Tag Archives: pdf

How Not to Send an Email

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One of our viewers sent the following to me: “5 ways to make your e-mails more interesting and fun for all. I don’t know if such a list has already been sent to you, but in any case here are my views that I am sure you can mix with other peoples views to make a super-list.”

  • When sending to more than one person, ALWAYS use the Bcc: field. For those of you who don’t know, Bcc means Blind Carbon Copy, and what it does is it hides everyone’s e-mail address from one another, which is great if so-and-so #1 within your group of friends doesn’t necessarily want so-and-so #2 to know their e-mail address. Another advantage is the less e-mail addresses that can be seen, the less risk there is for them to be picked up by automatic spammers. And when that happens, we all lose.
  • Instead of sending videos as attachments, just send the video’s link on the web. Before the days of video hosting sites (like Youtube), it was common for people to manually send around videos of all kinds of stuff. Now this is not necessary, just send the link for people to click on. This is much easier for all and for various reasons. For one, your friends may only have Internet access at school (or work) and many times multi-Mb downloads are restricted. Aside from that, the computers may not have media players of any kind installed to watch such videos. However, it is very common for these computers to have their internet browsers updated so video watching via links shouldn’t be a problem. So forget the clunky attachments and just “link” it!
  • What is with all the Powerpoint presentations? Do I really HAVE to download these onto my computer to open them, only to see they are a complete waste of my time? Luckily some e-mail providers (like Gmail) allow you to open these within the browser to scan quickly through them. However many don’t, and the problems of point # 2 show up again. And boy am I tired of receiving the same “.pps” files over and over again with their smiling cats and pretty landscapes and moral whatnot. Who makes these? I have the feeling they are the same presentations since de mid-90’s, endlessly circulating from e-mail address to e-mail address in a vast circle of life, only instead of life, it’s a circle of WASTE MY TIME.
  • Urban E-mail Myths or UEM’s. If you get anything in your Inbox that seems too scary/unbelievable to be true, THAT’S BECAUSE IT PROBABLY ISN’T TRUE AT ALL. Nokia is NOT handing out cell phones, Microsoft is NOT paying anyone to receive forwarded messages and there isn’t an Indian girl with only two legs that needs an Elephant Tusk transplant. Of the few times I actually read these kinds of e-mails, it usually takes no more than 10 seconds to find out through any search engine that it is all a blatant HOAX (UEM). So, if you want your friends to believe you when you open your mouth, DON’T FORWARD ANYTHING without finding out for yourself whether or not it is true. And no, you’re not off the hook when you start your HOAX FORWARD with “I don’t know if this is true but I am letting you know anyway…”. When in doubt, DELETE THE MESSAGE, don’t send us trash in the form of Urban E-mail Myths!
  • Keep your e-mails short. Studies show the average Internet user spends about 4 (four) seconds on any given page. Our attention spans are getting dim… also we have so much other great stuff to do on-line, it just isn’t fair to take up everyone’s time with really long e-mails. Here’s a rule of thumb: If it was too long to read yourself before sending, it will be too long for others to read after sending. Short lists of content are OK, as is the occasional joke, but never a string of jokes… strings just aren’t funny. If it’s an interesting news story you want others to know about, just send the link to the story and maybe give your own (short) opinion. If you send the whole story in the e-mail… remember what I said lasted about 4 seconds? Right.. that’s the time people take before they mark your boring long e-mail as “read”. So, just send the link and one or two words, and let them be interested in reading the rest (or not).


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What is a PDF?

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PDF stands for Portable Document Format. Saving a document in this format ensures that it will look the same when viewed on another computer as it did on the original computer when created. It will also have a MUCH smaller file size, hence the “portable” part of the name. PDF is used for representing two-dimensional documents in a device-independent and display resolution-independent fixed-layout document format. Each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a 2-D document (and, with Acrobat 3-D, embedded 3-D documents) that includes the text, fonts, images, and 2-D vector graphics that compose the document.

If you want to view a .pdf file, you’ll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, or even the Foxit Reader. Of course, the free versions of both of these programs will only allow you to read the document, not edit or create a .pdf of your own. For that, you will need full paid versions. Also, for a Mac user, there is a .pdf viewer built right in, so you don’t have to download anything at all!

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Tweaking Acrobat PDF Adobe Reader

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Almost every computer has a .pdf reader on them these days. Lately I’ve been having trouble with Adobe Reader not printing my .pdf documents properly, and I had to do a lot of investigating as to how to fix it.

Three of my friends joined me for this discussion: Kat, SC_Thor, and Wirelesspacket.

Every time I would try to print a PDF document, the text would come out all gobbledy looking. Nothing would line up where it should, and it was just a bunch of garbage. I wasted a lot of time and paper before finally finding the answer. In Adobe Reader, go to the print dialogue, and click the Advanced button. Once there, put a check mark into the box next to where it says print as image. This will make all your text and everything print onto paper exactly as it appears on the screen.

Another good PDF reader is the free Foxit reader. It’s a viewer and printer for PDF’s, very small in file size, and works faster than the Adobe counterpart.

You can find a huge list of different types of PDF reader and converting programs on Wikipedia. Here you’ll see everything from open source, to Proprietary programs. There are recommendations for absolutely every platform you might be running on your computer, as well.

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Free eBook Novel

I think Jake’s talking about arranging an eBook sale at some point in the near future. Until then, this offer will have to tide you word lovers over:

I’ve been a follower of Lockergnome for several years now, going back to when it was the single newsletter. I’m amazed at how you guys can still crank out quality info every day. I love it! I work in IT at a relatively low-end job, but it puts clothes on the kids, food on the table, and a roof over our heads. Best of all, I work nights and get to spend the days with the kids (sleep is something thats missing though). Along with technology and the kids, my real passion is writing (and reading). I’ve written one novel and I’m working on a second. I went the self publishing route using LuLu.com. I’m really happy with them; the books look great. My only two wishes are for an editor and marketing guru. What i’d like to do, if you are so inclined, is to offer the first twenty Gnomies to email me (gnomie @ jasontjohnson.com) the PDF for free. If you want to check it out first, I have the prologue and first few chapters online.

Well, a free eBook is certainly better than no eBook at all. If only I wasn’t behind on my reading materials. Everybody, could you please not publish anything new this week? Thanks. I ‘preciate it.

Free Cheat Sheets

After you’ve finished watching Darth Vader Calling the Emperor, you should probably find something a bit more constructive to do. Spurred on by Sean’s linking to a couple of WordPress cheat sheets (API, Theme), I went looking for some of my favorite cheat sheet authors to see if any had been updated – or new ones added. I found a wealth of great desktop-based cheat sheets. The Cheat Sheets from ‘ILoveJackDaniels’ are simply amazing, and their design is definitely the one to beat. The Quick Reference Cards page has links to a few good ones, largely for the geekier development types. The Google Cheat Sheet PDF is a must-have, even if you already think you know your way around Google. Cheat Sheets are great when you need a one- or two-page reference (and digging through a manual or help file is just too arduous a task).