This Passport PREVENTS Travel!

Written by Mike Valentine

Last week Microsoft bCentral required all users of it's ListBuilder Service to sign up for and userepparttar Microsoft .NET passport system by converting to that system before allowing log-in to their existing accounts.

I normally distribute my list through ListBuilder on Sunday evening for delivery by Monday morning to my subscribers. I got NO NOTICE there was to be a change torepparttar 133576 system until I tried to log in to my list last Sunday evening, December 3, and couldn't.

The sign in system crashed my Netscape Browser twice, so I opened up Explorer 5 and it just locked into a loop of agreeing torepparttar 133577 terms of service, I markrepparttar 133578 "Agree" radio button and click "next" to be returned torepparttar 133579 terms of service agreement over and over again. I give up with Explorer and return to Netscape. Now my computer freezes entirely. I give up after 2 hours of trying different approaches. The "Help" screen is worthless.

Monday A.M. I try to log in again on Netscape and go throughrepparttar 133580 process again at bCentral. Now when I clickrepparttar 133581 "Next" button . . . NOTHING HAPPENS AT ALL! I open Explorer 5 and try again to get back torepparttar 133582 terms of service feedback loop once again. Clickrepparttar 133583 button that says "I Agree" torepparttar 133584 TOS and get returned backrepparttar 133585 default "I do not agree" button checked over and over again.

I call customer support. I wait on hold for 45 minutes before giving up fed up withrepparttar 133586 awful loop of loud Christmas music I've heard repeatedly, along with that wonderful recorded, "All of our customer service representatives are busy. Please hold and your call will be answered inrepparttar 133587 order received" Well either there is one person that can't get satisfaction who won't hang up or there are six hundred angry callers ahead of me (or both). I give up. I try again, for a WEEK!

I still don't have my ezine out two issues later, I still can't get throughrepparttar 133588 customer support phone waiting list. I sent an email to bCentral support and got no answer. I have a paid advertiser forrepparttar 133589 ezine and now I've got to explain that I'm locked out of my list host and refundrepparttar 133590 money.

This has got to be one of Microsofts' finest hours. I could care less about passport as I never intend to use it for anything but this service and will not share my personal info with them to save my life after this debacle. So I'm willing to sign up for passport for ListBuilder only, but all I want to do is access and distribute my newsletter! My subscribers and advertisers will love me for this absurdity!

After attempting for a full week to send out two issues of my newsletter, that I can't get byrepparttar 133591 ridiculous feedback loop of agreeing torepparttar 133592 terms of service over and over again or getting signed in withrepparttar 133593 passport I create but then being prompted to convert my account to passport. When I follow instructions I still getrepparttar 133594 following message.

My PDA, Myself

Written by Donna Schwartz Mills

I used to be one of those people who kept everything in their head. I prided myself on my ability to memorize phone numbers and birthdays, and knew my schedule without writing anything in a calendar.

Then I became a mom.

I am now one ofrepparttar most forgetful people onrepparttar 133575 planet. I don't know if it's due torepparttar 133576 fact that I am no longer responsible for just myself (keeping track of my schedule, my daughter's schedule,repparttar 133577 school's schedule,repparttar 133578 play dates,repparttar 133579 after school lessons and more)... or if I lost brain cells during pregnancy ... but my short term memory has turned to mush. These days, I need to write everything down... more than ever, now that I have a business of my own.

I made but one resolution last year: To do a better job of tracking my family's schedule and recording my business expenses. I started out great - I bought a spanking new organizer with custom pages and pouches for receipts, stamps and business cards. I kept a schedule for me and my family, wrote down all my mileage (a must for tax purposes!) and tracked my biz expenses...

...for about two months. The book was too big to fit in my bag, it was heavy to carry - and I began leaving it at home more often than not, which kind of defeatedrepparttar 133580 purpose of having an organizer at all. Then, I lost it and allrepparttar 133581 information it contained.

So I bought another one. This time, I decided to gorepparttar 133582 deluxe route. I headed to my local Franklin Covey store and purchased a beautiful butternut leather book and pretty organizer pages, which included Stephen Covey's system on becoming more effective. The whole package cost me about $100 - I figured if I invested this much into it, I would be less apt to lose it.

I started writing down goals and tracking all of my business tasks, and was feeling quite on top of things...

...for about two months. Once again,repparttar 133583 biggest obstacle to usingrepparttar 133584 system was that it was too bulky and heavy to carry with me everywhere. I looked with envy at friends who had invested in electronic PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) organizers - small, light-weight devices that sync up with your computer and fit easily into a purse. That, I thought, would be a solution - if only they were not so expensive.

Well, PDA's are not so expensive any longer. Withrepparttar 133585 entry-level Palm model retailing at just $99, and Handspring Visors available at similar cost, almost everyone can afford to carry one now.

What to Look for in a PDA

There is a dizzying array of PDA models with various features, so deciding which one you buy can be a confusing process. Since a PDA is really just a small, hand-held computer, your buying decision should be based on some ofrepparttar 133586 same considerations you make when purchasing a desktop system:

1. RAM 2. Speed 3. Expandability 4. Price

There are two major competing operating systems inrepparttar 133587 PDA world. The most popular usesrepparttar 133588 system developed by Palm - these includerepparttar 133589 Handspring Visor,repparttar 133590 Sony Clie and of course,repparttar 133591 Palm Pilot. The other major OS is called PocketPC - this is a Windows-based environment developed by Microsoft to compete with Palm. It is somewhat easier to exchange information between PocketPC handhelds and Windows based software - but at a price. PocketPC requires more system resources -repparttar 133592 popular Compaq iPaq H3650 features a minimum of 32 MB of RAM, which makes these devices slightly heavier and more expensive thanrepparttar 133593 ones that runrepparttar 133594 Palm OS.

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