Jewish World Review May 11, 2004 / 20 Iyar, 5764

Fold calendar into Web page for easy sharing; great idea for automating saving large number of small text files that must download every day; software is available to monitor program usage on a PC

By James Coates | (KRT) Q. I read your column every week, and I've written you questions a couple of times in the past that weren't answered. But your answers to other readers' questions were very often helpful, so I can't complain.

I have Microsoft Outlook (full version, not the lesser Outlook Express). I've filled in the calendar with lots of important appointments and events coming up, and I'd like to share it with a colleague who only has Outlook Express.

I've been printing it out and then faxing it, but is there a way to simply e-mail the calendar?

— Paula Hewitson, Pleasanton, Calif

A. Thanks for your patience, Ms. H. As you note, there are too many questions and far too few answers in this column-writing gig, so I try to handle ones that likely will help the individual person and a bunch of other readers too.

Your calendar-sharing question gets asked a lot in a world where people working in offices with high-powered software like Outlook want to share stuff with folks not in such high-powered surroundings.

There is a little noted and quite easy way to attach Outlook calendars to e-mail messages that anybody with a Web browser can quickly see and use. The trick is to use a feature under the File command in Outlook to Save as Web page. Use this command, and then attach the Web page it creates to an e-mail.

When your friend opens it, the entire calendar will get displayed in the browser, complete with all of the appointments, notes, reminders and the other stuff a complex Outlook calendar can hold.

This is, of course, a one-way deal, since your colleague doesn't have Outlook. But it is much easier than what you do now with faxes, because your colleague simply can open e-mail and then store the calendar on a computer, far better than bulky paper faxes.

Now some details: When any Web site is saved, Windows creates a stand-alone file in a format called HTML and a folder to hold the various graphic elements such as headlines, calendar layouts and other supporting data for that page. So it's much smoother to place the HTML file (called calendar.htm by default) and the supporting folder in a folder of their own.

So right-click your mouse on the desktop and select New from the menu that pops up. Select the Folder choice at the top of the New display. This will place a folder on your desktop named New Folder. You can right-click on the New Folder icon and pick Rename from the pop-up to give it a better moniker if you want.

Now, open Outlook in the calendar view and click on File and Save as Web Page. The menu this summons lets you set the number of days or weeks of calendar entries you want to send your friend.

When that is set, click on the File/Save as Web command to call up the Save file browser. Use this browser to move to the desktop and open the new folder you created for the project. Click to save the material into that folder.

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You can now simply attach the folder to an e-mail message and send it off to that colleague for tidy use on a computer without the bother of faxing.

Q. I've got a great idea for automating how I save the large number of small text files that I must download every day to keep track of orders from our customers. My idea is to use that command called Send To in Windows to include a folder for the order forms. Then I could simply right-click on each file and then use the Send To line to move it where it needs to be.

This would save a lot of time if I could figure it out.

I am hoping that there is a way a user can add his own folders to the list automatically included in Windows.

— Steve McCorkill, Shawnee, Kan

A. It is actually very easy to add folders to the Send To command that comes up when one right-clicks on an icon in Windows. This feature works by creating a special folder the operating system looks for when a user clicks on Send To in the commands that appear when an icon is right-clicked.

Find that Send To folder, and all one needs to do is drag into it a shortcut icon for any folder desired, and that folder will join the list of Send To targets.

In Windows XP, the Send To folder is located under Documents and Settings and can be found by giving a right-click on the Start button and then selecting Explore. The Document and Settings folder probably will be at the top of the list of folders in the Windows Explorer window that pops up. If there are multiple users on the computer, the folder for each user will hold that user's customized Send To list.

In Windows 98 the Send To folder is simply listed in the Windows directory itself.

So open the Send To folder and go find whatever folder you use to store those forms. Give it a right-click and then pick Create a Shortcut from the pop-up menu.

Now all you need do is drag the shortcut icon that gets created to the Send To folder you have left open. This adds the folder to the Send To list.

Although you thought of this possibility for handling business forms, it also can be used for other files that tend to build up very rapidly, including photographs and the files from whatever program one uses most— word processing, spreadsheets, etc.

Great idea, Mr. M.

Q. What software is available to monitor program usage on a PC? For example, when your child says that he only played PC games for one hour, is there a piece of software that can monitor such activity to verify?

— Daniel Vranik

A. It's not just worried parents who seem to be snapping up the category of software called keyboard loggers, which is what you are asking for, Mr. V. Businesses seem drawn to the same stuff to monitor employees' time at the computer as well.

You fret over whether the young ones are owning up to the time they spend playing games, while the folks in the front office mull over whether their workforce is churning out product, such as newspaper columns, or spending company time browsing eBay or worse.

Key loggers can be made invisible to the people using a machine and then perform a number of somewhat disturbing spy tasks.

Consider iOpus Software's ActMon Home product, a $39.95 spy-in-a-box that not only will watch your kids' time online, but also will snap an occasional screen shot of what is being viewed for future reference.

This software creates surveillance logs that include every message exchanged by both sides in an online chat session, every Web site visited and every password given, among many other intrusive items. Details are at

The business-focused $89.95 ActMon Pro version of the software adds features to deploy the invisible spies all across a network and regulate things like who can call up certain features and who cannot. The icing on this particular piece of cake with a snitch inside is a feature that will make occasional screen shots of what each employee calls up on their machine and then e-mail that picture to the boss anywhere on the planet.

An aptly named program designed primarily for home use is IamBigBrother 9.0, a $39.95 offering from Finer Technologies Inc. (www.software4parents .com). You, Mr. V., and business owners alike can use that Web site for access to and information about a wealth of spy programs. Big Brother stories always disturb me and a lot of readers, but it is easy to see the temptation to implement such strong and bitter-tasting preventative medicine, especially for parents of youngsters at risk.

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James Coates is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Let us know what you think of this column by clicking here.



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