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Marketing, design, and technical resources for making your digital and print communications more effective.

Important Information for Internet Explorer 6 Users

February 27th, 2010

Why you should stop using IE6…

If you’re still using Internet Explorer version 6 (or earlier) for public Web browsing it’s imperative that you upgrade as soon as possible to a modern standards compliant browser. It’s not hard to find lots of reading material regarding the myriad of security (and many other) issues inherent to Internet Explorer 6. For those who want to take my word for it, Internet Explorer 6 is an obsolete Web browser that is incompatible with the modern Internet and may present serious security risks. Using IE6 might be compared to driving a Model T down the 405 in LA. This analogy sounds a bit exaggerated but is really quite accurate in reflecting just how outdated and dangerous IE 6 is in the modern Internet Environment.

This is not just my opinion; there’s a consensus (including Microsoft itself) that IE6 users have clear and compelling reasons to upgrade. It’s easy to find this information through a Google search, but here are a few quotes and sources to get you started:

How do you check to see if you’re using Internet Explorer 6 / IE6?

IE 6

  1. Open Internet Explorer, and look in the upper right hand corner it will often indicate "IE 6".
  2. To to help -> About Internet Explorer and look for a version number

How to get rid of Internet Explorer 6

Recommended: Install one of the following non-microsoft modern standards compliant browsers. During the upgrade process you will have the option to import your prior bookmarks from Internet Explorer.


Alternate Option:
If you choose to upgrade to the newest version of Internet Explorer (not what I personally recommend) you can go to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer site and go initiate the download process for the most recent version of IE. When you upgrade your old versions are removed.

Cutting and Pasting from MS Word to your Blog or CMS

August 7th, 2009
TinyMCE Text Editor

TinyMCE Text Editor

Blog and Content Management platforms such as WordPress, TypePad, Blogger, Drupal and CMS Made Simple all offer great WYSIWYG text editors that allow site owners and authorized users the ability to login to their Website and add text and photo content themselves.

These text editors are suburb, but there is one very common frustration that manifests when users  cut and paste content from MS Word. When content is pasted directly from MS Word to your blog a bunch of “bad” code often gets carrying over in the process. This proprietary Word styling code is veyr likely to mess up the HTML/CSS styling of your Webpage .  Some CMS editors offer additional features for “cleaning” word code while pasting which work to varring degrees. Regardless of what other options you might have, following is a fail safe method for cleaing MS Word content on paste for any blog/CMS system:

  1. Don’t paste Word content that includes photos other embedded elements. To include those elements in your blog or CMS you’ll want to upload and position them individually using the upload and layout capabilities of your Website.
  2. For Windows users, open Note Pad (NOT Word Pad) then cut and paste your content from Word to Note Pad, and then from Note Pad to your blog/CMS text editor.For Mac users you’ll need to get a free text editor (I recommend Text Wrangler) and do the same cut and paste routine as mentioned above.
  3. After you cut and paste the cleaned text content, you’ll need to go through and add paragraph or line breaks. Just go to the end of your first paragraph text and hit enter/return, repeat for all remaining paragraphs. If your Word content had other styling (bold text, italic text, lists, etc.) you’ll need to go through and use the CMS text editors styling features.

The best way to avoid the hassle of restyling content after a cut and paste from Word is to get into the habit of creating your content in your blog .  If you need to send that content in a Word document or email cutting and pasting the other direction, from your blog’s text editor directly to Word, usually carries over styling and paragraph breaks with no adjustments necessary.

(Almost) Free Microsoft Software for Your Business?

April 14th, 2009

A friend told me recently about a program being offered by Microsoft called Microsoft Action Pack Subscriptions (MAPS). While I’m no fan of Microsoft, I thought this program was worth passing along.

As I understand it, the program allows registered members of the Microsoft Partner Program (the basic membership is free) to participate in the MAPS program for an annual subscription price of $299.

With that subscription you get a majority of the major Microsoft titles for internal business use, including:

  • 10 licenses of Windows Vista
  • 10 Office Enterprise 2007
  • 10 Outlook 2007
  • 10 Project Professional 2007
  • 10 Visio Professional 2007
  • One licence of Small Business Server 2008
  • One SQL Server 2008
  • One Exchange Server 2007

This is just a sample, the complete list of software titles is here.

One copy of Office Professional 2007 is $379 on Amazon so obviously a MAP subscription could save your company an exceptionally large amount of money. The caveat on the program is it’s intended, “For businesses whose primary function is to sell, service, support, or build solutions on the Microsoft platform, or to provide solutions based on Microsoft products and technologies to independent third-party customers.”

  • Additional information and program registration can be found here.
  • More information on program eligibility can be found at the “Download Program Details” link at the bottom of  https://partner.microsoft.com
  • If you have questions about if your company qualifies you can also contact MS directly.

If you’ve used this program or have any insight on the details please let me know.

Protecting Your Identity on Business Social Networking Sites

March 24th, 2009

The newest publication of the Stanford Business Magazine has a must read article for anyone who has a profile at any of the popular business and social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook or Plaxo:

Facing Mean Streets of Information Highway by Connie Skipitares.

One of relatively easy way of monitoring your good name against the type of online identity theft mentioned in the article is to set up a Google Alert on your name. Unless you have an exceptionally unique name (like I guy I met once named Blender G. Shoulders in Tanner, Alabama) just throw in your city or state to the search query.

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