Michael Lee Stills

Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

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~ October 2002~ Topics


Every so often I hear from friends and colleagues who claim that after working on a document and saving, they could not find it again later. This happens to those who fail to set up proper directory and subdirectory folders or those who do not know what a directory structure is.

Another common reason is when you are working on a document and have not yet given it a name and either the power cuts out or you leave your computer with your document open and someone clicks on Save and closes Word. The file will be saved to the Default File Location.

By the way, you should get in the habit of creating a file name at the beginning of creating a document, this will help you recover lost information in the event of a power outage or other unexpected shut down.

Word has a Default File Location where files are stored if no directory is designated for placing your document.


From the Word Menu:

Click Tools / Options
  • Click on File Locations

Look for Documents in the list and note the directory path location.
  • Mine reads (C:\My Documents) this is where any document I create will be stored if I do not specify a directory location. Whatever it reads is where many files that get lost are found.

Changing the Default File Location.
  • Click on the line that reads Documents.
  • Enter a new directory path (perhaps something like D:\Volunteer\MyDocs)
  • You will need to create a new directory or use an existing one.
  • Click Ok and Ok again.
Now whenever you "lose a file" you can check this new Default File Location before you go hunting.


Ok how many of you now own those cheap walkie-talkie type radios? You know the ones you can buy at any Wal-Mart, Radio Shack or just about any major supermarket these days. I own three. I use them to stay in touch with my family when we go to the mall, special events or any time we anticipate being in the same area but not always together. Those radios use the Family Radio Service frequencies set aside just for such purposes.

But have you ever thought about buying a few for your volunteers to stay in touch during special events?

Recently the FCC released higher frequencies under a new service called the Multi User Radio Service. These frequencies were reserved strictly for business purposes but are now available for just about any type of user. If you use those high dollar radios ($1500 or more - usually by Motorola) then you may have already have access to these new frequencies. If not, start checking your local stores for Radios using the MURS. The prices should be coming down and soon you should be able to obtain a good set of radios for use during special events where you want you volunteers to stay in touch. The range is limited by the power output but you should be able to operate in a 2-5 mile range.

These new frequencies will also support digital transmissions so you could send information from your computers over these frequencies as well. Generally this is referred to as Packet Radio.

The new frequencies are:
151.82 MHz
151.88 MHz
151.94 MHz
154.57 MHz
154.60 MHz


Want quick access to a document in progress or a regularly accessed document?
Here are some shortcuts for both Windows and Macintosh.

Try this for Windows:

  1. Find the file or directory you want in My Computer.
  2. Right Click on the file or directory.
  3. Mouse over Send To and click on Desktop (create shortcut).
  4. Note: follow step 3 closely, do not click on Create Shortcut, which is in the same menu as Send To.

You should now find your file or directory sitting on your Windows Desktop (the first Window that you usually start from)

Try this for Macintosh:

  1. Find the file or directory you want.
  2. Click it once to highlight it, and choose Make Alias from the file menu.
  3. Drag and Drop the alias onto the Desktop for easy access.

You should now find your file or directory sitting on your Macintosh Desktop.

Do you know of a better way? Or do you have any questions? Drop me a note at:

A Service of MBA Publishing
925 "E" Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362
VOICE : (509) 529-0244
FAX: (509) 529-8865

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