Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR

To All Web Bytes Readers:

I pray for ~
  • Good health, plenty of joy, and the mind set to be productive in whatever you do as well as your loved ones in 2009 and beyond
  • That you continue to read Web Bytes, make comments, suggest topics and recommend it to others
  • Lastly, for God to give me the ability to publish the type of blog topics that would be of interest and of value to you, thereby, keeping you coming back for more Web Bytes.

In His Service,
AvaByGrace
www.webbytesblog.blogspot.com


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GoalsOnTrack Update 12/31/2008

Officially, a new version of GoalsOnTrack has been launched today just in time for 2009 goal setting. I started to use the prior version about two days ago so it will be difficult for me to write a knowledgeable comparison blog post. I am currently working on setting my 2009 goals and pray to have that completed before the end of the day, if not, will continue tomorrow. Remember, you cannot just set goals and forget about them, they have to be reviewed to see your progression and adjusted if necessary.

Once again, if anyone has used GoalsOnTrack or is planning on using it to stay on track with 2009 goals please let us know how this application is working for you.

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


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Monday, December 29, 2008

GoalsOnTrack

The motivation for writing this installment of Web Bytes was the premise of setting goals for 2009 and to stay on target.

GoalsOnTrack is a free web-based application fashioned on the Getting Things Done (GTD) software created by David Allen to keep on track the goals set. The GoalsOnTrack application was created by Vancouver IT Services, Inc. and has a couple tabs on the top of the application which easily directs the user – Dashboard, Goals & Tasks, Notes, Progress and Timesheet. The main features of the application is Getting things done, See real progress, Track your time and Keep a journal accomplished through the aforementioned tabs which are explored below.
  • Dashboard - Shows an overview of all goals with progression bars and percentages as showing on track, lagging, ahead, behind or if goals have met ~ all very colorful. After the Active Goals are listed Today’s Tasks with the number of tasks to be accomplished today, Overdue Tasks with the amount, Upcoming Tasks also with the amount and Latest Activity listed by the time the activity was created in descending order. All tasks have the time tracker feature (discussed shortly) so it can be started when the task is started. On the right hand corner of the Dashboard there is a checklist of all the things need to be done to accomplish goals every day through the ‘Today’s Checklist’. The un-checked items show what is left to be done for the day; next is ‘How to get started’ which has links to define your goals, add tasks to support your goals, complete tasks and tract time, review progress and time usage; and finally is a section on ‘How to use the time tracker’ showing the total time spent on each task calculated in 15-minute increments. All overdue tasks are pin pointed.

  • Goals & Tasks – This tab show goals in order of entry or can be reset to the order of preference. Under the goals are listed the tasks needed to be accomplished today, tomorrow and later if tasks were listed for each group when created to move forward on accomplishing the goals. There is also an option to add more tasks if this becomes necessary in accomplishing the goal. Completed tasks and how long it took to complete the tasks are listed directly under this. There is also a log of the tasks you have accomplished over the past week. Additionally, you can define your goals by categories such as long-term and short-term etc.

  • Notes – This tab allows for the keeping of a journal on all goals and annotate whatever is consider necessary for attaining these goals. This is done on the order of a blog entry, giving date and time of the posting with the choice to edit or delete the post. There is an archiving feature on the right hand side of the page keeping tabs on older entries by month and year. Above this feature is the selection for posting a new entry to the journal.

  • Progress – This tab gives a detail progress grid of each goal. The grid categories are today, this week, this month and overall showing the percentage and the number of tasks completed from the total number necessary to reach the goal. There is a trend indicator comparing these accomplishments with yesterday, last week and last month. Additionally, an overall feature shows each goal’s status such as falling behind or on track etc. At the bottom of this page there is a link to customize the progress report to the date range as necessary. The right hand area shows the status notes and an explanation of the color codes.

  • Timesheet – Lastly, Timesheet records the time spent on goals broken down in to goal categories and tags, if tags are used.

I just sign up for an account and am currently using this application to see how it works and if it is an application I will continue to use. If you have used GoalsOnTrack and would like to enlighten us on your experience, please share. The “Useful Links” below are for general questions and answers the developers anticipated and a blog to help users gain insight into the workings of this application and any enhancements to the application. If you cannot find the answer/solution to your problem, you can also email support at http://www.goalsontrack.com/index/support. I thought this was a timely article since so many of us set goals for the upcoming year and never follow through so this is one of many options that will allow us to stay on track.

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

Useful Links
General FAQs:
http://www.goalsontrack.com/index/help

Blog address:
http://goalsontrack.wordpress.com/about/




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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

To My Wonderful Webbytes Family;
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY, HEALTHY, PRODUCTIVE AND PROSPEROUS 2009.

~Have you set your goals for 2009 yet?

Enjoy!

In His Service,
Ava
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Google's Chrome

Chrome is a new open source browser from Google developed for today’s Web and beyond, embodying speed, stability and security as well as a clean, simple and efficient user interface. It is currently only available for Windows XP and Windows Vista giving the users of these operating systems one more choice in this realm of software we cannot live without to access the Internet. Chrome was officially released 12/11/08 for Windows; Mac and Linux versions are currently being developed. My curiosity got peeked due to problems with two of the three browsers I am currently using and Google’s claim of Chrome’s sophisticated technology enabling for faster, safer and easier web experience. In Google’s write up on Chrome its speed is ascertained from a JavaScript engine, V8, built specifically for Chrome, it also spoke of the use of components from Apple’s WebKit (an open source application that provides the foundation for building a browser) and Mozilla’s Firefox, to help with its development. Accordingly, Google will make Chrome’s code also open source.

Chrome’s features enable you to browse the Web or perform a search in the same box – one box for everything; save or bookmark your favorite Web pages; open the Web in tabs – each Web page has its own environment isolated from the others allowing what is happening in one tab not to affect what is happening in the others, demonstrating the stability and security of Chrome; get to your most visited Websites and searches – this is done via New Tab Page; and download files in a simpler way allowing for more options . Additional features allow you to create shortcuts for your Web applications – called Application Shortcuts; browse the Web without saving information – called Incognito Mode (this feature is also available in IE 8 beta); manage your browsing history; and Isolate misbehaving tabs – called crash control which is accessible by opening the task manager, again demonstrating the stability of Chrome.

Google’s Chrome support page has a “Getting Started Section”, a “Troubleshooting Section” which offers support for “Installation Issues”, “Website Issues”, “Known Issues” etc. There is also a Help Forum where you can ask questions and answer them as well once you feel comfortable enough to lend your expertise to the group. Additionally there is a Help Center, Known Issues Pages and Posting Tips that should be seek prior to engaging the Forum. Lots of support!

Currently my browser of choice is Mozilla Firefox and I have downloaded Chrome for use in conjunction with this and the other browsers over the course of the next few weeks and let you know my experience. The “Reviews” links below give some insight into Chrome’s features and what the reviewers liked and disliked. The MSNBC link compares IE 8 Beta and Chrome. If any of you have used Chrome, I welcome your input.

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

Reviews:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2329923,00.asp
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26519075/

References/Informational/Comic Links:
http://www.google.com/support/chrome/bin/topic.py?topic=14658
http://www.google.com/support/chrome/?hl=en
http://www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome/small_00.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/webkit



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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Alert - Patch and Update

Microsoft today released a patch for zero-day vulnerability affecting Internet Explorer (IE) 5 through 8 Beta 2. This patch is meant to protect against malware being downloaded unto your computer if a malicious site is visited without your knowledge or from a legitimate site that has been infected. This problem stems from the browser’s flaw in data binding function which leaves a hole in the memory space that can be access remotely. See link below for more information from Microsoft on this patch.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms08-078.mspx

Firefox security updates are ready for download for 3.0.5 http://getfirefox.com/ and 2.0.019 http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/all-older.html on Windows, Mac and Linux. This update is the final one for Firefox 2 as Mozilla is not planning any future security and stability updates for this version. Therefore the protection for phishing will also be discontinued in Firefox 2.0 as Mozilla would like users to update to Firefox 3. This would allow resources to be concentrated on Firefox 3 and future versions. See links below for a list of changes and more information Firefox 3.0.5 Release Notes and the Firefox 2.0.0.19 Release Notes.

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


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Sunday, December 14, 2008

1st Manager

I recently came across a Web 2.0 application called 1st Manager which is a digital workspace developed for and managed by 1stManagerInc. It is cost-free and of course installation-free as it is an online solution for project management and team collaboration. No matter the geographic location of the person working with you on your projects in 1st Manager, everyone is always in touch and updated.

1st Manager has three product categories with varying levels of service ranging from free to $499 US per month with three product categories. More details on pricing can be seen at www.1stmanager.com/products.aspx. Currently, all the accounts are non-expiring and it takes very little time to create projects, assign tasks and send notification to the people involved.

This write up focused on the Hosted Solution product category with the free account level of service. The features of this free service are: 400 KB file storage space; you can work on six simultaneous projects; use 50 tasks; engage six users and six clients; utilize two project templates; the browser is SSL enabled (128 bit encryption); email notification as selected by the project administrator; charts and reporting; export all your data (Excel, PDF, CSV, Text, iCal); access via sub-domain (www.yournname.1stmanager.com). This level of service is for small teams working on simple projects and can also be used to test 1st Manager enhancements before upgrading if you have one of the paid levels of service.

For a complete assessment of this product visit www.1stmanager.com and click on the live demo link for a very detailed look at this Web 2.0 application using the demo account. Through the demo account you see a sample of an account and how it can be used to accomplish tasks. You get a touch and feel for the application and will be able to decide if it is a good fit for your use.

Anyone using 1st Manager and would care to let us know your experience please email me or share via the comment feature below.

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


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Monday, December 8, 2008

HAPPY 40TH BIRTHDAY!

The PC mouse turned 40 this week. Some information gives 12/8/1968 as the exact date and others 12/9/1969. The Stanford sites gives 12/9/1968 as the date the mouse made its debut at the Fall Joint Computer Conference held at the Convention Center in San Francisco. It was invented by Douglas C. Engelbart and his team at the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA and presented to the public during a 90-minute live presentation at the above mentioned conference. The mouse was originally made from a block of wood on wheels with a long cord (tail). For more information visit the Stanford site at http://sloan.stanford.edu/MouseSite/1968Demo.html. You can also visit the link below to read an article in The Telegraph by Claudine Beaumont published on 12/1/08. The article shows a photo of Mr. Engelbart and all the various versions of the mouse. Can you imagine computing as you know it today without the mouse? Share your thoughts. Happy birthday again!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/technologynews/3538800/Computer-mouse-celebrates-40th-birthday.html

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


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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Verdiem's Edison

Green is said to be the new black referencing computers and the greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide) from their use (Wingfield, 2007). Gartner, the leading technology research and advisory company reported personal computers (PCs) are responsible for 40% of the carbon dioxide associated with information technology and telecommunications (Lohr, 2008). This does not include printers and other PC peripherals. The US Department of Energy estimated that 40% of electricity is wasted on electronics that are turned off but plugged in and the biggest culprit is the PC. As previously mentioned in “Saving Energy, Saving Time” October 1, 2008 blog post, get into the habit of turning off your computer when not in use and unplug completely or use a power switch to switch off all equipment at once when finished for the day.

To aid in reducing computer energy consumption Verdiem, a Seattle based company that has made energy saving software (Surveyor) for companies to manage their power consumption enterprise-wide has used this resourcefulness to bring comparable software to the consumer ~ Edison. This is free software that calculates and reduces energy usage. Edison is available at the present time only for Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems and can be downloaded via numerous sites including verdiuem.com, microsoft.com/environment and climatesaverscomputing.org. Kevin Klustner, Verdiem’s CEO, stated that overtime they will address the use of power management for Macs.

After downloading and registering the software you can customize the settings via the consumer-friendly interface to put your PC into energy-saving mode. Edison does not shut down the PC it merely places it into a suspended state which saves on energy consumption. You can customize Edison’s settings to define your work and nonworking hours. First set your schedule by clicking on the Schedule tab. For the traditional work week select Monday through Friday or if you work more on weekends, select Saturday and Sunday or evening hours. Then select the Work Time tab, and set your PC energy management controls setting by sliding the slide bar to save more or save less depending on your work time. The Work Power Settings allow you to turn off the display (monitor) and power down the hard drive prior to the actual suspension if you so desire. Once you have chosen your settings Edison will calculate what the effect will be on your PC right underneath by estimated savings in money, energy and the amount of CO2 not emitted into the environment. Here you can also localize the setting of the rate for electricity by inputting the rate you pay in your area as Edison’s default is the national average. Next, click on the Non-Work Time tab where you can save more since your usage will be limited. See Edison’s demo link below for a quick visual overview.

Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI), a nonprofit group of eco-conscious consumers, business and conservation organization, has set a goal of reducing carbon dioxide emission from computers by 54 billion tons, the equivalent output of 11 million cars annually, by 2010 according to Lorie Wigle, president of this group. This goal includes all computer usage (consumer, corporate including data centers), but as mentioned previously, the PC contributes quite hefty to this equation. Eco-conscious consumers can aid in this endeavor by including Edison as a tool to help reduce computer energy consumption. We will keep an eye on Edison to see how things are going and I am interested in your feedback if you have been using Edison or your PC power management system and if not, your thoughts are still welcome. For a list of CSCI’s members visit their Web site at http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org/about/member-directory/

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

Edison Demo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCEiD77x4B0&eurl=http://blog.enterpriseitplanet.com/green/blog/2008/08/verdiems-edison-free-energy-saving-software-for-windows-xp-vista.html&feature=player_embedded


References:
Lohr, Steven. (2008 August 6). An Energy Diet for Power-Hungry Household PCs.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/technology/06green.html?_r=2&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin

Wingfield, Brian. (2007 September 26). Green: The New Black.
http://:www.forbes.com/2007/09/26/computers-carbon-emissions-tech-cx_bw_0926dell.html


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