COMPUTER NEWS Inside This Issue

COMPUTER NEWS Inside This Issue
Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group
http://www.
nvpcug.org
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558
COMPUTER
NEWS
Volume 27, No. 4
April 2010
Inside This Issue
2
2
3
4
5
6
8
10
12
14
15
16
18
19
20
NVPCUG Special Interest Groups
NVPCUG Calendar
Officers List
Interesting Sites
Caution! - Warning
About Counterfeit & Pirated
Software
“Disk Failure” Scare
Circuit WriterVersion 7.3
Glary Utilities
This and That or Things that May
Interest You
Short Tutorial - Changing The
Sound Of Email Notification
Caution! - Warning About
Counterfeit And Pirated Software
Microsoft Windows Vista
Unleashed, 2nd Edition
Install Those Updates
Controlling System Restore
Membership
Application/Renewal
The Napa Valley Personal
Computer Users Group will meet
Wednesday, April 21st,
7:00-9:00 P.M.
At the Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa, California
Nick Cavannah from “Think! Ink” will be the giving
the main presentation
After meeting information by the President we
will have our 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]
The Computer Tutor session will follow. During this
months session Coordinator Jeff Solomon will be
discussing Window 7 and what makes it different
from Windows XP and Windows Vista. He will also
answer any questions about Windows 7. If you have
a suggestion on which feature he should discuss,
please
contact
Jeff
Solomon
at
[email protected]
Our presenter will be Nick Cavanaugh from Think!
Ink and Toner. They will be celebrating their third
anniversary on Earth Day, April 22nd!
Think! Ink and Toner operates on a simple principle: we provide brand
name aftermarket cartridges for your inkjet printer, laser printer, copy
machine and fax machine that consistently provide the OEM quality
and performance you expect, at significant savings over the price of a
new OEM cartridge. Purchasing Think! cartridges makes good financial
sense, and is also an environmentally friendly decision!
Ink on the Spot is a program for local businesses. It provides free
product delivery and a comprehensive stock maintenance program that
insures your business will never run out of ink & toner again.
Ink on the Spot is free to qualifying business, so give us a call and let
us fill you in on all the details!
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010
NVPCUG
Keep It Neat
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.
Meeting times and locations
occasionally change, so for current
meeting information, see our Web
site, www.nvpcug.org, or contact
the SIG leaders.
Inv e stors SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Monday
5:30 to 7:30 p.m
Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
Leader: Jerry Brown
(707) 254-9607
bqandjbb
@sbcglobal.net
Digital Photography SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Wednesday
7:00 to 8:30 p.m
Piner’s Nursing Home,
Conference Room
1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Leader: Susy Ball
(707) 337-3998
[email protected]
Napa Valley Mac User Group
Meets: Monthly, second Thursday
6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Napa Senior Activity Center
1500 Jefferson St., Napa
Leader: Ron Rogers
(707) 226-5352
ronrogersnapamug
@gmail.com
While your home-theater might be the perfect spot for a movie night in,
it may not always be up to your neatness standards, thanks to all of the
cords and remotes you need to use it. Invest in a cord organizer to keep
cords concealed, and to keep track of which is which, use colored tape
to keep them straight. By attaching a thin strip around the cord and on
the power strip, you’ll always know which is which should you need to
unplug something. And invest in a universal remote that controls all of
your home-theater components, so you only have one to look for the
next time you want to watch your favorite TV show.
Resize Vista’s Recycle Bin
The Recycle Bin consumes a lot of hard drive space by default. You can
control this by right-clicking Recycle Bin on your Desktop and clicking
Properties. Select the drive you want to adjust, select the Custom Size
radio button, type in the number of megabytes you want to reserve for
the Recycle Bin in the appropriate field, and click Apply. Bear in mind
that 1,024MB equals 1GB.
Keep It Steady
A shaky video can make your home videos difficult to watch. Many
camcorders have image stabilization technology built in, but this still won’t be
a total cure for wobbly video. Consider purchasing a tripod for your camcorder
or set it on something solid (such as a table or counter) to avoid movement.
Many pocket-sized camcorders and smartphones aren’t compatible
with a tripod, but there are some tricks you can use to steady your hands
and your device. One trick is to push your elbows tightly to your sides
and hold your camera at chest level to create a tripod with your body.
You can also stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width
apart to create a solid, steady base.
Your video is more likely to show slight movement when you use the
optical zoom to get a closer shot of your subjects. Rather than using
the zoom to get a close-up shot, move yourself and the camera closer
to the subject, if possible.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
www.SmartComputing.com/Groups to learn what Smart Computing can
do for you and your user group!
NVPCUG General Meetings
Held the third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
NVPCUG Calendar
Apr 21
May 5
May 10
May 12
May 13
May 19
Jun 2
Jun 9
Jun 10
Jun 14
Jun 16
7:00-9:00
7:00-9:00
5:30-7:30
7:00-8:30
6:30-8:30
7:00-9:00
7:00-9:00
7:00-8:30
6:30-8:30
5:30-7:30
7:00-9:00
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
p.m.
NVPCUG General Meeting + A
Board of Directors meeting + B
Investors SIG meeting + C
Digital Photography SIG meeting + B
Napa Valley Mac User Group + A
NVPCUG General Meeting + A
Board of Directors meeting + B
Digital Photography SIG meeting + B
Napa Valley Mac User Group + A
Investors SIG meeting + C
NVPCUG General Meeting + A
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 2
M e e ting Lo c a tions
A - Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
B - Piner’s Nursing Home,
1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
C - Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
D - Peterson’s Family Christmas
Tree Farm, 1120 Darms
Lane, Napa.
Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group Contact Information
Officers for 2010
Board of Directors
President
Vice President
Secretary
Treasurer
Other Directors:
Director
Ron Dack
unlisted
[email protected]
Dick Peterson
738-1812
[email protected]
Marcia Waddell 252-2060
[email protected]
Roy Wagner
253-2721
[email protected]
Susy Ball, Ron Dack, Jim Gray, Dick Peterson, Bob Simmerman,
Kathy Slavens, Dean Unruh, Marcia Waddell, and Roy Wagner.
Jim Gray
unlisted
[email protected]
Appointed Officers
Computer Tutor Coordinator
Jeff Solomon
553-2114
[email protected]
Facility Arrangements Coordinator
Dianne Prior
252-1506
[email protected]
Greeter Coordinator
Kathy Slavens
251-9193
[email protected]
Greeter Coordinator
Bob Simmerman 259-6113
[email protected]
Librarian
226-9164
[email protected]
Membership Director
Bob Simmerman 259-6113
[email protected]
Dean Unruh
Newsletter Circulator
Jim Hearn
224-2540
[email protected]
Newsletter Editor
Susy Ball
337-3998
[email protected]
Product Review CoCoordinator
Susy Ball
337-3998
[email protected]
Product Review CoCoordinator
Marcia Waddell
252-2060
[email protected]
Programs Director
Susy Ball
337-3998
[email protected]
Publicity Director
Ron Dack
unlisted
[email protected]
Random Access Moderator
Jerry Brown
254-9607
[email protected]
Special Projects Director
VOLUNTEER NEEDED
[email protected]
Webmaster
Ron Dack
unlisted
[email protected]
• All telephone numbers are in Area Code 707.
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 3
NVPCUG
Computer News
Computer News (ISS
0897-5744) is published
monthly by the Napa
Valley Personal
Computer Users Group,
Inc. (NVPCUG), P.O.
Box 2866, Napa, CA
94558-0286.
Subscriptions: $30 for
one year (12 issues).
Editor: Susy Ball,
[email protected] The
material in Computer
News is intended for
noncommercial
purposes and may not
be reproduced without
prior written permission,
except that permission
for reproducing articles,
with authors properly
credited, is granted to
other computer user
groups for their internal,
nonprofit use only. The
information in this
newsletter is believed to
be correct. However, the
NVPCUG can assume
neither responsibility for
errors or omissions nor
liability for any damages
resulting from the use or
misuse of any
information.
The NVPCUG is an IRC
501(c)(3) tax-exempt
nonprofit educational
organization (EIN 680069663) and is a
member of the
Association of Personal
Computer User Groups
(APCUG), an
international
organization. Donations
to the NVPCUG are taxdeductible as charitable
contributions to the
extent allowed by law.
Copyright © 2008 by
NVPCUG.
Interesting Sites
Provided by Sierra Tel Internet
Cruisin’ for Trip Tips
http://cruisecritic.com - Considering a cruise? Whether
you’re an experienced or novice cruiser, this detailed site can help you plan
your trip. Find the best cruise for you by destination, lifestyle, cruise line,
or price. Read features about weather, dietary restrictions, safety, trends,
and more. Communicate with other cruisers on the message boards. And
don’t forget to read the expert cruise reviews for advice from the pros.
Hot Site for Chili Lovers
http://chilicookoff.com - This is the online home of the
International Chili Society (ICS). Cookoffs take place throughout the world,
and winners are qualified to compete at the World’s Championship Chili
Cookoff held each year in October. Check out the site to read about cookoff
winners dating back to 1967 and get some of their chili recipes to try at home.
It’s a sure recipe to heat up cold days.
Tour a Dream Home for Inspiration
http://hgtv.com/dream-home/index.html - It never hurts
to dream big, and this site lets you experience the HGTV Dream Home
2010 in multiple ways. View the floor plan, watch videos, get a feel for life
in New Mexico (where the home is located), or take a room-by-room tour.
Check out the blog to learn even more about this contemporary Pueblostyle home. And if you like what you see, visit the Products section to find
pieces to make your own home a little dreamier.
!
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 20 for
application
information.
Reprinted with permission from Sierra Tel Internet, www.sti.net.
Marcia Waddell
and
Susy Ball
will attend,
will you?
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 4
Caution! - Warning
About Counterfeit & Pirated Software
Reprinted with permission from Sierra Tel Internet,
www.sti.net
According to a recent report from Microsoft®, the number
of customers who unknowingly purchased counterfeit and
pirated Microsoft software has risen dramatically over the
last two years. This software poses a serious risk to
security since studies around the world have shown that a
high percentage of illegally copied or downloaded software contains spyware,
malware, or other malicious code. Consumers who are duped by fraudulent
software can encounter viruses, lose personal information, risk having their
identities stolen, and waste valuable time and money.
Worse yet, today’s counterfeiters are often large criminal syndicates that
don’t stop at distributing hundreds of copies of unlicensed software. Software
pirates are likely to create botnets, which are armies of compromised
computers controlled by cybercriminals and used to perform a host of illegal
Internet activities.
Here are some tips to help you avoid buying counterfeit software:
1. Take the time to fully research the products you are buying and from
whom you get them. Read reviews and talk to retailers so you build a
knowledgeable perspective.
2. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Buy from a reputable
source such as a major retailer or other recognized reseller.
3. Look for spelling mistakes on the software package or a
shoddy appearance.
4. Make sure software products are licensed. It is standard that every
legal piece of software includes a developer’s license agreement.
5. If you’re unsure if a product is legitimate, call the manufacturer.
Microsoft has launched an education
campaign to help you recognize
counterfeit and pirated software, and
know if you’re purchasing genuine
products. For more information, visit
their “How to Tell” site at
http:microsoft.com:
80/howtotell.
!
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 5
“Disk Failure” Scare
By Phil Sorrentino, President, Sarasota PCUG, Florida, www.spcug.org,
[email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address
above).
This morning, it happened again. I started the computer
in the morning, as I do every morning, and staring me
in the face was the dreaded “system disk failure”
message. A chill went down my spine. It seemed like
this happened only about a year or two years ago.
When I thought further, it was 2005 when it happened,
almost 5 years ago, so maybe that’s not too bad. As I
ate breakfast, I rapidly thought about the hardware in
that computer. (I currently have 3 desktops that I am
using for various activities in the home, but this was my
main computer, the one other family members use.)
Panic started to set-in. Were the disk drives 160GB, or
250GB? When were they installed? Were they Seagate
or Western Digital? What interface is used in that
computer? Are they formatted in NTFS or FAT32?
Well, if it was the C: drive then it must be NTFS. I’ll
have to open the chassis and look at the drives.
Fortunately, this story has a very happy ending. After
breakfast, as I knelt down to look at the desktop
chassis, to see what was the best approach to removing
the cables and other things around the chassis, I spied
a floppy disk in the floppy disk drive. Eureka! XP was
trying to boot from the floppy: an impossible task, so it
reported a disk failure, obviously. Most desktop
computers today don’t have a floppy disk drive, so this
will probably not happen to most people. However, it
got me thinking that the answers to all of the questions
I had during breakfast, should be in one place, probably
along with a lot of other information that defines the
current computer hardware setup. So it’s probably not
a bad idea to gather all of this information, while the
computer is operating, and put a hard copy printout in
a safe place. The disk drive information is probably the
most important for this kind of failure, but it is a good
idea to have all the basic hardware information in one
easily accessed place. Here is a list of the things that
you might want to have. You may not need all of these
so use only those that are pertinent to your hardware
setup. (If there’s anything that I’ve forgotten, just add
it to the list, and let me know by e-mail.) I’ll start with
the disk drive information because that is what you’ll
need if the drive goes down, or you may need if you
have to re-install the entire system. (By the way, you
can accomplish all of this by using the free program,
Belarc Advisor (http://www.belarc.com/
free_download.html). Belarc produces a listing
of almost all of the following pieces of information and
additional information in the computer security area.)
Disk Drive 1
•
Manufacturer
•
Part Number
•
Date Installed
•
•
Size (GB)
Rotating Speed
•
•
•
Interface Type
Formatted
C: drive size
•
D: drive size (if used)
Typically Seagate, Western
Digital, …
e.g. ST3160023A (Seagate
part no.)
May be the date of computer
purchase
e.g 330GB
e.g. 7200 RPM (or possibly
5400 RPM)
IDE (Parallel ATA) or SATA
NTFS or FAT32
Typically 25GB (for XP) or
50GB (Vista)
Various
Disk Drive 2
•
Same as Drive 1
CPU
•
•
•
Type
Speed
Processors
e.g Intel Pentium 4, or AMD Athelon
e.g. 3.2 GHz
e.g. 2 Only used for multi-core
processors (e.g. Intel Core Duo)
Memory
•
•
Amount
Type/Speed
e.g. 1GB
e.g. PC133 or DDR2, etc.
Display Adapter (If not on Motherboard)
Manufacturer e.g. nVidia
Part Number e.g. GeForce GTX295
Other Information if needed.
Networking
•
•
•
•
Computer Name e.g. “Mary’s Computer”
Wired MAC address (if connected to wired Ethernet
port) e.g. 00-34-5A-BC-DF-3F
Wireless MAC address (if used on wireless network)
e.g. 00-34-5A-BC-DF-3F
Router IP addresse.g. 192.168.1.0
USB Devices
MP3Player
e.g. Apple iPod
o Part Number e.g.
o Size
e.g. 4GB
o Other Pertinent Information
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 6
External Drive (for Backup)
o Manufacturer
e.g. Seagate, Western
Digital, LaCie
o Part Number Free Agent
(Seagate part no.)
o Date Installed May be the date of
computer purchase
o Size (GB)
e.g. 1 TB (1,000 GB)
o Rotating Speed
Typically 7200 RPM
o Formatted
NTFS or FAT32
Mouse and/or Keyboard (if connected to USB)
Digital Camera
o Manufacturer e.g. Cannon
o Part Number e.g. Powershot SX110IS
o MegaPixel size
e.g. 10MPixels
o Other Pertinent Information
Other USB Devices
Partial Belarc Advisor Pintout:
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 7
Circuit WriterVersion 7.3
By Jim Scheef, Director, Danbury Area Computer Society, CT, www.dacs.org,
[email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s message that this could take a few
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
minutes. I let one of them run for
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
half an hour before closing the
browser window. So that evening I
Come On, Let’s Get Real
called Verizon to see if any of my
Not too long ago, I subscribed to Wired Magazine. I’ve
orders had gone thru. None had, but
read Wired on and off over the years and thought it would
the pleasant customer service lady
be fun to get it again, so I did a deal for Wired in exchange
said she would have the phone order people honor the
for a few airline miles. Naturally this was online. I have yet
online price. I suspect the phone order guy worked on
to receive my first issue, but I have begun to receive email
commission because he was not as friendly. When he told
marketing. The first ad was for GQ Magazine and those of
me that I would have to pay for the overnight shipping that
you who attend the general meetings can attest that my
was free on the website, I started to enter another web
fashion quotient is an absolute zero and I have even less
order and, lo and behold, it completes right away. Sorry
interest in GQ.
phone order guy.
This is not SPAM; I subscribed to Wired and GQ is
So on Monday morning I’m headed for a client site and meet
another Condé Nast publication, so I click the link at the
my FedEx driver at the bottom of the hill. He recognizes my
bottom of the email “to remove this e-mail address from
car and stops to tell me he has a package for me and it requires
future Wired e-mail promotions”. The resulting web page
my signature. Always be nice to your delivery people so they
allows me to remove my email address, or not, from both
will be nice to you!
Wired and GQ marketing. I choose both and click Submit.
So why get a Droid (short for Android,
The confirmation is below:
the Linux-based operating system from
• Thanks! Please allow 10 business days for your
Google) and not an iPhone? Well, only
subscription for Wired to be removed.
time will tell if I made the right decision but
• Thanks! Please allow 10 business days for your the number one reason I did not buy an
subscription for GQ to be removed.
iPhone 3GS when it came out is AT&T’s
Can you believe this? Ten days! How are they updating the lousy 3G coverage in New Milford. Even the phone service
database? By snail mail? A one day lag I can see, but ten? has gaps. The AT&T coverage map shows only three small
And they call themselves Wired…
spots with 3G in New Milford. One is the AT&T store and
I cannot figure why the other two exist but none correspond
The Droid Does
to where I live or do anything. As we discussed during
Please forgive me if this column seems
AskDACS a few months back, AT&T has no 3G service on
a little narcissistic, but I don’t buy a new
the New Milford green which you might expect to be a prime
toy every day. After a year of waiting for
target. On the other hand, Verizon’s 3G coverage pretty
an iPhone that works on Verizon, the
much covers the state. If there is cell service, then 3G works
Droid has appeared instead. So I bought
as well. I knew this from my old phone which could use 3G
one. The Droid is a new smartphone to Apple iPhone
services but to which I never subscribed. [Who would want
compete with the Apple iPhone. The Droid is manufactured to watch a movie on a 2-inch screen?]
by Motorola and is available only on Verizon.
The Droid offers features that the iPhone lacks – like a
It took four tries to get the transaction thru on the Verizon slide-out physical keyboard, replaceable battery and easily
Wireless website on the Friday it was released. Because expandable memory (a 16GB microSD card is included). So
I have been off contract for several years (I saw no need is the Droid an iPhone killer? In a word – no. But it is a
to “upgrade” my old Motorola E-815 phone), I was eligible credible device with good support thru Google and the
for the “New every 2” sucker deal. For the Droid this Android open source community. Top of the list of missing
meant an additional $100 off after the $100 online discount items is the multi-touch screen. You zoom in the Droid
which brought the phone down to a relatively affordable browser by touching the screen, a plus/minus thing appears
$99.99 – fifty bucks less than a refurbished 3GS and no one and then you hit one side or the other. This is not as good by
else’s DNA to wipe off!
about seven miles. Also, the keyboard does not autocomplete
The last step in the order process is the dreaded “confirm” words as you type so every word must be typed completely
step. After that click, the website displays a nearly blank with the attendant opportunity for errors. Fortunately the
screen with a revolving arrow thing in the middle and a excellent 3.7-inch 854x480 pixel screen makes it easy to see
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 8
the mistakes. There is a self-proclaimed detailed
comparison of the two devices on Technically
Personal (t i n y u r l . c o m / y h d 5 m k m ) and
another on GadgetoPhilia (tinyurl.com/yz6zy35).
Google users will appreciate the tight integration of the
Droid (and probably all Android devices) with Google. Since
I have not been a Googler, this is just another learning curve
for me. For instance, I had to finally break down and create
a Gmail account. What I will do with yet another email
address remains to be seen but a Gmail account seems to
be required to use the phone.
The iPhone App Store has been the key thing (in my
opinion) driving iPhone sales. Android is
the only other smartphone operating
system with an established supply of
applications and a means to deliver them
– the Android Market which is run by
Google. I have no idea how many apps
are available (a news item says more
than 10,000) but the number of iPhone apps exceeds this by
an order of magnitude. Nevertheless, it took me several
hours to scroll thru a few categories of just the free Android
apps. By the end of the first evening playing with the Droid
my scroll finger was tired and sore. During this period I
learned that not all Android apps will run on all Android
devices. The Droid runs the brand new version 2 of the
Android OS and this alone is sufficient to cause some apps
to “close unexpectedly”. To the credit of the OS, only once
did a crash leave the phone in an unstable condition. Another
difference from the iPhone is the ability to install apps
directly to the phone. Significant hacking is required to get
around Apple’s lock on applications. On the Droid, this is an
option in Setup along with the ability to turn on debugging and
developer tools. The only significant security block I’ve
found so far is the lack of root access. This won’t last long
now that the device is out. All other Android devices have
been “rooted” and unlike with Apple and the iPhone there
has been no attempt by Google or the manufacturers to
prevent this hacking. Another plus for the Droid, in my
opinion. Now that there is a higher volume Android device,
I predict that the number of available apps will grow as
existing iPhone apps are ported to Android and Linux
developers jump on the mobile bandwagon.
Integration of my personal software tools with the Droid
is coming along but I still need to carry my old and dying
Windows Pocket PC PDA for contacts and calendar
because I have not installed the software needed to
synchronize the Droid with Exchange. That’s next once I
finish this column, AskDACS and SIG notes. Another major
stumbling block is passwords. I use RoboForm
(roboform.com) on all of my PCs and the PDA to
encrypt passwords on websites and web-managed devices
like routers. I have 413 passwords in 20 folders that I will
need on the Droid. More on this next month.
!
E d i t o r’ s N o t e : I just got a DROID myself, I just love it!
Refilling Ink Cartridges
Replacement ink cartridges are expensive. The total
cost of ink often far exceeds the cost of the printer
itself. Rather than purchasing manufacturer’s
replacement cartridges, many printer users opt for
refill kits as a less expensive alternative. Replacement
ink is drawn into a small syringe and then slowly
injected into the cartridge’s spongy ink-retaining
material through a fill hole. While this technique can
save significant money over the life of a printer, you
can only refill the cartridges themselves several times.
Eventually, the old cartridge will quit. Plan to replace
the ink cartridge with a factory-fresh unit every three
to five refills. If the refilled cartridge fails, you can
always use the syringe to remove the added ink and
return it to the supply bottle.
Laser Printer Paper Problem
To remove a pager jam from your printer, open the
front panel of the printer. Your printer’s users guide,
user CD with flash animation, or an illustration on the
printer can show you how to do so. Remove the toner
cartridge from the printer and hold it horizontal to the
floor to keep the toner from spilling. Place it on a
disposable sheet of paper to confine any loose toner.
Once you find the paper jam, gradually pull the paper
out so that you don’t tear the jammed page. If the page
can’t be moved, look for illustrations next to the rollers
that indicate how to manually advance the paper.
Should the paper rip, remove all the torn pieces, or they
may jam the printer again.
Macros
If you’re using a compact camera, you’ll likely be
limited to its onboard capabilities regarding magnification
and focusing at close distances. However, many of
them also have macro presets that let you get as close
as an inch away from your subject. Just be sure to frame
your shot using the display screen rather than the optical
viewfinder, if the camera has one. On a compact model,
the viewfinder sees things from a slightly different
perspective than the lens. When you’re extremely close
to your subject, a shot that looks properly framed in the
view-finder will end up shifted over and down, perhaps
cutting off part of the subject.
Display The IE Address Bar List
To quickly display the Address Bar list in Internet
Explorer, press F4. You’ll see a list of previously
entered URLs, so you can quickly backtrack to a site
you visited earlier.
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, April 2010, Page 9
Glary Utilities
By Ira Wilsker
WEBSITES:
http://www.glaryutilities.com
One of the common themes in
this column is improving
computer performance. I still
hear on a regular basis about
slow performance and other
PC problems that may have an
easy and possibly free solution.
I emphasize free not just because of today’s trying
economic times, but also because an acquaintance of
mine recently paid a big box store $300 to clean up his
hard drive in order to improve his PC’s performance.
There are many utilities available at varying prices from
free to many dollars, and like anything else in society,
they vary in quality from mediocre or worse, to excellent.
The trite cliché’ “You get what you pay for” does not
always apply when it comes to computer software, as
there is some excellent quality free software available.
I have worked on several
decrepit computers in recent
weeks, and had the
opportunity to try software
utilities from several
publishers, and found some
that I really liked. Some of
the titles that I found that worked very well were
freeware
utilities
from
Glarysoft,
www.glarysoft.com.
The first Glarysoft utility that I tried on an older XP
machine that was in desperate need of some software
maintenance was its flagship product Glary Utilities.
Available
in
23
languages
from
www.glaryutilities.com, Glarysoft claims that
this product is, “… the #1 free, powerful and all-in-one
utility in the world market! It offers numerous powerful
and easy-to-use system tools and utilities to fix, speed
up, maintain and protect your PC.” I cannot vouch for
the #1 status, but I did find it a capable utility that does
all that it claims, and it does it very well. Available in
two flavors, the free version, and a $40 commercial
version, Glary Utilities PRO, either will have enough
features to likely improve the performance of any
dragging PC. Obviously the PRO version offers more
features than the free version,
such as automatic care in
background;
enhanced
system fixing, optimizing and
more; free 24x7 technical
support, and may be used
commercially. Both versions
will run well on most modern
PCs, and is compatible with
Windows 2000, XP 32/64bit
and Vista 32/64bit. I ran Glary
utilities on the old XP, as well
as a new Vista 64 machine,
and it ran flawlessly on both.
Glary Utilities has a clean and intuitive front end, and
is easy to use. The opening window gives the version
and status, and a link to download any updates. The “1Click Maintenance”, which
can be scheduled or run on
demand, offers six automated
clean-up functions which can
be run together or individually.
The “Registry Cleaner”,
which can fix invalid or
incorrect registry entries, is one of the best in the
business, and may reduce the number of conflicts and
“blue screens of death” that antagonize many of us.
The “Shortcuts Fixer” identifies and cleans any invalid
shortcuts that may have been left over when deleting
old programs. The “Startup Manager” may be one of
the keys to improved PC performance by stopping
useless and unnecessary programs from automatically
loading when the computer is booted. These
unnecessary programs often get inserted in the startup
when their software is installed, and may be a terrible
resource hog, degrade performance, cause slow boots
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 10
and shutdowns, and create software conflicts. By
easily managing the startup process, the user has
better control of the computer as well as better
performance. Massive amounts of hard drive capacity
are often wasted by having thousands of temporary
files from various sources eating up the capacity of the
drive; a “Temporary Files Cleaner” cleans up these
temporary files, and recovers the wasted hard drive
space; one computer I recently cleaned had over 4
gigs of useless temporary files, which this program
detected and deleted. Our personal privacy may be
jeopardized by leaving internet tracks and traces on
our hard drive, and the integral “Tracks Eraser” detects
and removes these items, helping to maintain the
users’ privacy. The final “1-Click” utility is a “Spyware
Remover”, which can detect and remove much of the
spyware which may infest the computer. These six
tasks, all of which can be run with a single mouse click,
can do much to improve PC performance.
For those users who want even more power and
control coupled with additional performance
improvements should choose the “Modules” tab. Five
modules, each consisting of several system tools,
provide an excellent selection of resources designed
to provide the maximum improvement of performance,
short of hardware upgrades. The “Clean Up & Repair”
button connects to the disk cleaner, the registry cleaner,
shortcuts fixer, and an uninstall manager. While two of
these utilities are automatically invoked when selecting
the 1-Click option, the disk cleaner detects and removes
far more clutter on the hard drive than the simple temp
files remover. The uninstall manager allows the user to
completely remove any unwanted programs more
thoroughly than Microsoft’s “Add/Remove” feature.
The second module contains four utilities to optimize
and improve performance, including the startup
manager, a memory optimizer, a context menu manager
(a tool for techies and geeks), and a registry
defragmentation utility. Besides the already described
benefits of the startup manager, the registry defrag
feature would probably be the most beneficial utility in
this group. Since the registry is constantly being written
to and modified, gaps appear in its structure which can
slow its reading, waste processing power, as well as
take up extra space on the hard drive; the registry
defrag function resolves this problem.
Next is a privacy and security
selection which includes the
already mentioned tracks
eraser, as well as three other
utilities. Sometimes it is
necessary to permanently
delete files and data, such that
they are unrecoverable; the integral file shredder erases
files such that they are gone forever. Unless a file has
been shredded or overwritten on the hard drive, it may
very likely be recoverable. We all have accidently deleted
files, or changed our minds after deleting files, and
wished that we could get them back; the file undelete
utility can quickly and effectively recover files that had
been accidently deleted. Some other files that we have
may also be personally sensitive, and made safe from
prying eyes. The “File Encrypter and Decrypter” protects
files from unauthorized access and use.
The “Files & Folders” group includes utilities to
analyze and the hard disk structure, detect and delete
duplicate files, find and remove empty file folders, and
a neat utility that can split large files into smaller ones
and then rejoin them when needed.
The final module is the “System Tools” selection
where the running processes on the computer can be
monitored and stopped as desired, freeing up computing
power. Another system tool manages Internet Explorer
add-ons, tool bars, and other functions, and can recover
from a high jacked browser. The final utility opens
Window’s own secretive tools utility, providing user
access to dozens of Window’s settings, allowing the
user to tweak the operating system as desired.
I found Glary Utilities, both the free version and the
more comprehensive PRO version to be useful and
effective in improving PC performance, and maintaining
that enhanced functionality. I would recommend that
users download the PRO version, as it offers a fully
functional 30 day free trial, and see how well it performs.
If satisfied, then the $40 purchase price may be well
worth it. For those who prefer free software, the free
version would be very satisfactory, as it also is a very
capable product. For those who want the functionality
of the individual modules as free standing products,
many of them are available for free download from
www.glarysoft.com. Glary Soft has some fine
products, and would be a worthwhile addition to the
stable of utilities that we all should have and utilize. !
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 11
This and That or Things that May
Interest You
By Lynn Page, Editor Crystal River Users Group, Florida, www.crug.com,
[email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s add, click Next, and then follow the instructions inputting
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
the logon and server information for the email account.
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Delete a User Account
Windows 7
In Windows Mail click Accounts in the Tools drop down
menu. Select the account to remove and then click Remove.
Shake
Minimize all windows but one whit shake, click and hold
down on the title bar and shake to maximize that windows
and minimize all others. Shake again to restore all.
Snap
Snap can display two windows side by side with each filling
half of the screen. With one window active press and hold
the Windows key while hitting the left or right arrow key.
The window snaps to that side. Do the same with the other
window but press the other arrow key while holding the
Windows key down.
To maximize a window with press and hold down the
Windows key while hitting the up arrow key. To restore the
window hold the Windows key and hit the down arrow button.
Blocked Email Attachments
To protect your computer from file attachments that are
commonly used to spread email viruses Windows Mail
blocks certain types of files, like: .exe, .pif, and .scr files.
When Windows Mail blocks an attachment, the Information
bar displays a message notifying you and listing the
attachment that was blocked.
To access blocked attachments close the message with
the attachment. Then in the Tools drop down menu select
Options. Click the Security tab and clear the Do not allow
Snipping Tool
The snipping tool has been improved in Windows 7. You Attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially
can snip a whole window, a rectangular section of the be a virus check box. Next reopen the message. Once you
screen, or draw a freehand outline with your mouse or access the attachment it is better to repeat the process and
tablet pen. You can save it as a graphic file or annotate with block the attachments again.
basic drawing tools. And you no longer have the red
Junk Mail Folder
snipping border.
Windows Mail’s junk email filter is designed to catch obvious
spam and move them to the Junk e mail folder. helps manage
your Inbox to keep it free of unwanted email.
Change the Junk Email Protection
Level
In the Tools drop down menu click Junk e mail Options and
set the protection level you want:
Windows Mail
Windows Mail can handle a variety of different accounts.
So you can set up a single personal email account, or add
a work or other personal accounts and even newsgroups.
With multiple accounts I like to put each account in a
separate folder.
Add a User Account
Move a Message from the Junk Email
Folder to the Inbox
Open the Junk email folder and select the message to
move to the Inbox. In the toolbar point to Junk email and
click Mark as Not Junk in the drop down menu. The
message is moved to your Inbox.
Add Sender to the Blocked Senders List
In Windows Mail click Accounts in the Tools drop down Select a message from the sender to add to the Blocked
menu. Click the Add button select the type of account to Senders list. On the toolbar point to Junk email and then
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 12
click Add Sender to Blocked Senders List. This blocks all
future messages from that specific sender.
Add Sender to the Safe Senders List
Select a message from the sender to add to the Safe
Senders list. On the toolbar point to Junk email, and then
click Add Sender to Safe Senders List. This allows all
future messages from that specific sender.
Correct File Associations
If files are opening in the wrong application find one of the
files and right clip it. Then in Windows Vista, select Open
With and then Choose Default Program. From the list of
programs select the program to use. Or Browse to add a
program to the list. Click to check the Always use the
selected program to open this kind of file box and then click
OK. In Windows XP, after right clicking the file select
Open With. Then find the program to use. or Browse to
find another program. Again, check Always use the selected
program to open this kind of file and click OK.
Remove Your Phone Number
from Searches
Google
Search to find your listing in Google’s PhoneBook. Then go
to Google’s online PhoneBook Name Removal form and
enter the information as it appeared in the Google listing.
Office 2007 Format Painter
The Format Painter is an easy way to copy formatting you
want to duplicate on other text. Select the text to copy the
format from, click the Format Painter button and then
select the text to format. To apply the same formatting to
more than one item, select the text with the formatting,
double-click Format Painter, and then select each word,
phrase, or paragraph you want to apply formatting to.
When finished, click the Format Painter again or press
ESC. Format Painter is available in most Office programs.
Create a Theme from a Document
Themes are a valuable asset in Word and other Office files.
A theme is a combination of theme colors, theme fonts, and
theme effects. When you have generated a document with
just the perfect formatting you may want to use it again. So
save the formatting as a custom theme. With the document
open on the Page Layout tab, in the Themes group, click
Themes. At the bottom of the menu, click Save Current
Theme. Provide a file name and click save.
Use a Theme from another Document
If you didn’t create a theme from a document you can still
use it as a theme for a new document. Open the document
that you want to apply a different theme to and on the Page
Layout tab, in the Themes group, click Themes. At the
bottom of the menu, click Browse for Themes. In the
Choose Theme or Themed Document dialog box, select
the 2007 Office document that contains the theme to apply,
and click Open.
!
Solar Power
WhitePages.com
Find your listing on WhitePages.com. and at the bottom of
your listing click the small link that for “Is this you?
Remove your listing.” Confirm the remove request.
Yahoo
Find your listing using Yahoo!’s People Search. Then use
the online Remove Phone Listing form and enter your
name as it appears in the listing.
Switchboard.com
Find your listing by searching Switchboard. Click the
Remove this listing link beside the listing and provide your
email address.
Solar panels aren’t just for the roof of your house.
Now, solar-powered electronics and accessories are
produced with eco-conscious features, designed to
harness the power of the sun. Laptop cases, Bluetooth
car kits, and radios with built-in solar panels help your
devices stay charged via the sun’s energy.
Can This PMP Play My Movie?
Incompatible file formats have been a sore spot with
PMP (portable media player) owners for years.
Although some PMP makers include software that
will transcode a file into a format their player supports,
it pays to make certain the PMP you buy supports the
formats of the majority of the files you already own. If
most of your video library’s files are in the MPEG-4
format, for example, check to make sure that the PMP
you’re eyeing supports MPEG-4 files natively or be
prepared to transcode those files (an often timeconsuming process) in order to watch them.
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, April 2010, Page 13
Reprinted with permission from Sierra Tel Internet,
www.sti.net.
Short Tutorial - Changing The
Sound Of Email Notification
Reprinted with permission from Sierra Tel Internet, www.sti.net
You probably enjoy having the freedom to change the ring tone on
your phone to suit your personality and preferences. Well, you have
a similar opportunity to change the sound you hear when new email
arrives on your computer. Just follow the steps below for your email
program and operating system:
Changing the Sound of New Email
Notification Using:
Email Program: Outlook Express 6,
Mozilla Thunderbird, or Windows Live Mail
Computer Operating System: Windows XP
1. Select “Control Panel” from
the “Start” menu. (Make sure
you are in “Classic View.”)
2. Double-click on the “Sounds
and Audio Devices” icon.
3. The Sounds and Audio Devices Properties window
will open. Click on the “Sounds” tab.
4. Highlight “New Mail Notification” in the “Program
Events” list.
5. In the “Sounds:” field, select a sound from the dropdown list, or use the “Browse” button to find a sound
not in the list. To assist you in selecting a sound, click
on the “Play” button next to the drop-down list to
listen to a sound of interest.
6. When you have made your selection, click on
“Apply” and then the “OK” button to accept and
save your changes.
Changing the Sound of New Email
Notification Using:
Email Program: Windows Mail, Mozilla
Thunderbird, or Windows Live Mail
Computer Operating System: Windows Vista
1. Select “Control Panel” from the “Start” menu.
(Make sure you are in “Classic View.”)
2. Double-click on the “Sound” icon.
3. The Sound window will open. Click on the “Sounds” tab.
4. Highlight “New Mail Notification” in the “Program” list.
5. In the “Sounds:” field, select a sound from the dropdown list, or use the “Browse” button to find a sound
not in the list. To assist you in selecting a sound, click
on the “Test” button to listen to a sound of interest.
6. When you have made your selection, click on “Apply” and
then the “OK” button to accept and save your changes.
Changing the Sound of New Email
Notification Using:
Email Program: Windows Live Mail or
Mozilla Thunderbird
Computer Operating System: Windows 7
1. Select “Control Panel” from the “Start” menu.
2. Double-click on the “Sound”
icon. (If you see only a few
categories instead of
dozens of icons, change
“View
by”
from
“Category” to “Large
icons”.)
3. The Sound window will open. Click
on the “Sounds” tab.
4. Highlight “New Mail Notification” in the “Program” list.
5. In the “Sounds:” field, select a sound from the dropdown list, or use the “Browse” button to find a sound
not in the list. To assist you in selecting a sound, click
on the “Test” button to listen to a sound of interest.
6. When you have made your selection, click on “Apply”
and then the “OK” button to accept and save your
changes.
Changing the Sound of New Email
Notification Using:
Email Program: Mail.app
Computer Operating System: Mac OS X 10.5
1. With Mail.app open, click your cursor arrow on the
“Mail” menu and select “Preferences” from the
resulting drop-down menu.
2. When the Preferences window opens, select the
“General” tab by clicking on its icon.
3. Click on the drop-down button next to “New mail
sound.” A drop-down menu listing all the sounds in
your system will appear.
4. Select a sound and the sound will play. Keep making
selections and listening to sounds until you find the
one you like best.
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 14
5. Once you have made your final sound selection,
close the Preferences window to save your changes.
Buy A Compact Video Recorder
Compact video recorders are designed for capturing
spontaneous moments whenever and wherever they
occur. These devices all feature a small camcorder
design, generally weigh less than 6 ounces, and can fit
as comfortably in your pocket as in your hand. When
shopping, favor models that let you film and operate
the device with a single hand. Also consider how easy
it is to take the device with you wherever you go.
Changing the Sound of New Email
Notification Using:
Email Program: Mozilla Thunderbird
Computer Operating System: Mac OS X 10.5
3.
4.
5.
6.
1. With Mozilla Thunderbird
open, click your cursor arrow on
the “Thunderbird” menu and
select “Preferences” from the
resulting drop-down menu.
2. W h e n t h e P r e f e r e n c e s
window opens, select the
“General” tab by clicking on
its icon.
In the “When new messages arrive” section, select
“Use the following sound file”.
Click on the “Browse” button.
Navigate to and select the sound file you want to use,
then click the “Open” button. Click the “Play”
button if you want to test the file.
Close the Preferences window to save
your changes.
!
Another feature to focus on is the built-in or expandable
storage. Compact video recorders generally rely on
flash memory, the same kind found in thumb drives; it’s
very reliable, solid state (no moving parts), and unlikely
to be damaged if dropped. The amount of memory,
such as 2, 4, or 8GB, in the device determines how
much video you can record, so get a model with as
much memory as you can afford. Expandable memory
slots, for extra memory cards such as SD (Secure
Digital) cards, are a nice feature to have, especially for
devices lacking plentiful integrated storage.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
www.SmartComputing.com/Groups to learn what Smart
Computing can do for you and your user group!
Caution! - Warning About
Counterfeit And Pirated Software
Reprinted with permission from Sierra Tel Internet. www.sti.net
According to a recent report from Microsoft®, the
number of customers who unknowingly purchased
counterfeit and pirated Microsoft software has risen
dramatically over the last two years. This software
poses a serious risk to security since studies around the
world have shown that a high percentage of illegally
copied or downloaded software contains spyware,
malware, or other malicious code. Consumers who are
duped by fraudulent software can encounter viruses,
lose personal information, risk having their identities
stolen, and waste valuable time and money.
Worse yet, today’s counterfeiters are often large
criminal syndicates that don’t stop at distributing hundreds
of copies of unlicensed software. Software pirates are
likely to create botnets, which are armies of compromised
computers controlled by cybercriminals and used to
perform a host of illegal Internet activities.
Next appear some tips to help you avoid buying
counterfeit software:
1. Take the time to fully research the products you
are buying and from whom you get them. Read
reviews and talk to retailers so you build a
knowledgeable perspective.
2. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably
is. Buy from a reputable source such as a major
retailer or other recognized reseller.
3. Look for spelling mistakes on the software
package or a shoddy appearance.
4. Make sure software products are licensed. It is
standard that every legal piece of software includes
a developer’s license agreement.
5. If you’re unsure if a product is legitimate, call the
manufacturer.
Microsoft has launched an education campaign to help
you recognize counterfeit and pirated software, and
know if you’re purchasing genuine products. For more
information, visit their “How to Tell” site at http://
microsoft.com:80/howtotell.
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 15
Microsoft Windows Vista Unleashed,
2nd Edition
Reviewed by Jim Krill, a member of the North Orange County Computer Club, CA, Orange
Bytes, June 2009, www.noccc.org, [email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Microsoft Windows Vista is the operating system everyone
loves to hate. It’s constantly being criticized. This reviewer
bought a new Dell Inspiron 1525 in November 2008 and had
planned on removing Windows Vista and installing a copy of
Windows XP Professional based on the news stories critical
of Windows Vista. I decided to give it a month and see what
happens. Well, nothing happened. It worked well and
continues to work well. I have no plans to remove it and will
probably delay purchase of the new version of Windows
when it’s released later this year. That being said, I needed
a good reference manual for Windows Vista. I’m thinking
that Windows Vista Unleashed is that book.
Search Amazon and you will discover that there are
probably hundreds of books about Windows Vista. Which
one is best for you? That one question is impossible to
answer. One solution is to get a good reference manual
that covers all areas of Windows Vista. These large
reference manuals can be initimidating to the average
user. (For this review I will call the average user a lay
user.) Windows Vista Unleashed is one such large, 750
page, reference book. For years I’ve used and
recommended the Missing Manual series of books.
They’re good but often they were missing the information
I needed or they didn’t go far enough. Windows Vista
Unleashed may be too much for you but is it better to
have too much information or not enough information?
With five different versions of Windows Vista, there is a
lot to cover and Windows Vista Unleashed is a book
that tries to cover it all.
How many versions of Windows Vista are there? There
are five versions. And Windows Vista Unleashed makes
the attempt to cover all versions of Windows Vista. Not an
easy task. And how does any one person know if this book
is for him or her? You may be a network specialist. You
may do customizations of the OS. Or, you’re just a
software techie who has to know how to keep individual
Windows Vista machines running. Windows Vista
Unleashed wants to be that reference for all types of
users except one. The one exception is the lay user. After
using this book I think even the lay user will benefit.
Because there are five versions of Windows Vista, it’s
nice to know which version is being discussed in the book.
Windows Vista Unleashed uses a graphic logo to indicate
which version of Windows Vista applies to a subject. Since
this reviewer uses the Home Basic (Cheap) it’s nice to
know that I don’t have to waste
my time reading up on a utility
that isn’t in my version of
Windows Vista and it also helps
to know what IS in any version
of Windows Vista. It can get
confusing even for the
professionals. If no graphic logo
appears, then ALL versions of
Windows Vista apply. This small
help aid was much appreciated
by this reviewer. It’s the simple
ideas that make a big difference.
Does this book meet its lofty goal? Good question. I have
been using one form or another of Windows since Windows
version one and I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer that
question. Then again, can a business owner know the
answer, or the road warrior, or any of the above users
know if this book will work for all the other users? The
answer is probably yes. This is one book that most users
should have. It appears to be a good primary book for
Windows Vista. It may not give the deep level answers but
it does provide a good overall view of Window Vista.
First, it gives excellent overview of Windows Vista. The
first 300 pages is the manual you didn’t get with your
Windows Vista machine. Because it goes into the basics,
it’s a book that even the lay user should have. Yes, you may
not need to know how to write Windows Scripts but you
will need to know how to recover from problems and you
should know how to set up and maintain a small network
no matter your lever of knowledge.
All users need to understand the language used by the
specialists in order to communicate with them and they with
you. Most problems you encounter will probably involve
being able to tell the specialist what is wrong in a way that
will help them fix the problem. I don’t know how many times
I’ve had to talk to someone with a Windows problem who
had no idea what I’m asking. Because Windows Vista
Unleashed covers all levels of the OS, it will enable the
everyday user to understand the language of the specialist.
If you don’t know what the specialist is asking you should be
able to get the definition from this book.
This reviewer uses a laptop for everything and there is
some useful information for laptop users that you don’t find
in most books. I thought I knew everything I needed to
know about power management but I was wrong. I, for
one, didn’t know you could configure the power buttons.
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 16
Very useful. I actually played with the power options as I
was reading the book. In the Control Panel, there is one
entire section for the Mobile PC
Control Panel. If you have tried to use the tools in
Windows Vista, like I have, then here is a book for you.
One feature of the book that I really did like was how it
treated a subject as if you needed to know how to use it.
It gives step-by-step instructions. I usually would get more
confused than I was BEFORE I started reading a subject
in other books but not Windows Vista Unleashed. Going to
the chapter on networking, Windows Vista Unleashed
gives step-by-step instructions on using the network tools
in Windows Vista. I would have liked to test this method
with the chapter on networking but I did see its usefulness
when reading the chapter on the Mobile PC Control Panel.
I do recommend this book for any user of Windows
Vista. You may be a Home Premium user and have no use
for knowing about other versions of Vista. All versions of
Windows Vista have more in common that their names
imply. Forget you’re a Home Premium user and just
remember you are a Windows Vista user. Even though this
reviewer uses the Home Basic (I did say I was cheap.)
Windows Vista Unleashed is still an excellent reference
and HELP manual.
One idea I have tried to put forward was that a business
or IT center should select one book that ALL users should
have and use that book as a support tool. Windows Vista
Unleashed qualifies as one possible selection. I do
recommend IT centers purchase the book and try it out on
their lay users.
Microsoft Window Vista Unleashed, Second edit ion, by
Paul McFedries . Published by SAMS, 800 East 96th
Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240.
List Price: $49.99. To order from the publisher : http://
ww w . i n f o r m i t . c o m / s t ore/
product.aspx?isbn=067233013X.
!
Poor Dog
So often we call a man a dog when we want to
reproach him.
And yet a dog:
• Doesn’t lie
• Doesn’t swear
• Doesn’t drink
• Doesn’t cheat
• Doesn’t swindle
• Doesn’t smoke
• Doesn’t flirt
• Doesn’t pretend
• Doesn’t borrow
And wouldn’t even resent it if you called him a man!
Reprinted from APCUG Reports.
Video To Take With You
Your MP3 player might hold all of your favorite
music, but what if you want to watch video or
access the Internet, too? Some models can do just
that, letting you watch episodes of a TV show
while you’re stuck at the airport during a long
layover. Another option for portable video that is
great for travel is a portable DVD player. This will
plug into your car’s overhead video monitors (if
you have them installed) and can also be taken
with you into hotel rooms when you stop at night.
Camera Shopping? Consider Battery
Some cameras use proprietary batteries (most
commonly Li-Ion battery packs), which tend to
last longer between charges than AA batteries. On
the other hand, buying replacement batteries is
trickier. Although you can find replacement
proprietary batteries at your local electronics store,
if you’re sightseeing at a national park, you may
not find a spare battery. Standard AA batteries
generally require replacement more often than
proprietary batteries, but it’s easier to find AA
replacements in a pinch.
Troubleshoot A Camera Connection
If you don’t see an icon for your digital camera in
My Computer, first make sure that the cable for
your camera is firmly connected to both the camera
and to your PC. Also, double-check that your
camera is turned on and, if it has a USB Transfer
mode, that you have pressed the right button or
turned the mode dial to the proper position.
If you still can’t find an icon for your camera in My
Computer, remember that some cameras show up
as removable drives.
Share And Print Your Photos Online
There are several online sites that will let you
share your photos with loved ones who are far
away. Social networking sites such as Facebook
and MySpace will let you upload photos to your
profile, but sites such as Flickr, Picasa, Shutterfly,
and Snapfish are dedicated solely to your photos.
These sites will help you manage your photos so
you can share them with anyone you would like,
and some of them will even let you order prints and
custom products, such as albums, calendars, mugs,
and t-shirts, using the photos you’ve uploaded and
the albums you’ve created.
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, April 2010, Page 17
Install Those Updates
By Marjie Tucker, Newsletter Editor, Mountain Computer User Group, Georgia, www.mcug.org,
[email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Are you taking every precaution to safeguard the data on your
computer? If you answer “yes” because you have turned on the
Windows Firewall and use anti-virus and anti-spyware software,
that’s great. However, you may be forgetting something very
important - installing software updates.
Software usually contains bugs that are not found until
the general public uses it. Because of this, all companies
including Microsoft and Apple periodically make updates
available to fix the bugs that have appeared. Many viruses
and worms are written specifically to take advantage of
holes that appear in operating systems and other programs.
If you don’t install the latest updates to your computer,
those holes will remain and your data will be vulnerable to
the malware.
Both Windows XP and Windows Vista have the ability to
automatically download the most important updates as they
are posted. To ensure that this is happening on your
computer use the Control Panel to go to the Windows
Security Center and make certain that the Automatic Updates
are turned on. If Automatic Updating shows a green On
color, then the updates will be downloaded. If the function
for Automatic Updates is disabled, use the setting available
to turn it on.
When the updates have been downloaded to your computer
you are notified of their presence. This usually occurs with
a small golden icon in the lower right-hand corner of your
taskbar that reads “Updates are ready for your computer.”
If you click on the icon and give permission, the update will
install immediately, usually in the background so you can
continue working. After it is installed you may be asked to
give permission for your computer to reboot.
However, if you tell the computer not to install this update,
the message that it is available may stay on your computer
permanently, as it waits for you to click that it can now be
installed. If you see the gold icon on your taskbar, check to
see if you have updates waiting right now so you can protect
your computer.
There May Be Additional Updates
Sometimes there are optional updates available that
won’t be downloaded automatically. For that reason it’s
a good idea to check the Microsoft Update website
periodically. The easiest way to check is to use the link
you can find on your Start Menu.
That link will take you directly to the Microsoft Update
site where you can choose between the Express or
Custom method of installing available updates. Custom
is preferable so you can determine if there are any
updates you don’t want to install.
Click on the Custom button and then wait while the
Microsoft site compares your computer’s software against
the Microsoft database. Eventually you will see a list of
updates that are missing from your computer. Any HighPriority (important for security) updates will already be
selected to be downloaded. However, you need to look at the
Optional Updates to choose the ones you want to include.
Click on Software, Optional and choose all that are shown.
You should need all of these. If any Hardware, Optional
updates are shown, you should be a little choosier. If your
hardware is working properly, you may want to skip these
driver updates. But if you are suffering any hardware
problems, these updates may solve your problems.
After you have chosen the updates you want to download,
click on Install Updates at the top of the screen and the
download will begin. This may take quite a bit of time,
depending on the number and size of the updates being
downloaded. This would actually be a good time to take a
coffee break or make that important telephone call.
You can view a list of the updates you have installed on
your computer at the Add or Remove Programs location on
your Control Panel. At the top of the screen you will see a
small box labeled “Show Updates.” Click in that box and all
your Microsoft updates will be displayed.
This screen is very useful if you encounter difficulty after
installing an update or service pack. You can always find the
update and uninstall it through this screen.
You can also easily see if your computer contains the latest
Windows Service Packs by looking at the Properties of My
Computer. Right-click over the My Computer icon and
choose Properties. The most recently installed Service Pack
will be listed on this screen.
Don’t Forget Your Anti-MalWare
Programs
Of course, it’s also critical to constantly update your antimalware programs. Viruses, worms, and spyware are
constantly being developed and these protection programs
work hard to provide fixes. When possible, also set these
programs for automatic updates and regularly perform a
manual update just to make certain that you don’t miss any
patches or new program features.
And, Remember Your Other Software
We’ve spent most of our time talking about Microsoft
software. Your other programs, such as Adobe Reader and
Java also receive regular updates. Look at the settings for
those to be sure they are updating automatically. This is
especially important if you have any difficulty while working
with a program. The solution may be a simple as installing
the latest patch.
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 18
Apple Software Updates
Stay Secure
Apple also frequently releases updates that you can download
and install. To check your Mac for patches, use the Apple
menu and choose Software Updates.
You can also set your Mac to get Automatic Updates by
choosing System Preferences from the Apple menu. Choose
View and Software Update. One of the choices is Automatic
and you can also choose a time for the computer to check
the Apple website.
Remember to set your operating system and programs for
Automatic Updates, install those updates, and periodically
check the websites manually to ensure that you have all the
latest patches. This is an easy and inexpensive way to help
protect your data.
!
Controlling System Restore
By Vinny La Bash, Member and Regular Columnist, Sarasota Personal Computer Users
Group, Inc., Florida, www.spcug.org, [email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Did a shareware application you were enamored of turn out to be
an unmitigated disaster? Perhaps a device driver installation,
system update or modification to a registry key went bad, and
your system wandered into an alternate universe. Windows has
a utility called System Restore that takes a picture, called a Restore
Point, of your system before certain types of operations are
started. System Restore is a very handy feature that allows you
to go back in time to erase actions you have come to regret. If a
problem occurs you can revert back to the way things were, and
all is well again.
System Restore, for all its utility and convenience, has its
drawbacks. Some argue that if there is not enough free disk
space, System Restore will fail to create a restore point, so an
unsuspecting person may discover that there is no restore point
available when trying to put things back to normal. There is also
no way to make a permanent restore point that will not get deleted
after a time when automatic restore points need the disk space.
This could be a predicament if a problem is intermittent.
It is possible that System Restore may be responsible for your
disk drive running out of room. While today’s super-sized drives
make that less likely than a few years ago running out of disk
space could still happen, especially if you load up your system
with videos. You can reduce that likelihood even further by
configuring System Restore properly.
The snapshots we talked about in the first paragraph are taken
by a built-in program called the Volume Snapshot Service (VSS).
There is no way to access this utility in the standard Windows
Graphical Utility Interface (GUI). This means you can’t get to it
with a menu option. You need to open a Command Prompt
window with elevated administrator privileges.
Click on the Start orb located down at the bottom left corner
of your screen, select All Programs, and open the Accessories
folder. Right click on the Command Prompt icon, and then select
Run as Administrator from the menu. That will open up a
Command Prompt window with enough authority to configure
System Restore.
Before doing any configuration, let’s take some time to
understand how System Restore works. You can do this with the
vssadmin tool. At the Command Prompt type vssadmin /? (Press
Enter after typing a command.)
You see a list of all the commands supported by the utility.
(Note: Shadow copy = Restore Point)
Enter the command vssadmin list shadows
This displays a list of all the restore points currently on the
system.
The list shadowstorage command displays the amount of disk
drive space currently being used to store restore points, how
much space is set aside to accommodate restore points, and the
maximum permitted size for restore points.
To see what’s available on your own system, at the Command
Prompt type:
Vssadmin list shadowstorage
Take a few minutes to understand the way the information is
displayed. If there is enough free disk space you can store up to
64 restore points before Windows automatically starts deleting
old restore points to accommodate new ones.
Making backups is an essential task, but there is no reason why
Windows should be allowed to consume every available byte of
storage with System Restore points. The default settings allow
Windows to run amok but you can reset the maximum value with
the resize shadowstorage command.
Here is an eample:
Vssadmin resize shadowstorage /for=c: /on=c: /maxsize = 12GB
The /for= switch specifies the disk drive where the storage space
is to be resized.
The /on= switch tells Windows where to save the Restore Point.
The /maxsize= switch tells Windows how much space it can use
for Restore Points.
If you don’t specify a maximum size you are giving Windows
permission to do anything it wants. The minimum size is 1GB. I
have seen references stating that the minimum size can be as low
as 300MB, but I could not verify that information.
After entering the resize command the system needs to be
restarted to take effect. Configuring System Restore points won’t
solve every problem you may have with Windows, but it will give
!
you more control of how Windows allocates resources.
NVPCUG Computer News, April 2010, Page 19
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