Jan 25, 2006

Send HTML emails directly from Word

By default when you click on File->Send To->Mail Recipient in an opened Word document, that will be sent as an attachment. Sometimes is more convenient to send this directly in the body of the email, having this way an easy option to send HTML email.

To send an HTML formatted email directly from MS Word, \you need to follow these steps:

  1. Open MS Word and then create your document that you want to send as an HTML email. It’s an easy way if you don’t really have the HTML knowledge, because you can format the text anyway you want and also insert images.

  2. From the View tab select the Web Layout option (this gives you the option to preview how it would normally appear as a web page):

    web layout


  3. In Word’s menu go to Tools->Options. Click on the General tab and uncheck the option Mail as attachment (if this option is checked, Word will send your document as an attachment instead of including its content into the body of the email):

    mail attachment


  4. Click after that on the E-mail Options… button and in the window that opens go to General and select the Medium box (might be already selected like this):

    email options


  5. Next go to File->Send To and select Mail Recipient:

    Send email


  6. In the word document you’ll see that an email header appears with To…, CC… and other fields specific to email sending. Enter someone’s name in the To… field and change the subject if you want. If you’ll write something in the Introduction field, the recipient will first see that text and after that the HTML email. Hit on Send a Copy if you consider it looks the way you intended it to look:

    html email


That’s it, if you want to send your HTML email to more then one person use the BCC field. You can read about other options to send HTML emails directly from MS Word on the SlipStick website, a great resource for anything Outlook related.

Jan 21, 2006

SeTerra, learn geography the fun way

I've recently discovered a fun freeware program called SeTerra. Seterra is a geography learning program with 70 different exercises. Either you're a professor teaching geography, or a graduate with some rusty geography knowledge, this application will be challenging. Because you can learn about countries, capitals, flags and cities in Africa, Europe, South America, North America, Asia and Australia in a fun way. An outlined map is displayed and you have to click (on some exercises) on the country, capital or city that you're asked about. Think that's easy? Then tell me what's Lesotho?

Seterra runs in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish or Swedish. After you install the program (direct download link: Seterra 2.84 - about 700KB) and run it, you're asked in what language do you want it to be displayed.

Seterra languages

Once a language is choosed, you get the main window where you can start one of the exercises, set the options, read the help file or see the high scores (exercises have a high score list to keep track of your progress).

Seterra exercises

As the author (Marianne Wartoft AB) says it, this is a colorful and addictive way to learn geography.

On the exercises where you get to point on an outlined map the countries or cities, when you're correct the portion is marked with white, when you get it after a second attempt is colored in yellow, and if you're wrong the 3rd time it will show you which is the correct one and mark it with red. A statistic is being created and you can save that to track your learning process.

Seterra countries

I won't list all the 70 exercises it has, but here is a small list: "countries in Europe; American states; American state capitals; French cities; cities in Mexico; countries in Asia, etc, etc..."
Best of all the program is completely freeware (actually open source, since you can download the source code too). It's time to work on that rusty geography of yours ;).

Jan 20, 2006

AI.Roboform.v6.6.3-TE

If you find on some websites a file called AI.Roboform.v6.6.3-TE you are strongly advised not to download it, not to mention installing that onto your computer.
It is not an official Robo Form release from Siber Systems, it is a version modified by crackers. If you download and install that file, you are assuming a lot of risks:

  • sometimes these files contain a little "present" from the crackers, such as a trojan horse that gives them access to your computer

  • this is a modified file by crackers, thus it will have problems running correctly

  • this type of file is illegal to download and install


If you are looking for an official Robo Form release, visit their main site and download it: Roboform.com
Robo Form has also a free version, thus assuming all the above mentioned risks it's not justified.

Just visit their website and download a legal version instead or use the following direct download links:
- latest latest Robo Form version (approx. 2MB): Robo Form 6.6.3
- latest portable version of Robo Form from here: Pass 2 Go 6.6.3

Jan 19, 2006

Sex slave bought for $800 ... for life

A British journalist did an experiment, and it worked. He managed to buy a 28 years old woman from Bucharest (Romania).

Sex Slave

"I know you are my new owner. You don't have to beat me, I won't create any problems." These are the first words said by the woman to the British journalist of "The Sun" publication.
What seems to have shocked the journalist is not the $800 price, but the fact that, in exchange of the money, he bought the woman "for life".
A night before he had "reserved" the girl for $50. In a couple of words the journalist explains how Romania is a country where "women can be bought like animals", arriving this way easily in the British "happy houses" (of course these being illegal in UK).
This experiment was meant to be a slap on the Blair's face, and the article appeared one day after London announced new measures for combating human traffic, with victims up to 80,000 hookers, brought mainly with force.

As a Romanian I'm not so outraged by the fact that prostitutes are being traded, but because the pimps doing that are getting more and more powerful, and that they have "partners" in local police (or even higher).

P.S. This is a translation from a Romanian newspaper (Gandul) since I was unable to find the original article in "The Sun".

Jan 17, 2006

Win and iPod - NetCraft contest

NetCraft launched a while ago a toolbar that allows users to report phishing sites. This month they have a contest where you could win one of the 3 iPods or a Netcraft sweatshirt by reporting phishing sites.
After I submitted my first site for this month, I've received a "Thank you from Netcraft" email with information about the contest:
The URL you recently submitted has been accepted as a phishing site by the Netcraft Anti-Phishing Team.

The Netcraft Toolbar blocked more than 41,000 phishing attacks in its first year. To get the new year off to a good start, Netcraft will send a top of the range iPod [or item of equivalent value for anyone who has already received a "Thanks for all the Phish" commemorative iPod from Netcraft] to the five people who have the largest number of phishing reports accepted during January, and a Netcraft sweatshirt to the 50 people with the next largest numbers of accepted reports.

To track the progress, we have created a leaderboard displaying the
people with the largest number of accepted reports so far in January, identified by their first names to preserve their anonymity.

This is the 1st phishing site you have reported this month and your
29th in total. Your anonymised name for the leaderboard at
http://toolbar.netcraft.com/stats/reporters is "Claudiu".

The Netcraft Anti-Phishing Team


So what you have to do is download and install the toolbar and when you receive a phishing email open the link and report the website. In one of my older posts I explain how to download and install the toolbar: Stop phishing with Netcraft's toolbar.

Unfortunately I don't receive too many phishing sites anymore. And I used to receive like 4-5 new ones every day. That's a bummer. Where are the spammers when you need them?
Anyway, if you are a spammer please send me your phishing emails to spuby2000@gmail.com :). According to their leaderboard, I need at least 6 reported sites to receive the sweatshirt:

Phishing reports

Jan 13, 2006

Friday 13th - google adwords error, blogger error

Well I wouldn't blame Friday 13th for the Google Adwords error, since it happened before, but it's kind of frustrating when this happens 10 times in the same day.
What error I'm talking about? Well after I logged in to Google Adwords the following text was displayed:
We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are unable to process your request at this time. Our engineers have been notified of this problem and will work to resolve it. Please note that using your browser's back button in AdWords can increase the likelihood of errors. If you think this was the cause of your error, please try again without using the back button.
And that's it, no matter how many times I clicked on their logo or tried anything it wouldn't login to allow administration of the account:

Google Adwords

However, after about 2 hours and many other attempts it allowed me to login. This has just started after I accepted to change my login as they kept asking me to do, and I've seen now that when this error appears the Customer id number is different from the one I have when I manage to log in. I'll send them an email to ask more.

Now, my dear Blogger gave me errors too. And this is not all if I wasn't in the middle of a post. What did the error say?
Blogger Problem
This server is currently experiencing a problem. An engineer has been notified and will investigate.
Status code: 1-500-11
Please visit the Blogger status page or the Blogger Knowledge Base for further assistance.
http://status.blogger.com/
Thursday, January 12, 2006


Blogger Problem

On the status page they said that it should have been an outage but it was postponed:
Blogger will be down for ~10 minutes this afternoon at 3:30pm PST, for some network maintenance.
Update: This outage has been cancelled.


What did I learn from this:
- from now on I'll copy the post content to a temporary file before I click Publish Post
- I will not hurry into doing something that Google suggests

So, is this because of the Friday 13th? Not really. Because it would mean that with Windows every day is Friday 13th. It's just because they have too much traffic. Too many bloggers in the same time trying to post and upload, too many visitors and so on. But blogging is fun, so happy blogging.

Jan 6, 2006

Skype 2.0 with video calling

Skype 2.0 was released yesterday (January 5th). It's a stable release, not a beta as it was until now and to be more accurate is version 2.0.0.69 according to their website.
What's the main change? Well it's not a surprise but one-to-one video conversations are now possible using Skype 2.0 (of course a decent internet connection is required to have a decent video conversation - just to be clear, by "decent" I mean without high delays in displaying the other person you're chatting with).

Skype 2 with video calling

According to their website, this is what's changed officially in Skype 2.0:

  • Our best ever call quality.

  • Smile, wave or say hello to anyone, anywhere in the world with free one-to-one video conversations.

  • Easily sort your contacts into groups like ‘colleagues’, ‘friends’ and ‘family’.

  • Display mood messages and your local time, so people know where you are and how you’re feeling.


The download size is about 7.2Mb and you can get it from here: Skype 2.0
Just for fun I'm going to remember how many downloads they have now, January 6th, which is 229,308,402, and see how that increases this week.

If you're installing Skype for the first time, you might take into consideration their requirements too:

  • PC running Windows 2000 or XP. (The new video feature requires Windows XP.)

  • Internet connection (broadband is best, GPRS is not supported for voice calls, and results may vary on a satellite connection).

  • Speakers and microphone — built-in or separate.

  • A webcam, if you want to make video calls.

  • We also recommend that you have at least 400 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM and 15 MB free disk space on your hard drive.


That's about it, have fun video chatting.

[update]
Well I got to play with it for a couple of days since version 2 was released. First of all the download file is about 9.52 Mb and not 7.2 MB as they wrote on the website.
Regarding their changes, I really dislike the new sounds they've incorporated. But the good news is that you can switch back to the Classic sound. To do that go to Tools->Options->Sounds and select for each sound type the Classic one instead of the Modern sounds.

There are some changed icons too (images are all so shiny now) but I tend to think the old ones were better. Anyway, that doesn't bother me.
You can set mood messages in your profile now. Just click on your profile name that appears now on top of the contacts, and type in whatever you want. And others can also see what time is where you are now (you can uncheck the option to allow your contacts to see how many contacts you have though, since that's kind of private). Also, you can set a cool picture to go with that (they have a library too):

Skype Status

Now, even if version 2 is now a stable release (non-beta) the video calling feature is still in beta, as you can see in the Tools->Options menu:

Skype video beta

Even with these minor things, Skype 2 seems much more stable than the previous version and the sound quality is better (at least on my connection, which goes through a proxy server). And seems that I'm not the only one that thinks that, since their download counter now shows "only" over one million extra downloads (230,312,087 download) compared to yesterday's counter.

Jan 5, 2006

Print entire website with Internet Explorer

I recently had to print an entire website, with about 20 pages, and the good thing before I started visiting each page and hitting print is that I looked at the Options tab and I've seen that you can easily print an entire website from Internet Explorer.



1. After you open the website you want to print, go to File and select the Print option.
2. You have to select the printer you want to use and set the options for that before printing. For this test I used a virtual printer driver (PDF maker).

Print entire website

3. Go to the Options tab and check the "Print all linked documents" option to print all linked pages from a website. Select Print in the lower left corner and it will start printing the pages in the order it reads them.

Print all linked documents

Now, the problems that could appear.
The main problem is that there could result an infinite loop. If a page links to another page that links back to the original page, the print job might loop continuously. Also, if the file has outside links then you could end up printing external pages that are not needed.

A solution to these problems is to first use the Print table of links option (and with the Print linked documents option unchecked). With this option checked, you will print a page that contains all the linked documents in that website. You could verify which links are printed, and if everything is ok you can do the Print linked documents option.

Another caution measure is to use the Print to file option (from the general tab), that will print only "electronically" the files.

I've tested this with Internet Explorer 6 and Maxthon. I know for sure that this option is missing in Opera, and I'm not sure if FireFox has it or not.

P.S. Happy new year everybody!

[Update]
Scaredy Cat posted a comment to this and recommended that if a website has JavaScript menu to use a 3rd party tool called Web PrintSmart 2.0 because the method explained above will not work. From his comment "The program allows you to browse websites and automatically add the pages you visit to a 'collection' (if you turn this option on). At any point you can then print every page in your current collection with one file > print." Good tip. HP doesn't have this program on their website, thus you can download it from here (direct download, about 4MB): HP Smart Web Printing. In case this will be unavailable, I've uploaded it to RapidShare too.