COMPUTER NEWS Inside This Issue Attend the January 21

COMPUTER NEWS Inside This Issue Attend the January 21
Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group
http://www.
nvpcug.org
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558
COMPUTER
NEWS
Volume 26, No. 1
Jan 2009
Attend the January 21
NVPCUG General Meeting
Inside This Issue
2
NVPCUG Special Interest Groups
2
NVPCUG Calendar
2
President’s Message
3
Officers List
4
Budget 2009 Napa Valley PC Users Group
5
XP SP3-Access Denied
5
Cloud Computing
6
Windows 7 is coming soon
7
Freebies!
8
Music Tagging with ID3
The Napa Valley Personal Computer Users
Group will meet Wednesday,
Jan. 21, 7:00-9:00 P.M.,
at the Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa, California
10 Surviving the Switch to Digital TV
11 Copying Information from
Your Screen
12 Review - magicJack
14 Build a ‘Green’ PC on a Budget
The Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group has served novice and
experienced computer users since 1983.
Through its monthly meetings,
newsletters, online forum, special
interest groups, mentor program and
community involvement, it has helped
educate people of all ages. The
NVPCUG provides opportunities for
people to find friends who share
common interests and experiences.
From January 2003 to October 2007
the NVPCUG provided 783 computers
and 140 printers to local schools.
Additional equipment has been given
to charitable nonprofit organizations
and to disadvantaged individuals.
The meeting begins with Random Access, an
open-floor question-and-answer period during
which attendees can ask questions about
computers and computer-related problems and
receive helpful information from other meeting
attendees. Questions may be submitted before the meeting by emailing them to Random Access moderator Jerry Brown at
[email protected]
During the November Computer Tutor
session, Jeff Solomon, will be demonstrating and
discussing OpenOffice.org 3 which is an opensource office software suite for word processing,
spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases
and more. If you are looking for an alrenative
office suite program, OpenOffice might just be the program for
you. It can be downloaded h t t p : / / d o w n l o a d .
o p e n o f f i c e . o r g / orh t t p : / / d o w n l o a d .
openoffice.org/ from and used completely free of charge. If
you have an idea or question that the Computer Tutor can
demonstrate, please email your ideas to the Computer Tutor, Jeff
Solomon at [email protected]
The main presentation this month will be a surprise to all who attend.
Could you use some practical information that would help you
make better use of your computer? Come to this meeting! Guests
are always welcome. Admission is always free.
Interested in becoming a member? See page 14 for application
information.
NVPCUG Computer News, Jan 2009
NVPCUG
President’s Message
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS
& MAC GROUP
In SIG meetings you can learn about
a subject in greater detail than
is feasible at NVPCUG general
meetings. SIG meetings are open to
everyone. M e e t i n g t i m e s a n d
locations occasionally change, so
for current meeting information, see
our Web site, www.nvpcug.org, or
contact the SIG leaders.
Investors SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Monday
5:30 to 7:30 p.m
Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
Leader: Jerry Brown
(707) 254-9607
[email protected]
Digital Photography SIG
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 - 8:30 p.m.
Napa Senior Activity Center
1500 Jefferson St., Napa
Leader: Ron Rogers
(707) 226-5352
ronrogersnapamug
@gmail.com
By Ron Dack, president, http://www.nvpcug.org/,
[email protected]
January 2009
Well here we are in 2009 and the group is still in
existence and still functioning. This is the case due
to unselfish actions, and hard work by many people.
In December I thanked many of those individuals
for their dedication and hard work including Dianne
Prior but at the time we had not yet had the Holiday
Party. Dianne did an excellent job of putting together another great party.
Everyone I talked with had a wonderful time and enjoyed it immensely.
Dick & Sandy Peterson as usual had the place decorated for the season
and a roaring fire to keep us warm and cozy. Thank you Dianne, Dick,
and Sandy.
If you haven’t heard Jeff Solomon our Computer Tutor was chosen
as the 2008 Member of the Year. Congratulations Jeff and thank you
for all the extra effort you put into our group.
After several years of trying to be different than every other
computer user group, we also had to accept the fact that it was cost
prohibitive to print and mail a paper newsletter. Prior to the board
coming to this decision I researched the database at APCUG. They
have done extensive research on computer group fees/dues and
newsletter publication types throughout the world. I found that we
were one of the only computer user groups worldwide who was
actually publishing a paper printed newsletter. I also found our dues
level was in the low average range for groups similar to ours.
The Board of Directors will continue to look at our dues level versus
expenses during this year and if we find that a decrease in dues is
best for the group and the members we will consider doing so. I have
discussed our financial status and issues in previous issues of this
newsletter, general member meetings, and at numerous Board of
Directors meetings. For additional information on this issue read
some of the archived newsletters at: http://www.nvpcug.org/
Newsletter.htm.
President’s Message cont.on page 4
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
Jan 21
Feb 4
Feb 9
Feb 11
Feb 12
Feb 18
Mar 4
Mar 9
Mar 11
Mar 12
Mar 18
7:00-9:00 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
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
Investors SIG meeting + C
Digital Photography SIG meeting + B
Napa Valley Mac User Group + A
NVPCUG General Meeting + D
NVPCUG Computer News, Jan 2009, Page 2
Meeting Locations
A - Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
B - Piner’s Nursing Home,
1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
C - Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
D - Peterson’s Family Christmas
Tree Farm, 1120 Darms
Lane, Napa.
Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group Contact Information
Officers for 2008
Board of Directors
President
Vice President
Secretary
Treasurer
Other Directors:
Director
Ron Dack
unlisted
[email protected]
Dick Peterson
738-1812
[email protected]
Marcia Waddell 252-2060
[email protected]
Roy Wagner
253-2721
[email protected]
Susy Ball, Ron Dack, Jim Gray, Dick Peterson, Bob Simmerman,
Kathy Slavens, Dean Unruh, Marcia Waddell, and Roy Wagner.
Jim Gray
unlisted
[email protected]
Appointed Officers
Computer Tutor Coordinator
Jeff Solomon
553-2114
[email protected]
Facility Arrangements Coordinator
Dianne Prior
252-1506
[email protected]
Greeter Coordinator
Kathy Slavens
251-9193
[email protected]
Greeter Coordinator
Bob Simmerman 259-6113
[email protected]
Librarian
Dean Unruh
226-9164
Librar[email protected]
Membership Director
Bob Simmerman 259-6113
[email protected]
Newsletter Circulator
Jim Hearn
224-2540
[email protected]
Newsletter Editor
Susy Ball
337-3998
[email protected]
Product Review CoCoordinator
Susy Ball
337-3998
[email protected]
Product Review CoCoordinator
Marcia Waddell
252-2060
[email protected]
Programs Director
Susy Ball
337-3998
[email protected]
Publicity Director
Ron Dack
unlisted
[email protected]
Random Access Moderator
Jerry Brown
254-9607
[email protected]
Special Projects Director
VOLUNTEER NEEDED
[email protected]
Webmaster
Ron Dack
unlisted
Sales Coordinator
VOLUNTEER NEEDED
[email protected]
[email protected]
• All telephone numbers are in Area Code 707.
NVPCUG Computer News, Jan 2009, Page 3
NVPCUG
Computer News
Computer News (ISS
0897-5744) is
published monthly by
the Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group, Inc.
(NVPCUG), P.O. Box
2866, Napa, CA
94558-0286.
Subscriptions: $30 for
one year (12 issues).
Editor: Susy Ball,
[email protected]
The material in
Computer News is
intended for
noncommercial
purposes and may not
be reproduced without
prior written permission,
except that permission
for reproducing articles,
with authors properly
credited, is granted to
other computer user
groups for their internal,
nonprofit use only. The
information in this
newsletter is believed
to be correct. However,
the NVPCUG can
assume neither
responsibility for errors
or omissions nor liability
for any damages
resulting from the use
or misuse of any
information.
The NVPCUG is an IRC
501(c)(3) tax-exempt
nonprofit educational
organization (EIN 680069663) and is a
member of the
Association of Personal
Computer User Groups
(APCUG), an
international
organization. Donations
to the NVPCUG are
tax-deductible as
charitable contributions
to the extent allowed by
law. Copyright © 2008
by NVPCUG.
President’s Message cont. from page 2
During 2009 we anticipate the following additional
expenses:
1.
New projector ($800-$2000)
2.
Presentation laptop that will handle current
and future programs ($500-$1800)
3.
One or more wireless microphones (one for
audience questions, one for presenter (lapel or
headset type)?) ($150-$250)
4.
Wireless access point/router to eliminate some
of the cables on the floor at the meetings and so
people with laptops can access the Internet at
the meetings ($50-$100)
5.
We have also agreed to pay our share of blinds
(along with the NVMUG Mac group) for the
meeting room at the Napa Senior Activity
Center (cost unknown)
Most of the above expenses are long-term usage
items that we have needed to improve the general
meetings. Until this year the publishing of the printed
newsletter has prohibited us from considering the
purchase of these items. Hopefully this year we will
be able to acquire at least some of them.
It is my belief and the Board of Directors belief that
the NVPCUG should pay it’s own way. We could not
have survived the last few years had not several
people donated extensively to the group. Had,
members like Susy Ball, Dianne Prior, and several
others asked for full reimbursement for the many
items they have purchased for raffles, members
drawings, picnic, holiday party, thank you gifts, cards,
postage, travel expenses and other necessary items
for the group we would now be bankrupt.
This may be the first year in a long time that the
NVPCUG can afford to hold workshops, participate
with a table at the fair, reimburse people for necessary
and authorized expenses they made for the group’s
benefit.
In this newsletter or a coming newsletter our
Treasurer Roy Wagner will be including the tentative
2009 Budget for the NVPCUG. Keep in mind that the
budget is a work in progress and is subject to change
depending on circumstances.
There will probably more to follow on these issues
but until then I hope to see each of you at the meeting
on January 21, 2008 7PM.
Happy 2009 and Take care,
Ron
Budget 2009 - Napa Valley PC Users Group
Budget 2009
Income
Member Dues
2110.00
Expenses
Room Rental 07-198;08-191
Postage
August Picnic
200.00
10.00
80.00
APCUG Dues
Liability Insurance
50.00
350.00
Corporate Insurance
PO Box
Recognition Awards
Holiday Party
unknown
75.00
115.00
150.00
Domain Name (5 yrs)
Presentation Laptop Computer
20.00
1000.00
New Projector
Wireless Microphone
Wireless Access
Secretary of State SI-100
1000.00
200.00
50.00
20.00
Expenses
3320.00
Net Income
-1210.00
Current Bank Balance 3286.06
NVPCUG Computer News, Jan 2009, Page 4
XP SP3-Access Denied
By Bob Elgines, President & Editor, Colorado River Computer Club, AZ, www.crcc-az.org,
[email protected] rraz.net
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).
Start Notepad, then enter the
following text:
I tried installing the Windows
XP SP3 upgrade several times
and, after talking with
Microsoft reps, I shut off my
antivirus, updated my BIOS,
but nothing seemed to work.
Then I decided to do a search
and found “Access
Denied” information and
over 340, 000 other
people had used
this same area. For
some reason a changeable entry in the Register is locked
and will not allow SP3 to change it.
First, do a right click on “My Computer” icon and
select “Properties” to see if it has been installed.
Here is what you need to do, if the Error message read
“Access Denied” or “Service Pack Installation Did Not
Complete”. First read your Svcpack.log, located under
the Windows folder in case you forgot what the error
message said, it should be at the bottom of the log.
Next Backup your Register, then download and install
“Subinacl.exe” from www.microsoft/
downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=e8ba
3e56-4a91-93cf-ed698Se3927b&display
lang=en
cd /d “%ProgramFiles%\Windows
Resource Kits\Tools”
subinacl /subkeyreg
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /
grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg
HKEY_CURRENT_USER /
grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /
grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /
grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %windir%\*.* /
grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
secedit /configure /cfg
%windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db
secsetup.sdb /verbose
Save As “Reset.cmd”. Now double click on this file.
It will take a while to complete its job.
Reboot your computer, you are now ready to install
Win ‘XP SP3. Go to windows update if you need to
find SP3 update.
„
Cloud Computing
By Sister Dorothy Robinson, Editor, OMUG News, The Olympia Microcomputer User Group,
WA, www.olymug.org, [email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s major benefits is that a company (or an individual, for that
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other matter) has the use of combined server resources they might
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
not otherwise be able to afford “in house.”
When did you first hear or see the term “cloud computing”?
The ever-vigilant Richard Stallman warns against the
I’m usually the last to know anything, it seems, so I’ve only
use of cloud computing: “Somebody is saying this is
recently started noticing this term on the Internet. I did some
inevitable—and whenever you hear somebody saying that,
research, and some say it’s the greatest thing since sliced
it’s very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to
bread—but others think it isn’t such a hot idea. In very simple
make it true… One reason you should not use web
terms, cloud computing is this: rather than having programs
applications to do your computing is that you lose control,”
and files on your computer, you would store files online and
he said. “It’s just as bad as using a proprietary program. Do
also access applications (programs) online (think Google
your own computing on your own computer with your copy
Docs or MS Office Live; think Flickr or Buzzword). Your
of a freedom-respecting program. If you use a proprietary
computer really wouldn’t need to have much on it, and you’d
program or somebody else’s web server, you’re defenseless.
have to have an Internet connection in order to run applications
You’re putty in the hands of whoever developed that
or access your files. Not only individuals, but also companies
software.” Food for thought.
„
would be doing this (and in fact, are doing it now). One of the
NVPCUG Computer News, Jan 2009, Page 5
Windows 7 is coming soon
By Sandy Berger, CompuKISS, www.compukiss.com, [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).
If you ask 100 people their impressions of the Microsoft
Vista operating system, 95 of them will tell you that Vista
is no good, even if they have never seen or used it.
It is obvious that public opinion of Vista is in the mud.
Microsoft made some major blunders when they introduced
Vista. There were not enough drivers ready, so many
printers, scanners, and other peripherals were incompatible.
There was no noticeable speed increase over Windows XP.
Vista requires much additional memory and more hardware,
so it was often impossible to upgrade current Windows XP
computers. Also, Microsoft did not woo the press as they
did when they introduced Windows XP, so Vista got a lot
of awful publicity. Vista is not a bad operating system, but
Vista has gotten a bad name. Microsoft has lost the battle
and they know it. So they are working on a new Windows
operating system.
Microsoft hopes to make a clean break with previous
Windows operating systems with this new version of
Windows. They are especially distancing the new operating
system from the “wicked” Vista operating system. This is
obvious in the name they have chosen for the new OS.
They are not using year names like Windows 2000. They
are not using what they refer to as inspirational names, like
XP or Vista. Instead, they will go back to their original
numerical naming convention. There was a Windows 1,
Windows 2, and Windows 3. Now there is to be a new
operating system called “Windows 7”.
It you have been following the versions of Windows as
they have been introduced, you will find it difficult to
comprehend that this next version is actually the seventh
version of Windows, but Microsoft says that it is, so that
is that. It’s Windows 7.
More important than the name, however, is the fact that
Microsoft cannot afford another misstep. They must make
this operating system faster and better than Vista. Microsoft
has already showed off Windows 7 at some developer’s
conferences and has made some announcements and
promises.
Windows 7 will be built on the Vista base, so peripherals
that work with Vista, which now includes most printers,
scanners, and other devices, will also work with Windows 7.
Windows 7 will have a smaller storage footprint and will
use less memory. This will allow it to run on the new small
Netbooks that are now running Windows XP or Unix
because Windows Vista cannot run on their small solid
state drives.
Windows 7 will boot up and shut down faster. It will
have improved battery life on laptops. It is also promised
to have an easier-to-use interface and to be easier to
network in a home environment.
Although Microsoft is officially targeting January 2010 for
the launch of Windows 7, logic indicates that they will have
Windows 7 ready for next year’s holiday selling season.
This holiday season you’ll find some great prices on
computers running Microsoft Vista. If all goes well, when
the holiday season rolls around in 2009, the stores will be
filled with computers running the next version of Windows,
Windows 7. Microsoft has made mistakes before, but I
think they will do everything they possibly can to make
Windows 7 a winner. So if you are looking to buy a new
PC, this year will be a good time to buy, but, if you can
wait, next year may be even better.
„
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.
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, Jan 2009, Page 6
Freebies!
By Dave Bilcik, a member of the STPCC (Southern Tier Personal Computing Club), New York,
[email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s the average. Help those friends who are less fortunate by
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
cleaning up their sluggish computers. Advanced
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
WindowsCare Personal Edition (h t t p : / /
It’s the Holiday Season! Home & hearth, good food w w w . i o b i t . c o m / a d v a n c e d w i n d o w s
and lots of presents, those banking and Wall Street careper.html) when installed and run on their machine,
executives should have a fine time this year (Santa will give them back the performance that they have been
Claus made a special ***bonus*** trip just for them... missing.
Ho-Ho-Ho!). Now, what are you going to do for the
The software is free, it helps a friend, costs only a
Holiday? Be creative and “Have Yourself A Freebie
little
of your time, and proves your computer kung fu is
Little Christmas.” People may thank you. Discover
much
stronger than theirs. Everybody wins!
(again) why it is called Christmas and not “Santamas”
Now that you have saved so much cash on creative,
(http://www.e-sword.net). You might find that
meaningful
gifts for your friends and family, you can
you really like the story.
now
reward
yourself for all your efforts. Try http://
You have technology at your fingertips so think about
www.thinkgeek.com
for loads of intriguing stuff.
what is important to the special people in your life and give
something meaningful to them. The best part; it doesn’t Check out the Ion USB Turntable that will help your
have to cost much to be meaningful. CD-Rs cost less than turn your vinyl music collection into digital goodness...
a first-class stamp, the most expensive 8 ½ x 11 photo- the turntable outputs files in either mp3 or WAV format.
If the good will, optimism and hope of the season gets to
paper you can get is under $1.00 per sheet while regular
paper is under a penny. Put something on that paper or CD be too much, try http://despair.com for a big
steaming cup of cynicism. It will help you to get back to
that interests the people you are interested in.
„
Pictures, sound, movies and even free software are all work after the holidays.
good candidates if it means something to your special
person. Picasa (http://picasa.google.com) will
help you with your pictures and slide shows. Print up a
nice 8x10 of that “creative” place where you hung the
mistletoe for your significant other.
If you have a crafter on your list, print up a collection of
cross-stitch or quilting patterns; one spot to try is http:/
/www.alitadesigns.com/index.php another is
http://www.freepatterns.com. Grandma might
be happy to get your custom x-stitch collection but don’t
send her your mistletoe picture by mistake. However, be
ready for some “cute” overload when prospecting for
freebies on the crafting sites.
If music or video is your passion then cdburnerxp
(http://cdburnerxp.se) will help you with either
one. It is a full featured burner that will let you make a
custom CD or DVD any time you wish. Like classical
music? A site that will point you to lots of free music is
http://www.classiccat.net/index.htm.
Don’t violate any copy-rights and fire up your CD/DVD
drive. That custom-mix lute CD is right at your fingertips.
Don’t forget your web-cam or digital camera with
movie mode. Give a CD or DVD with a video message
telling that special family member what they really mean
to you. If you are lucky, they will avoid you completely at
the next family reunion.
The fact that you are reading this shows you have
exquisite taste and a level of computer literacy way above
My personal email address is [email protected] if you want
to send me comments, questions or cash. Please put “Freebies”
somewhere on the subject line so I will have some idea about its
contents. Tell me about your best free software experience or your
best cookie (... ever!) and I will pass it on.
Optical Drives
When you can access some discs but not others, the
problem usually lies with the discs themselves, but
when you can’t access any discs, hardware is almost
always the culprit. First, shut down and unplug your
PC, open the PC case, and ground yourself by wearing
an antistatic wristband or by touching a metal part of the
case (make sure you don’t touch anything outside of the
case, or you’ll need to reground yourself). Check that
the IDE cable running between the rewriteable drive
and the motherboard is firmly connected on both ends;
if you’re not sure, remove each end and reinsert them.
If you have two optical drives connected to a single IDE
port, make sure all cable ends are firmly connected. If
one of those drives is a DVD drive, check the jumper
settings on both drives to make sure that the DVD drive
is set as the master and the other drive is set as the slave.
Also, check the drive manufacturer’s Web site for any
available firmware updates. If there’s an update available
for your drive, download and install it, carefully
following the manufacturer’s directions.
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, Jan 2009, Page 7
Music Tagging with ID3
By Mike Moore, Editor, Bowling Green Computer Users Group, KY, www.bgamug.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).
MP3 is a compressed
music format that can
be used to fit a track of
music that would
normally
occupy
hundreds of megabytes
on a Compact Disc into
four or five megabytes.
While some of the data is lost in this compression, it is data
that cannot normally be heard in the rendering of the music
file. In compressing music files this way, we can fit more
music onto our music appliances, such as iPods and other
MP3 players.
While the process of compressing music files is
interesting for techies, it is not something we normally
have to concern ourselves with, because often the
music files are already in MP3 format when we
acquire them. Double-click on the MP3 file and
PRESTO, the song plays.
What is interesting and really required of digital music
collectors is that we must keep our music organized. Since
there are obviously many ways in which one can name a
file of music, this is really not a very good way to keep a
library organized, unless you have complete control over
how a song is named.
Think of a given song. There are some obvious metrics
on which the song could be organized. For starters, we
have the name of the piece, the recording artist and label,
the name of the band or orchestra, the genre of music, and
so forth. There are dozens of less obvious metrics, such as
the length of the song, when it was recorded – even who
borrowed it from you and when!
These little pieces of information about a given track are
known as “meta-data” or “meta-information.” This set of
information is literally, data about data, because the music
file itself is a kind of digital data.
The music industry has adopted a standard, known as
ID3 that provides for meta-information to be included
with an MP3 file. You might think of ID3 as the wrapper
that an MP3 file comes surrounded in.
To view and edit this information, Windows supports
ID3 by allowing you to right-click on an MP3 file and see
& change all of the metainformation. You can also see a
limited set of the metadata about a song by simply hovering
your mouse over a music file. Here I have right-clicked on
a piano piece called Impromptu in B Flat, written by Franz
Schubert. Remember when you right-click to get a context
menu, it’s a single right-click, not a double click.
That gives me the size in Megabytes of the file, its name
and where and when it was stored. If I click on the Details
tab, I get all of the rest of the meta-data, including the artist
and composer:
There are various versions of ID3 that have little
relationship to each other. For more detailed information
about ID3, read this article in Wikipedia: http://
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ID3.
The good news is that most modern MP3 players, when
encountering ID3, simply ignore it when playing back the
music. So we have music data inside of an MP3 file that we
hear, and ID3 data that we can see when we right-click on
the file.
So, here we have a way in which you can see the
meta-data about one particular song. But suppose I
wanted to organize and manipulate a large number of
songs – even to the extent of pulling this information
out of the meta-data fields that we see and using it to
construct a meaningful file name? After all, file names
are the basis for how Windows stores files, so it would
make sense that we might want our music files named
NVPCUG Computer News, Jan 2009, Page 8
in a very particular way. One of the standards I use is
to organize music in folders that are named
corresponding to the artist that recorded the song.
It turns out that there are many ID3 capturing and
editing utility programs out on the internet (many of
which actually cost money), and I’m going to mention
just one of them: TagScanner.
In tech circles, the ID3 meta-data information that is
imbedded at the end of a music file is known commonly
as a “tag.”
Who would enjoy sitting at their computer typing in
album and artist information for each track? With the
free TagScanner, you don’t have to. This efficient and
powerful tag editor lets you edit and collect meta-data
automatically as well as by hand, both for individual
files and file batches.
The automatic tagging feature is most impressive.
Although it can hook up to online databases such as
FreeDB, Gracenote, and Amazon like many other autotagging applications, it can also generate tags from file and
folder names—something many others can’t. It works in
the opposite direction, too, generating filenames from
tags. This is very important, because many files come to us
virtually unusable from a sorting point of view, because
their file names begin with, say, a catalog number that
means nothing to our sorting scheme.
TagScanner has an elegant and orderly interface, and
lets you preview filenames before applying changes. The
only catch is that you’ll need to spend some time learning
the program’s file- and tag-naming language. However, if
you have thousands of music tracks crying out for
organization, that’s a small price to pay.
Get TagScanner (free) at:
http://www.xdlab.ru/en/
The main TagScanner window:
Change Your Monitor’s Refresh
Rate In Vista
The refresh rate is the number of times per second the
monitor updates itself, and high refresh rates lead to
smoother video (and less flickering if you have a CRT
[cathode-ray tube] display). Look in your monitor’s
manual to find the maximum refresh rate it supports at
the resolution you use, right-click an empty portion of
the Desktop, and click Personalize. Next, select Display
Settings, click the Advanced Settings button, and
click the Monitor tab. Use the Screen Refresh Rate
drop-down menu to select the appropriate refresh rate
and click Apply. Keep in mind that you never want to
set a refresh rate that is higher than the one the monitor
officially supports at a given resolution.
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.
Photo Printer
You may not be able to drop a few hundred on a photo
printer after buying a new digital camera. There are
inexpensive solutions to the photo printing needs of
the budget-conscious.
Generally, there are tradeoffs in print quality when
the price goes down, but with printers such as the
Epson R380 ($110), you won’t lose much. It has an
amazing dpi (dots per inch) for the price (up to 5,760
x 1,440), handles a nice variety of media, and can
operate PC-free.
Whichever photo printer you decide to buy, be sure
the printer will meet your needs as your talents and
abilities grow—check the resolution (at least 1,200 x
1,200dpi), print size, number of ink cartridges (six or
eight is much better than one or two), types of paper
it handles, and any other features you desire before
you buy. Treat yourself to a printer that suits your
unique lifestyle.
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, Jan 2009, Page 9
Surviving the Switch to Digital TV
By Andy Marken, Marken Communications, www.markencom.com, [email protected]
At the stroke of midnight
on Feb. 17, 2009, the analog
transmissions that have
beamed free television over
the air in the United States
for over half a century will
disappear for good. They
will be replaced by digital
signals, many of which are
already broadcasting, in
what will be the most significant change to television
since the introduction of color.
The “digital switchover” brings with it higher image
quality, better sound and a level of versatility and flexibility
previously unattainable through free television. It also
brings with it a number of significant headaches, as
confusion over exactly who will be affected is inspiring
panic in viewers fearful of being left behind in a haze of
snow and static as the rest of
the country moves into the
future. Many of those who will
be affected know that the
deadline is fast approaching,
but are unsure of how to prepare
for it. Thankfully, a solution is
simple, easily attainable and
won’t cost you a dime.
There are two major reasons
for the switch from analog TV
broadcasts to digital
TV. First, digital signals offer
superior image quality and allow for the
transmission of high-definition signals over the air. This
means that a properly equipped HDTV can receive local
high-definition broadcasts that will look about as good
as what you’d get from cable or satellite television.
Second, switching from analog to digital frees up real
estate on the broadcast spectrum for other uses, as digital
signals are more efficient and take up less bandwidth.
Telecommunications companies like Verizon and AT&T
have spent nearly $20 billion to secure the rights to the
frequencies that were previously occupied by channels 52
through 69, in the hopes of using that airspace to improve
their wireless communication networks.
What the digital switchover is actually doing is changing
the language that TV broadcasters use to communicate
with your television. Since 1941, televisions in the U.S.
have utilized a set of broadcast standards laid out by the
National Television System Committee. Big broadcast
towers sent out information over the air using these
NTSC standards and were picked up by the television
antenna in your living room. Inside your TV, an NTSC
tuner interpreted the information and properly displayed
it on screen.
The digital switchover is introducing a new language, a
new set of broadcast standards, this one designed by the
Advanced Television Systems Committee. On Feb. 17,
those broadcast towers are going to stop speaking NTSC
permanently and start speaking ATSC. But unfortunately,
your old television set doesn’t know how to translate
ATSC into moving pictures and sound. Just about all
televisions manufactured and sold after Mar. 1, 2007
feature ATSC tuners, but if you purchased a television any
earlier than that, chances are your TV won’t be able to pick
up over-the-air broadcasts once the switchover occurs.
The solution: A digital converter box, essentially an
external ATSC tuner that sits on top of your existing
television and is linked between your antenna and your
TV. The ATSC signals are grabbed by the same antenna
you’ve always used, then
passed to the digital converter
box that translates the ATSC
signals into something your
NTSC
television
can
understand. They are easy to
hook up and available at a wide
variety of stores, including big
box stores like Best Buy, WalMart and Target, as well as
online retailers.
Digital converter boxes cost
between $40 and $70 on average,
but since the digital switchover is being forced
upon consumers, Congress has stepped up and created the
“TV Converter Box Coupon Program.” Under this
initiative, each American household is entitled to two $40
gift cards that can only be used to purchase a digital
converter box. Individuals can apply at the official Web
site for the DTV switch.
You can apply for coupons until Mar. 31, 2009; they
expire 90 days after they are issued. You might want to
apply for them sooner
rather than later because
the government has
allocated a finite amount
of funding.
TV viewers who pay
for cable or satellite
service need not worry.
The digital switchover
only applies to
over-the-air
NVPCUG Computer News, Jan 2009, Page 10
Î
broadcasts, so consumers who get their television directly
from Comcast or DirecTV will not be affected at all, and
service will continue uninterrupted and unchanged as the
DTV deadline comes and goes.
There is, however, a subtler, unrelated analog-to-digital
switchover taking place among cable companies, one
that could affect subscribers. It has usually been possible
to view a small number of basic cable channels by
plugging the coaxial cable directly into a television set,
bypassing a cable box entirely.
This was a quick and easy way
to bring cable TV to many rooms
in a home without renting multiple
cable boxes. Unfortunately, this
may not be possible in the near
future. Cable companies like
Comcast and Time Warner are
slowly phasing out their analog
cable services in favor of digital.
By switching over, they free
up more space on their cable
networks that can be allocated to new high-definition
channels and interactive services like “On Demand.” The
downside is that when all cable channels are converted to
digital, renting a cable box will be required to see any
channels at all.
Another point of confusion that retailers and
manufacturers have been reluctant to clear up: consumers
need not purchase an HDTV to weather the digital TV
switchover.
In addition to the converter boxes, new standarddefinition CRT televisions are still available, and they are
required by law to include the necessary ATSC tuners.
While an HDTV will allow viewers to take advantage of
digital TV’s high-definition potential, it’s important to
know that there is a lower-cost option available as well.
With the emergence of free, digital, over-the-air
television that includes HD transmissions, it will be
interesting to see if Americans, the majority of whom
now pay for their television service via cable or satellite,
might see the benefit of switching back to the old rabbit
ears. While the selection of over-the-air broadcasts will
never be as comprehensive as pay services, that same glut
of content is often cited as an annoyance—lots of channels
that subscribers will never watch.
Of course, all this will depend on how smoothly the
digital switchover goes, and whether or not people are
actually able to see the improvements on their screen.
With just a few short months to go, having the right
knowledge to make it through is absolutely crucial.
In Pictures: 10 Tips For Switching To Digital TV ==
http://tinyurl.com/5tj8wq
See Also:
Ask This Before You Buy An HDTV — http://
tinyurl.com/57jfbu
„
Copying Information
from Your Screen
By Richard Kennon Member Amador Computer
Users Group, Jackson, California, http://
www.acug.net/, [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).
Dick Carricato, member of the Tri County Computer User
Group in Florida wrote a good article about copying
pictures from your computer screen. Sometimes there are
other things you may want to copy from your screen that
may not lend themselves to the PrtScr method. This is
especially true of lists in drop down boxes that require a
scroll bar down the right side. PrtScr will only show the
portion of the list that shows. For instance, I write a (almost)
monthly newsletter on the web and usually include a bunch
of pictures. I like to have a hard copy of the picture
thumbnails at hand to remind me of things to say. This is
always a scrolling window. Often I want a hardcopy of a
menu, too.
I have found FastStone Capture to be a perfect answer
to my needs. You can try it free by going to http://
www.faststone.org/. Then, if you like it, as I do,
you can purchase a lifetime license for $19.95.
You can capture and annotate anything on the screen
including windows, objects, menus, full screen, rectangular/
freehand regions and scrolling windows/web pages. Editing
tools include annotating, resizing, cropping, sharpening,
watermarking, edge effects and many more. Of course, you
can transfer the image to any editor of choice. You can either
print the copy or save it in one of eight different formats. I
choose JPEG. Further, you can choose the resolution of the
saved image. I don’t know if it actually improves the
resolution or just resizes to more pixels.
Of course, it features a bunch of hot key combinations
but, with my memory, this is not useful. Instead I rely on the
small box of choices at the bottom right of my screen. I find
it extremely useful and use it almost every day.
„
NVPCUG Computer News, Jan 2009, Page 11
Review - magicJack
By Constance Brown, President, Canton Alliance Massillon Users Group, Ohio,
www.camug.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).
Do any of you recall the poem by
Rosemary and Stephen Vincent Benet
stating that no place on earth is more
than 60 hours away? The authors were
awed by the idea that distance was no
longer measured in months but in hours. What would they
think now that people have circled the world in spaceships
and repaired orbiting space stations? On the other hand,
my friends who boarded the plane last month found that it
can take 60 hours and more to arrive at a destination in our
own hemisphere — if it happens to be Bolivia!
What does travel have to do with computers? Most trips
begin with a call to a travel agent or visiting a travel web
site to check prices and availability of flights. Then a flight
is booked and paid online either by the purchaser or an
agent. An e-ticket is sent to the traveler who then checks
in via a computer terminal at the airport. Computerized
controls are used to guide the plane.
Computers, computers everywhere. Great when they
work. Annoying when they don’t! They are here to stay
and will be performing more and more of our
communications. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could
travel internationally and communicate with folk back
home without paying those ridiculous international calling
fees! How about staying in touch with friends who do not
live in the USA? Guess what! You CAN!!
Several of us in CAMUG have phone service using
VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol). Last week I ordered
something immediately after hearing about it. I have
The US News and World Report had an interesting
article online dated September 27 about the
magicJack. Here is a part of it.
“The colorful and wealthy Borislow,.who
also raises, races, and wagers on
racehorses, has launched magicJack fast
out of the gate. The startup has sold more
than 400,000 devices just six months after
its official unveiling. It’s selling about
7,000 a day, the company says, adding
twice as many net new accounts over the
period as Vonage, an Internet phoning
pioneer. MagicJack’s appeal is not only
the price, which falls to just $20 for a
second year of calls, but sound quality
that’s consistently good. And it’s flat simple
to install and use.”
been eagerly awaiting the
opportunity to test it and now
I can hardly wait to share it.
Perhaps some of you have seen
the ads for the magicJack.
What is it? Well, let me quote
from PC Magazine online: “So
simple it’s almost perfect, the
magicJack is the best home
voice-over-IP gadget I’ve seen
to date. Excellent call quality, a workable set of calling
features, and an amazing price make this little box the
VoIP wonder to beat.”
Yes, in two minutes a little USB device about 2 inches by
1 inch by 5/8 inches that I plugged into the powered hub that
I run through my USB port was giving me the capability of
placing my calls via the Internet. I called Canada and
Colorado, spending about 1/12 hours on the phone.
It worked well except when I looked up information on
the internet at the same time.
I talked to customer service and they said I can connect
to the powered hub that runs directly to my router. I will
have to restart the modem, most likely. That means that I
don’t have to have the computer turned on to make
calls,.just like my current VoIP service. This is great.
What do I like about the magicJack?
•
•
•
•
•
•
The price. The gadget is $40, and that includes
one year of service! The renewal service price is
$20! Not $200. Just $20. In fact, we paid $60 for
five years!
The price. Calls are free to US & Canada and
reasonable to other parts of the world. Bolivia
ranges from 12-14 cents. Guatemala was a little
less. I didn’t check farther.
The price. Register your magicJack with a US
phone number and travel anywhere in the world.
Place calls back to the US or Canada and the call
is free! Purchase a magicJack and register it with
a number in the USA, send it to your friends
elsewhere in the world, and they can call to any
place in the US or Canada for free — almost.
Remember, you receive one year of service with
the device.
Convenience. You can use the magicJack with any
computer,.not just the one you registered.
Convenience. The magicJack is so small that it will
travel extremely easily.
Convenience. You can use the magicJack to
NVPCUG Computer News, Jan 2009, Page 12
•
•
•
place calls over Wi-Fi, cable, or DSL. Even
light high speed is fine as it requires only 80
kbps of bandwidth.
Services. You get all of them: voicemail delivered
to you via email and also available by calling your
number and entering your pass code, conference
calling, 3-way calling, caller ID, do not disturb –
have I forgotten anything?
Quality. The quality compares with other VoIP
services. The calls pass over a private network.
Customer Service. Customer service was good, but
busy. The online chat took a little time as the
service person moved between customers. But it
was good. He didn’t have time to tell me about the
Outlook add-on, so I am still waiting to discover
what that is. Customer service apparently is
improving, based on evaluations I read.
Who is the inventor behind the
magicJack? Dan Borislow. Here is
information about him taken
directly from the magicJack
web site.
•
•
•
Dan Borislow is the founder of YMAX
Communications Corporation, a modern phone
company with the largest competitive local
exchange carrier (CLEC) network in the U.S, and
inventor of the magicJackTM.
Borislow has been in the telecommunications
industry for over twenty years and is recognized in
the industry for pioneering the development of
breakthrough technologies. He previously held the
position of CEO and founder of publicly-held TelSave, Inc. At Tel-Save, Borislow revolutionized
low-cost long-distance for more than four million
America Online (AOL) customers. While with TelSave, he saved customers over 40% on their phone
bills and also received the prestigious J.D. Power
and Associates Award for Customer Satisfaction.
After a brief attempt at retirement, Borislow
returned to the telecom industry and invented the
magicJack. By eliminating the expense of local
and long distance phone charges - and saving the
average customer around $1000 a year - magicJack
is positioned to be the fastest growing telecom
company in the world; Borislow likes to call it
.Telecom Revolution Part II..
Borislow received his Bachelor of Arts
degree and honorary doctorate degrees from
Widener University. He is an avid soccer
player, dedicated deep sea fisherman, enjoys
watching sports and has a Thoroughbred
Horse Breeding Business...
„
Snap A Sharper Image
You know that using a tripod is a great
way to reduce camera shake and
capture the crisp, clear picture you
want. But you can go one step further
to eliminate blurry lines and fuzzy
photos by using the self-timer on your camera along with
your tripod. Most cameras have self-timer options of two
to ten seconds. Simply set the timer and remove your
hands from the camera, eliminating the risk of shaky
hands affecting the photo. Let the camera take the picture
itself, and be amazed at how the stillness of your camera
produces a perfectly clear shot.
Move Your Feet
By moving your feet and getting closer to your subject,
you can often improve a photograph. This is particularly
true when taking pictures of people. When you fill the
frame with your subject’s face, there is less clutter to
draw the viewer’s eye away from the face. If obstructions
prohibit you from getting close to your subject, use your
camera’s optical zoom.
Look Into The Light
When you’re taking a picture of a person, try using
backlighting. This means that your subject has his or her
back to the light and the camera is shooting into the light.
To get the best image, you’ll want to use a flash to add
catch lights and help with exposure. You may also want
a lens hood to eliminate sunspots.
Look For A Frame
Frames don’t just belong around your photo; they may
belong within it, too. Keep an eye out for something in
the environment you can use as an impromptu frame for
your subject: windows, doorways, branches, overhanging
rocks, or any other objects in the foreground or background
that will make for a more intriguing arrangement.
Fine-Tune White Balance
The human eye interprets an object’s coloration the
same way in a variety of lighting conditions; a
camera doesn’t. Accurate white balance, a camera’s
feature that corrects how colors appear in different
lighting conditions, will ensure that faces and plants
look natural in both the evening sun and under a
halogen bulb. Almost any digital camera will let you
toggle tungsten (indoors) and daylight white balance;
better cameras will give you a wider range of options
tailored to specific situations. In many cases, the
white balance is part of a special shooting mode such
as Fireworks, Beach, or Landscape.
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, Jan 2009, Page 13
Build a ‘Green’ PC on a Budget
By Rob Limbaugh, President, Danbury Area Computer Society, CT, www.dacs.org,
[email protected]
This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s keep it that way! I take the guts home and blow them out
permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other
with an air-compressor. The minimum needed to
uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
successfully power on a motherboard are a power supply,
We’re constantly bombarded by the
motherboard, CPU, fan, and memory.
subject of energy conservation—‘green’
Unfortunately I didn’t have any memory
this and ‘green’ that. I think that much of
on hand for this motherboard, so now it’s
our problem is our ‘disposable society’.
time to do some leg work and see if I
On top of that it seems that most people
should consider spending the money when
tend to be ‘green’ only if it fits into their
I don’t even know if the board works.
budget and lifestyle. It is a little difficult
The motherboard, in this case, can be
to rationalize spending $25,000 on a solar
identified
by a silkscreen of “PTGD1array for a house that will take a decade to
LA”
between
the PCI slots. This cross‘pay for itself’.
references to a board used in HP Pavilion
But, if you happen to be looking for another computer Ax00 systems. This gives me access to motherboard
and you’re willing to spend some spare time and effort, details so I know what the connecting pins are, memory
you can rescue good parts from a premature demise and requirements, and other details necessary to do
save money at the same time. How? Read on!
troubleshooting. Yippee, memory for this board is on sale
right now—1GB for $27!
Timing Is Everything
Around here we have ‘transfer stations’ to which local
residents take their refuse and recyclables if they don’t
have curbside pickup or another service. The transfer
station is somewhat of a presorting point before everything
goes to a larger dump site.
What amazes me is that people seem to be willing to pay
a few bucks to throw away things that could be recycled or
disposed of for no cost—just a bit more effort. No matter.
That works out well for me—I can shop!
I need more computer equipment like I need another
hole in my head. What I always seem to lack are good
motherboards to match up with the spare DVD drive here
and spare hard drive there. On a recent trip to the dump I
hit pay dirt! Someone had dropped off a bunch of computer
equipment and I got there early enough in the day to have
relatively fresh dibs!
Weeding Out Junk
Knowing that ‘garbage’ tends to be at dumps, I look for
specific traits when considering a rescue of any would-be
junk. Last thing I want to do is throw it away when I get
home and you can’t exactly test things at a transfer station.
This is a good exercise in knowing your hardware as you
can just take home the good stuff and leave everything else
there. As luck would have it, I found a gutted case with a
motherboard stripped of everything but the CPU and heat
sink. Even the BIOS battery was gone! They did leave the
power supply, though.
Back to the Bench
So far my out-of-pocket expense is $0.00 and I’d like to
Good, Bad, or Ugly?
In this situation I presume the components are good until
proven faulty. Having all the dust blown off, I sniff around
the motherboard. That’s right… using my nose, I sniff
around the motherboard. The power supply, too. Fried
components have a burnt smell. All smells good.
Powering on a working system with the memory removed
should get yield ‘memory error’ beep codes from the
motherboard. I power everything on and get beep codes
indicating bad memory. During this time I listen for fan
noise out of the power supply and the CPU fan. Nothing
that sounds like skateboard wheels on pavement. Things
are looking good!
Many motherboards take CR2023 batteries for memory,
including this one. I picked up a two-pack along with a
1GB stick of PC-3200 memory. So far I’m out about $30
and still don’t know if this will fire up completely—but
odds are in my favor. Besides, if I needed PC-3200 and
PC batteries today, I’d need them in the future for another
find later.
Hot Dog!
With the memory seated and a
battery added, I fired up the
machine and the screen came up!
Woo-Hoo! Looking really good
now! And it’s a P4!
I gathered up a spare SATA hard
drive and DVD drive and connected them to the system.
BIOS reported the devices. Turns out this is an Intel P4
3.0GHz CPU with Hyper-threading.
NVPCUG Computer News, Jan 2009, Page 14
Wrapping It Up
Sure this isn’t a screaming-fast brand new machine, but it
has much potential and is still quite useful. Someday, the
parts will wind up being recycled through the transfer
station for good—but not today. For now, it has a new life.
This board has integrated video, audio, and four SATA
ports. It has IDE, USB, PCI Express, and legacy connections.
It is also very quiet. This is not bad find at all! I will probably
use this as the start of my network storage system.
Now if only I could get my hands on some DVD-RW
drives that don’t work...
„
Notebook Memory
Notebook Batteries
The more RAM you have, the less often your CPU will
have to tap the slower hard drive or SSD (solid-state
drive) for data. Granted, there's little advantage in
having too much memory, but you'll have a vastly
slower notebook if you don't buy enough.
Consider 2GB the bare minimum you should buy. And
if you're getting Vista, go with 3GB or 4GB. Choose the
fastest RAM available for your notebook, such as 800MHz
for DDR2 memory or 1,600MHz for DDR3.
A Solution For A Stalled Notebook
If your notebook locks up a few minute after
you turn it on, it may be due to overheating.
Because of their compactness, notebook
PCs are more prone to overheating than
desktop machines. In most cases it’s
attributable to the processor, although other
components, such as added memory, can
play a contributing role.
If this is a new problem in a system that’s
been working fine, be sure the cooling fan is still
operating properly, or the port isn’t clogged with lint
that needs to be picked out or dislodged with
compressed air. If the fan isn’t spinning as it should (or
seems to but makes a grinding sound, which may
indicate a bearing going out), it may need replacing.
If the fan checks out OK, consult your manufacturer
to see if there’s a firmware upgrade that may improve
its performance. Also, try improving the airflow around
and under the machine by elevating it above the
tabletop, etc. However, if you have a brand new
computer that’s overheating, there’s likely a design or
construction flaw, so make it the seller’s responsibility
to rectify the problem.
Over time, you'll notice that your notebook battery
doesn't hold the same charge as it did when it was
new. When your battery's charge is less than 80%
of its original rating, it's time for a replacement.
There are many resources that help you choose
which battery to buy.
Your laptop should indicate in its manual what
type of battery you need for your particular
notebook. It should also give you care and
maintenance tips and instructions for conditioning
your new battery. Always check your
manual first to familiarize yourself with
your notebook and its battery model.
There are many useful Internet sources
that can help you choose a replacement
battery. Freshbattery.com is easy to use
and helps you identify which type of
battery you need. Similarly, Best
Buy has an online battery-finding
tool. Navigate your browser to
www.bestbuy.com, select Laptops from the
Computers drop-down menu, and then click Battery
Finder near the bottom of the page to begin using
this service.
Installing your new battery is simple. On most
notebooks, batteries easily slide off the bottom of
the notebook by popping two locks that secure the
battery in place. Remove the old battery by popping
any locks and sliding it from the notebook. New
batteries can only be installed in one way, by
sliding into the empty slot and clicking into place.
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, Jan 2009, Page 15
Offering Financial Services throughout the
Napa Valley; with offices in American Canyon,
Calistoga,
Napa, St. Helena
and Yountville
947 Lincoln Avenue
Napa, CA 94559-5066
800-869-3557 www.wellsfargo.com
(707) 299-1000
www.napanet.net • [email protected]
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
Membership Application/Renewal *
‡ New
‡ Renewal
‡ Information Update
Please Print
Full Name: _________________________________ Nickname: __________________________________________
Street/PO Box: ___________________________________________________________________________________
City: _______________________________ State: ___________________ ZIP Code: ______________ - __________
Phone (check preferred):‡
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Do you want to be added to the following NVPCUG e-mail lists?
News and announcements:
‡Yes ‡ No
General discussion of computer-related topics:
‡Yes ‡ No
If you do not want your preferred phone number and/or e-mail address published in the NVPCUG Directory,
which is for the exclusive use of NVPCUG members, check the appropriate box(es):
‡ Do not list phone number
‡ Do not list e-mail address
Family members whom you want to sponsor as Associate Members:
(Associate Members have the same membership rights as their sponsors,
except for receiving newsletters)
Full Name
E-mail Address
________________________________________________
___________________________________________
________________________________________________
___________________________________________
Annual Dues:
‡ $30 Regular Member - an individual who is not a full-time student
‡ $20
Student Member - a full-time student who is not eligible for Associate membership.
‡ $10
Associate Member - a family member of a Regular or Student member. Associate memberships run
concurrently with sponsors’ memberships.
Make check payable to:
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
Mail application/renewal to:
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
Attn.: Membership Director, P.O. Box 2866
Napa, CA 94558-0286.
The NVPCUG is an accredited IRC 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your dues payment may be tax-deductible
as a charitable contribution.
* To request a Corporate Membership Application / Renewal form, e-mail:
[email protected]
Revised 1-16-09
NVPCUG Computer News, Jan 2009, Page 16
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