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McCombs Office Solutions and Tips

Archives for Cloud Computing

Google+ (Plus)

A few weeks ago people started announcing on Facebook, “who wants a google+ invite?” Comments followed, “what’s a google plus?” then, “it’s the thing that will make Facebook the new MySpace.” I remember once wanting to skip Facebook and wait for the next thing. Now, even my mom is really into it. The Google+ Project is attempting to take social networking to a new level with what they call making online sharing more like sharing in real life. It’s hard to say if it will catch on, but there are some very useful new features (especially if you already use gmail or other Google products). Here are the things I like about Google+…

The Look: Streamlined, simple, white and minimalist. No distractions with an easy to use interface.

The Circles: You have the option of putting your friends into different friendship circles or groups. When you post something you have the option of sharing with specific people. Family see family posts, work people see work friendly posts etc. You have a lot more control over who sees what and what you see from others.

The Hangout: This is a group video chat element that allows you to have a video conference with multiple friends simultaneously.

Google+ is now available to every one and of course it is free. If you already have a gmail or other Google products then you might want to try it. It’s connected with your gmail account so no new password to learn or signing up to do. It takes about a minute to fill out a Google profile. And of course you can always sync it to your Facebook account just to keep mom in the loop.

Take a tour of Google+ or learn more with videos.


Translate the Babel

The first popular online language translator was based on the Babel Fish, a fictitious animal which performs instant translations, from the Douglas Adams novel “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” There is a .com and a .org version out there, but the main translation program is now hosted by Yahoo! ( You enter text in a box (up to 150 words), select a language to translate from and to, then click “translate.” You can also translate an entire web page by pasting in the URL of the site.

Google Translate has enabled translation across all their products. You can translate your search results, web pages, gmail messages, chat, text messages on your mobile phone, and entire documents on Google Docs. They have even launched a professional translator toolkit program. The Google Chrome browser has the translator built in and will prompt you when you access a foreign language site. Type “translate:” and then a word or phrase in the Google search box and it will return a translation at the top of the search results. Google Translate supports 52 languages.

Google Translate Features

The painting featured above is the Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563) and depicts the story that explains the origin of the world’s various languages. Technology seems to be at the beginning of the end of the language barrier. We are probably only a few mobile phone applications away from instant voice recognition and translation.

Back up Your Email to Gmail Using Outlook

The MOST has very exciting news this week – we have our first guest blogger.  Jared Kastriner, a McCombs MPA student, has written a great post about how to back up your email account to Gmail.  Hear more from Jared at

A huge thanks to Jared for a great idea and a well written post!

Back up McCombs Email to Gmail with Outlook

All McCombs students agree that we simply don’t get enough storage space with our Exchange email.  Another issue students have post-graduation, is not having access to important emails because they were not forwarded to personal accounts.

Using Outlook, and Google’s Gmail, you can back up your McCombs email to the cloud.  Gmail gives you plenty of storage space for emails and they have a great search algorithm, which will make it easy to find your emails when you need them later.

The first two steps are better written by the Gmail team and the McCombs IT Wiki, so why reinvent the wheel?  You can do the backup on your personal laptop if you have Outlook or in the McCombs Millennium Lab, where Outlook 2007 is on all of the computers.

1. Set up your McCombs email in Outlook:

2. Set up your Gmail using IMAP in Outlook:

3. Create a new “Label” in Gmail, where you want your McCombs email backed up to.  It’s on the left hand frame: More>Create new Label


Name the Label where you want your Email backed up to.  I suggest “McCombs Back Up”


4. Go back to Outlook and find your Gmail folder in the bottom left pane.  Un-collapse it and you will now find a “McCombs Back Up” folder.  You can now select your email and drag and drop it into the Gmail back up folder.  I suggest only backing up a few months of email at a time, as I’ve experienced if you do more, it may crash your computer.  When you back up your email, it will be deleted from the Outlook server and put onto Gmail.  If you want to keep your McCombs email on the McCombs server and Gmail, you will want to right click your selected emails and then copy and then paste them into the backup folder.

Online Storage

Store you documents in the cloud. Cloud storage or virtual storage or online storage refer to online servers where you can save your files, then access them from any computer using a web browser. Here are a few options for McCombs students, the UT Austin community and the world…

UT WebSpace (The University of Texas at Austin Only)

The University of Texas ITS department provides a free 1GB storage space for all students, faculty and staff called WebSpace. Use Webspace to store your homework, class projects or any file you don’t want to lose. You can share files with others and work cooperatively on documents using Webspace sharing options. Webspace also has a web publishing feature that can create webpages and ePortfolios for presenting your work to the public.

WebSpace login site:

WebSpace overview and help:

McCombs MySites (McCombs Students Only)

The McCombs School of Business offers all students MySites. MySites are websites that allow you to upload and save documents, network with your McCombs classmates, or share files among several people.

Sign into your MySite:

MySite info on the Wiki:

Dropbox (For Everyone!)

Dropbox is an excellent, no cost online storage site for everyone.