on Thursday, July 29, 2010

The University Technology Fee Advisory Board (UTFAB) and CSU Libraries have licensed the entire library of the online training materials. Just go to and log in using your CSU eName and ePassword. All CSU students, faculty and staff have access.

There are over 42,000 video-based tutorials, and you can sort them by subject, by software, or by vendor. Also included are the associated training files, so you can practice what you've learned.

These tutorials are available 24/7 and cover Adobe (Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Photoshop) Apple (Studio Pro, Final Cut) and Microsoft (Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Word) product suites. Also included: Google Apps, Drupal, audio and video editing, operating systems and much more. Tutorials contain up to 8 hours of instruction per subject area, split into 5-15 minute segments. They are well designed and easy to follow, and the short length of the individual tutorials allows you to learn at your own pace.

Google Voice

on Wednesday, July 21, 2010

eXtension has a great occasional series called 30 Minute sessions, usually at noon MST, that quickly provide an overview of various Tech topics. And it's during lunch, so you can watch and listen while you eat! If you aren't on their mailing list, go to to sign up. You'll need an account with eXtension. I strongly suggest you do so. It's a great asset.

This week's topic was Google Voice, yet another very cool (and free!) new gadget from Google. You can sign up, or simply learn more about it, at

Google Voice lets you consolidate and manage all your various phone services from one online service: cell, home, and work numbers. Google Voice provides a powerful suite of communications tools, including the ability to:

  • Forward calls from one or more phones, or directly to voicemail. Based on who's calling, you can select which of your phones will ring.
  • Consolidate all voicemail messages from various phones into one place, and allow you to listen to those messages online.
  • Receive text/email alerts when you get a call.
  • Transcribe voicemails, which Google Voice will send as email and/or text messages to your cell phone.
  • Share voicemails or transcriptions of voicemails via email.
  • Screen callers by asking for and recording their names.
  • Block annoying callers.
  • Vary personalized greetings by caller.
  • Record phone conversations and listen to them in your Google Voice inbox.
This really is a great tool, and my fast synopsis does not do it justice. Give it a look.

Recovering Deleted CSU Emails

on Thursday, July 15, 2010

On CSU’s email system, emails are automatically removed from the Deleted Items folder 7 days after you delete them. During these seven days you can go to the Deleted Items folder near your inbox and restore them to the system (see the screenshot on the right).

After those first seven days they are removed from the Deleted Items folder, but not to worry (not for 7 days, anyway). In Outlook, they can be accessed under Tools -> Recover Deleted Items (see the screenshot on the left). On CSU’s system they are there for another 7 days.

So all in all, with CSU’s email you have 14 days to recover an email after you have deleted it; the first seven look in the Deleted Items folder, the next 7 in Tools -> Recover Deleted Items .

Thanks to Angie Asmus for the tip.


on Thursday, July 8, 2010

You have likely seen shortened URLs with "tinyurl" in the address, such as Mostly they are used in Twitter messages {tweets), since they have a 140 character maximum, and so space is at a premium. But short URLs are useful to anyone with a website, particularly if you are advertising a website on print media where a link can't be clicked.

They are very easy to create. Go to TinyURL ( You don't need to even register. Just copy-and-paste the URL you want to shorten, the site will instantly spit a shortened one back out. It also has a custom URL feature, where you can customize the name of the shortened URL (assuming it isn't taken). For instance, I just created an easy to remember tiny URL for the Computer Applications Training page using this feature:

There are a few security concerns associated with them, such as clicking on unsafe links, or fears the company won't be around to redirect the link in the future. These concerns are addressed more completely in this Popular Mechanics article:

on Friday, July 2, 2010

If your computer is behaving oddly and you call the IT help desk to get some assistance, they'll likely want to know some basic information about your system. If you go to the site you can quickly find out:

1. your browser
2. your browser version
3. your operating system
4. your IP address
5. your user agent string

Bookmark it. That way, next time you call the help desk, you can have this basic information at your fingertips.

Thanks to Loretta Lohman and Erin Pheil for the tip!