Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving

I did not get a chance to post this week, but during this wonderful holiday week I would like to say thank you to all who have been reading my blog since I started writing and also to those who have contributed either by way of comment, email, and phone or in person. To you, I am really grateful you have given me a chance to share my passion with you and I pray you continue to give me the platform and allow me to come along with you on your journey for knowledge and let us enjoy learning together. ~Thank you!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace
Read more!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

JING

I was asked a question today about the Jing Project by a friend of mine (Hi Karen). I knew of it but had never used it so I decided to do some research since it is an application that more than likely I would be using in the very near future. With that said, I also thought it may be of value to the Web Byte community so here it is ~ a very brief overview of Jing, my first Jing video and the links for you to pursue the topic further.

Jing is a free downloadable software by TechSmith (the world’s leading provider of screen capture and recording software for individual and professional use) available in Mac and PC formats. It was included in the 100 Best Products of 2008 in the September issue of PCWorld, so for the price it’s not a lightweight. The concept behind the project is to be always ready to capture and share images and videos from your desktop – anything you can see on your screen you can share with anyone as an image or a video. According to the information on the Jing site, it is designed to capture, annotate and share. You can snap a picture of anything on your desktop; record video of what you do or what you see; and upload it to share via emails, IMs or blogs. As mentioned previously, Jing is currently a free application and includes a complimentary Screencast.com account (Screencast.com is a TechSmith’s media hosting solution that securely host your Jing content) with 2 GB of storage and 2 GB of transfer bandwidth per month. The video length is limited to five (5) minutes and I think that is quite enough to show someone a simple process.

As I anticipated using this application to show others how to do tasks on their computers since this is a question I get asked quite often…how do I do…?, I decided to download Jing and see how it works first handed. The download process took about 6 minutes, at the end you are asked to create a Screencast.com account which entails providing an email address where they can notify you if necessary and creating a password and screen name. With Jing you can capture the steps to complete a task on your desktop and create a link for sharing on Screencast.com, embed the code, save on Flickr (with a Flickr account), use the FTP (file transfer protocol) or save it to your hard drive. These selections make your project available for others to see via your blog, Web site, email or IM. Since sharing information via blogs is one of Jing’s usages, I decided to create a video of formatting a document, create a link on Screencast.com so it would be available for you to see. Sometimes it is easier to see things done rather than listen to or read the instructions. If anyone has used Jing, we would be interested to know in what capacity and your experience with it.

Since this is just a brief overview of Jing, please visit the links below pertaining to the project for more detailed information.

As always, email me with your topics and lets have a good time learning together!

My Video:
Formatting a Document-11/22/08

Here are some links to the project:
Home page http://www.jingproject.com/
FAQs http://www.jingproject.com/faq.asp#q1
Jing blog http:/blog.jingproject.com/



Read more!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Microsoft Live@Edu Initiative

While researching information on Microsoft Office Live Workspace (OLW) I came across some information that would be of value to students and teachers that read Web Bytes. After a brief write up there is a link to Microsoft Live@Edu immediately below which will give you further information to pass on to the school administrators (Free for K-12 and higher education).

Basically in a nutshell, Microsoft Live@Edu initiative allows students and faculty access to a 5 GB size Hotmail inbox or 10 GB Exchange Labs inbox, 5 GB password protected online storage space, shared calendars, blogging tools, and access to these services on a mobile phone all at no cost to the school or student, OLW and Microsoft SkyDrive (For document storage), Microsoft SharedView Beta (Share your desktop with 15 others), Windows Live Spaces (Set up an area for group projects, campus clubs or personal pages), Windows Live Messenger (Chat, share folders and send messages), Windows Live Alerts (Receive SMS alerts on mobile phone)and Mobile (Live@edu services are available through your mobile phone). This has been around since 2005 but has only been incorporated with OLW since the last quarter of 2007 (Nagel, 2008).

In addition to the above, there is a layout of different deployment options enabling you to choose the one that best suit your needs or fit into your organizational scheme. This is just a brief overview and does not scratch the surface. I recommend anyone interested in this initiative visit the link immediately below for more information and read through all the information provided by the top links as well as the ones in the body of the page. Based on what I saw visiting the site it is a real plus for the academic community and I intend to share this information with those I know working in this community.

http://get.liveatedu.com/Education/Connect/

I hope this information was of help to you and pass it on to others who may be interested in this application. Email the link to this post for easy navigation to the article and let me know if you or anyone you know decide to give it a try.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!


Reference
Nagel, D. (March 4, 2008). Microsoft Expands Office Live Workspace Beta Worldwide. Application Development Trends. http://www.javareport.com/article.aspx?id=22159


Read more!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Microsoft Office Live Workspace

This is another one of Microsoft’s Live Office applications in its Beta (still being refined) stage. OLW allows the saving of documents on the Web enabling the user access from anywhere with an Internet connection, a Web browser, a Windows Live ID and a valid email inbox. You can use it for work, school, and home. I personally use my workspace to work between my desktop and laptop as well as collaborate on projects with schoolmates. Recently I set up the application for my two business partners, allowing us the freedom to collaborate on projects while being geographically separated. With this type of freedom, the possibilities are limitless in collaborative work.

OLW is a Web-base application as in Cloud Computing (See Web Byte entry 11/8/08 on Cloud Computing). As previously mentioned, accessing it allows the user to share documents and files, work from home on documents that were previously placed in the workspace and/or create new ones for the office, school or personal projects, organize files, create lists, and notes by project or assignment. The administrator of the workspace (you) have the ability to share the screen with others and work together on documents in real time via Microsoft SharedView beta integration which is a small downloadable (more on this later). You can set permission to control who can view or edit the documents and manage all changes in a single online copy of a document which eliminates the need for emails going back and forth; gather feedback on ideas and projects; share agendas, minutes, handouts, and presentations; organize a study group and work on assignments; share class notes and schedules; keep track of test and grades; plan events and show accountability; work on budgets, directions, etc. This is just a few of the numerous tasks that can be coordinated via OLW. No downloads are required to use OLW, storage for each workspace as of now is 500 MB and 25 MB the size of the largest file. Oh, by the way, did I mention that OLW is free at the present time.

To help you get started with all the various tasks listed above, OLW have pre-fabricated templates with the types of workspace you want to set up. The types of templates now available are Class workspace, Essay workspace, Event Workspace, Household Workspace, Job Search Workspace, Meeting Workspace, School Workspace, Sports Team Workspace, Travel Workspace and of course a Blank Workspace enabling you to create whatever type of workspace you need. OLW keeps track of every version of a document which allows you to revert back to a previous version if the need arise. There are also “How to Videos” within the application that will help you accomplish a given tasks.

To extend the functionality of OLW, it works well with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook office productivity software. You can synchronize tasks, events and contacts with Outlook 2003 and 2007, export any workspace list to Excel, Open and save files directly from Office XP, 2003 or 2007, save documents to your workspace directly from Word on your PC. I read in PC World (Spanbauer, 2008) that documents can also be edited in comparable applications such as OpenOffice.org (see Web Byte entry for 10/20/08 on this free downloadable software). Office Live Updates are available from within the OLW application if you have the MS Office programs listed above installed on your PC. Microsoft SharedView, mentioned previously, allows up to 15 people in different locations to share your screen and collaborate in real time.

There is a lot of help available with OLW in addition to what is within the application. On the screen within Microsoft Office Live Workspace to download SharedView are tips on using this application as well as links on working smarter and faster, make SharedView work for you, learn how to use SharedView and a User Assistance Homepage with links to Release Notes, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Table of Content with Scenarios, Hot Topics, Session Management, Sharing Applications and Handouts, Using Options Dialog and Suggested Reading. There is also a Community section where users can help each other or share ideas, get the latest news, forums to ask questions and get help; a blog where product news, insight and tips are available and an Examples section showing how people are using OLW.

I noticed MS Access was not part of the Office productivity software mentioned that work well with OLW. With all this help and access to people actually working on this project, I see where an avid user of Access can, just maybe, make a suggestion that if possible, MS Access be integrated into OLW in the next version

Base on the amount of space, the maximum size of a file and the number of people who can collaborate on a project, I feel this application is best suited for smaller projects with low volume interaction. But I like it and it has and continues to sever my needs quite well. Matter of fact, I think I’ll send this link to my Pastor (just started a new church) and we can use this application for planning our upcoming projects and events.

I hope this information was of help to you and pass it on to others or send them an email with the link to this post that would navigate them directly to this article.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

Helpful Links
Microsoft Office Live Workspace Links
http://workspace.officelive.com/

User Assistance Homepage
http://connect.microsoft.com/content/content.aspx?ContentID=6382&SiteID=94


SharedView
http://www.connect.microsoft.com/content/content.aspx?ContentID=6415&SiteID=94


Workspace FAQ and Office Web Applications
http://workspace.officelive.com/FAQ


References
Microsoft Office Live Workspace
http://workspace.officelive.com/

Spanbauer, S (March 24, 2008). Hands On: Microsoft Office Live Workspace. PC World
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/143519/hands_on_microsoft_office_live_workspace.html



Read more!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

HAPPY VETERANS DAY

YOU HAVE EARNED IT!

ENJOY THE SHOW

Read more!

Monday, November 10, 2008

OpenOffice.org Update

I don’t know if you checked out the OpenOffice.org site and tried out the free office productivity suite available, however, the software download has reached a milestone and is doing really well. In light of this, below is information from an email I received today from the Marketing Project Co-lead, Florian Effenberger. The email mentions some of the recent download activity after its Beijing Conference which was held last month.

Subject: OpenOffice.org Achieves Ten Million Downloads at the End of its Beijing Conference

Early on Sunday morning, the OpenOffice.org Community passed the ten million downloads mark for the latest version of its software, just four weeks after the launch on October 13th. The week also marked the first time the OpenOffice.org Annual Conference has been held outside Europe.

November 10, 2008 -- Early on Sunday 9th, the OpenOffice.org Community achieved an historic milestone, when the ten millionth person clicked on the "Download OpenOffice.org" button since the Community announced version 3.0, just four weeks ago. The week also saw the first time the OpenOffice.org Annual Conference has been held outside Europe, with over four hundred people attending the Conference in Beijing, China from Wednesday to Friday.

John McCreesh, Marketing Project Lead, explained the importance of the two events. "Since the launch of OpenOffice.org 3.0, we have had a verifiable record of downloads from central website. We were delighted to hit a million downloads in the first two days. Four weeks later, we have hit ten million, and we are still seeing an amazing 250,000 - 350,000 downloads a day. For a community with no advertising budget, this is an astonishing level of product awareness around the world. Add to this the success of our Beijing Conference, and there can be no doubt that OpenOffice.org is now genuinely a global phenomenon."

What makes the statistics impressive is that they only record downloads via the OpenOffice.org website, and exclude for example large numbers of Linux users who generally download software from their own distributor. There are estimated to be eight million users of Ubuntu Linux alone, the majority of whom rely on OpenOffice.org for their office software. In addition, many users obtain OpenOffice.org via other mirrors, peer-to-peer networks, CDs, or other media. The total number of OpenOffice.org users worldwide is not known, but the Community believes it is well on track to reach its declared target of a 40% market share worldwide by 2010.

Finally, even with this level of market acceptance, the Community is not complacent. The OpenOffice.org Bug Bounty Programme is still open, offering cash prizes of up to 500 Euro to new developers who help fix bugs reported by users. This is part of ongoing activity to encourage additional developers, which has already resulted in a record number of contributors working on the 3.0 release.

For more information visit http://www.openoffice.org/editorial/ displaying links to articles, interviews, blogs, newsletters, etc. or the marketing site at http://marketing.openoffice.org/

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!



Read more!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cloud Computing, the Latest Fad or is It Here to Stay?

Cloud computing apparently is the latest buzz words in the technology industry. Simply put, it involves software and storage being on a server on the Internet as opposed to being on one’s individual computer, hence the term “cloud computing”. As long as you are connected to the Internet and have enough bandwidth for what you are trying to access, you can access the information from anywhere in the world and work on it. Your information is stored elsewhere and can be on a server or multiple servers on the Internet. Cloud computing makes it easier to work any where without trying to remember to walk with whatever device you use to transport your files; having to remember to transfer the information itself onto the devices and can reduce the cost of buying hardware. Your information will be available on the server when you purchase a new computer, eliminating the need to transfer your old files to the new computer. Backing up files and/or paying for this service can also be a thing of the past.

Sounds too good to be true! All the big tech companies (Microsoft, IBM, Google, etc.) are involved in some way in cloud computing. Various aspect of this technology is currently in existence today, mainly with companies, but some aspects of it can be seen in Web-based products that we use right now such as email accounts, workspaces like Microsoft Workspaces and Huddle Workspaces (a LinkedIn Beta Application) or even Microsoft Office Live as seen in my previous blog entry has workspaces.

Conversely, security and privacy may be issues to consider when choosing a provider for this service as well as the terms of the contract. Another issue can be related to reduction in front end or client side repair work since most of the repairs would be handled backend or server side, which may affect the small computer repair service. As this topic evolves in future years, look closely and see how the industry giants will handle these and other aspects of cloud computing.

This Tid Bit is just to keep abreast of what’s new in the industry. This is a great time for new trends in technology and cloud computing is quite an interesting topic, one to keep our eyes on.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!



Read more!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Microsoft Office Live Small Business

I originally started this article for a business social network that I am a member of. Since I felt this topic is applicable to individuals, home base businesses, social groups and clubs, it’s in my home computing blog.

An option for the small business owner with limited financial resources and desiring a Web presence with a little extra is Microsoft Office live Small Business (http://smallbusiness.officelive.com/ ). This suite of Web-base tools offered with different features can meet this need through its basic option. The feature to have a custom domain name with private registration is available free for the first year and after this promotional period it is $14.95 a year. This includes up to 100 branded email accounts which conveys a professional image online.

Creating the site requires no coding and the mechanisms for this are the Site Designer and Page Editor tabs. Site Designer allows for a selection of professional looking theme templates, 25 to be exact, ranging from Accounting to Travel & Leisure and includes a choice for a custom theme image. There is also help features available on each page that are task-specific. Page Editor has Microsoft’s familiar toolbar options for editing your pages. If you are familiar with HTML, there is an HTML module that lets you insert your own code or widget code to allow the addition of Skype buttons, blog feeds, slideshows, YouTube, social networks etc.

Based on my experience with Office Live Small Business, it is a viable option for a business trying to create a Web presence whose budgetary constraints do not allow funding for this expenditure. As business finances improve and business requirements in this area expand, upgrades are available with additional features to meet the growing needs of the business.

Free Features:
Web Site – Includes easy-to-use Web site design and management tools, traffic reports, and 500 MB storage space

Custom Domain – Help customers find you online -.com, .org, .net, .info (free for first year) and up to 100 company-branded email accounts 5 GB of storage


Contact Manager – Management of sales opportunities, contact information, and tracking interaction with customers

Business Applications-
  • Document Manager – Store and share company documents in a central location for easy access and version control
  • Workspaces – Collaborate and share information in a password-protected environment that you control
  • Project Manager – Plan, assign and monitor projects and tasks associated with them

Support - Around the clock support, FAQs, Comment Message boards and online Resource Center for advice and how-to articles

Additional Features:
E-Commerce – With Store Manager you can sell your products on your Web site as well as on eBay, provide a shopping cart with the theme of your Web site showing a seamless integration, accept credit card payments, confirm purchases via email and generate invoices

E-mail Marketing – Send professional-looking newsletters, promotions, new product announcement and product and company updates

Search Marketing – AdManager allows you to advertise on popular search engines, target people who are already searching for the product and/or service that you offer, targets advertising in geographical areas you specify

And More - Additional storage, domain names, email accounts and business users can be added

For further clarity, visit the Small Business Office Live link above and get full details of the features as well as view a demo video

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!



Read more!
There was an error in this gadget