1. PPT - Play Audio over many slides

A number of people have asked how they can get an audio segment to play over a number of slides. What they are usually trying to do is have background music play while they go through a series of slides. By default, when PowerPoint inserts an audio clip, it stops playing the clip when you go to the next slide, regardless of whether the entire audio segment has finished or not. But you can change this default behavior. The trick is in setting the animation settings for the audio item on the slide. After you have inserted the audio clip on your slide, it will ask you whether you want to play the clip automatically or not. If you say Yes, the audio clip plays as soon as the slide appears. If you say No, the audio clip plays when you click on it with your mouse while the slide is displayed (a future tip will explain how to get the audio clip to play on the click of the advance key). Neither response will have the clip play beyond the slide it is on. To change how long the clip plays, click on the Slide Show menu and click on the Custom Animation menu item. This will display the Custom Animation task pane (for PowerPoint 2000 and earlier, it is a dialog box and the settings below are on the Audio or Multimedia tab of this dialog box). Right Click (click the right mouse button) on the audio clip listed in the animation list of the task pane. This will bring up a sub-menu. Click on the Effect Options menu selection. This brings up the Play Sound dialog box. In the Stop Playing section of the Effect tab of the dialog box, click the radio button for After <x> slides and set the number of slides to how many slides you want the audio to continue for. The number of slides could be as high as the entire number of slides in your presentation. Click the OK button to save the changes. Now your audio clip will play even when you change slides, up to the number of slides you had set.

2. Sending mail problem

During the holidays, we were at a relative's house and one of the family from out of town hooked his laptop into the home network to do e-mail between meals. He tried to send some e-mail and it failed, giving him a message that he was not authorized to send mail. This problem is becoming quite common. When you connect to a network that is not your home network, you are now using a different Internet Service Provider (ISP). Many ISP's will not allow mail to be sent through any other mail server than their own. This is a security measure since many of the unwanted messages we get are sent by someone using a different mail server than the one they are connected to. So the ISP's have blocked this activity. So how did he get his e-mail sent? I suggested he use the web mail application that his mail provider has (most have some web mail ability, just ask your mail provider how to access it). From his laptop, he connected to the web mail application and he could attach files and send mail as if he was sending it from his mail program. The mail was not blocked because the web mail application is connected to his own mail server, which allows his e-mail to flow freely. Before you leave the office, ask your mail provider how to access your e-mail via the web and you will be prepared to work anywhere you please.

3. Useful Resource - Cleaning Your PC

It is the start of the year and many people are organizing their offices and cleaning out the old to make room for the new. While you are at it, why not clean your computer and other devices. But before you just get a bottle of cleaning solution and a cloth, read PC Magazine's article on how to safely clean your PC and components. Some of the cleaning solutions can damage sensitive equipment, so heed their advice on usage of solutions, materials and how to approach the cleaning job. Before long, your whole office will be gleaming. The article is at: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1747017,00.asp