NWA-PCUG Newsletter Articles 2009-

The Northwest Arkansas Personal Computer
User Group

Newsletter Articles


Jan thru Mar - 09

Apr thru Jun - 09

Jul thru Sep - 09

Oct thru Dec - 09

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Oct thru December - 2009

December - 2009
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Joe Schork
    Recap of November meeting
  • A Tale of Two Printers, a Scanner, and a CD Drive - by Bruce Preston
    Printer #1: About two months ago, my friend/dentist called to say that he had a problem with his Epson Stylus CX-3810 Multifunction printer.
    Printer #2: About a week ago, I had a problem with my HP OfficeJet 6310, a multifunction printer.
    Scanner: About a month ago there was a Q&A Posting on SmartComputing where a reader had a problem with an Epson Perfection 2580 scanner.
    CD Drive: About two weeks ago a friend of mine in Michigan had a problem with a CD drive.
    What do all of these have in common? It appears that all the problems were caused by corrupted registry entries.
  • Genealogy Online: Using Internet Tools to "Dig Up" Your Family Tree - by Terri Neary
    Everyone has their own ideas about how computers and the internet can help them the most. For me, it is my genealogy project. I am trying to find out who my family were, what they did, where they lived, and even how they lived.
  • Hard Drives, Connectors, Performance and You: Performance Drives May be Worth the Price - by Ira Brinkman
    You buy a new computer and you‘re pleased that it is faster than your old one. You spend time keeping it fast. You keep crapware and malware away. You add memory.
  • Jim's Computer Tips - Compiled by Jim Paton
    Q: Every time I start up my computer, it says Check Disk and takes forever. How do I stop it?
  • Windows 7 is Here! Part I, II, III - by Robert Nisbet
    This first article will answer several basic questions about Windows 7. Future articles will cover aspects of the operating system of interest to most users. Q: What is Windows 7?
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      Recreation Time
      Just the Ticket For Dark Restaurants
      Tool For Repairing Access Files
      How?s Your Battery Doing?
      Having problems reading the screen?
      Magnifier You May Already Have!
  • More On The Web - The following articles by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • Use Caution When Upgrading to Windows 7
      A few weeks ago I wrote a column about how to determine if your computer could be satisfactorily upgraded to Windows 7. One of my most frequently used computing expressions is “Backup! Backup!, and Backup!”.
    • Create PDF Files For Free With These Utilites
      We all have been exposed to the wildly popular document format called “PDF”, or Portable Document Format. In recent years, PDF has become more available as a format with which documents can be saved. What may be more convenient for most users is one of the several free PDF writers, such as CutePDF, doPDF, and PrimoPDF.
    • Free Panda Cloud Antivirus Released
      In early May, 2009, I wrote about a novel idea from Panda Software, a Spanish cyber security company. In mid-November, Panda released its production version of Panda Cloud Antivirus.
  • November - 2009
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Joe Schork
    Recap of October meeting
  • iBrain: Surviving the Technical Alteration of the Modern Mind - by Gary Small, M.D. and Gigi Vorgan
    In iBrain, Dr. Small addresses the differences between the mental processes of “digital natives” and “digital immigrants.”
  • Speed It Up! A Non-Technical Guide for speeding Up Slow Computers - Reviewed by Gordon Strickland
    Almost anyone would like his computer to run faster. This book may therefore be regarded as being aimed at a very wide potential readership
  • Google Docs 4Everyone - by Reviewed by John Krill
    Confession first: I'm a big Google fan. After two nightmare situations with Yahoo!, I went over to the bright side and got a Gmail account. Now I have four Gmail accounts.
  • dotCrime Manifesto - Reviewed by John Lundgren
    This is a book review of the above hard cover book, which has a subtitle (in upper case) of HOW TO STOP INTERNET
  • Cyber Crime Fighters: Tales from the Trenches - Reviewed by Steven Breithart
    I have never wanted one of my book reviews to be on Page 1 of the Orange Bytes before now. The Internet has become an entity where all of the old evils are amplified and expanded,
  • Build It, Fix It, Own It: A Beginners Guide to Building and Upgrading a PC - Reviewed by Joe Mizer
    This book, published by QUE, is a good guide to understanding a PC from the inside out. Building a PC is easier than selecting stereo and video entertainment equipment for ur home
  • How to be a Geek Goddess - Reviewed by Sandy Berger
    I am an old hat when it comes to technology. I was a computer programmer back in the seventies before computers came into the home, and I’ve kept my hand in the technology arena all these years with my own computer consulting business and my technical writing career.
  • Web Video: Making Great, Getting it Noticed - Reviewed by Iris Yoffa
    We seem to be living during the decade of the rise of video as the media of choice for self-expression. And where better to publish for maximum exposure than the web.
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 7: Classrom in a Book - Reviewed by Willis Irons
    This book is part of the official training series from Adobe graphics and publishing software developed by Adobe product experts
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      Why Fix Me If I?m Going To Die Soon Anyway!
      Outlook Express Data Recovery
      Need A New 3D Address Book?
  • More On The Web - The following articles by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • Local Businesses Offer Online Coupons and Deals
      I monitor several of the “deal” websites that list continuously updated daily deals from the major retail stores and restaurants. These deals may either be deep discounts on selected items, closeouts and sales, promotions (including rebates), and high value coupons.
    • Commercial Software Available for Free
      Computer users often seem to be in the market for additional software. Many users even seem to have an addiction to new software, seeming to have an insatiable urge to try something new. There are many online resources that have enormous libraries of free software to download.
    • Panda Internet Security 2010 for PC Downloads for !!Free!!
      On October 22, Panda Security will offer downloads of its Panda Internet Security 2010 for Windows for free. That's the best deal we've ever seen on this Internet security program.
    • Can Your Computer Run Windows 7?
      Windows 7 comes in several versions including the Home, Professional, and Ultimate versions, all available in both 32 and 64-bit types. I have played with some of the versions of Windows 7 (all in 64 bit), and have been very favorably impressed.
  • October - 2009
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Joe Schork
    Recap of September meeting
  • Social Networking - What is it, really? - by Phil Sorrentino
    Social Networking is all over the news; Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are the ones that get the most play. So what are they, really? Well, they’re websites that provide another way of keeping in touch with friends, family, and associates.
  • Vista Task Scheduler - by Vinny LaBash
    Windows draws its share of critics, but one thing the wizards of Redmond did right was to redesign the XP Task Scheduler for Vista.
  • Beneath the Surface: DeepPeeping the Web - by Jerry Goldstein
    Last summer Google announced it had passed the one trillionth mark in its list of known and searchable Web pages. If you think Google does the best job of searching the World Wide Web.
  • Exploring Win 7 Beta 1 Part III - by Lee Reynolds
    Lee continues an overview of what the new operating system might look like, as well as what it is likely to have for features. This time around we are going to take a look at the new aero effects of Windows 7.
  • Exploring Win 7 Beta 1 Part IV - by Lee Reynolds
    Lee continues an overview of what the new operating system might look like, as well as what it is likely to have for features. The Start Menu And Its Properties.
  • Optimize Your PC - by Jon Jackman
    I saw an e-mail from PC World inviting me to speed up my slow PC. This directed me to a link for a “free scan” of my computer using PC Pitstop Optimize 3.0.
  • The Best Things in Life are Free - by Lou Torraca
      The moon belongs to everyone,
      The best things in life are free.
      The stars belong to everyone,
      They gleam there for you and me.
      The flowers in spring, the robins that sing,
      The moonbeams that shine, they're yours, they're mine.
      And love can come to everyone,
      The best things in life are free.
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      I Used That Good Tech Support Again!
      All About Charts
      Someone Sent Me This, But Didn?t Want To Be Named
  • More On The Web - The following articles by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • Watch TV Shows and Movies over the Net for Free
      About two years ago, I wrote in this column about a small new service with the strange moniker “Hulu” that was just being introduced. At that time, Hulu (www.hulu.com) had hundreds of old TV episodes and movies available for free online viewing. .
    • Google Chrome 3 – Ready for Prime Time!
      Longtime readers of this column may remember that I wrote about Google’s Chrome browser when it first came out. I found that Chrome version 1 was unstable, and incapable of loading many of the websites that I routinely visited... Not Ready for Prime Time.” I am now happy to report to you, my faithful readers, that the newly released Chrome version 3 is indeed “ready for prime time.”
    • Net Neutrality
      I have taken pride over the years that I have written this column to offer my readers a non-political and non-partisan break from the political tribulations of the day. Unfortunately, sometimes politics and technology clash, with each side having an argument supporting its opinions, and expressing why the other side is wrong.
  • July thru September - 2009

    September - 2009
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Joe Schork
    Recap of August meeting
  • Is It Time To Switch to 64 bit Windows 64? - by Brian K. Lewis
    In my February 2008 article in the Monitor comparing 32 bit and 64 bit computing, I was still advising caution for those wishing to upgrade. Today every new computer is capable of running a 64 bit operating system.
  • Windows 7 XP Mode - by Ash Nallawalla
    Windows XP Mode is aimed at small business users who wish to run their Windows XP-era applications on their Windows 7 desktop.
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Unleashed, 2nd Edition - by Jim Krill
    Microsoft Windows Vista is the operating system everyone loves to hate. It’s constantly being criticized. This reviewer bought a new Dell Inspiron 1525 in November 2008 and had planned on removing Windows Vista and installing a copy of Windows XP Professional based on the news stories critical of Windows Vista. I decided to give it a month and see what happens. Well, nothing happened.
  • If Your Computer Gets Wet..What? - by Bob Schwartz
    What to do if something wet spills on your electronic device or it falls into wet whatever? The following is not guaranteed but represents years of experience.
  • Clean Up Your Room/Desktop Part II - by Ron Hirsch
    Last month we started on managing your icons. In this issue, we’ll be continuing the saga of the icons. When you have completed the exercises below and learned the various activities involved, you will be on the road to becoming an “expert” to your friends.
  • Googlepedia - by George Harding
    This book is the greatest! If you are interested in anything Google, this is the place to go to find out about it.
  • The Computer as Crime Scene - by Michael Gemignani
    When most folks think of criminal activity, the computer is not the first thing that comes to mind. But computers are arguably one of the most powerful instruments of crime in history.
  • Install Those Updates - by Marjie Tucker
    Are you taking every precaution to safeguard the data on your computer? If you answer "yes" because you have turned on the Windows Firewall and use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, that's great. However, you may be forgetting something very important
  • More On The Web - The following articles by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • IObit Security 360 Beta 2.2 - Free Security Software
      I have been a fan of IObit software for several years, using both its freeware and commercial products. IObit has developed a loyal following of millions of users, and has earned accolades from the computer press.
    • Glary Utilities
      One of the common themes in this column is improving computer performance. I still hear on a regular basis about slow performance and other PC problems that may have an easy and possibly free solution.
    • Thousands of Free Books Available Online
      I enjoy reading. I find that reading is intellectually stimulating, broadens my horizons, and provides vicarious experiences.
    • TweakNow PowerPack 2009 – Comprehensive Free Utility for Windows
      Regular readers of this column are well aware that I am a utility junkie. I like downloading PC utilities in the never-ending saga of trying to improve PC performance and reliability. There are many very good performance utilities out there, both free and commercial, which will likely improve the functioning of the PC.
  • August - 2009
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Joe Schork
    Recap of July meeting
  • Driver Query Helps to Resolve Drive Problems - by Vinny La Bash
    Anyone using Vista for any length of time knows that most of the common driver problems were resolved long ago.
  • Clean Up Your Room/Desktop Part 1 - by Ron Hirsch
    So, does that line ring any bells? If you're a youngster, you've heard your elders tell you to clean up your room very often. And if you're not a youngster, then you use the line yourself on your kids or grandchildren.
  • Speed Demons - by Bill Roman
    There is an issue that I feel must be addressed, since the issue continues to come up on a regular basis. As a PC technician I constantly get asked why the clients' computer has become so slow, and if there is anything wrong with it.
  • Computer Performance Considerations - by Gary Bentley
    When I evaluate what might be done to maximize the performance of a computer system, whether that be a system already in use or one I might be specifying for order (i.e., specifying the hardware with a particular level of performance in mind for the intended application) I look at several key factors.
  • Word Processing Choices from A-N Part 1 - by John White
    Besides the venerable Microsoft Word and WordPerfect, an array of word-processing applications—both cheap and free—is vast and growing rapidly.
  • Word Processing Choices from N-Z Part 2 - by John White
      OpenOffice Writer:
      Thinkfree Online:
      WordPerfect X3:
  • PPC Locking HDMI Cable - A hardware review by Bob Clyne
    For those of you not familiar with it, HDMI is the current cable standard for carrying digital audio and video signals between pieces of equipment such as TV sets, DVD players, Blu-Ray players, AV receivers etc.
    I?ve been writing the DealGuy column for 14 years and have not missed a month, but its time I took a month off, so don?t look for the column next month.
    A while back, I talked about the FACUG spring conference and the attendance of about 140.
    the SAP Sapphire show.
    I'm working on an article about trade show setups, but here is something else to think about. When you walk through the entrance to a trade show, you probably don?t pay much attention to that obscure security guard who stands in the background and is checking for badges as you walk by.
    Worried About A Web Site?s Safety?
    Ever Consider A Virtual Cover? (This is their announcement, but edited).
  • More On The Web - The following articles by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • Symantec today released public beta-test editions of Norton Internet Security 2010 and Norton AntiVirus 2010.
      Featuring a new protection model codenamed Quorum and a new focus in the user interface, these new products "mark a significant shift in the way the global leader in security software will protect computer users from cyber crime," according to Symantec.
    • Reimage – Online Service for Windows XP Repair
      Recently one of my online technical journals had an article about a somewhat unique online service that claimed that it could non-destructively repair a Windows XP installation. The article claimed that this service could restore the software on the computer to the condition and speed that the computer had when it was new.
    • VideoLAN VLC Media Player – Free All Format Player
      What started out in 1996 as a student project at France’s École Centrale Paris has now turned into an international sensation, a free multi-platform utility that can play almost every known audio and video format.
    • Online Consumer Help from the Federal Government
      I recently received an email from someone asking about how to contact real people at the major corporations who have the authority to resolve consumer problems. Until the late 1990’s I used to order a free book from the Government Printing Office (GPO) titled “Consumers’ Resource Handbook”
    • Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.5 Browser
      It is no secret to regular listeners of my weekly radio show (KLVI 560AM 6-7pm Mondays) that I have been a longtime user of the Firefox browser. While Windows may come with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) installed and an integral part of the operating system, I and millions of other computer users have chosen to use an alternative browser, such as Firefox, to provide features and security lacking in IE.
  • July - 2009
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Joe Schork
    Recap of June meeting
  • Barlow's Technical Newsletter June 2009 - by Gene Barlow
    So, why not take this summer to get your computer system backed up and protected from a hard drive crash? To help you do this, we are offering a special summer price on the best backup utility on the market, Acronis True Image Home 2009.
  • Review - Roxio Creator 2009 - by John Roy
    Roxio, a division and brand of Sonic Solutions, continues as the premiere must have CD/DVD burning suite. Key applications provided are CD/DVD burning tools, Audio, Photo, and Video tools, and more. The Roxio suite provides support applications necessary to effectively use your computer just like Microsoft Office suite provides key office software.
  • Build a 'Green' PC on a Budget - by Rob Limbaugh
    We’re constantly bombarded by the subject of energy conservation —‘green’ this and ‘green’ that. It is a little difficult to rationalize spending $25,000 on a solar array for a house that will take a decade to ‘pay for itself’. But, if you happen to be looking for another computer, you can rescue good parts from a premature demise and save money at the same time.
  • Performing Better Searches - by Sharon Housley
    Performing and perfecting search engine results can save web surfers lots of time and energy. The increasing complexity of search engines has made understanding search engines a necessity for those who spend any amount of time online. The following search tips are standards that will work in most of the major search engines.
  • Fun and Games with Ubuntu - by Brian K. Lewis
    As I said in my last article in the Monitor, this one would be about my experience getting Ubuntu up and running on my new Asus laptop. I had been running version 8.04 (Hardy Heron) on my old laptop. Perhaps I should point out that Canonical, producers of Ubuntu, turn out a new version of their OS every six months! Compare that with Microsoft and its multi-year production cycle.
  • The Emergency Tool in the Palm of Your Hand: Your Mobile Phone - by Lorin Goldstein
    Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for survival. Check out what you can do with it:
      Unlock Your Car From Miles Away
      EmergencY 112
      Hidden Battery Power
      Disable a STOLEN mobile phone
      Free Directory Service for Cells
      So Many Tips So Little Value
      And a surprise ending!
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
    Attendees walk into a trade show and the glitter and glitz greets them, but they have no inkling as to what goes into setting up an impressive show floor.
    Consider This! and...
    Help With Your Data Disk Cataloging
  • More On The Web - The following articles by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • Act Quickly to Get a Deal on Windows 7
      In case you have not heard, Microsoft is about to release a new operating system intended to replace Vista, and the almost phased out XP. This new operating system is known as Windows 7, and preliminary reviews indicate that it is far superior in most aspects to Vista, and as stable as XP.
    • Microsoft Releases Free Beta of New Security Software
      Many of us love to kick Microsoft as the 600 pound gorilla who created the most popular computer operating systems and also attracted countless miscreants who locate and take advantage of security breaches. Now, Microsoft is releasing a free public beta of its newest incarnation of comprehensive security software code named “Morro”, but publicly named “Microsoft Security Essentials” (MSE).
    • PC Pitstop Overdrive - Free Online Testing and Analysis
      Often, it seems that our computers just do not seem to run well. There can be many reasons for poor performance related to hardware and software issues. One of the most popular and comprehensive testing services is free and online. This service is PC PitStop OverDrive, available online at pcpitstop.com/betapit.
    • Kiva - Online Micro Loans to Needy Entrepreneurs
      For the last several years I have written about the interactions between the computer and its user. I have written about both the very good and the very bad in cyberspace, probably with the edge in articles towards those cyber threats that gnaw at our heels. Despite our economic problems, high unemployment, industrial bankruptcies, and other devastating issues impacting us both individually and as a nation, perhaps it is time for all of us to take a moment and help those around the globe less fortunate than us.
    • The New Search Engine from Microsoft
      Most people think of Google when they want to do an online search. Google has even become a pseudo-verb for internet searches, as in the context, “I am googling for it.” As a free standing search engine, Microsoft’s Live Search has simply lacked the pizzazz of its major competitors until now. Microsoft recently rolled out the latest iteration of its search engine, formerly Live Search, and now called Bing,
  • April thru June - 2009

    June - 2009
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Joe Schork
    Recap of May meeting
  • Exploring Microsoft Windows 7 Beta 1 Part II - by Lee Reynolds
    Windows 7 is essentially a much improved Windows Vista. It has these main improvements over Vista, among many others:
    • easier home networking through a new facility called HomeGroups
    • a much more capable Windows Backup tool
    • a redesigned and more functional Taskbar
    • a new concept for organizing files and folders called Libraries
    • the ability to use Windows Instant Search over other pcs in a network
    • improved support for multimedia using Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center
    • a much friendlier version of Vista's User Account Control
    • some new capabilities of the Aero interface, notably "Aero Peek" and "Aero Shake" and "Aero Snap"
  • The Kindle2 May Make Newspapers Obsolete - by Sandy Berger
    Every now and then a revolutionary new product comes along at a time when it is most needed. So it is with the just released Kindle2 wireless reading device, fondly called an e-book reader.
    Up to now, electronic book readers have been very slow in taking off...
  • Reinstalling Windows - by Vinny LaBash
    No matter how diligent you are at computer housecleaning and tuning your system, at some point you will need to reinstall Windows. One of the most infuriating things about the process occurs after the installation when you realize you have forgotten something important like exporting your Favorites folder. Several weeks ago I reinstalled Vista on my laptop and almost forgot to do something elementary. So perhaps it’s time to review the basics.
  • Computer Basics - by Hilton Kaufman
    A computer is nothing but a bunch of wires and parts sitting in a box. Programming makes it work. Over the years computers have become smaller and more powerful, while programming became more sophisticated.
    Years ago memory was expensive and the programming was relatively cheap. Now, memory is quite cheap. For many purposes the necessary programming either comes with the machine or can be purchased in a box or online.
  • Preventive Computer Maintenance - by Stuart Rabinowitz
    The single most important maintenance item that should be done on a regular basis is BACKUP YOUR DATA. What the schedule is depends on much data you can afford to lose. Try daily/weekly to an external hard drive and monthly to a CD/DVD, or use a backup application. Make sure that your software is updated; primarily the operating system and your primary browser.
  • Computer & Internet Tips & Tricks - by Gregory West
    As Editor for the Sarnia Computer Users? Group, I do a lot of online research for interesting websites and also free software. I am also fortunate to have people who send me their online gems. Here I share some of these amazing finds with you. Remember: The programs you are about to see are FREE and legal and for you to download and use...
  • How Can I Tweak Firefox & Thunderbird - by Gabe Goldberg
    One of the Internet's many beauties is the diversity of choices available -- for everything. There are multiple search engines, Web browsers, ISPs (Internet service providers), operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac). This means that no two people have precisely the same computing setup or online experience and leads to hours of fun-filled arguments about whose choices are best.
    In fact, competition works to everyone's advantage: ...
  • Photoshop CS4 Has Arrived - A Review by Ron Hirsch
    Actually this is Photoshop version 11, since Adobe still does keep a number ID for Photoshop. Adobe has been releasing new version about every 18 months, and they are right on track for this newest version. I've been reviewing Photoshop since version 2.5, and it really has come a long way. With each new version, I ask myself what they can possibly add in to warrant a new version. Adobe has always surprised and delighted me with the new features.
  • Adobe InDesign CS4 "one-on-one" - by Gregory West
    Usually, when desktop publishing is mentioned people tense up, and rightly so. The programs are so hard to learn. But all that has now changed. We have all dreamed of being able to produce an award winning document, from a single page newsletter to that 100 plus page glossy magazine. Now we can use this book and the training DVD. You will be amazed how easy...
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      I was reading the Orange County IBM PC Users Group newsletter...
        Coffee Break: $1.99 (****)
        AroundMe: Free (****)
        Say Who Free (****)
      Why Not Scrap The Crap?
      What?s This, A Photo Production Line?
      How About Better Efficiency
  • More On The Web - The following articles by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • Online Resources for Hurricane Information
      In just a few days we will be entering the 2009 hurricane season. The horrendous 2008 season, where locally we suffered the devastation of Ike is still fresh in our memory, and the blue roofs in the area remind us of the disaster on a daily basis. A little over three years ago we suffered the double calamities of Katrina and Rita, and the havoc they wreaked locally.
    • New Free Security Utilities – Do You Speak Klingon?
      Do you speak Klingon, the language of the intergalactic warriors of Star Trek fame? If so, the newly released (beta) product of Sophos’ new on-demand malware scanner may be just for you. If you are among the Earthlings who have some command of the English language, then the English version of Sophos Klingon Anti-Virus may be more practical than the Klingon language version.
    • Linkscanner – Free Protection from Web Threats
      Many of us have felt secure while surfing the web, safe in the knowledge that our PC security software will protect us from all of the threats out there. Initially, in the early days of PCs, we came to understand that a good antivirus program would give us all of the protection that we needed. Later, we learned the hard way that antivirus software by itself would not protect us from the then-current threats, so we needed a firewall and anti-spyware software.
    • Panda Introduces Totally New Antivirus Technology – FREE
      Most antivirus software has become bloated and a drag on system performance. One major issue with most antivirus products is the time delay between the detection of a new threat, and the time it takes to push updates to users of the software. Thousands of new viruses and variants appear every day, and it is a major burden on the purveyors of antivirus software to keep their respective products up to date.
    • Dozens of Free Utilities from Camtech
      I will admit that I am a junkie when it comes to free utilities. I enjoy trying new software, especially if it is legitimate freeware from a reliable source. Occasionally I have a special need for a utility, and there are a few places that I typically check to see if such a freeware utility is available. One of those websites is Camtech2000 (camtech2000.net), which has dozens of freeware utilities available, many of which will run on most versions of Windows, from Windows 95 to Vista.
  • May - 2009
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Joe Schork
    Look for the May meeting: Viruses, etc.
  • Moving on to Vista - Part 14 - by Neil Stahfest
    One of the features that I liked about previous versions of Windows was the *Search” feature. Just click on the “Start” button”, Click on “Search” and enter the file name that you want to find. If you have multiple hard drives, you can specify which ones to search. Its easy and simple. Vista is different.
  • Exploring Microsoft Windows 7 Beta 1, Part 1 - by Lee Reynolds
    Lee gives an overview of what the new operating system might look like, as well as what it is likely to have for features.
  • Computer Speed, RAM and Virtual Memory - by Brian Lewis
    One of the more frequent questions raised is: "will adding more physical memory (RAM), speed up my computer"? The answer is a qualified "maybe". The first thing you need to be aware of are the built-in bottlenecks that can slow down your computer.
  • File Management - Part Two - by Ron Hirsch
    This month's lesson picks up where we left off last month. We're now going to do some file operations on the special file we created for the exercise.
  • Things, Thinglets & Thingassos - by Jack Lewtschuk
      Cleaning Your Computer
      The Tiny Miracle
      Are You the Administrator?
      Manual! Manual! Manual! My Kingdom for a Manual!
      What's in Your Wallet?
      The Third Generation of USB
  • My PayPal Account's Been Hacked - by Steve Bass
    The e-mail from PayPal said I'd sent $400 to a gaming firm in Germany. It's a dopey phishing expedition, I thought, and authentic-looking, for sure, but nothing to worry about.
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      More On Digital Picture Frames
      Another New Toy!
      FACUG Spring Conference
      Government Discount
      Protection For Your Computer
  • More On The Web - The following articles by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • PC Tools Offers Free Antivirus Software
      In the eight years I have been writing this weekly column, I have repeatedly espoused the mandatory need for having good antivirus software installed as a part of the necessary security cordon around the computer.
    • Dozens of PC Utilities Free for the Taking
      I read a lot of online computer magazines. Most of them are American, but some are foreign, including from such diverse places as England, Germany, and Australia. Recently the Australian magazine PCWorld Australia published an article titled (sic) “95 great free sites and downloads you’ve probably never heard of” (tinyurl.com/95free-utilities).
    • What We Learned From the Conficker Worm
      On April 1, “April Fools’ Day”, the globe held its collective breath to see what, if anything, the Conficker worm would do to the millions of computers that it infected. No less a mass media authority than the CBS news show “60 Minutes” broadcast a warning on the Sunday evening prior to the April 1 “activation” of the Conficker worm.
    • Freewaregenius – Evaluates Free PC Software
      I still get a positive response from readers that they like the idea of getting free software for their PCs. I have used a variety of sources to denote which freeware programs would be most beneficial to most users, and have now come across another valuable resource on the subject. Lately I have been reading the listings and evaluations from a site “freewaregenius” (listed as one word in lower case), www.freewaregenius.com
  • April - 2009
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Joe Schork
    Recap of March meeting
  • Magic Word Brings Email to the Offline World - by Gabe Goldberg
    If you've ever wondered how to bring email to the techno-phobe in your life, the answer isn't Abracadabra, it's Presto.
  • How to Switch Internet Browsers - by Sandy Berger
    Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is a software program that comes on all computers that use the Windows Operating System. Internet Explorer is called an Internet browser since it is the software that allows you to view Web pages and surf the Internet.
  • Consumer Electronics Show 2009 - by Joe Nuvolini
    The trip to Las Vegas was uneventful. The line to get a cab was about 20–25 minutes long as many were arriving for the show. The Somerset House Motel was surprisingly pleasant. The room had two beds, lots of closet space, a nice bathroom, and a kitchenette with a frig, sink, and stove. The walk from the motel to the press room in South Hall was about 15 minutes.
  • How Can I Keep My PC Clean and Tidy? - by Gabe Goldberg
    Like changing your car's oil or replacing your home's air conditioner filter, a little PC cleaning pays off with a faster, more reliable, and longer-lasting computer. Although nothing suggested here is either rocket science or inherently dangerous, always follow the medical adage, "First, do no harm".
  • File Management - Part 1 - by Ron Hirsch
    What exactly do I mean when I say file management? And, I can hear you saying “Who needs to fool around with that stuff. I have too many real things to concern myself with. My computer takes care of all those things anyway, doesn't it?” Well, the answer is yes and no.
  • Circuit Writer Version 6.6 - by Jim Scheef
    Is the cloud really DRM in disguise? You remember Richard Stallman, right? He’s the founder of the Free Software Foundation (fsf.org), creator of the GNU operating system (gnu.org), and has been called “the last true hacker” for at least 20 years(see separate sidebar in this issue).
  • Juicing Your Broadband Speed - by Vinny La Bash
    People prefer broadband internet connections because of the obvious speed advantages over dial-up and satellite links. Then why is it that broadband never seems to be fast enough?
  • Diagnosing RAM Errors in Vista - by Vinny La Bash
    There is nothing useful that can happen in your PC without RAM. That’s why it’s essential to have high quality, reliable memory chips installed on your equipment. Defective RAM shows up as application errors, messages that your operating system is not quite right, and stop errors which bring your system down hard and unexpectedly.
  • How to Send an Email Message to Any Cell Phone - by Ken Peters
    Impress your kids, grandkids and friends with your ability to text. Send a text message to their cell phone by email from your computer. Most cell phones have the ability to send and receive short text messages.
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      Try This One On For Size
      Want To Get Modern, Stable and Futuristic?
      Tired Of Quicken or MS Money? Try This One
      Multiple items on the clipboard
  • More On The Web - The following articles by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 8
      Microsoft has released the latest iteration of its ubiquitous browser, Internet Explorer version 8 (IE 8). This browser is for all versions of XP and Vista, and is a 16.1mb download for XP.
    • Free PC Utilities from Piriform Software
      There are some excellent free software utilities available that are every bit as good as their commercial counterparts, and sometimes even better. One software publisher, with an almost unknown name, but with very popular products is Piriform Software.
    • Free PC Utilities from Comodo
      Last year I wrote in this column about a free suite of excellent security products from a little known company called Comodo (www.comodo.com). Comodo is one of those sleeper companies that quietly provides very good products and services, but just seems to dwell in the background while it adds paying customers and clients.
    • Alternative Internet Browsers – Maybe Better Than IE
      Windows users are all too well aware that contemporary versions of Windows come complete with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) installed in such a way as it is almost impossible to remove. Because Microsoft initially makes IE the default browser, many users are unaware that there are some excellent free alternatives out there
  • January thru March - 2009

    March - 2009
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - Substituting for Joe is John Clark, WebMaster
    Recap of February meeting - Flash Drives – a substitute program for February 2009 meeting.
  • Vista Part 13 - by Neil Stahfest
    The chances are the first peripheral device you purchased for your computer was a printer. You may have even received a “free” printer when you purchased your computer. Vista makes it easier than ever to connect a new printer to your computer than ever before.
  • Sandbox Computing - by Brian Lewis
    Next, let’s take a look at what is meant when I talk about a computer sandbox. The sandbox is a complete "virtual computer" running in your computer’s memory. This virtual computer is isolated from the real operating system files and creates any files it needs for use within the sandbox.
  • Tech News That Affects Everybody - by Sandy Berger
    Some of us scour the technology and business sections of the newspaper and the Web to get the latest news. Some of us head for the lifestyle and community sections, without much of a care about technology. Yet, today's technology news is often news that will affect everyone's life in one way or another.
  • There is More to Music than the iPod® - by Mike Morris
    There is more to music—and more to life—than the iPod. I think I can prove that statement with the words that follow. Please don’t misunderstand me. I admire the iPod as a successful product—a success technically and financially—even though I don’t have one. However . . . .
  • Signficant Bits Feb 2009 - by Sean Henderson
    On Software Installations
    Opera Mini and Palm TX Part II
    Editing Just About Anything
  • Tech News Tidbits - by Terry Robert
    My intention in writing this article each month is to help us understand technology’s emerging trends that affect our everyday lives. While researching material for this month’s submission, I felt compelled to share these alarming trends with the rest of you.
  • Improving Vista Performance - by Vinny LaBash
    Microsoft has added security features in Vista which didn’t exist in XP. There are new functions and while the graphics are really neat, they can give your system a big performance hit if you don’t have enough memory.
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      Suggested Reading
      A Bit About Work
      How About Repairing That File
      Keep An Eye On That Network
      Use This Instead of Print Screen
  • More On The Web - The following articles by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • a-squared Free 4.0 Anti-Malware Protects Computers From Malware
      I am frequently called upon to clean computers infested with malware. I routinely carry a USB flash drive with me that contains a variety of virus scanners and anti-malware programs that I can use to detect and remove any malware that I find on the computer.
    • VIPRE PC Rescue – New Free Malware Detector for Geeks
      Last week in this column, I wrote about programs that I carry on a USB flash drive which I use to remove malware from infected computers. In the closing of that column I mentioned a new utility that I was going to experiment with, and which held great promise due to its pedigree.
    • magicJack – Bargain Phone Service Through Your Computer
      You may have seen the TV commercials and infomercials about a telephone device called magicJack. The commercials bragged about how easy it was to install and use, and how cost effective it was.
    • Twitter – What You Are Doing Right Now
      Several of the readers of this column asked me, “What is Twitter?” following the media reports that senators and congress people were “Twittering” during recent presidential speeches.
  • February - 2009
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Joe Schork, President
    Recap of January meeting.
  • Protect from the new crop of Trojans - AUTORUN and Conficker Worm Alert! a-squared Free 4.0 removes the Worm - by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director
    Here is a report from the US CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team, US Govt.) on how to keep the new crop of trojans from infecting computers and whether Conficker is present and how to fix it.
  • Vista Part 11 - by Neil Stahfest
    One of Vista's disk management systems, that is new to me, is a dynamic disk and the ability to extend a volume.
  • Broadsides - by Ron Broadhurst
    These ideas are compiled from years of accumulations from various magazines, books, on-line sites, and my own personal experience.
  • Traveling Then and Now - "Technically Speaking" - by Gregory West
    In 1974 Richard Nixon was the first US President forced to resign, while gasoline pricing rose to a whopping 55 cents a gallon US (14.5 cents a liter). They claim the reason was that “gasoline shortages and price increases throughout the world help to cause problems in most of the western worlds’ economies” (www.thepeoplehistory.com).
  • Pinnacle Studio 12 - A Review - by Beth Pickering
    I would love to compare video editing programs and declare Pinnacle Studio 12 the easiest one to use, but to be honest . . .
  • !Danger: Music Download! - by Mike Morris
    "On September 8, 2003, the recording industry sued 261 American music fans for sharing songs...."
  • Computhanksgiving - by Berry Pillips
    The Computer Club of Oklahoma City recently celebrated "Thanksgiving in August" at our monthly General Meeting when we celebrated all the members past and present who have given of their time and talents in the evolution of our computer club. As I was preparing for the General Meeting, I thought how far we have come from our humble beginnings.
  • Almost Everyone Needs a Help With Word 2007 - by Linda Gonse
    Bear with me while I quote John Dvorak from his August 2008 PC Magazine column, then I will tell you what my point is. Regarding Vista, he said: “Vista isn’t completely unusable; It’s simply hard to use.
  • Hewie's Views and Reviews - by Hewie Poplock
    Welcome to this issue of Hewie's Views & Reviews. Be sure to visit Hewie's Favorites at http://www.hewie.net/ .My iPhone choice.
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      They Said It Couldn’t Be Done
      DVD Converter At No Cost
      Now For A New Task Manager
      Take Control Remotely
  • More On The Web - The following articles by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
  • January - 2009
  • Internet Help
    Many technical help and price comparison links.
  • President's Corner - by Joe Schork, President
    Introduction to a New Year
  • The New, the Best, and the Worst - by Pim Borman
      Could Cuil Cool Google?
      Zinc Air Batteries.
      Zinc-Air Batteries (side bar)
      Desktop Publishing With Scribus
  • Outlook and Xobni, a Good Match - by Vinny LaBash
    Xobni is Inbox spelled backwards, but there is nothing backward about this free plug-in module from www.xobni.com. The more email you receive, the more you will like and appreciate Xobni.
  • Hacking 101 - by Margie Tucker
      How Does A Hacker Get In To Your Computer?
      Commercial Websites
      What Tools Do They Use?
      It's very easy for a potential hacker to find the tools of his trade. There are many websites that offer program tools and tutorials for using them. Here are some of the popular:
  • Anti-Virus Virus - by Sandy Berger
    I hate writing about computer viruses. It always reminds me of how many unscrupulous, money-hungry people there are in the world. Yet, there are times when I feel that I must write about a certain virus because it is causing so much havoc for everyday computer users. Unfortunately, that time has come again. In the past two weeks, my company has removed a very bad group of viruses from six different computers. So I feel it is time to send out a warning.
  • Chicago Computer Society Makes History With Skype Presentation - by Irene Ganas
    History was made by the Chicago Computer Society, as its Digital Imagery SIG, hosted by Sanford Kolinek, gave its first Main Presentation at our local meeting by its presenter from two thousand miles away.
  • Moving on to Vista Part 10 - by Neil Stahfest
    Most of us who upgrade to Windows Vista from an older version of Windows encounter compatibility problems. Vista doesn't want to recognize some programs as valid or authorized Windows programs even though they worked with Windows XP. Does this mean that you have to abandon them or upgrade to a new ? ”Vista” version of your favorite programs?
  • Media Show 4 by Cyberlink - by Terry Oden
    There may be hundreds of ways to gather, store, view, edit and show off your pictures and videos. This is one of the best and easiest I have found so far. One of the things that I liked best about Media Show was ease of operation. There are only 5 buttons to control the whole program. Below you’ll find a screen shot of the second screen you’ll see select the Pictures button.
  • YouTube for Posterity - by Mike Moore
    The video sharing websites, such as Google Video and YouTube, are either great resources or the world’s biggest time-wasters, depending on your viewpoint. YouTube for example, allows users to view and share video clips with ease, and anyone can upload a video clip on this site without cost, making it a kind of “America’s Funniest Videos” of the internet.
  • FastStone Capture - by Ron Hirsch
      The Best Screen Capture Program I've Ever Used
      What is a Screen Capture?
      My History With FastStone
        Faststone Main Site
        FastStone Capture Page
        Ways To Use Screen Captures
  • The Deals Column - by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
      Another Personal Saga
      New Product From Diskeeper
      Want A DVD Creator? DealsGuy Note: I have not actually tried this product.
  • More On The Web - The following articles by Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director, are NOT in the hardcopy newsletter.
    • What You Need With That New Holiday Computer
      All new computers typically work fine right out of the box, and often come bundled with either full versions of application software, or trial versions of software. Still, almost all new computers need some accessories, peripherals, or software to maximize usefulness and safety.
    • Create PDF Documents for FREE
      While feature rich, and still widely considered as the premier PDF writing utility, the Adobe Acrobat PDF writing software is relatively expensive ($300 for the new Standard Edition – Version 9). In recent years, several competitors to Adobe PDF Writer have appeared, and fortunately for us, some of them are available for free!
    • Basic Maintenance for that New Computer
      Some of the simple tasks that need to be performed periodically on that new (or old) desktop or laptop are deleting old and obsolete files, “defragging” the hard drive to improve performance, periodically reviewing and editing items that load when the computer starts or “boots up”, and removing useless and unwanted programs that have been installed by the manufacturer as “trial” versions.
    • SPAMfighter – Free Spam Filtering Software
      Many of us have multiple email accounts with other email services, and they vary greatly in their ability (or inability) to filter the enormous quantity of spam mail we routinely receive. Some contemporary internet security suites offer spam filtering as a feature, while many others do not, leaving countless users exposed to the scourge of spam emails.
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