COMPUTER NEWS Inside This Issue The Sept Meeting

COMPUTER NEWS Inside This Issue The Sept Meeting
Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group
http://www.
nvpcug.org
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558
COMPUTER
NEWS
Volume 25, No. 9
Sept 2008
Inside This Issue
2
NVPCUG Special Interest Groups
2
NVPCUG Calendar
2
President’s Message
3
Officers List
4
Contents Overview
5
Window Pains – Task Manager
6
Lou’s Views: Face Time in the
21st Century
7
Windows XP Expires
8
Using CrossLoop to Troubleshoot
and Control Remote Machines
9
IOGEAR Digital Scribe Review
The Napa Valley Personal Computer Users
Group will meet Wednesday,
Sept 17, 7:00-9:00 P.M.,
at the Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa, California
10 Prepare for Hard Drive Recovery
11 Security and Deleting Files:
A Common Misconception
12 Simple file management
enhancements are at the top of
a wish list for Windows 7
13 Protect Yourself against
Identity Theft
15 When to Turn Off Personal
Computers
15 Going Green
16 Saving pictures that show on
your computer screen
The Sept Meeting
will be a demo by Beth Pickering of
Pinnacle Studio 12
The meeting begins with Random Access, an openfloor 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 e-mailing them to Random
Access moderator Jerry Brown at [email protected]
During the July Computer Tutor session, Jeff
Solomon will be demonstrating and discussing
will show how to set up and use a Gmail account.
Gmail, or Google Mail, is a free web-based e-mail
service. Time allowing, Jeff will briefly show and
talk about Google’s brand new internet browser
called CHROME. It was just released on September 3rd. If you have
an idea send for the Computer Tutor, please email your ideas to
the Computer Tutor, Jeff Solomon at [email protected]
The main presenter in September will be Beth Pickering. She is
going to demo the easy of use of Pinnacle Studio 12. It is a movie
editing program that is designed to simply drag-and-drop
movie clips and
• Enhance your videos with photos, music, titles and effects.
• Provide NEW theme-based video editing gets you up and
running fast
• Allow the user to Share and archive creations on DVD,
YouTube™, and more.
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 14 for application
information.
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008
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
[email protected]
Digital Photography SIG
By Ron Dack, president, http://www.nvpcug.org/,
[email protected]
September 2008
The Annual NVPCUG Member’s Picnic was held on
Saturday August 23rd Dianne Prior coordinated the event.
Dick & Sandy Peterson hosted the picnic in their redwood
grove. There were games, prizes, great food, and drink.
Mike Ball did an excellent job cooking the meat and
chicken. Mel Cohen played his accordion for everyone’s pleasure. I really enjoy
those tunes. I also want to thank all the others that helped make the picnic a
success. The picnis was attended by 37 people, some of whom are pictured below
or in the photo on page 10.
Once again it is time to look at nominating members to serve on the 2009
NVPCUG Board of Directors if you are a member and are interested in
serving or want to nominate someone let one of the current directors know.
If you have any comments or ideas about improving the group in any way let
me know. You can e-mail me at [email protected] I hope to see
each of you at the general meeting on Wednesday September 17th at 7PM at
the Napa Senior Activity Center.
At this time the membership directory, which will be for members only, is
being worked on and will be available shortly. We will keep you posted.
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]
Take care,
Ron
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
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
Sept 17
Oct 1
Oct 8
Oct 13
Oct 9
Oct 15
Nov 19
7:00-9:00 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
NVPCUG General Meeting + A
Board of Directors meeting + B
Digital Photography SIG meeting + B
Investors SIG meeting + C
Napa Valley Mac User Group + A
NVPCUG General Meeting + A
NVPCUG General Meeting + A
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, 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
Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group Contact Information
Officers for 2008
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
Sales Coordinator
VOLUNTEER NEEDED
[email protected]
[email protected]
• All telephone numbers are in Area Code 707.
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, 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.
Contents Overview
•
•
•
•
•
•
Window Pains – Task Manager by
Bob Balog
P. 5,
Boca Raton Computer Society, Florida . Task
Manager is a helpful application that is part of the
Windows OS. You can open it with the threefingered salute or right-click on an open space on
your Taskbar, and clicking on Task Manager.
Most of us have only dealt with the Task Manager
when a program no longer seems to be
functioning, but there is much more….
Face Time in the 21st Century by
Lou Vitale
p. 6,
Macon County Users Group, North Carolina.
Person to person communication was pretty
simple last century. Many important and
amazing things happened without a single bit
of digitized information. Lou tells us about a
few ways that you can keep up-to-the-minute
with your “friends” today.
Windows XP Expires by Sandy Berger p. 7.
On 6/30/08, Microsoft started the death march
for Windows XP. Find out about the four
important concessions that will also keep XP
alive.
The New, the Best AND the Worst (July –
August 2008), Pim Borman
p.8,
SW Indiana PCUG http://swipcug.apcug.org.
Pim takes a look at Picasa’s web album and
cloud computing.Using CrossLoop to
Troubleshoot and Control Remote Machines by
Vinny LaBash, Sarasota PCUG, Florida
www.spcug.org. Third party Windows apps are
rarely examined in his column, but CrossLoop
is too good a utility to help you troubleshoot a
computer for Vinny not write about it.
IOGEAR Digital Scribe Review by Rebecca
Feinstein
p. 9,
a technical writer and member of WINNERS
(WINdows usERS), California . Rebecca was
thrilled when she found out there was a digital
scribe product offered at a 35% discount after a
recent WINNERS meeting. If you have
wondered if this is a product for you, be sure to
read her review.
Prepare for Hard Drive Recovery,
Bob Hudak
p. 10,
Greater South Bay User Group, CA. When you
lose control of your computer due to a virus or
some sort of malware, or your OS becomes
corrupted for one reason or another be ready to
fix the problem and Bob shows us some steps
we can take to do this.
•
•
•
•
•
•
Security and Deleting Files: A Common
Misconception by Bob Schwartz
p. 11,
HAL-PC, Texas. You have just deleted a file
from your hard drive. It’s gone, isn’t it? Sorry!
It is still there. You want to clean up your HD,
so you format it. It is now clean. Nothing is on
it anymore, right? Nope! Everything is still
there, except for the file directory.
Simple file management enhancements are at
the top of a wish list for Windows 7 by
Linda Gonse
p. 12,
Orange County IBM PC Users’ Group,
California. Besides the obvious – a stable
system that performs fast, without
vulnerabilities – Linda has thought of a few
things she’d like to see integrated into the
Windows 7 OS which may be released in
2009/2010.
Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft by
Marjie Tucker
p13,
Editor, Macon Computer User Group, Georgia.
Their group has had several programs and
articles that mentioned ID theft, but she
thought it might help to have one document
with a checklist of symptoms and solutions for
this horrific problem. Make certain that you are
not a victim.
When to Turn Off Personal
Computers, DOE
p. 15.
Taken from the above website, it compliments
Jerry Grommes Going Green article.
Going Green by Jerry Grommes
p. 15,
Sandwich Computer Users Group, Illinois.
During their June meeting, there was quite a
discussion about whether to leave your
computer on versus shutting it off when not in
use. Jerry keeps his computer on 24/7 and
shows how he dropped his power usage by
changing a few settings. (Note from JT / The
When to Turn Off Personal Computers info
from the DOE goes along with this article).
Saving pictures that show on your computer
screen, Tips & Hints, Dick Carricato p. 16,
Tri County Computer User Group, Florida.
These days we are bombarded with beautiful
pictures on our computers and he gives us a
few steps on how to get them onto our
computer, as well as how to use the Print
Screen key.
„
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, Page 4
Window Pains – Task Manager
By Bob Balogh, President, Boca Raton Computer Society, Florida,
www.brcs.org, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication the Task Manager above. So it is listed,
by APCUG member groups.
since it was still “running”, when I made
the screen capture. Could I turn it off?
Task Manager
Sure, all I have to do is close the program.
Task Manager is a helpful
If you want to turn off a program that is running in Task
application that is part of the
Manager,
don’t change, or disable it in the Windows Task
Windows Operating System
Manager.
Instead,
go to the Control Panel | Administrative
(2000, XP & Vista). You can
Tools
|
Services,
and
change them there.
open it with the three fingered
Double click on the entry, and change it from the
salute – Ctrl/Alt/Delete, or more
dropdown list where it says “Startup Type”. Carefully read
easily, my preferred way, by a
what it does, and what it is related to, before making a
right click on an open space on
decision. Write down what you changed, in the event you
your Taskbar, and clicking on
wish to change it back.
Task Manager. You may also
open Task Manager by going to
If you have System Restore or Go Back operating, write
Start-Run and entering “taskmgr” (without the quotes).
down the date and time, in case you want to return to an
Most of us have only experienced dealing with the Task earlier time, when all was well. Additionally, set a new
Manager when a program no longer seems to be functioning. restore point, prior to doing anything. If the service isn’t
We then open the Task Manager and click on the Applications listed in there, then more than likely it was added by an
Tab, see the list of running programs, and highlight the application you added after the install. You’ll need to decide
program we are having difficulty with, then click on “End if it’s necessary, or if you only want it running when you
Task” at the bottom of the page. Voila, the program is decide There also comes a time when a particular program
shutdown and is no longer causing you a problem. Of “freezes” and is not functioning as we mentioned at the
course, you still will want to find out why the problem began outset of the article. What should you do? Simply use
or why the program froze in the first place. However, that
Ctrl+Alt+Delete, open the
is for another time.
Task Manager, and simply
close down the program by
Processes
selecting it and clicking on
You can also click on the “Processes” tab, to see exactly
“End Task”. The following
which programs are running in the background.
figure demonstrates it for
Go on open yours up and see what is running. Here is
you:
part of mine:
The Performance tab
Of course all these programs do not have to run. In fact
displays an overview of your
while many of these programs are useful and are needed
computer’s performance,
others are not needed and may at times cause problems.
including graphs for CPU
The problem is what determining what these programs do.
and memory usage as well as
Even if you are not inclined to stop any of these programs
the total number of processes
it is a step forward to know what these programs do so at
running. Google such other
least you have an idea as to what may be causing a items displayed if you are interested in the purpose they
particular problem when it arises.
serve. I do not wish to get too technical here.
To see a list of most of the possible programs that are
The remaining tabs, Networking and Users are basically
running in the background just go to this web site http:// self explanatory. If you are running a home network it will
www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/ show up under Networking and inform you of it function
tasklist.htm and peruse the programs from A-Z. ability. As far as Users is concerned you will see a list of
Well, you don’t have to look at all of them, just the ones you those using your computer.
have listed in your Task Manager.
Peruse the headings in the toolbar (top), just to get an
Remember, all the programs, that are listed in your Task idea of what they are and do. Of course the Help tab, as
Manager, may not be listed at “Answers that Work”. Why usual, is the most important in explaining the program at
you might ask? Well, just look at my list and you will see hand. Use it and you will learn much.
„
a program listed called SnagIt32.exe. That is a program This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely for
that I added to my computer, and use often.
publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses require the
Actually, it is the program I used to create the picture of permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, Page 5
Lou’s Views: Face Time in the 21st Century
By Lou Vitale, President, Macon County Users Group, North Carolina,
www.maconusersgroup.org, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication conversation to take place between friends on an almost
by APCUG member groups.
instant basis. I will confess, I don’t know much about them
Person to person communication was pretty simple last which only proves my age. But without a doubt, and from
century. There was the letter, or as we call it today, “snail now on a person’s identity will forever be linked to their
mail” and the telephone. Our address book contained the Face Book page and their list of friends.
physical address of our friends and their phone numbers. It
Will someone please explain to me why someone would
is amazing to me how much we actually got done, we won attempt to communicate by text using a device no bigger
wars and went to the moon and created the greatest county than a deck of cards and with a “Key Board” consisting of
on earth, and all without a single bit of digitized information. 12 keys? At a minimum IM (Instant Messaging) requires
To someone who grew up in the last 20 or so years that tiny fingers, superb eye hand coordination and a new
must seem quaint. They probably can’t imagine life without language consisting of thousands of newly created letter
a cell phone, email, IM and a dozen other ways of combinations to represent real words. And another thing
communicating with their fellow human beings. I am since this device is a Phone, why not just TALK to the
beginning to wonder myself. Someone asked me the other person? LOL
day if I “Twittered”, I thought it was a neurological disorder.
The ultimate “Personal” communication for the 21st century
No, it was a form of micro-blogging, another way to stay in must be in Second Life. In this enormous virtual world
touch in the 21st century.
millions of people interact with millions of other people, one
So just how many ways can you keep up to the minute on one. The whole range of human activity can now take
with your “friends” today, let me count the ways. And this place in a virtual environment. You can be anyone you want
is by no means a complete list.
and “talk” to a dragon or a real priest, free of the most basic
Email has been around since the beginning of the internet. limitation of our human form. In a sense this is probably
By the late 80s’ everyone with a computer had an email personal communication on a level never seen before.
account. Now we could send a message to anyone with a
Twitter is the newest “form” of communication. It answers
computer and they could reply. This was a momentous the pressing question, “What are you doing NOW?” As you
social change. It significantly accelerated the communication go through your day, you constantly update your “Twitter”
between people. Plus we could “attach” stuff, like pictures page with mini blog entries no more than 140 characters
of the grandkids, or an excel spread sheet to our email.
long. Now anyone who is logged o to your page can tell
In it simplest form, a blog (web log) is an online diary or what you are doing, what you are feeling, who you are with
journal. Prior to the mid 90’s online forums and BBS and any moment in the day. Why didn’t I think of that? It’s
(bulletin board systems) allowed people to have running obvious that I would want to know all the mundane details
conversations on a web site with a moderator to keep order. of all my friends’ daily lives.
Then some high profile personalities started to keep online
Face time means actual face to face talk. The words, the
diaries which allowed comments from anyone to be posted, eyes, the body language, the context, all convey meaning.
and the blog was born.
Let me know when we can do that online. Until then, don’t
Today bogging is a serious force to be reckoned with. look for my Twitter page.
„
Anyone can start a blog and thousands do every day. This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely for
Currently there are an estimated 12 million blogs and about publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses require the
57 million blog readers. These numbers are deceiving, since permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
it appears that only about 20% of blogs are active and 60% to
The Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group has
80% of blogs are abandoned after one month. As one
served novice and experienced computer users since
commentator put it “the average blog has the life span of a
1983. Through its monthly meetings, newsletters,
fruit fly”.
online forum, special interest groups, mentor
Yet this kind of personal communication has again changed
program and community involvement, it has
the social landscape. Anyone can comment on anything
helped educate people of all ages. The NVPCUG
from personal hygiene to politics and anyone can respond
provides opportunities for people to find friends
with their take on the subject. Some bloggers have aspired
who share common interests and experiences. From
to become journalists and others are just looking for some
January 2003 to October 2007 the NVPCUG
virtual recognition, either way we are more in touch.
provided 783 computers and 140 printers to local
Personal communication has taken another leap with the
schools. Additional equipment has been given to
creation of social networking sites like Face Book and My
charitable nonprofit organizations and to
Space. These sites and many others like them allow virtual
disadvantaged individuals.
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, Page 6
Windows XP Expires
By Sandy Berger, CompuKISS, www.compukiss.com, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
publication by APCUG member groups.
On June 30th, 2008, Microsoft
started the death march for
Windows XP. As of that date,
Microsoft stopped shipments of
Windows XP as a stand-alone
shrink-wrapped product. So after
supplies are exhausted, you won’t
be able to go into a store and
purchase Windows XP. Microsoft
also stopped most sales to PC
manufacturers. So Dell, Lenovo,
HP and others will not get any new copies of
Windows XP to install on their mainstream computers.
However, Windows XP, Microsoft’s longest-lived and bestloved operating system, isn’t going to vanish overnight.
You will still see copies of the XP software and/or computers
with Windows XP in stores until inventories and depleted.
Microsoft has made four important concessions that will
also keep XP alive:
1. Microsoft will support Windows XP until April
2014. They will offer updates, security patches,
and technical support until that time.
2. Smaller local PC makers can continue to sell PCs
with Windows XP until January 2009.
3. Computers with limited hardware capabilities
which are sometimes called ultra-low cost PCs
(ULCPC) can sell with Windows XP Home until
June 2010.
4. With the purchase of Windows Vista Business or
Windows Vista Ultimate, the two most expensive
versions of Vista, a customer will be able to move
back to Windows XP Professional via what
Microsoft is calling “downgrade rights.” Details
on how this will be handled have not be clearly
defined to the public at this time. It is even
possible that different manufacturers will handle
this in different ways.
To the home users, this all means very little, unless you
need a new computer and are violently opposed to Windows
Vista. To business users, these new policies and extensions
mean that they will be able to keep their fleets of Windows
XP computers running for several more years. Microsoft
has announced that Windows 7, the next version of
Windows, will be available in 2010 so many businesses
will be able to skip Vista entirely instead to Windows 7.
Intel has already announced that they will do just that.
What this means for everyone is that Microsoft, while not
writing off Vista, has made it an “interim” operating system.
Microsoft is still pushing Windows Vista. They recently
announced that Vista now supports 77,000 printers, cameras,
speakers and other devices and components. They also brag
that more than 140 million copies of Windows
Vista have already been sold, making it the
fastest selling operating system in Microsoft
history. So Windows Vista is not a flash-inthe-pan like Windows ME which was quickly
replaced by Windows XP.
In my opinion, Vista is both better and safer
than Windows XP and if you are
already using Vista or plan to make
the move, it is not a bad choice. Yet
Vista has become a lame duck.
Microsoft definitely has a dilemma
on their hands. The only way they will come out of this is
if they can get Windows 7 out quickly while making it
faster, safer, and easier to use. They also need to give it a
good name and get the members of the press behind it. I’m
not sure if the lumbering giant can pull that off – especially
if Apple and/or Linux find a way to take advantage of this
Microsoft predicament!
„
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely
for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses
require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Download A Files
To launch a typical download, you click the designated
icon or link and then specify the location where you
want to save it. The process couldn’t be any easier,
except when it doesn’t work. In some cases you may
encounter a “530 User Access Denied” or “User
Anonymous Access Denied” error message that
prevents you from starting the download. Or perhaps
you receive a message asking for your user ID and
password. Or maybe nothing happens at all. Fortunately,
the situation isn’t as bleak as it looks.
The first thing you should do is close your browser,
open it again, and return to the site for another attempt
at a download. If that doesn’t work, try using a different
browser to download the file. You also should relax the
browser’s security settings, temporarily disable your
network firewall, and attempt the download early in the
morning or on weekends when Internet traffic is lighter.
(Don’t forget to re-enable your firewall once you finish
downloading.) You might be able to get past a login
dialog box by typing anonymous as your user ID and
using your email address as your password. If all else
fails, contact the site administrator for assistance.
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, Sept 2008, Page 7
Using CrossLoop to Troubleshoot and
Control Remote Machines
By Vinny LaBash, Member and Contributing Columnist, Sarasota PCUG, Florida,
www.spcug.org, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
Once you’re up and running, the interface presenting
publication by APCUG member groups.
itself is a model of simplicity which effectively masks the
Third party Windows applications are rarely examined in complexity behind the scenes. As mentioned earlier,
this column, but CrossLoop is too good a utility to ignore. security and remote control is handled by TightVNC.
Trying to walk someone through a computer problem over VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing, and is a very
well designed software tool that
the telephone is often an
easily allows remote access to
exercise in frustration. There
is no substitute for seeing
Operating Systems with
what is actually on a user’s
a graphical interface. The
screen to find out the root
technical specifications say you
cause of a problem.
need Windows 98 or higher. A
broadband internet connection
Vista has a built-in support
is also a requirement. Dialup
tool known as Remote
connections won’t work. Drive
Desktop, but far from
space, processor speed, and
making the process easy, it
memory requirements are
has a tendency to confuse
negligible given the general
those with no technical
power of today’s computers.
background.
Remote
Desktop makes it rough on
Another benefit of TightVNC
those who don’t know
is the built-in 128 bit encrypted
how to handle the added
security. When you begin a
complications of firewalls
communications session, the
and routers. CrossLoop,
program generates a new 12
which is a free remote
digit access code. The access
support utility, could be an
code then generates the
excellent solution.
encryption codes giving you
CrossLoop shields users from tricky situations involving an additional layer of security. Not bad for a free utility.
communicating through routers, firewalls, and other
CrossLoop Graphic Running the program is so easy
potential obstacles. Setting up a communications session it’s almost boring. As you can see from the illustration, the
between two computers physically separated, but interface is simple and straightforward. Assuming you
connected through the internet, is reduced to a process started the session, the next step is to communicate the
hardly more complex than turning on your TV. Those access code to the person you are communicating with.
concerned about security can relax. CrossLoop uses You can do this by email, telephone, screaming into the
something called TightVNC which safeguards data with next room, etc.
128 bit encryption.
After starting the session, your friend types the access
Crossloop is useful for people who want to train or code into the box and clicks Connect. When the Connect
support others remotely. If you’re an experienced web button is clicked on both sides the two PCs are linked.
surfer, for example, and need to show someone how to
This method of troubleshooting a remote PC eliminates
access a disk drive or retrieve a lost document, CrossLoop all the hassles of trying to interpret what an inexperienced
allows you to take control of their computer screen, and user is attempting to explain. It’s difficult to imagine
show them exactly how to do it.
anything less complex than a one button interface. With
Hard core geeks may not be satisfied with CrossLoop. It’s 128 bit encryption built in, it’s tough to beat.
not complicated enough. It works better than most similar
Other applications that make such connections possible
commercial utilities, and your technically challenged friends have been available for years, but nothing I’ve seen makes
and relatives will find it aggravation free.
it as simple as CrossLoop.
„
You can download the program without charge from
This
article
has
been
provided
to
APCUG
by
the
author
solely
http://crossloop.com. The site has a video that
for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses
demonstrates how to install and use the program which
require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
is very helpful for technophobes.
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, Page 8
IOGEAR Digital Scribe Review
By Rebecca Feinstein, a member of WINNERS – WINdows users, www.windowsusers.org
[email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
publication by APCUG member groups.
I was thrilled when I first found out there was a digital scribe
product at the last WINNERS meeting. As many of you
recall, I was well, somewhat reluctant shall we say, to give
up the raffle donation item. At the 35% discount I could not
wait to get it.
The IO Mobile Digital Scribe took six days to get
here from Illinois. It comes with the pen, cable,
mobile unit, two program CDs something
that looks like a green tipped stylus
(turned out to be the pen/refill),
two small (hearing aid size)
batteries and a Quick Start Guide.
Installation of the software was
easy, Mobile Digital Scribe (Note
Management) and My Script Notes Lite (handwriting
recognition software); as was charging the mobile unit and
installing the batteries into the pen. However, installing the
pen was a bit puzzling as in the reference guide, IOGEAR
never shows the actual size of the refill in the pictures. It also
took a few e-mails to Customer Support and product
management to find out where you can purchase the re-fills
as well.
Okay, I got it up and working, I did a few test runs with
it at home with the mobile unit attached to the computer. The
note management software required a bit of a learning
curve, but still was fairly easy to use. Included with the
software is a .pdf users guide for the entire kit (58 pages).
The handwriting recognition software was pretty impressive.
With my handwriting I expected it to have a problem with
my convoluted shorthand as well as my capital I’s, j’s and
my contractions. To my surprise, the software only had a
problem with the Is. It even captured my signature scrawl
quite well! As with a regular pen, the program doesn’t erase;
but recognizes crossed out information as crossed out.
With all this practice under my belt, I decided it was time
to haul out the big guns, – WORK! As a technical writer, as
with many other positions, I attend a lot of meetings. My
expectations were high for my new tool. No more having to
rewrite all my notes into electronic format for distribution.
I was armed and I was ready for combat. After receiving
permission to install the software on my office unit, I got set
up and ready to rock. I attended three meetings that day.
On the big plus side, it was very nice to have my notes
appear in e-form without having to transcribe them at all.
This made putting them into agenda form a breeze.
On the problem side of using the scribe, a major drawback
is the mobile unit clips are made to only grab a few pages of
paper at a time. Unless you are intending to take one page’s
worth of notes, you have to remove the mobile unit to turn
pages to take more notes. This proved to be distracting and
inconvenient in one of my meetings. And I found it to be
very unwieldy when I was standing to take note as the
mobile unit added weight to the top of the paper pad.
The pen, which is thicker than I’m used to (standard
stationary pens) felt unwieldy in my hand to begin
with. The button that allows you to switch between
pen mode and mouse mode is located in the lower
part of the pen, towards where it writes on the
paper and I kept inadvertently clicking it as
I was writing. So some of my notes from
the first meeting resembled a word
game puzzle.
Another problem, though a
lesser one, is the quick reference
guide itself. The print is so small,
I had to borrow a friend’s magnifying glass to read some of
it. Keith Renty was correct when he said at our meeting that
the user information was not written well. Nowhere in the
users guide, or quick reference material is a description of
everything that was to come with the kit (the graphic that
points to everything in the kit to make sure you know the
stylus is actually the pen cartridge). There is no technical
support information listed in the users guide, but contact
information is listed in the back of quick start guide.
Overall, I’m pleased with the performance, and not sopleased with the customer support.
„
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely
for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses
require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Game winners are Jeff Solomon and Dianne Prior for the
WASHER TOSS. J Jim Hearn won the BALLOON/DART
THROW. Dick Wolff and Bob Kulas won the 2 person
HORSESHOES TEAMS event. Marcia Waddell won the
COMPUTER DISK TOSS.
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, Page 9
Prepare for Hard Drive Recovery
By Bob Hudak, Greater South Bay User Group Hardware SIG Leader (California), http://
grbug.apcug.org, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
publication by APCUG member groups.
When you lose control of your
computer due to a virus or some
sort of malware, or your O.S.
becomes corrupted for one
reason or another, be ready to
fix the problem.
1.Start by setting up your hard
drive with 2 partitions at least.
Put all programs on ‘C:’ & all
Data on ‘D:’
2. When hard drive is clean and all programs are
loaded, it is time to make an image file of ‘C:.’
Use Acronis True Image to do this or whatever
program you like. Put it on ‘D:’ drive in the root.
Name it using date. Remember you do not have
a backup till you have two copies in two
different places. So now copy this image file to
an external USB drive. The reason is if ‘‘C:’ goes
bad you can reformat it and start over without
losing any data. If your computer will not boot
and you did not put all your data on another drive
or partition, you will want to save your data
before reinstalling your operating system. What
can you do?
A. Open computer case and remove drive. Install
drive as a slave drive in another computer.
Now you can copy and paste your data or
burn to a CD. This means opening two
computers and moving the drive in and out
and resetting the jumpers.
B. Hook up the drive you removed from your
computer to a second computer using a USB
adapter, like the one we have at the Hardware
SIG, to another computer and copy and paste
or burn the data you want to
keep.
C. Here is my first choice in a
case like this. Use a Live
Linux CD to boot up. Plug in
a USB drive before booting.
After booting, mount your ‘C:’ drive and
your USB drive. Copy your data from ‘C:’
drive to the USB drive. With this option there
is no case to open and drive to remove.
3. Backup your data as necessary to a CD or another
drive. Use a USB drive. This drive can also fail
so putting backup on a CD or DVD is better way
to go. Also, there is an on-line service at
Carbinite.com that will automatically back
up your data. This service costs $50.00 a year for
unlimited backups. How important is your data?
Here are a few key folders to have on ‘D:’’ drive:
• Data — In this folder make sub folders for each
application you use. Include one called Pictures.
Under this folder have another sub folders for
different events. Like: Christmas07, Vacation08,
Dog, etc.
• D/L — Use this folder for all your downloads.
Then you will always know where your downloads are. Set it up so the last thing you
downloaded is on top.
• E-Mail. If possible. You
wanted your e-mail off the ‘C’
drive
• My Stuff. Cut and paste from
‘My Documents’ on ‘C’ items
that were sent there without asking you where to
send. Documents that you want to keep.
Using Acronis True Image
Use Acronis True Image to backup to your USB drive.
Make a full backup the first time.
This is going to be pretty easy because all your data is in
one folder on ‘D:’ called DATA. If you want to backup
your downloaded items, back up the ‘D/L’’ folder. E-Mail
is not something I backup but you may want to. Once again
it should all be in the ‘E-MAIL’ folder.
You already loaded the Acronis program and made a
rescue CD that is bootable. Right?
Now open your CD drive and insert the CD. Do not close
the drive. Shut down your computer. Close the CD drive.
Wait a minute and then reboot.
If you have your BIOS set to boot from a CD first, you
are good to go. If not you will
need to enter into your setup
screen at boot-up and change
the boot order.
After booting up with Acronis,
follow the prompts to select what
you want backed up. Practice
this before you need to use it.
Make notes on how to select
each step. Acronis will not do anything until you give it the
final OK.
„
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely
for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses
require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, Page 10
Security and Deleting Files: A Common
Misconception
By Bob Schwartz, Member of HAL-PC, Texas, www.hal-pc.org, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication
by APCUG member groups.
You have just deleted a file from your hard drive. It’s gone,
isn’t it? Sorry! It is still there.
You want to clean up your hard drive, so you format it. It
is now clean. Nothing is on it anymore, right? Nope!
Everything is still there, except for the file directory.
How can this be? Doesn’t Delete mean remove? Doesn’t
Format clean the disk?
Each file system – has a file directory which records the
file name and its location.
To delete a file, the disk system only alters the file’s name
in the file directory, usually by changing the first letter of the
name. Formatting goes one step further, it just empties the
file directory. Neither does anything to the files on the disk!
They remain.
To clean a drive, either overwrite the whole drive or the
unused space. The most common way to clean drives,
especially older drives, is to write fixed or random data
obliterate the old files.
Fortunately, all ATA drives over 15-20 GB produced since
2001 have an internal drive command that will clean the
drive sufficiently that it will meet DOD requirements. At the
University of California at San Diego’s Center for Magnetic
Recording Research (CMRR) you can download their free
program for Secure Erase, entitled “HDDerase.exe”. Its use
meets U.S. Government requirements for disk erasure.
Secure Erase should provide the greatest peace of mind.
Internet Commentary suggests it is even better than
mechanically shredding the disks.
If you have a good machine with good software that you
would like to pass on to some else, and you don’t have all the
original disks - remove personal information. I suggest this
approach:
• “Delete” the contents of: all the “My” folders – My
Documents, My Pictures, My Music; Recent;
Temp or Temporary folders; Recycle Bin; Cookies;
Downloads; and the entire folders for Quicken and
Tax preparation software.
• Clean your Registry of all personal data. For XP,
go to Start/Run, type regedit and press Enter. Go to
edit and click on find. Enter your last name, click
on find next. When the first entry is found, go to
edit and select modify. Delete your name (it should
be in color). Depressing the space bar may clear it.
Go back to edit and click on find next, etc. Keep on
until you get a message that you have reached the
end. Then repeat the above with your first name,
then your street, your phone number, bank name,
broker name, and anything else of a personal
nature that you used.
• Find and download a registry cleaner. Use it to
remove unnecessary items from the registry.
Ccleaner is an example.
• Defragment the drive. This condenses the files and
moves them toward the beginning of the drive.
• Locate and download a wipe application such as
bcwipe. Use it to wipe (overwrite) all unused
space.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before editing your “registry”,
back it up first, please.
This should effectively sanitize your disk, leaving it
clean, safe and usable.
Loss of personal information and the risk of identity theft
is a risk for you. For a business, the loss of personal,
financial, or medical data may subject it to risk from recent
laws, both federal and state.
I have been repairing or rehabilitating older machines as
a hobby to give them a second life. There are many good
machines and plenty of worthy recipients. If there is good
software worth keeping, remove all personal data. If the
software is not worth keeping, then wipe the disk clean to
install an operating system and applications.
Removing the hard drive before you dispose of an old
machine is not a solution, unless you plan to use it in your
new machine, or store it permanently – you still ultimately
have to sanitize it.
Programs available, free or fee, include: Secure Erase
(mentioned above), Secure Delete, Wipe Drive, Acronis
Privacy Expert, East-Tec Eraser, East-Tec Dispose Secure,
Eraser, SysInternals SDelete, Darik’s Boot and Nuke (dban),
OverWrite, Wipe, Kill Disk, BCWipe, and Autoclave. This
list is NOT exhaustive. And, you have to determine which
is suitable to (1) wipe the entire drive or (2) wipe only the
unused space.
Bottom line is, when you give away or dispose of a used
computer, either clean the hard drive yourself or give the
machine to someone you can trust who will do it for you. The
comments and opinions here are wholly mine. I welcome
alternative perspectives.
„
Bob Schwartz is a HAL-PC member, retired EE, 14 patents,
technical writer, active in civic affairs: President, Brays Bayou
Association; Vice President, Marilyn Estates Civic Association;
Correspondence Secretary with the Willow Waterhole Greenspace
Conservancy.
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely for
publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses require the
permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, Page 11
Simple file management enhancements
are at the top of a wish list for Windows 7
By Linda Gonse, Editor, Orange County IBM PC Users’ Group, www.orcopug.org,
[email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
publication by APCUG member groups.
A constant aggravation is the Open and Save As boxes
in Windows and applications. Sometimes there is a
Besides the obvious — a stable system that performs fast, miniscule box to view an entire directory in bitesizes. Why
without vulnerabilities — have thought of a few things I’d can’t all the boxes be large ones? And, why can’t they be
like to see integrated into the Windows 7 OS which may modified permanently so you can always view them the
way you like
be released in
them, such as you
2009/2010.
do in Folders?
When it comes
A n o t h e r
right down to it, I
drawback to these
don’t care if I can
windows is that
use 10 fingers
despite file names
to Paint with or
that are not very
other iPhone-like
long, to the right
multi-touch
features, or if Internet Explorer can recall a previous of the file name I have to slide the first two columns — Size
browsing session. Simple file management enhancements and Type — closer, scrunching them together, so I can see
the Date Modified tab in the same window. Sometimes you
are at the top of my wish list.
I want to be able to print a list of my files and file can scroll to see the Date Modified tab, but that is still not
information — a print directory feature. In the “old days” handy.
I have rearranged the headings to suit my need for
of DOS, you could do this. And now, you can use third
party programs to accomplish this, but why isn’t this selecting files by the most current. But, after closing and
reopening an application, I have to modify the list again.
already built-into Windows?
In Windows 3.11, there was a simple undelete feature. In Why can’t my modifications be permanent? Also, I’d like
later versions, the Recycle Bin gives you a chance to to see these types of windows open up larger or have a
recover files you delete in haste or ignorance. But, what resizing option to drag a corner border to make them larger.
Why do directories GRAPHIC sometimes get
about files you deleted from the Recycle Bin? If you don’t
have a third party program installed, the files are really scrambled? They aren’t alphabetized or in any other order.
Before I can open a file (not every time), I first have to click
history.
Wouldn’t it be great to have autofiltering in Windows on the Name bar to alphabetize the directory. (Yes. There
Explorer? Clicking on the top tab in a folder allows you to is a trick to closing a window to retain the order when it’s
sort by Size, Date Modified, Type, etc. — but you still reopened. Hold the Shift button down as you click on the
have to scroll through all the files in a directory to get to “X” in the corner. But, you shouldn’t have to do this.)
I’d also like to be able to format file names and related
the specific file you are looking for. If you could set an
autofilter, such as Excel has, you could choose which information in a directory. Maybe make some bold and
extensions would be viewable, click on one, and only orange, or some a bit smaller. Or, add stars or a ranking
notation to files. The logical next step would be to set-up
those files would be visible.
Windows 3.11 had the capability to only show certain a sort function to be able to look for all items in a certain
types of files. This was closer to what I’d like, but it was color or in 8 point type, or the file ranking.
Do you see the usefulness of these changes in sorting
a little involved to set it up and then be sure you reverted
files? Modifying directory listings can be very helpful. It
to the default file view afterward.
And, what about being able to flag a file and see the flag would allow users to see at a glance which items are
in Windows Explorer? Or, jot a post-it like note and attach important, or used most often, etc.
This is my short list. Have I mentioned anything
it to a file?
on
yours?
„
DOS also allowed you to rename extensions on an entire
directory of files. That would be a handy tool now.
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely
What happened to the “quick view” inside of a word for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses
require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
processing file in a directory? I want it back again.
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, Page 12
Protect Yourself against Identity Theft
By Marjie Tucker, Editor, Mountain Computer User Group, www.mcug.org, [email protected]
completing a change of address form at the post
office. This way they are personally delivered your
We’ve had several programs and articles that mentioned Identity
bank and credit card statements. If you stop
Theft, but I thought it might help us all to have one document with
receiving your mail go to the post office and make
a checklist of symptoms and solutions for this horrific problem.
an inquiry.
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication
by APCUG member groups.
Make certain that you’re not a victim.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is an act of impersonation. Someone gains the
ability to use your personally identifying information to
commit fraud or some other crime. The item stolen may be as
simple as your name, address, phone number, or date of birth.
Or, it can be an actual number or document such as your social
security number, mother’s maiden name, bank account
information, credit card number, driver’s license number,
signature or passwords. The thieves may rent an apartment,
open a new credit card, or open a cell phone account in your
name. You may not even know about the theft until you
review your credit report or are contacted by a debt collector.
Some victims spend hundreds of dollars and many, many
hours repairing damage to their good names and credit
records. People have been denied mortgages and car loans,
lost out on job opportunities, and even been arrested for
crimes they didn’t commit because of identity theft.
How Do Thieves Steal an Identity?
Basically identity thieves are looking for an opportunity to
steal your social security number, credit card number, or
other financial account information. They may use a variety
of methods to get hold of your information including the
following:
1. Dumpster Diving - They actually go through trash
bins and dumpsters looking for discarded credit card
bills, bank statements, and items containing your
social security number. Your best defense is to shred
any trash that contains sensitive information.
2. Skimming - Store clerks and restaurant workers
can use a special device that records your credit
card number while it is being processed. Always
peruse your credit card bills carefully to look for
unauthorized charges. If any are found, notify your
credit card company immediately.
3. Phishing - These attacks are sent to you as email
messages, supposedly from your bank, the IRS,
PayPal, or another company that might have your
information on file. They usually send you to a
web page that looks legitimate, but actually sends
your username and password to a server owned by
the thieves. Never respond to a website that has
been emailed to you. If you think the email is
legitimate, go directly to the company’s website
before you login.
4. Changing your Address - Identity thieves can
obtain your credit card and bank information by
1. Always carefully review your credit card and bank
statements for discrepancies. Immediate report any
suspicious activity.
2. Order reports from the credit reporting bureaus at
least once a year. Review them carefully for any
entries that are not legitimate.
3. Shred credit card statements, bank statements,
credit card offers, and any other papers that contain
your personal information.
4. Never throw away credit card receipts in a public
place. Watch out for credit card receipts that may
print out (particularly at gas stations) and be left
for someone else to pick up.
5. Do not respond to credit card or mortgage offers
from unknown sources.
6. Do not respond to emails asking you to go to a
website address that is embedded into the email.
Do not give your personal information over the
phone unless you initiated the phone call.
7. Do not carry your social security card with you.
8. Do not post your personal information on a website.
9. Change your passwords frequently and use a
secure password.
What Should You Do If Your Identity
is Stolen?
First file an Identity Theft police report. This will give you
specific legal rights and automatic notification to the three
major credit reporting agencies. These legal rights
permanently block fraudulent information from being added
to your credit report and prevent companies from collecting
debts that resulted from identity theft.
You should also file a report to the FTC ID Theft
Division. You can find an online form at http://
www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft
To ensure that the problem has been solved you should
monitor your financial records for at least three months
after you discover the crime and order credit reports on a
quarterly basis for at least one year. The best way to fight
ID Theft is to remain alert. Monitor your personal
information and alert your family members of the
importance of security.
„
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely for
publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses require the
permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, Page 13
Fr om Copies t o Full Co l or Printing
we ’re your
sou r ce for all your printed needs .
Also come see us for your Pr omo tional Items !
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(707) 299-1000
www.napanet.net • [email protected]
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
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800-869-3557
www.wellsfargo.com
Thank
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The Napa Valley Personal
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grateful for the support
provided by the afore
mentioned companies
sort
To organize data.
For example, the
information in
a database can
be sorted alphabetically,
numerically, by keywords, and
in other ways.
internal drive
A drive that sits within the
computer’s case.
This Daily Term is reprinted with permission
f r o m S m a r t C o m p u t i n g . Vi s i t
www.SmartComputing.com/Groups to
learn what Smart Computing can do for you
and your user group!
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NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, Page 14
When to Turn Off Personal Computers
U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. A Consumer’s Guide to
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, www.energy.gov/forconsumers.htm
If you’re wondering when you should turn off your personal
computer for energy savings, here are some general guidelines
to help you make that decision.
Though there is a small surge in energy when a computer
starts up, this small amount of energy is still less than the energy
used when a computer is running for long periods of time. For
energy savings and convenience, consider turning off
• the monitor if you aren’t going to use your PC for
more than 20 minutes
• both the CPU and monitor if you’re not going to use
your PC for more than 2 hours.
Make sure your monitors, printers, and other accessories are
on a power strip/surge protector. When this equipment is not
in use for extended periods, turn off the switch on the power
strip to prevent them from drawing power even when shut off.
If you don’t use a power strip, unplug extra equipment when
it’s not in use.
Most PCs reach the end of their “useful” life due to advances
in technology long before the effects of being switched on and
off multiple times have a negative impact on their service life.
The less time a PC is on, the longer it will “last.” PCs also
produce heat, so turning them off reduces building cooling
loads. For cost effectiveness, you also need to consider how
much your time is worth. If it takes a long time to shut down
the computer and then restart it later, the value of your time will
probably be much greater than the value of the amount of
electricity you will save by turning off the computer.
Power-Down or Sleep Mode Features
Many PCs available today come with a power-down or sleep
mode feature for the CPU and monitor. ENERGY STAR®
computers power down to a sleep mode that consume 15 Watts or
less power, which is around 70% less electricity than a computer
without power management features. ENERGY STAR monitors
have the capability to power down into two successive “sleep”
modes. In the first, the monitor energy consumption is less than
or equal to 15 Watts, and in the second, power consumption
reduces to 8 Watts, which is less than 10% of its operating power
consumption.
Make sure you have the power-down feature set up on your
PC through your operating system software. This has to be
done by you, otherwise the PC will not power down. If your
PC and monitor do not have power-down features, and even if
they do, follow the guidelines below about when to turn the
CPU and monitor off.
Note: Screen savers are not energy savers. Using a screen
saver may in fact use more energy than not using one and the
power-down feature may not work if you have a screen saver
activated. In fact, modern LCD color monitors do not need
screen savers at all.
„
Going Green
By Jerry Grommes, Past President, Sandwich Computer Users Group, Illinois, www.scug.org,
[email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication
by APCUG member groups.
During our June program, there was
quite a discussion about whether to
leave your computer on verses shutting
it off when not in use.
I, personally, like to leave my computers
run so they are kept up-to-date with auto
updates and backed up with scheduled
backups. These tasks are done in the
early AM so my computers are fully
functional when I sit down to use them.
However, others asked why not just leave them on the
nights that the backup runs instead of 24/7. I didn’t think it
was using much energy by running 24/7 but decided to check
it out and run some tests using my “Kill-AWatt” meter.
(Measures watts, amps, hours, kill a watt hours, etc.) I
started with my newest computer (which is approx 2 years
old and probably the most efficient). This machine is running
Vista and I had the Power Options set to turn off the monitor
after “20 minutes” and put computer to sleep to “never”.
With these settings the computer was drawing between 110
and 140 Watts of power with a total average of 2.63 KWH
(kill-a-watt hours) per day. Cost per day was $0 .026 ($7 .87 a
month) based on my most recent bill.
I then changed the Power Options to turn off the monitor after
“20 minutes” and put computer to sleep “after 2 hours”.
The watts dropped from between 110 and 140 while I was
using the computer to 6 while in the sleep mode and the total
average of KWH dropped to 0 .65 per day. Cost is now down
to 6 cents a day ($1 .94 a month).
With the current power options (turn off the monitor after
“20 minutes” and sleep “after 2 hours”) the computer will
wake up and get updates as well as run the scheduled
backups. So with a simple change to a power option, I
was able to reduce power consumption by approx 76%
and save $5 .93 per month without affecting my user
experience.
I plan on testing my XP machine next to see what it is
costing and to see if it can be reduced. Thanks go to
Louise and the rest of the group for a great discussion on
energy use.
To get more info and tips on energy savings try one of
Louise Dieden’s favorite links: http://
www.energy.gov/forconsumers.htm Louise is a
SCUG Board Member at Large.
„
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely for
publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses require the
permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
NVPCUG Computer News, Sept 2008, Page 15
Saving pictures that show on your
computer screen
Tips & Hints by Dick Carricato, member of the Tri County Computer User Group, Florida,
www.tccug.net, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication Information is pasted to any Windows program from the Clipboard
by APCUG member groups.
by using the Paste command.
These days we are bombarded with beautiful pictures on our
The next time a nice picture shows up on your screen, rightcomputers, and when I see a great picture I’m not happy until click on it and attempt to save it by using the “Save as …”
I have it stored away in my own computer where I can use it command. If that fails, click once in the window where the
when I want to.
picture is located; maximize the window to make the picture as
The usual technique used to extract and save pictures from large as possible, and then press Prt Scn. (In rare cases you
the web, from e-mail, or from any other source that places a might have to hold the Shift key while pressing Prt Scn.) This
picture on the computer screen, is simply to right click on the places the entire window, including the picture that you want,
picture and select “Save picture as …” This will often open the in the Clipboard. The rest of the procedure requires a graphics
‘My Pictures’ folder where the user can select a folder in which processor, and fortunately the Windows Paint program will do
to save the picture.
just fine. It can be found by clicking Start, (all) Programs,
This is a very straight forward, simple, and easy to remember Accessories, Paint (or mspaint). To put a shortcut to Paint on
technique for those situations where it works, and if it worked all your desktop, right click and drag it to your desktop, let go, and
the time this article would end right here. However, it often does select copy here.
not work. Sometimes web authors make it difficult for you to
So far all we have done is to discover a picture, maximize the
copy their pictures, and a right click on one of those pictures window that contains it, and press Prt Scn. Next, open Paint by
produces a grayed (not available) “Save picture as …” selection. double clicking the Paint icon on the desktop. In Paint, click Edit
Pictures in PDF documents in general cannot be copied, and for and select Paste. Now the entire window that you copied above
that matter, even highlighted text can’t be copied from most PDF is visible in the Paint window
documents. Very often when an e-mail picture is right-clicked the
Pick up the selection tool from the group of tools along the left
“Save picture as …” selection is available, but when that option side of the Paint window. To do this, click on the dotted line
is selected an error box appears saying, “The system cannot find rectangle. Move the mouse pointer to the upper left corner of the
the file specified.”
Picture. Then press the left mouse button and drag to the bottom
The remainder of this article will be devoted to a single method right corner of the picture. This selects the picture that you want
that allows the user to copy and save any image that shows on his to keep. Copy this to the Clipboard by right clicking within the
computer screen. This method involves the use of the Windows selection and (left) clicking on Copy.
Print Screen function. Of course, everyone remembers how to
Now you have what you want in the Clipboard, and all
use Print Screen (Prt Scn) because we have discussed it in the that you don’t want is visible in Paint. Click File and New,
past. Just in case you have forgotten I’ll review it here.
and answer the query to save the garbage with ‘no’. Click
The Prt Scn key is located to the right of the function keys at Edit and Paste to get the picture alone into Paint. Click File
the top of the keyboard. When Prt Scn is pressed it copies a and Save as … Be sure to select a file type of JPEG for your
picture of the entire display to the Clipboard. PressingAlt-Prt Scn picture. If you don’t, Paint will save the file as a bitmap
copies an image of theActive window to the Clipboard. Remember (.BMP) which is quite large, ranging from 1 to 5 megabytes
that the active window is the one with the bright title bar, and it depending on the size of the picture. The JPEG file will be
got that way by clicking the mouse anywhere within the window. only about 5% of the size of the bitmap file.
„
The Clipboard is just a section of memory that Windows uses for This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely for
all Copy and Paste operations. Information is copied from any publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses require the
Windows program to the Clipboard by using the Copy command. permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558-0286
Address Services Requested
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