How long will your password stand up under a brute force attack?

Steve Gibson of the Security Now Podcast is always good value. He has created a client side (ie you will need Javascript enabled) application to tell you how long a password will stand up under a brute force attack. Try this with your favourite password at Be sure to read the additional information at the site.

Regards, Steven

Is your Gum upside-down? The value of SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence

I have just been catching up on my pod cast listening while cleaning up my office (a task worthy of Time Team and also really  requiring three days). Episode 56 of the SharePoint Pod Show (also available via iTunes) has an interesting interview with Jeff Huckaby. In the interview they discuss the practical application of reports in SharePoint to a nationwide Truck Stop business. Continue reading “Is your Gum upside-down? The value of SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence”

Death by PowerPoint by Don McMillan

I might be the last person to have seen this. It was referred to me by a trainer on a recent course.

An effective use of humour to make a point. Watch and Enjoy!

Do You find the Office 2007-2010 ribbon hard to use, try Ribbon Hero

I have been catching up on the last couple of Episodes of the Windows Weekly Podcast by Paul Thurrott.  Found the software tips very useful, particulary Ribbon Hero 2, Clippy’s Second Chance. This is a free learning game by Microsoft – aimed at end users having trouble moving from the Office 2003 interface to the ribbon. So I have downloaded, installed and started playing it. Its fun! Recommended for recalcitrant ribbon users.

Ribbon Hero 2, Clippy's Second Chance
Ribbon Hero 2, Clippy's Second Chance



Recording Assessment or Training Simulations on Word or PDF Forms with Adobe Captivate

Question: Can we record training simulations or assessments using Word or PDF based forms?


PDF Forms

With the PDF forms – Captivate in training or assessment mode added click boxes to the drop down lists, check boxes and text fields as I clicked on them (good).

With Drop down lists and check boxes – It expects the user to click on the exact option you clicked on when recording _ so you will need to make your test instructions clear.

The click boxes were smaller the actual objects – so you will need to resize them to cover the drop down list . Continue reading “Recording Assessment or Training Simulations on Word or PDF Forms with Adobe Captivate”

Too Many Different Cell Formats Error – Excel 2007/Excel 2010

This error can arise when you go to paste data at the end of a list or in a large spreadsheet where some of the following conditions apply:

Free simple guide to Numbering to Headings and Paragraphs in Word 2010/2007

Please complete the simple form below and I will send you a link to download a four page guide to Applying Numbering to Headings One to Three and Paragraphs (as you might use in a legal environment) using Word 2010.

Continue reading “Free simple guide to Numbering to Headings and Paragraphs in Word 2010/2007”

Free SharePoint User Guide Update

SharePoint User Guide Update

I have updated the free SharePoint 2007 User Guide – You now have to fill in a simple form – the download link is then emailed to you. The download is now a better quality PDF.

Microsoft Resources


Things I learn from Security Now, Free Microsoft Safety Scanner

While I am a fan of the Security Now podcast for Steve Gibson’s in depth, detailed, geek oriented analysis of security issues, it does have tips for end users. The lastest is the free Microsoft Security Scanner, which is an on demand tool for detecting and removing malware.

This doesn’t replace your normal anti-malware suite, it is a tool you would download (only 70MB) from time to time and run an extra security check.


Do Trainers and other IT Consultants need to understand the Sales process?

As a trainer working for Training Providers my view of the World was that I provided the best trainer I could and the Training Provider would look after the process of selling to clients.

My world view has changed and I started to get interested in the Sales Process because:

  • I wanted to be sure I was helping to generate repeat business
  • I increasingly find myself accompanying Sales staff to meetings with Clients to help turn training needs into courses and other activities

So I felt I needed to understand the process better. As I have been working on re-building my business I have realised that this understanding is essential.

So via ITUNES I found the Advanced Selling Podcast by Bill Caskey and Brian  Neale. While the intended audience is sales people, I think any contractor will find value in their problem solving approach. The podcast is based around listener submitted questions.

They have recently started the Whiteboard Wednesday video series and an Advanced Selling Podcast LinkedIn Group

Your thoughts please

Steven Knight, IT Trainer


SharePoint End User Assorted Questions

Sharing an accumulation of answers and resources covering recent questions I have been asked.

Which SharePoint books have you read and found useful?

I have both of the books below on my bookshelf at Safari Books Online. I have downloaded many chapters as pdf to my e-book reader.

SharePoint® 2010 How-To

  • By: Ishai Sagi
  • Publisher: Sams
  • Pub. Date: August 15, 2010
  • Print ISBN-10: 0-672-33335-X
  • Print ISBN-13: 978-0-672-33335-4
  • Web ISBN-10: 0-13-248748-9
  • Web ISBN-13: 978-0-13-248748-1
  • Pages in Print Edition: 400

Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 Plain & Simple

  • By: Johnathan Lightfoot; Chris Beckett
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press
  • Pub. Date: November 1, 2010
  • Print ISBN-13: 978-0-7356-4228-7
  • Pages in Print Edition: 256

Continue reading “SharePoint End User Assorted Questions”

Starting to Learn about SharePoint Designer and InfoPath

InfoPath and Designer

A good video lead in to using SharePoint Designer and InfoPath by Asif Rehmani  – I found this very clear and useful, stick around to listen to the questions and answers at the end.

Some more light reading

I have to work my way through this one  – but I have seen enough to warrant returning for more, which lead me to: and

Regards, Steven Knight

Need to Use Outlook forms to send attachments and store replies and process information in Excel

Q  How do I use Outlook forms to build a solution which features:

  • Online forms which allow attachments and generate emails to nominated email addresses
  • Ability to send and reply
  • On line reports
  • Ability to store process data  into an Excel spreadsheet

Key points

  • There are a number of ways to do this, Outlook forms isn’t one of them…
  • Use a solution that operates via the web browser
  • I can see either an Dreamweaver/ASP/ Server solution or a  SharePoint solution

Option 1: ASP/ Server

  • Develop a custom ASP/SQL server application using Dreamweaver with forms and reports accessed via the browser
  • If CDO.sys (or JMAIL or similar) is available then completion of forms can generate emails to nominated e-mail addresses (emails generated by the server – not using email client)
  • Components are also available that allow documents to uploaded via the browser and then attached to the email
  • Input forms can be completly custom and data can be validated client-side and server-side
  • This approach can also use XML to facilitate transfer of data to Excel
  • Database tables and server side code would have to be created – lots of hand coding and testing
  • Completely tailored and custom solution but not something a typical end user can create – you will need IT resources and basic programming skills.

Option 2: SharePoint

  • Use SharePoint site with a document library with attached workflow
  • The Document Library could be customised to add required additional data – additional fields can be required and validated – using built in tools or InfoPath
  • SharePoint provides forms to add and edit information about the document
  • Data is stored in a Library– (actually in an SQL server table, but SharePoint looks after that for us) and can be transferred to Excel in one click
  • A Feedback or Approval workflow will do exactly what is required regarding forwarding documents and associated data for review or approval
  • A workflow can be triggered by a document being added (uploaded) to the library
  • A workflow will cause a link to the document with a customised email message to be sent to a nominated user or group of users for feedback or approval
  • Tasks are created to allow the documents review or approval to be tracked
  • Responses can include comments/request changes etc and will be emailed to a nominated email address
  • Unless a custom workflow is required, a trained SharePoint user with designer permissions could do this – no coding required Recommendation


Steven Knight

IT Trainer

Steven Knight Training