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Education makes a people easy to lead but difficult to drive: easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.

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What's New
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost  

I've created a new BLOG feature here on the web site. I'll be using the Blog from now on for general information, and I'll only post IMPORTANT news here on the What's New page... like new class releases, bug notices, etc.

I also get a lot of questions from customers about things like Access and Excel. I'll be posting the better ones in the Blog as well... so check it out if you have some free time.

VISTA UPDATE: OK, I'm pretty sure I have the Windows Vista problem fixed. If you have Vista, I need you to help me out... download the FREE Copy of my Windows 101 course and see if it installs OK on your machine. Once you've installed it, please EMAIL ME and let me know how it works, or if you have any problems. Thanks!

A new tip for Microsoft Access has been added to the Tips & Tricks section.

The Access 308 downloadable file is now online for those of you who wish to download a copy for safekeeping.

Access 308 is now available online. It focuses mainly on importing, exporting, and linking data to/from your Access database and external data sources such as another database, an Excel spreadsheet, text files, etc.

I just finished recording Access 307. I'm packaging it up now and it will be ready for download in a few hours.

Handbooks for Access 302 and 303 are now online.

I'm testing out a new online video player using both Windows Media Player and the Flash Player. I've converted our Photoshop 101 videos for use with both players, and I need people to test it out. So, click here to watch Photoshop 101 online for free in our new player and let me know what you think, and whether or not it works for you.

Microsoft Access 306 has been finished posted to the downloads section. I'm on a roll... don't stop me now. :)

The handbook for Photoshop 101 has been posted to the downloads section.

Plus, we're shipping out a WHOLE bunch of CDs today (over 200) so if you're waitin' on an order, you should have it in the next couple of days. Remember, you can always log on to the Order Status page to download your courses.

Microsoft Access 305 has been posted to the downloads section.
Well, I've compiled the results of the customer surveys we've conducted over the past few months, and based on that data, I have lots of new courses planned. Here is a list of what's planned...
  • Microsoft Word 202, 203, 204
  • Microsoft Excel 230, 231, 232
  • Microsoft Access 306, 307, 308
  • PowerPoint 102
  • Photoshop 203
  • Visual Basic 103
  • ASP 102

Yes, that's thirteen new classes. They are all currently available for pre-order on the web site right now. If you order any class before its release date, you will receive a significant EARLY BIRD discount (anywhere from $3.00 to $10.00). For more information, visit the Order Page right now.

Yes, these classes are all still under development, so I don't have full outlines ready for them yet... however, if you've taken any of the previous courses in the series, and you enjoyed them, then you know what to expect from my classes. If you enjoyed PowerPoint 101, for example, you're going to love 102.

As always, each class is at least an hour long and builds on the material from previous classes. Take advantage of the EARLY BIRD discount  and pre-order your classes today. When the class is released, the price goes back to normal.

I will be releasing these classes in the order of popularity... so if most of the orders that come in are for VB 103 (for example) then that's the one I'll finish up first. So get your order in NOW for your favorite class.

Visit the Order Page right now. Email me if you have any questions.

Once again we have our Holiday Gift CDs available for you, your friends, family, and co-workers. These are excellent gifts... they include Windows, Word and Excel classes plus the recipient gets to pick one free class of their choosing.

You can either have us ship out individual Gift CDs to people, or you can order a box of them to hand out yourself (great for stocking stuffers, or around the office).

For more information, visit the Holiday Gift Special page.

New downloads have been posted for those of you waiting for them:
  • Microsoft Access 303
  • Microsoft Access 304
  • Photoshop 202 Handbook
I'd like to invite everyone to check out our new FREE Tips & Tricks section. I get asked TONS of questions, and not all of them make it into the 599CD recorded video classes. So the Tips & Tricks section is a great place for me to share additional info with you. Check it out, and please click on the "Submit a Question" link if you have any questions, comments, or things you'd like to see added to the page! I welcome your feedback.
A fixed copy of the Microsoft Access 302 download file has been posted. If you downloaded it previously and received an error when you tried installing it, just download the new copy.
10/19/06: Well, we were without power and Internet for a whole week, but it's finally back on!

You might have seen us on the national news. We're located in Amherst, which is just north of Buffalo NY. We had a massive, unexpected snow storm last Thursday and Friday. Over two feet of wet, heavy snow fell on us in a 24-hour period. It took down trees and power lines everywhere. About 300,000 people were without power - about 50,000 were still dark as of this morning.

Our power went out last Thursday night, so today it was exactly one week. Our power just came on about 15 minutes ago (1:30pm Eastern). We've got a generator, so we've had some power, but our cable Internet access was also completely down. Fortunately, our web server only went down for about a day, and then our ISP got up and running on generator power.

Anyhow, I've been doing my best this past week to go through and answer as many customer emails as I can. The power outage spiked my "good" computer that I record classes on. It blew out the power supply - YES, I have an UPS with a surge protector, but even those aren't 100% safe. I just fixed it, and recorded Access 302 yesterday. I hope to get Access 303 thru 305 finished this week.

We couldn't print shipping labels until today (our laser printer throws the breaker on the generator every time), but my wife and I went through and packed about 100 orders that we did have labels for. Those will be going out in today's mail. If you've been waiting for an order, I do really apologize for the delay. Now that the power's back on, we'll be shipping out more.

If you need to get in touch with me, feel free to contact me through the web site or email. I've got a TON of mail to answer, so it might take me a little while to get back to you. President's Club and Insider's Circle members can get in touch with me via my cell phone.

As soon as I'm finished recording the new Microsoft Access material, I really need to know what courses to work on next. Only a handful of you were able to make it to the web site to answer the customer poll before the power went out. So if you didn't vote in this month's poll, CLICK HERE to vote now.
 
A new advanced developer series, Microsoft Access 302 - 305 is now available for pre-order at a discounted price. These courses will continue to teach you how to create professional-quality databases using many new advanced techniques including Visual Basic for Applications programming. We will continue building our sales and order-entry form, invoice and quotation reports, aged account receivable, and much more.

And for those of you who use Access on a regular basis, and occasionally find yourself needing some extra help, don't miss my new Access Insiders Club.

Photoshop 202 is finished and has been posted to the downloads section. The handbooks are under construction right now. Thanks for your patience! If you haven't ordered them yet, do so now before the price goes up.
The Access 301 handbook is now online in the downloads section.
Access 301 is finished and has been posted to the downloads section. I'm finishing up Photoshop 202 now.
A new 599CD NEWS has been posted. We had a server crash! Rick's tips for proper backups. New class pre-releases (Access 301 and Photoshop 202). Summer Special... and more!
Access 223 has been added to the Free Credits page. If you have free course credits on your account, you may use them now to purchase AC223.
A new FREE Lesson of the Week has been posted... this one is from Microsoft Word 103 and teaches you how to create address labels and envelopes. This isn't just a snippet... it's the actual full lesson.
The new Web Database Seminar is finished and ready to watch! If you've ever wanted to take your web site and hook it up to a database so that your users could view, edit, or add data to it, then this seminar is for you!

Want to add your entire product catalog database to your web site? Need to gather customer information and store it in a table? Want to build your own online contact management system? Now you can.

You can use this information presented in this seminar to build a customer management site, inventory control, or even an online shopping cart. This is powerful stuff. Visit the Web Database Seminar page for details.

Most of our customers don't realize that before we made the 599CD video tutorials, we used to hold live seminars on the Web. Well, we have recorded copies of these seminars available for sale on the web site. They're great overviews of programs such as Word, Excel, Access, and more.

I'm especially proud of our Access Seminar. It covers a lot of great, advanced concepts... and many of you who have been waiting for the 300-level series of 599CD tutorials might want to check out the old Access seminar. It covers order-entry, VBA programming, and a lot of the topics we have yet to get into... granted it doesn't go into those topics in great length, but it's an excellent overview. If you're interested, please visit the SEMINARS page for details.

I just took a few hours and reviewed all of the hundreds of customer poll results we received over the past month or so... wow there were a lot of them. Thank you very much. The results? Here are the top courses you, our customers, voted on:
  • Photoshop
  • Digital Photography
  • Visual Basic
  • PowerPoint
  • PC Maintenance
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel

I also went through and read most of your comments (and there were a lot of them). There were a lot of surprising topics that folks listed that weren't originally on the list. Here are some of them:

  • Dreamweaver
  • Quicken
  • Mac OS
  • InDesign
  • A+ Certification
  • Paint Shop Pro

So it looks like we have a wide variety of users who are looking for a wide variety of different topics. My game plan for the near future: I have a few more Microsoft Access courses I am in the middle of planning / recording. After those, I'm going to start diversifying again... a few Photoshop courses... a few Visual Basic courses... and so on. We've got a lot of people waiting patiently for different materials, and I hope to get to everyone soon!

Oh... and if you didn't take the customer poll the first time around, go ahead and do it now. I will continue to collect the data for the next few weeks.

I've been talking about doing this for the past year now, and I've finally done it... I've completely re-written the online Skills Test System. Now, it's a fully interactive database that you can use to take your tests with and print out your Certificate of Completion. To check it out, visit the Skills Test page. We only have a few actual tests online so far, but now it's just a matter of filling in the questions and answers... and we'll be adding new ones every day or two.

Best of all... I recorded the whole process of designing this system. It will be available as a web seminar within the next day or two... so for those of you who have been bugging me to make a video showing how to take an Access database and put it online (an interactive online web-based database) this will show you everything! Details to follow.

For over two years now, I've offered technical support and answers for your questions via my TechHelp service. This has been a great way for me to help out people who have questions about Excel, Access, Web Design, Photoshop, and more... but couldn't find the answers in my classes - usually topics I haven't covered yet, or just wierd, off-the-wall stuff.

Well, I've just made a slight change to the options on the TechHelp page. Now, instead of having to pay for your answer, you can submit your question to me - for free - to be used in a future 599CD lesson or mini tutorial lesson. This way, if you have something that's been bugging you, or a question that you just can't seem to find the answer to anywhere else - but you really don't want to pay for just an answer, you can submit it to me, and if I use it for a class or mini tutorial, I'll let you know. It's a great way to get some really inexpensive professional help with your problems.

Most of the questions I get are from my Microsoft Access students who want to know how to do something with their database... but if you have a Photoshop problem, or a question about how to do something with your web site or Excel spreadsheet, send it in to me. Here's your chance! Visit the TechHelp page right now.

Oh... and one of my goals for this year is to start producing more mini tutorials... special interest topics, user questions, and just wierd off-the-wall stuff that doesn't fit neatly into a normal 599CD class will become mini lessons that you can watch online or download. So start sending me your questions.

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