COMPUTER NEWS Inside This Issue The Napa Valley Personal

COMPUTER NEWS Inside This Issue The Napa Valley Personal
Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group
http://www.
nvpcug.org
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558
COMPUTER
NEWS
Volume 28, No. 11
Nov 2011
Inside This Issue
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24
NVPCUG Special
Interest Groups
NVPCUG Christmas Party
Officers List
NVPCUG Calendar
Right Click Surprises –
Windows XP
NVPCUG Calendar
Software Review
RoboForm: Program stores
websites, login information
When Digital Disaster Strikes,
Smile! … because you will be OK
Windows 7 Jump Lists
Discovering Windows 7 – Part 18
How to Backup Securely
TrueCrypt
The Tip Corner
The Tip Corner
Let Office 2007 Help with Your
Holiday Greetings
President’s Message
Obituary
Things, Thinglets and Thingassos Novice Corner
Who Really Owns Your Photos in
Social Media?
What a nasty virus can do to
your computer
Membership Application/Renewal
The Napa Valley Personal
Computer Users Group will meet
Wednesday, Nov 16th,
7:00-9:00 P.M.
At the Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa, California
The meeting begins with Random Access, an
open-floor question-and-answer period during
which attendees can ask questions about
computers and computer-related problems and
receive helpful information from other meeting
attendees. Questions may be submitted before
the meeting by emailing them to Random Access
moderator Jerry Brown at [email protected]
During the Nov. Computer Tutor session and
the main presentation session member Beth
Pickering will demo how she can use Opera
to access my information on another
computer. She hopes to use both Link and
Unite. If you have an idea or question that the Computer Tutor
can demonstrate please email your ideas to the Computer
Tutor, Jeff Solomon at [email protected]
Member, Jeff Solomon, will continue his
discussion from the Feb 2011 general meeting
about Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5. If you
are one of the members that use this program,
you could add information to this discussion
and if you are interested about finding out
more about the program, join us for the discussion. If you
have a suggestion on which feature and topics should
discusses in the future, please contact Susy Ball at
[email protected] See ya’ all at the meeting.
*
Could you use some practical information that would help you
make better use of your computer? Come to this meeting! Guests
are always welcome. Admission is always free.
Interested in becoming a member? See page 24 for
application information.
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011
NVPCUG
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS
& MAC GROUP
In SIG meetings you can learn about
a subject in greater detail than
is feasible at NVPCUG general
meetings. SIG meetings are open to
everyone. M e e t i n g t i m e s a n d
locations occasionally change, so
for current meeting information, see
our Web site, www.nvpcug.org, or
contact the SIG leaders.
Investors SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Monday
5:30 to 7:30 p.m
Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
Leader: Jerry Brown
(707) 254-9607
bqandjbb
@sbcglobal.net
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
Fun Site: Gizmodo
Taking the word “gizmo” to a whole
new level, this site brings out
discussion about new products
and some of the funniest articles
on the Web. If you’re looking for
the latest news about the most
tech-savvy products out there, or
even just looking for some
interesting articles to read about
crazy inventions, Gizmodo is a
great site to visit.
Gizmodo can be found
at:
http://www.
gizmodo.com/
Reprinted with permission from
Smart Computing. Visit w w w .
SmartComputing.com/Groups to
learn what Smart Computing can do
for you and your user group!
Members & Guests of the NVPCUG
YOU’RE INVITED
What: Annual Christmas Potluck
Party for Members
When: Wednesday,
December 14th
(second Wed. of month)
at 6:30 PM
Where: Peterson’s Family
Christmas Tree Farm
( in the Christmas House )
1120 Darms Lane, Napa
Bring a potluck dish (plus BYOB)
R.S.V.P. to DiannePrior:
[email protected]
or
call her at: 252-1506
Put “NVPCUG Party” in the subject area. Let
me know your name, how many people are
attending with you, what you are bringing for
the potluck, and if you can bring extra folding
chairs or help with cleanup.
The Computer Users Group will provide
nonalcoholic beverages, paper plates, cups,
plastic ware, napkins, & Kentucky Fried
Chicken. At this event we will introduce the
new officers and present the member of the
year award. This is a time to visit with old
friends and make new ones. We hope to
see you all there. The party is always a lot of
fun and the food is great and plentiful.
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011 Page 2
Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group Contact Information
Officers for 2011
Board of Directors
President
Jim Gray
unlisted
[email protected]
Vice President
Ron Dack
Julie Jerome
unlisted
[email protected]
Secretary
Marcia Waddell
252-2060
[email protected]
Treasurer
Roy Wagner
253-2721
[email protected]
[email protected]
Other Directors: Susy Ball, Julie Jerome, Bernhard Krevet , Dick Peterson, Bob
Simmerman, Raylene Thompson, Tom Uboldi and Dean Unruh
Appointed Officers
Computer Tutor Coordinator
Jeff Solomon
553-2114
[email protected]
Facility Arrangements Coordinator
Dianne Prior
252-1506
[email protected]
Greeter Coordinator
Raylene Thompson
unlisted
[email protected]
Greeter Coordinator
Bob Simmerman
259-6113
[email protected]
226-9164
[email protected]
Membership Director
Bob Simmerman
259-6113
[email protected]
Newsletter Editor
Susy Ball
337-3998
[email protected]
Product Review CoCoordinator
Susy Ball
Marcia Waddell
337-3998
252-2060
[email protected]
[email protected]
Co-Programs Director
Bernhard Krevet
Susy Ball
unlisted
337-3998
[email protected]
[email protected]
Librarian
Dean Unruh
Publicity Director
VOLUNTEER NEEDED
Random Access Moderator
Jerry Brown
254-9607
[email protected]
unlisted
[email protected]
Webmaster
Ron Dack
• All telephone numbers are in Area Code 707.
NVPCUG General Meetings
Held the third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, 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 taxdeductible as charitable
contributions to the
extent allowed by law.
Copyright © 2011 by
NVPCUG.
Right Click Surprises – Windows XP
By Warner Mach, Editor, SouthEastern Michigan Computer Organization, August 2011 issue,
SEMCO DATA BUS, www.semco.org, [email protected]
I have recently become familiar with some handy uses of
3. In the tray at the bottom of the screen is an icon that
the mouse right-click that are worth mentioning.
looks like a screen with radiation coming from it.
Left click tells the status of your Wi-Fi connection.
1. Right click on “Start” brings up a menu that lets you
Right click gives options of disable/status/repair. I
select Microsoft “explorer” and “search.” This can
was at a location where I appeared to be connected
be a quick way to get at those utilities.
properly, but all of my browsers were unable to
reach any URL. Someone assisted me by clicking
on “repair” and I could watch the system rework my
connection and make it better. I was dazzled.
2. If you want to use a
program other than the
default in conjunction with
a file, then right click on
the file and go to “open
with.” I sometimes use this
with pdf files. My default
for pdf files is “Nitro” but
it does not have a search
function, so I will
sometimes switch to
“Adobe Reader” if I want
to use the search.
4. The most important time-saver of all: If you are
playing solitaire and you reach the point where you
have won the game and it is just a matter of moving
all the cards to the top row, then right-click on one of
the cards in the bottom row and the system will do
the remaining work for you.
*
NVPCUG Calendar
Nov 16
Dec 8
Dec12
Dec 14
Dec 14
7:00-9:00 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
Jan 9
Jan 12
Jan 18
Feb 4
Feb 9
Feb 13
Feb 15
5:30-7:30 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
10:00-11:30 am.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
NVPCUG General Meeting, + A
Napa Valley Mac User Group + A
Investors SIG meeting + C
NVPCUG General Meeting, + A
NVPCUG Annual
Christmas Party, + D
Investors SIG meeting + C
Napa Valley Mac User Group + A
NVPCUG General Meeting, + A
Board of Directors meeting + D
Napa Valley Mac User Group + A
Investors SIG meeting + C
NVPCUG General Meeting, + A
Meeting Locations
A - Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
B - Piner’s Nursing Home,
1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
C - Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
D - Peterson’s Family Christmas
Tree Farm, 1120 Darms
Lane, Napa.
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 4
Software Review
RoboForm: Program stores websites, login information
By Jim Thornton, Member, Channel Islands PCUG, CA, August 2011 issue, The Outer Edge,
www.cipcug.org, [email protected]
RoboForm is one of my favorite software programs as it
helps me very quickly log into secured websites. My
listings of these websites include airlines, email, financial,
medical, stores, travel, etc., and I currently have more than
50 of these secured websites listed.
The program is very easy to use. For example, first open
Internet Explorer, and then click on one of its little toolbars
titled RoboForm and a list of several choices appear titled
Logins, Identities, and Soft Notes. While I mentioned
Internet Explorer, RoboForm also works equally as well
with Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and many more browsers.
Next, I click on Logins and then click again on the listed
secured website that I want to enter. Next, RoboForm
automatically redirects Internet Explorer to the website
that I selected and when the login website appears,
RoboForm automatically fills in my name and password,
and I’m immediately logged into the secured website with
unrestricted abilities.
Once you have the program installed, when you go to a
new secured website and fill in your user name and
password and click on Enter, RoboForm will automatically
add the information. Including the website address, to your
list of Logins.
If you need a new password, RoboForm will generate a
highly secure password. On the Login list in RoboForm,
the secured websites are listed alphabetically and you can
easily rename any listing.
Other RoboForm features include SafeNotes, which
securely stores other information of your choice. For
example, some banks will frequently ask you for your
wife’s favorite color, your first dog’s name, etc., to ensure
that you are the secured party attempting to access your
bank account, etc. You can securely store this information
in SafeNotes.
RoboForm’s options under Logins include Edit, New,
and Print List. Under Identities are Edit, New, and Fill
Empty Fields Only. SafeNotes includes Edit, New, Print
to New, and Print Last. Numerous other choices include
Fill Forms, Save Forms, Fields — Reset, Sat, and Clear,
Profiles — Default, New, Date, Name, Refresh Fields,
Explorer, Tools — Edit Identify, Edit Password, Edit
SafeNotes, Search Fields, Taskbar Icon, Generate
Password, and Sign RoboForm data, and Options —
Help.
I’ve used RoboForm for numerous years in Windows
XP, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows Vista,
and now Windows 7. RoboForm’s website is
www.roboform.com, and there are three versions of
RoboForm available: Desktop, Everywhere, and 2Go.
Desktop provides high security and restricts the access
to RoboForm from only one computer.
Everywhere allows you to access RoboForm from
numerous computers.
2Go works using a portable USB drive, so that you can
take your RoboForm information and use it on many
computers while traveling on business or on vacation.
RoboForm runs in numerous versions of Internet
Explorer, including versions 6, 7, 8, and 9 but only on 32bit versions and not the 64-bit versions. There is a free
version of RoboForm that is limited to only 10 logins. For
more than 10 logins, the Everywhere version is available
for $20 per year, and the Desktop version is $30. The
current version, which is version 6.10.2.0, was introduced
earlier this year.
When you install RoboForm for the first time, you will
be asked to create a master password, which protects all
of your secured data in your Logins, Identities, and
SafeNotes. This prevents anyone else who has access to
your computer from seeing or copying this information. If
you prefer, you can eliminate this protection and allow
anyone to access all of your important information.
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 5
*
When Digital Disaster Strikes, Smile! …
because you will be OK
By Gregory West, Member of Sarnia Computer Users’ Group (scug.ca) and Port Huron, MI
Computer Group (bwcomp.org), For more tips visit his Blog: http://
gregorywest.wordpress.com, [email protected]
Have you ever deleted photos from a camera or computer (www.piriform.com). Even if the files are partially
by mistake?
damaged “Recuva will show you a list of files it has found
A friend of mine called me recently after going through on the drive, and give you an estimate of the likelihood of
a “catastrophe,” as he called his situation. It happened success of recovering them.” You can’t ask for much more.
about midway over the Atlantic Ocean, thirty-seven
Let’s not forget when we delete those important emails.
thousand feet up. He was sitting in his seat with not much Yes you can recover them too. Recuva says that “The
to do so he decided to check the photos on his digital email program doesn’t delete the email or emails to the
camera. All these photos were from this trip to Portugal, Windows Recycle Bin, but rather empties its own internal
a trip that involved hiking in the wilderness and visiting old trash or Recycle Bin.”
buildings. You can only imagine some of his prized photos.
I use word processing software every day. And yes I have
I think you know where I am going with this … Yes, while lost documents that I have spent hours working on and never
looking at the photos, clicking from one to the next, he got them back. That is until I discovered Recuva. They assure
inadvertently deleted not just a couple of photos, every us that their software “can intelligently rebuild Word documents
photo from his trip was gone in one simple click. After from their temporary files.”
checking and double checking he knew it was fruitless to
We all can agree for the most part that weddings,
look further; the photos vanished.
graduations, and other such special events are best
When he got home he called and told me about this remembered with lots of photos. Music downloaded to
your MP3 player is a treasure chest to cherish. While those
situation.
“That’s no problem,” I tried to reassure him. I explained word documents on the hard drive on your computer are
that there is a software recovery program that people use from hours of work, you dare not lose them anymore.
To find out more and to get your free copy of Recuva, go
in such cases with much success. The voice at the other
end of the line was silent. I knew he didn’t think this to this website: www.piriform.com/download.
process was possible. After he recovered every single
Here’s a comment Greg received on his blog. Recuva is
photo from his vacation he couldn’t thank me enough.
an excellent program, like most of the software from
However, my tale doesn’t end there. I had a similar Piriform. However, there is a caveat. Once you realize
problem where a new SD (photo storage card in camera) that you may have inadvertently deleted data, whether it is
failed to produce 250 pictures and some video clips. After on your computer, thumb drive, or flash card, it is imperative
taking a deep breath I remembered the advice I had doled NOT to use the device! Recovery IS possible, but if your
out and quickly downloaded a copy of Recuva, a recovery operating system writes over what has been deleted, you
program that is free and works. Within no time I had all my may not be able to “recuva” what’s been deleted. 2 PC
pictures and video clips stored on my computer, thanks to Geeks Computer Repair, Virginia.
Recuva.
Kill A Stalled Program In Vista
The moral of this story is when you delete photos, music
from an MP3 player, or data from your computer,
If a program refuses to close, right-click its icon
remember that it is possible to recover the data. Don’t say
in the Taskbar and click Close. If that doesn’t
it will never happen because you are careful. I am sure it
work, simultaneously press CTRL-ALThas happened to the best of us.
DELETE and click Start Task Manager. Next,
To avoid a similar “catastrophe” you need to have a
select the Applications tab, click the name of
recovery software program installed on your computer.
the program, and click the End Task button.
One of the best recovery programs around is called:
You may need to repeat this process several
Recuva. As an added bonus this program is free and it
times before the program finally shuts down.
comes “highly” recommended.
Be aware that you also may lose data that was
You can read the reviews here: http://cnet.co/
open in the program at the time it stalled out.
filehelp.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
How does it work? Recuva scans your drives for the files
www.SmartComputing.com/Groups to learn what Smart
you need and “recovers them in a flash”
Computing can do for you and your user group!
*
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 6
Windows 7 Jump Lists
By Vinny La Bash, Regular Contributing Columnist, Sarasota PCUG, Inc., FL,
May 2011 issue, Sarasota PC Monitor, www.spcug.org, [email protected]
Different Jump Lists from the same
There are those who say that Jump Lists are new to
Windows 7, and there are those who say Jump Lists are application will show you the same thing,
nothing more than hyped-up extensions of the My Recent but a Jump List from Internet Explorer 8
Documents menu which began in Windows 95. There is will show something different than a
Jump List from Media Player. IE 8 doesn’t
truth in both viewpoints.
Previous to Windows 7, the My Recent Documents show recently played songs, and Media Player won’t show
menu listed the newest file version of its application. If a you recently visited web sites. What you see on the list
Word document was created at 7:00 am followed by a depends on the program.
Let’s look at some odds and ends about Jump Lists that
Spreadsheet edited at 8:00 am, followed by a drawing
revised in Paint shortly thereafter, all three would be listed may prove useful. By default, the Internet Explorer icon in
IE 8 is pinned to the Taskbar. When you wish to pin another
in reverse chronological order on the same list.
In Windows 7, each of those files would be on a separate application to either the Taskbar or the Start menu right-click
list, each list comprised of files created by its own specific on the application’s icon, no matter where it is located, and
application. If you right-click on the Word icon for example, pin it to either or both locations. You can unpin just as easily
you see a list of the most recent Word documents that were so don’t worry about doing something you can’t undo.
You can take an item from a Jump List and drag and drop
created or edited by Word. A right-click on the Excel icon
would reveal a list of the most recent Excel spreadsheets. to a new location such as the Desktop or a folder. Drag and
The same holds for Paint, Adobe Photoshop, or PowerPoint. drop to an email message and Windows will automatically
Windows XP had the right idea, but the concept wasn’t attach it for sending.
If you unpin an item from a Jump List don’t be perplexed
taken far enough. If an application that runs on Windows
7 is capable of generating files it will have its own Jump if it reappears on the list the next time you open it.
List. If you use one application heavily, it’s very handy for
You can’t pin folders to the Taskbar because they are
that application to possess its own jump list. The Excel considered Windows Explorer items, but you can pin
Jump List does not contain files generated by other Windows Explorer to the Taskbar and folders will appear
applications, it shoes only Excel spreadsheets.
as items in the Jump List.
Jump Lists act like application specific Start menus. You
It can be useful to clear a Jump List for security
can find them on the application icons that appear on the or personal reasons. You don’t have to unpin each
Taskbar after the application is open. They also reside in item individually.
the Start menu in the recently opened programs area. The
Jump Lists on the Start menu appear a bit different than To clear a Jump List:
those on the Taskbar, but they function in exactly the same
way. If you “pin” an application icon to the Start menu or
1.
Open Control Panel.
the Taskbar you will get a Jump List by right-clicking on the
2.
Click Appearance and Personalization.
icon.
3.
Click
Taskbar and Start Menu.
Jump Lists have several defaults, the application’s shortcut
4.
Click the Start Menu tab in the dialog box.
icon is displayed, you can close one or all windows that
5.
Clear the checkmark in the Store and display
happen to be open, you can pin or unpin, see a list of up to
recently opened items in the Start Menu and
ten recent files, and specific tasks associated with the
Taskbar check box.
application. If you bring up the Jump List for Internet
Explorer 8, there is an item that let’s you do InPrivate
6.
Click Apply.
Browsing.
7.
Recheck the box you cleared in step 5, unless you
Right-click on any of the files listed in the Jump List. You
want the Jump List always empty.
can remove the file from the list, pin it permanently to the
Note: If you wish to change the number of
list, save it in another location, rename it, copy it, print it or
items in your Jump Lists click the Customize
even send it to another location.
button and follow instructions.
An application’s Jump List can be found in more than one
8.
Close any open dialog boxes.
location. If you open a Jump List from the Start menu and
then open the same application’s Jump List from the Some programs display useful tasks in their Jump Lists.
Taskbar or any other location, you will see exactly the Tasks on a Jump List can’t be added to or removed. *
same list of items. That’s the kind of consistency that
makes sense.
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 7
Discovering Windows 7 – Part 18
By Neil Stahfest, Vice President, Tacoma Area PC User Group, Washington, August 2011
issue, the Data Line, www.tapcug.org, [email protected]
A reader emailed me to ask if I had any suggestions that
would darken the text on his computer’s display and make
it more legible. It was an interesting question and it
occurred to me that this would be a good topic for
“Discovering Windows 7.” In researching this topic I
discovered Windows 7 provides three primary ways to
improve the readability of your display.
We’ll start with screen resolution. For the sharpest
image, it’s important for your video settings to match your
screen. Click on the Windows Start button and type
“screen resolution.” In the window that appears select
“Adjust screen resolution.”
The “Color Management” window will open. Select the
“Advanced” tab (marked in orange). There is a lot of information,
with many settings on this page but we are just interested in the
button labeled “Calibrate Display” (marked in red).
When you click on the button next to “Resolution” (marked
in red) you’ll see a slider that controls the range of screen
resolutions available on your monitor. With LCD displays, the
maximum number represents the number of horizontal and
vertical pixels in your display. For the sharpest image, always
use the maximum number of pixels; other settings may look
blurry. After you’ve made your choice, click “OK.”
Next, let’s look at color calibration. Color calibration
adjusts the colors by changing different color settings so
they are accurately shown on your screen. Windows 7
includes color calibration software with a “wizard” that
makes it this easy to do. The changes that you can make
depend upon your monitor and its capabilities so there may
be some settings that you can’t change. The “wizard” will
let you skip steps that don’t apply to your computer.
To start, click on the Windows Start button and type
“color management” in the search box (marked in orange).
Windows will display a list of programs that include
“color management.” Select “Color Management” as
shown (marked in red).
The welcome window for calibrating color opens. Click on the
“Next” button in the lower right corner of the screen to start.
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 8
This will lead you through a series of screens. As you go
through them you will learn how to adjust gamma,
brightness, contrast and color balance settings. Brightness
and contrast settings may not be available on all displays.
Laptops PCs, for example, often have brightness controls
available among the function keys but no controls for
contrast. If you have an LCD display, when you reach the
last screen in the color calibration group, make sure that the
box to “Start Clear Type Tuner” is checked (marked in red).
Finally, to save your new color calibration, select the “Current
calibration” button (marked in yellow) or click the “previous
calibration” button to revert to the previous one.
The final process that we’ll look at allows you to change
the size of the letters on your screen. You begin by clicking
on the Windows “Start” button and typing “display” in the
Windows search box. In the window that appears, select
“Set custom text size (DPI)” (marked in red).
When you click on it you will see the “Custom DPI Setting”
window (see below). Experiment with various sizes to
improve letter readability.
The final step is to click on the “Finish” button to end color
calibration.
If you clicked on the box next to “Start Clear Type
Tuner” (see above) you will see the screen shown below.
This utility, as explained on the screen, improves the
readability of text on LCD flat screen monitors. It doesn’t
do anything for old style CRT monitors.
The above procedures are particularly helpful if you install
a new display or video card on your computer. Even if you
don’t, you may discover that they will be an improvement
on the settings that were on your computer when you
bought it. In my case I noticed a subtile, but significant,
improvement in the display on my desktop PC.
*
Term From Smart Computing: Vandal
If the box next to “Turn on Clear Type” is checked
(marked in red) when you click on the “Next” button
(circled in blue), you will be lead through a series of seven
screens in which you select the “best looking” type (sort
of like an eye test). This should give you the most legible
type for your screen.
A malicious or nuisance program embedded within an
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) file, email
attachment, or push technology data. Vandals often
arrive in applets or ActiveX controls and, unlike viruses,
do not self-replicate. They can, however, breach security
restrictions within a computer to access passwords or
cause loss of service for users within a network.
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, Nov 2011, Page 9
How to Backup Securely
This Tech Tip addresses some frequently asked questions
about how to safeguard your computer data on a personal
and business level. It assumes that you DO NOT have
gigabytes of music and movies that require extensive
security measures to protect.
1.) How should I begin to secure
important data on my desktop
computer or laptop?
First, it makes sense to designate
1 or 2 specific folders on your
computer as the main folder for
confidential file back-ups for
several reasons. If you have to
do a quick back-up, all you do is
copy that folder to an external
drive for an instant back-up.
Second, It provides a
centralized location for all
important data. Instead of having
to hunt down the menu, submenu, sub-sub-menu of where you normally download
company financial spreadsheets, you can set your browser
and programs (such as Quickbooks, etc.) to save/download
all important files to this folder.
Third, let’s say you only save ALL important files on a
flash drive/external hard drive. If your notebook gets lost/
stolen, the thieves only have the programs and not the
actual confidential files which are on the cheap flash drive.
2.) Great, now how do I actually
back-up my designated BACK
UP folder(s)?
Here’s where it gets tricky. You have several back-up
options such as:
A.) Cloud – Services such as Carbonite and Mozy offer
low-priced back-up solutions. You basically upload
all your confidential files to their cloud servers and
are able to access them anywhere in the world
where there is Internet access. The main issue is
that, from a business security perspective, you have
no idea where your data is stored. If, for example,
it’s stored in a server farm in China which gets
hacked, then you’re in trouble.
B.) External Hard Drives – These nifty devices come in
portable 2.5" and larger 3.5" flavors and offer more
than generous dumping grounds for all things
important. Once you plug it in, your OS recognizes
it and pops you up with a folder showing it as a (giant)
external drive with a letter (i.e. G:) Some even
feature OTB (One Touch Backup) so you press one
By Mark Tiongco, www.geeks.com
button and it backs up either your entire system or
certain portions of it. Some external hard drives
offer plug-in encryption that prevents unauthorized
access. The issue with this solution is that you have
to lug it around, which means it has a chance of
getting lost/stolen and the
formality of performing a
back-up might become timeconsuming to some.
C. Flash Drive – These little
drives are more nimble, have
zero moving parts and are
highly portable. Unfortunately,
this is also its Achilles’ Heel
as its relatively small size makes it prone to becoming
misplaced or stolen. Also it does not have the
capacity of a larger external drive. The good news
is that some flash drives have built-in encryption
which can be useful if it lands in the wrong hands.
D. Home/Office Network Attached Storage Drive –
Also called NAS, this is an excellent solution for
comprehensive back-up protection as these hard
drives function as dumping grounds for an entire
home or office network. It provides a centralized
location for files, folders and documents which any
connected computer can access and come in large
drive sizes. However, security precautions should
be utilized if the NAS has built-in measures as an
unsecured NAS may be prone to prying eyes. For
example, a NAS without security protocols activated
while connected to a home Wi-Fi network is prone
to being breached. Because of this, it’s crucial to
configure the NAS security as well as the router/
network security for optimal protection.
E. Backing up to CD/DVD/Blu-Ray – Optical media
back-up is actually a very cost-effective solution
because CDs and DVDs are very cheap nowadays.
Furthermore, if you’re looking to close the books for
a certain month on your business, burning to a CDR or DVD+R sets the data in stone so it can’t be
manipulated on the disc. The problem is that if you
have lots of data to back-up, the formality of using
several CD-R or DVD-R discs to save might also
become time consuming. In addition, you would
have to make sure said back-up discs are placed in
a safe place where the chance of it getting stolen is
minimized.
3.) Which back-up method should
I pick?
While the above solutions offer many ways to back up your
confidential data, the best way to minimize a data breach/
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 10
loss is to follow a combination of
multiple back-up solutions and
proactive behavior. For example, it
would be a good idea to store important
sensitive data on your flash drive and
encrypting it with TRUE Crypt while
also saving duplicate file copies on
your home NAS drive via secure VPN
connection. If your flash drive is lost/
stolen, True Crypt prevents the drive
from being used without proper
credentials and you can still access
the very same duplicate files on your NAS server.
Regarding proactive behavior, you should be mindful of
back-ups so you don’t lose something you wish you saved
2 weeks ago.
There are also programs
out there that can help
secure data such as:
•Folder Lock – Locks and can hide
any folder you wish from prying eyes.
•True Crypt– secures drives with
extensive hardware encryption.
•Acronis Drive Cleaner –
Completely erases all drive data with
several methods (DoD, Gutmann
method, etc.) – works great if you’re
planning to get rid of old computer hardware.
Remember, it’s all about being proactive and being mindful
of what back-up security solutions to use for your personal
or business needs!
*
TrueCrypt
Free open-source data encryption software for Windows 7/
Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux
By John Langill, Newsletter Co-editor, Southern Tier Personal Computing Club, NY, August
2011 issue, Rare Bits, STPCC Newsletter, [email protected]
The May 2011 issue of Rare Bits contained an article by stored on an encrypted volume can be read (decrypted)
Dick Maybach titled “Cloud Computing” in which he without using the correct password and/or key file(s), or
pointed out the necessity of securing your data via correct encryption keys.
encryption when it “... is stored on the same disks, uses the
I’m not sure how unique TrueCrypt’s approach is but I
same memory, and passes through the same processors as was nevertheless intrigued by it. The first step is to create
everybody else’s.” And I recall Dave Bilcik voicing a a “container;” otherwise known as a TrueCrypt “encrypted
similar warning at the May meeting and also mentioning volume.” To my mind, this is somewhat like obtaining a
the program TrueCrypt. It just so happens that I am safety-deposit box at a bank.
currently using TrueCrypt and I believe it to be very
satisfactory solution whether you need relatively modest
security or very tight and sophisticated protection.
TrueCrypt is a software system for establishing and
maintaining an on-the-fly-encrypted volume (data storage
device). “On-the-fly” encryption means that data is
automatically encrypted or decrypted right before it is
loaded or saved, without any user intervention. The entire
file system is encrypted; e.g., filenames, folder-names,
contents of every file, free space, meta-data, etc. No data
TrueCrypt provides a “wizard” to assist with the task. As
at a bank where safety-deposit boxes of various sizes can
be rented, the encrypted volume can be created to have as
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 11
TrueCrypt cont. on page 12
TrueCrypt cont. from page 11
much capacity as you need. For example, it can be a
specific portion of a hard-disk, or an entire flash drive or
other storage device. Unlike a safety-deposit box, however,
you hold the only key... so you need to remember and
protect it. And, into the container (the volume) you can
store any number of files. If the capacity of the volume is
exceeded, you simply create a bigger container.
One of the interesting facets of a TrueCrypt volume is that
it has most of the characteristics of an ordinary file. That
is, the volume can be moved or copied within the storage
areas of a given PC, or to a different PC. The name of the
volume can be changed; and the volume can be included
in routine backups. It can be transmitted across the
Internet; and even into the wild-blue yonder, if you’re so
inclined. And, even if you have no intention of salting “the
cloud” with your personal data, what about that minuscule
8- or 32GB flash-drive you carry around in your pocket.
The smaller they get, the easier they are to lose. Wouldn’t
it be reassuring to have made it an encrypted volume so
that whoever finds it won’t have an easy time of it when
they try to discover the contents of your personal data?
The downside of the file-like characteristics is that, like
any file, an encrypted volume can also be deleted and all its
content lost (...thank goodness for the Recycle Bin). That
would be very bad if done unwittingly. But that’s why we do
back-ups! Yes? Once a TrueCrypt volume is mounted, the
data files it contains can be copied to and from the volume
just like they are copied to or from any normal disk; for
example, by simple drag-and-drop operations.
Files are automatically decrypted on-the-fly in RAM
(Random Access Memory) while they are being read or
copied from an encrypted TrueCrypt volume. Similarly,
files that are being written or copied to a TrueCrypt volume
are automatically encrypted on-the-fly in RAM right before
they are written to the volume. Note, however, this does
not mean the whole file that is to be encrypted/decrypted
must reside in RAM before it can be encrypted/decrypted.
That is, there are no extra RAM requirements for TrueCrypt.
The following paragraph explains how this is accomplished.
Let’s suppose that there is an .avi video file stored on a
TrueCrypt volume; that is, the entire video file is encrypted.
The user provides the correct password and/or key file and
mounts (opens) the TrueCrypt volume. When the user
double-clicks the icon of the video file, the operating system
launches the application associated with the file type —
typically a media player. The media player then begins
loading a small initial portion of the video file from the
TrueCrypt-encrypted volume to RAM in order to play it.
While the portion is being loaded, TrueCrypt is automatically
decrypting it in RAM. The decrypted portion of the video in
RAM is then played by the media player. While this portion
is being played, the media player begins loading next small
portion of the video file from the TrueCrypt-encrypted
volume to RAM and the process repeats. This process is
called “on-the-fly” encryption/decryption and it works for
all file types, not just for video files. The process also ensures
minimal impact on processing performance.
Note that TrueCrypt never saves any decrypted data to
a disk – it only stores it temporarily in RAM. Even when
the volume is mounted, data stored in the volume remains
encrypted. When you restart Windows or turn off your
computer, the volume will be automatically dismounted
and files stored in it will be inaccessible and encrypted.
Even when power is suddenly interrupted (i.e., without a
proper system shut-down), files stored in the volume are
inaccessible and encrypted. To make them accessible
again, you have to mount the volume by providing the
correct password and/or key file.
Of course, as with any unintended power interruption or
shut-down, unsaved changes to files are lost because reencryption of changes occurs only when files are saved to
the volume in a normal fashion.
I’ve only touched on a few of the main facets of TrueCrypt.
In addition, TrueCrypt offers a choice of encryption
algorithms from which you can select one that will give the
degree of security you feel you need. This and other aspects
of TrueCrypt are fully documented in an excellent User
Guide. The latest version of the free software, Release 7.0a,
can be downloaded from the product’s home Website at
http://www.truecrypt.org, as well as from
CNET’s http://www.download.com, and other sites
on the Web.
The User Guide PDF and a more detailed description of
TrueCrypt can be found at the product’s home web-site.
TrueCrypt is one free program that is, in my opinion, an
exception to my general perception of the breed. Of
course, the developers gratefully accept donations. In this
case, I think they are well deserved.
*
Get Help Quickly
Get help with the press of a button. Pressing the F1 key
while in most applications with open the Help files
associated the application.
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, Nov 2011, Page 12
The Tip Corner
By Bill Sheff, Novice SIG Coordinator, Lehigh Valley Computer Group, PA, March 2011 issue,
The LVCG Journal, www.lvcg.org, [email protected]
Google Chrome Home Button
If you look at the interface of Google Chrome, as compared
to other browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer,
you will notice that there is no “home” button. You know,
the little house icon on the toolbar? The other browsers
have it, but not Chrome? It’s ridiculously easy to fix.
• Open Chrome, click on the Wrench icon in the upper
right-hand corner and select Options.
• Under Home Page, put a check next to Show Home
button on the toolbar.
associations, instead of using the correct program to
open the file. As such, you will typically see an error
message, or no response. If you are not using an email client, but a web mail interface (such as Hotmail,
Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) to check your e-mail, you
will want to download the PowerPoint file from your
e-mail to your desktop, then attempt to open the file
on your computer instead of in your e-mail. Again,
doing so eliminates one more possible misconfigured
program (in this case your Internet Explorer, Firefox,
Chrome, or other web browser) from attempting to
open your PowerPoint file by downloading or moving
the file to your computer and trying to open it there.
The effect is instantaneous! Click Close and you now have
a home button in Google Chrome!
PowerPoint does not open?
If you can’t open PowerPoint presentations that come in
your e-mails you are not alone. This can happen even with
the Power Point Viewer. Try some of these tips:
1. How are you checking your e-mail?
The very first thing to look at is the way in which you
are checking your e-mail. If you check e-mail via a
dedicated e-mail client such as Outlook, Outlook
Express, Windows Mail, Eudora, etc., instead of
double clicking on and trying to open the PowerPoint
file from within the e-mail program, export the
PowerPoint file from your e-mail into a folder on
your desktop (typically done by dragging and dropping
the file from your e-mail message into your desktop
folder) then double click to open it. The reason for
doing this is that some e-mail clients will try to open
a file using its own program features and/or incorrect
If either of these steps opens your PowerPoint file,
you have just found a solution to your problem. You
may still want to look at configuring your e-mail
client and/or web browser to associate PowerPoint
files with your PowerPoint reader program.
2. Check your file type
Believe it or not, PowerPoint itself can be the
problem. There are currently four distinct types of
files commonly output by PowerPoint, each of
The Tip Corner cont. on page 14
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 13
The Tip Corner cont. from page 13
which have restrictions on how the different versions
of PowerPoint can read them. These file types are:
• PPS - Used to contain a “viewable” PowerPoint
presentation. This PowerPoint file will normally
open in the PowerPoint Viewer or the full version of
PowerPoint without issue.
• PPT - Used to contain an “editable” PowerPoint
presentation. This can sometimes be viewed in the
PowerPoint Viewer but will only be editable in the
full version of the PowerPoint software.
• PPSX/.PPTX - The same as .PPS and .PPT,
respectively, but saved in a newer Open XML
format introduced in PowerPoint 2007.
• Typically, you will not be able to view PowerPoint
files of these types without a recent version of the
PowerPoint Viewer or PowerPoint 2007 or higher.
If you are unsure of which file type you are having
trouble opening, right click on the file and select
Properties from the menu.
3. Get with the program
With the above in mind you will want to confirm that
you do (or do not) have the correct programs
installed on your computer to read them. The quickest
way to do so is to update your PowerPoint Viewer
to the most current version. After installing the latest
PowerPoint Viewer, just about any PowerPoint file
should open right up for you to view; simply click on
and open the file on your desktop in the PowerPoint
viewer. If it does not open, download and install the
latest version of OpenOffice, which includes Impress,
which is a part of the OpenOffice suite of programs.
Impress has many of the same features and editing
capabilities of the full version of Microsoft Office
PowerPoint, but at a very hard to beat price: FREE!
4. Check your source
If the file still fails to open, you either have a
damaged or corrupt PowerPoint file, or a password
protected PowerPoint file. In either case, you will
want to contact the sender and have them resend the
file and/or give you a password to open it.
I hope all your PowerPoint files can now open
without any problem.
Clear Your Firefox Downloads List
Do you have quite a lot of files you’ve downloaded via
Firefox?. Not sure? Open up Firefox and click
Tools>Downloads and a window pops up. Is it pretty
cluttered and in need of a good clean out? To delete single
downloads from your Firefox queue, simply right-click the
download you’d like to delete from the list and select
Remove From List. You can clear the entire list by clicking
the Clear List button at the bottom of the download window.
Note: This doesn’t delete the physical file from your
computer; just the listing in the Firefox
downloads window.
*
Maximize Online Searches
There are several ways of improving your search
methods. The first is to conduct an advanced search,
which is usually an option that is near the keyword
search box. (Each engine is different.) But there’s
another, less obvious way to improve your search
results. Known as the “Invisible Web,” thousands of
searchable databases and Web pages excluded from
search engine indexes are available to anyone who
knows how to find them. Most people simply don’t
know that they even exist (hence the “invisible” tag), but
they’re not illegal to visit or otherwise considered
forbidden fruit. The databases on the Invisible Web
contain specialized content that’s too difficult or
expensive for major search engines to index, and the
other pages don’t appear at major search sites due to
format restrictions, automatic script blocking, and
other policy-based reasons. Ironically, you can use
just about any search site to find information that exists
in the Invisible Web, but you need to change your
keyword strategy. One way to do this is to add the word
“database” to regular searches. For example, instead
of performing a search on a particular health problem,
do a search using the keywords “health database” to
find extensive databases from government agencies
and other sources. You’ll occasionally encounter
databases that require registration or even a paid
subscription, but many sites allow free information
searching and retrieval.
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, Nov 2011, Page 14
The Tip Corner
By Bill Sheff, Novice SIG Coordinator, Lehigh Valley Computer Group, PA, April 2011 issue,
The LVCG Journal, www.lvcg.org, [email protected]
Copy and Paste a Web Page into E-mail it also can tell you what OS you’re running. In XP if it doesn’t
While copy and paste can get info from a web page into your specifically say Windows XP x64 Edition, then you’re running
email, it loses most formatting and colors, etc. So if you want a 32 bit operating system. Vista and Win7 users will see a
the formatting or artwork or video to be seen here is how to specific field that says “System Type”, which has your OS
link a web page: Click once in your browser’s address bar to type listed after it. Vista will actually tell you 32 bit or 64 bit.
Recently, Google has allowed users to sign in with multiple
highlight the Web address (this works in both Firefox and
Gmail
accounts. This is good since it can allow you to have
Internet Explorer), then press Ctrl-C to copy that address to
the Windows clipboard. Now create a new e-mail message one email address for personal use, and another which can
in whatever program or Web service you use, then press Ctrl- be used when you register for a website. This keeps your
V to paste the address into the body of the e-mail. In Internet personal account basically spam free. To enable multiple
Explorer 8, it is even easier. Click Page, then select Send Link account sign-in, log in at http://google.com/
accounts and under “profile” select “Multiple sign-in”.
by E-mail. In Firefox, select File, Send Link.
At
the moment, this feature is only available for desktop
If you want to send a hyperlinked text, but not the text
browsers
and not all Google Services currently support
just right click the link in IE and then choose Copy Shortcut.
multiple
account
sign-in.
In Firefox, you right-click the link and then choose Copy
Creating bookmarks in Firefox is easy, and can be
Link Location. (Same deal for Chrome, Opera, and Safari,
rearranged
just about any way you want them. We all have
though the “copy link” wording might be slightly different.)
a
lot
of
favorites
which means a lot of bookmark. In Firefox
Then head to your e-mail, word processor, or wherever
and press Ctrl-V to paste in the link. You get the URL and you can add a folder for each of your favorites and group
them all together.
not the hyperlinked text.
Open Firefox if you don’t have it open and click on
If your IE opens in a small window and you want it to
Bookmarks
then Organize bookmarks. Choose where you
open in a large window, here is what you do to make any
want to add the folder. If you want to see the folder when you
program start maximized:
• Right-click the program’s shortcut, and then click click Bookmarks in Firefox click once on Bookmark Menu.
Properties. If you’re a Windows 7 user and the Right-click and select New Folder. Name the folder and give
shortcut resides on your taskbar, there’s an extra it a description if you want, then click Add. The description is
step. After you right-click the Taskbar icon, look for only for you to see and is good to use when you have a lot of
the program name in the pop-up menu that appears, sites and can’t remember exactly what you liked about it.
The folder you created is now listed under Bookmarks. To
and then right-click that. Then you’ll see the
add
a new bookmark to your newly created folder right click
Properties option, which you can left- or right-click.
on
the
folder and choose New Bookmark. Put the name of the
• You’ll see the Properties window with the Shortcut
website
in the Name field. Type the web address in the
tab already selected. Click the pull-down menu next
Location
field. In the Keyword you could put “ws” for
to Run and choose Maximized.
example for Worldstart. In the address bar in Firefox you can
• Click OK, and you’re done!
just put “ws” (without the quotes) and press enter and it will
Just to clarify, the “program shortcut” is the icon you click take you to that site. Just a little shortcut if you want to save
(or double-click) to run the program in question. This icon a few keystrokes. Add a description of the bookmark if you
might be on your desktop, in the Start menu, or on the want and click Add. If you check the box, Load this bookmark
Windows taskbar.
in the sidebar that means if you click on View – Sidebar –
It’s good to know what kind of operating system (OS) you Bookmarks this folder will be listed.
have on your computer, that way you’ll be able to download the
Now to add bookmarks to the folder for sites you already
appropriate kinds of drivers and programs that work best with bookmarked. Click Bookmarks and Organize Bookmarks.
your configuration. So, here is a tip within a tip. Not only are you Click on the correct folder on the left holds your bookmarks.
going to find out which type of operating system you currently Simply drag and drop the bookmark into the new folder. To
have, but I will even show you a quick way to get there!
drag and drop, click once on the bookmark with the left mouse
For Windows XP users - Hold the Windows Key, and then button and hold it down. Drag it to the folder and then let the
press the Pause Key, which is located two keys to the right of button go. The new bookmark will be in the folder you created.
the Print Screen key. The system properties window springs If you want to add more than one bookmark at a time, you can
to life. This window shows all of the basic info about your hold down the CTRL key and click on each bookmark then
computer like how much RAM you have and what-not, but drag them to the new folder.
*
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 15
Let Office 2007 Help with Your
Holiday Greetings
By Nancy DeMarte, Columnist, Office Talk, Sarasota PCUG, Inc., FL, December issue,
Sarasota PC Monitor, www.spcug.org, [email protected]
The holidays are fast approaching. You’re thinking
about how to juggle all the special tasks that come with
them — the cards to send, the gifts to buy. Let MS
Office programs help you produce and send your holiday
greetings to friend and family.
CREATE A HOLIDAY LETTER
Let’s say you want to compose and send a Christmas or
Hanukah letter. Rather than buying those pricey holiday
papers at the local office store, make your own using
Word and the clip art gallery. All versions of Word have
a clip art gallery which includes a fair number of
drawings and photos on your computer
within Word, but has hundreds more
at Microsoft online.
First position your cursor in the
document where you want to locate
the clip art. Use the Insert - Header
and Footer commands to add these
elements if you want your art or border
to appear there. Double click inside a
header or footer to set the cursor there.
Use the search feature to look for borders,
photos or drawings on holiday topics. When you click
Insert - clip art, a search box opens on the right. If you
set the clip art search option to “All collections,” it will
look online as well as on the computer for your item. In
the Results box, choose only Clip Art and Photos for this
project. Type your search term or phrase and click
“Go.” Thumbnails of all the related clip art will appear
in the Clip Art dialog box. Click the thumbnail of your
choice, and it will appear in your document.
IMPORTANT TIP
After inserting a graphic or photo to a document, set it up to work
smoothly within your document by right clicking the graphic,
then clicking Format Picture - Layout - Tight. (Sometimes your
choice is Text-wrapping - Tight). This allows you to move and
resize the object easily around the text.
With your letter design set, type the holiday letter in the
body section of the document. If you want, add your own
photos from your Pictures folder (Insert - Picture) using
the same process described above.
MERGE ADDRESSES TO
ENVELOPES
Once you have completed your letter, it’s time to let Excel
help with mailing it. Let’s say you want to send this letter
to many people. You can create a simple Excel spreadsheet
of names and mailing addresses and use it to address all the
envelopes in one operation using Mail Merge. Before you
give up because this step sounds too advanced, continue
reading to find out how it’s done.
Open Excel and set up the categories which will make
a merge possible. Type categories in row 1, each word or
phrase in a different cell; for example, Name, Address,
City/State/Zip. (Separating first name from last name
helps you to sort the list, if that’s important to you, but it’s
much easier to merge the data if you combine first and last
names in one Name column, such as James Jones.) Select
this header row and make it bold to
distinguish it from the data which will
follow. You may want to widen the
columns manually so you can see what
you’re typing as you enter address
information. To do this, click the line
between columns A and B in the header
row above row 1. Drag the column line
to the right to widen column A or left to
narrow it. Repeat for the other columns. Then type
your data carefully and accurately; this list should have
to be typed only once. Save this list as “Holiday address
list” and close Excel. This list will be the data that will be
merged into envelopes and can be used for other purposes.
Now open Word and create a blank page. Click the
Mailings tab and, in the Start Mail Merge group, click
“Start Mail Merge” and select “Step by Step Mail Merge
Wizard.” A wizard opens on the right with questions and
answers to guide you through the merge process. (This
Mail Merge wizard also exists in Word 2003.) The first
step is Select document type. Choose Envelopes as the
type of document, and click Next at the bottom of the pane
for the next step: Starting document. Leave “Change
document layout” checked and choose Envelope Options.
The standard legal size #10 works well for a holiday letter.
Change the font and font size of the delivery and return
addresses, if you wish, and click OK. A preview of an
envelope appears.
Click the next step: Select recipients. Since you have
saved your list of recipients, make sure “Use an existing list”
is checked, then click Browse. Locate the Holiday address
list and open it. If a dialog box opens showing more than one
sheet, click the highlighted one. Your list opens, showing the
address list with all recipients checked, plus some options
which you can ignore. Scroll through and remove checkmarks
next to any recipient for which you don’t want an envelope.
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 16
When ready, click OK and move to the next step: Arrange
your envelope. Here you will determine the layout for all
envelopes by arranging the first one.
First click in the return address area (top left) and type
your own address which will appear on all envelopes. Then
click in the mailing address area of the envelope (lower
center), which will be outlined. Click Address Block if your
list includes the large categories of Name, Address, and
City/State/Zip. Choose a format for the name, leave the
other options checked, and click OK.
Then move to the next step: Preview your envelopes.
Your first recipient and his address will show there. If
it looks complete, click the last step: Complete the
merge. Nothing changes in the envelope preview, but
the rest of your recipients have been formatted like this
one. To make sure all the addresses fit well on their
envelopes, click “Edit individual envelopes.” The “Merge
to new document” box opens. Be sure “All” is selected
and click OK. This step gives you a new document
which includes all recipients’ envelopes. After reviewing
this document and correcting any problems, save it as
“Holiday envelopes.” Before printing the group of
envelopes, check your printer’s manual for how
envelopes should be loaded. You’re ready to print.
Not only is this project less expensive than buying
holiday cards or special paper, it also gives you the
satisfaction of focusing on your creativity and letting your
computer do the work for you. Happy Holidays.

President’s Message
By Jim Gray, NVPCUG President,
http://www.nvpcug.org, [email protected]
Nov 2011
I can’t believe it has been a year since I was elected NVPCUG President. Even more
unbelievable is that I was re-elected to the position for another year. I want to thank those
who have confidence that I can do the job with not too many goof ups.
The NVMUG Board of Directors is disbanding at the end of this year and asked if they
could merge with us. After some spirited discussion at our board meeting on November 5
it was agreed that NVMUG would become a Special Interest Group(SIG) of NVPCUG and
pay dues to the group.
Don’t forget the Christmas Party on December 14. I look forward to seeing you all then.
There will be no meeting at the Senior Center on the third Wednesday in December.
*
See you all December 14 at the Chrisymas Tree Farm!
Jim
Obituary
R
alph Steve Schillinger, better known as Steve Schiller, was a past NVPCUG
president and newsletter editor and has recently died due to liver cancer.
Ralph was born on February 22, 1947 and passed away on Saturday,
October 1, 2011. His full name was Ralph Steven Schillinger, but he normally signed
correspondence as “R”.
Steve joined our group in 1991 and was an active (dues-paying) member until 2002.
He served as an officer for several terms: Secretary, 1993 and 1994; Vice President,
1995, President, 1996; Webmaster, 1997 and 1998; Newsletter Editor, 1997 and
1998; Programs Director, 1998; and Software Evaluation Coordinator, 1998.
Steven Schillinger is survived by his wife Elaine, who was also a NVPCUG member.
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 17
Things, Thinglets and Thingassos Novice Corner
By S. Jack Lewtschuk, Past President & Columnist, Monterey Bay User
Group-PC, CA, June 2011 issue, mbug-pc newsletter, www.mbug.org,
[email protected]
Spam
Symantec’s MessageLabs Intelligence: 2010 Annual
Security Report shows that the global spam rate increased
1.4% compared to 2009. Botnets* were responsible for
sending significantly more spam this year, accounting for
88.2% of all spam, and they did so mostly from Asia and
South America early in the year and predominately from
Europe later in the year. About the same number of botnets
(5 million) sent spam this year [2010] as in 2009 although
the average amount of spam per botnet per minute dropped
from 85 to 77. The Rustock botnet was responsible for
47.5% of all spam.
*Botnet (Robot Network)
Also called a “zombie army,” a botnet is a large number of
compromised computers that are used to create and send
spam or viruses or flood a network with messages as a
denial of service attack. The computer is compromised via
a Trojan that often works by opening an Internet Relay
Chat (IRC) channel that waits for commands from the
person in control of the botnet. There is a thriving botnet
business selling lists of compromised computers to hackers
and spammers.
Make sure you do your part to try to reduce the amount
of spam you receive or send (knowingly or not). Some
well-known spam filters are listed below:
• http://www.spamato.net/
• http://getpopfile.org/docs/
doku.php
• http://www.mailwasher.net/
ISPs (Internet Service Providers) usually use filters that
reduce the amount of spam received.
In 2010/2011, I have received spam from MBUG
members that was sent because their computers were
infected (botnet), and in one instance, spam was sent
knowingly.
What is Core?
The “core” is the part of the processor that does all the
work.
Multi-core processors have been around for quite a
while now. You can find dual-, tri-, quad-, hex- and
octocore processors. Some server processors even have
12 or 16 cores.
Each additional “core” is just like having another
processor in your computer in the space occupied by the
one core. Your CPU (central
processing unit) with multiple
cores allows multiple pieces of
information to be processed
simultaneously. This makes
processing much faster, same
as several people doing one job, compared to you doing the
same job alone.
At first, most software was designed to work with a
single-core processor, so the second core was of little
help. Modern operating systems and programs are
designed for multiple cores. Especially those of you who
do photo and video editing will appreciate the additional
cores. Gamers will really like the speed due to the much
better animation renderings; artificial intelligence can be
assigned to a core and sound effects to another core.
Multitasking is also generally improved by having multiple
cores. Software still isn’t as good at parallel processing
as it could be. Past a certain point, more cores don’t make
a difference for most tasks.
Multiple core processors increase in cost with the
number of cores. A quad-core CPU is the top processor
recommended for the average user.
Unwanted Telephone Calls Bothering
You?
I guess that I am lucky; I do not get
telephone calls from sales people
because I registered my phone numbers
with “DO NOT CALL.”
Actually, there are times when I miss
these calls. Back in “the old days” I
used to engage the callers in a
conversation, trying to persuade them
to buy something else, change bad habits,
join MBUG, etc.
The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice
about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. You
can register your home or mobile phone for free.
Telemarketers should not call your number once it has
been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a
complaint at this website: https://www.donotcall.gov/
confirm/conf.aspx.
If you think that you have already registered your phones
a few years ago, you can check that with the registry also.
If you would like to know more about the registry, go to:
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 18
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/
consumer/alerts/alt107.shtm.
Good Old Snail-Mail Junk
Long before digital spam, our friendly mail carrier was
filling our mailboxes with “snail-spam” and never stopped.
Getting too many catalogs and commercial solicitations
from companies you have never done business with? How
about “preapproved credit card applications?”
The Direct Marketing Association (http://bit.ly/
kTMROB) operates a free online service that is the official
mail preference service for catalog and direct marketing
companies and is supported by the U.S. Postal Service.
Your registration won’t stop mailings or calls from
organizations not registered with the service, but it should
help you to get the mail you want and less of the mail you
don’t want. Sometimes mailings are prepared several
months ahead, so it could take up to 90 days for your
registrations to become fully effective.
Position for Your Monitor
Position the top of your monitor at or slightly below seated
eye height. Lower it a little more if you:
• Work with hard copy.
• View through bifocals or progressive lenses.
• Look at the keyboard when typing.
A Little Trivia
The world has 295 exabytes worth of information. Scientists
have measured the amount of information stored in the
world. The grand total comes to 295 exabytes. That
amount would fill up about one billion 250-gigabyte hard
drives.
An “EXABYTE” = 1 million terabytes = 1 billion gigabytes.
You better start reading!
*
Who Really Owns Your Photos in Social
Media?
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announced June 1 that the
company was partnering (http://allthingsd.
com/20110601/twitter-ceo-dick-costolol i v e - a t - d 9 ) with Photobucket ( h t t p : / /
photobucket.com/twitter) to make it easy to
share photos at Twitter.com (h t t p : / / b l o g .
twitter.com/2011/06/searchphotos.html).
With a “Twitter native photo-sharing experience,” he said,
“users will own their own rights to their photos.” The
implication? That this might not be the case with thirdparty services.
Therein lies the real battle over photo-sharing sites: Who
owns what?
Twitter’s Sean Garrett (@sg) echoed Costolo’s message
in a tweet (http://twitter.com/#%21/SG/
status/76072211756232705): “What’s yours is
yours - you own your content on Twitter. Your photos will
be part of that content.”
Costolo and Garrett were alluding to a virtual dust-up last
month (http://www.thinq.co.uk/2011/5/11/
twitpic-signs-deal-sell-users-photos/)
in which World Entertainment News Network (WENN)
announced that it had partnered (http://www.
nytimes.com/2011/05/23/technology/
23terms.html) with Twitpic to “sell images posted”
on the site and “to pursue legal action against those who
use such images commercially without its permission.”
Although WENN said it was interested only in photos
posted to celebrity accounts, the outcry caused Twitpic to
by Kathy E. Gill, June 6, 2011
back-pedal and revise its terms of service (http://
twitter.com/#%21/TwitPic/status/
68031514629251072) the next day.
Incidents like this have prompted Seattle attorney Katherine
Hendricks to advise photographers to “think carefully
about the risk of losing control” over their photographs.
There’s serious, painstakingly Photoshopped
professional photography and then there’s the cellphone
photo of an airplane in the Hudson River ((http://
twitpic.com/135xa). Copyright is an exclusive
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 19
Photos cont. on page 20
Photos cont. from page 19
right that applies to both types of photos, but according to Kraig
Baker (http://www.hllaw.com/professionals
KHendicks.php), a license is also a form of ownership.
And almost every photo-sharing site claims a non-exclusive
license to all content posted there. Baker, a lawyer and
adjunct professor at the University of Washington, said
those licenses “have subtle differences” that can have
significant material impact on the copyright holder. One such
difference is non-commercial versus commercial exploitation,
the kind WENN claimed.
WHAT TRIPPED UP TWITPIC?
Twitpic got into trouble when it moved from simple TOS to
a more complicated one (http://j.mp/photosharing-tos).
You retain all ownership rights to Content uploaded to
Twitpic. However, by submitting Content to Twitpic, you
hereby grant Twitpic a worldwide, non-exclusive, royaltyfree, sublicenseable and transferable license to use,
reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display,
and perform the Content in connection with the Service
and Twitpic’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business,
including without limitation for promoting and redistributing
part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in
any media formats and through any media channels.
How does that compare with Twitter’s TOS (http:/
/j.mp/photo-sharing-tos)? (Highlighted phrases
are the same or equivalent).
You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or
display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting
or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant
us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with
the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process,
adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such
Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now
known or later developed).
You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter
to make such Content available to other companies,
organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for
the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of
such Content on other media and services, subject to our
terms and conditions for such Content use.
Such additional uses by Twitter, or other companies,
organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter, may
be made with no compensation paid to you with respect to
the Content that you submit, post, transmit or otherwise
make available through the Services.
If the language makes your eyes cross, you aren’t
alone. Baker agrees that the agreements are hard to
understand. There are three main areas to check. First,
Twitpic claims transferability; Twitter does not. Thus
Twitpic reserves the right to transfer its ownership
(license) rights to another entity. Second, both extend
their rights to their partners. Third, Twitter acknowledges
that this license is free; that is, don’t expect compensation
if your content is used elsewhere.
ADVICE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
Baker advises photographers to think about these things
when reviewing a license:
• the reach (Twitpic and Twitter are both global
licenses, worldwide, non-exclusive, sublicensable),
• the scope (both Twitpic and Twitter claim broad
rights to modify and display photos) and
• any restrictions, such as a prohibition on commercial
use (neither explicitly prohibits commercial use and
Twitter tacitly acknowledges commercial use is
possible in its statement about compensation).
In a blog post last month (h t t p : / / b l o g .
twitpic.com/2011/05/your-content-yourcopyrights/), Twtipic’s founder said that the intent of
the TOS change was to protect Twitpic photographers:
As we’ve grown, Twitpic has been a tool for the spread
of breaking news and events. Since then we’ve seen this
content being taken without permission and misused.
We’ve partnered with organizations to help us combat this
and to distribute newsworthy content in the appropriate
manner. This has been done to protect your content from
organizations who have in the past taken content without
permission.
Indeed, in mid-May Mashable reported (http://
mashable.com/2011/05/17/space-shuttletwitpic/)that photos that Stephanie Gordon (http:/
/twitpic.com/4yg6hs) took of the space shuttle
Endeavour — and that she uploaded to Twitter via Twitpic
— had been appropriated by ABC and CBS without credit
(or compensation). But the Associated Press paid her
$500 for each photo. Gordon wasn’t the first to have a
tweeted photo make its way into mainstream media
channels without compensation.
Twitter details “display guidelines” (h t t p : / /
support.twitter.com/entries/114233) in its
Help Center:
We welcome and encourage the use of Twitter in
broadcast. The requirements below are in place to ensure
that Twitter users receive attribution for their content, and
to help provide the best experience for those watching
your broadcast.
But if credit for your work is important to you, take
another look at Flickr, which is about seven times larger (in
unique visitors) than Twitpic.
ALL LICENSE AGREEMENTS ARE
NOT CREATED EQUAL
Flickr, launched in 2004, has the most constrained terms of
the major photo-sharing sites. It also has the most unique
visitors of the photo-sharing sites reviewed.
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 20
Another player with a scale similar to Twitpic, yFrog
With respect to photos, graphics, audio or video you submit
or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas (ImageShack) quietly changed its TOS after the Twitpic
of the Yahoo Services other than Yahoo Groups, the license controversy. In a non-dated agreement, the yFrog TOS
to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform gives a nod to Yahoo 9 (http://j.mp/photoand publicly display such Content on the Yahoo Services sharing-tos).
solely for the purpose for which such Content was
The content that you distribute through the ImageShack
submitted or made available. (emphasis added)
Network is owned by you, and you give ImageShack
Unlike Twitter or Twitpic, Yahoo limits its license claim permission to display and distribute said content exclusively
to the Yahoo site and further limits the license to the original on the ImageShack Network.
use. In other words, if someone uploads a photo to Flickr,
ImageShack will not sell or distribute your content to
Yahoo is not saying that the license gives it the right to put third parties or affiliates without your permission.
the photo on its news site. Because Yahoo has an API that
However, Yahoo has another ace up its sleeve: the
allows third-party sites to display Flickr photos, this relatively ability for photographers to customize their rights using
limited license does not prohibit out-of-site sharing.
Creative Commons licenses. None of the newer, mobile/
Moreover, in a document outlining the process for Twitter affiliated photo-sharing sites offer this option.
permissions requests (h t t p : / / p r e s s r o o m . But in response to the Twitpic controversy, Amsterdamy a h o o . n e t / p r / y c o r p / p e r m i s s i o n s . based MobyPicture told its customer base that a Creative
licensing
scheme
(h t t p : / /
aspx#photos), Yahoo makes it clear that its license is Commons
m
a
t
h
y
s
.
v
a
n
a
b
b
e
. c o m /
not as broad as the Twitter or Twitpic license:
Photos and/or images found on Yahoo Images or Flickr your-content-is-yours/) is in the works.
are the property of the users that posted them. Yahoo There’s a downside to using Moby, however. Currently
cannot grant permission to use third party content. Please Twitter does not offer image preview for Moby photos
on Twitter.com like it does for Flickr, Twitpic and yFrog.
contact the user directly.
Most of Twitter’s traffic comes from third-party
Contrast this license with Photobucket, owned in part by
applications
(h t t p : / / a l l t h i n g s d . c o m /
News Corp (http://photobucket.com/about).
20110601/twitter-ceo-dick-costoloand similar in both age and audience reach to Flickr. The
Photobucket terms of service are among the least favorable live-at-d9/?mod=tweet), not its website.
(http://j.mp/photo-sharing-tos) of any of Therefore, at least in the short term, Twitter’s partnership
the photo-sharing sites. Photobucket grants other site with Photobucket will affect only a fraction of its customer
users the same non-exclusive rights as it claims for itself. base. In the meantime, read the fine print and check your
Moreover, the Photobucket TOS legitimizes using someone photo-sharing site TOS often. Many have no dates, and it’s
common for them to change without notice.
else’s photo (differences highlighted):
Then think about what the word “ownership” means to
Photobucket does not claim any ownership rights in the
you.
In an age of user-generated content, the tensions
text, files, images, photos ... By displaying or publishing
(“posting”) any Content on or through the Photobucket that underpin the Twitpic controversy will not go quietly
Services, you hereby grant to Photobucket and other into the night.
Go to https://spreadsheets.google.com/
users a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free,
spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=
worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add
to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate 0 A n X S z f U p z 7 n X d G J G N j V m N l p i M k J H
such Content, including without limitation distributing part cTRUT2pvV1hMamc&output=html for a detailed
or all of the Site in any media formats through any media comparison of the terms of service for 16 photo sharing
channels, except Content marked “private” will not be sites and see additional statistics below.
distributed outside the Photobucket Services. Photobucket Kathy Gill has been online since the early 1990s, having
and/or other Users may copy, print or display publicly discovered CompuServe before Marc Andreessen launched
available Content outside of the Photobucket Mosaic at the University of Illinois in 1993. In 1995, she
Services, including without limitation, via the Site or built and ran one of the first political candidate websites
third party websites or applications (for example, in Washington state. Gill then rode the dot-com boom as a
communication consultant who could speak web, until the
services allowing Users to order prints of Content or crash. In 2001, she began her fourth career as a full-time
t-shirts and similar items containing Content). After academic, first teaching techies about communications and
you remove your Content from the Photobucket Website now teaching communicators about technology. At the
we will cease distribution as soon as practicable, and at University of Washington, she teaches undergraduate
such time when distribution ceases, the license to such digital journalism as well as classes in the Master of
Communication in Digital Media program. For almost five
Content will terminate.
years, she covered politics for About.com; for three years,
Both Twitter and Photobucket representatives say that she covered agriculture.
any Twitter photos hosted there will be subject to Twitter’s
TOS, not Photobucket’s.
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 21
*
What a nasty virus can do to your
computer
By Merle Nicholson, Secretary, Tampa PCUG, Florida, November 2010 issue, Bits of Blue,
www.tpcug.org, [email protected]
I recently was asked to remove a virus from a friend/
client’s notebook. For all intents and purposes, it rendered
the computer completely in-operative. The virus was in a
virus category of “Rogue antivirus software.” There are
many of them out there for the unwary to catch, and this
one, called “ThinkPoint,” even has the Windows flag on it
to further fool you into thinking it is legitimate. The only
option you can see is “Safe Startup,” and that takes you to
a virus scanner and a way to purchase the product. If you
close it out, it shows you a blank desktop, no icons, no
menus. You can turn the machine off, that’s about it. Turn
it back on, same situation. I did figure out a way to kill it
through the Task Manager’s Run command, and then run
the desktop. I also found some things written up on the
Internet to do something similar, but no help in removing it.
I did remove it using some very clever, obscure skills,
several virus scanners, then finding and removing twenty
or so copies of it. But the computer really didn’t work well
enough to use. What I found surprised me, and this is what
the article is about and what you can do.
Here’s a list of what I found. Some things are by
deduction and may not be 100% accurate. But I am 100%
certain that these problems existed. All of the things fit into
a strategy that prevents you from fixing the computer.
1. The worst thing: The computer will not boot into safe
mode. It blue screens every time. I’m speculating that
ThinkPoint either corrupted an existing driver or put
a new one in that loads and then fails. The way to fix
this is to do a system repair or a complete reformat
and installation. I did not want to impose that cost on
my customer, and she agreed (it’s not a primary
computer, and it’s rather old). So I left it that way.
2. All the system restore points were unusable. Refused
to restore to any point.
3. To run most anything, an official-looking popup
would ask to confirm the logon user and give a box
for an alternative user account that did not work.
This is to make sure that everything you try is run
under the current user account which has been
modified to prevent circumventing the virus. What
you want to run is Explorer.exe giving you your
desktop, and every effort is made to prevent you
from doing this.
4. Most – perhaps all – items in Control panel will not
run. It gave a warning that the administrator account
has restricted its use. I did manage to get into the
power configuration, but it would not accept any
change. The computer would go into sleep mode
after about 20 minutes, keeping me from running a
full system scan from any antivirus software unless
I sat there and wiggled the mouse occasionally for
four hours.
5. The Internet articles say that even if you purchase
the software to fix a bogus virus, ThinkPoint stays on
the computer. The uninstall just errors out.
6. The Internet articles say that it installs other viruses,
and I did find a half dozen other viruses, mostly
downloaders.
7. It leaves about 20 copies of itself under various
random names, and places items in the registry to
run each of them. So removing the active virus is just
the beginning. I also found a couple of viruses in the
System Restore files.
8. It apparently makes changes to the current user
account profile that look like group policy changes,
even though this was Windows XP Home, which
doesn’t have group policy capability.
9. Only after all the bad software is cleared from the
machine can you then get rid of the modified account
by creating a new administrative account, copying
all of the user files from the old to the new – except
for the profile files, then deleting the old account
after locating the email files.
Isn’t this scary? It is to me, and I (95%) fixed this one with
a lot of work. The idea of having to fix my own machine
after something like this gives me nightmares.
What you can do to prevent this: A sizable number of
virus infections now are rogue anti-virus’. There’s an
understandable reason for this. It creates revenue. Oldfashioned viruses are malicious, but have no revenueproducing strategy. In other words, it’s now about money.
Most all viruses are sent to you via web pages, and most
of those are porn sites, either designed that way or hacked
from outside. Porn sites are visited so often, they are a very
good candidate for this kind of thing. Also, presumably the
porn site owners don’t have the skill to remove sophisticated
hacks. But most any web site is vulnerable. In any case,
you must select something on the site – click on it – to give
the browser a chance to violate security rules.
The next common way to get a virus is with downloads.
And that means just about any download or file transfer. So
you have to get any and all files from reputable sites like
iTunes or Downloads.com, Amazon etc., which have the
resources to check their own content.
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 22
But that leaves any and all file-sharing sites absolutely
and definitely off the list. So if you’re downloading songs
for free, you’re in trouble. Any file-sharing site’s software
must be uninstalled from your computer.
And that also goes for any peer-to-peer gaming sites,
LimeWire, Kazaa, and any and all IM programs that allow
peer-to-peer file exchanges.
And while we’re at it, remove – uninstall – anything that
says “Toolbar.” Right now. Want to know why toolbars are
free? Because they’re a conduit for pushing advertising to
you; and they’re easily exploited. Besides you don’t need
them. They want you to believe you do, of course! But the
browser itself and a couple of favorites will do anything a
toolbar will do.
An alternative is giving up gaming and IM and to start
purchasing songs. So if you have kids who will just die
without peer-to-peer gaming or IM and stealing songs, the
answer is to live with it with some intelligent prevention.
First, if at all possible, put the kids (and maybe
grandpa) on a Windows 7 machine. If you have some
internal networking and file sharing, Windows 7 Pro is
better because it will back up to a network drive. But so
will Acronis Home, or 2010 or 2011, running under
Win 7 Home Premium.
Make sure you have a full system backup, and replace
it monthly. Use Windows 7 Backup or Acronis. Believe
me, restoring the entire system hard drive is way, way
better than any alternative that I can think of. Look at what
I had to do with ThinkPoint. Want to try it?
I guess it’s obvious, but a strong anti-virus program
running on your machine is essential. BUT – this is
important – make sure you look at the scheduling part of
it and make sure it will automatically download new
definitions and also run a full system scan at a time of day
that the machine will most likely be turned on. Same for
Windows Updates. Make certain that all important updates
are installed as soon as they are available.
Password protect your main administrative account (this
is the one that comes first with the computer) and bury the
password paper in the back yard and leave the location
with your attorney. Better yet, Win 7 allows you to create
a flash drive that will unlock the computer. Hide it under
some rubber fake dog poop someplace.
THEN: Create a non-administrative account for yourself
– a regular non-privileged account, and a separate one –
or one for each kid. A regular account cannot install
software. But most importantly, SOFTWARE that is run
under this account can’t install software. Ah HA!
Then one more step. Set the screensavers to require a
sign-in on wake-up, and ALWAYS log off when you leave
the computer. That’s especially essential when leaving the
administrative account.
Skills: There are a few things that would be very helpful
to learn. The big one is navigating the computer file system
using Windows Explorer. Find out how your files are
organized, and more importantly, how to change what files
you can view. That’s in Windows Explorer, Tools, Folder
Options, View tab. Second Important Skill – learn to use the
Add, Remove Programs. That’s “Programs and Features”
in Vista and Win 7. When you find an installed program that
you are not using (say, anything with the word Apple or
toolbar), just uninstall it, and see how it goes.
*
Term From Smart Computing: vertex
In computing, 3-D graphics are created by
combining numerous triangles to form a desired
shape. The term “vertex” typically refers to the
individual points or corners of these triangles—
the points where two sides of a triangle meet.
These vertices are, in fact, the very “virtual matter”
that creates a 3-D object.
When a graphics card processes an object, the card
receives information on all of the vertices used to
build it. Each vertex carries information about the 3D coordinates x, y, z, and w (weight). Color information
is often specified in the form of a diffuse as well as a
specular color, and then coded in the RGBA (red,
blue, green, and alpha) format. One or more
coordinates representing the texture and position for
the vertex are also supplied, along with fog effect and
point size information, and the vector that points
orthogonal off the vertex’s surface. Although the
vertex is the smallest unit in a 3-D image, it carries a
tremendous amount of information.
Certain graphics processing units offer what is
called the vertex shader as a graphics processing
function that is capable of adding special effects to
objects within a 3-D scene. It accomplishes this by
performing mathematical calculations on the
objects’ vertex data. As mentioned above, vertices
carry data about color, coordinates, textures,
lighting, and more. Vertex shaders do not actually
change the type of data related to a vertex; they
simply change the values so that a vertex appears
on-screen with a different color, texture, or position.
This process enables realistic movements, motion
blur, blending, morphing, and so forth.
Vertex skinning (sometimes called vertex
blending) is a technique used in 3-D graphics. It
lets programmers blend the edges of computergenerated shapes at their vertices. Vertex skinning
takes care of the miniscule gaps often found between
the joints of a 3-D character. The triangles and
vertices that make up these parts of an image can
be blended where they intersect with each other.
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, Nov 2011, Page 23
Offering Financial Services throughout the
Napa Valley; with offices in American
Canyon, Calistoga,
Napa, St. Helena
and Yountville
947 Lincoln Avenue
Napa, CA 94559-5066
800-869-3557 www.wellsfargo.com
(707) 299-1000
www.napanet.net • [email protected]
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
Membership Application/Renewal *
 New
 Renewal
 Information Update
Please Print
Full Name: _____________________________
Nickname: _____________________________________________
Street/PO Box: ___________________________________________________________________________________
City: _______________________________ State: ____________ ZIP Code: ________________ - _______________
Phone (check preferred):
 Home: ____________ ( ____________ ) __________________________________
 Work: _____________ ( ____________ ) __________________________________
E-mail (check preferred):

Home: ________________________________________

 Work: _________________________________________
Ocupation/Profession ______________________________________________________ Retired? _____________
Do you want to be added to the following NVPCUG e-mail lists?
 Yes  No
News and announcements:
General discussion of computer-related topics:  Yes  No
If you do not want your preferred phone number and/or e-mail address published in the NVPCUG Directory,
which is for the exclusive use of NVPCUG members, check the appropriate box(es):

Do not list phone number

Do not list e-mail address
Family members whom you want to sponsor as Associate Members:
(Associate Members have the same membership rights as their sponsors,
except for receiving newsletters)
Full Name
E-mail Address
______________________________________________
_____________________________________________
______________________________________________
_____________________________________________
Annual Dues:
 $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]
NVPCUG Computer News, Nov 2011, Page 24
Revised 2-14-2010
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