Outlook 2010 Always on top?

I don't know how it happened, but a few days ago my Outlook 2010 became very possessive of my Windows Desktop real estate. It would not yield and minimize when I opened a new email window, had an Outlook Reminder come up, or change active programs by clicking on the Taskbar.  I did not load a Google Toolkit, rumored in some posts to be the cause of this issue.  I discovered that by right clicking on the Taskbar, and changing the "Lock the Taskbar" setting twice, it solves the Outlook Always on Top problem.  So if "Lock the Taskbar" is checked, uncheck, then reopen and return to checked.  Do the opposite if it's already unchecked, check it, open it again and uncheck the "Lock the Taskbar" setting.

Background - I have Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit running on 4Gb RAM on an Intel dual core processor.


Play for Free

While traveling to Australia without international AT&T calling or data service, I used these methods to stay in touch with those back home...

  • Skype app - Free for the iPhone, the Skype app costs approx 2 cents per minute to call anywhere to a regular phone. It works on a PC or Mac as well, you load some credit on the account via credit card prior to or during your trip, then all you need is a wireless hotspot and your calling works very nicely! So I'm using my iPhone as a phone, but the connection is over the Internet, the cost is very inexpensive and my carrier worldwide is Skype. Very good solution to the age old ripoff that is overseas calling.
  • Text Plus - Another free iPhone app, this allows communication via SMS text messaging over a wireless connection.  You can send and receive texts as usual for free from anywhere.  The recipients may not know who you are unless you take some measures initially to familiarize your friends as to how these text messages appear upon arrival.  I sent test messages to a few of my friends when I was still home, so they saw my name (Dave M) and the number I come in to their text as (mine is 606-something) so they'd know.  With this, they too can send texts to me as they would, and I receive them right on my phone, in the TextPlus program. I set the TextPlus program to "push" the incoming texts my way, so that a notification is made on my iPhone when I have waiting texts.  Neat, efficient, free.  I like that.

What these two steps mean is that although my phone really isn't a phone without paid telcom service when I'm away, when I use it as a computer connected wirelessly to the Internet, I can conduct myself as normal on the other side of the world. Two thumbs up.


Rework your AT&T iPhone plans...

Today, without much fanfare, AT&T lowered the cost of being an iPhone user.  This was done to better compete with similar plans being offered by other US carriers. If you have an iPhone, and use the web data plan, and want unlimited voice calling monthly, go to AT&T (or I guess you could call them) and adjust your plan!  I will save over $30/mo. because I knew this was happening, went in yesterday, and did this very thing.  I have unlimited everything now, text, data, calling - and it's cheaper than when I had only 1350 minutes per month.  I also have the Enterprise email option, which allows me to get mail from a Microsoft Exchange server, the kind we use here at work. That's an extra $15/mo., what b.s. but necessary.

Either way, who wants to keep mental track of how many calls you've made, how many minutes you have left, or worse, how much per minute calling is when you go over? How archaic!  Solve it and get the most currently available from your AT&T mobile deal by adjusting your contract. I didn't have to sign anything in making this adjustment...


Use Buy Backs for Tech $$ Green!

I discovered while shopping for a small automotive fuse, that Radio Shack (remember them?) will buy back your old tech items and give you Radio Shack gift cards in exchange. It's quite an easy process, you can do it at a Radio Shack retail store or online at this site.  Why not exercise your freedom to upgrade to newer tech goodies and clean out that drawer, shoebox or closet full of older cellphones, Mp3 players, digital cameras, camcorders, monitors, laptops, you name it!  I know Radio Shack is looking for the good press, recycling the tech castoffs is a green move that gets favorable nods.  Even though you don't get cash, the Radio Shack gift cards are good for real merchandise you'd want. No longer is Radio Shack just Realistic brand stereo components, they have iPod & iPhone accessories, HP laptops and printers, flat panel displays from Samsung and others, nice stuff.  Note that Radio Shack is also undergoing a brand changeover, they're striving to be known as "The Shack".  They are sponsoring a cycling team looking to propel Lance Armstrong into Tour de France greatness again, and are associated with his Livestrong organization as well.  They are selling his newest book with a portion of the proceeds going to the Livestrong foundation.  Neat!

A little more homework told me Radio Shack instituted this program in late 2008.  Also offering similar tech buy backs is a website called Nextworth.  These guys deal over the web only, but will mail you a check for your old things...

Just a few cool options for those not well versed in the eBay way of doing things!


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