Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558
Volume 24, No. 5
The Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group has served
novice and experienced computer users since 1983. Through
its monthly meetings, newsletters, online forum, special interest groups, mentor program and
community involvement, it has
helped educate people of all
ages. The NVPCUG provides
opportunities for people to find
friends who share common interests and experiences. Through
its Computers-to-Schools program, members refurbish used
computer equipment for donation to local schools. Since January 2003 the NVPCUG has donated 635 computers and 138
printers. Additional equipment
has been given to charitable nonprofit organizations and to disadvantaged individuals.
May 2007
At May 16 Meeting,
Movie Maker Demonstrated
The Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
will meet Wednesday, May 16, 7:00-9:00 P.M.,
at the Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa, California
The meeting begins with Random Access , an open-floor questionand-answer period during which attendees can ask questions about
computers and computer-related problems and receive helpful
information from other meeting attendees. Questions may be submit
before the meeting by emailing them to Random Access moderator
Jerry Brown at [email protected]
During the Computer Tutor session which will follow, Jeff Solomon
will ask the SIG Leaders, Jerry Brown, Susy Ball, and Jim Gillespie,
to tell attendees a little about each of our present SIGs (Special
Interest Group). If you are interested in forming an additional SIG,
now would be a perfect time to ask someone how YOU can volunteer.
Our main presentation will be an introduction
to Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker by Susy
Ball. If you have ever wanted to do quality video
editing without paying the an additional high
price of a video editing program, this presentation
is for you. Susy will demonstrate many of the
video effects featured in Windows Movie Maker
and point out some of the excellent on-line
tutorials that are available to help you learn how to edit videos and
become your very own movie editor and producer.
Many people already have Windows Movie Maker installed on
their home computers. If you have installed Windows XP with
Service Pack 2 (SP2) or Windows Vista you already have the program.
If you do not have the program, you can find out where it is available
for download at the general meeting.
Could you use some practical information that would help you make better
use of your computer? Come to this meeting! Guests are always welcome.
Admission is free.
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007
President’s Message
NVPCUG Special
Interest Groups
In SIG meetings you can learn about
a subject in greater detail than is
feasible at NVPCUG general
meetings. SIG meetings are open to
everyone. Meeting times and
locations occasionally change, so
for current meeting information, see
our Web site,, or
contact the SIG leaders.
Investors SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Monday
5:30 to 7:30 p.m
Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
Leader: Jerry Brown
(707) 254-9607
[email protected]
Digital Photography SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Wednesday
7:00 to 8:30 p.m
Piner’s Nursing Home,
Conference Room
1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Leader: Susy Ball
(707) 337-3998
[email protected]
Macintosh SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Thursday
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Napa Senior Activity Center
1500 Jefferson St., Napa
Leader: Jim Gillespie
(707) 252-1665
[email protected]
By Ron Dack, president, [email protected],
For all of us members that have been around for a couple
years June is the month for the Napa City & County
Computer and Electronics Recycle event. This year the
event will be coordinated by Ken Manfree as the Recycle
Coordinator and Orion E. Hill as the Computers to
Schools Coordinator. If you will be around on Friday
June 8th and/or Saturday June 9th and can help handle traffic, hand out flyers,
take surveys, and/or collect computer equipment for CTS contact either Ken
at [email protected] or Orion at [email protected] to sign up to
help. Free T-shirts and lunch are provided.
If you have photos from the 2006 Napa City & County Computer and
Electronics Recycle event a disk containing copies would be appreciated. They
could wind up on the Web or on our CD. Please bring the disk to the May
General meeting and I will get them from you. If you have photos of the CTS
crew at work I can use them also. None that ID the secret refurbishing location
will be used. If someone will take photos of the upcoming recycle events they
would also be appreciated.
Do you have any ideas how we can recruit some new members? Maybe
even some younger computer enthusiast would help in the continuity of
the group over the next ten or so years. If you do, let me know at
[email protected]
If you have ideas for presentations you would like to see contact Susy Ball
at [email protected]
Want to get a free copy of a piece of software or hardware? If you are willing
to write a comprehensive review of the product Susy Ball or Marcia Waddell
may be able to get it for you. Contact Susy at [email protected] or
Marcia at [email protected]
Don’t forget:
Fun in the Sun & Computers, Too!
14 Annual Southwest User Group Conference
San Diego CA
July 13 - 15, 2007 (see page 4 for article)
Well that’s it for this time and I hope to see you at the meeting on May 16th 7PM
at the Senior Center.
Take care,
NVPCUG General Meetings
Held the third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
NVPCUG Calendar
May 16
June 6
June 11
June 13
June 14
June 20
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
6:30-9:00 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
6:30-9:00 p.m.
Computers-to-Schools work parties. To volunteer, contact Orion Hill, (707) 252-0637
NVPCUG General Meeting, Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
Board of Directors meeting, Piner’s Nursing Home, 1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Investors SIG meeting, Jerry Brown’s home, 23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
Digital Photography SIG meeting, Piner’s Nursing Home, 1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Macintosh SIG meeting, Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson St., Napa
NVPCUG General Meeting, Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 2
Napa Valley Personal
Computer Users Group
Officers for 2007
The NVPCUG wants to improve our Mentor Program by keeping the list of available mentors
up to date in the newsletter once a year. Below is the current list. If you would be available
to answer questions and give advice on any software, please send your name, the Software
in which your knowledge could help other members, your E-mail address and or phone
number and days/times you are available to [email protected] so we can bring the list
up to date. Please also make corrections in the current list.
Board of Directors
Ron Dack
[email protected]
Vice President Jerry Brown
[email protected]
Marcia Waddell 252-2060
[email protected]
Roy Wagner
[email protected]
Other Directors: Susy Ball, Jim Gillespie, Bernhard Krevet, Ken Manfree,
Dick Peterson, Dianne Prior, Bob Simmerman, Kathy Slavens, Jeff Solomon,
Dean Unruh
Appointed Officers
Computer Recycling Coordinator
Ken Manfree
Computer Tutor Coordinator
Jeff Solomon
Computers-to-Schools Program Coordinator
Orion E. Hill
Facility Arrangements Coordinator
Dianne Prior
Greeter Coordinator
Bob Simmerman 259-6113
Dean Unruh
Membership Director
Dianne Prior
Mentor Program Coordinator
Dick Peterson
Newsletter Circulator
Jim Hearn
Newsletter Editor
Susy Ball
Product Review CoCoordinator
Susy Ball
Product Review CoCoordinator
Marcia Waddell 252-2060
Programs Director
Susy Ball
Publicity Director
Ron Dack
Random Access Moderator
Jerry Brown
Special Projects Director
Jeff Solomon
Ron Dack
• All telephone numbers are in Area Code 707.
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 3
Computer News
Computer News (ISS
0897-5744) is
published monthly by
the Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group, Inc.
(NVPCUG), P.O. Box
2866, Napa, CA
Subscriptions: $30 for
one year (12 issues).
Editor: Susy Ball,
[email protected]
The material in
Computer News is
intended for
purposes and may not
be reproduced without
prior written permission,
except that permission
for reproducing articles,
with authors properly
credited, is granted to
other computer user
groups for their internal,
nonprofit use only. The
information in this
newsletter is believed
to be correct. However,
the NVPCUG can
assume neither
responsibility for errors
or omissions nor liability
for any damages
resulting from the use
or misuse of any
The NVPCUG is an IRC
501(c)(3) tax-exempt
nonprofit educational
organization (EIN 680069663) and is a
member of the
Association of Personal
Computer User Groups
(APCUG), an
organization. Donations
to the NVPCUG are
tax-deductible as
charitable contributions
to the extent allowed by
law. Copyright © 2007
By Berry F. Phillips, a Member of the Computer Club of Oklahoma City and a monthly
contributor to the e-Monitor,, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
publication by APCUG member groups.
Guilty, the strange judge shouted as he banged the gavel. The
defendant will rise and receive his sentence. You have been
found guilty of dirty deeds done to your computer and are
sentenced to electrocution!” I thought to myself, with my
knees shaking, there must be some kind of an appeal process
since the judge and jury all had heads that looked like
monitors and bodies like upright computers and could easily
be biased and not in my human favor!
I did find the testimony at my trial to be informative. A clean
environment does not require computer cleaning usually
more than once a year. Many computer users like to do the
cleaning when they are doing their annual spring house
cleaning. The dirtier the environment the greater frequency of
cleaning needed. A clean computer cuts down on downtime,
repair bills, and minimizes health risks. DO NOT EAT,
Here are some tips: (1) shut your computer down properly,
(2) run scan disk and defragmenter at least monthly, (3) Delete
files and programs you no longer need, (4) use antivirus, anti
spyware programs and a good hard drive cleaner like the
freeware CCleaner and a registry cleaner like the freeware
RegClean to keep your hard drive healthy, (5) BACK UP
When cleaning your computer case, use a damp lint free
OTHER ELECTRICAL DEVICES. Place liquid on the cloth
not directly on the system and normally 100% alcohol which
has no water content. Use a pencil eraser on hard to remove
marks. The monitor can be cleaned with a commercial glass
cleaner using a damp clean lint free cloth. Using an anti static
wipe or a dry cloth with anti-static fabric softener will reduce
the dust attracted by static discharge. The keyboard can be
cleaned by turning the keyboard upside down and shaking the
gunk out of it while singing, “There is a whole lot of shaking
going on.” Clean the keyboard surface with a damp lint free
cloth with 100% alcohol. DO NOT TAKE THE KEYBOARD
AGAIN! Clean the mouse by taking it apart using a damp lint
free cloth and clean the rollers inside of the mouse (be sure to
rotate them) with a clean cotton swab with 100% alcohol
solution. After the mouse has dried put it back together
reversing the steps you did when taking it apart. The inside of
your computer is a dust magnet. An annual cleaning in a
normal computer environment is a good idea. YOU MUST
DAMAGE TO YOUR SYSTEM! Whenever, you go into the
case of your computer it is a good idea to wear a grounding
strap to reduce the risk of a static discharge. Blow out dust
with compressed air or a vacuum cleaner. Avoid touching
chips or electronic components on your system. Electronic
components run hotter when covered with dust blankets, and
it shortens their normal life span which is why your computer
needs to be cleaned internally periodically.
I have to go now to get a human attorney to appeal my case
so I can avoid electrical execution so there will be another
article in the Computer Hysteria Column for next month.
However, I do have one final question for you, “Are you
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely
for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses
require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Southwest User
Group Conference
We’re on our way to the 14 th annual
Southwest User Group Conference in San
Diego and you are invited to join us.
July 13, 14 & 15, 2007
Where: Town and Country Resort & Convention Center
A great chance to see the latest and greatest that
vendors have to offer computer users, to meet with
vendors and book presentations, as well as to network
with user group officers and members and to
brainstorm solutions to the problems we all have
with our groups. Plus you will have the opportunity
to enrich your personal computer experience with
the informative workshops provided by vendors.
Go to w w w . s w u g c o n f . o r g , fill in the
registration form and mail it with a check for $50
(early bird special price) by June 22 to the address
noted on the form.
We are also having our 2nd Digital Photo Contest and all
attendees are invited to participate. Groups who have digital
photo contests are eligible to submit their winners to the SW
contest if they have members attending the conference. You
will find the contest guidelines on the conference website.
Attendees staying at the hotel are eligible for one free night
at the hotel.
Included in the registration fee for the Southwest Conference
are: the welcome Bag, T-shirt, all meals, vendor faire,
hospitality suite, and an Internet Cafe. So join us for Fun in
the Sun and Computers, too.
We hope to see you there,
Judy Taylour & Patricia Hill, Co-chairs
[email protected] / [email protected] /
Marcia Waddell and Susy Ball are going from the NVPCUG,
anyone else going to join us?
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 4
File Extensions
By Fran Damratowski, Refurbishing SIG Chair, Chesapeake PC Users Group, MD,,
[email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
• .asp: active server page
publication by APCUG member groups.
• .atn: Adobe Photoshop Action file
Have you ever wondered what the three alphanumeric
• .au: Audio file, Audacity Audio block
extension at the end of a file name mean? (MS-DOS
• .aud: Audio file
required filename to limited to eight characters for the base
• .avb: Inoculan Anti-Virus virus infected file,
or root name and three characters for the extension. Windows
Microsoft Chat character file, Avid Bin File
95 and above no longer have that limitation.) The three
• .avd: Avery Label Pro Data file, DOS7 file
letters or numbers are a way for the computer user, software,
• .avi: Audio Video Interleaved animated file
and operating system to differentiate between and identify
(Windows Video, Quicktime, RealPlayer)
the program used to create a file (document, spreadsheet,
database, etc.). We are all familiar with .exe for an executable
• .awb: Lavasoft Ad-aware backup file, ActiveWords
file, .txt for a text document, and .pdf for a PDF file. There
WordBase, Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband ACELP
are many other file extensions. The same file extension
may be used for more than one program. There is no
• .awd: AWD MS Fax, Award BIOS file, AWK
standard or organization for creating file extensions. This
Language Source Code file, Artweaver Painting,
month we will begin to list some of the extensions.
FaxView document
.awe: Adobe Acrobat Bookmark XML file
Here is the A list of some of the extensions
• .awm: Animated Works Movie, AllWebMenus,
and the file types they represent
RenderWare Language Pack
• .a: An ADA program, Unix archive file, Macintosh
assembly source code, Free Pascal Archive file for When you look at a list of files you may notice that the file
extensions are hidden. To find out if they are hidden right
Linux or DOS
click “Start” then left click “Explore”, then click on a file
• .a2b: A2B Player Playlist
fold on the left side of your screen. If you do not see file
• .abx: Word Perfect Address Book file
extensions they are hidden you can make then visible them
• .aby: AOL file
by following the actions below.
• .adr: Address Book, Address Plus Database, After
Dark Random Screen Saver Module, Opera , Smart Windows 98
Address adressbook, Web Browser Bookmark File Select “View” then “Folder Options”. Select the “View”
• .albm: webAlbum Photo Album, Photosmart Photo tab. Scroll down to “Hide file extensions for known file
types” and uncheck this box.
Printing Album
• .alz: ALZIip compressed file, game file
Windows XP
• .aps: MS Visual C++ file, Flash (Italian), ArcPar Select “Tools” then “Folder Options”. Select the “View”
Ver. 5 Symbology, Advanced Patching Systems with
tab and scroll down to “Hide file extensions for known file
Error Checking
types” and uncheck this box. Click “Apply to All Folders”
• .arl: AOL Organizer file
• .arj: Compression archive
• .ars: Adobe After Effects Render, Artifax Report Click on the “organize” button. Select “Folder and Search
Options”. Select the “View” tab and scroll down to “Hide
• .asl: Adobe Photoshop Layer file, Quest Adventure file extensions for known file types” and uncheck this box.
Click “Apply to All Folders”
game, AppSight Console Log
• .asm: non-unix assembler source file, Pro/Engineer This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
Assembly file, LICOM AlphaCAM Stone Parameter solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see eMacro, Solid Edge document
mail address above).
• .asmx: Microsoft .NET Web Service file
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 5
Photoshop Workflow Setups
A Review by John Donan, a Member of the North Orange County Computer Club, CA,, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for filter; when I reversed their order the result was entirely
different. Combine more than two such executions and the
publication by APCUG member groups.
I knew I had seen that girl before when I possible combinations and permutations grow
found her on the frontispiece facing tremendously. This is why the author says, “What is
Chapter 1. There are also eleven other important is learning this information one step at a time,
excellent full page images, some used in finding the option or settings that are important to your
examples, five are facing the other workflow and then building from there.” This book intends
chapters. I had seen the frontispiece on to make this humongous set of choices manageable.
In 207 pages, the material covered had to be limited.
the Creativepro Website, under
“Photoshop How-To: Tame the Beast,” Instead of picking apart a mass of nitty details the book
( provides guidance in overall effective usage. The book
howto/24366.html) which turns out to be Chapter 1 starts with efficient organization of the workspace. Anyone
of the book which I also found at h t t p : / / using Photoshop knows how quickly palettes hog the visible area (Tools and Options are palettes by the way). I
I found these in my early research for the book. When I cleaned up my work space by his example most of which
start a review, I browse for a cursory knowledge of a is ignored in teachings elsewhere. This first chapter covered
book’s content then I research the author. I also find using a second window (see figure 1 which is typical of the
comments of other reviewers in case there is something I illustrations of the book) and also tiling images, neither of
might overlook. Eddie Tapp, this author, is an award- which I had done previously nor had I ever considered the
winning photographer, lecturer, consultant, and author on 9 settings possible for the status bar, via its black triangle.
digital imaging issues with over 20 years of experience in The rest of the first chapter concerns the Bridge.
computer technology with a very impressive resume.
From what Scott Kelby states on the cover, “If Eddie’s
teaching a session, I want to be there!” it implies that
teaching is one of his strong points.
A statement preceding
Chapter 1 says, “Adobe
Photoshop has so many different
work areas and tools that it can
become confusing or even
intimidating for digital
photographers to use in a
production environment. The
fact is, there are only three
particular zones or areas that
you really need to become
familiar with: tools, menus, and
Figure 1, Photoshop opens a second window of your active
palettes.” Upon examining my
image when you select Window > Arrange > New Window.
version of PS CS2, I find 58 tools and 198 menu items
It’s perfect when you want to do detail work and see the
entire image at the same time.
which include the choices for the 19 palettes. Sixty of the
menu items have further choices, as high as 20 or more in
About 20% of the book concerns the Bridge, Photoshop’s
fly out menus as do all the palettes as well. Each of the
file browser. I had read where another Photoshop author
tools has settings, relative to its function, which are made
refuses to use the Bridge because he feels it is yet too early
in its option bar. To place an order of magnitude on all this
in its state of development. This appears to be the case with
I assumed the number of secondary choices to be ten, it can
my software for it will not open either Photoshop or JPEG
easily be justified that there are over one thousand choices
images in Photoshop a feature of its main usefulness. To
possible. You can add to this, keyboard shortcuts. There
correct this will be expensive. Adobe technical support has
are 521 of them, I have counted. What can be done in
told me that they require an advance payment of $39 to
Photoshop seems unlimited when multiple processes are
address either of these problems ($78). For those who are
involved. I created an effect using an adjustment and a
able to properly use the Bridge, or willing to pay to make
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 6
it work, it is covered in Chapter 5 of the book.
All palettes are covered and should one want to get a
quick handle on a palette you don’t use, such as Layer
Comps, the information is there. Although the information
for this palette is held to one page, it is adequate enough
for me to have now mastered its use. The key palettes are
stated to be these: Layers, Channels, Actions, History,
Histogram, Color, Styles, Paths and the Info window. To
unclutter his workspace, Tapp places his most active
palettes in the Docking Well, cycling them as he needs
them. By saving this configuration, it is always available
as a starting workspace at some future time. One of his
notes in this part of the book introduced me to the Scrubby
Slider. It has been in existence since CS. When the mouse
cursor is in the vicinity of a slider label, it changes
allowing the slider value to be changed without having to
grab the slider exactly.
Preferences allow you to tailor your work to your needs.
Of course some are more important than others. Chapter
three considers those the author has found to be most
important. As with other Adobe programs, the Preferences
dialog box can be accessed via Ctrl-K. Nine dialogs are
selectable. A point came up regarding image interpolation
and the General Preferences dialog which is not widely
known. For Image Interpolation: Bicubic Smoother is
designed for up-sampling images, while the Bicubic
Sharper is designed for down sampling images. Compared
to some of my 600 page books, there is twice as much
information on preferences in this little guy.
The chapter “Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts and
Menus” is brief (12 pages) but handy, should one want to
specialize either of these for personal use. An adjustment,
which I regularly use, is Shadow/Highlight. It is also
frequently used by the author. He has assigned for it the
shortcut Shift+Ctrl+M which I have now also done, thanks
to this chapter. Should I lapse into my old ways and
traverse Edit>Adjustments>Shadow/Highlight the
selection is handily highlighted in red (my choice.)
In the preface for the last chapter (Tapping into the
Tools), the author states: “What is your favorite tool in
Photoshop? Most people will say without reservation, the
Clone Stamp tool. Yes, it’s a very powerful tool indeed, but
the Clone Stamp tool can also be the most dangerous if it’s
not used properly.” What he is referring to is repetitive
patterns which aren’t seen until after the image is printed.
In slightly less than a page the use of this tool is completely
covered. In fact this concise coverage brought home to me
two features I had overlooked using.
I will continue using this book as a handy reference as
can others whose PS skills may vary anywhere from
beginner on. The book details are:
Title: Photoshop Workflow Setups
Subtitle: Eddie Tapp on Digital Photography
First Edition: August 2006
ISBN: 0-596-10168-6
Pages: 207
The book is available from O’Reilly at a discount
of 35% to user group members.
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see email address above).
Why You Need A Firewall
By Brian K. Lewis, Ph.D., Member of the Sarasota PCUG, Florida,,
[email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for These addresses are a 32 bit number. They usually written
out in four groups with periods between each group as
publication by APCUG member groups.
When you connect your computer to the follows: Traveling over the Internet are
Internet, you have opened a door which many programs that simply look for unprotected IP
invites any other computer in the world addresses. The IP address of any unprotected computer is
sent back to the originator who can then
to come in. Actually, you
upload a trojan or spyware package to that
have more than 65,000
address. The originator can then take control
doors into your computer,
The address for a
of the computer or the application will
any one of which may be
Belkin Router
record keystrokes and send all recorded
open. That is, unless you
information back to the program originator.
have taken steps to keep these doors
Although your computer has one IP address there are
closed. That is the purpose of a firewall. The firewall
filters the information packets that show up at your “door” many different ports on your address. There are different
or computer port as we usually refer to it, and can either ports for different purposes on your computer. Your
connection to the Internet is usually through port 80. This
prevent them from entering or pass them through.
When your computer connects to the Internet, it is is referred to as the HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol)
assigned a numeric address or IP (internet protocol) address.
Firewall cont. on page 8
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 7
Firewall cont. from page 7
port. It is used when you connect to a web page. The web
page data is downloaded to your computer through this
port. Another commonly used port is 25. This is used for
the SMTP (standard mail transfer protocol) or e-mail
transfer. Another port is used for incoming mail or POP3
transfer is port 110. These are all part of the port series
from 0 to 1024 that are the most
common ports. Many applications
use ports in this region including
PC Anywhere, Internet
telephones, MSN messenger, Net
Meeting, and all AOL operations.
Ports 1024 to 49451 are referred
to as registered ports. There are
many Internet games that use ports
in this region. There are also other
specific functions assigned to these ports
and some may duplicate functions in the common port
region. The final group of ports are dynamic and have no
specific functions registered. However, the point is that all
of these ports can be accessed by remote computers
somewhere out on the Internet and use them to connect to
your computer if you have not protected them.
Automated port scanning software is
available free on the Internet from many
“hacker sites”. Its use is very common on
the Internet. There are various types of
scans. Some scanners will look for any of
the 65,535 possible ports. Another type
looks for open UDP (user data protocol)
ports or may use an FTP (file transfer
protocol) bounce to hide the origin of the
scan. If an open port is located, software
can be downloaded that will open a
“backdoor” on your computer. This allows
remote input and output. Such access can
be used to record and transmit out
information from your computer. It can
also be used to attack other computers to produce a
“zombie” network. Such networks have been used to
attack large computer servers in attempts to bring them
down or to produce a “denial of service” attack.
Many users believe that a router with a firewall is
adequate protection. Most routers use either network
address translation (NAT) or a packet filter. Information
on the Internet is transmitted in packets which contain the
IP address of the sender and the address of the receiver in
addition to the data. The routers firewall uses filters that
look at the sending and receiving addresses of incoming
packets on port 80 (HTTP). Only those packets that are a
response to an outgoing request are allowed through. If
your router uses a packet filter it can be penetrated by a
fragmented scan. This type of scan breaks up packets into
fragments which can easily get through the simple packet
filter found in most router firewalls. Routers using
NAT either alone or in combination with a packet
filter can also be easily thwarted. NAT is not
successful when the
packet is an FTP packet or
is sent by Microsoft’s
Netmeeting or similar
audio/video applications
that bury the address in the body of
the packet. Only when the address is in the header of the
packet can the router use address substitution. So packet
filtering and NAT, although useful, do not provide complete
firewall protection for all Internet connections.
Another method for preventing intrusions is “stateful”
packet inspection. This is the method used by most software
firewalls and is found is some of the newer routers. When
your web browser opens a connection to the Internet, the
firewall software records that connection and keeps a
record of its status. Whenever a packet arrives at your
computer, the data in the packet can be compared to the
information in the firewall state table. The firewall software
can also make decisions based on the data content of the
packet, not just the sender’s address. Because this
examination does require some time there may be a slight
slowdown of your system. However, in most
cases, there will not be a long enough delay
for most users to notice.
So inbound packets can be filtered and
examined for dangerous content. However,
when the user connects to a web server, the
page requested is downloaded to the users
computer. It is possible for that web page to
contain a small program or a link to a
dangerous site in a one pixel unit on the page.
When this is downloaded the program is run
or the link activated. This results in an
outgoing packet to some Internet address
through a non-standard port so the user is not
aware of the activity. This type of activity
would not be stopped by a hardware firewall in a router. It
can only be blocked by a software firewall which recognizes
that this activity is coming from a new application that has
not previously made an Internet connection. In this case
the software will query the computer user to determine if
this new application
s h o u l d b e allowed to
c o n n e c t . Hopefully,
the user would recognize
that this was not an
application that the
user was running
a n d t h e
packet would
then be blocked. It is
absolutely necessary for the
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 8
firewall to process both
incoming and outgoing packets.
Only a software firewall can
establish the necessary tables
for comparing the incoming/
outgoing packets to allowed
activity and request user
interaction when necessary.
This leads us to the Windows
firewall. This firewall, as used
with Windows XP, does not
have any control of outbound
packets. Any application is
allowed to connect to the
Internet without any filtering or other checking of source
or content. Windows Vista was supposed to come with
both inbound and outbound filtering. However, as it is
delivered it provides only inbound protection just as did
XP. The outbound protection is turned off by default. So,
if it is there, how do you turn on the outbound protection.
To change this you have to use the Microsoft Management
Console. Then you have to write a rule to block each
“malware” application you anticipate might get on your
computer. You can not create a general rule for all malware.
Creating rules that would cover all possible malware
applications is an impossible task. Microsoft has been
quoted as saying “outbound filtering isn’t really needed,
and the key is making sure that malware doesn’t infect the
PC in the first place.” Also they have stated that large
enterprises had requested that it be turned off by default.
Microsoft does say that “core
Windows Services have
specific behaviors which
are monitored by the
firewall”. Instead of using
outbound filtering Microsoft
recommends that you buy
“Windows Live OneCare”, a
product and subscription
service. My recommendation
is that you obtain a free twoway firewall like ZoneAlarm
and ignore the Windows
firewall completely.
Whatever you do, don’t connect your computer to the
Internet without using a firewall and an antivirus
application. I have come across too many computers
recently that are attached to constant on Internet connections
and had no protection. The cost of removing the malware
from these systems was more than the cost of premium
protection. So don’t get caught short!
Dr. Lewis is a former university & medical school
professor. He has been working with personal computers
for more than thirty years. He can be reached via e-mail:
[email protected]
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see email address above).
Live CD-ROMs
By Dick Maybach, a Member of the Brookdale Computer User Group, New Jersey,, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for never switched on the power.
publication by APCUG member groups.
To use a live CD-ROM, you must set up your PC so that
In the early days of PCs, we did much more experimenting if a CD-ROM is present, it will try to boot from it, rather
than we do now. The only long-term storage was on than the hard disk. Watch carefully as your PC boots, and
diskettes, and when we removed the diskette holding the you should see a message telling you how to start the BIOS
operating system, we also removed any problems that set-up program. Often, the procedure is to press the F2 key
repeatedly during booting. Don’t just
resulted from our experiments. Now, our hard disks hold
hold it down, as the PC will think
large, complex operating systems, and if they are
your keyboard has a stuck key and
damaged by our errors or by malware such viruses,
will refuse to start. Once the set-up
the recovery process can be long and painful.
program has started, read each screen
Those who still like to experiment
carefully before changing anything. If you
should consider live CD-ROMs.
you’ve made a mistake, exit without
A live CD-ROM contains an
(often done by pressing the escape
operating system and applications and
are looking for the screen that lets
can be run without using the hard disk at all. When you
which is the order in which the
remove the CD-ROM, your old operating system (probably
Windows) takes over. In fact, since the hard disk was not PC checks devices for an operating system. It always
accessed while the live CD-ROM was running, Windows includes
is no more aware that the PC has been used than if you had
Live CD-ROMS cont. on page 10
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 9
Live CD-ROMS cont. from page 9
CD-ROM, and (on newer machines) USB devices. In our
case we want the CD-ROM checked before the hard disk.
Once you are satisfied that everything is ok, save your
changes and exit the program, often done by pressing F10.
You can download live CD-ROM programs free from
the Internet. However, you will now have what’s called an
ISO image; this is not a file, and if you write it to a CDROM as a file, it won’t be bootable. Unfortunately, the free
versions of CD-ROM burner programs included with
many PCs won’t burn ISO images. However, a suitable
program, ISO Recorder, is available, free over the internet
isorecorder.htm. Many live CD-ROMs are also
available as pre-recorded CD-ROMs; see the referenced
Web sites for information.
A good place to start is with the Ultimate Boot CD,
available at
. This provides four versions of DOS and five of Linux,
plus tools for motherboard, hard disk, and file system
maintenance, in addition to four virus scanners.
If you long for the simpler days of DOS, see http:// to obtain an open-source clone of
DOS. This will allow you to get reacquainted with the
command line, BAT files, BASIC programming, and run
those old programs that no longer work under Windows.
The full version contains some extras, FreeGEM (a clone
of the old Digital Research graphical user interface),
BWBasic (Bywater Basic), and several games.
If you would like to experiment with Linux, but aren’t
ready yet to install it on your hard disk, look at Ubuntu,, which provides a
Windows-like interface, or Knoppix, h t t p : / /, which is known for being very
adaptable to different PC hardware. Several tutorial books
are available for each; check your local Barnes & Noble or
For Linux, Windows, and, to a limited extent, Macintosh
maintenance and recovery, my favorite is INSERT,
available at
insert_en.html. This is worth a complete article,
and I’ll discuss it next month’s column.
Security Tools Distribution (STD),, is a variant of Knoppix, customized for those in
computer security. It includes tools for encryption and
code-breaking, for finding evidence of computer breakins, for working with firewalls, for building honey pots
(traps for ensnaring hackers), for analyzing and breaking
passwords, for analyzing network traffic, and for assessing
computer vulnerability.
You can see a long list of available live CD-ROMs at
livecd.php. Most of these are versions of Linux,
because its source code is available and free, and because
it’s modular. Windows, by comparison, is proprietary and
monolithic; at one point, Microsoft claimed that you
couldn’t remove even its Internet browser without disabling
the operating system.
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see email address above).
Recovering Files from a Hard Drive
By Vinny La Bash, a Member of the Sarasota PCUG, Florida,,
[email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
publication by APCUG member groups.
Have you deleted a file that you need and
you don’t know how to get it back? The
first step is to make absolutely sure that
it has been deleted. Open your Windows
Recycle Bin and double-check. Is it in
there? If so, simply right-click on the file
and choose Restore.
If you have emptied the Recycle Bin
the next step is to restore the file from
your latest backup. You do back up your data regularly,
don’t you?
Unfortunately, there is no native “Undelete” command
in Windows XP. This is a mystery because Microsoft had
a nifty undelete feature in Windows 3.1 which somehow
disappeared in Windows 95 and subsequent versions of
the operating system. This is abysmal for Windows users,
but profitable for third party software developers.
It’s important to understand that when a file is deleted it
is not actually removed from your system. Windows
deletes only the first letter of the file’s name and replaces
it with a marked for deletion character. This makes the file
“invisible” to windows, and if Windows needs the space
for something else, it has no qualms about overwriting
your valuable data.
What this means is that if you accidentally delete a file,
you have a limited amount of time to recover it before
windows stores something else over the same space. It
may not happen right away, but it will happen eventually.
Since there is no way within XP to recover a lost file, you
have to turn to a third party solution. The good news is that
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 10
there are several excellent programs that will do the job
easily. The even better news is that these programs are
free. Isn’t that nice?
Use Google or your favorite search engine to find
FreeUndelet, PC Inspector File Recovery, or Undelete
Plus. All of them work well though you may find one
easier to use than another. That’s a matter of personal
You need to be cautious about this. If you download the
utility directly to your hard drive, you run the risk of
storing the undelete program over the very data you are
trying to recover. If you have a second hard drive, you can
download to that or better yet, download directly to a
thumb drive. That avoids all danger of losing important
data, and it has the additional advantage of immediate
The programs all work similarly. Direct any of the
programs to a specific disk and you will get a list of all
deleted recoverable files on the drive. You may also get a
description alerting you that the file(s) may be wholly or
partially recoverable. That’s good to know.
Direct any recovered files to an external hard drive if
you have one. Don’t save anything to your hard drive until
you have recovered everything you need. Use Windows
Explorer to manage the recovered files. Group them into
categories to sort or group the files so you can easily
determine if they are program files, data files or something
else. Some files may have data missing if Windows
overwrote some of the sectors where it was stored.
If after all this you haven’t been successful, your best
alternative is to consider a data recovery service. These
can be a devastating drain on your wallet, so don’t use
these services to recover saved game files.
Do some comparison shopping as rates can vary
considerably. Good luck and watch those sticky fingers
when they hover near the delete key.
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see email address above).
Upgrading to an LCD Monitor
By Herb Goldstein, Software Evaluation Chairman and Reviews Editor, Sarasota
PCUG, Florida,, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for a 19 incher, the size of my CRT that I was happy with.
Seventeen may work for you if that’s what pleased you on
publication by APCUG member groups.
Actually, I was happy with my high quality CRT (cathode your CRT. Over 19 for average use is both too much screen
ray tube) monitor. It was with considerable reluctance that and excessive cost for most people.
I recently decided to get with the modern
ORIENTATION: Most prefer a normal
era and upgrade to an LCD. It has been
tall screen (portrait view) for average
quite a learning experience. Looking back,
usage. Wide (landscape) screens are
I realize that there are a number of very
available at greater cost in the same size
important practical considerations of
range and are not recommended unless
which I was unaware in making the change
you have special need for that display.
and in making a choice. Perhaps I can
Some makes offer a swivel screen that
pass along a summary of them along with
you can change from tall to wide and
some insight gained by hands-on
back again instantly. You will pay
experience to make the experience a little
considerably more for this feature when
easier for you than it was for me. You need
it is available.
to do your homework both before and
COST: Has been decreasing from a few
during your investigation. Here are some
thousand some short years ago to a few
of the most important things you should
hundred today. A quality 17 inch LCD can be found today
for under $200, and a 19 incher for less than $300. If you
An LCD monitor offers considerable advantages in have a watchful eye, special sales are common and offer
upgrading from a CRT. It is infinitely lighter and takes up substantial saving.
much less desk space than a CRT. It uses the smallest
BRAND: There is a very significant display quality to be
fraction of electricity by comparison and is devoid of
gained in better models of better brands. The most
radiation concerns. When properly installed, its display
common best quality brands usually topping the review
may prove brighter, sharper and provide superb color.
lists in computer publications are LG, NEC, Viewsonic,
SIZE: In any size range, an LCD will display more Dell and Samsung. Different models in the same brand
viewable screen than a similarly sized CRT. I decided on
Upgrading an LCD Monitor cont. on page 12
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 11
Upgrading an LCD Monitor cont. from page 11
provide different features. Check them out carefully on
their respective websites and “Google” for reviews. You
need to do your homework both before and during your
shopping experiences if you want the best for your buck.
WARRANTY: Better brands provide a 3 year replacement
on defective monitors. Don’t settle for a one year warranty!
VIEWING ANGLE: Unlike a CRT, an LCD’s view falls
off sharply at the sides when you are
not positioned in front of your monitor.
In practical usage, this should notbe at
all a problem. Your view will be just
fine when you are normally seated at
your screen, with more than sufficient
leeway from the norm.
indicated in the advertising of better
models. A faster response time is
better—it indicates how quickly the
screen can refresh a video image. If an
LCD’s response time is too slow, the
display’s pixels won’t be able to keep
up with the information sent from
the computer’s graphics card, and you
may see ghosting and digital noise as a result.
8ms or better response time is common on
quality LCD’s and is preferred! The lower the
response time, the less of a blurring effect is
possible on the screen.
ANALOG VS. DIGITAL: Video cards can provide outlets
for two different monitor display types, analog and digital.
CRT monitors are cabled to your video card with an analog
(15 pin) cable. LCD’s usually provide the same cable and
connection but will provide a significantly better display
when attached via a digital (VDI-D) to a digital port on
your video card. Better LCD’s provide both digital and
analog connections. So do better video cards. If your card
doesn’t have a digital port, you can either replace the card
with one that does, or you can add an additional card. Easy
to do. Just plug it into a PCI slot and your computer will
recognize it. You are really better off in many ways with
a better card.
If need be, you can run your LCD with the same analog
connection as you used for your CRT previously, but a
digital connection will give you better results.
NATIVE RESOLUTION: LCD monitors will provide
their best display when run at their “native resolution”
which varies with the size of the monitor. For a 19 incher,
the native resolution is 1280x1024. The resolution of a
display can be changed easily by right-clicking on an
empty area of your desktop and selecting “properties,”
and “settings.” The same can be accomplished through
your Control Panel in your Start Menu. Normally the
correct choice will be made automatically by the installation
software that accompanies your new monitor.
When you change your most common CRT setting of
1080x760 to 1280x1024, everything, including all your
icons and fonts, will suddenly appear much smaller. Your
LCD display however will become infinitely sharper. If
you find it strange to your eyes, you can easily change your
display properties to provide larger fonts. Additionally,
many programs like word processors permit you to change
your text to any size you wish while maintaining its
quality, regardless of screen resolution.
Running at native resolution (your
choice to do or not, but very highly
recommended) will make your screen
display smaller but you will be able
to accommodate more viewed area
on a page. It may be strange somewhat
to your eyes at first, but the greatly
increased sharpness and over-all
quality of your LCD display will more
than make up for it, especially if you
are using digital rather than analog
AUTO-DISPLAY: Most quality LCD
monitors will automatically install at
their best display settings when you
plug them in. However, they will also
provide easy to adjust menu settings
for most of their values that permit you to
easily adjust the display to what is most pleasing
to your eyes. They most common adjustment people make
is for brightness. Most LCD monitors tend to be too bright
unless adjusted. LCD screen illumination is entirely
different and better than that from a CRT.
with your CRT now that you have your new LCD? One of
your choices may be to keep it and run two monitors sideby-side. If you are using Windows XP and you have two
ports on your video card (or two video cards), it’s easy to
do with a few simple settings in your display properties
menu. You will then be able to run two different programs
at the same time and easily drag items from one monitor
screen to the other. Your cursor will readily mouse from
one monitor to the other alongside. It can double your
productivity and allow you to see and do things you did not
know were possible.
Over all, upgrading to an LCD monitor will greatly
enhance your computer experience and enjoyment. It’s
way more than worth any effort or expense involved. „
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see
e-mail address above).
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 12
McAfee SiteAdvisor
By Sandy Berger, CompuKISS,, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
publication by APCUG member groups.
Anyone who has been on the Internet for a while realizes
that even websites that look benign can generate viruses,
adware, spyware, spam, and scams. Until now, it was
difficult to determine which websites to avoid. Now,
however, safe surfing just got easier. Now there is a wonderful
free program that warns you about dangerous websites.
The McAfee SiteAdvisor is a small piece of software
that works with your Internet Browser (either Internet
Explorer or Firefox). It tells you in an easy graphical
format which websites are safe and which harbor spyware,
viruses, excessive pop-ups, or online scams.
McAfee has a system of automated spiders that patrol the
Web constantly checking out websites. They assess the safety
of each website including how much spam is generated from
signing up for information at that site and how much spyware,
adware, and other nasties might be attached to downloads
from that site. The SiteAdvisor will also alert you to sites with
excessive pop-ups and those that are possible phishing sites.
Besides the automated testing, McAfee has a team of
individuals who assess the sites. They use a detailed analysis
as well as feedback from individual users.
To use the SiteAdvisor, you simply download the free
program. The program is very small, so it downloads and
installs quickly and it doesn’t slow down your Web surfing.
After installation, a small SiteAdvisor rectangle will
appear either on the top (Internet Explorer) or the bottom
(Firefox) of the screen. When you visit a site that
SiteAdvisor considers safe the rectangle turns green. Sites
that have serious security problems will turn the rectangle
red. A yellow rectangle means that the website may have
some problems or issues. You can click on the SiteAdvisor
symbol to get more information about the website that you
are visiting and why it is considered safe or unsafe.
This information is invaluable when surfing the Web.
With SiteAdvisor installed you don’t have to be fearful
that signing up for more information or a newsletter will
set you up for spam. You don’t have to worry that
downloading software will install spyware. In fact,
SiteAdvisor takes much of the fear out of investigating and
trying new things on the Internet.
Another great feature of the SiteAdvisor program is that
when you do a search on Google, Yahoo! or MSN,
SiteAdvisor’s safety ratings appear as a red, green, or
yellow circle next to the search results. You can easily see
if a website is safe before you visit!! What a pleasant and
useful service. If you want more information before you
click on the search engine listing, just hover your mouse
over the SiteAdvisor icon and a window will pop-up
giving your details on the site’s ratings.
Everything that I just described about the SiteAdvisor is
available in the free version. McAfee also offers a Plus
version that is available for $1999 per single user or as a
3-user family pack for $3999. The Plus version offers even
more peace of mind by alerting you to dangerous links in
email and instant messaging programs. The Plus version
also has a password protected mode that can actively
protect your computer against dangerous websites. This
version is perfect for anyone who wants a little extra
protection. It is also great for shared computers and
computers that children or grandchildren use. Click here
to download the SiteAdvisor.
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see
e-mail address above).
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 13
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
Membership Application/Renewal *
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‡ $30
Regular Member - an individual who is not a full-time student
Fun wildlife site!
This site you can put in the zipcode
for the area you are visiting and it
gives pictures and good information
on birds or other wildlife.
zipguides/ or simply go to
In addition to finding the nature of
your community this site has useful
field guides, screensavers links and
much more.
Note from the editor: My zipcode
(94558) showed 76 species of
mammals, 291 species of birds,
85 species of butterflies, 44
species of reptiles and
amphibians, 356 species of Trees
and 914 species of Wildflowers.
In addition to the categories listed
above, you can even do a search on
seashells, seashore creatures, insects
and spiders and fishes.
I’m just glad they don’t all sleep at
my house and grow in my backyard.
PowerPoint Tip
If you’d rather just end your show
on the final slide instead of
PowerPoint’s default black slide,
‡ $10
Associate Member - a family member of a Regular or Student
member. Associate memberships run concurrently with sponsors’
start PowerPoint and click Tools
and Options. Select the View tab
Make check payable to:
and deselect the End With Black
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Slide checkbox. Click OK to save
Mail application/renewal to:
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
your changes. Now the
Attn.: Membership Director, P.O. Box 2866
presentation will end on your
Napa, CA 94558-0286.
final slide.
The NVPCUG is an accredited IRC 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your dues
Reprinted with permission from
payment may be tax-deductible as a charitable contribution.
S m a r t C o m p u t i n g . Vi s i t
* To request a Corporate Membership Application / Renewal form, e-mail:
[email protected]
Revised 4-23-07
Groups to learn what Smart
Computing can do for you and
your user group!
By Hilton Kaufman, a Member of the Chicago Computer Society,,
[email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission The method of connection into the Internet varies
for publication by APCUG member groups.
somewhat among users. At various points, telephone
(This is part of a series of articles providing a brief lines, coaxial cables, UHF relays, satellite shots, and a few
explanation of the Internet. The previous article provided other methods might be utilized to make the actual
an overview and mentioned that there are separate issues connections. It is even possible to bring a lap top computer
of connections, addressing of messages, and available into a coffee house and reach an internet connection
Internet Connections cont. on page 15
‡ $20
Student Member - a full-time student who is not eligible for Associate
Internet Connections
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 14
Thank You !
The Napa Valley Personal Computer Users
Group is grateful for the support provided
by the following companies:
Dey, L.P.
Pharmaceutical products for the treatment of
respiratory diseases and respiratory-related allergies
2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Napa 94558-6268
707-224-3200 •
947 Lincoln Avenue
Napa, CA 94559-5066
(707) 299-1000 • [email protected]
3148 Jefferson Street • Napa, California 94558
707/257-6260 • fax 707/257-8741
[email protected]
Offering Financial Services throughout
the Napa Valley, with offices in American
Canyon, Calistoga, Napa, St. Helena
and Yountville
800-869-3557 •
For more information about the NVPCUG, visit
our Web site:
Internet Connections cont. from page 14
starting with a radio link.
Typically a home or small office user will connect
through a company known as an Internet Service Provider
or ISP. These could be small local companies or giants,
such as AOL, Earthlink, and AT&T-Yahoo. A large
company establishes local routing centers known as Points
of Presence or POPs to allow for local calls into the
system. Small ISPs have local numbers but might also use
POPs if covering an area of more than just a few miles. A
large ISP might have over 2,000 POPs.
POPs have some equipment that receives the connection
from the individual user and routes it to the server, a
powerful dedicated computer, at the actual ISP location.
The ISP then routes the message toward where it supposed
to go, probably eventually through another ISP and POP.
Trunk lines owned by a few major long distance telephone
service providers are used to send messages across country
in this process.
There are also sites known as redirection services. In
some ways, they can be used to hide where a message is
coming from and going to, but do have other purposes. For
example, one can frequently change ISPs based on
availability in local areas and price, but keep a constant
address with a redirection service. These services might
also provide things like a personal web site, useful software,
and online storage.
I live in Chicago, Illinois and use a redirection service in
California. My ISP also is in California. If I receive a
message, it is somehow sent to the redirection service in
California; it then goes through my ISP; then to a POP
somewhere in Chicago; then through my telephone switch
center about three or four miles from where I live; and
eventually to my computer.
The person sending me the message might live nearby,
but use a different ISP. While the telephone switching
center might be the same, the POP and ISP locations would
be different. Another major ISP is located in Minnesota.
Different trunk line connections would be used to send the
message there and then over to by redirection service in
A small ISP might go directly into the trunk lines or work
through a larger wholesale ISP. Various capacity heavy
duty lines go to the ISPs which break down the capacity for
individual users. The smallest of these heavy lines is
known as a T1 and could be sufficient for a small ISP. A
larger ISP or a POP for a major ISP might use a T3 line.
Single user service over a T3 line would make normal
broadband service look extremely slow, but costs thousands
of dollars per month.
All of these connections take place in seconds.
Government entities, schools, large businesses, and
some others might connect in to the Internet in other ways.
Internet Connections cont. on page 16
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2007, Page 15
Internet Connections cont. from page 14
A unit of government
might have a connection
to the Internet through a
major ISP or might
connect more directly into
the trunk lines.
In Illinois, all Internet
service for agencies
under the governor is
supposed to go through a
Department of Central
Management Services. A
worker in Chicago searching for something at another site
in Chicago would have to go through Springfield. The
central agency probably connects to the trunk lines. The
central agency for a state that centralizes its computer
operations, as does Illinois, might be a computer operations
agency or the state library.
Even municipalities might go through a state service.
For example, to get to the Brooklyn Museum site at one
time, one had go through a single site that served the entire
State of New York. I tried this once from a Chicago Public
Library public computer and received the message that
the New York state computer was down; I then had to go
the old fashioned encyclopedia that was on a shelf about
10 feet away to learn what I wanted.
Firewalls are used to protect data inside a network from
outside tampering or prying. They can also be used to
control what gets out. Firewalls can be set up at various
levels to control access. In the other direction, if I send a
message about something to one of my doctors, it will
reach them among other messages on their hospital
computers; but I cannot get in to see confidential
information. One of the hospital systems, VA, can retrieve
medical records across country, but no one else can get in.
The other can exchange records among three hospitals
and numerous scattered clinic sites.
Schools often act as small to moderate size ISPs. Faculty,
staff, and students usually have internet privileges through
the school. The schools might connect directly through
the trunk, a large ISP, a state service, or another school.
The main state university might serve as a central point for
other schools in the state and have a direct connection to
the trunk.
(The articles to follow in this series are concerned with
Internet addressing, or how the system knows where to
send things, and the services, such as e-mail, that are
Hilton Kaufman serves as the technical support person
for the procedures writing unit of an Illinois state agency,
where higher level technical support personnel are
concerned with the details of Internet connections and
services. As such, he uses the software provided to him to
create forms, convert documents into PDFs, advise
members of his unit as to how to use the available
software, and similar tasks. For his home computer, he
can go all out and get a powerful machine that allows him
to do things like playing games and surf the web without
getting in trouble. He has prepared a number of articles
aimed at novice users on the basics of standard computer
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see email address above).
Alphabetize Your IE Favorites
Folders & Links
If you’re running Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP and
Internet Explorer 5 or up, your solution is simple. Open
the Favorites menu (in the top Menu bar) and right-click
any item located underneath the Organize Favorites
line. Then, choose Sort By Name. Keep in mind this will
alphabetize the items you see in the Favorites menu, not
items within folders in the Favorites menu. To alphabetize
the contents of a folder in Favorites, open the folder,
right-click an item, and choose Sort By Name from the
pop-up menu. Common mistake: DO NOT try these
right-click steps in the Favorites shortcut window at the
left side of your browser. These steps will only work
within the drop-down menu that appears when you click
“Favorites” in the top menu bar. When you add an item
to your Favorites menu, you’ll need to select Sort By
Name again to get that item in alphabetical order.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit to learn what
Smart Computing can do for you and your user group!
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558-0286
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