Archive for July, 2010

Hard drive basics: Data in motion

July 29, 2010

[tweetmeme source=”LANSystems” only_single=false]Today’s electronics go with us everywhere and keep us connected.  We are accustomed to using our electronics while moving, but not all devices are designed to be used on the go. Hard drives have moving parts and that is an important point to remember.

As a refresher, let’s simply look at how a hard drive (sometimes called a hard disc) works.  The drive includes a platter to hold the data, a head to read the data and electronics to control the process.  The platter is mirror smooth and stores the magnetized data. If you have never seen the inside of a hard drive, the surface looks like a mirror.  The head is attached to an arm that rides just above the platter surface.  If the head touches the platter, damage and data lose almost always occurs.  The electronics control the storage and retrieval of data.

Servers, workstations and desktops are stationary units.  You should never move them while the unit is on. When the unit is off, the head is “parked” so that it will not accidently touch the platter.  Vibrations can also cause the head to impact the platter, so it is important not to install computers in areas that can shake them.  For instance, don’t locate computers near air conditioner compressors or other motorized equipment.  If you can’t eliminate the vibrations, consider installing a vibration pad.

Notebooks, laptops and netbooks are often used as mobile devices, but are still susceptible to hard drive damage.  Many high-end or hardened mobile computers have motion sensing protection.  This protection will temporarily stop or park the head to prevent damage.  Sophisticated motion protection is available but adds cost. Vibration pads are a lower cost option.  In general, your mobile computer should be used on a stationary surface.

Camcorders and other mobile devices with hard drives have a suspension system and sensors that protect the hard drive in case of sudden acceleration.  This safeguards the data by keeping the head from touching the platter even if the unit is dropped.  This often works very well, but is not an absolute guarantee that the hard drive will not be damaged.

To protect your data, always use care when operating and make sure you have a good backup!

For more technical notes and information go to: www.lansystems.com/technotes.html

If you have any questions or comments, email me at: mary@lansystems.com.

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Microsoft Office 2010: The best new features in Word

July 13, 2010

[tweetmeme source=”LANSystems” only_single=false]Word has become the standard for creating and formatting documents of all types from simple letters to documents with a table of contents, index and glossary. Word has made the task of creating and editing documents easy.  Tools like spell check and thesaurus have made us look smart and polished.  Thankfully, long gone are the days of typewriters, carbon paper and correction fluid.

Word 2010 has bold new features to enhance your document-formatting.  It also bundles mobile features so you can take your documents with you almost-anywhere.  With just a little practice, you can impress everyone with content-rich, visually compelling, professional documents for home, school or work. 

Add flair to your documents and get noticed!

Transform with photos – New and improved photo-editing tools let you transform pictures right in Word 2010 – no extra software needed. Change color saturation, temperature, brightness, and contrast to turn a simple Word document into a work of art.

Turn text into visual effects – Add more visual impact with enhanced text effects and SmartArt graphics. Change basic bullet-points into compelling visuals and add text effects like shadow, glow, reflection, and 3-D in just a few clicks. From Font, choose Text Effects and make your choice.

Work with anyone – anywhere, anytime

Easily co-author documents – Word 2010 redefines the way people can work together on one document. With co-authoring, you can edit at the same time as others, even if you’re working from different locations, and keep versions in sync with version control.

Access your information from more places – Microsoft Word Web App is an online companion to Microsoft Word that enables you to extend your Word experience to the browser. View a high fidelity version of your documents and make light edits as well. Access some of the same formatting and editing tools that are in Word 2010, and work in a familiar editing environment, from almost any computer with a Web browser.

Microsoft Word Mobile 2010 gives you a lightweight editor for your documents that’s especially designed for easy use on your Windows phone.

For more technical notes and information go to: www.lansystems.com/technotes.html

If you have any questions or need help with the instructions, email me at: mary@lansystems.com.

Creating an Outlook signature with hyperlinks

July 6, 2010

[tweetmeme source=”LANSystems” only_single=false]Now that you have your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts all jazzed up, it’s time to add links to your email signature.  You can make a hyperlink to your social media sites and mail recipients can “click” right to them.  Follow these simple steps to add your signature.  For instructions with screen images, go to:  http://www.lansystems.com/Creating-an-Outlook-signature-with-hyperlinks.html

  1. Get your logos.  You will need your company logo and logos for the social media sites to hyperlink.  There are many logos to choose from that are in the public domain.  If you want to use a logo that requires payment or special permission, make sure to satisfy all requirements before using.
  2. Get your hyperlinks.  Go to each of your social media sites and cut/copy the links to that site.  Be sure that you use the links that do not require login to the site.  For instance, when you login to Twitter your homepage is: http://twitter.com/home  For others to see you, use the link to your account: http://twitter.com/LANSystems
  3. Open Outlook and go to Tools – Options – Mail Format – Signatures – Edit
  4. Since graphics/logos and hyperlinks will be added, we will use Word as our editor.  Choose Advanced Edit and you will see a message that an external editor will be launched, select Yes.
  5. Use Word to create your signature.  You can start with a format line above the signature and then add your name, phone and other contact information.
  6. Add the logo, by inserting a picture.  Right click on the logo and choose- Edit Hyperlink.  Add your hyperlink here.
  7. Adjust until you like the look.
  8. Save as Your_Name.rtf.
  9. Create a new email message and check the signature format.  Make sure to verify all links.
  10. Use with all email messages.  And be sure to add logos as you add new social media sites.

For more technical notes go to: www.lansystems.com/technotes.html

If you have any questions or need help with the instructions, email me at: mary@lansystems.com.