Feb 2011
February 2011
Inside
CES Tablets ...............................1
Free Utilities from NirSoft ..........9
More Portable Utilities for Your Flash Drive
........................11
Microsoft Rolls Out “SkyDrive” 14
Crabby demystifies even more e-mail terms ................................16
Why do I love bit.ly, let me count the ways ..................................19
Let’s Have Fun .........................19
The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Editor to Google ...21
Who Invented the CD?................23
Wi-Fi Security
..............23
Windows 7 Clock ....................25
Find It Online (Root Out Your Family History) .........................26
Word & Excel Tips ................28
Computer Books .......................29
NoiseHush N525 Edge Bluetooth Headset
..............................30
Fountain Valley Branch Library
17635 Los Alamos,
Fountain Valley
meetings on 2nd Saturday
10:00 am to 12:30 pm
Future Meeting Dates
February - no meeting
March 12 - CES Overview
April 9 - Genealogy
May 14 - TBA
Membership
Annual membership is $20 for
indivduals: $5 for each additional
family members.
CES 2011 Tablets and
eReaders
By Terry Currier
Prices listed are rounded up.
Aluratek www.Aluratek.com
For simple eBook downloading,
the Libre Air adds wireless
connectivity to the existing Libre
eBook Reader Pro, available from
Borders and offering over a
million titles to chose from. It
features an exclusive reflective
light LCD screen technology. This
technology offers faster page turns
without the flashing and flickering
that e-ink screens deliver.
capacitive 10.1-inch crisp and
responsive touch screen LCD.
Web browsing on the Cinepad is
provided with Adobe Flash Lite
and instant messaging and email is
also possible when connected via
the built-in Wi-Fi.
Other features of the
Cinepad include BMP,
JPG, GIF picture format
support, screen rotation,
built-in MP3 player with
background playback
support, Micro SD card
slot and an internal lithiumion polymer battery with
battery level indicator and
low level warning.
Expected availability for both
is February 2011. The Libre Air
MSRP is $129 while the Cinepad
MSRP is $299
Cydle www.cydle.com
Android Powered MultiPAD –
features an Ebook, Music Player,
Movie Player and Photo Viewer.
• ARM11 800MHz processor
• 8GB of ROM NAND Flash
The design of the new Libre Air
memory
is more curved and features user• 256MB RAM memory
friendly buttons and controls for
DDR
maximum convenience. It supports
•
Memory slot up to 32GB
PDF, TXT, FB2, EPUB, MOBI,
Micro SD
PRC and RTF electronic book
•
Google Android 2.1
formats.
operating system
• 7” Display with 800x480
Also announced is Cinepad,
high resolution
the new Android tablet with a
Board of Directors
President
Terry Currier
winnersug(at)aol.com
Vice-President
Steve Dela
stevede(at)aol.com
Secretary
Gerry Bretts
gbretts(at)juno.com
Treasurer
Max Lockie
mlockie(at)pobox.com
Board Members
Ethel Kamber
ethel(at)kamber.fastmail.fm
Ken Kamber
kenkamber(at)mail.com
Louise McCain
LMcEnterprises(at)ol.com
Ed Koran
edk246(at)aol.com
Robin Theron
rtheron(at)gmail.com
Rebecca Feinstein
[email protected]
Editor
editor(at)windowsusers.org
popular Mobility Hub
on Dell.com, which lets
people find the perfect
mobile product for their
lifestyle.
• Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
• Built-in speaker and
microphone
• HDMI with 1080P full HD
support
Dell www.dell.com
Introduced an expanded consumer
portfolio featuring nextgeneration 4G capable devices
and high-definition 3D-capable
laptops that deliver the ultimate
in mobility, entertainment and
gaming experiences for just about
everyone.
The new products include:
• Streak 7, Dell’s first 4G
tablet on T-Mobile’s fast
new 4G network;
WINNERS, contributors and
• A new XPS-branded laptop
editors of Notepad do not assume
with full-resolution 3D
liability for dameages arising from
screen; and
the publication or non-publication
• New Alienware 3D capable
of any advertisement, article, editogaming systems
rial, or other item in this newsletter. In addition
All opionions express are those of
Dell today
the individual authors only and do
announced
not necessarily represent the opion- it is
ions of the WINNERS, its Board of extending
Directors, the WINNERS Notepad, its Dell
or its editors.
Stage
WINNERS a computer association, software interface across its entire
is a volunteer organization providconsumer product portfolio. The
ing a forum for sharing informamove provides a unified experience
tion and experiences related to
across Dell’s consumer PC mobile
Windows-based software, and
devices and makes it easier to
hardware, encouraging ethical use
access and share music, movies
of computers and software, offering and photos. Dell also announced
service to our communities.
it is significantly expanding its
The new Dell Streak
7 with Android 2.2 is
Dell’s first 4G tablet to
take full advantage of
T-Mobile’s 4G network.
Small enough to carry,
yet big enough for the whole
family to gather around, the new
Streak 7 enables immediate and
instant access to great content like
movies, television shows, home
videos and more.
Featuring an NVIDIA Tegra
dual-core processor superchip, a
7-inch multi-touch screen with
Corning Gorilla Glass and full
Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support,
the Android-based tablet is ideal
for experiencing thousands of
Android Market widgets, games
and applications. The built-in WiFi, Bluetooth capability along with
front- and rear-facing cameras
make chatting face-to-face with
friends over 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi
connections effortless both at home
and on the go.
E FUN www.nextbookusa.com
Revealed the addition of two capacitive touch-screen
models to its Nextbook Android tablets--the Next4 10.1” and Next6 - 7”. The 10.1” Next4 (Android 2.2)
and 7” Next6 (Android 2.1) tablets both feature builtin Wi-Fi and the Borders eBook Store. Both models’
feature proprietary user interface makes it easy for
users to get up and running fast. Users can browse
the Internet, respond to emails, watch YouTube videos,
listen to streaming internet music and download
applications to do just about anything they want to!
Both models include 2GB of memory, a SD card slot,
25 pre-loaded books, a MP3/photo viewer, built-in
speakers and G-sensor.
Both Next4 and Next6 will be available in Q2, 2011.
The MSRP is $350 for the Next4 and $270 for the
Next6.
Both include a built-in Borders eBook Store and
Wi-Fi. A number of multimedia functions may be
performed on each model. Other built-in features
include an alarm clock, local weather, assorted games,
and other useful, fun apps. Plus, thousands of thirdparty apps are also compatible.
The Next4 is a high definition (1024x768 pixel)
capacitive touch tablet that features built-in Flash
support and 8GB of built-in flash memory. The Next6
is also a capacitive touch tablet that includes 4GB of
on board memory.
Also, as with every Nextbook model, these two new
additions have a preloaded Borders eBook Store app,
making it easy to download any of the over onemillion titles that are available, many of which are
free. Both come with 25 eBooks preloaded.
Hanvon www.hanvon.com
Unveiled the Hanvon WISEreader E920, the industry’s
first large-screen, highresolution e-book reader. It
has a 9.7 inch screen and
200 dpi resolution, which
provides some of the crispest
and sharpest images ever
seen on an E Ink-powered
device. The eReader will be
available by June 2011.
The Hanvon WISEreader is
the perfect eReader for the
traveler on the go, or those
that do not want to remember to recharge their e-book
reader. The WISEreader has a standby battery life of
15 days, and can read more than 10,000 pages before
requiring a recharge.
The WISEreader will support extended MicroSD
cards up to 32GB, allowing consumers to store more
than 10,000 e-books on the reader. It provides all
the traditional benefits of an E Ink reader and also
supports a variety of formats, will speak in TTS voice,
allows users to comment in PDF at any time and make
instant Chinese-English translations.
itablet www.itablet.com
Announced back in February 2010 and officially
launched at the CES Show. The itablet has a 10.1”
widescreen capacitive touchscreen and an integrated
graphics processor that delivers high quality images
at up to 1024 x 600 resolution in either landscape or
portrait formats. A large onscreen keyboard makes
inputting text a simple process and, with 32GB
storage capacity. The integrated SD card reader
enables photographs and other files to be viewed or
uploaded and an HDMI output provides high quality
playback of HD video and pictures through larger TV
screens. Audio playback can be through the built-in
stereo speakers or stereo headphones.
Fully
equipped
with
Bluetooth
and
802.11b/
g/n Wi-Fi
networking enabling users to easily connect to
wireless networks to download and edit files or access
the internet with full Flash compatibility. They can
also make their choice of browser such as Internet
Explorer, Firefox and Opera. An integrated 2 megapixel webcam and microphone are also included for
video and VoIP conferencing applications.
Preloaded with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
and powered by an Intel Atom Z530 1.6GHz processor
with 2GB DDR2 SDRAM, multiple applications
can be run simultaneously. Something that cannot
be achieved with other commonly used operating
systems. It is also equipped with two integrated USB
2.0 ports, with dimensions of 271 x 163 x 16mm it
weighs under 1kg.
durability and extend features and functionality with
tools such as a magnetic stripe reader or fingerprint
reader.
AHX Global is also simultaneously launching the
W10 which is powered by an Intel Atom Z510
1.3GHz processor with 1GB DDR2 SDRAM running
Windows 7 Starter Edition. It shares the same features
as the W10 but does not have a webcam or HDMI
output. Deliveries of the Windows itablets will start in
March.
Using the upcoming “Oak Trail” Intel® Atom™
processor provides the ideal balance between power
and battery consumption. As a result, the CL900 can
simultaneously run multiple enterprise applications,
as well as deliver crisp, colorful HD video and
graphics. Users can connect in the way that best suits
their needs, from integrated Bluetooth® to WLAN to
Gobi™ 3000 3G mobile broadband.
Motion Computing www.motioncomputing.com
Every Motion CL900 comes out of the box ready
to work. Weighing just 2.1 pounds1, the CL900
helps every user to work faster, smarter and more
effectively, providing the capabilities, applications
and ergonomic ease of use mobile workers need to
be more productive in today’s decentralized work
environments.
Designed for the challenging conditions highly mobile
workers face every day and is made to be more
durable than any other comparably priced tablet. Built
around an internal frame for structural rigidity, it’s
designed to withstand a drop from the back of a truck,
a countertop or a hospital bed, and is protected against
exposure to moisture, dust or harsh temperatures. IP52
The display is equipped with Corning® Gorilla®
Glass, the resilient display material renowned for its
lightweight strength and durability, the CL900 is the
first 10-inch rugged tablet that enables both multitouch and active stylus3 input on a display. It can work
up to a full eight hours on just one battery charge.
They designed it to support future expansion
options with a unique peripheral module that can be
securely integrated into each tablet to help maintain
Built to run on Windows® 7, so there’s no need for
IT to rework infrastructure, support a new OS, or
sacrifice security. Features:
• At 2.1 lbs (1), it’s small, light and very
portable
• The display supports both “Touch” and “Pen”
input
• 10.1” screen featuring HD 1366 X 768
resolution
• Standard Solid State Drive (SSD) with 30GB
or 62GB
• On-board connectivity: USB, SD Slot, Audio
In/Out, Video Out
• Integrated cameras: Rear facing 3.0 MP
documentation camera and front facing 1.3 MP
web camera
• Docking Station with 3 USB ports and
Ethernet connectivity
• One-year warranty protection - optional
three-year and optional Accidental Damage
Protection (ADP)
MSI www.msi.com
Revealed two new generation WindPad tablets one on the Windows platform and the other on the
Android™ platform with functions such as G-Sensor
gravity detection, which protects the internal hardware
in case the unit is dropped, an ALS light sensor which
adjusts screen brightness according to the surrounding
light source, and Wi-Fi.
• MSI WindPad 100A tablet - The lean 10.1-inch
multi-touch machine – based on the Android
OS and weighing in at 1.6 pounds – is powered
by an ARM processor, and offers features such
as a digital compass, a GPS locator, and Wi-Fi
•
with a 3G option available. The new tablet is
approximately half an inch thick at its thinnest
point, and can run for eight to ten hours on a
single battery charge. It offers a complete array
of I/O ports, with USB and HDMI slots for
expanding and connecting.
• MSI WindPad 100W tablet - The 100W tablet,
weighing in at just 1.76 pounds, features the
Microsoft® Windows™ 7 Home Premium
operating system and a 10.1-inch screen that
supports multi-touch control. In addition to the
features of the WindPad 100A, it is equipped
with the Intel® Menlow™ Z530 processor
and a 32GB solid state hard drive. The MSI
WindPad 100W tablet will be available in Q1
2011 with prices starting from $499.
Ocosmos ocosmos.en.ec21.com
Their OMOS Interface technology can replace the
keyboard and the mouse with two input-keys; so,
the user can control the games and the office work
programs, which are actually working on Desktop PC,
in the mobile circumstances
• For extreme usages with Windows OS on
mobile circumstances they provide a GUI.
• It is the Tablet PC for users to play higher
levels of mobile games rather than normally
played on-line games and simple touch games
on PC.
• It is the tablet PC for users to do office works
as fast as the same levels of PC
Both the OCS1 and OCS9 feature :
• Intel Advanced Platform
• Up to 64GB of solid-state storage
• Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
• Front and rear cameras (1.3MP Webcam in
front , 3.1MP camera in back)
• A microphone for video chat sessions
OMOS Key Interface: useful as a mouse, and
customizable for character input
• Right/Left keys on the device shoulder for
gaming
• Gyroscope/Accelerometer
• Windows 7 operating system
The OCS1 specifications include:
• 5.0-Inch TFT Capacitive Multi-touch screen
• 1024 x 600 pixel resolution capacitive touch
screen
• Windows 7 OS
• 1GB of RAM installed, upgradable to 2GB
• microSD Memory Card Expansion Slots
• Full Featured 3D gaming capability
• Online PC Games: StarCraft, Halo, Sudden
Attack, and more…
• Massively multiplayer online role-playing
games (MMORPG)
• Ideal for Social Networking Games &
communities
• Hardcore and serious games
• Multimedia and entertainment system (PMP,
MP3P, MID functions)
• A complete suite of Office applications
• Full internet browsing
The OCS9 specifications include:
• 9.0 Inch (Diagonal) Widescreen Multi-Touch
Display
• 1024 x 768 pixel resolution capacitive touch
screen
• Windows 7 Home Premium
• 64GB of Internal SSD storage
• External Micro SD Card up to 64GB
NEC www.nec.com
The LT-W Cloud Communicator is like a book with
dual 7” touchscreens that unfolds like a book and
runs Android 2.1. It is designed to look and work
just like a paperback book. It can use touch or stylus
for interaction. Communications include LAN,
BlueTooth, wireless (802.11g), and 3G as a built-in
option. Each screen has 800 x 600 resolution. It has
a 3MB camera, USB, and SD card slot. Battery life
is estimated to be 5 hours. Also built-in are a mono
speaker, and GPS and accelerometer.
It
definitely designed for students, even the demo I
receive he kept talking about student and classes. No
word on when it will be shipped to the U.S.
PocketBook www.pocketbook-usa.com
Demonstrated the company’s five new product models
– PocketBook Pro 602, Pro 902 –
standard models, PocketBook Pro
603, Pro 903 – premium class
models and multimedia reading
device PocketBook IQ 701.
The 602 is a smaller unit with a
longer battery life (six inches and
14,000 page turns) while the 902
has a larger screen and a shorter
duration between power-ups (9.7
inches and 7,000 page turns).
Despite these physical differences, both models can be
used for either work or play.
The updated PocketBook Pro 603 and Pro 903 are the
company’s premium class models. The two models
differ in screen size with the Pro 603 measuring 6” and
the Pro 903 measuring 9.7”. These upgraded versions
possess a stylus touch module Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
and, these models feature 3G connectivity module.
The IQ 701 offers a number of different features
including a seven-inch color TFT touch screen with
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Functioning on the
Android operating system with Android application
capabilities.
Samsung www.samsung.com
The Samsung Galaxy Tab™ Wi-Fi-only will be
available for purchase in the U.S. in the first quarter
of 2011. It runs on Android™ 2.2 (Froyo) and features
a 7-inch TFT display with 1024 x 600 WSVGA
resolution. The
lightweight
and sleek
device weighs
only 13
ounces, is 12
millimeters
thin and
easily fits in a
jacket pocket
or purse. It
includes 16GB of internal storage and has microSD
expansion for up to 32GB of additional storage. The
Tab also supports Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 to
deliver an enhanced content experience with access
to thousands of Web sites packed with complex
Flash-based applications and content. The Flash
content support includes games, animations, rich
Internet applications (RIAs), data presentations
and visualizations, ecommerce, video, music and
more. The Tab is also designed with a rear-facing
3 megapixel camera for taking pictures on-the-go,
as well as a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera and
camcorder for video chat.
It offers services like Google Maps™ with Navigation
(Beta) and Google Goggles™, as well as access to
more than 100,000 applications currently available
for download on Android Market™. Just like the
Samsung Galaxy S smartphone portfolio, the Galaxy
Tab keep users connected with Samsung’s Social
Hub application. Social Hub works with the user’s
Messaging and Contacts to initiate the sending and
receiving of information, whether it is e-mail, instant
messaging, social network updates or SMS messages.
Information from portal calendars, such as Google
Calendar™ and social networking services are merged
into a single interface for easy organization.
Additional features of the Galaxy Tab include:
• Daily Briefing: Offers instant access to
weather, news, stocks, and schedules.
• Expandable Memory: Galaxy Tab can add 32
GB of external memory.
• AllShare DLNA Technology: Take video or
pictures shot with Galaxy Tab and send the
original content wirelessly to other DLNAenabled devices (HDTVs, laptops, PC
monitors, etc.)
• Document Viewer & Editor: Open and make
changes to any Word, Excel, PowerPoint or
PDF document
• 4,000 mAh Battery: Super-sized battery
provides ample power to watch movies, share
content and surf the Web
They also announced the launch of its first sliding
tablet PC. Equipped with Microsoft Windows 7
operating system and powered by the upcoming
Intel® Atom™ processor platform, currently codenamed “Oak Trail,” the PC 7 Series maximizes the
benefits of a tablet PC with its compact, light design,
and incorporates a sliding keyboard for easy typing,
enhanced productivity and performance. The display
slides up to reveal a physical keyboard giving the user
the option of a multi-touch display or full keyboard
and mouse interface.
With its slim and light weight design, the 7 Series
allows for mobility without compromising
functionality in personal or professional settings.
The device is also perfect thanks to its handy, portable
nature and focus on content. For those who prefer
physical keyboards over a touch screen for quickly
typing up notes or browsing the Web, the 7 Series
features a full, 80/81-key keyboard sleekly tucked
away under the display. At the user’s convenience, the
keyboard slides out completely, creating a laptop-like
interface coupled with the touch capabilities on the
display.
The six-cell lithium-polymer battery and innovative
Eco Light Sensor, which conserves energy and adjusts
screen brightness based on available ambient light,
allows the 7 Series to last for up to 9 hours.
Available in either 32GB or 64GB models, the 7 Series
features expandable storage with the 4-in-1 memory
card reader. The solid-state hard drive and Samsung’s
Fast Start feature powers the 7 Series in as little as 15
seconds, or restores from Hibernate and Sleep modes
in a mere 3 seconds. The SSD also fully supports
multi-tasking not only in the Windows® mode, but also
in touch mode, so users never have to slow down.
Equipped with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium,
the Samsung 7 Series provides familiarity and comfort
to users while enhancing their overall experience.
Users with entertainment in mind will benefit from
high-resolution graphics and an HDMI port for
sharing content on an HDTV. Additionally, the builtin webcam and audio speaker make the 7 Series ideal
for video communication with family, friends and
coworkers across the globe.
Optional 3G connectivity gives the 7 Series Internet
connectivity anywhere, anytime. Moreover, the
built-in accelerometer enables portrait or landscape
viewing, making the 7 Series perfect for reading
daily news articles, or sharing photos with family and
friends.
Weighing just 2.2 pounds, the Samsung Sliding PC 7
Series is easily packed into a briefcase and can be used
for making presentations or for recording data on the
fly. The 7 Series is suited for both indoor and outdoor
use with 340-nit brightness 10.1-inch display
supported by an enhanced HD resolution (1366 x 768).
The Sliding PC 7 Series comes with several preloaded applications that are optimized for the touch
screen display. This includes Samsung’s applications
for music, video, photos, note taking, weather, clock,
compass and many more. In addition, Microsoft
Bing™ Maps provides powerful tools that help get
more out of search, including the intuitive Bing voice
search, which enables users to type with their voice
to find what they’re looking for. More robust touch
applications will be available via the Samsung App
Manager and Windows Product Scout.
The Samsung 7 Series acts as a connective hub with
other devices to improve the entertainment experience
thanks to Samsung’s device-to-device connection
solutions. Samsung AllShare™ enables users to
control, search, swap and play videos, photos, and
music across a full range of DLNA® (Digital Living
Network Alliance) certified Samsung devices, ranging
from cameras and smart phones to TVs and PCs.
The Samsung 7 Series is scheduled to be available in
March 2011, with a starting price of $699 MSRP.
Sharp www.sharpelectronicsusa.com
Showcased its GALAPAGOS e-media tablet and
cloud-based bookstore
service. Utilizing its
proprietary XMDF (evereXtending Mobile Document
Format) it will present
an enhanced e-reading
experience to consumers by
providing rich content, an
intuitive user interface and
periodic software updates.
The e-media tablet and
e-bookstore service will
offer consumers wide access
to e-books, movies, games,
and music. An optional
Automated Scheduled Delivery Service will deliver
the most updated newspapers and magazines to the
user’s “door” wherever a wireless connection is
available. Featuring a 16:9 format touch-screen LCD
and rich graphic capabilities. They will have two sizes:
5.5” and 10.8”.
Users will have the option of browsing content
free-of-charge before purchasing and having it
automatically delivered to the tablet. All downloaded
content is stored on the micro SD card, so users can
enjoy reading e-books even in locations without WiFi.
Sharp plans to add new content categories such as
video and e-commerce, and enhanced connectivity
between the media tablet and devices including
AQUOS® LCD TVs and smartphones. All content
viewed on the tablet will be able to be shared with
large-size high definition AQUOS TVs, and users will
be able to remotely control content from the tablet.
Future plans also include home control, education,
medical and e-commerce applications.
Toshiba www.toshiba.com
Previewed its first Android-powered tablet for the U.S.
market. Featuring a 10.1-inch diagonal widescreen
HD display, the tablet is equipped with stand-out
performance and features, plus smart technologies
that adapt to the way you want to use it. The Toshiba
tablet is slated to ship in the first half of 2011 with
the Android Honeycomb operating system, the next
version of Android designed for tablet devices.
The Toshiba tablet’s high-resolution 10.1-inch
diagonal widescreen multi-touch display is ideal
for viewing full websites and both landscape and
portrait mode. The display’s high definition 1280x800
resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio also creates a
cinematic experience for movie viewing and gaming.
Coupled with support for Adobe® Flash®-enabled
content, the tablet provides a complete web and
entertainment experience.
The
Toshiba
Adaptive Display technology ensures that users get the
best visual experience, automatically adjusting the
display’s brightness and color to the lighting
environment. The tablet also features a built-in motion
sensor that enables full screen rotation and includes a
rotation-lock switch to set the display in position when
the user chooses. In addition, the tablet includes an onscreen keyboard with Haptic feedback for more
accurate typing.
The EasyGrip finish and will be available in multiple
colors. This unique slip-resistant rubberized surface
is more comfortable to the touch and easy to hold.
Features an open design, giving users greater
flexibility for customization with user-replaceable
EasyGrip back covers and a replaceable prismatic
lithium ion battery.
Powered by the world’s most advanced mobile
processor – the dual-core NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 with
integrated NVIDIA graphics – users will be able
browse the web at unprecedented speed, experience
amazing graphics in the latest games and multimedia
and benefit from accelerated multi-tasking. The
NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor also delivers smooth, full
frame-rate 1080p HD video playback.
The tablet includes Toshiba Resolution+™
video enhancement technology that
improves color, contrast and sharpness,
giving standard definition video a more
high definition look as well as Toshiba
sound enhancement technology to boost
the audio experience adding more robust
sound capabilities to the device’s stereo
speakers.
The tablet features a two megapixel front-facing
camera and five megapixel rear-facing camera for
taking photos, videos and video chat, and includes
integrated GPS and compass so users can take
advantage of location-based services.
The tablet will also feature a full host of connectivity
options and ports that make it easy to integrate the
device into everyday digital life, including a fullsize HDMI® port to easily share photos and video
on an HDTV, a full-size USB and a mini USB 2.0
port for connecting external devices. A full-size SD
Card slot provides options for additional storage and
transferring files. The device will also be equipped
with Bluetooth® for easy device connectivity and fast
802.11n Wi-Fi® support for easily connecting to the
web from home, the office or Wi-Fi hotspots. Optional
docking stations will allow users to connect and
recharge the device at a desk or at home and provide
additional connectivity ports.
The Toshiba tablet will be available in the first half of
2011.
Dozens of Free Utilities from
NirSoft
by Ira Wilsker
WEBSITES;
http://www.nirsoft.net
http://www.nirsoft.net/about_nirsoft_freeware.html
http://www.nirsoft.net/false_positive_report.html It is no secret to regular readers of my column that
I am somewhat of a software junkie, often very willing
and eager to download and install interesting software.
I am especially fond of free software (freeware), and
recognize the great contributions that the freeware
authors have made to the computing public. One of
my favorite sources of freeware is a one-man software
operation aptly named NirSoft, a combination of the
developer’s name, Nir Sofer, and the word “software”.
While this is a part time one-man operation, Nir Sofer
has developed over one hundred excellent programs
and utilities that are well written, enormously popular,
lack any form of advertising pop-up or adware, and
are totally free of charge.
I have been using several of the NirSoft
utilities since my Windows 98 days, and always
found them efficient and useful. I have used some
of the password recovery utilities, USB utilities, and
several others. According to the website, nirsoft.net,
the most popular utilities are IPNetInfo, Volumouse,
MessenPass, and Protected Storage PassView.
IPNetInfo, available for download from
nirsoft.net/utils/ipnetinfo.html, is designed to retrieve
information about IP addresses, those numerical
sequences that identify a particular computer or
server. Typically in the format of 123.45.678.90,
these IP (Internet Protocol) addresses point to a
specific computer or server location, and can be used
to determine the likely source of an email, website,
server, or other internet connected appliance. The
program is small and written in tight code, and
requires no additional installation or utilities in order
to run it. Accord to Nir, “ IPNetInfo is a standalone
program, so it doesn’t require any installation process
or additional DLLs. In order to start using it, simply
copy the executable file (ipnetinfo.exe) to any folder
you like, and run it.” I copied the file to my desktop,
and use it mostly to determine the (mostly) true
location of the sender of an email, or the (likely)
real location of a website or server; while this is not
typically necessary for the casual user, I use it as a
quick tool to forensically locate the probable source of
spam email and scam websites.
Many of us routinely watch TV or videos
over the internet, and listen to a variety of audio.
Sometimes we need to adjust the volume in order
to better hear the audio, and the standard Windows
volume controls are often inconvenient or located on
an external speaker. Not all computers have a volume
control in the keyboard, so NirSoft provides a small
utility that can control the volume by simply using
the wheel on the mouse. Most computer mice today
are wheel mice, and not many people use the wheel
as a scroll tool as intended. By installing Volumouse
(nirsoft.net/utils/volumouse.html), the user has
complete control over all of the audio volume of the
system, utilizing only the wheel on the mouse along
with a function key, usually the “Alt” key. If the “Alt”
key is pressed, the mouse wheel is a comprehensive
volume control, otherwise it functions normally as
a scroll device. This has
proven to be a very handy
utility to improve my
enjoyment of computer
audio and video.
Many of us use one or
more instant messenger
programs, such as Yahoo
Instant Messenger, AIM
(AOL), MSN Messenger,
Windows Live Messenger,
and others. While I have a
secure password manager
on my home desktop computer, and I use difficult
to guess alphanumeric passwords, sometimes I get
confused or forget some of the many passwords I
use while instant messaging. NirSoft has a utility to
help find instant messaging passwords, MessenPass.
Available for download from nirsoft.net/utils/mspass.
html, MessenPass can find the passwords for all
popular instant messaging programs, including MSN
Messenger, Windows Messenger, Windows Live
Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ,
AOL Instant Messenger, AIM, AIM Pro, Trillian,
Trillian Astra, Miranda, GAIM/Pidgin, MySpace IM,
PaltalkScene, and Digsby. It should be noted that
this is not a hacker or cracker utility, as it can only
be used to “ ... recover the passwords for the current
logged-on user on your local computer, and it only
works if you chose the remember your password
in one of the above programs. You cannot use this
utility for grabbing the passwords of other users.”
One warning is necessary for users of MessenPass is
that sometimes antivirus and other security programs
occasionally report it as a virus of some type. This is
a false positive, as MessenPass is not a virus or Trojan,
and this false positive is documented at nirsoft.net/
false_positive_report.html.
Protected Storage PassView is another small
password utility that can display
“ ... the passwords stored on your computer by Internet
Explorer, Outlook Express and MSN
Explorer. The passwords are revealed by
reading the information from the Protected
Storage.” Available for download at
nirsoft.net/utils/pspv.html, Protected
Storage PassView can display the users’
registered passwords for password
protected websites accessed in Internet
Explorer, Outlook and Outlook Express
passwords, auto-complete passwords in Internet
Explorer, and MSN Explorer passwords. As with the
other password utilities, this is not a hacker program,
as it can only display passwords of the current logged
in user, and cannot display the passwords of other
users. Also as with the other password utilities, some
security software displays a false positive warning
when the utility is opened; using a reputable third
party utility, virustotal.com, I have personally verified
that these original utilities downloaded directly from
the NirSoft website were indeed clean of any malware,
and that any such reports were indeed false positives.
Password utilities are not the only utilities
available from NirSoft, as many of the one hundred
plus utilities serve other functions. Some that I
periodically use are the network utilities, some of
which can be used to determine the actual download
speed of my internet connection, view computers
attached to the network, display details of wireless
and Bluetooth networks in the area, and other
network functions. There are about a dozen free
internet related utilities available, including cookie
managers, cache viewers, screen capture utilities,
HTML converters, DNS utilities, and several other
internet related utilities. Some of the free desktop
utilities include a file search utility, uninstaller, and
file type manager. NirSoft has about 10 free system
tools, including a USB device manager (USBDeview,
nirsoft.net/utils/usb_devices_view.html, one of
my most frequently used tools), a hardware device
manager, driver manager, registry scanner, and several
other helpful tools. One of the system tools that I used
a great deal with Windows XP was BlueScreenView,
which displayed the details of Windows crashes,
making them easier to resolve. NirSoft also has a
selection of free tools to improve the functioning of
the Outlook email program.
Other than the occasional false positive
warnings from some security software, I have always
found that NirSoft’s free utilities can efficiently carry
out their intended tasks with a minimum of effort.
Nir Sofer personally writes all of his software, and
frequently posts updates and bug fixes, helping to
insure that the software is up to date. While NirSoft
is only a part-time operation, and Nir Sofer does not
directly charge for any of his software, there is a link
on the site for voluntary donations. For users that
may need some small, free, well written, specialized
utilities, NirSoft would be a worthwhile source for that
software.
More Portable Utilities for Your
Flash Drive
by Ira Wilsker
WEBSITES:
http://live.sunbeltsoftware.com
http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download/portable
http://www.piriform.com/recuva/features/portableversion
http://www.piriform.com/defraggler/download/
portable
http://www.piriform.com/speccy/download/portable
http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/eek
http://iobit.com/toolbox.html
http://www.superantispyware.com/portablescanner.
html
http://www.liberkey.com
I continue to make extensive use of the 8GB
flash drive that I carry on my keychain along with my
car keys. Just yesterday I was called to a relative’s
house to rescue a family computer that had been
devastated by malware, such that the computer was
nearly useless. Using the utilities on my flash drive,
I was able to remove some stubborn malware, clean
the hard drive, remove useless items from the startup,
defragment the hard drive, and return the computer
to good health. My relative had complained that
the computer had previously been so sluggish that
it took several minutes to boot, then another three
minutes just for Internet Explorer to load, and that it
took so long for web pages to load that he gave up
using it. In less than an hour, using those portable
utilities, the computer ran like new; my relative was
pleasantly surprised when the computer booted up
in a few seconds. I asked him to time how long it
took for Internet Explorer to load after the fix, and
he was shocked to see IE load in about two seconds!
Without my flash drive loaded with portable utilities,
this would have been a much more difficult and time
consuming job.
Yesterday’s desperate call for help from
a relative was not an uncommon occurrence; just
Wednesday, four days ago, another relative called in
a panic saying that she had clicked on an apparent
legitimate website, and her computer had been
instantly hijacked by a type of malware referred to
as a rogue antivirus program “Security Suite 2011”.
This scumware would not allow her to do anything on
her computer until she “activated” the extortion-ware
by paying a Russian cyber criminal $40 to clean her
computer of the hundreds of (false positive) viruses
and trojans that it found. Of course the program
was a scam which actively loaded other malware on
her computer, and took control of it for nefarious
purposes, such as sending out spam emails. This
malware took over her computer even though she
had a top-selling name brand security program on her
computer. Within an hour, I had sequentially run three
antimalware programs from my flash drive, and her
computer was cleaned of malware. These two calls
for urgent assistance are in-line with the norm, as I
get about three such calls in a typical week. It would
have been very difficult for me to quickly clean these
computers if it had not been for the portable versions
of popular free software that I always carry with me
on my flash drive.
My 8GB flash drive attached to my keychain has been
getting a lot of use lately, mostly on other people’s
computers. I have been steadily adding and updating
software to it, enhancing its potential. One of the
recent additions to my flash drive, which I used to
remove the malware on the two computers discussed
above, is the Sunbelt Software “Vipre Rescue”
program, a free portable malware scanner and cleaner
available for
download from live.sunbeltsoftware.com. Vipre
Rescue is an 81MB executable file which can be
downloaded to a flash drive, and then run to clean the
target computer. It is the latest updated version that is
available for download from the Sunbelt website.
When run, the executable will install the software to a
selected location, and then run itself in a DOS
(command prompt) window. By default, Vipre Rescue
will perform a deep scan, looking for all malware,
including the otherwise difficult to detect rootkits that
can often slip by more conventional security software.
While the default is for Vipre to run a deep scan,
which may take a substantial amount of time to
thoroughly disinfect a computer, the user can manually
select other options from a command line such as
“VIPRERescueScanner.exe /quick” which will
perform a less thorough but faster quick scan. Using
the command line “VIPRERescueScanner.exe /
restore” will undo any repairs and restore any
quarantined items. Other command line switches allow
the user to specify paths to be scanned, and display the
logs of prior scans. While I prefer the default deep
scan, which is very good at detecting deeply hidden
malware, I often select the quick scan from the
command line, knowingly sacrificing some potential
detection for increased speed. Since I routinely
perform multiple scans with different products, I feel
reasonably confident that I will detect and neutralize
any malware on the computer.
Some of the most frequently used utilities on my flash
drive are the freeware portable versions of software
published by Piriform, including CCleaner (one of my
all-time favorites), Recuva, Speccy, and Defraggler.
CCleaner (piriform.com/ccleaner/download/portable),
in its different versions and builds, is likely the
world’s most widely used hard drive cleaning
software, with over 500 million copies downloaded!
The portable version is intended to be installed to a
flash drive, where it can be used to clean unnecessary
and obsolete files from a hard drive; it is precisely this
portable version that I used to clean the hard drives of
the above computers. CCleaner will do much more
than just clean the hard drive; it will also clean the
registry of obsolete data, uninstall unwanted programs,
clean the programs in the startup that load at boot (a
critical function in enhancing performance), create or
restore a system restore file, and securely wipe deleted
files. All of these functions are appropriate to improve
computer performance.
I frequently use the portable version of Recuva
(piriform.com/recuva/features/portable-version) to
undelete files that had been accidently deleted, or to
recover files from discs that had been accidently
formatted. Recuva can also be used to recover deleted
emails, music files, videos, images, word processing
files, and other files that had been deleted, provided
that these files had not been overwritten or wiped.
While Recuva offers a wizard to guide an
inexperienced user in the process to recover files, I
choose to directly recover them. Recuva can recover
files from hard drives, flash drives and other flash
media, digital cameras, MP3 players, and other
devices.
The portable version of Defraggler (piriform.
com/defraggler/download/portable) can defragment
entire hard drives, or just selected files. When a drive
is fragmented, pieces of files are written to widely
separated places on the hard drive, which reduces the
ability of the hard drive to quickly locate and utilize
those files, making the hard drive work hard and slow.
Defraggler can defragment the hard drive bringing
these separated file pieces together into one orderly
file; it is precisely this function that I used on the
Internet Explorer installed on the computer mentioned
above, which led to an almost instant loading of IE
after it was defragmented.
Many people are not aware of Speccy (piriform.com/
speccy/download/portable), but I use it regularly from
my flash drive to determine the specifics of the
hardware and software in a computer. With this
information I can find updated drivers on the
component manufacturer’s website, where the latest
drivers can be downloaded for installation.
Comprehensive information is presented on the
operating system, motherboard, RAM, graphics card,
hard drive, and other components installed in the
computer. This information is often necessary to
properly configure, repair, or update components.
These utilities referenced above accompany
the additional utilities on my flash drive, including
those that I have written about in the past. These
additional utilities include the portable versions
of SuperAntispyware (superantispyware.com/
portablescanner.html), LiberKey (liberkey.com)
which is a graphical front end for over 300 other
included portable utilities, Emsisoft Emergency Kit
(www.emsisoft.com/en/software/eek) a powerful
antimalware program, and IObit Toolbox (iobit.com/
toolbox.html). With all of these utilities instantly
available to me from the convenience of my flash
drive, I am reasonably confidant that I can resolve a
god number of problems on most PCs that I encounter.
With the price of USB flash drives as low as
they are today, there is no valid reason why users
should not have these utilities available to them just in
case they are needed.
Microsoft Rolls Out “SkyDrive”
Online Office Apps and Storage
by Ira Wilsker
WEBSITES:
http://explore.live.com/windows-live-skydrive
http://docs.google.com
It is obvious that there is some heavy competition
between Microsoft and Google in the online
document market. About a year ago I wrote about the
services offered by Google Docs (docs.google.com),
which includes free online document creation and
editing, along with online storage and collaboration.
Microsoft has also been providing a somewhat similar
service, originally with its Office Live Workspace
(beta), but now with its enhanced and upgraded
SkyDrive service, which is also free (explore.live.
com/windows-live-skydrive). While the office
components in Google Docs are generally compatible
with Microsoft Office, Microsoft’s SkyDrive provides
a free online version of Office. Since SkyDrive is
online, it is accessible from anywhere there is an
internet connection, and works with most browsers; I
tried it on Firefox and Internet Explorer, and it worked
flawlessly on both browsers. SkyDrive is platform
independent, and works equally well on a PC and a
MAC, or any other operating system with a
compatible browser and internet access. Documents
can be “collaborated” and edited or shared with others,
even if the other users do not have Microsoft Office.
Microsoft SkyDrive offers 25MB of free storage, an
adequate if not generous amount of storage space for
almost all users. SkyDrive requires registration, which
is free; registered users of most other online Microsoft
products, such as the other Microsoft Live services,
Hotmail or Messenger can use their existing
usernames and passwords on the SkyDrive service.
One of the primary features is the “Office Web
Apps for SkyDrive”, which includes online versions
of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Clicking
on the “Office” link will open up the basic Office App
page, where the desired application can be opened.
The first window for all of the apps is very simple,
where the user is asked to enter the name of the
document. I started typing this column on the online
Office Word App, and the screen was almost identical
to the desktop version of Word. Anyone who can use
Word, or another similar word processor, will find the
online Word app familiar and easy to use; almost all of
the features, commands, controls, and features of the
desktop version are available in the free online version
of Word. In terms of functionality, I could not find any
significant differences between the web and desktop
versions of Word. The user can choose to save the file
on the SkyDrive servers (the default), print, and share
the document. Under the “Share” option, others can
be invited to view or edit the document, all under the
control of the original user.
As with Word, the online Excel App has the
same look and feel as the desktop version of Excel.
To open a new workbook, the clean opening screen
asks the user for a file name, and then the workbook
opens. Once data is entered, there is no “Save” button,
as the Excel App continuously saves the workbook as
it is produced. The user also has the option to “Save
As” and save the workbook under another name.
Unless explicitly downloaded to the computer, all
of the workbooks are saved to the SkyDrive servers.
Workbooks can be selectively shared with others,
while the others can be granted access only to view
the workbook, or edit it; this is the heart of online
document collaboration.
I frequently do PowerPoint presentations, and
the SkyDrive PowerPoint app offers the ability to
create, edit, store, and show a PowerPoint presentation
from anywhere there is internet access. When opened,
the PowerPoint app has the same look and feel of
the desktop version, and uses the same command
set. As with Excel, there is no “Save” button, as
the presentations are automatically saved as they
are created. One interesting feature is that when a
PowerPoint presentation is shown (“View - Slide
Show”) it opens in a browser pop-up window, so the
user must allow browser pop-ups from the application
in order for the slide show to be viewed. If connected
to a projector, the output looks the same as if it was
from a desktop version of PowerPoint. As with all of
the other Office online apps, the user can choose to
share the file with others, and selectively allow others
to edit the file. Since Microsoft provides 25MB of
free storage, SkyDrive is a practical place to store
presentations; if for some reason the presentation
must be shown from a computer lacking Office, the
SkyDrive file can be shown, as long as there is internet
access.
Microsoft OneNote is hard to explain,
but basically both the desktop and SkyDrive App
versions are both note-taking utilities. OneNote
can easily organize any notes that are taken, and
would be useful in a classroom, organizational, or
professional environment where notes are taken.
OneNote looks like a simplified version of Word, but
allows the user to “flag” important points, or quickly
search for desired terms or phrases. OneNote can
incorporate images, web pages, and video, and can
itself be incorporated into Word or PowerPoint. A
few of my students use OneNote to share class notes
during my lectures, ensuring that each of them has a
comprehensive set of notes for test reviews. As with
the other Office apps, it can be selectively shared with
and edited by others. As with some of the other apps,
there is no “Save” button as the information is saved
to SkyDrive in real-time.
I have several students who do not have
Microsoft Office on their personal computers, but need
to be able to access Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and
OneNote; SkyDrive is a free alternative to Microsoft
Office, provided that the student has internet access.
For the frequent times when several of us must work
together (there is that “collaboration” term again)
on an Office file, SkyDrive could be the appropriate
utility that we could all share, giving us secure and
controlled access to our files. For those who have the
desktop version of Office 2010, there is a direct and
transparent online connection with SkyDrive, allowing
files to be saved on SkyDrive directly from the
desktop Office. The SkyDrive files can be selectively
shared with anyone on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn,
AOL Mail, Hyves, Gmail, Outlook, other Windows
Live users, and anyone else with an email address. For
security and privacy reasons, access is limited to only
those authorized by the user, and that degree of access
is also under the control of the original user.
I found SkyDrive and its Office Apps to be
every bit as useful as their desktop counterparts, with
the bonus of secure online storage of files. Some of
us have used SkyDrive and its apps to work together
on producing Word documents and PowerPoint
presentations, without the need to physically swap
files between us. SkyDrive and its Office Apps would
be very worthwhile for any computer user with
internet access.
methods.
Crabby demystifies even more
e-mail terms Bandwidth
Refers to how quickly information travels to
The Crabby Office Lady
and from your computer. It’s usually expressed
The world of computing is
in bits per second (bps), kilobits per second
filled with terms and phrases
(Kbps), or megabits per second (Mbps).
that are baffling, if not
Broadband
etymologically strange. I’ve
tackled some of them in previous columns. Let’s
A term that represents high-speed, high-
add to that list.
capacity Internet and data connections.
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Broadband uses wide-bandwidth channels
I’ve done my fair share of identifying and explaining
Cable and DSL connections use broadband.
for sending and receiving large amounts of
information. Broadband is generally taken to
mean bandwidth higher than 2 Mbps. Both
a good number of e-mail and computer terms. In fact, I
already have two columns devoted to just that:


Dial-up
Demystify e-mail terms and get on with your
Describes when a modem is used to connect
life
to the Internet via a network. When you
Crabby demystifies e-mail protocols
However, there is always room for just a tad more
knowledge in our definition-crammed heads, and there
is no lack of terms and phrases that require definition.
For this iteration of the demystifying theme, I’ll
cover three categories of e-mail terminology: Ways of
getting online so that you can send and receive e-mail,
nasty things people (not yours truly, of course) do
with e-mail, and general terms that I haven’t covered
before.
Getting online
You can connect to the Internet or to e-mail servers to
get online using a variety of methods. The following
are some terms that should clear up a few questions
that my readers have sent to me regarding these access
have a dial-up connection, you’re using
your telephone. It’s the slowest — and
cheapest — way to connect to the Internet.
DSL
Stands for Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is a
technology that brings high-speed (or highbandwidth) transfer of information over
ordinary copper telephone lines. A DSL line
can carry both data and voice signals, and the
data part of the line is continuously connected.
So you can use your computer and your phone
at the same time.
Nasty things
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Pranksters,
criminals, and your garden variety hooligans
Spoofing
will always exist and will always be looking
for ways to scam you out of your money and
Attempting to gain access to a Web site or
wreak general havoc for the fun of it. Having
e-mail account by posing as an authorized user.
a little bit of knowledge about the ways these
Phishing
punks can paralyze you, your computer, and
your checkbook can go a long way.
A form of Internet fraud that aims to steal
valuable information such as credit cards,
Virus
social security numbers, user IDs, and
A software program whose sole intention is to
passwords. For example, you could get an
cause problems for your computer. A computer
virus behaves similarly to a human virus: It
causes mischief by inserting itself into an
existing living organism (in this case, your
computer). It’s usually disguised as something
else, and it’s often transmitted as an e-mail
attachment or a download.
Worm
A self-replicating computer program, similar
to a computer virus. The difference is that a
virus attaches itself and becomes a part of
another program, but a computer worm, just
like the soft-bodied invertebrate animal, is selfreplicating. It propagates through the Internet
and through e-mail and can be very destructive
to the computers that are infected, by altering,
installing, or destroying files and programs.
Flame mail
A “flame” is an intentionally crude, rude, or
offensive e-mail message, newsgroup post,
or mailing list message. “Flame wars” occur
when a series of flames are sent back and forth
between two or more people.
e-mail message you assume to be from your
bank, asking you to log on to their Web site
and verify your account name, password, bank
account number, etc. But the Web site, which
looks completely legitimate, is a fake. It’s a
“spoofed” site. (I read that phishing is spelled
the way it is because hackers have a tendency
to replacing “f” with “ph.”) Phancy that!
Harvesting
An illegal practice of using an automated
program to scan Web pages and collect e-mail
addresses for use by spammers and phishers.
General terms
Above the fold
Portions of an e-mail message (or Web page,
newspaper, or any written or typed content,
actually) that is visible without scrolling down
the page or screen. In newspapers, the most
important content is above the fold so that
readers can see it right away without having
to unfold the paper. It’s kind of tricky to
predict where the fold is in e-mail messages
because there are so many variables that you
can’t control, such as your recipients’ screen
resolution and font size.
Alias
A generic term used to identify an e-mail
microsoft.com, I’ll round them all up and pop
them into another “demystifying” column.
account. Everyone at Microsoft has an e-mail
alias, and their e-mail address is <your
Tip of the week
alias>@ microsoft.com
V.M. of South Dakota sings the praises this week of
Attachment
her unsung hero, Ctrl+D. When you’re using Word,
Ctrl+D opens the Format menu nice and speedy.
An image, a video or audio file, or any other
However, if you have a drawing object selected,
sort of data file that is sent along with an
Ctrl+D duplicates it. I’d say that’s one multi-talented
e-mail message as an “attachment.”
keyboard shortcut.
Now there’s a hot tip to keep you warm during the
Bounces
long, cold winter in the Badlands.
Messages that can’t reach their destination,
and are returned to you, the sender. There are
“No one has a finer command of language than
hard bounces (due to invalid e-mail addresses)
the person who keeps his mouth shut.” — Sam
and soft bounces (due to temporary conditions,
Rayburn
such as full inboxes.)
Message header
About the author
Message headers provide a list of technical
Annik Stahl, the Crabby Office Lady columnist, takes
details, such as who the message came from,
the software used to compose it, and the e-mail
servers it passed through on the way to you,
the recipient. These details can be useful for
identifying problems with e-mail or identifying
all of your complaints, compliments, and knee-jerk
reactions to heart. Therefore, she graciously asks that
you let her know whether this column was useful to
you — or not — by entering your feedback using
the Was this information helpful? tool below. And
sources of spam.
Subject line
remember: If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.
Crabby’s second biggest e-mail etiquette
Read all the Crabby Office Lady columns
pet peeve (the first being the Bcc box). The
Get the Crabby Office Lady’s book
Subject line is where you put the, um, subject
of your e-mail message. Sending messages
without anything in the subject line is like
writing a book without a title: Just don’t do it.
Your turn
Do you have other e-mail terms on your “what
the...?” list? If so, send them to [email protected]
Subscribe to Crabby’s columns
Why do I love bit.ly, let me count
the ways
By Linda Gonse, Editor / Webmaster, ORCOPUG,
California
Orange County IBM PC Users’ Group
August 2010 issue, nibbles & Bits
www.orcopug.org
editor (at) orcopug.org
There are several reasons why I like bit.ly better as
a URL shortener than tinyurl, which I always used.
One is that people haven’t become afraid of bit.ly as
they had due to scare stories about being redirected
to malware sites by tinyurl. Also compounding the
rumors, at least one of the top tier antivirus programs
warned users about tinyurls with a popup message
when they clicked on the shortened URL. (That’s why
tinyurl started showing previews of the pages that
people would open in case they decided to not click on
the link.)
Another reason for my switch to bit.ly is that the
shortened link you generate is permanent. It never
goes away. You can use it to track how many people
have clicked on it. You can even get the same link
back in case you accidentally delete it.
Let’s Have Fun
Elizabeth B. Wright, a member of the Computer Club
of Oklahoma City
September 2010 issue, CCOKC eMonitor
www.ccokc.org
wright599new(at)sbcglobal.net
Do you want to create a masterpiece? If you have as
little artistic talent as I have, then you probably would
say “perish the thought.”
Many of you will recognize one of the world’s most
iconic ruins, Stonehenge in England.
But you might not recognize this
picture.
I like that you can hover over a bit.ly link and see
the destination link, and the same window allows you
to go directly to the stats regarding how many have
clicked on the link, etc. (See image below.)
Now that I am using the Chrome browser, I discovered
a bit.ly extension. Just click on the icon on the toolbar
and a small sidebar window opens with the bit.ly URL
all ready to be copied.
There is a quick visual “tour” of a couple of other bit.
ly features at http://bit.ly/a/tour/
Remember, I am not an artist, so even by tracing
I didn’t end up with a great picture, but it could
probably be improved with little effort. Believe it or
not, this is traced from a small photograph taken in
1946, and while the subject is myself, it came out
making me look older than my 15 years at the time.
But so what? Now it is just a “graphic” rather than
a photo. It would take far greater skill than mine to
make it a “portrait,” but I’m sure some of you can do
it.
Keep in mind that these pictures are a very quick,
rough attempt to demonstrate the process of tracing
by your own hand using the tools you may already
have in your computer. Not to be confused with the
tracing utilities built into high end graphics software,
used primarily for commercial purposes, these steps
are just for fun.
What you will need in the way of software is any
photo editing program which has the ability to create
layers. Photoshop Elements is one such program. If
you remember using tracing paper as a child, or maybe
for a project of some sort even later, you will find that
layers act much the same as translucent tracing paper.
Layers are more or less invisible. While most people
use layers to make enhancements to their photographs,
they can also be used to view and “paint” over
portions of the image
beneath the layer while
not actually disturbing
the underlying picture.
Using the paintbrush
tool or possibly the pen
tool, you can create your
own masterpiece in short
order.
invisible layer above it, the one on which we will trace
parts of the image below. Picture number two shows
my program, Paint Shop Pro Photo X3. On the right
side of the picture there is a grayed area midway down
showing the new raster layer as the active layer. Other
programs might show layers in a different way, but
basically they will all be the same.
Using either the paintbrush tool or the pen tool in
your program, use it to draw around the portion of
the picture you want to trace. I find the paintbrush
tool in my program the easiest to use. The picture
below (number three) shows the same layer, but with
the black lines I have used to trace the contours of
the building. The building is one of the surviving
archeological treasures in Pompeii.
Number One
The first step is to open some photo that you want
to play with, noting that pictures with larger images
are best for the first attempt at tracing. This picture is
probably a bit complicated, but it is useful for showing
the steps.
If you are new to using layers, then consult the
program’s help file to find out how to open a new
“raster” layer and also how to keep it active.
Number Two
Make sure the new layer is the active one. Your
screen will then reflect what appears to be the primary
picture (photo), but what you are actually seeing is the
Number Three
A dependable graphics program will have
the ability to “turn off” the underlying
image, leaving other layers visible. In this
case we only have one extra layer, so by
turning off the background layer we are
left with just the traced image to view. See
image number four. You need to again make
sure your drawing layer is active, otherwise
whatever you draw or save will be on either
the background layer or, if you have created
any other layers, possibly one of them. The
background will appear to be checkered or
possibly something else, depending on what
graphics program you are using.
The Big Switch: Rewiring the
World, from Editor to Google
A review by Dick Ramette, President, Computer Club
of Green Valley, Arizona
September 2010 issue of the Green Bytes
http://gvcc.apcug.org
rwramette(at)mindspring.com
Number Four
It is now time to copy just the layer with your drawing
(remember, you have turned of the background and
any other layers that might have been added.) After
copying the layer, paste it into your program as a new
image. The checkered background in image number
four will be filled with a solid color, probably white.
You can then save this resulting image as your new
creation. (Number five.)
Number Five
Image number five is the result of my hasty effort
to create an image for this article. One of these days
I will probably try to improve it enough to have
something worthwhile to show my family. Until then,
I hope you will give this a try. It really is fun.
I just finished a 2008 book by Nicholas Carr, The Big
Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google
(Amazon, $11.53). It’s a fascinating story of how
imaginative technology evolves to permeate our lives.
Early computers were behemoths and unavailable to
the public. IBM’s Thomas J. Watson opined, “I think
there is a world market for about five computers.”
Some fifty years ago I toured a Harvard computer,
actually strolling inside the machine between walls
of hot vacuum tubes, with big floor fans doing their
cooling best, while the computer patiently calculated
logarithm tables and large tape drives stored the
results. Transistor technology transformed everything,
making computers cheaper, lighter, smaller and
faster. We CCGV members remember our gaping
astonishment at the first hand-held calculators, which
could +, -, x and /.
When personal computers became popular, around
1980, all their functions were contained within,
rather like sewing machines. The “user” (a new term
then), could buy a word-processing program such as
Wordstar, and a typewriter-like printer with a ribbon,
and a monochrome screen, all managed by the preWindows disk operating system, DOS. Email was
unthought-of of, and geeky friends would visit each
other to show off their programming creations made
with early BASIC. Personal computing steadily
became more interesting and complex, as software
applications multiplied and hardware got faster and
cheaper. Users bought spreadsheets, databases, games
and ever-evolving word processors, but the loneliness
persisted. One asked a friend, “What computer do you
have?”
Now, in the 21st century, we don’t often ask that
question, because we all have the same computer,
the World Wide Computer, which provides us with
vast information resources. We live in a new era
of information technology that greatly extends our
intellectual capabilities. It’s as life-changing as when,
a century ago, the genius of Thomas Edison and
Nicola Tesla ushered in the utility of electric power,
whereby distribution into homes and factories greatly
extended our physical capabilities.
The Internet is now a ubiquitous utility, delivered
over fiber-optic cables and, importantly, shared
simultaneously by countless users. This was
unthinkable just 20 years ago, before Tim BernersLee invented HTML code for the World Wide Web.
Through Skype, email, and Facebook our social
communications are greatly enhanced. A plethora of
blogs and reader comments on op-ed pieces reveals
the public psyche as never before. We’re further wired
in with the likes of iPhones/Pods/Pads.
world secretly knows about me. We are subject to
an unprecedented degree of control in ways we are
unaware of. A decade ago the CEO
of Sun Microsystems pronounced, “You have zero
privacy. Get over it” [p. 190].
Carr’s Part Two is titled “Living in the Cloud,” a
reference to the seemingly infinite and ever shifting
melange of resources offered by Google, Amazon,
etc., beckoning to us from cyberspace.
Thoughts of the Month (from the book): “We may
find, twenty or so years from now, that the personal
computer has become a museum piece, a reminder of
a curious time when all of us were forced to become
amateur computer technicians.”
Businesses increasingly gain computing power at
lower costs by replacing part or all of their in-house IT
with utilities from “the cloud.”
If everyone were good guys like CCGV members, the
World Wide Computer would be a utopian blessing.
Alas, as we learn in Chapter 9, “Fighting the Net,”
there are lots and lots of bad guys. Guys much badder
than purveyors of porn. They have the proven ability
to inundate us with spam, phishing, viruses and other
malware, to hijack our computers and make them
participate in “netbots,” to engineer the crashing of
computers of targeted businesses, to wreak malignant
effects on electoral campaigns, etc. In 2006 the British
in Iraq discovered that insurgents were using Google
Earth and GPS to accurately aim mortars at their
camps. In a worst case scenario cyber terrorists could
kill the Internet itself.
Chapter 10, “The Spider’s Web,” describes massive
programs of data mining, which use the recorded
collections of our internet clicks and choices to
selectively target advertising. My Amazon and Netflix
pages are glad to recommend books and films based
on my site history. Large companies, such as Google,
compile gigantic databases on their employees replete
with personal information. Many websites use cookies
to put us on record. Some of this is to our benefit,
but I wonder how much the commercial and political
The last chapter of Big Switch has the startling title
“iGod,” which may amuse Brad and Robbie.
It looks at artificial intelligence and considers
eventual merger of human minds with the World Wide
Computer. You’ll have to read it to decide for yourself
whether the prospects are exhilarating or dismaying. I
eagerly await Carr’s 2010 opus, The Shallows: What
the Internet is Doing to Our Brains (Amazon $17.79).
“The time of Bill Gates and the other great
programmers who wrote the code of the PC age has
come to an end. The future of computing belongs to
the new utilitarians.”
Who Invented the CD?
technology. He then founded his own consulting
firm, where he has continued to create and patent
improvements in optical storage systems, along with
bar code scanners, liquid crystal shutters, and other
industrial optical instruments.
What an amazing cavalcade of inventions we have
seen in our lifetime. We have no sooner ceased to
marvel at - or grasp one form of technological advance
when the next innovation appears. Equally amazing
has been the steady reduction of prices charged for
these inventions in relation to the disposable income
of the ordinary working person. Remember those
first vinyl LP records we had to save for weeks to
buy. James T. Russell who had displayed a flair for
invention from the age of six when he made himself a
remote-control battleship, earned a BA in Physics in
1953 at age 22 and joined GE where he was involved
in some ground-breaking instrumental projects. By
1965 he was a senior scientist at the Battelle Memorial
Institute Laboratory in Richland, Washington and had
his sights set on audio research and improvements.
Wi-Fi Security
By Joan Craymer, Newsletter Editor, Australian
Seniors Computer Club Association
April 2010 issue, ASCCA newsletter
www.ascca.org.au
thewhistlers (at) optusnet.com.au
Russell wanted to find a way to improve the sound
quality and prevent the wear and tear caused by the
physical contact of the needle in the groove of his
records. He worked toward an idea to use light to
achieve this and used his knowledge of digital data
recording as employed in punch card or magnetic tape
devices. He therefore aimed to make a device that
could read the binary code 0 and 1 with dark and light.
He realized that if he could make the code compact
enough he could store large quantities of music and
huge amounts of data.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology writes;
“Russell succeeded in inventing the first digital-tooptical recording and playback system (patented
in 1970). He had found a way to record onto a
photosensitive platter in tiny “bits” of light and dark,
each one micron in diameter; a laser read the binary
patterns, and a computer converted the data into an
electronic signal --- which it was then comparatively
simple to convert into an audible or visible
transmission. Through the 1970s, Russell continued to
refine the CD-ROM, adapting it to any form of data.
By 1985, Russell had earned 26 patents for CD-ROM
By Dick Maybach
n2nd(at)charter.net
Many of us use wireless routers in our homes and
when we are traveling. In our homes, they provide our
computers with high-speed Internet access without
the expense and inconvenience installing multi-wire
cables throughout the house. While traveling they
usually provide the only means of accessing the
Internet. Many people forget that when they use WiFi they are using a two-way radio, and that, unless
they use effective security, anybody within a few
hundred feet can eavesdrop on everything they send
and receive. Indeed, many governments seem to be
ignorant of this, as the current flap about Google
capturing Wi-Fi data shows. If you don’t know,
Google vehicles take pictures of building and homes
so they can provide street views for their map service.
At the same time, they look for open Wi-Fi signals
so they can identify public hot spots, and homes
with unencrypted Wi-Fi routers look like public
hot spots. While doing this, Google captured and
recorded some of the data being sent, which caused
some governments to begin invasion-of-privacy
investigations. Since the “private” data was broadcast,
this is equivalent to considering that someone who
reads a billboard has invaded the privacy of the
billboard owner.
When you first install a Wi-Fi router in your home,
its default setup provides zero security. There is no
encryption, and the administrator account is “admin”
(or similar) and has no password. As a result, anybody
within range can see all your traffic and can access
the Internet through your account. Besides the loss
of privacy, you may be legally liable for any illegal
activities of those who use this access, for example,
downloading pirated movies and music. Your first
actions after installing a new Wi-Fi router should
be to enable encryption, change the name of the
administrator account, and put a strong password on it.
Two types of encryption are available, WEP and WPA.
WEP is worthless; it can be broken in a few minutes
with minimal effort and knowledge. If you have an old
router that has only WEP, throw it out immediately.
WPA is secure enough for home use, providing you
use a strong password. A strong password does not
appear in a dictionary and is not a common proper
name. Such trivial modifications as replacing “i”
with “1”, “o” with “0”, or adding a digit or two at
its beginning or end add no strength to a password.
Bear in mind that most people who can access your
Wi-Fi signal are your neighbors, so passwords based
on personal information, such as your address, phone
number, or pet names are also weak. The best choices
are long strings of random characters with mixtures
of letters, numbers, and changes of case. Since you
have to enter this only when you add a new computer
to your network, it isn’t important that you be able to
remember it.
Insuring privacy when using a public Wi-Fi hot spot
is more difficult, since most of these operate with no
security. You can dramatically increase security by
taking these steps before you leave home.
• Install all the software updates for your system,
including the operating system and virus
protection programs.
• Install and configure an effective firewall.
• Install Tor, which is available for Windows, Macs,
and Linux and read its instructions carefully. (See
below.)
• Turn off all file sharing.
• Configure your Wi-Fi service to connect only to
preferred networks, in manual (not automatic)
mode.
• Change your login password to a strong one.
Once you are at a hotspot, you should take these
further steps.
• Ask the hotspot’s owner (usually a hotel or
restaurant) for its name. Often, your computer will
find several signals, and you want to be sure you
connect to the right one.
• Turn on Tor. Note: some hot spots require that you
agree to their terms or use a password to obtain
Web access. You will have to turn off Tor to do
this; then you can turn it on for the rest of the
session.
• If you elect not to use Tor, you can still e-mail
safely by using Google’s Gmail in its secure
(https://) mode, but you must configure it properly.
See Google’s Web site for more information.
Remember, if you are using a secure connection (one
whose address begins with “https://”) all traffic is
encrypted from end-to-end and is protected, regardless
of who can access it en route. However, while using
any other type of access, there is a possibility that
someone may capture your communication, including
any addresses and passwords. You probably can do
some casual Web surfing, but you should avoid most
other Net activity, including e-mail.
The ultimate protection is to use Tor, http://www.
torproject.org/. While installing and using it isn’t
difficult, it’s beyond the scope of this article; please
see the Tor Website for more information. With Tor,
all your communication is with a Tor server using a
secure connection. The final link is from a different
Tor server to your addressee, and this is not over a
secure link. However, you are protected at the hot
spot, which is what you are most concerned about.
The end result is that using Tor from a hot spot is
as secure as using the Internet from home. Tor does
require that you use the Firefox Web browser and that
you use Firefox for all your Web access. For example,
you should access your e-mail through your provider’s
Web site, not with an e-mail client, such as Outlook.
You can configure some Web clients, such as those
providing e-mail, instant messaging, Internet relay
chat, and FTP, to use Tor, but the procedures can be
complex and not available for all operating systems.
Again, see the Tor Web site for more information.
Remember to turn off Tor unless you are using an
open Wi-Fi router, so that you aren’t consuming scarce
resources when you don’t need them. The Tor network
runs on donated equipment and is maintained by
volunteers.
Windows 7 Clock
By Barney Babin, member and instructor for XP, Vista
Workshops & Windows 7, Cajun Clickers Computer
Club, Louisiana
September 2010 issue, Cajun Clickers Computer News
www.clickers.org
ccnewsletter (at) cox.net
What’s so special about the Windows 7 clock
compared to all the other clocks in the previous
operating systems? After all, it’s in the same spot
that all the other clocks resided in, looks basically
the same, and the time zone setting is exactly the
same. But wait; there is an additional tab on the Date
and Time dialog box that reads “Additional Clocks”
(Figure 1 below).
To add clocks to the Task Bar, just click on the clock
on the right side of the Task Bar, and then click
“Change Date and Time Settings”.
When the Date and Time dialog box appears, click
the Additional Clocks tab, click the first “Show this
clock” box, which places a checkmark in it, and then
select the time zone by clicking the down arrow and
moving to it. Once this is completed, type the display
name that you want for the clock in the associated
“Enter display name” window.
If you want to display the second clock, as I did, just
repeat the above steps for the second clock in the
“Additional Clocks” tab as shown in Figure 1. Then
click OK to activate the new clocks and exit from the
Date and Time dialog box.
So now I have two new choices when viewing the
clocks besides just glancing at the bottom right corner
of the screen to see the time in our local time zone. If
I move my mouse over the clock and hover, Figure 2
will appear.
Figure 2
And, if I hover over the clock and left click with my
mouse, Figure 3 will appear.
Figure 1
So why would I want additional clocks and how do
they function? Here are my reasons:
(1) In a lot of my activities I need to know the
Coordinated Universal Time (also called Greenwich
Mean or Zulu Time), which means that normally I
must mentally calculate the results;
(2) As many of you know, my wife is from Taiwan, so
if we make that phone call at 8 PM in Louisiana, what
time is it in Taiwan? After all, do you enjoy getting
a phone call at 3 AM – even if it is from a relative?
Since Windows 7 allows me to enter two additional
clocks, this is just what I need to be a happy camper.
Figure 3
By now, you may have realized that this feature can
also be used to keep track of times in different time
zones when you are traveling. Pretty neat, eh?
Find It Online
Root Out Your Family History
Ancestry.com
www.ancestry.com
Even the most passive genealogy inquiry is sure
to stumble upon Ancestry.com or one of its many
sister sites, including RootsWeb.com, MyFamily.
com, Genealogy.com, MyCanvas. com, Mundia.com,
and more. Get started by creating an account and
uploading an existing family tree, or start a family
tree from scratch and then just start searching the
records. Access to some records is free, but you’ll
need a subscription to tap into most collections. As
we went to press, Ancestry.com offered a 14-day free
trial to new users, which lets you dig into Ancestry’s
U.S. catalogue of census, birth, marriage, death,
immigration, and military records. Ancestry also
offers the U.S. Deluxe Membership and World Deluxe
Membership starting at $19.95 and $29.95 a month,
respectively.
OneGreatFamily.com
www.onegreatfamily.com
As you dig into your family history, some of
your biggest breakthroughs will come from other
genealogists who share common ancestors. But
combining your family tree with theirs is typically
easier said than done. OneGreatFamily.com is laser
focused on making this quick and easy by comparing
the people in your tree to 18.8 trillion sets of matches
and merging all separate family trees into a massive
worldwide family tree. Forget adding one ancestor at
a time, OneGreatFamily.com lets you add generations
at a time. As we went to press, OneGreatFamily.com
offered a seven-day free trial; subscriptions for the full
version are $9.95 per month.
FamilySearch
www.familysearch.org
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
sponsors this free genealogy Web site, but anyone
can utilize FamilySearch’s vast database of records
to track down clues about his or her heritage. First,
register with the site and then enter a name and a
few other details and click Search to scour FamilySearch’s Ancestral File, government census data, the
International Genealogical Index, Pedigree Resource
File, U.S. Social Security Death Index, Vital Records
Index, and other family history Web sites. When you
find a particular record of interest, just download
it as a generic GEDCOM (Genealogical Data
Communication) file and then upload it to nearly any
family tree software or genealogy Web site.
MyHeritage.com
www.myheritage.com
Brick wall ancestors, as veteran genealogists often
refer to them, are those relatives who become difficult
to trace due to various circumstances, such as name
changes, insufficient records, and misspelled census
data. But nothing busts through those walls faster than
a devoted community of like-minded genealogists,
and the community factor is where MyHeritage.
com shines. This site boasts more than 35,532,451
members and counting from all over the world and
sports a decidedly more social network than most
other genealogy sites. Once you register a new
account, the site also lets you upload photos, videos,
and use the free Family Tree Builder to create your
own family tree.
ProGenealogists
www.progenealogists.com
ProGenealogists is where you should turn when you
just can’t seem to find any information on the ancestor
you’re researching. The primary goal of this site is
to sell professional genealogical services (standard
ancestry research starts at $650), but check out the
Research Tools link at the top of the main page
for loads of free assistance. The Genealogy Sleuth
features hundreds of links to external resources. But
one of the best reasons to check out ProGenealogists
is for the articles; navigate your browser to www.
progenealogists.com/articles.htm to see dozens of indepth articles that cover all manner of genealogical
topics, from family crests and surname origins
to popular genealogy sites and how to become a
professional genealogist.
USGenWeb Project
usgenweb.org
The goal of The USGenWeb Project is to provide
free genealogical data for every county and state in
the United States. Volunteers donate their time to
maintain the site and its extensive list of state-based
resources. Click a state on the left menu to find links
to even more resources that will help you flesh out
your family tree. For instance, you’ll find links to a list
of genealogy books, maps of locations and historical
sites, cemeteries, census data, military data, and
more, all relating to the state you clicked. If you click
the Projects link at the top of the page, you’ll find
databases of genealogical information not specifically
tied to a state or county, such as the Archives Projects,
Kidz Project, and Tombstone Transcription Project.
Cyndi’s List
www.cyndislist.com
Amateur and pro genealogists alike are no doubt
familiar with Cyndi Howells, author, blogger, and
genealogy enthusiast. Her site, Cyndi’s List, is a
massive online repository of categorized genealogical
resources that are all free to use. Those just getting
started in genealogy should visit www.cyndislist.
com/beginner.htm to get dozens of links to articles
and resources that will arm you with everything you
need to know to begin exploring your origins. More
advanced users can jump right into the Topical Index
that gives you genealogical resources by locality, wars,
ethnic groups, religion, military, and more.
That’s NEWS To You
Finding the appropriate online group to match your
interests can be a monumental task. So each month,
we scour the Internet to bring you the friendliest
forums and most interesting bloggers the Web has to
offer. This month, we share a blog that can help you
tap into a community of people all looking to discover
their roots.
Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter
blog.eogn.com
Dick Eastman’s daily online newsletter, which first
started appearing in email inboxes in 1996, is read by
more than 40,000 genealogists worldwide. EOGN is
available free with ads or ad-free with extra content
in the Plus Edition ($5.95 for three months; $19.95
per year). Highlights of the blog include the ability
to listen to audio recordings of news posts through
iTunes or the media player of your choice and
lively forums, which support dedicated forums for
newcomers, general categories, technology, popular
genealogy Web sites, and states.
To subscribe to the newsletter, just input your email
address into the text box on the right side of the page
and then click the Subscribe Now button. If you have a
Web-capable smartphone, you can even view a version
of EOGN formatted specifically for small screens.
Share The Wares
Some of the best apples in the online orchard are the
free (or free to try) programs available to download.
Each month, we feature highlights from our pickings.
This month, we take a look at family tree-making
software.
Family Tree Builder 4.0
It seems like almost every genealogy Web site has
its own family tree utility, but not all of them are
free and even fewer are easy to use. We particularly
like the intuitive layout of Family Tree Builder
from MyHeritage.com. As we went to press, Family
Tree Builder 4.0 was the latest version available.
To download it, navigate your browser to www.
myheritage.com/family-tree-builder and then click the
Free Download button. Choose a location to save the
file, double-click the executable once the download
completes, and follow the on-screen instructions
to install it. Launch the program and then click
the Register Now button to create your site login
credentials.
Once signed in, the Quick-Start Wizard lets you select
Create New Genealogy Project, Import GEDCOM
File, or Load Existing Genealogy Project to get
started. Because we had a handful of GEDCOMs that
we’d exported from other sites, we chose to start by
importing them, but the Family Tree Builder makes
starting fresh fun and easy. Clicking the plus (+) sign
beside any name listed in your tree lets you browse
your PC for photos. Clicking the Matches icon at
the top of the screen searches MyHeritage.com’s
database for Smart Matches that might help you fill
in the blanks and obtain new information about your
ancestors. If the matches don’t show up right away,
click the Update Now button.
There’s also a Premium version of Family Tree
Builder, which you can access by signing up for
Premium or PremiumPlus access to MyHeritage.com,
which starts at $6.25 per month and $9.95 per month,
respectively. The enhanced version of Family Tree
Builder lets you take advantage of Smart Research,
Smart Match Merge, All-in-one Charts, and more.
1. Press F5. Excel displays the Go To dialog box.
Compiled by Andrew Leibman
Illustrated by Lori Garris
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing.
Visit www.SmartComputing.com/Groups to learn
what Smart Computing can do for you and your user
group
Word Tips
Printing Odd or Even Pages
There may be many times that you need to print either odd or
even pages in a print job. For instance, you may want to put
your pages through the printer twice so you can print on both
sides. This is easy to do in Word by following these steps:
1. Press Ctrl+P. Word displays the Print dialog
box.
2. Adjust the printing settings as desired.
3. Using the Print drop-down list at the bottom of
the dialog box, choose either Odd Pages or Even
Pages, as desired. (Make sure you use the Print
drop-down list, not the Print What drop-down
list.)
4. Click on OK. Your document is printed.
The above steps work great in any version of Word up
through Word 2007. If you are using Word 2010, then the
Print dialog box was done away with. You should follow
these steps, instead:
1. Press Ctrl+P. Word displays the File tab of the
ribbon, with printing options visible in the tab.
2. Adjust the printing settings as desired.
3. Using the first drop-down list under the Settings
heading, choose Only Print Odd Pages or Only
Print Even Pages, as desired.
4. Click on Print. Your document is printed.
Excel Tip
Displaying a Hidden First Column
Excel makes it easy to hide and unhide columns. What isn’t
so easy is displaying a hidden column if that column is the
left-most column in the worksheet. For instance, if you hide
column A, Excel will dutifully follow out your instructions.
If you later want to unhide column A, the solution isn’t so
obvious.
To unhide the left-most columns of a worksheet when they
are hidden, follow these steps:
The Go To dialog box.
2. In the Reference field at the bottom of the dialog
box, enter A1.
3. Click on OK. Cell A1 is now selected, even though
you cannot see it on the screen.
4. Unhide the column. (In Excel 2007 or Excel 2010,
display the Home tab of the ribbon and click
Format | Hide & Unhide | Unhide Columns. In
older versions of Excel choose Format | Column |
Unhide.)
Another way to display the first column is to click on the
header for column B, and then drag the mouse to the left. If
you release the mouse button when the pointer is over the
gray block that marks the intersection of the row and column
headers (the blank gray block just above the row headers),
then column B and everything to its left, including the hidden
column A, are selected. You can then unhide the column.
A third method is even niftier, provided you have a good eye
and a steady mouse pointer. If you move your mouse pointer
into the column header area, and then slowly move it to the
left, you notice that it turns into a double-headed arrow with
a blank spot in the middle as you position the pointer over the
small area immediately to the left of the column B header.
This double-headed arrow is a bit difficult to describe; it
looks most closely like the double-headed arrow that appears
when you position the pointer over the dividing line between
column headers. It is different, however, because instead of
a black line dividing the double arrows, there are two black
lines with a gap between them.
When your mouse pointer changes to this special doubleheaded arrow, all you have to do is right-click and choose
Unhide. Your previously missing column A magically
reappears.
Copyright © 2011 by Sharon Parq Associates, Inc. Reprinted by
permission. Thousands of free Microsoft Excel tips can be found
online at http://excel.tips.net.
Books February 2011
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NoiseHush N525 Edge Bluetooth
Headset
By Terry Currier
The unit is slender, and very light weight. It comes
with two USB chargers one for on a PC, and one you
can use with the AC charger they include. If you want
you can purchase a Travel Charger or Auto Charger
both of which are $7.95 each. Specifications:
• Talk Time: Up to 5 Hours
• Standby Time: Up to 100 Hours
• Charging Time: 2 to 3 Hours
• Dimensions (mm): 53.5 (L) X 13.5 (W) X 6
(T)
• Weight: 6.6 g
• Operating Distance: Up to 30 feet (10 meters)
• Bluetooth Version: v2.1 + EDR
• Range of Frequency:
2.4 MHz to 2.4835
MHz
Unique in that it comes
already charged, but I still
charged it fully. Pairing
was not hard. It understood
my command well and
when connected I could
hear good. My voice was
said to be coming through
clear.
However the unit’s ear
pad sticks into the ear and
to me was uncomfortable. I would have wanted to be
bigger and softer. Everything is done by pressing on
the multifunction button including turning it off, on, or
answering a call. The problem is it presses into the ear.
I learned to hold on it when I pressed the button.
When pressing it to make a call, or answer one there
was a slight humming nice in the background. It went
away after connected. There is no volume button on
the unit itself you will have to make such changes on
the phone.
It does work and the price is not bad at $39.99, but
you want it to be comfortable to wear, or you won’t
use it.
http://noisehush.com/n525-bluetooth
Membership application or renewal Form
Annual membership is only $20.00. Each additional
family member is $5.00.
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