Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558
Volume 24, No. 4
The Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group has served novice and
experienced computer users since
1983. Through its monthly meetings,
newsletters, online forum, special
interest groups, mentor program and
community involvement, it has helped
educate people of all ages. The
NVPCUG provides opportunities for
people to find friends who share
common interests and experiences.
Through its Computers-to-Schools
program, members refurbish used
computer equipment for donation to
local schools. Since January 2003
the NVPCUG has donated 607
computers and 136 printers.
Additional equipment has been given
to charitable nonprofit organizations
and to disadvantaged individuals.
April 2007
At April 18 Meeting,
Extended Q & A and Computer
Tutorial Session
The Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
will meet Wednesday, April 18, 7:00-9:00 P.M.,
at the Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa, California
Our presentation will be a little different at the meeting
this month. It will begin with an extended Computer
Tutor session given by Jeff Solomon. During this time
he will discuss his recent personal experience in
installing WINDOWS VISTA on two notebook
computers — an HP & a SONY using their VISTA
Upgrade disks. He has had general success but also
some frustrations.
Jeff will be followed by a demonstration by Bernhard
Krevet. Bernhard is planning to bring his latest toy, an
Intel-based PowerBook by Apple with Windows XP
installed and (beautifully) working in a virtual machine
managed by “Parallels.” “Parallels” is a virtualization
software for the Mac OS X to run Windows XP, Vista,
OS/2, Linux etc. While Apple’s own “Bootcamp” allows
to alternatively boot to Mac OS X or Windows XP (or
Vista), “Parallels” makes it possible to keep several operating systems concurrently
alive and accessible. For example, he can run a Windows game or Windows
Quickbooks directly from/on the Mac desktop.
Jerry Brown and his panel of experienced users
from the NVPCUG will end the meeting with the
Random Access portion of the meeting with
an open-floor question-and-answer period, during
which attendees can ask questions about computers
and computer-related problems and receive helpful
information from other meeting attendees.
Note: Jerry will not be wearing a hat. (Don’t forget
that you can also e-mail your questions to Jerry Brown before coming
to the meeting: [email protected]).
Could you use some practical information that would help you make better
use of your computer? Come to this meeting! Guests are welcome; admission
is free.
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007
President’s Message
Interest Groups
In SIG meetings you can learn about
a subject in greater detail than is
feasible at NVPCUG general
meetings. SIG meetings are open to
everyone. Meeting times and
locations occasionally change, so for
current meeting information, see our
Web site,, or contact
the SIG leaders.
Investors SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Monday
5:30 to 7:30 p.m
Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
Leader: Jerry Brown
(707) 254-9607
[email protected]
Digital Photography SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Wednesday
7:00 to 8:30 p.m
Piner’s Nursing Home,
Conference Room
1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Leader: Susy Ball
(707) 337-3998
[email protected]
Macintosh SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Thursday
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Napa Senior Activity Center
1500 Jefferson St., Napa
Leader: Jim Gillespie
(707) 252-1665
[email protected]
By Ron Dack, president, [email protected],
Here it is the end of March already and once again I need to compile this message.
Probably the most important issue for the NVPCUG this last month has been the
preparation of our IRS Form 8734 to obtain a final ruling from the IRS as to our 501c3
nonprofit status.
After gathering more information than I thought we would ever need the form was
completed and mailed in within the time limit. Thank you Roy Wagner and all those
that assisted Roy in gathering the required information and putting it together. I
especially want to thank Orion E. Hill for his complete record keeping.
I learned several things during this process. First, Bill Wheadon continues to make
a large donation to NVPCUG’s Computers To Schools (CTS) program by providing
storage and workspace to the program. Thank you Bill. Second, Dey LP continues
to be a large supporter of CTS but many other businesses and government entities also
support this program. And of course I want to thank all those individuals who instead
of dumping their computers gave the CTS the opportunity to refurbish and send them
on to aid the students and faculties of schools throughout the area. If you are interested
in helping out or have computer equipment to donate contact Orion E. Hill, CTS
Coordinator at [email protected] or phone (707) 252-0637.
The NVPCUG receives many offers of discounted software/hardware from
venders and from the Association of Personal Computer User Groups aka
APCUG. One of the issues in these discounts is that they (the venders and APCUG)
only want the discount code to be shared with our “actual” members (Dues paid, Life,
or Honorary). They do not want the discount codes shared with the general public or
the world such as on our website (including the Computer News) and open-toeveryone e-mail lists like our NVPCUG-Members list. Because of this I am
considering creating a members only e-mail list.
If I setup a members only list, I am curious how many “actual” members are
interested in getting these discount notices? Many of the notices offer substantial
discounts on sought after products. Many discount offers also include the press
release on the product as well as company advertising for the offering company.
I can either setup the list with all current “actual” members included and let you
decide to continue as a member of the list or unsubscribe from the list. Or I can setup
the list and send out subscription invitations to the “actual” members in which case
they would have to go through the procedure of subscribing to the list. Let me know
if you are interested in such a list and if so which way you prefer me to setup the list
and based on the majority response I will consider setting up the list and how I will
do it. I can be contacted at [email protected] or just go to our website and contact me from the “Contact Us” button on the
“Quick Navigation” menu.
I look forward to seeing all of you at our April 18th meeting. It should be a really
interesting session. Remember to bring all your questions and your friends that have
questions are welcome too.
Take care,
Come to the NVPCUG General Meetings
Held the third Wednesday of each month 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Napa Senior Activities Center
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
NVPCUG Calendar
April 18
May 2
May 9
May 10
May 14
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
6:30-9:00 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Computers-to-Schools work parties. To volunteer, contact Orion Hill, (707) 252-0637
NVPCUG General Meeting, Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
Board of Directors meeting, Piner’s Nursing Home, 1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Digital Photography SIG meeting, Piner’s Nursing Home, 1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Macintosh SIG meeting, Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson St., Napa
Investors SIG meeting, Jerry Brown’s home, 23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 2
Napa Valley Personal
Computer Users Group
Officers for 2007
Board of Directors
Ron Dack
[email protected]
Vice President Jerry Brown
[email protected]
Marcia Waddell 252-2060
[email protected]
Roy Wagner
[email protected]
Other Directors: Susy Ball, Jim Gillespie, Bernhard Krevet, Ken Manfree,
Dick Peterson, Dianne Prior, Bob Simmerman, Kathy Slavens, Jeff Solomon,
Dean Unruh
Appointed Officers
Computer Recycling Coordinator
Ken Manfree
Computer Tutor Coordinator
Jeff Solomon
Computers-to-Schools Program Coordinator
Orion E. Hill
Facility Arrangements Coordinator
Dianne Prior
Greeter Coordinator
Bob Simmerman 259-6113
Dean Unruh
Membership Director
Dianne Prior
Mentor Program Coordinator
Dick Peterson
Newsletter Circulator
Jim Hearn
Newsletter Editor
Susy Ball
Product Review CoCoordinator
Susy Ball
Product Review CoCoordinator
Marcia Waddell 252-2060
Programs Director
Susy Ball
Publicity Director
Ron Dack
Random Access Moderator
Jerry Brown
Special Projects Director
Jeff Solomon
Ron Dack
• All telephone numbers are in Area Code 707.
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 3
Computer News
Computer News (ISS
0897-5744) is
published monthly by
the Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group, Inc.
(NVPCUG), P.O. Box
2866, Napa, CA
Subscriptions: $30 for
one year (12 issues).
Editor: Susy Ball,
[email protected]
The material in
Computer News is
intended for
purposes and may not
be reproduced without
prior written permission,
except that permission
for reproducing articles,
with authors properly
credited, is granted to
other computer user
groups for their internal,
nonprofit use only. The
information in this
newsletter is believed
to be correct. However,
the NVPCUG can
assume neither
responsibility for errors
or omissions nor liability
for any damages
resulting from the use
or misuse of any
The NVPCUG is an IRC
501(c)(3) tax-exempt
nonprofit educational
organization (EIN 680069663) and is a
member of the
Association of Personal
Computer User Groups
(APCUG), an
organization. Donations
to the NVPCUG are
tax-deductible as
charitable contributions
to the extent allowed by
law. Copyright © 2007
Financial Planning
Online Retirement Planning
By Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director; Columnist, The Examiner, Beaumont TX; radio and
TV show host, [email protected],
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication by APCUG member groups.
retirement/ret-02 Retirement Calculator
moneymag/money101/lesson13 Money
Magazine-CNN retirement planning lessons
• Fidelity
Investments online interactive retirement calculator
Let’s face it; many of us are working hard and may or
may not be planning for retirement. All too many of us
are present oriented, and do not adequately plan for our
financial future. Whatever your political persuasion or
beliefs, social security retirement income is only
intended as a minimal safety net, and not a
comprehensive retirement plan. Many of my college
students have expressed concerns that either social
security will not be around for them to collect when
eligible, or that benefits will be cut back as the ratio of
workers to social security recipients declines.
Many of us are lucky enough to have 401(k) or 403(b)
tax sheltered retirement plans, while others among us
may have IRAs, either traditional or the newer Roth
plans. Many of us blindly accept that our employer will
take care of us. Most of us are not independently
wealthy, and will have to depend on ourselves to provide
for our own retirement, either in part or in full. Very few
of us have a reliable prediction of how well off we will
be financially at retirement.
There is an old cliché that “information is power”,
and by having good information and acting on it in a
timely fashion, we may have a financially comfortable
retirement. Fortunately, the internet has many reliable
resources that can help us with our retirement planning,
regardless of our current age or fiscal situation. Some
retirement planning resources are available from the
financial media websites, while others are available
online from brokerages, insurance companies, and
mutual fund sponsors.
The online service Yahoo has extensive financial
information freely available, including a comprehensive
personal finance section. One such section is its
retirement information at
retirement. This page, which is continually updated, is
rich in retirement information. Included on this page, as
I type this, are topics including a variety of “how to”
guides, “questions and answers” on retirement topics,
and a variety of financial calculators.
One calculator available for free from
Yahoo is its online retirement calculator at
retirement/ret-02 . This online calculator is
easy to use and confidential, and does not require any
type of registration, but it does ask some very personal
questions necessary to provide a retirement solution.
The Yahoo retirement calculator asks for current age,
income, spouse’s income, predicted rate of inflation,
desired retirement age, and other pertinent information.
While not totally comprehensive, the results provided
by this calculator are a graph showing retirement balance
and retirement income and an annualized table
displaying age, salary, beginning retirement balance,
additional savings required, inflation adjusted desired
retirement income, projected social security income,
withdrawals from retirement account, and ending
retirement account balances. While no online retirement
calculator should be counted on to be absolutely accurate
in predicting the future, this calculator will at least give
the user a ballpark concept of what to expect at retirement
under different scenarios.
Money Magazine and CNN have online retirement
resources at
As I type this, the page is displaying information on
401(k) plans and possible hidden fees which can eat
away at returns, how to draw upon a 401(k) at retirement,
information on accepting a pension or lump sum
distribution, “The last 401(k) guide you’ll ever need”,
and strategies for a comfortable retirement. On this
page are also links to a variety of calculators to calculate
savings nest eggs, debt reduction, a “millionaire”
calculator to predict when the user will accumulate a
cool million, and other calculators.
Many brokerage houses, insurance companies, and
mutual funds have online retirement information.
One of my personal favorites is the “My Plan”
available online from Fidelity Investments a t
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 4 No registration is
required to use this comprehensive calculator. This
calculator has a friendly and helpful audio voice
accompanying the simple questions asked. The use of a
slider to enter information, as well as to demonstrate the
impact of any changes is commendable. With only five
simple questions, the calculator will demonstrate
potential retirement scenarios. Small grey question
marks are displayed adjacent to each term used and will
open a window explaining each of the terms. The first
question asks your age, followed by (second question)
your current income. The third question asks how much
you have already saved for retirement, followed by
(fourth question) an inquiry about how much you are
putting aside each month for retirement, including
employer contributions. The final question asks about
your investment style, with the slider ranging from
“Short Term” (no stocks, no bonds, 100% cash
instruments) to “Most Aggressive” (100% stocks, no
bonds, no short term investments). As a solution, the
calculator returns a pair of bar charts showing projected
results at retirement if the market does poorly, or if the
market performs about average. The calculated
retirement goal shown is for 85% of pre-retirement
income, poor market conditions, estimated social
security income, and no other retirement income.
Clicking on the link “Our assumptions and
methodology” will give the details on how the
projections are determined, based on statistical
On the myPlan “Snapshot” projections page are sliders
for “Time” (retirement age), “Money” (contributions),
and “Investment” (style and risk categories of
investments). By adjusting these sliders right and left,
the scenario will interactively change demonstrating in
real-time the effects of the changes. Clicking on the
boxes at the top of the “Snapshot” allows the user to
vary age, income, and amount of savings, all of which
will effect the graph shown.
The best time to have started to plan for retirement
was “yesterday”. Since “yesterday” is past, we should
all plan now for tomorrow. These and other reputable
resources may be a big help in our retirement planning.
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see
e-mail address on previous page).
Software Review
Diskeeper 2007 Pro Premier
Enhancing File System Performance - Automatically
By Verne Perry, PCC Member, Hayward, CA,, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication by APCUG member groups.
actually starting the process resulted in the
First off, I’m not very impressed by the
machine getting so defragged that there was a
recent release of Windows Vista, primarily
noticeable performance drag. So I was happy
because I vainly hoped that with this
to receive a copy of Diskeeper 2007 Pro
Windows version, Microsoft would finally
Premiere to evaluate.
solve its file system problems. It didn’t. So
on my Windows machines I’ll continue
The Diskeeper promotional materials said
to have to worry about the eventual
that this version introduced a major new
sluggishness that results from the file
feature called “InvisiTasking”, a proprietary
fragmentation that occurs just with use of
feature that transparently runs in the
the machine. Between home and the office
background and that this “on the fly”
I maintain 8 XP machines, and one
defragmentation used “very close to zero”
Windows 98 machine, that acts as a server,
resources and was invisible. Indeed,
and to keep all of these machines running
InvisiTasking was described as being the
smoothly I spend a lot of time routinely
“essence” of the product. Moreover,
defragging them. I found long ago that using
Diskeeper’s older “I-FAAST” (Intelligent
Windows Defragger was an extremely slow process, and
File Access Acceleration Sequencing
over the years developed a maintenance routine which Technology) file system performance technology which
involved using windows checkdisk to check the disks on is designed to benchmark hard disk volumes for their
boot-up along with using a freeware program called performance characteristics and continually monitor
SpeeDefrag 4.1, which would then defrag the disks prior to them to determine which files are requested most often,
any drivers or startup programs being loaded. But the was integrated with the operation of the “InvisiTasking”
process is not automatic, and often my procrastination in
Diskeeper cont. on page 6
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 5
Diskeeper cont. from page 5
product. For safety, Diskeeper 2007 moves a file only
when it is absolutely certain that no data will be lost
using a “Movefile” application programing interface
(API) jointly developed with Microsoft. Although
manual defragmentation with Diskeeper is still possible,
it is not the way the product is now intended to be used.
I decided to test Diskeeper on my home XP machine,
because it’s the one that has the highest rate of
defragmentation, due to my frequent installation and
uninstallation of various test programs. That machine
also has a Linux partition
which I wanted to use as a
“curve ball” thrown into
my testing. Other than the
“curve ball” Linux
partition, the machine’s
other hard disk partitions
were formatted in NTFS,
for which “InvisiTasking”
and “I-FAAST”
technologies were
optimally designed.
The first thing that
Diskeeper did when I
installed it was to analyze all of the Windows hard disk
volumes. I was pleased that it skipped the “curve ball”
Linux volume, since I wouldn’t want Diskeeper dealing
with that volume anyway. It also reported that my C:\
drive was heavily fragmented, which I expected.
However, I was surprised that the analysis included a
report generated by the FRAGSHIELD feature of the
program, advising that the drive’s Master File Table
(MFT) was using 86% of the total MFT size and was
likely to become fragmented. Despite having previously
tested a fair number of defragmentation programs (both
commercial and freeware) I had never before seen such
a test or option to optimize the MFT. Windows XP
initially establishes the size of the MFT, but as more
files are placed on the disk the MFT may fill up, and
when XP increases the size of the MFT to accommodate
the needed additional indexing, the increase usually
results in a fragmented MFT. Because the MFT is an
index of all the files on the disks (working in much the
same way that phone book stores phone numbers), a
fragmented MFT will cause a disproportionate amount
of file performance degradation. So I decided to follow
Diskeeper’s recommendation to increase size of the
MFT to correct this problem, as well as to do a boottime defrag of the increased MFT and the windows
pagefile. I also decided to thoroughly test the “on the
fly” “essence” of the new version by setting all my
drive volumes for automatic defragmentation.
Despite my initial skepticism about an “on the fly”
defragger, my experience with Diskeeper was very
positive. Immediately after completing the initial set up
I decided to put the “on the fly” features to an immediate
test. In my experience, playing a fast paced first person
shooter game is an excellent way to test the drag
imposed by a program running in the background, so
after the initial setup I immediately fired up Unreal
Tournament 2004 for a two hour test session. I noticed
a drag for nearly the whole session, but in the three
weeks since that initial test, I have played the same
game and also done other things, trying to detect a drag
from Diskeeper’s “on the fly” defragmentation. Since
that initial session, I have detected no drag whatsoever.
On the other hand, I have
noticed that my machine is
running much smoother,
faster, and otherwise free
from any symptoms of
fragmentation. Finally, I ran
the Analyze feature on all
my hard disk partitions, and
found that in the three week
period there was essentially
no new fragmentation.
I also tested Diskeeper on
an external USB drive
formatted with NTFS.
Diskeeper was able to analyze and defrag the drive.
Although the analysis indicated that the external drive’s
MFT needed to be increased, I knew that would be
impossible because there is no practical way to perform
a boot time defrag on such an external drive.
I’d say that as long as Windows continues to use the
NTFS file system, which requires periodic defragmentation, I would highly recommend Diskeeper
2007 Pro Premiere, which is priced at $99.99. You can
do your own test by downloading a free 30-day full trial
version from the web site. Installation
requires an XP or 2000 operating system and at least 11
MB of disk space. There is also a Pro version for $49.99
(which does not have the integrated I-FAAST feature,
but does have the FRAGSHIELD) and the Home version
which does not have either the I-FAAST or the
FRAGSHIELD feature). As for Vista, existing Diskeeper
2007 customers can go to the web site to receive a free
link to download a Vista-only version, and new
customers can purchase the Vista-only version.
Of course another solution is for the business world to
go to an Operating System that doesn’t have these
archaic file system problems. How about something
called Linux?
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see
e-mail address above).
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 6
FCC Regulation Change
Countdown to the Digital Deadline
By Jim Sanders, Editor, North Orange County Computer Club, California,, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication by APCUG member groups.
Television, as most of us mandate all manufacturers include digital tuners in
know it, has barely two their televisions. These are the dates that have been
years of life left in mandated:
it. Congress has set a
• July 1, 2005: all TVs with screen sizes over 36
deadline of February 17,
in. must include built-in ATSC tuner.
2009 for analog broadcasts
• July 1, 2006: 100% of 25 to 35in. TVs must
to end. That means that
include ATSC DTV tuner.
the faithful television that
July 1, 2007: 100% of 13 to 24in. TVs must
you have had, for I don’t
include ATSC DTV tuner.
know how many years, will
July 1, 2007 100% of all interface device’s must
cease functioning on that
have ATSC DTV tuner. That includes equipment
date. Well, cease functioning may be too strong of a
such as VHS VCRs, DVD player/recorders, and
description, but there will no longer be an over the air
broadcast of the analog type of signal that it knows how
deadlines only apply to new televisions and do
to interpret.
the huge inventory of existing units. That is
Starting on that date, all of the over the air television
broadcasting stations have been mandated to transmit why you may see a number of television’s larger than
the digital television format signal only. Old faithful, or 36in. still being sold without built-in digital tuners.
Definition of television; a television is a viewing
maybe not so old, can still be used as long as there is
some device that can feed it the analog signal that it device that includes a tuner. A device without a tuner is
knows how to deal with. This could be your VCR or called a monitor. There is a loophole in the FCC
DVD player for instance. Or, it could be one of the set regulations that allows manufacturers to build TVs
top boxes that millions of people are going to have to without any tuner which would technically make it a
purchase if they wish to continue using their analog monitor.
television to receive over the air television broadcasts.
Most cable subscribers and all satellite subscribers
The purpose of the set top box is to tune in the digital use their service provider’s set top box to receive and
television frequency and convert it to the NTSB analog decode the digital signals instead of using the television’s
signal that your television knows how to deal with.
built-in ATSC tuner. One exception to that rule is a
The set top boxes contain an ATSC tuner. This stands small credit card type of chip that takes the place of the
for Advanced Television Systems Committee. They are set top box and is called a CableCARD.
an international organization setting the standards for
Most cable and satellite providers charge in the
digital television. In time, they will replace the NTSC, neighborhood of $995 a month to receive HD channels.
which is an American organization overseeing analog Over the air High Definition channels are “free” in the
TV transmissions. There is considerable talk about same sense that current analog channels are free, that is
Congress passing legislation to subsidize, or provide you pay the price of watching the commercials but
free of charge, set top boxes to low income families. At don’t actually have to shell out money. So if you spend
this time there is no requirement that the recipients be the extra bucks up front to buy an HD television that
United States citizens.
includes the ATSC tuner, you are not forced to pay that
When you purchase a digital television, ATSC is a additional monthly charge. By purchasing an antenna
term that will be listed on the specifications showing from an electronics store for in the neighborhood of
that the television has a built-in digital tuner. There are $2500 to $10000, a person that owns a set with a built-in
eighteen formats in the DTV spectrum, 12 SDTV formats ATSC tuner can enjoy the over the air broadcasts for
and 6 HDTV formats.
When the analog signals are turned off and digital
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is
the standard, cable and satellite providers will
the regulating organization in the United States that
provide the local networks for free if they
controls conversion from analog to digital. The Federal
Communications Commission has set deadlines that
FCC cont. on page 8
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 7
FCC cont. from page 7
don’t do so already. But you will still have to buy or
lease the cable box which right now costs in the
neighborhood of $19900. In addition to that, you’ll still
have to purchase the programming from the provider.
So if you are a person that currently relies on getting
all of your television through a rooftop antenna, in less
than two years you will be faced with the choice of
spending money for some new equipment or no longer
being able to watch television.
One method of dealing with the problem would be to
purchase one of the new DVD VCR combos that include
the ATSC tuner. A number of VCR manufacturers,
including Panasonic, have announced that
when the new regulations go into effect,
they will simply stop manufacturing that
class of equipment. JVC has announced a
new DVD/VCR/ATSC tuner model that
will be available in May, the DRMV99 at
$32995. If you already own a good VCR
and a good DVD player, it might make
more sense to go ahead and purchase just
the ATSC set top tuner.
In addition to dealing with all of the
high definition signal acquisition
problems, a whole lot of people are already
trying to deal with the somewhat confusing array of
HDTV offerings. The terminology which is frequently
observed in the papers can be very confusing. The
phrase “HD ready” is usually an indicator that the unit
is a monitor that does not include a tuner. A lot of
advertisements conveniently do not include what version
of high definition a particular offering is. It is simply
referred to as HD without saying whether it is 720i,
720p, 1080i or 1080p. The actual pixel resolution is
often omitted as well. The 720i or p sets need to have a
resolution of 1280 pixels by 720 pixels. The real 1080i
or p sets need to have a resolution of 1920 pixels by
1080 pixels. Just like the older VGA computer monitors
the 720i refers to an interlaced display and the 720p
refers to a progressive scan display. The progressive
display is the better quality.
Then you have to decide which display technology you
are going to pick. The Plasma flat panel, the LCD flat
panel, the rear projection DLP television, the rear projection
LCD television, the wall projection unit in either DLP or
LCD. What is the brightness level? What is the viewing
angle? What is the life expectancy of the projector bulb?
What is the cost of the projector bulb? Does the unit have
a VGA, a DVI and an HDMI video connector?
At the moment, I think the best bang for the buck is to
purchase a projector that will do 720p, and if you can
afford the extra cost, one that will do 1080p. If you have
never seen even an older 800x600 projector displaying
a movie from a standard DVD on an eight foot diagonal
screen, I think you will find it impressive and I think
you should do that before you spend money on anything.
Some selected FAQs from your h t t p : / / site.
What is the digital TV transition?
The switch from analog TV (the traditional TV system
using magnetic waves to transmit and display TV pictures
and sound) to digital television (the new TV system
using information transmit-ted as “data bits” — like a
computer — to display movie-quality pictures and sound),
is referred to at the digital TV (DTV) transi-tion. In
1996, the U.S. Congress authorized the distribution of an
additional broadcast channel to each TV
broadcaster so that they could introduce
DTV service while simultaneously
continuing their analog TV broadcasts. In
addition to improved picture and sound
quality, an important benefit of DTV is that
it will free up parts of the broadcast spectrum
for public safety as well as other valuable
uses. This is possible because the modern
technology of DTV is more efficient than
analog TV technology. DTV allows the same
number of stations to broadcast using fewer
total channels (less of the broadcast
spectrum) which will free up scarce and valuable spectrum
for public safety and new wireless services.
What is the February 17th, 2009 DTV
deadline date?
Congress passed a law on February 1, 2006, setting a
final deadline for the DTV transition of February 17,
2009. Most television stations will continue
broadcasting both analog and digital programming
until February 17, 2009, when all analog broadcasting
will stop. Analog TVs receiving over-the-air programming will still work after that date, but owners of
these TVs will need to buy converter boxes to change
digital broadcasts into analog format. Converter boxes
will be available from consumer electronic products
retailers at that time. Cable and satellite sub-scribers
with analog TVs should contact their service providers
about obtaining converter boxes for the DTV transition.
What is digital television (DTV)?
Digital television (DTV) is a new type of broadcasting
tech-nology that will transform television as we now
know it. By transmitting the information used to make
a TV picture and sound as “data bits” (like a computer),
a digital broadcaster can carry more information than is
currently possible with analog broadcast technology.
For example, the technology allows the transmission of
pictures with higher resolution for dramatically better
picture and sound quality than currently available –
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 8
called High Definition Television (HDTV) - or the Enhanced Defini-tion Television (EDTV).
transmission of several “standard definition” T V
SDTV is the baseline display and resolution for both
p r o g r a m s a t o n c e – c a l l e d “multicasting.”
analog and digital. Transmission of SDTV may be
“Standard definition” digital TV pictures
in either the tradi-tional (4:3) or widewould be similar in clarity and detail to
screen (16:9) format. EDTV is a step up
the best TV pictures being received
from Analog Television. EDTV comes
and displayed today using the current
in widescreen (16:9) or traditional (4:3)
analog broadcast system and TV
format and provides better picture
receivers. DTV technology can also be
quality than SDTV, but not as high as
used to provide interactive video and data
services that are not possible with “analog” technology.
This article has been provided to APCUG by the
solely for publication by APCUG member groups.
Is HDTV the same thing as DTV?
All other uses require the permission of the author (see
HDTV is the highest quality of DTV, but it is only one
e-mail address at beginning of article).
of many formats. In addition to HDTV, the most common
formats are Standard Definition Television (SDTV) and NOTE: A good site to check out projectors is
Book Review
Real Digital Forensics
By Jim DuWaldt, a member of the North Orange County Computer Club, California,, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication by APCUG member groups.
is a good idea. There is one staring
About the authors: Keith L. Jones
oddity: to use one of the tools
leads the computer forensics and
electronic evidence discovery
you need to alter your kernel!
practices at Red Cliff Consulting.
From pg 208: “Please download
Richard Bejtlich is the founder of
and install the NASA-enhanced
kernel … “ This takes more than
TaoSecurity, a network security
just a beginner’s skill!
monitoring consultancy. Curtis W.
Rose provides support to criminal
The context for the procedures
investigations and civil litigation
is provided by five scenarios
as an executive vice president at
which are a mix of internal and
Red Cliff Consulting.
external threats as seen from the
This book (with included DVD)
point of view of admins or law
intends to teach Computer
enforcement. As the techniques
are presented, it is explained how
Forensics for both Windows and
they might be applied to these
Linux systems, that is, gathering
scenarios, as opposed to stepping
evidence from infected machines
and the network they operate in so
through the scenarios and
that the intended victim can
describing the methods.
effectively react to a successful
Richard Bejtlich’s books
usually focus on evidence
gathered by network monitoring.
Or, to quote the book: “… give
Instead, Part I (“Live Incidence
new forensic investigators more
than words to learn new skills.” “We use the same tools Response”) begins with host-focused procedures for
attackers use … the same methods rouge employees both Windows and Linux (one chapter for each). Live
make … [collect] the same media we typically collect Response techniques invoke a series of programs on the
… this book takes a practical, hands-on approach to suspect machine in order to gather “volatile data,” that
solving problems … [with] techniques you can employ is, system state that will not survive a reboot or shutdown.
This explanation is entirely suitable for creating your
The clear implication is that the book is aimed at the own Live Response software and procedures.
inexperienced practitioner. As usual, TCP/IP knowledge
Book Review cont. on page 10
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 9
Book Review cont. from page 9
Networks return to the center of attention in Part II
(“Network-Based Forensics”). There is a brief but welldone review of the types of data (Full Context, Session,
Statistical, and Alert Data) that should be collected and
the software to collect them (Tcpdump, Snort, and many
others) as well as the five steps of intrusion (recon,
exploitation, reinforcement, consolidation, and
“pillage”). A Cop/Drug Ring analogy is employed to
describe these four data types which, given the popularity
of CSI, might be good for rank beginners but will be less
useful to anyone with more experienced. This section
also has separate chapters on analysis of the information
for Windows and *NIX machines.
Part III (“Acquiring a Forensic Duplication”) presents
open and closed tools for the forensic cloning of a
suspect disk, regardless of the operating system. Its
chapter on legal paperwork is very efficient but it would
be great if the authors had photos or illustrations of what
they use, if only as an example. The material on disk
duplication, on the other hand, had lots of excellent
photos and screen shots for both the commercial (EnCase
and FTK) and open source products (DD, DD_resume,
Part IV (Forensic Analysis Techniques) shows you
what to do with your new disk image. Methods for disk
analysis begin with looking for and recovering deleted
files, what to do when that is not possible, discerning
strings of interest from NBE (Network-Based Evidence)
and Live Response findings (like the name of an
executable) and searching the disk for them.
This is followed by techniques for reconstructing
emails (even Outlook and Outlook Express proprietary
formats can be analyzed by open source tools), pages
visited while web browsing including reconstructing
emails sent with web clients, and the examination of the
Windows Registry (good for finding recently-accessed
documents or evidence of programs subsequently
(Currently only commercial applications are available
for analyzing the Registry which is odd, considering
that scripting languages, like Python for example, have
Registry access libraries.)
Multiple chapters focus on examining unknown files
to determine their use, with an emphasis on Microsoftformatted documents and on the examination of unknown
Windows and *NIX executables. This includes static
analysis with tools like strings.exe and hexWorkshop
and disassemblers like IDA to discover system calls or
modify a binary file in order to, for example, bypass
password security. Missing are instructions on using a
product like VMware to set up a virtual machine
environment for protecting the rest of the system from
the foreign executable; they only mention that you
•should• use something like VMware when in fact it is
vitally important to do so or you could wind up with yet
another infected computer!
Part V (“Creating a Complete Forensic Toolkit”)
succinctly describes creating CDs for a Live Response
toolkit. (But, why not do this in the first part of the
book?) It also describes the use of a Knoppix disk which
allows you to examine a suspect system without having
to boot it from its (possibly) contaminated disk or be
concerned about your ‘clean’ OS being cleverly
contaminated by a suspect hard drive.
Part VI (“Mobile Device Forensics”) describes
gleaning and examining data from PDAs like Palms and
iPaqs (with additional information about how they
manage memory and how to access internal debugging
consoles), USB and CF drives. Forensic examination of
USB/CF devices using a loopback is well illustrated
and an example of recovering a deleted file is shown.
The chapters also illustrate that, while some PDAs have
good forensic tools available (like later Palms and
iPaqs), the earlier ones do not: sifting through evidence
on a Palm III, for example, is limited to hex and string
Part VII (“Online-Based Forensics”) presents
methods for determining where an email originated
from via header examination, and how determined
users could cover their tracks. Finally, they leverage
searching for DNS records into a lesson on manipulating
the entire VeriSign TLD (Top Level Domain) file in a
large (100GB+) Postgres database, allowing them to
find all DNS names owned by, in their example, the
company Foundstone.
My only complaints about the book are the sudden
request to change the kernel and a failure to put front
and center the necessity of using a virtual machine
environment before executing potentially hazardous
Otherwise it was a typical Bejtlich security book (no
offense to the other authors), containing the basis for
immediately creating Standard Operating Procedures,
in particular for Live Response, proper forensic
documentation, and creating forensic-compliant
duplicate drives. It definitely has a place on my security
bookshelf, alongside The Tao of Network Security and
Extrusion Detection.
The book is published by Addison-Wesley (http:/
product.asp?isbn=0321240693&rl=1), ISBN
0-321-24069-3, and lists for $55. User group members
can get a 30% discount if their group belongs to the UG
program.; it sells for $34.64 at (new).
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see
e-mail address above).
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 10
Photo News
Scanning Published Photos
By Irving Elliott, Twin Cities PC User Group, Minnesota,,
[email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication by APCUG member groups.
If you scan a photo from a newspaper or magazine, then They may also appear if the original photo is slightly
examine the results on your computer screen, you may see a rotated after scanning.
criss-cross pattern of fuzzy lines over the entire print. If you
Colored pictures from publications may also give you
print the scanned photo, you may also see such a pattern. This interference patterns. For these, the halftone process uses
happens because pictures in newspapers and magazines are filters to split the image into more than one black-grayprinted in a “halftone” mode.
white photo, with each photo representing the intensities
for each color. In each resulting halftone, the blob pattern
is slightly offset from that of the other halftones. The
picture is reproduced by printing the same paper once for
each halftone, in the corresponding color. The printing
press does not print one color on top of another because of
the slight offset of the halftones.
Before Repair
The halftone process was invented when it was desired
to print black-gray-white photographs using a printing
press that used only single-color black ink. In this process,
the photo is divided into a pattern of small squares, then
each square is replaced with a black “blob” of a size
proportional to the average shade of black in the square.
For example: a white square remains white; a light gray
square becomes a small black blob; a dark gray square
becomes a larger black blob; a black square remains black.
The gray shades were called “half-tones”, which explains
the name of the process. Originally, the conversion was
done by re-photographing the picture with a camera that
contained a wire screen. then developing the picture in a
high-contrast mode. Nowadays, the processcan be
accomplished on a computer.
If the density (squares per inch) of the scanned picture is
not an exact multiple of the pixel density of the scanner,
computer screen, or printer, an interference pattern occurs.
Ater Repair
You can get rid of the interference pattern by processing the
picture with any photo software package that has a “blur” or
“soften” selection. For example, in Paint Shop Pro, the
IMAGE/SOFTEN menu selection spreads the black blobs so
that the fuzzy bars magically disappear.
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see
e-mail address above).
Rename Or Delete An Item
You can rename or delete any folder or shortcut directly from the Programs menu. To rename an item, right-click it and
choose Rename from the pop-up menu. Enter the new name in the Rename dialog box and click OK. To delete it, choose
Delete from the right-click pop-up menu. Click the Delete Shortcut button to confirm the deletion. You can also sort,
rename, and delete the individual shortcuts of each folder. Perhaps you have a Programs folder for Quicken 2006. In that
folder are, among others, shortcuts for the Quicken application, its Help file, and Readme file. Move your mouse into the
Quicken folder and right-click any shortcut. Choose the Sort By Name option to order the Quicken shortcuts alphabetically.
Say you like the new order but want the shortcut for the program itself to appear at the top: Drag the Quicken 2006
shortcut to the top of the menu and release it. If you want to delete the shortcut to the Quicken Readme file because
you’ve already read it, right-click that shortcut and choose Delete from the pop-up menu.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. See how Smart Computing can benefit both you and your user group at
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 11
What is an Operating System?
A review of the Los Angeles Computer Society January 2007 General Meeting
Presented by Stephanie Nordlinger, Vice President, LACS
By Charlotte Semple, President, Los Angeles Computer Society, CA,, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication by APCUG member groups.
Stephanie asked the group, “What is an operating dimensional images of different pages of open windows
system?” An operating system (OS) is the guts of what that one is working in; part of the first or open page of
makes a computer work – the ground upon which each window is presented on the screen, instead of a list
programs are built. An OS is the software that underlies of the windows at the bottom of the screen. However,
all other programs that you install into your computer. the windows move a little too fast. Vista also has weird
Your programs will not install and cannot be run without glassy shiny wavy see-through lines running through
an OS.
the pages, which can be quite annoying and takes up a
Brief History of PC Operating Systems
Stephanie first came into the business during the late
‘70s and early ‘80s when people were using CP/M
operating systems for their microcomputers. In 1981
IBM produced the first PC (Personal Computer) which
was run by DOS (Disk Operating System). Several
manufacturers including IBM and Microsoft offered
several versions of DOS. MS (Microsoft) DOS continued
through version 6.2. It did not have a graphical interface,
and one had to be VERY careful to enter data on the
command line correctly or nothing happened, or, worse
yet, something that you did not want to have happen
After a few years, MS produced Windows 3.0, the
first OS with a graphical user interface (GUI). You
could now click on things instead of having to type
every command. It did not work very well. Some
months later, MS produced Windows 3.1, which did
work and was a commercial success. In 1995 MS
produced Windows 95, followed by Windows 98,
Windows NT and Windows 2000 , Windows XP Home
and Professional in 2001, and Windows Media Center
in 2002.
Stephanie was not able to install Vista Releases
Candidate 1 on the LACS Toshiba laptop that was
purchased in July 2006 and supposed to be Vista
Compatible. It still might be, possibly by the end of
January, when Vista’s shipping version is released. At
this point, neither Microsoft nor Toshiba has not written
or released software to make the video capability of the
LACS laptop work with the video of the RC-1version of
Vista. Microsoft did provide a large and wonderful
book on Vista for Stephanie to use. Some parts of Vista
are already available to people: Internet Explorer 7 and
Microsoft Media Center. One does not have to buy
Vista in order to have these two programs and some of
the other features of Vista.
Vista has a peculiar graphical interface; it can do 3-
lot of hardware to run. Many computers are not set up
with sufficient hardware, particularly new video cards,
to cope with this feature, or with Vista itself. Many do
have enough RAM and speed, but not the video
capability to run Vista.
Editions of Vista
The editions are designed for different types of
• Emerging Market - Is designed for those
persons who do not have a state-of-the-art
computer and who need something inexpensive.
It is not available in the U.S.
The American versions are:
• Home Basic – has very few new features but
presumably better security than XP Home.
• Home Premium – is designed to be an
equivalent to Windows XP as it is now with new
Vista graphics and security features.
• Ultimate – is designed for persons who have
computers at home, which are used as home and
business computers. They would have a Media
Center, more graphics, and special information
designed for home based businesses.
• Business – is designed especially for small and
medium-sized businesses.
• Enterprise – is designed for very large
corporations that need to do massive amounts
of data base activities.
Not all versions have the features that Stephanie
discussed this evening. There is some integration with
Office 2007, which MS is releasing at the end of
January 2007.
Microsoft offers and encourages you to use a preinstallation assessment program to see how Vista ready
your computer is: “Vista Compatible” vs. Vista premium
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 12
ready vs. not suitable for installation of Vista. The
program, Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor, is on MS’s
website. It only runs with Windows XP, not Windows
98 or 2000. In the report including a Task List, it says
what it thinks about your computer’s capabilities and
whether you need to do something before trying to
install Vista. Stephanie installed and ran it on the LACS
Laptop and her home office computer. It ran quickly
and easily.
When Stephanie originally ran it, the program did not
catch the fact that the LACS Laptop does not have a
proper interface between its 128 MB of video RAM,
which is supposed to be enough, marginally enough,
and Vista, which requires at least 128 MB of video
RAM. It reported that two files on the LACS Toshiba
laptop were not compatible and that many others (mostly
utilities) would need upgrading. This new Toshiba
laptop is supposed to be Vista Compatible! It did NOT
say that the VIDEO RAM was insufficient to install
Vista – which, many hours and half a dozen attempts
later, seemed to be the case. Toshiba may, or may not,
be able to correct this.
Toshiba, like other manufacturers, is trying to get its
various computers ready for Vista, and they are chasing
a moving target – Vista is going through at least 5
versions, including the shipping version. Even when
the shipping version comes out, you will need to go to
the MS website to update Vista because MS needs lead
time to do the shipping, and MS will not have it all
together by the time they send Vista to be manufactured.
Advice: Buy a computer with Vista installed – don’t
try to upgrade a computer if you can avoid it.
You will still have to move your files though. Vista has
a program within it to move your personal settings and
files. It will NOT move programs. These will have to be
re-installed from the original CDs, and then you will
have to go to the individual vendor’s websites for any
service pack or upgrades they had since you first bought
their product. Many will wait until the Vista SP-1 is
released to be sure most of the bugs are gone.
The Most Important Improvements
1. Internet Explorer 7 (IE 7)
IE 7 has a different, more compact menu bar
that can disappear to give you more “real estate”
(screen display). It still has most of what was in
IE 6: Pop-up protection, Spell Checker, etc. IE
7 is trying to be up-to-date with the new
electronic “stuff, including RSS feeds. IE 7 will
condense a too-wide web page so that it can be
printed correctly, where IE6 often left off the
edge of a web page. Occasionally, IE 7 will
over- condense a web page and print it in very
small type. If you use the print preview function,
you can see how the condensed page will appear
and adjust the font size if it seems too small,
before printing.
IE 7 also can save a favorite group of tabs, so
that if you wish to bring up several websites at
Operating system cont. on page 14
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802.11g Wireless Connectivity
Up to 54 Mbps with other 802.11g
Wireless Devices
Backwards Compatible with 802.11b
Enhanced Security with WPA
4-Port Switch for Connecting up to 4
Ethernet-enabled PCs or Devices
Advanced Firewall Security
Setup Wizard for Step-by-Step
Intuitive Web-based Management
DHCP Server/Client to Connect
Multiple Computers to the
UPnP™ Support
24/7 Technical Support
3–Year Warranty
Tickets will be available at the
General Meeting
for $100 each or 6 for $500
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 13
Operating system cont. from page 13
the same time all you have to do is click on the
one Favorite. For example, if you are doing
investments and you want the Morningstar,
Fidelity and Vanguard websites all available to
you at a click, you don’t have to go in and out
typing in a URL each time. Instead, you can
click the one Favorite and you will get the
desired web pages with tabs to click as you need
2. Windows Media Center and Media Player
Media Center is included in XP Pro and XP Media
Center (2002). Media Player v. 11 (for music) is
available as a free download from Microsoft.
Media Center is an excellent product for
downloading and playing TV, videos, music, etc.
Your computer running Vista can interface with
most electronic devices. It has great graphical
capabilities, allowing you to do absolutely
beautiful graphics, work with photos, etc.
With Vista Home Premium or Ultimate (but not
with the other versions without third party stuff),
you can enjoy TV, music, photos, videos, home
movies and on-line entertainment on your PC.
With a TV Tuner and your PC, you can watch,
pause, and record TV. With dual tuner support
you can watch a pre-recorded program while
recording another live program. With Media
Center extenders, like the MS X-Box 360, you
can extend the Media Center to other rooms in
your home. You can also enjoy your Media
Center “on the go” using Windows Mobile
“Windows Plays For Sure” devices. Windows
Media Center has limited digital imaging and
editing of photographs – a third party program
will do a better job.
3. Improved Explorer Menus and Dialog Boxes
Vista’s graphics are designed for digital screens
instead of CRTs (Cathode Ray Tubes), but they
will work on both. Vista has a new Aero
Technology, with Aero Glass, a 3-D technology
whereby you can have several images on the
screen, one placed over another, all transparent
(see-through glass), and sometimes with the
transparent wavy line patterns that I spoke of
earlier. The quality of the graphics is much
better because you have better equipment, but I
would choose to run Vista without the Aero
floating lines experience.
4. Clear Type and New Sans Serif Web Fonts
Clear Type is type rendering that is optimized
for flat LCD screens. While available in XP, it
is turned on by default in Vista. There are six
new sans serif fonts in Vista and Office 2007,
with recommendations of which ones are
appropriate for different kinds of activity. Using
them is said to save 5% of your reading time,
which is not insignificant, namely 24 minutes
in an 8-hour day.
5. Gadgets
Screens are wider than they used to be and you
don’t really need to use the whole screen to
work in. With Explorer, you can have a movable
column on the far left or right of the screen. It
is used for your gadgets such as a clock, a
weather report, calculator, mini files or PostIts, etc. These functions are quickly accessible
without having to open a browser or full
6. Improved Security
How many security features you get depends
upon which version of Vista you are using. All
have automatic backup and restore, and
automatic defragmentation. MS has redesigned
ActiveX Files, limiting what they can do as a
protection against malicious persons. They can’t
wreck your computer as much as they could
previously wreck it.
Vista contains Windows Defender (a free
download from MS that also runs on XP) that is
designed to avoid malware (mostly spyware).
Similar programs are available for little or no
cost. You will probably still need a new version
of third party anti-virus software or a
subscription to Microsoft’s Windows One Care
($50 00 a year). Third party anti spyware venders
are aware of Vista and will produce Vista
versions of their products.
The Vista Business version has some new tools
that give you peace of mind that all the important
data on your PC is protected automatically. The
Windows Security Center puts all your essential
security settings in one easy-to-find location to
help protect your data. Although there is a lot of
protection available against viruses and worms,
threats continue to evolve as hackers become
more sophisticated. Vista includes an antiphishing filter for e-mail and websites (which
load rather slowly if you use it).
Vista also has parental controls, which can
control when a child is allowed to use the
computer, what he or she may do and where he
or she may visit. This previously required third
party software.
7. Improved Linkage to Other Electronic
You can sync your device with multiple
computers and can use a MS Xbox 360 in the
NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 14
Operating system cont. on page 16
Thank You !
Napa Valley Personal
Computer Users Group
The Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group is grateful for the
support provided by the following
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NVPCUG Computer News, March 2007, Page 15
Operating system cont. from page 14
living room with the content on your computer
elsewhere on your home network. Vista includes
DVD creation software, so you may not need
another CD or DVD creator program.
8. SuperFetch
SuperFetch searches for files anywhere on your
computer. But to make full use of this, you have
to index each file – i.e. provide key words,
dates, authors, etc. You have to provide key
words for your photos since photos do not index
themselves. File indexing is already available
via Copernic (free downloadable software).
9. Automated Pre-Tech Support Data Collection
This allows for shorter calls to in-house or
external support. It keeps track of what you
have done so that if you have to call tech
support, you don’t have to tell them all of the
background data, including what program
you’ve just installed that you have totally
forgotten about which caused your system to
crash. This program is designed to give faster
tech support so neither you nor the tech support
person has to lose a lot of precious time
in trying to solve your problem.
Vista facilitates IT management by allowing a
company’s chief IT person to selectively turn
off things that have changed and selectively
turn them back on – to ease the learning curve
for employees. Vista is also allegedly more
reliable and fixable at a distance. Networks are
apparently easier to set up also; this was very
difficult in previous versions of Windows.
10. New .XPS Document Format
“You can transform on-screen content into a
document that can be easily viewed, printed,
full text searched and securely protected and
authenticated with the latest rights management
and “digital signature technologies.” This is
done using the new open XPS document format.
Office 2007 users will have the option of “Save
as XPS” file. There is also a Vista Compatibility
wizard for XP files.
11. Other Features
Vista includes Windows Speech Recognition
software, but Stephanie could not find any
reports on this and does not know how it compares
with available third party software.
Vista includes Ready Boost, which is a great
feature. It allows a particular kind of thumb
drive with special technology and a program to
be recognized and used as extra RAM. If your
computer (especially a laptop) needs more
RAM, this is an excellent (and sometimes the
only) way to add it.
Vista includes the calendar function of Outlook,
including a personal task list and calendaring
for groups.
12. Improved Games are included and supported.
Microsoft claims the Vista gaming experience
is as good as when using dedicated gaming
devices. Stephanie is not a gamer and couldn’t
install Vista, so she did not pursue this.
13. Software for Transferring
Vista includes software to transfer your settings
and data from another computer to your new
Vista computer. Vista does NOT transfer
programs – only your settings. You will have to
reinstall programs from their CDs and
sometimes get new ones or updates. Utilities
NEVER transfer between operating systems.
14. Microsoft Is a Service Business
Office Live lets you set up a small website via
Microsoft. The program can be obtained from
a special website, from free to $40 per
month. For more information, go to
Microsoft is also offering Windows Live One Care
service, an anti-malware program.
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see
e-mail address above).
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558-0286
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