Adventures with Skype and MySpace
Plus Info on Automatic Backups of MSWord Files
I was surprised when a reader called recently to say that she had overheard a conversation Mary and I were having in our office. Here's what happened:
I recently wrote about signing up with Skype, the free PC-to-PC voice communication service, but had not yet learned its various options. Well, the other day, I decided to click my Skype icon and check things out. Unbeknownst to me, doing so meant that my contact name "donedrington" appeared on Skype-user Dolores' computer, saying that my service was connected and that I was available. So she clicked her Call icon to contact me.
However, I was not wearing my headset/microphone combo, so I heard no incoming sound — but I did see a message saying that someone was trying to call via Skype.
At the same moment, however, a friend sent me an IM, which hid the Skype message. So I chatted briefly via the IM and then went looking for the Skype note. Not seeing it, I assumed that the caller had hung up, whereupon Mary and I had a conversation about all that had just happened.
Well, Dolores had not hung up and was patiently waiting for me to respond.
Furthermore, the built-in microphone on my new laptop was picking up everything that Mary and I said. So Dolores used her land-line phone to call and apprise us of the situation.
The lesson here is that if your PC has a built-in mic and if you use an Internet-based voice service, everything you say might be heard by others who have your number. So be aware of your PC's communication tools and learn how to use them. As for the future, Dolores and I will always communicate via free Skype.
MySpace Not Just for Kids
Speaking of modern PC communications, many are using the free tools available on MySpace. My granddaughter and I often leave messages on each other's pages rather than using email. Yes, others can see these notes, so we only post nonpersonal messages. However, seeing messages, photos, videos and blogs of your friends and their friends is a large part of what's fun about MySpace.
MySpace has gotten lots of bad press because of some of the bad things a few users have done. However, when used with propriety, it's a place where grown-ups can have as much fun as the kids.
Having your space on MySpace is basically the same as having your own web site — only it's free and can be set up in practically no time at all. Then you can start uploading your favorite photos, videos or essays, or you can start a blog and invite others to post to it. Doing all this with a conventional web site hosting service could take a matter of days to get started, and you would normally be charged for everything. Yes, there are various free web site services available, but none is easier to use than
Automatic Backups of MSWord Documents
In other news, a reader wrote to ask if an MSWord document is still in existence if the file was closed without having been saved. Well, maybe — depending on certain options previously chosen. To see these choices, click Tools>Options>Save. I recommend Always Create Backup Copy, Allow Background Saves and Save AutoRecover Info Every __ Minutes.
The second two options combine to automatically save your work every so many minutes regardless of other
save options you use. The first means that each manual save (File>Save or Ctrl+S) saves your current file along with a backup bearing an extension of .wbk. All the above is predicated, of course, on your having given the document a file name in the first place.
More PC Help & Various Free Programs Can Be Found Here.
© - Donald Ray Edrington - 2007 - All Rights Reserved
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