COMPUTER NEWS New Products and Software to Be

COMPUTER NEWS  New Products and Software to Be
Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558
COMPUTER
NEWS
Volume 24, No. 2
Inside This Issue:
2 President’s Message
2 Special Interest Groups
2 Calendar
3 Officers List
4 Winmail.dat Attachments
5 The Electronic Waste Act
6 Should You Upgrade to Vista?
8 Stop! Think! Click!
10 Vista Vexes
11 NeatReceipts Scanalyzer
12 Buying an HDTV?
13 Windows XP Services Manager
14 Laptop Desk
16 Protecting Outlook Express E-mail
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 577 computers and 136 printers. Additional equipment has been
given to charitable nonprofit organizations and disadvantaged individuals.
February, 2007
New Products and Software to Be
Demonstrated at February 21 Meeting
The Napa Valley Personal Computer Users group will meet
Wednesday, February 21, 7:00-9:00 p.m., at the Napa Senior Activity
Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa, California.
In the main presentation David B. Whittle will demonstrate or introduce products of general appeal to computer users. "Whittle's Picks" are hidden gems from companies large
and small, old and new, with outstanding, innovative offerings
— including Muvee™ Technologies (www.muvee.com),
Lenovo (formerly IBM) Thinkpad (www.thinkpad.com),
Zip*Linq (www.ziplinq.com), and the Invisus PC Security
Solution (myinvisusdirect.com/user- groups. Whittle is the David Whittle
author of Cyberspace: The Human Dimension and was named by Working
Woman Magazine as "one of America's most original technological thinkers." He writes for Smart Computing. Dave will introduce some of his favorite technologies, products, and services that help resolve problems for
computer users and others. He will provide time for questions and will
bring valuable door prizes, informative handouts, and actual products for
sale at significantly discounted prices arranged exclusively for user groups.
Preceding the main presentation, Jerry Brown will lead the Random
Access portion of the meeting with an open-floor question-and-answer period, during which attendees can ask questions about computers and computer-related problems and receive helpful information from other meeting
attendees. (Don’t forget that you can also e-mail your questions to Jerry
Brown before coming to the meeting: [email protected]).
Following this, there will be a Computer Tutor session at which Jeff
Solomon, Computer Tutor coordinator, will discuss online encyclopedias
like Encarta, Wikipedia, and the Britannica and how to get the most out of
them.
Could you use some practical information that would help you make
better use of your computer? Come to this meeting! Guests are welcome; admission is free.
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 1
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
i n f or m a ti on , s e e o u r W e b s i t e ,
www.nvpcug.org, or contact the SIG leaders.
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]
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]
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]
OK, it's February and things are moving pretty fast. Back in May of
2002 we received our IRS Advanced Ruling granting us temporary
501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt status. Well, that ruling expired on December 31,
2006. We have ninety days from that date to submit the documentation
necessary to get a final ruling on our tax status.
Roy Wagner, as our Treasurer and CFO, is taking on the brunt of
the work. Marcia Waddell, as our Secretary and official keeper of the records, will also carry part of that responsibility. Yours truly has and will do
my share as well. First I want to thank both Roy and Marcia for taking on
this formidable task.
Upon contacting the IRS we were surprised to find that we not only
have to report our “membership dues” but any and all donations, contributions, sales, raffles, drawings, collections, or any items we have received
from any source since May 24, 2002 and the remainder of the last five (5)
years. That includes donations of computer equipment to our CTS program. Whether the group actually gained by receiving any of these is not
pertinent to the issue. Coming up with fair market value for the many donated items will be interesting. Oh, didn’t I mention that we have to do that
also? The IRS is looking at our “funding.” They will take the total of all
our “income” and determine if at least over 33⅓ percent of the total proceeds were received from the general public. That will determine our
status. The next few months will certainly be interesting. If you can help
Roy or Marcia in this endeavor please let them know. You can reach Roy
at [email protected] and Marcia at [email protected]
There are many advantages to keeping our tax-exempt status, including receiving donations, grants, and contributions; being able to purchase
insurance; renting use of the Napa Senior Activity Center; holding raffles
and drawings; not being required to collect sales taxes; and many others.
I made a slipstreamed bootable CD of WinXP-SP2 with updates the
other day, and it took some work and time. I can make a disk with the information and programs necessary to make your own CD, and the group
can sell them for whatever the board feels is a reasonable amount. You
would only need your WinXP CD, a CD-R/W drive, a blank CD-R, and this
CD to slipstream your own. What you get from this is a way of installing
XP with the Service Packs and updates already included, so you don’t have
to install XP, then install SP2, then log on to the Internet and start
downloading and installing all the updates. Interested? Let me know at
[email protected]
Got any ideas to improve the group, programs, presentations, meetings, or SIGs? Let me know. I hope to see each of
you at our February 21 meeting. Ron.
NVPCUG Calendar
Wednesdays
February 21
March
7
March
8
March
12
March
14
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
6:30-9:00 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
Computers-to-Schools work parties. To volunteer, contact Orion Hill, (707) 252-0637.
NVPCUG General Meeting,
Napa
Board of Directors meeting, Piner’s Nursing Home, 1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Macintosh SIG meeting, Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson St., Napa
Investors SIG meeting, Jerry Brown’s home, 23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
Digital Photography SIG meeting, Piner’s Nursing Home, 1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 2
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
Officers for 2006
Board of Directors
President
Ron Dack
[email protected]
Vice President
Jerry Brown
254-9607
[email protected]
Secretary
Marcia Waddell
252-2060
[email protected]
Treasurer
Roy Wagner
253-2721
[email protected]
Other Directors:
Susy Ball, Jim Gillespie, Bernhard Krevet, Ken Manfree, Dick Peterson, Dianne Prior, Bob Simmerman, Kathy Slavens, Jeff Solomon,
James Stirling, Dean Unruh
Come to the NVPCUG
General Meetings
7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Appointed Officers
Computer Recycling
Coordinator
Computer Tutor
Coordinator
Computers-to-Schools
Program Coordinator
Facility Arrangements
Coordinator
Greeter Coordinator
Librarian
Membership Director
Mentor Program
Coordinator
Newsletter Circulator
Newsletter Editor
Product Review Coord.
Product Review Coord.
Programs Director
Publicity Director
Random Access Moderator
Special Projects Director
Webmaster
Ken Manfree
Held the third Wednesday of each month
224-3901
Jeff Solomon
[email protected]
[email protected]
Orion E. Hill
252-0637
[email protected]
Dianne Prior
252-1506
[email protected]
Bob Simmerman
Dean Unruh
Dianne Prior
Dick Peterson
259-6113
226-9164
252-1506
259-1712
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Jim Hearn
James Stirling
Susy Ball
Marcia Waddell
Susy Ball
Ron Dack
Jerry Brown
Jeff Solomon
Ron Dack
224-2540
944-1177
337-3998
252-2060
337-3998
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
254-9607
Napa Senior Activities
Center
1500 Jefferson Street,
Napa
*All telephone numbers are in Area Code 707.
NVPCUG 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
94558-0286. Subscriptions: $30 for one year (12 issues ). Editor: James Stirling, [email protected] The material in Computer News is intended for
noncommercial 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
information.
The NVPCUG is an IRC 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit educational organization (EIN 68-0069663) and is a member of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG), an international organization. Donations to the NVPCUG are tax-deductible as charitable contributions to the extent allowed
by law. Copyright © 2007 by NVPCUG.
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 3
Winmail.dat Attachments
By Susy Ball, NVPCUG Programs Director
Since I am one of those nonconformists who don't use
Outlook or Outlook Express and instead use AOL, I am forever getting those pesky winmail.dat attachments that I
can’t open. But a short time ago I found a way to do so, using kopf.com.br/winmail. I learned about this when I began
receiving e-mail from a friend in Fresno who had not been
used to sending winmail.dat attachments. This program does
not read other *.dat files on your computer, nor does it read
all winmail.dat files, but it is worth a try. And it is better to
try than to say you didn’t get the attachment when you
really did. Sometimes the attachment reveals something like
a .doc or maybe even a PDF.
I was very excited about this find. I think it might be
worth a try for those who do not use Outlook or Outlook
Express.
Go to http://www.kopf.com.br/winmail/ for your free
download.
Product Review Requests
Please remember that all requests for review products
should go through the reviews coordinators. Many vendors
do not like or even accept unofficial requests for their software. Anyone who makes a request for a review product
will be expected to write a review in a timely fashion for our
newsletter.
A couple of times we have supplied members of our
group with review products who have not come through
with a writeup. Vendors tend to keep track of products they
have sent out, and when they see no evidence of such a review they sometimes respond by blacklisting the group until
a review is forthcoming, or by flat-out denying any further
requests.
At this time the Co-review coordinators are Susy Ball
and Marcia Waddell, and they have products to be reviewed. Their e-mails are [email protected]
and
[email protected], or you can reach them at [email protected] or [email protected]
Now, we by no means want to discourage members
from reviewing new products; actually quite the opposite.
We want only to facilitate your requests for products to try
out for the edification of the rest of us. And remember, as a
result of writing a review, the product is yours to do with as
you see fit. (which means that you may honestly keep it or
give it away.)
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 4
The Electronic Waste Act
By Ken Manfree, NVPCUG Computer Recycling Coordinator
On September 29, 2004 the California State Senate
passed an Electronic Waste Act (SB20 and SB50). The act
required each retailer, starting January 1, 2005, to collect
a fee for electronic equipment with video display devises
when it is sold to a California resident. The fee is being
used to reimburse companies and organizations for costs
that are incurred in the recycle process.
Fee amounts
Viewable screen size, measured diagonally
Fee
More than four inches but less than 15 inches…..$ 6.00
At least 15 inches but less than 35 inches ………$ 8.00
35 inches or more ………………………………$10.00
Multiple agencies and laws govern the disposal of ewaste in California. Primarily the governing regulations of
disposing of e-waste come under the Health and Safety
Code. The controlling agencies are the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) and the Department of Toxic Substance Control. (DTSC) The State
Board of Equalization administers the moneys.
There are two categories used in the disposal of ewaste, one is a “Collector” and the other is a “Recycler.”
A Collector is a person who collects and ships e-waste. A
Recycler is a person who processes e-waste; this may include the reclaiming of precious metals or devices. A Recycler also can mean someone who refurbishes devises for
reuse. A person or an organization that handles 5 or more
electronic devices comes under the jurisdiction of the Integrated Waste Management Board.
Locally, Napa Recycling and Waste Services, Goodwill Stores and Salvation Army Stores are among the
many organizations that have qualified under SB20/ SB50
to be a certified E-waste Collector. Recyclers of Fresno
and The Computer Recycling Center of Santa Rosa are
qualified as Recyclers. There are presently 49 companies
that are certified as recyclers in California.
SB 20/SB 50 provides $0.28 for each pound of qualified recycle material. This money is the force that is driving fund-raising by nonprofit organizations. Qualified
Collectors and Recyclers are actively recruiting nonprofit
organizations to host e-waste recycle events. The first
fund-raiser event was by The Goodwill Industries of San
Diego and a local Cub Scout Pack. The event was successful and paved the way for many in the recycling industry to formulate similar programs.
The SB20/SB50
has set into motion the expansion of the E-waste industry.
Universal Waste Management is a company formed in
2005 to participate in e-waste recycling .UWM has been
certified as an E-waste Collector. The company has taken
an aggressive position in the recruitment of local nonprofits to use the moneys from e-waste as a fund-raiser.
Nonprofits provide three valuable assets. First, the
nonprofit provides a community face for the recycling.
Next is a location where e-waste can be collected. Additionally, the law requires record keeping; ensuring that all
the products being recycled are from California. These
three requirements make teaming up, between a nonprofit
and a certified Collector, a practical solution for recycling.
The City of Napa has spent city funds for recycling.
Previous years the cost of the June Recycling event, according to City of Napa Recycling, has been up to
$120,000 per year. Future events, with the funds generated by SB20/SB50, may be self-supporting or profitable
to the City of Napa. The July 2006 issue of the Napa
County AT&T Telephone Book has a large section on
Recycling. It is a handy reference for everyone.
The
City of Napa owns the land at 820 Levitin Way. Napa
Recycling and Waste Services are using the land by a
contract with the city and county. Any resident of the
State of California can drop off e-waste material at the
facility at no cost. So if you have a TV or computer that is
useless and you want to dispose of it, take it to the Napa
Recycle and Waste Services location.
SB20/SB50 has changed the landscape for e-waste
recycling. Prior to the law most recycling was mandated
by punishment for people who illegally disposed of waste
and hazardous materials. Now the landscape has various
organizations vying to recycle e-waste. Since SB20/SB50
has paved the way for financial benefit of video display
devises, we can expect future laws to have similar surcharges for other hazardous waste.
How to Get Linspire for Free
Linspire is providing APCUG member groups with a free
downloadable copy of Linspire 5.0 Version 2.0 ($49.95 value) in
ISO format. Linspire 5.0 can be downloaded until March 1st. Use
this link to download the program: www.linspire.com/apcug
No coupon code is needed. After going to the Web page,
click the checkout button. If you do not already have a Linspire
account, you will need to create one. Click the continue buttons
until you get to the download directions page. NOTE: Linspire is
provided in ISO boot image format. You will need to use your
CD-ROM burning software to burn the image to a CD-ROM that
can then be booted. Linspire provides directions on its download
page.
Judy Taylour, Chair of the Benefits and Services Committee
of the APCUG, says, “You are receiving these discount offers as a
benefit of your user group’s membership in APCUG. APCUG
does not endorse any company offering discounts, but makes these
offers available as a service to its members.”
Editor’s Note: Until you get the free Linspire account,
you will get nowhere in this process. When they send you assurance that you are a registered user, you can make progress in the
download process. They caution that you really ought to have DSL
or similar bandwidth speed. To take advantage of the process
here, give yourself a little time; it is not a simple one-click
download. But I think you will find the effort worthwhile. JS
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 5
Should You Upgrade to Vista?
Written by Brian K. Lewis, Ph.D., a member of the Sarasota PCUG, Florida http://www.spcug.org
As regular readers of this column know, I have been
using the beta version(s) of Vista and writing about my
experience. I'll grant you that I haven't covered every aspect of the Vista experience. However, it is difficult to
touch on everything in an operating system as massive as
this. The best I can do is pass on comments on the parts I
use frequently. As to the answer to the upgrade question –
it's “maybe.” I'll give you some of the pros and cons related to my experience.
In deciding whether or not to upgrade you need to
determine if your hardware is adequate to run Vista. The
system I am using has 768 MB of RDRAM, a 1.2 GHz
Intel processor, an NVIDIA GeForce 2 MMX video card
and an 80 GB hard drive. Frankly, I don't think you would
want anything less. A faster processor combined with 1
GB of RAM would be the minimum in most situations.
You will also need a DVD drive, as Vista will be sold on
DVDs only. From what I have learned it appears that Microsoft will produce only one DVD, but it will contain all
the consumer versions of Vista. When you pay for the
Vista Basic version and start the installation, the product
key that you have to enter tells the setup program which
version to install. Then if you decide you need to upgrade
to a version with more bells and whistles, you get a new
product key that unlocks and installs the upgrade version
you paid for. I've already seen some comments on the Web
that the hackers will be paying for Vista Basic and then
will hack the DVD to install the Ultimate version. Let's
hope not!
So if you have sufficient hardware then you can go to
the next step. What is there about Vista that's better than
XP? (Note that if you are still running Win98 or WinMe,
plan on upgrading. Both Vista and XP are vastly superior
to either of these older, nonsupported operating systems.)
One thing I found that I really like is Vista's ability to go to
the Internet to find device drivers for hardware. It did this
very successfully for my sound system. I also installed an
external hard drive that usually requires me to dig out the
manufacturer's disk to get the necessary drivers. XP frequently forgot the driver and would have to reinstall it
whenever I plugged the drive into the USB port. When I
plugged the drive into a USB port on my Vista computer,
there wasn't even the usual found new hardware notice. So
I went looking and in “Computer” I found the hard drive
identified and was able to access the file on it. So I just
went ahead and did a complete backup. Vista's backup
software found the drive and did the complete backup in
the background while I continued working. This process
did not work with my Epson scanner. Vista did some
searching and then said I needed to visit the manufacturer’s Web site to see if software was available. So you
can see that this Internet process doesn’t work with all
hardware.
Another thing I like in Vista is the added security. I
don't like that the firewall is only a one-way blocker, but
the scheduled daily parasite check is valuable when you
have a cable or DSL connection to the Internet. I don't find
the User Account Control (UAC) system to be intrusive, as
some others have reported. Even when I am working in the
Administrator account it is not a problem. I think having to
enter a password to carry out operations that affect the system/registry is a good idea. It is one more barrier for any
malware to overcome. In addition, when I am working in
User mode and want to install a new application, I don't
have to remember to right-click the install file and select
“Run As.” Instead, when I double-click the file I get a permissions window with the Administrator name and a box
to enter the password. It’s a much easier and quicker way
to get on with the installation.
I also like the change that has been made in the Start/
All programs menu. It keeps you from having to search
through multiple columns of programs to find the one you
want. Scrolling through a single column list is something I
find easier to do. For new computer users, the use of an
icon in place of a “Start” button may not be intuitive.
However, placing your cursor on the icon does cause the
word “Start” to pop up just above the icon. One of the interesting little facets is the speed with which informative
small windows pop up when you place your cursor on an
icon. There is really no apparent delay, which is quite
helpful.
Another change I like is that there is a search box in
every directory window. You don't have to go back to the
Start menu to initiate a search. Also, your searches can
easily be saved. You have the options in each window to
select files to burn to a CD/DVD, e-mail, or print. These
selections are made using a menu across the top of the
window.
When it comes to CD/DVD burning, there is one aspect I don't like. That is that the default mode calls for formatting the CD or DVD so that it functions like a removable drive. Microsoft refers to this as the “Live File System”. The problem with this is that the CD/DVD may not
be readable in other computers. Their warning implies that
the “Live File System” can be read in computers using the
Windows XP operating system. However, I found this to be
inaccurate, at least as far as the beta versions were concerned. It may be different in the final release version.
You can change the formatting method to “Mastered.”
This is the usual way you burn a CD/DVD by copying all
the files for that disk at one time. CD/DVDs formatted for
the “Live File System” can have files added by “dragging
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 6
and dropping”. You can also add and erase files. However, on a non-rewriteable disk the file is still there even
though it is not accessible. Frankly, there are other
burner software programs that I prefer. The third-party
programs also work much faster than the Vista application.
In Windows XP when you have a file folder open
you can move or copy a file that has been selected.
When you click on the move or copy icon on the right
side of the window you get a browse window which allows you to select a destination either on your local
computer or a computer on your network. Vista does not
have this function. To move a file or files, you must first
select them to be copied. Then you have to go to the destination window and select paste from the right-click
menu with your mouse. Then it's back to the original
window to delete the files you have copied to the new
location. If that sounds like a roundabout procedure,
well it is. The XP procedure is cleaner, faster and easier.
Networking is another area where there have been
some improvements made. However, if you have a network with both XP and Vista computers, there are still
some bugs that have to be worked around. The Windows
Help files have eliminated the references related to networking with XP computers. There are no references to
the fact that the new Internet protocol, IPv6, needs to be
installed on XP computers for them to be networked
with Vista computers. I couldn’t even find the Web page
reference in the Help file that give me the details on installing IPv6 on XP computers. Again, this may be
changed in the final version, or the current build I'm using may not need to have IPv6 installed on the XP computers.
The biggest drawback I see to Vista is the pricing.
The $99.95 upgrade for the Home version is the same as
with XP Home. Except, this lowest-cost upgrade gives
you only Vista Home Basic. This version has fewer capabilities than does XP Home. The version of Vista that
comes closest to matching XP Home is Vista Home Premium, and it carries a premium price; $150 to upgrade.
Vista Home Basic lacks the Windows Media Center,
DVD video software, and wireless networking provisioning. This latter capability, if available, would provide automatic configuration of laptops in WiFi hotspots. Vista Home Basic does not allow for scheduled
backups and does not include backup to a network device. Neither Basic nor Premium allow for image-based
backups. They also do not support motherboards with
two processor sockets. How this will play out with the
Intel Core 2 Duo processors, I really don't know. Vista
Home Basic also does not have the new Aero graphic
interface. That is found only in the Home Premium,
Business and Ultimate versions. Unfortunately, I can’t
tell you about the Aero interface as my computer doesn’t
support it.
Vista Business is the next higher-priced version. It
is $199.99 for the upgrade. Although it has the imagebased backup capability and wireless networking provisioning, it lacks Media Center capability as well as the
Movie Maker and Video production capabilities. You
would have to obtain third-party software for these functions if you have a need for them.
So if your only interest in using a computer is for email, Web surfing, and word processing, then you might
be satisfied with Vista Basic. However, you would be
just as well off to stick with XP Home for the time being. If you are running a small business from your home
you would probably be quite satisfied with Vista Home
Premium. So who would need Vista Business or Ultimate? The business version might be useful in a small
business with a wired or wireless LAN or where employees require laptops with wireless functions. It also
has integrated Fax & Scan software. However, if you
needed the Movie Maker, Media Center, or video production capability, then you would have to move up to
Ultimate. That has an upgrade price of $259.
If you are concerned about the security of Windows
XP and the frequent security patches Microsoft has to
release, then you can consider that Vista is more secure.
That doesn't mean it will never need security patching.
Quite the contrary. Any OS, especially one as complex
as Vista, will have hackers attempting to find its weak
points; and that will result in the need for security
patches.
My concluding thoughts on this are that you will
eventually have to move to Vista, unless you want to try
an alternate OS such as a Linux version or a Macintosh
OS. There are emulator programs for both Linux and
Macintosh that permit you to run most Windows software. If you aren’t one who always needs the “latest and
greatest,” then you might consider waiting until you purchase a new computer with Vista pre-installed. I certainly wouldn't recommend that anyone rush out and
upgrade as soon as Vista hits the market. Wait a while,
possibly until the first patches are available or further
reviews of the final market version are available. There
also may be some “street pricing” that will lower your
cost of upgrading. Vista appears to be an improvement
over XP, but for the average user it is not a “great leap
forward.”
Dr. Lewis is a former university and medical school professor. He has been working with personal computers for
more than thirty years. He can be reached via e-mail at:
[email protected]
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups has provided this article.
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 7
Stop! Think! Click!
By Lou Torraca, President. the MOAA Hawaii Chapter Computer User Group, Hawaii
http://www.the-tug.org president(at)the-tug.org
The world has changed. Today we can work, check
bank balances, book travel, research medical questions,
talk to friends and family members, order books and music, bid on auction items, and even buy a car without leaving home, thanks to the Internet. However, the Internet is
not without hazards. The Internet and the anonymity it
affords can give online scammers, hackers, and identity
thieves access to your computer, personal information,
finances and more.
With many of you shopping on the Internet, I wanted
to provide an update on that Internet bugaboo: Security!
First of all, for those of you who are concerned about using your credit cards for Internet purchases, a couple of
things to consider: first, most CC companies have a $50
maximum amount for which you are liable if someone
uses your number without your permission. In fact, many
have a $0 liability policy, sometimes tied to a requirement
that you report the use within a certain time frame. So,
step 1 should be to check with your CC customer service
and find out what the policy is. Also, it is possible with
many CCs to get a one-time use number that might be a
new account number, or just the 3-digit number on the reverse side of your card. Check with the CC company or
the issuing bank. Obviously, you will want to check your
CC account regularly to see if any bogus charges have
been added. This is pretty easy if you setup an online account, and even easier if your issuing bank or CC company has an alert setup that will notify you if an unusual
charge appears. Remember that all the other security
measures that affect your computer, e.g. antivirus, antispy/malware, firewall, updating your operating system,
etc. further ensure your safety. A good reference is:
www.microsoft.com/athome/security/viruses.
Protect your privacy and personal information online;
if you are asked for personal information such as your
name, e-mail, address, telephone number, account numbers, or Social Security number, find out how the information is going to be used before you share it. Find out how
the requester protects your personal information. Remember, it is your information.
Whether you are shopping, banking, or conducting
other business online, do not provide your personal or financial information through a company’s Web site until
you have checked for indicators that the site is secure.
Look for “https” in the Web address (the “s” stands for
secure). Look for a padlock or an unbroken key in the
lower right corner of the status bar. Double-click the padlock or key to ensure that the “issued by” name on the security certificate matches the name in the address bar.
If you get an e-mail or pop-up message asking for
personal information, do not reply or click on the link in
the message. If you think there may be a need to provide
information to the requester (you have an account with the
company or have placed an order) contact the company
directly by telephone. Do not send your personal information via e-mail; it is not a secure transmission method.
Here is an excellent place to learn about phishing:
www.microsoft.com/athome/security
Anyone can set up shop online. It is a good practice
to know with whom you are dealing and what you are getting into. Proceed with caution in your online activities. If
you shop online, check out the seller before you buy. A
legitimate business or individual seller should give you a
physical address and a working telephone number you can
call in case you have problems. Call the telephone number
before you buy. Never send cash, personal checks or
money orders for online purchases. Check out the terms of
the deal, like refund policies and delivery dates. The law
requires sellers to ship items as promised, or within 30
days after the order date if no specific date is promised.
Delete junk e-mail without opening the message. If
you open the e-mail, it can alert the spammer that the address is good. Never reply to spam. This includes responding to an option to “Remove me from your list.” Do not
buy anything or give to any charity marketing through
spam. Spammers may swap or sell e-mail addresses of
their customers. If you make a purchase as the result of a
spam e-mail, it may result in more spam. Do not forward
chain e-mail messages. You lose control over who sees
your e-mail address. You might also be forwarding a hoax
aiding in the delivery of a virus.
Passwords are the key to unlocking your computer
and online accounts. A strong password provides better
security against hackers and thieves. Strong passwords
should be over eight characters in length, combine letters,
numbers, and symbols, and should avoid using common
words. Do not use your name, your spouse’s name, your
birthday or location. Change your passwords regularly or
at least every 90 days.
Do not use the same password for each online account you use. Keep your passwords secret. Do not give
passwords out to family or friends or send your passwords
over e-mail. Do not enable the “Save Password Option” if
you receive a dialog box asking you if you would like the
computer to remember your password. Do not store written passwords on or near your computer.
Record passwords and store in a safe, secure place.
One way to create a strong and memorable password is to
think of a “pass phrase.” Think of a phrase that is easy to
remember like “I save my pennies for a rainy day.” Use
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 8
the first letter of each word as your password, converting
some letters into numbers that resemble letters; for example “Ism¢4ard.” Notice the combination of upper and
lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
Pay attention to what kids do and whom they meet
online. Consider a rule that no child reveals personal information, including photos, without permission. Warn kids
never to meet Internet “friends” in person. Parental controls are provided by most Internet Service Providers, or
sold as separate software. No software can substitute for
parental supervision. Talk to your kids and/or grandkids
about safe computing as well as things they are seeing and
doing online.
Stop and think before you click; before you provide
information, open files or attachments, or download files
from unknown senders, take a minute to stop and think.
Free downloads can contain spyware. To avoid it,
resist the urge to install any software unless you know exactly what it is. You can install anti-spyware software and
then use it regularly to scan for and delete spyware. E-mail
attachments and links sent over e-mail will not damage
your computer without your participation. You have to
open an e-mail or attachment that includes a virus or fol-
Fun with Freeware
Written by Cary Quinn, a member of the Pikes Peak Computer
Application Society, Colorado http://ppcompas.apcug.org/
Here are a couple of utilities I have been using lately to
correct bumps in the road to a positive Windows experience.
OverDisk (v0.11 beta) (freeware)
http://users.forthnet.gr/pat/efotinis/programs/overdisk.ht
ml
Elias Fotinis, a programmer from Greece, is one of
those programmers you often find on the Net who in their
spare time write little apps and utilities to solve some personal issue they might have in getting the operating system,
or some other program, to work the way they want it to.
One of the programs he has written is a disk space
monitor called Overdisk. It basically scans a drive or folders of your choice and tells you how much space is being
taken up by the files therein. One special difference with
Overdisk though, is the way it graphs that data to your
screen.
Instead of representing the files as a pie chart, or bar
graph, Overdisk shows a breakdown of folders and files as
a series of concentric rings, as if you were looking down
onto the disk itself and seeing the files laid out below. But
it's even better than that.
When you mouse-over a particular section of the chart,
a tool tip window will appear to give you more information
low a link to a site that is programmed to infect your computer. Do not open an e-mail attachment unless you expect
it and know what it contains. You can help others trust
your attachments by including a message in your text that
explains what you are attaching.
“Instant messaging” is a form of online communication like e-mail. You can type messages to someone and
they can see the messages almost immediately. Files attached to instant messages can also contain viruses. In
most cases, viruses spread when you open an infected file
attached to an instant message appearing to come from
someone you know.
Finally, two things: share your knowledge with others
so that they will be more vigilant on the ‘net, and report
abuses, including spam, via the Federal Trade Commission
http://www.ftc.gov, your Internet Service Provider and
your bank or credit union. Most have addresses to use that
may begin with phishing, abuse or spoof. Check their Web
pages for the correct one.
Remember to be careful out there on the ‘net!
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal
Computer User Groups has provided this article.
about that particular folder (size, number of subdirectories,
and number of files); and if you click on a specific point of
the chart you can drill down to get the same information for
individual files. Clicking on the center of the chart takes
you back up the directory path, or you can click on the tree
view on the side of the screen to better select a particular
folder to view.
I find this utility most useful when trying to identify
what parts of a drive need to have a cleanup, or which folders I need to prioritize for backups.
Taskbar Shuffle (free, but accepting donations)
http://www.freewebs.com/nerdcave/taskbarshuffle.
htm
From the home of the nerd cave, comes a pretty nifty
little tool that answers a minor nit I have had with the Windows Taskbar for a while—why you cannot drag and drop
the programs listed on the taskbar to better arrange your
programs to your preference. With Taskbar Shuffle, you
can. That seems pretty simple, and it appears to work quite
seamlessly within the OS.
The utility leaves an icon running on your system tray
that you can use to turn it on or off, or close it down completely. I've been using it for a few months, and haven't
noticed conflicts with other windows or programs that
would cause me to want to shut it off.
[email protected]
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal
Computer User Groups has provided this article.
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 9
Vista Vexes
The Windows Vista Pains’n’Gains Page
Written by Jan Fagerholm, Assistant Editor, PC Community jan-f(at)pacbell.net
OK, so I’ve suffered through the betas and RC1 and
RC2 (Release Candidate = not quite done yet), and now
through two succeeding RTMs (Release To Manufacturing
= the finished product) So what’s the final version of Windows Vista finally like? Is it worth the pain of upgrade?
I’m not going to spend much time telling you how
pretty the Aero interface is, or how cool the Flip3D task
switcher is – the computer press has already given lots of
space to these features. I intend to relate some experiences
with hardware and software that I have encountered. I’ll
mainly focus on the stumbling blocks, as these are the reasons that you may want to wait until the problems that relate to you are resolved. If you went through the XP
changeover five years ago, you are in for a similar experience with Vista.
I’ve previously written bits about Vista and done
Vista presentations for PCC, and now hope to provide you
with some insights gained from experience with the final
version. What I can offer here is some real-world experience with hardware and software support, as well as a perspective gained from a programmer’s view of the workings of Vista and how it affects you through the interface,
as well as a comparison to other OSs that I regularly use,
Linux and Macintosh OSX.
I am an unabashed Linux geek, so what am I doing
messing with Vista? I tell myself that I need to know Vista
because my Windows clients are going to ask me about it,
and I need to give them a better answer than Microsoft’s
marketing department will give them. I participated in the
beta program and even rejoined MSDN (Microsoft Developers Network) for the carrots they offered, one of which
was a downloadable .ISO image of the final RTM version
when it was released to MSDN on Nov. 17th. There is
some real-world pain involved with upgrading to Vista,
and I’d like to relate some of these experiences, for you
shall certainly share my pain if you decide to go with Vista
the minute it hits the street.
First, a bit of background on Vista: five years in the
making, yet still rushed to finish on time. The Upgrade
Install bug in the Nov. 8th RTM release, which destroyed
existing XP installations, was fixed and the RTM was rereleased on MSDN on Nov. 17th. This RTM version is the
one that is going to computer manufacturers so they can
preinstall it on the computers they sell.
After all this introduction, let’s get on to some hard
information. Bear in mind that I am talking about the final
version of Vista, not the beta or RC versions.
Though I mentioned this previously, it’s worth mentioning again because it will affect everybody. Vista has a
new security feature called “User Account Control” that is
intended to protect the system from “unauthorized
changes” that can affect the system or other user’s settings,
particularly from malware and spyware. It does this by
popping a dialog in your face every time something tries
to write to certain system or user folders. It also does this
whenever you attempt to do a normal software installation
even if you are logged in on an administrator account. It
came up during installation of Microsoft, Adobe and Corel
software. In the case of Adobe and Corel software, it also
made the installation fail, even though I told it to allow the
changes during installation. Installation of this software
did not succeed until I turned off User Account Control.
To turn off User Account Control, go to Start -> Control
Panel -> User Accounts -> and click the link for “Turn
User Account Control on or off”. Once you have turned it
off, Security Center will complain that it is off, and penalize you by reminding you it is off every time you log on to
the system, but this is a small price to pay for normalizing
the system.
Among the hardware that you can expect to lose with
Vista is the ubiquitous Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1
series of sound cards. Vista has a two-channel audio driver
for the card, but you lose 5.1 surround sound and the game
port. Thus, I not only lose 6-channel capability of my $100
5.1 Surround speaker system, I also lose the use of my
$120 Microsoft Force Feedback Pro joystick. Creative’s
Web site says they do not plan Vista support for the Live!
5.1 series of sound cards – I must upgrade to at least a
$150 X-Fi card to get back both of these capabilities. I am
not pleased, as I have Live! 5.1 cards in two of my computers.
Judging from manufacturers’ Web sites, many scanners are going to be abandoned under Vista as well. This is
similar to what happened when XP came out. (i.e. The
manufacturer chose not to write an XP driver for the scanner.) My HP ScanJet 6300C doesn’t work in Vista, and
HP’s Web site is depressingly silent about scanner support
in Vista. Of the twenty or so different scanners of different
make that I have plugged into Vista, none of them over
two years old would work.
Printer support, on the other hand, is quite good.
Judging from the printer database, it looks like almost everything that works under XP will also work in Vista. The
Vista drivers are as rudimentary as XP’s though -- you will
need to get the manufacturers’ drivers for high-resolution
printing in many cases.
Early returns are in on Vista. Many of the developer
forums that I belong to are abuzz with Vista experiences,
from installation to device support .
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal
Computer User Groups has provided this article.
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 10
NeatReceipts Scanalyzer
Written by Mike Wayte, a member of the Boeing Employees Computer Society, Washington
http://www.becs-wa.org
mikejwsr(at)comcast.net
The Scanalyzer by NeatReceipts is a hardware/software
package that allows you to organize the paper products in
your life. It is specifically geared to copying, analyzing,
organizing and filing receipts (with provisions to identify
and present Income Tax information) and business cards,
and copying, sorting and storing documents.
One might say, I store my receipts and tax information
in a file cabinet, my business cards in a cardholder and my
documents in notebooks—why do I need a Scanalyzer?
Those thoughts were on my mind as I read the information on their Web site. But the more I read, the more intrigued I became with the description of their product. After a few calls, one showed up on my doorstep.
Let’s start with first impressions: the scanner is small. I
thought, yes, it is small, but I already have a scanner, why
do I need this one? It is very portable. If you travel, you
can plug this into your laptop via the USB cable and you
are ready to copy and organize your expense receipts, catalogue those business cards you picked up and save that literature you collected. Now everything is orderly, in one
place. If you are at home, you will find the Scanalyzer
quickly scans your material, rotates the receipt on the
screen and puts the information in the proper storage slot,
all more quickly than
an all-purpose office machine
would do. For those of you who do not have photocopier
capability, enter Scanalyzer. Run the document through the
scanner and print out a copy.
We have all been exposed to sales pitches. I wanted to
see if this thing could really do all the purported analysis of
receipts and business cards.
The interface is very user friendly. The types of items
we wish to file are an easy click away. When a feature
comes up we see all the information categories into which
data will be catalogued. There are about 20 choices, and if
you don’t like those you can change the name of one you
don’t like to something you want.
I started with receipts: I collected as many different receipts as I could. One of the features is that the Scanalyzer
has a database with 1,500 stores/ vendors. Thus, many of
your receipts will match the database and be so identified.
For those that don’t, you type in the name the first time (I
was surprised to learn that Costco was not in their database) and it will be remembered. My receipts covered a
wide range of sizes, shapes and suppliers. Everything from
gas station receipts from Costco to Hertz Equipment rental
statements. There were a few glitches, such as missing
names, reading Costco zeros that look like phi ( ) as 8 or
adding digits to the receipt.
Overall, however, receipts entered top up, top down,
sideways (width limit of 8-1/2 inches) or anywhere be-
tween gave the same result. The accuracy was truly impressive. It also has the capability to allow you to split expenses from a single receipt, which can be multi-page. At
present they do not have an archiving system but are working on it. Categories and vendors are determined by the
user to catalogue and save receipt information. Sales tax is
captured and isolated as a category. You can also identify a
tax-deductible item. Tax-deductible items are gathered up
and summarized for entry into your 1040. The IRS accepts
the electronic receipt format.
Being a packrat, I have many different kinds of business
cards. A couple of my old Boeing cards resulted in a flawless copy and catalogue job. Other cards ranged from a
complete job to an almost incomplete job. I showed 15 different cards at the meeting. Those with graphics (e.g. car
repair shops with figures of cars) did not fare as well as a
“strictly business” type of card. The information that can
be copied and catalogued includes name, company name,
phone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses and Web sites.
Clicking on the Web site in the database takes you directly
to the site. You can recall the card information by one of
several methods, including the person’s first or last name,
the company name, address or, like an Internet search, information containing some data.
Finally, there is the document copy feature. Tell the
Scanalyzer how many pages and how you want to file it,
and copy away.
Did I also mention they have a great Help Desk using a
version of instant messaging (or telephone if you really
need help)? Top notch!
OK, how much does the Scanalyzer cost? The list price
is $229. On the Web I’ve seen it for as low as $180. NeatReceipts has offered us the product for $170 at your front
door. UPS ground shipping will be used to send the product
to you.
The procedure for ordering it is:
Call Guilia Umile (pronounced Julia Umilay) of NeatReceipts at 1-866-632-8732, ext 106; If she is not at her
phone, leave your name and phone number; she will call
you back. They take the major credit cards: Visa, MC,
Amex and Discover. http://www.neatreceipts.com/ Cost is
$170, which includes shipping.
[Note from Judy Taylour, Chair, APCUG Benefits /
Services Committee: Guilia has extended the offer to all
of the APCUG-member user groups.]
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal
Computer User Groups has provided this article.
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 11
Buying an HDTV?
By Bob Elgines, Editor, Colorado River Computer Club, Arizona
There are three things necessary for true High
Definition (HD) Television (TV): an HDTV, HD receiver (or tuner) and HD programming. All TV stations will be capable of HD by 2007.
New HDTVs are here and will be required starting
in 2009; but, of course, there will be converters available. The standard for Antilog TV was 525 lines per
frame vertically. The old mandates of FCC requirements were first 2004, and then 2007. There are many
HDTV models out ther, and some of the description of
their characteristics are confusing. Hopefully I can
clear up a few items of concern.
First let us consider the three types of TV screens
or TV monitors:
1. LCD – Cheaper in price.
They can be wall mounted;
37” weighs about 50 to 60 pounds;
Sizes up to 52”; 4” to 5” thick;
160-degree view angle (with decreasing contrast);
Last 10 to 20 years;
The thinnest, lightest sets and have minimum reflection of lights in the room.
2. PLASMA – Moderate in price.
They can be wall mounted;
42” weighs about 85 to 90 pounds;
Sizes 42” and up; 4” to 5” thick;
170-degree view angle (contrast good thru-out);
Lasts 10 to 20 years;
Better color accuracy and displaying the deepest
black, but screen's shiny surface can produce reflections of lights in the room, and static images can
"burn-in" and produce a ghost image.
3. DLP – (digital light processing).
Moderate in price for size;
Not wall mounted;
42” weighs about 45 to 60 pounds;
Sizes 42” and up;
8” to 15” thick;
160-degree view angle (contrast good thru-out);
Lasts 8 to 10 years (bulb or lamp);
A "rainbow effect" that some viewers may notice
on the edges of bright objects on the screen.
DLP is used in most new projectors.
Second, let’s discuss Resolution (pixels are the
number of dots per line), the higher the resolution the
better the picture, or higher quality. The old Standard
Digital TV format is 720 (Horizontal) x 480 (Vertical).
http://www.crccaz.com/
The new HDTV formats are 720 and 1080, but most
HDTVs also allow using the 480 standard. There are
not many things out there for the 1080 “i or p” format.
Where “p”= Progressive – draws lines on screen from
top to bottom, and is considered the best for highspeed movement without blur. Whereas “i”= Interlace
– draws odd lines from top to bottom then even lines
from top to bottom.
1024 x 768 pixels, 1366 x 768 pixels, and 1780 x
720 pixels all fall under the 720p format, and many
720p-HDTVs accept the 1080i format.
1920 x 1080s fall under either the 1080i or 1080p
format and most accept the 720p format.
Screen size is measured diagonally. Therefore, if
you now have a 32” TV, you will most likely want a
37” to 42” for your replacement. That way you will
have basically the same height, but of course it will be
wider.
Third, let’s discuss other concerns such as inputs
and outputs (most sets come with stereo sound speaker
systems):
1. HDMI – latest version is 1.3. This is a connector that requires a special cable and is not usually included with your TV. This could be used for 5.1 or 7.1
surround sound systems, video games such as X-Box,
HD-Cable boxes, HD-DVD players, etc.
2. Component – One to three inputs are provided,
used to connect DVD players, games, etc.
3. Cable Slot – latest version is 2.0, used for Cable Simm Cards. Most cable companies are not interested, but new FCC mandates starting in 2007 may
change this. Also some companies are considering including the Cable Card internally.
4. Tuners - Usually two tuners are included, one
NTSC (we are now using Analog and Digital TV, also
called Standard TV) and one ATSC (this is the new
HD digital TV tuner, required for HDTV). Stay away
from a TV listed as "HD-ready;" it does not have an
ATSC tuner.
Summary. It boils down to what you think looks
and operates the best for your situation. Ask questions
and check out the specification of the unit you wish to
buy. If you are upgrading your cable or satellite service to HDTV, be sure to ask for "hi-def," not digital.
Good luck!
Elginesz(at)rraz.net
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups has provided this article.
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 12
The Windows XP Services Manager
Written by Dick Maybach, a member of the Brookdale Computer User Group, New Jersey
http://www.bcug.com/
[email protected]
Windows, like any multitasking operating system, is complex, with dozens of processes running,
even when your PC appears to be idle. Some of these
are independent, but many rely on other processes.
In simpler times, our computers did only one thing at
a time; but few of us want to return to the days
when, for example, everything stopped during printing. Fortunately, XP provides some tools to help you
understand what is going on behind your back, and
one of the more helpful of these is its Services Manager. First, a caveat – this will help you figure out
only what the benign processes are doing; it is not
effective in identifying viruses and spyware, which
often hide from you.
To start the manager, right-click on My Computer and then left-click on Manage. When the Computer Management Window opens, click on Services
and Applications, double-click on Services, and
click on the Extended tab at the bottom of the window. (You will want to enlarge the window to see all
the information.) You can now see a list of all the
services available on your machine. My laptop has
about 100 services, about 60 of which are running as
I write this article. If you single-click on a service,
you can see its status and description. For example,
on my laptop the ClipBook service has the following
description, “Enables ClipBook Viewer to store information and share it with remote computers. If the
service is stopped, ClipBook Viewer will not be able
to share information with remote computers. If this
service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.” The Manager also shows
that this service is disabled on my laptop. You can
learn more by double-clicking on the item. Again for
ClipBook,
the
executable
file
is
C:\Windows\system32\clipsrv.exe. Clicking on the
Dependencies tab shows that this service depends on
the Network DDE and Network DDE DSDM services and that no other service depends on it. You
can learn more about these dependent services by
clicking on their names in the window.
The companies that provide the software supply
the descriptions. Microsoft’s descriptions are helpful, but others can be less so. For example, Symantec
SPBBCSvc is described as, “Symantec SPBBC.” In
such cases, you can try a Web search for the name,
although I ran out of patience before I found out
what SPBBC does.
As is common for Windows programs, you can
sort the services list by clicking on a column heading. For example, clicking on Status, lists the started
services last; clicking on it a second time shows
them first.
If you suspect that a service is causing problems, you can turn it off by double-clicking on its
name and then clicking on the Stop button. This
stops the service only for the current session; it will
start again when you restart Windows. Thus, this is a
safe way to troubleshoot process problems. You permanently stop a process by double-clicking on its
name and changing the Startup type from Automatic
to Manual or Disabled. A disabled service never
runs; and a manual one can be started by clicking the
Start button. If you do this, keep a record so you can
reverse anything that causes problem.
While you have the Computer Management
window open, look at its left pane. In particular,
click on Disk Management (under Storage) to see a
text and a graphical description of all the hard and
removable disks on your system. This shows the partition sizes and types, what file system they contain,
how full they are, and their health. If you right-click
on a partition in the graphical display, you can explore it, change its drive letter, or (be careful) format
or delete it.
The Editorial Committee of the Association of
Personal Computer User Groups has provided this
article.
NVPCUG Archives, Utilities on CD Now Available
Ron Dack has responded to the request of user group
members for more of the CDs he has prepared in the
past. In addition to archives of the newsletter, he has included handy-dandy free utilities like the latest editions
of Firefox, Ad-Aware, Adobe Reader, and Hijack-This.
Instead of waiting for these programs to be downloaded
from the Web, you can have them for immediate access
on a CD.
Ron is doing this as a fund-raiser for the group. If you
wish to reserve a copy, e-mail him before the meeting at
[email protected]
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 13
Laptop Desk -Simple Accessory Provides Comfort and Ease of Use
Written by Gabe Goldberg, Columnist for CompuKISS.com; APCUG Advisor; Program Coordinator & APCUG Rep,
Capital PC User Group, Inc.
http://www.compukiss.com
It's the rare simple device that hitches a ride on
multiple trends simultaneously. How simple? Three
moving parts. Which trends? First, folks downsizing
living quarters as their nests empty; second, increased
use of laptop PCs as primary, only, or secondary
computers; and third, laptop computers operating hotter as they become ever more powerful. The device?
The Laptop Desk from LapWorks.
It's an elegantly simple laptop stand. My wife calls
it, "a seemingly insignificant piece of plastic, which I
love". Before she had it, she was constantly trying to
find things to put under her computer to prop it up.
She tried books of varying sizes, pieces of wood,
parts from other office equipment, TV remotes, whatever came into view. None of them worked and the
laptop's utter flatness drove her crazy.
Now, she takes it everywhere with her laptop. "It's
great!" she says. She props it up at varying angles,
depending where she's working...on her lap, a table, a
desk, wherever she moves, and she moves around a
lot. Folding flat and sliding into the laptop case, it's
not in the way when she's on the move. It allows customizing the keyboard angle for easy typing. And because of the elevation, our cats no longer walk across
or lie down on laptop keyboards.
gabe(at)gabegold.com
computer accessories, it needs no assembly or installation, doesn't require reading instructions, and includes no software that will become obsolete.
Manufacturer: LapWorks
http://www.laptopdesk.net
Retail: About $30
This article from the CompuKISS Web site,
www.compukiss.com, is copyrighted by Gabriel Goldberg. It may be reproduced, for single use, or by nonprofit organizations for educational purposes, with
attribution to CompuKISS. It should be unchanged
and this paragraph included. Please e-mail gabe(at)
gabegold.com when you use it, or for permission to
excerpt or condense.
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal
Computer User Groups has provided this article.
The stand consists mostly of two sturdy hinged
plastic pieces with raised rubber pieces that hold the
laptop in place. A smaller third piece fits into slots
providing five different elevation options.
The hinged pieces, rippled in design with raised
rubber pieces, hold the laptop in place and allow air
to circulate underneath it. So the computer's heat is
well-vented, avoiding discomfort from resting the
laptop on your lap or major damage to the computer.
Three models of The Laptop Desk are available:
the UltraLite, for newer/lighter laptop computers; the
Laptop Desk 2.0, for heavier PCs; and the Laptop
Desk 1.0, a simpler version not providing elevation,
intended for human-lap use only.
Costing less than $30, the Laptop Desk is a handy
addition to portable PC computing. And unlike most
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 14
Thank You !
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
The Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group is grateful for the support
provided by the following companies:
Membership Application/Renewal*
G New
G Renewal
G Information Update
Please Print
Full Name: _____________________________ Nickname:___________
Dey, L.P.
Pharmaceutical products for the treatment of
respiratory diseases and respiratory-related allergies
2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Napa 94558-6268
Street/PO Box: _____________________________________________
City: ____________________ State: ____ ZIP Code: ________-_____
Phone (check preferred): G Home: (_______)________-___________
G Work: (_______)________-___________
E-mail (check preferred): G Home: ____________________________
G Work: ____________________________
707-224-3200 • www.dey.com
Occupation/Profession: ________________________ Retired? ______
Do you want to be added to the following NVPCUG e-mail lists?
News and announcements:
General discussion of computer-related topics:
G Yes
G Yes
G No
G No
If you do not want your preferred phone number and/or e-mail address
published in the NVPCUG Directory, which is for the exclusive use of
NVPCUG members, check the appropriate box(es):
947 Lincoln Avenue
Napa, CA 94559-5066
(707) 299-1000 • www.napanet.net • [email protected]
G Do not list phone number
G Do not list e-mail address
Family members whom you want to sponsor as Associate Members:
(Associate Members have the same membership rights as their
sponsors, except for receiving newsletters)
Full Name
E-mail Address
_________________________
____________________________
_________________________
____________________________
Annual Dues (check appropriate boxes):
Q $30
Q $20
3148 Jefferson St., Napa, CA 94558
707-257-6260 • 800-550-6260 • fax: 707-257-8741
[email protected] • napa.minutemanpress.com
Q
Regular Member - an individual who is not a full-time student
Student Member - a full-time student who is not eligible for Associate
membership.
$10 Associate Member - a family member of a Regular or Student
member. Associate memberships run concurrently with sponsors’
memberships.
Make check payable to Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group.
Mail application/renewal to: Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group,
Attn.: Membership Director, P.O. Box 2866, Napa, CA 94558-0286.
The NVPCUG is an accredited IRC 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your
dues payment may be tax-deductible as a charitable contribution.
* To request a Corporate Membership Application/Renewal form, e-mail:
[email protected]
Revised 11-6-06
Offering Financial Services throughout the
Napa Valley, with offices in Napa, St. Helena
and Yountville
800-869-3557 • www.wellsfargo.com
For more information about the NVPCUG, visit our
Web site: http://www.nvpcug.org
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 15
Protecting Your Outlook Express E-mail
Written by Ron Farren, member of the Keowee Computer Club of Oconee County, South Carolina
http://kkeyword.tripod.com/
backup, you will only lose seven days’ worth of emails. Would you like to know how to recapture
them, also? The answer lies within the options available in OE. The following will work with most ISPs,
Your e-mail is all stored in a single folder and,
although there may be some that do not allow this
if you can find that folder, you will find that it confeature.
tains a large number of files. Most of these files
Ron Ferren Open Tools/Accounts, select the account you are
will have the extension of ".dbx" if you are conconcerned with and select Properties/Advanced. Place a
figured to show the extension. Microsoft uses a propriecheckmark by "Leave a copy of messages on server."
tary format, which makes these files quite difficult to
Now place a checkmark by "Remove the messages after"
view except with OE. In addition, the individual files are
not useful without the index, which is stored in a separate and set it to 8 or 9 days. Now place a checkmark by
file within this folder. If you want to back up your e-mail, "Remove from server when deleted from Deleted Items."
Now your e-mail server will retain messages for 8 or 9
it is possible to save the entire folder someplace. It is
days. You don't have to worry about OE retrieving the
relatively easy to copy the entire folder to an external
messages each time you connect to the Internet, since OE
drive or to a second drive. Should you experience a probmaintains an index of downloaded messages and will not
lem that causes the loss of your e-mail, you can merely
download the same message a second time. However, if
copy the folder back to its original location. Sounds simyou have to restore from a backup, that index will not be
ple enough.
up-to-date and the messages will be downloaded again.
First, you have to find the folder. That is done via
Telling the server to delete messages when you have deTools/Options/Maintenance. There you can click on
leted them should reduce the number of messages saved
"Store Folder" and it will have the address of the folder
on the server - only the ones you intended to keep anyyou are looking for. You may notice that it is really burway.
ied deep into the system. Now that you know where it is,
One additional thought. If you decide to move the eyou can copy that address for future reference and periodically save the folder as backup. If you are not satisfied mail folder, why not move it into My Documents? If you
have already made sure you keep all of your critical inwith trying to remember the default location of the mesformation in My Documents, wouldn't it make sense to
sages, it is simple enough to move the folder somewhere
put your e-mail there also? Now you can merely copy My
else. For example, you could place the folder directly on
Documents to that external drive once a week and you
the C: drive, which would make it easier to find next
should be pretty well protected from major disasters.
time. That can be done by clicking "Change" and followIt really pays to learn how to maintain and protect
ing the instructions. An even better solution is to place
yourself.
Once you have set up a procedure like this, it
the e-mail folder on a separate partition, which prevents it
becomes
something
you can easily do once a week and
from being destroyed if your C: drive should be corrupted
feel
more
secure.
by some foreign invader.
There are, as usual, several ways to protect
yourself from a drive failure and loss of your email. This tip is for users of OE only.
Changing the location of the e-mail folder will automatically move all your e-mail to the new location.
So now you know how to save and restore your
e-mail. However, there is another step you may wish to
take. Suppose you decide to back up you e-mail once a
week or every seven days. Should you have to restore the
Computing should be FUN!
[email protected]
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups has provided this article.
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, CA 94558-0286
Address Service Requested
Return to Newsletters
NVPCUG Computer News, February 2007, Page 16
Return to NVPCUG
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