Issue #42 September 30, 2003

1. Keeping Your Computer Safe – Hoaxes

Almost every month (or more frequently) I get an urgent e- mail from someone saying that they are sorry that their computer seems to have a virus and it was probably transmitted to my computer. The e-mail they send tells me to look for a certain file and delete it if I find it on my computer. If you ever get e-mails like this be very skeptical – almost every one of them is a hoax. The first thing I do when I receive one of these e-mails is to check out one of two sites that list these hoaxes. The first spot I check is the Symantec web site at and check the Hoaxes link at the bottom of the page in the Reference Area. This list is well organized and tells you what to do if you have already acted on the e-mail and deleted a file. The other site to check is, which also has a good list and will tell you if something is true. By deleting some of the files mentioned in these hoax e-mails, you can disable some functionality of your computer, so they are not always harmless. I had the impact of sending one of these to all of your colleagues shown very clearly to me recently. I received one from a client who sent out the panicked notice to her entire list, then 10 minutes later sent out an apology after a few of us responded that it was a hoax. How would your reputation suffer if you did that? Don’t ever have to answer that question by first consulting with the sites listed above.

2. Results of PowerPoint survey

Well, the results are in from the survey I was doing on what annoys people about bad PowerPoint presentations. I can summarize the results in one sentence: Stop jamming the slides full of text and then reading it to your audience! By far the biggest annoyance is when a presenter just copies a report onto the slides and then proceeds to read it to the audience. What an insult this is to the audience, who feels like the presenter thinks they can’t read on their own. It is clear that a lot of presenters need to work on properly preparing their presentation by developing the key points, the backup for each point and then constructing a presentation that puts the audience first, not themselves. I have way too much information I want to share about the results to include it all here, so I have summarized it in two documents. The first is a press release which I will be sending out in the next week or so which will hopefully get picked up by major media outlets so we can stop some of these annoying practices. And the second is a more detailed summary of the results. Below are the links to both of these documents. If you would like me to come and speak to your association or professional group about these results and what presenters can do to stop annoying their audience, please e-mail me. Link to press release: Link to detailed survey results:

3. Useful Resource – Javascript References

A month or so ago I had to learn some simple javascript for a web site I have been working on. For those of you who may have to do this or to try to interpret what a webmaster has done on your site, here are two reference sites that I found useful during that experience. Hope they help if you need this type of knowledge. BTW, Javascript is pretty cool and I will be using for some neat stuff in the future on my own site.