Thursday, February 26, 2009

How do I safeguard my password?

Choosing a strong password is just one part of protecting your online account. You should also follow these tips to keep it safe:

* Your ID and password are confidential information. No one will never ask you for your password in an unsolicited phone call or email. Do not respond to any message that asks for your password.

* Do not write your password down. If you must write it down, keep it safe away in a place only you can access. Treat it as if it were cash.

* Change your password if you suspect something is amiss. Change your passwords frequently to keep it much more safer.

* Verify your online account information. From time to time, make sure your information is accurate and that no one has changed your data. If you suspect someone knows the answer to your secret question and any other information asked on the Sign-In Problems page, change them as soon as possible.

* Use care with automatic sign-in. If you check Remember my ID on this computer when you sign in to online account, you're still signed in even after you close your browser.

This feature can be a convenience for you: When you return to the online account, you don't have to re-enter your password. (If you're away from your computer for a while, you may be asked to re-enter your password.)

Do not check the Remember my ID on this computer box if you use a shared computer.

To change the setting of this feature, click the Sign out link on your online account page, and then sign in again, but do not check the Remember my ID box.

* Read the fine print. Before saving your password on any browser, plug-in, or program, thoroughly read the security documentation for that program or service. Depending on the program, your passwords may be available to anyone who uses that computer.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Windows 7 gets you what you expected!

Windows 7: The next client release of Microsoft will be available in 32 & 64-bit versions.
Here are some things that you asked for in your Desktop OS:

1. Faster-Your system starts up, shuts down and resumes from standby faster, and your laptop’s battery lasts longer!

2. Touch- Multi touch, ink and gesture support along with handwriting recognition allow you to create exciting new input capabilities. Managing large number of windows is much easier, with intuitive touch gestures to view multiple windows at once and remove unwanted windows.

3. Faster Browsing- Build for the web with IE8, add rich media with Silver light and extend to rich client with WPF – using the same platform and tools

4. Explore and Share - With Windows 7 and Windows Live, you can easily manage your documents, pictures, movies and music, regardless of which PC they are stored on, and share them with your friends and family.

5. Search- Windows 7 includes all performance improvements from Windows Search 4.0, so search and indexing are much faster.

6. Less Crashes- A new feature in Windows 7, Fault Tolerant Heap, mitigates the most common causes of heap corruption, significantly reducing the number of crashes you will experience!

7. Power Saving - Windows 7 easily adapts to your activity. To save battery power, Windows 7 automatically reduces display brightness after a period of inactivity, much like mobile phones do today.

8. Watch complete DVD on battery- Windows 7 will use less power in playing a standard-definition DVD than all earlier versions of Windows, so you are more likely to watch a complete movie with a single battery charge.
*Courtesy of information: Microsoft

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How to convert Docx to Doc

Microsoft’s newest versions of MS Office Suite support a new file format, which for Word Documents the suffix docx, but sadly this format is no longer compatible with older Versions of Word that used the doc suffix, a binary format that in most cases could only be read by Microsoft supplied software such as Word 2003 and older, or the free Word viewer available from the Microsoft website.

For compatibility purposes, converting a docx document to doc format is sometimes a requirement, either due to other parties not having access to the MS Office suite of software, or for backup and archival purposes, although increasingly major corporations and government departments are looking to update older documents to docx format.

Docx and doc are not in any way compatible, doc being a closed binary format that cannot be read unless the correct application such as MS Word or a filter for 3rd party applications installed. Docx by contrast is an open standard that can be unzipped using the built-in Windows unzip utility and the document.xml file extracted.

The process of converting from one format to the other essentially involves extracting the text, any embedded objects, and the style formatting, and then re-saving these in the other format. Users of MS Office 2007 are able to select the “save as” option in the file menu of Word 2007 and select Word 97/2000/XP as the preferred format.

Users of older versions of Word such as Word 2003 or Word 2000 will need to add the Microsoft supplied compatibility pack that enhances these versions and allows full open and save in docx format, thus allowing Word 2003 and Word 2000 users to convert a docx file to doc format easily.

Whilst docx has many advantages over doc formatted documents, it is generally less supported, with many of the more popular alternatives to Ms Office only now offering full or limited support. Although OpenOffice 3.0 and new versions of Abiword promise full support, WordPerfect support for docx is still imperfect, and only allows users to open files.

Converting a docx file to doc format if MS Office isn’t available is sometimes best accomplished using an online docx converter, specialist websites that upload the original docx file to their server, perform a conversion, and then make the new doc formatted file available to download. Care should be taken that confidential or secret documents are never uploaded to third party websites making this service less useful in the corporate or government sector.

More secure converters that can be installed directly on the user’s computer are available to purchase through major software retailers, or can be downloaded under a shareware type license that may give a free trial period. Better software allows conversion both ways and even into other popular file formats such as HTML or PDF.

Mac users can download free universal binaries that sit in the dashboard and convert docx to doc on the fly, although the preferred method suggested by Microsoft is to install Office 2008 for Mac, however several users have reported compatibility problems.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What is Docx format???

In January 2007 Microsoft released a new version of the market leading Office Suite MS Office 2007, followed a year later by the Mac version, MS Office 2008. Both suites introduced new file formats in response to criticism that Microsoft were not supporting efforts to make document file formats open and easily shared between users with different operating systems or using alternate office software.

In the mid 1990s a new text based document schema known as XML, a document markup language, was created with the goal of making complex documents more accessible, and which could be opened and read by a variety of software from editors to browsers, and everything in between. The docx format is Microsoft’s answer to the need for an open format that permits non-Microsoft applications access to the date contained within the document.

As part of Microsoft’s commitment to open file formats the docx format, which is just one of several new formats introduced by Microsoft, the responsibility for maintaining the format and ensuring standards compliance was passed to Ecma International, a non-governmental non-profit private standards organization in 2006. It has since been incorporated into several 3rd party applications mainly to assist with viewing, converting, or sharing word processed documents.

Docx differs from the previous default format used by MS Word, it is not a binary file that needs to be interpreted, instead, docx is a package of XML files that have been compressed together using the zip file format, a system used within MS Windows Explorer for its compressed folders functionality. When unzipped, the folder is found to contain several sub folders, all of which have at least one XML file used to store document properties, along with a single file under the ‘Word’ folder that contains the authored text.

The XML used within a docx file is specific to the needs of MS Office, but can be read in plain text using a text editor, and owning a licensed copy of MS Word or MS Works is not necessary to be able to read and print a docx document, although a word processor such as MS Word, AbiWord, or OpenOffice is needed to edit and then save a document in docx format.

Because the docx file is a zipped folder of XML files, it is possible for users to explore the folder structure and examine the XML code used. This also makes it easy for IT staff to make batch changes to multiple docx files, for example changing a corporate logo or the company registration number without having to open each file separately.

The open nature of the docx format makes it relatively easy for conversion software to be created that can be run on a local desktop or server, making the process of future proofing the archiving of documents less complex than in previous years. Management and storage costs are also reduced because the files are already zipped as an integral part of their schema.

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