Cut Desktop Clutter

I don’t like a cluttered desktop or Program List. Most of the time, I won’t let an application add icons to Quickstart (the >> between the taskbar and the icons on the left) or desktop, unless it’s a program I’ll access frequently. The most frequently applications get to live in Quickstart. According to this Seattle … Read more

Help Customers Help Themselves

More and more businesses are adding tech support reporting features, knowledgebases and expanding frequently asked questions — including businesses whose core business doesn’t include technology. Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid, has a tech support-like reporting tool — the kind of tool you expect to find on web server hosts and software development companies. … Read more

Backup Test Time

Looks like the hard drive died. I don’t know what happened as when I got on the computer, the login screen appeared in low-resolution. After fiddling with it and watching the PC freeze — I had no choice but to turn it off. What’s really annoying is that my network hard drive was off for … Read more

IRS Electronic Payment Pains

I’ve gotten so much mail from EFTPS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System — it must be an unwritten rule that everything government-named must be abbreviated — I worked in the federal government once upon a time), the IRS‘ (Internal Revenue Service) online payment service. Part of it is my fault and part of it is a usability problem.
Just now, I was trying to confirm the URL of the Web site and had the letters next to the keyboard. Either my vision has drastically changed in the few weeks since my last vision check up or the IRS has forgotten to add that bit of info to its letters.
The thick envelope also came with brochures and I’m guess Web address is there, but I already had copies and threw them away. Shouldn’t it be on the letterhead somewhere? The phone number shows up plenty.
When I first signed up for EFTPS, I used a different bank account than the one I need to use now. Following instructions on the Web site, I attempted to change the bank account number. The action prompted the system to send me a packet of information. I checked the site again later to see if it took the new bank account (as it said it would), no change.

Read more

Last Day of 2005

Nothing profound comes to mind as we enjoy the last day and week of this month and this year. But you may have thoughts and you might want to record them for later reviewing. Quick Online Tips provides a list of resources for sending emails to yourself or someone else in the future. In 9th … Read more

Premiere Issue of Intel Solutions Services Newsletter

Connected, a quarterly newsletter, untangles the major obstacles that IT professionals face. It attempts to clear the piles of information to get to the heart of the world of technology, which changes too danged fast. Also, the newsletter comes with insights on how to better lead staff (and pointy-haired boss), balance life (What life? Definitely … Read more