[Samba] OW #10.09 - Google Desktop and Live Meeting

OFFICE Watch wow-robot at woodyswatch.com
Wed Mar 9 21:51:48 GMT 2005

                 --==>> OFFICE WATCH <<==--
    The Microsoft Office newsletter from Woody's Watch.
Your independent source for MS Office advice and news since 1996
                  9 March 2005	Vol 10 No 9
New! "The Desktop Search Handbook" - http://shop.woodyswatch.com/dsh/

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1. Google Desktop
2. Office Live Meeting
3. Pegasus with Onenote
4. DOJ moves to Corel
5. Office for Mac update
6. Apple shooting themselves
7. Rod's BUS in Sydney
8. Keep OW Alive and Free

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MAPILab Toolbox: the set of 10 "must have"
Microsoft Outlook add-ins for $24 only. Free trial.

The excellent Google Desktop Search (GDS) is now out of beta and is a full grown product.  With this first official release comes a set of welcome new features and an established path for the development of extras.

GDS now supports PDF files and does NOT index password protected Word documents (which it did during the beta).  More email programs are supported as well as a wider range of browsers.

There is an automatic update process for GDS but it may not have kicked in for your computer.  You can tell the version that you are using by clicking on the About menu item from the system tray; look at the bottom of the page and you'll see a series of numbers.  20050227 indicates that it's the latest release.

If you have another number then you can wait until the update process happens automatically, or you can download the update yourself.  Go to http://desktop.google.com/ and download the new version.  After installation you'll probably be prompted to restart your computer, so this is probably a good time to run Windows Update and see if there's anything major needing attention there.

This update to Google Desktop Search is one reason why our Desktop Search Handbook (DSH) is an evolving ebook - instead of just one unchanging edition all buyers will get updated copies for no additional charge throughout 2005.  Naturally we'll release a new version of the already popular DSH, with a revised look at Google Desktop Search in all its wonders.

Details on the DSH below - we've been gratified by the response from Woody's Watch readers to this initiative.  We've worked hard, and will continue our efforts, to provide a comprehensive guide to Desktop Searching for a very good price.  Sales of the Desktop Search Handbook directly help keep all the Woody's Watch newsletters as free and fearless services to all.

                The Desktop Search Handbook
                   an Office Watch guide

This is the Woody's Watch teams first ebook - over 65 pages of in-depth and original info and how to's on the major desktop search products.  Searchable text and color images throughout - naturally.

* All new and expanded content

* NO advertising - 65 pages plus appendices.

* In depth reviews and how to for the major Desktop Search products
    o Copernic Desktop
    o Google Desktop Search
    o Lookout for Outlook
    o MSN Toolbar Suite
    o Yahoo Desktop  (a version of X1)

* Simple guide to making desktop searching work even better for you.
    o Effective indexing
    o Simple searching and beyond.
    o Tips on how to effectively index audio, video, OneNote, web caches and PDF's.
    o Search Command Reference

Not only do you get the ebook but you also get FREE updates / new editions as they are released during 2005.  We'll update the book throughout the year.

Value for only US$14.95 but great value for Woody's Watch subscribers who pay just US$9.95 - our gift to those of you who have supported us over the years.  We have options to pay in Canadian dollars, Sterling, Euro, Yen and Aussie dollars too.

Check it out at http://shop.woodyswatch.com/dsh/  not only do we think you'll get a lot from the book and free updates -- but buying The Desktop Search Handbook is a practical way to support Woody's Watch as a free and independent newsletters.  NEW - quicker delivery; we now send the link to your personal copy of the e-book fast -  usually within minutes of your paid order.

NEW! There's now a special diskette edition available via Amazon USA - so you can add a copy of the Desktop Search Handbook to your regular Amazon shopping cart. http://shop.woodyswatch.com/dsh/AmazonUS.asp

There's now a new version of Microsoft's hosted collaboration tool called Live Meeting.  This isn't software that you buy, rather it's a service that is hosted by Microsoft that lets you run virtual meetings across the Internet.

The meetings can be structured presentations or a more informal gathering from across the country or even across the world.

At its core all you need is a net-connected computer with a browser and then you can use Live Meeting.  Naturally there's additional features that only work or work best when you're connected to Microsoft Office.  Most likely Office 2003.

An example of that linkage is the "Live Meeting 4.x/2003 Add-In for Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Windows Messenger" which will let you schedule and check availability for a live meeting session.

Live Meeting is a product that was bought by Microsoft, and the web link for much of the product still betrays that heritage.  http://main.placeware.com/

The 2005 release is a sensible progression with lots of new features, that make the whole virtual meeting process more accessible with less of a technical hurdle.  Most notable is the new 'Meeting Lobby', a waiting room of sorts for people to be held in while waiting for access to the meeting.

There's a Powerpoint viewer, document viewer and application sharing.  With the latter, different participants can control a demonstrated application.  There's better interactive tools like a 'mood indicator' and real-time polls.  I sometimes think that the equivalent of the train driver's deadman handle would be a good idea - make participants hit a button every minute or so to make sure they are still there and awake!

VOIP support from various companies is supplied with a 'broadcast' option to stream audio one-way directly to listeners.  At last, meetings can be recorded easily for later replay - very handy for businesses across many time zones.

There's hooks into Office 2003 programs to make it easier to start a quick meeting as the need arises.

Live Meeting 2005 is a web based service but for very large companies there's the option to buy the software and host it on their own servers.

Pricing details for the web service are deep down on the MS web site at https://main.placeware.com/ordering/buy_it/buy_it.cfm?promocode=2744

The SQL Tester is an interactive Query Tool (add-in) for retrieving data and displaying it on the screen in an ad hoc basis from almost all kinds of databases. The output can be placed in worksheets and can generate code to workbooks VBA-projects - http://www.xldennis.com/SQLTester.htm

The makers of 'digital pen' devices, Pegasus, are happy with the integration of their products with Microsoft OneNote.

Their mobile device is especially interesting.  It's a small box with a combination ink/digital pen.  You write or draw on normal paper with the device at the top of the page.  As you write the device records your writing with a small display to confirm that it's working.

When you connect the unit to your computer the handwriting / drawings can be copied to your main computer, and that can now include appearing automatically in OneNote.  Though it's not stated, we're assuming that OneNote will do its nifty background OCR trick to make the written notes searchable. The process is one-way from the device to OneNote, which makes sense since there's no ability to edit on the Mobile NoteTaker.

Savvy readers will notice that this is similar to the Pocket PC notes integration with OneNote SP1, except that with Mobile NoteTaker you have a larger writing space and get an ink on paper copy as well.

Still, Mobile NoteTaker and its desktop version PC Notes Taker are a welcome move and for many a better option than the still developing Tablet PC.

Details at www.pegatech.com

Here's a list of Outlook add-ins that can save time and improve your
  * Attachment Save - automatically saves attachments to a Windows folder
  * Contact Duplicates Eliminator - easily remove duplicate contacts
  * Add Email Address - automatically add people you reply to as contacts
  * Plus 27 other Outlook add-ins

Much crowing about Corel's sale to the US Department of Justice of a 50,000 user licence for Word-Perfect.   http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=Corel3/Section/Display&sid=1047022946165&cid=1047024657698&gid=1047022985433 though we're not sure how much of a big deal this really is.

WordPerfect has long had a place for the legal community with their exacting standards of formatting for documents and the glacial move to electronic filing and exchange of information.  So the DOJ is sticking with what they know and in all probability this sale is more like an upgrade of some existing sites to the latest version, rather than any massive new deployment.

We'd love to see more vibrant competition in the office suite sphere, but it's a sign of how lopsided the market is when a 50,000 license sale is worthy of a press release from Corel.  Microsoft probably sell that something like that many copies of Office each day and consider it to be pretty normal.

There's a small update for Office 2004 for Macintosh users that's now available, taking it to version 11.1.1

There's no new features in it, just the usual grab bag of fixes and improvements.  We can't find the usual KB article to describe the updates but some determined digging uncovered this link.  http://www.microsoft.com/mac/autoupdate/description/AUOffice20041111EN.htm

The Office for Mac automatic update works much more reliably than any Office equivalent in the Windows world.  You can simply wait until the Microsoft AutoUpdate kicks in and downloads the update for you.  Or you can open any Office 2004 application, choose Help | Check for Updates and the update service will run immediately.  After downloading the update it will install seamlessly, and in a way that can only be envied by Office for Windows users across the globe.

Alternatively you can download the update from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=E941844B-D7DE-489C-AEBA-BC27A3C146D3&displaylang=en  .

It's been strange to watch Apple actively work to exhaust their public goodwill and staff morale with their pursuit of information leaks from their company.  Can anyone spell 'Precious'?

Microsoft often leaks like the proverbial and I'm talking about real insider info rather than the pre-arranged 'leaks' from the PR department to the easily impressed or gullible.

Say what you like about Microsoft - and who doesn't - but the litigious company hasn't to my knowledge ever taken similar action, which shows considerable good sense and restraint.  Microsoft exec's deserve some credit for that and, for once, could teach a lesson to Apple about accepting the inevitable and public relations.

OFFICE 2003 TIMESAVING TECHNIQUES FOR DUMMIES Woody's book is available now - click here for a list of online booksellers http://www.woodyswatch.com/l.asp?0764567616  or try our new online store http://shop.woodyswatch.com

In the 'nothing to do with Office and not a paid promo' category ...

Long time readers will know that our editor in chief is a big fan of Rod Quantock and his legendary 'Bus'.  No ordinary comedy stand-up - the audience gets in a bus with Rod and roams the area visiting unsuspecting people and places.  It is an almost legendary comic creation - many have heard about it but few are lucky enough to participate.  Rod takes a busload of willing participants to various places around town, and there's no prior notice to the visitors or the destination.

We mention this because usually his Bus books out long in advance, but this coming weekend his Bus will be in Sydney, Australia for three nights only and there ARE tickets available.  http://www.biglaughriverside.com.au/quantock.html

What happens?  Rod's Bus travels to different places each night and the schedule necessarily changes as the night develops.  With the quick-witted Rod Quantock in the lead (holding a rubber chicken on high) there's laughs all night long. Try these samples from the Bus log over the years:

* 40 people standing on the steps of the Sydney Opera House serenading the glamorous opera set with a rendition of Puff the Magic Dragon.

* Rod leads his audience into a brothel and they crowd the waiting room while singing 'Onward Christian Soldiers'

* Streaming into a Scientology centre and demanding 40 'personality tests' from the un-cooperative inhabitants.

Did I mention that all the Bus load of passengers are wearing plastic glasses & nose combinations - a la Groucho Marx?  All credit has to go to Rod Quantock for carrying off these adventures with astonishing creativity, energy, flexibility and good-humour.  It's an hilarious marvel to watch him bring together a busload of strangers into a friendly group.  His cajoling of managers, bouncers, guards and anyone else standing in his way is a delight.  He also stops passers-by with mixed responses, and most are totally perplexed.

If you're in Sydney this weekend then don't miss Bus.  http://www.biglaughriverside.com.au/quantock.html  Look for our ruggedly handsome editor-in-chief (well, 'rugged' anyway) on Saturday night.


If you like the no-nonsense style you see in this newsletter - the straight scoop, whether Microsoft likes it or not, dished out in a way that won't put you to sleep - get one of Woody Leonhards  books!

"Office 2003 Timesaving Techniques for Dummies" , Wiley

"Special Edition Using Microsoft Office 2003" with Ed Bott, Que

"Windows XP Timesaving Techniques For Dummies", Wiley

"Windows XP All-In-One Desk Reference For Dummies, 2nd Edition", Wiley

"Special Edition Using Microsoft Office XP" with Ed Bott, Que

"Special Edition Using Microsoft Office 2000" with Ed Bott, Que

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Copyright 2005 by Peter Deegan. All rights reserved. ISSN 1328-1674.

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