Recently in MVP Category

Microsoft Word humor

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In a couple of days the current Microsoft Office for Mac forums will be closing and folks searching for answers to their questions will be redirected to Microsoft Answers.

I thought the following exchange in the soon to be defunct Word for Mac forum was too good to lose.

This post is for the folks on the YouTalk mailing list.

Over time Microsoft Entourage 2008 builds a list of recently used E-mail addresses based on messages sent and received. This list is called the Most Recently Used list or the MRU. As time goes on, this list builds and builds and becomes cluttered with outdated addresses or addresses from junk mail that wasn’t properly marked as “junk”.

Geek fest: Week 1

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I'm writing this post while sitting on a plane headed to Portland, OR. In a little while I'll be meeting fellow MVP Diane Ross and former MVP Allen Watson. We're driving to Redmond for this year's MVP Summit at Microsoft.

Flying is a wonderful time for me to catch up, reflect and look into new things, which is what I'm doing now. Beneath the iPhone in my hand are two issues of iPhone Life magazine, which I discovered at the Macworld Expo last week. I'm enjoying reading it and considering asking if i can write for it as well.

Last week's Expo was my third to attend, but it was the first where I actually presented a session. Nadyne Richmond from Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit and I presented "Administering Macs with Exchange" as part of the MacIT conference where we covered Exchange tips as well as Entourage troubleshooting. We had no idea what to expect for attendance, but Nadyne did a quick head count—52 people. A sizable group for a topic so specific.

More of my time was spent answeing questions in the Microsoft booth about the new version of Office for Mac to be released later this year. Lots of folks wanted to know about Outlook replacing Entourage and I wish I had had this next week come first so I could've answered them better. Maybe this is for the better since all this talk will be under NDA anyway.

Several months back I heard a saying that "Facebook is for friends you've met and Twitter is for friends you've yet to meet." I believe that. I met face-to-face for the first time three folks I've known at least a year only online. Two are prominant bloggers/podcasters and the third was my publisher at MacTech magazine. To add a warm handshake to those relationships was really nice.

So what did I see at Macworld? My favorite area had to be the iPhone apps area where each 4x4 table accommodated four app vendors. I think the area had at least 20-25 tables. I saw several gems there including two apps for creating and editing Office documents. Just Word and Excel.

Finally, I've found an app for grocery shopping that includes a barcode scanner! It won't be available for a few weeks. The app is pending Apple's approval process now. Can't wait!

I now have an app to take a picture of business cards and convert them to electronic contacts, which is handy. However, if a person has an iPhone then I'm going to insist he download Bump to transfer contacts more easily.

I reget not attending either of the two big parties. My nerves from before the presentation really drained me. Surprisingly, once I was on stage I thought it went really well. One of the attendees stopped by the booth the next day and said something to the effect of, "I went into the session with low expectations but came out thinking it was once of the best sessions this year." Made my day.

So this week I get to see quite a few old friends at the MVP summit and see sooper sekrit stuff I can't share here. This is a good month for a geek like me.

Microsoft's marketing group has again made a great blunder. As if the Seinfeld/Gates commercials weren't enough they apparently felt that their MVP program is up for grabs. Sadly, a lot of MVPs didn't disagree.

Apparently, someone at Microsoft decided to stage a mass "I'm a PC!" video opportunity during last week's MVP Summit in Redmond, and it is being spread to various media as our endorsement of them.

I'm not a software developer but I dabble a bit in scripting. My Exchange setup script for Entourage has gotten me a few nice remarks and I even learned at Macworld that it's being used by folks at Conde Nast and the New York Times.

Back in August I wrote an updated version of the script, version 3.0, and E-mailed it to some folks who had contacted me originally looking for assistance or just sending me kudos. They got first crack at beta testing this new version. One of these folks had even asked me earlier for the changes that I had made. I got responses from everybody saying, "Thanks!" or "I'll test when I can." Great!

A few months later and several requests to others to help me test and I still hadn't heard from anyone about their experiences. I guess karma didn't want me to write the update.

Post Macworld reflections

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My sleeping habits and legs are still recovering from a week in San Francisco where long days and late nights are the norm during Macworld. However, I'm still energized by everything I saw and trying to eek out just a bit more by going through my notes, collection of promo materials, demo CDs and chotchkies.

Pictures are everything for those who can't attend so I'll add a lot of pictures with some comments. Most of these are from my iPhone.

My Macworld chores

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Microsoft has kindly invited me again to attend Macworld and help folks in their booth. Two years ago I attended my first Macworld Expo and had a blast. This time, a little wiser, I'll prepare a little better.

Our new MacBook Pros arrived Wednesday, just two days after receiving and sending back our original MacBook order. They were so close yet I couldn't open the boxes. That made the wait a little harder. But we were glad to see them arrive one day before FedEx said they should be delivered.

Flying the long way home

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Our mini summit at MacBU is now done and we've all traveled home. By now, most of us are there. My return was scheduled for yesterday but a long delay would have caused me to miss my connecting flight so I was rerouted first class to Los Angeles where I was too late to catch that flight--the last flight--to the Twin Cities.

Today was travel day for our mini summit at the MacBU and the day long travel (mostly waiting at the airports) ended with a 7:00 p.m. dinner of 10 at a local restaurant called Matt's in Redmond Town Center.