June 26th, 2006

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SpeedFiler discount

I'm a fan of SpeedFiler for Outlook. I don't file every message but when I do it's considerably faster with this add-on than by dragging messages, using the toolbar Move Message icon (which shuffles around the toolbar depending on which window you're in) or pressing Ctrl-Shift-V and navigating the folder hierarchy (when I file, I file deep). With SpeedFiler I'm still stuck with Ctrl-Shift-V but then I can type a couple of letters to get to the folder I want without taking my hands off the keyboard. Plus it automatically files replies in the same folder as the mail I'm replying to. If you want to pick up a copy Claritude has a special offer; up to five people can use this code (J4-11816) by July 7 to get it for $9.95 instead of $19.95. If my code runs out, look for another happy SpeedFiler user - there are five discounts each.

Am I being purely altruistic passing this on? No; if more people register the developer will have more funds to add more features in the next version, like a new keyboard shortcut (Ctrl-Shift-V is such a Vulcan death-grip), hiding the toolbar, writing an Outlook 2007 version... So I help them advertise, you pay them money and we all get something better. The commercial version of open source? ;)
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Talking to my PC: calling and recording

I've always been uncomfortable sitting at my desk, talking to my PC via a headset; it just hasn't felt like making a phone call unless I have a phone clutched in my hand or tucked under my jaw. While I'm sitting in the comfy chair with my leg up to rest my knee and working on a laptop (or two - I miss the multiscreen thing), I've found it much easier to use a headset with a mobile phone or the DECT phone from Simon's desk. I'm set up to record from the phone on my desk onto a tablet PC or a digital recorder, which doesn't work from the mobile phone. How could I get the recording and the headset to make it easier to take notes and record the interview I had to do today? Mark Anderson of SNS is one of the smart people I get to enjoy talking to and I didn't want to miss anything I couldn't type fast enough. And how could I keep the cost of a transatlantic call down? Simon suggested Skype, and the Skype voucher we'd picked up at a recent conference and the handy Skylook software he found which records to MP3 and saves the recordings as an Outlook message (and adds all the Skype dialling options to Outlook). At first I thought that was a bit gimicky and wished it recorded into OneNote. I'd still like to record it into OneNote but having it in Outlook and therefore on any PC I use will actually be pretty handy. And I'm very impressed with the sound quality - using the standard microphone socket on a Toshiba Portege R100, it's very clear and there were maybe two three-second sections of the conversation where I heard any distortion. I shall do this again. But I may not hand out my Skype numebr widely; I'd rather have a handset to pick up to see who's calling than a pop-up cluttering my screen.