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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Email Etiquette

Yes, even on the Internet, there is etiquette. Experts agree that your e-mail behavior has the potential to sabotage your reputation both personally and professionally. So let's look at the etiquette of email.
  • Avoid Caps Lock in the email and in the subject line.
  • Use punctuation and edit your email for grammar
  • Don't use Return Receipt (RR) on every single email. Doing so is viewed as intrusive, annoying and can be declined by the other side anyway.
  • Use a subject line that reflects what you are saying in the email.
  • Keep your emails brief and to the point. Long emails are often put it aside until they have more time, which may not be too soon.
  • In the same regard, read the entire email and response appropriately, answering all questions even if you don't know the answer.
  • Respond promptly, 24 to 48 hours at the most.
  • Like a letter, it is good form to add a opening and closing salutation.
  • The recipient can change the size of the font if they have trouble reading your message, so keep the text size normal. 
  • Only discuss public matters via email, if it needs to be private, email is not the secure means of transmitting that information. 
  •  Don't use email for sending bad news, reprimands or saying unkind things about your boss. Remember, emails can last forever!
  • Don't send one-line emails of thanks. 
  • If it is a business letter, never use jargon, slang, emoticons or word shortcuts such as "BTW".  Very unprofessional.
  • Do not forward chain letters
  • If it sounds too good to be true don't forward it.
  • If it sounds fishy, don't forward it.
  • If it is a email petition, it has no value, don't forward it. 
  • If it is worth forwarding, clean up the text, remove other people's email addresses and remove all the excessive carrots (>>>). 
This is just a brief look at email etiquette, but you get the idea. Until next time. ☺

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Search and Rescue V

In previous search tips, we have shown how to search a specific website with Google.

This Google search tip is really simple and effective. Looking for a similar website or something related?  Just type "related:" (see the image below). Don't put a space between the colon and the address. This will be extremely handy for looking for similar content.



Are you looking for a quiz answer? Fill in the blank!  Although most punctuation is ignored in Google, this is an exception to that rule. Add an asterisk (*) in place of the part of the sentence or question you want finished. For example, "Leif Erikson discovered *" and your answer will be popping up shortly! 

Search engines are incredible tools that open the world, just like a library did so many years ago.  Learn to use that tool and grab hold of the adventures and knowledge you can discover!


Keeping Kids Safe

Like the author of this article, I too used Edmark Kiddesk software to protect my computer from the kids. Unfortunately, it is no longer available.  Now, another option is available, time to try Peanut Butter PC. Now, it isn't perfect. A savvy computer geek might be able to figure another way around it if you aren't careful) but for young kids, this would be great. You can try Peanut Butter PC for a 15 day trial.  Just a reminder....it cannot be considered a replacement to parental supervision.  So click on the link below to pop on over and read the details at techrepublic.com.

Peanut Butter PC: Trying to keep kids safe

Another option (not reviewed) is Kid Desktop... download a free trial. ☺

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Touch Screen Gadgets

It is hard to take a picture of finger smudges!
Hours (and 60+ levels) of "Jewels Star" has left my (Kindle) tablet looking less than stellar. I am sure this issue is also for anyone that owns a smart phone or other items with a touch sensitive screen. Wiping it with a soft dry cloth just isn't doing much good but how to clean it? Well, the manual says... (Maintaining Your Kindle)

"Clean the screen with a soft cloth; be careful not to wipe it with anything abrasive."

That might work for regular finger prints, but how about that taco sauce?  Ugh!


Keep two things handy for this simple project..
  • microfiber cloth
  • sprayer containing distilled water or an alcohol free lens cleaner solution
Wipe with the microfiber cloth. Most of the time this will do the trick and solve your problem. If you feel you must wipe it down with a liquid, very lightly SPRAY THE CLOTH, not the surface and a  wipe down the screen.  There are many cleaning solutions quite willing to take your money but I wouldn't go that far unless you had eye glasses, then it could become a multi-use product. ☺

Monday, August 6, 2012

Protecting your Tablets and Smart Phones

When you think about your smart phone, tablet or Kindle Fire, do you think about virus and malware protection? Well, you should! A recent article about the high amount of malware showing up during the heavy usage at the Olympics shows an increase in viruses and malware. It is inevitable (just like those Macs) so it is time to protect your technology.

There are a number of antivirus programs out there. Webroot has protection for both Android and iOS both available through your app store. There is a wide range of programs out there and many of them are free. So check them out, download them and get them installed.. Protect your identity, technology and personal information. ☺