The company I work for runs on Exchange. I often see staff trying to access their personal POP3 or HTTP email through web interfaces, or from their personal laptop.
Wouldn’t it be nice if they were able to bring all their email accounts together into the one place, but still have control of them individually. This is quite possible with Exchange, and it works fantastically well.
I love having access to an Exchange server. It beats other mail protocols hands down for accessibility and control. Your mail can be accessed through a web front-end, or a full blown desktop client in the form of Outlook. Once you have your mail you can send off messages to and from a supported phone with Push technology. There is not much you can’t do with it.
I have four email accounts that each go into my Exchange account. This means that I am able to access each and every email, from any of the accounts, through my email client, my phone, or through a web interface.
This article will show you how to set this up for yourself. It is really very simple to set up, and the time saved from accessing various account individually will be significant. There will be much less email clutter to tidy up as well. There will only be one Inbox that you need to control and monitor.
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Backing up your computer is important, but it can be a hassle. If we have to do it manually, chances are that we will forget one time or another. On the other hand, if we set it up to run automatically to a schedule, we may find it interferes with our normal computer usage.
Vista task scheduler is a very powerful tool. We can set it up to run programs only if the computer is idle. This serves two purposes. The backups will be made automatically and the backups will not interfere with your normal usage.
A huge added bonus is that we can use any backup program we like. We are not limited to backup programs that have scheduling built in. All we need is a backup program that can start backing up as soon as it is launched, which just about all of them can do.
This article is specifically for Windows Vista. XP’s scheduled tasks does not have the idle features built in, though it may be able to be achieved with a third party program.
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POP email servers are not as smart as IMAP, Exchange or online email services. They are unable to keep track of what mail you have already downloaded, when you are moving between computers or when you have just reinstalled Outlook (if you have imported a backup). This is not normally a problem in day to day use, but when you do make changes to your email account settings, you can end up with duplicate items, and a lot of them.
It is a real hassle to remove each of these duplicate items individually, and in the past I have manually removed them. Today after a fresh install of Outlook, I had around 150 duplicate items! I needed to find a better way to automate the removal of these. I came across a number of utilities that would do the job. Some of them are free and others are commercial or shareware releases. After a bit of testing Outlook Duplicate Items Remover (ODIR) came out on top.
ODIR scans your Outlook mail, contacts, tasks and calendar for duplicate items. If an item is found to be a duplicate it moves the item into a folder called ODIR Duplicate Items. You can then look through this folder and then delete it’s contents once you are comfortable that you don’t need any of them.
There are a number of reasons I preferred ODIR over the other utilities I tested out. First of all, it is free which is always a big selling point for me. ODIR had fewer options than many of the others, but in the end I felt most comfortable using it as it did not automatically delete duplicate items (as most of the others did). Instead, ODIR moved them into a separate directory which I could quickly sift through to confirm that no legitimate mail was removed.
If you find yourself in the same situation, do yourself a favour and download ODIR. It is so quick and easy to use, making this huge hassle a piece of cake.
ODIR is available for free from Vaita. Tested on Outlook 2007 in Vista.
A network clipboard allows you to share the same clipboard between two computers connected via a network. You are able to copy text on one computer, and then paste it on the other.
Last week I posted an article about a handful of network clipboards that are available for free on Windows PCs. I was not able to get any of them to communicate to each other between Windows XP and Vista.
Over the week, I came across the open-source utility BeyondCopy 1.24, which is yet another network clipboard. I expected the same sort of luck as I had with the other programs I had tested, but I was pleasantly surprised when BeyondCopy worked for me first time without any fuss.
I installed the utility on each computer and added the other computers hostname to the list of acceptable computers. I opened up Notepad and typed in some text and copied it to the clipboard. I switched to the other computer and pressed paste, and clipboard followed me.
BeyondCopy runs in the task tray on both computers and can be started up with Windows. You are able to have more than two computers sharing the same clipboard. It is fairly secure as you have to put in the computer hostnames of all the computers you want to share the clipboard of, into the client on each computer. If you only do it on one, BeyondCopy will not connect. You are even able to change which port BeyondCopy uses for added security.
The documentation claims that the software will copy files but I had no luck with this. The help documentation isn’t too clear for this. I was able to copy text flawlessly, which is what I initially set out to do.
Now I have to get used to this new feature on my network. The impossible has become possible. I am already reaping the benefits as I have used it in writing this article. This one is a keeper!
BeyondCopy is free and available from their Website.
The main reason you may want to sync folders on a single machine is to backup your data. You would probably be best to find a backup utility to do this.
If you want to sync folders over networked drives, this guide may help you also. There are more detailed articles at Inspect My Gadget on syncing documents between two networked computers. Find them here.
On the very odd occasion you do want to sync folders on a single computer, it is not too hard to achieve. There are a number of applications available to help you do this, but many of them cost money. Windows has a solution by a command in the command prompt which will work on all Windows PC’s. Microsoft also offers a program called SyncToy which does the same thing with a nice GUI interface.
This is a two part article. In Part 1 we looked at using xcopy to sync your folders, and in Part 2 will look at how to use SyncToy.
Part 2 will cover the following topics.
- How to get SyncToy
- Configuring SyncToy
- How to schedule SyncToy to run a sync at a set time.
SyncToy is a great solution for people who require to sync local or networked folders, as it is easy to use and it can be scheduled.
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