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ISO Nexus

By JodyGilbert ·
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Dumb is in the eye of the beholder

by Imalguy In reply to Dumb is in the eye of the ...

<p>I work for an Oil company and we have a folder called Helpdesk Tips and Tricks on each PC we deploy.We have the general topics like "How to change your password", "Creatng PST files"etc. It maybe helps 15 % of the people we assist. The remainer do not even know there is such a folder or if we mention it they will not read the documents in the folder. Most want their hand held or do it for them.</p>

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Dumb is in the eye of the beholder

by Retired77777 In reply to Dumb is in the eye of the ...

Insert comment text here A little more user friendly installing instructions would help especially for older people. older me

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Talk me down: It's only a misplaced apostrophe!

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>One bonehead grammatical error too many (I think it was
"you're" for "your") sent me over the edge, and I was compelled
to publish <a href="5100-10881-6075621.html" target="_blank">"10
grammar mistakes that make you look stupid."</a> </p>


<p>And now I've become addicted to its <a href="5208-11181-0.html?forumID=6&threadID=195143&start=0" target="_blank">discussion
thread</a>, which has taken off in about 50 directions.</p>


<p>There's something for everyone there. A forum for expressing
your own peeves or ranting against someone else's. Lessons in linguistics and
cultural history. A little badinage between proponents of the Queen's (or
King's) English and that lazy Americanized version. The overzealous, the
anti-zealous, the l33t busters, the "let's break all the rules" camp,
the "language is going to ****" doomsayers. </p>


<p>A couple of times, I've been forced to drag down a dusty
copy of <em>Chicago Style Manual</em> or <em>Words into Type</em> to check on something I
sort of remembered as a rule that various publishers insisted I adhere to. To
which they insisted I adhere. Mostly, I've been vindicated. Although, as one
member pointed out to me, "grammar" is a noun not an adjective, so
the title of my article is incorrect (and yeah, makes me look stupid!).</p>


<p>Anyway, I stand by the list of 10 things as mainstream
mistakes that are commonly regarded as red flags signaling careless or ignorant
usage. But of course, it doesn't stop there.</p>


<p>I also understand that our language is evolving, there are a
million regional/cultural differences, there are plenty of good reasons to
break the rules, and many editorial conventions are based merely on someone's
preference or whim somewhere up the line.</p>


<p>I'm a big advocate of what I think of as "business
casual" writing. Solid writing, but relaxed enough to let the
writer's voice come through. I don't run my contributors' articles through some
grammatical grinder so that it's neatly packaged according to stringent rules
but homogenized and devoid of flavor. (No really? I don't!)</p>


<p>It comes down to two things for me, whether I'm writing or
editing: Is the information expressed clearly, concisely, and logically? And is
it free of glaring mistakes that could confuse or distract the reader?</p>


<p>Anything beyond that is a bonus: a clever lead; a subtle,
ingenious subtext; a compelling story; humor (done well); the
refreshing absence of worn-out pop culture references, cliches, and statements
of the obvious.</p>


<p>I think good writing is better than correct writing. But the editor
in me wants both.</p>

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Reuben the Podcast Dog

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>Last week, I called into our TechRepublic recording studio
to participate in a roundtable discussion on <a href="http://downloads.techrepublic.com.com/download.aspx?docid=178298">first
impressions of Office 2007 Beta 2</a>. I've just barely dipped a toe in this
beta, but I can tell it's going to be fun to splash around. I don't know about
actually USING it, however; I'm already feeling a little cantankerous at the
prospect of the software trying to spoon-feed me prefab document elements and deciding
what options I need while limiting my power to push things around.</p>


<p>For those who haven't sampled the beta for themselves, we've
put together a ton of photo gallery images that show, among other things,
Office 2007's option-packed "ribbon," which is supposed to rescue users
from the confounding dilemma of deciding which menu to haul open in search of a
way to achieve a task. I continue to be struck by the irony that Microsoft has
decided to combat the problem of feature overkill by ADDING MORE FEATURES. Of course,
the design changes are supposed to turn feature-bloat into feature-rich. Anyone
buying that?</p>


<p>Beta 2 photo galleries:</p>


<ul>
<li><strong><a href="2300-10877-6076938.html">Office 2007</a></strong></li>
<li><strong><a href="2300-10877-6076763.html">Word 2007</a></strong>


</li>
<li><strong><a href="2300-10877-6076415.html">Excel 2007</a></strong>


</li>
<li><strong><a href="2300-10877-6076836.html">PowerPoint 2007</a></strong></li>
<li><strong><a href="2300-10877-6076317.html">Access 2007</a></strong>


</li>
<li><strong><a href="2300-10877-6076361.html">Outlook 2007</a></strong></li>
</ul>
Along with the gallery images, you might want to check out
the podcast to hear a few opinions on what the drastic UI changes may mean for
users, what the pricing/licensing structure may mean for organizations, and how
the new version is likely to be received.


<p>If you listen carefully, you'll also hear my dog Reuben
offering his thoughts (squirrel, truck, kibble).</p>

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Should you try to rehabilitate your boss?

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>I've had a ton of managers over the past 20 years in the
tech publishing biz. Like, lemme see:  22
of 'em, give or take. It's just that kind of industry, restless and volatile
and lousy with reorgs. I was even a manager myself for a brief, soul-sucking,
wholly unrewarding year or so. Definitely not the color of my parachute. Color
of my noose, maybe.</p>


<p>Given those kind of numbers, it's not surprising that I've
also had one or two fabulous and inspiring managers and one or two astoundingly
deficient ones (who have mercifully drifted away to ply their ineffectiveness
elsewhere). So I was keen on publishing Becky Roberts' "<a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-10881-6089488.html"target=_blank>10 ways to train
your boss to give you the support you need</a>," a kind of proactive
antidote to the career-crippling fallout generated by bad managers.</p>


<p>Even if you have the best boss in the world, there's some
work to be done--on both sides of the equation--to make sure your manager can
help you do your job. And when managers are just not that sharp? or savvy? or
committed (or okay, if they're incompetent, driven mad by insecurity, disingenuous,
spiteful, officious, and? STOP me), it becomes tremendously important to take
steps to steer them in the right direction. Even if the only thing you can do
is try to stay on their radar. </p>


<p>In bad situations, I've maintained a tradition of suffering
in silence (except for copious bitching to peers), always assuming I was stuck
with whatever supervisory hand I'd been dealt. And that's a pretty reasonable approach
for, say, a five-year-old. But for anyone aspiring to be a mature, responsible,
professional employee--a cog, maybe, but a damn fine cog--certain challenges
need to be squarely met. And I'd say looking for ways to help your boss be a
better boss falls into that category.</p>

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Should you try to rehabilitate your boss?

by vaspersthegrate In reply to Should you try to rehabil ...

For an even more comprehensive view of bosses and how to deal with them, refer to the funny, smart, well-written book How To Work For a Jerk: Your Success is the Best Revenge by Robert M. Hochheiser (Vintage, 1987).

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Word user since nineteen hundred and twenty-seven

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>I had a good time putting together "<a href="5100-10877-6092163.html" target="_blank">10 obscure Word
tricks that can expedite common chores</a>" (and <a href="http://downloads.techrepublic.com.com/abstract.aspx?docid=238783" target="_blank">its PDF
cousin</a>), mostly because I was anticipating some ego-boosting feedback. (Yeah,
I'm all about the external validation. It's pretty sad, really.) </p>


<p>There's nothing exotic or wildly innovative about the
tricks--just plain old underused or poorly documented features. But it's the
kind of thing that gets people to say, "I've been using Word for 79 years
and thought I knew it inside and out? but I never realized you could make a
vertical text selection!"</p>


<p>It's also the kind of thing where you get people to say,
"Good tips, but you went overboard with that last one. Just create a
desktop shortcut for the template." As member Antonio Rodulfo pointed out:</p>


<p>Trick #10 is a little trickier than needed. For Word to
create a new document based on a template already existing either in your
system or on a local area network server repository, you only need Windows
Explorer to navigate to that template folder, wherever it may be, press [Alt] and
click-and-drag the template file to your desktop. Windows will show the little
arrow marking a direct access icon both along the process and upon leaving the
file icon in your desktop... and you're there!</p>


<p>It's an old story: I couldn't see the shortcut for the startup
switches.</p>


<p>Thanks, Antonio. I've been using Word for 79 years, but I
forgot about that straightforward and highly practical solution.</p>


<p>If you have a favorite Word trick of your own, please share
it in <a href="http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=5&threadID=1975**&messageID=2058947" target="_blank">the
discussion thread</a>.</p>

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How do you do? How do I???

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>One of the tenets of online content production suggests that
the way you <em>present </em>information is as important as the
quality of the information itself. This applies to how it looks (legible fonts,
nice use of white space, nothing overshadowed by ads or graphics) as well as
how it's packaged--its form factor, as we like to say (over and over) these
days.</p>


<p>So naturally, the TechRepublic editors are always looking
for the best ways to present particular types of information: glossaries, cheat
sheets, tutorials, "10 things you should know about?" lists. And
we've recently started publishing a new type of content, which, in a fit of
unparalleled creative brilliance, we dubbed "How do I??"</p>


<p>You may have seen a few of these already:</p>


<ul>
<li><a href="http://downloads.techrepublic.com.com/download.aspx?&docid=243866">How
do I... Add Macs To A Windows Workgroup?</a></li>
<li><a href="http://downloads.techrepublic.com.com/download.aspx?docid=256997">How do
I... Configure multiple hardware profiles for a laptop?</a> </li>
<li><a href="http://downloads.techrepublic.com.com/abstract.aspx?&docid=253563">How
do I... Manage Microsoft's Windows Small Business Server 2003 e-mail accounts?</a></li>
<li><a href="http://downloads.techrepublic.com.com/download.aspx?&docid=241257">How
do I... Set the default folder for saving Outlook 2003 messages and
attachments?</a></li>
<li><a href="http://downloads.techrepublic.com.com/abstract.aspx?docid=241760">How do
I... Add storage to a PC or workgroup network?</a></li>
</ul>


<p> <br />
(You can view the entire growing collection by <a href="../5264-1-0.html?query=how%20do%20i">clicking
this tag search link</a>.)</p>


<p>The formula is pretty simple: Take a problem or a procedure
and work through it step by step until you reach a solution or produce the
desired results. The tricky thing here is scope. </p>


<p>Just how granular should the focus be in order to be truly
useful? I'm thinking, for example, that something like "How do I? Create a
Web page?" or "How do I? Use Microsoft Visio?" or "How do I?
Make lots of money and have fun working in IT?" might be a little
sweeping. On the other hand, I'm wary of getting too particularized. So, for
instance, I'd steer clear of:</p>


<ul>
<li>How do I? Adjust the brightness on my monitor when I'm using
two Philips 100-watt Longlife incandescent light bulbs in a room with a
south-facing Andersen Tilt-Wash Double-Hung window and partially closed
Venetian blinds (color: Mocha Frost) on a day that's 83 percent overcast with nimbostratus
clouds whose bases lie at 7,100 feet?</li>
<li> How do I? Extricate Gerber Tender Harvest Non-Bioengineered Pureed
Corn 'n Peas from my MATSHITA UJDA755yDVD/CDRW DVD/CD-ROM drive, from my
Microsoft Natural PS/2 keyboard, and from the internal components that got a
little soggy, including the Texas Instruments PCI-4520 Cardbus Controller and
the Intel(R) 82801DMB Ultra ATA Storage Controller -24CA?</li>
<li> How do I? teach Microsoft Word to know what text I want to
enter when I type the beginning of the AutoText entry "thisthatthesethosethem,"
which sometimes should autocomplete the word "this" and sometimes
"that" and sometimes "these" and sometimes
"those" and sometimes "them"?</li>
</ul>


<p> Nope, you probably won't be seeing that stuff in the content
lineup anytime soon.</p>


<p>Achieving the right balance between macro and micro is
sometimes tough, but I'm confident that we can do it. We could use a little
help, though. What "How do I??" topics would you like to see us
cover? How narrowly focused do you think they should be?</p>

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How do you do? How do I???

by Kiltie In reply to How do you do? How do I?? ...

<p>A suggestion:</p>
<p>One very useful "How Do I....." article would be about how to use TR.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>How do I find all the TR sections (17+?) atm there seem to be only several links listed. It may be there, but obscured by TMI, if so, should it be made more prominent?</p>
<p>How do I submit suggestions for a future article?</p>
<p>How do I submit an article myself? Is there a protocol, set of standards, template, is it subject to permissions, editorial review, peer review etc? I once found a link, but got a PNF error, now I can't find any links at all.</p>
<p>How do I get a response from TR? (for example, I submitted a query re profile, got an automated reply saying I should get a response in 24 hours, 10 days later, still nothing)</p>
<p>Where is the section for suggestions for improving TR? I have seen references to one, but (again) cannot find the link easily.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Hope this helps</p>

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