COMPUTER NEWS Audacity :

COMPUTER NEWS Audacity :
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558
COMPUTER
NEWS
Volume 23, No. 5
Inside This Issue:
2 President’s Message
2 Special Interest Groups
2 Calendar
3 Officers List
4 Upgrading Your Monitor
5 Computer Hysteria: Spam
6 Installing New Hard Drives
8 Windows XP Housecleaning
9. Organizing the Favorites Menu
10 The New, Best, and Worst
12 Improving PC Performance
14 Tech News
16 Computer Recycling Event
The Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group has served novice and
experienced computer users since
1983. Through its monthly meetings,
newsletters, online forum, special interest groups, mentor program and community involvement, it has helped educate people of all ages. The NVPCUG
provides opportunities for people to
find friends who share common interests and experiences. Through its
Computers-to-Schools program, members refurbish used computer equipment for donation to local schools.
Since January 2003 the NVPCUG has
donated 401 computers and 124 printers.
Like many moth-
Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group
May, 2006
Audacity Multitrack Audio Editor to
Be Discussed at May 17 NVPCUG Meeting
By Susy Ball, Programs Coordinator
The Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group will meet Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 7:00-9:00 p.m., at the Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa, California.
The main presentation of the evening will be a demonstration by Susy Ball of Audacity, a free open-source program that will help you enter the world of digital music,
using your computer. This is a fully functional, multitrack
audio editor. It runs on most Windows platforms, as well
as Mac OS 9 and X, and Linux and Unix. The producer of
the program is SourceForge, and it can be downloaded free
of charge. Susy is the programs director for NVPCUG.
Susy Ball
Preceding the main presentation, Jerry Brown will lead the Random
Access portion of our meeting with an open-floor question-and-answer period, during which you can ask questions about specific computer-related
issues and receive helpful information from other meeting attendees. Don’t
forget that you can also e-mail your questions before coming to the meeting
([email protected].org). If you have found a novel solution to a computer
problem you faced, you might like to share it with the group during this session.
Following this, Mike Moore will lead the Computer Tutor session featuring CCleaner, a utility program that removes unused and temporary files
from your system, allowing Windows to run faster and more efficiently and
giving you more disk storage space. The program is small, fast, and best of
all free. Michael is a retired instructor of computer studies at Napa Valley
College and the current computer tutor coordinator at NVPCUG.
Need practical information that will enable you to make better use of
your computer? Come to this meeting! Guests are welcome; admission is
free.
Volunteers are needed to help with the annual Computer and Electronics Recycling Event to take place
June 9 and 10. See the back cover for details.
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 1
President's Message—
Holding Fast, Moving Ahead
by Dianne Prior, President
NVPCUG Special
Interest Groups
In SIG meetings you can learn about a
subject in greater detail than is feasible at
NVPCUG general meetings. SIG meetings are
open to everyone. Meeting times and locations
occasionally change, so for current meeting
i n f or m a ti on , s e e o u r W e b s i t e ,
www.nvpcug.org, or contact the SIG leaders.
Digital Photography SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Wednesday
7:00 to 8:30 p.m
Piner’s Nursing Home,
Conference Room
1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Leader: Susy Ball
(707) 337-3998
[email protected]
Investors SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Monday
5:30 to 7:30 p.m
Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
Leader: Jerry Brown
(707) 254-9607
[email protected]
Macintosh SIG
Meets:
Monthly, second Thursday
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Napa Senior Activity Center
1500 Jefferson St., Napa
Leader: Jim Gillespie
(707) 252-1665
[email protected]
Our meeting day will NOT change.
At the recent Board of Directors meeting, we reviewed some additional information and realized that a first
Wednesday meeting would not be any
better and indeed may be worse than
our current third Wednesday dates.
The reason for the change was a supposed problem in getting presenters.
We need to have a meeting day near
the meeting days of other nearby computer user groups. We had based our
“first Wed.” recommendation on information from only one vendor. After
further research it seems there are in
fact other groups that meet during the
third week. The Board agreed with the
recommendation of our Programs Director Susy Ball (who is the one to arrange for presenters) that we stick to
THIRD Wednesdays. I apologize for
the confusion.
On April 24, the executive committee and Computers-to-Schools coordinators had an informal meeting with
Charlotte Converse, Computer Services
Manager of Dey, L.P. to give us a
chance to ask questions and get to
know each other better. Dey Labs, a
manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, has
been a strong supporter of the Napa
Valley P.C. Users Group computers-toschools program. In recognition of
this, the Board of Directors voted to
continue Dey’s Honorary Corporate
Membership for the year 2006. We
presented Charlotte with a certificate of
appreciation acknowledging the honorary membership. Thank you to Susy
Dianne Prior
Charlotte Converse and Dianne Prior
Ball for making the certificate.
There is an Association of P.C. User
Groups Conference being held in San
Diego around August 12. Our group is
a member of the APCUG. If anyone is
interested in attending, check their
web site at www.swugconf.org.
August 12 is also the Saturday that
we will have our annual potluck picnic.
Dianne Prior will be the chairman.
More on that later.
Remember to sign up to help at the
Napa Electronics Recycling Event on
June 9 and 10. See Bill Wheadon at
the next meeting or e-mail him at [email protected]
See you at the meeting on May 17.
Happy Springtime!
Peace and Good,
Dianne Prior
NVPCUG Calendar
Wednesdays
April
5
April
10
April
12
April
13
April
19
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
Computers-to-Schools work parties. To volunteer, contact Orion Hill, (707) 252-0637.
Board of Directors meeting, Piner’s Nursing Home, 1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Investors SIG meeting, Jerry Brown’s home, 23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
Digital Photography SIG meeting, Piner’s Nursing Home, 1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Macintosh SIG meeting, Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson St., Napa
General Meeting, Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson St., Napa
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 2
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
Officers for 2006
Board of Directors
President
Dianne Prior
252-1506*
[email protected]
Vice President
Ron Dack
Secretary
Julie Jerome
224-6620
[email protected]
Treasurer
Roy Wagner
253-2721
[email protected]
Other Directors:
Susy Ball, Orion E. Hill, Jim Gillespie, Bob Kulas, John Moore,
[email protected]
Dick Peterson, John Simcoe, James Stirling, Dean Unruh
Held the third Wednesday of each month
7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Appointed Officers
Computer Equipment
Sales Coordinator
Computer Recycling
Coordinator
Computer Tutor
Coordinator
Computers-to-Schools
Program Coordinator
Facility Arrangements
Coordinator
Greeter Coordinator
Librarian
Membership Director
Mentor Program
Coordinator
Newsletter Circulator
Newsletter Editor
Product Review Coord.
Product Review Coord.
Programs Director
Publicity Director
Random Access Moderator
Special Projects Director
Webmaster
Come to the NVPCUG
General Meetings
Napa Senior Activities
Center
(Volunteer Needed)
Bill Wheadon
224-3901
[email protected]
Mike Moore
255-1615
[email protected]
Orion E. Hill
252-0637
[email protected]
John Moore
252-3478
[email protected]
Bob Simmerman
Dean Unruh
Dianne Prior
Dick Peterson
259-6113
226-9164
252-1506
259-1712
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Jim Hearn
James Stirling
Susy Ball
Marcia Waddell
Susy Ball
John Simcoe
Jerry Brown
Bob Kulas
Ron Dack
224-2540
944-1177
337-3398
252-2060
337-3998
258-8233
254-9607
255-9241
1500 Jefferson Street,
Napa
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
*All telephone numbers are in Area Code 707.
NVPCUG Computer News
Computer News (ISS 0897-5744) is published monthly by the Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group, Inc. (NVPCUG), P.O. Box 2866, Napa, CA
94558-0286. Subscriptions: $30 for one year (12 issues ). Editor: James Stirling, [email protected] The material in Computer News is intended for
noncommercial purposes and may not be reproduced without prior written permission, except that permission for reproducing articles, with authors properly credited, is granted to other computer user groups for their internal, nonprofit use only. The information in this newsletter is believed to be correct.
However, the NVPCUG can assume neither responsibility for errors or omissions nor liability for any damages resulting from the use or misuse of any
information.
The NVPCUG is an IRC 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit educational organization (EIN 68-0069663) and is a member of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG), an international organization. Donations to the NVPCUG are tax-deductible as charitable contributions to the extent allowed
by law. Copyright © 2006 by NVPCUG.
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 3
Upgrading Your Monitor
by Vinny La Bash, [email protected], Member of the Sarasota Personal Computer Users Group, Inc.
In December 2005 I wrote about buying a
PC for 2006, but other than size I was vague
about the monitor.
Many more folks than I thought of are getting the urge to watch high definition video on
their personal computers. If high definition has
you captivated, pay attention to the technologies
known as HDMI and HDPC.
HDMI, or High Definition Media Interface,
is a technology that connects video receivers
and DVD players to devices such as a television. It makes no difference to HDMI if your set
is high definition or not. The technology handles both standard and high definition resolutions.
HDPC or High-bandwidth Digital Content
Protection is a completely different animal. Intel
developed the technology specifically to prevent
distortion or any kind of electronic interference
between source and receiver. For example,
HDPC encrypts the digital content of anything
that a device such as a DVD player might send
through a Digital Visual Interface (DVI) to a
television set, a projector or a computer monitor. The encryption used is not a form of copy
protection, but a process designed to protect the
integrity of the data. In other words, HDMI
makes sure that what is sent is what's received.
It's important to understand that HDCP is
content protection, not copy protection. It won't
prevent you from pausing live programming or
recording a program to view at a later time. Any
content provider that did this would soon be at
war with its customers.
As long as features such as "time-shifting"
keep appearing, protecting copyright material
becomes increasingly difficult. Copyrights are
important because without them there is no protection for the artists, authors, and performers
who create material or those who use them.
copies. Still another provider might put limitations on how the material is used. Many factors
come into play. The mechanism for distribution,
source, equipment design, and equipment configuration all have their unique effects. A content provider will usually insist on enforcing its
own brand of copy protection.
HDCP makes its appearance at the DVI connection, the last link in the video chain, but
makes no decisions on any type of copy protection strategy; it merely protects the choice.
It may be a letdown to you to find out that
HDCP isn't an issue yet. However, it will become more important when high definition
takes over. Expect all high definition DVD
players to eventually use HDCP.
If you own a DVD player that isn't HDCP
compliant, you will still be able to use it even if
your TV isn't HDCP compliant. You just won't
experience high definition quality images.
HDCP will restrict playback to standard quality.
This prevents pirates from getting perfect copies
of movies or other digital content. Upgrades are
definitely in most people's future.
Windows Vista will certainly support HDCP,
as will upcoming versions of the Mac OS. What
it comes down to is, if you want to watch high
definition content on your computer monitor,
the monitor must be HDCP-compliant.
Almost any television set you buy today will
use HDCP, but very few computer monitors are
HDCP compliant. Do your research carefully. If
you want to watch high definition on your
monitor, it must be HDCP compliant.
The Editorial Committee of the Association of
Personal Computer User Groups has provided
this article.
Your home equipment can implement any
kind of copy protection, but a content provider
might allow no copies whatsoever. Another provider might let you make a limited number of
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 4
Computer Hysteria: The Sentence
by Berry F. Phillips, Member of the Computer Club of Oklahoma City and a regular writer for the
CCOKC Web site and the eMonitor; www.ccokc.org; bfpdata( at ) gbronline.com
I was terrified as I faced the Judge of the
Spammers' Court awaiting my sentence. The
Judge began reviewing my case. "You have
been charged with sadistically deleting spam but
reading 'ham.' Spam is described as unsolicited
(usually commercial, usually unwanted) e-mail
messages. 'Ham' is described as real e-mail
messages. You are charged with a capital crime,
spamocide in the first degree! Since your plea is
not guilty, I will review your case."
The defendant's brief contains some material
available from CAUCE, The Coalition Against
Unsolicited Commercial E-mail which is an ad
hoc, all volunteer organization, created by
Netizens to advocate for a legislative solution to
the problem of UCE (a/k/a "spam").
“UCE is the leading complaint of Internet
users. But junk e-mail is more than just
annoying, it costs Internet users and Internetbased businesses billions per year. Junk e-mail
is 'postage due' marketing; it is like a
telemarketer calling you collect. The economics
of junk e-mail encourages massive abuse,
because junk e-mailers can get into business
very cheaply. The volume of junk e-mail is
increasing every day."
Vint Cert, Senior Vice President, MCI and
acknowledged "Father of the Internet" is quoted
by permission: "Spamming is the scourge of
electronic mail and newsgroups on the Internet."
It can seriously interfere with the operation of
public services, to say nothing of the effect it
may have on any individual's e-mail mail system
... Spammers are in effect, taking resources
away from users and service suppliers without
compensation and without authorization."
In 2002, Paul Graham discussed in a paper,
"A Plan for Spam," how to develop Bayesian
spam filtering to distinguish between
illegitimate spam e-mail and legitimate "ham" email. Many modern mail programs such as
Mozilla Thunderbird utilize Bayesian spam
filtering. Server-side email filters such as
spamAssasin and ASSP make use of Bayesian
spam filtering techniques, and the functionality
is sometimes embedded within the mail server
software itself.
While there has been some excellent antispam software written, the increasing volume of
spam clearly demonstrates the survival
adaptability of the spammers. CAUCE indicates
that very few legitimate marketers use spam.
Spam takes a variety of forms, like chain letters,
get-rich-quick schemes, quack health remedies,
porno-related products, pyramid marketing,
pirated software (Warez), and many more too
numerous to mention, that can loosely just be
called various scams. There are several
techniques spammers use to get your e-mail
address to be placed on a spam list. One that is
very common is the offer of free software. In my
opinion, deletion is the "ounce of prevention
that provides a pound of cure." However, we are
losing the war on spam; you may want to join
CAUCE's efforts to get legislation to stamp out
spammers. If you want to join other Netizens to
support the efforts of CAUCE, visit the website
for more information at www.cauce.org.
The Judge at the Spammers' Court banged his
gavel and pronounced my sentence. “You have
been found guilty of spamocide in the first
degree! I remand you into custody of the
processors at the Spammers' Cannery.”
I shouted at the Judge in the same spirit of
Patrick Henry, "If I must be canned, then can me
ham, NOT spam!"
Thank goodness it was only a dream; I
awoke looking at my e-mail client, for I had
obviously dozed off while deleting spam.
However, this article must now end because I
have a strange craving for a "ham" sandwich!
Berry Phillips is a member of the CCOKC and a
regular writer for the CCOKC Web site and the
eMonitor.
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal
Computer User Groups has provided this article.
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 5
New Hard Drives and XP Hard Drive Management Utility
By Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director; Columnist, The Examiner, Beaumont, TX; Radio & TV Show Host
WEB SITE: http://www.langa.com
With the oft-mentioned convergence, where our
desktop computers are now commonly used for
more than traditional computing tasks, many of us
seem to run low on hard drive space. A quick review of the newspaper and online ads for the electronics and office supply stores often show a selection of large capacity hard drives for very reasonable prices. Sometimes these hard drives can be
purchased for an exceptionally low price after the
application of high-value rebates. Now that many
of us are using our hard drives for the storage and
editing of video (very large files), countless music
files (typically a few megabytes each), and even
recording and time shifting TV (huge files), it is
quite easy for hard drive space to run short. This is
an indication that it is time to somehow utilize an
additional hard drive.
The aftermarket hard drives now so readily
available come in a variety of packages. Generally
the lowest-priced drives are name-brand drives
packaged as “OEM” intended for computer builders, and typically lacking cables, installation software, instructions, brackets, screws, and other
sometimes useful accessories. Commonly available at the retail stores, for slightly more, are drives
packed in retail packages that usually include cables, detailed install instructions, partitioning and
formatting software, technical support, brackets,
and other paraphernalia. At the top of the price
charts, but still sometimes bargain-priced, are external drives, already partitioned and formatted.
You can use them by simply plugging one cable
into a USB or firewire port, and connecting the traditional power cord, with no other hardware installation. External drives often come with a variety of
utility software titles for creating backups and for
other purposes. Since there are a variety of hard
drive controllers (the device that physically connects the motherboard in the computer to the cable
and drive) in use, the purchaser needs to be sure
that any internal drives purchased are compatible
with the controllers in the computer. Acronyms
such as IDE, EIDE, and SATA are commonly used
to describe the interface of the hard drives advertised. If the purchaser is not sure which type is
correct, a knowledgeable salesperson or call to the
hard drive manufacturer may help the buyer select
the correct type.
Installing an additional hard drive in a desktop
computer may be easy and done by anyone with
moderate mechanical or electrical skills. The retail
packs often come with very easy-to-follow directions (and sometimes even a video!) showing the
step-by-step process. Most typically, computers
come with two hard drive controllers, either built in
to the motherboard or on a separate card; each controller can usually manage two hard drives, or a
hard drive and a CD/DVD player or burner, allowing for up to four hard drives or CD/DVD units in
any combination without the installation of additional controller hardware. One proviso worth noting here is that if the computer is still covered by
warranty, opening the case to install an additional
hard drive may void the remaining balance of the
warranty. There is no warranty risk in using an
external hard drive, since there is no “hard” installation necessary.
Once a new internal hard drive is installed, it
must be partitioned and formatted appropriately in
order for it to function properly. If you bought a
retail pack, you will likely find a floppy or CD included that contains the necessary utilities; if you
got an OEM drive, either you must use a third party
utility (my favorite is Partition Magic), or a littleknow XP utility. External drives, unless homebuilt with a separate drive and case, generally do
not need any utilities to make them function properly. Fortunately, users of Windows XP have a
built-in utility that will do the necessary partitioning and formatting of new drives, as well as other
hard drive and computer management tasks. Fred
Langa, author of the very popular “Langa List”
(www.langa.com) published a series of articles in
early March documenting the availability and utilization of this integral utility. “Administrator” access is necessary to access this utility. While there
are several ways to access the utility, one of the
easiest ways is to right click on the “My Computer” icon on the desktop, and then click on
“Manage.” “Disk Management” is listed under
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 6
(continued on page 7)
the “Storage” heading. From this point, hard
drives can be partitioned, formatted, have drive
letters designated or changed, and a variety of
other hard tasks can be accomplished. It is important to be especially careful not to partition or format existing hard drives with this utility, unless
you explicitly desire it, as it is likely that existing
data on the drive may be destroyed or otherwise
become inaccessible. Other non-hard drive management tasks can also be utilized from this utility.
If a new hard drive is installed, it will show up
as an “unknown” disk. Right-clicking on the new
disk will open a menu with “partition” as one of
the choices. Selecting this will open a wizard that
will guide the user through the steps of initializing
and partitioning the drive, and then formatting it
with an appropriate format. After the process is
completed, the new drive should show up in WinFrom the Daily Tips of Smart Computing
Fun Facts & Stats:
Looking for Love in All the Right Places
Match.com, a popular online dating site, reported that
its fastest-growing age demographic isn’t users in their
late 20s or early 30s searching for someone to settle
down with. Nope, it’s baby boomers (users between
the ages of 45-59). The number of such users has increased by over 350 percent since 2000.
Linux Users: Track Your Finances
Linux isn’t on nearly as many desktops as Windows, but considering that home users can download
and install the OS (operating system) free of charge,
we’d be amiss if we didn’t assume that at least a handful of users out there are running it. If you are running
Linux, you already know that mainstay personal finance applications such as Intuit Quicken and Microsoft Money don’t run on that OS. The good news is
that Linux has its own stable, mature, and powerful
financial application called GnuCash.
dows Explorer.
Since many of the new hard drives are truly
huge in capacity, it may be more convenient in the
long run to partition them as if they were several
smaller hard drives, each partition with a separate
drive letter. This makes disk storage more efficient, with less wasted space, as well as easier for
you to backup, maintain, defragment, and perform
other tasks.
A new large-capacity hard drive may be useful
to improve the performance of the computer as
well as allow it to be used for the many new noncomputing tasks that are becoming popular.
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal
Computer User Groups has provided this article.
have a hot side and a cool side, and heat is transferred
from the cool side (which sits on the CPU chip core)
to the hot side (which transfers heat to a heatsink). The
temperature difference between the two sides can be
dramatic, with differences reaching 150 degrees Fahrenheit in some configurations. Peltiers can use air or
liquid cooling, but because the units can substantially
increase the ambient case temperature, liquid cooling
is recommended. The potential for water condensation
and electricity problems means Peltiers are best for
advanced users.
Fun on the Internet
Nearly one-third of American Internet users go
online just for fun rather than to check e-mail, read
news or use a search engine, according to Deborah
Fallows, senior research fellow at the nonpartisan Pew
Internet & American Life Project, which examines the
social impact of the Internet. A survey of 1,931 Internet users found 30 percent of respondents said they
went online "for no particular reason" on the previous
day. The survey also showed that 34 percent of online
men were surfing for fun on an average day, compared
with 26 percent of women. The Survey said that sending or receiving e-mail ranked highest, with 52 percent
of Internet users saying they did this on a typical day.
Using a search engine ranked second, with 38 percent,
while reading news online was third, with 31 percent.
What's
A
Peltier
Cooler?
The Peltier effect, discovered in the 19th century
by French physicist Jean Peltier, occurs when a current passes through a circuit containing two conductors. Depending on the direction of the current, the
unit will either absorb or release heat. Peltier units —(From Tech News, by Sue Crane)
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 7
Windows XP Housecleaning
By Dick Maybach,
Member of the Brookdale Computer User Group, New Jersey; http://www.bcug.com/
Unless you are careful, after a period of use Windows will begin to slow down. This occurs because
many programs are always active, even though you
aren’t using them, and because the number of files
increases, which means that searches take longer.
Fortunately, Windows XP contains several tools to
help you ease these conditions. Using these tools periodically (every month or two is reasonable) will
help you keep your PC lean and mean.
Use Disk Cleanup to delete useless files. Rightclick on a disk icon in Windows Explorer (C: will be
the most rewarding); then click Properties, click the
Disk Cleanup button, and select the actions. (I prefer
not to compress old files as I’ve had bad experiences
with compression.) Also be sure to check the actions
available under the More Options tab, in particular
deleting all but the last restore image. Finally search
all your hard drives for the strings “*.tmp” and
“*.dmp” in filenames. Delete anything more than a
week or so old; however, Windows will refuse to
delete any files it considers important.
Go through your saved e-mail and delete old messages. This will reduce the size of the mail database
file and help you to find important e-mail more
quickly.
Look at the list of installed programs (Start >
Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs) and remove any you don’t use. Most of find that new software often is less useful than we expected. Also,
many PC manufacturers ship machines with software
that we neither ask for nor need. While you’re checking, be sure to click on the Add/Remove Windows
Components icon in the left margin of the window.
You find MS tools that you don’t need.
Windows allocates a large portion of your disk
space for use by System Restore (Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore > System Restore Settings). Select each drive
and click on the Settings button. Reduce the Disk
Space Usage by moving the slider to no greater than
1 GByte on each of your drives. Use less on small
drives, especially if they contain nothing but data.
Check the startup folder for programs that automatically start; you will probably find that you don’t
want many of these running. Start > All Programs ®
Startup to view the contents of the startup folder. To
stop a program from starting automatically right
click on its icon then click delete. This does not delete the program; it only stops it from being started at
boot-up.
Unfortunately, most programs that start automatically don’t appear in the startup folder. To disable
these, click Start > Run and type “msconfig”. Click
the startup tab and uncheck any programs you don’t
want to run at startup. When you finish, Windows
will ask you to restart. After boot-up you will see a
diagnostic screen. On it uncheck the box that displays the diagnostic screen each time you boot.
You can also turn off Windows services that you
don’t need, but you shouldn’t do this unless you are
very knowledgeable. However, it doesn’t hurt to look
at what’s running, and you may learn something.
Open the Services window by clicking Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services and the
System Configuration window by clicking Start, then
Run, typing “msconfig” and selecting the services
tab. Move the windows so you can see both. Clicking
on a name in the services window will display a
short description. Removing a check mark in the
System Configuration window will disable that service, but no matter how confident you are, don’t disable any service marked “essential”.
Check for unsigned files and drivers; these can be
corrupted files or programs not approved by Microsoft. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Information > Tools > File Signature Verification Utility > Start. The search will
take several minutes; then a list will appear showing
all the program files without valid signatures. Consider deleting (by using the Add/Remove Programs
tool) these.
Another utility you should know about is System
Information (Start > All Programs > Accessories >
System Tools > System Information). This doesn’t
allow you to change anything, but you can learn a lot
about Windows by exploring it. For instance, if you
click on the plus box by Software Environment then
on Startup Programs, it will show you a list (after a
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 8
pause) of all the modules that start at boot-up. It
shows information in each entry that may enable
you to track down a troublesome program. As is
common with Windows utilities, you can sort any
column by clicking on its header.
If you have problems with a program that ran
with an earlier version of Windows, try running
them in program compatibility mode. Click Start >
All Programs > Accessories > Program Compatibility Wizard > Next > Next. You will see a list of
all the installed programs. Select the troublesome
program and a compatibility mode (Win 95, Win
NT, Win 98/Me, or Win 2000). Clicking Next
brings up a screen allowing you to set a lower resolution on the screen, which may be needed for very
old Windows programs.
You can tune your PC performance with very
little risk, even if you are a novice. Right click on
My Computer in Windows Explorer; then, click
Properties > Advanced > Performance Settings.
Usually, checking “Let Windows choose what’s
best for my computer” is satisfactory, but you
might to try “Adjust for best performance” if you
machine is slow. If you are more adventuresome,
you can select Custom and disable individual features by unchecking items in the list. If you don’t
like the result, you can just go back to “Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer.
After completing the cleanup, check to see if
you should defragment your disks. Right click on a
disk icon in Windows Explorer; then click Properties >Tools tab > Defragment now > Analyze button. If Windows says the disk does not need defragmenting, don’t do it. Doing the C: disk defragging takes a long time and seldom results in any
noticeable performance improvement.
The Editorial Committee of the Association
of Personal Computer User Groups has provided
this article.
Organizing the Favorites Menu
by Glenn Richards, Emeritus Member of the Lake-Sumter Computer Society, Leesburg, FL
This is a follow-up on a tip from Worldstart. I
have been using the method for years. When you
collect shortcuts to Web sites like I do the Favorites menu gets difficult to manage without some
organizing. It is easy to add sub-folders to the Favorites main folder, either via the Internet Explorer
menu item Favorites, or using Windows Explorer.
The method of creating the subfolders using
Windows Explorer that I use is to have WE in a
two-pane mode with the Favorites folder highlighted in the left pane. Right-click in the right
pane, New, Folder, and give the folder a name of
you’re choosing. This method can be cascaded as
far as you want to go.
Under a main Favorites subfolder I named
“Software,” I have a subfolder named “A to C,”
etc. down to “U to Z.” The right-most column
shows some of the contents of the U to Z subfolder.
The above method of organization can also be
used to consolidate items in your Start, Programs
menu. Use WE to open your Programs folder at
C:\Documents and Settings\<your own
menu>\Start Menu\Programs, create subfolders for
categories of menu items, and move appropriate
shortcuts to this new subfolder. This can reduce
the height of the Programs menu so it will fit on
the screen.
I split the alphabetic range of the subfolders so
that the height of the contents of any folder does
not exceed the vertical space on the Desktop. The
figure has squeezed the display horizontally to
make more room for these words.
My Software folder is for Web sites where I
have found worthwhile programs for download.
One of its subfolders is “Tudogs,” a Web site that
has shortcuts to hundreds of free programs. I have
acquired many of them for the user group’s CDs.
My Favorites folder has 1968 files (Web addresses) in 136 subfolders occupying 403 KB, with
no Web address more than two clicks away.
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal
Computer User Groups has provided this article
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 9
The New, the Best, and the Worst
Collected by Pim Borman, SW Indiana PC Users Group, Inc.http://swipcug.apcug.org/[email protected])sigecom.net
Talking Turk-ey
If you’ve ever earned some pocket money stuffing
envelopes, the advent of e-mail may have put you
out of business. But the Internet giveth what it taketh away.
Much of the unanticipated success of the Internet
was due to the contributions made by selfless volunteers. Businesses then realized the importance of the
Internet to advertise themselves, and Wile E. Coyote
would now be able to order his Road Runner catchers from www.acme.com (there actually is such a
Web site). Nevertheless, volunteers expect to derive
some form of satisfaction from their efforts, and the
equivalent of envelope stuffing for free does not
draw many aficionados.
The Internet would not be more than a large flea
market were it not for the powerful search engines
capable of retrieving information almost instantly.
The retrieval algorithms depend on vast indexes
maintained by constantly culling millions of Web
sites worldwide. Only computer-readable text is indexable. Yet, there are many other types of valuable
information on the Web that are not computerreadable, such as hand-written documents and
graphical images. It is almost impossible for a computer to distinguish a picture of Picabo Street in her
ski outfit from Mother Teresa in her nun’s habit. A
human can distinguish them at a glance. Handwritten documents must be retyped, as many genealogy indexers know. Thus there is a great need for
indexing graphics and handwritten information that
requires human input. There are many other instances where human input is required, such as rating the validity of computer-generated keywords
describing search targets, or retrieving numbers
from scanned documents, such as transfer deeds.
Amazon, with its interest in computer searching
with its A9.com search engine, has established a
program that enlists human help for such tasks. The
program is called Mechanical Turk, after a mechanical chess-playing automaton in 1769 that defeated
nearly every opponent it faced. It featured a lifesized wooden mannequin, adorned with a furtrimmed robe and a turban, seated behind a cabinet.
It confounded such brilliant challengers as Benja-
min Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte. What they
did not know was the secret behind the Mechanical
Turk: a human chess master cleverly concealed inside.
Amazon has set up a Web site (http://www.mturk
.com/mturk/welcome) as a link between programmers looking for “artificial, artificial intelligence,”
and paid volunteers providing human inputs to perform the requested tasks, referred to as HITs. These
are typically of a simple, repetitive nature and pay a
minimal amount, a penny or so, for each input. For
instance, I saw a HIT listed to look up deed records
on a Web site and find the transfer taxes. The volunteers that complete such tasks are rated on their proficiency and accuracy and build up a reputation that
qualifies them for somewhat more challenging and
higher-paying HITS.
It is an interesting concept that may catch on as it
is further refined. (Mentioned in Bill Machrone’s
column in PC Magazine, February 17, 2006).
Oldie Tribulations
I own a 6-year-old former dream machine, once
briefly the envy of friends and relatives, a Dell
desktop with a 600MHz Pentium III processor and a
20GB hard drive. Over the years I added another
20GB hard drive, upped the RAM to 256 MB, and
upgraded from Windows 98SE2 to Windows ME.
Lately I have been using this computer to evaluate a
variety of Linux distributions that I installed on the
second drive in separate partitions.
Recently I took advantage of a special offer to
update my version of Xandros (Linux) Desktop
Open Circulation to the DeLuxe Edition. I wanted
to install it in a clean 10 GB partition, but as a result
of the many installations of different operating systems, the second hard drive could not be repartitioned any longer because of a faulty partition table.
I could read and write to the disk, but neither Partition Magic nor any other disk software was able to
repartition the drive, or even to reformat it. It was
time for drastic measures.
I discarded the faulty slave drive, bought a new
Western Digital 80GB hard drive, installed it as the
master, and relegated the original 20GB master
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 10
frustrating. I’ll hold out for a system using the 64-bit
drive to slave status. All I needed to do was reinstall
Tech
AMD
chip. News
That excludes Dell, which uses Intel
Windows ME and then repartition the disk to make
only.
Linux
has
since run
on 64-bit processors,
room for Xandros and Linspire, my favorite Linux
By Sue Crane, Vice Presidentlong
and Editor,
Big Bear
andClub
Windows
Vista is just getting around to it. Now
distributions. Easier said than done, as it turned out.
Computer
[email protected]
is not the time; later this year, maybe. I might have a
I’ll try to summarize the lessons I (re-)learned.
local dealer build one to order.
• Windows ME upgrades only from Windows
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal
Computer User Groups has provided this article.
98, not from DOS.
•
Read the manual about the proper location of
the itty-bitty jumpers that determine if a drive
is the master or the slave. Don’t just go by the
markings on the drives. Apparently all drives
are different.
•
Re-use the old IDE cable if the new cable
doesn’t reach both drives.
•
Even the most recent BIOS version for this
computer available from Dell (dated 2000) is
not able to recognize more than 32 GB of the
80 GB drive.
•
Believe it when it says on the box that the
drive requires Windows XP or better.
•
The special software, provided by Western
Digital, to reach and repartition all 80 GB on
an old computer must be used before installing the operating system.
•
After using the special WD software to set up
the hard drive, don’t use Partition Magic 8.0
to further repartition the drive. You won’t be
able to reboot and will have to start all over
again.
•
The computer won’t boot any longer from the
old hard drive, reinstalled as the master. In
computing too, you can’t go home again.
•
After protecting the system with a ZoneAlarm
firewall and F-prot antivirus you think it is
safe to go online to update Windows ME and
install Internet Explorer 6.0. You’ll still receive half a dozen instances of a spy program
called Alexa, courtesy of Microsoft. AdAware
will identify and remove it for you.
•
All’s well that ends well. The computer now
has 20GB of Windows ME, 30 GB of Linspire 5.0, and 30 GB of Xandros DeLuxe Edition, complete with boot manager.
Smart Computing Tips –
Getting the News Online
If you want to track the latest news, you can
subscribe to CNN Pipeline www.cnn.com/pipeline).
This news service features four live video feeds
and its own news anchors. You can watch commercial-free news 24/7, and the service also lets you
access CNN’s vast video archives. CNN Pipeline
requires a subscription: 99 cents for a one-day pass,
$2.95 for a monthly subscription, or $24.95 for a
yearly subscription. If you’re looking for a local
station, check the directory at wwiTV
(www.mediahopper .com). This site lists channels
from all over the world that offer live or recorded
television programming. Another site that provides
similar information is TVover.net. Here you can
search for content by country, live or recorded
shows, and more. Most of the “stations” that broadcast television on the Web require your computer
to have the Windows Media Player
(www.windowsmedia.com) or the RealNetworks
RealPlayer (www.real.com) software. Both players
are available free. Some services, such as CNN
Pipeline, use their own custom players, which you
can also download and install at no additional cost.
Of course, you also need a broadband Internet connection due to the size and complexity of video
files.
Maybe I should just have bought one of those
cheapy Dell computers. But removing all the junk
programs they come with might have been just as
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 11
Improving PC Performance Without Upgrading Your Hardware
By Kevin J. Vella, Public Relations Manager, Uniblue Systems Ltd . [email protected]
Boosting up the performance of your PC doesn't
have to be difficult or expensive. Here's a step-by-step
guide on how to do it
Nine things that Chip Manufacturers and PC retailers don't tell you!
The most common reasons for PC slowdowns are
viruses, spyware, too many temporary files, software
conflicts, residues from unwanted (and uninstalled) trial
downloads and other applications, and, sometimes, just
too many applications running at the same time hogging
all or most of your computer resources.
The following are nine things that chip manufacturers and PC retailers don't want you to know or how to
perform. Following this advice will drastically increase
your PC performance and help you regain your sanity
while saving loads of money. And, if your PC is three
years old and you can't afford to upgrade yet, you will
be able to squeeze some more juice out of the old
thing!
1. Know What You Are Running
Sometimes slowdowns occur because you have too
many programs open at the same time. Shutting down
those programs that you are not using will immediately
boost performance.
2. Monitor Windows Processes
If you press CTRL+ALT+DEL you will call up Task
Manager, which lists most of the processes that you are
actually running.
Although limited, Task Manager will give you a reasonably good overview of what's running. But before
ending processes to increase your performance, please
exercise extreme caution and learn what the processes
do.
You will find that either there is too much running or there is something hogging your CPU and memory. With certain Windows utilities you can even set up
your computer to run certain system configurations,
depending upon the type of application/s you are running at the moment. These utilities also give you an insight on resource allocation and, with the help of
graphs, can help you identify which application and/or
process is most likely to slow or crash your computer.
3. Have a Clean System
One of the most common reason (probably the most
common) for slowdowns is viruses and/or spyware.
Sometimes even spyware residuals that have escaped
your anti-spyware products can plague you for months.
I had a problem with MSAA.EXE which was not
caught by three spyware scanners – I eventually figured
out what I had running because of point #2 above!
Virus and spyware authors just love creating menaces that hog your system resources, and the only protection you have is to keep everything up-to-date.
Make sure your antivirus software is up to date with
current virus definitions. Then scan your computer for
viruses. Make sure your spyware software is up to date
with current definitions. Because of the way spyware
works you should try and use at least two different programs to scan your system (scanners are usually free of
charge and Microsoft has a free Anti-Spyware product
you should use). Firewalls are also an important security tool – but beware, as having an active firewall may
slow performance.
What you may do once you are 100 percent sure that
your system is clean, is turn off your security only when
not connected to the Internet. This should help you increase your performance too. But remember to switch
everything on before going online. Otherwise, you will
be immediately at risk.
4. Update Your Operating System
Having the latest updates of Windows may not generally increase system performance. However, Microsoft is continually patching up any security loopholes or
performance-related glitches. So in the long run, your
system will be better off with the latest OS updates.
5. Use Disk Clean-ups
Defragging and disc repairs are also extremely important. Defragging is the process of locating and consolidating your files and folders sitting on your hard
drives. This can be done automatically by Windows,
and as a result your system can access these files and
folders (and new ones) more efficiently and quickly.
Regular defrags and disk repairs will keep your computer running at optimum levels.
6. Manage YourTemporary Files :
Cleansing your temporary files, including your
Internet history and cookies, gives you a larger amount
of hard disk space to work with. This, in turn, gives
more space for Windows virtual files (Page File memory). I go as far as limiting how much space Windows
uses to create temporary files. For example, my setting
is 1 Mb. In other words, at any time Windows is al-
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 12
lowed only 1 Mb of space to store cookies, activeX
controls, etc.
7. Watch Your Start-up Time
Next time you start up your PC, just time how long
will it take to boot and let you start using your applications. If you are lucky, start-up times may be no
longer than a few seconds. In most cases, however, it
takes minutes.
The Windows Startup Folder tells you most of the
more visible processes that are running in your system. However, this is not enough – many installed
applications start up processes at boot up that you
don't even know about. Not that these are harmful,
they're probably useful and required. However, by
monitoring what is starting up, you have a good
chance of finding out what should and what should
not be started. Such utilities as performance optimizers (see # 9 below) will automatically identify your
start-up files and allow you to disable some or all of
them. Again, exercise caution here. Be sure to disable
only those start-up processes that are superfluous.
My start-up times (and as a result my CPU and
MEM Usage) were very short until I installed a particular program that I needed. However, I made the
mistake of setting up the server version when I don't
really need it – I thought that I would have more visible functionality. However, I was wrong. I had installed some system files that would have been
needed were my PC actually a server (and not a client). One particular process hogged my system and
used a constant 10,820 Kb of my memory when
working in the background. Reinstalling the version I
needed improved my performance without my having
to spend as much as a penny.
8. Caution: Download in Progress
Be honest, whatever they tell you about security
(although very true and serious), you just can't resist
downloading and trying out new products and utilities. It's fun! I just love scouring the Internet looking
for some new utility to try out.
A few weeks back I needed software that lets me
sort out the myriad of documents I have on my PC.
Thing is, I didn't want to spend too much so I started
looking at Open Source products that are free of
charge. Well, I must have downloaded and installed at
least 10 different programs. I liked none, so in a second round I found the one I wanted. However, when
uninstalling all the programs I tried, I had to be very
careful. The uninstall operation of most applications
or programs almost always leaves residual files or
folders in your system. No uninstall operation will
leave your system the way it was – dlls, processes
such as schedulers that kick in at start-ups, and other
legitimate processes that, with the main program being uninstalled ,have no specific function except to
hog your system unnecessarily.
What I usually do after I uninstall and reboot my
machine is use a Windows utility (WinTasks) to help
me identify the unnecessary processes and just block
or delete them. Again, exercise caution when doing
this - make sure that you have all the program and its
sub components uninstalled, then reboot, then try the
manual clean up. If you are unsure, it is better to leave
them in your system but make sure that they are
blocked.
9. Use Performance Optimizers
Finally, if either you don't want to perform many
of these things manually or you have exhausted all
possible avenues, you may want to consider a performance optimizer.
Even the more experienced users cannot manage
to fully control and monitor all that is happening
within their system, without a small toolkit of software utilities that generally includes a sturdy performance optimizer.
If anything, these utilities do the work automatically. I use performance optimizers because they can
do the job better and in as little time as possible.
When I use a computer I am either working or playing some game - I just don't want to hassle myself
tweaking and looking under the hood of my PC. Performance optimizers have been designed to inch their
way into the system and help you boost your PC performance drastically. These utilities usually don't cost
more than $25 to $30 and give you much more value
than investing in RAM simply because they seek and
solve slowdown problems rather than mask it.
Sometimes RAM is necessary. But, I believe that
by following these nine steps and principles you can
get much more out of your PC. Plus, performance
optimizers go the extra mile because they improve
your system's overall operation beyond any level that
you can manage on your own; simply because operating systems are getting more complex by the upgrade.
It is almost humanly impossible to keep track of all
that goes on in your computer.
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups has provided this article.
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 13
Tech News
By Sue Crane, Editor, Big Bear Computer Club, California
What’s Your “Brain Age”?
If millions of Japanese are to be believed, it is the
secret to a happy and healthy old age as millions of
them take up Nintendo’s brain training. Players have to
complete puzzles as quickly and accurately as possible,
including reading literary classics aloud, doing simple
arithmetic, drawing, and responding rapidly to deceptively easy teasers using voice-recognition software.
The player's "brain age" is then determined. The first in
the English-language series of games, Brain Age, is due
for its US release on April 17, followed by Big Brain
Academy in May. Brain Training for Adults, a package
of cerebral workouts aimed at the over-45s, is said to
improve mental agility and even slow the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease and also proves addictive to over-45s anxious to ward off old age.
Implanted Microchips for Medical Records
When Daniel Hickey's doctor suggested he have a
microchip implanted under his skin to provide instant
access to his computerized medical record, the 77-yearold retired naval officer immediately agreed. "If you're
unconscious and end up in the emergency room, they
won't know anything about you," Hickey said. "With
this, they can find out everything they need to know
right away and treat you better." Some doctors are welcoming the technology as an exciting innovation that
will speed care and prevent errors. But the concept
alarms privacy advocates. They worry the devices
could make it easier for unauthorized snoops to invade
medical records. VeriChip Corp. is selling kits containing scanners and the large-bore needles used to insert
the chips, and recommending that doctors charge patients about $200 each. At an academic computing conference in Pisa, Italy, researchers plan to demonstrate
how it is possible to infect a tiny portion of memory in
an RFID chip with a virus.
Science Competition for High Schools.
Started by Westinghouse in 1942, STS is the oldest,
and generally most prestigious, national science competition for high school students. Intel took over the
competition in 1998 as part of its overall effort to promote science education, for which it spends $100 million annually.Forty students make the finals, plucked
from 300 semifinalists and more than 1,500 total entrants. Shannon Babb, 18, won top honors, which included a $100,000 scholarship, for her research and
remediation work on pollution. Yi Sun, 17, won a
$75,000 scholarship for his discovery of new geometric
properties. Yuan "Chelsea" Zhang, 17, came in third
place to win a $50,000 scholarship. Zhang, from Rockville, Md., studied the plaque buildup of arteries that
leads to heart disease. Students taking fourth, fifth and
sixth places get $25,000, while those ranking 7th through
10th receive $20,000. The remaining 30 finalists receive
$5,000, and every finalist gets an Intel Centrino notebook
computer.
Intel's New Core Microarchitecture takes advantage of
similarities to fuse certain types of x86 instructions into
more manageable chunks. Three new chips--code-named
Merom (a notebook chip), Conroe (for desktops) and
Woodcrest (for servers)—are based on the Core microarchitecture. Intel has said all three chips will deliver significant performance increases compared with current
chips – as much as an 80 percent improvement in the case
of Woodcrest – while consuming less power. One way
the new architecture makes this happen is through macroops fusion and micro-ops fusion. When the Pentium M
chip that is the model for the Core architecture--was introduced in 2003, it used a technique called micro-ops
fusion to glue pieces taken from the same instruction
back together, reducing the overall amount of work the
processor needs to complete a task. The new chips will
also be able to combine separate large instructions that
usually appear in pairs into a single instruction, known as
macro-ops fusion, which increases performance but also
reduces the amount of power used by the chip. Merom is
scheduled for the second half of the year. It's really a major change in clock and in the amount of time it takes to
execute a sequence.
Google Desktop 3 is a free, downloadable program that
includes an option to let users search across multiple
computers for files. The application automatically stores
copies of files, for up to a month, on Google servers.
From there, copies are transferred to the user's other computers for archiving. The data is encrypted in transmission and while stored on Google servers. The Electronic
Frontier Foundation has urged consumers to boycott the
software, warning that Google could be forced to turn
over the data to the government.
The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups has provided this article.
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 14
Thank You !
The Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group is grateful for the support
provided by the following companies:
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
Membership Application/Renewal*
G New
G Renewal
G Information Update
Please Print
Full Name: _____________________________ Nickname:___________
Dey, L.P.
Street/PO Box: _____________________________________________
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Phone (check preferred): G Home: (_______)________-___________
Pharmaceutical products for the treatment of
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707-224-3200 • www.dey.com
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Do you want to be added to the following NVPCUG e-mail lists?
News and announcements:
General discussion of computer-related topics:
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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):
G Do not list phone number
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(707) 299-1000 • www.napanet.net • [email protected]
G Do not list e-mail address
Family members whom you want to sponsor as Associate Members:
(Associate Members have the same membership rights as their
sponsors, except for receiving newsletters)
Full Name
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_________________________
____________________________
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Annual Dues:
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707-257-6260 • 800-550-6260 • fax: 707-257-8741
[email protected] • napa.minutemanpress.com
$30 Regular Member - an individual who is not a full-time student
$20 Student Member - a full-time student who is not eligible for Associate
membership.
$10 Associate Member - a family member of a Regular or Student
member. Associate memberships run concurrently with sponsors’
memberships.
Make check payable to Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group.
Mail application/renewal to: Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group,
Attn.: Membership Director, P.O. Box 2866, Napa, CA 94558-0286.
The NVPCUG is an accredited IRC 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your
dues payment may be tax-deductible as a charitable contribution.
* To request a Corporate Membership Application/Renewal form, e-mail:
[email protected]
Revised 8-19-05
Offering Financial Services throughout the
Napa Valley, with offices in Napa, St. Helena
and Yountville
800-869-3557 • www.wellsfargo.com
For more information about the NVPCUG, visit our
Web site: http://www.nvpcug.org
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 15
Computer and Electronics Recycling Event Comes June 9, 10
By Bill Wheadon, Computer Recycling Coordinator
The Sixth Annual Napa County Computer
and Electronics Recycling Event will be held
Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10 in the south
parking lot at Napa Valley College, Napa campus. This once-a-year event provides an opportunity for Napa County residents and businesses to
dispose of unwanted computer and electronic
equipment free of charge at a convenient dropoff site. This year for the first time microwave
ovens will be accepted.
Computer equipment collected at this event
will be evaluated for possible reuse. Items
deemed to be obsolete will be sent to a demanufacturing plant where various materials can
be recovered in an environmentally safe manner
for reuse in new products. Not only does recycling conserve valuable resources but it is also
essential for preventing toxic materials from
contaminating the environment. Each cathode
ray tube (CRT) in a computer monitor or television contains five to seven pounds of lead and
cadmium which are deemed toxic substances
and prohibited from landfills.
Items selected for reuse will be accepted for
refurbishing by either the Computer Recycling
Center in Santa Rosa or by the Napa Valley Personal Computer User Group for use in our Computers-to Schools (CTS) program. Last year two
tons of functional equipment was recovered for
the CTS program.
Sponsors for this event include the City of
Napa, the County of Napa, Napa Recycling &
Waste Services, Upper Valley Waste Management Agency, Napa Valley College, Electronic
Recyclers of America, the Computer Recycling
Center and, of course, the NVPCUG.
Volunteers Needed
NVPCUG volunteers are needed at this worthy event to direct traffic, survey drivers, and
pull computer equipment suitable for reuse. Lifting of heavy equipment will not be required (or
allowed) – workers provided by the City of Napa
and Napa Garbage will be doing the heavy lifting. Volunteers will be provided refreshments
and food. Please review the following shift
schedule and let Bill Wheadon know which
day(s) and shift(s) you would like to work. If
you cannot work an entire shift, please indicate
when you would be available. A minimum of
eight people are need for each shift.
Friday, June 9
Morning shift:
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Afternoon Shift
11:30 a.m. . to 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 10
Morning shift:
8:30 a.m. . to 11:30 a.m.
Afternoon shift:
11:30 a.m. . to 2:30 p.m.
This recycling event is a very worthwhile activity, not only benefiting our community but
also providing publicity for our group, To volunteer your assistance or to obtain more information about computer recycling, contact Bill
Wheadon by email at [email protected] or
[email protected] nvpcug.org or by calling 224-3901.
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, CA 94558-0286
Address Service Requested
NVPCUG Computer News, May 2006, Page 16
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