NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, March 2006
The Deals Column
by Bob (the Cheapskate)Click, The Dealsguy
Greater Orlando Computer Users Group
bobclick@mindspring.com
(click to email author)


When I wrote about being unable to reboot until I removed the Flash drive I had plugged in, I forgot where I had read the tip indicating that possibility for boot failure. John Pearce of Pikes Peak Computer Application Society in Colorado Springs turned out to be the source of that great tip that kept me from pulling my hair out. He had a similar boot failure problem and wrote about it in their August 2005 newsletter (page 3). A member also had that problem whose comment was published in their September 2005 issue (page 3). You can access the Bits of Bytes newsletters at [http://ppcompas.apcug.org] from their newsletter archive. Their editor, Greg Lenihan, has been publishing a great newsletter for some time now with several well-qualified technical authors helping their members. You wonít be sorry if you browse through a few issues.

Another Disappointing Cruise
Last year I wrote about taking a cruise in December 2004 on Holland Americaís Zaandam, and my frustrations. I was surprised at the amount of feedback I received, even from folks who had taken the same cruise and agreed with my frustrations. In December 2005, we gave Carnival a try since they had a seven-day cruise that fit perfectly into a time we had off, and it left from Tampa, only an hour and a half drive to board. We had never tried Carnival and the Miracle (ship) was less than two years old. I wonít go into much detail, but we will not take another Carnival cruise. The ship was beautiful, and while we didnít have any rough seas, our ride was smooth. However, I could write a book about all the things we were disappointed with compared to other cruises we have taken, although we have no complaints about our cabin attendants or dinner servers. They were great.

Donít get me wrong, I doubt we could take any cruise without enjoying ourselves, but many things were disappointing, especially the usually lukewarm food. Also, they kept that ship very cold, including our cabin, and we had to wear sweatshirts or sweaters all the time, or sit on deck in the pool areas. Our complaints fell on deaf ears. We were not the only people who complained and some told us they had even caught colds. There were blow dryers in the rest rooms instead of paper towels and we rarely saw an attendant there. Most of the entertainment used audience participation, and when we boarded, nobody greeted us and showed us to our cabins. We had to find them ourselves. First-time cruisers were really lost when they boarded. They did have two very outstanding song and dance shows that week that were superb, but that was where superb entertainment ended.

One night after a show featuring a hypnotist using about 25 volunteers from the audience, the newsletter listed Country & Western music in one of the clubs so we went there. When the listed time came, somebody went up on stage and plugged in a tape and that was our C & W band, not even a DJ. Best I stop right here as I could fill your newsletter with other complaints. One of the adult comedians was not bad, I guess, but you could hardly hear their sound system.

Read The Fine Print
Have you seen the latest scam in rebates? It was on the news recently that some people had applied for certain rebates and when they did not arrive in a couple of months they found that in the fine print the rebate could take up to four years to be processed. The TV station was working to help those folks.

Say Hello If Youíre In Town
Iíll be working a few days of the Photo Marketing Assn. International Convention here in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center so if you plan to attend I would like to see you. Let me know ahead of time so I can arrange it when I have time off. You will see all the big names in the computer industry at that show Feb. 26 thru Mar.1 and it will take you some time to see it. You wonít be sorry you attended. More info at [http://www.pmai.org] .

Hereís An Announcement For Home Bookkeeping Software (Edited)
October 18, 2005 - Keepsoft Software announces the release of the new version of Home Bookkeeping. The main use for Home Bookkeeping is analysis of your accounts, expenses and incomes. First, open one or several accounts, specifying the currency to be used in each case. Then, you can start keeping your expenditure records, noting the category of expenses each time you withdraw money from the accounts. Mark your debtors and creditors and plan your incomes and expenses. It gives you a complete picture of your finances movement. It presents a report containing exhaustive information on your expenditure items.

Transfer money from one account to another. Copy or move from one user to another any data regarding expenditure items. One can clear, synchronize or compress his/her database and export any record to a considerable number of formats. Privacy and security are ensured since every user can protect his/her username with a case sensitive password. A variety of backup option features ensure that information is safe. The built-in handy search engine will get any data on current expenditures.

Pricing and Availability
Home Bookkeeping runs under Windows 9.X/Me/2000/XP and costs $29.95 (USD) for individual users and $49.95 (USD) for commercial users. We offer all members of your group a 20% discount through April 2006. Registered customers are entitled to free updates and lifetime technical support. A 30-day fully functional evaluation version of Home Bookkeeping is available as a free download at [http://www.keepsoft.com/download/hbk4.exe] (3.8 Mb)

Interested In A Jukebox? An Edited Announcement.
December 26, 2005

WinJukebox Software announces the release of WinJukebox v2.0. The core functionality of an on-demand music player has been extended with play list management and music updates. The program also features automatic volume balancing and a smart track overlap. If you want your tune played, punch its track number and wait your turn. The jukebox window also shows the tracks popularity chart. When the on-demand queue is empty, the auto playback mode switches to a list of new downloads or a top popularity list. Also added is track repeat control, so that most ardent guests don't inflict their tastes on others.

The Jukebox window has an attractive texture skin. It shows the play list queue and the popularity chart. The Manager window shows various available play lists and allows controlling Jukebox playback and changing its settings. The program's settings help customize the interface and manage the music menu and playback. On entering a tune number, for example, the Jukebox window can show original messages in your native language. The settings allow automatic downloading of new tracks from bookmarked sites with optional traffic limits. As for playback, the program offers the repeat control, volume level normalization, and custom track overlap.

WinJukebox v2.0 runs under Windows 98/2000/2003/ME/XP, and costs $24.95 USD for a personal user license, and $49.95 USD for a family license. The company also offers different types of business licensing (commercial $59.95, noncommercial $49.95, and educational $39.95). We will offer all user group members a 10 % discount on the latest version of WinJukebox v2.0 until 8/31/06 as a ďspecial discount from DealsGuy.Ē When ordering, enter the code CPN7798973196 in the coupon field on the shopping cart and checkout page. If necessary, contact [PRContacts@WinJukebox.com]. All registered users are entitled to free lifetime support and minor updates. WinJukebox v2.0 is available at [http://winjukebox.com/download/winjukebox.exe].

Be aware that I have not tried either of these products announced.

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

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