Chicago ACT! USER GROUP
Meeting Date: March 12, 1997
NEWS YOU CAN USE: ACT! 3.0 users, the latest release of ACT! is version 3.0.4. (Use the command HELP, ABOUT ACT! to check which version you have.) If you don’t have the latest update, you can download it from Symantec’s Web site (or use ACT!’s LiveUpdate feature). Current patch disks are normally available at User Group meetings.
MEETING FEATURE: Joe Hawkins of TMI Office Systems was our guest speaker. Joe explained how ACT! users can enjoy some of the benefits of office automation particularly as it pertains to the use of the telephone.
Automating with ACT!
Joe suggested that one way ACT! users who spend a lot of time at their desk on the phone can enjoy some of the benefits of office automation is to use ACT!’s autodialer. You’ll make fewer errors dialing. This is more of an issue now than ever before due to the recent proliferation of new area codes. It seems we are now dialing 11digits more and more of the time. Also, with an autodialer you’ll be able to dial faster. Plus you may find that become very efficient at getting through the day’s calls when ACT! presents you with the day’s task list and looks up all the contacts you need to call. Another efficiency improving feature is ACT!’s call timer. You’ll know right away how long your calls are taking and where you are spending your time. And who knows, you might even be able to reduce your phone bill!
To take advantage of automatic dialing, you’ll need a modem attached to your PC. The modem you use doesn’t have to be very fast. Even an (inexpensive) 2400 baud modem is fine for dialing the phone. Once you are in ACT!, just click on the telephone icon to make a call. As a bonus, all calls are logged in History. And, if you should need a hard copy of your contacts’ name, addresses, and phone numbers for your Daytimer, Dayrunner, etc., simply ask ACT! to print an address book. (The command is FILE, PRINT.)
Caller ID, or the ability to view a caller’s name and phone number on a special display before picking up the receiver, continues to be supported by more and more phone companies. As a result, Caller ID is becoming an increasingly useful feature. If you’ve got ACT! 2.04 or higher, it is possible to configure ACT! to automatically look up any caller’s contact record (if they have one) as your phone is ringing. This way, you’ll have complete contact information on your PC screen by the time you answer the call. (If for some reason you don’t want ACT! to automatically look up a contact—say you are entering new contact data—this feature can be temporarily disabled.) You need a special kind of modem—called a TAPI (Telephony Applications Programmers Interface) compliant modem—for this to work properly, plus, caller ID service from you phone company. To configure ACT! 3.0 for TAPI, use the command EDIT, PREFERENCES. Select USE DIALER and LOOKUP CONTACT USING CALLER ID.
In the future, expect to see the integration of Caller ID with voice mail. Soon, these two technologies will be able to automatically insert a message such as “this call came from so-and-so at 312-345-6789” prior to a message left in voice mail. Stay tuned! Joe can be reached at 847-534-8288.
TIP OF THE MONTH:
You may record the details of letter you are sending to a contact (without saving it) by typing a quick note to yourself just before printing the letter. Here’s how. Just before printing the letter (FILE, PRINT), the Create History Windows dialog box will appear. De-select “Attach Document to History”. Then, type your comments in the “Regarding” box.
Accessing Symantec’s LiveUpdate
Q I am having trouble accessing LiveUpdate. Do you have any suggestions for getting through?
A ACT! User Group members report that they have been most successful accessing LiveUpdate early in the morning (6:30 AM), late at night, and on Sunday evenings. Try these times if you are experiencing difficulty. Also, if you are seeking technical support from Symantec, the best times to call are late in the day or in the early evening. Monday mornings are particularly busy times you may wish to avoid.
ACT! and Windows CE
Q Will Windows CE work with ACT!?
A There are currently two handheld computers capable of running Windows CE and ACT! currently available. ACT! for Windows CE was demonstrated at the most recent COMDEX show, but has yet to ship. You may also want to take a look at the Pilot PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) currently available. The Pilot machines are economical and can accommodate up to 4000 ACT! contacts (with notes and history). You can enter data with a stylus via a miniature touch-sensitive “keyboard” or by actually writing on the display. Handwriting recognition is good. (Note: The Pilot will be the feature of an ACT! User Group meeting later this year.)
OUR NEXT MEETING . . .
of the ACT! User Group will be on May 13 (ACT! and E-mail). We will break for the summer (no meetings June, July, and August) and will resume meeting on September 9.
The ACT! User Group (a SIG of the C.C.S.) holds meetings on the second Tuesday of the month eight months out of the year. User Group meetings are free and open to all C.C.S. members. They are held at the Midway Motor Lodge in Elk Grove Village. Call E Tech Systems at 847-352-4770 to receive meeting notices or e-mail us via www.etechsys.com.
© Copyright 1997 by Alan M. Lee, all rights reserved. Other nonprofit computer user’s groups may reprint this material providing credit is given the author and C.C.S. Future rights for publication reserved by Alan M. Lee. ACT! is a registered trademark of Symantec Corporation.