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Issue #191: Mar 20, 2011

Q: I am a snowbird from Michigan reading your column in the Daily News every Sunday.  I have learned a lot from you over the years and enjoy your column very much.  I always save what I want to retain.  I have a HP Laptop with Windows 7 and use Windows Live Mail 2011.  I had used Outlook Express previously.  I have not been able to set up groups in my contact list and distribution lists to send to specific groups.  I had used this extensively in Outlook Express.  I tried to find my answer online but could only find articles relating to Vista or XP platforms with Windows Live 2011.  I do have different categories but all my contacts go into the main contacts list too.  And, I can’t figure out how to send a group email to several recipients.   My husband and I each use this for our email and we have to look through all emails to find what we want. Can you help me or direct me to a resource?  Also, do you have a web site or syndicate your column to any other newspapers?

– Kathy L.

A: Well, Kathy, thanks for being a loyal reader, even during your travels.  Let’s handle your questions in order, shall we?

For those not in the know, the technical term is “Contact Group”, also called “mailing list” and it is a collection of contacts (people in your address book) that simplifies the sending of e-mails to multiple recipients.  Instead of adding each person separately, you simply address the e-mail to the group, and everyone gets a copy.

I think the reason that you can’t find what you’re looking for, Kathy, is that in true Microsoft style, they changed the terminology for some reason known only to the rocket scientists in Redmond (thanks, Bill!).  What you and I are calling “Groups” Windows Live Mail now calls “Categories”.  So, in WLMail, if you click on “Contacts” (bottom-left) to switch to the Contacts view, then click on “Home” (top-left), then click “Category” and enter a name, you’ll be able to click on the contacts you want to add, then click “Save”.  You mentioned that you already have different categories, and I’m not sure if there’s a way to define a contact that appears in a category but not the main list from within Windows Live Mail.  You might consider clicking the Windows Start button (the little flag-looking icon on the left side of the main Task Bar), selecting “All Programs”, then “Windows Contacts”.  From in here, you can click “Create for Group Only” when you create a new contact.  It may also be possible to do this from within Windows Live Mail, but I know it’s possible from here.

I have talked about creating a website for It’s Geek to Me practically since the column began.  Indeed, for over a year I’ve owned the rights to several URLs, but have yet to put together any meaningful content (Remember the IGTM logo contest I had last year?  What a disaster!).  Watch this space for any news about upcoming websites for both IGTM and the Geek Lights on the Corner.

As for other availability, I don’t even know all the places where my column is published.  It is not “syndicated” in the classic sense of the word, but it is put up on the Freedom Communication’s internal content network, which makes it available to any newspaper in the Freedom family.  Beyond that, no matter where you live, past issues are always available on the Internet at the Northwest Florida Daily News website.  Just click over to www.nwfdailynews.com/sections/its-geek-to-me.


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