1. High-Speed Internet at Hotels - part 2

Last issue we looked at how to tell what type of service you will get, this time we will look at how to connect when you get to your room. When you get to the room, they will likely have one of two ways to connect to the high-speed service. Most have an Ethernet connection and some also offer a USB connection from the high-speed device for those without an Ethernet port. Some offer wireless access as well, but I always prefer a wired connection since it is faster and more secure. They will likely have a cable in the room (check the desk drawer or the closet if it is not attached to the high-speed device) but some do not. Even if they do have a cable, it may not be long enough to reach from the port to your desk location. So I always carry my RoadWired Ethernet/phone retractable cable I mentioned in December. After you connect your laptop, follow the instructions to connect to the service. Sometimes if it is free access, you will just get a connection, but most places you have to pay anywhere from $9 to $13 per day. In this case, you start your browser and connect to any web site. Their system will intercept the attempt and take you to the screen where you agree to their terms and conditions and you agree to pay for the service. Then they connect you. If you have the Alexa toolbar, you may end up with a weird page, just type in the address again and it will work. Every time you shut down your computer and restart it, you will likely have to go through the connection screen again to verify your usage. Usually the service asks you to reconfirm payment every 24 hours through the screen that you went through the first time. Next issue we will look at some things to be aware of when using the service.

2. Copy formatting in Word, PowerPoint or Excel

Have you ever spent time formatting some text to look exactly the way you want it to - the font, the font size, color, bold, underline, shadow, etc. - and then wanted to format other text exactly the same way. Then you realize that you will have to go through all the steps again, hoping you remember what you did. I find this happens to me when I am formatting the tiles or headings of one of my articles or e-books. Well, there is an easier way. If you want to copy only the formatting of text in Word or PowerPoint, there is an easy way to do so using a slight variation on the shortcut keys that are used to copy and paste text. First, format the original text as you want it to be - bold, font size, italic, etc. Then, highlight the text with the formatting you wish to copy (using your mouse or the Shift-arrow keys) and then hold down the Ctrl key and the Shift key and press the C key. Release all keys. Highlight the text you want to have formatted exactly like the first selection. Hold down the Ctrl key and the Shift key and press the V key. Only the formatting is copied, not the text. So, for Word and PowerPoint, select the formatting you want to copy, press Ctrl+Shift+C, select the text you want to format and press Ctrl+Shift+V. In Excel, you can copy cell formatting by selecting the cell that has the formatting you want, press Ctrl+C, then selecting the cell that you want to format. Then Click on the Edit menu and click on Paste Special. Select the Formats radio button and click the OK button to copy only the formatting. This should help you speed through formatting your next report, presentation or spreadsheet.

3. Useful Resource - If Windows XP or 2000 won't boot

I am lucky that this has not happened to me, but I am glad that if my PC won't start, I know about this article. PC World has a good article that walks you through how to get your system to boot if it has the boot files corrupted. Check out the article at: http://www.pcworld.com/howto/article/0,aid,112479,00.asp