February 23, 2007
Calendars Affected by Daylight Saving Time Changes

Last week an update was applied to Extension computers in order to implement the daylight saving time changes dictated in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which goes into effect this year. An unfortunate side-effect of this change is that calendar appointments during three weeks in Spring (March 11-April 1) and one week in Fall (October 28-November 4) may be off by one hour. You should carefully review all calendar appointments during this time to ensure accuracy.

To assist with this process Extension IT will run a Microsoft tool to update recurring appointments for you. We will begin running the tool at 3pm on Friday, February 23. As the tool runs it will generate meeting update requests. You must accept these requests in order for the meeting to appear at the correct time. This tool will only update recurring appointments; you still need to carefully review all calendar appointments during the time periods mentioned above.

PDAs and smart phones that synchronize calendar information with Exchange will need to be manually updated for the new daylight saving time dates. More information will be posted on the TechNews web site in the next few days. Please visit TechNews for additional information and contact Extension IT if you need further assistance. (www.extension.iastate.edu/technews/)

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work through these unavoidable changes.
Darin Dugan, System Admin

Posted by dddugan at 11:51 AM
February 20, 2007
Introduction to Windows Vista

On Monday, February 26th at 1:30 PM, we'll be hosting a one hour Connect (formerly Breeze) session on Windows Vista, the new operating system from Microsoft which is replacing Windows XP. You can register at:


In this session, a followup to the previous Preview Office 2007 and Windows Vista, we will cover:

  • The new Start Menu
  • The Control panel
  • Windows Defender
  • User Account Control and Printer Installation
  • The Sidebar
  • Instant Search
  • Recovering previous versions of files and folders
  • Tagging images and documents
  • Aero (the new Windows Vista User interface)
  • The Mobility Center


Posted by dcoates at 01:48 PM
February 19, 2007
New Thing Two for Vista: Instant Search

Instant Search is integrated throughout Vista. You can type a file name, a keyword, or any text contained in a file and you will get quick, organized results for the search. instant Search begins as soon as you start typing in the search windwo so you only need to type as much text as necessary to find the information you're looking for. Instant Search displays programs, files, email, calendar entries, video, audio, news feeds etc.

The first place you'll find it is in the Start menu:


In the Control Panel, Instant Search helps you what you need to perform a particular task:


In addition, you will find Instant Search in the upper-right corner of every Explorer (for example, when you go to Documents, Computer, Music, etc.). Instant Search is context-sensitive so it will search for music when you're in Music and Pictures when you're in Pictures, all files, programs, etc when you're at the Start menu.


Posted by dcoates at 03:42 PM
February 14, 2007
New Thing One for Vista: Start Menu

The Start Menu is now symbolized by a button rather than the word 'Start.' It's located in the same place, though, the bottom left hand corner of the screen:


Inside, the menu looks both familiar and different:


The word 'My' has disappeared. It's now 'Computer,' 'Documents,' 'Pictures,' 'Music,' etc. The 'All Programs' menu is no longer a 'fly-out' menu. Each time you click on a folder (for example, 'Microsoft Office') the folder opens in the same list. A scroll bar appears when you need to move up and down the program list. Items listed on the right sidebar have changed slightly. In addition to listing new names for some items, there is no longer a listing for 'Printers and Faxes' and 'Search' has moved tot he bottom of the Start Menu (I'll be talking about both printers and search in upcoming posts).

'Log Off' and 'Shut Down,' which were previously at the bottom of the Start Menu, have changed to 'Sleep' and 'Lock' icons. There is also a side-pointing arrow.


Clicking on the arrow gives you the Shut Down menu, which includes the ability to Switch users as well as Log Off, Restart, Sleep, and Shut Down.

Posted by dcoates at 11:49 AM
Outlook 2007 and Windows Desktop Search

After installing Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 on Windows XP you may receive an informational dialog box when starting Outlook that says: "Windows Desktop Search is not currently installed or not up to date. Outlook will not be able to provide fast search results when using the new Instant Search functionality unless this Windows component is installed."

Outlook 2007 startup message when Windows Desktop Search is not installed on Windows XP

The Instant Search functionality of Outlook 2007 requires a component called Windows Desktop Search (WDS) to be installed. Without this you still have all the same search functionality, but results won't be returned as quickly. You can check the box that says not to show the message again--and have slower search results--or you can install WDS.

To install WDS version 3, download from the URL below, log on as administrator and install. It will take some time for the initial index to be built, but thereafter your search results should be noticably faster.


Posted by dddugan at 10:29 AM
February 07, 2007
Overview of Office 2007

On Monday, February 12th at 1:30 PM, we'll be hosting a one hour Breeze (Connect) session on Office 2007. You can register at: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/comp/training/online

In this session, a followup to the previous Preview Office 2007 and Windows Vista, we will cover:

General information:

  • CDs to field offices
  • File formats
  • How to add PDF capability to Office
  • Quick access toolbar
  • Document inspector


  • Live Preview
  • Defaults
  • Tables
  • Text boxes
  • Mail and labels


  • Overlay calendars
  • Search All Mail
  • Permission to view
  • Scheduling meetings


  • What's in the Excel Ribbon
  • Formulas tab
  • Format as table
  • Charts
  • Conditional Formatting


  • Smartart
  • Custom slide show
  • Custom slide layout
  • Reuse slides
  • Package for CD

Hope you can join us.

Posted by dcoates at 03:23 PM
February 06, 2007
Yet More News About Office 2007 and Windows Vista

I've finished up my series of posts on Ten New Things in Office 2007. I'll be following up shortly with a new series covering Ten new Things About Windows Vista. In addition, we've had two Breeze (Connect) sessions providing a brief overview of both Office 2007 and Windows Vista. Upcoming, will be two additional Breeze (Connect) sessions, one on Office 2007 and one on Windows Vista, which will provide a further introduction to the new features. Finally, there will be one hour presentations on Office 2007 and Windows Vista at Professional Development Day, March 15th.

Office 2007 was distributed to field offices in last week's transmittal packet. For more information, check here and here.

Windows Vista will not be distributed to ISU Extension offices at this time, though we will be announcing that date shortly. Because installing Windows Vista requires a 'clean install' (saving off all your data, wiping your hard drive, loading Windows Vista, then re-loading all your programs and data) we will be developing and testing detailed instructions on this process before releasing Windows Vista. In addition, your computer needs to meet minimum requirements before installing Vista (I'll be putting those minimum requiremens up on TechNews shortly). Windows Vista will come on a DVD, rather than a CD, so can only be installed on computers with DVD readers.

Both Windows Vista and Office 2007 are licensed under Iowa State University's MCA agreement with Microsoft. This means that the university has paid to license upgrade versions of this software for office computers. There is no additional cost to you for the software.

Posted by dcoates at 03:13 PM
February 05, 2007
Breeze is now Adobe Connect

This last week we upgraded our Breeze web conferencing server to Adobe Connect.  This is primarily a cosmetic change as Adobe purchased the Macromedia Breeze web conferencing technology last year and is now rebranding it within its Adobe Acrobat product line.  We also upgraded the system hardware with more processing power and storage space.

For the most part, the transition to Adobe Connect will be transparent.  In the future, you will hear the term “Connect” and we are referring to the web conferencing software formerly known as “Breeze”.  Here are a few changes and enhancements.

  1. As part of an update to the server hardware and software, we changed the name of the server from http://breeze.extension.iastate.edu to http://connect.extension.iastate.edu.  You should begin to use the new system name, but both names will continue to work. 
  2. There is a new meeting plugin which you will need to install if you are a meeting host or presenter.  The easiest way to download and install this new plugin is from the test page.  If this test fails, there is now an option to send the test results directly to us so that we can help you resolve your connection problems.
  3. The Chat and Notes pods now have the capability to send their contents to an email address.  This is a nice new feature for capturing the contents of a notes pod or the history of a chat session.  You have to be a meeting host or presenter to use this feature.
  4. If you are using the Presenter tool to create online presentations, you will want to download and install the newest PowerPoint plugin.  You can find this listed on the Getting Started page. You will need to login to the Connect server to download this software.  Make sure you are logged in as administrator on your computer to install this plugin. 


Posted by at 10:49 AM
February 01, 2007
More Information on Office 2007s new file formats

As we mentioned here and in the Breeze (Connect) introductions to Office 2007 and Windows Vista, Office 2007 is introducing new file formats in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and other applications. There has been some legitimate concern about what these new file formats mean for people who convert to Office 2007 and particularly for communicating with people who are not using Office 2007--and may not even be using Office. Microsoft has provided some ways to ease this transition.

1. Compatibility update for people using earlier versions of Office

Microsoft provides a Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint 2007 Files for people who are still using earlier versions of Office which makes it possible for them to read documents in the new formats while still running an older version of Office.

To get the Office 2007 compatibility pack:
If your system is set to automatically update Windows and Office then the first time you open an Office 2007 document, you will be asked if you want to add compatibility. Saying yes will take you to the download page for the Compatibility Pack.

Install with the following steps:

  1. Save the converter to your computer.
  2. Right-click and select 'Run as...' (You will need to know your administrator password).
  3. Once the converter is installed open Office 2007 documents in your current version of Office

Or, for anyone at anytime, go to Microsoft Downloads to download and install the converter (follow the same instructions above). Whenever you receive a document in an Office 2007 format, you will be able to open, read, and edit it.

2. Changing the default in Office 2007 to Save As 97-2003 (older format)

If you're exchanging documents frequently with people where you either don't know what version of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc they have or when you know they do not yet have Office 2007, you can change the default document format in Office 2007 to the older 97-2003 format. To do this, you will have to change the default in each application through the following:

In the application you want to change:

  1. Click on the Office button
  2. Click on the Options button in the lower right corner of the window
  3. Select Save
  4. For Save Files in this format, click on the down arrow and select 97-2003 (in Word, '97-2003 document (*.doc))

3. Additional tips for sharing documents with others

  • Use the Save As option in Office 2007 to save a single document in 97-2003 (older) format
  • Save a Word document as an RTF (Rich Text Format). This is very useful if you don't know whether the person you're exchanging documents with even has Office in any version. RTF will retain most formatting, including margins, tabs, tables, bold, italics, etc
  • Save a document as a PDF file. Remember Office 2007 now has an add-in which adds the ability to save documents in PDF format (Instructions for getting the PDF add-in are here).
Posted by dcoates at 10:57 AM
Office 2007 CDs

Office 2007 CDs will be coming in this week's (February 2nd) transmittal packet. We are sending them out at this time so that all offices will have a copy of the program and so that early adopters can install and start using the program.

There is no need to install Office 2007 at this time.

You should wait to install Office 2007:

  • If you are more comfortable with writtten support materials, peer support, and hands-on training
  • If you are working with complex documents on deadline and don't have the time to learn a new system immediately

You might install Office 2007 at your convenience:

  • If you are comfortable using new technology
  • If you can adjust easily to a different look and feel
  • If you want to spend some time exploring the new setup and finding out for yourself where things are and what new features are available

Support materials for Office 2007 will generally take the form of TechNews postings and pointers to additional resources at Microsoft and other locations. Training dates in your areas will be announced soon (via TechNews and other venues).

Office 2007 is currently being supported by EIT and the Support Hotline (515-294-1725). However, this is a new program with many new features and we may not always have an immediate answer to your questions as we continue to explore and learn this technology ourselves.

If you want to see a brief demonstration of Office 2007 and Windows Vista, you can view the recording of a recent Breeze (Connect) event at: http://breeze.extension.iastate.edu/p90339238/. You may also want to review the Technews postings on Ten New Things about Office 2007, which begin here

Posted by dcoates at 08:35 AM