IMG Quickie: Recall an email message with Outlook Exchange

RecallHave you ever pressed the send button in Outlook, only to suddenly realise that you forgot to add the attachment, or that you are sending it to the wrong person?

Both Outlook 2003 and 2007 have a feature, where you can attempt to recall a message, effectively unsending the email message. This has got me out of trouble in the past. It is nice to be able to add in that after thought, or to remove that risky remark.

A recalled message is invisible on the recipients computer, as long as the recall takes place before the email has been downloaded onto their computer.

This recall feature is not totally reliable. Much depends on how quickly you send the recall message. However, there is no harm in giving this a try when it is needed.

To try it out, open up your sent items folder and double click on an email message. The email will open up in a new window. In Outlook 2003, Click on the actions menu. In Outlook 2007, click Other Actions. Finally, select Recall this message. It’s that simple.


IMG Quickie: Get control of your PowerPoint presentations.

PowerpointThere are so many ways to control the movement between slides in PowerPoint. We can use the Enter key, our mouse or touch pad (to click or scroll), or we can use the arrow keys on our keyboard. I prefer to use the arrow keys as they a reliable, and if you make a mistake by skipping a slide, you can easily press the left arrow to backtrack.

The method I see people use most often is to click using either a mouse or a touch pad. This is an obvious choice for many as the buttons are big and easy to find. The only problem with this method, is that if you skip a slide, it is natural to try a right click to backtrack. Instead of PowerPoint moving back one slide, you get an ugly context menu as shown above. Not only is this menu fairly useless, it is distracting, and it destroys the flow of the presentation. I see this context menu show up in so many presentations. It is a gripe of mine so I looked to see if it was possible to make the right click step back.

Both PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 have the option to disable the context menu. You can change a setting to make your right click move the presentation back one slide.

Go into your PowerPoint settings.
If you are using PowerPoint 2003, look in the view tab
If you are using PowerPoint 2007, click on advanced
Untick “Show menu on right mouse click”

I don’t know why this isn’t the default setting.


IMG Quickie: Fix a noisy case fan caveman style

FanOften the first piece of hardware to cause us grief on a computer is the internal case fan. These fans can give off a really nasty grinding sound after a couple of years, normally due to dust buildup in the inner workings of the fan. Rather then replacing the fan, we can initially try to dislodge the dust.

Dust is less likely to effect the CPU and video card fans because these fans are usually of higher quality and they don’t have the same access to external dust. I would not try this method for these fans as it is likely to do more harm than good.

As a precaution, it is sensible to either remove the fan from the case or to remove the hard drives from the computer. We don’t want any vibrations resulting in this method to cause your hard drive grief. I say this as a disclaimer, but I have never had any problems bypassing this step.

Find yourself a screwdriver, pull the cover off your case and turn on your computer. Hold your PC case steady and strike the sticker on the fan with the butt of the screwdriver. Start with very gentle strikes and work your way up. You should not need to strike very hard to clear out the dust.

I have used this method on numerous occasions and had great success. The worst case is that you break the fan, that you were likely going to replace in any case. If you can be bothered, now would be a good time to vacuum the inside of the machine whilst the cover is off.

It’s primitive, but it works a dream.

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IMG Quickie: Login automatically to Ubuntu

Login WindowUbuntu allows you to login automatically, saving you from entering your username and password each time you boot up Ubuntu. This is ideal for home situations, where security is not really as much of an issue as it may be in a workplace.

Click “System”

Click “Administration”

Select “Login Window”

Screenshot-Login Window Preferences

In the “Security” tab, tick “Enable Automatic Login”

Use the pull-down menu to select which username you want to login as.

The next time you restart your computer, you will bypass the login screen allowing you to get straight into the Ubuntu goodness.


IMG Quickie: Do cool stuff with your Vista desktop wallpaper

Difficulty: 1

DesktopI came across this by accident and switched back to a normal desktop background quick smart. We used to be concerned about too many icons on the desktop taking up valuable system resources. Vista however lets us take this one step further with a useless but crafty feature.

We are now able to play Windows Media videos as the background of our desktop as well as Windows Dreamscene content. This is a Windows Vista Ultimate Extra.

Windows Dreamscene content is things like waterfalls and other nice things which I don’t really have an interest in. There may be a few more interesting looped movies in the future. Developers could do some great stuff with this.

Set as menuTo get it all to happen, you have a couple of options. you can select a WMV file and right click on it, select “Set as Desktop Background”

DreamsceneYou can also go into your wallpaper settings and select the either the Video or Windows Dreamscene Content boxes.

I can’t see much use for setting this up as you would generally have programs open over the top of it. You can’t play DivX films or the like under it. Saying that, I like to use a proper media player to do this.

It’s fun to have a play with but for me, this will be forgotten about quickly.