1. Major changes in PowerPoint 2002 animation
Many times one wonders what really changes between the different versions of Microsoft's major applications. When it comes to PowerPoint, there were two major changes that happened when they moved from the 2000 version to the 2002/XP version (called 2002 here). The first is the use of the task pane for many functions. This is a new Office XP standard and it allows for many functions such as choosing clip art, selecting the slide layout or selecting slide colors to be done in a task pane. This really replaces many of the dialog boxes that we used in PowerPoint 2000 and puts the parameters to choose from in a vertical box covering the entire right side of the screen area. I actually find this a convenient way to work. The other major change they made is a change for the worse in my opinion. They completely rewrote the animation feature. They now allow animation when a slide elements enters the slide, while it is on the slide and when it leaves the slide. They also added many more animation effects. The result is even more opportunity for annoying slides due to excessive animation. If you are using PowerPoint 2002 or upgrading soon, then you will want to check out "The 20% You REALLY Need To Know About PowerPoint 2002" so that you see how to use these new features effectively. Click here to learn more or purchase now through Powells: http://www.communicateusingtechnology.com/PPt2002.htm
2. Windows 95 Resources
You may wonder why I have a tip on an operating system that is a few generations out of date. The reason is that so many people are still running Windows 95 and the availability of software for this operating system is becoming scarce. I recently got one of my old systems out of storage for my father-in-law and had to bring it up to speed for regular light duty usage. The first issue was to get virus software on it. Neither of the major virus packages support Windows 95 any more, but I found a free virus software package at http://www.grisoft.com that seems to do a good enough job for what I needed. I also needed to upgrade the browser version to IE 5.5 so that he could access a certain web site that required that version or higher. Microsoft has discontinued support for this version and no longer has it available for download. After a lot of searching, I finally located a great site through some posts I found through Google Groups. The site is at http://browsers.evolt.org and it has complete download versions of almost every old browser you would ever need. I downloaded what I needed from a server in the UK and installed it successfully later that day. If you are still running on Windows 95, there are still some ways to keep that system up to speed.
3. Useful Resource - Buyers Guide to Tech Products
PC Magazine has a good resource for when you have to go out and purchase some new technology - from computers to digital cameras. Their Buyers Guide offers tips on how to evaluate your needs and what you should look for. It brings you up to speed before you head to the store with credit card in hand. Check it out at: http://www.pcmag.com/category2/1,4148,763883,00.asp