COMPUTER NEWS Inside This Issue The Napa Valley Personal

COMPUTER NEWS Inside This Issue The Napa Valley Personal
Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558
Volume 29, No. 2
Feb 2012
Inside This Issue
NVPCUG Special Interest Groups
ICE Your Cell Phone - Save Your Life
Officers List
NVPCUG Calendar
NVPCUG Calendar
The Name’s the Game
How to Deal with the Stresses and Anxieties of
Working in the Computer Field & Managing The
Stresses Of Making Business Decisions As A
Computer Person
Beyond Bullet Points
President’s Message - Feb 2012
How to Recover Data from a
Dead Hard Drive
Universal Mini Mount, Do You “YOUTUBE”?
Password Tracking – Windows and Mobiles
A Tablet for the Holidays
Word 2010 Screen Shots and
Screen Clipping
Invisible Shield
Building a PC
Inserting International Letters into
Word Documents
Discovering Windows 7 – Part 22
How to Recover Data from a
Dead Hard Drive
Photographically Speaking
Making Things Happen
but, is Siri a Google killer?
Photographically Speaking
Streaming video on an iPad?
Software Review: Diskeeper 2011
Are you being followed?
Mac Tips
PC Computer Evolution
Turn Your PC into a 3-D Game Machine
Cash, check and … what about
credit card?
This and That or Things that May Interest You
What are you Tweeting?
The Art of Community
Another Low Cost Internet Phone Device
Staying Technology Young
Membership Application/Renewal *
The Napa Valley Personal
Computer Users Group
will meet
Wednesday, Feb15th,
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 question-and-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 submitted before the meeting by
emailing them to Random Access moderator Jerry Brown at
[email protected]
During the For the Feb 15, 2012 meeting
Computor Tutor, Jeff Solomon, be talking
about Zip files. I will be showing and/or
demonstrating WinZip, 7-Zip,PKZip and
WinRAR programs. Zip is a file format used
for data compression and archiving. A zip
file contains one or more files that have been compressed to
reduce file size. I will also show how file compression works..
If you have an idea or question that the Computer Tutor can
demonstrate, please email your ideas to the Computer Tutor,
Jeff Solomon at [email protected]
Presently there is no program Director and the main prenentation
is TBA. If you have an idea or questions regarding Programs,
email President Jim Gray at [email protected] or
Bernhard Krevet at [email protected] .
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 always free.
Interested in becoming a member? See page 34 for
application information.
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012
ICE Your Cell Phone - Save Your Life
By Sandy Berger, CompuKISS, [email protected],
You may have never heard of the ACEP, American College of Emergency Physicians,
but their new consumer website is one you might want to visit. With the number of
emergency room visits growing rapidly, this organization has put together a website
where patients can access health information, share stories, and get involved in
advocacy efforts.
Visits to the emergency department hit a new high in 2006. A record 119.2 million
people, up from 115 million, were recorded by the Centers for Disease Control, with an average of 227 visits per
minute. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) predicts those numbers will only keep rising.
According to the report, age groups with the highest visit rates were infants under 12 months of age and those
over the age of 75. In fact, people aged 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population and
are the most likely to be admitted to the hospital of all emergency patients. Researchers conclude that visits for
patients between 65 and 74 could nearly double from 64 million in 2003 to 111.7 million by 2013. Despite these
numbers, emergency departments continue to close - causing delays for people with serious medical conditions
like heart attacks.
In honor of its 40th anniversary, ACEP will be making available video clips featuring emergency medicine
pioneers, vintage photographs and radio public service announcements. In addition, the organization is launching
a new consumer website,, which features extensive public information. The yearlong campaign is sponsored in part by General Motors OnStar, Ultrasonix
and ZOLL Medical Corporation.
The EmergencyCareForYou website is a
comprehensive site that you will want to visit. It has
information on everything from “how to tell if it is an
emergency” to “family disaster preparedness”.
In SIG meetings you can learn about
One important section of this website talks about
a subject in greater detail than
“ICE” and Your Cell Phone Can Help Save Your
is feasible at NVPCUG general
meetings. SIG meetings are open to
everyone. Meeting times and
The website states, “Emergency physicians are
locations occasionally change, so
recommending that people with cellular phones add
for current meeting information, see
“ICE’” entries into their cell phone address books.
our Web site,,
This stands for “In Case of Emergency,” and medical professionals are
or contact the SIG leaders.
using it to notify the person’s emergency contacts and to obtain critical
medical information when a patient arrives unconscious or unable to
Investors SIG
answer questions.”
Meets: Monthly, second Monday
I didn’t know about this, yet it sounds like a great idea! Check it out. It
5:30 to 7:30 p.m
may save your life. More information can be found at the ICEforHelp
Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
&M G
Leader: Jerry Brown
(707) 254-9607
Napa Valley Mac User Group
Meets: Monthly, second Thursday
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Napa Senior Activity Center
1500 Jefferson St., Napa
Leader: Ron Rogers
(707) 226-5352
Right-Click Copy
When you want to copy a file or folder, you don’t necessarily have to use the left
mouse button. You can click and drag the file using the right mouse button, too.
When you release the button you’ll see a small context menu prompting you to
perform an action. You can Copy Here, Move Here, or Create Shortcut Here.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
Groups to learn what Smart Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 2
Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group Contact Information
Officers for 2011
Board of Directors
Jim Gray
[email protected]
Vice President
Ron Dack
Julie Jerome
[email protected]
Marcia Waddell
[email protected]
Roy Wagner
[email protected]
[email protected]
Other Directors: Susy Ball, Bernhard Krevet , Dick Peterson, Bob Simmerman, Tom
Uboldi, Mel Cohen, Ron Rogers and Jerry Brown
Appointed Positions
Computer Tutor Coordinator
Jeff Solomon
[email protected]
Facility Arrangements Coordinator
Dianne Prior
[email protected]
Greeter Coordinator
Bob Simmerman
needs an Assistant
[email protected]
Membership Director
Bob Simmerman
[email protected]
Newsletter Editor
Susy Ball
[email protected]
Product Review CoCoordinator
Susy Ball
Marcia Waddell
[email protected]
[email protected]
Programs Director
needs a Director
Bernhard Krevet-asst. (unlisted)
[email protected]
Publicity Director
Mel Cohen
[email protected]
Random Access Moderator
Jerry Brown
[email protected]
[email protected]
Ron Dack
needs an Assistant
( All telephone numbers are in Area Code 707)
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 Computer News, Feb 2012, 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 taxdeductible as charitable
contributions to the
extent allowed by law.
Copyright © 2012 by
Product Review
By Cal Esneault, President of the Cajun Clickers Computer Club, LA and leader of many
Open Source Workshops & SIGs, December 2011 issue, Cajun Clickers Computer News,,
In my youth, I would take a copy of my
uncle’s Star and Telescope magazine
and go to the center section to use the
two-page star map guide. Twisting and
turning the map to match my view, the
many constellations and other night time
wonders of the universe could be identified. Today, we can
use vastly superior computerized versions to guide us
through the night sky. One excellent program is Stellarium,
an open-source program available for Windows, Mac OS
X, Linux, and BSD operating systems. Although there are
more sophisticated programs designed for professional
and advanced amateur stargazers, Stellarium fits in the
“fun” group by providing simple but detailed functions in a
user friendly manner. The essential concept is to get an
annotated view of a portion of the sky, adjusted for location
and desired viewing time, which can be adjusted horizontally
and vertically to match your viewing perspective.
Initial use can be confusing. It starts up in full screen
mode with no menu items visible. Move your mouse to
the left or bottom border to activate the command tool
bars (see below). Those items on the bottom turn on the
various viewing items (constellation names, constellation
connectors, planet id’s,
horizon types, etc.).
Those items on the left
set up the system
controls (location,
time, item luminosity
to display, etc.)., [email protected]
The default location is Paris, France. Go to the “Location
window” icon to choose your city from a dropdown list (or
input latitude and longitude). Next, go to the “Date/time
window” to set your local time. By using up/down arrow
controls you can see what the sky will look like at any
future or past time (for example, what can I see if I go out
tonight at 10:00 PM?).
Below is a screenshot of a night time view. I have added an
azimuthal grid and constellation connectors. If you have a
telescope with an equatorial mount, you can also display an
(apparent magnitude, hour angle and declination, and azimuthal
information updated for passage of time). Using the “ocular”
view, you can see any listed object as viewed by a telescope of
approximately 80x magnification.
The default system
includes 600,000 stars
along with a full Messier
catalog of Nebulae. The
constellations of 10
different cultures are
included. Various upgrade
modules, plug-ins, and
scripts exist (for example,
you can expand to view over 200 million stars). Depending
upon your needs, you can change the projected view of the
sky – stereoscopic, fish-eye, cylindrical, etc. There is a
text-entry search window quickly locate objects.
Download a free copy at (Linux users, find
with your package manager). Smartphone versions are available
for iOS (Android users, use Google Sky instead).
NVPCUG Calendar
Feb 15
Mar 8
Mar 12
Mar 21
Apr 9
Apr 12
Apr 18
May 5
May 7
May 10
May 16
Jun 20
7:00-9:00 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
10:00-11:30 am.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
NVPCUG General Meeting, + A
Napa Valley Mac User Group + A
Investors SIG meeting + C
NVPCUG General Meeting, + A
Investors SIG meeting + C
Napa Valley Mac User Group + A
NVPCUG General Meeting, + A
Board of Directors meeting + D
Investors SIG meeting + C
Napa Valley Mac User Group + A
NVPCUG General Meeting, + A
NVPCUG General Meeting, + A
Meeting Locations
A - Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
B - Piner’s Nursing Home,
1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
C - Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
D - Peterson’s Family Christmas
Tree Farm, 1120 Darms
Lane, Napa.
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 4
The Name’s the Game
By Jackie Woods, Co-Webmaster, Under the Computer Hood UG (UCHUG), CA, September
2011 issue, DriveLight,, [email protected]
There aren’t too many gadgets out there in everyday life that Buy. < >http://
you can’t play games on. Recently I noticed that our Blu-ray
DVD player has a new category in the network settings for Another gaming console pretty popular with the older generation
downloading games to our TV. What fun!!
is the Nintendo Wii2. We’ve all seen the commercials of the
There’s time wasting games to play on your smart phone folks in the retirement home dancing, bowling, playing tennis,
while waiting in line at the post office or DMV (e.g. Angry batting up with the sports and entertainment games available.
Birds, Solitaire, Mahjongg, etc.).
Like the Kinect this one has a lot of interactive features as
but unlike the Kinect you have to have the game controller
What I like to call community ‘shootem up’ games you
hand. Though the buzz around the gaming community
play on your game console, computer, tablet, and some ereaders are WOW (World of Warcraft), Lord of the Rings, is Nintendo isn’t far behind with the controller-less console. This
Star Craft, Diablo, Heroes of New Earth, Halo, Grand Theft machine has basically the same kind of games available as the
Auto. These games have huge followings all over the world other consoles. Each machine does have certain games that are
and make it possible for many game players to meet and play just for a particular platform, but most are out there for all of
online with their friends and new friends from all over. They them. The Wii does have extra bling available in the form of the
play these games as their created characters and not only U-Draw tablet ($70), the Wii Fit bundle with a balance board
converse in real time but set up mobs (or battle groups) with ($94.99) and for $40 theWii Plus controller. So like most of these
their friends on VOIP sites like Ventrilo - http:// consoles you do pay quite a bit more to get those extras. The
w w w . i n s t a n t v e n t r i l o . c o m / basic Wii runs $129.99 with the Mario Kart Bundle – and a lot
g e t - v e n t r i l o - s e r v e r . p h p ? O K E Y = more once you start adding goodies. Oh, and another little note,
to stream from Netflix, etc. you need a special disc! More $$.<
My grandson uses an old computer as a Ventrilo server h t t p : / / b i t . l y / k M 8 X Z l > h t t p : / /
and for as little as $4.00/month runs groups of as many as
Sony is the other big game console maker with its PlayStation
10 gamers on these online game sites. Many members of his
‘guild’ have their own Ventrilo servers and can support up 3 320GB Edition. Once again pretty much the same as the
to hundreds of players; of course, it all depends on how much other consoles: has Wi-Fi, streams from various sources such
as Netflix, Blockbuster, etc., and has a built-in Blu-ray player
you can afford!
What’s amazing about these gaming communities is how (very handy if you don’t already have one) and is also set up
much socializing goes on outside of the game. Several times for HDMI. Unlike Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network .99
over the last decade WOW friends from as far away as free, and should be with the basic cost of this console at $359
Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa have visited on
Nintendo also has a mini game player with the Nintendo
Southern California to meet my son, grandsons and others in
which is a great little touch screen 3D device at $169.99.
the game guilds they’ve met online — mini game conventions!
Then we come to games for the casual gamer and there It has Wi-Fi and Internet available. My grandson uses it more
are hundreds out there. One of our favorite sites to like a tablet than a game machine. <
games o t x 1 P p > h t t p : / / w w w . a m a z o n . c o m / Here games are available N i n t e n d o - 3 D S - A q u a - B l u e / d p /
in every category: puzzle, adventure, hidden object, words, B002I090AG/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=
brain teasers, and card and board games. To play these all 1314928559&sr=8-7
So those are the big three (and pint size) of the gaming
you need is a computer or a smart phone.
Gaming has gone through various changes over the
If a game console is where you play your games, more is
since the Atari 5200, which I used to think was
available out there for active participation. The one currently
back in the 70’s.
getting raves from players is the X-Box 360 Kinect which
Following is the link to Motion Gaming 101. This will give you
uses a scanning recognition technology. There is no mouse
or game controller needed just your movements in front of a comprehensive video tour of each courtesy of Amazon.
it. Once I got the hang of it, bowling was my favorite but <h t t p : / / a m z n . t o / m P N W z S > h t t p : / /
there are many other games available. This game console w w w . a m a z o n . c o m / b /
also can be used as a pipeline to the web with its built-in Wi- ref=bt_atcg_mine_pl_0?ie=UTF8&node=
Fi, not only for Xbox Live, but to Netflix, Pandora, Hulu, 2404623011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center3&pf_rd_r=
YouTube, etc. The most common price seems to be around 07H5FJJB7NPNJ9TFWPS6&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=
$299 – at least at the reputable sites like WalMart and Best 1298421802&pf_rd_i=14218901
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 5
How to Deal with the Stresses and
Anxieties of Working in the Computer Field
Stress and anxiety are very common when you work in the
computer field. As a result, here is a list of techniques that
a computer person can use to help manage their daily
stresses and anxieties.
Sometimes, we get stressed when everything happens all at
once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath
and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their
mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to
some music, read the newspaper or do an activity that will give
them a fresh perspective on things.
When facing a current or upcoming task at your computer job
that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, divide the task into a
series of smaller steps and then complete each of the smaller tasks
one at a time. Completing these smaller tasks will make the stress
more manageable and increases your chances of success.
Challenge your negative thinking with positive statements
and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make
you fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking
yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common
sense. For example, you are afraid that if you do not get that job
promotion then you will be stuck at your job forever. This
depresses you, however your thinking in this situation is
unrealistic. The fact of the matter is that there all are kinds of
jobs available and just because you don’t get this job promotion
doesn’t mean that you will never get one.
By Stanley Popovich, [email protected]
Remember that no one can predict the future with one
hundred percent certainty. Even if the thing that you feared does
happen there are circumstances and factors that you can’t
predict which can be used to your advantage. For instance, you
are at your place of work and you miss the deadline for a project
you have been working on for the last few months. Everything
you feared is coming true. Suddenly, your boss comes to your
office and tells you that the deadline is extended and that he
forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes
In dealing with your anxieties at your engineering job, learn
to take it one day at a time. While the consequences of a
particular fear may seem real, there are usually other factors that
cannot be anticipated and can affect the results of any situation.
Get all of the facts of the situation and use them to your
advantage. The more control you have over your stresses and
anxieties, the better off you will be in the long run.
Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If
possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your
fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with
additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current
problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping
themselves in the long run because they will become better able
to deal with their problems in the future. Managing your fears
and anxieties takes practice. The more you practice, the better
you will become.
Managing The Stresses Of Making Business
Decisions As A Computer Person
It can be stressful when you have to make important business
decisions regarding your job. We all want to make the right
decisions and this can create a lot of anxiety. As a result, here are
some suggestions on how to manage the stresses of making the
right business decisions.
First, get all of the facts and necessary information to make the
right decision. Find out the necessary facts of the situation and
study all relevant information. This is important because you do
not want to miss critical information that could make a difference
in your decision.
Think about what you want and consider the possible
outcomes of your decision. Each decision will lead to new
opportunities. Consider the possible opportunities and go
from there. Spend some time just thinking about what is it that
you want.
Get advice from your employees. It is important to consider
other viewpoints other than your own. Ask your workers on
what they think that you should do. These people know you and
they can give you additional insights that you may be overlooking.
Take a deep breath to help relax in making your decisions. If
By: Stanley Popovich, [email protected]
you still feel stressed, then get some fresh air or do something
fun to help relax. You will feel better and gain a fresh perspective
on your current situation. This will make it easier to make the
right decision.
Remember that you make decisions all the time. You can
always re-evaluate your situation and do something different. Do
not put a lot of pressure on just one decision. You will have other
opportunities to correct the situation.
Remember that making a business decision is not a life or death
situation. If you make the wrong decision then the next step is to
learn from your mistakes and go from there. Learn what you did
right and learn what you did wrong. The key is not get so worked
up that you do not know what to do. Be patient and eventually you
will be able to make the right business decision. Do not let your
fears get the best of you.
The decision making process does not have to be stressful.
Consider all of the facts and your interest when making a business
decision. This should help reduce your anxieties in making those
important choices.
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 6
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” - an
easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional
information go to:, Subject: COMPUTER ARTICLES QUERY
Beyond Bullet Points:
Using Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Presentations That
Inform, Motivate, and Inspire
By Cliff Atkinson, Microsoft Press / O’Reilly, Reviewed by Greg West, Vice President, Sarnia
CUG, Canada, APCUG Advisor, Regions 6 and International,[email protected]
A real treat is found in Appendix A where ground rules and
All of us have had, or were forced, to sit through a PowerPoint
act as an
presentation wishing we were somewhere else. The speaker
was so boring, the presentation slides were cheesy and extremely overview ensuring you
confusing, and our insides screamed for us to get up and leave have created a very
p r o f e s s i o n a l
the room.
Beyond Bullet Points is designed in such a way that this will presentation.( Added
never happen when you give your next presentation. This book features: This book
takes us through the proper steps in creating the most comes with website links
interesting and very definitive presentation possible. Here is for “Companion Content”
where we learn the importance of telling a story with our slides. with key tools and a bonus
Layout is another import issue that is fully covered in Chapter Chapter 11, introducing a
4: “Planning Your First Five Slides.” This is where you learn “Visual Improv,” PDF
how to grab your audience right away and keep them focused version of the ground
rules and checklists. You
on your presentation.
also get a voucher for
You will learn why graphics are so important and how they
your free online version
can make or break a presentation. Chapter 8 is where the fun of this book. For anyone
begins as you learn how to add graphics to various areas within who is serious about their
your slides. You will learn how to use the graphics you already
presentations, this book is a keeper.
have on your computer, and how to get graphics from “Stock
Published by Microsoft Press
Photography Web Sites”.
ISBN- 978-0-7356-275-2
Your PowerPoint presentation comes together in Chapter 9:
“Delivering Your...Presentation”. The amateur presenters are
( Pages: 330)
separated from the professionals. This chapter prepares you for
USA: $29.99/CDA: $34.99
the delivery of your presentation. Here you are shown the basic
ground rules for removing distractions, prompting a dialogue
and how to enhance your presentation effectively.
President’s Message - Feb 2012
By Jim Gray, NVPCUG President,, [email protected]
First I need to apologize to you members. I did not get my President’s message to the editor in time for the January newsletter.
I am not normally a good letter writer and it takes me years to come up with something interesting to say. That is why most
of the NVPCUG newsletters do not have a message from me.
Now I want to thank Dick and Sandy Peterson for hosting our party in December again. My thanks also to Dianne Prior for
putting everything together, to Susy Ball for getting the door prizes and member of the year award and to everyone that
participated. Without all of you there would be no party. You all did such a good job I think I will impose on you again for the
party this year.
The Board of Directors had their first meeting on the 4th of February. Treasurer Roy Wagner’s report showed we are good
financially. Membership Chair, Bob Simmerman, has asked for an assistant meeting greeter. Susy Ball having resigned from
5+ years as Program Director will be giving up the newsletter editor job in September when her husband retires. It looks like
we may have replacements for both jobs. Webmaster, Ron Dack, said that he possibly may not be able to continue due
to medical reasons. Is there anyone who would like to assist him?
The scheduled date for our annual picnic at Dick Peterson’s place is August 18. More specifics will appear in later newsletters.
Thanks again to all who make my job easy
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 7
Tech Tip
How to Recover Data from a
Dead Hard Drive
By Bryan Lambert,,
options. One option is to simply look for the files on
the drive from the dead computer that you plugged
into the USB port and copy them onto the working
computer. This is my preferred method personally. I
like to “brute force” my way through the drive with
Windows Explorer (or a similar file browsing tool) and
manually copy/paste the data from one computer to the
other. Another option is to follow a Windows dialog box
(that usually pops up when you plug in an external drive)
and have it help you copy your data from one computer to
the other. If you are manually choosing to “brute force it”
personal data is usually stored by default in the computers
Where to start
Computers are complex machines and when they work operating systems “home directory” for users.
right, they are fun to use – but when something goes Common Locations
drastically wrong, it can feel as if your world crashed down
around you. If your hard drive is still in working order, there for home directories (where <root> takes the place of
is a very good chance that you’ll be able to recover your the drive letter):
1. Microsoft Windows 95-Me
pictures, music, videos and valuable documents (and other
<root>\My Documents
data) simply with another computer; a specialized cable, a
screwdriver; and a little time.
2. Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/2003
<root>\Documents and Settings\<username>
To start off, your best bet it to get a specialized USB
cable that can plug directly into your hard drive that you’ll
3. Microsoft Windows Vista / Windows 7
recover from the dead computer. There are several types,
and I’d recommend getting one that can handle both PATA
(IDE) and SATA hard drives (the two most common used Other “What ifs”
in consumer computers) as well as 2.5" (laptop) and 3.5" What if the files on the drives are erased? If they are, you
(desktop) hard drives ( sells several that run in can use a free recovery program such as Piriform’s
the $13-16 range). You can also use a hard drive dock or Recuva to look for and (hopefully) restore the files. This
external drive cases as well - but personally I find the simple, easy-to-use tool is terrific for recovering pictures
specialized USB cable to be the easiest and most flexible from a camera’s memory card that have accidentally been
erased as well!
Next, remove the hard drive from the dead computer.
What if the hard drive is the reason that the computer
On desktops it is usually held in with four Philips screwdrivers died (actual hardware failure)? If the hard drive is the part
and on laptops it is usually under an access panel on the that caused the computer failure, then you may be out of
bottom of the computer. Remove any cables and caddies luck. Yes, there are specialty recovery services that will
that the drive may have – all you need is the bare drive. pull apart the drives data platters and attempt to recover
Then plug in the USB cable into the hard drive (and a data (and they are usually successful - such services were
power cable if it is a desktop drive – also provided with the used, for example, to recover data from the hard drives
USB cable kit) and then plug the other end of the USB that were used on computers from the space shuttle
cable into a working computer. The computer will then set Columbia after it broke apart in 2003) but such services are
up the drive ad an external storage device and voilà! you’ll usually very expensive.
now have access to the files on that drive (provided that the
drive is not encrypted or using some type of security A word to the wise
Backup, backup, backup! Whether using one of the
Internet based cloud services or a separate external hard
Where to look
drive – if you make it a habit of backing up regularly,
OK, so the drive is now plugged into your computer and chances are good that you’ll keep the loss of such a failure
seen as an external drive, now what? You have several to a minimum if a computer fails. Of course one of the
One of the most dreadful feelings that you can have is
having a pc computer or laptop die that hasn’t been backed
up recently; especially if you have valuable pictures,
music, videos, documents or other files on it.
One of the most dreadful feelings that you can have is
having a pc computer or laptop die that hadn’t been backed
up recently; especially if you have valuable pictures,
music, videos, documents or other files on it.
In this Tech Tip we’ll take a look at how to recover your
valuable pictures from a dead computer.
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 8
benefits of using cloud-based backup services is that you
can have access to your pictures anywhere you have
Internet access.
Summing it up
A computer that dies can be a loss – but don’t lose hope
that your valuable pictures (and other stuff) are gone
forever. With a little work, you can retrieve your data off
the hard drives from a dead computer!
Universal Mini Mount
By George Harding, Treasurer, Tucson Computer Society, AZ, September 2011 issue, TCS
eJournal,, [email protected]
When you’re in your car (or motorcycle or boat), what surface is refreshable with glass cleaner. And best of
do you do with your mobile device? Put it on the seat – all, the adhesive doesn’t leave any residue behind!
I tried it out in my car. My dash is all curved surfaces
slips down so you can’t find it; put it on the dash –
I mounted it on the windshield. It adhered quite well,
always slips off; put it in your pocket – hard to get to
when you need it? Try the Mini Mount. It’s a simple especially with the vacuum attachment that makes it so
device that attaches to any flat surface and holds just easy to fasten it to just about any surface.
about any mobile device smaller than a tablet.
The device mounting area was accessible by rotating
You make sure the flat surface is clean, it properly. I was not able to affix my iPhone to the
then place the base on that surface, push mounting area in a vertical position, but setting it sideways
down the clamp lock worked fine. The vertical position would have partially
and you are set to put blocked the speakers on the iPhone, but the sideways
your mobile phone in it. position did not. I listened to my music in a hands-free
There is a sticky method.
surface on the mount
This is an inexpensive, easy way to use your mobile
that holds your device device while in your car. There are other mounts
securely and can be available for different devices, even an iPad. One even
swiveled or tilted to suit attaches to the auxiliary power outlet!
your need.
The sticky surface on
About: Universal Mini Mount
the mount is covered by a plastic film which you peel
Vendor: Cobra
off. If you want to put the mount on another surface, you
need to save the plastic film for transport. The sticky
Price: about $25
By Elaine Szaniszlo, Editor, Northeast Ohio PC Club, December 2011 issue, Nybbles &
Bytes,, [email protected]
I had always thought were in the engine compartment, how to get the
that YouTube was a cover off and showed there was a fuse puller included
site that had lots of (a very useful tool, indeed!). Now we would never
fun videos. Well, it have known that.
does, but read on!
A friend told me he was going to replace a garbage
I w a s o n a t r i p disposal. He went to YouTube. Again, there was a
r e c e n t l y a n d t h e detailed video explaining how to do that. Other
fuses blew on the car power outlets. We needed to ambitious folks I know have used YouTube to get
replace the fuses as our plug-in GPS would not work videos on repairing clothes washers, too.
otherwise. Of course, everyone knows the fuse box
I used YouTube once to get some cooking
is located under the dashboard, right? But did you information, but never realized the wide scope of
know some cars have another fuse box under the informative videos that was available. So the next
hood? We found that out on We typed time you want to solve a problem or get information
in the car make, model and year, and fuse box, and up on any do-it-yourself project, check out YouTube. It
came a very nice video showing where the fuses may make YOU happier.
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 9
Password Tracking –
Windows and Mobiles
By Merle Nicholson, Secretary, Tampa PC Users Group, FL, September 2011 issue, Bits of
Tracking passwords has always been a any useful information along with the URL and the logon
problem for me. Years ago I started a and the password. For instance, my Amazon/Kindle
password document to track everything, account logon has the names and Kindle email addresses
and, while it worked, it left a great deal to of two Kindles, two Droids (smart phones) and two
be desired. The problem was much larger PCs. It’s a logical place to keep all this stuff. Right now
than just username and password. I needed I count 82 database entries, and I’m very careful to
to save the URL to log in to websites. I needed to track keep it trimmed of anything not useful. It has a
expiration dates for subscriptions. I needed key codes for conûgurable password generator and the ability to look
software. I have ûve different logins with Microsoft. Yes, at the password when you want to instead of a line of
I could reuse some of those, using the same login and *******.
password, but not always. For instance, sometimes your
I got an email to my Droid with a notiûcation of an
login is the same as your email address, but most times not. event on the TPCUG forum before I would even think
Making it more complicated, different sites have different of ûring up my main computer. I needed to log on using
login and password requirements.
a regular account on the forum. The peculiarities of a
And Verizon! I have SIX different logins with Verizon: smart phone with just an on-screen keyboard that
Call Assistant, Verizon Central, Verizon FIOS, Verizon needed a complex login and password should have been
just too daunting. But on the Android version of
Mail Account, Verizon Mail and Verizon Wireless.
So I developed some “password rules” for myself. I KeePassX, when you select the group (TPCUG) and
decided that if I could remember more than just a couple title (User Logon), the database puts two little buttons
of passwords, it was because 1) I had to reuse them (a bad in the notiûcation strip at the top of the screen. So when
thing) and 2) they were too simple. So something had to you open the browser to the site, you just poke the login
go. I decided I need really good passwords and I couldn’t notiûer, then poke and hold on the login box and a paste
menu appears that you poke and it’s pasted in place.
handle it in my head.
One of my sons suggested the KeePassX database Then the same for the password and I was in and out in
he’d been using for a while, and I started using it seconds.
What a deal, and it’s free. There are versions for
sparingly, slowly embracing its features as I got used to
Mac OSX, Windows, iPhone, PocketPC,
it. The program is maintained professionally and is
and Android. And if you think you don’t
available free of charge. You can look at the program at to see if this will suit your own need one, your passwords are too simple and you’re
needs. Of particular interest is the variety of devices that using the same one for everything.
it works on. You won’t see any mobile versions at the
website, but each of the mobile devices has a version
available from its own app store. I use the Android
version on my Motorola Droid X.
The program uses an encrypted database, and I guess
ideally there should be a way to automatically update or
synchronize between devices. I own several computers
and my Droid, and I need the database on all of them. I
could use Microsoft Live Mesh or Dropbox or something
like that for synchronization, but I dislike the idea of my
password database being in the “cloud.” So for now I use
a ûash drive to copy the database ûle to my computers, and
I connect my Droid to my base computer via USB and
drag and drop the ûle.
I’ve found that, in practice, I don’t have to refresh the
ûles very often. None but the one on my main computer
is up to date at any one time, but it never seems to matter.
What is so useful about this program is that I can store
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 10
Editor Note: The info in this article is important any time of year that you make a tablet purchase, not just the holidays.
A Tablet for the Holidays
By Vinny LaBash, Regular Columnist, Sarasota PCUG, Florida, November 2011 issue,
Sarasota Monitor,, [email protected]
The first thing you need to know about buying a tablet is that you meet your requirements. They are also cloud based devices
are not going to get top dollar performance for a bottom dollar making them perfect for retrieving information anywhere an
price. You get what you pay for. Buying one of these devices internet connection is available.
based on price is a guarantee of disappointment. Deciding on
Tablets running Windows software have been around for
which tablet to buy, either for yourself or as a gift, should depend over a decade. They continue to improve and evolve, but they
generally on what you plan to do with it.
are still inferior to the iPad andAndroid systems. They resemble
Most people who buy these devices have some mixture of the laptops more than anything else with their wide variety of
following in mind: playing games or computer-specific tasks. E- physical keyboards. If a Windows environment is what you’re
readers do one thing very well; they are designed for reading looking for, look no further. Microsoft plans to release Windows
magazines and books. Barnes and Noble’s Nook Color has a 8 sometime next year, and perhaps that will be the catalyst to
seven inch multi-touch screen which is also great for web propel these systems to a more prominent place in the minds of
browsing and playing casual games. Bejeweled looks spectacular potential customers.
and the traditional Microsoft games work well. You can play
Before being carried away with the immersive experience of
Angry Birds too.
a tablet, it may be wise to consider why they might not be right
Anice feature is the ability to read magazines in full color. It’s for you. If you like the portability of a smart phone especially the
a much more satisfying experience than traditional black and ability to carry it in your pocket, that’s an experience you won’t
white even though it doesn’t improve content. The Nook Color get with a tablet.
is great for watching short videos. Even the biggest smart phone
Laptops have far more horsepower than the most powerful
screen can’t come close to matching it.
tablet. If power is what you need, a tablet may let you down.
Amazon is scheduled to release an updated version of its If computer power is your heart’s desire, an inexpensive laptop
Kindle e-reader in time for the holidays. It’s not available now is probably a better choice.
so we can’t comment on it. What we can say is if an e-reader
Common shortcomings among most laptops are lack of a
is something you are interested in, be sure to check out replaceable battery, poor printer support, and awkward virtual
Amazon’s new product before buying.
keyboards. In addition, lousy business software smudgy screens,
If you are sure you want a tablet, resolve to get a good one and compatibility problems with Adobe Flash are often cited
or don’t bother. If you end up with a cheap underpowered unit among tablet users.
with too little processing power or memory to save money, you
If your typical work day finds you heavily involved with
will end up frustrated for as long as you own the device. You creating and editing lengthy documents, large spreadsheets,
want a processor with a speed greater than 1GHz, lots of PowerPoint presentations, and lots of email, visions of using a
memory, and a responsive touch screen.
tablet productively may be delusional.
Good specifications are a must, but they are not the whole
A high end tablet can go for around $800. A decent laptop or
story. The decisive factor should be about how the tablet fits to smart phone can be picked up for less and probably do more.
the way you want to use it. If you’re considering an Android Forget price for a moment and take the time to evaluate what
device, get your apps from the official Google Android Market. you expect from a tablet. Is it really a better value for you and
It’s the only way to be sure that the app is properly integrated a better fit than a good smart phone or laptop? If the answer is
with the Android software.
yes, then go for it.
With seemingly every manufacturer on the planet trying to
knock off the iPad, new ones are appearing in the marketplace
Emails To Beware
almost daily. There is no way to keep track of all of them, so if
If you get an email urging you to update your eBay,
you’re dying to know what your options are, here is a general
PayPal, or bank account information, chances are it’s
overview of the tablet landscape.
false. An easy way to tell in Outlook is to hover your
The iPad is king and unlikely to be dethroned in the near
mouse pointer over the hyperlink in the message. If the
future. This tablet requires almost no learning time, and its ease
URL reads something like
of use remains unsurpassed. The number of apps, games and
in the message, but some other address shows up in
media available for it far exceeds that of any other competitor.
the floating box next to the pointer as you hover, you
It was designed as a cloud computing device, which means that
can be pretty certain you should delete the email.
data is not stored on it, making it inherently secure. You should
try it before making any final decisions.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit to learn what Smart
Android-based tablets offer the next most widely available
Computing can do for you and your user group!
set of alternatives if the iPad’s price, size or capabilities fail to
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 11
Word 2010 Screen Shots and
Screen Clipping
By Lynn Page, Newsletter Editor/Webmaster, Crystal River Users Group, FL, December 2011
issue, CRUG newsletter,, [email protected]
Windows 7 has the Snipping Tool which is handy to capture all
or part of the visible screen. Use it to capture a screen shot of any
object on your screen, and then annotate, save, or share the
image. These snips are great for illustrating what you’re talking
about. I use them all of the time in writing articles or class
Office 2010 brings the ability to make screenshots or snips
directly into Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word. Take a picture
of all or part of the open windows. Clicking the Screenshot button
lets you select and insert an entire program window or use the
Screen Clipping tool to select part of the window. The windows
must be open and not minimized to the taskbar to be captured.
Both of Windows Snipping Tool and Office 2010’s Screen
Shots and Screen Clipping are valuable when trying to explain
something seen on the computer screen.
button while dragging to select the area of the screen to capture.
The selection then shows through the opaqueness. When the
mouse button is released the snip is pasted into the document.
Windows Snipping Tool
Capture a Screenshot within Word
The Screenshot tool is located in the Illustrations group on the
Insert tab. Clicking the Screenshot icon opens a drop down
preview with thumbnails of open windows that are ‘behind’ the
Word document. Unfortunately you cannot capture from the
current Word document and it is not among the thumbnails.
Mousing over a thumbnail, opens a tooltip with the program name
and document title. Select from the available screenshots to add
a shot of the entire window to the document. The screenshot of
the selected window will be automatically sized to the width of the
document and pasted at the location of the insertion point.
Since you cannot use the built in Office Screenshot tool to make
screenshots of the working document the Windows Snipping
tool is still a very valuable tool. To open the Snipping Tool, click
the Start button and type snip in the search box. Click on
Snipping Tool in the list. The default snip is rectangular. So
position the mouse at one corner to be snipped, press the left
mouse button and drag to the diagonal corner creating a rectangle
to snip. When the mouse is released, the snip appears in the
Snipping Tool window. To discard the current snip and create a
new one click the New ‘Scissors’ button.
Screen Clipping in Word
To insert a clip of a part of an open window, choose Screen
Clipping. If you have multiple windows open, the window to
make the click from needs to be in front of other windows with
the exception of the working Word document. So click on that
window before clicking Screen Clipping in the working document.
Annotating a Snip
After clicking Screen Clipping, the working Word document is
minimized and only the windows behind it are available for
clipping. The entire screen is opaque and greyed out. The
pointer becomes a cross. With it press and hold the left mouse
It may be useful to highlight certain elements in the screen shot.
With the Snipping tool you can draw a freehand circle, arrow or
even write with the pen tool. Just click and drag on the screenshot.
The standard pen is blue but I selected red and drew out a circle
around the pen, highlighter and eraser tools. The Snipping Tool
highlighter is yellow and can be used like a regular highlighter
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 12
to bring attention to certain areas. The Eraser erases pen and
highlighter markings but does not modify the original snip.
Types of Snips
The default snip is Rectangular but Free-form, Window and
Full-screen snips are available. To choose which snip to use,
click the down arrow by the New button. To use the Free-form
Snip draw a shape around an object on the screen with the
scissors icon. When using the Window Snip to select a whole
window, like an application window or dialog box, click in it
with the hand icon. The Full-screen Snip automatically
captures the entire screen.
Once a screen shot has been taken using the Snipping Tool,
it’s on the clipboard. So you can paste it straight into a Microsoft
Word document or your Outlook email. The annotations added
to the screen shot are included on the clipboard.
Saving the Snip
To save a screen shot as an image, select Save As in the File drop
down menu. Then in the Save As dialog box type in a name for
the image and specify a location for it to be saved. If you do not
save the clip and close Snipping tool you will be prompted to
save it. The File drop down menu also contains Send To. Click
it to open your default email application and send the snip.
Invisible Shield
By George Harding, Treasurer, Tucson
Computer Society, AZ, December 2011
issue, eJournal,,
[email protected]
If you have a smart phone, MP3
player, tablet or other portable
device, you need a durable
covering for the faces of your
instrument. ZAGG has a solution
for you.
Why have a covering?
Many reasons:
First, you want to protect the
surfaces from scratches. Plastic scratches very easily and
even glass can be marred.
Second, it’s easier to clean than the natural surface.
Third, even the corners and curves are protected.
Fourth, the covering is easier to hold onto, so you’re less
likely to drop it. And last, it’s invisible.
The product is specific to each device, since it must have
the proper cutouts for the device you’re going to protect.
ZAGG has a product for just about every device known to
the tech world.
The Invisible Shield product has a lifetime guarantee. If
it gets damaged, ZAGG will replace it for free. You can’t
get better protection than that!
Installation is carefully done. First, wash your hands
(didn’t think of that, did you?). Unplug or turn off your
device. Wipe it clean with a lint-free cloth. The kit
comes with a small bottle of spray. You spray your
fingertips with it. Then remove the paper backing from
the clear plastic overlay for the surface you are working
on (there are overlays for all sides of your device). Then
spray the overlay.
Next, place the overlay on the surface you’re working on
and make sure it’s aligned properly. If necessary, remove
the overly, spray it again and realign it. You can lightly spray
the non-adhesive side of the overlay to make the squeegee
move more smoothly. The squeegee (supplied) is then used
to push out the bubbles and excess solution. Soak up any
excess solution with a clean cloth. You’ll want to set your
device aside for overnight to let the solution dry and cure.
The overlays won’t scratch, tear or become damaged
and should last for the lifetime of your device. If you
encounter a problem, contact Zagg for replacement of the
Invisible Shield.
About: Invisible Shield
Vendor: ZAGG
Price: Varies by device, but about $25 for most
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 13
Building a PC
By Dick Maybach, October 2011 issue, BUG Bytes, Brookdale Computer Users’ Group, NJ,
There are several reasons why you might want to do this: you
may be an experienced user with definite ideas about what
you want; you may like to tinker and want a system that is easy
to change; or you may want to save money by cannibalizing
old systems. You probably won’t save money, because you
will porbably use higher-quality and higher-performance
parts than do PC system manufacturers. You will learn how
PCs are assembled (but not how they work), which means
that your computer will be easy to expand.
If you are building a new system, I highly recommend
the book Building the Perfect PC, by Robert and
Barbara Thompson, which describes six different PC
designs, one of which is probably close to what you have
in mind. They discuss system design and component
selection, as well as the construction process, and
recommend specific manufacturers and vendors. This is
by far the best book I’ve read on the topic, and it’s worth
a scan at your local bookstore, even if you have no plans
to build anything. You may find, as I did, that it will inspire
you to get busy. There is just one caveat; although the
book was copyrighted in 2011, technology has advanced,
and there are superior replacements for many of the
components they recommend.
If you are interested in the repair and refurbishment of older
PCs, get a copy of Upgrading and Repairing PCs by Scott
Mueller. This costs twice as much as the Thompson’s book and
is four times the size, but its scope is comprehensive. This isn’t
a set of step-by-step instructions, but is more of a PC reference
book; as a result, you can expect to do some heavy slogging.
For the remainder of the article, I’ll assume you are building
a new PC with modern, high-quality components. (While it’s
interesting to assemble a system on the cheap, using no-name
components, it will be difficult to build and perhaps unreliable.)
The project will have four phases (1) system design, (2) parts
orders, (3) construction, and (4) software installation and, [email protected]
configuration, with system design taking the longest, typically
longer than the other three combined.
You will first select the CPU. Both Intel and AMD make
excellent products, but each has different strengths. (See the
Thompson’s book for the details.) I prefer Intel, because over
the years I’ve had only good experiences with their CPUs and
motherboards. Intel’s website is invaluable in helping you to pick
the CPU that best fits your needs. You can read not only data
sheets on particular models, but also download white papers on
their technology.The site will also assemble tables that compare
several CPUs, which makes it easy to see their differences.
Years ago, we compared CPU performance by looking at just
their clock rates, but today with such advanced features as
multiple cores and multi-threading, this is no longer appropriate.
Once you have a CPU candidate, the Intel site can
recommend a matching Intel motherboard. (Gigabyte and
ASUS also make excellent motherboards and would probably
be your choice for an AMD CPU.) Again, letting the Intel site
build a comparison table will help your selection process. You
should design more than one system; perhaps what you think
you want, one with lower cost and performance, and one with
higher. Keeping three balls in the air will help prevent you from
making your final judgment too early.You should now download
the manuals for all the motherboards you are considering.
(The one I chose for my project was 88 pages, which was
quite a nice change from the postcard-sized sheets we used
to get with motherboards sold at computer shows.) Studying
these manuals will help you select the best motherboard for
your use.
Before going further with the electronics, you should
consider cases, which must fit your motherboard. I used one
from Antec on my project, and I’m very impressed with it,
although I’ve also used Lian Li cases, most of which are
aluminum models and hence are relatively light. If you have
size constraints, you may find that you need a motherboard
that is smaller than the standard ATX size. Asmall system box
appears desirable, but be realistic; usually you can find room
for a full-sized case on the floor and the cramped interior of
a compact one makes it difficult to assemble and often noisy
to cool. Again, download the manuals for any cases you are
considering and eliminate any units for which good manuals
are not available. My Antec case manual had 13 pages (again
a nice contrast to the single sheet we would get for computer
show cases).
Loop through the CPU-motherboard-case selection process
as many times as needed to be sure you have sensible designs for
the core components before you continue on to the other parts.
For RAM, I prefer Crucial, but Kingston and Corsair are also
good. Entering you motherboard model on Crucial’sWebsite will
result in a good recommendation, but check against your
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 14
motherboard manual to be sure.
Since most motherboards include
quite capable integral sound and
display controllers, you won’t need
expansion cards for these functions
unless you have special
requirements. I’ve had good luck
with Seagate drives and always
use these. Removable drives are a
bit of a problem, since price
considerations have driven highquality products off the market (the Wal-Mart effect). Fortunately
DVD drives are cheap and easily replaced. (Don’t even consider
a diskette drive, as the quality of the few available models is
extremely poor; many are dead on delivery, and so cheap that they
are not worth returning. You probably can’t get around this by
using an old drive, since it probably has an IDE interface and
modern motherboards have only SATA ones. Although IDE
expansion cards are available, their quality too is very poor.) The
only remaining internal component is the power supply, which
I’ve left until last because you need to know how much power
the other components require and what power connectors they
use. Consider units from Antec, PC Power & Cooling, and
The most important external component is the display, where
you shouldn’t be stingy on the size, although it does have to fit
within the space on your desk. I chose an ASUS one, but NEC,
Samsung, and ViewSonic are also good. I think that the
reliability of those with an LED backlights is worth the small
premium price over units with fluorescent backlights. Keyboards
and mice are commodity products, but I prefer Logitech and
Microsoft over the slightly cheaper no-name alternatives.
Don’t count on reusing your old keyboard and mouse; they
probably have PS/2 connectors, and new motherboards have
only USB ones. Finally, I like Logitech speakers.
Many components are available either as consumer or
OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts. Consumer
parts typically come in a package with instructions, mounting
hardware and cables, a guarantee, and access to the
manufacturers help line, while OEM parts include none of
these. Also OEM components are frequently stripped down
to reduce their costs; as a result they may have fewer features
and lower performance than the consumer versions. For
example, consumer CPUs include a cooler designed for that
unit, while OEM CPUs do not. Usually, getting the consumer
model is worth the small added cost. It appears that hard disks
are available only on an OEM basis, which means it’s
important to buy them from a reputable manufacturer.
Up to now, you’ve only spent your time, but this changes
when you order parts. I’ve had very good luck with Amazon
and Newegg, but neither is perfect. Many items on Amazon’s
Website are sold directly by them, but for others they are just
an agent for another company and here you must be careful.
I had one of these companies try to charge me $200 shipping
on a $30 expansion card. When I complained to Amazon, they
were not the least bit embarrassed, saying that they took no
responsibility for the unethical behavior of third parties. With
Newegg you have to be careful in placing your order; their
process is not as refined as Amazon’s, and in particular it’s
easy to place your order twice. With both, check the shipping
costs carefully. Having said that, I prefer to deal with these
two companies when I order electronics. A very valuable
feature of both sites is the customer reviews. Ignore the
numerical ratings, which mean little, but carefully read the
comments, where it is easy to identify the balanced,
knowledgeable comments from the petty whines.
While you are waiting for the parts to arrive, print out all the
manuals you’ve downloaded, because once you unpack the
boxes you will find only quick-start guides. The only tools you
will probably need are Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers. I
also use a wrist-band to discharge static electricity (available
from Radio Shack), but you can skip this if you are careful.
(See the Thompson’s book.) An experienced user can assemble
a new PC in about an hour, but expect to take longer since you
will probably have to do some things several times to get them
right. I find that after an hour or so, I need a break, preferably
until the following day. Often, during the break I will think of
something I should have done differently. Some steps can be
tricky; it took me three tries to get my motherboard installed
in the case correctly, even though I’ve built several PCs. In
any case, take your time; it’s supposed to be fun, and if in doubt
take a break.
For prove-in I prefer an Ubuntu live CD-ROM, which
doesn’t use the hard disks at all and lets you check out your
new hardware before you spend time installing an operating
system. Who knows, you may find you like it well enough to
set up your PC to run both Linux and Windows.
Your last step is to place all the packing slips, receipts,
installation DVDs, manuals (both those included with the
parts and those you downloaded) into a large envelope,
place all the parts and cables you didn’t need in a single box,
and label both. If you later expand the system or add
software to it, store the paper, DVDs, and extra parts in the
same envelope and box. This will make upgrades and
repairs much, much easier.
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 15
Inserting International Letters into
Word Documents
By Nancy DeMarte, Columnist, Office Talk, Sarasota PCUG, Inc., Florida, September 2011
issue, Sarasota PC Monitor,, [email protected]
In our global society, languages have become more blended.
English, for example, has adopted many words of different
origins, some of which include special diacritical marks
over the letters, as in the French word passé. Occasionally
words can actually be misunderstood without a special
mark over a letter, such as the difference between the
“résumé” we provide when looking for a job, and “resume”,
meaning to begin again. It helps to know how to insert
these diacritical marks when using Microsoft Office.
Word provides two fairly easy methods to add these
marks: the Symbol dialog box and keystroke combinations.
The Symbol dialog box (formerly called the Character
Map) is easy to find in Word. It can be useful but also a
bit tedious when you’re in the middle of composing a
document. It provides both international characters and
other symbols, such as the Euro symbol (•) or Pi (ð). To
use this dialog box in Word 2007, click the Insert tab, then
Symbol to view a few common symbols. Click the one
you want to make it appear where your cursor was
flashing. Click Symbol, then More Symbols, to open the
full dialog box. Click a letter or symbol, then Insert, and
it’s done. This dialog box contains every symbol and
international letter that Office has to offer, but inserting
one may involve moving between different tables of fonts
and symbol types before you locate the one you need. It
is worth spending a few minutes exploring this box,
though, if only to see what’s available. Once you insert a
symbol using the dialog box, it will appear with recently
used characters and symbols in a row near the bottom of
the box for easy access in the future.
Although the Symbol dialog box method is the best way
to insert a symbol, there’s an easier method of inserting
international letters using a combination of keyboard
strokes. This method involves pressing the Control key
(Ctrl) on the keyboard at the same time as a punctuation
or symbol key, then releasing these keys and pressing the
key of the letter that needs the diacritical mark. Let’s use
the example of the acute é. First be sure your cursor is
flashing in the spot where you want the character to
appear. Press the Ctrl key and the apostrophe key at the
same time. Release them and type the letter “e”, which
will appear with its acute mark in place, é.
When learning this method, it helps to have a chart of
the appropriate keys and corresponding diacritical marks
nearby. The system is so logical that before long you
won’t need to refer to the chart except for unusual
marks. The chart below gives you many of the ones you
might need:
Press these keys,
then release and press
the letter.
à, è, ì, ò, ù ....................... Ctrl + ‘ (grave accent key)
á, é, í, ó, ú, ý ................... Ctrl + ‘ (apostrophe key)
â, ê, î, ô, û ....................... Ctrl + Shift + ^ (caret key)
ã, ñ, õ .............................. Ctrl + Shift + ~ (tilde key)
ä, ë, ï, ö, ü, ÿ ................... Ctrl + Shift + : (colon key)
å ..................................... Crtl + Shift + @
æ or œ ............................ Crtl + Shift + &
ç ..................................... Crtl + , (comma key)
ð ..................................... Crtl + ‘ (apostrophe key)
ø ..................................... Ctrl + / (forward slash key)
¿ ..................................... Alt + Ctrl + Shift +?
¡ ...................................... Alt + Ctrl + Shift +!
ß ..................................... Ctrl + Shift + &
A few tips about this chart: 1. Many of the diacritical marks
resemble the keyboard symbols that are used to create
them, which makes them easier to remember. 2.
Occasionally the Shift key is included in the procedure.
This is because the keyboard symbol is the top one on the
key and needs the Shift key to select it, as it would if it were
a capital letter. 3. To get the upper case version of these
letters with their marks, such as É, merely press the Shift
key while pressing the letter.
If you find that you type in languages other than
English on a regular basis, Word 2007 and 2010 offer
quite a bit of help. You can see the list of the languages
which have editing tools installed in Word by clicking the
Office button (File in 2010) and selecting Word Options.
Click Popular in the left pane and select the Language
Settings button. I found, for example, that limited editing
support is provided for more than 200 languages on my
computer, including six dialects of French, five of Chinese,
and twenty-one of Spanish.
If you need more tools in another language, you can
download free Language Interface Packs or purchase
Language Packs for about $25, both of which provide
extra editing tools for the language of your choice. Other
options allow you to change the keyboard to a different
language layout. To do this, open the Control Panel and put
it in Classic view so all the icons are visible. Click the
Region and Language icon, and then the Keyboards and
Languages tab. English is the default, but you can add
other languages from this dialog box. You can also customize
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 16
formats for specific systems which differ among countries,
such as currency and measurement, using the Format tab
in that same dialog box.
If you are interested in exploring more about using Word
in a language other than English, here is a link to get you
us/support/change-the-defaultlanguage-for-office-programsHA010356057.aspx. Meantime, clip the chart included
in this article to use the next time you need to type an
“international” word.
Discovering Windows 7 – Part 22
By Neil Stahfest, Vice President, Tacoma Area PC User Group, Washington, December 2011
issue, the Data Line, [email protected],
The Windows operating system contains a number of built-in Windows mobility center
functions to display files, change display settings, change Do you have a portable computer? Try pressing the
mouse settings, etc. Most of these functions can be accessed Windows logo key and the X key. This opens the Windows
in more than one way. By pressing the Windows logo key (the Mobility Center. From this menu you can adjust screen
key with the waving Windows flag – usually to the left of the brightness, check battery power and turn on or off your
space bar) either alone or in combination with another key wireless network connection.
enables you to work with Windows without using a mouse or
other pointer device. For example, instead of clicking on the Connecting to multiple displays
Windows Start Button to open the Start Menu, just press the
Do you ever connect your computer to more than one
Windows logo key. More examples follow:
display or a projector? Try pressing the Windows logo key
and the P key. This brings up Windows projection controls.
File search
Use the arrow keys to switch between the choices available.
If you want to find a file you could click on the Windows
Start button and then type the name of the file in the search Windows properties
box that appears above the Start button. This requires that
Do you know what your computer’s system properties are?
you take one hand off the keyboard, grab the mouse, point
What version of Windows are you using? Is it 32-bit or 64at the button, left click and then take your hand off the
bit operating system? How much RAM (memory) is installed?
mouse to enter the file name.
What processor is installed in your computer? These are
Using the Windows logo key, you can search without questions I frequently ask when I’m looking at someone
removing your fingers from the keyboard. All you have to else’s computer. There are several ways to find this
do is simultaneously press the Windows logo key and the information but the easiest way is to simultaneously pressing
F key. When the search box appears, just enter the file the Windows logo key and the Pause key (you may have to
name you are looking for.
scroll to see all the contents of this Window).
Copying between folders
Do you ever need to move files from one folder to another?
I frequently copy or move files to a flash drive. I also move
pictures from my digital camera to my computer.
The usual way to copy or move files is to both folders at
the same time so you can see the contents. To do this you
is to open one folder, click to reduce the size of the folder
to less than full screen, then move your mouse pointer to
the top of the windows and click and drag the folder to the
side until it “snaps” to file one side of the screen. Then you
open the second folder, reduce the size, click and drag it to
the other side of the screen. Then you click and drag to
copy or move file from one folder to the other.
Using the Windows logo key method, you open one
folder, hold down the Windows logo key and press the right
arrow key to move it to one side of the screen. Next you
open the second folder, hold down the Windows logo key
and press the left arrow key to move it to the left side of
the screen. Then you copy or move files from one folder
to another in the usual manner.
As you can see the Windows logo key can be pretty useful.
It lets you directly access many Windows functions without
going through the Windows Control Panel or using your
mouse and provides a faster way to control Windows. To
learn more, click on the Start button, select “Help and
Support” and type “shortcut keys” in the search box.
Link Color Change
Some Web pages are so loaded with links that
sometimes it’s hard to tell which one your mouse
pointer is touching. You can make things easier with an
Internet Explorer option that will change the color of
links as you point to them. From the Tools menu, click
Internet Options, and on the General tab, click Colors.
In the Links box, click the Use Hover Color checkbox,
select a desired color, and click OK.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit to learn what Smart
Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 17
Tech Tip
How to Recover Data from a
Dead Hard Drive
By Bryan Lambert,,
One of the most dreadful feelings that you can have is
having a pc computer or laptop die that hasn’t been backed
up recently; especially if you have valuable pictures,
music, videos, documents or other files on it.
One of the most dreadful feelings that you can have is
having a pc computer or laptop die that hadn’t been backed
up recently; especially if you have valuable pictures,
music, videos, documents or other files on it.
In this Tech Tip we’ll take a look at how to recover your
valuable pictures from a dead computer.
Where to start
Computers are complex machines and when they work
right, they are fun to use – but when something goes
drastically wrong, it can feel as if your world crashed down
around you. If your hard drive is still in working order, there
is a very good chance that you’ll be able to recover your
pictures, music, videos and valuable documents (and other
data) simply with another computer; a specialized cable, a
screwdriver; and a little time.
To start off, your best bet it to get a specialized USB cable
that can plug directly into your hard drive that you’ll recover
from the dead computer. There are several types, and I’d
recommend getting one that can handle both PATA (IDE) and
SATA hard drives (the two most common used in consumer
computers) as well as 2.5" (laptop) and 3.5" (desktop) hard
drives ( sells several that run in the $13-16 range).
You can also use a hard drive dock or external drive cases as
well - but personally I find the specialized USB cable to be the
easiest and most flexible option.
Next, remove the hard drive from the dead computer. On
desktops it is usually held in with four Philips screwdrivers
and on laptops it is usually under an access panel on the
bottom of the computer. Remove any cables and caddies
that the drive may have – all you need is the bare drive. Then
plug in the USB cable into the hard drive (and a power cable
if it is a desktop drive – also provided with the USB cable kit)
and then plug the other end of the USB cable into a working
computer. The computer will then set up the drive ad an
external storage device and voilà! you’ll now have access
to the files on that drive (provided that the drive is not
encrypted or using some type of security feature).
Where to look
OK, so the drive is now plugged into your computer and
seen as an external drive, now what? You have several
options. One option is to simply look for the files on
the drive from the dead computer that you plugged
into the USB port and copy them onto the working
computer. This is my preferred method personally. I
like to “brute force” my way through the drive with
Windows Explorer (or a similar file browsing tool) and
manually copy/paste the data from one computer to the
other. Another option is to follow a Windows dialog box
(that usually pops up when you plug in an external drive)
and have it help you copy your data from one computer to
the other. If you are manually choosing to “brute force it”
personal data is usually stored by default in the computers
operating systems “home directory” for users.
Common Locations
for home directories (where <root> takes the place of
the drive letter):
1. Microsoft Windows 95-Me
<root>\My Documents
2. Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/2003
<root>\Documents and Settings\<username>
3. Microsoft Windows Vista / Windows 7
Other “What ifs”
What if the files on the drives are erased? If they are, you
can use a free recovery program such as Piriform’s
Recuva to look for and (hopefully) restore the files. This
simple, easy-to-use tool is terrific for recovering pictures
from a camera’s memory card that have accidentally been
erased as well!
What if the hard drive is the reason that the computer
died (actual hardware failure)? If the hard drive is the part
that caused the computer failure, then you may be out of
luck. Yes, there are specialty recovery services that will
pull apart the drives data platters and attempt to recover
data (and they are usually successful - such services were
used, for example, to recover data from the hard drives
that were used on computers from the space shuttle
Columbia after it broke apart in 2003) but such services are
usually very expensive.
A word to the wise
Backup, backup, backup! Whether using one of the
Internet based cloud services or a separate external hard
drive – if you make it a habit of backing up regularly,
chances are good that you’ll keep the loss of such a failure
to a minimum if a computer fails. Of course one of the
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 18
benefits of using cloud-based backup services is that you
can have access to your pictures anywhere you have
Internet access.
Summing it up
A computer that dies can be a loss – but don’t lose hope
that your valuable pictures (and other stuff) are gone
forever. With a little work, you can retrieve your data off
the hard drives from a dead computer!
Photographically Speaking
Reviewed by: Marlene Martin, Member, Tucson Computer Society, AZ, December 2011 issue,
eJournal,, [email protected]
DuChemin, in his introduction states that the “subject your photographic
of this book is the expression of vision or intent and thought process. For
not the vision itself.” DuChemin’s premise is that example, in the section
successful photographs “communicate a key thought on color, the creative
or feeling.”
exercise is “pick six of
To accomplish this, photographers must first be clear in your favorite color
their own minds about their “intent” prior to making photographs, rendering
decisions about what to include or exclude. Only then can one of each into black
the more technical decisions be made to portray those and white.”
chosen elements to communicate that vision or intent. The
There are then a set
author compares the craft of photography to writing but of suggested questions
with its own visual language and grammar.
to use when viewing
Learning to use photographic language effectively allows the original and changed
photographers to communicate their intent to the reader, photos – what is the
i.e. the viewer, in ways that evoke a response. After setting difference in your emotional response, does your eye
the stage in Part 1, and making a case for his premise that travel differently when you view the photograph, does
“mindfully” determining your intent will lead to stronger color add or detract, etc.
images, DuChemin looks at how to use the elements of
DuChemin suggests that photographers are often
Visual Language along with compositional and technical distracted by color and that it prevents them from looking
aspects to communicate intent.
critically at the elements in the photograph. He believes
“Part II – “Visual Language” explores the Elements that the ability to see beyond the color and pay more
(words) that can be manipulated within the photographic attention to the elements prior to making the photograph
frame and the Decisions (grammar) that determines how will improve the decisions used to create the image.
we visual present the elements to the “reader.” Each
I found that just reading and thinking about each “Creative
element (lines, repetition, contrast, color, etc.) is explored, Exercise” was very helpful in reviewing and driving home
individually and in depth, using the author’s photographs as the concept being explored, and many of them are definitely
examples of that particular element.
on my “to do” list.
This is one of the real strengths of this book. The author
The last section of the book, Part III is a series of 20
not only shows us the picture, he describes what he did and photographs selected from the author’s work to represent
why, but also what he wanted to communicate with the the concepts explored in the book. Each is discussed in
selected element. His descriptions are clear, articulate and detail in terms of the elements and decisions used to make
are often accompanied by additional graphic examples or the photo, plus possible alternatives that might have made
photographs on which he superimposes additional the photograph stronger. DuChemin challenges the reader
information to illustrate his example. He also, where it adds to critically view each photograph – intent, subject, elements,
to the lesson, includes photographs taken immediately decisions, etc. and actually write down their responses –
before or after and discusses, in the same depth, why they before reading his description.\
aren’t as strong and/or don’t communicate his intent as
For each photograph, the format is similar to that of Part
well as the selected photo.
II – alternative photographs taken at the same time and
The same format is used to explore each decision that graphic overlays to illustrate a concept present in the
organizes and presents the selected elements – framing, photograph. Careful viewing and reading of this section
placement, optics, focus, etc.
helps solidify the educational and practical material
To assist the reader to explore each concept for presented in this book.
themselves, each subsection ends with a suggested
“Creative Exercise.” These are fairly simply, short
Photographically Speaking cont. on page 18
exercises to trigger making an idea or technique part of
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 19
Photographically Speaking cont. from page 17
Appended to the final photograph, “Candles & Prayers,
Kathmandu, Nepal, 2010,” is a list of 19 questions to
“mindfully ask” when viewing your own or other’s
photographs. They include questions designed to elicit
your feelings and emotional responses in addition to
how decisions about elements (“words”) and decisions
(“grammar”) affect the photograph and thereby
communication with the reader. They are a very useful
summary of the book.
In his conclusion, DuChemin cautions that while he
has simplified the material for educational purposes, to
fully integrate the concepts into your photographic
workflow is anything but easy. Just like learning any
new language, it takes time and conscious practice.
While this is the fourth book of a series DuChemin has
written on photographic vision, it stands on its own and
is eminently readable and usable without knowledge of
the first three books. I have not read any of the others.
I can enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone
except perhaps a very novice photographer. A basic
knowledge of focus, shutter speed, etc. and how these
affect a photograph would definitely add to getting the
most from the material.
The book is probably most helpful for someone who
has mastered the technical aspects and now wants to
improve how they create their “intent” within the
photographic frame to increase the impact of their
work. The author presents organized, well written
concepts and information with appropriate images and
detail and has caused me to think about how I approach
photographs in a more thoughtful way.
My suggestion would be to read Part I, “The
Photographer’s Intent” first but without getting too
caught up in whether you agree or disagree with his
Read Parts II and III for the specifics and consider
doing the “Creative Exercises” as you go along or pick
and choose afterwards. Then go back and re-read Part
I. This worked for me.
About: Photographically Speaking – A Deeper
Look at Creating Stronger Images
Author: David DuChemin
Publisher: New Riders Press
ISBN-10: 0-321-75044-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-321-75044-0
Price: $44.95, $24.94 @ Amazon, $19.79 Kindle
Making Things Happen
By Gregory West, VP of Sarnia Computer Users’ Group, Canada, For more tips visit his Blog:, [email protected]
“individual programmers, testers or other contributors.” It
Making Things Happen Mastering
demonstrates various proven management principles to
Project Management
any group looking for productivity, leadership, and how to
Scott Berkun
make it all work. Berkun is correct when he says this book
O’Reilly Media
“combines business theory, psychology, management tactics,
Pages 392
design processes, and software engineering.” giving advice
in every chapter.
USA - $39 / CAN $39
Each chapter ends with a summation of key points for
review. There are “Exercises” along with summations that
can be easily applied within your group setting or on your
own. These exercises are designed to create situations
stimulated from the information in the chapter, giving you
(4 out of 5)
a sense of real time action. This is a great way for team
“How,” is author Scott Berkun’s favorite word and it players to act out or plan for the next project, using the
shows throughout this book. Whenever he sees something techniques from each chapter.
This book is about managing groups and projects. I am
new the first word comes out: “how.” Berkun’s roles,
while working at Microsoft, included: Internet Explorer 1.0 involved with several different types of groups, some
to 5.0, Windows, MSN as well as a lead program manager. having nothing to do with technology, and the methods
So, it is no wonder Scott Berkun makes this book happen. found within this book can easily be adapted to any one of
“Making Things Happen” is sectioned into three parts: my various groups.
This book is written for people who like to “skim” ahead,
Plans, Skills, and Management. It is an easy read and it
seems like Berkun is speaking directly to you, while in the browse and/or dig in for a specific task or problem to plan
office or on site. This book is designed for “experienced and commit. If you have a specific management task to
team leaders”, “new team leaders and managers” and work out in a group setting, or if you want success using
project management techniques, this book is a must.
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 20
but, is Siri a Google killer?
By Linda Gonse, Editor/Webmaster, Orange County PCUG, California, December 2011 issue,
nibbles & bits,, [email protected]
The following two points of view offer interesting
observations projecting the value and usefulness, and
duplication of Siri in other OSs. Siri is an artificial intelligence
feature built into the iPhone 4S. David Coursey begins. He
has been a tech writer for the past 25 years for major
computer publications. Rebutting Coursey’s article is Jon
Jones, NCMUG’s newsletter editor and president of
Lunarparcel Media. His videos explaining 4S iPhone
features, such as Siri, are at
— Linda Gonse
To start, in his Five Reasons Siri Is Not A Google Killer
on, David Coursey said, “I don’t mean to
minimize the impact Siri will have on mobile devices,
remote controls, etc. But, we are very early in the game
and saying that Siri is going to kill anything is way premature.
Let’s revisit this in a year and see what the competitive
landscape and Siri’s market share look like then. “I
understand how much many in the Apple community want
something bad — really bad — to happen to Google, but I
don’t think it’s Siri, at least not yet.” http://
Jon Jones responds: “Interesting points. I think he’s
mostly right, but not all of the points are on target. In Point
3, he seems to make the mistake of categorizing iPhone
users as the “typical Apple devotee” niche, and that’s just
not the case at all. Most iPhone users couldn’t care less
about Apple, and don’t own or use other Apple products.
“He’s also a bit zealous in his statement about Google’s
inherent wisdom in Point 4. I wouldn’t give them such
latitude. They do their share of experimentation to see what
sticks, and will continue to make bad calls along the way, just
as everyone else exploring new territory will as well.
“While it is definitely true that Siri heralds the developing
method in which folks will typically engage their technology,
it will in no way be a Google killer. I think folks just use that
type of terminology to be sensationalistic and baiting. While
Eric Schmidt has categorized Siri as a threat to Google, the
reality is that some of Siri’s functionality still finds Google’s
fingerprints under the hood, as well as a significant helping
of Wolfram Alpha’s mojo, which was also posited as a
Google killer, which was never to be. They’re different
animals living in the same zoo. In broadcast news terms,
Google is the info coming off the wire, and Wolfram Alpha
is the guest commentator framing it for viewers. Siri is up on
the roof re-positioning the rabbit ears.
“By that analogy, I mean both Google and Wolfram
Alpha have demonstrated their unique approaches to
gathering and presenting their data. I equate Google with
a straight up clinical presentation of data. Wolfram Alpha
serves more to contextualize the data for practical use, and
Siri provides a more convenient method of tuning in to
these pre-existing channels of accessing data — whether
that is through a simple search, or a more intelligent and
nuanced exploration of relevance.
“Google already has some of the basic framework on
how a similar interface might be realized, and they’ve
been ahead of the game on that front for quite a while.
What they are lacking is the AI component that Apple
invested in, but I know that both they, as well as Microsoft,
have been exploring similar avenues for a while. I
personally don’t see this in the context of competitiveness,
though each of the businesses will continue to frame it
that way. Each of them will seek methods to keep their
product locked into its own ecosystem….even Google
with their “free,” “open source,” platform will be
undergoing some growing pains trying to leverage control
in the arena. But I think there is still a lot of room for all
the contenders to continue to grow and develop. The core
of the article is accurate. Google is in no danger of being
killed by Siri. “Basically, Siri itself doesn’t pose a threat
to Google. It is an Assistant, not a search engine. It
utilizes pre-existing search mechanisms to access and
acquire information.”
Mouse Pointer Personalized
If you’re tired of the looking at the same old, white-arrow
mouse pointer, Windows XP will let you change it to
something different. From the Start menu, point to
Control Panel, point to Settings, and then click Control
Panel. Double-click the Mouse icon and then click the
Pointers tab. Below the Customize box, click Browse,
and you’ll see dozens of different icons you can use for
your pointer. To customize in Vista, click the Windows
button, Control Panel, Mouse (under Hardware And
Sound), and the Pointers tab.
Grease Is Not The Word
If the CD is not the problem (and you know this because
it plays in a different player), the player itself may be the
culprit. CD players gather dust, grease, and grime, and
when the laser lens gets dirty, it’s hard (if not impossible)
for the player to read your CDs. A dirty player will often
spin a disc to no avail and then display an error
message. To prevent or alleviate this glitch, invest in a
cleaner such as Memorex’s CD/DVD Laser Lens
Cleaner. Put the CD in your player, and as it runs, it’ll
clean the dust and buildup off the lens.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit to learn what Smart
Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 21
Is there such a thing as streaming
video on an iPad?
Story by Linda Gonse, Editor / Webmaster, Orange County PC Users’ Group, CA, Research
by Jon Jones, Newsletter, North Coast Mac User Group, CA, September 2011 issue, nibbles
bits,,, [email protected]
thought of this new app’s claim and the iPad’s capability.
Jon is also the proud, happy owner of a new iPad.
Jon said he went through the FAQ on the Boxee site,, to learn things that weren’t
indicated in the app’s description. “Evidently, the app can
operate as a standalone streamer, and while it was intended
as an option to stream from your PC content, apparently
that part isn’t working right,” he said.
“Additionally, the current version is getting a ton of 1 star
reviews (at iTunes) stating that the audio is not functioning.”
Jon downloaded the app from Boxee and set up an
account to take a closer look at it on his iPad. He also sent
a link to me of a Youtube video demo by its developer, Cord
Recently an iPhone Life blog touted Boxee for the iPad. Cutters, so I could see what the app has to offer. (Take a
The headline read, “Boxee for iPad — free app lets you look for yourself at
watch?v=M7OVz84lPSI ).
watch free streaming.”
Jon said, “It works as a standalone app, but is limited on
For people who wonder what streaming actually is, a
its own. It definitely doesn’t let you stream live TV — and
definition from, http://
I admit, the very basic info from iPhone Life seemed to, explains it simply. “Streaming video
indicate that maybe it could…but it can’t. When they say
is content sent in compressed form over the Internet and
‘watching tv on your iPad,’ well…it’s not really that,” he
displayed by the viewer in real time. With streaming video
or streaming media, a Web user does not have to wait to
“Basically, the app shows you three rows of aggregation.
download a file to play it. Instead, the media is sent in a
“Row 1 lets you set up your app with your social media
continuous stream of data and is played as it arrives.”
(Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr). When your feed
The iPhone Life blogger, Jim Karpen, said “I really enjoy
a video, they show up in that row.
Boxee’s free streaming video service. I have a laptop
“Row 2 syncs to your desktop machine, and shows vids
connected to my HDTV and pretty much exclusively
watch streaming video from Boxee: The Daily Show, tagged in your desktop browser to ‘watch later’ via the
CNET videos, TV shows, movies. There’s a lot of free app. They will then show up in the 2nd row.
content, as well as on-demand HD movies from Vudu. And
“Row 3 shows a limited selection of generic content
Boxee apps give you access to even more content. Plus, it aggregated by the staff at Boxee. I saw a two-minute clip
works with the remote that came with my Mac. Now of a Sagan series from NASA TV. The footage looked
there’s Boxee for iPad (free). It gives you access to beautiful. I’m glad it was free.
featured videos and to any videos that you’ve saved for
“Evidently, you can download the Boxee software on
later in your regular Boxee account. And it also gives your desktop, and although this app cannot sync with it, you
access to videos posted by your friends in Facebook, can also download something called the Boxee Media
Twitter, and Tumblr. In addition, you can use the app to Manager that lets you download content to your desktop,
stream any videos to your iPad that are on your Mac or PC. and then stream it to your iPad through the Boxee iPad
I highly recommend Boxee service and app.”
app. In this instance, the iPad is no longer a standalone
The headline pointed to the iPad as having the ability to device, and it still is not playing ‘live TV’ — which is so far
stream video. But, toward the middle of the review a mostly a non-starter in the ‘Cord Cuttersphere.’”
different description of the iPad app is given. It doesn’t
With this information, the gleam left my eyes and I
sound like the streaming video I had in mind from the realized that this was a “not even ready for Prime Time”
headline. I don’t have an iPad, though.
app and use for the iPad. But, these answers should be
So, I asked Jon Jones, a member of NCMUG and useful to anyone who reads this, because you are bound to
president of a digital media production facility, what he
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 22
see more headlines and apps about streaming video that
can, purportedly, be viewed on your iPad.
Don’t rush to get this or similar apps, yet. But, don’t lose
hope for live streaming on your iPad, either. Jon predicts
that changes and innovation by cable companies are
“One of the larger cable carriers in the country recently
started porting live TV over mobile networks in recent
weeks as a test to see if the infrastructure can handle it,”
Jon said.
“My guess is that if it retains viability, other carriers will
start porting such functionality through their own dedicated
apps within the next two years. Then we will start enjoying
REAL live TV on our mobile devices. Until then, I think
we’re limited to ‘almost live’ streaming content bursts
from specific news and entertainment outlets—not quite
live tv, but close.”
The blog headline that started the questioning! http:/
Product Review
Diskeeper 2011
By George Harding, Treasurer, Tucson Computer Society, AZ, November 2011 issue,
eJournal,, [email protected]
One of the essential parts of your Windows and cannot be changed while Windows is running.
computer, the hard disk, is also one Instead, they are operated on before Windows starts. This
that can cause the computer to be may add a bit to start-up time.
unable to boot. The Windows
You can, if you wish, manually defragment your disk, but
operating system provides tools to Diskeeper does a more efficient job, so let it do its job.
keep your hard disk in good health.
Sold in different editions with prices to match, the lowest
Fragmentation of files is one of price is about $40, certainly reasonable for such a
the consequences of efficient sophisticated program.
space utilization. File deletion
About: Diskeeper 2011
leaves portions of disk space
Vendor: Diskeeper
available for use by another file,
but only if the new file is the
same or smaller size as the deleted
Price: $40 and up
file. If larger, a portion of the new file is stored in the
Requires: Works with WIN XP/Vista/7
deleted file’s space, the balance somewhere else. This
splitting of a file may result in a file being cut into several
Turn Off Auto Formatting
pieces. It takes longer to retrieve a file in this condition,
If you’ve ever created a numbered or bulleted list in
than if it is stored as one contiguous piece.
Microsoft Word, you know that Word automatically makes
Fragmentation can be reduced or eliminated by a special
formatting changes once it senses a pattern in your list.
program that rearranges files so that each occupies only
However, the auto-formatted text can become tedious to
one spot on the disk. This produces more efficient file
change when you want to begin a sentence with a number
retrieval. The defragmenter in Windows can be operated
or bullet point without beginning a new list. If you want to turn
whenever desired. In Windows 7, it is run every day at a
off auto formatting in Word 2003, click the Tools menu,
specified time that can be changed by the operator. In
select AutoCorrect Options, choose the AutoFormat As
earlier versions of Windows, though, the defragmenter
You Type tab; remove the checkmarks from theAutomatic
Bulleted Lists and Automatic Numbered Lists, and click
must be run manually, requiring you to remember to do so.
Apply. In Word 2007, click the Office button, Word Options,
Diskeeper uses a different approach. Its IntelliWrite
and Proofing; click the AutoCorrect Options button; select
feature prevents fragmentation before it occurs. When a
theAutoFormatAsYou Type button; remove the checkmarks
file is saved, this technology prevents fragmentation from
from theAutomatic Bulleted Lists andAutomatic Numbered
occurring. In the rare event that a file is fragmented, the
Lists, click OK, and click OK again.
Instant Defrag feature fixes it in the background. These
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
operations occur without any noticeable degradation of to learn what Smart
performance. Boot-time defragmentation is a feature that
Computing can do for you and your user group!
can be used to defrag those files that are being used by
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 23
Compiled by Ron Broadhurst, Member, Space Coast PC Users Group, Inc., FL, November
2011 issue, The Space Coast PC Journal,, [email protected]
1. Open Windows Explorer
These ideas are compiled from years of accumulations
from various magazines, books, online sites, and my own
2. Click Organize | Folder and
personal experience. I claim neither originality nor
Search Options | View tab.
ownership to any of its contents. My only intent is to share
3. Check the box to show hidden
the various “tips, “tricks,” & “hints” in hopes of helping &
ûles, folders and drives, and
maybe enhancing your computing experiences. They are
click OK.
all intended for anyone who uses a PC. It is for beginners
4. Now navigate to this folder:
as well as advanced users. Enjoy and use as you will.
Users \ \ AppData \ Roaming \ Microsoft \ Windows
In the past my Broadsides articles have dealt with
\ Network Shortcuts
Windows XP and a few others. However, since the
5. Create the shortcuts in this folder that you want to
emergence of Windows 7, I have decided to add that OS
display in the Computer folder.
in future articles along with XP. Any suggestions to these
Open the Computer folder and you should be able to
Broadside articles is appreciated.
see your shortcuts. To group them together
underneath the Network Location, set Explorer to
How to customize the CTRL+ALT+DEL
sort by Type.
screen in Windows 7 Pro
and above
When you press the key combination CTRL+ALT+DEL
in Windows 7 (and Vista), you get a screen that shows you
a number of options, including locking the computer,
changing your password, logging off, and starting Task
Manager. You can customize this screen to show only
those options you want to see, using Group Policy - if
you’re running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or
Ultimate edition. Here’s how:
1. Click Start
2. In the Search box, type gpedit.msc and press ENTER
to open the Group Policy Editor
3. In the left pane, navigate to and click on User
Conûguration | Administrative Templates
4. In the right pane, double click the folder name
“Ctrl+Alt+Del Options”
5. In the right pane, you’ll see the items that you can
remove (for example, “Remove Lock Computer”).
To remove one, double click it and click Enabled to
enable the policy and remove the item from the
screen menu.
6. When you’re ûnished, click Apply and then OK
To see the change, press CTRL+ALT+DEL
How to display shortcuts and files in
the Computer folder
In Windows 7, the Computer folder (formerly known as My
Computer) by default contains all the drives and removable
storage devices attached to your system. You can also
display your favorite shortcuts to applications or documents
here so you can get to them quickly. Here’s how:
Shortcut To Create New Folders
In Windows 7
The usual way of creating a new folder in previous
Windows operating systems was to right-click on a blank
space in the window or computer desktop and select the
new folder option. There was no keyboard shortcut available
that could be quickly pressed to create that new folder.
This has apparently changed in Windows 7 as it is now
possible to create new folders with the keyboard shortcut
[CTRL Shift N]. All you need to do is press this keyboard
shortcut whenever you want to create a new folder. The
only thing left to do is to type in the name of the folder if
you want to change it and hit enter to save the changes.
Insert blank page
Question: How do I insert a
blank page between pages 5
and 6 in a Word 2007 document
that contains 65 pages?
Answer: With your document
open at the place where you
wish to insert a blank page:
• Click on the Insert tab
• Click on the Pages group
• Click the Blank Page option.
This will insert a blank page.
Inserting the date and time
Undoubtedly, the time will arise when you need to insert
the current date or time in your document. This may be in
the introduction of a letter or in a header or footer. Word
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 24
allows you to quickly insert the date or time in several
different formats. This information is inserted as a ûeld
which can be updated manually or is updated automatically
when you print the document.
6. Click on OK. The date or time, as speciûed, is
inserted in your document.
To insert the date or time into your
document, follow these steps:
1. Position the insertion point where you want the date
or time inserted.
2. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
3. Click Date & Time in the Text group. Word displays
the Date and Time dialog box.
4. Select a format for the date or time.
5. Select the check box at the bottom of the dialog box
if you want the selected date or time to always
reûect whatever is current. If you choose this, it
means that Word inserts the date or time as a ûeld
so that it always represents the current date or time.
Are you being followed?
By Linda Gonse, Editor/Webmaster, Orange County PCUG, California, December issue,
nibbles & bits,, [email protected]
“Submit” button, and you’re done. The cookies will be
You may not even suspect you are being followed. But, as removed for the selected companies and your opt-out
many as 60 ad networks may be tracking you on the web status will be automatically verified.
right now! What’s more, they may be selling personally
Go to the NAI website at
identifiable details about you.
to get the opt-out process started.
If this disturbs you, you can put a stop to it. You can
There are two caveats.
quickly opt out from advertising networks — each has
1. Opting out of a network does not mean you will no
multiple clients! — with just a few mouse clicks.
longer see online advertising. But, the network from
The National Advertising
which you opted out will no longer be tracking you
Initiative (NAI) is a cooperative
personally and displaying ads that are “tailored to
of dozens of online ad networks
your web preferences and usage patterns.” Isn’t
that track you. An NAI
that the idea?
statement says it developed an
2. Networks voluntarily allow opting out. It isn’t a legal
Opt-out Tool “in conjunction with
mandate. Also, technical glitches may occur. Cookies
our members for the express purpose of allowing consumers
from any of these networks may reappear. So, use
to ‘opt out’ of the behavioral advertising delivered by our
the Opt-out Tool regularly.
member companies.” To this end, NAI offers a YouTube
video on their home page showing you how the Opt-out Quantcast Measurement and Advertising does not
Tool works. (You can also see the enlarged video before participate in the National Advertising initiative, but also
offers you the ability to opt-out of their ads based on your
you go to their site at
Basically, the Opt-out Tool, interests.
Quantcast claims it doesn’t store your IP address or any
which will not be installed on
your computer, examines cookies other personally identifiable information. “But, if you prefer
(small text files) on your computer not to receive interest-based content and advertisements
and identifies those member enabled by Quantcast and not to have Quantcast measure
companies that have placed an your pattern of website visits or other online media
consumption, you can opt-out by using our opt-out tool” at
advertising cookie on it.
out is the only way
When a member company’s cookie is identified by the
Opt-out Tool, you simply check the box next to the you can avoid being tagged, tracked and tempted by
company name. If you are strongly motivated (or highly advertisers who know your purchasing history. By opting
frustrated), check the “Select All” box! Then, click the out you can end hunting season by advertisers who are
determined to bag your money.
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 25
Mac Tips
By Ernie Cox, Jr., member of the Computer Club of Green Valley, AZ, December 2011 issue,
Green Bytes,, [email protected]
Trying to Keep Up
Apple is on the move with the iPhone, making improvements
every year. The new 4S has “Siri,” a program using a
pleasant woman’s voice, which is like having an assistant on
board to help make your life a little easier. She’s perfect.
Well, not really, not yet, but Apple is working on improving
the few problems that have cropped up. Siri can find places
to eat, sleep and gas-up, remember your mate’s name as
well as remind you to get that bread, milk or beer before
going home. Added to that, Siri will write out your emails,
notes and any app you can type to. All to save those fingers.
All of you who have older Apple iPhones—before the
4S—and don’t have a helpful phone in your pocket, don’t
feel bad. You are still in the game. There are programs that
can be downloaded (for free) that will do similar functions
as the iPhone 4S’s “Siri.”
“Vlingo” is a free program that
works like “Siri” for finding
places, making calls, and using
street maps. Vlingo integrates
with Safari, Google, phones and
e-mails, etc.
“Dragon” is a voice/dictation
program for use with your e-mails.
After speaking into your phone, this
program writes out the text of what
you said that can then be used in email, Facebook, Twitter and SMS
(Short Message Service, a textmessaging service for phone, web
or mobile communication systems).
These apps are good for older iPhones starting with 3G,
3GS and 4, for iPod Touch 2, 3 and 4, and iPad 1 and 2.
Have fun keeping up.
Join the iCloud
Apple provides services with Find My iPhone and Find My
Mac that are most useful if you ever misplace one of your
iOS devices. All you need is an Apple ID, which is the same
as your iTunes user name and password.
To enable Find My iPhone on your iOS devices (including
iPad, iPod Touch), navigate to Settings > iCloud, sign in
with your Apple ID, and flip the switch for Find My iPhone
to ON.
Turning on Find My Mac is easy, too. In Mac OS X Lion
10.7.2, to go System Preferences > iCloud, and check the
box next to Find My Mac. You may get a notification about
allowing location services on your Mac. If so, click Allow.
Now log in to http:// with the
same Apple ID, and click the
Find My iPhone icon. A screen
appears, displaying all of your
devices that are linked to the
service. Click the small GPS
dot that appears on the map,
and you’ll see options for
tracking down your device. “Play Sound or Send
Message” will let you send a push notification to your
device that will also play a high-pitched sound to alert
you. Remote Lock lets you set a pass code on your
device so that no one else will be able to unlock it and
begin using it. And, if all else fails, you can perform a
Remote Wipe to clear all the date on your devices. You
can do the same with all compatible Macs.
Term From Smart Computing:
A way of recording CD-ROM discs that adds data
in blocks instead of recording the entire disc at
once. For example, half of the disc could be written
one day and the rest written a few weeks later.
Some older CD-ROM drives can’t read multisession
discs. This type of recording is used by some CDR (CD-recordabe) drives and all CD-RW (CDrewriteable) drives. See CD-rewriteable. See CDrecordable drive.
Term From Smart Computing:
To test aspects of computer hardware or software
against a known standard. When used as a noun, a
benchmark usually is the result of such a test.
Benchmarks are only useful if all computers or
applications being tested are tested under the same
conditions. When measuring the speed of computers,
for instance, a benchmark utility program should
attempt to perform the same operations with each
machine. It also is necessary to know exactly what
a benchmark is designed to test. A machine that is
speedy at one type of mathematical operation could
be slow at other tasks.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit to learn what Smart
Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 26
PC Computer Evolution
By Wil Wakely, President, Seniors Computer Group, California, November 2011 issue, Bits
and Bytes,, [email protected]
With the sad death in October 2011 of Steve Jobs of Apple was born. However, it had no operating system (OS).
fame, it seems appropriate to review the history of the
Rather than create a new one, they sought out Gary Kildall,
personal computer in which he was so instrumental in its the owner of Digital Research Inc. (DRI) in Pacific Grove,
evolution. In 1970 he was only 15 years old when the micro- CA. He had developed CP/M which at that time was a widely
computer, as it was then called, stirred to life. Prior to that time, used operating system for small computers. When IBM
mainframes and mini-computers dominated the scene, requiring personnel flew to the West Coast for their appointment with
large installations and huge capital expense. IBM 360’s Kildall, they were told he was off flying his airplane. He was
required a special air-conditioned room and cost up to $5.5 obviously not impressed with IBM. Justifiably miffed, IBM
million each. Our smart cell phones now have more computing approached Bill Gates at Microsoft for an OS.
power than they did.
Gates and his partner, Paul Allen, had been together since
The invention of the transistor at Bell Labs in 1947 and the 1975 writing the BASIC programming language. Bill quickly
Integrated Circuit invented in 1958, concurrently by Texas agreed to provide an OS to IBM. He called a local friend, also
Instruments and Intel allowed miniaturization and cost savings a programmer, who had developed QDOS (Quick & Dirty
that revolutionized future computer designs. One of the first Operating System) based upon DRI’s CP/M OS. After they
affordable micro-computers was the Atari, essentially an agreed to minimal financial terms, Gates modified it slightly for
arcade game machine that played PONG, a tennis simulation. IBM and named it MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating
It had no programming language and used a joy-stick for System). IBM further cleaned out 300 bugs and called it PCcontrol and a TV for a display. The Commodore 64, VIC-20 DOS, with Gates retaining all the rights. Brilliant negotiation!
and PET were the largest selling small computers in 1976. It At the time, computers were sold without the OS, which had
did have a programming language and a multitude of to be purchased separately. So in 1981 IBM launched the
applications. Other computer models appeared briefly on the IBM-PC followed by 11 upgrade models. The XT model had
scene: the Osborne, a “luggable” portable computer; the first internal hard drive.
RadioShack TRS-80, (Trash80); Heath H-89, a kit; Sinclair
Apple and Microsoft continue to fight for market share with
ZX80, a miniature inexpensive powerhouse from England; supporters who are strongly opinionated lined up on each side.
KayPro, by Andy Kay, owner of a local Solana Beach Apple has kept both the hardware and software proprietary,
company; IMSAI, a computer that actually looked like one whereas PC is “Open Source,” so third party suppliers can
with 22 front panel switches and 40 blinking red lights.
participate, increasing competition which ultimately reduces
Steve Jobs and his friend, Steve Wozniak, were computer cost and increases availability of components. Also, because
club buddies and got together in 1976 to design the Apple I. of Open Source, many more software applications are
During a visit to PARC ((Palo Alto Research Center, a Xerox available for the IBM-PC than the Apple.
company) Jobs saw their development of the GUI (Graphical
A second battle over the CPU (Central Processing Unit),
User Interface that we now call Windows) and the mouse that the brains of the computer, pits Intel against AMD and
controlled the cursor. He immediately realized that it was a Motorola.Again, competition favors the customer with perhaps
great idea. No keyboard required! He borrowed (?!) the idea Intel having a slim lead in performance, but not price.
and implemented it in the Apple II. Later, Microsoft borrowed
Video displays have evolved from TVs to CRTs (cathode
(copied?) theApple GUI for theirWindows and, not surprisingly,
ray tubes), offered in either white, green or orange
legal actions became rampant among the three.
characters, to high resolution LCDs (Liquid Crystal Displays
In 1979 a killer application called VisiCalc came on the aka Flat Screens). OLED displays (Organic Light Emitting
scene. It was a rudimentary spreadsheet that was first Diodes) are on the horizon with the promise of lower cost
incorporated in the Apple II. Now a personal computer could and better features.
actually do some work as opposed to just playing games.
Internal memory in early computers cost $125 for 8KB.
VisiCalc went on to inspire Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel which are
Now, 4GB, which is 500,000 times larger, only costs a fraction
much more powerful spreadsheet programs. WordStar, a
of that. Storage memory has evolved from punched paper
word processing (WP) program, also appeared in 1979.
tape to magnetic tape to floppy disks in sizes of 8", 5" and 3.5".
Several WP programs already existed, but WordStar quickly Now hard disk drives, flash drives, CD/DVD/BlueRay burners,
dominated the field. Typewriters became instantly obsolete. and Internet Cloud sites offer huge storage capability at
Also about that time, an IBM manager in the Boca Raton, minimal cost.
FL, facility developed the prototype IBMPC. It was a tough
So what is next? Probably a major breakthrough will occur
sell to upper management because of the fear of it cannibalizing that we can neither predict nor even envision. There will be
the mainframe business, but he persevered and the IBM-PC many exciting PC developments ahead, so stay tuned.
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 27
Turn Your PC into a 3-D Game Machine
By Vinny LaBash, Regular Columnist, Sarasota PCUG, Florida, October 2011 issue, Sarasota
Monitor,, [email protected]
7. The Direct X dialog box will appear. In the Output
3-D has been around for almost as long as photography.
section select Anaglyph (free) and the option
The general public’s first major exposure to 3-D was the
matching the 3-D glasses you have. Click Apply.
1952 motion picture Bwana Devil. It wasn’t the first 3-D
movie, but it was the first to be shot in color and receive
8. Examine the selections under Direct X in the left
wide exposure. The film didn’t win any awards, but the
side of the dialog box.
novelty of 3-D was a hit with big screen fans. People
9. If you know what you’re doing, change whatever is
became enamored with the illusion of depth for several
appropriate, otherwise close down the dialog box by
years, but the thrill eventually faded, and 3-D was essentially
clicking on the red X in the top right corner.
gone from movies by 1960.
3-D was by no means dead; it bounced around Install the driver on your machine
development labs for years until it was combined with
1. Close any open applications or browser sessions.
wide screen technology and ultimately merged with the
2. Go to your Downloads folder and look for a file
incredible IMAX experience. You’re not going to get
named iZ3DDriverSetup.1.12(4016).EXE. If the
IMAX on your PC, but you can get a solid 3-D effect in
numbers at the end of the file name are different,
most of your games with a little effort and small
don’t worry about it. All it means is that the driver
expense. It might be fun too.
has been updated since I wrote this.
Several weeks ago I received an interesting email from
3. Double click on the file name to begin the installation
Roy R. who is well aware of my fondness toward high end
games. He told me about a web site that claimed to turn a
4. You may get a Security Warning dialog box stating
PC into a platform that could display most games in 3-D
that the publisher could not be verified. Click the Run
even if they were designed for 2-D.
Since the process appeared both relatively
5. The Account Control dialog box may also make an
uncomplicated and inexpensive, the only thing to do
appearance. Give permission to continue.
was to see if it really worked. The first thing was to go
6. You will get several more dialog boxes. Accept the
on Amazon and eBay and search for a pair of two color
defaults to continue.
3-D glasses. They can be red/blue or yellow/blue. You
7. On the Select Destination Location dialog box either
could probably make a pair yourself with colored
accept the default location for the installation files or
cellophane. A few minutes of searching came up with
choose another location. Click Next.
an acceptable pair of glasses for $2.00. For that
amount of money I almost didn’t care if they worked
8. On the Select Components dialog box, choose Full
or not. Whatever the outcome, it certainly beat
Installation from the drop down menu.
spending $200 for a 3-D hardware accelerator, that
9. Click Next on the Select Start Menu dialog box.
much or more for a 3-D monitor, and up to $200 for a
10. Click Install on the Ready to Install dialog box.
pair of 3-D shutter glasses.
11. Accept the defaults on any dialog boxes that may
The next step is to go to
From there, download the free driver for their unique 312. Click Finish when the installation is complete. See
D monitor. Here’s how it’s done.
illustration above.
1. From the home page, click the Get Software
13. On the DirectX dialog box select the Anaglyph
(free) and Red/Cyan or Yellow/Blue depending on
2. From the dropdown menu, select Anaglyph.
what kind of 3-D glasses you have.
3. When the download screen appears, select the
14. Click Apply.
Current version Download button.
15. Close out the dialog box by clicking on the red X in
4. After the software has been downloaded to your
the upper right corner of the dialog box.
system, choose RUN to install the program.
Load any of your DirectX games and you will see a
5. Follow the instructions on the dialog boxes or simply menu that will walk you through the steps to initialize
select the defaults.
the 3-D settings of the game. You may have to shift the
6. On the setup dialog box be sure to check the Run focus by holding down the Shift key and pressing the
Control Center box. Accept whatever defaults + or – key on the numeric keypad. There are directions
the process offers, and then click Finish.
in the menu that refer to the “Num” key. This is not the
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 28
Num Lock key, but a reference that the instruction
refers to the numeric keypad.
The process worked with Mass Effect and Mass Effect
2, Call of Duty, Left for Dead, and World of Warcraft, an
online game. I couldn’t get it to work with Fallout New
Vegas, so there’s no guarantee it will work with all of your
games, but for $2 it’s certainly worth a try.
3-D technology has changed and improved considerably
over the years, but one thing remains constant. 3-D glasses
still make you look like a dork.
Cash, check and … what about
credit card?
By Jim Evans, Vice President, Greater Cleveland PCUG, Ohio, APCUG Secretary,, [email protected]
And you say, just check or cash (and maybe PayPal on your
group’s website). The Square mobile card reader (https:/
/ might be something you want to take
a look at for your group. You can use it for membership dues,
raffle tickets and other items you might sell.
Sign up for their service and they will send you a free reader or
you can buy one at Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Radio Shack and
Apple stores. Sign up for the service and they will give you your
money back. The reader costs $10 and comes with a $10
redemption code.
• How big is the unit?
One inch square. You’ve got postage stamps bigger than
the card reader.
• How do they get their money?
They charge 2.75% per transaction. If you need to enter
credit card number manually, the rate is 3.5% plus 15 cents
per transaction. But, there is NO monthly or yearly service
fee or contract.
• What do you use?
Your cell phone and the very small card reader plugged
into your phone’s audio connection. The reader is
compatible with Apple iOS devices running 4.0 and up
and Google Android devices running 2.1 and up. It also
works with various tablets.
• Which cards can you swipe?
MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express.
• Is the transaction secure?
According to their website, “Security is one of our
biggest priorities at Square. To protect Square users
and their customers, all information by our users has
been encrypted and submitted to our servers securely.
Our software and hardware meet (and in most cases
exceed) all PCI-Compliant regulations as well. As per
our User Agreement, Security Policy and Privacy Policy,
we will never sell information to third party vendors.”
“Square requires sensitive data to be encrypted using
industry-standard methods when stored on disk or
transmitted over public networks.” It’s encrypted to
the 128-bit standard.
• How do you get your money?
You register a checking account with Square and your
money is deposited each evening. They will do a test to
verify that the routing and account number are correct by
depositing two very small amounts and then withdrawing
the same amounts. You will need to go online and enter
the two amounts.
• Can you give a receipt?
Yes, you can e-mail or text a receipt after the transaction,
either immediately or later via History. Just like the Apple
Store and other major retailers. With the iPad you can print
a receipt immediately after the transaction or later via
History. You will need a Star Micronics receipt printer.
• Legalese.
You will need to sign a Square User Agreement, a legal
agreement between you and Square, Inc. Part one
explains all the terms that govern your use of the
payment processing service and Part two contains
provisions that limit their liability and information
about arbitration for potential legal disputes. You will
need to sign this agreement to use the service and you
do it electronically.
The mobile card reader is Twitter co-creator Jack Dorsey’s
latest venture.
Check out their website at for more
detailed information. There are many how tos and tips on the
website as well as videos.
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 29
This and That or Things that May Interest You
By Lynn Page, Editor / Webmaster, Crystal River Users Group, FL, September issue of the
CRUG newsletter,, [email protected]
Protect Your Word Files
In Word 2007 click the Office button and select Prepare and
Encrypt Document. Enter and verify a password in the dialog
box. In Word 2010 select Info on the File tab. Click Protect
Document and then Encrypt with Password. Enter and confirm
the password. Be sure to remember any passwords you use.
Windows 7 calculator is deceivingly powerful. It looks a simple
calculator, but look at the View drop down menu to see Scientific,
Statistics and Programmer views. It even has different unit
conversions, date calculations, and spreadsheet-type templates
for various tasks. So the new Calculator can perform simple
calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and
division but also offers the advanced capabilities of a
programming, scientific, and statistical calculator.
Windows 7
Optimize Your Display
Windows 7 has tools for optimizing an LCD. Click the Start
button, type display in the search field and press Enter.
Click the Calibrate Color link to start a wizard that helps adjust
gamma, brightness, and contrast for the LCD.
The Display options also contain Adjust ClearType Text. This
wizard helps adjust the font smoothing effects and text readability
on the screen.
Magnifier enlarges and is part of the Ease of Access Center. To
open, click Start, and then type Magnifier in the Search box. It
has three magnifying modes. Full-screen mode magnifies the
entire screen. But you might not be able to see the entire screen
at one time. With Lens mode the area around the mouse pointer
is magnified. Moving the mouse moves the area of the screen
that’s magnified. In Docked mode a portion of the screen is
magnified and the rest of the desktop unchanged. You can define
a scale factor and docking position.
What are you Tweeting?
By Linda Gonse, Editor / Webmaster, Orange County PCUG, California, December 2011
issue, nibbles & bits,, [email protected]
New users of Twitter sometimes get confused by the people and you can tell them, and still they don’t think of
conventions commonly used in tweets. (Comments posted Google first, or they believe it is easier to just ask someone
else who uses Google!
by Twitter users are called “tweets.”)
Back to the tweet. When you retweet something that’s
When you copy what someone else has tweeted and
repost it for other people to read, it is called a “retweet.” been retweeted, it is protocol to list it as a RT (retweet)
Retweets not only pass along tweets you have found from @(first person’s name) @(second person’s name).
noteworthy, but gives credit publicly to the person who The tweet follows after the names.
tweeted it.
Another way to handle a retweet of a tweet is to use RT
Retweets are designated by tagging the beginning of a @(first tweeter’s name) The tweet via @(second tweeter’s
name). Example: RT @carolynedgar For the love of God,
tweet with the capital letters “RT.”
If you see a tweet such as the one below, you might people: Google. It really works. Via @Geniusbastard.
Sometimes you can’t get a tweet to fit the 140 characters
wonder what the tweet is all about.
when including the retweet info. It’s okay to make judicious
cuts or use abbreviations. When you do this, it is no longer
a RT. You tag it as an MT (modified tweet). Also, if there
is no extra room, you can drop off the name of the last
person who retweeted. In the case above, it is
In the above example, it is a retweet of a retweet.
Confused? I’ll explain. The original writer’s user name @Geniusbastard.
When you tweet something that someone might like to
is @carolynedgar. The person who retweeted her was
leave space in your tweet. This allows room for
@Geniusbastard. (The @ sign before a username links a
to be added if someone wants to retweet
tweet to that account page.) The tweet itself was: For the
is flattering to be publicly acknowledged,
love of God, people: Google. It really works.
your thoughts, and sometimes it attracts
I’ll digress here to explain the tweet itself. It’s clear that
list of your tweets, called
it’s written from exasperation. How many times do people
ask where they can find something? Well, where do WE your “timeline.”
look to find something? Google. Right? But, you can tell
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 30
The Art of Community
“View our social world from different eyes!”
By Gregory West, VP of Sarnia Computer Users’ Group, Canada, For more tips visit his Blog:, [email protected]
The Art of Community
Jono Bacon, forward by Leo Laporte
O’Reilly Media
Pages 363
USA - $39.99 / CAN $49.99
Amanda McPherson,
Foundation, declares
this book “isn’t just for
technology leaders anyone who wants to
harness community
for their cause should
read this book.”
I agree.
This book is about “B
E L O N G I N G.”
Bacon tells us this should
be a sign in everyone’s
office and should be “at
the forefront of your
(3 out of 5)
inspiration behind
building a strong
community. If there is
no belonging, there is no community.” I agree.
This book gives us the tools to build “strategic
plans” to build our own communities, whether it is in
a church, a computer group, on an online forum.
Bacon speaks to all communities. Bacon also
demonstrates how “communication is the key to tying
it all together and “leading by example” as many
examples are given throughout.
I agree with Bacon’s principle that “simple is sustainable.”
He talks about “processes” that keep things in perspective,
“eyes on the prize,” keeping things in perspective with our
said plan for the community and how it functions. We are
shown how to build alliances and then test how we fare in
the community in by using a “conflict resolution process.”My
need for this book is to help build my community within my
website. I find it helpful while setting up a training structure
for volunteers who help seniors learn about computers and
technology. Building an effective community is what this
book is all about. We are taken by the hand in a sort of stepby-step process, one that works in the Linux community,
and others across the globe. We need to work and build
effectively together, this book show us the way.
Leo Laporte says that “Jono has written a guide with
everything you need to keep your online groups healthy
and productive.” Online or off, every group should read
this book.
Fun Site: Wild Recipes
We all know someone who has that one bizarre recipe
that he insists on trotting out at least once a year. Or
maybe your peanut butter and pickle sandwiches are
a constant source of amusement for your friends and
family. Rest assured, you’re not the only one— is a gathering place for likeminded
culinary artists to share weird (and sometimes tasty)
Wild Recipes can be found at h t t p : / /
Fun Site: Create Your Own Hero
For those among us who look forward to each new
superhero action flick with bated breath, the Hero
Machine may be just what you need to tide you over
until the next installment of Spider-Man hits theaters.
Every aspect of a superhero (or super villain, if you
prefer) can be fully customized to create your ideal
character. When you’re finished, take a screenshot of
your hero and share with your friends—-seeing what
other people come up with is half the fun!
Create Your Own Hero can be found at http://
Fun Site: Baby Names
Having a hard time deciding on a name for the newest
addition to your family? Head to The New Baby Name
Index. The names are listed alphabetically by gender. You’ll
also find the 25 newest names for 2007 and their meanings.
There’s even a survey about the site you can complete.
Baby Names can be found at h t t p : / /
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit to learn what Smart
Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 31
Another Low Cost Internet Phone Device
- NetTalk DUO
By Ira Wilsker, Member, Golden Triangle PC Club, TX; Columnist, The Examiner, Beaumont,
TX; Radio Show Host, Mondays, 6-7pm CT,, [email protected]
to load after I boot my computer, and that the computer
must be on in order for it to function, as it must be
connected to an active and powered USB port in order
to work. Since I turn my computer off when I am not
using it, the MagicJack is unavailable, unless I boot my
computer. Other than that, the MagicJack works well,
I am always on the lookout for bargains, and ways to save
offers unlimited local and long distance calling, was
some money. Like many of my readers, I am not using my
extremely easy to install and setup, and does everything
telephone landline as much as I have in the past, but still
that it is advertised to do, for a very low cost ($39 .95 for
receive a sizeable monthly phone bill. I have not used my
the device and the first year’s service, $19 .95 per year
landline phone for long distance calls in eons, because of
thereafter - that is the advertised $1.70 per month).
the easy long distance access on my cell phone,
In July, a lesser known
supplemented by the MagicJack internet phone service
competitor, NetTalk (www.
that I wrote about in early 2009., released its
There has been explosive
second model of a competing
growth in the popularity of VoIP
device, the NetTalk DUO. Just
(Voice over Internet Protocol),
like the MagicJack, the NetTalk
much to the chagrin of the
DUO is very small (2.7 inch x
traditional telephone industry.
1.5 inch x 0.9 inch), extremely easy to setup, requires a
Millions of customers have
broadband internet source, and has a phone jack which can
forgone the convenience and
connect to any standard corded or cordless phone. Similarly,
cost of traditional phone service,
the NetTalk DUO offers unlimited local and long distance
in favor of cell phones, and VoIP services. It is nearly
calls to the U.S. and Canada, at a low fixed price. Where
impossible to turn on the TV and not see an ad for a cell
the NetTalk DUO primarily differs from the MagicJack, is
phone carrier, or internet based phone service. None of my
that it can connect directly to a broadband router, and does
four adult children have a traditional home phone, but use
not require a connection to a computer. Since a router
their cell phones and VoIP phones exclusively at home.
connected to a broadband service is typically always on,
For the past 18 months I have been using the widely the NetTalk DUO is also always on, providing 24/7 VoIP
advertised and inexpensive MagicJack to supplement my service, without the need to have a booted computer. As
cell phone for making long distance phone calls from home, long as there is a functional router, there is actually no need
as well as a method of making calls while traveling away to even have a computer connected to the internet in order
from home. At home, I have been using the MagicJack to to use the NetTalk DUO. For those cases where there is
make long distance calls during the day on weekdays, broadband internet service but no router, such as in a hotel
rather than burn prime cell phone minutes; evenings and room, internet cafe, hotspot, college dorm room, or other
weekends, with unlimited cell phone minutes, the cell such location, the NetTalk DUO also has the ability to
phone is my chosen device. My landline is only occasionally connect to the USB port on a computer, just like the
used to make local calls, and rarely to send or receive a fax; MagicJack. Apparently the “DUO” in the NetTalk moniker
financially, with such little actual use, my landline is means it has the ability to connect via two methods; USB
becoming an expensive anachronism. When traveling, I or router. The NetTalk DUO comes complete with all
have sometimes taken my MagicJack with me to use to necessary cables, and an AC adapter.
make local phone calls from the internet in my hotel room,
This enhanced functionally comes at a price, though
without expensive hotel phone charges, or consuming
not a very high one. The NetTalk DUO sells for $69.95,
prime cell phone minutes.
and includes the first year of unlimited local and long
Mostly, I have been happy with my MagicJack. I have distance phone service; subsequent phone service is
the base unit of a multi-handset cordless phone plugged $29.95 per year, or about $2.50 per month. Even though
into it, which allows us to use the MagicJack throughout the device itself is $30 more than the MagicJack, and
the house, with cordless handsets in most rooms. My the subsequent second year of service is $10 more (per
only issues with it have been that it takes a lot of time year, not per month), there have been some pundits who
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 32
have claimed that the NetTalk Duo is actually less
expensive to operate than a MagicJack, when energy
savings are considered. Since the NetTalk DUO does
not require that a computer be turned on, the extra 80
cent additional monthly cost of the NetTalk DUO (less
than 3 cents additional per day) would be more than
made up in energy savings. I have not personally
verified this claim, but it does not seem unreasonable.
The NetTalk DUO offers a free U.S. Phone number at
activation, but according to some published reviews, local
phone numbers are not yet available for all locations.
According to a NetTalk support forum response, NetTalk
will try to add more local numbers as they are requested.
NetTalk also offers call waiting, 3 way calling, caller ID,
free 411 (directory assistance), enhanced 911 service,
priority call forwarding, and works with most fax machines
to send and receive faxes (subject to the limitations of VoIP
technology). Free voice mail service is included, as well as
the capability to automatically send the voicemail message
to the recipient via email. Calling other NetTalk customers
anywhere in the world is free, and calls to other international
destinations are deeply discounted. The NetTalk DUO can
be used in a home or office environment as a replacement
for traditional phone service. At present, phone number
portability is not yet available, meaning that users of the
NetTalk DUO will receive a new phone number, rather
than be able to use an existing phone number. This lack of
phone number portability may be changing, as most
competitive services either already have or will shortly
have phone number portability, so I will assume that
NetTalk will have to follow suit. About the only con of
replacing a traditional landline with NetTalk (or any other
VoIP provider), is that NetTalk requires that there be
power, and will not work during a power failure, or if the
internet connection is otherwise unavailable; most landlines
do not require an external power source. NetTalk does not
require an annual contract, unlike some of the other VoIP
For those who travel internationally, the NetTalk DUO
can be used anywhere there is a broadband connection,
allowing the user to call the U.S. and Canada for free, as
well as receive calls from the U.S. and Canada without the
caller incurring international long distance charges.
NetTalk uses the trademarked expression “Fire your
phone company!” If it works as well as my early experiences
show, that may be a viable option.
Staying Technology Young
By Darry D Eggleston, Article reprinted with permission. Copyright © 2007-2011 Darry D
The challenges for me are increasing as I strive to remain “Mine’s in here.” Proudly, he showed us his Nokia N8:
technologically young. What used to take years to change “Unlocked GSM touchscreen phone featuring GPS with
now occurs in a matter of months. So many new products voice navigation and a 12 megapixel camera.”
are appearing in such rapid order that, unless one reads,
Even my research for this simple article relied on
observes, and communicates with like-minded friends, one technology that I wish was available when I was younger:
ends up talking about the “good old days” of technology
1. I Googled to learn more about Dave’s cellphone.
way back in 2009.
(Nokia’s website boasts that N8 phones can connect
Someone referred to technology’s growth in “dog years”
to social networks, web TV programs and Ovi Store
and I suspect she might be right. Technology now leaps in
apps. It has Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash, HDone year where we would expect it to take seven years in
quality video recording, film editing software, and
the past.
Dolby Surround Sound.)
One need only look at cellphones, cameras, and notebook
2. I used FastStone Capture to take a screenshot of the
computers to see that devices are shrinking while their
Nokia description, pasted it into OmniPage which
capabilities are exponentially increasing.
scanned the image and converted it into plain text,
which I copied and pasted it into WordPerfect.
Just yesterday, a conversation between two neighbors
awoke me to this fact again. Both are my age in the 60-to- You can either ride the waves of innovation rushing to the
1,000-year-old range. One neighbor extolled finding a new shores of your existence or you can be swept out into the
restaurant quickly because of his car’s trusty dashboard- sea of ignorance. You can stay technologically young or die
mounted global positioning device (GPS).
in place at a pace that’s more fitting for an old folk’s home.
The other, without hesitating, replied, “Oh, I got rid of my
Choices, my friend, it’s all about choices.
old GPS six months ago,” as he pulled out his cellphone.
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 33
Offering Financial Services throughout the
Napa Valley; with offices in American
Canyon, Calistoga,
Napa, St. Helena
and Yountville
947 Lincoln Avenue
Napa, CA 94559-5066
(707) 299-1000 • [email protected]
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
Membership Application/Renewal *
 New
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 Information Update
Please Print
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Nickname: _____________________________________________
Street/PO Box: ___________________________________________________________________________________
City: _______________________________ State: ____________ ZIP Code: ________________ - _______________
Phone (check preferred):
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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):
Do not list phone number
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Family members whom you want to sponsor as Associate Members:
(Associate Members have the same membership rights as their sponsors,
except for receiving newsletters)
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Annual Dues:
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Regular Member - an individual who is not a full-time student
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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]
NVPCUG Computer News, Feb 2012, Page 34
Revised 2-14-2010
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