscription Management

14. Contact Information

******************STATION BREAK*********************
If you find this newsletter and/or my website at all helpful and would
like to give me a hand here, I am now accepting donations through
PayPal.  To make a donation, go to Linda's Computer Stop and look for
the PayPal link in the left sidebar.
Thanks in advance to all who do this!!
(NOTE: no one receiving this should feel obligated in any way to do
this.....this is a FREE newsletter!) Linda, editor
Linda F. Johnson, Editor

Hey there guys and gals.  I am just soooo excited about the great
reception this newsletter is receiving.  Keep those cards and letters
coming.  They really do make my day!  Of course, if you want to send me
letters of complaint, I will read them too, but they don't make me
nearly as happy.

If you haven't visited the Meet the Fleet page recently, you really
should go there and see all the great people who will be contributing to
this newsletter.


And, please remember they all do this because they are generous people
who enjoy helping others.  Please support them and this newsletter by
checking out any links they include within or below their articles.  If
they have a website, go spend some time there and leave them a message
that tells them you found them through ABC. These are busy
people....please let them know you appreciate their efforts. (If nothing
else, send an email to ABComputers-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and I will be
sure to forward it to them.)

You will notice that some of the articles are longer than others and not
every Fleet member appears in every issue ('cept me).  This is because I
picked the best and the best are busy.  These people are attached to
many other projects in their lives which all involve making our computer
experiences better.  So, they will give what they can and I will fill in
the gaps as best I can.

If anyone out there thinks they can fill a vacancy they see in the
Fleet, send me an email and tell me your ideas.
Linda Johnson is a college instructor of all of the Microsoft Office
Programs, as well as Adobe PhotoShop and Windows.  She has worked
helpdesk and teaches and lectures at many local businesses in her area.
Support this newsletter by checking out Linda's website at
and her ebook, MS Word MAGIC! at http://newbieclub.com/wordmagic/?buntah

******************STATION BREAK***********************
FREE Computer and Internet Technical problem solving, plus ... Free
Tutorials, Free eBooks, Free Courses, Free Guestbooks, Free
Autoresponders, Free help and advice, Free Newsletter, Free Affiliate
program and FREE MEMBERSHIP. Wow! Did I mention it was Free? Newbies and
Oldbies alike are buzzing about the NEW Newbie Club. It's the most
exciting Newbie Site ever to hit the Web. Join now - it's FREE!
(2.)  WHAT'S NEW at Linda's Computer Stop

Well,  most of this month has been spent getting ready for this
newsletter and setting up its home base.  If you haven't had a chance to
see it, you should check it out.

Some of the new additions include:

Puter Chat...a web-based forum where subscribers to this newsletter can
help each other with computer-related questions.

Chill Out....a collection of humorous computer-related websites for your
enjoyment.  Enjoy them and send me more if you have any.

Cruise the Links...a place where you all can share your favorite
computer-related websites.  Check out what's there so far and please add
your own. http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/cruisin_the_links.htm

Aside from this newsletter, the following new stuff has been added to my

Outlook......I've added a link to Slipstick on my Outlook page for
anyone who has upgraded Outlook 2000 with the SP2 patch or installed
Outlook 2002 (in Office XP) and can no longer receive certain
attachments. Slipstick has the registry fix. Phew!!!

The Library....a selection of my favorite ebooks that you can feel free
to look at and even buy if you are so inclined.

Downloads...along with the two free ebooks I have here for downloading,
I've added some links to lots of download sites where you can find
oodles of stuff for free.

I've also installed Lockergnome's Tip of the Day for you Chris Pirillo
fans.  What does Chris have to say about my website?  ".....anybody with
this many tips is COOL in my book." (Lockergnome, 4/2/01)

And, of course, I'm always adding new favorites to my collection of Web
Links.  Just look for the revolving N's:

And HERE'S A TIP, presented FIRST to you subscribers (thanks to Hal
Cardona who shared this with me when I was pouting about not having any
desktop themes in Windows 2000....I finally own a machine that has the
juice to run those dang animated cursors and wild screen savers and I
wanted my themes!  Oh yeah, Hal also made me this amazing machine):

Do you have Windows 2000 and miss your desktop themes?  Well, you can
have them back if you want to.  Actually, the themes software is still
there but there's just nothing in it.  Search your hard drive for
themes.exe and doubleclick on it.  There it is, alrighty. Now all you
need to do is make a new folder and name it Themes and copy all of the
themes off your old Windows 98 CD or go to a website and download some
even cooler ones.  Put them in this folder and you can use themes.exe to
set them up on your computer.  My favorite site for downloading some of
the best themes is ThemeDoctor. http://www.themedoctor.com/new.shtml
******************STATION BREAK***********************
Bored in your job? Want to make a career change to something that you
have only "dreamed" of doing? I did this, at the age of 50, and you can
too. And, I've written an ebook about it, tentatively called "How to Get
Started in the Software Training Business", which is due to be published
this summer by Dream Jobs To Go http://www.dreamjobstogo.com/?10456
Go here and see if your dream job has already been included in this
series. If so, snag the ebook for only $9.95 and you will be on your
way! If you are already employed in your dream job, go here and see if
you can sign up to write your own ebook to help others. They also have a
FREE weekly newsletter called Dream Jobs Dialog where you can get tips
and dialog from real life dream jobbers.  When you get to the site, just
look for the subscribe button in the upper right corner.

Hey....even if you already have a job, it's still fun to DREAM!!
EDITOR'S NOTE:  It is recommended that you read the online version of
this article which includes pictures and might make this clearer for


RAM, RAM, I Need More RAM!
Hal Cardona, PC Sleuth
NOTE FROM HAL:  I'm  kind of at a loss here because I'm not sure what
level to write to.  I can write something for newbies or I can write to
experts or somewhere in between.  I would like to ask you to help me
out.  If this is too hard or simple for you, please let me know.You can
e-mail me at abcomputers@xxxxxxxxxxxx
With memory prices where they are right now, I feel there is very little
reason for any modern computer to have less than 128 MB
(Mega-Bytes) of RAM (Random Access Memory).  I have noticed there are
some misconceptions about memory. I will cover some of the common ones
here first:

Common Misconceptions About Memory

Hard Drive Space versus RAM.

Hard drive space, usually measured in Gigabytes or Megabytes, is
different than RAM.  Your hard drive is where you store information;
think of it like a garage.  The bigger your hard drive (garage) the more
information (stuff) and programs (cars) you can store.  RAM is more like
your driveway, the more RAM you have the more things you can have loaded
from the hard drive at one time.

System Resources versus RAM.

System Resources refer to some special (and limited) areas of memory
that Windows uses to store specific information (like icons).  When
people run out of system resources, they often receive a message saying
they don't have enough memory to open an application.  Unfortunately,
adding RAM will not correct this type of error.  (I will write a column
about System Resources and what can be done to correct this problem in a
later column.)

Virtual Memory versus RAM.

Virtual memory is an area of your hard drive that your operating system
uses to simulate RAM.  When your system starts to run out of available
RAM, your computer starts to write some of the information in RAM to
virtual memory.  Unfortunately, since hard drives are so much slower
than RAM, your system slows down when this happens.  If your computer
seems to access the hard drive a lot (thrashes), then more RAM may help
to minimize the use of virtual memory.

Bits and Bytes

Computers store and manipulate information as 1s and 0s.  Each one or
zero is a bit, 8 bits is a Byte (note the capital B).  In computer terms
a kilo is not 1000 but 1024 (the closest power of 2 to 1000, 2 to the
10th power), so a kilobit (kb) is 1024 bits and a kilobyte (KB) is 1024
Bytes or 8192 bits.  A Megabyte (MB) equals 1024 KB or 1048576 Bytes.

Why You May Need More RAM

Your computer may need or benefit from additional RAM if it spends a lot
of time swapping things to and from virtual memory.  If you load a lot
of programs when your computer starts, you are starting to use lots of
your RAM.  If you work with large files, each file uses RAM.  Graphics
manipulation programs (like PhotoShop), video editing programs, (like
Premier) and, of course, 3D games, all use lots of RAM.  The more
programs you have open at one time the more RAM you will need. Probably
the biggest consumer of RAM is your Operating System. At this point the
next version of Windows (XP) looks like it will require at least 128 MB
of RAM and it prefers even more!  I will be writing a column on the
hardware you need to run Windows XP as the release date approaches.
Right now, I recommend 256 MB RAM for Windows XP.

Types of RAM

There are several types of RAM.  For the sake of brevity and simplicity,
I'm not going to cover all of the types here, but will discuss the most
common types used in Pentium Class and later PCs. As I discuss the
various types, I am going to use some acronyms here that I won't be

1.  72 Pin SIMMS were primarily used in 486 and early Pentium computers
and some older Macs.  They come in several types including Registered,
Parity, EDO, FPM and ECC.  In most systems 72 pin SIMMS need to be
installed in pairs.

2.  168 Pin SDRAM is currently the most commonly used in both Macs and
PCs.  It is available in PC66, PC100 and PC133 speeds.  The number after
the PC refers to the speed at which the memory can function.

3.  SoDIMM RAM is used primarily in laptops; it is available in various
Pin configurations and types that roughly correspond with the other
types of RAM listed.

4.  RAMBUS RDRAM is used only with Intel processors (Pentium III and
Pentium IV).  It is expensive in comparison to SDRAM and DDR SDRAM. It
is available in various speeds such as PC600, PC700 and PC800.

5.  184 Pin DDR SDRAM is SDRAM that runs roughly twice as fast. It is
also available in various speeds such as PC1600 and PC 2100.

Some RAM needs to be installed in matched pairs, it is also a good idea
not to mix types of RAM (i.e. don't mix EDO with FPM RAM).  Most
motherboards can use faster RAM with slower RAM, but the faster RAM will
run at the speed of the slower RAM.  Check with your motherboard or
computer manufacturer for details specific to your system.

How To Buy RAM

Before you can go out and pick-up a few sticks of RAM for your PC, you
need to identify the type of RAM that is required by your PC.  The best
way to do this is to check your PC or motherboard's documentation.  If
you need some help, the memory sellers Crucial Technologies
http://www.crucial.com and Kingston http://www.kingston.com have
wonderful websites that you can use to identify exactly the kind of RAM
your PC requires. Their prices are fair and they sell high quality
memory. You can also visit a local computer shop to purchase RAM and
even have them install it for you.

How To Install RAM

Before you install your new RAM, there are some precautions you should

First shut down your PC and unplug the power cable from the back.  Make
sure that you have either disconnected or powered off all your
peripherals (printers, scanners, etc.).  Remove the cover from your PC.
Look inside and locate the RAM slots. Make sure that you have
unobstructed access to the slots.  You may need to remove some
additional components to gain easy access.

Before you stick your hand inside or remove anything from inside the PC,
you need to ground yourself so you don't damage your new RAM or anything
inside your PC.  To ground  yourself, either touch the power supply (the
big silver box that the power cord plugs into) or use a grounding strap
(about $5.00 US at Radio Shack).  If you choose to use the power supply
method, you need to maintain contact with it while you are working
inside your PC.

Now you need to check the orientation of your RAM and slots.  Look
carefully at the bottom edge of the RAM, you will see some notches, now
look at the slots on your motherboard and you will see corresponding
tabs inside the slots.  Align your new stick of RAM with the notches and
install it according to the instructions from the motherboard or
computer manufacturer.  With some types of RAM you install it by pushing
it into the slot; with other types you install it by gently tilting it
into place. RAM from Crucial comes with installation instructions.

Now just reassemble your PC.  I leave the cover off at this point, just
in case something isn't quite right.  Boot your PC and make sure that
the BIOS recognizes the entire amount of RAM (watch the RAM count as
your PC boots).  If everything is recognized, allow your PC to boot and
check to make sure your Operating System recognizes the new RAM.  In
Windows 9x or 2000, right click on My Computer and choose Properties and
look at the General tab and you should see your new RAM.  If everything
is functioning fine, then put the cover back on.

If your PC won't boot or you experience a problem, make sure that your
new RAM is correctly and completely inserted.  If the problem still
persists, check the following:

1.  Make sure that you reassembled your PC correctly.
2.  Make sure that your new RAM is compatible with your PC.
3.  Try your old RAM without the new RAM, or the new RAM without the old
RAM.  There could be a compatibility issue between the new and the old
RAM. 4.  Try swapping the RAM slots, occasionally RAM will work only in
specific slots on a motherboard.

Hal Cardona, PC Sleuth, serves as tech support and/or offsite Sys Admin
for over 200 clients around the US. He designs, builds, and
troubleshoots networks and builds custom computer systems.
Tina Clarke, AccessFP FrontPage Resource Centre

A FrontPage question that is frequently asked is "How do I print a list
of the broken hyperlinks that are generated by the FrontPage 2000
reports feature?"

Well Mark Rogers of Site crafters has come up with the answer.
Herein we go into a bit more detail:

*Firstly you Verify Hyperlinks. (NOTE: You must be ONLINE to use this
feature.  Open FrontPage, then go to the File Menu and select Open.
Type the URL of your website in the File Name box at the bottom.)  Click
on View on the FrontPage Menu Bar and select Reports, then Broken

Tip: FrontPage will count links that have redirects on them as a 'broken
hyperlinks'. ~~~~~~~~

To verify hyperlinks, click on  the  Verify Hyperlinks Button  on the
Reporting Toolbar. (If you cannot see this toolbar, go to the View Menu
and select Toolbars, then Reporting.)  You can either 'Verify all
Hyperlinks' or 'Verify Selected Hyperlink(s)'

Tip: Modified pages should be saved to check the most current version of
the web. ~~~~~~~~

*After using Verify Hyperlinks, you must add the broken hyperlink to the
task list.

Tip: To make sure you do not miss any broken hyperlinks click on the
column heading that says "Status" to group all broken links together.

Right click on any broken link and choose  'Add Task' from the menu that
pops up.  Assign your priority rating, and fill in any details in the
description box that you would like to add.  You have to add one space
after the details that are already there and then enter your text. If
you don't, it will not show up in tasks view and the todo.htm list.
Click Ok. Do this for all the broken hyperlinks you want to print out.

*After adding the Broken Links in 'Add Task' you can view the 'To Do'
list and print it if you wish. The path is _vti_pvt/_x_todo.htm .  The
'To Do' list presents the links on your site (which is on your hard
drive) as clickable.  Depending on which Personal Web Server you use,
your route to the To Do list will be different. I use Microsoft PWS so
mine is C:\WEBSHARE\WWWROOT\ _vti_pvt\_x_todo.htm .  If you're working
with disk-based webs just insert the path of your site on your hard
before \_vti_pvt\_x_todo.htm   (example:  C:\My Documents\My Webs\
mysite\_vti_pvt\_x_todo.htm , where "mysite" is the name of your web).

Tip: These files are hidden so you may need to check the 'Show Hidden
Files' option in the Windows Explorer. (View Menu>Folder Options>View
tab). ~~~~~~~~

*If you have a large site, after verifying your hyperlinks you can come
offline and select each link and add the task. Then work on the links a
batch at a time.

*Of course there are other solutions to this problem out there and one
is the Freeware application Xenu.
Xenu's Link Sleuth (TM) is a spidering software program that checks
websites for broken links. Link verification is done on "normal" links,
images, frames, backgrounds, local image maps, style sheets, scripts and
applets. It displays a continuously updated list of URLs, which you can
sort by different criteria. A report can be produced at any time.

Whichever way you decide to check your links, do it at least once a
month or once a week if you can, keeping your site constantly refreshed.

Tina Clarke is the Webmaster of AccessFP - FrontPage Resource Centre
and the author of "AccessFP Ezine".   Subscribe to her FrontPage ezine
and get FREE FrontPage E-Books upon joining. ******************STATION
Do you want to know the latest on FrontPage? Do you want Tips, news,
articles, links and ebooks on FrontPage? Well the AccessFP Ezine is the
best place for your FrontPage and web crafting needs, join up at:
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/
Matt Weaver

People who are visually impaired are no longer left in the dark, thanks
to speech synthesizer technology.  Among the most popular speech
programs available, JAWS For Windows is extremely versatile. (JAWS is an
acronym for Job Access With Speech).  It operates on all versions of
Windows and is compatible with the majority of available web browsers.
It primarily works with Internet Explorer, and the latest version, 3.7,
is compatible with Windows 2000, Windows ME, and should be compatible
with the upcoming Windows XP. It has also been made to work with IE5.5
and IE6.0. A demo version of Jaws v3.7 is available at the Henter-Joyce
page at http://www.hj.com/JAWS/JAWS.html.

JAWS For Windows reads text that is presented on the screen, whether it
pops onto the screen in a  dialogue box, is typed on the screen by the
computer user, or is brought up on the screen in any of the various text
file formats. JAWS can be configured with many helpful speech settings,
like only reading highlighted text, selected text, or no text. When
setting the kinds of things JAWS should speak, the program can be
configured to speak every character typed, every word typed, every line,
sentence, or paragraph typed, and more. JAWS is already programmed to
recognize many of the most widely used graphics, but it also comes with
a graphics labeler to add additional labels to unfamiliar graphics.

JAWS For Windows comes with several other managers, such as The
Dictionary Manager, Configuration Manager, Frame Manager, Keyboard
Manager, and Script Manager. JAWS interacts with Outlook Express,
Eudora, and many other mail reading clients very nicely.

The only thing JAWS has trouble with is pictures, tables, charts, and
graphs.  Since JAWS reads mostly text-based stuff, it can read the data
in a table or chart, but it will read across a line, instead of down a
column, as information tends to be in a chart or table. For anyone
needing a good speech program, or if the sighted would like to
experience "blindness" for a short time, JAWS For Windows is a perfect
tool for showing you how the visually impaired operate in today's
high-tech world.
editor's note: Matt Weaver, known as "The Demon" to all those who see
him regularly posting helpful advice in many email groups, is totally
blind.  But he's here to show you that disabilities do not need to
disable. Watch for an upcoming article, where he will describe how an
unsighted computer user navigates a web page and our Website Creation
expert, Kathleen Anderson, will help you web designers out there develop
web pages that ALL can "see".
Jack Teems, Neat Net Tricks

Over the 5 years I've written Neat Net Tricks, I have become acutely
aware of its international scope.  At last count, my ezine wings its way
twice monthly to some 141 or more countries.  Although 90% of my readers
reside in the U.S. and Canada, that still leaves likely 8,000 or more
who do not call English their first choice of languages.  Most Neat Net
Tricks readers abroad seem to have a working knowledge of English and I
suppose that's true for the Internet as a whole, and is very fortunate
since I've been reminded on numerous occasions that we Americans are too
lazy for our own good when it comes to learning a second language.

Nonetheless, at times I must fall back on a few of the translation tools
on the Internet.  These are crude devices and are at the mercy of idioms
and little characteristics found in each language that just don't
translate well.  I could tell you a few interesting moments when my
writings offended someone in another country, another culture.  But I'll
save that for some other time (and besides, some of the retorts aren't
easily repeated in mixed company.)

Going back through 5 years' worth of "language interpretation tips" I
see that many have fallen prey to link rot, typical of so much of the
Internet.  That's unfortunate, but I believe you will find that the
following are still alive and well, and can be very useful in
communicating with our international friends:

*The Internet Translator at http://www.tranexp.com/ will translate a
large selection of languages using single words, phrases, sentences, and
even entire Web pages. Text provides a fairly fast response, but
translation of Web sites take longer and may not always work, perhaps
depending on the Web site's construction.

*Compose email in your native language and include in the CC address the
address for language conversion in any of six languages as indicated at
http://www.t-mail.com/ and a machine translation to the desired language
will be provided.

*WordWalla provides Web-based, PDA, and wireless translations in 66
languages, at http://www.everymail.com .

*Translation Service. Described as "the fastest web-based translation"
for both text and Web pages, this service at
http://www.freetranslation.com/ allows translations to and from any of 6
languages.  Results aren't so accurate with machine translation, due to
typical idioms and each language's own peculiarities.  If you're not
willing to compromise accuracy in favor of no cost, then the service can
provide better translations with a human touch, but for a price tag that
goes with it.

*An excellent little research tool, allowing translations, definitions,
etc., can be found at Research It - Your One Stop Reference Desk,

*At http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/translate.dyn you can enter
any text for instant translation from or to English to or from a number
of other languages.  Also, translate a Web site by entering its URL. A
useful service, it understandably has problems with idioms or slang.

For a rainy day diversion and to demonstrate the fallacy of machine
translation, choose any simple paragraph and convert it from your
language to one of the other languages supported in these utilities.
Then, translate it back to your language.  What you'll see will likely
amaze and amuse you.
Jack Teems invites you to join the 85,000+ readers of Neat Net Tricks.
Subscribe FREE at the Neat Net Tricks Web site,
http://www.NeatNetTricks.com .
James La Borde

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail!

Since this is the first article, let's start at the beginning: where to
start building your Access database. This is where many beginners and a
lot of veterans go wrong. Planning your database saves time and gives
you a clear understanding of what you are doing with it and why. It will
also ensure that your finished database will be functional and accepted.
Let us venture together through the steps of creating a successful

The Only Stupid Question is the One not Asked

The key to a well-designed Access database is communication.
If you have questions, ask them and ask them early. The place to begin
is talking to the customer. Under ideal conditions you will have the
opportunity to talk with both management and end-users. This is an area
that a lot of developers fail to fully take advantage of. Both groups
are equally important in developing the final product. The paying client
may be management, but the people who will implement the database are
the true key to the success of your project. Both must be considered.

God is in the Details

Getting the details up front will make the entire development process go
more smoothly. While God may or may not be in your details, your success
is. Get a feel for what management wants out of the database. In most
cases, they are only worried about the final outcome, not the process by
which it is achieved. If you can deliver the end result faster or more
efficiently than their current (or nonexistent) setup, you are
successful. Find out what data will be entered and maintained in the
database. Find out what security concerns they have. All of these are
important factors in your database design and form the infrastructure of
your database.

Next, if you can, talk with the end-user. Determine what the end user is
currently doing (if the process is being completed in another fashion
already). Ask the end-user how they would like to see the process
improved. This is a vital step-it lays the groundwork for the end user's
acceptance of your database. Everyone has ideas on how something they
work with could be improved. When you ask for their input and include
them in the process, you improve your final database in two ways:

*First, you make it more user friendly. By implementing some of their
suggestions you are assured of improving, in their eyes, the previous

*Second, by including the user, you make them your ally in getting your
final product in use.

This process of discovery should be the same whether you're doing a
database for one user, for a hundred users, or for yourself. Ask
yourself the same questions. First take the side of management. Decide
what it is you are putting in to the database, what you want out of it,
and how will the data get in. Next, take the side of the user. What are
your preferences as far as entering data or getting to reports?

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Now that you have your objective, you are ready for the next step. While
you may be ready to jump in with both feet, careful planning should
still rule the day. It's time to pick up that pad of paper and your pen.
The next step of planning is deciding what tables, queries, forms and
reports will be needed. Tackle the tables first! What tables will be
required? What data goes in which table? Remember that data that is
duplicated should go into its own table and be linked back to the
original table. This saves room in your database. The process of moving
redundant data to related tables is called normalization. A perfect
example of this can be found in the Northwinds database, which ships
with all retail versions of Access and may be downloaded from the
Microsoft website at
http://office.microsoft.com/downloads/9798/Nwind.aspx . In it there is a
Products table, a Customers table and an Orders table. Rather than
duplicate products and customers, only new data is included in the
Orders table and customer and product data is acquired through linked

Next, tackle your queries, forms and reports. Reports should be easiest;
the basic layout and design should already have been determined by your
discussion with management. Forms are a little more complex; they are
for inputting data as well as navigation and data viewing. Queries
should be designed last as they are determined by what you need for your
reports and forms.

One Small Step for Man.

To paraphrase Mr. Armstrong, it is now time to take that first small
step of opening your new database. By following the steps above in the
discovery phase of your design, you will save yourself a lot of
headaches as you progress through the actual development of your
database. By communicating with both the end user and management you
will ensure the smoothest implementation of your final design as well as
meeting all of their expectations and more.

James La Borde works in the computer department at a Credit Union, where
he uses Access, SQL Server, VBA, and ODBC daily.
******************STATION BREAK********************
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:  On my Windows page at Linda's
Computer Stop, I list many email groups that deal with Windows and other
related PC issues.....one of my favorites is PCTechTalk, a great group
for newbies and techies alike.  It's run by a guy named Guitar Man and
he does a fantastic job.

You might be interested in subscribing to this free, 24-hour-a-day email
tech list where you can submit any questions you may have about computer
hardware & software.  You can request fixes for specific problems you're
having with your system or just sit back and learn from the
conversations of the other members.  This list is the only PC Group I've
found that truly caters to newbies and nerds alike so you can be assured
that your questions will be taken seriously.  Here's just one of the
tips you'll learn.


    Many people don't realize that they can make reading their email
    easier on themselves in many ways.  One such way is to group
    together all of the messages that form a conversation (which is
    also called a thread).  To group them together, open up Outlook
    Express and go to the 'View' menu, click on 'Current View' and
    then on 'Group Messages by Conversation'.  From now on, any
    messages that form a thread (conversation) will be grouped
    together in order of their date received."

The group's motto of "The only dumb questions are the ones that are
never asked." reflects their philosophy that ALL questions are important
and they sure do treat them that way.  Also, if you've ever been a
member of an email list, you'll appreciate that this list's moderators
do not  allow Spamming, flaming, cursing, etc.. To sign up, just send a
blank email message to


I am trying to convince G Man to be my expert on Outlook Express, but he
seems to think there's not enough to write about.  I'm thinking he's
wrong and maybe if you all send in your OE questions, I can still
convince him we need him :-)

Parker Renaud, IT Manager, Colliers Keenan, Inc.

Creating Rules in Outlook 2000

If you are like most computer users today, your volume of e-mail can
quickly grow out of control. My company had a user with 6,000 e-mails in
his inbox! Try finding the one e-mail you want in that.  Outlook,
however, can help you control your e-mail with the Rules Wizard.

The Rules Wizard allows you create a rule to automatically move or copy
e-mail to an existing folder, to a new sub-folder you create, or to
delete certain e-mails without ever seeing them. If you want e-mails to
go to a new folder you create, you first need to create the new folder.
To do this:

1.     Right click on a folder in the Folder List. (I put sub-folders
incoming e-mail under the Inbox, but you can select any folder you
wish.) If you have the Outlook Bar open, I recommend that you close it
and use the Folder List instead.  (To do this, click on your View menu
in your inbox and remove the check from "Outlook Bar" and add a check to
"Folder List).
2.     A dropdown menu will appear.  Select "New Folder", then enter the
folder name in the space provided.
3.     Click OK and the new folder will appear.

You can add as many folders and sub-folders as you wish. If you are
creating a folder for help groups that you belong to you can create a
"Groups" folder and  inside  that, you can create a sub-folder for each
group to keep them separate. You can add a folder to keep e-mail from
your family or a folder for a project you are involved in. If you tend
to empty your Inbox and Deleted Items folder rather quickly, using the
Rules Wizard to copy certain e-mails to a sub-folder will allow you to
refer to them at a later date if necessary. (This is not a substitute
for archiving, but when you want quick access to e-mails concerning a
particular topic or from certain people or companies, this is the
easiest way to do it.)

Now that you have created a sub-folder, you need to set up rules to do
what you want. You can have certain messages automatically forwarded to
another user. If you get junk e-mail repeatedly from the same source,
you can have Outlook permanently delete it before you even see it! Or,
if you have a project, you can create a sub-folder called "Project" and
have all your e-mail with "Project" in the content or subject moved or
copied automatically to that folder. You can select the people
associated with the project that send you e-mail and add a rule that all
of the e-mail from those people should be moved or copied to the Project

The general procedure to set up a rule is as follows:
1.     Click on Tools> Rules Wizard
2.     Select New, and a dialog box will open giving you the choice of
many different rules.
3.     Select the rule which does what you want to accomplish. If you
select the wrong rule, don't worry. You can modify or delete a rule
4.     Follow the prompts to set up rules that customize the way Outlook
handles certain messages.

Let's set up a rule now, so you can see the whole process. Assume you
get e-mails from a group called CompuTips that uses several different
sender's e-mail addresses based on the subject of the message. (I
receive e-mail from a computer tips group that does this.) To set up a
rule to move your CompuTips messages to a "Tips" folder:

1.     Create a Tips folder following the above procedure.
2.     Click on Tools> Rules Wizard> New.
3.     Select "Check messages when they arrive"  and click Next.
4.     In "Which condition(s) do you want to check", check "With
specific words in the sender's address".
5.     In the Rule Description pane, click on specific words.  Another
box will open allowing you to enter the specific words you wish to
search for. Enter CompuTips, click OK, then Next.
6.     In the "What do you want to do with the message" pane, click
"Move it to the specified folder". In the Rule Description Pane, click
on specified folder.
7.     A "Choose a folder" dialog box will open. Browse to the folder
have previously created and click Next.
8.     Add any exceptions to the rule you wish to establish and click
9.     Enter a name for the rule. Outlook will suggest a name based on
entries you have made.
10.  Check "Run this rule now on messages already in Inbox" if there are
any appropriate messages. (This is also a good way to see if the rule
work.) Click Finish.

That's all there is to it. When the rule stops working because something
has changed, either modify the old rule or delete it and set up a new
one. It only takes a few minutes and can save you a lot of time
searching for that elusive e-mail you swear you have somewhere!
Parker Renaud is the one-man IT department at Colliers Keenan where he
manages 90 PCs on 5 servers.
Chad K. Welch

VBA Magic

VBA.  Some would lead you to believe that this acronym belongs to a new
foreign language called Geekese, spoken only by those cubicle-dwelling
computer nerds down in the basement.  Come on, who else could use VBA,
SQL, and ADO all in the same sentence and actually know what they were
talking about?

I hope to distill this myth.  VBA, or Visual Basic for Applications, is
one of Microsoft's greatest tools within the Office programs.  While it
is a programming language, Microsoft has tried to make it user friendly
and somewhat understandable.  I say somewhat because the code isn't in a
format acceptable by your English professor.  However, once you
understand the structure and a few of the key words and phrases, you'll
be speaking Geekese and maybe even understand those computer nerds when
your are in the break room.

My 'friend' who 'taught' me to snow ski (I use those words loosely),
told me to just point the skis downhill and not let the tips cross.
While that day still brings back painful thoughts, the concept sticks.
The only advice I can give you to begin learning VBA is point your skis
downhill and don't let the tips cross!

Seriously, no book or professor can give you the experience you will
receive just by trying VBA yourself.  Books and professors (hopefully
even this column) will supplement your own experiments, but it will come
quicker and easier if you try it out yourself first.

My favorite learning tool is the Macro Recorder.  It is accessed in the
same manner in nearly every office application.  Select Macros from the
Tools menu.  In the submenu select Record New Macro.  Give it a name and
description or simply accept the defaults and press OK.  Perform a few
actions such as typing, applying formatting, copying and pasting etc.
When you have finished select Stop Recording from the same submenu as

Now try running your macro, select Tools>Macro>Macros.  Highlight your
macro and press Run.  You will notice that the same actions done when
recording the macro are done again.  Congratulations, you've just
recorded a simple macro.

Now comes the fun part.  Learn what makes that macro tick.  Once again
select Tools>Macro>Macros and highlight your macro.  This time though,
press Edit.  The Visual Basic Editor or VBE will open and your macro
code will be displayed in Geekese.  Resize the VBE so that you can see
both your code and the application behind it.  Press F8 to start
stepping through your code.  Each time you press F8 a new line will be
evaluated, and you can watch what each command does.  Lines which are
preceded by an apostrophe are comments, so anything to the right of the
apostrophe will not be evaluated.  If you have a question about any word
in VBA, highlight it and then press F1.  The online help is usually very
helpful; I've used it countless times to learn or remember the syntax of
a function or property.  It is also crammed full of examples which
certainly help the learning process.

Now for a little homework.  Next time you open an office program, turn
on the macro recorder (save the macro to a new location, not your
current document).  After you've finished your work, stop the recorder
and open the code.  See if you can remember what each line of code is
doing. In the next article we will study a few of the common commands
that you may find in your own code.

Until next time, Happy Coding!

Do you have a question or tip you'd like to have me address in this
column?  Email Linda or send a note to me directly.
Chad K. Welch works as a technician/enabler in Utah.  He is available
for consulting or application programming with Microsoft Office and VBA.
Contact him directly for more information at chad@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Corey Seaton

Home Networking

to see pictures of this network hardware, follow this link:

Welcome to the first article on Home Networking. In this section, I'll
attempt to let you all know how to setup your own home network.

Now before you run off screaming into the night, it's not all that
difficult.  All you need is around an hour free time, a few odd bods and
a little "Dutch Courage" (or coffee, tea, jolt, etc.)

What you'll need:
*2 (or more) Network Cards
*UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) or Category 5 cable
*Phillips head (the one that looks sort of like a plus sign) screwdriver
*Hub (if you're going to network more then 2 PCs) *A bit of patience,
and the vocabulary of an 18th Century Sailor ;-) *Windows 95, 98
(Original or Second Edition), ME, NT, or 2000.

The Hardware:

Ok. You're at your local computer supply shop and you're wondering what
sort of things you'll need. If you're there, you've gone too far, and
should turn around and go home. You'll need to have a look inside your
computer first, to see what sort of slots you have free. This lets you
know what sort of network card you can buy.

But I hear you say, "I'm pretty sure my computer already has one of
those network cards things, but I'm not sure.  How can I check?"

It's rather simple.  Right click on the My Computer icon on your
desktop, and choose properties. Click on the Device Manager tab and that
will bring up an entire compressed list of all your installed devices.
What you need to keep an eye open for, is a section called Network
Adapters. Expand that little section by double clicking it. If it lists
something there, NOT something like Dial-Up adapter, but rather
something like D-Link DE220 ISA PnP LAN Adapter, that means you already
have a network card installed, and that's something you don't have to

Many new computers (in the last 2 years or so) come with a network card
as standard.  But, if you don't have one, you need to know what type of
slot you have available to install one in.

Get your Phillips head screwdriver and unscrew the case (make sure that
you've unplugged the leads from the back of the computer first.this is
most important).

Once you've got the case off the computer, have a look inside. You'll
see lots and lots of things in there: cables, slots, cards etc. What you
are looking for are 2 types of slots: PCI (Peripheral Component
Interconnect) and ISA (Industry Standard Architecture). The PCI slots
are generally fairly short, and white, while the ISA slots are longer
and black. The speed you want your network to run at contributes to what
sort of network card you want to buy as well. Generally, you have two
choices: 10mbps or 100mbps (Megabits Per Second). NOTE: It's Megabits,
not Megabytes. Bits are smaller units than Bytes. As a rough guide, a
10mb network will transfer files at around 600KB per second, and at a
theoretical maximum of 1.2MB per second. A 100mb network will transfer
at around 2 to 6MB per second and a theoretical maximum of 12.5MB per
second. Now that you've decided what speed you want, and what slots you
have free, it's time to head down to the computer shop and buy
everything you need.

Generally, the 10mbps cards come in either PCI or ISA, and are much
cheaper. The 100mbps cards only come in the PCI format, and are more
expensive. If you only have ISA slots free, and want to run your network
at 100mbps, you can't, unfortunately.

Cabling is next. If you are only connecting two computers together,
you'll want to take the cheaper option, and buy a special form of UTP
cable, called Cross Over. This is a little more expensive than regular
UTP cable, but cheaper than buying a Hub, which isn't necessary for two
computers. Make sure when you are buying cable, that you buy at least 1
and a half times more cable then you think you'll need. It's always
better to have excess cable, than not to have enough.

Now that you have your cable and your cards, you're ready to start

In the next issue, I'll let you know how to install the hardware and the
real fun will begin.

Happy Shopping!

Corey's Glossary:
ISA: Industry Standard Architecture
Mb: Megabit
MB: Megabyte
Mbps: Megabits Per Second
PCI: Peripheral Component Interconnect
UTP: Unshielded Twisted Pairback to Contents
Corey Seaton is a Systems Support Officer with Queensland Health.  He
also moderates an email group on Home Networking. Why don't you join and
talk to others who are networking their home PCs?
Kathleen Anderson, Spider Web Woman Designs

HTML Checkup

You've gotten a call from a client - they say the site you designed for
them doesn't work in their browser.  Only part of the page is visible -
or worse, none of the page.  What are you going to do?

What browser are they using? Dollars to doughnuts, the browser is

The reason? Netscape is very picky when it comes to rendering HTML. One
missing or mismatched HTML tag and you are all done.

How to fix it? Run your page through an HTML validator - there are a few
to pick from. The one I recommend is at the W3C (World Wide Web
Consortium) at: http://validator.w3.org/.  Just type in the URL of your
page and it will validate your HTML.  It will give you the specific line
number where the error is in a hyperlinked format so you can jump right
to that line number in your source.

You can also use the WDG HTML Validator at the Web Design Group web
site: http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/.  This site is especially
useful because they also provide a list of the most common validation

Another site that offers a slightly different twist is NetMechanic
at: http://www.netmechanic.com/cobrands/zd_dev/ At this site, you can
have up to 20 pages checked at one time, and have the results sent back
to you by email. It will also check for broken links, browser
compatibility, page load time and spelling errors.

The one feature that all of these services have in common is that they
are free! Think of it as having your own Quality Assurance staff at no
cost to you or your customers.

Now, if I could only find a free service to create my graphics..
Kathleen Anderson is a webmaster at the State of Connecticut and chairs
their committee on web site accessibility for persons with disabilities
She also has her own web design company, Spider Web
Woman Designs, at http://www.spiderwebwoman.com/
******************STATION BREAK********************
Discover How To Create Stunning Letters, Presentations, Greetings Cards,
Promotional Materials, Memos, Reports And More - Just Like The

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?

eBooklet Series
by Linda F. Johnson

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

Book II, due out any day, 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

"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 at:
(12.) Chas' Word World
Charles Kyle Kenyon, J.D.

Moving the Furniture Around - Making Yourself at Home in Word

(see the online version for helpful screen captures at:
http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/vol2.htm#chas )

One of the best things about Word is that if there is something you
don't like about it, you can change it, if you are willing to learn a
few simple steps. You can change it a lot if you are willing to invest
the time to learn VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). VBA is part of
Word 97 and beyond, having replaced WordBasic to integrate Word into the
Office Suite. I am a beginner in this process.

I would like to start us out with a simple tool that has been built into
every version of Word since Word 4 - the Work menu. The Work menu is
great but is virtually undocumented and seems to be a hold-over from
earlier versions of Word. To a large part it has been supplanted by the
recent files under the File menu, templates and the File => New template
selection. Nevertheless, it is a great way for us to pigeon hole some of
our favorite documents and a good way to get started with learning how
to move the furniture around.

The Work Menu is like a "favorites" menu and lets you list documents
that you want to keep on a menu. It does not allow sub-menus of
documents nor can you re-order documents (except by adding them again to
the menu, in which case they move to the top of the list). Also, like a
favorites menu, items in this menu are merely shortcuts to an actual
document. Moving or deleting the document doesn't change the shortcut,
just makes it not work.

To see a sample of this, click on over to
This sample has a few extras added in, primarily the commands at the

Note that like the "Recent Files" under the File menu, the Work Menu has
a limit of nine documents. When you attempt to add a tenth document, it
will bump the document currently at the bottom of the Work Menu.

a. To add the Work menu to your menus / toolbars (W97 +) *
(see above link for a screenshot)

Commands (tab)

Categories: Built-In Menus (left pane)

Commands: Work (right pane)

Drag this menu where you want it. The most common choice is to put it
next to Help. You can add it to your File (or any other) menu if that
suits you better. Click on OK to close the Customize dialog box.

* The Work menu has been around since at least Word 4 and the steps to
add a Work menu are similar in earlier versions. In at least one version
I think it was even part of the default.

b. To add a document to the Work menu

While that (named) document is open and is the active window, Work=>Add
to Work Menu.

c. To delete a document from the Work Menu (see warning)

Press Ctrl + Alt + - and your mouse pointer will turn into a thick
horizontal bar (a big minus sign). Use it to select the document you
want to delete and release the mouse. Your document will be gone from
the Work menu. (It will still be on your disk, though.)

d. You can add this command (Ctrl + Alt + -) to the Work menu (see above
link for a screenshot)

Commands (tab)

Categories: All Commands (left pane)

ToolsCustomizeRemoveMenuShortCut (right pane)

Drag that last mouthful over to your Work menu. Even if you've already
put documents on your Work menu, you won't see them listed. Release the
mouse when you have the Command where you want it.

If you want to shorten the command to something like: "Remove Shortcut
from Any Menu", you can right-click on it and rename it. By typing an
ampersand (&) before the "R" you will make that a keyboard shortcut.

Remember that even if you delete a document from your disk, its name
will still appear on your Work Menu. The Work menu is like a collection
of shortcuts. However selecting it on the Work menu will just result in
a message that the document can't be found.


 The Ctrl + Alt + - will remove any command from any menu.

It will do this whether you use the key combination or have it on a
menu. If you mistakenly remove something from one of your menus you can
restore it using the Customize command but it may be more difficult than
you would expect.

 **Be warned!**

e. Further customization:
(see above link for a screenshot)

You can add the bottom two commands to your Work menu the same way.
Their real names are ToolsCustomizeAddMenuShortcut and
ToolsCustomizeKeyboardShortcut (or ToolsCustomizeKeyboard).

The menu button icons were added with the Customize dialog box open. You
right-click on the menu command that you want to add a symbol to and
select either Change Button Image or Edit  Button Image.

The Change selection gives you 42 icons that have no other purpose
assigned to them. Since none seemed especially appropriate, I used Edit
and first created the red minus sign. Minus signs and plus signs are
easy, real icons are a bit tougher.

The keyboard button was formed from one of the Change icons -
a calculator - by erasing the top part of the calculator.

 Give it a try!
Next in Chas' Word World...
We'll go the next step in moving the furniture around . . . a "Work
Menu" for templates. Put your favorite templates on a menu! This will
involve recording a few macros and putting them on our own menu. We'll
also be looking at how these menus can be shared in an office. Till
then, see what else you can learn. (Any new lawyer jokes?) ~~~~~~~~~~
This column was based on the Work menu page from Chas' Microsoft Word
New Users' FAQ. Copyright 2001, Charles Kyle Kenyon, All rights
reserved. http://www.kenyonck.addr.com/word/index.htm
Chas Kenyon is a trial lawyer concentrating in criminal defense with a
long interest (obsession?) with making word processing work well in the
law office. His websites are: http://www.kenyonck.addr.com/index.htm

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 at ABComputers-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and I will pass it on to
them.  Remember that they do this in their spare time on a voluntary
basis, so you might have to wait for an answer.  To make all things work
more 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

Happy computing, my friends!

Linda Johnson

In order to get what you want, you must send your email to the right
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of my advertisers, or the availability of links. You use the information
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editing.All advice given in this newsletter/ezine or at Linda's Computer
Stop is given with the best of intentions and should only be taken as a
suggestion and not a definite fix to a problem. ABC ~ All 'Bout
Computers and Linda's Computer Stop are the property of Linda F.
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included, does not mean she is responsible if it causes problems. ALL
ABComputers by linking to my sites.
or, click on these links to become an affiliate under me and you will
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Thank you for reading "ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers".
(Copyright) 2001 - ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers, Linda F. Johnson, MA. ABC
may only be redistributed in its unedited form. Written permission from
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Thank you and I hope to continue to bring you a newsletter that you will
actually want to read.

Linda Johnson

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