Issue #26 February 18, 2003

1. Remote Interference Problems

Last issue I talked about what to look for in a remote control for presenting. This time I want to share some potential problems with using remotes due to interference. With infra-red remotes, the receiver can have problems receiving the signal if there are certain types of fluorescent lights in the room or there is a neon light too close. I had this happen to me in two rooms. One solution that sort of worked for me is to shield the receiver with a piece of cardboard to try to reduce the interference. Subscriber Paul Collier reminded me after the last issue of a potential problem with radio frequency remotes. Because they have a long range (50 to 100 feet) and they transmit through solid surfaces such as walls, you may be in a location where another remote user can inadvertently control your presentation with a remote in another room! Paul saw this happen at a conference and the results were disasterous for the presenter. When selecting an RF remote, make sure that it has a unique transmission signature or code set at the factory and that you can change it if necessary (another reason I picked the Remote Point Navigator). As part of managing these potential risks, I always suggest that whenever using a remote, have a mouse attached to the computer as a backup. In the case of interference, ask for a one minute pause, turn off the remote, and start using the mouse. In the two rooms where I have had problems, I just picked up the mouse and was able to stand 5 to 6 feet away from the laptop and continue my presentation.

2. Outlook E-mail wrapping setting

Outlook will automatically wrap long lines in your message when sending your e-mail without telling you. This can cause long web links to get cut off and the link will no longer work. This happened in the last version of the e-zine last year. To find out where Outlook is set to wrap your text, click on the Tools menu and the Options menu item. Click on the Mail Format tab. In the Message Format section you can choose to have your message in either HTML or Plain Text format. For each selection, you should click on the Settings button and set the "Automatically wrap at X characters when sending" to about 90-120 characters. This setting is used without you knowing it when e-mails are sent, so you need to be aware of it.

3. Useful Resource -

The next in the series of web resources for presenters is This web site is sponsored by projector maker In Focus, but is not a sales site for their products. It contains a large number of good articles written by a variety of authors and they have freely downloadable PowerPoint backgrounds available as well. Their regular newsletter keeps you abreast of happenings in the presentation area and lets you know what new downloads are available..