NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
The Deals Column
by Bob Click, The Deal Making Man, March 2001
Greater Orlando Computer Users Group
(click to email author)

Check out my new Web page containing interesting articles from various UG newsletters.

Horst Gorgas, editor for Charlotte County Personal Computer User Group, asked about using my column in their newsletter and he provided information to post on my Web site's distribution page. I hope their members enjoy the column.

What a Deal!!
I drove a neighbor to a Best Buy store today to pick up his new TV. Best Buy is a place I rarely frequent, but while waiting for my friend, I looked at a package of 5 Memorex CD-RW disks for $5.99. I also checked the price on a package of 10, which was $15.99. This Best Buy deal left me wondering what I may have missed in the interpretation. I've heard about "modern math." Maybe I should take that class.

Have you noticed in many weekend sale flyers that sale items often show no regular price besides the sale price? In reality there's no sale at all, just a featured item with a large price that "appears" to be on sale. I've noticed one store's flyers doing that for several years now. Guess the others are learning from them.

To Linux, Or Not To Linux
It was not a good time for the Intel Pentium 4 in early January 2001. Some distributors installing Linux found that the install was less than clean since the operating system's installation procedure could not properly identify the chip. Apparently it had to do with Intel changing its CPU identification model numbering. Intel says they informed distributors of the chip update, but some distributors didn't attend the briefing so they didn't update their operating systems.

From what I read, the best bet is Red Hat's Linux, which is said to install correctly. Caldera and Turbo Linux have a work-around to sidestep the problem. Others do not have any information to help, but do know about it. Perhaps this won't matter that much, since Pentium 4 sales are sagging anyway.

1. Ken Winograd e-mailed me to alert you that both of his Hang2000 games (for Windows and Macintosh) have been updated. The info in the Presidents and Vice Presidents categories is modified. (Guess why?) He didn't say if there was anything about "Florida" or "pregnant chads" in it.

Info: [http://www.winograd.com]
Windows download:
[http://www.winograd.com/Hang2000-Setup.exe] Mac download: [http://www.winograd.com/Hang2000.sit.hqx]

The .exe on the file means it is self-extracting. According to Ken it will ask you before it installs anything.

2. The DesignCAD offer is still good so I suggest you order it now if you are interested. It's a nice saving. Phone: 800-233-3223 or 918-825-4844.

3. I don't know if they'll still honor the Caligari iSpace offer or not, but if you want iSpace, give it a try. Go to: [http://www.caligari.com/ispace/is1dg/] to order iSpace. Caligari has also introduced version 5 of TrueSpace. There was an incredible offer for just a few days, but it has expired and a new one is now in effect for upgrades. Check their Web site.

Now For This Month's Items

How Clean is Clean
A few months ago I wrote about Steve Gibson's Web site and his "Optout" program to search your hard drive for "spy" software that might report on you. David Walters of Greater Orlando UG suggested that you should go to http://www.lavasoft.de/aaw/index.html] and download a more comprehensive program (freeware called AD-aware) that also searches your hard drive for "spy" programs. You have the choice of removing what it finds. David says a clue that spyware might be on your computer could be sluggish performance caused by the spyware working in the background, and it could even lead to crashes.

I also received an e-mail newsletter from Steve Gibson offering "LeakTest" as freeware to test your firewall at http://grc.com/lt/leaktest.htm]. I suggest you read all the important information on Steve Gibson's Web site [http://www.grc.com/]. I was told that Steve had a new opinion of Symantec's Internet Security, but didn't find it.

Oh No, Taxes Again!!
This may be a bit late (not for procrastinators like me), but I'll remind you that you can download a free tax program (Tax Act) for doing your federal taxes at [http://www.2ndstorysoftware.com] for absolutely no cost. They do have "Tax Act Pro" that is not free, but many will get along nicely with the FREE version. Take a look.

Server Software
Here's a chance to test "X-Win32"to connect to a Linux or Unix server. X- Win32 provides intuitive point-and-click access from Windows-based client desktops to Linux and Unix servers, and was ranked first in four of seven test areas by "CMP Media's" real-world labs. With X-Win32 PC, users can run even the most memory-intensive, graphics-rich Linux applications on their Windows desktops.

Go to [http://www.starnet.com/x4u/ssh.htm] to download an evaluation copy. Use the license key VN: 1714552-12727 for the download. You have 90 days to see what you think. If you like it and want to purchase the software, e-mail Paul Swart, vice-president sales and marketing, at [Paul@StarNet.com] to get the special price of $175.00 ($75.00 off the retail price). I know nothing about server software so check their product description at the Web site [http://www.starnet.com].

Clean Your Computer -- FREE
Susan Ives of Alamo PC Users Group passed this on to me through their editor, Clarke Bird. "If you are running a current virus scan program, ignore this, but if you are not, you can check your computer and clean it here: [http://housecall.antivirus.com/]. Keep your computer checked (for free) often. You install a small program and can virus scan your computer on the Web. The site is run by Trend Micro, the creators of PC-cillin."

How About a Deal, And a UG Fund Raiser
Several editors forwarded this one to me. It was e-mailed by Boomerang Software to all user groups belonging to APCUG. Here is an abbreviated description and statement by Boomerang.

"Now you can use FrontPage 2000 and Total E-Commerce for FrontPage 2000 together to build complete E-commerce sites. However, for a limited time only, we are offering Total E-Commerce for FrontPage 2000 for the Special Introductory Price of $119.95.

"Limited time special introductory offers on Boomerang products and services:

  • Total E-Commerce for FrontPage2000 - sale price $119.95 (retail $149.95)
  • WebShop Designer 2000 - sale price $69.95 (retail $79.95)
  • Internet/Intranet Design Shop Gold 2000 - sale price $49.95 (retail $59.95)
  • Photo.Web Deluxe - sale price $29.95 (retail $39.95)
  • Web-Hosting - General and E-commerce - sale rice $14.95/mo - one month free
  • Dedicated E-commerce Web-Hosting - sale price $39.95/mo - one month free
  • "Prices in effect until February 1, 2001, but check with your user group since the time period may be extended due to newsletter delivery schedules. Prices do not include shipping and handling. To help upport your user group, Boomerang will contribute to your user group an amount equal to 10% of the sales of the listed products generated by your group's members during this period. Your group's officers must contact Boomerang to make appropriate arrangements. If the group does not take advantage of this offer of support, individual members can still take advantage of the limited time special introductory offers (check with your user group special offer coordinator who should have details). "To purchase these products and services and receive credit toward our contribution to your user group, please call 617-489-3000 ext. 114, or e-mail [richards@boomerangsoftware.com] with ordering information. Please be sure to state the name of your user group and where you can be contacted. This offer applies only to the listed products purchased via the above telephone number or e-mail address, and is available for a limited time only. It does not apply to any sales of Boomerang Software Inc. products or services purchased in stores or elsewhere. For further information regarding Boomerang Software products, please visit us at [http://www.Boomerangsoftware.com]."

    Free Software, Anyone?? I've never even heard of this product until I read of it, but since it's FREE, you might like to take a look. "Snippets version 2.0" (a major upgrade) is available at [http://www.snippets.com]. The review I read called it a browser, but their Web site says "The Ultimate Desktop Dashboard." Whatever -- new features improve how users access the Internet. It automatically retrieves information daily, hourly, or minute- by-minute, and delivers information from several Web sites to alert the user. I've not tried it, just thought I'd pass it on.

    Microsoft Mindshare Newsletter - Check it out. Many user group members subscribe to the Microsoft Mindshare newsletter, which ontains good information for all kinds of interests, including developers. For people who want to learn, you could have taken the on-line multimedia tutorials FREE for the month of January. Each newsletter has a URL for "tips & tricks." To subscribe, go to [http://www.microsoft.com/mindshare/monthly.asp].

    That's it for this month. Meet me here again next month if your editor permits. This column is written to make user group members aware of special offers I have found or arranged, and my comments should not be interpreted to encourage, or discourage, the purchase of products, no matter how enthused I might sound. Bob (The Cheapskate) Click [dealsguy@dealsguy.com]. Visit my Web site at [http://www.dealsguy.com] to see past columns, and some other articles of interest.

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