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Presentation from ATA conference November 5, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA, Tech tips.
1 comment so far

One astute attendee of my presentation at the ATA conference has pointed out that my presentation is not viewable to those of you who are not yet on LinkedIn. I have agreed to post it here as well. Most of the actual presentation was working in the actual programs, but this should give you a vague idea of what we covered. I have tried to embed the PPT presentation here in WordPress, but I simply don’t have the time to mess with it and get all the kinks out. I promise to embed more of my presentations here in the future.

Free OCR tool on your own PC November 4, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Tools.

Tuomas Kostiainen and I presented at last week’s ATA conference on Making Portable Document Format Files Work for You. I feel very passionately that every translator should be familiar with the concept of Optical Character Recognition (OCR). I OCRed four files yesterday alone. My program of choice (and the favorite of most translators I know) is ABBYY FineReader, but there are plenty of other tools out there.

I wish this blog post (in German and English) had been written before the conference so I could have told everyone that they already have a free OCR program, Microsoft Office Document Imaging, on their computer (Start->All Programs->Microsoft Office Tools->MS Office Document Imaging). We did list it in the handout, and I mentioned the program in passing. However, if I had realized how ubiquitous the program was I probably would have pushed it more. Julia does a very good job explaining how the program works – with lots of excellent screenshots.

eFax.com business practices November 3, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices.

Last month some boneheaded secretary sent a 49-page fax by accident to my free eFax fax number. Free eFax accounts are limited to 20 pages a month. I immediately notified eFax of the mistake and thought the situation was remedied. I was apparently mistaken.

Since I was at the ATA conference I did not receive the notification warning of the suspension of my eFax number. I received that warning and an official suspension of service notice today that my eFax number had been suspended as of November 6. I wrote them explaining the situation, but they are unwilling to let the suspension slide and keep insisting that I should upgrade to a paid plan. I only get 1-2 pages a month – if that. I refuse to pay $16.95 to receive a couple pages a month. Too bad I didn’t get the suspension notice before the conference. I could have changed the fax number on my business cards. Luckily no one ever sends communication by fax any more. No wonder why they are so desperate to have people upgrade. I certainly will no longer be recommended eFax here or in my presentations.

Oh, and the suspension certainly hasn’t stopped them from sending me advertisements…

UPDATE: eFax has since assigned me a new free eFax number. It helps to contact customer service and be persistent.

Hitting the ground running November 3, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA, Random musings.

I made it home safely with a few cosmic and inspiring twists in my day yesterday. Suffice it to say that I truly believe I was an instrument from someone on the Other Side and helped a man in dire straits yesterday. I can’t go into more detail here, because my mother reads the blog and wouldn’t approve (Mom, this is one of those “Czech Republic” stories. Trust me, you are better off not knowing about it).

This morning I was up early and was unpacked and had my laptop contents transferred over to my work computer by 9 a.m. I am fighting a bad cold, but feel slightly better this morning after a good night’s sleep (I still can’t breathe though). It’s my annual post-conference cold. I think I was fighting it the entire conference though, because I wasn’t my usual chipper and networking self. All in all it was a very good conference. I attended lots of interesting presentations and ventured away from the hotel a little bit (but not as much as I had planned to). I have about 4 blog posts inspired by the conference, one of which I think will create lots of discussion because it is going to be a bit controversial. However, I think I should be tip top again before writing anything controversial.

I enjoyed meeting many of you at the conference this year. I will be posting about the blogger lunch tomorrow. We were 18 people in total, scattered over five tables (unless I missed some of you). I enjoyed being greeted in the hallways and after presentations with comments about my blog. It is very gratifying to know that people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

I have a full day of invoice writing, proofreading, translating and voting ahead of me, so I’d best get cracking. Today’s Adam@Home made me chuckle, so I am going to leave you with this fun little cartoon: