Bob and Joy Schwabach
 

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August 2006, Week 5

dog


NEW GOOGLE CALENDAR

           We can't ever seem to find our paper calendar, so it's simpler to have one on the computer screen. We've tried several, but this new Google calendar is the best. It is super handy for business, family or friends because you can share calendars. To get it, you go to Google.com, click on "more," and then "calendar." Now you've got it and the fun can begin.

   Add entries to any date just by clicking it. Select a time and place for a meeting and you can then click "invite," which will send e-mails to any list of recipients you choose. They can also receive a link to a map showing the location.

   The people who get the e-mail don't have to have a Google calendar, by the way. Those who respond and say they'll be there, can automatically appear on a list of attendees that shows up back on your calendar. Now is this nifty or what?  

    You can also put the Google calendar on a Web site. Joy put one on her women's club Web site, chose the "private" setting during setup and placed it in a "members only" area. All she had to do was put a link there to the calendar; the actual calendar resides on Google's own Web site.

   She could put up any number of calendars, each keyed to a different interest area. Any appointments, events or other info typed into the calendar can be edited or shared by those who have the password. The calendar can also be set to show holidays, or days when the office is closed. It's a good idea to do this to avoid conflicts for events and meetings.

   If you are a user of Google's Gmail service, which we are, you can toggle back and forth between your mail and your calendar. Any time you get an e-mail that has time or date information, you can add that to your calendar by clicking the "Add to Calendar" button at the end of the message.

 A Click in the Right Direction

   Logitech's new G15 keyboard for Windows is designed for game players, but it seems useful for a lot more than that. Anyone would love to have one of these.
 

   The keyboard itself is a sleek black array you can barely read until you turn on the computer. Then the letters and numbers light up with a low, blue glow that is easy to read. This is very cool, and we haven't even gotten to the best part.
  

   The keyboard has 18 programmable G keys over to the left. You can create and assign a "macro" to any one of these keys. A macro is a sequence of keystrokes that can be stored on a single key. That sequence can be anything from calling up your e-mail or having a name and address slug. The only bad part is that the macros here are limited to about 500 keystrokes. That would work for most uses -- addresses, for example -- is sufficient for gamers, and very useful for programmers.
 

   To create a macro, you hit a key labeled "MR." Then select one of the G keys. Type the key sequences you would normally do to execute the commands or type the text you want. When you're through, hit the MR key again and from then on just striking that G key will automatically trigger the macro. You can't record mouse movements or clicks, just key strokes. (Note: Microsoft Office allows you to record macros of any length, but only in Office.)
 

   The macros on the Logitech keyboard can be keyed, so to speak, to work only within a particular program. The keyboard also has keys labeled M1, M2 and M3 so that each G key can be mapped for three different uses, which gives you the power to have 54 (three times the 18 G keys) programmable keys. The G1 key used with the M1 key, for example, would be one macro, and the same G1 key can hold a different macro if you use it with M2 or M3.
 

   If you can't remember the steps, fear not: A set of instructions will appear on a small LCD window at the top of the keyboard. This window can also display how much memory and CPU you're using and lots of other information. 
 

   If you're playing a game, for example, you will get information about where you are and what's happening. If you start playing a CD or most any music stored on your PC, the little screen will display what's playing. There's a volume control just below the display. The little window can also show date and time and display an analog clock face.

    We think this is a lot of power for the $70 to $80 prices that Web retailers are charging, and you get a very nice keyboard for normal use as well. Regular retail outlets charge about $20 more, we noticed, but there's no waiting. Logitech's Web site is www.logitech.com.

 Dump the "Temps"

   Want a quick and easy way to get rid of the temporary files that clutter up every Windows computer?

   Click the "Start" button, then click "Run." Type "%temp%" but without the quotation marks. A screen will appear that shows all the temp files on your computer. sometimes there are hundreds. Push the "control" and "A" keys together and that selects all of them. (They turn blue when they're selected.) Hit the delete key to dump them.


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