NWA-PCUG Newsletter Articles 2012-

The Northwest Arkansas Personal Computer
User Group

Newsletter Articles


Jan thru Mar - 12

Apr thru Jun - 12

Jul thru Sep - 12

Oct thru Dec - 12

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Oct thru Dec - 2012

November - 2012
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Wesley Eckles, Jr
    iPad 2 Topic for November 17th Meeting. Member Fred Robinson will demonstrate basic applications that include photography, email, news, ebooks, alarm clock, and uploads of Youtube.
    Firefox 17 Protects Your Privacy while enhancing the Facebook experience The latest beta release of Mozilla's popular Firefox browser has introduced a new social media API. Can a web browser make it easier to use social media while protecting your privacy? Mozilla hopes so.
  • Interesting Internet Finds - by Steve Costello
    In the course of going through the more than 200 news feeds in my Google Reader, I often run across things that I think might be of interest to other user group members.
  • How to Share Your List of Apps for your iPhone and iPad - by Hewie Poplock, Jr
    I want to share a list of the Apps I have downloaded and installed on my iPhone and iPad. I can find such a list in iTunes under Library/Apps. However, there is no way to save or print that list. I can also see my apps on the iPad by going to the Apps Store app and looking at "Purchased," but again, there is no way to have a list to share
  • Where’s the Technology? - by Greg Skalka
    With all the political posturing going on in this election year, we should be used to promises that go unfulfilled. In the technical arena, we hear a lot about potential new advances; though often wait a long time to see the benefits ourselves. Sometimes the prognosticators are wildly optimistic or the development proves too difficult, and we never see (or at least haven’t seen up to this point) the mass application of a great new product or technology (an example is the Segway personal transporter).
  • Create Safe Passwords - by Sandy Berger
    Using passwords correctly is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your computer. If you use the same password for everything, read this article and make some changes as soon as possible.
  • Text Messaging or “Texting” - Have you tried it yet? - by Phil Sorrentino
    If you’re under 20, you probably know all of this, and if you’re over 60, you probably think you have no need for texting (unless you want to keep in contact with someone who is under 20), so for all of you in between, here goes. Texting is a very interesting, and relatively easy, way to communicate with others, using your cell phone.
  • Customizing Labels in Word 2007 - by Nancy DeMarte
    Among special projects we users can do with Word is creating labels. The word “label” includes all sorts of things like shipping labels, address labels, business cards, name badges, and fabric transfers. Just look in the office stores at the racks of label paper for the range of projects. I began making our return address labels with Word years ago.
  • Making Your Computer Easier to Use - by Nancy DeMarte
    In these days when almost everyone is using a computer, there are many features of operating systems and software that can help users with physical limitations. Microsoft has enhanced its features in this area, both in Windows 7 and recent versions of Microsoft Office. This article gives an overview of these features and links to some helpful sites for people interested in making the tools work for them.
  • Back to Basics - by Jim Cerny
    On all editions of Windows, if you look at the lower right corner of your desktop computer screen -- next to the clock with the time -- you will see some small icons. Have you ever wondered what those icons are and why they are there?
  • Can QR Codes Spread Computer Viruses? - by Bob Rankin
    Any doubts I may have had about the viability of QR codes have evaporated. You know a new technology is catching on when malware authors start using it to snare unwary users. Read on to learn how those funny black squares can carry a nasty (and expensive) payload...
  • Keep your friends - by Hewie Poplock
    When you pass on a funny joke or some information to several of your friends, I want you to do so without jeopardizing their privacy or upsetting them. I like a good joke. What I do not like is my email address exposed along with 20 or 30 of your friends’ addresses as well.

    More On The Web - The following articles, by Ira Wilsker, Radio host, columnist,and college professor, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • Millions More Free Books to Download or Read Online
      Since I was old enough to hold a book, I have been an avid reader. Our living room and all of the bedrooms in my house have at least one wall covered by a filled bookshelf. All of my children were brought up with a love of books and reading, a love that has been passed on to their children. On a regular basis I purchase books for myself and my family from the local bookstores, as well as online sources such as Amazon and Better World Books (my personal favorite). For the past few years I have been supplementing my physical book purchases with digital book purchases, purchasing titles that can be read on my computers or smartphone.
    • Free Online Conferencing Software
      In recent months I have done several presentations for organizations outside of my local area. While a few have been live presentations, requiring significant travel time and expense, most have been done remotely over the internet using a variety of free software utilities. While the free use of most of these software utilities is often expressly limited to personal use, commercial use is available for a nominal fee; this nominal fee for commercial use is but a tiny fraction of what a distant face-to-face meeting would cost.
    • Slim Utilities - Excellent Suite of Free PC Maintenance Software
      A few weeks ago I wrote a column about several new versions of "all in one" PC maintenance utilities. In that column I mentioned that I was previously familiar with most of the utilities, but that there was one utility that was new to me, Slim Cleaner (slimcleaner.com). For review purposes, I downloaded and installed it, tried it, and wrote positively about my experiences with it.
    • "All in One" Free Windows Performance Utilities Updated
      There are several excellent "all in one" Windows system cleaners available. These system cleaners may be able to improve system performance by cleaning the hard drive, managing the startup, tweaking internal Windows settings, cleaning and optimizing the registry (NOTE: cleaning the registry is controversial) improving internet speeds, and performing a host of other system maintenance functions.

  • October - 2012
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Wesley Eckles, Jr
    Finally; Google Chrome will support Do Not Track Google has finally added support for the DNT (Do Not Track) header to their latest developer build of Chrome.
  • It’s almost here…when?...soon…when is soon? - by Lou Torraca
    For those who follow computer news, you probably know that “it” is Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest, and from many reports, best OS.
  • It’s almost here…when?...soon…when is soon? CONTINUED!! - by Lou Torraca
    Windows 8 development is complete!
    This is a huge milestone and accomplishment for the Microsoft team. They said they were going to do it and it’s done!
  • Are you ready for some Windows 8 on your desktop? - by Barney Babin
    Now that Windows 8 Consumer Preview is a reality, you can download it and “play” with the latest and greatest from Microsoft. Just remember, this is a beta version;
  • Building a Better System and Data Backup Strategy - by Gabe Goldberg
    Because operating without reliable backup risks corporate health and can be a profoundly career-limiting move, the most fundamental resolution for mainframe professionals is "backup, backup, backup."
  • File Recovery Strategies - by Dick Maybach
    Using home computers affords many opportunities for errors and malfunctions. You probably have experienced at least one of these mishaps.
  • The Problem: Muffled Sound - by Steve Baer
    Lately when I’m with groups of friends there is an increasing chance that some subset of people will complain to me about how bad TV and DVD sound is getting,
  • The Transitional Operating System - by Berry F. Phillips
    The Operating System (OS) is the most important piece of software on your computer. From a user perspective, the OS provides the interface with which the users interact.
  • Setting WIN7 Default Applications - by Dick Maybach
    Windows 7 offers a convenience that previous versions had – when you double-click on a file icon in its file manager, an appropriate application program starts and opens the file.
  • Get Your Photography on the Web - by Donna Kamper
    The only reason you need this book is if you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive and easy way for people to see your photos on the Internet. If you prefer time-consuming, difficult and costly you need to keep looking.
  • Software Review: Microsoft OneNote, an All-Purpose Planner - by Nancy DeMarte
    If you purchased a recent home version of MS Office, which includes the programs, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, you also got a lesser known program called OneNote (file extension .one).

    More On The Web - The following articles, by Ira Wilsker, Radio host, columnist,and college professor, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • Google Crisis Response Provides Critical Information During Disasters
      During the recent natural disaster known as Isaac I was busily tracking the progress of the storm and attempting to determine the potential threat it had to my community near the Gulf coast. Thirsting for information, I was always searching for additional tidbits of information that may potentially be of practical use.
    • October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
      Regular readers of this column are well aware that one of the most frequent topics covered is cyber security. Most computer users are blissfully unaware of the degree of cyber crime that is currently taking place, and the current threats to our computing safety.
    • TrendMicro Releases 2013 Versions of its Security Software
      Every fall, industry releases its new "year" of models; we see new cars, new appliances. and new security software. If I had a 2012 automobile, the manufacturer would not likely allow me to upgrade to a similar 2013 model for free; if I purchased a 2012 model appliance less than a year ago, I could not likely trade it in on a 2013 model for free.
    • Secure Your Wireless (WiFi) Connection
      Almost all newer laptop computers as well as tablets, smart phones, video game consoles, and home entertainment systems utilize WiFi as a primary or secondary method of connecting to the internet or some other network.

      Jul thru Sep - 2012

      September - 2012
    • Internet Help
      Many technical help and price comparison links.
    • President's Corner - by Wesley Eckles, Jr
      How do you make up a good password? According to developer Cameron Morris, “The time it takes to crack a password is the only true measure of its worth.” If you want a good way to construct safer passwords, go to an online article by Lisa Vaas in “Naked Security” newsletter sponsored by Sophos.com. You will find a instructional video in the article “How long would it take to crack your password? Here is a link to the article:
    • Light Housekeeping for a Safe and Healthy Computer - by Mike Morris
      The Front Range PC Users Group (FRPCUG) provides free computer help to the community and to several other local non-profit organizations. As a result of these efforts, we have concluded that there are two tasks and several free and reliable utilities that help to maintain a safe and healthy computer.
    • Setting Up a Page in Word 2007/2010 - by Nancy DeMarte
      Most Word users know that when composing a document, they can select the font (style) and size of the text and can apply effects to the text, such as bold or italic. But many users don’t think about how important the page set up is.
    • Perfect Photo Suite 6 - by Bryan Anslow
      Perfect Photo Suite 6, produced by OnOne Software, is a collection of seven image enhancement utilities. Perfect Photo Suite 6 can be used as a stand-alone set of utilities, or the utilities can be invoked from within Adobe CS4 or CS5, Photoshop Elements 9 or 10, Lightroom 2 or 3 and Aperture 2.1 or 3.
    • Parted Magic - by Dick Maybach
      Although modern operating systems are robust, sometimes they need maintenance, either to repair problems or because we want to make changes. And many times the things we want to do are not possible within the operating system, either because the tools aren't available or because the operations can't take place while the system is live.
    • What do you mean there are other search engines? - by Linda Gonse
      It will come as a surprise to some people that there are more choices than Google or Bing for Internet search engines. Two newer and smaller search engines that do not have a large market share of users or the reach of the major search engines actually can be unique and helpful secondary Internet search tools.
    • Media Sharing & Devices - by Jerry Grommes
      As many of you know I feel strongly that my media, whether it's pictures, videos, music, recorded TV, etc., should be available to me on whatever device I own and not just tied to a computer, CD/DVD player or a DVR. With the increasing number of different kinds devices coming to market,
    • LXDE - by Cal Esneault,
      The Linux OS (Operating System) permits users to select from many front-end desktop environments (the interface software that controls mouse, touch screen, icons, etc.). Popular interfaces such as GNOME and KDE are powerful but can require high system resources. LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) is a simpler approach more suitable for netbooks, mobile devices, or older PC’s.
    • Knoppix Live CD - by Cal Esneault
      About seven years ago I was introduced to Xandros GNU/Linux by the Cajun Clickers. Like most distro’s then, it required a full installation onto the hard drive, a step for which I was not ready. Knoppix, a GNU/Linux system developed by Klaus Knopper of Germany,
    • Book Review – Mastering Landscape Photography: Learn By Video - by Mark Mattson
      This was somewhat of a different book review than all the others. Not only is it a book, it is also a complete video workshop on a DVD.
      The book itself is a 28 page supplement to the DVD training videos. It presents supplemental materials that enhance the learning experience of the DVD. There is also a Glossary of terms at the end to clarify anything you may not be sure of.

      More On The Web - The following articles, by Ira Wilsker, Radio host, columnist,and college professor, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
      • Microsoft Offers a Dozen Free E-Books
        We all like getting something for free. In the past I have written about the thousands of free e-books from Amazon, Google, and other sources. A quick review of Amazon indicates that almost all currently published commercial books, including many college textbooks, are now available in digital format in addition to the bound paper versions.
      • FBI Warns About International "Ransomware" Email Scam
        It never ceases to amaze me how creative international cyber crooks can be. There are countless online scams and schemes intended to enrich crooks at the cost of innocent internet users. We have all heard of viruses, worms, Trojans, and other variations of malware, as published warnings have been disseminated since the early days of personal computing.
      • Free Virus and Malware Removal Tools from Kaspersky
        Many Americans may not be aware of the feisty Russian based computer security company Kaspersky, but it is the fourth largest overall security vendor in the world, the third largest vendor of consumer security software, and the fifth largest vendor of enterprise endpoint protection (source: Wikipedia).
      • Amazon "Glacier" Offers Ultra Low Cost Backup Storage
        Amazon has developed a well earned reputation as a seller of goods. Originally an online book seller, Amazon diversified into consumer and institutional goods, digital books and music, and a variety of other services. Recently, Amazon announced what may be the lowest cost, commercially available "cloud" data storage for long term archival or backup services. Amazon has enormous data capacity, with countless servers and related data storage located in many places around the globe.

    • August - 2012
    • Internet Help
      Many technical help and price comparison links.
    • President's Corner - by Wesley Eckles, Jr
      Member Dies. A long time member, Dorothy Rae Bien, has passed on. We will miss her many questions at our Q&A.
      Which Browser is most secure?
      Sources have reported the Chrome has bypassed IE in world wide browser market share. It appears that browser makers are touting security now.
    • Reasons for moving up to Windows 7 - by Phil Sorrentino
      Before we discuss the reasons for moving to a new Operating System (OS), we should consider why we would want to change the OS.
    • Tablet Computers - Great for Accessing the Internet - by Phil Sorrentino
      Tablets are all the rage. You might think it started with the iPad, but the iPad is just the latest and greatest implementation of what started out as pen computing with a stylus on a Personal Digital Assistant, circa 1992. (I bet many of you had a Palm Pilot, or something similar. I know I did.)
    • To ‘Cloud’ or Not To “Cloud,” That Is the Question - Submitted by Joan Frerichs
      I’d heard of saving computer files to the “cloud,” but I really didn’t know very much about it until our April CIACUG meeting when David Williams provided members with a great deal of helpful information about how it works.
    • Selecting a Digital Camera - by Jerry Schneir
      As a teacher of digital photography I am often asked for help by a student who is trying to select the “perfect” camera. It is very hard to tell someone that there is “no one perfect camera”. What meets your needs today may not be great for tomorrow.
    • Windows Q & A April 2012 - by Mary Phillips
      Q1. What are the differences between Data Backup, System Restore, Disk Image, System Recovery Disc and System Repair Disk?
    • Software Review – Roxio Creator 2012 - by Mark Mattson
      It’s been a while since this program suite was last reviewed in these pages. In fact, it was when the software was known as Easy Media Creator, and version 7.5 was the subject of the review. This was around 2005.
    • System Suite Professional 2012 - by Reviewed by Bart Koslow
      System Suite Professional (SS) is a comprehensive utility program that will tune up and repair your PC and provide malware, virus, spyware, and firewall protection. Unlike most programs today, it comes with a printed manual of 174 pages that guides you through the many aspects of the software.

      More On The Web - The following articles, by Ira Wilsker, Radio host, columnist,and college professor, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
      • Free Utilities to Download YouTube and Other Videos
        One of the most frequently asked questions that I am asked is how the user can download YouTube and other videos that they view on the web. Luckily, there are several free utilities, websites, and browser plug-ins that make the process very easy.
      • Get Free Help, Tips, and Tricks from "MakeUseOf"
        It never ceases to amaze me as to how much reliable and quality help is available on the internet. One of my favorite resources for tips, tricks, cheat sheets, and apps is the website at www.makeuseof.com. With an international staff, but hosted in the U.K., MakeUseOf has established a recognized reputation of excellence in terms of tips and tricks to improve our cyber lives, regardless of what operating system that we choose to use, or devices that we own.
      • Microsoft Warns "Kill Desktop Gadgets Now!"
        Ever since I purchased a new Vista-64 computer several years ago, I have enjoyed using several of Microsoft's desktop gadgets and Yahoo!'s desktop widgets. In recent years I have written several columns here in the Examiner extolling the joys of widgets and gadgets, and where to find them. For those who may not be aware of the vernacular, widgets and gadgets are small utilities that can be placed on a Windows or Mac desktop and provide the user with current information of some kind.
      • Track Hurricanes On Your Computer and Smartphone
        We are now well into hurricane season, and tropical storms started early this year. Compared to just a few years ago, when we had to manually plot storms on a hurricane map provided as a free hand out from the supermarket, today there is a plethora of hurricane tracking and information sites available online, and as apps for our Android devices, Windows Phones, Blackberry devices, iPads and iPhones.

    • July - 2012
    • Internet Help
      Many technical help and price comparison links.
    • President's Corner - by Wesley Eckles, Jr
      Saturday, July 21, 2012 meeting at 1 p.m.: I will demonstrate the phone and email message system called PHONEVITE. The web based program allows you to send a message to persons you have created. You have the option of recording a voice message on line with the web site or having the program call your phone to record a message. You can review the message on your phone or on line. The options are very useful. A voice message may be sent to phones and/or to an email address. You can request a reservation, a reply message, and a notation that the called person does not want to receive your calls. The calls cost 5 cents/minute/message. Most of the messages that I send are less than a minute. The calls generally completed in less than 5 minutes for 20 names. A table shows how long a person listened to the message and list reservations if requested. The table will indicate that the called party has left a voice message, The calls may be scheduled to go out at a certain time or sent immediately. You put money in your account by credit card. As you use the system payment is taken from your account. You will find this application very useful. Here are a few uses: Birth or Death in family, meeting notice or reminder, announce a party, Church meeting, request for help or prayer, and many more.
    • MALWARE 101 - Compiled by Charles Prince of Avast
      Malware, short for malicious software, is software designed to secretly access a computer system without the owner’s informed consent.
    • Adding Disk Space to Windows 7 - by Dick Maybach
      When buying a new PC, it's usually wise to equip it with the largest possible hard disk. Despite this, it's not uncommon to find that eventually it becomes uncomfortably full, leaving you with four options:
    • Creating a Survey Form in Microsoft Word 2007 - by Nancy DeMarte
      It’s a well-known fact that being faced with a task or problem is the best motivation for learning new skills. I have found this to be true for mastering the advanced features of Word 2007 (and 2010).
    • A Free Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away - by Larry Anders
      I had been highly opposed to Apple products for years because of what I feel to be the small-mindedness of Steve Jobs and the Apple management by not making their code available to developers, which would allow software to be developed so there would be more choice at reasonable prices.
    • Disks - What would our computers be without them? - by Phil Sorrentino
      Well, they’d be Tablets, or Smartphones, neither of which have disks as integral parts of the hardware. The Disk or Disk Drive usually refers to the component of the computer that typically stores large amounts of data. Storage can be, only readable, or readable and writeable (or recordable).
    • but, is Siri a Google killer? - by Linda Gonse
      The following two points of view offer interesting observations projecting the value and usefulness, and duplication of Siri in other OSs. Siri is an artificial intelligence feature built into the iPhone 4S.
    • Cash, check and . . . what about credit card? - by Jim Evans
      And you say, just check or cash (and maybe PayPal on your group’s website). The Square mobile card reader (https://squareup.com/) might be something you want to take a look at for your group.
    • What are you Tweeting? - by Linda Gonse
      New users of Twitter sometimes get confused by the conventions commonly used in tweets. (Comments posted by Twitter users are called “tweets.”)
    • Windows 7 has it All - by Vinny LaBash
      OK, maybe Windows 7 doesn’t have everything, but it has many great features that make your computer experience easier, safer, and more reliable than any previous version. Windows 7 is different enough to make obsolete much of your ideas about why you need third party utilities.
    • Windows Live SkyDrive: An Office in the Cloud - by Nancy DeMarte
      A quiet, steady evolution is taking place in the data storage world. Soon CD’s and external hard drives may be replaced by storage on the Internet, or, as we say, the “cloud.”

      More On The Web - The following articles, by Ira Wilsker, Radio host, columnist,and college professor, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
      • If You Missed Your Favorite TV Show, It May Be Online
        With all of our busy lifestyles, we sometimes (often) miss some of our favorite TV shows. I am frequently asked by faculty and students how they can view both network and local TV shows that they missed.
      • Yahoo! Axis - Integrated Browser, Search, and More
        Despite the term "Google" somewhat becoming synonymous with the term "search", where people say "Go Google this" meaning to do an internet search, Google is far from a monopoly. I sometimes have a hard time convincing others that Google is not the only search engine available, and that Yahoo!, Bing, and others are highly competitive and in some cases superior to the ubiquitous Google in some aspects.
      • Free APPS for the iPhone and iPad
        A few weeks ago, I wrote about some websites that evaluate and rate free Android apps (tinyurl.com/d9mjm6j). Since that column was published in the Examiner, I have received numerous requests from readers asking for a similar column on iPhone apps.
      • Microsoft Teases Users with Windows 8 Preview and Upgrade Offers
        It has been about three years since Microsoft released its very popular Windows 7, intended both as a full release product and as an upgrade for the problem prone and controversial Windows Vista. Now, Microsoft has simultaneously released a free "Microsoft Windows 8 Release Preview" as well as a nominally priced Windows 8 upgrade offer for anyone purchasing a new Windows 7 PC, as of June 2.
      • Avoid Scams - Get A Real Credit Report and Score for Free
        You have undoubtedly seen countless TV and print ads for a service that alleges to give you a "free credit report", but requires a monthly or annual membership for credit monitoring in order to get your "free" credit report. Countless victims did not realize that in order to get their "free" credit report that they were committing to a $79.95 annual fee for credit monitoring
    • Apr thru Jun - 2012

      June - 2012
    • Internet Help
      Many technical help and price comparison links.
    • President's Corner - by Wesley Eckles, Jr
      Attention Facebook users: If you do not use Facebook, I am sure that your wife, children, and grandchildren do use it. I recommend that you pick up the June 2012 issue of “Consumer Reports” magazine. Twelve pages are devoted to covering your privacy and how to protect it. Are there any family pictures posted? It is now possible with face recognition software to get a person’s identity by scanning their face! How will this be used in the future? According to Consumer Reports, “ Almost 16 million households have become victims of identity theft. Over the past year, up almost 50%”. Go to http://www.ConsumerReports.org/cro/facebookprivacy to find out how to protect yourself and family.
    • Inserting International Letters into Word Documents - by Nancy DeMarte
      In our global society, languages have become more blended. English, for example, has adopted many words of different origins, some of which include special diacritical marks over the letters, as in the French word passé. Occasionally words can actually be misunderstood without a special mark over a letter, such as the difference between the "résumé" we provide when looking for a job, and "resume", meaning to begin again. It helps to know how to insert these diacritical marks when using Microsoft Office. Word provides two fairly easy methods to add these marks: the Symbol dialog box and keystroke combinations.
    • Microsoft FixIt - by Ted Wirtz
      My home computer is an HP Pavilion running Vista SP2. It has a memory card reader built into the top faceplate on the front of the computer that is capable of reading many of the common memory cards used in a digital camera. I commonly use it to transfer images from my digital camera which happens to use either SD or SDHC memory cards. (SD cards come in capacities up to 2 GB per card. SDHC cards come in capacities greater than 2 GB.)
    • The Name’s the Game - by Jackie Woods
      There aren’t too many gadgets out there in everyday life that you can’t play games on. Recently I noticed that our Blu-ray DVD player has a new category in the network settings for downloading games to our TV. What fun!!
    • Solid State Devices - by Vinny La Bash
      Measuring the effect of SSD technology is more than the numbers game we play with conventional Winchester disk drives. What you experience with SSD drives centers on how certain tasks feel. Loading applications, boot up, shut down, and changing levels in your first person 3D shooter game are prime examples. Everything happens incredibly fast.
    • Change of Allegiance - Does the Antivirus Software You Use Really Matter? - by Greg Skalka
      I just switched to a new antivirus program. I’d been a loyal user of my previous program for over five years, which seems like an eternity in the ever-changing computer software business. I’ve wondered for some time if it mattered which brand I used. Although there are probably dozens of antivirus programs available, some of which are even free, I have only ever used four. Am I using the best one? Is there a best one? Would I be wasting my time trying to determine the best one? And is what is best relative to my needs anyway?
    • Book Review: Going Pro - by Tanya Mattson
      Going Pro is well written by Scott Bourne and Skip Cohen. Both are influential professional photographers that have expanded their blog and webcast, Going Pro2010, into a book. The knowledge and insight in this book is tremendous.
    • Euphoric DigiDaub, Revision 7 - by David Pletts
      I'm really into textures. They are all around us; some quite formal and repetitive, bordering on patterns, others, especially natural ones, very random. Some textures are fractal in nature, but that's a whole subject in itself.
    • Streaming Media - by John Somers
      “Streaming” is listening to music, watching a TV program or movie as it is being delivered to you over the internet. The technology is very difficult (say geek intensive) but it works and well for many of us and is an alternative to cable or satellite delivery of the signals. Several years ago Bill Gates said famously or infamously, “The internet, who needs it!” And this year Steve Jobs said, “We are in the post PC era”. More and more people use the internet and communicate over smart phones and tablets and do not use computers as we know them. Smart phones and tablets are indeed computers but without a large monitor and a keyboard.

      More On The Web - The following articles, by Ira Wilsker, Radio host, columnist,and college professor, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
      • netTALK Duo WiFi - Another Competitor for Inexpensive Telephone Service
        As a user of alternative telephone services for several years, I have been very satisfied with their performance. All of them use some variety of VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, to send voice grade telephone conversations over the internet, terminating at the recipients local phone service (landline or cellular), which ultimately connects the call to his local phone.
      • GIMP 2.8 - Freeware Alternative to Photoshop
        There are many excellent and free image editors available that are fully capable of easily performing most simple image editing tasks. My personal favorite simple image editor is the free IrfanView (irfanview.com) which is totally capable of the common imaging editing tasks such as cropping, removing red-eye, and performing color corrections and related enhancements.
      • Gizmo and TechRadar List the 100 Best Ever Free PC System Tools
        I have long been a proponent of free software. Much of the free software available is often as good, if not superior, to its commercial competitors. Many of the free software products are written by altruistic individuals in order to solve a particular problem or to fill a specific niche, while many others are free versions of commercial software where the publisher hopes that the user will be so satisfied with the free version that he will willfully upgrade to the paid version, which often offers additional features.
      • 12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free
        In recent days, I attended another college graduation, completing my 35th year as a college faculty member. For many, an appropriate college education is a key to personal success, while many others may benefit from other forms of education. In a recent "60 Minutes" segment (www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57436775/dropping-out-is-college-worth-the-cost), PayPal founder and the original financier of Facebook, billionaire Peter Thiel, questioned the necessity of a college education for many people, and alleged that the cost of higher education is too high for many students, resulting in a trillion dollar student loan debt, much of which will never be repaid.
      • "Best Free Android Apps" According to Gizmo
        About two years ago, I upgraded my traditional cell phone to a (then) state of the art Nokia smart phone running the latest version of the Symbian operating system. With that smart phone I had 3G internet speeds, could read my email, watch YouTube videos, browse websites, and download any of the hundreds of Symbian apps then available.
    • May - 2012
    • Internet Help
      Many technical help and price comparison links.
    • President's Corner - by Wesley Eckles, Jr
      We need more members to give a presentation and Free Virus Removal Tool for download from http://www.Sophos.com
    • "Driving" Your Computer - by Diane Fahlbusch
      We all know that one of the most essential components of our computer is the storage drive. It is the home of your operating system, firmware, applications and those precious files you have collected over time. Faster processors, more RAM … are useless if there is nothing to pass through them. We now have tremendous options available to us: larger capacity, faster RPMs, newer materials, faster connections, external drives and thumb/flash drives. The more you know about them, the better you will be able to decide what is right for you.
    • Acronis True Image Home 2012: Review - by Mark Mattson
      One never knows when disaster will strike. It could come anywhere, anytime, from any direction. And this is no less true when it comes to disaster striking your computer system. Just in the last month, I found out how true this is. I was preparing to start working on last month's newsletter and, when I started up my second computer (the one that does all my digital photo and newsletter work), I was faced with the dreaded 'click of Death' from the boot hard drive inside the box.
    • Windows 8 - Exciting and Challenging - by John Pearce
      The Microsoft Development Team for Windows 8 has been writing a blog about its development. The first post was in August, 2011; the frequency varies from a few days to a few weeks. I have often wondered why certain design decisions are made in the Windows OS. The blog attempts to discuss some of those issues as related to Windows 8. http://bit.ly/xlUCi8
    • The DAM Book, 2nd Edition: Review - by Mike Morris
      Peter Krogh, 2009, 496 pages. O'Reilly Media, Sebastopol, CA, http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596523589.do. Print ISBN: 978-0-596-52357-2 or ISBN 10: 0-596-52357-2
      Rating: Fourteener (connect to http://www.frpcug.org/reviews.html for rating descriptions. This review is also available on that web page). Rating description also included below. This book is eligible for the User Group discount from O'Reilly
    • Thank You Mr. Kilby and Mr. Noyce! - by Bill James
      We are seeing dramatic shifts as our planet becomes smarter. These shifts are changing the way the world works. Cities are becoming smarter by transforming traffic systems, water systems, security—every possible form of municipal infrastructure. Business process is evolving across every industry—banking, trading, manufacturing. And we're seeing changes in the way people live, enjoying advancements ranging from reduced congestion and pollution to new ways to communicate and collaborate. Every aspect of life is benefiting from the instrumentation, interconnection and infusion of intelligence into the systems of the world.
    • Tablet or Laptop - by Gregory West
      Unless you are a “hard core” computer gamer, you can now officially say goodbye to the laptop. The day of computer frustration is coming to an end. The answer to pulling your hair out as you are trying to figure out why the laptop is so hard to use is called: “touch pads”.
    • Is Google Compromising Our Privacy? - by Sandy Berger
      Recently Google announced consolidating the privacy policies for all of its services. These include about 60 different services like the popular Google search engine, the Google-owned YouTube video website, Gmail, and the Android operating software for mobile phones. Because of the scope and popularity of these services, this move got the attention of everyone from state and federal representatives to advocacy and security groups. But more than anything else, it left consumers with a throbbing headache as they pondered how this would affect them and if they should be concerned enough to stop using Google services.
    • Pass It On - by Elizabeth Wright
      In my beginning days of computing - 1982, Ms. E. Arly Bird was my mentor. (Not her real name of course.) She was a mathematical prodigy who became a computer expert in the very early days of personal computers. We were friends from another association and when she heard our daughter needed help doing some freelance PR work using a computer, she stepped in to get her up to speed.
    • Facebook's Privacy Policy - by Constance Brown
      Did you know that Facebook’s privacy policy is more than 1300 words longer than the United States Constitution without the amendments? *That Facebook had 400 million registered users in May of 2010, half of whom login daily? That Facebook has ** 800 million users as of February 2012? That people spend more than 500 billion minutes there each month? How private are your communications on Facebook?
    • Tips and Tricks Part 2 - by Bonnie Snyder
      A quick and easy way to magnify the information on the screen is to hold down the Control key and roll the mouse roller forward. The more you move the roller forward, the larger the display will be come. This feature does not work in all programs, so you’ll have to just try it for each one. Interestingly, in Firefox, the most recent magnification done this way is “remembered” so that when initially magnified with the control key, mouse roller, it will be already magnified. You can lower the amount of magnification by rolling down. This feature works in both Windows XP and Windows 7.

      More On The Web - The following articles, by Ira Wilsker, Radio host, columnist,and college professor, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
      • New Google Play Offers Single Source Entertainment
        I cannot imagine any internet user that has not at least heard of Google. Despite being in a competitive environment against the likes of Microsoft's Bing, Yahoo!, and other powerful competitors, Google has become somewhat synonymous when people think of internet searches, email (Gmail) , and other popular internet services. In the past, I have written columns here on Google Books, Google's shopping bot (formerly called Froogle), Gmail, Google's SMS (text messaging) services, Google Translate, Google's full length movies (on YouTube), Google's new social networking service Google +, and Google Phone. Now Google is going head-to-head with such services as iTunes, Amazon Cloud, and HuLu to become a single source for online entertainment and related services.
      • FBI: Hundreds of Thousands of Computers May Lose Internet on July 9
        In case you have not heard the news, on July 9, 2012, hundreds of thousands of computers will lose access to the internet. This is not some hoax or urban legend, but a fact announced by the FBI. Following the arrest of an Estonian hacker group which had made millions of dollars from a fraud scheme that infected millions of computers worldwide with a "DNS Changer" malware that redirected legitimate commercial transactions to a series of scam websites. These cyber crooks created a sham company called "Rove Digital" to receive the revenues of the scam. DNS is an acronym for a Domain Name Server, which serves somewhat like an internet phone book, which converts web addresses, also known as domain names (such as http://www.theexaminer.com), into an IP (Internet Protocol) address (theexaminer.com is really By changing the Domain Name Server accessed by an infected computer, it is like replacing an authentic phonebook with a purloined one that has the correct names, but intentionally different phone numbers.
      • Free Utility to Test and Monitor Your Hard Drive
        Many times before, in this column, and regularly on my radio show, I have repeated the three most important words in computing, "Backup!, Backup!, Backup!". Hopefully by now, most of you are maintaining current backup copies of all of your critical data, and an image of your hard drive, for the inevitable time that your primary hard drive ceases to function. I have published numerous reviews on good quality free and commercial software and online services that can be used to backup your hard drive.
      • Free Hard Drive Cleaners Remove Junk Files, Free Up Space
        It never amazes me anymore when I try and help people having computer problems, often performance related, and find that their hard drives are so badly cluttered with useless garbage that hard drive performance is seriously degraded. While there are many potential causes of poor computer performance, one of the easiest problems to detect and remedy is hard drive clutter.
      • Microsoft's Free Fix It Center Fixes Many Windows Problems
        Some time ago, I wrote about an early beta (pre-release) version of Microsoft's free Mr. Fixit utility. With the early beta test now closed, I am happy to report that Mr. Fixit is alive and well, and offering many times more free fixes than it did when I first reviewed it. Mr. Fixit is now the character or avatar for the Microsoft Fix it Center, which offers automated fixes for Microsoft products online, typically by downloading and installing a specific problem centered client to the PC. According to Microsoft, " Fix it Center finds and fixes many common PC and device problems automatically. It also helps prevent new problems by proactively checking for known issues and installing updates. Fix it Center helps to consolidate the many steps of diagnosing and repairing a problem into an automated tool that does the work for you."
    • Apr thru Jun - 2012

      April - 2012
    • Internet Help
      Many technical help and price comparison links.
    • President's Corner - by Wesley Eckles, Jr
      Bill Moeller gave an excellent review and demonstration of the free FastStone Image Viewer 4.6 at the March 17th meeting. Although the photographic image program may be downloaded free, the authors suggest a donation be made if you use it (freeware).
    • Save Money on Telephone Calls - by Sandy Berger
      Many of us remember when we all paid a monthly fee to the telephone company for our landline and paid exorbitant rates for long distance service. If you had friends or relatives living far away, those monthly bills could really add up. You may even remember that when a call from afar would come in, the person who answered the phone would promptly announce that the call was "long distance" and the recipient of the call would rush over to the phone so the connection time would be kept as short as possible.
    • Make Your Computer Either Stupid, Useless or a Zombie - by Vinny LaBash
      There are many ways to make your computer useful and reliable: add memory, buy more storage, and be sure to purchase gear and peripherals from reliable vendors. Some people nevertheless, seem determined to find ways to get into trouble. As a TV ad once proclaimed, “We all do dumb things from time to time,” but making your computer useless doesn’t have to be one of them.
    • Backup - Image, What's the difference? - by Phil Sorrentino
      This topic can be very confusing because of the similarities and the differences between backups and images. Backups and Images are similar in that they are both copies of something. The difference is in the “what” and the “how”. Normally, a backup is thought of as a copy of a file or a folder or a collection of files and folders (that is the “what”). The backup copy is just a copy, an exact duplicate and is not processed in any way (the “how”). The backup files can be used by any programs that could use the original files. The reason for having a backup file is to restore a file if it is accidentally destroyed or deleted.
    • Tech Tip: How to Recover Data From a Dead Hard Drive - by Bryan Lambert
      One of the most dreadful feelings that you can have is having a pc computer or laptop die that hasn’t been backed up recently; especially if you have valuable pictures, music, videos, documents or other files on it. One of the most dreadful feelings that you can have is having a pc computer or laptop die that hadn’t been backed up recently; especially if you have valuable pictures, music, videos, documents or other files on it. In this Tech Tip we’ll take a look at how to recover your valuable pictures from a dead computer. Where to start
    • Copyleft - by Cal Esneault
      We are all familiar with the term “copyright”. This is where a government grants to the creator of an original creative work certain exclusive rights to its distribution and use in return for the public disclosure of the work. There is usually a time period for this protection (for example, life of the author plus 75 years). Common examples are art work, photographs, and music. With a few exceptions (such as “fair use”), the copyright owners have strict control over the copying and distribution of such work unless they grant exceptions or specific permissions.
    • Discovering Windows 7 - Part 22 - by Neil Stahfest
      The Windows operating system contains a number of built-in functions to display files, change display settings, change mouse settings, etc. Most of these functions can be accessed in more than one way. By pressing the Windows logo key (the key with the waving Windows flag – usually to the left of the space bar) either alone or in combination with another key enables you to work with Windows without using a mouse or other pointer device. For example, instead of clicking on the Windows Start Button to open the Start Menu, just press the Windows logo key. More examples follow:
    • ICE Your Cell Phone - Save Your Life - by Sandy Berger
      You may have never heard of the ACEP, American College of Emergency Physicians, but their new consumer website is one you might want to visit. With the number of emergency room visits growing rapidly, this organization has put together a website where patients can access health information, share stories, and get involved in advocacy efforts. www.acep.org
    • Commentary: President's Corner - by Greg Skalka
      August was an interesting month for computer news. First we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the IBM PC. Though “personal” computers were already available, when the IBM PC came on the market on August 12, 1981, it started the adoption of this technology by business and individuals. A week after the PC anniversary, HP announced it was discontinuing its TouchPad tablet and apparently abandoning the tablet market. Sales of the $499 device touted as an “iPad killer” were slow until they were given a close-out price of $99, at which point they flew off the store shelves.
    • Review: Digital Photograpy Composition for Dummies - by Donna Kamper
      What’s the difference between an amateurish snapshot and a gallery-quality photograph? There are lots of variables, but the right “composition” makes the viewer’s eye snap to the essential element that tells the story. If there were only one way to tell a story photographically, it’d be easy. It used to be. Plop the subject in the middle and click. But does that really “tell the story?” This book, by a professional photographer...
    • So, Who Needs One? - by Wil Wakely
      When I ask someone if they have a computer the infrequent answer is the subject of this article. It’s hard to convince them of its value because, until you have used one, you don’t know what you are missing. And when yours is broken, then you really know what you are missing. I made a list of just a few of the programs that are most useful and ended up with four pages, too many to list here. But here are the most popular programs that are considered essential:
    • Discovering Windows 7 - Part 21 - by Neil Stahfest
      How closely have you looked at the Windows Start Menu? As you know the Start Menu is the primary method Windows uses for starting programs, finding files and running utilities. Most people, however, aren’t aware of how much you can change its appearance and functions to customize it match your needs and whims.

      More On The Web - The following articles, by Ira Wilsker, Radio host, columnist,and college professor, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
      • Pinterest - A Media Based Social Networking Web Service
        We are all likely very cognizant of the major social networking web services, as they have become an integral part of many of our daily lives. I have written about Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus in this column, and have accounts on all three, but utilize Facebook and Google Plus almost daily, but admittedly, have not been on Twitter in several months.
      • Create a Free WiFi Hotspot with your PC
        I was recently doing one of my cyber security presentations at a professional meeting in a posh Dallas area hotel, and there was a need for several users to get online for research purposes. As the speaker, I had a hard-wired Ethernet connection allowing me to access the internet, but the available WiFi connections in the room were weak and slow, making it difficult for the others to connect to the internet. This was one of those situations where a common and inexpensive WiFi router connected to the available Ethernet cable would have sufficed,
      • Lenovo Recalls ThinkCentre Desktop Computers Due to Fire Hazard
        WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
      • Another Free Alternative to Microsoft Office
        Over the years, I have written about several free alternatives to Microsoft Office. Many of my students cannot afford the roughly $100+ that it costs for a student version of Microsoft Office, and a lot of senior citizens, small businesses, and individuals that I work with cannot afford the $250+ for a commercial version of Microsoft Office. All of the major free alternatives to Microsoft Office can read and write Microsoft Office files, have a menu and command structure similar to Office, which simple means that anyone who can use Office can use one of the free alternatives, with a zero learning curve.
      • Two Free Helpful Utilities: File Repair and PrintFriendly
        I have to admit that the most frequent sources of ideas for this column are interesting questions asked by callers on my weekly radio show on KLVI (6:00 pm Mondays, 560AM), and emails from readers of this column. In a somewhat unusual move for me, I will respond to two of those inquiries in this column.
    • Jan thru Mar - 2012

  • March - 2012
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Wesley Eckles, Jr
    In the February President’s Corner I gave the URL for reaching PcMag.com ratings for 2012 Antivirus and Internet Security Suits. The paths are very long and MUST be entered exactly as shown. Here is an easy way to get the paths correct. Just go to our web site, select the February 2012 Newsletter, then select the President’s Corner. The paths shown are hot. Just click on them and you are taken directly to the PCMAG.COM links. You should use this methods for all long paths to sites printed in the NEWSLETTER.
  • 7 Little Word Annoyances and their easy Fixes - by Nancy DeMarte
    Below is a collection of frustrating things that can happen when using Microsoft Word. These annoyances can occur in any version of Word although most are geared to Word 2007 and 2010. In Word 2003, the fix-it steps may be different.
  • Your Computer's Health - What Junk Files? - by Bob Woods, Jr
    I have a Compaq laptop that is around 7 months old that I use for reading e-mail, surfing the web, publishing the changes to the UCHUG web site and occasionally playing games. Since I have any important files backed up on external devices I have not been too concerned with making a full backup image of the hard drive on this PC. I also have not run any cleanup utilities.
  • SmartPhone = PDA + Phone, Part 1 - by Phil Sorrentino
    Smartphones can be seen all around. Notice the phone being used on your favorite TV show; next time, odds are that it’ll be a smartphone. A year or two ago it was a flip phone (do you remember Jack Bauer on 24 using his?), but no more. Now the phone of choice seems to be the smartphone.
  • Broadsides - Compiled by Ron Broadhurst
    These ideas are compiled from years of accumulations from various magazines, books, online sites, and my own personal experience.
  • Family Tree Maker 2011 - Part 5A - by Mary Phillips
    Tab 5 Publish — This is the section that I think is really fun. Here is where I can print out all types of beautiful charts and reports. I can write a Smart Story, make a calendar of birthdays, and eventually publish a book, maybe.
  • There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch - by Bill Moeller
    There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch...…but FastStone Image Viewer 4.6 is as close to it as I have found lately. This freebie is a combination image viewer for your digital photos, an image editor for cleaning up and making your images more presentable, and a slide show generator for making it easy for others to see your photos in the sequence and with the timing that you want.
  • Roadmate 9055-LM - by George Harding
    There are many manufacturers of GPS driving devices. One of the best is Magellan. I was provided with the 9055-LM to review. What a pleasure! First of all, the box contents: Roadmate receiver, mount for windshield, car power adapter, USB cable and handbook (English, French and Spanish).
  • Password Tracking - Windows and Mobiles - by Merle Nicholson
    Tracking passwords has always been a problem for me. Years ago I started a password Document to track everything, and, while it worked, it left a great deal to be desired. The problem was much larger than just username and password. I needed to save the URL to log in to websites.
  • Discovering Windows 7 - Part 20 - by Neil Stahfest
    In the days before Microsoft Windows, when we deleted a file the file was gone and there was empty space on the disk was increased. Accidental file deletions could be a problem if you didn’t have copies. Enter Peter Norton who created a powerful unerase program followed by a number of other similar programs. Norton Utilities was a must have software package for businesses and serious PC users.
  • Add Text on Word 7 Photo - by Lynn Page
    When creating a document it may be useful to place text with or on top of a photo. You could create a new photo with the text in a digital photo editing application and then save it for use. But if you will just use that image once why go to the bother.
  • Degunking Windows 7 - by George Harding
    The book is written by Joli Ballew, an author (36 books!), trainer and web site manager . She has written for the McGraw-Hill How to Do Everything series. The book has 273 pages, including an extensive Index of 19 pages. The theme of the book is how to easily clean up your PC and speed it up.
  • Windows Explorer in Windows 7 - by Lynn Page
    I have always felt that Windows Explorer is the most important application provided with Windows. It is a file management application included in the Microsoft Windows operating system from Windows 95 on. Understanding and managing the files on our computers an important task and I always create extremely detailed and intricate file and folder structures.
    More On The Web - The following articles, by Ira Wilsker, Radio host, columnist,and college professor, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • Have Fun With Your Digital Images Using JibJab
      This past week, three of my family members had birthdays. Rather than send them traditional paper birthday cards, or canned e-cards, I decided to do something a little different; I created a series of humorous musical videos using their faces in the videos. Some of the videos I emailed directly, while others were posted on Facebook, as a public celebration of their birthdays. The website that I used to create these videos is JibJab (jibjab.com).
    • New Google Privacy Policy - Do You want to be tracked?
      In the past few days there has been some controversy in the media and in the blogs about Google's new privacy policy, Google overriding the Safari browser's "do not track" feature, and other potential privacy issues. As many internet users are aware that the "free" online services such as Google and Yahoo! are advertiser supported, receiving compensation from advertisers for the banner ads that appear on every page, paid placement in search engine results, and other revenue sources, most users are unaware that their browsing habits are also tracked with the information used (sold) to advertisers.
    • Undelete or Unerase Accidentally Deleted Files With Recuva
      I plead guilty. I admit that I have sometimes deleted files that I should not have deleted. Often, I realize the mistake fairly quickly, but sometimes I am unaware of my error for several days. Since its earliest days, Windows has had a trashcan or "Recycle Bin" where deleted files are stored until the trashcan is emptied. If the deleted file is still in the Recycle Bin, restoring it to its original location is typically an easy task; simply click on the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop or the Recycle Bin in Windows Explorer (or any other file manager), click or highlight the file, and then click on "Restore this item" on the menu bar. Alternatively, from the open Recycle Bin in any file manager program, right click on the file name and select "Restore"; the file will instantly be restored to its original location.
    • More Free Utilities to Clean Hijacked PCs
      Hardly a week goes by that I do not get a call from a friend or co-worker asking for help with a computer that had been hijacked by one of the thousands of variants of a type of malware generically known as "Rogue AntiVirus". Last weekend was busy for me in this respect in that I received multiple frantic calls for help on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. All of the computers I was asked to clean had been totally hijacked by this rogue antivirus operating under the names "Vista AntiVirus 2012", "Windows 7 Antivirus", and "Microsoft Antivirus 2012".
  • February - 2012
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Wesley Eckles, Jr
    Results of 2012 anti-virus and Internet security suites. See locations to view results of the 14 contestants.
  • The Overlooked Risks of Staying Logged In - by Leo Notenboom
    Have you ever checked your e-mail on a friend’s computer, public computer, or even display model at the store, only to wonder later if that was a wise move? Is your information safe, or can someone use cookies to retrieve your log in information and access your account?
  • Your Computer's Health, Part 1 - by Art Gresham
    You say you are doing most of those things recommended to keep your body healthy: annual physical, dental checkups, good diet, bathe regularly, stay physically active.
  • Dick's Clicks - by Dick Ramette
    "Sam" likes being technophobic. He grew up happily without PCs, cell phones, and credit cards, and is amused by those who flaunt their myriad electronic devices. He quotes Clifford Stoll: "Why is it drug addicts and computer aficionados are both called users?" But, in reality, there is no such thing as a "nonuser," because of how computers permeate most aspects of modern society.
  • Digital Asset Management Software - by Mike Morris
    What is interesting to me is that many of today’s digital imaging software applications offer both image editing and what is called “Digital Asset Management” (DAM) capabilities.
    In the not-so-distant past, the only image software choice was what image editor to use (Photoshop or something else).
  • Drop it in the Box: Dropbox, What It Is, How It Works - by Jo Grazide, Jr
    What is Dropbox?
    Suppose you were able to save work without using a flash drive, a disk (CD or DVD-R or RW), or an external drive, or even email, and move files between your laptop and desktop?
  • Discovering Windows 7 - Part 14 - by Neil Stahfest
    Do you have trouble seeing the text on your computer’s display? New computer displays come in a wide range of sizes. Twenty years ago an 800 pixel by 600 pixel display was considered to be pretty high resolution.
  • Acronis True Image Home 2012 - by Herb Goldstein
    In order for a computer to work it needs software, the primary basic and necessary of which is its operating system (e.g. Microsoft Windows). That being satisfied, your computer becomes a storehouse of data and information you provide to it in a moment by moment basis. Unfortunately there are a multitude of pitfalls and quagmires that can easily destroy all that vital and irreplaceable data in the blink of an eye.
  • The Other Side of the Street - by Bill Hart
    When IBM and Microsoft first released OS/2 in the late 1980s I was keen to try it, and even signed up as a Beta tester. I really wanted to be able to run more than one application at a time, and this seemed to offer a chance.
  • A Free Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away - by Larry Anders
    I had been highly opposed to Apple products for years because of what I feel to be the small-mindedness of Steve Jobs and the Apple management by not making their code available to developers, which would allow software to be developed so there would be more choice at reasonable prices. If so, I'm sure there would be a Mac in my house instead of just seven PCs running various Windows operating systems.

    More On The Web - The following articles, by Ira Wilsker, Radio host, columnist,and college professor, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.

    • Prepare and File Your Federal Income Taxes For Free
      It is that time of year again. We are in the process of receiving W-2 forms, 1099's of various types, and other documents that we will need in order to prepare our income taxes. While many people still use the paper-pencil-calculator method of completing the mandated Federal tax forms, there are a variety of free online and downloadable tax software packages that are available, as well as several popular commercially available income tax packages, with TurboTax and H&R Block at Home (formerly known as TaxCut) being the top selling commercial packages.
    • Old "Windows Tech Support" Scam Hits Locally
      Yesterday I received an email from a member of the local computer club about a phone call that she had just received. "I received a call on my home phone today from someone named "Janet" who claimed to be from the "Tech Department at Windows". She said they detected a virus on my computer and that if I would get on the computer now she could tell me how to correct it. She told me that the virus was slowly eating away at my computer.
    • Protect Your Security While Browsing
      As has become obvious in the eleven years that I have been doing this weekly column, I get many of my column ideas from Examiner readers, and listeners to my radio show. This column is no exception. Just yesterday, I received a frantic request from a local attorney whose computer had been hijacked by one of the endemic rogue antivirus virus programs, Vista AntiVirus 2012. As I have written here previously, this is but one of thousands of similar programs, usually from Russia, that completely take over the computer, preventing most other software from running, killing the installed security software, and offers to clean up the hijacked computer for a fee ($29-$69).
    • Free Services and Software For Digital Photographers
      A quick visit to the big box electronics stores will show an incontrovertible fact about photography; for household (and even much professional) use, digital photography has overwhelmed film photography. Notice how even the typical corner drug store, once the primary drop off point for developing family snapshots, now offers in-house digital printing as its primary photographic service, rather than sending out film for processing. Even the renowned giant of the film industry, Kodak, may be approaching its demise as the demand for traditional photographic film and related services had dropped below the fiscal point of continued viability.
  • January - 2012
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Wesley Eckles, Jr
    Ratings for 2012 Antivirus and Internet Security programs are available and coming in weekly and your president will present them at the next meeting.
  • Word 2007: A Few Useful Tips - by Lynn Page
    With Office 2007 Microsoft introduced a totally new interface that has carried forward into Office 2010.
  • Working with Page Numbers in Word 2007 - by Nancy DeMarte
    Adding page numbers to a document seems like a simple task. You open your document, position the cursor, and, on the Insert tab in the Header and Footer group, click Page Number.
  • Keyboards and Stuff - by Merle Nicholson
    I’ve modified and programmed keyboards, trying my best to optimize my time at the computer. Not that I don’t enjoy my computer and the things I can accomplish, but, First, I’m a lousy typist, despite having practiced continuously since 1976, and, second, I hate messing with things that are obviously flawed. Keyboards are all flawed, that’s a given. Here’s how I’m coping.
  • The Tip Corner - by Bill Sheff
    While copy and paste can get info from a web page into your email, it loses most formatting and colors, etc. So if you want the formatting or artwork or video to be seen here is how to link a web page:
  • When Outlook Dies, Windows Live Mail lives - by Jo Grazide
    I had been using and enjoying the features of Microsoft Outlook 2007 since 2007, never imagining that one fine day I would log in only to see a message saying something to the effect that Outlook was in use and that I had to close a “pst” file, or face the consequences.
  • Tips and Tricks | Tutorial: Disk Maintenance - by Les Townsing
    Cleaning up your hard drive can restore your PC’s Performance. There are three important utilities provided in Windows that help to improve a PC’s performance:
  • Cloud Computing - by Dick Maybach
    Although you can hardly pick up a computer publication without being assaulted by references to cloud computing, the term has been abducted by marketing organizations to the extent that it means almost nothing.
  • Linux Software of the Month: April 2011 - by Geof Goodrum
    The software described below can be downloaded at the links provided or copied onto a USB flash drive at the WAC meeting.
  • The Wild Side of Photography - by Clara Harold
    This book’s twenty chapters are written by 11 different photographers. They hail from around the world and show great imagination and creativity.
  • Smartphones (Part 2): Control and Interaction - by Phil Sorrentino
    The smartphone doesn’t have a mouse to let you push a pointer around the screen, so then, how do you control the interaction?

    More On The Web - The following articles, by Ira Wilsker, Radio host, columnist,and college professor, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.

    • Free Basic Computer Training for Seniors (and others)
      As many of you already know, I occasionally volunteer to teach some computer classes at the Best Years Center. I am well aware that seniors probably make up the largest group of new computer users, as many had lived their entire lives without utilizing many of the current technologies.
    • New MagicJack Plus Offers Inexpensive Phone Service
      If you watch any TV, you have undoubtedly seen the countless commercials for magicJack, offering to save the users hundreds of dollars a year in phone bills, for a monthly fee of about $2.
    • Microsoft Offers Free "Windows Defender Offline Tool" (beta)
      One major problem detecting and neutralizing much of the current crop of malware is that the malware very effectively protects itself from detection and removal by many of the more traditional security methods.
    • Free E-Book Readers For Your Computer and Smart Devices
      I have been an avid reader since my earliest years. I used to be a regular at the public library, checking out so many books that I was on a first name basis with the librarian. Over the years, I have collected a huge library of books, having read virtually all of them. Even today, it is not unusual for me to purchase several books at a time.
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