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September 19, 2002—In this issue:
- Simplify Voicemail and Fax Communications
- Real-World Tips and Solutions Here for You
- New! News, Tips, and More to Keep Your Network Humming
- Featured Thread: Connecting Win98 Clients to a Win2K Server
- Tip: Disabling Windows Messenger
4. NEW AND IMPROVED
- New Version of Compression Software
- Updated Remote Access Service
5. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by David Chernicoff, News Editor, [email protected])
As an independent technology consultant and writer, I work in a home office. Although I would like to have a full-time assistant and offices in multiple cities, the nature of my business doesn't accommodate such amenities.
As a home-based worker, I hate to deal with certain types of communication—particularly voicemail and faxes. I get a lot of voicemail, and the callers often drone on for minutes before leaving me a phone number. The calls usually are work-related, so I need to listen to the entire message.
Faxes are another story. In many cases, I need outbound faxing capabilities, but inbound faxes are often nothing more than junk advertisements—fax spam, if you will. Dealing with these communications is a challenge for corporate users, too, but is especially vexing to small offices and telecommuting workers.
To deal with voicemail and faxes, I've been using a service called jConnect (http://www.j2.com) since its earliest incarnation (it has undergone a few product name changes). The jConnect service gives me, as a business user, a simpler way to handle voicemail and faxes by delivering them all to my email Inbox.
The service is based on a simple idea: Each service subscriber gets a personal phone number that he or she can distribute as a fax number. The number can be local to the user or, if the user wants to give the impression that he or she is a bigger business, the phone number can be in any of more than 800 geographic locations that jConnect supports. To set up voicemail, you add call forwarding to your current phone number. When the call forwards to the jConnect number, the automated attendant picks up the call as any interactive voice response (IVR) system would. The system records the caller's message and sends it in a proprietary compressed audio format to any email account you've configured (up to three per phone number). The system receives faxes sent to your new fax number and forwards them to your email Inbox.
The jConnect software works fine on every version of Windows I've tried it on—Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 98 Standard Edition (Win98SE)—and you can install it to add outbound faxing and voicemail capabilities to Microsoft Office applications, among other productivity tools. For example, I've also added jConnect to the Eudora Pro email application.
Handling voicemail is easy when the messages arrive as email. I click the email attachment, and it launches the jConnect playback tool. I can stop and start the recorded message, change the volume level, repeat a section again and again, or save the message for future reference. This approach sure beats having to catch a mumbled phone number while fumbling with the telephone headset.
Another advantage of this service is that when I'm traveling, I can get my voicemail when I download my email each day. You can also check voicemail by phone if you have either of the two subscription-based versions of jConnect. I don't have to worry about missing a voicemail while I'm traveling. And if important information I need is in a voicemail, I can copy the voicemail and bring it with me.
The jConnect service comes in three forms: a free service (jConnect Free) and two subscription-based services (jConnect Lite and jConnect Premier) that add additional features and benefits such as Web-initiated conference calling. jConnect offers a 1-month free trial of jConnect Premier, or you can try the jConnect Free service if jConnect Premier gives you more features than you need. jConnect is worth a look if you need a different way to handle fax and voicemail communications.
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Marduk is having trouble connecting Windows 98 clients to a Windows 2000 Advanced Server and its shared folders. Although his Windows XP and Win2K machines can access the server, he receives "network path not found" or "computer or sharename not found" messages when he tries to connect a Win98 machine to the server. Join the discussion at the following URL:
(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])
Many readers who use Windows XP have told me that they don't want Windows Messenger to start every time they log on to their systems. These readers usually follow up with another email message telling me that although they've succeeded in turning off Windows Messenger, it now starts every time they launch Microsoft Outlook. Here's how to disable Windows Messenger in the registry so that it defaults to off and doesn't launch when Outlook launches.
- Launch regedt32.
- Open HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Messenger\Client.
- Add a DWORD called PreventRun and set its value to 1.
- Add a DWORD called PreventAutoRun and set its value to 1.
- Open HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\InstantMessaging.
- Add a DWORD called ForceDisableIM and set its value to 1.
If necessary, you can reenable the automatic launching of Windows Messenger by resetting all the values to 0.
4. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Judy Drennen, [email protected])
PentaWare announced PentaZip 5.1, compression software that lets you create archives larger than 4GB and features a Windows Explorer interface, a viewer that lets you see file contents before unzipping the file, and a scripting feature that lets you create self-running file backups. PentaWare runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x and costs $49.95 for a single-user license and $213 for a five-user license. Contact PentaWare at the Web site.
01 Communique announced I'm InTouch 3.1, a remote access service that lets users access their Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express email, contacts, and calendar, as well as any files on their PCs or networked drives, from any Web or wireless browser. I'm InTouch 3.1 includes a configuration wizard and executes faster than the previous version. I'm InTouch runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 98 Second Edition (Win98SE). The software costs $99.95 per year. Contact 01 Communique at 905-795-2888 or 800-668-2185.
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