DavidOverton.com
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  • Why should a small business use Office 2007

    Once again I thought I would put pen to e-paper on the top reasons I give people to move to Office 2007. I don't think there are many businesses out there that use a PC and don't use some form of office productivity suite and while most use Microsoft Office XX (where XX could be 97, 2000, XP or 2003), some use other products that in my opinion just don't compare for a business that wants to look great and work efficiently. With Office offering a massive choice of products and features, these are the headlines I use when talking to people. For those with a version of Microsoft Office, but not 2007 More Professional and Impressive documents and materials Use Microsoft Publisher 2007 to build sales and marketing materials that look agency made, but are actually in-house work The updated Microsoft Word 2007 has many features to ensure your documents have a professional, consistent look and feel throughout the whole document conforming to your brand goals (no matter how big or small they might be). The...
  • How to use the new Security features in Vista and Internet Explorer to stop malware (spyware and viruses) from infecting your computer - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use these features in Windows Vista and understand how to be a little safer online: Phishing protection in Internet Explorer ActiveX blocking in Internet Explorer Windows Defender in Windows Vista To see the video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. I am hoping that in the near future that the WMV file will be available at new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com. At the moment it is not available there, but a copy can be found here * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking as I went. When presenting to...
  • How to find and use an Accounting template to use with Office Excel 2007 and then change it from US to UK currency, change the formatting of dates and drag lists (or Excel Tips and Tricks 1) - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use these features in Excel 2007 and apply them to all of the Office 2007 applications: Find a template and use it - I use an accounting template as it is based on Office 2003 and US based Change the currency cells from dollars to pounds using find and replace for formatting Change the date formatting from US to UK Dragging a list across a range of cells to give column a different month To see the Excel 2007 Video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. If you want to download it as a WMV file then head over to the new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com - It is on this page as an Excel Accounting sample: * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and...
  • Want TechNet Direct for free - that is all out software for trial and 2 support calls - simply submit two assessments to the Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit

    I have always like the Assess and win program along with the Technology Assessment Toolkit, although some say they have little to learn from it. It is one of those things where someone says "I need more stuff from Microsoft, but not anything to help me sell because I am great at that already." A partner who I respected told me that the format of the kit did not work for them, but they took the questions and used them as a checklist, added some of their own and now it works well. They also said that they don't run through the questions one after another, but have a conversation with their customer, and then fill in the blanks at the end. Anyway, the toolkit is a great way to understand more about your customer and their motivations and then plug some generic data into the engine inside Microsoft that tries to build solutions that match your customers needs. Technet Direct gives you DOWNLOAD access to almost all of Microsoft's software AND two free support calls - and you get this for FREE after...
  • How to copy files to a DVD / CD, Use the recycle bin, Use previous versions for files and Use the built in Vista backup tools - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use these tools: Use of the recycle bin Use of shadow copies to undo changes to a document Use of the DVD writing tools to copy and update files on a DVD Use of the built in Vista Backup tools To see the Backup Video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. If you want to download it as a WMV file then head over to the new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com - It should appear on this page soon. * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking as I went. When presenting to an audience it is easy to correct anything...
  • How to add a trade-in line item (i.e. give cash back to discount a deal) to BCM 2007

    Someone asked me how to do this and I discovered that you can't have a negative discount percentage, negative quantity or negative price. So this makes it impossible to do... well, no, but it is not quite as easy as we would like. To make it work you need to create a Product and Service csv file to import to make it work. Here are the step by step instructions on installing it and using it. Installing the trade-in items Go to the BCM menu and select the Product and Services menu item Press the import button at the bottom of the dialog to get the screen shown on the left Create a csv file on your desktop called tradein.csv (start / run "notepad %homepath%\tradein.csv") Copy and paste the text below into the text file and save Trade In (10000), Trade in, -10000 Trade In (1000), Trade in, -1000 Trade In (100), Trade in, -100 Trade In (10), Trade in, -10 Trade In (1), Trade in, -1 browse the csv file on your desktop and press import Job done Using the trade-in items in an opportunity Now we have these...
  • Best Practices for Exchange Server Public Folders

    I have been asked lots of questions about public folders recently and thought this little section here might come in handy. It is from the Best Practices for Exchange Server Public Folders site on Technet and is geared towards Exchange Server 2000/2003. I have snipped just the articles that I think are useful, so there are more on the page above including the ability to take the document offline. Which Solution Works for You? Before you deploy Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 2003 public folders, you should make sure that the functionality that is provided by public folders meets your business needs. It is a good idea to evaluate the features and functionality that are provided by public folders and to compare them to the data repository solution that is provided by Microsoft Windows® SharePoint® Products and Technologies. For detailed information about both options, see Selecting the Appropriate Public Folder Solution . How to Select the Appropriate Client After you have decided to use public folders,...
  • Small Biz Thoughts by Karl Palachuk - advice on when to think about a 2nd server with SBS

    Some people still think that SBS only works in a 1 server environment, which is clearly not the case. Karl suggests that perhaps nothing more than SBS should run on an SBS box. Here is a little extract of his thoughts, but click on the link for more information. He might have a point!! "You can host your own internet site: web and email! In addition, you've got all the benefits of Server 2003 and Exchange! Firewall protection. Microsoft's most powerful database. Plus Remote Web Workplace and Sharepoint. And every one of these has been completely revamped and replaced in the last three years. It really is the best $600 product in history." "Golly Gee, Mr. Balmer, That's Swell!" Many people don't sell SBS Premium because . . . to be honest . . . we're already asking that little box with 4GB Max RAM to do an awful lot. Here are a few notes from a conversation with someone on the SBS development team. I don't have permission to attribute his comments, but I don't think...
  • Quick Tip - how to run an application, but not let the writes go back to disk - try Sandboxie

    I have to admit I have not done any extensive testing, but this little tool seems like a good thing to have around! For more information, have a look at Sandboxie . About Sandboxie When you run a program on your computer, data flows from the hard disk to the program via read operations. The data is then processed and displayed, and finally flows back from the progam to the hard disk via write operations. For example, if you run the Freecell program to play a game, it starts by reading the previously recorded statistics, displaying and altering them as you play the game, and finally writing them back to disk for future reference. Sandboxie changes the rules such that write operations do not make it back to your hard disk. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Sandboxie , Tips , application testing
  • What can Microsoft do to help your business as a Microsoft Partner

    It is rare that I copy a MS web page directly, but the information in here is amazing and worth spreading the news on. I found the Microsoft Partner Drive Your Business web site and not only does it have the information below. It also has references like " Read How a Partner Maintains 100% Growth Year After Year ". If you have seen one or two of them, don't fret - look at all six options and tell me if even one of them was a nice surprise for you. Are you looking for ways to strengthen your business performance? Find out how partners in the Microsoft Partner Programme are outperforming 12 out of 14 industry benchmarks through market differentiation. Find Out the Partner Pathway to Business Performance Is your company as profitable as it could be? Take a comprehensive assessment that measures your business performance across key indicators, including profit margins and revenue growth. Get Your Customised Business Report Increase your market visibility, generate sales leads, and promote your business...
  • Windows XP and Windows Vista feature comparison for small businesses

    I saw this at http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/products/wowpc/CompareWindows.aspx and thought this would be a great sales tool. While Vista has many new and unique features people often want to discuss how it compares to previous versions - this is a good place to start to go down that list. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows XP , Windows Vista , Comparison , Small Business
  • Office XP, 2003, 2007 feature comparison for small businesses

    I saw this on the Small Business site in the US and thought it was an excellent tool as to what has changed between the versions of Office from XP through to Office 2007. Simply go to http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/products/wowpc/CompareOffice.aspx and click out the tabs to get the details. Ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office System , Office 2007 , Office 2003 , Office XP , Comparison , Small Business
  • Do you sell Microsoft product and went something to make it easier to understand our licensing and products? Something that will help you up-sell and cross-sell to your customers? If so, then the Gear Up book is for you

    In a recent mail it announced: The Microsoft Sales Toolkit is your source for driving sales. It is the licensing and sales 'product handbook' that will help you generate up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, giving you and your Partners information on the full portfolio of Microsoft products and services. You can find information on what the product is, how to sell it, relevant SKU numbers and FAQs. The toolkit is produced twice a year and is available as a hardcopy, to keep on your desk, or to download as a pdf, to take out with you to meet customers. Visit www.microsoft.com/uk/gearup for more details or to download the pdf version. Go get it, it might just answer one or two of those questions you have!! ttfn David Technorati tags: Gear Up , licensing , sales , Microsoft
  • Microsoft says PCs may need DRAM upgrade (to ECC RAM)

    I have looked at many system crashed and often ended up concluding that RAM is at fault (random causes of BSODs is a very good pointer to this). It now appears that single bit errors is being considered as a major system failing. obviously, when spec'ing a server or computer perhaps you should consider ECC RAM as a standard to improve reliability. For about four years Microsoft has been collecting data through its Online Crash Analysis (OCA) tool that reports system crashes to a Microsoft Web site. About 18 months ago it began sharing OCA data and the white paper with systems and chip makers. According to one source, the report said single-bit error rates in DRAM are now among the top ten causes of systems failures Source: EETimes.com - Microsoft says PCs may need DRAM upgrade Technorati Tags: BSODs , ECC RAM
  • Where to go for information on Office Live in the UK, see a demo, see how to develop against it and even use it as a SharePoint data repository and show the information on the public site

    Tim Kimber the UK Office live product manager sent me these links and they are pretty good: bCentral Office Live SB+ webcast (requires sign-in) - http://www.microsoft.com/uk/businesscentral/small-business-plus/sign-up.aspx?xid=sbplus_ol_bcban Flash demo : http://www.microsoft.com/winme/0703/29661/UK/DEV_Deploy/index.html Office Live Mix presentation : http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1556816&SiteID=1 Tips and Tricks for Using JavaScript on Your Office Live Public Site : http://blogs.msdn.com/doncampbell/archive/2007/04/20/tips-and-tricks-for-using-javascript-on-your-office-live-public-site.aspx Using the collect/display data module (connect to the SharePoint back end) in Office Live : http://channel9.msdn.com/Media/Firesign.html ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office Live , demo , develop
  • How to do mail merge letters and labels in Office 2007

    I got a mail on this today, so thought I had better drop a quick note. The Office 2007 web site has a great search system that got me an answer straight away that includes screen shots to make it real simple. (I searched on the site for mail merge and then picked Word 2007 from the product picker). Please note that you can also e-mail merge to result in a number of e-mails being sent (perhaps with a newsletter) and that if you use publisher then you can also do things like put in place web links that have a unique identifier so you can tell who clicked on them. The answers can be found at: http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/word/HA100819761033.aspx?pid=CH100626281033 for the letters http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/word/HA101091611033.aspx?pid=CH100626261033 for the labels ttfn David Technorati tags: mail merge , word 2007 , Office 2007
  • Installing Office 2003 and Office 2007 on the same system

    [updated 16:42 9th May 2007 with url for MS Support of this] [updated 9:45 22nd July 2007 with url to fix for install dialog coming up with word] I was recently asked in Office 2003 and Office 2007 can co-exist on the same system. The answer is yes, except for Outlook which as in previous versions get a little precious if this is attempted (it will not let you do this, btw). You can choose to have them both installed to the same drive or one to an external hard drive, it does not matter. The key option is when installing Office 2007 is to customise the options and select to NOT uninstall the previous versions. When you install both copies of Office to be installed on 1 machine that switching between Word 2003 and Word 2007 will result in an install dialog box coming up. See How to get rid of the installer / configuration dialog when running Office 2007 and Office 2003 on the same system - for Vista and other versions of Windows to fix this. For more support information, look at http://support.microsoft.com/default...
  • How to configure SBS / Exchange to forward or duplicate mails to an external e-mail address

    I have been using this for as long as the UK SBS GUY site has been around (it is how the admin mails get to me at Microsoft), but when I went looking for the "how to do this" blog item, I could not find it. After much searching of my blog I resorted to searching live.com and there was the article - not mine, but the one I used. http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/MF015.html It is very common for some of your users to express an interest in having their mail delivered to a mailbox that is external to your organization. For example, the user is going to be working away from the office and would like their mail to be delivered to their Hotmail account. Another request might be to have their mail delivered to a different person altogether So I can finally give them the credit they deserve. ttfn David Technorati tags: forwarding mail , exchange , sbs 2003
  • How to add Public Folder Contacts to the list of Address Books in Outlook so anyone can send e-mail to a shared contact

    I was recently asked by someone how to do this. Considering the fact that there are pre-defined public folders in SBS, including those for contacts I thought it was worth sharing this with a wider audience. Set this up for a customer using SBS and they can easily share contacts across the whole business. Add the contacts folder to the favourties list and they are also cached offline :-) I found the answer by experimentation, but then this article describes it well too. The magic tab in Office 2007 (and 2003) is pictured below from my system. How to add Public Folder Contacts to the list of Address Books First thing you need to make sure that the public folders has a contact list created. Also, double check the permissions so that your users can view the contact list. To setup the Contact List in the Address Book navigate to your public folder and find the contact list you want to add. Right-click on the Contacts Folder and click properties . Click on the Outlook Address Book tab. Check the box next to “Show...
  • What to do if you need the migration pack (transition pack) for SBS 2000

    First off I have some bad news for you - this pack no longer exists (although if you search the web hard enough you might find someone with a legitimate one to sell). However, this pack would have taken you to Windows 2000 - not exactly the best destination, so what are your options? Migrate to SBS 2003 and get the Transition Pack for SBS 2003 Ditch SBS and just buy Windows Server 2003 and migrate the information by hand If the number of users is still going to be below the 75 CAL limit and it was the 50 CAL limit of SBS 2000 that was the problem, then simply move to SBS. Some useful reading will come from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555040 and http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/d/c/6dccf9b4-d915-4c95-b5af-100b89e02add/SBS_MigratingSBS2k.doc ttfn David Technorati tags: SBS 2000 , Migration Pack , Transition Pack , Windows Server
  • View and Search the Windows Vista Registry from the Windows Shell (Explorer) through this Namespace Extensions

    I came across this due to someone pointing it out internally - talk about awesome. The Windows Registry Shell Namespace Extension allows Windows Explorer to view and interact with the Windows Registry data via Explorer windows. It demonstrates existing Shell extensibility points like IShellFolder2 and SHCreateShellFolderView and also demonstrates new concepts in Vista including the property system, property schema extensibility, and content indexing via Protocol Handlers. This project is implemented using C++ and ATL. This release includes all of the latest deltas and addresses the installation issues for systems without VS2005. This is a temporary fix until James finishes the WIX setup. Installation notes: - Download/open the zip file. - If you have VS2005 installed, just double-click RegNamespace.msi. - If you don't have VS2005, run Setup.exe. This will install the necessary VC Redistrubutable. Source: Windows Vista Registry Shell Namespace Extensions ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Search...
  • Vista enhancements and utilities (changing the screen savers, adding extra search functionality to the start menu, Objectdock, logon screen changer, Windows Blinds and WIM Image modifier)

    Changing the screen saver settings: http://tweakvista.com/Article39129.aspx (make ribbons fatter, increase the number of them and so on) Start++ - search tools from WDS in Vista: http://brandonlive.com/2007/02/22/new-tool-i-made-for-vista-start/ “clear” aero theme for Winblinds for Vista: http://www.skinbase.org/rate.php?skins=32542 Logon Screen changer (free from StarDock when released, part of Object Dock during beta): See http://www.stardock.com/newsitem.asp?id=942 and skins at http://www.wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?libid=65 DreamScenes, Dream Maker and Dynamic Dreams – some free, some charged for, for Ultimate Users: http://dream.wincustomize.com/ and http://www.stardock.com/products/deskscapes/ - these include triggers in the “dreams” vLite – image tweaking tool: http://www.vlite.net/about.html ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Dreamscene , Logon Screen Changer , Dynamic Dreams , vLite
  • Vista has Flip 3D for changing applications, well here are some more (3d cube based virtual desktop, Window Switcher, Rotation based flip 3d

    3d cube based virtual desktop: http://chsalmon.club.fr/index.php?en/Download Rotation based Flip 3D: http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=529816 Alternative to flip-3d (switcher): http://insentient.net/
  • iQubed Blog » You gotta love Linux - why, you can do this on Windows too

    I saw this over at Vijay's blog and remember these commands from my *nix days. I then thought, well I do these on Windows, so I had better share how to do it on Windows too. 1st - create DVDs and CDs from ISOs - get the MS utility from the Server 2003 Resource Kit - CDBurn.exe and DVDBurn.exe - from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9d467a69-57ff-4ae7-96ee-b18c4790cffd&DisplayLang=en 2nd - mount ISOs on XP & Vista - use the tool located at Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel for Windows XP - note on Vista as it loads a device driver you need to run from an elevated CMD prompt and then you will only be able to access the drive you create from tasks running as admin, such as the elevated cmd prompt. There are 3rd party tools that also do this, such as daemon tools too (and then the non-admin parts of Vista work too) You gotta love Linux March 20th, 2007 by vijay I was loving Linux today because I needed to download an ISO, the IBM ServeRAID 7K bootable CD. I used Linux to download the ISO...
  • Do you want to trial Exchange Server 2007, perhaps talk to the server? If so, look at the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Hosted Trial

    I saw this over at Henrik's blog and throught it might be of interest to the SBSC community. I like this. While I discovered that demoing something like this using a free VoIP service was a bad idea, using OK quality phones delivers an amazing experience. Obviously we will not see Exchange 2007 embedded in SBS until Cougar ships, it can still be provided as a hosted service, on a 2nd machine or for a partner internally using the Action Pack copy that should ship next month (fingers crossed). For more information, pop over to Henrik's blog on the subject, including the link to the trial. Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Hosted Trial Like it was the case right after Exchange 2003 RTM, you can also sign up for an Exchange 2007 tempoary account… “Welcome to the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Hosted Trial web site. You can create a temporary account to experience the features of Exchange Server 2007 which will stay active for 5 days. Your account will be pre-populated with sample messages, calendar appointments and a...

(c)David Overton 2006-21