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September 2005 Efficiency Newsletter

Technology does not create productive people. We do.

As summer draws to a close, many new projects are beginning here at SET Consulting. In addition to our popular Word & Outlook training, we've been working with a government organization on developing a consistent and maintainable documentation process. This week we're also beginning to develop templates and technical documentation for an international organization's usage of Microsoft products. We hope you've all had a relaxing & successful summer!

Tip of the Month

Save your serial numbers & CDs!

Every time you enter a serial number, product key, or registration code for a product you've purchased, copy that number into an Excel spreadsheet. Software companies can be unforgiving when it comes to the loss of license data (many charge a fee). You never know when you'll need to reinstall an application (like when your hard drive goes or you buy a new PC).

Three other good ideas:

  1. When you download the installation files for purchased software, save it somewhere and back that up. The registration you've purchased may only work with the version that you downloaded (which could disappear from the web in a matter of weeks). New versions may require a new license and new purchase.

  2. Save your software CDs in a CD case, not in their original sleeves. This should go without saying--it's more space efficient, the CDs are less likely to be damaged, and it's easier to find.

  3. While it's a good idea to discard older CDs as they become outdated, it's also prudent to hold onto certain original discs for upgrades you've purchased. Software upgrade CDs (for applications like Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, and Intuit QuickBooks) will not work unless you have access to the older CD media (or have the applications installed).

When your hard drive fails, backups of your data will only be one thing to consider. Being able to install your software quickly will save you a great deal of money and frustration.

Tool of the Month

Microsoft Update

While XP's Windows Update downloads operating system updates in the background, Windows Update can now be replaced with a newer product called Microsoft Update. Microsoft Update will download updates for additional Microsoft products, such as Office 2003. One can benefit from the same convenience of Windows Update but also access more updates as they become available. What do you have to lose?

This is not a replacement for visiting update sites, but it will make many updates much easier.

To take advantage of Microsoft Update, navigate to windowsupdate.microsoft.com. In the right column, click on the link for "Upgrade to Microsoft Update..."

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