How to Do Everything Faster

E-Mail Huge Files

You can move big files to a colleague without the hassle of an FTP transfer, by using YouSendIt.
E-mailing a hilarious video to friends may not endear you to them if it arrives as a 6MB file. After all, if they use a POP-based e-mail program such as Outlook, they'll have to download the entire message before they can even see that it's from you--or before they can download the next message in the queue. If any of the recipients are on a slow connection, they may never speak to you again.

My rule of thumb: Never e-mail more than 1MB of content without the express permission of the recipient. As an alternative, try YouSendIt, a brain-dead-simple take on the FTP transfer. The service is free for any file under 100MB, and individual files can be downloaded up to 100 times. You don't even have to sign up and enter a password (though the service offers additional features if you do, and even more if you pay). Just enter both e-mail addresses, point to the file, and click the Send button.

Create a Bootable Rescue Disc

How can you reach your precious data files when Windows refuses to boot? Use a friend's PC to download Puppy Linux. It comes as an .iso CD-image file that you can use to burn a bootable CD. (And if your PC hasn't yet bitten the dust, it's good to make a rescue disc before it does.)

Chances are you or your friend will already have software on the working PC that can burn Puppy Linux to a CD. Double-click the file, and the software (possibly Nero, or Roxio's Easy Media Creator) should launch. If Windows informs you that it doesn't know what to do with an .iso file, you should download and install a free burner such as ISO Recorder.

This Puppy isn't the most powerful version of Linux by a long shot, but it handles NTFS drives well and is easy for Windows users to figure out. Once you have used the bootable CD to access your problematic machine, you can copy files from the hard drive to an external drive, or even edit .doc and .xls files.

Build a Web Site

One of the quickest ways to put together a Web site is to use the free tools at WordPress.com.
No matter how much time you spend online, you can't consider yourself a true Netizen until you have your own Web site. And these days, it's hard to beat a blog for quick and easy updating of your content and for versatile design.

If you prefer simplicity but don't want to compromise on class, go with a free blogging service such as Blogger.com or WordPress.com. With either service, you fill out a form and select a template that controls the look of your blog--and off you go.

One more nicety: You can post entries that you've composed in Word 2007 directly to your Blogger or WordPress blog. Just click the Office button and select Publish, Blog.

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