COMPUTER NEWS Inside This Issue

COMPUTER NEWS Inside This Issue
Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group
http://www.
nvpcug.org
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558
COMPUTER
NEWS
Volume 27, No. 1
Jan 2010
Inside This Issue
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24
NVPCUG Special Interest Groups
NVPCUG Calendar
President’s Message
Officers List
Microsoft Scanner & Camera Wizard
Password Protect Your Account
Mac OS Tips
Hints for the Wannabe Blogger
Speed It Up!
Norton Internet Security 2010
Broadsides
Another Broadsides
What are RSS Feeds?
Microsoft Security Essentials
MotionDSP vRevea
Computer Tips for Seniors
Adding an NAS Drive to Your
Network (Part 1 of 2)
(Part 2 of 2)
Finding Our Roots
2009 Come and Gone
Membership
Application/Renewal
The Napa Valley Personal Computer Users
Group has served novice and experienced
computer users since 1983. Through its
monthly meetings, newsletters, online
forum, special interest groups, mentor
program and community involvement,
it has helped educate people of all ages.
The NVPCUG provides opportunities for
people to find friends who share common
interests and experiences. From January
2003 to October 2007 the NVPCUG
provided 783 computers and 140 printers
to local schools. Additional equipment
has been given to charitable nonprofit
organizations and to disadvantaged
individuals.
The Napa Valley Personal
Computer Users Group will meet
Wednesday, January 20 h,
7:00-9:00 P.M.
At the Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa, California
Lapworks will be the main presentation
After meeting information by the President we will have
our RandomAccess, 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]
The Computer Tutor session will follow. During this
months session Coordinator Jeff Solomon will be
demonstrating the command prompt, formerly the DOS
prompt. He will show some of the whys and whats that
you can do with the command prompt. If you have a
suggestion on which feature he should discuss, please contact Jeff
Solomon at [email protected]
Susy Ball, the program coordinator, will present to you an
inovative product from Lapworks. Lapworks is a design
and manufacturing company specializing in laptop
accessories that make working with a laptop computer
safer, easier amd more productive.Their products improve
posture/ergonomics to help users work “pain-free”, reduce
heat build-up in notebooks and protect the user’s lap from heat that
radiates from the bottom of laptops. Door prizes have been provided
by the vendor.
Something to think about:
Notebook computers are like belly
buttons. It seems like everybody's got one.
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 24 for
application information.
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010
NVPCUG
President’s Message
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS
& MAC GROUP
In SIG meetings you can learn about
a subject in greater detail than is
feasible at NVPCUG general
meetings. SIG meetings are open to
everyone. M e e t i n g t i m e s a n d
locations occasionally change, so
for current meeting information, see
our Web site, www.nvpcug.org, or
contact the SIG leaders.
Investors SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Monday
5:30 to 7:30 p.m
Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
Leader: Jerry Brown
(707) 254-9607
bqandjbb
@sbcglobal.net
Digital Photography SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Wednesday
7:00 to 8:30 p.m
Piner’s Nursing Home,
Conference Room
1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Leader: Susy Ball
(707) 337-3998
[email protected]
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
ronrogersnapamug
@gmail.com
By Ron Dack, NVPCUG President,
http://www.nvpcug.org/,
[email protected]
January 2010
Here we are starting a new year and it seems that it is already speeding
by. I believe everyone who attended the annual holiday party had a
great time. If you missed it you should know that the 2010 Board of
Directors is identical to the 2009 Board. Everyone will continue in the
same offices and jobs. The board members are Susy Ball, Ron Dack,
Jim Gray, Dick Peterson, Bob Simmerman, Kathy Slavens,
Dean Unruh, Marcia Waddell, and Roy Wagner. Dianne Prior,
Jeff Solomon, and Jerry Brown also will continue in their jobs. I want
to thank all of them for staying on and agreeing to continue serving.
The 2009 Board of Directors unanimously voted Dianne Prior as the
2009 NVPCUG Member of the Year. Dianne was chosen for her
work as Facilities Coordinator, Picnic and Holiday Party Coordinator,
Member of the Audit Committee, and her assistance with the membership
database. Congratulations Dianne and thank you for all you do.
We are looking for program ideas and we want to know what our
members are interested in and what you want in the meetings. The
presentations we try to do should be what you want and of value to most
of you. If you have any suggestions please let Programs Coordinator
Susy Ball know, You can contact her at [email protected]
or let me know and I will pass it on.
Take care and have a happy new year,
Ron
Think Before You Click
Never click links in email messages or download attachments if you’re not
100% certain that it’s from a reliable source. Even so, if the email seems
odd, double check with the sender before proceeding — it’s possible that
his email account has been hacked by a spammer.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit www.SmartComputing.com/
Groups to learn what Smart Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG General Meetings
Held the third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
NVPCUG Calendar
Jan 20
Feb 3
Feb 8
Feb 10
Feb 11
Feb 17
Mar 3
Mar 8
Mar 10
Mar 11
Mar 17
7:00-9:00
7:00-9:00
5:30-7:30
7:00-8:30
6:30-8:30
7:00-9:00
7:00-9:00
5:30-7:30
7:00-8:30
6:30-8:30
7:00-9:00
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
NVPCUG General Meeting + A
Board of Directors meeting + B
Investors SIG meeting + C
Digital Photography SIG meeting + B
Napa Valley Mac User Group + A
NVPCUG General Meeting + A
Board of Directors meeting + B
Investors SIG meeting + C
Digital Photography SIG meeting + B
Napa Valley Mac User Group + A
NVPCUG General Meeting + A
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 2
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.
Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group Contact Information
Officers for 2010
Board of Directors
President
Vice President
Secretary
Treasurer
Other Directors:
Director
Ron Dack
unlisted
[email protected]
Dick Peterson
738-1812
[email protected]
Marcia Waddell 252-2060
[email protected]
Roy Wagner
253-2721
[email protected]
Susy Ball, Ron Dack, Jim Gray, Dick Peterson, Bob Simmerman,
Kathy Slavens, Dean Unruh, Marcia Waddell, and Roy Wagner.
Jim Gray
unlisted
[email protected]
Appointed Officers
Computer Tutor Coordinator
Jeff Solomon
553-2114
[email protected]
Facility Arrangements Coordinator
Dianne Prior
252-1506
[email protected]
Greeter Coordinator
Kathy Slavens
251-9193
[email protected]
Greeter Coordinator
Bob Simmerman 259-6113
[email protected]
Librarian
Dean Unruh
226-9164
[email protected]
Membership Director
Bob Simmerman 259-6113
[email protected]
Newsletter Circulator
Jim Hearn
224-2540
[email protected]
Newsletter Editor
Susy Ball
337-3998
[email protected]
Product Review CoCoordinator
Susy Ball
337-3998
[email protected]
Product Review CoCoordinator
Marcia Waddell
252-2060
[email protected]
Programs Director
Susy Ball
337-3998
[email protected]
Publicity Director
Ron Dack
unlisted
[email protected]
Random Access Moderator
Jerry Brown
254-9607
[email protected]
Special Projects Director
VOLUNTEER NEEDED
[email protected]
Webmaster
Ron Dack
unlisted
[email protected]
• All telephone numbers are in Area Code 707.
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 3
NVPCUG
Computer News
Computer News (ISS
0897-5744) is
published monthly by
the Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group, Inc.
(NVPCUG), P.O. Box
2866, Napa, CA
94558-0286.
Subscriptions: $30 for
one year (12 issues).
Editor: Susy Ball,
[email protected]
The material in
Computer News is
intended for
noncommercial
purposes and may not
be reproduced without
prior written permission,
except that permission
for reproducing articles,
with authors properly
credited, is granted to
other computer user
groups for their internal,
nonprofit use only. The
information in this
newsletter is believed
to be correct. However,
the NVPCUG can
assume neither
responsibility for errors
or omissions nor liability
for any damages
resulting from the use
or misuse of any
information.
The NVPCUG is an IRC
501(c)(3) tax-exempt
nonprofit educational
organization (EIN 680069663) and is a
member of the
Association of Personal
Computer User Groups
(APCUG), an
international
organization. Donations
to the NVPCUG are
tax-deductible as
charitable contributions
to the extent allowed by
law. Copyright © 2008
by NVPCUG.
Microsoft Scanner & Camera Wizard
By Bob Elgines, CRCC Editor, Colorado River Computer Club, Arizona, www.crccaz.org,
[email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Most of us have multiple digital cameras
nowadays, and really don’t need to install
all of their programs anymore since
Windows XP. You can use the “Scanner
& Camera Wizard”. It is located under
“Programs/Accessories” and if the
computer does not have any third party
camera programs in stalled, it will come
up automatically after you plug your
camera in to a
USB port. It will list your
camera, then guide to through a
procedure to download your
pictures or videos to your
selected folder and if you wish
to delete them from your camera
or not.
In Windows Vista, it is not under the “Accessories”
folder, but under “Programs” labeled “Windows Photo
Gallery”. Run this program, then go to
“File” choose “Import from Scanner
or Camera”.
If the computer does not have any
third party camera programs installed,
a selection “Import pictures; Using
Windows” will
come
up
automatically
after you plug
your camera
in to a USB port (see picture
on the left).
Now you can download
your pictures on any
computer using the built-in
software.
„
Password Protect Your Account
By Kathy Frey, Webmaster, Computer Club of Green Valley, AZ, http://gvcc.apcug.org/,
[email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
that can be used to reset your password, even if
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
you have changed your password since creating
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
the reset disk.
If you password protect your account for your Windows
• In Windows 7, click on Create a password reset
operating system, then you should create a password reset
disk. If no media is installed, you will get a message
disk. It takes very little time and is easy to do. In Windows
that indicates you need a removable media, such as
XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, these first steps are
a floppy disk or a flash drive.
the same.
Otherwise the password reset wizard comes up, and you
1. Click Start
again will need to follow the screens.
2. Click Control Panel
After creating your reset disks, store them in a very safe
3. Click User Accounts
place, since the information can be easily used by anyone
After you have the User Accounts window open, select
to reset the password and gain access to your account.
the account for which you want to make the password
There are other ways to change the passwords in all three
reset disk. (Make a reset disk for each account.)
operating systems, but the above is an easy and quick way
• In Windows XP, on the left under Related Tasks, to have that extra safety net in hand.
„
click on Prevent a forgotten password to start the
e-cash
Forgotten Password Wizard, and then click Next.
Follow the wizard. You can use either a floppy disk
A general term for money in a monetary transaction
or a USB drive for the reset disk.
that takes place using the Internet. Also called
cybercash and e-money.
• In Windows Vista, on the left click on Create a
Password reset disk, then follow the wizard. The
Password Reset Disk is essentially a small file
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
www.SmartComputing.com/Groups to learn what Smart
Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 4
Mac OS Tips
By Ernie Cox, Jr., a member of the Computer Club of Green Valley, AZ, http://
gvcc.apcug.org/, [email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Erase tab, choose MS-DOS (FAT) from the Volume
Format pop-up menu, and click on Erase. The drive will be
Using “Spotlight” To Do Math
Mac New Administrator Password
By the time you find the calculator on your Mac or in the
bottom drawer, your Spotlight can do basic math for you.
In Leopard, the math problems are done by remembering
that * is used for multiplication, + for add, - means subtract,
and / (forward slash) stands for division. Now, using the
symbols, you can find out how much one and one
is by pressing return.
On a Mac computer, over time you may get tired of using
the “Admin Password” and want to change to a new one.
Go to System Preferences and click on “ACCOUNTS.”
An “Accounts” window will drop down. Click on the lock
at the bottom left hand side of the window. You must know
the old password to open the lock. When
the lock opens, click on the name with
“Admin” under it. Next click on
“Password.” Just to the right is “Change
Password,” click there.
A window will drop down for you
to fill in the current password and
new password. You must know the
old password and verify the new
password after writing it in.
Click on the words “Change
Password,” a window will drop
down telling you that the password will
be changed. If you want to change the administrator name
along with the password, you will have to log out of the old
name and then log into the new name on start-up to use the
new account.
Once you have done the new log in, you must go to
the My Account column. At the bottom are plus and
minus signs.
Click on the old name with Admin and then click on
the minus sign to delete the old name Admin. From
there, you will log out and then log back into the new
name Admin.
„
A Mac Program Freezes Up
Relaunching the Finder comes in handy
when a force-quit or other bug freezes
up your computer, and it won’t do
anything. To relaunch, press OptionControl-click on the Finder icon in
the Dock, then choose Relaunch.
Another way: Option-Right-click on
the Finder icon—if you have a twobutton mouse.
Cleaning Your Battery
Each time the internal battery recharges, it stores in its
memory that setting (i.e. whether the battery completely
or only partially discharged). Using PRAM (Parameter
Ram) erases settings stored by the battery so that it will
completely recharge every time.
On start-up, press down the Command, Option, P and R
keys on the keyboard at the same time, and hold this
combination until the gray screen appears. Hold down the
keys until the computer restarts and you hear the startup
sound for the second time. Then you can release the keys.
Cleaning your USB Flash Drive
If you have a USB flash drive with outdated information,
the easiest way to reuse it is to plug it into your Mac, select
its contents, click on the apple key and delete to send the
contents to the trash. Or drag or delete the files to the
Trash, and empty the Trash (Finder Empty Trash). Doing
this eliminates the need to reformat the drive and provides
the space you need to copy your files. If the files can’t be
deleted (perhaps because they’ve been corrupted in some
way), launch Disk Utility (in /Applications/Utilities), select
the flash drive from Disk Utility’s list of drives, click on the
erased and then reformatted.
Dedicated Backup Hard Drive
In order to avoid a data loss disaster, invest in an
external hard drive. This device will serve as a separate
location where you can save your PC’s photos, music,
and important documents from a data loss disaster.
Most external hard drives have preloaded backup
software that will help you choose the files or folders
you want to automatically back up, so be sure to look
for that feature.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
www.SmartComputing.com/Groups to learn what Smart
Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 5
Hints for the Wannabe Blogger
By Joan McIlmoyl Cleghorn, a member of Big Blue and Cousins, Canada, www.bbcc.org,
[email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s have dreamed of! Fortunately, there were two with
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other which I was somewhat familiar so I opted to check
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
them out first.
I wanted simple and easy to use … nothing fancy,
Do I Need Or Want to Have a Blog?
just the ability to type whatever I wanted to post and
Now, for many, the have it work. Obviously I was asking a lot for anything
first question is “what connected with technology right? Actually, wrong. I
on earth is a blog?” was able to set up the blog, type out my first posting
and, “why would I and have it online within an hour!
want one?” The origin
You want a site that gives clear, easy to understand
of the actual word ‘blog’ comes from the definition of
directions and allows you to have some choices on
what it really is – a web log – which then became
the appearance or theme of your blog. Also, if you
shortened to ‘blog’.
want some interaction with your readers, make it
People are using blogs for many varied purposes. easy for them to add their comments. The site I chose
Some use them like a personal diary, as though the definitely qualified under these points; much more so
world is truly fascinated by the minutiae of their daily than the second site I checked out. I also checked out
lives (though in the case of celebs, that may be the a few that I wasn’t as familiar with and found that my
case). Others, for sharing their knowledge of a first choice was still the best for my purpose. The two
particular subject which doesn’t necessarily lend itself choices I initially checked out were Google’s Blogspot
to publishing a book; and still reporting on the constantly a n d Wo r d p r e s s . T h e y c a n b e f o u n d a t
changing happenings in a specific area of interest. In www.blogspot.com and www.wordpress.com;
many instances now, professional reporters, whether however, be sure to check out some of the others
radio, TV or in print, are writing blogs as well as their as well.
regular reporting functions. Others, for reporting on
Should you decide to start a
the constantly changing happenings in a specific area
blog, there is one caveat I’d
of interest.
both read about as well as
There are two advantages of using blogs over heard about from others –
publishing in the more traditional ways – first, they can don’t start posting, and
be interactive, allowing the readers to make comments, collecting followers of the site,
add to the information or contradict the writer; and, only to lose interest, and just
second, as mentioned, the ability to update immediately stop posting, or become very erratic in your postings.
with new or additional information.
When first starting my blog, I hoped to post about three
My purpose in starting a blog at the end of June was times a week, with no less than once a week. In the
prompted by an article in the Family Chronicle which nine weeks since I started, I’ve made 18 posts so have
pointed out how, by publishing a family history book, averaged two per week, even though I had a couple of
relations that you’d never known or connected with weeks when I didn’t make any posts due to the death
would suddenly contact you.
of my mother.
This struck a chord with me as I was in the midst of
Now, was posting my blog successful in my original
planning a family history book and wanted to connect purpose? So far, yes. I’ve heard from a couple of
with others researching this same family. Obviously, researchers with whom I’d lost contact a number of
publishing a book wasn’t the answer for my particular years ago, plus another couple of whom I’d never
situation.
heard, so I certainly accomplished that part of my goal.
After some thought on this, I decided to investigate Another bonus is the information I’m gaining from
what was involved in creating a blog, thinking this those connections that I might not have otherwise
might accomplish my purpose. Of course, one can use found. Should you wish to take a look at my blog,
any of the social media sites such as MySpace, here’s the address: www.mcilmoylfamna.blogspot.com
Facebook, etc. as a type of blog. However, I was . If you decide that having a blog is something you’d
looking for specific ‘blog’ sites. Well, typing ‘free blog like to do, I wish you well, and have fun with it! For tips
sites’ into Google gave me far more results than I could on ‘how to blog’ just type ‘blog tutorial’ into a search
engine and you’ll find lots of choices.
„
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 6
Speed It Up!
A Non-Technical Guide
for Speeding Up Slow Computers
Reviewed by Gordon Strickland, Member, NOCCC (North Orange County Computer
Club, California), Orange Bytes, July 2009, www.noccc.org, [email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s performance of the various optimization
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
and repair tasks discussed in the previous
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
text. For instance, under “Registry Cleaners,” ten different
Almost anyone would like his computer to run faster. This book programs are listed, including a number of free ones.
may therefore be regarded as being aimed at a very wide potential
Other categories of programs presented include General
readership. It discusses measures for restoring the performance
Performance
Suites, Benchmarking, Startup Optimization, File
of a computer whose performance has degraded from what it
Cleaning,
Hard
Disk Optimization, Internet Speedup, and others.
was originally and hardware modifications to enhance its
performance perhaps even over the original. However, if the Altogether, the appendix lists 61 programs.
By way of criticism, it is curious that there is no
measures discussed in the main part of the book will not yield
discussion
of the possibility of reflashing (reloading) the
sufficient improvement, the author also includes a final section
BIOS
of
a
machine.
This procedure, admittedly only for
offering guidelines for buying a new computer. The specific
discussions in the book are applicable primarily to machines the more courageous user, might provide important benefits
running Windows XP and Vista, although some of the material where the originally loaded BIOS contained bugs, had
would also be applicable to earlier versions of Windows. Apart become corrupted, or did not provide proper support for
from some hardware issues, there is little applicable to Linux and software or hardware developed since the date of the
originally loaded BIOS. The author misleadingly states (pg
Apple machines.
The book is organized into an introduction, eighteen chapters, 166) that the BIOS is loaded into ROM that cannot be
and an appendix. The chapters are grouped into six sections, with written to, but this is not true in modern machines. Indeed,
titles that I will abridge as follows: Quick Diagnosis, Simple some BIOS’s can be reflashed even from within the
Speedups, Power Speedups, Upgrading Your PC, Internet and Windows operating system.
With the printed book, the purchaser also receives, for 45
Network Speedups, and Buying a Faster PC.
days,
access to a free online edition of the book. Presumably
Under Quick Diagnosis, the author rightly notes that the
perception of performance degradation can be very subjective. the access period can be extended for a fee, if the user
He describes instances where acquaintances thought that their desires. The object here seems to be to make the book more
machines were slowing down, when in fact that had not really convenient to use when one is already working at the
happened. Perceptions of degraded performance are particularly computer. I tend to prefer to use a printed version of a
apt to occur when an older machine is asked to run new, publication in such situations, if it will stay open at the page
demanding software. Windows Vista and some of the newer you are consulting while typing at the keyboard. Unfortunately,
games can be very problematical in this respect. The author then the book is assembled with the now near-universal “perfect”
discusses various symptoms of actual performance degradation, binding (was there ever a more outrageously misleading
and emphasizes the importance of doing a thorough backup terminology?), and therefore is quite likely to change pages,
or close, spontaneously. Depending on your monitor size and
before moving on to the tasks of repair and enhancement.
other factors, the online version might be more convenient
The Simple Speedups section deals with removing spyware in some situations.
and viruses, cleaning out unnecessary programs, optimizing the
I thought that the book was very informative and potentially
hard disk, and making Windows go faster. The Power Speedups
useful.
The experienced user, opening up the book at random and
section discusses cleaning the Windows registry and reinstalling
examining
a particular topic, might be inclined to say, “Oh, I
Windows from scratch (“when all else fails”).
already knew that,” but most should find the detailed, systematic,
Under Upgrading Your PC, the author discusses hardware and thorough coverage very helpful. Even the experienced user
upgrades such as adding more RAM, installing a larger hard disk, may find that the book fills in occasional knowledge gaps.
upgrading the video card (perhaps particularly beneficial when
• The 2009 book is authored by Michael Miller and from
going to the more demanding versions of Vista), and installing a
Que Publishing (Pearson Education, Inc.)
faster CPU. This last measure is sometimes possible with
• (312+xvi pages)
machines that are of fairly recent vintage. Alternatively, the
• http://www.informit.com/store/
author suggests that one can provide for a new CPU by also
product.aspx?isbn=078973947X
installing a new motherboard, but this would seem to get one into
the area of the final section, Buying a Faster PC.
• List price is $22.
The appendix, entitled “PC Performance Resources,”
If your group is a member of the Pearson User Group program,
consists of useful lists of available software packages for the a 30 % discount is available to members plus free shipping. „
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 7
Norton Internet Security 2010
By Ash Nallawalla, Reviews Editor, Melbourne PCUG, Australia, www.melbpc.org.au,
[email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
It’s about that time of the year when we have to update
our antivirus (AV) software and so I installed Norton
Internet Security (NIS) 2010 on my Windows 7 desktop.
My previous AV package was Norton 360, which includes
much of NIS 2009.
There is a whole virus-making industry out there on the
Dark Side, which constantly unleashes new malware and
makes it more sophisticated all the time. These days, the
infections try not to damage your files. You may not even
be aware of the threat, because your PC is more valuable
as a remotely controlled zombie. Your PC could be used to
send a moderate amount of spam, or be used as a proxy site
to perform some shady actions, or to propagate malware.
Features
NIS 2010 requires a minimum of Windows XP 32-bit with
SP2 or later. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, both 32bit and 64-bit versions are supported.
As is to be expected with an Internet security product,
NIS 2010 provides the following features:
• Blocks viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, bots and
rootkits
• Two-way firewall
• Email protection
• Parental controls
• Home and public network security
• Identity protection
• PC tune-ups
NIS does not perform a backup/restore of important
files as is done by Norton 360 Version 3.0 but I didn’t
miss that feature as I use another program for backups.
It does a little more in the tuneup department, so I felt
a little better off.
could do the wrong thing. For example, if your Word
document is infected with malware that includes an
instruction to format your disks, then this is considered
abnormal and flagged as a risk. You can imagine that the
poor AV software has a lot of checking to do and could
slow down your work if the list of signatures keeps rising.
Mutating malware becomes harder to detect, as the
signatures keep changing, so all unknown files need to be
checked. Symantec now uses a family of techniques called
Quorum to speed up this scanning. Quorum uses reputation
to assess each new file it finds, based on the Norton
Insight Network community of other people who use the
same software. For example, if you downloaded a PDF file
from a site that is flagged as risky by Norton SafeWeb,
then it will be scanned. If the filename and signature are
known to it, say, a Microsoft product, then it will skip it by
default. If many people run some new application from a
new company, in time, this anonymised usage data will get
to Symantec (with your permission) and eventually it will
get to the safe list.
Norton Insight Network
Technology
A staple ingredient of AV software has been a look-up
table of “signatures” – sequential bits of programming
code whose presence on your PC means that you are
infected. A full PC scan compares all your files with these
signatures and takes action as you wish, e.g. clean,
quarantine, or delete the infection.
Over the years, AV vendors also introduced heuristic
scanning, which examines your files for signs of code that
Dashboard
In Use
The single-user version came on a car-shaped USB drive
and installed easily. It disabled Windows Defender and got
to work, downloading updates immediately. I don’t surf at
dubious sites so I don’t expect to find viruses every other
day, but when I inserted a little-used USB drive, it found a
virus in its autorun file.
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 8
A safe download
The Norton Toolbar helps protect your web surfing
After: Remove Skype add-on for Firefox: problem fixed
Availability
NIS 2010 is available from most software retail outlets for
$100 or less.
Virus found!
One of the benefits of using Norton security products is
that your web browser is enhanced to show a green tick,
red cross or a question mark when you perform a search.
This is part of Norton SafeWeb, which has a collection of
known safe sites and known harmful sites. The rest are yet
unknown to SafeWeb. I was looking for a file and clicked
a likely result, but I remembered that the website was
classified as unsafe, and then wondered why I wasn’t
seeing the ticks and crosses.
Upon reading the Norton support forum (http://
community.norton.com) I found out that the
Skype add-on for Firefox was the problem. I removed the
add-on and the SafeWeb markers returned.
Before: Notice no Norton SafeWeb ticks after each result.
For more information about Quorum, see http://
tinyurl.com/quorum2. For a study of similar
products by AV-Comparatives, see h t t p : / /
tinyurl.com/na5k5x.
„
Battery Power
If your cell phone or PDA battery won’t stay
charged very long, take note. Ni-Cad (nickel
cadmium) and NiMH (nickel-metal hydride)
batteries require routine deep discharges in order
to hold a normal charge. To restore the run time of
a NiCad or NiMH battery pack, drain the battery
by using your PDA or other device until it no longer
turns on. Next, recharge the battery. Repeat the
process, including draining the battery, a second
time. After the second recharge, the battery should
run for a longer period of time. If you are not able
to achieve a sufficiently long run time, it may be
time to replace the battery.
Li-Ion (Lithium Ion) and LiPo (Lithium Polymer)
batteries perform best when they are kept charged.
Fully discharging these types of batteries will
reduce the batteries’ lifetime. Unlike NiCad and
NiMH batteries, you cannot rejuvenate Li-Ion and
LiPo batteries once they fail to hold a charge.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
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Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 9
Broadsides
Compiled by Ron Broadhurst, a member of the Space Coast PC Users
Group, Inc., FL, The Space Coast PC Journal, June 2009,
www.scpcug.com, [email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
•
Dear friends,
These ideas are compiled from years of accumulations
from various magazines, books, on-line sites and my
own personal experience. I claim neither originality nor
ownership to any of its contents. My only intent is to
share the various “tips, “tricks”, & “hints” in hopes of
helping & maybe enhancing your computing
experiences. They are all intended for anyone who
uses a PC. It is for beginners as well as advanced
users. Enjoy and use as you will.
•
Ron Broadhurst
Turn Off Indexing To Speed Up XP
Windows XP keeps a record of all files on the hard disk so
when you do a search on the hard drive it is faster. There
is a downside to this and because the computer has to index
all files, it will slow down normal file commands like open,
close, etc. If you do not do a whole lot of searches on your
hard drive then you may want to turn this feature off:
•
•
•
Open My Computer.
Right-click your hard drive icon and select Properties.
At the bottom of the window you’ll see “Allow
indexing service to index this disk for faster searches,”
uncheck this and click ok.
• A new window will pop up and select Apply to all
folders and subfolders.
It will take a minute or two for the changes to take affect
but then you should enjoy slightly faster performance.
Click on Start/Run, type ‘msconfig’, and then
click ‘OK’.
Go to the ‘Services’ tab; find the ‘Background
Intelligent Transfer’ service. Disable it, apply the
changes & reboot.
Change the Start Menu Style to Classic
Does the new Windows XP Start menu take up too much
space on your desktop? You can easily change the look back
to the Windows Classic Start menu by following these steps:
• Right–click the Start button, and then click Properties.
• Click Classic Start menu.
• Click the Customize button to select items to display
on the Start menu.
By default, selecting the Classic Start menu also adds the
My Documents, My Computer, My Network Places, and
Internet Explorer icons to your desktop.
Display You Quick Launch Toolbar
•
•
•
Right-click an empty area on the taskbar, click
Toolbars, and then click Quick Launch.
Easy as that your Quick Launch bar appears.
To add items to your Quick Launch toolbar, click the
icon for the program you want to add, and drag it to
the Quick Launch portion of the taskbar.
Correcting A System Hang at Startup
Keep Your Favorite Programs Near
The Top Of the Start Menue
If your system hangs about 2 or 3 minutes at startup, where you
can’t access the Start button or the Taskbar, it may be due to
one specific service (Background Intelligent Transfer) running
in the background. Microsoft put out a patch for this but it didn’t
work for me. Here’s what you do:
Do you have a favorite program that you frequently use?
Elevate its priority on the Start menu by putting it at the top
of the list. This ensures that the program will remain on the
Start menu and cannot be bumped by other programs, even
if you use the others more frequently.
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 10
Right-click the link to your favorite program on the Start
menu and select Pin to Start Menu. Your program will be
moved permanently to the top part of the list, just below
your browser and e-mail programs.
Change Out Your Pointer Scheme
Tired of seeing your pointer as an arrow or an hourglass all
the time? Windows XP offers a number of alternative
pointer schemes, such as Dinosaur, Ocean and Sports:
• Open the Control Panel, double-click Mouse, and
select the Pointers tab. (If you start in Category
view, select Appearance and Themes, then click
Mouse Pointers under “See Also”).
• Next to Schemes, click the down arrow and select
a scheme to preview its pointers.
• Click OK to apply the scheme to your desktop.
Create A Personal Screen Saver
For a great way to put your digital photos to work, try
creating a slide show presentation for use as a screen
saver.
• Right–click an empty spot on your desktop, and then
click Properties.
• Click the Screen Saver tab.
• In the Screen saver list, click My Pictures Slideshow.
• Click Settings to make any adjustments, such as
how often the pictures should change, what size
they should be, and whether you’ll use transition
effects between pictures, and then click OK.
Now your screen saver is a random display of the pictures
taken from your My Pictures folder.
„
Another Broadsides
By Ron Broadhurst, Space Coast PC Users Group, Inc., The Space Coast PC Journal,
December 2009, www.scpcug.com, [email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Dear friends,
These ideas are compiled from years of
accumulations from various magazines, books, online sites and my own personal experience. I claim
neither originality nor ownership to any of its contents.
My only intent is to share the various “tips, “tricks” &
“hints” in hopes of helping & maybe enhancing your
computing experiences. They are all intended for
anyone who uses a PC.
It is for beginners as well as advanced users. Enjoy
and use as you will.
Ron Broadhurs
Search For Information Right From the
Address Bar in Internet Explorer
You can quickly search for information on the Web using the
AutoSearch feature in Internet Explorer 6 in Windows XP:
• In the Address bar, simply type “go” or “ûnd”
or “?” followed by a keyword or phrase,
and then press ENTER. Your search results
will soon appear.
Note Internet Explorer searches for your word or
topic using only one search service. If you don’t ûnd
what you need, click the Search button on the toolbar
and try using different search services.
How To Display The Animated Screen
Character in the Search Option
Set Your Windows so they all have the
same view
•
•
If you like to see lists of your û les in a certain way—as
large icons, for example, or with detailed information—
Windows XP lets you set your view options for all your
folders at once the way you want them. On the Tools menu
in Windows Explorer, click—Folder Options.
• Click the View tab.
• Set the view for this folder the way you want it to be
for all folders.
• Click Like Current Folder, then click Yes to conûrm,
and click OK.
•
Click Start, and then click Search.
In the Search Companion dialog box, click Change
Preferences.
Click With an animated screen character in the How
do you want to use Search Companion box. The
screen character is displayed in Search Companion.
Changing Time Clock 24hrs … 12 hrs
or Reverse
The desire to change the time format in the system tray
clock is a fairly common one and û nding the setting can be
challenging. Click Start | Control Panel. If you’re in XP
Another Broadsides cont. on page12
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 11
Another Broadsides cont. from page11
native view, click “Date, Time, Language and Regional
Options.” If you’re in Classic view, click Regional and
Language Options. Click the Customize button, then click
the Time tab. In the drop down box for Time Format,
choose h:mm:ss tt or hh:mm:ss tt. The “tt” stands for A.M./
P.M. The selections that begin with capital H cause the
clock to display military (24 hour) time.
•
•
•
•
•
Click the Desktop tab
Then click Customize Desktop. The Desktop Items
dialog box is displayed.
Under Desktop cleanup , click the Run Desktop
Cleanup Wizard every 60 days check box .
If you want to run the Wizard immediately. Click
Clean Desktop Now. The Desktop Cleanup Wizard
starts.
If you do not want the Wizard to run at all, uncheck
the check box.
Restore Icons That Have Been
Removed from the Desktop in XP
How To Configure Device Manager to
Show Detailed Information
Sometimes when you’re troubleshooting problems with
various devices and components, you would like to see
information such as the hardware ID of the device or its
ûrmware revision or other information that is not available
in Device Manager. You can conûgure Device Manager to
display more detailed information than is displayed by
default.
Here’s how:
1. Click Start | Run.
2. Type cmd.exe and press Enter.
3. Type set DEVMGR_SHOW_DETAILS=1 and
3.press Enter.
4. Type start devmgmt.msc and press Enter to open
the Device Manager console.
Now a Details tab will appear in the properties for each
device. This tab contains the additional information that
you may need.
Use The Desktop Cleanup Wizard in
Windows XP
To start the Desktop Cleanup Wizard:
• Right click anywhere on the Desktop
• Select Properties at the bottom
This article describes how to restore the My Computer, My
Documents, and My Network Places icons after they have
been removed from the desktop.
In Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition and Professional,
the new Start menu is enabled by default. When the new
Start menu is enabled, the My Computer, My Documents,
and My Network Places icons are removed from the
desktop.
• Right-click the Desktop and click Properties.
• Click the Desktop tab.
• Click Customize Desktop.
• Click the General tab, and then click the icons that
you want to place on the desktop.
• Click OK.
Add Fields To The Details View of Folders
You can add other columns to the Details view of the ûles
contained in Windows XP folders, such as Comments,
Description, Category, and many others. To add new columns:
• Right-click the column header of the û les list, and
then click one of the ûelds listed, or click More.
• In the Choose Details dialog box, you can reorganize
the order of column headers, specify column widths,
and add columns to display details for the ûles in that
folder.
When you click the new column header, the width of the
selected column is displayed in pixels in the Choose Details
dialog box.
„
A Quick Refresher
The next time you need to refresh a Web page, save
time by pressing the F5 key rather than clicking the
Refresh button in your browser. It’s a simple move, but
it will save you a bit of time and give your hand a break
from constant mouse use.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
www.SmartComputing.com/Groups to learn what Smart
Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 12
What are RSS Feeds?
By Constance Brown, President, Canton Alliance Massillon Users Group, OH, The Memory
Map, September 2009, http://camug.apcug.org, constancemystepco.com
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
What are RSS Feeds? According to the Wikipedia, “RSS
(most commonly translated as ‘Really Simple Syndication’
but sometimes ‘Rich Site Summary’) is a family of web
feed formats used to publish frequently
updated works such as blog entries, news
headlines, audio, and video in a standardized
format.”
Let’s see whether we can translate that into
everyday language. Most of us have favorite
sites or blogs we visit regularly - perhaps
news, genealogy, weather, or other types of
sites that are updated regularly. Instead of having to click on
bookmarks to navigate between sites, or typing the URL of
each site, it is much faster to have one location that posts
links to the latest updated information. That is done by
subscribing to an RSS Reader. Both Yahoo & Google offer
readers, and there are other choices as well.
I subscribed to the Google Reader by visiting
www.google.com/reader. Because I already had a
Gmail account, I was able to login immediately and add
subscriptions. That is done in one of two ways: clicking on
an icon or copying code by clicking on the URL of the feed
and pasting it in Add Subscription on your Google Reader
home page.
Let’s walk through two examples. We’ll start by clicking
on Add Subscription. A search bar opens that allows us to
search for an RSS Feed. I will type The Repository and
click Add. Links pop up on the right side of the screen, one
Digital Signatures
Digital signature technology allows users to
electronically “sign” a file or document so that recipients
of that file have an easy way of proving from whom the
file came. Most digital signature standards provide
other authentication services, such as proving that no
one altered the file or document after it was signed.
Asymmetric (public-key) encryption schemes often
employ digital signatures for an added level of security.
Users can sign messages using an algorithm that
incorporates their private key and then encrypt the
message using the intended recipient’s public key. The
recipient uses the private key to decode the message
of them titled The Repository. Next I will click the + sign
by Subscribe. I am then given the option of adding the link
to a folder. I want to create a new folder titled News, so
I will click Add to a Folder and select New Folder. A screen
pops up that allows me to name the folder. Super simple!
Let’s look at a different example. In this
case we want to add a link to The Christian
http://
Law Association at
www.christianlaw.org/cla/. While
browsing their web site, we find an orange
broadcast symbol that stands for link to an
RSS Feed. When we click on it, a page of
code pops up! No need to panic! We will click
on the URL and copy it (I use Ctl + C), open
the Google Reader, click on Add Subscription, paste the
URL in the search box, and click Add.
Some sites let us add a subscription by simply checking
an icon that says Google Reader. We click the link and a
window pops up that allows us to login to our account and
add the link.
In the future it is simple to go to www.google.com/
reader, login, and view updates. We can indicate that we
want all messages older than one day to be marked as
Read. Now only today’s unread links are bold. We can
organize links into folders. Yes, we can
unsubscribe and we can add new subscriptions, change
the folders in which they are stored, view the links as lists,
share, search within links, and more.
Why not try it using this technology. You will get the latest
information in one easily accessible place, thus maximizing
precious time.
„
and then uses an algorithm that checks the signature
against the sender’s public key to see if they match up.
If they match, the signature authenticates the message.
Clean Up The Crumbs
To clean a keyboard, turn off your computer and
unplug your keyboard. Wipe down grime and dust
using a soft rag and nonabrasive plastic cleaner. A can
of compressed air can also help get dust out from in
between keys. Don't forget to reconnect the keyboard
and reboot your system.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
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Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 13
Microsoft Security Essentials
By Lynn Page, Editor, Crystal River User Group, Florida, www.crug.org,
[email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
I have been using Windows Live OneCare for a couple of years
on my laptop and have been very happy with it. OneCare is
being discontinued next year and will not support Windows 7.
Microsoft Security Essentials is a real time security antimalware application. The main difference between
Microsoft Security Essentials and OneCare is that Security
Essentials only provides malware protection while OneCare
contains additional applications including a firewall, backup,
tune up, multi pc management, simple Wi-Fi security
configuration and simplified printer sharing.
With the upcoming discontinuation of OneCare, I loaded
Microsoft Security Essentials, a free download from
Microsoft, on my desktop to try it out. I still run a personal
firewall and left one other anti-malware application on the
computer. Security Essentials is designed to provide realtime anti-malware protection from threats including viruses,
spyware, rootkits, Trojans, and other emerging threats in a
single application.
The download of Microsoft Security Essentials is free
and installation simple. The program is easy to use. As it
does everything in the background. Automatic updates
assure that your computer is protected by the latest
available technology. Like OneCare Security Essentials
makes it easy to see if the computer is secure. The green
icon means it’s secure.
The Installation Wizard walks you through the installation
which only took a few minutes. Its first step requires
validation of your copy of Windows. Then you are instructed
to remove any other antivirus or antispyware applications
installed on the computer. There is even a link to tell you
how to remove the applications. Based on Alfred’s
discussion at the October meeting I expected this and had
already uninstalled my antivirus application. Since the antimalware program I have installed does not run in the
background I left it on the computer.
Microsoft Security Essentials runs efficiently in the
background so you can use your computer without
interruptions or long wait times. When completing the
installation The Wizard you have the opportunity to request
a scan of your computer.
When finished Microsoft Security Essentials starts and
automatically checks for updates before running the
requested scan. Since it is new application you will have to
instruct your firewall to allow it to connect to the internet.
Until the updates and initial scan are computer Security
Essentials shows the red warning that your computer is at
risk. Once the scan is complete and any problems addressed
the computer status will be green or Protected.
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 14
a threat is detected Security Essentials changes to show
the computer is at risk and that a threat has been detected.
To remove a threat click the Clean computer button
displayed on the Home tab.
Compuer status _ at risk 2
Computer Status - Protected
The Security Essentials interface is tab based. The Home
tab displays the application’s status. Note that Real-time
protection is on and definitions are up to date. Security
Essentials performs scheduled scans but you can select
and run a manual scan from the Home tab. When running
a System Scan, select from Quick, Full, or Custom. I ran
both a quick scan and then a full scan on my computer. If
What’s Behind The Battery Cover?
A digital camera’s power comes from either a proprietary
rechargeable battery or one or two pairs of AAs. There are
advantages and disadvantages to each setup:
With the proprietary option, the battery and its charger
are included with the camera and should last for years.
On the downside, after the battery is depleted, the
camera is out of commission until the battery recharges,
unless you’ve bought a spare, which could run several
dozen dollars.
With cameras that take AAs, you can buy batteries
anywhere and always have inexpensive spares on hand.
But for economy and convenience, you’ll need to supply
your own rechargeable batteries.
Backup Battery
A backup battery for your digital camera or other CE
device is useful only if it is fresh; for optimum
performance from your backup, be sure to:
• keep it out of the heat (which can drain the battery faster)
The Settings tab provides control over the application. I
saw no reason to make any changes from the default
settings. The one thing you might want to change is the
scan schedule. You can schedule a scan by clicking the
Change My Scan Schedule link on the Home window or on
the Settings tab.
The History tab displays all Detected Items, Quarantined
Items, and Allowed Items. Remove the history by clicking
the Delete History button.
I haven’t been running Microsoft Security Essentials long
but my experience with OneCare tells me it will work well
and protect my computer from threats. I have already
noticed that the computer runs faster during scans than
with my previous software.
„
•
•
keep it out of the cold (condensation can form and
cause corrosion)
remember that even a charged NiMH (nickel-metal
hydride battery) battery will lose its power over time,
so it’s a good idea to recharge it if it has been sitting
around for a while
Extend GPS Battery Life
Like everything else that isn’t plugged into a wall socket,
your GPS device eats batteries, especially when you’re
using it as a handheld away from the car. By all means, carry
extra batteries with you—-in fact, if you rely on the GPS for
navigating, don’t even dream of having only one set. You
can also help yourself out by configuring the device to save
battery power. Open your options or preferences panels
and turn on the power saving option. You might find your
GPS device a bit less sensitive to your movements than
before, but for most uses the difference will be minimal.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
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Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 15
MotionDSP vReveal: Flawed video no more
Software Review by Steve Miller, VP Vendor Relations, Brookdale
Computer User Group, NJ, BCUG Bytes, September 2009,
www.bcug.org , [email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
“Do you shoot video with your cell phone, digital camera,
or other handheld device?” is the question found on the
website for vReveal. “Then the chances are good that you
have shaky, dark, noisy, pixilated, or blurry videos. Lessthan-ideal videos that obscure your life’s best, captured
moments.”
“But those moments don’t have to be lost to common
video problems anymore,” the site promises. “vReveal has
the advanced enhancement technology and “one click”
touch-up tools that make it easy to dramatically improve
the quality of flawed videos.”
I was impressed by vReveal’s enhancements of my
video. I was equally impressed by the dramatic speed
increase resulting from off-loading computing from my
motherboard CPU to my system video card. As advertised,
vReveal improves snowy/jerky/low quality video. It also
exports a high quality photo, derived from lower quality
source video.
Installation
I own a compatible late-model NVIDIA graphics card
(8800GT). I downloaded the latest NVIDIA graphics
driver, which enabled vReveal software to use parallel
processing by ~100 processors in my video card. During
the simple vReveal installation, I specified a video folder to
be “watched” by the new program.
Evaluation
Figure 1 shows the primary user screen. My video was
displayed split-screen, in order to contrast before and after
application of the video enhancements. I discovered an important,
but unadvertised use for this amazing software. vReveal
improves the quality of Standard Definition (SD) video, so the
contrast becomes less noticeable when SD videos are used in
the same movie with High Definition (HD) video.
My Standard Definition video sources include traditional
SD camcorders as well as my digital still camera (in “video
capture” mode). My HD sources include a HD camcorder,
and digital photos, which I “pan” and “zoom” to create motion.
I used the following vReveal settings to enhance
my Standard Definition video:
• “One Click Fix” (this automatically “Cleaned”,
“Sharpened”, and AutoContrast”).
• “De-interlace”. (“de-interlace” is an important
feature which prevented unacceptable artifacts
during video with fast motion).
To view the result of video enhancement, I used my
favorite video editor to create one timeline that contained
three types of content.
• Standard definition video, no enhancement
• Standard Definition video, enhanced with vReveal
• High Definition video
I then “burned” a standard DVD, and also “burned” a
High Definition BluRay DVD (encoded with the optional
HDV MPEG2 format). I used Cyberlink “Power DVD”
software with a 24 inch Samsung LCD (1680X1050) to
“play” the DVDs, and compare SD video (with and
without enhancements) to the HD video.
I then “burned” a standard DVD, and also “burned”
a High Definition BluRay DVD (encoded with the
optional HDV MPEG2 format). I used Cyberlink “Power
DVD” software with a 24 inch Samsung LCD
(1680X1050) to “play” the DVDs, and compare SD
video (with and without enhancements) to the HD
video.
Visible results
The original (un-enhanced) SD content was clearly
deficient to HD video content. After enhancement, my
SD content exhibited remarkable video improvement
(although not quite up to the high definition sources):
Snow (especially resulting from low light) totally
disappeared on my SD content after enhancement.
Colors were brighter, blacks were blacker, and contrast
was enhanced.
vReveal, owned by NVIDIA, includes a performance
and control dashboard to showcase the speed increase
resulting from leveraging NVIDIA video card GPU
(graphics processors). My jobs ran twice as fast when
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 16
I shifted the processing from my high performance quad
core to my lower-end video card!
about 180 minutes when confined to my high
performance quad processor.)
System Requirements
(Enhancement of my 40 minute SD video took about
90 minutes when off-loaded to the video card, and took
Hardware: Intel or AMD 1.6GHz CPU, 1GB RAM,
50MB hard drive space; NVIDIA video card with
“CUDA” enabled (GeForce 8-series, and higher);
100GB free disk per hour of enhanced video
(uncompressed AVI) Software: Microsoft® Windows
XP with Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista™ Home
Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (certified
for 32-bit editions).
Output flee types supported: WMV and uncompressed
AVIs Price: $49, download from www.nzone.com
30-day trial software is available (watermark is applied
to output video files.)
http://
For
more
information:
www.vreveal.com/
„
Computer Tips for Seniors
Reviewed by Gregory West, PC and Mac Instructor & Tech Columnist, Sarnia, Ontario,
Canada; member of C.O.M.P. (Computer Operators of Marysville and Port Huron), MI,
http://www.bwcomp.org/, [email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s There are three main sections:
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other Knowledge Base, How To, and
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above). of course Answers to Frequently
All too often we find ourselves sinking in the mystery sea Asked Questions.
called Windows. We know what we would like to do but
The “Knowledge Base” section
just can’t figure out the “how”. The further we click d e a l s w i t h t o p i c s s u c h a s
through our computers the worse our adventure becomes. ergonomics, the health of both
We end up at a DEAD END, completely frustrated to the you and your computer. There is
point of never wanting to turn the computer on ever again. an interesting section on whether
By Pamela Tabak,
to “Recycle or Reuse Your Old
Published by Computer Tutor Inc. 2009
Computer;” a section we all
Cover Design by Linda Gonse
should read up on. The book does
Pages: 204
an excellent job of covering most other areas of
USA: $24.95 plus shipping
computing topics including computer maintenance,
www.computertutorinc.net/order.htm Internet security, Flash Drives, Web Browsers, eBay
Several years ago Pamela Tabak, better known as “The and Emailing.
Computer Tutor” started helping seniors with their
As I went through this book finding things I already
computer issues. Pamela began offering a free 24/7 knew, I found myself wondering what type of answer
help desk. She would have people email her their would go with the question, and then finding out
computer problem and guaranteed to return an answer various things I had either forgotten or didn’t know
within 24 hours at no charge. Of course this took off existed. Going the extra mile, as Pamela does in this
quickly and became a huge success.
book, she has include several little “Tip” bits where
Born from this concept of an email help desk, Pamela you find yourself gathering even more quick and
developed a book comprising some of the most popular, helpful information.
nagging, questions that were asked. In Pamela’s words
Whether you are a senior who is just starting out in
she explains the book’s conviction as “easy answers to the world of computing, or you have been around the
frequently asked questions.”
block a few times with your hard drive; this book is
This book comes with easy to read and view coloured a great read and a good reference book to keep
„
graphics depicting each step in the solutions process. nearby the desktop.
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 17
Adding an NAS Drive to Your Network
(Part 1 of 2)
By Ron Hirsch, Contributing Editor, Boca Raton Computer Society, Florida, www.brcs.org,
[email protected]
A few months back, I presented two articles in Boca Bits
on setting up a wireless home network. And, I reviewed
the big advantages of using the Cisco program “Network
Magic” to configure and manage your network settings,
and elements. With your network, you can share files,
printers, et al quite simply. But, to share files from a given
computer, for example, the computer having those files
must be up and running. And if you want to share a printer
on the network, the computer where that printer is installed,
and of course, the printer, must be up and running. There
is a quick and easy way around this, and that is to use an
NAS (network attached storage) device. This is essentially
a hard drive, within an enclosure, which has a “mini”
operating system included, which takes the place of a
computer, and provides the user with a simple way to then
connect the hard drive(s) to the network, and provide
access to the contents thereon. Access to everything on
the NAS device is available at all times. And, many of
these NAS devices also provide a USB port for use with
printers and other accessories. Putting a hub on this port
will allow the use of whatever USB devices that one wants
to put on the network. For devices which require an
installation, such as a printer, or scanner, the computer
wanting to use that device must have had the install
procedure run, just as one would do when that device is
connected directly there.
Overview of NAS Devices
There are several varieties of NAS devices out there.
The three main flavors are
1. Small self contained units which include one or two
hard drives, ready to go
2. Medium size units with no hard drives included. The
user gets his own hard drives and installs them into
the unit.
3. Large (and expensive) units, not really designed for
home users, and also priced too high for home use.
Maximum File Size
When I started looking into NAS units, there was one area
where I was confused, since no units that I could locate
could handle hard drives with the NTFS formatting
capability. I wanted this to be able to store images created
by True Image, for my system backups. These image files
are usually 20-30 GB, but the limit in FAT32 and EXT2/
EXT3 is 4 GB (minus 1 byte). So to store a 20 GB file from
True Image, it breaks it up into 4 GB chunks.
Apparently, to use NTFS, which is a Microsoft format in
Windows versions from Windows NT, XP, and onward,
there are fees which one must pay to Microsoft. And few
manufacturers, if any, want to pay this fee, so they settle
on either FAT32 (the older Windows file system), or EXT2/
EXT3, which is a Linux file system. These choices are
fully compatible with Microsoft Windows - all versions.
I finally decided to accept this formatting system, and
decided that I would not use the NAS drive to store True
Image backups. The read and write speeds, working on a
home network NAS drive, are very much slower than
working to an internal SATA drive in my machine, and also
much slower than working to a USB drive connected to a
computer. So I would just use the NAS unit to have all my
data and files on the network, and instantly available to any
computer on my network.
Which NAS Unit to Get
I did a lot of searching , reading user reviews, and checking
prices. I hadn’t realized that there were so many choices
out there. I considered price, quality, ease of use, and many
customer reviews on a variety of sites. I finally decided on
the D-Link DNS-323.
This unit has an all aluminum case, holds 2 SATA drives,
has in internal fan, seemed to be a well manufactured. And,
the price for the unit from Amazon was $158, with a $30
mail-in rebate. I also ordered two 1 TB drives to go with
the unit. The total price of $338 for everything is a very
competitive total price, to get 2 terabytes of storage onto
the network.
This unit also has a USB 2.0 port on it, as shown below.
So users can attach whatever USB devices they want to
be available on the network
Putting It All Together
There was very little to assemble when everything arrived.
The case and its front cover are very nicely manufactured,
and show excellent quality. The front cover of the unit slips
off very easily - actually too easily. Then the drives are
merely slid into the case where their connectors engage
the mating connectors inside the back of the case. Then
the cover is put back on, and the assembly part is all done.
Below are two pix of the front and back of the case. To
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 18
remove the drives, slip off the front of the case, and use the
“drive eject” levers on the rea of the case..
On thing that the rear view does not show, nor did the
manual mention it, is the small pinhole sized openng
alongside the Ethernet port, which is the opening to insert
the end of a paper clip, to reset the unit. I will discuss
resetting later on.
In part 2, I’ll review the process of installing the the
DNS-323 onto my network, and offer some tips on getting
everything into smooth working order.
„
If you find this material useful, you may want to download this
article in PDF format, from our web site http://
www.brcs.org/hirsch.php. This allows readers to keep the
material either as a PDF file, and/or print it out, and place it in a
looseleaf notebook for future reference. Remember, the PDF
version offers fullcolor, wherever color elements might be
involved, and often images which could not be used in Boca Bits.
Adding an NAS Drive to Your Network
(Part 2 of 2)
By Ron Hirsch, Contributing Editor, Boca Raton Computer Society, Florida, www.brcs.org,
[email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
Insert a 3.5" SATA hard drive into each available drive
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
bay. Make sure to align the drive connectors to the
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
endpoints in the DNS-323. Gently push the drive in until it
Last month I chronicled my experiences in choosing an
connects.
NAS drive unit for my home network, and reviewed the
Reattach the faceplate to the front of the device.
features of the unit I chose, and assembling things, prior to
Connect an Ethernet cable into the available Ethernet port.
the actual install of the unit. This month I’ll go into the details
This cable should connect the DNS-323 to your local network.
of installing and configuring the unit on a home network.
Finally, connect the power adapter to the power receptacle.
The manual for the DNS-323 is probably the most
comprehensive manual I’ve seen in a long time. It has
complete instructions for installing and using the unit. There Front Panel Buttons
are lots of color images, and very clear info on each step of Power Button: Press once to power on the DNS-323.
the installation process. You do not have to be a computer Press and hold the button until it begins to blink to power
expert to install this device. If you follow each step carefully, down the DNS-323.
the install process should proceed very smoothly.
Drive LEDs: These LEDs will be solid BLUE when drives
The manual is a PDF file on the CD which comes with the are connected but inactive. The LEDs will blink when the
unit. I personally always print out the manuals for all my drives are being accessed, formatted or synchronized. They
important hardware and software. Things have certainly will illuminate AMBER if a drive has failed.
improved in recent years, and most manufacturers have taken
steps to insure that users can properly install their hardware. Activity LED: The Activity LED will be solid BLUE
when there is an Ethernet connection. It will blink to
This article is about the NAS device that I used.
indicate LAN traffic.
Depending upon which NAS unit you purchase, the actual
steps will of course differ. But the essence of doing the
Setting Up the Unit
install is essentially the same for any similar device.
When first powered on, during the initial boot sequence,
Activities Along the Way
the DNS-323 will wait to be assigned an IP address via
Here is a list of the various tasks that will be performed DHCP. If it does not receive a DHCP assigned IP address,
by default it will have a self-assigned IP address of
during the instruction process for the DNS-323.
Access the drive bays by sliding the faceplate up until it 192.168.0.32. It is recommended to use the included DLink Easy Search Utility when accessing and configuring
unlatches from the device.
the DNS-323 for the first time. If you want to change this
Once the faceplate is unlatched, pull it off the device,
IP address before logging in or are unable to connect to the
exposing the drive bays.
NAS Drive cont. on page 20
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 19
NAS Drive cont. from page 19
DNS-323 IP address, you can use the Easy Search Utility
provided on the product CD to locate the device on your
network and make any needed changes.
To run the Easy Search Utility, insert the DNS-323 CD
into your CD-ROM drive. Once this has started running,
the window below will appear. Then follow the steps as
they are presented.
Along the way, all the necessary steps will take place to
format and set up the unit. The formatting is a special
format which is Windows compatible, but is neither NTSC
or FAT32. Any information on the drive(s) you install in the
unit will be wiped clean when the formatting is done.
Once again, the manual has detailed info on each step in
the process, to assist users in making choices, when
choices must be made.
How to Use the Unit After Setting It Up
Once the setup process is completed, the unit is ready to
use. It will show in the drive listing for any machine which
is connected to your network. The drive letters which
were assigned will show along with all the usual drive
letters for your machine. You can move, copy, & delete
files just as you would for any drive.
For maximum utility, the NAS drive should be left on at
all times, to insure that any computer on the network can
access it. It does have a power saving feature that will put
it to sleep after several minutes (5 minutes is the default),
and it will use very little power in that mode. Once it has
gone to sleep, it will take about 5 seconds for it to come
back on, and spin up to full speed.
If you copy all/most of your important files onto the NAS
drive, this will serve as a backup for these files. And they
will be instantly available to all your other machines on your
network. This can be very time saving when you want to
access things like pictures et al.
„
If you find this material useful, you may want to download this
article in PDF format, from our web site h t t p : / /
www.brcs.org/hirsch.php. This allows readers to keep the
material either as a PDF file, and/or print it out, and place it in
a loose-leaf notebook for future reference. Remember, the PDF
version offers full color, wherever color elements might be
involved, and often images which could not be used in Boca Bits.
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 20
Finding Our Roots
By Constance Brown, President, Canton Alliance Massillon Users Group, Ohio, The Memory
Map, October 2009, http://camug.apcug.org, [email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s for death certificates, they can be found at http://
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other familysearchlabs.org/. The records are for dates after
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
1908 & prior to 1953.
Finding our roots has
Newer death certificates can be found at the County
become important to Health Department of the county where the individual died
many families as they or your state’s health department. The records at Family
begin realizing that Search are free. Newer records typically cost $17.95.
much of the past will be Family search also provides at no charge the ability to
lost as those who have permanently archive your family tree, making it available
been a part of our lives for download or on CD.
forever begin to slip away. Capturing the information the
Another of my favorite sites
older generation knows about our families, recording the is found at h t t p : / /
stories of their joys and struggles, and discovering the www.usgenweb.org. The
strength that sustained them is an important part of preserving UsGenWeb project is
our family history. Not everyone has the patience to developing as volunteers add
research their family roots, but those who do may find information to the site. The
surprises along the way: family members they have not amount and type of
met in the past, ancestors who actively created history, information for each state
others whose lives were an embarrassment to their families varies. If you click on Ohio,
and society. When you research genealogy, you have to be you will find each county listed. Under them is the information
that has been preserved for that county. More is added
prepared for it all!
regularly. I checked Clinton County where my paternal
If you are ready to find out more about your roots, the grandparents lived and was delighted to find the old Clinton
Internet offers an abundance of materials to help you County history book preserved and readable there.
locate information that will shed light on world events that
Yes, I read about my great great grandfather Jonathan
shaped the lives of your ancestors. Other sites will help you
McKay!
As I searched Vigo County in Indiana, I was
locate missing pieces of the genealogical puzzle. Here are
surprised
to find the newspaper obituaries for my
a few sites you will want to visit. First is FamilySearch.org,
grandmother
Harvey who died in 1982 as well as my aunt
the official genealogy records site hosted by the Church of
whom
we
buried
on Christmas Eve in 2001.
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City.
Not only do they provide free genealogical software, but
also a huge database of records including census, military,
Roots cont. on page 22
marriage, and death records. If you are looking specifically
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 21
Roots cont. from page 21
I found that watching Robert Ragan’s 5 minute Genealogy
Courses was a great help. He gives a number of tips on
how to find information about your family using specialized
Google searches.
Here are links to some of his materials:
• www.5minutegenealogy.com
• http://www.youtube.com/user/
5minutegenealogy
• http://amberskyline.com/
treasuremaps/
If understanding the political, economic, and scientific
events that were shaping the times in which your ancestors
lived, you will want to visit Google’s Time Line at http://
newstimeline.googlelabs.com. You may also want to check
through the lists of
Google Books to see what books were read and shaping
the lives of that generation.
Here are a few a few more helpful tips. Robert Sizelove
has spent a life-time photographing cemeteries with a
special focus on stones that are difficult to read and
cemeteries that are not visited frequently. If you have
pictures of any tombstones, he appreciates your sending
them to him so they can be uploaded to the USGenWeb
project and other sites to preserve these memorials.
To look at cemetery pictures he has collected, do a
Google Search for Robert Sizelove along with the county
and state name, putting both into the search box, e.g. robert
sizelove stark county ohio.
family genealogies and has researched and traced the
family tree to 168 AD. The only site for which she pays a
fee is Ancestry.com. Most other paid sites eventually send
you there, so you might as well pay that fee. When you
upload your GedCom file, Ancestry.com looks for possible
connections to other uploaded ancestral files and places a
leaf by the name on your family tree that may be connected
to a name on another family tree. This feature allows you
to expand your tree much more quickly than doing all the
research yourself. Caution. Make sure the information you
connect to your tree is as accurate as your own!
Another of my favorite sites is found at tribalpages.com.
Here you can upload your tree, add pictures, create slide
shows, add family memories and connect with others. This
is a wonderful place to host the wealth of family memories.
It is free until you have more than 50 pictures. At the highest
hosting charge, you get 5,000 pictures and pay less than $60
per year. The site is amazingly inexpensive, simple to use,
and very well designed!
Do you need ship lists? Here are a few sites to check.
Ellis Island Free records of ship lists
w w w . e l l i s i s l a n d . o r g /
default.asp?SID=2188&gclid=
CIeyzfioipwCFQEhDQodTQ58Yg,
www.Olivetree.com and Cindi’s List: http://
www.cyndislist.com/.
„
Scanner Issues
If your computer can’t find your scanner, the first thing
to do is check that it is plugged into a power source
and properly linked to the computer. If your scanner
is connected to the computer with a USB cable, use
the cable that came with the scanner. If you are using
a different USB cable, it should be no more than 6 feet
long. Try plugging the USB cable into a different USB
port on the PC. If the USB cable is plugged into a
USB hub, try connecting the cable directly to the
computer. If you have another compatible cable, try
replacing the current cable.
Troubleshoot An Unresponsive Mouse
If your mouse pointer won’t move on your screen,
you should check the most likely problems first.
Make sure a wired mouse is connected properly. If
you’re using a wireless mouse, make sure its batteries
are fresh and that the mouse and base station are
communicating. Each brand of wireless mouse has a
procedure for re-establishing the connection, usually
by making sure the mouse is on and then pressing a
button on the wireless mouse’s USB connector.
Not all research can be done free.
One of my distant cousins works at a family history
center for the Latter Day Saints. She has created 60
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
www.SmartComputing.com/Groups to learn what Smart
Computing can do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 22
2009 Come and Gone
By Elizabeth B. Wright, a member of the Computer Club of Oklahoma City, OK,
www.ccokc.org, [email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Yes, another year is coming to a close. And what do
we have to show for it? Another Microsoft OS for
those who are not already confused, limited software
and a world gone wild on the internet. Is that what we
had hoped for as 2010 looms on the horizon? While all
of the above were probably inevitable, how can we
make the most and best of it?
First: the new MS OS, fondly known as Windows7.
It’s really not too bad, considering the fact that all
Windows based computers work under the original
handicap of the hardware created by IBM for its
personal computers. I have seen my friends and
loved ones switching to Apple based computers and
loving every minute of it, even though Apple creates
new operating systems about as often as does
Microsoft. But then, most people switch for the
graphics and possibly the word processing capability
of Apple (Mac) machines, and perhaps are not as
compelled to upgrade to a new OS like Windows
customers are. Yes, our photographs are very
important to us and Apple made that kind of computing
a good experience many years ago.
But what about those of us who like to work with
both graphics and number-crunching software? Best
to stick to the unending procession of Microsoft
operating systems. With powerful enough hardware,
including RAM memory and a good graphics card,
even Windows can do a passable job with graphics.
It has always done exceptionally well with the
numbers stuff. And if we can get version 7 and
whatever comes next to work with our older software,
then maybe we can carry on business as usual. I for
one plan to give it a try. But to utilize additional RAM,
we are faced with using the 64bit version of Windows
7 with a 64bit processor.
So we might not actually get as much good out of
the new OS and newer photo editing software if our
hardware can’t meet those standards.
Second: limited software. By now most average
users have all the programs they will ever use. About
the only thing new many people buy is the latest,
greatest antivirus program. Businesses use number
crunching, word processing and data manipulation
software; individuals tend to use graphics, word
processing and the internet. Microsoft and Apple,
and to some extent Sun Microsystems, have both
categories firmly in hand, and we likely will see no
new software for average users. But the old MS and
Adobe stuff will continue to be “improved” in order
to keep those companies in business. No need to beat
that dead horse. Programs for Linux based computers
are more of the same. As for huge corporations, they
depend on specialists to continually fine-tune their
programs in order to keep up with the competition.
The industry that has developed for just that purpose
is something of which most of us are not likely to have
much knowledge or interest.
Third: The World Gone Wild. That is the one that
worries most thinking people more than anything
else. Again, it doesn’t need explaining since most of
the people reading this are well aware of the idiocy
available on the internet. Yes, there is still some really
good stuff out there, but so few people are taking
advantage of it. The bad stuff, and everyone knows
just how bad it is, may be the ultimate downfall of
civilization as we now know it. From selling iffy
goods to selling sex and extreme violence, the internet
is a place where legitimate learning and business is
losing the battle. Even the so-called online universities
are often nothing but sham corporations. They tie
people up with debt as soon as they enroll, knowing
full well that many of their “students” will never
finish even the first course, much less graduate. And
what are those degrees worth? I guess I can expect
a lot of dissent on that subject, but firsthand experience
with relatives has shown me that my theory is on
target.
But of course, the upside is that the internet system
will probably implode in perhaps the not-too-distant
future. Either governments will hijack it or it will just
crumble from its own weight and greed. Do you
remember the world before the internet? What you
may not remember, or possibly don’t know about,
was the existence of computers connected via phone
lines and other cabling systems which were military
and scientific in nature. Then the rest of us got into
the act.
Outlook for 2010: For computer users who want
something more than email and surfing, there continue
to be ways to improve skills. And many of those
choices are still available free on the internet. Check
out your favorite program to see what and where you
can find training programs, then DO IT!! Make the
effort to at least make Microsoft, Apple and all others
work for you instead of the other way around.
„
NVPCUG Computer News, January 2010, Page 23
Offering Financial Services throughout the
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Napa, St. Helena
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