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May 2004 Efficiency Newsletter

Technology does not create productive people. We do.

Another busy month, but fortunately we’ve found a little time to step away from client work and further our service-offerings. Our template development has been going quite well, and we’re now really seeing what’s proven most effective from the templates that have been in place for 4-5 months. We’ve also continued to build our pool of resources, and are thrilled to be working with a few Microsoft MVPs on some of our upcoming training programs in OneNote and Excel. Those projects will make for a busy June, but we’re excited at how lucky we’ve been with getting great clients who really see the value in improving their employees’ productivity. Next week it will be two years of business for SET: thank you, friends and clients. More on that next month…

Tip of the Month

Have more power over files by viewing their extensions

Though it’s been so long that some have forgotten that file extensions even exist, they’re still there and still can make life easier. By file extension I’m referring to the last (usually) three characters following a period in a file’s name, such as the “doc” in “MyWordDocument.doc” or “mp3” in “MyFavoriteSong.mp3”. While an icon may seem enough to differentiate files, it’s inevitable that we sometimes lose our file extensions and then can no longer find an important file…or don’t realize why a file won’t work anymore. However, if the whole concept of “file type” scares you then this trick isn’t for you.

To save yourself the trouble of questioning a file extension, here’s how to get Windows to always display file extensions:

  1. Within Windows Explorer, go to “Tools”->”Folder Options…”

  2. Click on the “View” tab.

  3. Be sure that “Hide extensions for known file types” is unchecked.

  4. Press the “OK” button.

Tool of the Month

Boingo Wireless’s Wi-Fi Connection Software

Wireless networking has long since taken off. I’m lucky enough to be able to work at my office, a local café, or the inner harbor and have a reliable high speed internet connection. Instead of being especially difficult to find a wireless hotspot, the reverse is true: sometimes there are too many hotspots. What is the problem with too many hotspots, you ask? The software built into Windows XP for wireless networking often doesn’t know which network to use, and has a tendency to switch between many hotspots—which can cripple or completely remove one’s access to the internet.

Fortunately, Boingo’s wireless software is a free solution to this. It prompts the user to select a single network and then sticks with it. While there are certainly many products available to manage wireless profiles, for those who just use Windows network settings, Boingo is a simple and free solution to a growing problem. Please note that you do not need to subscribe to Boingo’s network in order to use their software. Download it for free at http://www.boingo.com/download.html

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