February 26, 2008
FileMaker Pro 9.0 Group Purchase

We are now taking orders for FileMaker Pro 9.0. Contact extorders@iastate.edu by April 1, 2008. Tell us what county you are in and how many licenses you will need.

Depending on the total number of orders, the cost will be either $145.00 (if 50 orders are placed) or $132.00 (if 100 or more orders are placed).

Why should I upgrade?

  • this version is compatible with Vista (and beginning April 15th ALL new computers will come with Vista)
  • many counties have older versions that are no longer being supported

Do I need to buy a license for everyone using FileMaker in my office?

  • No. FileMaker Pro 9.0 is backward compatible down to version 7.0. As long as you are running version 7.0 or greater you do not need to purchase a new version for everyone in the office. You only have to purchase for those computers you wish to upgrade or will be getting Vista.

Who do I contact to place an order?

  • send an email to extorders@iastate.edu. Tell us what county you are in and how many licenses you will need.

When do I need to have orders in by?

  • The last day to place orders is April 1st.

Posted by mmauton at 10:10 AM
Why Outlook 2007 doesn't run slow anymore

Some of you may have probably encountered the following problem when transitioning from Outlook 2003 to 2007: when you enter names on an address line, Outlook is very, very, very slow.

Our solution to this problem has been to delete the .nk2 file, which is where Outlook stores your 'nicknames' or addresses that you have used in the past. This allows Outlook to operate normally but eliminates that list of email addresses and only temporarily solves the problem until the .nk2 file gets large again.

Last week, we found a new solution to the problem, namely making a change in VirusScan.

Because we roll VirusScan out through the EPO (which means it is installed and updated automatically on all machines in the domain). You should see this problem disappear or, never see it if you upgrade from 2003 to 2007 at a later date. If you're still experiencing slow Outlook response times, contact the hotline (515-294-1725) to troubleshoot.

Posted by dcoates at 09:56 AM
February 14, 2008
Vista on New Machines after April 15th

Beginning April 15th, we will no longer be loading XP on new machines.

Why?

  • Dell will no longer offer Windows XP on any new machines after June
  • Windows Vista, the new operating system, has been available for over a year.
  • We have been using Vista at EIT for over a year with relatively few problems. Vista-installed machines in the field are operating with little problem.
  • As new machines are released, drivers (necessary to run monitors, printers, connect to the network, etc.) are either not immediately available or not available at all for Windows XP. (Drivers for new machines are written for Windows Vista first)
  • Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Vista (which will fix known issues and enhance Vista's current release) will be released this month, increasing the reliability and usability of Windows Vista.

What you need to do

  • If you're currently running a Windows XP machine and you are not planning to replace it this year, you do not need to do anything.
  • If you are planning to replace a machine this year and require Windows XP because you are using Blue Ribbon or transitioning to the Cougar Mountain Fund Suite (see Exceptions and Issues for more details), think very seriously about ordering your new computer now.

Things to keep in mind as you make plans for your office:

  • There is NO need for everyone in your office to upgrade to Windows Vista if one computer in your office has Windows Vista on it.
  • Windows Vista is an operating system. It is not Microsoft Office (Word, Outlook, Excel, etc). It is not a program. It will slghtly affect the look and feel of your desktop, but otherwise is fairly painless to adopt.

Exceptions and/or Issues

Blue Ribbon
Currently, you are using version 2.5 of Blue Ribbon. This version does not work under Windows Vista. When a new version is released and tested and available to your office, it will work in Vista.

What you can do:

  • Continue to run Blue Ribbon on the computer you're currently using
  • Or, buy a new machine before April 15th and have it setup with Windows XP
  • Or, if you buy a new machine after April 15th, swap machines in the office so that the Blue Ribbon machine is newer, but not new.

Quicken 98
Quicken 98 will not run in Windows Vista. Quicken 98 is no longer supported by the company (Intuit)

What you can do:

  • As soon as possible, switch to Citrix/Cougar Mountain Fund Suite
  • Continue to run Quicken on the comptuer you're currently using (until you can switch to Citrix/Cougar Mountain Fund Suite)

Filemaker
Version 9 of Filemaker is fully compatible with Windows Vista. Version 8.5 will also run on Vista. We will be announcing a group purchase for Filemaker version 9 before April 15th. In this case, you will need to upgrade anyone in your office who is using a version of Filemaker earlier than version 7.0 (and anyone whose machine will be ugraded to Vista)

Some other issue/program that means you may need to consider a new Windows XP machine
Contact EIT (eit@iastate.edu) to discuss this specific requirement.

Remember, you can continue to run Windows XP on any machine you are currently using. The April 15th change is for newly purchased machines.

Why you should have Windows Vista on all your machines that meet the hardware requirements:

  • User Access Control
  • Enhanced security
  • Easy printer installs
  • Windows Defender
  • Instant Search
  • Fewer known issues than XP

This is the first announcement about the changeover to Vista only on new machines, but in the weeks between now and April 15th, I'll be posting several announcements to remind people of the upcoming changes and discuss options.

Posted by dcoates at 01:50 PM
February 07, 2008
Problems Sending or Receiving Mail in Outlook

Have you ever looked at the bottom of your Outlook screen and seen the words 'Offline' or 'Work Offline'?

Or, maybe you've noticed 'Work Offiline' checked under the File menu?

You think--I didn't do anything, how did that happen? Why did it happen? What does it mean?

When Outlook is set to Work Offline, email you write will not send automatically and you won't receive any new email--even when you're connected to the network--unless you select Send/Receive in the Tools menu. Once set to 'Work Offline,' Outlook assumes that there is no network connection and, therefore, no automatic checking or sending of email. When you're actually in a location with no network connection, the Work Offline setting can be convenient because you can reply to emails but not send them until the next time you're on a network. 'Work Offline' ensures that you don't get error messsages or computer slowdowns from trying to send messages that can't be sent.

So why does it seem that sometimes your Outlook application gets set to 'Work Offline' with no intervention from you?
When you have a weak, intermittent or non-existent network conenction, Outlook will sometimes automatically switch over to 'Work Offline' and then not switch back when your network connection comes back up. So if you've had a network outage in your office, it can pay to check this when the network is back up.

How do I fix this?
Click on the File menu, then click on 'Work Offline.' This is a toggle so if it's checked, it will be unchecked when you click on it and vice versa.

Posted by dcoates at 03:37 PM