Saturday, April 25, 2009

Insert & Overwriting Type in Microsoft Word

Unless you're a perfect typist, chances are you often need to go back and correct your typing in Microsoft Word. One of the greatest advantages over using a word processing program like Word (compared to the old typewriter days) is having the ability to go back and insert words or correct spelling without messing up the rest of a sentence. But sometimes, the "insert" feature gets inadvertently turned off and "overwrite" is turned on.

The "insert" feature in Microsoft Word allows you to go back in a sentence or paragraph and insert more type or characters. By default, this feature is usually turned on. When it is on, you'll see the letters "OVR" grayed out at the bottom of your Word document (in the beige status bars).

The "overwrite" feature in Word does the exact opposite of "insert". When "overwrite" is enabled, you can still go back and edit text, however instead of inserting text, you'll now overwrite existing text (i.e., replace existing text with new text). When the "overwrite" feature is turned on (which means "insert" is turned off), the characters OVR in the status bar will be black.

Most folks like the "overwrite" feature to be turned off so that they can go back and insert text later. But sometimes, it gets turned on by accident and they don't realize it until they try and go back and edit text.

So the next time you're typing along and notice that you're overwriting text as opposed to inserting text, glance down at the status bar and check the characters OVR to see if it's grayed out or black. If it's grayed out, you know that the "insert" feature is turned on. And if it's black, then you know the "overwrite" feature is turned on.

You can easily turn these features on and off by hitting the "insert" key on your keyboard. Go ahead and test this. Open a word document and check the status OVR. Then hit the "insert" key on your keyboard and watch it change. Then hit the "insert" key again on your keyboard and watch it change again.

When you're through testing this feature, it's best to leave "overwrite" off (which means OVR will be grayed out).

That's all there is to turning this feature on and off.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How to get your Toolbars Back in Word

Ever lost your toolbars in Microsoft Word or Excel? It's happens sometimes by accident when "fat-finger" some keys on the keyboard.

Good news is that they're really easy to get back. "Standard" and "Formatting" are the two toolbars that most people like to have shown. To get them back, follow the steps below:
  1. Open Microsoft Word
  2. On the menu, select VIEW and then TOOLBARS
  3. Click on STANDARD to put a checkmark by it (this makes the toolbar visible)
  4. Repeat step 2 and select FORMATTING to put a checkmark by it
You should now have both toolbars back under the menu. If you don't like the position of the toolbars, you can rest your cursor over the far left edge of the toolbar (there's usualy a vertical line on the left edge) and then hold the left mouse button down and drag the toolbar where you want it.

Rather than follow the steps above, you can also disable and enable toolbars in Word by RIGHT clicking on the beige space under the menu (where the toolbars are, or are supposed to be).

Keep in mind that these steps tend to work in other programs too (like Excel, PowerPoint, and others). So if you ever lose your toolbars, give these steps a try.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

30,000 Scientist Suing Al Gore for Global Warming Fraud

One of the greatest advantages of computers and the internet today is that you have the opportunity to do your own research fairly easily these days. Of course, you have to be careful in what you read and hear on the internet - same as you would in school, newspapers and on the news.

When I first started college (30 years ago), I had a chemistry teacher that shared one of the most important lessons of my life with me. It was the first day of class and she held up a book that some other "scientist/doctor" had written and told us most of the information in it was false. It was "junk science". This person had written whatever they wanted in order to profit from it. This chemistry teacher then went on to caution us to "not believe anything we hear or read unless we had proper scientific facts to verify the claim". She told us that rule applied to her as well. This was one of the most important lessons I have ever learned and I've done my best to live by this rule.

Fraud is big business today and lots of folks are profiting on it. It should come as no surprise that even folks in Washington are profiting on fraudulent lies. In the old days, it was more difficult to buy off a scientist or doctor to help spread your lies. But no today. Many today are more concerned about money and their personal agendas than they are about the truth.

The point of this story is that many would like us to believe that global warming is real and is one of the most important threats facing our world. Talk to folks and it seems that the majority of Americans have bought this lie. Why? I suppose because it's easier to believe what you hear than to do the research yourself and verify the story. I think another reason may be that there are certain folks we've all been taught to trust and not question - like doctors, scientist, teachers, and pastors. We've somehow got it in our heads that these folks know everything and would only speak truth to us.

But that's not always the case. Mr internet, Al Gore, is one of the leading voices scaring folks about global warming. You may have seen his movie about drowning polar bears. Of course, the facts were fabricated by Hollywood. But nobody cared. You certainly didn't hear anything about it in the mainstream media.

Another story that isn't getting much coverage in the news is the fact that 30,000 scientist are currently suing Al Gore for fraud over his global warming claims.

I don't know about you, but this news surprised me - and I don't even believe in global warming. What surprised me is that we're not hearing about this on our nightly news. We're either hearing more global warming scare tactics or nothing at all. Can you imagine, 30,000 scientist?! That's a significant number!

You might wonder what this story has to do with computers. I get emails from folks everyday asking me if something they heard or read is true. There are so many scams today, that it's getting harder to discern the truth. So I do a lot of research on the internet every day in an effort to better educate myself so that I have answers for others.

These kind of hoaxes and scams really irritate me because they end up suckering so many into believing on the basis of "science." I earned a bachelor degree in chemistry and so I have a bit of knowledge in that area and how it all works.

One of my clients was telling me the other day that she visited family on "earth day" last week and they made her sit in the dark for an hour. Remember that day? Folks were asked to turn out their lights for an hour to conserve energy and reduce global warming.

Nobody wants to do their own research anymore. They've lost the ability to reason and look at the facts with common sense. They have a hard time seeing the profit in global warming and other scams. So I like to share stories and facts and figures when appropriate to help others.

By the way, did you know the earth is actually cooling right now? It is, and so Al Gore had to change his terminology from "global warming" to "climate change". If this hoax weren't costing Americans so much, it would be funny! When I was growing up I remember hearing we were headed for another ice age. Now the opposite is "true" according to "experts". We've gone from one extreme to the other in matter of 30-40 years. Clearly these "experts' are incompetent.

Here's some links to stories related to global warming the media isn't reporting.

There are several site out there which specialize in debunking bad science and news. Here are some of my favorite links:


Junk Science

CNS News

One News Now

There are countless more websites like those mentioned above that also have great information. I encourage you to take my former chemistry teacher's advice and do your own research. There are too many lies and false information on our TV's, in our newspapers, and in our schools today to assume you're getting the truth.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Improving Sound Quality on Laptops

A lot of folks these days are using laptops because they conserve space and are portable (making it easier to take a computer with you when you travel). But for those who enjoy listening to music and radio on their computers, laptops can be a problem. This is because most laptops have poor speakers.

However, the way to work around this problem is to use headphones. By doing this, you're bypassing the speakers and listening to audio from the internal sound card. The better the headphones, the better the sound you'll hear.

Granted, this means you'll be tied to the laptop (literally) by the length of the headphone cord. But if you're traveling or sitting, this is a good way to listen to audio files on your laptop. It also has the advantage of not disturbing others around you.

I always carry a set of headphones in my laptop case for travel purposes. That way I can listen music, talk radio or watch movies on my laptop without disturbing others.

So if you own a laptop, you might consider buying a set of headphones to go with it. You can usually pick up a descent set for under $30. Even Amazon.con sells them.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Can You Really Make Money Working from Home?

With today's unstable economy and job insecurities, folks are looking closer at ways to earn extra income. You've probably seen many of the "work from home" ads on TV and internet. Folks are claiming to make $5k plus every month by working at home. But are these ads true?

I believe some are. Why? Because I'm one of those people making money working from home. Not that much, albeit. But I do make money running an internet business. I've shared my story before, but I wanted to share it again here for others who may be contemplating jumping into one of these money making schemes.

But first, even though some of these programs are legit, you want to be careful before jumping into one of these because there are a lot of scams too. It took me a couple of years of trying different offers and products before I could figure out who could be trusted and who couldn't.

Okay, back to my story. As much as I love working on computers, I'm not sure I could see myself doing it when I'm 60. So I wanted to find a way to make money on the internet in hopes of one day having another source of income in the event I was no longer able to work on computers. So I jumped into affiliate marketing after learning about it. If you're not familiar with affiliate marketing, it's the process of making money for assisting in the sale of a product. Commissions are small, but the idea is the more you have, the more money you make. I love affiliate marketing, despite the problems associated with it!

However, one the things that these "work from home" schemes don't tell you is that they do take a lot of work. And to do it right, you need to create a niche website that offers a product (s) that others aren't offering in order to dominate that market and attract visitors to your site. This is why the "business in a box" schemes don't work. Too many people are competing against each other for internet traffic.

It took me a couple of years to find IMC, but when I did it was the best thing for me. IMC (short for, Internet Marketing Center) is a group of experts in Canada that teach folks how to make money on the internet. They're sort of like the "University of Internet Marketing". They sell a comprehensive training course (which is worth its weight in gold) that teaches you how to make money on the internet.

In the old days when I started out (4 years ago), you had to study the course on your own and proceed from there. If you wanted more help, you could go through their "Advanced Internet Marketing" program (which I did). That program gave you one on one mentorship with an IMC expert. It was a very expensive program, but invaluable in my experience.

With IMC's help, I created a website about trout fishing and started selling an eBook (which I wrote). I grew up fishing and had been actively teaching my nephews how to catch trout. And as luck would have it, there were very few sites on the internet about trout fishing (so I was able to rank high in search listings).

eBook is short for "electronic book". These books are digital so after buying them, you download them immediately to your computer and can either read them on the computer or print them out. I wrote my eBook using a special product called, eBook Pro which was developed by IMC. The cool thing about eBook Pro is that it allows me to imbed video into the eBook. So a person can be reading along in the eBook and click links to watch video embedded inside eBook. It's really cool technology!

Anyway, this site does produce significant income for me. I'm not making $5k/month. But the way I figure it, every little bit helps. I'm continually working on the site to increase its revenue. Thanks to Amazon's affiliate program, I now have a fishing store on the site. So now folks can buy other fishing resources, including T-shirts and other fishing related apparel.

Now IMC offers two others methods to speed up the learning curve. The first is an internet marketing forum, called the Internet Entrepreneur's Club. This forum gives you access to the IMC mentors as well as other internet marketers making money.

I'm a member of this forum and once again, find it an invaluable resource. This forum is perfect for all levels of expertise (beginner to advanced) because you get personal help from IMC experts for your specific questions and internet businesses. I do pay a monthly fee for access to this forum, but it's worth every penny to me. If this forum had been around when I signed for the advanced mentoring program, I would have signed up for it instead. It's that valuable!

IMC also has a relatively new product available now called, BeBiz. Although it may look like it, BeBiz is NOT a "business in a box". Instead, it is a set of tools available to help you set up a unique niche internet business with expert help.

In order to set up a niche internet business, you have to do some keyword research first - which costs additional money. You also have to purchase or subscribe to a few other tools that can help automate the business for you so it runs 24x7 for your web visitors. BeBiz incorporates these tools into their system so you don't have to go out and pay for them separately. These fees are all part of the monthly BeBiz fee.

I can tell you from personal experience, that IMC can be trusted. They truly are experts and well worth your investment of time and money. I wish I had started out with them as opposed to going in different directions on my own. But perhaps my failed experiences just makes me appreciate IMC more.

If you've ever been thinking about making money on the internet, IMC is the best place to start. I'd recommend ignoring all other internet marketing schemes and sticking with IMC (believe me, it will save you money in the long run). And if you're really inexperienced, I'd highly recommend getting IMC's course as well as consider BeBiz. I think BeBiz gives you 30 days of free access to the Internet Marketing forum, but then if you want to stay in it, you'll have to pay the regular monthly fee (like the rest of us do). But as I've said, these are investments worth your money and time.

However, if you're still not sure about it all, you might want to consider checking out the "Secrets to their Success" online magazine. Every month IMC shares two real-life stories of folks who have made it big doing internet marketing. These are the folks making $5k and more a month. I subscribe to this private web too.

I enjoy reading the stories of other's success each month and do pick up internet marketing tips from them. I also enjoy the web makers - where IMC experts a website that isn't making much money and redesign it to a better marketing site.

IMC offers several other products too (all of which I own), but the one mentioned above are perfect for those would like to get started making money on the internet. I won't lie to you and tell you these are "get rich quick schemes" - they aren't. Building an internet business takes time and work - a lot of it. But if you're serious and want to earn some extra money, IMC has the tools and knowledge to help you achieve those goals.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Messages Disappearing From Inbox

Window Mail (part of Vista) has a feature in it where you can hide messages inbox that you've already read. Why somebody would want to use this feature is still a mystery to me. If you can't see your messages, it's easy to forget about them, which in turn makes it difficult to clean out your inbox.

None the less, if this feature is on, you may notice that after you read a message in your inbox, it mysteriously disappears. If you want to see your messages again, you have to turn this feature off (or rather, configure it to show all your messages).

If you look in the top right corner of Windows Mail (on the blue toolbar), you'll see a button that reads, "SHOW ALL MESSAGES". Click it and a list with more options will drop down.

To see ALL messages in your inbox again, click "SHOW ALL MESSAGES" in the list (highlighted in light blue on the image).

All your messages should reappear. I'm not sure how this feature gets turned on by mistake - but would suspect some sort of fat-fingering of keys. But now you know how to turn it off.

By the way, if you're one of those folks who likes keyboard shortcuts in place of using the nouse, Microsoft has published a list. To view keyboard shortcuts for Windows Mail, click here.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

People Search and Background Checks

In today's world, it's not uncommon to want to do a background check on somebody. There's many different reasons why you might want to check somebody out.

You may be:
  • Considering hiring them (employee, nanny, caregiver, etc.)
  • Considering renting a room or house to them
  • Considering living with them (potential roommate)
  • Dating them
  • Suspicious about a neighbor or other person you have contact with
The list goes on. You might also just be looking for somebody you may have lost contact with - an old friend or relative.

In the old days, you'd spend hours digging through public records to find information on somebody or do a background check (or hire somebody to do it for you). Now, you can use an online database which keeps track of public records for you. These sites generally have a lot of information (most of which comes from public records) and charge a small fee to access it.

One of the bigger sites that I like is called Intelius. This site will let you search for people using a variety of variables (name, SSN, etc.). They'll also let you do instant background checks and criminal checks on people.

Be Informed.  Know the Facts.

These sites are a huge time saver when you're looking for information. However, many us don't like having our public records easily available for anybody who wants them. And sadly, it's not always easy to have yourself removed from these databases.

Intelius does allow you to have your own records removed if you like. You just have to fax them valid proof of your identity (like a drivers license). However, after removal, you may find yourself back in the database as new public records are added to it. So, you'll either have to continually ask to be removed or have your public records sealed.

Technology is one of those double edged swords. While extremely helpful and valuable, modern technology has also resulted in a near total loss of privacy. Thanks to the Obama administration, even your medical records aren't private anymore.

For more information about background checks, click here.