VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism


TECH TIPS
with
Michael Lee Stills

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

~ March 2003~ Topics


PACK AND GO POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS

So you created a wonderful PowerPoint presentation. Perhaps it is an orientation to your volunteer program or a key component to your training modules. The problem is that you can't always get everyone together at the same time where you can use your PowerPoint program. Or perhaps you would like to share your presentation file with others but they do not have PowerPoint on their computers. What can you do?

Solution One: Use PowerPoint's Pack and Go feature.

This feature allows you to collect all the related files in your presentation and pack them onto a CD or Floppy disk with the PowerPoint Viewer. Then you can give your volunteers the disk to run on their computer even when they do not have PowerPoint.

To learn more, go to the Help Section in PowerPoint and type in Pack and Go. If you want to experiment, open one of your current presentations and then Click File > Pack and Go and follow the directions.

Soluntion Two: A friend recently explained an alternate method to me this way:

The file that you need to put on your CD is called autorun.inf
Just create a blank document in Notepad with the following:

[autorun]
open=Filename.pps
label=My Application

Then save as autorun.inf and include on the CD. The filename is name of the PowerPoint Presentation you want to run. It would need to be saved as a Show for it to run automatically. Thanks Mary Lou!

Remember to always use a backup file to work on when working with important files and programs.

If you find this useful, I’d love to see a copy of your presentation.


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TAKING DIGITAL PICTURES OF YOUR VOLUNTEERS

Digital photos are all the rage in today's techno-revolution. Everyone is emailing their photos to friends and family across the globe.How many of you now own or have access to a camera that can take photos in digital format for loading onto your computer? Better yet, how many of your volunteers own digital cameras? How many of you are taking photos of your volunteers?

Many Do-it-Yourself projects await your creativity. Where your budget once couldn't cover printing up pictures, the digital revolution has provided an inexpensive solution. The cost of obtaining and using photos has dropped dramatically now that just about everyone owns a digital camera. And now there is no film to process either, just have everyone send you the digital files by email. You may want to purchase photo ready paper to produce hard copies of your photos.

Here are a few ideas for using digital photos:

  • Photo ID's
  • Pictures on Personnel files
  • Digital Photo Albums (Volunteer biographies with photo placed on a share drive for staff to access)
  • Wall of Fame on the Web
  • Personalized Recognition Certificates
  • Security Check Lists (photo next to name)
  • Volunteer Safari Photo Hunt (volunteer photographers "shooting" volunteers in action)
  • Personalized recognition and accomplishment presentations
  • Archival and Documentation of historical or valuable objects (could be placed in database on the Web)
  • Visual story telling (Demonstrating a step-by-step process in pictures for example)

Send me a note on how you use digital photos with your volunteer program. Remember, "A picture is worth a 1000 megabytes."


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QUICK TIP: DEFRAGMENTING YOUR HARD DRIVE

You may not care how information is stored on your hard drive but you should take the time to "defragment" it to improve performance. A couple of times a year you should run the Disk Defragmenter program.

In Windows, this is usually found in the System Tools menu.
Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.

Be sure you have saved and closed your programs before running this program. If you are on a networked system, ask your Information Systems (The Tech Gurus) which drive(s) you can defragment.


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Do you know of a better way? Or do you have any questions?
Drop me a note at
Michael@MichaelStills.com


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