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

New To The Column
Greg Lenihan, editor for Pike's Peak Computer Application Society's newsletter, and Amy Kriston, editor for Baltimore PC User Group's newsletter, e-mailed me about using the column. With lightning-like deliberation, my answer was "absolutely yes." They even included the information for my Web site in their request, which is rare. You will find their club's data and a Web site link on my distribution page.

Pike's Peak has gone to all electronic newsletters and Baltimore is in the process of doing the same, as have a number of other groups. I've been thinking about giving up on this column, but with this continued support, I'm still hooked. I just wish I could get more of the missing groups that use my column listed. Please e-mail me if your user group information is missing. One vendor was not impressed with my number count on the distribution page. How do I explain that it is still incomplete?

I Must Be Important
At a Greater Orlando Computer UG meeting the other evening, I decided to show the members the "AdAware" software I wrote about last month. Since I spend very little time on the Net, and only use a dial-up connection, I was dumbfounded when it found seven items on my hard drive that it didn't like. A knowledgeable member said they are all spyware. Of course I checked the box to get rid of them. Oh yes, I also have Norton Internet Security.

Talk About Spying!!
Fortunately, I don't get much of it, but many people have a habit of forwarding all kinds of jokes, sayings and other information they think their friends should know about. Some even forward advertisements they think you'd like. Two problems - they don't usually remove all the headers and Cc addresses, and many experienced computer users don't want all that junk. Think about it, you have just compromised all those people's e-mail addresses that were Cc'ed (carbon copy) when they should have been Bcc (blind carbon copy), and they might even be passed on again. I know if I were on that list, I wouldn't appreciate my name being passed around like spam, and possibly put in a "spam" address list.

Further, it is possible for the original sender of a message, usually spam, to include JavaScript code capable of actually reporting back to the original sender information concerning: if you read the message, if you forwarded it to somebody and who it was. It is even possible for this embedded code to capture part or all of any added text you might have forwarded and report it back as well. This JavaScript could also be used to send a proposal to someone and have the private messages of the other participants discussing it sent back to the original sender, unbeknownst to the recipients.

There is much more on this subject, so I suggest you go to [http://www.privacyfoundation.org] and learn more about all this. Learn how to turn off the JavaScript in your software, but that doesn't stop it from still being in the forwarded message to the next person.

How Low Can It Go?
Many consider Net Object's Fusion 5.0 an excellent high-end Web development product and I noticed it listed for a second time in a PC Connection catalog at only $49.95 after a $50 mail-in rebate. Looks like they really want your business, so if you are interested, call PC Connection at 1-800-800-5555. It used to be $495.00 when it was introduced a few years ago.

Prevent The Cat From Chasing Your Mouse
A few months ago I wrote about the CueCat, which was designed to actually be a spy if you installed their software. Now I find it doesn't have to be that way. Some may have read the article by Barbara Kreiss of Amador Computer Users Group about the CueCat, but for those who didn't, Barbara has given me permission to include an excerpt.

She says "Check out [http://www.readerware.com], for a product that has been around for a while that now supports the CueCat, and with no tracking. Want to catalog your library? Swipe the bar codes, it does the rest. They actually have Linux support too. It is the CueCat software that does the tracking, so avoid CueCat's software and you have a very useful device with a great price."

While the CueCat is free from Radio Shack, this software will cost you $40 if you register it.

Pocket Sized Storage
You may remember my writing about the neat little Pockey drive I found at Comdex, and how small it is. I had occasion to correspond with their marketing manager and asked them for a deal. My Pockey drive easily fits in my tee shirt pocket and the twenty-gig model is the same size. Just plug it into your USB slot, install the drivers, and it comes to life. You also get two USB cables and a cloth pouch for it. I love mine and it does a good job. Inside, it contains a 2 1/2" hard drive. As for speed, it is only limited by the USB capabilities. Go to [http://www.pockeydrives.com] for pictures and more info.

Their "Bob Click" offer is thus: Call Pockey Drives direct at 1-877- 7POCKEY (1-877-776-2539) and mention "Bob Click." Pockey will give you a $50.00 discount on the 10-gig drive (MSRP $299.95, final answer -- $249.95), or $80.00 discount on the 20-gig drive (MSRP $399.00, final answer -- $319.95). A friend said it's better than you can find on the Web. They didn't mention deals on the 6-gig model. I don't know the S&H. They are great people to deal with.

I might also mention that I was told the reason I can't get mine to work on my Toshiba laptop is because Toshiba used some defective NEC chips in some of their laptops. Looks like I am back gunning for justice again. If you want to know more about that problem, go to [http://www.usb.org/forums/retail/messages/8286.html] and check that out.

I've Been Waiting For This One
I was promised this at Fall Comdex in Las Vegas and I finally ran into Dave Whittle again at a local user group presentation. He graciously delivered even better than originally promised. This is a great offer during April and May -- be sure to take advantage. Since these prices are the same as he offers at user group presentations, this is a great chance for small groups with an attendance too small to qualify for Dave's official presentations. I'm sure all of you are familiar with the products, if not, check their Web site at [http://www.mgisoftware.com], so I'll simply list the prices. I was especially impressed when he converted a group of pictures to a panoramic view. Here are the deals:

  • MGI PhotoSuite 4 (retail $49.95)-- special $30.00
  • MGI VideoWave 4 (retail $99.95) -- special $50.00
  • Bundle of PhotoSuite 4 + VideoWave 4 (retail $149.90) -- special $60.00
  • MGI PhotoVista 2.0 (retail $49.99) -- special $25.00
  • MGI SoftDVD MAX 4.0 (retail $39.99) -- special $20.00
  • Set of all 4 titles (retail $239.88) -- special $90.00
  • Add $6.95 for shipping (Dave says he'll offer FREE S&H *IF* you write "DealsGuy" on your order!)
  • You may order by US mail if you pay by check, or by fax or mail if you pay with VISA or MasterCard. Please provide your name, complete mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. Then list the product(s) ordered and the prices. Total it all up and include your check or credit card # with expiration date, and signature. Send your order to:

    Webworking Services
    653 North 600 East
    Springville, UT, 84663
    Or fax your order (only CC orders) to 1-801-489-0609

    All Together Now, Synchronize - Say What?
    LapLink was one of the APCUG sponsors at Fall Comdex events and took very good care of us at their event. At the event, I talked to their Sr. Public Relations Manager who sent me this special offer for APCUG members. LapLink's PCsync is normally $69.95, but temporarily you can purchase PCsync for just $49.95 (US). They demonstrated it in the presentation and we saw large data files virtually fly from one laptop to another.

    Key benefits include:
    Move large files or groups of files quickly
    PCsync's ultra-fast USB Network cable and serial cable included!
    Designate a folder on your hard drive to share with other PCsync users.
    Securely access files over the Internet.

    To take advantage of this offer, call LapLink at 1-800-343-8080 and tell them you are an APCUG member.

    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] for past columns. Also, I keep adding to my "articles of interest" there.

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