June 7, 2006
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Using Outlook Web Access 2003

stone5150 is the Page Editor for the Wireless topic areas, but in real life he is a systems administrator and IT manager. Recently, he put together some information for the employees he works with, and passed it along.

Exchange 2003 includes a new version of Outlook Web Access (OWA). OWA 2003 has a different look and offers performance and feature enhancements such as a spell-checker, signature capability, junk mail filtering, the ability to block embedded external HTML content and to customize the OWA interface. This article provides an introduction to the new look and features.

Accessing your email with Outlook Web Access (OWA)

For those times when you're away from your office and you'd like to check your email, use OWA to access your mail and other data in a manner nearly the same to your working at your own desk. Note that the screens described and in this document show OWA as accessed via Internet Explorer 6 using Windows XP. Other browsers and platforms will work slightly differently.

From a computer that has Internet access, open an Internet browser and type in the address you've received from your network administrator; the default setting is http://owa.YourDomain.com/. Before the site opens, you will be prompted to enter your user name and password, which you will have recieved from your IT department. Then click Log On.

The OWA 2003 toolbar

After successfully logging on, your Inbox will be displayed. Use the toolbar along the top of your Inbox to manage your email messages.

OWA tool bar

The OWA 2003 Screen

The look of OWA will be familiar to Outlook users, and it bears some similarity to Outlook Express. The left column can be used to navigate easily to your calendar, contacts and OWA settings and to display your mail folders. The OWA client allows you to create folders to hold both sent and received mail. For more detailed assistance using OWA, click on the "Help" link found in the middle of the horizontal toolbar. You have the choice of selecting from your folder list, or from the shortcut bar beneath it.

OWA Out of Office Assistant

Out of Office Assistant makes it easy to setup an automatic reply message. People who send mail to your account while the message is turned on will receive an email reply with whatever text you have written. The message is dispatched only once to each email address that sends mail to your account.

To Setup an "Out of Office" message:

  1. Click on Options on the Shortcuts bar
  2. Click on the radio button next to "I'm currently out of the office"
  3. Type the text of your message in the box titled AutoReply.
  4. Click the Save and Close button at the top.

Creating a signature

To create a custom signature to each message you send:

  1. In the Navigation Pane, click on Options.
  2. In the Messaging Options section, click Edit Signature.
  3. In the Signature window, type and format the signature you want to use. Note that you can select different fonts, sizes, and formating.
  4. Click Save and Close.

To automatically append your signature to each message you send:

  1. Within Options, in the Messaging Options section, select the Automatically include my signature on outgoing messages check box.
  2. Click Save and Close.

New security features

Content Blocking: OWA 2003 offers blocking of external content in HTML messages by default. To check or reset this configuration:

  1. In the Navigation Pane, click on Options.
  2. In the Privacy and Junk E-mail Prevention section, select "Block external content in HTML e-mail messages".
  3. Click Save and Close.

Setting a Junk Email Filter: OWA 2003 permits some basic junk email filtering, sending any messages from "Blocked Senders" into your "Junk E-mail" folder. To use:

  1. In the Navigation Pane, click on Options.
  2. In the Privacy and Junk E-mail Prevention section, select Filter Junk E-mail.
  3. Click on "Manage Junk E-mail Lists.
  4. In the Manage Junk E-mail Lists dialog box, select Blocked Senders, i.e., those addresses you don't want to receive messages from, then enter the email addresses.
  5. Click on Add...
  6. Type and email address or domain into the text box.
  7. Click OK to close the Manage Junk E-mail Lists dialog box.
  8. Click Save and Close.

You may also Edit existing entries or Remove them entirely.

Mission Impossible IV: Cleanup

AnnieMod came to the Moderator team after a stint as a Cleanup Volunteer, and took over the task of managing the program in January 2004. When she recently sent out a note saying there were no topic areas with more than 1,000 open questions, it was a cause for celebration, so she sent us the following:

When I took over cleanup at the beginning of 2004, the number of open question was close to 100,000, and 90 per cent of them were abandoned. Now, almost two and a half years later, the number of open questions had dropped to under 20,000, and fewer than half of them are abandoned -- something that seemed impossible two years ago. So this is the place and time to say thanks to everyone who assisted in this process... all the CVs, all the Experts that responded them, all the Moderators who closed all the lists -- every single one of you. The task that sounded like mission impossible now seems like a piece of cake. A complete list is impossible to be make...

When I promised the Administrators and Owners that the site would be cleaned, I doubt anyone really believed me. I am not quite sure I believed it myself :)

There are two people who, it can be said, helped the most with cleanup. One of them has never been a CV or Moderator but in some ways he helped the most. There is no better way of getting some work done than making everyone see the progress. Thanks ameba. You are the force that made everyone work harder to get their areas off the top of the list.

And of course the process would not been what it is without the tools that BooMod built -- FastCat (which does most of the mechanical work of the CVs), FastClean -- which does the same for the Moderators who actually close the questions -- and one of my best "friends", EE_AutoDeleter -- which deletes all the old unanswered questions and saves a lot of work for the CVs.

This is a short list of the best CVs, based on time and effort. I thought about listing anyone who had ever done even one list but decided to use a bit more... strict filter. Some of these people have cleaned thousands of questions, some have kept areas clean for years, some are CVs from before I became the Cleanup Admin, and some joined the effort in the last year. The list is in alphabetical order -- so there are no upset people.

1William - akboss - AlbertaBeef - alimu - anand_2000v - AndyAinscow - Arthur_Wood - astaec - bcladd - Bill_Fleury - bingie - bruintje - carrzkiss - cem_turk - cempasha - COBOLdinosaur - compfixer101 - CRAK - cwwkie - Cyclops3590 - daleoran - DanRollins - daveslater - donjohnston - Dreamboat - ericpete - flavo - fozylet - FriarTuk - GaryC123 - GavinMannion - gheist - girionis - GPrentice00 - grblades - guidway - gurutc - harleyjd - hdhondt - Henka - hewittg - hongjun - huji - humeniuk - jadedata - Jay_Jay70 - jaysolomon - JDettman - Jester_48 - jmantha709 - jmcg - juliancrawford - kabaam - kacor - keith_alabaster - kfalandays - khkremer - knowlton - kshitij_ahuja - LeeTutor - lem2802 - leonstryker - liddler - Lobo - lrmoore - LucF - majorwoo - marilyng - masirof - MASQUERAID - mbizup - mcp_jon - MiguelSilvestre - mlmcc - mplungjan - mrichmon - MusicMan - Naser72 - Nata - nico5038 - patelgokul - PaulCaswell - paullamhkg - periwinkle - pinaldave - pseudocyber - RCorfman - redseatechnologies - Renots - rindi - roos01 - routinet - scolja - ShineOn - sirbounty - stevbe - sudhakar_koundinya - sunnycoder - tfewster - TheLearnedOne - TimYates - tinchos - Tolomir - turn123 - twalgrave - Venabili - vsg375 - walterecook - war1 - What90 - WMIF - wyliecoyoteuk - YZlat - zenlion420 - zlatev - Zvonko

ameba is maintaining also a list of all CVs at his site, so if you are interested, you can check all the names there. For anyone who is not listed here, I apologise beforehand; your work is not forgotten, but rather that this was supposed to be a short list. For anyone not listed but who has ever helped in the cleanup process: Thanks -- every one of you made this process run a bit smoother.

If you want to become part of this team, you are welcome to mail me -- help will always be needed so we can keep the site clean.

Cleanup Admin

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Revisiting Marshall McLuhan

In 1969, the high school we attended offered a class in "Media" that was, for all intents and purposes, an excuse for the teacher to get his hands on new-fangled relatively portable video-taping equipment. School boards and administrators being what they are, he also had to have something for students to learn, and among the books he had us read was Marshall McLuhan's The Medium Is The Massage. We still have our copy.

McLuhan, then the director of the Center for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto, made the case that electronic media -- television and radio -- had changed the world's perspective on events and conditions. Among other things, he wrote that the invention of printing had done the same thing. Prior to writing, the story was what mattered; history was told via the epic poem. With the development of alphabets, writers wrote the stories, but the story was still what mattered until the invention of the printing press. That changed the world, McLuhan said, in that one not need be a part of the story to have a point of view, and indeed, it actually removed one from needing to be a part of the story. We no longer had to rely on memory; we could just crack open a book.

McLuhan wrote that television would force people back into being a part of the world in which a story happens; he used the funeral of John F. Kennedy as the archetype of how TV could cause people unrelated to an event to be participants in it, to share it, and to have a common experience. "In television," he wrote, "there occurs an extenstion of the sense of active, exploratory touch which involves all of the senses simultaneously, rather than that of sight alone."

"Television demands participation and involvement in depth of the whole being," he wrote. He noted the use of computerized databases for information management -- remember, this was when you would see college students wandering around campus with boxes of punch cards -- that could further promote what he hoped would be a "global village", where everyone would be able to know everyone, where wars would disappear, and where everyone could get along.


So what prompted a revisit to McLuhan's book, some forty years after the fact? It was a number of things. First was McLuhan's observation that "societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication."

"The alphabet and printing technology fostered and encouraged a fragmenting process, a process of specialism and of detachment," McLuhan wrote. "Electric technology fosters and encourages unification and involvement. It is impossible to understand social and cultural changes without a knowledge of the workings of media."

Second was a story about the decline in newspaper circulation, along with a listserv question about a decline in Letters To The Editor, contrasted with an item about a study that found that 48 million American adults -- over one-third of Internet users -- have contributed something in the way of user-generated content. Nicholas Carr, the former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, recently called the Internet the global karaoke machine.

Third was a story about the cost of plagiarism, coupled with McLuhan's comments on what we now call "intellectual property." McLuhan wrote, "'Authorship' -- in the sense we know it today, individual intellectual effort related to the book as an economic commodity -- was practically unknown before the advent of print technology... The invention of printing did away with anonymity, fostering ideas of literary fame and the habit of considering intellectual effort as private property... The rising consumer-oriented culture became concerned with labels of authenticity and protection against theft and piracy. The idea of copyright -- 'the exclusive right to reproduce, publish, and sell the matter and form of a literary or artistic work' -- was born."

McLuhan spoke mostly of television. He did not -- perhaps could not -- foresee the truth of his own words in the manner in which televison would come to define the culture it pervades; after all, he is a product of the society shaped by the media. Television is not an active medium; rather than bringing the world together, the passivity of television (turn on, and tune out the rest of the world) has isolated us even more. We observe daily bombings in Iraq as easily, and with as much emotional attachment, as we do to a rerun of Law And Order. We know less about the world now, if only because most people get all they know about the world during the half hour newscast before they go to bed at night. The world has the depth of a cookie sheet; it has the texture of the glass screen that covers the tube. McLuhan did have something to say about that; he warned that the "official culture" would try to force the round peg of new technology into the square hold of how things had always been done.

But he was accurate in foreseeing a global village; today, it's almost easier to interact with someone halfway around the world than it is to have a conversation with the clerk at the corner mini-mart, and it's certainly more convenient. The Internet, as has been oft-observed, is a marvelous equalizer; everyone can have an opinion, everyone can participate, and the barriers to entry are disappearing daily. It incorporates the senses for which McLuhan saw potential -- not just sight, but hearing as well. (We really don't want to think about the Internet-ready computer that incorporates touch, smell and taste.)

But what concerns us is that we're not convinced that life is much different -- or much better. To a large extent, computing (meaning the use of the Internet) is as sedentary and isolated activity as watching TV. Our interaction with others is detached; there are these boxes in between us and whoever we're dealing with. We can -- and do -- share our favorite places, people and things, but how can someone who has never been there appreciate the majesty of Half Dome peeking out of the mist? Is anyone going to get out and smell the roses?

Tips from the Moderators

The first item in this newsletter is a tribute to the Cleanup Volunteers who, over the last couple of years, have cleaned hundreds of thousands of questions. So what happens if your question gets put on a Cleanup list, and you don't agree with the recommendation of the CV?

Unless you post your disagreement, nothing. The process allows for all participants to comment, but if you don't, then it's not likely that the Moderators will automatically do anything afterwards. Once your question is on a Cleanup list, then it actually won't help to ask the Moderators to delete or close your question, because the Cleanup will get to it first; either way, there is a four-day window in which you need to justify the deletion or refund.

One question that seems to come up every week or so is about changing your username. When you registered at EE, there was a little note that says "Cannot be changed" right next to the box where you typed it in. Because of EE's database design, it's nearly impossible to find all of the instances of your username once you've asked a question or commented in one. The only thing we can do is to create a new account -- and once that happens, you lose your history; you won't have your question points, Expert points or your certificates.

Finally, pai_prasad posted a link a few days ago that shows that EE isn't the only site that tells you the correct way to ask a question. There is even a Microsoft Knowledge Base article on the subject.

Page Two: More News and Notes
Nata's Corner: Your hi-tech new ride

woman in specticalsOver the last couple of weeks, I've been watching gasoline prices. Convenience stores and gas stations always raise their prices just before holiday weekends, especially Memorial Day, so nothing I saw was really all that surprising. But what was interesting was a story I saw about how General Motors is offering to subsidize gasoline purchases for people who will buy one of their big gas-guzzling vehicles. There is a catch, by the way; if the gasoline costs you less than $1.99 a gallon, you're on your own, and they'll only pay the difference if gas costs more than that.

So what has this got to do with technology? Well, a lot, actually. For one thing, the purchasers have to use GM's OnStar vehicle diagnostic service, which costs $17 a month after the first year. Among other things, the system uses GPS and mobile phone technology to monitor your car, including its whereabouts. And as it happens, we've also been looking for a new pickup -- actually we're looking for something not so new -- and when I did a little checking at CarFax and the national auto dealers association, I found that I knew almost as much about the car as the owner did. And then there's both the use of computers to control performance (and the inevitable hacking that follows) and even the use of hybrid buses in San Francisco.

Having said all that, there are some low-tech ways you can cut down on how much gasoline you use.

  1. Check your gas cap - About 17 per cent of the vehicles on the road have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether.
  2. Under-inflated tires - When tires aren't inflated properly it's like driving with the parking brake on. Your engine works harder and uses more gas.
  3. Worn spark plugs - Your spark plugs fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel.
  4. Dirty air filters - An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a "rich" mixture - too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power.
  5. Don't be an aggressive driver - Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 per cent on the highway. Leave ten minutes earlier; it will save you gasoline and lower your blood pressure.
  6. Avoid excessive idling - Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. You don't need to warm your car up for more than a couple of minutes, and if you find yourself in a construction zone, just turn your car off.
  7. Observe the speed limit - Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. My brother-in-law didn't believe it until he got his second speeding ticket, which slowed him down -- and improved his gas mileage.

Oh, and as a public service, CBS reports that there's really only one reason why gas prices are going up: supply and demand. I'll say one thing: I'm glad my other half works at home.

Inside the numbers
ameba, one of EE's prominent Experts, provides us with a list of newly earned Certificates. His list of all of the Certified Experts is located at his site. The list below covers the period from May 22 through June 5.
Expert Certified in Topic Area
clarkscott Flyster aneeshattingal nmcdermaid Steven_W MikeWalsh appari Atlanta_Mike CraigYellick kevp75 b0lsc0tt sammy1971 nehaya strickdd srivatsavaye Abs_jaipur naveedb scrathcyboy irwinpks Jay_Jay70 0h4crying0utloud mrichmon PoeticAudio eltic Guru Master Genius Wizard Wizard Guru Guru Master Master Guru Master Master Master Master Master Guru Master Master Guru Guru Master Master Master Master MS Access MS Access Microsoft SQL Microsoft SQL Microsoft SQL Microsoft SQL Microsoft SQL Microsoft SQL Microsoft SQL ASP ASP ASP.NET ASP.NET ASP.NET ASP.NET Networking Networking Networking Windows XP Windows XP JavaScript C# C# C#
Expert Certified in Topic Area
Chinmay_Patel Bembi aa230002 irwinpks Rant32 mvvinod McKnife ctm5 AmigoJack Debsyl99 mcp_jon TeRReF siliconbrit MilanKM jhance Desp leew irwinpks irwinpks chidioc Desp rorya jsemenak paquicuba Master Wizard Guru Master Master Master Master Master Master Master Master Guru Master Master Master Master Wizard Guru Master Master Guru Guru Guru Sage C# Exchange_Server Exchange_Server Exchange_Server Exchange_Server Exchange_Server Windows 2000 VB.NET Delphi Win. Server 2003 Win. Server 2003 PHP PHP Programming Programming Programming Hardware Hardware Web Development Web Development .NET Excel Excel Oracle
Expert Certified in Topic Area
actonwang B1-66ER Jay_Jay70 Arthur_Wood RQuadling dr_dedo iamanindian ppfoong Adam314 moorhouselondon cj_1969 irwinpks scrathcyboy tim_holman irwinpks CaptainCyril ahoffmann nprignano Zadkin Bembi MilanKM ahoffmann NickUpson hes Guru Master Wizard Sage Guru Master Master Master Guru Guru Master Master Master Guru Master Sage Wizard Master Master Master Guru Master Guru Master Oracle C++ Microsoft Network Databases PHP and Databases PHP and Databases PHP and Databases Linux Perl Applications Applications Desktops Storage Security Laptops/Notebooks FoxPro Unix Prog. Sharepoint SBS Small Bus. Server Microsoft Project Software Design PHP Installation Interbase Interdev
2131 experts have 3591 certifications: Genius:95 Sage:169 Wizard:215 Guru:654 Master:2458
Copyright ? 2006. All rights reserved.