A quick, cheap, versatile Windows file backup: Windows Briefcase

When I used Windows XP daily, I also carried around a USB memory stick with a complete backup of all my important documents. Yes, this was several GB in size, but maintaining this backup was pretty easy. You see, I used a not-very-well-known Windows utility called Briefcase

Read more

Back up your important information

I used to carry a zip-up binder containing my calendar, contact list, task lists and so forth. While I liked the feel of paper, I didn’t like the weight and size of it, so I eventually switched to the Palm personal digital assistant – the one that

Read more

Finding "containing" folders on a Mac

Mac folder drop list, from document title bar

Those of us who grew up in less digital times brought some of our analog habits to computers. One of my habits: keeping all files in folders (and subfolders!). Getting to folders can be easy enough on any computer, but the Mac may have made this mundane

Read more

Templates: an easy way to create a complex document

A friend recently asked me if I knew a better way to create timesheets. She was using Word tables and doing the math on her own. I promptly opened Excel and found the template she wanted from the Workbook Gallery. (You can find it, and others like

Read more

Five not-so-cool things about Microsoft Office:Mac 2011

screwy Word 2011 header

It’s miles ahead of its predecessor in some ways, but Office:Mac 2011 still falls short in certain areas. Some of my gripes are carryovers from Office:Mac 2008, others are brand new. I’ve listed five here. Changed keyboard shortcuts I used to use Cmd-G to go to specific

Read more

A minimalist’s five favorite things about Microsoft Office:Mac 2011

For the past week and a half, I’ve been playing with a pre-release version of the latest Microsoft Office:Mac courtesy of Microsoft Canada and Microsoft Office:Mac evangelist Kurt Schmucker, who flew in from Seattle to brief journalists. And for those of us who insist less is more,

Read more

Opening .docx, .xlsx or .pptx files

If you don’t own Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (or the Mac equivalents, 2008 or 2011), you might have difficulty opening files created by these newer versions. Modern MS Office components (like Word and Excel) tack an “x” to the end of each three-letter extension now, signifying

Read more

The difference one "s" can make

On the web,  you can tack an “s” onto the “http” at the beginning of many web addresses to make your browsing more secure. It’s a simple idea and a great habit to pick up. The s in the Web address indicates that you’re using a secure

Read more

Free software – why and how

Computers today are so cheap, it’s easy to spend more on the software you use than the hardware that runs it. That galls many people who buy inexpensive computers. Yet too few of these people know about the alternatives: software that’s both free to install and, in

Read more

Kenneth R. Wilson award, take 2

2010 Kenneth R Wilson Award Best in Canadian Business Publishing

No, I didn’t win another one. I simply received the image this week and decided to plaster it anywhere I can think of doing so, and that includes the blog.

Read more