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January 2016 | Issue #39
Current Releases: SM 8.0.033 (12/14) | AW 3.5.022 (12/11)
ACEware Systems Newsletter - Information to Run Your Program
ACEware Employee Spotlight: Lauri Thompson
We continue to showcase the great ACEWare staff. This month, we're highlighting Lauri Thompson.

Lauri started working as a contract employee nine years ago. Besides supporting approximately twenty-seven schools, she is the webinar guru. She does a lot of the webinar slide shows and then hosts them.

Prior to working for ACEware, Lauri  was a program coordinator for the Department of Continuing Education at the University of West Georgia for nine years. She taught a variety of continuing education classes, but mostly Microsoft Office courses. (Some days if you have nine people in a class, sitting at nine computers, you have an 18 ring circus.) As far as education, she holds an A.A. in Graphic Arts, a B.A. in Technical Management, and a M.A. in Teaching and Learning with Technology.

Lauri has been told that her special skill is patience. She is the first to point out that she doesn't have any patience. But it is something she strives for.

Lauri's been married to the same guy for 34 years and suspects that one of them is doing something right (probably Bill). They have three adult children, two daughters and a son who are happily involved in their own lives. The biggest surprise of Lauri's life is that she likes them! All three are intelligent and caring individuals. When they were in the middle of the parenting rat-race (and especially through the teen years), she never suspected that would happen.

Lauri worked to develop an online training program for the US Quidditch Association. She is a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer. She also still teaches CE classes, occasionally.

In her spare time, Lauri enjoys reading. She  messes around with some hand sewing and some other crafts. But if you want to make her happy, give her a good book, a comfy chair, and a little sweet tea.

Her  favorite book is entitled Daisyville and was written by her Dad. It is a collection of short stories about growing up in Fayette City, PA in the 1940s. He distributed copies to a select few on Christmas Eve 1995. It is one of her most prized possessions, and her favorite Christmas gift ever.
If you've read a good book and want to share the title, Lauri is all ears! In the past, her customers have recommended some fine reading material. Just drop her a line at

Lauri had these comments: " I have a bucket list. Next up? Learning to ride a horse. And, now that I've put it in writing, I guess I'd better get busy."

Contributed by Matthew J. Olson and Lauri Thompson

Changes to Mass Combine Names

Ever since we moved the mass combine name tool out of utilityw and into the base program under tools -> data cleanup, there have been a bunch of changes made. A few things were expected since the new tool didn't have as many options as the old tool. But there have been some unexpected ideas implemented into this tool as well.

One thing I am going to mention is that the backend of this tool has been completely rewritten. If you tried this when it was brand new and found it to be slow, you should see if the new and improved name combine is any faster. Initial tests have found it to be 100 times faster.

A new item is the custom match condition. The idea behind this was to set an exclusion like nmrptflag=.f. to not show people that have the report flag set. This also works if you don't want to show name records from your own organization (![]$nmemail).

Another new item in the works is that duplicate names with the same registration are no longer going to get combined. Bad things were happening because of this (duplication of registrations with additional fees and payments getting reported twice). Instead a report will be generated for these people so that you can resolve these duplicates on your own.

I'm sure we are going to find more ways to make this tool even better. If you have an idea, please share it with me at

Contributed by Matthew Olson
Resolutions Worth Keeping
As we ring in each new year, we welcome the opportunity for a fresh start. We make resolutions that we swear we'll stick to, though let's face it: We forget about them after just a month or two.  

Luckily, there are resolutions that are easily maintained throughout the year.  Here are a few that, if kept, will keep your program running smoothly now and for years to come:

Stay Up to Date.  Make sure that you're running the latest builds of Student Manager and ACEweb. The best way to do this is to join our forum, and subscribe to the Student Manager and ACEweb Updates boards.

Learn.  Attend live webinars, review old webinars, and join us in May for our Annual Users' Conference. Need an answer but aren't sure where to find it? Consult our Online Reference Guide. We also offer customized web-based and onsite training options.

Organize. When is the last time you checked for orphan records  or deactivated courses  in Student Manager? What about ACEweb cleanup?

Personalize. Make our products work for you. Take advantage of user-defined fields, learn to  modify reports, and customize your ACEweb templates.

Sounds easy, right? Right.

So join us in making 2016 the year of enduring resolutions. (We'll be checking on you!)

Contributed by Lindsey Lieberman
  20th Annual Users' Conference - A Featured Presenter
"The prophet of an education revolution" - Kansas City Star

"The Explainer" - Wired Magazine

"U.S. Professor of the Year" - Carnegie Foundation Award

"Emerging Explorer" - National Geographic

These are just a few of the titles that are tagged to Dr. Michael Wesch, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and University Distinguished Teaching scholar at Kansas State University. His videos on culture, technology, education, and information have been translated in over 20 languages and have received over 20 million views. 

We are excited that Dr. Wesch, who speaks at major academic conferences worldwide, will join us at our 20th Annual Users' Conference to speak on the effects of social media and digital technology on society and education. We can be sure we'll be inspired and motivated in our roles as program developers, marketers, and communicators in a media frenzied world. Continue to watch our conference site for additional information on his presentation and other sessions. Register today!

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
Catalog Generation
We've been talking lately about catalog generation: How it's done, if it's done at all, what criteria the export needs to meet, and how best to accomplish the task. We make it a point to stay ahead of what our customers need and how they are using Student Manager. But, this time we're going to admit, we are flummoxed by how our customers are using the catalog generator. It could be that there are multiple formats required, or it could be that we haven't thoroughly documented all the processes being used.

So, we're asking those who still generate a catalog - what are the steps you use to gather the information from Student Manager? Is this a chicken and egg thing where you first generate the catalog and then input the information into Student Manager? Or are you using Student Manager to build your catalog? Are you exporting to Excel, Access or some other program? Do you have something written down in a step-by-step format that you'd be willing to share?  

We thought about a survey, but no matter how hard we tried, this wasn't a good survey topic. So, we're asking you to contact us and tell us your catalog export story. Lauri is collecting the information and will share it with us at an upcoming staff meeting. Please email her at . If it's a long story, ask her to give you a call. As always, we appreciate your feedback, and your help. Who knows, we may even develop the topic as a conference breakout session.

Contributed by Lauri Thompson
ACEware Retreat -  January 6-7, 2016
We hope you had a wonderful holiday break and wish you a Happy New Year! The ACEware team is having  their annual two-day kickoff meeting January 6th and 7th. We spend the time discussing how we can make our products and services more valuable to our customers in the new year. 

If you DO have an emergency call 800-925-2493 and select 0.  We'll get back with you as promptly as possible.  
Contributed by Sharon Brookshire

Here's to your continued success!

Your ACEware team,

- Chuck, Sharon, AJ, Cheryl, Jason, Lauri, Lindsey, Matthew, Mike, and Stein
Aceware Systems
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