Erm's I.T. Girl – Zelna Ellis

Don't fear when Zel is near…

How to insert “special” ASCII characters (Alt Codes)

Just hold in the Alt key and type the number, then release the Alt key. E.g. if you want to insert the Ohm Sign(Ω) it will be Alt + 234

Click on the image to zoom in.
Ascii characters

You can download the PDF file here.

28 August 2009 Posted by | Tutorials | , , | 3 Comments

My Door

Zel's Door

27 August 2009 Posted by | Off The Beat | 2 Comments

Create Video Message with Windows Movie Maker

In this tutorial you will see how easy it is just to create a video message using:

  • Windows Movie Maker
  • Webcam
  • Microphone

Watch the tutorial here.

25 August 2009 Posted by | E-Mails | , | Leave a comment

Poll – Tri Nations 2009

22 August 2009 Posted by | Rugby | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create Proffesional Looking Slideshows with MS Photo Story

We all have photos and with Photo Story 3 it is so easy to create a professional-looking slide-show, no matter what your level of experience.

Download it here.
Price: Free
Prerequisites: Windows XP , Windows Media Player 10, DirectX 9

Photo Story can hold up to 300 pictures, stored in a range of file formats such as BMP, EPS, GIF, JPEG, PCD, PCX, PNG, PSD, TGA and TIFF. Allows you to add effects, transitions, captions, narration to any or all of the slides. You can import music – MP3, WAV or WMA format or you can choose to create a custom music, to play along with your show.

Launch PhotoStory

  • Select Begin a new story.
    Begin New Story
  • Select Import Pictures and browse and select the pictures you want to use. Click OK.
    Repeat this step until you have all your pictures you want.
    Select Remove Black Borders, if necessary and Select which ones.
    Import Pics, Remove black borders
  • Click OK.
  • You can also Autocorrect Color Levels, Remove Redeye, Rotate the picture.
  • Select Next, to add captions and/or effects. In the captions it will allow you to format the font, and specify the text alignment. Effects you can choose a from a few presets (Black and White, Chalk and Charcoal, Coloured Pencil, , Diffuse Glow, Negative, Outline Black, Outline Grey, Sepia, Washout and Watercolor) to apply to your picture.
    Add Titles and/or Effects
  • Select Next, to add narration. Select the picture, click the record button, talk into the mic and stop when finished.
  • Select Customize Motion to adjust the start and beginning points. Save when finished with the pic.
    Start and End Positions
  • Select Next, to add or create music. With Add you choose an existing file, and with create there are a few options you can play around with.
    Add music
  • Select Next, to choose Save Options.
    You can save it to your computer, as an e-mail attached, Pocket PC or Smartphone with Windows Media 10, or Portable Media Center.
  • Select Next, Wait, Preview, Start or Exit.

When you finished with your Photo Story you can write it to CD, DVD. To create a VCD or DVD you will need software, e.g. Nero, that supports these formats.

You can watch the example I’ve compiled here.

Remember, at any time you can go back to your project, and edit it. Enjoy!

17 August 2009 Posted by | Multimedia | , , , , | Leave a comment

I want 2 live my next life backwards

U start out dead and get that out of the way.
Then u wake up in an old age home feeling better by the day.
Later u get kicked out 4 being too healthy.
Enjoy your retirement and collect pension.
U start work and get a gold watch on your 1st day.
U work 40 yrs till u’re too young 2 work.
Go 2 varsity, drink party and enjoy life.
Then u go 2 school, become a kid, play, have no responsibilities.
U become a baby and then u spend yous last nine months floating peacefully in luxury spa-like conditions – central heating, room service on tap and then… U finish off as a orgasm!

16 August 2009 Posted by | Jokes | , | 2 Comments

File Storage, Sharing, Collaboration

There are several ways you can store, share, collaborate files online. The list is endless. Just Google, Bing, Yahoo it or whatever search engine you use, and the results are …

Before you choose a service, at least answer this:

  • Why do you want to store files online?
  • Is there a need for online collaboration?
  • Do you need to access the files offline?
  • Is purely for easy access, for yourself or to share with other users as well?

Depending on your needs here is a few Services you can look at using :

  • Google Docs
    Support documents, spreadsheets and presentations, online and offline, and collaboration.
    Read here about the file size limitations.
  • Google Desktop
    With Google Desktop you have the option to Search Across Computers. This option is turned off by default. All the computers must have Google Desktop installed. (Options | Preferences | Google Account Features)
    But there are some privacy concerns!
    You have some customisation options here to keep your data private.

    • Search Gmail – Disable!
    • Specify what the others can search: My other computers can search this computer’s…

    More Options (Options | Preferences | Desktop Search):

    • Specify Search Types
    • Specify Search Location – Do not search the following files, folders or web sites
    • Remove deleted items
    • Google Integration – Turn it off
    • Encrypt Index – Enable
    • Remove Deleted Files

    Read more here.

  • GMail Drive by
    With GMail Drive you can easily copy files to your Google Mail Account and retrieve them again. Remember you have to give Windows Explorer access to the web in your Firewall.
    After installation, GMail Drive will appear as an icon under My Computer, Right-click on the icon, Login. Now you just copy the files to the GMail Drive and it will be in your Gmail.
  • Gspace – Firefox Add-on
    This Firefox Add-on allows you to store a document on you Google Mail Account. After installation:
    Select Tools | GSpace
    Select Manage Accounts
    Fill in your information and close the dialog box
    Select Log-in
    Select the files you want to transfer and select the Upload button
  • Note:
    If you decide to use your Gmail account as storage (file send as message to your account) you have a few limitations:
    •Gmail doesn’t allow .exe files to be uploaded – of course you can rename the file extension and then upload.
    •File size is limited to 19MB

  • MediaFire
    This one is a personal favourite. Unlimited space for free! You are limited to 100MB per file for the free account. Check it out for yourself. You can specify whether or not you want to sign up (free or paid account). You have the option to make a folder and/or file private or public.
  • MS Windows Live SkyDrive
    If you have a Hotmail, Messenger, Xbox LIVE or Windows Live account just login to Windows Live and you have 25GB free storage. The same counts here as above. You can choose whether a file is personal, shared or public.
  • Microsoft Office Live
    Have 5GB storage space, and to my knowledge a 25MB file size limitation. Under correction in comparison with Google Docs only one person can work on a file per time. Only once that person is finished editing and saved it, it will be available to another person to edit.
  • USB Memory Stick
    Another personal favourite, just have to mention it.
  • DimDim Web conferencing
    Let you deliver synchronized live presentations, whiteboards and web pages while sharing voice and video over the internet with nothing to download. Free for upto 20 persons.

The few services mentioned here is just a drop in the bucket.
To name another few, have a look at:

13 August 2009 Posted by | Tools | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Integrated Gmail – Firefox Add-on

This is a definite must have for Firefox and Gmail users.
This add-on allows you to make the Inbox Collapsible and loads your choice of Google Reader, Notebook, Groups, Maps, Picasa, Site, News, Portfolio, Custom, Gadget.
You can find Integrated Gmail add-on here by Michael A. Balazs.

To install:

  • Just select the Add to Firefox button
  • Select Install
  • Select Restart Firefox

Configure Integrated GMail

  • In the Firefox Add-on Dialog Box, select Integrated GMail, select Options.
    Firefox Add-ons Dialog Box
  • Here you will be able to add an item and configure it, or remove an item.
    Integrated GMail Options
  • Click Ok when you are done, and close the Add-on dialog box

Let’s have a look at GMail in the browser, refresh if necessary.
GMail View with Integrated GMail Add-on installed.

As you can see, you can view the items you’ve selected in the Integrated GMail Options on one page, instead of clicking on top. This is just fabulous!

Thanks to Michael A. Balazs for this great Add-on!

7 August 2009 Posted by | E-Mails, Google | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sync Google Calendar With MS Outlook

Google Calendar Sync System Requirements:
Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007
Microsoft Windows XP (32-bit only) or Vista

Download here.

Take note that only one pop-up reminder per event will be sync. And only pop-up reminders, even if you have multiple reminders in your Google Calendar, and/or e-mail and/or SMS remainders. Outlook only supports pop-up reminder and you can only set one reminder in Outlook.

To Install

  • Close Microsoft Outlook if it is opened.
  • Run the setup file
  • After reading the License Agreement, Select I Agree.
  • You can select whether or nut to create Menu and Desktop Shortcuts.Select Next.
  • You can choose an alternative directory if you want you. Select Install.
  • Wait for installation… Select Close.
  • The app will automatically launch. Remember to give it access in your Firewall.
  • Enter your username and password.
  • Select the way you want to sync.
  • Select the interval time. Minimum interval time is 10 minutes.
  • Select Save
  • Google Sync Options

You can fire up MS Outlook if you want to.
You will notice a Google Sync icon in the statusbar.
If you double click on it, it will open the Google Sync Options Dialog Box.

If you right click on it, you will get a pop-up menu, where you can choose to start a synchronising manually, stop a synchronising, etc.
Google Sync Pop-up Menu

When your events aren’t actively syncing the icon will look like this:
Google Sync Not Syncing

When your events are actively syncing the icon will look like this:
Google Sync Busy Syncing

If you run into problems you can find the logfile at: C:\Documents and Settings\yourusername\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Google Calendar Sync\logs
Note: Show hidden files and folders must be turned on in Folder Options | View.

Remember Google Sync use Internet Explorer Settings e.g. If Internet Explorer is set to Work Offline, you won’t be able to connect even if you use another browser and/or another browser is your default browser.

Happy syncing.

6 August 2009 Posted by | E-Mails, Google | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Access UNISA MyLife E-Mail from MS Outlook


Yes you can receive your UNISA emails in Outlook.

I must admit I tried several times, encrypted and uncrypted mode, to use the Exchange to add a mail profile as they describe on the help here, but given up on it. Used my existing profile, and tried to add MyLife a/c, tried a New Profile. But it doesn’t work for me. Still waiting for a reply from UNISA.

Alternatively you can set POP3 and IMAP, personally I prefer IMAP.
If you want to see what the differences between the two are, have a look here.

I am assuming that you know how to add an e-mail

Settings for POP3:

Internet E-Mail Settings

Incoming Server POP3 Port 995 using SSL
Outgoing Server SMTP Port 25 using TLS
Enable Leave a copy of the message on the server.
More Settings - Advanced

Enable My outgoing server(SMTP) requires authentication.
Use the same settings as the incoming server.
More Settings - Outgoing Server

Settings for IMAP:

Note: Login to Windows Live Outlook using your MyLife id and have a look at the addressbar to confirm the SMTP mail server.
Server Address
Drop the https:// and /owa. only use

Incoming mail server:
Outgoing mail server(SMTP):
Internet E-Mail Settings

Incoming Server POP3 Port 993 using SSL
Outgoing Server SMTP Port 25 using TLS
More Settings - Advanced

Enable My outgoing server(SMTP) requires authentication.
Use the same settings as the incoming server.
More Settings - Outgoing Server

How to see additional IMAP Folders

Right click on the MyLife Folder in Outlook, and select Folders
Select IMAP Folder

Select Query
Select Query

Now you can select the items/folders you want to see in Outlook. (Subscribe/Unsubscribe).
Click OK

Have a look at the MyLife Folders. You should be able to see the items/folders you subscribe to.
IMAP folders in Outlook


That’s it, now you can receive your e-mails.
Note to Students of the School of Computing:
Since UNISA and Microsoft has collobrate services, we can use now in South Africa use Microsoft Student Services.
You can download software for free, like MySQL Server, Visual Studio etc.
Have a look at Microsoft DreamSpark site.

Also there are additional resources at Osprey and the Osprey Forum, besides myUNISA.

To all my fellow students of UNISA’s School of Computing, Happy Coding!!!

6 August 2009 Posted by | E-Mails, UNISA - University of South Africa | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments