Jan 2005
WINdows usERS
In This Issue
GMail . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
NewYears Resolutions . . . . 1
President’s Message. . . . . . 3
Ergonomics . . . . . . . . . . 3
Review: Streets & Trips . . . 6
Review: Diskeeper 9 . . . . . 8
Hard Drive Housekeeping . . 9
General Meeting . . . . . . 11
Gmail
By Dr. Herbert A. Goldstein
Editor, Sarasota PC Monitor
Sarasota FL PC Users Group
Gmail is a new, free, web-based
email service from Google, the
people who brought us that
remarkable search engine. Gmail, as
offered today, is an experiment in a
new kind of email. Similar to
Hotmail, it has some important
differences. Its foundation is the
concept that emails need never be
deleted, and you should always be
able to find any message at any time
by searching for it.
There are several major reasons
why Google’s concept of how email
should work is suspect. You get one
gigabyte of storage space for your
Gmails. No other Internet Service
Provider offers even one-tenth of this
amount. With this quantity of space
available, deleting mail seems less
urgent.
Continued on page 4
January
2005
New Year’s
Resolutions
for Computer Users
By Ira Wilsker
APCUG Board of Directors
T
his is the season when we are
often asked about our New Year’s
resolutions. We may want to lose
weight, be a better worker, better
family member, or other virtuous
improvements, but we should also
resolve to be better cybercitizens and
practice “Safe HEX.”
Here are some suggested
resolutions:
1. Update antivirus software at
least daily – new viruses, worms,
and Trojans are appearing at a rapid
pace, with an estimated 12,000 new
ones appearing in 2004 alone. New
viruses can spread around the world
literally in minutes, so antivirus
software that has not been updated at
least daily may be worse than no
antivirus software at all. We may
have a false sense of security using
non-updated software, believing that
we are protected from the current
crop of viruses, so we click on any
interesting email attachments, and
insert that questionable floppy in our
computers, a dangerous practice.
Considering that there are a variety
of free antivirus products available,
and commercial antivirus software is
reasonably priced (especially after
rebates), there is absolutely no reason
why not to have current antivirus
software that is updated at least daily.
2. Spam mail – Delete them
without opening them, period. As
2004 came to a close, estimates are
that up to 80% of all email is spam.
Never purchase anything that is
advertised by spam email. Never
click on a link in spam email, as
many links may load Trojans on your
computer, or result in identity theft.
Never disclose any personal
information such as account
numbers, passwords, social security
numbers, PIN numbers, etc. in
response to an email, even if it says
that your account will be threatened
if you do not click on the link. This
illicit and criminal practice is a
method of identity theft called
“phishing.” Many who market via
spam mail are scammers and thieves
who make unverifiable claims about
Continued on page 5
Telephone Help Line
PROGRAM/SOFTWARE NAME
PHONE
TIME
CorelDraw & Ventura
& PhotoPaint
Hardware
Internet
Novell, NT & Networking
Quicken & Quickbooks
Windows 95,98,Me,Xp
Word for Windows
WordPerfect Windows
Sunny Lockie
949-644-0103
Jonathan Means
Cathy Grammer-Margolin
Jonathan Means
Max Lockie
Siles Bazerman
Cathy Grammar-Margolin
Sunny Lockie
714-542-1653
949-645-5950
714-542-1653
949-720-8170
714-897-2868
949-645-5950
949-644-0103
6-10 p.m. weekdays
9 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends
6-9 p.m.
6-10 p.m. & weekends
6-9 p.m.
6-10 p.m. & weekends
9 a.m.-8 p.m.
6-10 p.m. & weekends
6-10 p.m. weekdays
9 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President
Steve Dela
Vice President
Terry Currier
714-774-2018
[email protected]
Secretary
Gerry Bretts
949-760-9753
[email protected]
Treasurer
Rudy Wolf
General Meeting
January 8
Orange Coast College
9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
in Science Room #149
714-775-8373
[email protected]
714-528-3715
[email protected]
Membership
Louise McCain
714-964-8031
[email protected]
Programs
Terry Currier
714-774-2018
[email protected]
By-Laws
Max Lockie
949-644-0103
[email protected]
Editor/Publisher
Steve Dela
WINNERS Notepad is published
monthly by WINNERS, PO Box
9804, Newport Beach, CA, 92658. A
subscription is included with all paid
memberships in WINNERS. Other
non-profit user groups may reprint
WINNERS Notepad articles without
prior permission, provided proper author, title and publication credits are
given.
WINNERS, contributors and editors of Notepad do not assume liability for damages arising from the
publication or non-publication of any
advertisement, article, editorial, or
other item in this newsletter. All
opinions expressed are those of the
individual authors only and do not
necessarily represent the opinions of
WINNERS, its Board of Directors,
the WINNERS Notepad, or its editors.
Page 2
PURPOSE
WINNERS, a computer association, is a volunteer organization
providing a forum for sharing information and experiences related to
Windows-based software, encouraging ethical use of computers and software, and offering service to our
communities.
MEMBERSHIP
Annual membership is $20.00 for
individuals; $5.00 each additional
family member.
MEETINGS
WINNERS generally meets the
second Saturday of each month from
9:00 a.m. to 12 noon at Orange Coast
College in the Science Building,
Room #149, 2701 Fairview, Costa
Mesa.
Sunny Lockie
949-644-0103
[email protected]
Board Members
Ken Kamber
714-637-4496
[email protected]
Ed Koran
562-427-2560
[email protected]
Charles Schreiber
714-378-1253
[email protected]
Info/Message Line
949-644-0295
Website: http://windowsusers.org
FUTURE MEETING DATES
«
«
«
«
January 8
February 12
March 12
April 9
President’s Message
By Steven Dela
A
t December meeting of Winners, we had a very knowledgeable and
informative speaker talking about how the Internet is being used to spread
hate and propaganda. The Internet is now the preferred medium for
spreading their message to a larger audience than before. Several sites were
viewed and shown how new technology has enabled these groups to spread
their message by taking advantage of the latest in software and content
features.
It’s a sad fact that such a powerful forum has been hijacked by those who
continue to spread their word and seek recruits to perpetuate their hate and
deceit. When so much good can be done through education and the sharing
of knowledge, it’s too bad that such a wonderful technology is being
misused.
The beginning of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas
highlights early January. This five-day event showcases the latest in
electronics. Many new products are introduced at the show. Emphasis this
year is on portability, capability, and enhanced features. Look for new
products in high-definition TV, portable audio, and video devices and very
affordable prices. Terry Currier is attending the show, and will have
highlights in the next newsletter and a discussion at the February meeting.
Some of the hot new technology that has hit consumer stores already are
items such as the iPod from Apple computer. There was such a demand for
this audio recording device that units were being offered on the eBay for
above list price. Creative Labs and iRiver are offering similar devices.
Another interesting technology is satellite media broadcasting. The most
popular are XM Radio and Sirius satellite radio. This technology has been
offered in automobiles with radios capable of receiving the satellite
broadcasts anywhere in the country. No worry about having to find local
stations as you travel. With this technology, you can stay tuned on one
channel wherever you travel. Both units also deliver high quality digital
sound.
XM Radio recently introduced a portable unit for consumers. Called
My-Fi, this unit can be carried by a person just like regular radio can be.
What sets it apart is that it can record up to five hours of content for
listening to later. There’s a small 5GB hard drive embedded in the device
that delivers is capability.
There are rumors that satellite broadcast technology will be offering
streaming video content in the very near future. Children and grandchildren
could be easily entertained while traveling by car. What happened to the
days of looking out the window and watching all the interesting sites pass
by?
Watch for new and exciting technology like this to continue to emerge in
2005. See you at this month’s meeting!
Steve
Ergonomics
for the
Elderly
By Dr. Herbert A. Goldstein Editor,
Sarasota PC Monitor, Sarasota FL PC
Users Group
As baby boomers reach
retirement age, the ratio of
employees to retirees will equalize
over the next twenty years.
Considering that the foundation of
Social Security benefits is generated
from the workers, it is evident that
benefits will be inadequate for
future retirees. In order to endure,
the elderly will be forced to keep
working beyond the current
retirement age.
As our increasing knowledge of
the aging process brings about
breakthroughs in life extension
technologies, the elderly will come
to play a greater role in the
productivity of our economy.
Upcoming ergonomic developments
will be critical in order to
accommodate the elderly as viable
and productive members of the
workforce.
With the physical restrictions
that naturally come with age, we
can expect that many elderly would
be regarded as having disabilities
and the ones who are not
technically disabled could be
considered physically and mentally
compromised to some degree.
Therefore, any workplace
modifications that serve to
overcome limitations in strength,
coordination, endurance, sight,
hearing and shift adaptability will
accommodate the elderly into the
workplace.
Visual restrictions can be
overcome with a greater
dependence on verbal
communication with regard to
continued on page 7
Page 3
GMAIL
Continued from page 1
In Outlook, when you delete an
email message, it really isn’t
deleted. You’re simply transferring
it to another folder. Deleting it
permanently from that folder
requires confirmation on your part.
Outlook doesn’t make you go to the
Recycle Bin to finish the job, but
some Internet Service Providers
aren’t so considerate.
With Gmail, it seems much easier
to let the messages accumulate and
use the search feature to find what
you want when you need it. Even if
you decide to delete the message, it
may not be gone. Google says that
deleted messages will remain on the
system, and they will be accessible
at the company’s web site for as
long as Google cares to keep the
information.
Because of a new law in
California, Google was forced to
admit that the company will be
pooling any information you give
them from any of their services.
They will keep this information not
only as long as they wish, but they
reserve the right to give it to
whomever they wish. Don’t worry,
however. Google probably has
confidence that its intentions are
good. Its corporate motto is “Don’t
be evil.” It says so in their
corporate IPO filing to the
Securities and Exchange
Commission.
Upon close examination,
Google’s privacy policies aren’t any
different from Amazon, Microsoft,
and others. Their good-guy image
derives from their unconventional
corporate culture coupled with their
astonishingly successful search
engine.
Most people have no idea what’s
in the Electronic Communications
Privacy Act and why should they?
Most people aren’t legal scholars.
One of the Act’s provisions says
that after 180 days, emails are no
longer protected. Their status
Page 4
reverts to just another record in a
database. Any level of government,
from local to national, can force
Google to release your records
armed with nothing more than a
subpoena.
Google has never issued any
statements about its relationships
with other countries and this should
give you cause for concern. Check
out the language in the agreement
you have to make with Google
when you sign up for Gmail. You
are giving permission for Google to
release your Gmail records to any
official from any government, U.S.
or otherwise, who requests it for any
reason. Would you even want to
send an email to someone who has a
Gmail account, knowing that your
email may be examined by a foreign
government?
Google has also stated that your
email will be scanned so that you
can receive advertising and links to
relevant web sites. This applies to
both incoming and outgoing email.
Nothing in any of Google’s policies
or public statements applies to those
of us who don’t have Gmail
accounts. There is nothing in
Google’s privacy policy that would
prevent them from storing a list of
keywords scanned from incoming
email, and associating these
keywords with the incoming email
address in their database. Google
has promised their advertisers won’t
receive any information that would
allow personal identification but
what’s to stop Google from keeping
this information for some other
future use? No one except Google
knows if the company has deleted
any of the data they’ve collected
since going online. The cookie they
dropped on your hard drive doesn’t
expire until 2038 and it’s kept track
of every search term you’ve ever
used. How’s that for scary?
We don’t know for certain if
Google will build a colossal
database derived from keywords
associated with email addresses. If
that does turn out to be the case,
however, there is incredible
potential for abuse. The RIAA has
sent out thousands of “John Doe”
and “Jane Doe” subpoenas to
universities and internet service
providers to identify people who
download MP3 files illegally. If the
RIAA can force AOL to comply,
they can do it with Google.
Would an intelligence agency
make anything sinister of keywords
like “Send us the secret, Martha; it’s
only a recipe, not a nuclear launch
code”? Much more ominous would
be combinations like jihad coupled
with assassination. All kinds of
patterns can be generated from
keyword combinations. We’re
beginning to sound like paranoid
conspiracy theorists but the
potential for abuse is real and
should not be ignored. What makes
Gmail appear so suspicious, sinister
and frightening is the enormous
storage capacity that Google offers,
combined with its super efficient
search engine.
There is also the problem of
inappropriate ad matching. Stories
abound about online merchants who
send themselves email for testing,
and discover that something in their
emails generates ads for their
competitors. The “Backspace”
section of the October 5, 2004 issue
of PC Magazine shows a
juxtaposition of an advertisement
for an all-inclusive vacation in the
Caribbean along with an ad that
says “Just say no to all-inclusive.”
Gmail was launched presumably
as a response from Google users
complaining about the poor quality
of their current email services. Be
careful what you wish for.
__________
There is no restriction against any
non-profit group using this article as
long as it is kept in context with
proper credit given the author. The
Editorial Committee of the
Association of Personal Computer
User Groups (APCUG), an
international organization of which
this group is a member, brings this
article to you.
NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
Continued from page 1
their products, sell pirated software,
or who will take your hard earned
money and send nothing useful back
in return.
3. Never click on a popup ad.
While many are legitimate sellers,
many are also scams. As long as we
click on them, and sometimes make
purchases, the popup purveyors will
continue to plague us with their
material.
4. Practice good email etiquette,
also called “netiquette” – If
forwarding emails to others, do not
simply hit “forward” and enter names
from your address book. Having a lot
of headers, those lines of others’
email addresses and routing
information, as well as a lot of “>”
(greater-than) symbols makes email
difficult to read. Strip off any useless
header by highlighting and deleting
them, and delete the “>”.
Another beneficial piece of
netiquette is to be sure that
attachments are reasonable in size.
Since many newer digital cameras
can take poster-sized images, users
should reduce the size of emailed
images to a reasonable size such that
they can be easily viewed. It would
also be a good idea to save the image
in the universal JPG or GIF formats,
rather than the sometimes-default
BMP format, as the JPG and GIF
formats greatly compress the file,
making it a much smaller download. I
sometimes resent receiving a digital
photo taken at 2560x1720 or larger
when trying to view it. Recently,
someone proudly sent me a 4
megapixel photo of his new
grandchild to view on my 800x600
monitor. When I first loaded the
image, all I saw was a huge eye, and
with red-eye at that. Not just was the
file size huge and slow to download,
but the image was several times the
size of my screen, requiring me to
scroll to see the image.
5. Do not forward Hoaxes and
Urban Legends – These may be
cute, or we may feel that we are
really warning others about some
perceived threat, but please check out
any email which says “forward this to
everyone you know” as it will most
likely be a hoax or urban legend.
Sites such as
http://www.snopes.com
are excellent resources to debunk
hoaxes and urban legends. Be aware
that you cannot get rich or get gift
certificates by forwarding emails, and
that the poor, dying kid in Georgia
wanting postcards has long since recovered. Save yourself some potential
embarrassment and email bandwidth
and refuse to forward these messages
without first verifying their authenticity. Smart people can be duped too, so
do not automatically trust the sender.
6. Kill Spyware – According to
many cyber security experts,
spyware, software that can gather and
send information of the users’
activities, may be a greater threat
than computer viruses. Spyware is
used to steal passwords, account
numbers, and other personal
information, as well as generate
obscene popup ads, redirect
purchases and searches, and several
other undesirable acts. Also referred
to as “malware” spyware is
dangerous.
Microsoft, never first on the
bandwagon, is now in the process of
attempting to purchase one of the
anti-spyware software companies.
While there are several decent
commercial anti-spyware products on
the market, there are also some
excellent free ones, such as Spybot
Search and Destroy
http://www.safer-networking.org
and Ad-Aware SE
http://www.lavasoftusa.com
Never respond to the scam popup
ads that tell you that your computer is
infested and click here … many of
those supposed anti-spyware products
are scams themselves. Install
legitimate anti spyware software,
update it and run it at least weekly.
7. Participate in National Cyber
Security Awareness Month October 2005. Put it on your
calendar and go to
http://www.staysafeonline.info/
to find out how you and your User
Group can participate in this important event.
All of the resolutions above are
necessary, and easier to keep than
losing weight.
________
There is no restriction against any
non-profit group using this article as
long as it is kept in context with
proper credit given the author. The
Editorial Committee of the
Association of Personal Computer
User Groups (APCUG), an
international organization of which
this group is a member, brings this
article to you.
Page 5
review
Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005
By Terry Currier
I
was actually going to buy the
Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005
during my after-Thanksgiving
shopping. They had a good price but
I knew it would not have the street
my son just brought a home on since
it was new. That worked out pretty
well since my son brought me the
Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005 with
GPS Locator for Christmas. I bought
him some socks. (Stop laughing.
They are very good socks.)
It installed with no problems. It
gives the option to fully install so
you don’t need the CD in the drive
all the time. The GPS hooks up
through a USB port—which it
changes to a com port. It worked
very well. I hooked it up and we
drove around Stockton to test it. The
two best features was showing on
the map (screen) exactly where we
Page 6
were, and changing the orientation
of the map to show the direction in
which we were going. This really
come in handy. When looking at a
ordinary map, you
have to cock your
head to figure out
which way to go.
There is a limitation
to this—it does not
give audio
directions to you.
You have to look at
the screen to make
sure you are going
in the right
direction. It’s so
cool, it even adjusts
with me just turning
into a parking space
in a different
direction.
Remember, safety
first. Don’t look at
the screen while
driving. You can
also use it with
Pocket PC,
Smartphones, and Tablet PCs.
The interface has not changed
over the years. The only difference
between it and my 2003 Streets &
Trips is the addition of the GPS
Task pane icon. There are, of course,
more streets and places added on
with the 2005 S&T. There are now
more than 5.4 million miles of
routable local, city, state, and
highway roads in the United States
and Canada. It has information on
the map for more than 550,000
restaurants, 90,700 gas stations,
117,000 ATM locations, 7,950 golf
courses, and much more. I do miss
the pre-2001 S&T when they had
the Zagat Survey ratings.
Route Planner lets you view, add,
delete, and rearrange destinations.
Route Planner also lets you set fuel
costs, driving speed, and preferred
routes. It will also, if you want,
check road and construction
conditions of your route. I checked
the road conditions going from
home to Las Vegas and it listed the
road widening work being done.
ERGONOMICS
Continued from page 3
instructions and assistive technology
such as audio recorders. Labels
should be in large, clear print with
large, high-resolution computer
monitors. Voice recognition software
is also helpful. Other modifications
include paper holders and bookstands
that allow for optimal positioning of
written materials, voice mail systems
for messages and raised edges along
the sides of work surfaces to prevent
objects from falling off.
In personnel with hearing
limitations any audible information
should be supplemented with some
form of visual presentation. Whole
body vibration transmitted to chairs
should be minimized by utilizing
anti-vibration seating surface.
Ambient noise should be minimized
through workstation design, isolating
noisy printers, sound dampening etc.
Workers should have vibrating
pagers, visual call indicators and
sound amplifiers on telephones.
Search capabilities are very good. I
can look up an address or place by
clicking the Find button on the tool
bar. In the Street Address field, type
the number and street name of the
place you want to locate. You can
also look up by street intersection
(i.e. Harbor & Merrimac in Costa
Mesa). You can look up a place in a
city OR even a business such as a
hotel or restaurant. Looking up
Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, NV, took me
right there (even though I can’t afford
to stay there).
Printing is better since it now
has a feature to extend view to fit
the page. But it still lacks a print
preview. It makes good use of
color, but I at least would like to
choose a white background to
improve printing speed and
paper saturation. When printing,
you do have a choice of map or
directions (if you ask it to do so).
S&T will also put an overview
map on the printout if you
request it to do so.
Checking the internet-based
maps is really for those who
have never tried a map program.
The pictures are much clearer
and printouts are a world of
difference with a map program.
The elderly should have their work
environment arranged in such a way
as to avoid unnecessary reaching,
lifting and carrying. Storage systems
with pull out shelves and workstation
carousels help to keep frequently
used materials within 18 inches of the
body. Containers should be provided
to break loads into manageable units
and the employee should have the
means to slide any materials over two
pounds. Mechanical reaching devices
should be available for accessing
supplies beyond the reach of the
worker.
With the preservation of their
mental faculties and the advent of
ergonomic innovations for staff, the
elderly will find themselves
continuing to play a dynamic and
productive role in society into the
later years.
_________
The Editorial Committee of the
Association of Personal Computer User
Groups (APCUG), an international
organization of which this group is a
member, brings this article to you.
Page 7
review
Executive Software Diskeeper 9
By Terry Currier
I
f you believe that “time is money,”
then this is money well spent.
Remember those long periods of time
while you waited for your defragging
to get done? Even worse, you had to
boot into safe mode so it would
complete. Microsoft provides
Windows users with a defragging
utility for free. So why spend money
for the same thing? Because, it’s not
the same thing. Executive Software
Diskeeper is faster—way
faster—than the defrag from
Microsoft (which is why it is free).
The point of defragging is to get
all your files together. It helps the
computer by taking a shorter time to
find all of the files it needs to work
with. The program will even show
you how much faster (percentage) it
would be after defragging the
fragmented files.
Even better, you don’t have to sit
on your hands while it defrags. It
uses a patented, high-speed,
Page 8
multi-pass engine that runs
300-500% faster than the Windows
free defragmenter. Yet, it can use so
little resources that you are able to
still do work on the computer while
it runs in the background. In fact,
with new 9.0 comes
I/O Smart that
keeps scheduled
Diskeeper jobs
from slowing down
your system by
backing off when
any user activity
takes place.
I have been
copying my old
vinyl records onto
my computer. It
takes a lot of time
to do so, and a
whole lot of disk
space. Each song
will take up about
35Kb hard disk
space. Then. after
going through them
to edit or even
deleting some songs causes a lot of
fragmentation. In fact, when I
checked my temp folder, I had over
2,000 tmp files that I had to
manually delete. Fragmentation of
large files can cause big slowdowns.
Believe me, defragging with
Microsoft defrag will work, but it
will take a large part of the day.
With Diskeeper, I was able to do the
defrag and start doing other things
quickly.
If I wanted to, I could use their
“Set It and Forget It” scheduling
mode, allowing up to two schedules
per volume, including Screen Saver
and SmartScheduling™ modes.
SmartScheduling automatically
schedules background
defragmentation based on individual
usage patterns. You can also set
exclusion times when the Smart
Scheduling option will be prevented
from scheduling a defragmentation
run. The new File Performance
defragmentation mode will actually
defragment areas of the disk that are
causing the biggest slowdowns.
Their new FragShield help keeps
your Master File Table (MFT) and
Page File optimized. Frag Shield is
comprised of two components: the
MFT configuration tool and the
paging file configuration tool. These
tools allow you to set up your paging
file(s) and MFT(s) such that
fragmentation will be unlikely to
occur in the future. After running
Frag Shield once, data gathered by
Diskeeper during future analysis and
defragmentation jobs, as well as data
gathered periodically on paging file
usage, is used to determine if either
configuration tool should be run
again. In most cases, once these tools
are run they will not be needed again.
The paging file is an area of a disk
set aside to temporarily hold data
needed. This is known as “paging” or
“swapping.” The Frag Shield paging
file configuration tool helps you set
defragmentation while the laptop is
running on battery power.
Okay...it’s not free but it does give
you more free time, and what is that
worth to you?
You can check out a 30 trial
version at
http://www.execsoft.com/trialware/trialware.asp
intended to reside in computer
memory. As the operating system
needs physical memory (RAM), it
temporarily moves less-used data
from the RAM to the hard disk. Data
is copied back and forth between the
paging file and the system memory as
the paging file size correctly and
handles any fragmentation incurred
during the process.
For laptop users, Diskeeper 9 has
an improved Power Saving mode that
suspends background
Diskeeper Home Edition ($29.50) and
Professional Edition System ($49.50)
Requirements:
For use on any single computer running Windows XP (Home Edition and
Professional), 2000 Professional, ME,
98 and 95.
Diskeeper Professional Edition also
supports Windows NT 4.0 Workstation.
File Systems Supported: FAT16,
FAT32, NTFS
Page 9
Hard Drive HouseKeeping Is Vital
By Dennis Schulman
Tampa Bay Computer Society
F
or those of you who surf the net
on a regular basis—and that includes
those who use dialup access as well
as cable or DSL—it is absolutely
crucial that you take your hard drive
housekeeping more seriously than
you ever thought necessary. Many
users think that by having a suite of
utilities, such as Norton or McAfee,
that you are protected. You might be,
but I seriously doubt it for so many
reasons I won’t go into it now except
for three:
You use auto update and auto
scan. This requires that your
computer be online at the time to
run the auto update. In the case of
cable or DSL, that is possible, but
the computer has to be on at the
time also. In the case of dialup, the
computer won’t go online unless
your password is saved and used
automatically. That, of course,
defeats keeping friends and
annoying children from messing up
the computer without your
knowledge. So, you might want to
run your antivirus update manually,
just to make certain it worked and
there were no errors.
The second reason is based on the
fact that if you did not clean house
before scanning, you risk the
possibility of the antivirus finding a
virus it could not delete or
quarantine and you did not know it.
You also risk the possibility of not
knowing if the auto update was not
run successfully for one of many
reasons (and time and space won’t
permit that discussion at this time)
and consequently your subsequent
full system auto scan may not be
able to recognize the latest nasties
you have managed to acquire.
Page 10
There is a third, more obtuse,
reason. If you don’t really know if
your system is truly clean and clear
of all the bad stuff, how will you
know what to do when you get a
message that says something to the
effect: “It has been determined that
your computer has been sending
messages infected with the ______
trojan horse virus to what appears to
be the email listing of your address
book. If you do not take appropriate
action immediately, your email
service will be discontinued. If your
anti virus program has failed to
protect you, please download the
following trojan horse removal tool
and run it immediately.
So, here is a housekeeping
procedure I use—which is
manual—because then I am more
certain that I know the status of my
files than most of the “suite”
programs. And it doesn’t use
much—if any—of my system
resources except when I use it. Just
in case you think you have all the
utilities you need, let me comment
that I am not an expert on your
system, but I spend more time now
than ever before on systems that
have too many over-burdensome
utilities that are truly unnecessary
and in some cases more dangerous
than what they claimed to be
designed to do. What I am
proposing is basically using 3 little
free utilities that only work when
invoked, along with utilities that
already come with your computer.
Run Disk Cleanup (under System
Tools under Accessories on the
Programs menu) and process all
options (don’t worry about
compressed files, but do them at a
later time when you have nothing
else to do, since it could take quite a
while if you haven’t done it the first
time.)
Clear your browser cache (In
Internet Explorer go to Tools,
Internet Options. Delete cookies and
delete all offline files.) In Netscape
Communicator go to Edit,
Preferences, Advanced, Clear
Memory Cache and Clear Disk
Cache)
Open Windows Explorer
(right-click on My Computer, select
Explore), Select the folders/View
option and select show all files
except system files (You can leave it
this way.) Find any folders called
tmp, temp, or cookies. Unless you
have a good working knowledge of
what cookies you need or do not
need, you probably don’t need the
contents of any of the temp,
cookies, or temporary internet
folders except the index.dat file
(you might want to save the
contents of the History folder)
Empty the Recycle Bin
Update and run the latest core
version of Adaware SE Personal
Edition (currently version 1.05).
Once the scan is complete, click on
an object found, right-click a lined
item and select all, click next and
remove all.
Update and run the latest version
of Spybot (currently version 1.3.)
Before running the scan, run
immunize. Then run Look for
Problems. Once problems are found,
select them all and click on Fix
Problems.
Note: Some spyware may be
associated with programs you want
to use, so read the help section for a
further understanding of the features
and options on both of these
programs. These spyware objects
detector utilities can be downloaded
from
http://www.download.com
or
http://www.majorgeeks.com
There is a third utility, called a
hijack remover. There are many
available, but I like CWShredder.exe
(current version 2.00). Use
http://www.google.com
to find the program. Just make certain
you are not online and that your
browser is not open when you run it.
You may be surprised and pleased if it
finds something and fixes it (generally really bad stuff).
Now you should be able to update
and run your antivirus more
successfully than ever before. The
only catch is that it takes time. Once
you figure out about how much time
each step takes, you can determine
whether you can walk away and
come back later when it is done.
I recommend running
HouseKeeping at the end of every
day you go online—if you can
manage it. (cough! cough!)
Otherwise, run it every 3 days for
certain.
Now, if you know your computer
is clean and pure, then this is the only
condition to justify running the
defragmentation utility (once a week
or twice a month). Defrag does not
“fix” anything. It enhances the
performance of a healthy
environment. If you attempt to
defrag a “sick” system, you could
make it worse to the extent that the
computer will fail to boot or run. If
you have Windows 2000 or Windows
XP, you can run defrag directly. If
you have Windows Me, 98, or 95,
run it in Safe Mode. I prefer running
Defrag in Safe Mode as I have a UPS
and the computer can complete the
defrag, even if the lights go out in the
house.
Now that you have successfully
learned the housekeeping routine and
understand its importance without the
need for complex and sometimes
dangerous free software utilities that
can cause conflicts, you can set up
the program scheduler to run your
housekeeping routine for you and just
check up on it from time to time to
see that it is accomplishing your
wishes.
Feel free to email me for further
details and other fine, free utilities
available for keeping your hard drive
and system performing at its best.
___________
Dennis Schulman, known as the
PC Miracle Man, has been a
practicing field consultant in Largo,
Florida for over 22 years. He has
been a member of the Tampa Bay
Computer Society for over 15 years
and was the editor of its sometimes
40-page newsletter for 5 years. He
can be contacted at
[email protected]
The Editorial Committee of the
Association of Personal Computer User
Groups (APCUG), an international
organization of which this group is a
member, brings this article to you.
General Meeting Info
Steve Dela will show you some tools that are on the Windows CD which you may not even know about. Some of
you may have even installed them and never looked to see what it will do. For instance
Acldiag.exe: ACL Diagnostics
This command-line tool helps diagnose and troubleshoot problems with permissions on Active Directory objects. It
reads security attributes from access control lists (ACLs) and writes information in either readable or tab-delimited
format. The latter can be uploaded into a text file for searches on particular permissions, users, or groups, or into a
spreadsheet or database for reporting. The tool also provides some simple cleanup functionality.
apimon.exe APIMON
Application Monitor. It monitors a running application for all Application Programming Interface (API) calls.
APIMON counts and times all API calls. It will also, optionally, monitor page faults caused by the monitored
application and report them by API call.
APIMON is used as a performance monitor to help tune your application. The data can be used to determine where
the hot spots are in your application by examining the APIs with the largest times and/or counts.
Depends.exe: Dependency Walker
This GUI tool scans any Windows module (including .exe, .dll, .ocx, and .sys, among others) and builds a
hierarchical tree diagram of all dependent modules. For each module found, it lists all the functions that are exported
by that module, and identifies which of those functions are actually being called by other modules. Another view
displays the minimum set of required files, along with detailed information about each file, including a full path to the
file, base address, version numbers, computer type, debug information, and more.
Page 11
January 8 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Orange Coast College
Science Building #149
STEVE DELA
See page 11 for details
PO Box 9804
Newport Beach, CA 92658
SAN DIEGO
FW
Y.
405
ADAMS AVE.
ORANGE COAST COLLEGE
MERRIMAC
PARKING
Lewis
Center
Room #149
MERRIMAC WAY
FAIRVIEW DR.
HARBOR BLVD.
Science Bldg
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