How To Fix Your Port Settings If Cannot Send Mail From Outlook

Almost all mail client program send e-mail using port 25, which is also the port used by mail servers to talk to each other. But port 25 is widely abused by malware to spread worms and spam. As a result, many ISPs are restricting its use.

Hang on – it will make sense in a second:

Most people having a setup where they are on an Internet Service Provider (ISP) like ATT and have an email address like “MyEmail@ATT.net”  You connect to the internet using ATT and send mail through the ATT server – no problem.

But if you have your own domain email address or an email address from another ISP you may hit a snag. In these cases you are connecting to the internet through your ISP (like Comcast, SpeakEasy, ATT, etc) and trying to send email through your third party host like “MyEmail@SuperCoolWebsite.com”

Your ISP says “Hey! There is someone on my network trying to send email through someone elses address! This might be spam or malware!” You can receive mail, but you can’t send mail.

Recently ATT and Verizon both made changes that affected outgoing mail. Here’s the fix:

If you cannot SEND MAIL

  1. Open OUTLOOK
  2. Select TOOLS
  3. Select ACCOUNT SETTINGS
  4. Highlight the account in question and select CHANGE
  5. Select MORE SETTINGS
  6. Select ADVANCED
  7. Change from PORT 25 to PORT 587
  8. Save everything and restart Outlook

port-587

Other email programs will have similar settings. Look for PROPERTIES or PREFERENCES and find the outgoing mail server option.

One other option to check is that you are authenticating before sending. In other words. logging in with your username and password to both check and send email.

In Outlook the options window looks like this:

port-587-2

This tells Outlook to send your username and password before trying to send mail. If you have problems try enabling or disabling this setting.

The screen shots used in this how-to are my actual settings and they work just fine with SpeakEasy and ATT.

Posted in eMail, Outlook, Troubleshooting | Tagged , , , , , | 56 Comments

Quickly Reduce the File Size of an Image with Microsoft Outlook

Sometimes when you want to upload photographs to online services or self-maintained systems like WordPress you may find yourself in the position of needing to reduce the file-size of the images. After all, your 8 mega-pixel camera takes pictures that are just that – around 8MB sometimes!

There are several programs you can use to reduce the file size of your images but if you have Microsoft Outlook installed then you have everything you need!

Here is a super-fast and easy way to reduce those image file sizes using Microsoft Outlook.

1 ) Put the original image files in one folder on your desktop.

2 ) Create another folder that will hold the set we will make. Lets name them “Start” and “Finish

reduce1

3 ) Open the “Start” Folder, and select all the images in that folder.

– Highlight them all, or select one and then CNTRL-A to select all, etc.

reduce2

4 ) While all of the files are selected, Right Click and SEND TO –> MAIL RECIPIENT

reduce3

5 ) The “Send Pictures via E-Mail” prompt will open. Choose “MAKE ALL MY PICTURES SMALLER

reduce4

6 ) Select the size you want, I usually use LARGE and I find this to be plenty of compression.

– In Vista the option for picture size appears as another window.
– In XP click the SHOW MORE OPTIONS link and the pop-up window will expand.

reduce-5

7 ) Give your computer a few seconds to work its magic. The more files you are reducing, the longer it will take. I have done over 100 at a time before – no problem.

8 ) An email message will appear with all of the reduced size files in the attachments area.

9 ) Select one of the attachments, hit CNTRL-A to select them all, and save them to the FINISH folder you created.

reduce6

– You can also click once on one of the files, then right click and choose SELECT ALL
– Once all of the files are selected you can drag and drop them into the FINISH folder or cut and paste – whatever is easier for you!

Now you have a folder of images that are usually less than 100KB instead of 4-8 (or higher!) MB a piece.

reduce7

How easy was that!

Posted in Digital Camera, Instructions, Outlook, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

What To Do If You Get An Error 500 – Internal Server Error After Upgrading WordPress

When upgrading WordPress you may receive the dreaded Error 500 – Internal Server Error:

error500

Don’t Panic. This usually means that the files you uploaded did not completely replace their predecessors.

Check your FTP settings and tell your FTP program to OVERWRITE existing files on the server. Some thing like this:

ftp-overwrite

I usually have my Uploads option set to “Overwrite if Source Newer” but I have seen this cause problems when uploading WordPress revisions like WordPress 2.7.1 so I change it to “Overwrite” when upgrading the files.

Re-upload the files, refresh your admin panel and breathe a sigh of relief.

Posted in Troubleshooting, Wordpress | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

How To Create A Reminder Email For Outlook Email From Excel

How many times have I been asked this – let me count the ways . . .

How can I set up an excel document with suspense dates and get alerts from Outlook to remind me when they are due?

I built an Excel project management spreadsheet that uses start and end dates to track tasks. One field shows remaining days to complete the task. My question, is there a way to have excel utilize my Outlook to send me an email once a task is within 3 days of completion or past due? (I do not have the funds to license all my staff with Microsoft Project)

And a dozen more in the comments of various articles. Here’s the deal gang, while this sounds like an excellent idea – automatic Outlook reminders from an Excel spreadsheet – its not.

If you approach this with VBA code that says “Send an email to Outlook when . . .” that “When” statement has the potential to really screw some things up. First off, the spreadsheet needs to be open for the code to run. What happens when you go on vacation for two weeks and come back and open the file? What if you just forget to open the actual file because you are relying on an automatic reminder? How many pop-up meail windows are you going to get? How do you know everyone was emailed that needed to be emailed?

This is a case where automation sounds fantastic but in my opinion its really not a good idea.

Soapbox aside . . . Of course I have figured out an alternative for you.

I think the original script for this came from Martin Green over at FontStuff.com, or I found it in a discussion board. Disclaimer: I have modified the script to bend it to my will but I want to give props to whoever wrote the original core script. OK, props given – lets solve this mystery!

Do you want Excel to alert you of an approaching due date? Do you want to be able to send an automatic email to a person related to an item in that spreadsheet? Try it this way:

1. Download this file: Outlook eMail from Excel. (17k zip)
It is the example we will work from. I am going to show you a few tricks and then leave you to your own devices. Copy the pieces that work for your unique situation, ignore the ones you don’t need.

2. We are going to be working in developer mode so make sure you know how to enable it in Excel. The directions are in this posting.

3. Open up the spreadsheet you downloaded and follow along… Oh, and the spreadsheet has a Macro in it that you have to enable. Its safe, Trust me. I used to work for the Government.

So what are we looking at?

excel-outlook1

These columns can be rearranged anyway you see fit for your unique project. In this example we have people’s names, an email subject, an imaginary due date, an “email sent?” column, the person’s email address and a custom body message.

Click on any cell in a row to select it and then click the SEND MAIL button at the top of the spreadsheet. I’ll choose row 6, “Bill Jones”, the email generated looks like this:

excel-outlook2

What happened? The email address was filled, the subject line of the email was filled in and the custom body message was put in the body between two other lines of text.

Light-bulbs going off yet?

Where did those other lines of text in the body come from? A Macro. Let’s take a look at that macro so you can customize it.

Choose the DEVELOPER tab in Excel and click Macros (Again, the directions for enabling the Developer tab are in this posting.)

excel-outlook3

With the Macro box open select SendEmail and Edit.

excel-outlook4

Here is the code that does the magic.

There are 3 lines of code you need to be aware of so you can modify them if need be:

  1. Email = Cells(ActiveCell.Row, 10)
  2. Subj = Cells(ActiveCell.Row, 4)
  3. Msg = Msg & “Dear ” & Cells(ActiveCell.Row, 1) & “,” & vbCrLf & vbCrLf & “Here is some precanned text before the BODY info in the spreadsheet. ” & vbCrLf & vbCrLf & Cells(ActiveCell.Row, 13) & vbCrLf & vbCrLf & ” And here is some more precanned text in the macro AFTER the Body stuff.”

Line 1 says “Get the email address from Row 10 of the active cell.” This is a little misleading, its actually column 10 or “J”.

Line 2? Get the email subject from row (column) 4 or “D”

And Line 3? Prints “Dear” and whatever in is column 1 or “A”, and then the precanned text before and after whatever in in the spreadsheet in column 13 or “M”.

If you change around the columns in your spreadsheet, simply change the numbers to correspond to the data’s new location! You can even add more information in the email from your spreadsheet – the magic term is “Cells(ActiveCell.Row, ????)

Not too bad! Not too complicated either.

Now lets take a look at the date information back in the spreadsheet:

excel-outlook5

In the top right hand corner of the spreadsheet is Today’s Date, Excel formula being “=TODAY()

The dates in column “F” are “Due Dates” I entered in manually. Maybe your spreadsheet will calculate these cells from other data you have. The color change is based on a “Rule” that is comparing the date we entered to today’s date. You could just as easily give yourself a heads-up by referencing a date in the future instead of today’s date “=Today () +7″, etc.

Back to the rule:

  1. Highlight cell F4
  2. Select Conditional Formatting
  3. Select Manage Rules

excel-outlook6

And there is the rule that says “Blank Cells are just white” and “If the value of this cell (the date of this cell) is less than or equal to Today’s Date in R1 – color me reddish.”

You know have a visual flag that the item is due or past due and action needs to be taken!  Again, change this to whatever suits your need! Make it red, make it green – your choice!

The red X in the sent column is just another “food for thought” column. A reminder to yourself that you actually acted on the due or overdue item. So let’s look at this from the beginning on a typical work day:

  1. Come in to the office.
  2. Have Coffee
  3. Chit Chat
  4. Check Facebook
  5. Etc.
  6. Open Spreadsheet
  7. Look at the DATE column. Is anything highlighted that doesn’t have a Sent notification?
  8. Yes? Click a cell in that row and click the SEND EMAIL button.
  9. Send the email
  10. Put an X in the Sent box!
  11. Check Facebook

That’s pretty labor unintensive! Seriously? 3 Steps

  1. Look at the DATE column. Is anything highlighted that doesn’t have a Sent notification?
  2. Yes? Click a cell in that row and click the SEND EMAIL button.
  3. Put an X in the Sent box!

I am looking forward to see how all of you will improve upon this simple concept. This has been a hot topic in the comments section. There is no one size fits all solution but I hope that by taking this simplistic approach I save a lot of people a lot of time.

It doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t need to be a programmer!

Posted in Excel, Outlook, Reader Question | Tagged , , , , , , | 60 Comments

How To Update Twitter With Articles You Digg – Tweet on Twitter What You Dugg on Digg.

about-diggguyDigg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by their users. You won’t find editors at Digg — YOU are the editor and decide what gets added or “Dugg.”

How do they do this? Everything on Digg — from news to videos to images — is submitted by people like you. Once something is submitted, other people see it and Digg what they like best. If your submission rocks and receives enough Diggs, it is promoted to the front page for the millions of our visitors to see.

Take a Quick Tour of Digg if you have never used it before. I highly recommend creating an account so the website will remember your custom settings. If you are regular Digg visitor you probably check it every hour and know what’s going on in the virtual as well as the brick-and-mortar world well before your neighbor.

Here is a super-easy way to Tweet on Twitter what you Dugg on Digg.

Twiggit is an automated service that lets your friends on twitter know what articles you digg. Simply visit their website and sign up.

You only need to provide your Digg username, your twitter name and password and an email address.

twiggit

Once you have done that, everytime you visit Digg and Digg and article, Twiggit will update your Twitter status with a link to the article.

And hey Twitter-folk! How about trying out the Tweet This feature for this post!

Posted in Instructions, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Best Free All-In-One Instant Messenger: Digsby (And a Brief History)

Your brother is on AOL instant messenger, your cousin uses MSN instant messenger. Your buddy is a die-hard GoogleTalk user while everyone else is crazy about Facebook talk. And now that Twitter is gaining a foothold you are about to go insane!

Deep Breath. One, free application is here to save the day.

I have been using instant messaging since it was born in 1996 – I have a 7 digit ICQ number. ICQ is an instant messaging computer program, which was first developed by the Israeli company Mirabilis, now owned by Time Warner’s AOL subsidiary.[Wikipedia]

icqICQ was brilliant in it’s simplicity – you could see when your friends and family around the world came online. Keep in mind this was the time of Dial-Up! To be able to talk to family on the East Coast of the United States while I was living time zones away in Hawaii was fantastic!

Well of course Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft all saw the potential and started creating their own instant messenger programs, however, unlike email or web pages there was no communication standard agreed upon – so there was no software interoperability. MSN couldn’t talk to AOL, AOL couldn’t talk to ICQ, etc. This is still the case to this day – there is no universal instant messaging standard but inroads have been made.

The second major problem was feature overload. All I want to do is see my brother pop online, say hello, maybe send a photo or a file. Simplicity. ICQ started adding advertisements, games, FTP servers, and other bloat as did the other major players. Flashing lights and shaking screens took instant messaging from a serene, zen-like walk in a park experience to the county fair on crack and acid.

trillianlogo-11One of the early pioneers in IM interoperability was Cerulean Studio’s Trillian. They are still around today and have a pretty dedicated following but the service costs about $25 to get started and it has to be renewed for upgrades: “A license to Trillian™ Pro costs $25.00 entitling you to unlimited use of the version of Trillian™ Pro you purchased along with one year (i.e., 365 days) of support and upgrades as set forth below.”

So how do we get free software that let’s us talk to multiple IM clients? A super-simple online option is  Meebo but you need to be logged into the website to use it.

For a while the best deal in town was GAIM:

pidgin_miniPidgin (formerly called GAIM) is a chat program which lets you log in to accounts on multiple chat networks simultaneously. This means that you can be chatting with friends on MSN, talking to a friend on Google Talk, and sitting in a Yahoo chat room all at the same time.

I loved pidgin, used it religiously, until I discovered Digsby.

Wakoopa, a social network centered around what software people use, has named Digsby the Best New App of 2008. It does 3 things and it does them well: digsby_64x64Instant messaging, eMail and Social Networking.

Digsby is a multiprotocol IM client that lets you chat with all your friends on AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, and Jabber with one simple to manage buddy list. One combined buddy list for all your AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber, and Facebook Chat Accounts.

Digsby is an email notification tool that alerts you of new email and lets you perform actions such as ‘Delete’ or ‘Report Spam’ with just one click. Manage your Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL/AIM Mail, IMAP, and POP accounts right from digsby.

And Digsby is a social networking tool that alerts you of events like new messages and gives you a live Newsfeed of what your friends are up to. Manage your Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL/AIM Mail, IMAP, and POP accounts right from digsby. Stay up to date with everything happening on your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn accounts.

Now with any of these multiple IM programs one think to take into consideration is that you need accounts at the various services (AIM, YAHOO, MSN, Etc.)  I won’t go into detail on how to set up each individual account but I will give you two settings for Digsby that change the way it looks:

Tools –> Preferences –> Accounts:

digsby-1

This keeps a lot of icons out of your task tray. Simplicity!

Next, Tools –> Preferences –> Buddy Lists:

digsby-2

This will create a crisp, clean interface. I blurred the image because I don’t need 2,000 of my new closest friends IM’ing me. But you can see groups like Family and Friends, the icon on the left shows what IM network they are using. The blue one is Facebook, the butterfly is MSN, the smiley face AIM. The Green, Yellow and Red balls to the right indicate the user’s status.

digsby-31

Towards the bottom of the above image, the four gray lines are email accounts that have no mail waiting to be read – Google, Yahoo, MSN and another Google account. Below that we have Facebook, two MySpace accounts, two Twitter accounts and LinkedIn.

Simplicity. Love It!

adium

Hey Mac users! A mac version is in the works, until then I don’t want you to think I forgot you:

Check  Out Adium for Mac. Adium is a free instant messaging application for Mac OS X that can connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and more.

Posted in Digsby, Facebook, Freeware, Instant Message | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

How To Print An Outlook 2007 Calendar With 15 Minute Increments

For many people the default setting in the Outlook calendar of 30 minutes time increments is not granular enough. For some, a 15 minute schedule is more useful. But the problem people run into with Outlook 2007 is trying to print showing 15 minute increments!

Need to print your schedule in 15 minute blocks? I’ll show you how in less than 2:

First off, lets make sure your Outlook calendar is showing the 15 minute day.

Open your calendar, select DAY or WEEK

Right click on the time bar to the left like this:

15-minute-1

Select 15 Minute from the menu. Now you can see your daily schedule in the time increment of your choice. OK, lets get to the printing part.

In your Outlook Calendar select FILE –> PRINT and for the sake of this tutorial we’ll select a Daily Style – BUT WAIT! We need to DEFINE STYLES.. So click on DEFINE STYLES..

15-minute-2

Then, let’s select Daily Style and choose EDIT like so:

15-minute-3

And here comes the magic – reduce the time in the Print From – Print To range to 8 hours. For example, 9am to 5pm:

15-minute-4

That’s it! That’s what you have been pulling out your hair over!

You can play around with other settings (I like really small fonts in my calendars) to customize the look and feel of your printouts. But just to show it really works, I present to you, an Outlook 15 minute day print preview:

15-minute-5

Seems I’m free on the 17th . . .

Posted in Calendar, Instructions, Outlook, Reader Question | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments