From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      Tourbus - 15 Dec 03 - PowerPoint Presentations / Digital IQ /

TODAY'S TOURBUS STOPS: PowerPoint Presentations / Digital IQ / Deskbar

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, now with 50% more rutabaga!

TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors. Please take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank them for keeping our little bus of Internet happiness on the road week after week.

On with the show ...

Crispen's New & Updated PowerPoint Presentations Audience: Everyone with Microsoft PowerPoint

Our first stop clearly falls under the category of shameless self- promotion, but I thought you'd like to know that I recently updated all of my PowerPoint presentations at

For the past seven years, besides being your fearless bus driver I have also been an invited speaker at numerous educational technology conferences around the country. In fact, I just returned from the NCETC conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, where I presented two six-hour, hands-on Dreamweaver MX 2004 workshops followed by eight one-hour sessions on a bunch of different topics.

If you missed the conference, don't fret: ALL of my PowerPoint presentations are available for download at no charge. Just hop on over to the Classroom Resources section of and download to your heart's content.

The free PowerPoint presentations cover topics from "Exciting PC Technology for the Classroom" and "Google 201: Advanced Googology" to "Guidelines for GOOD Web Design" and "Introduction to Microsoft Producer 2003 for Windows XP or 2000."

All of my PowerPoint presentations are -- surprise! -- Microsoft PowerPoint files. So, to view these presentations you'll need either a copy of Microsoft PowerPoint (which is part of Microsoft Office) or a copy of Microsoft's PowerPoint viewer for the PC which can be downloaded from

You can find the Mac version of the PowerPoint viewer at

Like my PowerPoint presentations, both versions of the PowerPoint viewer are free.


Test Your Digital IQ Audience: Everyone

This next stop will be kind of quick, but only because it is REALLY self-explanatory. Newsweek magazine recently included an unscientific quiz that let you measure your digital IQ -- in other words, your familiarity and comfort with technology. Interested in taking the quiz? Well, instead of hunting down an old copy of Newsweek, just head on over to


The quiz has 62 questions, some of which test your knowledge of tech terms and most of which gauge how you use your computer from day to day. And I want to give a special tip of the hat to Newsweek for coding the test so that when you answer a question the next one automatically appears. That was REALLY considerate, and it makes answering the 62 questions a breeze. In fact, if it takes you longer than 5 minutes to complete the entire quiz, something's wrong.

Of course, the results are COMPLETELY unscientific. But the digital IQ quiz is still fun. And, for those who are wondering, my completely unscientific digital IQ score is 162. :)

Dave's Quick Search Taskbar Toolbar Deskbar Audience: PC users

Back on July 29th [see] and again on September 21st [see], we talked about the Google Toolbar, a free Internet Explorer add-in for PC users that lets you search the Web with Google from any site. Better still, the Google toolbar automatically blocks most pop-up ads. [It's blocked 443 pop- up ads on my home computer so far!]

I can honestly say that the Google toolbar has changed the way I surf the web. To learn more, take a quick look at those two Tourbus posts I mentioned in the last paragraph or hop on over to

Right around the time that Google released version 2 of their toolbar, Google's lab also released something called the Google deskbar. While the Google toolbar adds a special search box to the top of your Internet Explorer, the Google deskbar adds a search box down by your clock in Windows. You heard right, folks: You can now search Google without even having to open Internet Explorer.

So, why haven't I told you about the Google deskbar sooner? Well, there's actually a better tool out there.

You've probably never heard of Dave Dru, but he works on the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft. Back in 2002 Dru created the strangely named "Dave's Quick Search Taskbar Toolbar Deskbar." [Is it just me, or does the name "Taskbar Toolbar Deskbar" remind you of Cornflake S. Pecially's "Washer-Dryer-Sorter-Dumper" on Mister Roger's Neigborhood?] Anyway, the Taskbar Toolbar Deskbar is kind of like the Google toolbar on copious amounts of crack. You see, while the Google deskbar searches Google, Dave's Quick Search Taskbar Toolbar Deskbar launches and searches, well, EVERYTHING -- Yahoo, Merriam-Webster, Bloomberg, Switchboard ... you name it, and you can probably search it.

You can download Dave's deskbar for free at

I have to be honest: I haven't installed Dave's deskbar yet. I am an old coot who thinks that if you want to search the Internet you first have to open up your web browser. But, all of the gurus I know swear by Dave's toolbar. So, maybe they know something I don't. :)


Linda from Marlinton, West Virginia recently wrote and said "The next best thing to Tourbus is the Smart Computing magazine that you guys recommend. I've been getting it since last summer and it has solved numerous problems for me and my friends."

Thanks, Linda! We hope other Tourbus riders will discover the Plain English answers to their computing questions that Smart Computing delivers every month. Do you want to speed up your PC? Get rid of spyware and keep hackers out? Try Smart Computing today -- get your FREE TRIAL issue NOW!

That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week and we'll talk again soon!

           .~~~.  ))
 (\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
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The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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